Elton John biopic "Rocketman"

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Jason Manley, Feb 21, 2019.

  1. Larry L

    Larry L Senior Member

    Allen, Texas
    I bought the blu-ray, took a shot. I really enjoyed it. Not a documentary, but you really get a sense of this guy and what happened. The guy playing Elton does a great job.
    I hated the time frame confusion with the music. Thats a huge no no, but it didn't ruin it for me.
    MadMelMon likes this.
  2. crazywater

    crazywater Dangerous Dreamer...

    Rolesville, NC
    I hated that initially but the songs are used to tell the story regardless of the timeline. If you pay close attention words are subtly changed to fit the scene. So I can overlook that. Getting simple things wrong like how he chose the "John" for his name really bothered me at first but I got over it. Mostly I enjoy it. The downward drug spiral can get tiring but the last 15 minutes redeems everything and is fantastic including the final musical number.
  3. adm62

    adm62 Senior Member

    Ottawa, Canada
    Exactly. it isn't really a biopic, more a fantasy musical based on a real story. A 12 yr old Reg banging out a tune in a pub is an early clue that the order of songs is meaningless. And it is a viivacious piece of film making that far exceeds the very flat and earnest Bo Rhap.
  4. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Yes I did. And very enjoyable. Guess that’s as good as we’ll get.
  5. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Scope J likes this.
  6. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

  7. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Good assessment.
    applebonkerz likes this.
  8. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Senior Member

    Anyone who knows anything about Elton is aware of how witty he is. His recent Me biography was hilarious and he’s always great value in interviews. In the 80 minutes of the movie I’ve watched, this isn’t apparent at all. Elton comes off as a glum, mousy little thing with next to no charisma. I will also say that like Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman suffers from some of the worst wigs in recent memory. For some reason ‘John Reid’ is made up to look like Jason King! We didn’t all really look like that, did we?:D
  9. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits, Abbie & Mitzi: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    Yeah, that's what I said in my review:

    "Even if I ignore all these eye-rolling moments, the movie's just a joyless slog. I get that it's a story of Elton's rise and fall, but it's way more about the fall and less about the rise.

    It's an inspirational tale that lacks inspiration. It never does much to convey what made Elton special, and Egerton can't make him charismatic.

    I liked Egerton's singing - he's not a vocal clone ala the guy who did Freddie's vocals in Rhapsody, but he's credible. His acting feels less compelling, and he made Elton just seem dull.

    Even if Rocketmen brought us a complete work of fiction, I'd still find it to be a weak movie, as it just lacks much to make it involving or memorable. We barely get a sense of what made Elton a massive star, so all we find is a cliche tale of the sad boy who wanted love."

    Rocketman [4K UHD] (2019)
  10. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Senior Member

    In fairness to Taron Egerton, he was better in this that that movie where he played Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards.:D

    I’ve still got 40 minutes to watch, but I’m already tired of Elton weeping in cars because his dad has snubbed him yet again.

    The most bizarre casting has to be Bryce Dallas Howard as Elton’s mum Sheila... The latter was surely a complex and interesting character, but they might as well have got Dame Edna Everage to play her for all the layering and finesse Howard brings to the role..

    Like the Queen movie, this probably works better the less of a fan you are of the artist.
  11. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits, Abbie & Mitzi: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    Clearly, factual inaccuracies become less problematic when you're ignorant about the reality.

    It's like "Amadeus". I could watch that and be cool with the ways it stretched truth because I didn't know the facts.

    But when I see them record "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" in 1972, or Elton get married/divorced in the 70s... yeah, that's annoying!
    carrick doone and Bobby Morrow like this.
  12. crazywater

    crazywater Dangerous Dreamer...

    Rolesville, NC
    I agree with most of that except I do believe they implied his marriage was in the 80s, they just didn't make it obvious.
    carrick doone likes this.
  13. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits, Abbie & Mitzi: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    The movie doesn't spell out specific years for much, but I thought it implied a late 70s wedding.

    Maybe it was supposed to be 1980 or 1981 in the movie - who knows?

    All I know is that it was supposed to be well before 1984, when it actually happened.

    The movie leads us to believe Elton was married and divorced well before rehab and his reunion with Bernie for "Too Low...".

    All of that's way out of whack with the real timeline...
  14. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Senior Member

    I’ve finished the movie and thought it actually got a little worse towards the end. I can see what they were trying to do, but I think Elton deserves a much better bio pic than this. Some very poor scripting- and acting too- in places. ‘Kiki Dee’ was hilarious! And Jamie Bell as Bernie was incredibly cliche ridden and weedy. As for poor Renata, her contribution was she was seen saying something nice to Elton in the recording studio, then immediately being shown on their wedding day, until finally she was seen coming out of a separate bedroom to Elton and the couple splitting up! They may as well have left her out of the film altogether.

    As for Elton’s lifelong battle with his weight, this was skimmed over in one scene with Egerton, who remained trim and toned throughout the whole film, ordering 3 puddings in a restaurant and then being sick later on!

    Don’t think the music worked either. Taron Egerton is an adequate singer, but he hasn’t the flair or talent to make these songs come alive like Elton did. Witness the bland cover of Don’t Go Breaking My Heart that played over the final credits, for example. The one great thing about Bohemian Rhapsody was that the music was used brilliantly. In Rocketman, you’d hear the songs rearranged, with occasional alternate lyrics and basically mucked up.

    So while I’d say Rocketman was enjoyable in a grim kind of way, it pretty much failed on every level.
    Drifter and vince like this.
  15. razerx

    razerx Forum Resident

    Would you have enjoyed the movie more if you knew nothing about Elton John, nothing about his personal life and never heard his music?
  16. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Could have toned down the sex scenes. Those certainly won’t make it into a later date broadway musical.
  17. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Senior Member

    Oh yes. I said that earlier. Like Bohemian Rhapsody, this film works better the less you know about the people they portray. BR used the music to a far better advantage though and was more enjoyable as a result.
    razerx likes this.
  18. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Senior Member

    That didn’t bother me really.
  19. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Regardless, I couldn’t find anything redeemable about the biopic. If folk were entertained fair enough. I’d give Queen bio pic a 7/10 rating though in comparison.
  20. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Senior Member

    Yes, Bohemian Rhapsody, for all its inaccuracies and timeline issues worked far better.
    alexpop likes this.
  21. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Liked a few Queen songs ( don’t have any albums ) but .. big wow factor in the cinema showing. Ironically have EJ CDs / SACDs and loathed the EJ bio pic ( er .. everything about it :)).
    Bobby Morrow likes this.
  22. Matt Richardson

    Matt Richardson Forum Resident

    Suburban Chicago
    Been using my time at home to catch up on some of the more notable movies that I had otherwise missed in regular release. Tonight it was Rocketman on YouTube TV and I loved it. -Just brilliant -The acting, integration of John's music, and the visuals. It goes into EJ's life without getting bogged down in sentimentality or hysterics. -All wonderfully done.
    ego1jr likes this.
  23. ukozcd

    ukozcd Jedi

    Terrible. Loved BR but this is a stinker.
    Drifter likes this.
  24. cgw

    cgw Forum Resident

    Upstate NY
    I watched Rocketman (amazon prime). It is being compared to Bohemian Rhapsody, but if you were to ask me it has more in common with Mama Mia (the movie).
    Both are jukebox musicals.
    Both are basically about daddy issues.

    (To qualify - I have not seen BR.)
  25. MadMelMon

    MadMelMon Forum Resident

    It gets compared to BR because they share a director and they came out somewhat close to each other. I'd stop with the comparisons there, although I will say that Rocketman did exactly what it intended to do, whereas Bohemian Rhapsody was a production trainwreck that somehow didn't completely tank (which I'd attribute to the director.)

    There's a lot of hate for both movies for assorted reasons, and I understand why. I enjoyed them both immensely, but for BR it was the kind of enjoyment you get when you see something that's a lot of fun but is a bit questionable. Kinda like recent AC/DC. Listening to the records can be fun, even though they're obviously just rewriting the same stuff over and over and the quality is dipping noticeably. Still fun to blast it for a week or so, even though I probably won't touch it again after that.

    I loved Rocketman, but I went in knowing it was heavily fictionalized and aggressively goofy. But I can't blame people for flinching at the often egregious historical inaccuracies (I don't say "errors" since they made no secret of their intention to make the whole thing surreal.) I also saw it as one of the only straight guys in a large group of off-duty drag queens, and my god that's an experience in and of itself. Just prepare to miss large chunks of dialogue because everybody in the room is howling.
    crazywater and cgw like this.

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