Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of June 13, 2022

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of June 13, 2022

Lightyear
Rated PG for action/peril
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%
In Theaters

Building a storyline for one of Pixar’s most famous characters is this sort of prequel for the Toy Story franchise which follows Buzz Lightyear in his early days as a space ranger. The film begins on a far off planet that can sustain life, but which proves to be extremely hostile. When they are trapped on the planet, Buzz commits his life to finding a way out for him and his fellow compatriots. What starts as a fun but frivolous action pic quickly turns into a deep and thought provoking drama, reminiscent of Interstellar, as Buzz’s experimental failures show real consequences to the world around him. I went in thinking that this would be a fun little inconsequential joyride but really didn’t expect the emotional punch thrown in here. So needless to say, I found the journey to be rather impressive. And for those of you like me who found the CGI from last week’s Jurassic World Dominion to be rather mundane, this animation is far from it, once again pushing the limits in subtle ways that enhance the experience. And speaking of enhancements, the score by Michael Giacchino (who also composed Jurassic World Dominion) is one of his best since he did Up and Ratatouille, which should make soundtrack fans everywhere very happy. My biggest critique comes in the form of voices and characters. I don’t mind Chris Evans as the voice of Buzz, and he does a fine enough job, but Tim Allen is perfect and would have been better in this role. Also, aside from Buzz, Alisha and Izzy (the three main characters), the film is sparse as far as characters go, and could have used a boost. Taika Waititi chips in as the voice for a throw-away character, but not even that provides enough to enrich the story. That being said, Buzz’s robot cat sidekick SOX steals every scene he is in, so at least there is that. All in all, for a summer family film, you can’t ask for a better time. A-

Ambulance
Rated R for intense violence, bloody images and language throughout
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%
Available on disc and streaming on Peacock

Michael Bay steps back into the crime action arena again with this heist-gone-wrong film starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as two brothers whose plans to rob a bank go south, and in order to escape, they hijack an ambulance with a dying cop in the back, creating a two hour, essentially real-time chase flick. While his Transformer films have certainly disappointed of late, the one thing Bay is great at is big action films with lots of danger, action and violence. The story is good enough to drive the action and the action is good enough to keep you engaged for the ride. And surprisingly enough, it’s a smart movie which, while overly stylized, doesn’t resort to ridiculousness as it progresses. For what it is, it’s an enjoyable roller coaster ride that’s worth turning off the lights and turning up the sound for. B

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of June 6, 2022

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of June 6, 2022

Jurassic World Dominion
Rated PG-13 for language, intense sequences of action and some violence
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73% at time of writing
In Theaters

Treating this new set of Jurassic films like a trilogy, Dominion is serving as the finale for the new narrative that Jurassic World began and Fallen Kingdom almost destroyed. Joining Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are the JP OG’s Laura Darn, Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum. As you might recall from the last dismal outing, dinosaurs are now loose on the planet and invading human spaces around the world. Pratt and Howard now live in a remote mountain cabin with their adopted clone daughter and the raptor Blue living nearby. When the girl and Blue’s baby are kidnapped, the couple go on a mission to get them back. Meanwhile Dern, Neill and Goldblum head to the compound of an Elon Musk type (played by Campbell Scott) who has set up a dino sanctuary in the Dolemite Mountains where he does evil genetic research. There they play Scooby Doo to try to uncover his malignant intentions for world domination. By the third act, they all join forces. If you’ve seen the trailers you will notice there are a lot of dinosaurs and if that’s what you’re after, you are in luck. While the action is decent and there are some nice bits of comical dialog, I found the experience frustrating due to the multitude of logic flaws and mediocre special effects. Yes, the film that stems from the ground-breaking special effects extravaganza of Spielberg’s Jurassic Park fails to impress with effects that look unfinished and sloppy. But doing the most damage to movie is the poor script and the unfocused directing. The story might have good bones, but the gaps are poorly filled in and it seems they were trying to do so much that they couldn’t do much of it well. There are too many times when the actors and extras are too unaware of the dinosaurs around them, creating scenes that make no sense and take away from the story. My favorite example of this is when two T-Rex’s are loose in Malta and a guy goofily drives his scooter in between them like they didn’t show up until they ate him. This kind of action abounds throughout. If there is a bear or even a scary dog standing five to ten feet from you, most folks would run for cover. But here people stand feet from large dinosaurs without flinching. It’s like they didn’t think any of the actions through before filming. Like they were in a hurry to churn out a big dumb action film as fast as possible. I will admit that there were some nicely done set pieces and action sequences, but every one of them was shown in the trailers – leaving no surprises or thrills whatsoever. This could have been a nice adventure, but instead it turned into a poorly executed tentpole, failing to live up to its legacy. C

Hustle
Rated R for Language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%
Streaming on Netflix

Adam Sandler and NBA baller Juancho Hernangomez star in this sports drama about an NBA scout who discovers a major talent in Spain only to be told by the new owner that there is no interest. Putting it all on the line, he decides to foot the bill to try to earn his discovery a chance to play in the NBA without his boss’s support. While Sandler would probably prefer that most critics not review his work for obvious reasons, every couple of years he puts out something to be proud of and this is one of those films. He is absolutely convincing in the role and his passion for the subject shines through in his performance. In addition, the filmmakers managed to rustle up a huge cast, especially in terms of former and current NBA superstars who are peppered throughout in an organic manner that gives the project an air of authenticity. Sports films like this can be so hit and miss, and this one turns out to be a very welcome hit. A-

Double Indemnity: The Criterion Collection 4K
Rated PG
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%
Available on Disc and Streaming

One of the most celebrated films of all time, this classic 1944 Billy Wilder film noir stars Fred MacMurray as an insurance salesman who teams up with Barbara Stanwyck to put a large policy on her husband before they kill him. It is a slick and dirty crime thriller with a fast pace and a terrific cast. While they’ve restored before for the blu-ray release, Criterion goes overboard with a new 4K restoration and, believe it or not, some new special features to add to their already extensive list from previous editions.

The Bridge On the River Kwai: 65th Anniversary Limited Edition and Lawrence of Arabia: 60th Anniversary Limited Edition
Rated PG
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96% and 94% respectively
Available on 4K Steelbox Editions and Streaming

Two other classics getting the 4K treatment are these amazing David Lean films, both winners of 7 Oscars including Best Picture. Both still hold up well, especially with these restorations. The special features are all from the archives, but there are many to be found here, including interviews with filmmakers like Scorsese and Spielberg discussing how influential Lean was for themselves and the art form.

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of May 23, 2022

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of May 23, 2022

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Top Gun: Maverick
Rated PG-13 for some strong language and sequences of intense action
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%
In Theaters

Originally slated for release on July 12, 2019, this much-anticipated Top Gun Sequel has been stewing until this week when audiences will finally get to climb into the cockpit of a fighter jet for a heavy dose of speed and danger. The story takes place in modern day where Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell has been brought into teach a young group of former hot shot Top Gun graduates how to take out a well-protected and sensitive military target before the rogue state they are attacking can find a way to enrich uranium for predicted evil purposes. In just a matter of a couple of weeks he must first turn the pilots into a team and then find a way to help them succeed in their important mission. From the exhilarating beginning to the explosive ending, this welcome adventure proves to have the right stuff to excite and thrill with a script that lacks cheese and acting that is convincing enough for the journey. It has been 36 years since the original Top Gun commanded the box office and while it still holds up nicely, my biggest concern is would it come close to matching the original in style and substance, and it is with great relief that it truly does. Top Gun was more of an event than a movie with a bigger than life hero and a soundtrack that was the fifth best-seller of 1986, and to this day is full of memorable themes and songs. With such big shoes to fill, Maverick delivers an equally powerful soundtrack from Lady Gaga and Hans Zimmer along with the theme repeated from the original film by composer Harold Faltermeyer. It’s a well-balanced score perfectly crafted for the film. Will the film be the mega-hit the original was? It’s unlikely. A lot depends on how they are able to market it to a new generation. You don’t have to see the original to get it, but it does help. But now that Cruise is 59, he will pull a huge adult audience, but time will tell if that audience is able to get their kids and their grandchildren interested enough to jump in also. The good news is that it is worthy and should make those who are salivating for it very, very happy. A

Chip ’N’ Dale: Rescue Rangers
Rated PG for mild action, rude/suggestive humor
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%
Streaming on Disney+

When I first saw the email come across my desk for this Rescue Rangers reboot, my first thought went to the horrible and cringe-worthy originals and I just wasn’t interested. But then a critic colleague suggested I give it a try and I’m actually glad I did. Voicing the parts of the two adventurous chipmunks are John Mulaney and Andy Samberg, two of my favorite comedians, along with a fantastic supporting cast including Will Arnett, Seth Rogen and J.K. Simmons. The story follows the showbiz careers of the two leads as they broke up from their classic team and now have to come together to find a cast mate who has mysteriously disappeared. It’s a clever, self-aware romp through cartoon land that is reminiscent of Roger Rabbit with its references to animated characters from all studios including even Shrek and South Park. It turns out to be a movie that you can truly enjoy with the kids, and you will find yourselves enjoying it for completely different reasons. B+

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of May 16, 2022

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of May 16, 2022

Firestarter
Rated R for violent content
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 12%
In Theaters and Streaming on Peacock

In 1984, this horror film, based on the book by Stephen King, was met with mediocre reviews, but managed gain an audience and propel the career of its main star, then child actor Drew Barrymore. Now in 2022 it is getting a reboot, with even worse reviews and proof that the filmmakers learned no lessons at all from the first outing. The film tells the story of a young girl with special telepathic abilities, including the ability to ignite any target with her mind. Her father (Zac Efron), having some special powers himself, attempts to save her from being a government target, but forces are at hand to capture her and her talents. There is plenty wrong with this film including some horrific acting and poor production values. Efron was not bad, but he looked out of place amongst the B movie cast on display here. To drag the film deeper through the mud, they chose to have John Carpenter write a cheesy score and the lousy special effects would have looked crappy in 1984. The book, from what I remember, was riveting and scary, but for some reason a second film has now failed in delivering anything close to its original vision. C-

Dog
Rated PG-13 for language, thematic elements, drug content and some suggestive material
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%
Available on Disc and Streaming

Channing Tatum stars and co-directs this buddy comedy about a soldier who is tasked with driving a dog down the Pacific Coast in order to attend a fellow soldier’s (and the dog’s trainer’s) funeral. The dog turns out to be quite the handful and gets him in a lot of trouble and danger along the journey. We’ve had a lot of these sorts of films in recent years, so making the film seem fresh and nuanced is a really challenging feat. But fortunately there is a lot of skill at hand here and the film manages to both touch and entertain in equal amounts. With both human and dog suffering from PTSD, the narrative finds a way to grab your heart just when you think things are taking a silly turn, grounding the story in a way that proves necessary in order to keep its authenticity alive. Ultimately it ends up being an organically sweet yet fun road movie that is actually worth the trip. B+

Senior Year
Rated R for brief drinking, drug use, sexual material and language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 29%
Streaming on Netflix

Rebel Wilson heads up this adult comedy about a young cheerleader who goes into a coma for 20 years after a tragic cheerleading accident, only to wake up as middle-aged woman who still feels the need to fulfill her high school dreams. Returning to her high school to complete her senior year, she sets out to become captain of her cheer squad and the homecoming queen, and she will do anything to accomplish this life-long goal. I have mixed feelings on this one. There are some genuinely funny moments here and Wilson goes over the top in both good ways and bad. While I laughed plenty of times, I cringed even more, especially during the multitude of choreographed dance sequences that did nothing for the film but strip away what little dignity it had. By the end, my eyes couldn’t roll any further into the back of my skull as I tried to refrain from turning the channel. C

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of May 2, 2022

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of May 2, 2022

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Rated PG-13 for frightening images, action, intense sequences of violence and some language
Rotten Tomatoes Score 80%
In Theaters

Continuing the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s constant stream of content is this sequel to 2016’s Doctor Strange, which now places Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in the newly evolving multiverse. When he discovers a young girl (newcomer Xochitl Gomez) with the power to move between multiverses, he attempts to save her from the evil presence trying to kill her and steal her power. Since this new wave of MCU films is obviously focusing on the multiverse, I guess I have to go along with it, even though I am convinced that it’s essentially stealing from Sony’s Spider-verse plot line. But aside from that, this film really does break out into something unique and interesting, largely due to director Sam Raimi taking over the reins. If you recall, Sam Raimi, after making some of the best horror films of the 80s and 90s (Evil Dead, Army of Darkness) went on to make three of the highest grossing films of all time with Spider-Man 1, 2 and 3. With Spider-Man, though, he moved away from his horror roots. With this new Doctor Strange, the old Raimi is back. His twisted sense of humor along with his focus on the macabre is in full force here, adding a different and fun vibe to the somewhat dry super hero. And with a script by Loki creator Michael Waldron, there is a nice synergy of weirdness that should be attractive to a rabid audience looking for more of the same, but with a touch of abnormal. The cast is largely the same as before, and that’s okay given the level of talent. If there is one misgiving it is the casting of Gomez in the new character, who seems very out of place. She is quite ordinary and honestly kind of boring. In such a crazy universe, she doesn’t really fit in and her acting chops are not nearly good enough to keep up with the regulars here. A better actress in that role could have made this a stronger movie. One thing I should also note is that this is the first MCU film that relies heavily on the Marvel television programs. If you haven’t seen What If…?, WandaVision or Loki you might not be too lost, but there will certainly be a greater understanding of what is going on if you have. There isn’t a lot of exposition, so the filmmakers expect and challenge the audience to simply keep up. B+

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of April 18, 2022

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of April 18, 2022

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
Rated R for violence, drug use, some sexual references and language throughout
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
In Theaters

For a very long time, Nicolas Cage was the hottest actor in Hollywood, with huge tentpole films like The Rock and Gone in 60 Seconds, as well as little Indies like Leaving Las Vegas, which won him the Oscar. But in the early 2000’s his clout started to slip away and he started making films for the paycheck and most of them were pretty lousy. In the last few years he started making some excellent, highly reviewed films, and then came this one. The movie stars Cage as Cage, a busy working actor who wants to make great cinema, but alas a man who can’t catch a break to make it back into the A-list spotlight. So his agent talks him into heading to Spain to make a birthday appearance for a rich dude (Pedro Pascal) who wants his company for a few days. He slowly starts to develop a friendship with the guy when the CIA appears to tell him that he is an arms smuggler who has kidnapped a politician’s daughter, thus recruiting Cage to help rescue her. What transpires next is just a funny, exciting and exhilarating comedy full of self-reflection and knee-slapping hilarity. With Cage’s recent introduction back into important independent cinema, there is a desire to like the guy again and that really works for him here. He is self-effacing and vulnerable and you can’t help but cheer for him as the story develops. And by the end you get a brilliant buddy comedy that seems to hit all the buttons and manages to get everything right. While Cage is certainly the draw of this film, perhaps the biggest winner is relatively new writer/director Tom Gormican who puts on a serious show here, making a smart, lovable movie like a true pro, which should only propel his career to new heights. A

The Northman
Rated R for strong bloody violence, some sexual content, and nudity
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%
In Theaters

Writer/director Robert Eggers (The Witch, the Lighthouse) has truly made a splash in Hollywood with his unique and mysterious style of horror which leaves behind nightmares from his perverse vision. For his third film, he takes that style to Iceland for a movie that can only be described as a disturbing version of Hamlet set amongst vikings. Perhaps the most perfect-looking viking in movie history, Alexander Skarsgard plays a young prince who seeks revenge for the killing of his father and king (Ethan Hawke) and mother (Nicole Kidman) from an uncle trying to seize power. In a raw, bestial manner, he pretends to be a slave to his uncle only to slowly claw his way to the final act of vengeance. Stylistically the film is special and unusual, making you think you can predict the next action only to find out that you have no idea what will happen next. In that way it is a worthwhile journey to go on. That being said, the film is not mainstream and it will turn off much of its audience. It is weird and far from straightforward, with off-putting visuals and disturbing plot points. It’s the kind of material that critics and film snobs chew up but mainstream audiences might not be able to connect with. It’s like watching Braveheart on an acid trip, and personally, I dug that and will probably go see it a second time, maybe next time with a stiff drink in hand. A-

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of April 11, 2022

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of April 11, 2022

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
Rated PG-13 for some fantasy action/violence
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 59%
In Theaters

In this third installment of the Harry Potter prequels, Gellert Grindelwald (now played by Mads Mikkelsen since Depp was forced to disappear) attempts to seize control of the wizarding world and thusly the Muggle world around it. In order to stop him, Professor Dumbledore (Jude Law) assembles a team consisting of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) and a couple of new wizards determined to keep him from reaching power. The last film in the series was an absolute mess, leaving this one a lot to clean up. There were jumbled plots, confusing storylines and even if you made it to the end without dozing off, you still probably had to watch a YouTube synopsis to figure out what was actually going on. This one, thankfully, is clearer in its vision and much easier to understand. It still has a similar problem in that this is far less “fantastic beasts” and far more about sorting out what happened pre-Harry. But at least the narrative is more carefully crafted and Mikkelsen does a fine job of covering up the replacement. Honestly, while he’s not as eclectic as Depp, he is a far better actor. Aside from its many problems – and there are plenty – director Yates and writer Rowling create a decent enough piece of canon that might not make the critics happy but should appease the fans, for now. The biggest head scratcher to me is at the end, I couldn’t actually recall any of Dumbledore’s big secrets. Since it’s the name of the film we should have had some major revelations and not just a few minor ones. Someone told me it was that he was gay, but we found that out in the last outing, so maybe it’s possible his secrets aren’t good for more than just a marketing slogan. B-

Spider-Man: No Way Home
Rated PG-13 for sequences of action/violence, brief suggestive comments, and some language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Available on disc and paid streaming (not Disney+)
After the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home, the whole world now knows Spidey’s true identity and it’s too much for Peter Parker to bear. So with the help of Doctor Strange, he attempts to cover up the secret with magic. But in the process, he opens up a portal to other universes, allowing original series’ baddies like Green Goblin, Dock Ock and others to enter his world and wreak havoc. Due to some solid writing and fast-paced directing, the film turns out to be a very decent edition to the MCU. It has the right amount of action, drama, romance and adventure, and in spite of being a little too long, manages to provide for a fun journey. It is far too similar to Sony’s 2018 Oscar-winning Into the Spider-verse, but since it is live-action, audiences found forgiveness in their hearts and went to see it in droves. Growing up, my favorite hero was Spider-Man, and I love all of these films, but I fear we might be getting a little too much. I hope they can continue the string of good movies, but at this pace we might just start to see an over-dose occur if they aren’t careful. B+

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of April 4, 2022

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of April 4, 2022

Morbius
Rated PG-13 for some frightening images, intense sequences of violence and brief strong language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 17%
In Theaters

While not part of the Kevin Feige MCU universe, The Marvel comic book character is getting his theatrical debut thanks to Sony and their pre-Disney deal. Jared Leto plays the crippled scientist Dr. Michael Morbius who uses vampire bats to try to put his broken body together again. Unfortunately this turns him into a vampire. This seems to be okay as long as he can keep it a secret, but when his childhood buddy with the same disease (Matt Smith) gets ahold of the formula, he becomes the murderous type, and Morbius must try to stop him. It’s not a bad idea for a marvel hero and there are some interesting bones here. But the whole thing is a sloppy mess from start to finish. It feels like a really long trailer that just won’t end, with one action sequence after another but hardly a shred of character development and actors who can’t seem to pronounce their dialog correctly. They try to make it a bit scary, which would be nice if it was, but instead it comes off as silly and unnecessary. At this point I would rather leave this character out of the MCU (there is no plan to add him) until Disney and Marvel can resurrect him under better circumstances, years form now. One thing to keep in mind is that this film was supposed to be released 2 years ago, and while I wouldn’t blame Covid for its failure, it certainly didn’t benefit from its time to marinate. They would have been better off sending it straight to streaming during the pandemic and blamed that for its failure rather than the bad filmmaking. D

Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood
Rated PG-13 for injury images, some suggestive material and smoking
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%
Streaming on Netflix

Writer/director Richard Linklater, using his distinctive animation style, tells the story of what it was like to be a child growing up in Houston during the 60s with the space race as the backdrop. Creating the narrative of NASA needing a young boy to go up due to creating a module that was too small for adults sets up a beautifully told story of what the day-to-day was like in a fashion that can only be described as nostalgic bliss. For 90 minutes you are whisked away to a childhood that most will find familiar enough to their own, with Jack Black as the narrator giving the play by play. This film kind of snuck up on me and when I started watching, it immediately put me in a happy place. In my opinion, it is certain to be a frontrunner for Best Animated Picture next year and would have probably beat Encanto had it seen a release date last December. It will definitely be one that you start recommending to friends, especially if they grew up in the Houston area at or near that time. A

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of March 21, 2022

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of March 21, 2022

The Lost City
Rated PG-13 for suggestive material, language, some bloody images, partial nudity and violence
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%
In Theaters

Sandra Bullock is a romantic novelist who, along with her books’ cover model, played by Channing Tatum, find themselves on a real adventure on a remote island after an eccentric rich kid, played by Daniel Radcliffe, kidnaps her in an attempt to locate a hidden treasure. Along the way, a former navy seal, played by Brad Pitt, steps in to try to help with the dangerous rescue. As expected, the movie is charming and fairly entertaining, largely due to the larger than life actors on screen playing the story out. There are some nice laughs and a few thrills with plenty of sexual tension thrown in. Unfortunately the adventure isn’t really that adventurous and there are so many plot holes and inorganic plot devices that by half way it is hard to take the film seriously. Aside from the fact that it is way too reminiscent to Romancing the Stone, and the filmmakers were too concerned with just getting to the next big joke or set piece, giving the film a lack of originality and forcing it to be overly predictable when it is just trying to make the audience to not have to think too terribly hard. Luckily there aren’t a ton of these kinds of films, so they are nice to take in once in a while. That being said, last year’s Jungle Cruise was a way better example of the sub-genre, and it performed horribly at the box office, so we will have to wait and see if audiences will be kinder to Bullock than they were to The Rock and Disney. B-

Windfall
Rated R for language throughout and some violence
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 55%
Streaming on Netflix

Jesse Plemons is a tech billionaire who is looking forward to a quiet weekend with his wife, Lily Collins, at their vacation home when they discover someone has broken in (Jason Segel) with plans to steal from them. When things don’t go as planned, he decides to hold them hostage until a large sum of money is delivered for him. With only three actors and a fourth bit part, the movie feels like it could have been more successful as a play than a movie. They go out of their way to keep it simple and straight forward with some nice touches in the cinematography and music departments. The problem is that while the characters possess some of the raw elements that make a film like this work, those elements don’t materialize and by the end you just wait it out so you can move on. With better dialog and richer character development, this might have been a much more interesting project. C

The Godfather Trilogy: 50th Anniversary 4K Edition
Available on Disc and Paid Streaming

Every few years we get a new addition of The Godfather and if you are like me, you look to upgrade. From tape to DVD, from DVD to Blu-ray, and now from blu-ray to 4K, each usually coming every 5 years. Is it worth buying it again? If you are like me, you want to dig through the new special features, for which there are plenty here. In addition, this version has been meticulously remastered and restored. Did my eyes see much of a difference? Did I learn that much more knowledge about one of my favorite films? Not really, but these features are there. Probably the best reason to shell out the bucks is that the third movie has been offed and replaced now with The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone, a far superior and way shorter recut of the less than stellar Godfather Part III. The suggestion I would give would be to forgo the physical copy which is almost three times more expensive than the streaming version, and even better, Apple TV tends to update your version when you purchase and a new one comes out in a few years. I bought the trilogy years ago, and when I go back to watch now it automatically pops up in 4K. It’s almost like future-proofing your favorite classic movies. #godfatherhacks

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of March 14, 2022

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of March 14, 2022

The Adam Project
Rated PG-13 for language, violence, action, and suggestive references
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 68%
Streaming on Netflix

Netflix went all out in this straight to streaming sci-fi adventure starring Ryan Reynolds, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Garner and Zoe Saldana, which tells the story of a man from the future who goes back in time from 2050 to 2022, only to find himself teaming up with a 12 year old version of himself in order to rescue his dad and set the future straight. From the very start, the film is charming and funny with a sense of danger and thrills, just like you would expect from a Reynolds movie. The plot is fairly simple but works well and does a very good job at dumbing down the science enough for you to stop asking questions about feasibility while avoiding too much over-thinking about how ludicrous the whole thing is. Perhaps what works the best is having Reynolds alongside a 12 year version of himself, played by an excellent child actor, Walker Scobell, making the film twice as fun. Overall it’s an enjoyable family sci-fi comedy that should have had a theatrical release, but that we are lucky enough to enjoy at home right off the bat. B+

Turning Red
Rated PG for language, thematic material and suggestive content
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%
Streaming on Disney+

Another film that should have opened in theaters rather than start with streaming is Disney and Pixar’s latest animated feature about a young Asian Canadian girl who discovers that, as she enters puberty, she turns into a giant red panda when she gets upset or emotional. At first you get the sense that Pixar is trying to make a clever, maybe off-color movie about menstruation, and they even throw you a few hints to lead you down that path. But you quickly find out that she really is a red panda and it gets even crazier than that when her friends love both her and the giant furby she becomes. Pixar loves to make odd little films with unique story telling and this is no different. Showing us the geographical and cultural similarities and differences is a great way to relate, learn and appreciate. This one is really quirky but still fun and enjoyable. Its only fault is that the girl and her friends can be annoying. But I’m pretty sure all young teenage girls can be annoying at times, so if anything, it’s just more believable. B

Red Rocket
Rated R for pervasive language, graphic nudity, drug use and strong sexual content
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%
Available on Streaming and Disc

From writer/director Sean Baker (The Florida Project) comes this dark comedy about a washed up porn actor, Simon Rex, who comes back to the South Houston area to hustle up enough money to find himself a post-porn life. But when he falls in love with a girl in a donut shop, played by newcomer Suzanna Son, he begins to formulate a plan to get his former world back again. Filmed in Texas City, Kemah, The Golden Triangle and Galveston, the film provides for a great representation of Southeast Texas from a talented filmmaker with a unique perspective. While some of the acting is sub par and feels a little too indie at times, Rex and Son are terrific with amazing chemistry, elevating the project quite a bit. That being said, you can’t help feeling sad for them as they meander through life without a goal or a clue. In that regard it’s probably more real than most of us give it credit for. B-