7 Hidden Clues/Humor You Might Have Missed in Knives Out.[Spoilers!]

So far the RunPee Tamily watched Knives Out 7 times combined to do the Peetimes. Yes, it’s that hard! The movie is filled with clue Easter eggs. Like one of the characters says, “This guy pretty much lives in a clue board.”

Watching it the second time the next day, I noticed so many things I overlooked the first time. Some of them are just impossible to spot the first time because a significant plot distracts you. I can’t wait to share my findings, so let’s dive right into it!

#1 The Baseball
This is the finding that makes me most proud. The arc of the baseball contributes not to the main murder case plotline, but the “Linda-Richard” relationship. Here’s the trip the baseball took:

  • Richard first threw the baseball out of Harlan’s office window after finding out the letter he threatened to send to Linda is a blank paper — he felt played.
  • In the next scene, Detective Blanc notices the baseball and picks it up.
  • The next day, the dogs come to Blanc, drops the piece of wood from the wall frame, and bites on the baseball he was holding at the time. Blanc throws the ball for the dog to retrieve. But before the dog comes back, he notices the piece of wood and gets distracted.
  • The dog still has the baseball in its mouth a day later, at the family gathering requested by Marta. They thought she’s going to renounce the inheritance. The dog sits next to Linda. Linda recognizes baseball and takes it from the dog. She goes to put the baseball back to her father’s office. Notices the letter opened by Richard. Thus, finding out Richard’s affair.

See the full circle here? The director brilliantly made Richard bringing it all to himself.

Read more about the Baseball story here.

#2 The “Extra Bowl”
Remember the scene where Ransom (Chris Evans) and Marta sit down in a restaurant after the will is read? Ransom asked for an “extra bowl” from the waitress — for Marta to puke in later. I didn’t notice it even the second time, but Dan did.

#3 Where Is Marta from?
You probably get the symbolic immigrates subtext the first watch. But do you remember where Marta is from? Different characters describe her as from Ecuador, Brazil, and Uruguay — and perhaps a few others I forgot. The intention is clear: nobody of the Thrombeys’ family really cared.

Read more about the political subplot in Knives Out here.

#4 Secret Messages
Yes, it was revealed at the end of the movie, that it’s a father-daughter game to use invisible ink as Harlan and Linda’s secret form of communication. But the director had actually given us a clue before that. When Linda was in her room reading the letters from her father over the years, if you look closely, you will notice the burn traces.

#5 “Dogs are the best judge of characters.”
Yes, it’s so blunt that you won’t believe it the first time watching it. But it’s that simple. The movie starts with a scene of dogs running on the lawn. The dogs interacted with three main characters. Marta, Ransom, and Linda. They are very friendly towards Marta and Linda and aggressive with Ransom. If you look back at each of the characters, Marta is the kindest. Linda is the only one in the family that actually cares. (She looks down on her brother, but still protects him in front of the police) And Ransom? I don’t need to tell you about Ransom.

#6 What’s With The Donut?
The whole “Donut speech” delivered by Daniel Craig at the end of the movie is just so brilliantly funny. But why the donut? I have a wild guess. The director takes the genre — “whodunnit” — and turns it into a wordplay. “Dunnit”, “Donut”. Yes?

Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but since we’re having fun… The throne of knives forms a donut. When the detectives interview the characters they sit in the chair in front of the knives, ostensibly “filling the donut hole.”

#7 Stage prop
Last but not least. On the faithful night of Harlan’s death, as Marta gives him his medications he talks about his children and their problems. While talking about Ransom he picks up a knife and removes it from its sheath, and says, “There is so much of me in that kid: confident, stupid, protected. Playing life like a game without consequences. Until you can’t tell the difference between a stage prop and a real knife.” Then he stabs the knife into the tabletop. Of course in the climax of the movie Ransom tries to stab Marta with a stage prop.

Did you spot any other hidden clues? Let us know in the comments below.

Movie Review – Last Christmas

Movie Review - Last ChristmasThis movie caters to a particular audience because it’s almost a textbook for its genre — rom-com. If you enjoy this genre, this movie will press all your buttons.

By “textbook,” I don’t mean this is a dull movie. On the contrary, it’s packed with sarcastic British humor. You will laugh at least once.

I don’t want to say the plot is not important to this genre in general, but let’s face it; it’s just not. The story pretty much follows the same structure from a grand scheme for rom-com. I mean, the name is self-explanatory — it’s a love story that will make you laugh along the way.

The nickname of this genre should be “painkiller”. It’s supposed to make you feel better afterward, and that’s exactly what this movie does. You will walk out of the theater feeling healed and brain-washed by George Micheal’s “Last Christmas”.

Oh yes, and the actors and actresses did a good job; the directing was adequate, the pacing was about right, and… “the lighting was crap”. You will get it. 🙂

Grade: B

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

Rated (PG-13) for language and sexual content
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Movie Review – Dumbo – A live action remake your kids will enjoy

Movie Review - DumboIf you have a toddler, Dumbo is one of the few movies in the theater now that is specifically for your child. It’s PG-rated, so your kid won’t come home and ask you questions you don’t know how to answer. If you are worried about animal mistreatment with the circus background, by the end of the movie, they did mention no animals should be kept captive.

I was born and raised in China, and watching the original 1941 Dumbo with my dad is a piece of heartwarming memory from my early childhood. I was around 5 when I first watched it on a VideoCD. It was called “小飞象”  — Little flying Elephant — in Chinese. Yes, VCDs did exist.  🙂

Walking into the theater, I didn’t have an expectation. But as I was watching it, I was that 5-year-old girl again. The story has been changed here and there to fit the live action, but the spirit has not been changed at all. As far as I’m concerned, this movie brings back almost the same feelings I experienced over two decades ago. I’d call that a successful remake.

But for adults who don’t have any emotional connections to the original piece, this movie is probably going to be clicheic and pre-mature for you. It’s a remake that tries to be true to the original piece, so it’s still head to toe a 1940s style kids’ story. Unless, of course, you just like the idea of a cute little flying elephant.

Now here’s something extra for those who have watched the TV show West World: does the little girl in Dumbo remind you of anyone? 😉

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: We have a really good (recommended) Peetime right about the middle of the movie. Try to use that if you can. The last Peetime is okay, but you’ll miss a nice father-daughter scene. The 1st Peetime is only for Emergencies, because it’s short and is immediately followed by a scene that shouldn’t be missed, especially by children.

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

Rated (PG) for peril/action, some thematic elements, and brief mild language
Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Remake, Reboot, Sequel

比正片梗还多的死侍2海报合集

本月科幻电影可以说是高潮迭起。科幻迷们刚刚顶着剧透嗑完复仇者联盟,马上又迎来了全球星战外传汉索罗。这满足感,怎么说,可能刚刚够填补死侍2无缘大陆的空虚感吧。

虽然无缘正片,但是死侍2营销组的同学还是为我们带来了充满死侍幽默的系列海报。由于工作太出色,甚至收到了影迷们一致强烈要求的加薪应援。我们一张一张来,边看边解释:

1> “来自杀死了金刚狼的工作室”

这张海报是戏谑去年金刚狼系列最后一部《罗根》中,金刚狼领便当的结局。(如果你还不知道金刚狼系列已经领便当了,那应该也不会在意这剧透吧…)海报最上一行英文翻译过来就是“来自杀死了金刚狼的工作室”,也就是福克斯。X战警系列中的角色和漫威一直纠缠不清,其中种种在这里不详述,总之现在影院的死侍系列和X战警系列都是属于福克斯的,所以其实这是一个自嘲。另外瑞安·雷诺兹也一直很想让死侍和金刚狼出现在同一部电影里,这其实也是一个来自粉丝的呐喊。

当然这张海报里的玄机还不止这行字。首先一汪池水就不用多说,pool就是池子的意思。画面中央的死侍坐在一只充气天鹅身上,加之这是戏谑金刚狼之死,推测是暗喻“Swansong”,天鹅之歌,中文译为“绝唱”。

到这里,这张海报的梗还远没有结束。更多信息量需要结合这条官方Instagram一起来看:

官方发这张海报的时候写到:“我们所有人都在这儿了,甚至包括厨房水槽。”

先来看“所有人”,整个“X-Force”都在这儿了。角色名称中文翻译太扎心了,就不在这里重复了。但是大家注意到没,死侍左边一个漂浮的降落伞包。所以正片上映之前大家都猜到了,X-Force里面有一个隐形人的角色。至于这个隐形人是谁,看了电影之后,还真的小惊喜了一下,在这里就不剧透了。那么“厨房水槽”是什么梗?继续我们的英语小课堂……英语里有一句俚语是:“everything but the kitchen sink”。大致意思就是超乎想象,能想到的都有了。这张海报里用到了”everything and the kitchen sink”,比原句还厉害。所以海报里很字面地把厨房水槽放了上去,也是一个让北美人民们看到会心一笑的梗。

2>二度降临

这张海报不用太多解释,模仿米开朗基罗在西斯廷教堂“天花板”上的壁画《创造亚当》,来自圣经《创世纪》。还是把原画放上来直观感受一下:

这幅名画早已被一再解读,有兴趣可以自己搜来看。巧的是,这幅画在诺兰弟弟的剧《西部世界》里也出现过,就挂在CEO福特的办公室里。暗喻人类创造AI,如同上帝创造人类。

《西部世界》

有意思的是,画中上帝背景一直被解读如同一颗心脏,但自从人类在发明AI的道路上越走越远,这幅画被更多地用来类比人类和AI的关系之后,也有越来越多的解读认为上帝背景也可能是对人类大脑的描绘。

回到死侍海报,电索(Cable)背后一团像是离子云,也让粉丝们纷纷推测电索是不是穿越来的。

3>《The Goonies》Credit: Andy Fairhurst


这张海报是官方邀请粉丝画的,真的是让人笑出声来的同时,莫名很暖心(?)为什么呢?如果你看过《七宝奇谋》(《The Goonies》),应该还记得电索的扮演者乔什·布洛林(Josh Brolin)在其中扮演了小主角Mikey的哥哥Brand。其中有一段情节就是Brand骑着从小女孩那抢来的粉色小自行车(跟海报里的车一毛一样),被一辆跑车拖着走的情节。如果你没看过这片,推荐可以作为背景音放着看看。虽然是老片,但是编剧是斯皮尔伯格,放到现在看会有一种错时代的搞笑感。不仅可以看到青少年乔什·布洛林,Mikey的扮演者长大后还成为了《魔戒》系列里佛罗多最好的伙伴山姆哦。

言归正传,海报里的出租车明显就是印度小哥的车。这张海报致敬演员的老片子。可爱。真的是可爱。

4>《Flashdance》

恩,这个经典pose出自一部1983年的歌舞片《闪电舞》。主角是一个有着舞蹈梦的女孩。怎么说,姿势赢了。

5>感恩节系列

Norman-Rockwell 《Freedom from Want》-1943


上下一对比,大家来找茬。下面这幅画,也算是北美名画了,感恩节标志性画作之一。

死侍玩得也是很溜,感恩节和杂志《The Good Housekeeping》来了个跨界。封面就满满槽点,内页还有死侍的感恩节来信、死侍教你如何“切火鸡”等经典死侍幽默内容。

6>邀请粉丝版

上面《The Goonies》说到死侍官方邀请粉丝给死侍画的海报,还有其他4张如下:

Credit: Patrick Brown


Credit: Alice X. Zhang


Credit: John Gallagher (这张仔细看死侍在自拍)


Credit: Jarreau Wimberly


写到这里,我也是真的累了。今天也算是和大家一起见识见识,一部电影,张张海报有梗,是一种什么样的体验。

Movie review: Blockers

This is a typical popcorn comedy. If you enjoyed American Pie you will probably enjoy this one. It has fulfilled its purpose to make the audience laugh quite often. The plot is a cliche but really doesn’t matter that much to this movie. The acting is standard with the adults but impressive with the kids.

I read some reviews of this movie. It has a surprisingly low rating, which I don’t think it deserves. A critique of this movie is pointless. Did the audience laugh? Yes. That’s all anyone needs to know. Set aside all the intense things in your life for a second and just have some good silly laughs in the theater.

Grade: B

Movie review: Gringo

The ending of this movie reminds me a little bit of Guy Ritchie’s *Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels*, only it isn’t nearly as good. I would give this movie a C for about the first 3/4, and B- for the last 1/4 — where there’s actual humor and action.

The humor in this movie is a disappointment. If your average comedy is “Hahaha”, this one is a “Ha”. I was expecting funny scenes and lines, and just got tired of waiting. The acting is like a dramatic comedy, but without the humor and drama. It’s just a little over the top, like they were trying too hard.

Throughout the movie the director tries to create a world upside down: the greedy guys get to win every time. (Yes, it’s expressed as heavy-handed as it sounds.)

At least the last 20 minutes of this movie made me think that it’s not all that bad.

Grade: C+