Andrew Lloyd Webber didn't do Les Miserables. Boublil and Shönberg did. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat can however be blamed on him and I'm hoping fervently that they don't make a movie out of it.
Ah, you're right! Well, add them to my list of musical composers I despise.
Have you seen Miss Saigon? They did that one too. I like both of them actually. What makes you hate Les Mis so much?
I'm so glad that I could help update your "musical composers to despise list"! Is this a long list?
I feel like I'm interrogating you! :p
My problem with Les Mis is that I felt it dwelled too much on theatrics and production than individual talent. The stage and choruses were impressive but dominated most of the performance. COnversely, Chicago had minimal costumes or plot or set design and the music is good but less dramatic and focuses more on simple solos.... but the TALENT of the actors is incredible becuase they are singing, dancing and singing solos all at the same time. I feel that Les Mis is an epic and as such the details get lost; Chicago is far more intimate and impressive as an individual acheivement.
I can't imagine making Les Mis any less epic. The book is epic. They tried that in making the film/non musical version. While I liked it, I was sad that they left out my favorite character in the process. Anyway, I mostly love Les Mis because of it's music as opposed to the entire package. I've never seen the whole thing on stage, just on tv, but I know all the words to all the songs. So, I can't really say whether I like it or not exactly.
It would be ridiculous to make Les Mis less epic, I agree. I just don't think that lends itself to the stage. I think that the authors focused more on the production than on the talent. Movies are about production; they have to be. When I see a play, though, I'm going to see talent; I want to see what people can do without retakes in front of a live audience. If the production hides or compensates for the talent then it starts to feel like I'm spending $100 for a ticket to see a movie because it's not dependent on the individual capabilities.
There are two types of stage productions that I like; the big epic ones and the small intimate ones. I watch them for different reasons just like I watch big hollywood movies for a different reason than I watch independent films. Sometimes I just want flash and sparkle.
And I adored Phantom of the Opera and you were right about the beginning. I think I gasped. I did notice the lighting in the canal scene but it didn't bother me. What did were the candles rising up from the water. It made it look like a disneyland ride. I think I even started humming Yo ho, yo ho a pirates life for me.... But other than that I had a good time.
Yeah, that whole sequence on the way to his lair felt really contrived and forced. It was laughable, I thought. It felt like a bad 80s rock video. Of course, that sort of fits the music in some areas which is certainly feeling a bit dated.
Although I should say that while I haven't seen the performance, the film adaptation of Jesus Christ Superstar is probably my alltime favorite movie musical.
I STILL haven't seen it, on stage or on video. I think it's even sitting by my TV waiting to be watched.
I do like Phantom of the Opera but I saw it on stage and listened to the music obsessively while in junior high but I haven't had a chance to see the film yet.
I think the film is pretty accurate to the stage performance, as one would expect given that ALW produced it and wrote the screenplay for it. At the same time there were scenes (such as the famous canal scene) that the lighting was really off. They used stage style lighting which normally works fine but when you're working in an underground environment with water and fog it will be picked up different on film than it would with the naked eye and I don't think it works that well.
I'm going to see it tonight! The one thing I really remember about the play was the canal scene because they did it really well in that particular show. That's too bad that it was off in the movie. I most likely wouldn't have noticed the first time anyway. I don't usually notice technical problems the first time I watch a film. I'll let you know what I think.
I suspect you would have noticed only becuase the mood of the scene is WAY off. Conversely, however, the framing they use for the introductory scene is very different from the play but is VERY well done.
Did anyone really think it would work? I don't completely hate Andrew Lloyd Webber, but a movie re-make of a play is a bit much.
There are a lot of movie remakes of plays that I enjoy or, otherwise, cases where playwrites write screenplays successfully using common devices from the stage. But yeah, this certainly was not one of them.