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Old 01-10-2013, 03:39 AM   #11
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I was first turned on to Les Mis (as the Hipsters call it) with the Liam Nieson version, which quickly became one of my favorite movies. It was a great movie.

I soon saw the stage version of Les Mis and it was--coming from a person who doesn't like pretentious stage actors--****ing awesome.

I have NOT seen the new version, but judging from my like/love of the Liam Nieson move plus the fact that S. B. Cohen plays the Master of the House (vis-a-vis the stage play) I'm sure I'll like it. I haven't read the book because I'm a pretentious American and I haven't found an un-abridged version at my locan B & N.

Anyways, yes, high-brow, but only because they're french. You can like the movie/story; and anyone who isn't a communist will.
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:15 AM   #12
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So, here'e my take on it.

Valjean (Jackman): just amazing. Jackman has range, can hold a note, and can act at the same time as singing. I don't know his background but there must be some serious broadway there. Who am I: 24601.

Monseigneur Sumthing: This is the priest who Valjean stays with when he cannot find work. Gives candlesticks to Valjean, and buys his soul for God. This guy looked and played the part perfectly. This scene is the pivitol inflection point in the movie. "Another story must begin"!

Fantine (Hathaway): great acting, a bit over the top but consistent with the stage production, excellent singing, very nice at the end of movie (with old Valjean).

Cossette - Young (?): excellent little actress, great little voice.

Cossette - Adult (?): excellent acress, great pixie-voice with appealing vibrato; plays great with Valjean and Marius

Marius (?): This guy can sing. Looks more irish than french, but played the part well.

Gavroche (sp?): This kid was dynomite. Hard to understand in his first appearances, but played his final scene with touching perfection.

Javert (Crowe): Turd. Acted well enough, but man he just can't sing. Ruined many of the signature songs in the movie. The confrontation scene with Valjean, the "fall" at the bridge, etc. If the rest of the cast wasn't so, so strong, he could have sank this movie.

Who'd I miss?
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:15 AM   #13
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So, here'e my take on it.

Valjean (Jackman): just amazing. Jackman has range, can hold a note, and can act at the same time as singing. I don't know his background but there must be some serious broadway there. Who am I: 24601.

Monseigneur Sumthing: This is the priest who Valjean stays with when he cannot find work. Gives candlesticks to Valjean, and buys his soul for God. This guy looked and played the part perfectly. This scene is the pivitol inflection point in the movie. "Another story must begin"!

Fantine (Hathaway): great acting, a bit over the top but consistent with the stage production, excellent singing, very nice at the end of movie (with old Valjean).

Cossette - Young (?): excellent little actress, great little voice.

Cossette - Adult (?): excellent acress, great pixie-voice with appealing vibrato; plays great with Valjean and Marius

Marius (?): This guy can sing. Looks more irish than french, but played the part well.

Gavroche (sp?): This kid was dynomite. Hard to understand in his first appearances, but played his final scene with touching perfection.

Javert (Crowe): Turd. Acted well enough, but man he just can't sing. Ruined many of the signature songs in the movie. The confrontation scene with Valjean, the "fall" at the bridge, etc. If the rest of the cast wasn't so, so strong, he could have sank this movie.

Who'd I miss?
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:23 AM   #14
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Oh yea, forgot about the Thenardiers

Madame (Helen Boname Carter): Ok. I like her a lot, and she played the part, but I couldn't understand her. Probably me.

Monsieur (Borat guy): I hated Borat. So, I went in with poor expectations. But this guy was great.

And he and Madame played the parts perfectly together. I think there were a few extra lines thrown into the score that I didn't recognize for them. They were very entertaining (in a different way than in the play). Very funny these two. That's their role in the play too.

Note: they were not funny in the book. They were low and completely evil.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpacemanSpiff View Post
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.
That is EXACTLY my complaint with the RENT movie. The stage show is an in-your-face, loud, rock concert disguised as a musical that feeds on the intimacy of the live show - bumping up against and somewhat breaking the fourth wall*. You feel the emotions, heck, the band is right there on stage rocking out the whole time. The movie, it's background music, and you're a spectator.

*In theater, the Forth Wall is the invisible plane at the front of the stage, separating the actors from the audience that is typically treated like it's one-way glass; we (the audience) can see what's on stage, but to those on stage, the audience doesn't exist. When a performance calls for an actor to interact with - or even acknowledge the presence of - the audience, he/she is said to be breaking the fourth wall.

 
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:55 AM   #16
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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.
The night I went you wouldn't have needed a reservation anyhow.

 
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:03 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passedpawn View Post
Oh yea, forgot about the Thenardiers

Madame (Helen Boname Carter): Ok. I like her a lot, and she played the part, but I couldn't understand her. Probably me.

Monsieur (Borat guy): I hated Borat. So, I went in with poor expectations. But this guy was great.

And he and Madame played the parts perfectly together. I think there were a few extra lines thrown into the score that I didn't recognize for them. They were very entertaining (in a different way than in the play). Very funny these two. That's their role in the play too.

Note: they were not funny in the book. They were low and completely evil.
I'm not gonna comment on Les Mis since I've seen the play too many times and Liam Neeson movie too many times that I don't want to watch it ever again, but if all you know Sasha Baron Cohen as is Borat, you need to watch Hugo at least, guy is awesome. I personally love Ali G and Borat, but even if you hate them you have to love him in Hugo.

 
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passedpawn

Monseigneur Sumthing: This is the priest who Valjean stays with when he cannot find work. Gives candlesticks to Valjean, and buys his soul for God. This guy looked and played the part perfectly. This scene is the pivitol inflection point in the movie. "Another story must begin"!
He was the original Valjean on Broadway. Colm Wilkinson I believe.

 
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:50 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passedpawn View Post
So, here'e my take on it.

Valjean (Jackman): just amazing. Jackman has range, can hold a note, and can act at the same time as singing. I don't know his background but there must be some serious broadway there. Who am I: 24601.

Monseigneur Sumthing: This is the priest who Valjean stays with when he cannot find work. Gives candlesticks to Valjean, and buys his soul for God. This guy looked and played the part perfectly. This scene is the pivitol inflection point in the movie. "Another story must begin"!

Fantine (Hathaway): great acting, a bit over the top but consistent with the stage production, excellent singing, very nice at the end of movie (with old Valjean).

Cossette - Young (?): excellent little actress, great little voice.

Cossette - Adult (?): excellent acress, great pixie-voice with appealing vibrato; plays great with Valjean and Marius

Marius (?): This guy can sing. Looks more irish than french, but played the part well.

Gavroche (sp?): This kid was dynomite. Hard to understand in his first appearances, but played his final scene with touching perfection.

Javert (Crowe): Turd. Acted well enough, but man he just can't sing. Ruined many of the signature songs in the movie. The confrontation scene with Valjean, the "fall" at the bridge, etc. If the rest of the cast wasn't so, so strong, he could have sank this movie.

Who'd I miss?
Boy, I've got to say I really disagree with your review of Hugh Jackman's singing--I thought it was totally amateurish. Agree with everything else--good to great performances by the no-names (and by Anne Hathaway, who did much better than either of the other Hollywood big names, I thought), but the two male leads absolutely could NOT carry their singing parts, and made it hard to listen to at points. Jackman I was especially surprised by, since he's done so much Broadway, I was expecting better. Crowe, I expected him to not be terrific, and my expectations were met.

Overall, I thought the movie was really tedious, and strangely shot (something line 2/3 of the movie is all close-up face shots of the actors singing...it's really discomfiting). It doesn't give you a good sense of scene for much of the movie--one exception I thought was the scene at the inn ("Master of the House") with Sacha Baron Cohen and Tim Burton's wife (can't remember her name), which I thought was very nicely shot.

I have to say, I wasn't keen on going to see this--I enjoy musicals and plays, but almost never like plays adapted for the screen (except Chicago--terrific!). I've seen Les Mis on the stage and have read the book (in French and English), but didn't enjoy the earlier film adaptation either. With this one, I brought a flask into the movie and was, unfortunately, sobering up by about half way through. It's so plodding and long that by the end I just wanted to be put out of my misery. If I had been there by myself I wouldn't have stayed for the whole thing.

I know a lot of people liked it, so maybe I'm judging it too harshly, but I didn't find it entertaining--just tedious, sung by mediocre leads, and poorly shot/directed. And SOOO long!
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:11 PM   #20
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Life sucks.
Then you die.
Oh, your principles suck too.

OTOH, I liked it, great sets, and good time transitions. The movie was very good in increasing the size of the crowd, giving you France rather than just a stage.
Crowe, not anywhere near as bad as the music EACs make him out to be. You wouldn't want him on a soundtrack, but was a very good believable Javert.
Overall, Les Mis rates a light 4 stars out of 5. Think Samuel Adams Boston Lager, a crowd pleaser.
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