How Captain Marvel Stole Shazam’s Name

shazam movie posterIt’s no surprise that Captain Marvel and Shazam! both had movies released within weeks of each other this year.  Despite being from separate comic universes, the two superheroes have always been inextricably linked by a connection with their name.

Shazam was the original Captain Marvel?!

The DC Comics character Shazam was originally known as Captain Marvel.  He started out as a Fawcett Comics character in 1940 and was the most popular superhero at the time.  In 1953, DC filed a lawsuit against Fawcett claiming Captain Marvel was basically just a version of Superman.  In 1972, Fawcett sold the character rights to Captain Marvel to DC.

Shazam’s search for a name

However, Marvel Comics was already using the copyrighted name Captain Marvel by then for their own original character.  (Note:  At this point, Captain Marvel was still male and not the Carol Danvers of the later era.)  So DC began marketing the character using the copyrighted phrase “Shazam!”, which is what protagonist Billy Batson says to change into a superhero and vice versa.  Many consumers assumed this was the name of the character.

When DC relaunched the title in 2011, they officially named the character Shazam!  There is a running gag in the new movie Shazam! about what to call the main character, which is a sly reference to his history of name changes.  Plus the title Captain Sparkle Fingers probably didn’t test well with audiences.

If you love superheroes, be sure to download the RunPee app.  Kevin Feige has said there will be no time to pee during Avengers: Endgame, but we’ve got your back.  We already have Peetimes and a review available.  You can also follow us on Twitter @RunPee for the latest movie news.

A Happy Shazam Review – A delightful time in the DC universe (for once)

Captain Marvel vs the Internet Trolls – A Common New Film Controversy

Marvel Phase 4 Predictions – Some MCU Sure-Fire Guesses

A Happy Shazam Review – A delightful time in the DC universe (for once)

zachary levi as shazam
Go in expecting fun and a lot of heart. Not your typical DC entry. Thankfully.

I’d heard from the rest of the RunPee Family that Shazam was a disappointing remake, even though I had big hopes DC would finally put out a fun, lithe, winsome feature, with a superhero I could have fun with (unlike Batman, Supes and the rest of the grim gang). Sadly, I waited an abnormally long time to see it. I typically see major genre films on opening night. I finally caught Shazam tonite. And I had a GREAT TIME.

Sure, the Shazam villain sucked

I’ll start with what wasn’t so great, since it’s only one lame thing: the bad guy. He wasn’t that interesting, and his seven deadly sins were just poorly-written/depicted fools.

But that didn’t matter

You know what? Most of the time, not even the nearly-perfect formula of the Marvel Cinematic Universe gets the villains right, especially in origin films. I’m kind of used to that.

So, in Shazam I could just get up and pee during the bad-guy scenes, and be burblingly present for what I really came for — the immense fun of young Billy Batson and his handicappable friend Freddy, figuring out how to be a superhero with little to no instruction. And their test recordings. And in finding a lair. A LAIR. (Preferably behind a waterfall, with seven bedrooms….hehehe. Where do I get one? There should be realtors doing this as a specialty.)

I loved that Shazam actually takes place in the DCEU, a world where these champions exist, and Freddy spends his entire young life making a study of them. It all ties in. He’s a great ‘chair guy’, so to speak, and a crucial component of Billy’s story. Freddy’s foreground/background nods to the Justice League are everywhere if you pay attention, and that somehow makes the darkness of those other DC flicks less despondent.

What did I want out of Shazam?

Just this: a fun DC movie that would make me happy, take me away from real-life worries for a few hours, and hopefully infuse a sense of joy into a franchise I gave up on long ago. And I got what I needed — an origin story that may not be as clever and heartfelt as MCU’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, but offered a new young hero who needed to learn heroing. You know: Billy Batson could take a bus to Queens and hang out with Peter Parker over some nice New York shwarma. I think those two young heroes would have a lot to commiserate on.

I wrote elsewhere what the anagram SHAZAM stands for, so I won’t repeat it here. And while I’m not sure the big red guy (um, not Santa, although he does make a great “cameo” in this Christmasy movie) really showed off the Wisdom and Stamina gifts, that’s okay. THE KID IS 14. Give him some time to work it out. Billy even came up with a decent catchphrase by the end.

Also, I noted a lot of nods to popular culture, including a great reference to Tom Hank’s classic Big. Remember the giant piano key scene? (I let out a loud whoop at that point, but the rest of the packed theater didn’t. Am I the only one old enough to have caught that reference? Whatever. DC did good.)

Here’s what I really want to say about Shazam:

I smiled the entire time. I  giggled; I clapped, I cheered. In essence, I had a great time at the movies. And that’s all I really want when I spend my time and money to watch some bit of magical make-believe: make me happier than when I walked in. Send me home like a kid on Christmas morning.

I’m not saying Shazam is as clever or thoughtful as a typical Marvel movie, but I do tend to grade the MCU on a curve. For DC to make me feel this good, I have to bump Shazam into the A range. I liked the characters, the foster family, the resolution (I don’t care if the plot didn’t make much sense rationally — I’m very forgiving with fantasy films); I liked Zackary Levi’s inspired goofy portrayal, and I absolutely freaked with joy at the last second cameo.

You know what? Here’s the thing: do you like gritty DC? Then maybe Shazam isn’t your cuppa. Personally, I can’t wait for a little more silly fun to jump start the Justice League Crew.

Movie Grade: A-

PS: Shazam was a Saturday morning TV kid’s show in the 70s. I enjoyed it then, but this remake is much more cool. The original show, along with their sister show Isis, played it straight. This Shazam is much, much, better. I think if I watched any of the old Shazam TV episodes, I’d be appalled. Times change, and not everything “nostalgic” ages well.

Is Shazam Part of the DC Universe or a Stand-Alone Film? How Shazam Could Fix the DCEU

Do you know what SHAZAM! Stands For?

Movie Review – Shazam! – Great for Tweens, Less So for Adults

Movie Review – Spider-Man Homecoming

Do you know what SHAZAM! Stands For?

shazam zackary levi
Instant Shazam! Just press the big glowing button.

Shazam is not actually a name.  It’s not an expletive either, although shouting SHAZAM! sounds like one. Shazam is shorthand for various mythical gods and demi-gods who lend their immense powerful attributes to a chosen DC Champion.

Do you know offhand who these mythological Shazam characters reference? Maybe you can guess. Or you might squeak out an-almost forgotten memory that old 1970s Shazam children’s’ television show. (|Come on; show your age…)

Here’s the breakdown of those gods and what they have to offer the Shazam “chosen one” –

S – The wisdom of Solomon
 
H – The strength of Hercules
 
A – The stamina of Atlas 
 
Z – The power of Zeus 
 
A – The courage of Achilles
 
M – The speed of Mercury (Includes flight..)
—–

Good or bad as Shazam the movie was (opinions vary wildly), who couldn’t use these things? Give me Wisdom and Stamina right now. What would you want most? Tell us in RunPee’s comments below. We won’t judge. Flight would be pretty sweet, right??

A Happy Shazam Review – A delightful time in the DC universe (for once)

Is Shazam Part of the DC Universe or a Stand-Alone Film? How Shazam Could Fix the DCEU

Movie Review – Shazam! – Great for Tweens, Less So for Adults

 

Movie Review – Shazam! – Great for Tweens, Less So for Adults

Movie Review - Shazam!I’ll start by setting the context: I love action/superhero movies, but never read any comics. So, I’m basing this review strictly on how I see the movie, not how it compares to any other body of work.

The Good:

While I definitely didn’t like the movie, I’m sure young boys under 12 years old or so will eat it up.

  • There were plenty of good laughs throughout the movie.
  • I would have given the movie a D+ if it hadn’t been for a LOT of improvement during the last 15 minutes of the film.
  • The villain was done well enough. At least his motivations, and reasons why he had those motivations, were clear enough.
  • There was a nice homage to the movie Big, with Tom Hanks. Did you catch that? 🙂

The Bad:

I didn’t like the movie on a number of levels. The pacing was poor. There was way too much time spent on scenes that just didn’t do anything for the plot or characters.

  • While the young actor who played Billy Batson (Asher Angel) did a fine job, I didn’t think he had the right look. Namely, he doesn’t look anything like a young Zachary Levi, who plays Shazam. One way or another, they should have cast two actors who could realistically look like the same person at different ages.
  • I get it that Shazam’s suit is supposed to be ridiculous, but the cape was so bad as to be distracting, and the muscle suit Zachary Levi wears looks like a high end Halloween suit — not realistic at all.
  • Then there’s the cartoonish action: like holding a bus up by the windshield.
  • Lastly, there’s a 1990s TV show quality to the production. I’m not talking about the CGI, which was adequate, but the filming and pacing. It just felt like a TV episode. Not a cinematic experience.

In short, it’s just another adequate DC production that labors to impress, then falls short.

Grade: C

About The Peetimes: Vera and I independently agreed on all 3 Peetimes, so we’re confident these are as good as they can be. The 1st Peetime is only for Emergencies, because there’s an important scene shortly after it ends. The 2nd Peetime is Recommended. You won’t miss any good humor or action. The 3rd Peetime is okay, but has a lot of hero/villain conversation.

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

Rated (PG-13) for intense sequences of action, language, and suggestive material
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Superhero, Tweens

Is Shazam Part of the DC Universe or a Stand-Alone Film? How Shazam Could Fix the DCEU

A Happy Shazam Review – A delightful time in the DC universe (for once)

Do you know what SHAZAM! Stands For?

Is Shazam Part of the DC Universe or a Stand-Alone Film? How Shazam Could Fix the DCEU

Shazam movie poster
It’s like Big. But with Superpowers.

Rest assured, there is an actual answer here. According to every reliable internet source, Shazam is indeed set within the larger universe of the DC superheroes, at least from the ‘official DCEU starting point’ with Man of Steel, in 2013. Just so we’re all clear, DCEU stands for the DC Extended Universe. All good? Great — let’s get into it.

It seems strange that a genuinely goofy superhero film (trailer tag line: “He’s not so serious“) would fit seamlessly within the endless grim-darkiness of the rest of the DCEU supers. Batman? Broody. Superman? Angsty. Aquaman? I don’t know what happened to the joviality he displayed in The Justice League, but his solo outing left me cold. The Justice League itself did have a few moments where I grinned, but I don’t recall any honest laughs.

Suicide Squad was billed as the “Guardians of the Galaxy of DC”, but ended up a hopelessly off-putting mess — lacking in actual, you know, levity. (James Gunn will be directing a soft-reboot of Suicide Squad, and we can hope he will bring to Suicide Squad what he did with Guardians of the Galaxy. Full stop. #InGunnWeTrust)

And then there’s Wonder Woman, which is not a  particularly comedic film, but is the best feature in the DCEU stable. It’s grand. It’s glorious. But still rather serious, in comparison with the 22+ home run hits from The Marvel Cinematic Universe (the MCU: a term you should know by now, after ten deeply interwoven years).

Would Shazam fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

This leads us to the MCU. Marvel has the movie formula down — great characters, sparkling dialogue, emotional stakes, lots of sacrifice and acts of compassion, gorgeous visuals, and yes, a TON of humor.

Would Shazam, as a character, fit into the MCU? Yes. Yes indeedy. Right next to Antman and Spider-Man, which are on the lightest, fluffiest end of Marvel’s franchise (“Wait — we have an Antman and a Spider-Man?”). Shazam could be Peter Parker’s friend, even.

But the two universes can never, ever meet. That would be like matter and antimatter colliding.

Can a purely funny film like Shazam work in the DCEU?

Back to Shazam. Batman News says to  look closely at the ‘boy’ characters — Billy Batson’s young friend Freddy Freeman is a huge DC superhero fan, wearing Aquaman logo shirts, collecting newspaper clippings of momentous hero events: generally displaying a savvy knowledge of the ‘real’ superheroes. He likes supers and knows a lot about them; he treats them as actual people in his world, not comic book fantasies.

Screenrant says the producers went to great lengths to only show background action figures the DCEU featured to date, holding back on characters they haven’t allotted movie time to yet. It’s a deliberate thing. It’s world-building.

ING.com reports: “So while Superman was battling Zod and then Batman and then Doomsday and then death and then Steppenwolf, Billy Batson was being tossed around the foster care system.”

We’re supposed to understand these boys live on a planet where Superman and Batman fought a mano-a-mano battle royale, where Gotham City is a crazed warren of evil-doers, and Wonder Woman is out there inspiring legions of little girls. I know I’ll be paying attention to everything in the background during Shazam, and you should too. Tee-shirts, wall posters, thingies on shelves and desktops…and note the city graffiti, even (see: Stan Lee, in Deadpool 2, his most minimal cameo ever).

How are they going to ultimately integrate the silly antics of Shazam with the grim reality of Batman and Co? Well, that’s assuming they’ll meet. DC has a long way to go in rehabilitating their franchise in a non-depressing way, and personally, I don’t think they can do this. Not right now. But I won’t toss in the towel just yet.

How Shazam could save DC:

If Shazam brings in the box office bucks, then clearly the producers will be thrilled to finally have a joyful origin story on the table. Besides creating Shazam sequels (which will surely lose their luster as Billy becomes a grown man on his own), they might decide to lighten up overall. This is to the good. They’ve tried to set themselves apart from the MCU over the years, but at the cost of pleasing many fans.

Not that they should be a cookie-cutter of the MCU. I hope they find their own path, because to me, the more adventure blockbusters the better…but I’d like to leave a DC movie feeling on top of the world, instead of vaguely disturbed.

If they can pick up some of the wonder of Wonder Woman, and add the (hopeful) hilarity of Shazam, they’ll have a franchise people will go nuts for. Just as a comparison, again, with the MCU, it’s only April 2nd and the tickets for April 24th’s Avengers: Endgame just became available. It’s the only thing trending on Twitter today and fans are losing their minds to secure opening night seats. Don’t you think DC would like a little of that boisterous clamor for their films?

I’m not giving up hope just yet. Shazam has me filled with it. It might be goofy as hell, but this world could stand to loosen up a little. Between the darkness of Batman and the silliness of Shazam, DC might find their way.

Enjoy the SHAZAM! trailer right here:

Shazam is 2 hours and 12 minutes long, and there are reportedly two extra scenes during the credits, so keep your RunPee app handy to tell you when to take the best breaks for the loo. 

Movie Review – Man of Steel

Movie review: Batman vs. Superman

Guardians of the Galaxy Ex-Director James Gunn to Direct Suicide Squad 2

 

Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Everything’s Not Awesome

Elizabeth-Banks-as-Lucy
Lucy, being moodily awesome.

I was surprised how pleasantly musical the second official Lego movie was, with at least three, and perhaps four, really cheerily/moodily stand-out hits. The original Lego Movie only had the one notable Everything is Awesome tune. It was such an earworm that WB execs clearly decided to build on that base for the continuing adventures of Emmet and Gang.

The sweetest, least potentially irritating Lego song is this new version of the original Awesome pop hit. (Unlike, say, Catchy Song…)

Here’s a video to the Lego sequel’s soulful reprise of Everything is Awesome, both stirringly bleak and sneakily hopeful.  (So far I only can find an audio version, as the movie JUST came out. I’ll add a movie clip when it’s available):


Lyrics to Everything’s Not Awesome

 

[Chorus] Everything’s not awesome
Everything’s not cool
I am so depressed
Everything’s not awesome

[Verse] Whoa, I think I finally get Radiohead
Bro, you should check out Elliot Smith
What’s the point? There’s no hope
Awesomeness was a pipedream
Aye, my spirits be at the bottom of the sea
Love’s not real, I just wanna eat carbs, pass the ice cream
I am not a thing you can just use to fill emotional voids with
Stop, everyone, okay, just listen

[Chorus] Everything’s not awesome
But that doesn’t mean that it’s hopeless and bleak
Everything’s not awesome
But in my heart, I believe (I believe)

[Bridge] We can make things better if we stick together (If we stick together)
Side by side, you and I, we will build it together (Yeah, we’ll be together)
Build it together (Together forever)
All together now

[Refrain] This song’s gonna get stuck inside your
This song’s gonna get stuck inside your
This song’s gonna get stuck inside your
This song’s gonna get stuck inside your
Heart

[Chorus] Everything’s not awesome
Things can’t be awesome all of the time
It’s an unrealistic expectation
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try
To make everything awesome
In a less idealistic kind of way.
We should maybe aim for not bad
cuz not bad right now would be real great

[Bridge] Everything is better when we stick together (We stick together)
Side by side, you and I, we will sing it together (Always together)
Party forever (Together)

[Refrain] This song’s gonna get stuck inside your
This song’s gonna get stuck inside your
Heart…

(Written by James Rushent, Shawn Patterson, and Jon Lajoie. 2019. 
WaterTower Music: sang by Richard Ayoade, Chris Pratt, and Elizabeth Banks. Interpolates Catchy Song by Dillon Francis — Ft. That Girl Lay Lay & T-Pain)


The Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Catchy Song (This is song is gonna get stuck inside your head)

The Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Not Evil (by Tiffany Haddish)

The Lego Movie 2 – Super Cool Song by Beck (video and lyrics from the end credit scene)

 

The Lego Movie 2 – Super Cool Song by Beck (video and lyrics from the end credit scene)

Stephanie-Beatriz-as-Mayhem
General Mayhem, living up to her name.

One of the fun surprises about The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is how it became a full-blown musical ensemble, unlike in the three previous Lego films, which had only the one notable song (Everything is Awesome). In Lego 2, there was a moody reprise of Everything is (Not) Awesome, a show stopper bringing down the house from DUPLO Queen Whatvra Wa’Nabi (Tiffany Hadish, having a great year), the insanely irresistible “Catchy Song” — the plus this final credit sequence song Super Cool by Beck, featuring Robyn and the Lonely Island. I found myself bopping along to the beat during the end credits. I see a lot of movies for RunPee each year, and few films inspire a whole ‘seat-dancing’ routine on my end, like this did.

META NOTE: The Super Cool lyrics are innovative on a whole other level –> they’re actually about how amazing it is to be the end credits song itself. They say it’s the best spot to be a song in any movie: “I roll into the theater about 90 minutes late, skip the whole dang movie, ’cause the credits are great. Now if you’re gonna be featured on a movie song, the credits is the part that you wanna be on.” I’ve before never seen or heard any film song break the 4th wall in a self-aware way. Have you?

This is a good little tune. (The actual end credits scene is not available yet on YouTube, but this will get you hyped to dance around to the beat. If you find a better video, please tell me in the comments.)


 Lyrics to Super Cool in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

(Song by Beck)

Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!
Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!

We gotta bring both sides together
Like champagne and leather
Like birds are with feather, we’ll fly
Like rain on a sunny day
Like a million dollars that you’re givin’ away
Like a stray dog on the freeway, we’ll fly

‘Cause we’re all like a team
Livin’ inside a dream

You and me doin’ our thing
And we’ll fly, woo-hoo

Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!
Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!

It’s the credits, yeah that’s the best part
When the movie ends and the reading starts
You can keep your adventure and all that action
‘Cause the credits of the film are the main attraction
And don’t even think about try’na leave
Or you might miss a name like Pam and Steve
Both incredible names, so let’s stay in our seats
And read incredible lists of their incredible feats

‘Cause we’re all like a team
Livin’ inside a dream
You and me doin’ our thing
And we’ll fly, woo-hoo

Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!
Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!

And we’re back, and still lovin’ the credits
Can’t wait to see the one about the person who edits
And even better than that is who edits the credits
I bet I’ll never forget ’cause once I read it then I’m ready
I roll into the theater about 90 minutes late
Skip the whole dang movie, ’cause the credits are great
Now if you’re gonna be featured on a movie song
The credits is the part that you wanna be on

Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!
Unbelievable, super cool, outrageous and amazing
Phenomenal, fantastic, so incredible, woo-hoo!

Everything is super cool right now
Everything is awesome here right now
Everything is super cool right now
Everything is awesome here right now

Everything is super cool right now
Everything is awesome here right now
Everything is super cool right now
Everything is awesome here right now…

(Beck, featuring Robyn and the Lonely Action.  2109.)

The Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Catchy Song (This is song is gonna get stuck inside your head)

The Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Not Evil (by Tiffany Haddish)

Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Everything’s Not Awesome

Everything is Awesome – Video and Lyrics to The Lego Movie Theme Song

The Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Not Evil (by Tiffany Haddish)

Tiffany-Haddish-as-Queen-Whaterva
The most evil Duplo queen in all of Brickdom?

In a Lego Movie sequel full of big musical earworm hits, Tiffany Haddish managed to pull the house down with her showstopper Not Evil, as Queen Whatevra Wa’nabi explains that while she’s a completely totalitarian Duplo Queen, she’s honestly just sweet and loving, and completely misunderstood.

(Also, her name makes meta sense if you say it enough times. BTW, the “Systar System” reference took me a while to get as well.)

Here’s the early video for Not Evil ( I expect the scene itself will be available soon), followed by the Lyrics, below:


Not Evil

(Sung by Tiffany Haddish and Lego Cast, 2019)

[Intro: Elizabeth Banks & Will Arnett]
Oh no, are we in a musical?
Uh, hope not…

[Verse 1: Tiffany Haddish]
Hello, friends, my name is Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi
Don’t worry, I’m totally not one of those evil queens
You’ve read about in fairy tales or seen in the movies
And there’s no reason at all to be suspicious of me

[Refrain: Tiffany Haddish, Elizabeth Banks, & Choir]
Not evil, not evil, no, the least evil person I know
Hmm-mm
Not evil, not evil, no, the least evil person I know
…I don’t know. It’s very suspicious that you’re leading with this.

[Verse 2: Tiffany Haddish]
I’m so not a villain, I have zero evil plans
No ulterior motive, just want to help where I can
I wanna shower you with gifts ’cause I’m selfless and sweet,
So there’s no reason at all to be suspicious of
Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi
The least evil queen in history
And if you do not believe me
I totally won’t imprison your family
‘Cause that’d be evil, and that’s so not me

[Refrain: Tiffany Haddish, Elizabeth Banks, & Choir]
Not evil, not evil, no, the least evil person I know
…Really? ‘Cause I’m getting super evil vibes here.
Not evil, not evil, no, the least evil person I know

[Verse 3: Tiffany Haddish & Charlie Day]
Benny, do you like spaceships? ‘Cause I think they are great
How’d you know that? Loving spaceships is my one defining trait!
Well now, my good friend, you can build the spaceship of your dreams
On your very own planet with your own spaceship-building team

[Interlude: Elizabeth Banks, Charlie Day, & Nick Offerman]
Come on, do not fall for this!
Wyldstyle!
Haven’t you heard? There’s no reason at all to be suspicious of her!

[Refrain: Elizabeth Banks, Nick Offerman, & Choir]
Not evil, not evil, no, the least evil person I know
Yeah, I know she keeps saying that, but she’s clearly an evil queen
Not evil, not evil, no, the least evil person I know
Yar, well, I’m not buyin’ it

[Verse 4: Tiffany Haddish, Elizabeth Banks, & Nick Offerman]
MetalBeard, a pirate without a ship, that’s so cruel
It’s like a spider without a web, or a queen without a fool.
Even her metaphors are suspicious…
I’ve got a surprise for you —
A planet that’s really a pirate ship, and the population: your crew!
Her story checks out, she’s cool, not evil.

[Verse 5: Tiffany Haddish, Allison Brie, Will Arnett, & Elizabeth Banks]
What about me?
Unikitty, what’s the most glitter you can imagine?
A lot!
Times that by infinity —
Woohoo!

And, Batman,
Don’t even try it, lady, I don’t need anything —
Oh, I know, that’s why I’m going to give you half of everything!
Uh, like everything everything?
Everything everything.
She’s rad. This chick gets me.
Here’s some other adjectives people use to describe me:
Unduplicitous, unmalicious, unconniving, unnasty…
— You’re clearly just adding ‘un’ to words that describe you!
Who? Me?

[Chorus: Tiffany Haddish]
I’m Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi
I never trick people into trusting me
By hiding my true personalities
So I can use them to accomplish my evil deeds
‘Cause that’d be evil, and that’s so not me

[Bridge: Tiffany Haddish]
I never cheat, I never bribe, I never scheme, I never lie
And that wasn’t a lie when I said just now that I never lie
‘Cause I never lie, and I never laugh when children cry
And I never poison enemies of mine
And I never cry when I’m alone at night
‘Cause I’m not sad — I love my life!
I’m gettin’ off track; let me get back to the point I was makin’

[Chorus: Tiffany Haddish]
I’m Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi
The most least evil person you’ll ever meet
And if you make eye contact with me
I totally won’t have you executed immediately
‘Cause that’d be evil (Evil), evil (Evil), evil, and that’s so not…me…

More Lego Movie Song Hit Lyrics & Videos

The Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Catchy Song (This is song is gonna get stuck inside your head)

Everything is Awesome – Video and Lyrics to The Lego Movie Theme Song

Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Everything’s Not Awesome

The Lego Movie 2 – Super Cool Song by Beck (video and lyrics from the end credit scene)

 

Movie Review – The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

 

Movie Review - The Lego Movie 2: The Second PartWhat a charming, amusing, engaging, but ultimately fluffy bit of fun The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is. It’s right up there with the enjoyment level of the original Lego film and The Lego Batman Movie, although perhaps a little less sensibly told, narratively, than either.

The story rambles all over the place, with most scenes serving as adorable kiddie sight gags and adulty-level Easter Eggs. Nothing really important happens. ([pullquote]Remember — DUPLOS are the big bad now, so you have to go with that level of absurdly subversive cuteness. Somehow it works. Let your cynicism go.[/pullquote])

I wish there had been more of the kind of Master Builder moments we saw originally — which is kind of what the Lego phenomenon (“Kragle” aside) is about. I think there was one split-second where Lucy has a callback to her Master Building skills, and it’s instantly glossed over. However, note that Master Wrecking is now a thing. The double decker couch does make a return appearance…so yay there. 🙂

[pullquote position=”right”]There’s ultimately a fantastic message in Lego 2, about how your point of view informs your reality. [/pullquote]It’s a timely enough truism for all ages, whether you are a President in charge of the world, or a young kid just wanting to be included.

What else? We don’t get enough Unikitty (NEED MOAR kitty!), MetalBeard, or Benny the Spaceman…although Lucy, Emmet, and Batman do quite well for themselves. Chris Pratt carries off a dual role with his usual big-hearted goofy aplomb. (Most of the runtime showcases Pratt’s two characters talking to each other. It works, but takes away from the initial engaging ensemble appeal.)

There’s also a TON of fantastic minor voice cameos, illustrating how excited many celebrities were to have even a tiny bit to contribute to the Lego spotlight.

Also, if you like science fiction — and especially time travel movies — there’s a little nod to everything notable in that realm of film iconography. [pullquote]Pay close attention, and listen to every throw-away line.[/pullquote] (Example: even Hot Tub Time Machine has a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shoutout, and that’s digging deep into adorkable movie randomness.)

You can tell Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, and Elizabeth Banks — with the welcome addition of Tiffany Haddish — had a GREAT time filming their sequel. They clearly went all in. According to Chris Prat’s latest tweets, he’s thrilled with Lego 2. While Pratt seems legit thrilled with everything in life (he kind of IS Emmet), this is a worthwhile movie event for everyone.

I have no complaints (besides a couple of minor nits to pick, already mentioned), and had an “Awesome” time at the movies.

I even went to the Lego store next-door to my AMC theater immediately afterward, and picked up a mini-figure of Emmet, because I now kind of love him. (And then lost an hour wandering around and fantasizing about assembling Lego Deathstars, Hogwarts Castles, Millennium Falcons, and Jurassic Park set-pieces, but apparently that’s a hobby for the rich. Yikes. It makes me understand the whole “Kragel” business — if I spend that kind of money and time on something, nobody better not mess with it.)

[pullquote position=”right”]Well recommended, and see the 3D version if you can. Great for adults and children alike, although you’ll be a bit lost if you haven’t seen The Lego Movie 1 (“the first part”).[/pullquote]

PS: You don’t need to see Lego Batman to understand Lego 2 (Batman’s solo films is passed off with a toss-away line). And you can ignore The Lego Ninjago Movie entirely. Trust.

PPS: This song is gonna get stuck  inside your head. 

Grade: A-

About The Peetimes: I have 3 decent Peetimes up now and am trying to see if I can squeeze out a better one somewhere. This movie is FULL of Easter Eggs and humor, and it was nearly impossible to find a span of 3 minutes that we’d consider a great Peetime. I had to see this film twice last night. I’m going over my notes to see if I can tweak these to make them better. So far, the 1st Peetime is the best.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

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

DVD at Amazon.com

Blue Ray at Amazon.com

Are the Four Lego Movies Sequels, Prequels, or Stand-Alone Films?

The Cast of Voices for The Lego Movie 2 – The Second Part

The Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Catchy Song (This is song is gonna get stuck inside your head)

Chris Pratt and the Lego Cast go to Space Camp

Lego Movie 2 Holiday Short – Christmas is Awesome

Movie Review – The LEGO Batman Movie – One of the BEST Batman films, ever

Everything is Awesome – Video and Lyrics to The Lego Movie Theme Song

Movie Review – The LEGO Movie

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 or watch the Oscars live on TV Sunday, Feb 24th. 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 – Queen Will Rock You

Movie Review – Black Panther – One Incredible Party

Movie Review – A Star Is Born

Movie Review – BlacKkKlansman