Category Archives: Books

My Favorite Scene: Les Miserables (2012) “I Dreamed a Dream”

Some Oscar wins are the product of decades of work. Some reward powerhouse performances that carry a film. Sometimes, though, they go to the best five minutes of the year. I’m not a giant Anne Hathaway fan. I am not a part of the disturbingly vocal “Hathahate” community on the net, but I honestly have never been blown away by her. The giant exception to that is the best five minutes performed by any actor or actress in 2012: Hathaway’s phenomenal performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” in Les Miserables.

Holding the camera for five minutes by simply acting your way through a song performance is about as difficult a task as a screen actor can be handed, but Hathaway is mesmerizing. “I Dreamed a Dream” is unquestionably Les Miserables’s signature number, and there are a staggering amount of awful things happening to her character by the time she breaks into the anthem about shattered hope. It would have been easy to end up chewing the scenery or being swallowed by the material, but Hathaway gives a nuanced and powerful vocal that stole this film. I saw this on Christmas Day 2012, which was a bit of a surreal experience. To me, misadventures of tuberculosis-ridden French revolutionaries does not exactly say, “Seasons Greetings!” I was, however, soundly outvoted by my family. While I may be lukewarm on the film as a whole, this scene was easily more than worth the ticket price.

Les_Miserables_Poster

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Trailer #2 (2018) *Who Will Change the Future?*

After an uneven summer of sequel madness, it’s good to look forward to franchises that rarely-if ever-disappoint. The Wizarding World is back this fall with its 10th film installment and the second in the Fantastic Beasts cycle. The second trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was unveiled at Comic-Con today and it’s absolutely eye-popping. In addition to the continuing adventures of Newt and company, Potterheads will enjoy Easter eggs like Dumbledore as DADA professor, Nicholas Flamel, and The Mirror of Erised. Check out CBR’s notes from Warner Brother’s panel discussion of the film below.

Jude Law confirmed that this movie will be a “who’s side are you on story,” where the “wizards within the Wizarding World will be asked whose side they’re on. The depths and the darkness of this story are some of the darkest this franchise has gone.” Ezra Miller chimed in “Definitely” in confirmation.

Law continued with his take on Dumbledore, “I love the fact that people keep calling him ‘young Dumbledore,” because I’m 45,” he laughed. “…There’s a long way to go between this Dumbledore and the one we see here. David Yates our director really let me free to establish him on my own here, but I hope he’ll have some familiar traits. He’s still mischievous and…he still has this ability to manipulate people.”

The panel was then surprise interrupted by Johnny Depp appearing in full costume, in character as Grindelwald giving an ominous speech. “It has been said that I hate the muggles, the no-mag, the can’t-spells, I do not hate them,” Depp said in character, giving fans an insight into Grindelwald’s personality. Depp immediately left the stage after his performance.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is being directed by David Yates, from a screenplay by J.K. Rowling, and produced by David Heyman. The film Opens in theaters November 16, 2018.Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Poster

Robin Hood Trailer #1 (2018) *Look for the Hood*

While this looks nowhere near as egregious an error as last year’s King Arthur nightmare, I’m curious as to why Hollywood keeps feeling the need to “reinvent” stories like Robin Hood.  The character has been around for hundreds of years, has been interpreted dozens of times, and will be again, but there always seems to a need to rework a story that’s worked just fine: make it gritty and modern, give it attitude, whatever.  Those aren’t the things about the story or the character that have made it endure.  You CAN update a character and retain those qualities (BBC’s Sherlock did it and managed to produce the best adaptation of Holmes in my lifetime).  For more on the latest Robin Hood, read below and look for the Hood in November 2018.

In the film, a war-hardened Crusader and a Moorish commander mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown in a thrilling action-adventure. Packed with gritty battlefield exploits, mind-blowing fight choreography, and a timeless romance, Robin Hood is a never before seen story of how Robin Hood became the icon and legend as we know him today.

The cast for the new Robin Hood includes Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Eddie the Eagle) as the title hero, with Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained, Ray) as Little John, Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey) as Will Scarlet, Eve Hewson (Bridge of Spies) as Maid Marion, Tim Minchin (Californication) as Friar Tuck, and Paul Anderson (Peaky Blinders, The Revenant) as Guy of Gisborne.

Described as having a “gritty tone,” the film finds Robin Hood returning from The Crusades to discover a Sherwood Forest rife with corruption and evil. Teaming with a band of outlaws, he takes matters into his own hands to set things right, with very little merry-making along the way.

Otto Bathurst directs from a screenplay by Joby Harold. Robin Hood is produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Basil Iwanyk, Tory Tunnell and Joby Harold. It will arrive in theaters on November 21, 2018.

Taron Egerton in Robin Hood