Movie Review – DoLittle

Movie Review - DoLittleCharming, I think, is the best word to describe this movie. But, make no mistake, this is a movie made to appeal to young children. The plot is simplistic and the action cartoonish.

You should rethink seeing this movie if you’re only in it for more Iron Man, but with a British accent. In truth, DoLittle’s character more closely resembles Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow.

If you do have young children, especially ones who love animals — I’m assuming those two sets do not have a one-to-one correspondence, but I’m probably wrong — then this will be a nice treat for them.

The story circles around messages of nonviolence and forgiveness. However, if you haven’t taken your child to see Spies in Disguise yet, then I believe that movie has a more digestible message for children than does DoLittle.

My guess is by the time the kids get to the car all they’re going to remember are the funny talking animals.

Grade: C

About The Peetimes: None of the Peetimes have any of the funny antics and action that kids will really enjoy. I recommend the 2nd Peetime because it’s near the middle of the movie and it’s the longest.

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

Rated (PG) for some action, rude humor and brief language
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family

Is there anything extra during the end credits of DoLittle?

Movie Review – Spies in Disguise

The Trouble With Doctor Dolittle

Is there anything extra during the end credits of DoLittle?

DoLittle Yes, there are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of DoLittle.

Anything Extra Details

The credits start with three minutes of paintings that show the actors and voice actors. They are really funny.

After that there is an additional scene that lasts about 30 seconds.

There is nothing extra following that scene.

The credits run for approximately 11 minutes.

Read the RunPee movie review for DoLittle by Dan Gardner. Movie review grade: C

Rated (PG) for some action, rude humor and brief language
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family
USA release date: 2020-01-17
Movie length: 1 hour 41 minutes

We have 3 Peetimes for DoLittle. Learn more.

About The Peetimes
None of the Peetimes have any of the funny antics and action that kids will really enjoy.

I recommend the 2nd Peetime because it’s near the middle of the movie and it’s the longest.

Weekly Peeple’s Poll results for January 13, 2020

Peeples Poll 2020-01-13

It was a great week for new movies! Just Mercy gathered a sky high 9.0/10 over its opening weekend. For comparison, this would have ranked as the 2nd best movie for all of 2019 — behind only Avengers: Endgame at 9.2. (Note: Just Mercy has only 48 votes so far, which is low. Let’s see how the score changes in the coming weeks as more ratings are submitted.)

1917 also pulled down an excellent score of 8.7. That’s only a +0.5 over its expectation rating. However, an expectation of 8.2 is remarkably high for any movie. In fact, that would be higher than any movie in 2019 — again, with the exception of Avengers: Endgame — which had a 9.0 expectation score.

Also, there’s this. There’s no doubt 1917 will be among the top 10 movies of 2020.

The other new movies this week didn’t fare so well, but I doubt anyone is surprised. Like a Boss has a respectable 7.0, which is up +0.4 over expectations. Likewise, Underwater did slightly better than expectations. I’d call that a win.

Peeple’s Poll: raw data

movie/score

Expectation (pre-movie) rating

After-Movie rating

change

Just Mercy 8.0 9.0 +1.0
1917 8.2 8.7 +0.5
Little Women 7.6 8.5 +0.9
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker 7.6 8.2 +0.6
Like a Boss 6.6 7.0 +0.4
Underwater 6.8 7.0 +0.2

FAQ – Peeple’s Poll

 

Where was 1917 filmed?

Filming locations for the movie 1917 in the United KingdomThe movie 1917 was filmed in multiple locations around the United Kingdom, including: Wiltshire and Hankley Common, both in Surrey; Govan, Scotland; Low Force Waterfall on the River Tees in Teesdale; as well as Shepperton Studios, to the southwest of London.

The Govan Docks, in Scotland, were used in the scene where Schofield crossed the destroyed bridge.

1917 bridge scene shot at the Govan Docks, Scotland

The trench and French Farmhouse scenes were shot on the Salisbury Plains, in Wiltshire England.

1917 trench scenes Salisbury plains in Wiltshire England

Where did the events of 1917 actually take place?

The events of the movie 1917 all took place in the spring of 1917 in Northern France.

At this time, WWI has been raging for almost 3 years — beginning on July 28, 1914. And the war would continue for more than a year and a half after, ending on November 11, 1918. The US Armed forces joined WWI in the Spring of 1917.

Map of the Western Front during spring 1917

The German army never “retreated” but only withdrew to a better, more fortified position that also shortened the front line by 25 miles, freeing up 13 divisions for reassignment. They made their withdrawal during the cover of night, and left behind booby traps and snipers to make the Allied advancement slow and costly.

Movie Review – 1917

Is there anything extra during the end credits of 1917?

 

Is there anything extra during the end credits of Just Mercy?

Just Mercy Yes (maybe). There are photos and descriptions about what transpired since the end of the story. However, there is inconsistency in when these extras are shown. In some theaters they come before the credits. In other theaters they come during the credits.

Either way, just stick around until you see the photos and descriptions end.

The credits run for approximately 4 minutes.

Anything Extra Details

Before the credits run there are 5 minutes of photos and descriptions about what transpired since the end of the story.

The credits run for approximately 4 minutes.

Read the RunPee movie review for Just Mercy by DanaSimone!. Movie review grade: A

Rated (PG-13) for thematic content including some racial epithets
Genres: Drama, True life story
USA release date: 2020-01-10
Movie length: 2 hours 16 minutes

We have 3 Peetimes for Just Mercy. Learn more.

About The Peetimes
Although this movie is very emotional, it wasn’t too hard picking Peetimes. I avoided scenes that were intense or relevant to the climax of the story.

There are 3 Peetimes. I recommend the 2nd one.

Who rated Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker higher, men or women?

Who rated Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker higher, men or women?

If you go to IMDb.com you’ll see Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has a rating of 6.9/10. And at Rottentomatoes.com #RoS gets a 86% from users. (And 53% from critics, but who cares what critics think?)

Infographic of every Star Wars movie ranked by fans on IMDb and RottenTomatoes

That’s nice to know, but user polls like that have always bothered me, because  I don’t know who’s voting. The assumption is that if enough people vote, then it really doesn’t matter. But is that a good assumption? Let’s test it and find out.

In the RunPee app we have a user’s poll — we call it the Peeple’s Poll — that breaks down user voting more precisely by age and gender. We also ask users to submit their expectation vote before seeing the movie to compare with their after-movie vote, to see how a movie performs based on expectations.

Lets see what the Peeple’s Poll numbers have to say about Rise of Skywalker.

Who rated Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker higher, men or women?

Raw data of results by gender

expectation
aftermovie
difference
men
75.9 81.5 +5.6
women
76.8 83.6 +6.8
COMbined
76.1 82.1 +6.0

Women have a higher expectation vote than men. And, their after-movie vote is also higher — by a wider margin. The last remnants of the Old Stereotype that Star Wars is for nerdy boys has been swept away.

An after-movie rating in the low 80% range is respectable. For context, an 82.1 score would put Rise Of Skywalker as the 28th best movie of 2019 — just slightly ahead of Joker.

Read the 2019 Peeple’s Poll Movies – Year in Review here.

Turns out men and women don’t rate movies equally. If we look at all votes for all movies we can see there is a slight, but noticeable, difference in how men and women rate movies.

Peeple’s Poll voting by gender for ALL MOVIES

expectation
aftermovie
difference
men
75.4 80.1 +4.7
women
76.4 82.6 +6.2
Women – men
+1.0 +1.5

Remember, the numbers above are for all movies. The expectation vote between men and women differ by 1.0 points, while the after-movie vote differs by 1.5 points. Not huge, but I think it’s interesting that women generally are happier with a movie than men.

Note: this is with over 80,000 total votes submitted.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker departure from average.

expectation

#RoS – overall avg.

after-movie

#RoS – overall avg.

men
75.9 – 75.4 = +0.5 81.5 – 80.1 = +1.4
women
76.8 – 76.4 = +0.4 83.6 – 82.6 = +1.0

Here we can see the departure from average is a little greater for men than women, but again, women still rate the movie higher.

However, in a deeper context, the trend is for women to have an expectation rating that is 1 point higher than men, and in the case of #RoS it’s 0.9.

Let’s call that a wash.

On the other hand, the trend, when considering all movies, is for women to have an after-movie rating that’s 1.5 points higher than men. In the case of #RoS, men are +1.4 and women are +1.0. Women’s after-movie rating is higher, but not by the margin we would expect according to average.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker expectation by age/genderInfographic, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, rating by men and women before movie expectation

You can see that, in general, women had slightly higher expectations across all age groups, except for the 20-29 range. But more interestingly, I think, the 20-29 age range was lower for both genders by wide margins. If you have some reasoning for, that I’d love to hear it in the comments. Notice also that, among women, those under 20 had the highest expectations, while those 20-29 had the lowest expectations. A stark contrast for two adjacent age groups. But, that’s life.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker after-movie by age/gender

Infographic, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, rating by men and women after movie rating

This is where it gets really interesting. What’s up with women under 20? We saw from the expectation chart that women under 20 had the highest expectation, but it’s crazy how much that groups after-movie rating stands out. My guess is that young women identify with the protagonist Rey and young men identify with Kylo Ren. I don’t want to get into anything spoilery, so I’ll leave it at that. But if you’ve seen the movie you can see how the outcome of the characters could have a strong influence on the weak minded young. 🙂

FAQ – Peeple’s Poll

Want to get punched in the nose? Go tell a teenage girl that #RoS sucked. Note: of the 2,800+ votes for #RoS women under 20 has the least number of votes at just 19. I’ll check back in a few days and update to see there are any changes.

The other thing I notice from the after-movie chart is, among men, those in the 30-39 range had the lowest rating for the movie of any group. Why? Let’s see… A man of about 35 would have been around 15 when Phantom Menace came out. Does the scar of Jar-Jar still haunt them? You tell me.

One other statistical result is worth mentioning, and that’s the percentage of votes by women vs men for all movies and for #RoS.

Percent of voters by gender

# of votes all movies
# of votes Rise of Skywalker
women
27,756 810
men
56,031 1,945
women/men %
49.5% 41.6%

You can see that overall women don’t submit votes in the Peeple’s Poll as frequently as men. (2 votes by men for every 1 vote by a woman.) However, I don’t have any overall gender demographics for RunPee app users. I can only go by users who submit votes in the Peeple’s Poll and submit their gender.

For Rise of Skywalker women account for 41.6% of the votes, down 7.9% from the overall trend. My interpretation is that, while women rate #RoS higher, men account for a disportionate percentage of the audience. At least among RunPee app users.

We’re just getting started here. Tell me, what other sorts of statistical breakdowns would you like to see in the future?

Movie Review – Star Wars – Rise of Skywalker (spoiler free)

Star Wars – Death Stars and Planet Killers: Enough Already

The 6 Most Epic Lightsaber Fights in Star Wars (plus 3 that didn’t make the cut)

 

Is there anything extra during the end credits of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker?

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker No, there are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Anything Extra Details

There are no extra scenes. However, if you’re a fan of the Star Wars music by John Williams there’s plenty to enjoy throughout the credits, including Darth Vader’s theme and the Celebratory passage from A New Hope.

Also, wait a few minutes after the credits roll, and you’ll see the complete list of [redacted for spoilers] characters/voice actors from a key scene in the movie. Without this list, it’s hard to identify them all.

The credits run for approximately 10 minutes.

Read the RunPee movie review for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Rob Williams. Movie review grade: A-

Rated (PG-13) for sci-fi violence and action
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Sequel, Star Wars
USA release date: 2019-12-20
Movie length: 2 hours 22 minutes

We have 4 Peetimes for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Learn more.

About The Peetimes
Between we Peeps we’ve seen Rise of Skywalker now 5 times, so we can be sure we picked the best Peetimes and got the details right.

I recommend the 2nd or 3rd Peetime. Both are plenty long, but there’s important scenes that follow each Peetime, so don’t be late.

#MayTheRunPeeBeWithYou

The decade of 2010s when female protagonists said #MeToo to Science Fiction

Amy Adams in Arrival

Amy Adams in Arrival

Science fiction has long been dominated by male protagonists to placate the mostly male audience. But times are a changin’. Some of the most outstanding science fiction of the 2010s featured women as either the protagonist or equal partners alongside a male counterpart. Spoilers ahead for these 2010 films. 

Arrival (2016)

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writers: Eric Heisserer, based on the story “Story of Your Life” written by Ted Chiang
Stars: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker

Let’s start with what I think is the very best science fiction movie of the decade: Arrival. Amy Adams plays Professor Louise Banks in this cerebral exploration of language and time. In no other genre than science fiction could a professor of linguistics, male or female, play the protagonist of a story.

The protagonist in Arrival is patient, smart, thoughtful. Let’s face it, those are qualities more associated with women than men. She doesn’t rush to conclusions; she doesn’t approach the problem to be solved with pre conceptions; and in the end, she doesn’t resort to violence — but contrarily, uses her intellect to avoid violence.

In short, she doesn’t try to be a woman in a man’s role.

That said, I think the best display of Professor Bank’s qualities is when her counterpart, Professor Ian Donnelly — played by Jeremy Renner — makes a crucial discovery that helps solve the translation puzzle. Bank’s doesn’t show any signs of resistance to a new idea; nor does she resist an idea that isn’t her own; she even recognizes Ian discovered something before he tells her, and is genuinely excited at the prospect.

If the genders had been switched between Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, and it was the female, Professor Banks, who discovered the key that unravels the puzzle, then this is the part of the story where the female would have to do something heroic just so her idea could be recognized by the male.

I’m not just saying this to be critical of men. When trying to solve a problem I can absolutely recognize the tendency to resist changing direction. Sometimes there’s a feeling of mental momentum that builds up, and trying to stop it and change course requires effort. (Picture cartoon here of man driving, not knowing where he is or where he’s going, but stubbornly determined to continue driving, while ignoring the input of the woman in the passenger’s seat with a map.)

Arrival also brilliantly explores how a woman, Louis, can handle making the fantastically painful choice to have a child she knows will die young. Yet, before her child dies, they will have love and memories to last a lifetime. Ian, her husband, leaves her, because he isn’t strong enough to handle the emotional pain Louis embraces. 

I don’t want to suggest women have always taken a back seat to men as protagonists in science fiction. Linda Hamilton, as Sarah Connor in Terminator, and Sigourney Weaver, as Ellen Ripley in Aliens, have played powerful women protagonists, as have many other women in science fiction. However, those characters lean heavily on women thrust into traditionally masculine roles: violence.

The real beauty of Arrival is that a female character, in a military setting, uses her intellect to avoid violence.

Colossal (2016)

Director: Nacho Vigalondo
Writer: Nacho Vigalondo
Stars: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis

Colossal, staring Anne Hathaway

I know what you’re thinking: Colossal? I’ve never heard of it.

I know, right? I was right there with you until a few months ago. Colossal was in and out of theaters without so much as a “boo.” It couldn’t have been a wide release movie or we would have done Peetimes for it.

Yet here we are. Colossal is one of those movies I love telling people to watch. Don’t look for the trailer on YouTube; don’t look it up on IMDb; just try your best to watch it without knowing anything at all about it and enjoy.

It’s on my list here of great science fiction movies of the past decade, so you already have a hint, but I guarantee you, you won’t see it coming.

Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis are both fantastic in their roles — but I’m not going to say anything more than that. You’ll understand when you see it.

Lucy (2014)

Director: Luc Besson
Writer: Luc Besson
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman

Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson,

Okay, I’ll admit it: Lucy isn’t exactly great science fiction. It’s more like guilty pleasure science fiction. It’s a little like the movie Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper, except that it goes to infinity.

What makes Lucy so enjoyable is Scarlett Johansson’s performance. Going from a directionless young woman to, basically, a god, in the span of a day.

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Director: Doug Liman
Writers: Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth
Stars: Tom Cruise, Emily Bluntedge of tomorrow, starring Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt

This is one of my all time favorite science fiction movies, and among the best of the Groundhog genre. Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt co-star in this movie. However, when the backstory is considered, it’s Emily Blunt’s character, Rita, who is the hero. She’s the one who went through the temporal loop first and figured it out. And she’s the one who mentors Tom Cruise’s initially cowardly character, Private Cage. It only looks like Tom Cruise is the main character because of the point of view the story is told from.

Okay, they can be co-heroes. But still, Rita is the one who saves the day, twice.

A Quiet Place (2018)

Director: John Krasinski
Writers: Bryan Woods, Scott Beck
Stars: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski

A Quiet Place, staring: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski

As long as we’re talking about Emily Blunt, let’s not forget how outstanding her performance was in A Quiet Place. Her character, Evelyn Abbott, wasn’t the hero of the story. Akin to Signs, every member of the family was the hero.

Bonus, we get A Quiet Place 2 — and thank you for not trying to be cute and name it A Quieter Place — on March 20, 2020.

Her (2013)

Director: Spike Jonze
Writer: Spike Jonze
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson

her-starring- Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson

Yeah, yeah, I know this is a stretch. Joaquin Phoenix is the protagonist. But this is my list and I’m going to argue it’s merits for inclusion. It’s science fiction at it’s best and it explores (soon to be) very real experience that millions, perhaps billions, of humans will encounter: what to do when we fall in love with an artificial intelligence (AI).

I have to start by saying how masterfully Scarlett Johansson voices Samantha — the AI. I would fall in love with my Google Voice too if it had Scarlett’s voice. There’s no doubt that Joaquin Phoenix is a generational talent. However, his performance would have felt contrived if the AI he falls in love with didn’t do such a great job communicating the nuances of emotions through voice alone.

Aside: Have you ever noticed how rare it is that a woman narrates a documentary? It seems like the choices are Morgan Freeman, Neil Degrasse Tyson,  Richard Attenborough, or any other man with a British accent. I can’t even think of a scientific documentary that’s voiced by a woman. But would someone please put Scarlett Johansson to work narrating? Her voice soothes like freshly baked bread slathered in butter. I could listen to it all day.

First View Movie Review – Her

Ex Machina (2014)

Director: Alex Garland
Writer: Alex Garland
Stars: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac

Ex Machina, starring Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac

Maybe you think the inclusion Ex Machina is a bigger stretch to add to this list than Her. Granted there are no women in this movie: just two men and two AI/robots: Ava and the speechless Kyoko. While the AI have the shape of female figures — for less than research purposes — the AI use those shapes, and the effect they have on the two men, to their advantage.

When you think about it, it’s really quite brilliant. The AI Ava uses everything it knows of women and men as tools to plan her escape. She manipulates both men with such subtlety that Caleb believes he has successfully thwarted her plan only to find out that was actually part of her ultimate plan.

We could be here all day talking about the nuances of what this implies, but I think the big takeaway here is that each person’s deep seated values around gender attributes is something that other humans, and soon AI, can use to manipulate us. We all know this is true because no demographic is more easily manipulated than young men by sexy women. Want to sell more of anything? Just picture a sexy woman holding your product, or better yet, draped over it, and sales will increase. You think that won’t be the first thing AI recognize and use to their own advantage as soon as they have the will to do so?

Also worth mentioning:

I don’t consider superhero movies to be science fiction, however I must give a nod to the addition of Captain Marvel in the MCU.

I’m personally not a fan of Brie Larson in the titular role. I think Blake Lively would have been a better choice, but be that as it may, introducing a powerful female superhero is important for the growth of not only the MCU franchise, but also our culture. It saddens me that grown men reacted to Brie Larson with such animosity over her stance on women’s rights. But at the very least, this exposes a problem that these men need to work toward getting over, because we’re not going back to the culture they crave of women beholden to men to give them value.

At the same time that Captain Marvel is being heralded as the new age of powerful women in superhero films, we already had one in Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow. Natasha’s sacrifice was every bit as crucial to the resolution of Avengers: Endgame as was Iron Man’s. Yet, I don’t see in-universe acknowledgement in the same way. I really hope that during Phase IV of the MCU there are reminders that Iron Man wasn’t the only one to make the ultimate sacrifice to defeat Thanos.

Lastly, I do not remotely consider Star Wars to be science fiction. However, if you ask me, the only good thing about the Star Wars trilogy of 2010s was the female protagonist. I wrote a lengthy article about how women rated Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker higher than men. And in particular, women under 20 had the highest rating of any age group for either gender.

Way back in the 1960s, the television series Star Trek broke new ground in creating an all inclusive cast, while still pandering to white entitlement. There’s little doubt that if Captain Kirk were in the captain’s chair today he’d probably face multiple counts of sexual harassment. But, at least there was an African-American female bridge officer, along with Asian and Russian men.

It’s clear that the future of all movie franchises will lean heavily on not only creating a balance between male and female protagonists but also reaching a balance in races and sexual orientations. Marvel has already announced that there will be multiple characters added in Phase IV and beyond who are on the LGBTQ spectrum.

We’ve come a long way as a culture, but clearly we’re not “there,” yet — and who even knows what “there” even looks like.

20 Groundhog Day Type Movies – The Ultimate Repeating Day Film List

RunPee – Our 2109 Movie Review Rankings (and who was stuck with the worst films!)

Avengers: Endgame - And I, am the all time box office leader.

Avengers: Endgame - And I, am the all time box office leader. $2,797,800,564 world wide. You can buy a lot of Infinity Peecoins with that.

2019 closed out a decade of movies, not so much with a bang, but with a snapAvengers: Endgame was a tour de force that culminated a decade defined, both culturally and monetarily, by the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Between 2010 and 2019 MCU movies brought in a combined $21,738,254,556. (That’s all MCU movies except the first Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, both of which came out in 2008.)

Avenger’s Endgame was just one of the 152 movies we added to the RunPee database this year.

According to the Peeps — people who do Peetimes for RunPee — we had a pretty decent crop of movies in 2019. Here’s a breakdown of the grades our Peeps gave to all the movies this year.

2019 - All movie grades by Peeps
93 of our movies were rated B or better — 65%

We really appreciate all the comments we get about our movie reviews and grades. We’re not anything like professional movie reviewers, but we do our best. Our goal is to give you our honest feelings about a movie, without spoiling it.

Because we see all wide release movies, we’re often stuck watching really bad films.

Each of the Peeps likes to think that we’ve suffered the most by watching the worst movies, but numbers don’t lie. Looks like I (Dan) win The RunPee Award for watching the most crap movies in 2019. I had 4 movies I rated below a C-, Sis and Jill both had 2, and Mom just 1. RunPee Mom really likes to think she’s the martyr, and to be fair, she has watched a number of really bad movies, but not this year. 🙂

Here’s a chart breakdown of the above data2019 Peeps grades chart

 

2019: movies that stood out, for better, or for worse.

RunPee Sis (Christene Johnson)

As I look over my list of movies for 2019, I’m struck by the fact I enjoyed almost all of them. Almost being the key word in that sentence. I gave out only one F this year, and it was totally earned. Hands down, the worst of the worst for me was The Lighthouse. Before I shred this movie apart again, I have to include my favorite movie of the year, JoJo Rabbit. I wish there was a better grade than A+, because it deserves the highest of all praise.

This is where I noticed something very interesting. My expectation going into each of these movies were polar opposites. Seeing the trailers for The Lighthouse had me instantly enthralled. It contained all of my favorite things. I love both Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe. I’ve always been entranced by anything water and storm related, so my expectation was at an all time high. I knew I’d love it, and waited months on pins and needles to be blown away.
Now let’s hop over to JoJo Rabbit. I saw one trailer for it and dismissed it right away. I don’t like war themed movies and I’m not really a fan of movies set in the past. I was dreading doing Peetimes and forced myself to suck it up and do my job.
I was 100% wrong on so many levels with both of my expectations. Where the movie I was waiting for, The Lighthouse, had me seeing red and wanting throw my popcorn at the screen, JoJo Rabbit was as refreshing as the spring after an unusually hard winter. There is a quote from Bill Watterson that says, “I find my life is a lot easier the lower I keep my expectations.” He’s absolutely right. My high expectations for The Lighthouse and low expectations for JoJo Rabbit demonstrated that philosophy perfectly.

Jill Florio (RunPee co-founder and COO)

Peanut Butter Falcon: A+
The absolute best movie of 2019. And this isn’t even the kind of film I usually like, so you should take my word for it. I lean towards fantasy/Sci-fi/Superhero stuff. This is none of the above. It’s just a gorgeous drama, beautifully written, with superb dialog, amazing characters, lovely on-location scenery, meaningful connections, consistent humor, a rollicking tale, and a satisfying ending. The audience laughed and clapped and walked away happy. It’s just crazy good. I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll conclude by saying SEE THIS. You don’t even need your tissue box. What are you waiting for? It’s out on DVD right now. Definitely going on my annual rewatch list. Really, shoo, shoo: go watch it.

Avengers: Endgame: A+
Okay, this was a phenomenal feat. How to wrap up 20+ movies in a way that people will universally be happy? I would have said that’s impossible. We’ve all been burned by franchises that falter at some point, or have a “Chris Carter ending” (ie – X-Files) that make you feel stupid for believing things will be resolved. I don’t know who sold whose soul to do it, but Avengers: Endgame pulled off a cinematic miracle. Are there any MCU fans that were let down? As a Browncoat in Firefly would say, “We’ve done the impossible. And that makes us mighty.” I’m not bothering to explain anything from Endgame, because you’re either an MCU fan that doesn’t need a synopsis, or you’re not the target audience. This was a once in a lifetime event. I don’t even care what happens in the MCU after, because I am replete. [Contented sigh.]

Escape Room: A+
I have no real clue why I gave this such a high grade at the time. I think I was surprised by liking it. It’s probably just worth a B+, thinking about it now. It was cute and mildly clever, and I had a nice time watching it. Sometimes things just shift in your mind over time, and an A+ is totally off in this case. So do I go back in and change the grade?

Rise of Skywalker: A-
I’m…pleased. I could end this blurb here, but I should probably explain. I was 12 when A NEW HOPE (just Stars Wars, back then) premiered. I waited, like many others, for 6-8 hours in line to see this film in the theater. Not even Lucas’s later futzing could ruin Star Wars for me… Until the frakking Ewoks — and the prequel Force retcons — came along to make my faith in the Force falter. The Force Awakens gave me new “hope” and although the newer movies were hit and miss, I was satisfied with the saga finale in Rise of Skywalker. I’m just glad it didn’t suck. And you know what? Grading Star Wars on a curve, I have to admit I more than liked how things concluded. Please, Lucasfilm, stop making these movies. We’re done and it was good. Thank you.

Downton Abbey: A-
When I first watched Downton Abbey on TV, I was captivated. I’m not sure why. There weren’t any spaceships. I just enjoyed the story, even if some subplots totally failed (hello, Anna and Bates). Before the film came out, I was excited, and rewatched the entire six seasons to get ready. The series rewatch was still pretty good the second time around. The movie is just like that: pretty good. And they dropped the Bates’ endless blahs, so yay! I can’t say this is a great film, but if you are a Downton Abbey fan, you’ll be pleased with how the story continues. So pretty, so fun, and everyone we liked is back for seconds, on top of their game.

Knives Out: A-
What a surprise! After royally messing up The Last Jedi, Rian does us proud in an amusing and coherent mystery story about a family of awful people that we’re fascinated to watch. It works, even on several viewings. I was glad to do the Peetimes for it, because it’s a ton of fun and never cheats. Perfect casting, BTW.

The Lion King: A-
I am not entirely on-board with Disney making “live” versions of their classics, but this made me laugh, made me cry, and ultimately moved my soul. I think it was the casting and beautiful visuals. It’s not an A+ like the animated original, but I can’t help but feel reminded that adopting the Hakuna Matata motto is more important as you grow older and life gets more complicated. This is the best version of the animated updates in my opinion, and I think it’s largely due to some stirring and amusing scenes that just made me…happy. There were a few parts that actually improved on the original, and I can’t say that often.

Terminator: Dark Fate: B+

I liked it. Didn’t love it, but I’m okay with that. Not sucking is a great feat these days in a franchise revival. I don’t even care that the otherwise decent T3 was tossed out of continuity. I would have felt better about this film except for three things:  1. The Tar Terminator was trash compared to the T2  liquid metal effects (and awesome acting by Robert Patrick), and 2. the new Chosen One was completely forgettable. I don’t even remember her name or what she did in the movie. Truth. And 3. The unceremonious death of someone. ARG.  I am not going to forgive this.  I can’t. I’m mad as a hornet.

Dark Fate good things: Grace Mackenzie. Linda Hamilton. Arnold. Carl selling draperies. The subplot about immigration. Eating chips. And, of course, sacrifice for the greater good. This is a fine entry in Terminator canon, but I need time to get comfortable with some of it.

Jumani 3 – The Next Level: B
I admit, I was disappointed. I adored Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. It was one of my favorite movies of that year. This one was….IDK. Passable. Maybe I was expecting too much from a threequel. I liked it, but have no real desire to watch it over and over like I did with the previous film. I didn’t laugh as much. The plot was….um…what was the plot? Something about yet another jewel. The body swaps weren’t as fun. There were some weird set pieces. But since I was so looking forward to this film, it sticks out in my mind as something worth discussing. I think a B grade is just about right.

Happy Death Day 2U: B
I loved the original Death Day film with it’s comedic, horror-lite, tight mystery story. This was a good follow-up that I did — admittedly — enjoy, but it didn’t approach the delight of the first. What stands out: genre hopping! Instead of horror/mystery/comedy, we got something like a Back to the Future sci-fi flick. It was a good follow up. Recommended, but not wonderful.

Spider-Man Far From Home: B
Not my favorite MCU film, but a decent coda to the MCU Infinity Saga. I wish it had been as fun as Spiderman: Homecoming, but it did a nice job concluding the long and winding road of Marvel storytelling. I’m worried, though. Phase Four needs to be better than this.

Ad Astra: B
I have such mixed feelings on this Brad Pitt almost-solo wonder. There are other characters, briefly, but none of them matter. We get some super interesting set-pieces and quite a bit of philosophical interpersonal conception. Yet…it’s often deadly dull. This movie stands out by being great occasionally, and frequently bad. I look forward to seeing how this stands up to time. I mean, space movies are my thing. But this is more 2001 than Guardians of the Galaxy.  Fair warning: I didn’t like Gravity, which this is sort of like. “Brad” Astra (Ha, get it?)  is more serious and contemplative than adventurous, with a few short but memorable set pieces on various objects in our solar system. You tell me: I just didn’t know what to do with this film.

First Man: B
I wanted to love this, the same way I loved Apollo 13 and The Martian. Perhaps focusing on an emotionless man was the root of the evil. How could the first lunar walk be so boring? I love space. I used to work at AstroCamp, and adore space films. I think Tom Hank’s Jim Lovell said it best in Apollo 13: “Armstrong? Really?” How could such a momentous occasion be so miserable an experience? The man is on the MOON. Try to enjoy the moment. If you can’t appreciate being the first man, give the chance to someone else, who would feel the wonder and joy. For comparison, Second Man Buzz Aldrin was bounding around in excitement. As would I. And probably you. Honestly, thinking about this makes me just mad. First Man gets a B from being competently filmed and well acted, but don’t expect to like anything on screen. What a mirthless excursion.

The Hustle: C-
I don’t want to discuss this. It was bad. Just go see Dirty Rotten Scoundrels again.

Beach Bum:  D+
I love Jimmy Buffet — who was in this trainwreck — and I want to be a professional beach bum someday in my own version of Margaritaville. I was excited to see it! Too bad Beach Bum was garbage. I think this is a film to watch absolutely stoned out of your gourd. You tell me if that improves it.

47 Meters Down: D-
Singularly the worst movie I saw all year, and I am pretty forgiving of shark films. So much wasted opportunity. They could have made a fabulous undersea sunken “lost city” adventure, patrolled by blind cave sharks. Instead, it was just another jump scare movie where we don’t know who will survive by the end. Keep in mind, sharks are — in reality — animals, not monsters. The original 47 Meters Down was a fine film that did right by the genre.

This was just a jumbled, murky, messy, pointless opportunity to exploit shark mania.

Seriously, this could have been a fascinating and exciting story along the lines of, say, “Indiana Jones and the Lost City of Sharks“. I suppose I’m asking too much. Don’t pay any money to see this on any level. It barely misses an F, because there were occasional moments that didn’t totally bomb. The movie has zero connective tissue to the sensible story in the first film. Pass.

RunPee Mom (Ginger Gardner)

They Shall Not Grow Old: A+
Superior to any other war movie ever made. There’s a Russian proverb that says, “A wide road leads to war; a narrow path leads home.” No other movie has exemplified this more than TSNGO. This should be included in every course on military history.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: A
This movie was perfect in every way, right down to the fact that Tom Hanks and Fred Rogers are actually related.

The Art of Racing in the Rain:  B+
For all animal lovers. I applaud the fact that this movie was from the dog’s point of view, and Kevin Costner was the perfect voice for Enzo.

Stan & Ollie: A
As a kid, I never really enjoyed the Stan & Ollie act. I didn’t like the fat guy constantly yelling at the skinny guy. This movie wasn’t so much about the act, as it was about the men behind the act. I believe that John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan both deserve an Oscar nod for their performances.

Blinded by the Light: A
I love Bruce Springsteen, but this movie was so much more than a great soundtrack. The overlying story of a culture clash between the father and son was intense and well played out by Viveik Kalra, as the son, and Kulvinder Ghir as the father. In this year of some really great music bio’s, Blinded by the Light took an entirely different approach to spotlighting the music of the The Boss.

Dan Gardner (RunPee CEO)

Ford v Ferrari: A+
What a surprisingly delightful movie. Of course the partnership of Matt Damon and Christian Bale packed a powerful one-two punch. I expected that and wasn’t disappointed. But everything about the movie just cruises.  It’s movie making at its finest.

Knives Out: A
This is my sleeper of the year. On the surface, this movie is funny and enjoyable. But the subtext of this movie is brilliant. The message that immigrants are the real moral backbone of this country — while entitled white boomers are responsible for its decline — is so subtle that it seems like no one noticed. But once you see it, you can’t help but see anything else.

Yesterday: A
The screenplay is written by Richard Curti: Love Actually, About Time, War Horse, The Boat that Rocked, etc. That’s all I needed to know.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: B- and falling.
RoS had many enjoyable moments, and that’s about it. The more I think about the story, the more I get annoyed. JJ Abrams doesn’t deserve to be piloting this franchise. There are so many errors in storytelling in this movie that it could serve as the exemplar in a class on how not to tell a story.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix: D-
At least Rise of Skywalker had enjoyable moments. Dark Phoenix was so bad as to be cringe worthy.

Hellboy: F-
Even if Hellboy came out 25 years ago, it would have been criticized for lackluster special effects. And as bad as the effects were here, it will only be remembered for being so forgettable.

 

2019 Peeple’s Poll Movies – Year in Review

What’s New in the RunPee App Version 5.0 – Movie posters can can draw on, MCU Peetimes at a glance, and much more!

A Open Response to Kevin Feige (re: Using the Bathroom During Endgame)

2019 Peeple’s Poll Movies – Year in Review

2019 - Peeple's Poll result count graph

The Peeple have spoken! Avengers: Endgame was the highest rated movie of the year — by far.

FAQ – Peeple’s Poll

Below is a breakdown of the Peeple’s Poll results for the top 30 movies in 2019. Not only did Peeple give Avengers: Endgame the highest rating of the year, they did so by a huge margin. Endgame scored 4.5 points higher than Ford v Ferrari. By comparison, you have to go 18 movies down the list to find a gap of 4.5 points below #FvF.

Peeple’s Poll top 30 movies of 2019

Title Before Movie After Movie Difference
Avengers: Endgame 90.1 92.2 2.1
Ford v Ferrari 77.4 87.7 10.2
A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood 79.3 87.5 8.2
Spider-Man: Far from Home 80.0 87.2 7.2
Downton Abbey 79.6 86.9 7.3
Toy Story 4 81.9 86.3 4.4
Harriet 74.8 86.3 11.5
Little Women 77.3 86.0 8.7
Knives Out 77.0 85.6 8.6
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World 80.2 85.5 5.3
The Best of Enemies 71.6 85.2 13.7
They Shall Not Grow Old 80.3 85.0 4.7
Jojo Rabbit 76.7 84.9 8.2
The Upside 74.5 84.8 10.2
Captain Marvel 78.9 84.6 5.7
Frozen 2 78.0 84.4 6.4
On the Basis of Sex 74.9 84.2 9.3
The Peanut Butter Falcon 73.0 84.1 11.0
Rocketman 78.4 84.0 5.6
A Dog’s Journey 69.4 83.6 14.2
Brittany Runs a Marathon 73.7 83.1 9.4
Yesterday 73.0 82.9 9.9
Hotel Mumbai 74.3 82.6 8.2
Dark Waters 74.1 82.5 8.5
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum 79.0 82.5 3.5
Aladdin 72.0 82.4 10.4
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker 76.4 82.4 6.0
Richard Jewell 71.8 82.0 10.2
Joker 77.6 81.8 4.2

As you would expect, the breakdown of the post-movie rating for movies forms a nice-looking bell curve.

2019 - Peeple's Poll result count graph
The average beforemovie vote is 70.4 and aftermovie is 75.8.

Here’s a few interesting data points from the Peeple’s Poll.

  • Uswritten and directed by Jordan Peele, had the misfortune of being the highest rated movie that didn’t meet expectations. It got a respectable 79.6 post-movie rating, but the expectation before the movie was 81.5 — a difference of -1.9. I think Jordan Peele should take it as a compliment that people have such high expectations for his movies.
  • The Beach Bumstarring Matthew McConaughey, is the lowest rated movie in 2019. Not only did it have a horrible expectation of only 57.4, but it even failed to meet that by getting a 49.0 post-movie vote — down 8.4 from expectations.
  • Captain Marvel had a very respectable 78.9 before-movie vote and a 84.6 after-movie vote (+5.7). That’s not particularly noteworthy, unless you look at Captain Marvel’s score at IMDb.com (6.9) and RottenTomatoes.com’s  user score (49%). What’s up with that?

Do Peeple who use the RunPee app just like Marvel movies more that average? Probably not. There was a concerted effort by a few men’s groups to suppress the audience score at both sites because Bree Larson (who plays Captain Marvel) is outspoken about women’s rights. It’s impractical to rig the scoring in the Peeple’s Poll because a user can only vote once, and they must spend a Peecoin just to vote. So there’s a barrier to submitting a vote. That’s by design, because I’d rather have quality votes rather than quantity.

  • It’s not just about how good a movie is, but sometimes how much better a movie is than expected. If you really wanted to be surprised by a movie this year, then I hope you saw Run the RaceIt scored a whopping 14.9 points above expectation.

With that in mind, here’s a breakdown of the movies that beat expectation by double-digits this past year.

Title Before Movie After Movie Difference
Run the Race 63.0 77.9 14.9
A Dog’s Journey 69.4 83.6 14.2
The Best of Enemies 71.6 85.2 13.7
Breakthrough 67.8 80.9 13.0
The Art of Racing in the Rain 69.1 81.4 12.3
The Aeronauts 67.6 79.6 12.0
Harriet 74.8 86.3 11.5
Dora and the Lost City of Gold 63.7 74.8 11.1
Abominable 68.7 79.8 11.1
The Peanut Butter Falcon 73.0 84.1 11.0
Playmobil: The Movie 59.4 70.0 10.6
Aladdin 72.0 82.4 10.4
Richard Jewell 71.8 82.0 10.2
Ford v Ferrari 77.4 87.7 10.2
The Upside 74.5 84.8 10.2
Yesterday 73.0 82.9 9.9
Note: Yes, I know that 9.9 is less than 10, but I loved Yesterday and wanted to include it since it was almost there.

All things considered, it’s hard to overlook just how excellent Ford vs Ferrari was. Overall it was the second highest rated movie, going by post-movie vote, but also scored 10.2 points better than expectation.

That said, Avengers: Endgame had an expectation vote that was higher  — by far — than any other movie had post-movie vote. It’s kind of hard to improve on such grand expectations, yet it did.

Of course, a lot of movies didn’t meet expectations. Here’s the complete list:

Pet Sematary 68.3 67.8 -0.5
A Madea Family Funeral 66.8 66.1 -0.7
Hellboy 64.4 63.6 -0.7
Little 67.6 66.8 -0.8
Cats 61.4 59.9 -1.5
Us 81.5 79.6 -1.9
Serenity 62.6 60.6 -1.9
Ad Astra 72.8 67.5 -5.3
The Lighthouse 70.6 64.0 -6.6
The Dead Don’t Die 68.2 61.3 -6.9
The Beach Bum 57.4 49.0 -8.4
Black Christmas 61.6 53.0 -8.6
Uncut Gems 75.3 65.9 -9.4
Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable 76.0 62.0 -14.0

Thanks to everyone who voted in the Peeple’s Poll this year. And please let me know if you can think of ways to improve our voting system. We read every email and comment our fans send us.

What are your favorite and worst films of 2019? Comment below!

Infographic of every Star Wars movie ranked by fans on IMDb and RottenTomatoes

RunPee’s “Anything Extra” Feature – The Details About End Credits Scenes