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Old 01-09-2013, 03:40 PM   #1
headbanger
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Hope I spelled that right...

I've been hearing this touted as "the greatest story ever told" and similar praise of late. Probably a bit too high-brow for me, I think, but I'd like to hear some opinions from fans of the story/movie as to what it's about and why it's so great.


 
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:03 PM   #2
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Its a 19th century sappy story about the poor pathetic stuggles of an ex-con. Its typical French stuff. I suffered through the play, I'm not about to suffer through the movie... Although I am told that Russel Crowe kind of blows in this movie but the other actors carry the show.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:07 PM   #3
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The movie is based on the theatrical musical, which is based on a book written in the 1860's. The book, via wikipedia, "is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century", and the musical is one of the most popular ever produced (ranking up there with The Phantom of the Opera. The London production began in 1985, and has run continuously since.

In short, among theater-goers, it's one of the top shows you can see. I'm not a fan of cinema productions of theater masterworks, especially since there will be an element of society that will think a 30-year old musical and 150-year old book are based on a movie they saw last week. And producing a show for cinema loses some of the greatness of the theater. (For instance, RENT in a live action theater is one of the most incredible experiences I think you can have, and completely immerses you in the story and production, using a bare-bones set. The movie, on the other hand, while good, is just another movie with a lot of singing.)

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Old 01-09-2013, 11:58 PM   #4
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I don't really know anything concerning the play or the movie, but the book is quite good.

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Old 01-10-2013, 12:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headbanger View Post
Hope I spelled that right...

I've been hearing this touted as "the greatest story ever told" and similar praise of late. Probably a bit too high-brow for me, I think, but I'd like to hear some opinions from fans of the story/movie as to what it's about and why it's so great.

Yes, my words.

I'm very biased since I've read the book twice (no small feat), seen it performed on stage 3 times, listened to the soundtrack an embarrassing number of times, and of course seen the various movies including the latest.

The description above by BigB is about right. It's a sappy story of an ex-convict who makes good. It is epic in that the story follows this man through his life, and especially focuses on his efforts to raise the daughter of one of his employees.

It's a great, great story. It's also very leftist as it parallels a French revolution and is always from the point of view of the working class. I highly recommend reading Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged right after this to get yourself back to the center

The latest movie was REALLY sappy, but it also was essentially the stage play on the screen. Same music, nearly the same lyrics. and the story remained untouched from the play. All the characters are represented VERY well except the character of Inspector Javert, played by Russell Crowe. Crowe acts well, and played the part well, but this was a musical and Russell Crowe fell down there. Next to the amazing voice of Hugh Jackman, Crowe sounds like me singing. Use your imagination.

I've seen phantom a couple of times too. I like this show better.

For anyone interested in the movie, there was a previous one starring Liam Neeson and Clair Danes. No singing. If you are really interested, just pick up the book and get started. It's long, with too much french military history in it, but the whole unabridged story is there. Victor Hugo also wrote Hunchback of Notre Dame which is a great read.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:44 AM   #6
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I was dragged to it during the Christmas break....and really enjoyed it. It even has Sacha
Baron Cohen.

 
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:51 AM   #7
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I was drug in also. After the first 15 or20 minutes I was ready to walk out. By the end of the movie I really liked it. My 10 year old step daughter felt the same way. I would recommend it without reservation.

 
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:55 AM   #8
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I was drug in also. After the first 15 or20 minutes I was ready to walk out. By the end of the movie I really liked it. My 10 year old step daughter felt the same way. I would recommend it without reservation.
Agreed. Definitely drag a chick to it

 
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:58 AM   #9
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My wife went with me. She surprising really liked it, and she wasn't a fan of the stage production.

At least 4 couples left in the first hour. It's probably not for everyone. All that singing. No dance numbers though, in case anyone was wondering.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:28 AM   #10
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The stage play is one of my favorites. Les Mis was the first date for the wife and I and we've seen it at least twice since then. So we were very hopeful going into the movie. Disappointed is probably the wrong word for it as I think it was still a good movie, but I'm not sure if it was going to be possible to live up to our expectations. Russell Crowe is definitely a big part of that. Javert's songs can be so great and it's not that his voice is bad, but it's just wrong for the part. For the most part I thought the rest of the cast ranged from very good to great and Hugh Jackman was awesome. I think our biggest disappointment was what seemed like a lack of energy in a lot of the movie. While the freedom of not being confined to a stage helped in some parts, I think it also kept me from being drawn in as much as I have been when seeing it live.

Probably the biggest problem is the number of times we've watched and listened to the 10th anniversary celebration concert. That will cement in your brain how the songs are supposed to sound and it sets a very high bar.

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