Rocketman Review

Last year we got Queen, this year we get Elton John. Taron Egerton takes on the role, allegedly handpicked by Elton John himself. Could he follow in the footsteps of Remi Malek and smash this out of the park. Dexter Fletcher, the uncredited director of parts of Bohemian Rhapsody, and after what he did with that film, I was excited to see what he could do with this story. 

That is the end of the Bo-Rap comparisons for now, as I don’t want to discredit the film by just comparing it to another movie. Elton John’s story is one I knew of vaguely, but none of the details were clear to me. The film shows the pure talent of the musician, but also dives in deep to the core of the man. We see the highs and the lows, and it doesn’t pull any punches.

Getting the right actor to be Elton was always going to be the element that would make or break this film, and I have to say that Taron Egerton absolutely smashes this role. He becomes Elton for the duration of the film, and he shows he can carry a film and deliver on the emotional moments that are scattered through the film. On top of that, he has the voice and physical ability to carry off all the singing and dancing this film throws at him.

That brings me to the most fun element of Rocketman, the music. I went in expecting some of the biggest hits and a few concert recreations, but that is not what Rocketman delivers. This is a full-on musical, just with world famous songs that are positioned at the perfect times to fit the story. If you watched the film with no idea of Elton John or his music, you could easily think the music was created originally for this film. “Saturday Night Alright for Fighting” to “Your Song”, a big handful of Elton’s best-known music is served up.

The music punctuates key scenes, and for me worked at its best when it functioned as the exclamation point on key scenes. The other interesting use that may not work for everyone, is the use of his songs to stop the audience dwelling on any of the lower moments. We see Elton hit rock bottom, the lowest he could go, and it leads into a rendition of the title song. The way the song is filmed and performed, it worked perfectly for me and kept the movie from feeling too heavy at any time.

So far, it’s all been about Elton in this review, but whilst he is of course the main character, we do get some really good work from the supporting cast. His mum played by Bryce Dallas Howard is excellent as is his co-writer and best friend Bernie, played by Jamie Bell. Both have key roles in the film and share the stage with Egerton without ever outshining him, although I am not sure that would have been possible in this film.

The other major character in the film is John Reid, Elton’s manager and lover. He is played by Richard Madden, who does well in the role but the character itself is the main flaw in the film for me. Whilst the music numbers are fantastical and dreamlike, all the character moments between them felt real. As the film progresses John Reid goes from slightly manipulative to being full on moustache twirling evil. I felt he became a bit too cartoonish by the end of the film and that is a real shame as that is pretty much the only element of this film I didn’t enjoy.

Rocketman delivers on the potential the story has and is an incredibly fun time in the cinema. A brilliant performance by Egerton, that for me outdoes even Remi Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody, is one of many reasons to go and see this film. Unless you hate Elton John’s music, you will have a great time watching this.

Good:  Taron Egerton’s performance may be the best in 2019, Musical numbers that will have your feet tapping and a smile on your face and will leave you with a new appreciation for Elton John.

Bad: I found one character a bit too over the top evil, and that is the only real knock I can have. Oh and no Circle of Life. Come on.

9.5/10 – Leaves you feeling like a little kid. 

 

 

This Week In Film – 25.03.2019

I have really enjoyed writing about gaming news the last few weeks, so I am going to bring that same format to the Movie news world, bringing you all the news that interested me, including the box office news and my thoughts on any trailers from the last week. This week Us released in theatres, I go back over the Avengers trailer, and the Elton John biopic runs into some rating issues. 

Box Office Breakdown

This week Get Out director Jordan Peele released his newest film into cinema’s, the freaky horror “Us”. I haven’t got round to seeing it yet, partly because of a busy weekend, partly because I think it might scare the bejesus out of me. That didn’t keep a lot of people in the US from going out this weekend and watching it. Bringing in $70 million on its opening weekend is a great showing, and proves the director has really caught the attention of the movie going audience. The aforementioned Get Out made a respectable $33 million on its first weekend, so doubling that with your second film will make studios desperate to get their hands on his next script.

Coming in second this weekend is Captain Marvel, hanging in there at $35 million and taking its worldwide total over $900 million and up to 10th in the MCU domestic rankings. It’s another example of how well Marvel have brought in regular members of public hooked on their films. Captain Marvel is a very obscure character, and yet its made $100 million more than Wonder Woman, an iconic character known around the world. Marvel will be very happy with this just a month before Avengers Endgame hits theatres.

Avengers Trailer Spoilers?

Speaking of the Endgame, what I hope is the final trailer dropped a couple of weeks ago and predictably sent the internet crazy with theories and speculation. The trailer does give a little away, supposedly anyway, and I will be mentioning that in some detail here but I personally don’t think any of it is a spoiler.

In the trailer there is a clear shot towards the end that shows Tony Stark and Nebula on earth, with the rest of the Avengers in hitherto unseen matching white suits. This is considered by some as a major spoiler, as it gives away that Tony and Nebula make it back to earth when in previous trailers and the end of the last film we saw them on their own in outer space with no way of getting home. For me this breaks down to being about the journey, not so much the destination.

Avengers Endgame is going to be the story of how the avengers will overcome Thanos and save the heroes they lost. There is little doubt in my mind that the vast majority of the heroes who got ‘dusted’ at the end of Infinity War will be saved somehow. What I am in the dark about is how, and that is why I am so excited to see Endgame. The journey to that point and the wins and losses along the way have been set up so perfectly that Endgame is the most anticipated movie in my lifetime.

R-Rocketman rating

Kingsman star Taron Egerton’s portrayal of Elton John is one of the most anticipated movies of the year for many. The success of Bohemian Rhapsody last year paved the way for another music icon based biopic, and Rocketman is looking to fill that place. One part of what made Bohemian Rhapsody successful was that it was a film for the entire family, however it’s looking like Rocketman is unlikely to have that same wholesome quality.

Rocketman apparently contains scenes with strong sexual content and hard drug consumption, suggesting the film will go into the dark side of being a rockstar much more than the Queen biopic dared to. The scene has led to suggestions that the film may receive an “R” rating and lead to a narrowing of the potential audience for the picture.

The film is still a way off, not being due for release until 17th May 2019. That gives them a few months to edit the scene and cut around the F words and any nudity to earn the scene, and the film, the PG 13 rating that I think they are aiming for. I for one hope the film gets the lower rating, as I am hoping for a celebration of Elton John’s music in the same way Bohemian Rhapsody celebrated Queens.

Thanks for reading this, This Week in Film will develop just as This Week in Gaming does, and Wednesday’s will be new reviews of new and old films, till next time!

My Most Anticipated Movies 2019

I don’t know if everyone feels this, but one of the things I love the most about movies is the anticipation. Wondering about what surprises might happen, which characters I’m going to love or hate, and just whether or not any movie is going to be good or bad for me. Of course I am excited for the likes of Avengers Endgame and Star Wars Episode IX, but so is everyone else. With that in mind, here are a few of the films I am most excited to see in 2019 that aren’t huge blockbusters. 

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – 9th August (UK)

Boasting arguably the most talented cast in history with Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt Margot Robbie, Al Pacino and Kurt Russell, it is none of those names that really make me want to see this film. The name that does that, is Quentin Tarantino. I love every movie that I have seen of his (there are a few I haven’t watched) and a late 60s hollywood setting matched with all of Tarantino’s style and sensibilities sounds like a match made in heaven.

His particular brand of dialogue and the creative characters he puts into his films in the hands of such an incredibly talented cast just add to the anticipation for me. I know barely anything about this film beyond what I have put in this post and it is still easily one of my most anticipated films of the year. Releasing at the height of the blockbuster season, I really hope this gem isn’t buried by the superhero films out around then.

Joker – 4th October (US, UK Unconfirmed)

If you know me well, you will already know why this film is so high on my list. The Joker is my favourite fictional character across all mediums, so a movie based on him with a talent like Joaquin Phoenix in the role is tantalising. Early set photos show Phoenix looking suitably creepy as the maniacal villain, looking like a mix of the classic Caesar Romero look blended with Heath Ledger’s iconic turn in the role.

The Hangover director Todd Phillips is in charge of things, and that is my main concern with the film. None of his films really wow me, but none of them are terrible, he’s a very middle of the road director for a project i really want to see succeed. If he can take a few pointers from Martin Scorsese, who is on as a Producer for this film, i really think this could be something special.

The Lion King – 19th July (UK) 

Now this is a very interesting film to me. The animated classic from the 90s is my favourite Disney film, I watched it 100s of times as a kid, and it was a film I hoped would not be made before I saw the Jungle Book remake. However, in a post Jungle Book world, and with the astounding cast of voices on board under the same director (Jon Favreau), I am now all in to see this film. The special effects are brilliant, that goes without saying, but what will make or break The Lion King for me is the characters being as lovable and memorable as they was in 1994.

I never had this attachment to the Jungle Book, so this is new ground for me. I am going into a film hoping it is exactly the same as one I have seen before, but with a new lick of paint and some shiny new accessories. Whatever the end product is like, I am sure me and my generation will be pushing small kids out the way on opening day to sing along to Hakuna Matata in a theatre together come July. If it’s a success, we will be back in for the next showing.

Rocketman – 21 June (UK) 

In 2018, Bohemian Rhapsody gave Queen fans (i.e. Everyone) a chance to relive the past with Freddie Mercury leading Queen through their songs, whilst giving a glimpse behind the curtain at the life the legendary frontman led. In 2019, Rocketman aims to deliver the same experience, but with Elton John. His career spans several decades and his music traverses multiple Genres just like Queen, and he too has a story not everyone knows about. I am in that section of people, so I’m fascinated to learn about the man behind the music.

Dexter Fletcher is directing, whose work I have never seen, but I heard good things about Eddie the Eagle, hopefully this gives him the step up he needs to reach the next level as a director. Kingsman lead man Taron Egerton takes on the role of Elton John, and I really hope he nails this and maybe even generates himself some award buzz.

There are lots more of course, with Disney alone boasting Toy Story 4, Dumbo, Aladdin, Captain Marvel, Spiderman Far from Home and Frozen 2 on top of Star Wars and Avengers, it promises to be a huge year in cinema. Google 2019 films to see a lot of the films coming our way in the next 12 months, and there are certainly some we haven’t even heard of yet. The blog will be more active than ever this year so thank you for reading and please share if you think anyone you know will want to waste their time reading this! Til next time 🙂