Love Never Dies

Featured In Issue 167, May/June 2012

WSR Score4.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Not Rated
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Not Indicated
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Simon Phillips & Brett Sullivan
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Love Never Dies is a sequel to the legendary Phantom Of The Opera from musical theatre's most captivating composer and featuring the new live Australian production filmed at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne between September 9 and 13, 2011. The year is 1907 and ten years have passed since the Phantom's (Lewis) disappearance from the Paris Opera House. He has escaped to a new life in New York, where he lives amongst the screaming joy rides and freak-shows of Coney Island. In this new electricity-charged world, he has finally found a place for his music to soar. All that is missing is his love—Christine Daaé (O'Byrne). Now one of the world's finest sopranos, Christine is struggling in an ailing marriage to Raoul. So, it is with excitement she accepts an invitation to travel to New York and perform at a renowned opera house. In a final bid to win back her love, The Phantom lures Christine, her husband, and their young son Gustave from Manhattan, to the glittering and glorious world of Coney Island...not knowing what is in store for them. (Gary Reber)

Special features include a making-of featurette (HD 14:31).

The 2.34:1 1080p AVC picture exhibits lush visuals, which perfectly capture an imaginative extraordinary set fashioned as a "three-story building," which oscillates between large scale spectacle and more intimate segments. The picture is reminiscent of a colorful, imaginative picture book depicting a magical world. The picture exhibits engulfing visuals that bring you into exquisite sets and locations. Costume textures and fine details are amazingly rendered, building the facets of the wold depicted. The color scheme is perfectly balanced, with natural fleshtones, rich and warm hues, and deep blacks. Reds and blues pop from the screen with striking saturation. The picture can have a slightly soft filmlike appearance at times, preserving the beautiful Panavision® cinematography. Dimensional depth is excellent. This is a wonderful, glorious visual experience that will not disappoint. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack features well-mixed music around the soundstage, with a good use of the LFE to highlight the deepest bass, with organ frequencies in the sub-25 Hz range. Voices are recorded well when dialogue is spoken but can sound a bit strident during music passages. Dialogue timbre seems to be slightly off when compared to the singing, which might be due to the use of different microphones when recording on-set and in a sound room. Strangely, surround envelopment is quite subtle at best during some music passages, except for strong aggressive audience applause, which fills the surround channels. While the sonics are excellent, with good dialogue articulation, the full-on dynamics sound a bit distorted. Deep bass is delivered well in this encoding, but bass management will need to be used for those of you not using full-range loudspeakers, as the bass response will often drop down to 25 Hz and below at relatively high levels. Overall, this is an exciting musical theatre performance that will thrill audience fans of the genre. (Gary Reber)