Escape to the Movies: Les Miserables

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iniudan:

JudgeGame:
giving you a 10 page tragic biography of their families so you can get an idea of what being lower class in the 17th century was like.

19th century

Right you are. I'm terrible at history and dates.

Baresark:
I don't know why this review is occurring.... this movie was number three on his ten most hated movies of the year. I think that is review enough. His reasoning is kind of irrelevant. Comparing it to the book is also irrelevant as the movie is clearly aimed at the crowd who liked and are into watching, musical theatre. It seems to me that Bob probably does not like musical theatre, which is 100% Ok, but then it kind of skews what he may have to say about a movie adapted from the musical theatre version of the story.

But if people only reviewed films they liked reviews would be pointless. It's like that time that reviewer who famously loathed superhero movies said Captain America was pretty great, that let people know it was a damn good film. If it wasn't for reviewers like him, we would never find out how to improve superhero films because we'd just get unoriginal feedback from people who have no interest in seeing superhero movies transcend their self-imposed limitations. If we don't get people who aren't interested in musical films critisize musical films, we'll never figure out how to make musical films not suck.

I can't write this with enough emphasis: this is a very powerful musical. It is filmed well enough and I'd love to do whatever reasonable to help it be a success.

I took my wife to see it. I thought she might be bored. Instead, she sobbed through the whole thing.

It was a very different movie experience and when I left, I was happy, emotionally drained and satisfied all at the same time.

And Kudos to Russel Crowe. You da man! I thought it took balls for him to sing in a musical and he surprised me. He was fine.

saintdane05:

If anything, he shouldn't be in the movie.


THAT is how you perform Jarvert.


Here's the whole concert. Guess the guys like it up on youtube or something.

That whole concert, gods that is fantastic music. I wish I had found this video before! I love it! Thank you good sir! :D

It's a shame the film is bad, I really wanted to see it. No doubt I still will go and see it, but if it's so bad it brings Movie Bob's accent out I wouldn't want to waste money D: but I love musicals so much, so I will probably end up liking it by the end.

Padwolf:

saintdane05:

If anything, he shouldn't be in the movie.


THAT is how you perform Jarvert.


Here's the whole concert. Guess the guys like it up on youtube or something.

That whole concert, gods that is fantastic music. I wish I had found this video before! I love it! Thank you good sir! :D

It's a shame the film is bad, I really wanted to see it. No doubt I still will go and see it, but if it's so bad it brings Movie Bob's accent out I wouldn't want to waste money D: but I love musicals so much, so I will probably end up liking it by the end.

IT actually is quite a good movie. You just need abit a patience. And be able to listen to Russel Crowe sing.

Hey, Bob's accent is no more distracting than the completely non-Cockney kid singing about French democracy.

What they NEEDED to do was have all the actors sing AND do the film at 48fps...

But seriously, everyone not named Anne Hathaway or Sacha Baron Cohen did a terrible or just mediocre job at singing, and it's only the strength of the story itself that carries the film. We don't really live in an age where actors can intuitively communicate a sense of dedication to things like faith, duty, democracy, forgiveness, justice, and other such abstractions, so most of the parts that were sung concerning them felt like line-reading.

(Only bright spots: Both Anne Hathaway's performance and the supporting cast sold her 15 minutes of Oscar bait perfectly, and Sacha Baron Cohen can play a Je...corrupt landlord perfectly for some unknowable reason, even being the only one who actually bothered to adopt a French accent.)

Sad to say, but you know what Les Miserables really needed? That would have really made it interesting and relevant for today? That would have given a much greater knowledge of the motivations of the central characters?

A......(Lord, I hate to say this) prequel.

And The Hobbit, for all its faults, is doing a much better job at being an effective and comprehensive communicator of lost virtues simply beause of that.

saintdane05:
IT actually is quite a good movie. You just need abit a patience. And be able to listen to Russel Crowe sing.

For a movie producton of it that is really not bad at all. I want to see it now :D

JudgeGame:

Baresark:
I don't know why this review is occurring.... this movie was number three on his ten most hated movies of the year. I think that is review enough. His reasoning is kind of irrelevant. Comparing it to the book is also irrelevant as the movie is clearly aimed at the crowd who liked and are into watching, musical theatre. It seems to me that Bob probably does not like musical theatre, which is 100% Ok, but then it kind of skews what he may have to say about a movie adapted from the musical theatre version of the story.

But if people only reviewed films they liked reviews would be pointless. It's like that time that reviewer who famously loathed superhero movies said Captain America was pretty great, that let people know it was a damn good film. If it wasn't for reviewers like him, we would never find out how to improve superhero films because we'd just get unoriginal feedback from people who have no interest in seeing superhero movies transcend their self-imposed limitations. If we don't get people who aren't interested in musical films critisize musical films, we'll never figure out how to make musical films not suck.

I'm fine with him reviewing it. I just don't think it's necessary because everyone already knows his feelings on the movie. And I don't think musicals are really the same situation as other movies (especially Les Mis as it has zero spoken lines unlike a lot of other musical films). No one is going to argue better direction is not warranted. And I wasn't a huge fan of so many shots that were just zoomed in on peoples faces (makes for a boring movie).

The movie was aimed at people who enjoy the story as conveyed through the music. In that sense, it was really good. The vast majority of the singing was very well performed. Crowe as Javert was not for everyone, admittedly. But my girlfriend, who is a superb singer and has been singing for most of her 24 years of life, really enjoyed his performance. I almost feel like his performance is only going to be appreciated by people who know singing like some bands produce music that is only really appreciated by other musicians. And Oscar bait or not, Anne Hathaway blew away that part like it was nobodies business. That is one of the few times I felt that zoom in on the face was warranted.

The film wasn't great but at the same time I can't help but think that no matter how good the directing or camera work was, people who don't like musicals aren't going to like it. I have to be honest, the beginning scene where they were pulling that ship was about 100 times cooler than any stage production of the musical has ever been. And no one seemed to pick up on the actor/singer playing The Bishop of Digne was the original Valjean in the very first London production of the show, which was a nice wink to the original musical production.

I'm not trying to sit here and say it was perfect or revolutionary. It certainly wasn't the be all end all of movies or musicals. But, does it deserve to be on the top 10 worst movies with a followup of exactly what is wrong with it, I'm of the opinion not. Once again, my opinion is different, which is fine. I respect his opinion and the opinion of anyone who didn't enjoy it, but to talk about it instead of just moving on, it just doesn't make sense.

Meh, it's cool though, what's done is done. More than likely he had this a few weeks in advance and had put it up if for no other reason than he is expected to have a movie review ready every Friday. It's not like the theatre's are overflowing with review fodder at this point.

Edit: I didn't say this and I very much meant to. While my girlfriend and I enjoyed Crowe's performance enough, we do both feel he is the weakest link still and not comparable to actual stage productions of Les Mis. Also, I personally feel the romance in the third act between Cosette and Marius is just annoying. They are the most god awful boring characters, their parts are uninspired and, as a personal scathing critique on the musical production in general: They are meant to give more character to Valjean, but all it does is pull you away from much more interesting characters to do it.

iniudan:

HTF to you write out Thénardier from the story, especially when focusing on Valjean ? He's his foil.

Has for the name you ask, Éponine, she is Thénardier's elder daughter. If the story focus on Valjean she could indeed be easily ignored.

I thought Javert was Jean's foil. One follows the law of the state even if it means doing wrong, while the other does what is right regardless of the law. I guess I can see what you're saying, though. Nice use of accents.

Padwolf:

saintdane05:

snip

That whole concert, gods that is fantastic music. I wish I had found this video before! I love it! Thank you good sir! :D

It's a shame the film is bad, I really wanted to see it. No doubt I still will go and see it, but if it's so bad it brings Movie Bob's accent out I wouldn't want to waste money D: but I love musicals so much, so I will probably end up liking it by the end.

I honestly think you will enjoy it. The problematic directing aside, the show was honestly pretty great, in my opinion. Not perfect but you will have wow moments as far as the production is concerned. This is a very divisive movie though, it seems you either like it or hate with little middle ground to be had. And don't let anyone fool you, Crowe's performance, while far from the best the show has ever seen, isn't as bad as it's made out to be. Don't go in expecting to be blown away by all the performances, but some of them will blow you away. Others you will be disappointed in, but they aren't as bad as they are made out to be. But if you don't, there is always rental when it comes out on DVD.

Daaaah Whoosh:

iniudan:

HTF to you write out Thénardier from the story, especially when focusing on Valjean ? He's his foil.

Has for the name you ask, Éponine, she is Thénardier's elder daughter. If the story focus on Valjean she could indeed be easily ignored.

I thought Javert was Jean's foil. One follows the law of the state even if it means doing wrong, while the other does what is right regardless of the law. I guess I can see what you're saying, though. Nice use of accents.

Consider Javert the antagonist, has his point is not to make Valjean seem more grandiose, while Thénardier is a scum whose action are there to be contrasted with Valjean one.

Random Argument Man:
From what I've heard about this film, it would've been better if they did more than one movie. If you're going to adapt a huge book with so many characters, you would probably need to give things a bit more time to develop. ... And Russel Crowe would've had a lot more practice for his scenes.

samus17:
All I got from Bob on this one was:
I've read the book and it's not as good
and
I don't do musicals and here's why

Um...Have you watched the review for only 15 seconds?

-Did you miss the part where he said that there's too much characters with not much time to develop them?
-Did you miss the part where he said that Anne Hatawhatever's part is pretty much a fat Oscar bait?
-Did you miss the part where he wasn't surprised that the movie sucked because it was the King's Speech's director?

Amongst other things...

Note*Sorry if it sounded like I was pissed at you.

Out of those three, only the last is a legitimate complaint. The first one is complaining that the movie is true to its source material. The second... the scene was written for a medium that does not get Oscars(live stage performance) and based on a book that predates the Oscars. Complaining that the scene is Oscar bait is like complaining that The Lord of the Rings felt like a generic D&D adventure.

When I first heard about Les Mis' coming to the big screen I was initially apprehensive. I love the concert, which I saw many years ago. The music was moving and the terrific. My thoughts were brought to The Phantom of the Opera, also great on the stage or (mp3) but a terrible terrible movie. I looked on the wiki entry about the details of Les Mis' and my heart sank further. The casting isn't great (I mean really, Russel Crow in a musical... no). And I started to see what this movie was, the timing of the year... it was an Oscar grab.

Colour me unsurprised by this review. When I looked on rottentomatoes it got many popular reviews, but they weren't for the cast or the fact it was a movie.

Devin Barker:

SlightlyEvil:

Devin Barker:
why does everyone act like bob is not allowed to dislike things... its a review show...thats his review... suck it up

To me, the problem isn't that he hates things. It's that his attitude is so often "if you disagree with me, you're an idiot." See also: Amazing Spider-Man (which, while far from being a classic, I thought was at least decent), any given FPS (more true in the Game Overthinker than here).

For the record, I thought Hooper's direction during the solos was boring and sleep-inducing, even when the actor was giving a good performance. Uninterrupted solo close-ups get tiring after the first 2 minutes. More or less everything else, I really liked. Except Russell Crowe, of course, that almost goes without saying.

Maybe its just me, but i dont get the "your stupid" impression at all he is just a guy that is very passionate about his opinion like most "nerds" (i use the word kindly as i identify my self as one) i feel like he is more just drawing his line in the sand saying this is where i am your with me or your not but i have never got the "your stupid" impression... guess its just a difference of view

Bob has a tendency towards "This was stupid, made by idiots, and if you like it then you're an imbecile, too."
See: Any review related to the "Fast and Furious" franchise. I enjoyed about half of them so far (I describe them as "hit or miss") but his reviews kind of pissed me off. "A movie made by douchbags, for douchebags." Thanks, asshole!

As for the current topic; I'm still going to see this eventually. I want to see what the big deal is.
And I'm kind of frustrated that all these apparent "classics" keep cropping up that I've never heard the existence of. Not a single mention in any of my several English classes or textbooks throughout school.
What gives?

So this new wolverine film is a new origin film ignoring the other origins?

roushutsu:
This was the first time I've seen anything Les Miserables, and overall I did enjoy the movie. Absolutely LOVED the songs, saw some really good performances, and I really liked Jean Valjean as a hero.

That being said, there was something that did bug me about the movie and I'm not sure if it's the same in the theatrical production or not (someone tell me if it is). The first half of the movie with Valjean I thought was great. It painted how fucked up France was during the time period, and watching Valjean, Fantine, and Cossette's plights was a great way to illustrate it.

But when we moved to the second half with the revolution itself, it felt really rushed. If everything we've seen before is supposed to lead up to these climactic battles, then why breeze through it all? It's like, "Oh, here is everyone now, GO FIGHT!" How can I sympathize with Valjean's struggle as a concerned father figure when I barely know how Cossette is like as an adult other than the fact that she's in love with Marius? Hell, why should I care about Marius at all? I see that Eponine is a beloved character and all, but I just couldn't get into her struggle since I really didn't give two shits about the guy she's in love with.

I kinda can't help but feel as if this should have been 2 movies, this way we could get more details and more attached to the characters before and during the revolution. But if that's how the stage version was then I guess we can't really do that. Or maybe I need to read the book.

It was my first experience with the musical (although I've read the book many times and seen many different movie adaptations) and like you I really liked the songs, and like you I found it really rushed, but since I have read the book and know the story, I can tell you the whole thing is rushed, not just the second half.
The thing is, it's a 2,000 page book we're talking about. You can't usually buy it as a single volume unless you're getting the ebook, it was originally published as 3 books, and it's divided into five parts in the text itself (so some publishers publish it as five books).
As I understand, the musical is longer than the movie. So the musical already shortened a huge story (I never even understood how people can make a movie out of it. It would work best as a series. Hopefully a HBO one) and then the movie shortened it even more.

So yeah, my one problem was that I felt you weren't given enough time to care about the characters or understand them.

However, I enjoyed the movie a lot. Sure, I was a bit surprised about the cast (physically, Jackman and Crowe look like each other's character should look. However due to their acting, they're better as their own character I feel. Valjean is supposed to have a lot of range in all the different identities he takes over the story, while Javert is always described as stiff and stoic and unchanging).

I watched the movie on its own merits, trying not to compare it to the book because it's one of my favourite books and I know anything that fits in a movie would pale in comparison with the complexity and depth of the original work. And of course I can't compare it to the musical since I'm unfamiliar with it. But seen as what it was, a musical version of the story, I enjoyed it. I think it had many very moving scenes, and I thought most of the actors did a great job.
I actually was pleasantly surprised with Russel Crowe, I expected him to completely botch the part (Javert being my favourite character, it made me cringe to see him cast as him), and went into the movie with these expectations, and in the end he definitely wasn't as bad as I expected him to.
He wasn't amazing either, but I found him ok.

In the end, I just left the theatre thinking "Les Misérables is basically the 19th Century's Song of Fire and Ice. Is HBO gonna pick it up already?" I think they'd do a fine job, and this way the characters and events that were skipped can be put back into the story.
And while I found the Thénardiers funny in the movie, I really didn't like that they were turned into comic relief. They're the creepiest parts of the books, and they're much less scary when you can't take them seriously. I understand why the person who made the musical made the decision to add some comedy to the story, but I don't think it's necessary, especially since compared to other musicals have seen (Notre-Dame de Paris comes to mind, or Roméo and Juliet), Les Misérables has a lot of happy stuff in it.

Had to look up Ralphie in the bunny suit. Good stuff.

I completely agree with this review, I mean the songs in the movie were great when they didn't feature Russel Crowe (who sadly has some of the most singing time) and the set pieces were awesome, but as a movie it sucked. I saw it and found it to be an overlong mess of a movie. All of the characters are completely one dimensional, and constantly the characters would die without any real reason given why, especially Anne Hathaway, who goes from being a single mom working in a factory to being a dead prostitute in one song's time with no reason given as to what was wrong with her (I thought she was just asleep until Wolverine closed her eyes). There were way too many characters and secondary plotlines, but I didn't care about any of them. They were all so generic, and I didn't even know what the big final battle was about, other than a small group of college kids rebelling against the government because there are poor people in the world. The weirdest thing for me, was that once the movie finished a bunch of people gave it an ovation, so lots of people obviously like it. Btw, I generally like musicals, but only when they are also successful as a movie.

Sooooo... How do you think an adaptation of Les Mes could work? Is it impossible to adapt a musical to a movie effectively? Could you pull more stuff from the book and make it work better?

I know you said how this particular movie could be better... but what if you started from scratch?

saintdane05:
Snip

The 25th Anniversary cast would have to be my favourite ensemble, Norm Lewis is the best Javert, Alfie Boe nails 'Bring Him Home' and is my favourite Valjean and I very much enjoyed Enjolras. Everything about the cast is good...

...

Not including Nick Jonas, I give him credit for having the balls to take part in such an epic event, but he was my least favourite cast member

As for Bob's review, I agree...sort of. Once you get past some shoddy camerawork and Russell Crowe the movie is still rather magical, could have been done better though. But the Thernadier's were perfect, Sacha and Helena nailed the roles.

So confused....Is The Wolverine a sequel to Origins, or a reboot??

I agree that the movie was bad. I wouldn't say it SUCKED, but yes, it was bad. I'd give it a C+. But my reasons of thinking so are different.

As an actor (primarily in musical theatre) who loves Les Mis and has seen and been in the stage show, the movie took the stage show, tried to mix it with the book, and then poured two thousand gallons of Hollywood into it. And I'm sorry, you can't take a musical and do that. Have we not learned from Mamma Mia and Rock of Ages, musicals as movies generally suck. Stage shows are written for the stage for a reason.

I feel it's not fair for someone who admits they hate musicals to review a movie musical, because they're already biased against it. My problems with it:

- Russell Crowe should never have been allowed near Javert. It should have been Ewan McGregor.
- They downsized Eponine's role and made the audience not like her, which is the exact opposite of her point in the musical.
- They added songs. That were bad.
- The cinematography was weird. I agree with Bob on this one. The solos were boring because all they were were closeups of the actors.
- Hugh Jackman did not have the vocals to play Valjean.

On that last note, I like that they put so much emphasis on acting, especially when musical theatre is stereotyped as having sucky actors. But...you can't sacrifice vocals for that in a show that's ENTIRELY sung, or as vocally demanding as these roles are.

Yes, Anne Hathaway was fantastic and will be showered with awards. But that's all I can give this movie.

Couldn't finish the review, the Boston accent was way to annoying to listen to.

Saw it the other day. Pretty much agree with Bob, though I didn't find it bad, just uninspired and generic. Functional and entertaining but nothing special. Same problem as Avatar really; an okay movie, but so disgustingly overrated that the bad parts are all that's left to talk about.

One stop going after king speech. That one best combo me French mm'sene I butcher right now, and story.

OK get record straight the English unbridge transition is 1400 hundred pages long. And goes into great of know ever character have importants, for example Bishop the first book in the fist volume he has whole book to himself.

Book broken down into 5 volumes which are roughtly broken down into about 12 books. sometime 13. So yea novel as entire book that 19 character deciated to battle of Waterloo.

I loved Les Miserable. It's touching, and a fantastic story, and whilst the pacing is schizophrenic and Javert seems a little wooden ... Well ... I liked it. Frankly I cried, though not a hallmark awartd for any even remotely touching moving. I was happy and I was sad, and it it's not often a movie can make you weep and then make you question 'why?'.

I don't know about you but I wept when Jean was removed from his cooling body to enter the realm of Heaven to the tune of Red and Black and such ambivalence between sad and joyful leaves you wondering.

The movies cinematography isn't bad, and honestly I do believe the movie was always attempting an aspect of the fantastic, Bob. I think you're doing the movie discredit by saying that it attempts otherwise ... like when the chain gang is roping the French Galleon onto the dry docks. Or when Javert throws himself upon the stones and dashes himself upon the dykes.

In passing ... I liked the film for what it was.

One gripe I have with the film is that Anne Hathaway doesn't look ugly enough as Fantine. By the end of her story, she's bald, bruised, has no teeth, is malnourished and is up to the brim in STDs, oh and she hasn't washed in 2 months. She looks more like a SMBD porn actress than a dying, destitute hooker. It kind of undermines the whole point of that story.

"A lot of hardcore fans" is a funny way of saying "a culturally significant linchpin of stage musicals and composition." Maybe Bob's ignorant to who this film will actually appeal to, but the idea of seeing pretty images and famous actors sing all those Les Miserables classics is exciting. It's more like a really expensive music video, right? It's not trying to comprehensively and interestingly tell the story of the book; it's a motion picture of the stage musical. By those standards it surely achieves its modest goals?

I get it. It's not good at storytelling in a cinematic medium. But that isn't what the film is doing. It's an excuse to see Les Miserables on a big screen with a bunch of well-known faces filling in well-known roles and hearing booming orchestral renditions of the songs. As far as direct adaptions of stage musicals go... I mean, I haven't seen it, but I don't think it can fail that. Not with the pedigree of the source material on its side.

Bob, I have a lot of respect for you and work, but. If you're going to slag it off, at least do it properly. It's 19th Century, not 17th Century, and kindly learn how to pronounce the names properly. I know speaking French is will get you beaten up in the States, but still. Its not like any of us here know you or what you look like. That is without going into the overarching issue behind this.
All critics have preferences and agendas. All enjoy different genres more than others, yet they don't (mostly) let it get in the way of the critical judgement. You have an axe to grind with grand MOR Oscar-baiting showpieces. Fair enough, I can understand that. I quite liked The King's Speech. It wasn't groundbreaking, but it was well acted and well made. However, whether or not it deserved all those Oscars is a moot point. Personally, I felt Colin Firth (despite his often lousy role selection) is one of Britain's best character actors and was owed some recognition sooner or later.
Yet it also seems obvious (in your point of view) what should receive all the big awards this year. Now this is an entirely different kettle of fish altogether. I haven't seen Django Unchained yet and I still haven't seen Cloud Atlas, despite dearly wanting to. I have seen The Avengers, twice, and I loved it. As a piece of popcorn entertainment, it was magnificent. Yet, does that make it the best film? You could devote a whole thread to that question so I will leave it there.
What I will say is that despite how bad you think Les Mis to be, can it be any worse that Prometheus was? If ever there was a film that exemplified bad story structure, it was that one. Yet, why do you give that a free pass (not to mention the highly disappointing Dark Knight Rises) whilst laying the boot into the mainstream favourite. What I am saying is, snobbery can cut both ways.

The stage musical is superb!
Honestly and I don't like musicals, but on stage this is a moving production with enough character development that you don't over-look anyone story-line

This film version sucks!
Actors who look uncomfy with everything their doing, no character development, just cardboard cutouts in nice looking enviroments and Hugh Jackman:

As Dr Cox said:
"You know things I would rather see than you becoming my daughter's godfather? A nuclear war, a sequeal to High Floats, Hugh Jackman winning an oscar...

First off, I don't have a problem with Bob's accent. I can understand if some people do, but some of the vitriol seems like a bit of an overreaction. That said, my girlfriend's family saw Les Miserables, and I decided to take a miss and go hang out with a friend instead. Her mother thought it sucked, she thought it was OK, and her teenage sister-who's the head of the theater group at her high school-thinks it was the greatest thing ever created by man. Although all three loved the Hobbit. So there you go.

I agree with your points, except the cinematography I that the movie looked great, you made but much like if a comedy makes you laugh you can over look other elements and have a enjoyable time the same goes for music numbers in musicals and the musical numbers are great here. Not saying it's a great movie but it's enjoyable.

saintdane05:

DVS BSTrD:
Okay, Okay you weren't just being ahltunative. You really don' like this movie do you.
Can't say I'd like the idea of a constantly sung movie either, especially since I've seen one of the old black and white versions (not sure which but it was one of the American ones)

Andrew Siribohdi:
But I thought Russell Crowe was miscast as Javert.

If anything he should be the one to play Jean Valjean.

If anything, he shouldn't be in the movie.


THAT is how you perform Jarvert.


Here's the whole concert. Guess the guys like it up on youtube or something.

I don't want to sound like a dick, but that is a concert. Stage acting is so much more than standing in one spot singing, and that can hardly be used as an example of how to perform.

The film aside, how does Batman of all things constitute legal absolutism? He definitely adheres to moral absolutism, but legal absolutism takes things a little too far. Batman's entire image, after all, was created because pretty much everything he does is illegal.

foxtrot3100:
Damnit Bob, pick an accent and stick w/ it! This back and forth shit within the same review hurts my ears.

My exact thoughts. I have nothing against his natural accent, I'd much prefer he just be honest and let those who hate it adjust :P.

the switching hurts my brain.

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