How to Dress Like Mamma Mia – Here We Go Again

Want to look exciting and retro-new, like a character from the carefree 70s in Mamma Mia  — Here We Go Again?

It’s not hard to pull it off either as a party costume, or just to add a bit of sunshine and blue ocean vibe in your life. Donna Sheridan, the star character of both Mamma Mia movies, had a distinctive look: flowing, wavy locks, denim overalls, flowered prints, tiered bell bottoms, diaphanous maxi-skirts, ponchos, big floppy sunhats, and a flowy air of cool unsophistication. Who needs to be rigidly runway-ready, when you can be comfortable and effortlessly chic in a sundress?

At one point in Mamma Mia 2, young Harry shows young Donna a tight, stylish dress, telling her she thinks she will like it. Her response is to tuck her thumbs into the sides of her overalls and exclaim, “It’s like you don’t even know me at all!”

Of course, in her dual role as the lead singer in The Dynamos, she wears distinctive costumes with high clog heels ad multicolored piles of shiny fluff, over tight, stretchy, bedazzled tunics and thigh-hugging leggings. Very different.

Yet both celebrate a joyous attitude towards life, just like the cheery ABBA songs they sing. Even their more sad songs have a bouncy beat. It’s just the way these movies celebrate freedom, individuality, and life that are so appealing.

Get this look by digging into your/your mother/aunt’s old closets for the kind of attire you see in Mamma Mia. Go visit thrift stores. Vintage stores. Or best yet, look for some old sewing patterns online and get crafty. Pick simple designs and add things…lots of things: frills, feathers, tiers of gauze, patches with flowers and the sun, beads and rhinestones. Fake flowers, even. Mix it up. The key is to look effortlessly fun, and not like a crazy person. Add things, then assess. Edit as needed. Think of your designs like a sunny, happy bonsai tree. You’ll know when you’ve hit the right amount of zing. If you look like Elton John at his heyday, you’ve gone too far. 🙂

What else? Scrunch your hair as you let it air-dry. Go super minimal on the makeup – a little blush or bronzer, some colored lip balm, and not much else. Tuck flowers behind your ears, and use Ivory Soap instead of perfume.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at some Mamma Mia garment creation: 

More Tips: 

Embrace Your Inner Dancing Queen With These 5 ‘Mamma Mia!’-Inspired Looks

The ‘Mamma Mia!’ Costume Designer Explains How to Dress Like Young Donna

Related, on RunPee:

RunPee’s Mamma Mia 2 Review

RunPee’s Rewatch Review (To be added when finished.) (And, BTW, we gave the original an A grade for fun, likability, and a sense of infinite re-watchbility!)

PS: I think it’s high time to host a Mamma Mia party at RunPee HQ. We’ll be sure to toss on the soundtrack and get some 70’s duds. See the bell bottoms by Amazon, below:

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

Arthur Dent Costume for Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

I wore this Arthur Dent costume  for the 2018 San Diego Comic Con on Saturday (along with an Ask Me About RunPee pin, of course), and tucked my old ratty copy of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy in my robe pocket (the DVD will work too. Or just your Smart Phone, which is basically the same thing, these days). Dolphins are on the print of the towel (“Thanks for all the fish!”). No makeup except lip balm. Hair in braids…it was pretty cute. And super easy. Saturday is so crazy at Comic Con that you need an easy, comfortable costume. It doesn’t get more comfy than pajamas!  🙂

Pros-

  • Super simple to toss on in the morning and go. Literally, you just roll out of bed with this one. No time wasted for the big, big day!
  • Comfortable all day!
  • Cheap. You probably have everything at home. Conventions are very expensive, and San Diego is the grand-daddy of them all. Save your money for signings, goodies in the exhibition hall, and on your other, more elaborate cosplays.
  • Towel is great to wipe the sweat off your face when standing in line for hours outside in the hot sun, or when running in the concourse between panels.
  • The thick robe was nice at night, or in spaces that had aggressive AC (like the Masquerade Ball).
  • It’s from a classic novel that also has a movie associated with it, so it’s not hugely esoteric.
  • Nobody who guessed my costume cared that I was a girl in a ‘guy’ role. Those who recognized me loved it!
  • I got to wear my purple foam crocs. Flip flops or slippers would normally be better, but with all the walking/trudging/running/standing you do at Comic Con, you need something comfortable for spending ten or more hours on your feet. These were perfect. Made me glad I kept the darn things.
  • Nothing sticks out to snag on other people, so you can get through the teeming crowds easily. Time saved is stamina saved!

Cons –

  • Most people didn’t recognize my cosplay theme and just figured the pajama/robe setup was from something or other (it’s clearly not clothes you wear outside the house). When they see the Don’t Panic pin, though, most folks clue in. (Use any large pin you have, cover with any non-clear tape you have, and write Don’t Panic!)
  • On a hot day, the thick robe is a bit much.
  • There are so many better costumes around you that you start feeling a bit lazy.(Keep in mind: you can always change into something more complicated before the Masquerade Ball.)
  • Terry cloth robes. It’s the opposite of sexy.

Overall, the Arthur Dent cosplay is a great choice if you have a little Con fatigue and you know you’re going to be a too overloaded to deal with hassles (as for Saturday’s insane lines) or too tired to care about something elaborate (as in Sunday). Plus, the people that clue in to exactly who you are feel really proud of themselves. I actually hugged a few folks who happily exclaimed, “You’re Arthur Dent!” They made my day.

 

 

 

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

Movie Review – Mamma Mia 2

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again was very cute, but had no plot. It existed solely to let the actors sing some ABBA songs, cheerfully ignoring characterization, storybuilding, and conflict resolution.  These things largely didn’t exist.  It was…an energetically lazy movie, I hate to say.

I’m a HUGE fan of the first Mamma Mia film and play it all the time in the background to sing, dance and laugh to…but the original had an actual narrative. A really good one. This sequel/prequel mix was pretty odd: nothing significant happened during the entire runtime. It exists as a long music video. Which is fine, if that is all you want for your evening.

The very first showing was sold out, so I had to wait for the next one. I didn’t realize other people loved the original movie as much as I did! That night, the audience happily sang all the songs with the movie. It was a good time, but not worth paying modern  movie ticket prices for. MM2 didn’t even have the pretty island scenes from the first film, and I wonder if most of it was filmed in a sound stage. It felt like a fan film in a lot of ways. I think this is better served up via DVD release.

It’s actually hard to grade a movie like this. The music was great and there was a lot of energy from all the actors. There just wasn’t any…you know…acting.

Also, Cher (this isn’t a spoiler, as she was a big part of every trailer) had no business being in this film. She appeared as a gimmick, and as an excuse to sing a particular, popular ABBA song they needed to squeeze in there.  And — here’s an even bigger peeve — she took time away from the actual, legitimate cameo (which I won’t spoil) that was a lovely and much-needed wrap up to the film. Cher stole that actor’s thunder for no narrative reason. They didn’t develop the Grandma character at all, or come to any kind of plot explanation for her arrival 1. being a problem before, and 2. suddenly not being a problem now.  I’d love to chat with someone about this.

Needless to say, the Dynamo women (both older and younger versions) were not given anything to do at all. They showed no growth from the previous film and had no story arcs, except an awkward, unpleasant, clearly squished-in-there piece of ‘mid-story’ for one of them. (Sorry about the vagueness — I’m trying to stay spoiler-free.)

The three adult fathers also had zilch to do, aside from one set of sweet and funny lines that they put (of course) right in the trailer.

With the first movie so richly envisioned, acted, and natural-seeming, MM2 felt forced, aimless, and empty. The songs in the original didn’t feel like excuses to sing any particular song. For its genre, it was quite clever! This one was overly stuffed with songs and it felt like the writers were cheating. Even the Dancing Queen reprise lacked any of the empowering charm of the first.  If we just wanted to listen to ABBA, that’s what You Tube is for.

However, a patron leaving the theater told me he would grade this one an A-. So….take my review with a bit of salt. If you go see it, at least realize you are paying for the experience with an audience to sing along with, than viewing  a thoughtfully developed film.

Movie Grade: C+ (For good musical numbers, but no actual plot or characterization)

Peetime Data: Since this was a musical movie, it made finding Peetimes easy. The meta tells you what the songs are, so you won’t have to miss your favorite. Heads up: One thing to be aware of is the way the movie cuts back and forth through time. The scenes with Sophie are in the present. The Donna scenes are from that long ago summer she fell for 3 men. You will be all set if you read the Peetime meta details.

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

Movie Review – Sorry to Bother You

From our wonderfully insightful San Diego RunPee newbie correspondant Ola Sojobi:

“I absolutely loved this movie. The whole setting is beautifully surreal, while the message hits in real ways on several levels. It’s a rollercoaster ride, where the steep drop seems to keep getting steeper, instead of leveling out.

The twist will send you reeling and shift the tone of the whole movie, but then keep hitting you with on-brand real metaphors and deeper meaning. The ride never ends. I expected to love this movie, and I was not disappointed.”

— Ola Sojobi likes psychological thrillers and irreverent indie films. And also likes to see 4DX movies.

Movie Grade: A

Peetime Data: This was a difficult movie to get Peetimes for, because the scenes are often short, and the rare filler scenes are usually sandwiched between very interesting/funny scenes. Nonetheless, there are the three I could scrape out.

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

Dinosaurs and Mead in San Diego: Bronto Brewery

Where can you have a serious sword fight  beneath the skeleton of a T-Rex, drinking handcrafted mead from ancient recipes, play geeky games, and watch classic sci-fi movies? That would be the Bronto Brew Meadery in San Diego.

The owners are certified geeks, just like their patrons, and if that sounds like you, then you’re invited to come in until, like Cheers, “Everybody knows your name.”

Deanna Giwlt, Dan Gwilt, and Ryan Gwilt created Bronto Brew Meadery exactly two years ago (with a celebratory anniversary coming up), with the intention of using a Jurassic Park theme. There’s a T-Rex family in the entry, a giant nest of Brontosaur eggs inside, ancient vinesrcreeping in, dino prints and the sense of entering a long-abandoned Mesozoic-sourced lab when you sit inside to order your mead.

Mead — honey wine, at it’s most distilled point — is what they do. It’s ALL they do. And they do it very, very well. Something for all tastes – some are like a hoppy IPA brew, a sweet wine, a heady cider,  fruit-forward vino, or a rich red port.

I was lucky enough to get a behind the scenes tour of the Bronto Brew Meadery with my photographer Ola Sojoba. We saw the entire process, starting with massive vats of honey, to small production bottles of such rarities as Stegosaurus Blood (ask for it and they might make more. It’s, shall we say, deeply red and wonderfully rich). My favorite is the classic, however, the Pure Bronto. This tastes exactly like I would expect a classic mead to be: a brew that Nordic gods like Thor,  or heroes like Beowulf, or kings like Theoden, are used to serving in their golden halls.

Deanna is especially nerdy, in a good way, about her dinosaur-themed establishment. They welcome nerds, geeks, and “normals” of all stripes, with a full array of giant screen movies, a towering stack of games, regular D&D events, special dragon goblets to rent, and a giant jenga. And swords.

During our tour, Sojoba and I were treated to a full “Pterodactyl Flight” and a game of Exploding Kittens (which is weirder than it sounds, and it certainly sounds strange enough).  Deanna and I also took up swords and hacked the holy hell out of each other, while the men cringed and hovered protectively. We plan a rematch soon. Avast!

Because this of the week leading up to the newest Jurassic World movie (JW 2: Fallen Kingdom), we were excited to attend the movie rewatch, projected huge dino-sized on the wall. Starting with Jurassic Park Classic (the best; still holds up), we moved on to The Lost World (also pretty good). Coming up is the woe- begotten lame JP III (it has a campy value, I guess), and the nicely thrilling, recently revitalized Jurassic World 1 (do not underestimate the value of Chris Pratt). This will probably be a annual event. 

All FREE, of course. You don’t even have to buy a brew, although, heck, you should give it a try. I’ve had many meads in my day, and these guys are the real deal. Cloudy and rich, just like they enjoyed it in the Middle Ages.

The tour was really involved. We saw big vats of organic honey. Those were fermented into a “must” with special yeast, with the addition of either hops, of flowers, or sweet fruits, to create a lovely flight of surprisingly different colors/tastes. If it’s your first visit, we recommend trying a flight, starting with the Pure Bronto, and asking for the rest by mentioning your interest in hoppy, floral, or sweet tastes. Most names have some kind of dino-relation in the title, which is only appropriate. It’s a good time at a good price.

Deanna said she chose the title Bronto because there were not a lot of mead, beer, or coffee places with dinosaurs in the titles. She said, “Dinosaurs stand out and draw attention to them.” When they go to the farmer’s markets, the first thing they see is the T-Rex , and that people crave dinosaurs. She said even introverts feel inspired to talk it about and ask about their mead. These people become regulars for gaming nights, socializing over board games.

What’s also nice is that mead is gluten free. So people worried about whether they can drink the classic beverages are safe. It’s an historical drink that no one has to stress about.

July 21 is the national natural Mead Anniversary, and Bronto is very excited about preparing for this event, showing FREE large screen movies having to do when the era mead was popular.

August 1 will showcase a HUGE event  as their Mead Day, where children, dogs and adults all will be welcome. Homemade necklace pendents and earrings (priced at $12) will be available to purchase. Teeshirts cost $20, with two priced at $30.

Information will be be updated on their Facebook page, and incluce all the info on their regular games and fun events. I’ll keep fan apprised here as well.

What kind of new dinosaur decor should we expect from the Bronto Brew? We’re told there will be more vines and some ‘aging’ decor, to make it clear this is from the Isla Nublad era, around where the science fell into ruin. We likee. Last time I visited, the vines started showing up and the scene was set for a decayed trip to Jurassic Park. Very nice. More jungle ambiance and dino murals are expected soon.

The original look of biolab coats and lab hazard signs are up and ready to go.

Deanna said that she grew up with The Land Before Time, the Flintstones, Puff the Magic Dragon, and that even the Power Rangers had dragons! With the new binge-popular shows like Game of Thrones, plus the revitalized Jurassic movies, this is the perfect time to bring dinosaurs back to popular consciousness.

So what dino themed mead drinks can you choose from? Ask for these:

  • Pure Bronto- the house Mead, a perfect meady blend
  • Stegosaurus Blood – deeply fruit and dry – a select small batch
  • Velicoberry – fruity dry
  • Citrodon – beery fun
  • Hibiscus Berry – floral beer-like taste
  • Cretaceous Bloom – a nice sour
  • Achilobactor
  • Hoposaurus – A sweet IPA beer version of mead

The tap masters have a full array of choices to pull together different mead  cocktails — choices to make all patrons happy, putting their favorites into unusual blends.  These guys are seriously creative, and in love with their unusual product. Ask for the mixologic options

Deanna concludes, “Jurassic Park is using science and tech to bring back something ancient and fun – and we love it.”

Look for Part Two of this series on Bronto Brew Meadery, where we take you from honey vat to finished treat, postedaboutt Mead Day. RunPee will update you on on what FREE mead-themed movies will be posted to get you in the mood.

All images by Ola Sojoba, Owned by RunPee.com – all to be added ASAP  (traveling in Mexico right now and it’s a challenge). 

Hours of Operation

Friday: 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Saturday: 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Bronto Mead
9235 Trade Place, D, San Diego, CA 92126
(619) 796 – 3096

 

 

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

Why Hulk is a Big Weenie and Loki Isn’t

Loki, God of Mischief, once had a very bad day with the Hulk (“Puny God”), way back in the MCU’s 1st Avengers film. This is when our favorite anti-villain was the Big Bad. He’s come a long way since then.  We saw, even as late as Thor: Ragnarok, that he’s still terrified of the Hulk, but seemingly more nervous about being melted by the Grandmaster. So when the Grandmaster told him to sit and watch his Gladiatorial Games, he sat, even though all the color drained from his skin and he fidgeted unconsciously. Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe knew where his discomfort arose, and smiled inside, remembering Tony Stark’s one-up line to Loki’s Chitauri Army boasting (“We have a Hulk”).

It’s not everyday a god gets beaten to a pulp. In Ragnarok, we see he didn’t forget it.

So it came as a nice call back when Loki joined up with his brother Thor and the Revengers, gloating to Thanos, “We have a Hulk.” It’s a great moment that should have paid off in Thanos getting smushed into gravy. Except it didn’t work that way.

SPOILERS AHEAD FOR AVENGERS INFINITY WAR

Loki had one small moment to feel excited about being on the same side as his brother, but it didn’t last long. Thanos smashed up the Hulk himself, with no weapons sans fists and attitude. Thanos clearly was never in danger, and as the Maw said, “Let him have his fun.” Loki paid for that mistake a few moments and one miscalculation later (“No more regenerations.”) Sadly, I suspect this is one death that’s going to stick, whatever else happens with the Snap-apocalypse.

Loki does stand up to Thanos, gets over his fear of the Hulk, and dies a hero’s death (he’d be headed to Valhalla if there were any sober, working Valkyrie left). Loki, you are already missed.

So what’s the deal with the Hulk? Once he gets the snot kicked out of him on the Asguardian ship, he’s flung to Earth, and spends the rest of the movie in hiding. Hulk won’t come out, no matter how much Bruce Banner begs, pleads, demands, or hits himself trying to get angry. The Green Guy had enough of Thanos and his ilk and is…what…afraid? Why is he afraid now? He’s been smacked around before, as recently as on Asguard in the Ragnarok. But that was against some kind of immortal giant. Thanos is his own size. I think it comes as a huge shock to Hulk that he could be flung around like a rag doll, the way he’s used to doing the flinging. So, yeah, he’s afraid.

Which is an interesting point. Loki, like his brother Thor, was thousands of years old.  He was mature enough to legitimately grow out of his Hulk fear. But Hulk is basically a toddler. Put together all Hulk’s time on the mortal plane and it equals not much. Maybe two years on Sakaar, plus a little time here and there on Earth, when Banner wasn’t trying to keep him bottled up.

He’s a child. A big green whiny baby. It’s not even his fault.

This isn’t to denigrate Hulk’s Avenger status. But it seems he needs to have his sulk and work through it. After all, it wasn’t until his time on Sakaar that he really learned how to talk, or play nice with others. And he probably HATES Banner, who will be the reason for Hulk’s death one day (due to old age), and who only lets him out when there’s someone to be smashed.

In essence, Loki got to have a mature arc at the end of his millennial life. He got over his Hulk fear and sacrificed himself for the good team. Hulk is still just too young to understand much of anything — plus, rage makes it hard to think straight. He might need to take some time on Earth (the place he said everyone “hates him”) as himself and do a walkabout, smell some flowers, have a picnic with Black Widow…basically, Banner needs to let the Hulk out of his cage. The two need to come to terms with their shared life.

Once this happens, Banner can leave the Hulkbuster suit behind and let his rage monster do his thing. I don’t see any other solution. And while I feel bad for the Hulk to be so afraid, I feel worse for Loki and for ourselves.

RIP, Adopted Odinson, God of Mischief.

———-

Make a Hulkbuster Lego set, or show off your own Loki attire:

Read everything tagged with The Marvel Cinematic Universe, on RunPee.com

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

Every Stan Lee Cameo in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

We all know about Stan Lee. He’s one of the big name co-creators of Marvel Comics, is a co-producer and co-writer for the movies,  and seems to be a little bit nuts. He’s been inducted into the Sci-Fi & Fantasy Hall of Fame.  He’s also, in one way or another, in every Marvel Cinematic Universe movie since Iron Man 1 introduced the modern superhero film. For a man who’s 95 years old, we’ve kind of got a wee crush on him and his wacky humor.

Just for fun, here’s the entire complication of Lee MCU cameos, from 1989-2018, plus a special appearance in the fabulous music video Guardians Inferno. You’ll have to sit back and enjoy all this as a sort of mini-movie, since it takes a half hour to view it all. We’re not including his X-Men Marvel cameos here, or from any prior Marvel franchise (those other Spidermen, or the Fantastic Fours), or even the ones in Deadpool, since this article is long enough. We’ll pull those together for another time.

What’s cool about this Stan Lee mini-movie is that Marvel has confirmed Lee has an actual character within the MCU — as a Watcher Informant.

But, one of these is reportedly Lee’s absolutely favorite MCU cameo. Can you guess which one, before it comes up?

2008 – Iron Man

2008 – The Incredible Hulk

2010 – Iron Man 2

2011 – Captain America: The First Avenger

2011 – Thor

2013 – Iron Man 3

2013 – Thor 2: The Dark World

2012 – Avengers

2014 – Captain America  2: The Winter Soldier

2014 – Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 1

2015 – Avengers 2: Age of Ultron (THIS is Stan Lee’s favorite MCU cameo. The reason? It’s a subtle two scene event, where he asks Thor for a drink, who responds by saying it will kill him…and then is later seen being carried out. Blink and you’ll miss it.)

2015 – Ant Man

2016 – Captain America 3: Civil War (This is the infamous “Tony Stank” Fed Ex scene)

2016 – Dr. Strange

2017 – Lee’s two-part cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2 (Seeing both makes his ‘secret character‘ make sense.)

2017 – Taking place between GotG2 and Avenger’s Infinity War, this video is just plain fun, giving Lee his full celebrity due (not a canon part of the MCU).

2017 – Spiderman: Homecoming

2017 – Thor 3: Ragnarok

2018 – The Black Panther

2018 – Avengers 3: Infinity War.  This is leaked footage and pretty new, so it’s not as clear:

2018 – Ant Man and the Wasp  — JUST IN!….UPDATE, next day: this is no longer available…blame Disney, who went in and blocked it. Poopers.

Allrighty. Here’s another version. Let’s see how long this one lasts. The scene is short and cute:

More will be added as the saga continues and the clips become available. Sources say Lee hates to fly, and it’s getting harder for him to do these appearances, so he shoots a bunch of them back to back now. I hope he sticks around long enough to see the saga through. (Although at this point at the box office, it may never end. Everyone reading this could die before it’s done.)

Which is your favorite Stan Lee cameo? Comment below!

More Marvel Articles on RunPee:

Movie Review – Guardians of the Galaxy 

Movie Review – Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2

Deadpool is (sort of) a Cross-over Character Between Marvel Franchises

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

Everything Wrong With The Jurassic Movies (YouTube series)

YouTube has some ongoing series related to movies that are so clever and fun, like the Honest Trailers, or How It Should Have Ended. Here we have the Everything Wrong With shorts (each about 15 minutes). These are funny and insightful, and if some of the nits they pick are petty, even they admit some movies just don’t have much that went wrong. Like in the original Jurassic Park film — a classic that still holds up after all this time. (In our RunPee Rewatch, we gave it a rare A+).

In one place now, enjoy the whole Jurassic oeuvre and have a good-hearted laugh at What Went Wrong.

See, here, the first JP “Everything Wrong With” is only 3 minutes long (contrast with the 15 minutes for JP III). Not even these guys could pick a lot of fights with this truly good film:

With Jeff Goldblum headlining the show for The Lost World, the movie should have been a lot funnier. But it’s still the 2nd  best Jurassic film, and the plot mostly hold it together with a coherent story, super gymnastic dino fighting powers aside:

In this third movie, JP III, everything went wrong, and it killed off the series for about 15 years:

Jurassic World reinvigorated the franchise by going back to basics and hiring Chris Pratt, who brings a vitality and casual humor to everything he does:

For comparison, there’s also a Everything Great in Jurassic World.

Since the Everything Wrong guys haven’t released their video for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom yet, this will do for now:

(SPOILERS FROM HERE ON IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN FALLEN KINGDOM)

And for a bonus video, can you name every dinosaur that escaped in the end of Fallen Kingdom?

I nabbed them all. (But then, my nickname could have been DinoGeekGirl.) Which dinosaurs did you recognize?

 

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

WTF: Pixar’s Bao Short Before Incredibles 2

So, let’s talk about that odd and disturbing Pixar movie short before the opening of The Incredibles 2. It’s called Bao, and is intended to be a cute, happy tale. Well, Pixar, you created a new nadir for your work in this one sequence. Your good intentions brought up unsettling innate urges best saved for adult audiences. Or maybe it would have been better to scrap it and try some less awkward projects. With all the creative scripts Pixar has to choose from, THIS is what they picked. It looks good, but doesn’t feel good. Kind of like eating a bad dumpling? Let’s begin.

We’ve agreed here that little children probably won’t understand Bao; I can’t quite make it make sense either, although for different reasons than a kid might.

We at RunPee suggest you stay out of the theater with your little ones until it’s well over. (That won’t effect the RunPee Timer, since we always start it during the first logo AFTER any shorts.) Our great-niece didn’t get Bao and looked disturbed, but hey little gal, I was a little disturbed myself! And this is a tiny kid who usually*likes* horror! I think the fail in this film is that there was no sensible set-up for what the lonely lady did. It comes as a shock, a queasy revolting payoff.

SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THE PIXAR SHORT BAO

This is a bad choice in so many ways. The dumpling was pretty cute before he grew legs and became a a slightly creepy homunculus.

At least the dumpling was still a cuddly toddler at this point. I can see the empty-nest  lonely elderly lady treating it as her son. Besides, what are the options — eat a squirming and squealing living being? Only Klingons still do that. And Gollum. And carnivorous dinosaurs. (Welcome to my geeky world. Have a cookie….now, back to this short.)

So, I understand empty nesters kind of seeing themselves in this situation. We’ve seen grieving mothers carrying around fake doll babies as therapy. So here’s this lady’s new reason to live, and someone who responds to her affection — who hugs her, loves her, and needs her. Doesn’t matter that is is basically a Golem, made by her own hands. I’m somewhat onboard with this so far. It’s not funny, and most of it will go over kids’ heads, but it might be somewhat cute…although too far plunged into the uncanny valley for others already.

Here’s where it gets weird. (Weirder.) The dumpling becomes a rotten teenager, starts dating, grows a goatee (WT-ever-loving-F!),  leaves his “mother” suddenly, and then returns just as suddenly, with a new fiance in tow, sporting a huge engagement ring.

The mother is frantic and wants her “son” home, now, and for good. She hustles the “hussy”out the door. The dumpling tries to go with her, but the mother captures him and EATS HIM.

Yes she did.

Think about this. I totally get it that adults have an innate urge to eat cute things (think of nibbling a baby’s toes, saying “You are so cute I could eat you up!) This strange, off-putting behavior is encoded in the hardwired  area of the human brain. It’s triggered by seeing a certain look — large eyes, big head — and we get a little hit of instinctive recognition.   Selecting for this trait in adult creatures is called Neoteny, and we are are all subjected to a certain constellation of responses to something cute. This article explains the Phenomenon of Cute Aggression, and the unreasoning urge to harm/gobble up cuteness. I found a good video describing it too:

This is rather sophisticated science, melded with deep psychological taboo issues. This would STILL go over most adult heads in the awareness sense. I presume we are supposed to resonate with the urge on some deep animalistic level.

After all, carnivorous animals  — let’s say lions — don’t normally eat their young, and treat them with the fond tolerance that no adult lion receives, because cuteness has special status. Round fluffy heads and huge eyes are code for “Protect me; I am yours.” So, in other words, we are innately draw to protect cuties, married with the disturbing desire to eat or hurt them.

So yes, the lady eats her “son” and should probably seek therapy. But we are intended to get it — to get that by eating him, she could not only keep him home, but metaphorically put him back in the womb/belly, where she can watch over him and keep him safe. I know he would come out as poop in reality, but stay with me for the symbolism. 🙂

Up ’til now we had a few cute baby-toddler dumpling moments, some weird disturbing images of a humunculus dating a human girl, and then the bat-$!tt-crazy image of a momma eating her own son. (Zeus’ father did that once with all his children and look where that left him <—– tangent.)

Bizarre as all this is for a Pixar choice, I still don’t get the ending. Who is the young human man who shows up at momma’s door to introduce his wife? Are these the same people? Was there never a dumpling at all?  Was it all a bad dream, or was she daydreaming about her real son one day, while making the endless morning dumpling breakfasts? What are they trying to say?

Is he a REAL BOY NOW?…nope nope nope, that was Pinocchio.

Was Pixar’s intent to disturb their fan base? I can’t imagine them being so subversive. How did this get a green light? You betcha this short made my Do Not ReWatch List.  (I’ll write about that list some other time.)

Essentially, if you like disturbing elements in your cartoons, you will probably enjoy this more than I did. And in fact, the whole RunPee family is scratching their heads over who made the call to put something so unsettling in front of a huge blockbuster intended for adults and children. Pixar, stick to the stuff you’ve shown unswerving ability to find success in before. (“This is a bad call, Ripley, a bad call.”) If you want to be creative, try it on the smaller Disney releases.

Pixar Short Review: C- (For some good visuals and nice pacing. It looks like the creator was super enthusiastic about whatever their movie short was meant to convey. That keeps it from getting a failing grade.)

I still don’t recommend watching it. But if your curiosity is triggered now, give it a wack before you watch The Incredibles 2. Tell us what you thought of it. 

Here is the creator of the dumpling short (Bao): 

Read About The Incredibles on RunPee.com:

The Incredibles ReWatch Review

The Incredibles 2 Review

Incredibles 2 and the Success of Animated Sequels

Incredibles 2 Poster looks like a Marvel Film

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

Movie Rewatch Review – Jurassic Park III

I finally  made the effort to rewatch Jurassic Park III – something always came up to distract me, and I’m easily distracted if I don’t want to see the movie in question. But I’m glad I did it: the movie isn’t so bad once you’re aware of the retched parts.

It’s like rewatching Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. I know Jar Jar and midiclorians are going to bother me. So I just ignore those things and enjoy what’s nice, like the Pod Race, or anything with Qui-Gon Jinn, and the Duel of the Fates lightsaber battle. Anyway. Back to Jurassic Park 3. (See — distracted even now.)

Jurassic Park 3 is an acceptable offering in the series, as long as one acknowledges the really annoying things, like Alan Grant’s little raptor daydream (“Alan”), and the constant yelling the humans do on Isla Sorna. Way to hide from mega predators, guys. Sheesh. They all yell, except Grant (who knows better but no one listens to him). Tea Leoni is the worst, and I feel bad that she had this terribly scripted character to work with. She’s a decent actress, normally. But her presence in this movie marks the series’ nadir…at least she didn’t come to the island in high heels (Hi there, Bryce Dallas Howard).

One thing I totally forgot in JP3 is that this all takes place on Isla Sorna. I thought it was another excursion on Isla Nublar. So this isn’t the T-Rex from the first film: it’s one of the three from The Lost World. I’ll go out on a limb and say it’s the juvenile T-Rex, all grown up, who got a taste for human flesh from that dumb villain (who’s name I can’t be bothered with), the one who ran InGen — remember, he was hobbled by the San Diego T-Rex to teach her baby how to hunt.

In any case, this T-Rex, as usual for EVERY Jurassic film, saves the humans by fighting another threat. Seriously. Watch every film in the 5 we have so far, and notice how Rexie saves the day. In this case, she/he fights the Spinosaurus, and dies, which is sad. I like the T-Rexes. They act more like animals than monsters, which is another “bone” (haha) I have to pick with this series. What makes an animal aggressive?

Several things. Hunger. The desire to protect resources/territory or fend off invaders. Protection of their young. To fight potential rivals to their mates. And that’s really it. If you aren’t a threat, and you leave sated large predators alone, they won’t hunt you. This isn’t Godzilla, after all.

In the African Savannah, prey animals can freely walk by a sated lion. Said lion only needs to hunt a few times a week. I don’t know how much dinosaurs need to feed, but I’m going to say that a nice meal should be plenty for awhile for these types of barely warm-blooded species.

And speaking of the Spinosaurus, I don’t know who would win in a fight. They seem evenly matched to me. This video addresses the issue. (I’m Team T-Rex, BTW. He’s much smarter, despite the ridiculous arms.)

Something I did like from the film was the Carnosaurus cameo. While the humans were sticking their arms in gigantic steaming piles of poo, the Carnosaur, who looked ready to attack the humans, sniffs the Spinosaur scat and just…walks away. He knew better than to hang around the Spinosaur’s habitat. That was a nice touch.

What wasn’t good, besides all the yelling, was the satellite  phone. Holy hell. This phone can take being eaten, sitting in digestive fluids, and is workable on the other side of the gastric tube. Not to mention that the kid could hear it ringing while inside the Spinosaur. What kind of magical phone is this? I want one. Also –they hear the phone jingle, but not the footstomps of this 9 ton predator? The movies established that we hear and FEEL the movements of the largest sauropods and theropods. This is yet another nit to not pick, to enjoy the film at all.

So, since this is Isla Sorna, and not the Isla Nublar from three of the five other films, we can assume that there are still dinosaurs on this island, even if (SPOILER) Isla Nublar exploded in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. I think the Jurassic World films conveniently forgot about the second island. Things would have been simpler to remember Site B when Fallen Kingdom came around. Continuity can be fun!

What else is notable? It features yet another divorced couple who see each each other in a new light after running for their lives. It has the “dashing” Billy, who I suppose was intended to be a popular character. He’s like a really roughly sketched version of Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady from the Jurassic World films, and not a touch as good.

The ending had pterodactyls flying over the ocean, presumably to the mainland. So…we’ve seen this referenced in several of the films now. And it’s not until Jurassic World 2 that something comes of it. Continuity, people!

Alrighty. Good things from JP3, and there are surprisingly quite a few:

  • Some of the Velociraptors had feathers, which was a nice touch if you know that some of these Oviraptors went on to become birds.
  • Although the Spinosaurus followed the humans across the entire island like a rabid dog, it still acted like an animal and not Godzilla. (We can save that strange behavior for the engineered creatures in the Jurassic World films.)
  • The scene with the embryonic dino incubators was an homage to Aliens, especially with the raptor looking through the tube, giving everyone (and the audience) a well deserved scare.
  • The Hadrosaur running scene was a fun callback. (“They’re flocking this way!”)
  • The obligatory kid was smarter than any of the adults: he survived alone on the island for 8 weeks. He was almost better off not being saved. And how he acquired T-Rex urine? “Better off not knowing.” Heh. One can only imagine.
  • Alan Grant still doesn’t like Ian Malcolm. (“Did you read his book?” “It was kind of preachy.” And Grant sits back, satisfied. That moment kind of completes his arc. )
  • The raptors were smart enough to set a trap for the humans. The implications of this are disturbing, in a good way. (“Clever girl.”)
  • The best scene, by far, was the set-piece in the misty and unstable Aviary. I still get chills from it. It has all the great atmosphere of the best scenes in this series, with a genuine sense of growing suspense, dread, and horror. What an amazing scene. I appreciated that this was a leftover passage from the first Jurassic Park book, as was the ‘jungle cruise’ segment. It’s not a surprise that the better scenes were the ones originally penned by Michael Crichton.
  • They included a scene with some downtime: namely, the conversation in the water truck with Grant and Eric (the kid). All the better movies have these little scenes where the characters catch their breath, since it gives us, the audience, the chance to do so as well. Plucking at our adrenaline strings for two hours makes for an exhausting film experience.
  • The Astronomers vs Astronauts conversation reminded me of Angel’s (the vampire TV series) running conversation about Cavemen vs Spacemen. Probably not a real homage, but: cool.
  • There is one stirring, magical scene, when the little boat goes by a peaceful pasture of herbivorous sauropods co-existing. The familiar musical theme from John Williams swells, and we feel transported. I’m happy the film had that moment.
  • The odd juxtaposition of Barney the Purple Dinosaur on television, while Ellie’s toddler clutches the phone  — with people dying from actual dinosaurs.
  • Cool early use of a 3-D printer, making a raptor vocal organ. And nice callback  use of said organ later.

Well, that’s a decent list of good things from a really poor movie. But I might be grading on a curve, since I love dinosaurs and the original Jurassic Park. After seeing five of these films, I can safely say this one is the worst, but has definite watchable elements. It’s worth viewing for those, if you can ignore the stupidity of humans blundering and yelling about in the brush, ostensibly trying to hide from very large predators. The shouting goes on the entire movie, and only Grant never once gives in to the impulse. He’s not an idiot.

At least, not as completely an idiot. He should have kept to his instincts and not gone to Isla Sorna in the first place.

Movie Rewatch Grade: C

Here’s a fun look at JP3 by Honest Trailers – It’s kind of better than the actual film: 

RunPee’s Jurassic Movie Reviews: 

Jurassic Park – Movie Rewatch Review

Jurassic Park at Universal Studios: Ride Review

Jurassic Park: The Lost World – Movie Rewatch Review

Jurassic Park 3 – Movie Rewatch Attempt Number One

The Jurassic Park Movies Poll

Jurassic World Movie Review

Jurassic World Movie References

Movie Review: Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom, Missed Opportunities

Everything Wrong With the Jurassic Movies (All the You Tube videos in one place)

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.