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Rent (Widescreen 2-Disc Special Edition)
Rent (Widescreen 2-Disc Special Edition)
List Price: $19.94
Buy New: $10.00
You Save: $9.94 (50%)
Buy New/Used/Collectible from $7.50

Avg. Customer Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars(based on 270 reviews)
Sales Rank: 218
Category: DVD

Publisher: Sony Pictures
Studio: Sony Pictures
Manufacturer: Sony Pictures
Label: Sony Pictures
Format: Ac-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, Ntsc
Languages: English (Original Language), English (Subtitled), French (Subtitled), French (Dubbed)
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Media: DVD
Running Time: 135 minutes
Number Of Items: 2
Shipping Weight (lbs): 0.2
Dimensions (in): 7.1 x 5.4 x 0.6

UPC: 043396111554
EAN: 0043396111554

Release Date: February 21, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: November 23, 2005
Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days

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Editorial Reviews:
Rent, the show that in 1996 gave voice to a Broadway generation, has finally become an energetic, passionate, and touching movie musical. Based loosely on Puccini's La Boheme, it focuses on the year in the life of a group of friends in New York's East Village--"bohemians" who live carefree lives of art, music, sex, and drugs. Well, carefree until Mark, an aspiring filmmaker (Anthony Rapp), and Roger, an aspiring songwriter (Adam Pascal), find out they owe a year's rent to Benny (Taye Diggs), a former friend who had promised them free residence when he married the landlord's daughter. Roger has also attracted the attention of his downstairs neighbor, Mimi (Rosario Dawson), while Mark's former girlfriend, Maureen (Idina Menzel), has found a new romance in a lawyer named Joanne (Tracie Thoms). Philosophy professor Tom (Jesse L. Martin) finds his soul mate in drag queen Angel (Wilson Jermaine Heredia). But because this is the late-'80s, the threat of AIDS is always present.

The remarkable thing about Rent the movie is that nearly 10 years after the show debuted on Broadway, six of the eight principals return in the roles they originated. They're a bit older than would be ideal for their characters, but they do have the advantage of having learned the show directly from creator Jonathan Larson (who died of an aortic aneurysm while the show was in previews), plus they started young--we're not exactly talking Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford here. Alongside a polished performance like Rapp's--sometimes observer-commentator, sometimes participant in two of the score's showstoppers, "The Tango Maureen" and "La Vie Boheme"--the two new additions (Thoms in place of Fredi Walker, Dawson in place of the edgier Daphne Rubin-Vega) slip comfortably into the ensemble; the pivotal Dawson makes a seductive case as Mimi when she tempts Roger in the mesmerizing "Light My Candle" or burns up the stage of the Catscratch Club in "Out Tonight." Moviegoers who have an aversion to people who break into song while walking down the street probably won't have their minds changed by Rent (even if they are singing rock songs), and the gritty subject matter and lack of big-name stars make it unlikely to cross over to general audiences the way Chicago did. But fans of musicals should find "Seasons of Love" as stirring as ever, and the show's passionate admirers--the "Rentheads"--probably couldn't have wished for a more sympathetic director than Rent fan Chris Columbus, or a more faithful representation of the show they love. --David Horiuchi

On the DVD
Three powerful musical numbers cut from the final film are the highlight of the two-disc DVD. In the aftermath of the funeral scene, Anthony Rapp sings "Halloween," and he, Adam Pascal, and Rosario Dawson share "Goodbye Love" (both songs were in the stage version). Then in an alternate ending, the cast finishes "No Day But Today" on the bare stage on which the film began. There are worthwhile arguments for why these scenes were cut or replaced, so it's fortunate that the DVD lets us see these at all. Those musical numbers [all written for the stage] have optional commentary by director Chris Columbus, Rapp, and Pascal (two other cut scenes have no commentary), including one funny moment in which Rapp explains in great detail the technical challenge of shooting "Halloween" only to have Columbus say, "Yeah, but I don't know if that's the take we used." The three also provide commentary on the film itself, with Columbus discussing various decisions, criticizing the critics, and marveling "I still don't know how we got the PG-13," and Rapp and Pascal occasionally recalling differences in the stage version.

The other whopper of a feature is No Day But Today, a nearly two-hour documentary that uses video clips, still photographs, and interviews with family and friends to celebrate the short life of Jonathan Larson and his creation. Topics include his early interest in musical theater ("I want to write the Hair for the '90s."), the support of Stephen Sondheim, the impact of the AIDS epidemic, the long and difficult road of Rent (casting the show, Larson learning to collaborate, the transfer to a Broadway stage, and the Rentheads), and Larson's tragic death. The last 20 minutes covers the making of the film, director Chris Columbus, the decision to rely on most of the original cast (the only two principals who didn't appear in the movie, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Fredi Walker-Browne, are interviewed in earlier segments, but only mentioned in passing here), recording sessions, and location shooting. If the movie of Rent was a tribute to Jonathan Larson, the DVD is all that and more, a moving and incredibly detailed look at an extraordinary talent whom the world lost far too soon. --David Horiuchi

More Rent

Movie soundtrack

Original Broadway cast recording

Anthony Rapp's Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical "Rent"

Customer Reviews:   Read 265 more reviews...

5 out of 5 stars I Don't Get It...   June 22, 2006
I don't get why this movie was so panned by critics. I was absolutely blown away by it (but I've never seen the show). There is always the risk, when adapting broadway shows to film, that it will seem over the top and cheesy and it just won't work (remember Phantom?). Thankfully, this wasn't the case here.
A lot of the credit goes to the cast. It would have been easy to overact, but they remain subdued for the most part (the exception being Idina Menzel as Maureen; somehow, I feel she was overdoing it). I was suprised at how wonderful they were, including Rosario Dawson (who gives one of her best performances ever, and with surprisingly strong vocals) and the brilliant Tracie Thoms. Not to mention Wilson Jermaine Heredia, who is just heartbreakingly charming beginning to end.
And then there's the music...which is arguably the real star of the film. The new version of Seasons Of Love breathes new life into the song (something I never thought possible). And La Vie Boheme is just solid fun, beginning to end. Sure, it's sentimental and sometimes (albeit briefly) cheesy, but that doesn't make it any less profound and touching. I swear the tears started during "Will I" and just came down harder and harder, until "Ill Cover You (reprise)" where I just gave up and started sobbing outright.
One should not watch the documentary on disc two right after watching the movie. I made that mistake, and I just couldn't get through it. Of course, I didn't know the story behind Rent before I saw this. I was about 8 years old when it didn't register in my small world at the time (which gives me the sense that I missed out on something). Its obvious that Jonathan Larson's family and friends are still trying to come to terms with his untimely death. Watching it filled me with an obscene amount of respect for the guy.
This is one of those "You're not alone" movies, and I heartily recommend it to anyone and everyone. And it's probably a good idea to keep the box of kleenex handy. You'll need it.

4 out of 5 stars Some major errors in transitioning to film; redeemed by a good documentary   June 19, 2006
  3 out of 3 found this review helpful

The reviewer who has it dead-on right in these pages is the one who calls out the fact that Jonathan Larson conceived 'Rent' as more opera (using 'La Boheme' as inspiration), not a musical. And what that means is the the connecting dialogue is sung in stage-voice, not chatted as dialogue. So, to see Jesse L. Martin forced to speak dialogue like "I rewired the ATM at the Food Emporium" when you know it's killing him not to sing it and it's equally killing every Rent fan to hear him constrained to simply mouthing the words...well, it's a major flaw because it deals major blows to the flow and energy of Larson's work.

Other concerns:

* The first-half of the play is re-staged pretty much shot-by-shot. Then, bizarrely (given the fidelity in the first half), the second half veers wildly from the original. Director Columbus wastes too much time staging "Take Me or Leave Me" in a way not intended. Fun, no doubt, but the additional 5 - 10 minutes he tacks on here could have been used to keep the deleted scenes intact.

* The deleted scenes aren't trvial matters - 'Rent' is a hard story to follow for the unitiated. Each one of those scenes could have helped explain the the storyline.

* Surely one of the reasons to prop up "Take Me or Leave Me" was to get more Idina Menzel in there. [Menzel (the original Elephaba in "Wicked" and the original Maureen here) has ascended to Broadway royalty, so who can blame Columbus?] But, if so, why leave out 'Happy New Year?' which features a goodly amount of Maureen?

* The deleted scenes end up de-emphasizing Anthony Rapp's Mark, which is unfortunate because he's the voice and connective thread in the play. Leaving out his '3D IMAX of my mind...that's poetic...that's pathetic' number is a major ommission, both to Rapp as an actor and to anyone trying to follow the movie - this is the key piece that puts things into perspective for the viewer time-wise. Why else would Larson strain to put lines in Rapp's monologue like "Christmas...Christmas Eve last year" He's framing the scenes for us.

This would be a three-star review, but I'll go for four because of the redeeming nature of the nice documentary about the Larson family - this is very powerful stuff. It's obvious the family is still hurting deeply 10 years after their loss.

4 out of 5 stars The point may murder you, but the MUSIC will bring you back!   June 19, 2006
(Minor spoilers with ###)

I wanted to see this movie mainly for the music. It didnt disappoint! I've got to say I've developed myself quite a little crush on Rosario Dawson. I tell you, that girl NEEDS to put out an album!!!! She was amazing in this movie!!!! The whole cast were really good in fact. They harmonized beautifully! No matter which few cast members were singing they sounded good together! Its when you got a whole handful of them singing at the same time that the songs really hit thier peak. But whether many characters or just two, I don't remember a single song that i vehemently hated with a passion.

As for the story...well...I kinda felt both beat over the head and stabbed at the same time. Rich people suck, poor people are wonderful, blah blah blah. I said this as kind of a joke, but I realized it could've been absolutely true and why they did it. #####There's a scene in a dinner where all the poor people are going around and pushing the tables together. At the end of thier line, three rich guys (the ones who want to tear down their apartments to make a cyber cafe or something) are sitting there.##### Now it just so happens the poor people have square tables. They can push their tables together and converse. The rich peoples' table however is round, meaning they can't connect with anybody. Which is, in fact, the point of the movie from what I could gather. Rich people are bad and poor people are a proud people.

This movie is very black and white when it comes to who the villians are and who the good people are supposed to be. Maybe the musical itself is better on this. Dont know, never seen it. But, for the film, the music is it's strength. It's worth watching just for that alone. And I more than suggest that you do.

2 out of 5 stars "Rent" is Deeply Bent   June 17, 2006
  0 out of 3 found this review helpful

Although this musical makes some good points about life, liberty, etc., the overall effect rather lacks in luster. Try as I might, I simply couldn't see the so-called "Bohemian spirit". Most of the song lyrics are flighty, and the characters perplexing. The plot is weak and difficult to follow - there's a strangeness about the whole thing. Something key is missing; there's nothing to tie it all together. Plus, it's pointlessly, erratically depressing in parts. I would strongly suggest one forget to rent "Rent".

4 out of 5 stars Not History   June 15, 2006
  2 out of 3 found this review helpful

I agree with Ruth Leaonard in my distaste for a previous post.

According to T. Nakajima, no one should watch Oklahoma, Sound of Music, Phantom of the Opera, or any other past musical because people don't live like that anymore, so we can't relate to farming, Nazis, or anything else because we're past that time period.

Duh! First of all this isn't a documentary. Second, the movie even posts the year in the opening scene just to give the audience a reference of the time period. Alphabet City may be posh now, but it wasn't then.

Anyways, as a faithful follower to the original musical, this movie was a breath of fresh air. I most definitely recommend this to anyone, but also recommend that you buy the original cast recording to compliment your Rent experience. :-)

-The new arrangements give the classic songs a more "complete" sound. "Take Me or Leave Me" is probably the biggest (and best) change.
-The visuals make the stage version come alive.
-The original cast was kept intact (save for Mimi who was pregnant at the time and Joanne who felt she was too old for the part).

Cons: (compared to the original)
-The story changed in some instances.
-The songs are less connected by their common sounds/instruments. While I like the songs individually, the musical continuity is a bit more subdued due to the arrangements.
-Maureen's opening scene (her performance) was just a big "Yikes!" in my book. Instead of her belting all the lines and introducing herself to the audience, she makes it seem like it's a quirky grade school performance.

-The connecting/chorus songs are gone and replaced by speaking lines instead. Sometimes this works, but other times, you can tell the actors just really want to sing the line. This also takes away from the musical feel. So it's bittersweet I guess.
-Also, the voices of all the actors are more homogeneous sounding, whereas in the musical, each voice is quite distinct.

Copyright 2006