Popcorn Perspectives – Week of August 20, 2018

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of August 20, 2018

Deadpool 2
Rated R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual references and brief drug material
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%
On Disc and Streaming
One of 2018’s bright stars is this sequel to the 2016 adult action comedy about a man (Ryan Reynolds) who is killed in an experiment, but brought back to life as a vigilante super hero who, very aware of the audience watching, cracks jokes while cutting off the villians’ limbs and heads with creativity and in expertly choreographed fashion. This time out, he has just lost the person most important to him and as an act of penance he commits to help a young mutant who is being hunted down by a hitman from the future named Cable (Josh Brolin). Just like the first film, the action is fast, as are the constant barrage of jokes, which almost always hit. When the first film came out, it was a risky venture and the studio capitalized big with their relatively small investment. This time though, the production has swagger, like it knows it’s going to be a smash coming out of the gate, and that confidence makes this an absolutely thrilling experience. And for this home release, we also get the new Super Duper Cut, which offers up almost 15 minutes more material which could not be shown in theaters. I would tell you it’s even more offensive, but honestly, the project has a great heart so it’s hard to not enjoy. A-

First Reformed
Rated R for some disturbing violent images
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%
On Disc and Streaming
In this indie, Ethan Hawke plays a solitary middle-aged priest at a small church in upstate New York, who turns empathetic to ecoterrorism after counseling a young couple in his church. This is a slow burn for sure, and not your average night on the couch watching a movie. The subject matter is extreme, and honestly hard to watch at times. But I was held captive for almost its entirety, waiting patiently for what would come next. Hawke’s performance was excellent, as is usual for his small-budgeted films, but unfortunately I found the ending to be way too unconventional for my taste. The story is basically straight forward until the last five minutes, which both confuses and distracts from the central message. I understand what writer/director Paul Schrader was trying to say but it certainly lacked coherence in relation to the overall narrative. B-

The Walking Dead: Season Eight
Rotten Tomatoes: 66%
On Disc and Streaming
Back for their eighth season is Rick and company as they battle Negan for control of their region and revenge for the murder of their friends, all while fending off the growing horde of zombies. There is still a lot to like about this franchise including some great action sequences and tons of gore for horror fans. But the eighth season has proven to be too much for many of its fans, and audiences are starting to die off because of it. When making a pizza, more ingredients and more time in the oven aren’t always the best solution, but that’s what we got here. A good storyline from the comics has been stretched too thin and gone on too long. If you’re in it to the end, like I am, you’ll try to ignore the plethora of problems, but unfortunately they are still there as the writing room tries to milk the Rick/Negan war for all it’s worth. C+

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