All The Stars – End Credits Song from Black Panther – Video and Lyrics

black panther and king T'Challa
All The Stars from Black Panther is one hell of a great song.

Up for Best Original Song at the Oscars this year, All The Stars from Black Panther is looking very good. It’s up against the big contender Shallow from A Star Is Born, but it could certainly bring in a win if the Academy sees fit to go in a different direction from their usual drama-type film awards. All The Stars is a great song — very inspiring — and while I’m biased by being a total science fiction geek, I’d love to see something in my genre of choice actually win this time.

Here’s that gorgeous Black Panther end credits video, and the lyrics from All The Stars, just to get you excited and happy. You’re welcome. 🙂


All The Stars

(Sung by Kendrick Lamar, SZA)

Love, let’s talk about love
Is it anything and everything you hoped for?
Or do the feeling haunt you?
I know the feeling haunt you

This maybe the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer
This maybe the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer

Tell me what you gon’ do to me
Confrontation ain’t nothin’ new to me
You can bring a bullet, bring a sword
Bring a morgue, but you can’t bring the truth to me
Fuck you and all your expectations
I don’t even want your congratulations
I recognize your false confidence and calculated promises all in your conversation
I hate people that feel entitled
Look at me crazy ’cause I ain’t invite you
Oh, you important?
You the moral to the story, you endorsing?
Motherfucker, I don’t even like you
Corrupt a man’s heart with a gift
That’s how you find out who you dealin’ with
A small percentage, who I’m building with
I want the credit if I’m losing or I’m winning
On my momma that’s the realest shit

Girl, let’s talk about love
Is it anything and everything you hoped for?
Or do the feeling haunt you?
I know the feeling haunt you

This maybe the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer
This maybe the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer

Skin covered in ego
Get to talkin’, I get involved, like a rebound
No control, no off switch in the way that you bringing me down
It’s a turn on, get it away from me
Know you mean wrong, keep away from me
And it’s all wrong, get it away from me, yeah
I just cry for no reason, I just pray for no reason
I just thank for the life, for the day, for the hours and another life breathin’
I did it all ’cause it feel good
You could live it all if you feel bad
Better live your life
We are running out of time

Love, let’s talk about love
Is it anything and everything you hoped for?
Or do the feeling haunt you?
I know the feeling haunt you

This maybe the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer
This maybe the night that my dreams might let me know
All the stars are closer, all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer…

(Songwriters: Alexander William Shuckburgh / Kendrick Lamar / Mark Anthony Spears / Solana I. Rowe / Anothony Tiffith. All The Stars lyrics 2018 © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.)

…Did you know? Black Panther is the world’s ninth-highest-grossing film of all time. From the wikipedia.org


Movie Review – Black Panther – One Incredible Party

A Black Perspective on Marvel’s Black Panther

How to Dress Like You’re From Wakanda in Black Panther

Best Movies to Watch Over President’s Day Weekend

presidents day weekend movies
Sit back and enjoy some presidential movies!

Presidents Day Weekend! Time to get presidential and enjoy some flicks worthy of this American holiday. We’ve got movies listed here that are historical, comical, romantic, sci-fi-esque, or even just totally wacky — there’s something for everyone.

Not in any particular order, here are the greatest movies to get you into the presidential spirit of this weekend in the USA:

Vice (2018) — Still in theaters if you can catch it, Vice is up for several Oscars film trophies — of which it won some other big awards already:

  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
  • Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Actor
  • Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Actor in a Comedy
  • BAFTA Award for Best Editing
  • Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Makeup

 Lincoln (2012) — According to my research, Lincoln was listed as the #1 movie about American presidents more consistently than any other presidential movie, even though it covers only the last few months of Lincoln’s presidency. The movie won two Oscars and was nominated for an additional 10 Oscars. According to my research, Lincoln, was listed as the #1 movie about American presidents more consistently than any other presidential movie. The movie won two Oscars and was nominated for an additional 10 Oscars.

  • Daniel Day-Lewis: won for Best Actor.
  • Tommy Lee Jones: nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
  • Sally Field: nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
  • Steven Spielberg: nominated for Best Motion Picture and Best Director.

In total, Lincoln has 110 wins and 245 nominations. It’s worth a watch, or a rewatch.

W — Oliver Stone did a fine job of showing the ups and downs of belonging to the Bush clan. It covered not only his political life, but also that of a spoiled rich kid, which made it non-stop entertainment. Josh Brolin will go down in cinematic history as one of the best presidential actors. I find it interesting that this great movie was snubbed by the American press.

Nixon — Again, this is an Oliver Stone film about the early days, and right up to the disgraceful end of Richard Nixon’s presidency. It was nominated for 4 Oscars: Anthony Hopkins for Best Actor, Joan Allen for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Writing and Best Music, and Original Dramatic Score.


 

Here are some more fun categories to choose from: 

Best Fictional President

Fail Safe —
If you’ve never seen this movie, now is a good time with all the trigger happy despots out there in the world who would love to blow us to smithereens. The final scene of the movie will stay with you for a while.

Primary Colors —
We all know that this is an unauthorized bio of Bill Clinton so just sit back and enjoy the trip on the campaign trail.  Kathy Bates won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Libby Holden, and Elaine May was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Deep Impact —
This film is one of the best, “Oh my god, we’re all gonna die”, movies ever made…and a big reason for that is Morgan Freeman as President Beck. One might say he was…impactful. 😉


 

Best Comedy about a President

Dave (1993) — Kevin Kline was nominated for Funniest Actor in a Motion Picture, and Charles Grodin won for Funniest Supporting Actor by the American Comedy Awards for Dave. It’s great fun and even a little touching at times.

The American President (1995) — This movie was nominated for an Oscar for Best Music or Comedy Score and nominated for 5 Golden Globes: Best motion Picture, Rob Reiner for Best Director, Annette Bening for Best Actress, Michael Douglas for Best Actor, and Aaron Sorkin for Best Screenplay. This movie is a classic.

My Fellow Americans (1996) — In my opinion, this is the funniest presidential movie ever made, and the two stars, James Garner and Jack Lemmon, have great on-screen chemistry.

Wag the Dog (1997) — Shortly before the election a spin doctor and a Hollywood producer fabricate a war to cover up a Presidential sex scandal. Dustin Hoffman was nominated for an Oscar for Lead Actor, and nominated for 3 Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture, Dustin Hoffman for Lead Actor and Best Screenplay.

Dick (1999)  — A fun little film worth catching, even though it’s from the point of two silly teens watching the Nixon controversy from a unique point of view. Lots of fun!


 

Movies About the Presidency (In General)

All the President’s Men (1976) —
Without a doubt, this is the definitive movie about the inner workings of a presidency. It’s an old movie – 1976 – but still very pertinent in today’s world. The movie earned 4 Oscars: Jason Robards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Writing, Best Art Direction and Best Sound, and was nominated for an additional four Oscars.

JFK (1991) —
As far as conspiracy movies, nothing can top JFK. We’ll never tire of speculating about this American tragedy, and therefore, never tire of making movies or documentaries that tend to sensationalize this event. JFK won 2 Oscars for Best Cinematography and for Best Film Editing, and was nominated for an additional 6 Oscars: Best Picture,  Tommy Lee Jones for Best Actor, Oliver Stone for Best Director, Best Sound, Best Music and Oliver Stone again for Best Screenplay.

Thirteen Days —
In 1962 America came close to another World War when the Kennedy Administration struggled to contain the Cuban Missile Crisis. Even though we know the outcome of this crisis, observing the path the administration took during this standoff is extraordinary.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) — Definitely not your typical presidential bio, it’s funny, entertaining and maybe just a little bit scary. Also, despite a funny title, this one is NOT a comedy. You’ve been warned! 🙂

Movie Review – Vice

Movie review: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Movie review: Lincoln

Binge Watch Review – Russian Doll (A Netflix Groundhog Day themed series)

red headed actress in russian doll on netflix
The Groundhog Day theme as an entire Netflix show premise. And it’s damn good.

Russian Doll is the latest show to hit Netflix, and it has a great theme crossing the line between Groundhog Day and Happy Death Day…(and the new Happy Death Day 2U), and what’s even better, this is an entire series and not just one episode (or movie) with a repeating time loop. And, in the best tradition, the protagonist is not someone we like as things begin. Nadia, the lead here, is selfish, self-absorbed, and incredibly hedonistic. She’s also funny. It’s a darkly comedic show.

Sometimes with all the new additions to the Netflix platform, it’s hard to decipher what’s worth watching. I’m only an episode in at this time, but this is definitely a show I would invest in. Natasha Lyonne, who also stars in Orange is the New Black as Nicky, plays Nadia in the series. I really enjoy the personality she brings to her characters. I’m not sure how the loop will be broken, but I definitely think a concoction of Oatmeal, the homeless man she recognizes, and the guy she left the party with all have something to do with it.
[ED NOTE: Shani will be adding her reviews twice a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays, to cover all eight episodes from Season 1.  We’ll update this as she adds them!]

Russian Doll Episode Reviews (From Season One)

  • Episode 1 starts out with Nadia at her birthday party. As she goes through the party, we meet some close friends of hers, and learn about her vagabond cat named Oatmeal who hasn’t returned home in a while. She leaves the party with a guy, and she sees a man on the street who she thinks she recognizes. That same night, she sees Oatmeal. As she crosses the street to get him, she gets hit by a taxi and dies. Once she wakes up, she is back at her birthday party and begins again the death and resurrection loop.

  • Episode 2 of Russian dolls starts out with Nadia respawning once again.  She starts to investigate what is in the drugs that her friend gives to her. From her perspective, that’s when things started going awry. She begins to tell others around her that she’s re-lived this day before and she keeps dying. She’s very on edge because she has several moments when she dies by simply walking down the stairs of the apartment. Towards the end, she stops leaving the apartment via stairs. The number of times she dies by walking down the stairs seriously had me questioning her ability to stay alive. We know that she’s in this world where she’s destined to continue dying, but how many times can one person die by doing a simple everyday task. She’s honestly lucky that she has several lives to spare because it would be very tragic for her to die via stairs on her birthday.

 

  • Episode 3 begins with her investigating the building her party was held in. It’s her friend’s apartment, but she also learned that it was a Jewish school at one point and there’s writing above the door. She solicits the help of her ex to visit a synagogue in order to learn more about this. She ends up seeing the homeless man named Horse, who she recognized in the first episode. She learns that he’s sleeping outside because his shoes were stolen at the homeless shelter and he doesn’t feel safe to sleep there anymore. They cuddle together under a blanket that night, and unfortunately, they both freeze to death. When she awakens, she goes on a mission to find Horse and guard his shoes at the homeless shelter, so he doesn’t end up freezing to death by sleeping outside. Upon leaving the shelter, she ends up in an elevator that begins to free-fall. She realizes this is how she dies again and notices there’s someone else in the elevator who isn’t panicked. She learns he also dies all the time.

This was a twist to the story because we learned that Nadia isn’t the only person in this alternate universe. In an earlier episode, something strange happened; though Nadia kept reliving the same day, no one else had any memory that they had previously lived this day. However, at the end of one of the episodes, we see a plant that was once alive is now wilting. I assume it’s because the plant has been continuing in its own dimension and not restarting like everyone else. Maybe everyone is restarting, but Nadia is the only one who remembers.

 

  • Episode 4 starts from Alan’s perspective on the same day he met Nadia. He’s keeping count of his deaths, and seems to relive his day the same way each time. He’s taking the fortune-telling perspective by trying to speed through conversations as if he’s already heard them. He’s found out his girlfriend is breaking up with him on the day they were supposed to take a trip. We get to the point when he dies in the elevator with Nadia. Their day begins again with each of them knowing about the other. This realization throws Alan off his usual path. Nadia sets out to find him and meets him at his apartment. His day is skewed and they agree to meet up at her birthday party when they die again. Out of frustration, he throws his ring into the river and dies of electrocution. When he respawns, both the ring and his pet fish (who he feeds everyday) are gone. This leads me to think that the world around them isn’t staying still, just like the flowers at Nadia’s party.

 

More episode summaries will be entered as Shani watches them! Stay tuned. 

Russian Doll is the newest Netflix Addition to the Groundhog Day Loop Theme – and it looks GREAT

Russian Doll Theme Song – Gotta Get Up Video & Lyrics (Netflix Does Groundhog Day)

19 Groundhog Day Type Movies – The Ultimate Repeating Day Film List

Quotes Quiz – Movies with Groundhogs Day Themes

Movie Review – Edge of Tomorrow (Live. Die. Repeat.)

Main Song from A Star Is Born – Video and Lyrics from Shallow – by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

lady gaga and bradley cooper in a star is born
Not a shallow song.

One of the top movie hits from 2018 is A Star is Born, starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, and their best film song is Shallow, a duet that slays everyone who hears it. It’s almost a perfect song, and it won the awards to prove it:

  • Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song
  • Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media
  • Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
  • Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Song
    Shallow also got an Oscar nod for Best Original Song, and the movie itself, A Star is Born, is nominated for seven other different Oscars: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Sound Mixing

It was also announced by the Oscars Academy (via Twitter) that Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper will perform Shallow at the 2019 Oscars. All the news sources say Copper will perform in a tuxedo as himself, and not as his character Jackson Maine. IndieWire says “Cooper doesn’t intend to bring back Jackson’s deep voice either as he said he has fully retired the character.” No matter. Lady Gaga will probably do her big extravagantly costumed persona as herself. Expect the song to bring down the house!

Here’s the movie video of their on-stage duet of Shallow, followed by the lyrics for you to learn, and sing along to in the privacy of your shower:


Shallow

(Sung by  Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga) 

Tell me somethin’, girl
Are you happy in this modern world?
Or do you need more?
Is there somethin’ else you’re searchin’ for?

I’m falling
In all the good times I find myself
Longin’ for change
And in the bad times I fear myself

Tell me something, boy
Aren’t you tired tryin’ to fill that void?
Or do you need more?
Ain’t it hard keeping it so hardcore?

I’m falling
In all the good times I find myself
Longing for change
And in the bad times I fear myself
I’m off the deep end, watch as I dive in
I’ll never meet the ground
Crash through the surface, where they can’t hurt us
We’re far from the shallow now

In the shallow, shallow
In the shallow, shallow
In the shallow, shallow
We’re far from the shallow now

Oh, oh, oh, oh
Whoah!

I’m off the deep end, watch as I dive in
I’ll never meet the ground
Crash through the surface, where they can’t hurt us
We’re far from the shallow now

In the shallow, shallow
In the shallow, shallow
In the shallow, shallow
We’re far from the shallow now…

(Songwriters: Andrew Wyatt / Anthony Rossomando / Mark Ronson / Stefani Germanotta. Shallow lyrics © 2018 Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Downtown Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group, Concord Music Publishing LLC.)


Movie Review – A Star Is Born

Quiz – The Movie and Musical World of Lady Gaga

Quiz – Bradley Cooper – Actor, Director, Musician

Full List (and comments) for the 2019 76th Annual Golden Globes Nominees & Winners

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

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.

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.)


 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 tryna 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 stuck inside your head)

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

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

Highlights from the 2019 Sundance Film Festival

This year’s Sundance Film Festival recently concluded.  [pullquote]The celebration of independent cinema has been going strong for 41 years[/pullquote].  Even though the Oscars for 2019 haven’t been handed out yet, the Oscar race for 2020 has officially begun.  Past Oscar nominees and winners Little Miss Sunshine, Manchester By the Sea, and The Big Sick, among others, have premiered at Sundance.  This year, 121 films were screened over ten days in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Here are some of the highlights from this year’s Sundance Film Festival:  

The festival opened with After the Wedding, director Bart Freundlich’s adaptation of the 2006 foreign film of the same name.  The drama starring Julianne Moore and Michelle Moore got disappointing reviews.

Chinonye Chukwu became the first black woman to win the Grand Jury Prize for her film Clemency.  In the movie, Alfre Woodard plays a prison warden haunted by all the death row executions she’s carried out.    

The Souvenir won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize.  The movie is about a film student finding her voice, while dealing with a complicated relationship that threatens her future.  Written and directed by Joanna Hogg, the movie stars Tilda Swinton and her daughter Honor Swinton Byrne. A sequel is already planned that will add Twilight star Robert Pattinson.    

One Child Nation, directed by Zhang Lynn and Nanfu Wang, won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for Documentary.  The movie focuses on China’s one-child policy and the effect it had on generations of families.

Honeyland (not to be confused with the drama Honey Boy) won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for Documentary.  It focuses on the last female bee hunter in Europe who must save the bees and restore natural balance when something goes wrong.   The movie was directed by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov.

Brittany Runs a Marathon won the Audience Award for U.S. Dramatic film.  The inspirational comedy, written and directed by Paul Downs Colaizzo, stars Jillian Bell as a woman trying to take control of her life by running.  

 Queen of Hearts, directed by May el-Toukhy, won the Audience Award for World Cinema Dramatic film.  The movie is a tragedy about a woman who seduces her stepson.

Knock Down the House, directed by Rachel Lears, won the Audience Award for U.S. Documentary.  The movie follows four young women, most notably Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who dare to challenge incumbent candidates for their seats in Congress.  Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was not able to attend the screening of Knock Down the House due to complications with the government reopening.  However, she surprised the audience by joining a Q & A after the film, via web conference.  The movie provoked an emotional response from the audience and received a standing ovation. 

 Sea of Shadows, directed by Richard Ladkani,  won the Audience Award for World Documentary. The film is about efforts to save the vaquita, the world’s smallest whale, and end criminal practices that are damaging its habitat.  

The most anticipated film going into the festival was Joe Berlinger’s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, a biopic of serial killer Ted Bundy starring Zac Efron and told from the POV of Bundy’s girlfriend.  Although the movie received mixed reviews, Netflix purchased it for $9 million dollars after the festival.

Blinded by the Light was this year’s most expensive acquisition.  It was sold to New Line for $15 million and set a new festival record for the most money spent on a film.  The movie is about a teenage Pakistani boy in England in the ‘80s who’s obsessed with Bruce Springsteen. The film was directed by Gurinder Chadha, who directed the feel-good hit Bend It Like Beckham.    

Amazon spent the most money, setting a record with $46 million dollars total.  Amazon bought one of the movies with the most buzz going into the festival, The Report, for $14 million.  The Report is about an investigation into the CIA’s torture practices following 9/11. It stars Adam Driver, Jon Hamm, and Annette Bening, and was written and directed by Scott Z. Burns.  

Amazon also bought two of the biggest comedies at the fest: Brittany Runs a Marathon, acquired for $14 million, and Late Night, acquired for $13 million. Late Night, directed by Nisha Ganatra,  stars Emma Thompson as a TV talk show host who clashes with a new writer, played by actual writer-producer of the film, Mindy Kaling.

In addition, Amazon paid around $5 million for the Shia LaBeouf film Honey Boy, directed by Alma Ha’rel.  LaBeouf wrote the autobiographical film, in which he plays his own father, as a way of exorcising his demons.  The movie got a standing ovation at its premiere.

The most controversial film at the festival was the documentary Leaving Neverland, a four-hour two-part documentary about two men who claim to have been sexually abused by the late pop star Michael Jackson, as children.  After death threats and talks of protest, extra security and police presence were added to the screening. There were also counselors available at the screening. The premiere only attracted two protesters.  A premiere in Salt Lake City the next day attracted eight.  In early January, Jackson’s family decried the film as “just another rehash of dated and discredited allegations.”  After the screenings, they released an official statement speaking out against the film.  Leaving Neverland, directed by Dan Reed, will air on HBO this spring.  

The dramedy The Farewell, written and directed by Lulu Wang, was one of the most popular films at the festival.  It was acquired by A24 for an amount rumored to be around six or seven million dollars. The movie stars Awkwafina from Crazy Rich Asians.  It’s about a family that decides to keep a matriarch’s cancer diagnosis from her, to lessen the sting of death. The movie will probably get a theatrical release this summer.

Documentaries did well at the festival, too.  

Ava DuVernay’s company ARRAY acquired the documentary MERATA, about the Maori filmmaker Merata Mita, who was the first indigenous woman to direct her own movie.  Hulu acquired The Untitled Amazing Johnathan Documentary from director Ben Berman. The film focuses on the stand-up comic/magician of the title.

Sony Pictures Classics acquired the documentary “David Crosby: Remember My Name.”  A.J. Eaton is the director. Cameron Crowe, director of Almost Famous and Singles, known for his love of rock and roll, is a producer.  Crosby is best known for his work with the band Crosby, Stills, and Nash.

Hail Satan? was acquired by Magnolia Pictures in November and is planning a spring release in the U.S.  The humorous documentary follows The Satanic Temple as they try to uphold religious pluralism.

Magnolia Pictures is also the distributor for the documentary Ask Dr. Ruth.  Ask Dr. Ruth may not have made as big a splash as expected.  I could not find much reporting on it from the festival.  We will have to wait and see if it becomes as popular as RBG and Won’t You Be My Neighbor? 

Liza Mandelup won a special Jury Award for Emerging Filmmaker for Jawline, a documentary about social media fame.

Mads Brügger won  the Directing Award for World Cinema Documentary for Cold Case Hammarskjöld.  The twisty documentary focuses on the investigation of the death of Dag Hammarskjöld, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Warning: This trailer is a little bit graphic.

Jacqueline Olive was presented with a U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Moral Urgency for her film Always in Season.  The film deals with the subject of lynching.

Warning: disturbing content.

Luke Lorentzen received a U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography for Midnight Family.  The documentary follows a Mexican family who run a private ambulance service, as they struggle to make ends meet in a competitive market.  

Netflix acquired American Factory for $3 million dollars.  The documentary is about a Chinese company that opens a factory in a shuttered General Motors plant.  The movie follows the culture clash of Chinese and American workers working together, as well as the American workers trying to adapt to newer technology.  

Ursula Macfarlane’s documentary Untouchable, which chronicles Harvey Weinstein’s years of alleged sexual abuse of women, also debuted at Sundance.  The festival is where Weinstein picked up many of Miramax’s hits including Clerks, Reservoir Dogs, and Sex, Lies, and Videotape. However, he is now no longer welcome there.    

Todd Douglas Miller’s documentary Apollo 11 got a Special Jury Award for Editing.  The film recreates the space mission, including audio and video the public has never experienced before.  

 

Alexandre O. Phillipe screened his film Memory: The Origin of Alien which examined Ridley Scott’s horror classic.   I couldn’t find any information on whether this film has a distributor or not. However, Phillipe is an established director who made 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene about Psycho a few years ago.  I predict this movie will be playing on the big or small screen by the end of the year.

Showtime acquired the four-part documentary Wu-Tang: Of Mics and Men ahead of the festival.  

Directed by Sacha Jenkins, the docu-series tells the history of the rap group Wu-Tang Clan.  The first two parts of the series premiered at the fest. The living members of the group were in attendance.  

Warning: adult language.

Netflix premiered The Great Hack as a work-in-progress. The documentary from directors Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer focuses on the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook data breach.  

Sony Picture Classics acquired the documentary Where Is My Roy Cohn? about the lawyer whose clients included Joseph McCarthy and even Donald Trump.  The movie was directed by Matt Tyrnauer.

Halston, a documentary about the American fashion designer, and sold to the company formerly known as The Orchard Film Group, has yet to be renamed.  The film will get a theatrical release this spring, be broadcast on CNN in the third quarter of the year, and later stream on Amazon.  The movie was directed by Frédéric Tcheng.  

Other notable Sundance films include:

Patrick Brice premiered the horror movie Corporate Animals, starring Demi Moore and Ed Helms. Polygon described it as “The Office, but gory.”  It does not appear to have a distributor yet.

Neon and Topic Films went in together to acquire the film Luce.  Luce was directed by Julius Onah and adapted from JC Lee’s play. The psychological thriller stars Naomi Watts and Tim Roth, as parents whose adopted child’s identity is called into question.  

Netflix premiered the new Dan Gilroy film Velvet Buzzsaw.  Like his critically acclaimed movie Nightcrawler, it stars Jake Gyllenhaal.  It’s a horror movie set in the art world. It got mixed reviews at the festival, but now that it’s available on Netflix, Twitter is having fun with it.  

Warning: graphic images and disturbing content.

Apple bought its first film, writer-director Minhal Baig’s Hala.  It is unclear whether the movie is going straight to iTunes or will have a theatrical release.  The film is a coming of age story about a teenage girl trying to reconcile her Muslim faith with her love of skateboarding, and her crush on the boy next door.  

Harmony Korine’s latest film, the much-anticipated Beach Bum starring Matthew McConaughey as a Florida poet who seems too busy drinking and doing drugs to write, screened at the festival.  It has a cool lineup of a supporting cast, including Snoop Dogg and Jimmy Buffett. I could not find any reviews of the film, however. It entered the festival with a distributor already (Neon), and will hit theaters in March.  That’s when we’ll find out if the McConaissance continues.

Warning: contains language, drug use, and naked McConaughey butt.

Pete Davidson of Saturday Night Live fame got rave reviews for his performance in Big Time Adolescence, written and directed by Jason Orley.  Unfortunately, the film has not been picked up for distribution.

HBO bought the movie Native Son ahead of its premiere at Sundance.  The movie was directed by visual artist Rashid Johnson, and adapted from Richard Wright’s classic novel by playwright Susan Lori-Parks (best known for her Broadway play Topdog/Underdog).  It updates the tragic story of Bigger Thomas to a modern setting.  Native Son will play on HBO sometime later this year.  

A24 premiered Joe Talbot’s film The Last Black Man in San Francisco.  The movie stars Talbot’s friend Jimmie Fails. The two of them wrote the film together, loosely basing it on Fails’ attempt to move back into and restore his childhood home.  The movie deals with the theme of gentrification. It received a standing ovation at its premiere and won the Directing Award for U.S. Dramatic film.

Neon acquired the horror film The Lodge for around $2 million.  It is the English language debut for directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz.  The pair previously made the movie Goodnight Mommy (which is creepy as hell and one of the best horror movies I’ve ever seen).  The movie stars Riley Keough from American Honey and will be released later this year.  The movie is about two children trapped in a cabin with their future stepmother, the survivor of a religious cult.  

Neon and Hulu acquired Abe Forsythe’s Little Monsters in a mid-seven-figure deal.  The horror comedy stars Lupita Nyong’o as a kindergarten teacher defending her class against zombies.  

Neon also acquired the U.S. rights for Monos,  a thriller about a group of Latin American rebels and their American hostage.  The movie was directed by Alejandro Landes and stars Julianne Nicholson.  It received a World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award.  

HBO acquired Share, for seven figures.  It was written and directed by Pippa Bianco, who received the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award.  The film is about a cellphone video that appears to show a sexual assault, which gets widely shared.  The movie was also honored with a U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Achievement in Acting.

IFC Films bought the drama Official Secrets, directed by Gavin Hood.  The movie stars Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes, and is based on British secret service officer/whistle blower Katherine Gunn, who tried to stop the 2003 invasion of Iraq.  

Babak Anvari premiered his new horror film Wounds, starring Armie Hammer and Dakota Johnson.  It’s about a bartender who starts to suffer from supernatural phenomena once he picks up a stranger’s cellphone.  Some reviewers hate it. Some hate the ending, but like the mood of it. All agree it is deeply weird. So was Hammer’s way of promoting the film: dropping fake dead cockroaches on the floor at parties around the festival.    

Amazon premiered crowd-pleaser Troop Zero starring Viola Davis, Allison Janney, and Jim Gaffigan.  Directed by Bert & Bertie, the movie is an underdog story about a girl who wants to win a national competition to get her voice on NASA’s golden record, and rallies her scout troop to help her.  

Paradise Hills might be the most surreal movie to come out of the festival.  It sounds like pure eye candy.  Vulture called it this year’s “most bonkers” Sundance movie.  It stars Emma Roberts, and features Awkwafina in a dystopian world.  

Which of these films will make it to next year’s Oscars ceremony?  

Check this blog to find out. We’ll have more news and reviews of 2019’s hottest films.  In the meantime, you can check out our coverage of this year’s Golden Globes and see how well I did at predicting the Oscar nominees.  And always remember to use the RunPee app to get Peetimes for the latest movies.

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

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

Full List (and comments) for the 2019 76th Annual Golden Globes Nominees & Winners

Golden Man’s Top Ten Films List for 2018

What is Animated versus Live Action in Alita – Battle Angel

battle angle alita movie image
You can never have eyes that are too big. Not even as an animated superhero.

Alita: Battle Angel is one of my most-anticipated films of the year.  However, the trailers have been driving me crazy. My eyes can’t quite comprehend what they’re seeing.  What’s animated and what isn’t? Everything looks real and surreal at the same time, and two or three minute bursts of short clips are too quick to comprehend.  

A little research cleared up my biggest question:  Alita (played by Rosa Salazar) is CG. Christoph Waltz and most of the other actors are live-action.  

Weta did visual effects for the film.  They are famous for their work on Avatar, the Planet of the Apes prequels, and Gollum from Lord of the Rings.  Salazar wore a performance capture suit for Alita. A Weta crew member followed Salazar around with a computer attached to a camera on Salazar’s face.  They made sure the dots on her face were all in the right place, and that they were collecting all the right information for her facial capture. Salazar says of the suit, “I was a piece of technology walking around.”  

Much like her character.

“The way the performance capture process worked,” says producer Jon Landua, “is we had a number of cameras placed around the set that would record markers on the actor’s physical body.  The system would interpret that marker and put it into three dimensional space. [And then] create a skeleton to go inside a CG model to drive that CG model’s performance.” (To see how this works, see the video below.)   

Landau explains the advances Weta made in facial animation.   “What they’ve really worked on is on the inside-out. Working on a system that is not driving the facial performance from the outside, but understanding what the muscles are doing under the skin, and then moving the skin…One of the artists talked to Rosa about all of the idiosyncrasies she does that we’re not supposed to be able to do, this eyebrow will go up but this lip will go down.  No one else does that, but Rosa does it…It was Weta learning and teaching their system from the inside out, which is a brand new thing they’re doing and really pushing the technology.”

Eric Saindon, visual effects supervisor for Weta and two-time Oscar nominee for The Hobbit films, expounds further on this topic.  “We’re now able to work at the level of the facial musculature—so it’s no longer about just moving the surface skin, but moving the underlying muscles.  You can see it in how the movements of Alita’s face look so much like Rosa’s. We spent hundreds of hours just working with Alita’s mouth, because what makes even a big action scene work, is getting the most human expressions, and Rosa has a very expressive face.”    

Instead of using computer graphics, a live set was constructed.   “We’re in a live-action world that has digital characters brought into it,” says Joe Letteri, senior visual effects supervisor for Weta.  

“Rosa’s not performing against a green screen,” says Jon Landau, “We put a 97,000 square foot set on the back lot of Troublemaker Studios, where Keean could go on a bridge in the rain with Rosa right there, and tenderly touch her cheek in a romantic scene that you couldn’t do before.  But Weta pushing the technology is allowing the actors to really do performances with each other.”

Rosa Salazar confirms, “I was given the gift of…existing in a practical environment with practical props and practical people and, with the exception of one day working on a green screen stage, all the other days were in the real true environment of that set.”   

One of the main sets is Iron City, a future metropolis which has gone to waste, though Alita sees it as beautiful.  “Since she has no memory, she sees everything in a beautiful way,“ says director Robert Rodriguez. Creating Iron City fell to Steve Joyner and Caylah Eddleblute, production designers who have worked with Rodriguez ever since From DuskTill Dawn.  “We knew going in that Robert is all about depth,“ says Joyner. “We knew he would want a city that seems to go on forever. So we knew we would have to create an intricate network of streets, alleys, and corridors that all interconnect. Ultimately, the sets were so complex there were nooks and crannies even Caylah and I didn’t know were there!”  

A scanning crew would scan every environment, so they would have a 3-D model for every set they shot in.    

Of course, not all of the preparation for the movie has been effects-based.  Salazar started physical training for the demanding role the day after being cast.  “You don’t want to cast someone and then you get two takes out of her, and then she’s exhausted,” she says.“  You want to get your endurance level up for something as physical as this. I went into training the very next morning and I trained for close to five months for a few hours every single day.  I did some muay thai, some kung-fu, staff work, kick boxing.”

If you’re as excited for Alita as I am, you’ll want to stay connected with RunPee.  Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Keep an eye out for our upcoming Alita review, and get the Peetimes for Alita through the RunPee app.  

 

Note:  The quotes used in this article came from the 20th Century Fox panel at New York City Comic Con, and from the production notes.  

Russian Doll Theme Song – Gotta Get Up Video & Lyrics (Netflix Does Groundhog Day)

red headed actress in russian doll on netflix
Gotta get up, gotta get out, gotta get home, and MAYBE not die this time.

Have you binged the new Netflix show Russian Doll? Season One is only eight episodes (a half hour each) long, and I snapped them up like candy all on one night. What makes that even better was I watched it on February 2, that oddball American holiday known as Groundhog Day.

Used to be that this was a day a large rodent would predict the coming of spring, but now Groundhog Day is better known as the time of year to pick a movie or TV episode showcasing a repeating day loop theme.  There’s a big list now, and it keeps growing. To my knowledge, Russian Doll is the first ever TV show to ever base an entire series on the repeating day plot.  It also has the biting wit and birthday shenanigans of similar-themed humor-horror film Happy Death Day.

I enjoyed the holy heck out of it, especially with Natasha Lyonne as the main character. (Remember her, as Nicki from Orange Is The New Black?) Our own RunPee Shani Ogilve is writing up a binge review as I write this. I’ll add the link as it emerges, but here’s a way to get started. Instead of Groundhog Day’s morning song refrain I Got You Babe, Russian Doll begins each “life” with Harry Nilsson’s Gotta Get Up. It’s bouncy, strangely dark, absurdly cheerful, and totally works. It’s also hard to get out of your head, so don’t even try. Enjoy the song and lyrics below:


 Gotta Get Up

(Remastered song by Harry Nilsson)

Gotta get up, gotta get out, gotta get home before the morning comes
What if I’m late, gotta big date, gotta get home before the sun comes up
Up and away, got a big day, sorry can’t stay, I gotta run, run, yeah
Gotta get home, pick up the phone, I gotta let the people know I’m gonna be late

There was a time when we could dance until a quarter to ten,
We never thought it would end then, we never thought it would end
We used to carry on and drink and do the rock and roll
We never thought we’d get older
We never thought it’d grow cold, but now

Gotta get up, gotta get out, gotta get home before the morning comes
What if I’m late, gotta big date, gotta get home before the sun comes up
Up and away, got a big day, sorry can’t stay, I gotta run, run, yeah
Gotta get home, pick up the phone, I gotta let the people know I’m gonna be late

Down by the sea she knew a sailor who had been to war
She never even knew a sailor before, she never even knew his name
He’d come to town and he would pound her for a couple of days
And then he’d sail across the bubbly waves and those were happier days, but now

Gotta get up, gotta get out, gotta get home before the morning comes
What if I’m late, gotta big date, gotta get home before the sun comes up
Up and away, got a big day, sorry can’t stay I gotta run, run, yeah
Gotta get home pick up the phone, I gotta let the people know I’m gonna be late…

(Songwriters: Ted Nilsson. Gotta Get Up lyrics 1971 © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc)


 

Russian Doll is the newest Netflix Addition to the Groundhog Day Loop Theme – and it looks GREAT

19 Groundhog Day Type Movies – The Ultimate Repeating Day Film List

Movie Review – Happy Death Day – Very Fun, Almost Cute Horror Film

Wake up again and again on Groundhog Day with Sonny and Cher (I Got You Babe lyrics & video)

Chris Pratt and the Lego Cast go to Space Camp

Chris-Pratt-is-also-Rex-Dangervest
Raptor trainer, space guardian, archaeologist, cowboy, and brick layer…who sounds remarkably like Chris Pratt.

This adorable spoof of a reality show about which Lego actor gets to become a space-person is really cute/interesting/funny.  Something we at RunPee find continually amusing is how RunPee Dan used to work at Space Camp, and RunPee Jilly worked at Astro Camp, both in the days of our youth. Sometimes geekland is a small universe!

In this video, the cast of the Lego Movie 1 and 2 attend Space Camp to see which of them would make an actually half-decent astronaut, as an effort to help promote The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part…where, it seems, the crew goes into space to become the Lego version of the Guardians of the Galaxy:

Want to guess who the best astronaut is? Who can keep cool and on task, under several levels of gravity, in the multi-axis trainer, during EVAs, and as a member of Mission Control? Captain Robert Gibson, a REAL astronaut, gets to judge (call him Hoot, and cut him some slack for dealing with these slackers):

Your choices for the ultimate Astronaut Title:

Will it be Chris Pratt, ultimate Star Lord goofball and Emmet himself? Perhaps Will Arnett as the intrepid Lego Batman? Or Elizabeth Banks as the cool-as-a-cucumber WyldStyle? And then, of course, there is James Corden, the talk show host who invited them to Huntsville, Alabama in the first place.

Place your votes! Although, really, it starts to become clear which actor keeps their head best in real life…

This video is a lot of fun and will get you excited for the newest fun time with our bestest Lego friends, where Everything Is Awesome.

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

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

Movie Review – The LEGO Movie

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

Quiz – Chris Pratt – Not the New Kid in Town Anymore

Movie Review – The LEGO Ninjago Movie (the least exciting Lego film for adults)

 

Iconic Cars From Movies – Walmart Crafts A Winning Superbowl Commercial

Bumblebee is back
Technically, not a car.

It’s crazy, but the Superbowl commercial of the day goes to….Walmart. Walmart! I know! Whodathunk?

I need to make some screen captures, but you can do for now with the below video of the all-out effort made to include beloved, iconic, and a few harder-to-spot cool cars from many movies and TV shows, over many decades of time.

The Plot: These movie cars are sent out to pick up groceries from Walmart, and plays out like a little movie. What did we just see, in which order? 

  • The Batmobile from Batman  (One incarnation of it. Heh, get it? In-CAR-nation?)
  • Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters (And Slimer)
  • KITT, from Knight Rider, which would be my first choice to get my stuff, since I wouldn’t have to even go to Walmart at all. I could just send KITT there and stay home (And I checked…the voice is indeed really KITT’s, as William Daniels reprises his original role!)
  • Lightning McQueen from Cars
  • Mutt Cutts “Shaggin’ Wagon” from Dumb and Dumber
  • The Truckster station wagon from the Griswold Family in National Lampoon’s Vacation
  • The Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo
  • The Jurassic Park Tour Vehicle, complete with a hungry pack of Compies (We’re back in the car…again!)
  • Cinderella’s Pumpkin Coach, with Cinderella herself (Awwwww)
  • The Flintstones Car
  • We also see Bumblebee from the Transformers franchise. Well, why not? We’ll call him a part-time car. Maybe I’ll send him for my groceries
  • And finally, The DeLorean from Back to the Future

I’ve seen a few of these cars in “real life” — made by real people who went out of their way to redesign some wacky classics. To wit: the Ecto-1 in Yuma, AZ, the Mystery Machine in Asheville, NC, and the Delorean in San Diego, CA (that last one was at Comic Con, in the streets of downtown).

But seriously, this nostalgic commercial gets all the loves this year, plus it plays out over Gary Numan’s 1979 hit “Cars”:

The commercial sells the idea that you just show up in your car, and a Walmart Associate will bring out your groceries…which I am totally down with, since I don’t like shopping in person. So it’s a whole lot of brilliant, and whoever pulled this all together (getting all the rights alone must have been a nightmare) deserves their car of choice.

I’m still deciding which one I want. 🙂

Is Bumblebee a prequel or a reboot?