Most helpful positive review
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Great Musical Film with Outstanding Extras
on 4 May 2005
This film is a wonderful adaptation of the stage musical. All to often with Lloyd Weber musicals, (Cats, Jeeves, Joseph), all we get is a film of the stage show - but this time we get a truly epic film musical that retains all the magic of the original stage version whilst adding some much depth and detail. The casting is perfect - and it's hard to believe that the fabulous setting ISN'T the real Paris Opera House, but lavishly constructed sets.
Assuming that most people interested in buying the DVD have already seen the film at there local cinema, I see little point in praising it any further. What you might want to know is: do the DVD extras make it worth buying? My answer is an unreserved YES. The film is fantastic - and the extras are almost all you could wish for.
The extras are divided into two parts: the Film and the Show. The Film extras have the usual 'Making of' documentary ... though this one is fairly comprehensive rather than the standard 30 minute trailer. The documentary covers all aspects of making the film and has plenty of cast interviews. There are also a collection of Production Shorts which include some footage from the making of documentary and expand it in particular areas: music, costumes, effects, etc. These are less interesting, and the one about making the chandelier is little more than a 15 minute commercial for Swarovski Crystal. There are a few other lesser extras including some nice stills.
The 'Show' section has perhaps the best of the documentaries detailing the history of the Phantom of the Opera from its earliest inspiration to the final show. This is a very lengthy documentary which will easily stand up to repeat viewing - and has some fantastic interviews giving considerable insight into the creative process. It also shows many short segments from the stage show (major pivotal scenes) - which allows for some interesting comparisons between the two genres. Furthermore, you even get to see some of the privately shot footage of the prototype phantom show filmed at Lloyd Weber's home several months before its theatrical debut. The Show extras also include the early 'pop' videos of some of the major songs featuring Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford.
In short: Highly recommended. A fantastic film that, for once, has some really worthwhile extras that greatly ADD to the viewers' overall enjoyment of the whole experience, rather than thinly spreading it a little further!