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Rad Says, in 1-31-2010 at 18:10:04 from     

I thought it was entertaining .. But it was so boring that I stopped halfway through .. They might have made best representation of the show in Blue ray .. But enetertainment value is 0 for me.
Rating: 2 / 5

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Anthony Burgos Says, in 1-31-2010 at 21:09:11 from     

Rent…What can I say? This hit Broadway play has changed the genre forever. Created by a talented man by the name of Johnathan Larson “Rent” is about friends who live in the Lower East Side and deal with everyday things such as not having money, falling in love and dealing with AIDS. This opened young peoples eyes to the epidemic known as Aids. It showed us what Aids does to you and what you go through. In this story of friendship we have Angel, Mimi, Roger, Maureen, Roger, Mark, Joann and Collins. We go through their struggles in life. I saw this on stage before it closed in September and I was pleased with the way it was done. The songs were amazing and the cast was outstanding. Now I also seen this in the movies and I felt like it was new. The cameras zoomed in on the characters and I seen facial expressions I couldnt see at the play. That to me added to the experience and made it much more emotional for me. I am happy that it;s coming to DVD and Blu Ray cause now when I have kids I can share this amazing hit with them everyday. This is a must have for us Rent Heads. Thank you Johnathan Larson for something that I will cherish till the day I die. NO DAY BUT TODAY….
Rating: 5 / 5

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J. Heidt Says, in 1-31-2010 at 22:10:49 from     

I have seen the musical RENT three times now (fourth time when it comes to my city in May). I also saw this film last September when it was released under the Sony HOT TICKET. It was amazing and fabulous and heartwrenching, and everything I hoped it would be. I loved every second of this movie and my daughters and I cried all the way through the credits. I can’t wait.
Rating: 5 / 5

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Matthew T. Weflen Says, in 1-31-2010 at 22:52:25 from     

My wife is a bigger fan of musicals than I am. I enjoy them now and again, though. So while I went into this Blu-Ray thinking “well, this is one for the wife,” I came away having definitely enjoyed the show on both technical and artistic levels.

First, the program itself:

“Rent” is a wildly successful musical for a good reason. It has very enjoyable songs, a plot which is easy to relate to, and a certain “cool factor” which is undeniable. The extra features on the disc also go into some of the other aspects which made it such a success – its unique venue in NY, the tight knit cast and crew, etc.

I will say, being a complete “Rent” neophyte, I came away with ambiguous feelings about the message of the show. I mean, sure, appreciating your family (whether adopted or otherwise) and enjoying the present moment without wallowing in regrets are probably pretty good things. But what about making good, solid choices in terms of your lifestyle in the first place? Given the drug use and promiscuous sex (gay or straight, whatever your pleasure is fine by me) portrayed, is it any mystery why many of the characters suffer from AIDS and drug addictions? It may be telling that the characters who make what are likely the most “conservative” choices (the filmmaker, the landlord) are the ones who are portrayed least favorably.

In the end, I might be worried about the messages this sends to young viewers, and I’d probably wait until a child was 12 or 13 before exposing them to this. A kid would need the ability to critically analyze characters and compare them to his or her life before I would let them watch something which seems at times to glorify lifestyle choices that put their adherents in danger of disease, homelessness, addiction, etc. Compare a show like “Chicago” – although it follows characters who perform many dastardly deeds in seeking fame, such behavior always earns its comeuppance in the end, and there is a very dark satirical edge to it. This complexity seems missing, here.

Anyway, for an adult audience, this is certainly a good show with many memorable character moments, scenes, dances, and songs. It’s quite dazzling and contains very high-quality singing. It definitely ranks up there as one of the better Broadway shows I’ve seen.

The Blu-Ray:

WOW! This is in the top tier of Blu-Ray discs I’ve viewed. Detail is crisp and consistent without being over-processed, colors really pop (owing in part to the dark backdrops), and the sound is immersive. This presentation is reminiscent of very good HD concert footage you might find on Over-The-Air HDTV or on premium cable channels like HDNET – but even better still, since Blu-Ray allows for less compression of the source material.

You should definitely make sure your TV or projector are well-calibrated – this is a disc with a LOT of black on the screen at any given time. If your brightness levels and gamma are not set well, a digital display can easily crush a lot of the detail in dark parts of the screen. I would recommend, short of buying a calibration disc such as “Digital Video Essentials,” that you at least pop in a Lucasfilm DVD (e.g. Star Wars, Indiana Jones) to use the “THX Optimizer.” This way, you can ensure that you will see all of the dazzling detail that this disc has to offer.

Supplements are very nice and give a good feel for the background of the show. The supplements are in HD as well, which is a nice bonus compared to many companies’ tacked-on DVD leftovers.

I do have questions about the idea of filming a Broadway show – while sometimes a closeup on a face can give a good aspect to the performance, other times, closeups really detract from a contextual viewing of the entire stage, which would be the viewer’s experience live. On the whole, I guess it weighs out in favor of the good – live, you might be stuck behind someone’s head or have a bad angle for certain parts of the stage.

In summary, this is a total no-brainer for any fan of the show who has a good HD setup at home. The detail and immersion are absolutely top-notch.

For someone who is a bit milder a musical fan (like me) there is a lot to like in this disc, in terms of technical excellence as well as artistic merit. So, where my wife might give it 5 stars, I would give it 4. A good, solid Blu-Ray to own.
Rating: 4 / 5

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RENT Head Says, in 1-31-2010 at 23:33:16 from     

Finally, what RENTheads have long been waiting for. A filmed production of Rent. This is as close to the stage production you’re going to get without actually being in a theater. My only complaint is that I’m not too fond of the way Mimi comes off. Rather than the fun, flirtatious, rough-around-the-edges Mimi I have come to know and love, this Mimi appears often angry with a voice that is almost too polished for the part. The rest of the cast is stellar. Despite my views on Mimi, I can’t wait to own this disc!

VIVA LA VIE BOHEME!
Rating: 4 / 5

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