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The Phantom of the Opera (SE)
DVD disk
May 11, 2005 By: Quigles
The Phantom of the Opera (SE) order
Director:
Joel Schumacher

Actors:
Gerard Butler
Emmy Rossum
Patrick Wilson

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
15 years in the making, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical adaptation of the book is finally here (not that I really cared to begin with). The story is as follows: a chorus girl is trained by a deformed musical genius that lives underneath the Opera House. Problems arise when her childhood sweetheart comes into the picture. Emotions spill and lots of singing commences.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I’m not a fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical style. There, I said it. That alone explains why I did not like this movie. Those of you who appreciate his skills as a composer are in luck, because this is certainly the grand spectacle of a film you have probably been craving. I, on the other hand, found it quite dull and unexciting. There are two main issues to examine, that being the musical aspect of the movie and the love-triangle romance story. In case you didn’t know, almost all of the dialogue is sung. This should come to no surprise for many (it is a musical performance after all), but when considering how some of it is done, it gets a little monotonous. To give you an idea of what I mean, take a film you know (that’s not a musical), and imagine all the actors giving their lines in song. It’s like that; too much singing, not enough straightforward dialogue (hey, it’s just my opinion). My favorite scenes in the movie were the ones without singing, not including that wicked theme on the boat. There is also the problem with the presentation of the romance, which stumbles over the fact that the guy playing Raoul, the childhood sweetheart, has zero screen presence or chemistry with the leading lady. Thus, the love-triangle, which is so central to the story, falls apart.

As you can clearly see, I didn’t quite take to this movie, which is a nicer way of saying I was bored out of my mind. That’s not to say there wasn’t anything worth praising. The lavish scenery is presented well, and the overall production is beautifully put together. Even more appealing to the eyes is Emmy Rossum, who plays her part with plenty of emotion and is simply gorgeous to look at (I even found myself looking at her instead of paying attention to the film, which then presented ever more boredom since I had to keep rewinding). Also great is Gerard Butler as the strangely likable Phantom, despite being surprisingly good-looking for a “hideous monster”. There is even some cool style to be found within the directing, although I think I found more to bitch about than to compliment, which is pretty much the same predicament this flick is in. It may be easy on the eyes, but only looking that far seems a little shallow to me. Personally, I think this movie should have stayed hidden in the shadows, just like the Phantom.
THE EXTRAS
I may not have liked the movie, but there is no denying this 2-disc Special Edition is damn good.

Disc 1:

Simply contains the Theatrical Trailer, which is actually better than the friggin movie.

Disc 2:

Behind the Mask: The Story of “The Phantom of the Opera” (1:04:59): An excellent, in-depth and interview filled documentary detailing the past transition from book to movie to play to musical, etc. If you don’t yet know the story (like I didn’t), it’s a terrific watch (that is, if you have an hour to spare).

The Making of “The Phantom of the Opera”:
  • Origins and Casting (17:04): A nice interview-filled look at bringing the musical to the big-screen, and working with the casting (obviously). If you enjoyed the film, you should enjoy this.
  • Designing (10:44): Self-explanatory. We get to see plenty of model sized-versions of places like the Opera House. If you’re into stuff the technical aspect behind movies, then check this out.
  • Supporting Cast and Recording the Album (17:12): This discusses the music in the movie and some more of the cast. There is even a bit more talk on some technical stuff, such as the chandelier. A nice watch for fans.
Additional Scene: “No One Would Listen” (2:23): Essentially more of the same from the film, so if you enjoyed that, you’ll love this scene with the Phantom singing.

EASTER EGG: From disc two, go down and highlight the “Additional Scene”, and then press down. A corner of a frame will be selected, and if you press enter, you will be treated to a humorous “cast and crew sing-a-long”.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
There’s no denying the great collection of extras, but that didn’t change my overall impression of the DVD too much. Take into consideration that when I get bored or annoyed, I tend to yank my hair. By the end of this film, I was bald. I can’t pan this movie too much though, since it wasn’t exactly made for me. There are plenty of you out there you will be stunned by such an achievement in filmmaking, and will probably even praise it as an outstanding masterpiece. I guess I just wasn’t one of them.
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