Ain't It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com)
Movie News

The Kidd Vs. LES MISERABLES

 

I never really had much of an interest in seeing LES MISERABLES during its run on Broadway back when I lived up in the Tri-State area. There just was never anything about it that grabbed me, as I usually opted for different musicals every time the option to take in LES MIZ presented itself. Therefore, heading into Tom Hooper’s film adaptation of the material, I had no baggage whatsoever with the stage show, its music or its characters. This would be my first exposure to the musical that so many have sweared by to me over the years. “You have to see it. It’s such an amazing show.” Well, I can’t speak for the performances of Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schonberg and Herbert Kretzmer’s show on a nightly basis having no idea just how well that translated to the big screen, but if it was anything even remotely close to Hooper’s movie, I have no idea how the hell this show managed to stay popular on any level for over 25 years, because at least half of LES MIZ is a dreadful production. And look… I’m not one to harp on a film’s running time. It’s as long as it is, so long as that time is used wisely to tell a compelling story, and not a bloated piece of cinema that’s overstaying its welcome or in bad need of an edit that would have made for a better and leaner cut. However, when you’re clocking in at around 160 minutes, and putting forth a story that actually feels as if it’s taking twice as long to tell, you know you’ve got a problem. Seriously… sitting in the theatre enduring LES MISERABLES felt like it was taking up my entire day… and not one of those good ones where you actually enjoy whatever you were doing. This is more in line with one of those picking out wallpaper all afternoon deals. Yeah, it’s not pretty.

LES MISERABLES tells the story of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman, who is more than capable in carrying a tune), a Frenchman who is finally being paroled after serving 19 years in prison for stealing bread. However he’s been marked a dangerous man by Javert (Russell Crowe, who has trouble with his own musical prowess), the unmerciful police inspector who is right by the book in his enforcement of the law. Justice is the only standard he lives by, and he holds a deep resentment for those who cannot live their life by the rules society has set. Can’t eat? Too bad. Work harder. After being saved so to speak by the local Bishop, Valjean elects to turn over a new leaf with his life, aiming to help those in need, much like what was done for him. However, he also chooses to break his parole as well, which means Javert will be coming for him at every turn from now until the day he dies or he’s back in prison, whichever comes first, setting off a bit of a tiresome chase through many locations in France and spanning plenty of years of Javert intently trying to get his man. It is an interesting dichotomy between the two characters to have the dutiful Javert unable to show any sort of mercy or forgiveness towards his target for his past sins, even as he’s changed his life for the world’s better. However, there is really only so much story that can be taken from this, and that’s where the weakness of LES MISERABLES really starts to show… in stretching these arcs over far too long, rendering them ineffective by the end of the film. When it finally comes time for Valjean and Javert’s relationship/rivalry to come to a head, you don’t care too much any more… although it would have been nice for them to wrap up a thread about 45 minutes earlier, before you started to zone out, thinking of all the things you could have accomplished if you weren’t still stuck in this theatre seat.

Conversely, the story involving Anne Hathaway’s Fantine is far too short. A factory worker let go from her job at the hands of her overdramatic women co-workers, Fantine is forced into selling off everything she has, including her hair and teeth, and eventually turning to prostitution, in order to support the illegitimate daughter she’s raising alone. In such a limited time on-screen, you feel the painful struggle that Fantine is living in just trying to provide for her child, with no one looking out for her benefit until it’s much too late. However, it’s during her powerfully emotional song “I Dreamed A Dream” that you begin to take notice of a bold choice director Tom Hooper makes for filming these numbers. When it comes to songs like Jackman’s “What Have I Done?” or “I Dreamed A Dream” or later Samantha Banks’ “On My Own,” which blows you away in the otherwise forgettable second act, Hooper elects to shoot his performers mostly in close-up and with few, if any, cuts to the film. Such a decision locks you in on the strong feelings being conveyed by the performers, without any distractions being thrown in by camera angles or perspective changes. This is what the character is feeling in its rawest form, and he is not going to let you turn away from it. It’s during these sequences that I found myself most engaged by LES MIZ, gripped by the emotions of these character’s situations. Sadly, those moments seemed to be few and far between, outside of these choice numbers. I also found myself at least entertained by Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter’s duet on “Master of the House”, as their low-life scamming partnership injects the film with some much-needed light humor in the midst of an otherwise extremely serious tone.

At the heart of Valjean’s moral turnaround is Cosette (the somewhat boring Amanda Seyfried), Fantine’s daughter who he swore he’d look after. He now has a responsibility to take care of, adding another complicated ripple to the Valjean-Javert dynamic. But there’s not enough worthwhile for Seyfried to do in the role, as Cosette is literally dragged around from one location to the next as Valjean is constantly looking over his shoulder, paranoid as to when he may encounter his hunter once more.  It isn’t until she gets a love story in what would amount to Act II of the stage show that she becomes more than a prop, and, by then, the last thing you want is a whole heap of new characters thrown at you, who you’re suddenly supposed to care about. Perhaps the film may have benefitted from a 20 minute intermission to help set up this time jump that takes place in the middle of the movie, as it would also allow you to just get up and stretch your legs… but that’d also mean spending more time with LES MISERABLES, which is hardly an appealing prospect.

LES MISERABLES is quite a mess, both simple and complex in all the wrong places, making for a story stuffed with extraneous story threads and characters, when a streamlined approach really could have benefitted the production as a whole. There’s often too much going on with characters you’ve been no reason at all to connect to, and, with the ones you haven’t been given an opportunity to get to know, there’s not much deviation from the same old, same old. Hooper, whose last effort was the good but highly overrated THE KING’S SPEECH is absolutely over his head with his inability to wrangle this material into something coherent, making for an endless trip back to Revolution-era France that only seems to get longer the more time you spend with it.

 

-Billy Donnelly

"The Infamous Billy The Kidd"

BillyTheKidd@aintitcool.com

Follow me on Twitter.

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Dec. 19, 2012, 9:16 p.m. CST

    musicals are almost always a little overrated

    by Stifler's Mom

    CHICAGO or MOULIN ROUGE anybody?

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 9:20 p.m. CST

    King's Speech is totally overrated. Agree with the Kidd on that

    by Bobo_Vision

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 9:26 p.m. CST

    The Kidd must be exhausted from fighting all of these movies today

    by SifoDyasJr

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 10 p.m. CST

    Only musical I really care for is "Dreamgirls".

    by Ian Masterson

    "Rock of Ages", "Moulin Rouge", and ESPECIALLY "Nine"... all very unpleasant. Won't be watching this one either.

  • God, I just want to kick Kidd so hard in the balls right now.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 10:23 p.m. CST

    russels putting on the pounds like brando

    by Hugh Gustavus

  • it's truly the worst gimmick possible for a movie reviewer.

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 10:24 p.m. CST

    atheron

    by BoRock_A_Boomer

    "God, I just want to kick Kidd so hard in the balls right now." first you'd have to find them

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 10:26 p.m. CST

    I Dreamed A Dream This Film Would Be.........

    by thelordofhell

    So Much More Than This Hell I'm Viewing.......

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Looks more like Dakota Fanning on that poster than Amanda Seyfried

    by Nasty In The Pasty

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 11:08 p.m. CST

    IVE BEEN WATCHING LES MISERABLES FOR ABOUT A MONTH NOW

    by PRESIDENT BALTAR

  • Dec. 19, 2012, 11:31 p.m. CST

    by T

    Versus!: The Musical by The Kidd~ I kid.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 12:19 a.m. CST

    The Kidd vs. Reality

    by KDog629

    You can either take or leave the Kidd's reviews, like them or don't like them (I'm generally ambivalent about them, though the contests suck)...but this movie needs to be reviewed by someone who's seen the musical on stage. A musical, which in twenty seven years, has sold sixty million tickets, so it shouldn't be that hard. It doesn't absolutely need to be reviewed by someone who liked the stage version, but at least by someone who understands that the source material is locked in. You can't wrap up a thread early. You can't extend Fantine into the second or third act because she's interesting in the first. She dies. Her death is the one thing that makes the story possible. Her death is the precipitating event. Adaptations of existing plays dance with the one who brung 'em. Billy not grasping this makes me wonder how valid the rest of his reviews are.

  • why does hollywood try to keep shoveling this shit down our throats. Oh, I know they will get the same idiotic female audience that goes for the cliche rom com drama.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 1:54 a.m. CST

    Kdog

    by Paul Macadom

    That's fucking ridiculous. The film should be able to exist in a vacuum, not as a companion piece. I dont want to know if its a good adaptation (whatever the fuck that means), i wanna know if its a good film. If the narrative doesn't work on film, that's a valid criticism. If Mackintosh was gonna resist cuts, they should have found a director who could make it work. But how many great movie musicals have followed the stage version to the letter?

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 2:44 a.m. CST

    If you know what this movie is about before you see it

    by David Duchovny

    You are homosexual--or raised by one.

  • What a downer. At least Harry likes a movie once in a while. Done with Eeyore the Kid.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 4:16 a.m. CST

    I think my favorite musical is THE PIRATE MOVIE

    by bubcus

    You just cannot hate that film. There are a few other musicals I do like... Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, The Muppet Movie, a cluster of Disney animated films like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Tangled.... Okay... I guess I can tolerate and enjoy musicals more than I expected.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 4:32 a.m. CST

    greatwhitenoise

    by Glenn

    Cool. Don't let the virtual door hit you on the ass on your way out. And if you respond to this post, it means you shell out a lot of empty promises. Follow through. leave. If you do post, you're a lying hypocrite. "Arbitrarily negative." Yeah. He flips a coin and bases the polarity of his review on chance. Bad choice of words. Please please please... go away; people like you who need random sunshine from a film reviewer aren't needed in here.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 4:38 a.m. CST

    The Kidd doesn't love Cinema

    by Lourdes Galan

  • It's based off a long ass book, and the fact that they can cut it down to even three hours is remarkable in and of itself.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 6:15 a.m. CST

    I would be Les Miserable if I had to watch this movie.

    by F-18

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 6:55 a.m. CST

    Piss off KINGS SPEECH is overrated!

    by Logan_1973

    You guys are utterly retarded for that statement. Go suck Tarantinos cock some more.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 7:18 a.m. CST

    The Kidd is overrated

    by Lourdes Galan

  • This movie is for those that already love Les Mis.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 8:22 a.m. CST

    Love all the pusswagons on the site who are crying over a bad "Les Miz" review

    by Boofalicious Washington

    A bunch of limpwristed pansies, the lot of you. Butch up.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 8:22 a.m. CST

    And for the rest of you pantywaists who scream that the Kidd hates all reviews

    by Boofalicious Washington

    Read his take on Django Unchained. Then feel free to drop dead.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 8:24 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    The Kidd vs dried turd. The turd wins.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Kdog!

    by BigMick

    A spoiler warning in your comments would have been nice, lol! I haven't seen either the stage version, previous 90's adaptation or this so I had no idea what the plot unfolds like. But now I know Fantine dies within the first half of the movie, hahaha. To everyone that's turned this talkback into a Kidd bashing forum, take it easy. He's entitled to his opinion of the movie. And the fact is, he should not have to see the stage version of the musical to write a review. This movie should be able to stand on it's own merit, and clearly Kidd doesn't believe that it does. If you disagree, go see the movie and decide for yourself. Based on this review, I do not want to see this movie. However, I'm being dragged to it on Boxing Day to see it with the wife. So Kidd, thanks for giving me a heads up at least.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 8:37 a.m. CST

    What's with these AICN reviews not seeing the play?

    by seasider

    I get the whole "no baggage" angle but surely someone has on their staff has seen the play and is maybe even a fan. This movie wasn't made to recruit new fans or convert people who aren't into musicals. It's aimed mostly at the millions of people who buy tickets to the play every year and listen to the soundtrack ad nauseum.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Poster isn't supposed to be Seyfried

    by nathankc

    The poster image is of the child Cosette, not the adult version (Seyfried). It is a reference to the old drawing of Costette from the 1800's that was subsequently used for the musical poster.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 9:07 a.m. CST

    You expected the whole of this site to care about Les Miserables?

    by terry1978

    You new on this planet or something?

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 9:19 a.m. CST

    The Responsibility of A Movie Reviewer

    by SutureSelf

    A movie reviewer needn’t be able to make a better movie than the one he is reviewing. He needn’t be able to make a movie at all. He has only one responsibility, and that is to write the best review he is capable of writing. A filmmaker uses the vocabulary and grammar of the cinema to express his ideas and a reviewer uses verbal vocabulary and grammar to express his. His responsibility is to understand and to master those tools and to improve his execution of them over time. There are certain elements that films and reviews have in common. When a reviewer criticizes a film for its failure in one of these elements, it is his responsibility to avoid the same failure. In reviewing “Les Miserables,” The Kidd has not done so. He claims that the movie is bloated, that it overstays its welcome and is badly in need of an edit. Unfortunately, his review suffers the same shortcomings. For example, the sentence “LES MISERABLES tells the story of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman, who is more than capable in carrying a tune), a Frenchman who is finally being paroled after serving 19 years in prison for stealing bread” can be edited to “LES MISERABLES tells the story of Jean Valjean, a Frenchman who is paroled after serving 19 years in prison for stealing bread” with no loss of meaning. The reference to Hugh Jackman should properly be placed in a separate section discussing the actors and their performances. Doing so would keep each section focused and compact, the opposite of bloated. As another example, “After being saved so to speak by the local Bishop, Valjean elects to turn over a new leaf with his life, aiming to help those in need, much like what was done for him” can be edited to “After being saved by the local bishop, Valjean turns over a new leaf, helping those in need, as the bishop had helped him.” The basic element of writing is the word and it is well to follow Twain’s dictum that the difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightning bug. The Kidd writes, “This would be my first exposure to the musical that so many have sweared by…” The right word is “sworn.” He writes, “putting forth a story that actually feels as if it’s taking twice as long...” That should be “as though it’s taking…” The phrase, “…these character’s situations,” should be “these characters’ situations.” I’ll leave it to the reader to find the others. Entire sentences could be elided to the benefit of the whole. For example, “I never really had much of an interest in seeing LES MISERABLES during its run on Broadway back when I lived up in the Tri-State area. There just was never anything about it that grabbed me, as I usually opted for different musicals every time the option to take in LES MIZ presented itself. Therefore, heading into Tom Hooper’s film adaptation of the material, I had no baggage whatsoever with the stage show, its music or its characters,” could be rewritten, “Having never seen LES MIZ on the stage, I went into the movie with no preconceptions.” Writing involves putting down all the thoughts you have on a subject. Rewriting involves eliminating everything that is unnecessary. Talent is being able to distinguish between the necessary and the unnecessary and integrity requires jettisoning the latter.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Christ @sutureself, be a little MORE serious...

    by Boofalicious Washington

    ... you know, in case anyone else wants to enjoy themselves.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Sounds like his beef is more with the source material than the film

    by DrAstroZoom

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Plebians all of you...

    by Doug Rasmussen

    Time to broaden your horizons- I KNEW what kind of sophomoric review this was going to be before I even skimmed the tripe. Les Miz is about REDEMPTION you numb nuts- get an education and some brains; with a dash of an attention span or at least some empathy for history and/or commentary on it at least. Idiots.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 9:48 a.m. CST

    This movie was boring...Yet Django was FAR more a masterpiece

    by doom master

    if only Django had song numbers in it... if only Les Mis had more slapdash violence and gore...and vulgarity...

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Nothing to see here...

    by Doug Rasmussen

    This website is for junior high kids that neeed dates. Go waste your money on that more age appropriate crap like the Tarantino trash and stay away from reviews of classy films.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 9:49 a.m. CST

    doogieraz = poopy poker?

    by Boofalicious Washington

    signs point to yes!

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 9:57 a.m. CST

    You've CLEARLY never read the book, Kidd.

    by terrynation

    Hugo was a master of descriptive writing, and by virtue of the book being more than half narrative in nature, lots and lots of exposition needed to be cut for any translation to stage or screen... and even that was wasn't 'streamlined' enough for you. You clearly lack the attention span required for slowly-paced storytelling. You should stick to shiny stuff that jingles its keys in front of you.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 10:12 a.m. CST

    @trismegistus13

    by KDog629

    How many movie musicals have followed source material to the letter? The Sound Of Music, Carousel, South Pacific, Oklahoma, and My Fair Lady are the first few that come to mind. But the problem here is not that The Kidd wants to make cuts. It's that he wants to drastically change the narrative structure. Giving Fantine a bigger or more extended part would be like re-making Rain Man, and saying "Raymond is a little TOO autistic. What if he were smart and hip? He needs to be more cool so the audience can relate to him. How about that Jewish math guy from Numb3rs!" The question of whether or not this is a good movie in a vacuum is a perfectly valid one. The idea that you can make Fantine the lead character in a story that absolutely demands her death and wouldn't exist without it shows, not stupidity, but makes me wonder if you can button your own shirt.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Kidd lost me on his opening sentence....

    by Ultron ver 2.0

    what a miserable twat.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 10:23 a.m. CST

    @kdog629

    by Boofalicious Washington

    The Sound of Music does not follow the source material "to the letter". Close, but not entirely. Although the Jewish math guy from Numb3rs would have made a fantastic Liesl.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 11:11 a.m. CST

    Thought that KINGS SPEECH was overrated?

    by Smartacus

    No, just..... no.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 11:40 a.m. CST

    Saw this film at a screening....

    by Craig2574

    I did enjoy the film quite a bit BUT the film did feel as if it was to long to me. It was really not made to please me but for people who enjoy the show. I went in fresh like the kid (I did not even know this was sung thru musical meaning almost an opera). Russell Crowe does not do the best job with singing in this film. He seem to be trying to outdo Jackman in that department. Even though he is a better dramatic actor than hugh he can not out do him in the singing department. If you enjoy the musical you will enjoy this movie.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 11:45 a.m. CST

    More about Crowe and film SPOILERS

    by Craig2574

    Crowe did a great job with his body language in this film with Javert and the complications of the character about being the a villain who is not really a villain (A man who thinks he is doing what is right.) There are moments at the end where you can see he has a good heart and is not a scum bag like Sacha Cohen and Helen Carters characters who have no good qualities at all. The Master of the House song was one of my favs in the entire film. If you do not like musicals, operas do not see this film as it is not for you. If you are a movie fan and want to see a film that is beautiful shot I would suggest you check it out.

  • That's counting Harry *I publicly gave lashings to the Kidd in a talkback* Knowles. Good on ye. I have had no problems with any of your reviews. And the truly bright side to all of this is, hey, you're not Nordling.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Why is this film even being reviewed here?

    by conspiracy

    This is not a site that does well with serious films, or more adult fare. Not to say some of us don't enjoy the occasional meal of Sweetbreads and Single Malts...but lets face it...for the most part we are a Mt.Dew and Ketchup crowd...at least we are when we visit AICN. That said..I liked the Stage play, I'll probably like this.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Lord, Kidd's comments are soaked in shallow reasoning.

    by Clio

  • Have you read the Ted Contest Winners article from yesterday. If anything, I'd say The Kidd needs to get thicker skin.

  • I have seen the musical and expect this to be quite close to it. The book goes off on wild tangents, often spending multiple chapters to give the reader historical context for the story. If this were a direct adaptation of that, I can see how one could say it is "stuffed with extraneous story threads and characters". But I don't see it with the musical. You have 4 main characters: Valjean, Javert, Cosette, Marius; everyone else is just an extension of that story, including the 4 major minor characters: Fantine, Mr & Mrs. Thenardier, and Eponine. Really not that complicated. In having read the book, and seen several film adaptations, I've found the musical does an excellent job of condensing the story to its most important elements, while including a majority of the characters. On the other hand, most film adaptations have, for example, either Gavroche or Eponine (or neither), and the Thenardiers never make it to Paris.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 12:45 p.m. CST

    I'm a Guy...

    by Henri Blanche

    and I like musicals. I am really looking forward to seeing this. Like any other type of movie there are great ones and rotten tomatoes; but please don't disparage a movie just because it's just not your cup of tea.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Ok Kidd I'll agree with you on The King's Speech. Yes overrated

    by Wcwlkr

    I expect the Kidd to dislike just about 90% of what he sees. And musicals are tough to enjoy period. But I'll agree with you on The King's Speech supremely overrated.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 12:58 p.m. CST

    The Kidd is overrated.

    by kindofabigdeal

    But without him this site would have one review a month. And I don't consider Harry's ramblings about his childhood ideas of every new blockbuster geek fetish film a review.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 1:04 p.m. CST

    So the problem with a film version of a musical is....

    by RocketScientist

    ...that it's a film version of the musical? I mean, it wasn't necessary to watch the movie to know that Fantine's story is pretty short and Cosette has precious little to do. All that's needed is see the muscial on stage. Now that the Kidd has said what's wrong with the musical, perhaps we are allowed to also know what is wrong with the FILM, other than Crowe not being a good choice for a singing role?

  • He is like a lawyer - and its the STATE VS KNOWLES for crimes against vocabulary Its not Vs as in fighting..its Kidd in courtroom. Am I right Kidd? If you think of it that way its not so irritating or stupid..or insulting...or unprofessional.

  • You know what? Fuck you. I don't need to read anymore of this review.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 1:35 p.m. CST

    @kingslayer turn in your hetero card

    by Boofalicious Washington

    You're that butthurt over a musical? Pathetic

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 1:53 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    sutureself, I think it was Mark Twain who began a letter with the apology *Sorry to have written such a long letter, I didnt have time to write a short one*. Being concise is a literary and communicative skill. Billy Donnely Kidd doesnt have it. Along with brevity, he doesnt seem to have any wit or comic chops, nor does he capture interesting or illuminating turns of phrase. He has a job of film reviewer which many would see as a dream job but he appears to hate it. He's like a childrens entertainer who hates children. Notice how he grumbles and moans when he is asked to watch and review a film which has a running time longer than 2 hours. Is he Harry's nephew or something, how the fuck did this waste of space get the gig?

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 1:56 p.m. CST

    lol...a "man card"....

    by Ultron ver 2.0

    get back to your NASCAR, you brainstems.

  • Like the wrong shade of teal in a superhero's costume ("Why bother making this movie when they can't even get that right????") Dismissing movies based on nothing more than a one-line outline ("Why do all movies suck????") Contests you have no desire to enter for prizes you don't want ("Why can't they just give it to a random TBer, as long as it's me, so I can sell it on eBay????") Reviews to movies you weren't going to see anyway ("Why is this on here?????").

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Waaaaaaah... my lavish Broadway musical got a bad review from a website...

    by Boofalicious Washington

    Someone give me a pink cigar to smoke, fast!

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 4:53 p.m. CST

    kdog

    by Paul Macadom

    All Kidd's review tells me is that Hooper fucked everything after the first hour. All the best bits of the show happen after Fantine's death, provided you have a good Valjean and a good Javert. This film has neither, and nobody in the cast comes even close to being as compelling and convincing as Hathaway. Flawed as it is, the source material is fine and mostly sustains its energy. If uninitiated people are coming out of this hating everything after the first act, that to me signifies a major flaw in the execution of the drama. And Kidd is far from the only reviewer making this complaint. Hell, Rebecca Caine made exactly the same complaint Kidd did, and she was in the fucking show for years. Again, if Hooper couldn't make the material work as is, he should have refashioned it into something more manageable.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Kidd ya have understand this is play on screen and not a play

    by Joespat

    I know this story pretty well. If you want to see movie version see the the Liam Neeson version. its a great film. This is about making the play a on reality film. Musicals are not films when they are in based plays for for the most part.You cannot create a review of a movie based creating a stage to screen comparison based on a play you have not seen. end of story. be a pro if this is going to be your job. Seriously dude...lame review.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 7:07 p.m. CST

    I always kinda' hated The Kidd...

    by Billyeveryteen

    This infantile -VS- shit suggests his twatishness. His grammar, sentence structure, and utter disregard for logic confirms it. Now he just makes me vomit in my mouth a little...

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 9:34 p.m. CST

    Samantha BaRks

    by ra2bk

    Not the best review I've read... seemed pretty arbitrary. We get it, you thought it was long.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 9:50 p.m. CST

    @trismegistus13

    by KDog629

    I've not seen the movie, so I can't comment on the quality of Jackman and Crowe's performances, though they do seem right for their respective roles. As for Rebecca Caine complaining, well, yeah. She was Cosette. Cosette doesn't have anything to do, and isn't very interesting while she's not doing it. Someone on one of these talkbacks said (in an spectacular explosion of wrongness) said this story has four main characters: Valjean, Javert, Marius and Cosette, with the Thenerdiers and Fantine and Eponine filling in around the edges. The Thenardiers are essentially comic relief, but both Fantine and Eponine are bigger roles than Cosette. Fantine is the female lead in Act 1, and Eponine the female lead in Act 2. Of those eight characteristic, every single one is more developed than Cosette.

  • Dec. 20, 2012, 11:09 p.m. CST

    The Kidd didn't like The Hobbit either

    by ghost_matt

    He said it was long and bloated too, and it was my favorite movie of 2012. Les Mis is long too (I've seen the stage version twice and own the 10th and 25th anniversary concerts and have watched them many times), but it's packed and is really really good. We shall all see on December 25th. Judging from Kidd's Hobbit review I'm betting I'll like it. And since I've got 3 days off in a row, I'm planning on going to see The Hobbit again in 48 fps the very next day (only seen it in 24 fps 3D so far). Originally when Hobbit and Les Mis were coming out on the same day, my wife and I were going to see BOTH the same day. It was going to be epic.

  • Dec. 21, 2012, 4:10 a.m. CST

    No straight, single men will see this movie.

    by Gary Makin

  • Dec. 21, 2012, 6:25 a.m. CST

    the good but highly overrated THE KING’S SPEECH

    by Cash907

    And that's where you fucking lost ANY credibility, Billy.

  • Dec. 21, 2012, 7 a.m. CST

    kdog

    by Paul Macadom

    I'm talking about the movie. Caine said she was bored shitless in the second half. If the person who created Cossette can't find interest in the story, then the fault lies squarely at the feet of the filmmaker rather than the source material.

  • Dec. 21, 2012, 8:40 a.m. CST

    Trig

    by KDog629

    This is a business, and there's possibly more goodwill built into this project from Day 1 than anything else I've ever seen. Tom Hooper has but one job...the same task given to most every filmmaker: Make a movie that will deliver a healthy return on the investment. With a world famous source with nearly thirty years of fandom, you make THAT movie. Not some other movie. If he thought of a way to make it more interesting or more "coherent" or less "bombastic", and it pisses off the built in fanbase, then it's a failure. If they see it on opening day, and it angers them enough to not see it a second, third, and fourth time, then he failed. If this movie blows as a "movie" and makes Les Miz fans happy and they see it over and over again and buy the DVDs, then it's a success.

  • Dec. 21, 2012, 9:11 a.m. CST

    I've been hating this bit for about a month now

    by malificus

    fuck assholes still posting that dumbassery

  • Dec. 21, 2012, 10:05 a.m. CST

    boofaliciouswashington

    by DrMorbius

    Methinks you are already overly familiar with 'smoking' 'pink' 'cigars'!

  • Dec. 21, 2012, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Liam Neeson/Uma Thurman version is better.

    by kolchak

    Why? Liam Neeson and Uma Thurman.

  • Dec. 21, 2012, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Are the other reviewers missing?

    by Lummox JR

    What happened to Capone, and Quint, and so many other regulars? The front page right now is all "The Kidd vs. ____". Well that tells me nothing; the Kidd never likes anything, and finds bad excuses to trash perfectly great movies like the Hobbit. I see a review by Nordling too, but I'll never trust him again after he had positive things to say about the Alien Movie That Shall Remain Unnamed. Harry's led me wrong a few times (The Mummy Returns being a memorable one) and is hard to pin down, but he only reviews a few movies anymore anyway. Don't get me started on the video reviews.

  • Dec. 21, 2012, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Love all the hate over the VS thing

    by LoLWut

    Just love watching you aspies get all worked up over the VS thing, im sure the Kidd just laughs when he reads those comments. It is not his fault you don't understand what the VS thing means in his reviews. Also yes Kings Speech was good but not fucking Oscar worthy or heaps of praise worthy good.

  • Dec. 21, 2012, 1:20 p.m. CST

    There are two types of Movie Musicals.

    by tailhook

    The first type which makes me want to smash my eardrums I absolutely deplore which is what i call Singing Dialogue. When your songs comprise the dialogue of the film, just go fuck yourself. Sideways. Evita is like this, and Chicago. I'm more of a melody guy than a lyric guy and trying to listen to music while being forced to follow the lyrics as dialogue is a losing proposition for me. The funny part is that i dearly love the music from say Evita, but trying to follow it as dialogue for a movie just drives me crazy. The second type is the old school movie musical. You have a movie with traditional dialogue and tropes, and periodically they break into songs appropriate for the moment. Those are the type of musicals i don't mind watching because it provides a clear seperation between the music/lyrics, and the dialogue. The Sound of Music being the gold standard, of course. But a lot of the Disney stuff, including animated, i can watch all day. A lot of the old Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals are also quite watchable. The sad part is they don't seem to make musicals like the latter anymore. As if its too folksy or w/e. When you do get a musical, its garbage like the former.

  • Dec. 21, 2012, 1:47 p.m. CST

    ghost matt

    by Dr.007

    how was the image in the Hobbit 24 fps 3D? too dark in parts?

  • Dec. 21, 2012, 1:59 p.m. CST

    I DREAMED A DREAM THE KIDD STOPPED WRITING REVIEWS ON AICN!

    by MISTER RUMBLES

  • Dec. 21, 2012, 4:58 p.m. CST

    Disagree with Kidd in most every way here

    by alpha

    Les Mis is suprisingly good and Jackman will take some beating in the awards race because he'll get the Musical/Comedy Globe but it's really a dramatic role and he delivers so I expect him to take a fair few others. I just thought the whole film worked and I'm no fan of the musical itself.

  • Dec. 21, 2012, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Kdog

    by Paul Macadom

    You're absolutely right, that's clearly the approach they took. It's a shame. It's artistically bankrupt. But I know what musical fans are like - they make Nolan fanboys seem sane.

  • Dec. 21, 2012, 6:35 p.m. CST

    dr.007

    by ghost_matt

    No the picture looked just great in 24fps 3D. I've read some criticisms of the 48fps version saying it was too dark in some scenes.

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 2:52 p.m. CST

    when wolverine mounted red riding hood..

    by HoLottaMo

    sorry - shouldn't have had all those mushrooms before seeing this. No idea what the fuclk happened

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 11:51 p.m. CST

    BS

    by Anna

    What an asshole review. Kidd, I love your reviews, but you are clearly someone who doesn't favor musicals, and fair enough. But don't give reviews on a genre you clearly dislike. I'll give you this though, you tried to give a positive, neutral review on pinpoints of the movie, and that's...someting. This isn't a fanboy movie. If you love musicals, see this fucking movie. If you don't, don't bother. Bottom line. It's really, really good.

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 10:13 p.m. CST

    KIDD if you read this

    by HoraceSkinner

    Fuck yea. Sometimes someones got to be a man around here. Sometimes someones got to post negative reviews. Thanks for saving me $20+

  • Dec. 25, 2012, 3:54 a.m. CST

    Star1982

    by Paul Macadom

    Big musical dork here. Been in a few, directed a few, seen them all, rabid fanboy. This movie fucking sucked, and I don't know how anyone with even a vague appreciation of film can say otherwise. Inept middlebrow bullshit. You can't pin it down to just not liking the genre.

  • Dec. 25, 2012, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Dateline: NOW

    by KDog629

    Reports are coming in at this hour that someone calling himself Trismegistus13 has been trolling the comments section of a once thriving movie gossip site, flinging all manner of shit at a movie he swears he hated. For five straight days.

  • Dec. 25, 2012, 12:19 p.m. CST

    So this sounds like an ambitious misfire.

    by Orbots Commander

    Those are usually pretty interesting, to see why it doesn't work, but yeah I'll be catching this on DVD or Netflix rather than an endure an afternoon in a theater seat listening to Crowe warbling his song.

  • Dec. 25, 2012, 12:40 p.m. CST

    DATELINE: NOW

    by Paul Macadom

    Reports are coming in that a butthurt fanboy is trolling the comments section flinging shit at a stranger who hated said fanboys favourite grief porn. For five straight days.

  • Dec. 25, 2012, 6:47 p.m. CST

    I have a theory about Musicals- the good ones!

    by Dan

    they all make great stage adaptions because they are fun and we dig the music. Grease Sound of Music Seven Brides The Music Man Rocky Horror These are all great spectacles, that end at the correct moment... Les Mes is a dreary, looong, depressing durge... ugh. Chicago, Moulin Rouge suck major cockage... I dig musicals, but they have to be memorable and fun....