Spling reviews The Show Must Go On – The Queen & Adam Lambert Story, The Little Stranger and After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News as broadcast on Talking Movies, Fine Music Radio. Listen to podcast.
Good morning – welcome to Talking Movies, I’m Spling…
This week, we’re talking about a music biopic, a period mystery drama and a fake news documentary.
Starting off with a documentary now on Netflix…
THE SHOW MUST GO ON: THE QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT STORY
A documentary on how Adam Lambert took over from the legendary Freddie Mercury as the frontman for the rock group Queen.
Directors: Christopher Bird, Simon Lupton
Features: Adam Lambert, Brian May and Roger Taylor
– Before Rami Malek won an Oscar and Bohemian Rhapsody reignited old fans and introduced a new generation to Queen’s music, the renaissance had already begun.
– Lambert’s dark edge, outrageous streak and angelic voice make him a blend of Elvis and George Michael… an icon worthy of filling in for Freddie Mercury.
– Blending some video elements from Freddie to pay tribue as part of the concert, the new line up is a way for the new generation to arrive to see Adam Lambert and leave as Queen fans too.
– The timing of the Bohemian Rhapsody music biopic could not have been better, skyrocketing interest in the music of Queen and Freddie’s legacy.
– Getting extensive interviews from Lambert, May, Taylor and flashbacks from Mercury, the film-makers get the story from the news-makers themselves.
– The Show Must Go On: The Queen + Adam Lambert Story is well-paced and compelling thanks to earnest interviews and a wonderful true story.
– Essentially lacing Queen’s impact on the world and rise to super stardom with Lambert’s journey as an artist together, the two powerful glory stories are interwoven with archive and concert footage.
– This documentary is a must-see for fans of Bohemian Rhapsody and seems like a masterstroke when you consider its position as a follow-up to the movie.
– Already producers of the film, this gripping documentary just cements them as the real-life rock ‘n roll heroes, who are coming to a city near you.
An excellent 8 on the splingometer
Moving on to a period mystery drama on Netflix…
THE LITTLE STRANGER
After a doctor is called to visit a crumbling manor, strange things begin to occur.
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Stars: Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson and Charlotte Rampling
– The Little Stranger is a period mystery drama and a slow-creeping horror based on the novel by Sarah Waters.
– Centred around a mansion with a classic upstairs-downstairs narrative, the film grapples with a man’s desire to fulfil a lifelong ambition whatever the cost.
– Creating the perfect environment for a murder mystery, it’s a fairly drawnout affair, using atmosphere to shroud the chilling drama.
– Gleeson is a fine actor who seems right at home in this period drama opposite Wilson and Rampling.
– It’s quite refreshing to watch a horror with a slow-build, allowing the sinister presence to seep out of the walls as the colour palette adjusts in keeping with the unsettling tone.
– A handsomely mounted mystery horror drama, it’s a little too subtle for its own good, leaning heavily into its artistic merit instead of leveraging impact value.
– The Little Stranger has the earmarks of a classic, yet fails to align its fine qualities remaining haunting yet frustrating.
– It’s a fine effort, steeped in a sickly atmosphere and filled with great promise that will resonate with a niche audience.
– The trickle of suspense does grow with your interest in the characters, but the gains are scattered and lost by the time the credits roll.
– Still, it remains gently compelling and eerie with a Turn of the Screw meets Edgar Allan Poe appetite…
A satisfactory 6 on the splingometer!
And finally a documentary on Showmax…
AFTER TRUTH: DISINFORMATION AND THE COST OF FAKE NEWS
A look at the ongoing threat caused by the phenomenon of “fake news” in the U.S.
Director: Andrew Rossi
Features: Jack Burkman, Elizabeth Williamson and Molly McKew
– Since 2015, we’ve started to realise the phenomenon’s impact on elections through social media and their powerful advertising tools.
– Cambridge Analytica came under the spotlight for their part in election campaign propaganda, yet After Truth comes from an American perspective.
– Taking several case studies, the documentary uncovers the fake news and conspiracy theories around Obama’s Jade Helm 15 detention camps, Clinton’s Pizzagate pedophilia ring and Seth Rich’s targetted hit.
– After Truth interviews journalists, victims of fake news and key proponents of what has now become a weaponised political tactic.
– Timely, terrifying and candid in its approach, we get an inside perspective from both sides of the story getting a clearer picture of the kind of damage it can cause as well as the “can’t beat them join them” attitude.
– While dark web PR firms are adding this to their repertoire, the effects of fake news are being propagated on a micro level by individuals as well.
– Tackling Infowars, Zuckerberg’s apathy, Reddit and 4Chan rumour mills, speculative witchhunts, character assassinations and attempts to diffuse the real issues, this documentary is eye-opening, shocking and important in creating awareness, especially ahead of the 2020 elections.
– An attack on Trump and exploration of mostly anti-Democrat fake news campaigns, After Truth has a definite position and could have explored the cost in greater detail.
– While journalists sift through the swamp of fake news, misaligned junkets and political operative tactics, the quest for the truth is becoming more critical in an age where people need to treat all information with a healthy dose of suspicion.
A solid 7 on the splingometer!
So just to wrap up…
THE SHOW MUST GO ON: THE QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT STORY… an entertaining, informative and well-balanced tribute to a legendary band’s phenomenon and legacy… An excellent 8!
THE LITTLE STRANGER… this atmospheric, slow-boiling and subtle period mystery drama turned horror is handsomely mounted yet underplayed… A satisfactory 6!
AFTER TRUTH… an eye-opening, harrowing and timely case study documentary about fake news and its affect on American politics… A solid 7!
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And remember, Don’t WING it, SPL!NG it!