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Fire Me Boy!
12-10-2004, 11:09 PM
Saw a screening last week of Phantom...

Now, I'm a HUGE fan of the stage play (and I've seen it 6 times)... aside from being a film critic, my minor in college was music (specifically vocal performance), so I felt going in I was possibly born for this review. Anyway, Phantom has good and bad...

As a Joel Schumacher film, you can expect in the very least something visually stunning, and Phantom does not disappoint. The production design is absolutely first-rate, including set and costume design.

As far as the acting is concerned, this is an opera first and a film second. On that note (no pun intended), Emmy Rossum (who plays Christine Daae) was quite good. She is a trained opera singer and has performed in over 20 plays, making her debut at the NY Metropolitan at the age of 7. To expect her to be anything other than outstanding would be a mistake. She has a beautiful, pristine, young voice. Perfect for the role.

Patrick Wilson (playing Raoul), who has been a soloist with the Mostly Pops Orchestra and Canton Symphony Orchestra and earned a Tony nomination in 2002 as Curly in "Oklahoma," was also nothing short of amazing... vocally. His acting, on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired.

The surprise of the cast is Minnie Driver as diva Carlotta. Her voice is truly great, and her choice to overact everything is perfect for the role.

Miranda Richardson (Madame Giry), Simon Callow (Andre), and Ciaran Hinds (Firmin) all are more than suitable supporting cast members.

The problem: the lead is not what he should be. Gerard Butler's portrayal of the Phantom is just sad... he decision to portray Phantom as a screaming maniac was probably made to cover the fact that he just doesn't have a very good voice. That's not really a fair statement. He has potential to have a very nice voice, but right now Butler is untrained. His falsetto range is beautiful, but unsupported. His low range is lackign for the role, and consequently the lower parts of the music come out heavy, almost burp-like.

Very little has changed to the story. A few things have been moved around and there is one scene of exposition detailing Phantom's childhood and how he came to live in the dungeons of the Opera Populaire. Some of the music has been edited for time, which is a disappointment to fans of the stage play.

At 143 minutes, the film is only about 15 minutes shorter than the stage play. But if you see the stage play there is a 20-minute intermission... and that's just about right. In the movies though, Phantom of the Opera runs a little long.

EDIT: Phantom opens Dec. 22, 2004.

John_Wayne
12-11-2004, 09:34 AM
Thanks for the review. I was planning on taking my wife to see this.

Deberg_1990
12-11-2004, 10:48 AM
Gerard Butler?? Who is that??? They couldnt have found anyone better than that to play the Phantom??

Frazod
12-11-2004, 11:33 AM
Hmm...

I've seen it a couple of times (I had a front row seat at the Broadway show once - that was cool), but I don't know if I want to sit through it in the theater. I think I'll hold out for the DVD.

Fire Me Boy!
12-13-2004, 08:29 AM
Gerard Butler?? Who is that??? They couldnt have found anyone better than that to play the Phantom??
He played Terry Sheridan is Lara Croft 2... Schumacher went with several unknowns, and Butler isn't exactly a known (although they originally wanted to cast Antonio Banderas or John Travolta), but if you're going unknown you might as well find someone with a helluva voice.

Miles
12-13-2004, 08:40 AM
He played Terry Sheridan is Lara Croft 2... Schumacher went with several unknowns, and Butler isn't exactly a known (although they originally wanted to cast Antonio Banderas or John Travolta), but if you're going unknown you might as well find someone with a helluva voice.

I usually like the casting of unknowns in stuff like this. If its a smaller/artsy project it kind of helps focus on the film rather than what expectations of the estabished actors. Though it only really works if the right actor is picked.

Coach
12-13-2004, 08:46 AM
Hmm...

I've seen it a couple of times (I had a front row seat at the Broadway show once - that was cool), but I don't know if I want to sit through it in the theater. I think I'll hold out for the DVD.

Eh, holding out for the DVD is probably the better option, since those auditorium seats aren't quite comfortable compared to say, your recliner or a couch for that matter. Plus on the positive side, you can drink a cold one while watching it as well.

Just my 2 cents.

Ebolapox
12-13-2004, 09:02 AM
eh, it doesn't exactly have me interested--I'm not uncultured as far as I can tell, but it doesn't seem like a thriller to me--I'll still take my fiance to see it

-EB-

Fire Me Boy!
12-13-2004, 09:13 AM
I usually like the casting of unknowns in stuff like this. If its a smaller/artsy project it kind of helps focus on the film rather than what expectations of the estabished actors. Though it only really works if the right actor is picked.
I, too, like casting unknowns. But in an opera, it should be relatively easy to find an unknown with a good voice.

Eh, holding out for the DVD is probably the better option, since those auditorium seats aren't quite comfortable compared to say, your recliner or a couch for that matter. Plus on the positive side, you can drink a cold one while watching it as well.

Just my 2 cents.
Oddly, I screened this at The Screenland downtown... sat in one of the easy chair/recliners and had a beer. It didn't help that much. It was still too long for a film, and I like long, epic films. This one runs too long.

I'm going to see it again Wednesday on another screener, this time with my wife. It gives me a chance to hone my review and further develop my opinion. We'll see if I think the same thing in a couple of days.

jynni
12-13-2004, 10:19 AM
The surprise of the cast is Minnie Driver as diva Carlotta. Her voice is truly great, and her choice to overact everything is perfect for the role.

Minnie is dubbed by a singer who has played Carlotta in the London production.

Rumor has it that they wanted Hugh Jackman for the Phantom but he couldn't do it because the film schedule conflicted with his commitment to "The Boy From Oz".

Fire Me Boy!
12-13-2004, 10:28 AM
Minnie is dubbed by a singer who has played Carlotta in the London production.

Rumor has it that they wanted Hugh Jackman for the Phantom but he couldn't do it because the film schedule conflicted with his commitment to "The Boy From Oz".
Do you have a link for that? I wasn't able to find anything that said either way... I know she employed herself for a few years as a jazz singer, so it wouldn't be unthinkable that she did her own singing.

Fire Me Boy!
12-13-2004, 10:35 AM
Nevermind. I've found some news sources finally (something a little more solid that board chatter). Thanks for the heads up, though. In any case, her performance is outstanding.

KingPriest2
12-13-2004, 10:54 AM
Eh, . Plus on the positive side, you can drink a cold one while watching it as well.

Just my 2 cents.


Hmm you really aren't a college kid then.

Count Alex's Losses
04-04-2009, 02:56 PM
Just got my tickets for July 12. Sitting in a GOOD seat this time. Can't wait. Third viewing.

Guru
04-04-2009, 03:21 PM
Movie was good. The stage performance is outstanding.

Fire Me Boy!
04-04-2009, 03:22 PM
Claythan, thanks.

I didn't know it was touring, and your email made me check out Ticketmaster.

I just bought my tickets in Charlotte, and lucked into seats in Row B, Center Orchestra!

By far, best seats I've had.

Count Alex's Losses
04-04-2009, 03:29 PM
Claythan, thanks.

I didn't know it was touring, and your email made me check out Ticketmaster.

I just bought my tickets in Charlotte, and lucked into seats in Row B, Center Orchestra!

By far, best seats I've had.

Booyah! I'm in their "advance eClub" so I got an e-mail before they go on sale to the general public on the 19th. I'm sitting center orchestra, row O. Last time I was at the back of the freaking gallery.

Are you taking the wife?

luv
04-04-2009, 03:32 PM
Just got my tickets for July 12. Sitting in a GOOD seat this time. Can't wait. Third viewing.

Who are you taking?

Count Alex's Losses
04-04-2009, 03:33 PM
Who are you taking?

No one. I'm a fucking loser.

Fire Me Boy!
04-04-2009, 03:41 PM
Booyah! I'm in their "advance eClub" so I got an e-mail before they go on sale to the general public on the 19th. I'm sitting center orchestra, row O. Last time I was at the back of the freaking gallery.

Are you taking the wife?

Yes. She'd kill me if I didn't (I took her to see PotO at the Music Hall on our very first date).

You got the advance email, and I still got better seats than you? Wow.

Count Alex's Losses
04-04-2009, 03:42 PM
Yes. She'd kill me if I didn't (I took her to see PotO at the Music Hall on our very first date).

You got the advance email, and I still got better seats than you? Wow.

I've sat up against the stage before. I didn't like it.

Fire Me Boy!
04-04-2009, 03:45 PM
I've sat up against the stage before. I didn't like it.

There's a section in front of orchestra seating. I should be total about 12 rows back. I sat in a similar spot at Juanita K. Hammonds in Springfield for my first show of Les Miserables.

Count Alex's Losses
04-04-2009, 03:49 PM
I sat in a similar spot at Juanita K. Hammonds in Springfield for my first show of Les Miserables.

I say. How positively elitist.

http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/uncyclopedia/images/thumb/b/b4/Monocle2.jpg/180px-Monocle2.jpg

Fire Me Boy!
04-04-2009, 03:53 PM
I say. How positively elitist.

http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/uncyclopedia/images/thumb/b/b4/Monocle2.jpg/180px-Monocle2.jpg

Why? Just sayin', good seats.

Never seen Phantom up close. My wife and I have seen it either two or three times together, and we've always had horrible seats.

Count Alex's Losses
04-04-2009, 03:55 PM
Why? Just sayin', good seats.


I'm being retarded. Sorry. I picture you leaning back against your chair and remarking casually, "ah, yes, why you know, I had SIMILAR seats at Les Miserables one time....*sips martini*"

Count Alex's Losses
04-04-2009, 03:59 PM
Hey, do they ask you for your ID? The last time I went (it was for a symphony) I just gave them my name and was handed my ticket. I felt so upper crust. It was wonderful.

Fire Me Boy!
04-04-2009, 04:15 PM
Hey, do they ask you for your ID? The last time I went (it was for a symphony) I just gave them my name and was handed my ticket. I felt so upper crust. It was wonderful.

I've been where they did and didn't. It just depends on the place, I think.

Fire Me Boy!
04-04-2009, 04:18 PM
I'm being retarded. Sorry. I picture you leaning back against your chair and remarking casually, "ah, yes, why you know, I had SIMILAR seats at Les Miserables one time....*sips martini*"

Those were free seats, too.

My dad was friends with a banker who had them, and something came up last minute and he couldn't go. He gave them to my dad in ad exchange at his newspaper.

My dad couldn't go because it was a print night (he was publisher and pressman at the time), so he gave them to my mom. So she and I went.

Frazod
04-04-2009, 04:52 PM
I've sat up against the stage before. I didn't like it.

I thought it was great. Added a very visceral dimension to the performance, smelling the powder in the charges and having the dry ice fog go over my head.

luv
04-04-2009, 05:16 PM
No one. I'm a ****ing loser.

Tell you what. You pay for my gas and hotel, and I'll drive down and go with you. :D

Count Alex's Losses
04-04-2009, 05:17 PM
Tell you what. You pay for my gas and hotel, and I'll drive down and go with you. :D

Oh, what a deal.

luv
04-04-2009, 05:19 PM
Oh, what a deal.

I'm glad you agree.

Pioli Zombie
04-04-2009, 05:40 PM
Just got my tickets for July 12. Sitting in a GOOD seat this time. Can't wait. Third viewing.

Gay
Posted via Mobile Device

SNR
04-04-2009, 05:41 PM
The show is great on Broadway. The movie sucked. I hated the Phantom's voice (if that was his voice... may have been a dub from another singer).

I'm usually that way about these musicals that have been getting produced on the big screen with big name actors. Same with Sweeney Todd. You go from an absolute angel like Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Lovett to a stupid whore who can't sing worth shit (Helena Bonham Carter) and then add in Tim Burton's "artistic" touches he likes to poop out his butt, and you have a terrible production.

And no, Johnny Depp CAN'T sing.

SNR
04-04-2009, 05:42 PM
Gay
Posted via Mobile DeviceHeh, you DO have a point. Andrew Lloyd Webber writes gay stuff.

Pioli Zombie
04-04-2009, 05:43 PM
Minnie is dubbed by a singer who has played Carlotta in the London production.

Rumor has it that they wanted Hugh Jackman for the Phantom but he couldn't do it because the film schedule conflicted with his commitment to "The Boy From Oz".
The name Hugh Jackman always makes me think of the name Hugh Jass
Posted via Mobile Device

Count Alex's Losses
04-04-2009, 06:23 PM
Gay
Posted via Mobile Device

I love Phantom of the Opera and have technically seen Sex and the City twice. I should start sucking cock and just complete the trifecta.

Pioli Zombie
04-04-2009, 06:32 PM
I love Phantom of the Opera and have technically seen Sex and the City twice. I should start sucking cock and just complete the trifecta.

I don't believe I need to add a thing here.
Posted via Mobile Device

Count Alex's Losses
07-12-2009, 06:12 PM
Sitting 15 rows from the stage at POTO is pretty cool. In fact, I think I want to see it jammed up against the stage next time.

However, I think this may be my last solo attendance.

I also think it's HIGH time someone made a parody of it. I want to see Adam Sandler playing the Phantom. John Goodman as Carlotta (hurry before he dies).

I can think of a lot of funny ideas. For instance, the Phantom should dry hump Christine during "past the point of no return." Christine would be all "Piangi, WTF?"

JD10367
07-12-2009, 06:56 PM
I love Phantom of the Opera and have technically seen Sex and the City twice. I should start sucking cock and just complete the trifecta.

How about sucking cock while dressed up like Sarah Jessica Parker from "Sex In The City" and you're both watching "Phantom of the Opera"? :D

I got in on the first wave of Phantom craziness, thanks to my first girlfriend, at that time ('89ish) a music college major. She made me listen to it. Being a 20something, and wanting to have sexual relations, I suppressed my initial reactionary "that's teh ghey!" and gave it a listen, and thus began my interest in Broadway shows. And thong underwear. :)

In 1989, we flew out to L.A. for the best weekend of my life. We scored $199 roundtrip thanks to a newspaper misprint. We flew in on a Friday, saw "Phantom" that night. Sarah Brightman had already leaft, but Michael Crawford was still doing the Phantom: holy crap, was he amazing. Then we spent the weekend running around Disneyland, where I'd never been (I'd only been to Disney World, which I loved).

I've also seen "Phantom" in New York, as well as the touring production in Boston and Providence. The only musical that compares is "Les Mis" (but "Phantom" is a notch better IMO). Andrew Lloyd Webber is awesome, even if he does steal from Puccini...

Count Alex's Losses
07-12-2009, 06:58 PM
Michael Crawford is retarded good. I think part of the problem I've never really TRULY liked any of the three phantoms I've seen is because none of them sounded like him. This one sounded too American.

Pitt Gorilla
07-12-2009, 07:59 PM
Sarah Brightman is brilliant.

Fire Me Boy!
07-13-2009, 06:28 AM
Sarah Brightman is brilliant.

Brightman has an amazing voice, but I can't stand watching her sing... painful to watch.

Simply Red
07-13-2009, 10:34 AM
such a brilliant piece of theater. I almost cry, everytime. Next time I may cry. It really is sad.

Jenson71
07-13-2009, 10:40 AM
I saw this in New York. Pricey. I had to stand in the back for $25.

Baby Lee
07-13-2009, 10:42 AM
As a Joel Schumacher film, you can expect in the very least something visually stunning, and Phantom does not disappoint. The production design is absolutely first-rate, including set and costume design.
At least the Phantom didn't get nipples on his tuxedo.