Waaaay back in '94 or '95, my mom watched a clip on a talk show of this group of kids sing about measuring your life in love and absolutely HAD to have the soundtrack to this crazy new Broadway musical called Rent. Until the movie, neither of us had seen a full on production of the musical. I don't know what my mom thought, but I liked the movie. It seemed a bit too...well, Chris Columbus-ish (he directed the adaptation) and watered down a bit (it went from what could have been rated R to PG-13), but I still liked it. It made me a fan of Tracie Thoms and Rosario Dawson and it was great to see most of the original cast reprising their roles.
I had the privledge of previewing the special presentation of the final performance of Rent tonight. It was wonderful! I highly recommend seeing it if you have any interest in seeing Rent at all!! Usually, videotaped versions of stage shows lose all the magic in the translation from a three dimensional experience to a static two, but they managed to keep the energy of the videography up. There were a few times where I wished they'd chosen a different angle or a wide shot, but on the whole, the editing was good and the cinematography was remarkably good considering the difficulties inherent in shooting something lit for the stage.
Now that I've seen the stage version thanks to Sony Pictures and The Hot Ticket, a few things make more sense than they did in the movie. I chalk that up to Chris Columbus and the difficulties of adapting any script between mediums.
With the exception of Tracie Thoms taking on her movie role of Joanne for the Broadway stage, all of the faces are new and the voices are strangely familiar. Many of the actors sound just like members of the original Broadway cast (pronunciation and timing) and one even looks like her predecessor. That was a little strange, I have to admit.
Anyway, I highly recommend it and I hope Sony puts it out on DVD.