Shows up on the homepage under the “Movie Reviews”

Movie review: Hit and Run

Grade: B+

The movie is fun and hilarious and even sweet at times. It won’t win an Oscar but it won me over and that’s all I wanted.

I am thoroughly impressed with Dax Shepard. I had no idea that he not only stared in the movie but also wrote it and directed it. I have loved him since seeing “Without a Paddle”. This just cemented my opinion of him.

Dax and Bradley played off each other splendidly. During a few of their scenes together I forgot that I was watching a movie. The good movies do that which is good for the viewer. Not so good for me trying to remember to find peetimes.

The chase scenes were fun and creative. If you want a great date movie then go see it. There is a little something for him and a little something for her too.

Movie review: ParaNorman

Grade: B-

As usual, I rate an animated movie in accordance to the amount of laughter coming from the audience. There was lots of laughter from the children and a smattering from the adults.

The movie was exactly as advertised: a kid who talks to dead people. Everyone thinks he weird except for his parents who worry that they’ll be run out of town. The story was cute if not a little sad at the end so I’ll give it a B-.

Kids will be entertained, parents will nod off a little.

Movie review: The Expendables 2

Grade: D+

I really enjoyed the first *Expendables*. It wasn’t a great movie by any means but for an action movie fan it was fun. But it was fun in a serious way. There was good character development in the first *Expendables* and something the resembled a plot.

*Expendables 2*? Not so much. It’s campy from beginning to end. The story is non existent. Every scene was meant to set up another one liner or excuse for another fight. That would have been okay but I didn’t think the action was really all that impressive. Jason Statham had some good stuff. The rest was ho-hum.  At some point in an action movie you have to wonder if a character is going to make it or not. Otherwise it’s like watching a sporting event on your DVR when you already know the final score.

All of the funny scenes revolved around the actors making reference to lines they had in previous movies. While that’s fun that’s all they had to work with.

My advice would be to wait for the DVD. The few good one liners might be worth rewinding for. And you might need to rewind many of  Stallone’s scenes because he’s hardly intelligible unless he’s talking slow and facing the camera.

And FYI, the back story they gave to Gunner – Dolph Lundgren – is actually the actors real back story. Every bit of it. He really did get a Masters in Chemical Engineering.

Movie review: The Odd Life of Timothy Green

Grade: B+

I’ve read a few reviews about this movie calling it too sentimental too saccharine and not realistic at all.
Well…that’s why I saw this movie rather than The Expendables.

I didn’t want to see  things get blown up in my face. I have no hankering for blood baths. I *wanted*  to see humankind at it’s finest. Just one little movie about kindness, honesty and love. And I found it in Timothy Green.

C J Adams was perfect for the role. He has that appeal and innocence we saw in Haley Joel Osment’s performance in A.I. ( Artifical Intelligence ).

So for you folks who want more realism in your life, drive down the 405 in L.A. or try having a Sunday picnic in Watts.

Movie review: Hope Springs

Grade: A

A charming predictable movie with great dialog and plenty of humor.

Meryl and Tommy Lee were great together and believable as a middle aged couple who has lost their spark.

In my theater the audience was comprised mainly of senior citizens. ( Hey, I’m in Florida and it was early afternoon.) There were lots of chuckles and nodding of the head in agreement with what was taking place on screen. However, by no means is this a movie just for senior citizen. Married couples of all age will enjoy and relate to it.

Movie review: Dredd 3D

Grade: B+

Finally, a movie exceeded my expectations. Dredd was much better than anticipated. Actually, it was better than that because I expected it to suck. It was genuinely enjoyable.

Carl Urban is a great Dredd. I like the vision they had for the character. Nothing at all like the Stallone version.

The biggest surprise in the movie is Anderson, played by Olivia Thirlby. In the previews I thought her character would be stupid but they actually did a great job of creating a “weak link character”. There’s some twists here that you wouldn’t expect and aren’t hinted at in the previews.

Nothing should surprise you about the action. You’ve seen all of the super-slow-mo effects already.

The plot is solid and creates a believable situation for the characters. I didn’t notice any holes or inconsistencies. At every point the decisions each character makes seems believable.

I’m tempted to give this move a B+ based on how much better it was than the other late summer and early fall movies. But I think it deserves a solid B, at least.

RunPee year in review 2011

RunPee movies 2011

2011 was a big year for RunPee. I’ll give you a quick synopsis of RunPee history for those of you who aren’t current. I developed the site back in Summer 2008. The site was left for dead until it got some media attention during Spring 2009. At that point I partnered with RockSoftware to build an iPhone app. They built and maintained the app while me and my family continued to see all the movies to get peetimes.

This past Spring my agreement with RockSoftware ended and control of all of the apps reverted to me. I rebuilt the app from scratch and launched the Android version on June 27th and iPhone version on July 20th.

Since then the Android app has over 29,000  installs and the iPhone app over 45,000.

FYI, if you’re still using the old iPhone app you should install the new one – free. The old app is going away pretty soon.

Top 10 movies

If you’re curious here’s a list of the top 10 movies visited on the RunPee apps – both Android and iOS.

  1. Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows-2
  2. Twilight: Breaking Dawn-Part 1
  3. Captain America: The First Avenger
  4. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  5. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
  6. The Help
  7. The Muppets
  8. Mission Impossible-Ghost Protocol
  9. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  10. Cowboys & Aliens

I think the two big movie surprises this year had to be Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Help. They did well here on RunPee finishing at #4 and #6 and according to box office numbers they finished the year at #9 and #11 respectively.

Lots of movies to see

Obviously it was a busy year for me and the family seeing movies. Everyone should give RunPee Sis a big thanks. She saw 51 movies this year. I chipped in with 41 movies, RunPee Mom saw 23.

The good news for those who like to see movies on opening day. RunPee Mom and I will be moving from the West Coast to the East Coast – Florida – in a few months so we’ll all be able to see movies earlier on opening day.

With the next update to the mobile app I’m going to ad a little feature that might help those of you who like to see movies on opening day: the ability for me to leave a custom message for each movie letting people know what time we plan to have the peetimes available.

Plus I’m working on adding a movie trivia game to the app so you’ll have something to do while waiting for your movie to start.

Next year should be bigger and better for RunPee. Right now the app really doesn’t make a dime so my goal for next year is to find a way to make enough money to at least pay for the movie tickets I purchase – without charging for the app.

So keep spreading the good word about RunPee. Remember, a bladder is a terrible thing to hold. 🙂

Movie review : Zookeeper

There’s nothing funnier than talking animals. I see that Zookeeper is being panned to death but they’re wrong, very very wrong……Talking animals AND Kevin James made for a hysterical movie. The kids in the theater were having a great time watching it and the parents, despite their efforts not laugh, had to give a big chuckle to the monkey. The plot was transparent, but who cares, great acting and dialog was worth the price of admission.

Movie review : Super 8

[ No Spoilers ]

I’m going to start off with what’s wrong with this movie . . .

I’m thinking . . .

Just a second. I’m sure I can come up with something . . .

Nope, I’m stumped. Can’t think of a single thing that’s wrong with this movie. It’s great from beginning to end. J.J. Abrams is should get loads of kudos his writing and directing for this. Not since Stephen Spielberg did E.T. has a director gotten so much out of a cast of kids. All of these kids go through a wide range of emotions and never miss a beat. I really have to think that just about anyone can be a solid actor if they have great direction.

There’s not much to say about the story without hinting at some spoilers. Safe to say that it’s a good story and mystery that slowly unravels. So really try and avoid letting anyone give anything away.

The editing is amazingly tight. Finding peetimes for this movie was a real challenge. I had to pick two near the end that basically make the best of a bad situation. There’s just not a lot of downtime in this movie. There’s hardly a 3 minute span that goes by that doesn’t have an important character moment or something that advances the story.

This isn’t just science fiction movie making at its best. It’s pure movie making brilliance.

Note to Mr Abrams: You’ve earned a break after this movie. Enjoy a 2 week vacation and then get your ass busy working on the next Star Trek movie.

Movie review : X-Men First Class

[ No spoilers ]

Going into the theater this morning I had high expectations for X-Men First Class. It has an 88% at RottenTomatoes.com which is very high for a movie of this genre. But after seeing the movie I’m surprised that it’s not much, much, higher. In a word it was awesome. In two words it was f#*&ing awesome. Longtime fans and newcomers to the series will both love this movie.

One thing I was expecting was that the pacing would be a bit slow, especially in the beginning, since this movie has to introduce every single character from scratch. But that wasn’t the case. The character building is intermixed with action and humor throughout the movie instead of the typical examples where they do an hour and a half of character/plot introduction and then finish with 30 minutes of action. In fact the character building runs right up until the very end. Brilliantly done.

I’m not going to go into any details because I don’t want to give anything away but the story is very well done. The basic plot is quite simple to follow. They didn’t do anything stupid by making it unnecessarily complex. And in truth the real story is the character development. Not the historical events themselves.

Best of all the acting in the movie is superb. It’s hard to say which actor did the better job: James McAvoy as Charles Xavier or Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr. And not that they were the only ones who shined. There wasn’t a weak link in the cast.

Finally, if you have never seen another X-Men movie then you won’t be missing anything in this story aside from a few inside jokes.

And oh by the way, best cameo appearance ever. 🙂