Tag Archives: Allen Leech

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Blu-Ray Movie Review By D.M. Anderson

Bohemian Rhapsody Review, The story of the legendary rock band Queen and lead singer Freddie Mercury, leading up to their famous performance at Live Aid.

Director: Bryan Singer
Writers: Anthony McCarten (story by), Peter Morgan (story by)
Starring Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joe Mazzello, Aiden Gillen, Allen Leech, Tom Hollander, Mike Myers, Aaron McClusker.

As a die-hard Queen fan during the height of their popularity, I can confirm many of Bohemian Rhapsody’s historical inaccuracies regarding their career trajectory. The timeline of certain events has been changed, while others depicted in the film didn’t actually happen.

I can also attest that Freddie Mercury’s sexuality was never an issue with fans back then. We always suspected he was gay. We just never cared because his over-the-top flamboyancy perfectly enhanced the band’s bombastic, genre-bending approach to music. Even after media wagons began to circle around Mercury’s private life, none of their so-called revelations seemed particularly scandalous because most of us suspected as much all along. When Mercury publicly disclosed he had AIDS (the day before he died), we were extremely saddened, though not all that surprised.

So no, Queen was not an overnight success, not everything they touched turned to gold and Freddie was not diagnosed with AIDS prior to Live Aid. And if the film omits most of the more sordid details of Mercury’s life, so what? It is obvious from the first frame that Bohemian Rhapsody was put together by people who love the band – and its music – as much as everyone else. Accusations of the film glossing-over the truth are moot points. This is not-so-much a biography as it is a big, sparkling thank you letter to Queen and their legions of fans, both old and new.

As such, Bohemian Rhapsody is fabulous fun, much like Queen’s music. Their humble beginnings are superficially outlined – and greatly condensed – in order to present the Queen we know & love as much as possible. The concert sequences are depicted in all their glamorous glory, as are the band’s numerous numerous musical milestones. With a soundtrack that’s wall-to-wall with Queen’s best-known songs, the film plays very much like a greatest hits album. Historically, some of them appear out of order. “Fat Bottomed Girls,” for example, was not one of their early hits. Within the context of the narrative, however, the song’s timing is perfect. As it appears in the story, “Who Wants to Live Forever” achieves a level poignancy never reached in the movie it was originally written for (Highlander).

Much has already been said about Rami Malek’s amazing performance as Freddie Mercury. It is indeed phenomenal, but the actors playing the rest of the band are just as convincing (and criminally overlooked). While they may not be spitting images of their real-life counterparts (though Joe Mazzello as John Deacon comes damn close), they completely embody Queen’s on-stage moves and mannerisms.

Everything culminates with the band’s now-legendary performance at Live Aid. It wasn’t really a “reunion” as the film suggests (Queen never actually broke up), but by rearranging and altering certain events for dramatic impact, this scene is easily Bohemian Rhapsody’s emotional high point. Watching the band return to glory before a 100,000 fans (and a billion TV viewers) is enough to cause goosebumps. 

Ultimately, we don’t learn much more about Mercury than we did going in (though he appeared to have a lot of cats). The film is narratively disjointed and its historical accuracy is questionable. But as an affectionate tribute to a band we’ll still be listening to 100 years from now, Bohemian Rhapsody captures Queen the way we’d like to remember them: a great band with one helluva charismatic frontman. 

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The Hunter’s Prayer (2017) Movie Review By Darrin Gauthier

THE HUNTER_S PRAYER

Director: Jonathan Mostow
Writers: John Brancato (screenplay by), Michael Ferris (screenplay by)
Stars: Sam Worthington, Odeya Rush, Allen Leech

Plot:  An assassin helps a young woman avenge the death of her family.
Running Time: 91 Minutes
IMDB Score: 5.5

Why I Watched It: I hadn’t heard of this film but saw it on Netflix, now I do say I liked director Mostow and the plot seem alright and I gave it a go.

Random Thoughts: Mostow has made some good films and of course he made Terminator 3 which was flawed to say the least but he hasn’t done much lately which is a shame. Let’s touch on Sam Worthington who was in a Terminator film that was more than flawed.  He gets a lot of crap cause he’s bland but I will say this he’s not a bad actor, he’s more of a presence that an actor force. Also a nitpick with the plot description, he doesn’t really go out to help the girl avenge her family’s death as he tries to keep her from getting killed.

What I Liked: As the plot tells you it’s a fairly simple story and at times I like simple and to be fair I guess it’s more straight forward than simple.  An assassin is told to kill a teenage girl and he doesn’t.  One thing I really liked is the main character played by Worthington is a bit of a mystery we don’t know much about him and we don’t know why he doesn’t go through with the contract.  Now the film unfolds and we learn things but the first half we as the audience are pretty much in the dark.  I give director Mostow credit here for not throwing all the plot and all the character’s backstory at us all at once we learn things and it was done very well.

This is a pretty lean film at 91 minutes but we do flesh out not only Worthington’s character  but also the girl he’s helping played by Odeya Rush, now it’s funny I hadn’t seen Rush before last week and I saw her twice in this and Goosebumps, yes two very different films, I think she has a future, I like her look and she carries herself very well for a young actress. Worthington and Rush work well together, what I liked is there’s no sexual tension stuff at all it’s played kind of like father and daughter but not heavy handed. The action was fine lots of shot outs and car chases.  Worthington is more than capable of pulling off the action stuff and the thing here is Worthington doesn’t really talk that much, he’s good here cause he has to carry a lot of baggage, maybe too much for one character in a 91 minute movie but he’s very flawed and he’s worn down.

What I Didn’t Like: The story is paper thin and the weak part is the main villain and the secondary villains, all the villains are boring.  The main one is just the standard rich asshole, he gets more time than you would think but it the character is not memorable at all he played by Allen Leach and he’s not bad just doesn’t stand out, this movie needed a good bad guy.  Martin Compston is another hitman, the bad one and he’s just a plot point a walking cliche.

The other point that kind of bugs me is we learn things about Worthington’s character but never passed a superficial level.  We get bullet points but never any real answers, we assume he doesn’t kill the girl cause he has a daughter, he never learn how he went from being in the army to being a hitman.  The main bad guy threatens to kill his family but we’re never told their relationship, is he a hitman for hire or does he just work for this guy.  The details would have helped shape his character more and also given us more information and we would have gotten to know him more. The ending was a little weak not badly done but very by the numbers,  I will say it moved quick enough but I would have liked it to at least do something a bit different.

Final Thoughts: Not a bad movie, it was not a flashy action film and I liked it for that and both leads were good and it was well directed.

Rating: 6/10