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Rocketman

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Stage Door Sally
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joined:6/4/09
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Rocketman#1
Posted: 6/2/19 at 7:59am

Had a love/hate experience with this film. Loved that it was a Jukebox Musical. Very gutsy move for a biopic. The style suited Elton's personality and life, because he overcame personal demons to become an iconic success. Could definitely see this adapted for Broadway.

Taron Egerton who played Elton was very good, and should get an Oscar nom. Matthew Illesley as young Reggie stole my heart. Bodyguard fans will love sexy Richard Madden as John Reid. Bryce Dallas Howard was just wrong.

Like Bohemian Rhapsody, factual inaccuracies kept taking me out of the moment, starting with how Elton acquired his stage name. All I can think is, as Executive Producer, Elton was good with giving a tip of his feathered hat to John Lennon. I don't want to give spoilers or belabor points most audience members wouldn't care about, so I'll leave it at that. I loved the costumes, but would have enjoyed seeing him as Donald Duck, one of my faves. 

I saw Elton John perform twice in Boston when he was at his low period. Strung out on drugs, grossly overweight with white hair, he looked like a worn-out 70 year-old man. His manager considered him washed up and he played small venues solo. I tossed him a bouquet of roses at one concert, which he picked up sullenly. I felt the film could have had a little less John Reid and given a look at this period, as well as a shout out to Princess Di and Ryan White who inspired Elton to go to rehab. 

I was glad to see the film, but it was one and done for me.  

Caveat: In the 1970's I guess I could be called an Elton John super fan. My first concert was Elton at Boston Garden, and saw him perform numerous times in New York and Boston, including a memorable bicentennial concert on July 4, 1976 in Foxboro, Mass, arriving by helicopter dressed as the Statue of Liberty, replete with lit torch. I started an Elton fan club SNAFF (Saturday Night, etc...) and bought all Elton's albums on vinyl, including some exclusive British imports. Then bought them again on 8-Track, yes horrific tape gnarling 8-Track, then on cassette, then CD. 

Updated On: 6/2/19 at 07:59 AM
yankeefan7
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Rocketman#2
Posted: 6/2/19 at 4:09pm

FYI - the NY Times gave the movie a pretty good review. I am not sure I will see this movie, it does not seem like I will find out anything I really did not know about him and I have been fortunate to have seen him live three times. First time was in the 70's at MSG and the other two times were later in his career (one was with Billy Joel) in Charlotte NC. I read article that said movie is factually wrong a bunch of times when it has Elton singing songs years before they were written, that would spoil thing for me. Will be interested to see what people who see movie think about it.

Updated On: 6/2/19 at 04:09 PM
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Stage Door Sally
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Rocketman#3
Posted: 6/2/19 at 5:06pm

Spoiler Alert:

Rolling Stone notes the most glaring inconsistencies. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/rocketman-fact-check-elton-john-biopic-842902/

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Sally Durant Plummer
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Rocketman#4
Posted: 6/2/19 at 11:41pm

I really enjoyed this film in terms of form. I think it was revelatory for the Jukebox genre and hope more creators look to it as a template - particularly in the theatre. We can do better than just splitting the titular role into three!

The acting is great, the singing is fine, I'm not a big fan of Elton and I was captive through the entire thing. I think I admired it more than loved it, but much better than Bohemian Rapsody - this has a star-making performance AND capable writing!

"Sticks and stones, sister. Here, have a Valium." - Patti LuPone, a Memoir
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LYLS3637
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Rocketman#5
Posted: 6/3/19 at 8:39am

As a bit of an Elton John superfan, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this. The narrative musical structure worked very well and thankfully threw any sort of song chronology out the window.  

It wasn't perfect obviously-- I would have liked more about the core band members and I think some lesser known songs would have fit perfectly in the story ("Ego," "Friends," "We All Fall in Love Sometimes"Rocketman. There were also one too many shots of Taron staring teary into a mirror. Bryce Dallas Howard overacted throughout much of it. And that last rehab sequence was... oof. Written like a cut scene from BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. 

But, for as much as I thought many of the details were going to be factually inaccurate, I was kinda shocked by how much it got right. No Elton didn't pick his name from John Lennon, and the relationships with Dick James and John Reid were much more complicated than that, but, compared the other music biopics, there's not much to nitpick. 

"I shall stay until the wind changes."
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spiderdj82
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Rocketman#6
Posted: 6/3/19 at 9:28am

I saw it last night and LOVED it.  I like Elton John but I am not a big enough fan to have any inconsistencies ruin anything for me.   I thought Taron Egerton was BRILLIANT and deserves an Oscar nom.   The only person I wasn't a fan of was Bryce Dallas Howard (which seems to be the consensus). While I liked "Bohemian Rhapsody" I think this bio-pic is better. 

"They're eating her and then they're going to eat me. OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!!" -Troll 2
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qolbinau
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Rocketman#7
Posted: 6/3/19 at 6:00pm

I agree with most of the thoughts in this thread, and appreciated the innovative structure (for this kind of movie) - but I could not stop cringing at this lazy soap opera writing throughout, such as the family conflicts and some of the scenes with his writing partner. Maybe less innovative, but I thought Bohemian Rhapsody was executed in a much less cringeworthy way for me. Plus, Elton's music catalog doesn't quite match that of Queen's. 

"It’s the fractured quality in [Bernadette Peters'] singing voice and line readings that puts across the character as someone for whom resentment is sliding into madness." - NYtimes on Follies (2011).
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Rocketman#8
Posted: 6/4/19 at 9:45pm

This film should NOT be compared to "Bohemian Rhapsody" in any way, shape or form.  They tell two completely different stories about two different people.  Rami Malek's performance was transformative and compelling as is Taron Egerton, but they both led different lives and had very different tribulations.  Both films are very good and well made films.  Taron will definitely be nominated for an Oscar next year...

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Rocketman#9
Posted: 6/5/19 at 10:38am

I think those with historical accuracy issues should read this -

https://www.digitalspy.com/movies/a26911799/rocketman-songs-elton-john-biopic/

 

I saw the film yesterday and just adored pretty much every second of it. As a huge lifelong fan of his,  it was kind of everything I hoped it would be. 

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Rocketman#10
Posted: 6/5/19 at 12:54pm
Tbh, this could really excel on Broadway.
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Rocketman#11
Posted: 6/5/19 at 2:15pm

Mike Barrett said: "Tbh, this could really excel on Broadway."

Agreed. The structure of the screenplay and the choice of songs to narrate particular moments in his life could be the foundation for a strong stage adaptation.

yankeefan7
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Rocketman#12
Posted: 6/30/19 at 1:31pm

"I think those with historical accuracy issues should read this -

https://www.digitalspy.com/movies/a26911799/rocketman-songs-elton-john-biopic/

 

I saw the film yesterday and just adored pretty much every second of it. As a huge lifelong fan of his,  it was kind of everything I hoped it would be. 

I was one of those with historical issue in the beginning but got over it and really enjoyed the movie. Taron Egerton was really good and I was impressed that he did all the singing. Bernie Taupin comes across as a really good guy as well as talented.

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Rocketman#13
Posted: 6/30/19 at 3:04pm

Regarding the comments about Bryce Dallas Howard, I felt the problem was not so much the actress but the fact that hers was the only poorly-written character in the film.  She seemed to take 180 degree turns from one scene to the next.  Did she support her son?  Was she simply enjoying his celebrity for her own selfish reasons?  Was she strong in the face of cruelty by manipulative men?  Was she the one doing the manipulating?  I have no idea.  Every scene told a different story.

To be clear, I loved the movie for the many reasons stated in this thread.  I applaud their choice to tell the story with a perfect mix of truth, drama, and cinematic fantasy.  I just wish the script doctors had sharpened the scenes with the mom.

 

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Rocketman#14
Posted: 7/3/19 at 1:30am

Mike Barrett said: "Tbh, this could really excel on Broadway."

I am soooo sick and tired of bio jukebox musicals, but this would be my one exception because the trailers make this look campy as all hell and this would be fantastic on stage. 

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Rocketman#15
Posted: 7/3/19 at 11:52am

Considering Elton is doing the music for Devil's Wear Prada, he's clearly not afraid if being involved with Broadway. I really think we could see this one in the next 3-4 years. Could be adapted really well. 

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Rocketman#16
Posted: 7/6/19 at 9:29pm
I love Elton’s music and his openness about his struggles and overcoming them. This is the first movie in a very long time, hoeever, that I couldn’t wait to end. I am a lover of musicals but when the family started singing in their home, I knew I was going to struggle with liking this. Chicago and Cabaret are great examples of how to avoid “suddenly breaking out in song”. I really wanted to like this but didn’t at all. I’m nervous about “in the Heights” and “The Prom” going to screen.

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