Movie Review – The Personal History of David Copperfield

Movie Review - The Personal History of David CopperfieldTo be honest, it is about fifty years since I read David Copperfield while at school (Yes, I know. I look so young!) and I do tend to mix up the details with all the other Dickens I had to read, so I wasn’t too sure what the story was —  other than a loose autobiography of the man himself and to be about the hardships of life in Victorian England.

I’d heard that the humor of the original story was to be emphasized, and given that Armando Iannucci was heavily involved (directing and contributing to the screenplay) I expected there would be a few laughs along the way. I’m not sure how well-known he is in the States, other than creating and writing some of Veep, but he has a string of political and situation comedies over here and I am quite the fan of his.

I was quite looking forward to this and I was not disappointed. The colour blind casting worked for me, but maybe that says more about my liberal, socialist tendencies than it does about the casting technique.

Dev Patel was an excellent and very watchable David Copperfield. Tilda Swinton was marvelously bonkers as Betsey Trotwood. Ben Whishaw was almost unrecognizable as the oleaginous Uriah Heep. Peter Capaldi, Hugh Laurie, and Paul Whitehouse were, as always, giving full value for money.

The biggest eye opener was Bronagh Galagher as Mrs Micawber. I don’t know if she is guzzling monkey glands or has a dodgy portrait in the attic but she was instantly recognizable as one of the backing singers from The Commitments back in 1991.

It was an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours on a Friday morning. The story rattled along quite nicely. The jokes were there; I won’t say that they came thick and fast, but there were enough to keep me smiling. The acting was excellent. The effects were non-existent. At least that was the — well — effect;  it all seemed to have been done on-camera. Obviously there were digital effects (the Palace of Westminster under construction for example), but they weren’t in-your-face, which allowed you to enjoy the story.

Grade: B+

About The Peetimes: In some ways the film reflects the episodic nature of the original text so finding breaks was fairly straightforward and they can be summed up easily.

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

Rated (PG) n/a
Genres: Comedy, Drama

Rob’s top 10 favorite movies from 2019

I thought I’d throw in my two penn’orth from across the Atlantic and chip in with a list of my favourite films of 2019. Now, I go to the cinema for one reason…entertainment. My education and work life has always tended to maths and science but film is for fun! As a result, some of my choices won’t be popular, but I’ve picked the films I enjoyed so much that I went back and saw them again and, on occasion, again, and will see again when they come out for home consumption.

In no particular order, here are my top film favourites of last year…

Shazam!
Given that my comic reading days were nearly fifty years ago, I never got into the alternate/extended universe thing and I’d never even heard of Shazam! and was mildly surprised to see it was anything to do with DC. But I thoroughly enjoyed it; a good balance of action, suspense, and humour.

Knives Out
I never saw Lucky Logan so Daniel Craig sounding like a Southern chap was a bit of a novelty, fortunately not one that was a distraction. The ensemble cast worked well together and the whodunnit aspect was excellent.

The Aeronauts
A pleasant period drama with a nice amount of suspense. Add to that the proven chemistry between Redmayne and Jones and you have a solid couple of hours entertainment.

Gemini Man
Yes, I enjoyed it! I really don’t know what all the negativity was about. Well choreographed action, Will Smith, technically accomplished effects, Will Smith, and a good story… what else do you need?

Jumanji: The Next Level
Enough was the same to feel familiar, enough was different to keep you interested. For me the high spot was Awkwafina channeling Danny DeVito… priceless!

The Good Liar
Mirren and McKellen together at last and it was well worth the wait. I’ve loved both of these two for years and seeing them together did not disappoint. Oh… the story was a cracker too!

Rocketman
I’ve had a soft spot for Elton John since the 70s. I liked his music but then he did a free, impromptu concert after the band that was booked for our Valedictory Ball bailed on us with about four hours notice (Google “Elton John Shoreditch College”… I think it’s still out there somewhere) so this was a no brainer for me.

Captain Marvel
Why this rather than Avengers: Endgame? I’m not sure really. Maybe I prefer an origin to an epitaph, maybe I liked seeing the generation of the superhero to save us all from Thanos, maybe it was Goose the Flerken, I don’t know. All I know is that I loved it.

Alita: Battle Angel
Awesome special effects! I know that is something that you see in practically every film you see these days but this one took the biscuit for me not only for the action but for the characters. Just captivating.

Cats
There! I said it! Another film I don’t know where the hate came from. It was a fantasy film with gorgeous dancing and nice tunes. If you get the opportunity go and see it without any preformed opinions.

Honourable mentions for Stan And Ollie, Official Secrets, and Red Joan.

Jill’s Top Ten Movies of 2019

Dan’s top 10 favorite movies from 2019

Golden Man’s Top 10 Films of 2019

Is there anything extra during the end credits of The Gentlemen?

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

Anything Extra Details

The credits scroll for about one minute. After that, the full uncensored music video for the in-film song “Box in the Bush,” by The Toddlers, plays on one side of the screen, with the credits on the other side.

There is nothing after the video ends.

The credits run for approximately 5 minutes.

Read the RunPee movie review for The Gentlemen by Rob Williams. Movie review grade: A

Rated (R) for violence, language throughout, sexual references and drug content
Genres: Action, Crime
USA release date: 2020-01-17
Movie length: 1 hour 53 minutes

We have 4 Peetimes for The Gentlemen. Learn more.

About The Peetimes
Guy Ritchie returns to his roots with a Brit Gangster movie.

As is usual for his films, the action is snappy. It wasn’t easy, but I’ve managed to find a few times when I could get a few scenes long enough to summarize for Peetimes!

Movie Review – The Gentlemen

Movie Review - The GentlemenGuy Ritchie returns to where it all started: the Brit Gangster flick. Albeit, this time with an American lead. I don’t know if Matthew McConaughey was first choice for the lead but, to my mind, he fits it well as the trailer trash Texan who made it to the upper echelons of English society via a Rhodes Scholarship and a talent for selling weed to his upper class chums.

To my mind though, the real star is Charlie Hunnam as his effortlessly scary right hand man, Ray. At the risk of exposing my ignorance, I admit I had to look up his IMDb page to see what else he’d done, and was surprised to find out that he’d been in quite a few things I’d already seen without noticing him. Whether this says more about his chameleonic acting skills or my lack of observation I decline to expand upon.

There were plenty of other acting treats to enjoy. Colin Farrell as Coach was the best I’ve seen him for some time. Jeremy Strong was chilling as the delightfully effete threat to Mickey Pearson’s retirement plans. And as for Hugh Grant and Michelle Dockery, it was like they were in a “Posh? Me? Nah mate; I’m as common as muck, me,” competition both affecting Cockney/Estuary accents; Hugh Grant’s with a little extra ‘camp’ thrown in.

The thing that might put some people off is the language. If you have a particular problem with the ‘C’ word (and I don’t mean codswallop or cor blimey!) then you might find the 20+ uses of the word a bit much. Having said that, I did manage to get about a third of those in one Peetime! If you need to take a positive from this, I suppose it’s that you don’t notice the ‘F’ word so much again (I don’t mean fiddlesticks or flipping heck).

Basically it’s a case of if you liked Lock, Stock and Snatch you’ll like this. Twists and turns, surprises, humor, and action, pretty much from start to end.

Oh! See if you can spot the signs Guy Ritchie has made it during the opening scene and its repeat!

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: Guy Ritchie returns to his roots with a Brit Gangster movie. As is usual for his films, the action is snappy. It wasn’t easy, but I’ve managed to find a few times when I could get a few scenes long enough to summarize!

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

Rated (R) for violence, language throughout, sexual references and drug content
Genres: Action, Crime

Movie Review – Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Movie Review - Star Wars: The Rise of SkywalkerCards on the table. I went into this film pretty sure I was going to enjoy it. I remember going to see “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” (or just “Star Wars” as it was back then!) as a student back in 1977. Here I am, retired, going to see the final episode 42 years later.

Was I disappointed? In short no! I liked it. There was adventure, there were goodbyes, there were new characters, and there were jokes. Would it have made sense without seeing the other eight films? I think so, but it’s hard to tell, as I can’t help but know what’s happened before and what is significant.

For instance, there were more jokes than I expected, and they did get laughs from the cinema audience. Now, as this is the second showing (after the midnight screening for the insomniacs and uber fans), and it was only 10 a.m., I’m guessing they were a crowd of fans — so I couldn’t tell if they were stand alone-funny or context-funny but, what the heck, we enjoyed it.

The much-touted scenes featuring Carrie Fisher were well done; much better than the Peter Cushing outing a few films ago.

Finally, it was nice to see a couple of ‘blink and you’ll miss them’ cameos by Warwick Davis as Wicket W. Warrick, and Denis Lawson as Wedge Antilles.

Grade: A-

About The Peetimes: I would recommend the 2nd Peetime. It’s plenty long and is mostly climbing. There’s no action or character development. #MayRunPeeBeWithYou

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG-13) for sci-fi violence and action
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Star Wars

Movie Review – Jumanji: The Next Level

Movie Review - Jumanji: The Next LevelSo here we go again! If you saw Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle you’ll know what to expect: action, thrills, and humor in abundance, but with enough tweaks to make things interesting.

If you’ve seen the trailers and, to be honest they’ve been difficult not to see, then you’ll know the premise is the same as before: a group of friends get sucked into a game and have to win to get back home.

They’re ascribed avatars with varying strengths and weaknesses, and a lot of the humor comes from the mismatch between the real world person and the character they’ve been landed with. This time around the characters are enhanced by another generation, and this leads to more comic situations.

Once again, the CGI is flawless and the action is very well choreographed. The animals are believable and the fights are exciting. The humor is pitched at the right level so it doesn’t distract from the story.

Enough is the same that you know what’s going on, but enough is different to make it interesting. All in all, it’s a brisk romp and the two hours flies by. I’ll be seeing it again within the week!

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: I’ve managed to find a few Peetimes which can either be easily described or appeared in the trailers. Be warned though…there is action throughout this film, and it starts pretty soon after each of these Peetimes!

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

Rated (PG-13) for adventure action, suggestive content and some language
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy

Movie Review – The Good Liar

Movie Review - The Good LiarMirren and McKellen are the Crown Jewels of British drama. Seeing them together is a treat which I can’t believe has been so long coming. Then there is Russell Tovey, who has got hours of TV screen time racked up on this side of the pond and should be in a lot more films as well.

The story itself rattles along at a fine old pace and the flashback scenes show there is a lot more going on behind how the characters are behaving and what they are saying. As Betty (Mirren) says at the end, “it’s deeper than it looks,” especially if all you’ve seen are the trailers!

Grade: B+

About The Peetimes: This genre of movie thrives on leading the viewer astray, and it is easy to lose track if you’re not paying attention. However, I think I’ve got some Peetimes that can be easily summed up or don’t really drive the story along.

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

Rated (R) for some strong violence, and for language and brief nudity
Genres: Drama, Thriller

Movie Review – The Aeronauts

Movie Review - The AeronautsThis was a nice way to spend an hour and (nearly) three quarters. Lots of lovely visuals, chemistry between the cast, and a few thrills thrown in for good measure.

I’m not sure how much of the visuals are CGI, but a good proportion of them are. Nothing in London is taller than the Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster. (Big Ben for you non-pedants!) The air is quite clear, and there wasn’t one aeroplane, so there couldn’t be much live footage. Also the actual ballooning was done in the Midlands so they wouldn’t accidentally splash down in the Thames. Still, it was all very pretty and nicely done.

The cast seemed to work well together, but then Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne proved they can work together on The Theory Of Everything.

One slight niggle is that Himesh Patel seems to have a lot of presence in the publicity but his actual screen time is quite low, perchance a case of cashing in on the success of Yesterday?

The thrills come from the fact that it is a (partly true) story of the early days of aviation meteorology, when they didn’t know how atmospheric pressure, temperature, and content varied when you went so far up, but I’ll say no more on that subject.

It deserves to be seen at least once on the big screen to appreciate the visuals, but it will have a longer life as a passably pleasing way of passing a wet Sunday afternoon.

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: This movie has some stunning scenery, and a lot of it. I did my best to avoid the pretty bits in the Peetimes.

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

Rated (PG-13) for some peril and thematic elements
Genres: Action, Adventure, Biography

Movie Review – Doctor Sleep

Movie Review - Doctor SleepI’ll admit to being a bit dubious about coming to see this. Be honest… Did you think The Shining needed a sequel? Or worse still, something that just seemed to be using the name to attract bums on seats? In my defense, I know nothing about the alternative comic book universes so ‘Joker’ may be more relevant than I found it.

I guess the argument runs that the original source novel got a sequel, so why shouldn’t the film? The thing is that ‘The Shining’ wasn’t liked by Stephen King. Mind you it could have been a Kubrick thing; he did fall out with Anthony Burgess after making A Clockwork Orange.

The Shining was, undoubtedly, a top-notch horror film, and is more impressive for being shot entirely in-camera, being made before the age of “computer this and digital that”. However, the fact that special effects are ubiquitous shouldn’t be held against ‘Doctor Sleep’. They are used sparingly but appropriately, and I do wonder what Stanley would have done if he’d had the same access to them.

To be honest, they could have got away with using effects a lot more… Iconic Shining scenes were shot using similar actors — rather than lookalikes or digital overlays — and I think that is fair enough, given the almost forty years between the two. Most reasonable people will agree that getting someone who looks a bit like Shelley Duvall, rather than trying to shoot a digitized scene which ends up looking like a fiberglass model, is the best way ahead.

But what of the story? I enjoyed it! Ewan McGregor is always watchable and Rebecca Ferguson is excellent as the scary villain, Rose the Hat, and they are ably supported by new talent and more established faces.

I suppose the last question is: do I need to see The Shining first? As I can’t go and see it as a Shining virgin, I have to think quite carefully, and my answer would be “No.” You don’t have to see it, but there are references you’ll appreciate if you have.

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: There are 4 Peetimes for you, including an early one for those of you who don’t like to miss the trailers. Please note that the 2nd Peetime features torture, which some may find disturbing.

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

Rated (R) for disturbing and violent content, some bloody images, language, nudity and drug use
Genres: Horror, Sequel

Movie Review by RunPee Rob – Terminator: Dark Fate

Movie Review - Terminator: Dark FateI went into this film with mixed feelings. The original landed in the mid 80s with barely a ripple. A relatively small budget film by a new director, with not a well known cast. But it took off.

The early 90s saw T2 launched with a lot of ballyhoo and fuss — and it worked! The new cinematic technology really helped drive the story — apparently James Cameron was considering using a claymation technique for the T-1000. (Can you imagine Arnie vs Wallace and Gromit?)

The current millennium’s offerings seemed to be less successful, maybe due to the absence of James Cameron. Who knows, but personally, I wasn’t sold on the third installment, and still haven’t seen the fourth and fifth ones!

Then the latest episode was announced. Cameron is writing and producing. Arnie is back. As is Linda Hamilton. (Maybe it’s because we’re a similar age, but I think she still looks stunning!).

There are some new faces to keep things fresh. Gabriel Luna is easily a match for Robert Patrick as a soulless automaton. The big problem was always going to be: does it work? James Cameron said it was the rightful third episode and the others could be ignored…so will it slot into the world created in the first two films?

The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Not only does it fit in, but it does so very smoothly. It is a matter of a few minutes worth of exposition, and you can sit back and enjoy the new story without worrying about loose ends.

And what a story it is! It rattles along at a fair old clip pretty much from the first few frames. There are slower sections where characters new and old are explored, their relationships examined, with even a few laughs, but this is undoubtedly an action movie! Fights, chases, explosions, all over the place.

In short, a well thought out and executed thrill ride.

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: I worked hard to avoid the amazing action scenes in any of these Peetimes. Anytime my pulse dropped below 100bpm felt like a good time to run and pee. Note from Dan Gardner (RunPee CEO) These Peetimes are from a newly christened Peep: Rob Williams, from the UK. Terminator: Dark Fate is released in the UK one week earlier than here in the USA, so Rob was able to get Peetimes for us. I’ve worked with Rob for a few weeks, training him on how we do things, but this is his first “live run.” From what I can tell he did a bang-up job. I hope you agree. 

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

Rated (R) for violence throughout, language and brief nudity
Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi