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Superbad (2007)
9/10
Another Seth Rogan Classic
14 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of those movies that I had heard about, and knew that I really should watch, except that things sort of got in the way, and also it was basically a Highschool sex comedy, and I'm not particularly all that impressed with these films, except that it is a Seth Rogan film which means that it isn't going to be like your typical High school sex romp comedy. That certainly turned out to be the case, and in fact it goes way beyond that to not only being good, but also being incredibly intelligent. The thing that I love about Rogan is his ability to hide some really deep, and challenging, concepts, in a film that is as foul mouthed as they come.

So, to put it straight, this is a film about three boys, or rather about two boys, who have gone on a quest to get some alcohol for a party that they have been invited to. Also, this is one of the last parties that they will be able to get to (namely because they aren't invited to many) and it is also an opportunity to hook up with a couple of girls that they really like. The thing is that, as I suggested, this isn't like a typical film in that not only are the women treated like human beings, and not just a conquest, but kindness and respect are actually rewarded, as opposed to ridiculed.

In fact some of the characters are really interesting, particularly the girl that has put in the request for the alcohol, namely because it turns out that she doesn't drink. The only reason she wanted the alcohol was because it was a party, however she had no interest in indulging. In fact, one interesting thing is that we see these two guys, who are ridiculed by the 'jocks', turn out to be the better guys. In fact, the adventure makes them the life of the party.

Yeah, they really do go on a pretty awesome adventure, which results in what has turned out to be an all time classic gross joke - the period blood. I'll say no more about it, but I suspect that this is probably well known because the film has been around for quite a while. Mind you, I knew nothing about it until I watched the film, so I guess there is that. Okay, a lot of films these days do try to push the boundaries, yet this is something that is certainly going to be memorable. Oh, and there are the cops, they are nothing short of awesome. Of course, we find the truth about them later, but the movie also does an awesome job of humanising the cops. Normally, especially in such films, the cops are seen as the bad guys, the party poopers, but not these guys. In fact, they are literally the life of the film, which once again isn't surprising because half of the scenes were improvised. Like, seeing them switch on their lights just because they didn't want to stop at a red light makes you want to scream out 'I knew it! I knew they did that' (though I have actually seen them do it on occasion).

Yeah, this film is an absolute gem. It is a film about two guys who learn that women are not conquests, but are people, and the end turns out to be quite surprising. It is a film about male bonding, not in a sexual sense, but in a sense that men can have a really close relationship without it being sexual in any sense of the word. Mind you, the conditioning of our society does say otherwise, but in reality, this is simply not the case at all. It is a film about how cops are people too, and that they can also have fun. Yet, it is also a film about growing up, about coming of age, and about how friendships may have their ups and downs, but in the end a good friendship endures.
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3/10
So Long, so flat
9 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Honestly, this movie was just ultimately boring. Personally, I'd probably leave it at that, and also, in a way, I feel that I have certainly been dragging my feet when it came to writing this review (though a part also has to do with a lot of other work that I have had to do as well). Mind you, it isn't as if the sequal was unplanned when the first movie was released - for those who are familiar with the story would have known that the movie actually would need to take up two parts, and this is the second part is where the heroes of the first movie return as adults.

The story goes that most of them have left Derry and made their way in the world, some of them in good positions, others of them not so good. However, one of them has remained, just to keep his ear to the ground, and to see if Pennywise decides to return, as he suspects he would namely because there was a consensus that they didn't quite beat him as kids. Not surprisingly, twenty-seven years later, the reports start to emerge that Pennywise has indeed returned. One interesting thing is that one of the guys has become a successful author (and in fact it seems that they have all gone out to become quite successful, another one of those rather annoying tropes that seems to appear throughout Hollywood films, though to be fair, the original novel also had then quite successful as well). Well, the thing is that even though he is successful he simply does not know how to write an ending. Mind you, I do sort of wonder whether it is actually possible for an author to be able to become successful it the author can't write an ending - I thought that was a necessity when it came to penning good literature.

Yet, the thing was that with the original film, we all absolutely loved it, but when the ending came along, we pretty much all rolled our eyes and cried out 'we waited four hours for THAT!'. Actually, some of King's best works are pretty awesome books, but have pretty abominable endings (such as The Stand). So, it turned out that they decided to try a make the ending of this film somewhat more engaging.

I'd have to say it did work. I did actually appreciate Pennywise's true form much, much better than the original, though it does seem to suggest that we aren't really all that sure as to what is actually his true form. Remember, Pennywise is a master of illusion, and that is the theme that is constantly running through the film. We never quite know what is real, or what is not real. Still, the thing was that this film simply did not seem to be anywhere near as thrilling as the original - Pennywise was so much scarier in that one.

Yeah, I had to admit that I really, really wasn't all that impressed. In fact it certainly did feel as if this film was a complete and utter waste of almost three hours, though I do have to admit that the ending to this one was a little better, even though we never truly found out what Pennywise was, beyond an alien that is - that was something that was pretty clear.

Oh, the other thing that really annoyed me with this film - there were so many cut scenes back to the first film. In fact the number of cut scenes really did feel as if the producers suspected that most people wouldn't remember the first film, so decided to rehash some of the scenes from that. Granted, that was the case with me, but honestly, I'm not all that sure if it was really all that necessary. In fact, it was these cut scenes that really did make me feel as if the film was overtly long, and as soon as I realised what was happening, my immediately thought was 'I've already seen this!'. Then again, I also suspect that without the cut scenes, we might not have quite realised what was going on, especially if we hadn't seen the first one for quite a while, and would have simply been confused, and scratching out head. I guess you can't have it either way.
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3/10
Yep, another mindless action fil,
26 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
For some reason they keep on making these films, but I guess the box office takings do tend to have a lot to do with that. Yeah, just check them out and you will probably understand because, well, who cares what the critics say, and who cares about the ratings on IMDB, if a premise rakes in money, then Hollywood will keep on churning out sequels. Mind you, it wasn't as if the cinema was all that packed when I saw it, not compared to, say, Infinity War, but then again that made an awful lot more money than these ones did.

Mind you, as I indicated, it isn't as if these films are any good, and this one is basically no exception. It is basically a mindless action film which you pretty much end up working out what is going on, and who the bad guy is, pretty quickly. Actually, it isn't as if they are trying to be subtle or anything like that, but then again, people probably don't come and watch this film for it being a suspenseful thriller full of twists and turns, but rather they come and watch it for the action.

The thing is that in this world, being the President of the United States is actually a lot more dangerous than it is in the real world. Honestly, the sophisticated nature of the attacks are just amazing. Mind you, they do happen to have a civilian contractor (or should I say mercenary company) pulling the strings here, namely because they are pretty upset that the whole let's contract out our military to the lowest bidder is getting a bit too long in the tooth and the current president wants to do away with it.

Honestly, I can't say that I really felt that Banning's character was all that deep. Then again, as I suggested, it is an action movie. I guess it is just making the secret service agents into action heroes, because they do seem to get left off the scene in favour of the FBI and the CIA. On the other hand it is all yay, yay, USA, and all that, but honestly, what would one expect. Interestingly though, it is still good old Russia as the bad guy because, you know, with a huge market on the other side of the Pacific, we can't actually use the US's real rival, but just pick on the other kid on the block that, well, we've always had a problem with.

Oh, and the other interesting thing is that the still seems to be an awful lot on wilderness in West Virginia, that is if it was actually filmed in West Virginia. The idea I got was that it has pretty much been devastated by the coal industry. Then again, film makers are able to make things appear much different than what they really are.
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9/10
Delightful, in a very Tarantino Way
22 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Well, I'm probably one of those people, and there were certainly quite a lot of them, that simply went to see this movie because it was directed by Tarantino. Then again, his films seem to have that sort of drawing power - people go and see them simply because of the director, and that probably has a lot to do with the fact that despite this being his 9th film, he still pretty much bucks the trend. Yet, a part of me can't help but think that this might be a film that signals a turning point.

Okay, we do know that he has basically indicated that he only wants to do ten films, namely because he works on the principle that, well, you only have so much imagination inside of you, and if you don't stop at a certainly point in time, then, well, you are just going to end up churning out rubbish. Mind you, Tarantino is an artist, and he certainly has a name for producing films that are quite out of the ordinary, yet a part of me felt as if this one, well, may just well be his magnus opus.

I probably don't need to say all that much about the plot because people are probably quite familiar with it anyway. You see, it is about an actor, Rick Dalton (who apparently is based upon Burt Reynolds, who actually appears in the film), and his stunt double, who are trying to make sense of Hollywood of the late sixties. They talk about them coming to Hollywood, but a part of me feels that they have always been here. Anyway, he happens to own the house next to Roman Polanski, and Sharon Tate. Yeah, I guess we all know where that it going to end up - well, a part of us expects it to be the case.

The interesting thing is that this is as much Sharon's film as it is Rick's (and of course his stunt double's). It is interesting how we seem to spend a lot of time following Sharon around. I guess a lot has to do with the fact that it was a life that was cut tragically short, and in fact from her performance in 'The Wrecking Crew' there have been suggestions that she was literally on the cusp of superstardom. Yet it seems as if Polanski (who doesn't even seem to have a speaking part, though I could be wrong) and Manson, are only playing bit parts. Then again, Manson probably has much more celebrity status that he deserves, and this who affair is probably the reason that he is so famous.

Yet Tarantino is so meticulous - even though we are living through Tarantino world, he is still very careful to make sure everything is in its right spot, and the reasons for what happen are laid out. Mind you, this is like fifty years down the track, and many of us might have heard about the murder of Sharon Tate, but it is really only certain people would happen to know more than just what is common knowledge, and that doesn't seem to be all that much either.

However, as some have suggested, it is still a movie about a world that is on the cusp of change, and a part of us feel that this is something that Tarantino understands. Here we are, fifty years from the events in the movies, and we are once again seeing a monumental shift the world of entertainment. Back then we were watching a movement from the big screen to the small screen (though I would argue otherwise, on the grounds that there had been televisions in people's houses for at least twenty years prior - Rick Dalton was originally a television star. However, television by this time had become ubiquitous. Yet we see a similar thing today, with the death of television, and the rise of live streaming. Further, screens have become ever bigger, meaning that, in part, it feels as if the cinema is, well, fading away.
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4/10
More Fast & Furious Maddness
5 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Honestly, I am inclined to suggest that this film was pretty bad, but then again I guess the whole idea is to basically have another excuse for lots of explosions, lots of machine gun battles, and of course more Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. The other thing is that it is a Fast & Furious movie, so honestly, we really can't expect all that much from it, even if Idris Elba's introduction consisted of the line 'Hi, I'm the bad guy' - surely they could have had better script writers than that, but once again, it is a Fast & Furious movie.

I'm not entirely sure why they decided to have a spin off, though it could have had something to do with a rumoured fall about between a couple of the main actors. The other thing is that there are so many names in the main franchise now that it it literally getting ridiculous - honestly, it really feels like everybody is basically stepping on everybody elses' toes. So, what better way to deal with it by simply pulling a couple of the big name stars, and throwing them into a movie of their own - particularly since that they aren't necessarily from the originals.

Mind you, the Fast and Furious franchise has changed ridculously since the first couple of films, but then again, that is probably a good thing. Going from an under cover cop trying to bust a gang in cars hijacking trucks to being chased across an iceshelf by a submarine certainly shows how the film has evolved, and that is probably a good thing.

So, what can you expect from this? Well, you can pretty much expect to get from this film what you basically got from the others - or at least the ones at the later stage of the franchise. Yeah, more science fiction elements, and an awful lot of action. The other thing is we also get a bit more of an option to look into the back stories of both Hobbs & Shaw. The interesting though though is that I do find it quite amusing that they'll have one character as a bad guy, and then he'll return in the next lot as the good guy. Mind you, there has been suggestions, in the film at least, that there will be a sequal.
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54 (1998)
4/10
Another One of those Films
20 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This is another one of those films that I am not really all that sure why I wanted to watch it. I guess in part I wanted to watch a film about hedonism in the late 70s, particularly during the disco era, mostly because I've sort of experience the rave era of the beginning of the 20th century, and in part wanted to get a taste of it. Maybe in another sense I really wanted something a little more retro in feel, though of course this film was released in 1998, so it is definitely not retro in that regards.

The film is basically about this rather infamous nightclub in New York called Studio 54. Basically, it was the place that pretty much everybody wanted to get into, but unless you were really famous, had oodles of money, or the owner, Steve Rubell, thought that you were drop dead gorgeous, and wanted you to be a part of his club. Well, that is basically what happened with this guy from Jersey city - Shane.

He was young, and Jersey city really isn't a place that is renowned for its nightlife, particularly since you happen to have New York just across the river. As such, one night they decide to ditch this town and decide to go and check out the big city. Well, while standing out the front, amongst the crowds trying to get into Studio 54, he is noticed by Steve and called over. Mind you, he wants him to enter, as long as he removes his shirt, so he does so, and thus his life changes.

Well, it changes in the sense that he comes back and manages to score himself a job there. He starts off as a bus boy, that is he collects bottles, and eventually makes his way up to the position of bartender. Apparently if you work in this club thenn, well, you do actually get paid a pretty decent amount of money, and that is on top of the tips, and all of the goodies that the drugged out patrons tend to leave behind. Oh, and this isn't just a job, it is actually one long big party.

Yeah, this is a film about hedonism, and in many cases we know where it is heading. Sure, not all films about hedonism have bad endings, but we do tend to know what eventually came from the club, namely that the IRS shut it down. Apparently the version I watched ended with Shane and his friends making up after Rubell was arrested, but I get the feeling that there are versions of this film that have much more happening at the end, namely that once Rubell is taken out of the picture, and Studio 54 shut down, then a number of other clubs start up on a similar theme, which means that once Rubell is released from gaol, he finds that he can no longer compete.

Look, it turned out that this film was, well, pretty bad. It is pretty much similar to a lot of other hedonistic movies out there, namely about a guy that pretty much makes it big because of his looks, and then it all crashes down around him. Mind you, it didn't really do all that well at the cinemas, but that was probably because it was heavily cut. However, it has since been making a resurgance, especially since the footage has been moved about a bit. Still, it really wasn't one of those films that particularly impressed me all that much.
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Stuber (2019)
3/10
Missed Potential
18 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Yeah, this movie was pretty bad. So, the question comes down to why I wanted to see it. Well, I haven't seen a film in a couple of weeks, namely because it seems to be the off season for films (which is probably a good thing) and the concept seemed to be okay, namely that a cop recruits his Uber driver to basically drive him around and bust some big time drug dealer that he has been after for quite a while. Yeah, the concept sounds okay, but in the end it fell pretty flat.

In a way it is one of those buddy cop movies, and I don't mind the occasional buddy cop movies - they are cool, and you generally know what to expect. Mind you, they also tend to be incredibly unrealistic, considering the stuff that Vic pulled off in this film. Also, being a lawyer, I also wonder whether he has breached so many laws that the bad guy ends up getting off on a technicality (which is probably why they end up shooting them anyway).

Look, it did have some funny moments in it, but honestly, it was so mind numbingly predictable that I really wanted to hit my head against a wall at times. Yeah, I knew who the Uber driver was going to end up pairing up with at the end, and like most Hollywood movies, it isn't the girl that he has been pinning over for so long.

Of course, there is also the question of 'what's the damage'. Yeah, I sort of wonder how an Uber driver, on the small amounts of money that he earns, is going to be able to survive after these shenanigans. And of course, I also wonder how our not so friendly cop is going to pay for all of this as well.

Oh, I probably should mention, that the reason the cop has an Uber driver is because he is blind - he starts off with glasses, but has laser eye surgery, and then gets a lead that he has to follow. Of course, having a half blind cop is probably something that adds a bit to the film, and they do play it up for what its worth. Still, in the end, even with that, it is pretty bad.
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Almost Famous (2000)
9/10
Life of a Groupie
18 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of those movies that sort of sneaks up on you. I remember seeing posters of it when it was in the cinemas and simply thought nothing of it, so I basically let it pass me by. In fact I get a feeling that quite a lot of people thought the same. Anyway, it wasn't until I was chatting with a friend who recommended it to me. In fact, it came highly recommended from him, so I did what I could to get my hands on it. Well, fortunately, it turned out that the university library had some copies available, so I hired it and immediately watched it, and yes, it did turn out to be much better than I expected.

This film is sort of an autobiography, though of course quite a few things have been changed. This has more to do with the writer actually combining a number of events from his early life into a film to make it somewhat more coherent. The other thing is that a number of the characters are more of a portmanteu of a number of people that he met while he was travelling. However there are other characters, such as Lester Bangs and Ben Fong-Torres, who are real people.

The story is about how this child prodigy manages to not only get himself a gig as a writer for Rolling Stone magazine, but also finds himself on the road with this band Stillwater (though it turns out that the character the kid his based on, Cameron Crowe, actually ended up being on the road with some quite famous bands, including Led Zepplin). What has happened is that he has caught the attention of Fong-Torres who offers him a sweet deal to write an article on the band, and this fifteen year old kid finds himself on the tour bus.

In a way the story is about this kid, and he is certainly a rather geeky kid, but it is also about this groupie named Penny Lane, who is actually based on a real life person, Pennie Lane - the name was changed to protect her privacy. The film is basically about her, though it is told through the eyes of the boy William. In a way it gives us an insight into what it is like to be a groupie, and in fact it not only shows us the good times, but also how, especially in this time period, they would be traded between bands like commodities. In a sense we get the impression that they are basically tour wives - girls that band members take with them while their real wives are at home.

Another thing the film does is that it gives us an insight into what it is like to follow a band around, and that there is more to them than just what we see on the stage, or even in the magazines. In many cases it seems that the relationships can be pretty tenuous at times, and sometimes you feel that the only things holding many of these bands together is the fact that they are making money. Mind you, spending so much time together can certainly have an effect upon people's tolerance of each other - which is probably why when bands split they rarely, if ever, actually get back together, at least not for decades.

I guess the reason that I liked this film is because of its realism, but also the fact that we have this kid, this really smart kid, who probably should be aiming to be a lawyer, ending up with a band. It is so ridiculous, so out there, that if it wasn't true we would probably write it off as being absolute rubbish. Yet it happened. The other thing is that the band isn't famous, but famous enough to get the attention of the journalists. And, of course, it is quite interesting to note the contacts that the kid had, though it is clear that his background, and his passion, did pretty much set himself up this this position.

Yeah, this movie is certainly one of those hidden gems.
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7/10
Entertaining
10 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Well, this is the first post-Endgame movie, and as with the way Marvel sets the films up, this is a somewhat more light hearted one. Well, that certainly was the case, though I can't say that I found it anywhere near as funny as some of the other Marvel films that I have seen. Mind you, it is Spiderman, so I never really considered it to be funny in the same way that Antman was, but on the other hand, it sort of does have this rather, low key, feel about it - you know the whole 'Friendly Neighbourhood Spiderman'.

The thing is that in this film, as you can tell from the title (and from the trailers) that he is in Europe. That sort of puts Spiderman somewhat out of his comfort zone, except that the reason he is in Europe is because he is going on a school excursion, so I guess that teenage spirit still exists here. In fact we are reminded a number of times that Spiderman is basically a 16 year old kid, and having the whole suggestion of taking over Iron Man's role doesn't sit well with him (and apparently he was never actually a full blown member).

Now, we have the opponent, Mysterio, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, who certainly has some moments. Look, I'll be honest as point out that I never really got into the comics all that much, so I'm not all that familiar with him, but the scenes were he is playing the master of illusions were certainly done really, really well. Look, I actually quite admire Gyllenhaal's ability, it is just that, well, he was rather uncharacteristically stale at the beginning of the film, and this was also rather uncharacteristic of Marvel, which tends to put quite a lot of effort into producing the best film possible. Disney certainly isn't a company that cuts corners when it comes to producing movies.

Anyhow, the first part of the film, as I mentioned, did feel somewhat awkward, but it certainly got somewhat better as it progressed, especially when it came to light that Mysterio certainly wasn't the character we thought he was (though I suspect that a lot of hard core fans already knew that). The illusions were certainly done quite well, as was Spiderman. Of course, we also have the cut scenes at the end, and there was certainly quite an interesting reveal there as well, which is certainly setting the scene for the next few films in the series.
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Yesterday (III) (2019)
7/10
Forgetting the Beatles
1 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
So, imagine if you wake up one day and suddenly discover that nobody has ever heard of the Beatles (and Oasis for that matter). Well, that is what happens to the struggling musician Jack Malik (though it should be noted that there is a world wide black out at the exact same time as he is hit by a bus). Fortunately for Jack he happens to be a big Beatles fan, and he happens to remember quite a lot of their songs as well, so it seems like he has basically hit the jackpot.

Yeah, this film is one of those light hearted romantic comedies that basically explores the price of fame. The thing is with Jack is that he really wants to be a famous musician but his song writing skills are, well, not all that great. He does have this friend, Ellie, who has basically been in love with him since she saw him playing Wonderwall at school, and she is also his self styled manager. Not surprisingly Jack doesn't seem to actually notice that Ellie likes him.

Well, as it turns out, when he starts playing Beatles songs, songs that nobody has ever heard previously, a lot of people sit up and start to notice, one of them being the musician Ed Sheeran. Well, Ed invites him to open for him at a concert in Moscow, and what else are you going to play in Moscow but 'Back in the USSR'? Yeah, that raises even more eyebrows, and next thing he knows is that he is on his way to Los Angeles, and fame and fortune.

The interesting thing is that Ellie doesn't go with him. This is interesting because while she was more than happy to help him out while he was a struggling musician, when fame and fortune come their way, she suddenly decides that it is not for her. Obviously, and this comes out in the film, she wasn't so much doing it because she wanted Jack to become famous, but simply because she loved Jack and saw this as an opportunity to simply be around him.

Another thing is that it is never quite explained what happened to the Beatles, though the suggestion was that they simply never decided to make any music, or if they did, they made the choice that fame wasn't for them, and simply disappeared into the background to live quite and peaceful lives. This is the thing about this film, namely that it is about the value of the quiet and peaceful life, and that fame and fortune never actually bring the fulfillment that our world seems to suggest that it does.

Okay, there is the question about Jack plagerising the songs, but the reality is that if these songs where never written in the first place, then how could he actually plagerise them. Well, in a way he can't, because the songs were never written. The other thing that gets me is that the Beatles had much more of an influence on modern pop culture than just Oasis. Sure, Oasis sounded a lot like the Beatles, but the reality is that the Beatles literally defined the music of a generation, and beyond.

But, that is actually just a minor thing. Look, the idea is that the Beatles not existing is just a plot device to actually drive the movie, and to explore the relationship, and the pitfalls, of being famous. As the producer in the film says 'I don't care about his personal life, he is just a commodity to me'. Mind you, there are quite a few amusing aspects to this film as well, because the Beatles aren't the only thing that doesn't exist - Coca Cola doesn't either, and neither do cigarettes. While there are problems with the concept, you really do need to suspend your disbelief.

Look, I didn't consider this to be an outrageously funny movie, but it was a good movie nonetheless. And of course, you also get to hear quite a lot of Beatles songs as well.
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5/10
Just another MiB movie
16 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Apparently these movies are actually based on a series of comic books, but honestly, I've never heard of them, even though I have pretty much seen all of the films. I guess the producers were looking to bring in some new blood, so they picked up Thor to play the lead, and of course we have Liam Neelson here as well (though he doesn't actually kill anybody in the film - which is very un-Neelson like of him).

Basically this is pretty much like all of your other Men in Black films, nothing really all that different, though as I have suggested they have sort of gone back to the beginning where we have this young lady that just wants to get a piece of the action. Mind you, she basically tries each and every one of the agencies in the US, only to discover that they don't know about them either. She finally manages to get her foot in the door, and is sent to London to prove herself.

Look, this movie really didn't grab me all that much, but then again it is a part of the MiB franchise, and it really isn't a franchise that I've been a really big fan off. Sure, there are a couple of laughs, and I did sort of enjoy it, but honestly, it really wasn't anything about it that could could actually call it a 'great' movie.
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3/10
Really Heading Downhill
16 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Honestly, there is just so much wrong with this film that I honestly don't know where to start. I guess the thing is that this is the fifth movie in the series, and we really can't expect the creators to really be coming up with anything all that original. Sure, they send them to Miami Beach, but come on, that is just a gimic on what is becoming to be a rather worn out saga. Yeah, that and no Steve Guttenberg, but I guess he got to that point in time when he realised that it was time to pull the plug.

Well, Harris is back, but honestly there isn't anything all that different between Mauser and Harris, and no doubt the only reason they changed names was due to two different people playing the role. However, they are both as annoying as each other, and if there is one person who is more annoying than Harris and that is Proctor, who has been hanging around like a bad smell since the second film.

Apparently Harris really wants the job as the commondant of the Police Academy, so he basically tries to dig up some dirt on Lessard, and discovers that he has passed retirement age. Anyway, Lessard has been awarded with Police Officer of the Decade, so he and his friends all travel to Miami for the award ceremony. The thing is that some crooks are also there.

Yeah, if having Harris and Proctor wasn't bad enough, we also have this gang of thieves that are so incompetant that one actually wanders how they managed to pull of the heist in the first instance. Anyway, they accidentally switch bags with Lessard, so as well as the antics of Harris and Proctor, you also have these incompetant thieves attempting to get the bag, and the jewels, back.

Honestly, this film was pretty bad, but I still intend on making my way through the next two so I can wipe them off my list as well.
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7/10
Surprisingly Funny
16 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Actually, I found this one to be quite amusing, and the stunts at the end, well, they were pretty good as well, considering we do have Tackleberry jumping from a plane to land on top of a Balloon. Once again, some of the cast have been whittled down, though of course we still have Sweetchuck and Zed, who are now full fledged officers. Oh, and Sharon Stone also joins us as a reporter, and of course she gets paired off with Mahoney at the end (who else).

The story is that Lesard has this idea to recruit citizens to perform some of the duties that police officers perform, though not to the same extent. It is sort of falling halfway between Neighbourhood Watch, and the actual police force. Well, some people think that it is a great idea, while others are worried it is just a means of undermining the police force.

Lt Harris returns in this movie, and Lesard ends up in London for a conference, so Harris is left in charge. Of course it turns out that Harris is one that doesn't like the idea, so of course he is doing everything in his power to undermine it, while running it anyway. However, as it is also the case, our heroes from the first movie are here to provide a helping hand.

Yeah, this film actually turned out to be much funnier than the previous two, maybe because I hadn't really seen it. I think I originally tuned out after the third movie, though I do have to admit that this may be the reason. Yet, in many cases it once again seems to be a complete rerun of the first film, with a lot of similarities. Mind you, Blankes and Copeland are now gone, but we have that really annoying Proctor turning up, who happens to be the guy that runs around after Harris, thinking that he is the most wonderful person in the world.

Still, it is interesting to see how the characters have developed because once again they are so much not like the characters that we have seen in the first two films. In a way they have matured and become so much more competent. However, the jokes where Sweetchuck gets bashed around do get a little tiring after a while.
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5/10
Another Training Episode
16 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Well, it is quite possible that the second one didn't work all that well so it seems that the creators went back to the drawing board, and decided that maybe they would just send them all back to the Police Academy for another round of training - yeah, basically a complete rehash of the first film. Well, not quite because we do have a bunch of new recruits, and the heroes from the first movie, who have now become somewhat more competent, are actually in the trainers' shoes.

The thing is that we have Sweetchuck come back this time wanting to be a police officer, and we also have Zed. Of course this is ridiculous because Sweetchuck would never, ever be able to pass the exam, and well Zed is a convicted criminal. However, what we do know is that the police academy is open to everybody so these silly things sort of add to the whole fun of the series. Mind you, it does seem that the original cast is being whittled down somewhat, particularly since Fackler has dropped from the cast, only to be replaced by his wife (who now wants to become a cop). Also, we do have to throw in the potential love interest for Mahony (because, for some reason, the others just don't seem to hang around).

Anyway, it turns out that this town isn't big enough for two police academies, so one has to go, and the governor will decide at the end of this particular class. Mind you, it turns out that Mauser is running the other academy, and is basically running it like some sort of military grade facility. How Mauser actually managed to go from being a sergeant to running a police academy is beyond me, but then again all of our original cast have now attained the rank of sergeant.

Yeah, this movie isn't all that bad, though of course it is pretty much a rerun of the first, expect we have Mauser, with Copeland and Blankes on the payroll, trying to undermine Lesard's academy. Personally, I didn't find it as good, though of course seeing the police computer being a Commodore 64 is always a bit of a laugh.
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6/10
Out on the Beat
16 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
So, I'm slowly making my way through these films, particularly since I know that I watched a number of them back when I was much, much younger. The problem is that they tend to degrade in quality, the plots tend to be the same, and the characters start to get somewhat annoying. This film, while having its moments, really starts to show the mechanical script writing that has come to the fore with these films.

The story goes that a gang has moved into the precinct and everything has basically gone to hell. The chief has been given his final warning, but it turns out that he is the brother of Commendant Lesard at the Police Academy, so he calls on his brother for a bit of help, and his brother sends what he considers to be his finest graduates. Well, we can all guess who they happen to be.

Yeah, as I mentioned, this film starts to get a little annoying, especially since the characters start to get weirder and weirder. Like the owner of the lampshop, Mr Sweetchuck, that goes to incredible lengths to secure his shop, only to get mugged on the way to the autoteller, which honestly, really looks like it doesn't work anyway.

Then there is the gang, and the leader of the gang, Zed, that basically has this really, really annoying way of talking, and don't even get me started on Lt Mauser, who is basically just a complete copy of Lt Harris, only with a different name. Still, this movie, as I mentioned, does happen to have its moments, and I really don't want to knock it too much, particularly since I still have another five movies to go.
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8/10
An 80s Cult Classic
16 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Honestly, I really didn't realise how funny this film actually was, but then again it was probably a good thing that I haven't seen it in years because it meant that I have been able to come back to it with a fresh set of eyes. In fact, this is one of those films that literally has a real timeless quality to it, except for a bit of T&A which you generally don't see all that much in films these days. But yeah, I guess there is a reason why this film does have a classic status about it.

The story goes that the mayor has decided to open up the Police Academy to basically anybody and everybody (and while it is never explained why, I suspect it has something to do with police enrollments being down). So, we get a whole heap of oddballs turning up at the academy, and Mahony, who has been given an ultimatum to either go to Police Academy, or go to gaol - he chooses the police academy.

Mind you, not surprisingly there are some people that don't particularly like these new rules, the main one being Lt Harris, who is training this new lot of recruits. Oh, and there is also Copeland and Blankes, who are the two guys whom Harris has chosen to be his spooks. Well, considering Mahony is doing all he can to actually get kicked out (and the fact that he can't get kicked out) does add to Harris' frustrations, and of course Mahony is basically experiencing things in a way that many of the other students don't.

Yeah, there are like so many classic lines in the film, particularly with Micheal Winslow and the sounds that he makes (the braying of the horse is a particularly classic scene), and of course we can't forget Commondant Lessard, the guy who just seems to be a couple of tinnies short of a six pack, but is a really lovely person nonetheless (and of course we can't forget the scene where he gets a surprise while standing in front of a podium).

Okay, there are some flaws here, such as Mahony getting kicked out for starting a fight, despite the fact that he apparently is unable to get kicked out, but that is just a minor thing in what is a rather enjoyable film that certainly brings back quite a lot of memories.
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6/10
Get Ready to Go Downhill
12 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
So, I'm slowly making my way through these films, particularly since I know that I watched a number of them back when I was much, much younger. The problem is that they tend to degrade in quality, the plots tend to be the same, and the characters start to get somewhat annoying. This film, while having its moments, really starts to show the mechanical script writing that has come to the fore with these films.

The story goes that a gang has moved into the precinct and everything has basically gone to hell. The chief has been given his final warning, but it turns out that he is the brother of Commandant Lesard at the Police Academy, so he calls on his brother for a bit of help, and his brother sends what he considers to be his finest graduates. Well, we can all guess who they happen to be.

Yeah, as I mentioned, this film starts to get a little annoying, especially since the characters start to get weirder and weirder. Like the owner of the lampshop that goes to incredible lengths to secure his shop, only to get mugged on the way to the autoteller, which honestly, really looks like it doesn't work anyway.

Then there is the gang, and the leader of the gang that basically has this really, really annoying way of talking, and don't even get me started on Lt Mauser, who is basically just a complete copy of Lt Harris, only with a different name. Still, this movie, as I mentioned, does happen to have its moments, and I really don't want to knock it too much, particularly since I still have another five movies to go.
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8/10
A Classic Comedy
12 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Honestly, I really didn't realise how funny this film actually was, but then again it was probably a good thing that I haven't seen it in years because it meant that I have been able to come back to it with a fresh set of eyes. In fact, this is one of those films that literally has a real timeless quality to it, except for a bit of T&A which you generally don't see all that much in films these days. But yeah, I guess there is a reason why this film does have a classic status about it.

The story goes that the mayor has decided to open up the Police Academy to basically anybody and everybody (and while it is never explained why, I suspect it has something to do with police enrollments being down). So, we get a whole heap of oddballs turning up at the academy, and Mahony, who has been given an ultimatum to either go to Police Academy, or go to gaol - he chooses the police academy.

Mind you, not surprisingly there are some people that don't particularly like these new rules, the main one being Lt Harris, who is training this new lot of recruits. Oh, and there is also Copeland and Blankes, who are the two guys who Harris has chosen to be his spooks. Well, considering Mahony is doing all he can to actually get kicked out (and the fact that he can't get kicked out) does add to Harris' frustrations, and of course Mahony is basically experiencing things in a way that many of the other students don't.

Yeah, there are like so many classic lines in the film, particularly with Micheal Winslow and the sounds that he makes (the braying of the horse is a particularly classic scene), and of course we can't forget Commandant Lessard, the guy who just seems to be a couple of tinnies short of a six pack, but is a really lovely person nonetheless (and of course we can't forget the scene where he gets a surprise while standing in front of a podium).

Okay, there are some flaws here, such as Mahony getting kicked out for starting a fight, despite the fact that he apparently is unable to get kicked out, but that is just a minor thing in what is a rather enjoyable film that certainly brings back quite a lot of memories.
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Ex Machina (2014)
6/10
Exploring The Turing Tes
12 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Apparently this film comes highly recommended, but then again that probably has to do a lot with the twist that comes right at the end. Actually, it is the twist that basically makes the movie, especially since you are spending all your time wondering who you can trust, and are of course being led in the wrong direction. Yeah, it is one of those movies, and even though I have placed a spoiler alert on this post (which I do with every post), it is still difficult not to talk about it without giving too much away.

Mind you, in my mind the end wasn't anywhere near as mind blowing as some of the films that I have seen. Actually, it sort of came about as yeah, I can see that happening, and it really wasn't all that much of a twist at all. Sure, the film maker was probably trying to distract us in one way only to hit us with the reality at the end, but really, as the personalities of the characters are revealed, you can sort of see how it played out. No, in my mind it really wasn't one of those really mind bending reveals.

So, the movie is about this guy that works at a company that is supposed to be Google, but isn't Google (though from all the descriptions, bar the name, it is Google). He wins this prize and comes over to this remote mountain hideaway where the billionaire owner of this company has been performing experiments. At first you consider him to be somewhat of a recluse, and honestly I really didn't particularly like him, but as you think about it, the fact that he is so remote sort of makes a lot of sense.

Well, he has been experimenting with AI, and this kid has been summoned to help him test it out, namely to see whether it passes the AI test, that is that after conversations with it, the kid doesn't realise that he is speaking to an AI - the so called Turing test. Look, that sort of doesn't work all that well because, well, she looks like a robot, so because she looks like a robot I'm not really all that sure if the test can be passed.

However, I suspect it has a lot to do not so much with outward appearances, but rather inward appearances, and in a way there are reasons why this guy 'won' the competition, and also reasons why these experiments are being conducted so far away from civilisation, in absolute isolation. It sort of becomes clear at the end, but remember, this is really all about AIs being able to pass off as human, sort of a goal of computer scientists, and when you start to think about it, maybe having some sort of containment is actually necessary.

Yeah, this film, well, this film wasn't actually all that bad. Not great, but not that bad either. In a way I felt that maybe it was a bid slow, and the boss, well, I really didn't like him, but I guess none of us were supposed to. Mind you, he also comes across not so much as a bit of a thug, but as a lot of a thug, which sort of doesn't seem to gel with a computer geek type of guy, but I guess the film maker well, once again, wanted to distract us from what was really going on, and having a thug as a boss certainly does that.
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8/10
Memories of a Party of a Lifetime
8 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I can say right from the start that this is not going to be your typical spring break movie. Yeah, they do sort of come about every so often, but nowhere near as much as they did in the 80s, where the objectification of women was tended to be considered, well, okay. Yet the thing is that this might be something that can be levelled at this film, particularly with the number of bare breasted women that we see throughout the first half.

However, as I mentioned, this film isn't a typical film. Rather, it feels much, much more like a dream. The dialogue really only seems to emphasise certain things, and while it isn't clear, it feels as if it is more of a memory, of people looking back at a time of their life, where things really aren't all that clear, and that only certain things can be remembered. It is this aspect of the film that I believe pretty much sets it apart from many other films that I have seen - it is a film that goes out of its way to attempt to capture, and understand, the concept of memory.

You see, the film doesn't have a progressive flow that you would expect most films to have. Yeah, there is a definite beginning, middle, and end, but much of the scenes seem to warp around and coellecsque into each other. As I said, it is memory, and while we may not know whose memory we are referring to, you could say that it is pretty much the four main characters.

So, we have these four college girls who are board and they want to go to Florida for Spring Break, something that is considered an American tradition. So, three of them rob a store, and they all jump on the bus and head down. Now, this is interesting because it seems as if the scenes are actually done in a way that overemphasises what is going on. Once again, this is memory playing a role - we tend to overemphasise things in our mind, and this is why the scene in the bus is so cool - it is just way over board. In fact the whole part of the film where they are partying is just way overboard - in a way it feels as if it is over emphasised, broken with some down time.

However, things sort of turn bad, when they end up in prison. Interestingly they are all in their bikinis, but once again, I believe this is a game of memory being played out here. The reason for this is that when we remember things, details aren't always that specific, and the fact that this was also a drug and alcohol fueled escapade indicates that one's memory is going to be every worse in remembering the details.

Look, as I mentioned, this isn't going to be your typical Spring Break film, and in fact it probably falls more into the category of experimental. However, it works, and it works really, really well. The truth is that we can't actually be all that sure about authenticity of what we are watching, particularly considering that the narrators are certainly going to be unreliable, but it is certainly a hell of a ride.
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Dark Phoenix (2019)
5/10
A Fitting Conclusion
8 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Well, it looks like that after 19 years we have now come to the end of this iteration of the X-men franchise. This film didn't seem to have been received all that well, and a part of me can sort of understand, especially with the scene right at the beginning which in part came across as almost a complete rip off of Shazzam (yeah, the car crash scene). Anyway, the franchise has been through some ups and downs, but in a way it has come out quite well, except here.

Okay, I did quite enjoy the movie, other than the parts that seemed to have completely messed up the time line, and in saying that I am generally referring to the end of Days of Future Past where everybody seemed to have come back to life. I won't go into any further details though because that will no doubt result in some major spoilers, which probably doesn't matter if people are going by the many other reviews that have appeared here as well.

I guess the fact that they are simply trying to rewrite a better version of X-men III also had some problems with it, though of course the time line had been changed so that abomination of a movie basically never existed (and of course, we never found out what happened to Professor X after the ending of that film because in the next one he was back all well and good).

Yeah, I should mention the professor because, well, I still feel that Patrick Stewart captured the role in a way that James McEvoy really wasn't able to do. Then again, standing up to Patrick Stewart was always going to be an impossible task, though of course the Fassbender managed to do it quite well, but then again Fassbender really can't do any wrong.

Actually, come to think of it, the only actor that really stood out in this film was the Fassbender - all the others really seemed to have fallen flat. In part it just felt as if this franchise has basically reached the end of its usefulness, especially with the departure of Wolverine. Mind you, while there are hints that Disney may resurrect it in the future now that they have got the rights, personally, I would prefer that they leave it as is, at least until I am old and grey.
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10/10
Two Souls Connecting
5 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
A part of me feels as if this is one of those must see movies, especially with the end scene where Bob whispers something into Charlotte's ear and the only two people in the entire world that know what was said are Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansen, and neither of them are talking (though apparently some techy geeks have managed to find out what was said, which sort of does spoil the magic of the moment). Yeah, this film is actually pretty good, and certainly deserves a place on the mantle piece of cinematic classics (something that not many movies these days come even close to).

The story is about two people, Bob Harris and Charlotte, who happened be in Tokyo. To say that neither of them want to actually be there is an understatement. Bob is here because he is being paid two million dollars to appear in some Japanese commercials, while Charlotte is here because her husband is doing some photo shoots. However, Charlotte seems to spend her time puttering around the apartment, and occasionally going out, but quickly becoming bored.

It is basically about two people who are lost in an alien world, and yeah, you really can't get any place that is more alien than Tokyo. What is interesting is that in one scene we see the colourful neon lights that make up the city, but from another angle we discovered that this is really only a surface covering of a city that in reality is pretty dull and drab. The views from the upper levels of the hotel really don't show a city that is really all that great.

Also, being Japan means that there is something that is, well, lost in translation. Bob struggles to be able to even understand what his employers want him to do, and he is basically counting down the days until he can get away from there. Charlotte, well, she just really seems to be hanging on the tail coats of her husband, not really being able to connect with his friends. Bob also seems to exist in this bubble, where the only reason people actually interact with him is because he happens to be this famous movie star, one whose glory days are long gone (which is probably why Bill Murray was chosen to play the role).

It turns out that the only connections that they have in the city is with each other, yet there is also this tension that seems to exist between the two - is there a sexual attraction between them, and is one of them going to make the first move, and if so, who will. Once again, while this tension exists, neither of them is willing to act on it, because, well, there is a problem with the language, and also the age barrier. In fact, it just does not seem right that there would exist anything beyond this - this is what makes the film so good - the tension that exists, and a tension that we know neither can actually act on.

Yeah, this is actually a pretty good film, one that is certainly worth watching, especially for that final scene. Do yourself a favour.
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10/10
Dark Side of Faerie Tales
5 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Honestly, there is probably not all that much that I can say about this film that hasn't already been said by countless of other film critics that have watched this film. Yeah, it is basically one of those films that literally grabs the attention of all the arty types out there so that they can delve into it and try to dig out its many meanings, and get it absolutely wrong. In fact there was one that I watched that suggested that the intention of the director was a minor thing - seriously, this is getting a little too far.

The story is set in 1944 and apparently the Spanish Civil War is winding down (though I had no idea that it lasted that long - by 1944 I thought that it was well and truly over). So, this lady and her daughter are brought up to this mill in the country because her husband basically wants his child born where he happens to be. Well, he is an officer in the army, and his job is to basically crush what remains of the resistance. To say that he is not a nice guy is basically putting it lightly.

The film dances between the fantasy world that the child, Ofelia, has discovered, and the brutal world of Franco's fascist Spain. The situation is that Ofelia's father is dead, and her mother married this officer, and the undertone (though it is never specifically said) indicates that this officer is responsible for her father's death. Anyway, Ofelia finds this rock on the ground, and places it back into this ancient rock carving, and releases a fairy.

Now, the film is about the interplay between the fairy world that Ofelie experiences and the brutal reality of the fascist regime that has taken over Spain. There has been a suggestion, and the film does hint at this, is that children retreat into fantasy worlds as a way to deal with the real world. The only problem is that this fantasy world is just as brutal as the world in with Ofelia really lives. There as also been suggestions that this world doesn't exist, or at least only exists in Ofelia's minds, yet there are also hints that this might not be the case.

Look, it turns out that this is actually a pretty awesome movie, one that I had been meaning to watch for a while, but have been constantly putting it off. I'm not actually surprised that the director, Giamarmo del Torro, won an Oscar for a later film because you can certainly see that there is a lot in this film to take in. The problem is that when one then watches a commentary afterwards, one sort of loses their perspective of the film. Still, it is pretty awesome, and certainly well worth watching.
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Aladdin (2019)
4/10
Just Not a Guy Ritchie Film
2 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I'll deal with the main part of this film first, and that is that if you are looking at seeing Guy Ritchie's take on the story of Aladdin, then this is definitely not the film you should be going to see - it is basically a live action version of the Disney film from 1992 with Will Smith as the Genie. What this film isn't is a Guy Ritchie film - there is absolutely nothing in this film that shows Ritchie's unique style in filmmaking, and simply goes to prove that if you are directing a Disney Film, then, well, you have absolutely no creative control over it whatsover.

This, as such, is why I was really disappointed with it. Look, I should have known that this was the case, and if I had paid a little more attention beyond the fact that it was a Guy Ritchie film, then I probably wouldn't have bothered going to see it. In fact, I wasn't planning on seeing it, and now that I have, I am fully convinced that there is no way that I will expect to see a director's flare when it comes to Disney films (though there was a bit of Edgar Wright in Antman, but he and Disney ended up parting company).

So, this film is basically a live action remake of the 1992 classic (not that I have actually seen it), and to be honestly, it is as painful and watching any of those typical Disney films. Jafar is, well, just a pain in the neck, and simply has no life whatsoever beyond being some power hungry guy that just irritates you all the way through. Jasmine is, well, she's a Disney princess, but the thing with Disney princesses is that they annoy me, which is why the whole idea of Klinger and Frankenfurter becoming Disney princesses with the Fox buyout is just so cool.

Look, I understand that it is a kid's film, and I guess in that way it works. However, it has been ages since I have seen a Disney animated piece - well not quite because there was Wreck it Ralph - but I generally try to avoid them like the plague. This movie has basically given me another reason to do so. In all honesty, I would have preferred Ritchie to actually go back to the original story and build it up from there - it would have been so much better - but then again, after the spectacular crash that was King Arthur, I guess he really had no choice.
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Rocketman (2019)
9/10
Just Woah!
1 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, I don't like biopics, but for some reason a part of me wanted to see this film, not because I am a huge Elton John fan or anything, but rather because it looked interesting. Mind you, when I went to sit in the theatre a part of me started wondering what I had got myself into, particularly since in my mind Elton John was, to me at least, one of the good guys of rock and roll. Well, that turned out not to be the case at all.

One of the reasons I suspected that this film eventuated was due to the success of Bohemian Rhapsody. Look, this is no Bohemian Rhapsody, though there are a number of similarties between Elton John and Freddy Mercury. Well, not that much because while Elton John certainly has dominated the music scene for such a long time, none of his songs could go down in the chronicles of rock history the way Bohemian Rhapsody has. The other thing is that while he is a prodigy when it comes to playing a piano, he simply has no ability to come up with lyrics, which is why his friend Bernie Taupin wrote pretty much most of the lyrics for John's songs.

The movie is told as a form of a flash back, after Elton decided that enough was enough, walks out of one of his concerts, and signs himself into rehab. Not surprisingly, he walks in and begins telling his story, but what is interesting is that as the story progresses, he goes from his flamboyant self to becoming, well, plan dressing. In fact, it seems that after this episode Elton seemed to have toned down a lot, though I guess in a way he had come of age.

Yeah, this is about his struggle with drugs, and well, everything. This, well, isn't all that surprising, though I never realised that Elton had such a huge drug problem, yet it seems as if it is something that pretty much all rockers go through. Some survive, others don't. Elton turned out to be one of the lucky ones, though he doesn't seem to go down in the annals alongside the likes of Keith Richards and Ozzy Osbourne.

The other thing that grabbed me was that this film was much more of a musical than was Bohemian Rhapsody. In many ways it felt a lot more psychodelic, despite me not really considering Elton's music to be all that psychodelic. Yet having all the songs playing, and playing at moments that were reflective of his life at the time, was also pretty good. Mind you, considering that he never wrote any of his lyrics I'm not entirely sure whether these songs really have any meaning anyway.

The other thing that stands out is the idea of loneliness. It seems that throughout the movie we are constantly confronted with how lonely Elton seems to be. Sure, he has a huge party at his mansion, and then spends the entire time in his room with a bottle. There are also suggestions that his sexual orientation was a cause of that, but that is pretty much struck down at the end, and the comment was mostly something that was probably floating around during the seventies. I guess the thing is that being rich and famous can actually be quite a lonely endeavour, and goes to show that money really can't buy happiness.

One final thought is that of John Reid. He was Elton's lover, and also managed Queen for a period during the 70s. Honestly, it really isn't all that flattering, despite the fact that he is still alive and living in Australia. From Bohemian Rhapsody he wasn't painted as a particularly nice guy, nor was he portrayed that way in this film either. It sort of makes me wonder why he hasn't kicked up a stink. Then again, maybe it was just my interpretation.
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