Bohemian Rhapsody

Right off the bat, I will say I was not looking forward to Bohemian Rhapsody. The song is fine. And I love Queen! I have very fond memories growing up, watching Wayne’s World and hearing Queen’s greatest hits. My family owned two VHS tapes collecting their music videos. I saw them all the time. I really enjoyed I Want To Break Free because the men were dressed like ladies with facial hair, but the instrumental part freaked me out.

Hey. I was a kid.

But why don’t I care about this film? Because production woes made me indifferent. I was in love with the idea of Sacha Baron Cohen playing Freddie Mercury, it was perfect, and he could sing!

Production woes! Cohen left! Creative differences! The band wanted a feel good movie about the band and PG-13, the actor wanted the real story, the R rated stuff, the Oscar winning Mercury stuff. And eventually we now got this movie. Let’s not forget that the director, Bryan Singer, probable diddler of young male talent in Hollywood, was kicked off the project when it was almost done, and they had to finish it without him.

Even the well edited trailer did nothing to me. I got to hear so many Queen songs in under 3 minutes. With Mercury singing. Is this whole thing going to be a film with Queen songs just spliced on top? Fuck. On my films, even my biopics, I want the actors do the singing, at least in a studio. I don’t need to see Remi Malek doing an air band performance for a few hours.

And aerobics!

In the 1970’s, times were changing. Disco wasn’t yet in a full swing, but people still liked music, and still had dreams. Like a young Farrokh Bulsara (Rami Malek), who later would change his name to Freddie Mercury. He didn’t want a normal job at an airport, he wanted to sing in a band. And he just so happened on a band who just lost their main singer. That is where he met Brian May (Gwilym Lee) and Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy). A guitarist and a drummer. They didn’t want him, due to his teeth and look, but his talent did not lie. They eventually found a bassist in John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello) and the rest was history!

Oh, and some more things happened. Not an instant success, but honestly, it didn’t seem to take long either.

They were a band who worked together and competed together. To get songs on albums, to try new things, to go into places they had not gone before. Especially true for Mercury, who found himself eventually with men, despite being married with his long term love, Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) and with kids.

There were a lot of influences on their music and on their lives. Roadies, managers, other lovers, groupies, fans, and what not. And of course, eventually the story ends in tragedy, but not before one of the best live concerts televised around the world.

Starring Aidan Gillen, Allen Leech, Tom Hollander, Mike Myers, and Aaron McCusker.

They definitely look cooler in this picture. Too cool. Ice cold.

Behold, for I am disappoint.

People will praise this movie for several reasons, and these are things you should be leary about. The number one aspect being nostalgia. Hey, they like Queen, so a movie with Queen songs is alright. Just having music that you expect to hear inside of it is not a reason for something to be automatically good. Queen music is expected.

Malek’s performance is praised because he gets to prance about on stage like no fucks are given, with some big facial expressions. But you know what he didn’t do? Sing. I think maybe once, or twice in this movie he actually had to sing, and when he did it was all very little. Basically all of it is just actually Mercury singing and again, if I wanted to hear Freddie Mercury sing, I have YouTube and CDs for that. Is it weird to have a double standard when it comes to performances? I want my actors if they are playing singers to actually sing, but of course I wouldn’t care if an actor is actually playing piano, guitar, or drums, although it can surely help make things authentic.

Honestly, one of my favorite aspects of the film ended up being the other members of Queen. I just loved that these members looked so much like their counterparts, who I recognize from seeing their music videos over and over again. They all also had their own personalities and traits, consistently through the film. I guess it is easy to get them right when the real figures are alive and backing the film. They weren’t outstanding acting performances or taking away from Mercury, but they felt like real people and that was a good change.

The way they chose to portray actual events in the film is really what bugged me. Honestly, it took way too long to have Mercury come out as gay in the film. They had hints about it, like stupid teases. Sure, being gay at that time was way more frowned upon, but as modern viewers, there is no need to keep such an obvious and important focal point hidden. And honestly, about 3/4 of the way through the movie, I was wondering if they would even say the word AIDS in the movie. I almost thought they wouldn’t mention it at all (they did). But they did it first through a weird news cast that Mercury happened to see. And the scene where he went to the hospital and was tested was just so…odd looking. It ended with a fan singing at him, and felt way too much like an awkward TV PSA about…drugs or anything really. It didn’t feel impactful, it felt awkward.

Biopics often have moments where they have people who doubt their talent who later are shown regretting it and being angry. These scenes are ALWAYS bad, and seem petty and unnecessary. But they really went full out with it in this movie. First, they had Mike Myers as the character in question. They made him say a line about how teenagers would never be banging their head to Bohemian Rhapsody, obviously referring to the scene in Wayne’s World decades later. We get to see him angry in his office later in the movie, because why not. Also during the Bohemian Rhapsody scene, it decided to have news/review quotes fly through the screen about how it was a bad song and destined for nothing.

Like, was the entire point of this movie actually to just rub it in some critics faces that people ended up liking Bohemian Rhapsody? Enough to name the Queen biopic after the song (which feels unoriginal and uninspired), just to prove that people like it.

The whole thing is incredibly average and standard as a biopic. This feels like a disservice to a band that was anything but average and standard. And because of that, I disliked it even more. This movie played it safe and boring. I, for one, will be ready for the better film in twenty years.

1 out of 4.

The Love Guru

“No, there is no way…” you might be thinking to yourself. “The website just hit 1500 reviews not that long ago. Why would he still do a big weird review every 50? It’s getting old now, he should just do it every 100. That makes sense.”

Man, you are thinking a lot. But yes, I am indeed doing another Milestone Review. Maybe after I hit 2000 I will switch it up, but frankly I love doing them which is why I am willing to celebrate number 1550.

So, why The Love Guru? Simple. It is just another supposedly awful movie that I have never seen. I need to see the classic bad movies and make sure they are bad damn it. It makes me a stronger human being.

But even more so, it is rumored that this movie killed Mike Myers‘ career. It makes since when you look at his IMDB, after this film he had a small cameo in Inglourious Basterds and then no other feature film roles. Just voice work, mostly Shrek, and some shorts. He must really be devastated by this film.

Also, it is two days before Valentine’s Day, it is fate. Plus I heard it has a lot of celebrity cameos!

Hey everyone, it is former NHL Defenseman Rob Blake!

Guru Pitka (Myers) is the number 2 Hindu love guru in the world! That damn Deepak Chopra is always on top. He is the one everyone loves and gets all the money.

Do you know why? Because Chopra was on Oprah, and Oprah’s reach is vast and powerful.

Pitka was the son of missionaries to India, where Pitka received training from (sigh) Guru Tugginmypudha (Ben Kingsley). Pitka made it clear that the only reason he wanted to be a guru was so that women would love him. Makes sense, honesty is good. Tugginmypudha (sigh again) took this knowledge and put a chasity belt on him, until he could learn that loving himself was more important than being loved by others.

Get it? That’s a masturbation joke!

So how’s a Guru gonna get on Oprah? By helping a big time celebrity do something great!

I’m about to talk hockey. The Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t won the Stanley Cup for a long time. Over 50 years. It is a joke now. But they finally have a great and dynamic player in Darren Roanoke (Romany Falco). He has gotten them to the Stanley Cup Playoffs! But recently his wife, Prudence (Meagan Good) has left him.

She hasn’t just left him to be single. She left him for another man. Another hockey player. Jacques “Lè Cocq” Grande (Justin Timberlake), goaltender for the LA Kings. He is French Canadian and he has a big dick.

That’s funny because black dudes usually have the biggest dicks.

Now Roanoke is heart broken over his love life, but he won’t admit it. He won’t admit to being that love struck. So his play begins to suffer and it has for awhile.

But now it is almost the Stanley Cup Finals! They need him to win!

So the owner, Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba), a fan of Pitka, wants him to come down and save the team. She is also worried about a curse that is attributed to her dad after they bought the team, as they haven’t won since. But that is a side issue.

Thanks to Pitka’s manager, Dick Pants (John Oliver), Oprah is also going to put him on her show if he can help the Maple Leafs win the cup! Hot damn.

I think the real joke is that his entire body looks like one large erect male penis.

Pitka has a plan. He wants to put Roanoke on his DRAMA program. Pitka loves acronyms, most of his presentations feature them.

The D stands for Distraction. He wants to distract Roanoke from his issues first, to see if he will play better. If he isn’t thinking about the lady, maybe he can just naturally kick butt again.

And it works! However, it also leads to him getting a two game suspension. The Maple Leafs lose game 1, and now Roanoke won’t be there for games 2 and 3! Shit, you only need 4 to win.

This lands him in hot water with his coach (Verne Troyer), whom he also physically assaulted during the game to earn the suspension. Not that it matters, because they need him.

Can’t even.

R stands for Regression for some reason, and Pitka hears that Roanoke’s mother (Telma Hopkins) never goes to the games. There must be an issue there, so they visit and well, Roanoke is just afraid of his mom. They have some issues and whenever she comes to the game he gets all nervous and sucks it up.

But that problem is moot. Pitka needs to fix the problem and fast or else he won’t get Oprah! So fuck the rest of the AMA.

So he solves the love problem, not the mom problem, a temporary fix. This allows Roanoke to get his groove back and help win the next 3 games for the Maple Leafs. That means they have come back to force a game 7, and everything is now on the line! Nothing can go bad!

Just like Katrina wasn’t so bad.

Let’s take a break to talk about hockey. Mike Myers is Canadian and he clearly likes the sport. I have seen pictures of him at games! Never Kanye though. So it makes sense for him to want hockey in a movie he has made with his own hands and toes.

But for someone who actually likes the sport, there is so much they got wrong that annoys the crap out of me. And I am taking in the fact that this movie came out in 2008, rules are still rules.

Lot of illegal things happneed during the game with no calls at all. Many penalties ignored, making Hockey seem much more thuggish (which was made apparent when Roanoke was told to not fight, but he said that all hockey players fight).

After he did something bad, the ref kicked him out and said he was suspended for a game. Changed his mind after he did something worse and called it a 2 game suspensions. Refs don’t have the power to suspend, only in Soccer. It was awkward.

They messed up the playoffs for some reason. For hockey, the home team has a 1 home game advantage. They play 2 at home, 2 away, 1 at home, 1 away, and the final one at home if it goes to 7. Instead of 2-2-1-1-1, they did 2-3-2, which is what the NBA does for their finals. They made sure to get the arenas right, except for in game 3 in LA, when they switched back to show people in the Leafs press box or something similar.

Timberlake’s goaltender wears an illegal old mask for some reason. The Maple Leafs coach at one point calls “his last time out” when there is only one time out in hockey. It is technically true, but no one words it that way.

And finally, Rob Fucking Blake, celebrity hockey cameo. He plays defense, and they put him at forward.

Get that cotton candy grin off your fucking face. Hockey is serious business.

Guess what? Roanoke’s mom shows up to game 7, causing a catastrophe. But thanks to Pitka coming back to save the day and a lot of people working together, Roanoke comes back and saves the day. Yay.

And guess what? Pitka learns to love himself! So his chastity belt can come off and he can sex up Jane and they can do fun Hindu things together. I couldn’t figure out how to mention that Manu Narayan was in this movie as Pitka’s assistant. So here you go.

If you expected this song to not end in a Bollywood song and dance number, then you probably don’t even know how to put on pants.

One foot at a time, until all five feet are in.

I also forgot to mention cameos! Stephen Colbert and Jim Gaffigan are the sports announcers. Rob Huebel and Daniel Tosh play tough guys in a country bar, leading to the worst bar fight I’ve seen in a movie. Val Kilmer, Jessica Simpson, and of course Kanye West play themselves. And Mariska Hargitay is in here, which is a joke that I did not get at all.

The Love Guru, as it turns out, is just not good. This could never be a case where it turns out everyone hated it before watching it and judged it by the trailers. Sure, that could have happened. But since in real life land, Myers hasn’t really worked since, it physically has to be a real turd burglar.

The biggest issue is that this movie has one main type of joke that it just runs into the ground. Sex! That is all Pitka really wants, and thus jokes about, and it gets old quickly.

Sure, they throw in some other humor, race, height, whatever, but it all comes out as juvenile. The only scene that actually made me giggle was seeing Myers/West together as fans. Good, they poked fun of the real life situation that was awkward only two years prior. But that is a one off moment and isn’t relevant to the film in any way.

I feel like Pitka lacks a real personality. Austin Powers was amazing, as the films were parodies sure, but Powers had a voice, had a reason, and made sense in the world he created. Pitka was something that felt like a never ending SNL skit with nothing below the surface.

I imagine most people working on this project saw this as the next Austin Powers, a budding franchise that everyone would love. Well, maybe if this one came out in the early 90’s. Because the humor was over a decade late and it just feels never ending.

1 out of 4.

I Am Chris Farley

I miss Chris Farley. I don’t know a single person, outside of future review comment trolls, who hated the guy. He had some of the best sketches on SNL, was always full of energy.

Sure, his movies are hit and miss. Sometimes terrible. But they helped elevate David Spade way more than he could on his own. Sure, he mostly wasted it after the fact, but he tried, damn it.

I wanted to see I Am Chris Farley, which yeah, is a made for TV documentary. It aired on Spike TV. I was curious about Farley before he was big on SNL, and since they interviewed tons of his former friends and coworkers, it would feel great to hear some behind the scenes stories of some of the bigger sketches.

Shit, they were even able to get Lorne Michaels to do an interview, and I assume that dude is super busy.

Maybe it isn’t a “traditional documentary” on a “respected channel” that is worthy of a “Review” but I am “writing” it anyways.

This is a short post because there isn’t a lot to talk about. I learned about Farley’s earlier life. I learned about how he played Rugby in college, how he got into sketch comedy and eventually SNL.

The highlight of course would be the stories about and dealing with Matt Foley: Motivational Speaker. And the stories we hear are told by Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, Dan Aykroid, David Spade obviously, Bob Odenkirk, Bob Saget, Christina Applegate, his brother Kevin P. Farley, Pat Finn a college friend, and more actors of course.

As a suggestion, you might want to have a copy of the SNL: Best of Chris Farley on hand, because you are going to want a lot more Farley than the documentary can give you and want to see the sketches without tons of interruptions from his friends telling stories. Pure. Unadulterated. Farley.

But if you are cheap, just watch Tommy Boy instead. It will get you through the urges I suspect, but not fully satisfy them.

2 out of 4.