Yesterday is a British romantic comedy directed by Danny Boyle and written by Richard Curtis, based on an original screenplay by Jack Barth and Mackenzie Crook. A struggling musician who, after an accident, finds himself as the only person in the world who remembers the Beatles. That leaves him with the unprecedented opportunity to become famous by taking credit for writing and performing Beetle songs. The film falls a little short on imagination but since it’s the Beetle’s songs, it “rocks”.
Yesterday opens with Jack Malik (Himesh Patel), a struggling singer-songwriter from Lowestoft. His manager and childhood friend Ellie Appleton (Lily James), begs a bewildered Jack, not to give up on his dreams. During a global blackout, Jack gets hit by a bus, when he awakens, aside from two missing front teeth, he discovers that no one else on Earth had ever heard of the Beatles. Once he confirms his suspicion, he begins performing Beetle songs, claiming he wrote them. Soon he is heard by a local music producer, Gavin (Alexander Arnold) and records a demo for him, which leads to a performance on local television, which leads to Jack being invited by pop star Ed Sheeran (Ed Sheeran) to play as his opening act in Moscow. Ellie declines to join him, saying she has to work her day job as a schoolteacher, so Jack’s roadie friend, Rocky (Joel Fry) travels with him instead. After the gig, Jack is signed by Sheeran’s agent, Debra Hammer (Kate McKinnon), and rises to global fame. Hoping to trigger more memories of Beatles songs, Jack goes to their hometown of Liverpool, visiting landmarks such as Strawberry Field, Penny Lane, and the grave of Eleanor Rigby.
This being a good place to stop, I can only say that I enjoyed Yesterday, especially the music. I felt too much of the story went unanswered, leaving me to fill in the blanks myself. I also didn’t love Himesh’s singing voice and style. He seemed a bit “pitchy”, to coin a phrase. Yesterday gave us lots of school for thought but didn’t really satisfy our need for explanations. This is a totally British production and therefore, culturally different but still entertaining. Perhaps I’m suffering from culture shock but Yesterday could have been better. The acting was brilliant — too bad the story wasn’t. I recommend you wait for the DVD/Blu-ray. FYI: Getting the rights to include the Beatles’ music cost the filmmakers $10 million. Although none of the Beatles were involved in the production, Boyle received blessings of the project from them and their families. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for the premise, performances, light tone, and musical sequences, but criticism at the familiarity and simplicity. Check It Out, after all, this is only my opinion!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged Alexander Arnold, camile Chen, carol, Debra hammer, Ed Sheeran, Elise Chappell, ellie Appleton, Gavin, Harry Mitchell, himesh patel, jack Malik, Jaimie killer, james corden, Jed Malik, Joel fry, John lennon, Justin edwards, Karl Theobald, karma sood, kate mckinnon, lamorne morris, Leo, lily james, liz, lucy, Meera syal, Michael kiwanuka, nick, robert carlyle, Rocky, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Sarah Lancashire, Shelia Malik, Sophia di Martino, terry, wendy, yesterday, young ellie Appleton
Begin Again, for me, is a delightful change of pace. It’s a sweet and happy story with loads of entertainment. I really liked this movie about a business executive, Dan (Mark Ruffalo) in the music industry who is down on his luck, causing him to make bad choices and unproductive decisions while trying to maintain his image and job. Along comes a new song writer and singer, Gretta (Keira Knightley) who is also new to New York City. Dan hears Gretta singing one of her songs on stage and offers her a chance to record her own album. After some thought, Gretta decides to take Dan up on his offer. The story is full of little twist and turns that would be considered spoilers if I revealed them, so I’ll leave them out. Gretta’s boyfriend, Dave Kohl (Adam Levine) is soaring through the music scene, singing songs she wrote for him, among others. The music is fantastic and the story is very good. Gretta also has a brother, Steve (James Corden) who is also in the music business. He helps her through a rough time — they have a very close relationship that heavily contributes to the upbeat vibe that “Begin Again” gives off. I liked this movie enough to see it again. It’s on DVD and has flown way under the radar. In my opinion, it’s definitely worth your time to see it!
[BEGIN AGAIN is nominated for Music (Original Song)]
For one, I love these new fairy tale fantasies. Into the Woods is well done. Into the Woods sort of reminds me of “Once Upon a Time”, which I watch on TV. There are a couple of similarities however, Into the Woods is big budget and brought to you by Disney. Need I say more. There’s not even too much more I can say about Meryl Streep except that she is a phenomenal actress. Into the Woods is a delightful musical fantasy that takes Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy), Little Red Riding hood (Lilla Crawford) and Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and merges them together to make a new fairytale, with a twist. It all starts with the Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) that live in a house that was cursed many years ago. The witch (Meryl Streep) will reverse the curse if the baker and his wife bring her 4 items that they must retrieve from the woods. From this point, everyone is engaged with doing their part to get the job done. Many lessons are learned and many penalties are paid. If you see Into the Woods, you’ll love Meryl Streep as well as the rest of the cast. Tracey Ullman played Jack’s mom and Johnny Depp played the wolf. Christine Baronski played Cinderella’s step mom and was also great. Everyone seems so much younger than I thought they should be — good make-up. I found this movie to be entertaining with a good message. The singing was fantastic. Worth seeing!
[Into the Woods is nominated for Best Supporting Actress, Costume Design and Production Design]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged anna kendrick, cinderella, daniel huttlestone, emily blunt, into the woods, jack and the beanstalk, james corden, Johnny Depp, lilla crawford, little red riding hood, meryl streep, rapunzel, the baker, the witch, tracey ullman, wolf