Written December 26, 2012
I looked forward to seeing this film for weeks and worked my Christmas day plans around it, having been in love with the stage show for more than a quarter century and seeing that innumerable times. To add to the build-up, I recently watched and re-watched the anniversary special on PBS which was stupendous. And so I was presented with this watered down version of the real thing in which only Hathaway shines. Most of the score had been messed with and lacked the vigor, drama and intensity of the original. Crowe and Jackman are great actors - not powerful singers.- and that was enough to detract greatly from the production. The scenery was quite good, and the fight scenes very realistic, but the roles of the Denardiers were too Vaudevillian and the precious music was slowed down and hushed to a pathetic point. You don't mess with perfection. Adaptations are for ordinary music. All in all, I think if you never had the good fortune to see this on stage, the film will do.
Written December 27, 2012
It was sooo good!!! I loved it!! it was so much better than I was expecting and I would see it again!! the cast was amazing too and everyone was so good at their part!!
Written January 03, 2013
Of course the storyline is known to many but the impact of this full-art cinematic experience is something to behold. Had best seats in a great IMAX theater with top notch sound and a full giant bag of popcorn. The sound was truly very, very different from any movie I have ever seen. The closeups deposited emotional connections I wasn't prepared for...I cried better than the actors and I'm a guy! I had to reflect closely to realize this was entirely a musical!! This was such a different piece of big screen art it should be classed apart from every other film ever made. Scrap the 3D, this is the new direction, I hope!
On the down side, and there isn't much to say here, the film could have used a bit more introduction (like Star Wars?) and on-going fill-ins of the actual historical timeline in French history but again maybe I am a bit of a Francophile (sp?), having lived in France for several years.
Written January 31, 2013
First off, this is tough because I am a fan of the musical.
Don't expect the same experience that you may be accustomed to with the live musical experience. Thats obvious but many people I spoke with were trying to measure it up and you just can't. Musical rules and movie is second banana to the live real deal.
The visuals were nice. The opening scene seeing the massive ship being docked was well done. It worked with the integration of the orchestra and singing. Overall its a classic tale that is wonderful to experience even if it's only the movie. Most of the cast worked well. The only thing that would seem not to really fit is when the characters would break into almost cotney like accents and phrases. It made me think of east enders or something like that and did not work well. Russell Crow's singing was really tough at times. I give an A for effort but man some of those notes were hard to swallow at times I had to laugh. Overall should be seen on big screen. worthwhile
Written December 26, 2012
I felt like I was doing hard time for some mass murder. It felt like it went on for 3 yrs. Only save grace was Anne Hathaway who was only in it for about 3 minutes which is contrary to promotion of her as the 'star' of the thing.
The rest was endless scenes of Hugh Jackman vying with Russell Crowe for 'worst scenery chewing can't sing worth a lick' performance.
The casting of the young romantic lead left a LOT to desired. Poor Amanda. Don't buy anyone would fall instantly in love with him. Or that he would with a female. And Lea Michele would've been a better choice for Eponine.
And they really should put in the commercials the whole thing is sung. Never would've gone had I known that and that there would be so little Anne.
Just a torturous waste of 3 hrs. Wish I had known Bette and Billy opened same day before I preordered the tickets. Felt like Elaine watching 'The English Patient.' 'Die already!'