Wednesday, May 04, 2005

"Clearly, Madame Giry, genius has turned to madness" - Raoul (Patrick Wilson) to Madame Giry (Miranda Richardson)

in Andrew Lloyd-Webber's Phantom of the Opera now available on DVD!

I have been watching the DVD over and over for two days; I can never get enough of my favorite singer performing "All I Ask of You." Aside from that, my criticisms of the DVD (versus the theatrical release) are small: First of all, if you have 36" TV screen or smaller, perhaps the letterbox version of the film is not a good choice. My TV set is 32" and quite frankly, even though the entire picture is there as the director intended, it can be hard to see the actors when they are so minimized. I had to hold myself back from buying a big screen TV in order to watch this film. That being said, the sound effects on the DVD are crisp and clear (thanks largely to my home theatre system), as they were in some of the theatres in which I saw the film. I can hereby attest to the fact that a good deal of the movie's impact may be lost with inferior sound systems. In several movie houses we went to (and believe me, Lyn and I saw the film over and over, all OVER the bay area), the sound was awful. Like a rock opera, this needs the sound to be cranked up loud, but apart from that, the Phantom's ventriloquism does not come across unless it is heard with surround sound.

Now, a good thing about watching Phantom on DVD is that the disturbing scenes of the young Phantom being publicly flogged and humiliated by a cruel gypsy can be fast forwarded (if they bother you, which in fact, they do me).

The extra stuff on the second DVD is OK - a lot of the same old stuff. The additional song (from a deleted scene) is The Phantom singing different words to "Learn to be Lonely" as he sits in anguish in his lair (another mystery never fully explained, IMHO).

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