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

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of March 20, 2023

John Wick: Chapter 4
Rated R for some language and pervasive strong violence
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%
In Theaters

For most people, including me, John Wick has never been about the story, but rather about the glorious, artistic portrayal of graphic violence from a character who simply wasn’t okay with someone killing his dog. In this fourth chapter of the franchise, Wick (Keanu Reeves) is trying to defeat The High Table in any way possible, while hundreds of assassins chase him wherever he goes, always ending in their gruesome and quick demise. The ultimate villain in this new chapter is the Marquis, played by Bill Skarsgard (Pennywise from It). And since he isn’t exactly a fighter, he hires the best to protect him and go after Wick. Here that is martial arts legend Donnie Yen (Hero, Ip Man) who plays a former friend of Wick’s who must turn on him to protect his daughter. But again, it’s really not about the story. But you could say its about delivering a bigger, badder and certainly more ferocious killing spree that doesn’t have to make sense to be exhilarating. If that’s what you’re after, this film certainly delivers. Everything here is bigger as franchise director Chad Stahelski takes the adrenaline rush up a notch, to say the least. I find myself feeling a bit hypocritical since I am so vehemently anti-violent, but I can’t help myself when I sit down to watch these films. They are fun, funny, a bit silly, wildly entertaining and endearing. While almost three hours long (and longer with a ton of trailers up front) the film might hurt your bladder, but you don’t exactly want it to end as it just keeps getting crazier and crazier. At one point towards the end, Wick finds himself in a massive shootout as the camera raises through the roof and we watch the action as if it takes place through a glass ceiling. And with hardly a cut made. It’s one of the coolest sequences I’ve ever seen in a motion picture and surely one that will be studied and emulated by film nerds and directors for years to come. One of the things I find most fascinating is how you really start to feel Wick’s pain as he keeps taking punishments that would send anyone else to the hospital. I needed 4 Advil just to sit there and eat my popcorn. The intensity is that palpable. Overall, its a welcome fourth chapter that will have you hooting and hollering until the moment you limp out of the theater with bruises you can’t explain. A-

Inland Empire: The Criterion Collection
Rated R for some violence, sexuality, nudity and language
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%
Available on disc

This 2006 David Lynch film starring Laura Dern and Jeremy Irons follows the tale of an actress and her on-set drama as she begins to realize that her movie is a remake of an unfinished film in which the original stars were murdered. Or at least that’s what I think it’s about. Like any Lynch film, and maybe even more so here, this one is just super weird. Serving as more of a creative outlet for Lynch, who apparently shot the whole thing with a camcorder, and wrote the script as they were filming. None of the actors knew what was going on until the day of the shoot, and it is very apparent. If you are sitting down for family fun night, avoid this one at all cost. But if you are into Lynch, there are hours of special features here that will help you forget about the movie and get a better understanding of what makes this extremely odd man tick. Rather than fill the extra content with stuff about the movie, which I would imagine would have been as bad as the film, you instead get a slew of material by and about the auteur. D