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Author Topic: Rent!
Dragon
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Has there seriously not been a thread about it yet??

Rent the movie is out! I just saw it this morning! It's AMAZING.


Anyone else seen it yet? Anyone who saw it on broadway? I didn't but my friends who have seen the live version said they liked the changes that were made...

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The Pixiest
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I saw "Lease"
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Dragon
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lol
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Uprooted
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Don't get out to the movies much, but saw the trailer maybe 3 months ago and it had me singing along for days afterwards. Maybe I'll have to get out to see it! Plus I like that guy who plays Ed Green on Law & Order (sorry, don't know actor's name).
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Aerto
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Law and Order actor: Jesse Martin
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desta
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I plan on seeing it tomorrow after the thanksgiving festivities.
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Fyfe
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Oh my God. So good. I saw it with Toretha and Avadaru, and Ava and I went mad with glee and we're seeing it again in a couple of hours. It has supplanted all my favorite movies in my affections and I was so impressed. Jesse Martin blew me away with his excellence, and Idina Menzel was a delight, and "I'll Cover You" was one of the most touching scenes I've ever seen, ever. And it was amazing. I must shriek with glee.

Also, when I was getting back in my car with my sisters, some random dude gave us some songs he had written and we told him how good Rent was, and we all felt very happy about the whole situation.

So I'm very very happy!

Jen

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Avadaru
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OMG, Fyfe's right. It was so incredibly amazing. My Rent obsession began in 8th grade (about 6 years ago) and I was terribly worried that the movie would not live up to my expectations, but it DID, and surpassed them. I was blown away. So moving....it's a completely different experience than seeing it live, but...I'm almost not sure which I prefer! Gah...just....incredible. Even if you don't know the musical, you should still see it. It's beautiful.
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divaesefani
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I saw it tonight. Loved it. I have a more detailed post about it on pweb.

Just for reference, I've seen the stage production a total of 5 times.

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Speed
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I haven't seen the movie yet, but every time I go to Best Buy they play "Seasons of Love" about three times before I leave, and it drives me nuts. I haven't been that irritated by a song since Jennifer Love Hewitt's hit single came out.

I'm sure the movie's great, but if I ever go see it I'm going to have to bring a discman so that I can play something slightly less annoying during that song, like maybe Wesley Willis' "Rock and Roll McDonalds," or the sound of Celine Dion being vivisected.

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Avadaru
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I just got back from seeing it again, and wow. It's just wonderful.

This is what I posted in my livejournal to express my feelings about Rent and explain how I came to love it so much (sorry, kinda long):

6 years ago, my sister Rachael and I went shopping at Old Navy. I was in eighth grade and idolized everything my big sister did - I wanted to be just like her - I wanted her clothes, her hair, her music, everything. She popped in a tape she had made and I was given my first introduction to Rent. I didn't really get the story since I only heard a few songs, but they stuck with me, and for weeks to come I was humming "What You Own" and softly singing "...and it's beginning to snow...." wherever I went. My mom thought the soundtrack was too grown-up for me and so she wouldn't let me get it, but I begged and Rae pleaded my case, and she relented. Rent was mine, and for months I listened to nothing else. Some nights I would fall asleep with my headphones on. I learned every song, every note, everything there was to know about the music.

Now, years later, I've seen the show live three times, worn out my discs to the point that they very rarely play without a few skips, sewn my own "Rent" shirt (and worn it more than any other item in my wardrobe, I'm pretty sure), and never once been able to listen to the entire soundtrack all the way through without crying just a little bit. I own the official companion book. Jenny and I even sat on the hood of my car in the Barnes and Noble parking lot one evening, and sang through the whole show.

It changed my life, somehow, in nearly every aspect of how I think and view the world. Nothing else has impacted me as much as this one production.

So, you can understand why I was a bit apprehensive about the show's transition to the big screen. Sure, they had the entire (well, minus two) original Broadway cast, a director that I generally like, and plenty of hype, but a lot can change in production.

I guess I shouldn't have been worried. I've seen it twice today, and it surpassed my expectations, it was marvelous, and beautiful, and magical. The voices and songs that were so familiar to me were made into whole people, up close and personal, and blended together faultlessly to tell an amazing love story. I cried, I laughed, I clapped, I wanted to sing along. The film was as true to the the musical as it could have been, and the performances were incredible.

If you aren't familiar with Rent, go see it anyway. You'll fall in love, and if you aren't already among the leagues of the "Rentheads" that filled the theatres today, maybe you'll become one of them.

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divaesefani
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That was beautiful, Avadaru. It reminds me so much of my own passion for the show. It changed my life, too. Thank you for your love of this, my favorite show.

P.S. Where/when did you see the show? I saw the Angel tour in Denver in 98 and 99, the Benny tour in Colorado Springs in April 2000 and the Benny tour again twice in Denver in October of 2000.

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esl
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I saw it on Wednesday.. it actually did not meet my expectations. Keep in mind, I haven't liked either of the musical to movies I've seen. :shrug:

So I easily say that I like the theater version more. only seen that once though. But I will definitely go again. And despite not liking the movie version, I am going again when it gets to four dollar Tuesday at the theaters near school. Part of not liking the movie was the fact that I was sitting too close (underestimated the crowd) so I want to see it again when the screen and actors aren't so close to my face. Wow, I like the musical enough to watch the movie that I don't like for a second time. Mostly, I didn't like the changes. Some were good but the ones I don't like really stand out.

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the_Somalian
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I'm trying to take this girl to go see it but so far our schedules aren't making that possible, and I'm not seeing it alone.

I do want to see it, though.

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ReikoDemosthenes
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I got to see it tonight. Wow. Wow. I'm just amazed and in love. Aside from a two sentence synopsis and knowing it was a musical, I had no clue what it was. So. Good.
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KarlEd
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I saw it last night with Chris. Chris, who has never seen the musical on stage, really liked it. I was disappointed. If you haven't seen it and want a fresh view when you do, stop reading now.

First, the singing was very very good. The way some of the musical numbers was staged was innovative and made good use of the greater liberties one can take on film that would be impossible on the stage. That said, Chris Columbus just proves he has no concept of subtlety or of how to direct stage actors in film. Most of the actors acted like they were trying to be seen by viewers sitting 100 yards away from them in the nose-bleed seats in a huge broadway theater. This is not only unnecessary in film, but translates as scenery-chewing when the camera is intimately close to the actors. Their gestures often came across as oddly grandiose and up close you could see them singing as if they were trying to project to a full theater. Totally unnecessary and distracting in film.

One thing I really liked about the broadway play that didn't have to be changed was that nearly every word of it was sung. Even the exposition between musical numbers was sung, often to eclectic little bridge-tunes that connected scenes. It gave the staged version an operatic feeling, and it makes the broadway cast recording priceless, as listening to it is almost like watching the whole play. Chris Columbus somehow saw the need to just discard all of that and have the connecting dialog between numbers simply spoken. I can't for the life of me understand why. To me it was a huge element that made up for the lack of detailed exposition between plot points in the original and makes the movie seem more like a loosely connected series of music videos.

Thankfully, the power of the music saves this movie from being a complete waste. I was disappointed because watching it I thought it could have been so much more than it was. But had I known the director was Chris Columbus, I probably would have been better prepared for disappointment. His hallmark is mere adequacy in story telling on his good days.

But go see it. If you've never seen the original on stage, or if you are an MTV-head you might not notice how it misses the bar.

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Raia
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It's so fantabulous, I cried so hard!
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Leonide
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<-agrees whole-heartedly with Karl

Anything else wrong or right with the movie aside -- did anyone REALLY like Roger standing on top of a Santa Fe MESA in his own little cheesy music video? Really? Anyone?

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ifmyheartcouldbeat
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Poor college kids have trouble seeing movies they really want to see..i spent my last few pennies on Harry potter (well spent might I add) but i'm dieing to see RENT!! can anyone spare a few ?? [Razz]
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divaesefani
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The mesa was beyond cheesy. Bad 80's music video.

As for all the negatives being preached here, for those of us who have not seen the show in over 5 years and have absolutely no opportunities to do so in the near future (or ever again? It's not cheap to take a trip to NY!), this movie means everything for us. It brings back all the passion that made me back then. It gives me the chance to share with my husband, who has never seen the stage production, the reasons why I am who he married. After seeing the movie this week, he has a deeper understanding of me.

Is the movie the greatest movie ever made? No. It has problems. They freaking cut out my favorite song (Halloween). But for me, this is a chance to have RENT as a part of my life for the rest of my life, if I want to. I can watch the show any time I want and the picture is not obstructed or fuzzy! I have my memories of the perfection I once saw, and those memories are much easier recalled now that I have a trigger for them. That's why I love it.

Heart, if you were in Colorado, I'd take you to see it [Smile]

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Leonide
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she was born in colorado, does that count? [Wink]
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Goody Scrivener
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Diva, I know it's not NYC, but the stage production will be in Chicago in April according to www.broadwayinchicago.com . The dates on www.rentthetour.com don't match the Broadway in Chicago schedule, though, so I don't know if it's still showing a prior tour or if BinC is wrong.
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divaesefani
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rentthetour is definitely out of date. So far, no theatres in Colorado are listing dates. The last tour skipped over us for a long time, then came the first week of my new job, so I couldn't take off. We'll see if anything turns up with this tour.

Thanks for your help, Goody.

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Raia
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quote:
Originally posted by Leonide:
<-agrees whole-heartedly with Karl

Anything else wrong or right with the movie aside -- did anyone REALLY like Roger standing on top of a Santa Fe MESA in his own little cheesy music video? Really? Anyone?

Ugh. I hated that part.

I was also a little upset that my favorite sung exchanges were spoken dialogues, but I guess they had to do that to make a more realistic movie.

Also, no way would two parents be so accepting of a lesbian engagement as to throw a party in 1989. Pshht.

But besides that, I loved it. [Smile]

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fugu13
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Raia, there have been lots of homosexual people forming lasting couples for decades in the US (and at least small numbers for as far back as you care to go in history), and plenty of family members supporting them. The preponderance is not the rule [Smile] .

I have a pair of aunts who have been together since only a couple years after that, and my grandparents would have been perfectly happy to throw a party if they wished to get engaged; they did have a gathering to welcome the new family member.

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Raia
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It just seemed very unlikely in this particular scenario; plus, it was totally a director's addition, and wasn't in the original plot. [Smile]
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divaesefani
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The engagement party itself was not part of the original plot, but Joanne's parents being accepting of her being a lesbian is, as evidenced in "We're Okay".
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Sartorius
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But the play is set in 1996, which makes the acceptance of Joanne's parents more believable.
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Raia
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I'm not saying they didn't originally accept it, just that there's no way the families would have collaborated and thrown them a party in 1989. But come to think of it, I didn't quite remember the play being set in 1989 either, Sartorius! That would explain why.
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Speed 2: Cruise Control
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According to this, the play/movie is set in 1989. I don't know much at all about it personally, but the AV Club at least seems to be on Raia's side.

Just thought I'd throw that out. [Smile]

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Raia
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Hehe, I didn't even mean to have a "side"... sorry guys. But thanks for the link, Cruise Control. [Smile] I was just making a comment!
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Sartorius
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From Eric Snider's review:

quote:
Here's an easy one to get us started: While the play is set in the present (i.e., 1996, when it premiered), the movie is set in 1989. There are cultural reasons why this is a mistake that I'll get into later, but for now I'll just say that if you're going to set your film in 1989, you'd probably better take out the reference to "Thelma & Louise," which didn't come out until 1991. I'm just sayin'.

Here's the link.

I've always understood the play to be set in 1996, and I've been a RENThead for half my life. Not that it matters much. If the movie's good, it's good, and if not...I will cry.

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divaesefani
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It wasn't set in 1996. It wasn't writen to be in the "future." Jonathan finished the first draft of the script in 1992 and it was staged for the first time in 1994. I'm not saying that it was originally 1989, but it couldn't have been 1996 either.
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Avadaru
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I've always assumed it to be set in 1996, or at least in the mid-to-late-90's, as well. The timing is much more correct than 1989, for a lot of reasons. Singing about the end of the millennium, Alexi giving out an e-mail address in addition to a pager, cell phone, etc, singing about a 3-D IMAX screen (which wasn't included in the movie, and actually came out in '98), and just various little hints. I've combed the entire book looking for anything definitive about when the play was set, and the timing is never actually stated, but there is a lot of evidence that points to it being set in the mid-90's. Yes, the play's original draft was finished in '92, but Larson himself stated that the play evolved hugely from that first draft to the version that premiered in '96, so maybe it started off in the late 80's-early 90's, but I don't think that's where the final draft ended up. Just my opinion. [Smile]
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KarlEd
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Well, there is a song with the lyrics that reference "living in America at the end of the millennium". That's a little bit of a stretch to be singing a decade before "the end".

In any case, I really like the original material. All the stuff I didn't like about the movie was pure Chris Columbus.

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Raia
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Sartorius, if it's good, you'll cry anyway. [Smile]
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divaesefani
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Avadaru, I agree with you about evidence pointing to the mid-90's.

I don't think broadway show was supposed to be set in 1989, but I don't think it was 1996 either. I don't think as it evolved from it's 1992 form that it evolved to be set in a year where Jonathan wasn't even alive for a whole month of. I think it is mid-90's, not the late-80's, or late-90's. My opinion. [Smile]

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Sartorius
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I'm already crying in my little heart because if a certain person REALLY wanted me he would have taken me to this movie, and he didn't, so he doesn't. Which is neither here nor there.
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Glenn Arnold
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How many rentheads have seen La Boheme?

Yes, I thought it was fantastic. I've never seen the broadway production. Maybe I will, now.

Who were the two cast members that were replaced?

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Fyfe
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Joanne and Mimi, and they were both good in the movie. I've seen La Boheme, but not for umpteen years--I saw it in eighth grade or so at the local college, and not since. Not the hugest opera fan.

Jen

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Shanna
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I've seen La Boheme. Actually saw it before I saw RENT. It was my first opera and I enjoyed it, but seeing other shows since I've decided that it wasn't my favorite. I chalk some of that up to the opera company rather than actual show and music.

As far as the timeline issue goes, I think 1989/90 sounds fine. The transition into the 90s would have been an excellent time to reflect on the fact that there was only one decade left in the century. The Thelma&Louise line would certainly better place it 1991/92 but its better than trying to place in 1998 or anything.

The oddest song-dialogue change was the Mark and waiter discussion. Sounded much cooler in the the faster song version. I was glad to see it in the movie at all, but it was awkward cause its a favorite scene of mine. That and the bit with the bag-lady. Another great moment. I understand that there's no way to keep those two part in song form, but its still sad.

Columbus lost big points with me when he cut the Mark-Roger fight in "Goodbye Love."

Okay movie but I think it was the wrong director choice if they wanted to maintain the edgy spirit and humor of RENT. It makes me cringe thinking about how far Columbus missed the joke of "Over the Moon."

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