Thor: The Dark World (2013): Why Is Kat Dennings In This Movie? *SPOILERS*

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! This week is a pretty big week for movies as far as this year goes because “Thor: Ragnarok” comes out this Friday, November 3. If you have seen my reviews for the other films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to be released this year, you may know I wasn’t a huge fan of those. Hopefully things will turn around with “Thor: Ragnarok,” but only time will tell. Although before I go see “Thor: Ragnarok,” I wanted to go back, watch the other “Thor” movies the MCU has to offer, and review them here. Last week, I reviewed the movie with Thor’s first MCU appearance, “Thor.” This week, we’ll be looking at the sequel, which is “Thor: The Dark World.” So let’s get going people!

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“Thor: The Dark World” is directed by Alan Taylor, who directed various episodes of TV shows including “The Sopranos” and “Game of Thrones.” The movie stars Chris Hemsworth (Star Trek, Rush), Natalie Portman (V For Vendetta, Black Swan), Tom Hiddleston (Midnight in Paris, War Horse), Anthony Hopkins (Beowulf, Hannibal), and Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who, G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra). When it comes to the story of the film, Dr. Jane Foster, who you may remember as the love interest to Thor if you’ve seen the first movie, has been cursed by an entity known as the Aether. Thor is also heralded by a cosmic event called the Convergence, which is simpler of way saying that nine realms will collide with each other.

As far as the movie leading up to this one goes, I think it’s probably the most underrated of the MCU movies. Like every movie in the MCU’s first phase, I don’t think it’s perfect, although at the same time I wouldn’t say it’s all that bad. In fact, it’s actually my personal favorite in the first phase. It contains a solid story, most of the characters are completely admirable, and the visual effects are stunning. As far as this sequel goes, do I think it’s as good as the first movie? No. This is a movie that has been doing what the MCU has usually been doing, but has grown tremendously in recent years, which is making several attempts at humor throughout the script. Now, are a lot of the MCU movies funny? Sure, but in recent films I think they’ve been trying way too hard with it, which is something I’m worrying about when it comes to “Thor: Ragnarok.” There are movies in the MCU that use humor as a signature part of the vibe, specifically “Guardians of the Galaxy.” This movie came out before that, and this is funny but also feels like it’s trying a little harder than it should. Although since we’re on the topic of humor, I have to say the one of most hysterical parts of the movie is probably the moment when Loki turns into Captain America for some time.

 

LOKI: (TURNS THOR INTO SIF) Mmm, brother, you look ravishing!

THOR: It will hurt no less when I kill you in this form.

LOKI: Very well. Perhaps you prefer one of your new companions, given that you seem to like them so much. (TURNS INTO CAPTAIN AMERICA) Oh, this is much better. Costume’s a bit much… so tight. But the confidence, I can feel the righteousness surging. Hey, you wanna have a rousing discussion about truth, honor, patriotism? God bless America…

 

The only thing I have to say about this, is… Why can’t we get more moments as funny as that?! Whenever a line that was uttered that was supposed to be funny I was as silent as I was during “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and the case I have here with “Thor: The Dark World” may have been worse than that movie because I laughed more while watching that! Not to mention, that movie even had more entertainment value, plus a better villain. Speaking of which…

The main villain of “Thor: The Dark World” goes by the name of Malekith the Accursed. What can I tell you about him? Not much. Upon rewatch of this movie, I’m starting to wonder if I was wrong when I said Ronan’s the absolute worst of the Marvel villains, because at least Ronan was a tad menacing. This guy here, he was kept mysterious in ways throughout the picture, but the mystery of the man was super uninteresting! He comes off as a very cliche “thing,” not the one from “Fantastic Four,” instead he comes off one that just wants to destroy the universe for the sake of destroying it. If you want to make a motivation like that work, make the villain worth appreciating! At least after watching “Guardians of the Galaxy,” I remember the name Ronan. I don’t think I’ll remember the name Malekith in t-minus a couple days.

Let’s talk about Thor in this movie. His character is a bit different than the previous movie now that he’s experienced Earth for awhile. He’s also currently in a relationship with Natalie Portman’s character who you may recall from the first movie. We’ll get to her in a few seconds. Thor is very charismatic in this movie, but based on how much I wasn’t really able to care about the movie as a whole, I can’t really remember much about Thor himself. He just had a job to do and he was supposed to do it. I’m sorry, but Thor from the last movie, was a thousand miles better than Thor in this movie.

Natalie Portman returns as Thor’s love interest, Jane Foster. Her character was, alright, I guess. If you recall my review for the first “Thor,” I said it basically forced the relationship between Thor and Jane. I don’t mind them being together, but it was ultimately forced. In fact, Thor left her alone for two years, which lead to a scene that I don’t think was as funny as it was trying to be. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it involves slapping. She was in a good portion of the movie, and she even goes with Thor to Asgard which took up a lot of the runtime. Regardless of whether Jane went to Asgard or not, there is one character I’m glad didn’t go with them, but am still disappointed that they put her in this movie.

Who am I talking about here? Well ladies and gentlemen, that would be Kat Dennings. Let me just say this first as a positive, if she wasn’t in the movie, it would have probably been different, so I wouldn’t call her character useless, but MY GOSH! She is annoying! If you don’t know who Kat Dennings plays she plays Darcy Lewis. She was also in the first movie and she displays a similar attitude here to how she displays herself in that movie, but come on, this is bulls*it! She’s basically the same annoying character that we saw in the last movie, except in that film, she was slightly annoying. Here, she is, if not almost, extremely annoying! This movie came out a couple years after the CBS sitcom “2 Broke Girls” premiered. That show began in 2011 months after the release of the original “Thor.” I say this considering the fact that Kat Dennings is one of the two stars on the show. The show was recently canceled after six seasons, but I once talked with my mother and she said this is probably the worst sitcom she’s ever watched. I honestly imagine that Kat Dennings might be funnier on “2 Broke Girls” because here the writing basically suggests she’s trying to do stuff in order to be hilarious, but it just comes off as ridiculous.

Loki returns in this movie, which makes this the third MCU movie which he appears. Although there’s something different about him here than the other times you see his character in these movies. Unlike “Thor” and “The Avengers,” he’s not the main antagonist. As mentioned recently, Malekith, AKA What’s His Name, is the antagonist of the film. But if you have seen the film’s marketing, you’d know going in, that Loki isn’t like that. He’s a character that is more than just that, and watching this movie, you’d realize that. That’s pretty much all I have to say. Also another character that returns here is Odin, but he’s not really worth talking about.

A big positive for this movie is one that to me, was also enormous for the last movie, and I’m talking about the visual effects. Everything just had a huge scope, it was bright, colorful, neat looking, whatever positive connotation you can put in for them. In fact, you might even say that the visual effects have improved for me since the last movie because I didn’t really notice any bad ones. Although at the same time, I will say my favorite visual effects from the “Thor” movies have to be in the first one, so deciding which movie is ultimately better from a visual perspective is kind of a challenge.

Now this movie is called “Thor: The Dark World,” and yes, there are moments in this movie which do live up to the name. There are Dark Elves for one thing, but that’s not the point. There’s one moment where something happens that is supposed to be this dark moment, but guess what? I DIDN’T CARE ABOUT IT! I’m gonna spoil this and I don’t freaking give a crap, Thor’s mother dies! She goes by the name of Frigga, and apparently she appeared in the original “Thor” but the main question I had about her when she died was this: WHAT THE F*CK DID SHE DO AND WHO THE FLYING S*IT IS HER CHARACTER?! We barely even seen this character, and I don’t even remember her from the first movie. If Odin died, I would have cared! He had a major role in “Thor!” He was the one that cast Thor out of Asgard! He told Thor and Loki that both are worthy to rule but one would rise to the Throne! What did Thor’s mother do?! Throughout her funeral, I just yelled at my screen saying “We get it! Thor’s mother died!”

Also, speaking of things that are forgettable, the scenes don’t really have much of anything to say that’s outstanding about them. Sure, they look nice, the ships shown on screen are rather unique, and seeing Thor flying around with his hammer can be considered a treat. Although there was nothing that kept me wanting more. I was just like, oh yeah, fight scenes, they’re here. The first movie shows Thor occasionally kicking some ass, but not as much as this. However the first movie played their cards right when it came to the fight scenes. The fight scenes were played out when it was needed for storytelling, here it was also necessary at times, but at least the first movie kept me glued to the screen. The first “Thor” was like the first “Star Wars” whereas “Thor: The Dark World” was like “The Phantom Menace.”

In the end, “Thor: The Dark World” is one of the MCU’s worst movies. When I first saw this movie, I gave it a 7/10. That’s not the case anymore. The comedy is shoved down your throat harder than pills inside an angry hospital patient, the action was well shot and fun at times, but ultimately rather bland and forgettable, and f*cking Kat Dennings. Just… WHY IS SHE HERE?! It’s really hard to decide whether or not this is the worst movie in the MCU, but this was a bad movie according to my recent watch. I’m gonna give “Thor: The Dark World” a 4/10. This is one of the hardest movies I ever had to rate in my life. I’m not even sure if the 4/10 will stick. It might increase as time goes on, but I’ll remind you, it’ll be a 6/10 at most, 4/10 at least. If you enjoy this blog but usually hate reading, I have a solution for you. Watching videos. No, I don’t post on YouTube, but I do post somewhere else, and that somewhere else is Stardust.

Stardust is an app where you can post short reaction videos to movies and TV shows. Let’s say you just went to the movies and went to see “Jigsaw” or just want to talk about other movies in the “Saw” franchise you watched in the past, you can post a video where you state some thoughts on the movie, what you liked or didn’t like about what you witnessed, all of that in a bag of chips. You can even do this with TV shows. Let’s say that a new episode of show such as “The Orville” comes out, you can sum up your thoughts on it, and it’ll then be shown to everyone on the app. You don’t even have to see the episode, because there is an option suggesting that you don’t have to see it, the same goes for movies too! There’s also a community of users on Stardust, so you can follow them to get updates on their latest reactions to movies and TV. If you want to follow me, my handle is JackDrees. Go download the app now on wherever its available and enjoy! Also, follow me!

Thanks for reading this review, I hope to have my review for “Thor: Ragnarok” as soon as possible, and if I see any other relevant movies, I’ll review those too. If you want to get more preparation for “Thor: Ragnarok” unleashed from your system, click the link below and that’ll take you to my review for the first “Thor” movie. Stay tuned for more reviews! Also, I want to ask, is Marvel trying to hard with comedy nowadays? or does it work? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

“THOR” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/10/23/thor-2011-you-wont-need-to-be-hammered-to-watch-this-spoilers-for-the-marvel-cinematic-universe-movies/

Why Is A Bad Moms Christmas Happening?

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! If you have been looking at the movies that have come out during the year of 2016, you may have come across one titled “Bad Moms.” I actually saw that in the theater, enjoyed it for what it was, but considering the audience that was there, I clearly wasn’t the target demographic, the amount of times I laughed were much fewer than the majority of attendees, and I clearly don’t laugh at swear words as much as other people. Maybe I’ve watched too many movies with foul language to know what I’m getting into. I’m not saying that other people are stupid for liking this film, we all have our personal tastes. Although then again I’m kinda pissed it made more than “Kubo and the Two Strings.” Sure it’s an animation so I imagine some people might not like the idea, but MY GOSH that was a masterpiece. At least we have “Sausage Party.” Right? Anyway, “Bad Moms” was relatively successful when it came out. It never hit the #1 spot on any of its weekends in theaters, although to be fair it was competing against movies like “Jason Bourne,” “Star Trek: Beyond,” and “Suicide Squad.” So at some point, a sequel goes into production. What’s the difference this time around? Well, it’s a Christmas movie.

For those who want to know the cast of the upcoming “Bad Moms” sequel, the movie will star Mila Kunis (Family Guy, Black Swan), Kristen Bell (The Good Place, Frozen), Kathryn Hahn (I Love Dick, Tomorrowland), Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Son of Zorn), Christine Baranski (The Good Wife, The Big Bang Theory), and Susan Sarandon (James and the Giant Peach, Thelma & Louise). The movie is basically a follow-up revolving around the characters played by Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn as they try to rebel against the expectations laid upon them concerning Christmas.

Now, on paper, I wasn’t thrilled that this was happening. Sure, I enjoyed the first movie, but it’s not even that great. Plus, the more I think about it, I may have just been in a particular mood that day and I was trying to put my mind in another person’s shoes. I’m not a mother, nor am I a girl. I’m a teenage boy, there’s not many people I PERSONALLY can relate to when watching this movie. Then again this is why they make different movies for different people. This is why they make “Sharknado” and its sequels for stupid people. I’m not saying only stupid people enjoy “Sharknado” but keep in mind their movies are OBJECTIVELY DUMB. So what did I do to verify my interest or lack of interest in this movie? I watched the trailer. I didn’t laugh once, but then again, I go to the movies and see funny trailers which nobody laughs at. Although consider this, usually when there’s a trailer for a comedy, all the funny parts are shown in the trailer.

Let’s also consider the fact that this is a Christmas movie. What was the first movie? It was it’s own thing! There was no particular holiday on the rise, it was just a simple movie. Sure, Christmas might be a less than pleasant holiday for a number of mothers, but at the same time, I don’t see a Christmas theme fitting in the “Bad Moms” universe. If “Bad Moms” had a sequel that focused less on the Christmas theme, maybe someone has a birthday, maybe a number of children have birthdays coming up, something like that, a situation such as that might work out. In fact, you don’t even have to eliminate Christmas entirely, maybe you can make it subtle and not have all of this holiday theme strip club s*it. Besides, there are movies which happen to be sequels that take place during Christmas time that I enjoy despite the previous movies having no relation to that holiday. Just look at “Iron Man 3!” By the way, that movie was released in May, so that’s saying something.

Now there is another movie that’s actually coming out the week after this one comes out, which is “Daddy’s Home 2.” That movie is also going to have a Christmas theme, and a similar layout in terms of plot. “A Bad Moms Christmas” is going to have the mothers of the main characters coming for Christmas and “Daddy’s Home 2” is going to have the fathers of the main characters coming for Christmas. I saw both the original “Daddy’s Home” and “Bad Moms” movies, but if you had to ask me which was better as a movie, I’d say it would be “Bad Moms.” I’d honestly rather watch “Daddy’s Home” the more I think about it, but I found more things wrong with it and part of the illogical humor got into my head that it made me nearly frustrated. Plus I also found something that bothered me with the whole cones thing in the movie. I feel like “Daddy’s Home 2’s” Christmas theme is a little more appropriate for the film partially considering the last one came out in December and mainly considering that part of the last one took place on Christmas Day.

Another thing I had in the back of my mind is the wonder of repetition we’ll be seeing in this sequel. This may be judging a book by its cover, just like how watching a trailer might be judging a book by its cover, but just check out the posters. The poster for the original movie said “Party like a mother.” That slogan is also on the Blu-ray and DVD for the film. On the poster for this new movie, the slogan is “Celebrate the holidays like a mother.” Comedies and sequels can get some slack for repetition in full-length movies, but I don’t usually recall seeing repetition like this on many posters!

If you ask me, if I were making executive decisions, I’d say “A Bad Moms Christmas” sounds more like a straight to TV or straight to DVD film as opposed to a theatrical film. The first movie may have been fit for theaters, but this just feels out of place. I feel like the fact that it’s a sequel to a previous successful movie and the people starring in it are at least two reasons why this is getting a theatrical release. Moms will go see it, girls who want to see men without clothes on will go see it, heck, part of me even thinks teenage boys might even want to see this. Just think about it, Mila Kunis is the star of the movie!

On a little sidenote, a hint of dialogue was uttered in the trailer that caught my attention. Mila Kunis’s character is communicating with her mother, played by Cheryl Hines, and Mila Kunis tells Cheryl Hines that she just wanted to enjoy Christmas this year. Cheryl Hines replies saying “You are a mom. Moms don’t enjoy Christmas they give joy.” I understand what she meant there, but let me just have you know that I try to pay back my mother on Christmas Day. I understand it’s hard for mothers to cope with this holiday. This involves spending tons of money, buying gifts, preparing food, decorating, wrapping, possibly meeting in-laws that they may consider crazy, etc. I do try to help whenever I can, and you know what I gave to my mother last Christmas? I gave her a Roku! I try to put tons of thought in what to give to people, sometimes it’s hard. This is why I make lists for what I want. Some people I imagine don’t do that. I help in any way I can. Cooking’s a bit of stretch for me, I’m not the greatest at cooking, but I try to help buy gifts, wrap them, those sorts of things. So yeah, moms give joy for Christmas, but it doesn’t mean they can’t get it in return. Just thought I’d say that.

“A Bad Moms Christmas” comes out November 1, which is two days before “Thor: Ragnarok.” I personally don’t think that’s the best business decision possible, but let’s see how it plays out. I don’t know how much of the world will go see “A Bad Moms Christmas” when it comes out, but then again I’m talking about the same world containing millions that decided to skip out on seeing “Blade Runner 2049.” By the way, f*ck you, that movie was amazing, it should have made more money! I’m willing to bet this could break soon, but as of right now, “THE EMOJI MOVIE” HAS MADE MORE MONEY OVERALL THAN THIS PIECE OF WORK! Thanks for reading this post, tomorrow I will have my review for “Thor: The Dark World,” so look forward to that! Stay tuned for more posts and I’ll ask you a question. Are you going to see “A Bad Moms Christmas?” What are your thoughts on the original? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

The Wall (2017): Wait, Where’s John Cena? *STRONG LANGUAGE IN OPENING PARAGRAPH*

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The f*cking movie known as “The Wall” is f*cking directed by the motherf*cker known as Doug f*cking Liman (The Bourne Identity, Jumper), stars Aaron f*cking Taylor-Johnson (Godzilla, Nocturnal Animals) and f*cking John Cena (American Grit, Trainwreck), and is f*cking about two American f*cking soldiers, there’s a lethal f*cker, err I mean sniper that is standing in their f*cking way, but the two are divided by a f*cking wall. …Now I could make a f*cking paragraph, illustrating my motherf*cking point that the movie is full of f*cking language, especially f*cking f-bombs that are f*cking shoved down your throat as f*ck. To be extra clear, this paragraph had fifteen f-bombs. “The Wall” had more, in fact, the exact total came out to 185 in the whole movie. Can you f*cking believe that?! And there’s sixteen!

The word f*ck can associate with this movie significantly. In fact, I’d personally go as far to say that the word can associate with more than just the screenplay which has the word bloated all over. I’d even say the movie in general can associate with it. One of my biggest problems with the movie is the marketing, specifically, the poster.

According to the poster, John Cena is in this movie as one of the starring roles. Well guess what? He’s barely in it! Now, I don’t know how much people appreciate John Cena as an actor. I know he gets plenty of appreciation as a wrestler and a prank call meme. He’s also going to be in the “Bumblebee” movie which is scheduled to come out next year. Speaking of sports stars who also do acting on the side, I’d also like to say this isn’t the first time I’ve seen something like this happen this year. There was this movie that came out in select theaters and digital services in March called “You Can’t Have It.” On the main poster for the film, the one that’s actually the only image of the movie on IMDb, and the poster you’d find for the movie when searching for it on Amazon, Rob Gronkowski, tight end of the New England Patriots, was in the center of the poster. This pretty much suggests that Gronk’s character would have a big role in the movie. His character however, didn’t even come in until the end. In fact, when he came in, I felt like I was watching something that was very tacked on. Now, this movie was not as bad when it came to this, but Cena’s barely in this movie, and there’s one guy that should have been on the poster as opposed to John Cena, and that is Laith Nakli. Now, his face isn’t really shown all that much in the film so I wouldn’t really put it in the poster. Just put Taylor-Johnson’s character in the poster by himself, or make a silhouette of Nakli’s character, any of that would have worked in my book!

This movie’s directed by Doug Liman (left), a director who I personally like. He’s done some movies I’ve seen before, including a movie that came out this year, in fact it came out months after this one, and that’s “American Made.” That’s a better movie in my opinion, but let’s not get into that. Regardless of how this movie in particular is, Liman’s vision is not a bad one. The location which this film was shot is Antelope Valley, which is in Lancaster, CA. By the way, if you are wondering where that is it’s in a spot between Los Angeles and Bakersfield. This location gave me a feeling of silence but the silence wasn’t peaceful, it was completely deadly. It almost reminds me of “No Country for Old Men,” which is kind of funny because both this and that movie barely have any music. Speaking of things that I find amusing, this movie was shot on 16mm film. This format was also used to shoot “The Hurt Locker,” which is interesting considering the locations where the films take place and how similar they look. Also if it means anything, I have yet to watch “The Hurt Locker.” This fact amuses me because when it comes to shooting movies, it’s either usually digital nowadays or if a movie is shot on film, it would be 35mm.

Let’s talk about Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who plays a character named Isaac. I thought his performance was very well done in this movie given the script, which again, is f*cking full of f*cks. Also I didn’t really find the movie as a whole, all that interesting. It was mostly boring, I tuned out for part of it, I was making fun of how much it wanted to “f*ck” with the audience. Some of you reading this might think that my opinion should be adjusted because this movie comes off as slow and it’s just how it is. I’m not saying the movie should be fast, but I just want it to be interesting. And it wasn’t interesting in this circumstance.

I will say though that the slow pace of the film, might add a bit to the movie in terms of realism. However despite the realism, I still wasn’t able to appreciate the movie. Also, you may be aware of another war movie, specifically one that came out months after this one. The movie I’m talking about is “Dunkirk.” Now I consider “Dunkirk” to be one of my favorite movies of the year and part of it was due to how realistic it was as far as war goes. And keep in mind, this movie was PG-13. If it added in blood then it would have been just slightly realer, however it’s pretty realistic already. Although one thing I consider great about “Dunkirk” that I found to be missing from “The Wall” was investment in the story. I could have been invested in the story here, but little problems came up as the movie went on, which bogged down my interest for the movie on a complete scale. Now I saw “Dunkirk” in theaters, I saw “The Wall” at home. Maybe if I saw “The Wall” in theaters I would probably not be talking about this all that much, but I made a choice to wait on this movie because I’m an Amazon Prime member and I figured this movie in particular would be free for Prime members by the end of the year.

In the end, I’d say that I need a wall to separate me from the pile of boredom known as “The Wall.” This is a movie that looks great, has a talented director, and a good performance by Aaron Taylor-Johnson despite the fact that the script is f*cked up in a bad way. I don’t mind when the word f*ck is used in movies or TV, but part of me wondered if the amount of f*cks given in this film was even f*cking possible. I’m gonna give “The Wall” a 4/10. Thanks for reading this review, next Monday I will have my review for “Thor: The Dark World,” so stay tuned for that, along with more reviews coming soon! Speaking of which, this is not official, but on November 5th, I’m thinking of posting a review for “V for Vendetta,” and if you ever seen the movie you’d understand why. Also, I have a question. If you could magically create a wall to separate yourself from something for the rest of your life, what would it be? Keep in mind, I mean literally separate yourself. Just imagine that this thing can’t climb the wall or go around it. Let me know about that down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Thor (2011): You Won’t Need To Be Hammered To Watch This! *SPOILERS FOR THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE MOVIES*

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! I gotta ask you, are you excited for “Thor: Ragnarok?” If you are, great! I personally am somewhat excited, although slightly worried. However the reviews for what I’m aware of, have been outstanding thus far, so you never know what could happen. In preparation for that, I figured it would be appropriate to go back a number of years and review the “Thor” movies prior to “Ragnarok” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Today, I’m starting off the series by reviewing the original installment, “Thor.” It came out in 2011, it received decent ratings, however it doesn’t mean some people don’t have issues with it. Without further ado, let’s start the review!

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“Thor” is directed by Kenneth Branagh (Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Henry V) and stars Chris Hemsworth (Rush, Star Trek), Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon), Natalie Portman (Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, V for Vendetta), Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls, The 40-Year-Old Virgin), and Tom Hiddleston (The Night Manager, Kong: Skull Island) and is the story of a god, Thor, who lives in the world of Asgard. He and his brother, Loki, were told when they were young that only one of them would ascend to a rightful place on their own throne. Later on, he’s cast out of Asgard and forced to live with humanity on Earth, or as Asgardians call it, Midgard.

If you have been following this blog for awhile now, you may be aware I did a countdown on my top 10 favorite films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Thor” was on that list as #5. By the way, out of all the films in the MCU’s first phase, I considered this one my favorite. So I bet you could imagine I was ready to watch this movie again. So I rewatched the movie for the second time, and upon this watch, I can’t really say the second time was as entertaining as the first, but I’m still going to give the same rating I gave the first time I watched the film. I won’t say it now, but you’ll hear it later on.

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Since there are more positives than negatives in this movie, I’ll bring up some negatives first. The first negative I have is Kat Dennings’s character of Darcy Lewis. In the movie she had nothing really striking about her. She was just there with Natalie Portman and her character didn’t really add much to the story. Although based on my memory, I thought she was worse in “Thor: The Dark World,” a review which you’ll be able to read a week after this one you’re currently reading is published, so stay tuned! Despite how this is supposed to be a section where I display myself as a negative Nancy, I’ll bring a positive here and say that the CGI in this movie is glorious! As far as phase 1 of the MCU goes, this is the best CGI of all the movies released in said phase. It’s colorful, it’s fluid, it’s vivid! I love it! BUT… there is bad CGI that stands out. Now I will say, if that CGI was from a video game, then I’d say this would be understandable, but this is a movie. Nevertheless, it looks great!

Now let’s talk about the man who plays Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth. Out of all the Australian actors working today, Chris Hemsworth is the one who is probably the most talked about of all them as far as this decade goes. Part of that is due to the fact that he’s in this movie as the starring role, the fact that he’s in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the fact that he’s proven to be a good actor, and according to many opinions, his good looks. Now, I’m a straight male, so I don’t really have much to say about attraction as far as myself goes, but I imagine chicks dig him. I mean, he was the secretary, ahem sorry, the object in “Ghostf*ckers” 2016. To avoid going on a tangent, let’s stay focused on the character of Thor. At one point, this character was chosen to rule Asgard, but due to his arrogance, he was cast out of the realm. The way this was set up was smart. You see Thor as a kid, he’s with his brother and his father, the two are aspiring to rise to the throne. One gets the rightful place as time passes, then Thor goes with other Asgardians into battle, and he’s basically gone from being a guy named Thor, which is already a killer name, to Superduperkickassthunderdomeonastick. Yes, that’s one word, and I don’t care! While we watch Thor beat the hell out of some Frost Giants and it does come off as pure fun, Thor’s father, Odin, doesn’t approve of his actions because Thor is being too arrogant. Due to this, Loki has taken Thor’s place. While I will say I can understand Thor’s father for casting him out because of how he handled the situation which was upon him, I will also say I felt sorry for Thor not just because of the situation at hand itself, but also the fact that he was trying to preserve peace. Sure, he did it violently, but at the same time, you can get why Thor did what he did.

Now let’s talk about Thor’s brother, Loki. When it comes to Marvel villains, they’re usually not great for one reason or another. When I say that, I mean they either just don’t unleash much of anything interesting or they’re forgettable. This is the case I found with MCU movies like “Doctor Strange,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” and “The Incredible Hulk.” Loki, is not one of those villains. I will say he has been in multiple movies both as hero and as a villain and I believe he shines best in “The Avengers,” where he appears as the main antagonist. Here, he was effective. Part of what makes him a great villain is not just simply the fact that he’s Thor’s brother, but some basic elements of how his character is written. Also, I’ll bring it up again, they kind of had a sibling rivalry when they were younger, because one was destined to be king.

“Thor” happens to have a cliche that ultimately works. That my friends, is the fish out of water story. Now when I say that, I don’t think it’s a horrible cliche, it’s just there. When Thor arrives on Earth, he is not familiar with how its folks behave. This brought some moments of humor into the mix. For example there’s one scene in a cafe when Thor is with characters he met on Earth and he drinks coffee for the first time.

 

THOR: (tasting coffee for the first time) This drink… I like it!

DARCY: I know, it’s great right?

THOR: ANOTHER! (throws coffee mug on ground, shattering it)

 

Another funny moment is when Thor walks into a pet store.

 

THOR: I need a horse!

PET STORE CLERK: We don’t have horses. Just dogs, cats, birds.

THOR: Then give me one of those large enough to ride.

 

Throughout this story Thor meets characters like Darcy Lewis, who I recently brought up. However let’s talk about her friend, Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman. In this movie, Foster is an astrophysicist, unlike the comic books where she’s mainly known by a number of readers to be a nurse and a doctor. Out of all the characters he met on Earth, Thor had the strongest connection with Jane. Portman’s character is the love interest, she slept with Thor, and no, the movie doesn’t contain a sex scene for those who are wondering. In fact, I could be wrong, but I believe the only movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that has something resembling a sex scene is the first “Iron Man.” Even though Jane may have stood out amongst the Earthlings here, there is another one that intrigued me.

Who was I intrigued by? Well, that would be Erik Selvig, played by Stellan Skarsgård. The thing that intrigued me about him the most is actually something I constantly think about. Selvig is a very science based person, which does make sense given how his character is an astrophysicist, but based on the writing, his personality, and the lines the character gives, his character is probably the most scientific of everyone written in the script. It’s almost to the point where he’s closed minded. I’m a little bit different in this aspect, because while I do follow science, and I actually follow whatever science tells me (OK, maybe not everything, some people might just make up something and call it science) I do try to keep myth and legend in mind. Although I will say when it comes to religion, that’s something that I personally am conflicted on. There’s a part of me that wants to follow certain religious teachings but at the same time some of them are either outdated, unscientific, or crazy. You can believe in it if you want, you have your own life and you can do what you want with it, but I’m just saying. Although I don’t want to go into it, this is a MOVIE BLOG, where I talk about MOVIES, not RELIGION.

Much like this movie’s effects, I gotta say the film’s action is probably the best as far as the MCU’s first phase goes. It’s shot well enough for you to be able to tell what’s going on, it’s immersive at times, it’s got great sound effects accompanied to it, and you can even say that the effects enhance the experience. This is shown in the climactic sequence with Thor and Loki on the Rainbow bridge, or moments featuring the robot Loki’s controlling. By the way, that robot sounds AMAZING on a Blu-Ray disc. Every single action sequence was either entertaining, fun, or meant something, which made the movie more interesting in the long run. This is also probably the most investing climax in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since “Iron Man.” The movie ends with the brothers fighting each other, Odin, the father of the brothers, who died partway into the movie, comes back to life, and eventually Loki sacrifices himself. It’s a great death, or was it? Because if you stick around for the end of the credits, Loki’s actually still alive!

In the end, “Thor” is probably the most underrated movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I don’t have many problems with it, there are some nitpicks, but it’s nothing colossal. Chris Hemsworth is great as Thor, it has beautiful CGI, the camerawork is not bad, the Earthlings for the most part are interesting. The romance, while somewhat forced, was believable. It’s not to say the romance wasn’t intriguing, but it was somewhat forced. Overall, if you’re looking for a superhero movie to watch on a movie night, I’d say give this one a shot. I’m gonna give “Thor” a 9/10. The review’s technically over, but I still have one more thing to do. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Stardust!

I would like to take this time to let you know about this cool new app called “Stardust.” It’s a nifty little app that basically combines elements of IMDb and Snapchat. What you do on “Stardust” is you can find a movie or an episode of a TV show, record a video of yourself talking about it, and let the world see it! In fact, one neat thing about Stardust is that you don’t even have to say you witnessed the episode or movie because “Stardust” allows you to confirm whether or not you’ve watched something. You can also follow other people who have the app to see their latest reactions and thoughts in the realm of TV and movies. By the way, if you’re interested, find my Stardust handle, JackDrees, follow me, and you’ll get to see reactions to movies you’ll find reviews on for this blog like “Blade Runner 2049” and you’ll also get to see reactions to movies I never get to talk about like “Sucker Punch.” Thanks for reading this review, since we’re on the topic of “Thor,” I will say that “Thor: Ragnarok” comes out on November 3rd, which is the weekend of my birthday, so I don’t know whether or not I’ll actually go see it right away, although the weekend after is Veteran’s Day weekend, and I’ll be at Rhode Island Comic-Con, so if I have some free time on my hands during my visit, I’ll go see it then. I mean, I’d rather see “Thor: Ragnarok” as opposed to “A Bad Moms Christmas,” which comes out the same weekend as “Thor: Ragnarok.” WHY THE F*CK WOULD THEY MAKE THAT S*IT?! Nevertheless, stay tuned for more reviews! So I’ll ask you right now, what are your thoughts on “Thor?” Are you excited for the upcoming installment? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is Getting the IMAX 70mm Treatment and a History of Star Wars in IMAX!

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! If you read my blog, you may already know I loved the movie “Dunkirk” when I saw it. And I did a few posts on it, not just a review, but mainly posts dedicated to how it was presented. You may also know I went to see the movie in IMAX 70mm film. The clearest format a movie’s ever been presented in. There were 37 locations presenting the film in this format as a special engagement. There was also IMAX laser, which is a high quality digital experience, but it’s still not as clear as IMAX 70mm. I went to the one in Providence, RI, and for what I can tell, that projection probably won’t be used for awhile for feature length films. After all, I checked the Wikipedia page labeled “List of IMAX DMR films” and none of them say that any of the future films on there are shot with IMAX cameras, which plays a prime factor into which IMAX movies get to be played in the 70mm format. Now, there are ones that are being shot with IMAX digital cameras such as “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Mission: Impossible 6,” but those, based on experience, won’t be in 70mm. If it weren’t for one other movie, “Dunkirk” would have been the only feature length film released in 2017 to get the 70mm treatment. That other movie by the way, is the upcoming “Star Wars.”

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Before going any further with this 70mm IMAX mumbo jumbo, let’s talk about the movie itself. You may already be aware this is the eighth installment in the main saga of “Star Wars” movies, based on what I’ve seen, this takes place after “The Force Awakens” and I’m willing to bet it starts off right where that movie stopped, on the island where Luke and Rey are standing in front of each other as Rey is holding Luke’s lightsaber. This is supposed to be the second installment of the latest trilogy of “Star Wars” films, which is supposed to bridge the gap between “The Force Awakens” and the untitled “Episode IX,” which will be released in 2019. As this episode bridges the gap, Rey continues her adventure as she receives training from Luke Skywalker, and others give it their all, continuing to take down the First Order.

For the record, this is not the first time a “Star Wars” movie has been shown in the IMAX format. In the main saga, episodes II and VII have both been in the format, and the spinoff, “Rogue One” has also been presented in IMAX. Also, every single one of these movies has been shown in IMAX 70mm, which was the only option for “Episode II” because that’s the only projection technology IMAX used until 2008, although there was a projector that was used for some time that supported the format (first used after Episode II), but the screen was smaller and different. Fun little fact about “Episode II,” this was the second movie to be shown in IMAX as a film to go through IMAX’s DMR process, which is the process that pretty much every feature film goes through before it’s released in IMAX. Also it was first shown in IMAX starting November 1, 2002, which is months after the movie’s official release in theaters. “Episode VII” was shown in IMAX, including a limited number of locations that played it in 70mm. It was even one of the earliest films to be shown in IMAX laser. “Rogue One” was shown in IMAX too. Fun fact about that, for those who went to see it in IMAX 15/70mm or IMAX laser, they got to see a 6 minute preview of “Dunkirk” which covered the entire screen. Part of me wonders if that was an intention someone thought of long ago or an ultimate afterthought, and you’ll understand why I say that in a second.

When it comes to “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones,” that was shot digitally, shooting IMAX footage in movies wasn’t even a thing yet. By the way, that started in 2008 with “The Dark Knight.” Digital does have some perks when it comes to shooting, for example, the storage for your video isn’t as tacky because instead of film, you have a memory card. Although certain directors prefer film. Directors like Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, The Hateful Eight), Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, The Master), and Christopher Nolan (Interstellar, Inception). Also, George Lucas, director of “Attack of the Clones” along with the other two prequels actually pretty much kicked off the rise of digital projection with “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace,” one of my least favorite movies of all time. People thought it was amazing at the time, but looking back, the world is increasingly becoming more into film, which I find amazing because digital is at pretty much every theater now.

“Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” was the first movie in the series since “Episode I” to be shot on film. This was shot in three formats, digital (aerial plates) 35mm film and IMAX film. Most of the movie was presented in 35mm, which was in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1. Also if you saw the movie in a format that wasn’t IMAX, the aspect ratio would remain that way for the entire picture. This was also how the DVD/Blu-Ray release played out as well. In IMAX 70mm and laser, the aspect ratio would change to 1.43:1 for some time, or if you’re watching in IMAX digital, the aspect ratio would change to 1.90:1. Although this was for one scene only, specifically the scene where Rey, Finn, and BB-8 escape from Jakku. Due to this the total time spent showing IMAX footage ultimately came out to 5 minutes, which is significantly lower than other films shot in the IMAX format.

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” was the first live-action spinoff in the franchise released in theaters, and one thing I noticed is that when it comes to movies released in IMAX 15/70mm, this one is different than other ones released over the past few years. Aside from “A Beautiful Planet,” this is the first movie since “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” to be released in IMAX 70mm that wasn’t shot with IMAX cameras. Although UNLIKE “A Beautiful Planet” and LIKE “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” this movie didn’t cover the entire screen. However, I will say the screen was fully covered before the movie. That’s because, as mentioned before, there was an extended preview for “Dunkirk” shown exclusively in IMAX 70mm and laser. Also from what I gathered, “Rogue One” was shot using an Arri Alexa 65, which is a digital camera, but it’s also one that is higher in terms of quality than other digital cameras used in certain movies including the one George Lucas wanted to use in the prequels.

Now with this out of the way, let me just blurt something at you here. I don’t know how much footage was shot in the IMAX format for this movie. Wikipedia suggests that the IMAX camera was used for certain scenes. As for the rest of the scenes, the same camera used for “Rogue One,” the Arri Alexa 65, is used here, and you also have a Panavision film camera which shoots in 35mm film. I’ve seen many films in IMAX, in 70mm, digital, and laser, and I usually have an enjoyable experience, some better than others, but still. When it comes to IMAX 70mm film, I’d say that it’s worth the ticket price just for getting the highest quality image possible. Based on what I’m hearing, I don’t think it’ll be as worth it as “Dunkirk” was but I’d still say go for it, after all, “Star Wars” is a movie that’s made for audiences to go see together, and I think the best way to do that is by going to an IMAX 70mm theater. If I were a filmmaker, I would, depending on the movie I’m making, want it to be IMAX 70mm friendly. I want it to be big, bold, beautiful, the three b’s.

Another thing you should consider is the 2D vs. 3D option. If you ask me, I usually don’t care, 2D is cheaper, but 3D at times can be a fun ride. If you choose to see the new “Star Wars” in IMAX 70mm, 2D is going to be your only option. I don’t really think that’s a bad idea considering the size the movie is when projected on film and having to deal with what technically qualifies as two movies can be a hassle. Not to mention, there are IMAX film projectors that can’t even do 3D. I even looked at a website called lfexaminer.com, and there are only two theaters this is playing at in the IMAX 70mm format that can handle 3D.

One more thing to keep in mind that a good number of these locations are IMAX domes. These are also referred to as Omni Theaters and OMNIMAX. These theaters usually never play feature films, you’re more likely to find those on straight IMAX screens. OK, not completely straight, they do have an intentional slight curve, but you get my point. I have never seen a feature film in an IMAX dome so I don’t know what it’s like, however I have watched IMAX documentaries there, which were fun experiences that covered the whole screen. And keep that in mind, while IMAX often plays movies that will make you see black bars on the screen, kind of like some stuff you might watch at home, it might be weird in an IMAX dome. This is because the dome is basically a fish eye, making the curve a lot less slight than other IMAX screens. You’ll still get amazing sound and clear projection, but it’s something to keep in mind. Also, if you don’t like looking up at screens instead of directly at one, this isn’t your theater.

Also, I’ll restate the fact that when “Dunkirk” came out, it was playing at 37 locations in IMAX 15/70mm. That is rather small, and believe it or not, it is more than the total locations playing the movie in laser, which happened to be 25 by the way according to IMAX’s website. I’m not sure how many laser locations have been established since July, but the amount of laser locations playing this movie is likely to be small. Guess what? The 70mm locations are smaller than what “Dunkirk” had! When “Dunkirk” was available for the IMAX 70mm treatment, people from multiple countries such as the US, the UK, Australia, and Thailand could view it the way director Christopher Nolan intended. According to IMAX, “The Last Jedi” will be available in 11 theaters in the 15/70mm format, and if I feel the need to, I’ll give you some information as to what type of theater it is if you’re interested. Just a hint, if you see me listing whether the theater is capable of 2D or 3D, the theater has a flat screen.

US THEATERS:

ALABAMA:
IMAX Dome, McWane Center: Birmingham
IMAX, US Space & Rocket Center: Huntsville (Dome)

CALIFORNIA:
Hackworth IMAX Dome, The Tech Museum: San Jose

CONNECTICUT:
IMAX, Maritime Aquarium: Norwalk (2D)

INDIANA:
IMAX, Indianapolis State Museum: Indianapolis (3D, also does certain films in IMAX digital)

IOWA:
Blank IMAX Dome, Science Center of Iowa: Des Moines

MISSOURI:
OMNIMAX, St. Louis Science Center: St. Louis

NORTH CAROLINA:
The Charlotte Observer IMAX Dome, Discovery Place: Charlotte

PENNSYLVANIA:
Tuttleman IMAX, The Franklin Institute: Philadelphia (Dome)

TEXAS:
Omnitheatre, Fort Worth Museum of Science & History: Fort Worth

UK THEATERS:
London Science Museum: London (3D)

As you can see, not only do we have a small amount of theaters listed here, but there’s only one outside the US! Just like I said before, the total number of theaters listed here in fact comes out to 11. So the number of IMAX 70mm presentations for “The Last Jedi” is less than the number of seasons of shows like “Criminal Minds,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Supernatural,” and “NCIS.” By the way, all of those shows are still on! If you live close to one of these theaters, I gotta say, you’re so lucky. The closest one to me is the at Maritime Aquarium, which is almost 3 hours away from my house in Massachusetts. Just for the lack of theaters available, I’d say this is worth experiencing just to say you saw the movie in this format. Now I’m going to see this movie opening night in standard 3D, if I like this movie enough, I’d probably make an attempt to go to Maritime. Also, if you are a movie buff, depending on what you’ve done under said label, you might be interested to know there’s a restaurant right near the theater called Johnny Utah’s. Why do I bring this up? Well if you ever viewed the movie “Point Break” which came out in 1991 starring Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves, that was the name of the character played by Keanu Reeves. Just to clarify, when I say restaurant, I actually mean club. They have a mechanical bull, it’s very loud, and it’s not exactly kid friendly. Oh yeah, and it has two stars on Yelp, totally worth a trip amirite!

Will I see “Star Wars Episode VIII” in IMAX 70mm? I’m not sure yet. I’ve got to consider the time it takes to get to the theater it’s playing at and how much I even like the movie upon first watch since I already have tickets for it at another theater. Nevertheless, if you do plan to see “The Last Jedi” in the clearest way possible, consider this post a recommendation. Also, if you missed “Dunkirk” in IMAX 70mm I’m willing to bet this will absolutely make up for it. Thanks for reading this post! Next Monday, I’m going to have my review for “Thor,” which is going to start off my series of “Thor” reviews leading up to “Thor: Ragnarok.” Not really much else is happening, I might watch something and if it has some significance I’ll review it. So stay tuned for more great content! Also, I have a few questions. Are you planning to see “The Last Jedi” in IMAX 70mm? Are you seeing “The Last Jedi” in general? If you are seeing “The Last Jedi,” where are you seeing it? Leave your responses in the comments! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Blade Runner 2049 (2017): Is the 35 Years Worth the Wait?

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“Blade Runner 2049” is directed by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Arrival), stars Ryan Gosling (La La Land, Crazy Stupid Love) and Harrison Ford (Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark), and is the sequel to 1982’s “Blade Runner” which was directed by Ridley Scott (Gladiator, The Martian), a movie considered by many people to be one of the greatest sci-fi films, if not one of the greatest films, ever made. “Blade Runner 2049” takes place in the year of 2049 in the US state of California, the plot is that there’s a young blade runner (Ryan Gosling) who discovers a long-kept secret which leads him into tracking down former blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who’s been out of sight for three decades.

When it comes to the original “Blade Runner,” it’s a movie I haven’t actually watched until fairly recently. For the record, when I say that, I’ll have you know I didn’t even watch the original version of the film, which by the way the version I watched which isn’t original, is the one I viewed five times at this point. I say that because if you know this movie’s history, you’d be aware of how it has received endless cuts. In 1982, they started out with a movie that not many people saw but was on the rise to prove its influence to film. I mean, seriously! If you look at films and material which came out after it, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Just check out “Ghost in the Shell,” “The Matrix,” the “Star Wars” prequels, “The Fifth Element,” all of these just look at them and don’t tell me you don’t see a bit of “Blade Runner” in them. The redo of the TV series “Battlestar Galactica,” according to the producers, cited “Blade Runner” was a major source of influence to the series. It has also been parodied in material such as the British science fiction TV show “Red Dwarf.” Based on what I have told you, it’s not surprising that people revere this movie. Overtime it has gained a cult following, and has been considered one of the greatest science fiction films, not to mention one of the greatest films in general, ever made. It was nominated for two Oscars (Best Effects, Visual Effects, Best Art Decoration-Set Decoration), it was also nominated for a Golden Globe (Best Original Score-Motion Picture), which I wholeheartedly approve of because the score is probably one of my favorites in movie history. BAFTA also praised the score by nominating it, which was one of the eight nominations the movie received in that particular show. By the way, it won three. It currently has a spot on the IMDb top 250, it’s on AFI’s 10 Top 10 as the #6 science fiction film, and IGN put it as the #1 spot in its “Top 25 Sci-Fi Films of All Time.” I watched the film multiple times now, specifically “The Final Cut,” and it gets better with multiple watches. So, how is “Blade Runner 2049?” Holy crap, this movie was an experience. I went to see this movie in IMAX, and I don’t regret it, because this is one of those films that MUST be seen in a theater! You know how I kept talking about “Dunkirk” and what an amazing experience that was? This was just as great! And with that I’m gonna give you guys a little sidenote…

I don’t use Netflix, in fact, I’d go as far as to say that Netflix is slightly overrated. I may be biased because they killed Blockbuster Video, a significant memory from my childhood, but I’m gonna let you know a little information about them that you may or may not be aware of at the moment. Netflix may be known for its selection of movies and TV programs to watch which are available at your fingertips, but they’ve also done original content. They’ve done TV shows such as “House of Cards,” “Orange is the New Black,” and “Stranger Things,” all of which received positive reviews and a following by many people. That’s not to say all Netflix shows were considered watchable, there are disliked ones such as “Iron Fist” despite it having a following. They’ve also done movies such as “Gerald’s Game,” “The Ridiculous Six,” and “Beasts of No Nation.” What I’m going to say next is rather unnecessary for their TV shows, but can fit for their movies. When it comes to Netflix movies, they go straight to the streaming service. There’s no theatrical release for it, it just hops straight on over to the service, so people might get a theatrical experience depending on their setup, but chances are someone might end up watching the movie on their laptop without headphones, or heck, even their phone! Critically acclaimed director Christopher Nolan agrees with me when say that this is bullcrap, because Netflix is missing out on a opportunity for their movies to be shown in theaters, where audiences pay money to go see it in an immersive setting. Want to know something else? There’s an event called Cinemacon, which is a convention dedicated to film, it shows off what upcoming movies have in store, it also does screenings for flicks, stars show up, and it also has has a focus on cinemas themselves and technologies related to them. When “Blade Runner 2049” footage was being presented to attendees at the show, Sony chairman Tom Rothman said this…

“Netflix, my ass.”

Well said, Tom. For the record, Netflix has never presented at Cinemacon, so that shows what they stand for in the realm of cinema. At least Amazon releases content in theaters!

If this movie were released on Netflix, I would have been outraged, partially because I don’t use the service, but having seen this movie, this movie looked and sounded SPECTACULAR! Yeah, that was a long point, but I felt it had to be made. This movie was directed by Denis Villenevue, who also directed “Arrival,” one of my favorite movies from last year. I think he’s a great director, and his vision for this movie was brilliant. Every single frame had something worth appreciating. I can only imagine the detail that went into storyboarding this thing! Although, I can’t exactly say that he’s only in this fest of praise, because I gotta give kudos to Roger Deakins, the cinematographer of the film. For the record, this isn’t the first time Deakins and Villenevue worked together. They’ve also collaborated in “Sicario” and “Prisoners.” I haven’t seen those films, but I will say that Deakins is a fine cinematographer, just watch “No Country for Old Men” to see what I mean.

The original “Blade Runner” came out in 1982, and when it comes to movies with great lighting, as of right now, it’s probably the first movie that comes to my mind. The lighting in “Blade Runner 2049” personally isn’t as great as the original, but that doesn’t mean the lighting’s bad. However, from an overall perspective, much like its three decade old predecessor, “Blade Runner 2049” has terrific effects. Every single effect in the movie felt realistic. Sure, there are moments of the movie containing visuals that probably would be impractical (the giant sex doll with blue hair for example), but in all reality, even those felt like they actually existed for the universe this movie was presenting.

Speaking of things that aren’t as good as the original, I gotta say the music isn’t as great. Once again, this doesn’t mean the music was bad, the music was almost as brilliant as the 1982 film. But the thing about the 1982 film, is that it was unique. The music by the way in that film was done by Vangelis, who also did the score for “Chariots of Fire.” Also, Vangelis did not return for this movie, and yes, he’s still alive. The guy doing the score this time around is one of my favorite composers. I’ve brought him up in a number of posts this year, Hans Zimmer. Like the original score, it’s techno, and at times you do hear booms, which is pretty much the first thing you hear in the original movie when the titles show up. By the way, those booms sound amazing in IMAX. Also, this score at times felt a little more traditional than the original “Blade Runner.” The “Blade Runner” score is something you’d rarely hear, and while this newer film does have qualities of the older score, the new doesn’t have the absolute uniqueness of the old. I say that because I remember the original having moments that almost sounded like chimes, it was different. You could also hear vocalizing in the score, and I mentioned how much of an influence this had on “Ghost in the Shell” and I wouldn’t be surprised if the original movie’s score was partially influential. The vocalizing, the more I think about it, reminds me of “Ghost of the Shell’s” intro music. “Blade Runner 2049” was just released, so only time will tell how much the music, plus the rest of the movie will influence future products. Nevertheless, “Blade Runner 2049” had a GREAT score and I’d love to listen to it again and again.

Let’s talk about one of the leads in the film, specifically Ryan Gosling. This fellow has proven to be an excellent actor. By the way, there’s a couple scenes in this movie where Ryan Gosling is in front of a piano, and that’s not the only film where Gosling is in front of a piano, just watch “La La Land” to see what I mean. Gosling plays K and he’s basically this movie’s young Blade Runner. He’s given a mission at the beginning of the film, and seeing his character progress throughout the picture was entertaining and very moving. At times, Gosling’s acting chops were unleashed to full potential, which happened to be prominent during the movie’s emotional scenes which I won’t get into to avoid spoiler territory. K also had some qualities which were noticeable that could be compared to Harrison Ford’s character of Rick Deckard, who we’ll get to momentarily. K starts off in the movie as being directed by Lieutenant Joshi, a character played by Robin Wright, who in terms of looks and attitude, almost reminds me of your typical Charlize Theron role such as the ones she’s done in “A Million Ways to Die in the West” and “Hancock.” Anyway, seeing Gosling focus on his objectives was fascinating and despite this movie, like the original, appearing to be a slow burr, my eyes were never taken off the screen. Yes, this applies to more than Ryan Gosling in all technicality, but I’m just making a point. There’s also a spouse Ryan Gosling has, by that I mean a futuristic spouse, and by THAT I mean a spouse that is basically holographic, oh yeah, and she can change form. I can’t even get into the mission Ryan Gosling does in the film because I have a feeling this is something the trailers are hiding. I’ve seen all the main trailers, but it’s been awhile since I’ve seen one in particular, and I’m not sure if the hidden details are there, but for the sake of keeping some information a secret to possibly have some folks savor the movie’s flavor, I’m going to ignore uttering these details.

Now let’s talk about Harrison Ford. If you remember the original “Blade Runner,” Harrison Ford played Rick Deckard, the main character of the film. He was hunting down replicants just because he had a job to do. Speaking of the original film, we do get some callbacks. As mentioned recently, the music can qualify as a callback, but we do get some audio from the first film. During the film I heard Harrison Ford’s voice as it was in 1982, and I remember hearing Sean Young’s voice too. The origami unicorn makes a return here, which has brought up an interesting theory of whether Deckard’s actually a human or a replicant. By the way, I’d say he’s human. Also, I may have said that Ryan Gosling did a great job, but in all reality, Harrison Ford probably did better. By the way, out of all the performances I’ve seen Ford do, this might be his best one. Also, Deckard’s introduction is definitely one of the best scenes in the entire flick. You may have gotten a glimpse at it in the trailers, but there is more to it then what was there. I won’t go into detail though.

As much as I praise this movie, it’s not perfect. For example, some characters didn’t stand out as much as others, and speaking of characters, there’s one character who goes by the name of Mariette. She’s not unlikable, but she didn’t really add much of anything to the movie in terms of story except for maybe one part where she and K’s holographic wife are shown to have no clothes on. Also, this isn’t really a complaint but it’s mainly something I noticed, Jared Leto is barely in this movie. In fact I think he may have spent less time here than “Suicide Squad,” although I liked Leto better here than “Suicide Squad.” I may be nitpicking, and from experience, this is probably one of those movies I have to watch more than once to fully appreciate, so maybe I’m just imagining things. Other than what I mentioned, this movie’s pretty much a masterpiece, which is saying something considering what many people say about 1982’s “Blade Runner.”

Now I just mentioned this could take multiple watches to fully appreciate. And I’ll have you know I watched the original “Blade Runner” four times from start to finish since early September. I also saw it not long ago and I fell asleep to it, but to be fair, it was late. This is one of those movies, like the original “Blade Runner” that I’m probably gonna watch over and over.

In the end, “Blade Runner 2049” is a movie that defines how sequels should be made. This to me is 2017’s “Tron: Legacy,” by that I mean you’ve got this film which came out a long time ago, in fact the original “Blade Runner” actually came out the same year as the original “Tron.” The film now has a sequel, years in the making, and people enjoy it. Granted “Blade Runner 2049” has gotten more positive reception, but it doesn’t mean people didn’t appreciate “Tron: Legacy.” I love the film from a technical perspective, this movie and “Dunkirk,” so far, have been my two favorite cinematic experiences of 2017. Hans Zimmer created a great score, the screenplay hit every necessary emotion, the direction and cinematography are stellar, I’m glad to see Harrison Ford return as Rick, Ryan Gosling was great as well. Overall, this movie did what it needed to do. I’m gonna give “Blade Runner 2049” a 9/10. If you saw “Blade Runner” thinking that this movie could never be recreated, chances are you’ve just been proven wrong. This is a sequel worth remembering, and as far as sequels go, this is probably the best one I’ve seen so far this year. I can’t wait to buy this movie when it comes to home video, I want to see it again, possibly pick up on some details I missed, we’ll see what happens. Thanks for reading this review! As far as upcoming reviews go, I hope to see “Stronger” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, which is about a guy who manages to survive the Boston Marathon bombing, and I also am planning on reviewing “Thor” and “Thor: The Dark World” in preparation for “Thor: Ragnarok.” Stay tuned for those reviews, and more reviews! Also, if you’re into “Blade Runner,” you might be interested in checking out my post dedicated to things “Blade Runner” got right about the future. Here’s a question, which “Blade Runner” was better? The first one or the second one? Also, one more question, what is a movie that gets better the more you watch it? Let me know down below in the comments! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

WHAT “BLADE RUNNER” GOT RIGHT ABOUT THE FUTURE: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/10/06/what-blade-runner-got-right-about-the-future/

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017) OFFICIAL TRAILER: Lightsabers! Space Battles! Training! …Possible Ripoff…

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Tonight I was doing something rather strange for me. I was watching football. Yeah, it was a game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears, and I’ll have you know I’m from Massachusetts so you can probably tell I don’t care about either of those teams. Oh yeah, and when I said I was watching the game, I wasn’t even technically watching it, I had it on mute. However, I watched the game for one reason and one reason only, which is to catch the new trailer for “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.” Having seen it now, I will say this. As a trailer, it’s better than the teaser we got in April, not to mention this trailer got me more hyped up for the film as opposed to that teaser. If you remember my review for the teaser, I said it made me afraid of what the movie is going to be like. Now that I’ve seen this trailer for the film, do those fears still exist? I guess you can say so, but this trailer does convince me that this movie has a tone that might be consistent throughout, and it might be at the very least, entertaining. So let’s break it down and analyze it.

The first voice we hear in the entire trailer is Snoke’s, and if you don’t know who Snoke is, he’s basically the giant in “The Force Awakens” who was in a number of scenes with General Hux and Kylo Ren. By the way, for those who don’t know, he’s played by Andy Serkis, who you may know as Gollum in “Lord of the Rings” and Caesar in the recent “Planet of the Apes” reboot installments including “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” and the recent “War for the Planet of the Apes.” He says “When I found you, I saw raw, untamed power, and beyond that, something truly special.” Throughout we get various shots, and based on a number of shots presented throughout this voiceover, I believe he’s talking about Kylo Ren. In fact according to “Episode VII” Kylo still had training left to do, so he could be training under Snoke’s wing and somewhere in the process, this is uttered. Afterwards, we get our last shot before the Lucasfilm logo appears, which is Rey unleashing a lightsaber.

We then cut to what seems to be early on in the movie, where we see the island Rey and Luke met. Rey’s telling Luke that something’s inside her, going by what I know, that’s undoubtedly the force, unless of course it’s the desire to save the galaxy. We get to see some shots that were shown in the teaser, including a shot of Rey training, followed by some shots we haven’t seen before, which by the way, makes her look like a badass. Speaking of badassery, Rey’s using the force, which makes the ground crack, kind of like what the acorn from “Ice Age” does. Luke then says “I’ve seen this raw strength once before, it didn’t scare me enough then, it does now.” This brings up two things. First of all, I have a question, how many times will the word “raw” be used in the movie? Second, I have a feeling that out of every performance Mark Hamill has given in this franchise thus far, this might end up being his best. That’s the assumption going into my mind after hearing that line.

We soon see Kylo Ren again, he’s in an elevator, and he’s doing what he does best, complaining. For some characters, you might think of this as a quality that makes them horrible to watch. But based on my experience of watching “The Force Awakens” and seeing Kylo Ren in that movie, this is something that has been proven to be funny. Not to mention, it shows how Kylo Ren is human. Let me ask you something, did Darth Vader rage out like this? No. That’s not to say that Darth Vader’s a bad character, I think he’s one of the greatest villains of all time, but this is what makes Kylo Ren, Kylo Ren. Oh yeah, and we also see him in is own ship which looks kinda cool. The best part of this montage has to be the final shots there, we hear Kylo’s voice, he’s talking in an evil manner and we see shots back and forth between him and Leia, who you may know is his mother. There’s a huge part of me that thinks that this could turn into an amazing part of the story where Kylo is terrified within his own boundaries, but at the same time, I wonder if it would be out of character for him, because he did kill his dad and he seemed not to have much of a problem with it. Maybe he’s developed since the last movie, who knows? I love the idea, but I’m skeptical towards the execution.

In the next montage, we’ve got shots of the Millennium Falcon, and one thing you may notice is the bird next to Chewbacca. That creature by the way is referred to as a Porg, and I honestly think he’s gonna be this movie’s best-selling toy. I mean, look at him! I think many kids will want that! I just really hope that he won’t turn into this movie’s version of Baby Groot, which in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” only came off to me as a toy, nothing more. I’m just hoping for at least a bit of substance with this Porg. We also get our first shots of Poe and Finn, who both seem to be in explosive situations. Oh yeah, and Finn’s facing off against Captain Phasma. In the shots showcasing the two duking it out, Phasma seems to be handling some beam or a generic sword and Finn is holding onto what appears to be a sparkly lightsaber. Also this begs the question, does Finn really have the force in him? Because the last movie says otherwise. He almost got slaughtered in the last movie in a lightsaber duel! I hope he makes it!

Next we get into a sign of my fear of the movie just being a ripoff of “The Empire Strikes Back,” which happen to be some shots that take place in what looks like a cave. You know how in “The Empire Strikes Back” Luke is training and he goes into this cave, he finds Darth Vader and there’s this very short duel between them, it’s in slow motion? Yeah, it reminds me of that. I just hope this isn’t a carbon copy or an in your face homage. If it is a homage, I personally hope it’s rather subtle. Another part that could be ripping off “Empire” is when Luke says “This is not going to go the way you think.” It almost reminds me of when Luke goes off from Dagobah to Cloud City and he hasn’t completed his training. You know, after he had a force vision, which quite honestly, is something I wouldn’t be surprised seeing Rey have in this movie. After all, the first moment of the teaser which came out in April gave me the assumption that was going to happen. We soon hear Snoke speak as we see certain shots including some containing action. He says “Fulfill your destiny,” which I can tell he’s probably saying to Kylo Ren, although the next shot of Rey might say otherwise. I personally think he’s saying something else in that circumstance and they’re hiding it. By the way, Rey looks like she’s DOOMED in that shot. If they damage her all over in that shot, I’d say this could be worth your money. I can tell she’s gonna make it, but still.

The last words we hear in the trailer comes from Rey, she says “I need someone to show me my place in all of this.” We then cut to a shot of Kylo Ren’s face, then he casts his hand out. Is he done being evil here? First off, why would the trailer show this? This seems like a little bit too much information revealed in just a number of seconds. Second, this could be really compelling and it would be interesting to see the two band together. Also, speaking of evil, I want to talk about Snoke. I have a feeling that Snoke is going to be this trilogy’s version of The Emperor. You’ve already seen him in hologram form from what it looked like, now you seen him here, he looks smaller, not to mention damaged. He’s kind of similar in terms of attitude with the exception of how he lacks a maniacal laugh. Only time will tell for sure. The trailer then ends suggesting that TICKETS HAVE NOW GONE ON SALE! Woo! Although if I can get invited to a press screening I’d love that. Hey, I review movies! Where’s my press screening?!

After seeing this trailer I do have to say that I’m a little more excited than I originally was. I still think I will end up enjoying certain movies more this year, both movies I already saw such as “Colossal” and “Dunkirk,” along with those I’ve yet to see such as “Blade Runner 2049” and “The Disaster Artist,” however I will say that this movie does look good. I still think it might rip off “Empire,” but maybe it can take certain elements, which I personally consider fine, and make something new out of it. This is also going to be the longest movie in the “Star Wars” saga, at a total of 150 minutes, which I personally find interesting because this installment has the least wipe transitions. If you ask me, I probably will be seeing this opening night, after all I’m a fan so I personally feel it’s my duty. I hope the movie’s good and I don’t think we’ll be seeing many more trailers before this film’s release. December 14th can’t come soon enough!

Having soon both trailers now, my combined excitement received from both trailers, isn’t exactly all that high, however that doesn’t stop me from thinking that “The Last Jedi” will be good. Will it be good? Who knows? We’ve got a couple months to fully determine that. As far as upcoming content goes, I am planning on seeing “Blade Runner 2049” over the upcoming weekend, and I also have a mini series of reviews coming up soon and it’s gonna be for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “Thor” installments, which I plan to review in preparation for “Thor: Ragnarok,” which comes out November 3. Stay tuned for more great content, and if you have any thoughts on the new “Star Wars” trailer, tell me what they are. Also, I want to know if you’re planning on seeing “Star Wars Episode VIII.” Are you? Are you not? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks, and may the force be with you!

The Space Between Us (2017): I Need More Space

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“The Space Between Us” is directed by Peter Chelsom who also directed “Hannah Montana: The Movie” and “Serendipity” and stars Asa Butterfield, Carla Gugino, Gary Oldman, and Britt Robinson. This movie revolves around a guy who was born a Martian, he travels to Earth and hangs with a girl which leads to eventual self-discovery.

I’ve heard about this movie months ago when it released in theaters, but I’m reviewing it now considering I found it for ten bucks at Newbury Comics, which if you’re from New England or Long Island, you’d probably already know they’re a chain of stores whose main focus happens to be products in the realm of nerd culture. Interestingly enough, it’s where I buy a good portion of my movies. I also know someone who saw this movie. If you ever notice the header of my blog, you may notice this blog’s operated by “the #NerdArmy’s film critic.” The Nerd Army is a social media group I’m a part of, and one of my pals in that group, Kayla, saw this movie too. She thought it was horrible, so maybe I wasted ten bucks on a piece of crap. Guess what? Kayla was right! I honestly think “The Space Between Us” might just be up there with movies like “Star Wars Episode I” and “Battlefield Earth” as one of the worst science fiction movies ever made.

On paper, this sounds like a cool concept. You’ve seen movies with Earthlings on Mars like “John Carter,” now we have a Martian on Earth. Now, that has been done before generally speaking, just look at all the alien invasion movies we’ve gotten over the years. And I will say this film does look nice at times. Not as nice as Ridley Scott’s “The Martian,” that’s a whole different ballgame. While I may be praising this film from a cinematography perspective, it’s not perfect, because there are jumpcuts in this film and I have seen films like “Manchester by the Sea” where you might just find one and let it slide. Here however, I found three of them. They were all quickly paced and they aggravated the crap out me! Going back to the concept, if you take out the whole interplanetary idea and have the two main characters on the same planet, you might as well have a love story as cringeworthy as Anakin and Padme’s love story when they’re in “Star Wars Episode II.” Although I will say, the movie’s tone had been set far before the romance.

As mentioned, this movie is about the first person born on Mars, or Asa Butterfield’s character of Gardner, who we will get to. It’s established in the very beginning that one character is pregnant with him. The birth of Gardner is soon shown for us all in order to prepare ourselves for what we’re about to suffer through. And speaking of which, we as an audience aren’t the only folks suffering, because the mother dies. By the way, a pregnant woman has never been in space, so I can’t talk about any scientific inaccuracies there. Also, the mother’s death is not a spoiler because this is less than ten minutes into the film. It’s almost as if the mother dying instantly is a signal for how either this movie will make you want to die or the movie itself feeling like it’s going to die.

Asa Butterfield plays the character of Gardner Elliot, the character isn’t exactly someone I hate, in fact that would be directed towards the next character I’m gonna talk about, but the script makes him look like someone I will be eternally ashamed to hang out with. Granted he’s from Mars, but regardless of wherever the heck he’s from, seeing his character was the equivalent of a mom that tries to sound enthusiastic about something when she’s really not as enthusiastic as she sounds. …Or Tyra Banks when she hosts “America’s Got Talent.” By the way, if anyone from NBC or “America’s Got Talent” is reading this, please replace Tyra Banks in season 13 of the show.

Britt Robinson plays Tulsa and as suggested in the recent paragraph, I don’t like her. Sometimes she’s rather annoyed by Gardner which I can understand because they’re from different planets so they wouldn’t behave identically. However as I got to see more of her character, I became irritated with her for a brief period. I wouldn’t say she’s one of the worst characters of all time, but seriously, she was a nutjob!

Also in this movie you have Gary Oldman, or as I like to call him, Robert Carradine with long hair. I don’t even know if that’s all that good of a comparison, but as I watched the movie I thought that was what he looked like at a point. So Bobby–err I mean Gary plays Nathaniel Shepard. Now Oldman probably gave the best performance out of everyone in the movie, but despite what I said, it doesn’t really make the movie that much better. Because I’ve seen good performances in bad movies, such as Emily Blunt in “The Girl on the Train.” For the record, that performance was better than this one, how much better you ask? Well that one would have probably been nominated for a Golden Globe or an Oscar in my book had the movie been better! Oldman’s performance is alright, but there’s not much of anything all that redeeming about it.

Now the love story could definitely be worse. This isn’t like, love at first sight, the movie seemed to establish that the two grew a connection between each other. But the way the movie in general plays out when the love story builds is that it goes from random conversations on videochat to the point when the character of Gardner Elliot travels to Earth making the movie develop a fish out of water story. There was a movie that released this year that actually came out after this one, that being “Wonder Woman.” The fish out of water cliche worked in “Wonder Woman,” but it didn’t work in “The Space Between Us.” In this movie, the fish out of water segment was just awkward, it made me engage in untypical body movements, so based on that you can tell it was just plain awful. There are also moments when I can easily tell it’s supposed to be funny, and maybe it got some chuckles in theater auditoriums, but I watched this movie alone in my room, the only laughs that are going off in here are… actually none. I have not much else to say there. And when we get to a moment when the love takes full effect, guess what happens? Cheesy dialogue! WHO SAYS THE STUFF THAT IS SAID IN THIS MOVIE?! Granted, I’ve never been in love nor have I gone out with anyone with the exception of a prom night, but in real life, this isn’t how people talk! For the record, the guy from Mars is actually saying this mumbo jumbo, but it’s still cringeworthy as hell! I said part of this before, but I’ll say it again! When it comes to the Earthling, I hated her. She reminded me of that teenage girl from “Independence Day: Resurgence” who I actually recall more than a good number of the characters from that movie. Annoying, angry, and unfriendly. This was just a relationship that was just hard to watch, and when the love is in the air, you can’t just help but think about putting a gun in your mouth.

In the end, “The Space Between Us” is simply a movie I’d never want to watch again unless I was being paid. My friend Kayla wasn’t lying after she saw this movie, this really was a meteor that was about to destroy a planet. This movie was originally scheduled to come out December 16, 2016, which is the same day that “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” came out, although STX pushed it back to February 3, 2017. While it may be good for STX because they didn’t have to compete with a much bigger film, it might just be bad for the viewing public because this probably increased chances of people suffering. By the way, when I said this movie didn’t have to compete with a much bigger film I might as well be lying to you because it competed against “Rings,” which made over thirteen million dollars in the United States as opposed to this movie which made over three million dollars in the United States. Granted the ratings for “Rings” on IMDb at least are lower than “The Space Between Us,” but it doesn’t change the fact that this was pure s*it. I’m gonna give “The Space Between Us” a 1/10. As an idea, this movie sounded cool in ways, but so did “The Girl on the Train.” My next mission is to find a t-shirt that says I survived “The Space Between Us.” One last thing is that there’s an alternate ending to this film. I was watching the Blu-Ray and it was in the bonus features. I’d probably have to watch the original ending again to compare completely, but for now I gotta say the alternate ending’s better. Thanks for reading this review. On the subject of sci-fi, I am planning to see “Blade Runner 2049” sometime soon, I think that’ll be, without argument, a better movie than this crap. Also, if you are currently in a “Blade Runner” frenzy, be sure to check out a post where I talk about what “Blade Runner” has gotten right about the future ahead of its release. Stay tuned for more reviews, and also, I have a couple questions, what is your favorite movie involving Mars? Or, what is the worst science fiction film you’ve ever seen? Answer those questions in the comments! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

WHAT “BLADE RUNNER” GOT RIGHT ABOUT THE FUTURE: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/10/06/what-blade-runner-got-right-about-the-future/

Fist Fight (2017): Three O’Clock High Focusing on Teachers

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“Fist Fight” is directed by Richie Keen and stars Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Horrible Bosses) and Ice Cube (Ride Along, xXx: State of the Union) and is about two teachers who challenge each other to a fight in a parking lot after school because one teacher caused another teacher to get fired.

Before going into this movie I thought a couple things. For one, I thought it would have a couple laughs at the very least, and two I thought from a pitch perspective, the guy pitching the movie thought it was a generic idea with a twist. I say this because in real life people challenge each other to fights after school and they’re typically students, not that I personally see it happen, but in the real world that’s what’s normal at the very least to the human mind. Not to mention, this has played out in movies and television before. One big example that comes to mind is “Three O’Clock High,” which based on recent conversations, is one of my dad’s favorite movies. I personally don’t like it as much as he does, which I find interesting because I gave it an 8/10 on IMDb. Looking back, I’d probably have to watch it again to see if I rated it correctly. And speaking of ratings, this movie is a little difficult to actually give a verdict to, because it is funny, it is entertaining, it does feel like what a comedy should be. Although at the same time, it feels like something we’ve seen before. Not just in terms of humor, but also in terms of story. Sure, I mentioned this movie is similar to “Three O’Clock High.” But if you’ve seen “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” and think to yourself real hard enough, a good portion of movie’s story takes the end of that movie and inserts it into this one as the main plot. I say that because in both movies, not only do you have people fighting each other, but the main character has to be at a kid’s event. Although the thing about “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” is that I cared more for the characters there. I will say “Fist Fight’s” particular kid’s event element, from memory, was something that I was able to care about perhaps slightly more than “Anchorman 2’s,” well, until it happened that is, because then it suddenly became cringeworthy.

Charlie Day plays the lead teacher in this movie. His name is Andy Campbell and he’s basically the wimp teacher. You can gather this through his speech patterns, his attitude, his words, all of those things. I imagine some people might have complaints with Day’s character because his lack of strength which might make him somewhat annoying, but to me, it just simply established his character. It didn’t really annoy me, in fact, it just helps showcase the differences between the teachers in this rivalry. Speaking of which, let’s talk about Ice Cube’s character.

Ice Cube plays Strickland, the strong teacher. Part of me wonders if the naming process was intentional for Cube’s character because “strick” sounds like “strict” and at times, that’s how Strickland comes off in this movie. From the first time you see Cube on screen, you know the dude means business. He takes no nonsense whatsoever, and if you see him in this movie he’s kind of an all-out jackass. I can imagine some teachers might relate to his jackassery because there is a scene where he takes a kid’s phone and throws it towards the wall causing it to break, but in the end, he’s still a jackass. Strickland is probably my favorite character in the movie along with Kumail Nanjiani’s character of Mehar, who was the school’s security guard.

This movie was funny in ways although unforgivably insane in other ways. Probably the most common joke that got drilled in my head because of this movie happened to be dick jokes. Granted, dick jokes can be funny, just watch “Deadpool” and you’ll see what I mean. Here though, they almost became rather repetitive. It’s not that they weren’t funny, it’s just that it was almost as if the movie was running out of ideas and it wanted to recycle jokes. There was also that cliche I really hate because it’s something that I always see coming, which is when someone randomly falls on the floor for the sake of a laugh. Granted, it wasn’t a fat person, but come on guys! We paid to laugh! WE DESERVE BETTER. I also mentioned that kid’s event earlier, the kid’s event is actually a talent show by the way, and there’s a part of the movie where you see this kid performing a very colorful song. I can understand some of the reactions, but the kid’s mother is actually rooting for this?! How do the kid’s parents approve of this?! I didn’t laugh, I almost checked out. This movie also has a couple moments, specifically from Charlie Day’s character, where he’d spend seconds repeating the same word over and over again. For example, he’s talking with Kumail Nanjiani’s character and for the sake of a joke, when Charlie Day randomly utters “s*it” Kumail Nanjiani says he’s in trouble because he cussed. So afterwards, Day keeps repeating “s*it” as if he was mocking Nanjiani. Speaking of awkward humor, one of the most awkward moments in the entire movie is when Andy Campbell runs into the character who plays his wife, I won’t go into detail, but it takes place during the day at a shopping plaza.

You may notice the character on the left of this image, that’s Christina Hendricks’s character who’s basically half Reba McEntire/half Judge Judy, Ms. Monet. I have one question. What the f*ck did she add to the movie?! Seriously! Why is she here?! I don’t remember anything redeeming about her character, I don’t remember what her purpose was in this movie. She tries to encourage Ice Cube in taking down Charlie Day at one point and when she does this, she refers to Day’s character as a pervert. OK, I’ve sat through the entirety of this film and I don’t see how it’s possible that Charlie Day’s character is perverted. Did she do this to make up a reason to get Cube going? What was the point? Maybe I’m missing something, but this may show the ineffectiveness of this movie, which is a problem in my book.

Also, I’ll say this, this movie is called “Fist Fight,” it’s about two teachers who are supposed to fight in a parking lot after school, but this movie has more in it than just all of that madness. There’s a story that’s introduced at one point of the movie’s runtime and is one of the final things you see resolved in the flick, and if you watch the film and the way the fight plays out, there’s a chance you might not care about the event that comes up afterwards.

In the end, “Fist Fight” may be watchable, but it’s not exactly great. There are better comedies out there, although on the bright side, it’s better than “Snatched,” another comedy which came out this year. While I may not fully like the movie I will say that I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a guilty pleasure for some people in the near future. Not to mention, I will say, as far as less than satisfactory movies go, this isn’t exactly boring. It’s A LOT less boring than other movies I’ve seen this year like the live-action “Ghost in the Shell” and “Logan Lucky.” However when it comes to stupidity, it might as well be fair to say it matches with this year’s “xXx: Return of Xander Cage.” I’m gonna give “Fist Fight” a 5/10. Thanks for reading this review. This weekend there’s a good chance I’m also gonna be watching “The Space Between Us,” which has been out for awhile now, I haven’t seen it yet, but I just picked up the Blu-Ray so there’s a good chance that a review is coming your way soon. I haven’t heard many great things about it, but sometimes you gotta take chances. I do want to see “Blade Runner 2049,” but I’m afraid you’re gonna have to a wait a bit longer for that review to happen. Stay tuned for more reviews, and I want to know out of curiosity, have you ever been in a fist fight? What was it like? Comment down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

What Blade Runner Got Right About the Future

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Just about a month ago, I watched “Blade Runner” for the first time ever. For the record, no, I didn’t intend on doing so because the new one was coming out, however I would have done that anyway. By the way, the main reason I watched it is because it was part of a class curriculum in my school. Anyway, that movie takes place in 2019, which is two years away, and if you read the title of this post, you’d probably already know I’m going to be talking about what “Blade Runner” got right about the future. You’re probably thinking, why you doing this in 2017 and not 2019? I figured it would be appropriate to do it now since there’s gonna be a new “Blade Runner” installment coming out this weekend called “Blade Runner 2049” and I had no review planned for the original. If you’re asking, yes, I do want to see it, but I’m not sure when I will. However, I’ve watched the movie multiple times now, specifically “The Final Cut.” As mentioned, I watched it in school, but I later picked up the 4K Blu-Ray edition even though I don’t have a 4K Blu-Ray player. Throughout watching the movie I picked up on a number of things: The endless inspiration it had on material which arrived after it, the visually pleasing world and effects, and also, considering we are two years away from this movie’s setting, how much it got right about the future, along with how much it could get right in the meantime.

A lot of people are saying that it’ll probably be a bit longer before flying cars become a reality. While they certainly aren’t seen on the streets all that much, it doesn’t mean they haven’t been partially realized. There’s a company called Terrafugia who has made this happen. According to the Wikipedia page labeled “Flying car (aircraft),” Terrafugia announced the first autonomous flying vehicle on May 7, 2013. Now, these babies have not come to market yet and development is going to likely take 8-12 years. So this means these cars might come to market somewhere between 2021-2025. By the way, the name of this vehicle is the TF-X and there is a page on Terrafugia’s website about it. If you’re interested in checking it out, click the link down below! Also something interesting I just found out, their headquarters, located in Woburn, Massachusetts, is actually a couple towns away from where I live! So that means I’m currently a couple towns away from possibly future history in the making!

https://www.terrafugia.com/tf-x/

In “Blade Runner,” you’re seeing Replicants, artificial creatures, and scanners to confirm one’s identity, so it’s not really much of a surprise that another thing they’ve gotten right is the rise of technology. Sure, this can apply to flying cars, but I feel that deserves its own topic. This is something that a movie thought of before the release of “The Terminator.” Not only does technology control our everyday lives, but it comes off as superior to humanity in various ways. For example, with the rise of chess computers in the 1980s, they’ve beaten some of the world’s best chess players. Also, stores are now commonly using self-checkout, heck! People aren’t even going to stores anymore! Just look at what Amazon’s doing right now! It’s not just stores that are doing this, McDonald’s put self-checkout in its locations in 2016. By the way, they already had a number of these, this was the time when it was put to absolute use. They did this because the employees at McDonald’s wanted a $15 minimum wage. By the way, f*ck McDonald’s. I’ve been on the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) to ride trains into Boston and they barely even announce anything manually anymore! In fact, they’re soon replacing their Orange Line trains with newer models, some of their last trains that only allow manual announcements. Not to mention on the topic of computers, not just ones that can play chess and win, we’ve even had IBM Waston, a computer that can play “Jeopardy!” and take victory against two of its winningest contestants, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter! I wouldn’t be surprised to go to restaurants in the future and instead of seeing waiters or waitresses, I just see robots coming to you and taking orders! Who knows really, only time will tell.

I want you to take a moment to observe this shot, what do you notice? If you’re thinking that’s Harrison Ford holding a gun, you’re right, but that’s not what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about in this shot, is the rain. 2017 has been a hard year in terms of natural disasters, specifically hurricanes. This year we’ve seen hurricanes such as Harvey, Maria, and Irma. This is more rain than usual in any sense of the word. I won’t get into climate change or global warming because the movie didn’t really suggest any of that specifically, but the rain may have suggested all the pollution we’re getting. Who knows what it could be from? Maybe all the flying cars aren’t as efficient as those on the ground. If you watch the movie, look very carefully, because you’ll be able to see it’s raining a good portion of the runtime. In movies, it usually rains during certain situations such as a dramatic fight scene like in “The Matrix Revolutions” or to move the story along like in “Bee Movie.” The rain is much more common here than those films.

Much like flying cars, this isn’t really something that’s technically happened, but it is potential to happen soon, which is people living off of Earth. In the movie, they talk about off-world colonization, suggesting that people started living their lives on planets that aren’t Earth. Right now in the real world, people are actually getting ready to colonize Mars. There’s actually a couple of missions that are planned in future decades from SpaceX and Mars One. SpaceX wants to see colonization begin in 2022 and Mars One wants to see it begin in 2032. Not only are organizations planning to colonize it, but people are just planning to just travel to and fro. This is something that both the US and Russian governments are planning in the 2030s.

If you think I missed something that “Blade Runner” got right about the future, please let me know about it. I actually almost put sex robots on here, but the furthest we’ve gotten with them as far as I know happens to be prototypes plus I don’t even know if I fully trust the sources I’m getting this info from. For those of you wondering what I’m talking about, just watch the character of Pris in this movie. If you want to talk about something different related to “Blade Runner,” well then what are your thoughts on the movie? Are you excited for the sequel? I’m personally excited if you ask me, I will hopefully have my review of “Blade Runner 2049” very soon. Also, in terms of upcoming reviews that AREN’T “Blade Runner 2049” I do want to see “Stronger,” and I might also have interest in another film coming out this weekend, “The Mountain Between Us,” starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet as two people who crash a plane on a mountain and go on a journey together. Stay tuned for more great content! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!