Baby Driver (2017): A Mix of La La Land, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Fast & Furious

 

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“Baby Driver” is directed by Edgar Wright, who also directed films such as “Shaun of the Dead” and “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.” This film stars Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars, Divergent), Kevin Spacey (Se7en, House of Cards), Lily James, (Cinderella (2015), Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), Eiza Gonzalez (Jem and the Holograms), and it even features Jon Hamm (The Town, Mad Men) along with Jamie Foxx (Ray, Django Unchained). This film is about a getaway driver named Baby, he’s forced into working for this crime boss and he goes on a mission that could possibly put him in jail.

Now before we talk about the movie itself, let’s talk about the lead actor in this movie, Ansel Elgort. Going into this movie, one of my biggest concerns happened to be how Ansel Elgort would perform in it given his role. Why? Because when I think of Ansel Elgort, action star is not the first thing that comes to mind. Granted I have seen him in “Divergent,” a movie with action in it, but he is neither the main character nor is he the most memorable character in my eyes. When it comes to Ansel Elgort, the first thing that would usually come to mind is “The Fault in Our Stars,” a romance movie which came out a few years back and has gained a following among many in the teenage girl demographic. I have not seen the movie, I’ve heard mostly positive things, but I’m not rushing to see it. How is he in this movie? Well, I’d say he was a lot better than I expected. I’m not saying Elgort was once a bad actor, I’m just saying he wasn’t necessarily an actor I expected to see in an action film like this. To me, Ansel Elgort now somewhat reminds me of Tom Cruise. You may have some of these folks’s early work which contain more of a romantic vibe, yeah, I’m sticking with romantic, in various segments such as “Risky Business” (Cruise) and “The Fault in Our Stars” (Elgort). But now Cruise, much like Elgort who is in this film, has become this action star that I want to see more of in future movies. Also, another thing that kinda makes the two resemble each other, is this…

Just, look at that! When I saw those sunglasses, I could tell these two weren’t the same person, but it might as well show the similarities between the two folks as actors. By the way, Ansel Elgort is on the left and Tom Cruise is on the right.

Speaking of actors and characters in this film, Kevin Spacey is also in this movie. Now, Kevin Spacey is one of the most revered actors of all time, so it probably wouldn’t be a surprise on how well he does in this movie in terms of his performance. I also got to give kudos to the well-written screenplay as well. Some of his lines are pretty sick and when you combine that with Kevin Spacey’s excellent acting ability, you’ve got a pretty cool character. Now that I’m thinking more about it, this somewhat reminds me of Colin Firth’s character in “Kingsman.” Also, yes, this very likely will make you forget about Kevin Spacey in “Nine Lives.” I haven’t seen that movie, but it’s a movie that came out last year and it is about a businessman that has little to no time for his family. He decides to get a cat for his daughter, because her birthday is coming up, and every year she wants a cat. So he goes to a pet store, and when Christopher Walken’s character shows up with a cat Spacey intends to give to his daughter, a strange turn of events causes Spacey’s character to be trapped inside the body of the cat. So not only does that sound stupid, but it almost sounds like a ripoff of “The Shaggy Dog.” OK, I’ll stop there.

If you notice the title of my review, I said that this film is basically a mix of “La La Land,” “Fast & Furious” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Here’s why. This film involves a main character who often listens to music, similar to Peter Quill’s character in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” although in this movie you may notice Baby using an IPod and Peter from “Guardians” using a Sony Walkman, and much like “Guardians of the Galaxy,” I would probably say a good number of people might end up buying this movie’s soundtrack. It probably won’t end up selling as many copies, but still. The film overall is an action film, much like a number of “Fast & Furious” installments, and much like “Fast & Furious” the action consists of multiple car chases and the film contains a heist. Why is it like “La La Land?” Well, there is a romance thrown in the movie as well. I wouldn’t say it was forced, sure, it’s kinda Hollywoodish, but still, I say that with the movie’s writing and characterization, it worked. The romance also felt kinda cheesy at times, but in a way, I’d say it was forgivable, because the chemistry between the characters worked in my book. In fact, this movie at times, felt like a musical. There were no original songs that were done by crowds of people or anything like that, but there were times that the characters were listening to the songs and they were singing, mainly Ansel Elgort, but I believe more than one character got involved in this. Not to mention I kinda moved my hand, head, and foot (I don’t remember if the foot thing happened, but still) to the music.

Since I recently mentioned there’s a love interest in this film, let’s talk about her. Her name is Debora and she’s played by Lily James. When she was introduced in this movie, I thought the connection between her and the lead character of Baby was kinda cute. As mentioned, the romance did feel like a somewhat fantastical Hollywood romance, although in a way, I was able to buy into it, and it didn’t really bother me. In fact, one example is when the two are talking with each other and having a conversation related to music. Yeah, they were talking about songs that have their names in it, so they’re basically referring to these as “Debora songs” and “Baby songs.” Also on a little sidenote, I would like to thank everyone behind this movie for not putting Justin Bieber’s “Baby” into the movie. I probably would have walked out if that were the case. I mean, there’s a reason why the music video for it has so many dislikes on YouTube.

Overall, the action in this movie was fun to watch. It was very well shot, much like some other parts of the movie. There were some cuts here and there, but it wasn’t all jumpcutty or anything like that, it all flowed naturally. In fact, during parts of the movie, it would take a long time for the camera to cut, and I have to say it worked. There are times when movies are like that and it ends up working, and funny enough, “La La Land,” a movie I compared this to, is one of those movies. There are a lot of great action sequences throughout the movie, and if you look above, you’ll see a Suburu car. If you go see this movie, you’ll notice that car in the opening action scene. And once again, here’s another comparison to “La La Land.” The opening sequence in “La La Land” wowed me and set a tone for what’s to come. The same can also be said in “Baby Driver.” When that first action sequence was over, it did end up giving me thrills, but it also gave me the desire to see more action. I also recently mentioned that this movie occasionally has moments that are all showcased in one very long shot. That happens not long after this first action scene, I won’t go into detail, but it did amaze me.

Also, a little fact for you, this movie also contains a little reference from the Pixar animation, “Monsters, Inc..” I’m not gonna dive into what the reference is or anything, but let’s just say, if you go see this movie, pay close attention and keep an eye out for that, because overall it gave me a laugh.

In the end, “Baby Driver” is definitely one of the most entertaining action flicks I’ve seen recently. It’s a very unique experience and had a lot of great characters, including some supporting ones I didn’t mention. However, the film does have flaws. I recently mentioned the cheesy romance, although that complaint I can forgive, and also there was one line that was uttered by Jamie Foxx’s character, Eiza Rodriguez’s character said something that made Foxx’s character say it’s almost like listening to an Oscar speech. It was almost as if Foxx was trying to be funny and the just ended up falling flat. As far as the ending goes, it is really compelling, I understood most of it, but there is one segment that I feel I need to look over. I have a feeling it can be resolved over a second watch, but this complaint still stands. But overall, I had fun watching “Baby Driver,” and I wouldn’t mind watching it again, so I’m gonna give “Baby Driver” a 9/10. This movie is not your average action film. Sure, it’s got your car chases, your gun fights, witty dialogue given on various occasions, while at times it almost reminded me of films like “Interstellar” and “Arrival,” both of which I consider to be great movies. Is this movie as good as those? No, but it doesn’t change the fact that I enjoyed this film as a whole. Thanks for reading this review, pretty soon my series of reviews related to past “Spider-Man” movies are gonna come to an end. The last movie I’m doing for this series is “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” and the reason why I’m doing this is because in a week from now, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” will hit theaters everywhere, and I do plan to see that as soon as possible. Stay tuned for my “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” review, along with my “Spider-Man: Homecoming” review when I get around to it, and even more reviews! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Transformers: The Last Knight (2017): How Much Must I Explain?! *SPOILERS* (Well, Sort of) (Plus Rant on Aspect Ratios)

 

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“Transformers: The Last Knight” is directed by Michael Bay and it is the fifth installment in Michael Bay’s “Transformers” series. I mean… People probably knew this was gonna happen… The last film didn’t get good reviews… But it made a lot of money… (Sigh). This film stars Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Josh DuHamel, and Isabella Moner in yet another movie called “Transformers” and yet the main focus is directed towards the human characters, so ultimately this movie should be called “Humans: The Last Knight.” All in all the plot to this film (laughs), is that humans and Transformers are fighting each other. Optimus Prime, who is one of the Transformers, is not on Earth. Apparently, the key to preserving the future is in the past, the past of the Transformers on Earth that is.

If you want to know my personal thoughts on Michael Bay’s “Transformers” series, I think some movies are good and some are forgettable. I also feel that if a certain installment in the series is bad, there are still glimmers of enjoyment which I can grasp out of it. I have not seen 1986’s “Transformers: The Movie,” which has no relation to Michael Bay’s series, so I can’t judge that apart from this. Even though I can enjoy at least some parts of any Bayformers film put in front of me, one of my biggest complaints, in fact a number of people’s biggest complaints, is that they are kinda the same. Sure, a couple things have changed over the years, but formula-wise, it’s similar from movie to movie. There’s always an important entity, it’s probably gonna have some impact on the movie in one place or another. You’ve got your human characters, if there is a girl who is a main character, they need to be f*ckable, those people need to be introduced. You’ve got the military and the government or some big organization, perhaps a company, they need to be introduced. You’ve got Transformers, they need to be introduced, throughout there’s some action, explosions, visuals everywhere. I’ve definitely seen worse layouts and I do enjoy stuff that has similar layouts from one installment another, most notably TV shows. As a kid I watched “Power Rangers,” right now I watch “Family Guy,” and pretty much every single sitcom on TV might have a similar layout. Does this layout work? I guess, but even “Fast and Furious,” a series which just had its eighth installment come out last April, knew when to change things around. There’s some similarities from movie to movie, but they spiced things up from time to time. They still have all the street racing stuff, but they focused on it less in later installments and instead focused on all sorts of action-packed popcorn movie s*it. How was this movie in the very end? Honestly, it was awful. Just simply, awful. I think Michael Caine’s interpretation of Alfred Pennyworth said it best in “The Dark Knight…”

“Some men, just want to watch the world burn.”

I guess after watching this so-called “film” I now realize I’m clearly one of those people. Somebody get me a flamethrower and I’ll begin burning my house down!

Alright, where were we? Oh yeah, we’re still on the same topic. After watching this movie, I honestly think that basically a lot of people behind the project think there is no other idea to take on other than the same one every single time. I can accept a number of TV shows being extremely formulaic, it works there, it can give off a consistent vibe from episode to episode that way you feel like you’re watching one show as opposed to another. These movies although, need to change. In some ways, there was change brought to this one, but the change as a whole just happened to be simple tweaks. The overall story and formula however are considerably similar.

The main character in this movie, Cade Yeager, is played once again by Mark Wahlberg, who was actually introduced in “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” the franchise’s fourth installment. Why was he introduced in that movie? It’s kind of interesting actually. If you are familiar with these movies, mainly the first three in the series, you may know that there was a different lead instead of Mark Wahlberg, that lead being Shia LeBeouf. He left because he thought there was nowhere to really take his character for a fourth installment. He enjoys working with Michael Bay, but he felt he should leave. Anyway, Wahlberg personally was a more fleshed out character in this movie as opposed to the last one, although not entirely because he still does that thing where he constantly brings up the fact that he’s an inventor. Also, he’s kind of a badass in this film, the first scene with him, is fun to watch. Speaking of repetitive behavior, and this is something that is not entirely a fault of Wahlberg, he once again has to shove BLATANTLY OBVIOUS product placement down our throats. Now I bet you’re wondering if the product placement was as excessive here as it was in the previous film? Not really. Sure, it’s there, but it’s not a near 150 minute commercial break.

Remember this? If not, this is the Bud Light product placement featured in the previous film. Overall, it is probably up there with the most obvious product placement in movie history.

One of the characters I’m desperate to talk about is the character of Izabella, played by Isabella Moner. This is the first “Transformers” film featuring this character and when I saw a trailer for the film featuring her, I thought this was quite a turn when it comes to Michael Bay. Why? Because of three girls who go by the name of Megan Fox (played Mikayla in Transformers 1 & 2), Rosie Huntington-Whitely (played Carly in Transformers 3), and Nicola Peltz (played Tessa in Transformers 4). What do these three girls have in common? Well, they’re basically sexualized in the prior “Transformers” films. After watching all of the prior “Transformers” films, these women did turn me on in some way or another, but sexiness is probably the only redeeming quality for these characters, as characters, much like a number of other characters introduced throughout the series, the overall characterization for them was pretty weak. You can argue Megan Fox’s character did s*it, and you’d be right, just watch the finale for the first movie when she was driving a vehicle and Bumblebee was on it, but her doing all of this s*it isn’t really something that many people recall her for. I mean, these characters in my eyes were primarily sexualized, although they were never naked or anything, so I can’t really say kids should stay away from the past films, but this is something I wanted to spit out. Going into this film, I thought this new character was gonna be a much more progressive character that females, specifically those in the younger demographic, can aspire to be. Also, she was a bit younger than some of the girls we got in the past, so I didn’t really expect many ass and cleavage shots on this girl. Now, how was she in this film? As far as acting ability goes, she wasn’t bad, and that says something because there aren’t that many girls, mainly including the recently mentioned sexualized girls, whose acting ability stood out in the previous films. This girl did do some s*it, not really as much as I expected, but still, she did some s*it…

Ah, who am I kidding?!

Yes, it is true. Isabella Moner’s character did some s*it, but the typical Michael Bay sexualization was in this movie too! No, the sexualization is not directed towards Moner’s character, instead, it is directed towards Laura Haddock’s character. This character goes by the name of Vivian Wembley. How was she sexualized? Well, when we first meet her and she’s walking around, she’s in this dress, it almost looks like something you’d wear if you’re going out to a fancy restaurant in a major city and it happens to be a special occasion. We don’t get any shots of her where the camera gawks at her butt or boobs or anything, but I think at one point multiple characters are in a room with her, the girl’s attractiveness is brought up by someone, possibly Wahlberg’s character. Could’ve been more than one person, I don’t know. Perhaps it could’ve been nobody and I’m just imagining things. Although that just goes to show you the quality, or lack thereof, of this film. One thing I also noticed from this character, is that compared to all of the other sex objects featured in the series thus far, is that this one’s considerably smart. So yeah, you can say as far as sexualized characters go, this one is not as stupid as some others. I mean, I’m not saying sexualized characters in general are brainless, they’re just not as smart as this one, at least from what I’ve observed throughout the film.

You can argue that due to her intelligence, she’s not a sex toy, but I ain’t buying your arguement. If Michael Bay had at least one sex object in each of the previous “Transformers” movies, would it really be that shocking for him to insert one in this movie?

I just realized how much my reviews are like these movies, the Transformers aren’t getting much of a focus. Well, that changes now, because we’re gonna talk about Optimus Prime. I’m gonna invent a new term, and hopefully I’ll have it patented before Cade Yeager from this movie does, and I’m gonna call it the “Reverse Jared Leto Joker.” Why is that? Because you barely see both characters in their individual movies. Not to mention, they were featured as a key role in various forms of advertising. In 2016’s “Suicide Squad,” you see the Joker throughout a good chunk of the movie’s beginning, once the movie advances past the halfway point, you see him less, then you get to the end of the movie where he just pops up. This happens here too, but in reverse. You see Optimus in the beginning, his main contribution to plot begins, we get introduced to a character who goes by the name of Quintessa, he gets put aside for about a half of the film, then he comes in at the end and stays on camera for the rest of the movie. By the way, Quintessa, that character I mentioned earlier, honestly may have one of the WORST voices I’ve ever heard from a character. I mean, if the voice was normal and no special editing was added to it, it would have been fine, but this voice, if it makes any sense, sounded kinda rumbly. I went to see this movie with my father, and when we left the movie and we were in our personal vehicle together, I described her voice as “degrading.” Like, as in, in terms of the character’s sanity, and perhaps to my own sanity. Speaking of sanity, we’ll get to a couple of moments where I nearly lose my sanity a little later on. But before that, let’s talk about one of the movie’s redeeming qualities.

What is the redeeming quality I’m referring to? A better question would start with “who,” but still. I’m talking about Jim Carter’s character of Cogman. This is the first movie in the series featuring this character, and out of every single character made for the purpose of comic relief, this may be the best one of all when it comes to Bayformers. At one point, another character refers to him as a discount C-3PO, which had me laughing, and believe or not, I was probably the only person laughing at that out of everyone in the theater. Another lovable moment from this character is when a bunch of people are talking, I remember it being key to the overall plot. During the scene, you have the score going on in the background, then we go up to Cogman breaking the fourth wall. How so? By playing the organ which goes along with the score. He’s told to cut it out and then he says that he’s trying to make the moment more epic. Then more talking ensues, and he just starts vocalizing. I don’t recall seeing that type of humor anywhere. The closest I can say that has come to this, is during one scene from a “Family Guy” episode called “Baby, You Knock Me Out,” at one point, Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” is playing in the background in a way that no character can hear it, much like the recently mentioned score in this movie. Then suddenly, we cut to Peter Griffin who starts singing the lyrics of the song until Quagmire comes in and pushes Peter out.

Admittedly, as I much as I hated the crap out of this movie, the humor is something that is somewhat pleasing at times. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it fails, but there are moments that had me laughing. This has also been something that has happened in other “Transformers” installments as well, whether it be during action sequences or when people are randomly talking.

Also to make sure I can keep a focus on the topic of the movie’s robots, you may already know one of the series’s recurring characters is Bumblebee, so let’s talk about him. There’s not really much to say about him honestly. He’s just here because, well, he’s a main character. The only thing that Bumblebee adds to the film is one segment having to do with his voice and the fact that he’s in many scenes, including fights.

On the subject of recurring characters, Megatron is also in this film. Honestly, the only stuff I remember vividly from this character is from the beginning. Speaking of that, I actually want to dive into specifics there. One thing I noticed during the start of the film is that a bunch of the Decepticons were getting introduced, and the way they were introduced may have been helpful because if you look at a bunch of Decepticons standing right near each other, they look pretty similar. That’s a plus, but part of me wonders if this was inspiration from last year’s “Suicide Squad.” This isn’t a huge complaint of mine and it’s more of something I am curious about. If you look at a bunch of the Autobots, the robots in the movie who fight for good, as opposed to the Decepticons in the film who fight for evil, the Autobots vary from one another in terms of personalities, quirks, and colors. All of these factors probably make it easier to get attached to them and appreciate them more when they go up against the Decepticons and attempt to take them down.

There’s also this one character I want to bring up. He’s a scientist, I don’t give a crap about his name or an image for him. Because for one thing, I don’t recall his name, and also if this movie has the right to be lazy then why can’t I have the right to laziness? Anyway, the point is, there’s this scientist who appears in multiple parts of the film, he’s trying to convince people the way to solve this whole war on Earth is through his particular scientific viewpoint. A sixth “Transformers” is going to be made without a doubt, and I already know they’re making a “Bumblebee” spinoff, so if the sixth installment actually happens, or if the spinoff takes place somewhere in modern times, here is something I’d like to see. There’s a battle taking place somewhere, maybe a city, which in my eyes would my preferred choice for this. The scientist is running around the city, Hound, an Autobot played by John Goodman, who is also known for playing Coach Harris in 1984’s “Revenge of the Nerds” could get a glimpse at him and shout, “Nerd! Nerd! Nerd! Nerd! Nerd! Nerd! Nerd! Nerd! Nerd! Nerd!” which if you watch the movie, is almost similar to a constant chant given off at multiple parts of the film. He could also look at the scientist and simply say “Goddamn nerd,” or “What a nerd,” or “I wanna find his frat house from when he went to college so my pals can take it over.” This doesn’t have to be with the scientist, this could be with someone else that’s nerdy, maybe even a group of nerds. Perhaps for the next movie, the casting crew could ask if several cast members from “Revenge of the Nerds” could make appearances as people running away from destruction and Hound happens to be right near them.

Remember the sanity thing I mentioned earlier? Because now we’re gonna get into a complaint I’m not surprised I’m bringing up, because after watching the first trailer for this movie, this annoyed the hell out of me. And this is also a complaint you probably wouldn’t hear from many people. That my friends, has to do with the aspect ratio. When my dad and I were leaving the theater, we start talking about the film and I bring up this particular complaint. He asks what an aspect ratio is. Since he asked that, I might as well explain it in case you are wondering what an aspect ratio is as well. An aspect ratio is essentially how high or wide an image will expand. It doesn’t necessarily depend on the size of your screen, it does however depend on your type of screen.

Let’s say you own a modern day flat screen TV, the aspect ratio for that would be 16:9, which can also be referred to as 1.78:1. This aspect ratio will allow you to watch all of your shows in a widescreen format that covers the screen from both top to bottom and left to right.

Now lets take this CRT TV shown above. This was the big thing before flat screens and HD became a household necessity if you will. These TVs are presented in a format called 4:3, which is also referred to as 1.33:1. This format is also often labeled as “full screen.” If you watch something in widescreen on here, it wouldn’t feel as authentic as opposed to watching it on something with an aspect ratio of 16:9 or wider. Nowadays, they’re still making DVDs, but it is an overall rarity to find one that comes out with an option to watch in full screen. It’s usually just widescreen, because tube TVs aren’t cool anymore. If you find a DVD in the widescreen format and play it on a device hooked up to a tube TV, chances are you will find some black bars on the top and bottom of the screen, which is sometimes called a letterbox. The only way to get rid of those black bars (depending on what you’re watching and TV or device settings) is to change the picture view settings or switch the settings to stretch the top and bottom portions of the image. Varying on the content, the black bars could still be visible even with the settings change, and the image would, based on what you just did, appear stretched out.

Wow that was a long rant. Worth it. Sorry if I bored you, but I assure you that rant was ten times as entertaining as “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Sticking with my main point, there are multiple aspect ratios in this film, and there have been films in the past that have done this, including 2 other installments in the series. The second and fourth. As far as the second one goes, I don’t remember where the aspect ratio changed. The aspect ratio changes didn’t bother me much in the fourth one when I watched it, but I wonder if my opinion would change now. In this movie, the aspect ratio changes between almost every single shot on screen! It’s just HORRIBLE to watch at times. I may have tuned it out a couple of times, but when I noticed it at times, it somewhat pissed me off. In fact, when I watch movies that have different aspect ratios, it’s usually only two ratios featured in the whole thing. Let’s take “Interstellar” for example. Much like this film, this was partially shot on IMAX cameras. The types of cameras were specifically different from each other and the footage shot with them was presented not so similarly on screen, the IMAX screen to be specific, but still, that’s how they were shot. In “Interstellar,” there’s a scene where multiple characters are on a distant planet, tensions start to increase at the spur of the moment. That sequence was shot in IMAX. Then we cut to a situation on Earth, tensions increase there as well. Although that is being shot with a different camera, a 35mm camera to be specific. The different situations are cut from one another back and forth and it is all shown using their respective camera in order to build up to where the movie goes next. That film was directed by Christopher Nolan, who has also used the IMAX camera for other purposes in his films, such as certain sequences involving action during “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises.” Here though is a different story, I can just imagine that someone thought it would be fun, either the editor or Michael Bay to just play around with aspect ratios and be inconsistent with them! It’s just so jarring! It makes my head EXPLODE! There were even moments I noticed where the aspect ratio would be one thing, then it changes to something else for literally less than a millisecond, and the next thing I know I’m looking at another one! I’m just glad I didn’t notice absurd quick cutting or I probably would have ran out of the auditorium screaming! The worst part about this is that this is not only something that applies to the IMAX Experience. One movie I went to see multiple times in the theater is “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.” It had most of the movie shot with 35mm film and nearly 5 minutes of footage shot in the IMAX format. When seeing this film in a regular theater, the aspect ratio stayed the same the whole time. However, during the escape from Jakku scene, the IMAX Experience changed the aspect ratio. Although I went to see “Transformers: The Last Knight” in a regular theater, so this was utterly displeasing to look at.

Simply put, this aspect ratio bulls*it may be some of the WORST editing I’ve ever seen in a movie. There’s this other movie I reviewed earlier this year called “You Can’t Have It,” if you haven’t seen it, or even heard of it for that matter, I wouldn’t be too surprised. Nevertheless, I mentioned earlier this year when I reviewed that film that the editing was awful there too. Although instead of video, this had to do with audio. The levels from shot to shot in particular scenes was overall pretty infrequent to the point where it got annoying. The video wasn’t spectacular either because I noticed multiple jumpcuts, and I actually recall seeing one in this movie too. So yeah, that’s something these two pieces of garbage have in common. (Sigh)

One thing that usually doesn’t disappoint me in “Transformers” is the action, and while it was fun to watch, it honestly wasn’t enough to save this disaster of a movie. During action sequences, there was some enjoyment to be had, but also a big question to be asked. That question being, “What is happening?” I cannot even believe I got bored watch all of this s*it go down, it made me think that out of all the “Transformers” movies, this is the film in the series that I would probably put on at night when I go to bed and I need something so boring it’ll make me fall asleep. This installment in the series would probably do the trick. Oh yeah, and what was the other thing? Oh right, THE ASPECT RATIOS KEEP CHANGING!

I know I’ve been going on forever, but I need to talk about one more thing before I deliver my verdict to you all. There’s this YouTube channel you may be familiar with called Channel Awesome, one of its most popular series is the “Nostalgia Critic,” which is done by a guy named Doug Walker. One of his most recent uploads is called “Transformers: The Last Knight NON-Review.” In this video, he mentions that he has done a tradition which he reviews each Michael Bay “Transformers” film that comes out, but right now, he wonders what’s left to talk about it that’s new. With that being said, he decided he wouldn’t review the new movie and instead he attempted an “artistic experiment” which features him predicting the overall structure of “Transformers: The Last Knight.” After watching the movie and this video, Doug pretty much nailed the entire structure, there may be some differences here and there, but this prediction was overall pretty much the entire movie. If you’re reading this and you haven’t seen the movie but watched the video, I probably just spoiled the movie for you, same can also be said if you decide to click on the video from here. I just thought I’d share that because this was an interesting experiment and it reveals a lot about how similar these “Transformers” movies really are when you compare them with one another.

In the end, “Transformers: The Last Knight” sucked. I liked numerous segments of the film, but to me, various segments aren’t enough. Not to mention, we are once again being exposed to yet another copy-paste story and structure. I briefly brought up the whole, oh my, it’s the last “Transformers” thing, but let’s face it, it most likely won’t be, which is another thing I absolutely hate about this movie. There’s a scene shown during the credits that might contain some key info that might be covered in the future. I don’t mind seeing another movie, well, sort of, as long as they try on the next one, but I don’t like liars. Maybe Michael Bay won’t direct it and he’ll hand it off to somebody else, perhaps they could do better. As far as blockbuster films go, this one fails on so many levels, and it did not need to be like this. I’m gonna give “Transformers: The Last Knight” a 3/10. This is my score because while I did enjoy some things in the movie, there were a lot of things I didn’t enjoy. I seriously wonder if my score will be lower in the future. Only time will tell. Last year that happened with “Suicide Squad” and “Independence Day: Resurgence,” so we’ll see. Thanks for reading this extremely long review that ultimately has more effort put into it than “Transformers: The Last Knight” itself. Either listen to everyone and stop making these movies, or listen to everyone and either make a good movie, or a movie with a different formula. Even better, a good movie with a different formula. Thanks for reading this review, I’m not sure yet what my next review will be, but I’m thinking maybe “Baby Driver” or something like that, we’ll find out where the road takes me. Stay tuned for more reviews, along with other content that I assure you has greater quality than “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

 

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller DROP OUT of HAN SOLO STAR WARS FILM?! Who’s Directing Now?

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! If you know me in real life, you may already know I’m a mega “Star Wars” fan. There’s a lot to love about it in my book, and with that love comes a bit to hate as well.

Ah! Not this little prick! Seriously dudes, f*ck this guy! F*ck him! Just f*ck this CGI piece of dogs*it! Ugh, I apologize to the majority “Star Wars” who are in agreement and absolutely hate this f*cking tool… that… you… had to see this picture. At least you aren’t seeing him talk, so that’s some good news… Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, right.

If you have been following “Star Wars” at all recently, you may have been aware that a standalone Han Solo “Star Wars” film is in the works. It’s gonna have Allen Enrenreich (Blue Jasmine, Hail, Caesar!) as Han Solo, my personal pick for the role would have been Miles Teller (Whiplash, Divergent), but we’ll see how Allen does. We also have Donald Glover (Community, The Martian) as young Lando Calrissian, Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca, along with some other big names like Woody Harrelson (Zombieland, No Country for Old Men) and Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones, Terminator Genisys). As far as directing goes, that was given to Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, but now, all of a sudden, they’re dropping out.

If you don’t know who Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are, they usually work together on several of their projects. Some of these projects include “21 Jump Street,” “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” and “The LEGO Movie,” one of my favorite animations of all time. Based on this some other aspects of their background, they’ve had a more lighthearted or comedic focus when it comes to their films. And when I heard that there was gonna be a Han Solo standalone “Star Wars” film, I was rather excited about it, although I had no clue these two were directing.

Why did these two leave you ask? Well, apparently it’s due to “creative differences.” Down below I have a quote supporting the two’s thoughts.

“Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project. We normally aren’t fans of the phrase ‘creative differences’ but for once this cliché is true. We are really proud of the amazing and world-class work of our cast and crew,”

What are my personal thoughts on these guys leaving? Well, they’re mixed. These two have mostly done animations or comedies, and this kinda had me worried when I looked at their background. “Star Wars” is science-fiction, well, if you want to be more technical, science-fantasy. And while there is occasional humor injected in the films of the past, most notably “The Force Awakens” from what I recall. I have to say that the humor for that movie, worked, the comedy was delivered at the right times and a lot of it didn’t feel forced, no pun intended. However, these two have done a lot of films that interject humor in a lot of places. Some family friendly, some a bit over the edge. If these two were going to do a “Star Wars” film with humor in there, I’d say it’s fine, but you also have to be serious, just think of how the MCU films work. A lot of those films nowadays interject humor and still manage to have a vibe of seriousness at hand. The only exception I can think of when it comes to this is “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and the fast paced humor in that film, personally worked, it helped set a tone. But this is “Star Wars,” not “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Maybe my mind would switch around on this topic, but this is where I stand for now.

Although I will say that if these two continued on with this film, it wouldn’t be the first time they did something “Star Wars” related. “The LEGO Movie” actually had a cameo featuring Han Solo, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, and C-3PO, which had Billy Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels reprising their roles.

Earlier I mentioned I was somewhat worried about Miller’s and Lord’s departure, why is that you ask? Simple. The release date. This Han Solo film is supposed to come out next year, May 25th to be exact. While that may seem like a while, there’s another “Star Wars” film that is coming out soon, that being “The Last Jedi.” That is due in December and according to IMDb, they finished filming last July. If you ask me, I think another director should be hired or these two should come back. If they don’t come back, here are some suggestions of people who I personally should direct the Han Solo film along with what they’ve directed in the past.

George Miller (Mad Max, Happy Feet)
Sam Raimi (Spider-Man trilogy, Oz the Great and Powerful)
Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman, Monster)
Chris Columbus (Harry Potter 1 & 2, Home Alone)
The Wachowski Siblings (Sense8, The Matrix)
Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, The Bourne Identity)

These are just directors who already know what it’s like to direct a film, and honestly, if we are talking about a film such as “Star Wars,” an experienced director is most likely to be a director I prefer. If none of these people are acceptable, I’d say find someone who is good at directing, they have never done a big feature before, but they know the material of “Star Wars” by heart. This could allow opportunities to prevent a bloat of continuity errors, and maybe add in a little fan service. Although remember 2016’s “Rogue One?” That was done by a director who barely did anything big. He did 2014’s “Godzilla”, (mumbled talking from a mysterious person) err, hang on a second.

(mumbled talking from a mysterious person)

Oh yeah, right. He did 2014’s “Aaron Taylor-Johnson” which has Godzilla in it. Thank you, person I don’t even know. Other than that, there’s not too much else. I ended up loving the hell out of “Rogue One” when I saw it and I bought the steelbook Blu-Ray the day it came out. Even with that, when it comes to “Star Wars,” I want someone that has experience not just crafting films, but crafting likable films.

I may have listed the Wachowskis and sure, they have had a lot of misses with movies like “Jupiter Ascending” and such, but they’ve had a huge hit with “The Matrix” back in 1999. They also wrote and produced “V for Vendetta” back in 2006 which says something about them.

OK guys, I need to tell you something. Apparently, the Han Solo movie actually found its new director and the news came out about it as I was writing this. I didn’t expect this, I was expecting this director search to go on for some time, so I’d have some time to analyze my thoughts, but as I was doing so, the search ended. So I can officially say the director of the Han Solo “Star Wars” film is Ron Howard. Personally, I think this is a fine choice. He made a lot of movies that were loved by both critics and audiences, he has a ton of experience in the film industry, and if you ask me, he knows how to make a good film. Just watch “Apollo 13,” it’s a good time.

This is an interesting twist to say the least. I heard a lot of people wanted Ron Howard to take over based on my experience of getting through yesterday and I guess they got their wish. I can’t wait to see how he does, if he drops out, hopefully someone from my choices could take over. Thanks so much for reading this, tomorrow I’m gonna go see “Transformers: The Last Knight,” which isn’t looking too good right now… Yeah, the movie currently has a 16% on Rotten Tomatoes, which means as of now it is the worst entry in the Michael Bay’s “Transformers” series. Just… Wish me luck, OK? Stay tuned for that review, hopefully the movie’s actually good. Also, July is almost here, which means it is almost time for another “Spider-Man” review. I’ll be reviewing Marc Webb’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” which many consider to be Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 3” for a new generation. And if you hear their thoughts on both films, they don’t mean that in a positive way. Stay tuned for that review, and stay tuned for more great content! Scene Before is your click, to the flicks!

Why Dunkirk MUST Be Seen on 35mm Film, 70mm Film, IMAX 70mm Film, or IMAX Laser

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Let me ask you a question, when it comes to movies, who is your favorite director? If you ask me, my personal pick would probably be Christopher Nolan. I haven’t seen all of his films, but I have seen a number of them, even if I don’t LOVE his films, I can still highly appreciate them in one way or another. The biggest way that comes to mind is how a number of his movies are shot.

If you don’t work in the film industry or you don’t really care about a film’s technical aspects, you might not be aware that most movies nowadays are shot with digital cameras. I will say that these cameras have brought various benefits. One of the biggest benefits in my opinion is that digital cameras had allowed greater opportunities for movies to be shot in 3D and look good in 3D. Granted, 3D films can also be shot in 2D, whether it be shot on digital or not, and be converted. But I remember seeing films shot in 3D and looking amazing on screen. However, let’s talk about an older technology…

If you have seen an movie that someone may consider “older,” chances are extremely likely that it was shot on film. From my experience of someone who has done research on various cameras and movies, film is superior in a number of ways. These are all based on resolution, grain, and not to mention from personal experience, how it looks on a projector. Part of that is why I want to talk about “Dunkirk,” which is Christopher Nolan’s next movie, it is due to come out next month.

According to the image above, “Dunkirk” will be in theaters everywhere, but it is also letting us know that it will be watchable in various film formats. These formats include 35mm film, 70mm film, and IMAX 70mm film. Nowadays when you go see a film, it is projected digitally, and from experience it would usually be shown in a format that is higher than full HD, which is 1080p. To my knowledge, a good number of theaters which happen to be equipped with digital projectors show movies in formats such as 2K which is higher than the resolution of high definition and 4K which is higher than that. Based on research I’ve done, 35mm is greater than even 4K. When I was born, this was still a standard in cinemas, digital was on the rise, but that doesn’t mean 35mm was completely dead. 70mm was pretty common before I was born. This was shown in a resolution that is greater than 35mm and I also heard the sound is greater with this format. This was also typically shown in a theater with a considerably big screen. 35mm is shown a screen which is a size similar to that of your standard digital presentation but the 35mm is as mentioned, higher in terms of quality. I will say, as much as I could talk about 35mm and 70mm film, I’m not going to. I think I’ve said what needs to be heard at this point. They are both ancient pieces of technology that would honestly still hold up compared to what’s used nowadays in most movie theaters.

Now let’s get to the big guns, IMAX 70mm. When I really got into movies and their technical aspects, this was something I did a lot of research on. Why did I do research on this? Well, I just got into 3D which made me start going to the IMAX more and one day I came across more on the company. Such information included the movies they did, their logo history, and their projectors. Little did I realize I was being lied to. Let’s trace this back to the beginning…

Up above we have two images. On the left we have an image of an IMAX screen, not just any IMAX screen as a matter of fact, but it is also is the IMAX screen of the theater I always went to as a kid. The theater is now known as the Sunbrella IMAX 3D Theater, but before, this has been under multiple sponsors including Comcast, Verizon, and Tempur-Pedic. This is located in Reading, MA. I saw multiple movies here and I ended up having fun during all of my experiences, even during “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” which I hear many people hate. The reason why I bring that up is because I threw up during that experience. Sounds eccentric, I know, but still, it’s something that happened in my past so I feel it is worth discussing. At the time, this theater was equipped with an IMAX 3D 70mm film projector. This projector is known as the GT (Grand Theatre) projector. There is a projector that is similar to this that is capable of fitting in smaller IMAX theaters but has the same technologies, it is known as the SR (small rotor). Unfortunately, with the rise of digital, the film projector in this theater wasn’t going to last forever. In 2012, the theater switched to digital, which still allowed a cool IMAX experience to be had and a greater contrast ratio to be displayed on the screen, but the overall experience was missing something. A TRUE EXPERIENCE. Fun fact, before this theater was converted, there were other IMAX theaters introduced with new projectors, one of them being the projector in this theater that was the successor to the film projector, these projectors were supposed to fit on an IMAX MUCH SMALLER than the one in this theater, not to mention any older IMAX theater in existence. Here’s a chart I want to show you…

Right here is a comparison between two IMAX theaters in New York City, both of them operate under the well known cinema chain, AMC, but they have key differences, one of them is big, the other is small, and I say this by the standards of IMAX. The bigger screen is something you’d find in an older IMAX, and the smaller screen is something you’d see in a newer IMAX which is traditionally found in multiplexes.

Right here is a demonstration of the IMAX difference with footage from last year’s “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” This film had select footage shot with IMAX cameras, the same type which was partially used during this film, if that footage was shown in a regular theater, the entire film would have been shown at an aspect ratio of 2.4:1, if it was shown in IMAX digital, then the film would have been presented mostly in 2.4:1, but have select footage shown in 1.9:1, which covers the entire screen of an IMAX digital setup if this were shown in a multiplex, but not if shown in an IMAX which originally had a 70mm projector. In a classic IMAX theater with the true IMAX experience, this would have been at an aspect ratio of 1.43:1, this ratio covers the entire screen. This is something you would see with an IMAX documentary or something like that, but it’s once in a blue moon that you get to see this with an IMAX film that is digitally mastered for the experience like all of those big blockbusters made in Hollywood. In fact, here’s a list of IMAX digitally mastered films that have been able to cover the whole screen simply because they’ve been shot with IMAX cameras.

1: The Dark Knight
2: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
3: Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
4: The Dark Knight Rises
5: Star Trek: Into Darkness
6: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
7: Interstellar
8: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
9: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
10: A Beautiful Planet

As you can tell, there aren’t that many times when the screen has been full except for IMAX documentaries. Apparently, according to IMDb and Wikipedia, there are a couple of Dreamworks Animations that have also gotten the true IMAX treatment, but I’m not listing those because those weren’t shot with a camera. Granted I saw the ones which were associated with this identification (Kung Fu Panda, “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa), but still.

With these specs in mind, I would like to tell you that I have been through said experiences at least once. When I went to see “Interstellar” in 2014, I saw it in IMAX 70mm, when I went to see “Star Wars Episode VII” one of the showings I went to was in IMAX digital, and I’ll use the same film as an example for the regular theater. IMAX 70mm wins by a long shot because you can get a view of the screen as if it is actually your eye. It fills up a good portion of your vision and when you add in the amazing sound quality, it’s bliss. For IMAX digital, it’s a fun experience, but it doesn’t realy make you feel like you’re in the movie. It’s close, but no cigar. Although I will say it is better than a traditional movie theater experience due to IMAX digital have a slightly bigger screen, not to mention having a screen that goes from ceiling to floor as well as wall to wall. I will say, I did see “The Force Awakens” in true IMAX too. Well, sort of. Let’s talk about IMAX laser.

Right here is IMAX’s 4K laser projection system. When this all started, this was a project that was being developed in cooperation with Eastman Kodak since April 2012. This was designed to be a digital projection system not only capable of surpassing the quality of IMAX digital, but also meant to replace the older IMAX film equipment. Not many of these projectors exist for what I know, although do you recall that theater I mentioned earlier? The one I went to as a kid? Well turns out I still go today, and now I have a better reason to go than I did in times from 2012-2015. Why? In the summer of 2015, the theater closed its doors for a period of time, this was to make some upgrades. One of them was a superior sound system. What’s the difference? The old sound system has 6 channels, the new sound system has 12. Not to mention, you even got speakers on the ceiling now. There aren’t many places you can find this! Also, let’s dive into the gem of focus, the laser projector. As mentioned, it is capable of displaying images of 4K and have a contrast ratio which is double that of an IMAX film projector. While this is a brighter projector, I wouldn’t say you can see more of an image on it. You can definitely see A LOT, but it is not at the maximum quality. However, the biggest thing this does resolve from my view is the inability to fill up an entire screen, so when I saw “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in this format, 5 minutes of that film, the escape from Jakku to be specific, was presented in a 1.43:1 aspect ratio as opposed to 1.9:1. I will say though, at the laser theaters, the sound is probably better than the film theaters based on the number of channels.

So ultimately, if you ask me, IMAX laser is worth the ticket price you’re paying, especially when you compare it to IMAX digital, which is cool, but not extraordinary. Although if you ask me, I would rather pay to see a film in IMAX 70mm, and that is only to see a superior image, embrace older technology, and based on previous experiences, get something I wouldn’t usually see. Because IMAX laser is capable of playing a lot of films that are presented in IMAX digital, but the same cannot be said for films playing in IMAX 70mm. Want to know what I mean? Here’s a Wikipedia page displaying all of the films that have gone through the IMAX DMR (digital media remastering) process, and it shows the projection options that have been available for certain films.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_IMAX_DMR_films

So if you want an experience that is truly unlike any other you’re getting nowadays, and I say that now more than ever because this movie exists, please go see this movie on film (any format) or in IMAX laser. I personally am excited because there is a theater in Providence, RI, which is just over an hour away from my house that is getting the IMAX 70mm treatment (OR SO I HEAR, I WONDER IF THAT’S EVEN HAPPENING), and if this is the case, this is probably the first time the equipment is being used for a DMR film since “Interstellar,” which is directed by the same guy doing this film. I went to see “Interstellar” at this theater and I am more than thankful of my aunt Jenni for taking me and keeping a promise we had to do so. I also am aware that Coolidge Corner Theatre and The Somerville Theatre, which are both close to my house, happen to be getting this movie in 70mm film. I’d personally go see this movie in IMAX 70mm first because that is my personal favorite experience of the bunch, and if I end up liking the film and want to see it again, I can make a trip to one of the closer theaters and get a regular 70mm experience. I mean, I probably am gonna like this movie, it’s done by Christopher Nolan, and to me, it’s hard NOT to like his work, so I have absolute confidence that this upcoming film will be good. Anyway, thanks for reading this post, “Dunkirk” is in theaters everywhere July 21, but special engagements in 35mm, 70mm, and IMAX 70mm film will be available on July 19. Also, this upcoming weekend, I have plans to see the film, “Transformers: The Last Knight.” *Pause* *Chuckles* That’s so cute, I just called it a film. Based on what you just read, you can probably tell I don’t have much hype for it, but I’m seeing it anyway because I’ve seen all the others and I want something to review. Stay tuned for that along with more reviews! And when “Dunkirk” comes out in July, stay tuned for that review! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Top 10 BEST Marvel Cinematic Universe Films *SPOILERS*

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Here’s a question. Why do people love superheroes? I can’t answer for everybody, but I honestly love them based on their unique abilities and backstories. Superheroes have been represented for years, but recently, they’ve been popular in the realm of movies. This even includes comic book based superheroes, and one group that has been kicking ass in terms of their comic book based movies is Marvel Studios. Sure, many comic book movies are based on Marvel characters, but Marvel Studios may as well be its own topic. Marvel Studios is known for its innovative cinematic universe, which takes a bunch of superheroes based on Marvel comics and puts them into one series. The superhero stories that are taken from the comic books thus far include: “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Thor,” “Captain America,” “The Avengers,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Ant-Man,” and “Doctor Strange.” Sure, there are more heroes and stories in this universe, but these are ones that have gotten their own films dedicated to them. Also, part of me wonders if “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which comes out in July, would even count in this universe once it is released because the interpretation of Spider-Man in that film was in an MCU film, and you have an MCU character as one of the film’s main characters, but this is under Sony, and Marvel Studios is owned by Disney. Nevertheless, these films are enjoyed by many and I’d personally say you should watch them, today we’re gonna count down my top 10 favorites in this category of films. Also, these are my personal 10 picks from worst to best, so with that in mind, I’m not forcing you to like these films, and regardless of whether or not you like them, I’m not saying you should at the very least appreciate them in the order listed on my specific countdown. One more thing, this is a list done in 2017, so the latest film released thus far in this series was “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” just keep that in mind depending on when you’re reading this. Without further ado, let’s get counting down my top 10 best Marvel Cinematic Universe films!

#10: Iron Man 2

Starting off this list is “Iron Man 2.” I really like this film for a number of reasons. First off, it’s one of the more fun movies in the MCU. It’s very lighthearted and while stakes are high at some points in this movie and there may be sparks of darkness, the vibe is very vivid and fun. The establishment for Vanko, the villain of the film, wasn’t bad either. Some people dislike him as a villain for what I know, but I found him to be serviceable. Not great, not terrible, he was… alright, yeah, let’s put it that way. Although there’s one thing that stands out to me about this character more than anything else and that is the bird gag that goes on throughout the film. At one point in the film, Vanko joins forces with Justin Hammer, Tony Stark’s business rival, the two are talking, and Vanko has a request. He says “I want my bird.” That’s one of the funniest things I’ve actually seen in the MCU thus far, and yet “Guardians of the Galaxy” is a thing. What a world! This movie also introduces Natalie Rushman, AKA Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johanson, who is one of my favorite actresses working today. I like her for her rather deep voice, how she displays herself in action scenes, the serious vibe she gives off, and I’LL JUST GET TO THE POINT! SHE’S F*CKING HOT!

The first action scene I witnessed featuring her character in this film was pure badassery, and it made me want to see more of her character. Kind of like with Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman who I prefer over Johanson’s Black Widow. Tony Stark in this movie is also funny as hell! Here are a few lines from him in this movie:

EXAMPLE 1:

TONY: How do you spell your name, Natalie?

NATALIE: R-U-S-H-M-A-N.

PEPPER: What, are you Googling her now?

TONY: I thought I was ogling her?

 

EXAMPLE 2:

SENATOR STERN: My priority is to get the Iron Man weapon turned over to the people of the United States of America.

TONY: Well, you can forget it. I am Iron Man. The suit and I are one. To turn over the Iron Man suit would be to turn over myself, which is tantamount in indentured servitude or prostitution, depending on what state you’re in. You can’t have it.

SENATOR: Look, I’m no expert…

TONY: In prostitution? Of course not, you’re a senator. Come on!

 

EXAMPLE 3:

TONY: You know, the question I get asked most often is, “Tony, how do you go to the bathroom in the suit?”

PAUSES WITH HIS EYES CLOSED

TONY: Just like that.

 

#9: Doctor Strange

One thing that a lot of comic book movies seem to get right is the visuals, here, I think it is represented better than quite possibly any other movie in the MCU. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce, “Doctor Strange.” Thus far, this is the only origin story based film that is released in the MCU’s third phase, and I have to say as an origin story, it’s not half bad. Benedict Cumberbatch did a great job as Stephen Strange. Everything about his performance was believable and I was able to root for him throughout the film. However, some characters are not as memorable. I barely remember a number of the supporting cast, not to mention the villain was forgettable and didn’t seem to give off any charisma, and Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One is a very queer casting choice. I mean, Swinton didn’t do too bad as this character, but this is one of those times where Hollywood takes a character from something, whether it be real or fictional, and inserts someone to play this character whose race is different from the cast member playing the character. Also, Tilda Swinton’s white, so that definitely brought some outrage amongst certain comic book fans and moviegoers alike. However, this movie gets massive credit from me based on the breathtaking and hypnotizing visuals, which believe it or not, despite how much I appreciate them, are not even my favorite visual effects from a movie released the year this one came out. At times when I was watching this film, it was almost as if “The Matrix” and “Inception” had a baby. When I saw this in IMAX 3D in Providence, RI, I was simply stunned. Other pluses in this film include Wong (played by Benedict Wong. No, seriously, that’s the guy’s real name, look it up!), the humor, and the “I’ve come to bargain” scene. Give this film a watch sometime, I recommend it just for the visuals alone, but there are other things to enjoy in this film.

#8: The Avengers

Here we have an innovation to movies, “The Avengers!” Fun fact about this movie, this was the first MCU film I watched, and when I first heard about this film and maybe when I watched it for the first time, I had no idea these heroes were from other movies. I knew other movies with these heroes existed, but part of me thought this was its own thing. When this film came out in 2012, it was one of the most unique superhero films ever released. All the Marvel heroes that have gotten their own movie to this point come together to form a team, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and the slightly more Incredible Hulk, and I say slightly more incredible because they got a new guy to play him and I like him better as the Hulk as opposed to Edward Norton. This team has to save humanity from being enslaved by Loki, who you may know as Thor’s brother. And when it comes to MCU villains, you’re gonna see a lot of entries on here where I think the villain is underwhelming, but this is one of the villains in the series I’m actually able to appreciate. Out of all the MCU films, this film has one of the best themes in the entire series. However, one character in the film I didn’t give a crap about was Hawkeye. To me, it was almost as if he was just there, not doing much except shooting bows, and that’s his character. It’s been almost a year since I last watched this movie, but I believe a fidget spinner has more of a personality than this guy. Although you’ve got some other characters returning such as Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson (ANY MOVIE EVER, HE’S THE BLACK GUY.), and you’ve even got Scarlett Johanson returning as Black Widow, and she’s a badass once again. There’s one scene that really intrigued me which had her character tied to a chair, and… yeah, screw it, I’m leaving this here.

I’m sorry but I can’t resist, I’m a 17 year old boy, this is who I am. It’s like a teen girl constantly putting pictures of their favorite boy band on Tumblr or something, is that what the kids are using now? I dunno. It’s natural. (Laughs uncontrollably)

Also, the big climax in New York City was fun and had me on the edge of my seat at times, but there are finales in the MCU I ended up remembering more than this. One of the finales I remember the most is in the first “Iron Man” movie, speaking of which…

#7: Iron Man

Here we have the film that started it all, the truth is, I AM talking about “Iron Man.” There’s so much to appreciate about this film. For one thing, it gave us a really likable origin story and one of the slightly more memorable villains in the MCU (although that doesn’t say much). Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man in this film, who probably had NO IDEA where this Marvel series would end up today. The storyline of this film is that Tony Stark, a less than down to Earth billionaire is held captive in an Afghan cave, and he soon builds a mechanized armor suit, escaping the area, which leads to having to save the world from Obidiah Shane (played by Jeff Bridges). Something interesting about this movie is it started a trend that didn’t last very long in the MCU. Every movie that features Iron Man (except “The Incredible Hulk”) in this series would have an ACDC song. I’m kinda sad that didn’t last (last time this happened was in “The Avengers,” released in 2012) because I consider them to be one of my favorite rock bands, despite how a lot of their songs sound like they repeat themselves, and it felt like that would have been a signature theme whenever Iron Man comes on screen. Like, let’s take Wonder Woman, if the new “Wonder Woman” film didn’t have the theme that introduced her character in costume during “Batman v. Superman” I would have been disappointed. Maybe not appalled, maybe I would have been, I don’t know for sure, but still, you probably get what I’m saying. Also, as mentioned, the final battle in this movie was something that had me on the edge of my seat the first time I watched it. You know that portal in the sky cliche? That thing that looks so menacing but is now becoming somewhat overused? No? Watch “Suicide Squad,” “Fant4stic,” “Transformers: Dark of Moon,” or the “Ghostbusters” remake to see what I mean. You see it here too, but looking back at it, it’s a little different because this is one of those times that it doesn’t bring down any army or is primarily there to be menacing or anything. Much like “Iron Man 2,” which is lower on this list, Tony Stark is hysterical. Here are some of my favorite lines from him in this movie:

EXAMPLE 1:

TONY: Where’d you get that dress?

PEPPER: It was a birthday present… from you, actually.

TONY: I got great taste, don’t I? You, uh, wanna dance?

 

EXAMPLE 2:

CHRISTINE EVERHEART: You’ve been called the Da Vinci of our time. What do you have to say to that?

TONY: Absolutely ridiculous, I don’t paint.

 

EXAMPLE 3:

PEPPER: Tony, you have to go to the hospital. The doctor has to look at you.

TONY: I don’t have to do anything. I’ve been in captivity for three months. There are two things I want to do. One, I want an American cheeseburger, and the other…

PEPPER: That’s enough of that.

TONY: It’s not what you think. I want you to call for a press conference.

PEPPER: Call for a press conference? What on Earth for?

TONY: Hogan, drive. Cheeseburger first.

Interestingly enough, that last example, may have been an excuse just to get Burger King’s name on screen because, well, product placement. Nevertheless, “Iron Man” ultimately doesn’t disappoint and it definitely has some sort of rewatchability factor to it.

#6: Guardians of the Galaxy

Next up on this list is one of the installments in this universe that undoubtedly knows how to have fun, and that my friends, is “Guardians of the Galaxy.” There’s a lot to appreciate when it comes to this film. The characters, the fact that this popularized a comic that was somewhat obscure, the soundtrack, the humor, and the visuals. This film is about a bunch of criminals who are placed together and are forced to save the universe. One thing that is unique about this film compared to a bunch of other films in the MCU is that it doesn’t have many noticeable references to other portions of the series as a whole. If you watch a lot of the MCU films, you may see them bringing in other superheroes on the team (Captain America: Civil War, Ant-Man) or they give off references to the team itself (Iron Man 3). I personally don’t care whether or not they do this, it’s just something I noticed while watching this film. My favorite character in the movie has to be the badass raccoon, Rocket. He’s voiced by Bradley Cooper and a lot of his lines are delivered with precise timing and attitude. However, if I have any problems with the film, the one I’d point out immediately is the villain of the film, Ronan. He was just probably one of the most cliche villains I ever seen and it almost reminds me of a cartoon. I mean, Lee Pace, the actor who plays him, did alright as this character, it’s just that I think the writing for this villain leaves a bit to be desired. I also didn’t really care for Yondu or Nebula in this film, I cared for Yondu a little more in the sequel so that was an improvement, but Nebula was still someone I didn’t give a crap about so that’s a problem I have with both movies. It goes to show you that even when a film is an extravaganza of joy and fun throughout, it still has its drawbacks. Some people may not care about some of this, but I’m a keen observer, so I just have a lot of this racked up in my head. Even with that, I still consider this movie to be pretty great and it is up there as one of the funniest comic book movies of all time.

#5: Thor

Next up we have my personal favorite movie of the MCU’s first phase and that’s “Thor.” Personally, I think this one of the movies in the MCU that doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves. Maybe it’s because it’s currently one of the older ones, I don’t know. The story of this film is that the god known as Thor is cast out of Asgard and must live on Earth, and he soon has to defend it. Before all of this happens, it shows us the backstory of Thor and his brother, Loki, as children. While these two were both born to be kings, only one of them would ascend to the throne. One thing that stands out in this film is the visual effects, mainly the ones in Asgard. Everything there just looks so stunning and aesthetically pleasing. Much like a lot of films on this list, the villain here is somewhat forgettable. The main antagonist here is Loki, and he is a terrific villain in “The Avengers,” but I’ve only seen “Thor” once, so I’d probably have to see this movie multiple times to remember this antagonist. Although out of all the origin stories I’ve seen in the MCU thus far, I must say Thor’s origin story may be one of the most compelling. I also like the scene in the cafe where Thor is having a cup of coffee and it shows that his definition of manners happens to be clearly different to those of Earthlings. It’s a good way of showing Thor’s personality while adding some humor into the mix. I enjoyed the hell out of “Thor,” although if were tweaked just a bit, it would go from being a great movie to an amazing movie.

#4: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

At #4 we have the first movie I saw on its opening Thursday night, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” When I was going into this movie, I honestly had no idea what to expect, I saw MCU movies before, but I missed “Captain America: The First Avenger,” which by the way, is not on this list. I did see it, I just didn’t think it was as enjoyable as the other MCU movies. Also, before we go anywhere else with this film, I’ll start here…

Yeah, I’m leaving this here, I am who I am. OK, where were we? Well, the plot of this film is that Nick Fury is killed by an assassin known as the Winter Soldier, and several moments into this film, it is up to Captain America, Black Widow, and Falcon to take him down. While I do happen to really enjoy this film, it is not perfect in my book. First off, as mentioned recently, Nick Fury gets killed by an assassin, turns out he never died. Listen, I get that this is under Disney ownership and families watch this stuff and Nick Fury is a vital character to the MCU in general but can you just imagine how much more compelling this movie would have been if Nick Fury stayed dead the whole time? I mean, I like Nick Fury, and I’m glad I saw more of his character after this film, but still, it would have been awesome. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” which was made under Disney ownership, managed to kill off just about every single character in that film, why couldn’t this?! Sure, “Rogue One” came out a couple of years after this movie, but still, my complaint stands. One thing I can appreciate about this film is the action. The CGI was well produced, all of it is fast paced with occasional witty lines, and there’s one moment with Black Widow that is just… I don’t know, it’s amazing. I would like to give a huge thank you for whoever came up with all the choreography for the fights. I don’t usually go back to watch this film often, but I’d give it a go every once in a while. Overall, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is a fun film and if I saw “Captain America: The First Avenger” before this and had the same thoughts about it then as I do now, this movie would probably ended up an interesting surprise.

#3: Ant-Man

Between #3 and #2, it was hard to decide what movie should go in what slot, but I’m putting them in these slots for what I consider justifiable reasons. So for #3, my pick is “Ant-Man.” The first time I watched this film was during a family reunion in Lincoln, NH. There was a matinee at a nearby theater on opening weekend and surprisingly the people I was going to see this with were some of the only people in the theater. After seeing this film, I thought this was going to be the best film of the year, but yeah, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” came out the same year so that definitely changed. This film involves a guy played by Paul Rudd who goes the name of Scott Lang, a criminal who is supposed to complete a heist for his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, and to help Scott do that, he has a supersuit that allows him to shrink to the size of an ant. There’s a lot to love about this movie. One of the standouts to me in this movie is the humor. Despite being a heist film, there’s not really much seriousness at hand, there is some interjected, but only when it needs to be. This goes to show how funny Marvel is in general. I also love Falcon’s cameo, which did a few things for the film: 1: Bring in humor, both before and after the appearance. 2: Bring in some cool action. 3: Show off what Ant-Man could do in one most engaging ways imaginable. When a film can do all of those things, you know you’ve got a good film on your hands. Evangeline Lilly is also in this film, who you may know as Tauriel from “The Hobbit” films, who actually happened to be a fictional character I had a crush on at one point, and one of the reasons why I love “The Desolation of Smaug” to death. I don’t give a crap about what anyone else says, that movie, is better than any of the “Lord of the Rings” films. I’M SERIOUS. The villain of this film is also one of the better villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so you know that might say something about this movie, the chance of having an at least above average villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is like the chance of finding someone in the current year, 2017, who doesn’t have a smartphone. It’s the size of an ant! 😉 One of my favorite parts of the movie is the final battle between Ant-Man and Yellowjacket. It just showcases what these characters can do and it does it well. It’s also kinda fun to see two small beings throwing stuff on a toy train set and make it look like something much bigger than that. Also, you gotta love that moment when it shows Thomas the Tank Engine and it runs Yellowjacket over! That is pure gold! Speaking of which, there’s a moment where the Thomas toy gets thrown and it just grows to the size of an actual train, causing a lot of ruckus in the neighborhood where this fight is taking place. Moments like that, just show how strong Marvel is when it comes to humor. This film in the end, is just fun, entertaining, and humorous. Before going into this film, I was not thinking this was gonna be great. I thought differently after seeing the main trailer multiple times, thinking it was gonna be pretty cool, but still not at the level of great, boy was I wrong! This movie was awesome!

At #2 we have the first third installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which also happens to be the first film in Marvel’s second phase, that’s a lot of numbers! That’s right, I’m talking about “Iron Man 3.” This movie is about Tony Stark who now is receiving anxiety attacks, he’s forgetting what he eats for breakfast in the morning, he’s much more torn apart as a person than he used to be, which to be honest, kind of added to his character in the long run. Earth is being torn apart by a terrorist referred to as the Mandarin and it is up to Iron Man to deal with it. Although while doing so, he ends up getting into a situation that leaves him suitless, to specify, he crash lands in Tennessee and can’t get his suit working. There’s a lot to enjoy about “Iron Man 3,” I know some people have that one thing that they hate about “Iron Man 3” and that thing you’ll often hear is how they treat The Mandarin in this film. I personally don’t know what to think about it. While I do think everyone’s complaints are understandable based on what I’ve watched in the film, I also think the actual Mandarin isn’t all that bad. Both characters who have been portrayed as the Mandarin had great buildup. Let’s start off with Ben Kingsley’s character, Trevor Shatterly. When the film begins, he’s the one that is suspected to be the Mandarin, we first see this video where you can hear him narrating: “Some people call me a terrorist. I consider myself a teacher.” The whole setup behind Ben Kingsley’s character just makes him come off as this power-hungry man who terrorizes every single moment he can get. Aldrich Killian also has a good setup too, you see him hanging out with characters like Pepper, and one moment I remember well from this guy is this moment where he’s hanging out with Pepper in a room and he’s showing off his “big brain.” As far as other highlights go, I got to say the score, the action, the final battle, the scene where Tony’s home gets destroyed, oh yeah, and Tony’s epic lines once again! Here are some of his best lines from “Iron Man 3:”

 

EXAMPLE 1:

(CARRYING ELEVEN FALLING PASSENGERS WHO WERE ORIGINALLY ON A PLANE, TWO MORE ARE FALLING BUT NOT CARRIED)

TONY: Remember that game, Barrel of Monkeys? This is how it is: we got to catch all the monkeys!

 

EXAMPLE 2:

(TALKING TO A BOY WITH BLONDE HAIR AND GLASSES IN A RESTAURANT)

TONY: I loved you in “A Christmas Story” by the way.

 

EXAMPLE 3:

(TONY TRIES TO EMBRACE PEPPER)

PEPPER: Tony!

TONY: It’s OK…

PEPPER: I’m hot, I’ll hurt you!

TONY: (touches Pepper) No, you won’t. See? Not hot.

PEPPER: Am I going to be OK?

TONY: No. You’re in a relationship with me, nothing will ever be OK. But I had this twenty years ago when I was drunk, I can sort it out. I fix stuff.

 

However, this movie isn’t completely infallible. One thing that we got in every single movie Iron Man was in up to this point (excluding “The Incredible Hulk”) was at least one song by ACDC put somewhere throughout its runtime. We never got one here. I mean, I said I like the score, but to get music perfection throughout the entire film, at least one ACDC song should’ve been put in. Another thing is that the story seems to rip off “The Incredibles.” Both films feature a moment which the main character meets the villain, the villain wanted the hero to join them in something they had such a deep focus on, but the villain gets denial from the hero. When I first saw this film, I was not thinking about that, in fact, I was thinking of this film at one point ripping off another Pixar movie, that film, to be specific, is “Cars.” In the movie “Cars,” the main character, Lightning McQueen is supposed to be at a race in Los Angeles, but he gets left out of his Mack truck, he ends up never finding him, and he’s stuck somewhere for a period of time. Granted they have different setups, ramifications going on during this period, and you can also say they end up having different solutions. Despite the ripoff element, I really enjoy this movie, and I definitely rewatched this Marvel film more than any other. I mean, I found it for free on YouTube multiple times, so what could you really expect from this? The rewatchability factor is a reason why this is above “Ant-Man” on this list, I watched “Ant-Man” a couple of times, as opposed to this film, which I have watched many times.

 

My #1 pick is a movie some of you may have seen coming if you have read this blog before. I gave this movie a 10/10 in my review, it was my favorite movie of 2016, and it presented something I’ve yet to see in a superhero movie, perhaps something that needed to be shown to win certain audiences over, that something can be found in “Captain America: Civil War.” This, at its core is almost like a mini-Avengers film. It features almost every single hero featured in the MCU, it has a plot revolving around all of them, while at the same time, having a focus on “Captain America” material. Like for example, you get more of Bucky, literally the first scene in the film involves Bucky. That character is also no longer fighting against Captain America, because in this film, you see him alongside Captain America at times. All the Captain America stuff, while entertaining and fun to watch, is not even the best part of the movie, the best parts of the movie go to everything else. Even this one moment when the heroes are all together in a room, they’re sitting down and talking. Thaddeus Ross is there too, and he is telling all of these heroes that while they are in a sense, heroic, they do leave a sense of vigilantism among some people. This has been displayed by their destruction of various areas when doing battle. Destruction in areas like New York, Washington DC, Sovakia, and Lagos. This and other moments in this movie might as well be a service to those who are complaining about certain superhero movies. One movie that comes to mind is “Man of Steel.” In that movie, there is destruction all over the place, and some people view that as a degrading factor to the movie. In this movie, this, and the overall bringing up of the Hero Registration Act, which is supposed to limit a hero’s actions, basically brings up a divide in the Avengers. Tony Stark believes that it’s a good idea, and could save cities from being destroyed. Captain America however believes it’s a bad idea, and wants heroes to be able to save the world in whatever way they can without government interference. This leads to a civil war among the Avengers and one of the greatest throw-downs I’ve ever seen in a movie. This throw-down has a lot of highlights, some of which include Ant-Man, some of Tony’s lines, and the moment where everybody starts trotting towards each other. When I first saw that, I felt like a boy who just had a Hershey bar for the first time ever. The best part of the fight by a long shot is unarguably, Spider-Man. Now, I may be a Spider-Man fanboy, but as a fanboy, I’m able to recognize when Spider-Man is done properly, and they MASTERED him here! Before the whole fight begins, we meet Peter Parker with Tony Stark in Queens, NY, and they’re talking to each other. Peter says he can’t help Tony at first because he’s got homework, not only is that funny, but just goes to show how Peter is as a character. He is a hero that has to juggle his hero life and his personal life at the same time, and that is something from my experience as a human being, I think I have seen more from Spider-Man as opposed to literally any other superhero I’ve laid my eyes or ears upon. And during the fight, he turns into a character that is funnier than Iron Man, funnier than any of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and also MAYBE even funnier than Deadpool, if not as funny. He’s throwing quips around the entire fight, it’s just gold, the whole theater was cheering and laughing for his character when I saw this movie for the first time. Oh yeah, and later on in the fight, he’s spinning a web around the enormous Ant-Man’s legs, and he calls “The Empire Strikes Back” a “really old movie” and he refers to the AT-ATs as “the walking thingies.” JUST WOW! I HOPE TO PLUTO THAT “SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING” IS GOOD, BECAUSE WE HAVE THIS AMAZING INTERPRETATION OF SPIDER-MAN RIGHT HERE! One of the benefits here with this Marvel movie compared to other Marvel movies is that there is no main villain that appears in the movie and receives a tremendous amount of focus. It’s up to the audience to decide who is good or bad. I mean, for Team Iron Man or Team Captain America, I’d say hero-wise, Iron Man is my pick, but if we are talking about points revolving around the Hero Registration Act, I seriously don’t know what to say! Both sides make really compelling and valid arguments that I cannot stick with one of them! So throughout the film, I ended up rooting for Iron Man as a hero (not to mention Spider-Man), but was open-minded and was intrigued toward what Captain America’s points were. On a final note, I think the Russo Brothers should direct every single Captain America related film, TV show, whatever it may be as long as they live. This movie has the best action in the MCU, both in terms of situations at hand and how it is shot, thinking about this only gets me more excited to see “Avengers: Infinity War,” that movie sounds like it’s gonna be a blast! Guys, this movie deserves my #1 pick, it is the most unique film in the MCU, it’s a good popcorn movie, not to mention it’s a movie that makes you think and intrigues you to do so, and it’s also just plain fun at the same time! That’s it, I’m done. I think I talked about everything. …Wait a minute, I didn’t. BLACK WIDOW’S IN THIS MOVIE!

(Laughs for a few seconds almost as if it is happening in shame) Why do I do this to myself? I don’t know, I kinda have a crush on Scarlett Johanson, what else can I say?

Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed this countdown, I actually do have another post planned, I’m thinking of working on it not too long from now, maybe hours from when this gets posted, maybe sometime this week, we’ll find out, but it’s gonna be on the highly anticipated movie, “Dunkirk.” It’s not a review, the movie doesn’t come out until July 21st in all cinemas, although it is gonna be released in IMAX 70mm film, standard 70mm film, not to mention 35mm film two days prior, and that is something that I intend to focus on. Stay tuned for that, and also, staying on the topic of Marvel, I figured I’d have links down below to all the Marvel Cinematic Universe film reviews I’ve done up to this point. These links will take you to my reviews of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Doctor Strange,” and “Captain America: Civil War.” Be sure to check out those reviews, and stay tuned for more reviews! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

“GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/05/05/guardians-of-the-galaxy-2014-marvels-best-a-holes/

“GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/guardians-of-the-galaxy-vol-2-2017-return-of-the-a-holes-plus-update-on-post-credit-rumors/

“DOCTOR STRANGE” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/doctor-strange-a-must-see-3d-experience-in-2016/

“CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/captain-america-civil-war-team-cap-or-team-iron-man/

ADAM WEST IS DEAD?! MY REQUEST On Where Family Guy Should Go From Here

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Before we dive into this post, I just want to let everyone know, sorry, I don’t have a review for you this weekend. Maybe next weekend I’ll see something, I do have a desire to see “Cars 3.” Some people might question me for it, but I don’t care, I grew up watching “Cars” and do enjoy Pixar’s work. Anyway, with that out of the way, let’s get into some unfortunate news.

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Adam West, otherwise known as TV’s Batman, is dead. He died after a brief battle with Leukemia, and there’s a reason I’m doing a post on this. And no, it’s not about “Batman,” I actually, believe it or not, have not seen his version of “Batman.” However, this is on another show he has a role in, “Family Guy.”

If you guys didn’t know, “Family Guy” might be my favorite show on the air right now. Its early seasons are comedy gold and while its later seasons have dwindled, I still find various episodes to be extremely funny. For those of you who don’t know what “Family Guy” is, it is a show that airs on FOX about a family called the Griffins. There’s the idiotic dad, Peter. The caring mom, Lois. The wise dog, Brian. The villainous smart baby boy, Stewie. The brainless teenage boy, Chris. …And Meg. Each episode of the show either focuses on the family’s everyday adventures. Some episodes even revolve around controversial topics including: The existence of transgenders, gay marriage, vaccinations, censorship on TV, and marijuana legalization. While doing that, they shove in references from various sources such as movies or TV shows: Some of my favorites include: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” in “Stu & Stewie’s Excellent Adventure,” “The Price Is Right” in “The Fat Guy Strangler,” “Blues Brothers” in “Road to Germany,” and all three “Star Wars” spoof episodes. Some episodes even have celebrities playing themselves in major roles. Some include: James Woods, Ryan Reynolds, Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Rush Limbaugh, Liam Neeson, and Frank Sinatra Jr.

This concept sounds kinda familiar, doesn’t it?

While many people argue “Family Guy” is just “The Simpsons” with tons of cutaway gags, a completely valid argument that has been touched upon in a “Family Guy” episode featuring the characters from “The Simpsons,” I personally think “Family Guy” is a better show. In the same episode I recently brought up, part of the ripoff gag went towards comparing two characters from both shows: Mayor Quimby, from “The Simpsons,” and Mayor West, from “Family Guy.” The similarity between these two characters is rather obvious if you listen to their conversation during the courtroom scene from S13E1 of “Family Guy,” “The Simpsons Guy:”

MAYOR WEST: Are you a mayor?

MAYOR QUIMBY: Yes, I am.

MAYOR WEST: Are you a “cool” mayor? (makes hand gesture to suggest smoking)

MAYOR QUIMBY: I uh… I like to think so.

The two leave the courtroom

As mentioned, this is more of a focus towards “Family Guy,” so the character we are going to be talking about, is Adam West’s character, himself. Although he’s often referred to as mayor West. Specifically, we’re gonna focus on what could be next for the show now that Adam West is no more. This is also because I want to bring an idea that I just came up with to the attention of FOX, Seth MacFarlane, everyone else who works on “Family Guy,” every single person who played the character of “Batman,” and maybe even some other Batman characters.

Batman may be arguably the world’s most admired superhero, if not, he’s probably the best without any actual superpowers. Adam West is one of the few people to have the great opportunity of playing him in either a film or TV show. Now that West is gone, I’m thinking that the show should find another guy to play the mayor of Quahog, which is the town the Griffins inhabit. My thoughts are that the next mayor of Quahog should be played by a guy who has once played Batman. Seriously! You could get a number of people for the role. You could get Michael Keaton, you could get Christian Bale, you could get Kevin Conroy, you could get Val Kilmer, even George Clooney! Come on! If you get George Clooney, he can probably even make fun of himself playing Batman because even HE knows his portrayal of Batman sucked balls. He has shown this multiple times. Here is a quote given by George Clooney at CinemaCon last year on the topic of “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” starring Ben Affleck as Batman:

“Well I haven’t seen it, you know? Because I feel that Batman died with me. As you can imagine, don’t you guys feel the same way? Let me just point this out, I wore a rubber suit and giant rubber nipples, and I still have a career.”

Granted “Batman v. Superman” came out around the time Clooney said this, but he hates his interpretation of the caped crusader nonetheless.

One idea is that before the whole new mayor character thing comes to be, they should make one episode which has two characters running for mayor. One of the candidates, should be a character played by someone who has played Robin. So you may as well call this rivalry “Batman vs. Robin.” You can probably get Chris O’Donnell, Loren Lester, or Michael Cera. In fact, I have an another idea. Maybe this rivalry can be a Batman and Robin reunion. For example, you can put Val Kilmer as a character against one played by Chris O’Donnell considering they were both in “Batman Forever.” You can also put George Clooney against Chris O’Donnell considering Clooney replaced Kilmer during 1997’s “Batman & Robin.” You can also have a “Batman: The Animated Series” reunion and put Kevin Conroy and Loren Lester against each other. Or if you want to go with a more recent example, maybe put the LEGO Batman (Will Arnett) and LEGO Robin (Michael Cera) against each other.

Another idea that could be done is instead of Robin, they should have a character played by someone who played Catwoman, who in some versions of Batman material is a villain, while in others, is an antihero. For this character, they could cast Halle Barry, Anne Hathaway, or Michelle Pfeiffer. Also, remember how I mentioned a Batman and Robin reunion could be a solid idea? Maybe the same can be said for Catwoman. Maybe they can go with Michael Keaton as one character and Michelle Pfeiffer as the other. Another reunion could bring back the actors from the animated show, Kevin Conroy and Adrienne Barbeau. Or maybe the characters from Christopher Nolan’s Batman films could return, Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway. If Catwoman doesn’t work out, you can get another villain. Maybe Poison Ivy or Harley Quinn. If that doesn’t work out, maybe get another hero, such as Batgirl.

If you read the end of the most recent paragraph carefully, you may notice that there are all female characters mentioned. Why do I say that? I feel like an episode like this could be a parody of the 2016 US Presidential Election and there could a male character played by someone who played Batman representing Donald Trump, and a female character who plays a female in the realm of Batman representing Hillary Clinton. Maybe the whole episode doesn’t have to be making fun of it, maybe it’s just a portion. Perhaps you can have the two in a debate together and it happens to be reminiscent of one of the debates before Election Day. Maybe for the Donald Trump representation, his character could come up with something he plans to build that he’s gonna make either the citizens of Quahog or some out of towners pay for. Heck, he could even mention a country, or if he wants to go for a closer resemblance, he can make citizens of New Mexico or the people who work for Texaco Inc pay for whatever the Trump wannabe wants to build much like how Trump himself wants Mexico to pay for the wall he plans to build. Also, if you want to make fun of him even more, make him look orange the entire time, or you can have him be white and occasionally pour an orange drink on himself such as Fanta or orange juice. Also, for the Hillary Clinton type character, you could have people complaining about something about her in the same way people complain about Hillary’s emails. You can also have this character represented as rather unhealthy in at least a clip or two, and I even have a great backstory. Quahog, RI never once had a female mayor, much like how the US never once had a female president. Since this female is running, women everywhere in the town, especially feminists, become ecstatic by this. They would do ANYTHING to make this person the mayor of Quahog just because this person is a woman. Come on, I’m writing your show for you! One more small thing I’ll bring in for Donald Trump is that if you can’t bring in someone who played Batman, bring in someone who played the Joker such as Mark Hamill or Zach Galifianakis or Jared Leto. After all, when people were aware of Donald Trump’s announcement about running for president, or him simply campaigning for the position, or him getting elected, or him being sworn into office, some of them probably thought something like this was a giant joke.

These are just some ideas I had for the future of “Family Guy,” and I thought I’d get them out in case Seth MacFarlane or FOX had any interest in viewing these ideas. Also, if this idea does become official, I would like to make a couple of requests. 1: Can I possibly write the episode (NOT DEMANDING TO, BUT I’LL STILL PROBABLY WORK ON A SCRIPT JUST IN CASE YOU SAY YES)? 2: If I can’t write the episode, can you guys at least credit me? Like, put me in a “special thanks” section or something, I don’t know. Anyway, thanks for reading this post! If “Family Guy” gets someone to fill in the shoes of the mayor of Quahog, I can’t wait to see them with all of these other fantastic characters! Oh yeah, and Meg. I’m not sure what will be happening next weekend, if I don’t see a movie next weekend, I probably will the weekend after because “Transformers: The Last Knight” comes out around that time, which is a movie that probably won’t BOMB at the box office. Get it? Since we’re talking about “Family Guy,” if you want to see more of my written material related to the show, look no further! I have a link to my top 10 BEST “Family Guy” episodes down below! Check it out, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, but I’ll remind you, there are spoilers written in the post, so be aware. Stay tuned for more great posts, and I want to know a couple things: What is your favorite Adam West role? Also, who is your favorite on-screen “Batman?” Leave your thoughts in the comments, and trust me, I DO READ THEM. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

“I never had to say ‘I’m Batman.’ I showed up, people knew I was Batman.” -Adam West, himself, “The Big Bang Theory.”

TOP 10 BEST “FAMILY GUY” EPISODES: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/top-10-family-guy-episodes-spoilers/

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012): Is It REALLY So Amazing? *SPOILERS*

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“The Amazing Spider-Man” is directed by Marc Webb (Not intended to be a joke) and stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, and Denis Leary in a movie based on the popular comic book character of Spider-Man. This movie is about Peter Parker getting bitten by a spider, discovering he has superpowers, and trying to take down a giant lizard.

This movie was released 5 years after the box office hit/audience miss “Spider-Man 3.” Due to how many people ended up disliking the movie, it ended up not getting a sequel, and instead, “Spider-Man” got rebooted by Sony with a new director and cast, so Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire were gone this time. Now you’ve got Marc Webb as director and Andrew Garfield as the one playing Spidey. We’re gonna get into Andrew Garfield eventually, just hold on. Going into this movie for the first time back in 2012, I was probably, without realizing it, the stupidest kid alive. Because I was a huge fan of Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” trilogy, and having seen some ads for this upcoming film, I figured that this was gonna be a reflection of Spider-Man’s past before he became who he was and sometime after. BOY WAS I WRONG. That has nothing to do with my rating of the movie, but that just goes to show you how much I enjoyed Raimi’s films. This film on the other hand, is one I didn’t enjoy, I rewatched it a couple of times, but ultimately, I’d rather watch ANY of Raimi’s films every single day for the rest of my life as opposed to this film again. Yes, even “Spider-Man 3.” While “Spider-Man 3” did have its flaws, I would have rather seen a sequel to that as opposed to a reboot shelled out everywhere five years after the last “Spider-Man” film was released. Although “Homecoming” looks somewhat promising, but I’m looking forward to it after the less than satisfactory series we’ve received with both of “The Amazing Spider-Man” films. We’ll get to the second one eventually, but for now let’s just focus on the first.

Fun fact about this movie, back in 2013, I actually bought a Blu-Ray player for my room, it was the first Blu-Ray player we had in the house, and I figured, why not have one? Not to mention I was tired of watching DVDs on my PS2 which actually required me to type in a password or something to watch certain movies that someone must have set up (IT WASN’T MY PARENTS, THE PS2 WAS USED AT GAMESTOP AND SOMEONE MUST HAVE NEVER CHANGED THE SETTINGS BEFORE SELLING IT) They are greater in quality as opposed to DVD and I just got a 1080p TV in my room so I figured it was worth having. I have a different player in my room now, the original works, but the new one can upscale to 4K so I like that one better. The first Blu-Ray disc I ever owned was “The Amazing Spider-Man.” I still have that Blu-Ray disc today with the slipcover, and I watched it a few times on Blu-Ray, but only a few times that year. I own Raimi’s “Spider-Man” trilogy on DVD, I’ve watched those movies MUCH MORE than that film. Rewatching this film, it was better than I thought it would be, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t some flaws worth mentioning, which we’ll get to later. But before we get to that, let’s talk about some characters.

Andrew Garfield plays Peter Parker in this film. When it comes to Raimi’s “Spider-Man” films, one common complaint I hear is how Tobey Maguire is a little bit old to be playing a character around Peter Parker’s age. I mentioned this, and I’ll mention it again, for an actor that is older than a teenager, he did just fine playing a teenager. The same can be said for Andrew Garfield. Want proof? Andrew Garfield was born August 20, 1983, “The Amazing Spider-Man” was released in 2012, so around the time this movie was shot and produced, he was in his late twenties. Want another fun fact? At the time of “Spider-Man’s” release in 2002 with Tobey Maguire, that actor was 26, and he was actually slightly younger than Andrew Garfield was at the time of “The Amazing Spider-Man’s” release. Interesting, right? Garfield’s performance is pretty good as the web-slinger and one thing that is superior to Maguire’s performance has to do with the movie’s writing, which is a little more like the comics. There’s this one scene where Spidey encounters this car thief, for some reason he’s in one guy’s car, I honestly don’t know how he got in, but still, he got in before the thief did. He scares the thief by telling him to not dress up like a car thief if he’s gonna steal cars. Then we get this scene that was PURE HILARITY. I laughed my ass off watching this scene, Spidey is just shooting webs at this guy just for the fun of it. At one point, he’s pretending he’s going to sneeze, and when he goes “Ah-choo!,” he shoots a web. My one problem with that scene is that there is this random jumpcut inserted, it’s kinda tacky. Speaking of relying on comic source material, Peter has web shooters now! In Raimi’s films, Peter shot webs out of his wrists, but now, he has gadgets that are meant to shoot webs. A lot of fans like this, personally, I don’t really have a preference. But let’s get to Peter Parker himself, there are certain things I like about his interpretation, and certain things I don’t like about his interpretation.

If you have ever seen any material related to “Spider-Man,” whether it be a comic book, a movie, an animated TV show, whatever, you might be aware that Peter Parker himself is kinda nerdy. In some ways, it is represented well. Peter is shy at times, especially around his love interest, although at times his shyness is kinda awkward, he doesn’t win in fights, and he is pretty smart. However, there are some things that I can’t help but question. I don’t usually see too many nerds riding skateboards in school, they would usually know better. Also, I don’t know if anybody else sees this, but Peter, to me, kind of looks like someone in a boy band. At various times when watching this movie, even years before now, I always thought of Peter Parker looking like a member in one of those bands that get girls’ hearts throbbing, like “One Direction” or something like that. I’m not saying nerds can’t look nice, but what I am saying is that when I think of Peter Parker, I think of a dorky boy in the shadows, kind of like me, as opposed to some guy who the girls are always chasing.

This time around, instead of having Mary Jane Watson as Peter’s love interest, the guys behind this film went with Gwen Stacy. In this film, she’s played by Emma Stone, who was nominated for a Golden Globe before this film came out. Also, I’ve gone through several sources on the Internet, apparently they are suggesting that Emma Stone was dating Andrew Garfield, the guy playing Spider-Man in this film. Interesting, huh? Overall, I’d say she does a nice job as this character, and one difference I notice between this character and Mary Jane is that as opposed to MJ, she actually does s*it in this film. She’s not a damsel in distress unlike MJ, I’m not saying I’m against MJ for being a damsel in distress, but this is a key difference separating the two characters. I won’t go into any detail, this is noticeable throughout the movie, but it’s a little more evident in the climax. As much as I may sound like a girl for saying this, I’ll say it anyway, when she and Peter kiss for the first time, it’s not as memorable as when Peter and MJ kiss in 2002’s “Spider-Man.” Why is that? Because if you saw the movie, you may recognize that kind of kiss is something that is never done in real life, not even in movies for that matter. They even did it in “Spider-Man 2,” not in the same exact fashion, but it’s done there. In this movie, the setup for it was interesting and unique, but it’s ultimately somewhat standard when the kiss actually happens.

Denis Leary is also in this film, he plays Gwen Stacy’s dad, who is also a captain in NYPD. This brings us to a subplot that’s in the film. When Spider-Man is starting to spin his webs around the city, the public is starting to notice him, and the NYPD is somewhat concerned that he may be a vigilante, kind of like J Jonah Jameson in Raimi’s films. Although for what I know, when these officers see Spider-Man, he’s not doing much of anything vigilante-esque. But yeah, we’re just gonna have this subplot where Denis Leary is skeptical of Spider-Man’s actions. Coooooooooool.

Speaking of people against Spider-Man, let’s get into the film’s main villain, Dr. Curtis Connors. He was involved in trying to save Norman Osborn from death. By the way, we barely see Norman in the film, and by barely, I mean NOT ONCE… Stupid. The closest you get to seeing him is whenever his name is mentioned or when Peter is entering Oscorp and you see his face on this giant screen, which pretty much looks like a silhouette from what I recall. I can’t believe I’m doing this, but I’m gonna compare this to what could be the crappiest comic book based film of all time, “Batman & Robin.” In that movie, one of the subplots is that Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce’s butler, is dying, who by the way is actually the uncle of Barbra Wilson, that’s right, Barbra Wilson, not Barbra Gordon like in the comics. What is happening through this process is kind of absurd, but it ends up getting resolved. This Norman Osborn dying subplot seems to take a back seat (gets revisited in sequel) and it ultimately just seems kinda lazy. I dunno. Anyway, on the topic of Curtis, when you first see him in the movie, one of his arms is shorter than the other. He’s working on cross-species genetics, which is his gift to humanity to make them stronger. Part of that involves his transformation into The Lizard, the film’s villain. This villain, while not being as memorable as the Green Goblin or Doc Ock from Sam Raimi’s movies, was certainly more likable than Venom in “Spider-Man 3.” Also, on the topic of this lizard, there’s one scene where he and Peter are fighting, and this is in Peter’s school. Then all of a sudden, we cut to what could be the the best Stan Lee cameo in Marvel’s history.

We cut to a shot that takes place in a library, Spidey and the Lizard are going at it, and in the center, is Stan Lee, we aren’t hearing any fighting noises when he’s in the shot, we’re just hearing classical music, because that is what Stan Lee is listening to on his earphones. What makes it funnier is at one point, a table almost goes FLYING into Stan Lee, nearly hitting him, but Spidey prevents that from happening in the nick of time. Whenever I see a Stan Lee cameo, I’m able to praise it, but sometimes I think they are just somewhat funny and occasionally forgettable. This cameo however, was awesome.

Now let’s talk about Aunt May and Uncle Ben. One trend I’m noticing with all the live-action Spider-Man films is that Aunt May keeps getting younger. In the Raimi films, Rosemary Harris was playing her, then it’s Sally Field (the one in this film), and you now have Marisa Tomei. The Aunt May in this film when this was being shot, was in between the ages of the other Aunt Mays. Looks aside, I’m not a huge fan of this Aunt May. I get that some guardians can be strict around the people they are supposed to guard, but it almost felt like Aunt May is a little stricter than some guardians. Like, you know how some parents tell their children to wash their hands before they eat dinner? When Aunt May told Peter to wash his hands, she did it in this tone that kind of sickened me. If I were a parent and I tell my kid to wash their hands, I’d simply tell them to go wash their hands. I wouldn’t be like “And wash your hands, NOW.” Let’s move away from Aunt May and focus on Uncle Ben. In this film, he actually looks similar to his 2002 counterpart. There are some minor differences, but still, if you look at Cliff Robertson’s Uncle Ben from 2002, and Martin Sheen’s Uncle Ben from 2012, you can barely tell them apart. Also, in the 2002 film, Uncle Ben was in a car with Peter Parker, the two were talking and Uncle Ben gives his famous quote, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” This time around, a different responsibility speech is given here. In the end, while it isn’t really a terrible speech or anything, it almost kinda feels forced. Here’s the quote: “You are a lot like your father. You really are, Peter, and that’s a good thing. But your father by a philosophy, a principle, really. He believed that if you could do good things for other people, you had a moral obligation to do those things! That’s what’s at stake here. Not choice. Responsibility.” Also, his death in this film, it’s kind of absurd. The overall setup for it is OK, but the execution doesn’t satisfy me. After the whole responsibility speech was delivered, Peter goes to a convenience store. He couldn’t afford everything he was paying for, so he had to step aside. The next guy in line actually manages to take all the pennies from the “take a penny/leave a penny” pile and tosses a container of milk Peter wanted to buy to him. Peter leaves and so does the other guy. Uncle Ben is out looking for Peter. The guy who was behind Peter is heading towards Uncle Ben and his gun slips out and lands on the sidewalk. The two notice it and they grab onto the gun together with the hole facing towards Uncle Ben, then all of a sudden, boom! Uncle Ben is shot. This death, honestly, just feels rushed and it has some impact, but it just doesn’t feel like it was set up well.

I also want to talk about something crucial that happens in the final battle of this film. Before this whole final battle begins, there’s one sequence in the film where the Lizard is on a bridge, he is shoving cars around and at one point, Spider-Man is there. Some guy is shouting that his kid is trapped in one of the cars. So Spidey swings down and tries to rescue the kid. He succeeds. Later on in the film, there’s a TV on, updating everyone about what is happening in the battle. Turns out one of the guys in the room, is the father of the saved kid. So as Spidey is trying to head to Oscorp in order to stop the Lizard and save the city from turning into lizards themselves. He gets help… from cranes. I… don’t know what to say. The music is pretty awesome here though, even though it kind of reminds me of Michael Bay’s “Transformers.” Also, on a little sidenote, one positive I’m capable of giving this movie is that at various times, it has really good music. It’s not as good as the music in Raimi’s films, but still, it’s pretty cool to hear.

Speaking of Oscorp and battles, the final showdown between the Lizard and Spider-Man was somewhat entertaining. But I couldn’t help but point something out. At one point, it looks like Peter is not gonna make it. The Lizard is about to attack him, and all of a sudden Captain Stacy shows up and shoots a canister of nitrogen, a hose goes flying and lands PERFECTLY in Peter’s hand. What?! I mean, you could argue that Spidey’s reflexes are being shown off here, but if that were the case, I would have liked to have seen his spider-sense make a noise!

On the topic of Captain Stacy, he actually dies after this battle ends. His last words are spoken to Peter. He says that whatever he does, he must promise that he should leave Gwen out of it. After the funeral dedicated to Captain Stacy, we get a scene that almost made me physically angry. And that is mainly because Peter doesn’t speak for like a minute, it was just AWKWARD. However, we do get a scene where Peter returns to school, and he comes into class late. Gwen is sitting in front of Peter. Then Peter says to the teacher that he’s sorry and it won’t happen again. This is followed by the quote: “Peter, don’t make promises you can’t keep,” to which Peter replies: “But those are the best kind.” That is brilliant writing and I don’t think I’ve seen much writing like that before, so I gotta give credit where it’s due.

One of the most awkward scenes in the movie is the “meatloaf scene.” Peter comes home from Oscorp, which is where he’s bitten by a spider, thus leading him to discover his powers on a subway (kinda). When he comes home, he just starts grabbing meatloaf out of a fridge, and it’s just, I don’t know… It reminds me of a kid on a growth spurt. Granted Peter’s a teenager, but it’s just awkward. Especially when you see him carry a bunch of dishes up to his room as if he’s taking up an entire buffet. This also leads to some of the most forced comedy I’ve ever seen. Ben Parker admits to Aunt May that nobody likes her meatloaf, and once Peter leaves the room, the two just start arguing about it.

One more thing I want to touch upon has to do with Uncle Ben. There’s one point where Peter is going through his messages after Uncle Ben dies, and he finds one sent by Uncle Ben. The message to me, didn’t have TOO MUCH of an impact on the movie, and I kind of wonder if a normal person would send a message with the words coming out of Uncle Ben’s mouth. If you know what I’m talking about, I want to know your thoughts on it.

In the end, I honestly had slightly more fun with this movie than I thought I would, but ultimately, it has quite a few problems. The editing is a little odd at times, some of the stuff in this movie requires me to suspend my disbelief, and one of the biggest problems with this movie is some of the marketing. There are several posters for this film saying this is “The Untold Story” and yet it’s pretty much the exact same story as “Spider-Man” back in 2002 with a few changes here and there. Also, yes, I like “Spider-Man 3” better than this movie! Sorry guys! I’m gonna give “The Amazing Spider-Man” a 5/10. If the entertainment factor wasn’t there when I was watching this film, I probably would have ended up giving this film a 4/10 or lower, but it’s good enough for a 5/10. Thanks for reading this review and also be sure to check out my review for “The Founder,” you’ll either find an icon for it, or it will be the next post you see. And on that topic, not to mention sticking with the topic of superheroes as well, be sure to check out my review for “Wonder Woman.” The link is down below, please check it out, it’s worth a read. Stay tuned for more reviews! Also, I’ll have my review for “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” in the beginning of July. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

“WONDER WOMAN” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/06/02/wonder-woman-2017-the-dceus-saving-grace/

The Founder (2016): A McMovie *SPOILERS*

 

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“The Founder” is directed by John Lee Hancock, who also directed films such as “The Blind Side” and “Saving Mr. Banks,” and stars Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, and John Carroll Lynch in a film about how McDonald’s came to be. You know, that fast food chain that people either go to for their Big Macs, their fries, their McNuggets, the McRib whenever it comes back to haunt everyone, or it can simply be called one of those places people visit just to use the bathroom on a very long road trip.

Before we begin this review, I want to start off by giving you guys my personal thoughts on McDonald’s. To me, McDonald’s is only good on various occasions, but for the most part, it sucks. It’s good if you want cheap food, it’s good if you want enjoyable fries (Burger King is my favorite fast-food wise BTW), it’s good if you want a rather enjoyable sundae, but that’s where all the goodness ends. With that being said, while I was hoping this would be a good movie, part of me was wondering if my personal thoughts on McDonald’s itself would get in the way at times. It did for multiple reasons, one of which affects my rating, and no, it has nothing to do with the so-called food.

The first character we’re gonna talk about is Ray Kroc, if you are aware of the history of McDonald’s, you are probably aware that this guy had the idea of McDonald’s expanding all over the world as a franchise. Michael Keaton gives a likable performance as Kroc, but after watching this movie, Kroc, to me, despite coming off as ambitious, sounded like a slight jackass. He had some interesting ideas throughout the film which were presented in intriguing ways, although one almost made feel like I was watching FOX News, AKA the Conservative Propaganda Network, but then again McDonald’s is an American institution and the main character from what I gathered mentions he is a Republican, so I guess can let that go. Despite that, this guy only made me hate McDonald’s slightly more, only because of what he did to get the business in full swing.

 

Nick Offerman (left) and John Carroll Lynch (right) play the McDonalds brothers in this film. Offerman plays Dick and Lynch plays Mac. Before Ray Kroc even gets involved in the business shown in this movie, these two came up with the idea. These two had good performances, and I don’t know about you, but there’s something about Nick Offerman’s voice that just sounds soothing. It’s almost like a white Morgan Freeman if you will. If there was anybody I was rooting for by the end of this movie, it’s these two, which I will get to later. But before we get to that, let’s talk about some more characters…

One character I want to dive into is Laura Dern’s character of Ethel Kroc, Ray’s wife. She’s displayed as this woman who happens to be somewhat lonely and kinda exhausted of Ray chasing one dream after another and just wants him to settle down. Honestly, Dern’s performance in this movie, was one of THE WORST performances I’ve ever seen in my life. She felt like a female version of Derek Zoolander and a robot if they got together and had a baby! Although that would actually be impossible because they’re not the same type of being, and robots don’t have organs! Still, I don’t give a crap, I stand by that comparison!

Another female character in this film is Joan Smith, played Linda Cardellini, who you may know as Lindsay Weir from “Freaks and Geeks.” Yes, she performed better than Larua’s character, so that’s a plus. Her character is shown in this movie to tell the story of how McDonald’s got its milkshakes. Well, sort of… A more accurate description would be how McDonald’s got its watershakes, because it’s not a milkshake. It’s the result of putting a flavored mix into water, to ultimately create something that tastes like a milkshake. This is nothing against the movie, but I’m just saying. There’s also one moment of the film, pretty much when she’s introduced, she’s playing a piano in a fancy restaurant. She comes to Ray’s table, has a chat, and ends up asking what his favorite song is, she ends up playing it, and then it suddenly turns into “La La Land” for a few seconds, IT DOESN’T WORK. If anyone has seen the movie and knows exactly what scene I’m talking about, let me know if that is what happened. I’m too lazy to look it up, I know, I sound like a bad critic, but you know what? McDonald’s is a lazy-ass excuse of a restaurant, so I may as well have the right be a lazy-ass excuse of a critic, right?

In the title of this review, I said there was gonna be spoilers. The following paragraph is gonna be dedicated to said spoilers. I mean, sure, this is all based on true events, but if you don’t know the events, the material shown will still be key information during the film. Read on if you want to, if not, don’t.

The original McDonald’s was established in California, by two recently mentioned characters, Dick and Mac. When Ray visits the original McDonald’s, he is bewildered, but suddenly, he comes to a realization that this may be a brilliant idea. So overtime, he becomes involved with the company, and decides to franchise it. Soon, it starts operating in the same way a real estate business operates. This causes Dick and Ray to lose the name of their business, not to mention the business itself. So in the end, it seems as if Ray stole their business. So, essentially, one of the world’s biggest fast food chains, was formed, by a guy, taking the idea of two brothers. You can argue he expanded on the idea, which I can say is a justifiable claim, but it doesn’t change the fact that it was stolen, much like everyone’s health they have before eating at one of these restaurants. So Ray Croc, to me, despite expanding on an idea, may be more like Ray C*ck. I don’t know what else there is to say except, it’s on the poster, but I still think this is a dick move in some ways.

In the end, “The Founder” is somewhat like McDonald’s itself. Likable in some ways, but an utter abomination in others. This film was at times, poorly acted, but also well acted, so the acting was ultimately above average. As far as the soundtrack goes it was pretty bad at times, and I can also say the same for the editing. The story itself is true, but as a story, I felt like it was bent in some ways, and the story in general, would be better if it were told in a documentary form. Since it was told in a movie, where Ray Croc was the main character, I ended up not rooting for him. Maybe a documentary format could have changed that, I don’t know. I’m gonna give “The Founder” a 5/10. Hope you all enjoyed this review, pretty soon I’m gonna have a review for “The Amazing Spider-Man,” a movie that ironically is not amazing whatsoever, but I’ll review it. This is gonna continue my series of “Spider-Man” related reviews leading up to “Spider-Man: Homecoming’s” release next month. Speaking of comic book based films, be sure to check out my review for “Wonder Woman,” it just came out a couple days ago, you can either find an icon leading to it at the end of this review, or you can find the review for it below this one. Stay tuned for more reviews, and also I want to know, what are your thoughts on McDonald’s? And what is your favorite fast food chain restaurant? Let me know in the comments! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Wonder Woman (2017): The DCEU’s Saving Grace

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“Wonder Woman” is directed by Patty Jenkins and it stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, David Thewlis, Robin Wright, and Connie Nielsen in a movie based on the comic book of the same name. This film goes through the origin story of Diana Prince, who will eventually become known as Wonder Woman, an Amazonian warrior who was once a princess and takes part in a war to end all wars, which you may be able to tell by what’s being mentioned, is World War I.

Now before we dive into depth about “Wonder Woman” I want to bring up a little something to you all, actually I take that back, a big something, if that even makes any logical sense. Last year’s movies, specifically the ones related to DC Comics, weren’t the most quality films when it comes to comic book movies. Admittedly, I could sit down and watch “Batman v. Superman” and enjoy it, although I can’t say the same for “Suicide Squad.” Yes, if you read my review for it, you may remember me giving it a 7/10, that has dipped A LOT since my second viewing. A lot of people didn’t like 2013’s “Man of Steel” either, although it does have its fans here and there. DC really needed something to redeem themselves, and no, “The LEGO Batman Movie” doesn’t count, I’m only referring to the Detective Comics Extended Universe. Before going into this movie, I felt that this movie, was going to surprise EVERYONE who went in. Some female-led comic book superhero films have come out before, such as “Supergirl,” “Catwoman,” and “Elektra,” but a lot of people didn’t like those films. And I’ll be honest, this was my most anticipated film of the year. Despite how DC was dilapidated in the past year, I saw a glimmer of hope coming to the theater. The trailers for this film all looked amazing to the least, this film didn’t seem to sexualize Gal Gadot in any way, the action looked cool, and if they put in the same Wonder Woman theme at various parts of the film like in “Batman v. Superman,” I would be extremely pleased.

Let me just go on by saying that part of my anticipation was due to how Gal Gadot portrayed Wonder Woman in “Batman v. Superman.” As Diana, she was somewhat sensual yet mysterious, and as Wonder Woman, she was probably the most badass hero I’ve seen in recent years. In fact personally, I liked Gal Gadot better as Wonder Woman in “Batman v. Superman” as opposed to Tom Holland as Spider-Man in “Captain America: Civil War,” and I talked quite a bit about how I loved his performance in that movie, I even put that film at my #1 movie of 2016. Plus when you add in the theme music I mentioned earlier, it just makes you want to joyfully scream for her. By the way, fun fact, I met Gal Gadot at Rhode Island Comic Con, I waited 5 hours in line just to see her, which caused me to miss a panel I wanted to attend with her in it, that’s how much I loved her. How is Gal Gadot in this movie? We’ll get to that. But first, let’s talk about the movie itself.

As I mentioned recently, I was probably one of those people in the vast minority that was really anticipating this film to be extremely well done. Before going into this film, I felt the same excitement beforehand that I had before seeing movies such as “Interstellar,” “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” 2014’s “Godzilla,” “The Walk,” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Overall, I can sum this film up to be my most anticipated film of the year, and maybe my most anticipated comic book film of all time. Now that I’m doing the review, one big question that must be answered is this, how was the movie? It was amazing! This, my friends, is one of the single best comic book based origin stories I’ve ever seen! Guys, if you ever seen any film in the DCEU and thought any of those films suck, I’m mainly pointing towards films that aren’t “Man of Steel” but that movie can apply as well, allow this film to change your mind! With that being said, let’s dive a bit deeper into the movie.

Let’s just get right into a topic I’m dying to talk about, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman! I was really looking forward to how Gadot would handle this performance. How was it handled? It was handled BEAUTIFULLY! The performance itself is fluid and part of it is due to the intriguing script that would have me on the edge of my seat, but I wasn’t because I had a bucket of popcorn between my legs and I was in a recliner. If I was in a chair, I probably would have been on the edge of my seat at times, who knows? Also, ladies, if you are reading this, if you wanted an amazing female hero on screen, you’ve got one! The wonderful Diana was believable, charming, funny at times, and ESPECIALLY badass. Also, regardless of what you guys think of last year’s “Batman v. Superman” film, I think putting Wonder Woman in that film was a brilliant move, especially when it comes to execution. Because when I saw her in that film, I really wanted to see more of her, so when this movie came out, I really cared for whatever it was she was going to do.

Chris Pine is also in this film and he plays Steve Trevor. He’s actually fighting in the war back in “Man’s World” which is also known as our world. Pine’s performance was extremely likable and helped move the movie along very well. When he and Wonder Woman are in our world, he’s basically trying to help Wonder Woman out per se and make her appear as if she’s a civilized person. Throughout the process, it’s actually pretty funny and their chemistry was something that had me gluing my own eyes towards the screen. Speaking of humor, one of my favorite parts of the film is when Diana and Steve are on a boat and they are talking to each other. Diana’s talking about how she was born, she was created and brought to life by Zeus, and then they go into human reproduction. Yeah, if you watch that scene it’s pretty funny.

Another thing I want to talk about when it comes to this movie is the action. Say what you want about Marvel and DC, but if I have to pick which cinematic universe is better when it comes to action, I’d probably have to lean towards DC on that aspect. Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate Marvel for its action sequences too, and at times, it looked really cool. But I don’t remember one time where an action sequence in the DCEU has been underwhelming, even in the terrible “Suicide Squad.” How is the action in this movie? Cool as ever! There are so many sick parts throughout the movie that had me pleased as hell! A lot of these DC films from the way I see them, have been mainly style over substance. This however, treats style and substance as equals, which I highly appreciate. I felt invested in the action partially due to how I was invested in the film in general.

While this movie is entertaining, fun, and action-packed, I’d have to say that it is ultimately an origin story. I thought it was handled brilliantly. Seeing the transition of Diana in this film from kid, to teenager, to adult is kinda quick, but couldn’t have been paced better. There’s exposition throughout and it’s told in an excellent fashion and seeing Diana’s relationship with her mother and her trainer was compelling and made me want to see where the film was gonna go next.

I’m not gonna talk much about the villain of the film, which you can probably tell because no image of the villain displayed above, but let me just say this, if you are a Marvel fanboy, and follow the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even if you’re a mega fan, you may agree with me when I say the villains are forgettable. I mean, the DCEU hasn’t always had terrific villains either, I’m looking at you, Lex Luthor. The villain in this film, actually wasn’t half bad. I mean, it’s not like on the level of Loki or anything, but this villain represented in this DC universe is personally better than how some of the MCU’s villains were represented. This villain was better than Red Skull in “Captain America: The First Avenger.” This villain was better than Kaecilius in “Doctor Strange.” And this villain was CERTAINLY better than Ronan in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Do you guys remember Ronan? No? Well, good for you, because I sure as hell don’t want to!

I mentioned earlier in this review that this movie was directed by Patty Jenkins, I don’t typically come across films directed by women, however there was one film I saw last year which was directed by a woman and I ended up loving it, that film was “The Edge of Seventeen.” Comic book films, in terms of direction, is usually a male dominated area. The same can also be said for the lead hero being represented. I can probably say that this is the first comic book movie I’ve seen directed by a woman and starring a woman. I heard “Punisher: War Zone” was directed by a woman, but I didn’t see that film and I heard it wasn’t all that great. I mean, it could have been worse from what I’ve gathered, but on IMDb, the ratings are mostly coming in at the 6 mark. This movie however, is extraordinary. Just to warn you all, Gal Gadot is one of my favorite actresses and my celebrity crush, and Patty Jenkins, in my book, aced this film. I personally can’t wait for whatever she does next and I’m willing to bet no matter what it is, it’s gonna be great.

In the end, I have to say that “Wonder Woman” is an utter miracle. If this movie sucked, then we’d probably have to kiss the DCEU goodbye or keep waiting for a solid film in the cinematic universe. Gal Gadot KILLS IT in this movie, I love the origin story, the action, the effects, and whenever Wonder Woman’s theme came up, I was having a nerdgasm. It’s kinda rare that I find a comic book film with a score that keeps you hooked, but this was one of those films. Some of you might be somewhat surprised to hear me say this, but I kinda want to go back and watch “Batman v. Superman” so I can see Wonder Woman in action in that film. And also, I haven’t seen every film based off a DC Comics character, but this film, might be my favorite in that category. With that being said, I’m gonna give “Wonder Woman” a 10/10! So many people, from what I could imagine, were not thinking this movie would be all that great, but I thought this movie would be exceptional. This movie was pretty much everything I wanted it to be, I imagine so many little girls will look up to Wonder Woman or Gal Gadot after watching this movie. I want to see this again very much and hope that can happen soon! Since this rating is a reality, I want to say that now more than ever, Gal Gadot’s autograph was so worth the $125 I paid for it, along with the five hours of waiting. Just, unbelievable, this movie is a gem, go see it, right now! Speaking of movies, I don’t know what I’m gonna see next, that will be determined in the meantime. Also, be sure to check out my review for Amy Schumer’s trainwreck of a comedy (PUN ABSOLUTELY INTENDED), “Snatched.” The link for it is down below, read it if you want to! Stay tuned for more reviews, and PLEASE, go see “Wonder Woman!” Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

“SNATCHED” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/snatched-2017-a-movie-that-snatches-everyones-hard-earned-money/

Top 10 Things I Hate About Going to the Cinema

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Before we begin this post, I just want to let you know that I saw a movie recently, you may have heard of it, it’s called “Snatched,” and I gotta say, don’t waste your time. If you want to see my review for the film, go to the bottom of this post and you’ll either find that post or you might find an icon that will send you to that post, so go check it out! I go through a number of things in that post, but one thing I don’t go through is my experience of watching the movie itself. It was less than satisfactory, my recliner wouldn’t work and people were being annoying. This did however get me thinking, maybe I should do something related to this. That’s why I’m counting down my top 10 things I hate about going to the cinema. Now I’m not saying you have to hate all of this, the stuff on this list is just things I personally hate, so let’s get going! Let’s get counting down my top 10 things I hate about going to the cinema!

10: Fake IMAX

I love IMAX, it is my absolute favorite way to see a film. Seeing “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in that format may have been one of the absolute best decisions I ever made. However, one problem I have with the company is their digital projection. Several people, including director Quentin Tarantino says that seeing a movie on film is the best way to experience it. Digital projection has been around for awhile at the time, but IMAX has only released movies on film until the year of 2008. When “Speed Racer” came out, it became the first IMAX digital release ever. The average person may or may not notice a difference between traditional IMAX and IMAX digital, but you know who did notice? Aziz Ansari! He went to see the 2009 “Star Trek” reboot and he was disappointed with how it looked on this fake IMAX screen. The IMAX digital projector is not as clear as the traditional one, not to mention the seats aren’t curved to the center of each row as opposed to how they are in a traditional IMAX theater. The sound system is similar however, which is as sick as ever. One thing that’s unfortunate about this is that I have multiple fake IMAXes around me and they are actually more expensive than a realistic IMAX theater I live near, we’ll get to that in a second. My preferred IMAX is $12 per ticket if you’re an adult seeing a movie in 2D. One lie-MAX near me has adult tickets going for $10.49 per ticket, but that is if you see any show before noon. Any ticket after that time is more expensive with the maximum amount coming out to $17.49. Also, another theater near me with a fake IMAX has EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEIR TICKET OPTIONS at a higher price than a traditional IMAX! Another drawback is how certain movies are displayed on the screen. Let’s take a movie like “The Dark Knight,” the first IMAX DMR film partially shot with an actual IMAX camera. There are certain sequences that this film has that cover the entire screen. What would it look like in each theater? Here’s an image exemplifying that!

By the way, I mentioned I’d talk about my local realistic IMAX, which brings up something I feel is worth saying. This theater started out with a film projector, which plays films in a 15perf/70mm format, but that got replaced in 2012. This made the theater able to play more movies, but it made them unable to play movies at the highest quality. I actually went to see “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” at this theater and I had no idea IMAX cameras were used to film this movie because at the time I wasn’t looking all that much towards technical aspects on IMDb. In real IMAXes, when the official Hunger Games begin, the image on the screen would expand on the top and bottom and the screen would be full. Like seriously, you can actually see that happening on the Blu-Ray! In fake IMAXes, the image would stay in the same aspect ratio throughout the entire presentation. So basically, everything in the IMAX I went to made it a real IMAX theater, except for the projector. However, I was really happy when I heard this projector was getting replaced. So when it comes to digital projection, IMAX has improved over the years. My local IMAX currently has a laser projector which has similar capabilities to IMAX’s film projectors. A new sound system was installed too, which has 12 channels as opposed to the traditional 6. Even though this happened, fake IMAX is still out there, so if theaters want to improve on this, I would like them to drop some admission prices, and not call it “IMAX,” they can call it something else but still have IMAX in the name. This isn’t higher on the list because the fake IMAX experience, isn’t necessarily terrible, it’s just less than satisfactory because it’s lying to you. Not to mention, I love IMAX as a company and I consider them to be one of my biggest inspirations towards my love of film. Why am I still talking about this? Let’s move on!

9: Everlasting Trailers

When I go to the movie theater, one thing I often look forward to happen to be the trailers. Despite how I look forward to them, I will say that there are times where there are A LOT of trailers played before a show and it gets annoying after a while. Maybe if they’re all trailers I like I wouldn’t be as peeved, but still, while the trailers are entertaining and gives you some movies to look forward to, you’re mainly at the theater to see one movie that you paid a ticket to see, not the trailers. If I remember correctly, when I went to see “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” I believe there were eight trailers before the film began, I don’t remember if that’s true, but it sounds like it is. I enjoy watching trailers, I really do, and sometimes, I might find one trailer I really like and I hope to see it again in the theater, but I’m ultimately at the theater to watch a MOVIE.

8: Pricey Food Options

I get food pretty much every single time I go to the movies. It’s a fact that I haven’t been to the movies too many times and opted out on getting a popcorn and soda. Nowadays when it comes to price, it’s a little bit more than what the average person would be willing to pay for them. I go to the movies often, usually multiple times a month, so that’s a lot of popcorn and soda. I will admit, sometimes it’s likable, because AMC allows you to pay extra for a large popcorn and get free refills on it. One reason why this isn’t higher on the list is because knowing how the movie theater isn’t as popular as it was back in the day, I’d be willing to pay extra just to support the industry. Speaking of which, bringing in outside food and drinks is not on this list.

7: Talking

I’ve been known to talk every once in a while watching a movie in the theater, but I make an effort to do two things as I talk: Keep it quiet and don’t talk too much. For some people, they just can’t keep their mouths shut. I mean, if a kid continuously talked throughout a movie, I might be lenient on that sort of behavior because some kids might not know better. Depending on the incident, I might blame the kid’s parents or have to let the kid know what they’re doing is wrong, but since they’re a kid I’d have to go easy on them. Although if you’re one of those people that just so happens to be the biggest chatterbox in the world, I’d be REALLY annoyed. Your talking is something that is gonna distract viewers from the movie so SHUT THE HELL UP!

6: Pricey Movie Tickets

Next on this list is something a lot of modern day moviegoers bring up, going back to the topic of expensive things, I have to say tickets to see movies are also unnecessarily expensive. I actually live near a couple of theaters by my house owned by a company called National Amusements, the actual names of the theaters I live near go by the name of Showcase. Their lowest price for a movie in terms of adult tickets (except on Tuesdays) in one of their locations is $10.50. Their other location isn’t that great either for prices, because their cheapest option right now is $11.25. Let’s also dive a little more into one of these locations, specifically, their Revere, MA location, the one with $11.25 as the lowest option. I actually went to see a movie there, specifically “Independence Day: Resurgence,” which was a summer flopbuster. The price per ticket one guy and I paid was $20.50, adding up to a total of $41. I will remind you that this was in MX4D, and if you went to see a movie now in this format, an adult ticket around this time frame would be around $21.25. Sometimes, paying quite a bit to see a movie can be tedious enough, but sometimes when you add gimmicks into the mix it becomes a tad more stressful. This is why I’m glad, and I’ll say this again, my local IMAX theater is only $12 per ticket if you’re paying the adult price, and when you go see a movie there at night, it’s actually CHEAPER than most of the standard movie theaters in my area.

5: Reserved Seating

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One trend I’ve been noticing in a lot of movie theaters lately is reserved seating. In some ways, this is actually rather convenient, you can buy your tickets in advance and not worry about having to find your preferred seat or rushing to the theater to get an excellent seat, but that’s pretty much where the fun stops in my book. There are so many circumstances which reserved seating sucks on ice. For example, you’re getting tickets for a popular movie, just about every seat is taken except for that one row you can’t stand, for me, that’s the front row. I mean, I’ll sit in the front row if I really have to, but’s kind of an inconvenience. Also, in my book, this makes rushing to the theater to get your seat a slice of Heaven. Why is that? Because depending on what you’re seeing, you’re probably gonna want to get your tickets online or go to the theater in advance, maybe days before the showtime you’re searching after starts. This isn’t really the best situation for you if you’re anti technology or if you use physical cash for every purchase you make.

4: Bringing Babies/Young Kids

This doesn’t happen to me often but I feel it is something worth bringing up. Babies may be considered cute in a number of circumstances, but they may be considered insanely annoying at the movie theater. I mean, if you bring a baby or young child to an animation or kids movie or something along those lines, I can probably live with that as long as they behave, but if they start acting immature or if a baby continuously cries throughout the presentation and the parents don’t do anything about it, then we’re gonna have a problem. Also, if you bring a kid to a more mature film, depending on the child’s age or maturity level, I may as well have the very right to question you as a human being along with every single one of your life choices.

3: Spoilers

This entry is also something that doesn’t happen that often to me, but it is also worth bringing up. There have been times when people have gone into movies, super excited for whatever they are about to see, then all of sudden, somebody in the theater who has already seen the movie, someone who had a spoiler revealed to them, or someone walking out of a theater might shout a spoiler for someone to hear. This was an epidemic when “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” came out. I think I remember someone I used to be close with tell me they had part of the movie spoiled for them before seeing it. By the way, if I’m thinking of the right person, I actually went to see that movie with them. Speaking of that movie, I actually was in school the Friday it came out, I’ve yet to see the movie, to avoid spoilers, I said in pretty much every room I set foot in, “If anyone spoils the new “Star Wars” movie, that person owes me $1,000 per spoiler.” While I was successful in avoiding any spoilers, I did notice some students I was in class with actually got spoilers thrown at them, which is rather unfortunate. Also, I’ll bring up a story from my Twitter experiences. There’s one user I’m close with who has the handle name @ladyotl, they once had someone send spoilers for the movie, she didn’t ask for them, they sent pretty much everything. I don’t understand why people spoil movies for others, it’s as if the people who spoil get turned on by it in secret and it’s a sexual fetish they have. It’s the movie equivalent to BDSM only the one being tortured isn’t somehow turned on much like the one torturing them.

2: Reclined Seating

If you have been to a number of movie theaters in the past few years, chances are you may have seen one with reclined seating in it, well guess what? Sorry guys, I’m not on that bandwagon. I really don’t care if you want to kill me over it, I’m just not into the whole reclined seating cinema concept! Recliners in movie theaters is one of those things that works on paper but happens to be terrible once you put that idea into action. I live near a movie theater that has recliners, the auditorium in that theater with the largest capacity is a total of 146. Good job guys! Sure, recliners are comfortable, but out of all the gimmicks cinemas provide right now like 3D, 4D, infinity-d, whatever, this is probably the least preferable gimmick in my mind. If I want to go see a movie and it is a sold out show, I kind of feel more comfortable having more people around me. Well, unless the movie I’m seeing is a “Fifty Shades” movie, then I probably want less people, unless we’re all making fun of the movie “Mystery Science Theater” style. But the point is that I want to go to a premiere for “Star Wars” and hang out with MY PEOPLE, and the bigger the capacity of the theater, the more likely it is to find my people. Also on the subject of people, another reason this pisses me off is because if the capacity of a theater is small due to these recliners, shows could potentially sell out quicker and keep me from seeing that one movie I want to see. By the way, remember reserved seating? Every single theater I’ve been to with recliners has reserved seating, I can only remember one time I’ve been to a theater with recliners and didn’t have to reserve my seats.

1: People Using Cell Phones

My #1 entry is probably something a number of you saw coming, and it is something I can’t believe I continue to experience in cinemas to this day, that my friends, is cell phone use. Now before we dive into this, let me just say, I would be tolerant if you use it in the theater before the movie starts, but you may use your phone UNTIL THAT POINT UNLESS THERE IS SOME SORT OF EMERGENCY! It’s unsurprising that people use their phones at the movie theater while the presentation is going on, but at the same time, it’s pretty tragic. When I went to see “Snatched,” which is the movie theater experience that inspired me to do this countdown, there was a guy sitting next to me, who was there with a bunch of talkers, wonderful, I know. He had his phone out, checking his messages at a point, and I actually noticed him PLAYING A GAME! Granted, I believe I’ve done that too in a cinema. When I was 7 I went to see “Night at the Museum,” if I remember correctly, I brought my Game Boy Advance SP and I was playing a game, but once again I’ll mention, I was 7. Cell phone screens, or any screen you can carry into a movie theater for that matter, is distracting! I think there was only one time I can recall someone using a screen (looked like a cell phone) for good reason in the theater. When I went to see “Moonlight,” someone had a device in their hand, and they had it there for the entire runtime. I was looking at it occasionally throughout the film and based on what I could gather, it looked like that person needed subtitles throughout the film and this would help them. But if you’re gonna call people, play a game, Snapchat, or check info such as messages or text or something along those friggin lines (I would tolerate those things as long as you hide the screen), I would get angry and hulk smash you! Oh and one more thing, if you do leave your phone on during the movie, make sure your ringer is off. I had a bad experience during a sad scene of “Manchester by the Sea” recently. Want to know what happened? Well, there was one character in the movie that was dead, Casey Affleck’s character was looking at the dead body and it almost felt like an emotional scene, I wasn’t gonna tear up or anything, but still, it was emotional. Then all of a sudden, some prick’s phone goes off. This is what my mother and I paid for, to hear a phone in a somewhat crowded theater. Isn’t that great?! Long story short, regulate your phone! Capiche?!

Alright folks, countdown is over, if you liked this post, check out some of my other ones. I also gotta ask, what are some things you hate about going to the movies? Also, what are some your unfortunate movie theater experiences? And speaking of posts, tomorrow I’ll be seeing “Wonder Woman,” I CANNOT WAIT! I will have a review for you guys soon and be sure to look forward to that! Stay tuned for more posts! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!