Bohemian Rhapsody

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Re: Bohemian Rhapsody

Postby Big Magilla » Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:59 am

That's largely true.

As per IMDb.'s trivia page:

"Freddie Mercury's vocal range stretched to three octaves, though it was rumored that it spanned four. In 2016, a group of biophysicists and medical researchers concluded that his vocal chords moved faster than the average singer's. His vibrato measured in at 7.04 Hertz, while standard vibrato frequency falls between 5.4 and 6.9 Hertz."

Also from IMDb.'s trivia page:

"British choreographer and movement coach Polly Bennett worked painstakingly with Rami Malek to perfect every nuance of Freddie's mannerisms. Every eye glance, every body turn, every cocky strut on stage and every flick of the microphone had to be just right."

Extras on the DVD and Blu-ray explain it a little better. All the music was performed live by Malek, Gwilym Lee as Brian May, Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor and Joe Mazzello as John Deacon who had to perform every song as it was originally done, nothing was lip-synched or faked in any way. Malek's voice was then blended with another singer and overdubbed with Mercury's voice. I think they overdubbed the instruments as well, but May and Taylor were very impressed with the actors' musicianship. Hardy admits to lying to get the part having said he could play the drums but in actuality had never played drums in his life before.

Although no one could match Mercury's range, the false teeth that Malek wore supposedly enabled him to reach higher notes than he normally could.

Maybe some day they'll release a special edition of the film on Blu-ray that will allow you to play the unmixed versions of the songs to see for yourself how close the performers came to the real thing.
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Re: Bohemian Rhapsody

Postby Precious Doll » Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:05 am

Big Magilla wrote:but Malick, like Cagney, not only sings,


I don't think so. At best, and I'm happy to be corrected, but my understand is that Malick sang the songs but was largely over dubbed over by Freddie Mercurys original recordings.

I can claim no knowledge of the musicians but to my ear female singers are far superior to male singers with Freddie Mercury being one of the rare expectations - an amazing voice and range for a male and to be honest I doubt that there is an actor around that could come anywhere near capturing Mercury's voice and range.
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Re: Bohemian Rhapsody

Postby Big Magilla » Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:34 pm

MaxWilder wrote:
Uri wrote:Really?

Same. Where are we? Is it now?

What's the saying, one step forward, two steps backward?
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

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Re: Bohemian Rhapsody

Postby MaxWilder » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:04 pm

Uri wrote:Really?

Same. Where are we? Is it now?

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Re: Bohemian Rhapsody

Postby Big Magilla » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:52 am

I came very close to citing Susan Hayward as Jane Froman in With a Song in My Heart which is another musical in which the on-stage performances, not the screenplay, make the film. I'd also throw in Larry Parks in The Jolson Story and Doris Day as Ruth Etting in Love Me or Leave Me as unforgettable portrayals, but Malick, like Cagney, not only sings, he dances, he struts, he inhibits the character in ways that are uncanny. As I said, it's highly infectious, people love it. Just as Yankee Doodle Dandy had a long afterlife showing up on American TV on the 4th of July for longer and more regularly than It's a Wonderful Life showed up during the Christmas season, I can see Bohemian Rhapsody becoming a staple on cable TV for years to come.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

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Re: Bohemian Rhapsody

Postby Uri » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:17 am

Big Magilla wrote: Rami Malek's portrayal of Freddie Mercury is easily the best such portrayal since James Cagney impersonated George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy.


I even went down to my knees to look under the bed and I still couldn't trace a hint of sarcasm in this statement. Really? No Susan Hayward in her show biz biographies in the '50s, Magilla? Barbra as Fanny? No Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn? Not one of the competing Patsy Clines? Or Joaquin Phoenix in Walk the Line? And not that I'm a big fan of her film, but what about Marion Cotillard? And these are only those who were nominated. Really?

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Re: Bohemian Rhapsody

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:01 pm

The film isn't terribly profound, but it's highly enjoyable for what it is - a typical Hollywood tribute to a great artist with an emphasis on the joy he or she brought to the world. As such it works. It is, after all, already the highest grossing biographical musical of all time. It's highly infectious. People love it.

Rami Malek's portrayal of Freddie Mercury is easily the best such portrayal since James Cagney impersonated George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy. I don't see how he loses the Oscar at this point. In fact, I think the film could possibly win four of the five Oscars it's nominated for. Best Picture would be a stretch but with this weighted ballot nonsense, you never know.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

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Re: Bohemian Rhapsody

Postby Okri » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:45 am

That's right, flipp. You did make an accurate prediction. However, you almost made an inaccurate prediction and therefore cannot be pleased about what you got correct. Thus spaketh the prophet.

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Re: Bohemian Rhapsody

Postby flipp525 » Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:37 pm

Just reviewing this thread and I have to say that I called out Rami Malek as a potential frontrunner back in December before anyone else here. And there was some pushback to the idea, some swearing up and down that it was Cooper’s (now in distant third) to lose.
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Re: Bohemian Rhapsody

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:37 pm

Mister Tee wrote:I'm actually a little vague on Singer's level of responsibility. Unless my memory is deceiving me, he didn't receive directing credit on the print I saw (I think it said Dexter Fletcher?), but IMDB lists him as director.


Bryan Singer is the sole credited director. Here is my understanding of what happened: Bryan Singer disappeared halfway through principal photography. Dexter Fletcher was hired to finish up the film. However, Singer returned to supervise post-production and more than half of the finished film contained footage that he directed, securing his sole directing credit. Dexter Fletcher is credited as an "executive producer" or "associate producer" or something.

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Re: Bohemian Rhapsody

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:31 pm

ITALIANO wrote:Let me just add - since it was mentioned I think in this thread - that the Edith Piaf biopic with Marion Cotillard was a bit more layered honestly.


Hmm...not sure about that; it may just be a decade's distance helping diminish the earlier film's flaws. But then again, most of us went into La Vie en Rose expecting a good movie, while we went into Bohemian Rhapsody expecting a fiasco, so, discounting for the standards by which we judged, perhaps you're right.

This is weird though, isn't it? (fitting for this oddest of film years): half a dozen of us here, intelligent filmgoers, don't exactly like this film (Sabin comes close to articulating just what I said to a friend the other day: it's not a good movie, but it's damnably enjoyable). And this puts us at odds with not just Metacritic (a truly lousy 49, last I looked) but with vast portions of Film Twitter, which view the film as truly awful and evil.

It's been a very weird year for critical response. Maybe this is what happens in a non-consensus year, but I feel like critics have wildly over-praised some films this year (Black Panther, A Star is Born, even Roma -- though I obviously like the last one considerably more) while excoriating others (Bohemian Rhapsody and Vice) at levels normally reserved for Razzie contenders. I feel like "things fall apart, the center cannot hold" ought to be invoked at some point.

My theory for why Bohemian has been so vilified:

1) The association with Bryan Singer. I'm actually a little vague on Singer's level of responsibility. Unless my memory is deceiving me, he didn't receive directing credit on the print I saw (I think it said Dexter Fletcher?), but IMDB lists him as director. Is this one of those "Pierre Boulle wrote the Bridge on the River Kwai screenplay" things, something said for popular consumption but believed by no one? In any case, many of the people online who hate the film start with "directed by a pedophile" and proceed from there.

2) The first trailer apparently made it look like Mercury's gayness was going to be seriously downplayed; this got a lot of people ready to yell, and they seem to have stuck to that position even though the actual film doesn't really merit the accusation.

3) This is something it's hard for me to judge, because it's not my tribe, but...I think some gay audiences find the film's approach to gay issues problematic. One thing is what Sabin mentioned: the fact that the Evil Manager is the guy who appears to lead Freddie into expressing his gay side -- it makes people conflate the two and feel the film is putting a negative spin on his being gay. I was able to separate the two, but I can see where some would not be able to do it so easily.

Another is simply depicting gay life from the 70s as a sort of furtive, guilt-ridden thing. This may just be an unbridgeable gap with people born later, in an era where gay life is far more integrated into the general American fabric. The sense I always got from gay friends of my generation was that, back in the day, there was a good deal of furtiveness involved -- it wasn't the completely taboo 50s/early 60s, but it wasn't the march in parades/run for city council open-ness we take for granted today (not suggesting it's gay utopia now, either, but the differences are stark). Maybe some people are reacting against the historical realities because, in retrospect, the way they're portrayed feels demeaning?

It's odd to be spending this much time poring over such a mediocre effort, but, again, that's 2018.

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Re: Bohemian Rhapsody

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:40 am

Sabin wrote:Bohemian Rhapsody speaks not to personal experience as the germ of inspiration but a rather a specialness that comes inbred, being destined to the all-important audience, which must explain why this film is such a hit with millennials.


The film has been a huge hit with baby boomers who were fans of Queen. As Queen's music has remained popular the film has appeal across most demographics. You don't make $800 million world-wide (which it should do within the next 3 to 4 weeks) without broad appeal unless its a comic book adaptation which tend to have a large very specific audience or a film aimed at the children/family market.
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Re: Bohemian Rhapsody

Postby ITALIANO » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:38 am

Sabin wrote:We deserve a lot better but we could do a lot worse. This is schlock, but it's surprisingly competent schlock. Well, maybe we shouldn't be so surprised. We're talking about Bryan Singer who may not be the most reliable director in the world but he knows how to step up to the plate (I like Owen Gleiberman's description of him as a "big-budget short order cook") and is probably a match made in heaven for wiki-screenwriter Anthony McCarten. The first fifteen minutes of the film, I muttered the words "This is awful" about four times. Near the end of the film though, I found myself saying "Oh God... do I like this?" And I did. It's not a good film but it's an entertaining mediocrity.

Rami Malek may as well be doing Mick Jagger for the first half of the film but his take on Freddie Mercury is going to resonate with today's audience as a queer outsider who needed family to discover his confidence. Once again, I find myself full of shit this Oscar season. I had I seen this film earlier, I can't imagine proclaiming Bradley Cooper the front-runner with any confidence. Rami Malek is going to win Best Actor. Cooper may dig deeper and find something more authentic but Malek's movie is more adept at wringing tears. And while Bohemian Rhapsody itself is quite shallow (yay! another Best Picture nominee that isn't especially good), I might actually prefer it to Green Book and A Star is Born. The only straight-washing the film does to Freddie Mercury is in the songwriting. Bohemian Rhapsody speaks not to personal experience as the germ of inspiration but a rather a specialness that comes inbred, being destined to the all-important audience, which must explain why this film is such a hit with millennials. It's shallow but it understands contemporary fame more than A Star is Born for better or worse.

Btw, while Bohemian Rhapsody certainly doesn't straight-wash Freddie Mercury's life, has it gotten any shit for its portrayal of Paul, the devious gay manager?



I agree on... well, everything, actually - except that I muttered "This is awful" for much longer than fifteen minutes. But by the end the movie - while always very superficial (it's I'll Cry Tomorrow once again, with - quite hypocritically alluded to more than seen - drugs and sex in place of alcohol) gets certainly more effective, though effective in a rather basic, unsubtle way. "Schlock" is the right word, but this is "schlock" of the cautious type - ironically, a very conventional movie about a very unconventional man.
But I spoke too soon, too, about Bradley Cooper being a sure Best Actor winner. I still think he could make it in the end, but Rami Malek has the kind of showy role which the Oscar often falls for. And yes, the movie itself is probably slightly better than A Star is Born, but I hope American cinema even in such a year has given us something worthier... :)

The devious gay manager is like the rest of the movie (except maybe for the leading character) : bidimensional, cliched, but maybe in that context not too offensive: there's the bad gay guy, the good gay guy, etc. All very formulaic in the end, but that's what most movies are nowadays.

Let me just add - since it was mentioned I think in this thread - that the Edith Piaf biopic with Marion Cotillard was a bit more layered honestly.

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Re: Bohemian Rhapsody

Postby Sabin » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:11 am

We deserve a lot better but we could do a lot worse. This is schlock, but it's surprisingly competent schlock. Well, maybe we shouldn't be so surprised. We're talking about Bryan Singer who may not be the most reliable director in the world but he knows how to step up to the plate (I like Owen Gleiberman's description of him as a "big-budget short order cook") and is probably a match made in heaven for wiki-screenwriter Anthony McCarten. The first fifteen minutes of the film, I muttered the words "This is awful" about four times. Near the end of the film though, I found myself saying "Oh God... do I like this?" And I did. It's not a good film but it's an entertaining mediocrity.

Rami Malek may as well be doing Mick Jagger for the first half of the film but his take on Freddie Mercury is going to resonate with today's audience as a queer outsider who needed family to discover his confidence. Once again, I find myself full of shit this Oscar season. I had I seen this film earlier, I can't imagine proclaiming Bradley Cooper the front-runner with any confidence. Rami Malek is going to win Best Actor. Cooper may dig deeper and find something more authentic but Malek's movie is more adept at wringing tears. And while Bohemian Rhapsody itself is quite shallow (yay! another Best Picture nominee that isn't especially good), I might actually prefer it to Green Book and A Star is Born. The only straight-washing the film does to Freddie Mercury is in the songwriting. Bohemian Rhapsody speaks not to personal experience as the germ of inspiration but a rather a specialness that comes inbred, being destined to the all-important audience, which must explain why this film is such a hit with millennials. It's shallow but it understands contemporary fame more than A Star is Born for better or worse.

Btw, while Bohemian Rhapsody certainly doesn't straight-wash Freddie Mercury's life, has it gotten any shit for its portrayal of Paul, the devious gay manager?
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Re: Bohemian Rhapsody

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:57 pm

anonymous1980 wrote:
Precious Doll wrote:
Its also been an awfully long time since an actor turned director won the best director award - Mel Gibson being the last for Braveheart. Its funny that in the 16 year period 4 actors turned directors won director and two of them (Redford & Costner) for directorial debuts. Beatty & Gibson won for their second directorial efforts.


Are you not counting Clint Eastwood?


I'd completely forgotten about Eastwood but as dws said Eastwood has been a long established director who had worked years before his first nomination and barely seem to come up for air even in his 80s.
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