Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of March 18, 2019

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Rated PG for frenetic sequences of animated action violence, thematic elements, and mild language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%
Available on Disc and Streaming

Until mid-December, everyone in the industry was convinced that the race for best animated film would be a tight one between Incredibles 2 and Isle of Dogs. Then came Into the Spider-Verse which threw us all for a loop. They hardly screened it for critics groups and press, and they didn’t send out screeners, so most of us paid for a ticket to see it. And it was truly one of the greatest investments all year, and after seeing it, there was little surprise that it ended up winning. In this new Spider-man, a young minority teen name Miles Morales has been bitten by a radioactive spider only to find that he is now one of several Spider-people (and Spider-pig) brought into his version of New York City after Kingpin and Dr. Octopus conduct an experiment that goes wrong. The result is an electrifying experience with a pervasive energy that is unexpected and absolutely addictive. The story line and animation style are genius and the result is an unforgettable superhero adventure worthy of every accolade that has been thrust upon it. It’s not often that animation takes a huge leap forward. The last time was when CG became mainstream after decades of hand-drawn. Now we’ve reach an almost indescribable new level in animated storytelling. A

Mary Poppins Returns
Rated PG for some mild thematic elements and brief action
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%
Available on Disc and Streaming

Yet another one of my favorite films of the year is this follow up to the Disney masterpiece Mary Poppins. Now year later, the kids have grown up and must find a way to keep their home when the bank wants to illegally foreclose on them. With the help of Mary Poppins (now played by Emily Blunt) and a young lamplighter (Lin-Manuel Miranda) the family attempts to protect their home while singing many happy songs to keep the family happy, entertained and engaged. While the film is still very obviously Disney, the new filmmakers created here a modern musical with the same classic sensibilities that the audience would not only appreciate but demand as well. The songs and imagination behind them are absolutely wonderful and memorable, and while the film didn’t get a tremendous amount of Oscar love, that by no means takes away from its power and overall enjoyment. A