Popcorn Perspectives – Week of September 3, 2018

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of September 3, 2018

Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%
Available on Disc and Streaming
This incredibly successful documentary follows the life of Fred Rogers, the creator and star of the hit children’s show Mr Rogers’ Neighborhood, a show that ran for decades and left a positive impact on pretty much everyone who ever watched it. In the very cynical world we live in, it’s a breath of fresh air to sit back and appreciate the life of such a good man whose heart was truly in the right place, where hardly a misstep was taken. The film is made up of interviews with the people who knew him best, along with many of his greatest television moments, and you get the honest sense that his life was truly spent in the service of others and those who knew him were even luckier than the folks like me who just grew up watching him. When I was a child, I didn’t even realize he was trying to explore adult issues in order to help me grow up to be a better person. To me he was just educational entertainment that I loved to watch. But that’s the magic and the brilliance behind this legendary figure for whom I now have an extraordinary respect for. A

Beast
Rated R for disturbing content, language and some sexuality
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%
Available on Disc and Streaming
This low-budget but well-received British indie follows a young girl who wants to escape from her family but can’t seem to find the courage. But when she meets a young loner and falls in love, her dreams of escape are bashed when he is arrested as the leading suspect wanted for a series of grisly murders. What makes the film so intriguing is that it is hard to get ahold of. It starts out like a forbidden romance but moves into thriller territory, only to confuse you into thinking you might have it wrong. The leading couple are atypical but talented leading actors, which only adds to the mystique. I wouldn’t say that it’s a film for everyone, but it certainly is a decent little indie for folks who love to explore the stranger and darker side of cinema. B+

Hereditary
Rated R for horror violence, disturbing images, language, drug use and brief graphic nudity
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%
Available on Disc and Streaming
This indie horror/drama follows a truly messed-up family that undergoes an extreme tragedy which puts their life through a horrific nightmare. Thanks in part to a phenomenal trailer and a promising cast, the film hit with incredible buzz and even better reviews from press who loved its novelty and creativity. And while the box office was relatively strong compared to its budget, audiences didn’t quite know how to take it. It doesn’t help that you are convinced, before going in, that the story follows a strange-looking girl with mysterious, possibly satanic powers. But then you find out that the film is about her brother and it almost feels like you were sold a bill of goods. Please notice that I’m hardly going to tell you what the film is really about. How’s that for a film review? I would rather tell you that your expectations should be correct, so that you can better enjoy it. Instead of thinking you are about to see a film that will scare you out of your wits, you should expect to experience a psychological thriller that will creep you out more than it elevates your heart rate. It’s not a frightmare masterpiece as most critics have exclaimed, but it is a genre pic worth checking out. B

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