Phantom Of The Opera (1998)
A-Pix Entertainment brings Italian master of horror Dario Argento's faithful adaptation of Gaston Leroux's classic Phantom of the Opera stateside in this handsome and well-presented disc, which offers some exciting extras for film buffs and Argento fans alike. A duel-sided, single-layered disc offering the film in either full-screen 1.33:1 or anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1 (16 x 9 enhanced for widescreen TVs), A-Pix did a fantastic job of maintaining the film's moody cinematography courtesy of Ronnie Taylor. The darks in the Phantom's elaborate cavern are bold and solid, and the colors of the opera house are rich and vivid. Skin tones are beautifully captured and though the film shows slight signs of compression artifacting, it is for the most part a flawless presentation. The audio, presented in English Dolby Digital 5.1, more than adequately fills the room with the lurid, vivid sounds of horror as the low-frequency rumblings complement discomfort and tension in the appropriate scenes. Though Ennio Morricone's grandiose score, with its ominous organs blasting, doesn't carry the resonance one might expect, voices haunt the Phantom's cavern with an eerie echo that utilizes the multiple channels to create a complex and ultimately satisfying audio scheme. Optional, easy-to-read Spanish subtitles straddle the lower letterboxing of the picture without becoming obtrusive to the image. The first thing that will catch the viewer's eye on this disc is the attractive and functional full-motion "Main Menu" screen. Blasting with fire and screams at each selection made, and accompanied by Morricone's creepy score, it's a pleasure to watch while selecting the disc's numerous special features, which include a detailed filmography section, a photo gallery, a Fangoria article interviewing Argento's brother and collaborator Claudio, an insightful three-minute interview with star Julian Sands, theatrical and video trailers, and a fun, ten-minute, behind-the-scenes montage of Argento doing what he does best.