Star Wars Episode VIII has a New Title! *SPOILERS FOR STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS*

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here with another update! One of the biggest pieces of news I heard earlier this week, which probably made me partially forget that Donald Trump’s in the White House which is also a big piece of news, is that Star Wars Episode VIII has a new title, what is that title? That title is “The Last Jedi!”

One of the bigger questions that has been going around the Internet lately is the meaning of the title. If you are a hardcore Star Wars fan like me, you probably already know what a Jedi is. If not, well then hello my name is Jack and I love Star Wars, PLEASE WATCH IT. A Jedi is someone who has magical (or scientific according to the prequels which I don’t accept) powers and can use something called the force. The force can be useful when fighting, moving objects around, etc. It’s almost like a religion if you will. They often carry around lightsabers too, which are awesome. Now that we have that covered, let’s get to the real question, what does this mean? Well, when it comes to the word Jedi, it has been shown that the plural of Jedi is the same word as the singular version, so it is quite possible that this movie focuses on the last group of Jedi. The Jedi are very interesting group, they’ve already had a huge downfall in between “Revenge of the Sith” and “A New Hope,” and based on “The Force Awakens,” Rey may have been one of the only Jedi in existence in that film’s setting. Also, one thing to consider when it comes to this, is the character of Luke Skywalker.

Luke Skywalker may be arguably the most well known movie protagonist of all time. Anyone who grew up with Star Wars would know who he is. Also if you saw “The Force Awakens” you’d know Skywalker’s in the movie at the very end for a second and then we go to a cliffhanger. Without a doubt, I bet one of the first scenes in the next film will contain Rey and Luke in the same scene. With that being said, I’d bet Skywalker would probably get more screen time than he did in Episode VII. With THAT being said, the screen time he’ll probably get, based on my sad predictions, will probably contain his death. Luke Skywalker may die and Rey will become the last Jedi.

Also, let’s keep another thing in mind if you have seen “The Force Awakens” it states that Luke Skywalker is the last Jedi in the opening crawl. Not to mention, Supreme Leader Snoke says that the map that everyone was searching for will soon be delivered to the Resistance, leading them to “the last Jedi.” Then in the next sentence, he states “If Skywalker returns, the new Jedi will rise.” He’s referring to Luke as the last jedi, and even though she hasn’t truly discovered her power yet, he’s probably referring to Rey as the new Jedi.

Or, if there are more undiscovered Jedi that will be in the next movie, it is quite possible that the next movie will have a dark vibe and kill all of those Jedi off, either leaving just Rey, Luke and Rey, or a small amount of Jedi including Rey (possibly along with Luke) as the last Jedi. I doubt that this will happen, but it’s something I thought I’d get out of my mind.

Speaking of dark vibes, let’s take a look at the font. If you notice the “Star Wars” logo you may notice it is in red font. You know what other Star Wars movie had red font in one of its posters? “Revenge of the Sith!” You know how dark that movie was? It was the first “Star Wars” to get an MPAA rating higher than PG and it includes people getting slaughtered left and right, along with Anakin Skywalker KILLING CHILDREN. The red font may be a key symbol of darkness to come.

Let’s keep another thing in mind too, this is the second movie in a trilogy. “The Empire Strikes Back” has been rather well known for being somewhat dark, like when Luke’s hand gets cut off, or when Han gets taken by Boba Fett, or when the movie ends on a cliffhanger. Also, if you remember “Attack of the Clones,” Anakin also gets his hands cut off in that movie, maybe Rey might get a hand cut off in this movie in some dark way.

I don’t know the real meaning of this title, however it doesn’t mean that there can’t be assumptions, if anyone knows the true meaning let me know, and if you have a theory on what this title means, please leave a comment! I just hope that Luke doesn’t die in this film, it might scar me a bit. It might make the movie better, but at the same time, I don’t want it to happen. So if you like this post and you want to see more, stay tuned for my future content and reviews, also check out everything I’ve done in the past as well. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

xXx: Return of Xander Cage: Welcome 2017! *SPOILERS FOR “XXX: STATE OF THE UNION*

Alright folks, 2017 is here! I already reviewed a few movies this year (Manchester by the Sea, La La Land, and Sing), however, it is time for me to do my first review of a movie released in this current year, so without further ado, let’s begin talking about “xXx: Return of Xander Cage!”

“xXx: Return of Xander Cage” is directed by DJ Caruso (Eagle Eye), and is the third installment in the “xXx” series. This film stars people such as Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Deepika Padukone, Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries), Ruby Rose, and Toni Collette. Now let’s move onto–

*Random stalker pops through my door*

RANDOM STALKER: Excuse me, Jack?

ME: Yeah?

RANDOM STALKER: I can’t help but overhear you with my supersonic hearing, aren’t you forgetting somebody important in the cast?

ME: No. I think I have everybody.

RANDOM STALKER: I beg to differ.

ME: What? Really? I think I have everyone.

RANDOM STALKER: No you don’t.

ME: Oh, come on now, who could I be forgetting?

RANDOM STALKER: Samuel L. Jackson.

ME: He doesn’t star in the movie!

RANDOM STALKER: But his role is important, you must recognize what his character does for the movie.

ME: Doesn’t change the fact he didn’t star in it! It’s my review, I’m the reviewer, I’m the editor, let me do what I want!

RANDOM STALKER: Just put him with the stars.

ME: I won’t.

RANDOM STALKER: Just do it.

ME: *Sigh* *Digs into pocket*

RANDOM STALKER: What are you doing? You gonna shoot me?

ME: *Takes out wallet, grabs a $1 bill* Here’s a dollar, now get out, I’m busy.

RANDOM STALKER: I don’t want your money.

ME: I have an idea. I’ll do what you want, but I’m gonna do it my way.

RANDOM STALKER: Alright, any way you can put the fellow in would be great.

 

OK guys, let me start over. This film stars people such as Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Nina Dobrev, Ruby Rose, Toni Collette, and FEATURES Samuel L. Jackson.

RANDOM STALKER: Hey! That’s not enough! His role is pretty big to the–

ME: I freakin gave you what you wanted, now get the hell out!

*RANDOM STALKER LEAVES SPEEDWALKING*

Where were we? Oh, that’s right, story. This movie, if you cannot already tell by the title, is Xander Cage’s return to action. The character was believed by the people to be dead in the second installment of the series, “xXx: State of the Union,” therefore Ice Cube came in as the new main character during that movie. So when Xander comes back in this film, he is set on a mission with Xiang (played by Donnie Yen) to this recover this film’s biggest key weapon, Pandora’s Box, which is a weapon can be used to control satellites. Throughout we get a film that will probably encourage some of you to turn off your brain with mindless action and a few brief moments with women in bikinis.

Vin Diesel comes back in this movie as Xander Cage, and after seeing the first “xXx” along with the second one with Ice Cube, I’d say Vin Diesel does a better job as his particular main character. Would I say that Vin Diesel does as good as he did in the first film? No. I still remember the opening action sequence with him in that film and it was pretty kickass. Everything he does and says in this movie, some of it I might remember for a bit, but I wouldn’t say I’d remember a good portion of it. Speaking of what he says in this movie, this character also delivered tons of one liners in this film, and unfortunately only a select few were funny.

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One of my favorite parts of the film is Donnie Yen. He plays a character named Xiang, and he had some of the best action scenes in the movie. If you don’t know who Donnie Yen is, he was in a few other films, and he was also in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” as Chirrut Îmwe. In that film, he was probably the most badass character out of everyone (aside from Darth Vader). After seeing this film, I want so much more of this guy. I mean, let’s just say that if he was in something like “Sharknado,” a very s*itty direct to TV film, even if that movie’s s*it, I’d say Donnie would be the best part of that s*it. Can you imagine Donnie doing his own thing? Taking out sharks one by one like a champ? That’d be awesome!

Deepika Padukone is also in this film and she plays a character named Serena, I liked this character, I think in terms of action she wasn’t as good as the other characters, however, if I had to state big positive from this character, it would be this. There’s one scene where Xander interacts with Serena that was interesting to watch. The dialogue had a sensual vibe to it, but at the same time it was somewhat intimidating. Also, she’s hot, so yeah, she’s got that going for her.

The next character I’m going to talk about is a very mixed bag for me. Nina Dobrev plays a character in this movie named Becky Clearidge and her role to the movie helped move the story along, there’s however one moment in the movie which her character does something that makes her look like Jar Jar Binks. Remember when the idiotic and clumsy Jar Jar Binks accidentally set a weapon off during the climax of “The Phantom Menace” which happen to kill a bunch of a battle droids? Well, Dobrev’s character actually does something similar to that in this film’s climax! Just for a second while her character was somewhat corny, but still had the potential of being a badass, her badassary just degraded when her Jar Jar moment happened. Let me just get this to you in a way you might understand, let’s take three characters. Jar Jar Binks from the “Star Wars” franchise, Amy Farrah Fowler from “The Big Bang Theory,” and a hyped up version of Selene from the “Underworld” series. If you take these three characters, and combine them into one individual personality in this movie, you get Becky Clearidge.

Let’s also talk about Ruby Rose’s character. She plays a lesbian in this film and her name is Adele Wolff. I will say her character looks pretty badass with a sniper rifle and I’d say her character isn’t too bad. However there is one thing that I remember well from this movie from her and it’s not a good thing. It’s not a terrible thing, just a less than OK thing. There’s one scene in this film where she blurts out a lesbian joke, makes a bit of sense considering she was, based on some of the lines given throughout the film, in fact a lesbian, and the joke really fell flat. Maybe it’s because it was shown to me a lot in the advertising, but still, it kind of irked me. Perhaps if I didn’t see the advertisements so much before the movie came out I would’ve had a bigger laugh, and this is also considering the fact that I almost had a forced laugh come out of me during this scene.

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I mentioned before, this movie FEATURES Samuel L. Jackson, it doesn’t star him. If you remember from the previous installments, he plays Augustus Gibbons. Sure, Gibbons is a rather important character in the franchise, but he doesn’t add much of anything at all to the movie. There’s one thing in the beginning that is extremely important to the plot, but let me just say that he’s not in the movie long. However, there is one joke in the beginning, it’s not necessarily spoken by any specific character and it is kinda funny. Samuel L. Jackson is sitting with one guy in a cafe, he’s talking with the guy, and there’s a text introducing the guy, and it said he thought he was being recruited into “The Avengers.” In my opinion, it’s funny because if you follow the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you’d already know Samuel L. Jackson plays Nick Fury in its franchise.

If you want to know a bit more about this text, I seriously wonder how this came about. If you have seen “Suicide Squad,” which has been out since last August, there are several title slides which have been used to introduce the characters in the film. I’d also say that they were used rather effectively (for the most part) in that movie. In this film, I’d say the same, but this doesn’t change one thing, I wonder if someone behind this film’s production saw “Suicide Squad,” and after seeing that, they thought it would be a good idea at the very last minute to copy paste the whole text slide shabang just for the sake of having them and for humor. So I wouldn’t be shocked if this was just a last minute addon.

In the end, for a movie released in January, this isn’t too bad. Judging from the trailers, it certainly looks better than “The Bye Bye Man,” and certainly a lot more fun. I wouldn’t say this installment is absolutely necessary in the realm of cinema, but it was still enjoyable. There were bits of cool action, some interesting characters, not to digress but I now have a crush on Deepika Padukone, and a good portion of the negatives in this movie doesn’t really degrade the final product too much. I’m gonna give “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” an enjoyable 5/10. This movie knows what it is, a mindless action film, is it the best of the best? Of course not, I’ve seen better, but if this were on TV I’d give it a watch. Oh, and by the way, it’s better than “State of the Union,” which in my opinion, was pretty bad. As far as upcoming films go, there’s not much coming out next week which I’m gonna go out and seek right away. However, there are some upcoming films that I’m really excited for, such films include “The LEGO Batman Movie” and “John Wick 2.” Also, I’m not sure what your thoughts are on reality TV, but if you want to know something, there’s only a few shows in that genre to me, that happen to be watchable. One of those shows actually happens to be my favorite show of all time, that show is “King of the Nerds.” As of 5 days ago, the show is now 4 years old. I did a post describing the show’s history, its run on TBS from 2013-2015, its cancellation, and how this show had a deep impact on me not only as a nerd, but as a person. The link for that will be down below, please go check it out it is worth your time, and stay tuned for more reviews. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

KING OF THE NERDS: 4 YEAR ANNIVERSARY POST: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/01/18/king-of-the-nerds-4-year-anniversary-post/

Sing: A Film That Certainly Hit Lots of Notes

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“Sing” is the newest animation from Illumination Studios, the creators behind “Despicable Me” and “The Secret Life of Pets.” In this movie, a mouse named Buster Moon, played by Matthew McConaughey, is the owner of the Moon Theatre. This theater has been around for quite some time, but it has not been all that successful in terms of the performances and venues that are done there. So in an attempt to receive a rise in attendance and success, Moon decides to do a singing competition, and throughout we get a movie about a bunch of animals who are aspiring to become the next big singer and win $100,000.

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While I watched the movie, one of the things that stood out to me is how many key characters there were in this movie. Now in my opinion, I ask you, what other movie seemed to have too many key characters to make it so convoluted and disastrous? That movie my friends, is “Mother’s Day.” If you have seen my top 10 worst movies of 2016, that movie was actually on there. Why? Well I kind of just explained it to you so that’s kind of an odd question to answer right now. There are other reasons too but that’s just one of them. Did the high amount of characters in “Sing” bog down the movie? I wouldn’t say it did. Based on the personalities of all these characters, I was able to get into all of them and understand the way they feel without getting bored.

In terms of describing these characters, let’s start off by talking about the movie’s main character, Buster Moon. I think Matthew McConaughey is a fine actor. As far as I know, my father says otherwise, but that’s his opinion. How is he in this movie? Well, I enjoyed his character, and the voice that Matthew provides in this movie, which is really just a slightly more hyper and fast version of himself, worked for his character. I was able to understand his character in this movie and I thought one line in this movie, is something kids should pay attention to and keep in their minds. “When you hit rock bottom, there’s only place to go, and that’s up!”

Let’s describe two more characters: Rosita (played by Reese Witherspoon, center) and Gunter (played by Nick Kroll, left), I decided to dedicate this section both characters at the same time because they’re both pigs and they do a lot of stuff together in the movie. First I’m gonna talk about Rosita. She’s a stay at home mom with 25 kids. Her husband (played by Nick Offerman) is at work all day and she basically stays home and takes care of the kids, gets them ready for school, etc. I really enjoyed her character, and if any stay at home mothers go see this movie with their children, I have a feeling that this character will resonate with them. Rosita is also in an act with Gunter in the competition and Gunter, according to this movie’s universe, is rather eccentric. Also, one thing I enjoyed about Gunter is that he gives one of the funniest lines in the movie. There’s this one scene where Rosita and Gunter rehearse in front of Buster and Miss Crawly (played by Garth Jennings) and Rosita falls to the ground. After that, Buster asks if Rosita is OK, and instead of having Rosita respond, Gunter, standing next to her, jumps in and responds by saying “Oh yes, I’m fine, thank you. How are you?”

One other character that stood out to me was Johnny the gorilla (played by Taron Egerton). I thought his character was well written and the most interesting thing about this character is his unsteady relationship with his father, Eddie (played by John C. Reilly). It somewhat made me think what it would be like if some family had a tradition or business, and then their offspring decides they don’t want to follow that particular path and they choose to follow a different path instead.

One of my favorite actresses working today is Scarlett Johansson. I love her as Black Widow, she’s a fine looking actress, and based on work she did for “The Spongebob Squarepants Movie” which came out in 2004 and this year’s “The Jungle Book,” I’d say she knows how to do a good voiceover as well. She played a character in this movie named Ash and I was surprised how well Johansson could sing. She played a moody teen in the film and it certainly worked for her character.

 

Tori Kelly is also in this movie and her character was an elephant named Meena. Her character in this movie comes off very shy and she also had stage fright. Her family heard her sing in this movie and they loved it, when she found out about the contest, she had to go in. As the film progresses, her character constantly becomes more interesting. Granted, the route of her character came off rather predictable but it doesn’t mean it was bad.

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Last but not least when it comes to characters, I’m gonna talk about the character I was looking forward to most walking into this movie. That is Seth MacFarlane’s character, Mike. In case you never knew, Seth MacFarlane is one of my all time favorite celebrities. I love “Family Guy,” even in the later seasons which everyone says is not as good as the earlier ones. I also enjoy watching “American Dad,” and I like his movies. I don’t care what ANY OF YOU think of “A Million Ways to Die in the West” and “Ted 2,” I enjoyed those films! In this movie, MacFarlane plays an egotistical mouse that seems to put everybody down and doesn’t seem to make anyone feel better. In a sense, it’s almost like he’s the villain in this film, but he really isn’t. There’s no technical antagonist in this film, but out of everyone in the movie, he was probably the most vicious character.

I want to talk about 2016 and animations. While 2016 itself probably hit everyone in some negative way, we can probably all agree when it comes to animated movies, it made the year slightly better because there were so many good ones. Granted that doesn’t mean there weren’t any that were absolute s*it. In fact, “Ice Age: Collision Course” made my top 10 worst list of 2016. Also, while I didn’t see all of “Norm of the North,” I’ve seen enough of the movie to know it’s just awful (based on a video from YouTube user Bobby Burns). Although when comes to the good animations I saw this year, FOUR animations made my top 10 best list of 2016. Is this good enough to change that list? No, although it doesn’t mean the movie wasn’t enjoyable. Speaking of my top 10 best list, this is not official, but I might make a change to it and put “La La Land” on a lower spot on the list, but that’s undecided at the moment. Just figured I’d let you all know.

“Sing” is a very good animation. It manages to take so many characters and somehow make each and every one enjoyable. Also, these characters are played extremely well by a undeniably well chosen cast. Not to mention, when it comes to catering to children and adults, there is a fine line between the two demographics so the overall film works for everyone. I’m gonna give “Sing” a 7/10. I’m glad I got to see this movie, and I certainly hope 2017 can also give us some animations that just as good as the ones that were given to us in 2016. I have so much faith in the upcoming “The LEGO Batman Movie” so hopefully that can be a good start for the genre. Speaking of upcoming movies, I hope to see “xXx: Return of Xander Cage,” which comes out in just a few days. I still need to see the second “xXx” movie before that, but hopefully I can find time to see that film and see the new one which comes out Friday. Stay tuned for more reviews and I’m glad the 2016 animations are even great at the end of that particular year. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

La La Land: A Film to the Fools Who Dream

“La La Land” is directed by Damien Chazelle, and it is a musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as two people who are living in Los Angeles. Ryan Gosling’s character is aspiring to become a jazz musician and Emma Stone’s character is aspiring to become an actress. Throughout the film these two meet, develop a relationship, and give several musical numbers.

This film, as mentioned recently, is directed by Damien Chazelle, who also directed one of my favorite movies of 2014 and of all time, that movie, is “Whiplash.” Is this movie as good as that one? I will be honest, no. However, it does not change the fact that this movie was spectacular. Let’s start at the beginning, with the opening scene on the highway.

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Prior to going into this movie, one of the scenes I was well aware of is the opening highway scene. Before the Golden Globes which aired not too long ago, they did an opening which was essentially their own version of that scene. This scene was done in one continuous shot, and this continued right up a point after the movie’s title came up. Regardless of what you think of “La La Land” as a film, you have to admit if you’ve seen the movie, this opening scene just from a technical aspect, is stellar.

Moving onto the actors, I want to talk about Ryan Gosling’s character of Sebastian. As an actor in this movie, I’d say Ryan Gosling did a great job with his role. His character was well written and well performed. I was able to buy why this guy had a deep passion for the jazz genre and I loved his character for it. It very much reminds me of myself and how I act when it comes to thinking about or experiencing things like movies, elevators, or game shows. There’s one scene where he and Emma Stone were in a restaurant, he played a good dreamer role and it shows in that scene.

You wanna know something? I personally think Emma Stone did a better job in this movie than Ryan Gosling in this movie! Emma Stone plays the lead character in this movie who goes by the name of Mia. After witnessing the performance Stone gave as this character, I will go as far to say that as far as lead actresses go, this is one of the best performances of all the movies which came out in 2016, and I’d say it is up there with Hailee Steinfeld’s performance in “The Edge of Seventeen” as far as 2016 performances go. I was able to relate to her character as much as I related to Ryan Gosling’s and I was able to buy into their relationship.

As far as all the numbers go in the movie, each one kept me moving as the movie went along. None of them were cringeworthy, and I really enjoyed all of them. If I actually had the chance right now to go buy the soundtrack I’d take that chance. My favorite of all the numbers was probably either the opening number, which is called “Another Day of Sun,” or one that’s called “The Fools Who Dream.”

A couple things I want to bring up is just some aspects of the movie that really resonated with me. One, this is kind of a love letter to Hollywood. This movie takes place in Los Angeles and it seems to deliver such respect to the city and what it stands for. Speaking of respect, this movie also seems to bring such respect to dreamers. I don’t know if you know this, but I hope one day I can get a screenplay of mine turned into a Hollywood film. This movie somewhat inspired me and the two lead characters of the film reminded me of myself as a dreamer.

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In the end, I was glad I saw “La La Land,” I think it is a must see if you love musicals, movies that take risks, or if you just like good movies with terrific work put into them. I will say, “Whiplash” was personally a better film, which by the way, if you haven’t seen that movie, check it out, it’s worth your time. Although I really enjoyed “La La Land” and I’d love to see it again. I’m gonna give “La La Land” a 9/10. Just want to let everyone know that I have another review coming up soon. Tomorrow I’m gonna go see “Sing”, the newest animation from Illumination Studios, the creators of “Despicable Me” and “The Secret Life of Pets.” Stay tuned for that review and other reviews coming up as well. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Manchester by the Sea: Am I Really Laughing Right Now?!

“Manchester by the Sea” is directed by Kenneth Lonergan and stars Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone) as an uncle who has to take care of his teenage nephew after the death of his uncle.

I saw this movie on Sunday, January 8th, and I’m glad I did. My gladness is mainly due to how the Golden Globes were on that day and this was nominated in several categories. Before going into the film I heard that this movie was loved by critics, so I thought I was going to get one of the best movie experiences out of a movie which came out in 2016. For example, this movie has a 96/100 on Metacritic right now, a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, and even regular moviegoers are raving too with an 8.5/10 on IMDb. Did I get what I saw coming out of this movie? Not really. Does that mean the movie sucked? I wouldn’t say that.

Let’s just jump into this right here and now, with Casey Affleck, and Affleck’s performance in this movie may be one of the best of 2016 if not the best! My grandparents actually happened to see this film before me and my grandfather didn’t really care much for it, I think he liked it, but I don’t really think he cared. However my grandmother happened to love the film as far as the acting goes. She told me that when it comes to the acting, it was like watching real people. After seeing the film, I totally see where my grandmother is coming from. The timing, the voice levels, the posture, everything happened to be superb from Affleck’s character. Great job! I’m not saying everyone else did a bad job with their performances, but Casey really stood out to me.

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One other thing that really stood out to me about the movie was Lesley Barber’s score. There was so many periods in the movie where there happened to be no music whatsoever, but whenever there’s a scene with music playing, it matches the scene perfectly. One example that really stood out to me was one scene where Affleck character is visiting a therapist and he’s having flashbacks, like when he saw someone’s house on fire and he knew the people who live there.

However, these positives don’t mean the movie’s flawless. One of the biggest flaws of the movie in my personal opinion was the balance between comedy and tragedy. I heard that this movie was supposed to be rather sad, and it is, but the thing about that is that it is just not enough sadness. You want to know something? I actually found myself laughing harder than I cried. Granted I don’t really cry during movies, I am just moved with my brain and maybe I’ll hold my tears in. But nevertheless, when it comes to a movie like this, there probably should have been a little less laughable moments and a little more sadness. Not to get off topic, but one thing I absolutely hated when seeing this movie, was during one scene, Casey Affleck’s character was getting somewhat emotional considering he was looking at his uncle’s dead body, and what was so bad about it? At one moment I was thinking to myself that this was unfortunate, then someone’s phone goes off for the whole theater to hear! TURN YOUR PHONE OFF! Why am I mentioning this? Maybe this could somewhat affect my final verdict of the film, so I felt the need to get it out there.

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Anyway, there are more issues I have, well, technically, this is a positive and negative at the same time and lets start with the positive. This movie is very well shot. There are some immersive highway scenes, and there were a couple of scenes showcasing an ocean, along with a boat that really made me feel like I was there. However, there’s one scene in the beginning of the movie that felt somewhat clunky, and that’s because it had a very unnecessary jumpcut. If you don’t know what a jumpcut is, it is essentially when a shot is showing something, and in the next shot, it is showing the exact same thing from the same angle but either closer or farther than before. I’ve seen shots like this work before, for example, on “Conan” they did a comedy bit called “Arbitrary Judgment Lineup” back in 2015, which is essentially a bit where ten contestants are eliminated one by one and it doesn’t really matter what they do, it’s mainly just out of chance, and there was a jumpcut that made the bit somewhat funnier.

HOST: “Ruth, you’re out.”

RUTH: “Why am I out?

HOST: “Well now it’s because you’re asking too many questions. GET OUT!”

The jumpcut in that bit occurs after the end of the first sentence in the last line provided, so it does work in my opinion, but it just doesn’t work for me in this movie.

Also, I will say that some of the characters are rather forgettable. Some of the only characters I remember at the top of my head right now are Casey Affleck, Casey Affleck’s nephew, Casey Affleck’s ex-wife and family, and Casey Affleck’s nephew’s girlfriends. Yes, he’s dating two people in this film. I will say however that Casey Affleck really nailed his performance in the film so me forgetting a lot of the characters is somewhat forgivable.

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“Manchester by the Sea” is a good movie, but it is not a great movie. In my opinion this may be the most overhyped movie of 2016, I can see why some people might really love this movie, but I didn’t get everything I wanted out of the experience I had while watching this in the theater. I’m going to give “Manchester by the Sea” a 7/10. Also, congrats to Casey Affleck winning the Golden Globe for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama”, I wanted him to win and he definitely earned his victory. I also won’t go without mentioning a hearty congratulations to everyone who won an award at the Golden Globes, and also to everyone who got nominated. I know how hard it is to make a movie but you guys made it through all of your projects and that says a lot. Also, as far as upcoming reviews go, I’m probably going to see “La La Land” over the next weekend, which according to the Golden Globes either happens to be the best movie of all time, or a biased choice over and over again. Why do I say that? During the Golden Globes, “La La Land” won 7 out of 7 of its nominations, which means “La La Land” broke the record for the most Golden Globe wins. Is it that good? We’ll have to find out soon, but that is if I actually see the movie, I never know what could happen to my schedule. Anyway, stay tuned for more reviews. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Top 10 WORST Movies of 2016

Hey everyone, I just did my top 10 BEST movies of 2016 and now it is time to get negative, that’s right, it is time for the top 10 WORST movies of 2016. And before we get into this, I have not seen every movie that has come out this year, I mentioned before I wanted to see “Equity”, I mentioned it more than once, well guess what? Never saw it. I actually found it for $22.99 at Best Buy the other day but I didn’t think it was worth it. Maybe someday I’ll get it when the price goes down or worst case scenario I can just rent it on Amazon Video. Also, I’m not saying you should hate these movies, these are just the 10 films that I hate which came out this year, so different strokes for different folks. Oh, and one more thing, I am only doing movies released in theaters, so “Sharknado 4: The Fourth Awakens” is off the list. Anyways, let’s get started with counting down my top 10 WORST movies of 2016.

#10: Money Monster

Coming in at #10 is “Money Monster”, in this movie George Clooney and Julia Roberts are doing a financial TV show and some guy starts invading the studio, therefore setting up a thriller. Sounds intriguing doesn’t it? Trust me it’s not. George Clooney sounds like he’s playing himself in this movie and it very much reminds me of when he played Batman, which was not that great. I mean, the film is edited well and the directing is OK, but the little things in this film are just so jarring and this is a ride I started to forget about once I left the theater.

#9: Gods of Egypt

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#9 is “Gods of Egypt”. Out of all the movies on the list, this actually may have been the most entertaining of the bunch, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s terrible. First off, the casting is incredibly misleading and controversial. What do I mean? This film is called “Gods of Egypt”, but there is not one Egyptian actor in this movie. Second, the movie itself is hilariously bad, overacted to the ninth degree, and bloated with CGI. If you do happen to think that you should check this out one day, invite some friends over to your place, roast the movie Mystery Science Theater style. I can imagine it would be that sort of movie. Although I will admit some of the CGI kind of looked cool. If this film weren’t at least watchable this would be higher on the list.

#8: Independence Day: Resurgence

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Coming in at #8 is “Independence Day: Resurgence”. I enjoyed “Independence Day”. Although I can’t say the same for this sequel. First off, this sequel took 20 years to make so it felt kind of unnecessary, and the characters aren’t really that likable. Will Smith is not even in this movie so that says something. The humor that was even put in this movie didn’t work. The movie even ends on a cliffhanger, setting up a sequel that sounds promising, but kind of leaves me wondering if it will just be a cash grab. The only good things in the movie are the flying sequences and the effects, that’s about it.

#7: The Finest Hours

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Here we have one of the first movies I’ve seen this year, and that’s “The Finest Hours”. This film is based on the true story of a coast guard rescue mission in Cape Cod during the year of 1952, despite how this mission is still remembered to this day, it doesn’t change the fact that Disney made a horrible movie out of it. There was a romance that felt very unnecessary, and if it actually did have SO MUCH to do with the actual story, then I guess I can bump this a little lower, but this movie is boring at times, and there’s one sequence with unnecessary singing that baffles and annoys me to this day. I mean of course, what else do you expect from Disney? Once again, if that actually happened, I’d want to know, but this is too much of a fantasy in my book.

#6: The Divergent Series: Allegiant

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I enjoyed the previous “Divergent” installments, but it doesn’t mean this one was good. That’s right, #6 is “Allegiant”. I never read the books, but for what I know, this is the last book split into two parts, which is one of the worst cliches in the film industry, but that’s probably the least of my problems. This is just a mess with bloated CGI, taking the characters that were at least tolerable from the previous installments and just ignores what made them interesting. I love Miles Teller, he’s proven himself to be a great actor, but in this movie, his character is horribly annoying, and he’s probably one of the worst characters I’ve seen this year. Also, just to prove to you how bad this movie is, the next movie in the franchise is going to be a straight to TV movie.

#5: The Girl on the Train

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Coming at #5 we have one of the most forgettable films this year, which is “The Girl on the Train”. This movie had an interesting concept, along with a good performance by Emily Blunt, but this movie as a whole, was boring. I don’t even remember this movie, and based on how much I felt appalled leaving the theater after this mess, I’m glad I don’t remember it. This movie is probably good if you want something to fall asleep to. Let’s say that it is around 2AM and you can’t sleep, just turn on this movie, I guarantee you’ll get tired watching this.

#4: The Fifth Wave

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I never watched “Twilight” and I also never watched “Fifty Shades of Grey”, but based on my knowledge of those films and my experience of watching “The Fifth Wave”, I probably say I’ve seen them now. Chloe Grace Moretz plays one of the weakest heroes I’ve seen this year, and the romance is not only extremely forced, but I do not buy it at all! Oh, there is one scene I witnessed in this abomination and the lighting in that scene is probably some of the worst I’ve ever seen in a movie. For what I remember, there was like fighting involved and I couldn’t even see what was happening so it really irked me. I wasn’t a fan of the movie’s trailer and TV ads, but I thought there would be something likable that I would get out of the movie. Well guess what? There was nothing! I’m just glad I got to see this free on Starz On Demand that way I didn’t have to pay for a couple hours of pain and suffering.

#3: Ice Age: Collision Course

I mentioned in my top 10 best movies of 2016 that if there is one genre of movies that was phenomenal this year, it had to be animations. Although that doesn’t mean there were some inferior ones, and “Ice Age: Collision Course” is just plain awful. I love the “Ice Age” films, but did we really need a fifth installment? No we didn’t! The animation in this movie isn’t too bad, but everything else in this movie is completely unbearable. The jokes were s*itty, the concept was wasted, the characters were degraded to such a low level that it makes me angry. This film may as well have been the result of some people at Blue Sky getting drunk and thinking this would be a grand idea, then suddenly we get this atrocity that just screams the words “cash grab”. Don’t let your kids watch this film, they will end up slightly dumber from watching this. Go show em the first “Ice Age”, or even the second one, I actually like the second one better.

#2: Mother’s Day

I didn’t want to see this movie, but I put up with it anyhow, and boy was I right about my lack of anticipation. “Mother’s Day” is just a pile of garbage. This film is about three generations coming together leading up to Mother’s Day. Throughout we get this junk that isn’t funny, has tons of product placement, no likable characters, and lots of cringe. Oh, the cringe, I don’t even recall exactly what made me cringe most in the movie but I dredged through this film for my mom. Oh and did I mention the bad product placement? There’s this one scene where two characters are in front of a vending machine, it made me want to repeatedly punch a wall for fun. This film does not make Mother’s Day special. This is basically a commercial for so many things, but most noticeably the Home Shopping Network. This movie sucked, don’t watch it and save your money.

#1: Ghostbusters

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At #1, we have a film that made so angry, even before it came out, and I thought I would be relieved when seeing the film itself because I thought it couldn’t get any worse than the trailer, but I was wrong, that film is “Ghostbusters”. How does movie exist?! I can’t even began to comprehend how unneeded this piece of crap is! I know that this movie is meant to empower women, and I know that the idea is if you don’t like this movie because there’s women you’re labeled as a sexist pig. Let me just say, the idea of replacing the original Ghostbusters with women is lazy and unoriginal in my book. It’s like the idea of whitewashing: Lazy, unoriginal, and makes characters feel less authentic. Not only that, but the writing for this movie is some of the worst of all time! It’s not funny, it’s stuff we’ve seen before, it’s jarring, and it makes no sense! Oh, and I’m not even done, basically around the movie’s release, a good portion of the cast were delivering a message saying that if you dislike this movie you are a sexist. You know something? This movie may be sexist! While this movie tries to empower women, it basically tries to destroy the male gender in every way, shape, and form possible! Especially during the final boss fight, don’t even get me started on that… Also this movie features cameos from the original Ghostbusters, with the exception of Harold Ramis who already passed away. They are all terrible. This movie got ONE chuckle out me and that’s literally it! Also, if this leads to someone thinking a remake for “Back to the Future” is a good idea, I ought to write an essay about why it isn’t, and I will track down that person and literally hand them the essay! You know what? I’m still not done! The lore is basically ignored throughout the film. Stay Puft was ruined, Slimer was near-tolerable until a female Slimer came in, and the idea of how the Ghostbusters logo came to be is cringeworthy the more I think about it. Oh, and one thing I won’t go without mentioning, is the references. There are multiple references to movies and they are also ruined. F*CK THIS MOVIE! That’s it, I’m done! I don’t have to talk about it again. I feel like Frodo when Gollum vanished in the volcano during “Return of the King”.

Well 2016 is over, and this may have been one of the worst years of all time, if not the worst. Although let’s look forward to a great 2017 and hope that it will work out well for everyone. I can’t wait to see what 2017 brings when it comes to movies and I hope they’re all good. If you want to take a look at my top 10 BEST movies of 2016, I’ll have a link down below, go check it out, and stay tuned for my reviews in 2017 and Happy New Year everyone! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Top 10 BEST Movies of 2016: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/top-10-best-movies-of-2016/

Top 10 BEST Movies of 2016

Hey everyone, it’s time to count down my top 10 BEST movies of 2016, and before we begin I want to spit some things out. I have not seen every single movie released in the year of 2016. For example, I wanted to catch “Office Christmas Party” by the end of the year, but I couldn’t, however I do have plans to see it Monday. Although do you really think just from the advertising alone that the movie would be top 10 best list material? I don’t think so. Also, this is a subjective list, so these top 10 picks are MY opinion, not your opinion, nor are they opinions of other people besides you except for me. I am not saying that these are movies that you should like, these are movies that I just personally liked. Everyone should have their own opinion and it is what makes us unique. So let’s start off with the top 10 best movies of 2016 with number 10!

#10: “Sausage Party”

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If you have watched a good portion of 2016’s movies you’d probably agree that the animations KILLED IT this year! This entry to the list proves that wholeheartedly. I went to see this movie twice in the theater, and I enjoyed it both times. “Sausage Party” takes a idea that is NEVER used in the film industry and makes a movie out of it that is definitely worth seeing. What exactly is that concept? Making a raunchy, disgusting, R rated animation. That’s right, it’s rated R, think twice before letting your children watch this.

#9: “Zootopia”

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Next up is “Zootopia”, an animation you CAN let your kid watch. I have to say that when it comes to recent Disney animations they’re pretty good (except Frozen). Out of all the ones I’ve seen recently, it’s probably the funniest. Why? It’s basically spoofing real life. This movie is about a bunch of animals gathering together living in a single city and a bunny who wants to become a cop. Throughout we get a hilarious ride that is relatable, charming, with likable characters and beautiful animation.

#8: “Kung Fu Panda 3”

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Coming at #8, we have YET ANOTHER ANIMATION, this genre is a goldmine this year. Specifically this spot goes to “Kung Fu Panda 3”. Fun fact, this movie was actually released in January and usually when it comes to movies, January, along with February are usually the most disliked months for new releases. This movie is a huge exception in my book. In fact, I heard that it was supposed to release in December of 2015, but it was moved to January so it didn’t have to compete with “The Force Awakens”. All irrelevance aside, “Kung Fu Panda 3” in my opinion, may be the worst of the trilogy, but it doesn’t change the fact that this has gorgeous animation, masterfully crafted fight sequences, a compelling story, and a well chosen cast. I don’t own the Blu-Ray for this film, but when I do, I’ll be one happy man.

#7: “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

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You probably saw this coming, “Rogue One” is my #7 spot! This is not my favorite “Star Wars” film, it has problems indeed, but the high amount of positives outweigh the low amount of negatives in this movie. It made the original “Star Wars” a better movie, it had possibly the coolest space battles in the entire saga, and it had what could be one of the greatest endings to a movie I’ve ever seen. If you’ve seen this movie, you’d probably agree with me on this ending. If you are a “Star Wars” fan and you haven’t seen this movie, go see it now, it’s worth your money.

#6: “Patriots Day”

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Coming in at #6, is “Patriots Day”. Peter Berg directed two films this year, this movie and “Deepwater Horizon”. I enjoyed “Deepwater Horizon” very much to the point where it almost earned a spot on the list, but this film was just better. This movie captured the events of the 2013 Boston Marathon investigation very well and being someone who happened to live near Boston at the time, and still living near Boston today, this film hit me. Also, I have to say, Mark Wahlberg deserves an Oscar nomination for this film in the category of “Best Actor”, I would love to see that.

#5: “Deadpool”

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Coming in at #5 is “Deadpool”. After leaving this movie both times I saw it in the theater, I couldn’t help but quote it so many times. In fact, I enjoyed the movie so much that I actually took the chance to meet Brianna Hildebrand at Comic-Con, the girl who plays Negasonic Teenage Warhead in this film. There is so many quotable lines from this movie, and it is probably the R-rated comic-book movie everyone was dying to see. Also, I will say that the opening credits to this movie, are some best I’ve seen in all of movie history. I think Screen Junkies said it best, this film is like a “really expensive longer episode of “Family Guy””.

#4: “Arrival”

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At #4 we have the movie I reviewed most recently, and that’s “Arrival”. Sometimes if you explain this movie to someone, it might sound like something they already heard or seen before, but trust me, it’s not. The story of this film is told in such an excellent fashion, Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner deserve Oscar nominations in my opinion for their performances in this movie and I believe the movie itself deserves a nomination for “Best Picture” because it is that good. This movie shows how important language is to making someone think in certain ways, I loved seeing everyone interact with the aliens, and it had me thinking the whole way. I can’t wait to see this movie again, and I highly recommend you give this a watch!

#3: “The Jungle Book”

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From the director of “Iron Man” we have the live action remake of “The Jungle Book”. When I first saw the movie I loved it, then I bought the Blu-Ray and watched it again, it was great the second time. The biggest standout for me in this movie is the visual effects. Every piece of CGI in this film was crafted so beautifully that I would go as far as to say it is probably the best CGI I’ve ever seen in a movie. All the animals and environments looked incredibly real and stunning. Also, Bill Murray is in this movie, and if you see this movie, you’ll probably avoid yourself from remembering him at the end of the year for having a terrible cameo in the “Ghostbusters” remake. Not to mention, for a child actor, Neel Sethi does a pretty good child performance in this film and I wonder he’ll be in anything else notable in the future.

#2: “Kubo and the Two Strings”

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All right guys, it’s time to go back to animations and this my favorite animation of the year, “Kubo and the Two Strings”! I loved this movie from beginning to end and the concept of this movie was extremely unique (for the most part) and very well executed. I loved all the characters in this movie. It was charming, it was funny, it was animated well, and I hope this movie wins “Best Animation” at the Oscars. I heard this movie didn’t do the best job at the box office and that’s rather unfortunate because this is one of those films I would force you to watch before you die. This film was made by Laika who also made “Coraline” which was released in 2009, and I love that movie, but this movie was a masterpiece compared to that.

#1: “Captain America: Civil War”

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It’s that time, to reveal my favorite film of the year, and that film is “Captain America: Civil War”! I went to see this film on premiere night and just from the trailers alone I had REALLY HIGH expectations for this movie and damn were those expectations met! This film had a really epic superhero throwdown. Spider-Man was introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he was funny, Tom Holland did a phenomenal job with him, I can’t wait to see how he does in “Spider-Man: Homecoming”. Although personally I do think the best superhero role this year belonged to Wonder Woman in “Batman v. Superman”. This film also shows that when it comes to superhero films, the Russo Brothers know how to direct one. They did awesome with “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” in my opinion, but with this movie, they did a different kind of awesome. Everything was moving at such a fast pace throughout, the camera was in the right places at the right times, and the action scenes were amazingly well executed. In my opinion, this is the best film the MCU has done so far, it is one of the best comic-book movies ever made, and it is my favorite movie of 2016.

Anyways, later on I’m gonna have my top 10 WORST movies of 2016 posted. Yep, throughout 2016 I must admit I have seen some crap alright, and I’m going to show you that crap soon, at least I get to take that crap one more time and literally annihilate it for the good of mankind. Stay tuned for that and more reviews, Scene Before is your click to the flicks!