Movie Review – Black Christmas

 

Movie Review - Black ChristmasI was so excited to find out I was going to get to see Black Christmas on Friday the 13th! It’s always been a lucky day for me, until today. Today …that trend ended. I was so disappointed with Black Christmas.

Let me first state that I have not seen the original. I didn’t even know this was a remake until I read the trivia on IMDb. I’m ashamed to admit that, since I’m a huge horror movie fan.

The plot sounded good, the trailers were enticing, but the main thing that dragged it down for me was the actors themselves. I didn’t feel anything for them. Riley, the main character (Imogen Poots), is a pretty good actress, but in this she seemed to fall flat. Her backstory was a good starting point, but they didn’t make me feel bad for her. She seemed stiff and emotionless. That irked me right away.

The supporting cast was the same. There were a few I was actually looking forward to seeing their untimely demises. That sounds harsh, but it’s the truth. This leads me to the directors…was it their fault? Perhaps, but nonetheless I didn’t really care for it.

I’m being generous, giving it a C- purely for the fact that I loved the sets. They were great, they did a really good job on the location.

Grade: C-

About The Peetimes: This is a super short movie so hopefully these 2 Peetimes should do it for you.

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

Rated (PG-13) for violence, terror, thematic content involving sexual assault, language, sexual material and drinking
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller

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 – The Good Liar

Movie Review - The Good LiarMirren and McKellen are the Crown Jewels of British drama. Seeing them together is a treat which I can’t believe has been so long coming. Then there is Russell Tovey, who has got hours of TV screen time racked up on this side of the pond and should be in a lot more films as well.

The story itself rattles along at a fine old pace and the flashback scenes show there is a lot more going on behind how the characters are behaving and what they are saying. As Betty (Mirren) says at the end, “it’s deeper than it looks,” especially if all you’ve seen are the trailers!

Grade: B+

About The Peetimes: This genre of movie thrives on leading the viewer astray, and it is easy to lose track if you’re not paying attention. However, I think I’ve got some Peetimes that can be easily summed up or don’t really drive the story along.

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

Rated (R) for some strong violence, and for language and brief nudity
Genres: Drama, Thriller

Movie Review – Countdown

 

Movie Review - CountdownCountdown was a fun little flick. I enjoyed it — there were some scare moments balanced with just enough humor to add to its overall balance.

In today’s world, we are all attached to our phones. They’ve become an extension of our hands. In Countdown, they become your own personal countdown to death.

Yes, there’s an app for that.

It’s a pretty short movie and they did a great job keeping the flow going. No boring moments here.

The part that appealed to me the most was their use of religious figures. Father John rocked the screen. He was awesome! I’ve never seen them take the route Countdown did. He listened to rap music in his study while smoking, and his passion was demons. He was too cool.

If you’re looking for a movie that won’t terrify but simply entertain you, try this one. I’ve got no complaints.

Grade: B+

About The Peetimes: You have 2 choices for this very short movie. I highly recommend the 1st Peetime. The 2nd Peetime contains some character development that comes into play later in the movie.

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

Rated (PG-13) for terror, violence, bloody images, suggestive material, language and thematic elements
Genres: Horror, Thriller

Movie Review – Joker

 

Movie Review - JokerI have a feeling a lot of people will really like this Joker movie. Personally, I don’t understand how this film can even come close to the MCU and their best films. It’s not funny at all, like EVER, and doesn’t involve any of the Justice League members. I have to admit that we’ve had a lot of Jokers over the years that don’t give us much fun. I don’t even think I like any of the Jokers we’ve seen, except maybe Mark Hamill as the Joker in the animated Batman TV series.

Sometimes going back to the well works. I mean, look at Tom Holland against all the Spider-Men we’ve had in the last decade. We finally got a great one! Holland’s beloved, with good reason, after the other Spideys that had both great and awful qualities in the end. Which is a whole other conversation.

Another comparison: by Thor: Ragarok, Marvel finally figured how to handle The Mighty Thor (with great comedic timing). Right? This improved the entire MCU and gave Chris Hemsworth a new lease on super life.

So, what is the deal with the DC comics not being able to make consistently enjoyable films? The studio is all over the place, and fans aren’t sure what to expect. How does a delightful outing like Shazam fit in with the gritty Batman trilogy? And do all these Jokers fit within one continuity? I think we have to accept they don’t.

I’m looking forward to seeing James Gunn’s work on Suicide Squad 2 and hopefully, he’ll make it as amusing as Guardians of the Galaxy. But don’t expect Joker to be amusing at all. This film feels more like Logan , the X-Men standalone, (to which we gave an A+) than anything else. Or at least maybe that’s what this film tried to be. Joker is depressing, and deep, but filmed well, with a lot of care to the details.

Do you want a superhero/super-villains film? If you’re a huge Joker fan, I don’t think this is your film.  It just has nothing “super” in it. Really. It’s a dramatic movie, very traumatic, and more than a bit weird.

I initially gave Joker a C+, but today I upgraded it to a B-, for being a good drama that spins an unusual take on the iconic Joker role.

K, thx. Can we stop rebooting Jokers for a while now?

Grade: B-

About The Peetimes: There is a lot of plot and character development here, making it hard to get Peetimes as the events unfold. I recommend the 2nd Peetime for a nice long break. Try to use it proactively in this 2 hour movie.

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

Rated (R) for strong bloody violence, disturbing behavior, language and brief sexual images
Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller, DC

Guardians of the Galaxy Ex-Director James Gunn to Direct Suicide Squad 2

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Movie Review – Rambo: Last Blood

Movie Review - Rambo: Last BloodFirst off; if you’re a fan of all the other Rambo movies, you are going to love Last Blood. He does some major damage to the bad guys, and isn’t this why these movies have so much appeal? The violence in this film was so very graphic, that I did have to turn my head and look away a couple of times. But again, isn’t this why we continue to go back to see John Rambo do his thing? He has certainly perfected the art of killing in some very creative ways.

Even though this Rambo is as predictable as all the other movies, I still enjoyed it it. Just as Stallone was able to bring the original Rocky back for each of the movies, he brought the essence of the first Rambo back to complete this bloody saga. It was fun to see Stallone still able to look and act as menacing today as he did in 1982.

The pacing was very good. There were no protracted dialog-driven scenes, and better yet, no unnecessary love scenes. I can’t really comment on the writing, because most of the time I couldn’t understand what Sylvester was saying. He is much better at shooting than speaking.

So, if maybe you’ve had a frustrating week and need to blow off a little steam, just head for you’re local theater, buy your ticket for Rambo: Last Blood, get a good seat, and live vicariously through the last 20 minutes of this movie. You’ll be a new person walking out of the theater.

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: There was a great deal of plot and character development in the 1st 1/2 of the movie, and a great deal of action in the last 1/2 of the movie, making it a little difficult to find a down time long enough for a Peetime. Fortunately, just about 1/2 way through the movie, there was 4&1/2 minutes of exposition that could be missed, since it was easily summed up in the synopsis.

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

Rated (R) for strong graphic violence,grisly images, drug use and language
Genres: Action, Adventure, Thriller

Movie Review – Don’t Let Go

Movie Review - Don't Let GoMy personal opinion: I loved it. The movie starts off fast and keeps gaining momentum, hurtling us toward an incredible ending.

It’s action packed. The story was interesting and the acting was superb.

I don’t know why so many people are trashing it. I’ve read about thirty reviews talking about how this story has been done before. People are referencing Frequency; sure it’s similar, but helloooo?? Does anyone recall the 11 Halloween movies, or perhaps the 11 Friday the 13th movies? I can think of at least 5 Groundhog Day themed movies. My point is, there are so many movies, that finding a truly original script is becoming almost impossible.

(Unless you’re Quentin Tarantino. He’s original and prefect all the time, every time.)

I’m not going to say one word about the story development. I recommend trying to avoid seeing blurbs about the ending. The surprise of the finale is well worth the effort of avoiding any type of news covering Don’t Let Go.

I’m giving it a solid A. I was pleasantly surprised by it and hope you’ll enjoy it just us much as I did.

Grade: A

About The Peetimes: I highly recommend the 1st Peetime. This movie bounces back and forth in time and it will confuse you, even if you look away for a second.

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

Rated (R) for violence, bloody images, and language
Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

Movie Review – Ready or Not

Movie Review - Ready or NotReady Or Not, here I come with my review.

This was an awesome movie. I had so much fun watching it, just like playing hide and seek when I was a kid…kind of…we didn’t have all the cool weapons and no one ever died.

I loved the originality. I’m trying to think of another movie to compare it to, but I’m at a loss. It was refreshing to see something totally unique.

The entire cast brought pizzazz to the screen. I lost count of how many lines I laughed at. The delivery and timing was spot on. That tells me not only were we working with great actors, we had great writing and direction.

Let me mention one more thing without giving out any spoilers. I saw the trailer no less than twenty times. I thought I had a pretty good grasp of what I was going to see. I was wrong. Granted, that never, ever happens (me being wrong) but when it does happen, I don’t usually like it. In this case, I was very pleased.

You’ll have fun with this one. I certainly did.

Grade: A+

About The Peetimes: I have 2 Peetimes for this short movie. The 2nd one is long and has some of the most cringe-worthy scenes, in case that kind of thing bothers you.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Ready or Not. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (R) for violence, bloody images, language throughout, and some drug use
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Movie Review – Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Movie Review - Scary Stories to Tell in the DarkScary Stories to Tell in the Dark thoroughly entertained my 6 year old granddaughter. I found myself slightly bored.

For starters, I was expecting a more mature horror movie based on the previews I saw. I didn’t realize that it was from a series of books written in the 1980’s. I wish I would have known that before I saw it.

So keeping that in mind, I gave it a better grade than I was originally going to. I’d compare this movie to the Goosebumps series. It will be a great movie for let’s say, the junior high school kids, perhaps freshman in high school also.

There was a few moments that screams of fright escaped from the audience. One in particular got me too. No spoilers here though. I think this movie would be perfect for a slumber party night.

So if your teen aged daughter or son ask you to take them to see it, you won’t be terribly bored. It has its moments that you’ll enjoy.

Grade: B-

About The Peetimes: I’ve got 2 Peetimes for you to choose from. I recommend the 1st one. It’s your best choice, but the 2nd is just in case you need it a little later in the movie.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (R) No rating.
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Movie Review – Annabelle Comes Home

Movie Review - Annabelle Comes HomeI enjoyed Annabelle enough to garner a solid B+. I was hoping for a perfect A, but wasn’t blown away.

It’s a good movie. There were several times I had chill bumps over my entire body and the audience seemed to share my feelings. I heard a bunch of screams and I was lucky enough to be in a lively theater. (I love hearing people talk to the screen.)

I’m wondering if they are going to keep this franchise going. They have the perfect in with the daughter Judy. She has the same talent as her mother — Lorraine Warren. I’d like to see more of this elusive doll. There is something fascinating about Annabelle that draws me in.

This weekend we have plans to go back and see it as a family. Yes, we are taking the grandchild, because that’s how we roll. Our amazing Savannah is going to be turned into Annabelle. She will be a perfect recreation of this ever-so-popular doll.

It’s a fun film I will recommend. They were able to weave in plenty of humor, which is why it stood out. When you can be scared to the point of jumping, and in the very next moment you laugh, that’s a job well done.

Enjoy yourselves, and if you see a little Annabelle running around the theater, fret not, it’s just Savannah…or is it?

Grade: B+

About The Peetimes: There are 2 great Peetimes to use. I highly recommend the 2nd one since there is absolutely no dialog.

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

Rated (R) for horror violence and terror
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller, Sequel

The Conjuring – movie review

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Movie Review – The Nun