Open up your mind…

Dragged Scott off today to see The Phantom of the Opera. We were going to see The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou afterward, but the 2:40 showing was sold out, and I didn’t want to hang out downtown for two hours. We’ll see it soon.

Anyhoo, back to Phantom. I’m a fan of the musical, so my expectations were pretty high. How did it disappoint me? Let me count the ways:

The girl playing Christine was the worst . . . lip-syncher . . . EVER. You sing in the studio with a ton of vibrato, you should probably let your chin wiggle. At least a little bit. Maybe it was the director’s choice, and if so, poor choice.

The Phantom was totally not grody enough. Even when you got to see his whole disfigurement without mask or wig, it wasn’t enough. And speaking of the Phantom, that guy isn’t a good enough singer for that part. He wasn’t awful, but the role was a little too challenging for him. Plus, the Phantom is supposed to be older. And the new backstory created for him? Lame.

Overall, song lyrics do not make good dialogue. In fact, they sound pretty darned stilted when just spoken. And if you’re editing a musical and take out a chunk, try to make sure you don’t show the next person who would have sung a line open their mouth and draw a big breath, then cut away abruptly. Tacky. But not quite as tacky as taking a haunting romantic duet (my favorite song from this show, in fact) and ruining it by having dancing mimes in the background.

I offer this film a 6 out of 10, based mostly on the nice costumes and sets. Which were still fairly overdone. I need to watch Evita to get the taste of bad movie musical out of my mouth.

Meanwhile, we got the packages from Best Buy — a DVD of Napoleon Dynamite in one, a Best Buy gift card in the other. Neither one has any indication of who they came from. Both my brother and Scott’s younger brother are potential suspects, since we haven’t seen any gift from either of them. It would be especially creepy if one came from one brother and the other came from the other. We haven’t seen Napoleon Dynamite yet, though my droogies all think it’s fantastic. Otherwise, a good Annual Gift Grab — there’s only a couple of things to return to the store.

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