Moulin Rouge There was a boy. A very strange enchanted boy It all started back in September. While out at Fox Studios with a group of HTF members, we were shown a simple clip from the supplemental section of the upcoming Moulin Rouge DVD. The clip can be located in The Dance section of disc 2, selection: Tango. It's the extended cut of the most noted number in the entire film. We sat and curiously watched a reworked tango version of The Police's "Roxanne" that was absolutely riveting. It starts with two people on the dance floor and grows feverishly into a crowd of dancers that ends with a crescendo of sweeping vocals. By the time the clip was over, everyone in the screening room wanted to see this film. I have patiently waited for the opportunity to see this film on DVD. Moulin Rouge is a modern day artistic masterpiece! For two hours, I sat motionless in my chair as if I was studying a priceless painting in a museum. Moulin Rouge is a reinvention of the film musical whose visual imagery left this reviewer breathless. At first, I didn't quite get it. Here was this story set in the glamorous Parisian nightclub known as Moulin Rouge at the turn of the century. Yet, we have these lavish dance numbers that are sung to contemporary music by Madonna, Elton John, The Police, and Paul McCartney. It just didn't make sense. Then I got it. This is a fairy tale. Why not take turn of the century Paris as a setting to use contemporary music rescored to be sung in grand operatic style or played to a beat never imagined before. The contemporary lyrics actually become a part of the story. The result is nothing short of a breathtaking musical experience. The story itself concerns a young poet musician named Christian, (Ewan McGregor) who dreams of becoming a famous writer. Across town is the Moulin Rouge, where a beautiful courtesan, Satine (Nicole Kidman) dreams of becoming an actress. The two meet under mistaken circumstances and Christian plunges into a passionate love affair with Satine. Their love affair is cut short by a jealous Duke (Richard Roxburgh) who will stop at nothing to buy her love. From the sweep of the camera through digitally created streets of Paris, to the lavish sets that recreate and reinterpret the famous nightclub, you are held prisoner to the film's tantalizing visionary style that is so clearly preserved on this DVD transfer. Watching Moulin Rouge is like watching a film from the glory days of Technicolor. Inside the club, there are beautiful vibrant colors that poured out from my screen. This transfer resides with the very best DVD transfers that have come from Fox Home Entertainment over the past year. It is a feast for the eyes. Presented in both English 5.1 Dolby Digital and 5.1 DTS (as well as Spanish Dolby Surround), the audio sounds spectacular. Musical numbers inside the nightclub come powerfully across the front soundstage with the sound of the roaring crowd across the rears. There is abundant LFE response as my SV Subwoofer pounded with not only the dancing feet hitting the dancefloor but the swooping fans of the Moulin Rouge windmill itself. Upon your initial viewing, you are faced with options of how to watch it. By going into the Special Features menu, you can enable the Green Fairy that will appear in the corner of your screen many times during the movie. By clicking on the icon, you get branched off to footage that gives in-depth look at how the sets were built or the visuals created for the corresponding pieces. Fox has lead all the other studios in effectively putting such a feature to good use, as with their recent Planet Of The Apes DVD release. You may also wish to watch the film with either of the two audio commentary tracks featuring Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Don McAlpine and Craig Pierce. I would recommend, however, that your initial virginal watching of Moulin Rouge be without the aid of any of the extras so that you may properly immerse yourself into this movie. Disc Two brings us a wealth of Supplemental Features that begins with The Making of Moulin Rouge. Meet Director, co-writer and co-producer Baz Luhrmann who sought a cinematic language to tell the story of Moulin Rouge through. All the principle actors, including Kidman, McGregor, Broadbent and Roxburgh give their personal insights into their own respective characters. The documentary also focuses on the costume and set designers who added such remarkable authenticity to the time period. There are interviews with the choreographers as well as Fat Boy Slim. We are also treated to an inside look at the soundstages of the Fox Australia lot that house the massive sets used in the film. If that wasn't enough, we see how the model of Paris was created. It's a thorough look at the 360-degree world that makes up Moulin Rouge. The Stars further looks into the characters of Satine (Kidman), Christian (McGregor), Toulouse- Lautrec (Leguizamo), Zidler (Broadbent), and The Duke (Roxburgh) Divided into five sections, you can choose from any of the characters and hear the actor's own perspective of their role in the film. This Story is About takes us into the minds of the writers who created Moulin Rouge. There are three segments included here. The first is an interview with writers Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce who talk about writing the drafts of the film. We see these roommates playing off of each other, improvising what they had just written to see how effectively it comes off. The second segment involves Craig Pearce who reads an early treatment of the film. Thirdly, is a breakdown of script comparisons from the first rough draft in December 1998 right up to June 2000. Using your remote you can page through these early to late script drafts. The Cutting Room starts off with an interview with Editor Jill Bilcock and Baz Luhrmann. An older person with a younger outlook meets a younger person with an older outlook and their combined creativity effectively kept the structure and pace of the film together. Abandoned Edits contain 6 separate montages of edits not used in the film, including a slower tempo version of "Zidler's Rap". The segment ends with Director's mock previsualizations which Baz Luhrmann describes as a dummy scenes that are used for planning reshoots. The Dance takes the top 6 dance sequences and presents them complete without the extra added editing that was done in the film. This is your opportunity to look at the sequences as originally filmed and enjoy them without interruption. Three of the sequences include MULTI-CAM features that using your remote, allow you to see the scenes from different angles. There is also an interview with Choreographer John O'Connell as well as a very interesting look at dance rehearsal footage. It's exciting to watch the energy of these women dancing in front of the onlooking crew. The Music is a journey through the creation of the music of Moulin Rouge. Traveling to Glaskow, we meet Score composer and arranger Craig Armstrong who talks about the task of providing a strong enough score to stand up to the strong visuals of the film. One of his favorite songs was "Nature Boy", which ultimately became the theme song of the film. In an Interview with Fat Boy Slim, the composer talks about adding electronic music and samples to the film adding an almost modern "rap" style to the film. The Lady Marmalade Phenomenon starts with a clip from the MTV movie awards. Introduced by Nicole Kidman who could not be in attendance, we are treated to a stage performance of the number by Christina Aguilerra, L'il Kim. Mya and Pink. It's actually a great piece that I am happy was included in this set. Finally, we get the tremendous Lady Marmalade Music Clip featuring Missy Elliott, that will have you cranking the volume on your receiver way high. You should have seen us boppin' to this segment while vierwing it at Fox studios earlier this year. The Design is an extremely extensive look at all the design elements from costumes to sets to graphics. With hundreds upon hundreds of still images at your disposal, you can use your remote to look at conceptual art to models to final finished product. Smoke and Mirrors focuses on the visual effects of creating the introductory Paris sequence as well as the Green Fairy animation done with blue screen. Marketing is all about promotion! This section gives us a large handful of promotional material used for the film, starting with the International Sizzle Reel that is a montage of all the media press that was given for the film. Photo Gallery gives us a view of the film through the cameras of four individual photographers. You can use your remote to sift through the many unique pictures taken from the set. The Little Red Book appears to be the story (or at least ideas) of the film laid out in obscure form with pictures and title cards. There are two trailers included. One is the original Theatrical Trailer and the other is the Japanese trailer. Included as well is what appears to be a promotion for another Baz Luhrmann project, Bed Curtain Box Set. Why I picked this as the year's Best..... Moulin Rouge moved me emotionally like no other film before. To use the word amazing to describe this movie, still underscores the significance of this film. One thing never mentioned in any of the documentaries is that Kidman and McGregor made a pact that they support each other throughout, taking risks, and be willing to make complete fools of themselves in front of each other. You can see that there was an uneasiness about doing something different. What they failed to realize is that what they accomplished was simply ground breaking and revolutionary in an era where film musicals were no longer chic. Enter Fox Home Entertainment. More than any other studio producing DVDs, Fox knows their product and knows how to put together exemplary DVD boxed set packages filled with a treasure load of material that enables viewers to literally orgasm themselves with extras that look at every possible aspect of the film. More importantly, the studio gives great effort in their video and audio transfers -- especially with catalog product. I think it fair say that Fox is the studio that all other studio's products are compared to. No other studio has put out such an abundant amount of Special Edition product that truly earns the word "Special" than Fox Home Entertainment. Every new "Special Edition" raises the bar on what is the ultimate DVD available. Moulin Rouge has set the new standard. It's upsetting to realize that there will be a few members of this forum who take my recommendation and purchase this DVD, and will be disappointed. The film is not everyone's cup of tea. However, those that do understand the artistic value of Moulin Rouge are going to remember this film forever. I am going to go watch it again!