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Thread: Rocket Man vs Bohemian Rhapsody

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    Rocket Man vs Bohemian Rhapsody

    I recently saw both films within a week of one another.

    I enjoyed both for different reasons. I probably enjoyed Rocket Man a bit more as it seemed more creative and artistically interesting.
    Both strayed from factual timelines, which I understand to make use of their music in context of the films.

    The one thing I did find disturbing about Rocket Man was the absence of "The Elton John Band" from the script other than a few clips of them playing in the background. I find it hard to believe that Dee Murray, Nigel Olsen, Davey Johnstone in particular were not huge influences if not even respectfully responsible for Elton's rise to fame.

    The Queen film was most impressive for it's spot on casting in my opinion, especially the band members. I really felt like I was getting to know the guys in a genuine way. While the movie focused on Freddie, it felt more inclusive of the entire machine making it happen.

    I am going to assume that many on this board have seen both films. It would be interesting to hear what others have to say about.

    Is the "Led Zeppelin" film next?

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    In Rocket Man, they also omitted Long John Baldry - a good friend of Elton's, probably the first gay man he knew well, and the source of half his stage name.

    The one thing I found startling about the lives of Freddie and Elton was that for each of them, their first big homosexual relationship was with their manager, who turned out to be a rotten human being, far more on the side of the Big Time Music Biz than their supposed charge, and entirely unworthy of either their affection or their trust - and it was the same guy, John Reid.

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    I saw Rocketman this weekend, so glad you asked....

    I liked Bho Rhap better of the two. Basically because it had the whole band in it. If it was just about Freddie and his issues it would have been a drag. I should add that while Freddie was maybe rock's most brilliant singer, he's actually my least fave member of Queen. What that movie did is make me go buy their entire catalog and digest it and in the process the talents of Taylor, May and Deacon became blindingly apparent. I already knew Freddie was great. After about four months of digesting the catalog the movie came out on DVD and I watched it again and didn't like it as much as I did the first time because I got to know the band well, through music and a lot of live footage. Suddenly the actors didn't look as convincing. And Freddie wasn't bug eyed...

    Rocketman I mentioned on FB as being a slog through a self-loathing winefest for the most part for the second half. The Queen movie had a band in it and I think that really redeemed it rather than it just being focused on just Freddie and his issues. Musicals are so cringe-worthy. This one is no exception.

    It wasn't bad, mind you. I did sorta like it. Just wish some focus had been more on how the music was made. He had an awesome band that pretty much got no mention. Plus it's a story of redemption and it ended before he really did anything to redeem himself, beyond apologizing. If they had spent 20 more minutes looking at the great things he did with his life after he got sober, rather than treating them like footnotes, I think he would have seemed more redeemed. Now for that Ozzy biopic!

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    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Is the big finale of the Elton John movie when he appears dressed as Donald Duck?

    Just kidding, I like Elton, although I'm not as familiar with him as with Queen. I actually just saw BR last week, and I thought it was very good. I think the anti-hype after it came out made me like it more. I thought the whole cast was good, and the story of Freddy's personal life was about as interesting as the story of the band - well handled overall.

    The Live Aid performance was pretty triumphant. Also, the Mike Myers appearance was funny, and a nice nod to fans of him and the Wayne's World movies.

    I have one question about it: what is the douche who becomes his manager later on doing there in the beginning? As far as I could tell, he first appeared in the scene where Freddy is writing Love of My Life. What's he doing there?

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    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    I peferred BR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    I have one question about it: what is the douche who becomes his manager later on doing there in the beginning? As far as I could tell, he first appeared in the scene where Freddy is writing Love of My Life. What's he doing there?
    They played ducks and drakes with when something occurred - it's one criticism of the movie.

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    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baribrotzer View Post
    They played ducks and drakes with when something occurred - it's one criticism of the movie.
    Well, there was no scene where the character was introduced as far as I could tell. And there WAS a scene where he said he'd be the band's manager, and it was far into the film when Freddy fires the first manager.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Now for that Ozzy biopic!
    It's currently in the planning stages. Working title is Old Crank In A Diaper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Purple_Camel View Post
    I recently saw both films within a week of one another.

    I enjoyed both for different reasons. I probably enjoyed Rocket Man a bit more as it seemed more creative and artistically interesting.
    Both strayed from factual timelines, which I understand to make use of their music in context of the films.

    The one thing I did find disturbing about Rocket Man was the absence of "The Elton John Band" from the script other than a few clips of them playing in the background. I find it hard to believe that Dee Murray, Nigel Olsen, Davey Johnstone in particular were not huge influences if not even respectfully responsible for Elton's rise to fame.

    The Queen film was most impressive for it's spot on casting in my opinion, especially the band members. I really felt like I was getting to know the guys in a genuine way. While the movie focused on Freddie, it felt more inclusive of the entire machine making it happen.

    I am going to assume that many on this board have seen both films. It would be interesting to hear what others have to say about.

    t?
    I actually pretty much agree with your take on the films. I saw them both in the theater, which I think may be a difference experience from seeing them at home, and enjoyed them both a lot even though they were very different films. I would have liked to have seen more about Elton's band, but I still understand what they were going for with the film. I also agree that the Queen film captured the band members really well, even though historically they took some huge liberties.

  10. #10
    I saw both Bohemian Rhapsody & Rocketman and I prefer BR. While I thought that Rocketman had it's moments, I thought that the musical numbers were over the top and it felt more like a musical than a movie. And despite the liberties that BR took with the Queen story, I still love the performances by the actors.

  11. #11
    I think they should make a Ted vs. Elt meet Liberace by way of George Michæl zombie movie.
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    I thought BR was underwritten, facile and such a disappointment. Though I'm not precious about exact chronology this was the equivalent of the Germans winning WW2 it was so far off the mark. A real missed opportunity I'm afraid, all about polishing the brand, nothing more.

    Rocketman, despite its fantasy sections, was much more heartfelt and truthful to me.

    And im primarily a Queen fan, barely own any Elton.

  13. #13
    Wasn’t there a line in Bohemian Rhapsody that before the Live Aid concert they hadn’t played together in years? Whereas in reality they’d finished their 48 date Works Live tour only 2 months earlier. ‘83 was the year they took off from touring, although even then they were in the studio the later half of ‘83.

    Artistic license to support the Freddie Mercury redemption arc of the film I guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baribrotzer View Post
    In Rocket Man, they also omitted Long John Baldry - a good friend of Elton's, probably the first gay man he knew well, and the source of half his stage name.

    .
    They also omitted the fact that Reg auditioned for Gentle Giant.
    Dave Sr.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wah3 View Post
    Wasn’t there a line in Bohemian Rhapsody that before the Live Aid concert they hadn’t played together in years? Whereas in reality they’d finished their 48 date Works Live tour only 2 months earlier. ‘83 was the year they took off from touring, although even then they were in the studio the later half of ‘83.

    Artistic license to support the Freddie Mercury redemption arc of the film I guess.
    I noticed that the songs were way out of order on their timeline... same with Rocket Man. I suppose one could argue that the music in a catalog is there for collective consideration for such a film. It really didn't bother me as I am not a huge die hard fan of either.... but a fan enough to see these films.

    As far as the Live Aid story that they hadn't played in years... was total BS, no?
    In January 1985, Queen headlined two nights of the first Rock in Rio festival at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and played in front of over 300,000 people each night. The Boston Globe described it as a "mesmerising performance". Highlights from both nights were released on VHS as Queen: Live in Rio, and was broadcast on MTV in the US. In April and May 1985, Queen completed the Works Tour with sold-out shows in Australia and Japan.
    Queen were absolutely the best band of the day ... they just went and smashed one hit after another ... it was the perfect stage for Freddie: the whole world.

    Live Aid was held at Wembley on 13 July 1985.
    It is a bit disturbing that they are trying to rewrite their history.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adap2it View Post
    They also omitted the fact that Reg auditioned for Gentle Giant.
    ...and Reg was considered for King Crimson's 'In the Wake of Poseidon'.

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    After looking into this a bit more.. Freddie wasn't diagnosed with Aids until two years later in 1987. So the movie depicting Freddie gathering around his bandmates before the Live Aid rehearsals was complete BS.

    Queen did two more albums in 89 and 91 with the real story being Freddie struggling to finish up Innuendo before he died. Then another album Made in Heaven released more music from those sessions.

    I suppose the question is, would a more accurate portrayal of the events been just as interesting? What is the real reason for presenting such a factually misleading film on such critical elements of their history?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Purple_Camel View Post
    What is the real reason for presenting such a factually misleading film on such critical elements of their history?
    Well, all of those things actually did happen to the band, just not quite in that way and not in that order. My guess is that the story as told in the movie makes for a more effective screenplay. That is, it allows a presentation of the band's history that more or less captures the band's essence in a cinematically dramatic fashion and that can be told within a reasonable 2 hours and 15 minutes. I thought it could have been done better in a number of places, but I still enjoyed the film quite a lot for what it was.
    Last edited by Koreabruce; 07-13-2019 at 12:54 PM.

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    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    I like Elton John's music quite a bit more than Queen's. Still, I preferred BR, a more interesting story. I thought Rocketman was okay to fairly good.
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    Both struck me as science fiction films with so very little regard to facts. Will this become the trend now?
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilcox660 View Post
    Both struck me as science fiction films with so very little regard to facts. Will this become the trend now?
    Big fan of Elton's music but with all of the talk of misleading facts, I'm not interested in seeing the movie.

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    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    If you want facts, read a book or watch a documentary. It's a movie, fantasy. Just suspend disbelief, relax and enjoy. Didn't bother me in the least.
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    One point to mention about Rocket Man: It wasn't, of course, intended to be anything realistic; I think it might have been meant as a depiction of what Elton's life felt like to him, and maybe of how he remembered it. You could say that much of it was the story of "Elton John", a mythical figure and a larger-than-life pop star; and not quite as much the story of Reg Dwight, a shy, chubby, hugely talented gay guy from a troubled family in a small town, whose loneliness and emotional pain drove him to become "Elton John". And because of that, its playing hob with chronology didn't matter nearly as much.

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    I give BH an A-
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    Couldn't handle the fantasy/Broadway musical sequences. And they should've used Elton's actual music instead of bad arrangements with the actor singing. And yes. zilch about his band. Perhaps if I'd known more before seeing it... nah, I probably would've waited to see it on Comcast for free.

  25. #25
    I would argue that they both reflect the life of the writer/director more than the artists involved as both felt like the same film to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baribrotzer View Post
    One point to mention about Rocket Man: It wasn't, of course, intended to be anything realistic; I think it might have been meant as a depiction of what Elton's life felt like to him, and maybe of how he remembered it. You could say that much of it was the story of "Elton John", a mythical figure and a larger-than-life pop star; and not quite as much the story of Reg Dwight, a shy, chubby, hugely talented gay guy from a troubled family in a small town, whose loneliness and emotional pain drove him to become "Elton John". And because of that, its playing hob with chronology didn't matter nearly as much.
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