Friday, January 11, 2013

Singing the song of Angry Dawn

I should note that I am a Les Miz super fan. I saw it on Broadway as a teenager and I've seen it, on stage, in whole or part, about thirty times since then, including a viewing in London. I had the cassette tapes of the Symphonic version (took up both sides of four tapes). I've had the CDs (three) and, of course, now I have them on my ipod. I also have the Broadway and London cast recordings, but the Symphonic is my favorite. I also own the PBS airing. So... yeah Les Miz SUPER FAN number 24601. See what I did there?

I wrote a post once about how much I love this musical (and the book) but I can't find it to link to it... sadface. Anyway, I was very excited about this new musical version. (I love love LOVE Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman.)
I avoided any news or reviews about it because I didn't want to prejudge anything. As we walked over, Petitedov said she thought I was going to hate it.
Mmm.


The theater was PACKED, which was surprising for a Saturday afternoon showing WEEKS after the movie came out, so I thought this was a good sign. Clearly people had returned to see it more than once!

The theater got dark and the familiar chords of Look Down started...oh man... oh man... oh man....
HEY LOOK! A BLACK GUY!


AND ANOTHER ONE!


Focus Dawn... stop playing count the black people...TWO... I SAID STOP IT!!
I'm singing along (silently, I'm not a dick) when suddenly, there is Russell Crowe and...wait... I thought I was singing silently, but he sounds just like I do when I sing (To wit: GOD AWFUL) AND THEY'VE CHANGED THE WORDS???!?!?!
Okay... breathe.... it's fine. Maybe they just had to shorten it. This is fine...calm dow...ooh another black guy!


I settle back in.

This is not how Valjean ends up breaking his parole! GAH! AND THERE'S NO TALKING!!

WHAT IS THIS??? WHY DO THEY KEEEP CHANGING THE LYRICS?? AND GOOD GOD RUSSELL CROWE CAN'T SING!!! DO THEY REALIZE HOW BIG A SINGING PART JAVERT HAS??? IT'S HHUUGGGGEEEE!!!! LIKE ALMOST THE LEAD AMOUNT OF SINGING!!!


Horror steadily takes over.
Okay, so *spoiler alert* Fantine (Hathaway) is a single mother who comes to ruin after selling all her possessions, her hair AND THEN becoming a prostitute. In this movie, FOR SOME DAMN HELL ASS REASON, they ALSO have her sell HER TEETH! WHHHAAATTTT????


I thought Hathwaway was great, she did "I Dreamed a Dream" as well as I've ever heard it, but I'd already turned on the movie and was in full on snark mode. AND THERE WAS STILL TWO AND A HALF HOURS TO GO!

Not only did these dumb ass hacks add teeth selling and ridiculous Benny Hill Javert/Val Jean chase scenes *EYEROLL* THEY WROTE A NEW SONG!! A GROSS PEDOPHILIAC SONG FROM VAL JEAN TO COSETTE IN THE BACK OF A CARRIAGE!


Okay, so seriously, WHAT IN THE ENTIRE FUCK?!?!?!
I would have left here, instead, I watched them butcher the entire second half. Where they give Marius a rich grandfather to disappoint O_O AND have Eponine stealing love letters O_o AND *VOMIT*

BLLAARRRGGHHH, I realize much of this is nitpicking, and I tried to imagine watching the movie without my decades of Les Miz knowledge. However, I could still not get around the fact that they hired a dude who couldn't sing to star in a musical that was three hours long.


UN. For. Giv. Able.
I wanted to cheer the dam that bashed in Javert's skull! STAND UP AND CHEER!! I meeannnn.... HONESTLY. (Later, Angela was like "yeah, I was so glad he was dead... but then they had all the dead people come back to sing some more!)


So, since I can't get past that, I also convict them for crimes against the score, the assasination of the character of Eponine-- they RUIN her death by making it seem like she's gotten her comeuppance for keeping Marius and Cosette apart, when she does EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE. *THROWS MUSKETS*

BAH.
GRRR.



HULK SMASH.


OH AND the sideburns on Valjean just made me think "Wolverine" the whole time. NO BUENO.

(Borat and Tim Whatshisname's wife were okay, but besides Anne Hathaway, the casting was off -- Marius has a weird face and Cosette's eyes are too big and I was terrified that Wolverine was going to claw everyone and Eponine wasn't tragic enough.)


AVOID THIS MOVIE LIKE YOU WOULD A PLAGUE INFESTED SWARM OF BADLY SINGING RATS.

6 comments:

Astin said...

See, I have the book, but could never get through the first 20 pages without dozing off, so I assumed the additions were from the book, and not some made-up crap. Other than that horrible new song, that was obviously a "we need an Oscar nom, so we need a new song" filler.

Also owning the Original London cast recording, and having seen the musical about 4 times, I was looking forward to the movie, with reservation.

Then I heard Crowe sing in the trailer and the reservations grew.

I found all the women very good, Hathaway clearly head-and-shoulders above everyone else. Seyfried surprised me with her voice.

Sacha Baron Cohen as Thénardier was the only male actor (other than Colm Wilkinson as the bishop of course) I thought was cast well. I also loved that he at least started with a FRENCH accent.

The rest though? Awful. Jackman was singing out of his range and couldn't seem to act and sing at the same time. Crowe of course can't sing, but was ACTING much better than any other guy. Marius had some weird duck-voice thing going where he was singing from his throat. I guess Enjolras was okay, if forgettable.

And the camerawork? What was that? Glad to see Hooper wasn't nominated for best director.

What a huge disappointment.


Dawn Summers said...

I only saw the preview with the sweeping French landscape set against Hathaway singing "I Dreamed a Dream"

The barricade scenes were laughable. And I did.

Katie said...

I'm kinda glad I read this, and kinda sad they did the things that made you mad. They would make me mad too. I'm fan 24602. I've seen it on stage multiple times (including London), have multiple recordings (and one on vinyl!), and have seen, but do not own the PBS special a few times. Some of these additions sound terrible.

Michael M. said...

I'm just sad they ruined one of Barry Manilow's greatest songs by letting some faux French gal sing it.

Dawn Summers said...

Copa?

Michael M. said...

"I Write the Songs, Bitches!"