Film Friday #209

Pageant (2008)

Recently I have become obsessed with Ru Paul’s Drag Race. I think it might be the greatest show ever made. It has drama, humour, glamour and some of the most amazing transformations I have ever seen. I can’t stop watching it and I’m not so secretly annoyed that I will never get to be a drag queen myself. With that in mind I decided to expand my rapidly increasing interest in the drag world with it’s own amazing language by watching this documentary about the 2008 Miss Gay America pageant, where drag queens from around the USA compete for the coveted title. The film follows a group of different performers as they prepare and take part in the competition examining their motivations, exposing their trials and tribulations and show off some of their amazing skills. While Pageant is generally interesting and touching it just isn’t a patch on Drag Race. Compared to some of the magnificent creatures who compete  to be The Next Drag Superstar the Miss Gay America contestants just seem a bit… flat and uninventive. In fact Victor “Porkchop” Bowling, who appears in the documentary as a leading contestant also appeared in the first season of Drag Race and was first to be eliminated. To sum up, if you want to dip your toe into the world of drag I’d recommend checking out Drag Race rather than Pageant just don’t blame me if you lose and entire weekend! 2.5/5

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Fifi had always wanted to be the Barbie in the middle of a little girl’s birthday party cake and now she had her chance

We Are The Best (2013)

In 1980’s Stockhom everyone believes punk is dead… everyone except thirteen year old outcast best friends Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Klara (Mira Grosin). When they discover that their local community centre has a rehearsal room they immediately decide to form a band and write some protest songs but unfortunately neither of them can play the instruments Klara has chosen for them. After the school talent show they make the controversial decision to invite, Christian classical guitarist Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne) to join their band and suddenly things start to sound a little more like music. Despite their different beliefs the three become inseparable but the addition of a third element in Klara and Bobo’s relationship soon leads to friction which is only intensified when Bobo and Klara both start fancying the same boy. This charming coming of age tale is both hilarious and very touching. Although it has been quite some time since I was a thirteen year old girl I felt like I could identify with the girls’ struggles, especially Bobo’s and it made me quite nostalgic. Lovely. 3.5/5

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Siiiinging in the snow…

Top Gun (1986)

Tom Cruise plays Pete “Maverick” Mitchell a naval pilot known for breaking the rules and performing dangerous and daring outmaneuvers. When one of Maverick’s squad freezes during a routine mission he loses his position at the elite “Top Gun” flight school and his position is given to Maverick and his copilot Goose (Anthony Edwards). Now the two will need to prove not only that they deserve their place but that Maverick will be able to tell the difference between a calculated risk and a suicide mission while they compete for the accolade of best pilot. This isn’t made any easier by the fact that Maverick lives under the cloud of his father’s mysterious death during one of his own missions as a naval pilot or that his closest rival is the unflappable Iceman (Val Kilmer). And if that wasn’t complicated enough he’s got a serious hard-on for one the the civilian instructors (Kelly McGillis). While Top Gun features some impressive aerial shots as a whole it’s underwhelming and I struggled to understand why it’s such a classic. The script is flat, the story line is steeped in cliche and it’s packed with pure 80’s cheese. Although it’s obviously a product of it’s time watching it 28 years later it seems massively anachronistic that there are no female pilots in the Top Gun programme, which is part of the reason it hasn’t aged at all well for me. If you’ve missed this one, you haven’t missed much. 2/5

This is your brain on Scientology

This is your brain on Scientology

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?  (1988)

Toon hating detective, Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) finds himself in a situation where he is toon, Roger Rabbit’s (voiced by Charles Fleischer) only hope when Roger is accused of the murder of Marvin Acme (Stubby Kaye). Long before there was CGI, there was Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, a crazy concoction of live action, animation, classic noir, crime and comedy which at the time was almost unheard of. The mishmash of styles probably shouldn’t work but somehow it really does and if you peek below it’s silly face value exterior there is a strong undercurrent of darkness as well as some really subversive themes around capitalism. Hoskins gives a blistering performance where in many scenarios he is the only live actor and considering the technology it is amazing how on point he is. Unlike Top Gun it’s aged really well and Mr O and I had a whale of a time watching it… although I think he might have been more interested in Roger’s sexy wife Jessica than anything else. 4/5

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Eddie wished Roger would stop rabbiting on!

14 Comments

  1. MIB

    “We Are The Best” is such a fun film. Punk in both content and spirit. Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  2. I totally (like 100%) agree with your assessment of Top Gun! Your review of Roger Rabbit reminds me I haven’t seen it in forever and would really like to watch it again. Not that I remember being a huge fan of it before, but I know I still would enjoy watching it again 🙂

    1. Abbi

      I don’t really remember watching Roger Rabbit the first time but I think I appreciated it much more now. I think you;d really enjoy it!

  3. Nice post, Abbi. I have not seen ‘We are the Best” so thanks for that interesting recommendation. Top Gun 28 years later looks very dated. I still like the race scenes of the pilots in the sky–thrilling. I probably like it more than you and can tolerate the predictable plot. I enjoy seeing Val Kilmer in anything.

  4. Freaking love Roger Rabbit, watched it so much growing up. Still brilliant.

  5. Great reviews! Can’t comment on specifics because I haven’t seen any of these.

  6. 80’s Cheese is a positive for me. I love it! However, I don’t think I have ever watched Top Gun. Or Roger Rabbit. I do really need to see the latter though!

    1. Abbi

      Roger Rabbit is great… and I don’t mind a bit of 80s cheese but Top Gun is just oozing with testosterone as well and it’s a bit too much for me. The soundtrack is pretty good though.

  7. Pageant was ok, but nowhere near as good as Drag Race.
    Roger Rabbit was one of my favourites as a kid, and I still love it now! hehe

    1. Abbi

      Drag Race is the best. I am watching it right now! Lol!

  8. I used to watch Who Framed Roger Rabbit? obsessively as a kid! 🙂

    1. Abbi

      I remember finding it kind of scary as a kid… because I am such a wuss.

  9. I can’t wait to see We Are The Best! Just noticed the other day that it’s on Netflix now. Sounds good. 🙂 Oh dear…. Low score for Top Gun! Lol

    1. Abbi

      We Are The Best is so great. I watched it on Netflix too.

      Top Gun was just dumb. I know it’s considered a classic but I think it’s suffering from 80’s blindness.

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