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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A Patch of Fog (2015)

Director: Michael Lennox

Writer:  John Cairns, Michael McCartney (Screenplay)

Starring: Stephen Graham, Conleth Hill, Lara Pulver, Archer Ali, Stuart Graham, Ian McElhinney

 

Plot: A security guard catches a famous writer/television host shoplifting and blackmails him into becoming friends.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple & Effective

 

Story: A Patch of Fog starts as we meet successful author and television presenter Sandy Duffy (Hill) that would like to return to the quiet life only to find himself caught shoplifting by security guard Robert (Graham). In an attempt to keep the story out of the papers tries to bribe Robert, who turns the tables on Sandy by blackmailing him into being his friend.

As Sandy tries to get himself out of the blackmail, he learns that Robert has a much darker side which puts his and his girlfriend, presenter Lucy (Pulver) lives at risk.

 

Thoughts on A Patch of Fog

 

Characters – Robert is mild mannered security guard in a general store, he is a lonely figure that takes advantage of the situation of power once he catches acclaimed author stealing in his store. He blackmails Sandy into being his friend and tries to stay one step ahead of him as he tries his best to escape from position. Sandy is the acclaimed author that has become a celebrity on television, though he wants to take a step away from the spotlight and the endless conversations about his book, A Patch of Fog. He tries his best to outsmart Robert though he can only get so far before learning Robert has everything planned out. Lucy is the television presenter just starting a relationship with Sandy, she has been trying to get the interview together for long time now.

PerformancesStephen Graham in the leading role as the slightly unhinged loner works very well, he shows that given the chance the moments of darkness can shine through. Conleth Hill is great in his role as the author that wants out of the limelight. When it comes to the rest of the cast they are fine without being overly involved in the main story.

StoryThe story follows an author and celebrity being blackmailed by a security guard that catches him stealing. The story does come down to a cat-n-mouse style thriller where each character tries to stay ahead of the other, which brings twists along the way. This is a style of story telling we have seen before and it is one that is always interesting to watch unfold, by having both sides having secrets this does make it feel like one of the better ones too.

ThrillerThis is a film that does keep you on the edge of your seat throughout as we wait to see just where things will go next.

SettingsThe film does show the different lives both Robert and Sandy live, one with success, one with loneliness, though most of the scenes try to take place in everyday locations.


Scene of the Movie –
The truth about A Patch of Fog.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not truly knowing is Robert has done this before or whether something made him snap.

Final ThoughtsThis is a by the books blackmailing movie, it does keep you guessing throughout the film and with the two leads shining we did just want to see more.

 

Overall: By the book stalker thriller.

Rating

 

 

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (2017)

Director: Paul McGuigan

Writer: Matt Greenhalgh (Screenplay) Peter Turner (Memoir)

Starring: Annette Bening, Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Vanessa Redgrave, Stephen Graham

 

Plot: A romance sparks between a young actor and a Hollywood leading lady.


Tagline – A True Story of What Happens When a Hollywood Legend Discovers Romance

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Drama

 

Story: Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool starts as actress Gloria Graham (Bening) learns about being sick, turning to fellow actor Peter Turner (Bell) and old friend to care for her in Liverpool. We look back at how the two first met, shared a bond over movies as Gloria hasn’t had the same impact in Hollywood that she once did.

The two had a romance and with Gloria back in his life the 30-year-old Peter must deal with the memories he had with Gloria and the future that might not have her in.

 

Thoughts on Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool

 

Characters – Peter Turner is the aspiring actor in Liverpool, he meets the Hollywood elite in Gloria, he had a romance with the older woman and now he must look back on that time when she returns sick. He knows he has fallen in love, but knows in the long-term it just couldn’t happen. Gloria Grahame is the Hollywood elite, an Oscar winner that isn’t in the limelight like she once was. In Liverpool she meets Peter that brings new life to her life, which was famous for the number of husbands she has been through. We do have Peter’s family that support Gloria when she returns sick, questioning why Peter can’t be as supportive as he could be.

PerformancesAnnette Bening is fantastic in this leading role, this is one of the best acting performances of 2017 and was criminally under-appreciated when it came to awards season. Jamie Bell returns to an English based movie 17-years after Billy Elliott, he shows us that his talent was always there and can be one of the most reliable actors in Hollywood, given the right material. The supporting cast are all wonderful too.

StoryThe story is told in two parts, the first is when the sick Gloria returns to the life of Peter, this brings us the second part as we look back on their relationship, from both points of view when it comes to different moments that happen. This adds so much more to this story, because when certain moments happen you can understand both the characters reactions to what is happening and support them both. The idea of a normal up and coming actor getting into a romance with an older Hollywood legend plays out well two, because it shows how love can come from different places and with this being based on the real memoir of Peter it adds to the natural feel about it all.

Biopic/Romance This is based on the memoirs of Peter Turner, this will show what drove him to reach the next level of acting while being able to say he was the one that fell in love with the actress. The romance side of the film shows us just where these two people who came from different backgrounds could fall in love.

SettingsThe film shows us the harder life of an up and coming actor in Liverpool would be living in, the world that Gloria once was from and the one they could have together.


Scene of the Movie –
New York argument, from both points of view.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not enough people saw this one.

Final ThoughtsThis is a movie that all film fans should be going to see, it is a wonderful story about two people that fall in love, based in truth as the young actor meets Hollywood elite, where age was never a barrier for the two.

 

Overall: Film fans go and watch.

Rating

 

 

Daniel Day-Lewis Weekend – Gangs of New York (2002)

gangsDirector: Martin Scorsese

Writer: Jay Cocks, Steven Zaillian, Kenneth Lonergan (Screenplay) Jay Cocks (Story)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cameron Diaz, Jim Broadbent, John C Reilly, Henry Thomas, Liam Neeson, Brendan Gleeson, Gary Lewis, Stephen Graham

 

Plot: In 1863, Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points area of New York City seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher, his father’s killer.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Breath-taking Drama

 

Story: Gangs of New York starts as ‘Priest’ Vallon (Neeson) leads an army of warriors into battles against Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting (Day-Lewis) to see who has control of New York City 1846. The battle is a spectacle with Bill coming out victorious with young Amsterdam witnessing his dad’s death. This is arguable one of the greatest opening sequences in film.

Amsterdam (DiCaprio) all grown up returns to New York in one mission vengeance but since he has been gone Bill has risen to higher powers than he left in. Amsterdam gets shown around by Johnny Sirocco (Thomas) who is low ranking member of the Bill’s gang giving Amsterdam a chance to rise through the gang to get closer to Bill ready for his moment to kill him.

Once discovered Amsterdam gets shamed but that only drives him to build his own army to take on Bill like his father did all those years ago.

Gangs of New York gives us one of the most brutal gritty revenge films of all time, but this is more than just a standard revenge film. There is a sense of honour between the men, the final third of the film where the true identity of Amsterdam is revealed to Bill could easily have been the end but Bill’s honour gets the best of him leading to the final battle. We do have a political side to this film that really does have moments that unless you know history could come off outside the main story we are interested in seeing. Overall this is one of those film that really is something special with how it is all made to give us an amazing fight scenes that feel real with every single swing.

 

Actor Review

 

Leonardo DiCaprio: Amsterdam Vallon witnesses his father death in battle against The Butcher as a child, sent away until he returns to New York as he carefully plans his vengeance against Bill. Amsterdam becomes part of Bill’s gang and soon finds himself as one of most loyal men by his side. Leonardo gives a brilliant performance in this leading role giving Daniel Day-Lewis a run for his money.amsteredam

Daniel Day-Lewis: Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting is the most powerful man in New York everyone be it friend or enemy shows respect for him as he takes whatever he wants. He is a man of honour as we see with how he handles Amsterdam’s father’s death. Bill lets Amsterdam come into his gang unaware of who he really is becoming a father figure to him. Daniel gives an Oscar worthy performance here where he only lost out this time around.bill

Cameron Diaz: Jenny Everdeane is an accomplished pick pocket who is one of the only people in New York that doesn’t have to answer to Bill because of the relationship through the time. She becomes the love interest of Amsterdam as they dream of a new life away from New York. Cameron shows that she can pull off the serious side of the film giving a great performance.jenny

Jim Broadbent: William ‘Boss’ Tweed is the man trying to run for control of New York on the legal side, he teams up with Bill to buy votes to show just how corrupt he really is. Jim makes for an ever so reliable supporting actor in the massive cast.

Support Cast: Gangs of New York has a massive supporting cast that has a string of well-known stars including Liam Neeson, John C Reilly, Henry Thomas and Brendan Gleeson to mention a few who all give fantastic performances helping the main characters in their goals.

Director Review: Martin ScorseseMartin is one of the best in Hollywood and this is one of his greatest pieces of work.

 

Crime: Gangs of New York puts us in the middle of a gang war trying to control the streets showing how they work together at times but against each other another.

History: Gangs of New York gives us a look at New York in 1846 while the characters are based on people it is the look of the film which is the stand out historical side of the film.

Settings: Gangs of New York recreates New York for the time making every single shot look like the actual time period in question.
Special Effects
: Gangs of New York uses brilliant effects to make every single swing in the battles seem real.

Suggestion: Gangs of New York is one to watch, it may well be long but one you really need to see. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Opening fight.

Worst Part: Slightly long.

Action Scene Of The Film: Opening fight.

 

Believability: Parts are others are fictional.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 10 Oscars not winning a single award.

Budget: $97 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 47 Minutes

Tagline: America Was Born In The Streets.

Trivia: Bill the Butcher has a scene with every main and supporting character in the film, a symbol of his vast influence in the Five Points.

 

Overall: Stunning gang story filled with magnificent fight scenes

Ratingcard

 

The Damned United (2009)

damnedDirector: Tom Hooper

Writer: Peter Morgan (Screenplay) David Peace (Novel)

Starring: Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, Colm Meaney, Jim Broadbent, Stephen Graham

 

Plot: A look at Brian Clough’s 44-day reign as the coach of Leeds United.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Interesting

 

Story: The Damned United starts when Don Revie (Meaney) leaves his job as Leeds United manager being replaced by the controversial Brian Clough (Sheen). Brian goes straight into the job making an enemy of himself against the former manager as we learn the motivation for his actions where he was at Derby County a lower league club that played Leeds in a cup match where Don completely blanks him.

We flash between the two time periods as we watch the success at Derby and failure at Leeds, where we see how the friendship with Peter Taylor (Spall) is best friend and person he turns to for players at Derby but distant enemy while at Leeds.

The Damned United is the story of one of the most interesting men in football management in Brian Clough, I never personally got to experience Clough as a manager but I knew about his accomplishments. I found this very interesting as we see the battle between the two managers which works as we would believe to see this happen now a day. I did like how the story bounced between the time periods which works to keep everything running smoothly.

 

Actor Review

 

Michael Sheen: Brian Clough is the famous controversial manager who rose to success with Derby County where he gets the chance to work and move to Leeds United. We see his success at Derby and failures at Leeds showing the style he has created and is still talked about now. Michael is brilliant in this role capturing Brian Clough perfectly.brian

Timothy Spall: Peter Taylor is the loyal assistant of Clough’s who helped him reach the title with Derby but with the clash they find themselves distant with Clough at Leeds and Taylor stepping down the leagues to Brighton. Timothy is great in this supporting role bouncing off Michael very well.pter

Colm Meaney: Don Revie is the former Leeds manager who leaves his job for England but has become the target of Brian Clough who always wanted to get one over. Colm is good in this role without outshining Michael.don

Jim Broadbent: Sam Longson is the chairman of Derby County, he constantly clashes with Brian Clough, he runs out of patients with him even after all the success he had bought the club. Jim is good in this role working well with Michael.

Support Cast: The Damned United has a great supporting cast that all give us great performance as the iconic footballers.

Director Review: Tom HooperTom gives us a great biographical film that shows just how impressive this man really was.

 

Biographical: The Damned United shows the abilities of one of the greatest managers’ football ever saw.

Comedy: The Damned United has a solid comic tone which is mostly how Clough looked at basic ideas of managing.

Sports: The Damned United brings us good football action throughout.

Settings: The Damned United recreates the settings for the time period really well making us think we are in the same time zone.
Suggestion
: The Damned United is one for everyone to watch, it is always good to learn a brilliant story of success and failure going next to each other. (Watch)

 

Best Part: First day at Leeds

Worst Part: You would need to know something about football to really understand how some things happen.

Favourite Quote: Brian Clough ‘I wouldn’t say I was the best manager in the country. But I’m in the top one.

 

Believability: Based on the real events.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

Tagline: “They love me for what I’m not… …they hate me for what I am.”

 

Overall: Brilliant Sports biographical movie about a great man

Ratingcard