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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film Handlers' Movie Reviews   » Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

   
Author Topic: Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
Sam Graham
AKA: "The Evil Sam Graham". Wackiness ensues.

Posts: 1379
From: Waukee, IA
Registered: Dec 2004


 - posted 11-10-2018 06:10 PM      Profile for Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email Sam Graham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
CINEMA: B&B Liberty 12, Liberty, MO
AUDITORIUM: 1
PRESENTATION: B&B GRAND Screen with Recline-O-Vision, butt warmers, ScreenX, and DTS:X
PRESENTATION PROBLEMS: None [Cool]
RATING: Three stars (out of four)

B&B has the new Pepsi answer to Coke's Freestyle machines. A little fancier looking, identical operation, and way less choice because Coke owns way more brands. More impressed with the Pepsi it poured than the Coke that pours from the Freestyle machines.

You know what I like in this auditorium? The recliners actually recline enough to comfortably watch the feature on this big screen from the fourth row. More than enough, actually. I didn't even recline it the whole way back.

THE PLOT: A rock band makes it. Wackiness ensues.

If you were a music fan on July 13, 1985 and had access to MTV, you were watching Live Aid. It was the biggest benefit show of its kind staged in two stadiums simultaneously (Wembley, 70,000 in attendance, and JFK, 100,000 in attendance) and not only were most of the major acts of the day performing, the surviving members of Led Zeppelin reunited, and Paul McCartney showed up.

Queen laid waste to all of them.

Freddy Mercury held that audience in the palm of his hand. They were his, and happy to be so. It was voted the greatest live performance in the history of rock in a 2005 industry poll. If you've never seen it, get the Blu-ray of "Queen Rock Montreal", which includes the complete performance (along with a complete high definition shot-on-film concert from 1981, you know, if that interests you.)

It's the amazing recreation of the Live Aid performance that saves this movie and the way they wrap emotional connections from scenes into it. Because prior to this, the movie is a highlight reel of band and Mercury moments (with a lot of liberties taken) no more better done than any band biopic you've ever seen, made-for-TV ones included. It's as formula as it gets. And critics have angrily roasted it as a result.

Thing is, every average moviegoer I know of who's seen this absolutely love it Why? Because average biopics play well to them. There's a scene where Mercury is being interviewed on the radio and, having failed to get "Bohemian Rhapsody" released as he first single from "A Night at the Opera", gets the guy to play it. As it starts, a collage of one-line negative critic responses to the song from back then appear on the screen. They were all proven wrong by the public, who made the song massive. That's exactly what's happening with the movie. The critics hate it, but the masses love it.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12453
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 11-12-2018 01:10 AM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I never did like the song much and still don't, but I still want to see this movie. I like biopics so I'm sure I'll enjoy it. Since it kicked ass upon release I think we'll probably play it, if the schedule opens up anywhere.

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2613
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 11-14-2018 04:05 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If it's just the song the movie is named after you don't like, then the good news is that the song is just a small part of the movie.

If you don't like Queen's music at all, or have a hard time looking at Freddie Mercury's peculiar antics, then the movie will be quite a hard ride. [Wink]

I generally enjoyed it. Maybe it was somewhat over-dramatized, sometimes even a bit cheesy and there are the usual inaccuracies due to "artistic licensing" and "story streamlining", but the good parts win. The stunning recreation of the Live Aid concert was the absolute highlight for me.

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Frank Cox
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1978
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 11-16-2018 04:55 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I certainly enjoyed watching this one; the music is a damn sight better than A Star is Born. [Smile]

It's an interesting story that's well made. And the concert scenes don't blow you out of your chair so I didn't feel like I had been assaulted by the time the show was over.

Anyone who enjoys Queen will probably like this movie. Anyone who doesn't, won't. But they won't be the folks coming to watch this one, anyway.

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Per Hauberg
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 881
From: Malling, Denmark
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 11-23-2018 09:58 AM      Profile for Per Hauberg   Author's Homepage   Email Per Hauberg   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ultrashort version: Until the film arrived, I knew TWO Queen songs and never cared.
Now, -for the last four weeks, I've been standing in the back of the auditorium for the last twenty minutes of every show, listening, whatching, rocking along ! It's just great, and so say my custumers every night ! [thumbsup]

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Jonathan Goeldner
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1330
From: Washington, District of Columbia
Registered: Jun 2008


 - posted 11-26-2018 10:17 AM      Profile for Jonathan Goeldner   Email Jonathan Goeldner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
it may take some liberties with true actual events and facts, but the film is undeniably entertaining ~ really quite enjoyed it.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10706
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 12-04-2018 10:41 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Cinema: AMC Patriot 13, Lawton
Screen: 12
Format: Mystery Meat Digital, 5.1 Audio?
Presentation Problems: Decent volume, but lacking in the sub-bass & surrounds.
Movie Rating: 3 stars out of 4

Personally, I was a big fan of Queen when I was a kid. I was a little hesitant to see this movie. The mixed reviews from critics added to that problem. But Cynthia kind of twisted my arm to see it. And the $5 Tuesday night ticket deal made it a little easier to take the chance.

The movie wasn't bad. But it takes glaring liberties with the band's history, basic stuff like when certain songs were released, to move the plot in a certain direction or get more emotion out of a certain scene. The anachronistic choices might play best to people who have only a casual familiarity with Queen, such as millennials and younger people who only buy songs one at a time via download or listen to "channels" on their favorite music streaming service. To me it was just as distracting as a bad fourth wall break.

Basically the movie was kind of a superficial greatest hits show, centering on Freddie Mercury. That might be enough for most viewers. There are other documentaries about Queen that dig more into the specifics about the band's history (and at least get the time lines correct on when their albums and hits were released). Even though the focus is on Mercury the plot just covers the basics about him.

I think the cast was great, considering the challenges of who they were playing. At first glance Rami Malek seemed like a terrible choice to play Freddie Mercury. I mean, he's kind of a twirp compared to the actual guy. But Malek is a great actor and probably filled this role better than anyone else could hope to manage. I thought it was funny how Joseph Mazzello (remember the kid from Jurassic Park?) had a resemblance to bass player John Deacon. Brian May is a very impressive guitar player. It's very entertaining to watch May play; his technical precision and phrasing style seems fitting for a top notch orchestra. Gwilym Lee plays the part well, but he obviously can't bend strings like Brian May. I wonder if they used Brian May's original "Red Special" guitar at all in the movie. There's one close-up beauty shot of it in the case. FYI, the Red Special was custom built by Brian May and his dad when Brian was just 15.

It seemed like Mike Myers was cast as Ray Foster partly for the nostalgia effect. Wayne's World gave the song Bohemian Rhapsody another level of popularity 26 years ago. So it kind of seemed fitting to cast Mike Myers in a Queen movie.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12453
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-06-2018 03:41 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I liked "Bohemian Rhapsody" quite a lot, which for me is a pretty good leap because I was never a huge Queen fan, never liked the title song, and would rather have a root canal than ever hear "We Are the Champions" ever again.

One thing the movie taught me though, was that I was more of a Queen fan and knew more about them than I had given myself credit for. I agree with Bobby that the "facts out of order" stuff really bugged me. In this movie, "Fat Bottomed Girls" came out right after "Bohemian Rhapsody and ahead of "Another One Bites the Dust!"

You might also get the impression that they only ever made one album. None of other album covers are ever shown or even talked about, and no album title is ever mentioned outside of "A Night at the Opera." (Probably because the rest of the albums and concepts weren't as "difficult" for the record company to swallow.) The stylistic shifts they made with each record was hardly dealt with at all...I'm sure there were a lot more arguments with record company suits than what's shown in the film. But then, I enjoy seeing that kind of stuff where the typical moviegoer might prefer getting right to the next concert scene.

And it's pretty obvious that a lot of things didn't happen as quickly or as neatly in real life as they did in the movie, but that's just a function of moviemaking....if they told the whole story exactly as it happened it'd be a six-hour show.

That said, there is a lot to like in this movie. As Louis points out, the Live Aid performance at the end makes up for whatever problems came before. I looked up the video of the actual 1985 performance on YouTube, and the degree of accuracy is astounding. Even little touches like the placement of the Pepsi cups on the piano, or the green tape on the microphone, or the cheesy colored floodlights at the foot of the stage are spot on. When watching the video I at first thought it was footage from the movie!

Aside from the final concert scene, I really enjoyed the other songs in the soundtrack, especially "Don't Stop Me Now." Even the ones I'm sick of sounded awesome coming out of the theater sound system. I enjoyed the "We Will Rock You" segment the most. The sound in this bit was awesome.

So I'd give this one 3.5 stars.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10706
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 12-07-2018 12:23 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mike Blakesley
You might also get the impression that they only ever made one album. None of other album covers are ever shown or even talked about, and no album title is ever mentioned outside of "A Night at the Opera." (Probably because the rest of the albums and concepts weren't as "difficult" for the record company to swallow.) The stylistic shifts they made with each record was hardly dealt with at all...I'm sure there were a lot more arguments with record company suits than what's shown in the film. But then, I enjoy seeing that kind of stuff where the typical moviegoer might prefer getting right to the next concert scene.
Yeah, details like specific album covers were rarely shown. That might have been done on purpose to enable all the anachronistic, out of order song releases. It's still glaring though. Bands tend to grow and evolve with each album release. Shuffling different song releases out of order totally obscures that growth.

Obviously they showed a glimpse of the first album and Freddie Mercury doodling the band's original logo. The only other album covers I can recall being referenced in the movie were Hot Space and Jazz. Artwork resembling the Hot Space cover was on the wall behind the band during the tense press conference scene. The Jazz artwork is visible on the face of Roger Taylor's bass drum during the end credits footage with the real Freddie Mercury singing Don't Stop Me Now. It's a shame they didn't show more album covers. The cover for Queen II inspired the concept for the original Bohemian Rhapsody music video.

While the scene involving Mike Myers is funny ("the song is six bloody minutes long"), the sentiment kind of ignores the rock music scene of the late 1960's and early 1970's. Various progressive rock bands and glam rock bands were popular during this time. It wasn't quite as much of a stretch for a band to record long songs or have a flamboyant front man. The difference with Queen is they developed their own sound and weren't afraid to modify it. Adding to that, Freddie Mercury was one of the most impressive vocalists the music industry has ever seen and the musicianship of the other band members was great (particularly Brian May). Queen was a good enough and unique enough band to transcend rapidly changing music trends of the 1970's and early 80's.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12453
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-07-2018 02:02 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Bobby Henderson
the scene involving Mike Myers is funny ("the song is six bloody minutes long")
I particularly enjoyed his other cameo during the Live Aid segment: When the line "No time for losers" comes up in "We Are The Champions," he's shown in his office getting drunk.

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