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*** Official PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Discussion Thread


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#1 of 128 Brian W. Ralston

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Posted December 09 2004 - 06:12 PM

Well...I saw a screening of this film a few weeks ago. I work in the industry and this was a private screening for the Society of Composers & Lyricists. Andrew Lloyd Webber was in attendance and held a question and answer session afterwards.

I have to say. It has been a long time waiting for this popular stage musical to finally hit the big screen. Apparently the rights to the film were held by someone other than Andrew Lloyd Webber back in the 90's. (I remember reading articles about a Phantom of the Opera movie back with the original cast a long time ago and that when Lord Webber and Sarah Brightman's marrage ended, the movie pretty much stopped production as well). Since a movie was not made in a specified period of time, the rights for the film reverted back to Andrew Lloyd Webber and here we are today. That was then, this is now.

The Film Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image (out of four)

The film is utterly amazing. For the most part, the film is sung through the entire way as it was on stage, but there are some lines spoken. These were carefully chosen by Webber. Everyone in the film sings their own lyrics except Minnie Driver. She is an accomplished singer in her own right, but just not an operatic soprano. Her singing voice is dubbed with that of Margaret Preece. Ironically, a new song was written for the film by Webber that was to go in the Mascarade scene. In the end, they cut this new song from the film because Webber said it just didn't work. But the decision was made to put the song in over the end title credits. And the person who sings the song on the end credits is none other than Minnie Driver. SO...the only person who was over dubbed in the film, is the singer who is singing on the end title credits. Go figure.

If PHANTOM does not get an oscar nomination for set design and/or costume design, there is truly something wrong in the world of film. The film is georgious. Visually stunning in every way. I was in awe of how this amazing muscial, which I had seen on stage many times, came to life on the big screen. Don't let the fact that Joel Schumaker directed this film scare you. Webber was in control of a lot of this production and it shows. Schumaker was Webbers choice for director and it seems their collaboration in bringing this story to the big screen has paid off.

The film is pretty faithful to the stage musical. There is just one section that delves into the history of the Phantom and how he came to be. This is new to Webber's story. Also, interesting to note that according to Webber, about 60% of the songs vocal performances were sung on set, recorded in real time as they acted out the scenes. Only certain spots of the film had to be re-recorded later to get better vocal performances.

Emmy Rossum's voice and performance as Christine is amazing. Hard to believe she was only 16 when she did this last year. I equally enjoyed Patrick Wilson's performance as Raoul. Minnie Driver is funny as Carlotta...a bit over the top...but funny. The orchestral score is huge since the revised orchestrations and arrangements of Webber's score were recorded with a full symphony orchestra. (There is a 2 CD limited edition Soundtrack of all the music out. I highly recommend you buy that one instead of the 1 CD highlights album).

There is but one gripe I have with the film and it is a big one unfortunately. Gerard Butler looks and acts a pretty good Phantom...BUT I HATE his singing voice. I just don't like it. It is too "rock and roll" of a voice for the Phantom of the Opera in 1800s Paris, France. At times, his angry Phantom voice sounds like he is screaming. But who am I to second guess the casting of a Phantom when it is supervised by its creator? But, I yerned for the sweet tenor voice of someone like Anthony Warlow (the original stage Phantom in Sydney, Australia) or of course Michael Crawford. But alas...they are too old now, especially with the role of Christine being cast so young.

If you are looking for a wonderful film to see around the holidays, the PHANTOM OF THE OPERA should definitely be on your list.
Regards,
Brian W. Ralston

#2 of 128 Brook K

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Posted December 09 2004 - 07:05 PM

Thanks for the review Brian, I hope I enjoy it as much as you did. My biggest worry was the singing, good to know that it's mostly in good hands. (or should that be throats?)
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#3 of 128 Jordan_E

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Posted December 10 2004 - 01:56 AM

Thank Brian! I've been waiting for a review for this one for a long time.
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#4 of 128 Larry Sutliff

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Posted December 10 2004 - 08:47 AM

Excellent review! I love this musical, but I was a little worried when I heard Schumacher was directing. But the advance buzz seems to be very good, so I'm looking forward to this more than any other Christmas release.

#5 of 128 ThomasC

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Posted December 13 2004 - 04:05 AM

I have the 2-disc soundtrack of this, and I am so glad that the new song written for this was cut out. It doesn't fit in at all. It's a nice song by itself, but the style seems totally different.

#6 of 128 Jordan_E

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Posted December 13 2004 - 05:04 AM

I just wish they had released the soundtrack on SACD; I already have the Broadway version and felt no need to get the same songs again, unless it had been released in high rez.
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#7 of 128 Matt Butler

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Posted December 13 2004 - 11:29 AM

Thanks for the review.

Im generally not a fan of musicals but I do like a few. Ive never seen the show but might see the film for curiosity sakes.
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#8 of 128 Jordan_E

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Posted December 14 2004 - 03:46 AM

Quote:
At the chat, ALW said he wanted JS to direct the picture since he first saw THE LOST BOYS, which he considered one of the best films he's ever seen. I was rather stunned to hear this and silently prayed that Schumacher wouldn't be Webber's first choice when they get around to making SUNSET BOULEVARD

Posted Image While I accepted the fact that ALW adapted one of my favorite movies of all time, making it into a movie would be...oh, wait, they're already making THE PRODUCERS, a movie based on a musical based on a movie. Ah, Hollywood!
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#9 of 128 Sean Laughter

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Posted December 14 2004 - 04:14 AM

Quote:
While I accepted the fact that ALW adapted one of my favorite movies of all time, making it into a movie would be...oh, wait, they're already making THE PRODUCERS, a movie based on a musical based on a movie. Ah, Hollywood!

There was already a rumour circulating about Sunset Boulevard, involving all kinds of ridiculous people in the cast. The show's bad enough on stage and in the recording, why'd they want to help spread the carnage by giving it a worldwide theatrical release??

#10 of 128 Jordan_E

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Posted December 14 2004 - 05:48 AM

Quote:
There was already a rumour circulating about Sunset Boulevard, involving all kinds of ridiculous people in the cast. The show's bad enough on stage and in the recording, why'd they want to help spread the carnage by giving it a worldwide theatrical release??


I already told myself that I won't see ALW's Sunset Boulevard because, for me, the movie is almost perfect. While a singing Norma Desmond doesn't seem that far out there, considering how she is in the movie, I just can't bring myself to tarnish the enjoyment I get every time I watch the movie with ALW's music.
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#11 of 128 GerardoHP

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Posted December 14 2004 - 09:24 AM

Well, SUNSET BOULEVARD is one of my top 10 favorite movies, and while the musical of SB is not up there, I would still love to see it on the screen if they would do it right. And they could, in the hands of a great director. ALW said the reason it hasn't been made into a film yet is that Paramount owns the rights and they haven't wanted to make it.

I'd be curious to know whose names they're tossing around to be in the proposed film version.
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#12 of 128 Kevin M

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Posted December 14 2004 - 09:45 AM

Quote:
I was a little worried when I heard Schumacher was directing.
I'd rather have him directing this then another Batman film.
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#13 of 128 Jordan_E

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Posted December 14 2004 - 10:57 AM

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Paramount owns the rights and they haven't wanted to make it.


WHHHAAAAA?! A studio NOT wanting to do a remake?!

*We now return you to your regularly scheduled Phantom of the Opera Thread - in progress*
Posted Image
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#14 of 128 Sean Laughter

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Posted December 14 2004 - 12:29 PM

I made a topic about the Sunset Boulevard rumour at the time, but no one ever replied to it and it died the death that hopefully the movie will. Posted Image Anyway, here's a link with the Sunset Boulevard info:

Dark Horizons

One of my main problems with the show is that it is made in the "style" of Phantom of the Opera - that is, a great deal of what would usually be dialogue in a regular musical is sung, and while that works for Phantom given the context I felt it sounded and came across as ridiculous in Sunset Boulevard. That, and I just felt the score was perhaps one of the cheesiest I'd heard in a looooong time, even coming from Webber.

I will give Glenn Close credit for providing maybe the only reason to go see the show though.

#15 of 128 ThomasC

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Posted December 16 2004 - 09:56 AM

I've had "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" on repeat. I can't wait to see and hear Emmy Rossum.

#16 of 128 Phil_L

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Posted December 20 2004 - 03:55 PM

I was one of the few people in the world not familiar with the stage musical. I was lucky enough, however, to see a screening tonight and was very impressed. Emmy is terrific, she just glows, a perfect choice as the ingenue. Butler as the Phantom was quite good, and I enjoyed his singing voice. The visuals are beautiful, the costuming fantastic. Highly recommended.

#17 of 128 brentl

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Posted December 21 2004 - 08:57 AM

"Minnie Driver is funny as Carlotta...a bit over the top" isn't that the point? Carlotta is always "struting round the stage".

I'll be seeing this on Wednesday, and I'm really worried about Gerard Butler as the Phantom. After seeing Colm play the Phantom 5 times it's hard to see another play the role.

I really hope Emily Rossum sounds more like Rebecca Caine and not Sarah Brightman!

Brent
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#18 of 128 ThomasC

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Posted December 22 2004 - 09:02 AM

I saw the stage musical more than ten years ago. I was only a kid then, and the only thing I remember from it was the beginning when the main theme plays and the chandelier rises. I've been listening to the movie version of the soundtrack during the past week, and I saw it today. It was very well done, I highly recommend it. I plan on seeing it at least once more during its theatrical run.

#19 of 128 Larry Sutliff

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Posted December 22 2004 - 09:50 AM

I wish it was playing in Philadelphia. I didn't realize it was a limited release.Posted Image

#20 of 128 GerardoHP

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Posted December 22 2004 - 09:54 AM

Most of the reviews have been atrocious. Although I didn't particularly care for the movie, I don't think it's quite as bad as all this.http://imdb.com/news/sb/#1
Gerardo


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