After Stan & Ollie finished, all I could think of was Bohemian Rhapsody. This was not unusual for me at the time. Bryan Singer’s travesty that we were politely referring to as a “movie” had really wormed its way into my psyche. Not just because it was so bad— and it was so unbelievably bad— but also because everyone seemed to like it. When I asked anyone why their answer was “it’s about Queen, why wouldn’t I like it?”
This shouldn’t surprise me, of course, people love biopics. There’s something exciting about seeing people who were real brought to life on screen. The issue is that biopics are often awful. There exists, I think, a desire to capture every part of a person’s life. Continue reading
I confess that when I heard a small indie film about the life of author Lee Israel was to star Melissa McCarthy I was confused. McCarthy is not generally associated with drama. Her wheelhouse is comedy. Melissa McCarthy led comedies tend to range from the very good Spy to the adyssmal Happy Time Murders but more often than not they are like the forgettable Life of the Party.
I had McCarthy pigeonholed. Her identity and range as a performer were limited to comedy in my mind. I dismissed her, skipped her movies when they were in theatres, thought of her as less than she really was. I know I am alone in this misconception, I have a plethora of dismissive internet articles that say exactly that but with a much higher word count. Continue reading
I must start this out with a confession: I am someone who is prone to hyperbole. It will worm its way into my everyday interactions. In fact, one might say that I am liberal with my hyperbolicity— non-literal exaggerations can be found in the way I discuss, describe, act, and recount; in the way I exist.
However, when it comes to hyperbole, there is no place I use it more than in my descriptions of films. “It’s the most fun ever”, I might say about a movie that’s pretty fun, but the most ever? Probably not. However, in 2018 there was one film that was the receiving end of more hyperbole than any other: Bohemian Rhapsody.
This hyperbole was exclusively negative. Some descriptions I threw around included “the worst”, “actual trash”, “fully awful”, and “scum on the bottom of my shoes”. In an informal year in review I even went so far as to express my wish to strike it from history, calling it “cultural cancer masquerading as a film”. I’ll admit that the last one is probably one step too far, cancer is no laughing matter.
Then again, neither is Bohemian Rhapsody.
Of all the oddly specific sub-genres out there my personal favourite is, without a doubt, the “boy and his (insert strange creature that they befriend here)” coming-of-age film. In these films a child, usually a boy but sometimes a girl, finds a strange fantasy or science-fiction creature that is not of this world who they form an unlikely bond with.
It’s a sub-genre whose catalogue includes great films like E.T the Extra-Terrestrial, Pete’s Dragon and Flight of the Navigator. Whole franchises are built out of it; the Pokémon movies the live-action Transformers (especially the recent Bumblebee) are just two examples. If I had to choose a personal favourite it would be The Iron Giant. If I had to choose a second favourite it would be 2010’s How to Train Your Dragon. Continue reading
If I had a dollar for every time I thought “are you kidding me” while watching Green Book I would have made enough money to bribe of every critic who voted on the Golden Globes to retract every award they gave it (save for Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali because he’s pretty good). You may respond “well that seems a tad harsh, it can’t be that bad” and that would be a fair response. Green Book is a perfectly pleasant way to spend an afternoon.
It’s competently constructed; the actors do the best with the material they are given; it borders on rewarding sometimes. However, the rest of the time Green Book is a crushingly uninspired film that is so desperate to please everyone that it ends up a toothless. Green Book presents itself as a progressive film, but in reality, is a hollow reminder that despite taking huge leaps in terms of diversity (Black Panther, Blackkklansman, Crazy Rich Asians) Hollywood is still deeply regressive. Continue reading