Block buster movies this Christmas season are lengthy.
The dramatic ones are all two hours or more in length. Examples include "Silver Linings Playbook" at 2hrs, 2 min.; "Jack Reacher" at 2hrs, 10 min.; "This is 40" at 2hrs, 14 mins.; "Django Unchained" at 2hrs, 21 mins.; "Lincoln" at 2 hrs, 29 min.; "Les Miserables" at 2hrs, 38 min.; and "The Hobbit" at 2 hrs, 49 min.
Recently, I dragged my son and two of his friends (all Clayton High School graduates now attending StLCC, Yale, and M.I.T.) to "Les Miserables".
In an era of decreasing attention spans and "instant" social media, the choice of movie house becomes critical in watching long movies. Fresh popped popcorn, a choice of beer or wine during viewing, Ted Drewe's frozen custard, comfy seating, and immaculate bathrooms are all "must haves". The 90-year-old Hi Point Movie Theater, www.hipointtheater.com , delivers on all counts.
While I am not a big fan of musicals, this one is well worth seeing. The pre-release hype bragged that the actors/actresses heard live musical accompaniment while singing; thus the songs were recorded live while being filmed (not dubbed).
The scenery of Paris after the French Revolution is opulent, the costumes appear correct for the mid-nineteenth century, and the plot moves us along over the span of half a century.
Everyone, with the possible exception of Russell Crowe as the Evil Inspector, has a great set of pipes. Hugh Jackman and Ann Hathaway are especially noteworthy. There is some comic relief in the film and the time passes quickly. Songs from the musical score stick in your mind after the show is over.
This is a great holiday release which will surely be up for Academy Awards next year.