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Les Miserables

Score: 84%
Rating: PG-13
Publisher: Sony Pictures Home
                  Entertainment

Region: A
Media: Blu-ray/1
Running Time: 134 Mins.
Genre: Drama/Classic
Audio: English, French (PAR), Japanese
           5.1 DTS HD-MA, Portuguese Dolby
           Surround

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Arabic,
           Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French,
           Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese,
           Swedish


Features:

  • A First Look at Les Miserables

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo is a timeless classic love story and tale of woe revolving around a convict named Jean Valjean (Liam Neeson) who decides to turn over a new leaf. After Valjean is released from 19 years of hard labor suffering at the hands of prison guard Javert (Geoffrey Rush), he happens upon a church and a kindly Bishop who opens his home to the filthy criminal. Driven by his nature, Valjean robs the church and beats the Bishop, only to be later caught. However, the Bishop vouches for Valjean so that he is freed, only to tell him that now, his soul belongs to God.

Fast-forward some 10 years and Valjean has indeed become a new man and reinvented himself. He has become the wealthy Mayor of the city of Vigau after starting off as a lowly factory worker, only to purchase the factory during hard times. Fantine (Uma Thurman), one of his employees, is a single mom struggling to make ends meet and is fired for being an unwed mother. Desperate to continue paying the Thenardier family to care for her beloved young daughter, Cosette, she turns to prostitution and is nearly arrested by Javert, now a local police officer. However, Valjean intervenes as Mayor and she comes under his care. Meanwhile, Javert begins to suspect that the Mayor is actually Valjean and when he crafts a plot to expose the Mayor, Valjean admits his identity to prevent another man from being hung for the case of mistaken identity.

Fantine, having become deathly ill, begs Valjean to care for Cosette and Valjean readily agrees, having fallen in love with Fantine. He narrowly escapes Javertís arrest and races off to rescue young Cosette from the Thenardiers, who were supposed to be caring for her, but instead have been abusing her. Fast forward another 10 years and Valjean has once again reinvented himself by finding refuge in the local convent as a caretaker. Here, he has raised Cosette (Claire Danes) as his own daughter. She falls in love with a local revolutionary named Marius (Hans Matheson), not realizing that Javert is trying to expose the revolutionary group and destroy them. With the backdrop of the French Revolution, Javert and Valjean finally confront one another, with Valjean hoping that his beloved Cosette and her new love will survive, even if he does not.

Les Miserables makes the transfer to high def Blu-ray nicely, with very little pixilation. There are a few hazy scenes, but for the most part, it looks fantastic. The film is beautifully acted and quite moving, with the wonderful vistas of France combined with the gritty and pitiful residents of the more poverty-stricken areas of the country. Special features were a little disappointing since there was only a very brief "first look" at the film and since this is a modern movie, I would expect some deleted scenes or even a nice retrospective. Sadly, there isnít.

If you already own the film on DVD, there isnít a real draw to buy it again on Blu-ray, but if you donít already own it and want a different version to compare to the new film with Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, itís a great movie.



-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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