Section 2, part 2
(1) Maria P. in PA: Kudos Blaine on the tradition of distributing Chanukah meals. This will be my 3rd or 4th year (at least!) working with a Newtown, PA holiday dinner event. A friend of mine, Paul Salvatore, has been doing this for 27 years. Area restaurants donate food and some donate money. Everyone and anyone who wants, kids without homes – families – seniors, enjoy a dinner on Christmas Day. There’s a craft room for kids and Santa visits after his long night and takes pictures with the kiddies and finds out how they liked their presents. The local youth choral also volunteers and sings carols – with everyone joining in. It’s a tradition and all of us volunteers agree – once you volunteer and see the gratitude – you feel so good and realize this is what the holiday season is all about!
(2) Mark J. in NC [on the soundtrack from the LES MISERABLES movie):
Well, I have about 12 different recordings of LES MISERABLES, in many different languages. This recording is VERY different from any of the recordings that I have.
First of all, since it was recorded “live” during the filming of the movie, most of the songs have a bootleg sound to them. You can hear background noise and every breath, sniffle, sob and any other sound that was made during the filming. Now, at first listen, if you are familiar with the cast recordings and the “mixed in a studio” recordings that are out there, then you will find this very odd sounding without seeing the visuals that go with it. But, the more I listen to it, the more I like it.
This recording is more “real”. You can tell the actors are really thinking about the things they are saying/singing. The songs are full of raw emotion(i.e. “I Dreamed a Dream”, “On My Own”, “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”) and most people are saying it’s not good, simply because the actors don’t always follow the tempos we are familiar with. I have to say, I’m not really digging Russell Crowe’s singing on the CD, but I know his acting will certainly make up for it.
So, to sum it up…I think that seeing the film will make the soundtrack more enjoyable, because I will have the visuals in my head to go with the emotions in the singing. My only complaint, is that they didn’t release a more thorough soundtrack, and I hope they do release a double CD/deluxe edition soon!
ALSO….the orchestrations for the film, are simply gorgeous. I would even buy a CD of the score without the singing.
Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Barks are amazing, though
(3) Walter W. in PA: Enjoyed the movie, Les Mis on Christmas day. It has great close ups. Hathaway does a powerful job on “I dreamed a dream.”
(4) Robin S. in PA: Saw Django Unchained on Wednesday. WOW! Yes, overlong and over the top violent – even for Tarantino – and brilliant. The guy is a genius, truly. And he gets the most amazing performances from actors. Definitely worth seeing. Just close your eyes when the outrageously violent stuff continues past the first flash of what’s to come.(
(5) Nevin T. in NC: Good 1 [BLAINESWORLD #847] . . . still laughing.