Welcome to Rearview Mirror, a monthly movie tower in which ns re-view and also then re-review a movie i have currently seen under the brand-new (and improved?) an important lens that 2020. Ns so happy you’re here.

You are watching: The mirror phantom of the opera

Loyal: together you are no doubt aware, having actually pored over each and every inch of my columns v Robert Mueller–like fastidiousness, Rearview winter is a monthly function in which i revisit a movie that premiered in theaters specifically ten, fifteen, or two decades ago, comparing my initial reaction as a passive movie customer to my current critical, analysis understanding. But this month’s item is a slight leave from the formula, a more comprehensive discussion pegged come the movie The Phantom the the Opera.

The Phantom of the Opera fight theaters in December, but due to the fact that it go into large release in January, and also for other reasons that I’ll get into shortly, ns writing around it now. Ns tried to find a movie celebrating a milestone anniversary this month, yet it was impossible. Typically speaking, studios relax their superhero blockbusters and franchise tentpoles in summer and award season fodder in November and December. January is the dead zone, the autumn month, the land of no return, abandon every hope ye that premiere here. Looking earlier on the January release of yesteryear, not only could I not find anything I wanted to compose about, i couldn’t even uncover anything I had seen. Think it or not, I never ever bought a ticket to book of Eli, and I doubt it’ll be any type of different because that this year Dolittle. January movies room bad and also everyone to know it. It is why they space January movies.

Phantom wasn’t a January movie, but it is bad. The sets and the to sing voices room pretty, however all that opulence is in business to a story so paperback-romance, Lifetime-movie-of-the-week, poorly-told-campfire-spooky-tale bananas the it’s virtually numbing. If friend aren’t acquainted with the plot (or also if girlfriend are), carry out yourself a favor and read Natalie Walker’s hysterical (and accurate) synopsis. In her recounting, walker lends the rigid a certain wry silliness that, unfortunately, the story does not actually have. Phantom takes itself deadly seriously. Not also Minnie Driver is enjoy it herself, and she’s claimed to it is in the comic relief. Emmy Rossum and Patrick Wilson room dutifully wooden and also wide-eyed, but if Gerard servant (Gerard Butler! together the Phantom!) walk something interesting in his audition, us can’t check out it, because fifty percent his confront is concealed by a mask. 

On stage, mask work can an obstacle both actor and audience to recognize a character with non-facial cues. ~ above film, masks yes, really only occupational if your personality is as big as Jim Carrey’s, and Butler’s is not. Director Joel Schumacher manages one genuinely exciting sequence, in which us are attracted into the Phantom’s underground lair by means of a boat in a tunnel lit through arm-shaped torches together minor chords ring out through a synthesizer. At the moment, it seems like possibly this stilted production can take a turn and also lean into the fear or camp of that all—but sadly, that never ever happens.

Like the movie, Phantom on stage is, in mine opinion, not good. Unlike the movie, Phantom on stage is still pertinent (and running), and is in fact the many successful musical in Broadway history. Previously, the document was hosted by Cats, an additional Andrew Lloyd Webber joint I never cared for. But it’s the reason I was so eager to uncover a means to write about Phantom this month: because of Cats.

When cats premiered critical month, the pans were swift and merciless. Cats has no plot. Cats is just character introductions. Cats is weirdly horny. Cats doesn’t make any kind of sense. Together a pan of traditional three-act structure, ns agreed. Yet as a fan of the good White Way, ns was livid. Didn’t these civilization know that the whole point of cats is that it’s just characters introducing themselves? that horny due to the fact that it’s an alleged to it is in horny! What in the goddamn hell did friend think a musical about cats would be? Why would certainly you go expecting anything various other than a mess? If girlfriend order a bowl of candy, friend can’t rotate up her nose once candy arrives, complain it’s not filet mignon.

Finding happiness in the miserable failures of Cats and also Phantom of the Opera isn’t disrespectful, that humane. Mirth is the kinder alternative to cruelty.

But cats has, if not nine, at least two lives. After a negative initial performance at the box office, it’s become something that a social curio, spawning memes and parodies and bringing audiences back to theaters for ironic 2nd screenings. “Watch it high” a friend newly commanded the team at a party. This weekend, I’ll be going come a “Rowdy” screening. Singing follow me is expected, nay, encouraged. When Phantom come out, we didn’t have the massive chatroom of society media.

I observed a tweet recently that said, “life is too quick to talk around books you don’t like.” I know the logic: there are so many an excellent books released every year, nothing waste time trashing the trash. Let it die a quiet fatality while you encourage what girlfriend like. The very same sentiment uses to movies; as soon as The Hollywood Reporter compiled a “worst movies of the year” list, many people said that was poor sportsmanship, in the not correct spirit, and also totally unnecessary. They were right.

But the thing is, it’s fun to talk shit around stuff girlfriend hate. The a bonding experience and also it’s funny. If friend spend hrs of her life reading a book and that book is bad, friend should be able to say come other civilization that the book is bad, and how bad, and also why. Finding happiness in the miserable failure of Cats and Phantom isn’t disrespectful, the humane. Mirth is the kinder alternate to cruelty. Choose the Twilight Saga or the Fifty Shades trilogy, Cats and Phantom space both type of a mess. They’re no good. Yet they’re fun to make funny of, begging the question: If a negative movie it is provided a great communal movie-watching/hating experience, is it yes, really bad?

The other reason ns will protect to death our unalienable best to be snarky, petty little bullies around bad movie is the the reverse of this conversation, the earnest attempt to glorify the ideal of the best, is even more odious. I’m not talking about lists of the best works that cinema or glowing reviews. Those room good, those space helpful. Ns talking about the Oscars. The goddamn Oscars, which don’t teach everyone anything and also never seem to issue for much longer than a weekend, also though we’re meant to invest the whole month coming before them tearing our hair the end over the nominees.

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Whatever! let the nerds stay their round gowns to an assembly whereby they hand each various other prizes because that bestest most special monologue. I’ll be with the cool kids, smoking cigarettes cloves under the bleachers (is that what cool kids do?) and rolling our eyes over how tough the theater dorks tried, so earnestly belting come an north room. Just how cringe, exactly how stupid, ns love it.

Life is short. Too quick to spend it the town hall crusty duration pieces for the sake of catching all the Best photo nominees (though actually, I favored 1917). Too quick to feeling bad about making funny of negative movies. Too brief to invest your job locked away beneath the Paris Opera house in a grotto v a life-sized figurine of the woman you love. Action out into the light and also make yourself known! Let loosened the chandelier of decorum! may it smash into a million pieces, as damaged as your inhibitions! Happy brand-new year! FL