Popcorn Perspectives – Week of April 29, 2019

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of April 29, 2019

Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki
Unrated but equivalent to G
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%
Available on Disc
In Japanese with English Subtitles

Arguably the greatest living animator, Hayao Miyazaki, has retired from his day to day of making some of the worlds most famous animated films such as Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro. This documentary literally follows him around his home in Japan as we learn from his simple life lessons and observe his desire to go back to work to keep creating and reshaping his art. So in order to not go away silently, he makes his way back into the studio to create a new short story using his traditional hand-drawn style crossed with computer-aided graphics. While non-fans might find the movie quite a bore, the targeted audience here will discover much excitement in this incredibly intimate portrait. You don’t necessarily get the recipe for the secret sauce, but you do get a truly great glimpse of the life behind the legend. A-

Rated R for language throughout, violence, some sexual content and brief drug use
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%
Available on Disc and Streaming

This downer of a cop drama stars Nicole Kidman as a modern homicide detective who constantly flashbacks to her younger days as an undercover cop infiltrating a California gang after the two worlds intersect. The storyline follows a convoluted and confusing plot down a path this isn’t much fun to tread. There is certainly some good drama here, and once the story become more clear, it does basically come together, but it is definitely not an enjoyable journey. Still, Kidman tackles a role here that is very different for her and she does it well. The rest of the cast is strong also, but the darkness of the film almost overpowers it. It’s a good enough crime drama as long as you are in the right mood to take it in. C+

Alien: 40th Anniversary Edition
Rated R for sci-fi violence, gore and language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%
Available on Disc and Streaming

It’s hard to believe that this sci-fi horror classic is now 40 years old, but when I thought back to the countless times I’ve watched it over the years, I realized that I’ve never seen a non-grainy version. Even on blu-ray. It has always looked old to me. Still a great film – but old. If that’s what you are used to – you must check out this new 4K version. Every frame looks pristine, almost like the movie was made yesterday. This stunning look and sound, applied to both the original theatrical and the 2003 directors cut, as well as several deep-dive features, make this a must own masterpiece that you will love to keep revisiting. A