Archive for November, 2018


Does ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ reinvent the wheel for musical biopics? No.  

Could it have gone further in detailing why Freddie Mercury is an icon, to multiple communities?  Definitely.

But is it fun?  Does Rami Malek excel in the ‘every reason to fail’ role of making the audience believe he’s Freddie Mercury?  Absolutely.

The end of Mercury’s life coinciding with the beginning of mine, but I’m enough of a pop culture nerd to know that’s one of those parts, that, man, how do you recreate Freddie Mercury? But credit Rami (who credits the real and fictional band of people who made this film) for letting us suspend our disbelief for a couple hours.  

A few more notes I have to add in:

It’s been said but it’s true: the Mike Myers cameo is perfect, in its role and its tribute to one of his own signature roles.

I completely forgot ‘Bismillah’ was in the lyrics of the song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ but if you think I didn’t make sure I had that song in my digital library before the movie was over, then you don’t know me.

Along those lines, I had some Queen jams in the library (because how could you not?) But the film does a good job of reminding you how many classics they had over the years.  Strictly in terms of getting people to say ‘Oh yeah, do I have that one?’ this movie is already a massive success.

Recommend.

Advertisements

Fifteen years ago today, ‘the Black Album’!

I think a lot of us knew in our hearts Hov was way too young (and had too much money left to be made) for this to really be his ‘retirement’ album.  But good Lord, this is still such a complete work.

’99 Problems’. 

‘What More Can I Say?’

‘PSA’.  I’m in a corporate space as I write this, and I had to restrain myself from getting up and yelling out the lyrics as I queued that one back up.

And today’s video. The production alone on these songs is blog worthy, I’ll leave that to the full time music critics.

For now, enjoy!

A New Jack Swing kind of Tuesday.

Teddy Riley was one of, if not THE hitmaker of my generation.  This right here was just the beginning.

And bonus points for this video reminding me of one of my first ‘go to’ dance moves: the ‘all shoulders, no waist shimmy’ that Aaron Hall pulls off at the end.

Enjoy!

 

jinn-sxsw

So, a film about a young convert finding her place (and herself) as a Muslim while also coming into her own as a young adult.  You would not be wrong to deduce that I’m cheering for this film to succeed on several levels, whether it’s a good film or not.

But the debut film of Nijla Mumin IS a good film.   Better than I was expecting.  That’s not a knock on Nijla, that’s me as a heavily experienced film geek knowing that ‘first films’… you just instinctively lower your expectations after a while.  You look for potential more than you look for anything too promising in what’s in front of you.

So, the story of Jinn, which starts off as a tale of a young black mother (Luke Cage’s Simone Missick) finding herself in Islam, gradually shifts its focus to the point of view of the daughter (Zoe Renee, who is a revelation).  On top of the stresses of being a high school senior trying to get into art school, now add in your mother adopting a new religion and trying to fit into a completely new community that you may not want to be a part of.  Now THAT’S some organic, ready made conflicts.

A perfect film, no.  But a film that left me wanting to see what comes next from its leading actress and director? Absolutely.

High recommend.

 

 

tribe-called-quest-1990

The weekend!

I can’t remember the last time we went into the weekend with Tribe, which means it’s been too long.

This song still goes.  And a young Busta.  Those were the good days.

We still miss you Phife.

Have a good one everyone.

 

 

timberlake

Whatever we feel about Timberlake (the Boondocks joke: Michael Jackson is not a genre of music comes to mind), this song goes.

Thank you Timbaland.

And this video!  Man.  Bill Simmons called this ‘the white people’s Hit Em Up’, and he wasn’t wrong.  I mean, he got a straight Britney clone…

Enjoy!

 

 

SWV-90

Hard to mess up my favorite song ever.

But honestly, this remix works, because it works.  On its own.

Enjoy!

 

 

front-runner

Like Jason Reitman, I’m old enough to remember hearing the names ‘Gary Hart’ and ‘Donna Rice’ on the news, but way too young to have any context for it at the time. ‘The Front Runner’ makes its case as one of those ‘pop culture turning points’ where our obsessions with the personal lives of public figures makes some of our best and brightest hesitate from putting themselves into high profile positions.

Hugh Jackman’s bonafides are untouchable now: iconic superhero, more than hold his own as a song and dance man.  So it’s cool in a ‘what can this guy not do?’ kind of way to watch him play a character who is trying a little too hard/ a little too defensive about hiding a major ‘flaw’ in his personality.

As has become the norm with Reitman at this point of his filmography, the supporting cast is a treasure trove of actors he’s worked with before (Vera Famiga, J.K. Simmons) and other character actor heavyweights (Alfred Molina) who fill out the cast and get the audience to question what is the ‘right answer’?  Does the media spend too much time on frivolous stuff?  If someone has a history of questionable judgment in their personal life, does that automatically mean they’d be a terrible leader or lack professionalism?

‘The Front Runner’ asks the questions but doesn’t give the answers.  Thoughtful but not overly serious (the Reitman style).

Worth seeing.