Movie Review – Rocketman

TL;DR – It is a film of great character moments, wonderful music, and an interesting story of someone going from low to high to low and then back again. 

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Rocketman. Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Review


It looks like it is going to be the decade of cinematic superheroes and also of the musical biopic. Especially a musical biopic of a seminal rock superstar from England that took the globe by storm only to discover a world full of drugs and dodgy management. Given they have been so far Oscar gold and have made bank at the box office we are sure to get a couple of these and today we look at one that is taking the standard biopic and twisting it up.

So to set the scene, we open with Elton John (Taron Egerton) exploding through a door in full orange sequined devil glory. You expect him to be doing a grand entrance into a stadium, but instead we soon find out that he is at group theory session when the first question was asked “what was your childhood like?” and we drop through the floor back to the 1950s when a young Reggie (Matthew Illesley) lived with his mother Sheila (Bryce Dallas Howard), grandmother Ivy (Gemma Jones) and occasionally his father Stanley (Steven Mackintosh) when he comes back from the army. Elton says he had a happy childhood, but we soon find out there is a difference between what Elton says and reality.

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Movie Review – Stuck

TL;DR – When it gets to the emotional core of music Stuck has some real emotional weight, but it has issues getting between those moments.       

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Stuck. Image Credit: MJW Films.

Review

There are many things that can make a bad day and I can tell you that being stuck in a train carriage with a bunch of strangers for an indeterminate amount of time would be very high on that list. With this in mind, I was captivated with the idea of setting a musical in that setting and where you could go with the pressures and opportunity of keeping everyone in that one space. What we get in the final film is a story with two halves, however, unfortunately, they don’t quite work together.

So to set the scene, it is a day in New York and disconnected strangers are running around in their day trying to get from one place to another. You have Lloyd (Giancarlo Esposito) a homeless gentleman who is getting ready for the day in the actual train carriage. Alica (Arden Cho) a dancer trying to get home and avoid her stalker Ramon (Omar Chaparro), Caleb (Gerard Canonico) who is running between his many jobs, then Eve (Ashanti) and Sue (Amy Madigan) who are just trying to get home on a difficult day. Fate is a precarious thing at times, and this day as they board the train everything grinds to a halt as a police incident closes the train lines trapping the train in-between stations, and as the carriages are locked there is the realisation that they are trapped and the only thing you can do is sing.

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Movie Review – Guava Island

TL;DR – A beautiful work on the power of music to shape the world     

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Guava Island. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Review

There are a lot of things music can be, it can move you, it can move people, and it can move countries. There is the real power in music and throughout the years we have seen the power of music to shape the ideas and the structures that control people’s lives. With that in mind, today we take a look at something a little experimental, but also a little subversive, and also a little fun.

So to set the scene, we open with animation about the world we live in, Guava Island. The island was originally created by the gods to be a resting place for humans from the war that rages around. However, on the island, special blue silk was found and soon one man Red Cargo (Nonso Anozie) had taken it for himself and industrialised the whole island to produce the silk for export. However, all is not lost on Guava Island because one day a girl Kofi (Rihanna) looked out her window and saw a boy Deni (Donald Glover) playing his guitar and every night after that he played all night for her, always trying to get better.

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Movie Review – Mary Poppins Returns

TL;DR – This is a film with two halves, the beautiful story of a family coming together in the face of a crisis with the help of Mary Poppins, but also a story about how it is individuals and not big corporations that are bad … from Disney … umm  

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Mary Poppins Returns . Image Credit: Disney.

Review

Mary Poppins is a movie that is quite dear to me. When I was a child it was one of those films that we would watch as a family on a Saturday night. I honestly I was not really all that on board with the remake/sequel hybrid film all the trailers seemed to imply that we were about to get. As well as this, I am starting to get a little tired of Disney’s ‘Weaponised Nostalgia Era’.  Well, that is what I thought walking in, but then a wave of joy enveloped my life leaving a smile on my face and tears rolling down my face.  

So to set the scene, it has been a number of years since the first film and the Banks’ children have grown up. Michael (Ben Whishaw) is, well was, a painter, who married and had three lovely children Annabel (Pixie Davies), John (Nathanael Saleh) and Georgie (Joel Dawson) before his wife tragically died. This has understandably sent ripples through the family, made all the worse when there is a knock on the door and we discover that the bank is foreclosing on the house because Michael has fallen behind paying back a loan, the same bank his father helped run, and the same bank he currently works for. Well, the whole family, including his sister Jane (Emily Mortimer) helps to look for their father’s shares in the bank in the last ditch effort in saving the house, when who should appear at the end of a kite, none other than Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) herself.

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Movie Review – Bohemian Rhapsody

TL;DR – At the heart is the powerful story of Freddie Mercury, but you can see the difficulties of adapting a life as grand as his into a standard film runtime.     

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There footage during the credits that you want to stay back for.

Bohemian Rhapsody. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Review

There have been a lot of productions that have been stuck in ‘production hell’ for years before they get made (and some never exit it) and one of the big casualties of this was the Queen/Freddie Mercury biopic. It had gone through multiple directors and leading cast before finally going into production, only to find out that the difficulties were not done there. With clashes on set and the inevitable replacement of the director befalling production. When this has happened in the past, it has led to at best an uneven film, but often times the final product is a complete mess. Thankfully, Bohemian Rhapsody avoids the latter but you can still see the problems under the hood.

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Movie Review – Pitch Perfect 3

TL;DR – To be honest this film feels like some fan fiction that came to life, good fan fiction, silly but in a fun kind of way.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a sort of mid-credit sequence

Pitch Perfect 3

Review

As a series I’ve really liked each of the Pitch Perfect films, they blend humour with fun characters, and great musical performances. So walking into the third and potentially final film, if its promotion can be believed, there was a bit of trepidation on my part. Cinema is full of movies that can’t stick the landing on the trilogy, and have instead gone out on a fizzle rather than a bang. Well, I am happy to say that Pitch Perfect 3 is not one of those films and hell you even get the bang in the first five minutes. So let’s dive in and look at our first film review of 2018.

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Movie Review – The Greatest Showman

TL;DR – They are clearly going for heart-warming, and they mostly succeed, however, the predictable story and character arcs leave a lot to be desired.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – No

The Greatest Showman

Review

So this one sort of snuck up on me at the end of the year. I didn’t really have much of an intention to go see it, but it was cheap Tuesday and I was there, so what the hell, and I am mostly glad I did … maybe. For one, this is a musical, a genre that you don’t see on the big screen that often anymore, so that’s refreshing. It also has a cast that is giving their all to this movie and it shows, but you can’t help having some issues with it as you walked out of the cinemas.

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