Do you remember when rock was young? Or are you more attuned to when it got older and we started complaining about how they don’t make ‘em like they used to?
In either case, you’ll likely enjoy the Sir Elton John biopic, Rocketman (Rating: A) starring Taron Egerton and directed by English director, Dexter Fletcher, who earns redemption here, after taking the heat for his salvage job on Bohemian Rhapsody after Bryan Singer was fired.
Reviewer Kim Hughes says this rousing musical, focusing on John’s transition from troubled childhood to sparkle suits and jewel-studded glasses, is bathed in “epic swaths of surrealism and show-stopping numbers.”
Speaking of sacred monsters, Godzilla: King of the Monsters (C), stomps into theatres this weekend, with an over-qualified cast including Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler, Sally Hawkins, Ken Watanabe and Charles Dance. Despite reservations about an excess of murky action scenes and expositional dialogue, Jim Slotek gives props to the final smackdown between Godzilla and his three-headed nemesis, King Ghidorah.
We get some more Japanese doubling in the artful but slight 2018 Cannes festival entry, Asako I and II (B), in which a young woman falls for a handsome stranger who dumps her, then meets and settles for his less exciting physical double.
In this week’s other off-beat international romance, Karen Gordon reviews and likes the formula-bending charm of Photograph, from Ritesh Batra (of the 2013 international hit, The Lunchbox) )about an indebted young Mumbai street photographer, who fakes a relationship with a middle-class girl to please his granny.
This week brings two bittersweet Canadian comedies, one from an old pro, one from a first-timer: Denys Arcand’s The Fall of the American Empire (C), his latest, and most disposable, in a cycle of Quebec farcical satires of modern life that started with Decline of the American Empire (1986). Sorry For Your Loss (B-minus) from first-time director (and Schitt’s Creek story editor) Collin Friesen follows a depressive new dad, Ken (Justin Bartha) who returns to Winnipeg to bury his father and get some crude life wisdom from friends and family, played by Bruce Greenwood, Kevin McDonald and Lolita Davidovich.
Halston, a documentary about the fashion designer of the sixties and seventies (think Jackie, Liza, Bianca) offers a trove of pop culture information though, says reviewer Kim Hughes, the film is marred by the awkward use of a fictional female narrator, who sticks out like a bad seam on an Oscar frock.
On this week’s podcast, we talk about the pleasures of Rocketman, fat-shaming Godzilla and our adventures in sitting on film juries.