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Blog: Two Nights At The Cinema

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It was a right cultural whirligig round our way last weekend, with THEATRE, LIVE FILMING, and then on Sunday evening the first of TWO trips to The Pictures!

The Lights and Camera of my Action had suggested we go to see "Bohemian Rhapsody". the Queen film that came out a while ago. We'd meant to go and see it over Christmas but hadn't got around it it, and assumed it had long gone, but she discovered it was still showing at our local VUE. I confidently declared that we would probably be the only people there, as it had been on for so long, so was a little discombobulated when we arrived to discover that it was SOLD OUT!

We would later discover that it was showing in one of the small rooms upstairs in the Vue, where they usually show The Art Films, and guessed that it had probably been put there to finish off its run, only to suddenly get attention again with The Golden Globes win the other week. We had got all dressed up to go out of the house and didn't want to just slink home so we had a look at what ELSE was showing, booked tickets for "Stand & Ollie" a little while later, and went for a DRINK!

Having a DRINK was such good fun that we decided to have another during the FILM, which was a lovely idea except for the fact that OH MY WORD it takes a long time to buy anything in that cinema. Unless you go at approx 10am there is ALWAYS a huge queue, and we later debated whether this was a tactical decision. Maybe Vue think punters will initially queue up just for a ticket, but after spending TWENTY MINUTES waiting in line they eventually decide to make it worth their while and spend A MILLION POUNDS on a drink and popcorn as well. If this is the case, then they only have themselves to blame for people choosing to stay home instead - drinks and snacks are easily accessible and FREE there, and all you need to do to get That Real Cinema Experience is sit closer to the telly!

EVENTUALLY we got in, and even managed to get an "upgrade" to the VIP seats by... er... going and sitting in them. I must say they were very comfy, and you get a GRATE view - take THAT, Vue Cinemas! Actually I spent the first ten minutes of the film terrified we would get Told Off, but luckily I was with an International Rebel who said, correctly, it would be FINE.

We had differing views on the film itself. The Steps In My Dance Routine didn't like Steve Coogan in it, and thought he was basically doing Alan Partridge with a weird unconvincing accent, which is a criticism I can accept. I, however, flipping LOVED it. I don't know what it was about the story of MEN going on the road together and playing to small audiences, but something about it clicked with me. I especially loved the bit at the end where they're on stage and the camera goes back to just show their Iconic Silhouettes. It MOVED me!

There were no such difference in opinions the NEXT night when we tried again to see "Bohemian Rhapsody" and this time succeeded. It was GRATE! I do LOVE a good Rock Biopic and this was a REALLY good one. There were Astounding Impersonations! Re-workings of Well Known Events! Clearly Shoe-Horned-In Moments Of Jeopardy! A MONTAGE within the first twenty minutes showing them going from rehearsal to sellout show! Several other "writing the song" MONTAGES going from "No, I don't want to play the hit song 'Under Pressure' I refuse" to it being a HIT! Several people saying "There is no way that this song will be re-released several times and become a major international anthem"!

One of the few things it was missing was a series of PUNS based around song titles e.g. a clear opportunity was missed to show a magician at one of Freddie's parties and have John Deacon say "What do you think to the illusionist, Brian?" and Brian May reply "Well, It's A Kind Of Magic, I suppose... HANG ON!" or at ANY POINT Roger Taylor hurting himself and insisting that they do the gig because "The Show Must Go On guys... HANG ON!"

What it did have in BULK was Historical Revisionism. Crumbs! When we left the cinema we were wondering why it had got such bad reviews, but then a look online later showed that a lot of it was due to people OUTRAGED by how much things had been changed around. I am not the sort of person to know the in-depth histories of bands (NB apart from The Beatles OBVS, but surely everybody knows exact dates for all events in their lives and has read The Big Mark Lewisohn Book?) so was Quite Surprised to find quite HOW MUCH they had changed things. As The Dates On My Calendar later remarked, it was less a biopic and more of a ROCK MUSICAL loosely based on The Story Of Queen.

It was still dead good tho, and my only complaint about its Golden Globe success would be to say that The Bloke Who Played Brian May was ROBBED - and I say that as someone who has stood mere FEET away from the great man at a Badger Demo for SEVERAL minutes. He was AMAZING!

posted 18/1/2019 by MJ Hibbett

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