Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of May 13, 2019

Fighting with My Family
Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual material, language throughout, some violence and drug content
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
Available on Disc and Streaming

Based on the real-life story of WWE female wrestling Superstar Paige, this tale follows a young girl in England whose family life revolves around professional wrestling, and when she is given a chance to join the WWE, she must leave her family behind to chase her dream. It is practically unimaginable that a film about pro wrestling could be this good, but due to a fantastic cast including Vince Vaughn, Lena Headey, Nick Frost and Dwayne Johnson, as well as a fantastic turn from the relatively unknown Florence Pugh in the starring role, the film is elevated to a different level of quality than would be expected. It also helps to have the brilliant Stephen Merchant writing and directing this script that is crammed with inspiration and heart rather than the expected mindless ring action. It didn’t do much to make me want to turn to wrestling for my regular enjoyment, but it did help me better appreciate their world and I finished the movie having been thoroughly entertained. B+

Apollo 11
Rated G
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%
Available on Disc and Streaming

Apollo 11 is a documentary recently released into IMAX theaters as an event film that follows the events of the Apollo 11 moon landing from the moments just before the astronauts left Earth to the moments after their return. Using never-before-seen color footage, the film floats along without narration, making you feel like you are a first-hand observer of the momentous events taking place. Unfortunately, the film isn’t nearly as good at home as it was on a giant screen. While the content is the same, the experience is night and day. But it still a film worth watching, if not for the remarkable documentary style, then for its historical value. A-

Cold Pursuit
Rated R for strong violence, drug material, and some language including sexual references
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%
Available on Disc and Streaming

In this remake of the much better Norwegian film In Order of Disappearance (both directed by Hans Petter Moland), Liam Neeson goes after a drug cartel after his son’s death leads him down a successive path of violence to find and kill the man ultimately responsible. While quirky and at times slightly humorous, the movie ends up being just a long string of creative revenge killings and ultimately lacks the heart to make you apply much empathy to Neeson’s character. Also, the cast of Lauren Dern as his wife and Emmy Rossum as an investigating cop are both subjected here to minor and unimpressive roles not worthy of their names and talents. I’m pretty sure that the filmmakers really thought they had a Fargo on their hands here, or at least a film as good as its Scandinavian predecessor, but the project doesn’t even come close and instead we get a mediocre, unnecessary and forgettable crime pic. C-

Popcorn Perspectives – Week of May 6, 2019

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of May 6, 2019

Pokemon Detective Pikachu
Rated PG for action/peril, some rude and suggestive humor, and thematic elements
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73% at time of writing
In Theaters

While I kind of like the Pokemon Go app, especially the bonding time it gives me with my family, I have always abhorred the animated Pokemon cartoons. The frenetic energy and nonsensical repetitive plots have always made me leave the room when someone is watching them. So I was apprehensive at best about this new Pokemon movie. But this one is truly different. The story follows a young man (talented newcomer Justice Smith) who goes on a search for what might have happened to his father when he mysteriously goes missing and is presumed dead. But when he discovers his father’s Pokemon partner Pikachu, voiced here by the amazing Ryan Reynolds, the two go on a journey to figure out what might have happened. There is a lot of silliness everywhere you look here, but the plot is strong enough to satisfy most film lovers while still creating an eye candy environment that will be adored by any child watching it. Will you understand the Pokemon universe after watching it? No – and trust me – you don’t want to. But you should have an appreciation of it when all is said and done, and also a greater tolerance to their strange little world. B-

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
Rated PG for mild action and rude humor
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%
Available on Disc and Streaming

Five years after the events of the box office smash that was the first Lego Movie, all is well in Bricksburg when LEGO DUPLO invaders from outer space wreak havoc on their world, forcing Emmett (Chris Pratt), Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), Batman (Will Arnett) and friends to go on a new adventure to try to save their homeland. Once again, the story is clever (although not as much as the first) and the tie-in to the toys’ human owners is surprisingly heartwarming. Much of the plot is a bit random (which probably makes sense due to who in the story is in control of what will happen) and at times you just have to go along with it, much like you would if you were watching your own kids play. But thankfully the movie is overall enjoyable, while at the same time providing good clean entertainment for the kids. B

What Men Want
Rated R language and sexual content throughout, and some drug material
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 45%
Available on Disc and Streaming

In 2003, Comedy Central’s Chappelle’s Show had a raunchy but hilarious bit about what would happen if the 2000 Mel Gibson film What Women Want flipped and had a woman who could hear the thoughts of men. The sketch is a short elevator ride with a beautiful woman hearing the dirty thoughts of every man surrounding her and the point is well-taken: men can be pigs with one-track minds. This film expands that as Taraji P. Henson gains the ability to hear men’s thoughts and while disgusted at first, she learns to use it to her advantage in her job as a sports agent. Unfortunately, the project turns out to be a predictable and sloppy comedy with very few laughs as you watch Henson move through her arc, one misstep at a time. I’m sure there’s a better film to be made here, but this one is mediocre at best, and far less funny than the 46 second Chappelle’s Show segment. C-

Popcorn Perspectives – Week of April 29, 2019

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of April 29, 2019

Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki
Unrated but equivalent to G
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%
Available on Disc
In Japanese with English Subtitles

Arguably the greatest living animator, Hayao Miyazaki, has retired from his day to day of making some of the worlds most famous animated films such as Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro. This documentary literally follows him around his home in Japan as we learn from his simple life lessons and observe his desire to go back to work to keep creating and reshaping his art. So in order to not go away silently, he makes his way back into the studio to create a new short story using his traditional hand-drawn style crossed with computer-aided graphics. While non-fans might find the movie quite a bore, the targeted audience here will discover much excitement in this incredibly intimate portrait. You don’t necessarily get the recipe for the secret sauce, but you do get a truly great glimpse of the life behind the legend. A-

Destroyer
Rated R for language throughout, violence, some sexual content and brief drug use
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%
Available on Disc and Streaming

This downer of a cop drama stars Nicole Kidman as a modern homicide detective who constantly flashbacks to her younger days as an undercover cop infiltrating a California gang after the two worlds intersect. The storyline follows a convoluted and confusing plot down a path this isn’t much fun to tread. There is certainly some good drama here, and once the story become more clear, it does basically come together, but it is definitely not an enjoyable journey. Still, Kidman tackles a role here that is very different for her and she does it well. The rest of the cast is strong also, but the darkness of the film almost overpowers it. It’s a good enough crime drama as long as you are in the right mood to take it in. C+

Alien: 40th Anniversary Edition
Rated R for sci-fi violence, gore and language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%
Available on Disc and Streaming

It’s hard to believe that this sci-fi horror classic is now 40 years old, but when I thought back to the countless times I’ve watched it over the years, I realized that I’ve never seen a non-grainy version. Even on blu-ray. It has always looked old to me. Still a great film – but old. If that’s what you are used to – you must check out this new 4K version. Every frame looks pristine, almost like the movie was made yesterday. This stunning look and sound, applied to both the original theatrical and the 2003 directors cut, as well as several deep-dive features, make this a must own masterpiece that you will love to keep revisiting. A

Popcorn Perspectives – Week of April 15, 2019

Popcorn Perspectives by Danny Minton

Week of April 15, 2019

Disneynature: Penguins
Rated G
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
In Theaters

You have to admit that Disney has really stuck to its commitment to keep the Disneynature brand alive and kicking. Nearly every Earth Day, Disney has put together a fantastic narrative based on animal footage their wildlife photographers capture in the wild. In this case, years of fieldwork in Antarctica has led to a story of an Adelie penguin named Steve who joins millions of his fellow penguins swimming, fishing, nesting, mating, and raising babies. If it sounds a lot like March of the Penguins, it kind of is – just more Disneyfied. While March was a much more substantial film, Penguins tries more to be cute and cuddly. Much of the narration by Ed Helms is more corny than it should be, and sometimes beneath the level of the production, but the images captured on film are at times absolutely magnificent, making up for any rolls of the eyes you will inevitably give up. I never grow tired of experiencing the wonders of God’s universe and this documentary is a prime example of just how strange and beautiful even the most remote parts of our planet can be. B+

Glass
Rated PG-13 for violence including some bloody images, thematic elements, and language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 37%
Available on Disc and Streaming

At the end of M. Night Shyamalan’s last film Split, we discovered that James McAvoy’s multiple personality villain was part of the larger superhero universe with Unbreakable’s Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis. When all three are brought together in an insane asylum, each tries to take their place in said universe in the hope of a major showdown. I’m sorry but I just don’t get it. I think McAvoy’s performances in this and Split are absolutely fantastic, but the story here is just plain stupid. And to make the stupid worse – it takes itself very, very seriously. The cast of talented actors really put themselves into their roles, but the script is a waste of all of their abilities, and its audience’s time. It’s almost as if Shyamalan has become so focused on the surprise that he’s forgotten how to craft a narrative worthy of one. D

The Kid Who Would Be King
Rated PG for fantasy action violence, scary images, thematic elements including some bullying, and language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%
Available on Disc and Streaming

Loved by critics but ignored by audiences, The Kid Who Would Be King follows a young British school student who stumbles upon a sword buried in a stone, and upon removal discovers he is more important than he could have ever dreamed. With the help of the legendary wizard Merlin (Patrick Stewart) he helps take on the evil enchantress Morgana in order to save England from disaster. This one was a really nice surprise. The story was stronger than I could have imagined and the acting was very good from this relatively unknown cast (with the exception of Stewart who is both known and apparently infallible). The film is much darker and even scarier than I could have expected, so I wouldn’t necessarily feed it to the youngins, but your older children will eat it up for sure. B+

Popcorn Perspectives – Week of April 8, 2019

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of April 8, 2019

On the Basis of Sex
Rated PG-13 for some language and suggestive content
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%
Available on Disc and Streaming

While critics liked this docudrama about the rise of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, it basically fizzled at the box office, probably because of its being released into a crowded field of better films, and possibly because a movie about law and politics is just too much for most audiences right now. But regardless, Bader Ginsberg is a fascinating subject, and the case that would eventually land her in the Supreme Court is still relevant today, maybe even more so. While it plays much like a made-for-TV movie, its A-list cast, including Felicity Jones and Armie Hammer, and terrific production elevate it to a film suitable for a theatrical release, but it might have received a better audience and awards consideration at HBO or Netflix. But it does make for a good drama, and an educational one at that which will probably give it legs as future students learn about our government and its many evolutions. B

Mirai
Rated PG for thematic elements including some scary images
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
Available on Disc and Streaming

This Oscar-nominated animated film from Japan tells the story of a bratty young boy who discovers a magical garden where his baby sister, now in older form, takes him on a journey through space and time to uncover his family’s long-winding story. Simply put – this is a lovely story which is well-told and beautifully animated. Its creative rhythm might leave some audiences scratching their heads, and it does get a little weird and even disturbing at times, but it turns out to be a movie where you tend to drift off on your own journey as you try to place yourself into the boy’s. A-

A Dog’s Way Home
Rated PG for thematic elements, some peril and language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 62%
Available on Disc and Streaming

So apparently several cities in Colorado have a pit bull ban and this story follows the life a stray pit bull puppy who is discovered in Denver and taken in by its rescuer. But when the city threatens to put it down, the dog is sent far away where it escapes and attempts to travel through the wilderness to find its person. It’s a familiar formula, and just like any movie in this sub-genre, it is a manipulative tear jerker. But at least the film gives us enough of a change to become watchable and even, at times, likable. I especially enjoyed the relationship with the cougar, which from the trailer looked stupid, but made sense within the context of the actual story. While I wouldn’t want to subject myself to a film like this too often, now and again I can handle it – especially if my kid is loving it. B-

Popcorn Perspectives – Week of April 1, 2019

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of April 1, 2019

Shazam!
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action, language, and suggestive material
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%
In Theaters

With DC trying to fill out their theatrical comic universe, it was a great shock that Shazam! was going to get the big screen treatment, but the studio brilliantly came up with a tongue-in-cheek plot to make up for the cheesiness of its subject. Here a young boy living in a foster home finds himself mysteriously whisked away to a hidden cave where a wizard turns him into an adult and gives him super powers. Not knowing what to do with those powers, or even the extent of them, he does what many a fifteen-year-old would do: buy beer and go to a strip club. But when a super villain comes along to steal his powers and possibly harm his foster family, he grows up and faces the challenge head on. When I heard that this was one of the most talked-about films at Comic Con this past year, I thought it was a joke, but sure enough – Warner Brothers and DC took a huge chance and I think it will pay off big time. The movie is thrilling, funny, juvenile (in a good way) and warm-hearted. I think the trailers make it look a lot more kid-friendly than it actually is, but even its scary nature is more like Scooby Doo or Ghost Busters than Dark Knight. The movie is quite literally an unexpected blast! B+

Bumblebee
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action violence
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%
Available on Disc and Streaming

This Transformers prequel lays out the story of Bumblebee’s introduction to Earth as he escapes the planet Cybertron and hides out in a junk yard until a young girl (Hailee Steinfeld) takes him home in the hopes of fixing him up. Of course the two make friends and all is well until a couple of evil Decepticons find him and attempt to destroy him before he can accomplish his mission. To me, this is a real head-scratcher. While it did fairly well world-wide, in the US it had a relatively poor showing. And yet this is easily the best Transformers movie we’ve been given to date, with a fun retro-style story, better than decent acting, a plot that at least makes sense and a reasonable running time. It’s the film we’ve been waiting for since the franchise started – and yet few folks went to see it. Perhaps its audience is a bit burnt out due to the overlong and mediocre offerings we’ve been given so far. But hopefully a larger audience will get to watch it now that it’s hitting living rooms. B+

The Mule
Rated R for language throughout and brief sexuality/nudity
Rotten Tomatoes Score 70%
Available on Disc and Streaming

This latest adventure from director and star Clint Eastwood follows a retiree with familial regrets who is offered a job from a Mexican cartel to carry drugs across the country in his inconspicuous truck. Seeing an opportunity to buy his way back into his family’s lives, he does more and more trips, each with increasing danger. In the bones of this project is a decent movie with an interesting story, but unfortunately, for every good decision in the process, a bad one exists also. The film feels sloppy at times, showing the mark of a director who just wants to do one take and move on, rather than get the scene right. Also, the family moments feel contrived and messy, showing signs of bad writing throughout. Finally, and I’m sure I’ll get roasted for saying this, but Eastwood might not have been the best choice to star here. He has some great moments, but there is inconsistency in his acting, just as there is in his directing. Like he just wants to get though with the damned thing and call it quits for the day. C

Popcorn Perspectives – Week of March 25, 2019

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of March 25, 2019

Dumbo
Rated PG for peril/action/some thematic elements, and brief mild language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 48%
In Theaters

Having grown up on Disney’s 1941 animated classic, I was quite excited to see what director Tim Burton could do with a live-action version. In this new version, gone are the songs we know and love, as well as the talking animals. Instead, Dumbo is just a baby elephant with big ears and the ability to fly. When it gets out that he can fly, a sinister villain steps in to exploit the magical creature. On its own, without the existence of the original, this might not be such a bad film. I was disappointed with the lack of any kind of emotion from the children, and, honestly, the poor acting from the very talented cast, but the special effects and storytelling at the very least make the movie interesting and somewhat engaging. But this film doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and even though the classic is now 80 years old, I would bet there is hardly a kid alive that didn’t enjoy and cherish it during their childhood. So with so many fond memories from so many people, I just don’t see why they had to mess with it so much. If an elephant can fly, why can’t animals talk? And sing? Sure there are some scenes that might need changing, like the racist crows or the drunken dreams, but a more faithful recreation with some creative enhancements would have been a vast improvement from this production. And with one of the most imaginative minds in Hollywood directing, I’m disappointed that we didn’t get a much more enchanted experience. C

If Beale Street Could Talk
Rated R for language and some sexual content
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%
Available on Disc and Streaming

I have to admit that I was shocked when this stunning film from Moonlight director Barry Jenkins didn’t make the final cut for an Oscar nomination for best picture, but I was thrilled when they at least gave Regina King the well-deserved trophy for best supporting actress. The story, set in 1970’s Harlem, follows a young couple in love (KiKi Layne and Stephan James) who are about to start a family when a corrupt cop charges James with a rape that he couldn’t have possibly committed. So instead of focusing on their life together, Kiki and her mother (Regina King) must sacrifice their lives in an attempt to clear his name. The story itself is authentically crafted, providing a sense of empathy for its audience as they start to understand the gravitas of what many in our country have had to struggle with for decades. But equally important is the artistic presentation that flows like visual poetry as the cinematography, storytelling and music weave their way into your heart. A

Aquaman
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 65%
Available on Disc and Streaming

While we’ve seen Jason Momoa as Aquaman twice before, Warner Brothers and DC decided to finally give him his origin story. Starting from the moment of conception onward, we find out everything we need to know about little Arthur Curry and how he becomes king of the sea. Thanks to HBO’s show Entourage, Aquaman for a decade has been more of a Hollywood joke than a possibility, but The Conjuring director James Wan took on the challenge and the results brought in big-time bucks at the box office. The film does have its problems, especially in its lame human villain Black Manta, who comes off as a boring Lex Luther wannabe. Also, due to a quest Aquaman must go on to achieve his destiny, the film meanders into unnecessary directions. But due to the charismatic and extremely fun-to-watch Momoa, the movie turns out to be rather enjoyable. While it isn’t nearly as good as the Wonder Woman genesis movie, both have proved to be a vast improvement over the Justice League flicks we’ve seen so far. B-

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of March 18, 2019

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Rated PG for frenetic sequences of animated action violence, thematic elements, and mild language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%
Available on Disc and Streaming

Until mid-December, everyone in the industry was convinced that the race for best animated film would be a tight one between Incredibles 2 and Isle of Dogs. Then came Into the Spider-Verse which threw us all for a loop. They hardly screened it for critics groups and press, and they didn’t send out screeners, so most of us paid for a ticket to see it. And it was truly one of the greatest investments all year, and after seeing it, there was little surprise that it ended up winning. In this new Spider-man, a young minority teen name Miles Morales has been bitten by a radioactive spider only to find that he is now one of several Spider-people (and Spider-pig) brought into his version of New York City after Kingpin and Dr. Octopus conduct an experiment that goes wrong. The result is an electrifying experience with a pervasive energy that is unexpected and absolutely addictive. The story line and animation style are genius and the result is an unforgettable superhero adventure worthy of every accolade that has been thrust upon it. It’s not often that animation takes a huge leap forward. The last time was when CG became mainstream after decades of hand-drawn. Now we’ve reach an almost indescribable new level in animated storytelling. A

Mary Poppins Returns
Rated PG for some mild thematic elements and brief action
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%
Available on Disc and Streaming

Yet another one of my favorite films of the year is this follow up to the Disney masterpiece Mary Poppins. Now year later, the kids have grown up and must find a way to keep their home when the bank wants to illegally foreclose on them. With the help of Mary Poppins (now played by Emily Blunt) and a young lamplighter (Lin-Manuel Miranda) the family attempts to protect their home while singing many happy songs to keep the family happy, entertained and engaged. While the film is still very obviously Disney, the new filmmakers created here a modern musical with the same classic sensibilities that the audience would not only appreciate but demand as well. The songs and imagination behind them are absolutely wonderful and memorable, and while the film didn’t get a tremendous amount of Oscar love, that by no means takes away from its power and overall enjoyment. A

Popcorn Perspectives – Week of December 3, 2018

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of December 3, 2018

Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Rated PG-13 for violence and intense sequences of action, and for brief strong language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%
Available on disc and streaming
Tom Cruise is back again as Ethan Hunt as his IMF team is assigned to another deadly mission to save the world, this time from possible nuclear annihilation. While all of the previous 5 films have been strong in the action and plot department, this one seems to be especially on-point with another confusing-yet-fun script, humongous set pieces and some of the most spectacular stunts you’ve ever seen. The special features on the disc showcase the literally death-defying work by Cruise as well as the film’s focus on its beautiful backdrop of Paris. I’m still not a fan of Cruise, mainly due to his crazy off-screen personality, but once again he impresses me as an actor who does everything he possibly can to earn his impossible-sized paychecks. A-

The Nun
Rated R for terror, violence, and disturbing/bloody images
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 27%
Available on disc and streaming
When the nun scared the daylights out of us in The Conjuring 2 (a well-respected box-office hit) it was a given that the studio would want to milk the nun for all she is worth, just like they had with the doll Annabelle from the first Conjuring. Here we get the origin story as the Vatican sends investigators to an Abbey in Romania where a young nun has taken her own life. Just as in the other spinoffs, the writing isn’t nearly as good as the stories lack the authenticity that the Conjuring franchise has blessed us with. The acting here is better than expected with Oscar-nominee Demian Bichir as Father Burke, but the film relies on stupid jumps and unnecessary carnage. There is little here to actually haunt your dreams, but lots to annoy you for wasting 90 minutes. C-

The Happytime Murders
Rated R for strong crude and sexual content and language throughout, and some drug material
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 23%
Available on disc and streaming
When I first heard that Jim Henson’s son Brian Henson was making an R-rated muppet movie with Melissa McCarthy, I have to admit that I was very excited. These kinds of projects can be creative and fun and I had a very open mind. The story takes place in a world where man and puppet coexist, and when a series of heinous murders takes place, two cops – one puppet and one human (McCarthy) have to team up to solve it. Unfortunately the film just doesn’t work as a comedy, which is the only thing that could have saved it. It relies on a disgusting and degrading sense of humor that only on occasion can be misconstrued as clever. It’s such a shame that a great idea like this, as well as a talented cast of humans and creatures, was put to such a waste. McCarthy has since rescued her career with what will likely be an Oscar-nominated turn in “Can You Ever Forgive Me,” but hopefully irreparable damage hasn’t been done to the Hansen name and brand. D+

Popcorn Perspectives – Week of November 19, 2018

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of November 19, 2018

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Rated PG-13 for some sequences of fantasy action
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 44%
In Theaters
What started out as a side story for the Harry Potter series has taken on a life of its own in this second film of the Fantastic Beasts franchise. In this new adventure, the infamous pre-Voldemort baddie Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) has escaped from Azkaban Prison in the hope of going to war with the muggle world. Meanwhile, Newt Scamander and a younger Albus Dumbledore (Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law respectively) are doing everything in their power to stop him. I am impressed with the storytelling and ambition on display here, especially since it came under the guise of much more frivolous pretenses. And as you’d expect, the production values are top notch as the special effects keep improving and the imagination has stayed true to the original Potter vision. What sadly lacks here is energy. While it is directed by David Yates, who is on his sixth Harry Potter film here, and the screenplay is written by JK Rowling herself, the film has humongous pacing problems throughout and at times is just plain boring. I would still recommend it to fans as it will prove to be a necessary piece of the overall puzzle of its universe, but it’s certainly one of the least impressive films from this franchise so far. C+

Crazy Rich Asians
Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
Available on Disc and Streaming
I love a good romantic comedy (there are so few these days) so I was excited and surprised when this Asian romcom hit theaters this summer. Based on the best-selling books by Kevin Kwan, it follows a young NYU professor who finds out that her new fiancé comes from a super rich family in Singapore who is determined to break up their relationship once they travel there. With a clever screenplay that keeps you on your toes and an absolutely hysterical supporting cast, the movie turns out to be a winner on all levels. I’m not sure if the planned sequels will be able to churn out this much joy, but I’m glad to have this one for now. A

The Meg
Rated PG-13 for action/peril, bloody images and some language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 45%
Available on Disc and Streaming
When the world’s greatest deep-sea diver (Jason Statham) is hired to rescue the crew of a submersible at the bottom of the Mariana trench, they come under attack, and allow the escape of, the thought-to-be-extinct 75 foot Megalodon shark, who just can’t wait to eat the oceans full of people. This is a true guilty pleasure with very little in the way of horror and only mild thrills to be found. The special effects are pretty cheesy but the actors pull it off, even when you can tell they hate being on set, which is apparently the case with Statham according to his rantings after the film’s theatrical release. That being said, The Meg turns in a mindless yet somewhat fun adventure. You won’t regret wasting your time on it but you certainly won’t consider two hours well-spent either. C