The best thing I can say about “Bohemian Rhapsody” is that it aims to become a surefire Oscar contender, and the only aspect deserving of an Oscar is Rami Malek (bad fake teeth and wigs be damned). If you have to absolutely see “Bohemian Rhapsody” see it for Rami Malek, whose portrayal of Freddie Mercury is heartfelt, sublime, and much too fantastic for a movie that’s pretty much a sanitized version of the story of Queen and Freddie Mercury. When you have a biopic of the group that’s been authorized by the surviving members and is PG-13, there’s only so much flexibility allowed, and Malek thankfully rises to the occasion. And then there’s the rest of the movie.
The yearly “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” induction ceremony is one of the more iconic and polarizing concerts, often inspiring a slew of controversy from music buffs and musicians alike. There’s always a hailstorm of “Why not this band?” or “Why not this artist?” and you’re always guaranteed to read an interesting headline of someone griping about an overdue band not getting their dues yet. Suffice to say whether the ceremony falls flat or it’s raucous, it’s almost always a promise you’ll get an interesting experience. And that’s from what we get to see on the edited annual broadcast on cable television. There are some bands and or artists excluded from this list as they have been omitted consciously, from what I’ve read, but for your money it’s a pretty solid release from Time Life I recommend.
Steven Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith, judge on American Idol, multi-soundtrack participant, actor, and generally interesting human being is followed here by filmmaker Casey Tebo who had previously spent a decade with Aerosmith, recording their travels and work. Here the camera and focus is on Tyler and his new work as a country singer. His new band that he handpicked talked about how they were selected and offered the jobs they have now, famous fans from Slash to horror director Adam Green discuss the impact of Tyler, Aerosmith, and their music on them, on the music industry as a whole, and why it makes sense for Tyler to now be turning to country music. The film shows that this genre move is more than just a stunt or an ego trip, it’s a genuine project from the heart, for the love of music, and for the love of performing. The film is a good look into Steven Tyler and who is.
Anna Mae Bullock is a woman that has been screaming music from the top of her lungs since she was a child. Music kind of sprung from her like an unstoppable force of nature, one that was almost squashed out by her abusive and often domineering husband. When we first meet her, she’s a young girl in a church who is escorted out for literally singing her own tune with the choir. When Ike Turner first meets her, Anna Mae, soon to be Tina Turner, belts out music that even shocks Ike Turner to his core. “What’s Love Got to Do With It” is the compelling, and often shocking story of Tina Turner and how she rose to fame in spite of the abusive and violent ownership of her husband, musician Ike Turner.
The follow up to the hilarious “Wayne’s World” has much more of a coherent ending, but that’s about all it has to offer. In the way of a sequel, rather than trying to continue bringing us new hilarious comedy bits like the car sing along, and product placement spoof, “Wayne’s World 2” either repeats those jokes in a new form, or extends them to where it’s boring. For some reason “Wayne’s World 2” is less a sequel and more of a spoof that confuses itself as some sort of David Zucker movie. The characters break the fourth wall constantly, ruining any momentum, and even touch on nineties fads once again. Instead, rather than a weird but funny appearance by the T-1000, there’s a cameo by the “Jurassic Park” T-Rex.
For someone who understands the punk rock world so well, Alex Cox is very quick to tear the nostalgia shades off of the viewers to depict a meeting of two lovers that was so intense it resulted in an unfortunate murder. “Sid and Nancy” are often romanticized by music lovers even to this day, but Alex Cox who brought us the masterpiece “Repo Man,” looks behind the gloss, picturing two unbearable, but real individuals. Director Cox paints a brilliant picture of two people spiraling in to oblivion, with a remarkable drama that’s less a biopic and more a chronicle of two doomed lovers. Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen are a lot to drink in. From the moment we meet them, they’re loud, they’re parasitic and disgusting, but they form a relationship where they understand each other. In many ways they decided that they need each other to survive.
A starting band with members from the US and the UK moves to Los Angeles to make it big. Living in their van, they work hard to get their start on the Sunset Strip. After a chance encounter with a mysterious man, things start to fall into place, but there is a price to pay.
It’s really hard to find anyone who does eighties neon pop surrealism like Empire Pictures. If you want to soak in everything about the decade from the bright colors, weird synth music and massive hair, look no further than films like “Terrorvision,” “Bad Channels” and or “Vicious Lips.” Your experience with Albert Pyun’s rare cult film may vary depending on your love for the decade, but sans the nostalgia goggles, it’s only a moderately entertaining experience that it limitless in its oddities. Something of a mixture of “Rock and Rule,” “Jem and the Holograms,” and “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” Albert Pyun throws so much imagery at the audience and there’s never any kind of substance soaked up.