Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of May 21, 2018

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of May 21, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action/violence
In Theaters
Disney has made it a mission to both expand the Star Wars universe and fill in the gaps with a full slate of new movies and adventures. Part of the gap-filling is this new tale which essentially gives Han Solo an origin story. Here a young Han (Alden Ehrenreich) meets his future life-partner Chewbacca and sets off on a mission with fellow hooligan Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) to steal precious cargo worth a fortune for them if they get away with it. This is probably easy to predict, but this movie is exactly what you think it will be. And that’s not a bad thing. There was some concern when the original directors were fired and replaced with Ron Howard, but as one with a lot of faith in Ron Howard, my confidence in his ability proved valid. The film is a fast, light-hearted joyride with all of the great moments you knew would have to be there such as the Kesell Run and a memorable meet-cute between Chewy and Han. Ehrenreich does a completely competent job as Han but stealing the show is certainly Glover whose career is as hot as it gets right now. Overall this is a highly enjoyable addition to the Star Wars franchise, destined to be a hit and possibly even its own franchise starter. B+

Game Night
Rated R for language, sexual references and some violence
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%
Available on Disc and Streaming
While this critical hit turned out to be a bomb at the box-office, it hopes to gain a little more attention for home viewing. In this adult comedy, Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams are a young couple who love to host a frequent game night with their friends. But when his brother (Kyle Chandler) shows up trying to one-up their game night, things take a serious (yet still comedic) turn as truths start to materialize. While most of the twists and turns don’t make a lot of sense as you put thought into them, the writing and acting is strong enough to push you through and the crazy night ends up being fun to watch even in spite of the obvious plot problems. B-

Red Sparrow
Rated R for strong violence, torture, sexual content, language and some graphic nudity
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 47%
Jennifer Lawrence has been picking some fairly unconventional projects lately such as Mother! and Passengers, and continuing that trend comes this film about an injured Russian ballerina who is forced into the life of a sex spy. The overlong film is a chore to get through as it is mostly boring, with a pervasive rapey vibe and loaded with torture. Sure the acting is decent but the film is as far from a sexy thriller as you can get. The whole thing is a lushly produced nauseating experience. C-

The Other Side of Hope: The Criterion Collection
Not Rated
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%
In Finnish, English and Arabic
Available on Disc and Streaming
Finnish writer/director Aki Kurismäki takes on the refugee crisis as he tells this tale about a businessman who befriends and attempts to help a Syrian refugee who lands in Helsinki as a stowaway. Kaurismäki’s work is certainly not for everyone and this is no exception. While frequently funny and ridiculous, the director’s deadpan style makes the actors seem rigid and mundane, stealing away from the terrific story which gives life and empathy to the Syrian refugee crisis. I really wanted to like the movie, but its style is just too off-putting. C+

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