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Product Reviews

3 (100% helpful)

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  1.  Marvellous


    (Almost) all the best bits from Mozart's opera, impeccably sung. Some might prefer Kurt Moll to Paata Burchuladze as Il Commendatore on stage (Moll is physically huge, which adds to the effect), but Burchuladze's bass is still earth-moving. Being picky, Don Ottavio's aria "Il Mio Tesoro" is missing and you get "Dalla sua pace" instead. Both arias are in the full recording of this production, although Mozart actually intended it to be one or the other; some tenors can't cope with "Il Mio Tesoro" as it's very demanding, so Mozart offered an alternative.

    The famous Commendatore scene at the end is the best version of this that I've heard, although Ramey seems to be a bit low in the mix until the demon chorus joins in.

    Also, if I'm being slightly picky, Donna Anna (the dignified one) and Donna Elvira (the nutty stalker) sound rather similar here. That's not really the fault of the sopranos involved.

  2.  Good effort, great singing and cinematography


    The singers can't be criticised here, especially Kiri Te Kanawa as fruit-loop stalker Donna Elvira, and the sound is excellent throughout. The sets are beautiful, especially the Don's palatial gaff, and the cinematography has the feel of a Peter Greenaway film. The acting could do with a little more oomph, especially the swordfight with Il Commendatore and the climactic "Don Giovanni, a cenar teco m'invitasti" (I won't give it away totally) could have been more scary. On the other hand, Leporello has the right lugubrious face for the put-upon factotum and the Don is played perfectly by Ruggero Raimondi: cold and repulsive throughout the film until his final scene, where his courage and defiance is magnificent. A true anti-hero.

  3.  Great sound quality, small and lightweight


    Load this up with decent 256k or VBR MP3 files and you won't be disappointed with how it sounds through decent headphones (I didn't try the ones supplied as I already had some good quality Panasonic earbuds). Battery life is excellent - I have the power saving option turned on, which switches off the display after a few seconds.

    One minor niggle - it ONLY charges from a USB port, so you may not be able to charge it at work if the powers-that-be forbid connection of unauthorised USB mass storage devices, and it's also a pain to keep a power-hungry computer on just to charge a tiny thing like this. You can buy a mains plug-to-USB adaptor separately from most electronics/computer shops.

  4.  Great visuals


    The singing isn't really up to West End standards and some of the lip-synching is obvious (the cast sung their own parts although evidently not at the same time as acting, and for all I know they used Autotune as well), but it's pretty well-acted and visually splendiferous. I saw this on stage first and expected to hate the film, but it's actually very good. Lloyd-Webber was the screeenwriter and producer so he made sure the quality was kept up. There are a few minor tweaks from the stage version of the story, but most are for the better. The final scene (added for the movie) is particularly poignant and more understandable when you know that a sequel to the Phantom is opening on the stage.

  5.  Finally!


    Frank Hovis is worth the £24.99 alone. Yay! Can't believe it's taken them nearly 20 years to get this out.

  6.  Outstanding debut


    Up there with "The Stone Roses" as the best debut album ever. "Carnt Be Trusted" is definitely the most perfect pop song of all time, and "Talking to Clarry" is an extended opener on a par with The Smiths' "The Queen Is Dead".

  7.  Fantastic


    The X-Files at its peak (Season 7 was probably a low point despite some stand-out episodes; it all picked up again in Season 8). Redux II is probably the best episode of the hundreds made; the sharp editing at the end is superb, bringing the story to a climax, even if I guessed who the FBI "mole" was 5 minutes before the secret was revealed. All the seasons are worth buying, but the mid-life ones especially so.

  8.  Buy it!


    Since Living TV keep missing crucial episodes like "The Beginning" with no explanation or apology, this may be your only option. One of the best TV series, period.