Universal Builds A Star Trek Land

I recently went to both Universal’s Star Wars “May the 4th” overlay of Tomorrowland (it was worth seeing), and from afar spied the rock spires towering above the construction for Galaxy’s Edge – an entire new Disneyland themed park about the world of Star Wars itself. It’s to be an entire immersive city, set on another planet, and I CAN’T wait til it opens next summer 2019 (with Disney World following up their version in the fall of  2019).

My impression is that Galaxy’s Edge will be a lot like Universal’s Wonders of the Wizarding World, which I made a long-overdue first visit to last month. I had my Hogwarts Robes and school clothes on (Proud Gryffindor!) and completely allowed myself to drown in the experience. (I’ll a link here when I’ve reviewed that trip.)

It got me to thinking of other possibilities for immersive fantastical environments and wondering when a land devoted to Star Trek will show up. A quick search showed me Universal in Florida is indeed planning just that.

I was able to get a nice Star Trek experience previously in Las Vegas, of all  places, at the Hilton’s Star Trek Experience. It was sort of a cross between being on the set of Deep Space Nine, with an interactive TNG show. (Again, I’ll cover this in detail elsewhere.) It gave me a valid excuse to go with friends to Vegas, at any rate. I went a few times to share Blood Wine with their roving Klingons. Unfortunately, the Hilton shut down the Experience in 2008.

Then a re-booted Trek movie came along in 2009 to fill in the void, experience moderate (if not resounding) success. We at RunPee owe a lot to Trek 2009, as that was the movie propelling the RunPee app to international acclaim.

Now, with  Star Trek: Discovery — a new CBS Trek show on TV — and more Star Trek movies coming up (apparently directed by Quentin Tarantino), the irons are hot enough for somebody strike. Time to follow up on the success of the Wizarding World, and provide a counterpoint to Star War’s Galaxy’s Edge.

Star Trek is still relevant. 

So, to get back to Universal, Screenrant reports that a Star Trek Land is in the works already! And they’re fast-tracking it to compete directly compete with Star Wars Land. I’m fine with that. The more opportunities I get to dress up and play at being something futuristic or fantastical, the better. I’ll do it all.

Related Articles: (articles will have links posted as soon as I write them)

Star Wars at Disneyland

How to See Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Right Now

Star Trek – The Experience (Las Vegas, NV)

Wonders of the Wizarding World (Universal, California)

 

 

How to purchase Peecoins or the Infinity Peecoin

Here is a breakdown of the steps necessary to purchase Peecoins, or the Infinity Peecoin. I tried to make the process as simple as possible, but there is certainly room for improvement. I would appreciate it if you shared a comment with me –below — if you have some ideas on improving the process, or would just like to point out where you got confused. Thanks!

First off, before you can purchase anything, you need to verify your email address. This is because I need to record your purchase history, so that when you get a new phone you can restore everything: your remaining Peecoins and the history of which movies you spent Peecoins on previously.

There are two places you can begin the email verification process. The screen below is the first thing you will see when you start the app.

Or, if you are past this screen, you can select any movie from the Movie List Screen, which takes you to the Movie Info Screen for that movie only — as seen here below with Jumanji.

Pressing on either of the underlined buttons will take you to the Email Submission Screen — see below.

Please be careful to enter your email address correctly.  (However, if you make a mistake, you can correct it later.) As soon as you submit your address, you will see the screen below. Wait just a few seconds, and you should receive a 3-digit email verification code.

Simply input your 3-digit code. If your code is correct, it will automatically forward you to the next step. If, for whatever reason, you don’t get a code right away, you can finish this process later without starting over again. The next time you start the app you can input your code. Or, if you need it, you can get a new code, with an option of changing your email address (in the event you typed it incorrectly).

When your email is verified, you’ll see the confirmation screen below.

From this screen you can purchase Peecoins, or the Infinity Peecoin — just scroll down a little to see that option.

Important
The purchase process goes through either the Apple or Google interface, depending on your phone. If you have made purchases before, then the process should be relatively simple. If not, then you may need to add credit card information. (Note: all of your credit card information is handled by Apple/Google. Nothing is shared with RunPee. All we know is if your purchase was successful or not.)

Once you have closed the Email Verification Screen, and selected a movie (no Peecoins are spent/needed at this point), you’ll see a Movie Info Screen like the one below.

Just tap on the underlined button to “Get More Peecoins” and you will see the screen below.

If you want to use the app for free, just watch some video ads (there might be sounds – be aware to turn off the sound in your movie theater, or watch the ads before you go, to bank them for later). Each ad that you complete will reward you with one Peecoin. Honestly, these ads make us almost no money, so we hope that you’ll eventually chose one of the following options.

Purchase Peecoins in bundles of 10 for $1. (Up to 40 for $4 at a time. A minimal fee that gives you a lot of movie Peetimes!) This really helps support RunPee, because we make about 7 cents off of each Peecoin. (Apple/Google take 30%.)

Finally, there’s the Infinity Peecoin. This is the best option if you use the RunPee app frequently, and it really helps support the RunPee Family. You will be ad-free for infinity! You can purchase the Infinity Peecoin for $20 with in-app, or via Paypal for $15. (Apple/Google keep 30%, that’s why it’s more expensive in the app.) If you would like to purchase via Paypal then please refer to the email you receive with your confirmation code. Or visit: runpee.com/infinity/.

Note: as of this writing the only option for purchasing the Infinity Peecoin on an iPhone is via Paypal, but I hope to resolve this issue soon.

Please leave a comment below if there’s anything you find confusing about this process. We’re always looking to improve the app so everyone can enjoy it.

Thank you,

The RunPee Family

Movie Review – The Last Jedi

It’s too soon to know how I feel about this latest installment to the Star Wars saga. A lot happens, at a brisk pace. We have fleeting introductions to a bunch of brand-new characters we never get to know; why they rounded up well-known actors for little more than extended cameos is beyond me. It’s a long movie, but maybe a lot of character development was cut anyway. I wouldn’t mind a Director’s Edition, like we saw in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

There’s a great deal of humor, but while some of it’s clever, the rest is somewhat more goofy than usual for this series. People at opening night really got into everything, though, applauding, laughing, squealing at certain appearances (no spoilers!). Definitely everyone enjoyed themselves in a totally packed theater (sold out across the nation, apparently). At least the critters are “good cute”, instead of overly cutesy, which is nice. (Porgs! Crystal Foxes!) The blue milk “cow” was admittedly very strange, but did harken back to Luke’s moisture-farming childhood. All the scenes on Luke’s planet were hugely pretty and interesting. The island scenes even had a Degobah flavor, while looking nothing like a swamp. Nicely done. In spite of trailers spoiling a lot of it, those were my favorite scenes.

Everything with Luke Skywalker…well, I’d describe those as magical. Riveting, even, as it should be. Mark Hamill absolutely carried the film and deserves a special shout out. It warmed my heart to see him back in action, in both grumpy and heroic modes.

Rey and Kylo were great, and I liked seeing them interact again. Rey did a bit better, with actual character development. Kylo was kind of stuck at the same emo place we saw him before. His parts with Rey were highlights, though — they have a great rapport! I hope to see more of it, next time. The big fight scene (being vague here on purpose) was excellent.

Poor Finn doesn’t come across as well as he did in The Force Awakens, and he was such a bright light in that film. I think having him separated from Rey and Poe made it problematic, chemistry-wise. Boyega did so well interacting with Ridley and Isaac. This time his sub-plot felt flat and extraneous. It could have been the writing. I’m not sure yet.

Carrie Fisher’s post-death swan song finalized in a strong way, and that was a huge relief. I don’t know how they’ll bring her character to a resolution in the last film of the Skywalker Saga, but it was a shock to see the actress “live” here, after her untimely demise a year ago. I worried it might feel tacky or forced. It definitely worked. She has a lot to do, and did it well. I think Our Princess would be very happy with this movie.

So, a good installment, definitely superior to the Prequels — but I’m not sure yet where I’d rank it among the others. It’s probably for the best anyway to think a bit on The Last Jedi before passing judgment. When you build something up so much in your mind for so long, better thoughts parse (or parsec?) out after time passes.

I need a second and third viewing. It took me a year to figure out where to place Rogue One, although I was so happy with The Force Awakens that I instantly gave it 3rd place. This series has been so plagued with disappointment. I don’t think Star Wars is done yet, by any means, and I’m not a hater of The Last Jedi at all. But I may not be a huge fan of director Rian Johnson.

NOTE on the 3D version: Only a few scenes made 3D worthwhile, but it wasn’t noticeably darker, as can happen with those glasses. 3D really only came into play at the end battle on the salt planet, with the red soil, and in some adorable Porg shots. I didn’t notice much else. Ultimately, I wouldn’t shell out for the extra money for a 3D showing. If you’re a huge fan, consider 3D for a one-time viewer experience; otherwise stay with 2D.

Movie Grade: A –

Read RunPee Jilly’s Pre-‘Last Jedi’ SW Movie Rankings.

How RunPee Began – A Retrospective on Peter Jackson’s 2005 King Kong

Peter Jackson, coming off the high of his fantastic Lord of the Rings saga, was permitted to make a really, really long love letter to Kong, King of Monster Mammals. His big ape movie went on and on and on…for 3 hours and 7 minutes. Dan and I sat there, holding it in…and talked about how we wanted to tell the waiting queue to pee during the vile, unnecessary Valley of the Bugs scene (you know the one, with the Andy-Serkis-slurping slugs. Seriously: gross, man).
    It was so agonizing to sit through this film, that we thought it would be great if there was a website telling people exactly when to run and pee in long movies, so no one would miss the good parts. Thus, the idea for RunPee was born. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Peter Jackson and King Kong.
    But, is this a good movie?
    We’d have to say, cautiously, yes. It is assuredly an epic, often capturing the emotional spirit of the 1933 original. Aside from being wildly overindulgent and often tedious, it’s a credible ride. There are some moments of real heart, and the production values are top notch: Jackson clearly spared no expense. When things weren’t busy being disgusting, the island was super pretty. The dinosaurs were cool, and Kong himself looked amazing. Finally, a Kong that looked real, with expressions and nuance.
    The ape scenes with the girl are the best – sensitive and funny, well-acted and well-written.
    The Skull Island scenes, however, are uneven – while everything with Kong was great, the explorers lacked spark or likeability. In New York we get the same thing – the Central Park scenes with Kong and his girl are adorable, but the finale on the Empire State building is laborious. We wanted the giant gorilla to get it over with and die.
    In the end, it’s a bloated movie. The stuffing was overbaked, and the actors (besides Naomi Watts) didn’t bring anything to the buffet. Jack Black was a muddled mess, and Adrian Brody barely made a showing. No one else was memorable at all.
    It’s been my opinion that Jackson needed a firm editor with his material, to pare things down and keep the pacing tight. This was overkill – like no one wanted to be the one telling the successful Lord of the Rings director when to stop. There’s nothing wrong with a long movie – *Titanic* shows us how it’s done – but there wasn’t enough excitement or depth to fill out the running time. There is plenty of spectacle, and you can feel the loving hand behind this remake, but it’s basically a two hour film padded out to an excessive three. ‘Tis a pity, because this easily could have been an A film. But if it had been, there’d be no RunPee.
B-