Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of April 11, 2022

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of April 11, 2022

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
Rated PG-13 for some fantasy action/violence
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 59%
In Theaters

In this third installment of the Harry Potter prequels, Gellert Grindelwald (now played by Mads Mikkelsen since Depp was forced to disappear) attempts to seize control of the wizarding world and thusly the Muggle world around it. In order to stop him, Professor Dumbledore (Jude Law) assembles a team consisting of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) and a couple of new wizards determined to keep him from reaching power. The last film in the series was an absolute mess, leaving this one a lot to clean up. There were jumbled plots, confusing storylines and even if you made it to the end without dozing off, you still probably had to watch a YouTube synopsis to figure out what was actually going on. This one, thankfully, is clearer in its vision and much easier to understand. It still has a similar problem in that this is far less “fantastic beasts” and far more about sorting out what happened pre-Harry. But at least the narrative is more carefully crafted and Mikkelsen does a fine job of covering up the replacement. Honestly, while he’s not as eclectic as Depp, he is a far better actor. Aside from its many problems – and there are plenty – director Yates and writer Rowling create a decent enough piece of canon that might not make the critics happy but should appease the fans, for now. The biggest head scratcher to me is at the end, I couldn’t actually recall any of Dumbledore’s big secrets. Since it’s the name of the film we should have had some major revelations and not just a few minor ones. Someone told me it was that he was gay, but we found that out in the last outing, so maybe it’s possible his secrets aren’t good for more than just a marketing slogan. B-

Spider-Man: No Way Home
Rated PG-13 for sequences of action/violence, brief suggestive comments, and some language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Available on disc and paid streaming (not Disney+)
After the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home, the whole world now knows Spidey’s true identity and it’s too much for Peter Parker to bear. So with the help of Doctor Strange, he attempts to cover up the secret with magic. But in the process, he opens up a portal to other universes, allowing original series’ baddies like Green Goblin, Dock Ock and others to enter his world and wreak havoc. Due to some solid writing and fast-paced directing, the film turns out to be a very decent edition to the MCU. It has the right amount of action, drama, romance and adventure, and in spite of being a little too long, manages to provide for a fun journey. It is far too similar to Sony’s 2018 Oscar-winning Into the Spider-verse, but since it is live-action, audiences found forgiveness in their hearts and went to see it in droves. Growing up, my favorite hero was Spider-Man, and I love all of these films, but I fear we might be getting a little too much. I hope they can continue the string of good movies, but at this pace we might just start to see an over-dose occur if they aren’t careful. B+