Now, normally, I'm not a big fan of musicals. Mostly this is due to my bopping along, getting into the story, and suddenly, bam, over-done sappy song that brings the story to a screeching halt for 5-7 minutes. I'm bored and the song isn't advancing the plot. Opera, however, is different. The music isn't shoehorned into the dialogue, the music is the dialogue. I don't feel like the story is waiting on the music, because they are one. I go out of my way to say this because this film was truly a "rock opera". No dialogue to speak of, outside of the music, which meant a rich flow form one to another, the music telling the story, blending perfectly with the visuals.
Visuals is a good place to start this. A dark film, sure, but a detailed one. When the CGI of the city was first seen, I wondered what kind of budget was involved and expected a slightly low-cost look, but the detail was kept very high making for a rich visual feel. Color was used to good effect to point out and highlight, to enhance and display, which made for a bit of a comic-book reality. This actually helped offset the dreary dystopian setting.
Speaking of setting, as usual with a good film, I couldn't help but think about it as a setting for a game. By itself it might be light for a full game, but it would integrate well into others. Over The Edge, certainly.
The music...wow. Very nice. Operatic but not droning, which is how it should have been. Multiple layers of sound and style, and with the variety of singing abilities, it seemed to fit well.I mean, come on, Sarah Brightman is in the film, and there's no way anyone else was going to compare to her, but while she stood out as amazing, she didn't make anyone else look bad, which I attribute to good composing.
A word about lyrics, though. With all the dialogue being song, it did make for a few forced rhymes, and those kinda stood out when we caught them. Still, it didn't bother me too much, just couldn't help but notice them.
As for the cast, I had little complaint. Again, Sarah Brightman was fabulous (and gorgeous). Ogre was campy and it fit. Anthony Stewart Head was impressive, changing from his role as father to assassin with ease. Alexa Vega showed nicely, and Terrance Zdunich (who also co-wrote the show) damn near stole the film as the Graverobber. I even didn't hate Paris Hilton in the show, but that's probably just because her face fell off...in the end, I still thought she was a useless twat. Paul Sorvino, who I like in everything, turned in another great performance, and who knew he could sing? And let's not forget horror legend Bill Moseley, who is always fun to watch. Sure, a lot of the characters were over-the-top, but it fit the feel of things, to me.
My only real bitch was not with the actual film, but the fact that the theatre was just not the best place for this film to be shown. It came out too dark and too fuzzy, a little washed out, so it wasn't as good looking as it should have been. The sound was also not up to what the film needed, making it a little hard to hear the lyrics. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing it clearly.
On a side note, the director is the same guy that directed Saw, Darren Lynn Bousman, and as he was there for this "road tour" premiere of the film (along with Zdunich and music producer Joseph Bishara), it was cool to meet him.
So, yeah, had a blast. It was fun, it was pretty, and it sounded good. The story was conspiratorial and rough, but it fit together nicely. I'll definitely own the DVD.
Meanwhile, it was way too much fun, as usual, hanging out with good people and meeting new ones. Hope to see them all again, and I hope Mike feels better soon, as he was a bit under the weather. Good times, you guys, thanks for making a night out a lot of fun!