Sunday, January 13, 2019

Star Rating: 2/4

If you do see Vice, what do you expect from it? Do you expect it to be a political satire in the midst of all the tension you hear about every day on the news? If so, you'll find some fascinating insights but might not enjoy it with a whole heart. Vice offers an interesting look at America's history as well as the effects of Dick Cheney's legacy but as a film, it ends up being insufficient as a scathing look at politics while also being too experimental to be liked.

One highlight of the film is how menacing Dick Cheney (Christian Bale) is as Vice President. Through montages using real-life footage throughout the feature, especially in the beginning, people are tortured in the midst of carnage throughout the Middle East. Cheney authorized it all. People within Generation Z may not be too familiar with events regarding the presidency of George W. Bush (Sam Rockwell) but the main idea is clear: everyone was running Bush's country but Bush. Anyone who watched an advertisement for Vice could relate it to how the Vice President could be doing more than the actual President in current politics. However, the movie tries to be a character study more than using the structure of a character study to point out flaws in current events. If they did the latter, it would be more resonating.

          The character to study is one who goes from being a drunk bum to acquiring all sorts of power a Vice President typically wouldn't have. Everyone had to report to him before Bush. It makes sense to say that Bush was Cheney's puppet and Christian Bale's performance is so seamless and casual as the power-hungry individual. His sly and raspy voice makes him so villainous and the fact that he put on 40 pounds is unbelievable. He does become Cheney but there's one mark he doesn't hit: why does he want power so badly? Bale is worth watching as he grows more ruthless but revealing his motivations would make his study more interesting.

          Another interesting quality is how Bush was Cheney's puppet but Cheney might have been one to his wife, Lynne (Amy Adams). Her first scene is brilliantly constructed as she talks him down for his brash behavior as young adults in a manner reminiscent of an evil minion reporting to the master from a Saturday morning superhero kids show. She says she needs him to get what she wants: opportunity. Women did not have as many in the mid-20th century, unfortunately, yet it's fascinating to see how Lynne might have used her husband as a way to leaving her legacy on the world. Adams is so cunningly slick in the role that it makes you wonder if she might be more dangerous than her spouse. Could she be considered the real villain?

          Even though Lynne adds to the character progression of Dick Cheney as a possible central driving force for his career, there's a respectable quality to him that many may not credit him with: he's a decent family man. You'll see him as a loving husband and a supportive father. His relationship with his wife is questionable as you might wonder if she really loves him but he definitely loves her. Without her, he'd be nothing, so he owes her much. The poke at feminism from the perspective of a progressive artist is present but that's not the goal. It's all about Cheney's career.

          His career was always like a game of bowling; he just need the pins and one to get him rolling. Donald Rumsfeld (Steve Carell) got him rolling and George W. Bush ends up being the set of pins. With his objectives, Rumsfeld turns him into the beast, metaphorically speaking, whose only intention is to serve his party, much like himself. The more experience he gets, the easier it is to manipulate someone like the former cocaine-addict Bush. Rockwell could be considered a reason why Vice is sometimes funny to witness as he makes him somewhat cartoonish, especially as he looks like a bobblehead that came to life. His vocal impression of him will have you laugh a little harder at him too.

          Vice makes you feel like you are watching history and the makeup art is incredible. On the contrary, it feels too much like a lecture as it tells you what happens rather than showing the present day impact you might be oblivious to. The politicians depicted come from the Nixon era which shaped their conservative ideologies and it comes as a shock to show that we haven't come that far from the period in time. Is that the point though? You might not know.

          There's also the experimental quality that makes it seem too unconventional for everyone. where scenes juxtapose images of fishing. Parts showing Cheney's ambition are mirrored through the juxtaposition of people fishing. Those work but some are off-putting such as the Shakespeare scene. The Cheneys are about to go to sleep while discussing a possible running mate position with Bush. It cuts to black and cuts to them reciting a dialogue from Richard III. The scene is intended for laugh but in a weird way. It's definitely not for honesty. Vice is labeled a comedy, yes, but the way it conveys it is not for the faint of heart.

          Much is covered in the film that you might not make too much sense of it. You might have been excited to see it if you enjoyed the director's previous work, The Big Short (2015). His last film is superior as it had more of a message covering the 2008 economic crisis: America needs a new economic system. McKay blends popular culture references with serious documentation but his goal is unclear. It feels like Cheney lacks a reason to pursue titles of power as a character to critique our current president so you might be a sensing a let-down with Vice.

          Cheney will always be known as a ruthless Vice President who did only what he thought was best. Some can argue that he was well-intentioned in times of terror but the horror upon realization of his capabilities should be agreed on both sides. Power can lead to corruption on one's soul and that is what happened to him. Actors like Bale give Vice entertainment value and can raise discussion on who the people are but the discussion is for the people, not the film.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Star Rating: 3/4

As the year comes to a close, enter one of the last entries in the ever growing pop culture phenomenon of science fiction and superhero movies that has defined this year. We have seen the titular character before but here is his chance to shine. Aquaman is definitely better than most of the other installments the DC universe has offered in its now five-year run. It may have its flaws and borders on implausibility but it pulls people in with its intriguing characters and mostly-hypnotic visuals.

Our protagonist is known as Arthur (Jason Momoa), son of human Thomas Curry (Temurea Morrison) and Atlantean queen Atlanna (Nicole Kidman). However, Atlanna is forced to return home by her guards, leave her human loved ones and be executed to ensure their safety. Decades later, Arthur becomes known as Aquaman of the Justice League. Arthur's half-brother, Orm (Patrick Wilson), aspires to become Ocean Master in Atlantis and wage war on humans due to their continued pollution. Recruited by Mera (Amber Heard), who is betrothed to Orm, Arthur must find a lost trident that will grant him the title of king and prevent the war.

          The character of Aquaman may be popular but he was one I don't know much about. His first action scene depicts him stopping pirates from commandeering a military submarine. As he is half-Atlantean, the ocean gives enhances his capabilities. He takes out the pirates as if he's pretty much Superman from under the sea. Whether or not he really is that strong, I'm not sure, but it only made me more fascinated in learning his publication history.

          Under the sea in the world of Atlantis is an incredible sight to witness, to an extent. The visuals make it look like the underwater version of the planet Pandora from Avatar (2009). One great thing about movies is how they can immerse us as an audience into the world so we can become more attached to it. Here's the problem though: the visual works best only in terms of creating an environment. For close-ups of CGI characters, it looks less than three-dimensional and realistic. At times we get drawn into the illusion and other instances we snap out of it. Besides, can fire really be lit underwater?

          In light of the action sequences, they are quite exciting to sit through. With James Wan directing, he pull us in with his trademark camera moves. He puts us in perspective and out of it so we grasp the world around us. There are even the multiple degree camera rotations in the midst of large fight sequences that can seem dizzying but gets our pulses racing. However, the editing could have gone through some improvement. We lose our attention in moments such as when a projectile hits an object and the next cut shows the object being hit again from a different angle. Continuity is everything in filmmaking if we want to still be absorbed in the narrative flow.

          Despite losing our interest, Aquaman regains ours with its characters. Take Orm for example: before Aquaman was released, Orm reminded people of Michael B. Jordan's Killmonger in Black Panther earlier this year but that's a good thing. Both have justifiable reasons for being the villain: Killmonger was tired of tolerating the treatment of black people in American society while Orm is angered at humans' unwitting role in the destruction of the Atlantean environment and wants to prevent it. People are responsible for it so he believes the best way to stop the trouble is by killing the source. Since they are of different worlds, the hatred grows within him, especially as Arthur's birth is the reason their mother was killed. Also, his soon-to-be-wife ends up falling for the brother so that adds to it too.

          Heard, who looks absolutely beautiful with red hair, conveys Mera somewhat as the pacifist of the cast. She sees Atlanna in herself and hopes to not follow the same fate. The parallel between her and Atlanna makes her a standout in the whole film. Willem Defoe as the loyal Vulko adds to this quality as well by seeing the best middle ground for ocean and land worlds in Arthur.

          I can't see anyone else playing Aquaman than Jason Momoa now. He makes him a real badass. This incarnation of Arthur may be as durable as Superman but has a mentality reminiscent of other DC Comics character Rorschach from Watchmen (2009). Rorschach wanted to protect the innocent as their hero but was ready to draw the line if his enemies went too far. Arthur is like that too. This is one reason why Arthur doubts his ability to be a ruler yet helps differentiate himself from other superheroes.

          Aquaman could have also been a reflection on environmental issues, especially since the issue of climate change is receiving more attention. Orm and Mera agree that humans need to be more careful in their daily lives but what we're missing is one scene in the third act addressing this topic. Instead, we get an explosive, action-packed finale as the genre is supposed to guarantee. My issue with that is this: after getting to the climax, it didn't matter. I don't mean that to disrespect the matter but as I've said before: the little kid inside of me never went away.

          Overall, Aquaman is flawed but it's such an excitement to watch that I ended up enjoying the ride. It's not on par with Wonder Woman (2017) but it's definitely better than all the other DC movies. There is a sense of fun to it that Justice League (2017) conveyed in minimal length but we're at the end of the year. Fun is OK to have.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Star Rating: 3/4

Yes, there are more Transformers movies and yes, I saw this one. As someone who was entranced by the visual effects this series presented as a young and naive child, me seeing Bumblebee shows that some things don't change. Admittedly, I never saw the fifth installment, The Last Knight, a year ago due to personal events. Whether that's a good thing or not doesn't matter now. This semi-reboot spin-off with the lovable yellow robot has to be the best Transformers movie ever made. It resonates with its use of environment while having a heart at the same time.

On the human side is Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), a young girl living in California with her family. She's good with mechanics and hopes to fix her late father's Corvette one day. While looking for parts in the junkyard belonging to her uncle Hank (Len Cariou), she finds a Volkswagen Beetle. Hank agrees to let her keep it as she is able to get it running. Charlie is ecstatic, as one getting a car would be, but finds out there's more to the car than meets the eye. In her garage, it becomes a gigantic, but mute, robot. Learning it to be harmless, she names it Bumblebee.

          As this is the first Transformers film not to be made by Michael Bay, it has a chance to start over. With Travis Knight in the chair, we get something really fun to watch. My fear was that it would be a love story between Bumblebee and Charlie; The Shape of Water (2017) was THAT weird. However, it's not what I dreaded. This film has been advertised as something similar to Spielberg's E.T. (1982) and it is in many respects: a simple tale of an unlikely friendship.

          The fun comes from the 1980s setting. The music, clothes and movies help give a blast from that past. I'm sure there will be many parents who will take their kids to see it. They sure lived through that decade, excluding teen parents, so they can appreciate the film on some level. As for the people that grew up with the cartoon this saga is based on, it would feel like an homage to them. That's what will make Bumblebee stick with them more.

          Wait, though! What about the action? Oh, there's plenty of it as Bumblebee's enemies seek to hunt him down. One aspect Knight attempts to maintain is the explosive sequences that aim to thrill us. He succeeds. The action is exciting and heart-pounding and the score by Dario Marianelli amplifies the experience. Oh, the visual effects! In all honesty, it looks vivid and realistic but not what one would expect. Each robot takes on a new design that looks straight out of a video game. It pays respect to the cartoon by reusing old character art, which is a smart choice, and they look good but the overall thought on it will depend on one's willingness to accept something new.

          Another quality that makes Bumblebee feel new is the cast. The talented and lovely Hailee Steinfeld is a star. She has such a wide range of emotions that it's safe to call her the best actor/actress Transformers has ever cast. She's hurt yet joyful, depressed while wanting to be optimistic, feisty and sweet but all around exuberant with her contagious smile. We're happy to take the ride with her.

          More standouts include John Cena as Jack Burns, someone who is most likely a pro-Reagan Republican. If Burns was real, our President might consider him to be a member of his cabinet. Burns has some Trump-like qualities to himself as one who will oppress what is different from himself. His discrimination though ends up helping us develop an attachment to Bumblebee, especially in the beginning when Burns ambushes him upon his arrival to Earth. The scene reminds me of our current administration's treatment of immigrants so this adds a sense of innocence to Bumblebee as a character. Also, John Ortiz plays Burns' scientist acquaintance Dr. Powell with such enthusiasm that his take on a somewhat-mad scientist is rather delightful, despite not being in the film for too long.

          Despite everything Bumblebee does right, it should be well aware that this is only for Transformers fans. Those who have waited some time for a good one will be rewarded. It seeks to be mere fun and offer a sense of escapism as the holiday season approaches. That is the only ambition but that's OK with me. I need some fun every now and then.

          Fans of Transformers will enjoy this with a whole heart. Typical moviegoers should find some sort of pleasure. We get everything we should have gotten years ago: more transformations, better character dynamics, no crude humor and a feeling of soul that may have been misplaced in previous installments. My younger self is surprised to know I'm writing this but I haven't grown up completely, that should be clear by now. I hope to have the spirit of a 10-year-old regardless of my actual age and this gives me a reason to keep watching blockbuster films such as this one. Acting younger makes me feel content with myself so I'm glad I saw Bumblebee. Now let's hope I don't completely change my mentality in later years.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Grinch
Star Rating: 2.5/4

The lead is from an old famous book that filmmakers thought was worth another look. It came out in time for the Christmas season. Seeing it now is a cliched reason. That's right. Benedict Cumberbatch lends his voice to the iconic grouch from one of Dr. Seuss' most notable works. He is undoubtedly the best thing about this film yet while he aspires to give his A-game, the overall product does not appear that way.

Everyone in the city of Whoville is preparing for the most wonderful time of the year. Then there's the Grinch (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch), a cranky, heartless creature dismayed at all related to happiness. He lives on a mountain with his pet dog, Max, and they witness in disgust the planning for the upcoming holiday. All of the events trigger memories from the Grinch's past. Out of exhaustion, he plans to sabotage Christmas in all of Whoville.

Kids can see the villainy that defines his character yet they're too young to understand how remarkable Cumberbatch is in this role. The ultra-talented British actor dons a voice that resembles an unlikely combination of Bill Hader and Heath Ledger's Joker from The Dark Knight (2008). On the contrary, if he was inspired by any acclaimed villainous performances, he drew from the right material. Grinch fits into Cumberbatch's repertoire as the genius who starts off as uncompromising and then goes along with whatever the film as in store but now we can see how great of a voice actor Cumberbatch is. I hope to hear him in more animated movies someday.

          As The Grinch is a Christmas film in time for the holidays, the animation needs to be beautiful and it is. One scene that stands out is where Whoville is lit up with a variety of Christmas lights after the tree for the city is placed. The color used in the scene evokes the feeling one would get after driving around their neighborhood admiring the work others put in decorating their houses. It's hard not be impressed with this factor.

          Cumberbatch and the visuals are the two best aspects of this incarnation of Dr. Seuss' story while everything else remains lackluster. It merely aims to be another holiday film and that's it. However, I think the main problem is that we may expect a wow factor, especially since many animated movies can surprise us in content. If we just look at this feature as a mere retelling of a kid's story, we can enjoy it more.

          Also, to make a big pivot, who came up with the idea of turning the old Grinch songs into hip hop covers? Actually, scratch that. Why is there a censored version of those songs in the end credits? This a movie for little kids. They all haven't been introduced to songs by Snoop Dogg or Jay-Z yet, both of whom the film's narrator -- Pharrell Williams -- has worked with in the music industry. R&B versions would've been fine as Williams has experience in that genre. I don't hate hip hop music at all but the songs don't fit this particular motion picture.

          Either way, we can all agree that the actions of the Grinch are truly terrible. It defines what I would call holiday terrorism and the closest event to that term is people raiding the mall on Christmas Eve for last minute gift shopping. Is The Grinch a gift to us audiences though? To the kids, yes. For others, it will depend on how they want to look at it. The movie is funny and here's the reason why. Cumberbatch helps so it might be worth a try.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Ralph Breaks the Internet
Star Rating: 3/4

How many films have added to the pop culture phenomenon that was this year alone? We've had the pleasing Ready Player One, the humorous Deadpool 2 and the colossal Infinity War. This year has to be the one where pop culture acts as the dominant force of our everyday lives and Ralph Breaks the Internet only adds to it. Although it can feel utterly ludicrous at times, Ralph Breaks the Internet acts as a worthwhile sequel to its predecessor with a great level of creativity that definitely tickles our funny bones.

Six years after the events of the first one, Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (voiced by Sarah Silverman) remain best friends who spend much of their time together. One day though, the wheel on the game breaks and Sugar Rush is forced to be unplugged. All of its inhabitants are forced to evacuate and left homeless. The kids who accidentally break the game help the arcade owner, Mr. Litwak (voiced by Ed O'Neill), to find a new wheel. With a little help from their smartphones, they find one on eBay. Despite a glimmer of hope, it ends up being too expensive for him. Wanting to help Vanellope, Ralph suggests sneaking into the newly installed Internet to find the wheel.

          A wonderful aspect of Disney pictures is their intention to open our imaginations. Everyone knows their creativity knows no bounds when they have the right project. As an audience, we are able to dive into new territory with their protagonists in the narratives. Disney paints the digital realm in what would most likely be the perspective of characters like Ralph and Vanellope. Through the exploration of the internet, the creators find humor in unexpected places and connect the ordinary activities with it. It's hilarious to see how we lose Wi-Fi connection and get redirected to new search results.

          One surprise is Gal Gadot playing Shank, the lead racer in an online game called Slaughter Race. She's tough on the outside yet compassionate in secrecy. It seems strange to know that Wonder Woman is now playing someone else and that might make her feel miscast in this role. Gadot has too much star power to be in a shrunken down role like this one and may be referencing her past role in the Fast and Furious franchise but overall, she does well. She may not have as much screen time as one would think, but it's fine.

          The main focus is on Ralph and Vanellope. Their friendship is the heart of the film. It is tested and ends with a refutation. That is why Ralph Breaks the Internet excels as a sequel and a film. We get two characters who value an essential factor everyone needs in life: friendship. There are good and bad parts to it but it will always be important. As long as we treat it with the same significance as they do, we'll always feel whole.

          Ralph Breaks the Internet earns the title of being a late year hit but it may not be a blockbuster. Others in the future may make more at the box office but for now, it's hard to beat a feature with a soul like this one.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Star Rating: 3.5/4

Widows is the type of movie that doesn't pull a punch, but why should it? To consider filmmaker Steve McQueen's previous feature 12 Years a Slave (2013), everyone should know he wouldn't hold anything back. This time, he presents a story with fully realized characters entangled in an enormous web of corruption. With its diverse cast and important themes, Widows may be one of the most progressive films of the year. It's intense as well but so damn good.

In the city of Chicago, a stereotypically corrupt location, an election is underway. The candidates are beloved Jack Mulligan (Colin Farrell) and former crime boss Jamal Manning (Brian Tyree Henry). While that happens, criminal Larry Rawlings (Liam Neeson) steals $5 million of Manning's campaign money with his crew for them to split. However, they are ambushed and killed by police. Larry's widow, Veronica (Viola Davis), is threatened by Manning soon afterward to steal the same amount from Mulligan and bring it back to him to settle the score. Veronica then recruits the widows of Larry's team -- Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) and Alice (Elizabeth Debicki) -- to assist her in the mission.

          Viola Davis is one hell of an actress. Looking back at Suicide Squad (2016), a bad movie she was in, she succeeded in conveying the ruthlessness of her character and she applies that for Widows with so much more. She mixes that trait with vulnerability, brains, desperation, confidence and even under-confidence. As she carries on her plan holding around her cute white dog everywhere she goes, it reminded me of Marlon Brando in The Godfather (1972). They both oversee the tasks at hand but Davis' character in Widows can be compared more so to Vito's son, Michael, as they both remain determined to preserve their family's legacies but Davis lacks confidence in certain scenes because she knows she's doing the wrong thing. Michael, on the other hand, knew. He just didn't care.

          It's nice to see Michelle Rodriguez take a break from playing Letty in those Fast and Furious movies. At times, it's actually funny to see her play someone like Linda who isn't a good driver, beautified and doesn't know how to shoot a gun -- the exact opposite of Letty. As someone who mostly enjoyed the Fast and Furious films of this decade, Rodriguez can give a stand-out performance as she did in Furious 7 (2015). She can be authentically raw yet committed to completing her goals. Widows may be Davis' show but she needs assistance and Rodriguez makes a fine addition.

          Each character is in a web of corruption, as I mentioned earlier, and everyone has to find their place in it. It is quite character-driven and another noteworthy performance is from Debicki as Alice, a woman struggling to take control of her life. As a character, Alice is the gradual development of feminism personified. For someone like Manning, he wants a change. He wants to live a different life but his brother, Jatemme (Daniel Kaluuya), is so held back on their crime days. Jamal Manning can't let go of it either which is why he has Jatemme as the enforcer of his desires. Kaluuya has had quite a year with his first Oscar nomination and new career opportunities and as a villain, he is undeniably terrifying.

          Steve McQueen brings out well-portrayed performances in all of his actors yet gets even more from those behind the camera. Widows falls into the action heist genre yet it feels fresh compared to other motion pictures in that category thanks to the elaborate camera movements. A great instance is where Jatemme confronts two of his men for failing to accomplish a task of theirs. Jatemme lets them beatbox and rap, as they were found doing in the bathroom, and the camera rotates 360 degrees several times until they both get shot in the head. It never gets interrupted and it builds tension while testing the audience's patience to make it difficult to predict what will happen next. The violence is jarring, yes, but McQueen's brilliant execution never subtracts from the experience.

          Despite my praise, there are some drawbacks, especially in the beginning. I know that we need to introduce everyone but it seems a bit much at times. There are many characters, who all have strong arcs, yet it seems hard to keep track of. So much happens at the beginning it adds to a sense of convolution. All of that goes away in the second act with a twist that will leave viewers speechless. However, it was the third time this year a film had a surprise that made me forget almost everything else that happened. It happened with the not-so-great Pacific Rim: Uprising and the fairly decent Bohemian Rhapsody. If Widows wasn't so cluttered, it would still have the same impact.

          On the contrary, it works in opening our eyes to what the film is all about. Widows touches on police brutality and discrimination in a very in-the-face manner. The themes tangle themselves into an impressively thought-out narrative. Everyone falls into the abyss of darkness and corruption. The widows may be falling into it as well but they are the only honest ones compared to everyone else.

          As Widows is based on a television series from the 1980s, it's hard to guess if there will be a sequel but let's not worry about that now. Having an all female lead with some of color and pitting them against male antagonists is awesome. McQueen does care about representation and Widows shows where the movie industry may be headed as diversity is becoming more significant and sexual misconduct in the business is no longer being tolerated. At one point in the film, Davis' character says "No one thinks we have the balls to pull this [job] off" but they do and I'm happy with that.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Bohemian Rhapsody
Star Rating: 2.5/4

Right now, I'm sure everybody is wondering the same question as everyone else who wants to see Bohemian Rhapsody: will it, will it rock me? To an extent, it does, but in the end, another one bites the dust.

Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) is the lead singer of Queen which means he is the sole protagonist. The narrative is simple: him as the founder of the band and how it changes him as they perform within fifteen years together. There's also the inner conflict regarding his sexuality. Will he choose the lovely Mary (Lucy Boynton) or his cleaning man, Jim (Aaron McCusker)?

Mercury is been considered to be enigmatic. The best evidence of this claim is the acclaimed song 'Bohemian Rhapsody' from 1975. Music critics and fans have debated for decades as to why he wrote that song. As this biographical film bears the namesake, it has the opportunity to be a fascinating character study in a manner similar to Citizen Kane (1941). Some of the clues might be in the film, but it doesn't dive deep enough into who Mercury is as a person. We don't know his ambitions other than he wants to be loved by the world. The only question remaining is: why? Is it because of him pondering his sexuality or did something else happen to him in the past? That might never be revealed.

          He may not be entirely three-dimensional in the feature but Rami Malek definitely animates him. Malek goes full-on diva which makes him funny and amusing to watch yet he totally embodies the general perception of Mercury. With the voice and fake teeth, he completely transforms himself into the role. On a funny note, his performance reminds me of Edna Mode from The Incredibles (2004). I found it hilarious making the connection due to how many times they both say "Darling" in their respective films. Maybe Mercury's persona inspired Brad Bird with his portrayal of Mode.

          The supporting characters, on the other hand, don't have much time to shine except for Boynton and Allen Leech. Boynton is quite beautiful on the outside yet she does well playing the girl in the midst of her boyfriend's internal crisis. She tries to find her place amidst his frustrating times and hopes she makes the best choice each step at a time. For Leech as Mercury's manager Paul Prenter, he reflects Mercury's inner demons but it's hard to say what else he does. He's supposed to have some other purpose but I lost track of that unfortunately. Many other incidents take place as the film progresses.

          In terms of assembly though, John Ottman's editing has impressive moments. The montages covering both the recording sessions and live concerts are definitely fun to watch. Heck, they're so good they'll give people goosebumps. It works in the sense that the music become the soundtrack not only for the film but for Freddie's character arc as he tries to deal with his problems.

          Showing fifteen years of one of the most praised rock bands in history while telling a story is a hard task and while it can be done, Bohemian Rhapsody would have worked better if it were a documentary. For a majority of the experience, it feels like an extended episode of 'Rock Legends' where they cover the accomplishments of an artist's career. As I said before, we don't know who Mercury really is so if the transition was made, it would be an easy one to do. Plus, documentaries tend to feel more intimate and personal in terms of REALLY getting to learn about a certain subject. Also, there would be more of an effort to tell the story precisely as Bohemian Rhapsody makes several historical inaccuracies that may irritate Queen fans, this is coming from someone of that classification.

          It does feel cluttered at times, especially since they write Mercury's AIDS diagnosis in 1985 instead of 1987 when he actually was diagnosed with the disease. If it was to simply focus on Mercury dealing with his sexuality issues, it would be a slightly stronger film. The historical inaccuracies add to a feeling of inconsistency through random juxtaposition in screenwriting, much like Get On Up (2014), a film I did not like, excluding Chadwick Boseman's acting. Anyway, it's surprising to think that the remaining members of Queen were involved with the movie and didn't bother fact-checking the filmmakers.

          If I were to make one more movie comparison, it would have to be with Pacific Rim: Uprising from earlier this year. One strategy they use is to wait until the end to give us something grand. How would I describe the ending to Bohemian Rhapsody? Guarantee to blow your mind. In fact, it may be the most exhilarating scene in the music biography genre of all time.

          The filmmakers treat Bohemian Rhapsody as a mere tribute. If it conveyed that in the form of a documentary, as I mentioned, they would've done very well. Everything we get does show the legacy of this band and cement their status though. It's unbelievable to see how many people loved them decades ago and still love them today. Though this movie is nowhere near perfection, the members ARE the champions. Don't stop them now.