Tag Archives: Biopic

Cinema Dispatch: Judy

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Judy and all the images you see in this review are owned by LD Entertainment

Directed by Rupert Goold

Yeah, I know I’m late on this one and on a LOT of things!  October was busy for me, alright!?  Well it’s time to get back on track and we’re starting with this movie I saw SEVERAL weeks ago and can hopefully give a worthwhile critique on; at least the parts that I can remember!  It probably doesn’t help either that I know absolutely nothing about the person in question as the only movie I’ve seen of hers is the one we’ve ALL seen, and I had no idea what her story was before and after that famous role.  Will this be the movie that’ll teach me everything I should have known and turn me into a Judy Stan, or will this biopic get lost in the shuffle; right next to those Tupac and Mötley Crüe biopics that you’ve already forgotten about?  Let’s find out!!

Judy Garland (Renée Zellweger) has had a rough go of it throughout the sixties with all her money drying up and her two young kids living out of hotel rooms and working nights with her mother on small stages for peanuts.  With no money, no house, and two kids who need stability and an education, she makes a very difficult decision to have them stay with her ex-husband while she goes to London for an extended stint at a nightclub where she’ll make a strong stable income as long as she can keep her demons in check.  Said demons by the way were born in flashbacks that we see throughout the movie as a young Judy (Darci Shaw) struggles in a terrifyingly oppressive Hollywood system that controls her every move and doesn’t bat an eye at giving her various drugs to keep her awake and focused.  Will Miss Garland be able to give the performances of a lifetime and finally secure a bit of stability for herself as well as her family back home?  Will her handlers in London be able to curb her more destructive behaviors, and are they doing it for her sake or just because the show must go on?  Is she gonna do that song about Rainbows?  Man, what was that one called…

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Why ARE there so many songs about rainbows?

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Cinema Dispatch: Straight Outta Compton

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Straight Outta Compton and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures

Directed by F Gary Gray

Does this count as the beginning of Oscar season?  I mean we ARE in August and this is a biopic about famous yet controversial musicians!  What more could the academy be looking for!?  This retelling of the history of NWA directed by F Gary Gray (because who the hell else would you get to direct this) has gotten a lot of buzz recently and is already a certifiable smash hit at the box office with an opening weekend of over SIXTY MILLION which is nearly unheard of for a rated R movie.  So what is it about this movie that’s gotten so many people’s attention?  Is it the controversial nature of its subjects?  Maybe it’s out of pure nostalgia that people are checking out this movie about a rap group from the nineties.  That basically how Dragon Ball Z managed to make it in the top ten on a limited release.  Well for whatever reason this movie has connected with the movie going public, the question remains as to whether or not it’s any good, especially considering that the movie is produced by the people it’s portraying which can be a bad sign for any biopic.  Does this manage to be a fascinating examination of America’s scariest musicians, or will it be an endless parade of self-congratulations for a bunch of guys who have long outlived their relevance?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins with our three principal players Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell), Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), and Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson Jr) living their lives in Compton California and writing music whenever they have some free time.  After one of their songs hits it big on the local stations, they get the attention of a music manager (Jerry Heller played by Paul Giamatti) who puts them on the fast track to stardom and we watch the rise of one of America’s most notorious musical acts become legendary and the behind the scenes conflicts that eventually led to their downfall.

“We’ll start with a cover of Staying Alive, and then we can do that police song if we have time afterwards.”

“We’ll start with a cover of Staying Alive, and then we can do that police song if we have time afterwards.”

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