Dario Argento's Phantom of the Opera

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by RyanPC, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. RyanPC

    RyanPC Guest

    Dario Argento's Phantom of the Opera (1998) * I hate to say it, because Dario Argento is my favorite director, but this film is extremely poor. Actually, it is more watchable (if that is even possible) when viewed as a comedy. There is none of the Argento flair that made all of his other films so great- in fact, the direction is rather mediocre. The only good thing I can say about this film is that it has a great Ennio Morricone score... a score that is perhaps too good for trash such as this. Anyone who is a fan of Argento knows that he can do better than this- what happened Dario? Nothing in this film is particularly scary and the Phantom (hilariously overplayed by Julian Sands) isn't even deformed! There is also a lot of intentional and unintentional humor that really destroys whatever mood Argento was attempting to evoke. The make-up and costumes are OK, but the camera work is so weak (is that even possible for Argento???) that it's not able to properly show them off. Even the beautiful Asia Argento can't save this mess. Overall, if you are just starting out with Argento, do not see this film! Pick one of his classics, such as DEEP RED, SUSPIRIA, or TENEBRE. In fact, his earlier effort, OPERA, is a more entertaining interpretation of the Gaston Leroux novel on which this film was based.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2004
  2. Shannafey

    Shannafey Don't Monkey With Me!

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    6,941
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    South Florida, But Far from the Hell that is Miami
    This is pretty much the general concensus among Argento fans!!
     
  3. RyanPC

    RyanPC Guest

    Yup, just thought I'd share my thoughts. The first time I saw this I didn't think it was too bad, but after watching it again a couple days ago I have to say it's utterly terrible. I have to wonder how I ever sat through this boring catastrophe in the first place.
     
  4. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Messages:
    16,580
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Crashed
    -- Even the beautiful Asia Argento can't save this mess--

    Well, the girl can't act, so the only chance was having her look pretty :)

    Julian Sands though.... alright so he's not deformed, artistic license, but what's with the ham acting? God, it sucks. I'll have to watch this one again. The last time I watched it, I actualy had some positive things to say. However, I never took the time to write them down.
     
  5. RyanPC

    RyanPC Guest

    On the contrary, I think she can act. I watched Scarlet Diva as well this past weekend and thought she did a very good job in it.
     
  6. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Messages:
    16,580
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Crashed
    Scarlet Diva is a psuedo documentary, there's very little "acting" in it. Acting to me would be defined as convincingly portraying someone you are not - Scarlett Diva does not qualify from what I know of her. I honstly think Asia is a terrible actress, at least, I've not seen her in anything that made me say, "nice performance". She's pretty, that's about it, imo.
     
  7. Tawny

    Tawny You guys got sour balls?

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2003
    Messages:
    2,607
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    She's not a terrible actress IMO. Like I said before, she has won some awards for her acting. I think she got it for playing a handicapped woman. That ain't acting?
     
  8. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Messages:
    16,580
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Crashed
    Never seen her playing a handicapped woman - unless you're talking about in Trauma, where everyone played a handicapped person :D

    Honestly, I don't care that she won some no name award at some time in the past - that doesn't make her a good actress, imo. I have to believe my eyes. I have no idea what the awards she's won in are all about, or what the competition was/is.

    I looked her up on IMDB, and in 2003 she was given an "Outstanding Achievement Award". Now that's funny :D
     
  9. Tawny

    Tawny You guys got sour balls?

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2003
    Messages:
    2,607
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    From IMDB:

    In 1993 she co-starred in Carlo Verdone's Perdiamoci di vista! (1994) in which she played Arianna, a physically disabled girl - an intricate, difficult role which won her the David di Donatello for best actress ('93-'94). :) (I guess you didn't look hard enough. ;) )
     
  10. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Messages:
    16,580
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Crashed
    Huh? Did I say she didn't win it? Not at all- -I said I HAD NOT SEEN HER PLAYING A HANDICAPPED PERSON. Which is true, I have never seen it. I have also never heard of the "David di Donatello" awards, I don't know the criteria for selection, and whom is illegible to be considered. However, I've see a bunch of her films, and I can SEE that she's having a hard time acting. ;)
     
  11. talking about bad acting in argento films:

    anybody seen The Card Player yet? ;) phew....
     
  12. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Messages:
    16,580
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Crashed
    Not seen it - please tell. As bad as he can be, I can't resist Argento. What were your impressions?
     
  13. MaxRenn

    MaxRenn Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2001
    Messages:
    483
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I'm probably in the minority but I like the movie. Of course it's not one of Argento's best but I find it enjoyable. It is certainly not to be taken seriously and is actually has more of the feel of a light-hearted European art film than a horror film. No doubt this film would be less reviled if it were not an Argento film.

    However, as mentioned above, Sands and Asia are not good actors at all and are especially poor in this film.
     
  14. Phantom Of The Opera is probably my least favorite Argento (although I am not a huge fan of Trauma either).

    Sadly, Phantom did not even "feel" like an Argento film.

    Because of the simple fact that it is an Argento film, I am sure that I will give it another watch at some point. I only hope that it gets better, and not worse!
     
  15. John Gargo

    John Gargo Guest

    While I do think that it's Argento's worst film, I think it's quite underrated, and certainly not worth all the harsh criticism that it's gotten since it's release. The real problem with it is that everyone has their own interpretation of how the story of The Phantom of the Opera should be told, and this is one of the more unusual adaptations... The film is almost devoid of Argento's usual directorial flair, but the subject matter is strong enough to pull the film through. The bottom line is that Argento didn't deliver the film that audiences were expecting him to and, as a result, he got critically-slammed for it. While it has it's flaws, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is a nice change of pace for the director, although Argento's vastly-superior treatment of a similar story in is late-eighties film OPERA seems to question whether or not there was a need for something like this...

    2.5/5
     
  16. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Messages:
    16,580
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Crashed
    -- The real problem with it is that everyone has their own interpretation of how the story of The Phantom of the Opera should be told--

    Maybe, but if so, Argento I assume, knew that going in.

    -- The film is almost devoid of Argento's usual directorial flair--

    Yup, when going into an Argento flick, it is perfectly natural that the audience would expect, well, an Argento flick.

    --but the subject matter is strong enough to pull the film through--

    Nah, since his interpretation included casting a cardboard cut out as a lead (and if you don't know which lead I'm talking about, that's yet ANOTHER problem).
     
  17. RyanPC

    RyanPC Guest

    The film would be alright if only it weren't such a damn bore.
     
  18. John Gargo

    John Gargo Guest

    Argento's films have often suffered from less-than-compelling casting choices, with a few notable exceptions (David Hemmings in DEEP RED comes to mind), but I could see that being as more of an issue this time around. Since the film is stripped of Argento's usual stylistic indulgences, the performances from the actors are brought into the spotlight. I particularly don't think the leads give that bad a performance... Asia Argento is easy on the eyes and Sands manages to pull himself through (although I wish he showed the same enthusiasm that he gave Ken Russell in GOTHIC).
     
  19. Lyle Horowitz

    Lyle Horowitz Miscreant

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Messages:
    1,396
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    New York
    I still think this is Argento's worst film, and pretty poor overall (2/5), but it's not NEARLY as bad as many make it out to be. The CGI effects are horrible, as is the acting, and even the directing. However, the films improves somewhat on repeat viewings and at least isn't boring. The sad thing is, I've heard that The Card Player is pretty bad as well. Hopefully Argento can step his game up with the last of the Three Mothers trilogy.
     
  20. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Messages:
    16,580
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Crashed
    Nah, comparing Card Player to Phantom is akin to comparing Trauma with Inferno.
     

Share This Page