Where’s the American Flag in First Man?

Much ado has been made about the omission of the moment when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the American flag on the moon in the movie First Man. So what’s the deal?

Here’s what the director had to say about this decision:

“It surprised me because there are so many things that we weren’t able to focus on not only during the lunar EVA but in the entirety of Apollo 11. Just by the nature of the story we were telling, we just couldn’t go into every detail. So our through-line became, especially at this part of the movie where it’s the final emotional journey for Neil, what were the private, unknown moments of Neil on the moon? The flag was not a private, unknown moment for Neil. It’s a very famous moment and it wasn’t Neil alone. We included the famous descent down the ladder because that’s him alone, literally first feeling what it’s like to be on the moon. But other than that, we only wanted to focus on the unfamous stuff on the moon. So we don’t go into the phone call with Nixon, we don’t go into the scientific experiments, we don’t go into reentry.”

Regardless of how you feel about the exclusion of this scene, there are numerous people who (at least pretend) to care deeply about it. So much so, they told blatant lies that would be clear to anyone who’s even seen the movie trailer. It’s been said the American flag is deliberately never shown — this is false.

Here are three images (below) showing the American flag in a 2 1/2 minute First Man trailer. The movie is 2 hours and 21 minutes long, so they’re on pace to show the flag 169.2 times! (I’m sure it will be much less because, as they say: sample size matters.)

First Man Flag

First Man Flag

First Man Flag

First Man‘s Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle is known for stories of intense personal sacrifice in the struggle to achieve, like La La Land and Whiplash. The title First Man really sums up what this movie is about: an individual struggling against his fears, technology, physical limitations, and most of all, gravity.

Chazelle added:

“In First Man I show the American flag standing on the lunar surface, but the flag being physically planted into the surface is one of several moments of the Apollo 11 lunar EVA that I chose not to focus upon. To address the question of whether this was a political statement, the answer is, “No.” My goal with this movie was to share with audiences the unseen, unknown aspects of America’s mission to the moon. Particularly Neil Armstrong’s personal saga and what he may have been thinking and feeling during those famous few hours.”

Armstrong’s sons, Rick and Mark, wrote in a statement:

“This story is human and it is universal. Of course, it celebrates an America achievement. It also celebrates an achievement for all mankind, (emphasis added) as it says on the plaque Neil and Buzz left on the moon. It is a story about an ordinary man who makes profound sacrifices and suffers through intense loss in order to achieve the impossible,”

Conclusion
There are those who think that everyone who disagrees with their perspective on patriotism has some agenda, or is behind some conspiracy to corrupt, what they feel, is the only true expression of patriotism. But, sometimes these decisions are based on artistic expression, or as is more often the case, didn’t notice that there was anything patriotic there in the first place.

Read Next: Where’s the Flag? Opinion, by polyGeek

Movie Review – First Man

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

More Powerful Than You Could Possibly Imagine

Remember in A New Hope when Obi Wan said to Vader, “Strike me down and I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine”? As it turned out, Obi Wan didn’t become all powerful. He didn’t do much more than become the Jedi Whisperer. (Let go, Luke. Trust your feelings.)

Now that Luke has faded to the Force (after the events at the end of The Last Jedi) it appears he might be the all-powerful one. Or maybe he was the all powerful one. It’s all conjecture at this point, but here’s what we know think we know.

The Express reported that leaks for the upcoming Episode IX (December 20, 2019) indicate that Luke has the power to force choke a Star Destroyer. The question is, does this happen in the past, and we see it as a flashback (The only thing JJ Abrams loves more than lens flare is flashbacks)? Or does it happen in the timeline of Episode IX now that Luke is truly with the Force?

What is it with the Star Wars universe and sand?

There is evidence that this is a flashback  based on the book Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Legends of Luke Skywalker, which is part of the official Star Wars canon. One of the stories takes place shortly after the end of Return of the Jedi on Jakku — Rey’s old stomping grounds. A crew member aboard a Star Destroyer recalls seeing a hologram of Luke reach out. Shortly afterward, the ship crashed into Jakku. It’s implied the abandoned Star Destroyer we saw in The Force Awakens, the one that Rey frequently scavenged, was brought down by Luke nearly three decades earlier.

What’s clear: Disney and Abrams need to unite the fractured fanbase that’s disappointed with how impotent Luke has been portrayed thus far. Right now we’re left sifting through the sands, like an archaeologist looking for clues from the bones of long dead animals, trying to figure out where the story is going, and where it came from.

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

MoviePass Auto Re-enrollment for Select Users

MoviePass has had a rough go of it lately. No surprise when your business model is too good to be true. However, their latest move is stirring up controversy among their users  — or former users in some cases —  who have been auto re-enrolled in a new program.

According to Business Insider, former MoviePass holders recently discovered they had been re-enrolled in the service, which is expected to roll out a new plan Wednesday. Now users can see any three movies (within their new draconian limits of what is “available”) for $9.95 per month.

 

MoviePass users have until Thursday, October 4th to opt-out of the plan they were re-enrolled in.

Bottom Line: if you’re using MoviePass, be sure to keep an eye on your account and make sure you’re getting what you expect. Some users who tried to cancel their account ended up being auto re-enrolled, and charged for it.

Opinion:
I don’t envy anyone working for MoviePass customer support this week. I’m sure those employees are going to have some sort of contest to see who gets the worst abuse from a disgruntled user. I can empathize with them, because I’ve had to deal with my own share of unhappy users after adding Peecoins to RunPee. All of that aside, what MoviePass is doing shouldn’t be legal, and it’s a travesty that the politicians (both Dems and Reps) are too gutless to pass any sort of legislation to keep companies from doing this sort of thing.

For the vast majority of users, I don’t think there’s anything worth getting worked up about. They’ll either say, Yeah, this new deal is worth it, and stick with the auto-enrollment, or they’ll spend a few minutes and go back into the MoviePass app and opt out, again. But a small percentage of users won’t notice. The emails may get filtered out; they won’t notice the charges on their banking account; whatever — and they’ll end up paying for a service they thought they had dropped, month after month. And if they don’t know that they’re enrolled, they won’t be using the benefits. This is where I think MoviePass is doing nothing short of stealing.

What do you think?

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Alert Peetimes

One common request from users over the years is to help them avoid graphic scenes in movies that might disturb them. For years we have tried to do the best we can to create Peetimes during scenes we found to be over the top, or disturbing, compared to the rest of the movie. Now we have made it quasi-official by marking these Peetimes as Alert Peetimes.

This solution comes with a few caveats.  First, this is obviously very subjective. What may be disturbing to one person isn’t even noticed by another. However, I think there is a lot of common ground. We focus on scenes that have sexual violence, animal cruelty, or torture. (Hopefully there’s never a scene that involves all three!)

Also, this is contextual. If you’re watching a gangster movie with lots of torture scenes, then what’s the point of making Alert Peetimes for those?That’s what the movie is about. But, if there happened to be a scene involving animal cruelty in a gangster movie, then we’d try to alert you to that.

Second, we can’t have Alert Peetimes that might cover every conceivable thing someone out there might be sensitive to. For instance, if you were recently in a terrible car crash, it might be traumatic to watch a movie and then unexpectedly see a car crash. My suggestion for anyone with an issue like that would be to talk to someone who has already seen the movie, and ask them if one of their trigger scenes is in it.

Third, we make it very clear in the RunPee app that we won’t be held responsible for catching every scene that might trigger someone. We’ll do our best and invite our fans to provide feedback, good and bad, on how we are doing with the Alert Peetimes — but we’re not interested in hearing criticism that blames us for not protecting them from a trigger scene. Again, we’re doing our best with it, but this isn’t our core purpose when getting Peetimes for a movie.

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

The Predator final trailer

I was underwhelmed after I saw the first few trailers for the latest installment in the Predator universe — however, this latest trailer shows the tone of the movie to be more humorous, with good fun action, than the previous trailers did.

Here’s why I’m the most excited about this movie: it’s written and directed by Shane Black. If that name sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because he’s as big a name in the action genre business as there is. Check out his writing credits: Lethal Weapon I, II, and III; The Last Boy Scout; The Long Kiss Goodnight, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; Iron Man 3; Nice Guys, etc. He’s also the writer/director for the upcoming Doc Savage, starring Dwayne  (The Rock) Johnson.

If you’ve seen any of those movies you know that this guy writes action as well as anyone, but his dialog is what sets his movies apart.

And oh yeah, he was part of the cast of the original Predator movie as Hawkins — he died early.

So strap in, this movie is going to be a fun ride.

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

RunPee FAQ – get more Peecoins

Find out how to get more Peecoins in-app, or via Paypal.

Once you verify your email address, you can purchase Peecoins, or watch ads to get Peecoins for free.

First, tap on your email address/Peecoins remaining message at the top of the Movie List Screen.

FAQ: Movie Info Screen-Peecoins remaining
FAQ: Movie Info Screen-Peecoins remaining

That will take you to a screen with all the options you need to get more Peecoins (below).

A Few Important Notes

If you want to purchase Peecoins, you can buy them either in-app or via Paypal in bundles of 10 for $1 — up to $4 worth at a time. Apple/Google keeps 30% of all in-app purchases, so we make 7 cents for each Peecoin you buy. On the other hand, you can visit http://runpee.com/peecoins/ to purchase Peecoins via Paypal. Paypal keeps a much smaller percentage, so we make a few more cents per Peecoin. (Every cent helps, and thank you!)

If you choose to view ads to earn Peecoins, please realize that each ad you view earns you ONE Peecoin — no more, no less. We realize this might be  confusing, as seen below:

FAQ: TapJoy currency
FAQ: TapJoy currency

TapJoy has their own currency. If I were to use their currency, RunPee fans would have to watch around 7 videos just to earn enough to have 1 Peecoin. I think that’s a bit much, so I just make it 1 ad for 1 Peecoin. Fair for everyone.

You might want to know that we earn, on average, less than 1 cent for each ad. In the future we may have to make it so you have to watch 2-3 ads to earn a Peecoin, so that we’ll have the income to keep RunPee up to date with new movies every week.

If you have questions you can comment below, or email us: support@RunPee.com.

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Movie Review – Mile 22

Mile 22 fails on every level that an action movie can fail, and then makes up some new ways to fail.

But wait, there’s good news: the Russian government is the bad guys again. Yeah! (More on that later.)

This entire movie feels like the first 30 minutes of a much better movie. Meaning: they could have edited this movie down to 30 minutes, and then had an hour or more to finish the story in a more satisfying manner. Instead they end with a blatant to be continued feeling.

The Good
The fight scenes with Iko Uwais (The Raid I/II, SW: The Force Awakens) are the highlight of the action scenes, and are generally well filmed. Besides that, many of the fight scenes feel staged and out of place. Like times when you can’t help ask: why are they fighting hand to hand now; don’t they all have guns?

The Bad
Where to start? The dialog, especially by Mark Wahlberg’s character (James Silva), is at best hard to keep up, and oftentimes incomprehensible.

There are so many strange decisions made by the characters on both sides. I know that it’s hard to make a movie that doesn’t have a few questionable scenes, but there’s almost nothing but that in this movie. And of course there’s the one Lord of the Rings-sized sure do wish we had a helicopter handy plot hole.

I lost count how many times the screen displayed the biometrics of the characters during tense moments, as if to say: hey look, these characters are really cool because their heart rate doesn’t go up, even though people are shooting at them.

Wahlberg’s character is clearly the protagonist, but he’s fairly unlikable. He’s gruff, and monologues without end.

I’ll be astonished if there’s a sequel to this movie, even though the ending begs for one. The movie has only a 38% user approval rating and a 23% by critics. Both are super low. I can’t imagine anyone recommending this movie to a friend.

My suggestion would be to wait and see if maybe they do go ahead with a sequel, and if so, then you can watch this on DVD and then see how the story continues.

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Watching movies, because we have to!

Don’t get me wrong, everyone in the RunPee family loves movies, but sometimes we really dread going to the theater because, you know, it’s a job.

One of the first things we learned about getting the best Peetimes for a movie was to make sure that we at least see movies within our favorite genres. For instance, in general I don’t like horror movies. And the ones I do like usually span across genres in some way. So if I’m forced to do Peetimes for a horror movie I have a hard time selecting the best Peetimes, because I don’t know what people like about horror movies in the first place. Thank goodness for my sister — Christene Johnson — who loves horror movies. Good or bad horror (mostly bad these days), we count on her to get the best Peetimes for horror films because she knows what fans of that genre like and don’t like.

Likewise, I see most of the science fiction and action movies, along with Jill. RunPee Mom sees most of the kids’ movies. I guess it’s a little ironic that the elder in the family sees the movies for kids, but she really loves them and has trained herself to see them like a child — even going so far to talk to families about a movie afterward — to get a feel for what sort of scenes stand out for kids,  so she can be sure to not use those scenes in a Peetime. Over the years she’s gotten pretty good at it. (Let’s forgive her for her Peetime in Frozen. How was she to know Let it Go was going to become such a hit?)

Now, when we watch a movie, it isn’t like we can relax and enjoy it. We literally sit there with pen and paper and take notes, jotting down the time and possible cue for a Peetime, and hoping we can go at least three minutes without running into a scene that’s important. If that happens, and it usually happens about twelve times a movie, we cross it out and start looking for another possible Peetime.

It varies from movie to movie, but it’s not uncommon to have 10-15 potential Peetimes in a two hour movie, of which we’ll cross out most of them, and hopefully, be left with 2-4 that are worthy of becoming Peetimes.  On some occasions we have multiple people seeing the same movie so we can debate with each other which Peetimes would be best and why. Then we further weed out the selected Peetimes by seeing how they are grouped. If there are two Peetimes in a 10 minute span, we usually select the one we think is best and discard the other.

Possibly the hardest part of the job is reviewing our notes and writing the synopsis for each Peetime. We have to make judgement calls on just how much detail we put into each synopsis, because we realize that someone using the app only has around 20 seconds or so to read what happened while they were away. Plus, we have to be very clear with our pronouns and such. Too many he/shes and suddenly the reader is left wondering, “Wait, who? What?” That’s not good. We write our synopsis and proofread it, and then it gets edited by Jill (our Editor in Chief).

As subjective as all this sounds, you would think that we’d get lots of complaints about this scene or that one being in a Peetime when it shouldn’t have been. I certainly expected that sort of criticism would be commonplace, but it isn’t. I can honestly count on one hand how many critical comments we get each year about a chosen Peetime. And it’s not because people don’t want to take the time to email us. We get plenty of user emails and corrections for the slightest detail mistake — which we’re always thankful for. So it seems we’re doing something right. 🙂

As hard as this job is to keep up with every week, every year, we love it because we get so much positive feedback and thanks from the fans who use the app.

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Voting = Revolution

Whether you want a revolution or to maintain the status quo, voting is the democratic equivalent to revolution. On election day we go to war by casting our ballots. The majority wins — sorta. (Don’t get me started on the unpatriotic and treasonous misuse of  gerrymandering, and the ridiculously outdated electoral college.)

We encourage everyone to vote, either at the polls or by absentee. Personally, I’ll be out of the country during the November 6th midterms, but I made absolutely certain that I’ll have my absentee ballot emailed to me and I can email it back. (Really, this is the way voting should work all the time.)

Get your absentee ballot here.

Yes, absentee ballots are counted the same as in-person ballots.

What I like best about absentee voting is it gives me an opportunity to research the lesser known issues on a ballot. I know who I’m voting for when it comes to representatives and such, but some of the local county officials and issues are totally unknown to me. Now I can sit and research what I need to know, in order to cast an informed vote.

Learn more about voting from Vote.org, a non-partisan organization that assists everyone in getting out to vote.

If you want to be prepared to vote on all of the people and laws put forth then visit the non partisan Ballotpedia.org. No matter where you live it will have everything that will appear on the ballot in your area and who supports it.

Please, I beg you, make sure you and everyone you know is prepared to vote well ahead of the November 6th midterms.

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Mega-fake-ladon – How Discovery Channel Deceives People for Viewership

Nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to what people can be deceived into believing. But in my humble opinion, it is criminal for a media company, or anyone, to knowingly deceive people just to get views. Please watch the Vox.com video (below), but please don’t watch Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. The Discovery Channel needs to learn what it’s like to get bitten by the public for their lies.

How do you feel about shows like this? I’d like to read your comments.

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.