Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of July 26, 2021

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of July 26, 2021

Jungle Cruise
Rated PG-13 for adventure violence
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70% at time of writing
In Theaters and on Disney + Premium

As Disney looks find content by giving a backstory to more of their old rides, Jungle Cruise seems to be an obvious choice for a fun and rollicking adventure. For this tale, Emily Blunt plays an early 20th century archeologist who recruits Dwayne Johnson, a cheesy river boat captain, to take her to a hidden spot in the Amazon to search for a mysterious tree with miraculous healing powers. But hot on their trail is a wealthy Eastern European baddie in a submarine (Jesse Plemons) who wants to also find the tree and set loose some evil conquistadors who have been trapped in the jungle for hundreds of years. For years, various iterations and ideas of a jungle cruise movie have gone into production, but until now, none have graced the screen. Going in I wasn’t even remotely enthusiastic about watching, after all, from the trailer it looks like pretty much like every other film that Disney has put out like this, but I have to admit that I was completely on board once it started. Blunt and Johnson are both so uniquely charismatic that they give the film a strong and crazy energy that helps you forget about the films’ many flaws and instead allows you to be whisked away on their nonsensical journey without a care in the world. The film is one fun set piece after another with a little romance thrown in for good measure. Yes its a formulaic Disney film meant to capitalize on a theme park ride, but more than that – it is as entertaining a film as you will see this year, and it’s even kid-friendly. If you miss films like The African Queen or Romancing the Stone, this should bring back happy memories and maybe even give you a new one. A-

Rated PG-13 for disturbing images, brief strong language, partial nudity, strong violence and suggestive content
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 51%
In Theaters

M. Night Shyamalan’s newest twisty psychological thriller stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Vicky Krieps as a couple who take their young kids on a vacation to a secluded beach resort, only to find out that the secret beach they are taken to forces them to age their entire lives in a single day. Much of this plot you quickly ascertain from the trailer, but thankfully, once you get into the meat of the picture, it develops into a strange but thoughtful expose on human relationships, aging, disease, and love. The story evolves in ways both expected and not, and even manages to throw in a big surprise or two. As a big ensemble piece, the acting is strong enough to carry the plot through, and when the twist actually happens, it doesn’t exactly hit you like some of his other films, but rather finds a way to nicely layer itself into a tale that simply needs to make more sense. By the end it manages to be a satisfying narrative worthy of the two hours spent watching it. B