Friday, January 14, 2005

The Mediocrity of the Opera

I was not all that impressed with the film adaptation of the musical "Phantom of the Opera." Why do movie directors go for star power over talent, each and every time? Gerard Butler (the Phantom) was so wrong for that role. Too young, too hip, and DEFINITELY not a powerful enough voice. I cringed several times. He had to sing many parts in a lower key (or lower octave) just to hit the notes. Emmy Rossum (Christine) looked the part and everything, but when she opened her mouth to sing, I thought, "Is that REALLY the best they could get??" Why couldn't they have gotten someone from Broadway, who really has a truly amazing voice? Hers was not operatic enough. The first time I ever saw P.O.T.O. performed on the stage, in 1995, I believe, the woman who played Christine had what I still believe to this day to be the most amazing voice I've ever heard. The talent's out there, they just had to find it. But whatever. These people auditioned for Andrew Lloyd Webber, and if he likes them, so be it, I guess. (I gotta say though, that the above complaints do not apply to Minnie Driver's performance as La Carlotta. She probably had the best voice out of anyone in the cast, even though she was trying to be outlandish and over-the-top.)

Overall I think this story is better on stage than on screen. There were some scenes that were less impressive in the movie than onstage (ie, the Phantom's costume at the masquerade, and the battle between Raoul and the Phantom in the cemetery). You'd think a movie would be able to make those scenes even better, but I'll take the staged versions of those parts over what was in the movie ANY day.

The set designs and costumes were pretty good, though. Art direction I guess was okay. I loved the opening sequence, with the chandelier. But it didn't make up for the mediocrity of the voices of the principal cast members... had they been better cast, I might have actually loved this movie, but they just didn't do it for me. Actually, what I think I liked best was that I got to see it at the new Galaxy theatre on the megascreen. That part was cool. :) Off to bed now...



Blogger Craig J. said...

Hey cool, you do movie reviews too. :) Every time I come here, it's something new ..

I want to see this movie soon, if for nothing else than just to see how they did it. Judging from the trailer though, I didn't see a whole lot of improvement over the stage play (and you would think that improvement over ANY stage play would be the easy part for a movie adaptation). I can't imagine why they would cast anyone in this movie who wasn't up to snuff with their voice. If you are as clase to the POTO soundtrack as I am, and you were cringing, I bet I will have the same reaction.

1/14/2005 8:06 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Yeah, don't expect him to be Michael Crawford or anything. I just can't believe these folks got past ALW with voices like that. Maybe I am too picky. They also screwed a bit with the arrangement of the scenes in the second act, but not anything TOO terrible (unless you're absolutely set on the way it is in the musical). But yeah, I think it's worth a see, just to see how it was handled. You'll have to let me know your thoughts on it! :) Is it showing in Columbia yet?

1/14/2005 8:28 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Galaxy? Is that the new super huge out in Chesterfield? I didn't know that was open. Well, I wasn't excited about this movie in the first place, as POTO is not one of my favs, but now I will definitely not make the effort to see it. At least in the film version of Rent, they are using the Broadway actors. Some of them happen to be fairly decent stars as well. Jesse Martin and Anthony Rapp at least. Adam Pascal kind of. And then they threw in Rosario Dawson. And oh yeah, of course, Taye Diggs.

1/14/2005 9:01 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Yeah, the Galaxy is the new one out in Chesterfield. Very nice theatre, I was very impressed. But yeah, I can understand why they're not using Michael Crawford, because he's probably too old to play the part now. Plus I think they actually talked to him about it and he turned it down, or a deal couldn't be worked out, or something. I think he was at least considered. But anyways. There should've been someone almost as good. I mean, how many Phantoms are out there performing this on Broadway, and they use Gerard Butler, who doesn't sound at all like a trained singer? I don't get it.

1/14/2005 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See now I loved the movie. I admit, it is much more powerful in the actual theatre, but I love Phantom, and I hate having to wait until it comes to the Fox every few years. I was not impressed by the chandelier scene in the beginning. I think that it has been so much better done on stage. I loved the masquerade scene, and that is probably my least favorite scene in the whole musical. Sure I think that nothing can beat seeing it in the theatre, but I think for a movie interpretation, it was pretty good!

1/14/2005 9:59 AM  
Blogger Sean said...

Is it their voices, or is it due to post-production?

1/14/2005 8:54 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

I think it was their voices. No amount of post production could make them sound more worthy of that musical... they were just boring.

1/17/2005 8:44 AM  
Blogger Craig J. said...

Yeah, it is here, but I am still scraping pennies out from under my car's floor mats to pay off Christmas. (Almost no credit cards were harmed in the making of last year's Christmas gifts.) So Paige and I are both trying not to spend anything--or as little as possible, until things stabilize a little. By Feb 1 I should be able to start doing things like going to movies again.

Speaking of Xmas gifts, I used the Amazon gift certif Mike and Theresa gave me to get that Animusic DVD. YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS!! It's absolutely incredible! I will try to somehow rip the audio tracks from it and burn them to CD before I see you next.

1/18/2005 9:15 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Sweet, thanks!! I can't wait to see it!

1/18/2005 9:42 AM  

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