Sunday, 4 July 2010

The Phantom of the Opera, from then to now.

Hi's there the phantom of the opera!
Beware the Phantom of the opera!

We'll. kind off seems I wont have access to a computer tomorrow, so two articles today.

I love Phantom of the opera, but boy, what a girly thing to review. but at least it isn't quite as stupid as stuff like "Twilight" and other teen flicks. and it both have a sense of drench full horror and class above it. awesome!

Phantom of the opera was originally a book written in 1909 by Author Gaston Leroux.
The book is really not the best book in the world, I read it and completely expected a devastating tragic love story with a flinch of creepy stalker ghost story. as that Is what I get from the many adaptations.
What I did get was another detective mystery book where we see everything from the perspective of the character "Raul" the most hated character in the phantom adoptions, and he is equally hated in every single adoption despite being the good guy, I will explain exactly why in a moment when we get to the summary.
Button line is, the book just isn't very good, it's now downright bad, but it's a very bland and long read and not nearly as interesting as it's own legacy.

What the story is about is the opera house in the middle of Paris. Christine Daae is a singer in that opera house and have for a long time taken lessons by the mysterious phantom who is madly in love with her, he is fine with just giving her singing lessons until Christines old childhood sweet heart Raul appears and starts dating her, where after the phantom gets insanely jealous and all hell breaks loose.
you see as it turns out the phantom is a horrible disfigured man living in the dungeons of the opera and hiding behind mask, is a genius in almost everything but is also completely mad and a murder. he sports the cape and mysteriously disappearing acts, he plays the organ and the hypnotic voice, the insanity and is bloody dangerous, he is the stereotype of the kick ass bad guy, awesome!
But he is just so interesting and human that every girl phantom fan have a crush on him, dude he even got a cape, a romantic giving side and can play the organ, he is just sexy and we kind of fell sorry for him that his so lonely. Raul is always mr perfect, young, beautiful, charming and giving and really really boring. which is why every phantom fan girl in the world hate him for taking Christine away. Anyway, adaptations!

funny how the early adaptations always seems to be the definite version in the fan base's collected concious. that does in any case very much apply here where the silent 1925 Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney in the title role is regarded the definite thing.
Who can blame the people who thinks that? this movie is awesome and differently worth for anyone to check out. Though I must say right now, I own three different copies of this film and they are all different. when you go and watch it, if you watch it, make sure to watch a copy with a good soundtrack, the soundtrack on the free version in the internet is pure crap, and the good sound track make all the difference in the world.
Though it do kind of bother me, that one copy I do have with good soundtrack doesn't have the coloured versions of the two scenes that are some of the first techni colour film scenes ever made.
One of the big masquerade scene that is all colourful and looks awesome as the guests are dancing around in all these imaginative animal costumes, and of cause the phantom in his red death costume. It just looks awesome in colour.
Anyway, movie! this is one beautiful and moody film. it's a ghost story and a romance. it is creepy and it's tragic. the atmosphere in the room is that of a fairy tale, not to mention Lon Chaney's make up is really good, and makes him look really scary, his face looks sort of like a skull or something.
amazing film, if your a fan of the silent era and like stuff like "Nosferatu" or the silent "Jekyll and Hyde" you simply mustn't cheat yourself of this.

in 1943 another Phantom of the opera film was made, this time with Claude Rains, mostly known from the invisible man (1934) and Casablanca, in the title character.
For some reason this movie actually won an Oscar for best movie, I have a hard time seeing where that Oscar came from. this is not that good a movie and it's differently not that good a phantom movie. Claude Rains is a really odd casting choice for the Phantom, especially his small height makes it seem weird, all though his voice is awesome and fits the phantom well. The film is not really that creepy, it's not really that suspenseful and the romance almost non presence. all though the movie have it's really tragic elements. in this the phantom is more a victim than anything else as we actually in the beginning of the movie witness his fall from grace, and this is also where the origin of him being burned by acid instead of just being born disfigured started.

in 1962 it was the Hammer companies turn to bite into Phantom of the opera.
Now, Hammer is a late British horror film company, who adapted all the classic horror tales. Dracula, Frankenstein, Doctor Jekyll and mr Hyde. They did them all, and they did them in a very delightfully horrifying and gore filled way. really putting the horror back into the genre.
Why on earth does their version of the Phantom of the opera then seem like such a tame affair.
There are few traces of the good nasty Hammer gore feast and creepiness. and again the romance is non present. in fact it's written completely out of the story, there isn't as much as a hint towards it.
Not to say the movie haven't got it's cool factors, like the inserted villain, though despite of evil and slick he is. The phantom is the villain, so you shouldn't have to put another one in. well, in this movie the phantom is even more a victim than the Claude Rain version, and this Phantom couldn't even hurt a fly, what a bore.

in 1986 Andrews Lloyd webbers musical stage version of the phantom of the opera opened for the first time, this is probably the version most people is familiar with as it still lives and have become truly a classic. and it is awesome!
everything that is good about the phantom is in this musical and is used. The danger, the ghost story, the romance, the tragedy, the mystery and element of magic. not the mention the extremely grand music score. I saw this show twice in west end and once in a Danish production, and it's still just as awesome. cause it's just such a ride to watch, you just fell with this thing.
And people who says Andrew Lloyd Webber's music is bland clearly haven't seen this musical... all though with Stuff as "Cats" and "Star Light Express" behind him... I don't blame them.

The 1989 Phantom of the opera movie.
Freaking Robert Englund Freddy Kruger as the Phantom! need I say more.
well yeah, I do. two lines of description is hardly enough, I gotta make it at least ten.
This movie is really cool, it's kind of weird. sometimes in a good way sometimes in a bad, but really cool. It does not have the romance in it, but the dark edge and horror element is totally present plus it's such a good looking movie. whit great mystery elements in it, it's differently worth checking out for any horror fans.
plus, Freaking Freddy Kruger as the Phantom!

"Il Fantasma dell'opera", or just plain English Phantom of the opera 1998.
It's stuff like this that makes me sympathise with the nostalgia critic. THIS MOVIE SUCKS!
it's made by Dario Argento which is known for his gritty horror films, and so this should be a good edgy film. though, the horror is dump and disgusting more than anything else, the romance likewise so, the phantom isn't even disfigured, though as disgusting as ever. dude, there's a scene where he shows sexual pleasure by stuffing a rat into his pants, Christine who is by the way played by Argento's daughter is totally sexualiesed in the most disgusting non senses way, her feelings towards the phantom as he is suddenly totally in love with him makes absolutely no sense, he treats her horrible and then claims hi loves her, and she wants to stay with him.
I mentioned twilight before in this article, well this movie is way worse than twilight for kind of the same reasons. it just sucks, don't bother with it.

most recently in 2004 Joel Schumacher made the film version of Andrew Lloyd Webbers stage play. this movie is... really not living up to it's potential. it's so boring and plane, it looks way to clean and not edgy at all, the Phantom is really miss cast. (girls I know Gerard Butler is hot, but doesn't changes the fact that he was miss cast) You should think it would be easy as Joel Schumacher already had the script and incredible score in his hands, and just needed putting pictures on it. but all the cool stuff in the franchise and stage play, which is kind of edgy, he toned down and made way to clean. Like the Phantoms red dead costume at the masked ball, it's the most boring and clean cut Phantom/red dead costume I have ever seen.
The movie have its moments, and especially for girls the plain romantic music can get to you. but for an adaptation of one of the greatest stage musicals ever produced, it's just not good enough.

and then this yeas Andrew Lloyd Webber had all the fans of his original phantom of the opera musical enraged as the sequel "love never dies" had its opening at west end.
Have anyone ever done a stage sequel to a stage show? I have never seen it done before, and Ive had my eyes on stage shows for a long time.
Anyhow, I haven't seen it, just thought I would mention it. I listened to the soundtrack, it both have really good numbers in it and numbers that fall short.
Plus the most hardcore awesome musical number Andrew Lloyd Webber have ever composed, it's just so extraordinary awesome, and I would so kill to see it being used in a phantom movie. The song is called "Beauty underneath" it's on youtube. I implore everyone to just check it out, you will never think of Andrew Lloyd Webber the same way again.

And so on this ending note, this is another thing that I don't think will ever die. it's just a matter of time before another adaptation will see the light of day. I actually haven't covered all the versions I know of the Phantom of the opera in this article, there are books, other stage plays, television movie and cinematic spoof kind of movies I haven't even mentioned, the material is awesomely big, and fortunately is keeping on growing.
The next time I have access to the computer we will talk about "Darkman" which is a movie that in many ways reminds me both of Phantom of the opera, and the classic secret identity disguising hero, which is why I wanted to cover does two aspects this quickly. see yah around, hopefully.

No comments:

Post a Comment