Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of November 15, 2021

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of November 15, 2021

Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Rated PG-13 for supernatural action and some suggestive references
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67%
In Theaters

In 2016 Ghostbusters attempted a reboot with a very funny but ultimately failed attempt using a female-led cast. With an apparent attempt to forget about that chapter, Jason Reitman (son of the original director Ivan Reitman) is now attempting another, very different kind of reboot. Taking place in the year 2021 in a small Oklahoma town, the daughter and grandchildren of Dr. Egon Spengler (the now deceased Harold Ramis) have moved into his farm after his demise which was brought on by evil spirits in the opening minutes of the film. As they discover the secrets he left behind, they uncover an apocalypse about to happen as they try to figure out what they can possibly do to prevent it. If you’ve seen the trailer you’ll probably be of the general opinion that this new addition to the franchise is creative and has a slick new vibe. Using kids to be the new Ghostbusters gives the project a Goonies, Stranger Things feel that ultimately works well here. I especially loved Mckenna Grace and Paul Rudd who give the film its much needed flair and humor. Unfortunately they just can’t provide enough humor to overcompensate for the rest of the cast and the rest of the project. What made the original Ghostbusters work so well was how funny and fun it was, and this film sorely needs help in that regard. The movie has some of the right ingredients, but they are not balanced, which gives the constant feeling that something is missing. And while I won’t give away the ending, lets just say that it ends up being a big copout, lacking in creativity and energy. That being said, there is a lot to like here, but a lot to dislike as well. I wouldn’t say the potential completely goes to waste, but it certainly doesn’t evolve into the great picture that it could have been. B

Rated PG-13 for fantasy violence and action, brief sexuality and some language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 47%
In Theaters

Based on the Marvel comic and now part of the Marvel’s latest phase of new heroes and stories, Eternals tells the story of a unique group of ancient aliens who were assigned at the dawn of man to protect humans from an evil breed of monsters known as Deviants. But when the plot thickens revealing their true purpose on Earth, they attempt to unite to do what they consider to be the right thing. Or at least that’s what I think the film is about. The least accessible film in the Marvel universe thus far, the movie is a confusing and rather boring cross section of exposition and action that just kind of trods along, daring you to attempt to make sense of it and give it greater meaning. Being that this was such a minor title for Marvel Comics, there really isn’t a lick of familiarity with the characters for most audiences, and there is a lot to learn about them. And by the time we do learn about them, it’s hard to care about them. It feels ambitious at times, but it feels like it’s a stretch at others. This kind of project has worked before for Marvel as Guardians of the Galaxy and Shang Chi were relatively unknown before their movie adaptations. And while Eternals brought in a stellar writer/director (Chloe Zhao just won the Oscar last year for Nomadland), she just couldn’t translate the material well enough to make the film compelling or enjoyable. I’m hoping that in the future all of this material somehow makes sense and we look back at it in fondness, but right now it feels more like a chore that I’m guessing is a necessary step to get to the next chapter of this phase. C-