Popcorn Perspectives – Week of April 15, 2019

Popcorn Perspectives by Danny Minton

Week of April 15, 2019

Disneynature: Penguins
Rated G
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
In Theaters

You have to admit that Disney has really stuck to its commitment to keep the Disneynature brand alive and kicking. Nearly every Earth Day, Disney has put together a fantastic narrative based on animal footage their wildlife photographers capture in the wild. In this case, years of fieldwork in Antarctica has led to a story of an Adelie penguin named Steve who joins millions of his fellow penguins swimming, fishing, nesting, mating, and raising babies. If it sounds a lot like March of the Penguins, it kind of is – just more Disneyfied. While March was a much more substantial film, Penguins tries more to be cute and cuddly. Much of the narration by Ed Helms is more corny than it should be, and sometimes beneath the level of the production, but the images captured on film are at times absolutely magnificent, making up for any rolls of the eyes you will inevitably give up. I never grow tired of experiencing the wonders of God’s universe and this documentary is a prime example of just how strange and beautiful even the most remote parts of our planet can be. B+

Rated PG-13 for violence including some bloody images, thematic elements, and language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 37%
Available on Disc and Streaming

At the end of M. Night Shyamalan’s last film Split, we discovered that James McAvoy’s multiple personality villain was part of the larger superhero universe with Unbreakable’s Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis. When all three are brought together in an insane asylum, each tries to take their place in said universe in the hope of a major showdown. I’m sorry but I just don’t get it. I think McAvoy’s performances in this and Split are absolutely fantastic, but the story here is just plain stupid. And to make the stupid worse – it takes itself very, very seriously. The cast of talented actors really put themselves into their roles, but the script is a waste of all of their abilities, and its audience’s time. It’s almost as if Shyamalan has become so focused on the surprise that he’s forgotten how to craft a narrative worthy of one. D

The Kid Who Would Be King
Rated PG for fantasy action violence, scary images, thematic elements including some bullying, and language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%
Available on Disc and Streaming

Loved by critics but ignored by audiences, The Kid Who Would Be King follows a young British school student who stumbles upon a sword buried in a stone, and upon removal discovers he is more important than he could have ever dreamed. With the help of the legendary wizard Merlin (Patrick Stewart) he helps take on the evil enchantress Morgana in order to save England from disaster. This one was a really nice surprise. The story was stronger than I could have imagined and the acting was very good from this relatively unknown cast (with the exception of Stewart who is both known and apparently infallible). The film is much darker and even scarier than I could have expected, so I wouldn’t necessarily feed it to the youngins, but your older children will eat it up for sure. B+