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Comment Archives: stories: Film

Re: “My Brooklyn: How Bloomberg Destroyed Downtown

one might counter that it's "despicable" (seriously, dude?) to call displacement "integration."

13 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Henry Stewart on 01/02/2013 at 10:37 AM

Re: “My Brooklyn: How Bloomberg Destroyed Downtown

I'm not so sure integrating neighborhoods is a bad thing. It's pretty despicable to say otherwise. I now feel welcome on Fulton St, which is something I couldn't say ten years ago.

5 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Adam Cameron on 01/02/2013 at 7:41 AM

Re: “Les Misérables: Some Musicals Shouldn't Be Movies!

@alexpeterson Are you some PR plant? I loved this musical as a pre-teen in the 80s. I sang "On My Own" for my summer camp talent show. I had very high hopes for this one but I was disappointed.

THE ACTORS COULD NOT SING.

Les Miz's score is characterized by masculine parts written for big round booming voices. Hugh Jackman seemed to be rap-whispering phrases that—in the play—were soaring song. His performance was cringe inducing and he spoiled almost every scene. I am not entirely familiar with his work, and was shocked to hear that he has a history in musical theater because he simply chose not to sing his part at all.

The hair and make-up was appalling to the extent that it was distracting. Samantha Banks and her perfectly arched eyebrows seemed to have walked on set straight from X-Factor. The girl is gorgeous and a fantastic singer—but why does she have bangs and layers in her hair?

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Sally15 on 12/30/2012 at 10:07 AM

Re: “Les Misérables: Some Musicals Shouldn't Be Movies!

Les Misérables was an a very good film for quite a few reasons that this reviewer couldn't be bothered to notice:
1. The choice of live action, singing on the set creates a sense of realism and authenticity - this balances out the appropriately emotional tone of the acting, lyrics, context, setting and overall subject matter. As a consequence of this match, a fine balance of realism (to induce believability) and expressionism (to emphasise the raw emotion of the afforementioned aspects of the story and music) is born.

2. The choice of using handheld cameras also gives a much needed emphasis on the emotional nature of the storyline - the motionless, neutral standard of Hollywood filming tends to clash in a very unsavoury way with musical numbers. The judicious use of handheld filming further leads the audience to be 'in the moment' - the primacy of emotion is clearly evident.

3. The sets were all done well - this is reflected in the sparseness of Marius' arpartment, the grubbiness and dramatic positioning of a hideously damaged and distorted mermaid at the docks where Fantine falls into selling her body for money. The blood drowned barricade is yet another example of appropriate set design.

4. The costuming was well thought out and difficult to criticise. Small details such as the fact Jean Valjean is so heavily muscular he cannot wear buttoned collars serve as an example of well reasoned costume design. A small point, I know, but this instance merely serves as a microcosm of the many fabulous costumes.

5. The facial expressions in particular make a truly fitting companion for the lyricism and expressionism of the film. Amazing as the dreamcast was, they were made for singing first and foremost. It is fine to note that the cast in this film were primarily made to act, rather than sing perfectly.

6. The handling of the first duet, 'A heart full of love', between Cosette and Marius was magnificent. The nervous excitement of the two young future lovers is palpable, and the actors carry it in such a way that no pretension is evident. The singing was simply flawless, unlike some of the more prominent stars. Furthermore, the natural lighting of this scene serves the previously mentioned balance between expressionism and realism - once again the emotional lyricsm of the singing is peppered in this way to keep down the scepticism lf the audience.

7. The director has made novel use of crane cameras to dramatically segue from one problem to another. This is sparingly used (maybe twice), and so the audience doesn't become desensitised to it. Once more, though it is a relatively small point, the direction is well represented by this choice.

4 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Alex Petersen on 12/30/2012 at 7:04 AM

Re: “Les Misérables: Some Musicals Shouldn't Be Movies!

Likewise, some journalists shouldn't review movies.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Alex Petersen on 12/30/2012 at 7:02 AM

Re: “Django Unchained, Tarantino Bound

THIS IS A FUCKING TERRIBLE REVIEW.
C'MON DIAMOND, EDIT THIS SHIT!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by FILMBUFF99 on 12/29/2012 at 10:48 PM

Re: “Les Misérables: Some Musicals Shouldn't Be Movies!

The close ups didn't bother me at all. I did kind of think that the One Day More and Do You Hear the People Sing numbers lost a bit of impact, but after thinking about it, I'm not sure there was a better way to put those numbers on the screen. I am a big fan of the stage production -- and of Hugh Jackman :-) -- but I was apprehensive about seeing the movie because I was afraid I'd be disappointed. I wasn't. There were so many outstanding performances in this movie. Hugh and Ann were excellent. But I have to say that Eddie Redmayne as Marius and Samantha Barks as Eponine were the best. Their voices were simply spectacular. All in all, I enjoyed it very much. I do wish there were an intermission, though. It's hard to enjoy even the best performance if you have to go to the bathroom.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Anna on 12/29/2012 at 1:34 PM

Re: “Les Misérables: Some Musicals Shouldn't Be Movies!

I disagree with all of it except where you say the characters (Jack and Anne) are manipulating the audience emotionally. Then again this is a melodramatic musical not Citizen Kane. This piece in particular is just over the top. Not sure what you were expecting.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by PeteinBK on 12/28/2012 at 6:51 PM

Re: “Les Misérables: Some Musicals Shouldn't Be Movies!

I did not hate it, and I was not bored. However, I was very uncomfortable with the closeups, too. There were some emotional moments where I nearly teared up. I kept thinking that Stephen Crane's Maggie of the Streets would have made a better movie character than the Hugo character. However, after having read the book, a mini series would do her justice.

I know it is "apples and oranges," but I still prefer Singing in the Rain or any Fred Astaire musical to this film.

However, to one viewer on this board, it is not better than Lincoln, Life of Pi, the Bond movie, or Argo. All of those were much better films.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kim on 12/28/2012 at 5:03 PM

Re: “Les Misérables: Some Musicals Shouldn't Be Movies!

Whatever the merits of the show itself, this is a very poorly directed film. The spatial relationships between the characters and their environments are particularly confused, the CGI is awfully ugly and unreal, and the acting is very one-note. Hathaway's song is called "I Dreamed a Dream," but we never get a glimpse of her early dream, only "the hell I'm living." There are no layers to what she's doing, only bulldozer emoting.

7 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by dannyboy143744a on 12/28/2012 at 8:43 AM

Re: “Les Misérables: Some Musicals Shouldn't Be Movies!

I don't care much for Puccini. More of a Verdi man.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Henry Stewart on 12/27/2012 at 7:11 PM

Re: “Les Misérables: Some Musicals Shouldn't Be Movies!

"Whatever you think of this show and this score, it does come alive in the theater, but the big “One Day More” number loses all of its impact when it is reduced to frantic crosscutting between characters in different locales. Some stage musicals just aren’t meant to be movies."

I strongly disagree. WEST SIDE STORY used this technique in the big mid-film montage and it worked quite effectively. The songs are not at all bombastic and treacly, but that's the company line of those looking to take this down. I have seen well over 120 stage musicals in Manhattan over the past 30 years, and I'd say Schonberg's score is the greatest written during that time. It's soaring operatic lyricism is unmatched.

But heck, you are probably a guy who would take down Puccini for much the same reason.

LES MISERABLES has just moved into my #1 position for 2012, ahead of THE TURIN HORSE, WAR WITCH, ZERO DARK THIRTY, THE LIFE OF PI, OSLO AUGUST 17TH, AMOUR and LINCOLN. It's that good!

13 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Sam Juliano on 12/27/2012 at 3:08 PM

Re: “Les Misérables: Some Musicals Shouldn't Be Movies!

wow you guys just hate this huh. I don't understand why there is a need to review something that you walk in already hating.

14 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Chuck Kuan on 12/27/2012 at 3:07 PM

Re: “The Documentary Film As Pharmaceuticals Infomercial

The most salient point in the article is this. Eric Merola let down his profession by using 'one eyed' journalism. He didn't strive for balance by interviewing any professional who may have had an alternative view on Burzynzki's antineoplastons. he has only presented the clinics views and did not even mention that NO clinic in the world has been able to replicate the 'results' - no phase III's and NO approvals anywhere in the world. Its eady to see why Merola concentrated on one side. He was effectively Dr Buzynski's Producer, Publicist and Sales Manager under the guise of 'impartial filmmaker'. This production answers absolutely none of the questions the scientific worlds waits to be answered.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Healthier Stuff on 12/26/2012 at 7:49 AM

Re: “The Hunt for Bin Laden: Zero Dark Thirty

Im not sure if l'm interested in seeing another violent 'M'....but l think, what the world need, now, more than anything, is love, peace and happiness...the world seem so 'bloody' at the moment and soo miscourteous 2 one another, on the marble. We should also be more neighborly toward each other and help each other out. thx. peace :) Jobs, Hunger, lnformation, poor, racism, respect...God provides for all.

Posted by kflash77@gmail.com on 12/21/2012 at 6:04 PM

Re: “The Hobbit: More Like The Hobbled!

Gotta pass, 2 deep, 4 me. thx. peace. :)

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by kflash77@gmail.com on 12/13/2012 at 4:07 PM

Re: “On Ben Gazzara's Unique Masculinity: The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

Thanks for remembering, L. xo

Posted by Michael Reiss on 12/12/2012 at 8:29 PM

Re: “In Praise of Robert Ryan

I highly recommend the Andre de Toth Western/Noir film, 'The Day Of The Outlaw', with Robert Ryan, Burl Ives, Tina Louise, and Elisha Cook Jr. It is a little known, low budget film which packs a wallop.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by El Topo on 12/05/2012 at 9:02 PM

Re: “Crime Is A Form Of Capitalism (Get It? Get It?): Killing Them Softly

Clearly, Dominik meant the film to be a slam against capitalism, our national excuses for exploitation should remain under constant assault and suspicion, and I think the film was sustained, simple, and a direct hit, the kind of shot that needs to be taken, as such, especially in a gangster film where gut shots are the best ones. Blows against an empire are one of the only ways to make a difference - persistence pays dividends - and this is clearly Andrew Dominik's intention, which he has also stated in interviews.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michael Reiss on 12/04/2012 at 11:43 PM

Re: “Tales of the Brothers Quay

What is the name of the picture?

Posted by Tomko Jost on 12/04/2012 at 7:36 PM

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