Blood Splattered Cinema
Hosted by: Horror Guru
The Horror Guru reviews the bloodiest, wildest, and weirdest horror that cinema has to offer!
The Bunny Perspective!
Hosted by: Phil Buni
Media reviews and analysis by a pot smoking, puppet bunny. Do you like weird-but-great underground films? Hate Glee, Gigli, and other Hollywood garbage? The Bunny Perspective offers a blend of humorously angry negative reviews, and honest praise of underground movies and TV. We talk about films, TV, anime, and animation. We are the Cult of the Bunny, and you too can be a Cultist. #CultoftheBunny
Cartoon Palooza
Hosted by: Joey Tedesco
A satirical review show where a guy from Jersey watches and criticizes cartoons, including everything from comic books to animated movies. Whatever it is, Joey will either tell you to run out and see it... or fughetabouit!
The Cheap-Arse Film Review
Hosted by: Liam Barrett
It's the Cheap-Arse Film Review, where a young(ish) man finds out if it's possible to live the life of a cinephile super-nerd on the strictest budget possible. Inspired by growing up in the wilds of Essex, England (that's only partially a joke, by the way) and the current harsh economic times, Liam only reviews DVD that can be purchased for £1.00p or less!
The Count Jackula Show
Hosted by: Count Jackula
There are vampires, and there are men from outer space, but there is only one vampire from outer space! Join Count Jackula from the Planet Drakula as he explains the ins and outs of horror, from the mythic to the modern. Blood, off-color humor, and an obsession with Elvira are in store for you!
The DVD Shelf
Hosted by: David Rose
Life is short, so skip the bad movies and let your host David Rose reveal, review, and recommend the ones you should have on your own DVD shelf. The DVD Shelf is a film-lover's safe haven to bask in the warm glow of cult favorites, over-looked cinematic gems, rediscovered classics, and downright fun flicks on both DVD and Blu-ray.
The Examined Life (of Gaming)
Hosted by: Roland Thompson
Just when video games were getting good, the late '90s and early '00s came along. The Examined Life (of Gaming) dares to delve into the good, the bad, and the value-priced games of this dark period, and sometimes we find something worth playing!
The Film Renegado
Hosted by: Film Renegado
Coming to you from south of the border, it's the Film Renegado! A civil engineer with a cinephile complex, the Film Renegado uses movies made in Mexico or by Mexican directors to share bits from his country's culture, past and present. You will both learn and be entertained! How cool is that?
Friday Night Fright Flicks
Hosted by: Count Jackula & Horror Guru
Welcome, fright knights, to Friday Night Fright Flicks! Join your hosts Count Jackula and the Horror Guru as they stumble their way through current horror releases, letting you know which ones are worth the price of admission.
Good Bad Flicks
Hosted by: Cecil Trachenburg
Good Bad Flicks is a show not only dedicated to rare movies, but also forgotten classics and misunderstood box office bombs. Your host Cecil takes you through each movie, discussing the promotional materials, and taking a look at what went on behind the scenes. With a healthy dose of Irish sarcasm, he throws a few jabs at even his most cherished favorites.
The Graphic Novel Picture Show
Hosted by: Solkir
Your host Solkir presents The Graphic Novel Picture Show, a retrospective of the history of comic book movies!
Joshua the Anarchist
Hosted by: Joshua Bell
Charged with the crime of liking Batman & Robin, Joshua the Anarchist has been declared insane and committed to Arkham Asylum. Locked away in a padded cell, he'll endure movie after movie as doctors attempt to "treat" him. He may not have gone in a madman, but he soon will be.
Minority Report Reviews
Hosted by: Tom Marriott
Minority Report Reviews is where often slated or just plain forgotten films and TV shows come for an ego boost. Focusing primarily on unloved sequels, your host Tom Marriott takes questions from the general public to showcase the positives in these films. Love it or hate it, this is the show where you can have your say and see a guilty pleasure defended by the host with the most... strange tastes.
Movie Dorkness
Hosted by: Sofie Liv
It's the show formerly known as Red Suitcase Adventues! Join Sofie Liv, a nice Dane (who may not be as negative as everyone else!) as she dissects pop culture phenomena to explore both the good and bad in popular films.
The Movie Skewer
Hosted by: Team Agony Booth
From the makers of the Agony Booth™ comes The Movie Skewer, where terrible movies are roasted over an open flame for your enjoyment. Watch the very first online review/recap series that’s too much for one host to handle!
Mr. Mendo's Hack Attack
Hosted by: Michael A. Novelli
Need a healthy dose of cynicism from a guy whose face you can barely see? Then Mr. Mendo’s your man! Whether a movie suffers from Hype Backlash, Intellectual Dishonesty, or is just Complete Shit, Mr. Mendo is there. Mr. Mendo wasn‘t raised in this country, so he takes nothing for granted: if something ain‘t right, he’ll nose it out. So join him as he takes on Oscar winners and legendary flops alike in front of a blanket suspended between his couch and recliner!
Mystery Madness
Hosted by: Full of Questions
Mysteries are awesome! And who's better suited to examine the wonderful, the terrible, and the adequate of the movie mystery genre than a teenager with nerdy glasses and substandard editing software? ...Many people, probably, but enjoy the show anyway!
PGSM Summaries
Hosted by: Nycea
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (PGSM for short) is a hilarious live-action retelling of the Sailor Moon story. On this show, your host Nycea summarizes and riffs on this gloriously bad series—one episode at a time.
The Porn Critic
Hosted by: Porn Critic
Comedy reviews of the worst and most bizarre adult films available, by a character called the Porn Critic, who tends to focus on the acting bits rather than the actual sex! Who knew continuity errors and bad dialogue could lead to chronic flaccidity?
Reel vs. Reel
Hosted by: Animated Heroine
Animation isn't just for kids; it's also for adults who never learned how to grow up. In Reel vs. Reel, the Animated Heroine looks at two similar animated films to see which one comes out on top and why. Her love for good animated films is only matched by her cynicism towards the bad ones.
Stuff You Like
Hosted by: Sursum Ursa
Stuff You Like is an original show where redhead Sursum Ursa waxes enthusiastic about movies, TV shows, and anything else that comes to mind! Expect singing, snarky subtitles, random pictures she finds on the internet, and lots of fangirling!
Terror Obscura
Hosted by: Fear Fan
Terror Obscura is a show dedicated to exploring the best and worst horror films ever made. While some shows are content to just mock bad films, this one isn't afraid to take even the most sacred of cows to the slaughterhouse. If you like horror, humor, or if you're just looking to find some titles you might want to rent, Terror Obscura is the show for you!
Tom's Retrophilia
Hosted by: Thomas Stockel
Is he a connoisseur of vintage media, or just a bitter old man trapped in the past?  Either way, tune in and watch Tom take a look at the movies and television shows from a time when he was actually in the target audience!
The Unusual Suspect
Hosted by: Unusual Suspect
The Unusual Suspect reviews popular movies, and tears 'em apart! They may be good, but no movie is perfect, and there's always things you may have overlooked and hadn't thought about. So join the Suspect as he exploits and ridicules the films you know and love. Just don't kill him for it!
What We Had to Watch
Hosted by: Il Neige
Il Neige is a smart-ass with a love-hate relationship with movies from the new millennium. Sure, reviews can be fun or cathartic, but there's also the risk of the occasional Twi-hard invasion or fireball to the face! ...That's how these things usually go, right? So join Il Neige as he braves the cinematic dangers that lie just beyond the fourth wall to critique the best and worst of 21st century filmmaking!
the agony booth
Movie Review
Les Misérables (2012)
Les Misérables (2012)

I’ve made no secret that there were two major releases that came out on Christmas Day of 2012 that I was immensely excited for. One was Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino’s slavery revenge action epic, and the other was the first big budget cinematic adaptation of Les Misérables, one of the most beloved stage musicals in history. To my dismay, only one of them met my admittedly lofty expectations. And while I’d love to talk about that one, you hardly need my input to tell you to see a Quentin Tarantino movie. But I will anyway: Go see Django Unchained.

Les Misérables, as most know, is based on the Broadway musical adaption of the Victor Hugo novel of the same name. The story takes place in 19th Century France and follows the lives of a collection of characters leading up to the June Rebellion of 1832. Chief among these characters is Jean Valjean, a thief who upon being released from prison is given a new lease on life by a kindly priest. He breaks parole and assumes several new identities over the course of the story, always pursued by the rigid, self-righteous Inspector Javert. Along the way, he takes pity on a dying homeless woman, Fantine, who entrusts her daughter Cosette to his care. He raises her and... well, things go from there; I’m getting dangerously close to summarizing the entire plot, which most of you probably know by this point anyway.

There have already been many movie adaptations of Les Misérables (or Les Miz for the sake of brevity), and this one in particular had a lot going for it. Unlike all previous films, it’s the first to adapt the musical rather than the book itself. So not only were they working with a classic highly revered piece of literature, but also one of the most beloved musicals in Broadway history. They had a stellar cast headed by stage musical veteran Hugh Jackman, whose first role in a film musical has been long overdue, and they had the revolutionary technique of recording the actors singing vocals live on set, rather than having them lip-sync to a soundtrack, something that hadn’t been attempted in nearly 40 years. The whole production practically makes itself. All they needed was for the director not to fail in every way imaginable. But director Tom Hooper somehow managed to do just that.

On a directing level, the film is an absolute disaster. The opening shots are nice and suitably epic, but almost instantly descend into disorienting shaky camerawork with a ridiculous overuse of close-up shots. It truly is network television-level cinematography, but even network television is usually easier to watch than this. Presumably, as is the usual argument for poor handheld camerawork, the intent was to make things more realistic and immediate, and fair enough. Recording live does give the vocals a kind of raw, emotional realism, so making the visuals a match for that is an idea with merit. But such a thing is extraordinarily difficult to pull off, and Hooper could not have failed to do so more abysmally.

The editing is also atrocious. This is something that’s always an issue when it comes to adapting a stage musical to the screen. Stage plays are designed to account for breathing room between scenes, as the curtain must close for actors to get in place, sets to be rearranged, etc., whereas a film has no such luxury and must maintain forward momentum scene to scene. Les Miz is especially problematic, as unlike many musicals, it’s not a case of spoken dialogue frequently interrupted by song. In point of fact, there’s virtually no spoken dialogue, with virtually every line sung. These things are very difficult to translate between mediums, and while I appreciate that significant obstacle, countless musical films before have proved it very surmountable, and I’ve yet to see a film fail at it to this degree. The pacing is all over the place, and scene transition is awkward at best. The idea of letting the actors set the tempo though the live recording may help give some excellent performances in the moment, but without the director guiding them with a cohesive vision in mind, the final product will inevitably be a disjointed mess.

The film is not without merit, however. As previously mentioned, the cast is excellent. Although most of the main actors do not come from a stage musical background, they all give excellent performances. Much fuss has been made about Russell Crowe, admittedly the weakest singer to be given a main role, who plays Inspector Javert, but with the deliberately unpolished sound of the vocals, his voice never becomes much of an issue. As you may have heard, the true standout is Anne Hathaway in the role of Fantine. She’s only present in the movie for the first act, but her performance of the famous song “I Dreamed a Dream” is worth the price of admission alone. Anne is nothing short of heartbreaking in the role. She’ll almost certainly receive an Academy Award nomination for this film, and it’s well-deserved. Of course, as I said, she’s gone within the first half hour, so after that you might as well leave and save yourself two and a half hours.

Latest Comments

Popular Right Now

Posted Aug 27, 2014 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
 
Posted Aug 29, 2014 by Steve Birkett
 
 
 
Posted Aug 21, 2014 by Steven Patsel
 
Posted Aug 25, 2014 by Cecil Trachenburg
 
Posted Aug 19, 2014 by Steve Birkett
 
Posted Aug 28, 2014 by Sursum Ursa
 
Posted Aug 13, 2014 by Joshua Bell
 
Posted Aug 12, 2014 by Michael A. Novelli
 
Posted Aug 17, 2014 by Joey Tedesco
 
 
Posted Aug 14, 2014 by Cecil Trachenburg
 
Posted Aug 12, 2014 by Chelsey McQuitty
 
 
Posted Aug 27, 2014 by Film Renegado
 
Posted Aug 15, 2014 by Sursum Ursa
Sitemap
About the Site:
Archives:
Other Content:
Series Pages:
Feeds (RSS):
Video Shows:
Support the Site:
On Other Sites:
Top #tags:
Our Partners:

All articles posted to the agony booth are the sole property of the author(s). Please do not copy/reproduce entire articles without permission. Screencaps from movies and TV shows are used for non-profit, fair use purposes of parody and commentary. Star Trek and all related images and trademarks are the property of CBS Studios, Inc.

Reviewer icon artwork provided by Tai Porto, Aaron “McKnackus” Rivera, and Magdalen O’Reilly.