Repo: The Generic Opera

The movie "Repo: The Genetic Opera" has been receiving piles of hype from all kinds of sources, so when I found out it was being screened at this year's Three Rivers Film Festival, I decided that we had to go see it. We had dinner down the block from the theatre and showed up an hour before the show to get tickets.

When we arrived, we found two lines in front of the theatre. It turned out that one of the lines was for people who already had tickets. Let me just say here that advanced ticket sales for movies is one of the evils of modern society. The other line was for people waiting to buy one of the 50 tickets that had been "reserved" for at the door ticket sales. "Reserving" tickets for people who show up an hour early for a movie? Craziness. Anyway, we would up getting numbers 43 and 44 when numbers were finally handed out, which means we had to hunt for some of the last empty seats in the theater. Somehow, we found two seats together.

Anyway, the question becomes, "Was it worth it?" The answer is yes. I can't think of a better crowd to have seen this movie with. It's a big show, so seeing it with an enthusiastic crowd is important. People will be talking about this movie for years, so seeing it as early as possible is vital. You want to form your own opinion before reading innumerable blog posts. (Hey, so if that's true for you, you should stop reading now before I get into my opinions.)

"So is the movie worth it?" Almost. So much about this movie is dead on perfect. The acting is good; the actors were clearly into their roles, no matter how campy and over-the-top. The sets were terrific. The costumes were wonderful. The lighting and camera work were top-notch. The story was great; it's twisted and involved, with multiple operatic layers. However, the songs really bite. If you're going to make a musical, you need good songs. Not one of them is memorable, some of them aren't even coherent, and many of them aren't even sung. If you're going to hire people like Sarah Brightman (the former Mrs. Andrew Llloyd Webber) to sing for you, you should hire real songwriters. If you're going to call your musical and opera, all this speak-singing just won't do.

In short, see this movie when it appears and before it disappears. It won't be nearly as cool to watch at home on video. You will have to put up with the costumes for decades, but hopefully you'll never hear the music again.

2008.11.18 at 12:00am EDT