Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of March 16, 2020

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of March 16, 2020

Richard Jewell
Rated R for language including some sexual references, and brief bloody images
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%
Available on Disc and Streaming

Clint Eastwood’s latest biopic came and went with little fanfare late last year, but for the adults in the room, this is a great little film to catch up on as you are stuck at home. Taking place during after the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Richard Jewell is a wannabe cop who takes his park security job very seriously. Imagine Paul Blart: Mall Cop without the Segway. When he discovers a bomb at a well-attended concert, his swift actions saved hundreds of lives, but rather than getting the heroes reception he deserved, he became the FBI’s chief suspect, vilified by the media and the public alike. With a strong cast including newcomer Paul Walter Hauser as Jewell, Kathy Bates as his mother, as well as Sam Rockwall, Jon Hamm and Olivia Wilde, the film serves as an excellent example of representing an unsung hero that we might not have even known was a hero due to how they were portrayed on our TVs. It also shows us that no matter what side of the aisle we are on, sometimes the people we listen to are wrong. It’s not overly preachy, but it will hit you with a tinge of guilt if your memories of this event are different than what ended up the reality. B+

A Hidden Life
Rated PG-13 for thematic material including violent images
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%
Available on Disc and Streaming

Based on real events, A Hidden Life tells the story of an Austrian peasant farmer who refuses to fight for the Nazis during World War II. Told from the canvas of filmmaker Terrence Malick, the film moves along like visual poetry rather than sticking to a traditional script, much like Malick’s other films such as The Tree of Life and The New World. At times the film is stunningly beautiful and puts you in a trance-like dream state. But at three hours long, it meanders without seeming purpose for too long, making it hard to finish in one sitting. The acting is fine and as long as you are comfortable with Malick’s style, the way the story is told should feel comfortable. But in the end, it just wasn’t a film I could love or rave about. So I would recommend to watch if you are one of Malick’s fans, but maybe skip out if not. B-

Charlie’s Angels
Rated PG-13 for action/violence, language and some suggestive material
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 52%
Available on Disc and Streaming

Charlie’s Angels has always been a franchise based on girl-power, but in order to make it more of a “Me Too” statement, Actress Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games) turns to writer/director to push forth a new vision for the resourceful squad of fighting investigators. The ridiculous plot follows the girls chasing down an assassin and an evil corporation responsible for a…. never mind. It doesn’t matter what the plot is because it’s that silly. Here we get to watch Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska kicking butt while looking good, all the while we are getting preached at about equality. At times the film has a good sense of humor with some decent laughs, and the fight sequences are entertaining enough, but as a whole, the film fails from its very new concept of who the girls really are now and what their organization is about. C

Uncut Gems
Rated R for pervasive strong language, violence, some sexual content and brief drug use
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
Available on Disc and Streaming

Adam Sandler heads up this neurotic crime thriller from the Safdie Brothers (Good Time), which follows a New York City jeweler who, on the lookout for the next big score, works his way into problem after problem on his way to the hustle that will hopefully change his life. This is not a comfortable ride to say the least, but between Sandler’s brilliant and Oscar-worthy performance, and the strange nervous energy that pervades the entire film, the movie keeps you on anxious edge for the more than two hours until its final crazy moments. I have to admit that this film isn’t for everybody. If you are looking for whacky Sandler, he isn’t here. For those of you like me, who love to see the deep range of a talented actor, you might just love this project. A-