LOTR: Fan Film Short of The Hobbit – Awesome

Who the hell are you? Gandalf, what’s with these Dwarves?

I actually think Peter Jackson should have opened The Hobbit with this fan-film feature. It’s that cute. Even if you don’t like drinking shots, you’ll find this short amusing. I can see this (in my personal head cannon) as what actually happened that fateful night at Bag End, and why Bilbo found it necessary to run after them to join the Dwarves’ expedition to The Lonely Mountain.

This short one-off has good production values — I’m impressed. Some of the Dwarves look just like their movie counterparts, and lead me to wonder if some of them reprised their role for this.

Note: If you don’t like scenes of people drinking and getting wasted, this might not be the video for you. It depicts an alternate vision of the Unexpected Party chapter in The Hobbit.

My opinion: Jackson did an amazing body of work in the Lord of the Rings. We can’t deny that. But for various reasons, he made The Hobbit — one slim novel, into a full feature trilogy. It didn’t turn out well. The Hobbit’s best scenes are with Gollum, Smaug, and Gandalf. And, of course, his scenes with the Dwarves in his home in Bag End. What do you think?

 

That’s kind of why I enjoy this spoof version of the unexpected party at Bag End on that fateful night. I totally buy that it went this way, and NOT what was recorded in The Red Book. After all, history has always been written/interpreters by the winners.

Altogether, this is really cute, if you’re a Middle Earth fan. Otherwise, skip it. I’d give them an A Grade myself, but it’s with a lot of Geek Cred giving them the score.

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.

Welcome to the Spider-Verse

It doesn’t matter how much they switch up the mask: Spiderman still looks like Deadpool.

Captain Midnight makes some intelligent videos for superhero nerds like us.  In this one,  he talks about how the upcoming animated reboot of the Spiderman universe is both an exciting prospect and a scary one. We’ve had a lot of Spidermen in the modern era, which speaks to the enduring popularity and relatable personality of Peter Parker.

For what it’s worth,  some of those movie installments were pretty good (like SpiderMan 2), and others were stinky turds (like Spiderman 3).

Now that the Marvel Cinematic Universe hit a home-run with Homecoming, Sony (together with the non-MCU Marvel)  is eyeing the rest of their arachnoid stable with greedy eyes. In the trailer for Into the Spiderverse, we’re shown an older Peter Parker, a young new POC Spiderman, and a Gwen Stacey black-and-white version of Spidergirl. And it looks like a whole colony of superpowered spiderfolk check in.

Early perceptions from most comic-book fans are giddily positive. The film’s upcoming narrative seems to hew more closely to the comic book storylines than any of the live-action features did.

I like the idea of a grown man version of Peter Parker counseling a new super spider hero. In theory. We just had this kind of material  covered with Iron Man and the MCU’s Spidey. I assume the writers have something different in mind.

We still don’t know yet how this Peter will be written, but I hope he’s retained an overzealous enthusiasm for his freewheeling, freelancing, webslinging job. I’m tired of seeing beloved superheroes grow grim, moody, and morose with time. Please keep my Spidey fun!

One note: I have to say the animation for the film looks really darned cool.

So, is the Spiderverse more about cashing in on the MCU’s approval ratings, or adding a legit fresh, exciting take on Spiderpeople?

Watch this insightful video to develop your own spidey sense of how the upcoming Into The Spiderverse is shaping up.

 

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 Marvel’s Spiderman Fixed the Franchise

He’s the only superhero from Queens, far as I know.

How many Spideys have graced (or disgraced) (or Topher Graced) the iconic young superhero on the big screen over the last few decades? This is the THIRD go at it in the modern era — but you probably knew that. How come Tom Holland’s performance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is considered superior?

This video (12 minutes in length) details a bit of Spiderman history, some words about Spiderman’s mask vs Peter Parker’s eyes, the importance of not dragging your viewers through the same origin moments over and over (ie – the spider bite, the death of Uncle Ben)…and a lot of cool tidbits you probably didn’t know about our favorite arachnid-themed teen hero:

Jill Florio

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

Star Trek 4 Movie News Updates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Star Trek Characters We Will Probably See Again

Jill Florio

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

Fun Details You Didn’t Notice from the Halloween Trailer

Bringing the story back to its roots.

The new Halloween movie returns to its roots. Yeah! It cleans up the timeline — ignoring the iffy sequels and remakes.  Almost entirely. Right on!

It’s full of visual metaphors and clues reminding you of the original movie, and promising what may come. Will we see hints of chilling thrills, and a great concluding narrative — instead of continuity-breaking and random plot twists, or mere pandering slasher gore?

Learn many small details about this year’s exciting Halloween trailer, starring a strong-seeming Jamie Lee Curtis, bringing vengeance and the pain to her old nemesis Michael Myers.

Enjoy this seven-minute video that picks apart every minute and taunted promise of fun, for this good-looking, exciting finale of the 1978 classic!

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

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.

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.

Movie Review – The Meg

I’m mulling over The Meg. It was a ton (er, rather, several tons) of fun, but after having viewed the original Jaws this week, my expectations are a bit high. I also have high expectations for movies with dinosaurs and other ‘real’ animals (as opposed to ‘monsters’).

Megalodon was a real shark, and an ancient one, and it’s not totally inconceivable that there could be a thermal inversion layer under the Marianas Trench with a “lost world” of prehistoric creatures roaming around. It’s been said we know more about the moon than what’s deep in our own oceans.

In fact, the brief dive under the Thermocline is the best, most beautiful, and stirring part of the movie. It wasn’t goofy, like many later scenes; in fact, it was almost like seeing Pandora, from Avatar. It was a magical glimpse of a place I would have happily watched through an entire movie. That early part, with the submersible rescue, is the best act of the film, laden with all the adventure, heroism, action, suspense, and scares I hoped for.

I loved the top of the line undersea rig too: it had a spiffy science-fiction feel. More of that would have been welcome too: like a space station, or moments of life on an underwater planet. So there was some wonderful stuff to play with, had the story chosen such routes.

Once the Megalodon follows our heroes to the colder, more modern ocean, everything got a bit more staid…and eventually silly. I didn’t mind if the entire film was comedic — honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from this one, whether straight up horror or camp — but I got mental whiplash from trying to follow what genre The Meg wanted to settle on.

Were any of the characters good? Um. Hmmmm. Jason Statham did about as well as any actor leading an adventure genre, but with less of the grace and humor I would expect from Vin Diesel or The Rock. He had the in-joke name of Jonas, but his is the only name I recall out of any of the other characters. The little girl was a good child actor, but I can’t say anyone else even tried.

The scariest scene for me: when the Meg starts to SWALLOW the plastic canister. I’m not going to say more about this, in case you haven’t seen the film yet, but that had me pretty gripped/grossed out. And then there’s the early moment when the Meg bites the sea station. This shark is fast, mean, and incredibly ungainly. Ugly and vicious.

But still, the movie is no adrenaline  joyride. By the time The Meg ended I was kind of tired, instead of happy, or jazzed, or excited. After the disappointment of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, I didn’t really know what to feel. I wanted wondrousness, and to be moved — or at least feel my pulse pound — and saw a couple glimpses of what could have been. I’ll stick with a B- for now, but I’ll think on it. It might not be worth more than a C+.

However, maybe it’s best to not think on this movie at all, and let it be lightly fun, instead of grand or thoughtful. There’s always the original Jaws for the best of this kind of summer blockbuster fare.

Movie Grade: B-

About the Peetimes: We have 3 good Peetimes. Each has pros and cons, but I’d recommend the 1st over the others. There’s no action until after the Peetime ends.

Related: 

Movie Rewatch Review — Jaws

Meet the Real Meg

RunPee’s Original Infographics: Meg 1 and Meg 2

Why Avatar Was Such a Good Idea

Best Scenes From Jaws and Why They Work

Things You Didn’t Know About Jaws/Things Wrong with Jaws

Best Quotes from Jaws

Jaws: Honest Trailers

 

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.