Les Misérables

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  LadyCDaae on Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:02 pm

SenorSwanky wrote:I think you're in the minority on that. It's much more important, especially for film, that they get a good actor than a good singer. And Hugh is a more than passable singer. I also have a much higher opinion of his voice than I used to.

Hugh has a very distinctive voice--just as Michael Crawford and Colm Wilkinson do, actually--so I can understand where it's not everybody's cup of tea, but I love it. And although his upper end is strained in some places, he's also capable of some lovely things in his head voice (I'm rather fond of this song from about 4:15 on out). I'd still like to hear him do PotO someday (yes he did a few bars of MotN on SNL several years back, but that's hardly enough).

~LCD

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  SenorSwanky on Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:54 pm

Hugh was on Leno on Thursday night, and there was a new clip from What Have I Done?

http://www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show/video/thursday-december-13-2012/1426926/

A mostly positive review from the Sydney Telegraph: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/movies/hughs-latest-high-note/story-e6frexli-1226537588246

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  SenorSwanky on Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:32 pm

Overwhelmingly positive review in The Atlantic: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2012/12/les-miserables-movie-review/60013/

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  Madame Giry on Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:35 pm

Well, thanks to a local radio station promotional giveaway, I've got a pass to an Advance Screening of the film for Tuesday evening, December 18. Very Happy

Will let you know how it goes!

~Madame~

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  LadyCDaae on Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:43 pm

Lucky!

~LCD

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  PhantomOfTheSalle on Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:18 am

I won an online contest and get to go too!

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  SenorSwanky on Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:49 pm

Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly and Richard Corliss of Time both had scathing reviews, but for some reason they didn't come up in my Google News search. I wouldn't want to link to them anyway, because they're idiots.

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  LadyCDaae on Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:37 pm

So some Spanish channel managed to get a hold of "One Day More" in its entirety. Pretty damn awesome, Seyfried going shrill on her high end notwithstanding.

~LCD

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  SenorSwanky on Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:40 pm

As much as I'm dying to see it, I think I'm actually gonna restrain myself on this one...at least for now.

One more week
Another week of abject misery
This never-ending road to the AMC
These clips that seem to test my spine
Will surely be, when I see them, fine

Laughing

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  LadyCDaae on Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:51 pm

You have more fortitude than I, I admit. ("Oh I can't, I really want to wait until I see this in the theater...butIhavetoknowwhatitsoundslikeaaaaaghIcan'tstopmyself!!!")


....Yes, I'm a pathetic little spoiler whore. Sad

~LCD

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  StrangerThanUDreamt on Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:38 pm

Just watched "One Day More" ....I have mixed feelings on it; I still think the orchestrations sound too muted...

I feel like I must be missing something, for I am just simply not as enamored with this as I had hoped to be, I feel like it showed so much promise, and now it just feels rather 'meh'

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  SenorSwanky on Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:46 am

Cool bit on Helena Bonham Carter's blood relation to Hugo: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/253221/group/homepage/

Negative review from the Washington Times: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/dec/18/movie-review-les-miserables/

If you want another clip, our first real look at Colm: http://www.moviefanatic.com/2012/12/les-miserables-gets-a-new-clip-an-honest-man/

New featurette that focuses on Hugh: http://wearemoviegeeks.com/2012/12/les-miserables-featurette/

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  Madame Giry on Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:55 am

StrangerThanUDreamt wrote:Just watched "One Day More" ....I have mixed feelings on it; I still think the orchestrations sound too muted...

I feel like I must be missing something, for I am just simply not as enamored with this as I had hoped to be, I feel like it showed so much promise, and now it just feels rather 'meh'

Having seen it tonight - I can say that my feelings are fairly close to STUD's, though the film is not without its great moments. Will elaborate more when I'm not exhausted, so stay tuned!

~Madame~

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  SenorSwanky on Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:25 am

Apparently Crowe's audition included several former Javerts on the panel: http://www.film-news.co.uk/show-news.asp?H=Russell-Crowe-%E2%80%98had-tough-Les-Mis-audition%E2%80%99&nItemID=16449

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  Becky on Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:51 am

Madame Giry wrote:
StrangerThanUDreamt wrote:Just watched "One Day More" ....I have mixed feelings on it; I still think the orchestrations sound too muted...

I feel like I must be missing something, for I am just simply not as enamored with this as I had hoped to be, I feel like it showed so much promise, and now it just feels rather 'meh'

Having seen it tonight - I can say that my feelings are fairly close to STUD's, though the film is not without its great moments. Will elaborate more when I'm not exhausted, so stay tuned!

~Madame~
I agree on the clip of "One Day More," and I have a feeling I'm going to agree with Madame Giry. Maybe it's because I'm a bit of a snarky snob who is difficult to please Wink

I liked the chorus in "One Day More," except the orchestrations and last few seconds felt underwhelming to me.

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  LadyCDaae on Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:45 pm

This movie is starting to make me feel like Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice--I hear such different accounts of it as to puzzle me exceedingly.

Will have to wait and see for myself, I guess. I do like what I've seen so far.

~LCD

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  StrangerThanUDreamt on Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:13 pm

Madame Giry wrote:
StrangerThanUDreamt wrote:Just watched "One Day More" ....I have mixed feelings on it; I still think the orchestrations sound too muted...

I feel like I must be missing something, for I am just simply not as enamored with this as I had hoped to be, I feel like it showed so much promise, and now it just feels rather 'meh'

Having seen it tonight - I can say that my feelings are fairly close to STUD's, though the film is not without its great moments. Will elaborate more when I'm not exhausted, so stay tuned!

~Madame~

Would love to hear your thoughts! I'm still anxious to see it, and am certain there will be things I love (Hathaway, Barks...just to name a few) But while I have been to hyped for this movie, and getting others hyped about it, the more I see the more my enthusiasm fades, I will wait until I see the full film to give a more well rounded opinion; but as of now I feel like we may have a case of 2004 Phantom; beautifully shot, some good supporting vocals, but missing that special 'something' that makes it such a fantastic stage show.

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  Madame Giry on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:12 am

On Tuesday, December 18, I was able to attend an advance screening of the Les Miserables film, based on the stage musical. What follows are my thoughts and comments on the film.

INTRO

I think it's necessary for me to disclose up front that I didn't see this screening under the best conditions. Apparently, there was a great deal of confusion prior to the screening because the production company had handed out far more passes to the screening than the theater could accommodate. My mom and I arrived half an hour early and even then we had to wait in line and was repeatedly told that there were no seats remaining. I'd estimate about 100 people were turned away. It was only out of pure stubbornness that we lingered around. Just before the movie started two people left and since we were the next people still waiting, we got in. The problem, however, was that the vacated seats in question were in the very front row and off to the side, so my view of the film throughout was uncomfortable at best. (Short Version: I was cranky, motion sick with a headache and a sore neck while watching the film.) This will play into my assessment of the film, as you will see. I will also disclose that I have NOT read the original novel.

I spent a bit of time figuring out how to organize my review, and I decided to break it down into the different components of the musical movie medium: Acting, Cinematography, and of course, Music.

ACTING

A major success of this film lies within the generally high caliber of acting.

Hugh Jackman has some great moments early on; you really buy into the idea that he's hit rock bottom. He's very rough and ragged and completely unappealing; coarse/nonexistent manners, a limping gait, hunched posture, raspy voice. This makes a great contrast to later on when he transforms into his more refined, clean-cut alternate identities. He's a very active Valjean; handling those acts of lifting heavy things and scaling walls and running from the authorities with great physicality – doubtless aided by his work in action films.

Russell Crowe has made a career out of playing the troubled/tragic stoic, so acting-wise he's pretty ideally suited to the role of Javert. He's totally driven by duty and a sense of right and wrong. Great authoritarian poise. The man also speaks volumes with his eyes; inner conflict in spades.

Anne Hathaway as Fantine. Brutal. I'm telling you, just brutal. Her fall is fast and unforgiving. There's no sparing the audience. Anne gives a really amazing performance as a broken and hopeless woman. Her expressions are painful to the point that you actually get really uncomfortable watching her; disturbed by her pain. Fantine's death is a scene that really tugs at you. Anne believably conveys the character's hallucinations, including joy at seeing Cosette in her mind.

The Thenardiers, portrayed by Sascha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter, are perfectly sleazy and humorous – a welcome reprieve from the parade of horribles in the film. They're not as loud and boistrous as often seen on stage, more like quirky and duplicious, but it still works very well. Their bickering and banter is also well played.

Samantha Barks is a real highlight of the cast as Eponine, which is hardly surprising given her excellent turn in the stage production. Her death scene was gut-wrenching. I mean really, tears and sniffles and tissues throughout the theater.

The lovebirds, Marius (Eddie Redmayne) and grown up Cosette (Amanda Seyfield) are suitably idealistic and besotted with one another. Eddie's shining moment was Empty Chairs at Empty Tables. You could really see sorrow and regret he was going through while mourning his dead friends. Amanda is sweet and as pretty as the role demands.

Enjolras is a favorite character of mine so I was kinda upset that there wasn't any effort made to promote him the way that other characters were in publicity materials. Played by Aaron Tveit, he didn't quite strike me as the really iconic, charismatic leader that I've seen from other actors. However, his death scene was memorable in that when he fell his body seemed poised to parallel how we see it sprawled on the barricade in the stage productions – that was a nice touch.

I'm going to take a moment to do a shoutout to the little kids in the film. Isabelle Allan is an angelic Young Cosette; big piercing blue eyes, believably fearful in the woods, and obviously overjoyed to be saved by Valjean. Gavroche, played by Daniel Huttlestone, is precocious and sharp, witty and likable. His death scene was another big emotional moment; you feel how cruelly his life is snuffed out.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

In contrast, the cinematography I felt was the film's biggest failure and the main reason why I feel it wasn't the success it could have been.

Don't get me wrong, the visual design of the film was really great. Wonderful costumes, great period street scenes and appropriate background vistas. I'm talking strictly about HOW the movie was filmed.

I'll start with what I did like. There were some well-staged scenes. At the End of the Day with Javert and his men on horseback galloping through the wretched poor in the streets. The Confrontation between Javert and Valjean was a great duel with sword and spar, dodging between hospital curtains. Master of the House had lots of great camera shots detailing the Thenardiers' subtly relieving their customers of their belongings. Gavroche and his street urchin gang romping through the carriages and parties of the rich for the Look Down in Paris was a brilliant way to introduce the 'second act' as it were. Javert's Stars and Death scenes were brilliantly filmed to parallel one another visually.

Perhaps the greatest triumph of the film is the ending starting with Valjean's dying scene. The way that sequence was handled is closest to capturing the magic of the stage show, and was also a real tear-jerker.

Okay, now onto the painful stuff. I recently watched Tom Hooper's The King's Speech and I was impressed by the style of filmmaking. Sadly, that does not seem to have translated here. In his effort to utilize the live-singing technique, and to capture the emotion of the actors, he, perhaps inadvertently, really reduced the 'scale' of the film. I would say that about 75% of the film is spent with shoulders-up, or tighter, close ups of the actors. Particularly for solo and duet numbers, nearly entire songs are spent with the actors faces filling the frame from ceiling to floor, with little to no pan-out shots. This is why I can comment so much on the acting, because it's basically shoved down your throat with nothing else to focus on. This is particularly troublesome for duets because you basically can't see character interaction. I literally exhaled in relief every time the camera panned out to a wider vista – and there weren't enough of those times. It's unsurprising, then, that I feel most of the scenes that best translated from stage to screen were those that used more wide shots.

Another problem, related to the live-singing directorial approach, is that Tom Hooper seems to have abandoned the use of steadycams or flycams for the majority of the film. The result is a shaky, handheld look used through most of the film, which wreaked havoc on my motion sickness. I can understand that an 'in-the-moment' visual style can be effectively deployed for action scenes, like chases and battles. To the extent that it was utilized in the film, however, it was distracting. I think more judiciously used steady shots would have helped capture more of the sweep and scale of the story.

Finally, particularly during the first half of the film, the pacing was so uneven that it sapped all that signature driving momentum we know from the show out of the story. Added and changed scenes did not help. It might not have been as noticeable to someone unfamiliar with the show, but for anyone who's watched the real thing/Anniversary concerts many times will feel that things can plod along periodically.

MUSIC

Musically, I would say that there were some successes in the film, but my predominant attitude toward the music in the film is frustration.

What some of you have commented is true: The score has been drastically turned down in volume, which did a lot to detract from the pace and momentum of the film. This seems directly related to the style of singing that is present throughout the film. You know that epic, pulse-pounding rhythm you get when watching/listening to Look Down? Or the rousing swell of Do You Hear the People Sing? That doesn't exist here. It's generally all quite subdued, like listening to the soundtrack in a broom closet. Considering I was sitting only feet away from the screen and speakers, that's saying something.

Generally, it seems like vocal technique and volume has been sacrificed for acting. There are exceptions, of course. Samatha, for example, still belts out her parts like a pro. Eddie also consistently turned in very solid singing at good volume. Anne was very successful at walking the line between technique and emotion. It's clear she has a lot of raw vocal ability. I would be interested in hearing her doing a 'pretty way' version of I Dreamed a Dream. I also noted, with some amusement, that the bit parts often had some of the most technically solid singing; unsurprising, considering how many stage cast members were used in the film.

I was actually kind of disappointed with Hugh Jackman's singing. Okay, really disappointed at times. He has a roughness to his voice that is tolerable, even appropriate, for his earlier scenes, but was really grating when it came time for Bring Him Home. Jackman hit all the notes, but the song wasn't at all that beautiful prayer we're used to.

Turning to Russell Crowe, I'm going to stress that it is my opinion that his voice was autotuned in many places. It's not that he has an unpleasant timbre, but it is so perfectly smooth and even in tone at times that it seems unnatural. That being said, he was much better than I anticipated. Stars was decent, but of course a far cry from the harrowing and dynamic vocal perfomances of Philip Quest, Norm Lewis, etc.

The addition of the new song 'Suddenly', where Valjean sings about how his life is going to change because of young Cosette was totally forgettable and messed with the pace of the film. It could have, and probably should have, been cut in my opinion.

There were a lot of conversions of sung parts into spoken lines. There were also a lot of lyric changes, and in some cases entirely new sung passages have been added. A specific example, Lovely Ladies is usually a fun, if twisted, number in the stage show. In the film it's been transformed into this creepy, dark song that is a bit disturbing to watch. Now, I don't know enough about the history of the show's development offhand to know if any of these changes appeared in earlier incarnations. I'm just going to say that most of these changes were not good for the pacing of the film.

Finally, there was some significant shuffling around of musical numbers/scenes. However, most seemed to make sense if you thought about it.

WRAP UP

So, on the whole, I think the film could have been a lot better.

I can and did make allowances for singing, given how gunshy some movie makers seem about casting powerhouse voices in musical movies. I went into the film looking primarily for how successful the creators were at translating the power of the show to the film medium, and I think by and large they didn't take enough advantage of the strengths of film to make that transition.

There's enough good stuff in it to make it well worth at least one viewing, though. I will probably see it again – hopefully with a better vantage point this time, and I'll see whether changed perspective will improve my opinion of the film.

That's about it. I'm leaving out spoilers because this review is long enough as it is, and because I don't want people being tempted to read something they'll regret knowing in advance. Honestly, some things (one in particular) in the film are better left as a surprise.

For those heading out to see it next week, I hope you enjoy it!

~Madame~

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  PhantomOfTheSalle on Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:15 am

I was also able to see the advanced screening on Tuesday. I am not the most critical person when it comes to watching films and musicals, and it's very rare that I come across some piece of entertainment that I find to be absolutely horrible. I have this gift/curse of being more-or-less ignorant of most film craft, so it affords me a nice cushion of blissful unawareness concerning most film faults. I'll comment on what I can and give my general perceptions. Smile Here we go...

Just to make sure I don't harp on any of what Madame Giry already covered, I'll quickly go over my thoughts on those topics. I agree with the acting. Pretty much everyone was top notch and in the moment.
Like I said, I don't know much about cinematography. From my seat much higher in the house, I didn't notice the use of a handycam and was not bothered by the many closeups. As for pacing, I didn't feel like any parts dragged, but the beginning did feel rushed.
For the music, the volume didn't even register to me. It felt as epic as ever. This may be because I normally play music very low when watching films. It was almost a relief that I didn't have ringing ears after leaving the theater. I agree that the singing was sacrificed for emotions and acting, but I'm fine with this. The amount of emotion delivered more than made up for singing. For me, a movie, especially this movie, needs a high degree of emotional expression. I'd rather have decent singing and superb acting than perfect music coming from robots. If I want amazing singing I'll just toss in an anniversary concert CD. I agree with MG in that Hugh was a bit disappointing. He has a very nasal singing voice that runs high at times. Crowe was decent and had a good sound, but I agree that he probably was helped a bit digitally. "Suddenly" is a bit boring and forgetful. I was happy with all scene/song rearrangements. They all made sense.

Ok, now for the stuff within my expertise.

Makeup
Pretty good, all around. Valjean, Fantine, young Cossette, and the throngs of poor all had believably impoverished, emaciated, sickly faces when needed. Kudo points for getting in a nod to the source material in the presence of dark, black-eye type bruises under young Cossettes eyes. The Thenardiers were suitably clownish without actually looking like clowns, except maybe a little during the wedding feast. The battles did not show much wounding and maiming, so moulage wasn't really needed, but there was plenty of blood on some sets. Yay gritty realism. My only grievance with the makeup is the lack of aging on Javert and Valjean, especially Valjean. I mean, by the end Valjean is meant to be in his mid-60s unless I am mistaken, and pretty old for that time period, but Hugh still looks like Hugh, just with slightly grayer hair. When he sets to dying at the end, he has some sickly makeup applied, but he doesn't look like he should be dying of anything. I found it a little distracting from an otherwise impeccable scene. I also miss the Valjean stage beard.

CGI
On the whole the CGI used was beautifully rendered and well integrated into real set pieces. It was most often used for the few larger, sweeping shots of scenery, especially cities, and works well. The one point where it screamed FAKE to me was the beginning with the ship being hauled into dry dock. Something about the ship just looked off, like if there was an uncanny valley for inanimate objects. I think it might have been a lighting issue.

Other special effects and stunts
Solid work in all areas. The battles are setup well, if slightly confusing at times due to the handycam being in the midst of it all. I'll also give a shout-out to Enjorlas's death. Great stunt and nice parallel to the stage. Hugh was wonderfully physical, doing many of his own stunts, including carrying Eddie Redmayne around, resulting in quite a lot of screen time for Eddie's... *ahem* posterior end. While we're on that scene, the gack made up for the sewers is absolutely fantastic. You will be sick when you see those two dunking in it. Guaranteed.
The only stunt I wasn't thrilled over was Javert's suicide. I don't want to spoil, but let's just say it's not quite as easy to watch as someone simply slipping beneath than Seine.

This part is a little spoiler-y if you wanted to search for these things on your own.
Book parallels (I'm only through Valjean and Cossette landing in the convent in my reading, so I can only note up these to that point.)
Hauling in the ship is eluded to as one of the prisoners' jobs at the galleys. Was nice to see the chain gang doing something other than walk in a circle.
Valjean's convict outfit and appearance is directly from the book, from the bristly hair and big beard to the large cudgel.
Some of the added scenes, such as Valjean getting tossed out of every job and inn, Javert reporting to the Mayor, and Javert apologizing to Valjean for accusing him were based on scenes in the novel.
During Fantine's fall from grace, they added her selling her teeth, which is one of the things she did in desperation before becoming a prostitute, although in the novel it was her two front teeth. I understand why they used back teeth, though. I doubt Anne would have wanted to look THAT pathetic.
No 24601 tattoo. It's purely a stage device that wasn't based on the novel and not strictly needed for the film.
As I mentioned before, young Cossette's appearance is inspired by the book.
Valjean buys Cossette a fancy doll.
The song "Suddenly" is based on a whole chapter about how Valjean had never felt love before meeting Cossette. Still doesn't make me like the song more though.
The chase though Paris is from the book, and contains some nice details, down to the source of the rope he uses to haul up Cosstte.
The convent and gardener are also brought in from the novel.
The outfit Valjean wears on his first appearance with grown Cossette is actually what he wears when rescuing Cossette in the novel, as well as his time before entering the convent.
I have to stop there because I haven't read the rest yet, though I'm sure if only the beginning has this many, the rest of the film is crawling with references too.

Overall thoughts? I will truthfully say I left that theater with a grin the size of Texas. It swept me away on an amazing ride. I cried. Multiple times. I almost never cry in movies, and I have never cried when seeing Les Mis live. That's a testament to the level of acting going on. There's one moment in particular that just wrecked me, but I won't say what it is. Yes, the pacing isn't perfect, yes, the singing leaves a lot to be desired, and yes, I probably missed a whole lot of little issues with the film due to my rose-colored glasses, but I had FUN. Legitimate, laughing, crying, swept-along fun. I recommend it for musical fans, and any fan of the stage musical itself should give it at least one chance.

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  StrangerThanUDreamt on Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:15 am

The highlights album is now out on itunes, Ive heard a few pieces so far...wasn't all that impressed with "Stars" which is one of my favorites, next to "One Day More"; perhaps the acting really makes up for the meh vocals, because it sounds just rather low-energy overall.

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  PhantomOfTheSalle on Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:44 pm

StrangerThanUDreamt wrote:The highlights album is now out on itunes, Ive heard a few pieces so far...wasn't all that impressed with "Stars" which is one of my favorites, next to "One Day More"; perhaps the acting really makes up for the meh vocals, because it sounds just rather low-energy overall.

Yeah, between the quieter orchestrations and self-paced singing, much of the music is a bit low energy, but like I said, the acting totally distracted me from that fact. I definitely won't be buying a soundtrack to this one, though. This music must be seen as well as heard to appreciate the whole.

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  SenorSwanky on Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:46 pm

Glowing review from the Globe and Mail (CA): http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/film/film-reviews/les-misrables-unsubtly-straight-from-the-heart-and-the-tonsils/article6599193/?cmpid=rss1

And the Denver Post: http://www.denverpost.com/movies/ci_22225953/hugh-jackmans-hero-makes-les-mis-eacute-rables

I didn't know Deadspin, a sports site, reviews movies, but they loved it: http://deadspin.com/5970101/resistance-is-futile-les-miserables-reviewed

So did the Fresno Bee: http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/12/20/3108686/movie-review-les-miserables.html

And the National Post (CA): http://arts.nationalpost.com/2012/12/20/les-miserables-love-a-toast-to-the-musical-for-people-who-dont-like-musicals/

And amNY: http://www.amny.com/urbanite-1.812039/movie-review-les-miserables-4-stars-1.4359726

OK review from the NY Post: http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/movies/les_miserables_may_cause_weeping_Y3Ra6snZsgWBxC0SPhW5vJ

And the Daily News: https://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/movie-review-les-miserables-article-1.1224460

Nice piece on Colm: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/music/for-millions-hes-the-true-jean-valjean/article6599683/


Last edited by SenorSwanky on Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:29 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  Madame Giry on Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:59 pm

PhantomOfTheSalle wrote:
StrangerThanUDreamt wrote:The highlights album is now out on itunes, Ive heard a few pieces so far...wasn't all that impressed with "Stars" which is one of my favorites, next to "One Day More"; perhaps the acting really makes up for the meh vocals, because it sounds just rather low-energy overall.

Yeah, between the quieter orchestrations and self-paced singing, much of the music is a bit low energy, but like I said, the acting totally distracted me from that fact. I definitely won't be buying a soundtrack to this one, though. This music must be seen as well as heard to appreciate the whole.

I'm with Salle on this one. I think the soundtrack on its own won't stand up well to repeat listenings without the context of the film; particularly if you're used to the better cast albums/concert recordings.

I forgot to mention in my review that Amanda Seyfield's singing voice, while pretty, is quite thin. There's no depth or power, and you can hear occasionally where there may have been some digital enhancement for long, high notes.

Again, though. Go see the film at least once. The ending alone is well worth the price of admission. Smile

~Madame~

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  SenorSwanky on Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:03 pm

Not a full review, but Peter Travers of the Rolling Stone, one of the more populist critics, loved Les Mis, and recommends it in a video along with Django Unchained and Zero Dark Thirty: http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/videos/zero-dark-thirty-les-miserables-and-django-unchained-are-must-see-holiday-movies-20121220

The Montgomery (AL) Advertiser did as well: http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/article/20121220/GO0101/312200004/Review-Les-Miserables-becomes-intimate-spectacular-big-screen?nclick_check=1

And a second glowing review from the Fresno Bee: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/12/20/3738310/powerful-les-miserables-does-justice.html

And another from the Sioux City (IA) Journal: http://siouxcityjournal.com/entertainment/movies/review-les-miserables-was-worth-the-wait-for-musical-s/article_444da407-d1a6-58d0-aa36-aee125df493a.html

And the Idaho Press Tribune: http://www.idahopress.com/a_e/top_story/les-mis-rables-shines-on-big-screen/article_50ab7878-4b02-11e2-a9fb-0019bb2963f4.html

And a mostly positive one from the Montreal Gazette: http://www.montrealgazette.com/entertainment/movie-guide/Review+Miserables+human+misery+gets+close/7729923/story.html

Nice piece on Hugh: http://entertainment.inquirer.net/73013/hugh-jackman-reveals-the-things-he-cant-do

And an ode to the show in The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/12/les-mis-rables-has-always-been-too-big-for-criticism/266565/

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  StrangerThanUDreamt on Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:47 pm

Madame Giry wrote:
PhantomOfTheSalle wrote:
StrangerThanUDreamt wrote:The highlights album is now out on itunes, Ive heard a few pieces so far...wasn't all that impressed with "Stars" which is one of my favorites, next to "One Day More"; perhaps the acting really makes up for the meh vocals, because it sounds just rather low-energy overall.

Yeah, between the quieter orchestrations and self-paced singing, much of the music is a bit low energy, but like I said, the acting totally distracted me from that fact. I definitely won't be buying a soundtrack to this one, though. This music must be seen as well as heard to appreciate the whole.

I'm with Salle on this one. I think the soundtrack on its own won't stand up well to repeat listenings without the context of the film; particularly if you're used to the better cast albums/concert recordings.

I forgot to mention in my review that Amanda Seyfield's singing voice, while pretty, is quite thin. There's no depth or power, and you can hear occasionally where there may have been some digital enhancement for long, high notes.

Again, though. Go see the film at least once. The ending alone is well worth the price of admission. Smile

~Madame~

Oh I defiantly plan on seeing is as soon as possible, and I do think there will be things about it I like; however I don't foresee being on bandwagon of near worshiping it as flawless, as some fans/critics have. I may be the only one, but Russell sounds A LOT like Gerard to me...I keep waiting to hear a number that is rousing in some fashion, but Im just going to wait until I see the whole product, I may change my mind entirely .

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  Madame Giry on Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:54 pm

StrangerThanUDreamt wrote:I may be the only one, but Russell sounds A LOT like Gerard to me.

Oh, it isn't just you. I believe someone on Tumblr phrased it thus, "Russell Crowe sounds like Gerik with a cold." Wink

~Madame~

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  SenorSwanky on Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:53 pm

Third trailer featuring more of On My Own: http://youtu.be/nQ10YRA3VKI

Also six great featurettes that gave me goosebumps, though the first one doesn't work: http://wearemoviegeeks.com/2012/12/six-new-on-the-set-les-miserables-featurettes/

Peter Travers' full review, which is the most glowing I've read yet, so glowing he even liked Crowe Laughing : http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/reviews/les-miserables-20121221

Very positive review from the Kansas City Star: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/12/21/3977456/les-miserables-runs-on-emotion.html

A mostly positive one from Bill Goodykoontz of the Gannett papers: http://www.news-press.com/article/20121221/ENT/121221034/Larger-than-life-Les-Miserables-shouts-intensity-

An awesome, highly recommended review/ode to the show in the form of a two-person conversation on the sports humor site Grantland: http://www.grantland.com/blog/hollywood-prospectus/post/_/id/64381/the-great-les-miserables-geek-out

Nice essay on the history and meaning of the story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bradley-stephens/finger-pointing-and-flag-_b_2345226.html

Nice piece in the NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/23/movies/les-miserables-on-film-cameron-mackintoshs-dream.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  SenorSwanky on Sun Dec 23, 2012 5:44 pm

Fairly positive review in the Toledo Blade: http://www.toledoblade.com/Movies/2012/12/23/Hathaway-shines-in-Les-Mis-rables.html

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  LadyCDaae on Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:48 pm

Eric D. Snider, an online critic who's one of my "film barometers" (as in, his opinion is likely to coincide with mine) gives a mostly positive review: http://twitchfilm.com/2012/12/review-les-miserables-delivers-most-of-the-emotion-and-some-of-the-spectacle.html

Going Wednesday evening. I've heard a lot of differing opinions on this film and every single person in it, so I'm eager to see for myself.

~LCD

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Re: Les Misérables

Post  Scorp on Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:18 am

StrangerThanUDreamt wrote: I feel like we may have a case of 2004 Phantom; beautifully shot, some good supporting vocals, but missing that special 'something' that makes it such a fantastic stage show.

A case of 2004 Phantom? Yikes, I don't think it's going to be anywhere near that bad. At least, I hope not. For a start, Cameron put effort into this and Tom Hooper is not a bad director. That's two things that are already different from the Phantom film (which I thought was hideously shot, one or two bits aside). Generally this film has had excellent reviews so far in the UK; mixed by the looks of it in the States. The 2004 film was, rightly, negatively reviewed all round in both countries.

And while I'm not a fan of Crowe's singing voice either, thankfully Javert is not a title character upon whose performance the show turns completely nor is Javert supposed to be an Angel of Music, so I think I'll be able to get over that in the cinema. I don't generally like Crowe, but he can act and generally has star power and a good list of credits to explain why he's been cast. A certain person lacked all of these qualities in 2004, and still does.

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Re: Les Misérables

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