Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of November 28, 2022

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of November 28, 2022

Violent Night
Rated R for some sexual references, language throughout and strong bloody violence
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80% at time of writing
In Theaters

Now that we are done with Thanksgiving, it’s time to start gearing up for Christmas, and this week brings new holiday fare to the moviegoer. Since we all love Santa movies and many think that Die Hard is the best Christmas movie ever made, why not combine the two. Here we find David Harbour (Hopper from Stranger Things) as an drunk Santa who relies on magic he doesn’t understand and reindeer that seem to know the game better than him, in order to get kids their presents. But when he happens upon a house where a family has been taken hostage by a sophisticated two-bit thug (John Leguizamo) he attempts to take on the criminals in uber violent ways in order to save Christmas. This kind of flick isn’t breaking new ground as we’ve seen a slew of violent Santa films in recent years, including the mostly-panned Fatman, starring Mel Gibson. Fortunately, this ones feels different. It has a dark sense of humor that permeates into each and every scene, giving the audience much to laugh about while they grimace at the blood and guts left in Santa’s wake. Harbour is especially perfect in this role as you can really buy into his character and his backstory. Unfortunately, aside from the little girl, played by Leah Brady, the cast is a bit too campy, taking you out of the story throughout its course. But that doesn’t make it less enjoyable, especially when it is being naughty. The death scenes might be gruesome to some, but most will find them hysterical, and the audience I saw it with was roaring so loud that I missed a lot of dialog. It’s certainly not for everyone, but it delivers exactly what you think you are getting, leaving out the guesswork as you unwrap it. B

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%
Streaming on Disney+

Writer/director James Gunn, along with the whole Guardians crew, return in this short and sweet Christmas story where Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) attempt to cheer Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) up by kidnapping Kevin Bacon in the hopes of giving their friend the ultimate Christmas gift. Through a bizarre storyline and a cast that goes all-in, we get a cheery little gift ourselves with lots of laughs and tons of fun. We’ve seen these kinds of things go south in our past (anyone remember the Star Wars Holiday Special?), but this one doesn’t fall into the same traps, delivering a tidier mess that is much more worthy of our time. I was skeptical when I saw this project announced in the first place, but once again, Gunn and Kevin Feige deliver a terrific surprise. A-