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RyanPC
04-06-2004, 02:04 AM
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.

Shannafey
04-06-2004, 03:02 AM
This is pretty much the general concensus among Argento fans!!

RyanPC
04-06-2004, 03:29 AM
This is pretty much the general concensus among Argento fans!!
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.

dwatts
04-06-2004, 11:02 AM
-- 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.

RyanPC
04-06-2004, 01:14 PM
-- 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 :)

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.

dwatts
04-06-2004, 01:17 PM
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.

Tawny
04-06-2004, 05:11 PM
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.

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?

dwatts
04-06-2004, 05:20 PM
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

Tawny
04-06-2004, 05:42 PM
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. ;) )

dwatts
04-06-2004, 05:45 PM
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. ;)

Freibiergesicht
04-06-2004, 05:50 PM
talking about bad acting in argento films:

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

dwatts
04-06-2004, 05:51 PM
Not seen it - please tell. As bad as he can be, I can't resist Argento. What were your impressions?

MaxRenn
04-07-2004, 03:05 AM
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.

Zodiac-Mindwarp
04-08-2004, 01:45 AM
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!

John Gargo
05-09-2004, 08:00 PM
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

dwatts
05-09-2004, 08:04 PM
-- 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).

RyanPC
05-09-2004, 08:08 PM
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

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

John Gargo
05-09-2004, 08:09 PM
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).
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).

Lyle Horowitz
05-09-2004, 09:19 PM
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.

dwatts
05-09-2004, 10:19 PM
Nah, comparing Card Player to Phantom is akin to comparing Trauma with Inferno.

Andrew
05-09-2004, 11:15 PM
Nah, comparing Card Player to Phantom is akin to comparing Trauma with Inferno.More and more people seem to love INFERNO, while a smaller few enjoy TRAUMA. You may want to revise that statement.

dwatts
05-09-2004, 11:20 PM
Oh not at all, I was perfectly aware of what I was doing. I personally love Inferno and hate Trauma. However, by choosing these two diversive titles, I was actually giving both an example that proved for some the point, and disproved it for others. Not even post is flippant ;)

Crystal Plumage
05-09-2004, 11:57 PM
All Argento's films featuring Asia are mediocre IMHO.I don't like her that much,and you might think I'm gay (though my wife knows different:D ),but I don't find her that pretty either.
But still there's enough in every movie to enjoy.And I'm still waiting to upgrade Stendahl and Trauma.

dwatts
05-10-2004, 12:06 AM
I'd upgrade Stendahl, but not Trauma. Asia is a fine looking woman, but her acting is bad, with the occasional slip into being mediocre.

Luna
05-10-2004, 01:07 AM
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.You and me both, then. I liked it too, but I was never expecting very much to begin with after reading all of the constant bashing it receives. It reminded me of a BBC or perhaps PBS costume drama in its production quality and with the sets, but I also found it pretty comedic. There were some moments that made me laugh out loud, in fact, such as every scene the other opera singer was in and the b-story about the 2 guys and their rat problems. It was by no means Argento's best, but I thought it was a decent change of pace, and I've found that Argento's worst is a hell of a lot better to me than a lot of other movies anyway! :D

ErinJC23
05-11-2004, 09:16 PM
Could have done without seeing rats crawl all over Julian's naked chest...

tobaccoman
07-03-2004, 08:48 PM
I also beg to differ on this subject. I really enjoyed this film. The only thing I don't like is the made for T.V. quality. I also see a lot of Argento's unique style in the camerawork. It does seem a bit funny though and you can't really tell if it's trying to be or not. The first time I saw it, I wasn't to keen on it, but I really do now. It still gives me that "something's not right" feeling though. And, of course, you can't go wrong with an Argento flick that only costs $6-$8.

tobaccoman
07-03-2004, 08:54 PM
Asia's not that pretty because she resembles her father and I don't find Dario at all attractive. Maybe if I had seen Asia first, I'd have a different perspective.

Ash28M
06-04-2005, 05:46 AM
I just got around to finally watching this tonight. On one hand I would agree that it was his weakest film. On the other I think itís is still very underrated. Iíve only seen it once but I enjoyed it. It might be just my blind love for his movies but I thought the sets and costumes were wonderful and at times it had a mesmerizing quality to it. I did miss his usually extravagant direction, some scenes were unintentionally funny and the phantom had no real reason to start killing anyone. It seemed like the worst parts of the film were the murders, they just felt out of place. Overall thought it kept my attention fully and I felt it did have enough merit that it doesnít deserve to be so maliciously hated as was seems to be the consensus.

walkingdude
06-04-2005, 05:51 AM
Asia's not that pretty because she resembles her father and I don't find Dario at all attractive. Maybe if I had seen Asia first, I'd have a different perspective.
She also resembles here mother.That's usually how it works with children.You don't think she's pretty?If she came looking for you i'm sure your opinion would change.:D

tobaccoman
06-04-2005, 02:44 PM
Don't get me wrong, I'd fuck her without a second thought, just because of who she is and her attitude in general. However her likeness to Dario (which you gotta admit, he's a pretty freaky looking guy) is somewhat of a turn-off. But hell, I've fucked some pretty fat ugly bitches so she'd be one helluvan improvent over some of them.

dwatts
06-04-2005, 03:53 PM
Damn man, she doesn't look that close to her father. Dark hair yes, but I think I could easily blank our Dario's face while tonguing the chick. Still, you got your issues, I've got mine :D

tobaccoman
06-04-2005, 04:02 PM
That depends on where you're tounging the chick! ;)

dwatts
06-04-2005, 04:30 PM
Oooooooooooooo. Thanks dude, there goes THAT fantasy. :(