Posts Tagged ‘Austin Butler’

Reaching for Eternity

Elvis

Director: Baz Luhrmann

Cast: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Olivia deJonge, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kelvin Harrison Jr, Luke Bracey, Dacre Montgomery

Running Time: 2 hours and 39 Minutes

Film Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Outlandish Australian director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge, Romeo and Juliet) returns to the big screen after a nine year hiatus after 2013’s The Great Gatsby, with a brittle and glitzy biopic of the King of Rock n Roll, Elvis Presley simply entitled Elvis starring an incredible Austin Butler in the title role opposite two time Oscar winner Tom Hanks (Philadelphia, Forrest Gump) as his shady business advisor Colonel Tom Parker.

In a similar vein to Rami Malek’s transformative performance as Freddie Mercury in 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody, American star Austin Butler (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) does a superb job portraying Elvis Presley from the incredibly gifted singer who transforms into the most legendary musical performer of all time who combined expert showmanship with extravagant costumes and lewd gyrations of his pelvis much to the delight of his infinite female fans.

Elvis Presley was the original rock star before all the other rock stars came along in the 1980’s, he was the trailblazer, the film star and unbelievably talented singer who got financially abused by his controlling business advisor Parker who sought only to commodify Elvis’s talent so he pay off his own gambling debts.

Director Baz Luhrmann captures the zeitgeist of what made Elvis Presley so original, from his Baptist revival roots in segregated Tennessee to become the most famous rock n roll star of the 1950’s through to the 1970’s as the film takes us to Elvis’s troubled residency at the International hotel in fabulous Las Vegas, when Presley realizes that he has been duped into a contract which he cannot get out of.

Elvis’s unbelievable fame came at a cost to his family, his wife Priscilla played beautifully by Olivia deJonge and as he tried to cope with his immense fame, and the undue influence of the sleazy Tom Parker superbly played by Tom Hanks who coaxes Elvis to stay on stage no matter what using all kinds of narcotics to keep the show going. After all this was Las Vegas and crimes of lust and perversion pervaded sin city.

Director and screen writer Baz Luhrmann hints at so many different themes in this brilliant and dazzling biopic from segregation to discrimination, from exploitation to extravagance, but at the heart of this glittering film are two exceptionally well-conceived performances by Austin Butler and Tom Hanks as two lonely men reaching for eternity.

Unlike Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley’s fame is unsurpassed and legendary. Elvis was the original rock star, the King which defined a generation and created Rock n Roll with a subtle touch of gospel and blues thrown in. Presley invented youth culture when it never existed back in the 1950’s.

Austin Butler deserves an Oscar for his dazzling performance as Elvis Presley and the costume designs by Oscar winning designer Catherine Martin are equally sizzling. Martin won Oscars for her work on The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge and is married to the director.

For those that love musical biopics, Elvis is highly recommended viewing, a poignant and sparkling tribute to the King of Rock n Roll who conquered Las Vegas and became legendary.

Elvis gets a film rating of 8.5 out of 10 and is brilliant, absorbing and alluring.

Acting as Artifice

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Leonardo di Caprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern, Dakota Fanning, Maya Hawke, Timothy Olyphant, Austin Butler, Damian Lewis, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Margaret Qualley

Oscar winner for Best Original Screenplay for Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained, writer and director Quentin Tarantino returns to the big screen with his 9th feature film the brilliantly titled Once Upon a Time in Hollywood starring Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) and Brad Pitt as buddies actor Rick Dalton and his stunt double Cliff Booth in a fictional tale set in Los Angeles in 1969.

1969 was the year that the real life film director Roman Polanski’s pregnant wife Sharon Tate was brutally murdered by the followers of the Charles Manson cult which shocked the American film industry to its rotten core.

Firstly two disclaimers: this is an extremely long film and secondly it’s really only aimed at serious movie buffs and serves as Tarantino’s ode to the end of Hollywood’s Golden Age before the film making industry got taken over by corporations, sequels, digitization and streaming.

Margot Robbie as actress Sharon Tate

Tarantino artfully pays homage to the act of buying a ticket and going to the cinema in a rather poignant scene when the young actress Sharon Tate superbly played by Oscar nominee Margot Robbie (I, Tonya) actually pays to watch a film she is starring in at a Westwood cinema.

The rest of this marvelously meandering film belongs to the two major stars, DiCaprio who is superb as the washed up TV actor Rick Dalton who is desperately trying to make a Big Screen comeback but lands up starring in a string of Spaghetti Westerns in Rome.

Oscar nominee Brad Pitt (12 Monkeys) is phenomenal as the stunt double past his prime Cliff Booth in one of his best onscreen performances yet especially the gorgeous scene when he takes his shirt off on the roof of Dalton’s Hollywood Hills mansion in the scorching Californian sun to fix the TV aerial.

Booth also inadvertently stumbles across the hippie cult followers of Charles Manson in an abandoned studio lot in Chatsworth, California featuring some great cameos by Dakota Fanning (Ocean’s 8, War of the Worlds) as Squeaky Fromme , Oscar nominee Bruce Dern (Nebraska) as George Spahn and Margaret Qualley (The Nice Guys) as the seductive hippie hitchhiker Pussycat.

Tarantino expertly captures the zeitgeist of Los Angeles in 1969 at the peak of the counter-culture movement with lurid production design by Barbara Ling and costumes by Oscar nominated costume designer Arianne Phillips (Walk the Line, A Single Man, Nocturnal Animals, W. E.).

With some expertly placed cameos including Oscar winner Al Pacino (Scent of a Woman) as hot shot producer Marvin Schwarz and Damian Lewis as real life star Steve McQueen.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is slowing moving in the first two acts of the film, while the third act is phenomenal especially the hippie flame throwing sequence.

Tarantino could have quickened the film’s pace in the beginning to actively propel the narrative forward but he is a notorious auteur and not interested in packaging films to please audience expectations.

Unbelievably, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood did get a standing ovation at its glittering film premiere at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival so Tarantino did something right.

This film gets a rating of 8 out of 10 and accurately portrays acting as artifice.

This is not Tarantino’s best work but written and directed in the vein of his crime thriller Jackie Brown, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood is strictly recommended for Tarantino fans and those that enjoyed Pulp Fiction, Django Unchanged and Inglourious Basterds.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
August 2022
M T W T F S S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90