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Review

Harry was a complete Les Misérables Virgin, then he saw the movie a bunch & can't stop badly singing the songs!

 

Before I write a word of what I think of this film you need to know that I have not seen the Broadway sensation upon which it is an adaptation, but I am very familiar with Victor Hugo’s work and the various dramatic interpretations.   My first experience with the material was in CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED.   I read that adaptation with art by Rolland Livingstone – and for many years, that was LES MISERABLES.  The cover had no accent upon the second E.  

 

Then there’s Tom Hooper.   If you remember I was the solitary jackass that didn’t go gaga for his  film, KING’S SPEECH.  I thought it was a fine film, just not near the best film of the year.    So throughtout the production of this – I was nowhere near as enthused about it as Moises here.  

 

Then I got sent my screener of the film.   I get sent a ton of screeners, because I vote in the Austin Film Critic Association awards – and as part of that, you get sent screeners for films.   I really wish I’d seen the film in theaters, but at the same time, what I’ve had with this film is something that I can describe as an intimate discovery.  

 

I love Les Misérables.

 

The first time I watched it I didn’t know a single song.  I had no prejudice for the material.   I fell for the film.   It is directed by Tom Hooper in a fashion that evokes what Alan Parker did with EVITA, except more intimate.   Hooper is big on putting the camera right there close to the performance.   He loves to capture the performers living every lyric and thinking about all of it.  

 

When you see Anne Hathaway’s Fantine sing, you’ll totally understand what I’m thinking…  but the same is true of Jackman’s Jean Valjean…  a performance so robust that I now feel that Hugh Jackman should never be allowed to say a single line, he should sing it.   I’d love an angry Wolverine musical.   But then I generally love a great musical.   I love the form.   Hell, even as I write this I’m watching GOLD DIGGERS OF 1937, which isn’t necessarily near the top of Busby’s output, but it is a wonderful diversion.   Tap dancing on a giant rocking chair does it for me.  Sorry.   But Les Misérables is less rock n roll in its delivery than EVITA, instead Les Misérables feels like a legend given song.   It’s the legend of Jean Valjean, and it is truly beautiful.

 

The songs are sweeping.   Samantha Barks’s Eponine, breaks your heart.   She’s amazing.   Amanda Seyfried, who knew she could hit these notes.   Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the THenardiers crack me up and are a light diversion. 

 

That said though, the film belongs to Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman.    They suffer and sing.   Their desperation and heartache comes out through the songs.  

 

Now, because I know I’m an idiot regarding the musical Les Misérables, I have watched it with a couple of hardcore fans.   The first was fully prepared to sing every song.  She was a huge fan, but it was so much fun to watch Hathaway silence her.   Anne makes Fantine’s songs such an intimate and soulful part of her existence in this film, that I watched her silence someone that loves to sing this stuff.   Then later, I watched it with a couple that seem to know every performer – and when Colm Wilkinson’s Bishop sings a different lyric, they were angry.   SO realize, they do change some things, but it’s lost on me, as this film is how I came to love Les Misérables.

 

I’ve seen the film about 5 times thus far.   I do know the songs as they exist in the film and they’re powerful stuff.  The epic tale of Jean Valjean is amazing, be it sung or be it read.  

 

For me, this is how I discovered and fell in love with the musical and I know, I know…  painfully late to the game, but better late than never.   Friends have already reached out and have made sure I have all the music from the stage…   But right now, I tell you – when I shut my eyes and sing these songs, it is their faces that I see.

 

And now…  Let’s talk about Russell Crowe’s Javert.   Upon first watching, I found him a bit stilted.   I mean, when you first watch this film – it’s hard for anyone to really grab your attention when you have Hugh Jackman just kicking ass as Jean Valjean.   This is what he made instead of Aronofsky’s THE WOLVERINE, but he was in shape for that, so Valjean, seems as strong as they say.   And for my money, Hugh Jackman’s Jean Valjean is his best Wolverine yet – sewers and all.   Even if he looks a bit more Black King than Wolvie!   Anyway, let’s get back on to discussing Javert.   In my third viewing of Les Misérables, I suddenly really picked up on the genius that Crowe is putting into this.   He plays Javert a bit like Lt. Ed Exley than his Bud White.   He’s a true shooter.   He only knows, YOU HAVE BROKE THE LAW.   He’s a boy scout.   Javert is the stick in the mud.   The strong arm of the law that isn’t there to forgive or bend for you.  Javert is THE MAN.   And as we all know, we hate THE MAN.  THE MAN fucking sucks.   THE MAN will infiltrate and betray a revolution.  And really, we’re all about the fucking revolution.   Luke Skywalker fights for the revolution.   However, Javert knows he’s right, and there’s nothing more dangerous than THE MAN that knows he’s right.   It gives him no wiggle room.   JAVERT is not us.  He’s not the viewer that has seen the awesome that is Jean Valjean.   He only sees Prisoner Number 24601.  A man he chases and puts back in chains.

 

SO, Crowe isn’t playing a character that we’re supposed to like, but over the course of the film, his arc is just fascinating to me.   I love how Crowe sings his songs with a self-righteous conviction – he has an air above the filth in the streets.   He is JAVERT.   He refers and thinks of himself in the Third person.   His own name has such meaning to him.    But he’s a man that has very strict convictions and what he sees over his story, which is to hunt Jean Valjean.   It profoundly affects him.  

 

Because the story of Jean Valjean, a man who wasn’t trying to revolt.   He was in his soul a good man, but it is the story of Jean Valjean that gives meaning to this revolution.   If a man that is trying to live such a just life is punished by a society that cares not about context.   That doesn’t seek to understand.   That is a government to rebel against – and for me, the songs, the performances, the production design and the spirit of the film sell it.  

 

As much as I went a bit blah on THE KING’S SPEECH, I’m high as a kite for this flick.   From those sweeping opening shots to that crazy last shot.   Probably the most fun conversation I had about the ending of the film with some Broadway lovers is still my favorite conversation about Les Misérables.   That said, I’ll save it for the Blu Ray write up next year, as to not be a complete spoiler bastard here.  I’ll just say it has to do with Javert’s absence from the end number.  Leave it at that.  We speculated wildly about why.   Have fun with it.

 

I do not guarantee you’ll have the same experience with the film if you’re intimately familiar with the musical, though I do know 3 that loved and 2 that were wishy washy.    As a complete Les Misérables Virgin, I thought this was awesome stuff.   Looks like the film is headed to a huge success.   It totally deserves anything it gets.

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 23, 2012, 1:40 a.m. CST

    HANDS DOWN

    by bluepizza

    The worst title for a review I've ever seen

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 1:52 a.m. CST

    Fantine has a beer and cheets on her diet.....

    by Loosejerk

    let it begin!

  • Because it wasn't. His best movies came before that. In fact, he's been going downhill for awhile, and Les Miserables sucks.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 2:39 a.m. CST

    I'm just gonna get this out of the way:

    by whatyoufear

    I've seen the film about 5 times thus far... for about a month now.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 2:44 a.m. CST

    Loved it

    by michael

    Good writeup Harry. Between this and your Djanjo review, you're on a roll. Les Mis is awesome, folks. It's really, really, really fucking great, ambitious, and epic in every sense. Agreed about Russel Crowe, who is getting waaaay too much shit for his vocal performance. It sounds like it belongs to another movie, and for me, it really worked. I would love to have been a fly on the wall regarding Harry's conversation about Javert's absence from the end scene.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 3:07 a.m. CST

    My first experience with the material was in Classics Illustrated.

    by Shaun D Lyons

    Your reviews are fucking hilarious.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 3:10 a.m. CST

    Honest Review

    by Jak

    I've watched the stage play a couple of times and own the 25th Anniversary concert. The songs play better live and the movie cast did change some styles and expressions to make it their own, which doesn't necessarily work. I feel, if you are a Les Mis virgin and enjoy musicals on the silver screen, you'll like this film. If one knows the stage play well, you're going to be slightly disappointed. If one doesn't like musicals, better to avoid. I do like Harry's comments about Russel Crowe's, Javert. If one watches the performance knowing Crowe is deliberately trying to use a pitch in his voice that is above the street riffraff, it works better. -Hollywood Pulse

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 3:21 a.m. CST

    So I won't be able to sing along word for word?

    by tomandshell

    Any changes in the score will distract me on my first viewing just like watching each of The Lord of the Rings movies the first time and catching every deviation from the source material. But I got used to those changes quickly and came to love the films as adaptations. Hopefully, the same can happen with Les Miserables.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 3:25 a.m. CST

    my next door neighbour was an extra in this film

    by Righteous Brother

    as some of it was filmed in my area (Portsmouth, UK) I haven't read Harr's review, but all I want to know is, did he either start giggling during the film or blubbing. It's normally one or the other.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 3:44 a.m. CST

    God, I wish that people would use the correct French pronunciation.....

    by MovieManStill

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 4:06 a.m. CST

    A triumph but...

    by Mr Moneypenny

    it's not as great as it could have been. I have no doubt Les Mis will also go all the way to the top but this is a film that even a bad director can't hurt - and Hooper has hurt it in several ways. I have seen the film a couple of times now and both times I was in tears! The songs sweep you up and the performances blow you away and if you are prepared to invest in the movie (and the musical concept) I can guarantee by the end you will want to join the rebellion and build your own barricade. But once the tears are wiped away questions begin to form and suddenly the movie -especially from a technical standing - seems flawed. The long lingering close up shots Harry mentions are fabulous and it draws you into the real emotion of the song and the performer. But given the freestyle nature it was shot in (everything was recorded live as opposed to pre recording the songs and then performing to them on playback) some errors slip in and jarr the beauty. Hathaway as Fantine is a triumph, but she repeatedly drops in and out of focus as she despairs her way through 'I Dreamed A Dream'. Hugh Jackman is a triumph, but early in the movie as he questions the nature of his soul in a small chapel he bumps into the camera! Some of the shot choices and editing also crumble under scrutiny. Shots that should be soaring and majestic come in at odd angles. Reaction shots are shown when they are not needed or for odd lengths of time. Harry is right that the last shot is crazy but the whole sequence of the last song is fumbled and we are denied the money shots of the actors delivering the money notes at the end of a big emotional film and that is a tragedy! Throughout the film and especially at the end I kept thinking 'I would frame that differently', 'Pan slower', 'Pull back more'. This is especially true during 'Master Of The House'. Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen are a triumph, but their big number is rushed and badly framed and what should be the (only) comic relief in the show is whipped through and spoilt. The biggest editing flaw though is that the whole movie feels rushed! Difficult when it clocks in at 160 min but it does- this is mainly because the scenes and songs are not given time to breathe and the viewer not allowed to come down or up from what they have seen. This is avoided in the stage production as the audience applauds a great performance or a transition occurs as the sets are changed giving you time to take a breath and wipe a tear. Not so on screen - one song ends and another begins and the scenes they take place in can sometimes crash into each other. With a cast this talented firing on all cylinders it is difficult to single out anyone - they all deserve the praise and awards they will receive. However special mention should be given to Eddie Redmayne - who knew he could sing so well and Samantha Barks - who having come third in a UK talent show should be descend for stardom. They are all a triumph! I agree with Harry, the film will be a massive hit and be showered in awards glory and gold statuettes. I am sure I will see it many times in the future and cry and sing at each viewing. It is a triumph... and yet it still is not as great as it could have been...

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 4:11 a.m. CST

    I love musicals, and have never heard this particular one, BUT...

    by MovieManStill

    ...I have NO desire to see this. It just looks too annoying.....taking a classic novel, and turning it into mass-consumption pablum. Of course, I hated "Phantom," as well. Anything that a Walmart or cruise ship dweller would gush about, does not interest me.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 4:14 a.m. CST

    Moneypenny, you SOUND like your name.

    by MovieManStill

    Or, somebody's gushing Aunt Biddy. So much crying and drama. God.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 5:35 a.m. CST

    Got my Le Mis cherry popped by that Seinfeld episode

    by tangcameo

    Master of the house, something something something... And I did have a suede jacket but no candy stripes inside.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 6:52 a.m. CST

    This sounds like it would be a good story if it wasn't a musical

    by Mugato5150

    The only thing I knew about "Le Miz" was from a reference in Deep Space Nine. It seems like a good story but a musical? I just don't get it. Everyone just stopping in the middle of a story and breaks out into song. It's fucking retarded. Unless it's The Blues Brothers but that was whimsical. In a drama it just doesn't make sense. It's me, obviously because people love this stuff. And it can't just be gay guys. hollywoodpulse can't be buying all the tickets.

  • Merry Christmas, Harry! :-)

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 7:10 a.m. CST

    I prefer More Miserables

    by Bedknobs and Boomsticks

  • Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway have been acting for about a month now.

  • Jean Valjean has been revolting for about a month now.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 7:34 a.m. CST

    Harry was appalled by the squalor depicted in LES MISERABLES, but...

    by buggerbugger

    ...then he looked over and Kurt Russell was laughing pretty hard, so he guessed it was okay.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 7:49 a.m. CST

    Crowe almost single-handedly sinks this film

    by Paul Macadom

    His performance is dreadful. He isn't acting. He stands, and tries to sing, but looks so uncomfortable its like nobody warned him it was a musical. His final act is hopelessly unconvincing and confusing - there's no descent, no change, nothing happening behind those eyes. Crowe relegates his own character to weak supporting, rather than being a powerful co-lead. There is no drive, no cat and mouse, no fire between the leads. There are major problems with this film, but there would at least have been a through-line if Crowe wasn't so awful. Jackman is almost as bad. Vocally he fares better, but his voice is ugly and he's out of his depth and range. His performance is hopelessly one-note. How can we care? Because the leads are so insipid, the problems of the source material come leaping to the fore. The second act has almost no through line - this is exacerbated by the fact that our leads can't carry the film. Cossette is out of the picture for far too long (why on earth did they add that boring and redundant song to the first act, when the second act so sorely needs more Cossette?), and because we don't care about Cossette we don't care about all the extraordinary things our protagonists are willing to do in her honour. Eponine is rendered redundant, and her solo has no impact. As much as I love to blame the horrible lead performances, Tom Hooper's ineptitude is the real culprit. This is an ugly fucking film - hideously shot, hideously lit, hideously graded, cheap looking sets, and shitty CGI. The hand held camera is insufferable, as is Hooper's penchant for ostentatiously weird framing. There is no scope to this film. Beyond the opening shot (some of the shittiest CGI I've seen in a while), we don't see the city. We don't see the sky. We don't see anything but the bulbous noses of the inconsistent cast. This feels like a TV drama, not a multi-million dollar epic. The live singing works once and only once - during Hathaway's extraordinary solo. The other actors don't take advantage of the medium, and Crowe and Jackman could have been relieved of the visible strain in their performances had they just been allowed to pre-record their tracks. I don't understand the point of live singing if your cast are vocally all over the place. There's a good film in Les Miserables - the material needs some reworking to make it screen ready, but it's doable. But you wouldn't know it from this uniquely and bizarrely inept film. It fails on almost every level, and I can think of only maybe two sequences that actually work. Hooper is a fucking hack. What a waste.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 7:52 a.m. CST

    but how many months, Harry?

    by Barnald

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 7:55 a.m. CST

    The whole movie is singing, mugato5150

    by theBigE

    They don't "break into song," they sing the ENTIRE movie.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 8:08 a.m. CST

    Harry claims to have every book ever written

    by Mike J

    More lies. So what age were you when you supposidly read Les Mis eh Harry? Three, just before you went to see Mandingo? One perhaps? Maybe when you were just sperm? Jesus Harry, your constant efforts to portray yourself as a cultured individual are just laughable.

  • Yeah. I think that's plausible too.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 8:45 a.m. CST

    ...upon which it is an adaptation.

    by Beebop

    Even when Harry tries to write something in a proper way, he screws it up. He comes across like a really dumb, but enthusiastic and genuine, person trying to appear to be much, much smarter than he really is. I bet he says "Irregardless" a lot.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 8:53 a.m. CST

    This week is going to be epic.

    by ghost_matt

    First my wife & I are going to see Les Mis, then the next day we're going to drive out to a theater that's showing The Hobbit in 48fps (only about a 40 minute drive from here). We've already seen it in 24fps. Originally when The Hobbit and Les Mis were both coming out the same day, we were going to be nerds and see them both in the same day. Anyway, I've been listening to the highlights cd and it sounds good. My only concern is if "The Bishop" and "Drink With Me" are truncated in the film as they are on the cd, or is that just because it's only the highlights cd? And I too thought The King's Speech was a decent film but nowhere near deserving Best Picture.

  • You're getting too old for this shit.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 9:01 a.m. CST

    BTW, how's your husband Sugar Bear doing?

    by Fries Against

    That's right, I'm comparing you to Honey Boo Boo's mother.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 9:03 a.m. CST

    He's not just a Les Mis virgin. He's an exercise virgin.

    by Fries Against

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 9:37 a.m. CST

    The Kidd vs Harry the Virgin

    by Jones Jonez

    Didn't end well for "The Kidd" let's just say he now walks with a limp. Seriously though what kind of loser decides to go by the moniker "The Kidd"??

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 9:40 a.m. CST

    if it weren't for the talkbacks I'd be dust

    by Jones Jonez

    Honestly who is a title like that supposed to address? Take your fat face out of the pudding for just one second Harry.. Seriously

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 9:43 a.m. CST

    banned_dirty_ape

    by Jones Jonez

    He has every cookbook ever written. Then ignores them and goes to McDonalds thrice a day.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 9:47 a.m. CST

    LOL Seinfeld....

    by doom master

    Master of the House....What a funny show that was back in the day... Les MIz? What's a "Les Miz"?

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Re: AICN gif

    by Jones Jonez

    Is Harry fucking king kong (with his micro-penis) in the soft palate??

  • He wasn't even four yet. And then he and his dad had a discussion about the themes of the movie. Presumably Harry had already mastered the English language at this tender age... which is strange, considering he still hasn't mastered it at the age of 41. Maybe he's living his life as some kind of intellectual Benjamin Button, starting out as a foetus mastermind slowly growing into an enormously retarded adult? Interesting and connected fact: Harry was present at the 1902 French premiere of Méliès's 'A Trip to the Moon', albeit as a sperm of his father (within the testicles of his paternal grandfather), but Harry remembers the cinematic experience both vividly and fondly and how his viewing of the movie led his father's sperm (within the testicles of his paternal grandfather) to seek out the similarly fantastical works of Verne and Wells in a local Paris bookshop. In French, of course. He read them all leisurely during the trip home aboard the Nautilus, where he sat at the captain's table at evenings. You think the Nautilus is a fiction, don't you? Harry smiles to himself. Of course it is, gentle reader. Of course it is.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Evita was Rock and Roll ... who knew?

    by DrMorbius

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 10:11 a.m. CST

    i agree with you on Kings Speech

    by Blaidd

    Kings Speech reminded me of a TV movie made by the BBC..

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 10:15 a.m. CST

    trismegistus13

    by DrMorbius

    Schlep your sorry ass back to CHUD, you PUD!

  • and not go show them to all your friends.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Trismegistus

    by KDog629

    I've seen his comments on a number of threads about this movie, and he does seem...oddly confrontational about it. Like, the closer it gets to release, the angrier he gets about it. Makes me wonder if there's something else going on.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Scratchmonkey

    by Mike J

    Your "Intellectual Benjamin Button" comment made me laugh almost as much as Harry's Jack Reacher review did!

  • We watched it in French class. I guess it was made for TV but I recall enjoying it. Godd performances and great soundtrack.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 1:23 p.m. CST

    I don't think I've ever even read the book. I need to fix that.

    by Bill C.

    I may hold off until I see the movie just so there isn't that conflict in my head, but still.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 2:01 p.m. CST

    PROMETHEUS has less plot holes than LES MISERABLES.

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

    LES MISERABLES makes THE DARK KNIGHT RISES look tightly plotted.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Awful headline for this review, ugh

    by Ozman X

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 2:19 p.m. CST

    fuck musicals ( period piece dramas )

    by HoraceSkinner

    Im.sure there's someing special about seeing this live and in person. I'm sure the live performance adds a different element. but as a movie i just don't see how it works. Just ridiculas to me. That Renee zellweger / cat zeta Jones movie years ago.that got all the acolades, wtf. That was awful. Musicals aimed at children make sense. Stuff like Fame or even that Cher Xtina movie made sense even though it was crap. Period piece costumed actors crying and breaking into song is too "cop rock" for me. Shame cus i love the cast and would see it in a min w/o the singing.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 2:19 p.m. CST

    I Prefer Evita

    by tenaga dalam

    well I guess I prefer Evita.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 2:29 p.m. CST

    pretty sure Harry's just a virgin

    by sunwukong86

    i know he has a wife but still.....

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Harry LOVES Angelo Badalamenti's score for LES MISERABLES!

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 2:39 p.m. CST

    If Harry didn't show the screener to friends

    by Bass Ackwards

    how could he explain to them that he gets tons of screeners, because he's a valuable voting member of a film critic's society?

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Horaceskinner

    by Dp

    Singin' in the Rain is genius, as are American In Paris, West Side Story and Wizard Of Oz. Cabaret may be a period piece, but the theatricality adds to the alienation. But, yeah, I haven't seen a decent musical since the 70w

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Doom master

    by Dp

    Seinfeld was the best "traditional" (ie three camera studio audience) sitcom ever. They should have just stopped making them after that.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 3:02 p.m. CST

    Horaceskinner

    by Dp

    Sorry I should say musical MADE since the 70s. I don't want to pull a Harry.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Austin Film Critic Association

    by Mike J

    Seriously, what exactly is the criteria for membership of this if Harry Knowles is a member? I'm guesing (a) geographical proximity to Austin, (b) proof of at least 2 ticket stubs to showings of anything at all at the Alamo Drafthouse and (c) the ability to spell 50% of the word "film". The membership process cannot be any stricter than that if they let Knowles in. Unless of course he has some sort of birthmark on his flabby great butt which suggests he is really the chosen one, ala the Stone Cutters.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 3:53 p.m. CST

    Kdog

    by Paul Macadom

    Who was I confronting? And have you seen the film?

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 4:41 p.m. CST

    I'm not one for musicals but,

    by J-Tall

    That was a great review Harry. Your passion for it almost makes me want to see it. Great django review too.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 4:51 p.m. CST

    The worst title for a review I've ever seen

    by Jared Syn

    I think "Harry says Hunger Games Made Me Hungry for the Book" was worse. Myself and Bryan Cox have thought that for about a month now.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 5:07 p.m. CST

    You know what? Fuck this shit

    by Denty420

    I've supported this site for a lot of years. I'm not just talking about visiting daily and (sometimes) participating in the TB's, but financially. I've ordered a lot of DVD's and Blurays through the Amazon click-thrus on this site and they've picked up the commission. No more. They're not getting another penny of my money. Harry can't be arsed any more. That's painfully obvious to those of us who have seen the steady decline of quality on this site over the last few years. He's too busy sucking up to those infinitely more talented than he to give a shit about this site and its content. His reviews are completely without any sense, comprehension or merit and his attitude towards the talkbackers and, in some cases, his staff writers is appalling. Fuck you, Harry. I'm done lining your pocket. I just feel very sorry for your writers, especially the likes of Quint and Capone, talented writers that deserve a better forum than this self-indulgent, antiquated excuse. Mark Kermode was right about you. In every single syllable.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 5:23 p.m. CST

    themagicalhornofguntata

    by Jones Jonez

    You also lined his gut. With food.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 5:51 p.m. CST

    Trismeg...

    by KDog629

    Yes, I have seen the film. In the last twenty four hours, actually, so it's fresh on my mind. Admittedly, a screener, and not in a theater, but in HD and on a big screen. Best I could do over the weekend. Having seen the stage musical eighteen times in six cities since 1989, I consider myself something of an authority. And while not perfect, this movie is a home run. Not a 520 foot, park clearing home run, but a home run nonetheless. Every quibble I had with it as to how I would have done something differently I can forgive based on a different artist's interpretation and acting choices. On a four star rating scale, I'd say 3.5. Out of 100, I'd say 93. And that's ME. Not you, or anybody else, but me. You, on the other hand, seem really, genuinely angry at this movie for some reason I can't figure out. What expectations you had going in, I can't say, but, seriously...just take a Xanax.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 6:03 p.m. CST

    kdog

    by Paul Macadom

    Pretty fucking stupid response to a negative review. How about you actually engage with what I said if you're so upset that I didn't like it? But no, you go straight for the personal like a typical braindead musical theatre fanboy. I'm not angry, I just hated the fucking film and think Harry totally missed the mark in his review. Isn't that the point of talkbacks? To air opinions?

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 6:03 p.m. CST

    I am looking forward to this...

    by Tacoloft

    Watching how they filmed the singing LIVE instead of going into the studio to record the tracks... this makes all the difference for me. Stoked.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 6:10 p.m. CST

    redshirt_24

    by Tacoloft

    I downloaded the complete Victor Hugo collection on Kindle for ~$2 about a month ago. It has almost all of his works. Read the book in high school many years ago but never saw the play so this movie should bring it back. The book was fantastic as I remember it. I also slightly remember the Les Miserables movie with Liam Neeson and Uma Thuman - I remember it being pretty good but it was without the singing or dancing.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 6:10 p.m. CST

    Comparing Harry to Benjamin Button is brilliant.

    by Banned-ki-moon

    Except for the fact that Button couldn't help it. I suspect ass-kissing, painkillers and an overindulgence in barbecue is the culprit behind Harry's regression. Great job on another terribly-written review, fats.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 6:10 p.m. CST

    Horrible movie and an even worse review.

    by Ian Masterson

    Despite my general dislike for musicals, I had the opportunity to see this for free last night. "mr_moneypenney"'s review pretty much sums up the experience for me. And I know it's been said, but this review? Absolute fuckery.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Harry is now a Les Mis manwhore

    by joe90025

    In perpetual ecstasy with Jean Valjean and Javert's manhoods firmly gripped in his stubby hands, Harry attempts to sing "I Dreamed A Dream" but his notes are muffled by Tom Hooper's Anglo sausage. While his friends watch.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 7:04 p.m. CST

    Trismeg...

    by KDog629

    I'm not going to engage you at all anymore. Like I said, you seems mean, and angry at...something. Generally, when I don't like a movie, I move past it quickly and not troll the internet looking to rail at people who disagree. Have a delightful Christmas or Festivus or whatever it is unhappy people celebrate.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 7:08 p.m. CST

    Kdog

    by Paul Macadom

    I didn't rail at anyone, I posted my opinion without reference to anyone else. You're the on acting butthurt that I hated the film. You can either argue against my criticisms or lay off the personal attacks.

  • Good lord.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 7:17 p.m. CST

    I am no man.

    by Paul Macadom

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 7:46 p.m. CST

    Tacoloft

    by Dp

    Is the book as dense as it sounds? I love long books but Hugo sounds particularly heavy. I'd love to see The Man Who Laughs The Musical.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 7:50 p.m. CST

    I've been a Miserable for a month now...

    by garagons

  • Miss Massarwym. Shame he hit it big in Tinseltown though.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Don't be intimidated by Hugo

    by Bass Ackwards

    I put off Hugo for years, but after finally venturing into Hunchback, and then Les Mis, I was really surprised how accessible (and even funny) Hugo actually was. I'm someone who took a few false starts before getting through Moby Dick, I've still never finished Joyce's Ulysses, but found Hugo's work to be genuinely enjoyable reads.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 8:24 p.m. CST

    Trismeg

    by KDog629

    No, I honestly don't care that you hated the film, especially now that I've seen it and disagree. I just find it odd you're spending Christmas talking about something you hate over and over again. There are legit critics who hated it as much as you did, but I feel they've moved past it. You're like the guy who talks about a past relationship and insists that you're "soooo over it" for months on end. And you're doing it for FREE.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 8:35 p.m. CST

    I'm Jewish

    by Paul Macadom

    And I'm not over it. This film was an abortion when it could've been great.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 8:40 p.m. CST

    causality loop

    by The_Cellarrat

    I get sent a ton of screeners, because I vote in the Austin Film Critic Association awards – and as part I get sent a ton of screeners, because I vote in the Austin Film Critic Association awards – and as part of that, you get sent screeners for films. that, you get sent screeners for films.I get sent a ton of screeners, because I vote in the Austin Film Critic Association awards – and as part of that, you get sent screeners for filmsI get sent a ton of screeners, because I vote in the Austin Film Critic Association awards – and as part of that, you get sent screeners for filmsI get sent a ton of screeners, because I vote in the Austin Film Critic Association awards – and as part of that, you get sent screeners for filmsI get sent a ton of screeners, because I vote in the Austin Film Critic Association awards – and as part of that, you get sent screeners for films.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 8:45 p.m. CST

    I can say I read Ulysses

    by Dp

    Because my eyes ran over every word, but I can't say I actually understood it. Moby Dick is great and even the Huston movie doesn't do it justice. Don Quixote is fantastic. Hugo is funny? I'll have to give it a try.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 9:11 p.m. CST

    I've been singing badly for about a month now.

    by Nintendarth

    On a greyhound bus. When you hear the name Fontine, you will know what it means and what she stands for.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 9:12 p.m. CST

    Because the story of Jean Valjean, a man who wasn’t trying to revolt.

    by The_Cellarrat

    Aces Harry, simply Aces.

  • My first experience with the material was in CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED. Then I got sent my screener of the film. I love Les Misérables. I fell for the film. I’d love an angry Wolverine musical. It’s the legend of Jean Valjean, and it is truly beautiful. She’s amazing. They suffer and sing. The first was fully prepared to sing every song. Upon first watching, I found him a bit stilted. He’s a boy scout.It profoundly affects him. ..... I'm dead serious folks. There is not another sentence in the review that is sound grammatically or logically.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 9:27 p.m. CST

    Cellarat

    by Dp

    And for my money, Hugh Jackman’s Jean Valjean is his best Wolverine yet – sewers and all. Even if he looks a bit more Black King than Wolvie! Anyway, let’s get back on to discussing Javert. In my third viewing of Les Misérables, I suddenly really picked up on the genius that Crowe is putting into this. He plays Javert a bit like Lt. Ed Exley than his Bud White. He’s a true shooter. He only knows, YOU HAVE BROKE THE LAW. He’s a boy scout. Javert is the stick in the mud. The strong arm of the law that isn’t there to forgive or bend for you. Javert is THE MAN. And as we all know, we hate THE MAN. THE MAN fucking sucks. THE MAN will infiltrate and betray a revolution. And really, we’re all about the fucking revolution. Luke Skywalker fights for the revolution. It's like beat poetry, if Ginsberg et al were trying to write utter shit.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 9:35 p.m. CST

    Cellarat

    by Dp

    And for my money, Hugh Jackman’s Jean Valjean is his best Wolverine yet – sewers and all. Even if he looks a bit more Black King than Wolvie! Anyway, let’s get back on to discussing Javert. In my third viewing of Les Misérables, I suddenly really picked up on the genius that Crowe is putting into this. He plays Javert a bit like Lt. Ed Exley than his Bud White. He’s a true shooter. He only knows, YOU HAVE BROKE THE LAW. He’s a boy scout. Javert is the stick in the mud. The strong arm of the law that isn’t there to forgive or bend for you. Javert is THE MAN. And as we all know, we hate THE MAN. THE MAN fucking sucks. THE MAN will infiltrate and betray a revolution. And really, we’re all about the fucking revolution. Luke Skywalker fights for the revolution. Just... Brilliant?

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 9:36 p.m. CST

    HARRY, YOU HAVE BROKE THE LAW!

    by The_Cellarrat

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 9:37 p.m. CST

    Funny Hugo

    by Bass Ackwards

    I should say when I mentioned Hugo was funny, I was referring to Hunchback, Les Mis not so much. And I only mean funny in the sense there are some laughs and "comic-ness" to some characters and plots that I wasn't expecting, as well as a general warmth to his writing. But don't go into it expecting there to be black comic witticisms or a satirical bent, funny was perhaps a bad descriptor to throw out there.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 9:37 p.m. CST

    jjheatseeker

    by Tacoloft

    Read the book if you haven't, Hugo does a great job entertaining. As I remember- for me as a kid in high school I could read and understand it quite well. I remember there were some great moral messages that we had discussed as we read. "What would you do?" type of situations. So the book is a great reflection on the individual as we at times have all made mistakes in life, we all need redemption, and we all need a helping hand - regardless of how rich or poor financially or spiritually. It allows us to probe deeper meanings of how we treat one another. Another book that kind of stimulates these type of questions, and it is a very short read, would be C.S. Lewis' "The Screwtape Letters". -excellent quick read. Also, if you haven't read Stephen Kings "Dark Tower" series you are missing out on some fun western sci-fi.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Tacoloft

    by Dp

    I'm reluctant to try dark tower because I hear it goes off the rails at the end. Is that unfair?

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Anyone here read War and Peace?

    by Tacoloft

    I have it on kindle but I am hesitant to start the massive book if it isn't worth my time.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 9:45 p.m. CST

    Taco loft

    by Dp

    I've never read War and Peace but everybody says its worth it. But you might want to keep notes- there's literally hundreds of characters.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 11:27 p.m. CST

    I finished reading this entire talkback for about a month now.

    by Fries Against

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 12:37 a.m. CST

    I’ve read this talkback about 5 times thus far

    by BoRock_A_Boomer

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 3:47 a.m. CST

    Just Wanted to say, Happy. Merry Christmas!

    by tammy

    To all the Talkbackers!

  • Not really a fan of musicals, but Jackman & Hathaway seem the perfect fit for them.

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 7:12 a.m. CST

    I do admit I'm not a fan of "serious" musicals

    by Dp

    Phantom and Les Miz take themselves too seriously. Cabaret is cool, however.

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 8:09 a.m. CST

    jjheat

    by HoraceSkinner

    Ok. Sry. Fuck musicals in the last 40 yrs.

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 8:26 a.m. CST

    jjheat, taco loft ... on Kings dark tower

    by HoraceSkinner

    The dark tower is a must for king fans. For fantasy fans, its about 50/50. For every great book there's a ok one. Some have great parts, and i mean THE STAND great. And then they have crap king should have edited it out. Sorry for being cyptical but if you read id hate to spoil anything. Taco, i think the books take a very different turn after king had his accident. I really enjoy the books before he got hit. After, well they were just filler i think. Writing himself in was awful. And many of the resolutions were unsatisfying. Felt like he was finishing.rather than letting it come organically. He kinda saved himself with the ending imo. Id see.a.musical of the dark tower. :)

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 8:40 a.m. CST

    I always thought

    by Dp

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 8:42 a.m. CST

    i always thought King couldn't write decent endings

    by Dp

    But I guess I'll have to give it a shot. dark Tower musical? Maybe an opera? Actually, there are a few pop culture works that could make interesting operas... Dune, Blade Runner... Yeah, I know that's nuts.

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 9:05 a.m. CST

    WTF!!!

    by DrMorbius

    *HARRY, YOU HAVE BROKE THE LAW!* by the_cellarrat

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Harry writes like a 14 year old talks

    by Dp

    A rather... slow 14 year old.

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 9:15 a.m. CST

    jjheat King does screw the ending up

    by HoraceSkinner

    DT has a unsatisfying nonending for some fans. Once i realized where he was going with the story i understood why there wasn't a finite resolution, which most fans wanted, and after 7 books kinda deserved. But there are parts that are the best stuff hes done. Hes a real mix bag. I can tell you his world building is second to JRR only. Coming soon to Broadway "DUNE" the musical Featuring Hugh Jackman and Stubbs such as Fear ... Is the mind killer Ben jesuit ballad Beautiful blue eyed freeman woman the water of life The sand, the worm, and the slice Arrakis, Dunne desert planet

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 9:58 a.m. CST

    i want to see the porn version of this ..

    by mojoman69

    Les JIZZerables. with Sasha Gray as Cosette and Ron jeremy as Long val DOng.

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 10:20 a.m. CST

    have you got brain parasites harry?...

    by dirk123

    Did you not get yourself checked after the jack Reacher review

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 12:13 p.m. CST

    The Miserables is *not* a Musical.

    by tailhook

    Its a Talksical. Take dialogue and replace it with music. Talksical. Or.. as i pronounce them.. Toxicals. Real movie musicals don't have the dialogue as music. And there isn't a Talksical around that isn't anything but pure unadulterated garbage. The form might work on the stage, its ass on the big screen.

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Harry's not the only miserable virgin around here!

    by Miss Moneypennys Pishflapsh

    Amirite???

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 3:25 p.m. CST

    tailhook

    by Dp

    So what you're saying is that it's opera for people who can't sing?

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Yes. It's true. This man has no dick.

    by AzulTool

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 3:54 p.m. CST

    On the 12th day of Christmas Harry Knowles gave to me...

    by kindofabigdeal

    12 articles deleted, 11 trollers trolling, 10 incomplete ideas, 9 Reachers reference, 8 Mandingo's dancing, 7 Yoko's Pwing, 6 6 Dollar burgers, 5 run on sentences, 4 Star Wars rumors, 3 lens flares, 2 Stallone phone calls, and a review that makes no f@cking sense.

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 6:33 p.m. CST

    @jj: opera

    by tailhook

    Decent enough word for it. I don't like Opera either. But at least they have the common sense to sing in a completely different language, so the lyrics aren't an issue in that case anyways! Its just when I listen to music I like to get lost in the song and melody. The lyrics, while nice, are secondary. A Talksical like The Miserables you not only have to focus on the lyrics, but follow them to stay on the narrative track, and that takes away all enjoyment of the music and the movie for me. Not to mention that when you start to take straight dialogue and set it to music, it often sounds extremely sketchy and horrible as the 'vocalist' gyrates to try to get the music into something resembling the cadence and melody. Its just garbage.

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 7:10 p.m. CST

    i can't stop badly posting to this talkback

    by HoraceSkinner

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 8:59 p.m. CST

    Obituary

    by The_Cellarrat

    Hi Folk, Hairy Here... it SADENS me to report that ol' ironsides himself, Jake Klugman has passed away today from dying of natural, causes. So sad. Why? Well, in 1957 my dad took me to see the Austin world premiere of 12 ANGERED MEN, and afterwards we ran into the MAN himslef, Jack Klugmen, at, the, local. Now, some may ask - to which I say thus. I believe so to this day - his ability to roll with the punches against such lumens as TONY FUCKING CURTIS in Neil Diamond's ODD COUPLE and still make coroner look...SO AWESOME. Think about that - with ONE VOTE and Peter Fonda wins...that is the Jack Klugson I will alway remembers in my memory of my mind. AND that day in Austin? It was the day the barbeque died. To play Walter Matthau in GRUMPIER OLD MEN and be unscathed...he will alway be QUINCE to me. RIP KARL MALDEN.

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 10:21 p.m. CST

    cellarrat you hurt me

    by HoraceSkinner

    I laughed so fucking hard That's so funny and spot on I wonder if that was genius or are you on the same meds as big red ? Merry xmas

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 10:24 p.m. CST

    the_cellarrat - Are you Harry? Are you??

    by L.H.Puttgrass

    Or was that sarcasm on a Monty Python-like scale? You kill me, sir. Cheers! And Merry Christmas to you!

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 10:28 p.m. CST

    Les

    by Dr.007

    So they sing and act at the same time? What a shockingly original concept - its like ..... Broadway. Only there the performers can actually sing. Seyfried and Crowe were Aweful, the camera angles were horrible. This was like the film version of Phantom, only with better publicists

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 10:30 p.m. CST

    Merry Christmas, all!

    by The_Cellarrat

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 10:32 p.m. CST

    cellarrat, gold star for you.

    by Ian Masterson

    dead on, my friend. dead on.

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 10:43 p.m. CST

    tobe hopper directing musicals now ?

    by HoraceSkinner

    That's a long way from Texas chain saw massacre

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 11:09 p.m. CST

    MERRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF YOU!

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 11:29 p.m. CST

    I’ve said MERRY CHRISTMAS for about a month now.

    by The_Cellarrat

    What? I have.

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 11:42 p.m. CST

    Cellerat

    by Dp

    You've made me realize that Harry is like a non satirical version of Jackie Harvey from The Onion. Read some of his stuff... It's uncanny.

  • Dec. 25, 2012, 12:05 a.m. CST

    jjheatseeker

    by The_Cellarrat

    LOL! Also look into some Jim Anchower op-eds on The Onion. Note how each article begins, then look at Harry's DVD columns. Perhaps it is not so coincidental.

  • Dec. 25, 2012, 12:06 a.m. CST

    ITEM! YOU HAVE BROKE THE LAW!

    by The_Cellarrat

  • Dec. 25, 2012, 12:44 a.m. CST

    cellarrat, what a great Christmas present to the TB

    by broderick crawford

    Funny, funny stuff, man.

  • I find it very hard to believe that you actually really enjoyed this. You are a liar. P.s. you can't write for toffee you tit

  • Dec. 25, 2012, 12:15 p.m. CST

    dirk123, that's a little too far

    by Dp

    Singin' In The Rain is a great movie. West Side Story, also brilliant. They were making decent musicals up until the 70s (Cabaret was probably the last truly great one). The Musical and The Western are probably the two most important genres in America cinema.

  • The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast. Heck, they even put out Newsies. Now all you get is animated garbage with animated characters cracking crude jokes trying to pass as entertainment. Even Pixar is diving head first into that arena. Or you get garbage Talksicals like Evita, Chicago, or The Miserables.

  • Dec. 25, 2012, 12:47 p.m. CST

    tailhook

    by Dp

    Whatever happened to musical COMEDY?

  • Dec. 25, 2012, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Some others, dirk 123-

    by terrynation

    Fiddler on the Roof, The Music Man (the original with Robert Preston), Oliver!, Mary Poppins, Camelot, Oklahoma!, Gigi.... plenty of good stuff out there; if you're not into musicals at all, that's your prerogative, but they don't ALL suck by a long stretch.

  • Dec. 25, 2012, 3:16 p.m. CST

    "I vote in the Austin Film Critic Association awards"

    by chubasqueiro

    Finally a genuine explication on your writting style, Harry. So sorry we´ve been such a pain in the ass for a month now.

  • The Billi August adaptation is a fine fine with some magnificent moments, including Javerts final scene.

  • Dec. 25, 2012, 3:21 p.m. CST

    The Austin Film Critic Association Awards votes by secret ballot.

    by The_Cellarrat

    ...and every year they get one filled out in crayon with a drawing of Jar-Jar on it and fingerprint smears of chocolate and hemorrhoid cream. Who will solve the mystery of the Phantom Voter?

  • Dec. 25, 2012, 3:46 p.m. CST

    harry

    by athe

    who is athe pi?

  • Dec. 25, 2012, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Best version of Les Miserables

    by Dp

    The Incredible Hulk TV show.

  • Dec. 25, 2012, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Sorry, second best

    by Dp

    The best version of Les Miserables was The Fugitive, both the original TV show and the movie.

  • Dec. 25, 2012, 4:05 p.m. CST

    And still no Klugman or Durning obit

    by Dp

    I guess it's the holidays, whatever. But man, I was watching some of those old Match Game clips with Jack and Brett Somers and Charle Nelson Reilly... we shall not see their likes again.

  • Dec. 25, 2012, 6:18 p.m. CST

    ive seen your responses to my post for about a month now

    by dirk123

  • Dec. 25, 2012, 11:06 p.m. CST

    Obits

    by KDog629

    Yes, it is Christmas, and it's hard to get obits up in a timely manner. Except for that Drew McWeeny at HitFix had then up many hours ago. Some people treat this as a job, and some as a "community".

  • And I've been a member for about a month now

  • Dec. 26, 2012, 6:13 a.m. CST

    cellarat, your obit up there is perfect. just perfect...

    by dirk123

    Spot on mate.

  • Dec. 26, 2012, 6:43 a.m. CST

    Thedarkpassenger

    by Dp

    Arguably Harry is saying that javert is chasing Valjean because breaking the law is bad regardless of the context. An idea that is pretty much the only thing the average person remembers about the original story. Harry's sentence structure, however, is based on some kind of surrealist mania.

  • Dec. 26, 2012, 6:51 a.m. CST

    Kdog629

    by Dp

    Drew is clearly a professional. And really, how hard is it to write a few lines on such great actors? As I wrote on another thread, I saw Tootsie on TV the other day, and it's a goddamn brilliant movie, and a big part of that is Durning's performance.

  • Dec. 26, 2012, 8:59 a.m. CST

    the_cellarrat. Did you think that obituary was funny?

    by Deceased Fan

    Because I sure as hell did! Cheers!

  • Dec. 26, 2012, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Fuck the haters, Harry's right about how good this is.

    by Fawst

    Harry, I am 100% with you about being high as a kite over this one. And I fucking LOATHE musicals. I fully admit, I teared up about five or six times during this. Twice specifically due to Anne Hathaway. Give her the Oscar now, seriously. I really want to go back and see this in a theater again. I normally sit in the dead center of a theater but because it was so busy when we got there, we wound up sitting in the third row of the floor seats. That, combined with the incredible amount of closeups, made for a very powerful experience. I'm sorry other people aren't getting the same vibe that we did, but oh well. I'm more than happy to enjoy it as much as I do!

  • Dec. 26, 2012, 10:32 a.m. CST

    the_cellarrat

    by DrMorbius

    Brilliant, well deserving of the kudos posted on your behalf!

  • Dec. 26, 2012, 10:40 a.m. CST

    I get the feeling Harry is still a virgin.

    by knowthyself

  • Dec. 26, 2012, 1:20 p.m. CST

    I've dreamed a dream for about a month now.

    by kolchak

    Still prefer the dramatic Neeson/Thurman version.

  • Dec. 26, 2012, 4:01 p.m. CST

    I`ve seen December for about a month now...

    by my

    Expect the same with January.

  • he must have had sex once or twice. He had a Great Dane as a childhood dog I recall.

  • Dec. 26, 2012, 5:45 p.m. CST

    1998 Version

    by KDog629

    This is in no way meant to declare my love for the present movie, but I saw the Liam Neeson/Geoffrey Rush version in the late 90s, and thought it was incredibly flat and weak. I couldn't get past the elimination of entire (really important) characters and consolidating others. In that movie, Eponine does not exist. The Thenardiers do not exist. Enjolras does not exist. Marius is the leader of he revolutionaries. The entire thing felt like an exercise in cashing in on the musical's popularity, but staying completely within public domain in doing so.

  • Dec. 26, 2012, 7:19 p.m. CST

    And so the King is once again my guest . . .

    by elmo

    All the trashing of musicals by the nerdboys on this thread made me nostalgic for a very good movie adaptation. Jesus Christ Superstar, directed by Norman Jewison and starring Ted Neeley, Carl Anderson, Yvonne Elliman and Barry Dennen (both reprising their roles from the original album) had power and style and some great performances. I can remember seeing it back in 1973 on the big screen and liked it so much my girlfriend and I stayed and saw it again. Looking forward to seeing Les Miz this weekend.

  • This is the ultimate in delusional bullshit. Try using your brain BEFORE you post.

  • Dec. 26, 2012, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Saw the film this afternoon

    by KevinMuller

    Hathaway is simply amazing in the film. I was blown away by Jackman and I think we may sneak in a win at the Oscars. That said, the second part of this film lost momentum and I did not care for the teenage characters. I thought their stories were not as fleshed out as Hathaway's or Jackman's. It felt rushed. I did not think Crowe was terrible. I thought his voice fit the character. I was talking to the person I saw it with that if he was all tenor like it would had taken away from the stoic quality of the character.

  • Dec. 26, 2012, 11:03 p.m. CST

    Kevinmuller

    by Dp

    Jackman getting the Oscar? I really don't think it's going to happen, unless Day Lewis drops out.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 12:21 a.m. CST

    JJ

    by KevinMuller

    I really don't think Day Lewis is going to get it this year. I am calling an upset by Cooper. I just have a feeling

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 12:55 a.m. CST

    Kevinmuller & jj

    by swmc

    You are both fags. and will always be fags together.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 5:54 a.m. CST

    Thought is was good, and Hujack will get some mo for best actor

    by Centauri

    DDL has some company. As for the movie- too singy for me. Sound of music works, but this was a bit too much.

  • We all know it will be nominated for Best Picture. I'd rather see it win over some film like Zero Dark Thirty. My Best Picture Nominees would be a few selected from the following.... 1. Les Miserables 2. Beasts of the Southern Wild 3. Argo 4. Lincoln

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 8:58 a.m. CST

    Kevinmuller

    by Dp

    Wait, who's Cooper? Anyway, Day Lewis gave a fricking eerie performance. He deserves it.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Bradley Cooper

    by KevinMuller

    He was great in "Silver Linings Playbook". I remember ten years ago when everyone thought that Jack Nicholson (About Schmitt) or Daniel Day Lewis (Gangs of NY) were locks for best actor. The upset that year was Adrian Brody who was the sleeper in that category. I think that may happen this year.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Forgot about Cooper

    by Dp

    I could see it, but I think the reason Brody won is because Nicholson and Day Lewis split the vote. Day Lewis already has two Oscars, but I really hope he wins for this. He was transcendent as Lincoln.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Thoughts on Les Miserables

    by flaggdrama

    Some Thoughts on the film Les Miserables: MAJOR SPOILERS WITHIN!!!! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!! OK, I know that opinions have been very split on the film adaptation of the much-beloved musical Les Miserables. People I respect immensely are divided on both sides of the debate on the merits/detriments of the film. I have seen the musical 20+ times in 3 countries on 2 continents. I have also directed a production of the show, so I do have a fair understanding of Les Miserables. My personal opinion is that it is an excellent film, but it is NOT the play. It is an adaptation and theatre fans going to see the film expecting the musical may be disappointed. They are 2 different experiences entirely, yet they share a common source material, plot, characters, themes, and musical numbers. Again, while similar, they are 2 vastly different experiences. What people love seeing onstage, they may detest on the screen and vice versa, but to compare the 2 does both a major disservice. That being said, I would like to offer my 2 cents on the film and I will try, repeat, try not to compare the film to the play. Caveat----I thought Tom Hooper's The King's Speech was like a bloated episode of Masterpiece Theatre and, while I found it well-acted, did not think it deserved the accolades it received. I compared it to Chariots of Fire in that respect. I loved Hooper's The Damned United, however, and found his take on Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect 6 to be edgy and redefining. Hooper's direction in Les Miserables was extremely solid and well-conceived. I thought he did a great job extracting the performances from his leads. His choices re: cinematography were SUPERB as I loved the swooping camera shots, the overhead shots and his near-documentary style at the Barricades. Never before have I seen or felt the intensity of the Barricades in such a way. I think the choice to have the cast sing live was BRILLIANT as it allows for genuine, in-the-moment singing, even though it is warts and all. The squalor and destitute nature of many of the characters comes through a combination of the costuming, scenery, and live singing. The actors are sometimes off-key or muffled, spittle is evident, breaths are heard and all of this adds to the verisimilitude of the piece. As for the performances/singing of the leads: Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) - Mostly excellent and his performance gets better as the film goes on. Many have griped that his interpretation of the showstopping "Bring Him Home" is poor, but I disagree. Yes, he does not hit the angelic high notes which strips the song of its prayer-like nature, but in choosing to sing it in a lower register, he makes it more of a plea, a simple request, perhaps one that he knows is done in futility. There is almost anger emanating in his words as he is unsure if his words might be falling on deaf ears. This is a choice on the actor's part and I think it is quite courageous because it is a true reinvention of the song. Anne Hathaway (Fantine) - Superb and definitely warranting a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. I have never felt the disillusionment, pain, and indignity until I heard Hathaway sing "I Dreamed a Dream." Words cannot give this performance justice. Eddie Redmayne (Marius) - I appreciated the way in which Redmayne made this character more than a lovestruck schoolboy and felt his pain and despair during "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables." He fleshed out a character I always found underwritten. Samantha Barks (Eponine) - She, like Anne Hathaway's Fantine, blew me away. I loved her interpretation of "On My Own" as well as the rejiggering of the song's placement in the story. A relative unknown in the USA, she perfectly embodied the character's unrequited love for Marius and ultimate realization that, although "he was never mine," she is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for him. <Begin digression> That being said, I am so happy that the filmmakers jettisoned Marius' inane comment of "There's something wet upon your hair.....Oh God, it's everywhere!" That always struck me as a cringeworthy moment......<End digression> Daniel Huttlestone (Gavroche) - He made the character, one who oftentimes seems like a refugee from Oliver, much more multidimensional. He loses a lot of the "cuteness" that plagues this character and brings much more depth, IMHO. Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter (The Thenardiers) - I wish they had brought more menace to their roles. They are cartoony characters to begin with, but I did not ever find them to be dangerous When I first heard of their being cast in these roles, I rejoiced, thinking that they would really capture the dark souls of these character. Instead, they just came off as caricatures. "Master of the House," while on the surface is rousing and upbeat, has the potential to be dark and Sweeney Todd-esque, but I felt that these 2 very talented actors only skimmed the surface of these characters. Strangely, both of these very talented actors appeared in Tim Burton's adaptation of Sweeney Todd. Amanda Seyfried (Cosette) - Considered by many (myself included) to be the most underwritten character in the original play, I did not find much evidence in the film to change that assessment. She is sweet, naive, pretty, and sings well, but there is only so much that can be done with this character, IMHO. Aaron Tveit (Enjolras) - He played the role as written and, while he has a very solid voice, did not reinterpret the character very much. Flowing hair.....check.......reddish vest.......check.........sincere belief in the cause......check. MAJOR props for his death scene, however. I loved the choices there. ......and onto the elephant in the room Javert (Russell Crowe) - Yes, there are times when is singing is laughably off-key or when he is nearly singing in a monotone, but he gets an A+ for effort. His voice actually grew on me as the film progressed. Some scenes, "The Confrontation," for example, I thought he nailed while others (pretty much all of them) needed varying degrees of work. There are moments, simply moments, within songs such as "Stars" and "Javert's Suicide" that are slam dunks, but sadly the songs as a whole do not work with his voice. Rather than beat a dead horse, suffice to say, that Crowe's voice in this is an acquired taste but he throws his all into the character and brings a world-weariness to the character simply through his eyes which emote a great deal. His suicide is brilliant as the sickening crunch of his body slamming into the concrete banks of the Seine is VERY vivid! As I said earlier, I would try not to compare the film to the musical, if possible. I have to say the following, though----I do like several of the changes that were made in the adaptation, i.e. changing the order of some of the songs, cutting some ("Dog Eat Dog," I am looking at you), closing plot holes (If the authorities knew of Valjean's number---24601---and they erroneously believed they caught him ["Who Am I?"] why didn't they compare the tattoos to vindicate the man they captured), and simplifying transitions between scenes. That was a very long, wordy sentence. Sorry. I do, however, think the inclusion of the song "Suddenly" is a pandering gesture for an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. It is completely superfluous and served as a quick bathroom break for many in attendance at the screening I attended. Also, the shifting of "Do You Hear the People Sing" to the funeral procession works very well visually, but the song follows on the heels of "One Day More." Both of these songs are rousing, near full-company numbers, so in moving the placement I think it taps into the same emotions in the audience. I love both songs, but question their adjacent placement in the film. Yes, the play worked the way it was structured (for the most part) as does the film (for the most part). These are simply my thoughts and I welcome others'.....please comment!

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Changes made for film version...

    by MateoMcD

    Almost without exception bring the story closer to the original novel (which remains the authoritative and, I believe, best version of the story), so "purists" need not denounce them.

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Harry is one of us, by and LARGE

    by Darren

    Heh heh....He isn't an overt- mark kermode style- film intellectual, he's a fan-boy geek; he's our head geek, like it or not! He made no secret of his "virginity" regarding Les Miserables, and had some reference to it he'd read when much younger- and pointed out- that some folks seem to find hilarious! For speaking the TRUTH! Ridiculous people. Harry has been around- not so much in the wheelchair- but please credit him with some cultural credibility. He is insightful more often than not, he was intelligent- and savvy- enough to create this website. His mind has played in the world just as much as any able bodied person and appreciates great classics the same as anybody else alive...also, he has his own preferences that are gonna grate on some folks. Too fuckin' Bad...Fuck off getting at him because he's fat...That is just EVIL.

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 10:12 p.m. CST

    This film missed Hathaway a lot when she was gone

    by BigTuna

    The new characters we're introduced too in the second half did nothing for me. Neither did their songs.

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 10:13 p.m. CST

    The best Actor category is so wide open

    by BigTuna

    No, Lewis is not a slam dunk. He's won too recently.

  • Dec. 29, 2012, 4:48 a.m. CST

    great post flaggdrama

    by SeattleBuff

    what an interesting post, sir. very astute assessment of the film, which i just saw tonite. i enjoyed it quite a bit with a packed audience. applause followed the ending. yet i have my own quibbles about it, naturally, as i saw the stage production many times. i'm just glad to see a musical on the big movie screen. we get such a narrow offering of genres today (all-action-all-the-time, comic book heroes, unfunny comedies and unromantic romcoms) that it was welcome. the grosses support the fact that adults are hungry for sophisticated entertainment that doesn't insult them or make them wish they'd stayed home. and your comments were refreshing. most often what you read here on AICN talkbacks are the rantings of guys that sound like geeky junior high boys who didn't mature properly, who hang out at a friend's basement and laugh at farts, discuss comic books, and avoid serious conversations about girls because they can't get laid.

  • Dec. 29, 2012, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Bigtuna

    by Dp

    Hanks won back to back awards nearly 20 years ago, I really think people wont care. DDL has almost completely swept the critics' awards. cooper is a dark horse, but Jackman? I seriously doubt it.

  • Dec. 29, 2012, 11:24 a.m. CST

    RIP Gerry Anderson

    by Seph_J

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-20845407

  • Dec. 29, 2012, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Harry is the worst fucking writer I have ever seen

    by PinkFloyd7

    and I've read "Memoirs of a Vending Machine," so that's saying a lot.