Popcorn Nugget Reviews: Indy 4, Iron Man, Sweeney Todd, Diary of the Dead & Quantum Leap. Oh boy!


Popcorn Nugget Reviews

By Janet Hetherington

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Dr. Jones (Harrison Ford) fights the cold war in the 1950s – Russians this time, not Nazis – as he is joined by an adventurous youth named Mutt (Shia LaBeouf) who recruits Indy to rescue Mutt’s mom and recover another weird archaeological artifact. This Indiana may be older, but he’s not necessarily wiser, and the chemistry between Indy and Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) sizzles as ever. There are lots of fun chase scenes (the one on the motorcycle is a stand-out) and enough bullwhipping action and skullduggery from director Steven Spielberg to please stalwart Indy fans. (In theatres.)

Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr. completely owns the character of Tony Stark, the arms industrialist who develops a conscience along with a super-suit of armor that can fly and make the wearer into a human cannon. The dialogue is snappy and the vfx depicting the suit’s creation and powers reflect the best kind of science fiction. Jeff Bridges is truly villainous as greedy Obadiah Stane and Gwyneth Paltrow is both smart and enticing in her role of Pepper Potts, despite her silly name. Director Jon Favreau has forged a winner. (In theatres.)

Diary of the Dead

Director George Romero defined the modern zombie thriller with his black-and-white documentary-esque film Night of the Living Dead. In his latest treatment of the genre, Romero further explores how people react in times of crises, and whether modern communications (video cameras, cell phone image capture, security camera capture, streaming video on the Internet, TV news reports), can help deal with something as incredible as the relentless rise of walking dead that kill, eat and infect living humans. In the end, the answer is no… the zombies just keep coming. (On DVD.)

Sweeney Todd (The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)

Teamed again with director Tim Burton, Johnny Depp sings (literally) as Sweeney Todd, the psychotic barber who seeks revenge against those who stole away his wife, daughter and freedom. The film has an eerie black-and-white quality, and the music by Stephen Sondheim is both clever and haunting. Depp and Alan Rickman (Judge Turpin) perform an amazing duet as vengeful Todd prepares to go for the jugular. Warning: much blood is spilled to make Mrs. Lovett’s (Helena Bonham Carter) special meat pies. (On DVD.)

Quantum Leap

Dr. Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) has made another quantum leap – onto Canada’s Vision TV. This show, from Donald P. Bellisario (which made its debut in 1989), holds up with its clever notion of a physicist bouncing around in time and taking the form of different people (men and women of different ethnic and work backgrounds) to right wrongs (do God’s will?) and mend things. Hologram pal Al (Dean Stockwell) pops up at the most inconvenient times and computer Ziggy never gets the computations straight, but seeing Sam flounder in his different roles in the different eras is always entertaining. Oh boy. (On television.)