Movie review: Aliens

This is, hands down, the best science fiction action movie of all time. There’s nothing more that need be said.

I don’t think anyone gives Carrie Henn, who plays Newt, enough credit for delivering, what I think, is the best child performance ever. She simply nailed it. And then never, ever, appeared in another film ever.

James Cameron isn’t mentioned often enough as one of the greatest directors of all time. He swings for the fences and repeatedly knocks them out of the park. And he takes huge risks as well.

Grade: A+

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Movie review: Wonder Woman

I think this is easily the best of the Justice League series so far. (Not that that bar has been set very high.) What this movie has going for it is great casting. Gal Gadot as Diana/WW and Chris Pine as Steve Trevor have really good chemistry together. There were plenty of humorous and touching scenes between them.

It’s also refreshing to see a super hero movie where the main character is innocent and hopeful, and especially not filled with angst.

The story was predictable, but I’m not going to hold that against anyone because so many super hero origin stories have been told recently – there’s not many untraveled roads left to explore.

I wasn’t particularly impressed with the fight scenes. The moves and slow motion felt cartoony.

Grade: B

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Movie Review – Spider-Man: Homecoming

Definitely one of the better Avenger movies, and I would say it’s easily the best *Spider-Man* of the bunch. This is a much lighter film than its predecessors. There was laughter throughout the movie, with a few really hilarious moments.

The acting was superb. Tom Holland, as the Spider-Man, was delightful. Michael Keaton (Vulture) brought a depth to his character that was both likable and terrorizing.

The story had some predictability to it, but this *is* an origins tale. We’ve seen so many of these — even several *Spider-Man* origins — that it’s hard to do something fresh and still take the time to develop a worthy villain.

I think the problem with all the previous *Spider-Man* movies was that he was alone in his universe, as the only superhero – a problem created by *Sony* owning the movie rights. Now that Spider-Man is wrapped up in the Avenger’s universe, he can be the kid we want to see grow up, instead of instantly having to be “the man.”

In this installment, Peter Parker is 15. I hope we get to see at least two more solo Spider-Man movies with him in high school, exploring smaller adventures in his neighborhood, instead of constantly trying to save the city or planet.

Grade: A-

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Movie Review – Justice League (RunPee Dan’s POV)

I enjoyed the movie. Not a lot, but enough. There was some decent humor — most of which revolves around Barry Allen/Flash. The action/fight scenes were fine. A few awesome moments here and there.

The actors all did a good job. I’d say Ezra Miller, as Flash, stood out as the best. Ray Fisher, as Cyborg, was good, but his character is so basically unemotional that it’s hard to mess it up. Jason Momoa, as Aquaman, was almost great. He brings some power, and not just the physical type, and he handled few humorous scenes well.

That being said, there’s a LOT that I don’t like about the movie.

First, why is DC in such a hurry to create the Justice League? I can understand that the studio/producers probably feel like they’re light years behind Marvel, but who cares? They have all the time in the world. There were five stand alone(ish) MCU movies before we got to the first Avengers. But the DC team just skipped over at least three standalone movies: the origin of The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg. Each one of those could have been a movie by themselves. Plus, a few more to introduce the mythology in the DC universe. Oh well.

My biggest gripe is that the villain is honestly plain horrible in this movie. Basically, he’s a big bad god type thing, bent on destruction. There’s absolutely no lead in. And all I could think after seeing the one minute of exposition of the villain’s origin was, “Hello, Lord of the Rings much?” Really, he’s a big bad thing bent on total domination, because he has united these three boxes. And after the three armies of Amazons, Atlantians, and men defeat him, they divide up the three boxes so they can’t be reunited again.

Besides all that, the villain is basically a prop for our heroes to crush, after an appropriate amount of struggle.

My last gripe is a potential spoiler. So scroll if you want to read more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Superman is the single worst superhero ever. He’s just too strong. Once he enters the fight at the end, it’s like playtime for him. Where’s the fun in that?

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Movie Review – Murder on the Orient Express

The beauty of this movie lies in the scenery and videography; definitely not in the story.

I went in as one of those people who had heard of the story, but never read the book, nor watched any of the previous versions. I didn’t care for the investigation, the characters, or especially the outcome. The only thing that I did find mildly interesting is the commentary on how best to serve justice.

I saw the movie on a huge IMAX screen, and it was worth it. Even though almost all of the exterior shots are CGI it was beautifully done. Not as beautiful as something like *Life of Pi*, but picturesque nevertheless.

I can’t imagine how anyone would want to see this movie if they knew going in *who did it.* I certainly wouldn’t. But if you’re a fan of the story, then sure, give it a watch on the big screen. Otherwise, wait for the DVD.

Movie Grade – C

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Movie Review: Thor 3 – Ragnarok (Dan’s POV)

Sometimes you leave the theater loving a movie, but after giving it a little thought it starts to diminish. Other movies don’t make an immediate impact, but after some thought, and rewatching, becomes a favorite. I think Thor: Ragnarok will be one of the few films that accomplishes both. I enjoyed the movie throughout, and walked out impressed, and I think this will be one of the most enjoyable MCU movies over time. Right up there with the first Guardians.

What sticks out most is the humor. It starts off funny, and just gets better and better. And I never felt that the humor was forced.

It looked like all the actors had a good time making this movie. I feel that special recognition should be given to the writers and director. The character of Thor has come a long way since the first Thor movie. While not perfect, there’s a really good growth arc that came out in the writing, directing, and of course, the acting by Chris Hemsworth.

What really stood out was how well the actors used expressions to add depth to the story. It shows a maturity of direction that is rarely seen in action movies these days.

Lastly, and I don’t want to spoil anything, but the story comes around full circle in a beautiful way. Of course the good guys are going to win in the end. But it’s so much more meaningful when it comes with a price. Kudos to the writers for creating a story that’s easy to follow yet isn’t entirely predictable.

Movie Grade : A

Here’s more! Read Jilly’s review of Thor: Ragnarok

Thor 3’s Deleted, One-Off, and Blooper Scenes

And our Thor 2 – The Dark World Rewatch Review

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Movie Review – Geostorm

The only reason I would give this movie a C- is because the production values are decent; otherwise this movie falls flat in every respect.

The acting is forgettable. It’s hard to completely fault the actors, because the script they had to work with just doesn’t have any zing to it.

The plot was ridiculous. I guess the only good thing to say about the plot is that it’s easy to follow. But then again, why bother with a plot at all? This movie is the *Sharknado* of weather movies, but it tries to come off as something plausible, which is an insult to anyone with a brain.

As for the CGI: that was really good. There just wasn’t enough of it. If you saw the trailer for this movie then you got all the best parts.

Okay, now I’m going to be a little nit picky here. I understand that most science fiction films require at least a little bit of a suspension of disbelief. For instance, there’s no way to freeze an ocean wave just as it breaks, because, you know, ocean water is salty and so it doesn’t work that way. But whatever; it looks cool, so let’s go with it. What really annoys me is when they do stupid things that they don’t need to. Right in the beginning of the movie we see our main character in a space shuttle. At one point he unbuckles his seat belt and floats up to the window to look at the space station. The only problem is we can hear, and see, that the shuttle engines are still firing. So, the shuttle would be accelerating, and therefore he wouldn’t be able to float. He would still be pressed back into his seat. That sort of mistake is tiny, but it’s like making a grammatical error on your resume. Common, it’s really simple: get the basic stuff right.

*Geostorm* is a low-rent *Armageddon* without the humor, and *Deep Impact* without any impact. Wait for the DVD on this one.

Rating: C-

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Movie Review – Interstellar

Movie Review - InterstellarMy one word review would be: disappointed.

I think Christopher Nolan tried too hard to make a modern day 2001 A Space Odyssey. The ships looked much like 2001. There were long, drawn out scenes of docking. The robot TARS simultaneously pays homage to HAL and the monolith. And of course the visuals throughout the movie echo back to 2001.

The best thing I can say about the movie is the acting is top notch. Matthew McConaughey was excellent, and I thought Mackenzie Foy, the young daughter, was fantastic in every scene.

I have a big problem with Anne Hathaway’s role. Her acting was, as usual, superb, but her role was completely wasted on her talents. For such a long movie, there was surprisingly little time devoted to giving her character, Amelia, any meat. Amelia was either giving technical dialog, devoid of emotion, or frantically reacting to something. There wasn’t any time for play and bonding between the characters.

I’m tempted to give this movie a much worse rating, but the acting pulls it out of the gutter.

One more thing: stop playing blaringly loud music over dialog. There were numerous times I had no idea what the actors were saying. It was distracting all the way through the movie.

Grade: C+

Upon further review..
It’s been a few years since I posted the original review, and I’ve seen it a few more times since then. I still don’t love the movie, but I’ve warmed up to it a little. I’d bump the grade up to a solid B, maybe even B+. It is, for me, an easy movie to rewatch because it’s so beautifully filmed, and the music is outstanding, even though my original observation that the music plays too loudly over the dialog still holds.

About The Peetimes: I would recommend that you use the 1st Peetime. #1 is a perfect Peetime. There’s no character development, action, or plot development. #2 has some dramatic scenes, but they are easy to sum up. #3 has one long tension building scene but you’ll be back before it reaches the climax..

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Interstellar. (What we mean by Anything Extra)

Buy the movie from Amazon.com on DVD or Blu Ray

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Meet the RunPee family

family_danDan – that’s me – had the idea for the app back in 2005 after seeing the movie King Kong. It was a super long movie, but I never got up to run and pee. By the end of the movie I was in agony – but I stayed until the end. As I left the theater, my wife Jill and I thought, “We should tell those people that it would be a good idea to run and pee during that scene with the gigantic bugs. It’s a pointless, gross, scene and you’ll be able to enjoy the end of the movie in comfort if you do run and pee.”

Of course I didn’t say anything because I’m not that outgoing, but it did get Jill and I talking about how great it would be to have a website for that. We thought, “You know, we make a website that told people the best times to run and pee during a movie. If we did, what we should call it?” Two weeks later I registered the domain RunPee.com.

Fast forward to today and I’m the guy who does all the coding to make the Android and iOS apps work, manage the website and social media. (You can read more about the history of RunPee here.)

Today I live in Orlando, Florida in a largish house with my wife, mother, sister, and her husband and daughter. Every Friday we head out to see movies so that we can update the database. We are all very surprised by the success and feel honored to be able to do something to help people enjoy their movie going experience just a little more. (Even though it pretty much ruins our movie going experience.)

I see most of the blockbuster/action movies such as The Avengers, Star Trek, The Hobbit. People often ask me, “What was the hardest movie to find Peetimes for?” That’s an easy answer: Inception. I’ve never had to see a movie twice to get good peetimes but I had to see Inception 3 times before I understood it enough to be able to pick out decent Peetimes.

These days I’m still working as a freelance software developer. But now that RunPee is a paid app, I’m making enough money to cut back on work and devote more time to writing. Currently I’m working on a trilogy of books called Zombie Revelations. I expect to publish all three books simultaneously.

I’m an avid sports fan and enjoy working out while watching the Lakers, Cowboys, Patriots, Arizona Wildcats and especially the Alabama Crimson Tide. #RollTide. I went to school at the University of Arizona for a spell, and majored in Mathematics and Astronomy. I dropped out my junior year to go teach at Space Camp for a while. Then decided I would like to be a massage therapist, so I did that for a few years. Then eventually I went back to school at Northern Arizona University, where I studied Philosophy and History. I spent my senior year of college at Swansea University in Wales. When I returned to the USA, I didn’t have enough money to go back to school, so I accepted a job doing HTML/Javascript – back in 2000. From there I just fell into becoming a software developer, without ever intending to.

You can contact me – dan@RunPee.com – if you have any questions for me.

 

I owe a huge debt to family_sisRunPee Sis – Christene – because without her we wouldn’t have Peetimes for any of the horror movies. 🙂

When she’s not watching movies she’s reading books on the Kindle that I bought her. Her favorite authors are Dean Koontz and Stephen King.

 

 

 

 

family_mom

RunPee Mom, or Dearest, as I call her – after the Mommy Dearest skits from SNL. She takes care of most of the animated/kiddy movies. It’s a tough job because she has to try and think, “What would kids not want to miss during this movie?” That might be a different thing than what adults might not want to miss.

When she’s not watching movies, she’s in her room working on crafts of all types. She makes blankets and pillows, and decoupages boxes and all sorts of things. Her craft room is stacked high with boxes of buttons and fabrics and little doodads. I’m afraid to go in there. 🙂

She’s also a big history buff. If you have time to kill, then ask her a question about the American Civil War, The Tutors Dynasty, the wives of Henry VIII, the Russian Revolution, et al. We have lots of fun conversations, and she has helped immensely in shaping the story that I’m working on.

 

 

 

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Movie Review – 10 Cloverfield Lane

 

Movie Review - 10 Cloverfield Lane10 Cloverfield Lane is an excellent movie. The only reason I’m not giving it an A is that it isn’t the kind of movie I’d want to see again. The main thing that makes the movie enjoyable is that you don’t know where it’s going. That said, I can’t say Cloverfield Lane is like “movie such and such.” If I did, it might alert you to where the story is going to take you.

If you want to see this movie, then my advice would be to avoid spoilers. (That means don’t read any more reviews!) The movie trailer did a good job of setting the tone of the movie without giving too much away, but we’ve all noticed that once a movie is in theaters, the commercials change, and begin to reveal more and more details that can spoil the suspense in the story.

Grade: B+

About The Peetimes: Both Peetimes are quite good. There’s nothing crucial during either that can’t be easily described in the synopses.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of 10 Cloverfield Lane. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Buy the movie from Amazon.com on DVD or Blu Ray

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.