Rent: Filmed Live On Broadway (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-02-2009, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=132013&d=1233452766
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

88






Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2008
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Feature running time: 152 Minutes
Genre: Musical

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French
Starring: Ensemble
Directed by: Michael John Warren
Music by: Jonathan Larson
Written by: Jonathan Larson
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 3, 2009







"Celebrate the end of an era"



Film Synopsis/My Take:

attachment.php?attachmentid=132171&d=1233587743

No experience quite matches the thrill of a live Broadway spectacular seen up close and in person. Now, this stunning performance shot in High Definition puts you in the front row as the smash hit RENT brings down the curtain on its history-making, 12-year run! You've never had seats this great...never seen and heard each character so intimately...never shared every emotion in such a personal way! After winning four Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, Jonathan Larson's powerhouse musical tour de force entered the record books as the 7th-longest-running show in all Broadway history. In this unforgettable theatrical experience - made possible by special arrangement with the Broadway producers and Actors Equity Association - take an intimate journey through a single year in the lives of a small circle of friends and artists living their dreams, battling their demons and celebrating life on the streets of New York City's East Village. Meet would-be filmmaker Mark, sweet transvestite Angel, exotic dancer Mimi and a host of other unforgettable characters as they confront the challenges of poverty, mortality and...paying the RENT. This once-only historic event, captured live with a special appearance by members of the original cast, will remind you that there is truly "no day but today."





Parental Guide:

This disc isn't rated however there is thematic material and language that would not be appropriate for young viewers.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 84



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692



Video: 92


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Compression:
attachment.php?attachmentid=132170&d=1233587743

Rent: Filmed live on Broadway comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 2.3 mbps.

This video presentation was filmed in high definition and it looks superb. Images are rendered with pristine quality and lucid detail that is impressive. Depth and delineation are appreciable which allows fine minutia that ranges from the small beads of sweat on faces to the weave of fabric in clothing to be clearly discernible. Long range visuals fared just as well so that things like the surfaces of objects in backgrounds, such as the texture of the faux stone wall, were apparent. Contrast was dynamic but not over driven and blacks were dark but not inky. Whites were bright and crisp and colors were punchy, well saturated and pleasing. Complexions had succulent texture and lifelike tonality. Darkened segments looked a little flat however scenes with mixed content exhibited more pop. Shadow detail was excellent. This gave the plethora of sequences containing uneven lighting noticeable dimensional depth. I saw some minor noise in static dark backgrounds but it wasn't consistently present or distracting. The Dolby TrueHD surround mix sounded resplendent and featured superb articulation of the wonderful music of Rent. Vocals were warm, with subtle texture and smooth, sibilant free treble. The bulk of the audio was presented through the front three channels with the surrounds providing ambient extension. The sound stage across the front was open with precise imaging and above average depth. The rear channels added reverberant music support plus the sounds of the audience which broadened the depth of the soundfield. This simulated the feeling of sitting in the middle section of the Theater. Jonathan Larson's modern interpretation of La Boheme has never sounded better. Its rock based elements sound incredibly detailed and were highlighted by energetic dynamics and quick, tight, bass extension. This was an all around great presentation that made the experience all the more enjoyable.



Bonus Features:


  • (HD) Rent: The final days on tour - 37 minute documentary

  • (HD) The final curtain call - 8 minute segment

  • (HD) The Wall - 6 minute short feature on the signature wall/shrine at the theatre

  • (HD) The final lottery - documents the final ticket lottery for Rent - 9 Minutes

  • National Marfan Foundation - Public Service Announcement

  • Blu-ray Disc Exclusives:

    1. (HD) Home: The David Nederlander Theatre - Documentary on the home for Rent since 1996
    2. (HD) Casting - 7 minute feature on the casting for Rent over it's 12 year run
    3. Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation - Public Service Announcement - 6 minute documentary

  • BD-Live enabled
attachment.php?attachmentid=132169&d=1233587743



Final Thoughts:

This film captures the final performance of one of the most beloved musicals in Broadway history. After 12 impressive years Rent is concluding its successful Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning run. Director Michael Warren competently takes the audience on a journey through the music, lyrics and images of this historical piece of live entertainment. This high definition Blu-ray Disc allows viewers to experience it with sparkling clarity and enriching surround sound that gives it an up close and personal feel that enhances the experience at home. The bonus features provide a great look behind the scenes and are simply the icing on the cake to a great package from Sony. Recommended.








attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





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post #2 of 12 Old 02-02-2009, 03:15 PM
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I'll be seeing a performance of the touring show (with Rapp, Pascal, and several of the final Broadway cast) on Sunday in Philadelphia. It's great to know that this disc turned out so well, since it will be my souvenir of that performance as well as the only real visual record of the show in its final form, which I've never seen.

It's too bad there are no official video releases of the original Broadway cast, but I think this is a show that transcends the original performers.

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post #3 of 12 Old 02-02-2009, 05:40 PM
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I can't wait to pick this up. I saw Rent 3 times at the Nederlander and this will be an awesome way to relive those shows. One of my favorite productions of all times.
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post #4 of 12 Old 02-03-2009, 06:56 PM
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I'm still waiting for the Blu-Ray I ordered from Amazon, but I did buy a copy today on DVD and it looks fantastic.
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-06-2009, 10:35 AM
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I hated the movie version...any reason to pick this one up given that fact? lol


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post #6 of 12 Old 02-06-2009, 11:36 AM
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Pick it up or at least give it a rental! A lot of fans of the stage version hated the movie version.
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-06-2009, 11:45 AM
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Thanks, Wej...I'll give it a look then


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post #8 of 12 Old 02-06-2009, 01:04 PM
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I made it about 1/2 way through the movie. I couldn't take anymore.

I hope buyers of this disc have some knowledge of the play. It certainly isn't for everyone.
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-06-2009, 03:17 PM
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Saw the regular non Live on Broadway version movie and thought it was great. Not sure about the live one. HHmmmm.....
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-10-2009, 11:36 PM
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You should all give this version a try. This is the original stage version, the show that won three Tony awards and a Pulitzer prize. The 2005 film is a bastardized version, at best. Yes, it included the original cast but they cut several scenes, reordered, others, changed an entire plot point (there isn't a wedding in the stage show!) and the remaining scenes replaced lots of singing with spoken dialogue. It made the entire movie feel awkward and goofy. The stage version flows very nicely without the awkward transitions and interactions.
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post #11 of 12 Old 02-16-2009, 10:13 AM
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Or, you could also say they made the plot make sense and turned something that was messy and incomplete on stage into something that actually worked as a narrative.

They movie and the stage production are certainly different. But the stage show is more of a sequence of connected songs that I suspect would have been developed much further narratively during the workshop stage had Larson lived to finish it.

I believe Chris Columbus did what was necessary to make a workable movie from the material. That it's a weak movie only reveals the weakness of the source material (narratively -- the music is wonderful).

If you love the movie, though, you'll love this BD of the stage show. The reverse may not be true.

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post #12 of 12 Old 10-14-2009, 10:49 AM
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For some reason, I had missed the Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway BD until yesterday after receiving it from Netflix. Although I saw the movie and enjoyed it, I had never seen the actual Broadway production. This film captures the final performance of Rent's long run. All I can say is, Wow!.

I understand why some of the Rentheads who saw the Broadway production, were disappointed by the movie. As noted, I thought the movie was good but after having seen the actual Broadway show, I agree that it is significantly inferior to the original. I may have to buy this BD. Highly, highly recommended!
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