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-

What are the First Three Minutes (a Running Late Feature) in the RunPee App?

11 Raunchy Comedies You Should Watch Now

 

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)

Rewatch Movie Review – The Princess Bride (plus the top quotable quotes)

the princess bride from 1987
Probably the most quotable movie ever.

I know every quote in The Princess Bride. Many old geeks like me do. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen this classic spoof fantasy. I introduced it to my mother tonight. She enjoyed seeing all the well-known actors in their younger days, especially Fred Savage, who is so young here it hurts.

And by the way, have you seen the 2018 spoof of this spoof with Fred Savage and Deadpool? (That’s a topic for another review.)

The Princess Bride (made in 1987) holds up astoundingly well over time. It looks great. The scenery, the costumes, the sets: all great. The acting is well meaning and fun, providing a really good tale that also sends up the fantasy genre. It’s a fantasy movie the way Spaceballs and Galaxy Quest are to science fiction: parody films that are satisfying in their own right.

It also features one of the best sword fight scenes I’ve ever seen. I don’t know how much fencing and dueling Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin studied, but it looked great. I assume their banter about sword fighting styles was accurate.

Great fun…and a little bit bittersweet

Every actor seemed to have a blast. While some actors got to be super playful in their roles, I could tell even the ‘straight men’ had fun. It’s too bad Robin Wright didn’t get to cut up a little, but no one ever said being the eponymous character is easy.

It was a little sad to see the beloved Peter Faulk and Andre the Giant alive onscreen, knowing they weren’t around to see the Deadpool callback last year. I also had to translate everything Andre said to my mother this evening, since I guess she doesn’t speak Giant. Since I know every line (literally — don’t you?), I forget that he had a speech impediment. I only see a gigantic sweethearted soul.

We also lost The Princess Bride novel author William Goldman in 2018 (the original book is wonderful BTW), the brilliant mind behind yet another classic film: Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid.

Memorable Quotes from The Princess Bride

I can’t begin to cover all of them. The whole movie is made of great quotes. Here’s a few that stand out: 

My way’s not very sportsmanlike.

Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says different is trying to sell something.

Is this a kissing book?

Inconceivable!

You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Good night, Westley. Good work. Sleep well. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.

You seem a decent fellow. I hate to die.

Get used to disappointment.

You mean you’ll put down your rock and I’ll put down my sword and we’ll try to kill each other like civilized people, is that it?

To the pain!

With the two most well-known Princess Bride quotes:

As you wish. (The nicest way to say I love you.)

And the one everyone knows. Say it with me now: “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

 

A true classic.

I can’t give The Princess Bride anything less than an A+. It’s still beautiful, funny, romantic, touching, and a complete joy to watch anew. It’s one of the best fantasies ever, and the scenes with Fred Savage and Peter Faulk feature the most amusing story bookends ever filmed.

(Until Fred Savage reprised his own role in The Deadpool Before Christmas, of course.)

Movie Grade: A+


Movie Review – Once Upon A Deadpool

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

Never Surrender – A Galaxy Quest Retrospective

 

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

It’s hard to make a decent movie spoof for a beloved franchise, and being in the science fiction genre doesn’t make things any easier. The producers have to sell a fresh plot, quality special effects, and sparkling humor, while somehow keeping the fan base happy. You have to honor — while riffing– the base material. It’s a tight line to walk.

Two beloved science fiction spoofs not only stand out as Best in Genre full-length film satires, but have now have their own documentaries. That’s impressive for a parody.

If you’re a Star Wars or Star Trek fan, you’ve probably heard about Spaceballs and Galaxy Quest. Join me in discussing the cameo-studded documentaries about these fabulous science fiction movie parodies.

Spoofing Star Wars: Spaceballs – The Documentary (30 minutes, 1987)

Lucasfilm actually did post-production for Spaceballs. Mel Brooks said George Lucas loved the screenplay, thankfully, since Brooks wasn’t going to go forward with Spaceballs if Lucas had a problem with it.

In the documentary, Brooks says, “to make a good spoof film, you have to love the genre.” Truth.

Not only did Brooks pull together a stellar cast for Spaceballs, the story was funny and reasonably sensible. Even better, there were film nods to other science fiction classics like Star Trek, Alien, Planet of the Apes, and even Superman. Spaceballs is a good romp.

Here’s the 1987 Spaceballs Documentary to get you back in the saddle for some silly Star Wars fun:

 

Spoofing Star Trek: Galaxy Quest (2019)

Ask any Trek fan to list their favorite Star Trek films and invariably Galaxy Quest comes up. Even the real Star Trek actors love it, and praise it to Klingon Heaven (aka Sto-Vo-Kor) in this documentary. When it comes to the best Star Trek films, Galaxy Quest is near the top for me. It also handles the fanbase with great esteem, letting ‘us’ help save the day (“It’s all real.” “I KNEW it!”)

Indeed, I loved the Galaxy Quest Documentary when it came out in a limited release in 2019. I laughed with all the other fans in a packed screening room, while we clued back into to why this…wacky  spoof…was so good. It told a real story. And FELT like Star Trek. It had a coherent narrative, gave us all the feels, and reminded us how amazing Alan Rickman can be with even the goofiest lines (“By Grabthar’s Hammer, you shall be avenged.“)

Here’s the trailer for the Never Surrender Documentary (not available free on You Tube Yet):

My Never Surrender Galaxy Quest Documentary Review:

Never Surrender – A Galaxy Quest Retrospective

Extra! Must-See Bonus Spoofiness

The Deadpool Before Christmas (2018)

A superhero spoof of a fantasy spoof? With genre-hopping Princess Bride fun? Yes, please.

Here’s the trailer if you somehow missed this Deadpool & Princess Bride Mashup:

And my review of The Deadpool Before Christmas:

The Deadpool Before Christmas

 

Every Type of Star Wars Stormtrooper, Explained

So, I was making my own list of every type of Stormtrooper we see in Star Wars, and I found a definitive video explaining more types than I ever noticed. And I notice most things in science fiction films. One of the great things about Star Wars is the massive but oft-unmentioned world-building. The more you watch these movies, the more you notice.

So many Stormtroopers, so little time to spot them

Can you recall which movie features Shore Troopers? How about Snow Troopers, Riot Troopers, SandTroopers, Mud Troopers, and Scout Troopers?

Offhand, I can answer that. In order: Rogue One, The Empire Strikes Back, The Force Awakens, A New Hope, Solo, and Return of the Jedi/The Mandalorian. But that’s barely scratching the surface of Stormtrooper designs.

Some sweep by so quickly you have to stop the movies to catch the new armor and designs. Apparently, I missed a lot of brand new specialized Stormtroopers in Rise of Skywalker.

Also, Star Wars has a lot of Imperial & First Order Guard Troopers. These aren’t the same as the generic Troopers: they are elite. These are the scary ones in red that defend the Emperor and Supreme Leader Snoke. Honestly, in their scenes I mainly noticed they were red-suited, and often wore capes. Sometimes they used unique laser weapons and may have a touch of the Force.

I learned there’s a lot more to the Guard Troopers than I realized when I watched the clip below.

Lucasfilm made this video with real design crewmembers, and it’s incredibly detailed.

Obviously, the designers had a lot of fun creating these different Stormtrooper outfits. There’s a lineage that flows through the decades of storytelling in Star Wars. I’m impressed with the care and attention paid to even the smallest difference in helmet features and armor accessories.

Additionally, if you like Stormtroopers in general, and A New Hope specifically, this parody spoof Troops below is a must-see. It’s now part of my personal head canon on what went down that fateful, deadly day at the Lars Homestead on Tatooine.

“All suspects are guilty. Period:”

TROOPS – A Star Wars Parody Does COPS

Lastly, here is a high quality satire from Saturday Night Live taking place behind the First Order scenes with Kylo Ren and his off duty Stormtroopers, called Undercover Boss. Adam Driver is not to be missed as he sends up his pouty, emo character arc in The Force Awakens. I consider this head-cannon too. Why not? It fits right in.

Undercover Boss – A Star Wars Parody on SNL

Shallow – A Star Wars Parody

I never get tired of Star Wars parodies. Do you? I am mean, really, Star Wars is beyond iconic.

Here’s a good one for you. Lots of cool little nods to the movies. Notice the green milk. Luke sure loves his colorful lactose. Green, blue…all good.

Seriously, this song is just fabulous. I think I like it better than the original in A Star is Born.  Enjoy!

TROOPS – A Star Wars Parody Does COPS

Undercover Boss – A Star Wars Parody on SNL

I have a bad feeling about this…

Preview Movie Review – Bad CGI Sharks

bad cgi sharks
The lead shark looks better than anything in Jaws 2, actually.

RunPee was fortunate enough to secure a screener movie to review during our infamous, annual Shark Binge (which consists of just me, but I do this every year in the summer until even I get sharked out.)

Bad CGI Sharks is a strange beast (pun incidental). In spite of the “bad” name, the production values are solid, the on-location settings work, and the acting is frequently amusing. Even “Diane” — the main shark (when she’s not blitzing out in the computer lab) — looks pretty good, as she serenely swims through the air in the city. Diane’s CGI was far, far above the likes of Jaws 2, which I’m fairly sure had a bigger budget.

It’s Shark Diane’s cracked-out hench-sharks that lends the title its name. These sharks are cartoon-ish, meant as comic relief. I don’t understand their point, though, since they aren’t either funny or remotely menacing. I must have  missed something, so I passed this screener on to RunPee Sis — who’s RunPee’s resident Scream Queen — for her expert opinion.

Plot

What plot?

Okay, I’ll try again. Um. Sharks swim through the air in a city and attack people in their bedrooms. Often in their underwear. That’s all fun.

What I didn’t get is why the climax had to be on the beach. Granted, not even the main guys knew why they HAD to hit the beach, so I guess that’s just baked into the plot. Sharks have to be on beaches, right? Maybe the sharks themselves felt they needed to return to the sea in some obscure way, even though they knew they were digital.

Oh, and right. Yes, they knew they weren’t real. They were self-aware AI CGI sharks, created by the characters for the screenplay “SHARKS OUTTA WATER” the (twin?) boys were writing.

And their creations came alive.

A freaky deaky Frankenstein’s shark allegory is what we have here.

I wish it was just funnier. The trailer is GREAT, but it contains all the jokes that work. I hate when that happens. The trailer is hysterical, but better than the movie.

If you do nothing else here, watch this ingenuously funny 2 minute trailer: 

Character Development

There are the two brothers Jason and Mathew (using their actors’ own names) who are as different as can be, but get along sometimes: long enough to infrequently collaborate on their shark movie. And then get together long enough to realize their screenplay sharks ARE OUT THERE, eating people.

Still with me?

My favorite character was the computer tech, from whom Shark Diane demanded all kinds of weird upgrades. Said tech doesn’t have much to do, but when she starts corpsing (losing character) on the phone to the boys, I crack the hell up.

I mean, her character was supposed to be rattled and scared — the mean old air shark is right there in her office, ready to eat her — but it’s fine if the actress just lost it anyway, and that bit was left in in the script for fun.

It’s the best moment. Her lines are too ridiculous to not start a sort of crazed gurgling: “The digital shark has become self aware! How come the shark is aware?” <—–something like that. I giggled too. That was pretty fresh.

bad cgi sharks title sharks outta water
The Meta-film within the film is contained in this highly technical notebook.

Oh, and then there’s the ‘narrator’, played by Matteo Molinari as Bernardo. Or was he a kind of lunatic Greek Chorus? Meta-wise, he could have been the Script Editor. Whatever Bernardo was, his over the top antics were intentionally weirder than weird, and ironically made the film work better than expected.

Bernardo also gives us an entertaining Intermission segment, but don’t use that as a Peetime. It’s ludicrous, but in the good way. Me likee.

Bad CGI Sharks, Overall

I can’t decide whether Bad CGI Sharks fulfills its niche. Or what the niche really is. Is this comedy, horror, or film camp? I’m going with the latter — a straight up camp parody. And until I hear from RunPee Sis to back this up or not, I’m going to stick with “Intentionally Terrible”. On that basis, let’s say this is a proper C film, with a + tacked on for some great moments of wacky goodness.

Probably best seen stoned. Or if you appreciate amazingly awful flicks as an art form in itself.

Movie Grade: C+ 

Movie Review – 47 Meters Down: Uncaged

Movie Rewatch – Jaws – Still A Fantastic Blockbuster

First View Movie Review – Jaws 2

Movie Review – The Meg

Want to be a MIB? A Satirical Review of the Original Men in Black (1997)

men in black poster
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, out to save you from the scum of the universe

*Flash*

Everyone listen now: what you may think you just experienced is a house party with drunk teenagers and a crazy, lonely lady. In actuality, you traveled back in time 22 years to help us, the Men in Black, save the galaxy from an alien invasion. We’re looking for some new recruits and think all of you have potential, so you can call me Agent N. Let me explain what happened here today, so you can determine if you want to join us.

Let me set the scene. First, the Men In Black is an organization that keeps track of every alien life form not from Earth.

Second, we recently got a rookie named Agent J (former name Will Smith), who was partnered with our ace in the hole Agent K (former name Tommy Lee Jones).

Third, it just so happened that an alien bug decided to crash land here in search of something. We later found out he was looking for an alien prince hiding himself and a whole galaxy here on Earth. Long story short, the rook’s first day on the job somehow was smooth sailing — even though you may be hearing all of this thinking, “There’s no way this can go well”. No matter what you think, that’s the basics of what you need to know.

Now, let me explain some tiny details that might help you determine if you want to join the Men in Black permanently or not. Without a doubt, some of the jokes we like to crack on the job don’t land like we wish, but our aim is still pretty good. Especially between Agent J’s strong charisma and Agent K’s deadpan delivery, bouncing off each other.

You may also see some of our alien companions and realize they actually do look good, even though you all are from the future. Our 1997 technology advanced the human eye to make everything seem much better. When our alien friends are there, you can’t properly distinguish them from when they’re not there. And don’t tell them otherwise.

If you haven’t seen the report yet, consider this a warning. Our job may not be glamorous, even at the climax of our mission, which in this most recent mission was exactly the case. From what I’ve seen on the report, apparently all that happened was Agent J distracted the alien by swinging some sticks and getting flung around, while Agent K damaged the creepy-crawly in a slow but effective way…just for some girl from the morgue to give the final blow.

Everyone who has seen the report keeps talking about Frank the Pug and the Noisy Cricket, since apparently they stole the show. So if a dog they talked to for 3 minutes oozes enough charisma to leave a lasting impression, so can the Men in Black.

And of course, we need to have a moment of silence for Agent K…who at the end of his mission revealed that he wasn’t looking for Agent J to be a partner, but to be a replacement. For Men in Black agents who show no emotion to begin with, we were heartbroken to see Agent J use the neuralyzer on Agent K. Thankfully, we had a happy ending, but a heart-wrenching one at that.

Now it is time for you to decide if you’re going to join us in the Men in Black or not. If you are, you can stop here and you’ll get further notice later. If not, then let’s walk this way and let me explain what the neuralyzer is. ↓

……

……

A neuralyzer is a special tool we use to make sure you don’t remember anything we don’t want you to, so look right here at the red dot and…

*Flash*

…What you just witnessed here today is a couple of high school girls who decided to live it up a little after not going to any parties at all and instead spent all their time studying…

– – Written by RunPee guest writer Nicholas Collier, who secretly wants to join the MIB. Nick says, “I’ve been watching movies since I got my glasses in 5th grade. Movies are what I love, what I know, and what I aspire to create. Find me @LightCameraNick on twitter, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.”  

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Movie Review – Happy Death Day 2U – Still Fun, but more Sci-Fi than Horror

 

Movie Review - Happy Death Day 2UIt’s interesting to watch a sequel film that genre-hoppingly morphs from one thing to another. I’m not a horror fan, but genuinely loved Happy Death Day 1, probably because it had an emphasis on comedy, and the actual scares were light. It was creepy still, with the “uncanny valley” baby mask — shudders — but PG-13 enough for a horror-adverse weenie like me to enjoy.

Also, I’m a huge fan of movies paying homage to the Groundhog Day theme of repeating time loops.

So I was excited about Happy Death Day 2U and basically expected a re-run of the original. I was fine with that. I think we all were. The first movie was an unexpected joy that felt fresh and fun, with a character — starting off as a total jerk just like Phil Connors from Groundhog Day — that we could root for by the end.

What happened with 2U was unexpected. We started the movie following Ryan, Carter’s roommate, in what seemed to be a new loop centered around him. Things take a sharp turn early on, when we realize we’ve gone from a Groundhog Day movie to a loving homage of Back to the Future. It’s insidious and insistent, with Bear McCreary’s score latching onto several memorable notes from BTTF’s soundtrack. And just so you don’t miss it, the characters reference BTTF, and there’s even a wall poster for BTTF 2 on Carter’s wall.

It was about halfway into the film when I realized this wasn’t horror at all, not even on the low level the first Death Day was. This was straight up adventure and science fiction, with a bunch of nerds straight out of Weird Science taking the stage.

Tree (Jessica Rothe) is still the lead, but the character ensemble has grown, with the flick ultimately the better for it. These are likable characters, and if a third movie comes along (as is teased in the extra scene you must stay in your seats for), I’ll happily jump onboard for more wackiness.

Where the 2U falls flat is in the stakes business: we kind of don’t care what universe Tree lands in. There is mother stuff and boyfriend stuff, and it’s all rather melodramatic in a way the audience can’t really care for. Call it a bit overambitious.

We didn’t come to the sequel film for drama, right? Let’s keep right on the tonal course we fell for the first time: dark comedy, wacky light horror, and a thoughtful mystery that needed solving. The mystery this time was a dull afterthought. Honestly. I found myself distracted, taking notes that said, “What genre is this now? How do I grade this?”

I decided to take 2U on its own merits, and not necessarily that of a rote sequel. It’s an enjoyable galloping adventure story with bits of horror and some decent humor. On this level, I give it a solid B. That’s a few points below the A grade from Happy Death Day 1, but not for lack of effort. Good job, Universal Studios! If you go in for thirds, I’ll be there.

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: Happy Death Day 2U was hard to find Peetimes for, since it has a lean pace, and each scene is either funny, emotional, or boasts a good action sequence. I went with mostly the emotional scenes for the 3 Peetimes, since those were easy to summarize, and weren’t the main point of seeing this horror/comedy sequel. I’d use the 1st Peetime if you can plan for it.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Happy Death Day 2U. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG-13) for violence, language, sexual material and thematic elements
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller, Sequel

DVD at Amazon.com

Blue Ray at Amazon.com

Movie Review – Happy Death Day – Very Fun, Almost Cute Horror Film

In Da Club by 50 Cent – Video & Lyrics from the Happy Death Day 2U Trailer

Happy Death Day – Every “Day” We Watch, and Rewatch (Spoilers)

Happy Death Day – All the Clues to the Killer (SPOILERS)

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

Quotes Quiz – Movies with Groundhogs Day Themes

Russian Doll is the newest Netflix Addition to the Groundhog Day Loop Theme – and it looks GREAT

 

Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Everything’s Not Awesome

Elizabeth-Banks-as-Lucy
Lucy, being moodily awesome.

I was surprised how pleasantly musical the second official Lego movie was, with at least three, and perhaps four, really cheerily/moodily stand-out hits. The original Lego Movie only had the one notable Everything is Awesome tune. It was such an earworm that WB execs clearly decided to build on that base for the continuing adventures of Emmet and Gang.

The sweetest, least potentially irritating Lego song is this new version of the original Awesome pop hit. (Unlike, say, Catchy Song…)

Here’s a video to the Lego sequel’s soulful reprise of Everything is Awesome, both stirringly bleak and sneakily hopeful.  (So far I only can find an audio version, as the movie JUST came out. I’ll add a movie clip when it’s available):


Lyrics to Everything’s Not Awesome

 

[Chorus] Everything’s not awesome
Everything’s not cool
I am so depressed
Everything’s not awesome

[Verse] Whoa, I think I finally get Radiohead
Bro, you should check out Elliot Smith
What’s the point? There’s no hope
Awesomeness was a pipedream
Aye, my spirits be at the bottom of the sea
Love’s not real, I just wanna eat carbs, pass the ice cream
I am not a thing you can just use to fill emotional voids with
Stop, everyone, okay, just listen

[Chorus] Everything’s not awesome
But that doesn’t mean that it’s hopeless and bleak
Everything’s not awesome
But in my heart, I believe (I believe)

[Bridge] We can make things better if we stick together (If we stick together)
Side by side, you and I, we will build it together (Yeah, we’ll be together)
Build it together (Together forever)
All together now

[Refrain] This song’s gonna get stuck inside your
This song’s gonna get stuck inside your
This song’s gonna get stuck inside your
This song’s gonna get stuck inside your
Heart

[Chorus] Everything’s not awesome
Things can’t be awesome all of the time
It’s an unrealistic expectation
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try
To make everything awesome
In a less idealistic kind of way.
We should maybe aim for not bad
cuz not bad right now would be real great

[Bridge] Everything is better when we stick together (We stick together)
Side by side, you and I, we will sing it together (Always together)
Party forever (Together)

[Refrain] This song’s gonna get stuck inside your
This song’s gonna get stuck inside your
Heart…

(Written by James Rushent, Shawn Patterson, and Jon Lajoie. 2019. 
WaterTower Music: sang by Richard Ayoade, Chris Pratt, and Elizabeth Banks. Interpolates Catchy Song by Dillon Francis — Ft. That Girl Lay Lay & T-Pain)


The Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Catchy Song (This is song is gonna get stuck inside your head)

The Lego Movie 2 – Video and Lyrics to Not Evil (by Tiffany Haddish)

The Lego Movie 2 – Super Cool Song by Beck (video and lyrics from the end credit scene)