The Phantom Of The Opera (Blu-Ray)

| October 27, 2011

The Phantom Of The Opera (Blu-Ray)
An acquaintance recently had an argument with yours truly about Blu-Ray upgrades of older films. His argument was that movies made before the High Definition era were not made in HD, so an attempted upgrade would be futile. I have numerous examples of how wrong this line of thinking is, including the Blu-Ray release of the horror classic The Phantom Of The Opera.
By now, everyone knows the basic story behind Phantom. Erik (Lon Chaney), a disfigured and tormented individual, lives in the lower reaches of the Paris Opera House. He sneaks throughout the enormous building, instilling terror in the actors and patrons alike. When Erik becomes smitten with a young ingénue, he will stop at nothing to make her a star and, more importantly, to make her love him. The Blu-Ray release features three versions of the film. The first is a 1929 reissue presented at 24 frames per second with an aspect ratio of 1.2:1. It also includes a an all new orchestral score from the Alloy Orchestra. The second version is also a 1929 reissue with the same aspect ratio. There are two differences from the other reissue. The first is the presentation at 20 frames per second. The second is an orchestral score composed by Gabriel Thibaudeau. The third and final version is the original 1925 film in a standard definition aspect ratio of 1.37:1, with a wonderful piano score by Frederick Hodges. The version I would recommend would be the first 1929 reissue. The tints are more vibrant. Scratches, dust particles, etc. are less prevalent in this version as well. Also, the Alloy Orchestra score fits. The Thibaudeau score of the second reissue is more grating and frankly annoying. The quality of the 1925 original is horrible, and longer due to a scene that was later removed to increase the flow of the story. But it is great to own the original, nonetheless.
The bonus features are sparse. The jewel, though, is an original silent trailer. If you deem yourself a fan of classic film, this Blu-Ray release from the terrific people at Image Entertainment of The Phantom Of The Opera is a must own. It is a testament to the art of film. And it is proof that under the watchful eye of skilled technicians, the classic works of a bygone era can be brought back to life as good (or better) than ever.

About the Author:

Steve graduated from Southwestern Michigan College with an Associate's Degree in communications. He currently resides in Niles, MI
Filed in: Video and DVD
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