Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of February 20, 2023

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of February 20, 2023

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Rated PG-13 for violence, action and language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 48%
In Theaters

For the third Ant-man movie, marvel sends its heroes (Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer) down to the Quantum universe (the subatomic realm) where they encounter a strange new world and the ultimate baddie: Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors). While there, their goal is two-fold: protect their new friends and somehow get back to the real world. This latest phase of the MCU is looking more and more like just a chaotic, pointless mess to me. I have liked a couple of the projects such as Shang-Chi, Thor: Love and Thunder and Loki, but much of it feels like they just don’t have a clear sense of direction and instead of a proper focus, they are just throwing a bunch of muck at the wall and hoping something sticks. This newest flick is very much in that category. While the new Universe shows signs of creativity and some nice special effects, the story makes little sense with plot holes that abound. The saddest part is that much of what we love about Paul Rudd’s Ant-man is largely missing here. The big personality and sense of humor pops out every now and then, but there is too little to keep the audience engaged and instead the movie is filled with huge set pieces and soulless green screens. It doesn’t help that Douglas and Pfeiffer seem wildly out of place and Lilly is practically phoning in her role. The only really likable aspect is Kang, but his role is so confounding at this point that I hope he doesn’t just morph into a giant annoyance by the Avenger’s finale, titled Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, whenever that will finally come out (listed as May 2, 2025 at this point). Marvel has shown us that you have to look at all these movies as individual puzzle pieces that will makes sense when they finally come together, but with too many of these misses, they will find themselves with an audience who used to care but has instead moved on. I need a movie or show that brings me back in, stat, or I will be part of that crowd. C

Rated PG-13 for thematic material, suicide and brief strong language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%
French with English Subtitles
In Theaters

This winner of the Cannes Film Festival Grand Jury Prize and also Oscar nominee for Best International Film tells the story of two thirteen-year-old best friends whose bond is ripped apart by tragedy when when one of them starts to feel a separation in their friendship and isolation from the rest of the world. This film does a remarkable job at creating a huge amount of empathy for the main character, and you can’t help but understand the hardship of not being able to give what is being asked for in the relationship and then the sudden snap and strain of the guilt and pain that develops because of it. It’s a challenging film but also an important one, especially for parents who really don’t want to think their children are capable of such actions. It is certainly one that will stick with you. A-