Blu-ray Review "Les Misérables"

lesmiz-bluActors: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen
Directors: Tom Hooper
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Universal Studios
Release Date: March 22, 2013
Run Time: 157 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

Broadway shows being made into movies are kinda hit or miss. I was a fan of “Rent” but it was not well-received. Same goes for “The Phantom of the Opera”, also not well-received. “Chicago” was a very bit hit and was even revisited this year at the Oscars. “Les Misérables” is another film adaption of the long-running Broadway stage show, this one is a musical though unlike the 1998 version with Liam Neeson. In so many words, I do love the film but I also have some problems with it. Still though, I feel that the good outweighs the negative and I highly recommend giving it a chance. If you are expecting a mirror image of the stage show then you will most likely be disappointed. If you are open-minded then you should enjoy this quite a bit.

Here are some of the aspects that I loved in this film. Firstly, it has to be Russell Crowe. I know this is most people’s aspect that they disliked but I was just blown away. I thought he really was powerful and his voice really delivered. He is quite different then his character from the stage show and I appreciated that. The next one is a bit obvious and is Anne Hathaway’s perfect one take performance of “I Dreamed a Dream”. Lastly, I would also like to commend the live singing on the set. I think this really worked for the film. Some aspects that I was not a fan of was Tom Hooper’s shaky cam approach. Even though it was trying to be more raw like the singing, it didn’t work for me. Another major dislike is Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter. I wish I could watch a version of the film without them completely.

Official Premise: 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.

Whether the film is good or not, Universal delivered a fantastic Blu-ray high-def presentation. They deliver the film with their typical combo pack with Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet Digital Copy. The 1080p transfer looks very clear within it’s 1.85:1 aspect ration, while still keeping the gritty look that Tom Hooper and cinematographer Danny Cohen were going for. The real star of the show though is the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track. This really works perfectly with the film’s score and the music. The film is 99% singing and it is well-represented here for sure.

The special features included on this release are good but lacking a bit. There is an audio commentary by Director Tom Hooper. It is very in-depth and interesting. If you enjoyed the film and looking a decent inside look I would check it out. “Les Misérables: A Revolutionary Approach” is an hour long multi-part featurette, which goes in-depth into the production. The featurettes included are “The Stars of Les Misérables”, “The West End Connection, “Les Misérables on Location”, “Creating the Perfect Paris”, “Battle at the Barricade” and “Les Misérables Singing Live”, also which my favorite. “The Original Masterwork: Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables” is a decent but short look taking Victor Hugo’s novel to the screen.

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