While I love Rent with a passion this "officially sanctioned" DVD ismajorly lacking. The final cast was not it's best. and I really don'tlike how they claim its the "Final performance" this DVD was made overa course of three performances and only a small portion is from thefinal show on 7 September 2008. They lied.
I love Will Chase and he could not have been a finer Roger. Kantor wasa horrible Mark but he did work well with Will in 'What You Own' andRenee probably was the most shining element of the show. Her 'OutTonight' was majorly fierce which was a major lacking part of the 2005film. Tracie Thoms; the one person everyone wanted to see in the finalmonths. Her Joanne live wasn't that great but then again her Joanne inthe film wasn't great either.
Gwen Stewart in her ensemble roles and the Seasons of Love Soloist wasthe greatest part like always.
The filming of this looks like Mtv butchered it by making it all musicvideo like with sixteen different bad closeups and camera angles.
Go see the Tour or amateur productions. This is not worth it. Seeing itlive with your own eyes in a theater is so much better.
It's kinda sad that my favorite theater production has closed onBroadway after a 12-year run, even if I would never have gone andwatched it there anyway. This movie was the final performance, capturedon film.
I think it's unavoidable that I would draw comparisons between thiscast and the casts of the touring troupe I watched in Singapore and theoriginal cast whose album I've played over and over. And alsounavoidable that I would think this cast doesn't quite compare, simplybecause it's a much more spiritual experience to watch Rent live, andbecause I'm so familiar with the original cast recording.
Most of the cast I was fine with, but I thought Renee Goldsberry, whoplayed Mimi, was a bit too feral and not vulnerable enough, and JustinJohnston, who played Angel, wasn't feminine enough. There was also abit too much energy in the air, which is understandable, since it wasthe last performance, but while it worked for the faster numbers, itmade the emotional scenes a bit too dramatic.
But I quibble, the actors perform well and the director knows theproduction intimately enough to have the cameras capture all the rightangles to best highlight each scene. And this is Rent - I went throughthe same emotional roller-coaster as when I first watched it. And whilethis isn't quite the same as watching it live, it comes pretty darnclose. Everyone should watch this.
This has to be one of the best DVDs I own. Having not even heard ofRent until the movie came out, I never really knew the story until2005. It was a great idea to do the movie and an even better idea torelease the final Broadway show on DVD. It is making it possible forthose of us who only learned of Rent late in the game or for those ofus who were too young when it came out or for those of us who don'tlive in or visit New York to see this amazing piece of theatre. Thecast did a great job and Jonathan's beautifully written story will liveon in this performance. This story is the heartwarming tale of eightfriends, with various issues, including some main ones of living inpoverty and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The music is incredible and it's notall "showtunes" but rather, it is a combination of various styles,including rock, gospel and pop. It makes a statement and it warms yourheart. It takes a couple watches of Rent to fully understand the storybut once you do, you're captured in its magic for life.User: jordanparee
RENT is an updated version of "La Boheme" about a group of bohemianartists striving for their art while facing the dangers of paying therent, poverty, illness, and the AIDS epidemic.
My first introduction to RENT was through the Chris Columbus film. Ithought it was wonderful, and even since I saw that version, I'vewanted to see the stage production. But seeing as where I live, it wasimpossible. Then learning that it was closing on Broadway, it broke myheart even more. But then, I learned that the final performance wasgoing to be filmed. I was so happy, that I wanted to see it, but otherthings got in the way. After a while, I thought I would never see it,until it came out on DVD on February 3rd. I rented it, and I saw it,and I loved it. It feels so good to see the stage production that it'sall I watch now. I won't even disregard Columbus' film, but there'ssomething about this one that just stayed with me. Plus, I, of course,cried like a baby watching.
Please see this.
In a word, beautiful. Now, I must admit I'm biased, given that I'veseen RENT on Broadway eight times and can pretty much recite it in mysleep, but by any standards, I think this film is pretty amazing. Icame into the whole RENT world fairly late, first falling in love withthe 2005 movie and then, after seeing the show, realizing how trulyhorrible the 2005 movie was. RENT filmed live on Broadway seemed to melike a 'haha, in your face' to Chris Columbus. The perfect simplicityof this movie overshadowed Columbus' mangled, depressing version thatwas just all wrong.
Although I still missed the thrill of seeing the show live, ofapplauding along with the rest of the theatre when Mimi begins 'OutTonight' or when Angel enters for 'Today 4 U,' this movie is prettymuch the best you can get without actually seeing the show on Broadway.You see things you might miss live, the faded 'Only the good die young'emblazoned on the back of Roger's jacket, or the look of peacefulsatisfaction that crosses Angel's face when Mark finally refers to heras 'she.' All in all, the solos and duets were amazingly done and gaveyou a whole new perspective on the show.
The one thing I wished the movie had focused more on was the ensemblenumbers. For big numbers like 'La Vie Boheme' or 'Christmas Bells,'seeing everyone doing everything at once is kind of the point. When thecamera zoomed in on individuals during these scenes, they lost a bit oftheir impact for me. However, having seen those numbers livepreviously, it was nothing that bothered me too much.
Overall, though, it was fabulous. As long as RENT is closed and I can'tsee it at the Nederlander, I'm perfectly happy with watching thisversion at home.
Twelve years after Rent debuted on Broadway and swept across theconsciousness of multiple generations (I'm in X), the curtain closed afinal time in the theater on 41st St. That night was a culmination ofLarson's realized, unrealized dream, witnessed by his parents andsister, and celebrated by the lucky hundreds in attendance that night.After the disappointment of Christopher Columbus's noble attempt, wefinally have a definitive version of the musical to remember it by.This is it. This is the one.
All I could think, through laughter and tears, was "How much money didthey spend to make that Hollywood version when all they needed to dowas THIS? Set up a camera crew in the Nederlander theater and capturethe show as it was intended to be seen."
Roger never sings from atop a butte here. :)
I'm sure there will be a selection of fans who were never able to seethe show on Broadway or on tour who first loved the Columbus film andit's soundtrack (it's a great soundtrack, after all) and won'tunderstand this Filmed on Broadway version without the context of beingthere. But, if you've never seen either version I suggest startinghere. And for those of us who have seen it live, once or many times,here it is in a time capsule.
I appreciate the closeups. In the movie theater today, I wanted thecrew to pull back a bit and show us the entire stage and staging moreoften. That's my only gripe and why I rate it a 9 out of 10. Then, Ithink about it on the small screen in your living room and how tiny thestage would look at that size and understand. This version is meant totake the experience home.
The bricks of the wall at the back of the stage, up where Mimi comesout to play? You can see their texture. I imagined the hands of everygirl who played Mimi caressing their surfaces and thought, "We've neverseen that before, not so close." The overlapping chorus of Angel buyingCollins his coat, Roger introducing Mimi to Mark, and Joanne talking toMaureen on the phone has never been clearer, thanks to the camera cuts.The close-up of Angel as she's leaving the stage in death wasbeautiful.
The best testament to how well this transported me came afterward. Mygirlfriend and I walked out of the local cineplex fully immersed inManhattan. It was jarring to see the trees of the suburbs and not thetowers, noise, people, and cabs of the Theatre District. I drove awayexpecting the City's traffic, maybe a bridge, but we suddenly foundourselves in our hometown. So sad. I was hoping to stop at Grimaldi's.