For my recent birthday my wife Kathy took me to a movie.
We don’t go to movies often, ever since Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor made us think, “I paid how much for this?” during “Moulin Rouge” 18 years ago.
That’s not to say we don’t watch movies.
Usually, however, our popcorn is about 50 cents and many flicks are included in the monthly price of Netflix.
Reginald Dwight has always been one of our favorite performers and Kathy wanted me to see his new documentary before it came out on pay per view.
One of his songs was included in our wedding. When Billy Joel at a concert sang one of Reg’s songs with the lyrics “You see I’m forgetting if they’re blue or green,” I, sitting on the 22nd row, knew immediately that he had messed up the lyrics.
In all fairness, it wasn’t “His Song.”
Reginald is the only singer whose songs I probably know most of the lyrics to, at least those released between 1970 and 1995.
Even “Back to the howling old owl in the woods, hunting the horny back toad.”
The newly released movie wasn’t being shown anywhere locally so we had to go out of town. Like, way out of town.
Kathy had been to this dine-in movie theater in the past where she had dinner with friends while watching “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Apparently this relatively new movie theater does not cater to my generation. (There I go, sounding like my Dad again.)
On a Saturday afternoon I received a text from “AMC: Conf#” which I was ready to delete just as I received another text from Kathy that said I would be receiving tickets via text. But there were no tickets to print. Just a web page with a QR code. Not sure what would have happened had I deleted the text or forgotten my phone.
I must say I was a little confused. The movie theater’s web page only listed the movies showing at what looked like 40 different venues and nothing about dinner which, for the price of the tickets, I expected.
Dinner was not an option at the movie we chose. Instead we got popcorn and pop for the “special” price of $20 and shared it.
The bartender (by that time, a $9 beer sounded pretty good) explained that not all of the movie venues at the dine-in served food at the seats. But you could order dinner and someone would text you when it was done.
That way you could pick up the $15 hamburger during the 45 minutes of trailers for movies coming out in 2021.
Maybe I exaggerate, but see why we don’t frequent movie theaters?
The movie was entertaining but then again I am a fan of the music. I predict the only possible Oscar nomination for this movie could be the musical score. The only recognizable leading character is Bryce Dallas Howard, best known for being Ron Howard’s daughter. She played the red-headed Victoria in “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.”
The movie we attended was “Rocketman,” the semi-biography of Sir Elton John. It does have a few timeline errors even though Elton John is an executive producer.
The filmmakers have said that the film is not a factually correct biography and that they took some liberties for the sake of the story.
The lyrics to the songs where written by Bernie Taupin and the music was written by John separately which is fact. But the timing of the songs is off as any Elton John fan will know.
Elton John had four albums before “Your Song” was released in 1970. It was the B-side of “Take Me to the Pilot.”
Do I have to explain B-side? The A-side is what DJs played on the radio at the time. Sometimes they turned them over to the B-side and found a hit.
One of my wife’s favorite songs “Black Water” and the first-ever No. 1 single by the Doobie Brothers was actually the B-side.
“Can you Feel the Love Tonight” and “Circle of Life” with lyrics by Tim Rice were released in 1994 as the John songs spanned decades.
Spoiler alert: If you plan to see the movie, stop here. I am going recall a scene from the film.
At the age of 11, Reginald earns a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. When he arrives, the teacher is playing a waltz by memory. Reg failed to bring music for his audition but instead sits down at the piano and plays the waltz the teacher had just been playing. Then he stopped in the middle.
Asked why he stopped, he said that’s where she stopped playing. Yep. He only learned that piece of music moments ago when hearing her play it.
As reported in several biographies, young Reg shocked his family by sitting down and playing “The Skater’s Waltz” by ear at a very young age.
Some movies are just better on the big screen, I will admit. This was one of them. If you’re a John fan, watch it then let me know what you think.