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1987 (2007) - Blue Underground
You can be forgiven if at first you assume that Dario Argento's
Opera is going to be his
take on The Phantom of the Opera.
Argento would ultimately make his own version of Phantom
in the late 1990s but this isn't it. Instead, Opera
is an ambitious, opulent but ultimately unsatisfying horror
movie that features some of Argento's most brutal sequences.
Cristina Marsillach stars as Betty, an understudy in a
production of Verdi's Macbeth being mounted by a director known
primarily for horror movies (played by Ian Charleson). When the
lead is hit by a car, Betty gets her big break and is an instant
success. But opening night, she finds herself targeted by a
hooded man she recalls from childhood dreams. The stranger ties
her up and tapes needles under her eyes to force her to watch as
he kills and kills again.
is as logic-challenged as any of Argento's worst films. The
revelation of the killer is one of those moments that somehow
manages to make absolutely no sense but still seem predictable.
Marsillach isn't a particularly strong lead and the story quickly
falls into routine. It's rescued by some of Argento's most virtuosic
camerawork to date. From practically the opening scene, the camera
almost never stops moving, prowling through the opera house, soaring
through the air and turning every which way you can imagine.
Everything about Opera screams
quality, from the gorgeous production design to the rich soundtrack.
It's a shame the story is such a goof.
Once again, Blue Underground has simply ported over the previous
Anchor Bay release. The THX-certified disc looks and sounds
top-notch, especially in 6.1 DTS-ES. The 36-minute documentary
entitled Conducting Dario Argento's Opera
is very good, going into candid detail about the movie's production.
Other extras include trailers, an Argento bio and a music video from
Claudio Simonetti's Daemonia.
While Opera begins
promisingly and includes a number of moments that Argento fans will
appreciate, it can't sustain its intense pace for the duration.
Hampered by a weak story and a laughable coda sequence that'll have
you scratching your head, Opera
is recommended only for the director's most ardent admirers.
Film Rating: C+
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): A-/A-/B-
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