Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of October 12, 2020

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of October 12, 2020

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Love and Monsters
Rated PG-13 for action/violence, some suggestive material and language
Available on Demand

With its plans foiled for a theatrical release, Paramount is lunching this relatively low-budgeted action monster romance straight to homes on October 16. The story takes place seven years after the “Monsterapocalypse” destroys most of humanity when gigantic monsters start terrifying the planet. Our hero (Dylan O’Brien) is the runt of a group of survivors living underground, who is respected not for his fighting and survival skills, but only for his ability to make soup and mastering the radio. But when he discovers that the love of his young life (Jessica Henwick) is still alive dozens of miles away in another colony, he sets off by foot to reconnect with her. Along the way he runs into a veteran monster-killer and his child protege (Michael Rooker and Ariana Greenblatt) who attempt to teach him about his monster predators and how to stay alive along the journey. With its romantic element, it ends up being being like a cross between Zombieland and Say Anything where the chance of a reunion kiss is as important as living through a giant frog attack. At times it is quite creative and others it feels way too familiar. While the monsters’ very presence and actions don’t make a lick of sense, they are at least uniquely conceived, even if the supporting characters are many times an unnecessary formulaic rehash. If this were premiering on Netflix, it might have had a decent chance of gaining an audience, but without a notable cast and a sudden release on demand, it might quickly find its way to obscurity. B-

Kingdom of Silence
Unrated
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
Available on Showtime

The first of two high-profile documentaries being released this year about the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Kingdom of Silence attempts to show its audience about Khashoggi’s life and lasting impact on journalism, while also painting a picture of the world events that led to his brutal murder at the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey. While the murder was a well-covered historical event, this film does an excellent job of providing a primer for the why’s and not just the how’s. Some might find it offensive as it heavily implicates Trump’s complicity as one of those why’s, using the premise that they wouldn’t have gotten away with it under Obama, thus placing Trump and the U.S. as central characters. But ultimately it tells a convincing story of the unchecked power of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, a man who many consider to be a ruthless dictator, able to use his corrupt relationships with many world powers in order to very literally get away with murder on the world stage. It is a much more political documentary than I expected, but it never feels like it is straying from the truth. Instead it helps us better understand why our leaders need to represent the high ideals of our country and when they stray, bad things can and will happen. A-

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