Colossal (2016): A Monstrous Gem

“Colossal” is directed by Nacho Vigalondo, who also directed V/H/S Viral, a movie that currently has an unfortunate reality of earning a combined total of 4.2 on IMDb. This movie stars Anne Hathaway (Interstellar, The Dark Knight Rises) and Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses, We’re the Millers) and is about this alcoholic girl named Gloria, she is forced to leave New York City at the start of the film, and return to her hometown. When this is all going down, there is a monster attacking the city of Seoul, South Korea, and this girl eventually realizes that she is connected to the event.

I’m willing to bet many of you reading this review are wondering what the hell this movie is, and if you did click on this review eager to find out more, boy am I gonna tell ya more. I mean, I’ll do my best to avoid spoiler territory, but I’ll tell y’all more, because to be completely honest, I loved this movie. My earliest memory related to this movie has to do with a review done by the YouTube channel Angry Joe Show. After seeing that review, I was curious to know more about this movie, I wasn’t eager to see it right away, but I was a tad curious to know more about it. My curiosity eventually lead to me possibly wanting to see it this weekend since the opportunity came up, and I’m glad I did. I actually had a motivation to go see two other movies this weekend. Those movies are “The Circle” and “Kong: Skull Island.” I would have seen “The Circle” on Saturday, but some stuff came up that got in the way, I would have seen “Kong: Skull Island” today, but weren’t many showings for it, and for the showings that were actually available, they would’ve ended up interfering with plans I had later. With that said, I think I made a wise choice with this film, plus, get this, it was $5.99 for each ticket dedicated to this showing!

Before we get into anything else, let’s get into the concept itself, as mentioned recently, a giant monster is attacking Seoul, but little does Gloria know she is connected towards the attacks. To my memory I don’t think I’ve ever seen a story like the one in this film, the closest movie where I think I’ve seen a story like this, is “Inception,” and I pretty much had a similar reaction to both this movie and that movie. If you want to know what I’m talking about, in both movies, there was at the very least one scene which had me drop my jaw making me totally speechless.

I want to talk about Anne Hathaway’s character of Gloria. The biggest thing I want to get into discussing is her alcoholism. In the movie, I’ve barely seen it actually take place before certain moments, which was kind of tedious to watch at first, trust me, watch the movie to understand what I’m talking about. As this repeated in the movie while time marched on, I became more tolerant of it and thought there was actually good storytelling behind it because it actually made me ask less questions and it just made the film consistent (in a good way, not in an annoying way) in the long run. I’m also gonna make a comparison here. If you remember one of my reviews from last year, I saw the film “The Girl on the Train” which was based on a popular book that to be completely honest I actually never read. In that movie, the main character of Rachel is also an alcoholic, which actually seemed to play quite a bit into the story. What am I getting at here? Between these two movies, this movie conveyed its main character’s alcoholism better in my opinion and it made the story flow more naturally, there are other people in this movie who drink too and it affects them as well and it made the movie more interesting. In “The Girl on the Train,” I wasn’t that engaged to begin with, and from watching the Everything Wrong With video from Cinemasins on the movie multiple times, I’d say Rachel’s alcoholism and selective memory in the movie made the movie boring and frustrating to watch. By the way, if you want to read my review for “The Girl on the Train,” the link for it is down below, check it out. Performance-wise, I’d say Anne Hathaway did well, and I feel more for her character as the movie progresses.

https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2016/10/30/the-girl-on-the-train-a-complete-trainwreck/?frame-nonce=9b50c16572

I also want to get into Jason Sadeikis’s character of Oscar. This character was actually an old friend of Gloria’s, they went to school together when they were younger. At the age which he’s represented in this movie, he’s working at a bar and he actually offers a job to Gloria, to which she actually takes. It was kind of engaging to see their relationship form throughout the movie to the very end.

 

As far as the monster goes in this movie, it didn’t really look like anything new, I’m not mad about that or anything, but still, I thought I’d bring that up. In terms of CGI, this monster does look fine. And one thing I will say, when it comes to some of the stuff that goes down in the movie which just so happens to be monster related, you don’t even see it go down at times, which doesn’t really piss me off. Why? See the movie to find out what I mean, it’s rather innovative and made me put my hand toward my face at a time or two. One more thing, the way that Gloria finds out about her connection to the monster, was engaging and just made me want to see more in the movie.

I actually went to see this movie with a friend of mine, and when we came out of the movie she actually uttered that this was almost like a message to avoid consuming lots of alcohol, to which I say it kind of is, but I don’t really think that’s what the folks behind the film were going for. To me, alcoholism is just something that simply appears in this movie to move the plot along. With that said, I’d say the way it was displayed in this movie, all in all made the movie better. Also, it’s kind of funny towards the end, which of course for your sake, I won’t get into.

Guys, I will say, this is one of the most original films I’ve seen in awhile. I’ve seen monster films, I’ve seen s*it go down in them before, but I don’t recall seeing anything like this. Before going to see “Colossal” I thought this movie was going to be original. Did I get that? Yes. But you know what I also got? Surprised. Why am I surprised? The movie itself is shockingly more complex than I expected, and the way this complexity played out made me a fan of the movie and its brilliant storytelling. I’m gonna give “Colossal” a monster-sized 10/10! As far as I can tell right now, I have no problems with this film, I mentioned the whole alcoholism thing being somewhat jumpy around the beginning of the film, but that actually became likable as the movie progressed. I love this movie, I cannot wait for the home video release, part of me wants to go watch it again right now. Guys, thanks for reading my review of this masterpiece, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” comes out next weekend, I hope to see that as soon as possible, and I also hope at some point soon, I can go see “The Circle.” Stay tuned for more reviews, and PLEASE, support this film. The tickets for the showing I went to were $5.99 per ticket, part of me hopes to go to a later showing next time if I see this again in the theater to pay more in order to support this amazing movie. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Advertisements

Top 10 Worst Movie Cliches

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! You know what? That’s actually kinda getting old, time for something a little less ordinary. Salutations to one and all, Jack Drees on board! Ah, much better. if you have read my blog a number of times, you know that thing I do at the beginning of some of my posts to greet each and every one of you? Yeah, literally the first sentence, well, I do it all the time, and right now, I do it so much, that I’m thinking of stopping, right now it feels like a habit that I’m trying to break. On that subject, today I’m going to count down my top 10 worst movie cliches. I just want to say before I start the list that this is supposed to be my opinion, note how I just stated “my top 10,” so if you have a different list, go make your own, you can even comment with your own list if you feel like it. Without further ado, let’s start counting down my top 10 worst movie cliches.

10: Repetitive Sequels

Starting off this list we are gonna get right into sequels that repeat other films in the series. There are plenty of films that do this, including some recent ones, such as “Independence Day: Resurgence,” “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising,” “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” and “Iron Man 2.” These films don’t repeat step after step of films before it, but there are a number that take a lot of elements from older ones in series which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. To be honest, it’s getting kind of annoying, because while sometimes it can make a scene more intense or funny, it can also be forced. While this is something noticeable in recent films like the ones mentioned above, this is also something that has been going on in some older films including the “Back to the Future” trilogy. I’m gonna give two things that repeat in those films. First, the skateboard chases. In the original movie, there’s this one scene where Biff and his friends are in the diner featured in multiple parts of the film, as you may already know if you’ve seen the film, their frequent target when it comes to bullying is George McFly, but this time, Marty McFly shows em who’s boss and flees out of the diner. Then it’s not over, because Marty has to get out as fast as he can, how does he do that? He goes up to two kids who are operating wooden scooters, Marty rips the top of one of them and he takes off, the chase is on! Then in the second movie, Marty is once again in a diner, the exact same diner in fact, except it is now known as the “Cafe 80’s.” This time, unlike the first movie, where something like this happened in 1955 with Biff, this features Biff’s grandson in 2015. Biff’s grandson often bullies Marty’s son, who in this movie Marty is trying to save from being jailed. During this scene, Marty defends his son, without telling him who he is, but he comes out and fights Biff’s grandson and his cronies. Biff’s grandson thinks Marty is actually his son considering Marty is wearing his son’s clothes and looks like him, then Biff’s grandson asks “What’s wrong McFly, chicken?”, to which Marty replies, “Nobody calls me chicken.” By the way, that is not the only time that happens, and in “Back to the Future Part III,” Marty is actually asked if he’s “yellow,” which is played out in a similar fashion. Guess what happens? Pretty much almost the same fighting you see in the first movie (one shot SCREAMS similar), which then continues on in chase format. Although the difference this time around is that you have hoverboards, which are made by Mattel, who you may know as the makers of Hot Wheels, Barbie, and Monster High. You know what? I may be rambling, but I don’t care because I’m not done, in all three films, there is a scene where Marty becomes unconscious right in front of where someone lives and then next thing we know, we go to a bedroom inside the place owned by the folks who found Marty. Then Marty is in bed, and awoken by a woman in his family, and Marty claims that he “had a dream,” which is also his reality which involves one of his time travel adventures, and the woman replies saying “at least you’re safe now back on/in ______.” In the first movie, Marty is awoken by his mother, Lorraine, although Lorraine isn’t his mother yet, which happens over a decade later, she says that Marty is back in good old 1955. In the next film, Marty is awoken by his mother (again!), although this time, in 1985, which is a much more apocalyptic 1985 than Marty is used to seeing, she says that Marty is back on the good old 27th floor. In third film, guess who wakes Marty up this time? His mother again, how original–HA! Fooled ya! This film took place in 1885 so Lorraine wasn’t born yet. However it is another woman in the McFly family, Maggie McFly to be specific, who actually is played by the same person who plays Marty’s mom, Lea Thompson. In this scene, she says to Marty that he’s on McFly Farm. You know something else? After Marty is told he is in some time or some place, he raises his voice in shock, and he raises himself up, coming off as anxious. Also in each film, at least from what I recall, he says “You’re my mom,” except for 3, where mom is eliminated, and in the first two films, he says to his mother, “But you’re so _____,” which is “thin” in 1, and “big” in 2. You know what? I’m actually almost at a thousand words already so I’m gonna stop ranting and move on.

9: Forced Sequels

On the topic of sequels, let’s talk about forced sequels. There are a lot of movies that do well at the box office, probably because of quality, or the people behind the movie, or even the name of the movie itself. After it is realized how successful certain movies can become, what do people do? Make a sequel! But seriously guys, are all sequels done out of necessity? I wouldn’t think so. “Grown Ups” was successful at the box office, but all in all, I can’t think of too many people who liked it, so what happened when the sequel came out? Pretty much the same thing. And I’ll be honest, I do like “Grown Ups 2” better than the original, but it was still unneeded. Last year’s “Independence Day: Resurgence” didn’t do so hot either when it came to ratings. It ended up getting slammed by critics, it was nominated for 5 Razzies including “Worst Picture,” and Golden Schmoes gave it 2nd place for the worst movie of the year. I mean, sometimes that’s just what you get when you wait 20 years to do a sequel. Another forced sequel I watched in recent months for the first time was “Taken 3.” I’ll be honest, this movie is better than “Taken 2” as a film, but purely the only possible reason this movie exists is to have the “Taken” series be a trilogy, because why not?! Listen guys, if you’re gonna do a sequel, be smart while doing it, otherwise you are just wasting everyone’s time and money.

8: Splitting Books into Multiple Movies

I’m not a bookworm, I prefer film over books, but when books come to film, one thing that sometimes irks me is the idea of splitting books into multiple parts. As far as I’m aware, this hasn’t happened much until recently, but has been something that has getting some attention from me in recent years. The first time I actually remember seeing this was in the “Harry Potter” films towards the end of the series. I never really cared for the series, I watched bits and pieces of the films, but I skimmed through the fourth book once without actually reading, I watched all of five without paying much attention, and if I had to explain what the series was about to you, I’d probably just make s*it up. With that said, I never saw “Deathly Hallows” parts 1 or 2, or if I did, I wasn’t paying attention. At the time they came out, I was 11 during both releases, and if I were the age I am now, I probably would have been somewhat disappointed to know this part 1 & 2 schlock was happening, because a part of me would think it would just be an excuse to have audience members pay for movie twice. This is how I felt when the “Hunger Games: Mockingjay” films came out, which in fact, I haven’t seen, and probably won’t see for a while if I have to pay for either of them. Maybe I’ll borrow it from somebody. Let’s face it guys, movie theaters don’t make as much money as they used to, if this is a way to save certain movie theaters, I’m kinda happy, but I feel like this is just an excuse to make more money. I would rather sit through a four hour long version of “Mockingjay” as opposed to a couple two hour versions of the same movie, plus, if you watch all of the movie at once, you’ll remember things more and you won’t have to reflect on it for a year until the next movie comes out or whatever other time a movie comes out. How would you feel if they split “Braveheart” into two parts? It’s a long movie, but it’s worth a watch and splitting it into two parts would kind of feel like an excuse for money. I will admit though, I was OK with “The Hobbit” doing this based on what they put in the movies. Not to mention, “The Desolation of Smaug” is actually one of my all time favorite films. If you want to split a book into multiple parts, my suggestion would be to make a TV show, it doesn’t always work with movies and when stuff like this is done with movies people sometimes get a little peeved.

7: Weak Enemies/Terrible Shots

This is one that I have reasons for liking, but also can’t stand. I’m talking about bad guys in movies that are either punching bags or can’t fight. The immediate example I would go to when it comes to this are the Stormtroopers in “Star Wars.” Anyone who has seen a “Star Wars” film, mainly the ones that aren’t in the prequel trilogy, knows who I’m talking about, those guys who can’t shoot worth s*it! Although I will say that on the bright side, having weak enemies could potentially make our heroes look more badass when taking them down so there’s a plus.

6: Casting People of a Certain Race to Play a Character Not in Their Race

Remember how last summer the new “Ghostbusters” remake came out and it had all female Ghostbusters? PLEASE, save your money and don’t watch that. While it’s rather uncommon to gender swap in movies, it is a bit more common to change race. There have been many examples of this. For example, 2015’s “Fantastic Four” changed one of it’s comic book characters from white to black. Another example includes a role that even the actor who played this character thought was a miscast role, to be specific, Sakini from the movie “The Teahouse of the August Moon,” was thought to be one of Marlon Brando’s more regrettable moments as an actor. You’ve also got the constant changes from anime and cartoons in such films as “The Last Airbender,” “Dragonball: Evolution,” and most recently, “Ghost in the Shell.” Also don’t forget “Gods of Egypt,” which to my knowledge, has not a single Egyptian actor. Based on what I have told you, this happens with multiple races, but white people are often involved, after all, a good number of actors are white and many of our most beloved ones are in that race. Based on the common white casting, this is often known as whitewashing. No matter what race or color we are dealing with here, casting someone to play a character that doesn’t match with their race based one factor or another all in all just makes the actor’s performance along with their character feel less than authentic. Although I will say the reason why this is higher on the list is because to my knowledge, I don’t see too many movies with a select number of races acting in it, which can interfere with the film and casting as a whole. Another reason why this isn’t all that high because there are occasions where you can sometimes make some people look like they are a race different than their own. Not to mention there was something recently going on with “Ghost in the Shell,” a movie I actually just mentioned earlier. In case you don’t know, “Ghost in the Shell” started out as a manga which was first serialized in 1989, a movie based on the manga released in 1995, which to be honest may have inspired some films that came after it, possibly including “The Matrix.” Last March, a live action adaptation came out, which I heard pays a lot of tribute to the 1995 film, maybe a little too much. In all surety, I don’t know about that considering I’ve yet to see the film. For this film in particular, Scarlett Johanson was cast to play Motoko, the main character in the original material. A lot of people were raging about this, and if I paid more attention to this at first or even cared about “Ghost in the Shell” in any way at the time, I’d probably feel some rage too. However, there is an entire country who thinks Scarlett is good casting choice, Japan, where this whole thing started and takes place. I would usually be somewhat displeased with race changes, but I figured to myself, if Scarlett makes Japan happy, then I’m happy too. Not to mention, from what I’ve seen in trailers, Scarlett seems to do alright in the film performance-wise, I’ll just have to see the film to find out whether or not this is really the case.

5: Post-Converted 3D

3D movies. It has been a technology that has been around for awhile, but has become much more common since the last decade. Quite a few movies have been shot in 3D and shown that way. Such movies include “Oz the Great and Powerful,” “The Jungle Book,” and “The Martian,” all of which have impressed me with how it shows off 3D. However, there are a lot of movies shown in 3D, a pretty high number in fact, that are shot in 2D and post-converted. I don’t mind 3D, I mean, I sometimes mind the price. For example, I live near one movie theater, AMC Burlington Cinema 10, and when you go see a movie past 4PM in 3D, a single adult ticket is $16.09! Unbelievable! Believe it or not, there are actually more expensive options in my area too. However there are times when I’ve seen 3D movies that aren’t worth the ticket price. For example, “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” I went to see this movie in Real-D 3D, and the movie itself was disappointing. It wasn’t bad, just disappointing. Right now I’d say it’s a 6/10 film. However, when watching the film, I wasn’t entirely thinking this, but I did after. The 3D, wasn’t even necessary. There’s not really a moment where it stands out, I don’t even recall the hulkbuster scene being a 3D thrill ride. Nothing really popped out at me, it just felt like watching a 2D movie, only it was closer to my eyes. I’m not saying all post-converted 3D is bad though, I actually went to see “Gravity” in IMAX 3D on the first Friday of its release, everything was flying in my face. I also saw “Jurassic World” in IMAX 3D at the same exact theater, which was also a thrill ride to me at moments. Also, I saw “Mad Max: Fury Road” in Real-D 3D, which by the way, was a movie I witnessed at the same place I went to see “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” There were some moments where I thought the 3D was used well in that movie despite it being shot in 2D. There are certainly worse cliches, which by the way, you’re gonna see right now.

4: Toilet Humor (MAINLY IN ANIMATIONS BUT IT CAN APPLY TO OTHER FILMS TOO)

Animations. They are probably one of the biggest go to genres for families and kids. Other people watch them too, but the usual target when it comes to animated films are families and kids. There are many brilliant films in this genre from “Toy Story” to “Wall-E,” to “Kung Fu Panda.” However there is a problem I have with the genre when it comes a lot of films, both good and bad. That problem, is toilet humor. If you ask me, I understand why younger audiences enjoy toilet humor, but for older people, some may appreciate it, whereas people like me are getting sick and tired of it. There are times where toilet humor can be funny, but other times it just either feels annoying or forced. For example, in “Ice Age: Collision Course,” they get to one scene where the characters are on their quest, and at one point, they put a turd on the screen, which may just be the most forced toilet humor I’ve ever seen. By the way, this isn’t the only time the “Ice Age” series has done something like this, in “Ice Age: The Meltdown,” my personal favorite film in the series, there’s a group of characters packing up their belongings to move towards a boat at the end of a valley, based on the words of the film’s antagonist, due to how the ice around them is melting, and they are bringing poop with them. Poop gags and other forms of toilet humor are something kids can enjoy, but it’s overused, sometimes comes off as rather unintelligent, and becomes less funny as time goes on. This doesn’t mean that adult films don’t contain stuff like this too. In “Dumb & Dumber,” there is a scene where one of the characters is pooping his brains out because of extra strong laxatives. And believe it or not, I haven’t seen all of the movie, but I’m aware that this scene is repeated in “American Pie” and “The Other Woman.” It seems that Hollywood wants to s*it out the same scene over and over again til it gets old. Literally.

3: Absurdity/Not Relying on Logic

There is one common trend I notice in films that is rather common, and liked by many people, and that is absurdity, to be completely honest, I don’t get why it is revered by so many people, to me, it just bogs down movies so much, although I will say with movies like those in the “Fast and Furious” franchise it is actually somewhat enjoyable, but still, it is pretty annoying in others. One franchise that is famous for absurdity is “Sharknado.” I was once livetweeting as a special event on my Twitter to “Sharknado 4: The Fourth Awakens” during its premiere on SyFy and one of the tweets I sent out says: “Wait a minute, that shark is DEAD and opening its mouth? I don’t know what can surprise me anymore, I’m nitpicking EVERYTHING. “. A user with the handle @LM1177 replied to me, for what I recall, saying I have to embrace the silliness and avoid nitpicking. I cannot get the exact tweet to show you because as of right now that account is private, however I did reply to the user saying “I tried, but even for the silly, it wasn’t even that silly, therefore changing my mood. “. While I do indeed want some movies to be fun, it should know when to be absurd, along with how absurd it should be. The “Fast and Furious” movies work with this because they know how to make an entertaining story while still being absurd, along with cool music, interesting characters, and even occasionally some likable locations. I admit, “Batman & Robin” from 1997 had a interesting looking Gotham, but the physics errors in that film was too absurd for me in that film. I can take absurdity, but movies must know when to use it.

 

2: Overuse of Product Placement

You can probably agree that we live in a world full of advertising. You see it on billboards, TVs, computers, everywhere! One other place you may see it is in movies. Some of you may know what I’m talking about, some of you might not, but for those of you who don’t, I’m talking about product placement. There are some films I’ve seen in recent years that have product placement all over the place, and I can understand why, but what I can’t understand is the overuse of it, and this mainly irks me when one brand is used more than any other and it stands out during the film. For example, in 2014, one movie was released that was actually based on a children’s book, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” When I saw this in the theater I remember seeing five scenes with different Apple products, one of those scenes was so annoying in fact that I’m surprised I didn’t walk out of the auditorium. Yeah, the characters all take out their IPhones just to take a picture of something, I’m just raging in my head because I’m in an auditorium with other people. Not only that, but let me just have you know that this movie was released by Disney, so I’m WILLING TO BET at some point in the script, it was a requirement to call one of the characters “Wreck-it Ralph” and also make the movie what can basically be summed up as a “Peter Pan” commercial, which is owned by Disney. If you watch the movie it completely makes sense, trust me. Also, let’s take a recent film, “Gifted.” In that movie, it starts off with blatantly obvious product placement related to Kellogg’s Special K, which gave me a bad impression right off the bat, it also over elaborated on an Apple product, a MacBook to be specific, and Google was used in that film probably four or five times. Another series that is no stranger to product placement is the Michael Bay “Transformers” films. In fact, there was quite an overload of product placement in “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” the fourth film in the series, that the popular Youtuber Cinemasins pointed out every single example of this in his “Everything Wrong With” video for the film. Here are just some of the brands contributing to product placement in that film: Beats, Nokia, Skype, Lenovo, Lamborghini, Red Bull, Victoria’s Secret, Budweiser (Bud Light to be specific), Gucci, Chevy, Yili Shu Hua milk, Bugatti, Good Year, and Oreo. I’m not saying there aren’t any times where advertising in movies has worked, in 2013 there was a comedy called “The Internship,” it didn’t have the best reception with critics, with scores like 35% on Rotten Tomatoes and 42 on Metacritic, although it did do rather well with average moviegoers with scores on IMDb traditionally coming in around 6 & 7. The film is about two guys played by Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn who try to get a job at Google, and the movie is essentially a commercial for Google, while at the same time, having a decent story with humor that works, even during moments that could potentially be promoting Google itself. But seriously, let’s apply this to real life, how many times do you go to a YouTube video and click “Skip ad” whenever that option is given to you during a commercial?………. Yeah, I know, don’t you wish you could sometimes do that during movies?

1: Forced Romances/Needing to Have a Romance in a Movie For Some Reason

We’re finally here guys, at #1, the worst movie cliche, the single most awful thing that often happens in movies, that boys and girls, goes to forced romances. How bad are forced romances? So bad they’re unnecessary! This can also be called a mistake in movies in one way or another, but it doesn’t change the fact that it often happens. One example I want to focus on is the romance between Anakin and Padme from “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.” This was actually the first “Star Wars” movie I watched, and when I watched at younger ages, I had no idea what was happening during some parts of the film, but now that I’m older and understand this stuff, I can’t help but cringe when I watch it. I haven’t watched “Attack of the Clones” in almost a couple years, but I remember one time I watched it in 2014 on Blu-Ray for the first time, watching that “I don’t like sand” scene was one of the most astoundingly awful things I’ve ever witnessed in my entire life. If you watch that scene, along with the rest of the film itself, it’s safe to say that you wouldn’t be able to buy these two as a couple. They don’t have much in common, watching them together at times is rather awkward, and pretty much the only reason why their romance is even built during to movie is to continue building up the story that eventually leads to the original trilogy. Plain and simple, lazy writing and poor characterization! Another example of a forced romance is “The 5th Wave,” it is based on a young adult novel which contains a series of waves that bring ruin to the Earth. A teen girl named Cassie Sullivan is trying to survive and also rescue her brother. Along the way, she meets a boy named Evan Walker, which if you’ve read the book, Cassie Sullivan describes his eyes as the color of chocolate. This romance, at least from the way I see it, is forced because Evan Walker is kind of an asshole throughout the film and it almost seems that the only reason Cassie is staying romantically linked with him, at least from what I think, is due to his looks. I mean, heck, there are f*cking ab shots in the movie. I mean, sure, if you want to turn people on with that, go ahead, I’m clearly not in the demographic, I’m a straight male so that says something right there. I will just say, I know with some forced romances, they have sex scenes as well, and I’m well aware that sometimes sex scenes can be forced, but at least forced sex scenes aren’t usually as cringeworthy and also more fun to watch (UNLESS DEPENDING ON WHO YOU ARE, YOU’RE WATCHING WITH A FAMILY MEMBER SUCH AS A PARENT OR KID) as forced romances, at least from my experience of watching TV and film. Also filmmakers, take notes, not every single movie has to have a boy and girl kissing, making out, having sex, falling in love, etc. Just look at another “Star Wars” film, “Rogue One,” two of the main characters are Jyn and Cassian, throughout the film they show no sign whatsoever of romantic connection, and the writers do a swell job of keeping it that way. Not just that, but I’ve seen the movie about 5 times from beginning to end, I don’t remember seeing any romance whatsoever. The only time when these two characters have any sort of noticeable physical interaction is toward the very end of the film, I won’t say what it is for those who haven’t seen the film, but it involves them hugging.

Well that’s it folks, those are my top 10 worst movie cliches, I’m not even sure if this list is all that good or even practical despite putting lots of effort into it, but I want to know, what are some movie cliches you hate? Do you have a list? Let me know in the comments! Do you want to see any other countdowns? Reply with a suggestion and maybe I’ll keep it in mind! Also, I’m planning to see a movie this weekend, maybe two, you’ll find out what they are soon so stay tuned for all of that coming up! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

The Fate of the Furious (2017): Good, Even Without Paul Walker

 

mv5bmjmxodi2ndm5nl5bml5banbnxkftztgwnjgzotk1mti-_v1_sy1000_cr006311000_al_

“The Fate of the Furious” is the eighth installment in the widely popular “Fast and Furious” franchise, hehe, wow, EIGHT of these films exist. Anyway, this film stars Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, and Charlize Theron who you may know from films like “Hancock,” “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” “Prometheus,” and “Mad Max: Fury Road.” This film is about Dom’s turn to terrorism, he teams up with Cipher, played by the recently mentioned Charlize Theron, and his “family” is betrayed by this, so now they have to go up against Dom and Cipher.

The “Fast and Furious” franchise, in my opinion, is probably one of the most interesting franchises I’ve ever seen. I don’t know how many people see it the way I do, but I do know how people mainly see this franchise as a group of popcorn movies, which in my book is a good way of describing it, but the weird thing about this franchise from my personal perspective, is that it is about family or companionship, which is something that I noticed A LOT in this film by the way, and yet at the same time, it’s almost like pornography that is appropriate for people under the age of 18. By that I mean it tries to make girls come off as eye candy in every single film. I mean, seriously! This is a franchise that tried to literally make a girl a prize, and I say that in POSSIBLE EXAGGERATION because this is an actual line stated by the character of Cindy from “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” “Winner gets… me.” I’m not kidding, there’s a scene where a street race is about to go down and a girl offers herself, as a prize. By the way, there’s likely to be a reason they cast the girl who played Cindy, maybe she’s good at acting, maybe she has had some experience– aw who am I kidding, she’s f*cking hot!

I mean, I don’t have a problem with hot girls being cast in films like this, in fact, I’d rather see that in this as opposed to something such as, well, I don’t know, let’s say “Saving Private Ryan.” Another weird thing about this franchise in my opinion is that a lot of its sequels are seemingly much more well received as opposed to its older films, at least from what I’m getting on IMDb, this film is no exception to that. As far as the movie goes as a whole, this is once again what you’d probably expect out of a “Fast and Furious” film. You get tons of action, some of it is absurd yet fun, you get hot girls, one-liners left and right, and something related to companionship or family in here too. The only thing missing, is Paul Walker, RIP by the way. Also, without spoiling anything, the movie actually tries to pay respect to Paul, if you watch the film you’ll see what I mean.

One thing I want to talk about when it comes to this movie is the action, if you ask me what my favorite movies in this franchise are when it comes to action, I’d probably respond back with 5 and 7. Is this movie as good as those when it comes to action? Personally, no. It’s still good in this movie though, there was a very entertaining climax and I also love the prison break scene. In all honesty, that scene may be one of the most choreographed action sequences I’ve ever watched but it’s all the better for it! The scene had a funky music choice too.

Let’s talk about Dominic Toretto in this movie. As mentioned before, everyone in this film is going up against Dom because he turned his back on his pals. When Dominic actually was with Charlize Theron’s character in this movie, a character whom I’ll discuss in a second, I got really invested based on some choices he was given, these are choices I won’t bring up for the sake of not spoiling anything, but nevertheless they’re there and at one point it actually made the movie more emotionally charging, which actually kind of surprised me considering this is a “Fast and Furious” film, I don’t have any complaints about it personally but I thought I’d deliver that to the table.

As mentioned recently, I said I was gonna bring up Charlize Theron’s character, so keeping that in mind, let’s talk about Charlize Theron’s character. First off, I never really thought this to myself, but this character has some of the weirdest hair I’ve ever seen. I’m not saying it’s bad or anything, it’s just, weird, I don’t know. Another thing I noticed is that while Charlize Theron isn’t exactly giving a bad performance, there’s probably a reason why she was cast in this movie, and no, not because she’s hot, I mean, if you want my two cents, she’s rather good looking, but still, I wouldn’t say she was cast for that reason. From my mind, I think she was cast for this role mainly because it’s similar to some other roles she has done, a lot of movies I see Charlize Theron in she always seems to play either some strong character, or some strong character that doesn’t really seem to take much nonsense from anyone. I’ve seen that in “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” “Hancock,” even “Kubo and the Two Strings,” which is actually an animated film. Also, if you haven’t seen “Kubo and the Two Strings,” see it as soon as possible because it is one of the best animations I’ve ever seen, and if you have kids, make sure they watch it too because chances are they’ll like it.

I mentioned recently that one of my favorite action scenes in the film is the prison break scene. Speaking of prison, two of this movie’s characters are in prison together, Luke Hobbs (played by Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (played by Jason Statham). One of my favorite parts of the film is the banter between the two characters going back and forth on how they’re gonna beat each other up. This goes on for a good chunk of the movie and I love it.

In the end, while this isn’t my favorite “Fast and Furious” film, it certainly isn’t a bad one, certainly not as bad as “Tokyo Drift,” that was awful, and it’s not because of that girl who offered herself as a prize, I just wasn’t all that invested in the film or anything. This is what you would probably expect from a “Fast and Furious” film, which is a couple hours worth of entertainment that while somewhat disposable and kind of absurd, is still fun to watch. I’m gonna give “The Fate of the Furious” a 7/10. Thanks for reading this review and I hope to have more here soon. I can’t think of anything that’s on my radar at the moment, but I hope to possibly see some other movies soon, like “Ghost in the Shell.” I’ve already seen the original movie, so I figured it would be an appropriate time to go see the live action version, although I don’t know anyone who has seen any “Ghost in the Shell” material so that would probably be a waste. In couple of weeks, I’m definitely hoping to see “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” which luckily I do have people who are excited for that. As far as other news goes, there is a TV movie coming out on HBO this Sunday, that movie is called “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” it’s based on a book by Rebecca Skloot, and focuses on the true story on the discovery of and research dedicated towards the HeLa cell, which changed cancer research forever. I MIGHT review it, I might not, I don’t even know if I’ll even see it, but if I do see it, there may be a possibility of an upcoming review concerning the film. Stay tuned for that if it ever comes around, along with future reviews and posts! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Has FIVE Post-Credit Scenes: What Does This Mean?

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Just thought I’d do a little post before I go see “The Fate of the Furious” hours from now, and I wanted to do it on something I heard about nearly three days ago. In case you didn’t know, James Gunn, the director of the upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” film, along with the first movie in that series, stated recently that the soon to be released Guardians film will have five, and I’m not kidding when I say that, FIVE post-credit scenes.

You may already know that Marvel Studios does at least one post-credit scene during each one of their films. When they started out with “Iron Man” back in 2008, they had a scene introducing Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury with the famous line “I’m here to talk to you about the Avenger Initiative.” One thing I noticed with these films ever since Disney took ownership of Marvel is that it has now become a tradition to have two end credit scenes, occasionally they would have one ending with the phrase “(insert character here) will return.” My big question is, what is the purpose of having five end credit scenes?

One thought that’s on my mind when it comes to this is that there could be one dedicated to individual Guardians. There could be one for Starlord, one for Rocket, one for Drax, one for Baby Groot, and one for Gamora. I wonder what that would do though or how that would happen. Maybe they get separated at the end of the film or something and it leaves us on some sort of cliffhanger. Perhaps that assumed cliffhanger will be solved during “Avengers: Infinity War” scheduled to come out in 2018, after all, the Guardians will be in that movie. Maybe some of the new characters will be included in these scenes, if they don’t get scenes of their own, and I say that considering how the Guardians I mentioned here were the main characters of the original film, with the exception of Baby Groot who was actually introduced during a post-credits scene in the movie.

You also have to consider how many Marvel movies are announced in the future. For example, you have “Spider-Man: Homecoming” coming out in July, maybe there could be a scene for that, granted the movie is under Sony, but Marvel is allowed to use the character in their films. You also have “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Black Panther,” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” If there aren’t scenes dedicated to each one of those films, maybe there will be a scene or two containing Guardians characters put in just for shiggles, kind of like how the end credit scene from “Iron Man 3” may have just been put in for shiggles.

Another thought I have about this is that the scenes could be constant interruptions from the credits themselves. You remember the first Michael Bay “Transformers” movie? Well if you don’t, that film has end credit scenes, I remember one of them contained an interview of sorts with Sam’s parents and a Decepticon flying above Earth, although I can’t say for sure because it’s been awhile since I’ve seen the film, but I know there’s about 3 or 4 total end credit scenes in the entire credits segment. It would probably be a bit different in this movie as opposed to “Transformers,” but it is something I’m keeping in mind.

One more thought on my mind is that maybe this could technically be one end credit scene, but it is split into five parts, it is not something I believe will be the case, but I’m not leaving out the possibility of that happening. Although, it could be a good way to get people to stay in the theater in case some important information is spilled during the scene.

mv5bnzeyndy5mzg5nf5bml5banbnxkftztgwmdu2ntm1mti-_v1_sy1000_sx677_al_

The idea of having five end credit scenes is something I never see, there aren’t many movies that have even a single end credit scene. We’ll have to see how this plays out, and I’m gonna ask you, what are your thoughts on having five post-credit scenes in “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2?” What do you think those scenes will contain? Let me know in the comments! Also guys, I am gonna review this movie when it comes out, it is actually at the moment, my second most anticipated film of 2017 behind “Wonder Woman,” so stay tuned for that next month when it comes out if I can review it then. Speaking of reviews, I’m gonna soon be reviewing “The Fate of the Furious,” and also be sure to check out my review for “Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo,” you can see an icon below that can take you to the review, and in the review I focus on the movie itself and I also give a little shoutout to my friend, Kayla LaFrance. Be sure to take a look at that, also stay tuned for my future reviews and posts. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo (2017): One Giant Leap for Documentaries

“Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo” is directed by David Fairhead, based on the book “Go Flight!” written by Rick Houston, and is a documentary about the team behind NASA who were responsible for the Apollo missions and helped shape the future of space travel and society.

I’m gonna start off by saying a couple of things, first off, I actually know someone who works in mission control. Her name is Kayla LaFrance, you may know her from TBS’s reality competition “King of the Nerds,” and she’s a really good friend of mine. By the way, shoutout to her. When I was watching this film, I couldn’t help but think of her at some points and just imagine if she would have to deal with something like what I’ve seen in this documentary. Second, I don’t normally review documentaries, so I’m even wondering if this review will even be as well crafted as some of my other ones.

Also, in case you’re wondering where the hell you can see this movie, it’s actually not playing in too many theaters. In fact, by the time you read this review, it probably won’t be playing in any theaters because it is not getting too big of a release, and it just came out last week. If you want to see this movie, my biggest suggestion I can give to you right now is to stream it. I actually watched this film on Amazon so I didn’t watch it in the theater, in fact watching this in the theater wouldn’t have been possible for me because there were no places in the Boston area showing this film.

Sticking to the review, this movie covered the mission control’s point of view during the Apollo missions. For what I can recall, most of the missions, if not all of the missions, in some way, shape, or form, got some chunk of screen time throughout the movie, although the ones that were touched upon more than others included Apollo 1, Apollo 8, Apollo 11, Apollo 12, and Apollo 13. And I’m just gonna pause on that and say this: In a good chunk of space-related movies I’ve witnessed, you may notice that the astronauts are the main heroes, there are some exceptions, such as the recent hit “Hidden Figures,” but a good number of them focus on astronauts. While this isn’t really a movie, it is somewhat interesting and unique to see mission control being portrayed as the heroes of focus as opposed to astronauts, whereas you take a sports film and make the executives heroic. Yes, those exist. For example, “United Passions,” a movie on FIFA’s history, was released in 2014 in some places, and 2015 in others. How did that turn out? Well, on IMDb, it is on the bottom rated movies list at spot #50, it has a 2.1/10 average on the site, it has a Metascore of 1/100, Jordan Hoffman of The Guardian said “as cinema it is excrement,” Sara Stewart of the New York Post wrote it is a “Tedious, amateurish and hilariously ill-timed film,” and Tim Appelo of The Wrap said it is “One of those rare films so unfathomably ghastly you could write a better one sitting through its interminable 110 minutes. I’d rather re-watch Elton John’s “Gnomeo & Juliet” 110 times.” Seriously! Once again, while this is more of a documentary as opposed to a movie, I can say my 102 minutes watching this film were indeed wisely spent.

When it came to this film’s intro, it almost reminded me of “Gravity” if they got right to the space stuff, and what I mean is you see this image of stars, I remember hearing communications, seeing a spacecraft, it almost had the vibe of the intro to “Gravity.” By the way, if you have never seen “Gravity,” watch it, it’s a good movie. Not perfect from a scientific standpoint, but certainly a great experience.

A lot of the people who came on to get interviewed worked in mission control, in case the name of the film didn’t scream that enough, some of those people included Gene Kranz, Chris Kraft, and Steve Bales. There are many more, but I won’t dive too deep into them. Some of what these folks said was either funny or just entertaining. In fact, one of the quotes I heard someone say is that they were talking about Apollo 13, and they were going back to the time when they thought this would make a great movie someday. Just look how the time brings us here, Apollo 13 did become a movie, and a good one at that.

When the movie was focusing on Apollo 1, it brought up the whole meeting they had where Gene Kranz had his “tough and competent” speech. I once did a project on the space race, I like the idea of space travel, and once again, I’ll mention I have a friend who works at NASA, the “tough and competent” speech was never something that happened to be drilled into my head, but now that I heard it in this movie, it did a couple things. First, it was very compelling, especially when I heard about the phrase being written on boards everywhere. And second, it kind of reminded me of my own life. I have a TV production teacher in school, and this fellow is somewhat arrogant at times, which is his way of teaching, and the speech given here almost made it sound like something my TV teacher would say.

Perhaps my favorite parts of the film were Apollo 8 and Apollo 11, as you may know, Apollo 11 is probably one of the most famous space missions ever done, it’s still talked about today as a huge achievement. Believe it or not, they don’t really focus much on the astronauts as they do when I hear about it in other instances, which I think is a smart move, after all this is about mission control, not the astronauts.

Apollo 8 isn’t really talked about as much, but seeing everything that happened on screen was a glorious sight in my mind, looking at all of the moon’s craters while hearing the story of the mission was just fascinating and kind of increased the intensity of the feature.

In the end, I really enjoyed myself during this feature, I may not be someone who will grow up to work at NASA, but at least I can watch a documentary and admire the people who actually do or have worked at NASA, with that being said, I loved all of the stories this film told, and for what I hear is a movie by a director who has not done much work, it comes off like this guy’s umpteenth feature, at least that’s what I think. I’m gonna give “Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo” a high 8/10. This almost crossed the border into a 9/10, possibly raising it to a score somewhere close to a 10/10, but there were some segments of the film that felt more forgettable than others at some points which brought the score down. Also, since this review is NASA related, I’ll once again shoutout my friend Kayla LaFrance, if you want to follow her on social media or visit her site go right ahead, I have some related links listed below. Also, be sure to check out my review for “The Fate of the Furious” which is driving towards this blog later this weekend, I was gonna review it earlier this week, but my dad who was gonna go see this film with me unfortunately wasn’t feeling good, so we postponed the whole get together to Friday. Anyway, stay tuned for that review, be sure to look out for even more reviews on the horizon, and also check out my past reviews. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

KAYLA’S WEBSITE: http://www.kaylalafrance.com/

KAYLA’S TWITTER: https://twitter.com/On2Mars_Kayla

KAYLA’S FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Harmakis7/

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi Teaser Trailer: IT’S TIME FOR THE JEDI TO END?!

mv5bote5nzyynjm0ml5bml5banbnxkftztgwnjk4mdiwmji-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Yesterday I just got an alert of some big movie news, which is the release of the all new Last Jedi trailer. Right now Star Wars Celebration is happening, it just premiered there on Friday, it was uploaded to the Internet around the same time, and I click on one of the videos showing the trailer just 6 minutes after it was uploaded. I’ll be completely honest, this is one of those trailers that I want to review right away, but I felt that I couldn’t because I still needed to process everything. Do I love it? Do I hate it? Do I think it is mediocre? I mean, to start off, it looked cool and I thought there was gonna be some cool fights in the movie, but I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about it. Now that I have had a day to process my thoughts, I felt I should make this post before it gets washed up in obscurity.

So the trailer starts off fading up from black, then all of a sudden Rey appears. There are two things that come to mind when I see this. First off, Rey is training to improve her skills as a Jedi, she appears exhausted from strenuous work. Or the second possibility, and to me this seems much more likely than the first, Rey has had a force vision and it was a rather unfortunate one. Remember how in “The Empire Strikes Back” Luke had one too when he was training where he saw a sad future for Han and Leia? Maybe Rey has experienced something similar to this. Perhaps it may apply to Finn. Although this thought, kind of worries me, and this will apply to a future paragraph in this post.

Next up, we have the Lucasfilm logo appear, then when it disappears, Luke is saying “Breathe. Just breathe.” Interestingly enough, that could increase the possibility of the first thought I had towards the scene in the previous paragraph. Throughout this moment, we get some shots of the island where the end of “The Force Awakens” took place, which just looks beautiful. If there is one thing I admire about various “Star Wars” films, it’s the locations the crew chooses to shoot the movies. We also get a shot of Rey in front of the water, standing on the cliff of the island, which looks cool, but kind of reminds me of the beginning of the “Justice League” trailer that just came out not too long ago. Luke continues on saying “Now, reach out, what do you see?” This increases my second thought of being correct because, well, you know, force visions, seeing, get it?

mv5bmjqxntm4mdaznf5bml5banbnxkftztgwodg5mdiwmji-_v1_sx1777_cr001777744_al_

Next up we get a shot where a map is shown, quite possibly the map that was missing a piece in “The Force Awakens,” and it seems that Leia is in front of it, by the way, RIP Carrie Fisher. I really want to know how Leia’s role is going to play out in this film now that Carrie Fisher is dead, a part of me hopes this doesn’t bring some sort of cliffhanger that must be resolved in “Star Wars Episode IX” because chances are that they’re probably they’re gonna have to find someone to bring in and they’re gonna have to CGI old Carrie Fisher’s face onto this person. And based on the reactions to CGI Tarkin and CGI Leia in “Rogue One,” I wonder if something like that would end up getting a similar reaction. Want to know my two cents about it? I thought it was fine, I mean, CGI Tarkin was more noticeable the second time I watched it, but CGI Leia looked OK to me in that movie.

Going back to dialogue, it’s around this time where Rey replies to Luke saying what she sees. She replies, “Light, darkness, the balance.” Luke then says “It’s so much bigger.” With what Rey just said, I don’t know if you guys noticed this, but I heard these random tidbits of words being uttered, you could BARELY hear them, I don’t know how many people heard this during their first time watching this, something comes out of someone’s mouth just before Rey says “Light.” I think it is Rey saying, “You.” Then it continuous on, right before Rey says “darkness,” somebody, presumably Kylo Ren, says something, but it ends with “the dark side.” To further my point, we get a shot that shows what seems to be Kylo Ren’s helmet on the ground. After that, I’m hearing more stuff, it doesn’t really sound like words at this point though, just before Rey says “the balance.” At this point, we get a shot of what seems to be a Jedi related book of some kind. Once again, all of this may be supporting my force vision theory. When Luke says his words, we get a shot featuring Rey and Luke, Rey is moving her lightsaber around, while Luke is just standing still watching her.

Then we get a shot of some ships in a location we haven’t seen before, which looks like the lightest desert I’ve ever seen in my life. In the distance, it almost looks like there are some AT-ATs. So I guess maybe that this is the Hoth battle on a desert? One funny thought I had in mind is, what if this is Hoth and it melted? This movie takes place 3 decades after “Return of the Jedi,” but what if Hoth, at some point between the original trilogy and this movie, had melted? Like, global warming style, although much faster than it would be on Earth, I wonder how that even would be practical, but still, it’s just a funny thought I had in mind.

Then we get a shot of Finn, he has his eyes closed, he’s still in the previous state we saw him since the end of the last movie. And if you’re wondering if he’ll actually do something in this movie, John Boyega says he will. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wakes up at one point and we see him in action somewhere, despite how he wasn’t exactly a master at it in “The Force Awakens.” Plus there’s gonna be a whole toy line released based on this movie months before it comes out, and the packaging for the toys are gonna contain an image with Rey, Poe, and Finn on it.

You’ve also got a shot of Poe and BB-8 quickly moving through a hallway, then the next shot shows an explosion, I’m not sure what exactly is receiving the explosion, but the explosion looks like it is growing and moving towards Poe’s X-Wing ship, which can’t be all that good. These shots, for what I know, seem to be displayed during the same scenario, but aren’t right next to each other in the movie’s runtime.

Afterwards we get our first shot of the Millennium Falcon in this trailer. It’s being chased by some TIE Fighters, while at the same time, it just took one out. I wonder who’s in the Millennium Falcon, it might be Chewbacca. After all, when Rey was going to the island where Luke was in the last movie, Chewie was in the Falcon with her, so this assumption might make sense.

 

Then we get a shot of Rey running with her lightsaber on, her face is almost a silhouette, which then cuts to Kylo Ren, and just look at him, he has a scar now. Just goes to show you, lightsaber duels can do some rough things to you. I wonder if he’ll even wear his mask anymore throughout this movie, or even the series for that matter. Although before we get to that shot, Luke starts saying, “I only know one truth,” which ends at a shot of R2 standing alongside someone, maybe Chewbacca or possibly a new character, right in front of a burning building. If I had to guess, I’m assuming that’s a base. We then get some more cool shots, including our first look at Captain Phasma, which means she made it through the trash compactor, then we get a space battle that looks sick, then all of sudden the trailer cuts to black. Luke then finishes his quote, he says “it’s time for the Jedi, to end. We then see Luke not really looking like the most optimistic or happiest person in the universe, then we get a look at our red title. When Luke says that it is time for the Jedi to end, that is kind of what is making me confused. Why should they end? Does Luke think it is time for darkness to consume the universe? Is there a better light title to be determined than a Jedi? What does this mean? Besides, if it is time for the Jedi to end, why do we even see Rey training in the first place? Although I will say, she did seem to know some Jedi skills in the previous film, I heard she learned a bit about the art of the Jedi in some Star Wars book. I don’t know, I feel like I’m digressing.

At the beginning of this I mentioned the force vision possibility, and how I view it as worrisome. Why do I feel this way you ask? Because I feel like this movie is just going to rip off “The Empire Strikes Back.” Granted, “The Force Awakens” ripped off the original “Star Wars” film, but I thought that was justified, because the intention was to pay homage to “A New Hope,” while at the same time giving people something they haven’t seen before. I thought that was masterfully done and pretty reasonable because there were some people who loved the original trilogy but hated the prequel trilogy, and this was essentially a reminder that “Star Wars” was gonna go back to the way things were without as much CGI and all of that stuff. Although if this rips off Empire, I’m gonna take some points off of the movie’s score when I see it. If Rey’s hand gets cut off, then I’m probably gonna lose it, maybe not, we’ll have to see what happens.

mv5bnjdimdrhnwqtzgm2my00zjm0ltk2mwmtmdg4yzvjztk1mzexxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvynjuwnzk3ndc-_v1_

Well, that’s the first trailer for “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi,” I didn’t get the same feeling for this trailer that I got after watching the trailer for “The Force Awakens,” I couldn’t wait for “The Force Awakens,” this trailer, got me somewhat excited in various ways, but in some ways, made me fearful for how the movie will be as a whole. I probably will go see this movie the day it comes out, after all I don’t want any spoilers, but I don’t think this will be as good as “The Force Awakens.” If there’s one thing I like about this film, it seems to hide a bunch of key plot elements, much like the trailers for “The Force Awakens.” Will this movie be good? Hopefully, but there’s no guarantee. Thanks for reading guys, be sure to keep your eyes open because pretty soon I’m gonna review “The Fate of the Furious,” I’m also gonna possibly review “Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo,” and maybe one more movie next week, depending on what happens. Stay tuned for all of that coming soon, and I just want to know, what are your thoughts on “The Last Jedi” teaser? Also, are you at Star Wars Celebration? How is it? Did you see the trailer there? Let me know! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Gifted: The Opposite of This Movie

“Gifted” is directed by Marc Webb, who also directed “The Amazing Spider-Man” series and “500 Days of Summer,” and this film stars Chris Evans, who you may know as Captain America in the MCU, Mckenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan, Jenny Slate, and Octavia Spencer, who was recently nominated for an Oscar for her performance in “Hidden Figures,” which is a nomination I personally don’t get. I don’t mind Octavia Spencer as an actress, I just feel some other people did better in the movie that were more deserving of a nomination as opposed to her. Anyway, this film is about a guy named Frank, who lives with her niece, Mary, who is a child prodigy. Unfortunately, Frank is brought into a custody battle with his mother.

I went into this movie with some expectations. These expectations included: To get a good glimpse at the life of this child genius, get some good performances, and have it make me feel certain emotions. Unluckily, I left disappointed. With that being said, this movie isn’t terrible, it just isn’t likable.

Have you ever seen a movie that has tons of product placement? I know I have. I’ve seen all of the Michael Bay “Transformers” movies, “The Smurfs,” and if you remember last year’s “Mother’s Day” film, that was on my top 10 worst list of last year, and one of the reasons for that has to do with incessant and bogus product placement. This movie also has a good amount of it, I mean, it could be worse, but it’s still bad. It also gave me a bad impression at the very beginning. Like, the niece is eating breakfast, she isn’t all that happy, and there’s a cereal box on the table, for the sake of a humorous scene, Chris Evans’s character turns it around and it shows that the cereal is Special K from Kellogg’s. I say humorous scene because there were actually a good number of people cracking up when the front of the cereal box appeared. I just thought, “Oh, so it’s gonna be this type of movie.” This kind of gave me a bad first impression, especially when you consider some of the cast members that are in this movie.

Speaking of product placement, there is one thing I want to point out, Google is used so much in this film. I mean, it almost feels like Google donated so much money towards this movie just to have appearances in multiple scenes, including ones that are crucial to the overall plot. If I had to count all of the scenes they were featured in, I’d guess that the number would come out to somewhere between 3 and 5, so, threeve, I guess? If you have seen SNL’s Celebrity Jeopardy sketch you’d get this. As much as I’m annoyed by this, it’s actually not the first time something like this was in a Marc Webb film. If you remember “The Amazing Spider-Man,” Peter Parker uses Bing in three different scenes. But still, it’s annoying, and I don’t like it.

Anywho, let’s move onto the characters. Chris Evans plays Frank in this film, and throughout a good chunk of this film, I couldn’t decide whether or not Frank was a dick or confused, I liked him better towards the end though based on some events that occurred in the film, but overall, I can’t say I was absolutely fond of this character.

Mckenna Grace plays the child prodigy in this film and as far as child actors go, I say that her performance was quite suitable. While this isn’t my favorite child performance, I wouldn’t say it belongs in a dumpster fire. Oh, and yeah, she swears in this film, and as of right now, this girl just entered the double digit ages, so I must say while her parents must be infuriated and shocked about this (unless of course they hear her swear often or they read the script or heard the line before it was even shot), it did get a laugh from the audience. I can’t remember if I laughed or not, and that’s kind of sad because while this movie is serious, there are some times where it tries to throw in some humor and it fails. I mean, if you remember “Manchester by the Sea,” I said a big problem with that movie is that it should have been all seriousness and no humor, but at least when it had humor, it actually made me laugh slightly more. I remember chuckling a bit, but that’s probably the maximum of all my laughter released throughout the film. And unlike “Manchester by the Sea,” this seemed like a movie where some humor would be suitable.

I’m not gonna focus too much more on characters, but one more character I want to talk about is Lindsay Duncan’s character, Evelyn. In this movie, Evelyn is Frank’s mother, and her growing relationship with Mary is somewhat threatening towards the one Mary already has with Frank considering they live together. I’m not gonna get into much detail, but this movie spends a good amount of time in a courtroom, and what do I think about those scenes? They’re forgettable. However, if I remember one thing, I can remember that this mother was presented as a queen of douchebags based on a single detail during one of those scenes, I won’t really go into much detail, but still, that’s how I saw her character at one point.

One more thing I want to bring up is this, if you want to know my thoughts on this movie, this can sum them up in a nutshell. There is this one scene, where Frank and Mary are interacting with each other in this film, and there’s a TV on in the background. On the TV is the original “Ice Age” movie from 2002. Now during this scene, while they are talking, I am looking towards the TV with my eyes glued to it. That just goes to show, I was more interested in watching “Ice Age,” a movie that was in this movie, than this actual movie itself.

In conclusion, I was disappointed with “Gifted,” this movie sounded rather interesting based on the concept, and believe it or not I can somewhat relate to the child prodigy, I might not be as smart as her, but there is a scene that suggests she wants to correct people, specifically older ones. I, possibly like her, do it out of what I see as assistance, but others may see something else out of it. Nevertheless, despite the relatability, it’s hard for me to like this film. I spent many times rolling my eyes, questioning the film, silently yelling at the screen in a way that nobody could hear me, all to the point where I just don’t want to watch this film again. I’m gonna give “Gifted” a 3/10. Thanks for reading this review, pretty soon I’m gonna try and see “The Fate of the Furious,” so hopefully I can have that review up soon, and I might watch “Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo,” which is now in select theaters and streaming services. It’s not playing in any theaters near me last time I checked, so I’m just gonna use a streaming service to watch this if I do ever get the chance. Also, be sure to check out the latest entry in my series of “Spider-Man” reviews, “Spider-Man 2.” The link is down below, if you want to read it, go right ahead, but just a heads up, the post is LONG, so if you make it through the end, just pretend I’m in front of you giving you a sticker. Stay tuned for more reviews. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

“SPIDER-MAN 2” REVIEW *SPOILERS FOR THIS FILM AND SPIDER-MAN 1*: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/04/14/spider-man-2-best-superhero-movie-to-date-spoilers-for-this-movie-spider-man-1/

Spider-Man 2: Best Superhero Movie To Date? *SPOILERS FOR THIS MOVIE AND SPIDER-MAN 1*

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Right now it is April and that means it is time to continue a little event I have going on. Last month, I reviewed Sam Raimi’s original “Spider-Man” film on here, this was just the beginning of a series of reviews leading up to “Spider-Man: Homecoming’s” release on July 7th. Now since it is April, we’re gonna tackle the sequel, “Spider-Man 2.” So let’s get started!

mv5bmzy2odk4nmutotvmni00ztdkltlmowytmme2owvhntu2otvkxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymtqxnzmzndi-_v1_sy1000_cr007291000_al_

“Spider-Man 2” is directed by Sam Raimi and stars Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Alfred Molina, and James Franco. This film continues some period of time after the first film, and this time around, Peter is actually in college, not in high school. Is it a weird jump in time? I don’t think so. Besides, it could probably make you complain slightly less about Tobey Maguire playing Peter Parker due to his age, not that I really cared about that. Anyway, Peter is having a bit of struggle in his personal life, while at the same time, he meets Otto Octavius, played by Alfred Molina, who eventually becomes the villain of the film, Dr. Octopus. Or Doc Ock, or whatever you wanna call it.

Before making this review, I rewatched this film from beginning to end, and I just want to go off of here by letting everyone know that if you asked me what I thought of this movie in the past, especially when I was around age 13 and getting into how movies were made, I would say that I freaking love this movie, it’s also one of my favorite films of all time. Here’s another fun fact for you, the last time I watched this film was NEARLY two years ago, like, seriously, DAYS after this review gets posted, it will be EXACTLY two years since my last viewing of this movie, which is kind of crazy considering how much I adore this movie. Although I will say that may be kind of a good thing that I waited so long to watch this again, because if I have watched “Spider-Man 2” over and over again in the past, chances are I could have possibly gotten bored with it.

Also, I just want to say one thing, I mentioned this is one of my favorite movies ever, but it doesn’t mean I turned off my brain while watching this film. I analyzed the film, looking for flaws, I could barely find a single one. This seems like something I’d talk about towards the end, but I feel like I should bring it up now. There was one thing I thought about. There’s this reviewer on YouTube known as Chris Stuckmann, and he reviewed this film. In his review he stated that a flaw worth pointing out was when Doc Ock threw Peter into a wall, nearly killing him. Why was this wrong? He was talking with Harry Osborn, played by James Franco, and Harry was gonna give him an energy source he was after if Doc Ock finds Spider-Man and brings him to Harry alive. As Doc Ock was walking down the building which Harry lives in with his tentacles, Harry yells “And don’t hurt Peter!” I defend Doc Ock’s actions for multiple reasons. First off, we don’t really get any shot which confirms Doc Ock heard Harry say what he said. Secondly, when he is interacting with Peter, Mary Jane is also there. Doc Ock assumes Mary Jane is Peter’s girlfriend, and Doc Ock threatens Peter by saying that if he doesn’t find out where Spider-Man is, he’ll “peel the flesh off her (Mary Jane’s) bones.” Peter shown a sign that he wanted MJ to be safe, which made the idea of keeping Peter away a good thought for Doc, so Peter had to suffer the consequences, and Doc Ock throwing him the way he did, in a way, kind of made it harder for Peter to do anything about the situation. Peter could have been taken as well, but that wasn’t the threat given to him. I will say however, one thing that is a little questionable, and that is right before Doc Ock invades the cafe Peter and MJ are together in, is that Doc Ock throws a car into the cafe, and it nearly hits Peter, almost killing him, which basically nearly wastes his chance of asking him where Spider-Man is. Then again, it’s possible that Doc Ock was about to cross the street and his arms, which controlled him, threw the car at the glass just to get across. Another thing could be that he didn’t want to take extra time of breaking through the door or the glass himself, but I don’t know if that’s the case. Although I will say there are actually a couple things I admire about that despite what I just said, one, the shots of the car coming in are kinda sick, and the second I won’t say because they are somewhat spoilery, although if you have seen the movie, you may know what I’m referring to. Let’s just say it has to do with the spider-sense and recovery. THAT’S ALL I’LL SAY THERE. If there’s anything else to point out in terms of flaws, I can’t really say there’s much of anything else worth spitting out at the moment, there was one thing that kind of annoyed me, but it’s not exactly a flaw. That being this one woman singing the Spider-Man theme song and playing the violin, I mean, I can tolerate it, but her voice doesn’t really seem fit for singing.

Well, now that that’s over with, let’s focus on the characters. Tobey Maguire is back in this movie as Peter Parker, as mentioned before, Peter is in college, and his story throughout this movie is probably one of the most compelling I’ve seen in a superhero film. Let me just say, despite the goofiness displayed in the first film, like with the Green Goblin and his somewhat questionable costume, JK Simmons as J Jonah Jameson (PERFECT CASTING CHOICE BY THE WAY), and some quips thrown back and forth between characters, some of this makes a return in this movie. With that being said, some of the realism from the first movie makes a return too, and this time, I have to say that this was done better here and the first one. You feel for Peter all of the way through and understand everything that happens to him. It’s just one struggle after the next that he has to get through which is pretty tedious and it just makes me root for him. If there is anything else to say about this, I have to say that is probably the best depiction of a superhero’s life when you add in his personal life and his superhero life in the mix. I will bring up one thing though, in the beginning of the film, Peter runs into Dr. Connors, a professor he has in college, Connors brings up a report Peter has to do, Peter says he’s planning to do it on Otto Octavius, Connors says planning isn’t good enough, and if Peter doesn’t get the report done, Connors is gonna fail him. This was never revisited, but let me just say, I personally don’t care all that much. Why not? Peter mentions who the report is about, and it is on the film’s villain, which kind of makes the whole story all the more interesting in my opinion to the point where the college thing doesn’t even matter. Besides, that story does somewhat have a resolution, I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say it happens during the “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” montage.

Let’s bring up Mary Jane Watson, who is once again played by Kirsten Dunst. One thing I noticed about her is that her hair isn’t really as red as it was in the first film, I mean, it is a little red, but it almost goes towards the color of blonde. I don’t really mind this change all that much considering a hint of red is still there, at least to my eyes, plus it’s also kind of a sign that MJ has gotten older since the last film. In this movie, she’s part of the reason why I find Peter’s story extremely compelling. It turns out in this film, MJ is seeing someone named John Jameson, who is actually the son of J Jonah Jameson at the Daily Bugle. This adds to the complexity of the plot and it’s just one of those things that makes me root for Peter more. Also, remember how in the first movie Mary Jane said she wanted to act? Well, now she is living her dream. Although Peter can’t really go see her play, and if you watch the movie, you’ll see that this isn’t his fault whatsoever. Once again, disrupting the balance between Peter’s two identities. Speaking of identities while staying on the topic of MJ, there is this one scene where Peter is going to use a payphone to call MJ. She doesn’t pick up and the machine gets it, when Peter starts talking, we see MJ walking around her apartment and Peter’s words are being transmitted. MJ doesn’t really seem to show any sympathy towards Peter and what he’s saying, and his time expires, and what happens next, is something I never thought about much until the last time I watched this film. Peter puts more money into the payphone, he says that he’s Spider-Man over the phone. Throughout this point of the scene, there is no transition between shots looking at Mary Jane and Peter. I love how the movie does that and doesn’t treat its audience like idiots by hiding the possibility that Mary Jane either doesn’t believe him or Mary Jane just went away from the phone.

Next up we have Harry, once again played by James Franco. If you remember in the first movie, he and Peter were friends, now, it is shown that their friendship has become somewhat unsteady in this film because his father is now dead and Spider-Man killed him, which by the way, Spider-Man didn’t really kill him, he tried to kill him in a fight, but he was killed by his own glider (We’ll probably revisit this in the “Spider-Man 3” review). This whole Peter and Harry rivalry thing all in all just added to the struggles that Peter had which made me feel bad for him, especially during the planetarium scene, even though there was one thing there that made me feel that way slightly more for him that I won’t spit out because of spoilers. Also, in this film, Harry actually has some ties to the villain, which I thought made the movie more interesting, mainly towards the end.

Speaking of the villain, we’re gonna talk about him right now. Here we have Dr. Octopus, or as some may call him, Doc Ock. In real life, before becoming Doc Ock, he was known as Otto Octavius. This fellow is played by Alfred Molina and once again we have an example of how the guys behind this film find good casting choices for villains. Thought Willem DaFoe was amazing as the Green Goblin in the first Spider-Man film? Alfred Molina is just as spectacular as Doc Ock as Willem DaFoe is as Gobby! Every line that came out of this guy’s mouth, felt authentic, not to mention well written for the character. There are multiple scenes proving this guy is business.

First off the hospital scene. Otto is unconscious and blindfolded, however his arms, or tentacles, are controlling themselves. These arms are taking out everyone in the room one by one, leaving them for dead. Also, I think it was a good choice not to put music in that scene, it was a proper introduction to a badass villain. Another thing I’ll point out is something I don’t know if you’ll agree with me on, but it’s that I love Doc Ock’s scream at the end of the scene, he just loudly shouts “Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!” And no, it’s not like Darth Vader’s no from “Revenge of the Sith,” or even worse, the Blu-Ray edition of “Return of the Jedi.” Then again, I can somewhat tolerate Darth Vader’s no in “Revenge of the Sith,” however the one in “Return of the Jedi” when the change was added in 2011 was just appalling. I mean, it sounds like it, but to me personally, this comes off as less cringey. What makes that no even better is that it is IMMEDIATELY followed, and I mean IMMEDIATELY, like when you hear the last “o,” he just breaks the entrance to the hospital open with his arms, which is kind of badass, and then followed by Doc Ock walking into the street and flipping a taxi over with his tentacles.

Another scene that proves my point is the train scene. In case you want to know, it is a possibility that this scene may be my favorite action sequence I’ve ever seen in a movie. Not only are Peter and Doc Ock going at it with sick moves, Doc Ock leaves an obstacle in Spider-Man’s path that only continues to make the character more compelling even when he already is extremely compelling. Also, I love the music during the fight, along with the moment with the mentioned obstacle, I mean, I love all the music in this film, but I figured I should point this out. By the way, there’s an extended cut to this film called “Spider-Man 2.1,” this scene is actually better in that movie.

Like in the review for the original, there is one supporting character in this movie I feel I should tackle, JK Simmons’s J Jonah Jameson. I mentioned before that JK Simmons is my favorite actor, there aren’t many times where he let me down. There were a couple times where he was wasted (“Terminator: Genisys” and “The Accountant”), but those letdowns weren’t because of him, it was more of either how he was presented or how he was written. In this movie, JK Simmons continues to make J Jonah Jameson make Bill Lumbergh from “Office Space” quite an easy boss to work with. Also, you’ve probably seen a GIF around the Internet of this guy laughing, which by the way, I’ll let you know, watching it the last time I watched this movie in preparation for this review, I believe I laughed harder at his laugh than any other time I watched this movie. Just a fun fact for you. And yes, the epic lines from this guy continue:

EXAMPLE 1:

MISS BRANT: Boss, your wife’s on the line, says she lost her checkbook.

J JONAH JAMESON: Thanks for the good news!

 

EXAMPLE 2:

J JONAH JAMESON: What are we gonna call this guy?

HOFFMAN: ‘Doctor Octopus’?

J JONAH JAMESON: Aw that’s crap.

HOFFMAN: ‘Science Squid’?

J JONAH JAMESON: Crap.

HOFFMAN: ‘Doctor Strange’.

J JONAH JAMESON: That’s pretty good.

*HOFFMAN LOOKS PROUD*

J JONAH JAMESON: But it’s taken! Wait, wait! I got it! ‘Doctor Octopus’.

HOFFMAN: I like it.

J JONAH JAMESON: Of course you do. ‘Doctor Octopus’. New villain in town: ‘Doc Ock’.

HOFFMAN: Genius.

J JONAH JAMESON: What, are you looking for a raise? Get out.

One thing I want to bring up in this movie is a difference between Spider-Man here and Spider-Man in the comic books. In this movie, Spider-Man does throw some quips here and there, but it’s not as common as they are thrown in the comics. In a movie like this, I honestly think this is OK. This movie has a fine balance between being goofy and serious, and when it needs to stop being one of those qualities, it seems to know when to bring the other one into play. Spider-Man doesn’t necessarily need to be as funny as he was in the comics in this film to make it a great movie. Believe it or not, I said something similar about a “Family Guy” episode I saw called “And Then There Were Fewer,” which by the way, check out my Top 10 “Family Guy” Episodes list and you’ll find it there. If you have just gotten curious about it, here’s a link, SPOILER WARNING FOR MULTIPLE EPISODES!

https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/top-10-family-guy-episodes-spoilers/?frame-nonce=ec87e5da62

Another thing I love about this film, as mentioned before, is the score. While it carries some of the music from the first film, some new themes are added including one that goes along with Doc Ock which sounds marvelous. Danny Elfman returns once again to compose this film and it just shows how much I love it whenever he composes a movie. Also, in my review for the first film, I talked about how it had a long intro credit sequence. This movie has an intro credit sequence that’s just about as long as the one for the first film, which not only introduces the cast, but also gives a recap of the first film. And I like this intro better personally, I think the titles are a little more cleverly designed, and there are some cool additions to it in terms of sound that make it interesting. You remember in the first film? The intro starts coming up right after the Marvel title card? The intro starts the same way in this movie, but it’s in red, and it has a really cool sound that gets lower in pitch as it progresses for a few seconds, kind of like the Doppler Effect, or a change in wavelength or wave (or other periodic event) for an observer moving relative to its source. If you want a good example of how it works, just watch S1E6 of “Big Bang Theory,” Sheldon wears it as a costume at a Halloween Party. Plus, yeah, I don’t know, I kind of like the red color of the intro too, I personally prefer it over blue.

I also want to talk about the end. As far as the entire climax goes, I’d say it has to be one of the greatest endings to a movie I’ve seen, and that kind of says something considering how much I like the first film’s ending. Honestly, I like this one better. This film’s end has a fabulous battle, some rewarding moments, and it just leaves me satisfied and on a cliffhanger at the same time. I was hoping I could delve into one detail about Harry, but it’s kind of spoilery for those of you who haven’t seen this movie, by the way, that’s the cliffhanger thing I’m talking about, but I won’t go any further into that.

There’s also one more thing I want to talk about, and if this is somewhat spoilery so you may want to skip over this paragraph if you want to avoid getting spoiled. The thing I want to bring up is the fire rescue scene. You may remember in the first movie that there was a scene where Spider-Man had to go in a burning building and he saves a baby, then he goes back because there is someone else still up there, which turns out to be the Green Goblin. In this scene it is pretty much a similar formula, only there is no villain interference, and the scene overall is better. Thought I was done with the compelling comment? Think again. There’s a scene in the movie where we see that Peter is losing his powers. This is a whole thing that took up a good portion of the film, then Peter hears people screaming. Peter goes closer to the building and notices a guy screaming, Peter asks if anyone is in the building, the guy tells Peter that there is a kid stuck on the second floor. This time, we see the entirety of Peter rescuing a kid, and to me it’s compelling because if Peter still had his powers, his job would be easier, not to mention it shows that Peter can still sacrifice his life for others even when he’s not Spider-Man. Not to mention, it makes Peter question himself on having what he wants as opposed to what he needs. Which if you think about the question, it all kind of makes sense. Although, it doesn’t mean the end of that incident was complete happiness, because it turns out somebody was trapped on the fourth floor and they never made it out, which may also reveal that Peter, like all of us reading right now, is human, and has setbacks.

Just… wow. I feel like I over analyzed this movie to the core. But I really don’t care. “Spider-Man 2” is a masterpiece. Some people argue that the best superhero movie of all time is either “The Dark Knight” or “Deadpool” or one of the newer “Captain America” films or “The Avengers” or “Guardians of the Galaxy” or even “Logan,” which just came out recently and I haven’t seen yet, but for me, that spot belongs to “Spider-Man 2.” Some of you might be asking though, is this my favorite movie ever? At the moment, it’s a possibility, but nevertheless, I cannot go without saying that “Spider-Man 2” is well deserving of a 10/10! If there were a way to describe this movie, it would be like this: Imagine you’re watching a WAY LESS BRUTAL version of “12 Years a Slave,” then you add in a rom-com element, perhaps one that’s kind of drama-like, along with the action element, and finally, the element of the superhero. Holy moly, I cannot believe I’ve written this much about a movie. Worth it. If you made it to the end of this review, you’ve earned yourself a pat on the back, thanks for wasting your time watching a moron talk about a movie like this. Speaking of reviews, next month I’m going to tackle “Spider-Man 3,” which is Sam Raimi’s last “Spider-Man” film. Also, I’m gonna have a review up for the movie “Gifted” pretty soon, I’m hoping to go see “The Fate of the Furious” sometime next week, and I’m also gonna try to check out a movie called “Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo,” which is actually in select theatres at the moment but also available on several streaming services. If I go see another movie soon, I’ll definitely review it, but these are my three biggest possibilities for closeby reviews. Stay tuned for those when they come, stay tuned for more reviews when they come too, thanks so much for listening to me drone on about something as simple as a movie. All you wasted was possibly battery life, and your time. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Power Rangers: Finally Catering to the Adults!

mv5bmta5mzu1ndi4nzbeqtjeqwpwz15bbwu4mduxmdq0ndey-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_

“Power Rangers” is directed by Dean Israelite and stars Dacre Montgomery, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin, Becky G, Naomi Scott, Bryan Cranston, Bill Hader, and Elizabeth Banks. This movie is about a group of teenagers who all live in the same town of Angel Grove who find coins hidden around them and eventually receive powers. This discovery leads to them finding a command center with a character named Zordon along with a robot known as Alpha 5 and being encouraged to stop the wickedness of the evil Rita Repulsa.

The movie “Power Rangers” is not an original movie, as some of you may already know. I grew up watching some of the shows as a kid, I even caught a couple of glimpses at “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie.” I never really watched the original show all that much, but when I was young I always either watched “Dino Thunder” or “SPD,” otherwise known as “Space Patrol Delta,” I occasionally watched “Mystic Force,” but all in all, I didn’t watch that particular series as much. And believe it or not, “Power Rangers” itself isn’t even original, when “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” started back in 1993 it actually used footage from a Japanese franchise called “Super Sentai,” and when it came to the story sequences, American actors were used to film those scenes. Now over 20 years later, the series is still going and they finally do something for the adult crowd. I mean, I know adults who have watched the kiddy franchise but they know it isn’t really meant for their demographic. In fact I actually know someone in a social media group I’m in called the Nerd Army, I remember they said they watched the Mighty Morphin series once when it was on Netflix and I believe they also watched it as a child and they said they didn’t find much joy in the experience watching it as an adult.

Let’s move onto the characters, starting with Jason, played by Dacre Montgomery. In this film, Jason is the Red Ranger. If you have seen any “Power Rangers” series, you probably already know the Red Ranger is usually the leader of the bunch, which is the case in this movie. I would say Montgomery did a fine job as the Red Ranger and he, much like other characters in this movie, was a likable criminal.

Moving onto the Black Ranger, we have Zack. This character is played by Ludi Lin and he doesn’t really stand out amongst the rangers, but I can’t say I disliked his character. For what the character was, I’d say Lin did a fine job as the ranger and the person behind the mask.

Next up we have Trini, who plays the Yellow Ranger. Out of every ranger in this movie, she was personally my least favorite of the bunch. I mean, I don’t hate her exactly, but I wouldn’t say I was completely fond of her in the beginning. If you watch Trini in the beginning, she doesn’t talk much, but I wouldn’t say that is the actress’s fault. By the way, speaking of the actress, this character is played by Becky G.

Up next we have Billy Cranston, AKA the Blue Ranger. This character is played by RJ Cyler, who was also in “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” I have not seen that film, but I heard he was in it. Despite that, I’d say that after seeing Cyler in this movie, this guy has a bright future ahead of him when it comes to acting. Not only was his character likable, but Cyler’s acting method was spot on. I’d also have to say that the Blue Ranger in this movie is actually my favorite of the bunch and I completely relate to him since I have autism.

Last but not least when it comes to the rangers, we have the Pink Ranger, who in person is known as Kimberly. Her character is played by Naomi Scott and I’d have to say that she reminded me a lot of the original Pink Ranger in terms of looks. If you never knew, the original Pink Ranger is played by Amy Jo Johnson, and when the original series was going on, she was apparently a lot of boys’s first crush. In this movie, one thing about this ranger which reminded me of the original Pink Ranger included the hair, it wasn’t as long but it was black so it was similar enough. Another thing you can probably say was sort of a reminder, but I don’t know if it really qualifies as one, is one moment in the movie you see Kimberly taking her top off, she still has her bra on, and she’s diving in water. I say it probably doesn’t qualify as a reminder simply because this isn’t necessarily something the original Pink Ranger did. Instead, I would imagine some boys, probably adults or boys starting to hit puberty fantasized about the Pink Ranger and this, at least from what I’m willing to bet, only considering how I can’t relate to this, may have been an example of one of their fantasies.

Now moving onto characters who aren’t Rangers, we have Zordon. In this movie, Zordon looks MUCH different than he does in the Mighty Morphin series. In the Mighty Morphin series, he kind of looked like the hologram of Oz if he were white and didn’t have jets of fire going off around him. In this movie, he looks like a guy with a bunch of pixels all over him. I’m personally OK with that, and I say that because I know one guy on YouTube I’m subscribed to, Angry Joe, who said in his review for this film that he didn’t like this change. By the way, for those of you who are shocked Bryan Cranston took this role, I wouldn’t completely say I relate to your shock. It’s not the first time he’s done something Power Rangers related. In the Mighty Morphin series he did the voices for Snizard and Twinman.

Alpha 5 is also in this film, and this time around, he’s played by Bill Hader, who you may know commonly appeared in “Saturday Night Live,” and also does the voices of Fear from “Inside Out” and Flint Lockwood in “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.” If you remember Alpha 5 from the original series, he doesn’t look too much different here than he does there. He sounds a bit different, but that’s about as far as it gets. Oh, and yes, he does say “Aye yai yai!” in this film.

Elizabeth Banks is also in this film and she plays Rita Repulsa. This character has been in more than one of the series’ so far, and now she is here in this film. And I have to say that this character TRULY is evil. Banks sounded like she had a lot of fun as this character, and she really knew what she was doing. Just to support that previous statement to you, I’ll even add that she still knows the foreign language the cast needed to learn for this film. Bill Hader even mentioned so in an interview on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” The more I think about this character, I think to myself, this is who “Suicide Squad’s” Enchantress should’ve been. If there’s anything left to say about Rita, I’d say that she was in the sickest Krispy Kreme Donuts commercial I’ve seen. REMINDER: It’s also the only Krispy Kreme Donuts commercial I’ve seen, but still, there was one shot of her in a Krispy Kreme Donuts shop, it was pretty badass. Like, badass to the point where this should be on the back of the home video covers when the movie releases on formats related to it.

On a little sidenote, two of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers have cameos in this film, those two are Jason David Frank, who was the Green Ranger and the White Ranger, and Amy Jo Johnson, who as mentioned recently, played the Pink Ranger. I don’t think I found them in the film, there’s one scene in a jewelry store in which there is someone who looks like Amy Jo Johnson, but my brain is telling me that isn’t her. As far as Jason David Frank goes, I wasn’t able to find him anywhere.

Earlier during this review I mentioned that this film may be the first “Power Rangers” related entity to actually cater to an older demographic. It can still appeal to younger audiences, but adults can still go see this movie without questioning themselves in the process. I say that because of some huge differences between this movie and the shows. If you have seen the shows, you may know the characters often overexaggerate their fighting. I can still remember all of the characters going “Hyah!” or “Hi-yah!” or “Huah!” or something else along those lines. I still heard some of that in this movie, but hearing it in the theater, it wasn’t as audible compared to when I heard it in the TV series’. And its not just the characters themselves that are overexaggerating. This next thing I’ll mention still applies to them though. There is also lots of swooping. I recently watched a video from YouTube user Chris Stuckmann, and he was doing a Hilariocity Review of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie,” and he was mocking that per se by having each one of his arm, hand, and finger movements be accompanied by a swooping sound effect. Not only that, but this movie seems to have a darker color palette on the screen along with darker ranger suits. It kind of looks like Michael Bay’s “Transformers” in one way or another, which when I saw the trailer, I thought was gonna be a sign that the movie was terrible, but it just so turns out that the movie wasn’t as terrible as I thought it would be.

In the end, I was actually somewhat surprised by this film, when I first saw the original trailer to this film, I had rather low expectations, than as more ads came out, the movie continued to look better and better. Now that we are at this point when the movie has officially released, I can’t say I’m disappointed with it. In fact, I will say that kids who see this movie now, probably won’t say it sucks many years later. As far as the TV shows go along with the other movies, they are cheesy as hell. As kids, we love them, but as adults, we either question ourselves for loving them, love it and recognize its flaws, love it and don’t care about the flaws, or remember the times we watched this stuff when we were kids. Are there flaws in this movie? Sure, but they aren’t as prominent or embarrassing as the “Power Rangers” people such as myself grew up loving as kids. I’m gonna give “Power Rangers” a 7/10. I just want to say, this movie kind of reminded me of a combination of “Fantastic Four” and Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man,” and I wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel to this if one is planned. As far as planned reviews go, I do plan on seeing “Ghost in the Shell” sometime soon, and since it is now April, I will be continuing my series of “Spider-Man” reviews with “Spider-Man 2,” which will be up sometime later during this month. I also might want to eventually take a look at “Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo,” I heard according to a poster it won’t be playing anywhere near me, but I heard it will be available on many VOD providers so I can use that to watch it. Stay tuned for more reviews like those, and I also want to ask you a question. Are you an adult who still likes “Power Rangers?” I have nothing against people like that, heck, there’s a whole community of adult men who like “My Little Pony” and I’m OK with that! If you are, please leave a comment, maybe give some reasons why you like it, perhaps even your favorite series in the franchise! Scene Before is your click to the flicks! It’s Morphin time!