REVIEW: LES MISERABLES
OVERVIEW: The sweeping and spectacular musical extravaganza Les Misérables has been seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries around the globe. Now the motion picture adaptation that grossed more than $340 million worldwide arrives on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, DVD and On Demand on March 22, 2013, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Critically acclaimed and star-studded, Les Misérables is a stunningly realized interpretation of Victor Hugo’s epic tale of broken dreams, passion, sacrifice and redemption – a timeless testament to the endurance of the human spirit. This Golden Globe®-winning cinematic event can now be experienced over and over again on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD with more than an hour of bonus features including cast interviews. Additionally, the Blu-ray™ Combo Pack is loaded with an extra 45 minutes of exclusive content taking viewers behind the scenes of the groundbreaking production for an unmatched entertainment experience.
SYNOPSIS: Hugh Jackman, Academy Award® winner Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway star in this critically acclaimed adaptation of the epic musical phenomenon. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells the story of ex-prisoner Jean Valjean (Jackman), hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Crowe), after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s (Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever. This enthralling story is a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit and “an unforgettable experience” (Richard
FILM REVIEW: It is a love story. It is a story of station. It is a story
of life defining choices. It is a story of survival. It is a story of redemption, full of faith. Faith is the underlying current and theme of this glorious film. It is entrancing, grandiose, and, oh yeah, in case you didn’t know, it is 99.9% sung. Yes, this is a full musical masterpiece. For that reason, this movie is geared more for mature audiences and I don’t mean in age. The title of this ageless story really says it all and very well describes the majority of the characters in it. In this big screen version we find a cast that successfully interpreted the true spirit of this tale and transmits that spirit to the audience. From the commencement, Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean mesmerizes with a look we have never seen him have before. As the main character in our journey, he gives a performance to top pretty much all his prior performances. He really demonstrates that casting him in this role was no mistake. The next major character is performed by Russell Crowe as
Javert. No doubt he is one of the finer actors of our time, but in a musical? I’ll tell you that he did quite well and was able to draw out the kind of emotions one would have toward any correctly portrayed antagonist. And he can sing too. Arguably the most eye-popping performance is given by Anne Hathaway in the role of
Fantine. Wow! She gave depth, conviction, and emotion all with an impressive singing voice. I was actually a little disappointed that her role was not larger. I wanted more of her. Luckily we get Cosette to relieve most of the pain. Ah the entrancing
Cosette, of whom a large part of the story revolves around. Starting with the younger version played by Isabelle Allen and ending with the grown up version played by Amanda
Seyfried, Cosette is a sight for sore eyes, and a beautiful sound for sore ears. But don’t fret, we also get a sprinkle of comic relief with this story in the form of Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen. What a duo, and good performances too! I could go on but you can see without a doubt that the cast assembled for this motion picture has all the talent needed to make this an incredible movie experience. Oh and by the way, every song sung in this film was recorded live and in one take on set which is a first for a movie like this. Speaking of which and considering that practically the entire movie is sung, the dialogue is pretty darn good. And putting that dialogue to music for the duration of an entire movie of over two and a half hours is no easy task either and needless to say the music component is outstanding. And as long as we are continuing to praise the film, the cinematography is impeccable. The costumes, the sets, the props, and all the details down to the character’s teeth and fingernails added to the overall effect of this magical movie. Oscar winning director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) has done it again . . . another work of art. I doubt there was a dry eye in the theater by the time it was over. Bravo!
By Cine Marcos
The film is
presented in widescreen in a 1.85:1 aspect ration preserving its
theatrical format. The picture is just flawless. Not only the
picture looks great in this release, also the sound it is good,
a 5.1 Dolby Digital in English that provides a good complement
to the picture. It also includes English
and Spanish subtitles.
Widescreen (1.85:1) 16x9
English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, English DTS Surround 5.1
Subtitles - English Spanish
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Les Misérables Singing
Live: The star-studded cast and production team discuss how the daunting challenge of singing live rather than lip-syncing to pre-recorded tracks ultimately gave them the creative freedom to deliver nuanced, emotionally powerful performances.
Battle at the Barricade: Director Tom Hooper wanted the dramatic building of the barricade to be as visceral and intense as possible, so he had his actors build it in real time, literally hurling furniture out of windows to construct an actual barricade. This featurette takes an in-depth look at the creation and filming of all the action on this remarkable set.
The West End Connection: Meet the “godfather” of the original stage production of Les Misérables, renowned West End producer Cameron Mackintosh, who was deeply involved in the filming, as well as former Les Misérables, theatrical stars who were thrilled to appear in supporting roles in the current film.
Les Misérables on
Location: Filming rather than staging Les Misérables presents the opportunity to shoot in real world locations: a massive dry dock on the coast of England, a beautiful underground chapel in the heart of London and the ancient city of Winchester. Members of the cast and crew talk about what it was like to find and work in these incredible locations.
The Stars of Les Misérables: Director Tom Hooper talks about casting the iconic characters, and the actors discuss why it was important to them to be a part of this groundbreaking version of
Creating the Perfect
Paris: Production designer Eve Stewart created a massive Paris set featuring real cobblestones and running water. Take an intricate look into the detailed recreation of these Paris streets that no longer exist in today’s world.
The Original Masterwork: Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables: This mini-documentary takes a look at the historical backdrop and universal themes of Hugo’s classic, and how the filmmakers mined the novel to enrich the look and feel of the film.
Feature Commentary with Director Tom Hooper