Archive for the ‘biopic’ Category

Bohemian Rhapsody – **

Posted: November 14, 2018 in 2018, biopic, Dramedy, LGBT themed, Musical, USA, XX

This is a pretty entertaining movie for anyone who knows the songs of Queen, but never really bothered learning more about them or their lead singer Freddy Mercury.

Being a teenager in the eighties, this band had zero appeal to me. The songs were anthems for the masses and the front singer just looked ugly as f***. Those teeth! Yet, a few decades later and the songs still stand and have become rock and pop classics. So, they must have done something right.

It’s clear why this movie attracts large crowds. It’s filled with the songs that people want to hear. In fact, the last 15 minutes or so are a re-enactment of their Live Aid concert in 1985, considered by most as the best performance of that night. It’s a daring choice, but it works. It’s a great performance. As a vinyl collector I have NO singles or albums of this incredibly important band, but next time I see The Works or A Kind Of Magic on the flea market for 5 euro, I’ll take them home.

So, music wise, this is a great movie. Visually it’s quite attractive as well. The acting is silly. 80s Mercury is performed extremely well by Rami Malek. But that’s about it. The story however is so obviously edited for the masses. Just like their music. It doesn’t shy away from Mercury’s flamboyant lifestyle, but it just lets the audience assume things and doesn’t confront them with it. And that’s okay. There’s no need for explicit scenes.

It’s very clear that the band members are the good guys and his personal assistant is the bad guy. That is SO obvious. It’s very clear that the band members and the former wife of Freddy somehow supervised this movie. But that’s okay. Sure, the movie does the all American thing where being gay is okay as long as you have a monogamous relationship, but hey, at least they mention that he’s gay. At least his wife mentions that he’s gay.

It’s very enjoyable.

www.imdb.com/title/tt1727824

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First Man – **

Posted: November 13, 2018 in 2018, biopic, Drama, Historical, USA, XX

Ryan Gosling is a great actor to look at. But he has become Ryan Gosling in whatever role he plays. So here, it’s Ryan Gosling doing Neil Armstrong. It isn’t Neil Armstrong. Which isn’t bad. It’s just not particularly great. Claire Foy however IS Mrs Armstrong. She steals the show. But that’s because Mrs Armstrong had a stronger and more fascinating personality than her husband, who is a quiet and reserved man. A boring nerd really.

If only they would have decided to tell the entire story from Buzz Aldrin’s perspective! Maybe it can be a sequel: Second Man. That guy’s story is so much more fascinating and his personality is so much more outspoken. It would have given the movie the energy that it needed.

That said. It’s a nice tale about a man being chosen to become the first man to walk the moon. It’s quite technical and detailed at times. It’s slow. But it works.

www.imdb.com/title/tt1213641

 

The Happy Prince – **

Posted: October 12, 2018 in 2018, biopic, Drama, LGBT themed, UK, XX

Oscar Wilde was quite a fascinating man. A popular playwright sentenced to prison because of his homosexual behavior. He was married with two children, but the lust for young men and one man in particular landed him in jail for two years. It was Victorian England and homosexuality was the worst of all sins. Once released he went into exile across to France and lived the last years of his life in poverty and illness. He reconnected with the lover that made him go to prison. He constantly dismissed the advice of his agent. He had no money, yet spent it all on drugs (coke, absinthe) and prostitutes.

Yes, this is what you get to see in this biopic. Misery with capital M.

Yet, it’s a well-directed movie. The late 19th Century atmosphere is well reproduced. The production design is awesome. Costume details as well. Attention to detail is great. And the performance of Rupert Everett as Oscar Wilde is quite exceptional. It’s clear that he’s know a lot of man he portrays. In fact, he’s the director of the movie. It’s worth mentioning that he doesn’t show Wilde as a hero at all. This is a flawed man, with a complex character. The complexity isn’t explained, but shown. Too bad you don’t really get to see what his talent was. It helps if you’ve read a book or play by Wilde before watching this movie. Otherwise it’s just a movie about a sad old queer. There are a lot of references to his life and work and period of living, so it also helps if you have some background when watching this drama.

Still. Worth watching.

www.imdb.com/title/tt2404639

So, wait a minute.

This movie is about a victim of the Boston attack who loses both legs, but reluctantly becomes a hero and a symbol for the Boston Strong movement. All movie long we’re supposed to empathize with a guy who doesn’t really like all the attention he is getting. yet the movie is based on a book, written by that same victim.

A book! A movie! Talk show appearances. But it’s about someone who doesn’t like the attention.

Something just doesn’t feel right.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3881784

The Theory Of Everything – **

Posted: March 14, 2018 in 2014, biopic, Romance, UK, USA, XX

A young, beautiful, christian, language student falls for a funny, nerdy, atheist scientist. But soon he’s diagnosed with a muscle disease and only has 2 more years to live. They get married and try to make the most of it. However, the dude continues to live. And becomes a popular scientist, publishing a best seller et al. She could easily cheat. And she has a love interest! Her choir leader and family friend Jonathan!. But she remains loyal. The scientist, all paralyzed, gets along really well with his new nurse, who he seems to be able to communicate with well (via computer screen technique). Will he cheat?

Yep, it’s that kind of movie: a romantic drama!

Never really cared about seeing this movie, but hey, Stephen Hawking died today and I hardly know anything about him. So, it was worth the attempt. Not that this movie helped. I know as little about him now as before. Kudos to the main actors. Oscar-winner Eddy Redmayne did a Daniel Day Lewis and did it well. And Felicity Jones is the real star of the movie. She shines in every scene. Just for the acting sake and because Hawking died today: **.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2980516

I, Tonya – **

Posted: March 11, 2018 in 2017, biopic, Dramedy, USA, XX

Sure, it was on the news in Europe back in 1994: skate champion hires someone to injure her main competitor. But it was just a tidbit. Who cared? Apart from the entire American nation maybe. It is one of those bizarre sport incidents that get picked up in pub quizzes or so. Like that time tennis player Monica Seles was stabbed on court. It happened, it was in the news, it was bizarre enough to remember, but that’s basically it.

Now there’s a movie about the incident and it’s all over the news again. With much more details and attention. And less bias. Margot Robbie plays an intriguing Tonya Harding. Allison Janney deservedly won an Oscar for her part as the terrifying mother. And Sebastian Stan is quite a revelation as Tonya’s husband Jeff, who allegedly gave the order for someone to injure Nancy Kerrigan. This threesome acts great!

The movie is good. But it’s a comedy that tries too hard to be a drama. Sometimes, the balance between both work well and you get an amazing dramedy. But this is not the case with this biopic. Some elements are amazing. You have the excellent camerawork during the figure skating routines. Amazing! The storytelling itself is quite entertaining with characters talking directly to the audience at times. There are also some clever visual details. But in the end, it’s more of a parody than an actual biopic.  You constantly think: no way, this is a total exaggeration. Too bad the movie seems quite representative of the life Tonya led, according the former Olympian herself. And however good Margot Robbie is performing, she’s way to old to play Tonya Harding in the years leading up to her peak.

It’s a good movie, but like the notorious incident back then, it will soon be forgotten.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5580036

Pollock – **

Posted: December 19, 2017 in 2000, Art, biopic, Drama, USA, XX

Every time I see a Pollock at a museum, I pauze. It hasn’t always been like that. But the more I see them, the more I’m intrigued by them. Some of his paintings are just so overwhelming. And it all looks so easy. Put a canvas on the ground. And start splashing paint on it. In apparent random order. Why did nobody come up with that idea before?

So there is a movie about Jackson Pollock. A relatively recent one. From this century. (If that’s the definition of recent). Starring Ed Harris. And directed by Ed Harris. He must be a fan. It’s an okay movie. Also chronologically told. But the acting is good. That Marcia Gay Harden does deserve her Oscar. And Harris performs well. Pollock isn’t a particularly pleasant character. He’s, well, an alcoholic and crazy in the head. The prototype of every talented artist. But you do get to learn a bit more about him. And his life. And the art is very present.

Time to watch Frida, Mr Turner, Surviving Picasso, Basquiat, Modigliani, etc… 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0183659