Creed 2- One to Watch!
Sometimes the past does come back to haunt you.
Ivan Drago was defeated by Rocky Balboa in Russia after killing Apollo Creed (Rocky 4). His life has been one of hardship. His country turned their back on him and his wife left him. Using his son to regain his legacy, he trains Viktor to take out Apollo’s son, Adonis as the Heavyweight Champ.
Adonis was an underdog who came from not so humble beginnings but sought out his father’s former friend, Rocky who helped him find his strength in the ring. After winning the Heavyweight belt, he proposes and believes his life is perfect. But a greedy promoter is setting up the fight of the century and trash talks Adonis.
Feeling forced to defend himself and show how he was better than his father, he sets out to fight Viktor without Rocky’s blessing, sending him to the hospital and down a dark path.
The hits are amazing in slow motion. The bodies are sculpted as the action reigns supreme in this story of overcoming odds and doing what you need to do for yourself, not anyone else. (Pause to admire the amount of time these guys must have put into making those bodies so amazing- eye candy!) What is interesting is the growth of Adonis from his takedown to his rise again. The director also shows us a depth to Ivan and Viktor that we didn’t realize as they had been simply the evil Russians trying to beat America. The theme is family and we see it quite clearly with the arrival of Brigitte Nielsen and Robert Balboa.
The story is a nice nod to the old Rocky movies with snippets of famous Philly landmarks where Rocky is remembered but the return of Dolph Lundgren was worth the money. He has become Ivan Drago, a man lost for the last decade, forgotten by Hollywood. His words to Balboa hint at the bigger picture of “You made me important and then it disappeared.”
With Stallone as Executive Producer, Michael B. Jordan as a producer and partially written by Black Panther director, Ryan Coogler, this movie has a lot of power behind it!
Fantastic Beasts 2: The Crimes of Grndelwald- The One for Fans
Secrets abound as Grindelwald and the magical community struggle to find their place in the larger world around them. Featuring many of the previous cast members but less fun animals, this movie has a darker feel. With JK Rowling serving as both author and screenwriter, the movie stays true to the book, yet can be confusing to muggles who aren’t fans of the series. Rowling likes to pepper her books with many false leads and twisted surprises. And ultimately, Fantastic Beasts 2 leads to Harry and Voldemort, although there’s three more movies planned to bring us closer in the time frame.
Fantastic Beasts 2 is about taking sides in an inevitable war. Newt has tried to stay out of it since his priority is the animals and his friends, but when Grindelwald forces Newt’s hand, he chooses to fight, no matter the cost.
This movie is a tad confusing and feels like it only leaves more questions, especially as we know whatever Rowling has shown is possibly a red herring, I’d catch this one on the small screen when there might be a chance to pause it and discuss with fans!
This Queen biopic will rock you.
Bohemian Rhapsody tells the tale of the beginnings of the rock group, Queen, to their iconic show at Live Aid. Set against the band’s music, Bohemian Rhapsody is the story of the whole group with a focus on front man, Eddie Mercury and his struggles with his family, sexuality, and drugs.
Reviewers panned this movie but they forget that this isn’t a movie about Mercury and pan the movie for its lack of depth into Mercury’s sexuality and feel that they glossed over his life. But the movie is about more than Freddie. It’s about the whole band. With two Queen band members, Brian May and Rodger Taylor, as well as Jim Beach, the band’s lawyer and manager, serving as executive producers, the script focuses on the band from their point of view. The script also plays loose with the timeline to increase the drama and tug at the viewers’ heartstrings.
Rami Malek portrays Mercury with zeal. His movements and mannerisms will have you forgetting the real Mercury isn’t on the screen. Rami worked with a movement coach and viewed hours of tapes in order to mimic Mercury’s iconic stage presence and expressions. I suspect that Rami will get an Oscar nod for this role, but I doubt he’ll win.
With a fun cameo by Mike Meyers as the record producer, Ray Foster, who turned down Bohemian Rhapsody, saying it would never be a hit because kids couldn’t bang their heads in a car to the song, the movie comes full circle from Wayne’s Bohemian Rhapsody piece in Wayne’s World.
For fans of Queen and their music, the movie will have you singing along. The theater was packed on a Friday morning with the entire audience clapping when the movie was over. This is a movie I will purchase and watch again. Even though it takes liberties with the timeline, it is a movie which shows how family can be more than blood and even with differences, love will prevail.
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