The Disaster Artist (2017): Oh Hai, James Franco!

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“The Disaster Artist” is directed by James Franco (Spider-Man, 127 Hours), and is based on a true book written by Greg Sestero. This movie also stars James Franco alongside his brother, Dave Franco (Neighbors, Now You See Me), and Seth Rogen (Sausage Party, Pineapple Express). “The Disaster Artist” revolves around the making of the 2003 disasterpiece of a film, “The Room.” The book which this movie is based on is written by a cast member of “The Room” who played the character of Mark (played by Dave Franco here). So, essentially Greg is one of the main characters, and he meets Tommy Wiseau (played by James Franco) in an acting class. The two form a bond as time passes, which leads them to try tackling their dreams in Hollywood together.

I just want to get two things out of the way. I’ve never read “The Disaster Artist.” I almost picked it up once, but I put it back before taking it. However I did watch “The Room.” I managed to find it on YouTube and someone had a post showing the movie from beginning to end. I watched it recently and I TOTALLY see what everyone is talking about. From the cheesy and poorly written dialogue, the so-called acting, and the establishing shots of San Francisco that feel like something out of say, “The Golden Girls,” this movie is a mess, but it was so f*cking fun. The movie itself, is capable of having most of its viewers say it’s terrible, but at the same time, it kind of has a feeling that other bad movies don’t give you. This is more along the lines of a movie like “Batman & Robin,” where it’s bad, but you can also have some fun watching it because of all the cheese. It’s not like watching “The Emoji Movie.” For the record, that movie did not suck ass, it sucked EVERY ass. “The Disaster Artist” is like neither of those films. This is because “The Disaster Artist” is definitely one of 2017’s best films! Not only that, but it also has to be one of the most ironic films I’ve ever seen! “The Room” is in a word, abominable. “The Disaster Artist” is in a word, admirable. It’s amazing how “The Disaster Artist,” a movie based on the making of one of the worst movies ever made, specifically the kind where it’s so bad that you have to experience it, became one of this year’s best movies, a film so good that you have to experience it. And I did. I’m just gonna warn you, I’m gonna be digressing here, and it’ll be a matter of time before my actual review of the movie appears on here. And I know a reason why a lot of people are here is to read my thoughts on “The Disaster Artist,” not to hear about my personal life. So if this bores you, makes you want to stab yourself with a knife, encourages you to go on a killing spree, or makes you want to jump out a window, DON’T DO THOSE THINGS, and instead, either stop reading the post and rethink what you’re doing in life, or just skip ahead to the next paragraph where I get back on track. So let’s move on.

I’m a high school student currently living in eastern Massachusetts. It took me three weeks to see this movie. I wanted to see it right away, but I had other things going on at the time. Then “winter break” came, note the quotation marks, stating sarcasm of how my winter break lacked any time to sit down and relax. Due to a complicated schedule, I was somewhat worried that I wouldn’t get to see this. I did however once time was on my side, not to mention my father’s. There were barely any times available and the closest town I could go see the movie was Somerville. I don’t usually go to Somerville to see a movie, I’ve only done it twice. In fact, I barely go to Somerville period! But I did it, because I was committed. That and I had gift cards to AMC Theatres that I felt would be useful for an occasion such as this. Somerville is nearby as far as I’m concerned but I barely go anywhere that’s urban, I’m usually in the suburbs when I go to movie theaters. It’s easier parking-wise, it’s easier in terms of traffic, not to mention there are theaters that are closer in terms of distance and time. I like the AMC in Somerville better than some theaters I go to (except price-wise), but I think the auditoriums are nice and the sound’s amazing. Traffic and time to get to the theater weren’t an issue for my father and I. Parking almost did however. My father’s vehicle can’t fit in garages, and admittedly, I didn’t mention to him that Assembly Row, the plaza where the theater happened to be located, was mainly garage based. There is parking available in non-garage areas, but it’s a busy place, not to mention it was a Saturday night and the following day was New Year’s Eve. The unusual trip to Somerville, was worth it from the quality of the movie alone.

Out of all the films I’ve seen this year, this one is BY FAR the funniest. Not only that, but it also managed to be rather serious. One thing that I imagine some people who know about “The Room” might have expected walking into this film was the possibility that it might mock Tommy Wiseau to the tenth degree. The movie, in terms of its screenplay, makes almost anything Tommy does on screen hysterical, but I wouldn’t say it makes fun of him. Tommy, at the time which this movie takes place, is a mystery man. He goes on saying to Greg Sestero that he can’t talk about his interactions with Tommy to anyone. We as viewers don’t even know that much about his background. We don’t know how the money that went into the making of “The Room” appeared. It’s explained that this movie took $5 million to make. That’s what I recall the film’s screenplay suggesting, but according to IMDb it cost an estimated total of $6 million to make the flick. Speaking of IMDb, if you look at Tommy Wiseau’s page, it says he was born on October 3rd, 1955 in Poznag, Poland. According to the Wikipedia page dedicated to Tommy Wiseau, it says he gave an age in interviews after the release of “The Room” that would suggest he’s either born in 1968 or 1969. He claimed to have lived in France a long time ago, he grew up in New Orleans, and he had an entire family in Chalmette, Louisiana. Greg Sestero’s identically titled book, which James Franco suggested in an interview based on the words of Tommy is “40% true,” suggested that his brother’s girlfriend obtained copies of Wiseau’s immigration papers, which said Tommy was born earlier than he claimed. Rick Harper, AKA the creator of “Room Full of Spoons,” a recent documentary based on the making of “The Room,” did research on Tommy Wiseau’s background, coming to the conclusion that Tommy is Polish and originally from the city of Poznan. In November 2017, Tommy confirmed in an interview he was originally from Europe. The following month, he was interviewed by Howard Stern. He mentioned he speaks French and happens to be Catholic. While we may be progressively getting more and more information, the man’s still a mystery, and the movie does a very good job at telling that to its viewers.

Just for your information, the earliest this film actually released was on March 12th, 2017. According to IMDb, it was a work-in-progress at the time. I can’t say how much of the film was released to the public, if it wrapped it’s filming entirely, how much editing got done, none of that, but it was a work-in-progress. This was shown at the time to those who went to “South by Southwest.” The next release was on September 11th at the Toronto International Film Festival, and IMDb doesn’t have it labeled as a work-in-progress unlike the release for South by Southwest. The movie for what I recall, never mentions Poznan, or Poland in general for that matter. Despite the film lacking that detail, it does a fantastic job of explaining the total mystery that is Tommy Wiseau.

Speaking of Tommy Wiseau, let’s talk about him as a character, not to mention the guy who plays him. Tommy’s played by James Franco, who also directed this film. This is without a doubt, one of the best performances ever given by James Franco. As mentioned, Tommy Wiseau is mysterious, and Franco captured that quite well. Franco also had an accent that Tommy gave all the time, and he didn’t sound like James Franco like you’d hear in content such as “Freaks and Geeks” and “Spider-Man,” where does give passable performances, nothing groundbreaking, but you can still see that shred of Franco. Here, he turns into Tommy, giving perhaps my favorite performance of the year. There are a number of performances I admired in 2017. Some of my favorites include Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard in “Blade Runner 2049,” Ryan Gosling as K in “Blade Runner 2049,” Ansel Elgort as Baby in “Baby Driver,” Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman in “Wonder Woman,” Tom Glynn-Carney as Peter in “Dunkirk,” Fionn Whitehead as Tommy in “Dunkirk,” Jayma Mays as Dana Sibota in “American Made,” and Holly Hunter as Beth in “The Big Sick.” I just saw this film, so this could change, but James Franco as Tommy Wiseau might be better than just about every single one of these performances I’ve listed. Am I overhyping this? I really don’t think so! It might be a tie between this and the recently mentioned performances by Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill until further notice. The future will probably provide more certainty.

In fact, in terms of direction, James Franco outdone himself as well! “Spider-Man 2” may be my favorite film with James Franco in it, but out of all the films he’s worked on, this may be the one which James as an individual worked the hardest on. All of the actors seemed like they had no problems on set while they played people who had problems on set. The film is well shot and well lit. In fact, towards the end of the movie, it actually shows “The Room” during its premiere, and not long after that’s over, we cut to two side-by-side moving images. One is actual footage from “The Room” and another is recreated footage, which was specific for this movie. That footage contained actors playing the characters originally played by other actors. Some examples include Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games, Journey to the Center of the Earth) as Denny (originally played by Philip Haldiman), Zac Efron (Neighbors, High School Musical), who played Chris-R (originally played by Dan Janjigian), Ari Graynor (Bad Teacher, I’m Dying Up Here), who played Lisa (originally played by Juliette Danielle), Dave Franco who played Mark (originally played by Greg Sestero), and let’s not forget James freaking Franco, who played Johnny (originally played by Tommy f*cking Wiseau). Is this my favorite film of the year in terms of direction? I wouldn’t say that, but it is close however.

Going into this film, I knew a lot about “The Room,” but based on various scenes, I picked up on some things I didn’t expect to pick up on involving “The Room” as a movie. You know how you notice an extended amount of the movie’s runtime, the characters are playing football? This movie kind of goes into that.

This movie is more than just something that’s telling the story of the production behind another movie. It’s also a story about friendship. As mentioned, Tommy Wiseau isn’t being mocked throughout this picture, and I really appreciate the film going in that direction because it made you understand Tommy as a person. Not only that, but this movie also has a major focus on Dave Franco’s character of Greg Sestero. This is almost a lot like “Lord of the Rings” in ways. Think of Tommy Wiseau as Frodo and Greg Sestero as Sam. Tell me that comparison is terrible. They’re there for each other, they respect each other, they even do a pinkie swear in the film, which occurs more than once to be accurate. As friends, they decide to make a movie together.

As Tommy and Greg make “The Room,” it’s clear that they don’t do know s*it on how to make a movie. When the two are trying to get cameras to shoot the movie, they decide to buy them, not rent them. While buying cameras isn’t exactly something that hasn’t been done for movies before, it’s traditional for people to rent them. Not to mention, when they’re asked if they want 35mm or HD, they respond saying they want both types of cameras. They’re lit differently, they work non-identically, and it might result in a weird final product depending on how things go. Overall, their friendship is shown in this film to the tenth degree and I love it.

In the end, “The Disaster Artist” takes an absolutely horrible film, and incorporates it into a different, astoundingly incredible film. The story behind “The Room” is honestly, a movie I never asked for, but once I heard about it, and saw the teaser trailer for it back in July, I was instantly in anticipation mode. On paper, this idea sounded amazing. As a final product, this idea is even better. Before I give my final verdict, I’m gonna let you in on a little fact. My dad and I saw this movie together, he went to see this film without watching, or even knowing all that much about “The Room.” He walked out of the theater alongside me, saying he enjoyed the film. So ultimately, you don’t need to watch “The Room” to appreciate this film. You can do it if you want to, which I must say if you do, is an experience, but it’s not necessary. However, I imagine at least knowing about “The Room” or watching it might add it a bit to the movie. With that being said, I loved this movie and it’s undoubtedly one of the best of the year. I’m going to give “The Disaster Artist” a 10/10. One last thing before I go on with a wrap-up, this movie has an end credit scene, so stick around after the credits if you don’t want to miss that. Anyway, thanks for reading this review, this is one of my favorite movies of the year, and speaking of that, once 2018 starts, one of the earliest published posts on this blog will be a countdown of my top 10 BEST movies of 2017. This movie will have a spot on the list for sure. I won’t say which, because it could change, plus I might go see one more 2017 movie in the theater and review it. That potential movie by the way, is “Downsizing.” One list I assure you this movie won’t be on, is my top 10 WORST movies of 2017, which I plan on releasing after I reveal my top 10 BEST list. Stay tuned for more reviews, and also stay tuned for those upcoming countdowns! I can’t wait to finally release them, because I have so much fun making them! I want to know, did you see “The Disaster Artist?” What do you think about it? Did you see “The Room?” What are your thoughts on that? Or, what are some movies that you personally think are so bad that they are actually good? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

(FROM THE ROOM)
JOHNNY: I did not her, it’s not true! It’s bulls*it! I did not hit her! (throws water bottle) I did *not*. Oh hi, Mark.

You can laugh, you can cry, you can express yourself, but please don’t hurt each other. –Tommy Wiseau

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Father Figures (2017): A Very Bastardizing Film

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“Father Figures” is directed by Lawrence Sher in his directorial debut. This guy has done cinematography for movies such as “The Hangover,” “War Dogs,” and the 2005 film adaptation of “The Dukes of Hazzard.” The film stars Owen Wilson (Cars, Wedding Crashers), Ed Helms (The Office, Vacation), JK Simmons (Whiplash, Juno), Katt Williams (Norbit, Scary Movie 5), Terry Bradshaw (The Cannonball Run, Failure to Launch), Ving Rhames (Mission: Impossible, Pulp Fiction), and also features Christopher Walken (The Jungle Book, The Deer Hunter), along with Glenn Close. This film’s about two fraternal twins who find out the truth about their allegedly dead father has been a lie. The information concerning this has been hidden by their mother for years, leading to the twins going out to seek their real father.

I first heard about this film back in 2016, and I was wondering for a while, “What happened to this film?” Well, here it is now. Why did I hear about it that early? Turns out there was a trailer for a comedy that was supposed to release in January of this year, AKA this exact film, and at the end, we see a title card with the word “Bastards.” The name does make sense considering the technical definition for a bastard is a child whose birthparents weren’t married at the time of the child’s birth, which is true to the twins in the movie. Although I’m willing to bet they changed the name to “Father Figures” because to some people it might be weird walking around and talking about a movie called “Bastards” since the word is associated with vulgarity. Who’s they? I don’t know. I’m willing to bet it’s either the director or the studio, one of those two. Nevertheless, I think this movie shouldn’t have been called “Father Figures.” I don’t even think it should be called “Bastards.” You know what it should be called? “Bastard.” Just “Bastard.” And that’s because this movie felt like a total bastard! This is probably the worst comedy I’ve seen all year! This movie brought almost two hours of inglorious bastardization into my life!

I would like to take a second to apologize to Quentin Tarantino, I just probably ingloriously bastardized him if you know what I mean.

I’ve seen a number of s*itty comedies in 2017, but even at the end of the year, I’m still coming across them. I think I found the pinnacle of s*it when it comes to this year in comedy. “Father Figures” is a f*cking bastard and I’m about to tell you why in just a second! But before I go into why, let me go over some of the other crap I’ve seen this year when it comes to comedy.

First off, we have “Snatched,” which I saw in May. The movie’s about a mother and daughter going away to paradise, which doesn’t end up going well because they get captured and some other s*it happens. I knew going into this particular film it was going to be bad, but there was one really funny scene and there was a character that I kind of liked.

Next we have “How to Be a Latin Lover,” which was just awkward as hell to watch. It’s about a guy who is dumped by his elderly wife. He has to move in with his sister, played by Salma Hayek, and adjust to normal society after living a spoiled life. I bought the movie used for $9.99 on Blu-ray, which isn’t too bad of a deal for a Blu-ray if you ask me, but I still suffered through the unfunny jokes and awkward story full of mostly unlikable characters.

I also saw “Fist Fight,” which admittedly, is nowhere near as unwatchable as the other two films I mentioned, but is still something I would say technically qualifies as a waste of time. What’s the plot? Just take the basic idea of “Three O’Clock High” and make the teachers fight instead of the students. I just thought it contained too many predictable attempts at humor and forced sex jokes.

I’d probably rather watch any of these comedies before “Father Figures.” “How to Be a Latin Lover” is a tad debatable but in reality, “Father Figures” is just a comedy that should have never been made. I will admit, when I saw the first trailer for the film released in 2016, part of me was looking forward to this movie. Sure, I like Owen Wilson. Sure, I like Ed Helms. There’s someone I admire more in this movie compared to them, specifically JK f*cking Simmons! JK’s one of my favorite actors of all time! And if you put him in, well, anything for that matter, I’ll watch it. You can even put him in a movie called “Don’t Watch This Piece of Crap,” it can be eight minutes including credits, it can be a guy bloodied up screaming for help on pavement, and I’ll still check it out because JK Simmons was in it. Granted, I don’t think his performance was that bad. In fact, I have to say it’s one of the more redeemable parts of the entire film.

Speaking of likable performances. Terry Bradshaw was playing himself in this film. It almost gave me a similar vibe to seeing Sam Jones in “Ted” based on the chemistry between him and the two main characters.

Moving onto our recently suggested main characters, we have Kyle, played by Owen Wilson, alongside Peter, played by Ed Helms. Seeing these two together, I can somewhat buy into them being twins, but the whole ride they take during the movie was just a wreck. Neither of them are funny, they have a couple of moments where they disagree with each other and get in arguments, I just wanted to leave at some points instead of watch the duo compare themselves to one another every now and then.

This movie just feels like it has too much going on in it. When we get to what almost feels like the climax, the movie just goes on like its jacked up on Red Bull. It’s just an absolute marathon of twists and turns and it’s just too much to process for a simple comedy! In fact I gotta say, one of the twists, which admittedly, reminded me of the original “Star Wars” trilogy, was actually ruined about ten or so minutes after it happens! So yeah, f*ck everything I guess!

Let’s also talk about Glenn Close’s character of Helen. At the beginning of the film, it’s established that Helen is the mother of both these boys. I’m just wondering, why would she lie about the father of her sons? First off, they’re adults, and I’m not adopted, but if I were, I’d want to know as soon as possible! As far as telling anyone else, I’d probably think to myself before whether or not I do that, but still. I also have to say that she mentioned that Terry Bradshaw was the actual father of the two kids, and Ed Helms’s reaction almost seemed like it could have been done differently. This is a man he idolized, someone he has high appreciation for, and he grew up during his youth never knowing Bradshaw was his dad?! I’ve grown up idolizing Howie Mandel, and if my mother kept a secret until a point such as this, or even longer for that matter, that Howie Mandel was my real father, you know what I’d do? I’d lose my f*cking mind! I might break a window! I might light my house on fire! I might slap my mother in the face! I’m not kidding! I would be in utter shock, and perhaps apalled upon why I had a secret like this kept from me for so long! I’d be happy to know Howie was my father but… why wait so long?

*SPOILERS IN THIS PARAGRAPH*

Speaking of idiocy, I’m gonna talk about a scene involving a train and an automobile. Sorry, planes, you have to sit out on this one. There’s one scene where the two main characters are in a car with each other, they’re still on their quest to find their dad, and at one point, they pick up a hitchhiker, played by Katt Williams. Due to Ed Helms being somewhat apprehensive about the fate of himself along with the fate of his brother, the hitchhiker is sitting in the back with his hands cuffed up. At one point, the car stops, and the two begin to argue. Moments later, we as an audience find out the car is stuck on a train track, but the two brothers are too focused on arguing back and forth so they don’t notice an approaching train. The one who does notice the train however is the hitchhiker, he’s trying to warn the two, but they don’t listen. As the light is coming closer, and the hitchhiker is still alerting the duo, they finally notice the train. So they attempt to escape. Ed Helms and Katt Williams make it out of the car, but the train slams the car, suggesting that it could have killed Owen Wilson. But it didn’t, he’s completely fine. WHAT THE F*CK?!

This is honestly just insulting! I get this is a comedy, but I would appreciate it more if it was logical. I don’t need another “Daddy’s Home” Ford Flex goes through the house and Will Ferrell isn’t badly hurt situation if you get what I’m saying. Remember “Paul Blart Mall Cop 2?” I honestly bought into the fact that Paul Blart could trap himself in a suitcase, slide downward on a bunch of steps, fall into a pool in said suitcase, have water come inside it, allow himself to exit the suitcase, and get out of the water alive more than this.

I do remember watching a movie in the past with a scene somewhat similar to this. There’s an extended cut to Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 2” referred to as “Spider-Man 2.1,” which might even be better than the original cut if you ask me. In that version of the film, part of the extended footage in that film is included on the train fight scene. Doc Ock and Spidey are going at it against each other, and Doc is holding onto the Web Slinger with his tentacles. Spider-Man has his feet on the side of one of the train cars, and he’s hit a bunch of closeby objects. Soon he turns his head, a train is quickly approaching him. Spider-Man gets hit by a train, but he instantly gets back to fighting like the hit was just a normal Tuesday in the office. Here’s the thing however. Spider-Man has superpowers, Kyle from “Father Figures” on the other hand, is an average human. Spider-Man has enough strength in him to walk something like this off, Kyle should have died. In fact, while Kyle dying may be somewhat abrupt, I almost thought that it would be kind of intriguing to see what would happen if Ed Helms had to continue the quest alone. I went to see the film with my mother, she and I discussed the film in the car after we watched it. I brought this up, and she figured I was thinking Ed Helms would continue the quest in Wilson’s honor, which almost sounds more like an adventure flick as opposed to a comedy, but quests are basically adventures.

The final moments of the film had some emotion packed into it, and in ways, I felt it. But ultimately, I felt that the movie didn’t earn its emotional ending on a technical level. For one thing, it’s a comedy, not a drama. Another thing is that I didn’t really care about a single character in this movie enough to say, “I like you. I stand with you. I’m on your side.” If I was able to care about any of the characters or if I had a logical reason to appreciate them more, then I might as well say that the movie earned it’s ending, but the movie itself dragged, it was full of unbearable characters, and it just wasn’t funny. So I can’t really say the end played out very well.

Let’s move onto marketing. I noticed the difference in the film’s marketing from when I first heard about it and when the film actually came out. There wasn’t much buzz about “Bastards” before January 2017, but now that we’re here in December, the movie, technically now referred to as “Father Figures,” was brought back to my attention, and I had the realization this was the same movie. Now that it’s here, I’m seeing Christmas related ads having to do with the film and a poster with red & green font. If one of the reasons for the movie releasing at this time was just to market it like it’s an experience related to the holidays, it just feels cheap! Oh yeah, did I mention this film was supposed to come out in January? I should have known what I was getting into. January movies usually suck! Last year, “The Fifth Wave” made my top 10 WORST movies of the year list. In general, when a movie comes out in January, critics are going to give it hell. I wonder why they moved it. Is it to market the film in a certain way? Possibly. Although part of me is willing to bet it’s to get more people in the theater. Given that a lot of people have breaks from school and work, they have more time to see a movie. January only has weekends, New Year’s Day, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Another part of me thinks that Warner Brothers, AKA the distributor of the film, or one of the production companies such as Alcon or Montecito, thought this would be a good tactic in order to get people to go see another movie when “The Last Jedi” sells out. Given the competition and the film’s box office return, I wouldn’t say this was the best idea. Just compare this film with “Pitch Perfect 3,” “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” plus family friendly animations such as “Coco” and “Ferdinand” and you’ll see the point. If last year’s “Assassin’s Creed” has taught moviegoers anything, it’s that you only market something in a Christmas related fashion when appropriate. Speaking of competition and “Star Wars,” I should also bring up another possible reason why all of this is happening. “Star Wars” is something that the world cares about. There’s barely anyone in this world who doesn’t know what “Star Wars” is. However, nobody knows about “Father Figures,” and it’s possible that Warner Brothers thought, “Eh, “Star Wars” is coming out in December, and that’s inevitably gonna be a big hit. What’s a movie that people want to avoid?” And someone said “What about that lame-ass comedy with Owen Wilson and Ed Helms?” Everyone agreed with that thought, and here we are. I was one of the people who saw it. But you know what? I survived, and that’s what matters.

In the end I have to say “Father Figures” is a really intolerable experience. While “How to Be a Latin Lover” was awkward and unfunny, I have to say that “Father Figures” was not just awkward and unfunny, but also boring, not to mention insultingly baffling. That train scene split my head open. It just f*cked me over. I’d rather spend an entire year watching a sloth pop bubble wrap from start to finish than watch this film a second time. Guys, this has a good chance of being this year’s worst comedy and I’m going to give “Father Figures” a 1/10. I went to see this film with my mother, she says it was good, so I gotta say this film does have an audience, so I can say that’s a plus. My mother and I also saw “Snatched” together and we both agreed that was total dogs*it. So this film has at least one thing going for it I guess.

Thanks for reading this review. This Saturday I’m going to see “The Disaster Artist,” which I’m truly stoked for. I can’t wait to see it and talk about it, it’s likely gonna be a blast! Also, speaking of fun things I have going on here on Scene Before, I will also soon have my top 10 BEST and WORST movies of 2017 lists. Meaning we can reflect on some of the milestones and trainwrecks I’ve sat through this year. I will have you know that depending on what happens, there’s a good chance that there’s at least one movie on either list that I saw and didn’t review, so if that ever comes up, that just means I didn’t have the time to sit down and write an analytical review of a certain film. Why? It’s the end of the year, and whenever time allows it, I’m trying to seek out as many of this year’s films as possible until I can no longer watch anymore. I’ve done this with “The Great Wall,” “American Assassin,” “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” “Crown Heights,” “Atomic Blonde,” and “The Only Living Boy in New York.” Anyway, stay tuned for more great content, including the recently mentioned review and countdowns! I want to know, if you saw “Father Figures,” what are your thoughts on it? What do you think is a better title for this film? “Father Figures” or “Bastards?” Also, what is the worst comedy of the year for you? Please leave a comment stating your responses to any of these questions, I’d be happy to look at them! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

10 Movies That Have Changes You May or May Not Have Noticed *SPOILERS*

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! You might have clicked on this post thinking “Oh, crap! Clickbait! GO BACK! GO BACK! GO BACK!” First off, thank you for giving me one extra view, very much appreciated. Second, regardless of how clickbaity this sounds, I will say what you’re about to read is somewhat interesting. When movies come out, you might think of it in a certain way. You might go back and watch it the way you remembered. Although in some cases you might go back and watch it, and there’s something different about it. Today we’re going to be looking at some of these changes, see if you see the movie in a different view than you did before. One rule I’m making for this list is that no made-for-TV changes apply here. If a movie gets a change from its original release because it airs on TBS or something, it doesn’t count. So changes as the one from “Home Alone” where Buzzy doesn’t say “I wouldn’t let you sleep in my room if you were growing on my ass,” and instead says “butt,” doesn’t qualify. Just for the record, this is not a countdown, these aren’t in any specific order, and I’m not sticking to any sort of idea, stating how much I like or dislike these changes. I might go into that, but I’m not saying I like every single change or dislike every single change. So let’s dive into this.

Revenge of the Nerds: Phone Number

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The first change comes from the 1984 comedy “Revenge of the Nerds.” This is one of my personal favorite comedies. The sequels? Not so much. The movie has been released on VHS, Laserdisc, DVD, and Blu-ray. However, the sequels haven’t gotten past the DVD mark. This is a change that is seen on both the DVD and Blu-ray editions of the film. In 2003, the film was put out on DVD, but with a reedit brought to the mix. There’s a “For Rent” sign in the movie which had a genuine phone number on it. For legal reasons, the footage where the phone number was displayed was removed. Note, I didn’t say blurred, but removed. I have never seen the footage of where the phone number is revealed and as I write this, I’m looking at originaltrilogy.com, where a bunch of users are talking about this change and a couple of them called it “jarring.” I will have to watch the original cut in order to agree or disagree, but if you really want to make everyone happy, just blur the phone number. Also to everyone, please don’t call the phone number. Don’t be a dick.

All the Right Moves: Lea Thompson In the Nude

Remember how I said this isn’t a countdown? Well, I guess this may be an excuse to talk about movies I haven’t seen. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you “All the Right Moves,” starring Tom Cruise (Risky Business, The Outsiders) and Lea Thompson (Jaws 3-D, Back to the Future). Why am I talking about this? Well apparently I was in Connecticut and while I was there, I managed to pick up a bunch of Blu-rays to add to my collection. This movie happened to be one of them and I figured it would go great in my Tom Cruise collection. Due to random research, I came across something interesting. When “All the Right Moves” came out in 1983, there’s a sex scene featuring Tom Cruise and Lea Thompson which contains full frontal nudity, however when the Blu-ray released in 2012, the framing of Lea Thompson’s character in the nude was altered. This prevented people from seeing Lea nude below the waist. I don’t want to sound like a pervert, but I don’t know why that change had to be there. First off, the movie’s rated R. Second, if people who have watched this before are rewatching this today, they might be slightly jarred by what they’re seeing and the experience of that scene might be ruined for them. Not to mention, this is a Blu-ray cut! Not a cut made for television! On TV, I can sometimes understand some movies being altered for certain viewers for a number of reasons. But, on a Blu-ray?! What do I know really? I’ve yet to see the film so I can’t really say much.

2001: A Space Odyssey: “Affirmative, Dave” and Nineteen Minutes of Footage

It’s been almost fifty years since the release of “2001: A Space Odyssey.” In that span of time, the movie has been considered a classic by fans of science fiction and film from a general perspective. You know what they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This change, much like the “Revenge of the Nerds” change, didn’t really break the film or anything for some people. In fact you can say it broke the film less because if you think about this, it’s not really that jarring compared to the “Revenge of the Nerds” change. In 1998, MGM released “2001: A Space Odyssey” on DVD, with a slight change in the dialogue. During the scene when Dave is trying to get through the pod bay doors, he asks HAL “Do you read me, HAL?” In that particular release, HAL responds by saying “Affirmative, Dave.” Although in the original release, HAL says “Affirmative, Dave. I read you.” What makes this change extra wacky is that the English subtitles for the DVD released by MGM actually still displays the line from the original release. The full dialogue however was revived in future home video releases from Warner Brothers. Speaking of changes, when “2001: A Space Odyssey” was first released, it was slightly over two and a half hours long. The version which is seen on most home video releases is a version that’s just slightly shorter than two and a half hours. Stanley Kubrick, the director of the film, removed nineteen minutes of footage after the film premiered. It would be nice to see that footage restored for when “2001” comes out on 4K, I’d totally buy that!

Blade Runner: Endless Cuts (SPOILERS AHEAD)

“Blade Runner” is one of the best sci-fi films ever made. In fact, a sequel just released in October and it might be just as good, if not better, compared to the original. Followers over the years have been exposed to multiple editions of what director Ridley Scott regards as “probably his most personal and complete film.” Ridley might not be lying when he says that, and we’ll get to that in a second. “Blade Runner” has had seven different cuts of the film released to the public.

In 1982, the workprint prototype version was shown to test audiences in Denver and Dallas. This was also shown in 1990 and 1991 to audiences in San Francisco and Los Angeles as a “Director’s Cut.” Although it didn’t have the approval of Ridley Scott. We’ll get back to that in a sec.

There was also a San Diego sneak preview version shown to audiences only once in May 1982. This version included three scenes that was never shown in any other version of the film (before or after).

Then we have the version the US audiences saw in theaters. This included a “happy ending” that the studio wanted in the film. Fun fact by the way, there are aerial helicopter shots which weren’t even filmed for “Blade Runner.” These shots were actually from Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining.” The movie also included narration by Harrison Ford, who played the lead character of Deckard. While some might say Ford either was angry about his task or he intentionally narrated poorly, he said it was simply bad narration. This was also referred to as the “Domestic Cut,” which wasn’t released on DVD until 2007 as part of a collector’s set of the film.

Then we have the International Cut. This cut is a minute longer than the US version, and included more violence in three action scenes than the US version. This cut was eventually released in the US on VHS and Criterion Collection laserdiscs. Interestingly, this version was shown to the US on HBO during the 1980s, the 1990s, and 2015.

In 1986, the US broadcast version was released. This was put together by CBS to meet TV broadcast requirements. There’s even narration that wasn’t in any other version of the film leading up to it, plus a different opening crawl. And yes, I said made-for-TV changes don’t count, but I’m just providing evidence to prove my point.

Next came the Director’s Cut, which was created technically by film preservationist, Michael Arick. This cut was discovered as a 70mm print which nobody had an idea that it actually was the movie’s workprint version. This was discovered after a screening of the film in Los Angeles. Ridley Scott said the cut was roughly edited, lacked a key scene, and the climax missed Vangelis’s score. The Director’s Cut was very popular that it rereleased theatrically in 1992. This cut also brought up a very popular fan theory if you will to the table. At one point in the film, we cut to a clip of a moving unicorn. The original idea for this scene was to cut between Deckard and the Unicorn, but the condition of the print associated with this was not presentable, so it just shows the unicorn trotting. This scene along with a clip of Deckard holding an origami unicorn, may suggest he is a Replicant. Speaking of things this film removed, the movie no longer has the narration from Deckard along with the happy ending the studio wanted. Despite being called the “Director’s Cut,” Scott wasn’t satisfied. To be fair, he was busy with “Thelma and Louise,” time and money happened to be a problem, however this cut brought more satisfaction in general to Scott than the original. There’s one cut although, that brought even more satisfaction to Scott…

Here’s where we get to “The Final Cut.” This is the cut where Ridley Scott had complete artistic control. Remember the unicorn dream? Turns out in this version, the original dream was included. You know, the one where it cuts between Deckard and the unicorn. Other additions include alternate edits and violence featured in the international cut. It turns out there were parts of this version that went through reshoots to fit in this version. One such example is Zhora’s death scene. Fun fact, if it weren’t for Warner Brothers gaining total control over distribution rights in 2006, this would have probably never been released. This project started once the 21st century began, and in mid-2001, legal and financial troubles put the project to a halt.

Porky’s: Cherry Forever’s Extra Nudity

“Porky’s” is an interesting movie to say the least. When it comes to its reception, critics weren’t exactly pleased, but it did gain a cult following and there are still people who go back and watch it today. As far as 1980s coming of age stories go, this isn’t my goto pick. However, back in the 80s, this was a hit among many people who flock to the cinema. The film was #1 at the box office for nine consecutive weekends, suggesting that either a lot of people either wanted to see it, liked it and went multiple times, or happened to be really horny. The film eventually released on VHS and something appeared in that which never appeared in the theatrical release, or the future DVD release. Based on how the release was open matte, more nudity was revealed in the VHS version. This happened during the Cherry Forever scene. The additional nudity was a result of the transfer, and was never intended to be shown. You know, unlike my secret identity–whoops! That was close! I almost told you guys I’m the guy who saved the Golden Gate Bridge from absolute destruction. Oh, crap! I did it! I’m a failure! I was told by a wizard to keep that a secret! Oh, well! Sucks to be me!

xXx: Head-butt

One interesting move executed in battle is a headbutt. There’s something about it, you’re literally using your head to bounce off someone else as a fighting technique. Plus, the term itself is awesome. One movie where a headbutt is shown is 2002’s “xXx,” starring Vin Diesel. This movie isn’t exactly the next “Citizen Kane” or anything, however it is a fun action flick with some interesting lines in the lines in the script. Going back to headbutts, when this movie was released in several territories, audiences were exposed to a moment where a headbutt occurs. One territory where audiences didn’t get to see this however, was in the UK. Similar to the US’s MPAA, the UK operates under a rating system referred to as the BBFC. The BBFC has a rating labeled as 12A/12, which was the rating “xXx” was given. If the headbutt was kept in, the rating wouldn’t have been secured and would have bumped up to 15. This is how the film was presented for years. The headbutt wasn’t even in the eventually released Director’s Cut DVD. Although on January 5th, 2017, the film was rereleased on Blu-ray in honor of the film’s 15th anniversary. It was at this point that the BBFC waived the cuts to the film, and the headbutt was then inserted. The BBFC must have had this slogan for years:

BBFC: We’re buttheads!

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: Paramount Logo

I love “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” It’s a coming of age story that a lot of people in high school can relate to. In fact, you can also include anyone going to school in general, not to mention anyone who’s working a s*itty job can relate to. Sure, “Office Space” kind of does the same thing, but this came first. This change doesn’t even affect much of the movie, it just has to do with the logo. This movie is from Paramount, and if you know who they are, there’s a good chance you’ve seen one of their logos. Some time after the movie was in theaters, it came out on VHS. However, the VHS versions contain a plastered Paramount logo depending on the year the print released. The original logo although was restored on all future DVD and Blu-ray releases.

American Graffiti: Digital Effect

Ah, George Lucas. What have you done? You took a bunch of people’s childhoods, which were epic because of your “Star Wars” movies, and you threw them in the garbage! Because if you haven’t noticed, the original “Star Wars” trilogy has made a crapton of changes over the years! Well ya know what?! I’m not gonna focus on that! Because I already did a countdown focusing on those changes, and apparently George Lucas made a change to “American Graffiti” as well! This change didn’t exactly offend me as much. Then again I only saw this movie once. The change is shown in the 1998 Collector’s Edition DVD and VHS, and once you hear what it is without any specification, it almost sounds like something George Lucas would do. Lucas requested for the opening scene which features Mel’s Drive-In to have a sunset with clouds. The original opening had a cloudy sky with buildings in the background. In this opening, the buildings are still there, but the weather is different. Interestingly, there was also a documentary on the making of “American Graffiti” included as a bonus feature on the DVD, and the original shot was inserted there. Time travel much?

Kindergarten Cop: Little Terrorists

I imagine some people getting a sense of surprise from “Kindergarten Cop.” The film itself is a comedy where a cop goes undercover as a kindergarten teacher in order to locate the ex-wife of a dangerous criminal. This movie released in 1990 and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s kind of interesting to put the Terminator as the star of a comedy, but stranger things have happened. Although I wouldn’t say it’s all too strange because another comedy, “Twins,” released two years before this one, and while not all critics and audiences appreciated the film, there were a number of them to say it was worth a watch. Interestingly, both comedies were directed by Ivan Reitman, who also directed “Ghostbusters” 1 and 2. And the movie does have some witty Schwarzenegger lines and also has some funny lines given by a bunch of kids as well. Speaking of lines, let’s talk about one of them. As mentioned, this movie released in 1990, which is eleven years before 9-11. Once that day occurred, it inspired the removal of one particular line in all future versions of the film. After Schwarzenegger’s first day with the kindergartners, he has this to say about them.

JOHN KIMBLE: They’re horrible. They’re like little terrorists.

I’d just like to state that if I were in kindergarten watching this film, it would probably be debatable on whether or not I should be watching it given it has a PG-13 rating. However I don’t know if this one incident means this line should be deleted. I don’t know if Reitman decided on this or if Universal did or anyone else for that matter, but you don’t really need to get rid of it. Sure, in reality, kindergartners aren’t commonly associated with terrorists, although that would make for an interesting cartoon or something, but I don’t see how this would offend anyone. I mean, it’s probably better than changing the line, but the elimination felt unneeded. Let’s face it. Kindergartners are crazy, and I know that because I was one. I wouldn’t blame someone comparing me with a terrorist at that age because I was a chaotic brat. Anyways, let’s move on.

Jaws: Smile, You son of a… (SPOILERS AHEAD)

“Jaws” is considered by many to be one of the greatest films of all time. It has a terrific script, admirable characters, and an awesome score from John Williams, who went on to do “Star Wars,” “Superman,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “E.T,” “Home Alone,” “Jurassic Park,” “Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan,” and “Harry Potter.” If you’ve seen the ending, you’d probably know how it ends. Part of that ending involves the character of Brody. He’s in a duel against the shark and he’s got a gun. He’s in full concentration mode, trying to take the creature down. In honor of the movie’s 30th anniversary, a DVD was released in order to celebrate. This brought a very minor change in one line, in fact, it’s actually one of the lines of the movie that I remember most. In versions prior to this release, before Brody shoots his gun to kill the shark, he says “Smile, you little son of a bitch.” Here, he says “Smile, you little son of a…” and then his gun is shot. Like the original, all the blood and gore remains, but the word “bitch” is removed. I’m glad I’m not Jesse Pinkman from “Breaking Bad,” because finding this out would be the worst day of my life. I can now say that my memory suggests that all the versions of “Jaws” I’ve seen in my life at this point, have this specific “bitch” removed. I want to know how this feels for everyone who has either seen the original version and possibly been exposed to alternate editions of the film. How does this “bitch” removal come off to you? Does it take away from the scene? Does it not take anything away at all? Does it anger you? I really want to know. I can’t say much about this change, but if they ever alter “You’re gonna need a bigger boat,” there will be riots.

Thanks for reading this post, there’s a good chance I just possibly either ruined a scene for you, so if I did, I apologize. If so, don’t blame me, blame the people who changed them! Nevertheless, the year’s almost over, the holiday season is coming to its conclusion, but that also means I will have two countdowns coming up. Like at the end of 2016, I’m counting down my top 10 BEST and WORST movies of the year. I’ve seen a number of films that came out this year. Most of those films are ones I reviewed, and there are others I’ve watched but couldn’t make a review of for the sake of time such as “The Great Wall,” “American Assassin,” and “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.” Believe it or not I will still be going to see more movies as the year comes to a close, because I have aspirations to go see “Downsizing,” “Father Figures,” “The Disaster Artist,” and if any other opportunities come up to see a movie released this year, I’ll take those as well. Stay tuned for more great content! Also, what is the worst alteration you’ve ever seen in a movie? For me, I gotta say Darth Vader screaming “no” at the end of “Return of the Jedi.” Leave your responses down below! And yes, can also includes ones from TV. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Disney Buys a Portion of 21st Century Fox For $52.4 Billion: The Foxiest Place On Earth

 

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*TO VIEW MAIN TOPIC OF POST, ADVANCE TO SECOND PARAGRAPH, OTHERWISE ENJOY ME SULKING ABOUT THE DEATH OF NET NEUTRALITY*

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Before we begin discussing the main topic of this post, I want to start off by saying that if you have been following the news lately, you may be aware of the recent verdict made in order to repeal net neutrality in the US. If you ask me, I think it’s despicable, distasteful, vile, greedy, and f*cked up. This chaotic verdict could LITERALLY AFFECT THE INTERNET AS WE KNOW IT. How so? There’s a policy that was in place stating companies can deliver the Internet to you at the same speed regardless of what you do on it. Companies also can’t block, throttle, or make you pay extra tolls depending on the content you watch. Now that we’ve gotten to where we are, companies have the ability to make you pay to use websites you never had to pay to use before! Let me ask you this: Would you pay for YouTube? Would you pay for Twitter? Would you pay for Facebook? Would you pay for MySpace? OK, that’s a stupid question, nobody would use it for free so imagine people paying for it. To those of you reading this, the information I’m giving to you as we speak, based on what I’ve gathered, has the possibility of affecting me. Let’s say someone has Internet from Xfinity and the provider has a vendetta against WordPress, or maybe they don’t like a certain site created using WordPress. Xfinity can throttle the consumer’s speeds, make the consumer pay more just to read other people’s hard work that they MAY OR MAY NOT be getting paid for, or block the Internet consumer from viewing the material. Will my blog certainly be affected? Only time will tell, this was just recently passed on December 14th. Not to mention, based on the overwhelming opposition, I’m wondering if this repeal will even last. I just thought I’d bring this up, as your future of reading this blog could be affected by monstrous f*ckfaces. I MIGHT do a future post on this, but until the time comes, I don’t know what else to say except f*ck the FCC, f*ck Ajit Pai, and may everyone who thought this repeal was a good idea get shoved up Godzilla’s asshole. If you can’t tell by my words, THIS is how serious things could get in the future. We’ll just have to let time pass and let the future write itself.

Moving onto more important matters, we’re going to move onto an event that happened around the same time of the net neutrality repeal. Disney has been known for a lot of things. It made some popular movies, it formed a backbone for many people’s childhoods, and it is often associated with a strange mouse. Disney has been in the news a lot for making many acquisitions over recent years. In 2004, Disney bought The Muppets for $75 million. This does not include Sesame Street or Fraggle Rock. In 2006, Disney acquired Pixar, a company that had associations with Disney prior to the deal going through, but the association is much bigger now. In 2009, Disney gained the rights to Marvel Entertainment, thus allowing them to expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe and create one of the biggest superhero movies ever, “The Avengers.” In 2012, Disney bought Lucasfilm, which includes “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones,” for $4.06 billion. This lead them to creating “A New Hope” special edition umpteen, “The Force Awakens,” a “Star Wars” prequel considered by many to actually be “not crap,” “Rogue One,” and a movie whose marketing comes off as commercial for guinea pigs with giant google eyes (Porgs), “The Last Jedi.” In 2014, Disney acquired Maker Studios for $500 million, which was a multi-channel network founded by multiple people, including some big names on YouTube such as Philip DeFranco, Lisa Donovan, and Kassem G. By the way, that company has now been absorbed into DDN, or the Disney Digital Network. Disney has often been recognized as a mass media empire, owning what many people love which they either had for a long time, or has just received from someone else. Disney is also filthy rich. A month ago, I thought to myself, “What the heck is up with ‘Justice League,'” AKA the new DC movie that just came out. So I did some thinking, and went on to do some research to further realize what the heck is up with “Justice League.” That then lead me to filling a post titled “What the Heck is Up with Justice League?,” where I explain in detail, what the heck is up with “Justice League.” In that post, I brought up Marvel, which lead me to bringing up Disney, which then lead me to saying this concerning Disney itself.

“…you gotta consider, Marvel’s owned by Disney, the creator of Scrooge McDuck, and as of now, a literal Scrooge McDuck.”

Knowing this information, some folks may not be surprised to hear another acquisition was recently made. Believe me when I say this one is enormous. As of December 14, 2017, Disney now owns key assets and businesses from 21st Century Fox after offering $52.4 billion. Just… Holy f*ck! For the record, this doesn’t include ALL of 21st Century Fox, because this deal won’t affect the Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox News, Fox Business Network, national operations of Fox Sports (FS1 and Big Ten for example, but doesn’t include regional sports networks), and the 20th Century Fox lot in Century City. But seriously, HOLY F*CK! Actually, you know what? In respect to Disney’s squeaky clean f*ckery, sorry, I mean mumbo jumbo, I’m gonna go ahead and ignore that and say HOLY F*CKING F*CK!

At this point, it is more obvious now more than ever that Disney might get to a point where it owns life. Not the board game, but it could own that too if it wanted to, but let’s say you wanted to have a baby, in order to actually impregnate someone, you’d have to take money out of your wallet to pay in order to gain permission to engage in an impregnation process. Accidental impregnation however might be excluded to this rule, but given how Disney doesn’t display sexual acts in a good chunk of their content, they probably wouldn’t be fond of your actions.

Disney’s acquisition over 21st Century Fox means a lot for the future of movies and television. This means Disney now owns tons of movies to add to their collection. These include:

  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  • X-Men
  • Fantastic Four
  • Deadpool
  • Kingsman
  • Kick-Ass (Although at this point it’s probably gonna be changed to “Kick-Butt”)
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks
  • Ice Age
  • Cast Away
  • Home Alone
  • Avatar
  • Night at the Museum
  • The Sandlot
  • The Martian
  • Alien
  • Independence Day
  • Predator
  • Rio
  • Edward Scissorhands

And guess what? That’s not even all it has! Disney now owns films that I never even thought of it owning. 21st Century Fox owns 20th Century Fox, which is responsible for distributing every film I’ve mentioned on this list. Heck! 20th Century Fox owns movies that might not even fit with Disney’s name. THE COMPANY OWNS “PORKY’S” FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! Oh yeah, and what’s that? You might as well now say “Revenge of the Nerds” is technically a Disney movie! How does that happen?!

Not only did Disney get a ton of movies, but now they have a lot of TV shows on their hands. These include:

  • The Simpsons
  • Family Guy
  • Bob’s Burgers
  • American Dad!
  • Modern Family
  • Family Feud
  • The Orville
  • This Is Us
  • The Last Man on Earth
  • Archer
  • American Horror Story
  • X-Files
  • Empire
  • New Girl
  • Homeland
  • The Mick
  • Ghosted
  • The Americans
  • Atlanta

Sticking with the topic of Fox television, I’ll let you know that “The Simpsons” actually predicted that Disney and Fox would end up making a deal like this. Just watch the episode of “The Simpsons” titled “When You Dish Upon a Star.”

You know powerful nukes are? Let’s say that a nuke launched at a certain point in time, and time is moving really fast. The nuke makes contact with the ground. A giant mushroom cloud forms. Who launched that nuke? Disney did. The nuke is coming at everyone like a giant wave. Whoever or whatever this wave touches, it buys, and owns. The wave has now touched Fox. This moment of contact is significant towards the future of film. Over the years, Disney acquired little things at a time. Marvel’s an exception to the rule, but in comparison to Marvel, this is vastly similar. This is a property that is producing content up the wazoo! At a time, they owned fragments of Marvel! “Fantastic Four,” “X-Men,” “Deadpool!” This… Is… Insane.

I will be a little fair here though, because if you have seen any of the “Fantastic Four” films, you’d probably end disliking at least one of them. Such films include the 1994 version that went straight to home video. The 2005 version that was released theatrically and might make some audiences rather watch the MCU’s “Captain America.” The 2007 version that has Stan Lee playing himself. Seriously, look that up. Or the 2015 version that was so bad that it leaves you to wonder if it would be any better had Stan Lee gotten a cameo.

As far as “X-Men” goes, audiences would usually consider those movies to be pretty good. Granted some installments are better than others. Just look at the difference in quality everyone sees between “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past!” There are currently 10 “X-Men” films, including “Deadpool” and the standalone Wolverine installments, and the franchise has more content coming soon. I just wonder in all seriousness, what will happen to the “X-Men” franchise now that Disney has it? Will it get rebooted? Will it get endless sequels? Will the X-Men join the MCU? Those questions however, don’t matter to me as much as the next topic I’m going to bring up. In recent years, mature comic book films have been hitting the big screen. These films have done well in terms of box office return and general reception. Two of the biggest ones we’ve gotten have an association with “X-Men.” In 2016, Fox released “Deadpool,” which became the biggest box office hit for an R rated film just below “Passion of the Christ.” The film was also appreciated for its raunchy, dark tone, shock value, meta humor, and the fact that Ryan Reynolds basically redeemed himself after his first attempt at playing the title character. The next movie I’ll mention is “Logan.” For those of you who haven’t seen “Logan,” I will have you know that I didn’t either, but there are a good number of people who did and consider it to probably be one of the greatest comic book movies EVER. This movie has a spot on the IMDb top 250. Critics and audiences praised it for its grittiness, the different feel this has compared to other comic book films, and the charges of emotion given throughout. I know a teacher in my school and he said he knew someone who considered “Logan” to be “a perfect movie.” This movie is Hugh Jackman’s final performance as the Wolverine, and people f*cking loved it. While we may still be getting “X-Men” movies, there’s a chance that we might not be getting ones like those I just mentioned.

When it comes to Disney films, what do you think of? Well, I think of a lot of things. I think of their classic 2D animations, their newer 3D animations, some movies based on theme park rides, a number of things, really. What I DON’T think of, is anything rated R. Disney seems to always come off as the “family company.” It always tends to be happy, magical, or has something for the kids. Oh yeah, and don’t forget, speaking of kids, IT HAS ALL YOUR KID’S TOYS! It often makes movies that will bring families to the theater. The company doesn’t seem to have a problem with PG-13 movies like those in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise and “John Carter,” but anything above that is a no-no for them. Why is this? Part of me feels that Disney wants to be consistent and maintain this image they’ve built up over the years. There’s also part of me that feels Disney does this because they think this could get them more money. It’s true that the highest grossing film at the box office isn’t rated R. Not one film that’s rated R even made it into the top 10 range for all time worldwide box office records. I’ll just remind you though, when it comes to quality vs. money, it’s best that you choose quality. People go to see quality movies, not movies that you are trying to cash in on. This is why nobody went to see the fifth “Ice Age” movie! Although at the same time nobody saw the new “Blade Runner.” By the way, if you haven’t seen “Blade Runner 2049,” go watch it! It’s amazing! Fox’s new position under Disney can truly affect many films in franchises that were either created in the past and contains films that were rated R such as “Kingsman,” “Alien,” and “Die Hard.” I will say though, the fourth installment in the “Die Hard” franchise, “Live Free or Die Hard,” was PG-13 and got good reviews, but a number of people would probably stick to watching the original “Die Hard,” which was rated R. In fact, you know that joke debate on whether or not “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie? Part of me wonders if Disney will take out all the action and just make a Christmas movie with “Die Hard” characters. It’ll be called “Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer and Died Hard.” Maybe it will even be a crossover between the “Die Hard” characters and Tim Allen’s character from “The Santa Clause.” One film series I’m truly worried about however, is “Deadpool.”

If you have ever read the “Deadpool” comics or even been exposed to anything related to “Deadpool,” there’s a good chance you may be aware of how mature it is. Here are some lines from the 2016 movie based on the source material.

EXAMPLE 1

DEADPOOL: Time to make the chimi-fuckin’-changas.

EXAMPLE 2

DEADPOOL: You’re probably thinking, “My boyfriend said this was a superhero movie but that guy in the suit just turned that other guy into a fucking kabab!” Well, I may be super, but I’m no hero. And yeah, technically, this is a murder. But some of the best love stories start with a murder. And that’s exactly what this is, a love story. And to tell it right… I gotta take you back to long before I squeezed this ass into red spandex.

EXAMPLE 3

WADE WILSON: Do you like what you see?

WEASEL: No. You look like an avocado had sex with an older, more disgusting avocado.

WADE WILSON: Yeah.

WEASEL: Not gently. Like it was hate-fucking. There was something wrong with the relationship and that was the only catharsis that they could find without violence.

WADE WILSON: And the only guy the who fix this fugly mug is the British shitstick who ran the mutant factory. And he’s gone. Poof!

WEASEL: Yeah, well you gotta do something to remedy this because as of now, you only have one course of action.

WADE WILSON: Damn straight. Find Francis.

WEASEL: Star in horror films.

WADE WILSON: What?

WEASEL: Star in your own horror films. Because you look like Freddy Krueger face-fucked a topographical map of Utah.

“Deadpool 2” is out this summer, and for what I can tell, that movie won’t have any changes after the Disney acquisition, but as for the series’s future, I’m not sure if it looks too great. No more shock value, no more bloody scenes, no more super funny moments of dialogue. Although on the bright side, Bob Iger might be reading the minds of the people and listening to them as he said “Deadpool” might still remain rated R. Another movie series this could possibly affect is “Kingsman.”

For those of you who don’t know what “Kingsman” is, it started out as a comic book created by Mark Millar, who also created other comic books like “Superior,” “Kick-Ass,” and “Wanted.” It now has a couple of movies which are based on the material, but contains many differences. Both of the movies were directed by Matthew Vaughn, who has actually said he’s considering making a third installment. The previous two “Kingsman” installments were rated R, and if you watch the films, the reasons behind their R ratings are crystal clear. For those of you who haven’t seen the first movie, “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” I’m going to post a YouTube video of the church shootout scene, which I consider to be one of the greatest action scenes in movie history. This is probably something Disney would NEVER do. Feel free to watch the video, let me know what you think, but if Disney were ever to do something like this, I’d probably have more respect for them as a company because for Disney, it would be a risk, but it could ultimately pay off. Also, in case you didn’t know already, this video may be disturbing to some people, so watch at your own risk.

It’s clips like this that made me enjoy “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” It’s an extended shot sequence of Colin Firth defending himself in a church that has gone mad. As if the cinematography and Lynard Skynard’s “Free Bird” weren’t already cool enough in this sequence, the shock value added a lot to it as well! If “Kingsman 3” ends up being PG-13, it doesn’t mean I won’t go see it. Maybe if I was an average person I wouldn’t go see it, but I’m a wannabe critic, so I kind of have to see it, but there’s a good chance I’d have less anticipation for it than I would for an R rated “Kingsman.” Speaking of “Kingsman,” one character from the franchise goes by the name Princess Tilde. So yeah, she’s now a Disney princess. It’s a little strange to consider Leia from “Star Wars” a Disney princess, but in reality, that’s nothing compared to Princess Tilde. Leia was the combination of a damsel in distress and a badass, Tilde is present in multiple scenes throughout both “Kingsman” installments which have currently been released, and in the first movie, this is some of the dialogue given in one of those scenes:

GARY “EGGSY” UNWIN: Sorry, love. Gotta save the world.

PRINCESS TILDE: (IN THICK, SWEDISH ACCENT) If you save the world, we can do it in the… asshole.

GARY “EGGSY” UNWIN: (CALMLY) I will be right back.

On the bright side, Disney’s history during the end of the twentieth century can leave a glimmer of possibility for future R rated material coming out of Fox. For those of you who don’t know about a company called Miramax, allow me to introduce you to them. Miramax was founded in 1979 as an independent company. I’ve been following the news a lot lately, and I haven’t really kept track of how often this company has been mentioned, but if it has been mentioned at least once, I wouldn’t find it surprising, because it’s owned by Bob Weinstein, along with his brother/recently discovered sex pervert, Harvey Weinstein. Regardless of whoever found the company, they went onto create a number of films over the years. On June 30, 1993, Disney bought Miramax for $60 million. Disney was OK with some R rated films being put out by Miramax throughout its time under Disney ownership. These include films like “Pulp Fiction,” “Clerks,” “Good Will Hunting,” “Kill Bill Vol. 1,” “Kill Bill Vol. 2,” and “Trainspotting.” These films are all considered great by a large number of people, and if Disney didn’t let Miramax do its thing, they probably wouldn’t even be here today. By the way, Disney doesn’t own Miramax anymore. As of 2010, Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings.

Back in the day, Mickey Mouse was a lovable cartoon character who became a recognizable mascot for the Disney name. Now, he’s probably got a grimace on his face. Disney keeps making money and it never stops. This then allows them to spend it, and possibly make a crapton more money! They’ll get to a point where they dominate the world, and who knows? Maybe they’ll pay a price for Mars before humans start traveling there. Am I acting like a spoiled brat? Not really, I’ll let you judge for yourself. I’m just asking for Disney to let Fox do its own thing and make sure you don’t really take much control over the brand. You may have noticed I haven’t talked a lot about Fox TV shows, but that’s because I don’t have too much to say about them. Although I will say, it does feel weird that Disney technically now owns TV shows from Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy,” “American Dad!,” “The Cleveland Show,” “The Orville”). I just hope that not much changes at this point in terms of content. What happens now? I don’t know. Anything can happen at this point. Disney is a money machine. Disney could buy Time Warner in the future. This is such a strange time we’re living in. Thanks for reading this post, and despite how I’m giving some flack towards Disney here, I will say that interestingly, I’m going to promote my review for a recent Disney film. Weird, huh? This film I’m promoting is a movie that had its opening night on December 14th, which was the night I went to see it. Interestingly, the net neutrality talk I gave at the beginning involved an event which occurred on December 14th. Also, the main part of this post involves a deal which officially went through on December 14th! Anyway, I just did my review for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which by the way, has no spoilers. If you want to check that out, there’s a box below stating the title of the post, you can read it right from there. I will say though, my thoughts on the movie have changed a bit since I’ve written that review. By that I mean, the more I think about the movie, the worse it gets. It wasn’t already perfect when I saw it, but it’s steadily declining in terms of my verdict. Stay tuned for more great content! Also, what do you think of this Disney and Fox deal? Do you think any movies or TV shows will be affected by this (positively or negatively) in the future? What do you think Disney will acquire next? Leave a comment below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017): Another Year, Another Star Wars Movie

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“Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi” is directed by Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick) and has a cast including Daisy Ridley (Only Yesterday, Murder on the Orient Express), Mark Hamill (Batman: The Animated Series, Kingsman: The Secret Service), John Boyega (The Circle, Detroit), Adam Driver (Logan Lucky, Girls), Domhnall Gleeson (American Made, Ex Machina), Carrie Fisher (Family Guy, The Blues Brothers), Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina, Drive), Gwendoline Christie (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Game of Thrones), Laura Dern (The Founder, Jurassic Park), Billie Lourd (Scream Queens, American Horror Story), and Benicio Del Toro (Snatch, Sicario) and continues the journey of Rey, Finn, Poe, all of those people in the second installment of the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy.

Before we go any further, I’m just gonna give a little information towards the reality of this movie. The movie just came out, there are some films that maybe some people would care about that others wouldn’t, and there are also films that people just don’t care about at all. As far as I’m aware, a significant portion of the world’s population cares about “The Last Jedi.” So let me have everyone know, for the sake of the world’s population, this review is SPOILER-FREE for those who haven’t gotten a chance to see this film yet. If I spoil anything in the movie, perhaps regardless of whether I warn anyone or not, the Internet, and by that I mean pretty much the ENTIRE INTERNET will want to kill me.

This film is a follow-up to “The Force Awakens,” I love that movie, I saw it in the theater four times, I think it’s the best movie released in 2015 despite it being a rip-off the 1977 “Star Wars.” Although there is a positive to that, specifically that this may be the best “special edition” of “A New Hope.” In this brand new sequel, I was hoping for one thing. It’s no ripoff! I wouldn’t mind them tinkering around with certain ideas from “The Empire Strikes Back,” after all, this is the second installment in the sequel trilogy, much like how “Empire” is the second installment in the original trilogy. Does this movie take some ideas from “The Empire Strikes Back?” It does, but having seen this, I wouldn’t say it goes overboard. In fact, I’d even say it takes an idea from “Return of the Jedi.” Going back to “The Force Awakens,” I wouldn’t say it’s a complete ripoff of “A New Hope,” because it borrowed a trait shared by multiple characters from “The Empire Strikes Back.” In a way, you can say the two movies are similar that way.

Going into this film, I couldn’t help but think to myself “They better not freaking redo “Empire,” which as mentioned, didn’t happen. Walking out of it, it exceeded my expectations. This film continues to show why “Star Wars” is one of the greatest franchises ever. Is it as good as “The Force Awakens?” In my personal opinion, no. Some people will probably say it’s better given it’s less of a copy-paste type film, even though elements of that do exist here. However, there are those that will probably appreciate this film based on what it does with its characters. There are flaws, and I will touch upon them right now.

In the movie, there’s a subplot involving the character of Finn. There’s a point in the movie’s first act where Finn meets this girl named Rose, played by Kelly Marie Tran (Hot Girls on the Beach, Untouchable). There were a couple moments that I wasn’t really all that invested, and as far as the rest of the film goes, their relationship builds to a point where I thought their current status wasn’t exactly earned. It didn’t affect much of the movie, although it is a problem.

Next up we have Porgs. Say what you want about them. You think they’re cute, annoying, unneeded, whatever. My thoughts: They added NOTHING to the film! All they really are, to my lack of surprise, are a bunch of puny guinea pig-esque creatures that turned this movie into a toy commercial for a brief moment! On a positive note, it’s NOWHERE near as bad as what “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” did with Baby Groot! The Porgs weren’t even in the movie that much! It’s not like they’re the next Jar Jar Binks or something! Seriously though, as much as I’m surprisingly not annoyed by the Porgs, I am still unhappy they had no real use character-wise. But what do you expect? This is a Disney product after all…

Everything else in the movie however, was excellent. The progression of the characters was pretty much perfect! Seeing Luke again was a treat, and Mark Hamill didn’t fail to impress me at all! The visuals, whether they’re practical or not, as usual, are spectacular! The movie managed to convince me with its darkness, I’m so amazed that this came out as well as it did!

As mentioned, I consider “The Last Jedi” to be an effective character movie. For example, you have the character of Rey. You may remember in “The Force Awakens” she has a strong connection with the force, and she went off to meet Luke Skywalker. This sequel continues right where the last film left off, the two talk and they seem to have different attitudes and mindsets. Daisy Ridley as an actress is absolutely impressive, I want to see more of her in other movies. I’d probably have to wait a bit to get that because “Star Wars Episode IX” is happening. I will also say, there’s one scene where she’s on the island, there are Reys in a line, just prepare yourself for that scene because it’s awesome.

Speaking of characters who make a return in this film, Adam Driver is back as the evil Kylo Ren. In the last movie, Adam played a very convincing villain, I loved his performance as Kylo, and his relationship to Han Solo made the movie better. Now he’s here in this movie and he’s just awesome. I will say though, I do have a minor complaint, and it’s a continuity error. At the beginning of the movie, we see Kylo with his mask on. If you remember Kylo in “The Force Awakens,” we last see him with his mask off. This is on Starkiller Base, where he takes his mask off in a different part of the planet-wide facility. Based on what this movie suggests, and you can say this is suggested in the last movie as well, Kylo made it off the planet just in time before it completely exploded. They never really showed Kylo going back for his mask. Maybe General Hux, who played a part of the First Order in the last film, got it as the planet was collapsing. Given Kylo’s condition, it’s unlikely he went back, so what happened in all actuality? Nevertheless, Kylo was an absolute beast and he continues to prove his effectiveness as a villain. One more thing before I move on, in “The Force Awakens,” Rey roasts Kylo with this line:

“You. You’re afraid. That you’ll never be as strong as Darth Vader.”

In that film, the line literally made Kylo at a loss not only for words, but for actions. The roast party isn’t over, because there’s another one in “The Last Jedi” that regardless of which one I technically like better, I thought had greater execution. Instead of making Kylo speechless, we got to see him rage out like a five year old who wants to run away from home. I won’t say who says the roast, but it’s amazing.

Speaking of characters on the Dark Side, let’s talk about Andy Serkis’s character of Supreme Leader Snoke. In “The Force Awakens,” we’ve only seen Snoke through a hologram. Since his first appearance, fans have developed theories about Snoke’s true identity, some of which I found interesting. Is he Jar Jar? Is he Mace Windu? Is he Boba Fett? And this last one that absolutely intrigues me, is he Darth Plagueis the Wise? Heck! There’s even a Ranker list called “12 Theories About The Identity of Supreme Leader Snoke In Star Wars.” All theories aside, Snoke was awesome! He was as evil as he needed to be and there’s one scene with him that’s a huge highlight of the film for me.

John Boyega also returns here as Finn and I mentioned how Finn meets a certain character whose relationship I couldn’t appreciate as much as I would have wanted, but there’s more to Finn in this movie than just meeting someone. For example, he has a more active role in the Resistance, he’s fighting more than he did in the last movie and comes off as more confident, and speaking of fights, he reunites with Captain Phasma, who is a character that has gained a fan following in the last movie, and the two have a duel.

Speaking of characters from the last movie, Poe Dameron returns here. I see Poe as the “new Han Solo.” I say this based on his hairstyle, his mannerisms, and his ability to pilot a ship. Granted it’s not a freighter and it’s a simple X-Wing, but he reminds me of Han Solo. I’ve seen many people on social media saying they love this character. I don’t think he’s terrible, but I also would say the reactions to the character happened to be a little overhyped. OK, yes, he did take out a bunch of fighters in one sick shot, but there’s not really much that made Poe stand out there compared to other characters. I’d say after watching this movie, I’d say Poe was better here than he was in “The Force Awakens.” He added more to the story, and seeing him struggle at a point in the film made him stick out. As you can see in the image above, Poe is running alongside BB-8, who was once again, charming. One of my favorite scenes in the film is actually when BB-8 is “disguised” as an MSE-6 droid. Don’t know what that is? It’s basically this tiny car that is often something that rolls around any floor that is the property of the Imperial forces. BB-8 is copying the sounds it makes and I love it!

I cannot explain Mark Hamill’s role as Luke in “The Force Awakens” better than the movie’s Honest Trailer did:

“THE EASIEST MONEY MARK HAMILL EVER MADE.”

Basically, it’s just him standing on an island, looking at Rey. Here in “The Last Jedi,” Mark Hamill does a lot more as the character of Luke. I don’t know how many people will agree with me when I say this, but this must be my all time favorite performance when it comes to Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker. As if the writing wasn’t great enough already, Hamill aced his character as an old hermit. Luke has become a regretful, anti-social, and broken person after a long period of time. The transition is extremely fluid and made me truly care for Luke. You know how in the teaser for the movie, it’s exposed that Luke wants the Jedi to end? That’s explained in this film, and the explanation just made me feel sorry for Luke in general.

On the topic of original trilogy characters, let’s move on to the saddest thing about the movie, Carrie Fisher. Her final “Star Wars” performance was a thing of beauty. Much like in the previous film, she didn’t have too much to do, but for what she had, it kept me interested. There’s one scene that’s actually kind of exposed in the trailers, and it’s one of the best parts of the entire film. The one where Kylo Ren is flying in his ship, Leia’s aboard another ship, and the two notice each through the power of the force. Also, much like the other “Star Wars” films, there’s no credit scenes, however, during the credits, right before the scrolling segment begins, there’s a text stating “In loving memory of CARRIE FISHER.”

Let’s take a look at two previous “Star Wars” installments, “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Attack of the Clones.” This film, like those, was advertised to be dark. “The Empire Strikes Back,” to me, was dark based on the conflicts going on and the upper hand which the Empire has during the film. “Attack of the Clones” tries to be dark but ends up failing by not making you believe in what’s going on and focusing on the romance between Anakin and Padme that just makes the movie feel like a fantasy novel of some kind. The darkness of this film was present and I felt it deeply. The Resistance is getting wiped out all over the place, Luke is broken, and the climax isn’t all that fortunate either. It gives a similar feeling to the climax of “Empire,” which ends on a cliffhanger. After seeing this movie, I’m just eager to see the ninth installment!

John Williams (right) returns in this film as the composer. He’s done all the main films in the saga, but he didn’t do last year’s spinoff, “Rogue One.” Out of all the scores I’ve heard from John Williams in the “Star Wars” saga, I didn’t really think this one impressed me as much as the others. I’ll probably have to either watch the movie again or listen to the soundtrack to be sure, but the soundtrack just sounded repetitive, there was nothing really new. At least that’s what I recall. Granted, there were times where the music was awesome, but it just felt like stuff I’ve heard before. Speaking of that, the opening song from “The Last Jedi” has a similarity to the opening song from “A New Hope.”

Staying on that topic, not to put the movie down or anything, but the opening felt, well, unexpectedly fast paced. I mean, none of the “Star Wars” openings ever felt “slow,” but the movie quickly got to dialogue which was unexpected.

I won’t really go on for too much longer, but another highlight from the film is the sound editing. Out of any “Star Wars” film I’ve seen, I have to say, this might be the best when it comes to sound. There were moments when the sound literally made me feel tense. It reminds me of “Interstellar” during the docking scene and the sound literally just goes out.

In the end, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is a terrific ride, I loved every minute. This was one of the most engaging movie experiences I’ve had all year, and after seeing this, I cannot wait for “Episode IX!” The characters continue to progress to points where I appreciate them more than ever, there are multiple scenes I want to go back and watch again, and again, I’ll mention, the sound work is unbelievable in this film, some of the best I’ve heard all year! I’m gonna give “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi” a 9/10. This movie is not as good as “The Force Awakens” in my personal opinion, but it’s slightly better than “Rogue One.” Part of me just wants to time travel into the future, just so I can see “Episode IX,” but until then, I’ll just have to wait. I really enjoyed this movie, I think you guys will feel the same way, and I’m just glad this isn’t a total ripoff of another great “Star Wars” film. Thanks for reading this review, if you are interested in seeing “The Last Jedi,” there’s a good chance you can go see it anywhere, but I have a link below that will take you to a list of some of the best possible ways to view the movie. “The Last Jedi” is playing in eleven theaters that contain IMAX 70mm equipment. To find out which theaters are on the list, click the link below and read the post. Stay tuned for more reviews and other content! I want to know, did you see “The Last Jedi?” What are your thoughts? Are you going to see it? Also, where does this movie rank in the “Star Wars” universe for you? Let me know all of that 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!: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/10/17/star-wars-episode-viii-the-last-jedi-is-getting-the-imax-70mm-treatment-and-a-history-of-star-wars-in-imax/

Salt Lake Comic Con Violated Copyright Law For Using “COMIC CON” *FOUL LANGUAGE AHEAD*

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Occasionally on Scene Before I talk about conventions. To be specific I talk about my experiences at certain cons that I go to or I simply announce that I’ll be present at a particular con. This post will have a focus on conventions, but it’s a bit more law based as opposed to what I usually do. Recently, there was a lawsuit involving two conventions, and even more recently, there was a court case for this. Let’s introduce both sides of the situation.

*Cue “The People’s Court theme*

First off we have San Diego Comic-Con, AKA the original Comic Con. Established in 1970 as the Golden State Comic Book Convention, this event became the one of the largest and most well known fan conventions in the US and on the planet. The event has gone by multiple names aside from Golden State Comic Book Convention since its inception. These names include San Diego Comic Book Convention and a name that the convention goes by today, Comic-Con International: San Diego. Despite mentioning that recent name, the convention often goes by the names Comic-Con, San Diego Comic-Con, and SDCC. This convention has a focus on comics, sci-fi, fantasy, TV, movies, etc. In fact, this convention often features celebrities you wouldn’t usually find in many other conventions and considering its popularity, this con is known for revealing material such as trailers for upcoming content at panels. When tickets go on sale for this, there’s no messing around. They sell out pretty much instantly. This year they sold out a little over an hour of going on sale. The organizers of SDCC, Comic-Con International, are also the organizers of Wondercon, held annually in Anaheim, CA.

Next up we have Salt Lake Comic Con. First held in September of 2013, this convention is held semi-annually. The convention goes by two names and one event in terms of when it’s being held comes before the other, Salt Lake Comic Con, as recently mentioned, and the Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience. What’s the difference? Salt Lake Comic Con tends to focus more towards science fiction, fantasy, comic books, and superheroes whereas FanXperience tends to focus on fandoms that aren’t traditionally found at most comic book conventions. This event is so outside the box to my knowledge that in 2016, Buzz Aldrin, the 2nd man to walk on the moon, appeared as a guest! These events, regardless of whether it’s just a traditional comic con or FanX, brings in tons of people whenever it’s held and it shows no sign of slipping in the future. Interesting fact, on September 25, 2015, when the third Salt Lake Comic Con was held, a world record was broken here. That record by the way happened to be the most costumed comic book cosplay characters in one location.

These two recently had a battle in court. How did this all start? On July 25, 2014, San Diego Comic-Con International sent a cease and desist letter to Salt Lake City Comic Con over its use of the words “comic con.” Dan Farr Productions, the organizers of Salt Lake City Comic Con, responded saying that this can affect tons of other conventions. Salt Lake was unwilling to go through with the cease and desist letter thus beginning a legal battle. I wouldn’t say Salt Lake is wrong when it comes to this case possibly affecting other “comic cons.” Just look at how many “comic cons” there are:

  • Rhode Island Comic Con
  • Boston Comic Con
  • Granite State Comicon
  • Emerald City Comicon
  • New York Comic Con
  • ComiCONN
  • Delhi Comic Con
  • Colorado Springs Comic Con
  • Phoenix Comicon
  • Motor City Comic Con
  • Denver Comic Con
  • Alamo City Comic Con
  • Silicon Valley Comic Con
  • Baltimore Comic-Con
  • Tampa Bay Comic Con
  • Nottingham Comic Con
  • Wildcat Comic Con
  • Big Apple Comic Con
  • Comic-Con Russia
  • Wales Comic Con
  • Oz Comic Con
  • Mumbai Comic Con
  • Bangalore Comic Con

Yes, some of these events are referred to as Comicon and are altered slightly in terms of name to separate themselves from other events, but the point is, the use of comic con is pretty much as common as putting cheese on a pizza!

Leading up to the court case, Salt Lake Comic Con pointed out the same statement I recently made, “comic con” is a popular term used in names of conventions around the world, and they pointed to more than one hundred events in the US which use the term.

Once the case concluded, San Diego Comic-Con International released the following statement which I happened to find in an article for FOX 13 Salt Lake City:

“San Diego Comic Convention has used the Comic-Con trademarks in connection with our comics and popular arts conventions for almost 50 years.  We have invested substantial time, talent and resources in our brand resulting in world-wide recognition of the Comic-Con convention held annually in San Diego.   The jury today upheld San Diego Comic Convention’s trademarks as valid.  The jury also found that Dan Farr Productions, Daniel Farr and Bryan Brandenburg each infringed San Diego Comic Convention’s marks.  San Diego Comic Convention respects the decision of the jury.  From the beginning all that we asked of the defendants was to stop using our Comic-Con trademarks.  Today we obtained a verdict that will allow us to achieve this.  For that we are grateful.”

Let’s dissect this from each important point. First, they point out that they “used the Comic-Con trademarks,” which I’ll mention once again, is used on tons of other conventions, which leads me to a serious question. Wanna trade? Oops, sorry, I mean, when did you f*cking trademark the term?! Next, let’s talk about the jury’s decision to verify the “comic-con” trademark as valid. Who was in this jury? Was it people who have only been to San Diego Comic-Con and not other conventions? Was it a bunch of jocks who have never gone to a con? Was Mike Pence in that jury? Was Casper the Friendly Ghost in that jury? Was Mr. Burns from “The Simpsons” in that jury? Was Ogre from “Revenge of the Nerds” in that jury? I don’t know if it was all nerds, in fact, based on the results, I don’t think that would have been possible, because I talk to nerds on Thursday nights and we were discussing this legal battle, they thought comic con is a term used in so many conventions now that it’s absolutely pointless for San Diego to do what they’re doing. One of the last parts of the statement contained this: “all that we asked of the defendants was to stop using our Comic-Con trademarks.” Sure, maybe in one way that’s not asking a lot, because it was a simple request, but following up on that request is an absolute impossibility in all reality. It’s almost like saying, despite being a convention that has similarities to San Diego, not to mention just about ANY comic book convention that has ever existed, it can have a name that a high fraction of these types of conventions use. Also, my biggest question is this: If San Diego is so upset about their f*cking trademarks being used by someone else, why are they so concerned about Salt Lake? Not to mention, Salt Lake isn’t completely identical to San Diego in terms of their trademark. Note the difference: San Diego Comic-Con and Salt Like Comic Con. Can’t see it? San Diego has a dash, Salt Lake doesn’t. Let’s also observe the last sentence concerning San Diego’s response to the verdict: “For that we are grateful.” Allow me to respond with eloquence…

*Clears throat*

*Taps microphone*

OK good, this thing’s on.

F*ck you!

You may be grateful, but you may have just turned the entire convention game upside down! If you are the convention that everybody loves, you would be supportive of the influence you have on the convention community! At the time of San Diego’s inception, there was nothing like what they had going for themselves. Now they’ve spawned an enormous number of conventions to the point that it’s extremely hard to visit them all. You know one reason why I go to Rhode Island Comic Con more often than San Diego Comic-Con? It’s closer to me! These conventions have expanded to the point where anyone in the world can conveniently go to them. Granted, nerds everywhere may consider going to San Diego Comic-Con their version of a pilgrimage, but in all seriousness, you’ve got to consider how we don’t have the time, gas, money, or complete motivation to go to your convention. There are other options out there! This is why they make multiple brands of soda. Coca-Cola isn’t the only thing around, there’s also Pepsi! In fact, this is why they make multiple flavors of soda! It doesn’t have to be plain, it can be cherry, vanilla, or orange!

One of the biggest purposes of conventions (aside from loading celebrities up with cash) is to unite people together in one place. This isn’t just applicable to only “comic-cons,” but also gaming conventions, anime conventions, brony conventions, all of that stuff. We’ve gotten to this point where San Diego is saying that they literally started this craze (to be fair, they did technically) and for that, they think they can get away with taking LITERAL OWNERSHIP of a name that’s so popular around the world that doesn’t just apply to them. It’s like if the Beach Boys said that “Boys” was a trademark to them forty years after they started performing. Groups like the Backstreet Boys, Boys II Men, and the Beastie Boys are would have freaked the f*ck out if this happened! If this were between San Diego Comic-Con and another convention that has the EXACT SAME NAME, I’d be more understanding of this, but as far as this goes now, this is ludicrous.

One big question behind how this all came about is literally, how did this come about? I will remind you that Salt Lake was sued on July 25, 2014, which is almost a year after the first Salt Lake Comic Con happened, and also a few months after the first Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience happened. Is this all because of the FanX event occurring? After all the primary focus of FanX is to think outside the box and include other aspects to a convention other than anything that’s comic related. The event is technically called the Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience, maybe instead of telling Salt Lake to change its name entirely, just tell them to eliminate the “comic con” from their FanX title. However I wouldn’t do that, I’m not an asshole that forces people to do things that they probably don’t want to do.

Another thing I’ll mention is that according to the FOX 13 article that I’m using as a reference for this post is that Salt Lake Comic Con used SDCC’s trademark “without permission.” Is the article stretching this statement? Possibly, I can’t be sure, I wasn’t one of the people doing jury duty as this case was going on, but this s*it is bonkers! What other “comic con” needed “permission” from SDCC or Comic-Con International to give their specific event an identical name to San Diego’s? This is determining a convention’s name, not asking a student’s parents through a slip they have to sign if they allow their kid to watch a R rated film in class for educational purposes!

To sum it up, San Diego Comic-Con started out as a place for nerds to unite. Now, they’ve become the jocks that are stepping on the territory of other conventions that are trying to do the same thing. Being a nerd is about inclusion, it’s about tolerance, it’s about respect for yourself and those around you. To say that you are the kings of conventions isn’t exactly an improper thing to say, but to say that someone can’t be like you NAME-WISE on something as basic as a small part of your name that’s used WORLDWIDE, is a load of crap. For a portion of my life, there was a part of me that always wanted to attend San Diego Comic-Con, because it has always come off as the ultimate nerd convention, now that they’re essentially being an asshole to another convention that probably wouldn’t have even existed today if it weren’t for SDCC, I wouldn’t say I’m off their radar entirely, but I’m skeptical of whether I truly want to take a trip there in the future. I love conventions, I love nerdy things, I love sci-fi, superheroes, fantasy, all that stuff, but I’m not sure I’m loving San Diego Comic-Con as much as I once was, which leads me to this…

San Diego Comic-Con, why do they call you a con? Oh yeah, because you’re a f*cking cheap con! You know what? After my experience of watching “Anchorman,” I’d say Ron Burgundy was right about the origin of San Diego, let’s change your name to A Whale’s Vagina Comic-Con! It almost seems that this naming fiasco has you out of line, but don’t worry, if there actually is a line in this circumstance, I’m sure it’s not as long as any of the lines during your convention! Also, I’ll remind you to get back in line, and once you do, there’s no cutting allowed, you already did that to Salt Lake Comic Con’s name! I wonder what’s next for you and changing things around, perhaps making certain celebrities not show up because they may have heard about the name situation and they disagree with the final verdict? Well I guess that means we have our next “Star Wars” movie! San Diego Comic-Con, I’m a huge nerd, I have been all my life. All I want to do is make things the best they can be, and to do that I have to sometimes be tough, so if you think you can exclude me from your convention in the future just because I said some stuff you might find to be harsh, I’m sorry, you can’t do that “without permission.” Whose permission you ask? My f*cking permission, you morons!

If I don’t go to San Diego Comic-Con in the future, that’s fine, I’ve got plenty of other conventions to go to that are cheaper, closer, and perhaps even less crowded. New York Comic Con is a beast in terms of size which kind of intrigues me, so maybe I’ll go there in the future. Thanks for reading this post! Later this week I will have my review for “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi,” which I will be seeing opening night, so I’ll have the review up not long after it releases. Look forward to that and stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, have you been to San Diego Comic-Con? What are your thoughts on it? Have you been to either Salt Lake Comic Con or the Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience? What are your thoughts on either of those? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Top 10 WORST Star Wars Original Trilogy Special Edition Changes *SPOILERS*

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! In 1977, George Lucas released “Star Wars.” It became an instant hit with critics, audiences, and has spawned a fandom that has lasted for decades. Years ahead, two sequels which have also been met with positive reception have been released. I have just watched Harmy’s Despecialized Edition of the original “Star Wars” trilogy, and going through all three movies in HD quality was an utter blast. These editions eliminate the changes provided over the years to the original trilogy by George Lucas since 1997 which have been bashed by fans over the years, and I wholeheartedly approve of these editions. As much as I appreciate George Lucas for starting the “Star Wars” craze, he has also brought tons of chaos tons of chaos to the franchise from making notable changes to it in the series’s so-called “Special Editions” in 1997, again in 2004, and once more in 2011. Today, we’re going to look at the worst of these changes, specifically the top 10 WORST of these changes. If you like these changes, that’s your opinion, not mine. You’re allowed to have that thought, even though we are on opposite sides of the spectrum. Just because I have a certain change listed here that you like, it doesn’t make your opinion invalid. If you like these changes, rock on. Also, just in case you didn’t look hard enough, these changes pertain towards the original trilogy only. There have been changes made overtime in the prequel trilogy as well, but that’s not what this list is about. So let’s dive into it, these are the top 10 WORST “Star Wars” original trilogy “Special Edition” changes.

#10: Echo Change (Episode IV: A New Hope)

This change here is one that I’m surprised I don’t hear more people don’t talk about. Maybe it doesn’t bother other people all that much, but in reality, it kind of irks me. As our heroes are escaping from the Death Star, we see them running around in various directions. We also see Luke and Leia together, they pass through a door, and they almost fall into an abyss. It’s at this point that Luke says “I think we took a wrong turn!” A few lines of dialogue are spoken by Luke and Leia as they try to find their way through to the opposite side, because after all, you can’t get there by foot. In the original version, as this dialogue is uttered, we hear echos. Although in 2004, this has been redone. According to Wookiepedia, AKA Wikipedia for “Star Wars,” this has been “redone more realistically.” Regardless of realism, the original echo had an effect that felt rather chilling. There was something about that echo when I watched the movie that just felt like it was irreplaceable. This echo, doesn’t even feel like it’s there. When I watched the movie and I heard what I heard, I just wondered, where’s the echo? I don’t even hear an echo. This is an early spot on the list as I’m able to tolerate this and it doesn’t really have much an effect on what I’m watching. Speaking of this spot, I almost put the “Jedi Rocks” song on here, but it barely lost because there was some music playing before it that wasn’t in the original cut of the film that sounded fine. These two could change, but you never know.

#9: “It’s all right, I can see a lot better!” (Episode VI: Return of the Jedi)

It was established in “The Empire Strikes Back” that Han Solo has a relationship with Lando Calrissian. Unfortunately, in “Return of the Jedi,” the relationship was nearing an end. During the battle that takes place on Tatooine during the movie, the Sarlacc which has been introduced during around said time frame, snatches Lando. He’s about to be consumed, but luckily, Han Solo’s here to save the day! In the original movie, the way it goes down is pretty much how I explained it, Han is aiming at the creature with his body upside down. At one point, Lando shouts “No, wait! I thought you were blind!” Han replies saying “It’s all right, trust me!” Han soon pulls the trigger of his blaster thus saving Lando. The 1997 Special Edition didn’t exactly play out the same way. Instead of Han saying “It’s all right, trust me” he said “It’s all right, I can see a lot better!” For those of you who forgot or haven’t seen the movie, the beginning of “Return of the Jedi” is when Han Solo was released from the carbonite which kept him frozen. He couldn’t see a thing, but according to Leia, who at that point was dressed as a bounty hunter, his eyesight would return in time. This is one of those moments on this list, where a line happened to be changed when it didn’t need to be because it was already good enough. I’m not entirely against line changing as long as it’s effective, but in my view, the first line was good, but this wasn’t. Speaking of Han Solo…

#8: Greedo Shoots First (Episode IV: A New Hope)

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This is a change that pretty much every single “Star Wars” fan has known about if they’ve paid close enough attention. I have three words for you: HAN SHOT FIRST! Although according to the first Special Edition, he didn’t. Instead, the bounty hunter referred to as Greedo pulls his trigger first. For those of you who don’t know, the first “Star Wars” film had a scene where we get information that Han Solo was being searched by bounty hunters all over. This is because he hasn’t yet paid Jabba the Hutt. So in the scene where we find this out, one bounty hunter by the name of Greedo stops him and Han Solo tells him that he doesn’t have money at the moment to pay Jabba. Their conversation goes down until a point where Greedo is shot by Han. Greedo getting shot doesn’t change, but the execution of the scene has gone through multiple changes. Let’s go through them one by one.

In 1997, when the first Special Editions released, most of the dialogue in the scene is the same as the original, but there’s one piece that’s missing. The line last line given by Greedo here is this: “That’s the idea… I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.” That line wasn’t changed, however the following line given by Han Solo, which was originally “Yeah, I’ll bet you have,” changed in the first Special Edition to “I’ll bet you have.” Here we see a shot fired not only by Han, but also by Greedo. Also, if you observe closely in the shot, you can see Greedo’s shot coming out of his blaster before Han’s! This is a change which from a general perspective, has probably outraged more fans than any other when it comes to the “Star Wars” saga. In fact, it doesn’t end there!

In 2004, when the original trilogy released on DVD, George Lucas decided to change it again! He took the 1997 “I’ll bet you have” and altered it back to the way it was in 1977 which was “Yeah, I’ll bet you have.” After that, Greedo still shoots first, but Han pulls his trigger faster than he did in the 1997 version, not to mention he dodges Greedo’s shot. Guess what? THIS TRAIN KEEPS ON ROLLING!

We then get to 2011, which is the year the entire saga came out on Blu-Ray. The change here is minor, no lines have been altered this time around, but the scene is shorter.

What’s so striking to me about these changes is that George can’t even make up his mind. The scene has been changed not once, not twice, but thrice! The change in general also makes Han Solo look like less of a badass. In the original cut, you see him talking and you get this sense that he’s just capable of handling himself in battle or in near death experiences. And while he was still able to handle himself, this almost feels like a lighter version of the scene we’ve gotten before, the other one just had a feel that made Han Solo Han Solo. He took no nonsense and you don’t want to mess around with him. Let me just say, if someone asks me, “Who shot first?” I’d always respond with, “Han Solo.”

#7: “You were lucky to get out of there.” (Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back)

When it comes to “The Empire Strikes Back,” I own both the 2004 and original edition, but I watched the 2004 version many more times, so this was one of those changes I either didn’t notice or didn’t care about for awhile. So, Luke is in his X-Wing, he’s entering the Dagobah system, which he assures to the droid alongside him, R2-D2, is “perfectly safe for droids.” Yeeeeah. Totally safe. It’s so safe that R2-D2 drowns in water moments upon entering the planet! To be accurate, he didn’t drown due to not being suited to being in water, he was still able to to move just fine. Although his disappearance was due to a dragonsnake swallowing him. Apparently R2 wasn’t down for that long because he’s spat out and goes flying. Luke moves over to R2 as he lands on the ground. At one point he helps get R2 back on his “feet.” It’s here when Luke says “You’re lucky you don’t taste very good.” That was what many audiences may have heard for the first time until 1997. When 1997’s Special Editions came out, the line was changed to “You were lucky to get out of there.” It’s a change that dwindles a chuckle from viewers and ultimately makes the moment feel a little more cliche. Let me ask you something. You are in the ocean, and a great white shark is approaching, you are the one that’s almost about to get eaten as everyone is escaping. Somehow you make it out, but you wasted a lot more time getting out. Would you feel more satisfaction hearing “You’re lucky you don’t taste very good” or “You were lucky to get out of there?” Not to mention, the way these two phrases are uttered kind of make a difference. Luke almost sounds more depressed when he says the “Special Edition” quote. Luke seems a little more optimistic when he says the original quote. Sure, he is in a strange situation, but you can still be in a strange situation and provide at least a glass half full tone.

#6: Boba Fett Voice Change (Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back)

Many people who watched “The Empire Strikes Back” were introduced to the character of Boba Fett, a bounty hunter who is contacted by Darth Vader in order to help in the pursuit for Han Solo. Believe it or not, this wasn’t the fellow’s first appearance. Those who were unfortunate enough to watch “Star Wars: The Holiday Special” on TV back in 1978 got a glimpse of Boba Fett before he appeared in “Empire.” Also, if you watch the newer editions of “A New Hope,” he appears in that too after being digitally remastered. In 1980, people may not have been curious to know who did the voice for Boba Fett. By the way, that person is Jason Wingreen. Although in George Lucas’s universe, that’s false. In 2004, he changed the voice in order to match with how Boba Fett was portrayed in “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.” This didn’t just apply to Boba Fett in that movie, but also his father, Jango Fett. In “Attack of the Clones,” it is established that Boba Fett is an unaltered clone raised by Jango. This lead to a change that involved replacing the execution of four lines given by Boba considering those four lines happen to be all the dialogue he said. Who did the talking for this? Temuera Morrison, AKA the guy who played Jango Fett in “Attack of the Clones.” I wouldn’t mind this if it were done with a sense of enthusiasm or a lack of robotic talking. The original voiceover artist for Boba Fett seemed to display more emotion in terms of their delivery. These newer voiceovers done by Morrison, just feel like the actor went into a booth, didn’t care about what they were doing, maybe they either never saw “Empire” or its been awhile since they’ve seen it to understand the character of Boba Fett, and it just turned a great voiceover to a crappy voiceover. The original voice sounded like Boba Fett was constantly on the hunt, always on the move. This new voice just sounded like a guy who just served people of higher power. I will say, if George Lucas actually got Gilbert Gottfried to do the voice of Boba Fett as a Special Edition change, I’d actually watch that non-stop, because Gilbert Gottfried’s f*cking awesome! Gilbert Gottfried can appear in “Super Mario Bros.: The Movie” and I’d probably watch it just for him. Maybe not the whole movie, but the scenes featuring Gilbert Gottfried as long as he’s not in the whole picture.

#5: Jabba the Hutt (Episode IV: A New Hope)

In 1983, audiences everywhere were introduced to the chubby slug known as Jabba the Hutt. These viewers may have heard Jabba’s name before, specifically in 1977 during the Han and Greedo conversation, but they never saw Jabba on screen in that film, nor did they see him in “The Empire Strikes Back.” Well, that all changed in 1997. Turns out prior to our heroes escaping Mos Eisley in the Millennium Falcon, Han Solo has a conversation with Jabba. Harrison Ford didn’t come back to shoot this, the scene was actually done while the film was originally in production, and Jabba wasn’t even a slug. He was actually human. Although when the 1997 release came out, the Jabba and Solo conversation was added on and Jabba received CGI achievement. For those of you who don’t know, CGI is short for computer-generated imagery. In this circumstance, I think CGI actually stands for completely gruesome insanity! LOOK AT THIS CRAP (top image)! To be fair, it was 1997, but it’s still revolting! So the two have a conversation that has similar dialogue given in the Han and Greedo scene, which just contributes to redundancy. At one point, Han steps on Jabba’s tail, making him utter a sound the world would have never heard had he been a human. Han says he’ll pay Jabba back with extra, to which Jabba is happy to hear, but if Han fails, he would be searched for and the price on his head would be significantly enormous. The thing that really makes this scene fail is Han’s final line. “Jabba, you’re a wonderful human being.” If this were the original movie in 1977 and they kept this scene in, it would have worked better. Not completely, but it would work. George Lucas would have kept human Jabba, that way we don’t have to see terrible CGI and Han stepping on a tail. This would have still failed as a scene due to what’s written in the script, but it still would have been better. The final line given by Han Solo would have worked better too. After all, why would A SLUG be called A HUMAN BEING?! Not to mention, a WONDERFUL HUMAN BEING?! So basically, Jabba says that he’d put a price on Han’s head, and the conversation ends by saying “You’re a wonderful human being?!” Oy vey! Not to mention, this change takes away some of the suspense people originally had about Jabba the Hutt. Imagine if someone who watched this movie a lot prior to the Special Editions showed these flicks to their kids, and that person ends up showing an unoriginal version. The kid would know what Jabba looks like before progressing into “Return of the Jedi!” It just takes away some of the mystery of Jabba as a character and now he’s just shoved in your face. You know, like pie. Unfortunately, this change has not been erased in any of the newer versions, although in 2004, the CGI for Jabba was redone (bottom image) and it looks a lot better.

#4: R2-D2 Behind Rocks (Episode IV: A New Hope)

One thing that has been changed more than once throughout the original “Star Wars” film is the scream given when Obi-Wan appears to scare off the Tusken Raiders. For the record, neither of those on the list. A change that IS however on this list takes place around the same time. In the 2011 Blu-Ray release, you might notice R2 before and after the scream occurs. Although guess what? He’s covered behind lots of rocks! I hate this change because it basically insults your intelligence! Sure, Han not shooting first is irritating to see because of how it diminishes the character in terms of how badass he is, but in reality, you can show Han shooting first to someone that’s observant enough and they won’t question the realism or accuracy of what’s happening on screen. Here with this, you just question humanity itself! How does R2, a droid the size he is with the capabilities he’s got, get in that hiding spot? There was no establishment behind how he got there! If you look at the hole, it’s smaller than R2 itself! In the original scene, you can see R2 near some rocks, but it’s not enough to create a shadow upon him! I have one thing to say about this scene, it doesn’t ROCK!

#3: Luke Screams Down the Pit (Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back)

A lot of people consider “The Empire Strikes Back” the best “Star Wars” film and one of the best sequels of all time. Part of this is due to its iconic scenes, how its characters develop. it’s emotional score, and how it brought a twist that not many people saw coming, the fact that Darth Vader is Luke’s father. Interesting fact by the way, the Dutch word for father is vader (fah-der), and the German word is vater (pronounced similarly to Dutch word), so as much as audiences may have been shocked by this reveal, this does leave me to wonder, how shocked were the Dutch and Germans? Anyway, if you’ve seen the movie, chances are you’d be familiar with this reveal. Luke and Vader are in a duel, Luke’s hand gets sliced off by Vader’s lightsaber, Vader is trying to convince Luke to join the Dark Side, and he also tells Luke the truth about his father, the fact that Vader himself, is Luke’s father. Moments later, Luke falls down a pit. In the original version, Luke is just falling, he isn’t really making any random noises. However in the 1997 version, he is. After Darth Vader says “Come with me, it is the only way,” Luke makes his dissent down the pit, and at one point, comes out this strange, peculiar, ridiculous noise. If you want to be more simplistic, that noise was a scream. That scream by the way, wasn’t even Mark Hamill’s voice. That voice, was Ian McDiarmid’s. If you don’t know who Ian McDiarmid is, he plays the Emperor and Palpatine in the saga. For the record, McDiarmid didn’t come in to let out a scream, they actually took the scream from when he died in “Return of the Jedi.” This moment might as well be called “Return of the Scream.” I for one, admittedly, haven’t watched the 1997 Special Edition all the way through, but I’ve seen a clip on YouTube where this all goes down. Luckily, when George Lucas was making more changes to the trilogy in 2004, this scream of insanity has been removed. And no, it has not been brought back when the Blu-Ray release came out in 2011.

#2: Get Out of the Way, Dinosaur! (Episode IV: A New Hope)

This is a change that starts out as somewhat tolerable. Just a little extra bits to introduce Mos Eisley. Granted it’s unnecessary, but it’s not like we’re watching a couple of Stormtroopers engage in intercourse or something. Then we get to footage audiences have seen prior to the Special Editions’ arrival. As the four Stormtroopers from the mind-trick scene gather around Luke’s speeder, we get one of the worst uses of CGI of all time! While these four troops are moving, a giant dinosaur is literally blocking EVERYTHING on the screen! What’s going on?! Let us see the damn movie! We don’t want to see some random green piece of s*it covering the frame! It’s abominable! If I wanted to see a movie where there was CGI covering the frame, I’d go watch “Guardians of the Galaxy!” The whole dinosaur placement just doesn’t make sense in general because it doesn’t let you observe the landscape of Mos Eisley unlike the original scene. There’s not really much to say about this except that it just makes you want more than one galaxy to have its dinosaurs extinct.

#1: Darth Vader Yells “No!” (Episode VI: Return of the Jedi)

Before we get into my #1 pick, let me just have you know that I don’t own the 2011 Blu-Ray for “Return of the Jedi,” however I have seen this online and when it played on TV once on Halloween in the year of 2016 on TBS. If I owned the Blu-Ray, I’d feel like a completionist, although at the same time, I’d be ashamed because that means I own the version where Darth Vader screams “no” at the end of the movie! I’ve watched “Return of the Jedi” countless times as a kid. Both the original and 2004 edition since I possessed the 2006 limited release. I’ve never had to deal with this crap then. It wasn’t awhile til I found out this change existed and it literally just changed everything. I could tolerate minor dialogue changes! I could tolerate random CGI moments! I could tolerate Han shooting second! But this! THIS! I’ll be back, I just gotta go jump out a window!

*OPENS WINDOW*

*JUMPS*

*FALLS FLAT ON THE GROUND WITH BLOOD EVERYWHERE, SCREAMS IN PAIN, SWEARING, TAKING THE LORD’S NAME IN VAIN, GETS WEAKER BY THE SECOND. SOMEONE SEES ME, THE NARRATOR, TRUST ME, THE NARRATOR, ON THIS STATEMENT, AND USES MAGICAL POWERS TO REHABILITATE ME, THE NARRATOR, BACK TO NORMAL*

(CATCHES BREATH) OK, I’m back! Just so you know, one of my favorite scenes in the original trilogy is in “Return of the Jedi” where Luke is being electrocuted by The Emperor. Before that, Darth Vader’s hand is cut off by Luke, almost as if it were revenge from when Vader cut Luke’s off in “Empire.” We see through symbolism that Luke has a line between the light and dark sides. We see one hand that’s without a glove and one that’s with a black glove. The Emperor is telling Luke to fulfill his destiny and join the Dark Side. Luke then decides that he won’t turn. This leaves the Emperor to start killing him with his bare hands (and the lightning coming out of them). Darth Vader is standing up, watching all of this go down. The Emperor is just brutally striking him down (literally) and Luke is begging to Darth Vader for help. There’s a brief pause, we see The Emperor’s face and he says, “Now young Skywalker, you will die.” Seconds later, The Emperor’s hands are releasing lightning again and Luke is screaming like crazy. We see Darth Vader moving his helmet back and forth toward Skywalker and the Emperor, the music achieves cinematic bliss levels as if it weren’t at those levels to begin with, and Darth Vader uses the strength he has left to lift up the Emperor and throw him down a pit where he screams like a wimp. We then see tons of smoke signifying he died from an explosion after hitting a core and it’s just a small portion of what I consider to be one of the most powerful scenes in the “Star Wars” saga, and possibly cinematic history. It’s a scene that I feel covers conflict, not to mention resolving it and choosing to do good. The music is one of the greatest musical achievements (as far as my opinion is concerned, in all of cinema). The explosion sends chills down my spine whenever I see it. Unfortunately, Lucas had to ruin a defining scene in the saga. Just. F*ck. My. Life.

Leading up to the electrocution, the scene is similar to how it was in previous versions, but as soon as we get to the part after the brief pause, we see Darth Vader once again, glancing in one direction and switching to the other, then we hear this:

DARTH VADER: No. (Turns to The Emperor) NOOOOOOOOOO!

As the second, everlasting “no” is uttered by Vader, he lifts up the Emperor, and like in the original scene, throws him down the pit.

As if changing the movies in 1997 and 2004 weren’t crazy enough, Lucas had this “brilliant” idea to screw it up just a tad more. Here’s the thing about that scene, not only is it, like these movies, somewhat nostalgic, but also powerful. That power is lost because Vader spoke, ruining the scene’s dramatic and chilling effect. You hear that music swell up from one level to another, you realize, this is the moment Darth Vader changed his ways, he’s now a good soul. Now, the movie shoves it in your face. During this scene, we KNOW Darth Vader isn’t happy about this situation, we KNOW how he feels! This whole change, I imagine, not only erases history, but it also just vandalizes a moment where we can all see what’s going down, and get the point. Here on the Blu-Ray, it feels like we are viewed as unintelligent and need something as simple as pressing a button explained to us. Not to mention, it reminds a lot of fans the time Darth Vader yelled “no” at the end of “Revenge of the Sith,” which a lot of those folks didn’t like. There have been multiple scenes that have been altered in any way, shape, or form, and when that has been done in 1997 and 2004, I imagine some people thought “Hey, at least the last moments before The Emperor dies is fine!” Well according to George Lucas, it wasn’t. He’s an interesting man. He spent the seventies establishing childhoods, and went on later in life to ruin them.

That’s all for this post. Thanks for reading this countdown! Please stay tuned for more content as I will have you know if you didn’t already that I’m going to see “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi” on December 14th, which is the night it opens. While I am admittedly, worried for how this film will turn out, I am also stoked because this is the first main film in the “Star Wars” universe that I’m seeing it the night it comes out. Also, for those of you who are planning to go see the new “Star Wars” movie in theaters, I’ll remind you that yes, it’s playing just about anywhere, but there are ELEVEN special theaters, which is technically TEN in the United States and ONE in the United Kingdom, that will be playing “Star Wars Episode VIII” in IMAX 70mm. You don’t want to miss out on this one of a kind experience, so if you want more information on that plus a history of “Star Wars” in IMAX, click the link below and that’ll take you right where you need to go. Stay tuned for more reviews and posts! Also, what do you think is the worst change in the original “Star Wars” trilogy? Why do you despise it? Do you like any of the changes? If so, tell me why you do. Leave your thoughts in the comments below and let’s see if we can agree with each other! Scene Before is your click to the flicks, and to conclude this post, here’s a line from “Blade Runner” that describes how I feel about these Special Edition changes.

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-Beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time… like tears in rain… Time to die. –Batty

“STAR WARS EPISODE VIII: THE LAST JEDI IS GETTING THE IMAX 70MM TREATMENT AND A HISTORY OF STAR WARS IN IMAX https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/10/17/star-wars-episode-viii-the-last-jedi-is-getting-the-imax-70mm-treatment-and-a-history-of-star-wars-in-imax/

How to Be a Latin Lover (2017): Perhaps 2017’s Most Awkward Event Since the US Presidential Inauguration

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“How to Be a Latin Lover” is directed by Ken Marino, an actor with a ton of credits who also directed episodes of various TV shows such as “Children’s Hospital” and “Burning Love.” This movie stars Eugenio Derbez (La familia P. Luche, Jack and Jill), Salma Hayek (Grown Ups, Once Upon a Time in Mexico), Raphael Alejandro (Olympus, Once Upon a Time), Rob Lowe (Parks and Recreation, Wayne’s World), Kristen Bell (Frozen, The Good Place), Raquel Welch (The Three Musketeers, Legally Blonde) Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine, Children’s Hospital), and Rob Riggle (The Daily Show, The Hangover). The plot for “How to Be a Latin Lover” is that Eugenio Derbez’s character of Maximo is dumped by his 80-year old wife. Because of that, he has to move in with his sister and nephew which leads to the rest of the movie’s events.

I did not see this film in the theater, I managed to find it used on Blu-ray in a store. I knew about this film beforehand, but it didn’t catch my interest. Ah, simpler times. I wasted ten bucks on this film and after watching this, I felt that I’d feel better watching another film that came out this year, “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Why’s that? BECAUSE I GOT TO SEE THAT FOR FREE! “How to Be a Latin Lover” is the epitome of a comedy that doesn’t impress. Rather cliche jokes, a fish out of water segment that was done better in movies like “Elf,” and a tale that at times, makes you question mankind itself. Seriously! There is a point in this movie, where the main character is with a kid he’s formed a bond with throughout the runtime, and he’s teaching the kid how to be sexually attractive. This story wouldn’t be as awkward if the kid were in, say, the teen years, but he’s f*cking ten! TEN! Essentially this kid has a crush on a girl, and I don’t think it’s entirely wrong for the kid to learn to IMPRESS the girl, but not to get her to have sex with him! In a way, it might associate well with the main character’s personality, after all, he was a gold-digger who admired women for their money and physical figure. It doesn’t change the fact that this movie was as awkward as going to a Super Bowl party and thinking it’s soccer.

Eugenio Derebez plays the main character in this movie, well, that is if you can call it a movie. His name is Maximo and he’s basically the s*ittier version of Derek Zoolander. Think about it, he basically has some of the mannerisms, although it’s not exactly the same because his voice isn’t as robotic or striking, but that’s just who he reminds me of. Maximo’s not really a male model either. He’s more of a guy who cares about no one but himself, doesn’t contribute to society as much as other people, and just seems to have sex on his mind a lot. Granted, there’s a stereotype that’s all that men think about, but I can guarantee you not all men show their thoughts on sex. So in a way, you can say he’s also the s*ittier version of Donald Trump (I can’t believe I’m saying that), because Donald Trump actually does s*it. He fired people! He licensed his name to things! And there’s a possibility that he’s part of what’s making Twitter thrive today.

Staying on the topic of things that men often think about, let’s talk about Salma Hayek. Salma Hayek plays the character of Sara, who is Maximo’s sister. Her character is overall, pretty pissed that Maximo is staying with her, after all, she has a job, Maximo doesn’t. She’s got money, Maximo doesn’t. I didn’t find her to be the worst character on screen, although she a has a job where she’s just trying to move up from where she stands in the company, but she just can’t get there. This brings perhaps, one of the most forced, moments of comedy, I’ve seen all year! She’s talking with this woman, and the woman says that Sara’s a fine person but she wants someone with “more experience” to take a certain occupational task of discussion. Although before this woman says “more experience,” Sara interrupts her assuming she’s about to say “more experience.” This causes the other woman to say that she must finish her sentence and she needs to get out what she needs to say. When your movie plummets down to a level of comedy as low as that, you know you have a s*itshow on your hands!

There are two kids in this photo as you can see, the one we’re gonna be focusing on is the one on the left, which is the son of Salma Hayek’s character, who happens to be played by Raphael Alejandro. This kid’s name is Hugo. I will say one thing, I did care for this kid more than I did for the main character, but you also have to consider how much of an influence the main character was on him. There was a point in the movie where I felt bad for him in a way, but at the same time, I just couldn’t bear seeing him, or anybody else in this stinking picture for that matter. Also, he did this one science experiment that I saw in his room that basically took up the entire space! For what I recall, this was something he was going to present at a science fair, and I just questioned why it would be in his room given what the experiment was and if it would even make it to the show. It almost crushed Maximo, who was sleeping on an air mattress laid out in this room. It almost reminded of “Daddy’s Home” when the Ford Flex goes through the house. I get the movie’s a ridiculous comedy, but the mind can only go so far in suspending disbelief. Just… have some sanity in this universe.

Kristen Bell is also in this film as a character who appears in a number of scenes. I mean… Why? Is “The Good Place” not giving her enough money? Her character is named Cindy, and she’s a crazy cat lady who works at a yogurt place. Her character reminded me a lot of Holly from “King of Queens,” which if you’ve never seen the show, she’s a dog walker with blonde hair. So both have some sort of connection with animals but the big difference between these characters is that the one in the movie we’re focusing on annoyed the living crap out of me. She felt like a cartoon! She may as well be a female Ghostbuster! This character just felt one dimensional, and I didn’t care about her enough to get to a point where I come across her buttload of cats later on in the picture.

These two characters above are enemies that Maximo meets along the way during this film, as if divorce and a lack of money weren’t enough. The one on the left is named Nick and the one on the right is named Scott. The pair remind me of the henchmen from “Super Mario Bros.: The Movie,” a movie that if you never watched, pretty much suggests that you didn’t have your childhood ruined by a dumbass and his equally stupid sidekick who both go by the last name “Mario” for some reason. The good news is, as characters, I think these two are better than the henchmen. They’re less cartoony. The bad news is, they aren’t good enough. They just spit out standard jokes and they just sound like something that are written by a three year old!

I know that I’m being hard on this film. Although there is a part of me that thinks this movie really could have worked… If it were Opposite Day. I don’t even think there is a way something like this could work. At least one that I can think of. Gosh! This movie probably just made my IQ shrink to a new low! “How to Be a Latin Lover” relies way too much on sexual humor, a lack of realism at times, and things that happen in the movie that could come off as a bonding experience between a wise person and a young person, but just come off as awkward in the end. You guys ever seen “Big Daddy?” The Adam Sandler movie? That movie displays a similar relationship between a wise person and a child. The experienced man wasn’t exactly teaching what’s right to do towards the child, but simultaneously you couldn’t help but admire what’s going on because it was funny and it wasn’t as awkward. He wasn’t teaching “the joys of getting into a girl’s pants,” it was letting the kid make his own decisions, being a brat at the park, how to get Halloween candy in unpredictable manners, stuff like that! Sure, it’s somewhat immature humor but ultimately I can’t help but admire it for working and making me laugh. In fact, if getting a girl to have sex was taught to the child in “Big Daddy,” it would have been even more awkward considering the child in that film was five!

In the end, “How to Be a Latin Lover” has a new hater. As time as passed, I wonder if I’ve seen a lot when it comes to comedy and I just don’t find much of anything funny anymore. Heck! I was one of the people who barely laughed during “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2!” Nevertheless, I think this movie’s crap and I’m going to give “How to Be a Latin Lover” a 2/10. There have been films, like this one, where I’ve seen sexual comedy work. This doesn’t associate with the ones that work. Part of me even wonders why I bought this movie, oh right! It came out this year! I’m seeing as many 2017 movies as I can by the end of the year! What a stupid question! Agh, thanks for reading this review. If you want to see reviews to better movies, I’ll post links to those down below. Be sure to check out my reviews for “Justice League” and “Wonder.” Stay tuned for more reviews! Also, I want to know, did you see “How to Be a Latin Lover?” What are your thoughts? Or what is the most awkward comedy you’ve ever seen? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

“JUSTICE LEAGUE” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/11/23/justice-league-2017-what-does-this-mean-for-the-dceu-plus-talk-about-the-movies-box-office-return/

“WONDER” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/11/25/wonder-2017-face-the-facts/