Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of June 6, 2022

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of June 6, 2022

Jurassic World Dominion
Rated PG-13 for language, intense sequences of action and some violence
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73% at time of writing
In Theaters

Treating this new set of Jurassic films like a trilogy, Dominion is serving as the finale for the new narrative that Jurassic World began and Fallen Kingdom almost destroyed. Joining Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are the JP OG’s Laura Darn, Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum. As you might recall from the last dismal outing, dinosaurs are now loose on the planet and invading human spaces around the world. Pratt and Howard now live in a remote mountain cabin with their adopted clone daughter and the raptor Blue living nearby. When the girl and Blue’s baby are kidnapped, the couple go on a mission to get them back. Meanwhile Dern, Neill and Goldblum head to the compound of an Elon Musk type (played by Campbell Scott) who has set up a dino sanctuary in the Dolemite Mountains where he does evil genetic research. There they play Scooby Doo to try to uncover his malignant intentions for world domination. By the third act, they all join forces. If you’ve seen the trailers you will notice there are a lot of dinosaurs and if that’s what you’re after, you are in luck. While the action is decent and there are some nice bits of comical dialog, I found the experience frustrating due to the multitude of logic flaws and mediocre special effects. Yes, the film that stems from the ground-breaking special effects extravaganza of Spielberg’s Jurassic Park fails to impress with effects that look unfinished and sloppy. But doing the most damage to movie is the poor script and the unfocused directing. The story might have good bones, but the gaps are poorly filled in and it seems they were trying to do so much that they couldn’t do much of it well. There are too many times when the actors and extras are too unaware of the dinosaurs around them, creating scenes that make no sense and take away from the story. My favorite example of this is when two T-Rex’s are loose in Malta and a guy goofily drives his scooter in between them like they didn’t show up until they ate him. This kind of action abounds throughout. If there is a bear or even a scary dog standing five to ten feet from you, most folks would run for cover. But here people stand feet from large dinosaurs without flinching. It’s like they didn’t think any of the actions through before filming. Like they were in a hurry to churn out a big dumb action film as fast as possible. I will admit that there were some nicely done set pieces and action sequences, but every one of them was shown in the trailers – leaving no surprises or thrills whatsoever. This could have been a nice adventure, but instead it turned into a poorly executed tentpole, failing to live up to its legacy. C

Rated R for Language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%
Streaming on Netflix

Adam Sandler and NBA baller Juancho Hernangomez star in this sports drama about an NBA scout who discovers a major talent in Spain only to be told by the new owner that there is no interest. Putting it all on the line, he decides to foot the bill to try to earn his discovery a chance to play in the NBA without his boss’s support. While Sandler would probably prefer that most critics not review his work for obvious reasons, every couple of years he puts out something to be proud of and this is one of those films. He is absolutely convincing in the role and his passion for the subject shines through in his performance. In addition, the filmmakers managed to rustle up a huge cast, especially in terms of former and current NBA superstars who are peppered throughout in an organic manner that gives the project an air of authenticity. Sports films like this can be so hit and miss, and this one turns out to be a very welcome hit. A-

Double Indemnity: The Criterion Collection 4K
Rated PG
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%
Available on Disc and Streaming

One of the most celebrated films of all time, this classic 1944 Billy Wilder film noir stars Fred MacMurray as an insurance salesman who teams up with Barbara Stanwyck to put a large policy on her husband before they kill him. It is a slick and dirty crime thriller with a fast pace and a terrific cast. While they’ve restored before for the blu-ray release, Criterion goes overboard with a new 4K restoration and, believe it or not, some new special features to add to their already extensive list from previous editions.

The Bridge On the River Kwai: 65th Anniversary Limited Edition and Lawrence of Arabia: 60th Anniversary Limited Edition
Rated PG
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96% and 94% respectively
Available on 4K Steelbox Editions and Streaming

Two other classics getting the 4K treatment are these amazing David Lean films, both winners of 7 Oscars including Best Picture. Both still hold up well, especially with these restorations. The special features are all from the archives, but there are many to be found here, including interviews with filmmakers like Scorsese and Spielberg discussing how influential Lean was for themselves and the art form.