Friday, 18 January 2013

Les Misérables & The Digital Thermometer Saga


Redmayne and the delightful Samantha Barks
Well I will start by outlining the good bits.
1. I loved the sweeping epic nature of the opening number "Look Down", where hundreds of convicts haul a warship into dry dock during a storm. Impressive and suitably grand.
2. Hugh Jackman throws his entire being into the Jean Valjean role and makes for a wonderfully sexy hero
Crowe is ok in the difficult role of Javert as is the delightful Hathaway in her much lauded role of Fantine but for me ( and this was a surprising fact) Eddie Redmayne stole the show with his angst and slightly odd looking portrayal of Marius, the young student.
3. The ensemble belted out the favourite show stoppers such as ONE DAY MORE and DO YOU HEAR THE PEOPLE SING? with suitable gusto and the riot scenes captured the drama of the Paris uprising quite well
4. I did shed a tear at Eponine's wet death scene...another surprise for me

BUT 

1. I just didnt enjoy the main characters' signature songs as much as I did in the stage production.
Now I know just why that is, for the answer lies in the main difference between a cinematic musical and the stage production...and that is the close up!
In the film every song showed every tiny emotion of the actor as they were singing. Sure that makes for some impressive cinema ( Hathaway's I DREAMED A DREAM and Redmayne's EMPTY CHAIRS AT EMPTY TABLES being standouts) but some pieces just do not lend themselves to this sort of cinematography. They need a big stage to offset a big voice. The intimacy of a closely watched actor reduces the dramatic effect for me, which was a shame
2. Sacha Baron Cohen is absolutely dreadful as the scheming innkeeper Thedarier and
Master In the House, a piece that gives the entire first half of the musical some well needed levity was just thrown away
3. The whole film felt just that little bit hurried...a thing I never really felt during the stage production.
By the time the girl from Mamma Mia started trilling A HEART-FULL OF RAIN, I did feel somewhat bombarded by it all.....and I found myself thinking " for fuck's sake die already!"

That's probably why I felt all a bit hot and headachey towards the end, almost as if I was coming down with something.And so when we finally got home (after all the ladies in the audience had given the entire movie a polite round of applause) I sought out the digital thermometer out of the kitchen cupboard and bunged it under my tongue.
As it turned out my temperature was fine.... I didn't take too much notice of exactly what it was

FOR I SUDDENLY REMEMBERED WHEN I LAST USED THE THERMOMETER
IT WAS MAY 3RD 2012
And in panic over a very sick Mabel the bulldog
I HAD SHOVED THE BLOODY THING UP HER BUM!!!
A QUICK WIPE OF THE THING WITH ONE PIECE OF KITCHEN ROLL
IS NOT  GOOD STERILIZING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


35 comments:

  1. I heard that saliva contains natural anti-biotics so I think you might be OK...

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    1. Well I don't bathing it tasted of...well of......er......... Poo!

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  2. EW! Hard limit! But of course a good gargle with gin/vodka/whiskey/rum etc (delete as appropriate) would fix that asap!

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  3. So you are more likely to go down with **** poisoning than with flu John?

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  4. The last part of this post is a little unsettling given your profession. Is THAT the reason animals aren't allowed in hospitals? :)

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    1. I am sure it was cleaned.....but I can't be sure andi x tee hee

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  5. Ack! But too funny John. God Bless Mabel - rather like she was still with you - or at least some of her DNA.

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  6. My god John you are priceless. I'm sat here resding this out to my boyfriend who is 'eughing' and pulling a face - I have tears rolling down my face :oD

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  7. I felt a lot of the same things that you did and while I didn't notice it at the time, it did seemed rushed... albeit good when Amanda was shrieking out her lines. A Heart Full Of Love is my favorite piece, and she ran her fingers down the chalkboard all over it. Ugh. I agree that Eddie stole the show and was an unlikely Marius, but after a few minutes, I felt the attraction that I always get to that character, so full of love and hope. Even as a ginger, I fell for him. Swapping out the grand numbers for more emotional, non-commercial ones did lend a different feel, but I knew that going in so I was ok with it. Nothing like Patti LuPone's version of I Dreamed a Dream where she starts singing commercially and then gives one overly dramatic catch up line where it sounds like she's crying, only long enough to deliver the last line like the diva she is.

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    1. I saw the original cast ( sans lupone) in London, but heard she was a bit "heavy handed" as Fantine.... I loved colm wilkinson as valjean, and still have his autograph somewhere...nice to see him as the bishop in the movie

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  8. I think the dog cooties on the thermometer would have expired long ago. Hang in there!

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  9. Glossing over your 'me and my thermometer' epilogue, the film itself (trying not to repeat what I said in my own post on it):-
    a) Yes, the opening was indeed breathtaking.
    b) We agree totally on the lovely Hugh.
    c) Eddie Redmayne was excellent. I was pleasantly surprised at his high tenor voice - and he was really accurate in 'hitting the right notes'.
    d) Wouldn't agree that Sacha B.C. was "dreadful", though he wasn't 'sparkling' either (as he was in Sweeney T.), I think he and the truly dire Helena were just miscast.
    e) Yes, the 'Master of the House' being thrown away is exactly right. For me it was probably the film's greatest single error.
    f) You thought the film felt "hurried" whilst I felt that it dragged. But anyway, neither of us had those relative experiences in the theatre.
    g) In the live show there was an almost continuous level of pleasurable excitement throughout, even spanning the interval, whereas in this film that particular feeling came to me only very sporadically. But I ought to say that virtually all the choral numbers worked well.

    Could say more but it feels like volumes have already been written by just about EVERYBODY.

    Now I'll let you get back to confirming that your temp is indeed 'normal'. Why not, just to be sure, make it rectal this time? (Just a suggestion!)

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    1. Re: f
      Perhaps you are right....I think with scene changes on stage, the audience has a moment to catch a breath in between songs.....the film is somewhat relentless in that respect so perhaps you are right in mentioning that it dragged

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  10. Tears of laughter, now I can't breathe. Hope you are feeling better

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  11. The thermometer saga was definitely a 'tea spluttered into the keyboard' moment....still laughing thinking about it as I type this! Priceless!

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  12. Eponine dying was so so sad.
    As for the thermometer debacle....I think you are part cockroach John...nothing seems to affect you!

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  13. Maybe if you had eaten more Smarties, (see yesterday's blog post for clarification) you would remembered whether you had cleaned the thermometer properly BEFORE sticking it into your mouth.
    I have several digital thermometers, the ones for our dogs/sheep/llamas/alpacas/horses/cats are kept in the the critter first aid kit so this sort of thing won't happen to me. Smarties continue to be consumed in an attempt to help me, but as of today, it's not been very successful. :)

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    1. Kelly
      I usually keep an animal thermometer in a biscuit tin but when Mabel was really poorly I mislaid it
      Strangely enough I found the bugger today

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    2. Of coarse you did, that's how it always works out.

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  14. Good review, I loved every minute of it but I totally see your points now in retrospect.

    Hey, do you know what the difference is between an oral thermometer and rectal thermometer"?? The taste....

    ;-)

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  15. Haven't seen the film, don't want to lick t'thermometer. Prefer Ice cream really. Honestly, you had me laughing my socks off (they are bed socks, it's flipping cold up North) not ill, but just what the doctor ordered. I did briefly work in a health care setting, would have loved it if one of my Health Care Professionals had to admit to ... oral or anal!

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  16. So weird but I really have no desire to see this movie. I will wait for netflix. If I see it at all.
    It is one bad mistake compounded over and over till it seems to be one muddled mess of tears and angst.

    I think sometimes stage production don't translate well to movies.
    side note....
    Your comment to me about the dog toy... it only lasted more then 3 nano seconds is besides being very well made I took it away from them several times.

    cheers, parsnip


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  17. Haha, you do make me laugh.

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  18. Think i'll wait for the DVD.

    As for the thermometer, i couldn't laugh right away. Too skeeved. Glad you found the other, though, and i'm assuming your temp is still normal.

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    1. I could have cleaned it properly Megan
      Can't be sure though

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  19. It's VERY rare for a stage show you love to satisfy in film form. Bit like reading the book first. Canine anal to human oral never a good move either John.

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  20. I'm going to wait for the DVD, sans thermometer!

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  21. If and when I ever see this movie, it will definitely be tempered by your final comments... Oooooh you have made me laugh!

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  22. *cough gasp gargle* I've just spewed coffee on the keyboard! I'm afraid I'll never be able to bring myself to go see the Les Miz movie now that your last 'graph has pinned the whole production askew. LOL

    What I would like to see, though, is "Going Gently - the Musical". There'd be some dandy lyrics in THAT particular production, I'd wager. Hopefully there wouldn't be all that many closeups! *giggle*

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    1. Russell Crowe can play me.......oh have we been here before!

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  23. OMG....how comical. This sitcom gets better everyday. You are my sunshine John!

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  24. Great story that makes me cheerful to think about. :) Which model of thermometer you used?

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  25. A good reminder for us all as to why they made rectal thermometers (and why we should know and utilize the difference.) Uh yuck.
    I went to see a stage production of Les Mis last June and, after watching the movie trailer in December, decided I'd rather cling to my sweet memories of summer instead. Thanks for confirming the hunch.

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