Movie Review – Wonder Park

Movie Review - Wonder ParkI’ve just spent half an hour reading several different reviews for Wonder Park and I just have to laugh, maybe hysterically laugh, at the verbosity spewed forth by the well paid critics.

It’s a toddler movie! Children care nothing about the movie’s conceptual resemblance to Inside Out. And a visual and aural cacophony of frenzied action sequences, is exactly what delights your children.  Loud sounds, and plenty of moving color and light, keep their attention. And the parents aren’t really watching the movie, they have their entertainment right there in their hands. The mother next to me played Solitaire all through the movie. They don’t care either.

All that being said, I enjoyed Wonder Park just fine. Children under eight — and old women with spotty short term memories — will have fun.

I felt that the animation was well done and there were a few catchy little songs that were pleasant. This film won’t win any Oscars, but who cares, the Oscars are dying anyway.

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: This was a short movie filled with plenty of action and dialog, making it just a little difficult getting good Peetimes. I have 2, spaced almost 20 minutes apart, and both will serve you well — so let your bladder decide.

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

Rated (PG) for some mild thematic elements and action
Genres: Adventure, Animation, Comedy

Movie Review – Fighting with My Family – Pleasant, Non-Demanding Fun

Movie Review - Fighting with My FamilyFighting with my Family is a pleasant little true-life-based sporting movie leaving you feeling a little happier than when you went in.

It’s not about Earth-shattering events or anything particularly profound for humanity, and it doesn’t need to be. It’s a small and surprisingly charming story: a young woman gets plucked out of obscurity in the UK to train for the big leagues of US WWE Diva wrestling. Cue the nominally familiar underdog narrative…but it works.

The best part of the movie is how it’s grounded by a loving, oddball wrestling family. The rough-n-tough parents seem intimidating at first, until you realize how sweetly kind these people are, and how much they care for each other.

The comedy is never over the top: you buy the reality of these people. Kudos to the acting and directing team for making this tiny corner of history so palatable — and relatable.

I also appreciated the brother’s side-tale of changing the lives of underprivileged youngsters in his neighborhood, via instruction and a strong sense of community. (The blind wrestling teen was a highlight, and I could have watched an entire movie about him. Somebody make this film happen.)

In any case, Fighting With My Family is almost entirely about the daughter. Paige’s story is a quite a bit like the blockbuster scenario of Rocky — just younger, female, and on a different scale. Also, this series of events really happened. 🙂 We get a young “buck” with a lot of raw potential, who gets tested too far, and lets her coach and family down. She finds her “Eye of the Tiger”and gets serious about pursuing a WWE championship goal. This isn’t brand new material, right? But the movie makes it fresh.

Something I appreciated was Paige’s clear joy in the sport itself. And make no mistake, the movie makes pro wrestling look exhausting, but also super fun. Now I want to be tossed around a ring, bounce off the bungies, and leap over people who know when to duck (yet know how to make it look real). I had no idea the whole pro wrestling scene was so playful and adventurous. There are scenes where pros decide whether to take random PR stunts in stride, like being thumped on a bed of thumbtacks, to getting smacked in the head with a garbage can lid. If you can take it, it adds to the fun, and everybody gets paid. Even The Rock is thankful for someone who took a spectacularly painful fall to make him look good (in a really satisfying small scene that’s easy to miss if you aren’t paying attention).

However. One thing you should know before you go: The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) isn’t in this film very much — he bookends the plot. But he shouldn’t be the center of this film. It’s not his story. As he was involved in these real events — creating this film was his passion project — he takes up just as much visual space as he should. It works. I hope it went down in reality just like this.

Still. This is THE ROCK, and he’s got quite a WWE legacy before he became a movie star. His opening “mentoring’ scene is NOT to be missed. It’s priceless and I’m still smiling over it. Don’t run to the toilet then…use our Peetimes. 🙂

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: This was an easy film to find Peetimes for. I won’t let you miss any moment The Rock appears, or any of the best fighting action. I recommend the 2nd Peetime if you can manage it, but all are fine.

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

Rated (PG-13) for crude and sexual material, language throughout, some violence and drug content

Genres: Action, Biography, Comedy, Drama, Sport, True life story


 

More Movies Starring The Rock: 

Quiz – The Rock AKA Dwayne Johnson – Action Hero with Surprising Range

Movie Review – Jumanji 2: Welcome to the Jungle

Movie Review – The Fate of the Furious

Movie Review – Skyscraper

San Andreas – movie review

Movie Review – The Tooth Fairy

 

Movie Review – Isn’t It Romantic – Fluffy, Good Fun

 

Movie Review - Isn't It RomanticCan Rebel Wilson carry off the lead in a ‘Rom-Com’? Oh you bet she can, and Isn’t It Romantic is a great launching pad for her new status as a leading lady.

This movie was exactly as advertised: 88 minutes of pure fluff, but I say that fondly. I’m a little like Rebel’s character, Natalie; I don’t care for rom-coms. [I should point out that I very rarely watch and review rom-coms. I leave that to the more qualified RunPee Critics]. However, this piece of fluff was really funny.

The acting, pacing, and directing was spot on. Of course, as it should be, Rebel Wilson was the movie. Her sense of comedic delivery is second to none. My question is; why has it taken so long for her to get her own vehicle?

The supporting cast was awesome, and everyone looked like they were having fun making this flick. That’s one of my pet peeves — when you see a cast so wooden that you know they’re just phoning in their roles. Such was not the case with Isn’t It Romantic.

My one caveat is, I’m not sure how much the guys will go for the movie. Like I said, it is pretty fluffy. Maybe ladies…you can take your significant other to the go cart track afterward!

Grade: (Will be updated shortly)

About The Peetimes: Isn’t It Romantic is a short movie and tightly edited. There were no good Peetimes. I managed to select 2 Peetimes that, although important to the plot, could be easily summed up.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Isn’t It Romantic. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG-13) for language, some sexual material, and a brief drug reference
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

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: The Hidden WorldThis stunning third Dragon movie needs to be seen if you like the series, or even if you’re new to the series but ‘grown-up’ enough to long for dragons to bind with and fly with in your own right. In other words, you don’t even need an excuse to drag a kid along to Dreamworks anymore!

It’s not just a Pixar/Disney phenomenon. Really. Grownups can eat children’s cereals and watch animated films without societal permission.

The filmation here is glorious and the sentiment is never sappy. These ARE Vikings, ya’ll.

I’ve only seen the 3rd film, but I have the entire series in front of me to enjoy. So please excuse my initial Peetimes – I’ll update them with the insight of background, as I breeze thru the series this month.

[pullquote position=”right”]I suggest you catch the limited showing today,  at midday Feb 2, at your local AMC, or check times/tickets on Fandango. [/pullquote]You won’t be able to see this until the Wide Release showing until Feb 22 if you miss today’s.

[pullquote]Tissues Alert: you might get misty eyes, but probably won’t outright sob in this feel-good film, bearing an important message.[/pullquote]

___

I loved it for now. Let’s table the real review until I am up to date on each part of the trilogy. Be good, dragonriders!

Grade: A-

About The Peetimes: This movie isn’t released in the USA until February 22nd, although there is a small early nationwide Saturday release on Feb 2. I did manage to get to an early screening the day before. There’s a perfect Peetime at 37 minutes in, and you should take that if you can. The 2nd Peetime occurs before the climax and is easy to summarize, but is such a pretty scene that I gave it an Emergency status rating.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

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

Other great animated films by Dreamworks Studios:

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

Movie Review – The Boss Baby

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

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

Movie Review – Stan & Ollie – Surprisingly Genuine

Movie Review - Stan & OllieStan & Ollie is so much more than a biography; it’s a love story between two men who had great respect for each other.

John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan were perfect for their roles. Not only did they look the part, but the chemistry between the two actors was beautiful.

It takes a couple of really great actors and a great director to pull that kind of emotions out of their performance. The gentle assurance they gave each other with just a gaze was, for me, the high point of the movie.

Shirley Henderson as Mrs. Laurel, and Nina Arinda as Mrs. Hardy, deserve high praise. Watching the two women together was like watching a sitcom. They were either resentful and condescending to each other, or loving and supportive.

Stan & Ollie stole my heart. I grew up watching this duo on the old black & white, along with Abbot and Costello, The Three Stooges and The Little Rascals. Good grief — how old am I anyway???

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: Being a short movie, I felt that 2 Peetimes would get you through the movie.

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

Rated (PG) for some language, and for smoking
Genres: Biography, Comedy, Drama

Movie Review – The Upside

Movie Review - The UpsideThe Upside was a mixture of heart and humor. (Pun intended.) Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston were superb together. The dynamics that developed between the two characters were so well acted that I didn’t want the movie to end. I just wanted to keep seeing these two guys growing and learning together.

The laughs don’t stop. I saw the show in a sold out theater and the crowd was loving it. I’m sure there were even more laughs than I heard, but the crowd was roaring in a few spots, making it hard to hear the following lines.

Humor: check!

It’s also touching. Both characters are working on their own personal demons from polar opposite positions. It’s all about how the two very different men help each other.

Touching: check!

I’m used to seeing Kevin Hart play in comedies that — let’s say — lack a certain depth, which is fine; he’s good at that. Hart shines in this movie in a way he never has before.

So yes, Kevin can pull off emotional and sincere characters too. He’s great at that. I want to see him push it even further and see what happens. I think we’d all be pleasantly surprised.

As for Bryan Cranston, he’s always amazing. His talent shined here, even with only being able to use his face for comedic purposes — he hit it out of the park.

I would recommend this movie to friends and family without hesitation. I read a few reviews on The Upside and saw some pretty nasty ones, which shocked me. I think my brain works on a different wavelength than those critics. I feel that if I laugh, don’t get bored, and walk away happy, then I’ll give it a great review!!

Grade: A+

About The Peetimes: It was extremely hard finding a few moments where I wasn’t laughing. I chose these 3 after throwing out 3 others, because I simply couldn’t make it through typing them without laughing hysterically.

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

Rated (PG-13) for suggestive content and drug use
Genres: Comedy, Drama

Quiz – The Many Faces of Will Ferrell

In this quiz about Will Ferrell, I’ll describe the plot and you give me the movie. This is a fun one! Good Luck. 

Quiz – The Many Faces of Will Ferrell

If you enjoyed this quiz and would like to challenge the ‘know it all’ in your life, please share my quiz with them! (Spreading the word about RunPee really helps us out.) Thanks, and see ya’ at the next quiz.

Movie Review – Holmes & Watson

 

Movie Review - Holmes & WatsonHolmes and Watson was really disappointing. Being a huge fan of the Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly comedy duo, I was expecting more. A lot more. I know these guys are amazing together; I personally think this film was simply poorly written.

The characters lacked a depth that made you care about them, and the off-beat secondary characters left you scratching your head as to why they’re even in the movie. They detracted too much — way too much.

There were some funny moments, but definitely not what I was hoping for. If you’re a fan you’ll understand; the humor in this one was at like a quarter volume, compared to Step Brothers on full blast.

The chemistry with the rest of the cast lacked terribly. I wasn’t a fan of any of them. The more I think about it, the more I really didn’t care for this one.

I petition that these two guys knock out another film soon, so I can get the taste of this one out of my mouth. Save your money; wait for Netflix, and chill with them then.

Grade: C-

Movie Released: 2018-12-25

About The Peetimes: This was a really short flick — I think 1 Peetime works just fine. I found a great one that gives you plenty of time.

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

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

Movie Review – The Favourite

Movie Review - The FavouriteThe Favourite was an entirely different kind of movie. This period piece was raunchy, stylish, opulent and wicked all at the same time. Based on the previews I was excited to see it and it really delivered what I was hoping for.

There was humor and a lot of it. I honestly can’t decide which of the three main characters were funnier. They all had such a commanding presence that picking one as my favorite would be impossible. Each one played off of the others impeccably. (I bet they had fun making this film.)

There was a tremendous amount of back stabbing, lying, and self preservation at work here. These women had their own agendas and really wouldn’t stop at anything to achieve them.

The sets and costumes were a delight to watch; the sheer majesty of their lifestyle was so decadent that my envy was running thick. Did they really live like that?

The movie certainly earned its R rating. There was some kinky stuff going on in that palace. All day long, every day, and every night. It’s not a movie for youngsters.

If you like quirky, somewhat the off-beaten-path types of movies, then I’d recommend this one to you. You’ll get a little bit of everything with The Favourite.

Grade: A-

About The Peetimes: I decided upon 2 Peetimes. Each has their advantages and disadvantages. This was a very difficult movie to do, due to the character development continually taking place, and the plot is thick with many layers. I’m comfortable with these 2, but pay close attention to each Peetime’s meta.

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