Bohemian Rhapsody

Viewed – 12 March 2019  online-rental

I’ve come to this with quite some anticipation, not only for the fact that any movie involving the British rock band Queen was going to be an interesting story but also following the Oscar nod given to Mr Robot’s Rami Malek for his portrait of Freddie Mercury … this just became more and more an essential prospect.  Charting the band’s 1970s origins right through to their legendary appearance at Live Aid in 1985, this mostly focuses on the personal battles of Mercury, his sexuality etc., whilst also touching on the bands on off struggles for creative freedom.


Malek, a little young looking to fully get away with the role and not the most eloquent of speakers (thankfully Mercury’s actual voice is dubbed over for the singing) still does a good job mimicking the iconic star’s flamboyant mannerisms and also handles emotional scenes convincingly.  Additional casting for the band members is also rather uncanny (especially Brian May).  Director Bryan Singer has delivered an absorbing, respectful yet not glossed-over biopic that although not fully capturing the attention Queen got especially in the early years (little word on record sales or chart success), manages to showcase who Mercury was and just how good the music was, leading to a feel-good if bitter-sweet ending that I’ll admit got me teary eyed.

It may bunny-hop over significant moments in their discography such as a collaboration with David Bowie or their involvement with the Flash Gordon soundtrack, but overall this was fascinating, entertaining and made me appreciate Queen all over again.

Verdict: 4 /5

X-Men: First Class

Viewed – 08 June 2011  Cinema

I didn’t get around to seeing the most recent X-Men movie, Last Stand, mostly due to poor reviews and a change of director from Brian Singer to Brett Ratner.  Yet the other night, I did manage to catch about half an hour of it on TV, and thought it looked pretty decent.  This was enough to re-educate me on all things mutant for this latest instalment.  Following the story of how Professor X and Magneto first came to know each other, Patrick Stewart is replaced by James McAvoy, and Michael Fassbender steps into the shoes of Ian McKellen.  Joining them is also a wealth of new mutants, and some familiar faces, including a young Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence instead of Rebecca Romijn).  Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughan also offers his considerable directing-chops this time around.

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