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  1. #1
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    Les Miserables Movie

    I don't know about you, but it looks to me like they may be getting it right. Musicals translated to film don't always work, but this looks, shall we say, epic?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by A-Tex Devil View Post
    I don't know about you, but it looks to me like they may be getting it right. Musicals translated to film don't always work, but this looks, shall we say, epic?
    I wonder how I'll feel about using film actors instead of professional singer/actors. I've listened to the 10th and 25th anniversary versions so many times I hope the drop in quality won't be too bad.

    I see they're bringing in Colm Wilkinson as the Bishop, and Frances Ruffelle as a prosititute. And Samantha Barks looks to reprise her role after performing as Eponine in the 25th anniversary special.

    What I found interesting from the trivia:

    Composer Claude-Michel Schönberg and lyricist Alain Boublil wrote a new song exclusively for the film

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by A-Tex Devil View Post
    I don't know about you, but it looks to me like they may be getting it right. Musicals translated to film don't always work, but this looks, shall we say, epic?
    One of the common mistakes in some movie musicals is that the director doesn't break away from the stage paradigm, and the result is that you feel like you're just getting a camera in the back of the Broadway theater. The movie versions of "The Producers" and "Brigadoon" come to mind as examples of this. I find that the best movie musicals depart from much of their stage roots and immerse you in the action better. This might mean some subtle changes in the script or the songs, but it usually makes for a better movie. For examples, look at how "The Sound of Music" is enhanced by all of the scenes shot in and around Salzburg, or how "Fiddler on the Roof" really makes you feel like you're in an early-20th century Russian village.

    And, FWIW, I agree with you that the trailer gives me hope that "Les Miserables" will fall more into the latter category. It's one of my favorite musicals of all time, so I'm really hoping this film does it justice.
    JBDuke

    Andre Dawkins: “People ask me if I can still shoot, and I ask them if they can still breathe. That’s kind of the same thing.”

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowdenscold View Post
    I wonder how I'll feel about using film actors instead of professional singer/actors. I've listened to the 10th and 25th anniversary versions so many times I hope the drop in quality won't be too bad.

    I see they're bringing in Colm Wilkinson as the Bishop, and Frances Ruffelle as a prosititute. And Samantha Barks looks to reprise her role after performing as Eponine in the 25th anniversary special.

    What I found interesting from the trivia: Composer Claude-Michel Schönberg and lyricist Alain Boublil wrote a new song exclusively for the film
    Oscar bait, I bet. I like the inspired casting of Sasha Baron Cohen as Thernardier as well.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by A-Tex Devil View Post
    Oscar bait, I bet. I like the inspired casting of Sasha Baron Cohen as Thernardier as well.
    Yes, but Crowe as Javert? I just don't see Crowe as having the creative range to surpass the definitive (for me anyway) performance of Rush. Javert is more than just a bully, the spectre of an oppressive aristocracy makes the character fearsome, with a hint of pathos which ultimately redeems the character in the audience's eyes. I see more psychopath in Crowe than pathos.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBlue View Post
    Yes, but Crowe as Javert? I just don't see Crowe as having the creative range to surpass the definitive (for me anyway) performance of Rush. Javert is more than just a bully, the spectre of an oppressive aristocracy makes the character fearsome, with a hint of pathos which ultimately redeems the character in the audience's eyes. I see more psychopath in Crowe than pathos.
    I don't know. If his voice is good, he seems pretty ideal. Maybe we just have different opinions of Russell Crowe. I thought it was pretty inspired casting as Crowe has played ultra-serious bad-I'm a real wanker for saying this.I'm a real wanker for saying this.I'm a real wanker for saying this.I'm a real wanker for saying this.I'm a real wanker for saying this.es before (Gladiator), and has shown a lot of range and nuance (The Insider, Beautiful Mind, although I didn't care for the latter that much).

    I am less worried about how it will sound. That's the bonus of it being a motion picture with professional sound editors and mixers cleaning things up for the finished product. I don't think you need broadway stars across the board.

  7. #7
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    I am a bit surprised they are doing this. The 1998 movie with Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, Claire Danes, and Uma Thurman was critically well-received. It was not a boxoffice success though. It made just $14 mil total at the domestic boxoffice, despite having some big stars involved and a wide release from a major studio. Why revisit something that was decent quality but not successful last time around? Does not make a lot of sense to me.

    Watch, it will now be a $150+ mil hit and I will have egg on my face.

    -Jason "the new original song is clearly Oscar bait" Evans
    Don't ask me why, but my mother is making me Tweet. Says it will be good for my career. So, follow my ramblings, mostly on the film industry, @TVFilmTalk

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    I am a bit surprised they are doing this. The 1998 movie with Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, Claire Danes, and Uma Thurman was critically well-received. It was not a boxoffice success though. It made just $14 mil total at the domestic boxoffice, despite having some big stars involved and a wide release from a major studio. Why revisit something that was decent quality but not successful last time around? Does not make a lot of sense to me.

    Watch, it will now be a $150+ mil hit and I will have egg on my face.

    -Jason "the new original song is clearly Oscar bait" Evans
    The problem with the movie in the late '90s was that people were expecting the Broadway play, and if I remember correctly, even though critics liked it, it tested pretty bad, so it got hardly any marketing push. The Liam Neeson movie focused more on Valjean's time as Mayor, almost completely cut out the Thernadiers and ended right after (I am confortable spoiling a 25 year old play and a 150 year old book, but if you don't want to be spolied don't read on...........) Javert's death.

    And frankly, the production came off as BBC TV Movie quality. Good acting, but otherwise stale and a little small. My fiancee liked it fine because she hasn't seen the musical (we are going tonight!). But if you've seen the musical, it comes off pretty bland. There's nothing dynamic or epic about it at all. I think the US studio knew this early on and stopped spending money on it, thus the poor box office despite the stars.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    I am a bit surprised they are doing this. The 1998 movie with Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, Claire Danes, and Uma Thurman was critically well-received. It was not a boxoffice success though. It made just $14 mil total at the domestic boxoffice, despite having some big stars involved and a wide release from a major studio. Why revisit something that was decent quality but not successful last time around? Does not make a lot of sense to me.

    Watch, it will now be a $150+ mil hit and I will have egg on my face.

    -Jason "the new original song is clearly Oscar bait" Evans
    Jason, I didn't see the 1998 movie, but I understand the reasoning for doing this. If you have what you think is a great piece of material that was done before but might be done better, that seems like a good candidate for a remake (as opposed to remaking Psycho). Way back when, John Huston made a film that had been made at least twice previously (and within the previous 10 years, at that) and did it well. It was the first movie he directed--The Maltese Falcon. The rest is history.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowdenscold View Post
    I wonder how I'll feel about using film actors instead of professional singer/actors. I've listened to the 10th and 25th anniversary versions so many times I hope the drop in quality won't be too bad. ...

    Didn't Jackman win a Tony for "The Boy From Oz" - playing Peter Allen? Which may be the greatest demonstration of acting range when considered in view of his role as Wolverine.

    Crowe considers himself a singer, but I don't have high expectations.

    I remember thinking the producer could have done better than Gerard Butler as the Phantom in the Phantom of the Opera.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BD80 View Post
    Didn't Jackman win a Tony for "The Boy From Oz" - playing Peter Allen? Which may be the greatest demonstration of acting range when considered in view of his role as Wolverine.
    Two sides!

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xlk...snl_shortfilms

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    I am a bit surprised they are doing this. The 1998 movie with Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, Claire Danes, and Uma Thurman was critically well-received. It was not a boxoffice success though. It made just $14 mil total at the domestic boxoffice, despite having some big stars involved and a wide release from a major studio. Why revisit something that was decent quality but not successful last time around? Does not make a lot of sense to me.

    Watch, it will now be a $150+ mil hit and I will have egg on my face.

    -Jason "the new original song is clearly Oscar bait" Evans
    The story of "Les Miserables" is a relatively good one, but it's long and depressing. As a novel, it's a slog, and any movie version of that story is going to have to edit the material heavily and is still going to be a downer. Not exactly a formula for great box office success. What makes the musical version so amazing isn't the book, it's the music. So if the movie can take the story and the setting and portray those with the superior abilities of film to bring those to the audience and can do so with sufficiently compelling musical performances that do justice to the songs, then I think you've got a potential hit movie musical. I'm excited about what I know of the cast, so here's hoping they can pull it off.
    JBDuke

    Andre Dawkins: “People ask me if I can still shoot, and I ask them if they can still breathe. That’s kind of the same thing.”

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBDuke View Post
    The story of "Les Miserables" is a relatively good one, but it's long and depressing. As a novel, it's a slog, and any movie version of that story is going to have to edit the material heavily and is still going to be a downer. Not exactly a formula for great box office success. What makes the musical version so amazing isn't the book, it's the music. So if the movie can take the story and the setting and portray those with the superior abilities of film to bring those to the audience and can do so with sufficiently compelling musical performances that do justice to the songs, then I think you've got a potential hit movie musical. I'm excited about what I know of the cast, so here's hoping they can pull it off.
    JBDuke, I'll have to disagree with you here. I think it's a great story, and probably the best novel I've ever read. Obviously the music was a key element to the box office success of the play, but in my view, the greatness of the play comes from the fact that the story and the music are exceptional.

  14. #14
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    Les Mis Movie - Extended First Look

    Thought it was interesting they showed bits of everyone singing other than Russell Crowe. Anything to that? Otherwise -- good short piece on how filming the singing live (different than, say Chicago, Dreamgirls etc.) will help the movie and the acting.


  15. #15
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    Forest Hills, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by A-Tex Devil View Post
    Thought it was interesting they showed bits of everyone singing other than Russell Crowe. Anything to that? Otherwise -- good short piece on how filming the singing live (different than, say Chicago, Dreamgirls etc.) will help the movie and the acting.

    Absolutely can't wait for this. Has been my favorite show and music/lyrics for years.

    Hathaway (in this short piece) seems to hit the depths of Fantine's life and dashed hopes. While Hugh Jackman is a huge, multi-talented artist, part of Valjean is his strength (physical) - think Colm Wilkerson. Be interesting how Jackman "fits."

    If Crowe is not that strong a singer (as implied above), then two of the most powerful songs will be affected: Stars and Javert's Suicide. Let's see. His persona, though, seems to fit Javert's in an acting analysis...

    Again, can't wait.

    Herb

  16. #16

    Clarification on film story

    At the risk of stating the obvious, the movie version that will arrive around Christmas is NOT so much an attempt merely to tell the entire V Hugo story but rather to recreate the highly successful stage musical that has wowed audiences around the world for more than 25 years.

    The movie trailer (linked in first post here) shows they seem to be well on the road to making a successful film which will (hopefully) be far more than just setting up a couple of cameras in the audience and filming the play on stage.

    If you have been following the movie production (several sites, including a Facebook one) it appears they have been quite diligent in selecting the actors for the major roles AND choosing excellent locations for filming.

    My eventual opinion of the film will be biased as I think Les Mis has some of the best lyrics ever written (I became familiar with them prior to even seeing the play), and the songs from those lyrics can run your emotions from one extreme to the other in a matter of moments. Having said that, I expect a movie that will be worth watching many times!

    k

  17. #17
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    There is no more enjoyable movie than a well done musical. For me, I still get chills watching South Pacific, The Sound of Music, Mama Mia, Chicago, and a host of others I have enjoyed over the years. I wish the producers of Les Mis all of the accolades of my favorites.

  18. #18
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    Seattle, WA
    Quote Originally Posted by duke74 View Post
    While Hugh Jackman is a huge, multi-talented artist, part of Valjean is his strength (physical) - think Colm Wilkerson. Be interesting how Jackman "fits."
    Wait, you're wondering if Wolverine can appear as physically strong onscreen?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevilAlumna View Post
    Wait, you're wondering if Wolverine can appear as physically strong onscreen?
    Good one! So we'll see a topless Valjean? (Even in X-Men, however, Wolverine was not an imposing, read large, person. Just ripped.)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by duke74 View Post
    ... While Hugh Jackman is a huge, multi-talented artist, part of Valjean is his strength (physical) - think Colm Wilkerson. Be interesting how Jackman "fits." ...
    Perspective is a funny thing. Colm Wilkerson is 5'8" http://www.thetudorswiki.com/page/Colm+Wilkinson

    Google lists Jackman as 6'2".

    Liam Neeson, a prior non-musical JVJ stands 6'4".

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