1917 is an epic war film directed, co-written and produced by Sam Mendes. It is based in part on an account told to Mendes by his paternal grandfather, Alfred Mendes, and chronicles the story of two young British soldiers during World War I who are given a mission to deliver a message. This warns of an ambush during a skirmish, soon after the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line during Operation Alberich in 1917. The movie is well told and brilliantly acted.
During the First World War in April 1917, the Germans have pulled back from a sector of the Western Front in northern France. General Erinmore (Colin Firth) briefs two young British soldiers, Lance Corporal Tom Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Lance Corporal Will Schofield (George MacKay). Aerial intelligence has learned that the Germans are not in headlong retreat but have made a tactical withdrawal to their new Hindenburg Line, where they have prepared to overwhelm attacking British with their artillery. With field telephone lines cut, Blake and Schofield are ordered to hand-deliver a message to the 2nd Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment, calling off their planned attack, which might cost the lives of 1,600 men. Any reluctance to make the journey was suppressed because Blake’s brother, Lieutenant Joseph Blake (Richard Madden) is among the 1,600.
Schofield and Blake cross no man’s land and reach the original German trenches, now abandoned. The trenches turn out to contain tripwires, which was triggered by a rat. The ensuing explosion almost kills Schofield, but Blake digs him out and leads him out of the collapsing bunkers. They arrive at an abandoned farmhouse, where they witness a dogfight nearby. A German plane plunges into the farm and Schofield and Blake attempt to save the burned pilot. Schofield proposes they mercy kill him, but Blake has Schofield instead fetch water for the pilot to drink, which turns out to be a big mistake. See 1917 to find out how this all turns out.
1917 is an extraordinary tale of Lance Corporal Will Schofield and Lance Corporal Tom Blake who are given a semi-quasi suicide mission to deliver a message that will save 1,600 soldiers from walking into a death trap, set by the Germans. Their journey was unbelievably dangerous and stressful. Their passion and motivation were astounding. It was hard to watch what they had to go through and the kinds of danger they encountered along the way. One of 1917’s claim-to-fame is cinematographer Roger Deakins’ use of long takes to have the entire film appear as one continuous shot. I can’t say too much because I don’t want to spoil the movie for whoever may see it. I can say 1917 was worth all the nominations it received. The cinematography was outstanding, as was the scenery that showed the horrible filth. dead bodies, bob wires and booby traps in all its vivid color. I wasn’t sure they received enough accolades for all their achievements but I’m unsure anyone really knew what they encountered along the way until now. At any rate, 1917 was a brilliant movie and was praised by critics for Mendes’s direction, the performances, cinematography, musical score, sound effects and realism. At the 77th Golden Globe Awards, the film won for Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Director. At the 73rd British Academy Film Awards 1917 received nine nominations. 1917 domestic gross is $54,616,984 and $78,416,984 Worldwide. Check It Out!
[1917 is Oscar nominated for BEST: Picture, Director, Cinematography, Makeup and Hairstyling, Original Score, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects and Original Screenplay — TOTALLING 10 OSCAR NOMINATIONS]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS, STREAMING
Tagged 1917, Adrian Scarborough, andrew scott, benedict cumberbatch, Captain Smith, Chris Walley, Claire Duburcq, colin firth, Colonel Collins, Colonel Mackenzie, Daniel Mays, Daniel McMillon, Dean-Charles Chapman, General Erinmore, george mackay, Jamie Parker, Lance Corporal Tom Blake, Lance Corporal Will Schofield, Lauri, Lieutenant Hutton, Lieutenant Joseph Blake, Lieutenant Leslie, Lieutenant Richards, Major Hepburn, mark strong, Marksman, Michael Cornelius, Michael Jibson, Nabhaan Rizwan, Private Bullen, Private Cornelius, richard madden, Richard McCabe, Sepoy, Sergeant Sanders
Rocketman is a biographical musical based on the life of Elton John. The film is directed by Dexter Fletcher and written by Lee Hall. The movie follows Elton from his early days as a child prodigy to his slightly older years at the Royal Academy of Music to his musical partnership and success with Bernie Taupin. The film is titled after John’s 1972 song called “Rocketman”. I wasn’t quite sure the film was going to be any good because the trailer appeared to show the movie a little on the silly side. To my surprise, not only is it a serious movie, I also found it to be really good.
As a very young child, Reginald “Reggie” Dwight (Matthew Illesley) is raised by his cold hearted mother, Sheila (Bryce Dallas Howard) and more caring grandmother Ivy (Gemma Jones), while his father Stanley (Steven Mackintoch), is away serving in the Royal Air Force. Young Reggie (Kit Connor) shows interest in playing the piano, and soon begins studying at the Royal Academy of Music. Reggie’s father Stanley, who has never shown any love towards his son, eventually abandons his family after Sheila has an affair with another man. An older Reggie (Taron Egerton) takes up an interest in rock music artists like Elvis Presley and begins performing in local pubs, before joining a band called Bluesology.
As an adult, Reggie changes his name to Elton John and tries to find success with Dick James’ (Stephen Graham) publishing company under the management of Ray Williams (Charlie Rowe). Williams introduces Elton to songwriter Bernie Taupin (James Bell) and the two quickly form a friendship, with Bernie accepting both Elton and the fact that he is homosexual. The duo impress Dick with the song “Your Song” so he sets up a performance for them at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. The audience loves Elton’s performance. At a party afterwards, Elton feels abandoned when Bernie leaves him to be with a woman. Elton is approached by a very attractive man named John Reid (Richard Madden), who is a music manager attracted to Elton. The two sleep together, being careful not to reunite until later, as Elton had not come out as gay yet.
Reid’s influence over Elton causes him to spiral into a life of debauchery as his career takes off and he becomes a successful musician, embracing a flamboyant stage persona. After Elton appoints Reid as his new manager, Reid starts to manipulate him and insists that he come out to his mother and father as gay so they can help hide Reid and Elton’s sexual relationship from the press. Elton’s mother bluntly informs Elton that she was already aware of his sexuality and doesn’t care, telling him that he’s facing a life of being alone forever. Elton finds his father but doesn’t tell him that he’s gay, upset by his father’s happiness with his new family and ignorance of his old one. Struggling with his parental issues, as well as Reid’s increasing abuse, Elton becomes addicted to alcohol, cocaine, cannabis, and sex. Making matters worse, Elton witnesses Reid cheating on him with another man, and at a house party later that day, consumes a dangerous amount of drugs and alcohol. Elton attempts suicide by jumping into his pool while drugged to the nth degree. He is rushed to the hospital and not long after is forced back on stage to continue his performances.
Rocketman is an extremely entertaining movie. It is well acted and Elton John’s music “rocks”. Elton John’s life was pretty complex and Rocketman revealed many aspects of his life. All three actors who portrayed Elton were brilliant. Between the very, very young Reggie and the oldest Elton, I can’t say who was the better actor. Before Elton John started wearing such flamboyant outfits, I don’t think a large amount of the population knew he was gay. I’m not sure his lousy upbringing and his depression was evident either. Despite the omission of the Queen of England Knighting Elton, the movie was pretty accurate and definitely exciting as well as entertaining. Rocketman sort of took on the flavor of “Bohemian Rhapsody”. However, Rocketman was released at a most inopportune time, amidst “Godzilla” and “Ma”, which were two anticipated films and one week after Walt Disney’s Aladdin, as well as two weeks after the very hot John Wick: Chapter 3. This meant box office sales would be shared between all four of these movies. None the less, I highly recommend “Rocketman” — Check It Out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged arthur, bernie taupin, bryce dallas howard, celinde schoenmaker, charlie rowe, dick james, doug weston, dr. maverick, elton john, elton's, fred, gemma jones, ivy, jamie bell, jason pennycooke, jimmy vee, john reid, kamil lemieszewski, kiki dee, kit connor, matthew illesley, rachel muldoon, ray williams, renate blauel, richard madden, sharon d. clarke, sheila eileen, stanley, stephen graham, steven mackintosh, taron egerton, Tate Donovan, tom bennett, wilson