Popcorn Perspectives – Week of December 3, 2018

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of December 3, 2018

Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Rated PG-13 for violence and intense sequences of action, and for brief strong language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%
Available on disc and streaming
Tom Cruise is back again as Ethan Hunt as his IMF team is assigned to another deadly mission to save the world, this time from possible nuclear annihilation. While all of the previous 5 films have been strong in the action and plot department, this one seems to be especially on-point with another confusing-yet-fun script, humongous set pieces and some of the most spectacular stunts you’ve ever seen. The special features on the disc showcase the literally death-defying work by Cruise as well as the film’s focus on its beautiful backdrop of Paris. I’m still not a fan of Cruise, mainly due to his crazy off-screen personality, but once again he impresses me as an actor who does everything he possibly can to earn his impossible-sized paychecks. A-

The Nun
Rated R for terror, violence, and disturbing/bloody images
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 27%
Available on disc and streaming
When the nun scared the daylights out of us in The Conjuring 2 (a well-respected box-office hit) it was a given that the studio would want to milk the nun for all she is worth, just like they had with the doll Annabelle from the first Conjuring. Here we get the origin story as the Vatican sends investigators to an Abbey in Romania where a young nun has taken her own life. Just as in the other spinoffs, the writing isn’t nearly as good as the stories lack the authenticity that the Conjuring franchise has blessed us with. The acting here is better than expected with Oscar-nominee Demian Bichir as Father Burke, but the film relies on stupid jumps and unnecessary carnage. There is little here to actually haunt your dreams, but lots to annoy you for wasting 90 minutes. C-

The Happytime Murders
Rated R for strong crude and sexual content and language throughout, and some drug material
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 23%
Available on disc and streaming
When I first heard that Jim Henson’s son Brian Henson was making an R-rated muppet movie with Melissa McCarthy, I have to admit that I was very excited. These kinds of projects can be creative and fun and I had a very open mind. The story takes place in a world where man and puppet coexist, and when a series of heinous murders takes place, two cops – one puppet and one human (McCarthy) have to team up to solve it. Unfortunately the film just doesn’t work as a comedy, which is the only thing that could have saved it. It relies on a disgusting and degrading sense of humor that only on occasion can be misconstrued as clever. It’s such a shame that a great idea like this, as well as a talented cast of humans and creatures, was put to such a waste. McCarthy has since rescued her career with what will likely be an Oscar-nominated turn in “Can You Ever Forgive Me,” but hopefully irreparable damage hasn’t been done to the Hansen name and brand. D+