It hasn't yet been 525,600 minutes since "Rent" left the stage, but fans can measure their love for it RZ AVI TO DVD CREATOR while watching a new DVD of the final performance of the hugely popular musical.
"Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway" features the final days of the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony-winning musical in September 2008 after a 12-year run. It documents the music, it documents the love and does so in a way that is far more fitting than the dreary film version from 2005.
One cast member notes RZ AVI TO DVD CREATOR, ironically, that filming a stage performance kind of defeats the purpose of live theater. That's certainly true RZ SUPER DVD CREATOR, but it's an energetic production that doesn't just park one camera in front of the stage as if it's a member of the audience.
"Rent" is a story of love and loss, connecting to audiences with its messages of seizing the day and "being an us instead of a them RZ AVI TO DVD CREATOR." Starving artists struggle to get by in New York, dealing with the potential loss of their own ideals and the loss of loved ones from AIDS. It made stars of many of the original cast, including Taye Diggs, Jesse L. Martin and Idina Menzel.
The show had a dramatic back story of its own, with its 35-year-old creator, Jonathan Larson, dying of a heart ailment the night before it premiered off Broadway. It's hard not to get a little choked up in the extras when you see the connection Larson's parents still have with the show, cast and crew.
The DVD catches the frenzy of the stage show RZ AVI TO DVD CREATOR, but the multiple cameras lasso it in a little bit, too. What can come off onstage as a mass of activity becomes much more personal, although all the quick cutting seems a little overdone in the show's quieter moments.
Bonus features include a retrospective documentary, "The Final Days on Broadway"; "The Final Curtain Call," with past and present cast members singing "Seasons of Love"; "The Wall," a look at the backstage wall of autographs (Molly Ringwald! Gary Sinise!); and "The Final Lottery," about the fans who hoped to be chosen to sit in the first two rows of the final Sept. 7 show. The Blu-ray disc includes an additional featurette about casting the show over the years.
The RZ AVI TO DVD CREATOR featurettes aren't so much for the uninitiated but for the fans. Newcomers to the show might be advised to check out the 2005 "Rent" - RZ AVI TO DVD CREATOR -- skip the movie but watch the bonus features.
The "Rent" release tops off a recent flurry for musical fans of all kinds. "Rent" fans learned a while back that Neil Patrick Harris can sing RZ AVI TO DVD CREATOR (he was Mark in an L.A. production), and even more learned that this summer with the Web hit "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," which also recently came to DVD and was the latest installment of the Majestic Theatre's "Brew and View" series earlier this week.
"Dr. Horrible" was the brainchild of Joss Whedon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") and his brothers during the writers' strike last year. They created RZ AVI TO DVD CREATOR three 15-minute Web-only musical productions, with the first debuting last July. It got 1,000 hits per second and crashed the site. It continued on via the Web, music downloads and a CD.
Deservedly so. With Harris as the would-be evil genius who can't quite win the girl and Nathan Fillion ("Firefly") as the dim-witted superhero, "Dr. Horrible" is clever, original and full of catchy tunes. The DVD features a commentary track that's a musical itself ("Moments like these sell DVDs. We need to sell more.") that provides the perfect blend of self-awareness and plain old fun.
The curse of self-awareness descends upon "Repo! The Genetic Opera."
This slasher rock musical (from the makers of "Saw" films) tries so hard to be RZ AVI TO DVD CREATOR out there, it would almost be precious if it weren't so bloody. There's a huge difference in being a cult/midnight movie and trying to be a cult/midnight movie; only time will tell if midnight moviegoers take the bait.
"Repo!" is a futuristic musical about genetics and body parts and blood and greedy family members and a bleak world where everyone dresses in black because, as we all know, no one ever dresses in pastels in the future. Paris Hilton's face falls off, Sarah Brightman lends her operatic soprano and "Buffy" regular Anthony Head -- a Brit -- tries his best as the organ repossessor to make sure it's all a bloody good time.
Self-awareness also flies off the screen with the long-awaited DVD release of "Yentl," but how can it not? It's RZ AVI TO DVD CREATOR Barbra Streisand.
The 1983 film, with Streisand playing a young woman pretending to be a boy in order to pursue religious studies, was clearly a labor of love for her then and now. It was her directorial debut and a sweeping period piece co-starring Mandy Patinkin and Amy Irving.
Unlike many Streisand films, in which she's not much of a participant in the DVD RZ AVI TO DVD CREATOR extras, Babs is all over this one. Or these two, as it happens, since the two-disc set includes the theatrical release and the director's cut, both with Streisand's commentary. She also filmed introductions to the film and all the extras, including two songs she sings that were not included in the final version of the movie.
The strangest extra is a letter signed by the crew of the film stating that despite some adverse press coverage suggesting that Streisand might be something of a control freak, she was actually wonderful and captivating to work with. There is also a collection of big thumbs-ups from the nation's critics at the time.
Those "See, people liked it!" elements seem strange to a film that never reached the pantheons of other great MGM musicals. Then again, if the often-cranky Pauline Kael described anybody's work as "glorious," as she did RZ AVI TO DVD CREATOR with Babs in "Yentl," that's worth singing about -- even 25 years after the fact.