Tuesday 29 January 2019

Four short reviews of films I've seen lately (with trailers)

Click on title for IMDb page

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Starring Bradley Cooper and Lady GaGa, both of whom were terrific.  It's a version of the well-known story: Jackson Maine is a rock star whose career has already reached its zenith, when he meets singer Ally in a small club.  They fall in love, and, because her association with him brings her talent to the notice of the industry, she becomes a star, under the management of a horribly manipulative manager who wants to turn her into a pop icon.  I am not usually into romance films, but this was totally compelling and heartrending, and I was rooting for both characters (BC is gorgeous in this, by the way!) all the way through.  Highly recommend, absolutely loved it.

Incidentally, I decided to watch the other 3 versions, as well; last night I watched the first, from 1937, and was impressed by how close to that story Bradley and GaGa's version is - 82 years later!

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Based on fact, a drama about political strategist Dominic Cummings, who led the alternative to the UKIP 'Leave' campaign, in the 2016 Britain.  Benedict Cumberpatch as idealistic, far too intelligent Cummings was marvellous, as were the actors who played such characters as Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, the stodgy old MPs who had no idea of the power of social media, and the smug head of the Remain campaign.  I was totally engrossed, and it taught me more about the whole subject, too; it served as a reminder of how easily public thought can be manipulated (by both sides) and how votes can be bought with lies, catchphrases and the targeting of fears.  Fascinating, whichever side you're on.

4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The biography of Freddie Mercury and Queen.  I am not a massive Queen fan, but I did love their early stuff, when they were more of a rock band, and the wonderful second album, Queen II, in particular.  There is no doubt that Rami Malek's performance as Mercury is sensational, particularly the parts on stage; he had every move down so perfectly.  The only aspect I didn't feel that came across at all was how overtly sexual Mercury was, but, in general, a round of applause to Mr Malek.  I enjoyed the film, it's entertaining, hence the 4 stars, but there were a few aspects I wasn't so keen on.  I know, I know, it's representational and an overview, but showing their first first Top Of The Pops appearance as Killer Queen; why?  Then there was EMI: one slightly bumbling stick-in-the-mud chap in a tiny office.  Really?  And the awful Spinal Tap type wigs in the early part, particularly John Deacon's.  Why not just get an actor willing to grow his hair, or use hair extensions, anything but those dreadful wigs that looked as though they came from a fancy dress shop.  To sum up, it's good, worth seeing, but it's all a bit too much on the cosy, schmaltzy side, and I imagine the factual inconsistencies will annoy diehard fans of the band.

3 stars ⭐

I liked The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and this was fun, but it was a bit too James Bond and daft for me.  Claire Foy was great as Lisbeth Salander, a girl who escaped from her brutal abusive father, leaving her sister behind, then becomes a vigilante, dealing out justice to other abusive men.  It's action-packed and well-filmed, and even though I know such action-adventure fantasies aren't meant to be taken seriously, sometimes it stretched the belief-suspension a little bit too much.  Good if you like that sort of thing; a reasonable but forgettable couple of hours' viewing.


Monday 28 January 2019

The Park on the 28th: January - Mid-Winter #Trees

The park where I go for my walks, photos taken in roughly the same places on the 28th of each month, to observe the changes in the seasons: the trees, the flowers, the light in the sky.  Each month, it feels different.

At about 8.15 yesterday, I noticed that the light was amazing when the sun was just up, so today I got up early and made sure I caught it!  I've only got an average sort of camera, but the sun, the sky and the park itself did the rest of the work.

Click month for previous posts:

Took this one on the way to the park because I loved the colours against the sky

Stilt Woman ;)

Long forgotten Christmas tree, by the one that fell down in October

Spring on the way: the first snowdrops