Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of February 10, 2020

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of February 10, 2020

Ford v Ferrari
Rated PG-13 for some language and peril
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
Available on Disc and Streaming

One of the most underrated films of 2019, and winner of two Academy Awards, is this film based on the true story from the 60’s where the Ford racing team, lead by legendary car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and race car driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) went head to head against Enzo Ferrari in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966. As far as racing movies go – it’s one of the best ever made with an equal amount of both great storytelling and action. And in 152 minutes, it zips by due to the masterful filmmaking of James Mangold (Logan) and his talented production team. As someone who cares little about these kinds of films, it made me want to care in ways I didn’t expect. A-

First Love
Rated NR – but would be R if rated
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%
Available on Disc and Streaming
In Japanese with English Subtitles

From prolific Japanese director Takashi Miike comes this peculiar, off-balance crime thriller about a talented and serious young boxer who, after a diagnosis of inoperable brain cancer, falls in love with a prostitute and gets swept up in a crazy drug-smuggling scheme over the course of one night in Tokyo. Just like this week’s Oscar-winning Korean filmmaker Boon Jong Ho, Miike has a unique style of story-telling that might seem unusual to American audiences, but is none-the-less entertaining. This film is a bit violent and scatter-brained, but I also found it to be hilarious and memorable. Sure the story is somewhat hard to follow, but it’s worth the attempt for sure. B+

White Snake
Rated NR – but would be PG-13 if rated
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%
Available on Disc and Streaming

From GKIDS comes this animation import from China about a young snake catcher from a small village who discovers a beautiful and mysterious young woman who has lost her memory. Together they go on a frightening journey to save the world from an evil power. Culturally, the film apparently has more meaning in its native China, but there is much to take in and appreciate here. The story itself is fairly hard to follow but no worse than what you’d find from Miyazaki. But what interested me the most was the spectacular animation. This is truly a beautiful film to look at and listen to, with a score that feels inspired by Tan Dun’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It’s a little rough for the youngsters with more violence than you’d expect as well as an abbreviated sex scene that is rare for animation. So pre-teens and teens, and especially adults, are the target audience. B-

Shutter Island: 10th Anniversary 4K SteelBook Limited Edition
Rated R for disturbing violent content, language and some nudity
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 68%
Available on Disc and Streaming

Back in 2010, Martin Scorsese knocked it out of the park with this psychological thriller about a detective (Leonardo DiCaprio) who travels to a remote mental hospital to investigate the disappearance of woman who was admitted after murdering her three children. I am fully convinced that the only reason this film didn’t succeed to a much larger degree was that most folks only saw it once. Once just doesn’t do it. The story is good the first time around, but it just isn’t great. But watch it a second time, in close proximity to the first, and the film takes on a completely different personality and tone. It’s not even remotely the same film the second time you watch it. To me, that made the film truly special, and one of the most under-appreciated films in recent history. This complexity is mind-boggling at the very least and genius at its very base. With all of his accolades and notoriety for his body of work, this remains my favorite Scorsese movie to date and still one of my favorite films of all time. A+

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