Willie Deutsch.com

Religion and Politics from a Young Christian in Northern Virginia

Les Miserables Soundtrack Review

December 22nd, 2012

The following is my brother, Austin’s quick review of the Les Misérables Soundtrack. Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, and Anne Hathway are heading up an incredible cast of what looks to be a very well done musical of a story that is very relevant to our current situation.  Hope you enjoy the movie in a couple days, and this sneak peak.

Here is my review after hearing all the clips:
Track 1: I prefer the 25th anniversary version of Look Down.  For the films version, the chanting of ‘look down’ was too fast. I prefered the opening of the 25th version, with the slower mournful chanting. That version brought the imagery of a slave work party to my mind, without fully knowing the story.
Track 2: The singer for ‘The Bishop’ played Valjean in one of the original productions. This movie has a great voice cast and respects previous productions
Track 5: Anne Hathaway gives the best ever rendition of ‘I dreamed a Dream’
Track 6: ‘The Confrontation’ Overall Russell Crowe’s voice isn’t as good as Hugh Jackman’s. But, it is an argument set to music, so maybe not the easiest thing to make into a song.
Track 7: The child actress, Isabelle Allen, is amazing in ‘Castle on a Cloud’. One of the top tracks on the album.
Track 8: The funny thing about ‘Master of the House’ is that it seems like Sacha Baron Cohen is the only person to put on a French accent for the movie.
Track 9: This new song fits in well with all the old songs. I think it may be Hugh Jackman’s best song. He definitely has a great voice and will make Valjean a more emotional character.
Track 13: We already know that Samantha Banks can sing from previous productions of Les Miserables. I think she puts more emotion into ‘On My Own’ than the 25th anniversary.
Track 15: I don’t remember hearing ‘Drink with Me’ in other productions before. But, this is a very fun song with Eddie Redmayne and other members of the rebels.
Track 18: ‘Javert’s Suicide’ (SPOILERS I think we know what happens in this song). Russell Crowe is one of my favorite actors, but I think he talks with music, instead of sings.
Track 19: I may cry during the movie during ‘Empty Chairs at Empty Tables.’ Once again Eddie Redmayne shines. I think he is the best of the three major male singers. Great job Jack Jackson.

In case you haven’t guessed, I can’t wait for this movie.

Support the Troops: Protect Military R&R

December 19th, 2012

I remember the day my husband dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him. I was ecstatic. But instead of congratulating me, one friend got a pensive look on her face. “When you marry a soldier,” she said, “you don’t just marry him, you marry the military.”

She had a point. My dream two month anniversary present wasn’t to have my husband leave for eight weeks of training. We have been married three years, but because of my husband’s army commitments we’ve only been able to celebrate one of those anniversaries together. In our first two years of marriage, we lived in four different places. As National Guard, we didn’t have the promise of full time income since when not activated the guard is paid for just a few days a month. We went through six hard months of unemployment where the only apartment we could afford had bedbugs.

Our week old son had meningitis and was fighting for his life in NICU when my husband was informed of 13 month mobilization orders. At that moment, my husband realized that he would not be seeing our son’s first steps, first birthday, or so many other firsts. Our son couldn’t even roll over when my husband was mobilized. Now our son has eight teeth, can crawl and almost walk, chows down on sweet potatoes and chicken and there are still six more months until he sees his daddy.

There is satisfaction in a job well done and I take pride in my husband using the skills he trained to acquire for this deployment. My husband is a soldier and he is strong, courageous, and unflinching in the call of duty. But even soldiers can only take so much.

The Army realizes the strain long hours and many absences put on military families and soldiers. So they drafted a program called R&R to give soldiers two weeks of mid-deployment leave to get away from the 24/7, seven day a week nature of combat and see their families. The FAQs section of the Army.mil site said this about R&R: “The program provides respite from the stresses associated with the combat mission . . . this is seen as an investment in the well being of our forces that will improve mission performance.”

Unfortunately, the R&R program has been cut. After 11 years of war and back to back deployments, both soldiers and their families are suffering.PTSD is on the rise and many marriages and families break under the strain. Just last year, the military divorce rate reached its highest since 1999.Military children’s mental health also suffers when dad, and now increasingly mom as well, is never home. The October 2010 DOD report to the House and Senate Armed Services committee said that military children experience increased anxiety, lower academic performance, and increased problem behaviors at home and school during a deployment. Interestingly, the report mentioned that temporary leave (such as R&R) during a deployment helped mitigate some of the negative effects of deployment on children.

The new policy that cuts mid-deployment R&R and makes life even harder on soldiers and their families is wrong. Sign the petition to bring back R&R. http://www.petition2congress.com/8229/bring-back-military-rr/

This article was written by Anne Garboczi Evans, a military spouse. She has a master’s in counseling so is particularly concerned about the mental health and relational consequences of numerous long deployments.

Willie Deutsch.com

Religion and Politics from a Young Christian in Northern Virginia