By Original-Cin Staff
This week’s obvious question is: “Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?” The fandango in question is the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody (Original-Cin Rating: A-) which our reviewer Kim Hughes calls “perfect and imperfect.” The perfect part is star Rami Malek’s electrifying embodiment of Queen’s front man, climaxing with the recreation of the band’s incandescent 1985 Live Aid show, though some of the rock bio bridging scenes hit some flat notes.
Speaking of fandangos, Italian director Luca Guadagnino follows his celebrated homo-erotic Tuscan idyll Call Me By Your Name with his polarizing arty horror dance film, Suspiria (Original-Cin Rating: C), a remake of Dario Argento’s campy Technicolor classic. Dakota Johnson stars as a young American dancer who arrives in Berlin in the politically charged “German autumn” of 1977 to join a dance academy, which happens to be home to an ancient coven of witches. The academy is run by the imperious Madame Blanc (Tilda Swinton, in three roles, though only one recognizable) and there’s a big Sabbath/performance coming up. No one plays it safe here, but with its dubious connections to post-war German guilt and theatre of cruelty set-pieces, writes Liam Lacey, the film’s pretentiousness clings to it like a wet leotard.
From Korea comes the hypnotic psychological mystery, Burning (Original-Cin Rating: A) from director Lee Chang-Dong, which Liam Lacey says is one of the year’s best, replete with subtle social perceptions and moving performances. Based on a Haruki Murakami story, the film involves a love triangle including a shy young writer, a glib playboy (The Walking Dead’s Steven Yuen) and a free-spirited young woman, who abruptly disappears, leaving behind a tangle of possibilities.
Christmas is coming — but the seasonal movies are off to a poor start with Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (Original-Cin Rating: C). Mackenzie Foy stars a newly motherless teen in Victorian London who goes through one of those portals into a magic land that keep popping up in kids’ films. Visually lavish but incoherent and derivative, the movie is not much more than a “pretty mess” says Liam Lacey.
Otherwise, the critics agree… like hell they do! This week marks another iteration of You’re All Wrong! in which Marc Breslin and Thom Ernest offer contrarian takes on A Star is Born, Dan Fogelman’s critically mauled Life Itself and other movies. If we all liked the same thing, the line-up would be endless.
Have a great weekend!