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

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

The 2019 Oscar nominees will be announced on Tuesday, January 22.  It has been a wild awards season full of uncertainty, surprises, upsets, and scandal.  The nominations from the 2018 movies may bring their own share of upsets and surprises. Here are my predictions for what Tuesday morning will bring. (NOTE: All links go to RunPee’s movie reviews. If there is no link, we didn’t review it.)

 

Best Picture  – Under the current rules, there can be up to ten Best Picture nominees.  I’m predicting nine for this year. These are my choices in no particular order.  

 

 

 

  1. Black Panther

Black Panther has been preordained as a Best Picture nominee since it came out last year.  Like Straight Outta Compton was, this is one of the most successful movies of the year, both financially and critically.  If it does not get nominated, the Academy needs to take a long, hard look at itself. After Straight Outta Compton‘s snub, the Academy has done a lot of work to increase the diversity of its membership.  This is an exciting year, because there may be multiple films by people of color eligible for a Best Picture nomination including BlacKkKlansman, Crazy Rich Asians, If Beale Street Could Talk, and my beloved dark horses The Hate U Give and Sorry to Bother You (go watch them!). 

 

  1. A Star Is Born

The belle of the ball.  The early front runner.  As RuPaul might say, “You are safe.  Step to the back of the stage.”  Everyone knows this one is getting nominated.  It doesn’t make it any less of an achievement for Bradley Cooper, who struck gold with his directorial debut. 

 

  1. Green Book

This is the crowd pleaser.  From the first screenings at film festivals, audiences have been in love with this comedy about reconciliation, based on a true story.  There’s no way this doesn’t get nominated.

 

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody

Whatever plays for 2-3 weeks at Thanksgiving at the local arthouse ALWAYS goes to the Oscars.  This year, it was Bohemian Rhapsody and Boy Erased.  If it weren’t for Mary Poppins opening, they would have played Bohemian Rhapsody for an extra month probably.  A Golden Globes win for Best Picture has guaranteed this nomination. 

 

  1. Boy Erased

See above.  Strong performances by Lucas Hedges and Nicole Kidman make this one of the most powerful films of the year. 

 

  1. Vice

With a Best Actor and Best Director nomination likely, a Best Picture nomination is a lock for this Dick Cheney biopic.

 

  1. The Favourite

Living up to its title, this has been a critical and Hollywood favorite, racking up praise, awards, and nominations.  It truly is a “favorite.”  While I personally am not a fan, I’d be surprised if it doesn’t make the list. 

 

  1. BlacKkKlansman

Spike Lee’s masterpiece is one of the few summer films that’s so undeniable Oscar still remembers it, come winter.  The epilogue is a punch in the gut I can still feel. 

 

  1. A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place is this year’s Get Out.  It’s not a socially conscious satire.  However, A Quiet Place is the most talked about (and least talked during) horror movie of the year.  Sorry, Hereditary.  It did well at the box office, and it’s been shortlisted for at least one Oscar: Best Original Score. 

 

If there is a rare tenth slot this year, it goes to Crazy Rich Asians.  It is the first major film to feature an Asian-American cast since The Joy Luck Club twenty-five years ago.  That’s something worth celebrating.   

 

Sadly, this leaves First Man, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, and If Beale Street Could Talk on the sidelines.  

 

Best Actress

Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born

Glenn Close, The Wife

Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Saoirse Ronan, Mary Queen of Scots

 

Everyone has been whispering about an Oscar for Lady Gaga since A Star Is Born came out.  Glenn Close was a personal favorite before she won the Golden Globe. Just saying.  The Wife is a career highlight.  Melissa McCarthy showed the range of what she can do, from comedy to drama, in Can You Ever Forgive Me?  Olivia Colman will ride the praise for The Favourite to a nomination.  Mary Queen of Scots has been playing for over a month at the arthouse.  I’m going to go out on a limb, and say that audiences know something the odds makers don’t.  Maybe I’m blinded by my admiration for her, but I predict Saoirse Ronan is going to pull an upset and fill the fifth slot.  It’s not like she’s a stranger to the red carpet. 

 

Best Actor

Christian Bale, Vice

Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born

Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased

Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

 

Bale and Malek embody the men they are playing to a degree you forget you aren’t watching the real thing.  It would be a major upset if Bradley Cooper does not get a nomination for A Star is Born.  Lucas Hedges followed up Manchester By the Sea with another heartbreaking performance.  Viggo Mortensen makes it here by good will.  I like Green Book.  I liked Ryan Gosling in First Man, and Jonathan Pryce in The Wife better. 

 

Best Supporting Actress

Nicole Kidman , Boy Erased

Emma Stone, The Favourite

Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Amy Adams, Vice

 

Kidman excels at sentimental mother roles.  And she has at least one great scene in Boy Erased.  Stone and Weisz have been seen as competitors in this race, much like they were on-screen.  For all the pairs that publicists hoped would get nominated together this year (Ali and Mortensen for Green Book, Carell and Chalamet for Beautiful Boy), these two are the surest thing this side of A Star is Born. Regina King is a character actress that is loved by her peers.  She won the Golden Globe.  She may well win the Oscar.  Amy Adams has one of the best scenes of the year early on in Vice.  She’s also an Oscar favorite with several nominations. 

 

Best Supporting Actor

Sam Elliott, A Star is Born

Mahershala Ali, Green Book

Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Timothy Chalamet, Beautiful Boy

Steve Carell, Vice

 

Despite being snubbed by the Globes, I’m confident Sam Elliott is going to get a nomination.  (Isn’t it time?)  Ali’s nomination is similarly a foregone conclusion.  Grant is a respected British character actor with a decent amount of buzz behind his performance.  Chalamet gave a powerful portrayal of drug addiction and recovery.  I’m going to throw a monkey wrench into the works by predicting it will be Steve Carell rather than Sam Rockwell who gets nominated for the movie Vice.  Rockwell’s portrayal of George W. Bush is featured in the trailer and has garnered more attention.  But it’s Carell as Donald Rumsfeld who really steals the movie.  This makes the race a bit awkward by pitting Carell against his Beautiful Boy co-star Chalamet.  I’m still holding out hope though that the Academy will surprise me though, and fill one of these slots (not Sam’s!) with Russell Hornsby from The Hate U Give or Josh Hamilton from Eighth Grade (Best. Dads. Ever.).

 

Best Director

Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born

Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman

Peter Farrelly, Green Book

Adam McKay, Vice

 

Bradley Cooper nailed it with his first feature.  Not only did he make an entertaining film, he made a love story that feels authentic.  Alfonso Cuaron dug into his childhood memories to bring to life a similarly authentic story.  Spike Lee made a humorous, suspenseful, moving meditation about race in America.  Peter Farrelly took us on a road trip that changed the lives of two men.  Adam McKay made a brave film about politics and power.  There are no real surprises in my choices.  This is the same lineup as the Globes and the Directors Guild nominations.  If I had my druthers, Bo Burnham (Eighth Grade) or Damien Chazelle (First Man) would take Peter Farrelly’s slot. 

 

Best Original Song

“Shallow,” A Star is Born

“A Place Called Slaughter Race,” Ralph Breaks the Internet

“Trip a Little Light Fantastic,” Mary Poppins Returns

“The Place Where Lost Things Go,” Mary Poppins Returns

“All the Stars,” Black Panther

 

“Shallow” is a lock.  Of course, A Star Is Born is going to get a Best Song nomination.  If Ralph Breaks the Internet‘s side-splittingly funny, “A Place Called Slaughter Race” doesn’t get nominated, there is no justice.  It’s a send up of the classic Disney princess “I Want” song (“Part of Your World”, etc.) And I’m dying for a Randy Newman cover version.  Who do you think they’ll get to sing it at the Oscars?  It’s not unusual for Disney to have more than one song nominated from the same film (The Lion King had three).  So I think both shortlisted Mary Poppins songs could make it through, though “Light Fantastic” is the ear worm.  I’m giving the final slot to “All the Stars” though it could go to “Girl in the Movies” by Dolly Parton from Dumplin’.  She has been nominated twice before.

 

Best Original Screenplay

Green Book, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, and Peter Farrelly

Vice, Adam McKay

Eighth Grade, Bo Burnham

First Reformed, Paul Schrader

A Quiet Place, Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, and John Krasinski

 

Green Book: how do you not nominate the crowd-pleaser?  For Vice, McKay not only had to do exhaustive research, he employs several unique narrative devices.  Bo Burnham managed to capture not only the awkwardness of middle school, but to tell it from the point of view of a teenage girl.  Paul Schrader wrote one of the two best movies about faith this year.  (Disobedience was the other one.  Watch them both.)  A Quiet Place was one of the most unique theatrical experiences of the year.  The first sequence is its own horror short film that should be used to teach would-be screenwriters how to tell a story visually. 

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins

Can You Ever Forgive Me?,  Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty

Black Panther, Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole

A Star Is Born, Eric Roth and Bradley Cooper & Will Fetters

BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott

 

Barry Jenkins didn’t just tell a story.  He found ways to add power to James Baldwin’s words through imagery.  Can You Ever Forgive Me? found the humanity in two hard to love people. 

Out of the comic books (Black Panther) came one of the most empowering films of all time.  The fourth version of A Star Is Born made us fall in love again.  BlacKkKlansman delivered a necessary message through an entertaining story. 

 

Best Animated Film

Incredibles 2

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Mirai

Isle of Dogs

 

This is the same lineup as the Globes, but these are simply the five best animated films that came out this year.  If I could find anything artier or weirder to put in Mirai‘s spot, I would have, because Oscar would too.  (See My Life As a Zuchini.)

 

Incredibles 2 was the sequel that goes bigger than the original.  It was huge summer fun and everything I love about Pixar.  Ralph Breaks the Internet was…a little less fun but still had lots of laughs and lots of heart and the ultimate song (see above).  Spider-Man was an unexpected roller-coaster ride full of surprises.  I’m pulling for it to win.  Mirai was a sweet anime about family and heritage.  Isle of Dogs was Wes Anderson’s tale of a boy in search of his dog, in a world where dogs have been banned. 

 

I’m predicting Mirai in the fifth slot but the Academy could go more commercial and choose Teen Titans Go to the Movies, Hotel Transylvania 3 (such a let-down after 2!), Sherlock Gnomes, or Smallfoot instead. 


 

Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick—amazing rom com!) and Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish) will announce the nominees live on Tuesday, January 22 at 8:20 am ET/5:20 am PT.  

You can live stream it at Oscar.com. Check my predictions then, and find out if I was way off base or right on the money.  Feel free to make your own predictions in the comments below. Check back here for more awards coverage! And don’t forget to use the Run Pee app for those lengthy, bladder-busting awards bait movies.  

Highlights, Comments, and Acceptance Videos for the 76th Annual Golden Globes

Movie Review – Bohemian Rhapsody

Movie Review – Black Panther

Movie Review – A Star Is Born

Movie Review – BlacKkKlansman

Movie Review – Glass

Movie Review - GlassGlass is one of those movies the fans love and the rest of the world does not. My theater was packed with die-hard Shyamalan fans. There were laughs, and applause throughout the movie. I polled a few fans as they were leaving and it was unanimous; they loved it. And for that, I give the movie a B+.

I’ll begin my own personal review by saying, I was really wowed by the first two movies in the trilogy. M. Night Shyamalan always does an excellent job of developing characters, and his exposition is the best in the business. Just by inserting a well-placed piece of dialog, or one small scene, can reveal volumes about the character.

What do you do when your three lead characters (with giant personalities) have already had their own movie, and now share the screen for a final showdown? That was done well in the Marvel Universe, but fell a little short in Glass.

Honestly, I wanted more Beast and less Glass. Watching James McAvoy change personalities was wonderful. How could you ever be bored watching a one man show up with 23 different characters?

There was so much exposition packed into this movie that at times I was a little frustrated. The dialog was very good, with no wasted words or protracted gibberish. The plot was obvious, thanks to the 95 or so trailers that hit the media a few weeks ago, but the film still managed to throw in a few surprises and twists.

The ending left me totally unsatisfied; I expected one of those scenes that leaves your jaw on the floor, and your knees weak, but all I felt was a bit confused, with one big WTF.

Grade: B+

About The Peetimes: This was a very difficult movie for Peetimes. The action and suspense was just about non-stop, and every scene led into another equally important plot development. I recommend the 2nd Peetime, because after that there’s no other opportunity to squeeze in a 4 minute break.

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

Rated (PG-13) for violence including some bloody images, thematic elements, and language
Genres: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Movie Review – Split

Quiz – M. Night Shyamalan Movies

Quiz – M. Night Shyamalan & his Cameo Roles

Quiz – Samuel L. Jackson and his Mother “Frakking” Movies

Quiz – Classic and New Bruce Willis Movies

5 Differences between the Old and New Mary Poppins

mary poppins flies with her unbrella
How do I get my Umbrella to do that?

The new Mary Poppins movie is out. Disney’s magical, musical nanny has returned to theaters after 54 years, five Oscars, a run on Broadway, and a Tony award. While the new movie keeps several staples of the original (the titular nanny, singing and dancing, a fun animated sequence, and kite flying), there are several significant differences.

1. A new actress has taken on the role of Mary. The most significant difference is that Mary Poppins is played by Emily Blunt instead of Julie Andrews. Mary Poppins Returns takes place 25 years after the original film, meaning both Andrews and Dick Van Dyke have aged out of their iconic roles. Furthermore, Andrews had surgery in 1997 that negatively affected her singing voice, making it impossible for her to tackle the movie’s many songs. The good news is that Blunt makes a worthy successor.

2. The father has a different temperament. The father in Mary Poppins Returns is a more sympathetic figure, being a widower with three children. He even gets the heartbreaking song “A Conversation.” Having been raised by the stern Mr. Banks, Michael is trying not to become his father at his worst, and catches himself when he shouts at the children.

3. Mary has a different companion. Like Doctor Who, the on-screen version of Mary Poppins always seems to have a companion. In the original, Mary spends a lot of time with Bert, a jack-of-all trades (most memorably a chimney sweep). In the new movie, Mary’s companion is a lamplighter and their relationship is more platonic than flirty. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Jack has eyes for Jane Banks instead.

4. There is a thrilling climax. In the original film, the climax is more emotional than physical. The movie’s third act is much more action-oriented this time around. There’s a race against time, an army of lamp lighters, and a famous London landmark involved.

5. Dick Van Dyke does not play Bert. Jack was an apprentice chimney sweep to Bert, who is currently traveling the world. While Bert does not appear in the film, the 93-year-old Dick Van Dyke has a cameo as George Dawes Jr. It may be a smaller part, but Van Dyke still brings the house down when he dances for joy on that desktop.

Two of the numbers from Mary Poppins Returns have made the Oscar shortlist for Best Original Song (“Trip a Little Light Fantastic” and “The Place Where Lost Things Go”). And the movie is eligible in several other categories.

Find out how it fares when the Oscar nominees are announced on January 22nd. Disney is already in early talks for a third film, according to CinemaBlend.

If you do choose to catch up with the new Mary Poppins movie, be sure to use the RunPee app.

Movie Review – Mary Poppins Returns

Movie Review – Mary Poppins Returns

Full List for the 2019 76th Annual Golden Globes Nominees & Winners

Movie Review – Saving Mr. Banks

Highlights, Comments, and Acceptance Videos for the 76th Annual Golden Globes

golden globes award 2019 76th ceremony
Who deserves to win a Golden Globe from the 2018 movies?

The 76th Golden Globe Awards was a night full of surprises.  Held by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Globes are often an early predictor of the Oscars.   

In case you didn’t know, the Wikipedia describes exactly what a Golden Globe Award is about:

The Golden Globe Awards are accolades bestowed by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association beginning in January 1944, recognizing excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign.

The annual ceremony at which the awards are presented is a major part of the film industry’s awards season, which culminates each year in the Academy Awards. The eligibility period for the Golden Globes corresponds to the calendar year (i.e. January 1 through December 31). The 76th Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film and television in 2018, were held on January 6, 2019.

Here are some of this 2019’s Golden Globe highlights from the 2018 films: 


 

 

— Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won Best Animated Motion Picture, beating out two Pixar movies (Incredibles 2, Ralph Breaks the Internet).  Writer/producer Phil Lord said, “We’re living in an alternate universe where we win this.”  Director Peter Ramsey said, “”We were trying to make a movie that spoke to the idea that anyone can be behind the mask. We’re telling the story of Miles Morales, a kid from Brooklyn, African American, Puerto Rican. Anyone can be behind the mask. We’re counting on you.  You can do it.”

 

— Host Sandra Oh won Best Actress in a TV Series for the show Killing Eve and used the moment to honor her parents that were there with her. 

 

— Comedy legend Carol Burnett was presented with the First Annual Carol Burnett Award for Outstanding Achievement in Television.  She beat out other “nominees” Christian Bale, Charlize Theron, and Antonio Banderas with her fingers crossed in anticipation.   

— Jeff Bridges received The Cecil B. DeMille Award.  He gave a Dude-esque speech about trim tabs, the small devices on boats that have the power to change the entire direction of the boat.  He “tagged” the audience (at the theater and at home) declaring everyone a trim tab with the power to change the direction of our world. 

— In Regina King’s acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress for If Beale Street Could Talk, she pledged to make everything she produces over the next two years 50% women.  She challenged anyone in a position of power in all industries to do the same. 

— In his acceptance speech for Best Actor in a Comedy for Vice, Christian Bale thanked Satan for providing him with the inspiration to play Dick Cheney.  Then he proposed making a Mitch McConnell movie next. 

— A Star is Born won Best Song for “Shallow.”  However, it was surprisingly shut out of every other category it was nominated in.  A major shocker as it’s been the movie to beat for months.  Bohemian Rhapsody won Best Actor in a Drama instead and the coveted Best Picture.  Alfonso Cuaron beat out Bradley Cooper for Best Director for the Netflix film Roma.  And Glenn Close won Best Actress for the underrated drama The Wife despite months of buzz about Lady Gaga’s film debut. 

— Glenn Close gave the best speech of the night.  “Women, we’re nurturers.  That’s what’s expected of us.  We have our children.  We have our husbands, if we’re lucky enough.  And our partners.  Whoever.  But we have to find personal fulfillment…We have to follow our dreams.  We have to say, ‘I can do that.  And I should be allowed to do that.’ “


 

The Oscar nominees will be announced Tuesday, January 22. We’ll find out then how many of the Golden Globe nominees and winners will make it to the big show.  Check back here for more awards coverage.

Someone who knows his stuff: Read Golden Man’s 76th Annual Golden Globes commentary and coverage.

Full List for the 2019 76th Annual Golden Globes Nominees & Winners

Movie Review – Bohemian Rhapsody

The Voice Actors of Spider-Verse

Movie Review – Incredibles 2

Movie Review – Ralph Breaks the Internet

Movie Review – Vice

Movie Review – If Beale Street Could Talk

Movie Review – A Star Is Born

Greet the Morning with Groot – Mr. Blue Sky Video and Lyrics

baby groot in guardians of the galaxy dancing to mr blue sky
The cutest dancing tree in the galaxy.
One of the most memorable scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the opening credits, as the adorable Baby Groot dances to ELO’s hit song “Mr. Blue Sky.”

What makes this scene so engaging is Groot’s complete obliviousness to his team mates-slash-parents’ danger as they fight a seriously deranged space monster. The Guardians get beat to hell as Groot grooves along, manically chases space rodents, and  then waves to Gamora mid-fight. Gamora kindly takes the time to say, “Groot, get out of the way! You’re going to get hurt. Hi!” in between blasting at the nasty tentacled slime beast. It’s a hoot. You can’t beat this stuff. (I’m SO going to miss James Gunn by the time we get to GotG Vol 3.)

I wrote a previous article about how the first song on my daily morning playlist is Deadpool’s fabulous opening scene, set to Juice Newton’s Angel in the Morning. Now I’m writing to report Mr. Blue Sky always follows on the heels of that softer tune, and gets me ready to dance around and greet the day.

Here’s the absolutely precious opening scene in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 for your viewing enjoyment. Why can’t all movies be this much fun?

These are the lyrics to Mr. Blue Sky, so you can sing along while Baby Groot does his joyful boogie:

Mr. Blue Sky

(Electric Light Orchestra – 1978)

Sun is shinin’ in the sky
There ain’t a cloud in sight
It’s stopped rainin’ everybody’s in a play
And don’t you know
It’s a beautiful new day, hey hey
Runnin’ down the avenue
See how the sun shines brightly in the city
On the streets where once was pity
Mister blue sky is living here today, hey hey
Mister blue sky please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long (so long)
Where did we go wrong?
Mister blue sky please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long (so long)
Where did we go wrong?
Hey you with the pretty face
Welcome to the human race
A celebration, mister blue sky’s up there waitin’
And today is the day we’ve waited for
Oh mister blue sky please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long (so long)
Where did we go wrong?
Hey there mister blue
We’re so pleased to be with you
Look around see what you do
Everybody smiles at you
Hey there mister blue
We’re so pleased to be with you
Look around see what you do
Everybody smiles at you
Mister blue sky, mister blue sky
Mister blue sky
Mister blue, you did it right
But soon comes mister night creepin’ over
Now his hand is on your shoulder
Never mind I’ll remember you this
I’ll remember you this way
Mister blue sky please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long (so long)
Where did we go wrong?
Hey there mister blue
We’re so pleased to be with you
Look around see what you do
Everybody smiles at you

The Voice Actors of Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has a great cast of voice actors. Here’s a breakdown of the actors, and movies where you might have seen them before. (Slighty spoilery; all links are to RunPee’s reviews)

Peter Parker is voiced by Chris Pine.
This is the first Spiderman we meet when the movie opens.
Chris Pine has numerous leading roles, probably most notably as Captain James T. Kirk in the recent Star Trek movies, but also Wonder Woman, etc.
Peter B. Parker is voiced by Jake Johnson. If you remember, Jake was in Jurassic World as the geek working in the operations center. He had a small part, but did a lot with it. He’s also in a really good movie called Safety Not Guaranteed. If you haven’t seen it, put it on your list. You can thank me later.

 

Miles Morales is voiced by 23 year old Shameik Moore.
Shameik has landed a few roles here and there, but this is his first blockbuster role, and he kills it.
Gwen Stacy is voiced by Hailee Steinfeld.
December 2018 has been a good month for Hailee. Not only is she the voice for Gwen, but also plays the lead in BumblebeeOh, and she turned 22 on December 11th. Go Hailee! Thumbs up from RunPee!
Uncle Aaron is voiced by Mahershala Ali.
Mahershala played Remy Danton on House of Cards, and was Dr. Don Shirley in Green Bookand has a part in the upcoming Alita: Battle Angel as Vector.
Jefferson Davis is voiced by Brian Tyree Henry.
Brian has many roles here and there, most notably in Hotel Artemis as Honolulu, and is in the 2020 release of King Kong vs Godzilla. 
Aunt May is voiced by Lily Tomlin.
Lily has been around a good long while. We’d be here a long time if I tried to list just half of her roles.
Rio Morales (Miles’ mother) is voiced by Luna Lauren Velez.
Luna has a role in Dexter as Lt. Maria LaGuerta and the show Oz as Dr. Gloria Nathan.
Mary Jane is voiced by Zoë Kravitz.
Zoë has been busy lately. She plays Leta Lestrange in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald; she was the voice of Catwoman in the Lego: Batman movie, and was Angel Salvadore in X-Men: First Class.
Spider-Ham is voiced by John Mulaney.
John has done many things, but most of his work is as a writer for SNL.
Peni Parker is voiced by Kimiko Glenn.
You may know Kimiko from Orange Is the New Black
as Brook Soso.
Spider-Man Noir is voiced by Nicolas Cage.
He’s been in movies, a LOT of them, but you may not know that he was cast as Superman in an unmade movie directed by Tim Burton. I’m really not sure the world is ready for that. Okay…after these past few years I guess we probably are. I mean, how much worse can things get?
Searched high and low
but could not find
an image of Doc Ock
from Spiderverse.
#InternetFail
Doc Ock is voiced by Kathryn Hahn.
Kathryn has been in many things, such as the voice of Ericka in Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation, Carla in Bad Moms and the sequel A Bad Mom’s Christmas.
Wilson Fisk, a.k.a. Kingpin, is voiced by Liev Schreiber.
Liev is as great an actor as his name is odd. He was Victor Creed in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and did a fantastic job as Marty Baron in the Oscar winning movie Spotlight.

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

Movie Review – Hotel Artemis

Movie Review – Mary Poppins Returns

Movie Review - Mary Poppins ReturnsCan I start by saying bravo?! I’m a huge fan of Mary Poppins (MP), and Mary Poppins Returns (MPR) did not disappoint. While we all knew that filling Julie Andrews’ shoes as MP would be nearly impossible, Emily Blunt nailed the role.  I enjoyed this movie so much because of the animation, storyline, cast, and the soundtrack. The Sherman Brothers rocked the music, yet again.

Many people thought this movie was a remake of the original 1964 movie. However, this is a continuation of the original storyline.

This storyline could stand-alone if you had never seen the first installment, but it was very exciting to recall scenes from the first MP to understand the narrative of MPR. For example, let’s start with how Mary Poppins arrived the same way in this movie as she did in the first movie—-with a strong wind. Jan and Michael Banks are portrayed as adults, with Michael living as a widow in their childhood home…with three children and a housekeeper. Jane works as an advocate like her mother, and Michael is an artist and works at Fidelity Fiduciary Bank like his dad.

Side note: when the bank chairman sent the attorneys to Michael Banks’ house to demand payment of his loan or the house would be repossessed, that scene reminded me of It’s A Wonderful Life, when George Bailey experienced a similar scenario as the bank examiners arrived.

It was so funny that Admiral Boom used to be so precise with time when blasting the canon, but in this movie, his old age has impaired his precision. Do you remember the kite scene from MP along with the song “Let’s Go Fly A Kite?” Well, that same kite is crucial to the plot in this movie. Then there’s that scene in MP where Michael is shocked with his mouth open; MPR recycled that line with Michael as an adult…and MP said “Close your mouth Michael, we still are not codfish.” LOL Now as for Meryl Streep, she played MP’s second cousin named Topsy. I don’t care what role Meryl plays, she’s going to kill it. Her dance moves were on point too.

Cousin Topsy’s scene put me in the mindset of the scene from MP with Uncle Albert’s flying giggles to the song “I Love to Laugh.” The scene with the song “Follow the Light” reminded me of the chimney sweepers scene to the tune of “Step in Time” from MP. And yes, the penguins are back in the broken antique bowl scene.

One last similar scene I’ll mention is that the children disrupt the bank lobby like young Michael did, when he ran out of the bank because he didn’t want to deposit his tuppence.

Speaking of tuppence, the tuppence that Michael was forced to deposit into the bank comes full circle in MPR in a major way.

As I said earlier, the Sherman Brothers rocked the songs again, and my favorite song in this movie is “The Cover is Not The Book” especially Jack’s (Lin-Manuel Miranda) solo, because it was sang/rapped in his iconic Hamilton-like tempo. Sweet!!!

Familiar terms used by MP that always bring a smile to my face were of course in her vernacular in MPR; such as spit pot, come along now, and pish posh. Furthermore, there were three moments when the audience applauded, which is a good indication of iconic scenes — especially when both parents and children are applauding enthusiastically.

I speak for myself when I say it was pleasing to see black casting in MPR. MP did not have any blacks (if I remember correctly) and in MPR, two of the major characters were black: one of the attorneys, and the bank chairman’s secretary, and another appearance of a black milkman. Woohoo! It was also nice to see Angela Lansbury as the balloon woman in the park at the fair, when Dick Van Dyke returns as Mr. Dawes, Jr.

Let me close by saying I almost want to raid Mary Poppins’ closet. She is the best-dressed nanny on the planet. Her exit from Cherry Tree Lane was the same in MPR as it was in MP—-slow, holding her open bird umbrella, fading into the sky, with a subtle look back at the Banks’ house with a slight smile. Mary Poppins Returns is epic and practically perfect in every way!

#MaryPoppinsReturns #EmilyBlunt #Disney #Movies #NewReleases #MovieReview #RunPee #FemaleMasterpiece #Hamilton #LinManuelMiranda

Grade: A+

About The Peetimes: It was a little difficult to determine Pee Times because it’s a children’s movie — but adults love Mary Poppins as well — so determining when’s a good time for anyone to pee took some creativity. I recommend the 2nd Peetime, because it’s a very slow scene of the children sleeping and merely a lullaby song.

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

5 Differences between the Old and New Mary Poppins

Movie Review – Saving Mr. Banks

Classic Movie Re-Watch Review – It’s A Wonderful Life

Best Non-Christmas Christmas Movies

Gremlins is a genuine Christmas movie.
Never let your Mogwai wear a Christmas hat. No good can come of this.

What is a non-Christmas Christmas movie, you ask? I’m happy to explain. It’s a story that takes place over the holiday season, but isn’t a Christmas film. The plot isn’t about Santa, reindeer, snowmen, elves, Scroogey Grinches, or magical stockings. Christmas might help the plot along, but these movies stake their tent in the camp of another genre. Savvy? We begin.

Note: most of these movies are DECADES old. So there might be a few spoilers. We’re going to assume you’ve seen most of these. Consider this a Christmas warning, just in case.

Die Hard: This  is the main one, the real biggie of non-Christmas Christmas films. Ask around about people’s favorite Christmas movies and someone will happily shout DIE HARD!

I’m one of those people. This is  in the best feel-good holiday tradition that just happens to have a high body count. Bruce Willis was on top of his game, as the only man to stop the Grinch — I mean Gruber — from stealing Christmas. It’s such a successful outing that even Die Hard 2 is set over Christmas (this time it’s “Die Hard in an airport”).

Here are two good scenes in the holiday spirit:

Remember kids, it’s not Christmas until Hans Gruber falls off the Nakatomi building.

Lethal Weapon: This movie is just as great as Die Hard, and just as Christmasy. It slips into the number two spot only because Die Hard is a bit more iconic. Bruce Willis is more fun than Mel Gibson, and Alan Rickman (RIP) can do anything. ANYTHING. He’s Snape, ya’ll. Okay, now I’m sad.

Lethal Weapon is the start of a run of  Shane Black films that take place over the Christmas holiday season. It’s not a coincidence. He’s even quoted on it, saying, “Christmas represents a little stutter in the march of days, a hush in which we have a chance to assess and retrospect our lives. I tend to think also that it just informs as a backdrop.”

Here’s the heartwarming holiday end scene:

Iron Man 3: I have trouble remembering which plot is which between Iron Man 2 and 3. The second is the one with Mickey Rourke and the magical whips and the fake Mandarin. The third…um: it has a little boy he befriends (way before he mentors Peter Parker. Sniff), and the many, many Iron Man Mark suits flying around a high-rise construction zone. (I should turn in my geek card, or at least see this again.) Also Tony Stark suffers from PTSD. How much more Christmasy can this be?

I’m going to let this video tell us why Iron Man 3 is a Christmas movie:

Oh, and it’s a Shane Black film.

The Long Kiss Goodnight: The actual plot: a woman who has rebuilt her life after getting amnesia begins to recover her memories, when trouble from her past finds her again. It takes place over Christmas. There’s a Christmas party, Christmas parade, etc. And yes, this too is a Shane Black film.

Kiss Kiss Bang  Bang: Oh, hello there Shane Black. Nice of you to drop in again. Obsessed much? 🙂

Read why Kiss, Kiss is a Christmas Movie.

Gremlins: Man, is this ever a strange film. I don’t even know how to describe it, except to firmly and authoritatively tell you to NOT feed  your Mogwai after midnight, and never give him water. This movie also taught me what happens when you put an animal in the microwave. It’s set in someone’s nice suburban home, decked out for the holidays. This is kind of a feel-good, feel-weird film.

These Gremlins know how to party on Christmas Eve:

Trading Places: I just saw this. Like, last night. I can’t believe I missed it the first time — it’s corny but excellent, and I laughed a whole lot. I mean, really? The plot of rich people betting on who’s a criminal and who’s a business man?You have to sit back and let the laughs roll in. And speaking of which, this all happens over a few weeks over the Christmas season. The biggest laughs come from Dan Aykroyd, posing as the filthiest, creepiest Santa imaginable, stealing food at a Christmas gala. He hides a whole salmon under his dingy gray beard. It doesn’t get better than this.

I love this whole segment:

Mean Girls: This one requires a bit of fudging, since it takes place over the course of a whole school year. But the Christmas segment is fun and memorable: the Plastics don sexy Santa dresses and sing Jingle Bell Rock. It’s so fetch. You know, I’m going to just give you a link so you can watch it:

There you have it. I know there’s a lot more, like Edward Scissorhands and possibly Batman Returns. Let me know your favorite and what I missed in the comments below. Do you think these qualify as Christmas movies?

I’ll be cuddling onto the couch watching Die Hard and Lethal Weapon for my Christmas Eve double feature. It’s all about tradition. 😉

Want to know the favorite Christmas Movies of the members of the RunPee Family? Read about it here, and Happy Holidays from ours to yours. <3

A Merry Movie Christmas – The RunPee Family’s Favorite Holiday Films

The Weirdest Moments in Classic Christmas Specials

The Deadpool Before Christmas

 

 

Movie Review – Mortal Engines

 

Movie Review - Mortal EnginesI’m still digesting this pretty darn awesome movie. I’ll just say I’ve never seen a better Steampunk film (not that there’s a lot out there…). This has interesting characters, amazing world-building, and spectacular set-pieces. It’s a brilliant effort by the producers of The Lord of The Rings. I’m a happy girl tonight. Loved it.

….Don’t read any further if you don’t want spoilers…..

More goodness: the bad guy was played by Hugo Weaving, who’s shaping up to fill the hole left by the demise of Alan Rickman. He was just lovely in the part, even if his character’s motivations seemed forced. I’m going to blame the writing on that one.

Weaving did a great job with what he had. Most movies have “villain problems” — it’s hard to make a baddie we can relate to, or at least understand. The character of Thaddeus Valentine should have been more layered. He has an adult child with him, who presumably might have noticed once or twice if her father was evil. I get that London needed more fuel to survive, but I’m not sure using the particular weapon he did would net London any resources: it’s too destructive. By the end he became a generic cackling guy with a world-killing weapon. It’s absolutely a fine film, but this issue keeps it from getting an A+.

I felt like the narrative could have used some more backstory about why the cities and towns had to be mobile (something more than the cool factor). And there was a missed opportunity by never using the zeppelin a character sees and looks at thoughtfully. I kind of feel that maybe a later scene with it was cut from the film — or why bother showing it tethered nearby?

I did like the creative designs used on the different airships, and how they recalled a feeling of sailing on the ocean more than flying in a plane. The various captains even had a piratey flair.

This future world was splendidly envisioned, which is to be expected from WETA Workshop, who, along with producers Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens,  created The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. And of course we know Weaving as Elrond of Rivendell. I’m guessing a lot of crew members were also ported over from that universe to work on Mortal Engines. It really is a visual achievement.

As far as the plot goes, I kept thinking I was missing big pieces of the story, things that might be better explained in a novel. So I had to go check..and guess what? Mortal Engines is indeed a book. In fact, there are four of them.

Personally, I’m all in for a sequel set. I was engaged by this new Steampunk world and seriously wanted a lot more exposition than we got.

(Here’s a example: what in Thor’s name was Shrike? Some kind of cyborg? The memories of a person transplanted into a robot? Was he a technological version of a zombie? Why was he making dolls, why did he take in a little girl; why did he need Hester to become like him? What was the story with his elaborate prison cell? He was an intriguing element in the story, but his arc seemed undercooked.)

I feel like I could fill in some of this backstory on my own, but I’ll probably just read the book. And I’m sure I’ll see this film again when it’s available for streaming.

I’ll leave you with this quote from William Shakespeare‘s Othello, explaining the film’s title: “Othello: And O you mortal engines whose rude throats/Th’immortal Jove’s dread clamors counterfeit…” Mortal Engines refers to the concept that a society based on Municipal Darwinism is not sustainable, and that the cities’ engines are indeed mortal.

Grade: A
Movie Release Date: 12-14-2018

About The Peetimes: A lot happens in this movie, and it’s quite economical in pacing throughout. I’d recommend the 1st Peetime if you can manage it. The 2nd Peetime has an interesting set-piece, but it’s not relevant to the plot. The last Peetime contains action, but in a movie as full of action as this, you’ll be fine if you stick to the 3 minutes I gave you.

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

Making Models – the Jenny Haniver Airship from Mortal Engines

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

Movie Review - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-VerseAs my faithful followers know, I always review a movie based on the response of the target audience. Okay, that being said, I saw this movie with my 6 year old great-granddaughter. The child never took her eyes off the screen; she even forgot about the candy I purchased for her at the concession stand; only an ‘A’ movie could make her do that.

There’s so much good in this movie I don’t know where to begin. For me, watching this was a little like watching an animated version of Inception. Throughout the movie there would be scenes of color, movement, and music that would almost make you dizzy. It was wonderful.

The comic book character of Spider-Man absolutely screamed, “Animate me”. In animation, anything is possible; not so if the director is restricted by human form. In Spider-Verse we got to see Miles do outstanding things that wouldn’t be possible in a live-action movie.

This is the perfect holiday movie for the entire family, so while you’re at the mall, fighting crowds just to find that perfect gift (which will end up in the back of someone’s closet), take time to stop by the theater and spend two hours being wholeheartedly entertained.

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: I have 2 good Peetimes. Neither one is really any better than the other, so use which ever is more suitable to your needs.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)