Event cinema is pretty popular, with reports that Queen Rock Montreal (IMAX) raked in over $4 million, split across the USA and the rest of the world. Clearly, the lure of a remastered Queen concert from 1981 is strong.
However, the screening I attended in Sheffield on Saturday morning didn't contribute much to that till-busting total, as I made up 20% of the audience!
It was a treat to see Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon do their thing on stage, at a time when folk didn't film the whole gig on their phone for social media. There was the odd actual Kodak camera on show, but mostly people lucky enough to be there were living in the moment and singing along to every word. Mercury sported a Superman vest, and reminded us he's every bit the showman on stage. Flamboyant and fabulous, he belted out Another One Bites The Dust, Save Me, Somebody To Love, Play The Game, Bohemian Rhapsody, and many more. I've always been a big fan of Queen's music, and this was a real Saturday morning treat. Just a shame it was so quiet.
Role Play (Amazon Prime) sees Emma (Kayley Cuoco) living a duplicitous double life, much to the shock of her devoted husband Dave (David Oyelowo). Ironically, they opt to spice up their love life with a bit of role play, but become embroiled in some real life drama, as a mysterious older man (Bill Nighy) recognises Emma as being on an international 'wanted' list, and decides to try and claim the plentiful bounty. Dave's whole world comes crashing down, as he realises his wife has been jetting around the world bumping people off. Nighy is always good value, and Cuoco has definitely moved on successfully from her years on The Big Bang Theory. In all honesty, it's an easy Saturday night watch, but it doesn't crack any pots. You'll forget the details almost as soon as the credits have rolled.
And Poor Things is not an easy film to pigeonhole. In fact, it features a number of Frankenstein-style animal creations, including a goose bulldog, a duck goat, and a pig chicken. Emma Stone plays Bella, who is brought back to life by eccentric English scientist Baxter (Willem Defoe). It's set in Victorian times, and is a quirky visual treat for the senses.
I should warn you it's not for the faint-hearted, both in terms of its themes and language, but it's darkly, deliciously original. Stone throws herself wholeheartedly into the role of Bella, and Mark Ruffalo is brilliant as caddish lawyer Duncan Wedderburn, as Bella escapes the confines of Baxter's home and goes on a worldly adventure before marrying.
It's surreal, unflinching, funny, and biting, and Bella's unfiltered utterances make for some real belly laughs. She goes from childlike wonder to worldly wise in her quest for liberation and equality, and Wedderburn has more than met his match. Next week, I'll have reviews of The Holdovers, The Iron Claw, Baghead and Migration, plus Argylle.