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My feelings on RENT (the movie......)

robyn525600
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My feelings on RENT (the movie......)#0
Posted: 11/24/05 at 8:46am
First of all, let me say that I really did love it - my complaints are so few that it didn't ruin the movie for me. I thought Adam's acting has come a LONG way and in some cases, I thought he was the better actor out of the group. I also thought Wilson did a superb job. All in all, the entire cast was wonderful.

Now here are my issues:

1) They never tied up the storyline with Benny like they do in the stage version. I really missed that and one of my friends that saw it with me yesterday that knew nothing of the show, asked me what happened with them and Benny so it wasn't just me who was curious about why they left that out.

2) Did NOT like the engagment party scene. The movie was staying so true to the stage show and then that came out of left field. First of all, Maureen would have never done the whole getting on her knee in the street to propose, etc. and second, in 1990, same-sex engagement parties were not "in" and accepted, so to speak. It was just out of place for me.

3) They should have used "Love Heals" in the closing credits - would have been the perfect song to end it after all, it was love that "healed" Mimi. And the "Thank You Jonathan Larson" should have been when the screen went black BEFORE the closing credits - not at the very end when the theater was empty.

4) And last but not least....WHY, OH WHY was "Goodbye Love" cut???????????? I was MAD about that. That is one of the most beautiful songs in the score - especially the end when Mimi succombs to the disease after Roger leaves.

But like I said, very few complaints and it won't stop me from seeing it again and again! : )
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away."
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re: My feelings on RENT (the movie......)#1
Posted: 11/24/05 at 9:59am
My thoughts:

***
November 23, 2005
Columbus' 'Rent' Touches The Heart And Inspires The Mind
By Andrew Hartman, MovieMusicals.net
Status: Review

Hardly flawless, though ultimately moving, Chris Columbus has turned 'Rent' into a lovely film that touches the heart and inspires the mind.

I am one of those people who never saw the stage musical, but have listened to the cast recording a small number of times. Sharing my thoughts with the film after both seeing a matinee and evening showing, my Renthead friends told me that a lot of issues I had could be resolved if I see the stage musical, which brings me to problem number one.

I enjoy Chris Columbus' work - a director who is generally disliked in Hollywood. However for 'Rent,' I was half-disappointed. In several interviews Columbus stated he had seen the stage version numerous times, giving myself and thousands of Rentheads some much-needed relief. The end result, however, did not live up to the acclaim the stage version had gotten.

A brilliant choice in Columbus' and Steve Chobsky's adaptation, however, is the placement of "Seasons of Love." The song in the stage production opens the second act of the show after the intermission. On the screen it serves as an opener to the film, telling the audience "here is our story about a year of love and death," followed by a moment of a black screen. Okay, let's have it. Tell the story.

Columbus gets many moments, some brilliantly, but a lot of times they do not transition well. After several of the songs are awkward silences where the song's music comes to an end and there is no dialogue. Deadly brief pauses fill this void where it feels like applause should be inserted; but this is film, not live theater where traditional applause is expected.

The real major problem is that first half of the film is spotty - some songs even leading nowhere in the storyline. As much as I love the song and its fun choreography, "Santa Fe" was not needed and slowed down the story's pace. The film really takes off after the "La Vie Boheme" number. From this moment on you are fully taken in until nearly the end. The pace is now perfect and moves along beautifully. The lengthy introduction of the characters and their relationships have finally built to some powerful storytelling that sinks into your heart.

That is, until very end of the film. In the final scene, a dying Mimi shares her final moments with her friends, including boyfriend Roger. Roger embraces her lifeless body with one last kiss and hug, then gently lays her back down. All are in tears as the camera zooms onto the arm in which Mimi had been using to "shoot up" with throughout the film. Suddenly, a twitch of two fingers. A cough. Then Mimi sits up. She is well again! And this is the part where myself and many other moviegoers couldn't help but chuckle. This fake, unrealistic turn of events is out of place and confusing - and in this single moment, the movie was ruined for me. Nothing was believable anymore. Quick Mark! Turn that projector on and let's all watch your movie together! Needless to say, Mimi's miraculous recovery was quite deceiving and a big turn-off from my experience in enjoying the movie.

Ultimately, however, all is forgiven in the end, as I left the theatre with tears in my eyes and a song in my heart - many songs. Both times I saw the film the showings were sold out. Several times the audience would applaud, and sometimes one could hear voices singing along with the cast during "La Vie Boheme," "Seasons of Love," and other parts.

It must be said, too, that in no other film I have seen in theatres have I heard this much sobbing from the audience. The sniffling echoed from row to row. The breaths were long and heavy. And then there were those who left. The first time I saw the film two audience members left, and the second time four people.

Of all performances in the film, surprisingly I was most impressed by the one leading performer who had the least time with 'Rent' - that of Rosario Dawson. A deceptive and sexy beauty with an angelic quality, Dawson, despite her final moments in the film, provided a wonderful performance in her movie musical debut. Tracie Thoms, the other 'Rent' newbie, gave us a very solid "Joanne" - I'm sure every Renthead will quickly welcome her into the family. My favorite performance, though, is that of Anthony Rapp who plays "Mark." Perhaps a tad goofy for film, still I thought he set the mood for every scene perfectly. He is the glue that holds the film together. I must - must! - also praise Wilson Jermaine Heredia and Jesse L. Martin for their work in the film. Their relationship was more truthful than that of the heterosexual couple, Roger and Mimi, and lesbian couple Maureen and Joanne. Idina Menzel has a powerhouse voice, her best moment was "Take Me Or Leave Me" in a singing duel with Tracie Thoms. Before going to the film, I thought I would have enjoyed Adam Pascal the most. I had seen him in Aida and was very much looking forward to seeing him in the first show that made his name known in the theatre community. Sadly, I was disappointed. His performance was too small on camera. I'm sure on the stage he was a treasure, but somehow he lacks that special something that works on film. His vocals are great and his portrayal of the character was spot on. It just wasn't big enough. And finally, there is "Benny" played by Taye Diggs. I do not understand why he is on the movie poster and has his own CD cover. His role was not large enough by any means. Although quite brilliant, the role of "Benny" was simply a device character put into the story to setup obstacles.

I give the film 7 out of 10 stars. An enjoyable film, but with several flaws that detract from what would have been QUITE a movie.

And in a final note, I was shocked and saddened that Jonathan Larson, the composer, lyricist, and writer of the stage musical of Rent who died tragically the night before the show opened in previews, only received recognition at the end of the film - the very end - after the credits. The final words read "Thank You, Jonathan Larson."

Now the non-theatre goers and those unfamiliar with Rent's story won't know about Larson. 95% of the audience during both screenings left during the credits. If this man is the reason why this Pulitzer- and Tony-winning cult-starting musical was turned into a film, why not flash a tribute of "In Loving Memory To Jonathan Larson" before the film begins? Or even after the "Seasons of Love" number in the beginning of the movie? I do not understand. If someone wishes to enlighten me, e-mail andrew@moviemusicals.net and I'll post your answers in an upcoming article.
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
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Marquise
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re: My feelings on RENT (the movie......)#2
Posted: 11/24/05 at 10:44am
"That is, until very end of the film. In the final scene, a dying Mimi shares her final moments with her friends, including boyfriend Roger. Roger embraces her lifeless body with one last kiss and hug, then gently lays her back down. All are in tears as the camera zooms onto the arm in which Mimi had been using to "shoot up" with throughout the film. Suddenly, a twitch of two fingers. A cough. Then Mimi sits up. She is well again! And this is the part where myself and many other moviegoers couldn't help but chuckle. This fake, unrealistic turn of events is out of place and confusing - and in this single moment, the movie was ruined for me.

I don't *get* this reviewer at all. He states he wishes the film were more closer to what made the show a success but he complains about the ending? The movie ended the same exact way the show ended. Would he have preferred it if Columbus deviated from the original source material and killed her off in the end and then have Mark turn on the projector?

Still, I'm glad he liked Rosario. Seems she's really blowing everyone away in this film. Can't wait to see it.

Updated On: 11/24/05 at 10:44 AM
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re: My feelings on RENT (the movie......)#3
Posted: 11/24/05 at 10:47am
Hmmm you should really see it before you take offense to any of the reviews. You may find yourself agreeing (or disagreeing) with points made. Even I was surprised by some of what I saw, and I followed the film's production pretty closely.
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re: My feelings on RENT (the movie......)#4
Posted: 11/24/05 at 10:48am
Marquise,

That reviewer would be me. re: My feelings on RENT (the movie......)

I stated in the beginning I hadn't seen the stage version. I was hoping that the film version would be just as good as the stage version. But I'm told the stage version is better from my Renthead friends.

If that is what happens on stage, Mimi suddenly is all better again, then I hope it works better in the show. On film, it was very deceiving and unrealistic. If RENT isn't supposed to be realistic, then why was it up until this point?
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
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Marquise
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re: My feelings on RENT (the movie......)#5
Posted: 11/24/05 at 10:50am
Evelyn I wasn't so much taking offense ao much as making an observation. Stop putting words *in my mouth* please. It is not appreciated.

P.S.: Stop being a drama queen.
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re: My feelings on RENT (the movie......)#6
Posted: 11/24/05 at 10:51am
"On film, it was very deceiving and unrealistic."

I agree. It was also very strange to have Joanne, Collins, Mark and Maureen huddled in the very rear of the shot and doing nothing (but crying in Joanne's case) as Mimi died. Realistically, her near death experience wouldn't be an intimate moment between her and her boyfriend with her friends still in the same room with her. Her friends (if that's what they really were) would do more to help her.
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re: My feelings on RENT (the movie......)#7
Posted: 11/24/05 at 10:52am
Cap'n Hook I apologize. I misread your review. Now it makes sense. I posted my response believeing you had seen the original stage show.

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re: My feelings on RENT (the movie......)#8
Posted: 11/24/05 at 11:23am
No problem. I think it's my writing, too. I'm trying to get my edjewcation in journalism.
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
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re: My feelings on RENT (the movie......)#9
Posted: 11/24/05 at 4:21pm
i was expecting the second coming from what i saw on this site. boy was i let down.



it was great
::bust a move::
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EverythingIsRENT
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re: My feelings on RENT (the movie......)#10
Posted: 11/24/05 at 4:31pm
Mimi is harldy "well" ast the end. Didn't you see her face? she looked like s**t warmed over! The point was that she and Roger HAD that one more moment together.
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re: My feelings on RENT (the movie......)#11
Posted: 11/24/05 at 4:39pm
My main problem wwas that Goodbye Love wasn't in the movie. Other than that everything else seemed fine.

The entire time during Without You gave me chills. Especially when the people started disapearing from their chairs. And then when Collins and Angel were in the hospital bed together, that part was so sad.

Its a lot of hard work to put a broadway production into movies, put this one did a great job.
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