Movie Review – Sully

 

Movie Review - SullyBeing a retired flight attendant who was based in New York, and having flown out of LaGuardia airport frequently, gave me a unique perspective on this movie.

I can’t say that I was looking forward to seeing ‘Sully’. I was flying out of New York during 9/11 and lost many peers and one good friend on that ill-fated morning. So I tend to shy away from any reminders of that day. However, I thank my lucky stars that I did bite the bullet and watched this extraordinary film.

Thank you, Clint Eastwood for not going all ‘Hollywood’ by turning this true event into some tacky, overblown piece of junk just to boost ticket sales. You told us the story as it happened through the eyes of Captain Sullenburger.

I paid close attention to the technical aspect of the movie with regards to the events prior to and following the water landing and I give high praise to the accuracy of what I saw. Even though I never experienced a water landing or ditching (and there is a difference), all safety rules were done accurately. I do appreciate that.

As for the acting and directing, hopefully ‘Sully’ will be remembered during the Oscar season. Not since Million Dollar Baby has Eastwood directed such a powerful film. And as for Tom Hanks; I believe he gave the performance of his career.

Even though the format of RunPee will only allow me to give a movie an A+ as the highest rating possible, I must give Sully an A++ in this review.

Grade: A+

About The Peetimes: Even though there was plenty of drama in this movie, I did choose 2 Peetimes that were easily summed up in the synopsis. You will not miss any of the excellent scenes concerning the water landing of flight 1549.

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

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Virgin Movie Review – Sully

Movie Review – 10 Cloverfield Lane

 

Movie Review - 10 Cloverfield Lane10 Cloverfield Lane is an excellent movie. The only reason I’m not giving it an A is that it isn’t the kind of movie I’d want to see again. The main thing that makes the movie enjoyable is that you don’t know where it’s going. That said, I can’t say Cloverfield Lane is like “movie such and such.” If I did, it might alert you to where the story is going to take you.

If you want to see this movie, then my advice would be to avoid spoilers. (That means don’t read any more reviews!) The movie trailer did a good job of setting the tone of the movie without giving too much away, but we’ve all noticed that once a movie is in theaters, the commercials change, and begin to reveal more and more details that can spoil the suspense in the story.

Grade: B+

About The Peetimes: Both Peetimes are quite good. There’s nothing crucial during either that can’t be easily described in the synopses.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of 10 Cloverfield Lane. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

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Movie Review – Arrival

Movie Review - ArrivalI think Arrival is the best science fiction movie in years. Personally, I would have to go back to Edge of Tomorrow to find one almost as good. Not that these two movies are remotely alike. Arrival is more related to Contact β€”Β with Jodi Foster.

The pacing and twists of the movie strongly resembles a good M. Night Shylamalan movie. It builds slowly, and many times the characters, especially Amy Adams, whisper their lines. It’s a very subdued performance.

There is little or no excitement in the movie. It’s almost entirely cerebral.

This is one of those rare movies that must be seen twice to appreciate. It’s almost more enjoyable the second time through when you understand exactly what’s going on.

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: This movie relies heavily on subtle visual cues. There are no unimportant scenes, but I managed to find a few peetimes that are decent.

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

Rated (PG-13) for brief strong language
Genres: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

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Movie Review – The Accountant

Movie Review - The AccountantTrigger Warning: Bright flashing lights and loud music in certain sections, which could be a trigger if you’re overly sensitive to stimuli. Guns, murder and blood, as one would expect in an assassin-type thriller.

Ben Affleck, as the titular accountant, does a nice job portraying someone with high-functioning Autism. As someone with Autism myself, I’m overly interested in characters “like me.” Affleck, as Christian Wolff, is more of a Rainman/Dr. House type of autistic, with an abnormally high talent for numbers and patterns. There is even an amusing throwaway homage to Rainman math. It’s important to realize that most autistics are NOT savants, however, and I don’t really like the media making this such a commonly portrayed thing. The autistic moments I appreciated most were: the on-spot childhood scenes, Wolff’s inability to recognize sarcasm and facial cues (even including a facial cheat sheet for emotions), Wolff’s kitchen rituals, his obsessive interests, and the scenes with his private over-stimulation therapy. While I’d never subject myself to the kind of loud music, blinking lights, and tactile torture he commits on his own body, I can see where his fath er started this at a young age, and that Wolff found comforting in its familiarity. I’ve never heard of this kind of therapy in real life, but it’s in line with Wolff’s father’s views on “curing” his son. Cue the nightly 15 minute sessions of sensory torture.

Autism aside, it’s a decent film, with interesting characters (and GREAT character actors) and an accessible plot line. Dan and I saw the “twist” coming an hour early, but guessing the reveal doesn’t detract from enjoying this suspense-thriller. There’s just the right amount of humor (the audience had a good 4 or 5 out loud laugh moments), the actors sold their roles, and the action scenes were definitely exciting. Wolff was a little too impervious to bullets (he doesn’t actually play a superhero in this outing, although the viewer has to suspend that belief here). The romance elements were believable, and I enjoyed how that realistically worked out in the end (Note: Poker Dogs). And lastly, JK Simmons ROCKS.

Whether or not Wolff’s father raised him in a responsible way is open to debate (Dan felt one way, I felt the other), and that’s interesting to discuss after the movie concludes. Overall, I felt the movie succeeded, with a nice balance of tension, characterization, humor, romance and surprise.

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: I’m pretty happy with the Peetimes for this movie. Overall I would recommend either of the first two Peetimes. The third has a dramatic scene in it, but most of that scene was in the previews.

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

Rated (R) for strong violence and language throughout
Genres: Action, Crime, Drama

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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 asΒ  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 eachΒ 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’tΒ 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.Β 

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

Movie Review – Suicide Squad

Movie Review - Suicide SquadI have to admit it, I was hoping Suicide Squad would be the Guardians of the Galaxy of the DC universe. It didn’t come close. My wife and I talked about it, and if I had to compare it to another comic movie, I’d say it was about as good as the Thor movies.

Margot Robbie was awesome as Harley Quinn, but you knew that already from the previews. Will Smith was enjoyable as Deadshot. I think they have something good to work with as they grow from here.

My biggest disappointment was the villain. There was no character development of the villain at all.

The best part of the movie is the character development of the suicide squad. The main members had enough screen time, including back story, to flesh them out pretty well. There were a few members of the team that were completely forgettable.

I’m going to be nit-picky for a second, but there was some clunky story telling. Little things like, where did those soldiers get the scuba gear? Were they just carrying it around with them the whole time? I don’t think so. It’s one of those things that happen in movies like this, where the writer needs some characters to have some equipment, or something, so they just make it handy. There were a few other things like that that aren’t worth getting into. There were some other issues with the plot, but I don’t want to bring them up because it might spoil some of it.

Suffice to say, enjoy the movie for what it is. Just try not to analyze it too much, or the plot will crumble.

Grade: C

About The Peetimes: I managed to find 2 good peetimes, and one “emergency” peetime. Overall I would recommend the last peetime at 1:18.

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

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Movie Review – Ghostbusters (2016 reboot)

Movie Review - GhostbustersThe movie is a reboot of the Ghostbusters story. The events of the first movie (we will not speak of GB2) are not recognized. However, there are a plethora of cameos. Not all of the original cast make cameos, but many do, and those moments are the best parts of the movie. Take those cameos out and this movie would have been horrible, or worse.

The new characters are poorly developed and some of the scenes were cringe worthy. Not because they were gross, but because the acting and dialog just fell flat.

The worst part of the movie is that the villain was complete crap: underdeveloped and unsympathetic.

That being said, I saw the movie with a group of people that are all fans of the original GB and none of us hated the movie. It had some enjoyable moments and basically got better, just a little, as the movie progressed.

I swear, the best part of the entire movie was probably the extra scene after the end credits.

Grade: C-

About The Peetimes: There are a lot of can’t miss scenes for Ghostbusters fans which made getting peetimes for this movie rather difficult. Both peetimes are good, but I think the first is just slightly better, only because it’s easier to summarize.

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

Rated (PG-13) for supernatural action and some crude humor
Genres: Action, Comedy, Fantasy

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Movie Review – The Legend of Tarzan

Movie Review - The Legend of TarzanGoing in, I expected this move to be horrible – it wasn’t – but I’m not saying it turned out to be great either – it isn’t.

I was fully expecting that Samuel L. Jackson’s role wouldn’t be much more than a cameo. I was pleasantly surprise that SLJ’s role was quite substantial. He helped drag the movie out of the mud. In fact pretty much every enjoyable moment of the movie involved SLJ. (No surprise there.)

Trazan’s upbringing is told in flashbacks. This story is about his return to Africa many years later. That worked okay. They didn’t dwell on the flashbacks and each came at an appropriate moment in the movie.

I guess the worst thing I can say about the movie was that it was just sort of bland.

Grade: C-

About The Peetimes: All three Peetimes are good, but I recommend the 1st.

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

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Virgin Review – Legend of Tarzan

Movie Review – Sausage Party – An R Rated Animated Film with Surprising Heart and A Real Message

 

Movie Review - Sausage PartyThis may look like a simple movie full of crass humor, but it’s more than that. There is actually a story in there about religion, and prejudices, that gives the story a solid framework on which to hang an abundance of crassness.

There is a never ending supply of sexual innuendo throughout the movie that reaches a…crescendo…that will leave you snorting in laughter. I’m not kidding when I say I can’t wait to watch this movie again, so I can watch the ending frame-by-frame.

By the way, this is a short movie, but if you need to pee, just a little, by the time you get to the one and only Peetime I highly recommend using it…because you don’t want to get to the end and discover you laughed so hard that you…you know. πŸ™‚

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: There’s only one Peetime because this was such a short movie — 81 minutes, not including the credits. The one Peetime I found is pretty good. Most of it is sequences of traveling, with little dialog or humor.

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

Rated (R) for strong crude sexual content, pervasive language, and drug use
Genres: Adventure, Animation, Comedy

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Movie Review – The Martian

Movie Review - The MartianMatt Damon is at the top of his game. It’s an enormous challenge to ask an actor to spend so much of the movie acting in a vacuum (no pun intended), with few opportunities to interact with other characters. Matt’s charm and charisma make every scene he’s in shine.

Some critics commented that this movie is “One big promotional campaign for NASA.” (Like that’s a bad thing.) You won’t just be entertained; you’ll be educated. And by all means, take your adolescent kids to see it. They’ll certainly learn something, and hopefully be inspired to come home and do more research on the various topics covered in the movie.

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: My focus was to have Peetimes with as few scenes as possible with Watney (Matt Damon) in them. The scenes that Watney are in are mostly montages, with little or no dialog. #1 A good Peetime. There’s an important story development, but it mostly involves long stretches of Watney driving and digging. #2 You should leave as soon as the above line is spoken. Nothing else important is said during their conversation. A new character is introduced right at the end of this Peetime. #3 A good Peetime with little dialogue to miss. This is mostly a process scene that leads into an increase in tension. #4 There’s no dialog during this Peetime, but it’s also only 3 minutes long, and important action happens shortly afterward.

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

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