11 October 2008 | muller_87
An amazing experience that should be shared by all
I attended an advanced screening being held at my university. It was one of the few shows that director Darren Lynn Bousman didn't know about. I had spoken with him briefly on the repo-opera.com official chat rooms about an hour before the showing. It was a cool few minutes that consisted of him telling me the showing might have been canceled and then his informing me (and the rest of the room) that he was yelling to get it going, and he never yells.
I got to the campus theater about 10 min before it was set to start. First thing I noticed was that there were other people there, which was a major worry of mine as Montana State University is relatively small and the advertisement for the screening was pretty sparse. Then I saw the security officers. That got my eyebrows a-raising. It was cool though, Lionsgate taking this much of a precaution even in a little city like this one. After getting my ticket, I wandered in and took a seat. There were about 5 of us to begin with, but as we got closer to 7:00, we ended up with around 30 people. That alone exceeded my expectations.
Then the one of the theater workers came out and spoke with us, made us aware of the security and told us basically not to F*** this up with cameras. Then
it was movie time.
When if first began the audio wasn't syncing properly and the screen was projected a little too wide. But after about 5 min the audio got straightened out and the screen width only affected some of the captions on the vignettes showing backstory.
Overall, I was very impressed. Alexa Vega was amazing as the main character of Shiloh Wallace. She has really grown up and away from the girl who played in Spy Kids. She's not this awkward little kid anymore. She's a full blown woman who's shown her acting and singing abilities. I hope to see a lot more from her in the future. Anthony Stewart Head as Nathan/Repo Man was just as amazing. His baritone had the perfect inflection to show the torment the character was dealing with emotionally. When he switches to his "Repo" voice, an oddly smooth yet gravelly take on his singing, it details the change in personalities. Sarah Brightman shined as Blind Mag. Her gorgeous voice and regal demeanor added mountains of formality to this amazing production. Terrance Zdunich was a treat as the morally ambiguous Graverobber. His narrating skills balanced the movie in a way. Addressing the audience as a sort of gatekeeper to this experience was a needed flavor to the film.
Now onto the Largos. Paul Sorvino, like Ms. Brightman, added an air to the movie. His very operatic voice was a perfect counter to the more modern sounds of his on-screen spawn. Bill Mosely, a genre favorite, was well cast in the role of Luigi Largo, Rotti Largo's violent son. His face added a brutality to the roll. Nivek Ogre, of Skinny Puppy, was a very mellow character in his take on Pavi well, mellow compared to Luigi, choosing to seduce and womanize instead of kill and murder. And finally, Paris Hilton as Amber Sweet. I think everyone was a bit wary of her role in this movie. But I can't imagine anyone else in the role.
Overall, the performances were very well done. Only Mosely and Hilton seemed to struggle and only at very brief times. The music was stellar. I was expecting it to be a total musical overload of 100% song, but instead it was interspersed with regular dialog and sing-talk, but it never got old or tired. The filter they used to color the movie was wonderful; the soft glow gave it a wonderful ambiance. The story itself was very well done, showing the dynamics of two families, one a little more functional then the other. Definitely a very original and wonderful piece of modern film. It really is an event. And an event that should be experienced in a theater with other people with an appreciation for the quirky and the musical. It fully deserved the claps it received at the end.
Very well done, Darren. Thank you, to you and your cast and crew.