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

oscars statue for the awards ceremony
The big one: this year’s Oscar Awards Ceremony

The 2019 Oscar nominees will be announced on Tuesday, January 22.  It has been a wild awards season full of uncertainty, surprises, upsets, and scandal.  The nominations from the 2018 movies may bring their own share of upsets and surprises. Here are my predictions for what Tuesday morning will bring. (NOTE: All links go to RunPee’s movie reviews. If there is no link, we didn’t review it.)

 

Best Picture  – Under the current rules, there can be up to ten Best Picture nominees.  I’m predicting nine for this year. These are my choices in no particular order.  

 

 

 

  1. Black Panther

Black Panther has been preordained as a Best Picture nominee since it came out last year.  Like Straight Outta Compton was, this is one of the most successful movies of the year, both financially and critically.  If it does not get nominated, the Academy needs to take a long, hard look at itself. After Straight Outta Compton‘s snub, the Academy has done a lot of work to increase the diversity of its membership.  This is an exciting year, because there may be multiple films by people of color eligible for a Best Picture nomination including BlacKkKlansman, Crazy Rich Asians, If Beale Street Could Talk, and my beloved dark horses The Hate U Give and Sorry to Bother You (go watch them!). 

 

  1. A Star Is Born

The belle of the ball.  The early front runner.  As RuPaul might say, “You are safe.  Step to the back of the stage.”  Everyone knows this one is getting nominated.  It doesn’t make it any less of an achievement for Bradley Cooper, who struck gold with his directorial debut. 

 

  1. Green Book

This is the crowd pleaser.  From the first screenings at film festivals, audiences have been in love with this comedy about reconciliation, based on a true story.  There’s no way this doesn’t get nominated.

 

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody

Whatever plays for 2-3 weeks at Thanksgiving at the local arthouse ALWAYS goes to the Oscars.  This year, it was Bohemian Rhapsody and Boy Erased.  If it weren’t for Mary Poppins opening, they would have played Bohemian Rhapsody for an extra month probably.  A Golden Globes win for Best Picture has guaranteed this nomination. 

 

  1. Boy Erased

See above.  Strong performances by Lucas Hedges and Nicole Kidman make this one of the most powerful films of the year. 

 

  1. Vice

With a Best Actor and Best Director nomination likely, a Best Picture nomination is a lock for this Dick Cheney biopic.

 

  1. The Favourite

Living up to its title, this has been a critical and Hollywood favorite, racking up praise, awards, and nominations.  It truly is a “favorite.”  While I personally am not a fan, I’d be surprised if it doesn’t make the list. 

 

  1. BlacKkKlansman

Spike Lee’s masterpiece is one of the few summer films that’s so undeniable Oscar still remembers it, come winter.  The epilogue is a punch in the gut I can still feel. 

 

  1. A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place is this year’s Get Out.  It’s not a socially conscious satire.  However, A Quiet Place is the most talked about (and least talked during) horror movie of the year.  Sorry, Hereditary.  It did well at the box office, and it’s been shortlisted for at least one Oscar: Best Original Score. 

 

If there is a rare tenth slot this year, it goes to Crazy Rich Asians.  It is the first major film to feature an Asian-American cast since The Joy Luck Club twenty-five years ago.  That’s something worth celebrating.   

 

Sadly, this leaves First Man, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, and If Beale Street Could Talk on the sidelines.  

 

Best Actress

Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born

Glenn Close, The Wife

Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Saoirse Ronan, Mary Queen of Scots

 

Everyone has been whispering about an Oscar for Lady Gaga since A Star Is Born came out.  Glenn Close was a personal favorite before she won the Golden Globe. Just saying.  The Wife is a career highlight.  Melissa McCarthy showed the range of what she can do, from comedy to drama, in Can You Ever Forgive Me?  Olivia Colman will ride the praise for The Favourite to a nomination.  Mary Queen of Scots has been playing for over a month at the arthouse.  I’m going to go out on a limb, and say that audiences know something the odds makers don’t.  Maybe I’m blinded by my admiration for her, but I predict Saoirse Ronan is going to pull an upset and fill the fifth slot.  It’s not like she’s a stranger to the red carpet. 

 

Best Actor

Christian Bale, Vice

Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born

Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased

Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

 

Bale and Malek embody the men they are playing to a degree you forget you aren’t watching the real thing.  It would be a major upset if Bradley Cooper does not get a nomination for A Star is Born.  Lucas Hedges followed up Manchester By the Sea with another heartbreaking performance.  Viggo Mortensen makes it here by good will.  I like Green Book.  I liked Ryan Gosling in First Man, and Jonathan Pryce in The Wife better. 

 

Best Supporting Actress

Nicole Kidman , Boy Erased

Emma Stone, The Favourite

Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Amy Adams, Vice

 

Kidman excels at sentimental mother roles.  And she has at least one great scene in Boy Erased.  Stone and Weisz have been seen as competitors in this race, much like they were on-screen.  For all the pairs that publicists hoped would get nominated together this year (Ali and Mortensen for Green Book, Carell and Chalamet for Beautiful Boy), these two are the surest thing this side of A Star is Born. Regina King is a character actress that is loved by her peers.  She won the Golden Globe.  She may well win the Oscar.  Amy Adams has one of the best scenes of the year early on in Vice.  She’s also an Oscar favorite with several nominations. 

 

Best Supporting Actor

Sam Elliott, A Star is Born

Mahershala Ali, Green Book

Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Timothy Chalamet, Beautiful Boy

Steve Carell, Vice

 

Despite being snubbed by the Globes, I’m confident Sam Elliott is going to get a nomination.  (Isn’t it time?)  Ali’s nomination is similarly a foregone conclusion.  Grant is a respected British character actor with a decent amount of buzz behind his performance.  Chalamet gave a powerful portrayal of drug addiction and recovery.  I’m going to throw a monkey wrench into the works by predicting it will be Steve Carell rather than Sam Rockwell who gets nominated for the movie Vice.  Rockwell’s portrayal of George W. Bush is featured in the trailer and has garnered more attention.  But it’s Carell as Donald Rumsfeld who really steals the movie.  This makes the race a bit awkward by pitting Carell against his Beautiful Boy co-star Chalamet.  I’m still holding out hope though that the Academy will surprise me though, and fill one of these slots (not Sam’s!) with Russell Hornsby from The Hate U Give or Josh Hamilton from Eighth Grade (Best. Dads. Ever.).

 

Best Director

Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born

Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman

Peter Farrelly, Green Book

Adam McKay, Vice

 

Bradley Cooper nailed it with his first feature.  Not only did he make an entertaining film, he made a love story that feels authentic.  Alfonso Cuaron dug into his childhood memories to bring to life a similarly authentic story.  Spike Lee made a humorous, suspenseful, moving meditation about race in America.  Peter Farrelly took us on a road trip that changed the lives of two men.  Adam McKay made a brave film about politics and power.  There are no real surprises in my choices.  This is the same lineup as the Globes and the Directors Guild nominations.  If I had my druthers, Bo Burnham (Eighth Grade) or Damien Chazelle (First Man) would take Peter Farrelly’s slot. 

 

Best Original Song

“Shallow,” A Star is Born

“A Place Called Slaughter Race,” Ralph Breaks the Internet

“Trip a Little Light Fantastic,” Mary Poppins Returns

“The Place Where Lost Things Go,” Mary Poppins Returns

“All the Stars,” Black Panther

 

“Shallow” is a lock.  Of course, A Star Is Born is going to get a Best Song nomination.  If Ralph Breaks the Internet‘s side-splittingly funny, “A Place Called Slaughter Race” doesn’t get nominated, there is no justice.  It’s a send up of the classic Disney princess “I Want” song (“Part of Your World”, etc.) And I’m dying for a Randy Newman cover version.  Who do you think they’ll get to sing it at the Oscars?  It’s not unusual for Disney to have more than one song nominated from the same film (The Lion King had three).  So I think both shortlisted Mary Poppins songs could make it through, though “Light Fantastic” is the ear worm.  I’m giving the final slot to “All the Stars” though it could go to “Girl in the Movies” by Dolly Parton from Dumplin’.  She has been nominated twice before.

 

Best Original Screenplay

Green Book, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, and Peter Farrelly

Vice, Adam McKay

Eighth Grade, Bo Burnham

First Reformed, Paul Schrader

A Quiet Place, Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, and John Krasinski

 

Green Book: how do you not nominate the crowd-pleaser?  For Vice, McKay not only had to do exhaustive research, he employs several unique narrative devices.  Bo Burnham managed to capture not only the awkwardness of middle school, but to tell it from the point of view of a teenage girl.  Paul Schrader wrote one of the two best movies about faith this year.  (Disobedience was the other one.  Watch them both.)  A Quiet Place was one of the most unique theatrical experiences of the year.  The first sequence is its own horror short film that should be used to teach would-be screenwriters how to tell a story visually. 

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins

Can You Ever Forgive Me?,  Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty

Black Panther, Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole

A Star Is Born, Eric Roth and Bradley Cooper & Will Fetters

BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott

 

Barry Jenkins didn’t just tell a story.  He found ways to add power to James Baldwin’s words through imagery.  Can You Ever Forgive Me? found the humanity in two hard to love people. 

Out of the comic books (Black Panther) came one of the most empowering films of all time.  The fourth version of A Star Is Born made us fall in love again.  BlacKkKlansman delivered a necessary message through an entertaining story. 

 

Best Animated Film

Incredibles 2

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Mirai

Isle of Dogs

 

This is the same lineup as the Globes, but these are simply the five best animated films that came out this year.  If I could find anything artier or weirder to put in Mirai‘s spot, I would have, because Oscar would too.  (See My Life As a Zuchini.)

 

Incredibles 2 was the sequel that goes bigger than the original.  It was huge summer fun and everything I love about Pixar.  Ralph Breaks the Internet was…a little less fun but still had lots of laughs and lots of heart and the ultimate song (see above).  Spider-Man was an unexpected roller-coaster ride full of surprises.  I’m pulling for it to win.  Mirai was a sweet anime about family and heritage.  Isle of Dogs was Wes Anderson’s tale of a boy in search of his dog, in a world where dogs have been banned. 

 

I’m predicting Mirai in the fifth slot but the Academy could go more commercial and choose Teen Titans Go to the Movies, Hotel Transylvania 3 (such a let-down after 2!), Sherlock Gnomes, or Smallfoot instead. 


 

Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick—amazing rom com!) and Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish) will announce the nominees live on Tuesday, January 22 at 8:20 am ET/5:20 am PT.  

You can live stream it at Oscar.com. Check my predictions then, and find out if I was way off base or right on the money.  Feel free to make your own predictions in the comments below. Check back here for more awards coverage! And don’t forget to use the Run Pee app for those lengthy, bladder-busting awards bait movies.  

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

Movie Review – Bohemian Rhapsody

Movie Review – Black Panther

Movie Review – A Star Is Born

Movie Review – BlacKkKlansman

Movie Review – Glass

Movie Review - GlassGlass is one of those movies the fans love and the rest of the world does not. My theater was packed with die-hard Shyamalan fans. There were laughs, and applause throughout the movie. I polled a few fans as they were leaving and it was unanimous; they loved it. And for that, I give the movie a B+.

I’ll begin my own personal review by saying, I was really wowed by the first two movies in the trilogy. M. Night Shyamalan always does an excellent job of developing characters, and his exposition is the best in the business. Just by inserting a well-placed piece of dialog, or one small scene, can reveal volumes about the character.

What do you do when your three lead characters (with giant personalities) have already had their own movie, and now share the screen for a final showdown? That was done well in the Marvel Universe, but fell a little short in Glass.

Honestly, I wanted more Beast and less Glass. Watching James McAvoy change personalities was wonderful. How could you ever be bored watching a one man show up with 23 different characters?

There was so much exposition packed into this movie that at times I was a little frustrated. The dialog was very good, with no wasted words or protracted gibberish. The plot was obvious, thanks to the 95 or so trailers that hit the media a few weeks ago, but the film still managed to throw in a few surprises and twists.

The ending left me totally unsatisfied; I expected one of those scenes that leaves your jaw on the floor, and your knees weak, but all I felt was a bit confused, with one big WTF.

Grade: B+

About The Peetimes: This was a very difficult movie for Peetimes. The action and suspense was just about non-stop, and every scene led into another equally important plot development. I recommend the 2nd Peetime, because after that there’s no other opportunity to squeeze in a 4 minute break.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Glass. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG-13) for violence including some bloody images, thematic elements, and language
Genres: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

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Quiz – M. Night Shyamalan Movies

Quiz – M. Night Shyamalan & his Cameo Roles

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

the lego movie, chris pratt, everything is awesome song
Chris Pratt might be having a little too much awesome.

Last Thursday, while I waited in my theater for “The Dog Movie” to start, I was thrilled to catch two cool trailers: one for a fresh new Men In Black sequel (with Chris Hemsworth!), and the newest Lego film, called, appropriately enough, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.

It also reminded me of that gloriously silly Awesome song that assaults our senses when we first meet Chris Pratt’s Lego character in the original film. From the trailer, it looks like things pick up five apocalyptic years where they left off from in The Lego Movie. Remember those Duplos? Hmmmm. Smells like a plot.

And then there’s the second crew with Batman and Robin. I’m not sure how The Lego Batman Movie and even The LEGO Ninjago Movie fit into the Lego-Verse. (I’ll let you know after I see the The Lego Movie 2.) The upcoming sequel has a long list of star-studded voices. But — hey — here’s the best news of all: Chris Pratt is back as Emmett, in the lead Lego role. He was sorely missed in The Lego Batman Movie. More Chris is always “awesome.”

Enjoy this happy little Lego-based video, with the lyrics to Everything is Awesome below. I know the song is unbearably cheery, but sometimes that just works, like it does here. Sing and dance in the darn streets about how great everyone is, and I bet you’ll improve your day and make everyone else smile too. (“$37 dollars for a coffee? Awesome!”)


Lyrics to Everything is Awesome

(By Tegan And Sara)

Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team
Everything is awesome, when you’re living out a dream

Everything is better when we stick together
Some have said you and I are gonna win forever?
Let’s party forever
We’re the same, you’re like you, you’re like me, we’re all working in harmony

Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team
Everything is awesome, when you’re living out a dream

Woo! 3, 2, 1, go!
Have you heard the news? Everyone’s talkin’
Life is good ’cause everything awesome
Lost my job, there’s a new opportunity
More free time for my awesome community
I feel more awesome than an awesome possum
Dip my body in chocolate frostin’
Three years later wash off the frostin’
Smellin’ like a blossom, everything is awesome
Stepped in mud, got new brown shoes
It’s awesome to win and it’s awesome to lose

Everything is better when we stick together
Side by side, you and I gonna win forever?
Let’s party forever
We’re the same, I’m like you, you’re like me, we’re all working in harmony

Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team
Everything is awesome, when you’re living out a dream

Blue skies, bouncy springs, we just named a few awesome things
A Nobel prize, a piece of string
You know what’s awesome? Everything!
Dogs with fleas, allergies
A book of Greek antiquities
Brand new pants, a very old vest
Awesome items are the best
Trees, (frogs), clogs, they’re awesome
Rocks, clocks, and socks, they’re awesome
Figs, and jigs, and twigs, that’s awesome
Everything you see or think or say is awesome

Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team
Everything is awesome, when you’re living out a dream…

(Songwriters: Joshua Bartholomew / Lisa Harriton / Michel Patterson
Everything Is AWESOME!!! 2104 lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group)


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Movie Review – The LEGO Movie

Movie Review – The LEGO Ninjago Movie

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Virgin Movie Review – 21 Jump Street

jonah hill and channing tatum as cops in high school for 21 jump street
They could have called this Prom Cops and I’d probably have seen it sooner.

21 Jump Street is a sweet little film that flew under my radar until last night. When my mother DVRed it (and subsequent sequel 22 Jump Street) to her TV for our movie night, I was confused. Wasn’t this a TV show? A cop procedural from the 80s?

She promised me it was definitely a movie and probably funny, so I agreed to watch it and make my notes for a virgin movie review. When I saw it had Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in it, I felt a whole lot better about sitting through it.

21 Jump Street is actually not a cop procedural, although it’s certainly bookended as one. It’s more like a John Hughes teen angst comedy, with enough cop buddy-hood to keep things a little more grown-up. And yes, upon due investigation, this is a sort of remake/reinvisioned-sequel to the 1987 TV show of the same name. (Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a movie is a continued story or a reboot, but ultimately it doesn’t matter here.)

Was it funny? I’d say I smiled a whole lot throughout and even LOLed a few times. The constant meta-references to Tatum looking too old to be in high school landed well, as did the other funny self-aware bits, like when the police chief tells our guys he’s resurrecting an obsolete, defunct 80s undercover program. Which, yes, that’s exactly what’s happening in-story and outside the confines of 21 Jump Street. When the drama class director says, “And that’s the end of the second act,” it really was the end of the film’s second act. For a fluff movie deriving laughs from a fish-out-of-water high school scenario, I found the meta humor more sophisticated than expected in this kind of genre.

Self-aware joking aside, this movie had a lovely twist in it that I didn’t see coming. I expected things to more or less continue the old school hierarchies seen in the first three minutes, before Hill and Tatum’s characters entered the police academy.

If you haven’t seen 21 Jump Street (the movie, not the TV show), then you might want to stop reading here because I’m going to spoil the twist. Actually, it’s not a twist so much as the entire premise of the show, and I’m surprised I didn’t realize this going in. It made for a pleasant first time viewing to not know, so if you are a complete newbie to this like I was, go away now and come back later.  😉

Spoilers ahead!

When we learn the two boys accidentally took on each other’s fake names, I was prepared for a lot of cringe humor (which I cordially dislike). What I got instead was how Hill’s dweeby persona actually suited him in the brave new world of what is/isn’t cool at school seven years later…and how Tatum’s dim-witted turn as a kid enrolled in advanced placement classes actually leveled him up, to the point he could crack jokes about KNO3 (potassium nitrate), and learn to jail-break a phone with his new-found friendly, accepting nerd friends. It was nice to see a movie where role reversals don’t depend on being desperately out of one’s element. (Haha, I just made a joke about elements, and wasn’t even trying. See? The film even made me smarter.)

Here’s the cute 21 Jump Street scene about KNO3 (it’s about a minute long):

Also, there’s this bit of rocket fun if you add sugar to potassium nitrate. What’s not to love about chemistry? Also, don’t go out now and blow your fool hands off:

Hill and Tatum have some good chemistry together, which looks like it surprised them as much as the viewer. It was all very playful, like two big puppies wrestling. At the prom.

Now that our next Jump Street sees the “brothers” leaving high school and entering college undercover in 22 Jump Street, I’m looking forward to tonight’s film.

Movie Grade: B

Movie Review – 22 Jump Street

A Discussion on Buddy Cop Movies

5 Differences between the Old and New Mary Poppins

mary poppins flies with her unbrella
How do I get my Umbrella to do that?

The new Mary Poppins movie is out. Disney’s magical, musical nanny has returned to theaters after 54 years, five Oscars, a run on Broadway, and a Tony award. While the new movie keeps several staples of the original (the titular nanny, singing and dancing, a fun animated sequence, and kite flying), there are several significant differences.

1. A new actress has taken on the role of Mary. The most significant difference is that Mary Poppins is played by Emily Blunt instead of Julie Andrews. Mary Poppins Returns takes place 25 years after the original film, meaning both Andrews and Dick Van Dyke have aged out of their iconic roles. Furthermore, Andrews had surgery in 1997 that negatively affected her singing voice, making it impossible for her to tackle the movie’s many songs. The good news is that Blunt makes a worthy successor.

2. The father has a different temperament. The father in Mary Poppins Returns is a more sympathetic figure, being a widower with three children. He even gets the heartbreaking song “A Conversation.” Having been raised by the stern Mr. Banks, Michael is trying not to become his father at his worst, and catches himself when he shouts at the children.

3. Mary has a different companion. Like Doctor Who, the on-screen version of Mary Poppins always seems to have a companion. In the original, Mary spends a lot of time with Bert, a jack-of-all trades (most memorably a chimney sweep). In the new movie, Mary’s companion is a lamplighter and their relationship is more platonic than flirty. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Jack has eyes for Jane Banks instead.

4. There is a thrilling climax. In the original film, the climax is more emotional than physical. The movie’s third act is much more action-oriented this time around. There’s a race against time, an army of lamp lighters, and a famous London landmark involved.

5. Dick Van Dyke does not play Bert. Jack was an apprentice chimney sweep to Bert, who is currently traveling the world. While Bert does not appear in the film, the 93-year-old Dick Van Dyke has a cameo as George Dawes Jr. It may be a smaller part, but Van Dyke still brings the house down when he dances for joy on that desktop.

Two of the numbers from Mary Poppins Returns have made the Oscar shortlist for Best Original Song (“Trip a Little Light Fantastic” and “The Place Where Lost Things Go”). And the movie is eligible in several other categories.

Find out how it fares when the Oscar nominees are announced on January 22nd. Disney is already in early talks for a third film, according to CinemaBlend.

If you do choose to catch up with the new Mary Poppins movie, be sure to use the RunPee app.

Movie Review – Mary Poppins Returns

Movie Review – Mary Poppins Returns

Full List for the 2019 76th Annual Golden Globes Nominees & Winners

Movie Review – Saving Mr. Banks

Is A Dog’s Way Home a Sequel to A Dog’s Purpose?

a dogs way home by w bruce cameron
It’s sort of a sequel and definitely a reboot.

Well, is it a sequel? Yes. And no. It’s also kind of a remake. I’ll get to that in a minute.

A Dog’s Way Home and A Dog’s Purpose, both written by W. Bruce Cameron, are intended as the first two parts in a “shared universe” dog trilogy. This is slated to culminate in A Dog’s Journey later this year.

What both current movies have in common — besides, you know, dogs — is a desire to make their audiences cry. So if that doesn’t sound like a fun time, neither of these films are for you. At least try not to see them alone.

Another thing that stands out is how morbid both stories are. Life, death, and life again are repeating motifs in what on the surface would seem to be harmless family films. I don’t want to spoil any plots, but some freaky things happen in both Home and Purpose that make me wonder what the writer intends for the final film in his doggie-verse.

One thing you might recall from A Dog’s Purpose is how the titular dog, in one of his lives, has a swim rescue scene where the actual canine actor almost drowned. That kind of terrifying real-life event can go on to sink a franchise, and the new movie will probably remind everyone of Peta’s Purpose movie boycott action: “No amount of spin from Hollywood will change the fact that being forced to do a terrifying stunt is not a dog’s purpose,” said PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange in a statement. “PETA is calling on kind people to boycott this film and send the message that animals should be treated humanely, not exploited as movie props.”

So  I’m a little surprised a follow-up got greenlit, and that the writer returned to the death-theme well once again.  There’s one section with veteran actor Edward James Olmos that’s so upsetting I’m shocked A Dog’s Way Home doesn’t come with a disclaimer.

I mentioned above that A Dog’s Way Home is also a remake, because the theme of ‘pet crossing the country to get home’ has already been told a few times on the big screen. The 1963 live action Disney film The Incredible Journey features a bull terrier, a lab mix, and a Siamese cat who band together to cross a vast distance and help each other through many dangers…and it’s still the film to beat.

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993) was a rebooted version with a few changes (this features the animals narrating, as does the one canine in A Dog’s Way Home), but is essentially the same story.

I’m willing to bet W. Bruce Cameron saw both of these movies.  🙂

Movie Review – A Dog’s Way Home

Movie Review – A Dog’s Purpose

Movie Review – A Dog’s Way Home

 

Movie Review - A Dog's Way HomeA solid B film where I cried six times, including within the opening three minutes. That’s got to be some kind of record. I wrote down how many times I cried as I jotted down notes for Peetimes (and my male companion cried three times, so it’s not just a girl thing).

In any case, I really don’t like movies that make me cry and try to avoid them, but since I saw the previous year’s A Dog’s Purpose, I felt I should see the ‘sequel.’ (A Dog’s Journey is not technically a sequel, but this is intended to a be part two of a dog trilogy in a shared universe.)

In any case, I’ve been referring to this as “The Dog Movie” — and that’s exactly what you get. There are a few people, some cats, and lots of pretty scenery, but for the most part you’re in the mind of a young part-pit pup who’s got a single-minded goal to play “Go Home”…a long, scary, and thrill-filled “game” that takes her over two and a half years, and 400 exhausting miles.

Bella’s not the world’s smartest dog, but she’s loving, loyal, and committed to reuniting with her human. I’m not going to give anything away, and while you probably can guess how it ends, a few things happen along the way that will surprise you.

For one thing, an almost unrecognizable Edward James Olmos has a couple of emotionally distressing scenes, and those will probably upset children.

Speaking of which: there were some little kids in my theater, and they were restive at times, because things get gripping and tense frequently. I don’t recommend letting your children see this alone, to be honest; you might get them back scared and crying. There’s a scene that’s even frightening for adults: I was legitimately freaking out watching a confused Bella try to cross that six lane interstate into Denver.

There were some weird filming liberties here and there, like a brief bit showing a moose (there are none in Colorado…but since this was filmed in British Columbia, we’ll just let that go). And the CGI animals were badly done, jarring me out of a few scenes where fake critters interacted with real ones.

Bella the dog was thankfully a real animal, and she did a fine job carrying the story on her canine shoulders. Bryce Dallas Howard narrated Bella’s thoughts, and was pleasing enough in an earnest way. Bella meets a lot of nice people along her journey, and I loved the bookend scenes with the disabled vets. No one really stood out though, which was appropriate in this kind of flick. The writer did a great job having the POV center almost entirely on Bella.

In the end, A Dog’s Way Home is a mostly-harmless fluff film that dog lovers will appreciate. You’ll forgive me though, for saying the Disney classic Incredible Journey from 1963 is still the best version of this kind of tale.

PS: These kinds of things do happen with animals. I had a beloved dog escape from my dog-sitter in Arizona and make it across the desert by himself to San Diego, CA. He arrived in a few weeks, with bloody paws and a lot of hunger, but he did make it, and we were reunited.

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: I have 3 Peetimes, and recommend the 1st if you can pop out early. Pay attention to the Peetime meta in this film and you’ll be okay with the second 2. (This movie is a series of repetitive travel scenes, intercut with emotional vignettes you won’t want to miss.)

Animal Abuse Alert: This movie has intense scenes of animals in peril. Children and animal lovers will find a lot of this movie disturbing — too many scenes to make them all into Alerts.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of A Dog’s Way Home. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG) for thematic elements, some peril and language
Genres: Adventure, Family

Is A Dog’s Way Home a Sequel to A Dog’s Purpose?

Movie Review – A Dog’s Purpose

Why You Need to Care About Carol Danvers – Captain Marvel Facts and Film Updates

brie larson as captain marvel for the mcu
Who is this young woman, and how can she possibly fight Thanos?

Have you noticed the Captain Marvel trailers dropping for the upcoming March 8, 2019 film, set within the (admittedly large and dense) Marvel Cinematic Universe? There’s a lot of speculation on who exactly Ms. Marvel is, how she’s going to fit into the Avengers ongoing storyline, why the movie will be set in the past, and what we need to know before we see the flick. Rest assured, you don’t need to catch up on years of Captain Marvel comic books to follow along — we’ll tell you the few things we think will help get you up to speed.

There are some slight spoilers here, but nothing to fret over if you’ve seen the trailers at all. (Skip this post if you want to be completely in the dark.)

RunPee writer Golden Man, of the Oscar-awards oriented blog Etched In Gold, lists these cool details to help you better understand Carol Danvers (AKA Captain Marvel):

— In the comic books, Carol Danvers was known as Ms. Marvel, until taking over the mantle of Captain Marvel in 2012.

— The movie draws inspiration from the 1970s comic storyline The Kree-Skrull War.

— Skrulls are the villains in the movie. They have the ability to simulate other people (like the old lady on the train in the trailer).

— There are rumors this movie will plant the seeds for a future film based on the 2008 Secret Invasion storyline, where Skrulls impersonated many famous characters from the Marvel universe.

— The movie is set in the late ’90s. This basically makes it a prequel to the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.

— In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Samuel L. Jackson confirmed we will find out what happened to Nick Fury’s eye in this movie.

— A young Agent Coulson appears in the movie. (That is Clark Gregg taking off his sunglasses in the latest trailer.)

— This movie makes the first time Marvel Studios has used de-aging effects on actors for an entire film (for Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg).

— Lee Pace’s character Ronan the Accuser (who menaced the Guardians of the Galaxy in Volume 1) will reappear in this movie.

— Lashana Lynch plays Maria Rambeaux. In the comics, her daughter Monica also takes on the mantle of Captain Marvel at some point. (She is also known by other superhero names.)

— Captain Marvel is confirmed to be appearing in Avengers: Endgame.

— While a sequel is likely, Marvel is remaining super secretive about Phase Four and no movies have been officially announced beyond Spiderman: Far From Home.

Here’s the first Captain Marvel trailer to get you started. It’s less than two minutes long, but packed with great (albeit lightning-quick) details  — things you’ll understand better after reading our tips:

1st Captain Marvel Trailer Finally Drops

Avengers 4 Title Announced – First Trailer Review

A Slightly More Than Casual Fan’s Reaction to Avenger 4 Trailer 1

The 5 Movies You Need To Watch Before Infinity War

Guardians Of The Galaxy


Bio: Golden Man loves comedies, romantic films, superhero movies, and awards bait. He blogs about the Oscar race all year long at Etched In Gold.

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

76 annual golden globes award
Who deserves to win a Golden Globe from the 2018 movies?

We’ve compiled the complete list of nominees for tonite’s (Jan 6, 2019) 76th Annual Globe Awards, and the RunPee Family added a few comments here and there. Been a long, fruitful year of movies. We’ve added links to RunPee’s own reviews where we had them (we don’t catch every limited release). Enjoy reading our opinions!

So! What are your best guesses? Are you happy about the wins? Who was robbed? Add your thoughts about 2018’s films in the comments below.

UPDATED, AFTER THE AWARDS: All winners in each category are in bold. They have boldly gone where movies should go, right? Anyway.

The full list of 2019 Golden Globes nominees [Drumroll]:

Film


 

Best Picture — Drama

Black Panther (RunPee Jilly: PLEASE let a genre superhero movie win!!! Break the ceiling now! Make Stan Lee proud! Oh, just win it!) 

BlacKkKlansman (Dan: What a funny, witty, movie. Great acting, directing, editing. It’s a strong contender for Best Picture.) 

Bohemian Rhapsody (Jilly: Why is this not a musical?)

If Beale Street Could Talk

A Star Is Born (Jilly: Second time: why is this also not a musical?)

Best Picture — Comedy or Musical

Crazy Rich Asians

The Favourite

Green Book

Mary Poppins Returns (Jilly: Certainly is the only Musical on this list.)

Vice (Jilly: This was a COMEDY?)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama

Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born

Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate

Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased

Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody (Jilly: my pic for the prize. He WAS Freddie.)

John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman (Dan: I don’t know about this. If JDW is nominated then how can Adam Driver not be nominated as well? They played the same person. 🙂 )

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama

Glenn Close, The Wife

Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born

Nicole Kidman, Destroyer

Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Rosamund Pike, A Private War (Jilly: the movie was disturbing, but clearly meant to be. I can’t argue with the stellar job Pike did with this challenging piece. It’s nothing like her work in Gone Girl, but I can make out certain similar touches.)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy

Christian Bale, Vice (Dan: Wait, what? Christian Bale was Cheney? I thought Cheney played himself in this movie.)

Lin Manuel Miranda, Mary Poppins Returns

Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

Robert Redford, The Old Man & the Gun

John C. Reilly, Stan & Ollie

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy

Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns (Jilly: She really became Mary Poppins, ya’ll. Goes to show that good talent can equal a previous iconic performance, if all things come together. Also, it’s Emily Blunt! She’s on my “Can Do No Wrong” list.)

Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade

Charlize Theron, Tully

Constance Wu, Crazy Rich Asians (Dan: This movie had all the markings of a cinematic Hallmark movie, but Constance’s performance really brought it up a notch, and then some.)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture

Mahershala Ali, Green Book

Timothée Chalamet, Beautiful Boy

Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman (Dan:  Okay, that’s what I’m talking about. Driver was superb.)

Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Sam Rockwell, Vice (Dan: Meh, just like Bush Jr., he plays second fiddle to the real talent.)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture

Amy Adams, Vice (Dan:  A strong performance. She didn’t have many dramatic scenes but did a great job with what she had.)

Claire Foy, First Man

Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk (DanaSimone:  UPDATE: Just heard Regina King got an Award for Best Supporting Actress for Beale Street…. and she made a trending speech about hiring 50 percent women from now on on her projects….here is her awesome speech.)

Emma Stone, The Favourite

Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Best Director — Motion Picture

Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born (Jilly: A nice directorial effort. This young man is shaping up nicely.)

Alfonso Cuarón, Roma

Peter Farrelly, Green Book

Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman (Dan:  He’s got my vote.)

Adam McKay, Vice (Dan:  Adam did a great job taking a creative approach to a serious subject matter. I mean really, it takes real creativity to make a bioptic about Dick Cheney into a comedy, without turning it into a farce.)

Best Screenplay — Motion Picture

Alfonso Cuarón, Roma

Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, The Favourite

Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk

Adam McKay, Vice (Dan: Honestly, his directing was really good, however I think the bulk of the credit goes to Christian Bale’s performance. But this screenplay was amazing. I think this is Adam’s strongest suit.)

Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Green Book

Best Motion Picture — Animated

Incredibles 2 (Jilly: The probable winner. This adulty animated Superhero family is the one to beat. Plus, Pixar!)

Isle of Dogs  (Jilly: Isle of Dogs certainly deserves this nom. I was super surprised how sophisticated this limited release cartoon about Asian dogs was. But it had a stellar acting cast, so, maybe I should have expected it.)

Mirai (Golden Man: A sweet anime about family and heritage. Definitely an underdog. Its nomination is its award. The kind of left field movie that occasionally sneaks into the Best Animated Film category at the Oscars.)

Ralph Breaks the Internet (Jilly: This was freaking amazing too!)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Jilly: OH NOES. Let this one win. Sorry about everything I said above. Especially in 3D, this film absolutely blows the rest out of the water. One of the best movies in any medium – total A ++++.)

Best Picture — Foreign Language

Capernaum

Girl

Never Look Away

Roma

Shoplifters

Best Original Score — Motion Picture

Marco Beltrami, A Quiet Place (Jilly: WTH? This is an almost entirely silent film? Does this count as Best Anti-Score?)

Alexandre Desplat, Isle of Dogs (Jilly: Unusual score, but not a winner, I think.)

Ludwig Göransson, Black Panther (Jilly: YES! This is the kind of soundtrack scoring that transports the viewer to a new reality. This most exotic of Marvel’s soundtracks should set a standard of what we can expect in a genre film like this.. My unreserved vote.)

Justin Hurwitz, First Man (Jilly: The score was a collection of oldies hits, if I recall. Nope on this one.)

Marc Shaiman, Mary Poppins Returns (Jilly: Might be hard to beat from nostalgia factor alone. Not my choice, though.)

Best Original Song — Motion Picture

“All the Stars,” Black Panther

“Girl in the Movies,” Dumplin’

“Requiem for a Private War,” A Private War

“Revelation,” Boy Erased

“Shallow,” A Star Is Born

Television


Best Television Series — Drama

The Americans (FX)

Bodyguard (Netflix)

Homecoming (Amazon)

Killing Eve (BBC America)

Pose (FX)

Best Television Series — Musical or Comedy

Barry (HBO)

Kidding (Showtime)

The Good Place (NBC) (Jilly: The Good Place is a well deserved sleeper hit. The small ensemble is clearly having a great time, and so are we in watching it.)

The Kominsky Method (Netflix)

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
The Alienist, TNT

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, FX

Escape at Dannemora, Showtime

Sharp Objects, HBO

A Very English Scandal, Amazon

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Drama

Jason Bateman, Ozark

Stephan James, Homecoming

Richard Madden, Bodyguard

Billy Porter, Pose

Matthew Rhys, The Americans

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Drama

Caitriona Balfe, Outlander

Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

Sandra Oh, Killing Eve

Julia Roberts, Homecoming

Keri Russell, The Americans

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy

Sacha Baron Cohen, Who Is America

Jim Carrey, Kidding

Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method

Donald Glover, Atlanta

Bill Hader, Barry

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy

Kristen Bell, The Good Place (Jilly: Bell deserves this. No one but Veronica Mars herself could do a better job sleuthing this plot out.)

Candice Bergen, Murphy Brown

Alison Brie, Glow

Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Debra Messing, Will & Grace (Jilly: Messing will probably win, to make up for the 30 noms her show was snubbed by over the years. I’ll be fine with that. The show did something I never thought mainstream society was ready for.)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television

Antonio Banderas, Genius: Picasso

Daniel Bruhl, The Alienist

Darren Criss, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

Benedict Cumberbatch, Patrick Melrose

Hugh Grant, A Very English Scandal

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television

Amy Adams, Sharp Objects

Patricia Arquette, Escape at Dannemora

Connie Britton, Dirty John

Laura Dern, The Tale

Regina King, Seven Seconds

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television

Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method

Kieran Culkin, Succession

Edgar Ramirez, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

Ben Whishaw, A Very English Scandal

Henry Winkler, Barry

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television

Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Patricia Clarkson, Sharp Objects

Penelope Cruz, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

Thandie Newton, Westworld

Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale

So? What say you? Go to the comments and don’t be shy. We all have our own opinions, so no one is wrong.  For example, I (RunPee Jilly) tend to like genre films/TV (sci-fi, fantasy, adventure) myself, and avoid a lot of Oscar bait. It doesn’t mean I have no taste, does it? It’s all fun. That’s what makes us go see movies, read reviews, and learn new things to watch. 

Quiz – Golden Globe Awards Trivia

Quiz – Bradley Cooper – Actor, Director, Musician

Quiz – Clint Eastwood – Actor, Director, Mayor, Musician

Quiz – Political Career of Dick Cheney

Did Rami Malek Sing In Bohemian Rhapsody?

Greet the Morning with Groot – Mr. Blue Sky Video and Lyrics

baby groot in guardians of the galaxy dancing to mr blue sky
The cutest dancing tree in the galaxy.
One of the most memorable scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the opening credits, as the adorable Baby Groot dances to ELO’s hit song “Mr. Blue Sky.”

What makes this scene so engaging is Groot’s complete obliviousness to his team mates-slash-parents’ danger as they fight a seriously deranged space monster. The Guardians get beat to hell as Groot grooves along, manically chases space rodents, and  then waves to Gamora mid-fight. Gamora kindly takes the time to say, “Groot, get out of the way! You’re going to get hurt. Hi!” in between blasting at the nasty tentacled slime beast. It’s a hoot. You can’t beat this stuff. (I’m SO going to miss James Gunn by the time we get to GotG Vol 3.)

I wrote a previous article about how the first song on my daily morning playlist is Deadpool’s fabulous opening scene, set to Juice Newton’s Angel in the Morning. Now I’m writing to report Mr. Blue Sky always follows on the heels of that softer tune, and gets me ready to dance around and greet the day.

Here’s the absolutely precious opening scene in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 for your viewing enjoyment. Why can’t all movies be this much fun?

These are the lyrics to Mr. Blue Sky, so you can sing along while Baby Groot does his joyful boogie:

Mr. Blue Sky

(Electric Light Orchestra – 1978)

Sun is shinin’ in the sky
There ain’t a cloud in sight
It’s stopped rainin’ everybody’s in a play
And don’t you know
It’s a beautiful new day, hey hey
Runnin’ down the avenue
See how the sun shines brightly in the city
On the streets where once was pity
Mister blue sky is living here today, hey hey
Mister blue sky please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long (so long)
Where did we go wrong?
Mister blue sky please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long (so long)
Where did we go wrong?
Hey you with the pretty face
Welcome to the human race
A celebration, mister blue sky’s up there waitin’
And today is the day we’ve waited for
Oh mister blue sky please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long (so long)
Where did we go wrong?
Hey there mister blue
We’re so pleased to be with you
Look around see what you do
Everybody smiles at you
Hey there mister blue
We’re so pleased to be with you
Look around see what you do
Everybody smiles at you
Mister blue sky, mister blue sky
Mister blue sky
Mister blue, you did it right
But soon comes mister night creepin’ over
Now his hand is on your shoulder
Never mind I’ll remember you this
I’ll remember you this way
Mister blue sky please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long (so long)
Where did we go wrong?
Hey there mister blue
We’re so pleased to be with you
Look around see what you do
Everybody smiles at you