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LES MISERABLES (2012)

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LES MISERABLES (2012)

Sunday, 03 March 2013 16:58

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Written by 

The Buzz:

     A musical taking place in the early 19th century Paris, we follow Jean Valjean in his struggle for redemption through the adoption of young Cosette. Meanwhile, he is tracked by Inspector Javert for crimes past and swept up into the French Rebellion.

 

 

 

Do you think this coat makes me look like Willy Wonka?

 

Life of the Party:

     This film tries to do something new and a little interesting. In every musical on film prior anytime you see an actor singing on screen they aren't actually singing. They're lip-syncing. This is because all audio for the songs are recorded in a studio separately and then laid over the video. Reason for this is that singing and acting at the same time is hard! And often times actors don't have great singing voices. However, director Tom Hooper (The King's Speech, The Damned United), decided to have the actors sing their lines as they acted in this case. The idea here being that we could mix the emotion of the scene there at the time with how it was sung. Potentially a great idea; I applaud him for trying. There are places where this shines in the movie and really works. Russel Crowe, for instance, amazed me with how well he could sing. Anne Hathaway had a great voice as well, and emoted in her voice and body just supremely. Also Sasha Baron Cohen is so so awesome. His comedic timing coupled with great body language and even a great singing voice... he steals the movie. There needed to be more of him. Unfortunately this is where the bulk of my praise for the film ultimately ends.

 

 

Potential Hangovers:

     Les Misérables has been adapted to film before, starring Liam Neeson, back in 1998 (and yes, a few times long before that as well). It doesn't closely follow the novel or theater production. Rotten Tomatoes gave that version a 74% approval rating. This movie has received a 70% approval rating. That should be a quick indicator that something is wrong. I'm going to have to address these all individually.

 

     Firstly, Hugh Jackman... you're a great actor. You have successfully proven numerous times that you are more than just Wolverine. But God DAMN IT, you can NOT sing! This is where Tom Hooper's vision REALLY falls flat. Every time Jackman sings (and it's a LOT) I would have rather had two burly men fucking me in the ear. I hear lots of people praising him for his singing, but they're wrong. All of you who say that are WRONG.

 

     Speaking of Hooper's vision and where it went wrong, there is another big reason why movies have not done this in the past and that is because of how audio mixes from different sources. The vocals are DISTINCTLY separated from backing tracks, which are often times so quiet you can't hear them. Anyone who isn't an audiophile isn't going to notice what the problem is, but they will notice that something isn't right.

 

     Back drops. Oh God, the back drops. I'm not sure if they used Green Screens for parts in this film or if they were in a studio with a god damned painted sheet behind them. Honestly, it's that bad in places. Even if they used a Green Screen, I'm pretty sure they just subbed in the IMAGE of a poorly painted sheet. It's as if they wasted their budget during filming and then when post came they were like “Oh... shit. Um, we don't have any money left. So, we're all going to draw these back drops ourselves. Ok, everyone grab a crayon.”

 

     MOTHER FUCKING ACCENTS! This is the worst part of the film. Worse than Jackman's grating singing. The characters are FRENCH, yet not one damn person speaks in a french accent! Now, don't get me wrong, I wasn't expecting them to. I expected them all to speak normal American English because this is an American film and I can suspend my disbelief for American accents because of this fact. And while the vast majority of the crew does just speak in an American accent (even Jackman who has thick Australian one naturally)... some people chose to speak with CHRIST PUNCHING BRITISH ACCENTS! Why?! Why would you do that?! Also, Hooper, how terrible of a director are you that you can't tell them “Hey! YOU'RE FRENCH! STOP THAT SHIT!” The two biggest offenders are Helena Bonham Carter and some little kid who is a part of the resistance. Carter pissed me off, but I almost looked past it because of the fact that she's a terrible actress who only gets work because she's married to a beloved auteur. Her British accent is the only one she knows how to do and she does it in every fucking movie where she has to speak with an accent. But then this stupid resistance kid shows up, no I don't know the actor or even the character's name. And I know that's a personal failing as movie critic, but fuck you for judging me. I hated the performance so I'm not bothering to look it up. This little boy speaks with such an outrageous Cockney accent that I wanted to pee on the movie screen. The only saving grace is the kid gets shot. Yeah, I said that. Don't yell at me... YELL AT A MOVIE THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY WHEN LITTLE BOYS GET KILLED!

 

     Well those are the major gripes... there are minor ones throughout, but nothing I wouldn't forgive other films or things that are likely just personal preference (like the fact that I find all of the songs to suck). I think if any one of them were the only problem, I'd have enjoyed this film more. But with all of these things that keep getting thrown in your face during an almost three hour film I found that I just wanted it to END.

 

Amanda Seyfried is as bored with this picture as I was.

 

The Vibe: Date Night – Girl's Night – Solo Experience

     If you're a guy I don't recommend watching this with anyone else in the room unless you have chicks there. This isn't a party film. It not only isn't good... it's long and depressing as hell. People won't be drinking to have fun, they'll be drinking to die. But if you're trying to score points with a lady, you happen to just like musicals (hell I do... I'll admit it), or you are a lady I recommend drinking wine. Wine is often French (or Californian, where the movie was produced) and is sophisticated and classy so you can feel like the bourgeois looking down on the lowly resistance and the struggles of the common man. For drinking games; drink every time someone speaks in an British accent. If you're a guy you can double up with drink every time a someone in the room cries (yourself included, ya pansy!).

 

Plus/Minus:

+ Great acting by most of the cast

+ Surprisingly great singing from others

- Post production work is very bad

- Horrible singing from Jackman

- FUCKING BRITISH ACCENTS

- Depressing as all Hell

Read 837 times Last modified on Sunday, 03 March 2013 18:21

About Us

Tanked Matinee is the place to go for good drinking movies. What do we mean by that? Simply speaking, we evaluate and recommend entertainment media based on how much fun it is to watch with friends on the sofa and a cold beer in hand.

Everyone knows "The Godfather" is a great movie, but is it as great to drink with as "Roadhouse?" We can appreciate "Citizen Kane" as a masterpiece of cinema, but is it as good a centerpiece for your party as "Santa Clause Conquers the Martians?"

Tanked Matinee appreciates film as art, but when you're kicking back on Friday night with a tall Rum & Coke, you're not looking for art, man, you want to be entertained. We're here to recommend the best movies for your night in, whether it's a big party, small get-together, or just a quiet night alone with a bottle of wine or three.

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