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Dario Argento: Opera

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Overview

Director Dario Argento's Opera is genuinely considered by fans as the maestro's last great horror film thus far. Since this film was originally released in 1987, Argento's output has been occasionally inspired, but on the whole has lacked the imagination, sadism, and sheer cinematic style that colored his best films. Opera was intended as Argento's return to the brutal style of the giallo genre (his first four films were psychological thrillers of this sort), while incorporating some of the more baroque ...
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Overview

Director Dario Argento's Opera is genuinely considered by fans as the maestro's last great horror film thus far. Since this film was originally released in 1987, Argento's output has been occasionally inspired, but on the whole has lacked the imagination, sadism, and sheer cinematic style that colored his best films. Opera was intended as Argento's return to the brutal style of the giallo genre (his first four films were psychological thrillers of this sort), while incorporating some of the more baroque flourishes of his supernatural offerings (namely Suspiria and Inferno). Anchor Bay Entertainment's disc is a fabulous addition to their Dario Argento collection. Totally uncut and presented in the widescreen format of 2.35:1, the disc is sure to please even the director's most demanding fans. The picture is crisp and sharp throughout, easily making it the best this film has looked on video (it had originally been available as a pan-and-scan VHS tape). Since much of Argento's cinematic power relies on the image as well as sound, it is imperative that his films be showcased in the best possible way for home viewing. The disc has also been remixed with an incredible 5.1 Dolby Digital track, a two-channel Dolby Digital track, as well as 6.1 DTS option. As with the Anchor Bay release of the above mentioned Suspiria, this disc also includes a terrific 36-minute documentary chronicling the sometime tumultuous filming, as well as some of the strange occurrences that transpired during the production. Actress Daria Nicolodi also speaks openly about her uneasiness about filming her character's death scene in the film (and how she almost went blind in the process), since she was not on the best of terms with her ex-husband Dario, while cinematographer Ronnie Taylor, music composer (and founding member of the prog-rock band Goblin) Claudio Simonetti, and others all add their two-cents as well. Required viewing indeed. The disc also contains two theatrical trailers and a daft music video.
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Special Features

Widescreen presentation enhanced for 16x9 TVs; Conducting Dario Argento's Opera, an all-new documentary featuring interviews with the Dario Argento, Ronnie Taylor, Sergio Stivaletti, Claudio Simonetti, Daria Nicolodi, and Urbano Barberini; theatrical trailers; Daemonia music video.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Italian horror director Dario Argento's shocker Opera features a strong display of the filmmaker's signature styles in terms of inventive visuals and fantastic murder set pieces, but the film lacks the story cohesion it needs to fall into the category of his classic genre films. Inspired by Phantom of the Opera (which Argento remade in 1999), Opera tells the story of a young understudy (Christina Marsillach) who gets her chance to sing thanks to a deranged madman whose connection to the singer doesn't become clear until the ending. In the meantime, he torments her in a most devious way -- by taping needles under her eyes so that she is forced to witness his excruciating murders. For gore fans, these sequences mark the film's finest moments. These include a brutal stabbing in which the victim is hacked in the throat and hands, a gut-wrenching tracheotomy, and a shot of the killer having his eye plucked out by a crow. The showstopper is a close-up of a bullet being fired through a door peephole and into Daria Nicolodi's head. The excellent special makeup effects by Sergio Stivaletti are complemented by a high-voltage selection of heavy metal tunes (an Argento signature) and a great score that features contributions by Claudio Simonetti and former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman. The screenplay by Argento and Franco Ferrini starts with a good premise and an intriguing setting (the opera). However, the characters are rather one-dimensional (not to mention poorly acted) and the story's "surprise" revelation is less than spectacular. On the plus side, the film features one final shock sequence that ends things on a bizarre and disturbing note. Overall, the final result is a decent, fairly typical Argento film that is worth watching primarily for its above-average murder sequences.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/11/2001
  • UPC: 013131185393
  • Original Release: 1987
  • Rating:

  • Source: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Cinemascope (2.35:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital Surround EX
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:47:00
  • Format: DVD

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapter Selections
1. Program Start/Main Titles [3:14]
2. The Ingenue [5:01]
3. Ominous Overture [3:30]
4. Command Performance [5:09]
5. Rising Star [5:11]
6. Beauty And The Blade [1:43]
7. Cries Of The Ravens [4:27]
8. Witness To Slaughter [4:57]
9. Lost In The Storm [3:12]
10. Strangers In The Hall [4:19]
11. "Don'T Cry, Betty" [2:51]
12. Suspicion [4:52]
13. Costume Repair [3:45]
14. Shear Horror [5:31]
15. "He Makes Me Watch" [5:02]
16. Lights Out [4:02]
17. Peephole [2:52]
18. Self-Defense [3:18]
19. In The Air Vents [4:19]
20. No Escape [3:25]
21. What Dreams May Come... [2:13]
22. Aria Of Terror [1:23]
23. "Just Like Your Mother" [:57]
24. Inferno [3:13]
25. "Run, For God'S Sake!" [3:40]
26. Free [4:25]
27. End Credits [4:37]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Extras
      Conducting Dario Argento'S Opera (36 Mins.)
      Trailers
         International Trailer
         U.S. Trailer
      "Opera" Music Video By Daemonia
      Dario Argento Bio
   Audio Setup
      Dolby Digital Surround Ex
      dts ES (PLAYBACK REQUIRES DTS DECODER)
      Dolby Surround 2.0
   Thx Optimizer
      Audio Tests
      Video Tests
   Play
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Visually stunning

    The movie, just like all Argento movies, is a visual masterpiece with its camera angles and creativity. It got a little draggy at some points, though. Not one of my favorite Argento films but a must have for true fans.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews