It’s autumn now, which means colorful leaves, pumpkin spiced everything, and quality films parading around, hoping to get the attention of The Academy! Lucky for us music fans this year, so many of these movies center around some of our favorite artists – Joan Jett! Freddie Mercury! Hell, even Bradley Cooper looks like he can sing now! Go figure. To keep track of what’s coming out when and on what platform, I’ve put together this handy dandy guide. So check it out!
Available on Netflix 9/21
When you have Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, and Frank Sinatra all singing your praises in your eponymous documentary, I think it’s safe to say you’ve made something of your life. Directed by daughter Rashida Jones (Ann Perkins!) and filmmaker Alan Hicks, this Netflix documentary outlines the 70-year career of record/film producer and musician Quincy Jones. With 27 Grammy awards and 51 film and TV scores under his belt, there’s no doubt this man is a certified Legend.
In theaters and on iTunes 9/28
“Joan Jett didn’t wanna be Joni Mitchell…Joan wanted to rock,” Iggy Pop plainly states in the trailer for the upcoming documentary Bad Reputation about the female rock and roll icon.
Now just take a second and see if you can imagine Joan singing Joni… Can you? Me neither.
So rock she did, from the very young age of 15 with the late 70’s all-female rock band The Runaways all the way through a multi-decade solo career. Though her solo career didn’t start with a bang (she was famously rejected by 23 different record labels that she’d sought out to distribute the the record she’d recorded), it did lead to her co-founding Blackheart Records in 1980, making her the first female artist to own and run a record company.
In the backward era of Trump and Pence, I’m pretty sure we could all use a doc about a kickass, take-charge woman like Joan. I think Kat Stratford would agree.
MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A
In theaters on 9/28
Speaking of life during the Trump administration… The new documentary about female rapper M.I.A. seems especially relevant. How many of you realized her gigantic, unmistakable hit song “Paper Planes” was in fact about immigrants (“the stereotypes that are attached to immigrants… that they come and take the jobs and take the money,” she states in the trailer)? I’m embarrassed to admit that I had no idea. This doc has done exceptionally well at some of the big film festivals and will now be at a theater near you!
A Star Is Born
In theaters 10/5
It feels rare for a movie these days to have both critical and mass appeal, but A Star is Born, featuring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper (who also directs!), might just be the center of that particular Venn diagram. From the trailer, this movie looks like it has the potential to easily fall into melodrama, but from what I’ve heard (96% on Rotten Tomatoes!) it does not. Also, not only is this the fourth version of the movie from 1937, but previous stars Judy Garland, James Mason, Kris Kristofferson, and Barbra Streisand have all won Golden Globes for their performances. Talk about Gaga and Bradley having their work cut out for them! See if they’re up to the task when this movie is in theaters this October.
In theaters 11/2
Of all the buzzed-about movies this fall though, this Queen/Freddie Mercury biopic has to be the buzziest! (What is this, a competition?!) Since Queen guitarist Brian May first announced the project in 2010, the film has changed stars (Sacha Baron Cohen—who left because allegedly he wanted to showcase Mercury’s more debaucherous lifestyle, whereas the remaining Queen members wanted the movie to be more family-friendly—was replaced by Rami Malek of Mr. Robot fame) and directors (the first guy simply stopped showing up to work).
All this drama aside though, what the trailer shows and what the few reviews I’ve read say, the movie is incredible— funny, entertaining, grandiose, and features all the greatest songs of Queen. Additionally, Mike Meyers appears in the film as an EMI record producer. To be honest though, given the ties Meyers has with the song “Bohemian Rhapsody,” it would seem inappropriate for him to not be in the movie.
Party on, Wayne!