Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of June 24, 2019

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of June 24, 2019

Yesterday
Rated PG-13 for suggestive content and language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 64% at the time of writing
In Theaters

When I found out that one of my favorite directors, Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Millions, Slumdog Millionaire) and one of my favorite screenwriters, Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Love Actually) were making a film about my favorite band, The Beatles, I was more excited than you can imagine. The story follows a young failing singer/songwriter in England (the immensely talented newcomer Himesh Patel) who wakes up from after being hit by a bus to discover that The Beatles never existed. With dozens of the best songs ever written floating around his head, he chooses to introduce the world to the tunes, forced to claim that he wrote them. But when fame and fortune come knocking, he must decide what is most important in life. So did the movie live up to my very high expectation? Absolutely. I was able to very easily look past a bit of cheese, especially at the ending Ed Sheeran concert, to see the beautiful tribute to the music and musicians that have inspired millions of people worldwide, and in the most imaginative way to boot. It’s a lovely film where you will want to have a hand to hold while taking it in. While the film is not perfect, it is a true joy to watch and sure to be a huge crowd-pleaser once audiences start falling in love with it. A-

Dumbo
Rated PG for peril/action, some thematic elements, and brief mild language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 47%
Available on Disc and Streaming

Disney hasn’t been missing often lately, but one of its biggest losers this year was this live-action version of the 1941 classic, Dumbo, about a baby circus elephant with gigantic ears who is ridiculed until folks learn that he can fly. But rather than the expected visionary reimagining that everyone expected from the legendary director Tim Burton, we instead got a mediocre film with the basic elements of the first, but none of the magic. Part of the problem is the story went from one about an elephant, with talking and singing animals, to one about humans working with an elephant and other animals, none of who can talk or sing. Which brings me to the music – all of the great songs are basically gone. The soundtrack from Danny Elfman has some of the basic elements of those great tunes we all know, but why Burton chose to do it this way eludes me. The final nail in the coffin is the writing and acting. The characters were weak and the actors who are typically great (Danny DeVito, Colin Farrell, Eva Green and Michael Keaton) phoned in their roles while the children, who should have held things together, had zero charisma and seemed very miscast, like they were maybe children of the producers and not future movie stars. Overall, the movie was a huge disappointment that didn’t have to be. C-

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