Bohemian Rhapsody-Redux

Chuck came up with some great commentary on the Queen/Freddy Mercury movie in response to the film and my own recent review.  Check it out.

Jimmy

Here’s Chuck’s slant…

I haven’t had a chance to write up a full review for the blog, but my take on it was that it was decent. Not great, but not horrible. On the plus side, Rami Malek was fantastic as Freddie Mercury. He elevated the entire film. He didn’t so much “play” Mercury. He became him. It was a marvel to watch. Another huge plus was the dead on recreation of their set at Live Aid. Everything about that scene was so authentic. My favorite part of the film. And of course, the music was stellar. Some of the greatest stuff ever recorded.

On the down side, the dialogue was hackey in places. The pace was too slow in some places. The timeline of their music was off in some places. (IE. Fat Bottomed Girls didn’t come out until 3 years after their first American tour).  They got a ton of facts wrong. ( IE. He didn’t tell them he was HIV positive until 2 years after Live Aid).  The other actors were bland. (Which, maybe, was the point in comparison to Freddie’s personality). The guy playing Roger Taylor drove me crazy. Taylor has a very (very!) high pitched speaking voice. This guy, um, did not. I cringed every time he spoke. Mike Myers was a little unnecessary. (We get that he used Bohemian Rhapsody in Wayne’s World).

I do get your point about them not focusing on May and Taylor and Deacon more. You and I are rock music nerds and would have loved to have seen a deeper dive into the 3 of them. But most of the movie ticket buying populace aren’t rock music nerds. No way this film makes half a billion dollars if it dove deeply into the life of Brian May. (It likely doesn’t even get made). Freddie is who people wanted to see.

Overall, in terms of stars, I’m right there with you, but for different reasons. 2 ½ out of 4.

Chuck

 

Bohemian Rhapsody-A Movie Review

Queen.  (The band, not the monarch.) Tailors of the triumphantly sonic rock sound stemming from their inception in the early seventies that so many of the second-stringers coming behind them found to be a band not only uncopiable but still mythical in many ways.  Subtle yet dynamic, alternatively humble and bold, honest but still occasionally playful in their sound they used their jazz/blues/classical and God knows whatever other musical roots to bring rock to it’s theatrical zenith.

But this isn’t an assessment of the band but rather the recent movie so let’s go…

I was initially stunned by the resemblance between the actors and the original Queen members (Hey! That guy looks just like Brian May!) for instance. This really helped supply the effect that I was now immersed in Queen-World but the movie as a whole has an annoying tendency to skip this initial platform of credibility and throw away a beautiful opportunity to establish and recognize the tightness the members of the group used to establish themselves as one thing, irreversible and continuous.

When I plunked myself in my seat I was happily expecting a flick about Queen but it quickly became apparent that I was watching a biopic centered around lead singer Freddie Mercury with only occasional references to why we listened to Queen in the first place.

Here’s where I started losing interest.

If your interested in Freddy Mercury himself then your in business. This film dives into his personal life highlighting his personal, conflicted relationships eventually leading to the near destruction of the thing he loved most, writing songs and performing them with the guys who took him in as a brother and stood by Freddy even when his ego got the better of him. While this movie runs two hours and fifteen minutes, plenty of time to give you a sense of Queen’s overall talent, little of that time was used to establish the most critical portion of Freddy’s life.  While I admit that Elvis Presley would have been a famous talent without the benefit of the innovative guitarist Scotty Moore, it sure didn’t hurt to have him around. Would Freddy’s superb talent ever been known if it wasn’t for the utterly unique sound of Brian May’s laser-like guitar, Roger Taylor’s huge pioneering drum effect and Fred Deacon’s whizbang bass (as well as songwriting from these three)?

That’s what I was expecting and got nothing but a few glimpses as to why Queen worked at all. Where I was expecting light, I got darkness, I don’t mean that metaphorically though. It seemed that half this venture was deliberately filmed in dimly lit locations like an Orson Welles picture.

The final scene of the movie actually delivers the sound and power that Queen is famous for but why did I have to wait two hours for delivery? Given that the musical advisors were original members Roger Taylor and Brian May, it’s mystifying they’d let this great music be tamped down, volumeless where volume was needed and unspectactular when spectactulerness was so easily within grasp. When I mentioned this to my daughter she agreed speculating that putting Queen’s stunning sound out there at the movie’s early points would’ve lessened the effect at the end. She’s probably right but she’s also seventeen years old and wasn’t available to hear this group in it’s proper time.

I was. We both gave Bohemian Rhapsody 2 1/2 stars out of four. Here’s two original promo videos that Queen provided in the seventies.  I’ll ask you to please watch so you can see what I’m driving at here and don’t forget to hit on MAMEMAGAZINE.COM for more music-oriented content and as always, thanks for reading…

Jimmy

 

 

 

 

All the News That’s Unfit to Print

Hey, hey and Ho, Ho Dear readers! Lotsa stuff to get to today so let’s dispense with the niceities and proceed right to the usual buffoonery…

I saw in the news recently where there was a lady who had the power go out in her house and sensibly fumbled her way into the cellar to find and subsequently light a candle in order to gain some light thus enabling her to see where she was going and generally provide light to her now very small world.  Sound thinking, right? Well, these apparently simple tasks sometimes come with an unforeseen downside as we all know and this case is especially noteworthy as the “candle” she was trying to light was in reality a stick of dynamite.

Don’t get me wrong here, as a fellow citizen who also tucks my candles into the same type of drawers and in the same normally sensible proximity to dynamite I see this is as a triumph of the American Will. I ask you my fellow Americans, in what other country is it OK to accidently risk blowing your block to kingdom come while inciting references to Bugs Bunny and The Three Stooges?  No country that I wanna live in and that’s for damn sure.  (To our friends at the NSA who’re obviously reading this now that I used the word “dynamite”, I’m just goofin’ around here man)

Speaking of The Three Stooges, I normally refrain from commenting on people’s personal appearance because I’m a fine one to talk but I recently came across a guy who’s toupee reminded me of Moe Howard’s hairdo (“Hey Moe! It’s a tarantula!!)

Next up, why do people who had a sufficient amount of dozing say that they “slept like a baby”?  What’re u trying to tell me, that you woke up screaming every three hours?

Having seen the two previous posts, my daughter is trying to straighten me out on the state of modern music in apparent hopes that I’ll embrace some of the newer bands. If u consider her as Lisa Simpson and me as Homer you’ll get the idea that she’s usually right about alotta stuff and this time I want in on the ground floor. In this, the first case she confronted me with will be a band called “Cage the Elephant”. Having listened to their “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked”, they appear to me to be a cross between Run DMC and Paul Revere and the Raiders but form your own impressions with the video supplied below…

Jimmy  

That Means WHAT???

Being a 53 year old guy who thought he was wise to the ways of the world (the English vocabulary in particular) and then some, I’ve recently found out how wrong I was when my daughter and I recently got into a friendly argument about the nickname of her targeted college, namely the University of Hawaii.

While she insisted the team nickname was “The Manoans”, I quickly and accurately corrected her with “Rainbow Warriors” as the school’s flagship moniker.  In order to settle our dispute I looked up the aforementioned Rainbow Warriors on Google and the first site presented was The Urban Dictionary, which gave a vastly different interpretation of the term than I was expecting:

Kate:  OK Dad! Look it up!

Me (while Googling): Yep. I’ll show you!

(momentary pause)

Me: What the hell is this???!!!

Kate (laughing): Dad, you clicked on The Urban Dictionary site!

Allow me to withhold the definition of Urban Dictionary’s version of what “Rainbow Warrior” means (seeing as this is a damn family site) compared to what I thought it meant (brave Polynesian Warrior).  This got me to thinking what other interpretations of terms I thought I knew might be out there. This’ll require some investigative journalism on my part (or in other words “work”) but it’s a small sacrifice for you, our readers. Let’s begin:

“Afterclap”

What I’d guess it meant- noun; the fallout from a venereal disease

What it now means-verb; the last sound from a round of applause

“Yard Sale”

My thinkin’-A homefront where used junk is sold at dirt cheap prices

Alternative-Wiping out on a snowy mountain leaving gloves, poles, skis, etc…all over the place

“Unlightening”

Me: A light bulb blows leaving you in the dark

Actual-Somebody represents an idiotic and untrue theory as fact (I’ve gotta include this term in the website motto.)

“Beerboarding”

Me: (you’d think I’d know this one) Bringing a frosty alcoholic beverage up the gangplank

Actual: Getting someone bombed so that they spill the truth

This is getting so fun that I think I’ll make up a few of my own.  Lemme know what you think:

“Funselfish”- Buying the bar a round so you can keep the party going when everyone seems to be wrapping it up

“Steamed Clam”- A person who walks face-first into a glass door thinking it was open

“Kangaroo”- A person who trips on a crack in the sidewalk and has to hop in an effort to maintain some dignity

“Floon”-As Chuck knows, I’ve already tried this one out to no effect.  It’s intended meaning was to imply a screwup or mild mistake.  Shoulda gone further but the Catholic Church wouldn’t buy into it with the whole “forgive me Father for I have flooned” serving as quite the obstacle.  Worth a shot, tho.

This topic has above all proven to me how flexible, interpretive and stupid the English language can get.  See ya next time.

Jimmy

 

Wonderland

Time to swim against the current a little. I know at this time of year, most parents are overjoyed that the kids are heading back to school. Not this parent. I love all of the things that the girls and I do all summer long. I love being outside with them. I love game nights that start at 9 o’clock at night. I love heading to the local park to shoot hoops with them. I love taking them to baseball games. I love hitting the beach with them. I love attending outdoor concerts with them. But, mostly, I love the freedom that summer allows. Childhood races by at blinding speed, and childhood summers race by even faster. I, for one, am in no hurry to see them end.

Chuck

Yep, I have those memories too although I’ve hadda adjust mine to “stay the %#&* outta jail”.

Walter Becker of Steely Dan recently passed away so lemme see if I can hook you up with a good number here (below). Becker w/b the guy playing bass and singing in the background by the drum kit. He and singer/keyboardist Donald Fagen pioneered a lot of the music we hear today and yes, that’s Jeff “Skunk” Baxter on guitar for you Doobie Brothers fans.

Jimmy

 

Mr. Mom

Here’s a recent quote from Chuck:

Diane “I’m exhausted from food shopping.”

Chuck “Hey, I’m tired too! I’ve been watching three kids, one of whom I didn’t even know was here.”

Chuck

By my standards that was a fine job. Responsibility and coverage for the kids in consideration for your significant other tops all responsibilities as we Moms and Dads grapple with the ongoing struggle of raising and dealing with kids, their ideals, their hopes and dreams, their tantrums, refusing to eat what’s cooked for dinner, bumming money of ya, bad grades, insolent attitudes and generally being a money siphon akin to laying every dollar you own on the floor with the understanding that a vacuum cleaner will soon come along and clean you out.

Say, that reminds of a story of my own: (We had a one-year old boy at the time. Mother’s Day, circa 2001)

Wife (early morning):   “Well”?

Me: “Well what”?

Wife: “Where’s my Mother’s Day gift?”

Me (sensing trouble): “I didn’t get u one”

Wife: “WHY NOT!!???

Me:  “You’re not my mother”.

I paid a king’s ransom for that response friends and in some ways so discreet (other ways more overt) that I still haven’t any cognizance of them 20 years later.

Marriage/kids: Think hard my readers.

Think hard.

Jimmy

 

Holiday Road

Chuck was kind enough to impart a few thoughts from his most recent beachside excursion:

From Chuck:

Diane (attempting to ask me about the upcoming weather): “How long rain harder?”

Chuck: “What??? You sound like one of the Hekawis from F Troop”.

From Jimmy:

O”Rourke (to Wild Eagle): “U don’t have to ACTUALLY attack the fort, just send your brave Hekawii warriors tonight and PRETEND to attack so we can make Cpt. Parmenter look like a hero.”

Wild Eagle: “No good O’Rourke.  Brave Hekawii warriors afraid of dark.”

Jimmy

(Back to Chuck) Diane and the girls are all killing me at Scrabble yet they are all trying to make me feel better.

Erin: “Your score isn’t too bad.”

Me: “Are you kidding me?? A monkey could eat the bag of tiles and s**t them out all over the board and he would STILL have a better score than me.”

Chuck

Jimmy: Hey Chuck! You just disrespected rule #3.4 of this website which clearly stipulates (ahem)… “Any writer on this stupid, futile, insanely crazy idea of a blog shall refrain from monkey poop jokes to the extent humanly possible unless it’s really funny”.

(OK, that WAS really funny but if we catch any grief for the Hekawii gag it’s yer ass.)

Jimmy

(Why Chuck and Teresa put up w/me is anyone’s guess but check out MameMagazine.com for more cool stuff if ya haven’t already.  Thanks for hittin’ and readin’)