Reel Reviews: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘Hunter Killer’

By on November 7, 2018

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

Oh mama mia, mama mia… I could not wait for “Bohemian Rhapsody” to be released… I’m a sucker for a good rock and roll movie.

Based on the life of Queen front man Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek, “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb”), “Bohemian Rhapsody” follows the rock legend’s rise to stardom. We meet Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara, as an immigrant baggage handler attracted to London’s live music scene. He joins a band and adopts the persona he became famous for.

The band, which changes its name to Queen, becomes popular worldwide and Mercury’s life spirals out of control. He returns to the people who supported him — his bandmates and female “love of his life,” Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton, “Murder on the Orient Express”). The film ends by providing text updates on events seen throughout the movie; Mercury died on Nov. 24, 1991 due to complications from AIDS.

This is a breakout role for Malek. I can’t think of any other actor who could have portrayed Mercury in such a light as Malek; it is spellbinding. The rest of the principal actors rise to their tasks. But, how did Mike Myers land a role in this film? Once I saw his name in the opening credits I was eagerly on the lookout for the actor who brought to life characters like Austin Powers and Shrek. He plays a small part as a made-up* recording industry icon Ray Foster and is incredibly distracting by appearing over-caked with makeup and trying hard not to fall into his fake-English accent.

Like I said, I’m a sucker for a good rock and roll movie and this movie does not disappoint. More than a rock tale of glory and a dusty biopic, “Bohemian Rhapsody” runs like a great Hollywood film, filled with passion, excitement, and sorrow. Even if you are not a Queen fan — or a rock and roll fan for that matter — you will enjoy this movie if you are looking for a quality, energizing, human-interest story.

*Die-hard Queen fans will notice an amount of liberties taken in writing this story, like the fact the group never split up and Mercury did not learn he was HIV-positive before Live Aid, something that helps create an emotional ending to the film.

Rami Malek is uncanny in his portrayal of Queen front man Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” now in theaters.

Also in theaters: ‘Hunter-Killer’

It is hard not to start off this review of “Hunter Killer” by stating, “This may be one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.”

“Hunter Killer” features a myriad of less than stellar actors led by Gerard Butler as Captain Joe Glass. Glass is the non-traditional captain of the USS Arkansas, which finds itself stuck in the middle of an immediate world war standoff after the Russian president becomes victim of a coup. Glass must trust his instincts, fend off subordination, and befriend his enemies in order to stop the world from spiraling into war.

I feel badly for Butler fans. This movie is miles away from his roles in “300” or “The Bounty Hunter.” Honestly, there is so much wrong with this film I don’t even think the best performance of his life could come close to saving this flick from drowning. If I were to list all the things making “Hunter Killer” a bad movie there would be no other room for articles in this newspaper.

From horrendous acting to miserable directing, “Hunter Killer” makes “Under Siege 2: Dark Territory” look like an Oscar Award-winning masterpiece.

Agree or disagree? Reel Reviews works like this: 1) Watch a movie; 2) Send suggestions, comments and criticism to Michael at SomeProMCU@gmail.com.

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