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 – Tangled

 

Movie Review - TangledI’m only 3/4 of the way through my first viewing of Tangled (yes, my 1st time) and I love it already so much I’m willing to give it an A+. Of course, they could screw it up during the climax and I’ll have to change my review, but so far I’m completely delighted.

Tangled: beautifully animated, very funny, and packs in a lot of adventure. I’m stingy with my A grades, and give almost nothing an A+, so this is a good endorsement from us at RunPee.

Great Characters

There’s a handsome Han Solo type of rogue. Which…yay! And of course there are amusing animal sidekicks. What’s cool is that both the horse and chameleon have a ton of attitude, which Disney doesn’t usually do. Actually, their “men” aren’t usually ‘jerks with a heart of gold’, except for Flynn here, and  Naveen in The Princess and the Frog. So this is kind of a treat. Ahem.

I smiled a lot, especially with the Snuggly Duck ruffians singing about their dreams. Really. What could be more cute than that scene?

This movie made me happy.

A Great Villain

Then there’s Gothel, the ‘wicked’ adoptive mother. She’s an awesome villain. Her songs are totally fun, and she’s actually nice to Rapunzel. She really is. She’s affectionate, goes out of her way to get Rapunzel a birthday gift, and gives the girl a decent life (albeit as a complete prisoner) with games, books, paints, a great kitchen, craft supplies, a lot of leeway for doodling all over the walls…pretty much anything one can do inside a nicely appointed tower.

Gothel’s not evil so much as selfish…but not completely unrelatable. She’s not about riches or power. She just wants to stay young and live. Ursula from The Little Mermaid is still my favorite Disney villain, but Gothel is surprisingly interesting. I liked her better than Scar from The Lion King, and he was previously my second favorite Disney villain. Good job, Tangled!

And a Disney Easter Egg or Two

I find one in the movie Tangled: a stylized depiction of Snow White’s Poisoned Apple painting on a stairway balustrade in Rapunzel’s Tower. Easy to miss, but it’s there.

Also, Rapunzel and Flynn show up at the Coronation scene in Frozen, which is pretty cool. Her hair is still short and brown. Disney doesn’t want to be a shared universe, but now that Pixar/Marvel have been absorbed by the Mouse, things are changing.

Tangled, Overall

I’ll be watching the last part of this movie tomorrow (I have to see Ad Astra tonight to get Peetimes) and really hope Tangled’s climax doesn’t let me down. I’ll be back soon to let you know if this is truly an A+ film.

UPDATE After Finishing Tangled: I’ll keep the A+. It met up with my expectations, even though I thought they could have wrapped up Mother Gothel’s story a little less gruesomely.  Put her in prison or something, like the Stabbington brothers, who were, you know, actually evil. I did love the return of the ‘dreamer’ ruffians, though. See? Some people are redeemable. (I really would like Disney to stop with the bad parent theme, like they did with Brave.)

Grade: A+

About The Peetimes: This Disney classic was re-released in theaters this Friday. When I do Peetimes for Disney Princess films, I do my best to avoid any songs, which is what most fans want to see. Some exposition or mild plot scenes are chosen instead, but are well-summarized in the synopses. Tangled has 3 good Peetimes, so you won’t be lost when you get back from the toilet. Pick any.

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

Rated (PG) for brief mild violence
Genres: Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Musical, Romance

Movie Review – The Little Mermaid

The Lion King – Rewatch Review of the Animated Classic

Movie Review – Beauty and the Beast

Movie Review – The Sun Is Also a Star

Movie Review - The Sun Is Also a StarI enjoyed The Sun is a Also A Star more than I thought I would, since romance flicks are not in my current job description.

The acting was pretty good, and I will say our two star-crossed lovers had great chemistry. The target audience — teenage girls — will not be disappointed. Charles Melton has the face of a fashion model, and exudes confidence in his role. And every young girl will want the face of Yara Shahidi, or at the very least, her hair.

Parents should feel comfortable taking their teens to see The Sun is Also A Star. It has very little cursing, no explicit love scenes, and no drug use. There is a thread running through the movie of destiny, hope, and perseverance — a good message for teenagers.

I’m giving The Sun is Also A Star a generous B-, based on the expected demographics. Their response to the chemistry between our two stars pretty much drives the movie.

Grade: B-

About The Peetimes: This movie is mainly dialog-driven, making it easy to find 2 good Peetimes — one of which is an Emergency Peetime — coming near the end of the movie.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of The Sun Is Also a Star. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG-13) for some suggestive content and language
Genres: Drama, Romance

Movie review : Love Happens

Movie Review – Long Shot

Movie Review - Long ShotThe only reason to see this movie is for the humor — and for that, there is there is plenty. However, this isn’t R-rated by accident. There’s some raunchy humor, and sometimes just plain raunch. If that’s not your style, then steer clear.

If you’re a political conservative, then be ready for some jabs at pretty much everything you hold dear. You’ve been warned. Although — I don’t want to give anything away — there is a little payback to liberals at one point.

The story is pretty much The American President with a gender swap between the main characters, and exchanging snappy dialog with raunchy humor.

The good thing is, the humor is pretty good, and there’s lots of it. The audience laughed out loud more times than I can count.

Grade: B+

About The Peetimes: We have 3 good Peetimes. I would recommend the 2nd Peetime, because it’s easy to summarize and has very little humor.

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

Rated (R) for strong sexual content, language throughout and some drug use
Genres: Comedy, Romance

Movie Review – After – Happy and Bittersweet Young Adult Romance

Movie Review - AfterI didn’t realize that this movie was based on fan fiction until after I saw it. That said, I don’t know how it stacks up against the book. I do intend on reading it now, because the story caught my attention.

It’s your typical young romance movie. There are happy moments and bittersweet moments.

I felt that it was really well done. The acting and chemistry between the two main characters was great, and the pace kept me interested the whole time.

I’m curious to hear from the book fans how they felt the movie was, so please leave a comment to let me know. Did this stand up to your expectations, or did it fall flat?

Grade: B-

About The Peetimes: I opted for 2 Peetimes, both work well without disrupting the flow of the movie.

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

Rated (PG-13) for sexual content and some college partying
Genres: Drama, Romance

Movie Review – Little – Nothing “Big” but a pleasant enough film

Movie Review - LittleLittle was an extremely funny movie. There were a ton of laugh out loud moments that had the whole theater cackling.

It was very predictable, but still enjoyable to watch. The humor overshadowed the predictability. The movie doesn’t really have any standout moments, but I’d definitely recommend it if you’re just wanting some laughs.

Grade: B-

About The Peetimes: Both Peetimes will give you plenty of time to take care of business.

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

Rated (PG-13) for some suggestive content
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

Movie Review – Five Feet Apart – Sweet, but just too depressing

Movie Review - Five Feet ApartYeah, yeah, it’s sweet and touching, but why would anyone subject themselves to a movie like this if they had a choice? I don’t like dramas, because I don’t like watching people suffer and die. Not my kind of film, and I’m annoyed at the entire enterprise. Can I recommend it? No. I just don’t get it. Life is tough enough without having to endure the pain of others.

A well-made movie but not fun, not uplifting, not funny, and I would never encourage anyone to spend an evening watching something like this. Go see Captain Marvel instead, and you’ll want to fly across the universe and kick some evil-doer arse. This film will just make you go home and cry.

Grade: C+

About The Peetimes: Here are 2 good Peetimes. Both will work well to get you through the movie without missing anything very emotional.

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

Rated (PG-13) for thematic elements, language and suggestive material
Genres: Drama, Romance

Movie Review – Alita: Battle Angel – Lighter, more Enjoyable than Ghost in the Shell

 

Movie Review - Alita: Battle AngelAlita: Battle Angel is a sort of YA version of Ghost in the Shell, and I’m not exactly thrilled to see the same thing re-done in so short a period of time. At least this one was more enjoyable, with better humor, more likable characters, and a universe that might be more interesting to explore if a sequel happens. And let it be clear: a sequel isn’t just hinted at in Alita. A sequel is guaranteed, if the movie’s ending is to be understood. It’s a cliffhanger, ya’ll. You should know this going in.

What’s good? [pullquote]The animation is seamless, and the battling Alita herself looks great, giant eyes and all. The Uncanny Valley is not even an issue here: “cute” bypasses the Valley entirely.[/pullquote] And cute Alita is. So is her boyfriend. And her ‘dad.’ It’s not a depressing film, unlike Ghost in the Shell, so it’s got that going for it.

I’m not even sure what else to say about this film because I wasn’t as impressed as I wanted to be. I saw a special early showing that was entirely sold out (my seat was in the literal front row, lending the 3D glasses a terrible viewpoint).

Clearly, the anime excitement and interest was there for this series, even if the presentation wasn’t as freshly new as I’d hoped. Also, while Rosa Salazar is adorable as Alita, she’s no Scarlett Johansson.

What is it about waifish cyborg girls and a future of augmented human bodies? Are we just our brains?[pullquote position=”right”] Can a brain-in-a-jar still be human? These are questions our progeny will have to address, and it comes up fruitfully here.[/pullquote]

I’m giving Alita a good B grade — it’s worth seeing on the big screen, and there’s potential for a decent franchise here. I smiled and laughed, and wanted to know more about the air city above the space elevator.[pullquote] Is the Earth used up? Is humanity lost and debased? And, ultimately, can a few good people influence the course of the future?[/pullquote] According to Margaret Mead, that’s all that ever can. Alita: Battle Angel seems to think we can too.

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: Here are 3 Peetimes of 3 minutes, nicely spaced apart. The 2nd and 3rd Peetimes are better. There’s a lot of action in Alita, so you’ll want to pick a Peetime to not miss the better scenes.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Alita: Battle Angel. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG-13) for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language
Genres: Action, Romance, Sci-Fi

Movie Review – Ghost in the Shell

 

Quiz – Scarlett Johansson – Not Just a Pretty Face

What is Animated versus Live Action in Alita – Battle Angel

Movie Review – Mortal Engines

Movie Review – The Terminator

Movie Review – Justice League (RunPee Jilly’s POV)

 

 

 

Movie Review – Isn’t It Romantic – Fluffy, Good Fun

 

Movie Review - Isn't It RomanticCan Rebel Wilson carry off the lead in a ‘Rom-Com’? Oh you bet she can, and Isn’t It Romantic is a great launching pad for her new status as a leading lady.

This movie was exactly as advertised: 88 minutes of pure fluff, but I say that fondly. I’m a little like Rebel’s character, Natalie; I don’t care for rom-coms. [I should point out that I very rarely watch and review rom-coms. I leave that to the more qualified RunPee Critics]. However, this piece of fluff was really funny.

The acting, pacing, and directing was spot on. Of course, as it should be, Rebel Wilson was the movie. Her sense of comedic delivery is second to none. My question is; why has it taken so long for her to get her own vehicle?

The supporting cast was awesome, and everyone looked like they were having fun making this flick. That’s one of my pet peeves — when you see a cast so wooden that you know they’re just phoning in their roles. Such was not the case with Isn’t It Romantic.

My one caveat is, I’m not sure how much the guys will go for the movie. Like I said, it is pretty fluffy. Maybe ladies…you can take your significant other to the go cart track afterward!

Grade: (Will be updated shortly)

About The Peetimes: Isn’t It Romantic is a short movie and tightly edited. There were no good Peetimes. I managed to select 2 Peetimes that, although important to the plot, could be easily summed up.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Isn’t It Romantic. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG-13) for language, some sexual material, and a brief drug reference
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

Movie Review – If Beale Street Could Talk

 

Movie Review - If Beale Street Could TalkIf you question what it means to be in love and not just love someone, If Beale Street Could Talk will truly give you clarity. This movie defines love while defying the odds. I was very enthralled in the plot of this movie, because every scene with Fonny and Tish seem to be intense in a quiet, subtle kind of way. The way that they looked at each other was like they were speaking without uttering one word or sound.

You know when you hear the phrase “life happens?” That’s exactly what happens to these childhood BFFs/high school sweethearts. This plot is not your normal black guy/black girl/white racist cop with his underroos in a knot. This story actually lays out how the racism affected two families, a pregnant 19-year-old, and a dreaming fiancee in such a way that everyone will empathize with the couple. Pay attention though, because the movie starts with Fonny in jail, and the scenes bounce between his life with Tish before he got there, and her jail visits. The love story is well laid out about the two naive young adults. I will say that I was drawn to Tish, because she seem to have a serious look all the time, as if she was unsure or not confident. I thought there was going to be an emotional explosion in some way to release her inner uncertainty…to no avail, though.

It was ironic that Tish and her family, along with Fonny’s dad, did all the fighting to try to free Fonny. Fonny’s mother and sisters were the epitome of bougie. They did not approve of Tish or her “low life” family. As soon as they walked in Tish’s mom’s house, I knew Fonny’s female relatives were a bunch of bible thumping, judgmental, and conceited women. Don’t worry though: Tish and her “female brigade” told off the Hunt women, to the point they left Tish’s house crying…looking for holy water to sprinkle on the door post on the way out…figuratively speaking. LOL!

I gave it a solid B for the good acting, especially Regina King (she never fails), the numerous comedic moments to lighten the mood, and the somewhat unique story twist, despite that the ending left you with a few unanswered questions.

I hope you enjoy this review. My theater attendees (mostly whites) sure did, so much so that they stayed afterward, discussing the movie. Walk in confused about love, but you’ll walk out love struck, and yearning to love everyone with just a little more intention.

TTFN (Ta Ta For Now), DanaSimone!

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: There are 3 Peetimes in this movie. Several of the scenes had no dialogue or did not yield to the importance of the plot so it was easy determining the Peetimes. I would use the 1st or 3rd one for sure but do not get sidetracked, come straight back as the plot thickens a little after each Peetime.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of If Beale Street Could Talk. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (R) for language and some sexual content
Genres: Crime, Drama, Romance

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