MOVIE: ***** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
The curtain falls on Baz Luhrmann’s Red Curtain Trilogy with the Oscar-nominated “Moulin Rouge!” Starring Ewan MacGregor and Nicole Kidman as lovers who meet in the exotic Moulin Rouge club in Paris. He is a writer, and she is the star performer. However, when she is promised to an investor who will pull the Moulin Rouge out of financial ruin, they must make their affair secret and do what they can to save their theater.
WHAT I LIKED
I never saw “Moulin Rouge!” when it was first released in the theaters. It came out right before I started doing movie reviews, and I never caught it after the award season push. With almost ten years passing after it was released, I have finally had a chance to see it. And as someone who multitasks all the time, it was impossible to watch “Moulin Rouge!” while doing anything else.
The film is so visually stimulating, it is impossible to look away. Luhrmann’s use of hyper-reality and amazing colors makes this film one of the best I have seen in the last ten years. It should have won the Oscar for Best Picture. I know I’m a little behind the times making that statement, but I have to admit that I was blown away by this film.
The music is brilliant and energetic. Unlike the musicals of the past, which tend to drag and have their slow songs at times, “Moulin Rouge!” gives a full theatrical experience by not overstaying its welcome with the songs. And even then, they are creatively plucked from our collective pop culture that we get to hear amazing renditions of them in a turn-of-the-century Paris backdrop.
Like Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet,” there’s a lot of cartoonish elements to the presentation, including goofy sound cues and slapstick humor. Normally this annoys me in a film, but with the ultra hyper-real nature of “Moulin Rouge!” (a place that existed but never in the version that is presented) makes all of this okay.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
I have no complaints. This was a brilliant film that, along with “Chicago,” helped revitalize and differentiate modern musicals.
This new Blu-ray includes “Spectacular, Spectacular,” a picture-in-picture presentation with commentary along with behind-the-scenes footage and stills. There’s also a bunch of featurettes from the Luhrmann Vault from previous releases.
New material includes the featurette “A Creative Adventure” and an introduction by Luhrmann. Additional featurettes include “The Stars,” “The Writers,” “The Design,” “The Dance,” “The Music,” “The Cutting Room” and “The Making of Moulin Rouge!”
There’s also access to BD-Live and Live Lookup via IMDb.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of the Red Curtain Trilogy.