ROCKETMAN REVIEW AVAILABLE IN FROOTY

 

I am proud to announce that I was published in the very first print issue of Frooty magazine. Frooty was founded as an online magazine in 2017 by the Arts/Comedy Editor for Scenestr Jesse Chaffey.

Jesse edits the bulk of my published pieces for Scenestr as well as so many others. He’s rescued me a few times, regularly made my pieces look better, taken on board anything I thought was important to keep and it is a fragment of what he does as an editor working long hours relentlessly. Like all members of staff at Scenestr, he’s talented, hard working and passionate about what he does. The fact he created Frooty the same year he as a recent graduate started as the Arts/Comedy editor for Scenestr speaks volumes and let’s not forget Scenestr has also grown in the same time frame moving into print in Western Australia and Melbourne.

My contribution to Frooty Issue 1 is a review I wrote on page 17 for Rocketman that was originally published online at Scenestr.

You can read a digital version of the print issue here https://frooty.com.au/read/issue-01/FROOTY-01.html#p=17

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Started in 2017 and produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises, Frooty is an online national magazine that covers news and entertainment with a queer perspective. They have just done their first print issue with more to come.

-Lloyd Marken

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ROCKETMAN REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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It was my pleasure to be on assignment for Scenestr magazine again to attend a preview screening of Rocketman on a Saturday evening up at the top of the Myer Centre in town. Karen and I both came from other work with Karen doing well to make it before the screening began.

Rocketman is an interesting film for me, there were some moments that dragged on and felt weren’t not very well thought out. Then there were others that were… well just sublime. The emotional through line of the story is well served, a little boy growing up and feeling unloved and how that led to the addictions that almost killed the man.

It is not a perfect film far from it but it is the kind of film that makes me excited to have others watch it and tell me what they think. Because some things are done so well. I will be interested to hear your thoughts, for mine you can read the review here http://scenestr.com.au/movies-and-tv/rocketman-review-20190529

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Having started in 1993 they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland every month.

-Lloyd Marken

KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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A few weeks back I was lucky enough to attend a preview screening for the sequel to Kingsman to write a review for Scenestr magazine. I’ve been aware of Matthew Vaughan as a filmmaker with Layer Cake and Stardust neither of which entertained me as much as I hoped they would. God bless you Ms Miller for wearing that get up in one scene though.

Karen took me along to a free preview screening at the old Regent Cinemas though the first year we were dating. It was for the film Kick-Ass and suddenly Vaughan was a director I was really interested in following. Kingsman: The Secret Service had a similar energy and it has been interesting to see if Vaughan for the first time actually directing a sequel to one of his success stories would do.

Preview screenings can vary in expense. Uncharacteristically the line was backed up across the foyer and moving slowly towards a red carpet disappearing under a black curtain entrance. When we got through Karen and I found out why. At the end of the line was one bartender pouring champagne into a glass or a shot of whisky into a tumbler for every guest. Out of the kitchen came a young man serving sliders on a tray which I thoroughly enjoyed. There were like mini-cheeseburgers the way you imagine they should taste. Perfection. The line was so long he came out again with sliders of chicken and coleslaw. I turned to Karen and mentioned that if I could get another cheeseburger one I wouldn’t need dinner and I’d be a happy man. As we just got past the doors the waiter came out and went past us. Karen called out my name to alert me to the sliders that I was happy to let go. The waiter sensing this came back and I got my wish. Having a wife comes in handy. 🙂 When I got to the bar I was surprised to see they weren’t just pouring Johnny Walker Black but actually Johnny Walker Green Label which I’d never had before. It was an easy decision and I have to say it went down smooth.

As always with these things I feel very lucky to be able to attend at all let alone write about the film. I went home and started writing late into the evening to meet my deadline. It will come as no surprise to most of you that a film you truly love or hate are the easy ones to write about. The films that are a mixed bag are the tough ones and I’m not particularly proud of my review for Kingsman: The Golden Circle. You can read here http://scenestr.com.au/movies-and-tv/kingsman-the-golden-circle-review-20170921 and let me know what you think.

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. With over twenty years of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They also publish magazines in print for Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane every month. The magazine is focussed mostly on music gigs, festivals, stand-up comics, fashion and interviews with local and international bands. If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts.

-Lloyd Marken

EDDIE THE EAGLE SOARS ENOUGH TO QUALIFY

Most people sit in an office cubicle, on a work site, at a factory line for days on end, year after year. The commute might change, the company might be re-located, the pay may increase and the time straining your back may decrease but it’s all the same. Working for a pay cheque towards one holiday, one house, and one kid with a college degree and good teeth. Most enjoy their jobs to a point; very few would state it was their dream. Nobody gets exactly what they want out of life and that’s okay but it’s why we push our kids to pursue opportunity and it is why we watch Greats. Athletes, leaders and celebrities-we’re in love with them all. They tell us they were poor, they tell us they were knocked back and told they were no good and we think yeah maybe if one thing went my way I could have been just like them. How often is that really true? Eddie the Eagle implausibly showed up at the 1988 Winter Olympics as Britain’s sole Ski Jump competitor. His performance was so significantly behind the second last place getter that a new rule was instituted making it more difficult to place in the sport for the Olympics. There are those who to this day who were embarrassed that he was there and confounded by his popularity. That’s because they don’t know what it’s like on that factory floor or in that office cubicle. Eddie had dreamed the impossible dream and we like dreamers. We need them, when they achieve something they keep our dreams alive. They make anything possible, thank you Eddie.

The reality was despite always running low on funds and living rough, Eddie was a gifted and experienced athlete. A quick look at Wikipedia reveals he was the world number nine in amateur speed skiing at one point, narrowly missed the Great Britain team in 1984 for his original sport downhill skiing and had already competed at the 1987 World Championships in Ski Jumping placing 55th in the world when he arrived in Calgary. How many people can say they were 55th in the world at anything?

Eddie the Eagle the movie does not relate a lot of these facts. It makes you believe he jumped the 90m ski jump for the first time at Calgary for example which is not true. I suppose it’s hypocritical to not blanch at Creed which depicts a boxer with limited experience having a bout against the current world champion and then fear this movie is criminally unrealistic when Eddie continues to fling himself down mountains at high speeds with little training but that was my reaction. Maybe I’m getting old but when his father urges him to be a plasterer and stay in England I couldn’t help but see his point.

The film is criminally put together with Hollywood tropes and artificial drama. The film begins with Eddie narrowly missing the team in 1984 for downhill skiing and sets off overseas to train in ski jumping. Early scenes with his father Terry (Keith Allen) are more effective than latter ones. Terry fears his son is throwing away good money and time on an amateur sport which will yield no true results for him. As Eddie waits at a bus stop to leave he drives by and tells him “I’m not made of stone.” And his son replies “Goodbye Dad.” With clear determination to chase his dreams. We like dreamers. We admire both men in this scene for who they are and what they believe. Later the film miscalculates as his father sits down and is surprised his wife is going to watch their son at Calgary. Dad at that point becomes nothing but a caricature that will inevitably make a late minute turn around in his support of his son.

Eddie arrives in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany (he actually went to Lake Placid in real life) with no support and low on funds where he comes across fictional coach Bronson Peary. Peary played by Hugh Jackman conveniently has every cliché you need for a film like this, he’s a former naturally talented skier who never lived up to his potential and now drinks while working the snow plough at the training facility trying to forget how disappointed he made Christopher Walken. tv christopher walken weapon of choiceOh. Eddie offers him the kind of redemption his character so desperately needs. Watching Hugh Jackman be ignored by pretty girls and lose fights is a little refreshing but I’m not buying it, he was far more authentic and mature as Jean Valjean. Only one sequence truly implies what is at stake when something goes wrong in this sport which truly requires courage. At Calgary it was perpetuated that Eddie was afraid of heights to which he has said “They said I was afraid of heights. But I was doing sixty jumps a day then, which is hardly something someone who was afraid of heights, would do.” The film does not give the impression Eddie Edwards had done 60 jumps before he arrived at Calgary.

As you may have guessed by now, the film is predictable and full of clichés. But! It’s about a dreamer and we like dreamers. Taron Egerton (a ridiculously good looking kid) convinces as Edwards with a strained jaw and polite manner. It’s a delight to see his steely resolve come out from beneath his unassuming demeanour every time people write him off. Hugh Jackman meanwhile might be too nice to effectively be a grumpy coach but he has an easy chemistry with Egerton and he plays a scene teaching Eddie how to control the body in the run down the slope just right. Others would’ve played it louder and it would have been too much. See the film and you’ll know what I mean.

80s power ballads blare suiting the period and theme of the film and there’s some great location shooting and doubles instead of CGI appear to have been used where they can. The action could have been staged better maybe but we get a sense of the sport and the risks involved. It wouldn’t be argued this is a great film but you follow Eddie in his plight no matter how crazy at times it may seem. Whatever the film makes up, it charms and hooks you in with the true appeal of Eddie the man who is a nice guy and a dreamer…          We like dreamers.

In real life Eddie Edwards attempted to qualify for 1992, 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics. He’s done a variety of things since including co-hosting radio shows and appearing on reality competition television programmes. In 2013 he competed in a celebrity diving TV program called Splash on ITV. He trained hard and did an inward 1.5 somersault pike from 10m in the semi-final. He won by public vote after a synchronised dive in the final. An athlete at heart still, a Champion in spirit, A True Olympian.

-Lloyd Marken

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FWAiXll_jw

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