#1  
Old 12-13-2012, 10:55 PM
Les Miserables



Directed by Tom Hooper

Written by William Nicholson

Genre: Musical

Plot Outline: In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after he breaks parole, agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's daughter, Cosette. The fateful decision changes their lives forever.

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Barks

Rated PG-13 for suggestive and sexual material, violence and thematic elements

Runtime: 157 minutes


I'm not really a fan of musicals or Tom Hooper's directing style, but the teaser intrigued me. The reviews have been pretty meh though, so I dunno. Django certainly gets top priority on Christmas Day.

Last edited by Bourne101; 12-13-2012 at 11:03 PM..
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2012, 11:03 PM
I know almost nothing about this movie. The marketing has been horrible. Lots of bad marketing this season. Theyt would have been better off focusing on one or two scenes than the mess of a trailer they put out.
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  #3  
Old 12-19-2012, 09:59 PM
My review:

As a great fan of the musical as an art form (both in the theatrical and cinematic context), I am comfortable saying that Les Misérables is one of the great works created for the stage. Based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, the musical is a highly celebrated classic in its own right; a highly emotional, melodramatic epic. The music by Claude-Michel Schönberg (with lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel and adapted into English by Herbert Kretzmer) has been sung and memorized by actors and fans alike since the show’s inception in 1985. A film adaptation of the musical has been a long time coming, and is met with high expectations and a great deal of hype, particularly after director Tom Hooper’s recent Oscar win for directing The King’s Speech, a critically loved (yet frequently internet hated) and lovely little British period drama. The pre-release narrative is clean and true: the terrific cast, the director’s pedigree, the much publicized use of live-on-set singing, the notion that “finally!” this film is being made. For all intents and purposes, this adaptation of Les Misérables should be a home run. Yet instead we are met with a film that is almost a catastrophe. The film is an overly and arbitrarily stylized conception of a classic piece of work that obscures all artistic merit in favor of misguided and utterly maddening ugliness.

When I first heard of the live-on-set singing approach to this film (no ADR or studio dubbing, as is typical of a musical film, was utilized) it excited me because it pointed to the approach that Tom Hooper was taking. It is clear from seeing the film that I was right in assuming the intent: this film is meant to be an intimate and raw take on the musical that highlights the emotions and the melodrama. By utilizing this technique, Hooper affords his actors the opportunity to truly act. This cast is, after all, made up of actors first (singers second). For the most part the cast Hooper has assembled can not sing this score as well as the many actors who have performed it on the stage, but that is not important in a cinematic approach. They are competent (some, like Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Barks, are excellent, and give the film’s most rounded performances) vocalists but phenomenal actors. Russell Crowe’s growling vocals are oddly suitable for Javert; he barely sings, but instead speaks on pitch. It is less embarrassing than it sounds, and he brings gravitas to the film that are sorely missed elsewhere. Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway reach into the depths of their characters and if they aren’t perfectly on pitch with each note or the vibrato falters it doesn’t matter because they are connected to the humanity and truths of these moments. Anne Hathaway’s rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream,” in particular is not necessarily vocally stunning but it is incredibly powerful, hitting right to the heart. Yet as we see this moment only in extreme close-up, the camera shakily focusing only on Fantine’s (Hathaway) face, the emotion begins to crumble. We lose the illusion through the loss of context.

Rarely have I seen a director’s intent so poorly executed. I hold no ill will towards Hooper (as I mentioned above, I quite like The King’s Speech and his HBO miniseries John Adams is excellent), but he goes to great lengths in Les Misérables to essentially ruin the entire film. Alongside cinematographer Danny Cohen, Hooper has crafted a film that is visually impenetrable. The film is riddled with arbitrary and useless dutch angles, swooping and shaking movement, and a plethora of intense close ups of heads and faces. Les Misérables is an epic tale, spanning many years and many locations. This film, though, is a claustrophobic mess. There is no tangible grasp on the reality or cohesion of its world. The lighting and set design is ugly (not dirty and filthy like the time period suggests, but genuinely ugly). The film is so poorly stylized that as an audience member I was left at arm’s length, unable to make a connection, unable to respond to the material. It is dizzying, maddening, disgusting. The moments of great performance that Hugh or Anne or Eddie Redmayne hit are ostensibly ruined. Tom Hooper (and Danny Cohen) does his actors and the material a great disservice.

We are left, then, with a film of minimal and superficial pleasures. The score remains beautiful, and certain songs are beautifully sung. Close your eyes and the orchestrations are lovely. The inclusion of stage vetaran Colm Wilkinsin is a wonderful nod to fans. But the tone of the film is all wrong. It is not so much that it is overwrought, but rather that it almost seems like a joke. The visual obscurity goes a long way towards this. There is no weight or legitimacy. It is a floating, prancing, airy film that feels like actors playing dress up, not a legitimate epic or period piece. The Thenardiers are poorly integrated and obnoxiously performed by Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter, who both clearly thought they were in a silly farce as opposed to the intimate epic this wishes to be. Their antics speak to the film’s ultimate issue: Tom Hooper’s lack of control. With this cast and this approach, the film should have been a big success. Instead we are left with a weightless mess of frustrating nonsense.

Last edited by SpikeDurden; 12-20-2012 at 10:51 AM..
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  #4  
Old 12-19-2012, 10:17 PM
not interested and not huge on musicals because the usually play music i don't like
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  #5  
Old 12-19-2012, 10:19 PM
Some musicals I love (Chicago, Moulin Rouge!), some I hate. This looks like one I'll love. Can't wait to see it.
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  #6  
Old 12-21-2012, 02:56 AM
Heard this was good and decided to attend this coming weekend.
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  #7  
Old 12-21-2012, 10:58 PM
I was really interested in seeing this but after some of the reviews I'm going to take a pass. The musical isn't my native genre anyway, so it has to be something special for me to go to the theater. I may catch it on Redbox rental.
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  #8  
Old 12-25-2012, 10:04 PM
I wrote a pretty harsh review above, but the more I think about it the more I realize my heart and head are fighting over this one. I have serious issues with the filmmaking, obviously, but I really love the material and the performances and did get some genuine enjoyment out of finally seeing this source turned into a film.

I definitely plan to see it again, and with my harsh objective criticisms out of the way perhaps I will enjoy it more.
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  #9  
Old 12-26-2012, 09:19 AM
tried to see this yesterday morning before Django, sold out. Gonna catch it sometime this week but I'm hearing more and more negative reviews from people that aren't critics.
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  #10  
Old 12-26-2012, 09:33 AM
I wouldn't mind seeing this but l want to see what you guys think of this plus it is amazing that it is sold maybe we might have,hope for this film
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  #11  
Old 12-26-2012, 09:59 AM
The film opened incredibly well and I am hearing a lot of very positive buzz from my average friends as well as (and especially) my theatre-going friends (of which I have many). Anecdotal evidence to be sure, but I expect WOM to be mostly positive and for this to continue to make lots of money in the coming week(s).

My one hope is that this convinces Hollywood that making more musicals is worth it. As a fan, 1 or 2 a year (if we're lucky) just isn't enough.
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  #12  
Old 12-26-2012, 12:44 PM
This will probably be get nominated for best picture...even though it should not.

Last edited by CuatroDiablos; 12-26-2012 at 12:51 PM..
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  #13  
Old 12-26-2012, 05:44 PM
Dragged to it on Xmas. Not impressed, talk singing is an abomination.
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  #14  
Old 12-26-2012, 07:07 PM
I can't seem to bring myself to see this. I read the book at an earlier age and love the story, but I'm not too interested in musicals and reading some reviews that say it's pretty much singing every five minutes isn't particularly my cup of tea. I'll most likely catch it on blu-ray because I'm sure it'll be an Oscar contender.
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  #15  
Old 12-26-2012, 08:07 PM
Reading some reviews, most of the criticisms are going to Hooper's direction. This is what I feared when he was announced as the director even though I liked The King's Speech and give him credit for mostly staying out of the way on that one.

This will probably be a rental for me.

I don't have a problem with a musical that's all sung since I think The Umbrellas of Cherbourgh is a wonderful movie.

I don't know about the live singing thing though. It gives the actors a chance to really shine, that's true, but I don't know if it necessarily makes the movie itself better. I'm thinking ahead because if it scores with audiences, you can be sure future musicals will do this.

The old classic musicals were pre-recorded, but they were also able to be more cinematic because of it.
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  #16  
Old 12-27-2012, 04:12 PM
My expectations for this weren't very high because I'm not a fan of musicals (except Oliver! and maybe a few others) or Hooper's directing style. However, I ended up quite enjoying it. I actually wasn't as bothered by Hooper's style in this film as I expected to be. I think it probably could have been done better in another director's hands, but it wasn't taking me out of the film or anything like it seems to have done for some. The performances are great all around, particularly Jackman and Hathaway. You could hear a pin drop during Hathaway's big scene. A truly stunning scene and performance. The film does feel a little disjointed in the second half, and the cutting of one or two songs would have made it a bit tighter. Overall though, it was a very emotionally engaging, ambitious, and well-acted film. About as much I can ask of a film in a genre that I really have little interest in.
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  #17  
Old 12-29-2012, 04:59 PM
Full review on the way, but here are my quick thoughts on Les Miserables:
Les Miserables is such a grand film, but so hollow and unentertaining. Don't understand the love for Jackman, utterly unimpressive. Russell Crowe comes off a miscast through large portions of the film, although he has his moments. Best voice by far was Amanda Seyfried, followed by Anne Hathaway and Eddie Redmayne. Isabelle Allen was great to watch as well. Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen looked to be having a lot of fun in their roles, had one of the best scenes in the film. I feel like Tom Hooper's vision for the film was completely off. The never ending darkness and close ups got tiring so quickly. Cinematography was piss poor, I hated the way the film was shot, between the shaky camera and over focusing on pores - really poorly done.
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  #18  
Old 12-29-2012, 07:20 PM
Yeah I wasn't impressed with this either. Crowe looks very uncomfortable in the role and that pisses me off because I love the guy and his work and in most of his movies, he's the standout. Not so here.

Hathaway's "I Dreamed a Dream" is truly remarkable, she deserves the Oscar she's gonna get. Jackman overdoes the singing in more than a few scenes but he pours every inch of himself into the role and that's very commendable. Carter and Cohen completely steal the film from everyone else though, their "Master of the House" would probably fall into a top ten scene of the year list. Fantastic stuff.

Other than that, didn't like half of the songs, the close ups were overdone and not always effective, narrative was jumping from plot to plot too quickly and I really don't think the "live singing" approach helped too much (in case of Crowe, definitely not). Redmayne's got a great voice but he is a horrendous actor and he has the charisma of a lampost. Just can't believe that two girls fall madly in love with him.

Ups and downs overall, didn't regret it but it gets gobbled up by way better films this year to stand out in any real way, a couple of great scenes notwithstanding.

**1/2 out of *****
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  #19  
Old 12-29-2012, 07:59 PM
Sorry to go all Gene Shalit with the title but I couldn't help myself...

Review: Les Miserables - Aside from a few standout performance, Les Mis-ses the mark big time - http://wp.me/p2CCWq-2vK
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  #20  
Old 12-30-2012, 12:19 PM
I may be in the minority, but I think Aaron Tveit gave the third best performance of the film. He's quite underrated. I also loved Crowe (loved his "Stars"). I'd rank it as...

1. Anne Hathaway
2. Russell Crowe
3. Aaron Tveit
4. Hugh Jackman
5. Amanda Seyfried
6. Samantha Barks
7. Eddie Redmayne

BUT... I really didn't have an issue with anyone in the cast. Best movie of the year. Completely epic adaptation of one of my favorite musicals.
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  #21  
Old 01-01-2013, 02:12 PM
Well. I haven't seen it, but I can tell you about the general reaction it's getting at my theater:

Most people love it. In less than a week, I've had repeat viewers (one person was seeing it for a third time). When it's over, people applaud in the theater (though it isn't a very rousing or sustained applause like The King's Speech or The Intouchables received).

A few people have no idea that it is a musical and walk out because "it's not their kind of thing."

And there is also a small group of people who can't help but compare the movie to the various stage versions they've seen and feel disappointed because the movie version isn't as good as the version they imagined it would be.

The latter two groups make up a very small minority.




Oh, and about 90 minutes into the movie, it becomes bathroom break city.
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  #22  
Old 01-01-2013, 02:25 PM
Hathaway blew me away. Movie was way too long, which I guess was expected. I thought Borat and Helena Bonham Carter were hilarious.

7/10
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  #23  
Old 01-04-2013, 04:50 PM

10/10

First, I have to confess that the only knowledge I had of this legendary tale came through popular culture references. If it wasn’t for Star Trek or Seinfeld episodes, I would have known absolutely nothing about Les Miserables. Yeah, I’m THAT guy. I can also say that I never met a musical that I liked or even wanted to give much of a chance. That changes in a BIG way here!

I was completely enthralled and completely moved by this film and the way it was presented. I’ve read the critiques stating that the direction may be inferior or that the vocals should have been sweetened in post but I find both those criticisms to be without merit in my book. The entire cast was superb and there really are some award-worthy performances to say the least. Hugh Jackman is amazing as is Anne Hathaway (although being a novice to the tale, I was surprised at how small her role was). Every actor struck a chord with me emotionally. I honestly didn’t expect that to happen. Sure, a person can nitpick the story and the rather instantaneous love and connections that happen between characters but why seek to cheapen the experience? Getting hung up on logic when everyone is singing their thoughts and feeling would be missing the point. The overall message is as grand and moving as the performances. I also have to finish with another confession. It takes a tougher man than I to not tear up at the end of the film. The conclusion hit home in a big way with me as did this film, much to my surprise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Badbird View Post
Well. I haven't seen it, but I can tell you about the general reaction it's getting at my theater:

Most people love it. In less than a week, I've had repeat viewers (one person was seeing it for a third time). When it's over, people applaud in the theater (though it isn't a very rousing or sustained applause like The King's Speech or The Intouchables received).

A few people have no idea that it is a musical and walk out because "it's not their kind of thing."
If people are like me and have no clue about the story, most will love the film. Still, I knew it was a musical and usually consider myself in the "it's not my kind of thing" category. I saw it because of the hype. Five minutes in when Crowe and Jackman are doing their opening sing/speak I thought to myself, "good lord, this is going to be intolerable." "Why the hell did I pay to see this?" Now, I'm so glad I kept an open mind and allowed the film to do it's thing. This is one of the few 10/10 ratings and experiences for me of the 2012 releases. I enjoyed it FAR more than I thought I would.
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  #24  
Old 01-06-2013, 01:09 AM
I guess I had no idea that Tom Hooper had a "style" that people had a problem with. I don't get it. From what I've seen, it looks like a typical, epic costume drama. And I would call The King's Speech and John Adams nothing short of excellent.
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  #25  
Old 01-06-2013, 03:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Badbird View Post
I guess I had no idea that Tom Hooper had a "style" that people had a problem with. I don't get it. From what I've seen, it looks like a typical, epic costume drama. And I would call The King's Speech and John Adams nothing short of excellent.
That's the problem with Hooper. He's typical. I all but forgot about The King's Speech, apart from a couple of fantastic performances.

His movies just fail to engage.

But I realized why that is, for me anyway.

Here's what he said in an interview regarding Les Miz:

Quote:
I watched the film [The King's Speech] with many audiences around the world and the most rewarding thing about the experience was how it made people feel. I felt like for my next film I was even more interested in provoking strong emotion in people. Rather than engaging them in an intellectual or ideological way, I wanted to engage the heart again.
I personally don't respond well to filmmakers with that kind of mindset. Both intellectual and emotional engagement is possible, which is when a movie starts becoming truly great. Les Mis is ALL heart, which is fine up to a point but it gets too much and I start noticing the flaws (narrative, structure, Russel Crowe's bad singing etc.) People like JoeChar up there maybe think that's nitpicking and completely let their hearts be taken in, not thinking too much. And I can only stand aside and applaud because ultimately it's amazing to be so moved by movies regardless of whether I personally liked the film or not.

But when a film doesn't want me to think too much, I start thinking too much so I can't help it. :/
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  #26  
Old 01-06-2013, 03:43 PM
Tom Hooper most definitely has a style. It's not one that I like all that much (he overdirects the fuck out of pretty much everything), but if you've seen all of his work, he has a very distinct style that I would not consider typical. Story-wise I suppose he's pretty typical though, which combined with his atypical visual style makes for a strange viewing experience at times. It worked a bit better for Les Mis though, because the bold concept and visual style complement each other a bit more than the way his visual style complements a movie about speech therapy.

Last edited by Bourne101; 01-06-2013 at 03:57 PM..
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  #27  
Old 01-08-2013, 07:37 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpikeDurden View Post
I wrote a pretty harsh review above, but the more I think about it the more I realize my heart and head are fighting over this one. I have serious issues with the filmmaking, obviously, but I really love the material and the performances and did get some genuine enjoyment out of finally seeing this source turned into a film.
I definitely plan to see it again, and with my harsh objective criticisms out of the way perhaps I will enjoy it more.
I didn't think your review was too harsh. In fact I thought it was spot on. The director sucked ass, and quite possibly ruined something that could have been outstanding.

Here is how the opening played for me: kind of meh throughout the "look down" sequence, awesome song but it played on the screen as kinda average. Which is weird since that seemed to be one of the bigger and more elaborate sets. Anyway, after that we go to Valjean at the monastery or whatever, and when he starts singing in front of the cross it feels a little off too. Strange. But I think that was more just settling into the idea of "live singing / acting," which is new at least to me. Once settled, and by the end of that song when Valjean storms out of the castle or whatever, I was leaning forward in my seat wide-eyed and thoroughly impressed. I srsly said "holy shit" to myself at its conclusion, then looked around uncomfortably hoping no one heard me.

The first song shot in that ultra-close-up style, with the frame tight on Jackman's face, it worked. It worked incredibly well. What the movie should have done was let that sit there like that, instead of trying to duplicate it for every minute of the rest of its running time. When Anne Hathaway's big moment came and the camera's all in close-up mode again, it already felt overdone. It started getting annoying a little bit into her song, and then a little more annoying as the song went on, and by the end of it I wanted to punch the screen. It was infuriating, literally infuriating, to where I was almost seething thinking "for the love of god, director, PULL THE CAMERA BACK!! You are ruining this!" It worked once. It did not work the second time. Or any of the subsequent ones. I suspect that his aim was to showcase how they're singing and acting at the same time, which is more obvious in close-ups, and that would've been just dandy if it were used in moderation rather than in long, ultimately tedious shots.

There was a lot of other shit I didn't like about it, but they're story elements that are subjective complaints. Sweeney Todd had similar ingredients, the two dipshit teenagers who fall "in love" upon sight, but it didn't piss me off there as much as it did here. I think it's because in Sweeney the camera wasn't shoved right up in their faces every moment, so when those scenes came where they're singing their retarded shit to each other I could just look at the background a little until it was over. That wasn't really an option here.

Speaking of Sweeney Todd, it was way better. And it shouldn't have been. The themes of this movie are huge, and universal, and can be explored forever if done the right way. Forgiveness and grace and love and all those eternal ideas, they should have equaled a much better movie than Johnny Depp cutting people's throats. The actors aren't to blame, as they all did great. I agree about Russell Crowe's underwhelming vocal talents being strangely appropriate for the role. Story-wise, maybe the movie shouldn't have shifted its focus away from Valjean quite so often, as I really didn't give even a quarter of a shit about Marius or his revolutionary buddies and was pretty much bored by most of that. Yeah, I understand that the novel was sorta about the Revolutionary War and bleh and that's a huge part of the story, but an important part of ensemble's is to make every character interesting. Otherwise the audience is just waiting for the plot to get back to the ones they connect with, which to me was Valjean and Javert (and to a lesser degree Cosette, through association). However comma, I thought Cohen and Carter's "Master of the House" number was a nice little comedic break that was perhaps needed. Maybe a little tonally incongruous, but that's forgivable imo.

Anyway, the things I'm bitching about are things I probably wouldn't have been so bothered by if the direction were better. "I Dreamed A Dream" took me out of the movie completely by the time it was over, and that is solely the fault of the director. It wasn't the same after that. By what I've read so far it seems that was the standout moment for most other viewers, the thing that everyone is calling "astonishing" and so on, and Hathaway Oscars and bleh. It had the complete polar opposite effect on me. Weird. In conclusion, this flick had some really great ingredients and a shit-ton of potential, but ultimately it felt like a missed opportunity.

PS, I had never heard one song or known one thing about this musical until I saw the movie. I hated The Phantom of the Opera movie largely because Gerard Butler blew in comparison with Michael Crawford, who I'd known as the Phantom for years before the film. That changes people's perspective, a preexisting opinion, and I just wanted to make it clear that I had none, in case anyone wondered.
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  #28  
Old 01-12-2013, 10:46 AM
In terms of performances:

1. Anne Hathaway
2. Samantha Barks
3. Russel Crowe
4. Hugh Jackman
5. Aaron Tveit
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  #29  
Old 01-12-2013, 08:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bourne101 View Post
Tom Hooper most definitely has a style. It's not one that I like all that much (he overdirects the fuck out of pretty much everything), but if you've seen all of his work, he has a very distinct style that I would not consider typical.
Well, I don't see it. Aside from using haldheld cameras a lot (but hardly to the extreme like Paul Greengrass...), I don't find any of his work especially notable on a visual level. I feel the same way about David Yates and the last four Harry Potter movies: sky high production values, great acting, seemless VFX, but not really flashy or stylistic in the way I think of directors like Michael Bay, Baz Luhrmann, Guillermo Del Toro, or even Steven Speilberg.

And what does "overdirect" mean?


As for the movie: I thought it was okay. I'm not into musicals, but I liked the spectacle of it. The acting was solid all around. My main problem was that I thought there was too much story that was told too fast (which is a general problem with musicals, not specifically this movie), and that it was still too long.

I understand wanting to make a definitive movie version of the musical, and I'm glad they didn't do some shit like change the time period, but I would have rather seen a movie version that had less sing-talking and just plain old dialogue between song set-pieces.

5/10
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  #30  
Old 01-12-2013, 09:05 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Badbird View Post
Well, I don't see it. Aside from using haldheld cameras a lot (but hardly to the extreme like Paul Greengrass...), I don't find any of his work especially notable on a visual level. I feel the same way about David Yates and the last four Harry Potter movies: sky high production values, great acting, seemless VFX, but not really flashy or stylistic in the way I think of directors like Michael Bay, Baz Luhrmann, Guillermo Del Toro, or even Steven Speilberg.
Spike went into a bit more detail, but he uses a lot of intense closeups, dutch angles (and other random angles that I can't really put a name on), and unnecessary camera movements. It gives his work a very claustrophobic feel. That's just me though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Badbird View Post
And what does "overdirect" mean?
Doing more than is necessary to tell your story visually.

For example, Hugh Jackman's performance in some scenes is big and powerful enough that a medium shot is really all that is necessary. But Hooper opts for the close-up where you can see up Jackman's nostrils, and it just feels overdone.
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  #31  
Old 01-13-2013, 03:54 AM
Here's what I wrote on Friday:

Ali G and Marla Singer were the highlights. Saw this, last night, woke up this morning and thought maybe I was being too harsh but then I realised I was only remembering the good parts, which were few and far between. Just bland and monotonous, could have benefitted heavily from some heavy editing and some songs cut. There are some good scenes though and the performances are all top notch. I think the fault lies with the directing here which makes me glad Hooper didn't get a director nomination. For a film that was supposed to be emotional, I felt little to nothing. The first hour or so is pretty good, though. I really wanted to like this film, and there is a lot here to like but for now it rests at a 6/10.
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  #32  
Old 01-13-2013, 08:33 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hucksta G View Post
Here's what I wrote on Friday:

Ali G and Marla Singer were the highlights. Saw this, last night, woke up this morning and thought maybe I was being too harsh but then I realized I was only remembering the good parts, which were few and far between. Just bland and monotonous, could have benefited heavily from some heavy editing and some songs cut. There are some good scenes though and the performances are all top notch. I think the fault lies with the directing here which makes me glad Hooper didn't get a director nomination. For a film that was supposed to be emotional, I felt little to nothing. The first hour or so is pretty good, though. I really wanted to like this film, and there is a lot here to like but for now it rests at a 6/10.
Completely agree, except I gave the film an average score of 7/10. I thought Hugh Jackman was the best part of this movie, but as you said, all performances were top notch.
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  #33  
Old 01-14-2013, 05:01 AM
Very well said Chillingworth, I am agree with you.
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  #34  
Old 01-17-2013, 01:01 AM
I thought this was an excellent movie. It had maybe 10 words of dialog that were normal, everything else was sung, and that didnt bother me one bit.Anne Hathaway, even though she has minimal screen time, is def taking home best supporting actress, she gave one hell of a performance and deserves everything she gets.

I have heard some people make fun of Russell Crowe's performance (basically his singing) which I dont get at all, i thought he was outstanding. His singing had a different tone than Jackman and the other singers, but it was an excellent voice and not only that the performance he gave with his face while singing was damn good, shame he hasnt been recognized as much as his cast mates have.

II have to say, I really dug the first shot, coming out of the water onto the prisoners pulling the ship and the shot up to Crowe, a great shot that has stuck with me.

I still think Argo is the best movie of the year (the ones that were nominated I mean, best movie of the year was Dark Knight Rises)

But this was a quality movie, and the length did not bother me one bit, and for a nearly 3 hour movie, that is impressive.
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  #35  
Old 03-09-2013, 06:20 AM
FINALLY saw this. I thought it was a huge mixed bag. I didn't hate it, but I didn't much like it either.

I think one of my big problems with this movie is that I just can't take a musical that is nearly 100% singing. Especially one that is over 2 and a half hours long. It just gets tiresome.

But there are other problems with the movie as well. The length is huge issue. It's a LONG movie and boy does it FEEL it! I might even go on to say that there were times where the movie felt interminable and endless.

Despite the epic scope of the story, this feels like a very small movie. Probably because of all the closeups.

I couldn't stand the Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter characters. Seriously, those two were like fingernails against a chalkboard irritating. I hated their musical number, Master of the House.

The story felt like a joke.

Spoiler:
There really isn't any resolution. People die. Jackman rescues the boy so he can marry his daughter. He disappears. They get married and then he (Jackman) dies. Meanwhile, at least to me, it seems to me like the revolution lost. And they carry on like nothing has happened.

I was also very disappointed with the resolution concerning the Jackman/Crowe storyline. This should have been the meat of the story and to be fair, a lot of it does work. It was just disappointing to me how Crowe's character kills himself.


Crowe is actually one of the better things about the movie. His singing is rather weak, but he makes up for it with his acting which is quite strong. His character's turn is handled subtly but strongly.

Jackman is excellent. In fact, I don't really have anything to complain about as far as the acting goes. Everyone is pretty strong. Especially Hathaway. The singing is fine too. Some of the songs I liked, some I didn't.

There are individual scenes that work. Some scenes are sad and heartbreaking and powerful. But ultimately the whole of the movie does not equal the sum of it's parts. And while it's certainly a handsome production, it strangely doesn't feel very cinematic. And the movie's first half is also poorly edited. Despite feeling long, the editing feels like it moves on from scene to scene to fast. So all in all the movie is a mixed bag, but unfortunately, the bad outweighs the good. I've seen 7 out of the 9 films nominated for best picture now and I can safely say this is, far and away, the weakest of them. Very disappointing.

6/10
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  #36  
Old 06-01-2013, 12:26 PM
I know I am late to this party, but since I am one of those guys who loves everything Les Mis I'd thought to chime in here.

I've seen Les Mis on Broadway 5 or 6 times through the years, I know practically every word to every song, I read the book, etc., etc. As I said, I love everything having to do with Les Mis.

Except this movie.

I disagree with the poster above: the music has to come first. It is, after all, what separates this genre from the others. When the opening scene had the familiar notes pumping through the speakers and we saw the shipwreck I thought we were in for something special. But then the singing started. It was weak. The music and singing wasn't powerful. It seemed to be in the background. That would be fine for a normal film, but this is a musical. We should be engulfed in the songs.

I was also hoping to see sweeping sets of old France, but we barely saw anything at all.

There are positive things to say as well. Knowing the story and what was coming, I still felt emotion bursting in some scenes. I could feel my eyes starting to swell at least 3 times. This is a big achievement, but could have been even more so if only the music was up front as it should have been.

The live singing might have been a good idea, but in practice it wasn't right for this film, and it's a shame.

The editing wasn't great either, though I know it must have been a monumental task to edit such a big film.

A shame, really.
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