Tag Archives: taron egerton

ROCKETMAN (2019) – My rating: 9/10

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!

KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE (2017) – My rating: 7.5/10

This Kingsman sequel is an action spy thriller directed by Matthew Vaughn and written by Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman. Talk about an over the top fantasy — this is it!  The special effects were of the likes which I’ve not seen since the last Kingsman. This is really thrilling in every sense of the word. If it’s excitement you want, you’ve come to the right film. Crazy is as crazy does and Kingsman: The Golden Circle does a whole lot of crazy.

A year has passed since Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton) and the secret organization called Kingsman saved the world from Richmond Valentine’s neurological wave broadcast. Eggsy has finally taken his late mentor, Harry Hart’s (Colon Firth) title of Galahad and is now living with Crown Princess Tilde of Sweden (Hanna Alström). One evening, Charlie Hesketh (Edward Holcroft), a former Kingsman trainee who lost his arm and vocal cords during the Valentine incident, lays in wait and attacks Eggsy as he is returning home. A car chase ensues and Charlie loses his cybernetic arm, which hacks into the Kingsmen servers, destroying their headquarters and killing all their agents in Britain with a missile attack. Being the only surviving agents, Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong) follow the Doomsday protocol, which leads them to Statesman, a secret American organization posing as a bourbon whiskey distillery in Kentucky. There, they discover their US counterparts, Tequila (Channing Tatum),  Champagne “Champ” (Jeff Bridges), who is also head of the US organization and Jack Daniels / Whiskey (Pedro Pascal). Merlin’s counter is Ginger Ale (Halle Berry), who wants to work more in the field.  At this point, they are briefed about a secret terrorist organization called The Golden Circle headed up by Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore), head of the world’s largest drug cartel.

Poppy announces that she has developed and distributed a drug that inflicts it’s user with a blue rash that causes eventual mania before moving on to paralysis then death.  She makes her demands to every world leader in exchange for the antidote but of course, they are working against time.  The Kingman and Stateman begin their mission by following Charlie’s ex-girlfriend Clara Von Gluckfberg (Poppy Delevingne), who has developed the rash as well as Elton John, Eggsy’s girlfriend and hundreds of thousands more.

I must admit, the first Kingman movie had all the surprises in it for me.  The special effects were out of this world and pretty new.  I don’t feel this sequel equaled or topped the first one.  The Golden Circle actually got a little sloppy, crazy and unbelievable. The film is 2 hours and 21 minutes long but still managed to keep me entertained.  Some scenes were down right silly and not even Elton John could make a difference.  There is still a whole lot of story to be explored along with some interesting concepts.  I think if nothing else, it’s a complete joyride with a great fantasy plot.  It’s definitely worth checking out!

 

 

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KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE (2014) – My rating: 8/10

KingsmanTheSecretServiceKingsman is a culmination of many spy epics, like James Bond and Casino Royal.  I really enjoyed this delightful, breath of fresh air, change of pace film, derived from a comic book series.  Great cast and pretty good, albeit, ridiculous plot.  Kingsman appeared to be a serious spy (what’s going to happen next) type of movie and it was, except it got a little silly towards the end — but good silly.  Right from the beginning, we are presented with the fantastic skills of the Kingsman as we watch Lancelot (Jack Davenport) kick ass rescuing a kidnapped climate expert, Professor Arnold (Mark Hamill) from his captors.  Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Valentine, is filthy rich and has a most fascinating partner named Gazelle (Sofia Boutella) who has no legs but wears blades instead.  Valentine is a tech genius and is obsessed about the planet’s global warming, climate control and such.  The Kingsman is an organization that recruits potentially great spies off the streets of Britain to service the country against terror and crime.  Harry Hart/Galahad (Colin Firth), Authur (Michael Caine) and Merlin (Mark Strong) are some of the Kingsman who are part of the recruiting process.  The special effects were great, as were the gadgets presented throughout the movie.  It isn’t an easy task trying to figure who is good and who is bad in this movie but not knowing made it all the more interesting.  Taron Egerton played the star recruit, Gary (Eggsy) Unwin who not only had potential as a Kingsman but his father was a former Kingsman who was killed in the line of duty.  Eggsy’s mom, Michelle Unwin (Samantha Womack), who has no self esteem, provided something to look forward to with regards to resolving her man problem.  I really think you’ll enjoy Kingsman: The Secret Service.  It’s truly a fun change of pace.  Kingsman: The Secret Service was the highest rated movie by critics and fans of all the current movies out this week.