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

We are still Groot.

In a surprise move that, in hindsight, should not be so surprising, DC snapped up erstwhile Marvel director James Gunn.

The director who helmed the beloved Guardians of the Galaxy films was fired last July from GOTG Vol3 for offensive Twitter jokes posted over a decade ago, stirring up ire and confusion from legions of fans. The entire GOTG cast got involved, tweeting support for Gunn and asking Disney to reconsider their stance. One actor, Dave Bautista (Drax), stated he would quit the MCU if Marvel didn’t use Gunn’s script for Vol3.

It’s been an emotional road for fans since then. I was at the San Diego Comic Con the day Gunn was slated to speak, and it hit the entire convention like a blow. He didn’t appear at all, which made a lot of sense: this knee-jerk move most probably broke his heart. GOTG was his baby, and he made Marvel a lot of money. Gunn took a little-known cosmic corner of the Marvel Comics universe, one with a walking tree and a talking raccoon, and made a joyously exuberant space epic that even non-geeks adore.  He’s so intimately connected to his characters that he was brought in for Avengers: Infinity War to write all the Guardians’ lines, keeping the tone tied to the GOTG flicks.

Word is that Marvel, now owned by Disney, will still use Gunn’s script for the conclusion to his trilogy, but this hasn’t been confirmed. The feature was slated in the MCU roster for 2020, but is now considered on haitus. In other words, no one knows anything. There might not even BE a third Guardians film, after all is said and done.

Which leads us to the DC Extended Universe. Suicide Squad was intended to be DC’s equivalent to the MCU’s Guardians movies, with rollicking tunes and irreverent characters who are “something good, something bad: a little bit of both.” Unfortunately, SS really wasn’t very good, and became another dead end in DC’s bid to catch up with the MCU.

Gunn coming on board will change things. With the Wonderwoman films course correcting the entire franchise, and the anticipation awaiting December’s Aquaman film, this could be just the kick in the pants DC needed to compete for the hearts of fans. They certainly made a smart call to add Gunn to their universe.  He’s expected to bring to Suicide Squad 2 what he lent to the Guardians films: a freshness, good tunes, witty dialog, and a rousing sense of adventurous fun.

Jill Florio

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

Where’s the American Flag in First Man?

Much ado has been made about the omission of the moment when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the American flag on the moon in the movie First Man. So what’s the deal?

Here’s what the director had to say about this decision:

“It surprised me because there are so many things that we weren’t able to focus on not only during the lunar EVA but in the entirety of Apollo 11. Just by the nature of the story we were telling, we just couldn’t go into every detail. So our through-line became, especially at this part of the movie where it’s the final emotional journey for Neil, what were the private, unknown moments of Neil on the moon? The flag was not a private, unknown moment for Neil. It’s a very famous moment and it wasn’t Neil alone. We included the famous descent down the ladder because that’s him alone, literally first feeling what it’s like to be on the moon. But other than that, we only wanted to focus on the unfamous stuff on the moon. So we don’t go into the phone call with Nixon, we don’t go into the scientific experiments, we don’t go into reentry.”

Regardless of how you feel about the exclusion of this scene, there are numerous people who (at least pretend) to care deeply about it. So much so, they told blatant lies that would be clear to anyone who’s even seen the movie trailer. It’s been said the American flag is deliberately never shown — this is false.

Here are three images (below) showing the American flag in a 2 1/2 minute First Man trailer. The movie is 2 hours and 21 minutes long, so they’re on pace to show the flag 169.2 times! (I’m sure it will be much less because, as they say: sample size matters.)

First Man Flag

First Man Flag

First Man Flag

First Man‘s Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle is known for stories of intense personal sacrifice in the struggle to achieve, like La La Land and Whiplash. The title First Man really sums up what this movie is about: an individual struggling against his fears, technology, physical limitations, and most of all, gravity.

Chazelle added:

“In First Man I show the American flag standing on the lunar surface, but the flag being physically planted into the surface is one of several moments of the Apollo 11 lunar EVA that I chose not to focus upon. To address the question of whether this was a political statement, the answer is, “No.” My goal with this movie was to share with audiences the unseen, unknown aspects of America’s mission to the moon. Particularly Neil Armstrong’s personal saga and what he may have been thinking and feeling during those famous few hours.”

Armstrong’s sons, Rick and Mark, wrote in a statement:

“This story is human and it is universal. Of course, it celebrates an America achievement. It also celebrates an achievement for all mankind, (emphasis added) as it says on the plaque Neil and Buzz left on the moon. It is a story about an ordinary man who makes profound sacrifices and suffers through intense loss in order to achieve the impossible,”

Conclusion
There are those who think that everyone who disagrees with their perspective on patriotism has some agenda, or is behind some conspiracy to corrupt, what they feel, is the only true expression of patriotism. But, sometimes these decisions are based on artistic expression, or as is more often the case, didn’t notice that there was anything patriotic there in the first place.

Read Next: Where’s the Flag? Opinion, by polyGeek

Movie Review – First Man

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Mark Ruffalo Spoils Avengers 4 Title – Or Does He?

My name is Mark Ruffalo, and I’m a Spoilaholic.

Mark Ruffalo, as Marvel’s Hulk, talks a lot — unlike the Hulk, actually. Ruffalo’s been known to accidentally drop many a spoiler on talk shows, followed by an “ooops” face, and usually an unsuccessful attempt to pass it off as a joke. It seems he just did it again, live with Jimmy Kimmel. Maybe.

Possible spoiler ahead…

Ruffalo clearly tells the entire audience the movie title for Avengers 4, which has been kept under heavy wraps since the title for Avengers Infinity War was released.  Director Kevin Feige previously announced the title itself was a spoiler, and that speaking it was verboten.

In the video, Ruffalo’s words are bleeped and blocked out, but fans pieced together what’s he’s saying anyway, and it seems to be “The Last Avenger”.  If true, it makes a nice bookend with Captain America: The First Avenger, especially with Chris Evans announcing he will be hanging up Cap’s mantle in Avengers 4.

This may or may not be the name of the movie, as the entertainment world is pretty aware of Ruffalo’s spoilerey reputation: the whole thing could just be a pre-planned joke on the audience, intended only for laughs.

Of course, Ruffalo isn’t the most loose-lipped member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He shares that special spot with young Tom Holland (Spiderman), in a little video moment I wrote about here.

Here’s the Ruffalo segment on Kimmel’s show. Do you think this is a legit spoiler, or a playful set-up? (Clearly the ending is meant as great fun…)

Jill Florio

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

More Powerful Than You Could Possibly Imagine

Remember in A New Hope when Obi Wan said to Vader, “Strike me down and I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine”? As it turned out, Obi Wan didn’t become all powerful. He didn’t do much more than become the Jedi Whisperer. (Let go, Luke. Trust your feelings.)

Now that Luke has faded to the Force (after the events at the end of The Last Jedi) it appears he might be the all-powerful one. Or maybe he was the all powerful one. It’s all conjecture at this point, but here’s what we know think we know.

The Express reported that leaks for the upcoming Episode IX (December 20, 2019) indicate that Luke has the power to force choke a Star Destroyer. The question is, does this happen in the past, and we see it as a flashback (The only thing JJ Abrams loves more than lens flare is flashbacks)? Or does it happen in the timeline of Episode IX now that Luke is truly with the Force?

What is it with the Star Wars universe and sand?

There is evidence that this is a flashback  based on the book Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Legends of Luke Skywalker, which is part of the official Star Wars canon. One of the stories takes place shortly after the end of Return of the Jedi on Jakku — Rey’s old stomping grounds. A crew member aboard a Star Destroyer recalls seeing a hologram of Luke reach out. Shortly afterward, the ship crashed into Jakku. It’s implied the abandoned Star Destroyer we saw in The Force Awakens, the one that Rey frequently scavenged, was brought down by Luke nearly three decades earlier.

What’s clear: Disney and Abrams need to unite the fractured fanbase that’s disappointed with how impotent Luke has been portrayed thus far. Right now we’re left sifting through the sands, like an archaeologist looking for clues from the bones of long dead animals, trying to figure out where the story is going, and where it came from.

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

MoviePass Auto Re-enrollment for Select Users

MoviePass has had a rough go of it lately. No surprise when your business model is too good to be true. However, their latest move is stirring up controversy among their users  — or former users in some cases —  who have been auto re-enrolled in a new program.

According to Business Insider, former MoviePass holders recently discovered they had been re-enrolled in the service, which is expected to roll out a new plan Wednesday. Now users can see any three movies (within their new draconian limits of what is “available”) for $9.95 per month.

 

MoviePass users have until Thursday, October 4th to opt-out of the plan they were re-enrolled in.

Bottom Line: if you’re using MoviePass, be sure to keep an eye on your account and make sure you’re getting what you expect. Some users who tried to cancel their account ended up being auto re-enrolled, and charged for it.

Opinion:
I don’t envy anyone working for MoviePass customer support this week. I’m sure those employees are going to have some sort of contest to see who gets the worst abuse from a disgruntled user. I can empathize with them, because I’ve had to deal with my own share of unhappy users after adding Peecoins to RunPee. All of that aside, what MoviePass is doing shouldn’t be legal, and it’s a travesty that the politicians (both Dems and Reps) are too gutless to pass any sort of legislation to keep companies from doing this sort of thing.

For the vast majority of users, I don’t think there’s anything worth getting worked up about. They’ll either say, Yeah, this new deal is worth it, and stick with the auto-enrollment, or they’ll spend a few minutes and go back into the MoviePass app and opt out, again. But a small percentage of users won’t notice. The emails may get filtered out; they won’t notice the charges on their banking account; whatever — and they’ll end up paying for a service they thought they had dropped, month after month. And if they don’t know that they’re enrolled, they won’t be using the benefits. This is where I think MoviePass is doing nothing short of stealing.

What do you think?

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Notes on Final Trailer for Fantastic Beasts — The Crimes of Grindelwald

Newt and Jacob: the continuing bromance…

The final trailer for Fantastic Beasts 2 – The Crimes of Grindelwald has dropped, and there are more clues and a bunch of spoilers you might wish to avoid. I’m including the trailer link and my commentary about it below, so click away now if you’re trailer-spoiler-averse.

The trailer is 2 minutes and 23 seconds, and everything flips by very quickly:

My thoughts, as the RunPee Wizarding World Expert: 

  • Looks like Jude Law as young Dumbledore has a substantial role, more than the extended cameo that was feared. He looks right for the part. I’m glad.
  • “A safe house in Paris.” Now we know why much of this outing will be in France, as was announced during filming last year.  LOL: “It’s good to have a  place to go, you know, for a cup of tea.”
  • The line, “For love,” is placed on a shot of Tina. This makes sense for what we know about where her role is heading in the backstory (as mentioned in J.K. Rowling’s “monster fieldguide” version of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them).
  • Nagini! WTF. I don’t like what I’m seeing. I get that they’re trying to tie the old series in with the new, but I’m not a fan of major retconning like this. Can’t an animal just be an animal sometimes? Especially in a movie about ‘beasts’.
  • Maybe, maybe Johnny Depp will pull the role off. I think I just have to get over the loss of the cute and “charming rogue” version of Grindelwald we fans were presented with in both the Harry Potter novels and the films. This re-characterization is darker than he should be, and I can’t for the life of me understand why Albus Dumbledore was ever in love with him. Unless they retcon Dumbledore as more of a jerk than we’d been led to believe. Anyway, why do I think Depp might pull this off? His voice-over seems pretty good and his momentary scenes have a certain gravitas I didn’t see from this actor before.
  • Some flying car action! Where have we seen this before? I miss the Weasleys. Nice callback, though. Appropriate car.
  • HOGWARTS! Yes, please, can I have some more?
  • WHY IS THIS TRAILER SO HARD TO SEE? When I say it’s dark, it’s not just the subject matter. The director seems to like filming in dim light conditions.
  • There’s a beast, hard to make out. Oh, no, it’s something else. Where are the pretty critters???
  • There’s the Obscurial. We knew that was coming.
  • Nicolas Flamel! Such a pleasure. Great callback to the first HP film with the Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone.
  • Hmm. Newt is a lot more grim, too. I hope there’s some humor in this film.
  • Jacob! There’s my man, and there’s the humor.
  • And a portkey, too! All the apparating got boring in FB1.
  • Some beasts at last. I hope we get more of that. And I want to go back in the suitcase where he keeps them.
  • Awww, Queenie is in pain. Hate that. Don’t you go hurting my girl.
  • Leta Lestrange gets the same line she had from the first trailer. I guess they considered that important enough to repeat.
  • Oh hey, Newt’s famous brother! He had a small mention in FB1, if you recall, something about being a war hero. I don’t know what wizarding war this refers to. I guess there’s always dark wizards to fight, in every generation. And there’s a cute bit of sibling rivalry to wrap up the preview.

So, that’s it! It’s not a second by second review, but close enough. I think there’s enough meat to chew here to keep us talking until the movie comes out, which will be on November 16th. I’m fortunate enough this time to catch a screening Nov 14th, so I’ll have Peetimes up early for everyone.

What do you think of the trailer?

Jill Florio

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

Star Trek 4 Movie News Updates

We’re actually not sure if Chris Pine is still boldly going. (Yes, this can be taken either way.)

As of this weekend, we now know a few new things about the uncertain status of the on-hiatus, as-yet-unnamed Star Trek 4 movie film. For people following the saga of the Kelvin Timeline Star Trek movies, both both Chrises walked out on the planned post-Star Trek Beyond film, due to breakdowns in salary negotiations with Paramount. Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth, to reprise James Kirk and George Kirk — James T’s father — respectively, were told their previously-agreed-to salaries would be dropped, after the disappointing box office returns of the 3rd aforementioned feature. The actors walked.

Here’s some Star Trek Movie News and Speculation, for your “continuing mission” pleasure: 

  • Chris Pine reported to Variety that he’s willing to reprise his character if salary talks reopen. (He’s also going to continue his role in the DC universe, so it’s not like he’s begging for work.)
  • At a Calgary Expo this weekend, Jennifer Morrison (James Kirk’s mother in the 2009 film), she interrupted panel moderator Garret Wang (Harry Kim from Star Trek: Voyager) to say George Kirk’s demise should be considered a “supposed death”. Hmmm. So maybe don’t count Hemsworth’s participation out just yet either. We assumed that Kirk Sr. would appear via flashback or time travel trickery, but in movie land, death is a relative thing.
  • Also, Morrison hopes to reprise her Momma Kirk role as well.
  • Karl Urban (playing Bones McCoy) reported to JoBlow that he’s confident ST 4 will occur.
  • Besides Urban, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto, John Cho, and Simon Pegg are expected to sign on as the rest of the Enterprise bridge crew, minus Anton Yelchin (after his unfortunate death).
  • JJ Abrams, continuing as a producer for the Trek movies, announced Yelchin’s Chekov role won’t be recast.
  •  Danai Gurira (best known for her roles in The Walking Dead and as the Captain of the Black Panther‘s Guard in the MCU), is being eyed to snag a role in ST4. (As reported by Deadline.)
  • Simon Pegg (Scotty) was the first to announce (with JoBlow) that a woman — S.J. Clarkson — will direct ST4. That’s a gender first in a Trek movie. (Variety has the full story.)
  • Interestingly, Zachari Quinto (Spock), back in April, cautioned that more Trek movies should not be considered guaranteed. It seems the Vulcan’s words might have been prophetic. Things seem to be both steaming ahead and at a stalemate.

Stay tuned, Trek fans. At least Trek will definitely be continuing on TV, with the second season moving forward on both of CBS:ALL ACCESS’s two shows: Star Trek: Discovery (for good or ill), and the highly anticipated, upcoming new Jean Luc Picard series next Fall, starring Sir Patrick Stewart.

More news on Patrick Stewart’s new Star Trek show, below:

Sir Patrick Stewart Back as the Beloved Jean-Luc Picard in New Star Trek

Star Trek Characters We Will Probably See Again

Jill Florio

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

1st Captain Marvel Trailer Finally Drops

Yup. Captain Marvel falls right into this. If you’re old enough, you’ll find that amusing.

We’ve just seen the first trailer for Captain Marvel, in the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic  Universe…and it honestly doesn’t show much.  It lasts a little less than two minutes. It shows Brie Larson’s character (Carol Danvers, AKA Captain Marvel) falling to the Earth, and then a variety of nano-scenes flash by. We see some super fast sequences, offering almost no solid clues for the story we’re so eager to see next March.

But, from my early thoughts, um…THIS is our hero, come to undo “The Snap’? Carol Danvers seems so…young, so inexperienced. Perhaps this is the point, in-universe, at this time. (The film is supposed to take place in the 90s, way before Nick Fury sends her that desperate pager call in Infinity War).

First trailers for the biggest blockbusters usually don’t provide much narrative, but I am sure I can pick this one apart enough for a quick post…so stop reading now if you are super sensitive to the mildest of spoilers.

THOUGHTS WHILE WATCHING THE CAPTAIN MARVEL TRAILER: “…She’s falling a long way. LOL, she hit a Blockbuster Video store. Nice in-joke (it’s a blockbuster movie), and also this is supposed to be the 90s, so that’s a good bit of iconic flashback.  And then there’s a mall scene…also very 80s-90s. I grew up in a mall myself. Nick Fury narrates: “Renegade soldier from above…space invasion”…Whut? Hey, Fury has two eyes! And I think that’s Phil  Coulson! Man, that went by too fast — I had to back it up three times to make sure who that was.  He hasn’t been in a Marvel film since The Avengers. Then there’s that ‘pager’ thing – Fury must have had it in his pocket for 30 years by the time Infinity Wars comes around…hmmm…it looks like a regular pager at this point, so I guess the super-tech follows later in the timeline. And, that’s kind of it. Besides Carol Danvers  decking an old woman. I’m sure that makes sense somehow.”

I asked RunPee Dan to take a look at the trailer, to see his thoughts. Dan: “It doesn’t answer much, but it looks good.” He also noticed that when Captain Marvel stands up from her fall into the Blockbuster Video store, there’s a good shot of her walking right past the “Action” section. Heh. Good catch, that!

Ultimately, I don’t expect this early trailer to provide the answers we’re seeking to resolve the  questions of Avengers: Infinity War. Probably only Avengers 4 — the as-yet-unnamed finale — will do that. (And it better!) This little preview gives us some hints, a teaser of possible directions. Notice the trailer doesn’t provide even one clue to Captain Marvel’s powers or skill set, except that she punches an old lady…so, yay?

Here’s the short trailer, for your viewing pleasure: 

 

Jill Florio

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

Free In Flight Movies – they rock, but are harder to find

See those screens? Where did they go? I want my MTV…

I used to love Delta Airlines, and willingly paid more for their expensive tickets.

Why? They had movies, over a hundred film options (some barely out of the cinemas, plus new popular TV show episodes), built into the backs of their comfy, relatively wide seats. For free. You brought or bought headphones, plugged them in, and blissed out for hours. I could catch up on lots of cool movies I didn’t get to see before, and arrive at my destination without stress. It was like having my own tiny, private movie theater, with flight attendants serving hot & cold running drinks. In coach!

So now, with airlines getting more and more stingy, why has Delta suddenly made my upcoming coast-to-coast CROSS COUNTRY red-eye flight a frustrating ordeal? I can’t even select my own seat anymore without a $30 fee (which means…the dreaded middle seat). But more importantly: I counted on having an in-flight personal movie selection for the long night flight. There’s no way pre-loaded entertainment on my phone or laptop will last long enough to fill the gap of midnight flight desperation.

Am I peeved? You bet. More than peeved. I could use stronger language here, since this is a long, late flight from RunPee HQ in San Diego to RunPee HQ in Orlando, and now I’ll be too tired to read, but not comfortable enough to sleep.  I want my movies.

Am I being picky over nothing? The touch-screen seat movies made flying almost acceptable again, in my mind. What’s your recent flight experience with free film screens? If you have tips on how to find these flights, add to the comments below.

How People Stay Germ-Free on Flights

Tips to Prevent Catching Swine Flu at the Movies

 

Jill Florio

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

Halloween 2nd Trailer Released, Curtis to Whip Some Psycho Butt!

“Michaelllllllllll. Michaelllll….I’m coming for you!”

Halloween is coming — in more ways than one. We at RunPee couldn’t be more excited for Jamie Lee Curtis, after all this time (since 1978!), to scare HER psycho boogeyman Mike Meyers, and whup his deranged butt for once and for all. Some people just shouldn’t be allowed to go to prison, allowing for the potential of evil to arise again. (And I’m an unashamed tree-hugger who normally hates the death penalty.)

So, go Jamie go, take this mother down.  Terrorize him! It’s like Terminator 2: Judgement Day, but for an older woman, with nothing on her mind but preventing more atrocities. 

Off my soapbox now; sorry about that. I hope this movie is as good as it looks.  The 2nd trailer seems like a bit of awesome. Even the 1st trailer was good, but this one is a lot more intense. Enjoy, and get excited: 

Looking forward to Halloween? Will it be worthy, or just a sequel cash grab? We think Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role speaks for a possibility of quality.

Fun Details You Didn’t Notice from the Halloween Trailer

Jill Florio

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