Movie Review – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Movie Review - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-VerseAs my faithful followers know, I always review a movie based on the response of the target audience. Okay, that being said, I saw this movie with my 6 year old great-granddaughter. The child never took her eyes off the screen; she even forgot about the candy I purchased for her at the concession stand; only an ‘A’ movie could make her do that.

There’s so much good in this movie I don’t know where to begin. For me, watching this was a little like watching an animated version of Inception. Throughout the movie there would be scenes of color, movement, and music that would almost make you dizzy. It was wonderful.

The comic book character of Spider-Man absolutely screamed, “Animate me”. In animation, anything is possible; not so if the director is restricted by human form. In Spider-Verse we got to see Miles do outstanding things that wouldn’t be possible in a live-action movie.

This is the perfect holiday movie for the entire family, so while you’re at the mall, fighting crowds just to find that perfect gift (which will end up in the back of someone’s closet), take time to stop by the theater and spend two hours being wholeheartedly entertained.

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: I have 2 good Peetimes. Neither one is really any better than the other, so use which ever is more suitable to your needs.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Movie Review – Ralph Breaks the Internet

 

Movie Review - Ralph Breaks the InternetI didn’t see the first Ralph movie, but it turns out that doesn’t matter. Everything interesting is explained, and the fun begins immediately.

I’ll say, right off the bat, that this movie is worth seeing on the big screen, although I look forward to having this on DVD so I can start and stop each frame at my leisure. I don’t think there’s another movie with this many in-jokes , asides, and easter-eggs crammed into each part of the story. It IS about the internet, after all.

In fact, right after the film ended, I went up to the  larger-than-life movie marquee poster and examined it for about ten minutes, to catch all the little internet allusions without stress.

I was there so long one woman asked me to get out of the way so her family could take a photo in front of it. Oops. I moved away with alacrity and some embarrassment. I’m supposed to be a grownup and not excited by cartoons, right? LOL. [pullquote]I’m (proudly) geeky enough to announce that this film was a big treat and not only to me: the audience roared with laughter the entire runtime.[/pullquote] It made finding Peetimes a challenge.

You do NOT want to miss the Disney section, at all, with the Princesses and the Star Wars characters. And I can happily report that almost everyone playing their original characters showed up for a voice cameo. And then some!

[pullquote position=”right”]Look at the cast credits as they scroll, and see if you picked up on any of the many celebrity voices. You’ll have to sit there until the end in anyway, to catch the prankish extra scene.[/pullquote]

Ralph 2 simply rocked. See this in 3-D if you can, but see it on the big screen no matter what. This movie is ginormous fun and should not be missed.

If you take the family to see this on the holiday season, I promise that kiddos and adults alike will have a great time.

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: Note: my showing had a ‘thank you to the fans’ segment before the film began. Don’t start the timer at this point. Wait until the Disney Castle fades afterward. I’d recommend the 1st Peetime if possible. The movie is so chock-full of great things to see in the internet-verse, with so many in-jokes that are truly amusing — you won’t want to miss much of this film.

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

Movie Review – The Grinch (2018)

 

Movie Review - The Grinch
Max the dog was cute. So was Fred the Reindeer. So, not a total loss.

It’s time to cease re-doing The Grinch. Full stop.

I can’t believe I was sucked into thinking this movie would add anything to the tale that wasn’t done perfectly already in the 1966 Xmas Special. What can I say, except to watch that perfect, iconic 26-minute version again, and to skip this bit of ‘meh.’. SKIP IT. YOU HEAR ME? It’s simply not good. Everything funny was shown in the trailer, and anything emotionally resonant still lies in that long ago Special that still holds up, after all this time.

If you want to feel touched by the Grinch’s heart growing three times, return to the original, and use that as your annual holiday touchstone. You’ll get misty-eyed, and walk away feeling good about life. Not so with this flick. This Grinch had great animated hair, and that’s all I can really say about it.

Moreso, egregiously, none of the genius grinchy musical numbers made it into this feature. It’s too bad, as I was ready to sing along with the audience. This was a just a big waste of time. I’m actually mad about it. STOP rebooting the Grinch, Hollywood! Is anybody listening?

The entire Cindy Lou Who subplot was a boring, meandering, meaningless misfire. Her “big” question for Santa underwhelmed, and her friends had no personality. What was the point of introducing them?

I honestly don’t know why the producers thought they could improve on the animated classic with this dreck. Even the lamented Jim Carrey live-action version was better, and that’s saying a lot.

I LOVE the classic Grinch story from Dr. Seuss, but can’t understand why this 2018 movie was necessary. Stick with the 1957 book or the 1966 TV special, and you’ll understand why this story is so important, so enduring. Loneliness and alienation are real concerns, and that first story offers hope for us all, even if we are sometimes humbugs where Christmas is concerned.

What did work in this film: Max the dog and Fred the reindeer. They had the most laughs from the young audience. As for the Grinch, not even Benedict Cumberbatch could make this film work.

Grade: D+

About The Peetimes: This is a short movie, and only 2 of the Peetimes are workable. The 1st one is really nice and long. The 2nd is fine too. Don’t use the 3rd Peetime if you don’t know the story of the Grinch — it’s just for emergencies.

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

The Grinch Who Keeps Stealing Christmas

Movie Rewatch – The First Incredibles

This movie is really good! I hate using such an imprecise term, but I’m sitting here shocked at how good this animated superhero film is.

I’d seen Incredibles when it came out in 2004, and certainly liked it, but now, in 2018, I have a different mindset. Back then I had no idea how…well, GOOD superhero movies were going to get. [pullquote]Remember, 2004 was still a few years away from Iron Man and the start of the massive Marvel Cinematic Universe, which really defined and perfected the superhero experience. [/pullquote]I think back then, all we had were some Spiderman movies of various quality, some Batman movies that really didn’t age well, and early X-Men. And Fantastic Four. Which is a perfect segue to my next point.

It’s clear that the Incredibles are a remake/rebooted version of the Fantastic Four, which is interesting: Fantastic Four tried twice to make their series work, and both bombed terribly. I mean, they were simply awful. So who would think that tweaking it into an animated film would be  a good bet?

Well, the answer is Pixar, now owned by Disney. [pullquote position=”right”]Using the magic Pixar formula —  irreverent humor,  outstanding animation work, attention to character traits, well-known and respected actors for voices, and a real plot with actual jeopardy — Incredibles really showed it could be done. [/pullquote]

Incredibles is good enough to be a Marvel movie, quite frankly. It may as well be one, maybe in an alternate universe. You forget you’re watching cartoons about ten minutes into the film, which starts quite charmingly with an “old news reel” and a flashback to Mr. Incredible and ElastiGirl in their heyday.

The movie picks up at a place that would not seem too far from the X-Men Universe: all the supers have been relocated and retired by public demand, due to traumatic collateral damage done in the name of “helping mankind.” The Incredibles family has to hide their powers and try to live normal lives in suburbia. Mr. Incredible works in a dead end insurance job, and ElastiGirl is a stay at home mom. Their kids have to hide their superhero status as well, which chafes them to no end. How can you try to “be your best” when your best can never be tested? How can Mr. Incredible be “normal” when he breaks everything he touches, and has to be constantly vigilant against his own strength? We see him mourning for the good old days, and listens to police scanners at night with best friend FloZone (voiced by Samuel Jackson, clearly enjoying himself), sneaking out to do clandestine hero work.

These are mature themes, and shows why adults flocked to see Incredibles, and will flock again, in 2018, to see Incredibles 2.

I didn’t notice at the time, but in this rewatch, knowing there’s going to be a sequel out soon, I saw how clearly the film demanded a follow-up. When you watch it again, take note of how nothing has actually changed for this family. Well, except for Jack Jack, but we wont go into that here. Basically: at the end of their adventure, the family goes home and back to their “Witness Protection” style life. The supers are still not welcomed by the public, the government, or the world. It’s back to suburban hell. We don’t see that in the movie, because they ended the film on the high note of putting their masks on (which is more symbolic than useful, but just go with it). Their family unit maybe stronger than ever, but now the fun’s over and it’s time to put the leash back on.

So it does demand another film. How has the Incredible family unit been managing, back at mind numbing jobs and public school?  From the trailers it looks like (SPOILER ALERT)….scroll down or not…

 

 

 

Okay, from the trailers it looks like ElastiGirl is back on the job and in the public eye. Mr. Incredible has to be Mr. Mom. So maybe the supers are accepted again? Or is using ElastiGirl a way to slowly ease the public about reintroducing supers? I’ll go with the latter.

Anyway, the sequel looks pretty good, and I know it will pack the theaters, as we’re just not saturated with superhero movies. It’s pretty much a Golden Age for hero movies and we keep lapping them up and asking for more. I’m fine with that.

Incredibles is a fine film, with a lot of heart and humor, charming characterizations, surprisingly good chemistry in a voice-over medium — it’s just enjoyable on every level. The Big Bad is a bit annoying, but creating a great villain is a sticky point for almost every superhero film. You can just ignore whathisname, and get back to marveling at the amazing visuals and snappy banter/bickering.

I recommend seeing Incredibles again, before catching Incredibles 2, just to get back up to speed with these great characters and their family dynamics.

Movie Grade: A

Here’s a link to the blu-ray of the original Incredibles movie, and the logo tee shirt. I’ve seen entire families wearing this shirt, and not just for a family Halloween theme…places like Disneyland, so it’s easy to find each other, or on any family outing to show they are a family unit. It’s fun. 

Movie Review – Coco (RunPee Niece’s POV)

This is a movie that anyone who values their family should see. If you’re having a rough go of it with your family, go watch Coco. If you’re as close to them as possible, go watch Coco. I assure you, you will not leave disappointed.

I took my 4 year old daughter to see this, and she ended up making fun of me for my “ugly crying” at the end. Coco did an outstanding job of pulling on heart strings you didn’t even know you had, while still leaving you begging for more.

The animation was spot on and absolutely beautiful. The best part is that the voices weren’t at all annoying like most children’s movies out there. I honestly can’t wait until Coco is released on DVD, because I will be the first in line to buy it.

Movie Grade: A+

Movie Review – Early Man

Movie Review - Early ManI grew up watching The Gumby Show and Davey And Goliath, as did my children, so I’ve watched a lot of stop motion pictures. When Nick Park’s Wallace And Gromit began back in the 90’s, I was thrilled. So yes, I’m a fan of stop motion and Nick Park.

If you’re also a fan of Park, you won’t be disappointed with Early Man. His British humor kept me smiling throughout the movie, and the story has a great plot — cavemen playing football. You just can’t go wrong with that formula.

Grade: B+

About The Peetimes: This short little movie needed only 2 Peetimes. I have one at 34 minutes, and one at 55 minutes. Both give you 4 minutes to break, so let your bladder (or the bladder of the small person next to you) decide..

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

Buy the movie from Amazon.com on DVD or Blu Ray

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

Movie Review - The LEGO Ninjago MovieHere it is in a nutshell, parents; if your kiddies love watching Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, then they’ll have a laugh out loud good time watching this movie. There’s no need for me to go into the technical aspect of the movies — kids don’t care about that stuff. They just like to see things getting blown up, things falling down, and funny characters. And there’s plenty of all three to keep them entertained.

Personally, I prefer TV’s live action American Ninja Warriors. 

Grade: B (Follow-up review from RunPee Jilly below the ad)

Review From RunPee Jilly: I just watched The Lego Ninjago Movie and I have to say I was really, really bored. I don’t know what it is about animated films and parent issues, but the lead boy character has major daddy problems. (Which is a lot like Disney Princesses with their mother issues.) I had to make myself finish viewing Lego Ninjagos, and that was a big disappointment. I was going to write an entire review about this film before the upcoming Lego Movie 2  (the previous Lego movies are simply fantastic), but I honestly don’t have much to say here. It’s like the Karate Kid meets Harry Potter, but is a whole lot less interesting than either of those. Personally, The Lego Ninjago Movie gets a C grade from me. It’s so remarkably average.

Maybe kids like it, especially young ones who love Ninja stories —  but for adults, feel free to give this a pass in favor of other Lego feature films in the franchise. There’s nothing here you need to see to follow the rest of the Lego arc.

About The Peetimes: This movie is packed with action the kiddies will surely enjoy. I have given you 2 Peetimes of equal length — 4 minutes, nicely spaced out.

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

Rated (PG) for some mild action and rude humor
Genres: Action, Adventure, Animation

Buy the movie from Amazon.com on DVD or Blu Ray

https://runpee.com/quiz-the-lego-ninjogo-movie/

Movie Review – The LEGO Movie

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

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

Best Lego Deadpool Trailers and Shorts

Movie Review – Smurfs: The Lost Village

Movie Review - Smurfs: The Lost VillageA all the way. When I was a little girl, next to Scooby Doo, the Smurfs was my favorite cartoon. So, as I sat there watching this movie and hearing my granddaughter laugh her little butt off, it made me smile. We both really enjoyed it. She was glued to the screen like a life long fan.

The movie itself is beautiful. The colors are amazing. We watched it in 3D and were pleasantly surprised. It felt like you were immersed in their world. The colors practically dripped off of the screen.

There is a sweet little storyline going on that teaches a nice lesson. All in all, we both really enjoyed it.

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: This is a really short movie, so I gave you an early Peetime and a late Peetime.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Smurfs: The Lost Village. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG) for some mild action and rude humor
Genres: Adventure, Animation, Comedy

Buy the movie from Amazon.com on DVD or Blu Ray

Movie Review – The Boss Baby – Adults Love This More Than Infants

Movie Review - The Boss BabyBoss Baby is hilarious. It is packed with adult humor that will keep the parents laughing, and the children will enjoy the younger humor used too.

I do feel that it’s more geared towards adults than children. They’ll still enjoy it, though. I took my four year-old granddaughter to see it. She has more energy in one fingernail than any power plant on the earth. Yet, she stayed still the whole time and watched it. I think I laughed more than she did, but she clapped at the end, so I know she was paying attention.

The voices are perfect; they fit the characters perfectly. I usually get bored during the animated films, but this one kept me interested the whole time. Great family movie!!

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: I found two really good Peetimes for you to use. Either one will work well, and both will give you enough time.

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

Rated (PG) for some mild rude humor
Genres: Adventure, Animation, Comedy

Buy the movie from Amazon.com on DVD or Blu Ray

More great animated films from Dreamworks Studios: 

Movie Review – How to Train Your Dragon 3 – The Hidden World – No Spoilers (A newbie’s initial review)

Movie Review – How to Train Your Dragon (No Spoilers)

Movie Review – The Croods – Enough Fun and Humor for Adults Too

Movie Review – Turbo – Faster & Funnier Than a Snail’s Pace

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

Movie Review - The LEGO Batman MovieI liked this better than the original Lego Movie – this one is skewed a little more sophisticated for the grownups – but still has lots of color and spectacle for the kiddos. It’s a very charming film, with a surprisingly good storyline. Things move quickly, and there is a lot to see, making you want to go back and view it again – just to catch all the little jokes, asides, and throw-away lines. I loved the humor. Be aware this Lego flick focuses on Batman’s crew, and not the characters from the first Lego outing.

Cameos abound, and you will be amused at who is included: we briefly see the entire Justice League at a party, and then such famous baddies as Sauron, Voldemort, Jaws, the Gremlins, a Velociraptor, King Kong, Godzilla, the creature from the Black Lagoon, Agent Smith clones, Dracula, Medusa, Flying Monkeys and the Wicked Witch of the West…and even several Daleks from Dr. Who (EXTERMINATE!) make an appearance. I think Warner Brothers had a great time producing this sweet little film.

There are actually a few poignant, moving scenes, with a decent villain plot, and super cute background moments. I rate this as one of the top Batman movies in the entire Bat oeuvre.

Grade: A-

About The Peetimes: There are two good Peetimes, but be aware this movie cruises along at a pretty good clip, with lots to see in every frame. Use the times I gave you.

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

Rated (PG) for rude humor and some action
Genres: Action, Animation, Comedy, Superhero

Movie Review – The LEGO Movie

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

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

Best Lego Deadpool Trailers and Shorts