Bunch O’ Films 11/27/2018

In this episode I review 4 popular films: Bohemian Rhapsody, Candyman, Beautiful Boy, & Widows.

Transcript/Text below can be read easier at rileyonfilm.com

Bohemian Rhapsody
As far as realism goes, Brian May looks like himself. No other cast member resembles their character, especially not Rami Malik who plays Freddie Mercury. Besides that, when he talks he doesn’t sound like him. Rami is making a different voice but it isn’t the singer fans know of. But I’m only touching the tip of the iceberg, on several levels this film is a sellout mess.

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Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) PG-13 | 2h 14min | Biography, Drama, Music | 2 November 2018 (USA) Bohemian Rhapsody Poster A chronicle of the years leading up to Queen’s legendary appearance at the Live Aid (1985) concert. Director: Bryan Singer Writers: Anthony McCarten (story by), Peter Morgan (story by) | 1 more credit » Stars: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee
The real McCoy:

Malik’s Mess (ignore the music, he lip syncs the original Queen):

Directing an Xmen movie apparently does not prepare you to do an effective biopic of a rock band. This film is proof that our director Bryan Singer lost his vision for this film.

The writing is fragmented at times. Suddenly the setting will change and there is no development as to why. It could have been a great time to show how they write but it didn’t happen. We are reduced to “Can you go higher?” as the genius for recording a signature part of BR.

Anyone who’s written or recorded will tell you it wouldn’t be said that way. Words like “play the middle note,” “the 3rd or the 5th” or “octave” would be used. As such they are insulting a trained musician and reducing him to an episode of “Wayne’s World.”

My understanding of Mercury’s marriage and his “endless” amount of lovers would not be portrayed this way. They should have shown what he was doing and the dark side he had. This is relevant! The songs were not new takes by new players, instead they were carbon copy stamps that appranetly 3 voices were spliced together in to sound more like Malik. Well, they don’t.

Two hours was way too long for my daughter and I. We left for home 45 minutes early. I cannot recommend this movie though I have respect for all opinions about it. This is nothing less that derivative, unsoulful cash grabbing. Hopefully someday we’ll get a good telling by a brave director, even a tv special of what Queen were really all about. 2/10.

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POSTED ONNOVEMBER 24, 2018EDIT “CANDYMAN”
Candyman
Candyman is a throwback 90’s horror, mystery, thriller written by the horror master Clive Barker. I’ve heard recently that producer Jordan Peele bought the rights to do a remake. We’ll have to see how good that project goes.

Candyman (1992)
R | 1h 39min | Horror, Thriller | 16 October 1992 (USA)
The Candyman, a murderous soul with a hook for a hand, is accidentally summoned to reality by a skeptic grad student researching the monster’s myth.
Director: Bernard Rose
Writers: Clive Barker (based on “The Forbidden” by), Bernard Rose
Stars: Virginia Madsen, Xander Berkeley, Tony Todd
The legend here is that the son of a slave, having been mistreated and disfigured by his father has become a killer, immortalized in urban legend as “The Candyman.” The story is great, the kills are repulsive … everything I like in a horror movie. The creepiness is not really present but the soundtrack works like a calliope to give it just a bit of that.

Helen Lyle, played by Virginia Mardsen, does a foxy job chasing an urban legend. Being early in her career in 1992, it makes sense the director got her to reveal so much. It seems once they get really famous (as in the X-Files level) studios have to offer much more in the contract. Anyway, she’s a beautiful actress less skin or more. In this case, there happens to be more. She is researching “The Candyman” urban legend that states if a person looks in the mirror chanting “Candyman” 5 times, she/he will be slaughtered with a hook

Helen discovers that the Candyman sees her as a reincarnation of a past lover. This leads to a very satisfying closing act. The ffects are cheap looking and the kills are often not believable. Still, I found this film amazing and I look forward to the upcoming remake. 8/10.

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POSTED ONNOVEMBER 22, 2018EDIT “BEAUTIFUL BOY”
Beautiful Boy
A smartly made drama biopic about a father and son who face the son’s addiction. David Sheff wrote a memoir in 2008 of the same name. Nick Sheff wrote his too called “Tweak.” I was skeptical about this film at first. Luckily my daughter asked me to take her and it is now one of my favorite films of 2018.

Beautiful Boy (2018) R | 2h | Biography , Drama | 25 October 2018 (Israel) Beautiful Boy Poster Based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years. Director: Felix van Groeningen Writers: Luke Davies (screenplay by), Felix van Groeningen (screenplay by) | 2 more credits » Stars: Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierney
Our director here is Felix van Groeningen, from Belgium. I haven’t seen any of his films besides this one however I have since put The Broken Circle Breakdown on my watchlist. Here’s the description:

Elise and Didier fall in love at first sight, in spite of their differences. He talks, she listens. He’s a romantic atheist, she’s a religious realist. When their daughter becomes seriously ill, their love is put on trial. IMDB

But back to Beautiful Boy: It almost seems more of a dry documentary than a film at first. It jumps around in time but not so much that it is confusing. The director paints a picture of a father and son relationship and how it burns due to the son’s addiction. He has the most problem with crystal meth but they say he has tried just about everything.

It’s about the father’s journey to understand addiction and the son’s journey to just be clean. That may not sound warm and touching but it really is. The director does a great job of showing how after a time we as parents are enablers if we continue to support our addict children.

The film is a true story based on the memoirs of the father and the son. I don’t think a film has ever been made that way before. It includes some of the best acting I’ve seen in a long time, certainly this year. I’m sad it is in limited release. This film would reach so may people in a wide one. 10/10.

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POSTED ONNOVEMBER 17, 2018EDIT “WIDOWS”
Widows
I went to see this film against my initial reactions to it. Metacritic and podcasters that up to now I truly respected were gushing over it with tweets like “SEE THIS FILM.” I won’t get fooled again. It was awful. Steve McQueen needs to take a step back after this one.

I understand that heist movies often contain a nuts and bolts planning section of the film. That’s why I tolerated the first 1/2 of this slow, uneventful film. I expected it to pick up the pace immensely, it didn’t. That isn’t my main gripe with this film.

Widows (2018)
R | 2h 9min | Crime , Drama , Romance | 16 November 2018 (USA)
Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.
Director: Steve McQueen
Writers: Gillian Flynn (screenplay by), Steve McQueen (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
Stars: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki
There are side stories everywhere in this movie. It seems that they are there as some sort of puzzle to be assembled later. In my opinion, they are discordant and do not serve the plot at all. This film tries to be like recent films where women are empowered against men who cheat and use them. It’s also tapping into racial inequality even though it is not an all black cast.

I just waited and waited for the heist and when it appeared it was muddled and sloppy. There were some cool camera angles and tricks but that is way less than this film was touted as. I think some podcasters I read on my Twitter have been floated gifts by the film studio. There is no explanation for these glowing reviews. I’ve never checked the time so much in a film. I wanted OUT quickly. This is not a good film. 2/10

Author: Damien Riley

I'm an old school blogger who went full movie blogger and podcaster! Now, I post short reviews about movies I see. This is my podcast, I hope you enjoy listening.

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