Les MisÚrables

Featured In Issue 176, April/May 2013

WSR Score3.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Suggestive and sexual material, violence and thematic elements
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Not Indicated
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Tom Hooper
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DTS HD Lossless 7.1, DTS 5.1
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Les MisÚrables is the epic musical story of ex-prisoner Jean Valjean (Jackman), hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Crowe), after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's (Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever. Based on the novel by Victor Hugo and the original stage musical. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Director Tom Hooper; the documentary Les MisÚrables: A Revolutionary Approach with the following chapters: The Stars Of Les MisÚrables (HD 11:13), The West End Connection (HD 08:23), Les MisÚrables On Location (HD 09:12), Creating The Perfect Paris (HD 03:53), Battle At The Barricade (HD 04:44), and Les MisÚrables Singing Live (HD 23:23); The Original Masterwork: Victor Hugo's Les MisÚrables (HD 11:11); BD-Live functionality, upfront ads; and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 1.85:1 1080p AVC picture is stylistically gritty, with a progression from dark ambiance to enlightenment. The first part exhibits a gritty, murky essence, with a slightly bluish, subdued color palette, with decent flagstone rendering. Blacks are deep and naturally presented, and shadow delineation is generally revealing. Resolution exhibits fine detail, especially during close-ups of facial features, hair, clothing, and object texture. These picture elements improve as the imagery graduates to a brighter contrast and colors become rich and vibrant, with a golden amber hue. Overall, the imagery is quite pleasingly compelling and engaging. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master AudioÖ 7.1-channel soundtrack features a full orchestral score, with emotional impact enhanced with nuanced ambient atmospheric sound elements. The vocals are nicely integrated into the orchestral mix with convincing spatial realism. But occasionally, the lyrics are difficult to understand when the singers are overwhelmed by the orchestra. The surround mix is in accordance with the Dolby« 7.1 Surround theatrical format positioning, with the added two channels placed at the rear. However, surround envelopment is nuanced, with the occasional burst of aggression enhanced with deep .1 LFE bass. As such, much of the soundtrack is frontal focused, with occasionally swelling soundfield action. While slightly compressed sounding, fidelity is generally excellent and natural sounding. (Gary Reber)