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.
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*
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.