Movie Review – Kin

Personally, I didn’t like this movie. I was expecting some sci-fi action and a futuristic dystopia…and what I got was a boring gangster film. Seriously, not my gig. I would have walked out if I didn’t have to cover it for RunPee. I’m actually mad at this film: it presented itself as a young-adult/sci-fi/dystopian film. Which it wasn’t. It was a street gang type movie with a futuristic gun in the mix.

It’s well made, so I’ll give it a B – for competence. But it seriously pissed me off; the only sci fi elements happened in the last five minutes — and the only reason we got that at all was clearly to set up a sequel. I don’t expect this sequel will ever happen, like many YA franchises that fizzled out.

What I can say is the actors really did give it a go: they were all in for the ride. The father, in particular, was extremely spot on for the character’s prickly yet loving (and perhaps borderline abusive) persona. This competency should be no surprise, as Dennis Quaid played the part.

A surprisingly amazing Zoe Kravits stole the show out from everyone in her role as Milly, the stripper girl. She made every scene of hers keenly watchable with her sympathetic and amusing character. This young actress is someone to watch as she matures into future roles. I know she plays a large part in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts film, and I look forward to seeing how she handles her Slytherin role outside of the classrooms at Hogwarts.

Will this go on to become a franchise? I honestly don’t think so, even though the denouement of the film was devoted to setting up the next installment. I see almost all the YA dystopian films for RunPee, and very few of them will be the next Hunger Games, Harry Potter, or even Twilight. I count this one as a non-starter, along with so many others in this category. And because most of the film had nothing to do with science fiction or a dystopian future, it’s kind of a conundrum as to who this film is targeted toward.

Grade:  B-

About the Peetimes: Kin was an easy movie to get Peetimes for — there is a lot of downtime in between the hyper violent gangster scenes. I have 3 Peetimes for you, nicely spaced apart. I do recommend the first Peetime at 31 minutes, if you can manage your bladder for it.

Related on RunPee: 

Sad, Sorry YA Book Series That Never Completed Their Movie Franchises – Here’s a list of Young Adult series that will probably never see completion, for better or worse

Movie Review – The Darkest Minds – Yet another Young Adult Dystopian film that feels a lot like many others that came out of last decade’s love affair with young people who are either 1. the Chosen Ones or who have 2. Superpowers. 

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 – The Darkest Minds

Here is yet another Young Adult Dystopian film that feels a lot like many others that came out of last decade’s love affair with young people who are either 1. the Chosen Ones or who have 2. Superpowers. Sometimes both apply. These characters even ask themselves what Harry Potter characters they would be in “real life”…and we come full circle between a meta-moment and in-narrative story telling.

In The Darkest Minds Children/Teens are placed in experiments (like The Maze Runner), or killed outright to save society (as in The Darkest Minds/The Hunger Games). They are abandoned in city simulations for unclear reasons (look to Divergence). And there are dozens of one-and two-shot similar films that will never find a filmatic resolution, box office stakes being too small to serve their small but ardent fanhoods.

Rule Number One: Make a good movie. Rule Number Two: Make a good movie. Lord of the Rings crashed and burned many times before settling on when Peter Jackson got it right. And then he still lost his touch with 75% of The Hobbit. Watership Down — referenced often, appropriately even, still hasn’t found a way to make this long, traumatic, yet ecstatic epic come to life.

There’s a reason so very many sci fi classics haven’t transferred to the big screen. Your material can be momentous or tripe, but if you have the triumvirate of good individual actors, good chemistry between them, and a director who’s on the right emotional page as the story, it will be a good movie. For a GREAT movie, you need a few more things. (I’ll save that topic for another day.)

So, what is The Darkest Minds? It’s somewhere between a decent movie and a good one. It might spawn a sequel. The kids need to grow into their roles (which actually did happen in the meta-referenced Harry Potter and at this point can’t happen in The Chronicles of Narnia). They need stakes more than the “oooh, mutants are scary, and mutant kids are scarier” line of thought that sent the Divergent series into final oblivion.

The Darkest Minds is pretty, and it’s fluffy, and it might have a chance. I’m hard on this genre, as it is one of my favorites. I’m going to think over this and possible adjust my grade.

Movie Grade: B-

About the Peetimes: Lots of scene changes happen in this YA origin story. You’ll be fine with any of the 3 Peetimes, although the 1st 2 are better. The 2nd Peetime is recommended, if you can manage it.

Related:

Sad, Sorry YA Franchises That Never Finished Their Stories

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: Maze Runner – The Death Cure

I’m a huge fan of dystopian stories, and I liked the first Maze Runner book and film (the one that had an actual maze and runners). It was a fresh and intriguing idea.

I didn’t see the second, and I was definitely lost in this third movie. Maybe the story was incoherent no matter what, but neither I nor my companion (who hadn’t seen any of the movies in this franchise) really followed much of the plot. It was, quite frankly, a hot mess.A long, drawn-out, senseless muddle, where you don’t get to know any characters at all, much less care what happens to them. There are chase scenes, there’s a cure, there are double crosses…with more chases, more convoluted details…and never a moment to catch your breath or follow any character’s point of view. It’s also possible that the theme of Young Adult Dystopias is played out. (We’ll always have The Hunger Games to savor.)

This one should be a cautionary tale on how NOT to make a movie. In spite of that, the 8pm and 9pm showings of Maze Runner 3 were sold out at my theater. Yep.

This might be my shortest review ever. I can’t think of anything to discuss. It was a good-looking film, I’ll give it that. This one is for Maze Runner fans only, and series completists. At least they didn’t divide the last book into two films. So it’s got that going for it: Divergent fans will probably never get their final film.

Movie Grade: D+

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.