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The Phantom of the Opera [DVD] 
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Film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's popular musical. Gerard Butler plays a disfigured musical genius who haunts the Paris Opera, waging a reign of terror over its occupants. But when he falls in love with Christine (Emmy Rossum), the Phantom devotes himself to creating a new star for the Opera.
Although it's not as bold as Oscar darling Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera continues the resuscitation of the movie musical with a faithful adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's blockbuster stage musical. Emmy Rossum glows in a breakout role as opera ingénue Christine Daae, and if phantom Gerard Butler isn't Rossum's match vocally, he does convey menace and sensuality in such numbers as "The Music of the Night." The most experienced musical theater veteran in the cast, romantic lead Patrick Wilson, sings sweetly but seems wooden. The biggest name in the cast, Minnie Driver, hams it up as diva Carlotta, and she's the only principal whose voice was dubbed (though she does sing the closing-credit number, "Learn to Be Lonely," which is also the only new song).
Director Joel Schumacher, no stranger to visual spectacle, seems to have found a good match in Lloyd Webber's larger-than-life vision of Gaston LeRoux's Gothic horror-romance. His weakness is cuing too many audience-reaction shots and showing too much of the lurking Phantom, but when he calms down and lets Rossum sings "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" alone in a silent graveyard, it's exquisite.
Those who consider the stage musical shallow and overblown probably won't have their minds changed by the movie, and devotees will forever rue that the movie took the better part of two decades to develop, which prevented the casting of original principals Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman. Still, The Phantom of the Opera is a welcome exception to the long line of ill-conceived Broadway-to-movie travesties.
The two-disc edition of The Phantom of the Opera has two major extras. "Behind the Mask: The Story of The Phantom of the Opera" is an hourlong documentary tracing the genesis of the stage show, with interviews by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, director Harold Prince, producer Cameron Macintosh, lyricists Richard Stilgoe and Charles Hart, choreographer Gillian Lynne, and others. Conspicuously absent are stars Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford. Both do appear in video clips, including Brightman performing with Colm Wilkinson at an early workshop, and Crawford is the subject of a casting segment. Other brief scenes from the show are represented by a 2001 production. The other major feature is the 45-minute making-of focusing on the movie, including casting and the selection of director Joel Schumacher Both are well-done productions by Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group.
The deleted scene is a new song written by Lloyd Webber and Charles Hart, "No One Would Listen," sung by the Phantom toward the end of the movie. It's a beautiful song that, along with Madame Giry's story, makes him a more sympathetic character. But because that bit of backstory already slowed down the ending, it was probably a good move to cut the song. --David Horiuchi
Important note: Initial playback of this DVD defaults to the DTS (Digital Theatre System) soundtrack, therefore customers without such equipment will not hear any sound. Please note that this is NOT a fault with the DVD.
If you are not in possession of a DTS compatible sound amplifier, you need to change the film's soundtrack type from the main menu.
In order to do this, please follow the instructions below:
1. Click the "set-up" option.
2. Select either Dolby Digital Surround Sound or Dolby Digital Stereo as appropriate.
3. Select "Play Movie". The film will now play with a universal audible soundtrack.
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Top Customer Reviews
The film works fantastically well but inevitably has a different perspective because Joel Schumacher is not Harold Prince and this is not the stage. Schumacher, as he says, has chosen to heighten the romantic and sexual elements of Christine's relationship with the Phantom and chosen a much younger cast to portray the principals.
Emmy Rossum is a delightful Christine and whilst her voice is not up to Sarah Brightman's exquisite soprano, she sings charmingly and is actually a much better actress, which benefits the film enormously.
Despite the sword fight I still find Raoul a wet lettuce and nowhere does he appear to more disadvantaged than in the final scene in the Phantom's lair.
This is partly the weakness of the part as it is written but also due to the mesmerising performance of Gerry Butler as the Phantom - anyone would suffer in comparison. He is a stunning Phantom and you would need a heart of stone not to shed a tear for him. The fact that he is also drop-dead gorgeous did not hurt either although this can make it difficult to understand why Christine would be daft enough to choose Raoul, especially after Gerry Butler scorches the screen with this version of Point of No Return. This physical attraction is clearly intended with the open shirts and tight trousers showing off a physique to die for.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
I have just finished watching this film for the second time and am still just as in awe as I was the first time! I simply HAD to get straight on here and review it!
The majority of the universe probably know the basic plot, but for those of you who do not...
Christine Daae,(Emmy Rossum), is chorusline girl and understudy to the very O.T.T. Diva Carlotta, (Minnie Driver). When Carlotta refuses to sing and stomps off in one of her famous sulks, Christine is yanked centre stage and blows the roof off the opera house! Unknowingly, Christine has been receiving tutorage from the Phantom...she believes it to be the spirit of her dead father, the one she knows as her Angel Of Music.
Said Phantom, (so SEXILY played by Gerard Butler...swoon!), is in actual fact in love with Christine and has plans to make her all his. (Why, oh why can't it be me?!) On seeing his childhood sweetheart perform, the Vicompte Raoul de Chagny,(Patrick Wilson), the new opera house patron, also falls in love with Christine again and begins a new courtship. Thus annoying the hell out of the Phantom.
What you have here is a true tear jerker of a love triangle, (if that is you are as soppy as I!) What is Christine to do? Should she run away with Raoul, (NO! NO! NO! I SAY!) or should she stay with the Phantom in his under ground lair? (YES! YES! YES! I CRY!) Who cares if he has homicidal tendancies and is having one heck of a bad hair day?! NOT I! Just take one look of him in his cloak and mask or THAT red get-up at the masquerade! Mmmmmmmmm...yum yum! Failing that, simply listen to him sing Music Of The Night and I defy ANY woman out there not to wish it were HER bodice he was running his hands over!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this as a gift for my Nephew. The DVD didn't work. The DVD was replaced by another and that one didn't work either. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
Brilliant film not as good as the production but still worth a watch highly recommend.Published 28 days ago by Amy