Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of November 21, 2022

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of November 21, 2022

The Fabelmans
Rated PG-13 for some strong language, drug use, brief violence and thematic elements
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%
In Theaters

In this semi-autobiographical movie, filmmaker Steven Spielberg tells the story of a young man (newcomer Gabriel LaBelle) who falls in love with making movies and the journey that he goes on in order to pursue his dreams. From loving yet flawed parents (Paul Dano and Michelle Willams), to frequent moves around the country, to outside forces that helped shape him, the story focuses on all of the things that made him into the legendary figure he is. Since Spielberg is the root cause of my love for movies, I have always been fascinated about what made him into the man he became, so this very personal story makes for a great piece of that puzzle for us. While essentially a sweet family drama about growing up and chasing dreams, the film is transformed into so much more due to its phenomenal production and strong casting. As of right now, the film is expected to perform really well at the Oscars as it leads the race in Best Picture and Best Director. With long-time collaborators like John Williams composing the music and Janusz Kaminski behind the camera, there is little doubt to the pedigree of the art. But probably most impressive here is the script. While many of us lead interesting lives, making a movie about it would, in most cases, be pretty boring. And when you really get down to it, Spielberg’s life would also fit into that category. But here, Spielberg and his favorite screenwriter Tony Kushner breathe life into his story, making it truly magical and inspiring, just like we want it to be. This is a remarkable feat when you really think about it. Rather than a braggadocios and indulgent tale about a respected figure, told by that very figure, you get a narrative that offers reflection on what makes us us. And in that you get a thrilling and uplifting experience that makes you appreciate your own story even more. A

Bones and All
Rated R for language throughout, brief graphic nudity, some sexual content, and strong, bloody, violent content
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%
In Theaters

Call Me By Your Name filmmaker Luca Guadagnino re-teams with Timothée Chalamet to tell this dark love story about a young couple (Chalamet and Taylor Russell) who meet and fall in love when they find out that they are both cannibals, surviving on the fringes of society, waiting for their next opportunity to feed on human flesh. Not really the playground for romance, I know, but here it plays out like a darker and much more disturbing version of two vampires experiencing love for the first time. Based on the novel by Camille De Angelis, the story has its brutality and gore, but it is also at times gentle and intoxicating. Like a scary dream that you don’t want to end, the movie will have you both frightened and enthralled in equal measure as you explore the strange world our anti-heroes live in. The cast here is quite amazing with fairly well-known actors playing revolting and nightmarish characters. Especially note-worthy is the horrifying performance by Mark Rylance who plays a fellow “eater” who becomes overly-infatuated with the young girl after he befriends her. It will be interesting to see what kind of audience this picture will drum up. It’s not fast-paced enough to really attract the teenage set, but far to violent and disturbing to attract an older audience. But it is very good and has the potential to to become a cult classic among fans of the macabre. B+

Strange World
Rated PG for action/peril and some thematic elements
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73% at time of writing
In Theaters

Walt Disney Animation’s big fall release this year is this tale about a family in an isolated mountain society who discover a strange and unusual world while looking deep in the Earth for what is destroying their most valuable crops. Forced to confront long-standing family drama to succeed in their mission, they must come together in order to try to save their civilization and their way of life. If you shut off your brain, there is much to like about this movie. The animation isn’t a huge leap forward, but it is beautiful to look at and the world Disney has created is creative, with a lot of terrific artistry on display. But then comes the story. While the environmental part of the story makes sense and might resonate with audiences, the family story is far less compelling. Also, it feels like Disney just decided to throw subtlety out the window in their attempt to bring gay characters to to a major animated projected. I certainly welcome the inclusion, and I really liked the way Pixar accomplished this earlier this year with Lightyear, but here they wallop you over the head with it, making me think that they did it more for controversy and press than they did for a naturally constructed narrative. It’s like they made the film partially to thrill and partially to purposefully get a rise out of Fox News. Time will tell how well this strategy will work, but either way, I walked out of the theater only partially entertained, which is not what I was expecting going in. C+