I have to admit: I didn't really know much about Queen before I saw this movie. I guess I did but I didn't know that I did. I don't think I ever saw them perform, but I knew their music - We are the Champions; We will Rock you! and of course Bohemian Rhapsody. There were many many more but I didn't know anything! So when I went to see this I was almost a blank slate. And because of that, the minor liberties that the screen writer and director with the timing of parts of Freddie Mercury's life didn't matter to me at all. It was all new to me. I didn't even see LIVE AID, but boy was I glad to see it now. Wow! The guy who plays Freddie was amazing. Rami Malik is captivating in his look, his acting, and evidently some of his singing. It was flawless in the film. The range of Mercury's voice and the quality of it, and of course the writing of some of the great rock anthems of all time make him one of the true rock legends of our time. This will rock you! 4 paws
This was a really good movie. It could have been really violent and cliche, but I don't think it was. Yes there is violence - an unarmed black teen is shot, and if you saw a trailer, you know that already. But the question is how are they going to deal with that. What are the ramifications of this tragedy, particularly for the young black girl who was in the car with this guy, and who was a close friend from the time they were little?
It explores this from a black cultural view, and we get to see lots of interactions that are never really shown on TV when something like this happens. I really hope you take the time to see this. 4 paws
Such a deal. John Kennedy declared that the United States was going to the moon - before the end of the decade. Imagine that. We barely had computers. We had people who were called computers, because that's what they did - they solved math problems. And in the middle of this movie, when one of the most important trials was on the verge of failure, it was another computer, named Neil Armstrong, who while floating around in space, takes out a pencil and paper (I know it was a pencil because pens don't work in space) and solves the problem. Before you know it, the spacecraft moves to find the other piece that it was trying to find, and they get it hooked up.
Time and again in this movie, Neil Armstrong figures stuff out, or has the coolest head, and you get the sense that maybe nobody else would have gotten us to the moon, and put his "small step for man" down in the lunar dust. I really liked this movie. It was not what you might expect. It's frankly as mundane as suburbia was in the 60's. So it's actually very subtle, while simultaneously being scary and exciting. I say 4 paws.
Well, this looked to be a much quirkier and interesting movie in the trailer than it did in reality. That's the trouble with trailers. It can take a 2 hr. movie (maybe longer?) and condense it into a two minute clip that looks fun, crazy, perhaps exciting. About all these people who you assume are going to be coming together to do a bunch of crazy things - looks like a fun afternoon delight to me. But it was just an average afternoon - the popcorn was pretty good. So here was the problem - they hired a writer, or an editor that just could seem to "tighten up, let's do the tighten up" as Archie Bell would say. 2 paws.
This was a crazy movie. Not crazy in that there was mad violence - more crazy like it wasn't what you would expect, or at the least not what I expected. Most of this arose from the fact that it was a french movie - that is, made by french men. The writer of the book was Patrick Dewitt, a Canadian novelist, and the movie takes place in 1852, while they were still getting gold out of the rivers in California.
But the feeling of the movie is very french - in English but still. By that I mean that even though it's a pretty straight ahead Western theme. Two guys - The Sisters Brothers - are hired to chase down a guy with a formula that reveals gold. Along the way, many many folks are killed, but the actual focus of the movie is the relationship between the brothers. This of course was fascinating to me because of my new project, Tribe: Blood and Belonging. I'm not so sure it would be as fascinating to many other folks.
The look of the movie is amazingly authentic, which is to say, french! These guys know more about the old west, cowboys and Indians, than just about anybody. For some reason they seem to really taken with all that is old-time western culture. Who knows? It's also just the fact that it's much more about relationship than it is about violent killing. I say 3 paws.
Searching & Pepperment
Well, it's fall, and finally some interesting and fun movies have started to
come out, so I had to do 2 movies this week. I started with Searching. I had read about this flick and also heard a long interview with the star, John Cho, and the director. Evidently this is the first film with an Asian person as the lead. I'm not sure how they define this - first film?? What about Bruce Lee, or Jackie Chan? I'm not talking about the Charlie Chan movies since the star of those many many films was a Swedish actor. But frankly that doesn't mean a whole lot to me. I mean, why not a Chinese guy as the lead? So what? OK, enough.
As for the movie, the other thing that got a lot of attention is that the entire film, each and every shot was from a screen: phone screen, facebook live, iTalk, Television and others I think. And for me it really worked, because it was an integral part of the plot. A teen girl disappears, and her dad can't find her. He discovers that he doesn't know his daughter very well at all. I really liked this film - 4 paws.
This was another interesting twist on a murder/revenge film. In this one, it's the mom who is driven to a bunch of violent to revenge the death of her family. This one had some nice twists to it. Not alot to describe, but still it was fun - if you think lots of people getting beaten and killed is fun. I say 3 paws.
I was jonesin' for a movie yesterday, and I was stunned to see at our local cinaplex Black Klansman, the most recent Spike Lee Joint. I had read that this film that is really based on a true story. It's hard to believe that this actually happened, but it did. In 1978, a black man, Ron Stallworth, became a member of the Ku Klux Klan. You need to see the movie to see how he did it, and it's worthwhile - seeing the movie. I really liked this one. Spike Lee has always done some excellent films, and he does here too. The story is so relevant to what's going on today, that this film really needed to be made. Since Barack Obama was elected president, the degree of racism has become more and more pronounced in America. It's my belief that this is how Trump got elected. After all he was the guy who pushed Birther"ism", and it made him the darling of the right - at least enough of a darling to get elected president.
So to take a deep look racism is exactly what we need to be doing. This is not an easy film to watch. The liberal use of the N word is hard to listen to, and the situations that the cops get into scared me - I kept thinking about how scary the Klan folks were, and as witnessed in Charlottesville, still are. But it's worth watching, and it's really well done. 4 paws.
This was a mildly funny movie about a couple of girls who are buds. Seems that one of them was dumped the year before, and now - out of the blue, she gets a call - or message, or something that she needs to go to Europe and deliver a small trophy to somebody in a cafe, or restaurant or something.
I was a bit confused by it all - we get no back story at all. These young women seem to have access to enough money to buy tickets to Vienna and dine at a 3 star restaurant in Vienna. I don't know it was just too hard to follow all the insane stuff that's going on.
I have to admit - I laughed a fair amount, but they sure could have done a lot more with the idea - 2 paws.