Popcorn Perspectives – Week of March 19, 2018

Popcorn Perspectives by Danny Minton

Week of March 19, 2018

Rated R for language including sexual references, some graphs nudity and drug use
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 51%
Available on Disc and Streaming
When Alexander Payne’s (Sideways, The Descendants) latest dramedy was released during the holiday, I actually expected it to be a competitor for awards season, but was greatly surprised when the reviews and buzz spiraled down. With all of the films being released at the same time, I missed the critic screening and they never sent an awards screener, so I dismissed it immediately. But I was still intrigued by the story. The film takes place in a world where technology has allowed people to become small in order to save dwindling resources. The benefit to the small is that they can live in luxury for a fraction of the price it takes when you’re big. The downside is that you leave the world you knew forever to take on the new life. Here Matt Damon becomes small and goes on a life journey that you just can’t see coming. Honestly, the film has an epic feel to it and after finally seeing it, I just can’t conceive how this movie was not considered one of the best of 2017. I loved the writing, the storytelling, the acting and pretty much everything about it. Most of all I loved its incredible creativity. The world is extremely well thought-out with with a grandiose vision. A-

I, Tonya
Rated R for pervasive language, violence and some sexual content/nudity
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%
Available on Disc and Streaming
Based on the true story, I, Tonya takes place in the world of figure skating where the very talented but brutish Tonya Harding was known more for her involvement in the assault of competitor Nancy Kerrigan than her actual skating. There has always been a dark cloud over Harding, and while this film does nothing to lift it, it actually brings empathy to its title character rather than shame. Margot Robbie is wonderful as the damaged hero and Allison Janney is magnificent as her mother, and awarded with an Oscar because of it. Overall this is a terrific movie that sheds light on a story that we only thought we knew. B+

Lady Bird
Rated R for language, sexual content, brief graphic nudity and teen partying
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%
Available on Disc and Streaming
While it’s hard to pinpoint and describe the actual plot of Lady Bird, it’s easy to describe it as one of the best movies of 2017. With a host of big Oscar nominations including best picture, best director/best screenplay (Greta Gerwig), as well as best actress (Saoirse Ronan) and best supporting actress (Laurie Metcalf), the buzz should be enough to interest most audiences. The story follows the life of a precocious and entitled high school senior (Ronan) whose over-extended confidence more than makes up for her lack of abilities. It is a grand coming-of-age story full of verve, but again, not full of plot. But that really doesn’t matter here. Personally, I just loved watching her go through the motions, exploring the limits of her relationships and mostly – appreciating that she is not my daughter. A