Okay, this is the Japanese poster, but I liked it. Despite the fact that Jean Valjean is totally giving us the death glare. "Grrr!"
And Javert looks like he smelled something really rank. But to be fair, he almost always looks like that.
And I did my best to translate the white caption on the side, and if my Kanji dictionary is to be believed, this reads- "The Power to be able to Love and Live"
When I watched this movie, it had been a while since I listened to our CD recording, so it was kind of like a re-introduction to the story, in fact it was partially the reason why I read the book (the other part was that it was sitting there on the shelf calling my name.).
So... For the most part, I really liked it.
I really liked all the things they kept in from the book. It makes the movie feel like a fusion of both the musical and the book together, which is really neat. It helped to flesh out the parts of the stage play that wouldn't have worked on film. The execution of the story was really good, and I loved the way they moved Stars to before Look Down/Paris. It made for a really cool transition.
The sets and costumes were really well done, too. I loved the Rue Plumet garden and the Barricade.
Look at that, it's just lovely, isn't it?
|Hm. Coffins. Subtle. Very, very, subtle. I wonder which|
student thought it would be a good idea to put those
Then there was the jitter-cam and the extreme close ups. I thought the jitter-cam was effective in the battle scenes, adding to the chaotic feel, but sometimes it got a little hard to tell what was going on. And as for the extreme close ups... Well, they were fine when they weren't too close. But there were a few shots where I was like "AH! PULL BACK, PULL BACK!!"
Now. The Music.
I thought that they did a stellar job with the orchestrations. Seriously, they were beautiful! The one complaint I have is that usually there's a flute solo at the end of A Little Fall of Rain, but in this they give it to a violin. Hey! No fair! That was the only flute solo in the whole thing! But that was compensated for during In My Life and A Heart Full of Love. The flute in those songs sounded like butterflies, and I think that flute actually does fit Cosette better. XD And excellent use of Cello, Piano, and... heck, every instrument.
Oh, I feel like I'm forgetting something... something important... oh right! The performances... give me a minute to find out all the actor names. :P
Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman)
His singing was a little patchy sometimes. I thought he got a bit off-key sometimes, and when singing Bring Him Home, he looked and sounded like he was in a bit of pain. That having been said, his acting was great, and so was the rest of his singing. I loved the way he acted the scenes with Cosette. They have a really good Father/Daughter dynamic, and I think that Suddenly really amplified that. (Sniffle... that was such a sweet little song.) I think he does my favorite versions of Valjean's Soliloquy and Who Am I. You know how in the latter song, the actor usually belts out the line- "I'm Jean Valjean!"? Here he sort of just says it, but I thought it was really cool. He sounded like he totally meant business.
Javert (Russell Crowe)
Okay, it took me a while to get used to his voice. It's very different from what I was used to hearing, but after a while it started to grow on me. I feel like Russell Crowe brought out a side of Javert that isn't usually there. He seemed a lot more thoughtful and calm than usual. There were scenes where he just was Javert, and others where... well, I don't want to be uncharitable. But let's just say that the scene where Valjean let him escape from the barricade was interesting. But overall, I thought he was pretty good!
I am not allowed to say anything bad about Anne Hathaway's performance unless I want the secret service to kick down my door and drag me off to Room 104. But in all seriousness, I think she did a pretty good job with the character. I love how her Fantine didn't just sit around and let herself get fired, she was literally dragged out! She had a certain toughness about her, and I liked that. Her singing was pretty good (when she wasn't sobbing), but I felt like she could have been a little more... I don't know, less sobby with I Dreamed a Dream. Okay, I'm gonna hold up in my room until the angry mob leaves. ;)
The Thenardiers(Sacha Baren-Cohen and Helena Bohnam-Carter)
Marius Pontmercy(Eddie Redmayne)
The Verdict: A
I was forced to deduct points for Master of the House(it was funny, don't get me wrong, but YIKES! I do not remember it being that rude.). But that's pretty outweighed by all the stuff that I did like about this movie. The sets, the actors, the orchestrations, the actors, etc... I loved the way it took the stage play and adapted it so well for the cinema. It was neat how they stuck in little odd details from the book and melded them in, too. Huzzah!
-Xochitl (why do I even bother with the alias anymore if I accidentaly stuck my real name in a comic? XD)