Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of August 26, 2019

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of August 26, 2019

Rated R for language throughout, some drug use and sexual content
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%
Available on Disc and Streaming

Right on the heels of Bohemian Rhapsody which chronicled the life and exploits of Freddie Mercury is this biopic fantasy about the life of the legendary Elton John, one of the most successful rock singers in history. Beginning with his childhood, the movie uses the star’s music in full-out singing-and-dancing-in-the-streets musical format, rather than making it a more organic rock drama. This risk pays off big as John’s life was and is most certainly theatrical, and a Broadway-style display just makes sense. Overall, the film works on so many levels. Foremost is the tremendous talent of the actors, namely Taron Egerton who perfectly personifies the icon. But also Jamie Bell as Bernie Taupin, Richard Madden as the heartless lover and record producer, and Bryce Dallas Howard as John’s insensitive mother all make for an extraordinary ensemble. The production values are also off the charts, providing for a dreamy quality that almost puts you in a trance while absorbing. But the crafty way the songs are placed ultimately brings it all together in an unforgettable form that makes you want to relive it again right after you finish the first viewing. A+

Godzilla: King of Monsters
Rated PG-13 for sequences of monster action violence and destruction, and for some language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 41%
Available on Disc and Streaming

In the hopes of pulling off what Disney has done with the Avengers, Universal here is attempting to create a huge overarching platform for their giant monsters with this third film in the franchise (I’m including the recent King Kong as it will soon play out in the series). In this newest installment, the world’s biggest monsters are coming out of hiding, and humankind must rely on the powers of Godzilla to save mankind, while Mothra, Rodan, King Ghidorah and many others head to a giant showdown to decide who really will be king. What is impressive is that they could assemble this massive cast including Vera Farming, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins and Kyle Chandler. Unfortunately they each phone in their parts as if they are happy to take the check but would rather not have their name in the credits. And while the special effects are good enough for the film, the story is just a pathetic attempt to build something bigger through a sloppy plot line that the filmmakers hope folks don’t try to overanalyze. Don’t get me wrong – I sometimes like a mindless summer movie, but this one just takes an enormous step too far. D+

The Secret Life of Pets 2
Rated PG for some action and rude humor
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 60%
Available on Disc and Streaming

Furthering the adventures of the dogs, cats and rabbit from the first Secret
Life, this new journey finds Max (now voiced by Patton Oswald after the fall of Louis CK) and Duke (Eric Stonestreet) as their family has added a human child followed by a trip to the countryside, giving them a new dose of anxiety. Meanwhile, Snowball the bunny (Kevin Hart) attempts to free a white tiger from a circus. Honestly, the plot is so thin that the whole project appears to be nothing more than a cash grab, hoping that kids remember enough about the characters to care about what kind of messes they might get in again. While the first film came out only a short time ago, I remembered next to nothing and I’m going to assume this new one will be as forgettable as the first. C-