Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of June 29, 2020

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of June 29, 2020

Rated PG-13 for language and some suggestive material
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100% at time of writing
Available on Disney+

In 2015, Lin-Manuel Miranda made Broadway history with this hip hop musical about the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton. Since it’s premier, it has gone on to become the most successful Broadway show of all time, both critically and financially, and while COVID-19 has slowed it down for now, up until March it was still selling out every show in New York and on tour with third-party tickets going for hundreds of dollars for bad seats and thousands for the good ones. Personally, I have seen it three times, once with the original cast, and I will freely admit that it is worth every penny and I would spend it again gladly when given the opportunity. In June of 2016 they decided to film the original cast over a period of several days, in the hope of releasing it in theaters. But the newish streaming app Disney+ wanted content and subsequently made a deal to launch this Fourth of July weekend, allowing the world to experience what life is like sitting on the front row of this epic show. And while there is nothing like the joy of seeing it live, this particular version is breathtakingly spectacular and captivating, allowing you to take in all of its greatness and raw emotion without having to take out a second mortgage on your home. It’s everything I was hoping it would be and quite honestly a generous gift to the starving patrons of live theater in need of some inspiration and pure pleasure. And for those of you who just can’t understand why the show has so many rabid fans – you are about to find out. A+

Summer of Spielberg: Week Five
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Rated PG (before PG-13 came to be)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%
Available on Netflix and paid streaming

In 1981, with a couple of hits under his belt, Stephen Spielberg knocked it out of the park with this mega hit, which he says was inspired deeply by the 1948 Bogart classic The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. When Tom Selleck was forced to drop out as the infamous Indiana Jones due to his conflicting Magnum P.I. scheduling, Spielberg and fellow creator George Lucas went to Harrison Ford, hot off his role of Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back, thus solidifying his name as arguably the greatest action/adventure star of the twentieth century. Here, the hero is sent by the government to try to discover and procure the lost Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis can get their hands on it. Loaded with almost non-stop action and an incredible script by Empire writer Lawrence Kasdan, it’s just a marvelous motion picture that is a blast to watch, no matter how many times you’ve seen it. And as someone who just watched it with a room full of first-time young viewers, I can attest that it still has a magnetic pull for the kids, even if it is as old or older than most of their parents.