Popcorn Perspectives – Week of September 18, 2017

Popcorn Perspectives by Danny Minton

Week of September 18, 2017

mother!
Rated R for strong disturbing violent content, some sexuality, nudity and language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 68%
There will likely not be as divisive of a film this year as writer/director Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! The proof of this is in the relatively high Rotten Tomatoes critics score while having a rare F from the audience-driven Cinemascore. Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem play a young married couple who are trying to put their lives back together after a disaster took their house. But what has audiences angry is that it is not at all about that. In fact the narrative is completely metaphorical. It’s like a long, confusing parable where Jesus doesn’t stop to explain its meaning afterward. From what I could piece together, the story is biblical allegory from a twisted point of view. But it is so cryptic that it will take countless viewings and hours of study to fully comprehend and appreciate. Someday I might put in the time, but for now, for me, this pic is going back on the shelf to be opened at a later date when I have time to waste and I’m more in the mood. B-

The Vietnam War
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%
For over 30 years documentarian Ken Burns has given us some of the greatest visions and classic storytelling of American history. In this new 10 part, 18-hour docuseries from PBS, Burns focuses on the large and small of the Vietnam War, from its causes and forces, to the people who fought in it (on both sides), to the families suffering at home while their loved ones were suffering and dying. While this terrible war has been looked at from many angles, this will no doubt be considered to be the most definitive and epic commentary on the war available to date. And while the length may scare some off, it is surprisingly binge-worthy as you process what you know from what you don’t and attempt to put it all together in your brain. A+

The Big Sick
Rated R for language including some sexual references
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%
This autobiographical comedy from Pakistani actor Kumail Nanjiani tells his story about being a young stand-up comedian whose ex-girlfriend (Zoe Kazan) gets sick and goes into a coma as he and her parents (Ray Romano and Holly Hunter) draw close while hoping and waiting for her to recover. It is sweet and endearing while also being hysterical and thought-provoking. It is certainly one of the highlights of 2017 so far. A

Wonder Woman
Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and some suggestive content
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
After her first appearance in the rather lousy Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, I was worried that this film would be equally bad. But director Patty Jenkins pulled off a minor miracle by giving the Amazonian princess a terrific origin story wrapped up in a fast-paced and well-made movie. Gal Gadot is perfect as Wonder Woman, in spite of my well-deserved concerns, and I actually look forward to seeing what comes next for her. A-

Captain Underpants: The Epic First Movie
Rated PG for mild rude humor throughout
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%
In spite of great reviews from both critics and audiences, as well as a large base of fans of their kids graphic novels, this animated superhero flick landed with a relative thud in theaters. But I can certainly understand why. From the outside, this tale of two elementary-aged friends who convert their mean principle into an underwear-clad caped crusader in order to fight a villain known as Professor Poopypants seems like a mindless onslaught of potty humor. And maybe it is a little. But it is also a wildly creative adventure with smart writing and great voice talent with Kevin Hart and Ed Helms as the best friends. With theaters so devoid right now of good content for children, the timing couldn’t be more perfect for this home release. B

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