Virgin Review – 22 Jump Street (and that truly incredible end credits scene)

22 Jump Street and it's insane sequels, like Mariachi School
Esto se esta poniendo ridiculo. I can’t stop giggling, ya’ll.

22 Jump Street seemed like it would continue the precedent set in 21 Jump Street (and we’re talking about the 2012 & 2014 movies, not the 1980s Johnny Depp TV show), and in one sense, it did. It took two young(ish)-looking cops and sent them undercover as kids. In 21, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum’s characters went to high school. In 22, it was off to college.

[pullquote]What made 21 Jump Street so charming was not just sending adults to school and watch them re-navigate classes, friendships, and the prom, but in having each character accidentally take on the wrong persona — and succeed.[/pullquote] Hill had to hang with the popular crowd and the jocks, while Tatum needed to pull off Advanced Placement Chemistry classes and learn to hack phones with his new nerd pals. It was a challenge for both, but the lack of cringe-humor made this film a winner. The buddy-duo stretched who they were as people and how they thought of themselves.

[pullquote position=”right”]That was fresh and new, and very, very satisfying.[/pullquote]

22 Jump Street unfortunately put both characters where the stereotypes  went the expected course, to the movie’s sincere detriment.  Hill’s character was sent back to dweebdom, and much cringe-humor ensued. Ouch. Tatum got to run the ball for touchdowns on the field — disappearing into the glow of popularity — and acting the entitled jock for all he was worth. It wasn’t pretty. It was hard to root for either undercover cop when everything was so unpleasantly handled.

There was still humor, but it leaned towards the mean-spirited type. The young cops eventually shake off their descent into caricature-hood, but at the cost of a lot of audience goodwill.

[pullquote]I’ll add this, however: the movie’s end is worth the price of admission right there.[/pullquote] I’m sure YouTube has this end scene kicking around somewhere, spoofing how many types of “schools” these two knuckleheaded cops would be sent to infiltrate next. It is howlingly funny. I’d watch every single one of those movies, especially 2121 Jump Street. Look out for the inspired Seth Rogen cameo, among others. You can tell everyone involved had a ton of fun inventing this ‘series.’ (And Channing Tatum really should push for 38 Jump Street: Dance Academy, because, you know, TATUM.)

Hell, here’s the video. Prepare thyselves:

If you get a chance, it’s still worth viewing 22 Jump Street, but my advice is to rewatch 21 Jump Street instead for the well-meaning laughs, as Hill and Tatum seem both out of place but unexpectedly fit right in.

Movie Grade: I was going to give this a C, but am adding the Plus purely for the perfection of the “promised” sequels. It’s that clever. C+

 

Virgin Movie Review – 21 Jump Street

And this is RunPee Sis’s original 22 Jump Street review from when the movie came out in 2014:

Movie Review – 22 Jump Street

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. [pullquote]When I saw it had Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in it, I felt a whole lot better about sitting through it.[/pullquote]

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. [pullquote position=”right”]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.[/pullquote]

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. [pullquote]It was nice to see a movie where role reversals don’t depend on being desperately out of one’s element.[/pullquote] (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

Virgin Review – 22 Jump Street (and that truly incredible end credits scene)

Movie Review – 22 Jump Street

A Discussion on Buddy Cop Movies

Virgin Movie Review – Merry Friggin’ Christmas

robin williams in merry friggin christmas
Not a funny movie, in spite of the title. Also, painful in retrospect regarding Robin Williams. RIP to a national treasure.

Merry Friggin’ Christmas was a strange, strange film to watch. It seemed to have the distinctive low production values of a Hallmark Holiday Special, yet somehow boasted the clout and cash flow to hire friggin’ Robin Williams as the co-star. (Not to mention Candice Bergen, in a throw-away role.) What happened? Why was this flick so  unforgivably boring and depressing?

Also, it was rather mean-spirited. Call it an anti-Hallmark Hallmark Movie.

Whatever’s the case, I expected a comedy, based on the commercials and the title. And while some scenes proffered the funny, it was mostly awkward cringe-humor, with a pervading stench of black comedy.  Did I laugh out loud? Maybe once.

I DVRed this on TV this Christmas, billed as a double feature with Bad Santa (also a darker comedy than expected). [pullquote]The difference between the two is while Bad Santa was also a dark comedy, it had good acting, a real dramatic story, and high production values.[/pullquote]

Friggin’ Christmas was boring, with limp humor, thinly drawn characters, and a depressing narrative lacking a worthy payoff. They could have had fun with the road trip trope, for example. (Driving a truck full of porta-potties had so many unrealized possibilities – were the writers completely checked-out?)

At the denouement, the kid gets a present he can’t even use. Why? Is that supposed to make the narrative’s lengthy shenanigans ironic? It certainly wasn’t satisfying.

I don’t have a lot to say in this review, except to note that the late Williams seemed stuck under a thick cloud of depression, which might have been an indication of how the actor felt by that time in real life. His character oozed self-loathing. Knowing what we do about his death, it was painful to watch.

[pullquote position=”right”]Looking up Robin Williams’s bio, I realized (and kind of guessed) he killed himself in 2014, the same year Merry Friggin’ Christmas came out. Ouch. 🙁 [/pullquote]

(Want to celebrate his Robin Williams’ life? Don’t see this. Rewatch The Birdcage instead, where he clearly had fun with his role.)

Rotten Tomatoes gave Friggin’ Christmas an aggregate rating of 16%, so it’s clearly not just  me turned off by the film. The best moments belonged to the amusing police officer, the cheery guy who pulled them over several times. I bet that character had a nice Christmas. (Remember, there are no small parts, only small actors.)

I can’t say more about this lackluster offering. I wish I could rate it higher, if indeed it’s Robin Williams’ swan song.

Movie Grade: D-

Virgin Movie Review – Bad Santa

Movie Review – Vice – Deeply Funny But Tonally Strange

Movie Review - ViceI’ll start by saying that I did enjoy Vice a lot — however, there were some really funny lines, usually followed by some dramatic dialog, or blood-letting of some sort — and that’s where I have a problem. The humor at times was outrageous (wait till you see the scene with Alfred Molina as a waiter). I just about laughed myself silly. But the dramatic parts of the movie were beyond horrible. And that’s where I have a problem.

I enjoy a dramatic movie with tongue-in-cheek humor. James Gunn is a master at this craft, but I have some misgivings about Adam McKay’s roller coaster approach. One minute, you’re laughing hysterically, then just as you stop laughing, you’re hit with watching the Twin Towers come down. Not good; not good at all. Some people take medication and spend thousands on a shrink just to stay off that roller coaster. You need to find that happy medium, Adam.

The acting was top notch. Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld was great, and offered up the funniest lines, perfectly delivered. I wonder if Rumsfeld really has a sense of humor? Amy Adams gave a great performance as Lynne Cheney, but I would have expected nothing less from Ms. Adams. Sam Rockwell rocked as Bush Jr. It wasn’t the best impression of George I’ve seen, but he brought his A game. Christian Bale as Cheney was a stroke of genius. When his character broke the fourth wall and spoke directly to the audience, I had chills.

Happy Holidays…and BTW, I don’t think this movie would make for a nice Christmas dinner conversation among mixed company.

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: The 1st Peetime I have is a little later in the movie than I would like, but there just wasn’t a good 3-4 minute section prior to this that worked as a Peetime. The 1st Peetime is very good — around the middle of the movie. If you have an aversion to torture scenes, then the 2nd Peetime is custom-built for you.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Vice. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)


  Related RunPee Articles and Quizzes to Enjoy:

Best Movies to Watch Over President’s Day Weekend

Quiz – Political Career of Dick Cheney

Quiz – Steve Carell

Quiz – Amy Adams – Six Time Oscar Nominee & Vice

Movie Review – Lincoln – An A+ Presidential Biography

Movie Review – Abraham Lincoln – Vampire Hunter

Virgin Movie Review – Bad Santa

Billy bob thornton in bad santa
Don’t sit on my lap. I don’t care what you want for Christmas. Dirty little f#@kers.

Billy Bob Thornton can act. He’s underrated, but shows a consistent range throughout his filmography. During the holiday season, he’s even got two popular rewatchable Christmas songs under his belt. He’s completely believable, whether he’s a smary President of the United States,  or the world’s meanest, drunkest Santa.

Spoilers Ahead!

And here’s where Bad Santa begins. I have a surprising amount of holes in my “personal” movie database, and this is another film I never had a chance to see. Now upon watching it, I’d say he really is the worst Santa imaginable, and I thought Dan Akroyd’s dirty/hungry Santa in Trading Places would get this award.

[pullquote]Thornton’s Santa is more like a Grinch or a Scrooge than anything else, except that this character is worse. [/pullquote]He’s a dirty, mean drunk who snarls at children and pisses himself. He leers at and and grabs women (wait — he ALSO did this as the US President in Love, Actually). He has one useful skill — cracking safes — and uses the money to drink on the beach until the next Christmas season, where he can start it up again.

I expected this film to be pure low-brow comedy.[pullquote position=”right”] It wasn’t until the second act that I realized this is a drama — a drama with comedic points — with a real storyline in there, and a lot of pathos. [/pullquote]Thornton suffuses his character with strong whiffs of desperation, alienation, and the complete lack of a moral compass.

In a word, this Santa is a vile man. It takes an awful lot to stir him towards anything remotely resembling compassion. By the time he’s gassing himself in the garage, we pity this human husk. I waited for him to become a better person, but when I saw him in the car, I thought his story was done — it would be a reasonable ending; we’d all walk out sad, but it made sense.

Turns out some kind of Christmas Angel was smiling upon him in Arizona. He meets a couple of people who like him for no real reason. He’s rude to them — super rude, in fact — but they come back for more, slowly breaking down his self-imposed barriers of isolation. What happens over the course of the film is nothing short of a Christmas Miracle (TM). He doesn’t end up a nice man by any means, but he’s found a reason to live, and to reach out to others, and discovers the remnants of his own humanity. He ends up exactly where he needs to be, ready for an ersatz family to care for.

In other news, I liked Bad Santa a whole lot, more than I thought I would. Never once did it get syrupy or tug on my heartstrings. But in spite of myself, I rooted for this guy in the end. If you don’t like the Hallmark Christmas subset of a genre, try watching this.

Movie Grade: B

A Merry Movie Christmas – The RunPee Family’s Favorite Holiday Films

Virgin Movie Review – Footloose (1984)

Kevin Bacon in Footloose
Yes, the songs are great. But is that enough?

Somehow, I’ve never seen the original Footloose before. I did catch the remake a few months back and found it mildly awful. I figured the iconic original would impress me more.

It did.

But only by a small margin.

I cannot figure out why this movie has iconic status, much less be considered a Teen Anthem. It boasts an extremely thin plot and cardboard characters.

The only emotional stakes belonged with the Ariel and her father…but I frankly thought Ariel was insane. I’m pretty sure she tried to kill herself twice for our viewing pleasure. Were we supposed to identify with her? I’ve done crazy stuff in my time, but nothing like standing between two cars barreling down the highway in the face of an oncoming Mac truck. When that girl took a lead pipe to her boyfriend’s ride I found it needlessly destructive. Yes, he should not have hit her, but she hit him first. I really don’t know where to go with this, but apparently casual violence is…hmm. I don’t know how to even finish that sentence.

Remember, the big climax in Footloose is Kevin Bacon and his friend brawling outside the prom. Yay?

The good: John Lithgow  was amazing, and he elevates an otherwise dull film. The directors could have taken the easy way out and made him a one note bad dad. His character certainly pounds that pulpit, and he has trouble with one-on-one relationships. But he’s also beloved in the community and takes his heartfelt service to the town seriously. Even the small children adore him (I loved when he teased the little ones in the church kitchen about their milk and cookies — see? Small moments matter). He also stops wacko community members from burning  library books. As the town’s preacher, he gives of himself freely,  and from a place of true belief, instead of chasing self-aggrandization. I’d hate sitting through his fire-and-brimstone sermons in person, but the actor makes his supporting role sympathetic and wonderfully layered.

Lithgow alone gives me a reason give this film a solid C instead of a C-. It’s supremely average. I guess this is damning it with faint praise.

And…Kevin Bacon? Again, I don’t know how to say this, because the man has a lot of good roles in his filmography. But here he’s inscrutable. He reacts, but doesn’t act. There’s only one scene where his character has agency, and that’s his big speech to the town council. They could have gone from there and straight to the prom, and we could call in a night. End scene.

To wrap this up before I whinge some more, I’ve recently rewatched a ton of classic movies from the 70s and 80s, and most of them stand up beautifully with time: films like Jaws, Rocky, Close Encounters, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off…even other early ‘dance’ movies made me care about the characters. Take Dirty Dancing, Grease, Staying Alive, or White Nights — you CARE. Hell, Flashdance was a good ride.

By the end of Footloose, I figured out the problem: there are no genuine emotional beats, no real stakes that matter. The dance should have been a backdrop to the meat of the story. This movie was like a bread sandwich —  two slices of plain white Wonderbread with nothing inside.

I made other notes while watching Footloose, but it’s not worth analyzing this further. Someone, if you love this movie, please tell me why.  I’m open to correction, because I feel like I must be missing something.

Movie Grade: C

PS: The 80s pop soundtrack is great. I had fond feelings for every song. I think I’ll write about that next time and link to it from here. 

Virgin Movie Review – Jim Carrey’s The Grinch (2000)

Jim Carrey is the grinch
He’s a mean one. Also deranged, and possibly a pedophile.

Holy hell, this was directed by Ron Howard? Normally I love his touch. And as for Jim Carrey, I’ve always been a fan. Not with this. This is the Carrey equivalent of Bill Murrey’s Garfield: a true WTF?

I imagine (and know for sure, based on my own great-niece’s preferences) some people like this Grinch. Maybe they weren’t weaned on the 26-minute 1966 animated Dr. Seuss version like I was, that with even this year still made me cry with happiness. CRYING. TEARS running down my face.

[pullquote]This one? I was confused. I was bored. I had a headache from the non-stop and frankly exhausting Grinchy chatter intended as humor, and came off just weird — the bad kind of weird.[/pullquote] It felt more like a Tim Burton offering. (Which is weirder than ever for me, since I normally am not a Burton fan. But then, I just did a Virgin Review of Tim Burton’s 2001 Planet of the Apes and kind of loved it. It’s clearly opposite week for me.)  😉

Even Max the dog couldn’t save this effort, and I previously gave the 2018  ‘meh’ new Grinch full length animal feature a D+ for cute animal action. This one, sadly, gets only a D, at best, for Whoville’s creative set design, and a nice kiddo as Cindy Lou Who. This Cindy Lou was sweet, and saved the 2000 Grinch from a D- or F+ grade.

By contrast, I gave the old 1966 Christmas special an A grade, and I don’t give that grade away easily. I expected it look old at the seams…but it happily held up through time, and made my own heart swell three sizes by the end.

Back to the 2000 live-action Grinch. I watched it last night with zero foreknowledge and the best of intentions. And for the first time in EVER in Netflixing films, I had to fast-forward over entire sections of dullness. I would have turned this off and picked something else,  but had to watch it through for my review.

Also, I wanted to know why the Grinch was compelled to sound like Sean Connery? Minor note, but it distracted me. [pullquote position=”right”]Jim Carrey normally is brilliant in his vocal and physical humor. Was he directed to filibuster like this?[/pullquote] Is he proud of this film?

There were a few funny jokes landing among the barrage of awkward efforts: I thought the joke about Santa’s reindeer was cute: “On Thrasher and Crasher and Vomit and Blitzkrieg…” <—- heh. Some moments of cleverness stuck, but most felt like film spaghetti tossed at the wall to see what would stick. Robin Wiliams mastered that kind of improvisation, and maybe that’s what Carrey was going for.

Even the songs lacked. I expected a fun delivery of the classic “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”…well, yawn. Then the final “Fahoo Foray” song was merely competent. Moving on.

What about the Whos in Whoville? Here was another cardinal sin:  these townspeople were unpleasant, underhanded, and a little bit creepy. While the Grinch, instead of being merely a cranky, damaged soul, was just deranged. I have no idea why this movie went down the paths it chose. Dark, weird, sinister, yada yada. [pullquote]The Grinch tale at heart is a story about alienation, rejection, and isolation, but it isn’t supposed to make you wonder if predatory sexual advances (with a whiff of pedophilia) are appropriate.[/pullquote]

The Cindy Lou character saved this version me, but expanding her role also undercut the rest of what should have went down that fated Christmas morning in Whoville. I know this is subjective, but one nice child can’t a plot pivot make. I didn’t buy this Grinch’s transformation: I don’t think he did either. We weren’t given a beat to breathe or let the story have any emotional landing space.

A tale of two Grinches
Some Grinch on Grinch action.

Alternatively, the new 2018 full-length Grinch movie didn’t make me cry either. It had nice technical animation and cute critters, but the story was a cup of plain vanilla yogurt.

So here it is: I say it’s time to stop messing with a classic. It’s like when Peter Jackson made that short Hobbit book into three bloated, sometimes off-putting films: like butter scraped over too much bread. If you’re a big LOTR fan, you’ll get the reference.  But anyone who’s had breakfast will get it anyway. 🙂

Movie Grade: D 

Movie Rewatch Review — Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

The Grinch Who Keeps Stealing Christmas

In Defense of the Grinch (1966)

Virgin Movie Review – Planet of the Apes (2001)

2001 planet of the apes
I’m not convinced a chimp would find a human sexy, no matter how hot Walhberg is.

Who knew Tim Burton could direct a grand scale epic adventure? I always thought his specialty was weirdos doing wacky things. But I was surprised and pleased with how much I enjoyed this 2001 version of Planet of the Apes, especially since I’m not impressed with the more recent trilogy.

I also didn’t realize Mark Walhberg  could do a heroic genre role. The man seems pretty talented and versatile, when he’s not confined to goofy comedies. Not to rag on wacky weirdos and goofy comedies, but this is more of the kind of world-building I’d expect from The Lord of the Rings.

Following this point will be some mildly vague spoilers…

There was a lot of genre-hopping, from space stations off Saturn, to Bronze Age ape civilizations, to a Mad Max climax. And while bouncing around through space and time, I had to remind myself of something deeply embedded in the mythos of Planet of the Apes: total mind-screwing. At its heart, Apes is a dystopian vision of what can or could be, if conditions were right. I wanted to yell at Walhberg’s character at the very end: to never mess with the timeline. He had a good thing going there on that planet. Has he never seen the original 1968 movie?

[pullquote]But before we get to the denouement that should surprise exactly no one, there were hugely impressive sets, makeup, and costumes.[/pullquote] A lot of care and detail went into the construction of this remake: it’s clear everyone involved was a fan. The final setting in the desert landscape with the rock formations was filmed on location near Death Valley, CA. I hiked there this spring and took a lot of photos (I’ll post some soon and link to it), and it really added to my film enjoyment to recall how cool a place it was in real life. (To be fair, I visited the park because Star Trek was also filmed there, but once I saw the formations above the battleground in Apes, things clicked into place.)

What was good: the apes looked great. I enjoyed seeing the variety of Great Apes represented: chimps, gorillas (lowland gorillas, I think), baboons, orangutans, and humans. The ape actors moved like apes; this was most noticeable with the chimps. They sounded like apes and had temper tantrums like apes. Although it might have seemed a bit overwrought with all the leaping and the screeching, zoologically speaking, everything was spot on.

I had to ask myself, can’t apes swim? I never considered their construction might prohibit it.  But then, humans lost the ability to brachiate, so we ourselves picked up water during our evolution, but lost the trees.

We just have to go along with the apes’ ability to speak, since a silent film wouldn’t be as fun.

Something that stood out to me too was how violent General Thade was. Was he psychotic, or more like a real chimp? He was one mean monkey. From what I’ve heard, adult chimps can fly violently off the handle and rip your face off:  not the kind of creatures you want living in your house. Although clearly, from watching this, the apes didn’t want us around either. Of all the primates, it seems gorillas are the sweetest: and their noble warrior personas were interestingly played.

Side Note: Hey! Want to get scared to death by chimpanzees? Have fun watching this video:

 Back to the film: I liked the apes discussing whether humans had  souls. Don’t we debate that about animals we’ve domesticated?  I hope we treat our “pets” better than we see the apes doing in this flick, although I know from my experience working in animal rescue that we often, quite sadly, do not. (Even with animals we think we’re decent to, I have to wonder. Look at our beloved horses. We sit on their spines, kick their ribs when we want them to go, and force cold iron bars between their teeth to steer them. Dammit, I’m on my soapbox again. )

What I didn’t like as much: the human characters, save Walhberg’s, were completely underdeveloped. They were like stand-ins for real people. It was strange that the best individuals were the apes, although that is probably intentional. But I can’t say it made for good storytelling to have the humans be sparsely written caricatures. And the the line about “Damn dirty humans” — while intended as humor — felt like a cheap shot. I guess they couldn’t resist an ironic nod to the iconic original.

Ultimately, were the apes wrong about humans? Some of it was pretty true: we can be savage and mindless. But we, like they, could become much more. So I managed to do a little soul-searching in a sci-fi/fantasy film; not a bad thing. I’d say this earnest remake of Planet of the Apes is worth a watch.

Movie Grade: B

Virgin Movie Review – Magic Stocking (half of it, maybe)

I didn’t realize this was one of those Hallmark Specials until I already had my workout pad and weights all spread on the floor and got comfy. (Yes, a little fitness routine during my evening shows is comfort food for me.)

But when “HallMark’s Magic Stocking” came onscreen, I gave my mother the stink eye. What was this? It’s not a real movie. Normally she DVRs a nice film for us, so I thought to myself, “Give it a try.”

I even took some notes:

  • There was a sad but attractive widow facing her first Christmas alone
  • There’s a handsome single guy building a Christmas Gazebo in the town square (a monument to his grandfather)
  • There was a cute kid
  • It had a quirky grandmother
  • Puppies were involved

It didn’t take long to notice the awkward acting, but my mother said, “These are light holiday shows, with nice people. The actors are probably trying to break into Hollywood.”

It was really goofy. Dorky, even. The titular stocking decided to gift the little girl with the puppy she so desperately desired, and produced a silver locket to the lead character (the widow), for unknown reasons.

Then the grandmother pranked her grieving daughter into going on a date with the handsome single younger man, while avoiding the affections of the nice older single man pursuing her. But, then — the narrative thickens —  to convince the older man to prank the sad widow, she had to go on a “real date” with said older guy who made the awful mistake of buying her every bouquet in the local flower shop. The horrors!

Yeah, are you bored yet too?

I sat there through other people’s sweetly awkward dates and wondered when the stocking was going to perform magic again. I’d say I made it though an hour of this monument to mediocrity before packing up my equipment and heading to bed.

I’m sure the little girl gets her puppy, the widow finds love again, and the quirky grandmother has a steamy night to remember. But I didn’t care enough to find out because THIS ISN’T A PLOT.

I’m not even going to look for a photo to attach to this post, because: boring. If you like these little Christmas “movies”, that’s very nice for you, and I’m sorry to be a Grinch on your parade. It’s now the morning after and it’s raining like the Dickens (excuse the holiday pun), while my mother is curled up under a fuzzy blanket watching another Hallmark Christmas Special. I asked her the title but already forgot it.

She’s LOVING this stuff. You might too. I know she’s lined up at least a dozen more syrupy Hallmark Christmas Specials I won’t be watching. My favorite Christmas films fall onto the Lethal Weapon/Die Hard end of the spectrum.  And Home Alone, even, and Love, Actually. So I’m not completely unsentimental.

I think.

Movie Grade: C-

 

The Three Types of Movie Reviews at RunPee

runpee-movie-reviews
RunPee’s movie reviews are the “Reel” deal. 🙂

At RunPee.com, we write plenty of movie reviews. A lot (and I mean a LOT, like literally hundreds and possibly a thousand) of insightful write-ups, upon viewing 10 years of films… all to get you Peetimes for the RunPee app.

New, current reviews can be read on either our blog, or in the app (all reviews are linked from the individual movie screens). The vast majority of [pullquote]our reviews are written by the members of the RunPee family; they’re as opinionated as we are ourselves[/pullquote].

Recently we added two new categories of featured reviews to our content index. [pullquote position=”right”]So it’s not just the brand-new flicks…we want to let you know what we think about every movie out there. A life-long task, to be honest. [/pullquote]You can help too, telling us what you think of a movie in the comments.

Here are the three kinds of film reviews at RunPee: 

  1. New Movie Reviews  – We just call these simply “Movie Reviews.” These are the articles we write “live”, so to speak, the day after a new movie comes out on the big screen. We cover mostly wide releases (since we don’t see a lot of limited release films.) The majority of reviews on this blog are for these new movies.
  2. Movie Rewatch Reviews – These rewatch reviews are for movies we’ve seen before, but are taking a second (or third, or more) viewing. These include both classic films from long ago,  and movies that are relatively recent, but decided to take a closer, more analytical look at.
  3. Virgin Movie Reviews – A Virgin Movie Review is one where we haven’t seen the movie in question when it came out, and finally got around to seeing it — with no particular expectations, and often no foreknowledge of plot, or actors, or relative popularity. It’s a lot of fun to see what a newbie thinks of something everyone else has seen and formed opinions about. Imagine seeing Back to the Future, or The Raiders of the Lost Ark now, with no prior knowledge? (We’re too geeky to even pretend we haven’t watch these dozens of times. But you get the idea.)

So, hey: if you read a review you enjoy, do us a solid and Like or Share it on your social media of your choice. Or comment. Word of Mouth is our best (and only) marketing avenue — we’re grateful movie fans love us. Thank you!

Find most of our great RunPee Movie Reviews here. 

Learn all about the RunPee App (the only app in the galaxy telling you exactly when to Run and Pee at the movies so you don’t miss the important bits. Or if there is anything extra after the credits.) #YesWe’reSerious  🙂