Saturday, February 23, 2019


Recent rainy night film viewing: Bad Times at the El Royale, a great, underrated ensemble noir film with Dakota Johnson (pictured above strutting in vintage late 1960s finery,) singer extraordinaire Cynthia Erivo (below left,) Jeff Bridges (below right,) "Madman" Jon Hamm (seen at bottom in kitschy Madonna Inn type set design decor) which was written and directed by former "Lost" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" writer Drew Goddard. 

It's fun, original, violent, great looking and impossible to second guess. And then there's its great retro-late 60s soundtrack! The dvd's special features noted that Cynthia Erivo sang each take all the way through a capella while filming, sometimes up to 20 takes, with no diminishing of her high quality vocals whatsoever. Hence my qualifier "singer extraordinaire..." Special features also noted that the licensing of specific late 1960s songs was so crucial to the plot that the film's pitch to studios mandated that if they couldn't license those particular tunes, to pass on the project. 

Last trivia: the location was based on a real one, still extant although undergoing extensive renovation for modern fire safety: go to LINK *


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