Saturday might be the time of week alright for fighting, but any day is a good day to see “Rocketman.”
As the title and my song referencing lede implies, “Rocketman” is a film about the musician Elton John (Taron Egerton). The film focuses on John’s early success, which also, sadly, coincided with his struggles with addiction.
The picture tells both John’s early career story and the development of his psyche over time through a series of song and dance numbers numbers set to the musician’s music.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Rocketman’ convincingly captures Elton John’s passion”
Oscar-caliber director Barry Jenkins is working with Fox Searchlight on a new biopic.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jenkins, who directed the Academy Award winning “Moonlight,” and followed up that with last year’s “If Beale Street Could Talk” (which made my top 10 list) is now working on a biopic about Alvin Ailey. A choreographer and dancer, Ailey was an influential artist who received Kennedy Center Honors and, posthumously, the Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.
Continue reading “Monday Movie Report: Barry Jenkins to work on Alvin Ailey biopic”
A Supreme Court justice now has a superhero origin story.
“On the Basis of Sex” tells the story of how Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Felicity Jones) entered the world of law and began a career focused on equal rights. That career, of course, would lead to her becoming a justice on the United States Supreme Court.
“Basis” begins with Ginsburg attending Harvard University’s law school and follows this up with her time as a professor at Rutgers University. The latter is where she would take on a case where the nation’s tax code discriminated on the basis of sex.
Continue reading “REVIEW: While cliched, ‘Basis of Sex’ is still inspiring”
Director Adam McKay had a few comedies under his belt before hitting the award circuit in a major way with “The Big Short” in 2015. In that film, McKay took on the 2008 housing crisis and Great Recession with brilliant humor, while still exploring the serious subject matter. McKay tries to do the same thing here with “Vice,” but the results are much more mixed.
The movie is about the rise of former Vice President Dick Cheney (Christian Bale), who served alongside former President George W. Bush (Sam Rockwell) from 2001-2008. The picture explores how Cheney went from a Congressional aide, to a House member, then to having seats in the White House staff, and finally, assuming the vice presidential position. Over the course of its runtime, “Vice” shows Cheney’s relationship to his wife Lynne (Amy Adams), his daughters, and his political allies, such as Donald Rumsfeld (Steve Carell).
Continue reading “REVIEW: Inconsistencies are a detriment to ‘Vice’”
The life and times of Vincent Van Gogh are uniquely portrayed in this feature from director Julian Schnabel.
“At Eternity’s Gate” tells the story of Van Gogh (Willem Dafoe), picking up with him as a struggling artist in France and following his career when he lives in a smaller community.
Along with the work he did on the canvas, “Gate” also takes time to explore and address some of Van Gogh struggles with his mental illnesses.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘At Eternity’s Gate’ provides a meaningful vision of a great artist”
I really, really wanted to like this one more.
As the name implies, “Mary Queen of Scots” tells the story of Queen Mary of Scotland (Saoirse Ronan), who for much of her adult life, was a rival to England’s Queen Elizabeth (Margot Robbie). The film follows Mary returning to Scotland after some years away and assuming her responsibilities on the throne.
With time passing, Mary and her advisers see a legitimate claim to the English throne as well and decide to take action, with the idea of Mary replacing Elizabeth. Along with heritage, the situation is also driven by religion, with Mary being a Catholic and Elizabeth ruling as a Protestant.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Plot issues cause ‘Mary Queen of Scots’ to stumble”
I knew Peter Farrelly directed this picture going in, but it still seemed strange seeing the name of the person who helmed movies like “The Heartbreak Kid” and “Hall Pass” attached during the end credits.
“Green Book” is titled after a sort of brochure used decades ago in the Jim Crow era which listed hospitality businesses that were safe and/or open to African Americans, mainly in the southeastern United States. The movie follows a lower-middle class Italian nightclub bouncer-turned driver named Tony (Viggo Mortensen), whose latest job is driving Dr. Don Shirley (Maherhsala Ali), an African American pianist.
Continue reading “REVIEW: While its heart is in the right place, ‘Green Book’ is largely average”
The pacing in this movie was so fast. Maybe that would work for, I dunno, a biopic about the band Rush, but not Queen.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” tells the tale of the band Queen, with a significant focus on the life of Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek). The picture follows Mercury during his time in college where he discovers the band, all the way to his performance during the Live Aid concert.
As it goes on, the film covers Mercury’s sexual orientation, his creation of the song that shares the same name of the movie, his struggle with drugs and disagreements he had with other members of Queen.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is a bland band biopic”
Political capital, time, money and lives. All of these were spent and sacrificed to push mankind out of the atmosphere and travel to the Moon. In “First Man,” all of these sacrifices weigh on Neil Armstrong, played here by Ryan Gosling.
As the name and the main real life character implies, “First Man” is about the lead up and mission by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to successfully land on the Moon. Director Damien Chazelle, known for his work helming “Whiplash” and “La La Land” takes audiences on a biographical tour this time around, documenting Armstrong’s training and following the astronaut’s journey to becoming the lead man on Apollo 11.
The picture covers both the continuous work at NASA, while also showcasing the lives of the agency’s workers in their home life. Specifically, the movie documents Armstrong’s relationship with his family, including his wife Janet (Claire Foy).
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘First Man’ provides incredible snapshots of history and humanity”
While the Elton John biopic “Rocketman” isn’t scheduled for release until summer 2019, a first look at the upcoming picture was still put out by Paramount Monday.
Continue reading “Monday Movie Report: First look at ‘Rocketman’”