Through the Wormhole – Are We All Bigots?

Morgan Freeman has a Science Channel series called Through the Wormhole. I highly recommend the series for those interested in learning about a broad range of topics from is the universe a simulation to is privacy dead.

One of my favorite episodes is about the nature of racism: Are We All Bigots? In this episode Freeman comes at this question from a number of angles, as he does the topic in every episode. Below is, what I think, is one of the most important segments.

If you like that clip then I highly recommend you watch the entire episode. You can buy it on YouTube for $1.99 (No affiliation with RunPee.)

Opinion
I have to accept that part of my brain is bigoted. It does things (and sometimes gets away with it) that I don’t like.

That may sound like an odd thing to say: my brain does things that I don’t like. What am I if not my brain and it’s decisions? I think its clear, especially if you watch the entire episode of Are We All Bigots, that our brain instinctively makes decisions without the consent of our brain’s rational consciousness. (Not that consciousness is always rational.)

What researchers have proven is that we are not always in control of our thoughts and actions. It’s not an excuse for bad behavior, but it’s a reality we have to deal with. For instance, when someone is addicted to gambling, or food, a drug, whatever, you can’t attribute that to poor character, or weakness.

Our brains evolved to cope with many situations we no longer face. In this modern age we can manipulate those situations in ways that were never possible while the circuitry in our brains was evolving to help us survive. When we eat carbohydrate-rich food — bread, rice, cake, sweets, etc. — our brain says, “OMG, this is great. More please.” That’s because during our evolution there was hardly a chance that we could overeat those things because of their scarcity. That part of our brain doesn’t understand that we now have unlimited access to calories, and don’t need to overeat at each opportunity. The only way to stop ourselves is to use our rational consciousness to intervene and put the breaks on. Again, the rational part of our brain isn’t always in control — much as we might wish it.

It’s the same for how our brain reacts to people who are different from us. Generally speaking, for our hunter-gatherer ancestors, people from outside their tribe wasn’t always a good thing. Like a dog barking at a stranger, we evolved to be wary of different than us. It’s only through life experience that we can retrain our brains. Essentially, we need take that part of our brain that makes snap judgments and pet it, and say, “Hey, it’s okay. These different people are okay. Don’t get worked up.” Over time, that part of our brain will relax. But, we must recognize that it’s always there, ready to wake up again and bark at the next different person that passes by.

I want to make racism go away; from myself and my country and all of humanity. I believe the only way this will be possible is to acknowledge that part of our brains evolved to be wary of different people — because it gave them an edge in survival.

When we see racism, in ourselves or others, we need to make an effort to retrain us/them. And just like training a dog, the best method is positive reinforcement. Because when you yell at someone for being bigoted it’s about as effective as yelling at a dog — pointless and counterproductive. (Even though it feels as good as eating chocolate cake dripping with melted fudge and covered in icing.)

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

First Man Opinion — Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

When I was in college, I worked at the United States Space Academy. It was an amazing experience. I grew up fascinated with space and science. I literally cried when my parents dragged me out of the Space and Rocket Center after our first, and only, visit. Years later, when I got to work there, it was rewarding to have the opportunity to help young children experience the joy and wonder I had when I was their age.

Obviously I’ve never flown in space, but I understand better than most the incredible technical hurdles it took getting to the moon. I’ve studied math, physics, and history, and the history of space exploration in depth. There is no doubt that the United States of America achieved something wholly remarkable when Neil and Buzz landed on the moon. But it is truly an epic achievement by all humanity. The USA would have never achieved all they did, in the time they did, if it wasn’t for the German engineers that came to America after WWII. Those engineers would have never come to the USA had the Allies not defeated Germany.  And the Allies couldn’t have defeated the Axis powers if not for the sacrifices of the British people early in the war, and more so the Russian people throughout, who sadly endured horrors that are hardly acknowledged today.

How could anyone land on the moon without radio communications — invented by an Italian? How could they navigate to the moon without calculus — invented by an Englishman and a German? (Note: Newton did it first; Leibniz did it better.) Without Modern Analytic Geometry — invented by the Frenchmen René Descartes and Pierre de Fermat — Newton and Leibniz wouldn’t have the tools to invent calculus in the first place.

As Newton said, If I have seen farther, it is only because I stood on the shoulders of giants. The United States of America finished a long endurance race that began millennia ago when a group of hominids — Homo erectus — discovered that putting meat and vegetables in fire made them more palatable and, unknowingly, more nutritious. Without that discovery, the moon would be nothing more than a bright source of light for a week out of the month to a bunch of bipedal hominids who don’t know what a month is.

The night before Apollo 11 returned to Earth Neil Armstrong signed off by saying:

The responsibility for this flight lies first with history and with the giants of science who have preceded this effort; next with the American people, who have, through their will, indicated their desire; next with four administrations and their Congresses, for implementing that will; and then, with the agency and industry teams that built our spacecraft, the Saturn, the Columbia, the Eagle, and the little EMU, the spacesuit and backpack that was our small spacecraft out on the lunar surface. We would like to give special thanks to all those Americans who built the spacecraft; who did the construction, design, the tests, and put their hearts and all their abilities into those craft. To those people tonight, we give a special thank you, and to all the other people that are listening and watching tonight, God bless you. Good night from Apollo 11.

Apollo 11 Trivia Quiz

Where’s the American Flag in First Man?

Movie Review – First Man

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Movies Mentioning Pee – fun film clips

We’ve got your back. I mean your bladder. With apologies to Hitchcock.

RunPee is about Pee. Okay…um: I should rephrase that. We’re about movies.  But pee was the inspiration, and as Alfred Hitchcock famously said, “The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.” 

This isn’t really the case in modern times, most especially with blockbusters. We tend to call the really long ones Bladder-Busters, because they are. It’s funny, but really is no joke. We started the whole RunPee app thing while sitting through Peter Jackson’s 3+ hour King Kong, after all.

That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a great pee joke! In fact, I made it my mission to pull up a whole mess of movie scene videos where peeing is the entire punchline. Want to have some fun for a while? Sit back, open up these movie moments, and enjoy. (Hint: make sure to run and pee first!)

HERE ARE A LOT OF MOVIES WITH PEE SCENES…

Star Lord leaks a little bit:

Iron Man explains how he pees when he wears his suit:

Apollo 13 has a cool scene that solves the question of how astronauts pee in space…and then exactly where that pee ends up:

A hilarious gender-bending pee scene in Jumanji 2:

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels did Iron Man’s little routine first:

The Rundown with The Rock has this little gem:

If you’ve ever had to go in a jar, from Sabotage:

Another bit of pee bottle humor, from Diary of a Wimpy Kid:

Another Wimpy Kid peetime:

Austin Powers never shies away from toilet humor. Each film in the trilogy has at least once funny pee scene:

Dumb and Dumber, and yet another pee bottle, clearly a staple of movie humor:

A cute little scene from Big Daddy:

Another Adam Sandler pee/kid scene, from Billy Madison:

Harold and Kumar pee in the woods:

American Pie had a few pee moments:

Even Disney cartoons aren’t above funny little pee humor:

In Almost Famous, even girls gotta go:

A League of Their Own, with Tom Hanks enjoying a good pee:

Soooooo, this isn’t a comprehensive list of scenes. I was a little shocked at the quantity and quality of pee scenes available on You Tube. But this will get you started, and you can include anything I missed in the comment section.

 

 

 

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.

Almost 60 Movies Standing Up To The Test Of Time

Here’s  list of my favorite films, all of which are somewhere in the  A range, or a high B. I didn’t actually include everything I’ve ever given an A to on RunPee, because they were often graded according to the target audience, and aren’t actually my personal faves.

Sometimes I want to upgrade a film too, over time. Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them gets better on every viewing, for example. I want to move in the database from a B something to like an A-, or at least an A. I was colored at the time, by my wanting it to be more like the other Harry Potter films. Which is why rewatch reviews really come into their own — you can have time to let a film settle, and see what emerges in time.

It’s worth discussing about how we at RunPee grade movies. Each one of us staffers in this family is different. Like I’ve said before, I often use a curve within a movie franchise. Almost anything the Marvel Cinematic Universe does deserves an A (IMO), compared to movies otherwise in its genre (or out of it). But…that’s adding my highly idiosyncratic enjoyment factor.

Here’s a long list of my A range, and most favorite films over time: 

  1. Alien and Aliens
  2. Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back
  3. Terminator (The first and the second)
  4. Jurassic Park (Only the first)
  5. Titanic
  6. Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Arc
  7. Back to the Future (The first)
  8. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  9. The Breakfast Club
  10. Jaws (the first)
  11. Overboard (The original)
  12. A Fish Called Wanda
  13. Avatar
  14. The Matrix (The first)
  15. Harry Potter (I can’t really pick one from the eight movies we see. Each has their own style and merits…and together is one long story. For myself, I’d give the A+ to The Prisoner of Azkaban,  The Goblet of Fire, and maybe The Half Blood Prince.)
  16. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  17. Passengers (This one is controversial.  I loved it, my mother loved it, and RunPee Dan loved it. But a lot of people aggressively dislike the movie, for reasons I shouldn’t describe here if you haven’t seen the film)
  18. Star Trek (The Wrath of Khan and the Voyage Home. First Contact is great, might not be an A)
  19. Logan (OMG is this sad. But wonderful, too)
  20. The MCU (Like the Harry Potter films, Marvel’s Avenger superheroes have an intricately webbed series of stories. To pick out the A+ films is hard. I might only put Infinity Wars in that caliber. Maybe Thor: Ragnarok. However, the regular A films abound: Guardians of the Galaxy — one of my personal favorites, Black Panther, Iron Man 1, Avengers: Assemble, Avengers: Civil War,  and Spiderman: Homecoming)
  21. Finding Nemo
  22. The Shawshank Redemption
  23. The Firm
  24. The Fugitive
  25. Top Gun
  26. The Lord of the Rings (The entire LOTR series. Not the Hobbit films, unfortunately)
  27. Die Hard (The first)
  28. Lethal Weapon (the first)
  29. Predator
  30. ET: The Extra Terrestrial
  31. Rain Man
  32. 2001, A Space Odyssey
  33. Blade Runner (The first)
  34. The Shining (The original)
  35. So I Married An Axe-Murderer
  36. Inception
  37. Mamma Mia (The first)
  38. When Harry Met Sally
  39. Contact
  40. Apollo 13
  41. The Princess Bride
  42. Moonstruck
  43. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  44. Pitch Black (The first)
  45. The Wizard of Oz
  46.  Monty Python and The Holy Grail
  47. Airplane! (The first)
  48.  Ghostbusters (The first)
  49. Groundhog Day
  50.  Live and Let Die (Bond movies are so subjective! This one is perfect, in my opinion. Yours will probably be different)
  51. Pulp Fiction
  52. Shaun of the Dead
  53. Zombieland
  54.  The Sixth Sense
  55. Wayne’s World
  56. Thelma and Louise
  57. The Bourne  Identity
  58. Steel Magnolias
  59. The Little Mermaid
  60. ….

….Aaaand, I’m continuing this list right now. You might have an idea of what movies I consistently like: there’s a lot of sci-fi here, (almost) no horror movies, and very few old classics. For example, I never saw Citizen Kane — which is touted to be the best movie in in the universe . I should educate myself. (I did enjoy African Queen, Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, and Some Like It Hot. Is that a good start?)

I’m going to hang out with RunPee Sis next month, and she will introduce me to some horror classics, and hug me when I get scared. So maybe things like Psycho and Silence of the Lambs will join the list.

Anyway: I know I missed some important movies. Got some in mind? Comments can be added below!

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.

All Predator Movies, Rated

I like their hair. It’s like college football player hair. Am I the only one who notices this?

There’s a glut of Predator movies in the franchise now, starting with the classic  Predator of 1987 with Arnold Schwarzenegger, through ’til just this week, with The Predator. Since almost each film has basically the same name (except Requiem), it can be confusing to recall which was released when, with what storyline. Also, each storyline has more or less the same profile: Predators hunt people (or other Aliens), and said people use big military-grade guns to fight back. There’s a lot of green florescent blood along the way, and infrared vision.

So it can be tough to mentally track which movie is which. Here’s a quick summary of each Predator and Predator-adjacent film, in production order: 

  1. Predator — 1987: The original franchise starter with Arnold. He really sold it, and this is a great movie, deserving an A grade. The secondary characters were solid, the backstory was involving, the climax gripped me, and there were some great one liners and quotes.
  2. Predator 2 — 1990: Danny Glover took over the reigns for this one, and it was…meh. I didn’t like all the gang violence; very unappealing. More sci-fi, less gangster dynamics, please. The ending, however, with Glover on the Predator ship, and the Predator honor code, was really great. I would’ve like more of that, more alien world-building. (There’s also the blink and you’ll miss it scene with an “Alien Zenomorph” skull on the ship…which started the whole AvP furor, culminating in the next two movies, for better or for worse.) I tried re-watching  Predator 2 a few years back, but had to turn it off because of the unpleasantly grisly LA gang storyline. For some reason, I’m okay with Predator violence, but not people against people. (The Wikipedia offers this tidbit, so I’m not the only one who thought this was a bit much: “Due to excessive violence, Predator 2 was the first film to be given the newly instituted NC-17 rating in the United States.”) Maybe give this a C grade?
  3. Aliens Vs Predators (AvP) — 2004: The first AvP film was fine. Not great, not awful. I’d say it was mildly enjoyable, and I liked the hunt’s setting in the buried pyramid/temple. This is also memorable for having a woman be the main fighting character, the alliance between human and Predator, and the ending as a call back to the previously established Predator honor code. B-
  4. AvP: Requiem — 2007:  An abomination of a movie that should be taken behind the shed and shot. I have nothing, NOTHING good to say about this film, and just thinking about it makes me nauseous. I had a boyfriend once who thought this was the best Predator flick ever, and, years later, I’m still WTF? It didn’t work out between us, so maybe you can predict the future of relationships with whether they liked Requiem.  Heh: you only think I’m joking. F-
  5. Predators — 2010: I absolutely forgot this one when I wrote my review of The Predator (2018) this week. Someone had to remind me Predators existed, and then a few things filtered back. All I really recall was that it started with human characters falling in the sky, there were the expected hunting/shooting shenanigans, and that I kind of liked this one. I’d give it a provisional B grade, until I can see it again.
  6. The Predator — 2018: I’d say this is the second-best film in the franchise, although I’d need to rewatch the previous Predators again to see which I thought had the better narrative. I did find this one fun, amusing, and even delightful at times, which is a weird way to describe a movie devoted to brutal killing games. This flick has some world building that I appreciated, although I do admit it wasn’t what it could have been. I can’t say much more without adding spoilers. I did adore the introduction of the Predator Dogs. More like this. B+

Some General Predator Notes:

What all of the films lacked, 1987 Arnold version aside, were great characters. I can’t remember anyone’s names. Even their faces blend together. The Predators themselves had more personal development, I think. I wouldn’t  even mind seeing a Predator film from the Predator viewpoint — just for variety — but that probably won’t happen.

Given that, I’d ask to see a real trilogy developed, with continuing characters and a larger/more detailed universe. It could start with The Predator and build from there. I’m not sure why each film tells a small story with fungible characters — there’s only so many ways to string people up in trees, with a lot of dark shootouts, and have nothing of lasting importance actually occur by the end. With six movies, it’s too bad that all we get are isolated incidents with faceless characters. I might be barking up the wrong tree in my hopes: the films are intended to be a rousing, fun, shoot-em-up time.

But they could be so much more.

Also on RunPee: 

Movie Review — The Predator

 

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.

18 Groundhog Day Type Movies – the ultimate list

“There is no way that this winter is ever going to end as long as this groundhog keeps seeing his shadow. I don’t see any other way out. He’s got to be stopped. And I have to stop him.”

Groundhog Day is February 2nd in the US, and it’s a truly bizarre national holiday. The premise: a large rodent might/might not see its shadow, predicting when spring will or won’t come. How does one celebrate this, unless they live in Punxatawny, PA?

Punxatawny relates to the classic Bill Murray vehicle Groundhog Day, wherein his character (named Phil, just like the Groundhog) has to repeat Feb 2nd every day. EVERYDAY, for what might be thousands of years (pay attention to the film and ask yourself how long it would take to master his many skills).

Phil escapes the time loop only when certain conditions are met. We assume this, because it’s never stated why he finally moves on to the next day. However, the repeating day motif is not new to this movie, and in each instance, time repeats indefinitely until the protagonist finds a way out. The movie in question isn’t even the first film or TV show to feature this theme.

That makes it really fun each year. We at RunPee get to pick a rewatch of something with a distinct “Groundhog theme” every year in Feb. There’s an interesting lineage to view.

Let’s take a look at who has used this theme, in order by year: 

  1. Cause and Effect (TV ep, Star Trek, the Next Generation) 1992 — NOTE: Air date before Groundhog Day. Was this the first to do it? Here’s how it starts…right before the teaser ends we get this indelible image: Picard yelling for all hands to abandon the Enterprise. Then it explodes. And keeps on exploding. From there, the mystery never lets up on this superb storytelling.
  2. Groundhog Day — Feature Film — 1993 : When I Iived that year in the UK, this  first-run movie saved my sanity. For real. Long story.
  3. Been There, Done That (TV ep, Xena: Warrior Princess) 1997 : This show could do no wrong in my eyes during it’s 7-year run. It’s only natural that Xena’s version is funnier than EVERYTHING else on this list. Plus, we’ve got Romeo and Juliette being dorks,  a laundry list of reasons why Xena didn’t bite Gabrielle (lol), a name drop of Hercules (and Sinbad), and an adorable cameo by Karl Urban as Cupid. A top ten Xena ep anyone can enjoy.
  4. Run, Lola, Run — Feature Film —  1998
  5. Back and Back and Back to the Future (TV ep, Farscape) 1999: set in the mostly benighted season one of an otherwise stellar Sci-Fi show, Back and Back is notable for Crichton’s trying to change the timeline in small ways (breaking Zhan’s sacred mask on purpose, instead of letting time inevitably play out).
  6. Monday (TV ep, The X-Files) 1999: You don’t think there’s a mystery trope left examined in the X-Files 9 year run? Look again. Notable: a guest actor is at the center of the plot, with Mulder and Scully mostly in reaction mode…and it STILL works. A standout during a mostly experimental season.
  7. Life Serial (TV ep, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) 2001 : In Buffy’s sixth season, “real life” was the scary big bad. Shudders! This episode was a needed dash of fun. The “Trio” are nerdy doofuses with too much power and no real direction. I love everything in this season, and this is a highlight.
  8. Deja vu All Over Again (TV ep, Charmed) 2008
  9. Mystery Spot (TV ep, Supernatural) — 2008
  10.  Source Code –Feature Film– 2011
  11. Edge of Tomorrow <— Our review –Feature Film — (Tom Cruise/Emily Blunt film) 2014 : Exciting, well-acted, and with a gripping jeopardy premise, Cruise and Blunt take what could have been a two-hour slog of repeating action into something believably exciting in a fresh take on an alien takeover plot. Highly Recommended! Every time they ‘”level up” you want to cheer!
  12. Looper — Feature Film — 2012:- In a future where time travel is a thing, not everyone has the best intentions!
  13. Hell is Other People  (The Vampire Diaries) — 2016
  14. Before I Fall — Feature Film — 2017: Another mystery that must be solved before time moves on.
  15. Happy Death Day — Feature Film — 2017: Imagine relieving your death, over and over? Want to try? Neither do we.
  16. Hot Mess Time Machine (TV ep, The Mindy Project) — 2017
  17. Naked — (Netflicks show) — 2017 – YAY! A new one to check out!
  18. Dr. Strange — Feature Film — 2017: I don’t know if this should be included, so I’ll toss it up and let you decide. At the end of the film, Strange wears down his enemy using an infinite time loop of destruction. He could stop it at any point, so it’s not like the other plots. Does this count?

 At RunPee HQ we’ve been steadily collecting movies and TV episodes with Groundhog themes, and make a point to choose at least one each year to rewatch on Groundhog Day. I mean, hey: what else are you going to do to as a family to celebrate how vermin might predict spring?

So, did we miss something? We’re always looking to add new shows to celebrate on this obscure, yet infinitely geeky holiday. I’m sure this fascinating well of plots hasn’t dried out just yet. The recent and finely wrought Edge of Tomorrow indicates there are still ideas to be mined.

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.

Why Vision Could Lift Thor’s Hammer

Thor, I think you dropped this.

While Thor’s hammer is now crushed, there are still some unanswered questions about who could lift it and why, and who is considered “worthy.” What is worthy, exactly? And why could an an artificial being like The Vision lift it so effortlessly?

Of course, there are the meta answers: the production team decided it would be a funny payoff to the Avengers: Age of Ultron “party game” where our heroes all gave it a whack. As Dan (owner of RunPee) states, “I don’t think there’s a ‘reason’ Vision can lift the hammer. It’s just there for drama, and perfectly set up by Joss.”

Well, yeah, Joss Whedon produced Age of Ultron, and he’s known for both witty banter and developing a satisfying payoff to amusing set-ups. So it could just be that Joss found it funny (which it is, no question). But he’s also a certified geek, like we are at RunPee. So a purely production-oriented  answer isn’t enough for us. Surely Joss thought this out completely and has an in-universe reason. (For the sake of this discussion, I’m not indulging in comic book storylines about Mjölnir.)

In a previous article, I mentioned who was able to lift Mjölnir, and offered some ideas why Vision had no issues.

However, with someone as “pure” as Captain America not lifting the hammer (although he made it jiggle slightly), and someone as genocidal as Hela holding/crushing it so casually, I have to wonder what ‘worthiness’ entails, and if that term even makes sense from a human standpoint. Maybe Asguardian worthiness is something very unique and specific…although in the first Thor movie, Odin made the concept  sound just like what we would expect it to mean.

So, if Cap can’t lift the hammer, and Hela can, then where does Vision fall into this part of the narrative?

It’s possible that Vision, being an android and essentially a brand-new person, was like Data from Star Trek: a being of intensely curious intelligence, great innocence,  and no personality flaws. That could well be seen as worthy. But it’s more likely the hammer, essentially being ‘magic’ and non-tech, didn’t recognize Vision as a person. The tool was never hinted to be sentient, so how would it even know the android was alive? It would more likely automatically pick up on a person’s soul/aura/katra/whatever. I’m positing Vision didn’t have a soul/etc, although in the MCU anything can happen. Plus there was an Infinity Stone at play, which makes its own rules. (I’m painting myself into corners here, I know.)

Which leads to wondering about non-living elements and their relationship with Thor’s deceased hammer. Can other things, like an elevator, airplane, helicarrier, or even a car, be able to move it? If Thor traveled in a plane and put the hammer down, would the hammer punch through to the ground, possibly pinning the plane under it? Am I over-thinking this?

I’d have to rewatch all the scenes where Thor is traveling (or in an elevator) and see if he ever put the hammer down. I imagine if the hammer can’t be moved mechanically, that Thor would have to have the weapon somewhere on his person at all times. The writers probably didn’t stress themselves too greatly over this matter, but bear with me. If indeed Thor isn’t carrying the hammer in every scene on the helicarrier, for example, then maybe tech can lift it (although Iron Man AND War Machine, working together, could not use their suits to move it, nor could Stan Lee get it to budge with his truck in New Mexico — maybe ignore those moments for now).

If the hammer can be moved/lifted by such non-living things as vehicles, then it would follow that Vision should have no problem with it. It’s hard to say what a satisfying answer would be. That probably depends on whether cold, rational logic applies in the MCU, and how big a fan one is of The Vision as a heroic character.

Too bad we didn’t see Ultron try to lift Mjölnir, for comparison. I’m going to say this: Hela handling the hammer makes this all really problematic. While I adored Thor: Ragnarok, Hela’s ability threw the entire worthiness concept out the window for the sake of an admittedly very cool image.

I am definitely over-thinking this.  🙂

Read More, On RunPee: 

Marvel Characters Who Lifted Thor’s Hammer

How Tony Stark Gets Off Titan After Infinity War

The 5 Movies You Must Watch Before Avengers Infinity War

 

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.

How The Avengers Get Off Titan After Infinity War

Oh, Snap!

Be it known — spoilers ahead for Infinity War and Ant Man & the Wasp. 

If you’re up to date with the 20 current Avengers-universe movies, you might recall there are some heroes left behind on Thanos’ home world of Titan, presumably stranded. How will those “left behind” by the dusting get reunited with Earth and the other Avengers?

First, consider who survived The Snap on Titan, and what their options/powers/spaceships are. We have Iron Man, a full Avenger, with a ruined suit and seemingly out of nanobots. Also Nebula lived, who may or may not be considered a Guardian of the Galaxy (and the only other survivor of their group besides Rocket), but crucially, can pilot spaceships.

Considered dead on Titan: Dr. Strange, Star Lord, Drax, Mantis, and — most heartbreakingly — Spider-Man.

For one thing, we don’t know yet how The Snap will be undone (although we assume it will be, for many reasons), or when. If time re-setting is involved, things could pick up moments after said snap, bringing everyone back quickly. Then it might be a matter of hopping on Star Lord’s new ship, the Benatar, and sailing back to Earth.  It could be just that easy, but the next Spiderman movie is confirmed to be titled Far From Home, which might showcase Peter Parker stranded on Titan for at least some of his second solo film. Which would seriously be poignant and exciting.

If our missing heroes heroes don’t get resurrected right away, then only Stark and Nebula remain on Titan. Do they know where The Benatar (Star-Lord’s ship) is parked? Can either of them fly it? Was it damaged by Thanos during the attack? We’ve seen Nebula pilot other ships, and Stark is a tech genius, so this solution is probably too easy — just build something and fly to where-ever the Avengers re-group.(Guesses: Wakanda, Wong’s NYC Santum Santorium, or the Avengers  compound, all on Earth, the only planet that makes sense post-snap. Or, hey, they could convene on the  X-Men campus, since X-Men is officially a Disney property now.)  However, I’m betting the Benatar won’t be flyable. And we saw that Nebula wrecked her ship, attacking Thanos. So, all easy options are probably moot.

Which simply means the narrative will have to be creative in getting Iron Man home. Tony and Nebula marooned on Titan is an interesting development, and the MCU movie schedule gives fans time to make theories. Such as:

Who can bring Stark and Nebula back from Titan? 

  1. Posit that Dr. Strange travels through time after he returns, and sends everyone back to the last time they had a working ship. Or to anywhen, say the battle of New York. He’s the only one who knows the end game, the only right choice in 14 million futures. Alternatively, Wong is available for these services, in NYC — if Wong survived the Infinity War.
  2. Or someone like Ant Man (maybe with Bill Foster and Ghost) travels through Time Vortices in the Quantum Realm, and manipulates the time/space continuum — POOF; all fixed.
  3. Captain Marvel, who is said to be the most powerful Avenger by endless internet sources, will take care of it in her movie, in March 2019. I’m actively avoiding internet spoilers, but this seems to be a well-known point. Clearly, Nick Fury placed all his stock in that belief, in the very end.
  4. Thor will travel to Titan via Stormbreaker and the Bifrost, and bring them back.
  5. Rocket will use his space pod to see who is left on Titan, once he figures out where the rest of the Guardians went. The Guardians, and Thor, are his only friends, so he might be motivated to find out who made it out alive.
  6. Pepper Potts will use Tony’s Tech to track him, don one of Stark’s suits (she’s done it before), and find someone to take a ship (or the Bifrost) to Titan and retrieve him. And we know Potts and Happy will be motivated to get Tony back. Maybe she can team up with War Machine, find something from Tony’s workshop full of tech, and make a plan.
  7. Tony and Nebula rescue themselves by building a ship from the parts all around Titan, or repair Nebula’s small ship/the Benatar.
  8. Or our remaining heroes will get an Infinity Stone from the broken Gauntlet, and use it to manipulate space, reality, or time.
  9. The Ravagers, lead by Kraglin, head to Titan. (Maybe he also got Nebula’s message on where the Guardians were going.)
  10. Valkyrie, with Korg, mount a spaceship rescue. We know they weren’t on the Asguardian ship when Thanos arrived. So, if they survived The Snap, they should show up somewhere.

How will anyone know where Stark is? Two real ways exist to get this info:

  1. Tech — Someone will find a way to track Iron Man’s trajectory/ location. Surely there is a Vibranium answer in Wakanda for this. Or the nanobytes from Stark Industries. Or a Pym Particle from the Quantum Realm. There’s lot of high-tech MacGuffins in the MCU.
  2. Magic — Through mediation and astral travels, Wong will find Tony, create a portal, and bring him back. As far as I know, only the Dr. Strange allies use magic. Although if the Asguardians are gods, this might be an avenue for magic too, for whomever is left.

So…there are really two options, ultimately: magic or tech. Either a lot of the next Avengers film will be about a rescue attempt, or things will be resolved quickly, easily, and possibly off-screen. I’d like to see Avengers 4 devote some time to finding and rescuing Stark, but with literally dozens of characters needing facetime in one movie, it’s likely this cliffhanger will be a simple fix.

There just isn’t a lot of time to track down who and what is left in the universe in two hours and still provide a good story. We also have to retrieve Scott Lang (Ant Man) from the Quantum Realm, which necessitates another rescue operation. (We discussed possible ways Ant Man will return here.)


Read:

Who Survived the Infinity War

The Five Movies You Must See To Understand Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers Characters Who Can Lift Thor’s Hammer

Why Ant Man and the Quantum Realm are Necessary for Avengers 4

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 Movies Lose Both Chrises

He's dead. Jim.
Chris Pine, boldly going.

Paramount’s rebooted Star Trek movie franchise has a Chris Crisis. Or maybe we should call this A Tale of Two Chrises. 

As of this week, the current Trek feature films lost both of their actors named Chris — as in Pine (James T. Kirk) and Hemsworth (James T. Kirk’s late father George).  Both men reportedly walked after a breakdown in salary negotiations.

While the Kelvin Timeline can probably get by without Chris Hemworth’s contribution (Papa Kirk died in the teaser to the first rebooted film), it’s hard to imagine new Trek without Pine as Jim. It seems too early in the series, with only three prior flicks, to recast or totally remove the famous Captain Kirk role.

The upcoming 4th film was supposed to be about the Kirk family father and son dynamic (possibly through flashbacks, multiple universes, or time-travel).

The world also lost Anton Yelchin — the new Pavel Chekov — after the 3rd Trek film, in 2016 when the actor sadly died. This still leaves a robust supporting cast, but no Captain. What to do? Stop the new series entirely? Reimagine the character lineup with Spock as the new Captain? Hire a new actor to play Jim Kirk?

We’re looking at a science fiction universe full of canonized fantastical events, so the universe knows no bounds in explaining away anything unusual, story-wise.

—–

Here are five easy ideas to keep the Enterprise flying:

  1. Shelve the upcoming storyline for Film 4, and find a way to re-hire both actors for the subsequent 5th film, utilizing said father-son plot. Make current 4th movie a small story about something non-Kirky, and explain his absence by saying he’s on a Federation mission, elsewhere in deep space.
  2. Suck it up and hire a new actor for the role. It won’t be any worse than suddenly having a new Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films, or switching out The Oracle in The Matrix Trilogy.
  3. Promote Zachary Quinto’s Spock to Captain and focus on the remaining  ensemble, rather than making these movies the Kirk & Spock Show. They’ve got some good actors in Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, and Zoe Saldana: they should use them.
  4. Try jumping in time a bit to tell stories of Captain Sulu on the USS Excelsior, which is known as a definite thing in the Prime Timeline, and could sustain all kinds of narratives. Bring along any of the current cast who are game for a new role on the new ship.
  5. Skip a generation completely by recasting/rebooting one of the “modern Treks” like The Next Generation, Deep Space 9, or Voyager. With the recently  announced CBS television Trek showcase for Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard, there might be renewed interest in a fresh young ensemble, set in the 24th century.

It can’t happen, since Pine is a current actor in the DC Extended Universe (attached to Wonder Woman), but I’d love it if Hemsworth told Pine not to stress about pay talks for Star Trek, because he could just leapfrog over to the Marvel world.  It’s not possible because actors apparently can’t be both DCEU and MCU cast members, but it would be just darn cool for Marvel to “own” all four superhero Chrises:  Hemsworth, Evans, Pratt, and now Pine.

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

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 Characters We Will Probably See Again

Engage!

Sir Patrick Stewart, in an emotional surprise speech this month at the  2018 Las Vegas Star Trek Convention, announced that Jean-Luc Picard is back. CBS, on their All-Access subscription streaming channel, will be gifting us a new Star Trek show centered around the beloved Picard character. It’s set to premier in the fall of 2019, to appear roughly 20 years after the end of Star Trek IV: Nemesis.

Some actors from previous Trek incarnations are still quite active and energetic about their characters and involvement in Star Trek as a whole, on many forms of media. When we look into the future of the 24th century, I’m positive there will be more than one familiar face as either cameos, regular guest appearances, or even as full-fledged cast members. In fact, CBS will probably have to beat these actors off with Klingon Pain Sticks. There are a lot of characters to choose from who could conceivably be still alive and around.

I’ve got my theories on who we’ll see again. I’m basing this list of who’s been continually active in this (or any closely-related) franchise.To the list!

Characters from Star Trek that will probably appear in the as yet unnamed Jean-Luc Picard series:

  • Jean-Luc Picard. Naturally. It’s his show. But it’s super doubtful he’s still a Captain, or even anywhere near the flagship Enterprise. In The Next Generation (TNG) series finale, Picard went on to be a Federation Ambassador, a role the ever diplomatic, passionate, and suited-for-speechifying Picard seems born to play. While the future events seen in All Good Things never came to pass, I’m going to go on a short limb and say Picard is more likely now an ambassador than an admiral (he doesn’t seem to like very many of the admirals we’ve seen), an archaeologist (one of his lifelong hobbies), or something random, like an underground radical (unlike Spock, in TNG’s Reunification).
  • William Riker. Jonathan Frakes LOVES Star Trek. His TNG character kept on coming, in the TNG feature films, as Tom Riker in Deep Space 9, and as his original role in  Enterprise’s finale (and name-dropped by wife Deanna Troi in Voyager). Frakes also directed a lot of Trek, is STILL directing Trek (for the CBS all-access show ST: Discovery) and even episodes of fan favorite TNG expy The Orville.  No way will Riker not be in this.
  • Deanna Troi. Marina Sirtis, of TNG, appeared in the feature films, was a frequent regular on Voyagerand will probably appear with Riker.
  • Reginald Barclay.  Lt. Barclay, ostensibly a TNG character, was on Voyager enough times to be an honorary member of that crew. Actually, the crew DID nominate him for that role. Last we saw, Reg was working on the Pathfinder Project, although if Voyager series finale Endgame is to be believed (in an alternate timeline), he’s now a teacher at Starfleet.
  • Worf. Michael Dorn played his stoic Klingon as a full cast member on bothTNG and Deep Space 9, and in the trek movies. He’s racked up more episodes in Star Trek than any one actor in the entire franchise. Of course, he’s been off the map since DS9 ended, but one can hope the Klingon Ambassador is still around.
  • Geordi LaForge.  Aside from the films, I’m basing this on TNG engineer Levar Burton’s one captaining guest role he played on Voyager’s fine episode Timeless, and his directorial interests. I bet he turns back up as that captain.
  • Kathryn Janeway. All I have for hope on the Voyager Captain (Kate Mulgrew) showing up is her fun little cameo in the otherwise awful Nemesis, but she was an admiral then, and could still be one.
  • Tuvok. Not only has Tim Russ had multiple roles in Trek, but he’s returned to his Voyager Vulcan roots in several fan spinoffs online.  He’s clearly still interested.
  • Q. John deLancie reprised his awesome TNG regular Q on Deep Space 9 and Voyager, as well as appearing in several online fan Trek shows.
  • The Doctor. The talented Robert Picardo could bring his Voyager hologram back anytime. He had a role on The Orville last fall, which shows he’s still interested in Trek-like work.
  • Wesley Crusher.  Wil Wheaton is still young, and the actor is both an internet celebrity and a regular on the very popular, long-running, geek-oriented show The Big Bang Theory (as a version of himself). The character himself might be still wandering through space and time, as we saw him last in TNG’s Journey’s End, but that even makes things easier: he travels as easily as a thought. Literally. He saw Picard as a father figure, so there could be stories to mine.
  • Data/B4. Brent Spiner made an appearance on Enterprise as his own creator’s ancestor, and played himself on The Big Bang Theory. While Data himself is dead (if you accept Nemesis as canon), early “Data” version B4 could still be traveling with Picard, maybe as his attache or something. B4 might even be just like Data by now, and for all purposes BE Data. Okay, please?

Less Likely:  Characters from The Original Series and Enterprise

Could anyone from The Original Series pop in? The problem here is that 1. said characters would have to be alive and long-lived, and 2. their actors would need to still be alive and in good health. This counts just about everyone out, in one form or another, unless we use flashblacks, time-travel, or other well-worn sci-fi tropes. Sulu is a possibility if we go with one of those (George Takei had a well-received flashback episode on Voyager — named, appropriately, Flashback — and is a very active on the internet celebrity). There is also Chekov (although Walter Koenig has been conspicuous in his acting absence).  William Shatner’s Kirk is long dead, though the actor remains hale and is still acting, so….maybe? Note: I’m going to use the Prime Timeline-verse here. That would  muddy up the spaceways too much.

It’s even less likely we’ll have anyone from Enterprise on the new show, since their timeline is set even earlier than TOS. However, as these actors would be younger than anyone from TOS, TNG, DS9, or VOY, a flashback/time travel appearance could surprise us. One problem is that Enterprise is the least-loved, least watched show of all the old Treks, and producers probably want to sweep the memory of this one under the carpet.

What about Star Trek: Discovery?

This brings us to the much-derided Star Trek: Discovery. Even a die hard Trek fan like me won’t watch this show. I caught the free first episode on television, and HATED it. Nothing I heard since seems good: it’s still dark, it’s still weird, and it doesn’t feel anything like the Star Trek we know. But since it’s going to be playing concurrently with Picard’s show, CBS showrunners will probably create a cross-over anyway.

Star Trek Movies Lose Both Chrises

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.