Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of June 26, 2023

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of June 26, 2023

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Rated PG-13 for language, action, sequences of violence and smoking
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 65%
In Theaters

Starting out at the end of WWII, a much younger Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford with the help of CGI) accidentally finds himself fighting to possess a legendary dial, created by Archimedes, which could potentially change history. After a dangerously fun intro, Jones finds himself in the 1960’s a soon-to-be retired and grumpy old man in New York City in a rapidly changing world that has left him behind. When a former Nazi turned NASA scientist (Mads Mikkelsen) shows up to try to steal the dial, Jones teams up with his goddaughter (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) to once again fight the Nazis and protect the world from sinister forces. I have to admit that I was not one of the few people who hated the last Indy. It wasn’t my favorite, but I couldn’t pile on it like everyone else, including my entire my family. But I was hoping for more with this film, and I think I got it. In my opinion, the point of Indy 4 was to create a new Indiana Jones in Shia LaBeouf and that experiment failed miserably. With a different actor, and a better script, we might have had a very different franchise right now. With that storyline leaving such a bad taste in fans’ mouths, it makes sense to bring Jones back for a decent final adventure. Missing here is Spielberg at the helm, although James Mangold (Logan) is an excellent replacement. Not missing is John Williams, who delivers another excellent score, worthy of repeat listenings. The movie kicks off in grand style with a younger Indy and action very befitting for the franchise. But as the 80-year-old Ford starts to play Indy as a senior citizen, the story takes on new dimension and complexity. The script here is good enough to make the film work and adding Waller-Bridge as a goddaughter and not a love interest, gives the story its much needed feminine presence without being creepy. And Mikkelsen makes a great Nazi villain, and his henchmen are solid baddies as well. The story does get long and begins to drag, especially toward the end of the second act. Fortunately the third act, when it eventually comes along, closes the loop nicely and provides for a finale that most will find redemptive and cathartic. In the end, you aren’t getting the best Indy film, but you are getting one that most fans will at the very least appreciate. B-

Asteroid City
Rated PG-13 for some suggestive material, smoking and brief graphic nudity
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%
In Theaters

Wes Anderson’s latest creation is this bizarre little comedy about a group of radio actors telling the story of vacationers in a small desert town who are visited by an alien. At least that’s what I think it’s about. Starring pretty much half of Hollywood, the film is a showcase for huge talent in a weird tale that is just as quirky as the rest of Anderson’s movies. With Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Bryan Cranston, and many, many other A-listers on board, the movie is brilliantly acted as the players try to let you into their world that might be hard to understand, but at least it’s interesting enough to try. I think the film would have been much stronger and much more enjoyable without the black and white radio subplot. But that being said, it put a smile on my face for two hours as its oddity is also its delight. B

The Bear: Season 2
Rated TV MA
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%
Streaming on HULU

Dropping this past week on HULU is the entire season 2 of The Bear, one of the hottest new shows streaming. Season 1 followed a young chef from a top NYC restaurant who inherits a restaurant in Chicago after his brother’s suicide. With dreams of saving the hole in the wall eatery and turning it into a top dining destination, things looked hopeful for the future. Now in season 2, the group of chefs sets out to renovate both their location and their skills, as each goes through their own journey in the hopes of coming out on top. The drama this season is excellent, showcasing the extraordinary acting skills of both the old cast and the new additions, including major cameos from Bob Odenkirk, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sarah Paulson, John Mulaney, Olivia Colman and Will Poulter. It’s hard to believe that they could improve upon the former season (which also held a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score) but they pulled it off here in grand fashion with an amazing dining experience, sans actual food. I loved every minute and can’t wait to see what they do next. A+