Virgin Movie Review – Guardian

Well, this was a typical disaster film that somehow I missed on the first round. I LOVE disaster movies, and thrillers, of which Guardian managed to tick on both boxes. The problem here is that it wasn’t much of a film, being both derivative and predictable. The lead actors seemed to sensed this, apparently, since they pulled a performance that seemingly was all about the paycheck.

I see a lot of thrillers and usually love them. This makes me a harsher critic than some: for example, watching this with my mother, she thought Guardian was the BOMB. Me, I thought: meh. Seen it before, many times. It was basically  Top Gun on the ocean. The bar pickup scene, the bucking of authority figures, the sad ‘father’ backstory of the lead (Ashton Kutcher), and the climax of the Maverick character saving the day…seen that, done that. Kutcher even had a young Tom Cruise flavor. So…yeah, wasn’t hugely impressed. And Kevin Costner basically reprised his reluctant mentor role from Bull  Durham. Top Gun and Bull Durham are great flicks, but I’m not sure we needed to see this story again.

Whatever. Costner is aging and looks it, but did a nice job as the troubled, yet tough as nails instructor. I honestly hope it’s not that difficult to make it in the US Coast Guard, but what do I know? The boot camp scenes made it look  pretty awful. When you’ve seen other films about boot camp stress, like Stripes and Private Benjamin, I have to wonder what things are really like for the grunts in the military.

Costner basically pulled an “Armageddon” role, so it’s up to you whether this film is your cup of tea. What I did enjoy were the bookend scenes of the Coast Guard rescues in the Bering Straits. I’d have given this a much higher grade if it was all about the sea rescues, and not the typical rebellious garbage at the Coast Guard Academy.

My real hope is that after this film , the Coast Guard got a lot more recruits. (Jurassic Park saw a lot of young folks learning to be Paleontologists after that film, for example.)

So, is the role of Fischer basically Maverick? Yeah, mostly. We see a lot of things we’ve seen before: teacher abuses student and bonds with him, student flirts with a hard to get girl in a bar with a dorky line, and a rescue scene proving the metal of the fresh young buck.

I’d like to have skipped the boot camp stuff, personally. The sea rescues were exciting and the best part of the film, leaving me thinking we could have skipped the origin story of Fisher and had more insights into Coast Guard life. The sea cave climax was really cool. The Bering Straights scenes were fascinatingly dangerous. It was hard to follow some of it during the chaos, but I think that was intentional.

The best and most resonant part of the film was the about the Legend of the “Guardian” that helps drowning sailors. This part of the film alone elevated the movie from pedestrian to worthwhile. So pay attention to that when you watch the film.

To Sum: the flick is derivative and a bit boring in the middle stretch. I’d suggest streaming this and kicking back for a mostly middling, yet sometimes exciting film. 

Movie Grade: B-

 

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Movie Review – Hidden Figures

 

Movie Review - Hidden FiguresHidden Figures is an exciting, feel-good film about lady scientists from the Cold War Era – three brilliant NASA women, who happen to be black. In the Mercury capsule orbital time period, segregation was alive and well…but the movie, based on actual people and events, showcases how much good can be achieved when people work together for an important cause.

While I found Jim Parsons a bit underused (does he just not know how to act, except as  Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory?), Kevin Costner shone as the color-blind leader of the Space Task Force Group. His character, Al, didn’t care if you were female, or had dark skin…he wanted his space flight program to be successful. Full stop.

She blinded me with science!

And you couldn’t help but love the John Glenn character, willing to fly only if his favorite female ‘computer’ said so. Awwww. Go, team! I’m proud of them, and that this bit of history even happened.

Is the film exciting? Not really. This isn’t Apollo 13, and the only gripping section occurs during Glenn’s orbital re-entry. But it IS a good character study, and the three women headlining the film perform their roles brilliantly. There are some truly stand-out moments from each of them. There’s also some good humor here. One unnecessary romantic plot-line detracts from the story, but otherwise Hidden Figures is quietly brilliant.

And who hasn’t secretly done their homework in the bathroom, at least once?

Grade: A-

About The Peetimes: These are all good Peetimes. It was easy to find them, since it just isn’t an action film, even though it is a true story about a tense time in the space race. 

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

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)

Movie Review – Black and White

black-or-whiteGrade: B

I’m not sure what director Mike Binder wants the audience to take away from this film. I didn’t view it as a racially motivated movie; it’s more of a family drama. The writing and directing are spot on, and the cast was excellent.

I would love to see Kevin Costner get at the very least an Oscar nod — yes, he was that good.

Audiences of all races, creed, and color will be moved by this movie.

RunPee Mom is our emotional bedrock. Without her, RunPee never would have lasted a decade as an app (which is since the dawn of time in internet years). She’s our biggest cheerleader and an unending source of unconditional love. She works cheerfully and tirelessly, seeing any movie we ask of her, writing interesting reviews, and being our…well…MOM. Her genres of choice: kiddie flicks, animated movies, emotional dramas, historical features, war films, diverse biographies, and even dense, diabolically plotted thrillers. She knows more about famous and infamous figures in history than said figures probably knew about themselves. She’s the Quiz Manager for the RunPee.com blog, and Assistant Facebook Manager for our social media efforts. If you’ve interacted with someone on our Facebook page, you’ve most likely been given a virtual hug by RunPee Mom.