Tagged Musical

Rocketman (Fletcher, 2019)

I’ll give Rocketman this much: it is a more credible endeavour than its closest antecedent, Bohemian Rhapsody. On the aesthetic front, Rocketman is not as visually shoddy or bogged down by competing artistic visions. Dexter Fletcher had a clear concept in mind and ran with it, whereas with Bohemian Rhapsody he was forced to paste together a film from scraps left behind…

Weekly Spotlight #2: Moses and Aaron (Straub & Huillet, 1975)

In this new weekly series, The Lonely Film Critic highlights an older release of interest, whether it be an oft-overlooked gem or a classic worth revisiting. This week, to commemorate the Easter-Passover holiday, we check out the lesser-known Biblical adaptation Moses and Aaron from French directing duo Straub-Huillet.

Guava Island (Murai, 2019)

Last year Janelle Monáe released a conceptual “emotion picture” to act as a thematic and visual supplement to her third studio album Dirty Computer. Now Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) is taking a similar approach with Guava Island, an hour-long film directed by frequent collaborator Hiro Murai that gives us a cogent tour of his musical career…

Mary Poppins Returns (Marshall, 2018)

Mary Poppins Returns begins with a very traditional opening number, before revealing very traditional opening credits with an overture in the vein of the original. It is a clear jump into the past, and an age when filmmaking was ornate in its charms and looked to largess in order to please. Rob Marshall understandably wants to…

Hearts Beat Loud (Haley, 2018)

Like a knitted sweater, Hearts Beat Loud is a cozy and warm pleasure. Very low-stakes, unencumbered by twisty plotting, and breezily musical at heart. It’s very hard not to fall for its charms, although I can also understand why some would resist it. If you’re tuning into a film to have your invested time redeemed, then this…

Bohemian Rhapsody (Singer, 2018)

Is this the real life, or is it just fantasy? Well, folks, I’m sorry to burst your bubbles, but it’s more the latter than the former. Taking a little dramatic license with the truth to make a film more cinematic can be done effectively. Taking a sledgehammer to the facts and oversimplifying almost every detail? That’s when…

Song to Song (Malick, 2017)

Who knows if Terrence Malick will ever reach his early career heights again. The Tree of Life might be his final “great” work, though his recent efforts may be re-evaluated down the line. Song to Song, like its past few predecessors, was tepidly received and ignored by most audiences, left to be picked up by its few supporters…

The Greatest Showman (Gracey, 2017)

I might have enjoyed a different version of The Greatest Showman. One where the filmmaking was more adept, the songs more substantial, and the characters given the complexity they deserve. This? This is pap. Well-intentioned pap, but pap nonetheless. It takes an origin story that, in other hands, would make an interesting film, and strips it…

Pitch Perfect 3 (Sie, 2017)

Due to a timing mix-up, I saw Pitch Perfect 3 in a very last-minute call. It was only until I was seated that I remembered I hadn’t seen the second installment! Most mercifully, the story is more or less self-contained, and I remembered enough of the first one to keep track of everyone (with the exception of…

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (Parker, 2018)

The first Mamma Mia! is a jukebox musical in which the plot was clearly written around the songs. ABBA’s songs of infidelity, flirtatious discovery, and radiant living are perfect for a tale of a woman with three suitors who has no idea about which is her daughter’s true father. You can get away with silliness like that…

Moana (Clements & Musker, 2016)

I think 2016 was a good year for animated films, but if I had to pick just one to take with me to a desert island (sorry for the cliché), then I think Moana would be my choice.

The Lure (Smoczynska, 2015)

The Lure is part-fairy tale, part-Bildungsroman, part-trippy rock opera, and a whole lotta ‘80s glitz and glam wrapped into one twisted, salacious treat. Except, it’s an incredibly messy one, so the experience is not as exceptional as I’ve made it sound.