so I remember back in 2002 when the Harlem of the Opera movie musical adaptation was finally getting geared up and Antonio Banderas was in tux to be in the lead and we were all like no not in toteal bed there’s that would be the worst thing that could ever happen what fools we were now today I’m going to talk about the actual no and yes it really is that simple that there is one single actual no and his name is not Antonio Banderas Andrew plucked me out of the chorus rarely does good come from a wealthy auteur micromanaging their 30 something year old property he and his company raised all the money and this was financed by Andrew and his company so therefore it was just us so instead of licensing the rights to the film of the opera musical the movie to a studio who would hire some filmmakers that knew what they were doing market it worth a damn and give it a big enough budget to where it didn’t look like someone’s flooded unfinished basement did not want a Hollywood studio being able to dictate to you how to make movie I mean it was modest they were so worried about the music Lorde and II kept it in-house and financed it himself and since it changes so little from its source material at least on a foundational level it’s easy to just point the blame at the stage musical and that it’s not very good and never was and the stage musical is flawed don’t get me wrong but it works I mean there’s a reason that the show is still running so what is it about the movie adaptation that failed to capture the genesis equai of the show well don’t you worry because I wrote a 10,000 word Cliff Notes version of why this movie sucks at which you are now watching that is the thing you are now watching and moreover I’m just going to focus on the filmmaking I’m not going to touch on the typical talking points we know Butler can’t sing we know Rossum sounds like 80% of the girls in your high school Chamber Choir we know that rad electric guitar riff is so lame it actually shoots the moon and goes back to rad we can talk about the superficial stuff but that’s not what’s really wrong with this movie its foundation is cracked beyond repair that is the problem and somebody has to set the record straight and that someone is going to be me it’s not something necessarily to be proud of by the way stage musicals have a long brown history much longer than film anything from the 17th century in the rise of the popularity of the Opera all the way back to ancient Greece with the archetypal Greek choir speak / singing along with the players Theatre is thousands of years old and has a different language to the relatively young and fluid film language there was a lot of overlap yes but there are some things that work on stage that fall fantastically flat on film if translated directly I knew him go so far camera right film has a lot of tools that theatre lacks by virtue of form and vice versa the musical was designed for theatre and when film came along well when talkies came along stewards and concepts that were originally written for theatre were kind of retrofitted to work with this new language of film you know stuff like editing framing pacing the lack of an audience to play – and is no coincidence that the rise of the Broadway mega musical in the mid 20th century was more film like in its story structure than operas had been in the 19th century well not a film trends theatre trends these things eV and flow but film has turned it in a more realistic direction ever since one Michael Crawford starring musical out there there’s a world outside of Yonkers hi I’m Dolly pretty much single-handedly not only destroyed the big Hollywood movie musical it fundamentally changed the types of movie being made it was such a huge bomb that it basically killed this sort of movie which in large part is why you saw so few movie musicals up until that little boom in the early 2000s when you did see movie musicals in a post hello dolly world they tended to be more counterculture like cabaret Little Shop of Horrors and Rocky Horror Picture Show I see with air discipline that movie musicals were pretty much relegated to into Disney movies in their knockoffs and even then only for about a decade movie musicals are hard enough to make for a mainstream audience even not taking ever-changing film trends and audience taste into account but as film was trending more and more gritty and realistic Broadway musicals were getting foggier and therefore a harder sell the post 9/11 hyper-realistic style applied to movie musicals was taken to extreme extreme by Tom Hooper in lame is to not so awesome effect there’s a real cognitive dissonance when aesthetically our movie echoes this Yuja but you know this is what is happening join in the fight that gives you the right to be free that works a lot better on stage than on your gritty realistic screen we kind of take this for granted because we grew up with movie musicals but the mere concept of a musical is a hard sell because it rests on the assumption that the audience buys into the idea that a bunch of characters are singing the plot for two or three hours and never go wait why was everyone singing we’ve just got a song in our hearts sure we’ll accept that to people in their kitchen on a stage or acting more or less the way people in that situation would act but when all of a sudden they snap their attention to the middle distance and start seeing their fields stop I’m not gonna do a song while I’m here not so much it begs the question our musical numbers diegetic or non-diegetic well since we’re doing this and I mean we are doing this we should probably go ahead and define some stuff the you have a book called extinct is the singing in musicals diegetic or non-diegetic well that depends on the musical but first let’s take another step back and define diet Jesus diet Jesus is quite simply all of the elements that exist in the universe calling something non-diegetic most commonly refers to the film score a good recent example of fudging with diet Jesus is the big short he doesn’t even speak English actually my name’s Jung and I do speak English this quote seems like this is risky mortgages are called subprime Ryan Gosling breaking the fourth wall it’s important understand because it’s what a lot of housing crisis to become a nationwide economic disaster all of this is non-diegetic it doesn’t happen in the universe of the story there are even entire non-diegetic scenes that while they blend seamlessly with the scene going on in the narrative don’t take place in the world of the narrative these non-diegetic elements set up the tone and illustrate the artifice of the culture before the 2008 financial collapse this stylism treats the audience both like they’re being led in on a secret and like they’re too stupid to pay attention to complex concepts without some shinies to focus on contrast this to something like good night and good luck in which basically everything you see on screen is diegetic this movie doesn’t even have a score just a jazz singer who presumably works for the network and is there within the world of the narrative being a jazz singer the style puts the film in a different time in place but it also imparts to the audience its realness that this was a real thing that happened and it was an important thing back over here in musical world both film and onstage songs are generally considered non-diegetic more symbolic than literal with some exceptions like being an in-universe performance an opera perhaps or just acknowledged and justified in universe how is it you’ll know the woods did you rehearse yeah every Thursday can you see the fire this one is pretty rare our musical numbers always non-diegetic in musical movies that’s a hard no you have to understand the way I have on here cabaret came out after the crash of the big Hollywood musical during the grim and cynical 1970s cabaret and Phantom of the Opera the stage musicals are much more similar than their movie adaptations both take place in a performance venue of some sort some numbers take place on stage in the venue and some take place within the narrative but where cabaret the stage musical like Phantom of the Opera includes songs that further the plot as well as songs that take place on the stage cabaret the movie musical does not all of the musical numbers are diegetic in order to create a more realistic style cabaret changed a lot in adaptation Chicago the stage musical also has a lot in common with cabaret and phantom but it’s movie adaptation goes in the complete opposite direction of cabaret and that all but two of the musical numbers are non-diegetic they are either fantasies of the characters or completely symbolic the diegetic narrative proper is pretty conventional if you cut out the musical numbers not only are the musical numbers non-diegetic they are very clearly and distinctly so and the two musical numbers that do take place in the narrative the very first and the very last take place on stage but in adaptation cabaret changed a lot of its story structure and musical numbers Chicago’s story and structure for the most part stayed intact through adaptation not much got added not much got cut the departure from stage play is almost completely stylistic where Chicago and Cabaret changed a lot adapting to film anthem not much it’s basically just a filmed version of the stage musical with a sword fight thrown in we we really did approach it as if it was a completely new a new venture and I think if we hadn’t done that I think we’d have all we’d have done we’ve been to sort of filmed a stage show but I really hope we haven’t now you may be thinking in a world where more realistic style of filmmaking is in in the dopey Hello Dolly style is out are you implying that all musicals need to either be like cabaret or Chicago as close to realistic as possible in a clear line delineating what is fantasy let’s talk about Moulin Rouge Rouge is the odd duck as far as 2000s musicals go but important to touch on since Phantom of the Opera is trying so desperately to be both Moulin Rouge and Chicago which is like trying to combine a glitter sprinkled cupcake in filet mignon mmm tastes like tonal dissonance but it makes sense that the Phantom movie adaptation would try to emulate Moulin Rouge in part because like phantom Moulin Rouge is high melodrama key difference here is that Moulin Rouge is aware of this and revels in its shamelessness it embraces the melodrama and weaves musical numbers both in its narrative and on its in-universe stage but unlike phantom it better manages its hyper emotional melodramatic plot by way of stylism and in the end should someone die the incredible proclamations of love and dramatic death scenes don’t seem out of place or odd or fall flat because the film is so plastic and dreamlike in every regard from the color palette to the staging to the cinematography that’s part of what makes Moulin Rouge so brilliant it imparts to the audience just how out-there the melodrama is through no means but stylism there was only one problem I’d never been in love it cops to its own internal logic and thusly enables the audience to go along for it’s starry-eyed and melodramatic nary a drop of cynicism ride it is the anti Chicago so when you compare Phantom of the Opera to these other movies it is trying and failing to capture the magic of it’s easier to pin down where the stylism tries and fails phantom doesn’t commit to the dreamlike stylism of Moulin Rouge or the realism of Chicago and cabaret Phantom of the Opera is a movie with no thought-out stylism to back its own internal logic rinse sucks in a similar way but sucks less because at least it’s consistent Jesus Frank rice I compared rent positively to something but while rent had a really mainstream cookie cutter vanilla filmmaker phantom had Joel Schumacher who probably should be boring based on his own shortcomings but for better or worse has embraced stylism Chris Columbus is boring but competent Joel Schumacher is neither I think he’s trying to be restrained but it ultimately works to the film’s detriment so point being if you want your movie musical to work in a post hello dolly world you need to be creative with your style of filmmaking which Jill Schumacher is not he is not that so if they were really going to get that oscar-worthy tightly knit work of cinema they were apparently going for they really needed to either change a lot of the source material to work better with the medium of film or stylize the shit out of what was there which was never going to happen because that’s not what Andrew Lloyd Webber wanted so after all just talk about like genre and die Jesus and stylism surely we are beginning to wrap this up and get to the point right no no I’m a I’m only just getting started so how does one go about attaining this stylism what tools does one use well first let’s get it out of the way and say that phantom is all over the place but airs on the side of too conventional for its own good and this is saying something because phantom o4 is toned down schumacher and easily one of his more competent films I think the wide derision of Batman and Robin may have humbled him in Phantom was going to be his serious comeback so let’s talk about filmmaker intent doesn’t matter well at the risk of going into like an hour’s long digression about death of the author I’m gonna go with yes intent does matter but only insofar that the filmmaker knows a what she is trying to impart and B how best to use her medium the most effectively in order to impart this thing given the tools at the filmmakers disposal in any given frame in any given movie ask yourself what concept slash emotion / plot furtherance / whatever’s the filmmaker trying to get across B do they succeed and I’m talking through film language not dialogue or acting it doesn’t matter from an audience standpoint it matters that the filmmaker knows the language of the medium that they are working in a writer needs to know how to use words and a filmmaker needs to know film which where to start well let’s start at the very beginning I hear it’s a very good place to start like with the show the movie starts with a prologue that happens thirty years in the future it’s an auction where they’re selling a memorabilia from the ruined Opera House and it’s very sedate and boring when they unveil the chandelier turns on a giant fan blows everyone in the face and we’re going CGI back in time to the days of the uppers grandeur I feel like if you’ve seen the movie but never seen the show you won’t have been like what the hell so much is okay I guess it most what we get from this is Christine is dead and the Opera is abandoned but here’s why it happens in the show come on whoever wrote this big bombastic overture but you can’t just start on it after the lights fall you need some preamble to build it up so the show has this useless framing device that makes no sense and serves no purpose from a story standpoint except to show that the offers been abandoned for some reason and we can assume it’s phantom related so this scene exists to give the audience something to look at for a few minutes while the last stragglers get to their seats to give Andy’s overture some preamble it also gives us an excuse to lift up this grand set of the Opera in its heyday before the audience is very eyes during the overture but the most important element here in the show is the chandelier if there was an iconic piece of scenery for phantom this is it the biggest gimmick in the show they really want you to appreciate that chandelier so during the overture the old run-down set is replaced by the operas former glory set and the chandelier magically mystically lifts up over the audience this sets a tone that borders on magical realism but is mostly just cool to look at because it’s a stage show and the elements are in the same room with you but the prologue is totally needless from a setup standpoint the focus on the monkey makes no sense and yeah that too is in the show why would Christine have been nostalgic about the monkey and why would rob him giving a shit who knows who cares in a show like phantom not everything needs to serve the story if that were the case we’d have done away with dance numbers long ago but since we’re in a movie and none of that kind of setup matters why keep all this why keep the framing device when you don’t have any cool set pieces you can fly over the audience’s head and more importantly the framing device serves no purpose in the narrative but unlike the show the framing device doesn’t stop here Oh No the movie feels the need to rationalize the framing device so it takes this a step further and we see the framing device dipping in throughout the entire film hmm where have you gotten that idea by when framing devices work there’s usually a story going on within the framing device or it’s thematic hold it hold it what is this is this a kissing book in The Princess Bride a grandfather is trying to get his grandson to take a love story seriously and make him realize that there is some value to it it creates an intergenerational bond and shows that this kind of love story has some universality and forrest gump it illustrates how people are initially dismissive of Forrest but upon listening to him find him quite compelling it also leads up to his reunion with Jenny which actually takes place in the framing device in Phantom of the Opera it’s taking a thing that was already pointless in the show and making it longer as if making it longer makes it more integral a framing device works as glue it holds your story together sometimes it gives us perspective because it’s from a point of view character as was the case again with Moulin Rouge a part of why the movie is the way it is because it’s from Christians point of view the style is how he sees the world but Raul is so obviously not the point-of-view character so him remembering a thing that happened is not only needless it just doesn’t work nothing in the framing device matters and the fact that it’s expanded in the movie is admission that the opening is pointless so they try to make it less pointless by repeatedly cutting back to it throughout the entire movie but no still pointless just now it’s longer and has more product placement it also necessitates that the movie doesn’t end when the show ends the stage musical has a pretty perfect ending big emotional catharsis find his mask and it’s over good place to end your story no the movie keeps going like a long embarrassing fart I guess they’re trying to show the Phantom’s devotion to her that he showed up at her grave but who cares you’d take a strong ending and you weaken it the source material is flawed but the movie takes what strengths were there in the show and weakens them either by trying to force the elements into a medium that they were not designed for look your future bride but why is it secret what have we to hide or by doubling down on things that never really worked in the first place so how are we going to go about revealing this mysterious phantom they talk about him some they establish that there’s some mystery ghost that everyone’s afraid of fine but let’s talk about how he’s visually revealed we see snippets a hand silhouette building up to his actual reveal and the musical we don’t see him until here and because of the lighting in his costume we don’t really see him until here compare this to the first time we see any of him other than a hand in the movie here is that shot we dive down all the way down to his scalp and this is the first real glimpse of the phantom whose idea was this shot I demand to know because it is the worst of all possible shots also for the guy who’s obsessed with getting the box with the best acoustics this makes no logical sense either I should watch the performance from my normal seat in books fine does he just make them reserved box five for him and not use it to be a jerk then when he tries to lure her into his incredibly well-lit corridor filled with Jean Cocteau arms and I’ll get to the Jean Cocteau arms we could see him completely and utterly so there’s no mystery here but that’s a minor point compared to the reveal of his actual face first here where we can clearly see that whatever’s the problem is clearly not that bad this is followed by an entire movies worth of build-up so how do we get to the reveal of his face the camera is so amazed / horrified by it that it goes all Dutch angle on the audience and mm-hmm that’s it that’s the great horror we’ve been building – well maybe that’s why the camera goes all dutch here it’s like the cameras going look at the horror to compensate for the horror that isn’t there see this isn’t a stage show you have a budget and also post-production exists you could have done anything because it’s a movie look at how are viewed in Wow did you know you could do this in movies Joel Schumacher even in 2004 when the phantom first takes Christine’s hand and beckons her to follow she sees this hallway full of jean cocteau arms and this shot it drives me insane this is a reference to John cook those Beauty and the Beast because Schumacher wants us to know that he’s seen movies too you guys which I guess makes sense because Phantom of the Opera is kind of a beating the Beast story so okay this is what I mean by this maybe being too conventional for its own good because this is the only such frame we get and there’s nothing appreciable separating it from the diet Jesus I guess this is trying to show just how hypnotizing he is so we get weird surreal – Jean Cocteau arms but no more weird surreal shops for the rest of the movie and we know that Jean Cocteau arms are imaginary because the movie goes out of its way to show us this two scenes later and there’s nothing wrong with homage this wouldn’t be such a problem except that more weird shit keeps happening in the movie but it appears to be literal that horse is it diegetic or is it like the Jean cooked arms and also imaginary the horse was real in the book but we never see the horse again the worst parts when they get to the Phantom’s lair which appears to be lit by a million floodlights and these candles are literally rising out of the literal lake this does not appear to be imaginary like the Jean Cocteau arms because the candles remain in place for the rest of the film cluttering the frame getting in the way like a million photobombing toddlers this happens in the movie because it’s how it happens in the show candles literally rising from the floor but when you see it in the show do you think oh hey literal candles literally rising from the floor no you’re like oh this is like a scene transition I’ve heard about those nope in the movie it appears to be literal the Phantom is not only a genius mechanical engineer but has a lot of spare time so family the Opera not only cannot settle on what tone it is going for the aesthetic proves elusive as well it’s kind of a mishmash of everything and nothing and that can’t all these Schumacher’s fault I don’t get the impression that director of photography John Mathiason is some visionary who is furthering his field he seems to be only about as good as his director and he doesn’t seem to have worked with that many good directors he got an Oscar nomination for this which to me ranks up there with Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close on the are you kidding me scale and also for gladiator which looked a lot better than this but again better director what I’m building up to is that the cinematography is not good there sure is a lot of cold unfeeling light in this scene called music of the night I mean I know you have a billion candles come on the frames tend toward washed out and flat no variation and very little depth the classic Schumacher obsession with nipples doesn’t even bother me the lighting is just washed out an amateurish but the worst are the sets which at best look fake and at worst looked claustrophobic like the phantoms way over lit layer like they shot it while they were waiting in line for Pirates of the Caribbean here the frame needs to be filled uh turley and completely because crowded equals good again this appears cribs from Moulin Rouge but Baz Luhrmann’s frame is not distracting with its crowdedness and Moulin Rouge the frame draws the eye to where the action is and moreover there was some diversity not all of the frames are so cluttered here there is no focus everything is lit to an absurd level of brightness lest we miss one square inch of this amazing set point of no-return is even more hilarious because it looks like it’s shot in a Halloween adventure this scene of that is supposed to be this really intense intimate power play between these two characters all the while the entire opera looks on and rapt horror but nah Schumacher is so bored with his own movie he keeps cutting to tango dancers which are here now in between the Phantom and Kristine yeah you know what point-of-no-return was missing a lot of people in your intimate power-play song I mean all the cool musicals have tango dancers see look tango so I guess it’s mandatory so let’s shove a tango in here despite the fact that point of no return is not a tango there are some decent shots in the movie sure but for the most part the operative word is lazy like the first draft of everything is what they went with the laziest shot in the movie is probably this one like what what is this shot director of photography like what is the danger here what exactly is the Phantom threatening to do strangle him like dangle his own phantom weight from that rope until Raul suffocates like a reverse hanging I mean you can’t very well hang him while he’s tied to that great the what what are we supposed to be dreading I have deliberately been tied up in more compromising positions than this editing and cinematography ideally should work in tandem but in general you’re editing should match the energy of your scene masquerades scene is one of the more bewildering in terms of the Edit for instance the music gets kind of mysterious and danger in the show it’s because Christine keeps thinking she sees the phantom in the sea of masks and the movie it’s because poor people are also having a party downstate this change is so bewildering to me I can’t even comment on it except to say that I saw Titanic – Joel Schumacher but what does that have to do with the hourlies getting drunk downstairs during the ball mask anyway the editing is also strange and not deluxe they’re watching us watching that it’s trying to create an energy but there isn’t any again contrast in a high-energy musical number like this you probably want to stay off your master but we keep cutting back to that and also you probably want to put your cuts on the beat to make it feel more energetic and they tend to opt out of this as well this happens a lot in this movie the edits happen at random times that do nothing for the film’s flow and sometimes we need a cut but we don’t get one for instance this shot when the Phantom and Christine touch for the first time there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with it if you watch it with the sound off but here’s what it is with the sound on on a cut not on a wide shot but on this quiet intimate hand hold sure the shot absolutely could have worked but not contrasted with the audio bombast so where you’re editing should match your energy so it goes with your cinematography and if you feel like I’m nitpicking you’re right I am in Roger Ebert’s review of Battlefield Earth he said that the director has learned from better films that directors sometimes tilt their cameras but he has not learned why this is in reference to the fact that the film is shot almost entirely using Dutch angles but for no particular reason in Phantom of the Opera we see something similar but instead of Dutch angles it’s a long take and long takes like the jingles should be employed with care during Angelov music there’s a long shot which is also a long take of Christine and Meg walking down the hall and it’s like a minute long worse the fact that it’s long as the angle is just weird and detached and voyeuristic and it doesn’t fit the tone of the scene at all we could do with some close-ups guys even more overt is the note scene one long take and we’re walking for the entire time really slowly and unnaturally the note scene also takes place on the foyer of the opera for some reason not you know the manager’s office where it would make sense for the managers to find and read their mail and for people to come and find them but whatever brightly flatly lit boyar it is because they built this set damn it it has to be used more than one scene I’m not saying that long takes are bad but they’re hard to choreograph and easy to fuck up high-risk high-reward Alfonso Cuaron loves him some long takes but they’re motivated the scene and children of men is a brilliant use of the long take the camera is positioned so it feels like you’re in the car capturing the chaos and making the deaths in the scene feel all the more real it makes you feel like you’re trapped in the car in real time this on the other hand is a terrible use of your long take it doesn’t make sense for them to be in the four year and how unnaturally slow they’re moving Billa is out tiny this set is and how Sara Lee long the take is but my favorite bad long take in this movie is here Christine and Raoul have just proclaimed their love for each other and then they leave and then we get this pondering long take of Gerard Butler being sad oh man look at how sad he is we are not gonna cut this scene with anything are we give it some much-needed flow or I don’t know a more effective frame nope no okay this shot is 51 seconds long I point this out because imparting loneliness and isolation using film language is pretty standard and a 51 second close up is an awkward way to go about it wide shots for instance good standard way to go about imparting loneliness long shots of characters and empty spaces which help impart the emptiness that they’re feeling and wouldn’t it have been easy to get a wide shot of him alone on the empty snow on that roof yeah maybe the set was too tiny but despite how enamoured they are of long takes sometimes they skip out on when a long take might have actually benefited the scene for instance here when it would have served as a good transition growling Kristine split and this is where we’d pan up we’d pan up and show him look at nope it’s cut when in doubt this movie relies on medium close-ups and close-ups of the actors faces despite the fact that there are many often more effective ways to get across your intended emotion but the long tape mmm Moulin Rouge didn’t use them and children Amin was an out yet so I’m stumped most modern filmmakers owe something to Alfred Hitchcock as an influence and if they’ve read even one book on filmmaking they’re probably familiar with Hitchcock’s ideas on suspense all people are sitting around the table suddenly a bomb dozer blows for people to Smith one of the audience had 10 seconds of shock and take the same scene and tell the audience those are bomb under that table and will blow up in five minutes for the whole emotion the audience is totally different because you’ve given them that information you can only get the suspense element going by giving the audience information so yes this can be a way to create suspense give the audience information that the characters do not have there is a bomb under the table what’s the most you ever lost on a coin toss sir the most you ever lost a coin toss there’s the scene in No Country for Old Men that is one of the modern masterpieces of suspense and yeah I know comparing the Cohens to Schumacher is like comparing the finest chocolate torte to a Twinkie but bear with me no country is a masterclass and visual storytelling but also uses basic Hitchcockian suspense building techniques suspense is essentially an emotional process it’s built on the anticipation of something in this scene Anton Chigurh is paying for his gas when the gas station owner starts making small talk and this angers Shigure what business is it of yours where I’m from friendo from this guy’s point of view sugar is just a difficult customer but the audience has already seen sugar or strangle a police officer and then kill an innocent Rando with an airgun to the temple the guy suspected something but we know that a wrong outcome means that this guy is going to die suspense is much more well suspenseful if it hangs more on what we don’t see rather than what we do so the scene on the roof the phantom has just killed a man Kristine and ro run up to the roof and she tells her everything that’s happened to her he gasps lights her and tells her it’s not real but it’s okay whatever I’m here baby and just at the moment that she starts to feel safe again what was that and that’s all we need was it in her head was he really there we don’t know so there’s this underlying threat in the scene is he or isn’t he there in the stage show we like Christine get to a point where we almost forgot that the threat might even be there because young love and we don’t even see him until after they leave and while I might seem blindingly obvious that yes of course he was there when you see this live there are always gasps when he pops up over Paulo’s lyre which the movie does not bother including instead there’s a horse anyway so when does this movie reveal its cards when do we find out that the Phantom is there eavesdropping constantly and schumacher world in order to maintain suspense we need to keep panning to the bomb cutting to the bomb more shots of the danger element equals more suspense in fact we even see the Phantom when he says Christine lest the audience be confused about who that third mysterious male voice could be and I must assume that suspense is what Schumacher was going for because why else keep cutting to the phantom during the big romantic musical number like yes there is that underlying threat but there’s no suspense because we know exactly where he is at all times and he’s like two feet away and there’s not even anything separating them visually he separated visually in the show he is both apart from them isolated but also above them dominating but this would have been an effective use of the space and we can’t have that also I’m pretty sure this set is like five square feet so or perhaps you say he was not going for suspense but that we are supposed to feel sad for the Phantom well he can’t have it both ways you can’t have this big epic swell of a romantic ballad intercut with Butler’s quivering lip trying to inter cut the big romantic ballad with any diametrically opposed emotion be it suspense or sad for phantom it just doesn’t work imagine if during this scene in Moulin Rouge they kept cutting to the Duke being sad this is just one of so many instances in this movie where the technical choices just completely undermine whatever emotion they’re going for let’s go back a scene to Ill Muto half the time he’s just chillin in plain sight no one in this Opera has peripheral vision yeah it might be more suspenseful to you know not know exactly what’s going on did I not instruct that boss spine was to be kept but no just show his every move to the audience just show all your cards movie whatever so we see his every fucking move in this scene whereas in the show we don’t see him at all it was a buildup that was both mysterious and suspenseful in the show during the ballet we know something might happen but we don’t know what or when unlike in the movie where we see him killing a man the whole time so we know what’s going on so there’s no suspense and this is important in the stage musical because the ballet is almost played as a joke it just looks like he’s fucking with them until the moment you see a corpse hanging from the rafters and that’s the moment the audience learns holy shit this guy is dangerous it raises the stakes this guy isn’t just fucking with people he’s a murderer in the movie the stakes just kind of stayed level because we know what he’s up to at all times and there is no suspense when you take the element of mystery away and see what he’s up to the whole time it falls flat but it does make sense for a filmmaker who doesn’t trust his audience to intuit what’s going on nini adds a swordfight after which role let’s air it go hey phantom would this not count as your much sought after act of compassion the world showed no compassion to me yeah did right there did you did you miss it now let it be war upon you both yeah I guess it only counts of a hot chick does it there’s also an added scene where Raul gets trapped in the Phantom’s mirror torture chamber this is an allusion to a similar scene in the book and it was stupid there too they also added a scene where Raul falls into another booby trap and then immediately escapes it is the ultimate scene cul-de-sac it is stupid and pointless and I hate it the movie also adds the subtext about like the poor class who work in the Opera it ties in with nothing and goes nowhere mostly it’s just an excuse to shit on poor Carlotta like they have nothing to do with Christine they’re not like rooting for the Phantom or anti phantom or whatever it’s like guys she’s prima donna for a reason also why aren’t all of you fired constantly Jill Schumacher also added a random guy who Vogue’s okay I don’t hate it as much as some people do but it’s still why okay there are some things that the movie fixes and the show Christine refuses to play the lead in the Phantom’s dawn one followed immediately by Raul promising the disaster will be yours we then see her in the very next scene rehearsing implying that I guess she changed her mind off screen somewhere the movie cuts this whole thing entirely which is good and the show Christine doesn’t realize that Don Juan is the Phantom during point of no return despite his voice being his distinguishing characteristic the movie does away with this the movie gives a backstory to the monkey it was like his would be while he was a face fresh slave in a freak show so the monkey makes more sense now this is not the worst movie ever there are things that work about it so to give it a fair shake here are some of those things Patrick Wilson is one of those things it’s really easy to make growl either a total Pontz boy or really boring but Patrick Wilson is neither he’s a good singer he’s compelling and he’s sympathetic he is probably the best Raul in any of the Manta movie adaptations Minnie Driver is the best thing about the whole movie period as she is arguably the only person in the movie that knows what movie she’s in she is a joy every time she’s on screen where have you gone Minnie Driver we miss you all so this shot a joke that works also an actual good shot a level shot tilts to a Dutch angle when the Phantom shows up and not only is he high in the frame he is to the right again implying dominance good shot movie of course the cinematographer apparently thought that shot was so nice we used it twice could Schumacher have made a decent Phantom movie if he hadn’t shied away from stylism or maybe been allowed to change some of the source material to work better on film and probably not again this is probably Schumacher’s most competent movie and it still sucks pretty hard I don’t think it’s too controversial statement to say that Schumacher is deeply untalented and he probably should not be a director and I have to say this on Andrews behalf he doesn’t pretend to know about film maybe he’d make a good script supervisor really this movie needed to be ripped violently out of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hand and shoved to a studio with a big budget who would actually change some stuff and make the awards Beatty movie that they wanted instead of a no-man’s land of a movie that they got musicals are something that your logic doesn’t get but your emotions do a good musical bypass is logic and here in this post 9-11 world of filmmaking where it’s hard to get audiences to suspend disbelief and everything needs to make logical sense musicals are just a hard sell not impossible but they don’t jive with what’s common and then you end up with movies like Dreamgirls lame is and Phantom of the Opera that kind of exists in this tonal confusion DMZ you can’t get an audience to suspend their disbelief for a musical when the framing and the style is constantly reminding them that they need to return to the world of logic so in conclusion I forgot what we were talking about

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