May 29, 2020
by Diane McCurdy, Film and Book Reviews
There is a proliferation of viewing platforms that seem to be particularly loaded to accommodate the times. Disney has added its own portal while Netflix stock is soaring. It is possible to be thoroughly frustrated and go on information overload just deciding what to watch.
Some just head for the recent additions, but that can be hit or miss. A good formula for decision making is to zero in on a particular interest and then do some searching.
As an example, one could choose a certain favorite actress or actor and explore their work, or a specific director, genre or time period.
I just happened to catch The Buddy Holly Story on broadcast TV. Holly was a nice, lanky awkward kid from Texas who went through all the trials and tribulations of ascending in the music business. He appears to be a squeaky clean and singularly talented. His untimely death in a plane crash was especially tragic due to his youth. Ritchie Valens was also on that plane and I was curious about him and that became the key to my theme: biopics of famous musicians.
Both Valens and Holly had meteoric rises to fame, but their thrilling trajectories were cut short by fate. In La Bamba, we follow the young Latino singer from his days of fruit picking to having three songs that made it into the top ten chart including "Donna" and the titular hit. Lou Diamond Phillips who is actually Filipino heads the cast.
Maybe it is the pounding beat of "Another One Bites the Dust" or "We Will Rock You" that provide some of the primal attraction of the rock band, Queen, or maybe it is the dreamy , hallucinatory quality of "We Are The Champions" or just the surreal bizarreness of "Bohemian Rhapsody", the song that lends its name to the film's title, but whatever it was that made the group tops in pop culture in the 1970's, it can be traced back to the lead singer, Freddie Mercury, and his prodigious pipes, reptilian presentation and electrifying talent. He was an incredibly creative person who faced his demons, ascended, descended and came to terms. His band was wildly innovative, and members were not druggies or drop outs but engineering and dental students. Guitarist, Brian May went on to become an astrophysicist with a PhD. The film introduces a whole new generation to the genius of Queen.
Judy details a brief period in Judy Garland's life when she was on the slippery slope of her career. She was in debt and also in an expensive custody hassle with one of her husbands. She signed on to a concert run in London. Flashbacks provide clues why she became a pill-swilling alcoholic. Renee Zellweger won an Academy Award for her superb portrayal. She has a lovely voice, but I would have preferred lip-synching Judy's signature song. I mean, who can really sing THAT song.
There are so many others to choose from so if biopics of musicians is one of your interests take your pick.
Please support our sponsors:
LOCAL GUIDE to Cannabis Dispensaries and Delivery Services, Sonoma County & Beyond.All dispensaries have verified their information.