Bohemian Rhapsody is Insultingly Formulaic and a Vaguely Homophobic Portrait of a Queer Icon: A Review

Queen was a band whose music defined an entire generation, and over the years their popularity never would die down. But between every album there was a whole lot more that came along the way especially given how fascinating a subject like Freddie Mercury is. Beloved by many, and also having established himself as one of the most recognizable queer icons in history, trying to make a biopic about their history was always going to be a difficult subject to tackle and to say the least, a film like Bohemian Rhapsody only tries to go so far. But “trying” can only get you somewhere, because that’s one way of describing where everything had gone wrong with Bohemian Rhapsody. If you’re already thinking of many of the most influential bands of all time, whether it be generation-defining names like The Beatles or Nirvana, you’d already imagine that there would be many tensions coming along the way – and Queen weren’t saints in that same regard either. But there comes a point where you’re looking at a story about a band struggling to remain together as difficult as their relationships may be and outright lying to the audience through the obvious favouring of many members over the other. And unfortunately, Bohemian Rhapsody happens to be the latter.

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’s Subtitle Best Sums up the State of the Franchise

½

If one already were to think that the previous Jurassic World film was bad enough, somehow Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom makes said film feel even less lamentable in retrospect. With the predecessor having built itself on cynically cashing in on what were the most memorable moments from the original Jurassic Park film, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom seems to go a complete 180 on its predecessor and somehow managed to leave behind something that was even worse. I was hoping that I could at least doubt that something much worse could come forth given the fact that this was directed by J. A. Bayona, and somehow I found myself deceived the moment I had come out. The idea of a director like Bayona offering his own take on the Jurassic Park franchise was one that almost seemed too good to be true and to say the least, my suspicions were only proven right.

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Jurassic World Review: An Exercise in Cynically Racking up Nostalgia by Undermining Its Roots

In the twenty five years since its release, Jurassic Park has still remained a staple for 1990’s cinema because of its innovative visual effects and to this day, it’s astonishing that it still happens to look every bit as beautiful as it does. But as the franchise had only grown to become as big as it did, the meaning behind Crichton’s original creation had slowly been fading away. Surely enough, it’s hard to deny that the original Jurassic Park still remains a spectacle for the eyes because of what it had taken in order to make you truly believe that you were seeing actual dinosaurs on the screen through the film’s innovative use of both computer-generated imagery and animatronics. But there comes a point to which one can only get too caught up by the image of the spectacle that Jurassic Park had set into place and Jurassic World only emphasizes that danger all the more, because it cynically exploits that nostalgia one would have had for the original film without ever finding its own way to carry itself through. It cynically boils down what Crichton would have wanted to say about the eventual spectacle of nature’s own ways only to what audiences would buy in as “dumb fun,” and to me, that never felt right – it just felt ugly.

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Mercury Rising – Review

It’s easy enough to write off Mercury Rising as nothing beyond a generic action thriller from the 90’s. But it only goes to show another reason as to why Mercury Rising is absolutely terrible, because of its approach to rather sensitive subject matter. Maybe it isn’t so much for an outsider but my personal experiences having grown up with autism have only made me all the more critical of how films depict people on the spectrum. Given how perceptions of people like myself who struggle within their daily lives as a result of their mental health have been shaped thanks to media, it was certainly never easy and films like Mercury Rising aren’t helpful to our cause. These aren’t films that know down to the bone how we can be like, it just feels more like a deliberate sidelining for the sake of schlock.

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Winchester – Review

I’m at the point where horror movies that market themselves as being based on true events don’t phase me anymore because they’ve already killed my willingness to stay on board with what goes on if they’re going for a basic haunted house route. Exceptions and outliers to the rule have come along the way (I still enjoy the Conjuring films a fair amount, even if they aren’t particularly the most original) but Winchester was a story that had fascinated me for a while. Given as the Winchester House has already established a reputation as one of the most haunted mansions still around today, I was made even more skeptical of what the Spierig brothers would have made from the titular setting – and all my suspicions were proven right; it was the same generic haunted house story as any other.

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Geostorm – Review

Roland Emmerich collaborator Dean Devlin, who had garnered fame from writing Independence Day and the 1998 Godzilla film makes his own directorial debut with Geostorm. Although Devlin was responsible for writing some of the more tolerable entries in Roland Emmerich’s filmography there isn’t really so much being said there and without Emmerich, what exactly is to be expected with half the effort of what gave us Independence Day? Perhaps something more stupid, one that would at least feed off from whatever visuals it can throw at you as a means of hiding an incredibly corny human story – typical of modern disaster films. If San Andreas showed us that this formula wasn’t limited to Roland Emmerich, I can’t imagine thinking Dean Devlin would have done anything outside of such.

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Death Note (2017) – Review

In truth my hopes were never high for another live-action Death Note adaptation because I’ve never been a fan of neither the anime series or the original Japanese features. The fact Netflix was releasing a live-action film in English after how this year’s Ghost in the Shell had turned out to be sounded far less appealing to me given as Netflix’s original feature films have rarely ever been great ones at that, and I grew even more cautious upon the notion that Adam Wingard was set to direct after how bad his Blair Witch sequel had turned out to be. But I’m not against the idea of retelling another story into a different language for a different audience, so looking at Death Note on its own terms had only put a sliver of curiosity into my own mind and my worst fears have only been proven true. As an adaptation of the anime, it does its job horribly, and on its own terms it’s just painful to watch.

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The Dark Tower – Review

Adapting Stephen King to film is a complicated case, knowing that Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining had taken liberties with its source material to the scorn of King himself. With that having been said, it still remains the best of the many adaptations that King’s work has spawned, but perhaps the case with “Stephen King done right” as proven by the Shining miniseries would only have proven itself disastrous, so fan reactions to The Dark Tower could set expectations in place for they didn’t get what they would have wanted as a means of introducing a story they love to newcomers. Coming in with a newcomer’s perspective for I’ve only read the first book in the series and wasn’t a fan, I already feel the anger that such an audience would have felt to see something they loved bastardized the way Nikolaj Arcel did so here.

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Morgan – Review

There was a time I remember when Ridley Scott had managed to create one of the most unsettling and thus one of the greatest horror films ever made by playing upon the fear of the unknown with the original Alien film. I’m not even sure if his son, Luke Scott, had gotten a grasp on what it was that made Alien a genre defining work just as it did, because there’s a lot here that almost rings from the beats that made Alien as effective as it was; only numbed down as a result of its attempts to reach out at pseudo-philosophy almost as if it were aping on Alex Garland’s Ex Machina from a year prior. It’s almost like a diet mix of both Alien and Ex Machina in the very worst sense possible, because there’s no thrill to be found within the action they present nor is there anything insightful to come about: Morgan is just a film that lies dead in the water all around.

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Transformers: The Last Knight – Review

If the title’s caption, “The Last Knight,” doesn’t keep to its promise by having Michael Bay direct another movie for this franchise, I’ll probably just give up on humanity altogether. I feel that I do need to clarify I actually don’t hate Michael Bay wholly, but even with that having been said I can’t find myself defending the sorts of films he makes when it’s evident I don’t enjoy the time I’m having when I watch them. With every new Transformers film he’s made, it only turns me away all the more from the sorts of films he continues making with the fact the first film was actually one of the first films in which I recall having slept in the theater. The most that I can say for Transformers: The Last Knight is that after egregious experiences with Revenge of the Fallen and Age of Extinction, this was a better film than the preceding three, but one must take a statement like such as they will.

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