Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of September 26, 2022

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of September 26, 2022

Rated NC-17 for some sexual content
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 51%
Streaming on Netflix

Based on the bestselling novel by Joyce Carol Oates, Blonde follows the story of Norma Jean, i.e. Marlilyn Monroe, from the traumatic first memories of her life to her tragic death that shook Hollywood. Being that it was written and directed by Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), I was quite excited to see what could be done with this story. Then I was both shocked and intrigued to see that it got an NC-17 rating. After all, I hadn’t seen an NC-17 motion picture since Showgirls, and we all know how that turned out. As for the story itself, it is a fascinating warning of what Hollywood is capable of. It very accurately portrays Monroe as a victim of the worst kind, without a friend to help her along the way. It is sad and horrific watching her progress through her career. Regardless, the performance by Ana de Armas is riveting and courageous, showing off her impressive skillset as an actress. What is not riveting, unfortunately, is the directing by Dominik, which switches style and palate like a schizophrenic. If these mood alterations worked I could give him credit, but instead they serve as a distraction as you try to, unsuccessfully, figure out what the heck he is doing and saying. As for the NC-17 rating, while there is a preponderance of nudity and sexual material, it is not sexy. Rather the movie uses the explicit material to build empathy for the victim as you watch her, over and over again, get used and discarded in spite of her fame and notoriety. Ultimately, this film is not for everyone, especially at an almost 3 hour run-time. And while I don’t suspect that anyone would expect to feel good after watching, this film is certain to, by design, make you feel sick and disgusted by the end. C

The Munsters
Rated PG for language, scary images, macabre and suggestive material
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 23%
Available on Disc and streaming on Netflix

Based on the 60’s television show of the same name, The Munsters tells the origin story of how Herman and Lily Munster met and what brought them to the U.S. Told from the vision of the rocker and horror filmmaker Rob Zombie, who apparently spent decades developing it, the movie does have a unique look and feel. Unfortunately there is the story, or lack of one, which is so bad that it feels like it is setting its aims on a Golden Raspberry rather than a future franchise. From beginning to end, the movie meanders pointlessly as it attempts to make you roll your eyes rather than laugh out loud. This project is such a shame. I would have loved to have seen what Zombie could do with this one had he taken a more adult approach. Sure it is now kid-friendly, but why? What was he hoping to accomplish? This disaster of a film should come in dead on arrival. F

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%
In theaters and streaming

This post-apocalyptic sci-fi pic from IFC shows us a world where the Earth’s ecosystem has collapsed and a young girl named Vesper struggles to survive and possibly use her bio-hacking skills to change the future. What most consider to be sci-fi are sci-fi action flicks. Good ol’ summer blockbusters. But every once in a while we get a gem like this that shows us a dark and desolate universe which, for the most part, replaces action with story and vision. While it won’t be a huge box-office draw, if you consider yourself a fan of the genre, you should definitely check this one out as it pushes the limits on imagination and keeps you on your toes. It doesn’t have the budget or the cast of something you’ll see on Disney+, but it more than makes up for it as you sit in fascination navigating the dangerous world through Vesper’s eyes. A-