Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of May 31, 2021

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of May 31

Spirit Untamed
Rated PG for some adventure action
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 47%
In Theaters

In 2002, Dreamworks animation released a really well-made, hand-drawn animated film called Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, which placed Matt Damon voicing the inner thoughts of a beautiful wild horse and his dealings with humans in the old west, both good and bad. Now, almost 20 years later, Dreamworks is revisiting with a sloppily-crafted, computer-animated film with a similar looking horse who befriends a young girl new to the west. Rather than the thoughts of the horse, the story is all told from the point of view of the girl. And instead of Damon offering up insightful and interesting commentary, we have Jake Gyllenhaal as the girl’s father, in an inconsequential role. Much of what there was to love about the original Spirit is now gone, including the brilliant Texas-born director Kelly Asbury (who tragically died a few years ago) and the fantastic score by Hans Zimmer (replaced here by the forgettable score by Amie Doherty). Although it does have a more than decent voice cast, including Gyllenhaal, Julianne Moore and Walton Goggins, none of the characters jump off the page and the writing feels like its trying to get through a 90 minute project rather than telling a unique story that needs to be told. All-in-all, it feels like a straight to streaming knock-off that suddenly got a push from the studio when they realized there was an absence of family material in theaters. C-

A Glitch in the Matrix
Unrated but would be a solid R
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 68%
Available on disc and streaming

Director Rodney Ascher has made a career of taking interesting and conspiracy-laden subjects and laying out the details with tons of archival movie footage to see if he can get you to follow along and possibly believe. In Room 237 he taught us about Stanley Kubrick, lending credibility to countless conspiracy theories about secrets behind The Shining. In The Nightmare, he showed us extreme sleep paralysis where people can’t move, speak or react to monsters in their dreams. In this new documentary, he shows us a world where people think that we are all just simulations, as in the movie The Matrix, living futile, manipulated lives without meaning or consequence. Through interviews and archival movie footage, he tries to see if we will follow him down the rabbit hole to the sometimes strange, but also dark and dangerous ramifications of such a thought process. Rather than trying to get us to subscribe this time, he tries to introduce you to people who believe and what it has done to their lives. It’s crazy and haphazard, but also hard to take your eyes off of and even harder to shake off afterward. After watching Room 237, I was convinced that Kubrick filmed the moon landings. After watching this, I was just convinced that there are a lot of crazy people out there that I need to stay clear of. B-