Dog save the Queen 

click to enlarge PHOTO BY ALEX BAILEY TM & © 2018 TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION - Reigning queen The biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, starring Rami Malek, hits theatres this week.
  • Photo by Alex Bailey TM & © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
  • Reigning queen The biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, starring Rami Malek, hits theatres this week.

Here comes the snow, and as such, the big news this week is that tickets for the Hoji movie go on sale Nov. 1 and they are gonna sell like mini-donuts at the Weed Olympics.

This will be the best ski movie of the year, so bookmark the Arts Whistler website now or get ready to camp out at the Maury Young box office like it's Zeppelin or HorrorFest. (Don't get the Hoji movie confused with The Emoji Movie though. That is something entirely different, and totally shitty.)

At the Village 8 this week, the only new flick opening is Hunter Killer, some kind of submarine war movie where the Russians are both the bad and good guys (behind the U.S. of course) and everything is apparently aimed at people too young to have heard of The Hunt for Red October.

Gerard Butler (London Has Fallen, Geostorm, Den of Thieves) stars as some kind of military badass submarine commander sent to examine a couple of other submarines≈one Russian, one U.S.—that mysteriously exploded. Turns out there's been a Russian coup and now the Yankee hunter killer has to save the Russian president, if he hopes to save the world...

Or some such shit. Truth is this Tom Clancy knockoff (directed by a Michael Bay wannabe) lost me at Gerard Butler. Is he truly as shitty as the movies he makes? Or is he the only guy that will make movies this shitty? (Dude is the cinematic equivalent of the chicken and the egg.) Aside from 300, can anyone really say Butler has shone in anything? I realize I once said the same thing about Affleck (who I still think directs better than he acts) and I'm always happy to be proven wrong, but maybe Butler needs to take a break for a while.

On the other end of the movie star spectrum, Rami Malek [Papillon (2017)] is about to blow up for his portrayal of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in the reportedly uneven band biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, which sneak-preview screens at the Village 8 on Thursday, Nov. 1.

Here's the thing though, even a not-great movie about Queen is still worth watching because Mercury was one of the most enigmatic rock stars of the '70s, defying convention and shattering stereotypes while headlining some of the most uniquely rocking tracks ever laid down. (Put "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" on at any wedding in the English-speaking world and you've got a party. Follow it up 60 minutes later with "Fat Bottomed Girls" and you've got a bonafide shaker, guaranteed).

The film's director, Bryan Singer (X-Men, The Usual Suspects), was fired from the production last December and replaced by Dexter Fletcher (Eddie the Eagle) for the latter stages of the shoot. Singer received the credit after Fletcher turned it down.

This flick focuses more on Mercury than the other members of Queen, but that's to be expected—as a frontman Freddie was almost unmatched. (Mick Jagger can hang, Bowie, Morrison, Joplin, Beyoncé... and that might be it.)

While the film puts a ton of effort into showcasing Mercury's talent (and Malek deserves the award hype for his portrayal) it focuses perhaps too much on recreating the band performances and overall vibe rather than showing us who these people, and this enigmatic, conflicted frontman, really were.

This flick has big energy and true adoration, but lacks the subtlety that invested Queen fans will be looking for. It's like a slick and fancy greatest hits concert on screen, except we were all hoping for some b-sides.

The Download of the Week celebrates the 25th anniversary of one of the greatest high school flicks ever made—Dazed and Confused.

Set over the course of one afternoon and night (the last day of school) in Austin, Texas in 1976, Richard Linklater's ode to ambling nothing-to-do-ness and the random teenage mind holds up incredibly well (despite hazing scenes that would have the pearl-clutchers in arms if the flick came out today.)This is also Matthew McConaughey's first movie, and also featured pre-big time Ben Affleck, Parker Posey, Milla Jovovich and man-I-wish-she-still-made-movies Joey Lauren Adams (Mallrats).

From the party at the moon tower to McConaughey's all-time entrance into the Emporium (set to Bob Dylan's "Hurricane"), this is a film that only came to do two things—drink some beer and kick some ass. And it's been outta beer for a quarter century.

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