Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of May 3, 2021

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of May 3, 2021

Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse
Rated R for violence
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 44%
Streaming on Amazon Prime

One of Tom Clancy’s biggest titles not to hit the big screen until now is this story about a young Navy seal named John Clark (Michael B. Jordan) who goes on an international revenge mission after his pregnant wife is murdered. Teaming up with a fellow seal (Jodie Turner-Smith) and a potentially dangerous CIA operative (Jamie Bell), he slowly tracks down and eliminates anyone he thinks could have been responsible for his wife’s assassination. I remember reading this book when it was released back in 1993, sure that it would make a great movie, and Hollywood has tried for decades with no fruit to show. It’s an emotionally charged story full of espionage, pain and vengeance, and it reads very theatrically. But here they just took a big star and put him in an action pic that doesn’t play like it should. It has all the violence of the original story (although it deals with a completely new set of bad guys and a modern story line) but it doesn’t have the heart of the original tale. Ultimately it feels poorly directed and miscast throughout with some fairly unconvincing acting from its supporting cast and a focus solely on action rather than story. Being an origin film for John Clark, it seems like a failed attempt at creating a franchise when the filmmakers should have been more concerned with making the adaptation work. Perhaps this is the reason why Paramount chose to sell to Amazon Prime rather than to follow its original plan and release theatrically. C-

Demon Slayer – Kimetsu No Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train
Rated R for violence and bloody images
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%
In theaters in both subtitled and dubbed versions

While the American box office has been largely hurting, Asian movies are making bundles with this flick as a prime example. So far the little animated Japanese juggernaut has pulled in almost a half-billion dollars internationally, and with little domestic product to compete, it is doing rather well here in the states, taking up many of our country’s available screens. The story follows a group of young demon slayers who meet up with a powerful swordsman to take on a creepy demon who has possessed a train. At least that’s what I think it was about. Honestly, the whole thing was confusing and my memory of the experience is hazy at best. I’m guessing that if you haven’t seen the tv show, then you will be lost like me, but fans of the show seem to be very happy with it. I know it’s rated R, but honestly, it feels like a PG-13 and should be okay for kids who really love this kind of thing. The cultural and artistic aspects alone make it a good enough risk if you are on the bubble. But while it was beautifully animated and weirdly interesting, the fact that I just couldn’t connect makes this a miss for me. C+