Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of August 13

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton
Week of August 13, 2019

Avengers: Endgame
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and some language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%
Available on Disc and Streaming

Picking up where Avengers: Infinity War left off, a few years have passed since half of the world’s population disappeared and now the remaining Avengers, led by Tony Stark, use stupid science to work out the time travel necessary to make things like they once were and find a redo for their battle to save their friends, and the rest of mankind. Endgame turned into quite the juggernaut at the box office, raking in $857 million in the US (now number 2 of all time domestically), and $2.7 billion world-wide, making it the top grossing film of all time. What impresses me most about this franchise is Disney’s commitment to a huge storyline and all kinds of new heroes and interrelated tales. It was an ambitious plan that paid off more than anyone could have dreamed. And while I liked this last chapter of this major storyline, I didn’t love it as much as some of the previous parts. My biggest difficulty with it was how flimsy the plot devices were and how indulgent the battle sequence was at the end, giving each hero their money shot, not thinking if any of it made sense. Ultimately, this made the movie way longer than it should have been, rolling in at just over 3 hours. That being said, the film was surprisingly entertaining, giving us such pleasures as fat Thor and smart Hulk. I found myself laughing way more than I thought I could given the severity of the state of their world. If the box office is any indication, this release will build even further on Disney’s riches, but at least fans get their money’s worth in the process. B+

Unrated – but equivalent to an R for violence
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%
Available on Disc and Streaming
In Mandarin with English Subtitles

From legendary Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou comes this martial arts epic about ancient kingdoms at war and the price that must be paid to recapture what is thought to be theirs. Quite honestly – there is a long and convoluted plot, and my synopsis is completely inadequate here, but since I got lost and still enjoyed it, I figured I’d leave it at that. You won’t really be watching this movie for its story, but rather its remarkable vision and spectacular battle sequences, which is what Zhang Yimou is best known for anyway. Once you get through the soap opera-like drama and into the meat of the story, the action will have you on the edge of your seat, waiting to see what crazy stuff will happen next. While Yimou’s films usually include a rich and beautiful score (it doesn’t get much better than the score for Hero by Tan Dun), the lackluster score here is sadly composed by Asian composer Loudboy, which does not do anything to enhance the tapestry of the project. B