Movie Review – The Sisters Brothers

Movie Review - The Sisters BrothersWhen I saw this movie yesterday, I really disliked it. I thought I’d sleep on it and see where my mind was then. I still dislike it.

Yes, it had an amazing cast. How can a movie with an ensemble like this not prove to be outstanding? I’m going to blame this on the writing. The story was okay at best and the pacing sucked. This movie dragged so bad that I’ll be honest…I nodded off twice â in the middle of the day.

I was under the impression that it was going to be a funny movie. Luckily, the amazing John C. Reilly did in fact have some funny moments. In my opinion he is the only one that pulled that off. The rest of the cast didn’t make me laugh at all. Reilly is the sole reason I’m giving this movie a C and not a D.

I’m at a loss on anything else to say, this movie sparks nothing in my mind. It was that boring.

Grade: C-

About The Peetimes: This movie is slow moving with a lot of dialog. A lot of the dialog is hard to hear. It’s one of the movies where you need to pay very close attention the whole time..

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

Movie Review – Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer

Movie Review - Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial KillerI have to grade this movie the same way I grade animated films; by determining the target audience, and grade accordingly.

Rotten Tomatoes audience score is at 98% as of this writing. So does this tell me that most of the audience is made up of those who feel strongly about this issue, be it pro-choice or pro-life. I just don’t even want to go there. With such a polarizing issue I’ll just step back and let those far more qualified slug it out.

There are many, many scenes that are not for the faint of heart, and equally as many photos. Please keep this in mind as you enter the theater.

I felt that the content and mechanics of the movie was done very well. This had to have been a difficult movie to write, but Andrew Klavan and Ann McElhinney knew the subject well. The acting and directing was above par and the pacing kept me interested at all times.

I was most impressed with Sara Jane Morris; you could almost feel the pain and anger that her character felt during the more emotionally packed scenes. Of course, Dean Cain and Nick Searcy, two great character actors, certainly gave a fine performance.

By no means is this movie for everyone. But for those who feel passionately about this issue, and those who love to see justice served, can’t miss with Gosnell

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: There were a number of disturbing scenes in this movie. I couldn’t turn them all into Peetimes but chose the 2 that I found most offensive..

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer. (What we mean by Anything Extra)

Movie Review – The Old Man & the Gun

Movie Review - The Old Man & the GunSince The Old Man & The Gun is reported being Robert Redford’s swan song, it seems only fitting that he reprises his most beloved character; as I sat in the theater, completely captivated by this movie, all I saw was the Sundance Kid, nonchalantly robbing one bank after another. So come on Oscar committee, let’s honor this amazing actor by sending him off to retirement with one more Oscar for his mantle. And by no means would this be a ‘mercy’ Oscar, TOM&TG is an Oscar-worthy film.

The acting was superb, directing was excellent, and the pacing was well done. The chemistry between Redford and Sissy Spacek was a beautiful addition to the movie. You could see admiration that Redford’s character, Forrest, had for Spacek’s character, Jewel. This was the work of a really good actor and director.

Even though this is a ‘based on a true story’ movie, it doesn’t follow the real story exactly, but is still put together in a way that does give us insight into the life of Forrest Tucker.

All in all, I loved this movie. There was very little cussing, very little blood, and no nudity, so take a break this weekend and go see this remarkable movie.

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: The Old Man & The Gun is an evenly paced movie making it easy to get two good Peetime. both are of equal length so let your bladder decide which is best for you..

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

Movie Review – The Hate U Give

 

Movie Review - The Hate U GiveI expected this movie adaptation of Angela Thomas’ book of the same name to be exactly what it was—-racially tensed and enlightening. While many people are aware of a few victims involved in police altercations that led to their deaths by police officers such as Trayvon Martin, Botham Shem Jean, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, and Laquan McDonald, what I noticed about this movie are the “other” victims. I specifically mean those present when the victims are killed by the police officers. When 16-year-old Starr’s childhood best friend, Khalil, gets shot and killed by a police officer during a out-of-the-blue traffic stop, she becomes a victim in her our mind, her school, and her community as she finds her voice to speak up for what’s right.

Let’s start with the title, The Hate U Give. The first letter of the title spells THUG. Why is that important?

Remember the late famous hip hop rapper Tupac Shakur and his large abdominal tattoo saying “Thug Life”? There are several references to Tupac that define the plot development of this movie, that the director purposely includes. Tupac’s tattoo was an acronym standing for ‘The Hate U Give Little Infants Fu$%s Everyone.’

Other Tupac similarities include Maverick ordering the kids to learn the Black Panther Ten-Point Program — which recalls how Tupac explained one time in an interview that he was a militant, and his definition of thug came from his street side and his Panther side (his mom’s activism with the political Black Panther Party).

Another not so obvious reference was that the car (the neighborhood drug dealer leader) King drives is a black BMW 7 Series sedan with chrome and custom rims. On the night of Tupac’s murder, he was riding in a black 1996 BMW 7 Series sedan with chrome, custom rims.

I think that people will assume that this is just a typical black movie with commonly known stereotypes about blacks, but I think you should also view it from a different perspective, and pay attention to scenes that remind you of the patterns you see during a few of the real-life police shootings.

For instance, when Khalil was pulled over by the police, he responded to the officer by saying things like “Why are you pulling me over?” “Why turn my music down? I can hear you” and “I have rights.” This scene reminded me of the aforementioned Sandra Bland who made similar comments during her police stop, and was then arrested because she refused to put out her cigarette.

This movie right out the gate made me smile as it portrayed something very common, or uncommon, in black households, and that is the family eating dinner together and having deep life conversations. The not so common part is that not all black families have a mom AND a dad present. One other thing I’ll mention that I loved about the film — is the role played by hip-hop rapper Common, as Starr’s uncle, who is also a police officer in the same department as the officer that killed Khalil.

Towards the end of the movie, Starr draws an important distinction out of her uncle, and that is the action taken by police officers when they stop a black guy, versus when they stop a well-dressed white guy. Uncle Carlos admits that his behavior and reactions ARE different and racially biased, even as a black police officer. EPIC scene!!!!!

Let me speak to how Starr’s victim role was so robust. This was not Starr’s first experience with a BFF being killed; this is her second experience, and all before the age of 16. Starr lived two lives as she eloquently states it: Garden Heights Starr Version 1, and Williamson High School Starr Version 2. She had to bounce between the hood and the upper class private school she attended. Those scenes with her black friends and then her white friends, including Starr’s white boyfriend, was very well written and portrayed, and will be very familiar to many of your lives.

Spoiler below

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I’ll point out somewhat of a spoiler. Don’t miss the very climactic hairbrush scene between Starr and her Williamson High good friend Hailey. It gives you a glimpse of how some white people really think, but just don’t say it to black people out loud like Hailey did. Pray church! It got ugly. LOL

On another note, Starr bounced between two life roles that silenced her for many reasons. It’s so ironic, because 19-year-old Amandla Stenberg herself played similar roles in real life. She struggled with not being black enough (her father is Danish), and bounced between being straight and bi-sexual for a few years before finally embracing her designated sexuality (lesbian), and breaking her silence thereof. I think it’s so rhythmic, using “her voice” to make an impact onscreen, as well as off-screen.

Watch this movie without your “backpack” of pre-judgments of what you think you already know. Stay Open-minded. Be Empowered. Stay Woke.

#TheHateYouGive #AmandlaStenberg #PoliceShootings #Movies #NewReleases #MovieReview #RunPee #FemaleMasterpiece #BlackGirlsRock #TheHungerGames #LGBT #LGBTQ

Grade: B+

About The Peetimes: It was a little difficult getting Peetimes, because each one contains a little dialogue or dramatized scene that may appeal to somebody. However, these are 2 good Peetimes, both lasting 3 minutes. The 1st has an Alert flagged on it for people who might feel triggered by funerals/death. . .

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

Opinion: Racism, Dogs, and Our Primitive Brains

Through the Wormhole – Are We All Bigots?

Movie Review – Blindspotting

I think this movie was great. The acting and lyrical performance of Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal were excellent. I hope there are nominations in their future.

The movie itself touched on the two serious topics of police shootings and gentrification. I like this movie because it discussed the dual effect that each topic has on various parties involved, how people are defined by the opinions of others, and how we are all victims of implicit bias.

Grade: A

About the Peetimes:
This movie was both funny and serious at times. Since the movie was short and there were so many scenes that had dual meanings to the theme of the movie, I did find it difficult to get Peetimes; I managed to get two: one about half way in and the other 20 minutes before the end of the movie.

 

Zero Percent Score – Gotti Gets a Goose Egg on Rotten Tomatoes

Gotti has been out a few weeks now, and all the reviews have trickled in (including ours)…and the John Travolta crime mob vehicle, written to document the rise and fall of a famous Gotti family, fails in almost every way.

I say almost, because Travolta really does a great job in his acting choices as the infamous Gotti himself. He throws himself into the role without reservation. He’s probably the only reason to see this film, because its so poorly written, directed, and stands out by way of general filmatic awfulness. Bummer.

Such a bummer, in fact, that aggregator Rotten Tomatoes awards it a rare and uncoveted ZERO rating/score. This means not one of the submitted reviews for Gotti are positive. To be honest, the movie sucks, and everyone knows it.

To be clear, this is the critic score. Audiences gave it a half mast salute at 59%. There’s often a divide between critic and audience scores (remember the furor over The Last Jedi?)… but this audience approval rating is still in the C+ area — not exactly a show of rousing support.

A zero rating, though? This is unfortunately not the first time Travolta has to suffered such ignominy. He’s had goose eggs from Staying Alive , the tepid sequel to Saturday Night Fever, and the really silly Look Who’s Talking Now (the one with the dogs).  These films have a zip rating (the links above go right to the proof). These movies aren’t just bad — they are officially scored as abysmal!

It’s unfortunate, as Travolta CAN act. He had a nice comeback with the iconic Pulp Fiction, and the cutely pleasant original Look Who’s Talking. I think his problem is accepting poorly made scripts. That might be his weak spot; I can also think of a few movies he’s done that are kind of embarrassing (ie, Battlefield Earth, ouch!).

There are entire posts on the web, devoted to listing Travolta’s worst movie choices:

The Five Worst John Travolta Movie Roles of His Career

The Top 20 Worst Movies Starring John Travolta

So, should you see Gotti? If you’re a keen historian of the Gotti mob family, then maybe. But don’t pay money to see it in the theater. You’ll be able to stream it soon enough, and will have the benefit of stopping the show and doing something else if you find it as muddled and sloppy as we did.

Read RunPee’s brief but honest review of Gotti.

If you like stories about the Mafia, try these books instead:

 

 

Jill Florio

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

Movie Review — Superfly (2018)

 Superfly is a very talky movie, interspersed with people shooting each other, and lots of blood blossoming on fancy white outfits. There’s not a single character to root for — everyone is corrupt, either selling drugs or profiteering off those selling the drugs.

There are, however, some great outfits, good hair, a fine soundtrack, and an interesting updated version of the old 1970s Blaxploitation films.

I’ll say this before bed tonite: if you like the black drug culture genre, or gangster movies in general, you’ll appreciate this modern reboot and the very attractive people in it.

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UPDATE: Thursday June 21:

Here are some thoughts from a friend who knows more about those 70s blaxploitation films than I.

Volunteer RunPee photographer Ola Sojobi says: “Yeah, I liked Superfly. It was a fun, action-packed gangster movie set in Atlanta, so there was the fun of an organized crime movie with an insight to Atlanta culture added on top of it. The characters were more compelling than I expected of a Superfly reboot, and the actors portrayed them well.” Sojobi goes on to say, “I’m not saying it was Oscar-winning character or plot development, but overall, I think it was as good a time as one would have watching most any other gangster film.”

As for me: I thought it would be campy, snappy/silly fun, and stylish. I got the stylish parts right. But it was also about a LOT of cocaine, many bricks of it, with characters snorting it, and some soft porn-ish shower sex (that’s a Peetime, if you don’t  like sex scenes, BTW), and one extremely creepy machine that one character goes into, screaming, until the nightmarish ‘suction sounds’ come on, and viscous red fluids comes snaking out, through some tubes and into a vat. I think he’s been rendered alive into various components.

My thinking: WTF did I just see?

I can’t unsee this, and it’s been literally keeping me awake for three nights now. Between my insomnia and weak stomach for violence, I want to say I hated this mean-spirited movie from start to finish.

On that, Sojobi adds,”Every gangster movie has to have at least one gnarly scene like that. Sort of like the horse head in the Godfather, maybe?”

As we try to grade movies by the target audience, I could see people approved of the rebooted Superfly. So I will give it a B-, add my violence-trigger caveats, and leave it at that. Now you get to choose. Please give this movie your poll ratings on the app.

NOTE: That blood vat torture scene is NOT a Peetime, since it’s at the very end in an R rated movie that had been uniformly violent throughout – do you think it requires a “Questionable Content Alert”, even so? That’s a new thing we are adding to the next RunPee update, out very soon.

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Here are the originals of the 70s Superfly films:

RunPee Meta: 

I’ve given you 3 Peetimes: 2 have simple conversation that’s easy to sum up, and one has 5 minutes of steamy shower sex and no plot. Choose according to your interests. 

Jill Florio

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

Movie Review – Gotti

This movie was a muddled mess. This biographic piece couldn’t quite pick up steam or really even figure out what it wanted to be. I was waiting for the big moment but there was none. It was just two hours of a lot of names thrown at you, never fully explaining anything. On a positive note, John Travolta was great. He did an amazing job; his mannerisms and speech was spot on.

They also did a really good job of setting the ambiance of the time. I was a little disappointed that I pretty much knew all of what happened. I thought for sure there would be some new information given that the public didn’t already know. If you owned a television and watched the news at all during his reign, then you know exactly what is in this movie. You’re better off saving your money and waiting for the DVD.

Grade: C

Zero Percent Score – Gotti Gets a Goose Egg on Rotten Tomatoes

These are definitely better, if you want to know about Gotti:

 

Movie review: Game Night

We have a twofer review for you for Game Night! RunPee Jilly has  her review first, and RunPee Niece has her review below. Enjoy!

*****
Game Night took a satirish version of the caper standby and presented something really different. The comedic ensemble lent a sense of stylish fun to the proceedings, and nothing was as predictable as the previews made it look. The movie poster undersold the picture too — maybe the producers were afraid their movie would be a bomb. It’s hard to hit this mixed genre just right. It’s a good little sleeper hit.

There are some good questions to figure out along the ride. Who are the the good guys? What exactly is going on? What do you do after mistakenly wiping your blood all over the neighbor’s white lapdog?

In any case, this was a fresh, snarky, fun take on the “spoofy crime mystery”. If I visited an Escape Room with this much screwball excitement, I’d gladly pay double for giving me such a good time. Now I want to start a weekly Game Night posse of my own.

I have to give a special shoutout to the wacky cop neighbor (Jesse Plemons, as Gary), and especially his adorbs peak into the “basement of clues” (during the credits – so don’t leave)..pay close attention to everything tacked up on his ‘clues’ board. I had to smile. If pressed, I’d say Plemons unashamedly steals his scenes. We the viewers have to cringe a little bit; many of us all kind of know someone like this, and feel badly about how we treat them. Here, all ends well, letting us off the hook in a sense. The moral: be excellent to each other. (Gold stars if you’re old enough to catch that 80s movie reference.)

Movie Grade – B+

*****

Game Night was a fun movie to watch. There were more than a couple of laugh out loud moments that the entire theater shared in.

Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams were wonderful, as they always are, together and apart. The rest of the cast did a great job, too.

If you like action/comedy movies, or even just the featured actors, then you’ll enjoy this fast-paced flick.

Movie Grade – B+

Jill Florio

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