Every Time Die was in the title of a James Bond Film

daniel craig bond die another day
Bond can never die. He just keeps respawning. Just ask Sean Connery!

We’ve got the “last” Bond film with Daniel Craig coming out in early April. Of course, DIE is in the title. This is a recognizable Bond thing. But how many 007 movies really have die in the title after all? Let’s take a look.

Live and Let Die (1970)

I can’t complain about the film that started the Die TrendLive and Let Die, with its weirdo voodoo, deep-south characters straight out of the TV original  Dukes of Hazzard, New Orleans creepiness, and a Tarot Master Bond Girl that wasn’t completely helpless makes for a fantastic rewatch every time. Plus, we have a perfect Beatles song to frame the proceedings, titled, aptly, Live and Let Die.

To be honest, this is my favorite James Bond film. ( I also loved Moonraker, so my tastes might be subjective.)

Bond: Roger Moore, in a great freshman outing I cannot deny.

Movie Grade: A 

Too much fun not to include here: 

Grade: A

Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

I honestly don’t remember the Bond gap between Roger Moore and Daniel Craig. Ooops. Doesn’t say much for poor Pierce, whom I’d been rooting for 007 status for a decade. I think it was just too late by then for me. Also, I expected he would bring the easygoing warmth and smugness he made a name from in the 80s TV show Remington Steel…but no. He was way too serious and bored me. Bond needs charm. Bummer. Next!

Bond: Pierce Brosnan’s second outing as Bond. He goes to China with Bond Girl Michelle Yeoh.

Grade: No idea. You tell me. 

Die another Day (2002)

I don’t know. I was already turned off by his Bond. This is the one with Halley Berry. There’s Cuba, and North Korea, and a diamond mogul funding the development of an international space weapon.

Bond: Brosnan again. Sigh.

Grade: Probably in the C range. 

No Time to Die (2020)

Who doesn’t love Daniel Craig’s turn at 007? Reportedly, this is his last outing as the secret agent, pulled out of retirement for one last job. So they say…

I have no worries about his career: after a scene-stealing performance in 2019’s Knives Out and a hysterical turn in Logan Lucky, I fear not for this intrepid actor’s future. Good for him.

Bond: Daniel Craig

Grade: To be added in April — can’t wait!

Movie Review – Logan Lucky

Movie Review – Knives Out

The political subplot in Knives Out that tells the real plot


 

Harley Quinn Adventures You May Have Missed

Birds of Prey And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn comes out on February 7.  I, for one, cannot wait to see Margo Robbie return as the clown princess of crime.  I’ve loved the character Harley Quinn since I first saw the episode “Mad Love” on Batman: The Animated Series.  If you’re a Harley fan too, you may want to check out some of her other cinematic adventures.

Note: The following are all animated feature films. Watch them anyway.

Where’s Waldo,er, Harley?

The Lego Batman Movie 

Harley (voiced by Jenny Slate) has a sizeable role in this spin-off from The Lego Movie.  She helps the Joker as he tries to exact revenge on Batman for hurting his feelings.  In this movie, Harley sports red and black pigtails, like she does in the early days of her solo comic book series.  This movie is rated PG for rude humor and some action.  It is appropriate for kids. We’ve reviewed it positively here. Good stuff.

 

Batman: Assault on Arkham

Harley (voiced by Hynden Walch) and Deadshot are recruited as part of The Suicide Squad to break into Arkham and retrieve a microchip from the Riddler’s cane that has all the past, present, and potential members of the squad on it.  Harley gets distracted from her mission by the Joker and they have something more than a lover’s quarrel.  This is a good appetizer before seeing Birds of Prey as it shows the bad blood between Harley and Joker.  Harley’s look alternates between her harlequin outfit with a bare midriff, to a plain clothes Harleen Quinzel with blonde pigtails-style.  This movie is rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content, and language.

Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay

This R-rated, straight-to-video release has the rough and gritty feel of a ’70s revenge drama.  This one is not for the kiddos, with its violence and adult themes.  Harley (voiced by Tara Strong) makes for good comic relief amid the action sequences.  Like Assault on Arkham, this movie features a different set of Suicide Squad team members than the live action film, but it does reunite Harley with Deadshot.  Amanda Waller is dying and sends the team to retrieve a literal “Get out of Hell free” card.  Harley’s look in this film is more original, less inspired by the comics.  She has her classic harlequin outfit and white makeup, but no hood.  She has large blonde pigtails and her signature mallet.

Batman and Harley Quinn

For the true Harley Quinn fan, this one is pure frosting.  How much more Harley can you get?  To quote Spinal Tap, “None more.”

Bruce Timm wrote and produced this feature, so it has the look and feel of an old Batman: The Animated Series episode.  Except this one’s PG-13 for language, violence, and sexual content.  Batman and Nightwing are forced to team up with Harley (voiced by Melissa Rauch) to find Poison Ivy, and stop her from turning Earth’s population into plant people.  It’s a lot of fun to watch Batman stuck with one of his most annoying enemies, kind of like a Gotham version of Midnight Run.  Despite her second billing in the title, Harley pretty much drives the bus, er, Batmobile in this one.   She sports the classic look from the ’90s cartoon series.

If you love Harley Quinn, this is just the tip of the iceberg.  She appears in some other films as well.  But she also stars in graphic novels, video games, and TV shows.  She’s a very busy woman.  Her Wikipedia page and your local comic book store can point you in the right direction.

Is Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey a Sequel, Soft Reboot, or a Standalone Movie?

 

Newbie Movie Review – Suicide Squad (2016)

Movie Review – Suicide Squad

Movie Review – The LEGO Batman Movie – One of the BEST Batman films, ever

 

 

The Most Anticipated Science Fiction & Fantasy Shows of 2020

Avengers: Endgame
One “game” you can’t be late to.

In a post-Endgame, post-Star Wars Saga world, I have a hole in my soul where movie anticipation used to live. I had a lot of anticipation in 2019 for the new Terminator film, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Men in Black International, Zombieland 2, and Jumanji 3. All let me down in some way. They weren’t fails (mostly), but didn’t come close to how idyllic the original films were.

Endgame was the only perfect finale. I’m happy enough with Rise of Skywalker, but feel strangely empty knowing 42 years of storytelling is done.

I no longer have a burning desire to know how the next thing turns out. In fact, the only movie I’m excited for offhand in 2020 is Black Widow. And I’m actually a little bit meh on that. Call it a sort of Post-Snap Depression.

black-widow-may-2020The Best Sci Fi is on Television these days

Strangely, it’s TV that’s got me jazzed this year. The 2019 Mandalorian Season One was so good that my faith in Disney and Disney+ is restored. Can Season Two happen now? (What? No more ’til next fall? I cry foul!)

But there are other shows I’m crazy with anticipation for.

Here’s my short, short list for upcoming 2020 sci-fi shows:

The Mandalorian (Disney +)

Star Trek: Picard (CBS All-Access)

The Orville (Moving to Hulu)

falcon-and-winter-soldier-show-disney-plus

The Falcon and Winter Soldier (Disney +)

It’s annoying that all the best shows are being vacuumed up by premium channels. This must stop. Between Netflix, Hulu, CBS All-Access, Disney+ and Amazon Prime, consuming all the good stuff will cost more than cable used to be. Remember cable?

I actually remember when TV had four stations: CBS, NBC, ABC, and PBS (for Sesame Street and Mr Rogers Neighborhood). And they were free. That’s what commercials were for. I have more time to pay than money, so commercials are fine in my book. However, I’m not the boss of TV, so I’ll have to figure something else out.

Twinkies not included.

2020 Movies to Anticipate?

There’s also the next Fantastic Beasts film, but no matter how much I like those, I don’t love them. They just aren’t Harry Potter. They kind of feel like The Hobbit movies compared to the Lord of the Rings. Or maybe prequel movies never live up to expectations in general (which might explain my meh-ness about Black Widow).

If you love your superheroes, sci fi, and fantasy features, there’s definitely good stuff coming, but patience is required. Who knows when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 will be — 2022? And Thor 4 is slated for 2021.

eternals

I’m fairly disinterested in 2020s The Eternals. The MCU will probably surprise us with a good film regardless, based on their track record. It’s just that I don’t need new characters in an already crammed shared universe.

What movies and TV shows are you looking forward to this year? Or do you also feel…kind of tired of it all?


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

Jumanji Character Names and Skills

Avenger Superhero Powers, by Category

Critic Movie Reviews v RunPee Family Reviews

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

Unfaithful Horror Movie Adaptations

Horror movie The Turning opens January 24.  Aware moviegoers may notice the connection to the Henry James novel The Turn of the Screw.  However, aside from a basic premise (a nanny is terrorized by her two charges), the film has little to do with the book it’s based on.  This often happens in Hollywood.  Here’s a look at some other horror movie adaptations that strayed from their source material.


“Watch Avengers: Endgame over and over?”

I Know What You Did Last Summer

In the 1973 novel, four teenagers accidentally run over and kill someone after a party.  They decide to keep it a secret.  This premise is the only similarity between the book and the movie  The young adult suspense novel is rather tame compared to the gorier film.  While everyone survives in the book, there’s a much higher body count in the movie.  The teens eventually confess at the end of the book.  However, in the movie they remain mum, setting up future sequels.  Kevin Williamson definitely did audiences a favor by spicing up Lois Duncan’s book.

Sleepy Hollow

In Tim Burton’s re-imagining of the classic Washington Irving short story, Ichabod Crane is no longer a school teacher but a police constable.  He’s been sent to investigate a series of murders.  Brom is still a bully but less of a threat than in the original story.  Ichabod has flashbacks of his strict Protestant father who tortured his mother.  The movie adds elements of witchcraft and satanism, with the Headless Horseman being controlled by another character.  And this time, Ichabod gets the girl in the end.  While the film is completely unfaithful to Irving’s ancient tale, I much prefer it.  I’ve had to sit through countless plays, puppet shows, and retellings of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”  It was time someone like Tim Burton injected new life (or should I say death?) into it.

Not to be confused with The Lady in Red.

The Woman in Black

In the novel, Kipps loses his wife and his child as a result of being haunted by the title spectre.  In the movie, Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is already a widower when he comes to Eeel Marsh House.  The movie keeps the premise that seeing The Woman in Black foretells the death of a child but pushes it into more horrifying territory.  The book is about Kipps uncovering the truth about the ghost.  The movie is about Kipps and the village being terrorized by the ghost and Kipps trying to break the curse to save his son.  The movie uses the book’s premise as a jumping off point to go to even scarier places.

The Island of Dr. Moreau

The H.G. Wells novel is about a shipwrecked man who winds up on the island of a mad scientist and his human-animal hybrids.  There’s a great 1932 adaptation called Island of Lost Souls starring Bela Lugosi and Charles Laughton.  Then there’s the cult classic from 1996 starring Marlon Brando as said mad scientist.  And man, is it strange!

For starters, Dr. Moreau has a mini-me that accompanies him everywhere.  He’s dressed all in white with his face painted white as well (or else completely slathered in sunscreen).  The creatures call him Father.  He uses a remote control to send pain signals to implants under the creatures’ skin.  The movie also invents a cat-like daughter for Moreau played by Fairuza Balk.  In both the movie and the book, the main character eventually escapes from the island.  In the movie, the creatures choose to regress back to their natural state rather than be “cured.”  I’m not sure that a dogged faithfulness to the original text would have saved this movie.  (It bombed at the box office.)  It may have resulted in an even less interesting film.  All I can say is that this is one of the craziest movies to come out of the ’90s.  For more about the troubled production, you can check out the documentary Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau.

Sometimes straying from the original is a good thing.  Sometimes not.  What horror adaptations do you think Hollywood got right or wrong?  I can think of at least one author I could write a whole other post about.  Can you guess who it is?

The Trouble With Doctor Dolittle

DoLittle

Dolittle is Robert Downey Jr.’s first movie to be released after his triumphant turn as Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame.  (C’mon, Academy.  Don’t let me down.  Nominate him!)  Unfortunately, the trailer looks less than stellar.  In fact, Hollywood doesn’t have the best record when it comes to adaptations of Hugh Lofting’s children’s book character who talks to animals.  So let’s take a deeper look at the trouble with Doctor Dolittle.

Doctor Dolittle (1967)

Rex Harrison starred in this musical movie adaptation.  The production suffered numerous setbacks and difficulties especially because of the large numbers of animals required for the film.  The movie went over budget.  It received mixed to negative reviews.  It bombed at the box office.  Yet due to intense lobbying by the studio, the movie received a Best Picture nomination.  One it does not deserve.  While I’ve never seen the movie, the general consensus from those who have is that it’s a long slog at two and a half hours.  It certainly doesn’t belong in a class with Best Picture winner In the Heat of the Night and fellow nominees Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.

Dr. Dolittle (1998)

Eddie Murphy starred as Dolittle in this genuinely funny adaptation.  Along with The Nutty Professor and Mulan, this movie is part of his amazing ’90s comeback.  Critics gave the movie mixed reviews but it was a box office success.  Featuring celebrity voices such as Norm McDonald, Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock, Jenna Elfman, and Gilbert Gottfried as the animals, the movie was a fun summer romp.

Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001)

This one’s un-bear-able.

Eddie Murphy returned for this less funny, less entertaining sequel.  Dolittle tries to help a bear (voiced by Steve Zahn) mate.  Again, the movie received mixed reviews but was a box office hit.

Dolittle Sequels

Kyla Pratt, who plays Murphy’s daughter in the first two films, took over the lead role in three direct-to-video sequels.  I honestly didn’t know they made any more after Dr. Dolittle 3.  With titles like Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief and Million Dollar Mutts, you can probably guess at the quality and target audience of these movies.

Dolittle (2020)

There have been many rumors of a troubled production with the latest adaptation.  Reportedly, tensions became strained between director Stephen Gaghan and Robert Downey Jr. to the point that Downey would only respond to him with monkey noises.  According to a now deleted Reddit post by someone claiming to have worked on the set, the filmmakers began filming scenes before they had planned where the animals would be standing.  According to this same source, Gaghan also wanted to fire the pre-visual animation department and just sort of wing it on the day of shooting.   None of this bodes well for the new film.  Hollywood loves breathing new life into old properties but maybe it’s time to finally close the book on Doctor Dolittle.

From Eddie Murphy to Robert Downey Jr., don’t miss your favorite star’s best movie moments!

Movie review : Zookeeper

Golden Man’s Movie Review – Jojo Rabbit

2019 Peeple’s Poll Movies – Year in Review

 

All Joker Performances — Ranked

Ask people to name the first three superhero villains they can think of, and you’ll probably get “the Joker” from everyone. There’s just something about the character we’re drawn to, for some reason. Perhaps it’s the secret appeal of being able to cast aside the rules of normal society, or perhaps it’s simply the striking visual mix of acid-green hair and the purple suit against a white-painted face. Perhaps it’s the inherent fear of clowns that most of us share.

Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that Batman’s greatest foe is certainly a fan favorite. He’s appeared in every type of media there is and been brought to life by some of the biggest actors in Hollywood. But which performance was the best? Below is an attempt to answer that question in chronological order.

Cesar Romero, Batman (1966-1968)

2 out of 5 painted-over mustaches

The very first actor to bring the Joker to life, Cesar Romero’s performance was… something. In fairness, the classic Adam West show had a campy feel that a more serious Joker simply would not have worked in — and Romero’s constant laughter did set an iconic precedent for all the Joker laughs to come. His completely over-the-top portrayal was rather brave, and others might even rank him higher for sheer silliness and wild abandon.

Jack Nicholson, Batman (1989)

4 out of 5 dances with the devil

While Cesar Romero may have beaten him to the screen, it’s fair to say that Jack Nicholson set the stage for the way the Joker would be portrayed for the next thirty years. Equal parts darkly funny and terrifying, Nicholson’s Joker was an unexpected twist for viewers who were used to the comedic interpretation. For the first time, we had a Joker that was actually scary — and we loved him for it. He had the perfect blend of traits: a dash of whimsy, a veneer of sarcasm, a complete disregard for the rules of society. Nicholson’s Joker brought us everything from bone-chilling threats to acid-spraying boutonnieres, and somehow managed to make it all work. Not even his rattling false teeth or pop-off fake hands could make us think of him as less of a villain.

Mark Hamill, Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995)

4 out of 5 maniacal laughs

When it comes to Joker portrayals that are truly Mad Hatter-mad, there is no substitute for Mark Hamill. From his signature cackle to his dramatic delivery, this Joker is every bit as committed to hamming it up as Romero before him, but Hamill manages to make it electric and slightly terrifying. You can’t help but take him seriously, even though he doesn’t seem to have a serious bone in his animated body.

To many of us, he will always be the voice of the Joker, no matter how many other actors come after him — and that’s only fitting, considering what a wonderful job he’s done across so many mediums, from TV to video games to theme park rides. To rank Jokers purely based on the number of times he’s played the role, there is no competition.

Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight (2008)

5 out of 5 pencil tricks

If Nicholson brought a new level of terror to the Joker, Ledger kicked it into high gear. This Joker is absolutely no laughing matter. It’s what makes Ledger’s performance so lauded, even years after this death. For the first time, we get a sense of how truly powerful this character can be. And it’s not his mania that chills our bones, though Ledger brought plenty of that to the role.

But the terror of this Joker comes from the way he amplifies all the scared, lonely, desperate parts of our hearts. This Joker has a way of bringing those parts of people to life, because why wouldn’t you run away and protect your own when someone that chaotically evil is around? What’s the point in order, in the rule of law, in a sense of fair play when someone is stacking the deck and changing the rules at random like it’s a deadly game of Calvinball? For this reason, Ledger’s Joker will stay among the greats for many decades to come.

Cameron Monaghan,Gotham (2014-2019)

3.5 out of 5 ambiguous origins

Is he the Joker? Or just a cultural predecessor, a source of inspiration that the “real” Joker would later pick up and run with? Both the show and the showrunners imply the latter, even passing the mantle from one twin brother to the next, though the series finale does try to leave it open for interpretation. But it’s fair to count him either way. From the painted smiles to the maniacal laugh almost worthy of Hamill himself, to Monaghan’s flair for theatrics, he certainly plays the part of the Joker with style. And the dual performance as both Jerome and Jeremiah allow us to see the range of Monaghan’s expression, as one actor who took on not just two, but three different “variations” on the Joker.

Props to the actor for pulling it off with aplomb, but unfortunately, this same variety means if there’s one you don’t like as well as the others, it drags the whole ranking down.

Jared Leto, Suicide Squad (2016)

1 out of 5 ill-conceived tattoos

Come on, is anyone surprised by this ranking? Leto’s Joker in Suicide Squad had all the subtlety of Romero (which is to say, absolutely none) without any of the campy charm. He managed to be somehow both over the top and lifeless at the same time. This won’t even get into his weird, gratuitous relationship with Harley Quinn. This Joker is non-threatening, uninspiring, a joke of a villain. He’s every generic gangster we’ve ever seen. Worse, he adds absolutely nothing to the role. His performance is forgettable, his laugh unmemorable. You can strike him off this list as easily as a copy editor might strike off a paragraph in a script, and you won’t have lost anything.

Zach Galifianakis, Lego Batman (2017)

3 out of 5 obscure villain sidekicks

Even villains want to feel like they matter to somebody. In Lego Batman, we get a Joker unlike any other — one who’s so desperate for Batman to admit that they’re arch-enemies, that he will stop at nothing to prove his point. And while the performance probably wouldn’t have worked in a live-action Batman movie, there’s more than enough to love about him in the Lego-verse. The shock that he feels upon discovering he does not matter to Batman! The heartbreak! This Joker is easily the funniest on this list. But while the humor works for this particular movie (and works really well), ultimately it’s just not as memorable as the more nuanced performances.

Joaquin Phoenix, Joker (2019)

4.5 out of 5 stairway dances

Love it or hate it, you can’t deny the amount there is to unpack and discuss about this latest entry into the Joker mythos — or the quality of the performance that Phoenix delivers. This is hands-down the most unique portrayal of the Joker to date, with a backstory that hits hard. Humanizing the character like never before, Joker delivers a powerful message about just how easily people can snap and become monsters. Phoenix’s acting is top-notch, equal to any other Joker to appear on screen, as he manages to be both heartbreaking and horrifying at the exact same time.

The only reason for the half-point deduction that lets Ledger come out on top is because the Joker in this movie doesn’t believably ever go on to become the comic book supervillain we know his character becomes. It’s not that he isn’t capable of the violence and chaos involved, but none of the chaos he inspired in the movie is planned. (And that’s even assuming that the more dramatic aspects of the movie actually happened.) While he acts as a rallying cry for the disenfranchised in the film, it’s hard to picture him leading a gang of merry troublemakers around the streets of Gotham to do his specific bidding.

Still, there’s no denying the impact this movie will have on not just Joker performances, but on superhero movies in general. And time will show what kind of cinematic chaos erupts from this game-changing performance.


Joker is now available at Amazon.com on DVD/Blue-ray.

DVD at Amazon.com

Blue Ray at Amazon.com

Jill Florio gave it a grade of C+. You can read the complete movie review here.

Wonder Woman 1984: Actor News, Story Continuity

 

A History of The Grudge – from Japan to America (and every remake in the franchise)

The Grudge hits theaters January 3.  It’s been fourteen years since the 2004 American remake, also titled The Grudge, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar.  This horror franchise has had a long history in Japan and America.  So here’s a deep dive into the story of The Grudge.

Origin of the Series

Director Takashi Shimizu said the inspiration for the film Ju-On came from Childhood Fears, a dance troupe that would paint their nude bodies white and perform, and an increase of domestic violence cases during production of his previous films.  The title roughly translates to “Curse Grudge.”

The movies in the series generally revolve around a curse created by a murder.  In the world of the films, when a person dies with a powerful rage, a curse is born.  The curse gathers where the person died or at the place they frequented, and it repeats itself there.  The dead haunt the location and may kill anyone who encounters the curse (say, by entering a cursed house or being in contact with someone who was already cursed).  The curse’s main manifestation is death.  The deaths may create more curses and spread them to other locations.

The first two films in the series (Ju-on: The Curse and Ju_On: The Curse 2) were direct-to-video releases that became surprise hits.  Both films were shot in just nine days.

Ju-On: The Curse

The first movie is a non-linear episodic film divided into six parts, which follows the tenants of a cursed house where a man murdered his wife and  child in a jealous rage.  Most of the films in the series follow this non-linear format of storytelling.

Ju-On: The Curse 2

Half of this film is a retelling of the first movie.  But it introduces some new information on the events of that film and a few new characters.  It also sets up some plot points that play into the later theatrical timeline.

Ju-On: The Grudge

Ju-On: The Grudge is probably the most famous of the original Japanese Ju-On horror films, because it’s the movie that the 2004 American remake The Grudge is based on.  (Even though it’s actually the third movie in the series.)  Ring screenwriter Hiroshi Takahashi helped Shimizu develop this sequel for theatrical release.  Whoever enters the murder house is consumed by the curse, which spreads to the place they die in, and in turn consumes anyone who comes in.  A social worker is sent to care for an ill old lady living in the house and faints at what she finds.  The police are called and soon they start investigating the history of the house, and consult a retired detective who is wary of revisiting the case.

Ju-On: The Grudge 2

The director of a popular TV horror show casts a scream queen as a special guest star in an episode set in the murder house.  The curse begins to affect everyone involved with filming, including the actress herself.

The Grudge (2004)

Shimizu got to remake Ju-On: The Grudge with an English-speaking cast.   It was a box office success.

In this version, Sarah Michelle Gellar (star of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer) plays a second care worker sent to the murder house when the old lady’s first care worker disappears.  She is then terrorized by the curse.

The Grudge 2 (2006)

Shimizu returned to direct the American sequel.  Instead of a remake, this time the movie used a new storyline continuing from the last film.  The three subplots include: Gellar’s younger sister coming to Japan after finding out about her boyfriend’s death, a schoolgirl being hunted by the ghosts after entering the house, and a boy whose apartment building is haunted by the ghosts.

The Grudge 3 (2009)

This was a DVD release, with Toby Wilkins directing and Shimizu executive producing.  The living sister of one of the ghosts tries to break the curse by holding an exorcism.

Ju-On: White Ghost

This 2009 movie is one of two films produced in honor of the tenth anniversary of the Ju-On series.  It was written and directed by Ryuta Miyake.  A boy is possessed by a spirit from a mirror and murders his family, and then himself, creating a new curse.

Ju-On: Black Ghost

This is the second film produced to honor Ju-On‘s tenth anniversary.  It was written and directed by Mari Asato.  A cyst found in a young girl’s body turns out to be the remnant of her unborn twin (who then tries to posses her).

Ju-on: The Beginning of the End

This is a reboot of the series that returns to the original family/murder house.    It was directed and co-written by Masayuki Ochiai.  Subplots include a group of high school students who visit the house for kicks, and a school teacher who comes to the house out of  concern when one of her students is absent for a week.

Ju-On: The Final Curse

This movie follows the continuity of the last film and was directed and co-written by Masayuki Ochiai.  A young boy who lost his parents moves in with his aunt and cousin where hauntings begin.  A woman named Mai, who sees visions of her dead sister, tries to end the curse once and for all.

Sadako vs. Kayako

This movie is a crossover of the Ring and Ju-On series.  It was originally teased as an April Fools joke.

When two college girls watch the cursed video tape (from the Ring) and only have two days to live, they pit evil spirit Sadako against the ghost Kayako (from the murder house) in a bid to save themselves.  If the two vengeful spirits destroy each other, the girls will be free.

The Grudge (2020)

The latest American entry in the series takes place at the same time as the 2004 version.  Fans familiar with the series will catch references to other films, but new viewers will be able to enjoy the movie without getting lost.  Director Nicolas Pesce said the movie is closer to the original Japanese films.  He made an effort to shoot it in a claustrophobic style.

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

Infographic of every star wars movie fan-rank via imdb and rottentomatos.

It’s beginning to look a lot like… Star Wars season. Star Wars goes together with Christmas like Jawas and stolen droids. Not only is The Rise of Skywalker — the final episode in the latest Star Wars trilogy — releasing on December 20th, but I’d hazard to guess that Star Wars themed presents will be piled high under many Christmas trees this season.

And ask any Star Wars fan, young or old (or both in many instances), what they most want this Christmas and they’ll say, “All I need for Christmas is a great Rise of Skywalker movie.” Either that or they’ll ask for the Lego Millennium Falcon for only $179 at Amazon.  (You better hope for the former.)

Here’s an infographic of every Star Wars movie and how they are rated by fans at IMDb.com and RottenTomatoes.com.

Infographic of every star wars movie fan-rank via imdb and rottentomatos.
Infographic of every star wars movie fan-rank via imdb and rottentomatos.

I will update this infographic around the middle of January when the user ratings for Rise of Skywalker are in.

2019 Peeple’s Poll Movies – Year in Review

Movie Review – Jumanji: The Next Level

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

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

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

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

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

Grade: A

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

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

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