Let’s Fly Like An Eagle. Heartwarming and Lighthearted, “Eddie the Eagle” Inspires.

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Finally got around to watching this one! “Eddie the Eagle” is biographical sports dramedy film directed by the amazing Dexter Fletcher (director of “Rocketman” as well). The film tells the story of British skier Michael “Eddie” Edwards. Notable for in 1988 becoming the first competitor to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping since 1928.Finally got around to watching this one!

I admit, I had no idea who “Eddie the Eagle” was before doing some research about him prior to watching this movie. I just really wanted to watch the other film Dexter Fletcher worked on with Taron Egerton. I gotta say these two could become like Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, which I sincerely hope happens (though hopefully in a more successful way arguably overall). I’ve seen 2 of their films together now and thoroughly enjoyed both, though “Rocketman” holds a very special place in my heart and is in my opinion a better film. That is however not taking anything away from this film. It has so much heart and spirit in it, I can tell when directors give a damn about their source material.

We get more great character acting by Taron, he seems to be making a great career out of biopic related film. In an interview I watched the real-life Eddie Edwards highly approve of/complemented Taron’s accuracy of portraying him in his youth. Which cannot be short of the best compliment you can get as an actor. Facial expressions seem to play a huge role in this film, which Taron particularly seemingly always does a really good job with. Eddie the man himself seems like such an eccentric, lovable and interesting guy, but in this movie his character portrayal didn’t grip me fully. I hate to make comparisons, but Elton John in “Rocketman” was very very gripping to me as a character portrayal. In this we don’t get as much deep seeded emotion within an in-depth driven character story. This could be because Eddie was more private, but I don’t know him/his story very well.

As a biographical film, we hit all of the beats in a charming way. The humor hits and it’s a lot of fun! Its a film that is so inspirational and heartwarming that beside myself I grinned like an idiot the whole way through. Though the “cheese” factor gets a little high at points. Enough to the point where I felt a little disappointed in the formulaic script writing. Its “feel good” but almost to a fault. Apparently this movie was in production hell for 17 years or something like that? Though not unheard of, it might explain why they went for the more “conventional” writing methods during the creation of this.

There are many positives though. We get some really beautiful shots of snow, mountain peaks, slopes, real ski jumping, etc. Though some of the close-up shots of Taron definitely looked a little dodgy, it’s obvious that Taron didn’t’ do any of these stunts himself so it was necessary. I’m not saying this in a negative way at all, people train for years to do these very dangerous jumps. I loved the use of locations like parts of Germany and the UK to film, very crisp bright filmography. That paired with the very bubbly soundtrack made it feel lively.

Apparently, Hugh Jackman’s character is a complete work of fiction, though I understand why they created him for the sake of the film. Him being there didn’t take away from the real Eddie’s achievements. The screenwriter and director probably felt like they needed another main character to work off of Taron’s “Eddie”. I didn’t really feel like Christopher Walken’s character way necessary though at all, he just kind of shows up at the end of the film. Not that he’s portraying poor acting in this, it was just so out of nowhere.

Here’s my final thoughts. The movie is short and will make you feel good, warm and bubbly afterwards. So I can’t really complain about that! I wish for more depth, but not every movie needs that for me to enjoy it. I watched this with my dad and he is not an emotional person at all. He teared up and I was shocked! So it’s message and purpose was served.

Current Rating: 4/5 Shots Of Milk

“Birdman” is what filmmaking is all about.

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Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography. This is what the academy awarded this movie with in 2015. I tend not to rely on the Oscar’s to deem what great filmmaking is, however they are absolutely right with this one. “Birdman” is a masterful film directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. It follows a fading actor whom is known for his role as a popular superhero Birdman. He attempts to make a comeback in the form of a Broadway play, along the way he is faced with difficulty reconnecting with his daughter, technical difficulties and hearing Birdman’s voice within himself.

Exceptional from beginning to end. “Birdman” exceeded my already high expectations. Beginning with the cinematography, the films one-take-shot appearance was done incredibly effectively. Panning shots replace cuts in an ambitious and flawless fashion. Mimicking that of actual live theatre. The music paired with these scene transitions is so effective and bombastic!

Michael Keaton was fantastic in this film, definitely one of his best performances to date. Perfect casting seeing as he’s a late actor now and formally was known for portraying Batman in the Tim Burton films. Everybody else (Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, etc) flowed seamlessly in the story too. I loved the introduction of Birdman’s voice talking, nagging and criticizing Riggan. Also the “superpowers” coupled with his clear descent into madness and depression was great. There’s quite a lot of visual effects in this at various parts of the film that had the average moviegoer confused. Many thought this movie was an “action superhero flick” at its most basic definition. This is definitely not the case and the film is much much more than that.

The film sparks up a great discussion on fame, being haunted by a role and staying relevant. These themes made for some really powerful scenes full of emotion and melancholy. But also plenty of dark-comedy to go around! Absolutely stunning and I loved every moment of it. I could only dream and wish that filmmakers would always take such measures to create amazing works of art like this. It’s one of those Best Picture winners that actually made sense completely to me. I’m looking forward to seeing many more works from Alejandro in the future, this film and “The Revenant are so beyond what many directors of this time can accomplish.

Current Rating: 5/5 Abandoned Taxis

“Alex Strangelove” is confusing?

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I can see why to many this film might be “problematic” to the LGBTQ community. Many wanted it to be a representation of Bisexuality or at least Bi-Curious culture. However, being a “bi woman” myself I didn’t find it offensive for the most part. I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would! The plot goes as follows. Alex Truelove has been best friends with Claire for a long time. After kissing one night they begin dating. Although, after 8 months they still haven’t had sex. Determined to lose his virginity, Alex plans a special night in a hotel with Claire. Alex then meets Elliot at a party, an openly gay teenager whom Alex bonds with immediately. Eventually, Alex begins to question his feelings towards Elliot and his own sexuality.

So seeing as this Netflix movie and “Love Simon” came out the same year, it’s clear that comparisons will be made. I would say I enjoyed this movie about as much as “Love Simon”, I had issues with both but in different ways. Many of the things I really enjoyed about this film centered around the writers not tip-toeing around sex! “Love Simon” felt like a more romanticized version of high-school, whereas this felt more real. I liked the idea of comparing animals mating within the wild to high-school students, not an overly new concept (Mean Girls) but it worked within this film. They also didn’t shy away from the concept of experimentation and sexuality correlating.

All that being said so far, there was also homophobia riddled throughout this film that was very distracting to me. Is it realistic? Well yeah, but it’s coming from Alex’s “friends” and doesn’t end with any consequences. One friend even basically sexually harasses Alex by flashing him and it’s never brought up again! It’s not okay to include that within a movie and not follow-through on what actually would happen in those type of situations. Then all of those “friends” just are okay by the end of the film? It didn’t really add up.

Back to positives though. The film has some good humor, for example the entire drug-tripping scene was fantastic! Also the actors portraying Alex and Elliot actually had really cute chemistry. I could believe they would become attracted to each other and ultimately date. I also thought Alex and Claire had great chemistry, though obviously in a different way. I believed more in this romance story than in “Love Simon”, though both were “heart-warming”.

Overall, another decent LGBTQ film. If you’re a fan of these kind of films, then go watch it! If not, well you won’t be missing masterpiece necessarily but its a fun watch. The message drives home enough at the end where it didn’t feel completely overlooked. I would actually be interested in a sequel to this, whereas “Love Simon” does not have that same feeling. Yeah Alex and Elliot have their Cinderella dance moment at the end, but what about creating an actual relationship? Give us the real, full-picture tea! Though I’m doubting that may happen because I have heard little to no buzz about it. Fans can only hope.

Current Rating: 3/5 Lawn Gnomes

“Rocketman” Blasts Off New Exciting Biopic

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Wowzers I did not expect this one to be in my top 5 from this year already! Described as a “musical-fantasy biopic” this film tells the life/career of famous eccentric singer Elton John.

Seeing the trailer for this, I’m not gonna lie I was very excited for this film. I’d seen Taron Egerton is a few movies from the past and thought he was charming, but I wasn’t sure how he’d be in this film. Holy shit…did he PERFORM! We’ll get more into that later on this post, but it had to be said outright! Many people are comparing this to “Bohemian Rhapsody” that came out last year for obvious reasons. Both are about famous musicians rise to stardom, while also claiming to give us entertainment and behind the scenes looks into their lives. Yes I’m aware that “Bohemian Rhapsody” was said to be about Queen and not just Freddie Mercury, but let’s be real here. They marketed it as a Freddie movie, he’s the only one on the theatrical poster and the focus point of the trailers.

That being said “Bohemian Rhapsody” was okay. I know this isn’t a review for that film, but it’s important to state a brief opinion on it for this review. So, it was enjoyable enough due to Rami Malek’s performance. However, it missed the point of what a biopic is supposed to be about. Raw emotion, ups as well as downs and not just a glamorized music video. Yes “Rocketman” has music throughout it, but it keeps the story going on in the most beautifully done way where nothing gets stale. It has its borderline “cheesy moments”, but we see a lot of heart shattering stuff in this film. Parts had me wanting to reach into the screen, shake Taron Egerton’s Elton John and say “You’re amazing just the way you are and you’re better than this!” We see drugs, alcohol, sex, family issues, suicidal thoughts, fake personas, and more. It’s a crazy emotional ride and with Taron giving such a stellar performance it feels real. Way more real than “Bohemian Rhapsody” ever felt and in this people literally levitate off the floor at one part! Yes there is a sense of surrealism in this including that scene, rocketing off of a stage, long sequences like the “Honky Cat” sequence and the sex addiction trip. But it worked.

I want to give the costume designers in this some love because they knocked it out of the park. Elton John is of course known for his flashy, flamboyant fashion choices, this was definitely given to us on a silver platter. When we see scenes of Elton on stage in his various outfits while “Pinball Wizard” plays, its both haunting and something really special. Speaking of haunting. There’s a few moments in this film that shocked me with their blatant emotional intensity. The pool scene with “Rocket Man” playing was spectacular, I got literal goosebumps from how powerful it was. The creation of “Your Song” was also very moving, the scene in the phone booth, ugh there are so many moments that stuck in my head!

This is a musical fantasy movie, so it moves the plot along with some of Elton’s most famous songs. If you hate musicals, you might still like this movie! But be prepared to watch emotion unfold with song on occasions. The fact that Taron Egerton sang this entire soundtrack is so impressive to me, most actors would lip-sync to actual songs from the artist, but not Taron. Speaking of Taron, let’s finally get into this. If you for some reason do not like this movie (no idea how!) you have to at least appreciate the genius that was Taron Egerton in this film. He reached into some undiscovered deep part of himself and gave the performance of his career at 29 years old. His emotion in this was so painfully in his facial features I thought at times that he really was a young Elton John. I felt his heartbreak, addictive tendencies, anger, frustration, happiness. It was all there so flawlessly! This may be the best biopic related performance I’ve ever seen, not joking. Even the chemistry between him and Richard Madden was very surprising to me, I know many people will chalk it up to just “being an actor” and yes of course they both are “acting”. However, true chemistry is hard to come by in the acting world and the subtle/not-so-subtle flirtatious tendencies between the two during various parts of the movie had me doing a double-take!

Yes, we all know Taron was incredible in this and if he doesn’t get an Oscar nomination at least we riot, but what about the rest of the cast? They were also clearly bringing their “A” game here. I wanted to strangle Richard Madden’s character on multiple occasions, ugh! Jamie Bell brought a warmth to his character that radiated off the screen. What a great casting choice on all ends. Honestly, I haven’t had a movie fly by so fast and me being saddened that it was over in a long time. Having seen it now on multiple occasions I can say it flies by quicker every time, you anticipate scenes to happen and once they do you want to replay and inspect them all over again.

Finally, because it’s such a topic of discussion right now I want to talk about the LGBTQ aspects of this film. First of all, it’s a story about Elton John…what the hell were you expecting? Yes there’s men kissing in it on multiple occasions, yes there’s a sex scene. It’s done between two men whom at the time loved each other and it’s honestly just a really intimate loving scene. If anyone has a problem with that, don’t see this movie and stay away from my vicinity! If I can see this in a packed theatre with 90% of it being older people and they don’t even bat an eye, you have no excuse. It’s currently been banned in certain areas of the world and or heavily edited, which honestly what’s the point in not being able to see the film in its entirety? That’s so disrespectful to Dexter Fletcher (the director) and everyone else whom worked on the film.

Please see this movie, it deserves all the love it can get! It does Elton John justice and showcases an incredible performance by Taron Egerton as well as the rest of the cast. Bring your tissues though as well as your dancing shoes! Definitely one of the year’s best.

Editor’s Note: By the way, I totally forgot to explain why I gave it 4.5/5 instead of a perfect rating. It’s not due to any of the said “cheesiness” I mentioned before, because in a film like this it’s needed. But during the sequence of “Bennie and the Jets” were shown Elton’s sex addiction through a beautiful hanging shot of him being in a club setting and crowd surfing on top of unknown hands. We also set shots of various mens faces looking down on him and Taron Egerton’s Elton himself looking up into the camera. Now all of this is great and we get the song continually looping over this shot eerily. However, there are 2 shots that blew my mind watching the movie second time around because I missed them completely the first time! We see Elton on a bed vulnerable and men are literally clawing at him/pulling him in all different directions as he’s on his back and we see him on his knees on the same bed being surrounded by men again. All of this is very symbolic and fantastic! It’s overshadowed though by the damn overlay of various emotional quotes from actors speaking to him over the course of the film, which felt a little pandering. We as an audience don’t need for you to spell it out for us why he’s drowning himself in emotionless relationships, we already know and it’s taking the focus off of those 2 shots I mentioned! Just show us the scenes as they play out and have the sequence end with him being on his side until he rolls over into the next scene.

Current Rating: 4.5/5 Bedazzled Glasses

Welcome To A Film Freak’s Journey!

Dearest welcomes to everyone!

Hello beautiful human beings. My name is Shannon and this is my blog that I randomly started one summer day. Which by the way are far and few in between when you live in Buffalo, NY. Film to me is the universal language of love, sorrow, pain, excitement, fear and so much more. We bring potentially hundreds of people to showcase a movie together and hopefully enjoy the time we spend with our eyes glued to the screen. I appreciate film in such a deeper level that I have made the decision to go into film production! Yay finally a life decision! I see film as potential to create art , or even create a fantastic disaster that we can all sit back and laugh at lovingly…or not so lovingly sometimes. But that’s okay! Not everything created is a masterpiece, but I still love to discuss with others my opinions on what makes a film life-changing or forgetful the next day.

DISCLAIMER: Every review I post on this blog are my own personal opinions and if they are not yours, that’s okay! I may heavily disagree with you but we all have our own brains with their own thoughts. Chill, read, relax and let’s deep dive.

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