Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton
Week of June 15, 2020
Summer of Spielberg: Week Three
Rated PG-13 for violence, brief language, some sexuality and drug content
Available to stream on Netflix and Amazon Prime
Celebrating its 18th birthday this week is this seminal sci-fi detective flick where Tom Cruise plays the head of a police force called Precrime, responsible for arresting and locking up people who would have committed murder if it weren’t for the prediction that they would be committing it. But things go wrong when it is predicted that he will commit a murder, forcing him to escape his department’s clutches long enough to try to find out why they think he will do what he is predicted to do. It’s a real mind bender and Spielberg is in pure action mode with this one as there is hardly a moment’s rest to catch your breath. Based on a story by Philip K. Dick, the movie also does an admirable job at predicting, or maybe inventing, targeted advertising, self-driving cars and all forms of likely and believable future technology. And all this time later, it finds itself relevant due to our current exposure of the need for criminal reform. And while not among John Williams’s most notable scores by popularity, I urge you to find a more lovely melody than the main theme, which has a constant rotation on my movie scores playlist. While it might be a little rough for the little kids, I watched it with my family and they were glued for two-and-a-half hours without making me feel too guilty about the content.
Gladiator: 4K 20th Anniversary Edition
Rated R for intense graphic combat
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%
Available on Disc and On Demand
Until 2000, Australian actor Russell Crowe was just building up a nice acting resume when he was suddenly catapulted into superstardom with this role of a lifetime as Maximus, a Roman General whose life was all but stripped from him after the corrupt prince (Joaquin Phoenix) murders the emperor. But with his life still barely in tact, he becomes the slave that would defy an empire as he rises through the Gladiator ranks in his ultimate thirst for revenge and justice. Wining an Oscar for both actor and picture, the film now serves as a man cave favorite, with regular viewing whenever the urge comes over, which is fairly often. And while the movie is undeniably great, the character of Maximus is so fantastic that I even named my son after him. This new set comes with both the theatrical and extended versions in beautiful 4K, along with more bonus content than you could ever hope to watch.