First View Movie Review: Star Wars – the Battle for Endor

Because I’m a crazy geek and want to understand all the canon Star Wars material out there, I decided to view all the ‘extra’ shows and movies Lucasfilm created, some of which may or may not be part of the larger narrative. Have you seen The Mandalorian yet? It’s amazing. Have you seen The Star Wars Holiday Special yet? It’s atrocious.

I decided I need to see Rebels and Clone Wars, which are considered quite good…and the really, really bad films that no one to owns up to watching. So, sit back and see if what you ignored the first time around is still as awful as you thought.

Here’s the 1985 Ewok made-for-TV movie review of Battle For Endor (I’m having trouble finding a free version of 1984’s Caravan of Courage, so stay tuned):

While it’s not easy to get your hands on a copy of these Lucasfilm Ewok TV movies, I found a terrible copy of the 1985 Battle for Endor on You Tube — and will review it right here and now, because, why not? I don’t want to miss my chance before someone takes this link down! (Like maybe you, George Lucas!)

With the Skywalker saga coming to a close in Rise of Skywalker — and The Mandalorian and the Cassian Andor and Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ shows in the works — I felt it was time to catch up on all the live action and even animated Star Wars specials…anything that might be considered part of the over-arcing story.

I’m surprised I skipped such miserable yet amusingly wacky outings like the Star Wars Holiday Special after all this time. I’m going to rectify this now.

Let’s continue after the Holiday Special with the Ewok duo of movies. George Lucas apparently liked Ewoks so much he made two films about them. He even got Warwick Davis to reprise his “Wicket” role! Too bad he didn’t ask anyone first if they wanted more Ewok tales. We could have saved Lucasfilm a bit of money.

Here’s one copy of the Battle of Endor (a bad copy, true) on You Tube to watch along with my commentary:

The Battle for Endor (1:20 minutes long — be ready)

Notes:

— This is a bad You Tube copy. I can barely hear it. I can’t even tell if the sound track sounds anything like John Williams.

— This Ewok has crazy looking eyes. Is this Wicket? Why does he look so bad?  I’m in the uncanny valley alread. If you didn’t hate the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi, you’ll want to look away from the terrible costuming going on here. I wish they tried better to make Warwick David’s Wicket character work. Seriously, Davis deserves better than this.

— I totally cannot hear this You Tube recording. I might need to sign up for Disney + to get up to date with old Star Wars cannon.

— The little kid is cute, but I can’t tell if it’s a girl or a boy starring in the role.

— The teen kid is a lot like Luke Skywalker. I like the role, but we never see him again. That’s too bad. He’s better than the kid or the Ewok or anyone else we’ve seen so far. (Note: I hear he plays a larger role in the Ewok’s Caravan of Courage.)

— Bad guys are introduced and they suck. I don’t care. Also good guys are introduced. But there is no decent storytelling here, in spite of Paul Gleeson trying his best.

— The production values on the Endor moon look great. Too bad I don’t get the story. Who are these new villains? Can’t the Empire provide decent bad gals/guys?

— Why am I watching this? Bored now. I think this is largely due to not understanding the lines. Does anyone have a better copy for me to review?

— The main Ewok (in spite of being played by the otherwise reliable Davis) is not given subtitles as things progress. This is poor storytelling — it’s not like Ewoks are cool in the first place. Lucas did this same thing to his detriment with Chewie’s family in the Star Wars Holiday Special.

Although maybe there are Orcs in the tale, which are an early Lord of the Rings concept. I think those are Orcs.

15 minutes in and I’m so bored

— Let’s keep going. I don’t mind kiddie stories as long as they are still interesting for adults.

–Pterodactyls. Okaaaay.

— I still don’t get why the kid and the Ewok are doing anything they do. This is pretty, but honestly, the crazy Star Wars Holiday Special is more exciting. Atrocious as that Lucasfilm wacky movie length Star Wars ‘movie’  is! Never thought that would be better than something else Star Wars-adjacent.

— New character making a meal for the kid and the Ewok. This is decent storytelling. But who is this?

— Clearly this is for children to watch, which explains why I missed it all this time. I was 12 when A New Hope came out and never thought Ewoks were a good idea. Battle For Endor has got decent production values at least. I think Lucasfilm decided the home-to-TV-movie would land us enough views to appreciate. But, no. I WISH I could move on from reviewing it. This is for you, fans.

— I’m a half hour in and want to turn this off. Maybe we should have anticipated Jar Jar Binks from this monstrosity…except Jar Jar is actually more interesting than whatever is happening here. I don’t understand why George Lucas made this awful TV movie. (To sell Ewok toys I guess.)

— The kiddo tells the bad guys why it’s not right to kidnap him. I don’t know why they even want this child. Willow did the story much better. Just watch that again instead of this mess.

— Does anyone think this is a good narrative? Who are the bad guys and good guys and why should I care? No wonder I never heard about this.

— Look, it’s Worf the Klingon! No, it’s actually nothing at all. Move along, move along.

An hour is done! Shit howdy and holy Jedi Force tidings, but this is bad. Chewie and his family waiting for Life Day is actually better.

— A battle begins! Do I care? No. Who are these people?

— I appreciated the Dewback mounts from A New Hope on Tatooine reprised here.

— Apparently, a lot of fans tried to watch The Battle for Endor because The Mandalorian was so good. Fans are trying to catch up to the bits of pieces of missed canon film in existence. You know what? Don’t bother.

— The final battle isn’t too awful. But I doubt you’ll make it this far into the film.

— I did it! It’s over. I watched this so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

Should you watch The Battle of Endor?

No. Absolutely no, and this is from someone who watched and even sort of appreciated the insanely weird Star Wars Holiday Special. If you have kids that really like the Ewoks from The Return of the Jedi, maybe this is for you. For adults, SKIP. Really.

Otherwise…welcome to a total fail for Star Wars fans. The production values are good enough to keep The Battle for Endor from getting a total F grade, but I think I’m being too kind.

Movie Grade: D-

 

Willow Revival added to Disney+ line up (And Top 15 Willow Movie Quotes)

The Star Wars Holiday Special …Is it really that bad?

Star Wars – Top Seven Reasons to Watch The Mandalorian Now (No spoilers)

Dan’s top 10 favorite movies from 2019

It feels like Avengers: Endgame came out years ago. Was it really just this past spring? But it would hardly matter what year it came out — it would have been the best movie.

Here’s my top 10. I’m not going to just pick the 10 movies I rated the highest. (I gave Uncut Gems an A, but I hated it.) These are the movies that stood out to me.

Avengers: Endgame
Has there been a movie with greater expectations? Perhaps Star Wars: Phantom Menace, and we know how that turned out. I feel like the Russo Brothers, and everyone involved with Endgame should get a standing ovation. They took those expectations and surpassed them. And this came only two short weeks after the utter failure that was the Game of Thrones series finale. With everything going on in the world it was such a relief to not be disappointed.

Yesterday
What a charming movie, as one would expect from Richard Curtis, the writer of Love, Actually. This is my favorite of all the movies from 2019 that aren’t three-plus hours long.

Ford v Ferrari
Everything about this movie was spot on. The only reason it’s not higher on the list is that the story itself isn’t particularly inspiring. At least not to me. But as movies go, this one didn’t miss a beat. It couldn’t have been better.

Toy Story 4
Another movie with high expectations and another hit. It was brave of the writers to close — we think — the Toy Story saga on such a transcendental  note. I like it.

Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
Some of this movie was hard to watch, but that’s Tarantino.

Spies in Disguise
I think this might have gone overlooked. It was fun to watch and the message was fresh.

Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw
There’s no doubt that this is a formulaic action/comedy. But it’s formulaic done right.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters
I feel no shame in admitting that I’m a Kaiju groupie.

Long Shot
I don’t get to see a lot of comedy/romance movies, but I’m glad I caught this one. It’s not Romancing the Stone good. But it was good.

Terminator: Dark Fate
I know this one didn’t perform up to expectations, and the writers definitely made some questionable calls on character development and arc. But looking past that, the good outweighed the bad.

RunPee Jilly’s Top Ten Movies of 2019

Golden Man’s Top 10 Films of 2019

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

 

Movie Review – Bad Boys for Life

 

Movie Review - Bad Boys for LifeBad Boys for Life was awesome. I had so much fun watching this movie that I forgot I was working.

With 17 years passing since the last Bad Boys, I wondered if they’d still have their great chemistry. They certainly do. Smith and Lawrence were both great. Again. Looking back and seeing these guys in these roles for 25 years now really makes me feel old, yet they look fabulous. Still.

It was enjoyable from the beginning to end. Movies that run over 2 hours usually lose me; I get bored way too quickly and fall asleep. Not Bad Boys for Life — I was really into the storyline, which has a lot of twists and turns I wasn’t expecting. There is a lot of humor, just like always, but there is also a tender side to this one that gave it another layer.

I’m not going to include any spoilers, but I really enjoyed how they wove it all together. Make sure to not leave the theater when the credits start. They stuck a little scene in there that will explain what I’m talking about. (20-ish seconds into the credits.)

It wasn’t just Smith and Lawrence that made it great. The supporting cast was just as good. The police force created a new unit (AMMO). Within that unit is some incredible talent which helped brighten the big screen even more. Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, and Charles Melton were fantastic. They’re all young ones, but they had chemistry with Smith and Lawrence as if they’d been with them for 25 years. The age jokes are hilarious!

I don’t think you can go wrong with this movie. I’d recommend it to anyone.

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: The 1st and 3rd Peetimes are your best bet. I only submitted the 2nd one for Emergencies.

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

Rated (R) for strong bloody violence, language throughout, sexual references and brief drug use
Genres: Action, Comedy, Crime

Movie Review – DoLittle

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

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

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

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

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

Grade: C

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

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

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

Is there anything extra during the end credits of DoLittle?

Movie Review – Spies in Disguise

The Trouble With Doctor Dolittle

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 – Reality Queen

Reality Queen is not the kind of movie I normally watch. I don’t keep up with Kardashians, and people like Paris don’t entice me. But…I admit a sneaking curiosity to the idea of this weird popularity contest. Why do fans follow these awful people on social media? Do we all secretly want to be entitled princesses? It can’t be a lifestyle choice to aspire to, yearning to use a private plane to fly 20 miles, or buy people to be nice to you.

Reality Queen, the Mockumentary

So, Reality Queen (by Octane Pictures) is an amusing mockumentary about a Paris Hilton-esque heiress. In this film, London Logo (newcomer Julia Faye West) is the girl in question, picking up mid-interview by a British journalist who is rightly affronted by London’s lack of class…yet also being judgmental and snooty about it all. In the end, the reporter doesn’t come across as any better than London. In a world where everyone uses each other to get Likes and Follows, anything’s fair game.

But ultimately, here’s a good question at play: is London stupid and spoiled, or is she smart (and spoiled)?

That’s kind of the hidden premise of this film. Crazy sexpot London might be a ditzy blonde with a heart of stone, or a REALLY savvy brand marketer making hay while the sun shines.

Reality Queen explores a few days in the life of a social media celebrity with no discernible skills but the ability to carry off a bikini. Is London a real person inside? The mockumentary is clever enough to let us decide on our own.

Available on streaming and a few select theater showings, Reality Queen is a pleasant couple of hours, where we get to ask ourselves a big question: are our lives so dull that we have to worship fake divas? Or do we deserve being hoodwinked by someone who believes a $50,000 gerbil is a miniature chihuahua?

Reality Queen is an amusing, satiric look behind the scenes at a reality princess and her shaky sphere of influence. Denise Richards and Mike Tyson even make appearances. This is worth a view if you’ve ever wondered why in  holy hell Reality TV shapes our current world. I think this film hits the target it sets for itself, landing squarely in the B range. Recommended for home viewing.

Movie Grade: B-

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Movie review from a history teacher – 1917

1917 - no man's land

As a History teacher, Historical reenactor and writer, I have VERY high standards for movies that claim to be historical or even based on actual events. When I critique a movie that has a historical premise, I ask a few questions: does this movie have useful information, as well as being entertaining; can I show this movie to my students; and, if I show this movie, will it cause more confusion than clarity?

I am extremely choosy about which films I show in class. Some movies have good historical content, but for one reason or another aren’t suitable in a historical lesson.

1917-trenches

1917 checks all the boxes as great historical fiction

1917 answers all of the questions I listed above very well. One of the biggest aspects of WWI that I have to get my students to relate to is life in the trenches. 1917 constantly shows how muddy and nasty the trenches were — the rats were a good touch! The battlefield conditions were excellently displayed in the depiction of how desolate and dangerous “No Man’s Land” was. Also cool — the new technology of how airplanes were used. (It was the aerial photographs that told the general The British were walking into a trap.)

The action and pace of the movie was good. 1917 has a compelling story and it keeps you engaged. It is not just the hundreds of brother’s in arms they are trying to save, but also his real brother in the story.

1917 is historical fiction done right

In short, this movie is NOT actual history. The two main characters are a composite of the director’s actual grandfather, and his service as a message runner in WWI during The Battle of Poelcappelle.

Did it happen in the movie exactly like his Grandpa said? No, but slight embellishments that do not alter the telling of the story or the relating of the historical event are forgivable. If a student asks, I can easily explain that the characters show what the dangers of being a messenger in WWI was like.  1917 was very well done historical fiction and it earns every award that it gets!

Where was 1917 filmed?

Is there anything extra during the end credits of 1917?

Movie Review – 1917

 

The Star Wars Holiday Special …Is it really that bad?

Is it really that bad?

Yes. Yes it is. With a few moments that were faintly amusing.

Created using the real-to-goodness original cast of Star Wars from A New Hope, The Star Wars Holiday Special was an earnest  1978 TV movie featuring awful production values, clearly stoned actors, and some really cracked-out looking Wookiees. Really, no wonder Chewbacca spends his whole life with Han instead of Itchy and Lumpy. (REAL NAMES. Holy hell George Lucas, were you high too?)

How did they get Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford to do this? (Besides paychecks.) It’s so bad even Lucas is quoted as wanting to take a hammer to every copy of The Star Wars Holiday Special and smash them into oblivion. Good thing You Tube exists to thwart him. Bwahaha!

Viewing this is a Geek Rite of Passage that I need to attend to. Okay, I’m starting it now. So far, it’s got a crazy narrative opening crawl titling it Star Wars Episode IV 1/2.

Yes. 4.5: Does this make it canon?

Can I watch The Star Wars Holiday Special sober and review it for RunPee? Let’s find out.

Instead of making a really great cohesive article, I’m going to just jot comments as I go. I don’t want to work harder at this than I have to. As Threepio famously says, “We seem to be made to suffer. It’s our lot in life.”

Want to join me in the fun? Start ‘er up here, until Lucas finds and destroys this version. Then just search for another. It’s like playing Whack A Mole. Thank the Maker for the Internet!

Notes from the infamously terrible Star Wars Holiday Special, done by points because Math Is Fun:

Settle in. The Special is an hour and half long. MOVIE LENGTH, folks. I might need The Force to get through it. I have a bad feeling about this -1

Life Day sounds cool. It’s a Wookiee thing that’s hugely important to Chewbacca’s family. We never hear about it again. Now that Rise of Skywalker is finished, maybe Chewie will go back home. +1

The matte screen of the Wookiee home world Kashyyyk is fake looking, but very pretty. I’d live in these luxurious Air BnB tree houses. +1 point.

Star Wars Starfighter merch! Luke isn’t the only one to play with toys. Wookiees do too. +1

Why are the first 20 minutes filmed in grunts and roars with no subtitles? I know in-universe everyone speaks Wookiee, but in our viewing galaxy, this is a bizarre choice. -1

Poor Ms. Chewbacca. She’s crying as she holds a photo of her husband. Chewie is an absentee father, ya’ll. No wonder he didn’t earn a medal. -1

Neat 70s decor in the Chewbacca homestead, though. +1

The little kid and old man Wookiees. These are some weird looking Walking Carpets, but they’re still cooler than Ewoks. +1

I thought we were going to see a call-back of the awesome Holographic Chess Game from the Millennium Falcon, but it turned out to be something…inexplicable. Sea Monkeys in space? This goes on and on. Holy hell. A good Peetime. -1

A transmission from Luke! Fiddling with R2-D2! Actual speaking lines! +1

When did Luke learn Wookiee? He also understands R2’s Binary language. Okay,  I don’t care. (No points awarded either way means it’s a neutral comment.)

I think Mark Hamill is wearing eyeliner. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

AHA! Chewie goes to Life Day annually! So…he visits his family once a year. Lame. -1

R2 is still da Droid. +1

And now for a transmission  with Imperial Officers at a Galactic Trading Post. This is promising. +1

I actually like the Pocket Sized Aquarium. But why is this here? +1 anyway.

Plot development….and the line about doing it by “Han(d), Solo” was cool. Maybe this won’t be so bad .+1

Star Destroyers! And Vader. +1

WTF. Okay, back to home life on Kashyyyk. This is where the truly weird stuff happens. Why is there a cross-dressing cooking show? Again, not that there’s anything wrong with that.  At least we learn how to create a savory Bantha rump stew. Move along, move along. -1

Outrunning Tie Fighters is good. Harrison Ford looks like he’s trying to make his scenes work. Poor guy. No wonder Ford wanted to kill off Han. +1

The trader shows up at House ‘Bacca. More plot!  +1

Whoohoo! We survived the first half hour, relatively unscathed.

Wait. What? Wookiee VR porn? For ten minutes! I’m no longer unscathed. Delete ten points for this shit. -10

A transmission from Leia and C-3P0. But not even the makeup on Carrie can hide that’s she’s totally not sober. -1

Stormtroopers. Not too bad a scene, considering. And the trader provides some understandable translation from the endless grunts and roars. He’s not as funny as he thinks, though. I’ve seen better fan films.

The evil Imperial agent watching Jefferson Starship. A ten-minute Jefferson freaking Starship video in the middle of this movie. I’m seriously confused. -1

The kid — Lumpy? Or Itchy? — sits down for some more inexplicable TV watching. Is all this filler, or did someone decide half of the show should feature non-sequiturs? …But wait: it’s the Boba Fett cartoon show! It’s got Han, R2, Admiral Ackbar,  and all the regular OT gang in it. It’s probably the best segment of the Holiday Special.  I’m almost okay with this, but why is Chewbacca’s son watching a show where ‘real people’– including his father — are ‘acting’ in it? I don’t understand, but this somewhat awesome viewing. There’s even a Y-Wing Starfighter. +1

(I’ve decided the cartoon-within-the-show was an excuse to run an animated show they already halfway produced and didn’t know what else to do with.)

And what is it about Star Wars and lava?

I hate to say this, but after seeing Season One of The Mandalorian, the Boba Fett cartoon explains some apparent Easter Eggs. Also Fett rides a dinosaur. Again, is any of this considered canon? +1

There’s a Starlog Update in the Boba Fett show! Was Lucas a Star Trek fan ? It made me smile anyway. Too bad they never did more of these Boba Fett cartoons. It’s so much better than many of the live action movies. +1

Back to Wookiee grunts and moans: the actual plot. -1

One Hour has passed…40 more minutes to go. Sigh.

 

YAY — the Wookiee child watches yet another weird-ass show on the Galactic Internet. I think it’s a toy instruction manual, like what you can find on You Tube. With dumb humor. And it never ends. -1

A new scene from Mos Eisley: it’s the Cantina Band! I don’t mind if this is just extra footage they wanted to use, but enough already. Apparently all they do on Wookiee World is watch TV. Maybe it’s a meta commentary about the internet, from before the internet. Well, actually, I doubt it. The Holiday Special isn’t clever enough for that.

The Cantina stuff is totally unused footage from A New Hope. Even aliens like the Hammerhead are in it. I’ll just enjoy it as a Star Wars deleted scene. +1

Oops: spoke too soon. There’s more footage from the Mos Eisley Cantina, and It. Is. Bad. There’s also a Golden Girl in it. Don’t make me describe this  anymore. Delete ten more points. -10

Ooh, is that blue milk? Nah, beige milk. What a missed opportunity. -1

Are we done yet?

I’m understanding why I never watched The Star Wars Holiday Special. It’s really, super, uber, astoundingly weird. Weird can be good if done right (see Farscape), but this is just a hot mess. There’s a romance between the Golden Girl and a man who pours drinks in a HOLE IN HIS HEAD. -1

Turns out Head Hole Guy (played by Harvey Korman) is a six fingered man. I’d give this ten bonus points if I was sure it was an homage to The Princess Bride, but I seriously doubt that. -1

The  Cantina ‘romance’ is so awkward that I miss watching the damn Wookiee porn. I don’t know what this is here for. Was it intended to be a pilot episode for a continuing Star Wars rom-com? Am I overthinking this? -1

And now there’s Bea Arthur singing a Star Wars version of Semisonic’s  Closing Time. Make it stop, please. -1

Bringing it home for the holidays

15 more minutes. I can do this. I’m totally a (storm) trooper.

Child abuse. -1

Chewie and Han made it home! Harrison Ford is still acting, unlike everyone else, who’s clearly given up. +1

I THINK I JUST HEARD A WILHELM SCREAM! Plus ten for unexpected awesomeness! +10

Awww. And now for the feels. I could watch Han Solo do anything, really, even if it’s just giving hugs to groaning Wookiees. +1

Peter Mayhew really deserved better than this. And Chewbacca, but at least he finally got his medal in Rise of Skywalker. Oh, spoiler. Sorry about that.

Chewie’s bowcaster! +1

Wookiees kissing! -1

Plot. +1

The dead Stormtrooper is named 7-11. I really wish I knew if that was an intentional joke, or just randomness.

LIFE DAY! Finally. The moment we’ve all been waiting for. Let’s get those red robes on so Carrie Fisher can sing and end this thing. The opening crawl promised us a singing princess.

The denoument: magic candles, Wookiees walking in space/walking into a star, what the holy Force hell? Just when I figured the stupid was done. -1

Suddenly, C-3P0 and R2 appear to share tidings of comfort and joy. It’s fine. Everyone shows up. We’re almost finished. +1

The Princess says sappy things. “This is the promise of the tree of life.” What? Is that a reference to the Jedi tree on Ach-To somehow? Whatever. Fisher isn’t a bad singer.

Cue a random montage from A New Hope. -1.

Small heartwarming epilogue. +1

Credits. As with (almost) every Star Wars film, there are no extra scenes.

And… It’s over. Happy Life Day!

I did it! I finally watched this train-wreck! Ten Points to Gryffindor House. Oh wait: wrong saga. I hope you appreciate that I watched this for you so you don’t have to. 😉

Overall, I wish I could say this was a parody. But it’s not funny enough to matter. Or sensible enough. Yes, even parodies can be high quality and brilliant on their own. Take a look at Troops, a riff on Cops (with Stormtroopers). This isn’t anything like that. At least there weren’t any Death Stars.

Movie Grade, using Star Wars Math: +33 points, and -31 points…leaving The Star Wars Holiday Special with a surprisingly positive total of 2 points. That’s a lot better than I actually expected, saving it from a total Fail.

Let’s give this a D- for effort.


Maybe I’ll find the two Ewok TV specials to review next, because I’m an  idiot completist. 

Here’s the 1985 trailer for The Battle of Endor, also officially made by Lucasfilm. A better title: Ewoks — Still Better Than Jar Jar Binks.

Another time, perhaps. 

Star Wars – Top Seven Reasons to Watch The Mandalorian Now (No spoilers)

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

Two Must See Science Fiction Spoof Film Documentaries (plus: the most ‘inconceivable’ parody of a spoof)

Critic Movie Reviews v RunPee Family Reviews

RunPee FamilyNot having professional or writer-educated staff (besides First Officer/COO Jill Florio, who was a journalist and magazine editor back when people still had real jobs), RunPee’s reviews are written from the heart, and are hopefully more useful than what we get from the well-paid critics of Rotten Tomatoes…  Because we send RunPee family members who are actual fans of the genre to get Peetimes and review them.

RunPee Reviews? What Peeps See What?

jill florio
RunPee Jilly likes blockbusters. She fully admits she has tentpole tastes and is not ashamed.

So we have Jill and Dan on sci-fi, fantasysuperhero, and action films; RunPee Sis on horror and comedies; RunPee Mom on animation, childrens’ films, dramas, and historicals; with Dana and Shani on miscellaneous flicks of their choice.

Of course we “RunPeeps” have interest overlap, and don’t always get our first movie choice. Sometimes one of us has to view a film we dislike (or even hate), or is totally out of our expertise to comment on — for example, don’t ask me to see War films, unless it’s Star Wars (or 1917, which rocked!).

We see hundreds of movies a year; life happens. We try our best. We try to keep off-interest assignments down.

chewbacca
Chewie is happy with most movies, if his family is any indication in the Star Wars Holiday Special.

RunPee has superior movie reviews!

What makes our movie reviews better is that a typical critic sees every movie willy-nilly and aren’t necessarily fans of each genre. So if they cordially dislike Sci Fi or superhero films, they will piss on them (to use a “Pee” reference) in their reviews. They DON’T GET THEM. We do. We try to make this inequality right.

This element explains the frequent discrepancy between Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Scores and Audience Scores. Sometimes the numbers variance is huge and seemingly inexplicable. It’s not that Critics are stupid — these are often very educated people — but each critic is not going to appreciate every type of film. They can’t. Could you?

jumanji-game-box
Would you play this game? Seriously. Like, ever?

Critics often grade/rate genre films as if they were the bastard stepchildren of serious dramas. And that’s just wrong. At least, it’s not helpful to die-hard (or at least emergent) genre fans. If you loved, say, Jumanji 2, you should review Jumanji 3, because a built-in fan will have better opinions of its relative worth in the series than someone who didn’t appreciate the first two. If you are a Harry Potter fan who’s read the books, you’ll review it better than a casual fan who doesn’t know what Expelliarmus means. Savvy?

(Ten points if you get the franchise where savvy is a thing!)

To sum up why our reviews are better 😉

We also don’t waste your time merely recapping a movie. You can get the basics from the IMDb and the trailers. We offer our honest insights instead.

RunPee co-founder and CEO Dan says it best, “Our reviews resonate with people because we generally review movies in our favorite genres. The last thing I ever want to read is a review of a Marvel movie by some snooty movie critic. If you’re not a fan of the genre you’re writing about, then how can you expect to write something meaningful?”

You do know RunPee writes reviews, right? Check them out on our blog here or do a search on RunPee.com

Types of Peetimes: recommended, emergency, alert

Why do I only see old movies in the Movie List?

RunPee Family

 

Movie Review – Just Mercy

Movie Review - Just MercyThis isn’t just another twisted racist movie about white cops harassing and arresting black folks. No, this one has a little different spin to this true story, and well presented, I might add. Since we all may be too familiar with movies about poor “race relations,” I will keep this review brief to avoid spoilers.

I was pleasantly surprised about the storyline and how the events unfolded. Brie Larson and Michael B. Jordan did an excellent job. At first, I thought that Michael was too timid and maybe inexperienced for this type of role, but then I remembered his character being a young recent graduate from law school, who then moved from the east coast to the south to pursue law for free. I realized he wasn’t inexperienced per the role for the movie, but for the role as a recent attorney thereof. The intensity and complexity of his good intentions truly got the best of his mellow and mild-mannered Harvard essence at times. Good job Captain Marvel and Killmonger; I mean, Brie and Michael. LOL!

Pay attention to the contrast between the white and black neighborhoods, the mentality of the people in the town, and how there was zero KKK presence. Interesting! Let me know below in the comment section what stands out to you during the movie.

Again, a good dramatic story deserving a solid A, illustrating why we should always do the right thing for the right reasons.

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: Although this movie is very emotional, it wasn’t too hard picking Peetimes. I avoided scenes that were intense or relevant to the climax of the story. There are 3 Peetimes. I recommend the 2nd one.

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

Rated (PG-13) for thematic content including some racial epithets
Genres: Drama, True life story

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

Movie Review – Captain Marvel – A Pretty Good Origin Story

Movie Review – Black Panther – One Incredible Party