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Phantom of the Opera (2004 movie)

Joel Schumacher's 2004 film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

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Music of the Night

  • Jul 17, 2010
Rating:
+5

I have seen two play versions of this wonderful Andrew Loyd Weber's masterpiece. The first was back when I was in high school and I saw it in LA. It captured my heart as a beautiful story with exceptional music. I still have the original program too preserved as a wonderful memory. I bought the soundtrack and learned all the words to all the songs. Than along comes the 2004 movie adaptation starring Gerard Butler as the Phantom and Emmy Rossum as Christine and while I saw how beautiful she was, I was not't all the certain that to me a lesser known actor like Butler could pull off the Phantom. We went and saw it on the big screen and from the minute it started in the black and white during the auction scene of the old opera house I was intrigued. As always the opening strands of the Phantom theme brings goosebumps and the screen comes alive with vibrant color with the transformation of the opera house to it's former glory. The visual effects of that moment had me anticipating the rest of the movie.

Emmy lights up the screen with her beauty, grace and most of all her classically trained voice bringing all the songs I know and love to life. Her natural ability to act, dance and sing makes her a classic Christine Daae. The chemistry that her and Gerard Butler had was magnetic. I really don't feel that I need to paraphrase the plot here, since I would think most people would know the general story and so many people have seen, heard of or even read the book, being that it's a very old story indeed. It's the idea that since it's had so many adaptations, it's just important to know that I believe that most of the characters really live up to the high standards set forth by the original London and Broadway stage performance.

Again, I was at first skeptical about Gerard Butler as the Phantom. I didn't really know who he was and at first didn't really see much to his voice. Considering he isn't an opera singer by trade, I thought the contrast to their voices worked very well. Knowing what Butler is capable of now I look back and think wow, what a versatile actor who I think to this day is not appreciated enough for his versatility.

Aside from that we have Raoul played by Patrick Wilson. The typical pretty boy and not at all to my taste in comparison to Butlers dark and mysterious looks, but a good singer and plays the part of a rich sponsor to the opera very well. Also we have the owners of the Opera Andre and Firmin along with Carlotta (played by Mini Driver) give the movie a little comic relief without being silly and over done. If anyone is a true connoisseur of the movie, you would know that Minnie Driver was the only actress in the movie who did not actually sing her songs, these were voiced over and done well enough you wouldn't know the difference, but it's in the way she plays Carlotta that make her the perfect person for this part.

The movie was just a wonderful addition to the Phantom's franchise. It takes the play to places that you just can't take a stage performance, and never ruins the integrity of what we have come to know and love. After that, I also had the pleasure of seeing the play again at the Venetian in Las Vegas and was thinking how can anyone make it better? How is anyone going to duplicate the goose bump feeling I get when I hear the orchestra start up and the world of dark and forgotten is brought back to life? We had the privilege of sitting in the 7th row center at the Venetian, which we were told by the ticket agent was really the best seat in the house. Front row, which we could have purchased was just a little to close and below the stage while row 7 was right on in height and distance. The entire theater was covered in a gray material and the infamous chandelier was covered on stage. Once the music started all the covers were removed little by little and the chandelier raised up over our heads to the center of the theater and made you feel you were ready to witness something wonderful. While I believe this version is condensed in minutes, I didn't feel cheated or disappointed and thoroughly enjoyed all over again.

If you in anyway like musicals, or at least can handle them, this movie is a must see. The costumes, the music, the passion in which everyone plays their parts is something to not be missed. It's a visually stunning movie, even if the majority of it is set in the old Paris Opera House, it's scope of presentation makes it seem so much more.

Music of the Night

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July 17, 2010
I am really liking your reviews, Holly! Keep them coming! Do not hesitate to message mne if you have questions.
July 19, 2010
Thank you very much, from reading other people's reviews I have a long way to go, but I am learning and enjoying this very much! Thanks for the encouragement
 
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More Phantom of the Opera (2004 mov... reviews
review by . December 12, 2010
Stephanie's Favourite Movies: The Phantom of the Opera      I dislike Joel Schumacher as a director, mainly because he ruined Batman. However, I liked his grandiose, spectacular take on the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's popular musical, The Phantom of the Opera.      I don't get all the critical hate for this movie, it's incredibly well done and is plenty romantic. This is also one of two movies that I have cried at in my young …
review by . May 02, 2011
The Phantom of the Opera is a movie very dear to me and I have been a valiant defender of it ever since I first saw the critics consensus. I absolutely adore this movie and if you don't judge the movie based on character or dialogue, then you will as well. I have chosen to embrace this film for the sheer spectacle and grandeur of it all and in my opinion, that is probably the best way to go. The acting is okay, and the story and dialogue were kind of lacking. But screw it, this is the one instance …
review by . December 27, 2011
It is the 1870s, and living beneath a Paris opera house is a mad, disfigured, musical genius known as the Phantom (Gerard Butler). He has been secretly tutoring Christine (Emmy Rossum), an orphaned chorus girl, and arranges for her to replace the unpopular leading lady. Christine is grateful, but when she rekindles her childhood romance with the Opera's patron (Patrick Wilson), the Phantom is outraged and declares war on the couple.      I love the magnificent musical …
review by . July 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
 To my amazement, this musical was repackaged for film as a stunning piece that I watched over and over again. I've seen the actual musical in New York, with chandelier swinging right overhead, and never thought anyone could put this to screen effectively especially after experiencing it so up close and personal. The disfigured musical genius who's only way of communicating his wishes is through fearful and mysterious "happenings" at the Opera House is excused somewhat in …
review by . December 23, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler
Personally, I've never been a big fan of movie musicals, though there have been a few exceptions. One of those exceptions is Joel Schumacher's marvelous film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. The lavish production perfectly captures the excitement of the stage, while cleverly exploiting the cinematic medium for maximum impact. The film showcases impressive costumes, awesome sets, and an unexpectedly terrific cast, which reenergizes the music with a youthful vitality that …
Quick Tip by . July 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
To my amazement, this musical was repackaged for film as a stunning piece that I watched over and over again. I've seen the actual musical in New York, with chandelier swinging right overhead, and never thought anyone could put this to screen effectively especially after experiencing it so up close and personal. The disfigured musical genius who's only way of communicating his wishes is through fearful and mysterious "happenings" at the Opera House is excused somewhat in most of our minds after …
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Visually stunning movie with strong performances. Gerard Butler showed his acting range by playing a more dramatic character than he is known now for playing.
Quick Tip by . August 25, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Great music, great cast, just great. And could the chemistry between Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler have been any hotter? I don't think so!!!
review by . July 29, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
(3.5) Going into a musical, one expects to open one's senses. Andrew Lloyd Webber, not quite at the height of his powers, gives us a few reasons to celebrate his musical brought to the screen in Joel Schumacher's rendition of `Phantom of the Opera'.     There are two main interlocking stories, and while they give one another meaning, they sometimes are conflicting to the musical's spirit. In front of the stage, Andre (Simon Cowell) has acquired the Paris Opera House. He must …
review by . February 27, 2006
Occasionally, a film is so bad that it rightfully deserves to be panned by audiences and critics alike. At other times, an incredibly well made film is poorly received, a fact that is both shocking and dismaying. Joel Schumacher's "The Phantom of the Opera" falls into the second category. This movie is, in a word, incredible. It's a pure sight and sound musical fantasy, grandiose in scope and delightfully over the top in drama and romance. Rarely have I found myself completely absorbed in a film; …
About the reviewer
Holly Smith ()
Ranked #336
Married for 6 years, no kids and three neurotic dogs 11, 7 and 1. I live in the same town I grew up in, I am an avid scrapbooker, love going to Disneyland, and being with my friends. I work full time, … more
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Wiki

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.

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Details

Director: Joel Schumacher
Genre: Drama, Musical, Romance
Release Date: December 22, 2004
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Runtime: 2hrs 23min
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
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