Movie Review – Rogue One : A Star Wars Story

Grade: A-

There’s a lot to like about this movie. The humor, particularly from K-2SO, or K-2 as he’s more often referred to, is outstanding. I have to say, K-2 really carried the movie. It’s not going to happen, but I would love to see a movie with him as the main character. He’s that entertaining.

They did a great job of propping up “A New Hope” with various sayings, cameos, and scenes. That just makes me love both movies even more. And the end of the movie is just awesome.

I wasn’t crazy about the first 30 minutes of the movie, give or take. The scenes are short, and skip back and forth from one planet to another, setting up characters and plots. It just felt too disjointed to me, but eventually it settles down and the pacing improves.

There’s no question that this is a fine addition to the Star Wars universe.

3D Notes from RunPee Wife: Don’t spend your extra money on the 3D version of this film. It doesn’t add anything, or bring you into the universe in the way a good 3D film can…here, it only makes the images darker. Everyone talks about how pretty this movie is; don’t let the glasses bring that down. I actually took the glasses off a few times so I could see the scenes better. Will watch this again in 2D.

Later Note: the 2D version is cleaner and brighter, and improves the viewing experience a lot. The film graininess is intentional, as part of the war mood they were evoking. This movie also gets better every time you see it, storywise.

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Movie Review – The Legend of Tarzan

Movie Review - The Legend of TarzanGoing in, I expected this move to be horrible – it wasn’t – but I’m not saying it turned out to be great either – it isn’t.

I was fully expecting that Samuel L. Jackson’s role wouldn’t be much more than a cameo. I was pleasantly surprise that SLJ’s role was quite substantial. He helped drag the movie out of the mud. In fact pretty much every enjoyable moment of the movie involved SLJ. (No surprise there.)

Trazan’s upbringing is told in flashbacks. This story is about his return to Africa many years later. That worked okay. They didn’t dwell on the flashbacks and each came at an appropriate moment in the movie.

I guess the worst thing I can say about the movie was that it was just sort of bland.

Grade: C-

About The Peetimes: All three Peetimes are good, but I recommend the 1st.

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

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

Virgin Review – Legend of Tarzan

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

X-Men: Apocalypse (movie review)

MV5BMjU1ODM1MzYxN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTA4NDE2ODE@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_Grade: B

It’s always a struggle to rate and review movies like this. I’m going to take the easy way out and judge it against the other X-Men movies.

“Apocalypse” is way better than “The Last Stand”–universally believed to be the worst in the franchise. But, I don’t think it was quite as good as “First Class” or “Days of Future Past”–considered to stand together at the top of the list.

I’m going to put “Apocalypse” right below the top tier along with the the original X-Men and “United.”

There was a touch of humor in the movie, but nothing hilarious. Still, it’s WAY more humorous than the DC movies–not saying much–but not quite as humorous as most Marvel movies.

The action was good, but not spectacular. Maybe I’m just superheroed out, but it’s increasingly difficult for any action movie to impress me.

The acting and directing were both top notch. That leaves us with story and characters. So, here’s the problem: we all know they’re going to defeat the bad guy in the end. That means the only way we can really care is if there’s some sacrifice and there really wasn’t one. Certainly nothing that balances out their victory.

I think that’s the major problem with all superhero movies these days. The cast of characters just keeps growing. They really need to cull the teams and let some characters die off every now and then. That goes for the Avengers as well.

Basically, I liked it. It was an enjoyable two hours. But I didn’t love it.

Additionally, I saw the movie in 2D, so I can’t speak directly about how good it did, or didn’t look, in 3D but I didn’t see anything in the movie that made me wish to see it in 3D. The 3D ratings by RunPee users is currently at about 33%. That’s the lowest of any movie this year. Even lower than Gods of Egypt. (Kind of odd that two of the worst 3D ratings in the past year are for movies about Egyptian gods.)

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Movie review: Batman vs. Superman

BMvSMGrade: C+

[Spoilers are limited to things seen in the movie trailer]

I have to say, Batman vs. Superman didn’t wow me. That’s not completely true. Parts of it wowed me, but not many. Most of the movie tried to crank up the tension, which got a little tedious at times, and the payoff wasn’t always worth the buildup.

What I liked best
It was pretty awesome when they *finally* got around to introducing Wonder Woman. I could hear the giddiness of the people in the theater. I think we’ve all been waiting to see Wonder Woman on the big screen now for, lets see, FOREVER!

The fight scene she was involved in was okay. I thought that the biggest problem was that it was filmed at night, so it was hard to see details. Also the scale made it difficult. Doomsday is huge, and dwarfs the three that are fighting him. In many shots it was almost hard to even make out Wonder Woman chopping away at him with her sword. They had some closeup scenes, but I think they needed more.

The fight between Batman and Superman was, good, but not great. I think the choreography of the movements, especially Batman’s, was too laborious. However, the way the fight actually went, the back and forth between them, was decent.

[Major spoilers below. Don’t read until after you’ve seen the movie.]
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[Stop now if you haven’t seen the movie.]
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[Last warning]
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I found Batman’s dream sequences to be quite annoying. They started right at the beginning of the movie with the young Bruce Wayne levitating out of the cave, seemingly flying with the bats. Then Bruce Wayne awakens in the present day. I don’t think the dream sequences would have been so annoying if we had known from the start that’s what was happening. There were entire action scenes that *never happened*.

And it wasn’t just Batman. Superman had his *father vision* in the arctic. What was that all about? Was that his father’s spirit? Was it all Superman’s imagination? They can’t just stick things like that in there without some basic explanation. We got to see Jor-El in the first two Superman movies and they had a decent explanation for what was going on. This time they just plopped Jonathan Kent into the story and said, “Don’t ask how.”

I have to say, Superman is my least favorite superhero. He’s just too powerful. To me the most important characteristic of a superhero isn’t their powers–it’s their weaknesses. And Superman’s only weakness is kryptonite, which okay, at least there’s something, but that’s hard to keep playing up. I’m bored with every Superman fight because he’s indestructible. He was right on top of a nuclear bomb explosion and didn’t get much more than a sunburn. Come on, at least show him with his hair messed up.

And that brings us to the movies end. Yes, it was cool that Superman sacrificed himself to destroy Doomsday. But then they drag us through all these funeral scenes, that take up about eight minutes, and then end with the hint: wait a second, maybe he’s not dead. Oh really. That’s a shocker. Of course he comes back. He’s Superman. You can’t have a Justice League without him. So it isn’t, “if he comes back,” it’s, “how he comes back.”

My hope is that Superman won’t be in the next DC movie. Let Wonder Woman and Batman assemble the Justice League themselves and have a decent fight against a decent foe. Then bring Superman back for the following movie, or never. I’d be good with that as well.

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Movie Review – Deadpool

deadpoolGrade: A

Not only is Deadpool a hilarious movie, it also works as an amazingly accurate barometer for gauging relationships. For instance, it can be scientifically proven that the number of times a married man laughs during this movie is inversely proportional to how much their mother-in-law likes them.

Conversely, married women will find that the number of times they laugh during this movie is directly proportional to how much their husbands love them.

And of course if you have impressionable children, you can base your parenting skills on whether or not you took them with you to see this movie. In a word: DON’T. However, if you do, then please make a video of the questions they ask you when its over and post that to YouTube. That could be as funny as the movie itself.

Now, this is a very subjective comment, but I didn’t find the movie to be gratuitously violent or gross. Of course there are the obligatory slow motion head shots, a slight dismemberment, and a few beheadings, but they are all tastefully done. All in all I’d say it’s no more graphic than your average violent movie from the 80s. I’m not saying the violence doesn’t deserve an R-rating -– it does -– but violent or not, the language would warrant an R-rating and then some.

I thought the acting was… Who cares? This is Deadpool. It’s funny. That’s all you need to know.

For those Firefly fans out there, it was awesome to see Morena Baccarin get a really nice role. She was wonderful, but I couldn’t help but thinking somewhere Malcolm Reynolds is watching this, saying, “Inara, please. If you’re going to talk like that I’m going to ask Niska to cut both ears off next time.”

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie review

st-tfaGrade: A-

I can safely say that SW:TFA is the 3rd best Star Wars movie in the franchise. And let’s be clear, it would take a miracle for JJ Abrams to create something better than New Hope or Empire Strikes Back.

This is easily the funniest movie in the franchise. Almost, but not every, funny moment revolves around Harrison Ford.

The movie isn’t without its flaws, but those flaws are minor, and of course this is Star Wars, so I’m being overly critical.

A few good things to report: BB-8–the spherical droid–is cute, without being overly cute. JJ is mature enough as a story teller to avoid crap like Jar Jar Binks. All of the fight scenes, whether hand-to-hand, sword-to-sword, or fighter-to-fighter are good, and some are great, but none drag on longer than they need to. There’s never one of those, “OMG, would someone kill someone here so we can move on with the story,” fights.

The acting was spot on. The casting of Daisy Ridley, as Rey, and John Boyega, as Finn, are marvelous. I’m really looking forward to seeing their characters develop as the saga continues.

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Apple rejects a long existing feature in the RunPee app

Bad news: Apple has rejected my update to the RunPee app, so the fix for the Timer notifications–that broke because of a change Apple made–won’t be available for about another week.

On top of that Apple is forcing me to remove access to the IMDb movie information available in the app–that has been a feature in the app for over 3 years. Why do I have to remove this feature? Because IMDb.comrecognizes that you are viewing their website in a mobile browser and so they provide download buttons for the iOS IMDb.com app and for the Android IMDb app. Apple, in their infinite inferiority, does not want their users to know that Android exists.

Apple is infuriating. There’s no way for me to punish them without punishing my users, but let me put it this way, if I won the lottery I would disable the RunPee app for iOS forever, and only allow it to run on Android phones.

FYI, obviously the IMDb integration won’t be affected on the Android app.

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Movie Review – Creed

It must be true that practice makes perfect, because Sylvester Stallone gave a remarkable performance as the aged Rocky. Just because an actor might have started out a little rough around the edges, or because they are typecast into a narrow range of roles, doesn’t mean that they can’t act. Given the right material, Stallone can do it as well as the best.

Michael Jordan (No not that one, the other one) was very good as Adonis Creed.

The fight scene choreography was well done, but didn’t equal that of other similar films.

The only things I didn’t like about the movie were were the romance and the training montages. I felt like the writers were determined to force a romantic subplot into the movie just to give it a little more symmetry with the first Rocky movie, and the training montages were just sort of bland. Of course I’m jaded, because the training montages in the early Rocky movies are legendary, but still.

By the way, pay attention to the throwaway line Rocky says at the end as they climb the steps, and remember that the name of the theme song in the first Rocky movie is “Gonna Fly Now.”

Movie Grade: B+

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Fantastic Four – movie review

F4Grade: F

If you drag your expectations behind you, like an old wet mop used to clean theater floors, then you may not be too disappointed. Believe me, I hate being critical of the creative work that so many people put into a movie like this, but I can’t think of anything decent to say about it.

I can’t criticize any of the actors because the script was so bad there’s no way anyone could have turned in even a mediocre performance.

The story starts off with a modicum of promise, but never manages to take off. Believe it or not the movie just falls off a cliff once they get their superpowers. And I swear I’m not making this up but after the final fight scene I thought, “This can’t be the final battle, right? It’s the fight that leads up to the really good fight at the end. Wait, what? This is the end? Disappointed!”

Also, I can’t believe they didn’t include an extra scene after the end credits. I know that’s a Marvel trademark, but it isn’t like they have a patent on extra scenes.

My advice: watch the trailer for Deadpool about five times in a row. That’s way more entertaining.

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation – movie review

MIGrade: A

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation delivers everything you can ask for in an action movie. Most importantly the action is top notch. There is a great variety of scenes, from a motorcycle chase to underwater excitement. Best of all not all the best action scenes are shown in the previews, at least not the previews I saw. In fact, nearly every scene in the previews happen in the first half of the movie. It’s a real treat when the previews don’t give away spoilers.

There are plenty of laughable moments, from chuckles to laughing out loud. And no, it’s not just Simon Pegg who gets the laughs. Everyone gets in on the act without it feeling forced.

The story is twisty, primarily because of the new character, Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa, who has uncertain loyalties. It made finding peetimes a challenge because there’s a lot of story development between the action scenes.

The music really stood out. The Mission Impossible theme is awesome adding it as a theme to orchestral composition really worked.

The only slight complaint I can offer is that the exposition is sometimes forced. There are a few scenes that huge chunks of plot are dumped. That’s somewhat unavoidable in a movie with as much going on as this one.

By all means go see this in a theater, IMAX if possible. By the way, RunPee Mom saw this with me and LOVED IT, and she hasn’t seen any of the first four Mission Impossible movies.

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.