Sunday, 13 January 2013

Les Misérables review

Running Time: 157 mins
Directed by: Tom Hooper
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, Aaron Tveit, Samantha Barks

There are some films that are destined to make it huge at the box office, even while it’s still in production. Unsurprisingly, Les Misérables made £2.3M in its opening day in the UK on Friday, being the biggest opening day for a musical. I was one of those tickets and I’m glad to have been.

Review: Victor Hugo’s novel has been adapted to film many times before, and then the novel was adapted to a musical. But Tom Hooper’s adaption of the musical is something new. Live singing (no sound editing), extravagant action and phenomenal acting all in one.

Above anything else, Les Misérables is an actor piece; the entire structure is kept together because of the outstanding acting from a ray of perfectly fitting actors. Anne Hathaway’s brutally heart-breaking but enchanting performance as Fantine is entirely worthy of an Oscar, as she steals the film within the first half an hour. Hugh Jackman’s passion and assertiveness as Jean Valjean follows throughout the whole film, so that every moment on screen is a delight to watch because it’s striking. In fairness, everyone is a delight but the eye opener of the film is Samantha Barks who, in her debut film role, shines. Being one of the only stars of the film to reprise her role from the stage show, it’s clear why she was chosen as her voice and mannerisms as Éponine are charming and graceful.
Visually it’s breath-taking, proving that a film production wouldn’t have worked 10 or 20 years ago, because it would have failed to capture the beautiful buildings and cruel, dirty reality of 19th century Paris. There are more than enough awkward angles and unnecessary pans, but with the focus of Eddie Redmayne’s tears as he passionately sings Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, the good points outweigh Hooper’s excessive use of canted shots.

This is a real musical, with minimal speaking dialogue and everything proclaimed through song, something films do not do enough of now. It’s effective, gloriously adding delicacy to the harsh themes of Les Mis, while the live singing from each character captivates the exact overwhelming feeling watching a musical does. After each number there is a burning desire to stand up and clap, to compliment the actor’s for their fine performances despite the fact it’s not live.
Even with the long duration, plus song after song, the pace of Les Miserables is fast and action packed, with something always to admire about the screen whether it’s the gorgeous voices or visuals. Not only does it come with heart-breaking tragedies, but there is action, romance and the odd bit of comedy (from Bonham Carter and Baron Cohen who give the film a lively boost), so when the final credits appear and the urge comes to clap like a live show, the realisation hits that it has been one big, emotional journey.

Les Misérables is stunning, captivating and beautiful. To find a real flaw is impossible.
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Saturday, 5 January 2013

I really liked Pitch Perfect.

I could review Pitch Perfect, but as it came out a few months ago in America (even on DVD), and has been out for a few weeks in the UK, I don't see the point when you could read these reviews which I wholeheartedly agree with- 1 and 2.

If anyone is interested though, I'd give it a 4/5 because it is delightful, funny and I was smiling the whole way through it. Silly and adorable in one with some catchy songs and stand out performances.

With the help of tumblr, here are some GIFs to help explain how much I enjoyed certain aspects of the film.

1. Anna Kendrick is simply divine, like always.


2. Rebel Wilson proves again she has perfect timing with comedy and steals all the laughs.


3. Skylar Astin is the definition of cute. The most adorable love interest character I've seen in film for years.

x & x

4. No one had previously told me about The Breakfast Club references, so my heart kind of melted at the end. Let's hope more people see The Breakfast Club after this!


5. Elizabeth Banks is unsurprisingly fabulous.


6. And this is just fantastic

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Wednesday, 2 January 2013

What I'm looking forward to: 2013 Film Preview

At first I had a list of about 24 films I was excited about seeing this year, but then narrowed it down to ten to create a blog post. In no particular order, here are ten films I'm very much looking forward to this year.

This Is 40
I liked Knocked Up don't get me wrong, but Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd's characters are the most entertaining thing about the film. I have been excited to see This Is 40 since I heard about the production.

Django Unchained
I am finally old enough to LEGALLY see a Tarantino film in the cinema- woo! And what better one to be my first than Django.

The Great Gatsby
Baz Luhrmann and The Great Gatbsy seem like they were made for each other.Vibrant, colourful and stunning with perfect casting all the way through. I'll eat my arm if this sucks.


Les Misérables
Disappointingly I don't know much about Les Mis. I know of it, of course (you'd be surprised who doesn't), but I don't know what to really expect other than death, love and lots of singing. I don't know if my heart will handle it, but I can't wait to find out.

Romeo And Juliet
Anyone who knows me knows I've been waiting for Hailee Steinfeld's next film since about five minutes after I saw True Grit. Romeo and Juliet is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays (for the drama, actually) and I love the style of this adaptation. It looks very traditional like the Franco Zeffirelli 1968 one which I adore.

The World's End
Edgar Wright. Simon Pegg. Nick Frost. Martin Freeman. Paddy Considine. End of the The Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy. Woo.

Monsters University
Seeing Monsters inc. 3D last year reignited my love for Sully and Mike. Pixar will not disappoint.

Kick-Ass 2
Loved Kick-Ass, and the sequel is greatly needed in my life.

Star Trek Into Darkness
Back in 2009 I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed Star Trek, having not seen previous Trek films. There's something J.J. Abrams does that gets to me, and the trailer for Into Darkness gave me a few goosebumps which can only be promising.

This Is The End
Seth Rogen, James Franco and Jay Baruchel have a special place in my film heart. This Is The End looks silly, stupid and hilarious. Love the idea of them playing themselves.

What films are you looking forward to in 2013?
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Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy 2013 everyone!

I'll be lying if I said I wasn't one of those people who declares that I'm going to 'get fit' in the new year or 'stop eating chocolate' - I'm always that person.

But this year, inspired by other bloggers and tweeters, I thought I would compose a small list of things I hope to achieve or do this year, both little and big.

- Read more books than I did in 2012 (starting with the pile on book shelf!).
- See another film at the BFI IMAX, London.
- Become good at baking at least one dinner meal and one sweet treat.
- Get fitter by exercising more.
- Do my absolute best in my A Level exams by revising lots.
- Have a Batman Trilogy Blu Ray day.
- Drive to Wales.
- Walk my dog more.
- See more cinema releases and review more.
- Watch the new season of Arrested Development and laugh until I cry.

In the next few weeks I might add a few more goals I hope to achieve if I think of them.

Have you got any good goals or resolutions for the year?
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