11 posts categorized "Rock 'n' Roll"

December 21, 2022

ELVIS — CANNES 2022

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ColeSmithey.comThis soup-to-nuts musical biopic about Elvis Presley is a stunner.

Wow!

Sit back and enjoy.

Best if you're watching "Elvis" on a big screen; this is 100% a BIG SCREEN movie.

No holding back.

Tom Hanks delivers the most superb performance of his legendary career as con-man/music agent Colonel Tom Parker.

Hanks delivers the goods in spades. This is the work of a dedicated creator of character.

Tom Hanks is truly an actor's actor.

Screen Shot 2022-12-21 at 2.38.53 PM

Likewise, “Elvis” proves to be director/co-screenwriter Baz Luhrmann’s best film by far.

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As for the film’s lead actor, Austin Butler is phenomenal in his deeply executed portrayal of Elvis Presley.

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Butler’s performance is much more than an impersonation. You feel in touch with the real Elvis Presley through Austin Butler’s dynamic use of acting craft.

Fire, baby.

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Talk about range. 

This young man has range to spare.

And yes, that's Butler singing every Elvis song with his own vocal cords and skill.

Insane in the membrane.

Shut the front door, and listen to unadorned perfection.

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Let’s just give Austin Butler his Best Actor Oscar now.

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Credit goes to co-screenwriters: Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce, and Jeremy Doner for authoring a truly masterful script.

Film courses will focus on this movie.

ColeSmithey.com

Mandy Walker's cinematography is strictly superb.

On fleek bitches.

 

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Elvis Presley’s personal and public story is a cautionary tale connected to the turbulent American decades that witnessed political assassinations, rampant racism, puritanical assaults on freedom, and the best voice that you could possibly imagine, namely that of one Elvis Aaron Presley.

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Baz Luhrmann and his truly gifted team of dedicated actors and filmmakers do Elvis Presley’s rich musical legacy proud.  

ColeSmithey.com

If you only see one movie from 2022, "Elvis" is the one to choose.

Rated PG. 159 mins.

5 StarsBMOD COLE2

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

February 15, 2020

ECHO IN THE CANYON

Welcome!

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

ColeSmithey.com

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

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ColeSmithey.comThis beautiful musical performance/documentary love letter to Los Angeles’s mid ‘60s Laurel Canyon music scene that gave rise to The Association, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, and The Mamas and the Papas is an addictive musical journey. Jakob Dylan proves the perfect unobtrusive guide through L.A.'s prolific utopian Laurel Canyon musical scene that existed between 1965 to 1967. I’ve watched this doc 8 times, and will gladly watch it again anytime.

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Jacques Demy’s underseen L.A.-set 1969 romantic drama “Model Shop” serves as inspiration for Jakob Dylan (a revelation as the band leader for a concert with a rotating group of co-singers that include Jade Castrinos, Cat Power, Fiona Apple, Beck, Regina Spektor, and Norah Jones) to interview the musicians who created such classics as “Go Where You Wanna Go” and “Never My Love.” Tingles run up your spine. 

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Jakob's cool-hang interviews with the likes of pop music royalty as Stephen Stills, Brian Wilson, Tom Petty, Ringo Starr, Roger McGuinn, and Lou Adler allow for some hilarious tales told outside of school. Jakob Dylan’s subtle sense of humor get nice traction with Brian Wilson when discussing a song’s key. Jakob offers to “get out the capos.” Funny musician humor, I know, but I love it. Jakob Dylan is as unpretentious as they come. 

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Recording sessions as historic Los Angeles recording studios where great artists have recorded countless hits segue into Jakob Dylan’s live concert celebrating Laurel Canyon’s 50-year anniversary. The briefly utopic community of musicians who gravitated to Laurel Canyon created a Niagara of poetic pop songs turning folk music into rock ‘n’ roll. This is a groovy movie about a brilliant period of music that flourished before its awe-inspiring flight came to an inevitable end. This is a really fun movie to savor. My only complaint is that they didn't feature another four or five songs.

ColeSmithey.com

Sidebar: Although it's never brought up in the film, the Laurel Canyon music was a direct outgrowth of Bossa Nova. Bossa's utopian romanticism came out of João Gilberto's Sinatra-inspired idea to soften samba into a more romantic ballad-based style. The early '60s period of Bossa Nova's explosive popularity in the country occurred prior to a movement of young musicians to turn up the heat on folk music and make it rock with the same attention to songwriting that Gilberto and Jobim utilized for their timeless songs. "Never My Love" meet "The Girl From Ipanema."

ColeSmithey.com

Rated PG-13 — 88 mins.

5 Stars ColeSmithey.com

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November 15, 2018

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

      ColeSmithey.com  Welcome!

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

 

ColeSmithey.com“Bohemian Rhapsody” achieves its dramatic goal of celebrating the unforgettable music of a groundbreaking rock band whose omnisexual lead singer Freddie Mercury remains a revered pop figure for many good reasons.

As with any biopic, this film’s success relies on the ability of the actor portraying the film’s subject to inhabit that person entirely. Indeed, Rami Malek carries off a spitting-image portrayal of Freddie Mercury that wins you over from his first appearance as a singer whose signature overbite allowed Mercury a greater singing range. Who knew an overbite could be so musically effective?

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As the filmmakers make clear, the title of the film isn’t “Freddie Mercury.” Fans may well quibble over this film’s sanitized rendition of Mercury’s voracious appetite for sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. However, the movie displays the band’s unorthodox musical methods and interpersonal conflicts toward creating anthemic songs that you’ll be humming in your sleep for days if not weeks after seeing it.  

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Actor Gwilym Lee is unrecognizable in his portrayal of Queen’s guitarist Brian May. You can’t help but get a charge out of Lee’s spot-on portrayal of Queen’s charismatic guitarist. Mike Myers turns in an equally impressive act of disguise as Ray Foster, an EMI record label executive (a composite character of several EMI geniuses) who screwed up what would have been a lucrative deal with Queen had he endorsed their experimental approach to songwriting that birthed the film’s title track.

ColeSmithey.com

Dramatic liberties are taken. Pet peeves will be had. I wish they had used the [actual] clip of Freddie Mercury and David Bowie singing their amazing “Under Pressure” duet. Would it have been too much of a cheat to let the audience revel in that dynamic musical moment in time? It certainly could have provided some insight into why Mercury abandoned his bandmates.

ColeSmithey.com

Enough splitting hairs, “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a fun ride that will put a lump in your throat, a tear in your eye, and more than one terrific song in your heart. Go with it.  

ColeSmithey.com

Rated PG-13. 134 mins.Five Stars

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

 

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