Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of March 18, 2024

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of March 18, 2024

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

Rated PG-13 for supernatural action/violence, suggestive references and language

No Rotten Tomatoes Score at time of writing

In Theaters

Following up on the events of 2021’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Paul Rudd and  his new family have now moved from Oklahoma to live in New York City, where they have reinvigorated the ghost busting business.  But things go awry when a new spirit is introduced into the world who wishes to destroy the planet with frost.  So the new Ghost Busters and the old (including Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Ernie Hudson and Annie Potts) must team up to take on the newest monster before he exterminates mankind.  The movie manages to basically entertain throughout, although it tends to be so tongue in cheek that it never elevates to a decent narrative and unfortunately, most of the jokes fall pretty flat too.  I found myself chuckling here and there, but I never got a big laugh.  Or a big scare.  There is a lot of potential here to frighten, but as scary as the new baddie looks, he is just not very intimidating.  And while the actors all seemed like they were having fun – it never once looks like they were taking the project seriously.  As for the return of the old cast (in bigger parts this time out), it still seems like they are there simply for the nostalgia and not to actually add anything to the project.  So while the movie is sometimes fun, and even creative, it is also incredibly superficial and self-aware to the point that it doesn’t hit the highs that it is more than capable of hitting.  B-

Road House

Rated R

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 68%

Streaming on Amazon Video

Loosely based on the original Road House from 1989 starring Patrick Swayze, this new tale follows Jake Gyllenhaal as Dalton, an ex-MMA fighter with a death wish who goes to work to clean up a bar in the Florida Keys.  But the bar he’s bouncing at is the target of a local criminal determined to bring it down.  And he will do anything it takes to burn it to the ground.  This project has been getting a lot of bad press of late, mostly because Director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) was furious that it was going straight to streaming rather than getting a theatrical release.  I would agree with him that the film should have gone to theaters first, as it would have probably had some success there.  It’s not a great film, just like the first one was pretty bad.  But in spite of the terrible reviews, the first was a modest hit, especially for an R-rated film, and still has a small cult following today.  Here Jake goes all out for the role, looking spectacular with his new physique and you can tell he put a lot into preparing for the role.  And while the story is pretty lousy and the acting, for the most part, matches the story, the melee is what people will be watching for and they won’t be let down.  Larger than life MMA fighter Conor McGregor plays the hired hitman sent to take Dalton out, and the final battle is like Kong vs. Godzilla.  If that’s what you are into – you’ll be more than satisfied.  Personally, I would have liked better-than-B-movie writing and acting, but I could mostly appreciate the film for what it was and try to ignore what it wasn’t.  C+