Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Bilbo tops Jean Valjean in holiday movies

Every Christmas there's an envelope on the tree with a gift card to attend the movies from my father, this year was no different.  And my children also gave my wife and I passes to attend a film.  It wasn't hard picking the two movies we'd watch during our visit to the Toronto area.  We opted for Les Miserables and The Hobbit.

Les Miz was an easy choice,I've seen the stage play three times in Toronto and watched the anniversary shows countless times on line.  I love the story and the music, and the stage production is absolutely awesome.  The most recent film version though?  Not so much.

Adapting a stage play to the screen obviously presents challenges, and while I don't think it could be done better, I have my doubts that it should have been done at all.  The singing is good, Hugh Jackman will probably not give up his acting career for a go behind the mic, but he does the music justice.  Anne Hathaway is even better, her acting and emotion while singing as Fontine is spine tingling.  Even Russel Crowe does the role of Javert credit.

But this is a stage production, it was not written for the big screen.  I've seen other film adaptations of Victor Hugo's epic novel which surpass this most recent effort.  If you ever have the chance to see Les Miserables on stage, definitely go.  If the film is the only chance you'll have, then its a distant second choice.

As for The Hobbit, no complaints at all.  Well, maybe one.  Peter Jackson is obviously milking this franchise,  stretching this story out to capitalize on three films when one would likely suffice.  But that's a small complaint, I'm already looking forward to seeing the remainder of Frodo's adventure.

Valjean's epic strength would no doubt overpower that of a diminutive Hobbit, but when it comes to which film

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