Danny Minton – Popcorn Outlook


Rated PG-13 for terror, bloody / disturbing imagery, and violence

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

In theaters

This sequel to the unexpected crash of 2018 follows the now fatherless Abbott family, now with a crying baby in tow, as they attempt to stay alive in the company of deadly, severely hearing-hearing alien monsters. But of course now they know that the return of their deaf daughter’s hearing aid gives the monsters debilitating weakness, giving them a bit of a chance to defend themselves. Upon meeting an old family friend hiding in an abandoned factory, they hear about the possibility of a township off the coast where they could finally be safe. Much like in the first film, there are loads of spooky moments full of tension worthy of popcorn drops and a hand to hold. I especially liked the opening streak which tells how it all started, as they were all just trying to enjoy a little championship game in a small town. It was a great way to get started, and as long as you’ve seen the first movie, it’ll really put you back in Abbott’s fate. With a solid script and a much bigger budget than the first (I guess), the film showcases the immense talent of writer / director and star John Krasinski. And it helps to have his equally gifted real-life wife (Emily Blunt) in the lead role as well as veteran actor Cillian Murphy. My biggest complaint is the length. While most movies seem too long due to bad pacing, the fast pacing of this one makes its 97 minutes of zooming way too fast and makes you feel like you’re about to hit the third act. when you find out the movie is over. It sounds abrupt. I’m sure this is done on purpose to get into Part III, every time it comes out, but I wish the tale had lasted a bit longer. B +

Cruella

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some violence

Rotten Tomatoes Score: None at time of writing

In theaters and on Disney Plus Premier Access

Getting her origin story told is famed 101 Dalmatians villain Cruella de Vil (Emma Stone) showing how she got her start in crime. The film begins with a childish version of Cruella watching his mother being killed by a pack of Dalmatians. Then she grows up as a mischievous orphan to end up working for the same woman who spoke to her mother when she was killed. But all the while, she tries to show her boss under her secret identity, first to move forward and later for deeper intention. If the artist Banksy was a 60s fashion designer, you would have Cruella. The movie has a nice underground tone with an awesome style and a pretty amazing soundtrack that mostly uses old classic rock hits rather than an orchestral touch. And while they don’t downplay the character’s evil nature, they’re certainly trying to make you forget that she will someday attempt to kill dozens of puppies to make a coat. But at least here they make Thompson even more kinky and so, Cruella doesn’t look too bad. And while on the subject, both Emmas are formidable in their roles. The cast is absolutely perfect. The movie has some pacing issues throughout, though, and it’s certainly a half hour too long, but overall it’s a surprisingly likable Disney feature. B-

Army of the dead

Rated R for some sexual content, poise, language all over the place, graphic nudity, and strong bloody violence

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Available on Netflix

Director Zach Snyder is on a roll this year after releasing his historic new version of Justice League and now this high octane zombie flick. The story begins when a super zombie escapes from a military transport and manages to infect the entire city of Las Vegas. But when a mercenary turned cook (Dave Batista) is recruited for a highly profitable casino heist, he puts together a team that hopefully can get a ton of cash before the deadline and the U.S. military bombs the city. It’s a pretty quirky story with a fun new kind of zombie that we’re not used to seeing. But unfortunately, the casting is poor and turns out not to be up to the ambition of the project. If it was directed by The Rock or Arnold the movie might have really worked out, but Batista just isn’t the right actor to direct a movie like this and it all suffers from the casting mistakes. There are some good scares and some nice action, but the production and creativity just isn’t enough to overcome the weakness of the main cast. VS

Danny Minton can be reached at [email protected]



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