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Les Mis Movie 
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Post Re: Les Mis Movie
There is a terrific parody of Anne Hathaway's "I Dreamed a Dream" that has gone viral on YouTube. I loved Anne's performance in the movie and hope she wins the Oscar for it. This parody is spot on though, and I do like a good spoof. Here "for your consideration" is the video:


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Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:59 pm
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Post Re: Les Mis Movie
Finally saw the film two nights ago and I basically echo a lot of what many of you have said, that it's a flawed adaptation in parts but it works as a whole and even the parts that are flawed aren't ruined or horribly flawed, with the exception of maybe a couple of elements, one of them crucial to the effectiveness of the main plot.

Because it is an adaptation of a work originally presented in a very different way and resonates best when it is live and playing out before you, a lot of things they've freely adapted to go along with a film presentation is passable. In fact, it's downright necessary, even if in the end, some of those bits remain far more effective in their stage presentation. A good example of this is "One Day More," which is onstage a thrilling theatrical moment, especially as staged in its original production. In the film, it is not as thrilling but still makes an impact. Because there isn't a need for a 1st act closer, the toning down of the moment is a good choice given other moments that come later on that warrant the thrill and surge of emotion much more. Another good example is "At the End of the Day," where the rage of the poor is turned into a sort of paralyzed numbness or shock that just as effectively transmits the impact that needs to be projected.

Overall, I liked it. Did it meet up to my expectations? No. Did it comes close? On many occasions it came close, it completely fulfilled everything I had hoped for in a few scenes, and even some that didn't still worked out in the end. The best way to describe the overall effect of this film in terms of flow and effectiveness in telling its musical story, like the central character of The King's Speech, this film had a stammering/stuttering problem. More on this later.

There were no weak links in the star-studded cast of this film. Not even Russell Crowe, who is just as capable and bears as much talent as the rest, meaning he definitely can sing and act and does so very well; however, his Javert as portrayed by him, was forgettable, unmenacing, a wimp, no character whatsoever, no darkness, no nothing. There have been film versions that cut out Eponine, I never thought I'd see a film version that cuts out Javert. Sounds ludicrous, but they might as well should have. What's interesting to me is how it all still works and it doesn't even bring Valjean's story down too much. I did not care for Javert at all. It was the exact same reaction I had to the horrendous anniversary tour Javert portrayal. I may have attributed that awfulness in the past to the choices of the actor--Andrew Varela--but, like Crowe, I no longer do. I'm convinced someone else imposed this idea that Javert needs to be "humanized" and made into an overgrown emo kid, and these actors probably thought it was a good idea to explore as actors for how challenging and exciting it all sounds on the creative front. They both tried and they succeeded in reinventing the character, so I don't blame them anymore. That's not to say it works and isn't a train wreck. Sadly, the character of Javert is completely ruined in this film version overall. There were bits in which I felt he was growing on me, but that was soon eclipsed by the truth, that I simply don't care about a character I always cared for and always felt was more human in the traditional onstage portrayal than people who skim off the surface claim. This is the film's most glaring flaw and automatically brings my rating down 3 points from a possible 10. Javert is important to this tale and to have that lost for the most part and occasionally make good impressions is not something I could make myself overlook. I keep wondering and eventually realizing just how much better it could have been with a Javert that posed a real threat to the well-being of Valjean and Cosette and was truly imposing in both his ideology and presence. His death here was little more than a temper tantrum, only with flat affect, which is just frustrating in a moment where the character supposedly "cracks." Instead, we get the cracking of his spine. He is COMPLETELY forgotten by the start of "Empty Chairs At Empty Tables," and not a thought about him comes through again.

The sound was stunningly awful for a while, until I consciously chose to settle for its flat, boring quality. All the voices sounded good and the orchestra sounded excellent, even if I'd realize half-way through the film how much this musical is crying out for John's originals. That may seem like no surprise to those of you subjected to my orch rants all these years, but it was shocking to me because I felt the film orchs were very close to his in spirit and when I realized that they were still far below his work, I was stunned to know that it's not a matter of preference. This musical needs his orchestrations to reach the heights that it can. I was able to settle and not allow that to ruin the film because the film orchestrations aren't un-cohesive, trainwrecky, or a clichefest like the new stage orchestrations, even if bits of that monstrosity were used in the film at times (it's all they used for OMO, though). The new concoction was happily snuffed out from the film though, for the most part. Happy day!

Speaking of happy days, I'm sure you noticed this post is a negativity fest. That's intentional. I figured I'd get past the real negative points first. The next post will be a mix of happy and "meh," as well as a lot of questions I have.

Stay tuned, now that the worst is over. :twisted: :mrgreen:


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Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:45 pm
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Post Re: Les Mis Movie
Yay, you finally saw it! :D :D Can't wait to hear all your thoughts!

Quique wrote:
Javert as portrayed by him, was forgettable, unmenacing, a wimp, no character whatsoever, no darkness, no nothing. There have been film versions that cut out Eponine, I never thought I'd see a film version that cuts out Javert. Sounds ludicrous, but they might as well should have. What's interesting to me is how it all still works and it doesn't even bring Valjean's story down too much.


Here's my idea about why it doesn't bring down Valjean's story... don't know if you'd agree or not. I think the addition of "Suddenly" and the greater emphasis on Valjean-as-father-to-Cosette may help compensate for the underwhelming Javert portrayal, because Valjean's story in the later 3/4 of the drama, his chief motivation and purpose, becomes less about running from Javert and more about protecting Cosette and securing her future. Of course, it's always been about both and more, in both the book and the musical, but I'm just saying.


Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:21 pm
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Post Re: Les Mis Movie
I am ITCHING to see this film- and yet I'm housebound with legs healing from cellulitis.

What pisses me off is the way it's ALREADY available on torrent sites, and yet I'd pay a tenner NOW to stream the bloody thing off Blinkbox!

Yes - I have got a live Amazon notification, but do those of us who can't get to a cinema really HAVE to wait till bloody SUMMER to see it?


Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:04 pm
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Post Re: Les Mis Movie
I downloaded one of those torrents and was appalled at the horribly compressed video image and audio quality, so I immediately trashed it and went to see it at the cinema the next day.

You have no idea how hard that was, as I could have seen it in the comfort of my own home at that very moment. But seeing how underwhelmed I was by the quality on the big screen, I can't tell you how glad I am to have done that! If it was that much of a let down at the cinema (sound quality mostly, I loved the film overall), I'd have been sitting in front of the 'puter with a hatchet in my hand and two ears on the floor beside me, lol.

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Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:44 pm
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Post Re: Les Mis Movie
Quique wrote:
it's a flawed adaptation in parts but it works as a whole


Couldn't have better summarized my reaction to the musical myself.

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Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:57 am
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Post Re: Les Mis Movie
Just saw it for the seventh time, just cause I’m crazy that way. Once again, I loved it. :D

It's funny how my feelings about certain aspects have changed with each viewing. Last time I saw it, I found Hugh Jackman’s singing very mediocre; this time I enjoyed it much more. Maybe he just sounds better in ordinary movie theatre sound than in IMAX. I’ve always loved his acting, though. That never changes.

It’s also funny how perceptions of certain actors change as new actors take on the same roles. I remember how on some of those old, cheap Geocites pages, Terrence Mann fans used to label Philip Quast’s Javert too soft and cuddly. But compared to Russell Crowe’s Javert, it’s hard to imagine anyone calling Quast fuzzy-wuzzy!

I have to admit, I giggled during "Stars" and "Javert's Suicide" because of what Quique wrote about "dancing ballet on ledges." The people sitting near me must have thought I was so weird. I think those foot close-ups are ruined forever for me now. :lol:

I still squee inside when Colm appears. I can’t help it. And I still adore Eddie Redmayne. Poor guy, I hope he’s all well now! (Why does food poisoning seem to strike actors who play Marius at the worst possible times? I still remember that story about the Night of the Three Marii from the ’99 UK Tour!)

Have I mentioned how much I appreciate the perfect casting of Young Cosette and Gavroche? And the movie’s extra emphasis on Gavroche? And the incorporation of Young Éponine into “Master of the House”? So often it seems like stage directors and casting directors don’t even care about the kids, and they make so little impression, you almost forget they exist. But not so on film, not so on film! :D :D

I may or may not see it for an eighth time next week. I’m looking forward to the DVD release in March, but I’ll miss getting to see it on the big screen! :(


Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:33 pm
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Post Re: Les Mis Movie
Quique, I am still waiting for your more elaborate review ;)

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Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:15 pm
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Post Re: Les Mis Movie
Not yet available for pre-order, but as predicted by pretty much everyone, a "deluxe" (note: not necessarily complete) 2-disc version of the soundtrack now has a listing on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Miserables-Origin ... miserables . No price set and no track listing (though Russell Crowe's Twitter feed indicated it would be 48 tracks, which would imply relative completeness), but a release date is penciled in at 19 March, just in time for the home video release.


Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:06 am
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Post Re: Les Mis Movie
Cameron macintosh said it would 22 more songs than the highlights


Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:16 am
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Post Re: Les Mis Movie
By the way, Quique, when you get around to posting the next part of your review, would you mind telling us what you think of the mini DYHTPS reprise that replaces the "Drink With Me" reprise at the barricade? I like it, but I've heard a few people call it cheesy and overly sentimental. What do you think?


Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:43 pm
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Post Re: Les Mis Movie
So sorry for the delay, y'all. My health hasn't been all that wonderful these days and am still feeling the after-effects of the bout of pneumonia I had back in late November to mid December. I get winded just going up a flight of stairs..with more than two steps. Sheesh.

But I'm alive, so all's well.

I will post the rest, I promise, in a day or so at most.

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Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:16 pm
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