This Month in Film #3

By Riley Roche '22 and Jared Miller '22


Bohemian Rhapsody: Worthy of the Name

by Riley Roche


What happens when a revered band is given a high-budget biopic? Simply put, amazing things. This past month, we saw the release of the movie, Bohemian Rhapsody, directed by Bryan Singer. Bohemian Rhapsody focuses on the start of the ever-popular band, Queen, and its band members’ experiences and songs that eventually lead to their brilliant performance at the 1985 Live Aid Charity Event.

After seeing the trailer for this movie, I was, to say the least, not looking forward to it. I just couldn't wrap my head around why 21st Century Fox would choose Bryan Singer of all people to direct a biopic. For those who are unaware, Singer’s most famous work is with the X-Men franchise, as he directed 2000’s X-Men and 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. On top of this odd choice of director, the actors didn’t seem promising either. Aside from Rami Malek, most of the cast members were relative unknowns in the acting industry and seemed to deliver weak performances in the trailer. Finally, after all the waiting and excitement from a friend of mine who is a huge Queen fan, the RT (Rotten Tomatoes) score was released and the movie was hovering around the mid to high 50s. I couldn’t believe it: Fox was going to screw up a Queen movie. After I forgot about the movie for a while, it was released. As the credits rolled, my whole opinion changed... this movie was fantastic! Bohemian Rhapsody is the first movie of the fall season I can confidently call “good.”

There was obvious care and heart put into the production of this movie. To start, I would like to acknowledge Susie Figgis for her work in casting. Every single member of the band delivered incredibly true-to-life performances that I couldn’t see anyone else pulling off. Specifically, Rami Malek and Gwilym Lee rocked their performances as Freddie Mercury and Brian May, respectively. These two were able to portray the dynamic the real band members had with brilliance and conveyed the personalities and emotions of these characters perfectly. The visuals were definitely better than expected, but got a little bland sometimes with some basic camera angles. However, the music was incredible and the placement and usage of various Queen songs was very well done by Singer. The one gripe I have with this film is that Singer’s tendency in the X-Men film franchise to make the beginning of films too quick shined through in Bohemian Rhapsody. The start of the band in the beginning of the movie is too fast, and I would cut away some scenes towards the end of act two to reduce the runtime.

If you have any spare time or are looking for something to do with other people or even by yourself, watch this movie. The life of Freddie Mercury is portrayed honestly and tastefully, and the songs and band dynamic are just a joy to watch. Overall, I would give Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody an 8/10 and, currently, it is my choice for best picture this year.



Creed II: Even Better Than the First One

by Jared Miller


The Rocky franchise is arguably one of the best movie franchises ever. The newest installment to the franchise, Creed II, which came into theaters on Nov. 21, did not disappoint. Creed II is about Heavyweight champion boxer Adonis Creed, son of Apollo Creed, who is challenged by Viktor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago, the man who killed Apollo Creed in the ring. It was an excellent movie with a wonderful plot. It was a little bit predictable, as all Rocky movies are, but there were a few moments that definitely caught the viewer off guard. The best part of this movie was the performance of Michael B. Jordan, who played the main character, Adonis Creed. He is known for playing Adonis in Creed and playing Erik Killmonger in Black Panther. In both of those past movies, Michael was given a great script, and he executed the roles exceptionally well. Nothing is different in Creed II. He is given a lot to work with; a bunch of dramatic scenes, a few aggressive scenes, and a few training scenes. Co-starring alongside Michael B. Jordan is Sylvester Stallone, who has portrayed Rocky Balboa in every Rocky movie to date. In my opinion, he was not so great in this movie. It wasn’t his fault though; he wasn’t given much of a script with which to work.

This movie was almost perfect, earning an 82% on Rotten Tomatoes, and an 8.1/10 on IMDb. The one flaw in this film is that there are not enough training scenes. There is only one big training montage, which was very entertaining, but I think there should be more. All in all, Creed II is a fantastic movie and is a must-see for all that are interested.



Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse: What to Expect

by Riley Roche


2018 has brought a plethora of superhero movies to audiences over the course of the year. The next movie up on the superhero film train is Sony’s Spider-Man: Into The SpiderVerse, jointly directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman. This story seems to be loosely inspired by Marvel Comics’ Spider-Verse comic event in 2014, in which all of the Spider-Men from alternate realities team up to defeat Spider-Hunters called the Inheritors. Spider-Man: Into The SpiderVerse (ITS) stars Miles Morales, the popular Marvel comics hero. Miles was a young kid in Brooklyn who was bitten by an enhanced spider similar to the one that bit Peter Parker. ITS follows the story of Miles as he visits other dimensions and meets other Spider-People. These include the classic Spider-Man, Peter Parker, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Ham, and Penny Parker.

I, personally, am very excited for this movie. However, I am a huge Spider-Man fan and the original Spider-Verse comic is one of my favorite stories. Needless to say, take what I say with a grain of salt. Even if you aren’t a Marvel fan, the animation style present in the two trailers looks wholly unique, as it blends the comic-booky look from comics from the ‘60s-’80s. Yet, this rendition offers a sleeker and better-defined style. I am actually surprised at how fascinating this movie looks. Each character has a unique and memorable animation style that sets him apart from the other Spider-People. I haven't seen this much care in a Sony-Marvel movie since 2004’s Spider-Man 2, directed by Sam Raimi. There isn’t much else to say about this movie. The trailers look promising, and I already love the character design. If you have some free time, just watch one of the trailers, you'll see what I mean. There seems to be a great amount of love and care poured into this movie. For the first time in a long time, it seems Sony has put together a cast and crew of people who are dedicated to this movie and want to see it as art, not numbers at a box office. I would definitely recommend seeing this movie in theaters when it releases on December 14.



Movie Newsflash


Disney+

Nowadays, every company wants to get in on Netflix’s success and create a streaming service. DC Comics’ streaming service, DC Universe, released earlier this year. It has recently been confirmed that Disney will be putting out their own streaming service that will be called Disney+. Disney+ is slated to launch in late 2019, but everyone is still very excited about it. The streaming service will produce a number of tv series about their favorite characters. They will be producing a Star Wars live-action tv show about the rebel spy Cassian Andor, which will take place before the events of Rogue One. Disney will also be producing a Marvel TV show centering around fan-favorite character Loki, which will continue to be played by Tom Hiddleston. Disney+ will also have new stories set in the fictional worlds of movies such as Monsters, Inc, High School Musical, and even more stories about Star Wars. Disney+ will have so much great content, and Disney fans will only have to wait a year for it.


Kingsman 3

After the success of the first two installments into the franchise, Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Fox was obviously going to develop a third film. Taron Egerton, who portrayed the main character, Eggsy, in the first two films, will not be returning for the third. He said, “Even in the Kingsman universe, where anything goes unless we can develop a time machine in the first act of the movie, I'm not going to be in it. The idea for the film is really cool. It's more of an origin story, like the first one.” We also find out that it will be similar to the first film, an origin story. It could possibly be a whole new group of secret agents.



Rewatch Recommendation: Home Alone

by Jared Miller


Since it’s the holiday season, let’s take time to remember one of the best holiday movies of all time, Home Alone (1990). Home Alone is a fantastic movie about a boy who has to fight off burglars that are trying to break into his house on Christmas. Home Alone is directed by Chris Columbus, who, before Home Alone, had not directed a big film. However, since Columbus did such a wonderful job with Home Alone, his career launched a whole new chapter. Starring in this film is Joe Pesci, who is usually known for his more serious roles, but does a great job in a comedic role. It is an all-around great movie full of laughs, and you are sure to have a fun time watching it.

© 1845-2018, Focus, the official newspaper of Friends' Central Upper School

  • Instagram
  • Black Twitter Icon

Web Design by Julian Brenman '20