Though considering the totality of the movie it shouldn’t have been surprising that they messed up Quasimodo. I don’t even consider this a version of Hugo’s character.Follow thehunchblog
I’m not strictly speaking in the interest of my own personal enjoyment or in the sense that it would give me more context but with the political and social climate in America, Hollywood or Disney really should get a new version into production.
America right now is politically divided on many, many issues and a big one is the issue of immigration and refugees. In some ways it’s a complex issue mainly on the bureaucracy end but on the side of basic human decency and the fact that America is an immigrant nation it’s pretty simple. So how does this tie into making a Hunchback movie and the necessity of one?
I truly can not speak to the historical aspect of the Romani in Paris in the 15th century but the book makes it sound like Paris was a Sanctuary city. This means in a sense you could look at Esmeralda as a refugee or at the very least she is an immigrant of sorts. This is only case in versions where she is a Romani and not following the book, which is fine. I suppose they could split the different and make her half French and half Romani or Spanish since Esmeralda’s father is a complete unknown. The only hint the book offers, that I can find, is Esmeralda’s father could have been a thief that left her mother before she learned she was pregnant. Then again this information is narrated by a secondary character, so it unknown how reliable this account is.
In any case the two major American versions that have Esmeralda as a Romani depicts her as an advocate for both her people and the “downtrodden” which aside from being her a good female role-model in these two versions, her being an advocate great aspect to showcase to a film going population.
Also unlike some other movies that cast people regardless of their race, Hunchback should be a little more set in character’s cultural backgrounds. I heard when Rogue One was coming out there was a call to boycott the movie because of the diversity the cast, same for Star Wars The Force Awakens, which is dumb. With Hunchback their cultural backgrounds inform the characters so aside from Esmeralda and in many cases Clopin, the rest of the cast are white Europeans which could help ease some people into the movie, especially people who wanted to boycott an iconic Space Fantasy movie series.
This means the casting of Esmeralda become extremely important. I should preface that in a perfect world, anyone could play Esmeralda but we don’t and if a movie is going to characterized Esmeralda a very specific ethnic group even though the book did not, then the movie needs to cast accordingly. This is why the casting of Gigi Radics, a Hungarian singer of Romani descent would be a masterstroke of casting. Whether or not she is available or willing to play the role is a different question. They could always cast an unknown Romani actress to take the part. Casting an Indian or Pakistani, or Arab actress is not quite as authentic but it a step in the right direction.
A new Hunchback movie today who help shed some light on the current situation in America and recontextualize to people who may not think it about as much and ignore the news. It might even help people who have little exposure to immigrants and refugees put a human face on the issue instead of short sound bite.Follow thehunchblog
One thing I will say about the 2004 version is that it is not the worst version of The Phantom of the Opera. This isn’t even an opinion because I can guarantee that if you ask anyone they will say the 1998 Italian Horror version directed by Dario Argento is the worse movie version. This version is just downright weird and unpleasant.
In this version the Phantom is NOT deformed, instead he was raised by rats and he has a little bit of a fetish for them. This raises so many questions as he speaks normally, plays musics, wears clothes etc, Did the rats teach him all that. Also considering that the deformity is what cause him his isolation and his madness, where does it come from? This movie doesn’t even get the basics right.
Christine is also very much into the Phantom and his weird sense of pick-up lines. He also rapes her. This is not a creditable version in the slightest.
There is SO many weird off-putting side plots and visual that leave with a sense that your brain is being evaporated through your eyes.
Please Don’t Watch this movie!
Site Note- To deal with some burn-out have been going through, I’m taking a brief break from posting on Mondays.
It’s a little unfair to discuss this movie against the book as it’s a movie version of the famous musical version of the book. It’s one degree off from anything related to the book, so instead let’s just discuss the movie for what it is, a lovely little mess.
On the whole it’s visually a pretty movie but it made a lot of bad technical and casting choices that make not a good adaptation of the musical adaptation of the book. Let’s just start with the big one, the Phantom. They got very little right about his character. First off the decide to skew younger with casting Gerald Butler and gave him a rock edge. Second the deformity is really minimal. I get that one idea they had is humanize aspect of the musical. Like all the Phantom’s tricks and genius illusions are explainable but in making his deformity which kept him apart and unloved by society no more than a bad sunburn and a slight droop in his eye is childish. Also compared to other singers of the Phantom, Butler doesn’t measure up. So we have a good looking Phantom who can’t sing and the is the major converse of his character.
As far as Emmy Rossum as Christine, I’m not a fan of how she sung the role but as far as looking innocent and doe-eyed she was fine. I do wish they and gotten someone else though but considering the casting on the Phantom especially when Ramin Karimloo (favorite Phantom) was cast in the movie as Christine’s father.
More than the questionable casting this movie despite it’s prettiness make some weird choices. For instance the Marquerade scene is all monochromatic despite the songs saying their are colors everywhere and Christine’s not in costume. Why is her Opera costume Empress Sissi and not like the other costumes prior? I could go on and on and on. Those are little things that take a person out the movie especially when you’re supposed to lots in feels.
The emotions that lost in this movie version are partly being the filmmaker made everything more subtle because it’s a movie. The subtly how the emotions present makes it harder to connect so it really just become boring and with the odd choice and weird casting it become a mess albeit a shallow pretty mess.
That’s Right, my friends, In 1987 Emerald City Production made a straight to Video animated version of Phantom of the Opera riding the coat-tails of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. It’s a really good thing Disney didn’t make a Phantom in the mid-90’s because otherwise we would have gotten stuff on the line with all Hunchback knock-offs. Can you imagine a version of Phantom were he isn’t ugly, oh wait, they already did that (sort of), but enough about that, how is the animated version?
Compared to all the other versions, this version follows the book albeit really simplified, is about 40 minutes long. The character does have much development or even interest BUT Erik does get his redemptions and dies after Christine kisses him. Though instead of just a straight-up broken heart, he plays his organ in such a way that it makes the ceiling fall and crush him.
Also this version on the technical end of this is terrible. It’s cleared they had no budget. They is A TON of receptive animation and the movement on the character is so wooden that actually wood would have moved better. That being said I would rather watch this than the majority of the Hunchback knock-offs because this version of Phantom doesn’t speak down to it’s audience.
It’s a cheap yet by the book versions of Phantom. Would I recommend it? If you’re a fan of the book yeah but otherwise meh. It’s not a good version but nor is so bad that one should experience. Though it the most accurate version to Leroux’s novel.
Despite what some people think, the 1925 version of The Phantom of the Opera is not the first film version. There was an earlier one that now lost. This version was also reissused in 1929.
Of all the movie versions of Phantom this one is the most culturally ingrained and till Webber’s musical is one of the more seminal versions of Leroux book. It was a landmark film not only for the Universal Monster genre but sets and make-up. Like in The Hunchback of Notre Dame two years earlier, Lon Chaney did his own make-up and it was a real set-up from Quasimodo. People were terrified of Chaney’s Erik. But also the look and mood of the movie is great.
As far as the movie goes as adaptation of the novel it follows short, especially of how it COULD have been. Number one, the characters are all pretty darn simplistic. Erik just comes off as crazy; albeit with dramatic crazy in love but it doesn’t go as deep as in the book. He doesn’t even get the redemption that makes him a bittersweet figure.
Raoul is also different. He is not the whining stalker he is in the novel but more dashing and the typical lead of the time. He is also played by Norman Kerry who played Phoebus in the 1923 version. Mary Philbin’s Christine is one point but again she not a wish-washy as she is the book.
For the most part, scene per scene, beat by beat the movie plays out close to the book while streamline things that is TILL the ending. In this movie Christine agrees to marry Erik and instead of him dying a alone of a broken-hearted, he grabs Christine and is chased and killed by a mob. Which is ridiculous. Chaney didn’t care for this ending but it tested better with audiences. The original ending that was shot, is more faithful, with Erik’s redemption of letting Christine go and dying at his organ. They also shot the scene where Erik plays the violin at the graveyard. So the movie could have been more like the book. Though the chase does go by Notre Dame.
All in all, the 1925 isn’t a bad movie and is a fairly good version of book. But I would say watch it more for this movie’s importance and not for the story and the characters.
Way back in July, Skylar suggested that I make a list of my personal favorite movies. So here they are, my ten favorite movies in no particular order as of December 2015.
Stiff Upper Lips
Stiff Upper Lips is a parody of British Edwardian movies in particular Merchant of Ivory movies and that time period all together. I first saw this on Masterpiece theater and thought it was super silly. It’s super well acted, the sets and costumes are great and the humor is awesome. I quote this movie all the time, in fact my AMV editing name came out this movie.
Veer-Zaara is a Bollywood movie and it was the second one I ever watched, the first was Devdas. It’s such a lovely movie in its look, plot and characters. I know it flawed but I really love it.
Another Bollywood movie. I watched this movie late one night when I was very anxious and it calmed me right down so this movie has a calming influence on me. Again it just a lovely pretty movie.
If you want a Depressing movie about China in WWII here ya go. This is not like a nice movie in its plot BUT it’s so pretty. It was based on a novella and the movie gives the plot/characters so much depth without like spelling it out for you. It’s a really well done movie.
Castle in the Sky
I have talked a out this one before, I love it.
Land before Time (Original, the sequels do not exist)
This movie, this movie, sigh, it was my childhood favorite. I loved dinosaur when I was a little kid. This movie is traumatic for little ones but I love the characters and the animation is still great.
L’Amant (The Lover)
I think this movie is like a guilty pleasure for me. It doesn’t have a plot but it has a meaning and point. Again it’s a well done movie.
The first time I saw this one I thought I was going to hate it but I loved it. I love its humor characters and style (in parts). I love the slugs, the frogs, and Robby’s alias Millicent Bystander. I also love the mime on the cell phone.
Agian it such a beautiful movie. I love the way the film incorporated Frida’s artwork into the style of the movie.
GAH This Movie is way too pretty, I love it.
So yeah those are some of my favorite movies. I actually watch a lot more TV shows (and anime) than movies like as go to things or just in general. I need to watch more movies.
Here some Honorable Mentions,
Gone with the Wind (I love Scarlett, I think is a great character, terrible person but great character and the costumes.)
Gloomy Sunday (Another depressing yet lovely movie, I love the ending though.)
Rebecca (I love the mood and style of this one)
Ranma 1/2 second movie Nihao My Concubine (Ranma is one my favorite anime and this was the first thing I saw of it and I was confused but I still love it)
Asoka (I love the music in this one and the style)
La belle et La Bete (I have talked about this one before)
Muppets Caper and Most Wanted (I love the muppets and I can’t pick between these two^^)
Lady and the Tramp/Dumbo (I dunno why love these movies as much as I do. I might do my top disney movie )
Gorgeous (I need to rewatch it because I loved when I first saw it but I can’t recall it well right now except for the Just Smile fight which was awesome)
Last week it was announced that one Peter Chernin was developing a new Hunchback of Notre Dame movie from Esmeralda’s perspective. This is a big deal for a few reasons.
First and foremost this idea originally was announced in 2013 as an idea for Once Upon a Time. Once it was announced that was the last anyone heard about it. It’s very unclear if this movie idea came from the Once Upon a Time idea or is a separate concept.
Second this is the first movie since the freaking lost films that Esmeralda as the focus character. Evert movie version since 1923 has been a Quasimodo movie. This also mean most movie versions made are vanity projects lead by a 40 something male actor looking to play emotional yet physically demanding role.
Looking in to Peter Chernin who is not and actor or a director but a business man turned producer who has his own production, Chernin Entertainment. So it’s more likely that this film will happen than other film version that are being made who wanted to be made. Though Max Ryan’s upcoming version which is set to start filming in Serbia is an independent movie.
Also all the new outlets that have report on this are calling it a Live-action. This that either they are connecting it to the Disney version because of the trend of live-action Disney movies is REALLY big right now, they are confused or does Chernin have titles to Disney? That is unclear and it’s still really early in development. But it’s fun that there are two new Hunchback movies in the works, good or bad.
Also one person on http://screenrant.com/hunchback-notre-dame-esmeralda-retelling/ implied Mila Kunis, Penelope Cruz, Aishwarya Rai, or Vanessa Hudgens for the role of Esmeralda. To which I say;
maybe, interesting because her sister Moinca was listed in negotiation for Esmeralda for the Max Ryan movie in like 2007, pushing it on age and her Hollywood debut never really panned out but we could get a kickass dance number if they cast a Bollywood actress, and lastly nope please no on Hudgens.
I hope they give the role to a new actress but I doubt they will but it will depend on Esmeralda background who they cast. I wish they would go with Esmeralda’s original backstory but they don’t I don’t care that much.
Who do you want to play Esmeralda?
The Hunchback of Morgue is a 1973 Spanish B slasher movie staring Paul Naschy, who had quite a following.
Let me be perfectly clear, I didn’t not watch this movie. I had thought about watching it and making it the principle movie this month but when I learned what this movie did to rats I said Noop. So this just an overview look at what I assume is a dumb horror movie.
If you thought this movie had any recemblance to Quasimodo and his pathos you would be mostly wrong. It’s only this in common with Hugo’s story is that a Hunchback named Gotho, who is Of a place and he a loved a pretty girl who was nice to him and dies. Actually maybe that is enough.
Unlike Notre Dame’s Hunchback, Gotho is not very smart and is tricked into killing people for the sake of bring his love back to life. Most of the clips I saw was Gotho killing people, one dude in acid because it’s horror movie.
Considering I have no love for Horror and or slasher movie I don’t feel like I missed anything but watch it you like cheesy B horror from the 70’s.Follow thehunchblog
Short answer, yes! As of now there have been two Hunchback movies that seemingly have never got their footing one being from Max Ryan that had a full cast list and the other was from Josh Brolin who just had the director attached. The real question is why should they make a new version?
Hollywood technically hasn’t made a Hunchback movie since 1939. Disney of course made their version 1996, but Disney is a little separate from Hollywood. The other versions were from France, (1956, and 1999) and the other versions were TV movies (1977, 1982, and 1997.) So there has not been a designated Hollywood Hunchback in nearly 80 years.
So yeah there should a new adaptation for a more modern audience. But more than that, there are more reasons than just timeframe. Pending on the type of the movie that the producers go for, Hunchback could be pure oscar bait. For instant it’s historical-based story with a high pretension factor. Second make-up, one can get crazy with the Quasimodo’s make-up and people love the trope of the ugly dude with the beautiful soul and I think people on the internet eat that shit up. There also the real-life angle they could make with the Hunchback worker. Oscars LOVE movies based on true stories.
Also adding to the oscar bait factor, the academy loves itself and since it made up of mostly of actors they like movies about actors. Now there isn’t actors so much in Hunchback but Gringoire is a playwright and Esmeralda is a dancer so they are technically part of the larger industry.
They could also go other genre routes, like re-working the story to be like a super-hero movie. Super-hero movies are super popular though they have been waning in recent years. But Quasimodo fits a super-hero type, so it could work.
There is also the chance, albeit not a super strong one, of Disney doing a live-action adaptation of the Disney version. This seems to a major trend with Disney right now. I could see this happening more than an super-hero version or a pure oscar bait.
I will say that I have no idea what Brolin version was trying to do but I would say given Brolin and the director it might have been a super-hero variety. I couldn’t even guess on Max Ryan’s version.
But yeah, Hollywood make a new version. What kind of Hunchback version would you like to see?
(Post Script – Max’s Ryan’s movie is a going ahead as well as an Esmeralda movie in the works)