That’s Auntertainment! Mini-Episode: Karaoke Korner 3

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CREDIT: Queen Official/YouTube Screenshot

It’s time for another edition of “Karaoke Korner!” The artist selections this time have come from Jeff’s sister, Kaity. She would like him to choose the best karaoke songs from Saint Motel, The Bangles, and Queen.

This Is a Movie Review: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is a Thoroughly Generic Music Biopic

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CREDIT: Alex Bailey/Twentieth Century Fox

This review was originally published on News Cult in October 2018.

Starring: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello, Aidan Gillen, Tom Hollander, Allen Leech, Mike Myers, Aaron McCusker

Director: Bryan Singer*

Running Time: 134 Minutes

Rating: PG-13 for The Typical, Though Far From the Most Decadent, Rock Star Lifestyle

Release Date: November 2, 2018

About halfway through Bohemian Rhapsody, Mike Myers shows up as a record executive, and I am not sure if this casting was a good or bad idea. He’s got messy curls and patchwork facial hair that makes him look Will Ferrell as Gene Frenkel in the “More cowbell” sketch. He is adamant against Queen releasing the film’s namesake song as a single, certain that its nonsense lyrics and operatic structure will prevent it from ever being something that teenagers will bang their heads along to in the car (thus cheekily referencing the song’s most famous cinematic appearance). This scene is much more directly comedic than the rest of the film, offering an oddball flavor that could easily result in a tonal clash. The trouble is, the tone for just about every other scene can be summed up as “flavorless.” Myers’ committed character work might not truly belong, but it’s too hard to tell, because Bohemian Rhapsody is one of the most generic music biopics ever made.

On the one hand, there are plenty of cookie-cutter entries in this genre, but if anything could break the mold, one would think the story of Queen as directed by Bryan Singer and starring Rami Malek as one of the most electric rock stars of all time would have been a prime candidate. The problem might be with Singer himself, or his lack thereof. The X-Men and Usual Suspects director was failing to show up to set during production (some reports say it was due to a family health matter, while others noted that he was clashing with Malek), and he was replaced by Dexter Fletcher towards the end of principal photography (although per Directors Guild ruling, Singer retains sole directorial credit). The resulting product has an appropriately nameless visual aesthetic, with inexplicable shots of concert footage that rob the band of its dynamism. A few moments show off Singer’s signature kinetic flair (like the marathon recording of “Bohemian Rhapsody”), but overall this one has a real Alan Smithee feel to it.

If you love Queen, you can at least derive some enjoyment out of how thoroughly Malek conjures Freddie Mercury. And with a discography as eclectic and bombastic as Queen’s, it is impossible to not find at least a little positivity out of two hours jam-packed with their songs. But that deep musical lineup only underscores how much of a wasted opportunity Bohemian Rhapsody is.

Bohemian Rhapsody is Recommended If You Like: The Queen songbook

Grade: 2.5 out of 5 Galileo’s

*-Bryan Singer was replaced by Dexter Fletcher towards the end of principal photography, but Singer has retained sole directorial credit, in accordance with Directors Guild of America rules.

Billboard Hot Rock Songs – Week of June 2, 2018

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Each week, I check out the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart, and then I rearrange the top 25 based on my estimation of their quality. I used to rank all of the top 25, now I just rank the cream of the crop.

Original Version
1. Imagine Dragons – “Whatever It Takes”
2. Imagine Dragons – “Thunder”
3. Imagine Dragons – “Believer”
4. Portugal. The Man – “Feel It Still”
5. Foster the People – “Sit Next to Me”
6. Bad Wolves – “Zombie”
7. Panic! at the Disco – “Say Amen (Saturday Night)”
8. Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody”
9. Alice Merton – “No Roots”
10. Britton Buchanan – “Where You Come From”
11. lovelytheband – “Broken”
12. Five Finger Death Punch – “Gone Away”
13. Queen – “Another One Bites the Dust”
14. Five Finger Death Punch – “Sham Pain”
15. John Mayer – “New Light”
16. Godsmack – “Bulletproof”
17. Queen – “We Will Rock You”
18. Florence + the Machine – “Hunger”
19. Five Finger Death Punch – “Blue on Black”
20. Muse – “Thought Contagion”
21. Two Feet – “I Feel Like I’m Drowning”
22. Vance Joy – “Saturday Sun”
23. Shinedown – “Devil”
24. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats – “You Worry Me”
25. James Bay and Alicia Keys – “Us”

Jmunney’s Revision
1. Bohemian Rhapsody
2. We Will Rock You
3. Another One Bites the Dust
4. No Roots
5. Feel It Still
6. You Worry Me
7. I Feel Like I’m Drowning
8. New Light
9. Hunger
10. Thought Contagion

Billboard Hot Rock Songs – Week of May 26, 2018

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Each week, I check out the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart, and then I rearrange the top 25 based on my estimation of their quality. I used to rank all of the top 25, now I just rank the cream of the crop.

Original Version
1. Imagine Dragons – “Whatever It Takes”
2. Imagine Dragons – “Thunder”
3. Imagine Dragons – “Believer”
4. Portugal. The Man – “Feel It Still”
5. Foster the People – “Sit Next to Me”
6. Bad Wolves – “Zombie”
7. John Mayer – “New Light”
8. Panic! at the Disco – “Say Amen (Saturday Night)”
9. Alice Merton – “No Roots”
10. Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody”
11. lovelytheband – “Broken”
12. Arctic Monkeys – “Four Out of Five”
13. Godsmack – “Bulletproof”
14. Florence + the Machine – “Hunger”
15. Bastille – “Quarter Past Midnight”
16. Five Finger Death Punch – “Gone Away”
17. Vance Joy – “Saturday Sun”
18. Shinedown – “Devil”
19. Two Feet – “I Feel Like I’m Drowning”
20. Muse – “Thought Contagion”
21. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats – “You Worry Me”
22. Dave Matthews Band – “Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin)”
23. Sir Sly – “& Run”
24. 30 Seconds to Mars – “Dangerous Night”
25. Five Finger Death Punch – “Sham Pain”

Jmunney’s Revision
1. Bohemian Rhapsody
2. No Roots
3. Feel It Still
4. You Worry Me
5. I Feel Like I’m Drowning
6. Four Out of Five
7. &Run
8. New Light
9. Hunger
10. Thought Contagion