Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Review

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Directed by Bryan Singer

Starring: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello, Aidan Gillen, Tom Hollander, Mike Myers

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Bohemian Rhapsody is a 2018 biographical film about the British rock band Queen. It follows singer Freddie Mercury’s life leading to Queen’s Live Aid performance at Wembley Stadium in 1985.

My Opinion:

This is one of those movies where I’m glad I waited a couple of weeks before reviewing it. If I’d written it while still on a “high” just after seeing it, I’d have rated it too highly. It’s a fun film. I like Queen and of course love Freddie Mercury (I did a list of My Top Ten Queen Songs HERE). Who doesn’t love Freddie?? He’s a legend and I miss the days when we had proper performers like him. And Bowie. (I’m still not over being upset about Bowie’s death either!). Anyway, this film was a lot of fun but it’s not going to be an all-time classic. It’s somewhat disposable and, while Rami Malek did well, it’s not an Oscar-worthy performance. I never really felt like I was watching Freddie Mercury. (Sorry!)

I can see that this film is similar to The Greatest Showman: audiences love it while critics have been harsh in their reviews. It’s easy to understand why it has fans. It’s great hearing all of Queen’s biggest singles and witnessing the creation of Bohemian Rhapsody was an absolute joy (whether or not it was accurate – I have no idea). And as a huge fan of Wayne’s World, I personally adored the fact that they had Mike Myers playing a record executive who hated their weird opera song. Brilliant.

Rami Malek may not exactly feel like Mercury but, to be fair, I don’t think anyone could ever do Mercury justice. Malek was still very good & fun to watch. I think credit hasn’t really been given to the rest of the band in the film, though. Gwilym Lee was especially good as Brian May. However, what I possibly enjoyed the most was seeing Freddie’s relationship with Mary Austin. I knew of her but knew very little of their relationship. I was glad that there was so much focus on her as she was such an important part of his life and I thought Lucy Boynton was great. Again, I think she’s probably not been given enough credit but, to be fair to Malek, it’s probably much easier playing a character who isn’t as well known as Mercury. I also liked her a lot in the fantastic Sing Street so she’s definitely one to watch.

I haven’t read any reviews so don’t actually know what negative things the critics are saying but I do know they like a gritty drama when it comes to biopics and Bohemian Rhapsody certainly isn’t a gritty drama. The movie feels very watered down. It’s a very “family friendly” version of the life of a rock band. Come on – where was all the raunchy sex?!?!? I don’t really mind when Hollywood movies do this, though. If you wants facts, watch a documentary or read a book about Queen. This movie is pure entertainment. As long as you know what you’ll be getting if you watch it, you should enjoy it if you like Queen’s music and just want to know a little bit about the band (but mostly Freddie). It’s a fun movie but not a great film. That was fine with me since I just wanted some light entertainment anyway.

My Rating: 7/10

I definitely have to end with the Wayne’s World clip…

Sing Street (2016) Review

Sing Street (2016)

Directed & Written by John Carney

Starring: Lucy Boynton, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Aidan Gillen, Jack Reynor, Kelly Thornton, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
A boy growing up in Dublin during the 1980s escapes his strained family life by starting a band to impress the mysterious girl he likes.

My Opinion:

I really enjoyed this movie! It’s nice to watch a feel-good, fun movie like this one. It was also nice to get a break from superheroes… I could’ve gone to X-Men: Apocalypse but just didn’t have the energy. I’m very glad that I saw Sing Street instead. I’d rank it very high on my list HERE of the 2016 movies I’ve seen.

I’ve not seen any other John Carney films. I’ve not seen Begin Again mainly because I really don’t like Keira Knightley plus Adam Levine is in it, right?? Ugh. If I see that stupid video where Maroon 5 are playing at various weddings ONE more time, I’m gonna puke! And I do want to see Once but I’ve been putting it off for years because it looks so indie & soooo singer-songwritery. I really need to be in the mood for that sort of thing before I watch it as it has the potential to annoy me. I already know, however, that Sing Street is the one for me.

Teenagers in 1985! With loads of my favorite 80’s music! Joe Jackson! Duran Duran! Hall & Oates! The Cure!!! This is MY era! I’m very happy that this movie had a mixture of well known 80’s songs as well as new songs written by the band in the film as I was afraid it would all be music that I didn’t know. But, hell – the songs by the band in the movie were really good anyway! Maybe a little too good to be fully believable from a group of 15-year-old boys… But who cares? This is one of those movies I enjoyed so much that I can ignore a few small imperfections. Yeah, the story is basic and a bit clichΓ© & predictable. That really doesn’t bother me as long as a film is good, which this one is. I don’t want to pick it apart. I hate when people overanalyze a movie that’s just meant to be fun. I had a lot of fun watching Sing Street – there were more laughs than I was expecting, I cared about the characters & what would happen to them, there was just the right amount of drama without it being melodramatic, and the music was great. What more can we ask for from a movie?? πŸ™‚

This movie is full of unknowns as far as I’m aware (I’ve not looked them all up). Well, except for the dad being played by Littlefinger. That was weird – seeing Game Of Thrones actors in other things is always a little distracting. Everyone did a good job & I really liked not knowing them all already. Our main character (the band’s singer) & the girl he falls for are adorable – I would imagine we’ll be seeing them in many more films after this one. The movie gets a decent balance between the different aspects of the boy’s life (his relationships with his family, the girl, the band, and other students & teachers in his new school). However, my favorite relationship was probably that with his older brother, played by Jack Reynor. Loved him! He’s the best thing about the movie. I’ve never seen him in anything before but apparently he was one of the possibilities for playing Han Solo? I hope to see him in more after this – he was a real highlight in this film.

Summary:

There’s not much more that I can say about Sing Street. I clearly thoroughly enjoyed it but I know that it’s very much my type of thing. I always like movies about bands but especially love them when they involve teenagers in the 1980s since I’ll always be able to relate to that (even when the movie is set in Dublin instead of small town America). It reminded me a lot of We Are The Best!, a Swedish movie from a few years ago about three girls in 1982 Stockholm who decide to form a punk band. Sing Street has the same sort of spirit as that film and I loved them both & can totally relate to the characters in both films despite them being set in different countries from the one where I grew up. What can I say? The language of music is universal. I highly recommend Sing Street to music lovers and to Eighties lovers.

My Rating: 8/10

**Don’t watch this clip if you like knowing nothing about a movie beforehand but there aren’t any spoilers in it or anything. This is the first song that the band in the movie writes (The Riddle Of The Model) & this clip shows them making a “video” for it. If you’re curious, it’ll give you a good idea of the vibe of the film. And it’s a catchy tune! πŸ™‚