Movie review: The Cold Light of Day

Grade: D

*Cold Light of Day* currently has a 10% at RottenTomatoes.com. The good news is it isn’t all that bad. It’s certainly not a good movie. But it’s not retched either.

The acting is ho-hum. Bruce Willis has little more than a cameo roll in the movie. Sigourney Weaver doesn’t have much more than that. So don’t go see it because they’re in the movie. I thought the best acting performance was given by Verónica Echegui who is an up and coming actress in Europe. She did a great job of showing emotion when it was called for and hiding her emotion at other times. Very well done. Hopefully we’ll see a lot more of her in wide release movies here in the States.

The action was pedestrian. There was a lot of running which seems to be a trait I’ve noticed in European films lately. ( What is it with Europeans and running? ) The car chases, fighting and shootouts were predictable. It was clear that the director was trying to channel *The Bourne Identity* in one of the car chases but that scene ran out of gas.

There was no humor to speak of in the movie aside from Sigourney Weaver channeling her Ripply character from *Aliens* for about 3 seconds.

Movie review: Premium Rush

Grade: C

I found *Premium Rush* to be enjoyable and easy to follow, for the most part. I was expecting that the package/information being transported by bike messenger would end up involving some complicated international intrigue but that wasn’t the case at all. It was certainly something important but only to a small number of people. That kept the story focused on what it did best: exciting bike riding through busy Manhattan.

There isn’t much acting to be had. The movie is only about 84 minutes long, if you don’t count the credits, and nearly half of the movie takes place on bikes. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for face to face interaction. What there is isn’t bad. The cast is talented but there isn’t time to get in and care too much about the characters with the exception of the police detective Bobby Monday, played by Michael Shannon who will also be playing General Zod in the upcoming *Man of Steel*. Michael Shannon did a great job of being someone you’ll hate.

The story is very simple and the motivation behind everyone’s actions is clearly spelled out – with the exception of one group. More on that below.

I don’t recall anything really funny happening in the movie which is a shame because if they could have just worked in one or two LOLs I think it would have pushed the movie up a few notches.

Why you should see this film:
* If you are or ever have been a bicycle messenger.
* If you’re a huge fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

If you’re neither of those then I would suggest waiting for the DVD. I doubt if many people will walk out of the theater thinking the movie sucked. But, I also doubt many will walk out feeling like it was much better than an average movie.

[ Spoilers below ]

The one thing I’m totally perplexed about is why did the bookies that the police detective owed money to want to stop the little boy from getting into the country? It doesn’t seem like they would be able to get a refund for the ticket. If they explained that bit in the movie then maybe I was distracted while writing down peetime notes. Otherwise I thought the story was pretty tight. You can email me – Dan@RunPee.com – if you want to share with me that bit of the story. If bump this movie up to a B- if that bit is explained.

Movie review: ParaNorman

Grade: B-

As usual, I rate an animated movie in accordance to the amount of laughter coming from the audience. There was lots of laughter from the children and a smattering from the adults.

The movie was exactly as advertised: a kid who talks to dead people. Everyone thinks he weird except for his parents who worry that they’ll be run out of town. The story was cute if not a little sad at the end so I’ll give it a B-.

Kids will be entertained, parents will nod off a little.

Movie review: The Expendables 2

Grade: D+

I really enjoyed the first *Expendables*. It wasn’t a great movie by any means but for an action movie fan it was fun. But it was fun in a serious way. There was good character development in the first *Expendables* and something the resembled a plot.

*Expendables 2*? Not so much. It’s campy from beginning to end. The story is non existent. Every scene was meant to set up another one liner or excuse for another fight. That would have been okay but I didn’t think the action was really all that impressive. Jason Statham had some good stuff. The rest was ho-hum.  At some point in an action movie you have to wonder if a character is going to make it or not. Otherwise it’s like watching a sporting event on your DVR when you already know the final score.

All of the funny scenes revolved around the actors making reference to lines they had in previous movies. While that’s fun that’s all they had to work with.

My advice would be to wait for the DVD. The few good one liners might be worth rewinding for. And you might need to rewind many of  Stallone’s scenes because he’s hardly intelligible unless he’s talking slow and facing the camera.

And FYI, the back story they gave to Gunner – Dolph Lundgren – is actually the actors real back story. Every bit of it. He really did get a Masters in Chemical Engineering.

Movie review: Hope Springs

Grade: A

A charming predictable movie with great dialog and plenty of humor.

Meryl and Tommy Lee were great together and believable as a middle aged couple who has lost their spark.

In my theater the audience was comprised mainly of senior citizens. ( Hey, I’m in Florida and it was early afternoon.) There were lots of chuckles and nodding of the head in agreement with what was taking place on screen. However, by no means is this a movie just for senior citizen. Married couples of all age will enjoy and relate to it.

RunPee data factoids

It’s a Saturday. I don’t really feel like working – writing code – so I started messing around with the RunPee database and Google Analytics just for fun. Here are a few tid-bits I came up with.

As of July 21st, 2012

  • There are a total of 467 movies in the database
  • The first movie added to the RunPee database was Star Wars. ( For testing purposes when I first built the app. )
  • There are 50,509 minutes worth of movies represented in the database. That comes out to just over 35 days worth of movies if you were to watch them all one after another.
  • The longest movies in the database are:
    1. 194 minutes, Titanic 3D
    2. 164 minutes, The Dark Knight Rises
    3. 162 minutes, Avatar
    4. 162 minutes, Watchmen
    5. 158 minutes, 2012
    6. 158 minutes, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    7. 154 minutes, Transformers: Dark of the Moon
    8. 153 minutes, Harry Potter – Half Blood Prince
    9. 153 minutes, Inglourious Basterds
    10. 152 minutes, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Here is a chart that plots of number of movies with the same running time vs the running time. You can see that there are very few movies that are shorter than 90 minutes and a small percentage that are over about 2 hours and 10 minutes. What I find interesting is that there is a fairly even distribution out past 2 hours. It doesn’t tail off. It’s like if you’re going to go over the 2 hour mark then just make it as long as you want. Then again it could just be an artifact of the small sample size compared to all of the movies that have been made. I would love to see a breakdown of how much money a movie makes vs how long the movie is. I’m sure someone has done that chart.

    Number of movies with a specific running time plotted against running time.
  • There are 1,246 peetimes in the RunPee database.
  • The average peetime occurs 51 minutes and 25 seconds into a movie.
  • The average movie has 2.67 peetimes.
  • We have added 411 movies to the database since we began checking to see if there is anything extra after the movie credits.
  • Approximately 1 movie in 4 has something extra after the end credits. ( That seems a little high to me but that’s what the data says. )

Analytics ( Note: the analytics are just rough estimations. A good bit of usage doesn’t get tracked. )

  • The most popular opening weekend for a movie so far is Hunger Games with 15,783 views over Friday-Sunday. It just barely beat out The Avengers, and Dark Knight Rises. To make that a little more astounding consider that there were over 100,000 additional users added after Hunger Games came out.
  • Even though Hunger Games had the biggest opening weekend The Avengers finished with more total views: 45,478 vs 51,206. Dark Knight Rises will probably come close to The Avengers but I don’t think it will break it. Mainly, I think, because The Avengers is more fun and appeals to a wider audience. ( I’ll update this in a month or so to see if DKR breaks the record. )
  • There are about 225,000 RunPee app users across iOS and Android.
  • The peak usage of the app comes around 6:00 PM Eastern Time on Saturdays.
  • Between 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM on Saturday, July 21st the peetimes for Dark Knight Rises were accessed on average every 7.8 seconds.
  • RunPee usage by country: ( numbers represent movie views over the past year )
    1. United States 530,442
    2. Canada 24,230
    3. Australia 15,564
    4. United Kingdom 15,542
    5. Mexico 5,630
    6. Germany 4,885
    7. France 3,024
    8. Singapore 2,493
    9. Japan 2,037
    10. Netherlands 2,005
  • If we take the country breakdown reported above and divide by the total population we get the following. The RunPee app is MUCH more popular in Canada, Australia and the UK than it is in the USA. The only conclusion I can come to is that Canadians, Aussies, and Brits have smaller bladders than United Statesians.
    1. 0.7% – Canada
    2. 0.7% – Australia
    3. 0.2% – United Kingdom
    4. 0.1% – United States
    5. 0.06% – Germany
    6. 0.05% – France
    7. 0.05% – Mexico
    8. 0.04% – Singapore
    9. 0.02% – Japan
    10. 0.01% – Netherlands

Everything you need to know about the RunPee app

The RunPee app is primarily here to help you enjoy your movie going experience by telling you the best times to Run and Pee without missing anything important. The RunPee family – Dan, Jilly, Mom and Sis – see each wide release movie that comes out, on opening day. We watch for 3-5 minute spans in the movie where nothing really exciting, or funny, or important happens. (Obviously this can be next to impossible for really good movies but we do our best. )

We start looking for Peetimes about 30 minutes into the movie and we stop when there’s only 20-30 minutes left. For short movies of about 90 minutes there may only be one Peetime. But for movies over 2 hours there may be 2-3 Peetimes.

Each Peetime has a synopses of what happens. So if you do need to run and pee then you’ll be able to come back to the theater knowing exactly what happened while you were taking care of business.

We also give you a lot more:

  • Notes from the person who took the Peetimes to let you know which one we would suggest using and which ones to use only in case of emergency.
  • If you need to stay after the end credits for any extra scenes.
  • A synopsis of the first 3 minutes of a movie, just in case you are running late.
  • A grade and short review for each movie.
  • Screens that show information about your selected movie from RottenTomatoes.com and IMDb.com.
  • Quick links to the soundtrack, if any.
  • and more…

Available on the following platforms:

RunPee on Android RunPee on iOS RunPee on Windows Mobile 7

Here’s a quick video tour of the app

 

Who came up with this crazy idea?

Dan Florio – that’s me – was watching the remake of King Kong with Jilly back around Christmas of 2005. The movie was about 3 hours long. By the end of the movie I desperately needed to pee. Like so badly I couldn’t enjoy the movie. But I wasn’t about to leave the theater before it was over.

After the movie it occurred to us that if we had gone to pee during that scene with those big bugs – you know that totally gross scene that shouldn’t have been in the movie in the first place – then we could have enjoyed the ending, the good part, in comfort. We laughed about wanting to tell the world about it. Then it occurred to me that I could make a website for just such information. So I thought about it, then registered the domain name for RunPee.com and then forgot about it for about 3 years.

 

Movie review: Dredd 3D

Grade: B+

Finally, a movie exceeded my expectations. Dredd was much better than anticipated. Actually, it was better than that because I expected it to suck. It was genuinely enjoyable.

Carl Urban is a great Dredd. I like the vision they had for the character. Nothing at all like the Stallone version.

The biggest surprise in the movie is Anderson, played by Olivia Thirlby. In the previews I thought her character would be stupid but they actually did a great job of creating a “weak link character”. There’s some twists here that you wouldn’t expect and aren’t hinted at in the previews.

Nothing should surprise you about the action. You’ve seen all of the super-slow-mo effects already.

The plot is solid and creates a believable situation for the characters. I didn’t notice any holes or inconsistencies. At every point the decisions each character makes seems believable.

I’m tempted to give this move a B+ based on how much better it was than the other late summer and early fall movies. But I think it deserves a solid B, at least.

RunPee year in review 2011

RunPee movies 2011

2011 was a big year for RunPee. I’ll give you a quick synopsis of RunPee history for those of you who aren’t current. I developed the site back in Summer 2008. The site was left for dead until it got some media attention during Spring 2009. At that point I partnered with RockSoftware to build an iPhone app. They built and maintained the app while me and my family continued to see all the movies to get peetimes.

This past Spring my agreement with RockSoftware ended and control of all of the apps reverted to me. I rebuilt the app from scratch and launched the Android version on June 27th and iPhone version on July 20th.

Since then the Android app has over 29,000  installs and the iPhone app over 45,000.

FYI, if you’re still using the old iPhone app you should install the new one – free. The old app is going away pretty soon.

Top 10 movies

If you’re curious here’s a list of the top 10 movies visited on the RunPee apps – both Android and iOS.

  1. Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows-2
  2. Twilight: Breaking Dawn-Part 1
  3. Captain America: The First Avenger
  4. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  5. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
  6. The Help
  7. The Muppets
  8. Mission Impossible-Ghost Protocol
  9. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  10. Cowboys & Aliens

I think the two big movie surprises this year had to be Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Help. They did well here on RunPee finishing at #4 and #6 and according to box office numbers they finished the year at #9 and #11 respectively.

Lots of movies to see

Obviously it was a busy year for me and the family seeing movies. Everyone should give RunPee Sis a big thanks. She saw 51 movies this year. I chipped in with 41 movies, RunPee Mom saw 23.

The good news for those who like to see movies on opening day. RunPee Mom and I will be moving from the West Coast to the East Coast – Florida – in a few months so we’ll all be able to see movies earlier on opening day.

With the next update to the mobile app I’m going to ad a little feature that might help those of you who like to see movies on opening day: the ability for me to leave a custom message for each movie letting people know what time we plan to have the peetimes available.

Plus I’m working on adding a movie trivia game to the app so you’ll have something to do while waiting for your movie to start.

Next year should be bigger and better for RunPee. Right now the app really doesn’t make a dime so my goal for next year is to find a way to make enough money to at least pay for the movie tickets I purchase – without charging for the app.

So keep spreading the good word about RunPee. Remember, a bladder is a terrible thing to hold. 🙂

Beta testing for RunPee 1.2 on Android

The app is just about complete and it would be very helpful if you could take the beta for a test drive and report back any issues that you find that I can fix before the public launch next week. If you would like to test the app then just visit: http://polyGeek.com/runpee on your mobile phone. There will be an image there that you can click on to download the beta to your phone and install it.

Note: You must edit your settings to be able to install apps from outside of the marketplace. Just go to Settings -> Applications -> Check “Allow Unknown Sources”.

When you click the icon it will begin downloading the RunPee.apk file. If you pull down the Android Notification Bar – the bar across the top of your screen where the time is displayed – you will see the download progress. Once it is complete you can click on that file and it will ask you if you want to install the RunPee application.

New features and changes to this version:

  •  Vibration for the Timer – The Timer will now vibrate the phone at 2 minutes and 1 minute before a peetime. For this to work the phone must be awake so there is a new lock screen for the timer. Please let me know what you think of the user experience for using these new features.
  • Filmstrip navigation – The navigation is completely changed with a filmstrip of icons along the bottom over each screen. And the up-arrow on the filmstrip-nav will open the navigation up into a vertical view that is more descriptive. What do you think? Is it understandable? Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
  • Facebook integration – There is a new screen to quickly let you post a movie review to your Facebook wall without the need to type anything, unless you want to.
  • Ratings – When you post a review to Facebook your ratings are also saved to the RunPee database so that users can see an average of how users have rated different movies.
  • IMDb integration.
  • Sorting icons for movie list – on the startup screen there are now icons, instead of text, to sort the movies by either release date, or title. Do you Think that is clear enough? There is also an icon to limit the movie list to only the classic movies. New movies will be added periodically.
  • Kindle ad – I’ve added an add for the Amazon Kindle. What do you think? Do you think it will annoy people? Will anyone use it?
  • Flashlight – fairly explanatory.
  • Sounds – This is really added just for the fun of it although a few people may actually use it. I’m still working on the interface on this screen to add the ability to delete a sound file after downloading it. This bit is not quite complete. It works but I’ll update the UX before updating.

If you have any feedback the please feel free to comment here or on Facebook or if you like you can email me directly at polyGeek@RunPee.com.