Rocketman (2019)

Director: Dexter Fletcher

Writer: Lee Hall (Screenplay)

Starring: Taron Egerton, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard, Stephen Graham, Jamie Bell, Harriet Walter, Tate Donovan

 

Plot: A musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of Elton John’s breakthrough years.


Tagline – The Only Way to Tell His Story is to live His Fantasy.

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Flamboyant Biopic

 

Story: Rocketman starts as we see how Elton John (Egerton) is checking himself into rehab after his years of abuse of alcohol, drugs and sex, in rehab Elton tells his story from when he was shy timid Reggie who was raised by his mother Sheila (Howard) and father who never encourage his talent to be able to pick up any musical sound he hears.

Reggie continues to follow his dreams, changing his name to Elton John where he is team with songwriter Bernie Taupin (Bell) which would see them rise to international fame, where Elton would turn to drink and drugs to cope with hiding his own sexuality from the world, which could see him lose his international fame.

 

Thoughts on Rocketman

 

Characters – Elton John is one of the most famous singers in the world, in this film we see how his timid upbringing would see him turn to music where his abilities have gone to show he can pick up any music and mimic it, as well as create his own sound. We see how he tries to make an impact, working with Bernie Taupin to turn his words into song that will define a generation. Elton has an ability to see how each song can be seen which shows how his drug filled fantasies made the performances easier for him to perform. Bernie Taupin is the best friend to Elton, he writes the songs which will see the stardom come to the pair, he performs to be away from the spotlight, which will see him being the only one that can find Elton a grounded base with his stardom. John Reid is one of the managers that was also a lover of Elton’s, he is controlling with how he makes Elton perform even when he isn’t in the mindset, John is the type of person that we see ruin careers of the best performers from around the war. Sheila is the mother of Elton, she doesn’t show the encouragement you would expect a mother to show towards their child with talents that Elton possess.

PerformancesTaron Egerton is fantastic in this leading role, you completely believe he is Elton John with each and every moment in the film, the serious sides to the performances. Jamie Bell is great too, bringing the calm side to the story which is important throughout. Richard Madden is truly wonderful because he brings this horrible person to life. Bryce Dallas Howard completes the great performance throughout the film which sees her show somebody that doesn’t support their child.

StoryThe story here follows the early years of Elton John to the time he finally is able to get over his addictions that could see his career being over before he has given us the legacy we know he has had. The story is told in the fantasy visions through each song, which is wonderful and the highlight of the story telling process, the career that Elton had was great to see unfold too. The biggest weakness in the story comes from the lack of timeline unless you know Elton’s song history, we do struggle to know just where things are set until you do the maths at the end of the film. the story to watch is pure fun to watch and enjoy.

Biopic/MusicThe biopic side of the film shows how Elton John did go from timid shy young boy to one of the most flamboyant performers in music history, we see his demons start to takeover showing his abilities are slowly heading in the wrong direction. The music side of film shows how the visions of the music come to life with each song having its own unique look.

SettingsThe film shows the different location that would see Elton go from small neighbourhood house, to the mansion he spends his time alone in, as well as the different levels of performances from bars to stadiums.


Scene of the Movie –
Your Song.

That Moment That Annoyed Me No timeline.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the mot flamboyant biopics you will ever see, it turns the songs of Elton into song and dance moments which will only entertain throughout.

 

Overall: Entertaining Biopic.

Rating

 

 

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Daniel Craig Weekend – Defiance (2008)

Director: Edward Zwick

Writer: Clayton Frohman, Edward Zwick (Screenplay) Nechama Tec (Book)

Starring: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos, Allan Corduner, Mark Feuerstein, Tomas Arana

 

Plot: Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters, and endeavor to build a village, in order to protect themselves and about one thousand Jewish non-combatants.


Tagline – Freedom begins with an act of defiance!

Runtime: 2 Hours 17 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Amazing Story of the Tragedy of War

 

Story: Defiance starts as the Bielski brothers Tuvia (Craig), Zus (Schreiber) and Asael (Bell) set up camp in the forests of Belarus for Jews during the war, knowing they would become slaughtered if the Germans came across them. Tuvia wants to make sure the group survive, while Zus wants to fight back against them.

As the conflict between the brothers becomes clearer, Zus joins the Russian resistance to fight back, while Tuvia continues to grow the group offering the only hope of survival for the men, women and children.

 

Thoughts on Defiance

 

Characters – Tuvia wants safety for the innocent people in the war, mostly the Jews of Belarus, he offers them shelter in exchange for labour to make their community whole, guards them from the dangers that could come from the war, he makes the difficult decisions others simply couldn’t decide on. Zus wants to combative defence against the German’s he will eventually clash with his brother before joining the Russian’s against the German, always being left to wonder if he made the right decision. Asael is the younger of the three brothers, he learns to grow up through this war and his action show that he has given his own older brother the hope he needs to survive. Lilka is one of the women saved from the ghetto, she becomes somebody that challenges Tuvia to make the right decisions through the difficult times he is going through. We have a lot of support character who are part of this journey to show just how difficult surviving the war would have been for the innocent or helpless.

PerformancesDaniel Craig takes the leading role and shows all his strengths as an actor, he makes us believe that he is struggling with each and every expression he makes, this is likewise for Schreiber as the two show even with conflict they can work together. Jamie Bell continued to show he was growing up into a great actor ready for the more adult roles and with a supporting cast that contains Oscar nominated stars, we see the abilities involved with the cast.

StoryThe story here shows the incredible story of the Bielski brothers that gave hope to thousands of Jews during World War II, while the two oldest might fight over ideas of how to survive the war, they both want the same thing, freedom and safety for their people. We have seen many different stories of people doing incredible things to survive the war and never ask for anything in return is always growing, it is an important part of history that should never be forgotten and this film’s story shows us just how impossible their stories seemed.

Action/History/WarThe action in the film shows us the fighting suffered through war, the sequences show how quickly the peaceful locations can become ruined and just how war made people do things they never thought they would. This is also an important part of history which simply shouldn’t ever be forgotten.

SettingsSet mostly in the forest, this shows how the victims of war would be in hiding just hoping they never got seen by anybody who would come after them.


Scene of the Movie –
The journey.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The faith side while important does seem to take over at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is yet another amazing story of survival during the war, it showed how one family risked everything to make sure others were safe and shouldn’t ever be forgotten.

 

Overall: Powerful and important.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominated – B – Billy Elliot (2000)

Director: Stephen Daldry

Writer: Lee Hall (Screenplay)

Starring: Jamie Bell, Jean Heywood, Julie Walters, Gary Lewis, Jamie Draven

 

Plot: A talented young boy becomes torn between his unexpected love of dance and the disintegration of his family.


Tagline –  Inside every one of us is a special talent waiting to come out. The trick is finding it.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One for all the Dreamers

 

Story: Billy Elliot starts as we meet Billy (Bell) a young boy in Durham, England during the miners strike in the 80’s, his father (Lewis) wants him to compete in man sports like football or boxing, but when Billy sees ballet being performed and wants to learn it himself.

Showing how talented he could be the instructor Mrs Wilkinson (Walters) lets him take the class seeing how he could be the next big thing, but Billy’s dad forbids him from dancing, leaving Billy to need to find a new way to practise behind his father’s back.

 

Thoughts on Billy Elliot

 

Characters – Billy Elliot is the 11-year-old boy that dreams of becoming a ballet dancer, but must learn behind his family’s back because they see it as not manly enough for him to be doing. Billy’s Dad doesn’t want his son doing dancing, he is in the middle of the miner’s strike trying to prove just how tough the likes of his men are, he must learn to accept his son’s talent to let him free from the rough lifestyle he could be raised through. Mrs Wilkinson is the dance instructor that gives Billy the chance to take up dancing, teaching him the discipline needed to be the talented he could be.

PerformancesJamie Bell broke onto the scene here, he is fantastic as the young boy drawn to dancing, he showed everyone that he was going to be a star. Gary Lewis is good as Billy’s dad needing the aggressive side when needed while also showing the passion to support his family too. Julie Walters is great as the instructor showing us the desire to see someone succeed.

StoryThe story of the young boy going against tradition to become a ballet dancer when his world is considered closed of true opportunities. This is a tested formula with other sports or skills based movies before and is one that is enjoyable. The backdrop of the miner’s strike helps show how far away from hope he could be but most of all this film shows how to follow your dreams.

Musical/Romance The music side of the film shows how important the music is to ballet with the romance taking a back step but also being everything you would expect for the era the film is set in.

SettingsThe small town where the miner’s live shows us how depressed the environment would be for the family’s living there, it shows how important the escape is going to be for Billy.


Scene of the Movie –
Showing Dad the moves.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The change in his dad’s mind seems too sudden.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable drama about the struggle to take part in something you love. This is one you could enjoy to understand a moment in history too.

 

Overall: Must watch dream drama.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Nymphomaniac Vol 2 (2013)

Director: Lars von Trier

Writer: Lars von Trier (Screenplay)

Starring: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Stacy Martin, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Jamie Bell, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe, Mia Goth

 

Plot: The continuation of Joe’s sexually dictated life delves into the darker aspects of her adulthood, obsessions and what led to her being in Seligman’s care.


Tagline – Forget About Love

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Darker, but Not Interesting

 

Story: Nymphomaniac Vol 2 starts where the last film finished as Joe (Gainsbourg telling the story, Martin acting the story) is feeling lifeless when it comes to sex and even after having a child with Jerome (LaBeouf) the two start to become distant in their relationship as Joe still requires her sexual times. Now we are watching the older Joe only as she gets involved with risky sexual experiences.

When her body starts to struggle with the sex in her life, she starts going through treatment for her sex addiction and what she goes through next shows just how addiction can take over the lives of people.

 

Thoughts on Nymphomaniac Vol 2

 

Characters – Joe continues her story in this one we look at her taking on more extreme sexual encounters as she does continue to take on daily encounters to satisfy her lust. We see the affects on her body as she grows to the middle aged woman. The rest of the characters we meet don’t get enough screen time, Jerome is here only to try to take Joe’ child away. Seligman does have a bigger secret about him.

PerformancesCharlotte Gainsbourg does take the centre stage this time around going through the sexual encounters, she does commit to the performance. We have new actors joining this film and they do a good enough job when given the time.

StoryThe next chapter of the stories of Nymphomaniac Joe, this does show her going into extremer formers of sexual pleasure which has cost her child, but found her a career she could never have imagined, one which lets her use her sexual desires. The thing with the story here, is that you do need to have seen the first film to have any idea what is going on, while most two part movies you can miss or get recap this offers us nothing to help.

SettingsThe settings continued to show us just where Joe finds herself through her different encounters, none become the most important to the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The new job for Joe.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It’s just unrealistic conversations.

Final ThoughtsThis is the second half of a film, that if you don’t make it through the first one, you will not enjoy the second, this might be darker, but it just isn’t enjoyable enough to sit through.

 

Overall: Still difficult to watch.

Rating

 

 

James McAvoy Weekend – Filth (2013)

Director: Jon S Baird

Writer: Jon S Baird (Screenplay) Irvine Welsh (Novel)

Starring: James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan, Imogen Poots, Brian McCardie, Emun Elliott, Gary Lewis, Jim Broadbent

 

Plot: A corrupt, junkie cop with bipolar disorder attempts to manipulate his way through a promotion in order to win back his wife and daughter while also fighting his own borderline-fueled inner demons.


Tagline – This Little Piggy went to town!

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Offensive Mess

 

Story: Filth starts as we follow foul-mouth sex crazed cop Bruce (McAvoy) as he gives us his thoughts on his department Lennox (Bell) and Drummond (Poots) to mention a few. He believes he is on the verge of the promotion he has been waiting for, for years, but after a trip to Dr Rossi (Broadbent) we learn there may well be a deeper problem is Bruce.

With this going on, we follow Bruce as he looks to solve the murder of a Japanese student by a local gang, his may rival is Drummond who he believes is offering sex for promotions.

 

Thoughts on Filth

 

Characters – Bruce is a junkie, sex addict cop who will use his position to get whatever he wants, abusing his power, while not being mentally stable in anyway. He is desperate to get his promotion while battling his own demons. The rest of the characters are just cops that are just as dirty of Bruce and the random wives we just see Bruce having sex with.

PerformancesWhile James McAvoy does full commit to this role and shows how he can go to the extremes in roles which is soon going to be his trademark. The performances from the rest of the cast are fine, but they don’t get enough time to shine.

StoryThe story just seems to be Bruce going around having sex, collecting drugs, taking drugs and being a general asshole. I think that is the story, there doesn’t seem to be anything constructive going on through the film in anyway, even though there is a clear alternative issue going on which doesn’t seem to get enough attention.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy level is poor with most of the jokes being misses and the crime tries to focus on how the police are just as bad as the criminals.

SettingsThe settings put us in Scotland which work for the accents, but never making anything iconic.


Scene of the Movie –
Dr Rossi Trip.

That Moment That Annoyed Me No direction for the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a messy movie, the story doesn’t follow any direction, we follow a character with no redeemable qualities through troubles but overall this is just offensive with how it treats women and how men are meant to act towards them.

 

Overall: Awful watch for the whole audience.

Rating