Home Page  
 
 

Les Miserables
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • English Dolby Surround
  • English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English DTS-HD 5.1 Surround
  • English DTS-HD 7.1 Surround
  • English subtitles
  • French subtitles
  • Spanish subtitles
  • 2 Discs
FEATURES
  • Audio Commentary by director Tom Hooper
  • Les Miserables: A Revolutionary Approach
  • The Original Masterwork: Victor Hugo's Les Miserables
  • Ultraviolet

Les Miserables

Dual Format Edition
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Tom Hooper
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen
2012 | 158 Minutes

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $34.98 | Series: Universal
Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Release Date: March 22, 2013
Review Date: March 31, 2013

Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca

Share:

SYNOPSIS

Hugh Jackman, Academy Award® winner Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway star in this critically-acclaimed adaptation of the epic musical phenomenon. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells the 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. This enthralling story is a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit and "an unforgettable experience" (Richard Roeper, RichardRoeper.com).


PICTURE

Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables comes to Blu-ray from Universal in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this dual-layer disc. The transfer is presented in 1080p/24hz.

The transfer looks pretty damn good, and far more natural than I probably would have expected. I guess this shouldn’t be a surprise since the film was made recently, but I guess I expected Universal to process the heck out of it and the surprise is they haven’t. It retains a filmic look while delivering distinctly defined details and clean edges. The film’s colour scheme leans heavily on the blue side of things (like so many modern films it has that blue/orange look going) but the colours are nicely rendered with perfect saturation. Black levels are strong and fairly inky, and shadow delineation is excellent.

There are no source issues to speak of and the transfer doesn’t present a single flaw that drew attention to itself. Film grain is there but has been left alone. There is no noticeable edge-enhancement or similar digital artifact. It’s actually pretty darn close to perfect, much to my surprise.

9/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

AUDIO

I was surprised to find I was a little disappointed with the film’s lossless DTS-HD MA 7.1 surround track. For a musical I guess I was expecting a fuller, more immersive experience, but was stunned to find it stuck pretty heavily to the fronts. The film opens impressively, with waves crashing around the viewer clearly and distinctly, sharp as can be, and the musical number has the score swell through the surrounds. After this sequence the score still fills the environment, but just about every other effect and activity is limited to the fronts, with minimal movement to the rears. A few of the more action oriented sequences do present some impressive effects and splits, but that was about it.

Lyrics and dialogue stick mostly to the fronts, occasionally moving about naturally through the environment, specifically when crowds are involved, but there isn’t anything truly surprising or impressive. But the quality of the sound is superb, with terrific range and fidelity, and in this regard I can’t complain, except the quality of the sound doesn’t do Russell Crowe any favours.

8/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Supplements aren’t particularly special, a bit of a surprise considering the awards and nominations thrown at it. They barely reach the level of quality of most studio releases.

Director Tom Hooper provides a decent audio commentary covering the various aspects of the production, particularly the heavy technical aspects behind it and the *live* singing that was employed. He covers the effects, the sets, the location shoot, and even talks a little about the original source and the stage musical on which the film is based. For a long solo audio commentary I was impressed by how Hooper was able to keep it going. I wouldn’t say it’s required but if you’re interested in the technical aspects of the film it’s certainly more informative and in-depth than any of the other features on here.

And that includes the making-of Les Misérables: A Revolutionary Approach, which is basically six separate featurettes rolled into one. These featurettes include: Stars of: Les Misérables, The West End Connection, Les Misérables On Location, The Perfect Paris, Battle of the Barricade, and Les Misérables Singing Live. In total it runs about 64-minutes. It’s a pretty standard behind-the-scenes featurette, complete with interviews with cast-and-crew, who all speak highly of everyone else. It covers the sets, the locations used, the original cast members from the stage musical (and their cameos in the film), and also goes briefly over the casting. The only truly interesting aspect is when they cover the live singing and its advantages for the actors, with this segment taking up about a third of the entire feature. Overall it’s pretty run-of-the-mill with very little to offer. Again if one is truly interested in more detail about the technical aspects of the film Hooper’s commentary may be better.

The Original Masterpiece: Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables is an 11-minute primer about the author and his original work. It’s a decent piece presenting a quick timeline of the author’s life and various accomplishments.

Universal also provides a DVD of the film, which contains a few of the features found on the Blu-ray including the commentary, the piece about Hugo, and then these segments from the making-of: Stars of: Les Misérables and The Perfect Paris. There’s also a code for a digital copy of the film, which I didn’t bother to check out.

And that covers it. I guess I wasn’t expecting much ultimately but yeesh, talk about unspectacular.

5/10

CLOSING

The film admittedly did little for me but on a technical level the Blu-ray is very pleasing. It delivers an impressive audio and video transfer that will please many. It’s only the supplements that leave a lot to be desired.




Share: 



Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca  




Join our Facebook Group (requires Facebook account)

This site is not affiliated with The Criterion Collection