The Phantom of the Opera (2005) Movie Review

The Phantom of the Opera (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
Actors: Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson, Miranda Richardson, Minnie Driver
Director: Joel Schumacher
Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC
Language:
Subtitles:
Studio: WarnerBrothers
Running Time: 141 minutes

List Price: $5.97
Price: $4.19
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4.7 out of 5 stars (3821)

Review:

As a longtime “phan,” I was pretty excited about this film, but I’m sad to say it disappointed me. Though visually stunning (the opening scene when the theater is restored to former glory was particularly breathtaking), the vocals were not up to par, especially Gerard Butler as the Phantom, whose voice was gravelly rather than seductive and bore no resemblance to anything that might be realistically mistaken for the voice of an angel. There were also some alterations to the plot that managed to be both pointless and stupid, and I can’t get over the awfulness of Butler’s makeup, which resembled a bad sunburn or case of hives more than a terrifying deformity.

phantomdeformity

Oh well.

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My rating: (2 / 5)

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Saving Mr. Banks Movie Review



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Review:

Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks are two of my all-time favorite actors, so I was eager to see this despite it not being a particularly accurate depiction of Mrs. Travers’ feelings about the movie version of Mary Poppins. (Apparently, she hated it until her dying day.) As I expected based on the cast, the acting was excellent and the film was beautifully shot and moving.

My rating: (3 / 5)

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The Borgias Season Three Review



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Review:

With Juan out of the picture, Cesare’s transformation into “The Prince” of Machiavelli’s famous political treatise is well underway and season three of The Borgias really belongs to him… and Francois Arnaud.

Cesare finally consummates his incestuous passion for his sister Lucrezia, raises his own personal army when his father refuses to give him control of the Papal Army, douses a traitor with sulfur and sets him alight, and generally becomes a force to be reckoned with for everyone from his old nemesis Caterina Sforza to the new King and Queen of France to his own father. His arc is compelling, well acted, and produces some of the best television of the show’s entire run.

On the downside, poor Lucrezia spends much of the season stuck in Naples with a wet blanket husband and his comically evil relatives (none of whom, alas, are even a tenth the fun of Augustus Prew’s cackling Alfonso back in season one), and you can almost feel Neil Jordan and his writers losing interest in some of the secondary characters. Giulia and della Rovere virtually disappear, and Micheletto gets saddled with a ludicrously improbable gay romance. Even Alexander himself gets a rather mixed bag, plot-wise, though a fairly entertaining one. (Madwomen! Scheming Jews! Murder in the consistory!)

Sadly, the fun is never to continue, as the show was cancelled by Showtime. Though uneven throughout its run, when The Borgias was good, it was very, very good, and its premature cancellation was a sad loss to its fans, and to television.

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My rating: (4 / 5)

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The Borgias Season Two Review



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Review:

Season two continues the saga of the Borgia family with enemies regrouping all around. Again, there are a few problems with pacing (most notably with the interminable and boring subplot about Lucrezia’s Genovese suitor and his brother in the second half of the season), but the season also contains some of the show’s best episodes. In particular, season 2 makes much better use of the awesome “Tigress of Forli,” Caterina Sforza (Gina McKee), than the first season did, and the tensions between Cesare, Juan, and Lucrezia come to a head.

My rating: (4 / 5)
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The Borgias Season One Review



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Review:

The Borgias is one of my favorite tv shows of recent years. Though its historical accuracy is mixed at best, it’s well acted, mostly well scripted, and gorgeous to look at in every respect. Jeremy Irons looks like he’s having the most fun of his career chewing the scenery as the notorious Borgia pope, Alexander VI, but the breakout star of the cast for me was Francois Arnaud as Rodrigo’s son Cesare.

The show did suffer a bit from uneven pacing throughout its run, and season one is no exception, but overall it was a strong start.

My rating: (4 / 5)

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Much Ado About Nothing



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Review:

Not Shakespeare’s best play, but one of my favorites due to the awesomeness of Beatrice and Benedict, one of the world’s best written bickering couples ever. Here, the pair is played brilliantly by Kenneth Branaugh and Emma Thompson, who were married to each other at the time it was made and have always had great chemistry.

The rest of the cast is also great (with one or two puzzling exceptions) and the resulting film is frothy and fun and full of beautiful, sunny Tuscan scenery to boot.

My rating:  (4 / 5)

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The English Patient



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Review:

This movie is gorgeously shot, with a great script and many outstanding performances. Though the central romance is epic and all consuming, I felt it was marred by the unlikeability of Almasy and Katherine. Still, it’s very easy to get swept up in it all.

For the heart is an organ of fire.

My rating (4 / 5)

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Shakespeare in Love Movie Review



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Review:

Stoppard and Shakespeare is a magic combination. Witty dialogue, romance, great acting, zillions of literary allusions, beautiful costumes… what’s not to love?

My rating:  (5 / 5)

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Emma (2009)



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Review:

I’ve only seen bits and pieces of this version of Emma – with two young kids, it’s hard to find a spare six hours. 🙁

It looks great based on what I’ve seen, but the final verdict will have to wait, for now.

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Emma (1996) Movie Review



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Review:

I know it’s fashionable to hate on Gwyneth Paltrow, but though she does seem… annoyingly oblivious to reality in many ways, I can’t join in, because she’s been in too many of my favorite movies. So clearly, if nothing else, she has great taste in roles.

Emma isn’t my favorite Austen adaptation, but it’s pretty high on the list – charming, witty, romantic, and with a host of excellent performances, of which my favorites are the delicious Jeremy Northam as Mr. Knightley and Sophie Thompson (Emma‘s sister) as the spinster Miss Bates.

My rating:  (4 / 5)

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