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Bohemian Rhapsody - why all the hate?


Nov 7, 10:32pm

Post #1 of 10 (404 views)
Bohemian Rhapsody - why all the hate? Can't Post

"Bohemian Rhapsody," the Queen/Freddy Mercury biopic, has made over $50 million in the USA, and something like $122 million worldwide. So naturally, critics hate it - and I don't understand why. Honestly, you'd think it was a "Hobbit" film the way the critics carry on! Some complain that it's not "historically accurate," well think about what Mel Gibson said about history in movies. This is NOT a documentary, it's more of a rock 'n roll musical, and ends on a happy note despite mentioning Freddy's death from AIDS. That might be one reason I like it so much, so many music biopics are downright depressing, and rock music makes me feel so happy!
Spoiler alert: Freddy Mercury was gay, and his homosexuality was on full display in this movie. No "straightwashing," although the movie stayed in the PG category. Snogging, but no sex. Apparently that wasn't good enough for some critics, who wanted a full expose on his drug use and hedonism. Well, those were also on display, but the movie wasn't about Freddy the party animal, it was about Freddy the singer of Queen. The music was front & center throughout this film, from their early days trying to get a single to the Live Aid concert. I remember Live Aid, it was such a big deal and nobody had ever put together such a production. I remember I recorded the entire show on a VCR, and watched that tape over & over (admittedly skipping through some of the bands). So apparently the movie took some "dramatic license" with Queen's performance - in real life, they'd been on tour together earlier that year, but so what? That last 15 minutes of film was so worth it!
Rami Malek is every bit as good as you've heard, but I'd like to give credit to Lucy Boynton and Gwylim Lee as well. In fact, all the actors were wonderful. One of the best scenes was when John Deacon (played by Joseph Mazzello) stopped an argument by playing the bass riff from "Another One Bites the Dust." You got a really good idea of what it might be like in a rock band, with give & take on songs, production, band direction, etc. I'd give the movie a 7.5 or 8 out of 10, but critics have described it as "C-plus," "plastic," etc. Why is it that if I like a movie, critics hate it??? Anyway, just my 2 cents here. If anyone else has seen it, let me know what you think. Were critics right or wrong about this film?

I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies - this is me!

from The Greatest Showman

Greenwood Hobbit
Grey Havens

Nov 7, 10:38pm

Post #2 of 10 (377 views)
I haven't seen it myself but [In reply to] Can't Post

I have read some rave reviews on Facebook from people who have; they all seem to have thoroughly enjoyed it. Critics - what do they know?! Meh.

Superuser / Moderator

Nov 7, 10:53pm

Post #3 of 10 (372 views)
Loved it. [In reply to] Can't Post

It plays fast and loose with some facts but as a story, it's a great experience on the big screen.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.

Ataahua's stories

Forum Admin / Moderator

Nov 8, 1:57am

Post #4 of 10 (367 views)
"A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic." [In reply to] Can't Post

Jean Sibelius. When I see critics have given a movie four stars, it's a very good chance that I'll have no interest at all in seeing it. We've rented Oscar-nominees, and turned them off after 15 minutes.

I'd like to see this movie - I've heard that Rami Malek does an amazing performance as Freddy.


"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


Nov 8, 2:56am

Post #5 of 10 (363 views)
Well, now, does Sibelius get the final word? [In reply to] Can't Post

I found a number of statues of critics, rather easily. Note that it's not the current custom to put up statues quite as readily as in past times, but one of my offerings is from just the past few decades.

I agree that critics must not be thought of as gods. On the other hand, I find that good film criticism, like book criticism or art criticism, is invaluable to my learning to experience art at a higher level of understanding - because the critics have seen and thought about their subject a lot more extensively and deeply than I have. When I find myself disagreeing with them, I think about it. Usually I discover, rather plainly in their writing or comments, that they are looking for something different from what I am looking for. That doesn't make their comments wrong, just irrelevant to my own needs. If I like their style or their take on things, I'll return to them to read about the next big thing, in hope that our paths will be more in alignment.

Voltaire, France, 1700s. A wicked wit and famous critic, who took the Enlightenment to pieces when he perceived cant or falsity.

Samuel Johnson, England, 1700s. Mordantly ironic about the best and worst of English literature in one of its golden ages.

Oscar Wilde, England, 1800s. Brilliantly funny and piercingly perceptive about what was and wasn't artistic in Victoria's era.

Roger Ebert, USA, 1900s. Famously willing to cook down a film to a thumb up or a thumb down, but then to explain his choice in easy-to-understand terms.

squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary

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Forum Admin / Moderator

Nov 8, 8:47am

Post #6 of 10 (347 views)
See above. [In reply to] Can't Post

Short version: I'm with you :) I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Passing of Mistress Rose
My historical novels

Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?

- A Room With a View

Forum Admin / Moderator

Nov 9, 2:01am

Post #7 of 10 (310 views)
I do like that sculpture of Oscar Wilde! [In reply to] Can't Post

And Roger Ebert? Nice! I'm afraid I can't put him in the same class as the typical critic, there was something classy and friendly about him, like discussing a movie with your brother.

These others were all writers in their own right (Wink), and deserving of recognition. I think Sibelius was referring to those critics who did only that, critique or criticize, and produced nothing of literary value.

Hm, well, then, that begs the question: does a critical review have literary value? If a critic has reviews that are well-written, with no snark or derogatory sentiments, but with clear-stated arguments, would that qualify?


"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


Nov 9, 2:15am

Post #8 of 10 (310 views)
Ah, my Padawan learner [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I thought the same thing you did: the statues of Voltaire, Johnson, and Wilde could be thought of as tributes to their own literary compositions rather than to their critical essays.

But. As you say. What is the difference? A beautifully written critical review may not be great literature, but surely it is art of a kind. And then poor old Sibelius starts coming across not as a man of pithy insight about the difference between journalism and literature ("no statues", etc.), but a man who's cranky because someone in a position of visibility and prestige had the temerity to criticize his latest composition.

I am reminded of Neil Patrick Harris' funny song from the 2011 Tony awards, where he (at 1:59 in the linked video) mocks the idea that Broadway shows are only watched by gays, Jews, out-of-towners, and "the sad embittered malcontents who write the reviews". No statues for them!

squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary

= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Nov 10, 2:12pm

Post #9 of 10 (270 views)
there's got to be one of Samuel Clemens [In reply to] Can't Post

his dismemberment of James Fenimore Cooper is my favorite of all his writings.

I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the words begin to move around Ö The words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young.

-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


Nov 15, 4:23am

Post #10 of 10 (243 views)
Perhaps the best lyrical attack of a critic... [In reply to] Can't Post

Was by Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, who didn't take kindly to hyper-critical reviews of one of Tull's albums (and in particular, one critic, Steve Peacock of Sound Magazine):

Only Solitaire

Brain-storming habit-forming battle-warning weary
winsome actor spewing spineless chilling lines.
The critics falling over to tell themselves he's boring
and really not an awful lot of fun.
Well who the hell can he be when he's never had V.D.,
and he doesn't even sit on toilet seats?
Court-jesting, never-resting he must be very cunning
to assume an air of dignity
and bless us all with his oratory prowess,
his lame-brained antics and his jumping in the air.
And every night his act's the same
and so it must be all a game of chess he's playing
"But you're wrong, Steve: you see, it's only solitaire."


Please visit my blog...The Dark Elf File...a slighty skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.


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