Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of January 30, 2023

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of January 30, 2023

You People
Rated R for drug content, some sexual material and language throughout
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 43%
Streaming on Netflix

Jonah Hill writes and stars in this romantic comedy from Netflix about a young Jewish man who falls for a young African-American girl (Lauren London) only to find that their parents (Eddie Murphy and Julia Louis-Dreyfus) make the arrangement incompatible. There is a lot to like about this film. There are moments of sweetness and tenderness that will make you tear up. There are moments of insight, especially about race relations, that will make you think. There are many moments of hilarity that will have you laughing out loud. Unfortunately, the film tries too hard to give you moments of cringe and discomfort that make you not want to be in the room. Some of that discomfort is fine. Dreyfus’s running commentary is extremely awkward, but it does give the film a funny edge. Murphy on the other hand is relentlessly mean-spirited and over-the-top, and while there might be a universe where this kind of attitude is a possibility, it seems very inauthentic here. Rather than giving the story fuel and providing the couple something to fight for, it takes the wind out its narrative sails. But as I’m a sucker for a romantic comedy, and most are way worse than this, I can barely recommend it, with an asterisk. Know that you are going into a film trying to get a rise out of you and be ready to talk yourself down. B-

The Last of Us
Rated TV-MA for violence, language and gore
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%
Streaming on HBO Max

This was supposed to be a review of Knock at the Cabin, but the screening was cancelled due to the ice storm. So instead, I decided to bring up my new TV obsession from HBO. This highly anticipated horror drama looks like a Walking Dead retread, but once you get in, you will find out how special it is. The series is only three episodes in, but unlike most shows on right now, which I would prefer to wait until done and then devour in a 10 hour binge, this one makes it worth being home on a Sunday night to catch as it comes on. Based on the award-winning video game, the story begins in Austin, twenty years ago, as our main character, played by Pablo Pascal, finds himself at the beginning of a deadly pandemic involving a fungal infection that turns its victims into horrific, hive-minded zombie-like creatures. Fast forward twenty years to Boston, and our hero is now living in a hard-core quarantine zone where he finds a young girl (Game of Throne actress Bella Ramsey) who is seemingly immune to the infection. Since the government would kill her on sight, he must try to find a way to bring her to the people that might be able to use her to find a cure or a vaccine. It’s a thrilling ride with a production worthy of its promise. HBO is the original provider of theatrical home entertainment of this quality, and with the recent House of Dragons and this new series, they show they are still the best as they keep releasing entertainment worthy of a Stay Home Sunday. Of particular note is the third episode which brings the audience back in time to the beginning of the pandemic, as Nick Offerman, who lives alone in a well-secured neighborhood he has built up, befriends a struggling survivor played by Murray Bartlett (The White Lotus). It finds a way to tap into the main storyline while also telling a complete tale, and it just might be the best episode of television in many years. While I don’t know what’s in store for the rest of the season, I can tell you I’m hooked very early and can’t wait to find out. A