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Non-Review Review: Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody is more invested in being a fairly standard music biopic than with being a slightly more specific Queen biopic.

There’s a weird sense of familiarity that runs through Bohemian Rhapsody, which has nothing at all to do with its central characters and everything to do with the kind of story that it is telling. If anything, Bohemian Rhapsody will appear completely foreign and alien to dedicated fans of Queen, or anybody with even a passing knowledge of the bad’s history and discography. Instead, it will feel most comforting and familiar to the aficionados of the old tried-and-true biographical feature film formula memorably lampooned by Walk Hard.

Spotlighting its subject.

Bohemian Rhapsody repeatedly brushes up against conflicts between history as it occurred and the rhythms of that standard narrative template. In every single case, Bohemian Rhapsody chooses to side with the narrative template rather than the historical record. It is debatable whether there is anything inherently wrong with this, to be fair. This sort of film-making is an act of adaptation. It is often necessary to conflate, distort of fabricate events in order to convey an essential truth about some real-life person or character, because real life is not a narrative, despite best efforts to impose one upon it.

However, it is one thing to manipulate or distort the finer details of a narrative to hint at a deeper truth. It is another thing entirely to warp reality to fit an assembly blueprint that reveals next to nothing about any of its subjects.

A pale reflection of the man himself.

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Jameson Cult Film Club Screening of The Usual Suspects, Cork (22nd April) and Galway (29th April)!

Just as they did with Jaws and Snatch, the Jameson Cult Film Club are taking their screening of The Usual Suspects on the road. There’ll be screenings happening in Cork and Galway towards the end of the month, and – if you’re in the area – they come highly recommended as a celebration of classic film. (That goes double if you haven’t yet seen The Usual Suspects, which is one of the greatest modern noir films and probably director Bryan Singer’s greatest work.)

Indeed, the Irish chapter of the Jameson Cult Film Club launched with a screening of The Usual Suspects in 2011, making this something of a celebratory screening for the club. And a well-deserved one at that.

The full copy of the press release is below, but it is worth stressing that tickets to the event are completely free. They are assigned via a raffle, and you can throw your name into the hat at the Jameson Cult Film Club website. More details after the fabulously stylised poster below. (I kinda want one, but I worry I have no place to put it.)

JCFC screening of The Usual Suspects in Cork and Galway


 

The Jameson Cult Film Club is returning to Cork on 22nd April and Galway on 29th April for explosive screenings of the 1995 crime thriller, The Usual Suspects. Following on from the successful screenings of cult classics such as Jaws, Predator and Intermission, organisers are bringing the Jameson Cult Film Club experience back on the road

These free events are not just your typical screening, the Jameson Cult Film Club promises to transport the audience right into the murky world of criminal mastermind Keyser Söze for an unforgettable viewing experience. The venue, a safe house located on ‘San Pedro Pier’, is only revealed to ticket holders and will be completely transformed into a series of sets from the movie. Live theatre and special effects timed perfectly with on-screen action will also help to create an electric atmosphere throughout the screening.

The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world that he didn’t exist, so don’t miss the opportunity to watch this heist classic, voted best movie plot twist by IMDB, on the big screen. If you don’t want to be left out of the line-up, register now for free tickets on www.jamesoncultfilmclub.ie.

Following the screening, the party will continue in true Jameson style with DJ Aidan Kelly taking to the decks while guests enjoy ‘Kobayashi’ Burgers and Jameson, Ginger and Lime long drinks.

Look! First X-Men: Days of Future Past Posters!

The Wolverine isn’t out yet, but we’ve already got the first posters for next year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. They’re a massive improvement over the wonderfully dodgy “face in the crotch!” posters that teased the superb X-Men: First Class. It’s a rather wonderful concept, combining the older and young versions of two of the franchise’s most iconic characters. Starring Sir Patrick McAvoy! Sir Ian Fassbender!

Although I’m wary of the incredibly vast cast that Bryan Singer has assembled, I am a giddy X-Men fan, so I’m quite looking forward to the adaptation of the wonderful Chris Claremont and John Byrne story. (I recent did a review of the animated adaptation of the story over at comicbuzz.com, for those wanting a sneak peek at what might be in store.) I really like these posters, and I suspect a trailer might not be too far away.

xmen-daysoffuturepast xmen-daysoffuturepast1

X-Men: Mutant Massacre (Review/Retrospective)

With our month looking at Avengers comics officially over, we thought it might be fun to dig into that other iconic Marvel property, the X-Men. Join us for a month of X-Men related reviews and discussion.

Mutant Massacre represents something of a minor game changer in the world of the X-Men titles that Marvel was producing. Originally proposed by Uncanny X-Men scribe Chris Claremont as a story to be told within that title, editorial seized upon the opportunity to connect their developing line of mutant titles, having each monthly issue of Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor and The New Mutants serve as a single chapter in an expansive storyline. It really was the first X-Men crossover, setting the template for dozens to follow over the coming decades from “thematic” crossovers like Fall of the Mutants to more straight-forward examples like Inferno or X-Tinction Agenda, or even ones that came long after Claremont like Messiah Complex or Second Coming. More than that, though, Mutant Massacre demonstrated the key attributes of Claremont’s rapidly expanding universe, reintroducing a sense of uncertainty and dread into the comics.

Tearing the X-Men to pieces…

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Does Whatever a Spider Can: Do Chronicle and Kick-Ass Render The Amazing Spider-Man Moot?

We still have a few months to wait before Marc Webb reboots Sony’s Spider-Man franchise with The Amazing Spider-Man. Despite some tonal worries, I’ll admit Webb has quite a talented crew assembled – Andrew Garfield is on the cusp of stardom, and Emma Stone is a bit ahead of him. However, I can’t help but wonder if Webb’s film might be a few months too late. After all, haven’t Kick-Ass and Chronicle offered a fairly solid deconstruction of the iconic web-slinging superhero? Is there really enough left to be said in the Spider-Man origin story when we’ve already seen it picked apart and subverted so often and skilfully?

Webb's Spider...

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Alien Nation: What the Aborted Superman Returns Opening Sequence Tells Us About Bryan Singer’s Man of Steel…

I’ve already talked a great deal about Superman Returns and why the movie doesn’t really work as a Superman story, but I was still fascinated to get a glimpse at the aborted $10m dollar opening sequence that never made it to the final cut, but only wormed its way onto the internet today. The clip is well-made and there’s no doubt that it was abandoned fairly late in the process, almost ready to fit in Bryan Singer’s epic story about the Man of Steel. It’s fascinating what the clip tells about how Singer sees his protagonist, and how the clip bolsters his own take, while demonstrating some of the more fundamental flaws with his vision.

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Requiem for The Wolverine: Why Darren Aaronofsky was the Perfect Choice to Direct The Wolverine…

I was actually really anticipating what Darren Aronofsky could bring to The Wolverine, the sequel to the rather lackluster X-Men Origins: Wolverine. So I was actually genuinely disappointed when it was announced – rumoured to be for the inevitable creative reasons – that Aronofsky would not be directing the film after all. While it’s great that this affords Aronofsky complete creative freedom on the next film he works on, and while I certainly don’t want a film that has been subject to Fox’s executive meddling, I can’t help but regret what might have been.

Blades of glory?

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