Photographers snap famous faces as they arrive outside the 'Hotel Noir' New York premiere. Among them are the movie's stars Rufus Sewell and Carla Gugino, Blondie singer Debbie Harry, fashion designer Marc Jacobs, 'Batman Forever' director Joel Schumacher, 'The Real Housewives of New York City' star Carole Radziwill, the wife of Mick Jones from Foreigner Ann Dexter-Jones, models Iman Abdulmajid and Marcus Schenkenberg and stylists Jay Manuel and June Ambrose.
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Schumacher and his financial backers certainly spare no expense, though the bulk of their budget apparently went to candles. Their Phantom (the not-so-hideously-disfigured Gerard Butler) hides beneath opulent and gaudy-yet-dimly-lit theatrical set pieces that turn the normally regal Opera Populaire into the west wing of the Moulin Rogue. The Phantom's water-logged lair resembles exactly what it is - a poorly constructed, artificial set dropped into the corner of a vast soundstage. Hire the man who put nipples on the Bat suit, and you're going to get what you pay for. The masquerade ball, which occurs late in the story, starts to explore methods of filling the artistic canvas, but by then, it's too little, too late.
Continue reading: The Phantom of the Opera (2004) Review