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

Movie Review – Playmobil: The Movie

Movie Review - Playmobil: The Movie I’m thinking the little tykes from ages 2 to 6 will enjoy this movie. My great granddaughter, age 6, has been an avid watcher of the Playmobil videos on YouTube for several years. I honestly think children older than 7 or 8 will be bored with this simple animated film.

I found the movie irritating, frenetic, and loud. So loud. Most parents will feel the same way, plus there’s no adult humor for us to snicker about, like we see in the fine Lego movies.

I’m sure there is some sort of plot, and maybe even a message to kids in there somewhere, but the dialog was so unintelligible that one can only guess what it was.

An average grade of C is the best I can give Playmobil: The Movie.

Grade: C

About The Peetimes: As with most animated films, this gave me several opportunities to get good Peetimes. Both are of equal length, so let your little one’s bladder decide which to use.

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

Rated (PG) not available
Genres: Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family

Movie Review – The LEGO Movie

Movie Review – The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

Are the Four Lego Movies Sequels or Prequel Films?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more about the Baseball story here.

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

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

Read more about the political subplot in Knives Out here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Movie Review – Knives Out

 

Movie Review - Knives OutKnives Out is an absolutely delightful mystery about some really horrible people. The stellar ensemble cast works wonders together and Rian Johnson’s tale doesn’t cheat — the clues are all there. And even if you figure out WhoDunnit before the end, you’ll still be thrilled at the fun you’re having along the way.

Knives Out is clever, amusing, and really sings best when it showcases the awful members of Harlan’s dysfunctional extended family.

Chris Evans, in particular, seems to relish playing a jerk after all those years as Captain America. And Daniel Craig is just this side of ridiculous as a Kentucky Fried Detective. (You know he’s loving this. Not a hint of Bond to be seen.) Jamie Lee Curtis chews her nasty dialog with glee, and even Don Johnson (yes, that Don Johnson) is a lot of fun. Everyone brought their best game. I have a feeling a lot of actors wanted to get in on this film, which writer/director Rian Johnson apparently spent a decade trying to make happen.

While parts of the movie recall this year’s Ready or Not (with another amusingly abusive family and murder most foul), Knives Out also bring to mind the classic mystery comedies Clue (from the 80s) and Murder By Death (from the 70s). Note that all four of these films feature lush, iconic, and mildly creepy mansions.

And now I want to collect daggers and make my own Game of Thrones-style seating area. Really. That is some demented shit. I loved this movie and suspect you will too.

Grade: A-

About The Peetimes: This was very difficult to get Peetimes for, as there are a lot of characters whose names kind of flit by, and it’s hard to tell what will or won’t be a clue later. I have 3 Peetimes, nicely spaced out, that won’t leave you lost. I Recommend the final one.

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

Rated (PG-13) for thematic elements including brief violence, some strong language, sexual references, and drug material
Genres: Comedy, Crime, Drama

Top 5 Whodunnits in Film

Movie Review – Ready or Not

Movie Review – Frozen 2

Movie Review - Frozen 2Obviously, I’m not grading this movie based on how well I personally enjoyed it. I, a 52 year old man, live in a galaxy far, far, away from the target audience of pre-teen girls.

I’m confident that the aforementioned young girls will be delighted with every moment of the movie. In particular, I think my 6 year old niece is going to obsess over getting a water horse doll for Christmas. (Mission accomplished, Disney marketing department.)

That being said, I don’t think this movie will have the cultural impact the first did. Again, I’m not the target audience, but it didn’t feel like there was a musical number equivalent to “Let it Go” in this sequel.

Plus, the plot felt muddled. The first Frozen had very clear motivations for the characters. Frozen 2 has the plot complexity of a Fast and Furious movie: arbitrary plot devices as an excuse to have another car chase. Except in this movie it’s arbitrary plot devices as an excuse for another song.

I would suggest that mom and dad flip a coin to decide who “gets” to take the kids to see this. This isn’t Pixar. There’s not much adult entertainment. About the only relief we get are a few moments of Olaf wisdom that are chuckle-worthy.

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: No songs were used in the making of any of these Peetimes. 🙂 The three Peetimes we have are all pretty good, but we recommend the 3rd, and last, Peetime. The movie is really about 1 hour and 30 minutes long, not including the 12 minutes of credits.

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

Rated (PG) for action/peril and some thematic elements
Genres: Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Sequel

Frozen Adventures You May Have Missed

Movie Review – Charlie’s Angels

Movie Review - Charlie's AngelsCharlie’s Angels wasn’t that bad. I’ve never been a fan of the franchise, but I personally liked this one the best.

Kristen Stewart was pretty darn good. Normally all I see is Bella Swan, but not once during this did I see her that way. She really had a spark to her.

The plot was pretty predictable, but the acting made up for it. There were some funny moments and little things passed around that gave you the essence of humor, not the slapstick in your face kind.

There were a few twists that I didn’t see coming and that pleased me. All in all, it was decent. I would probably list this as a “curl up on the couch and watch” kind of movie, but I did see it in Dolby Surround and it sounded great. So if you’re really into how this movie sounds and feels, check out the Dolby version.

Grade: B-

About The Peetimes:  Two good Peetimes, nicely spaced apart. 

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

Rated (PG-13) for action/violence, language and some suggestive material
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy

The Essential Kristen Stewart

RunPee Sis’s Movie Review – Jojo Rabbit

Movie Review - Jojo RabbitJoJo Rabbit shocked me. I hadn’t heard a peep about it, knew nothing going into it…and walked out in love with what I had just seen.

This movie was a work of art. Hollywood produces some great flicks to amuse us, and some not so great ones, ones where people can just get paid. JoJo Rabbit told a story from a perspective that hasn’t been done to my knowledge and was masterfully produced.

Every single character in this movie had that certain spark that’s hard to come across anymore…no matter if they were good or bad or ugly. These actors did something amazing, each and everyone of them.

This is something I thought I’d never say: Hitler was my favorite. OMG, every moment of his screen time had me in stitches!! This spin on him was so perfect that I’m going to watch it again. I’m going back tonight just to enjoy it.

Grade: A+

About The Peetimes: So much happens in tiny bursts that Peetimes were incredibly hard to find. It was hard to duplicate them for you. I was able to give you a sense of what’s happening, but the body language in this movie was very poignant and said so much in itself.

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

Rated (PG-13) for mature thematic content, some disturbing images, violence, and language
Genres: Comedy, Drama, War

Read also Golden Man’s Movie Review of JoJo Rabbit, and check out the interesting comments going on! Did you realize there is an entire “Funny Hitler” movie genre, oddly enough? Remember, three of anything makes a collection:

Golden Man’s Movie Review – Jojo Rabbit

Movie Review – Playing with Fire

Movie Review - Playing with FireI give high marks to this movie for the recognition it gives to the first responders out there risking their lives for us. And to show our younger generation that not all heroes wear spandex.

Playing with Fire itself is a decent movie. I think the target audience is the kiddies between six and twelve who’ll enjoy the bathroom humor, watching things get set on fire, and things crashing.

Parents will have a few laugh out loud moments, especially when John Leguizamo is reciting quotes from history. I especially liked Keegan Michael Key’s character, who showed a surprising range of emotions.

I did have one, ‘what were they thinking?’ moment when John Cena’s character was out in the woods taking a dump, while holding a three-year-old little girl in front of him. Really! Granted, he did have pine fronds covering his parts — but why would anyone think this was funny, and better yet — why was it even needed? I could almost feel the uncomfortableness coming from the adults in the audience. No one was laughing. Poor little Zoey; it seems she was only included in the cast for the bathroom humor.

Despite that one scene, I’m giving Playing with Fire a solid B.

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: This was an easy film for Peetimes, even though there’s plenty of action. I included a 3rd Peetime as an Emergency, since it comes so near the end of the movie, but it will save you from long bathroom lines after the film.

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

Rated (PG) for rude humor, some suggestive material and mild peril
Genres: Comedy, Family

Movie Review – Last Christmas

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

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

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

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

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

Grade: B

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

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

Movie Review – Arctic Dogs

Movie Review - Arctic DogsI just saw a headline that questioned if a child under five should see Arctic Dogs, due to rude humor and lots of action. My question is; would children over five want to see this film? It’s not a boring movie by any means. I truly enjoyed it, but it seems that the generation, of which my six year old great granddaughter is a member, is getting more sophisticated in their viewing preferences. My point is, anyone –even those under five will like this film — it provides lots of color and movement, and that’s what the kiddies, and some adults, like.

I was happy to see the movie touched on global warming, a subject children should be made aware of as early as possible. Arctic Dogs did a fine job teaching perseverance in the face of adversity — you know, like a fat walrus, with the voice of John Cleese — trying to melt the Arctic. Our little white hero Swifty showed if you want something bad enough, like being a Top Dog, no sacrifice was too large to make. Good for him.

Jeremy Renner did a fine job giving personality to Swifty, and Heidi Klum was excellent as Jade, Swifty’s love interest. And doesn’t John Cleese make the perfect gentleman villain? But James Franco’s character Lemmy just grated on my nerves.

Arctic Dogs will win no awards, but it’s still a fun little movie.

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: This is a short movie needing only 2 Peetimes. Let your bladder decide which is best for you.

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

Rated (PG) for some mild action and rude humor
Genres: Action, Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family, Fantasy

The Cast of Voices for Arctic Dogs