Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of February 27, 2023

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of February 27, 2023

Creed III
Rated PG13 for some strong language, intense sports action, violence
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%
In Theaters

This newest film in the Creed franchise begins with Adonis Creed’s (Michael B. Jordan) last fight as a professional boxer as he wins big and takes the belts. Of course it can’t end there, that would lead to a short movie, so of course he gets pulled back in. In this case, a childhood friend (Jonathan Majors) gets out of prison and asks for help with the chance of getting a title fight. When Creed discovers that his friend won dirty, he exits retirement to challenge him to a new fight to take back his titles. The story does have good bones. There is a believability that could have been developed and built upon in an organic way, giving us more of what made the original Rocky so great. But instead, we get too many inauthentic and unnecessary twists in order to get us to the final battle, which is good but not great. So even with a potentially strong story, the writing lacks the creativity required to give us something real. Here we get silly choices that lead to silly circumstances and an almost false pathway to the big set pieces. Also, distractingly missing is Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) who just happens to not be around any more. His presence might have given the film the needed gravity that it sorely lacks. That being said, the fighting, which is what we all go to see it for in the first place, is the highlight, making the film at least watchable, even if the directing, by Jordan, is extremely heavy-handed. Also, Majors is a formidable antagonist, chewing up every bit of screen time he is allowed. I almost wish they made him more likable so that the film would come across more like 2011’s Warrior than like a flashy boxing pic. In the end, most audiences will find it entertaining enough, but it really comes across as a film that could have been so much better. C+

Cocaine Bear
Rated R for language throughout, drug content, bloody violence and gore
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%
In Theaters

This crazy tale follows the path of a bear who begins a cocaine habit when a drug runner drops bags of it out of a plane before meeting his own demise. High on the powder, the bear goes on a killing rampage, brutally murdering any human it comes across, hoping they have more blow. Meanwhile, the drug dealer whose cocaine was lost attempts to get back his stash. Directed by comedic actress Elizabeth Banks, the film is way more of a comedy than it is a horror film. This is surprisingly well-done. When the bear goes nuts and starts mauling folks, the audience was in stitches rather than disturbed. That being said, the film is flimsy. It is a one-trick pony and once you’ve seen the trick a time or two, it starts to get old. Thankfully there is a really great cast to make the tedium watchable. Keri Russell, Ray Liotta, Alden Ehrenreich, Margo Martindale and many other very recognizable performers keep the film entertaining enough to make it through the short 95 minutes. Funny enough, it is being touted as based on true events, which turns out to be comical on its own merits. Back in the 80s a drug smuggler did drop cocaine into the mountains where a bear ingested and overdosed from its discovery. So creativity points go to writer Jimmy Warden who pulled this “true” story out of thin air. B-