The entire MCU Movie Order – Several Options for your pre-Avengers Endgame Watch or Rewatch

Avengers MCU superheroes
Many MCU movies, in several orders for your rewatch.

Want to watch, or rewatch, all the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? (Aka, the MCU.) The first thing you have to figure out is what order you’re going to watch them in. There’s more than one way to go about this, and I’ll break down the list into a few options.

Keep it simple: Watch in the order of film release

The release order isn’t my personal preference, but it will do. Note: there is no shame in skipping The Incredible Hulk altogether. Sure, for the sake of completeness it’s good to watch Edward Norton’s Hulk, but that movie just barely fits with the rest of the MCU (except in the last few seconds).

  1. Iron Man (2008)
  2. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  3. Iron Man 2 (2010)
  4. Thor (2011)
  5. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  6. Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)
  7. Iron Man 3 (2013)
  8. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  10. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  11. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  12. Ant-Man (2015)
  13. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  14. Doctor Strange (2016)
  15. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
  16. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
  17. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
  18. Black Panther (2018)
  19. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  20. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
  21. Captain Marvel (2019)
  22. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Watch in MCU chronological order

The MCU movies weren’t actually released in the order that they happen. It takes a minor tweak to fix that. Chronologically, Captain America: The First Avenger happened first — during WWII — although it was the 5th movie released. Then you would follow with Captain Marvel — 1990s — which was the 21st movie released. There is some logic to this order, but again, I wouldn’t suggest it. I think going by movie release order makes for a more enjoyable watch than this. But here it is anyway. (RunPee Jilly will make a Perfect Option after Endgame comes out: The Ultimate Viewing Edition.)

  1. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  2. Captain Marvel (2019)
  3. Iron Man (2008)
  4. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  5. Iron Man 2 (2010)
  6. Thor (2011)
  7. Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)
  8. Iron Man 3 (2013)
  9. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  11. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  12. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  13. Ant-Man (2015)
  14. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  15. Doctor Strange (2016)
  16. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
  17. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
  18. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
  19. Black Panther (2018)
  20. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  21. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
  22. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Maximum Effect

My suggestion is to follow the movie release order, up to a point. Black Panther and Spiderman: Homecoming have events that take place immediately after Captain America: Civil War. You don’t need to see Doctor Strange until just before Avengers: Infinity War, actually, but you may as well view it before the Guardians of the Galaxy Movies I & II . You see, the GotG movies are completely independent from the rest of the previous MCU movies. However, they tie in closely with Avengers: Infinity War. Therefore I would recommend skipping over those two in the release order.

Therefore, to maximize your enjoyment I recommend watching Guardians I, Guardians II, then Thor: Ragnarok, right before Infinity War. In fact, if you have 5 hours to spare, you could watch Thor: Ragnarok and Infinity War back-to-back because they literally take place moments apart.

  1. Iron Man (2008)
  2. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  3. Iron Man 2 (2010)
  4. Thor (2011)
  5. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  6. Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)
  7. Iron Man 3 (2013)
  8. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  10. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  11. Ant-Man (2015)
  12. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  13. Black Panther (2018)
  14. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
  15. Doctor Strange (2016)
  16. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  17. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
  18. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
  19. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  20. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) *
  21. Captain Marvel (2019)
  22. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

* Note: Ant-Man and the Wasp fits better before Infinity War, however — and this is huge — you must NOT watch the two extra scenes until after Infinity War on a 1st viewing. That said, if you did want to watch Ant-Man and the Wasp out of order for a re-watch, I’d put it after Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Avenger Superhero Powers, by Category

Avengers Infinity War – Characters Missing in Action, Whereabouts Unknown

Every Stan Lee Cameo in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Everything You Need to Know About Hellboy

Hellboy reboot movie
Hell’s a bitch, boy.

Hellboy opens on April 12, 2019.  It will be the titular character’s third major theatrical adventure.  Not sure who Hellboy is? Never heard of the B.P.R.D.? Wondering what’s up with his forehead? No worries. We’ve got you covered.

Here’s what the deal is for the new Hellboy movie:  

— Hellboy is a popular comic book character.  However, the movie will not be like your typical superhero or comic book movie.  

— Hellboy is a half-demon, summoned from hell as a baby by Nazi occultists.  His actual Latin name means “And upon his brow is set a crown of flame.” Which brings context to one of the movie posters and an image from the trailer.  

— One of Hellboy’s main weapons is his right hand, which is made of stone.  

— Hellboy has horns, but he files them off.  This is why he has two large round stubs on his forehead.  

— Hellboy is destined to bring about the apocalypse, but he rejects that destiny. 

— Hellboy was raised by Professor Trevor Bruttenholm like a normal boy.  

— Professor Bruttenholm founded the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.).  Hellboy works for the B.P.R.D.

— Guillermo del Toro made two films featuring the character Hellboy:  Hellboy (2004) and Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Del Toro chose not to finish what was originally planned to be a trilogy.

— Ron Perlman was the first actor to play Hellboy in the original films.  He is famous for playing Vincent in the Beauty and the Beast TV series and Clay on Sons of Anarchy.  Perlman said he feels remorse for not completing the trilogy, and that he feels like he let the fans down.  

— Doug Jones played fan-favorite character Abe Sapien (an amphibious man) in the original films.  The character will not appear in the new movie. Jones was invited to do a cameo but had to decline.  He had a scheduling conflict with the shooting schedule for Star Trek: Discovery. He also had an injury which prevented him from taking on the physically demanding role.  (Side note: If you ever get the chance, it’s totally worth waiting in line to meet Doug Jones and get an autograph. He’s one of the kindest, most gracious people I’ve met at any of the cons.  And why wouldn’t you want to support one of our greatest living character actors?)    

— The new movie is a reboot, not a sequel.  It stars David Harbour (Sheriff Hopper from Stranger Things) as Hellboy.    

— It will be more of a horror film than the original, which was more of a fantasy film.  

— The new movie will be more faithful to the comic books.  Creator Mike Mignola was a concept artist on the original Hellboy movie.  He’s been more involved with the script for the reboot.  

— The movie will be bloodier and more adult.  In an interview with Empire, Harbour said, “There’s really a sense that you’re actually killing things, even if they are giants or monsters. You’re chopping their heads off, you’re bathing in their blood, and you’re feeling the complex feelings of actually cutting the heart out of another thing. We’re taking the time to deal with the fact that Hellboy is a killer. He’s a weapon.” 

— The movie is not an origin story and begins in the middle of the action.

— David Harbour says the stunts made it the hardest shoot he’s ever done. 

— The main villain is Blood Witch Nimue, who wants to join the monster world and the human world.  The character is played by Milla Jovovich, who’s no stranger to monster movies as the star of the Resident Evil series.  

–The main inspiration for the movie is The Wild Hunt storyline from the comics, but there are also elements from Darkness Calls and The Storm and The Fury.

–When the producers were accused of whitewashing, by hiring a white actor to play a Japanese character from the comics, actor Ed Skrein resigned so they could recast the role.  Daniel Dae Kim was then cast in the part of Major Ben Daimio.

— The original Hellboy had a girlfriend played by Selma Blair.  David Harbour says his version of Hellboy is more isolated and is unable to have sex with humans.

This presumably makes the apocalypse more appealing.  

— David Harbour told Empire, “In our movie Hellboy’s younger. He’s rougher. He’s much more of a teenager. He’s really struggling with the idea of whether or not he’s a good person.” 

— In an interview with Independent, Harbour compared Hellboy to Hamlet.  “On a surface level, he’s an adopted kid from Hell. He was meant to bring about the apocalypse. Yet, he just wants to be a good guy and fight evil. But he has this destiny. That struggle is very Hamlet-esque, even having tones of Coriolanus, where you have this guy who cannot understand his own true nature. Those levels of complexity, if we can bring that to this movie, which we’re trying to do, I think will be really rich.”

— The producers already have loose ideas for sequels.

Be sure to use the RunPee app to get Peetimes and a review for Hellboy, and to find out if there’s anything after the credits.  Follow us on Twitter @RunPee to stay up to date on the latest movie news.

Peetimes are coming soon for Shazam and Avengers: Endgame — make sure you have the RunPee app on your phone, so you won’t miss a moment of the action.

Making of Hellboy Featurette — Enjoy!

Clever Moments You Might Have Missed Watching The Horror-Thriller Movie Us

Did Jordan Peele Play Fair? Easter Eggs You Might Have Missed On Your First Viewing of Us

19 Entry-Level Horror Movies for the Squeamish

 

Did Jordan Peele Play Fair? Easter Eggs You Might Have Missed On Your First Viewing of Us

Scissors from Jordan Peele movie Us
This poster contains a clue.

Jordan Peele made a splash with the satiric horror film Get Out and even won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.  His new movie Us proves he’s not just a one-hit wonder, but a visionary filmmaker who will keep surprising, delighting, and frightening us for years to come.  (He’s already in talks to do a new Candyman film.)

One of the joys of Us is that it lends itself well to multiple viewings. I enjoyed it even more my second time around. There are things you won’t see your first time because you don’t know to look for them. Us is one of the rare films like The Sixth Sense or Memento that practically demands you watch it again immediately.  I watched this movie a second time two days after my first watch. 

Us — What I Noticed on My Second Viewing

— The movies on the shelf in the opening shot are Goonies, C.H.U.D., A Nightmare on Elm Street (which I thought was The Man With Two Brains because I can’t see well apparently), and some VHS tape I’m not sure anyone has been able to read the title of.  A lot of the action in Goonies takes place underground. The monsters in C.H.U.D. live underneath the city. Both of these are Easter eggs foreshadowing the Tethered.

— Adelaide’s father wins her a Thriller t-shirt.  Thriller is the video in which Michael Jackson reveals to his girlfriend he secretly has a monster inside him.  Just like adult Adelaide secretly has a monster inside her. Or viewed another way, we all have a Tethered self.  

— Everything in the movie has a double:

  1. The Vision Quest fun house is later Merlin’s Quest fun house.
  2. The twins are literally doubles of each other and even speak the same. (“Jinx!  Double jinx! Triple jinx!”)
  3. The bleeding man on the beach is the double/Tethered of the sign man.  (This is confirmed by one of the last shots of the film when we see him holding the Jeremiah 11:11 sign in flashback.)  
  4. The families are doubles of each other.  One black family, one white family, each with two kids.  

— One of the coolest bits of foreshadowing is an overhead shot of the family walking across the beach with their shadows walking beside them.

— The words above both versions of the funhouse door (“Find yourself”) are both foreshadowing and a subtle joke.

— On a second viewing, the rabbits in the cages are even more unsettling because now you know the context.

— When the family first get to the beach house and have dinner, Adelaide is very quiet.  She’s reliving her memory of what happened after the fun house incident at Santa Cruz beach.  Her parents are talking to a therapist about why Adelaide hasn’t spoken since getting lost at the boardwalk.  “I just want my little girl back,” the mother says. Hmmm. That’s the first clue that this isn’t her little girl.  

— Adelaide tries to talk Gabe out of going to the beach.  He guilts her into going. She finally reaches a compromise:  “We leave by dark.” (Um, “Because I don’t want the self whose place I took to try to take it back!”)  

— As they drive to the beach, they see paramedics putting a patient into an ambulance.  It’s the sign guy (Jeremiah 11:11). This creeps Adelaide out.

— Jason, the son, is making a tunnel out of sand on the beach.

— The frisbee lands on a dot on the beach towel, perfectly covering it up, a visual symbol/metaphor for humans and the Tethered selves that live in the darkness beneath them.  

–Jason sees a man on the beach who has blood dripping from his fingers.  This is the Tethered of the sign guy and presumably the reason for the sign guy’s injuries.  He’s also the only Tethered whose face we get a close up of later when everyone is joining hands.  He has a sort of maniacal smile. I believe he’s meant to be a Christ figure. Jeremiah 11:11 (NIV) says, “Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them.’”  When the Tethered sign man is bleeding on the beach, that is him crucified. When he is holding hands with others in the morning light with a rapturous look on his face as humanity is destroyed, that is his resurrection. And he is definitely forsaking mankind, reveling in its destruction.  As GameSpot pointed out, he is also the first link in the chain, standing in wait to join hands with the rest of the Tethered.

— Adelaide doesn’t just freak out because Jason is missing.  She freaks out because she thinks he went in Merlin’s Forest.  She knows that it’s the gateway to the Tethereds’ world.

The 11:11 on the clock at bedtime disturbs Adelaide because it reminds her of the sign guy and his fate.

— When Adelaide says, “I don’t feel like myself,” Gabe says, “I think you look like yourself.”  This line takes on new meaning on a second watch. Because technically she’s not herself.

— When the Tethered family appears in the driveway, Adelaide calls 911 immediately.  Not out of irrational fear, but because she knows what they are: their Tethered selves.  (There’s a separate theory that Adelaide has repressed the memory of dragging Red/the real Adelaide to the underworld until the end of the movie when it starts to come back to her.  And she really only has the memory of seeing a second self in the mirror as a child. I don’t subscribe to that theory.)

— I swear on my second viewing I heard Red say “the girl hated the shadow so much for so long until she realized she was being tested by God.”  But I seem to be the only one. Call it the Mandela effect.

–When Red tells Adelaide to tether herself to the table, it’s revenge for Adelaide leaving Red chained to the bed as a child.

— I love the small moments of the Tethered enjoying what they’ve been deprived of.  Abraham trying on Gabe’s glasses. Elisabeth Moss’s Dahlia playing with lipstick and trying out different facial expressions in the mirror.  

— Umbrae who was born laughing also dies laughing.

— Adelaide follows Red and Jason into Merlin’s Forest.  She seems to know the path a little too well and to not be surprised by anything she encounters.  

— Red’s creepy, hoarse voice is most likely due to her throat being injured from Adelaide choking her so hard when they were children.  

— I’m still confused as to the significance of the ballet recital other than it just looking cool as hell and poetic.  I also don’t understand why the dance is what convinced the Tethered to make Red their leader rather than her rare ability to speak.  

— Adelaide has a sinister grin on her face after she kills Red.  The type of remorselessness we don’t usually associate with our heroes.

— In the ambulance, when Jason looks at his mother, he pulls his mask down.  They are both wearing masks now.

I walked into my second viewing wanting to answer one question:  Does Jordan Peele play fair?

Initially, I wanted to see if Red’s final monologue made sense once one knew the twist.  “We were born special. God brought us together that that night. I never stopped thinking about you, how you could have taken me with you.”

That part still makes sense after the twist. Adelaide could have grabbed Red (the real Adelaide) and walked out of the fun-house with her instead of chaining her to the bed.  Presumably. “If it weren’t for you, I never would have danced at all.” This is literally true as it is Adelaide that starts taking dance lessons as part of her parents’ attempt to get her to talk by encouraging her creativity.  When Adelaide dances, Red has to dance. In a deeper sense, like Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance,” Red may not have done much with her surface life if she’d never entered the fun-house. But instead she’s started a revolution that is going to change the world.  Something that would never have happened if Adelaide hadn’t switched places with her.

But does Peele play fair with the rest of the film?  

Can one reasonably guess at the twist ending from the clues provided?  I believe so. I’ve mentioned several clues in this post that all point to the twist.  Red’s voice, the mother’s line about wanting her little girl back, Adelaide’s extreme reluctance to return to the beach, her overprotectiveness of Jason at the beach, her immediately calling 911, and Adelaide knowing the entrance to the tunnel system a little too well.  I’ve read one reviewer who made the assumption that the girls switched places from the edit the first time he saw the movie. Just like I assumed in The Sixth Sense (SPOILER) Bruce Willis had died from getting shot in the first scene. But soon abandoned that thought as the movie went on.

I definitely recommend seeing Us more than once.  

It has earned a place among my favorite horror movie endings of all time.   If you really want to jump down the rabbit hole, you can spend hours reading about fan theories, Easter eggs, and symbolism in Us online.  

And if you’re a horror fan, be sure to use the RunPee app to get Peetimes for Pet Semetary, and upcoming films like The Curse of La Llorona, the Child’s Play remake, and Annabelle Comes Home.  You can also find reviews for lots of great horror movies on our blog. Follow us on Twitter@RunPee for the latest movie news.

Movie Review – Us – Tons of Symbolism, Creepy, and a Great Time at the Movies

Movie Review – Get Out – Jordan Peele Hits A Home Run

19 Entry-Level Horror Movies for the Squeamish

 

19 Entry-Level Horror Movies for the Squeamish

cabin in the woods poster
The name is the plot. But it’s the most original way it’s ever been done, and the most fun.

Horror movies aren’t for everyone. But sometimes a film will come around that everyone can enjoy, even if you’re a little (or a lot) nervous about seeing it.

To sum: if you found you could handle the scarier episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and The X-Files, you’ll be okay with my suggestions below. It’s going to be a subjective list, though, so your mileage will vary. That’s all the warning I can give you, besides my little story notes next to the movie titles. And some films I really can’t talk about..because…you know — spoilers.

Because I have a low tolerance for grossness, I’m not including any real body horror, like Slither, even though a lot of people found it quite funny. I refuse to see it, even though I’m a huge fan of James Gunn’s best-known Guardians of the Galaxy. The Thing has the most body horror on this list, and a few of the Alien and Predator installments have icky moments that are hard to forget. But since those films are more sci-fi than real horror, I think these are okay. In any case, read my notes about each to see which iterations in the franchises are more story-based, and less gore or jump-scare oriented.

I’m including some comments from RunPee Dan here and there, mostly where he disagrees with my choices. 😉

Best Horror Movies for Non-Horror Fans

  1. Zombieland — With perfect casting, sparkling chemistry, an engagingly funny (!) post-apocalyptic zombie plot/buddy road trip film, you can’t beat this. There’s even a great list of rules to live by and a cameo that must not be missed. The only gross scenes are pre-loaded in the beginning and they aren’t too bad. If you can survive watching the first five minutes, the rest is cake: slender yellow cream-filled Hostess cakes. (If you don’t get this reference, you’re too young, or haven’t seen the film yet.)
  2. Army of Darkness — I’m a long time Bruce Campbell fan. After discovering his classic B-movie comic character work on Xena: Warrior Princess, I began tracking down his filmography. Army of Darkness is a precious concoction of horror, fantasy, and comedy. The horror is actually almost non-existent compared to Evil Dead 1 and 2, which I do NOT recommend viewing in any form. Those are straight horror and the Evil Dead remake is the worst. Fortunately, Army of Darkness requires no prior knowledge. Ash describes what you need to know in less than a minute before you’re thrown, car and all, into the time of castles, wizards, and knights.
  3. Shawn of the Dead — There’s only one gross-out moment in this funny, funny zombie film. It’s set in the UK and involves a slacker and his best friend in a fun bromance where they are less interested in fighting hordes of the undead than having a beer in their favorite pub. My second-favorite zombie film, with Zombieland only coming first by a hair’s width. And the scene set to Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now must be seen by everyone. I demand this. 😉
  4. A Quiet Place — I’m not sure why this was even billed as horror. This A level film hits all the sci fi and dystopian marks, and hits them so well you’ll be floored. Don’t watch this if there’s any racket or busy activity in the house, because you need absolute silence to appreciate this fully for the first viewing. I’m excited a second Quiet Place was announced, and can’t gush enough over how exciting and smart this film is. Also, Emily Blunt can do no wrong. She should have gotten at least an Oscar nod for the bathtub scene.
  5. Happy Death Day 1 (and 2) — The original is definitely horror, although on the lighter, funnier end. The sequel barely qualifies as horror, and is more like a comic sci-fi movie with some continuing horror themes. I heard this got green-lit for a threequel, so we’ll see if that installment goes in yet another direction. They might drop the “killer baby” element completely by then, seeing as how it’s only kind of shoe-horned into the sequel.
  6. The Alien Franchise — Every installment qualifies as horror, in my book. It’s firmly in the sci-fi genre, but it’s scary every time, and has horrific elements. But the first film is mostly a suspense thriller with jump scares, and the second is pure adrenaline-pumping action. It’s the first movie I sat forward in my movie seat for the entire way through. So watch Alien and Aliens, and then STOP. I can’t recommend anything else in the entire ourve. Actually, you can see the first Aliens vs Predators, but not the second. You’re just going to have to trust me on this.
  7. The Terminator — Few people would consider The Terminator horror, but the original is intended as a scary sci-fi film, regardless of where the rest of the franchise went. (Dan says he doesn’t think this film belongs here.)
  8. The Predator franchise — These are intended as horror/sci fi films, but they are very watchable. Most of the horror has safe discretion shots, or long off views of the Really Bad Things. You can safely watch any of these except Predator 2, which is a freak show and awful. Sorry. (Dan: I wouldn’t put this here, but it’s borderline.)
  9. The Thing — This sci-fi horror/thriller (the original, not the update) has some true gross-out moments, but since I can handle this film, I’m including it. If I can tolerate these scenes, I think anyone can. (Dan: Carpenter’s The Thing is way horrific. Like body horror to the extreme.)
  10. Cabin in the Woods — Some scenes are a little brutish, but they happen to be amusing at the same time (remember: mermaids). And I can’t say a single other thing about Cabin in the Woods without spoiling your first experience. This one has made my regular movie rotation. (Dan: Again, borderline. It’s really graphic.)
  11. Tucker and Dale vs Evil — Another regular viewing film for me. The horror is funny (we’re noticing a theme here — humor helps a lot), and there are no jump scares, gross outs, or even much ‘evil’. It’s just Alan Tydyk (Beloved as Wash in Firefly) and Tyler Labine (Sock from Reaper) having a grand old time, as they twist the horror trope on its head. Enjoy!
  12. Pitch Black — I don’t know why I resisted this film when my husband wanted to show it to me. I watched it eventually, and instantly fell in love with both it and Vin Diesel. If you liked Aliens, this will be easy. It’s more like scary science fiction, with no gore I can recall (again with the discretionary shots), and a rousing adventure tale that unfolds like some alien orchid under three suns. Pitch Black, as Part One of The Chronicles of Riddick, now has two sequels, plus an animated short. All are easy to view horror-wise, but nothing will come close to the original in execution, appeal, and pure excitement. I love that we figure everything out as the characters do. One of my faves.  Enough of my gushing, eh?
  13. Poltergeist — This one still scares me, even though there’s only one bad moment (in a bathroom, which is a trope for trouble if there ever was one).   Lots of good lines, too: “You moved the tombstones, but you forgot to movie the bodies!” I think I had more shudders from the simple “They’re here,” than anything with a nominally higher fear factor.
  14. Gremlins (1 and 2) — You’d think this was a cute and cuddly kid’s flick, but you’re wrong. The Mogwai is way high in the cuteness charts (he’s like a Pokemon), but his progeny are just mean. Funny, I guess, but nasty. But except for the infamous “microwave’ scene, I think it’s mostly discretionary shots. Have you clued in by now that I think violence in a film is tolerable if I’m not subjected to actual gore and realistic suffering?
  15. The Sixth Sense — Yes, this has some scary moments, but they’re always jump scares, with almost no gore. It’s about dead people after all, but it turns out that the dead don’t always want to hurt you. And that’s all I can say if you’ve never seen this genuinely great movie.
  16. Signs — This is honestly more about suspense. You never actually SEE anything. Not well, and not for more than a heartbeat. You’ll enjoy this film. It’s an updated and isolated version of…wait. I can’t say more. It’s Shylaman. You can’t discuss his films. It’s a law.
  17. Jaws — I saw this as a kid and was terrified. Times have changed. Now Jaws is a buddy thriller set in the ocean against an implacable foe. There are only two genuine jump scares, and they barely qualify as gory these days. (I’ll just say it: the crabs in the early scene; the ‘head’ mid-way through.) In my recent re-watch, I was amazed how spectacular Jaws is, and it still holds up. It’s a freaking masterpiece that’s the forerunner of today’s blockbuster. If it’s been a while, try it again. A +, with the Indianopolis monologue reaching legendary status (that tale really happened, BTW…Goggle it. Man, to live through that…). Anyway, Jaws qualifies now as an adventure movie. As far as other Jawses, I can’t comment. Try me later when I I’ve seen them. I’ve heard Jaws 2 is okay.
  18. Warm Bodies — Not horror. But it’s got regular octane and super octane zombies, so I guess it qualifies. It’s actually a zom-rom-com. Seriously. A love story! And a sweet one at that. Your kids could watch this and not be scared.
  19. Maze Runner — This is science fiction dystopian film, but the creatures in the maze are pretty hideous.  (Dan: I don’t think this has anything to do with horror. But maybe I just don’t remember it well enough.)

You’ll probably think some of these don’t belong on the list, and you might find some of the films  scarier or grosser than you personally prefer. Or I might have left some good choices off the list completely — like Silence of the Lambs, which might be considered more of a scary thriller than anything else, and bring this list to 20. I haven’t seen Silence of the Lambs yet, so I can’t say anything about it. Maybe The Shining, which actually is super creepy, but I lived through it and now see a lot of it as ludicrously amusing (it has not held up so well). I do want to see the recent Us, but I’m a weenie and need someone to hold my hand. I’m sure there will be a number 20 in my future eventually.

I’d love to hear what I missed, or what you disagree with in the comments.

The Matrix After 20 Years – A Retrospective: A Different Kind of Hero, a New Kind of Science Fiction

The MatrixThe year was 1999 and all any sci-fi fan could think about was: finally, another Star Wars movie. Had Phantom Menace come out in the age of social media it would have been, well, pretty much what we’re seeing with Avengers: Endgame right now.

But, I remember reading an article online — I don’t recall the source — that essentially said: if you think The Matrix is just a sci-fi appetizer to watch while you wait for the The Phantom Menace main course, then think again; this year of 1999 will be known forever as the movies that came out before The Matrix, and the movies that came out after The Matrix. #Truth

Remember the first scene of the movie — Trinity, stylishly clad in black leather, alone in a dilapidated room, typing on a computer. Contrast was everywhere: Trinity’s sleek appearance with the grungy room; her calm demeanor while being handcuffed with the nervousness of the police officers; and then, with the ease of a video game character playing in god-mode, she struck.

The Trinity character was instantly elevated to the level of superhero, then seconds later she was running scared for her life. We had no idea, but these men in bland suits were on another level completely.

Then, the payphone rang and Trinity sprinted to answer it — before being crushed by a massive truck.

What Just Happened?

In medias res (in the middle of things) hasn’t been done better, before or since.

The movie doesn’t relent for a moment. The audience is left as stupefied as the main character, wondering what is the Matrix, until Morpheus finally explains it to Neo: the Matrix is a prison, for your mind.

There’s a risk to building expectations in a movie plot, because it isn’t enough to meet those expectations; they must be exceeded. More often than not, stories let us down when the veil is lifted. You know those movies that succeed because you remember the titles: Inception, Blade Runner, Minority Report, Sixth Sense…The Matrix. Movies that don’t exceed their own expectations litter the movie timeline, like irrationals between the integers.

All the story elements of The Matrix had been explored, to one degree or another, by previous stories. It’s nearly impossible to come up with a meaningful trope that wasn’t worn ragged by the time the Greeks got around a campfire.  But, all through my adolescence and early adulthood every superhero story left me slightly dissatisfied. Something was missing, but I didn’t know what.

A great superhero movie needs a suitable balance between hero and villain. The vast majority of these stories end with the hero winning, because the heroes want it more…usually because they are fighting for something bigger than themselves. The villain usually fights for their own ends.

The closest these stories ever came to satisfaction was when the superhero discovered and accepted who they were, and let go of perceived limitations. But these limitations always centered on physicality or some superpower.

And then we watched Neo die. The unmistakable hero of the story lay dead on the hallway floor,  simultaneously dead in the chair holding his real physical body.

We’ve seen this before. This isn’t new.

What was new: Neo awoke/metamorphosized into a new state of understanding. He wasn’t faster, or stronger than before — he showed those traits of speed and strength already. Only now he had knowledge (gnosis) of everything in The Matrix. He was The One.

Neo distractedly fought Agent Smith, gazing in wonder at the surroundings he truly saw for the first time. There was no fight left to fight. Neo stepped through the doors of perception and saw infinity. This was the hero I was waiting for.

Analysis of Inception

Movie Review – Inception (No Spoilers)

60 Movies Standing Up To The Test Of Time

Movie Review – John Wick 1

Marvel Phase 4 Predictions – Some MCU Sure-Fire Guesses

marvel studios phase 4
What movies are next in the lineup?

While Marvel isn’t confirming which films will be filling which dates in Phase 4 until after Avengers: Endgame hits theaters, there are some things we do know.  Black Widow’s stand-alone film will be one of them.  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will also be one, but it will be a few years away.  The newly rehired James Gunn is already committed to writing and directing the Suicide Squad reboot for DC.  The Eternals and Dr Strange 2 are both in development. So is a film focusing on the character Shang-Chi.  That leaves four mystery films in the nine slots between May 2020 and July 29, 2022. 

Here are some things that may happen during Phase 4: 

Black Panther gets a sequel. 

This one is a no-brainer.  How do you not make a follow-up to one of the most celebrated and successful films of 2018?

Captain Marvel gets a sequel.

A recent quote from Kevin Feige confirms Carol Danvers has an important role to play in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).  “When we found out that Brie Larson might be interested in joining our world, we had a number of meetings. She was a huge fan of the character in the comics. One of the highlights of my career at Marvel was introducing her at Comic-Con and having her come out on stage and stand there with literally almost everybody else from our movies. There she was at the forefront, and it was a great foreshadowing – not just for how audiences are going to embrace Brie as this character, but also for how Captain Marvel is about to take the lead and be at the forefront of the entire Cinematic Universe.”

Monica Rambeau becomes superhero Photon.

In the movie Captain Marvel, we meet a young Monica Rambeau and her mother Maria.  It is worth noting that Maria’s call sign is Photon, the name of the superhero her daughter grows up to be in the comics.  This is a possible Easter egg/foreshadowing. Monica may take up the name as a tribute to her mother in a Captain Marvel sequel.  

Ms. Marvel may appear in a movie.

A Captain Marvel sequel set in the present day may also introduce the teenage hero Ms. Marvel, who is inspired by Captain Marvel.  

We may see more of Goose and find out exactly what a flerken is.  

Fans are clamoring for more of a certain orange “cat” — and there may be rioting if he doesn’t appear in another Marvel film.  

The Skrull-centered Secret Wars storyline may still happen.

 Fans were initially disappointed by the surprise plot twist that happens about halfway through Captain Marvel, because it seemed to dash any hopes of a movie based on the popular Secret Wars story from the comics.  However, Kevin Feige has gone on record saying not all Skrulls are good, just as not all humans are necessarily good.  Alternatively, some characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe may turn out to be Skrulls in disguise.  One way or another, we probably haven’t heard the last of the Skrulls.   

A new version of the Avengers is formed. 

We will probably be saying goodbye to many of the original Avengers in one form or another in Endgame.  In the comics, the Avengers team appeared as many different combinations of heroes.  Phase 4 will almost surely usher in a team of new and familiar faces.  

There has to be at least one more Avengers film. 

Right?  In three years?  Right?  Right?

Thor gets a new form.

While Chris Hemsworth’s contract is up after Endgame, Thor has taken many different forms in the comics.  He has been a frog and has even been female.  As Cinemablend pointed out, different characters have taken on the mantle of Thor by proving their strength by wielding the Mjölnir.  The only problem is…the hammer was destroyed.  But nothing is ever permanent in the comics, right?  (I sure hope not.  My girlfriend is gonna be pissed if Gamora doesn’t come back to life.)

Howard the Duck and Peter Porker the Incredible Spider-Ham star in a buddy comedy. 

He’s a duck.  He’s a spider-pig.  Together, they solve crimes.  Hey, a nerd can dream.  And until Marvel coughs up the goods, I’m sticking to this story.  

Okay, fine, fine.  What’s more likely is…Marvel finally makes their X-Men movie.

Years ago, when Marvel was not doing well financially (hard to imagine now), they sold the film rights to Spider-Man to Sony, and they sold the film rights to X-Men to Fox.  Now that Disney acquired Fox, the X-Men could become part of the MCU.  The new Dark Phoenix trailers look like this might be a fitting conclusion to the Fox series of X-Men films.  The stage is set for Marvel to finally make their own X-Men movie, something that may be unlike anything we’ve seen so far.  

But honestly, do you really want another X-Men movie, or do you want to see Howard and Spider-Ham in the feel-good hit of the summer?  

To stay up to date on all the latest Marvel news and reviews, follow us on Twitter @RunPee.  Be sure to use the RunPee app to get Peetimes for Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and all the Phase 4 movies.  

 

The Four Films You Need To Watch To Understand Captain Marvel (Speculation, Pre-Movie Release)

Captain Marvel – Better Than I Expected – A White Male’s Review

Avengers 4 Endgame – First Trailer Review

Top 10 Films Set in Ireland to Watch on St Patrick’s Day Weekend

far and away ton cruise Niccole kidman
Ireland is only a movie away…

If you’ve never been to Ireland (I have and loved it), then these 10 movies will give you a thirst for Guinness Beer and a craving for corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. Pull out this list for March 17th on St Patrick’s Day, or anytime you get a wistful hankering for the sights and sounds of the old Emerald Isle. (Not listed in any special order, ye lads and lasses).

Angela’s Ashes  (1999)
IMDB score: 7.3

This Oscar nominated movie, filmed in County Cork, Ireland, is based on the best selling autobiography by Frank McCourt, an Irish expat whose family tries against all odds to escape the poverty in the slums of Limerick.

Far and Away (1992)
IMDB score: 6.6

This movie, filmed in Dublin, Ireland, and starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, tells the story of two young people in Ireland who wish to travel to America and take part in the Oklahoma land rush.

The Quiet Man (1952)
IMDB score: 7.8

This two-time Oscar-winner tells the story of a boxer who returns to his place of birth, Ireland, to escape his past. A true classic, The Quiet Man starred John Wayne and Maureen O’Hare, and was directed by John Houston, for which he won a Best Director Oscar. The movie is most notable for the lush photography of the Irish countryside.

Excalibur (1981)
IMDB score: 7.4

Oscar-nominated Excalibur, starring Patrick Stewart, Helen Mirren and Liam Neeson is a bona fide fantasy-action cult classic. Filmed entirely in Ireland, including Derrynane in County Kerry, situated between County Cork and County Limerick. Killarney, the county seat, is one of Ireland’s most famous tourist destinations.

Song of the Sea (2014)
IMDB score: 8.1

Even though this is an animated film, it deserves a place on this list. The movie doesn’t necessarily show us the actual beauty of Ireland, but it lets us feel the spirit embedded in the ancient folklore of the Emerald Isle.

ireland and cliffs of mohar
The Cliffs of Insanity and of Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009)
IMDB score: 7.6

As with many other movies, this Harry Potter flick was filmed partially in Ireland, using the ominous Cliffs of Moher as exterior shots of the Horcrux Cave.

Reign of Fire (2002)
IMDB score: 6.2

Reign of Fire, starring Matthew McConaughey and Christian Bale, is a sci-fy film about a brood of fire-breathing dragons who emerge from the earth and begins setting everything on fire, establishing dominance over the planet. The film was filmed entirely in Wicklow Mountains, the largest continuous upland area in the Republic of Ireland.

My Left Foot (1989)
IMDB score: 7.9

This two-time Oscar-winning movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Brenda Fricker, both of whom won Oscars for their roles, tells the story of an Irishman, Christie Brown, who was born with cerebral palsy, learns to paint and write with his only controllable limb – his left foot. The movie was filmed in County Wicklow Ireland, the filming site of numerous other films.

The Princess Bride (1987)
IMDB score: 8.1

A real family-favorite, a swashbuckling fantasy-comedy-satire winner, The Princess Bride has been voted as one of the greatest films of all time. The film’s vertigo-inducing Cliffs of Insanity were actually the Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s most visited natural attraction. (Same place as the Horcrux cave in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.)

Leap Year (2010)
IMDB score: 6.5

Amy Adams stars in this charming travel movie about a young American woman travels to Dublin, Ireland to propose to her boyfriend who — by Irish tradition — cannot refuse the proposal. Principal photography took place in County Wicklow, Dublin, County Mayo, and County Galway.

Pi Day Movies – the Best Math (or Pie) Films to Watch on March 14

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

Best Movies to Watch Over President’s Day Weekend

Movie Review – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

 

 

 

RunPee Guest Post Guidelines – Write for RunPee.com (and be as opinionated as you like)

RunPee Family
The RunPee Family

The RunPee Family is happy to publish posts from movie geeks with interesting entertainment opinions on RunPee.com. Or even non-geeks with thoughtful reviews of any movie category are welcome – we have a lot of film coverage blind spots. Here are our submission guidelines:

What you get from RunPee

  • Your own linked Byline to the RunPee blog, social media promotion on our sites, and links to your projects/emails choice in your bio. We’ll help promote your personal interests for free, as well. Any really timely articles will get Featured Content status on the RunPee app itself!
  • You get Author privileges on RunPee: an author photo of your choice, a bio blurb, a full biography page with any links you want to promote — which also automatically lists all the articles you post on RunPee.com.
  • A entry volunteer association in a fun, world-wide acknowledged app boasting millions of downloads. Plus professional article editing, experienced writer mentoring, and the possibility of learning to make Peetimes to see free movies, along with the rest of the RunPee Family.

What RunPee Wants from You

  • Just pitch us your topic ideas and potential titles, and we can see if we’d like to publish your piece. Send ideas to Jill@RunPee.com (Editor in Chief) and post Guest Article in the subject heading.
  • Articles should be no shorter than 300 words, but can be as long as you like. No need to be brief if you’ve got a lot to say.
  • Your personally taken photos are welcome and will include your Byline, if we use them.
  • Tell us your favorite movie genres and mention a few possible titles you’d suggest as an idea on how your mind works.
  • Really, nothing about movies, actors, directors, or entertainment might be too out there to write about. This is your chance to be creative and show off.
  • We even accept reviews of movie theaters themselves, and  would love to blanket the world with details about the different cinemas near people. (Ask us for our Movie Theater review template.)

Interested? Re-read what I wrote above to be sure, and send your ideas to Jill@RunPee.com, or address your interest to Jill at Support@RunPee.com.

Origin of RunPee

RunPee FAQs (about)

Writing an app review in the Apple App Store

 

 

 

The Four Films You Need To Watch To Understand Captain Marvel (Speculation, Pre-Movie Release)

gregg clarke as agent coulson in captain marvel
A digitally de-aged Agent Coulson. They de-aged Nick Fury too. Can they do this for me?

Right, I know, Captain Marvel hasn’t come out yet — but I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest a few films you should watch to understand what the deal is with Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel, and the state of the MCU. If you’re not a rabid Marvel fan, or just need a refresher, you can get ready with just four MCU films. (Or three films and two short videos, if you’re short on time.)

In a real way, audiences are lucky with Captain Marvel — it’s a relatively painless entry point for an MCU movie.

By this, I mean you don’t need to sit down this week and watch the 20+ movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Captain Marvel (the film) goes back in time to the 90s, making it essentially the chronologically first film in the Avenger timeline. (Ignore for now that Captain America – The First Avenger started around World War 2…)

So, you’re off the hook for this film in a way you CAN’T be for the spring 2019 release of Avengers 4 – End Game. End Game will require audiences to be on their toes and completely up to date. As the title suggests, it’s the culmination of a long ranging plan. Ten years of movies! And it will be over three hours long, so you’ll need our Peetimes for it.

For Captain Marvel, these are my guesses to understand the events we’re about to see (links go to RunPee’s movie reviews):

  1. Avengers 1 – Avengers Assemble – This movie best establishes the characters of Nick Fury and Agent Phil Coulson, who should have major roles in the Captain Marvel story. Also, this movie is a great entry point to explain who the Avengers are without having to watch every individual origin story. And there’s this: where was Captain Marvel during the Battle of New York? I’m hoping the upcoming film explains why Fury didn’t see fit contact her then, or ever, until Infinity War.
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 1 – You need to see Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 1 to understand the cosmic end of the Marvel universe, see who the Kree  are, what Xandar is about, and get a proper introduction to Ronan The Accuser. Of all the movies on this list, GOTG 1 is probably the most crucial to view. Fortunately, this kick-ass film is always a crowd-pleaser.
  3. Avengers 3 – Infinity War – Why does Fury carry that pager around for decades and only use it now? This is the only story that refers to Captain Marvel explicitly. We still don’t know how she fits in. I’m going to warn you: Infinity War is a HUGE film, with its own list of must-preview movies. I dithered about putting this on the list, to be honest. If you’re a complete novice to the MCU, I recommend you skip it. You’d be hopelessly lost. Just watch the end credit scene, provided here (a MUST):
  4. Ant-Man & The Wasp – This one contains the most speculation on my part. Will Ant Man and crew even show up in Captain Marvel? Probably not. But since Time Vortices are mentioned, and the Quantum Realm might play a role in Captain Marvel’s story, this might be worth watching. It’s still on Netflix, so grab it while you can (before Disney pulls all the Marvel films off onto their own subscription streaming channel). Captain Marvel is supposed to have time travel in it. If you can’t get your hands on the Time Stone, the Quantum Realm is the next best place place to look, and only the guys in Ant-Man know about it. So far.

I also have another movie in mind worth viewing, but mentioning it would be a complete spoiler if the rumors are true. This particular superhero is covered in Infinity War anyway, so it’s fine to skip it. I think. (Remember, this is a speculation article.)

UPDATE after seeing Captain Marvel: I was thinking above that the Dr. Strange movie would be a part of the Captain Marvel story. It wasn’t. But it’s one of the Marvel films that has time travel as a major component…so it’s possible that Strange and Marvel get together to save the day in Avengers – Endgame. Actually, who are we kidding? Let’s just say it’s going to happen. 

Update: Watch a Short MCU Video About Agent Phil Coulson for Free, Now

  • A Funny Thing Happened…I found a handful of super short Marvel Cinematic Universe one-offs this week, and sat down to watch them all. It didn’t take long, and they don’t offer many hints on the MCU, to be honest. But there’s one you MUST see before Captain Marvel if you don’t know much about the main characters. Watch these few fun minutes of Agent Phil Coulson in his Thor years, in a short called A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer: 

After Captain Marvel comes out, we can see how close my guesses are. What do you think?

Coming Soon – Peetimes for Captain Marvel

Quiz – Brie Larson – The New Captain Marvel and Beyond

1st Captain Marvel Trailer Finally Drops – Comments and Speculation

The Quantum Realm in Ant-Man 2 Offers Answers for Avengers 4

10 Ways Ant Man Could Escape the Quantum Realm

Pi Day Movies – the Best Math (or Pie) Films to Watch on March 14

the symbol for pi in blue
Pi (π) is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. There might be a few numbers involved.

Mid-march, three unusual holidays rear their heads for movie rewatch fun: Pi Day, The Ides of March, and St Patrick’s Day. It all starts on March 13 with Pi Day. That’s the 14th day of the third month: 3.14. If you pay enough attention, you can even celebrate Pi Minutes and Pi Seconds. (1:59:26 comes around the clock twice, unless you use Military Time.)

If you scroll down, you’ll see every Pi and math movie we consider crucial for your home entertainment curriculum. But first, you have to understand what Pi is, then prepare some actual pies for feasting. On Pi Day, both sweet and savory pies count. More on that soon.

Do you know what Pi is?

long string of Pi numbers
Just memorize this and you’ll be fine.

This is a big topic. You can start by thinking about Pi as the ratio of a circle’s circumference, related to its diameter. Do you consider yourself smart? Apparently you can spend the rest of your life digging into the mysteries of this transcendental,  irrational number. (WIRED gives it a relatively simple whack, while the Wikipedia offers more Pi detail than most people actually want.)

Feast with Pies on Pi Day

Whatever your feelings about Pi, math, and advanced mathematics, I’ve long considered March 13 Pi Day. It’s a holiday that’s picking up more pop-culture steam every year.  For decades, my husband and I used to rewatch a classic math movie each year, feasting on Chicken Pot Pie, Pumpkin Pie, or sometimes Pizza Pie.  Even a Calzone or Omelette is a pie, albeit half of one.  We’d use fractions to eat them, as one does with flat, round food. 🙂 Make a meal with lots of circular edibles. Maybe Pita Bread. Be creative.

Announce the fractions you cut from the whole. Eat like math is your passion for one day a year!

We celebrated Pi Day this way because we’re geeks. RunPee loves weird holidays where you can watch movies, dress for the occasion, and plan an appropriately themed meal.

So. Pull on your geekiest science tee shirt and pick something from this list of great Pi adjacent films.

Make Pi Day 3.14 Times as Nice

It’s a good idea to phone your favorite ‘pie’ place and ask for the Pi Day Special: it’s fun to spread the word, and many places will give you an off the menu deal just for choosing them for your Pi needs. At the very least, you might encourage them to make a Pi Deal for next March.

Oh, please tell them RunPee sent you.

the first few numbers in the Pi string
Pi, looking friendly and fun and not at all intimidating.

Here’s RunPee’s list of favorite math, Pi, and pie movies for Pi Day, in no particular order, with release dates, and a few thoughts to help you select the perfect film to celebrate an irrational number.

Linked titles go to RunPee’s own movie reviews, where we have them. Eventually, we’ll review them all. It’s an easier task than calculating the exact value of Pi.

16.5 Movies To Enjoy in Honor of Pi Day

    1. Pi (1998) – Pure numbers, baby.
    2. Life of Pi (2001) — Not about math, or even pie, but a man named Pi. It’s a great, quietly gripping story, where you’re not sure what’s going on. Pay attention to the details, whether this is your first, or Nth viewing. It’s a very worthwhile film and almost Inception-lite. And BTW, that’s not a spoiler. Just enjoy the rhythm of the film.
    3. Good Will Hunting (1997) – Matt Damon makes this list twice, because he’s got a lock on that understated, funny, and too-pretty-to-be-so-smart look that perfectly bellies his mad science skills.
    4. Hidden Figures (2016) – This recent feel-good film centers around three black women hired by NASA as human computers during the 1960s events of Project Mercury, and its fabulous. (‘Sheldon Cooper’ even has a small role.) Award-winning and based on real people, including John Glen, who was apparently a great guy. If his computers said not to go, he stayed put. Smart man.
    5. The Theory of Everything (2014) – If you adored Stephen Hawking, like we did at RunPee, you probably found news of his death so very, very sad. But from all indications, he loved his life, had joy, family, a great career, and  unfettered commitment to allow his fine brain to roam the cosmos. We saw his sense of humor was as extraordinary as his mind. Not a bad legacy at all. Eddie Redmayne did an A+ job saluting Hawking’s contributions to our understanding of the universe.
    6. A Beautiful Mind (2001) –  I honestly don’t remember much about this film (it was too upsetting and sad for my tastes), but realize it would be a big snub to leave this inspired-by-a-true-life-story it off the list. The IMDb writes this: “From the heights of notoriety to the depths of depravity, John Forbes Nash Jr. experienced it all. A mathematical genius, he made an astonishing discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international acclaim. But the handsome and arrogant Nash soon found himself on a painful and harrowing journey of self-discovery.
    7. The Imitation Game (2014) – Benedict Cumberbatch plays a lot of geniuses, or at least men smarter than the average bloke. If you like Alan Turning and enjoy cracking impossible Nazi codes, this movie was made for you. It’s also a drama with a message. 
    8. Gifted (2017) – I enjoyed this light film about how a normal brained single Dad (Chris Evans) learns to beat to the system to keep and raise his young, brilliant protegee. This scene is a standout — be sure to watch the whole segment:
    9. x and y (UK)/A Brilliant Young Mind (US) (2014) – A kid with ‘special powers’ in math learns to navigate childhood.
    10. Apollo 13 (1995) – First of all, it’s a space mission that really happened, and through massive sciencing, everybody makes it home alive. Not a spoiler; this is history. Also, Apollo 13 is has Tom Hanks as Captain Jim Lovell,  and those men are gods to me. I think the inspiration for Legos must have come from that scene with the square filter an the round vent — “Work the problem, people!” (Ed Harris is a god too. Godhoods for everyone in Apollo 13!)
    11. The Martian (2105) – Matt Damon’s character scienced the SHIT out of this movie.  A pure joy to watch and rewatch, and I have to remind myself this, unlike Apollo 13, hasn’t actually happened. Yet. 🙂
    12. Contact (1997) – This one happened in real life too, didn’t it? Didn’t it?  Damn. Watching this movie just makes me happy, and yes, it’s full of life, death, and MATH. The scene where we’re contacted with Prime Numbers is a standout. It’s one of those scenes that makes me tear up without a single line of dialog, or even much facial expression. Remember in The Return of the King, when we saw the lighting of the fire beacons above Gondor, calling to Rohan for aid? Same thing. When you saw Contact for the first time, how long did it take you realize those pulses were primes? I expect the universal  language of math will prove yet again that fiction pre-dates fact. This is the best segment in an already outstanding film. I had to add two videos to catch the whole scene:
    13. The Accountant (2106) – Ben Affleck gave a surprisingly charming and understated performance as a certain kind of savant specialist who learns to relate to people in his own, sometimes deadly way.
    14. Stand and Deliver (1988) – What is Calculus? Why should we care, unless we’re lucky enough to have someone like Edward James Olmos teach it? I need to re-watch Stand and Deliver, as I’ve forgotten much of this classic 80s film.  Here’s a summary:  A Los Angeles high school teacher opts to immerse his students in higher math. After intensive study, his students ace California’s calculus test, only to learn their scores are being questioned.
    15. The Cold Equations (1996) – This short, harrowing film details to the Nth degree how important math is – specifically, down to milligrams of weight in space.  Are there any space movies where weight limits aren’t a thing? In this one, math is the whole plot. As the pilot and young stowaway work frantically against the clock, we’re reminded how dangerous space is, how fragile spaceships are, and how very, very much math matters. It’s only 40 minutes and it’s worth a watch, even if the effects are a bit dated. The story is still a good one. Here’s the entire video for The Cold Equations:
    16. Real Genius (1985)  – Taking a trip in the way back machine, Real Genius makes this list by pure force of fun. In fact, you can watch the entire feature film right here. I’ll leave this up until someone takes it down — it’s clearly a film taped on a cell phone. Enjoy this blast from the nerdy past!

…Aaaaand the promised .5 movie: American Pie (1999, the original):

Don’t worry if you hate numbers.  Lock yourself alone in the bedroom with a warm apple pie, and try out just how good it feels. Or, less weirdly, rewatch one of the movies in the American Pie franchise with friends, compare Band Camp Stories, and laugh again at the awkwardness of being young and inexperienced. Beware: this scene is suggestive, and  is clearly intended to be. You can’t unsee it. It’s the PIE scene. On Pi Day. Have fun.

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Quick question: How many numbers in a string can you list for Pi? Write them out in the comments below, and no cheating! Surely there must be some out-of-the-closet geeks out there.

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Just below: a brilliant Pi video for those of you who are too smart for Pi itself. Just peruse this movie list on Tau Day, and you’ll be set.

Super Pi Geeks Argue About how Tau is Better…

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RunPee Movie Reviews Related to Math and Pi

Movie Review – Hidden Figures

Movie Review – The Theory of Everything – More About Stephen Hawking Than Math

Movie Review – Gifted

Movie Review – The Accountant