The Four Films You Need To Watch To Understand Captain Marvel (Speculation, Pre-Movie Release)

gregg clarke as agent coulson in captain marvel
A digitally de-aged Agent Coulson. They de-aged Nick Fury too. Can they do this for me?

Right, I know, Captain Marvel hasn’t come out yet — but I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest a few films you should watch to understand what the deal is with Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel, and the state of the MCU. If you’re not a rabid Marvel fan, or just need a refresher, you can get ready with just four MCU films. (Or three films and two short videos, if you’re short on time.)

In a real way, audiences are lucky with Captain Marvel — it’s a relatively painless entry point for an MCU movie.

By this, I mean you don’t need to sit down this week and watch the 20+ movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Captain Marvel (the film) goes back in time to the 90s, making it essentially the chronologically first film in the Avenger timeline. (Ignore for now that Captain America – The First Avenger started around World War 2…)

So, you’re off the hook for this film in a way you CAN’T be for the spring 2019 release of Avengers 4 – End Game. End Game will require audiences to be on their toes and completely up to date. As the title suggests, it’s the culmination of a long ranging plan. Ten years of movies! And it will be over three hours long, so you’ll need our Peetimes for it.

For Captain Marvel, these are my guesses to understand the events we’re about to see (links go to RunPee’s movie reviews):

  1. Avengers 1 – Avengers Assemble – This movie best establishes the characters of Nick Fury and Agent Phil Coulson, who should have major roles in the Captain Marvel story. Also, this movie is a great entry point to explain who the Avengers are without having to watch every individual origin story. And there’s this: where was Captain Marvel during the Battle of New York? I’m hoping the upcoming film explains why Fury didn’t see fit contact her then, or ever, until Infinity War.
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 1 – You need to see Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 1 to understand the cosmic end of the Marvel universe, see who the Kree  are, what Xandar is about, and get a proper introduction to Ronan The Accuser. Of all the movies on this list, GOTG 1 is probably the most crucial to view. Fortunately, this kick-ass film is always a crowd-pleaser.
  3. Avengers 3 – Infinity War – Why does Fury carry that pager around for decades and only use it now? This is the only story that refers to Captain Marvel explicitly. We still don’t know how she fits in. I’m going to warn you: Infinity War is a HUGE film, with its own list of must-preview movies. I dithered about putting this on the list, to be honest. If you’re a complete novice to the MCU, I recommend you skip it. You’d be hopelessly lost. Just watch the end credit scene, provided here (a MUST):
  4. Ant-Man & The Wasp – This one contains the most speculation on my part. Will Ant Man and crew even show up in Captain Marvel? Probably not. But since Time Vortices are mentioned, and the Quantum Realm might play a role in Captain Marvel’s story, this might be worth watching. It’s still on Netflix, so grab it while you can (before Disney pulls all the Marvel films off onto their own subscription streaming channel). Captain Marvel is supposed to have time travel in it. If you can’t get your hands on the Time Stone, the Quantum Realm is the next best place place to look, and only the guys in Ant-Man know about it. So far.

I also have another movie in mind worth viewing, but mentioning it would be a complete spoiler if the rumors are true. This particular superhero is covered in Infinity War anyway, so it’s fine to skip it. I think. (Remember, this is a speculation article.)

UPDATE after seeing Captain Marvel: I was thinking above that the Dr. Strange movie would be a part of the Captain Marvel story. It wasn’t. But it’s one of the Marvel films that has time travel as a major component…so it’s possible that Strange and Marvel get together to save the day in Avengers – Endgame. Actually, who are we kidding? Let’s just say it’s going to happen. 

Update: Watch a Short MCU Video About Agent Phil Coulson for Free, Now

  • A Funny Thing Happened…I found a handful of super short Marvel Cinematic Universe one-offs this week, and sat down to watch them all. It didn’t take long, and they don’t offer many hints on the MCU, to be honest. But there’s one you MUST see before Captain Marvel if you don’t know much about the main characters. Watch these few fun minutes of Agent Phil Coulson in his Thor years, in a short called A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer: 

After Captain Marvel comes out, we can see how close my guesses are. What do you think?

Coming Soon – Peetimes for Captain Marvel

Quiz – Brie Larson – The New Captain Marvel and Beyond

1st Captain Marvel Trailer Finally Drops – Comments and Speculation

The Quantum Realm in Ant-Man 2 Offers Answers for Avengers 4

10 Ways Ant Man Could Escape the Quantum Realm

Pi Day Movies – the Best Math (or Pie) Films to Watch on March 14

the symbol for pi in blue
Pi (π) is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. There might be a few numbers involved.

Mid-march, three unusual holidays rear their heads for movie rewatch fun: Pi Day, The Ides of March, and St Patrick’s Day. It all starts on March 13 with Pi Day. That’s the 14th day of the third month: 3.14. If you pay enough attention, you can even celebrate Pi Minutes and Pi Seconds. (1:59:26 comes around the clock twice, unless you use Military Time.)

If you scroll down, you’ll see every Pi and math movie we consider crucial for your home entertainment curriculum. But first, you have to understand what Pi is, then prepare some actual pies for feasting. On Pi Day, both sweet and savory pies count. More on that soon.

Do you know what Pi is?

long string of Pi numbers
Just memorize this and you’ll be fine.

This is a big topic. You can start by thinking about Pi as the ratio of a circle’s circumference, related to its diameter. Do you consider yourself smart? Apparently you can spend the rest of your life digging into the mysteries of this transcendental,  irrational number. (WIRED gives it a relatively simple whack, while the Wikipedia offers more Pi detail than most people actually want.)

Feast with Pies on Pi Day

Whatever your feelings about Pi, math, and advanced mathematics, I’ve long considered March 13 Pi Day. It’s a holiday that’s picking up more pop-culture steam every year.  For decades, my husband and I used to rewatch a classic math movie each year, feasting on Chicken Pot Pie, Pumpkin Pie, or sometimes Pizza Pie.  Even a Calzone or Omelette is a pie, albeit half of one.  We’d use fractions to eat them, as one does with flat, round food. 🙂 Make a meal with lots of circular edibles. Maybe Pita Bread. Be creative.

Announce the fractions you cut from the whole. Eat like math is your passion for one day a year!

We celebrated Pi Day this way because we’re geeks. RunPee loves weird holidays where you can watch movies, dress for the occasion, and plan an appropriately themed meal.

So. Pull on your geekiest science tee shirt and pick something from this list of great Pi adjacent films.

Make Pi Day 3.14 Times as Nice

It’s a good idea to phone your favorite ‘pie’ place and ask for the Pi Day Special: it’s fun to spread the word, and many places will give you an off the menu deal just for choosing them for your Pi needs. At the very least, you might encourage them to make a Pi Deal for next March.

Oh, please tell them RunPee sent you.

the first few numbers in the Pi string
Pi, looking friendly and fun and not at all intimidating.

Here’s RunPee’s list of favorite math, Pi, and pie movies for Pi Day, in no particular order, with release dates, and a few thoughts to help you select the perfect film to celebrate an irrational number.

Linked titles go to RunPee’s own movie reviews, where we have them. Eventually, we’ll review them all. It’s an easier task than calculating the exact value of Pi.

16.5 Movies To Enjoy in Honor of Pi Day

    1. Pi (1998) – Pure numbers, baby.
    2. Life of Pi (2001) — Not about math, or even pie, but a man named Pi. It’s a great, quietly gripping story, where you’re not sure what’s going on. Pay attention to the details, whether this is your first, or Nth viewing. It’s a very worthwhile film and almost Inception-lite. And BTW, that’s not a spoiler. Just enjoy the rhythm of the film.
    3. Good Will Hunting (1997) – Matt Damon makes this list twice, because he’s got a lock on that understated, funny, and too-pretty-to-be-so-smart look that perfectly bellies his mad science skills.
    4. Hidden Figures (2016) – This recent feel-good film centers around three black women hired by NASA as human computers during the 1960s events of Project Mercury, and its fabulous. (‘Sheldon Cooper’ even has a small role.) Award-winning and based on real people, including John Glen, who was apparently a great guy. If his computers said not to go, he stayed put. Smart man.
    5. The Theory of Everything (2014) – If you adored Stephen Hawking, like we did at RunPee, you probably found news of his death so very, very sad. But from all indications, he loved his life, had joy, family, a great career, and  unfettered commitment to allow his fine brain to roam the cosmos. We saw his sense of humor was as extraordinary as his mind. Not a bad legacy at all. Eddie Redmayne did an A+ job saluting Hawking’s contributions to our understanding of the universe.
    6. A Beautiful Mind (2001) –  I honestly don’t remember much about this film (it was too upsetting and sad for my tastes), but realize it would be a big snub to leave this inspired-by-a-true-life-story it off the list. The IMDb writes this: “From the heights of notoriety to the depths of depravity, John Forbes Nash Jr. experienced it all. A mathematical genius, he made an astonishing discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international acclaim. But the handsome and arrogant Nash soon found himself on a painful and harrowing journey of self-discovery.
    7. The Imitation Game (2014) – Benedict Cumberbatch plays a lot of geniuses, or at least men smarter than the average bloke. If you like Alan Turning and enjoy cracking impossible Nazi codes, this movie was made for you. It’s also a drama with a message. 
    8. Gifted (2017) – I enjoyed this light film about how a normal brained single Dad (Chris Evans) learns to beat to the system to keep and raise his young, brilliant protegee. This scene is a standout — be sure to watch the whole segment:
    9. x and y (UK)/A Brilliant Young Mind (US) (2014) – A kid with ‘special powers’ in math learns to navigate childhood.
    10. Apollo 13 (1995) – First of all, it’s a space mission that really happened, and through massive sciencing, everybody makes it home alive. Not a spoiler; this is history. Also, Apollo 13 is has Tom Hanks as Captain Jim Lovell,  and those men are gods to me. I think the inspiration for Legos must have come from that scene with the square filter an the round vent — “Work the problem, people!” (Ed Harris is a god too. Godhoods for everyone in Apollo 13!)
    11. The Martian (2105) – Matt Damon’s character scienced the SHIT out of this movie.  A pure joy to watch and rewatch, and I have to remind myself this, unlike Apollo 13, hasn’t actually happened. Yet. 🙂
    12. Contact (1997) – This one happened in real life too, didn’t it? Didn’t it?  Damn. Watching this movie just makes me happy, and yes, it’s full of life, death, and MATH. The scene where we’re contacted with Prime Numbers is a standout. It’s one of those scenes that makes me tear up without a single line of dialog, or even much facial expression. Remember in The Return of the King, when we saw the lighting of the fire beacons above Gondor, calling to Rohan for aid? Same thing. When you saw Contact for the first time, how long did it take you realize those pulses were primes? I expect the universal  language of math will prove yet again that fiction pre-dates fact. This is the best segment in an already outstanding film. I had to add two videos to catch the whole scene:
    13. The Accountant (2106) – Ben Affleck gave a surprisingly charming and understated performance as a certain kind of savant specialist who learns to relate to people in his own, sometimes deadly way.
    14. Stand and Deliver (1988) – What is Calculus? Why should we care, unless we’re lucky enough to have someone like Edward James Olmos teach it? I need to re-watch Stand and Deliver, as I’ve forgotten much of this classic 80s film.  Here’s a summary:  A Los Angeles high school teacher opts to immerse his students in higher math. After intensive study, his students ace California’s calculus test, only to learn their scores are being questioned.
    15. The Cold Equations (1996) – This short, harrowing film details to the Nth degree how important math is – specifically, down to milligrams of weight in space.  Are there any space movies where weight limits aren’t a thing? In this one, math is the whole plot. As the pilot and young stowaway work frantically against the clock, we’re reminded how dangerous space is, how fragile spaceships are, and how very, very much math matters. It’s only 40 minutes and it’s worth a watch, even if the effects are a bit dated. The story is still a good one. Here’s the entire video for The Cold Equations:
    16. Real Genius (1985)  – Taking a trip in the way back machine, Real Genius makes this list by pure force of fun. In fact, you can watch the entire feature film right here. I’ll leave this up until someone takes it down — it’s clearly a film taped on a cell phone. Enjoy this blast from the nerdy past!

…Aaaaand the promised .5 movie: American Pie (1999, the original):

Don’t worry if you hate numbers.  Lock yourself alone in the bedroom with a warm apple pie, and try out just how good it feels. Or, less weirdly, rewatch one of the movies in the American Pie franchise with friends, compare Band Camp Stories, and laugh again at the awkwardness of being young and inexperienced. Beware: this scene is suggestive, and  is clearly intended to be. You can’t unsee it. It’s the PIE scene. On Pi Day. Have fun.

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Quick question: How many numbers in a string can you list for Pi? Write them out in the comments below, and no cheating! Surely there must be some out-of-the-closet geeks out there.

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Just below: a brilliant Pi video for those of you who are too smart for Pi itself. Just peruse this movie list on Tau Day, and you’ll be set.

Super Pi Geeks Argue About how Tau is Better…

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RunPee Movie Reviews Related to Math and Pi

Movie Review – Hidden Figures

Movie Review – The Theory of Everything – More About Stephen Hawking Than Math

Movie Review – Gifted

Movie Review – The Accountant

Post Oscars Night Comments and Feasting with the RunPee Family

oscars statue for the awards ceremony
The big one: this year’s Oscar Awards Ceremony

The RunPee Family gathered at our Florida HQ to watch the 2019 Oscars event together, live-tweeting, snarking about presenters, shouting who we wanted to win, then cheering and jeering when movie awards were announced.

It was much fun. And there was much feasting. (Scroll down for food pictures.)

A Few Thoughts From the 2019 Oscars

You can check out our thoughts and comments using the Twitter hashtag #RunPeeattheOscars. So many great films in 2018! It was nice to see some unusual noms get the Oscars. It was shocking to us when Green Book got Best Picture. RunPee Jilly wanted Black Panther, RunPee Mom figured the win would go to A Star Is Born, while everyone else thought it would go to Bohemian Rhapsody. RunPee Sis did the Peetimes for Green Book, and she really loved that movie, so she was happy. Since we divide up the movies every week, there isn’t a lot of overlap. The rest of us have yet to even see Green Book! Personally, I’m looking forward to it.

The clear highlight of the evening was the Lady Gaga/Bradley Cooper duet of Shallow from A Star is Born — which happily won the Oscar category for Best Song. Although Cooper seemed a little shaky with some of his vocals, the steamy onscreen chemistry between the two brought down the house.

We were surprised at all the accolades for Roma , after limited US release that went straight to Netflix. We didn’t even do Peetimes for Roma —  we focus on the wide releases, so this one slipped through the cracks. (Also, we almost never do foreign films. It’s nearly impossible to make Peetimes when you have to read subtitles.)

Overall, we thought the event needed a host. The flow was jarring.  But with all the controversy about the Oscars and hosts this year, it was probably for the best. I wanted to see Kevin Hart host, but understand why it wasn’t acceptable.  After Disney fired James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy 3, it’s  past time for celebrities to take a good look at their social media history.

Want to see what the RunPee Family ate? Since the event started late on the East Coast, we went for finger foods. RunPee Sis put together the menu and presentation. Yum!

 

 

 

 

Did you enjoy the Oscars this year? Do you agree with the winners? Let us know in the comments below.

The RunPee Family Chats Pre-Event on the 2019 Oscars

Movie Review – Green Book (It will touch your heart)

Movie Review – Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen Will Rock You

Movie Review – A Star Is Born

Main Song from A Star Is Born – Video and Lyrics from Shallow – by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

Movie Review – Black Panther – One Incredible Party

The RunPee Family Chats Pre-Event on the 2019 Oscars

oscars statue for the awards ceremony
The big one: this year’s Oscar Awards Ceremony

Here’s a list of every Oscar movie nominee for 2019, and the RunPee Family‘s thoughts about who might and should win, and who we think will be snubbed this year. All links go to RunPee’s reviews if we have one, and the (post-Oscar) winners are listed in bold.

Best Picture

Black Panther: RunPee Mom  – Excellent Oscar-worthy movie. RunPee Jilly – I just want to see Black Panther win, because I’m a die hard geek and I don’t think anything has won Best Picture in my genres since The Return of the King. This winning would make me deeply happy.

BlacKkKlansman: Mom –  Haven’t seen this one, but I’ve read excellent reviews. I’m sure it’s Oscar-worthy. Jilly – I remember RunPee Dan really liking this one, but I haven’t seen it.

Bohemian Rhapsody: Mom – Nor have I seen this movie, but according to second-hand information, it’s also Oscar-worthy. Jilly – I know this is the big one, but I found it more sad than I was ready for. It’s not enjoyable to watch people be sad and suffer that much.

The Favourite: Mom –  It would make me happy for Queen Anne of Brittany if a movie made about her won an Oscar. Anne was one of the more colorful monarchs of the past, and should have her own movie.

Green Book:  Mom –  Nope, haven’t seen this one either, but this is my daughter’s number one pick and that’s good enough for me. I’ll see it soon. RunPee Sis – This is the best film ever and you feel really good after seeing it.

Roma: Mom –  Good grief, why oh why, was this nominated for Best movie and Best Foreign Film? One or the other Academy, not both.  Also, this isn’t really a movie I could even finish watching when I downloaded it last night.

A Star is Born: Mom – My favorite, my very, very favorite. This is why I want Roma taken out of the mix. If my movie doesn’t win, then I’m pretty sure my anger, along with millions of other fans, will cause a polar shift. Jilly – Like Bohemian Rhapsody, too sad for me. I prefer pulse-pounding excitement in a fantastical story. Why are Dramas always selected for Best Picture?

Vice: Mom – A great movie, but I question if it’s Oscar-worthy. Granted, Christian Bale did an outstanding job of capturing the essence of Dick Cheney, but I don’t think Dick’s essence made for an outstanding movie.

 

Best Actor in A Leading Role

Christian Bale: Mom –  It was no great stretch for Bale to play Dick Cheney. He doesn’t deserve an Oscar for simply looking like Dick Cheney. That award should go to the makeup department.

Bradley Cooper: Mom – My favorite. Brad went way out of his comfort zone to not only act and sing in this movie, but direct it as well. Jilly – Brad did a great job, but I don’t think it was better than other movies he’s acted in. I’d call his role here ‘regular good’, not “blow-my-mind good.”

Willem Dafoe: Mom – A multi-talented actor for sure, but he’s up against some stiff competition.

Rami Malek: Mom –  He just may walk away with the Oscar, and even though Bradley is my favorite, my money is on Rami for the win. Jilly – Rami became Freddie in my eyes. I think this is the clear winner.

Viggo Mortenson: Mom –  Again, the competition is stiff and I don’t see the Academy recognizing him with an Oscar. Jilly – Viggo has a reputation for becoming the role he’s tasked with.  Green Book really shows off his skills.

 

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Yalitza Aparicio: Mom –  Okay Academy, are you really going to award the Oscar to an actress with only one movie in her filmography, and snub seven-time nominee Glenn Close?

Glenn Close: Mom –  My favorite. This lovely lady has given us some of the best movies we’ve seen, and that’s validated by the fact that she’s been nominated seven times for an Oscar, but never taken one home. The time is now Academy, to right that wrong.

Olivia Colman: Mom –  A superior actress, but I don’t think the Academy will find her performance as great as her fans did.

Lady Gaga: Mom –  I think this amazing woman will take home the gold, and even though I’d like to see Glenn finally become a winner if only for sentimental reasons, Lady Gaga deserves every eight and a half pounds of the Best Actress award. Jilly – I think Gaga and her movie, along with Bohemian Rhapsody, will sweep the awards.  Regardless, the Lady did a truly fine job in her big role debut.

Melissa McCarthy: Mom – The Academy will snub Melissa; it’s just what they do. It doesn’t matter that this funny lady cranked out some great drama for the movie, the Academy will not award her gravitas. Jilly – I’d be shocked if Melissa won this.  She’s not be taken seriously as an actor before, and this film never went to wide release, so the support might not be there for ‘comic’ actor.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Mahershala Ali: Mom – I think Ali will walk away a winner.

Adam Driver: Jilly – A promising young actor. He’s worth watching.

Sam Elliot: Mom – Probably won’t take home the gold, but it’s great the Academy gave him a small pat on the back. Jilly – This was a relatively small role in a big film, and his arc wasn’t very satisfying, so this nom surprised me.

Richard E. Grant:  We’ll add something if we think of it. 🙂  No thoughts yet (hereafter to be called NTY).

Sam Rockwell: Mom – Sam did the best job portraying George W Bush than any other actor in Hollywood, however his role was so small it would be hard to screw it up. On the other hand, where the hell is Steve Carell‘s nomination? Jilly – I agree with Mom: this should have gone to Steve Carell.

 

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams: Mom – She played the wife of Dick Cheney; how hard could that be for an actress of her caliber?

Marina de Tavira: Mom – Most likely she’ll take home the gold.

Regina King: NTY

Emma Stone: Jilly – A versatile young actress who gets better every year.

Rachael Weisz: NTY

 

Best Animated Feature Film

Incredibles 2: Jilly – If Into the Spider-Verse hadn’t come out this year, Incredibles 2 would clearly take the win. It was as good, and in some ways better than the first Incredibles film, was funny, completely enjoyable, and a sure crowd-pleaser.  Pixar usually pulls out the win, but in this case I’m going with the Sony Spiderman nominee.

Isle of Dogs: Mom – I loved everything about this movie, but it won’t take home the gold. Jilly – I very much enjoyed this film, but I think it’s a little too quirky, and a bit unrelatable for the Academy. It’s a small film, compared to Incredibles 2, Ralph Breaks the Internet, and the best one: Into the Spider-Verse.

Mirai: Jilly – A small movie, and I’m not sure how this could compete with the others.

Ralph Breaks The Internet: Jilly – I very much enjoyed this film, and I hadn’t even seen the original. Like Incredibles 2, it’s a big crowd-pleaser that still won’t take the win from Into the Spider-Verse.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: Mom – Even though my favorite is Isle of Dogs, the Spidey movie is the clear winner. Jilly – The hands-down Oscar win. This is nothing short of an amazing achievement in animated film. The look, the story, the voice acting, the plot, the EVERYTHING. I don’t have enough pluses to give to this A+ film.

Best Cinematography

Cold War:  Not seen.

The Favorite: NTY

Never Look Away:  Not seen.

Roma: NTY

A Star Is Born: Mom – With Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in the ‘photograph’, why are we even talking about this? Jilly – Most of the shooting was very straightforward, so I’m not sure why this was nominated.  It’s not a fantasy, it’s not a period piece, and most of the big scenes were two people on a stage. There were so many other interestingly filmed movies this year, so what gives?

Best Costume Design

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs: Mom – This quirky little movie probably won’t take Oscar home, but it was great fun watching it anyway.

Black Panther: Mom – The obvious winner. Jilly – Now we’re talking.  This epic film created an entire futurist nation’s worth of fabulous garments and sparked an entire design movement. I don’t think a lot of films in the history of ever can boast this. (Read more: Dress like a Wakandan from Black Panther.)

The Favourite: Jilly – A period piece with many gorgeous dresses. The Academy likes this kind of thing.

Mary Poppins Returns: Jilly – The costumes were okay, as this is a period piece that seamlessly picks up a generation after the first Mary Poppins leaves off. It looked good. But the costumes weren’t exactly

Mary Queen of Scots: Mom – This is my favorite movie of the category, however, it can’t win against Black Panther. Jilly –  Another great-looking period piece; this is worth having on the list. But Black Panther should leave this category in the dust.

Best Director

BlacKkKansman: Mom – Spike Lee is the obvious choice here. The other five can stay home. Jilly – The Academy likes Spike Lee, and the movie’s a meaty one. This should be the winner.

Cold War:  Not seen.

The Favourite: NTY

Roma: NTY

Vice: NTY

Best Documentary

Free Solo: Jilly – I’m the rock climber in the family, so I should have seen this. However, we don’t tend to cover documentaries, so unfortunately I have no option on Free Solo. I’ve heard good things, though, and look forward to seeing movie snippits  at the Oscars.

Hale County This Morning, This Evening: Not seen.

Minding the Gap: Not seen.

Of Fathers and Sons: Not seen.

RBG: Mom – My choice. Jilly – Agreed.

Documentary (Short Subject)

Black Sheep: Not seen.

End Game: Not seen.

Lifeboat: Not seen. (Jilly – I’d like to see this one.)

A Night at The Garden: Not seen.

Period. End of Sentence: Not seen.

Film Editing

BlacKkKlansman: NTY

Bohemian Rhapsody: Mom –  My choice, this could not have been an easy film to edit.

The Favourite: NTY

Green Book: NTY

Vice: NTY

Foreign Language Film

Capernaum: Not seen (Jilly – we don’t see many foreign films.)

Cold War:  Not seen.

Never Look Away: Not seen.

Roma: Mom – Not my choice, but it’ll win anyway.

Shoplifters: Not seen.

Makeup and Hair Styling

Border: Not seen.

Mary Queen of Scots: Mom – Definitely the clear choice. Jilly – Of the three listed, this one is the shoe-in. Good period work.

Vice: Mom – Turning Christian Bale into Dick Cheney was nothing short of a miracle, but is it enough to take home the gold? Jilly – Yes, Christian was converted into an older, heavier man, but where is Black Panther for this category? One actor in heavy makeup shouldn’t take the gold, no matter how well acted it was. Have you SEEN the amazing hair and makeup in Black Panther?

Music (Original Score)

Black Panther: Mom – The obvious winner. Jilly – There should be no competition  with the fabulousness of this score. It paints a magical picture and carries the view along the story with finesse.

BlacKkKlansman: NTY

If Beale Street Could Talk: NTY

Isle of Dogs: Jilly – Honestly, I really enjoyed this film, but I cannot remember the score. It was a little bombastic, I think. Kind of out there? That kind of thing can be noticed by the academy, but I doubt it will win, compared to Black Panther.

Mary Poppins Returns: Jilly – like the costuming, the music fits on perfectly as a sequel to the original. It’s not my favorite choice, however.

Music (Original Song)

‘All The Stars’ from Black Panther: Jilly – I do enjoy this song, but I don’t think it’s good enough to win, and certainly not against Shallow. I wish this song was going to be playing live during the Oscars, like the others.

‘I’ll Fight’ from RBG:  Jilly – This will be playing during the night of the Oscars, like all the other nominated songs except for Black Panther.

‘The Place Where Lost Things Go’ from Mary Poppins Returns: Jilly – This is a sad and sweet lullaby, but nothing I find outstanding. If I had to pick a song from Mary Poppins Returns it would  be the “Light Fantastic” song with the Lamp Lighters, as a callback to the showstopping Chimney Sweep passage from the original Mary Poppins.

Shallow‘ from A Star Is Born: Mom – I can assure you that if this song doesn’t win, there will be blood. Jilly – The best part of A Star is Born  is this song. It should bring down the house when they perform it live at the Oscars, even though Brad Cooper will not perform it as himself and not his character.

‘When A Cowboy Trades his Spurs For Wings’ from The Ballad of Buster: Scruggs – NTY

Production Design

Black Panther: Mom – Why is anyone else nominated? Jilly – The win, I’m sure.

The Favourite: NTY

First Man: Jilly – Except for the brief moon scene, everything was just set on  1950s and 60s Earth. I see this movie has several noms, but it was so understated and underwhelming that I’m not sure why.

Mary Poppins Returns: Jilly – Nice, but not outstanding. It could have been a stage play for the production quality evident here. I don’t think a single scene looked like it was filmed on location.

Roma: NTY

Short Film (Animated)

Animal Behaviour: Not seen. Jilly – We don’t see a lot of shorts, since they don’t need Peetimes.  😉 

Bao: Jilly – This is the only one I watched, coming as it did before The Incredibles 2.  I found it creepy. I know it means a  lot to some cultures and it’s probably the only one most people have seen. It will probably win.

Late Afternoon: Not seen.

One Small Step: Not seen.

Weekends: Not seen.

Short Film (Live Action)

Detainment: Not seen. Jilly – We don’t see a lot of shorts, since they don’t need Peetimes.  😉 

Fauve: Not seen.

Marguerite: Not seen.

Mother: Not seen.

Skin: Not seen.

Sound Editing

Black Panther: NTY

Bohemian Rhapsody: Mom – A clear winner.

First Man: NTY.

A Quiet Place: Jilly – Although I love this movie, I was struck by the seeming irony of this movie about silence getting nominated for sound. Then I thought about it, and looked a few things about A Quiet Place up, and I’d like to see this take the win. It’s a great lesson in less being more and I can’t wait to see the clips for this during the Oscars.

Roma: NTY.

Sound Mixing

Black Panther: Jilly – If Black Panther doesn’t get the bigger awards, like Best Picture, then I expect it to sweep the smaller Oscars like this one.

Bohemian Rhapsody: Jilly – Great as the Queen songs are in Bohemian Rhapsody, I’m not sure this film has significant sound mixing effects.

First Man:  Jilly – Besides playing period-appropriate golden oldies tunes, I don’t remember much sound in First Man. I suppose the mixing from the experimental jets and rockets is what they have in mind for amazing award-worthy sounds. We will see during the Oscar night clips.

Roma: NTY

A Star Is Born: Mom – My favorite and it better win.

Visual Effects

Avengers: Infinity War: Mom – Oh for god’s (no pun intended) sake, how can you even put more than one film in this category. Jilly – WIN WIN WIN, in my book. I don’t think it gets any better than this.

Christopher Robin: Jilly – Christopher Robin was lovely, but I don’t expect it to win.

First Man: Jilly – I only thought the few moments on the moon looked interesting, but it wasn’t all that and a bag of chips.

Ready Player One: Jilly – This was certainly a visual feast, but the movie underwhelmed and really has no chance to win this.

Solo: A Star Wars Story: Jilly – I enjoyed Solo a lot, and it looked as good as a Star Wars film can but it can’t win against the well-deserved Avengers: Infinity War.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs: NTY

BlacKkKlansman: Mom – Brilliant writing; should take home the gold.

Can You Ever Forgive Me?: Not seen.

If Beale Street Could Talk: NTY

A Star Is Born: Mom – An incredible story, but not an entirely new story.

Writing (Original Screenplay)

The Favorite: NTY

First Reformed: Not seen.

Green Book: NTY

Roma: Mom – Of course it’ll win.

Vice: Mom – There were some really great lines in this movie, but not enough to skate past Roma.

Movie Review – Fighting with My Family – Pleasant, Non-Demanding Fun

Movie Review - Fighting with My FamilyFighting with my Family is a pleasant little true-life-based sporting movie leaving you feeling a little happier than when you went in.

It’s not about Earth-shattering events or anything particularly profound for humanity, and it doesn’t need to be. It’s a small and surprisingly charming story: a young woman gets plucked out of obscurity in the UK to train for the big leagues of US WWE Diva wrestling. Cue the nominally familiar underdog narrative…but it works.

The best part of the movie is how it’s grounded by a loving, oddball wrestling family. The rough-n-tough parents seem intimidating at first, until you realize how sweetly kind these people are, and how much they care for each other.

The comedy is never over the top: you buy the reality of these people. Kudos to the acting and directing team for making this tiny corner of history so palatable — and relatable.

I also appreciated the brother’s side-tale of changing the lives of underprivileged youngsters in his neighborhood, via instruction and a strong sense of community. (The blind wrestling teen was a highlight, and I could have watched an entire movie about him. Somebody make this film happen.)

In any case, Fighting With My Family is almost entirely about the daughter. Paige’s story is a quite a bit like the blockbuster scenario of Rocky — just younger, female, and on a different scale. Also, this series of events really happened. 🙂 We get a young “buck” with a lot of raw potential, who gets tested too far, and lets her coach and family down. She finds her “Eye of the Tiger”and gets serious about pursuing a WWE championship goal. This isn’t brand new material, right? But the movie makes it fresh.

Something I appreciated was Paige’s clear joy in the sport itself. And make no mistake, the movie makes pro wrestling look exhausting, but also super fun. Now I want to be tossed around a ring, bounce off the bungies, and leap over people who know when to duck (yet know how to make it look real). I had no idea the whole pro wrestling scene was so playful and adventurous. There are scenes where pros decide whether to take random PR stunts in stride, like being thumped on a bed of thumbtacks, to getting smacked in the head with a garbage can lid. If you can take it, it adds to the fun, and everybody gets paid. Even The Rock is thankful for someone who took a spectacularly painful fall to make him look good (in a really satisfying small scene that’s easy to miss if you aren’t paying attention).

However. One thing you should know before you go: The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) isn’t in this film very much — he bookends the plot. But he shouldn’t be the center of this film. It’s not his story. As he was involved in these real events — creating this film was his passion project — he takes up just as much visual space as he should. It works. I hope it went down in reality just like this.

Still. This is THE ROCK, and he’s got quite a WWE legacy before he became a movie star. His opening “mentoring’ scene is NOT to be missed. It’s priceless and I’m still smiling over it. Don’t run to the toilet then…use our Peetimes. 🙂

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: This was an easy film to find Peetimes for. I won’t let you miss any moment The Rock appears, or any of the best fighting action. I recommend the 2nd Peetime if you can manage it, but all are fine.

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

Rated (PG-13) for crude and sexual material, language throughout, some violence and drug content

Genres: Action, Biography, Comedy, Drama, Sport, True life story


 

More Movies Starring The Rock: 

Quiz – The Rock AKA Dwayne Johnson – Action Hero with Surprising Range

Movie Review – Jumanji 2: Welcome to the Jungle

Movie Review – The Fate of the Furious

Movie Review – Skyscraper

San Andreas – movie review

Movie Review – The Tooth Fairy

 

Black Panther – Does Killmonger Have a Point?

black panther and king T'Challa
If you can help, are you morally obligated to do so?  What is better: peaceful existence with a whiff of moral cowardice, or committing purposeful acts of brutality, to achieve real cultural equality?

[Spoilers ahead for everything Black Panther but not Infinity War]

For Black Panther Week, and before the 2019 Oscars, I’d like to give this gorgeous and exciting film a shoutout. Black Panther is up for no less than SEVEN Academy Awards, so beyond being yet another fantastic Marvel Universe superhero film, the tone struck a cord with audiences everywhere. And the more you dig into the narrative, the more story layers are revealed.

From the website Shadow and Act comes this thoughtful and possibly inflammatory piece (depending on your point of view). Do you believe the ends justifies the means? Can we ethically pursue freedom while co-signing on acts of inhumanity, in order to arrive at a more enlightened state?

Here’s the aforementioned article, which goes into some detail on Killmonger’s anti-heroic, yet not entirely misguided journey:

If you don’t agree with anything here, that’s fine too.  But it’s clear within Black Panther that some of our ostensible heroes are either committing their own foul acts (at worst), or turning a blind eye to them (at best).

(Remember, spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen Black Panther, but you are safe if you haven’t seen Avengers: Infinity War.)

Who’s Right? Who’s Wrong?

It’s really only T’Challa’s (Chadwick Boseman) spy girlfriend Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o )who takes a strong stance on this issue. The entire royal family is otherwise quite comfortable in their position of prestige and luxury in the hidden Utopia of Wakanda.

I would say T’Chaka  — the kingly father of T’Challa — in his seemingly casual decision to abandon young Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) to the streets of Los Angeles, and by extension, the rest of the children lost from the diaspora, is cowardly and wrong-thinking (especially after killing his brother/Erik’s father!). But even the most noble kings have flaws. The movie takes great pains to point this out. Killmonger is beyond awful in his methods, yet is full of righteous rage, worthy of consideration.

In the above linked article, this line seems to stand out: “Swirling in constant reminders of worthlessness, of the specific anti-Black-American toxicity experienced by Black folk in the U.S.A., Killmonger is angry—not just at white supremacist oppressors or systemic racism, but also the Black Elite who left him behind. And he has every right to want vengeance.”

It’s a little risky to place your eponymous superhero in a morally questionable stance, but the movie and T’Challa himself (eventually) rise to the challenge. After the events of Avengers: Infinity War, we are forced to see how this might play out between Wakanda and the outside world.

All the Stars song and end credit image from black panther
What is the true role of a leader? Are you responsible for a nation, a race, a world, or even (within the MCU) the galaxy?

What Can We Take Away From Killmonger and His End Goal for Wakanda?

I asked our RunPeep Shani Ogilve  (see her previous post on A Black Perspective On Black Panther) for a few words about the Forgotten Children of Wakanda, and how sympathetically we can view Killmonger, his mission, and the central lesson of the Black Panther film:

Ogilve writes: “This is a great piece. To start, #TeamKilmonger with a caveat — there is no other team to be on. Killmonger can be compared to other figures in fiction and history — Malcolm X and Magneto come to mind. Though their methods also are extreme, they are justified. I usually go for the MLK and Professor X route, but in Black Panther’s case T’Challa wasn’t even any type of activist. Maybe Killmonger was the martyr for the diaspora. His hurt brought enlightenment to T’Challa, to hopefully step up and make meaningful changes to other black communities.

“I also would say that the blame doesn’t fall on Wakanda or T’Challa completely. Though Wakandans aren’t completely ignorant of how Black people outside of Wakanda are living, they aren’t all-knowing of the Black experience in America or elsewhere. That is honestly an experience that you must experience yourself to actually understand.

“Additionally, it’s not fair to say that because they are doing better than other Black communities, they should be the ones to help them. I don’t hate Wakanda for not helping, because I don’t actually believe that anything they do will make an impact big enough to change systematic injustices. I believe the only way to fix the injustice in our society — and hopefully prevent future Killmongers —  is for the colonizing bodies of the world to do what they must, to reverse the effects of colonization and slavery. By any means necessary.”

Things Black Panther Still Makes Us Think About

Who is really a true villain in the MCU, and who is better termed an ‘anti-villain’? Would you say you understand and sympathize with Killmonger in some way, or his stance? Are all methods fair — even through deliberate murder, casual brutality, and the possibility of inciting a world war — in the name of the greater good?

And on the other hand, as with T’Challa’s choice, if you CAN help others, are you morally obliged to do so? These aren’t easy questions. Feel free to sound off in the comments below. I won’t rip your heads off for your opinion. 🙂

#BlackPantherWeek #WakandaForever #IHaveADream

More RunPee Posts About Black Panther:

A Black Perspective on Marvel’s Black Panther

All The Stars – End Credits Song from Black Panther – Video and Lyrics

Movie Review – Black Panther – One Incredible Party

The 5 Movies You Need To Watch Before Infinity War

How to Dress Like You’re From Wakanda in Black Panther

New Black Panther Trailer is Fantastic – Watch the Video Show Off Wakanda

Zero Song – Video & Lyrics from Ralph Breaks the Internet

ralph breaks the internet and princess venelope
Wreck-It Ralph himself – proof one can be both zero and hero.

Ralph Breaks the Internet, the lovable sequel to Wreck-It Ralph, plays almost like a Disney princess musical, which it kind of is, as an affectionate parody Disney surprisingly put forth in a very meta manner. (Disney having a sense of humor about themselves floored me in almost every way.)

It’s pretty catchy, but not the worst earworm ever: that award has to go to the aptly-named Catchy Song from The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.

Here’s the charming 8-bit end credit video and movie lyrics from Zero, by Imagine Dragons:


Zero

(Sung by Imagine Dragons)

I find it hard to say the things I want to say the most
Find a little bit of steady as I get close
Find a balance in the middle of the chaos
Send me low, send me high, send me never demigod
I remember walking in the cold of November
Hoping that I make it to the end of December
27 years and the end of my mind
But holding to the thought of another time
But looking to the ways at the ones before me
Looking for the path of the young and lonely
I don’t want to hear about what to do
I don’t want to do it just to do it for you

Hello, hello
Let me tell you what it’s like to be a zero, zero
Let me show you what it’s like to always feel, feel
Like I’m empty and there’s nothing really real, real
I’m looking for a way out
Hello, hello
Let me tell you what it’s like to be a zero, zero
Let me show you what it’s like to never feel, feel
Like I’m good enough for anything that’s real, real
I’m looking for a way out

I find it hard to tell you how I want to run away
I understand it always makes you feel a certain way
I find a balance in the middle of the chaos
Send me up, send me down, send me never demigod
I remember walkin’ in the heat of the summer
Wide-eyed one with a mind full of wonder
27 years and I’ve nothing to show
Falling from the doves to the dark of the crow
Looking to the ways of the ones before me
Looking for the path of the young and lonely
I don’t want to hear about what to do, no
I don’t want to do it just to do it for you

Hello, hello
Let me tell you what it’s like to be a zero, zero
Let me show you what it’s like to always feel, feel
Like I’m empty and there’s nothing really real, real
I’m looking for a way out
Hello, hello
Let me tell you what it’s like to be a zero, zero
Let me show you what it’s like to never feel, feel
Like I’m good enough for anything that’s real, real
I’m looking for a way out

Let me tell you ’bout it, well let me tell you ’bout it
Maybe you’re the same as me
Let me tell you ’bout it, well let me tell you ’bout it
They say the truth will set you free

Hello, hello
Let me tell you what it’s like to be a zero, zero
Let me show you what it’s like to always feel, feel
Like I’m empty and there’s nothing really real, real
I’m looking for a way out
Hello, hello
Let me tell you what it’s like to be a zero, zero
Let me show you what it’s like to never feel, feel
Like I’m good enough for anything that’s real, real
I’m looking for a way out

(Songwriters: Benjamin Arthur McKee / Daniel Coulter Reynolds / Daniel James Platzman / Daniel Wayne Sermon / John Hill Zero lyrics 2018 © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Walt Disney Music Company)


By the way, Ralph Breaks the Internet is up for an Oscar for Best Animated Picture for the 2019 Oscars. It’s a very enjoyable romp, even if you never saw the original movie. Also up for consideration: The Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, Mirai, and Into The Spider-Verse. My money is on Spider-Verse, because it is that awesome, but each one of these are absolutely worthy.

Related RunPee posts, for your consideration: 

Movie Review – Ralph Breaks the Internet

Movie Review – Wreck-It Ralph

RunPee and the 2019 Oscars – Predictions for the 2018 Movie Awards

Movie Review – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

All The Stars – End Credits Song from Black Panther – Video and Lyrics

black panther and king T'Challa
All The Stars from Black Panther is one hell of a great song.

Up for Best Original Song at the Oscars this year, All The Stars from Black Panther is looking very good. It’s up against the big contender Shallow from A Star Is Born, but it could certainly bring in a win if the Academy sees fit to go in a different direction from their usual drama-type film awards. All The Stars is a great song — very inspiring — and while I’m biased by being a total science fiction geek, I’d love to see something in my genre of choice actually win this time.

Here’s that gorgeous Black Panther end credits video, and the lyrics from All The Stars, just to get you excited and happy. You’re welcome. 🙂


All The Stars

(Sung by Kendrick Lamar, SZA)

Love, let’s talk about love
Is it anything and everything you hoped for?
Or do the feeling haunt you?
I know the feeling haunt you

This maybe the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer
This maybe the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer

Tell me what you gon’ do to me
Confrontation ain’t nothin’ new to me
You can bring a bullet, bring a sword
Bring a morgue, but you can’t bring the truth to me
Fuck you and all your expectations
I don’t even want your congratulations
I recognize your false confidence and calculated promises all in your conversation
I hate people that feel entitled
Look at me crazy ’cause I ain’t invite you
Oh, you important?
You the moral to the story, you endorsing?
Motherfucker, I don’t even like you
Corrupt a man’s heart with a gift
That’s how you find out who you dealin’ with
A small percentage, who I’m building with
I want the credit if I’m losing or I’m winning
On my momma that’s the realest shit

Girl, let’s talk about love
Is it anything and everything you hoped for?
Or do the feeling haunt you?
I know the feeling haunt you

This maybe the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer
This maybe the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer

Skin covered in ego
Get to talkin’, I get involved, like a rebound
No control, no off switch in the way that you bringing me down
It’s a turn on, get it away from me
Know you mean wrong, keep away from me
And it’s all wrong, get it away from me, yeah
I just cry for no reason, I just pray for no reason
I just thank for the life, for the day, for the hours and another life breathin’
I did it all ’cause it feel good
You could live it all if you feel bad
Better live your life
We are running out of time

Love, let’s talk about love
Is it anything and everything you hoped for?
Or do the feeling haunt you?
I know the feeling haunt you

This maybe the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer
This maybe the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer…

(Songwriters: Alexander William Shuckburgh / Kendrick Lamar / Mark Anthony Spears / Solana I. Rowe / Anothony Tiffith. All The Stars lyrics 2018 © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.)

…Did you know? Black Panther is the world’s ninth-highest-grossing film of all time. From the wikipedia.org


Movie Review – Black Panther – One Incredible Party

A Black Perspective on Marvel’s Black Panther

How to Dress Like You’re From Wakanda in Black Panther

Best Movies to Watch Over President’s Day Weekend

presidents day weekend movies
Sit back and enjoy some presidential movies!

Presidents Day Weekend! Time to get presidential and enjoy some flicks worthy of this American holiday. We’ve got movies listed here that are historical, comical, romantic, sci-fi-esque, or even just totally wacky — there’s something for everyone.

Not in any particular order, here are the greatest movies to get you into the presidential spirit of this weekend in the USA:

Vice (2018) — Still in theaters if you can catch it, Vice is up for several Oscars film trophies — of which it won some other big awards already:

  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
  • Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Actor
  • Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Actor in a Comedy
  • BAFTA Award for Best Editing
  • Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Makeup

 Lincoln (2012) — According to my research, Lincoln was listed as the #1 movie about American presidents more consistently than any other presidential movie, even though it covers only the last few months of Lincoln’s presidency. The movie won two Oscars and was nominated for an additional 10 Oscars. According to my research, Lincoln, was listed as the #1 movie about American presidents more consistently than any other presidential movie. The movie won two Oscars and was nominated for an additional 10 Oscars.

  • Daniel Day-Lewis: won for Best Actor.
  • Tommy Lee Jones: nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
  • Sally Field: nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
  • Steven Spielberg: nominated for Best Motion Picture and Best Director.

In total, Lincoln has 110 wins and 245 nominations. It’s worth a watch, or a rewatch.

W — Oliver Stone did a fine job of showing the ups and downs of belonging to the Bush clan. It covered not only his political life, but also that of a spoiled rich kid, which made it non-stop entertainment. Josh Brolin will go down in cinematic history as one of the best presidential actors. I find it interesting that this great movie was snubbed by the American press.

Nixon — Again, this is an Oliver Stone film about the early days, and right up to the disgraceful end of Richard Nixon’s presidency. It was nominated for 4 Oscars: Anthony Hopkins for Best Actor, Joan Allen for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Writing and Best Music, and Original Dramatic Score.


 

Here are some more fun categories to choose from: 

Best Fictional President

Fail Safe —
If you’ve never seen this movie, now is a good time with all the trigger happy despots out there in the world who would love to blow us to smithereens. The final scene of the movie will stay with you for a while.

Primary Colors —
We all know that this is an unauthorized bio of Bill Clinton so just sit back and enjoy the trip on the campaign trail.  Kathy Bates won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Libby Holden, and Elaine May was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Deep Impact —
This film is one of the best, “Oh my god, we’re all gonna die”, movies ever made…and a big reason for that is Morgan Freeman as President Beck. One might say he was…impactful. 😉


 

Best Comedy about a President

Dave (1993) — Kevin Kline was nominated for Funniest Actor in a Motion Picture, and Charles Grodin won for Funniest Supporting Actor by the American Comedy Awards for Dave. It’s great fun and even a little touching at times.

The American President (1995) — This movie was nominated for an Oscar for Best Music or Comedy Score and nominated for 5 Golden Globes: Best motion Picture, Rob Reiner for Best Director, Annette Bening for Best Actress, Michael Douglas for Best Actor, and Aaron Sorkin for Best Screenplay. This movie is a classic.

My Fellow Americans (1996) — In my opinion, this is the funniest presidential movie ever made, and the two stars, James Garner and Jack Lemmon, have great on-screen chemistry.

Wag the Dog (1997) — Shortly before the election a spin doctor and a Hollywood producer fabricate a war to cover up a Presidential sex scandal. Dustin Hoffman was nominated for an Oscar for Lead Actor, and nominated for 3 Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture, Dustin Hoffman for Lead Actor and Best Screenplay.

Dick (1999)  — A fun little film worth catching, even though it’s from the point of two silly teens watching the Nixon controversy from a unique point of view. Lots of fun!


 

Movies About the Presidency (In General)

All the President’s Men (1976) —
Without a doubt, this is the definitive movie about the inner workings of a presidency. It’s an old movie – 1976 – but still very pertinent in today’s world. The movie earned 4 Oscars: Jason Robards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Writing, Best Art Direction and Best Sound, and was nominated for an additional four Oscars.

JFK (1991) —
As far as conspiracy movies, nothing can top JFK. We’ll never tire of speculating about this American tragedy, and therefore, never tire of making movies or documentaries that tend to sensationalize this event. JFK won 2 Oscars for Best Cinematography and for Best Film Editing, and was nominated for an additional 6 Oscars: Best Picture,  Tommy Lee Jones for Best Actor, Oliver Stone for Best Director, Best Sound, Best Music and Oliver Stone again for Best Screenplay.

Thirteen Days —
In 1962 America came close to another World War when the Kennedy Administration struggled to contain the Cuban Missile Crisis. Even though we know the outcome of this crisis, observing the path the administration took during this standoff is extraordinary.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) — Definitely not your typical presidential bio, it’s funny, entertaining and maybe just a little bit scary. Also, despite a funny title, this one is NOT a comedy. You’ve been warned! 🙂

Movie Review – Vice – Deeply Funny But Tonally Strange

Movie Review – Abraham Lincoln – Vampire Hunter

Movie Review – Lincoln – An A+ Presidential Biography

Movie Review – Alita: Battle Angel – Lighter, more Enjoyable than Ghost in the Shell

 

Movie Review - Alita: Battle AngelAlita: Battle Angel is a sort of YA version of Ghost in the Shell, and I’m not exactly thrilled to see the same thing re-done in so short a period of time. At least this one was more enjoyable, with better humor, more likable characters, and a universe that might be more interesting to explore if a sequel happens. And let it be clear: a sequel isn’t just hinted at in Alita. A sequel is guaranteed, if the movie’s ending is to be understood. It’s a cliffhanger, ya’ll. You should know this going in.

What’s good? [pullquote]The animation is seamless, and the battling Alita herself looks great, giant eyes and all. The Uncanny Valley is not even an issue here: “cute” bypasses the Valley entirely.[/pullquote] And cute Alita is. So is her boyfriend. And her ‘dad.’ It’s not a depressing film, unlike Ghost in the Shell, so it’s got that going for it.

I’m not even sure what else to say about this film because I wasn’t as impressed as I wanted to be. I saw a special early showing that was entirely sold out (my seat was in the literal front row, lending the 3D glasses a terrible viewpoint).

Clearly, the anime excitement and interest was there for this series, even if the presentation wasn’t as freshly new as I’d hoped. Also, while Rosa Salazar is adorable as Alita, she’s no Scarlett Johansson.

What is it about waifish cyborg girls and a future of augmented human bodies? Are we just our brains?[pullquote position=”right”] Can a brain-in-a-jar still be human? These are questions our progeny will have to address, and it comes up fruitfully here.[/pullquote]

I’m giving Alita a good B grade — it’s worth seeing on the big screen, and there’s potential for a decent franchise here. I smiled and laughed, and wanted to know more about the air city above the space elevator.[pullquote] Is the Earth used up? Is humanity lost and debased? And, ultimately, can a few good people influence the course of the future?[/pullquote] According to Margaret Mead, that’s all that ever can. Alita: Battle Angel seems to think we can too.

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: Here are 3 Peetimes of 3 minutes, nicely spaced apart. The 2nd and 3rd Peetimes are better. There’s a lot of action in Alita, so you’ll want to pick a Peetime to not miss the better scenes.

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

Rated (PG-13) for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language
Genres: Action, Romance, Sci-Fi

Movie Review – Ghost in the Shell

 

Quiz – Scarlett Johansson – Not Just a Pretty Face

What is Animated versus Live Action in Alita – Battle Angel

Movie Review – Mortal Engines

Movie Review – The Terminator

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