Movie Review – The Girl in the Spider’s Web

 

Movie Review - The Girl in the Spider's WebIt’s a sad fact: sometimes a good book can make a not so good movie. Such is the case of The Girl in the Spider’s Web.

The pacing was frenetic, making the plot hard to follow. There were scenes that went by so quickly, I hardly had time to incorporate them into the movie in my brain. Most of these scenes were filled with gratuitous explosions or implausible car chases that hurt my brain.

I didn’t feel there was any chemistry between the characters, and in my heart of hearts, I don’t think the actors had fun in making this movie. I most certainly didn’t have fun watching it.

TGitSW could have been shot in black and white, and it wouldn’t have made a difference. There was very little color, except for a brilliantly red outfit worn by Camilla during a portion of the movie. And speaking of the red outfit: hats off to Sylvia Hoeks for running up a snow-covered hill while wearing six inch red stilettos. You go girl!

I’m assuming that the target audience are those who have read the book, which I have not. How well did the movie follow the book? Did the personalities of the book follow the personalities of the movie? I don’t know, because I haven’t read the book and probably never will.

I did find it interesting that the movie opened with a ‘Me Too’ moment, showing Lisbeth emasculating an abuser by hanging him from the ceiling, and tazing the creep ’til he literally peed his pants. The icing on the revenge cake was when Lisbeth mostly depleted his fortune by transferring funds into a private account for the wife. A lot of people would consider this scene worth the price of admission. I did! I believe that TGitSW would have been so much better if tazing psychotic husbands had been the plot of the movie.

My bottom line…….wait for the DVD.

Grade: D+

About The Peetimes: This movie was almost non-stop action, making it difficult to get good Peetimes — however, I managed to find 2 action scenes that were easily summed up.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of The Girl in the Spider’s Web. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

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.

Movie Review – Nobody’s Fool

 

Movie Review - Nobody's FoolSuper funny movie. I laughed (as well as the whole audience) at least 100 times. Tiffany Haddish is hysterical; every one of her scenes were amazing.

If you’re looking for a raunchy and sweet comedy, look no more — check this one out.

Grade: B+

About The Peetimes: This is an easy movie to follow. The 2 Peetimes I entered will work equally well.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Nobody’s Fool. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Christene Johnson (RunPee Sis)

RunPee.com owes RunPee Sis a huge debt of gratitude. She sees any movie needed with no complaints and has done so for ten years (even basing Thanksgiving and Christmas family festivities around the seeing films). In 2015 Sis ran the entire RunPee enterprise herself, while RunPee Dan, Jilly and Mom went traipsing off to Europe. Sis is the spider in the web holding the RunPee family together — besides being a funny, well rounded person, and a joyous pleasure to be around. Her favorite films start and end with horror (which thank goodness she’s happy to see, since most of us don’t have the stomach for it) — but also likes silly comedies, sad dramas, and musicals of all types. If you’ve used a Peetime for a scary film, you probably have RunPee Sis to thank for it.

Favorite movie genre: Horror, horror, and more horror. The more disturbing, the better. Period.

Bio

Virgin Movie Review — Daddy’s Home

Sometimes you just feel like watching a dumb movie. That was my deal tonight — I wanted to see something I hadn’t seen before, and Daddy’s Home was on. And yep, it’s a silly inconsequential flick, but it was a mostly pleasant experience for an evening when you just want to relax and chill.

Will Ferrell is great at being a doofus, and Mark Wahlberg managed to evoke a bit of charm here and there, despite playing a complete asshat. I can’t complain much, as some of it was even clever…like the opening credits where the little girl’s holiday drawings illustrated how she gradually became less antagonistic to her step-father. That was a good use of exposition. I liked “random guy” Griff, who basically moved onto the couch of the family’s household, Tumor the wackadoodle ‘ugly-cute’ dog, the “scary” fourth-graders gag (that bit gave me a genuine laugh), and out-of-left-field stories from Ferrell’s creepy boss. I thought the kiddos were great little actors, and the wife got in some fun lines here and there.

That’s the good. There was also quite a bit of bad. The shtick of the battling fathers got old really fast, and by the middle of the movie I felt bored and restless. The plot needed to go somewhere besides Ferrell being a loser and Wahlberg being too cool for school. It seemed like Wahlberg’s character knew everybody, and everybody loved him: how very convenient. By the time the movie hit the Lakers scene, I was over the constant one-upping-ness and rote predictability of the plot. I don’t blame the actors here, who I think did what they could with what was written.

I don’t like cringe humor, and Daddy’s Home had that in spades. This would frankly never be the kind of film I’d pay to see in the theater, but it worked for a light bit of home entertainment.

Movie Grade: C

Movie Review – Daddy’s Home 2

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 – Beautiful Boy

Movie Review - Beautiful BoyBeing a retired nurse, I feel qualified to recommend this movie to anyone going through recovery, or any friend or family member who’s trying desperately to stand by their side.

Beautiful Boy succeeds —  where so many other have have failed — in showing the insanity of addiction. Never, at any time, did I feel that the ‘powers that be’ had ‘Hollywooded’-up this incredible film. (My family can attest to the fact that I do go just a little berserk when Hollywood has to go and add some bling to a truly great piece of history. Don’t get me started on the upcoming movie, Mary Queen Of Scots.)

What this movie showed, with great detail and honesty, is the bleak underbelly of addiction. It seems that Felix van Groeningen knew exactly how to reach the audience without going over the top.

Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet both gave an Oscar-winning performance. If they gave an award for Best Onscreen Couple, these two actors would win hands down, for sure. Carell is a phenomenal actor that can make your sides split in one movie, then make your heart break in the next. Carell’s performance seemed to come from his very soul. Each facial expression was a reflection of his pain.

Chalamet did a spectacular job of showing the highs and lows of his character’s addiction. This pair had such incredible chemistry that it made us believe everything they were feeling, and everything they were saying to each other, in their many one-on-one conversations. And when you hear David singing Beautiful Boy to Nic, your heart will break. It’s definitely a five Kleenex moment.

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: In a 2 hour movie, I like to get at least 3 Peetimes. Couldn’t do that in Beautiful Boy. The last half of the movie had so much drama and tension that should not be missed. If you do hear the call of nature, my suggestion is that you make a mad dash for the loo, and back to your seat in no longer than 2 minutes.

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

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.

Movie Review – Suspiria

Movie Review - SuspiriaAs Suspiria ended, for the first time in my career, I didn’t have a clue as to what I had just seen. Fortunately, there was a very pleasant young man seated near me who helped shed some light on this confusing piece of work. He referred back to the original, telling me that this movie was very different from the first. Wait! What? Suspiria had been done before? Why?

Typically, I don’t research a movie ’till after I’ve done my review, because I want to go in without any preconceived notions. This time, however, that little practice really backfired on me.

So, to be fair, in this review, I’ll address the mechanics of the film, and then I’ll address the content.

Dakota Johnson really did steal the show. During the course of the movie, we see her change from a demure Mennonite to basically an evil witch. The change is so gradual, that by the end, you’ll wonder how this came to be. Tilda Swinton really rocked her three separate roles, and — not to give away any spoilers — in one of her roles you’ll be absolutely gobsmacked at her performance. Mia Goth, from A Cure For Wellness, showed us, once again, that she’s worthy of high praise.

The setting was artistically done; there’s constant rain or snow, and it’s not until the end of the movie that we see any sunshine. Perfect for this genre. The pacing of Suspiria is hard to define; there are moments of frenetic activity, followed by too many scenes of mind-numbing nothingness.

The English subtitles were (even though necessary) distracting. The thick German accents made it all but impossible to follow, then they threw in the many scenes filmed in cavernous rooms, with echoes distorting the dialog…and you end up with a big audio mess.

I do give kudos to the director, Luca Guadagnino, for pulling some mind-blowing emotions out of the actors — something he did beautifully in Call Me By Your Name.

As for how I feel about the content of Suspiria? Confused covers it nicely. The dance numbers were a pure delight to watch, but the many scenes of outright butchery and slaughter overwhelmed my senses to the point of disgust. It was as if the special effects department went way out their way to show the audience how well they do ‘carnage’. In that case, job well done, special effects people, job well done.

I struggled with what grade to give Suspiria. As has been my practice for the last ten years, I’ll grade according to the target audience. So that begs the question; who is the target audience? My best guess is the people who’ve seen the original. The nice young man I spoke of at the beginning of this diatribe had seen the original, and explained that the movie bore little resemblance to the reboot — but nevertheless would give it a favorable grade. Another audience member who had seen the original, and knew what he was walking into, gave it a decisive ‘A’. With all this in mind, I give Suspiria a B-.

Grade: B-

About The Peetimes: This was an insane movie for finding Peetimes. There were subtitles, thick German accents, and cavernous rooms that made echoes. This is the first time I’ve found a 12 minute Peetime, and it’s got an “Alert” rating, because that protracted scene was the worst kind of carnage I’ve ever seen in a movie.

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

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.

Movie Review – The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Movie Review - The Nutcracker and the Four RealmsI’m giving Nutcracker and the Four Realms an A. It was simply stunning; an absolutely gorgeous film the entire family will love. The only reason it’s not an A+ is because the Sugar Plum Fairy was really awkward to watch. She’s played by the normally fantastic Keira Knightly, who is completely unrecognizable here. I have no idea why the director had her act in so annoying a fashion. And not the cool kind of annoying; just irritating. She was the only real blight in this otherwise glorious adventure fantasy.

Special kudos goes to the girl who played Clara, and the charming fellow as the Nutcracker himself. They had honest chemistry; their scenes together were sweet, funny, and amiable.

Morgan Freeman played his somewhat patented role of the kindly, yet slightly mysterious elder, and it worked well for the part. Hellen Mirren was less fortunate; she wasn’t given much to work with, and I found the “transition” scene a bit unlikely. It was as abrupt as a similar scene with Sugar Plum.

Basically, this is an extremely likable film, and everyone who loves the Christmas season will get a real kick out of it. The magnificent dresses, elaborate hair styles, the lush set designs, and fantastical landscapes were worth the ticket price right there, and seeing this in 3D was absolutely the way to go. Take my advice and see this on the best screen you can find. It’s so darn pretty, in every way.

In another note, there are, of course, some ballet scenes — it’s based on the iconic Nutcracker Suite, and the music should be familiar to anyone with ears. I remember attending an actual Nutcracker performance, as a child in New York City. The show I saw featured Mikhail Baryshnikov… which was a real treat. But honestly, I enjoyed this movie more. A ballet performance can get weary to a youngster, but this film was a very accessible way to follow the story. Just a great holiday experience, where you can relax, let go of stress, and enjoy all the pretty flowing by. Don’t wait for the DVD — see it now.

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: I recommend using the 1st Peetime proactively if you can, since it’s a nice long one with nothing important happening for the plot. The other 2 Peetimes are perfectly acceptable, and you won’t miss the real action or plot development at all.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. (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 – Bohemian Rhapsody

Movie Review - Bohemian RhapsodyTears — check

Racing heart — check

Goose pimples — check

Foot stomping good fun — check

A deeper appreciation for a beloved musician and band — double check.

I love Queen’s music; always have, but I’ll be honest: I knew nothing about the band members and their story, and I’m glad I didn’t, because it made this movie so much more enjoyable not knowing. (And I won’t ruin that for you in this review.)

Any discussion of this film must begin with Rami Malek’s outstanding performance as Freddie Mercury. For a role that relied so deeply on voice, it was his expressions — especially his eyes — that told the story. I could go on with platitudes and adjectives, but let’s just say, “He rocked it,” and move on.

The pacing was spot on. There was just enough of each dramatic scene to get the impact without dragging.

The director Bryan Singer (the guy who did the good X-Men movies) showed he can direct a movie to an emotional crescendo just as well — perhaps even better — than he can end with climatic action.

This is a movie with no room for improvement. I see a lot of movies and that’s not something I can often say.

Grade: A+

About The Peetimes: RunPee Vera and I worked together on these Peetimes. I think we came up with four good options, nicely spaced out in the movie. And we worked extra hard to avoid the music montage scenes.

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

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Movie Review – Mid90s

Movie Review - Mid90s

First off, I’d give Mid90s a solid B. It’s a strange, unhappy little movie. I think it’s worth a watch, but it’s NOT a comedy. Ignore the hype saying that.

This is a slightly artsy slice of life about a 13-year-old skateboarding kid who makes some seriously bad choices. I even put an Alert Peetime in there, for disturbing imagery.

The main character, Stevie, is a nice, intelligent boy, who slowly learns to be a thug. I don’t remember my 90s being like this.

I was a young adult, having the time of my life while rock climbing, backpacking, and studying at the college I loved. My friends and I talked about how we were going to save the world, about quantum physics, about Star Trek The Next Generation, and the spiritually transcendent beauty of the wilderness. Grunge was the music of the day, and even now, I feel happy and nostalgic when I catch the wifty notes of Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins,  Soundgarden, and Collective Soul. Good times. Not so for Stevie, his mother, his brother, or his friends. I wanted to shake these people. This isn’t a film about the 90s at all, in spite of the title. It’s a treatise about youth skateboard culture and the pain of low-income adolescence in Los Angeles.

Oh well. Every actor — all the kids, and Stevie’s mother — did a fantastic job, creating believable and interesting characters, people you wanted to root for, but also understood to be complete train-wrecks. You know how you drive past a highway accident and can’t look away, even though it’s none of your business and you’re holding up traffic? That’s how this felt.

At the climax of the film, there were some interesting, unflinching filmatic choices. You’ll notice those beats as you see them. (I’ve never quite seen that kind of thing before.) The denouement was a proudly defiant and energetic anthem to teenage angst. Then it very suddenly ends.

I applaud how the director chose to conclude the narrative. While nothing was fixed or finalized, it was a bizarrely satisfying roundup on everything coming before, seen through the eyes of a gang of rebellious, awkward, rude…yet strangely likable teens.

The thing is, these slacker kids and their story isn’t really tied to the era. Besides the clothes and the music, this story could be transplanted to the 50s, the 70s, or any decade from the last century. It’s all before the digital age (note “Fourth Grade’s” prominent camcorder use – no cell phones are in evidence), so the setting could be any time before the new millennia.

Should you see this film in the theater? I’d say to save your money and wait for it to land on Netflix. The setting doesn’t require a big screen, and the story rambles in a low-key fashion.

In any case, this is worth seeing eventually. You’ll walk away a bit sad, and definitely more thoughtful.

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: I have 3 Peetimes here. I would have had only 2, but the middle one is an Alert Peetime, indicating a potentially disturbing scene. Use that only if the description in the meta would be upsetting to you. The 1st Peetime is at the 45 minute mark and shows teens partying. The 3rd Peetime is the best: at the hour mark, you get 5 minutes to duck out, and all you’ll miss is a long night of two boys skating. 

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Mid90s. (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 – Johnny English Strikes Again

 

Movie Review - Johnny English Strikes AgainThis movie wants to be Austin Powers. It’s the same set-up, the same cringe humor, the same British secret service bumbler who nevertheless gets the job done (in spite of his inherent ineptitude). The difference: Austin Powers is ten times more amusing. Rowan Atkinson tries, and sometimes succeeds, but mostly seems to be resting on his Mr. Bean laurels.

Granted, I didn’t see the original Johnny English films, and maybe those were hysterical enough to warrant a threequel.

Johnny English Strikes Again had a half-baked plot, propped up by a few amusing set pieces. The Virtual Reality sequence was certainly a highlight. I’d see the movie just for that cute and wacky scene. (I loved seeing English using baguettes like fighting staffs.) But the rest of the film went like this: English makes a mistake, his servant Bough would quietly fix it and take no credit; then English would preen. End scene; repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Fade to black.

The genre is getting a bit full anyway. Now we have a whole range of Brit intel movies, on a seriousness continuum from the (modern) James Bond movies, to the less straitlaced but still cohesive storytelling of The Kingsman, on down through the mediocre levels of Johnny English, to the bottom of the deliriously silly level with Austin Powers.

I just don’t see a need for Johnny English. And I think the audience agrees with me. Who sat in the theater on opening night? Me. And one or two other people. Whereas my earlier showing of Mid-90s was packed.

But, as I said, there were a few good moments to be mined. English teaching the kids how to be spies was cute. The aforementioned VR scene was great. There was a message buried in the film about how the world of espionage has changed with the advent of cell phones and cyber space. How we view technology will never be the same as Bond’s good old analog days, and it’s a nice bit of self-awareness for a spy movie to recognize this — it’s gone beyond nifty pens that become grenades (although, granted, this is tossed in there too). And there’s an interesting contrast between the iconic red Aston Martin spy car and the more useful hybrid. The world is changing, and spies have to adapt.

I might be making this movie sound better than it is. Let me rest your noggin: I gave this film a C-. I doubt it will last more than a week in the theaters, but it might have some life on streaming platforms. My suggestion: if you LOVE Atkinson, Mr. Bean and/or the first two Johnny English films, by all means see this in the theater. Otherwise, this is an easy one to skip. Save your money.

Grade: C-

About The Peetimes: Here are 2 good Peetimes, where were you won’t miss any of the best humor or action. Both are 4 minutes in length and nicely spaced apart. 

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Johnny English Strikes Again. (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 – Hunter Killer

 

Movie Review - Hunter KillerIt’s movies like this that make me love my job. I went in expecting to be bored since this type of movie never appealed to me. After watching this one, I am going to take the weekend to watch Hunt For Red October and any other submarine movie I can find. My eyes were glued to the screen the entire time.

The action that happens is intense. The timing of what they need to accomplish is literally down to the wire. They have no room for error and it was awesome to see it come together.

Just watching how they navigate the submarine was enjoyable, and seriously stressful. The way they handle them, and the orders being given with a fraction of a second response needed. Phew, total intensity.

The acting was amazing. Gerard Butler is an intense guy already, now you throw him into this environment and he steps it up even more. My hats off to him. Impressive Mr. Butler, well played.

I would recommend this movie to anyone. There is something in it for every person out there. Really, I’m absolutely not trying to fluff this movie up; it does it all by itself. For a movie that is not my forte, it changed my mind and that is very hard to do. I am set in my ways and hate change. But this movie changed my mind from the get go and kept me entranced.

Grade: A+

About The Peetimes: This movie is nonstop action and intrigue. Peetimes were extraordinarily hard to do. This is a movie where your eyes are glued to the screen from start to finish. The 3 times I chose will help, but be warned, this is a movie that never quits. No lulls at all.

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

Christene Johnson (RunPee Sis)

RunPee.com owes RunPee Sis a huge debt of gratitude. She sees any movie needed with no complaints and has done so for ten years (even basing Thanksgiving and Christmas family festivities around the seeing films). In 2015 Sis ran the entire RunPee enterprise herself, while RunPee Dan, Jilly and Mom went traipsing off to Europe. Sis is the spider in the web holding the RunPee family together — besides being a funny, well rounded person, and a joyous pleasure to be around. Her favorite films start and end with horror (which thank goodness she’s happy to see, since most of us don’t have the stomach for it) — but also likes silly comedies, sad dramas, and musicals of all types. If you’ve used a Peetime for a scary film, you probably have RunPee Sis to thank for it.

Favorite movie genre: Horror, horror, and more horror. The more disturbing, the better. Period.

Bio