Popcorn Perspectives – Week of April 9, 2018

Popcorn Perspectives by Danny Minton

Week of April 9, 2018

The Greatest Showman

Rated PG for thematic elements including a brawl

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 55%

Another victim/survivor of the crowded Christmas schedule this year was this musical produced by and starring Hugh Jackman as the infamous P.T. Barnum.  But even though it didn’t get much in the way of awards love (I didn’t even get to see it until after nominations were due), it went on to have a moderately successful box office, creating quite a fan base who went to see it again and again.  Well I have to admit that I am right there with them.  After seeing it the first time in early January, I couldn’t wait to go again.  I found the music (written by Dear Evan Hansen and La La Land scribes Benj Pasek and Justin Paul), to be catchy and addictive, with a soundtrack that now has regular play intervals in my car and home, especially when my young son has his choice.  Overall, I found the movie to be an excellent feel-good movie/musical and had I had the chance to see it before I wrote my Top 10 of 2017, it might have been a major player on my list.  A

 

Phantom Thread

Rated R for language

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Nominated for 6 Oscars including Picture, Director, Actor and Supporting Actress, Phantom Thread was quite the last-minute surprise from director Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights).  The story follows Daniel Day-Lewis as a high-end fashion designer in the 1960’s and his struggles to constantly improve his craft and his inability stay grounded in both love and life.  For much of the movie, it is possibly the most pretentious, snooty film I have ever seen.  But then the film takes a turn to bring it and its subject back down to Earth in a deeply surprising manner that actually excited my intellect and curbed my almost negative opinion.  I would not recommend this to anyone who isn’t a serious cinema fan, but I can see why the Academy honored it with so many high-power nods, and I look forward to discussing with other viewers once some people have actually seen it.  B

 

Molly’s Game

Rated R for language, drug content and some violence

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin makes his directorial debut here with this real-life story about an ex-olympic skier (Jessica Chastain), who created an exclusive high-stakes poker game until she became an FBI target.  With Sorkin on the script, the story is well-written and the talented cast keeps the words and action flowing.  Its only downfall is that the story, while interesting, isn’t two hours interesting, making you wish that there was something more worth watching.  It’ll pass the time on a rainy day, but I doubt it will stick with you.  B-

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