Movie Review – The Addams Family

Movie Review - The Addams FamilyMost of my followers know that when reviewing an animated movie, I rate it according to the response of the target audience.

Having taken my six year old great granddaughter to see The Addams Family tonight, I can report that I’ve reached out to the target audience, and she reported to me that it deserves an A, and also a million ‘likes’. There was plenty of young laughter from the audience, and even a little older laughter.

What is my own personal review of this film? I did laugh out loud a few times and chuckled a few times, but my personal joy was seeing how my great granddaughter responded, and all the other kiddies in the audience. That’s enough for me.

The Addams Family first appeared on television when I was a sophomore in high school. I thought it was funny then, and I still think it’s funny even today.

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: This was a very short movie which really only needed one Peetime. However, I included an emergency break only 10 minutes before the end in case the tiny bladders can’t hold it for one more minute.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of The Addams Family. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG) for macabre and suggestive humor, and some action
Genres: Animation, Comedy, Family

Movie Review – Brittany Runs a Marathon

Movie Review - Brittany Runs a MarathonWhen I walked into the theater, I was expecting a trite piece of slapstick humor about some girl in NYC who just can’t seem to get her life in order, but still manages to find everlasting love. The previous sentence describes dozens, upon dozens, of previous movies that have come and gone without so much as a ripple in the Great Pond of Cinematic Goo.

I was wrong, so very, very wrong. I loved this movie. Brittany took us on a ride that was up and down and ever a little sideways at times, but boy what a ride it was. Watching our protagonist preparing for the NYC Marathon was an exercise not only of body, but also the brain and the heart.

Jillian Bell has become my new favorite actress and someday will walk the red carpet. Her range of emotions was spectacular; she made me laugh out loud a number of times, and also, at moments, brought me to the edge of tears.

Having lived across the river from NYC, and spending all my down time roaming the mean streets of the Big Apple, I enjoyed the sweeping cinematography provided by the great Seamus Tierney. The overhead scenes of the finish of the marathon was so beautifully done that it took my breath away.

I’m so pleased to give Brittany a solid A.

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: This entertaining little movie provided two good Peetimes. The first Peetime gives you an extra half minute. The second Peetime is about 20 minutes later if you decide to not use #1.

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

Rated (R) for language throughout, sexuality and some drug material
Genres: Comedy, Drama

Movie Review – Abominable

 

Movie Review - AbominableWell, here I sit at my computer, absolutely gritting my teeth….again.

Here at RunPee, I am the animated film expert. I can qualify that statement by telling you I’ve been watching animated films for more than half a century. I kinda know what kids like and don’t like.

Abominable is a kid’s movie. It’s as simple as that. One critic wrote that the plot of Abominable was ‘childish’, like that’s a bad thing. Those critics that gushed over the likes of Les Miserables and The English Patient are now panning Abominable. Not cool; not cool at all.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest and am no longer gritting my teeth, I’ll review this film the way it should be reviewed; from a kid’s point of view.

Abominable is an absolute delight. Keeping in mind that little kids respond to sound, color and movement, this sweet film satisfies all three requirements. The sound of violins fill the movie, the color was exquisite, and the action was very much child friendly. So there, my criteria was met in all respects.

Some critics claim that the story was boring, and the theme was over used. The story was anything but boring; it hit on sadness over the loss of someone dear to them, the importance of family values, and eventually healing from the loss. And as far as the theme being over used; no child will ever tire of seeing plush toys coming to life.

I loved Abominable and will be taking my great-granddaughter to see it tomorrow. You do the same.

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: This was an easy movie for Peetimes. The 2nd Peetime gives you an extra 30 seconds that you should put to use, because the movie continues for another 35 minutes and shouldn’t be missed.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Abominable. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG) for some action and mild rude humor
Genres: Adventure, Animation, Comedy

Movie Review – SmallFoot

Movie Review – Rambo: Last Blood

Movie Review - Rambo: Last BloodFirst off; if you’re a fan of all the other Rambo movies, you are going to love Last Blood. He does some major damage to the bad guys, and isn’t this why these movies have so much appeal? The violence in this film was so very graphic, that I did have to turn my head and look away a couple of times. But again, isn’t this why we continue to go back to see John Rambo do his thing? He has certainly perfected the art of killing in some very creative ways.

Even though this Rambo is as predictable as all the other movies, I still enjoyed it it. Just as Stallone was able to bring the original Rocky back for each of the movies, he brought the essence of the first Rambo back to complete this bloody saga. It was fun to see Stallone still able to look and act as menacing today as he did in 1982.

The pacing was very good. There were no protracted dialog-driven scenes, and better yet, no unnecessary love scenes. I can’t really comment on the writing, because most of the time I couldn’t understand what Sylvester was saying. He is much better at shooting than speaking.

So, if maybe you’ve had a frustrating week and need to blow off a little steam, just head for you’re local theater, buy your ticket for Rambo: Last Blood, get a good seat, and live vicariously through the last 20 minutes of this movie. You’ll be a new person walking out of the theater.

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: There was a great deal of plot and character development in the 1st 1/2 of the movie, and a great deal of action in the last 1/2 of the movie, making it a little difficult to find a down time long enough for a Peetime. Fortunately, just about 1/2 way through the movie, there was 4&1/2 minutes of exposition that could be missed, since it was easily summed up in the synopsis.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Rambo: Last Blood. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (R) for strong graphic violence,grisly images, drug use and language
Genres: Action, Adventure, Thriller

Movie Review – The Goldfinch

 

Movie Review - The GoldfinchDisclaimer; I did not read the 800+ page Pulitzer Prize winning novel. I should have.

Not having read the book, I don’t know how closely the movie followed it, but I did read an article that director John Crowley took great pains to remain faithful to the book. Plus, the audience score on Rotten Tomatoes — 74 — is a pretty good indicator that the fans did approve of the movie.

Okay, so I didn’t read the book, but saw the movie, blah, blah blah. How did I feel about The Goldfinch?

Ansel Elgort did a fine job portraying the adult Theo. And he certainly did look like a Manhattan preppy. Nicole Kidman, as Theo’s guardian after the death of his mother, honestly could have been played by just about any other actor. Her character had no meat on her bones.

A Couple of Issues with The Goldfinch

Here’s one problem I encountered with the movie: the two actors playing Theo’s love interests, Willa Fitzgerald and Ashley Cummings, looked just enough alike to confuse me. And what with the flow of the movie that went forward and backward throughout the film, it kinda messed with my head. I really didn’t like that.

I was entertained on a fairly consistent level, and enjoyed the twists and turns that kept the pace going. Biggest complaint: it was about half an hour too long and it wasn’t even a Marvel movie.

I give The Goldfinch a B-.

Grade: B-

About The Peetimes: This movie was slow paced, making it fairly easy to get 3 Peetimes due to the length of the movie – 2 & 1/2 hours. I had a problem with my timer half way through the film, so the last Peetime may be off by a minute or less. So, sorry if this creates any confusion.

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

Rated (R) for drug use and language
Genres: Drama

Avengers: Endgame Re-Release Extra Footage Explained

Movie Review – Blinded by the Light

Movie Review – Overcomer

Movie Review - OvercomerOvercomer is well done in the respect of the quality of production. The acting, directing, writing and pacing was on par for a ‘faith-based’ film. I have absolutely no problem with this movie except this:  who in the world thought Overcomer would be a catchy title? Almost any title would be better, like maybe, ‘Just Pray About It’, a phrase that was repeated ad infinitum during the movie.

The target audience will find this movie inspirational and uplifting. The Kendrick brothers certainly know how to reach out and touch their followers. Good for them.

Faith-based movies have a very specific audience. Those who want the message of their religion spread far and wide, and the Kendrick brothers figured out the best way to do that; at the movies. And it does seem to work.

Here at my home in Asheville, North Carolina, I know that when I’ve been assigned a faith-based movie to review, the theater will be packed. Again, good for the Kendrick brothers.

So after church Sunday, I recommend taking the family to enjoy Overcomer — despite the silly name.

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: Each Peetime gives you the same amount of time to break, so let your bladder decide.

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

Rated (PG) for some thematic elements
Genres: Drama, religion

Movie Review – Blinded by the Light

Movie Review - Blinded by the LightRather than Blinded by the Light being a semi biographical movie about Bruce Springsteen, it was more a movie about race, struggle, bigotry, and cultural survival. But more than that, it was a movie about a father and son who could only hope to bridge the generation gap that threatened to tear the family apart.

The awesome music of The Boss provided much needed breaks from the intensity of the emotions onscreen, but also gave the audience a chance to breathe after some of the stressful scenes between Javed…and basically the rest of the world.

So, if you’re a fan of Bruce Springsteen, you must see this movie. It’s a great date flick, and some of the lyrics of his songs were well placed for effect. I’m most pleased to give Blinded by the Light a solid A.

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: Blinded by the Light was so beautifully done that getting Peetimes was a challenge. Since it was mainly dialogue driven, trying to decide what was germane to the plot presented a bit of a dilemma. I did get 3 good Peetimes, 2 of which will give you extra half minutes.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Blinded by the Light. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG-13) for thematic material and language including some ethnic slurs
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Music

Movie Review – Yesterday

Movie Review – Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen Will Rock You

Movie Review – Rocketman

Movie Review – The Angry Birds Movie 2

Movie Review - The Angry Birds Movie 2I’m not sure just who’s the target audience here. The kiddies will love the action and slap stick humor, sorta like the Looney Tunes cartoons of long ago, but that stuff never gets old. Does it?

The adults who became addicted to this mindless little app will also flock (pun intended) to AB2. There’s plenty of ‘adult humor’ to keep them laughing.

Taking the kiddies to see Angry Birds 2 will be a nice treat for making it through the first day back at school.

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: Just a heads up; at my theater a short animated clip was shown before the actual movie. The clip lasts approximately 4 minutes.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of The Angry Birds Movie 2. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG) for rude humor and action
Genres: Adventure, Animation, Comedy

Movie Review – The Art of Racing in the Rain

Movie Review - The Art of Racing in the RainThe Art of Racing in the Rain is yet another animal flick to tug at your heart strings. Are you a dog lover? If you answer yes, then this movie will not only tug at your heart strings, but will rip them out of your chest and wrap them around your windpipe.

One man in my theater was sobbing so hard, he was having a difficult time breathing. It kinda scared me for a second, but my eyes quickly went back to the screen.

The production quality of the movie was good and I have absolutely nothing negative to say about ‘Art’. I read the book when it first came out, being a big fan of Garth Steine. I realized then that if it were made into a movie, Kleenex stock would rise dramatically. The movie followed the book very well.

A lot of critics have panned it for the saccharine dialog, but hey, Hollywood loves ‘Sweet & Low’. Why is saccharine a bad thing? Everybody needs a good cry every once in a while. (It cleans out the tear ducts.)

The movie is about a dog who wants to die because he once saw on television that when a dog dies he returns to Earth as a human. More than anything, Enzo wanted to race in the rain someday. I enjoyed Kevin Costner as the voice of Enzo. Maybe Kevin will return to Earth as a dog.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering; did I cry? No. Why, you ask? Besides being just a bit hard-hearted [according to any one of my four husbands], I have an uncanny ability to separate reality from fiction.

Grade: B+

About The Peetimes: This movie was evenly paced, making it easy to get 2 good Peetimes. Both give you 4 minutes to break, so let your bladder decided.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of The Art of Racing in the Rain. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG) for thematic material
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Tear-Jerker

Is A Dog’s Way Home a Sequel to A Dog’s Purpose?

Each Dog Death in A Dog’s Journey

Movie Review – A Dog’s Journey – Manipulatively Emotional, But The Least Heart-Rending of the Dog Trilogy

 

Top Five Movies about the Civil War

Cold Mountain Civil War Movie
This is exactly no one’s idea of fun. But the Civil War made for some great films.

What makes a great American Civil War movie? The battles, the politics, the inhumanity of slavery, brother against brother, the great generals of both sides, the personal sides of war, families being torn apart, or all of the above?

The movies I’ve listed contain all or most of the issues listed above, and are in no particular order. Enjoy, for an excellent Civil War oriented binge watch (or re-watch) over your favorite American holidays.

Cold Mountain: (2003)
IMDb score: 7.2
Winner of 1 Oscar. Another 19 wins & 101 nominations
Starring: Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renee Zellweger, and Natalie Portman.

Cold Mountain contains no extended battle scenes, but relies heavily on emotions and personal conflict.

Lincoln: (2012)
IMDb score: 7.4
Winner of two Oscars. Another 108 wins & 245 nominations.
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, James Spader, and Tommy Lee Jones.

Lincoln leans heavily on the politics of the war, especially in the decision to emancipate the slaves. Here’s our review of this A+ film.

Gettysburg: (1993)
IMDb score: 7.7
Jeff Daniels was nominated for Best Supporting Actor by the Chicago Film Critics Association Awards.

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times said of Gettysburg“This is a film that Civil War buffs will find indispensable, even if others might find it interminable.” I’ve seen the movie several times, and have personally walked the battlefields of Gettysburg, from Little Round Top to Pickett’s Charge. So I can enthusiastically recommend Gettysburgnot only for it’s historical accuracy but for also bringing the soldiers from both sides to life in a spectacular way.

Glory: (1989)
IMDb score: 7.9
Winner of three Oscars, Glory was Densel Washington’s first Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Also, Glory received 14 other wins & another 18 nominations.

This was the first major motion picture to tell the story of black U.S. soldiers fighting for their freedom from slavery during the Civil War. Everything about this movie was done on a grand scale, including hiring Shelby Foote as a technical adviser.

Foote later became well known for his contributions to Ken Burns’ The Civil War, a nine episode documentary in 1990, which I highly, highly recommend.

 

The Conspirator: (2010)
IMDb score: 6.9
Directed by Robert Redford

The Conspirator is the story of Mary Surratt, the only female conspirator charged in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the first woman to be executed by the U.S. Federal Government. This alone is enough to make the list, but also for the uniqueness of the crime. Great movie.

Movie Review – Lincoln – An A+ Presidential Biography

Movie Review – They Shall Not Grow Old

Movie Review – A Private War