Rewatch Review – Disney’s Animated Aladdin (1992) – A Classic Film with Deep Modern Flaws

The animated Aladdin of 1992 is definitely a beloved Disney classic. It’s one of the great films of the Disney Renaissance Era, and features A Whole New World, a TOP EVER song of ever in the the Disney oeuvre. Yet parts of Aladdin are deeply problematic to modern audiences. Disney is going out on a limb here, and I’m not sure this was the best live action remake to do right now (which I also found at issue with the live action Dumbo choice).

First, The Genie is a Slave

It may be the overt racism isn’t as acceptable/noticeable now as it was in ’92. But let’s be real: the tale of Aladdin isn’t a modern one. Aladdin was recorded in the 18th century and had a prior rich oral tradition previously, stretching back to ancient times. Yes, the Genie was always a slave — the plot demands this — so I don’t know how they can even make this story work in 2019 without that uncomfortable element. The repeated prattle about finding the ‘diamond in the rough’ is all about Aladdin freeing the Genie. Aladdin doesn’t do anything else more worthy than any compassionate street rat would. No slave, no story.

Even the wonderfully crafted X-Files Je Souhaite doesn’t bother to avoid the sticky slavery aspect: at least here the jinn in question doesn’t wear actual chains. (And Mulder is a better, smarter Aladdin than anyone else ever, full stop. I won’t spoil his very intellectual, lawyerly three wishes.)

In 2019, depicting the Genie as a black/blue slave is…not exactly copacetic. It doesn’t matter that he’s freed at the end. He’s got metal wrist bands, and is trapped in a small vial for centuries. He has to please whoever rubs the lamp (oh, and ewww).

(BTW: that thing really doesn’t seem remotely lamplike…how is that tea kettle supposed to make light? Am I missing something?)
And you’re going to have to explain a few things to kids about slavery and Arabian culture/history. (For example — cutting a hand off for stealing bread or an apple was an accepted thing, you know.)
Let’s move on from the racism and ignorant Islamic-adjacent stereotypes for this review, shall we?

The Robin Williams Genie Controversy

What else is an issue for the live action version? For one, no one really wants to see anyone else replace the late, manic, fantasmic Williams as the iconic blue Genie.

Non-slave aspects…there’s the equally unpleasant reminder that Williams killed himself years after Aladdin came out. I think most people appreciate the manic aspect of The Genie as part of William’s brilliance/illness, but neglect to recall his intense depression. It eventually killed him. On the one hand we want to preserve Aladdin as one of William’s career peaks (granted, there are many, but not so much in the Disney-verse).

On the other hand, it’s uncomfortable to be reminded of how society failed this brilliant performer. If an A Lister in Hollywood can’t find help, what does that bode for the average bi-polar/depressed individual?

This doesn’t even open the can of worms a Will Smith casting gives us for the Live Action Aladdin remake. He’s black, so there’s the slave awkward thing again. And then he has to approximate the humor of the original Genie. I hope HOPE HOPE they take this in a new direction, because no one can be Robin Williams. They shouldn’t try. I’ll find out soon — Will Smith is nominally a versatile and talented actor. So, I bet if there’s a problem with his portrayal, it’s in the script. I can’t speak to the casting until I see it, but this is a troubling role to take on, at best.

Jafar, Iago, and Other Notes on the Animated Aladdin

Let’s talk about the animated Aladdin film in positive terms. When it starts, it’s really cleverly 4th wall breaking: the “storyteller” (voiced Robin Williams at his smary best) frames the movie as a narrative. Amusingly, the ‘camera’ gets distracted and wanders away when the anthropomorphic framing device peddler person goes off-topic. I loved Deadpool framing his films…I didn’t know Disney did it before him. It’s a bit short, but very cute.

One neat thing is how Iago (Gilbert Gottfried) actually talks. We’ve seen animal sidekicks speak before, but this is a parrot. Parrots talk! The monkey and tiger, the other sidekicks in Aladdin, don’t talk. That’s clever, as parrots actually DO speak. I had enough parrots growing up to realize parrots are smart enough to make connections between what they say and what they feel. I was happy to see an animal sidekick that could possibly do Human-speak in a Disney film. (Yep, I’m easily pleased.)

Jafar, the villain, is an oily one. He could be cross-species ‘brothers’ with Scar (from the Lion King) or married to The Little Mermaid’s Ursula (also cross-species, more or less). Note these characters all fall within the same Disney Era. It’s the formula that worked back then.  🙂

The magic carpet is really kind of awesome, and reminds me of Dr. Strange’s playfully loyal cloak.

But, really…there’s a lot of filmatic references to other classic movies here.  Moment from Raiders of the Lost Arc, from Titanic. That could be an entire article itself, so I’ll keep on keeping on.

Also worth noting — as this is a film from the Disney Renaissance period —  is how A Whole New World entices young people (or as in The Lion King, animals) to follow a path they never planned: to follow their dreams. This song works wonderfully here.

Who is the Disney Classic Aladdin MVP?

Um. Hey, wait…Aladdin is an orphan and a Chosen One? Ever see that anywhere before? (Answer — many many times before, with and without magic. And I bet the entire Internet we see it after Aladdin too.)

Back to to Robin Williams as the manic Genie. It’s a whole world of sad now, knowing Williams ended his own life via suicide. He made the Genie something special — something giddy and outstanding —  in his depictions of the wildly excitable magic-wish-giver.

I don’t know how the live-action version with Will Smith could even come close, since this was probably the closest Williams came to creating his own persona via film, and no one can truly compete. Honestly, I’m not sure how the animators followed William’s improv as well as they did. This version of the classic is worth watching just for seeing Williams on top of his game (even though he doesn’t appear until the half-way point in the film).

The past and future of Disney Live Action

Overall, Aladdin the film is still kind of cool, although it’s not as exciting as I remembered.  It’s no Little Mermaid, Lion King, or Beauty & The Beast (the top representatives from the Disney Renaissance Era, which all hold up so nicely.)

What stands out is how this is a Disney Princess tale where the princess takes a back seat. It’s a male-focused movie, and that’s a welcome branch off the typical trope. Jasmine isn’t sidelined at all, but the POV is about the ‘prince’.

That’s unusual. Imagine Eric from The Little Mermaid being the main POV, or even the otherwise bland Prince Charming from Cinderella. I think that would be interesting for the next live-action versions.

However: one of the most important and enduring aspects of Aladdin remains the same as it has for centuries…if you could have three wishes granted, what would they be? And how would you word them to escape the inevitable sneaky clauses?

A Whole New World – Aladdin Lyrics and Video (1992 Animated Version)

aladdin magic carpet with jasminBack in 1992, Aladdin charmed audiences with Disney’s usual blend of great animation, voice work, humor, casting, and a brand of cynicism-free earnestness typical of Disney’s Renaissance Era. Aladdin nests among the top rank of the films in this period, starting in 1998 with The Little Mermaid, and ending with 1999’s Tarzan. Aladdin’s best-known lyrics to A Whole New World codifies the trope of a young person (or animal) following an unknown path to explore their dreams. Sit back and return to a simpler, happier year with the video & lyrics to this beloved song.

Lyrics to Aladdin – A Whole New World

[Aladdin, 1992, by Lea Salonga & Brad Kane]

I can show you the world
Shining, shimmering splendid
Tell me, princess, now when did
You last let your heart decide?

I can open your eyes
Take you wonder by wonder
Over sideways and under
On a magic carpet ride

A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us no
Or where to go
Or say we’re only dreaming

A whole new world
A dazzling place I never knew
But when I’m way up here
It’s crystal clear
That now I’m in a whole new world with you

Now I’m in a whole new world with you

Unbelievable sights
Indescribable feeling
Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling
Through an endless diamond sky

A whole new world (Don’t you dare close your eyes)
A hundred thousand things to see (Hold your breath, it gets better)
I’m like a shooting star
I’ve come so far
I can’t go back to where I used to be

A whole new world (Every turn a surprise)
With new horizons to pursue (Every moment, red-letter)
I’ll chase them anywhere
There’s time to spare
Let me share this whole new world with you

A whole new world (A whole new world)
That’s where we’ll be (That’s where we’ll be)
A thrilling chase
A wondrous place
For you and me

[Songwriters: Alan Menken / Tim Rice
A Whole New World Aladdin Lyrics © Walt Disney Music Company]

 

Aladdin –  Animated vs Stage vs Live Action

Dumbo – Lyrics and Video to the Original Disney Classic Song Baby Mine

Movie Review – Dumbo – A live action remake your kids will enjoy

Movie Review – Beauty and The Beast (live action version)

Aladdin –  Animated vs Stage vs Live Action

aladdin disney live action posterThe Aladdin remake will be flying into theaters soon.  This will be Disney’s third version of this popular story, including the 2014 Broadway musical.  So how does it compare to its predecessors? Let’s find out.

NOTE:  Aladdin article contains SPOILERS.  

Aladdin Sidekicks

In the animated film, Aladdin has a monkey pal named Abu and an anthropomorphized magic carpet.  Princess Jasmine has a pet tiger named Rajah.

In the musical, Aladdin has a magic carpet but it does not high-five.  It mainly has one big moment — and you can guess what that is. Abu is missing from the stage version.  One can imagine how difficult it would be to train a small monkey for this part. Or how ridiculous a man in a monkey costume might look playing the role!  Similarly, Jasmine does not get her tiger. However, Aladdin does get three new human friends named Babkak, Omar, and Kassim who provide plenty of comic relief.  

In the live action movie, Rajah appears to be back.  And I’ve seen Abu and the magic carpet interacting with each other briefly in one promo.  

Sadly, Babkak, Omar, and Kassim were not included in the new film.

New Characters in Aladdin

The live action remake introduces two significant new characters not found in the musical or the animated film.  One is Dalia, Princess Jasmine’s loyal handmaiden and confidante, who provides some comic relief. The other is Prince Anders, a suitor and potential husband (yeah, right) for Jasmine from the kingdom of Skånland.  

Iago – Jafar’s Henchman

Jafar’s loud parrot henchman, an audience favorite, was voiced by Gilbert Gottfried in the original film.  

On Broadway, the role of Iago was originated by Don Darryl Rivera, and Iago is not a parrot but a human being.  He is still Jafar’s henchman.

In the new movie, Iago is a parrot again.  However, the character is voiced by Alan Tudyk.  It’s the first time the character has been voiced by someone other than Gottfried, who has been the voice of Iago since 1992.  Gottfried has voiced the character in movies, TV shows, video games, and even in a Disney World attraction.

will smith as the aladdin genieThe Genie

Robin Williams played the Genie in the animated film in one of his most beloved roles of all time.  Williams was already like a living cartoon character, and now he got to be one. The medium was the perfect vehicle for his manic energy and his gift for impersonation.    

On stage, the song “Friend Like Me” remains a showstopper — even with a live human being who only has the benefit of stage magic and back-up dancers.   (The televised Tony performance does not do justice to the effect of the full set and stage effects.) The actor does not wear blue paint on their body (think Elphaba in Wicked), but has a flashy blue outfit on instead.  He does not try to be Robin Williams because no one can replicate that performance. Rather, he puts his own spin on the character and finds his own way to make the Genie charming and larger than life.

Will Smith’s Genie is a mix of live-action and CGI and is even blue for part of the movie.  He is able to do things that can’t be done on stage — closer to the animated version.  It will be fun to see what the filmmakers do with this new version of the Genie that exists between live action and animation.

The Music of Aladdin

The original animated film is famous for the romantic ballad “A Whole New World” and the humorous “Friend Like Me.”  These are both previewed in the trailer for the new film, and footage has been released of Will Smith singing “Prince Ali.”

The track list for the new movie has not been released yet.  However, it’s safe to assume that most (if not all) of the songs from the original film will be reappear in the new one, including opening number “Arabian Nights” and “One Jump Ahead”.

The Broadway show contains these same songs, but also some new numbers, including “Babkak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim” about the main character and his three troublemaker buddies.  

Other New Songs from the Musical Include:

“Proud of Your Boy”  (sung by Aladdin)

“A Million Miles Away” (sung by Aladdin and Jasmine )

“Diamond in the Rough” (sung by Jafar to convince Aladdin to get the lamp)

“High Adventure”  (sung by Babkak, Omar, and Kasim)

“Somebody’s Got Your Back” (sung by Aladdin to his friends)

The Cave of Wonders

(Note: From this point on, I am mostly comparing the animated film and the Broadway musical.  I have not been able to see the new movie yet, and there is still an embargo on reviews.)

In the animated version, Jafar seeks the lamp at the Cave of Wonders and is told only a diamond in the rough may enter, at the beginning of the film.  In the musical, this happens later in Act I after the audience has already met Aladdin and Jasmine.

In both versions, Jafar figures out Aladdin is the diamond in the rough, and Aladdin is captured by the palace guards after meeting Jasmine. Jafar uses him to try to get the lamp.  In the movie, Jafar disguises himself as an old man, and frees Aladdin and Abu before taking them to the cave. In the musical, Jafar keeps his original form and stops Aladdin from being executed.

In both versions, Aladdin is instructed to touch nothing but the lamp.

In the movie, Aladdin finds a magic carpet and Abu takes a jewel in addition to the lamp.  Aladdin and Abu rush to fly out of the collapsing cave on the carpet. They give the lamp to Jafar, who pushes them back into the cave, but not before Abu steals the lamp back.  In the musical, Aladdin is tempted to take some golden coins along with the lamp, and is trapped when the cave seals itself off.

In all three versions, this is when Aladdin rubs the lamp, meets the Genie, and Genie sings “Friend Like Me” by way of introduction.  Aladdin then tricks Genie into freeing him from the cave without using up one of his wishes.

aladdin magic carpet with jasminRomancing Jasmine

In both versions of the story, Jasmine escapes from the palace and visits Agrabah in disguise, where she meets Aladdin.  This is where the story begins. Aladdin’s first wish, even in the trailer for the newest movie, is to become a prince so that he can woo the princess.  (“There’s a lot of gray area in ‘Make me a prince.’”) Act II of the musical begins with “Prince Ali” — in which Genie and Aladdin’s three besties lead a parade announcing his arrival.  

It’s one of the highlights of the animated film as well, minus his friends. In both versions, Jasmine is angry when she overhears Prince Ali discussing her future with the Sultan. He makes it up to her with a magic carpet ride and one of the most romantic songs in Disney history (“A Whole New World”).  Only then does Jasmine recognize him as Aladdin. He lies and says he only dresses as a peasant to get away from everything, like she does.

will smith as genie in Aladdin and the live action disney remakeThree Wishes

Aladdin’s first wish is always to be a prince and he always promises Genie his last wish will be to set Genie free.  In both the animated and musical versions, Aladdin is captured by the palace guards immediately following the romantic interlude.  In the animated film, he is thrown into the sea. Genie decides that the unconscious Aladdin would want to use his second wish to be saved and rescues him.  

In the musical, Aladdin is arrested for impropriety. His three buddies storm the castle to rescue him..and end up in the dungeon as well. Aladdin uses his second wish to rescue them.  Aladdin meets the Sultan in the hall and he gives Aladdin his blessing to marry Jasmine. Overwhelmed at the responsibility of being Sultan one day, Aladdin goes back on his word, telling Genie he needs to save his last wish in case he needs it someday.  In the movie, Aladdin also refuses to free Genie, fearing he’ll lose Jasmine if the truth comes out.

In both versions, Jafar steals the lamp and becomes Genie’s new master.  Aladdin tricks Jafar into wishing to become an all-powerful Genie, and then traps him in the lamp.  

In the movie, Genie encourages Aladdin to use his final wish to regain his royal title so he can be with Jasmine.  However, Aladdin sets Genie free instead. The Sultan, seeing the nobility in Aladdin, then proclaims that the princess can marry whoever she wants.  

In the musical, Aladdin sets Genie free, saying he can’t pretend to be someone he’s not. The Sultan decrees the princess can marry whoever she wants.  Aladdin’s buddies are made royal advisers.

Final Aladdin Thoughts

There are a few ways the new movie may stand apart from its predecessors.  With Guy Ritchie directing (Snatch, Sherlock Holmes, Lock Stock), this is supposed to be the most action-packed version of Aladdin we’ve seen so far.  

Early rumors were that the story is supposed to be told non-linearly, which would also fit with Ritchie’s style.

Princess Jasmine gets more of a narrative arc.  Actress Naomi Scott told Reuters, “[Jasmine] finds her voice and she goes through a journey to find it. …I want little girls to see that.”  Some viewers have complained the film is about twenty minutes or so too long.  It is a half hour longer than the animated film, and does not have an intermission like the musical.  

Be sure to use the RunPee app to get Peetimes for Aladdin.  And if you’re riding your magic carpet to see Toy Story 4, The Lion King, and Artemis Fowl, we’ll have Peetimes for them too.  You can also follow us on Twitter and FaceBook @ RunPee for the latest movie and Peetime news. 

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Prepare for #Disney’s #Aladdin with this comparison of the animated film, the #Broadway #musical, and the live action #remake.  #GoldenMan will keep you one jump ahead with his cinema knowledge. #Genie #Jasmine #Iago #Jafar #Abu #MagicCarpet #RobinWilliams #GuyRitchie #WillSmith #AWholeNewWorld #FriendLikeMe

A Whole New World – Aladdin Lyrics and Video (1992 Animated Version)

Movie Review – Beauty and The Beast (live action version)

Movie Review – Dumbo – A live action remake your kids will enjoy

Is Godzilla: King of the Monsters a Sequel to Kong: Skull Island?

The trailers for the new Godzilla movie have been amazing, but the marketing campaign isn’t the clearest.  What’s there to know besides the fact that awesome-looking monsters are going to destroy things for our entertainment?  

For the true movie lover? Plenty. Here are the connections they aren’t advertising.

There’s a Monster Universe.

Legendary Pictures and Warner Brothers created what they are calling the Monsterverse.  Godzilla, King Kong, and some recognizable others are part of this universe.

Godzilla – King of the Monsters is a sequel to Kong – Skull Island.  Sort of.

For unknown reasons, Warner Brothers is not advertising the new movie as a sequel to Godzilla (2014), the first movie in the Monsterverse.  Kong – Skull Island is the second movie in the Monsterverse. It features a cut-scene at the end of the credits where the main characters are told Kong is not the only monster, and then shown archival footage of ancient cave drawings of Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and a battle between King Ghidorah and Godzilla. 

The ultimate Godzilla movie is coming next year.

A fourth Monsterverse movie, Godzilla vs. Kong, has been announced for 2020.  I know. I can’t wait either.

Be sure to use the RunPee app for all your monster movie Peetimes, including the upcoming Child’s Play and Annabelle Comes Home. You can also follow us on Twitter @RunPee or on Facebook for the latest movie news.  

Read for more about Godzilla by Golden Man, on his blog Etched in Gold:

All My Questions Answered About the New Godzilla Movie

RunPee’s posts on Godzilla and King Kong:

Godzilla – movie review

Movie Review of Kong: Skull Island

How RunPee Began – A Retrospective on Peter Jackson’s 2005 King Kong

Natalia Alianovna Romanoff – AKA Black Widow – Original Avenger (spoilers)

Warning: Endgame spoilers begin right away. See the movie first! Black Widow

Natlianovna Romanoff, better known in the U.S. as Natasha Romanoff, Black Widow, Avenger, Agent of SHIELD, and former KGB Assassin. These are the only known occupations of this founding member of the Avengers.

Romanoff’s Early Life

Born in 1984s Soviet Russia, Natasha’s early life remains a relative mystery. It is known she was recruited into the KGBs Red Room Academy, where she received training in spycraft, including combat with and without weapons.

According to leaked SHIELD/HYDRA documents, leaked by Agent Romanoff herself during the fall of SHIELD and the destruction of the Triskelion, the late Director of SHIELD (Nicholas J. Fury) took notice of the master assassin in the mid-late 1990s. At this point, Agent Clint Barton was dispatched to locate and terminate Natasha, code-named Black Widow. Agent Barton persuaded Director Fury to recruit and facilitate her defection from the Soviet Union.

Code Name Black Widow as an Avenger

Black Widow’s activities pre-defection paint her as a clear enemy of the U.S., but her loyalty post-defection clouds the initial analysis. Her membership among the Avengers — indeed —  her presence as a Founder of the group of heroes, solidify her status as an ally for most.

Romanoff was instrumental in the destruction of SHIELD and exposure of HYDRA. She was a part of the Avenger’s failed counter-operation to stop Ultron’s destruction of Sokovia, and as a result, an initial signer of the Sokovia Accords,  regulating the activities of so called “enhanced” individuals, primarily the Avengers themselves.

While obeying the new Accords and helping track down and stop the illegal activities of Steve Rogers/Captain America, Romanoff broke rank and betrayed the task force, ultimately becoming a fugitive, disappearing from intelligence agency sight.

While on the run, the Black Widow continued vigilante operations with Captain America, resurfacing in Wakanda during the first battle with the alien Thanos. For the next five years after The Decimation, Romanoff became the leader of what remained of the Avengers, no longer counted as a fugitive.

Black Widow Post Snap – AKA The Decimation

Finally, according to sources close to the Avengers, during the successful mission to return The Decimated, Natasha Romanoff sacrificed herself on an alien planet, in a time before our own, in order to obtain a necessary piece of equipment to reverse the decimation.

The Black Widow was not able to fight in the Battle of the Returned at the destroyed Avengers facility. Romanoff is survived only by her team of heroes.

A memorial service is to be scheduled in the days following the private funeral of her fellow Avenger Tony Stark.

RIP Natalia Alianovna Romanoff, 1984-April 26, 2023/2014.

Movie Review – Avengers Infinity War – An Unrivaled Marvel Epic

Endgame spoiler free review – We got what we needed!

Endgame Peetimes – RunPee vs the World

Avengers Cameo – That random kid in Endgame is someone we’ve seen before

Endgame Peetimes – RunPee vs the World

captain america understands that reference
One more thing to check off his list.

The 3+ hour run-time of Avengers: Endgame inspired numerous sites to publish their own Peetimes for the  massively long and greatly-anticipated movie. In a three hour span, most people will feel their bladders calling, and it’s better to know when to go, than sit there squirming,  unable to enjoy a great film.

Here’s my experienced analysis of their work, based on the experience we’ve gained after doing Peetimes at RunPee for 10 years now.

(It’s hard to believe that we’ve been around that long. That’s like 79 in Internet years.)

Here at RunPee we had four highly-qualified MCU-loving Family members submit Peetimes for Endgame,  just to get it perfect for the fans. There was a spread of suggestions…however, everyone agreed on two of the three Peetimes that were eventually added to the RunPee database.

Obviously, a website (as opposed to an app) is far from the ideal format for sharing Peetimes, because the Peetimes are useless if there’s no provided synopsis of what you might miss, and that involves spoilers for the movie — sometimes huge spoilers. A website just isn’t dynamic enough to handle this properly. We found this out in our early years, before moving our Peetimes from a website-based platform to a cell phone app.

The highly useful RunPee app is able to work around this, because you only see the synopsis for a Peetime if you choose to. Beyond that, the websites we list below gave vague, or sometimes zero “Cues” when their Peetime started. This is kind of important when your attention is focused on the movie, and not reading a web page on your brightly-lit phone. (Our app silently vibrates to let you know when to look for your Peetime Cue.)

The Peetimes in the RunPee app are accurate to within 30 seconds, and we have a built-in Timer to remind you when a Peetime Cue is coming up.

One last warning — major Avengers spoilers ahead. Don’t read any further if you haven’t seen Endgame yet.

Here are the websites that tried to make Endgame Peetimes, with our grades on their choices:

BuzzFeed
8 minutes into the movie, when Iron Man and Nebula get some help.

Analysis: we don’t start looking for Peetimes until about 30 minutes into a movie. There’s absolutely no point in having a Peetime only 8 minutes in. Plus, the scene that you’ll miss is crucial to the relationship between Iron Man and Cap. This gets a Peetime fail on all fronts.
Peetime Grade: F

BuzzFeed, Vulture
20 minutes into the movie, after the first scene with Thanos.

Analysis: Still, much too early in the movie for a Peetime, but otherwise it would have been decent. The group therapy scene with Cap and the civilians is necessary to set up Cap’s emotional tone five years after the Snap, but as Peetimes go it’s not a bad choice. The Peetime spills over into the scene where Ant-Man comes out of the quantum realm, but that’s easy enough to summarize.
Peetime Grade: C+

Vulture
22 minutes into the movie, when you see San Francisco on-screen.

Analysis: again, a bit too early, but otherwise not a bad Peetime. It’s pretty easy to describe what’s going on. But, if you’re going to miss this scene, then it would be better to start a few minutes earlier, as in the Peetime above, so that you’ll be back for the emotional reunion of Scott and his daughter.
Peetime Grade: D

RunPee
34 minutes into the movie, when *Someone* says, “It’s fine actually. Mom never wears anything I buy her.”

Analysis: This is our Emergency Peetime in the RunPee app. It’s not a horrible Peetime, but it’s only 3 minutes long, and is mostly exposition.
Peetime Grade: C+

Vulture
37 minutes into the movie, when you see Hulk at lunch.

Analysis: Yeahhh, this isn’t a scene that is good to miss. At least not for the first minute or so, where Bruce/Hulk goes into talking about his “unification”. The photo shoot with the kids is completely missable; unfortunately that part of the scene is far too short — just over one minute — to work as a Peetime, because what follows is another classic Iron Man moment you should not miss.
Peetime Grade: D+

BuzzFeed
40 minutes into the movie, after Tony figures out how an “impossible” theory comes true.

Analysis: I knew going in Iron Man died at the end, so I knew that every scene he was in would be precious — at least in retrospect, after you see the movie. The scenes during this Peetime are nothing but Tony and his family, and these scenes can’t be missed if you’ve been following the MCU for 11 years. Plus, this is when we hear, “I love you 3000.” These are the sort of building blocks in a story we consider essential to see, and not just read in a synopsis.
Peetime Grade: F

IGN.com, Vulture
54 minutes into the movie, when the setting changes to Japan.

Analysis: This is a great 2 minute Peetime, but it’s followed by an important scene between Hawkeye and Black Widow. And, due to what happens later with Nat, this is kind of important to see. If only Hawkeye’s fight had gone on for another 45 seconds, we’d have a pretty decent Peetime here.
Peetime Grade: C+

RunPee
1 hour and 1 minute into the movie when a young girl comes downstairs and says, “Dad?”

Analysis: This is our Recommended Peetime. It’s an hour into the movie, so hopefully our fans could use this as a “preemptive” Peetime, and then coast to the end. All the scenes in this Peetime have characters talking about the Infinity Stones, essentially summing up previous movies. Very easy to summarize if you’ve seen the previous films. There’s a tiny bit of humor, but nothing emotional.
Peetime Grade: A

IGN.com
1 hour and 3 minutes into the movie at Avengers HQ, when the team is talking about Infinity Stones.

Analysis: For my money, this is the very best Peetime in the movie, and the one we recommend to our users over the other two we offer. The only issue I have with it: they should have started it a few minutes earlier. Our Peetime starts at 1 hour and 1 minute, when a young girl comes downstairs and says, “Dad?”
Peetime Grade: B

IGN.com
1 hour and 10 minutes into the movie, when the setting switches to Asgard.

Analysis: Yes, good choice, except that it’s too short, and comes just a few minutes after a much better Peetime that IGN themselves chose. There’s no point in having Peetimes this close together. Too many options confuses people. It’s much better to just go with the best choice. Also, saying “Asgard” is kind of a spoiler.
Peetime Grade: C-

BuzzFeed
After it’s discovered there’s a glitch with Nebula’s cybernetic parts, in particular her memory projector.

Analysis: The following scene on Asgard is crucial to Thor’s character arc in the movie. It’s easy to sum up, but you just can’t get the depth of meaning necessary to see how the God of Thunder gets his act together. That said, we did consider using this Peetime, but we have a much better option coming up in about 17 minutes. So we went with that. We felt that giving users only a few really good options for Peetimes would be better than peppering the movie with a bunch of Peetimes that weren’t as good.
Peetime Grade: D

IGN.com
1 hour and 40 minutes into the movie, when the setting changes to New Jersey.

Analysis: This Peetime has potential. I even wrote it up to include in the RunPee database, but upon review decided against adding it, because there’s a better option coming up in 14 minutes. Also, this scene involves Tony Stark meeting his father, and again, we don’t want to miss any of these emotional moments with Iron Man.
Peetime Grade: B-

BuzzFeed
Somewhere around 1:45 into the movie, after Nebula does her little switcheroo.

Analysis: Seriously? Are you kidding me? This builds up to one of the big 6 Avengers — who has been around since Iron Man II — sacrificing herself. This is a good Peetime? Have you seen an MCU movie before?
Peetime Grade: D

Vulture
About an hour and a half into the movie, when War Machine and Nebula arrive on Morag.

Analysis: Please, this call back to the first Guardians movie is awesome sauce.
Peetime Grade: D

Vulture
When Hawkeye and Black Widow get to Vormir.

Analysis: Personally, if there were no other good options for much better Peetimes coming fairly soon, I would have used this one in the app. Sure, it’s crucial to what happens soon after with Black Widow, but they do spend a good long while figuring it out, so if you hustle, you’d be okay.
Peetime Grade: C+

RunPee
About 1 hour and 54 minutes into the movie when *Someone* wakes up alone in a pool of water.

Analysis: Boy, this was a hard choice. It’s a powerfully emotional scene, which usually exempts a scene from being used as a Peetime. However, we felt the emotional content was pretty obvious. You would normally want to see this scene, but if you miss it, then the synopsis will catch you up without any confusion when you return.
Peetime Grade: B-

Getting good pee breaks isn’t for amateurs!

I extend kudos to the people who attempted to get Peetimes for Endgame when they’ve never done it before. There’s no doubt this was one of the hardest movies we’ve ever had to do Peetimes for.

Here at RunPee we’ve done Peetimes for 10 years, and for literally over 1,500 movies. We have frequent conference calls to critique each other and offer feedback. When we sit down to watch a movie at home that another one of us did the Peetimes for (in the theaters), we make note of their choices and then give feedback, both positive and negative.

I always tell the RunPee Family, “We’re only as good as our last Peetime.” One of the things that pleases me most is the lack of negative comments we get on our choice of Peetimes. We’ve yet to get a complaint on our Peetimes for any movie this year, including Endgame. And believe me, when we make a mistake, we hear about it. Don’t bring up Frozen to RunPee Mom. 🙂

Movie Review – Avengers: Endgame

A Open Response to Kevin Feige (re: Using the Bathroom During Endgame)

Avengers Cameo – That random kid in Endgame is someone we’ve seen before

Avengers: Endgame – What was that hammer sound in the credits?

Avengers: Endgame – What was that hammer sound in the credits?

Did you stay to the very bitter end of Endgame? There’s some speculation about what that hammer sound was at the end of the credits in Avengers: Endgame. Is it something we’ll find out in an upcoming movie? Could be. But that hammering-on-metal audio clip sure does sound a lot like this scene from Iron Man 1 — the MCU movie that kicked everything off eleven years ago. What do you think?

Starting this weekend, the trailer for Spiderman: Far From Home plays after the end credits of Endgame. However, I’m not sure if the hammer sound extra will still be played near the end of the credits.

Update: As of Thursday (May 9th) RunPee Jilly heard the hammer sound at the end of the credits, but didn’t see the Far From Home trailer. Can anyone confirm?

Movie Review – Avengers: Endgame

Avengers Cameo – That random kid in Endgame is someone we’ve seen before

Warning – Avengers Endgame is not going to be Peetime friendly

Captain Marvel – Video and Lyrics to Just a Girl by No Doubt

Captain Marvel is a girl. We kind of all knew that in advance.  But while her origin story sends the girl power message a bit over the top, Just A Girl by No Doubt still really works, cinematically. It’s a fun, feel-good movie moment.

The entire film’s 90s sound track is a great trip down memory lane, and this song, obvious as it is, deserves to highlight Carol Danver’s heroic journey.

So here to send you back to grungy 1995 are the video and lyrics to No Doubt’s Just A Girl. It’s still as catchy as it was a few decades ago. (Has it really been that long?)

Video to Just A Girl – No Doubt

Lyrics to Just a Girl

Take this pink ribbon off my eyes
I’m exposed
And it’s no big surprise
Don’t you think I know
Exactly where I stand
This world is forcing me
To hold your hand
‘Cause I’m just a girl, little ol’ me
Well don’t let me out of your sight
Oh, I’m just a girl, all pretty and petite
So don’t let me have any rights
Oh, I’ve had it up to here!

The moment that I step outside
So many reasons
For me to run and hide
I can’t do the little things
I hold so dear
‘Cause it’s all those little things
That I fear

‘Cause I’m just a girl
I’d rather not be
‘Cause they won’t let me drive
Late at night
Oh I’m just a girl
Guess I’m some kind of freak
‘Cause they all sit and stare
With their eyes
Oh I’m just a girl
Take a good look at me
Just your typical prototype
Oh, I’ve had it up to here!

Oh, am I making myself clear?

I’m just a girl
I’m just a girl in the world
That’s all that you’ll let me be!

Oh I’m just a girl, living in captivity
Your rule of thumb
Make me worry some
Oh I’m just a girl, what’s my destiny?
What I’ve succumbed to
Is making me numb
Oh I’m just a girl, my apologies
What I’ve become is so burdensome
Oh I’m just a girl, lucky me
Twiddle-dum there’s no comparison

Oh, I’ve had it up to!
Oh, I’ve had it up to!!
Oh, I’ve had it up to here…

{Songwriters: Gwen Stefani / Thomas Dumont, 1995. 
Just a Girl lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.}

 

First Star Wars Skywalker Trailer Breakdown

I remember seeing Return of the Jedi in the theater at a very young age and falling in love with ewoks. For most of my life, there were only three Star Wars films (and a brilliant Mel Brooks parody of them). And the vague promise that maybe someday George Lucas would make episodes I-III.

In middle school, I walked out of the bathroom at a local movie theater to see a poster for something called Revenge of the Jedi and got super excited. I didn’t realize it was the original title for Return of the Jedi.

It’s mind-blowing to me that soon there will not only be nine Star Wars films (featuring the main storyline) but there will be a conclusion to Anakin, Luke, Leia, and presumably Rey’s stories. After months of speculation and anticipation, the trailer and title for Star Wars Episode IX was finally revealed at Star Wars Celebration.

Here’s a blow by blow of what’s in the trailer:

–The first thing we see is Rey with Luke’s light saber (good catch by Cinemablend) on a desert planet. The last film in a trilogy can sometimes be about returning to where you started. So this may be Jakku or Tatooine.

–We hear Luke in voiceover: “We’ve passed on all we know. A thousand generations live in you now. But this is your fight.” Great dialogue. So inspiring!

–A title card says: “Every generation has a legend.” Presumably, this is Rey as she is on-screen at the moment and the main protagonist of this trilogy. I love this. Rey is not only a legend in the world of the film, but a legend for a generation of moviegoers.

–Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer races towards Rey as she draws her lightsaber. Rey runs and does a flip, her lightsaber seemingly about to do some major damage to that TIE fighter.

–A title card says: “This Christmas” (The movie comes out December 20.)

–A ship flies over a city near a mountainous location. This is most likely a place we haven’t visited before.

–Kylo Ren takes someone down hard with his lightsaber. I don’t care what anyone says. I think Adam Driver’s a badass.

–A shot of Kylo’s mask being repaired.

–A shot of Finn and Poe on a desert planet, presumably the same one Rey is on. I can’t wait to see these two together again.

–BB-8 with new droid friend D-0.

–Lando Calrissian is back at the controls of the Millennium Falcon and looking as happy to be there as we are to have him there again.

–A title card reads: “The saga comes to an end.” Both a promise and an ominous warning. They are wrapping up this storyline. It will not drag on forever needlessly. But everyone may not make it out of this adventure alive.

–I give up. Take away my nerd card. I don’t know what those vehicles and/or weapons are. Basically, more desert action.

–Poe, Finn, and C-3PO are sailing some kind of ship through the desert and being fired on.

–A ship goes down in flames.

–Someone (Leia?) rubs a rebel alliance medal.

–Leia hugs Rey in the trailer’s most emotional moment.

–Luke (in voiceover) says: “We’ll always be with you.”

–Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewie, C-3PO, BB-8, and D-0 gaze at the remains of a Death Star. We don’t know if this is the Death Star from episodes IV-VI or a new Death Star.

–In voiceover, Luke says: “No one’s ever really gone.” A comforting sentiment.

–The screen goes black. We hear the wicked laugh of the Emperor/Palpatine. Apparently no one is ever really gone.

–And finally, that beauty of a title: The Rise of Skywalker. Doesn’t it give you chills? There are several theories as to what the title means. Some think a new order of Jedis will be dubbed Skywalkers. I’m with those who are hoping Rey’s heritage will be retconned and she’ll be revealed to be a true Skywalker.

Be sure to use the RunPee app so you won’t miss an essential moment of Episode IX or any other movie you care about. We’ve got Peetimes for Captain Marvel, Shazam!, and Avengers: Endgame. And we’ll have Peetimes for all the summer blockbusters like John Wick 3, Toy Story 4, Child’s Play (more Mark Hamill!), Spider-Man: Far From Home and more. You can also follow us on Twitter @RunPee for the latest movie news.

Avengers Cameo – That random kid in Endgame is someone we’ve seen before

Ty Simpkins as Harley Keener from iron man 3

Who is that teenager from Avengers Endgame standing there at the end with our heroes — but a little apart —  looking vaguely familiar? With no explanation given? It’s like Broom Boy from The Last Jedi, all over again. Who is that kid?

Want to try to guess where you’ve seen him before in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Shave off a few years. Make him around ten. Do you remember which movie he had a MAJOR role in?

It’s okay if you can’t remember, because his movie came out in the early days of the MCU, and his character was promptly forgotten. The MCU has a literal cast of thousands by now, especially if you include everyone in the Wakandan army from Avengers Infinity War. If you’re not a real die-hard MCU fan, it can be hard to keep all those faces and names straight.

So, who’s the kid in Endgame?

It’s 17-year-old actor Ty Simpkins, reprising his role of Harley Keener: the kid from Iron Man 3 who gave Tony Stark a little sanctuary — and a lot of geeky help — when Stark needed it.  The two made a good connection, and the kid character was enjoyable to watch, instead of precociously irritating. (Although I think Robert Downey Jr could have chemistry with a mailbox if the role called for it.)

Harley is a forgotten hero in the MCU, but that doesn’t mean he won’t come back for Phase 4. He made one half of a great team with Stark, and has a bright scientific mind of his own. And don’t forget, Stark left him some goodies to play with that he might have put to good use by now.

Stark seems to slip effortlessly into mentor roles. Just look at his relationship with Spider-Man. It might be because of the way Stark begins his journey as an overgrown kid, and naturally doesn’t want to see bright young people make the mistakes he did. Stark has come a long way after 11 years in the hero profession. Remember the days when he amused himself onstage by peeing in his Iron Man suit?

Will Harley make another appearance after Avengers Endgame?

Harley’s old enough to help our heroes in a meaningful way now, should they choose to take him on for the new generation of Avengers.  Get that boy a shield! Or maybe his own Mark V Iron Man special.

There’s no reason not to see this kid again after Endgame, since we know Phase 4 of the MCU begins next. Also, now that Earth knows a gazillion intergalactic beings exist, you can’t have too many heroes to help keep them safe.

Iron Man 3 – movie review

Avenger Superhero Powers, by Category

The entire MCU Movie Order – Several Options for your pre-Avengers Endgame Watch or Rewatch