Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of November 29, 2021

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of November 29, 2021

House of Gucci
Rated R for some sexual content, language, brief nudity and violence
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 62%
In Theaters

House of Gucci tells the story of Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) and how she met, fell in love with, split up from and then hired someone to kill her husband Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver). Set in the 70s, 80s and 90s in the world of the Gucci family, we get to witness the drama that came close to bringing down one of the greatest names in the fashion industry. Going in to the movie, I knew nothing of Gucci aside from their name, and I was surprised that the campaign to gain interest for the film depended largely on giving away the ending. I can’t recall a film ever doing that in order to sell itself. But here it is deeply important that that seminal moment looms over the entire picture. But what becomes more important than the actual story are the multiple fantastic performances from its star-studded cast, especially that of Lady Gaga. While you can make a little fun of her accent, you can’t deny that she knocks this one out of the park, just like she did in A Star is Born. Also worth mentioning is Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci, Maurizio’s cousin. Leto is campy as all get out, and apparently not even close to the actual Paolo in character, but he adds a much needed flair to the film, almost as comic relief delivered by a sad, pathetic clown. Ultimately, this is far from a perfect film, but it is very watchable, and at two hours and thirty-seven minutes, it surprisingly doesn’t come off as boring or long-winded. It is a fascinating look at events that might have shook the fashion world, but never really had an impact outside of New York and Italy. And while I still can’t even conceive of spending thousands of dollars for their over-priced leather goods, shelling out ten bucks to watch this over-the-top family implode here is totally worth it, even if it is a fantastical adaptation of the actual events. B+

King Richard
Rated PG-13 for brief drug references, a sexual reference, some violence and strong language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%
In Theaters and Streaming on HBO Max

In this unconventional biopic, Will Smith plays Richard Williams, the father to Venus and Serena Williams, two of the most celebrated athletes in the sport of tennis. From the moment his daughters could hold a racket, Williams set out to execute on an elaborate plan that he put together to help them achieve success. Although they were a poor, hard-working black family from Compton, he found creative ways to not let their lack of finances get in the way of pushing his daughters to live up to their potential. While I can’t speak to the accuracy of the script, I can tell you that Will Smith is a juggernaut in the role. The story is as compelling as any I’ve seen this year and with his ownership of the character a great synergy is achieved. And while Williams and his methods are definitely flawed at times, he, through Smith’s portrayal, serves as an inspiration to fathers everywhere. With rare exceptions, the film also makes for good family entertainment and should be just as inspirational for kids as it is adults. If there is one fault, it’s the lack of substance in the supporting characters. This is the Will Smith show and everyone else in it is just there to help him along. That being said, I can easily see him winning the Oscar this year for best actor, not only because of the merit of his performance but also because it just might be his turn in the Hollywood popularity contest. A-

The Beatles: Get Back
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%
Streaming on Disney+

In 1969, The Beatles recorded what would be their last album (Let it Be was recorded before Abbey Road but released after) and gave their last live performance at the end of their session. A documentary film (also titled Let it Be) was released in 1970 and showed more of a dark side to the end of the Beatles. Decades later, director Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings) got his hands on the original material and started to put together a new project based on the 60 hours of video and 150 hours of audio newly discovered. Using the same film restoration techniques his team developed for his WWI documentary ‘They Shall Not Grow Old,’ he was able to narrow the material down to around an eight hour event, airing on three episodes on Disney+. Imagine being a fly on the wall for the weeks the Beatles spent together making Let it Be and you’ll have an idea of what this project is like. Some may just not get it. It’s long and there’s little in the way of a narrative (Jackson apparently started with an 18 hour cut if that makes you feel better). But for those who love The Beatles and want to know them more intimately – there is not a better opportunity than this project. Its is basically a Master Class on The Fab Four and you will hit the credits feeling like you really know them so much better than you ever could have before. It is thrilling and exhilarating and rewarding to the right audience. If you find watching the studio work a little too much, most of us would forgive you, but do yourself a favor and check out the last hour where The Beatles give their final performance on a rooftop concert that will blow you away. Parts of this were featured in the 1970 doc, but not in this way and with this much authenticity. It’s pure electricity. A