As confirmed in my recent review ofThe Greatest Showman – which I loved, I’m a fan of very few musicals. In fact, when a musical comes along that I’m curious enough about, I prepare myself mentally to have to sit through at least 3 musical numbers that I’d much rather skip or fast forward.
The good news about director Dexter Fletcher’s Rocketman, a biography of singer, songwriter, pianist and composer Elton John is that, even though I did definitely want to fast forward through two or three musical moments, there were at least three or more that I wish lasted for double the time.
Rocketman is for me, a notable achievement for all involved. The entire cast including Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden and Bryce Dallas Howard all performed very well. A great relief since I actually wasn’t sure about Egerton when I heard he’d be playing John. My doubts were very much silenced soon after the film started. Not only did Egerton perform well musically, but some of my favourite scenes are when he’s portraying the singer at his most vulnerable. I actually had no idea that John’s story was quite so heartbreaking. I’m therefore really glad knowing how much happier his life appears to be now.
‘Rocketman’, ‘I’m Still Standing’ and ‘Your Song’ are my favourite of all the music performance scenes. I particularly love the scene that shows how ‘Your Song’ actually came to be; a scene as moving as the sentiment behind the song itself.
Egerton and Madden’s on screen chemistry and Bryce Dallas Howard’s performance won’t be forgotten by me anytime soon. I also won’t be forgetting the great friendship at the heart of Rocketman. Said friendship is perhaps the most beautiful part.
Directed by Dexter Fletcher, Rocketman is the story of singer, pianist, and composer Elton John.
Starring Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden and Bryce Dallas Howard, Rocketman will show John’s life as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music through to his enduring musical partnership with Bernie Taupin.
Egerton isn’t exactly the first person I’d think of to play John, and so I’ll hopefully find out just how wrong I was for not thinking of him. I’m also looking forward to finding out something more interesting about John than ‘Reginald Kenneth Dwight’, the name his parents gave him.
Steven Mackintosh, Michel Alexandre Gonzalez Gemma Jones and Kamil Lemieszewski also star.
This isprobably unsurprising since Kingsman – The Golden Circleis a sequel but I did not enjoy this movie as much as the original. In director Matthew Vaughn’s sequel, the Kingsman head offices are blown up and the kingsmen must team up with an allied spy organisation in the US.
Not that Kingsman – The Secret Service (2014)was super realistic, but something about this follow-up felt quite ridiculous. Starting with the opening scene; somehow it just didn’t feel as thrilling as I’d ordinarily expect. Part of the problem is that I found myself immediately disappointed with the story’s choice of villain, the one we meet in the first few minutes. There’s also the fact that everything happened so suddenly in the first few minutes, whereas I somehow wanted or perhaps expected to be eased into the action, as odd as that may sound.
This movie has one or two fight sequences that harked back to the first film. These scenes played a little too ‘the same’, for my liking. In this way they reminded me of part of the reason why Quantum Of Solace (2008) was such a terrible follow-up to the brilliant Casino Royale (2006). It tried too hard to almost repeat so much of what worked so very well in the first movie.
As for the matter of the main villain of vaughn’s movie, let’s just say that I have officially found a Julianne Moore performance I do not like. In the role of the villain, I did not fully buy into her evil. Is her face simply far too angelic for the kind of evil required? Maybe. What I know for sure is that I didn’t see it in her eyes or feel it through her words and I needed to.
Luckily, there is some good news here; namely the beautifully executed ‘singing scene’ towards the end. I was moved. Overall though, my favourite scene in this film has to be the ‘infiltration’ of Poppy’s compound. That’s the moment I saw a fight scene that truly felt as though it belonged to Kingsman – The Golden Circle. Rather than something borrowed from Kingsman – The Secret Service and as a result, felt quite tedious.
Besides the fun clips in the trailer, I found Sing to be, unfortunately, mostly forgettable. The story centres around the numerous characters involved in a singing competition. And the success of the competition will give the organiser a chance to save his failing theatre.
I was moved and amused in parts, but I still didn’t thoroughly enjoy Sing because I didn’t find the story and most of the characters especially entertaining or interesting. I’m sure that how stereotypical most of them are has something to do with it.
Furthermore, I’m generally that person who usually doesn’t enjoy watching televised singing competitions. Yet, I wanted to see this because the trailer looked great. Lastly, I also have to admit that there’s a part of me that didn’t buy into McConaughey’s voice and or his performance as the Koala.
Besides reminding me to be grateful that humans no longer share planet earth with dinosaurs, Jurassic World has officially awakened me to Chris Pratt’s super charismatic magic. A gift, when combined with a good script, among other things, the result is a thoroughly entertaining movie.
The main highlight about Sing, for me, has nothing to do with the music. I loved the mommy piggy (Reese Witherspoon) and her ingenuity when no one else was available to take care of her piglets. I also adore her performance partner; another cute piggy. You know, the one in the red sequinned leotard and gold sequinned sweatsuit that you fell in love with, in the trailers.
You’ll very likely have a better time watching Sing if you enjoy singing competitions. If you’re not that person, I hope you like it anyway, should you decide to tune in.
In telling the story of two of Britain’s most notorious criminals, the Kray twins, the combination of all the characters, dialogue, music and cinematography of 1960s London did an adequate job of keeping me engaged.
Besides Tom Hardy who is, shocker, not shocker, just brilliant in his task of portraying both Reginald (Reggie) and Ronald (Ronnie) Kray, another big draw for me was the delightful britishness of the humour in Legend.
Prior to this movie, my main experience of London’s east end gangster / criminal world is Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (1998). The pace and rhythm of that movie is one of the best things about it. In comparison to Legend, granted the period in time is quite different, but I did find myself wanting for things to move along a tad quicker.
Each time the two brothers were on screen at the same time, those were the most engaging moments and not just because I was curious to see how well director Brian Helgeland handled the reality of Tom Hardy essentially ‘talking to himself.’
Ronnie and Reggie’s sibling bond and the dynamics of their relationship is the most interesting aspect of this story. We get to experience and witness this bond in Helgeland’s movie, but I’d have loved for more of the film to be dedicated to the story of the brothers, perhaps as young boys/ men. I found myself wanting a clearer picture of more of what it took to create the reality that became their lives. Without the look back, the story felt incomplete to me.
In my fantasy of this movie, I’d say, either split the story of the Kray twins into two films, or forget about the relationship between Reggie and Francis, It’s boring – and instead focus on the most important love affair instead, the one between the two brothers. After all, it is the thing that ultimately decided their fate.
I don’t think that Legend is a bad film. It just simply left me wanting more than I would have liked. Watch it for the Tom Hardy excellence.