Ghostbusters: Women Empowerment vs. Coherence (Be Prepared for Ranting)

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Ghostbusters is a film directed by Paul Feig, (Bridesmaids, Spy) starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, and a reboot to the 1984 hit movie of the same name. Boy am I gonna have a lot to talk about.

The story of this movie is that three scientists and a subway token taker team up together. They try to prove that ghosts are real but mainly try to bust ghosts and save New York from paranormal apocalypse.

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Not too long ago I watched the original Ghostbusters from beginning to end for the first time. I really enjoyed what the movie had to offer. I thought some of the dialogue in the movie was brilliant and the chemistry between the characters was great. The movie had a serious tone for its time while still trying to be funny. Keep this in mind.

Despite what I just said, this isn’t exactly meant to be a comparison video to the original Ghostbusters movie, although I will be using it as a source to provide points throughout this review.

In terms of plot and how this movie unfolds, this movie is a lot like the original Ghostbusters. There are some tweaks here and there but in the end, the two movies are vastly similar. As with just about any movie I can think of, if a film like this follows a similar formula to another movie, perhaps in the same franchise, can be different too, I don’t really care, I would only like it if it is done with clarity, effort, and excellence. Does this film master in any of those specifications? Read to find out!

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The marketing campaign for this movie, at least to my concern, was deplorable. The first trailer became the most disliked trailer in YouTube history. I hated it too, in fact if you never knew, I did a full analysis on it because it seemed like the right thing to do. The future trailers were better but weren’t enough to make me think this movie would be good. Not to mention, it almost seems like propaganda to get people to vote for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. Something such as that isn’t really meant to fit in a Ghostbusters movie. Is the movie better than how it’s marketed to be? No way in hell.

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I’m gonna analyze each lead cast member for this film one by one, starting with Melissa McCarthy. She played the character of Abby Yates and right off the bat I hated her. Why? She had a really unlikable personality. Sure, I may have liked it when they were testing weapons, and she seemed to bring a little charm to it, JUST A LITTLE, NOT TOO MUCH. However, I saw her as a jerk at the beginning of the movie. First of all, she publishes a book which she and Kristen Wiig’s character have been working on without permission on her part, and she basically makes a big deal out of what she had delivered (or lack thereof) to her by a Chinese delivery guy. Also keep this in mind, this is the first “male” problem I have in this movie.

Up next is Kristen Wiig’s character, Erin Gilbert. In the first trailer, she was displayed as a quantum physics powerhouse. Out of all the female leads in this movie, she was probably the least annoying out of all of them. Not to mention the least cartoony. Despite that, Erin seemed pretty forgettable as a character for the most part.

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We now go to the unbelievably cartoony Kate McKinnon, or Jillian Holtzmann. If this movie were animated or made primarily for children, I would have liked this character more. Instead, it just reminded me of the following: 1. Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman. 2. Willy Wonka in Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 3. A mad scientist that tries to perfect their evil laugh, and has Einstein-like hair. What do these have in common? They’re all cartoony! Kate McKinnon is basically #3, minus the hair and laugh. Her character doesn’t entirely fit in a Ghostbusters movie, she’s more likely to fit on an animated TV show aimed at kids that airs on Nickelodeon.

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Now we get to Leslie Jones’s Patty Tolan. I had no hype for this character. I called months ago that she would end up as my least favorite character in a movie released in 2016. She was annoying, but not as annoying as I thought she would be. Nevertheless, I hated this character for multiple reasons. The movie displays her as a stereotype in some instances. As I saw in the previews, she came off as a stereotypical African American that seems to scream all the time. It’s basically what would happen if Samuel L. Jackson was a woman and became more annoying. Now, I’m NOT saying women are annoying, NEITHER am I saying Leslie Jones is annoying. I saw her on the revamped version of Match Game recently and she was funny on that game show, so you already know how I feel about her in person. Also, I never watched “The Exorcist,” but I feel bad for those who have and loved it, because Leslie’s character basically ruins an iconic line from the film. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’d know what I’m talking about. In fact, it’s even in the image above, so you can get your sneak peek there.

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Onto the guys now, Chris Hemsworth is also in this movie. He plays a secretary named Kevin. I’ve watched reviews of this movie before going to see it, and a popular opinion among the reviewers I’ve encountered along this matter is that Chris Hemsworth is the funniest part of this movie. Some of these people are saying that because Chris Hemsworth is playing a dumb character. I could agree with you, but then I’d be lying. A stereotype that often comes to mind is a dumb blonde. In this movie, instead of this role belonging to a female, a male got this classification. In all honesty, I wouldn’t have a problem with this… if it were a different movie. Why? This movie is based around girl power, and the fact they have this man here that’s incredibly stupid (not to mention not the first one to show up in the entire flick) makes Paul Feig, the brains behind this film, sexist. This baffles me to the max because there were so many arguments that everyone who worked on this movie, along with several people who anticipated this movie, had the idea that if you were a male and dislike this movie, it means you are sexist or hate women, which is incredibly stupid and a complete insinuation, because I didn’t like the movie all that much for many other reasons. Although to everyone complaining about women being in the movie, I get where you are coming from, but just calm the heck down. It’s a gender, not explosive diarrhea. By the way, Chris Hemsworth is not only displayed as a retard, but as a sexual object. Once again, this is something I personally wouldn’t usually have a problem with. Women are sexualized all the time in certain movies oriented towards guys. Also, this movie is technically supposed to be oriented towards women, but when the director actually ends up calling fans of the original Ghostbusters idiots, and Melissa McCarthy calls everyone who doesn’t like this movie a manchild or a basement dwelling loser who lives with their parents, it all adds up and makes me think that this is just something to make men look bad or like slaves to women. I also want to bring this up, one thing that I found coming out of Kristen Wiig’s character’s mouth are the lines of a perv when it came to Chris Hemsworth. This movie is somewhat aimed at kids, you might want to leave that out. Also compared to the original Ghostbusters, this is insulting. I’ve only seen the orignal Ghostbusters movie once, but looking back based on research, when comparing the two secretaries, the original wasn’t a dumba$s, and while she did feel attracted to the one of the original Ghostbusters, that wasn’t really a signature reason why she was kept around. I have a lot of thoughts on my mind about this character, but I’d probably be getting ahead of myself here.

The main villain of this movie honestly is just a flop. It’s basically what would happen if you take a nerd and decide “Hmm, I’m gonna make them look bad.” This baffles me because three of the four Ghostbusters are nerds too and they just want to defend the world, not destroy it. Which reminds me, this guy decides to unleash an army to cause havoc due to the fact that he has been tormented and left out for many years by others. To be honest, I get where he’s coming from. However, it just makes a giant mess. As I’m writing this, it almost sounds like another attack on guys, even though it really isn’t. This brings a question to my mind. Are nerds the villain? Or are nerds the hero? It seems obvious that Paul Feig is trying to bring us a lesson here, and if this is supposed to bring out anything in terms of a lesson, it fails. I’m willing to bet that this was inspired by Paul Feig’s hatred towards geeks. This to me however is somewhat intriguing to know because Paul Feig created the TV show “Freaks and Geeks,” which I haven’t seen a lot of, but it’s still good for what I’ve seen. By the way, there’s a quote supporting Paul’s disliking of geeks (end of paragraph). He eventually claimed to have corrected himself saying it’s a certain category of geeks that he can’t stand, however it was never clear to me that was the case after he corrected himself. Anyway if that is the case, it makes no sense. He sees geeks as some of the worst people that he’s ever seen, and if that were the case, he should have wrote in the script that this guy has an interest in something geeky. Examples can include video games, movies, anime, comic books, etc. Sure, this guy is building his own scientific machinery and everything, but so are the Ghostbusters. I’m not saying that a scientist or a mega-genius cannot be a geek, it’s quite likely that a good number of them are, but when you’re writing the script, I want maybe a little more background put in. The only difference between the two is that the Ghostbusters use their machinery for good and the other guy uses his for evil. The best way I can explain this is with two words: “mind-boggling.”

“Geek culture is home to some of the biggest a–holes I’ve ever met in my life…Especially after being attacked by them for months because of this ‘Ghostbusters’ project.”

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Not only do I blame Paul Feig for the final product, but I also blame Sony. This should have been Ghostbusters 3. I have never seen Ghostbusters 2, but I heard it was not as good as the first one. No matter how good or bad it turned out, this still should have been a sequel. Before seeing this movie, I found out about Ghostbusters: The Video Game, which came out a few years ago. Several sources suggested that this is the true “Ghostbusters 3,” which I’m fine with. Although if they took the original Ghostbusters and made them pass the torch to a later generation somehow, I would have liked this movie at the very slightest, a little more. I’m not done yet, when Sony found out about the flop of the first trailer, and the excessive dislikes it has gotten along with the horrendous amount of comments involving how people don’t like it, they eventually decided to keep all of the comments that were considerably misogynistic, racist, etc, and delete all of the “valid criticism” that displayed negativity towards the movie and dislikes it received on Sony’s video of the trailer. I have thoughts of Sony paying/forcing people to make positive reviews of the movie, along with them using fake YouTube accounts to make the movie look better, but I can’t say that they’re actually doing that because I don’t have enough evidence to back it up.

Did I mention just about every man this movie has is either an object, stupid, evil, or moronic? Yes, I did but here comes some detail behind it. Chris Hemsworth is buffed up and that’s why the girls keep him around, not to mention dependent, and became evil later in the movie (not a spoiler if you’ve seen the trailers). Bennie, the Chinese Delivery guy is being put down for not giving the right order to Abby Yates, and while Abby has a right to state her order was wrong it seemed like an overreaction, not to mention Bennie points out he didn’t arrive for a long time because he couldn’t get up a flight of stairs (for the record he wasn’t handicapped), it just infuriated me. The mayor in this movie was another attack. There were some similarities to the mayor in the original Ghostbusters but it’s still an attack. Zach Woods (Silicon Valley), was in the movie at the beginning. He was a tour guide and he actually does the horror movie cliche of making poor decisions. He wants to see what is behind a door. This isn’t really a spoiler, it’s the beginning of the movie, it’s a ghost. Just goes to show you he’s dumb. There’s a scene in a concert hall where the Ghostbusters come in, and they find the manager. He’s pleased that they’re there and he seems scared, which is understandable, but I was getting a vibe of stupidity from what he was saying. Not to mention he is more concerned about the theater more than anything else. It makes me think: Even the other people’s lives? Even YOUR life? There were cameos for the original Ghostbusters, except Harold Ramis (RIP), all were either dumb, awkward, moronic, etc. Dan Akroyd even once said “I ain’t afraid of no ghost.” As if it weren’t enough of a party pooper in a movie like this, it happened when Kristin Wiig asked him to take her to Chinatown during the final showdown of the film, Dan’s just like “No, I’m not taking you there.” If he was afraid of ghosts, this would be justifiable behavior, however he isn’t. Either that or he just is and Dan Akroyd was supposed to say that for showmanship. Just WOW.

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One thing I’m surprised I haven’t talked about is the amount of girl power that was meant to be represented in a movie like this. When you look at the entire movie, it doesn’t look like that. Sure, these girls are trying to find their place in society, but whenever this movie has a moment involving the opposite gender, they’re already brainless in the first place. Not to mention, if you’re gonna make a movie of feminist hopes, you shouldn’t really try to “kill” men per se. Sure, men die in this movie, but that’s not what I’m getting at. What I’m getting at is how this movie is mainly revolved around girl power, that they basically want to forget another gender.

This film also has holes, some of the big ones I noticed are capturing ghosts and putting them in a capsule. While that was stated in the movie that was a planned move, it only happened once. All the other ghosts in the movie were killed. Also, for the one that was captured, it was let go. Another one comes around the final battle in the movie. The Ghostbusters eventually become masters of stunts and action if you will. This makes no sense because these four women did tests prior to this, but none of those were on their skills in martial arts, or combat, or stealth, or anything along those sort of lines. ALL of the testing in this movie involved weapons. It’s basically taking these four women, the new Ghostbusters, and you suddenly turned them all into the Fantastic 4. It goes to show how much of a realistic cartoon this entire movie is. Cartoons are meant to work in cartoons, not HERE. This is a reason why The Flintstones movie was disliked by many. By the way, I haven’t seen all of it, but I’ve seen enough to know it’s bad.

One of the reasons why people loved the original Ghostbusters movie is because people thought it was funny, and with this review I’m probably making it clear that I don’t like this movie for a number of reasons. However, there is something a comedy probably could do to make me forget all of that, which is making me laugh. Did this movie do this job? Oh no it didn’t. Most of the jokes were unfunny, attacks on you-know-who, and references that just fell flat. Chris Hemsworth actually had a joke in one scene about bringing his cat to work, it almost worked but it just felt awkward based on how I already knew about the low IQ of this guy. There was even one scene where the Ghostbusters were talking about Patrick Swayze movies. These included Road House, Point Break, and Ghost (haha). The Ghost movie joke seemed necessary for the topic at hand, but the rest of the references felt out of place and there just for the sake of being there. The funniest moment in the entire movie was a reference to “The Shining.” What makes this more interesting is that I never read the book or seen the movie adaptation for this. Crazy, right?

The end of this movie is just horrible. Slimer is in this movie, and they actually seemed to get him right, that’s right, a prime positive is finally here! Speaking of which, Stay Puft was also in this movie, they RUINED him. That big marshmallow man that was stomping through the city like Godzilla with a smile on his face? Forget him, you’re getting this piece of roasted marshmallow garbage. I don’t want to ruin him for you, but if you watched the original Ghostbusters or have some familiarity with the franchise, you may be in utter disappointment when you see what they did to Stay Puft. Everything throughout the final battle is just overloaded CGI for the most part, and it reminded me of a Wii U game. I don’t mind overloaded CGI as long as it works, but knowing the franchise, it’s not a good mix. One last thing before I give this my official rating, the final villain these busters have to take down, is a PURE insult. It’s an insult to men, and an insult to the Ghostbusters fanbase. Yeah, more than Stay Puft.

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Ghostbusters is a massive troll. It tries to promote feminist values while at the same time, it bashes men for the whole movie. This goes out to girls everywhere, I get it, your gender doesn’t get a lot of attention in movies. It’s still male dominated. However this isn’t the movie you deserve. It makes you look bad, it’s not even a clear film to begin with. Also, the backstory behind this movie’s pre-production, production, and post-production makes me hate it even more. I’m gonna give the Ghostbusters reboot a 1/10. Women, this is not the movie you deserve. Directors, producers, everyone in Hollywood, a local studio, or anywhere for that matter, should remember that if a movie has a message or a lesson, it is best presented with effective movies. If this is also partially a way to make people vote for Hillary Clinton, I’m sorry but you’re manipulative a-holes. Can you imagine if at some point, the new Suicide Squad movie that’s coming out in August was propaganda to get people to vote for Donald Trump? It’s just unbelievable! Politics worked in the media before. It’s worked in The Simpsons and Family Guy. The difference between this movie and those two TV shows is that they make fun of everybody and everything. I’m sorry if I seem angry, I just didn’t expect a movie that I had very little hype for could actually be worse than I thought it was going to be. Also, just to let everyone know, I saw Star Trek: Beyond, I might not review it though because I never saw the other Star Trek reboots, Star Trek (2009), and Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013). Not to mention, I just started watching The Original Series, so I probably wouldn’t have as effective of a rating as I probably could. Stay tuned for more reviews, and sorry for rambling but I had to get it out. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

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The Secret Life of Pets: What Pets Do When You’re Gone

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The Secret Life of Pets is an animation brought to us by the company known as Illumination. They have created films like Despicable Me and Minions. Based on their decent track record with those films, it wasn’t odd for some people to have some hype for this film, and I’m not just talking about pet owners, animal lovers, etc, I’m talking about all moviegoers alike. Honestly, I never cared for Despicable Me, so I didn’t have high hopes for this film.

This year when it comes to animations, this may be one of the best years in that genre. Sure, last year we had the remarkable masterpiece of Inside Out but as far as animations go, that may have been the only one released last year that is still memorable to this date. Out of all the animations in the year of 2016, this has to be the worst I’ve seen so far. I’ve seen Finding Dory, Kung Fu Panda 3, and Zootopia, they’re all significantly better than this. Does that mean this movie sucks? No. It was decent, but we’ll come back to that.

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The main character of this movie is a dog named Max, when he was young, he was found in New York City, he was taken in by his then new owner, life continued from there, it was beautiful, it was great. However, when he got a little bit older, a new dog identified as his “brother” came into his apartment with his owner. They couldn’t really get along at first but it wasn’t too much longer until that aspect of the film went away. Here’s my problem with that though. There are some kids who take things too seriously, and part of me worries that they might take this dog a little too seriously, he starts making intentional messes in front of his “brother” and plans to eventually use him as a scapegoat. Part of me wonders if gullible young minds might take this as a lesson that when you hate a roommate, make a mess in the room, go to your parents, and tell them they made the mess when in actuality, you’re the troublemaker.

The opening sequence in this movie for me was something to rave about. It kind of makes me think that if one day I have kids (and I say kids because I’m not a pet person), and I leave them home alone while I go into work or do something else away from them, if they will act this way, or behave in a calm manner. Granted I was always left home alone when my mother went on errands, I was just relaxing, doing homework, and guarding the house. I liked it, and I still do it today. My favorite scene out of all of them in the sequence is when a dog’s owner leaves, there’s classical music playing on a stereo system. The door closes as the owner leaves, then the dog just immediately changes the song to a metal song. I didn’t hear many laughs when this happened though, probably because they showed this in the trailers.

The biggest surprise to me in this movie was Kevin Hart. In case you didn’t know, he’s in the movie playing a bunny, and he’s awesome at it. At this point, all I thought Kevin Hart would do in his career is movies that mostly be watched by an adult, but no. He ROCKS in this movie made for children. To me, he’s what would happen if you take Dug from Up, and make him a little less talkative, but scream at the top his lungs every once in a while. I won’t go into more detail because there are some major plot points that some people might get mad at me for giving out here.

One thing I really like about this movie is some of the humor. The movie does a good job at poking fun at certain things. For example, this movie is about pets, so what is a go to joke at some points? Cat owners vs. dog owners! This is done very well throughout the movie and probably somewhat true. The film even makes fun of traditional romances that you may see in certain movies. I could have rolling on the floor laughing, but then I would have been an embarrassment in a public movie theater. This is not a big problem the more I think about it, but if there was one thing I wanted to see more of, it’s poking fun at cats hating dogs, or dogs hating cats, perhaps a chase between the two.

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Chris Stuckmann, a YouTube movie reviewer, also saw this movie and reviewed it. In the video, he points out that this movie is basically Toy Story with pets. Now that I’ve seen the movie, I can get why he says that. However, I can’t fully agree with that statement. While it does take elements from the Toy Story movies (specifically 1 & 2), I wouldn’t say it is a complete ripoff. I won’t go into detail because some people might get mad, but there were some minor differences between the two movies. The movies were structured in similar ways, but looking back, they aren’t the exact same movie. I’d go ahead and say that this movie took a lot of inspiration from Toy Story, but it goes in a little bit of a different direction.

The Secret Life of Pets was a decent film, and probably the closest I’ve come to caring about Illumination. By the way, speaking of Illumination, there was a short before the movie having to do with the minions, it was pretty funny. I’m going to give The Secret Life of Pets a 6/10. Just some tidbits to be aware of, this was the first movie I saw in Showcase XPlus, which is Showcase’s premium large format experience. I cannot decide whether or not to post my thoughts about it, but if I do, stay tuned. Also, the new Ghostbusters movie comes out next weekend, and I plan to see it ASAP. I had no hype for it whatsoever, but I really need to see what this movie really is behind the curtain. Stick around, because Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

The BFG: Directed by the Human Bean Known as Steven Spielberg

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“The BFG,” also known as “Big Friendly Giant,” is directed by Steven Spielberg, it’s based on the book by Rohld Dahl, the author of titles like Fantastic Mr. Fox and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It’s about a girl named Sophie, she lives in an orphanage, and one night she’s awake during the witching hour. During that night, a giant is walking out near the orphanage, when all of a sudden, the two notice each other. The giant decides to capture Sophie, and takes him to his homeland, otherwise known as Giant Country. While up there, it turns out that this giant is a dream creator, he is the only one of his kind that’s actually nice to human beings, otherwise known as human beans from the giants’ perspective. Every other giant hates the giant that captured Sophie since he doesn’t eat humans (specifically children).

For the record, this movie was actually one of my highest anticipated movies of 2016. Reasons for this included direction by Steven Spielberg, music by John Williams, and especially a huge nostalgia factor, otherwise known as Rohld Dahl’s book. This book was read to me multiple times in elementary school, I read it a couple times myself, and I watched the “not so great” animation based on the book twice, once by myself, and another time in school. So yeah, I had high hopes for this movie. Although keep in mind, I’m not looking for similarities to the book, I’m looking for a good film. Judging by the movie’s trailers, that’s what I saw coming, and that’s what I got.

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Ruby Barnhill played Sophie in this movie. In all honesty she was awesome when bringing this character to life. The actress seemed to have her down to a science, she didn’t seem to daydream or overact like some child actors do. She knew when to bring in the right tone at the right time, she knew when to be calm, when to yell, where to look, etc. In a world where we have several child actors that are either annoying or slip up all the time, this is basically a sigh of relief.

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Mark Rylance plays the Big Friendly Giant, and I think it’s a great interpretation. I think it’s even better since he’s “friendly.” His voice matches with friendliness and it kind of reminds of someone who happens to be wise, despite how he has a speech impediment. By the way the actor is 56 so I wouldn’t say he’s old. One thing I love about him is the symbolism I saw throughout the film. He says he’s a giant, but looking at him compared to the other giants in the film, they are actually quite bigger than the BFG appears to be. That actually suits his character quite well as he doesn’t eat children, therefore further indicating him as an outcast.

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The relationship between Sophie and the BFG was another highlight to me. You can really sense the thoughts between the two living things, as this book comes to life on film. The chemistry worked between the duo and it moved the movie along quite well. During the second half of the movie, it felt very charming to watch the two develop in terms of their connection.

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In terms of the script, whoever wrote it or read it during production probably had the slightest bit of fun doing so. I loved hearing what the giants had to say, all the imaginative vocabulary was kind of funky at times and made me and my mentor, the person I came to see this with, laugh. Sure, it was taken from the book, but hearing it out loud in the movie sounded hilarious. Speaking of humor, this movie has an unbelievably funny version of one of the most overused jokes ever, specifically the fart joke. I won’t say what it is, because it will probably seem less funny when seeing the movie.

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The BFG is great movie for families and for those who read Rohld Dahl’s novel, adults and kids are probably going to like it, but I think depending on who happens to go see the movie, they’d like it better if they read the book first, because I think they might either get lost by some of the dialogue or what is going on throughout the film. I give The BFG an 8/10. Just an announcement, nothing is official yet, but I have an idea to review all of the past Star Wars movies, in honor of Rogue One coming out in December. I have no idea when each post will be released, but I’m reviewing each film from The Phantom Menace to The Force Awakens. Stay tuned, because Scene Before is your click to the flicks!