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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - June, 2012

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"Love Never Dies" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Clements

Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - June, 2012

Synopsis

Filmed at Melbourne's Regent Theater, this lavish production picks up the story of the Phantom of the Opera ten years after he was presumed killed in the fire that destroyed the Opera Populaire. As it turns out, the Phantom did not die in the fire in Paris. Instead, he escaped and made his way to Coney Island where he created a successful career writing music for his performaing arts troupe called the "Phantasma".

The show opens with the Phantom realizing that he can no longer continue his creative streak without his muse (and lost lover), Christine Daae. So he lures Christine, her insipid husband Raul and their 10 year old son Gustave to Coney Island. What will become of the reunion between the fiery lovers when Christine enters the world of The Phantom once again?

Specifications

  • Universal Studios
  • 2012, Color, Not Rated, 2 hrs 1min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master and 2.0 Dolby Digital
  • Starring: Ben Lewis, Anna O'Byrne, Maria Mercedes, Simon Gleeson and Sharon Millerchip
  • Directed by: Simon Phillips
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: Implied
  • Language: No

Commentary

The most impressive elements of this Blu-ray center around the overall production and audio quality. The sets are amazingly detailed and stylistic without a single obvious flaw in their design or execution. And they seamlessly transition from scene to scene. The wardrobe and makeup are similarly specatacular, especially with the oddball characters who are part of The Phantom's entertainment troupe. It is pure eye candy, even though it wasn't captured or transferred to disc up to the possibilities of today's technology. I was very entertained by singing performances while the voices and musical accompaniment were conveyed with excellent dynamics and low distortion. I tip my hat to Andrew Lloyd Webber for sticking with a dark tone throughout, but I sadly found the story to be a little thin and there wasn't any one song that I went around humming the next day like I do after every time I watch the original Phantom of the Opera. All in all, I was entertained over the entire expanse of the show and I will watch it again whenever I'm in the mood for a light diversion.

Technical

When I recently reveiwed "The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall", I said that the picture quality was so good, that "I sat there agog throughout the whole show." This was not the case with Love Never Dies. The picture quality is passable but is hampered by soft focus in long shots and other random scenes. Much of this is apparently due to the show being shot with a wide aperture and the dark lighting of many scenes also contributed to a limited dynamic range. But I still give it 4 stars because there are planty of nice-looking close ups. The audio is a little better and I found the voice reproduction to be stellar while the sound of the otrchestra was balanced and clean. It just lacked that last bit of sparkle that would make me feel that I'm in a live performance.

Extras

This disc has but one extra, a short documentary called "The Making of Love Never Dies". Presented in 1080p HD, it covers the story behind the production including the sets and the director's vision to portray the Coney Island of the day with a cinematic flair.