Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of May 13, 2024

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of May 13, 2024

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Rated PG-13 for intense sci-fi violence and action

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

In Theaters

Continuing the saga set up by the original Apes trilogy, several generations have passed since Caesar fell, and many different ape clans exist now , all with different laws, rules, and varying morals.  This story follows a young ape named Noa from a tribe of apes who have come to excel in raising and working with hawks.  As Noa and his two best friends find their eggs which will soon be their hawks to raise, they also discover a human female, who begins to follow them around in the shadows.  But one violent night, a clan of apes bearing superior strength and weapons, comes across their village while looking for the human.  Killing many and taking the rest as hostage, most of the apes are forced into slave labor by a ruler who calls himself Proximus Caesar.  Temporarily escaping capture, Noa finds the human but cannot elude the villain for long.  While in captivity, we learn that Proximus Caesar needs the slave labor to help open a vault built by the humans centuries before.  And the human, who goes by the name of Mae, will do anything to stop them from getting in.  Since we have lived through several of these stunning Planet of the Apes movies, we are already primed for what they can be.  With so many fantasy movies, the story serves the special effects, creating a mindless fantasy where not much thinking is involved.  But here, just like in the others from this newest edition of the franchise, the special effects serve the story, thus giving us a smart, thrilling drama that better captures our minds and our imaginations.  I really loved the characters here and what they were able to do with them.  I was also happy to see them start up something new now that the previous chapters have been told.  It certainly appears that a new storyline, whether it be a trilogy or even more ambitious, is coming our way, and I will park my nerdy butt in a chair for each one, with a tub of popcorn, ready to enjoy them.  A-

You Can’t Run Forever

Rated R for language, drug use, brief sexual content, suicide and violent content

Rotten Tomatoes Score: None at time of writing

In theaters and paid streaming

Oscar-winner JK Simmons (Whiplash) plays a man with a warped sense of humor, who goes on a random killing spree in the woods, killing nearly everyone he comes across, in a twisted sense of vengeance.  When he comes across a father and his teenage stepdaughter on a drive, he kills the father, but the girl escapes into the woods where he attempts to chase her down.  To be honest, almost all big actors make bad movies, and many even b-movies like this.  While it’s getting the big studio treatment from Lionsgate, this is ultimately a low-budget independent film with bad acting, bad writing and bad directing.  If you had seen it at a local film festival, sans Simmons, you might have enjoyed it for what it was, especially since the cinematography is good enough and the sound design is professional.  But it’s hard to remove all that with Simmons being so out of place within the context of nearly every other aspect of the film.  His motivation is silly, his actions are imprudently deadly without cause, and it feels like it is being violent just for violence’s sake.  The police response is comedically incompetent, and then there is the group of volunteers looking to find the girl, fully knowing that there is a gun-toting psycho on the loose nearby.  You want it be something it is not and it never delivers.  D