I have slowly been getting back into my rewriting. I can’t tell you how much for the last two years, especially, I’ve pondered if I should just scrap my love story. I’ve thought who is even going to read this crap and if a handful of people that do read it, what will they think? I think about the negative critiques and reviews that might surface, and hopefully not full of bitterness that some people feel the need to dispense. We all have our own opinions about things, but lately putting myself out there has scared me a little bit, even on a such a small scale. I remember how I felt about certain things 15 plus years ago. Some things have changed, but others have not. The compulsion to write is still there, despite it giving me one hell of a challenge on a daily basis. When I’m not writing, I think about writing. When I’m writing, I think how shitty it might seem to others. I could go on and on about how I think how crappy my dialogue sounds. Would she say that? Would he say that in response? Did I put too much in? Is this just a stupid story to begin with, and I’m thinking it’s something more than it really is (a pile of human waste vs. a story that is engaging and interesting). I continue to make headway into my rewrite so I can be done with it by the end of 2019. I have been told by my roommate to find the reason why I’m writing, meaning you need to enjoy doing it, because making money from it more than likely will not happen. He’s right. He has a point. The likelihood of it passing into the hands of many people probably won’t happen, but at least, I will have written it so I can move on to my next story and the one after that and keep going until I’m dead. On that note, I plan on rewriting this weekend along with a little bit of living in between. Cheers and happy writing everyone (yeah, that’s it).
Quote from Bohemian Rhapsody by Freddie Mercury : “Tell you what it is, Mr. Reid. Now we’re four misfits who don’t belong together, we’re playing for the other misfits. They’re the outcasts, right at the back of the room. We’re pretty sure they don’t belong either. We belong to them.”
Before I really begin with the core of what I want my review to be, let me be clear that the very harsh reviews dispensed by the critics were somewhat understandable, but in the whole scheme of things not all that fair. I often look to reviews as a decent indicator of whether I will see a movie in the theater, but as I’ve learned more than not lately, even the harshest critics are ripe with personal preferences and opinions. Could the movie have incorporated more of Mercury’s gay lifestyle? Yes, but if anyone who has studied gay (read lesbian and bisexual as well) culture during the 1960’s and 1970’s, it was a fragile and dangerous time for those who identified as any of the mentioned above or variation. On that note, Mercury’s onstage persona was clearly separate from his personal self. His decision to tell the world of his illness one day before he died should have been the biggest clue to how fiercely he protected certain parts of his personal life. It simply wasn’t their business. If he were still alive today, I believe he’d think the same way. The last complaint I read was the glossing over of his Persian/Indian roots as if they were something to be swept under the rug. Okay, I get it. We live, in the general sense, in a time when people are more accepting of differences. If this perceived whitewashing of Mercury’s heritage was intentional, well my eyes didn’t see this. This movie was titled Bohemian Rhapsody for a reason. It’s not titled and forgive me for my bad, on the nose title, Freddie Mercury’s Shadow. Would I like to see a biopic focusing on him alone? Yes, I’d see it in a heartbeat. I could say more on this, but I’ve said my peace. Now, I’m going to continue and speak about what makes this movie great.
Bohemian Rhapsody is written by Anthony McCarten and Peter Morgan (story) and Anthony McCarten (screenplay). It is primarily directed by Bryan Singer, but Dexter Fletcher came in after Singer departed. The producers are Jim Beach, Dexter Fletcher, Justin Haythe, Richard Hewitt, Graham King, Briain May, Arnon Milchan, Denis O’Sullivan, Jane Rosenthal, Donald Sabourin, and Roger Taylor. The band member cast includes Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, Gwilym Lee as Brian May, Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor and Joseph Mazello as John Deacon. (The kid from Jurassic Park had to grow up eventually.) Other cast are Lucy Boynton as Mary Austin, Aiden Gillen as John Reid, Mike Myers as Ray Foster, Aaron McCusker as Jim Hutton, Allen Leach as Paul Prenter, and Dermot Murphy as Bob Geldof . Freddie Mercury’s cast family are Meneka Das as Jer Bulsara (mother), Ace Bhatti as Bomi Bulsara (father), and Priya Blackburn as Kashmira Bulsara (sister). There are many minor cast members and even more extras. The MPAA rating is PG-13 for thematic elements, suggestive material, drug content and language. It is two hours and 14 minutes long. It is produced by 20th Century Fox, New Regency, GK Films, and Queen Films, and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Bohemian Rhapsody is a movie about the modest beginnings of Queen, following them along their way to stardom, and ending with one of their best performances at the Live Aid concert in 1985 held at Wembley Stadium in London.
Bohemian Rhapsody begins with Freddie Mercury leading the way to the stage, and what will become one of Queen’s greatest performances. The movie then cuts to the early days, and for those who have a 9 to 5 job or something similar to it, we can relate. It’s almost as if he’s finding a way to inject more excitement into his life. At a nightclub, he impresses a local band called Smile and becomes their new lead singer. Insert the beginning of Bulsara’s transformation. He legally changes his name, to what we all know as Freddie Mercury, and the band members agree to replace Smile with Queen. They gain traction and sign a contract with EMI Records. They furiously create album after album and when “Bohemian Rhapsody” is questioned from the start and then released with mixed reviews, Mercury is steadfast in its importance. The band continues to play across major cities all around the world, and it is here where you see the first signs of Mercury’s questioning and confusion about his sexuality. You gain entrance into his private life a little more in a combination of parties and exploration. There is a scene that deals with phones and lights when the parties end, and while it may seem simplistic at first glance, there’s such a loneliness behind what is played out. It’s one of the best non singing scenes although others may disagree. The cracks begin to get deeper for Queen, and this is where the script strays from what actually happened. It does make for good tension as separations take place, but with satisfying resolve when all is said and done. Mercury’s private life also takes on a deeper tone as he faces the harsher realities it offers. I know this is somewhat vague, but I wholeheartedly believe the portrayal of HIV and AIDS was not done with intentional malice. I don’t think it was done with unintentional malice either. The transition from Mercury’s discovery of his illness to Queen’s preparation for Live Aid is out of sync, but done for maximum effect although some critics found this cliché. Personally, I was not bothered by it. The movie ends where it began, reminding yourself of the young men with large dreams, with Queen stepping rightly onto the world stage.
My first memorable encounter with Rami Malek, as an actor, came in 24 where he played a troubled and confused Marcos Al-Zacar. It was in this performance that I was completely mesmerized of his expressive nature. It might have been his eyes, as they can be intense, but it was more than his eyes that convinced me he was the right choice for Bohemian Rhapsody. When I found out Sacha Baron Cohen was originally going to play Mercury, I had my reservations. His face resembles Mercury better, but whether Cohen could have reached the underbelly of emotions that was necessary for who Mercury was as a person will probably remain an unknown. When I saw Malek, there truly was something riveting about his transformation into Mercury. As the movie progressed and as the credits were rolling, I almost wanted to buy another ticket to watch it again. This will probably become Malek’s most important role and for good reason, unless of course, another great role comes along. I also have to give a huge nod to Gwilym Lee as Brian May and Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor because they were on top of their game too. You can’t go wrong with Mike Myers as Ray Foster. Call it a bit of comic relief, but the wig was hilarious.
I went into the theater ready to be entertained and amazed. I got both by the time the credits rolled. The movie went in the right direction. The pacing was good. The acting was great. The movie had the right amounts of vulnerability, passion, and energy. If another movie is made focusing on another part of Mercury’s life or even the band’s life, I’ll jump in feet first. He was a fascinating person and so was the band. I’ll leave with parting words from Mercury himself while I wait for Bohemian Rhapsody to come out on DVD/Blu-ray.
I give Bohemian Rhapsody Four Fingers and One Thumb at 100%.
Publication Date: December 1, 2014
Publisher: Icon Books Ltd
Page Number: 176
When I started reading this in 2017, I didn’t think it would take me this long to finish it. I must have been missing my days of being in school. This book deals with semiotics, which is another word for signs and its processes. Semiotics is often associated with sociological and anthropological thought, but it crosses into other fields too. You aren’t going to read this book for an in-depth study of semiotics. There are much lengthier books out there and probably not as quick of a read compared to this book (unless you’re talking about me). The illustrations break up the main reading so if you’re looking for a book with easy stopping points, they are plentiful. It’s basically good while you’re waiting for your doctor, for your train to arrive, for your dinner to cook, or for your child’s karate class to be done. If you’ve read any material regarding sociology including its theories, then you will probably be drawn to this book. If you like to learn new things, then you will probably like this book. If you like to use emojis, but don’t care about the significance of their universality or as a form of communication, then this probably isn’t the book for you. No need to worry because there are other topics to pick from such as psychology, capitalism, consciousness, literary criticism, romanticism, and the ever popular topic called American politics. Enjoy.
Let me know if you have any book suggestions too.
October 30, 2018: How Long Will Movie Theaters Last?
I’ve been thinking about the longevity of movie theaters and how long they will be in business. The need for a fairly cheap diversion from reality and entertainment is the reason why they will always have a place in the world, but I feel over time the desire will decrease if the trends keep going as they are. Much like drive-in theaters are a phenomenon of the past, it maybe that theaters as we know it today are few and far between. While it won’t be on the level of Blockbuster where only one store exists and that is in Bend, Oregon as of August 2018, the ability to watch movies on big screens in the confines of your home or apartment/loft has already made an unwanted dent in Hollywood and un-Hollywood movies.
There are some, like myself, who frankly wishes that studios would give more of a chance on other movies besides remakes and comic book heroes/heroines. I know there are other independent movies (that meaning has definitely changed over time) and adaptations that are worthy of viewing. The thing is I’m now willing to wait for movies to either come on Netflix or Hulu and if I feel the compulsion, go to Redbox or something similar to it. If I miss those opportunities, I can always buy it online. Let’s face it. The flooding of the ways in which to view movies has made the current experience of going to the movie theater less appealing to some. I used to be gung-ho in buying the ticket, waiting in line for the popcorn (large with butter please if you’re at Arclight), watching the previews, and finally 20 to 30 minutes later enjoying the movie.
Now, I’m less willing to sit in the theater although the current one has reclining seats to the point of you could fall asleep if you wanted, but you don’t because these days movie tickets aren’t cheap. The prices for me ranged from eight to 17 dollars when I lived in Los Angeles. For years, I went to AMC with their discounted tickets. Sometimes, I went to Arclight where the movies were the highest priced, but had the best popcorn. I liked Laemmle Theatres as it was a family run movie theater. I went to Regency right before I left Los Angeles. Now, they are around 12 dollars. The other reason I’m less willing to watch a movie in the theater because I’m pickier nowadays with the movie quality.
The movies I thought had opportunities to be good and possibly great viewing experiences were mediocre when the credits rolled. I was disappointed one too many times. Yes, movie reviews should be taken with a grain of salt. I’ve read enough to know there is something missing in many movies being released today. I can’t put my finger on it, but from what I’ve seen, there isn’t enough depth. The characters have backstory, but the actions only go halfway into the belly of the problem or issue. I’m severely missing that layer of fat. Not that I want eat it, but I want definitely want it dangling in front of my nose. Take off the saran wrap, please. Let me experience the smell.
I plan on seeing Bohemian Rhapsody in the theater. Not sure on opening weekend, but I will go eventually. I think the days of seeing movies every month are gone for me. I’m finding it too time consuming. Bad, I know, but times have changed. The large bucket of popcorn should be enough for a family of four, but now it is usually deemed as suitable for one or two people. Then, you get the refill. I’m not sure what will replace the movie trend of remakes and comic book adaptations, but when it does happen, I’ll be looking forward to it.
When Pistol Speaks, She Listens
Pull it out.
Nice and shiny.
The power. The glory. The spotlight.
You want it.
Yes. Yes. Yes.
You got it.
Many times over.
You have it.
All of it.
Quote from Bodyguard by Julia Montague: “That doesn’t require apologizing for the past.”
Writer: Jed Mercurio
Director: Thomas Vincent and John Strickland
Cast: Richard Madden, Sophie Rundle, Gina McKee, Ash Tandon, Nina Toussaint-White, Stuart Bowman, Richard Riddell, Nicholas Gleaves, Matt Stokoe, Anjii Mohindra, Shubham Saraf, Stephanie Hyam, and Keeley Hawes
Rating: TV-MA for Sex & Nudity, Profanity, and Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking
Episode Number: Six
Episode Length: 60 minutes
I read good things about this show and looked forward to seeing Richard Madden again. The last thing I had seen him in was Medici: Masters of Florence. Who knows what to believe about the whole James Bond gossip? Back to this six episode series where his character, David Budd, is assigned the role of protecting the Home Secretary, Julia Montague. Yes, he fought in Afghanistan. Yes, he was at odds with his new assignment because of Montague’s views. Yes, there were unnecessary sex scenes. (Sex sells. Ladies love the romance. Okay, most ladies). Sometimes, it advanced the plot forward. Other times not. I could have taken it either way.
The first episode hooked me and kept me engaged. I thought some scenes could’ve been toned down (a touch of overacting), but it led me wanting to know more and why. I began the second episode, and after that was done, I pretty much decided to binge watch the show in one day. The tension, both sexual and political, continued between Budd and Montague. His relationship with his own family gains traction. He continues to have common issues many go through after fighting a war including flashbacks, drinking, and hiding emotions. The sixth episode comes to a close with David Budd forced to commit to soul searching.
While this show does highlight the reality of terrorism and terrorists in today’s global world, it’s a tricky subject to tackle. You don’t want to paint a picture of a certain ethnic group in an unfavorable light, but unfortunately, this does happen at times. These tragedies repeat itself in many parts of the world and sometimes by the same individuals. People also can turn on its own neighbors/citizens. The recent terrorism spreading across the United States last and this week is a prime example. Because it’s easy to view others as the enemy, it’s also easy to justify deadly means to get a deadly end. In regards to the show, this model of thinking was present in more than one area.
Bodyguard is good in the sense of a given a tiny slice of one type of cake to eat. It allows for complications within and among the politicians and police forces. It errs on the side of caution when it comes to having a tidy answer by the end (okay, in one story line). On the flip side, a drawback to this show was the almost band aid like treatment of explaining a few things during the latter half. There should have been a little more leading up to the answers given. It’s almost like the creators skipped a letter between X and Z. We see X happening. Z was given as a possibility. Y was the reason given. There wasn’t enough “ah, that makes complete sense.” I was left more with “okay, could’ve used a little more detail earlier, but whatever. I still get it.” In conclusion this wasn’t the greatest show I’ve seen, but it had enough content to be rated as good overall.
Bodyguard gets Three Fingers with 80%.
I’m very excited for the new season of Narcos to begin next month. I’ve been patiently waiting for this show for quite some time. The showdown between Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo (played by Diego Luna) and Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena (played by Michael Peña) will take the center stage and lead to the unfortunate ending. The fight over who controls the drug trade out of Mexico lands in the hands of the Guadalajara Cartel. The struggle to bring the Jalisco state some order isn’t an easy task as DEA agents continue their uphill battle against police and government corruption. Much like the other three seasons, it will pace itself to the climatic ending and include strong performances by Luna and Peña.