The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2008
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Feature running time: 152 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French
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:
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."
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)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
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.
- (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:
- (HD) Home: The David Nederlander Theatre - Documentary on the home for Rent since 1996
- (HD) Casting - 7 minute feature on the casting for Rent over it's 12 year run
- Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation - Public Service Announcement - 6 minute documentary
- BD-Live enabled
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.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BD55K Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Marantz DV7001 Universal Disc Player
Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 seven Channel amplifier
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld Ultraviolet & BetterCables Silver Serpent Reference HDMI Cabling
Best Deal Cables - Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
Ralph C. Potts
My Home Theater
Follow me on Twitter @RalphAVSreviews
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.
I hope buyers of this disc have some knowledge of the play. It certainly isn't for everyone.
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.
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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