Skyscraper: Die Hard Without Christmas (2018) *PLUS RANT ON OBNOXIOUS MOVIEGOERS*

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Before we aim high and go into my “Skyscraper” review, let me just say that this film revolves around a family. This family’s relationship seems to play out in a significant amount of runtime for this film. Speaking of family, a new family is bound to form in California. A couple by the name of Paul and Genevieve at one point thought they’d never see the day the dream of starting a family would ever come true. Not because they didn’t try starting a family due to a lack of motivation or something, but because they endlessly tried and had no success. This is all explained… in “What the IVF?!”

“What the IVF” is a YouTube series starring the recently mentioned couple. These two explain their journey to conception. Every Monday, a new story is told, and usually the story that’s told is never one that’s all that happy. When it comes to the story of the couple’s journey to conception, many unfortunate realities occur throughout. Experience the ride alongside Paul and Genevieve as they face the misfortunes of math, exams, anger, sex, crying, pain, needles, and pain from needles! You can find the latest episodes of “WTIVF?” on the show’s personally dedicated YouTube channel, but if you want to watch one right now, check out the latest episode that goes over the past events of the couple’s IVF journey. I’ve watched it, and trust me guys, it’s a good one, check it out. Speaking of checking things out, be sure to take a gander at the “What the IVF?” YouTube channel, subscribe, ring the bell, click whatever button will make Paul and Genevieve happy! Aside from YouTube, you can also find stuff related to the series on other forms of media, be sure to check all of that out and follow those pages. Also don’t forget to check out the website to “WTIVF?” which is included in the links below. And be sure to tell them that Jack Drees sent ya over!

WTIVF? WEBSITE: http://www.whattheivf.com/

WTIVF? YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCILXSidkzWgwrQ5Oa1py78w/featured?disable_polymer=1

WTIVF? TWITTER: https://twitter.com/WTivF

WTIVF? INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/wtivf/

WTIVF? FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/What-The-IVF-288868031634125/

“Skyscraper” is directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (Central Intelligence, Easy A) and stars Dwayne Johnson (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Fast Five), Neve Campbell (House of Cards, Scream), Chin Han (Ghost in the Shell, The Dark Knight), Roland Møller (The Commuter, Atomic Blonde), Noah Taylor (Vanilla Sky, Shine), Byron Han (Altered Carbon, The Big Short), Pablo Schreiber (13 Hours, American Gods), and Hannah Quinlavin (Moon River, The Shanghai Job). This film mostly takes place in or around what this movie’s universe considers the tallest building in the world. Unfortunately, this building eventually gets to a point where it’s on fire, and now it is up to a man by the name of Will Sawyer, a caring father, who also used to be a US military member and FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader, to save his own family, and survive against certain individuals, not to mention, time.

My first exposure to something related to “Skyscraper” came around the time of the Super Bowl. To be more specific, I read a tweet from The Rock calling the film original. Just from that alone, I was intrigued. We’re getting as many sequels, adaptations, and reboots as we are getting news reports of someone we know or happen to like being called out for something terrible. Once I heard about this film’s “originality,” I was intrigued. But then the advertising started, and everybody started comparing it to “Die Hard.”

F*CK.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen “Die Hard” and I enjoyed it. It’s been forever since my experience watching it, but I found pleasure in what was on screen nevertheless.  However, if you’re advertising yourself as an original film, although in this case, an actor from the film is doing the advertising, and a good number of people see this as a “Die Hard” wannabe, that’s not good.

And you know what? One of my biggest problems with the film that doesn’t necessarily have to do with whatever is in the final product is the marketing. Now that people are calling “Skyscraper” 2018’s “Die Hard,” apparently there was a poster inspired by “Die Hard” made for it! Not only that, but there was also a “Towering Inferno” inspired poster. What does this movie want to be? And you know what? This might be an even more important statement: What does The Rock want this movie to be? Months ago, he was saying that this is an original production, and now he’s talking about other films that were basically inspirations for “Skyscraper,” which kind of therefore makes “Skyscraper” feel less original than maybe it once was. I will say though when it comes to tone, as I watched the movie, the tone was rather clear, it was trying to be an edge of your seat popcorn action thriller. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. And in some ways, “Skyscraper” succeeded at doing such a thing, but I wouldn’t say it was enough. Sure, it’s summertime, so big, explosive, expensive movies are to be expected, but overall the story at times is somewhat cliche and the script is predictable. There are some moments I didn’t expect, but if you don’t dive into specific detail, you might as well say the script is predictable.

In fact, some of you might be asking how predictable the script to “Skycraper” actually was. It was SO predictable, that a few audience members had a number of moments where they would say something out loud, and in a split second, that thing would happen. First off, if you’re going to the movies, PLEASE DON’T TALK! IT’S RUDE! I PAID GOOD MONEY FOR THIS! Seriously, these audience members to my left, they just couldn’t stop making noise! Granted, I talk during the movies, but only on occasion, and when I do it, I whisper. These hooligans showed up about thirty to forty minutes after the scheduled showtime, which in terms of seeing the movie, is about fifteen or so minutes through the runtime. I knew something was going to happen when I heard loud laughing from the back of the theater. Then they came into my row, and all of them were sitting to my left. DID “A QUIET PLACE” TEACH ANYTHING TO PEOPLE?! DON’T! TALK! DURING THE MOVIE! Gosh, I hate my life.

In all seriousness, the characters in “Skyscraper” weren’t really all that interesting. Sure, there’s The Rock’s character, but then again, he’s The Rock, everybody likes The Rock. I bought into his relationship with his wife, not to mention his kids. I also bought into him as a guy with a prosthetic leg. Although at the same time, I feel like a lot of people, regardless of whether or not they actually have a prosthetic leg can play this character. Maybe they can’t do it as well as The Rock, but there are times that I can probably imagine another actor in The Rock’s shoes. If you ask me, I still think The Rock is actually a fine choice for this character, but my thought still stands.

I recently mentioned that the script is a bit lackluster for this film, and when it comes to specification on that sort of thing, some of it has to do with poor characterization. If you ask me, I think when it comes to the protagonists, I don’t have too many complaints, especially when you compare that to the antagonistic side. The script spent a lot of time focusing on the main family and treating the tall building as if it was its own character. Seriously! It’s possible that the skyscraper in “Skyscraper” has more character development than the Transformers in the “Transformers” movies! As I watched this film and noticed the antagonistic side of things, I thought I was watching a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, because of how cliche or underwhelming or underdeveloped their villains happen to be. I wouldn’t say I thought the main villain was bad at what he was trying to do, but I just probably won’t remember him.

You know how I mentioned the mixed messages I got from the film’s marketing? This film at times did feel like “Die Hard” to me. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve never seen “The Towering Inferno” so I can’t say much about it. But there is another film I saw that I didn’t even realize would click into my mind at a certain point. Specifically, “Enter the Dragon.” If you’ve seen “Enter the Dragon,” chances are you’d know that there’s this climactic fight that takes place in this hall of mirrors. There’s a fight in “Skyscraper” that doesn’t seem to be exactly like that, but it’s very similar to it. Much like “Enter the Dragon,” this scene is competently shot and edited. There’s not a moment where I look in a mirror and notice a camera or a cameraman, then again most of this movie is on a green screen so I doubt they had actual mirrors on set. I’ve seen a number of reviews for this movie, and one comment that stuck out to me is that this movie borrows something particular from a lot of other titles, and usually that other title would do that particular thing better than “Skyscraper.” When it comes to this mirror scene, I can’t agree more. Not only was this sort of thing done better in “Enter the Dragon,” I’d say it was done better in “John Wick: Chapter 2!”

I also feel like a big problem in this movie may be because of the guy helming it. “Skyscraper” is written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, and most of his work is in the comedy genre. Granted, there is comedy in “Skyscraper.” There wasn’t much, and not all of it landed for me, but it was there. This is not his first action film however, it’s not even his first film with The Rock either. One of the better movies I’ve watched during 2016 happened to be “Central Intelligence,” an action-comedy starring Kevin Hart and The Rock. I haven’t watched it since seeing it in the theater, but I had a really fun time with it and I certainly wouldn’t mind watching it again. This movie however, not so much. I wouldn’t say “Skyscraper” needed more comedy, if anything that would have killed the movie unless they were going for an R rating. It just needed a different director and better writing.

Another problem I had with “Skyscraper” is that while it was technically written and directed by the same person without cooperation from others, it almost feels like a film that a bunch of stereotypical cigar-smoking studio executives would come up with. I was exposed to a podcast recently where two guys were talking about this movie, and I actually know of these guys from YouTube too, shoutout to Chris Stuckmann and John Flickinger! They thought of “Skyscraper” as a pitch movie. It’s almost like the pitcher gave a list of movies that this can be compared to, and all of those elements can be easily implemented into the final product. And when some people think of The Rock, the phrase “big money” might possibly pop in their heads. After all, he’s a big name in current Hollywood based on the number of projects he takes on, including “Fast & Furious.” I don’t know, this just feels more like a corporate product than a movie. I saw that coming upon seeing more and more advertising, but I just can’t help but point that sort of thing out.

In the end, I wouldn’t say “Skyscraper” stands tall. Sure, the movie may be doing well overseas, but that doesn’t mean I’m seeing something of quality here. The Rock is very charming, I bought into the chemistry between him and his family members, and I do think the building had an interesting design to it. Although when it comes to overall positivity I can give, there’s very little I can give towards this sometimes badly paced, cliche, and predictable thing that some may call a film. But one thing’s for sure, this is not gonna spark any “Christmas movie or not a Christmas movie” debates. I’m going to give “Skyscraper” a 4/10. Thanks for reading this review! Be sure to stay tuned for upcoming content, including my “Mission: Impossible: Fallout” review, and I do have some other films in mind when it comes to future reviews. These films include “Eighth Grade,” “Sorry to Bother You,” or if I have an excuse to do an older film review series like I did with “Mission: Impossible,” I’ll be sure to get that going sometime as well. Stay tuned for more reviews and other great content! I want to know, did you see “Skyscraper?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite movie starring The Rock? Mine is “Fast Five,” let me know yours down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

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Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015): A Revisit To My First Mission: Impossible Movie

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Your mission, should you choose to accept it, has been leading up to this point. The movie reviewing community’s biggest Jackass is about to review the last available “Mission: Impossible” movie before the release of the franchise’s upcoming film, “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” Your mission is to read through the review. You will eventually discover that this movie is directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who also directed another film starring this film’s lead actor, Tom Cruise, “Jack Reacher.” McQuarrie, believe it or not, will also be directing “Mission: Impossible: Fallout,” making him the first director to do two “Mission: Impossible” movies. As always, should you or any of your Force be caught or killed, the Movie Reviewing Moron will disavow any of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.

“Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation” is directed by Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher, Way of the Gun) and stars Tom Cruise (Edge of Tomorrow, Oblivion), Jeremy Renner (The Avengers, The Bourne Legacy), Simon Pegg (Star Trek, Shaun of the Dead), Rebecca Ferguson (The White Queen, Hercules), Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction, Lilo & Stitch), Sean Harris (The Borgias, Prometheus), and Alec Baldwin (The Departed, 30 Rock). This film is about IMF agent Ethan Hunt as he’s back for another round of action, as he cooperates alongside his team to take down an organization known as the Syndicate, an international rogue organization.

Back before this movie came out, I remember seeing the trailer for this film. I knew what “Mission: Impossible” was, but at the time I technically haven’t been exposed to any of its material. Having seen the trailer and hearing that this film is getting a special countdown in IMAX, I felt it was necessary to go ahead and check out this film in the IMAX format while it was still in theaters, which I did.

For all who happen to be judging me, SHUT UP! That is a PERFECTLY JUSTIFIABLE REASON! I didn’t go to use my phone! I didn’t go to fall asleep! I didn’t go to chit chat with those around me! I went for the experience! Speaking of the experience, I had a really fun time, therefore making me really excited to watch this movie again on Blu-ray, especially considering it has been nearly three years since my first watch. And guys, let me just tell you, out of all the “Mission: Impossible” movies I’ve seen thus far, this is definitely my absolute favorite in the franchise!

Over the past number of days, I’ve been thinking to myself, “Mission: Impossible” is just like “Fast & Furious,” the movies just get better as they go on. The main difference however between “Mission: Impossible” and “Fast & Furious” however is that when it comes to overall quality, it feels like that is something that more associated with the “Mission: Impossible” franchise. Both movies have similar feels that will give adrenaline rushes, but “Mission: Impossible” feels a lot like a movie made for smarter audiences. I’m not saying those who go see “Fast & Furious” are stupid, I enjoy those movies, and one of my personal friends from Texas has a huge fascination towards the franchise. But what I am saying is that when it comes to “Mission: Impossible” and “Fast & Furious,” two franchises that if you look at them, have many similarities, I’d say that “Mission: Impossible” comes off as more than just popcorn entertainment. “Fast & Furious” feels ludicrous, maybe that’s because it’s lighthearted and while perhaps there is stuff at stake, you as an audience member might be more focused on chewing on your popcorn. As I watch “Mission: Impossible” however, I’m absolutely curious to know more about it. Maybe because Tom Cruise has built this reputation of being the biggest daredevil action star of his generation, but when I watch these films, they don’t feel like products meant to feed to the throats of the masses (except “Mission: Impossible II”), these feel like movies. I seriously want to know about these characters because I truly deeply care about them, for example, Ethan Hunt! How could I not care about him at this point?

Ethan Hunt is great once again in this movie, I totally bought Tom Cruise as him, and I think I cared about his character here just about as much as I did in the first one. When it comes to his character, I wouldn’t necessarily say that my appreciation towards Cruise not specifically to just Hunt himself, but I rooted for him. The way his mission is set up in this movie is brilliant, awesome, and kind of sets the stage for what’s to come. Without going into detail, the terrorist organization Hunt is supposed up against, the Syndicate, just became a whole lot more threatening in just a short matter of exposition. However, they’re not the only thing standing in Hunt’s way. Again, without going into detail, Hunt is pursued by the CIA in this movie.

Speaking of Tom Cruise and Ethan Hunt, let’s talk about one of the most disturbing scenes I’ve watched in any movie. This scene might be more disturbing than most horror movies! Remember how in the first “Mission: Impossible” Ethan had to go down into this restricted area on a wire? It might be the most famous scene in all of the “Mission: Impossible” movies. As much as I love this scene, I think I have a much softer spot for another scene in “Rogue Nation.” There’s a scene that is conceptually similar to the famous wire scene in the first movie that appears in this one. But the thing about this scene, is that while Hunt is supposed to go into a restricted area for the sake of completing a mission. And as if this task weren’t already heavy enough, it involves constantly being in an area that’s UNDERWATER. I felt like I was on the edge of my seat during this scene! I am just amazed that five movies in, I STILL manage to feel like this is the original production and I’m watching this franchise for the very first time. Then again, maybe not, because I’ve seen Ethan Hunt grow as a character, therefore I care about him a lot more than I would than if I saw him for the first time (depending on the scenario).

I will say that there are definitely action movies out there that rely on entertaining audiences simply on great action, and maybe leaving story as an afterthought. I wouldn’t say that when it comes to “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation.” The story in this movie is pretty solid, I cared about the characters and where this movie happened to be going. But the action scenes in this movie are nothing short of top notch.

You know how I said that the exposition for the Syndicate really set the tone for what’s to come? Well, I was referring to a moment after the opening credits in a record shop. There is one scene that takes place before the opening credits involving a plane, and my gosh, it is one of the best openings to a movie I’ve ever seen. Everything from the cinematography, the music, the writing, it kind of gives you tension as an audience member, I just ate it up! Afterwards, the movie does its opening credits, and while I will give “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol” some credit for being the most creative opening of the “Mission: Impossible” movies, I thought this opening might have been better. It’s a lot like the first movie’s opening, but the music is slightly different. While I did praise the first movie’s opening because it had a TV show feel, I may sound like a hypocrite here, but I really don’t care, this one deserves my praise for its movie feel. With five installments that are technically movies and not TV shows, I personally think that’s a fair sentiment to have.

Speaking of scenes with vehicles, let’s take about that scene where Tom Cruise rides a motorcycle! It’s awesome! It’s quite an amazing ride! Seeing Cruise blaze through the streets in this bad boy is nothing short of a treat, and it’s definitely better than that climax in “Mission: Impossible II.”

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One last scene I’m gonna talk about is the action sequence inside the Vienna State Opera. Before this whole scene begins, there is one line uttered by Ethan to Simon Pegg’s character of Benji that I will probably use so many times for the rest of my life.

“You want drama? Go to the opera.”

And drama there was indeed! This is one of the slower-paced scenes in the movie, but it completely worked. The intensity got higher and higher by the second, it was almost as if I didn’t know what was going to happen even though I watched this movie once, and it just reminds me why I think opera might be an underrated art form. In fact, this scene probably wouldn’t have worked if there was a different form of music. If this were a pop concert or jazz band or something, there would be a lot less intensity. The scene might still work and be effective, but it wouldn’t have that oomph that it got here.

In the end, “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation” is DEFINITELY the best the franchise has had to offer in all of its movies. Tom Cruise shines as Ethan Hunt, supporting cast members like Jeremy Renner, Alec Baldwin, Rebecca Ferguson, and Simon Pegg all do a great job as well. The direction and screenplay was probably what I’d want out of a summer blockbuster such as this, and speaking of that, Christopher McQuarrie, a screenwriter and the director behind this film, has his name on the credits of the next film, “Fallout,” which is set to come out not long after this post’s publication, once again in the director’s chair and as a screenwriter. Given the job he has done on this movie, it makes me extremely faithful in this upcoming installment. I’m going to give “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation” a 9/10. Thanks for reading this review! Be sure to stay tuned for my review of “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” This completes my series of older Tom Cruise “Mission: Impossible” movie reviews, most of the movies have been good, one although has been a near-death experience. And I don’t know how long it’ll take me to get my “Fallout” review up and ready to go, but I’m making sure I can do it as soon as possible. As for other series’ of older movies I can review, I wanted to do a Jason Statham series since “The Meg” comes out August 10th, but I wanted to do one movie per week, and I’m not quite sure I actually have the time for that, so that’s cancelled. If I do come up with another series of older movie reviews, I’ll make an announcement in a future post, until then, stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, what are your thoughts on “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation?” Or, have you gotten a chance to see “Mission: Impossible: Fallout?” Tell me your thoughts on that! Also, if you want to check out my other “Mission: Impossible” reviews, links to those will be provided below! Check em out, follow me, enjoy your day, all that jazz! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/mission-impossible-1996-this-movie-review-will-self-destruct-in-five-seconds/

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/mission-impossible-ii-2000-impossible-to-enjoy/

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III REVIEW https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/mission-impossible-iii-2006-the-young-and-the-fearless-spoilers/

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL REVIEW https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/06/18/mission-impossible-ghost-protocol-2011-your-movie-review-should-you-choose-to-accept-it/

CON ANNOUNCEMENT: I’m Going to TerrifiCon 2018!

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! We are currently in the second half of 2018! And I’ve already stated to y’all that I’m going to Rhode Island Comic Con and New York Comic Con this year! Well guess what? That ain’t enough to please this guy! I’m the king of the nerds, what can I say? This August, I’ll be making my second trip to a convention down in Connecticut. Based on what I’ve been hearing, it’s not gonna be quite the same as it was last year. It might as well be said that this year’s upcoming TerrifiCon is more terrific than ever!

Having gone to this event only once, I gotta say it’s a fun time. In fact, it came with a couple perks that I’ve missed at other cons I’ve encountered. For one thing, it doesn’t have many crowds, which kind of shocks me because when I went last year, the space used for the con wasn’t really that big. It worked, but it wasn’t big. Another perk for me, and perhaps my mother, is that all my time spent at this con is actually free. Why? This is taking place at the Mohegan Sun casino, and she is a member of some sort of club there. The membership aided in her getting free tickets. Last year, she was actually able to get tickets for two out of the three days. This year however, she actually managed to get three free days. Thanks, mom! Judging by my recent comment, I’m going to be at the con from Friday August 17th, to Sunday August 19th.

TerrifiCon is going to be taking place in an all new venue this year! As a matter of fact, when I was leaving Mohegan Sun last year to go home, there was actually construction being done on the new center. The venue goes by the name of Earth Expo & Convention Center, and it’ll still be attached to the Mohegan Sun property, but it’s an addition to the all new Earth Tower. I haven’t gotten much of a look at the place, but I have seen progress on its assembly.

Guests at this year’s TerrifiCon range from media guests, cosplay guests, artists, and writers. Some standouts include Pom Klementieff (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Ingrid Goes West), Lou Feringno (King of Queens, The Incredible Hulk), Sam Jones (Flash Gordon, Ted), and Henry Winkler (Happy Days, Arrested Development).

However that’s not all the guests that stand out, because a there’s a couple a guests that I’d imagine would be getting a lot of attention, but they won’t because they canceled.

One of the biggest guests on the list, in fact what I think may be THE biggest guest on the list for this year’s TerrifiCon is Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, The Wolf of Wall Street). His name was leaked on the guest list somewhere towards the second half of spring. Although recently, the unfortunate happened. Days ago, a representative for Jon Bernthal said this:

“I cannot even begin to express how sorry I am to inform you that Jon Bernthal will have to cancel his appearance at your show in August to do his filming schedule. It seems he will have wrapped “Punisher” and gone into production for his next film the week before. He really wanted to make it especially since it would’ve been perfect since it was so close, but after just receiving this new schedule, it’s not going to be possible.”

Speaking of canceled appearances, we have another from KISS member Vinnie Vincent. As the website suggests, this guest canceled due to a scheduling conflict. Similarly, Shannon Farnon, known for her work on the Hanna-Barbera “Wonder Woman,” couldn’t make it due to a scheduling conflict of her own.

Funny enough, since we’re talking about things that have been unfortunately canceled, let’s talk about “Comic Book Men.” I never really watched “Comic Book Men,” but there’s gonna be a trio of guests from the AMC TV show of that name. These guests include Mike Zapcic, Bryan Johnson, and Ming Chen. The thing I love about these guests is not necessarily their show, their personalities, the fact that they’re even at the con, none of that. It’s not that I don’t like them, but that’s not what I’m referring to here. What I truly appreciate about the announcement for these guests is how the writer is trying to project himself. It’s like he’s talking straight to the target audience given his statement, calling the trio from “Comic Book Men” “former stars of the wrongly cancelled AMC-TV show.” For the record, this convention is being presented by Mitch Hallock and Big Fedora Marketing. So this must be either Mitch Hallock himself or some guy we don’t even know behind Big Fedora Marketing who wrote this sort of thing. Funny enough, on Jon Bernthal’s cancellation notice, it says “We were looking forward to seeing him as well – I already bought a 1st appearance of the Punisher for him to sign. But its not happening this year.

And yes, for those of you paying close attention, there is no apostrophe in what I assume was supposed to be “it’s.”

I could go on talking about all of the guests, but it’s a small list so I don’t feel it is absolutely necessary. One thing I do want to talk about is if you are going to the con, there is a chance that you could be making history. As an attempt to make a Guinness World Record for “Most contributions to a greeting card,” Terrificon is going to have a 5×24 ft card featuring art from Jerry Ordway. Some of you might be thinking that this is one of those world records that might be looked at for a second by someone simply before they move on to find something more “valuable” or “important,” and maybe you’re right. However, it does not mean there is no purpose to this world record attempt. After all, this greeting card, is also a birthday card. Who’s birthday is it? It’s not a bird, it’s not a plane, but I can definitely guarantee it is Superman. How old is Superman? This year, it is eighty years since his first ever appearance in a comic book!

Also, I gotta say, he ain’t lookin’ too bad for his age. He’s gotta lose that mustache tho, it’s kinda distracting. A little digital effects in post production will take care of it, don’t ya think?

If you are into cons with activities, I will say, that sort of thing caters to all kinds of guests who enter the convention center looking for something to do. Aside from your traditional walking around, shopping, meeting celebrities, artists, going to panels, cosplay contests, etc, the con also has an after party. The after party takes place on Saturday, August 18th at 7:30 PM to midnight. This event goes by the name All-Ages* Super Terrific Retro After Party, and don’t take the all-ages thing too literally. Yes, even if you were just born in the casino minutes ago, you might not have a problem getting in. However, if you’re younger than twenty-one, you must have a parent or guardian accompanying you. There will be live music, a DJ, a trivia contest, karaoke, and cosplay is certainly permitted! To enter and get all of this cool s*it, it just costs $10! If you’re not a party-person, that’s OK, no one ever forced you to be. Because you know, nerds are born to avoid any social interaction possible. And one way they do such a thing is go in their soundproof room, turn on some console or computer, and play video games.

Throughout TerrifiCon, there will be tons of opportunities to play some of your favorite video games such as “Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite,” “Rock Band 4,” “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U,” “Injustice 2,” and “Fortnite.” This is part of what’s being called CTGamer Arena, and seeing some of these titles, I am somewhat curious to check this out. The schedule suggests that they’re going to be doing Jackbox Games at 7PM on Friday. I would love to play Jackbox Games with a large group of people, just hear all of the laughs! I play Jackbox Games with my friends several times a year! COUNT! ME! IN! But one rule, if we’re playin’, we gotta do Fibbage at some point.

And if video games aren’t your jam, there is certainly nothing wrong with doing tabletop, and this con has got that! Granted, it’s a smaller schedule, but they’ve got it covered! If you want to play “Magic: The Gathering” or “Warhammer,” go get your game on in The Dragon’s Lair!

When it comes to TerrifiCon, they’ve always come off to me as one of the more family-friendly conventions I’ve seen. When I usually think of conventions, I don’t usually think of family, I just think of a place where out of shape, nerdy men like myself go around and spend money on whatever makes people like me happy. TerrifiCon feels like a con that would be welcoming to families, and when it comes to family related events, the convention has that covered! If you want family fun, find out about the “Aw Yeah Comics Fun Zone.” This area is in a giant ballroom featuring artists, writers, musicians, arts and crafts, face painting, robotics, demonstrations, and magic shows.

If you are traveling to this con and are looking for a place to stay, you can always book a hotel room on the Mohegan Sun property, that way you don’t have to make much of a trek towards the convention center considering it’s just steps from the elevators of both hotel towers. If that doesn’t satisfy you however, there are also hotels in the area that can get you staying close to the Mohegan Sun property. There is also another casino in the area, for those who aren’t familiar, by the name of Foxwoods, although Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods are owned by different tribes, so if you’re looking to shuttle from one casino to another, tough luck kid. If you want a link for hotels in the area, click the link below!

MOHEGAN SUN & HOTELS: http://www.terrificon.com/mohegan-sun—hotels.html

I’ll be at TerrifiCon all three days of its run, I hope to see you there, and I’m willing to bet it’ll be a heck of a time. I’ll be sure to do a haul and review once I’m done, and with that being said, if you want to see that sort of thing, don’t forget to follow me on WordPress using your WordPress account or an email! Thanks for reading this post! While we are still talking about upcoming content, I should have you all know that tomorrow I’m going to see “Skyscraper,” I’ll have that review up as soon as possible, and I hope you can stay tuned for all of my future work here on Scene Before! I want to know, are you going to TerrifiCon? What days are you going? Have you been before? Tell me about your experience! Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again (2018): Having the Hour and Fifty-Four Minutes of My Life

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“Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again” is directed by Ol Parker (Now Is Good, Imagine Me & You) and stars Lily James (Baby Driver, Cinderella), Amanda Seyfried (Ted 2, Mean Girls), Christine Baranski (The Good Wife, Chicago), Pierce Brosnan (GoldenEye, The Matador), Dominic Cooper (Preacher, Captain America: The First Avenger), Colin Firth (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Love, Actually), Andy Garcia (Ocean’s Eleven, The Godfather: Part III), Stellan Skarsgård (Good Will Hunting, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote), Julie Waters (Brave, Paddington), with Cher (Moonstruck, Mask), and Meryl Streep (The Post, Sophie’s Choice). This movie is the sequel to 2008’s “Mamma Mia!: The Movie.” Five years after the events of the original film, Sophie learns about past events involving her mother, while the movie chooses to simultaneously focus on what the movie’s universe would call present events.

This “Mamma Mia!” installment might as well only be made because of how much money the first one actually made. Based on words I’ve heard just the other day, I’ve been totally shocked by the numbers of the first “Mamma Mia!,” finding out it has actually brought in a total of over $600 million at the worldwide box office. Funny enough, it was never #1 at the box office on ANY of the weekends of its run! Seriously! “Iron Man” came out the same year, it was #1 on both its opening weekend and its second weekend, and yet it still made less than “Mamma Mia” did during its entire run! Now that we have that we have this sequel, I must ask… Will the box office numbers be as high as this film, or is this one giant fluke? The answer, will have to wait because this movie, when it comes to its official public release, is only a short number of days old. Another question I found completely unanswerable is “How was the movie?”

Upon walking out of the theater, I couldn’t even answer how the movie truly was. I could confirm I didn’t like it, I thought it was somewhat flawed. But at the same time, it was kind of fun. This movie is not necessarily just another bad movie, it’s also the kind of bad that to me, didn’t really make me hate myself. But part of me wondered why. Sure, maybe certain musical segments were well choreographed, I guess there were some chuckleworthy moments here and there, and there was also times where I just admired the main locations of the film. In fact, part of why I actually enjoyed myself very much may have been due to watching the film in the IMAX format. If I went to see “Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again” in a regular theater with a normal screen, I would have probably enjoyed myself a bit less than I did in my circumstance of viewing this film. I had low expectations going into “Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again,” and just because I enjoyed myself, doesn’t mean I thought the film was anywhere near absolute perfection. It just means I don’t want to bang my head on a wall for an hour.

The biggest problem I have with “Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again” is just that it’s kind of confusing. Granted, part of it be my fault as a viewer, because I’m willing to bet if I saw the first film, this sequel would be a lot more crystal clear. I won’t go into detail because the movie just came out and not everyone has seen it yet, but I just felt like there were maybe a huge amount of clutter in terms of characters, plot lines, etc. Granted, you can argue “Avengers: Infinity War” has that same issue, but the thing is, that movie plays out like a TV show. Everything has been leading up to it, if you’ve seen MCU movies released prior to that one, you’d probably have some sort of connection with the characters based on their journeys, and the way the screenplay and direction came together in that film made it feel like a thrill ride. “Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again” expands the story of the franchise, but it does that by including something that doesn’t really have much stakes attached to it. For a film like this, that might be a weird complaint, but I just didn’t really care for anyone in this film. Again, I didn’t watch the first installment, so I may be cheating with that statement. But I just found this film boring at times because it felt like it was a story that just had so much going on with occasional interruptions from musical numbers.

If you know me in person, chances are you’d know that I love thinker movies, I love movies that make you figure out what’s going on, movies that don’t give you all the answers right away, movies that rely on being complicated therefore making them come off as a fun puzzle. I love movies that don’t make you feel stupid! Although, one complaint I can’t believe I’m saying here is that I thought this movie was a bit more complicated than it had to be. Was it intentional? I doubt it. In fact, I feel like the only real intention of this sequel was to get money. This movie goes back and forth in time, only to make me wonder which character is which, and which part of my brain hurts the most. I think if the movie really wanted to tell its story from a perspective that goes over both the past and present, it should have really had some more work done during the edit. What should have been done is if you want to go over a past event, you should color grade or put a filter over the footage to make it look old-timey. I wouldn’t call something like this dumbing down, but I would consider it to be hint of help or aid for those who don’t even know what’s going on.

As far as the movie’s characters go, I’m not even gonna go into detail about a lot of them. To make a long story short, most of them are rather quirky, and have their own individual qualities that make them who they are. If you’re expecting to see Meryl Streep in this movie, you do get her, but as far as actually getting HER, don’t expect much. Because the movie mainly focuses on a younger version of her character (Lily James).

Having seen Lily James play this younger version of Donna, I can kind of buy into her interpretation of the character, and I’d say she did a fine job with the role for the most part. But in all seriousness, this does beg a question. The question I have to ask is… Is Lily James the next Meryl Streep? Granted, you don’t really need to be a powerhouse actor to be in a movie like this. It’s recommended, but that’s not the biggest thing that I’d say you need. In fact, in some cases, your ability to sing would probably have a higher importance. I do think Lily James is an alright actor. I haven’t seen her in much, but I’d say she’s an alright actor nevertheless. But here’s the thing, will the Academy see this movie and forever think of Lily James as that one actor to nominate every single year no matter what she does? I’m not sure how much longer Streep has in terms of her career, but if you consider how many times she’s been nominated for some award throughout her life, it only makes me wonder how many James is bound to get down the road.

But in all seriousness, I feel like the only things I can truly appreciate in “Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again” is that it exceeded my expectations, it was well choreographed at times, and it had some neat location choices. Other than that, it’s just a bunch of sequences shot on a camera placed together in a certain order for the sake of calling something a movie. It’s not good, and while I’m not in the target audience, I gotta be honest, I just didn’t think this was worth my time.

In the end, “Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again,” spectacle-wise, doesn’t fail to impress, but on every other level, it’s not on par with what I’d call a proper movie. I mean, it has its audience, they might as well enjoy the film, good for them. This movie to me however, it was boring, although in reality, it ended in a much quicker rate than I thought it would. Maybe it’s because it almost felt like nothing happened. If it weren’t for a few pluses sprinkled in or seeing this movie in IMAX, I probably would have lost all sanity. With that being said, I’m going to give “Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again” a 4/10. Thanks for reading this review! This Wedneday I’m going to see “Skyscraper,” so expect a review for that pretty soon, and speaking of that, be sure to follow my blog so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, have you seen “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” what are your thoughts on it? Or, which of the “Mamma Mia!” films do you like better? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

James Gunn FIRED From Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?! Who Should Replace Him?

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! I’ve got some very big movie news I want to go over very quickly here. When it comes to recent movies, a lot of people seem to think that Marvel has been killing it lately. With installments added to the Marvel Cinematic Universe such as “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Black Panther,” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” audiences have had something new from Marvel to rave about every few months. But something in particular could affect the future movies, mainly ones containing the “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

If you have watched “Guardians of the Galaxy” or “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” you may or may not be aware that a guy by the name of James Gunn wrote and directed both of those films. Some may say that “Guardians of the Galaxy” may be what it is as a movie because of James Gunn, so therefore a lot of people praise him. I can personally agree, it almost seems that he knows the style of the film and that really pops off the screen right into my eyes whenever I watch both installments. I may not have enjoyed the second installment, but the first one is definitely one of the better Marvel Cinematic Universe films.

Given the schedule of the MCU and success of both “Guardians of the Galaxy” installments, it just seems natural that the filmmaker suggested he was set to tackle a third installment in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise. He seems to have made progress on a script, recent talks between him and “Star Wars” god Mark Hamill got fans wondering if he would be taking on a role in the upcoming film, everything seemed to be going according to plan. That is… until July 20th, 2018.

It has now become apparent that James Gunn has made some controversial jokes on his Twitter account. Some of these older tweets were reported by Fox News, which to me is false advertising, because there are rarely any foxes on Fox News. You think CNN is fake news? At least their name is accurate! They’re a cable news channel! Fox News may call itself what it wants, but the day they get a bunch of foxes running around the studio would be the day that they’d win the Internet! Anyway, Fox News reported some of these tweets, eventually earning Disney’s attention. Once Disney’s attention had been earned, they severed their business relationship with James Gunn.

Now we are in a bit of a sticky situation here, because there are two sides to this very story that I can personally get. Some of you may be expecting me to say, THAT JAMES GUNN IS A F*CKING CREEP! HE DESERVES NOTHING! And trust me, now that this has been brought to my attention, I’m on your side. If this means that James Gunn is actually a pedophile (which I highly doubt), then wow! As much as I appreciate dark humor, I can personally understand why some people would be offended or upset by this. If these tweets were maybe put in a movie script for a dark comedy then maybe I’d appreciate this just a little more, but this is real life, where there are consequences for actions such as this. But there’s also another hand that really makes me wonder what the future for “Guardians of the Galaxy” will truly be. Gunn has basically made the franchise his own and he seems to have a particular sense of style that can not only be closely associated with himself, but the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise. Having seen this, I seriously wonder if this situation has a bigger impact on moviegoers than say Mel Gibson’s controversy. Granted I was only ten years old when he made that rude remark towards his girlfriend. I think this may be bigger because I imagine some kids may look up to James Gunn or really appreciate the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise, and it’s part of a big and relevant cinematic universe that gets brought up in conversation somewhere every single day now. Then again, let me just say, kids probably look up to James Gunn. They may not know who he is, but maybe without even knowing it, they look up to him. It wouldn’t be pretty for a kid to find out that their idol has been making rape jokes.

Plus, this has a bigger impact on me than a recent Disney affiliated firing that occurred. Some of you may know, FOR SOME REASON, they brought back “Roseanne,” with the forever lazy tagline “Same cast. New episodes.” Just a couple of months after the show started its revival season on ABC, the show’s star, Roseanne Barr, goes on Twitter and spits out a bunch of mumbo jumbo towards a senior advisor to former US President Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett. This tweet ended up being controversial, and ABC therefore canceled “Roseanne,” which is something I’ve been asking them to do with “The Bachelor” for a very long time but apparently they won’t listen! Nevertheless, “Roseanne” was pulled off of ABC’s schedule, and any content related to it has been removed from the ABC website. The thing about “Roseanne’s” cancellation however is that I was never a fan of “Roseanne” to begin with. One of the first thoughts I had about “Roseanne” coming back to ABC was “Why?” Granted, once I saw the ratings for the premiere episode, I could kind of see the point, but still, why? “Guardians of the Galaxy” isn’t anywhere near my favorite movie of all time. I thought it was one of the better movies to have come out in 2014, I gave it a 9/10 when I reviewed it, and I thought it was a very fun time. Judging by that, you might as well say I find “Guardians of the Galaxy” a lot more amusing than “Roseanne.” Heck! I found “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” a lot more amusing than “Roseanne” and that says something!

I wouldn’t say Disney’s wrong for what they did, but at the same time, I imagine it could be a sacrifice in quality towards “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.” But, I will say, Disney, if you’re reading this, I will give a list of directors I think are qualified to helm “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” and for some of them, I’ll go into a bit of detail behind why I chose them.

  • Kay Cannon (Blockers, Pitch Perfect)
  • Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Annihilation)
  • Anthony & Joe Russo (Avengers: Infinity War, Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
  • Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, Hunt for the Wilderpeople)
  • Brad Brad (The Incredibles, Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol)

Starting my discussion portion of these directors, we have Kay Cannon. I’ve been exposed to some of this girl’s work. I saw “Pitch Perfect,” which personally I hated, I wasn’t really that fond of it for the attempts at humor coming off as typical Hollywood studio comedy jokes that you’ve seen before, and it just didn’t feel like anything I’d write home about. Although, that movie is probably not made for me, I’m definitely not in the target audience. There is one thing however that made me go from HATING Kay Cannon to LOVING Kay Cannon, and that is “Blockers!” Based on the trailers, “Blockers” looks like your typical studio comedy, although in this case it’s really trying to be the next “American Pie,” but I ended up loving it after seeing it in the theater because of how relatable it came off not only to me, but from what I imagine, a number of parents who have teenagers. And most of all, it was funny! Another thing to consider about “Blockers” is that Kay Cannon had to tie together all of these characters, all of their storylines, and give them all their own individual beginning, middle, and end. Cannon didn’t write the screenplay for the movie, but given the amount of characters that may be aruged as being the “main character” of the movie, she did a spectacular job with what was given to her. Given the size of the character list in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” she’s probably gonna have to deal with just as many storylines while simultaneously having to make sure all of the humor in the movie works. Plus, “Blockers” is Cannon’s only directing credit. Since that movie came out, I wanted to see more work from her, and this is a good opportunity.

Next up is Alex Garland. Thus far he has directed two films, “Ex Machina” and “Annihilation.” While both don’t really have as big of a budget as “Guardians of the Galaxy,” they have been well received by critics. I personally thought both weren’t at the tippity top of my movie ratings scale, but VERY HIGHLY ENJOYABLE. Just a few weeks ago, I went back and watched “Ex Machina” for the fourth time, it’s that good. I’ve seen “Annihilation” twice, and while I don’t think it’s the best movie ever, I thought it was conceptually and visually beautiful. I will say though, according to IMDb, Garland’s directorial debut, “Ex Machina,” has an estimated budget of $15 million, and his next film he directed, “Annihilation,” has an estimated budget of $40 million. If he takes on “Guardians 3,” you might as well consider those past two films stepping stones towards the big guns. Plus, both films, kind of like “Guardians,” are in the sci-fi genre, so if Garland does well with “Guardians 3,” he would have three well received sci-fi films.

Up next, we have Anthony and Joe Russo. While these two may be known to some as the creators of the situational comedies “Community” and “Arrested Development,” fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe know them as co-directors of three films in the series that have been currently released, and another that’s set for a release next year. To me, the Russo brothers have directed the two best MCU films to date, “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Captain America: Civil War.” Both films, kind of like “Blockers,” involved a ton of characters that could potentially clutter the film. Personally, the way both of them turned out were phenomenal to me. Plus, let me say again, these guys have already directed four MCU films, one of which hasn’t been released yet. In fact, two of them have the Guardians in it! So not only do they have experience with superhero movies, comic book movies, Marvel movies, films with a ton of characters, but also characters from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise! From what I know, none of the actors from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise seem to have any major gripes with either director, so maybe that will allow the experience of making “Guardians 3” to be somewhat of a breeze.

Another director who has already helmed a movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Taika Waititi, as much as I personally found “Thor: Ragnarok” enjoyable, I wasn’t afraid to criticize it. Can any of you guess what my main complaint with “Thor: Ragnarok” is?

Anyone?

Hello, anybody home? Think McFly, think!

The main problem I had with “Thor: Ragnarok” is that it’s too much like “Guardians of the Galaxy!” As much as audiences found the attempts at humor in “Thor: Ragnarok” to be hysterical, I was just sitting down thinking, this is not “Thor.” It’s just a weird change of pace towards his character and it’s kind of ridiculous. And maybe it’s not because of Taika Waititi. After all, he didn’t even have a writing credit on the film. In fact, what I think should be done is if the director “Guardians 3,” whoever it may be, doesn’t want to write the film, Marvel should try getting the trio that wrote “Thor: Ragnarok,” otherwise known as Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, and Christopher Yost to work on the script. This could be especially useful towards Alex Garland, because he doesn’t put much humor into his movies. Then again this is the same guy who had a writing credit on DMC: Devil May Cry, a video game with this exchange:

MUNDUS: I am Mundus.

DANTE: You’re an asshole!

Given the script of “Thor: Ragnarok,” Waititi’s direction must have worked well enough lead to this “Guardians of the Galaxy” wannabe, and if they really wanted to take “Thor: Ragnarok” and make it a “Guardians of the Galaxy” film, someone could have just told them, “Hey! Want to make ‘Guardians 3?'” Well, that movie is happening now, so now is this crew’s chance to take it on!

The last director suggestion I have listed here is Brad Bird. When it comes to animation, Brad Bird is probably my favorite director of all time. He’s done both “Incredibles” installments, “Ratatouille,” and “The Iron Giant.” If you ask me, if Brad Bird happened to work on the screenplay of the film, that would be great too, because I feel that Bird’s best films are ones that not only he directs, but also writes. As much as I liked “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” that’s a film he directed, but didn’t write. One of my other comments towards Brad Bird that may sound odd, is that I feel he does better with animated movies than live action movies. While I will consider “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol” and “Tomorrowland” solid movies, they’re not anywhere near masterpieces. Some of you may be questioning why I am saying this because “Guardians of the Galaxy” is live action. You’re right there, but another thing to consider is how much green screen that film has. It’s all on computerized backgrounds! Plus, Brad Bird seems to have a good relationship with Disney, having done multiple films with them, which is something that James Gunn apparently doesn’t have anymore.

Now before I close this off, I want to share a true story with all of you. James Gunn is not exactly my favorite director, however I do find him to be one of the bigger standouts when it comes to the directors who have done recent film work. But James Gunn, despite how I feel about him, was apparently worthy enough, to have earned something that I think you all as an audience might want me to change. Just over a month ago, I graduated high school, and around that time, I got my yearbook. In the process of making the yearbook, I was encouraged to put something in as a senior quote. So after some searching on the Internet, I found what I thought was the perfect quote. Taken directly from IMDb, this is the quote I used in my yearbook:

“I have a very strong imagination and have since I was a little kid. That is where a lot of my world comes from. It’s like I’m off somewhere else. And I can have a problem in life because of that, because I’m always off in some other world thinking about something else. It’s constant.”

Guess what? JAMES GUNN SAID THAT!

I made a post on my Instagram with photo proof that James Gunn is the speaker of my quote in my high school yearbook! If anyone that’s affiliated with the making of the yearbook is reading this, I gotta ask… Is it too late to change my senior quote now that everyone is calling this guy a creep? Jostens, if you’re reading this, let me know! I mean, it’s only been a month since I graduated high school, I haven’t even started college, and I already have an excuse to change my senior quote!

Guys, thanks for reading this post that goes over a life-altering moment I never thought I’d have to face. James Gunn is a creep apparently, who knew? I love the first “Guardians of the Galaxy,” I’ll miss James Gunn’s unique and somewhat quirky style, and while I heard that Disney never confirmed Gunn was going to direct “Guardians 3” in the first place, it would have been easily predictable for him to do such a thing. With that being said, I hope an official director is announced soon, maybe one of my suggested candidates. As for upcoming content, tomorrow I’m going to see “Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again,” stay tuned for that review once it comes time to show it off, and also stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, what do you think about this whole James Gunn situation? Also, if you were to find a director or writer for “Guardians 3,” what would your pick be? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

CON ANNOUNCEMENT: I’m Going to New York Comic Con 2018!

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Before we get any further and dive into any specifics I have associated with the main topic of this post, I’d just like to say that I hope everyone at San Diego Comic-Con is having a wonderful experience this weekend, but f*ck each and every one of you who didn’t bother giving this guy a ticket! I have feelings, ya know! I hope those long lines will show you what you’re worth, jerkfaces! Speaking of things that are long, let’s talk about a couple who had a long journey making their own baby. The couple goes by the names of Paul and Genevieve, and they have gone through literal hell trying to conceive. When it comes to editing videos or memorizing comic book knowledge, these two are OK. Making babies? Eh, forget about it! This is all explained… in “What the IVF?”

“What the IVF?” is a YouTube series featuring the recently mentioned couple. The premise of the series is pretty much what I said up above. These two are trying as hard as they can to have a baby, but to do it, they go through methods containing difficulty equal to winning the arcade game Stacker. In other words, Genevieve’s uterus is rigged and after each sexual act or IVF cycle, it must be game over. Witness the dynamic duo as they encounter problems in sex, math, appointments, tests, and pains in the ass–err I mean needles! You can find the latest content from “WTIVF?” on YouTube, including new episodes uploaded each and every Monday. The latest episode in the series, episode 19, goes over the couple’s first embryo transfer, and maybe there’s hope, a miracle on the rise. Watch to find out! Be sure to subscribe to the “What The IVF?” YouTube channel (link below), and speaking of social media, be sure to check out “What the IVF?” on other noteworthy places on the interwebs! All the links are down below, check em out, and be sure to tell them that Jack Drees sent ya over!

WTIVF? WEBSITE: http://www.whattheivf.com/

WTIVF? YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCILXSidkzWgwrQ5Oa1py78w/featured?disable_polymer=1

WTIVF? TWITTER: https://twitter.com/WTivF

WTIVF? INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/wtivf/

WTIVF? FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/What-The-IVF-288868031634125/

Now I’ve done a few con announcements here on Scene Before, specifically for Rhode Island Comic Con and Terrificon, and I’ve been to those and another convention (PAX East). But the thing about those conventions is that those are all in the New England region. This convention we’re gonna be talkin’ about, this is not just the first con I’m going to outside the New England area, it is one of the biggest and most revered conventions in all of history! That con, is New York Comic Con!

As far as my personal attendance there goes, I’ll say that you will be able to find me in the convention center for two out of the four days this convention goes on for. What days you ask? Those will be Friday and Sunday. Note how I didn’t say Saturday, my friend couldn’t get tickets for that day unfortunately. Doesn’t matter, that means I get a day to perhaps roam around New York City and see what’s what!

Sticking to the con itself, New York Comic Con has been around since 2006, and is held by the for-profit organization known as ReedPOP. Greg Topalian, former VP of Reed Exhibitions is credited as the founder of both New York Comic Con and ReedPOP. This organization is also behind conventions such as C2E2 (Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo), PAX (Penny Arcade Expo), Comic Con Seoul, Comic Con Africa, Hyderabad Comic Con, Comic Con Paris, Emerald City Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration, BookExpo, Oz Comic Con, Indonesia Comic Con, Mumbai Comic Con, ComplexCon, Bookcon, and more!

This convention is going to feature a bunch of faces, including some of your favorite celebrities from movies and TV, artists, and a few other people in the mix! Let’s go over some group guests that stand out!

The first group is a bunch of people that maybe years back that you’d wonder, HOW’D THEY GET ON TV? Now you just wonder, how do I survive without this show? This first batch out of the oven is a group of four folks I like to call the Impractical Jokers! Call em what you may, Impractical Jokers, The Tenderloins, four lifelong friends who compete to embarrass each other, whatever, I LOVE THESE GUYS. If you guys don’t watch “Impractical Jokers,” I’ll tell ya, it’s a riot! Turn on TruTV, go ahead and do yourself a favor and prepare to laugh, cringe, and question humanity. It’s one of those times where me cringing isn’t a negative towards something I watch! IT’S THAT GOOD. By the way, if you’re thinking that one or two of the Jokers will be at the con, that ain’t happening! All four are appearing! If you’re going to New York Comic Con, this is your chance to meet Murr, Sal, Joe, and Q! Then again, considering the fact that they live and film their show around the area, it’s not that surprising that they’ll be at a con like this. Although keep in mind, the New York Comic Con website suggests that they won’t be autographing, so you probably won’t be talking with them much. I will say though, from a personal perspective, that’s somewhat surprising. I can kind of understand Q, Sal, and Joe not autographing, but what about Murr? He actually just released his new book, “Awakened” so I was figuring with that out right now, it would be a grand opportunity to promote the book. Since they’re paneling, I can imagine there will be some talk about the book, but no signing? I’m not judging here, but I’m kinda surprised. Also, one more thing, to those who are attending, all four will be at the con THURSDAY ONLY, so if you’re going Thursday (which I’m not, :(), you can meet the Jokers.

As for other groups, we’ve got a bunch of folks from Critical Role joining in on the fun! We have Liam O’Brien, Laura Bailey, Marisha Ray, Matthew Mercer, Sam Riegel, Travis Willingham, Taliesin Jaffe, Ashley Johnson, and Brian W. Foster. If you had to ask me which of these folks I’d be most excited to meet, I’d personally pick Laura Bailey. I don’t watch a lot of “Critical Role,” but she’s Lucina in the “Fire Emblem” video game series, which I have played. She’s also one of my goto characters when I’m playing one of the newer “Super Smash Bros.” games.

Another group showing up is part of the cast of “Star Wars: Rebels!” Now that the series is over, it doesn’t mean that the cast’s con appearances are! This year at New York Comic Con, feast your eyes upon guests including Mary Elizabeth McGlynn and Steve Blum! If you are a “Star Wars” fan and that info doesn’t satisfy you enough, I’ll have you know that there are more “Star Wars” guests that I haven’t even gone over! One such guest is Grey DeLisle, or as she’s known on IMDb, Grey Griffin. She’s been in several pieces of “Star Wars” content, such as “Star Wars: The Old Republic,” “Star Wars: Battlefront II,” and even a couple of “Star Wars: Rebels” episodes now that we’re on that topic! Griffin is also known for tons of voiceover work in other material, just look at her IMDb, she’s got a ton of credits!

Got a few more groups to go over, one of which is “Boy Meets World,” or depending on which generation you grew up in, “Girl Meets World.” We have Ben Savage, Danielle Fishel, and Will Friedle, if you have watched either one of these shows, then you’re in luck at NYCC! You will get a chance to meet these three characters from the franchise (Fri-Sun)!

We also have a couple people from “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” specifically Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher, that way you can actually meet Lois and Clark in a big metropolis (New York)! Is it just me or has Dean Cain been going to a lot of cons recently? Seriously, I’ve been seeing his name on con guest lists a lot over the past year or so.

One of the more successful shows on Starz goes by the name of “Outlander,” and a number of its cast members will be appearing at the con. The list includes Caitriona Balfe (Claire Randall) and Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser). Both cast members have been present in the show’s entire series and play major roles.

Now in case you don’t already know, this is a BIG CON. But one thing that personally surprises me about it is that badges are still available for purchase. Saturday is sold out, but Thursday, Friday, and Sunday are all still available. Although my friend and I will tell you, getting the badges is not easy. It almost got to a point where she gave up. This was a graduation gift from her, so I can’t thank her enough. For example, before you can actually purchase any badges, you actually need to create an account that will allow you to purchase badges. That’s like going into some warehouse store like Costco and someone who works there tells you if you want to be a member, you need to go on your phone, go to Costco.com, and create a “Costco Confirmation” account, or as they call it “CC.” Once that’s done, you are eligible to be a member! And the tickets are not cheap! For the tickets that are on sale, you have to pay somewhere in the fifty dollar range, which funny enough, is almost the price of a Gold Star Costco membership! Also, for those of you who like to buy passes with multiple days for one price, I gotta tell ya, that’s not a thing. NYCC used to have that, however in 2017, that was discontinued. Why? I don’t know, probably to get more money.

In recent news, it has become apparent that New York Comic Con is partnered with Anime Expo. If you go to New York Comic Con this year and happen an anime junkie, you’re in luck! During NYCC, there is going to be a four day anime festival known by the name “Anime Fest @NYCC x Anime Expo.” Anime Expo, if you are not already aware is a large convention held annually in Los Angeles, CA. According to Wikipedia, the total number of attendees at these conventions have reached numbers in the six digit marks! You don’t necessarily need a badge to New York Comic Con to take advantage of an experience like this, but if you are curious about any sort of discount you could possibly get for possessing an NYCC badge, you can’t get one. All the discounts have been sold out. You can still however pay the standard price to attend this event on each day of its run.

New York Comic Con is from Thursday October 4th to Sunday October 7th in New York’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center! I hope to see you there, and I can guarantee that this will definitely be a unique con experience. This con is one of the biggest nerd celebrations in the world, and just for that alone, I am super stoked to see what this thing is all about! Over the next couple of months I’ll be asking myself, is NYCC worth the hype? And maybe when it comes time to do my review and haul of the convention, that question will be answered. Thanks for reading this post! Be sure to stay tuned for more great content coming to Scene Before, including my review for “Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again.” I just got tickets for a showing of the movie on Sunday, so expect a review of that movie sometime soon! Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, are you going to New York Comic Con? Have you been before, tell me your thoughts on it! Also, is it worth the hype? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

CON ANNOUNCEMENT: I’m Going to Rhode Island Comic Con 2018!

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! This week is San Diego Comic-Con! Despite my gripe with them that I’ve held onto for the past number of months, I can still say with happiness and joy that the nerd celebration of the year is here! And to celebrate that, I’ve got con announcements incoming! Because I suck and can’t refresh my computer as fast as possible to get my San Diego Comic-Con tickets. Before we dive into this con announcement, let me just ask you something. Are comic-cons just for the nerds? I wouldn’t say they are. Nerds are definitely the target audience, but in reality, everyone is welcome! After all, I can imagine a lot of people want to meet an admirable celebrity, shake their hand, get their autograph, take a pic, all that jazz. Speaking of celebrities, there are a bunch of them that can be found on YouTube. And I know a lot of you viewing this might be thinking about people like PewDiePie or Shane Dawson or Smosh or Markiplier. Sure, those users are definitely popular. However, there are several communities and users on YouTube that aren’t necessarily talked about or brought up when thinking about YouTube celebrities. Today, we are going to change that. Ever since I discovered YouTube, I have been stalkin’ a group of people that make up the “elevator community.” One such member includes, its revered founder. In this post, I’d like to give a special shoutout and promotion to the YouTube user Dieselducy!

Dieselducy is a fairly popular YouTuber who happens to be a master of his craft, which simply put, is riding elevators. It takes hard work and dedication to find the finest and most presentable elevators on YouTube, and Dieselducy knows exactly what to do in order to show off the best of the best! Having shot many videos by himself and more alongside fellow elevator enthusiasts he met along the way, it’s easy to say that Dieselducy may be the most highly appreciated elevator photographer on the Internet. You can find all of Dieselducy’s content on YouTube, including this one of an elevator that’s shaped in a circular form, so you can say that it’s a lot like a “Star Trek” transporter. And seriously, this dude is a boss! He’s got over 50,000 subscribers! Thousands of videos to choose from for your viewing convenience! And as of recently, tons of livestreams, including one where he GETS A TICKET ON CAMERA! Please check out Dieselducy’s YouTube channel, be sure to subscribe, hit the notification bell, and check his other social media pages! Also, be sure to tell him that Jack Drees sent ya over!

DIESELDUCY’S YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/user/dieselducy

DIESELDUCY’S WEBSITE: http://www.dieselducy.com/

DIESELDUCY’S TWITTER: https://twitter.com/dieselducy

DIESELDUCY’S FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/DieselDucy/

DIESELDUCY’S INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/dieselducy/

DIESELDUCY’S FLICKR: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dieselducy

DIESELDUCY’S SNAPCHAT: Dieselducy

Now, as you can tell by the title of this post, you may be aware that I’m going to Rhode Island Comic Con this year. I’ve been running Scene Before for over two years now, and in that time, I’ve been to this con twice. Before I started this blog, I didn’t just go to that con, that was actually the first con I’ve ever gone to. I even documented my thoughts on the 2017 convention, which I thought was slightly clunky and disorganized, but despite that, it might have been the best con I’ve done in my life so far. I got to meet the cast of “Revenge of the Nerds,” I met a few people from Channel Awesome, I attended a couple panels, and I got a photo op alongside Christopher Lloyd. This upcoming con, doesn’t look like it’s going to disappoint. Some of the guests they’ve got lined up for this thing already impress me, and I can tell there will definitely be more impressive guests to come along the way. For the ones that are already listed, let’s dive into IT!

Take that last statement very lITerally, because “IT” seems to be playing a huge part in this con! And I’m talking about both the straight to TV miniseries and the recent hIT movie! As for the miniseries, one name you may recognize who will be showing up to Rhode Island is Tim Curry! You may know Curry as the famous clown, Pennywise. While “IT” is definitely partially responsible for Tim Curry’s fame, he has also appeared in such projects including “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Clue,” “The Hunt For Red October,” “Home Alone 2: Lost In New York,” and “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” As of now, there is currently no announcement of Bill Skarsgård appearing, so you can’t really say you have two Pennywises coming together. Although there are people from the 2017 “IT” movie who will be making an appearance, specifically kids.

The appearing kids include Wylat Oleff (Stanley Uris) and Jaeden Lieberher (Bill Denbrough). I can’t really say that much about their performances in “IT” overall, because I haven’t actually watched the movie. I watched tons of movies in 2017, but “IT” was not one of them, which to be honest is kinda surprising when you think about the success IT had. Another thing to bear in mind with this post here, is that IT is published before all of the “IT” guests have been announced (probably, depends on how the people behind the con close out this week’s announcements).

Sticking with the topic of Tim Curry, he happens to be one of the guests currently listed in the “headliners” category. Now, if you look at the guest list for Rhode Island Comic Con on their website, that label doesn’t actually exist. But last year, they had several guests labeled as “headliners.” These guests would be on the first list you’d see on the guest page, and if RICC intends to do things similar to last year, they’ll all be in the Dunkin Donuts Center together (well, at least most of them), as opposed to the Rhode Island Convention Center, which is attached to that property. Rhode Island Comic Con currently has eighteen headliners listed on their site and they are…

Tim Curry (It, Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
Alan Tudyk (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Moana)
Morena Baccarin (Deadpool, Gotham)
Karl Urban (Star Trek, Dredd)
Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Walking Dead) He’s Mary Poppins, y’all.
Finn Jones (Game of Thrones, Iron Fist)
Jessica Henwick (Game of Thrones, Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Nestor Carbonell (The Dark Knight, Bates Motel)
Billy Boyd (Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Empty)
Danny Trejo (Sons of Anarchy, Machete)
Brianna Hildebrand (Deadpool, The Exorcist)
Stefan Kapičić (Deadpool, Counterpart)
Richard Dean Anderson (General Hospital, MacGyver)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy)
Billy Zane (Titanic, Back to the Future Part II)
Cassandra Peterson (Movie Macabre, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Stand and Deliver, Young Guns)
Ben McKenzie (Gotham, Southland)

Since we’re on the topic, let’s talk about three of them specifically. The trio includes Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapičić, and Morena Baccarin.

What do the recently mentioned trio have in common? They’re all in the “Deadpool” movies! You may know Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Stefan Kapičić is the voice of Colossus, and Morena Baccarin plays Vanessa, the love interest to “Deadpool.” I am SO excited for this trio! I actually met one of the people in this trio before, specifically Brianna Hildebrand, and it was fun meeting her. In fact, it was actually at this exact con in 2016. I didn’t talk to her much, although I did ask her how her time was in Providence, I told her she had the “coolest name ever,” to which she chuckled, and we went our separate ways. One thing you might be interested to know is that Stefan Kapičić was actually at the same convention that weekend. Although I didn’t meet him. So depending on what I do during this convention, I’ll have a chance of meeting three “Deadpool” cast members, one of which I’ve met before, and two I’d meet for the first time. If I can’t get to all three, I’d personally flock after Morena Baccarin. I mean, let me just say, I’m a white, straight, eighteen year old boy. Of course I f*cking love “Deadpool.” Morena Baccarin’s character is not only gorgeous, but my gosh, she is just one of the best and most charismatic love interests I’ve seen as far as recent movies go.

If you were going to ask me who I think might be the “best on-screen couple” in movie history, Vanessa and Wade from “Deadpool” are definitely in that conversation. While certain parts of their relationship feel somewhat fantastical, you just can’t help but appreciate their chemistry and dialogue throughout both “Deadpool” and “Deadpool 2.” I’m twenty years younger than Baccarin, but if she happened to ever be single and want a younger guy… I’m available. But in all seriousness, Baccarin at a con is definitely going to be interesting, but you know what would be even cooler? If they pull out all the stops and get Ryan motherf*cking Reynolds!

Another group of guests that is likely to get a lot of attention at Rhode Island Comic Con is the cast of “The Walking Dead.” Last year, they’ve had plenty of guests announced who happened to be “Walking Dead” cast members. Although, due to bad timing in their schedules, four of them couldn’t even make it. Let’s just hope for the sake of the fanbase’s personal joy that this doesn’t happen again this year. So far, when it comes to “The Walking Dead” guests this year, we have Steven Yeun, Michael Rooker, Laurie Holden, Lennie James, Jeremy Palko, and Cooper Andrews. This con is three and a half months away, so there could be potential for more “Walking Dead” guests to show up, however if there’s one that’s unlikely to show up, that’s Jeffery Dean Morgan. I remember hearing on YouTube he was rather dissatisfied with Rhode Island Comic Con due to its chaos and disorganization. Oh well, there are other people to look forward to meeting!

This con is not exactly a couple of months away, so I’m not gonna get into too many more guests, but some of the guests I’m noticing seem to be very well known for their voiceover work.

The first guest I’ll mention is Kevin Conroy. While some may argue about the best on-screen Batman and lean towards someone such as Adam West, Christian Bale, or Ben Affleck, some may lean towards Kevin Conroy. He has not just played Batman, you can make the argument at this point that this guy probably IS Batman! Seriously, let’s make a list of some of the s*it that he’s done as the character of Batman! “Batman: The Killing Joke,” “Batman: Arkham Asylum,” “Batman: Arkham City,” “Batman: Arkham Knight,” “Batman: The Animated Series,” “The New Batman Adventures,” “Injustice: Gods Among Us,” “Injustice 2,” “Batman and Harley Quinn,” “Batman: Vengeance,” “DC Universe Online,” “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm…”

Now let’s move onto our next voiceover artist, Tara Strong!

If the name Tara Strong does not sound familiar to you, than chances are you don’t do much research on “My Little Pony” or “The Fairly OddParents.” Tara Strong is very well known for years of voiceover work, having received several nominations in the Annie and Behind the Voice Actor awards shows. She also is known for her work as Bubbles on “The Powerpuff Girls.”

Another big voiceover name at this year’s Rhode Island Comic Con is John DiMaggio. You may know him from “Adventure Time,” “Gravity Falls,” the “Transformers” movies, and “Futurama,” otherwise known as that one show with a popular meme that is going to describe everyone attending Rhode Island Comic Con once they hear the word “autograph,” “ticket,” or “photo op.”

I don’t really have as much of an objective at this year’s Rhode Island Comic Con like I did other times I went, but then again, that could potentially change in the upcoming months. If there was an objective this year for me, the closest thing to it is to meet Morena Baccarin. As far as talking to her goes, that’s a different story, I don’t know how big or fast her line will be, but I can guarantee that it won’t be small. Maybe I can at least get a hello or some witty joke in or something jazzy. For the other three years I’ve gone to Rhode Island Comic Con, there was an objective I had in mind, and it has been accomplished each time. In 2015, I met Curtis Armstrong. In 2016, I met Gal Gadot. In 2017, I met the entire cast of “Revenge of the Nerds” who happened to appear for their reunion. When it comes to Rhode Island Comic Con, the thing that has always impressed me is the guest list. Not only is it big, but it includes people that probably rarely go to cons! The guest list and con is so big in fact, that it needs three venues to fit everything! For the past few conventions, it has been held inside the Rhode Island Convention Center, as it has every single year, but it has also been held in the attached Dunkin Donuts Center. In 2017, however, I was made aware that new ballroom space in the closeby Omni Providence Hotel was used for the con. I imagine that will continue this year, because that space was used for a traveling group that shows nerdy films called GeekFest Film Fests, and they are coming back this year.

Why is there so much space? If you haven’t followed this con or been to it, one big story that went down during the con’s run in 2014 is that the Rhode Island Convention Center was filled to capacity, which is the first time that’s happened in the building’s history. 20,000 people attended Rhode Island Comic Con that weekend, and this was kind of a hazard. The fire marshal temporarily shut down the con due to poor attendance flow. At least about 1,500 attendees couldn’t enter the convention and those who left the convention could not reenter. Luckily, those who wanted refunds likely had their wish granted, and precautions such as adding the Dunkin Donuts Center in 2015 helped this sort of thing become less likely to happen again. Then 2015 happened, and the line to get in the Rhode Island Convention Center from the Dunkin Donuts Center was longer than jury duty. Disorganization was also a key complaint uttered by some con-goers in 2016, one such complaint was towards the company issuing photo ops, which was resolved in 2017 by getting a new team. However, for whatever reason, that team is not back this year.

Now this con, as mentioned, is disorganized, and that was one of the big complaints that they MAYBE tried to avoid from happening again like it did in 2016. When I entered the con last year, something REALLY strange happened. The entry point of the con allows you to go straight into the Dunkin Donuts Center, and nearby to the right is a ramp that transports you onto a skybridge that goes over to the Rhode Island Convention Center. In 2017, however, that was not a thing. Apparently, as a method of “crowd control” everybody had to go around the circle that makes up the Dunkin Donuts Center before they can even enter the Rhode Island Convention Center! Is this an attack on nerds for not getting enough physical exercise? And if that’s the case, it’s good to know that an arena with a donut shop’s name is helping out! I don’t know if this will happen again in 2018, but as much as I look forward to this con, that might be the first or second biggest downfall of last year’s experience.

Much like last year, this con is going to have some nifty events tied into it. This year there’s going to be an after-party on Friday and Saturday, tattooing, gaming tournaments, Sci-fi Speed Dating (must be 18 and single to participate), and if you’re coming here with your kids, you may be happy to know that RICC will have certain things that cater to them at Kids Con!

I’ve been going to Rhode Island Comic Con, and while it’s definitely not a perfect convention, it has some weird quirks and bugs behind it, the con definitely does not disappoint and it’s a buttload of fun. I’ll be there as a patron all three days, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This starts on November 2nd and ends on November 4th. If you want to go to Rhode Island Comic Con, I do highly recommend you check it out, and if you’re staying somewhere overnight, click the link below and go check out the discount hotel rates you can get during your stay at Providence during this event. As of this post’s publication, you can still book a few nearby hotels such as The Hilton Providence or Courtyard Providence Downtown. If those are out of your budget, the list also includes a couple hotels near the airport in Warwick, which is towns away from Providence. I’m looking forward to Rhode Island Comic Con and I hope to see you there! Thanks for reading this post! Pretty soon I’ll have a couple “Mission: Impossible” reviews coming your way. I’m gonna soon have my review up for “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation” and “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, are you going to Rhode Island Comic Con this year? Have you gone before? Tell me your thoughts on it. Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

DISCOUNT HOTEL RATES DURING RICC 2018: http://www.ricomiccon.com/hotels

Going To See 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968): A Tale of Two 70s *SPOILERS*

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Hey everyone! Jack Drees here! The last number of weeks have been wild. Not just here on Scene Before, but I mean life in general. From learning to drive, to dealing with college, to being invited to a pre-release screening and accepting an invitation for the first time, to going to see my first double feature in a theater, to perhaps one of the most infuriating and crap-induced days of my entire life, vacations, family reunions, and everything has just been stacking up on my schedule like pancakes at IHOb. That’s right! IHOb! Apparently someone thought it was so brilliant to switch the last initial of IHOP. The new initial by the way, happened to be “burgers.” The International House of Pancakes, has now become the International House of Burgers. IHOP is synonymous with breakfast in the same way that Sprint is synonymous with *muffled voice*

GUY ON OTHER END: Sorry, what was that? I can’t hear you.

ME: Oh, sorry, let me try going into another room!

*Footsteps*

ME: OK, let’s try this again, where were we?

GUY: Something about IHOP.

ME: Oh, right, thanks!

IHOP could have gone with several names for their replacement initial if they wanted to stick to having a “b!” Bacon! Breakfast! Buttermilk! And as weird as it sounds, Belgians! Seriously! International House of Belgians! That… The more I think about it… Kind of has a ring to it. Or, what if the “b” was so random that it had nothing to do with food whatsoever? Imagine the name change being International House of Butts. I think smoking is usually frowned upon at IHOb, but you have butts that get right into the restaurant and eventually land in a seat! What about International House of Balls? Because it takes balls to go to a diner and eat pancakes with fake syrup. Or even more random, what if the “b” is for a person’s name? IHOP could become the International House of Bob. Maybe the International House of Bianca? That not good enough? What about the International House of Becky? Still not satisfied? Why not settle for the International House of Barry? Everyone will come in, desperate to ask an employee, “Who the hell is this wacko named Barry?” And maybe if your name is Barry, you’ll get your entire meal half-priced! If you are a FAMOUS Barry, your meal is free! That’ll bring all the Barrys in! Barry Trotz! Barry Williams! Barry Manilow! Now is your time to be the best Barry you can possibly be! After awhile, IHOP learned their lesson and changed their name back to what it originally was, but this just felt like a natural disaster! Screw whatever s*it went down in “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” allow me to introduce Hurricane Burger!

Seriously though, this rant is not what you came in for, you came in for something related to “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Over a couple of weeks, I’ve taken two opportunities to go see “2001” in two different movie theaters. Both times, I saw the movie in 70mm, which is the way that many audiences witnessed the film back when it came out. Speaking of that, this print that was shown at both theaters I went to was a photochemical recreation of the original camera negative for the first time since the film’s theatrical run. There are no digital tricks, add-ons, or gimmicks. It’s quite possibly the closest one could get to going back in time and watching this movie in a theater during the year of 1968. During the realization of how this print would ultimately turn out, the whole project was under the supervision of critically acclaimed director Christopher Nolan, who has been a lover of “2001: A Space Odyssey” for a very long time. Nolan has directed films including the “Dark Knight” trilogy, “Memento,” “Inception,” and most recently, “Dunkirk.” He has also created a film with several similarities to “2001,” “Interstellar.” The first presentation of these “unrestored” prints occurred at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where Nolan received a standing ovation upon being greeted. Warner Brothers went on releasing a number of prints at select theaters, and not all of them have been released yet.

Let me just start off by saying that both experiences of “2001” were absolutely spectacular! I consider “2001” to be one of my all time favorite movies, so naturally I wouldn’t mind watching it anywhere, but the fact that I’ve went out to see it in a theater in 70mm probably brought out the best the film ever had to offer.

Every other time (maybe except one) that I’ve watched the movie “2001,” whether it was start to finish, split into parts, whatever, it was on a Blu-ray disc, and the transfer that “2001” has gotten on that particular disc is not bad whatsoever. I say maybe except one because I’d bet my first viewing was on a DVD. You can see all the necessary details, no colors look all that weird, and the sound is pretty good too. Although for the past couple of viewings, I’ve gotten off my ass, and went into a theater with other people. See guys? I have a life! I can go out of the house every once in a while! And with just enough motivation, I think you can too!

The first time I walked out of “2001” after seeing it in a theater, I don’t think I said this right away, but I can guarantee you that at one point, even if it is days after my experience, I said something along the lines of “THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.” Sounds like you would hear that phrase every now and then. I was born just barely before 2000, but I can imagine back in 1977, when “Star Wars” came out, some people, adults, teens, and children living at that time probably at the very least had that thought in their mind after their first “Star Wars” experience. In 1994, “Toy Story” came out, and when it released, there was not much like it in the animation genre. It blew a lot of minds out of people’s heads and just lead to just about nothing but high appreciation. In fact, this year, in 2018, minds are still being blown. We have just witnessed the culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Avengers: Infinity War,” and people are having many emotions towards it. I thought it was a total game changer, not to mention one of the all time greatest movies I’ve witnessed that is based on a comic book due to how the execution of the content the film contained turned out and the way it ended. Even after “Avengers: Infinity War,” my mind is still able to be blown, and with this mind blowing experience, it’s not just amazing because it’s truly unlike anything I’ve ever seen. But it’s also something that I’ve technically seen before, but am now getting to view in a whole new way that feels unique.

Without further ado, let’s talk about both of my experiences in detail!

SOMERVILLE THEATRE, SOMERVILLE, MA (JUNE 3RD, 2018, 12:30 PM):

The first of my two experiences took place at the closest theater to my house where this sort of thing happened to be taking place, the Somerville Theatre. The theater first opened in 1914 and my presentation was in its original auditorium. As far as getting there, I went with my friend by her car on a Sunday afternoon, leaving my home an hour prior to showtime. And since it was Sunday, we were kinda lucky, parking was free. Yay! We get in the theater to realize there actually is a line to get tickets or check in. My friend and I already had our tickets. Then once we grab our tickets, we get into another line on the opposite side of the sidewalk from where we walked in. Continuing our luck, it wouldn’t take that long for us to enter the theater given our distance in line. Once we enter, we grab our seats somewhere towards the rear end, and more luck happened to be on the rise! CENTER SEATS! As we grab our seats, I decide to go on into the lobby because I wanted a popcorn and soda.

I enter the lobby, knowing where the snack stand is because this is not my first time at this theater. As I walked forward, I knew exactly what to order. I ended up getting a large combo which cost less than $10! Holy crap! You know how much I have to pay for a combo like that an AMC? It’s somewhere around $15 to $17! I do it to support the theater and they actually make more money off of food purchases than ticket sales, which is why I don’t bring my own stuff into the theater. But just the other day I was down in Disney World, and they had an AMC on the property, where a large popcorn and a large drink would cost me around $15 to $17, and even when I use a discount which I earned from rewards points, it’s still a good deal, but if I remember correctly, it still cost me more than a large combo at Somerville Theatre WITHOUT rewards points. By the way, both of those combos actually allow you to get free refills. Boom. The guy at the register was really nice too. He complimented on my Cinema Sins t-shirt, and pointed out that everyone who got something at the stand so far in the day, including myself, ordered a large combo. The streak was eventually broken, but it’s still cool to be part of the team! Speaking of broken streaks…

I get back into the theater, and I accidentally enter the wrong row. I’m one row ahead of where I’m supposed to be. So instead of executing my gymnast skills of lifting my legs over a seat, I walk out on the side, like a normal person. Then suddenly, bad luck ensues. Not just for me, but for the poor man whose drink I accidentally spilled. I hear a noise, and this guy say “S*it.” I didn’t know what to do for a second. So it was time to play a game, let’s call it “Somersolve,” the game of solving problems in Somerville, Massachusetts. The objective is to avoid getting into a problematic situation and solve a problem. So, I act calm, and let out my humorous side.

“On the bright side, it’s a free refill.”

The guy who I interacted with seemed to take the situation lightly, my friend offered to spend some money on him toward new refreshments, to which he replied that he’s alright and ended up getting a free refill. Based on my observations, the guy ended up moving to a different seat. By the way, if this guy I’m referring to is reading this, I’m sorry!

Once it’s just about time to begin the action, a guy comes into the theater and starts talking on the microphone. He greets and welcomes everyone, and he states that the projectionist in the booth is considered by numerous people to be “the best in the business,” suggesting that he’s projected “2001” many times. Then the bad luck continued… He goes on to say that a gear on the projector is actually broken, and from what I heard, this happened many hours, perhaps a day or two, prior to my arrival. The projector still works, and the movie is still playable. However, there is a drawback to all of this. During certain points of the movie, the screen will go black for a minute, and the movie will stop. And no, this is not in an intermission type of pause (although the movie did provide one). What would happen is the screen will suddenly stop displaying an image. No sound would be heard whatsoever. And you know what? The guy was gonna make it up to anyone who wasn’t fond of this. If this bothers anyone, they actually get their money back, which is actually not a bad deal because they paid a premium price and maybe they can show they aren’t getting their premium service. Once I heard this, I was worried. What was gonna happen? What scenes were I going to miss? Oh my gosh! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria! Nevertheless, the speaker had an admirable hint of charm to him, and appeared to be extremely presentable. He also states some of the technical aspects I gave to you all in this post. The Christopher Nolan thing, the original camera negative thing, stuff like that. Once he finishes speaking, everybody begins to clap. It was clear that a good number of people were either really hyped for this experience, they love “2001,” they are enthusiastic about the whole 70mm situation, or clapping is possibly an undiscovered effect of dropping acid. Then, the auditorium returns to the low volume it previously contained. Afterwards, music begins. It’s the overture.

From what I can tell, the overture didn’t even start from the clear beginning. OK, whatever, it’s just the overture, there’s no picture during this moment, I can deal with that. I got to hear over 75% or 80% of it at least. Around the song’s technical halfway mark, I notice the slight dimming of a ceiling light. Once the song comes to a close, almost all of the auditorium is dark, excluding the screen, which has been revealed by the opening of the red curtain, and a few red lights on the walls. Then I see it. The MGM logo. The adventure has begun. We as an audience are then greeted to the famous, masterful, and endlessly parodied opening accompanied by Richard Strauss’s “Also Sparch Zarathustra.” I felt reborn. I almost wanted to clap immediately, but I didn’t want to be the one awkward attendee making everyone question humanity. I already made one person question such a thing when I spilled their drink. One thing I kinda sorta expected from there on out, was silence. Everyone was hypnotized to the screen, including me. I was trying to be respectful and not eat and drink too much for sake of not letting out too much noise. It reminded me of when I went to see “A Quiet Place” and would try to not be as obnoxious as I might be during other movies with my drink, and literally dissolve popcorn by use of my tongue. The screen demanded my full attention. When the movie started, and as it progressed, I did notice a slight difference in color when it comes to various shots. I didn’t consider it a bad thing, in fact compared to my Blu-ray, I think it truly captures the retro feel that maybe you’d want out of a movie like “2001,” and the more I think about it, makes it feel slightly less artificial. It’s not to say that it’s less clear than my Blu-ray, it’s higher in quality. Blu-rays go up to 1080p, and I have a player that can upscale those kinds of discs to near 4K quality. When it comes to 70mm, 4K is 70mm’s meal for breakfast. Now, let’s get to what could have been the worst part of the experience, had we been ripped off.

As mentioned, we were told that there would be short pauses during our presentation, which will eventually lead to the return of the movie playing. I was worried, I didn’t want to complain too much, then it happened. Around the “voiceprint identification” scene, the screen goes black, and the auditorium is almost in complete darkness. And since we were told about this, nobody really complained! I was thinking that we were going to miss a segment of the movie, and that point would be Floyd talking to his daughter while simultaneously wishing her a happy birthday. Nope! We didn’t really miss anything! Yippee! What a relief! This happened a couple more times during the screening. The first one being one of the earlier scenes on the ship introducing Dave, Frank, HAL, and the hibernating scientists. When that occurred, I turned to my friend, and tried to vocalize myself at a volume at which others in the auditorium could possibly hear me, asking, “What the HAL?” Nobody cracked, and based on what I could tell, she could correct me eventually considering she reads this and we see each other every once in a while, but my friend must have thought I was taking myself seriously and said “hell.” I tried to make sure I was coming off in the proper way so I told her what I was trying to say. The next pause occurred towards the climax of the film, and I have to say it may have been the PERFECT break. I say this because it’s right in between the Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite Sequence, and the last spoken line of dialogue in the movie given in the HAL control room.

One thing I was super excited for was the scenes in space. I will probably rave until I die about my experience watching “Interstellar,” a movie with many similarities to “2001,” one of them being that both movies heavily take place in space. Seeing the jumpcut from the bone to the satellite (TOTALLY A NUCLEAR MISSILE) started to make me smile like I had just realized I won a million dollars on “Deal or no Deal.” As I progressed through this first moment with The Blue Danube playing in the background, I think the girly part of me kicked in and I wanted to cry. If you told me I went to an enormous and epic opera house in space, I would have believed you. Speaking of the Blue Danube, one of the conveniences of sitting towards the back of the theater is getting to see all of the action from those upfront, and there’s this scene where you see a guy reading instructions on how to use a zero gravity toilet. It just shows how much we have to relearn what we already know how to do on Earth in space. Towards the front, there were a couple guys chatting and one that I assume was talking about exactly what I’m referring to. We may have gotten far as a society, but it is still our duty to learn how to poop in space. Yay, humans!

One thing that occurred in both Somerville Theatre and the second cinema I want to talk about is something near and dear to my heart.

“2001” to me is an interesting movie when it comes to sound. It has a soundtrack that’s big and loud, and yet there are several moments in the movie, mainly in space where you hear, LITERALLY NOTHING. Hey, I’m not complaining! That’s scientifically accurate! I love the big and loud soundtrack, which when I saw the movie at Somerville, brought an immersive, not to mention symphonic feeling to the auditorium. But there’s one noise in the movie, while I still am technically fine with having it in there in the first place, that I JUST. CAN’T. STAND. A bunch of astronauts are on the moon together, observing the monolith in front of them. Then, it’s picture time! One astronaut is trying to align a bunch of other astronauts together in front of the monolith and take their picture. In the process, this loud screech comes out of nowhere. It’s ear-piecing to the tenth degree! And I don’t just mean that for those around the monolith, but also for me. My friennd was covering her ears too! I have sensitive ears, and there are a lot of noises that I’ll surprisingly get by in a movie theater, but that is something which I had to survive.

One of the best parts of my Somerville experience is HAL’s last moments, which was a hint of preparation for my second experience which I will touch upon. I got some surprising reactions during my experience. The most surprising one I’ve gotten up to this point is probably the collective laughter towards Floyd’s daughter wanting a bush baby for her birthday. Then, we get to the final moments of HAL. Dave enters the ship through the emergency airlock, you can hear him breathing. Then we hear HAL, say the following lines in chronological order, starting with the earliest:

“Just what do you think you’re doing, Dave?”

“Dave, I really think I’m entitled an answer to that question.”

“I know everything hasn’t been quite right with me. But I can assure you now, very confidently, that it’s going to be alright again.”

“I feel much better now. I really do.”

“Look, Dave. I can see you’re really upset about this. I honestly think that you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill and talk things over.”

I mean, sure, a computer telling someone to take a stress pill is a bit out of the ordinary, that can work as comedy. In fact, when I walked out of one of these experiences, I said that I always thought that maybe the highest form of comedy I found in “2001” happened to be the part where the apes first use the bone as a weapon. These unexpected reactions however were not distracting, it was just a bunch of people enjoying themselves and having a good time. The one thing that disappointed me however is that with all of these reactions of laughter towards HAL, not one was given towards him singing “Daisy.” It’s a complete change of pace and it’s just funny seeing an electronic sing! It’s like seeing Edna Mode from “The Incredibles” go on “American Idol!” I almost wanted to start laughing at that moment, but just like what I said about the intro, I wanted to avoid being the awkward guy in the auditorium.

Then came what possibly might be the best part of the movie, the stargate sequence. This is a moment where the auditorium’s sound system just BOOMED. I’m not gonna go too much into it, because there’s some nifty stuff I want to save for the next experience, but it was awesome. The end came, and so did applause. I probably stood out the most when it came to the applause. I was literally standing up applauding. Some clapped, some wooed, but I stood up with my hands bouncing off each other. I had a great experience that is difficult to describe in words. It may have been bumpy, but I wouldn’t have traded this time at the theater for anything else.

I had such a great time, and I would easily put it in my top 10 best movie theater experiences. But the thing is, I wanted more… Before I went to Somerville Theatre to see “2001,” I asked my dad if he wanted to go, but he couldn’t make it. Nothing against him, a guy’s gotta do what he’s gotta do. Nothing against my friend either, I really enjoyed my time with her. But, I figured this would be something I wanted to do again, and I had a chat with my dad on the phone. I told him about my experience, describing it as “epic,” which it was, that is, if my experience could be described in words. He stated at one point he was jealous that I got to go to this. That gave me an idea. I REALLY wanted to see the movie in 70mm again, and I think my dad wouldn’t mind doing something like this. Father’s Day was slowly, but steadily approaching. While Somerville Theatre was scheduled to show “2001” for two weeks until it goes away, another nearby theater has yet to show their 70mm prints of the movie. I told dad I’d buy tickets for this show, I’d pay for it, and the experience would be on me. That wasn’t really true, my dad paid for train transportation and dinner, although I had money and tried to keep him from paying, but I paid for the tickets at least, not to mention the food I purchased for myself at the theater.

COOLIDGE CORNER THEATRE, BROOKLINE, MA (JUNE 17, 2018, 7:00 PM)

When going to my second experience, I had no idea what I was in for. I was well aware that the theater was going to have some similar architectural aesthetics to Somerville, based on images I’ve seen online. The experience was actually a tad more expensive than Somerville, which makes sense since I’m seeing this in the evening as opposed to the early afternoon. I may have jumped on the wagon a tad early, buying tickets for this experience as soon as possible. Little did I realize, sometime after purchasing tickets, Somerville would have extended their run of “2001” for a week. Knowing Somerville, the experience would have been cheaper. But I didn’t care, because this brings a breath of fresh air. And I mean that in a literal sense because I went to the Somerville Theatre a couple months prior to the “2001” event, also for another 70mm experience. This second 70mm “2001” viewing was my first time at the Coolidge Corner Theatre. I was pretty amped. This theater is actually younger than Somerville. First established in 1933, the Coolidge Corner Theatre is widely considered one of the best movie theatres in New England.

I left alongside my father and sister approximately three hours prior to showtime. I felt this would allow us to guarantee a higher possible chance of earning decent seats. We ended up going to the closest subway station to my house on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, AKA the MBTA, AKA the T, AKA the place numerous Bostonians go to as much as Dunkin Donuts. I planned this, considering I was the one behind the wheel, and my excuse, “trains are awesome.” So we get off at our designated stop, my sister and father don’t really have any sort of preference on where to eat. But I did have a place in mind considering I’ve done extended research.

There were multiple restaurants in Coolidge Corner, but the one that attracted me the most was a place nearby that goes by the name of Oath Pizza. They have multiple locations in Massachusetts and having seen footage of them on the New England exclusive restaurant tour show, “Phantom Gourmet” I was eager to check them out due to how much boasting was given towards their “90 second pizza oven.” Keep in mind, that 90 second thing, is likely just for the oven’s actions. But you know what? Doesn’t matter, the pizza was a delight. Because I’m boring, I got the “classic cheese.” My sister got a make your own pizza of some sort. Dad however, came to play. It’s father’s day. He can order whatever he wants. While some may be tempted by the “spicy mother clucker,” and I’m willing to bet maybe he was too, he didn’t go for that. Instead, he went for the whole hog. I mean, it had smoked bacon and sausage. In his worldview, that’s my father’s version of not going wrong. The place had a Chipotle kinda feel considering they brag about their dedication to natural ingredients, not to mention the place was rather small and a little more upscale than your typical fast food chain restaurant such as McDonald’s or Burger King. The pizza from what I heard was actually rather crunchy, and what I heard was definitely correct. The more I think about it, it’s a better version of the pizza Pringles.

Once finished, we had more than an hour to waste before the movie. If I remember correctly, I believe we picked up our tickets prior to doing anything else. So while my father and sister have no idea what they want to do, I automatically declare to everyone that we’re trotting over to GameStop, because there’s one nearby. But that ultimately backfired. It’s Sunday. The store closes at 6PM, so we couldn’t go in. We pass by the Brookline Booksmith, which I’ve been inside, and it is rather nifty, but none of us really chose to go in today. We do some walking, and I notice a comic book store. My minor nerdgasm starts to kick in. I’m attracted, and everyone follows me towards it. But once again, we’ve fallen into the Sunday trap. That store was scheduled to close at 6PM as well. With almost nothing to do, we are almost left stranded in the middle of Coolidge Corner, possibly just inevitably waiting outside before we can actually go into our auditorium. But then, a miracle happens. The miracle of CVS. We go in and just start making fun of everything. The biggest standout is whatever we could say about medicine. My sister eventually got somewhat intimidated to the point where my father thought we were overstaying our welcome. Fun fact by the way, this is not the only CVS that’s less than a two or three minute walk away from the theater! We were in the closer one, if you want any specification.

We are let in the theater around somewhere between thirty to ten minutes before scheduled showtime. The seats were pretty much the same scenario as last time. We were towards the center of our row near the back. I go get myself some popcorn and a soda, and I experience something that I’ve never witnessed in a movie theater before. No battle of the soda corporations. That’s right! For the first time ever, I enter a theater that has neither Coke or Pepsi! When I was at Oath Pizza, they had no “traditional soda,” they instead had Stubborn soda, but the closest thing I can find to “traditional soda” was probably root beer. On the menu at Coolidge Corner Theatre, I find “cane soda” and “diet cane soda.” I ask the employee at the register if the diet cane soda is like Diet Coke, to which I remember the person giving some answer that relates to “yes.” I end up getting that. While the price for my large popcorn and soda was more expensive than Somerville, it certainly isn’t a price I’d complain about. The popcorn was nice and fresh, but the soda was something I really had to get used to. From what I imagine upon further research, it must taste like the Coke you’d drink in somewhere like Mexico, because that has cane sugar. But what do I know? I’m an American who recently graduated from high school, and according to everybody else in the world, our education system is crap, so what do I know?

One thing that kind of surprised me about the theater in Coolidge Corner and was slightly different than Somerville, was that there was music playing inside the theater. It wasn’t “2001” based or anything, it was just regular music. Although during my first time in Somerville there was “Back to the Future” music blasting inside the theater. To me, that made sense, because the movie I was seeing, “Ready Player One,” happened to have “Back to the Future” playing a huge part in it. Similar to Somerville, we get a guy coming in the theater, who speaks to everyone near the screen. He also lectures us on the specs of the print we’re about to witness, warns us of an intermission that will be taking place, luckily it’s only one and intentional this time, and he even goes on advertising other stuff related to the Coolidge Corner Theatre which sounded interesting personally. He warns everyone to enjoy the show, and then applause ensues. I’m willing to bet that *maybe* I was the one who started the applause. We are just about to start the movie, I was ready. After about a minute of preparation, I heard the noise of glory. The overture. And you know what? I could actually hear the whole thing this time!

When it came to the overture, And in terms of lighting, it was slightly different than Somerville. For one thing, the dimming began rather early. And the whole auditorium didn’t go black instantaneously, it was a lot darker in Coolidge Corner than it was in Somerville. Most of the lights went off, but a couple were on, most noticably two lights on opposite sides of the stage, shining on the red curtain. Fun fact by the way, for those who don’t know, the overture song is called “Atmospheres,” and atmospherically speaking, Coolidge Corner wins against Somerville in my book. Coolidge Corner’s lightshow, or in this case, darkshow, felt like it could be choreographed in my imagination, but the one in Somerville came off as a tad clunky. But whatever, it’s not even the main course of the movie, it’s just the appetizer. Throughout the overture, my dad turned over to me, and actually asked if I got this thing in Somerville as well. I replied saying, “yes.” It was go time. Almost all the lights, except some side ones, were soon completely off. The curtain opened. The famous introduction began. I was in full focus mode.

This time, I was a little more conservative when it came to my popcorn and drink. Sure, I mentioned my drink was tough to have at times because it’s a bit different to consume than what I usually get at the movies, although still tolerable. Not to mention, unlike Somerville, I heard nothing about a free refill. Doesn’t matter to me, I’m here for the movie. Even if your movie is called “The Emoji Movie,” chances are I’m at the theater for the movie.

Once the movie starts, I begin to notice the color differences once again. We get to the first monolith scene with the apes, and while it’s very intriguing and hypnotizing, I’m noticing something that’s different, and that is the sound. There was moment during the song that plays in that scene. It didn’t have as much of a vibration effect in the auditorium. No big deal, the sound is still spectacular and probably superior to anything I’d watch at home. And you know what? I looked online and noticed some different speaker placements, so maybe that contributed to it. Either that, or maybe the volume was higher on one system compared to another. Part of it may have to do with seating arrangements as well. Because all of the seats at Coolidge Corner are in one designated area. Although with Somerville, as mentioned, the seating arrangements include an orchestra section and a balcony section. The speakers are more in an upsey-downey fashion as opposed to a straight line.

Once we got to the first scene in space, I was once again instantly reminded of how majestic “2001” truly is. Noticing the first shot with the satellite as the camera moves towards Earth is nothing short of beauty in an image. One thing I noticed is that the audience in my theater wasn’t exactly as talkative as the one prior. That can be a good thing if you want to focus on the movie, but if you want an unexpectedly fun experience, it’s gotta have the audience laughing at stuff you don’t expect to be laughable, which is what I got at Somerville. Unlike Somerville, nobody at Coolidge Corner seemed to laugh at the “bush baby” wish. Although one thing that both experiences had in common is that both times the call between Floyd and his daughter ended, there would be a price showing up on the screen. Once the charge is on the screen, some laughs ensue.

One thing I also noticed about Coolidge Corner that gives it a boost in points against Somerville, is that the image is a lot smoother. And when I say that, I’m not talking about it in terms of the images displayed. Those are pretty similar in terms of overall motion. But if anything, this is more of a comment towards the projection. There’s one scene in particular during the movie as I watched it in Somerville that I began to notice something odd. After the conference which Floyd gives a speech, we cut to a set of establishing shots in space. Throughout, I’m noticing the images jumping up and down. Why is this exactly? I don’t know. I wouldn’t consider that an issue, because it doesn’t necessarily interfere with the experience, but it’s just something I noticed. At Coolidge Corner, there seemed to be none of that interference through the whole film. This is just a part of why I gotta give more points to Coolidge Corner in the atmospheric category when it comes to showing this film.

Then we get to the part of the film that I’m willing to bet my dad was highly anticipating, because that’s the part where our main characters are introduced. This made me realize that to certain people, HAL is more than an evil supercomputer trying to take over a spaceship. When it comes to people like my dad and he thinks about HAL, there’s a good chance that my dad is thinking about how funny HAL is. In fact, I don’t think there’s even one person I know currently that would probably laugh at HAL in this movie as much as my father. I mentioned in Somerville that a bunch of people were dying laughing towards the end of the movie because of some of the stuff that HAL says, but my dad pretty much laughed at HAL for the entirety of his screentime. There are certain times during the film where HAL is talking, just saying things such as pointing out how foolproof he is. My dad just starts cracking up. Did it annoy anyone? I’m not entirely sure. In fact, if it did annoy other people, let me just have you know, it was Father’s Day, let my dad have his fun. Speaking of HAL, I can say watching the movie in the theater definitely has its perks. As far as watching this film from beginning to end, I’ve watched this movie in school off of a projector. It was pretty good quality, I wouldn’t say I have any complaints about it. All of the other times have been on a Blu-ray disc played on my 43″ 4K TV. The images are upscaled to near-4K quality. A 43″ TV is decent sized product for where I use it, and the images have always come off pretty crystal clear. I always appreciate the movie’s huge scope every time I watch it. Watching the film in 70mm however, allowed me to notice the little things. For the first time in recent memory, I was literally able to observe the label “HAL 9000” above the red eye located on the computer’s monitor. I watched the movie once more after seeing it in Coolidge Corner, and having this information locked in my head, it made me try to focus really hard on the HAL 9000 label once I got to the point where it could be seen.

We get to the intermission, and I see the white text come up, signifying that normal people can get up, go to the bathroom, grab some food, stretch, those sorts of things, while the abnormal go outside and drop acid in preparation for the stargate sequence. When I was at this screening of the film, I noticed that everyone didn’t really react to the intermission. The best way I can describe the atmosphere that maybe everyone felt in the theater was some sort of jaded-like feel. For some reason when I went to Somerville, some people felt the need to clap and cheer once seeing the intermission warning pop up. Here, it was quiet. I find the audience reactions here to be expected, and I do respect them because it just shows that everyone knows not to be chaotic. Although while the reactions at Somerville for the intermission happened to be quirky, I also found them to be rather charming. I didn’t even get up from my seat during the intermission, I just turned on my phone for a sec, browsed through some things, and turned it back off.

The overture begins again… Atmospheric as ever. I was amped like you wouldn’t believe. The curtain soon opened and the feature presentation resumed. Soon, you see Frank’s death. My dad once again stood out among the audience, and nobody seemed to give a flying f*ck. As Frank began to struggle, my dad uttered, “Bye, Frank.” This is during a scene where there is barely any sound whatsoever, which if this were not the case, I don’t think his remark would have had as much charm behind it. I always found this scene interesting though, and this interest has grown significantly over these past couple of watches. Even though one of the movie’s main characters is dying, and it’s a pretty big death for the movie, nobody really reacts to it. There may be reasons behind that though. For one thing, it happens in a near-silent set of clips. Another point to consider is that this movie is fifty years old and there’s a good chance everybody knows exactly what to expect at this point of the film. When I saw “Avengers: Infinity War,” people basically didn’t even know what to think at certain points of the film when certain major characters died. That’s most likely because of the buildup these characters had prior to dying and we’ve gotten more time to know them. Plus, I imagine a good number of people didn’t see certain deaths coming. Nobody was scared of Frank dying in “2001.” Maybe some people didn’t see it coming, maybe some did, who knows really? But still, we didn’t really get to know Frank to such a high extent. While Frank’s overall character development was at a low level, I wouldn’t say it needed to be built, and I think that’s part of the genius that goes into “2001.” You get to know people, but you don’t need to see them grow or observe their backstory to care about them. It’s almost like “Dunkirk” but with less characters and a bit more detail behind certain characters.

Then we arrive at one of my dad’s absolute favorite parts of the movie, HAL’s death. While there was not as much noise that could be heard like there was in Somerville, there were definitely some audible laughs. My dad was definitely part of the laughing crew. I could tell this was one of my dad’s favorite parts of the film because he and I were quoting it on the way home.

Now I mentioned the stargate sequence in my section about Somerville, but I really want to talk about it here. I honestly had a slightly better and perhaps more memorable experience at Coolidge Corner during the stargate scene than I did in Somerville. Don’t get me wrong, Somerville was AWESOME. But one thing that stuck out to me during that scene more than any other during the movie, although if I remember correctly, may have been noticeable in others, is that part of the image, specifically towards the bottom, is off the screen. I noticed this as soon as we get to the first shots of Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite with the monolith. Coolidge Corner didn’t seem to have that same flaw. In both experiences, I just got ecstatic as the music built up. Everything was established, except for the stargate. Then we get this haunting, unbelievable, f*cked up, melt your face off, not to mention exhilarating vocalization from the chorus! It’s like I was walking into the mind of Mr. Burns from “The Simpsons!” It was like watching a Nicolas Cage movie and it’s nothing but kick-ass dream sequences! It was like going on MySpace today in 2018 and suddenly realizing it became the most popular form of social media in one night! I felt like I was having an orgasm! My dad was on a totally different thought process than I was. I always thought of the stargate sequence as a simple trip, or a journey through a wormhole and other things mish-mashed along the way, once I walked out of the theater alongside the other two people I came along with, my dad told me he thought of the video game “Rock Band” during the stargate sequence. All the colors and wild occurrences that can be witnessed throughout is what made him create that link. If you ever listen to the music during this scene, you’d be aware that the overture song is actually playing throughout portions of the sequence. The overture itself is epic when hearing it in the theater by itself before the movie starts playing, but during this scene, I was almost convinced I was in the movie. It felt like it was being played at a different volume, a different pitch, it was a whole new level of immersion and adventure. That stargate sequence, alone, is worth the price of admission. It’s to this day one of the wildest things I’ve witnessed in a movie, and I’d probably put it in maybe top 10, 20, 30 movie sequences I wouldn’t mind being forced to watch for the rest of my life.

As soon as we get to the credits, a lot of people in the theater start applauding. I don’t go to the extent that I did at Somerville where I stand up, but I did clap. As I left the theater, I got a peak into the projection booth, I noticed the film reels spinning and I couldn’t help but point it out to my sister and father. My father enjoyed the experience, you all know my thoughts on it, but what about my sister’s? Turns out this was her first time watching “2001” from start to finish, and personally, a 70mm experience such as this is one of the best ways to do it. Her thoughts on the film as a whole? From what I could tell, I wouldn’t say she didn’t enjoy it, but she found it somewhat hard to get through. For one thing, there’s a lot happening, a lot of information to be processed. Another factor that contributed is that the whole experience of getting through the movie was about three hours. I was personally wide awake. I happened to be taking on a grand opportunity to watch a great movie with people I admire in a setting that is difficult to acquire at times. In those moments, I may have handed my dad the most selfish Father’s Day gift I’ve ever given to him, but based on the time we had, it was all worth it.

Thanks for reading this promised, delayed, and perhaps long-winded thing some people might call a post! I really wanted to get this out earlier, but due to a lack of time and motivation, I screwed up. You might ask, what about the movie reviews? My movie reviews are basically the building blocks of Scene Before. This is why you haven’t seen that many countdowns lately, the only ones I’ve done so far this year are my top 10 best and worst movies of 2017. Because my main purpose behind this blog is to review movies, and I feel like that is something that can easily be associated with Scene Before. This post you’re reading right now, is just a special, rare gem, buried beneath the ground, ready to be revealed around the world. Now going back to business, I do want to review the movie “Eighth Grade.” This has already released in a couple markets, but not everywhere. I tried getting passes for an early screening, but I just got an email saying the screening was full so I can’t go. Although if I can see it when it comes out, I’ll definitely be sure to review it! I’m also going to be probably seeing something I’d tell you some time ago that I’d never see, but due to my mother’s interest in it and the fact that it’s playing at an awesome local IMAX theater, I’m planning on checking it out anyway. That movie by the way, is “Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again!” And based on the reviews I’m seeing for “Mission: Impossible: Fallout,” you can guarantee I’ll be checking that out as soon as time will allow. Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, what are your thoughts on “2001: A Space Odyssey?” Did you get to ever see the movie in 70mm? Will you take advantage of such an experience in the future? Leave your answers to those questions below, and speaking of questions and answers… My dad who came along with me for the second experience gave the answer to the question, “What is the opposite of infinity?” The answer, the number of times my dad will go to IHOb! And based on the results of that campaign, you can sure bet that number will last forever! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Hereditary (2018): No Chris Pratt, No Explosions, No Superheroes, Just A24’s Latest Dose of “WTF?”

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Before we begin diving into this review of “Hereditary,” it must be stated that the tagline for this film, as you see in the poster above, is “Evil runs in the family.” If evil ran in my family, chances are I’d probably be in a different family. I can’t say it does, but it’s possible that I also can’t say it doesn’t, because there are many ways of interpreting evil. Speaking of families, a new family will be formed in a matter of time. Paul, Genevieve, and their future child will eventually find themselves together. Although the journey to get to the guarantee of the couple and child finding themselves together was an absolute quest of tears and pain. This is all explained… in “What the IVF?!”

“What the IVF?” is a YouTube series which has been going on for months. Each Monday, watch a new short video of Paul and Genevieve’s misadventures of making their best attempt to create a baby. Every week, a new story is told concerning the couple, and it displays small positives and major negatives. Watch the two as they have to deal with unfortunate realities in sex, math, exams, crying, and needles sharper than the picture on that TV at Best Buy you want so freakin’ bad. You can find the latest episodes on the series’s dedicated YouTube channel, and new stories arrive each Monday! The latest episode in the series goes over the couple’s sixth, seventh, and eighth “IVF” cycles in a small matter of minutes. This episode is a bit shorter than some of the other ones you’d find on the channel, so if ten minute videos are your thing as opposed to six minute videos, make your way over to the “WTIVF?” YouTube channel (link below) and browse their video selection. Be sure to subscribe, hit the notification bell, and follow “WTIVF?” on other forms of social media aside from YouTube! To do that, visit the links below and hit the follow icons! Also, be sure to tell them that Jack Drees sent ya over!

WTIVF? WEBSITE: http://www.whattheivf.com/

WTIVF? YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCILXSidkzWgwrQ5Oa1py78w/featured?disable_polymer=1

WTIVF? TWITTER: https://twitter.com/WTivF

WTIVF? INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/wtivf/

WTIVF? FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/What-The-IVF-288868031634125/

“Hereditary” is the feature-length directorial debut of Ari Aster and stars Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense, Little Miss Sunshine), Alex Wolff (Patriots Day, The Naked Brothers Band), Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale, The Leftovers), Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects, The Man in the Iron Mask) and reveals scary occurrences and events, not to mention dark secrets hiding within a family after the passing of its matriarch.

When it comes to “Hereditary,” I’ve heard mostly positive thoughts about it before I went out to see what this thing is all about. I recall seeing trailers, but not as much as other films I saw this year and others I’ve still yet to see. One of the biggest things that really got me excited for “Hereditary” is the studio behind it. This movie is distributed by the independent company A24. While their first films such as “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III” and “Spring Breakers” released back in 2013, A24’s true recognition came during the year of 2015. In that year, they released films such as “Amy,” “Ex Machina,” and “Room.” All those films went on to win Academy Awards, and since then A24 has been bringing their A-game to the theaters. They released a number of films the following year, including the 89th Academy Awards Best Picture winner, “Moonlight.” Last year, 2017, was also a significant year for the studio. They’ve released several acclaimed films such as “The Florida Project,” “A Ghost Story,” “Lady Bird,” and what I find to be one of the best films of the decade, and in the conversation to be the best comedy of the decade, “The Disaster Artist.” This year, they’re still killing it. “Lean on Pete” has been getting great reviews, “First Reformed” is not getting many bad reactions either, and “Eighth Grade,” a film I’m really looking forward to that has yet to be released has gotten extremely positive criticism so far, with only a single rotten review on Rotten Tomatoes.

I walked into “Hereditary” with a smile on my face, all happy to see something that could potentially be masterful, scary, and just an overall well-done product. However I walked out of “Hereditary” thinking to myself, “What the f*ck did I just watch?”

NOW HOLD ON!

I didn’t say the movie is terrible, in fact, it’s the exact opposite. In fact, it’s in the horror genre so you kind of might want to think that. There were several aspects of the film that had me in awe, and others that dropped my jaw.

First off, we have the direction and cinematography. The first shot of the movie is the camera moving away from a window, and it kind of reminded me a bit of “The Witch” and “The Neon Demon” if you’ve ever seen those films. That same shot pans and moves into this dollhouse, eventually leading to the introduction of a couple of the movie’s characters. Part of me wanted to really know how exactly this was done. This dollhouse is supposed to resemble the house where the movie’s family lives, and part of me wonders how exactly they transitioned into our first character interaction. It could have been as simple as stopping tape and moving onto a real live-action location, trying to replicate EXACTLY where tape stopped in the previous shot. If so, bravo, I couldn’t even tell. Maybe some CGI work went into this whole thing. I’m not doing much research on this, but this makes me extra curious to watch the movie again once it comes out on home video just so I can scroll through the bonus features. But if someone were to ask me today, how exactly this scene was done, I’d tell you that I haven’t got the darndest clue. I mean, how would I? I wasn’t on set. I took a TV and video production class for four years in high school, and I’ve learned quite bit about filmmaking during that time, but I wouldn’t say I’m the ultimate guru when it comes to this stuff. When you combine this movie’s direction by Ari Aster and the cinematography by Pawel Pogorzelski, you get this plethora of wonder and suspense. This ultimately may have been the very thing, if not one of the very things that reminded me of “The Witch.” I say possibly one of the very things because that’s also a below average paced A24 horror film about the overall destruction of a family. One thing that’s different about “Hereditary” and “The Witch” however is that I find “Hereditary” to actually be a good movie.

I gotta say though, for those of you reading this on a later date, I saw this film during the summer movie season of 2018, which funny enough, based on the thoughts of some people, starts almost a full couple of months before summer actually begins. 2018 is looking to have one of the best summers I’ve witnessed in terms of movies. I’ve already given three perfect scores to movies this year, with two of them being for movies that got wide theatrical releases during the summer movie season. One of those two films wasn’t a blockbuster, but neither is this. Pretty much since June, I’ve given mostly scores of 8 or above to movies I’ve seen in theaters. While we have not even gotten to my final verdict section of the review yet, just a warning, this is going to continue my positive score frenzy.

Moving onto some of the characters in “Hereditary,” let’s begin this section by talking about Toni Collette’s character of Annie. I haven’t seen much work featuring Collette, but having seen “Hereditary,” I now want to go on and look at some of her past work because her performance here is fantastic! She might have just provided my favorite performance by an actor so far this year! I know it’s early, but when awards season comes around, I’m willing to bet that the name Toni Collette will be popping up somewhere. Her expressions, her emotion, her line delivery, everything about this performance was top-notch and kept my eyes on the screen. Now that I think about it, there’s one moment in this movie that takes place while the family is having dinner, and it reminded me a bit of “10 Cloverfield Lane.” It’s almost as if John Goodman’s character from “10 Cloverfield Lane” switched genders, took crazy pills, and started yelling up a storm. Collette gives by far the best performance of the movie, and if I were to do my own awards show where I choose all the winners, Collette might just take Best Actress.

 

Speaking of actresses, this movie is the film introduction of Milly Shapiro, who plays the character of Chucky–err, I mean Charlie. In terms of acting, this is not only a great performance by a child actress, but just a solid performance in general. I felt bad towards this character in a way, because as mentioned, the movie is basically about the events that occur after, in this particular case, Charlie’s grandmother passes away. And given the dialogue in one scene, Charlie feels like she gets greater care and attention from her grandmother than she does from her own birthmother. And the more I think about that scene and the way it’s written, I could make connections to my own life. I’m lucky enough to have my grandparents still living today. This includes grandparents on both my mother’s and father’s side. Once they die, I don’t know what exactly my parents will be thinking, but maybe it’s something along the lines of getting older, wondering how long they have to live, how much this will impact them, or simply being “next.” If one or both my parents die, and maybe I’m at any age range in this circumstance, I can’t exactly say how I’ll react, this isn’t something that’s supposed to be rehearsed. But I feel like a part of me will die too. I wonder how much longer I have left until I go.

I will say that all the actors in this movie give terrific performances, and this even includes one that who I’d say gives perhaps the worst performance in the movie, and that’s Alex Wolff. Now, when I say worst performance, I could be exaggerating. There are a good number of roles played by various actors in this film, but out of the main roles, Alex Wolff’s portrayal of Peter may have been the weakest. Granted, he was born in 1997 and is not even twenty-one yet, so it’s kinda sorta understandable that he’s not in the same caliber as say, Toni Collette, but I do find it somewhat surprising for him to be considered worse by me than Milly Shapiro. The unfortunate thing about Wolff’s performance is there are certain segments of scenes that kind of took me out of the movie for a second. I heard him crying and made me think he was doing a terrible impression of Matthew McConaughey. If that’s how he cries in real life, then OK, I didn’t know. But Wolff’s cry in this movie (no pun intended) doesn’t sound all that realistic. It made me think I was watching the climax of “Interstellar” and instead of trying to cry, Matthew McConaughey gave random choking noises that qualify as sad sounds. For the most part, Wolff was on his A-game, it’s a very solid performance, but if it weren’t for the crying, I would have been fully immersed into the movie.

One thing I will mention though is that I went to a restaurant after watching the movie, and I talked about it for a brief moment with the bartender serving my mother, sister, and I. If you ask me what I thought about how this movie ended, I’d say it was one of the better endings I saw all year, and I imagine a good number of people would feel the same way. When I heard from the bartender that he didn’t like the second half of the movie, I was curious to know why. I very much enjoyed the second half, thought it was disturbing, jaw-dropping at times, and made me question exactly what’s happening in such a positive way. There’s one thing about the ending however that I won’t get into that I particularly didn’t care about but he said he didn’t like. This is not the first time I heard a complaint like this, but it just goes to show that despite this movie’s acclaim, maybe it’s not for everyone. But it certainly was for me.

In the end, “Hereditary” is one of the most well directed movies of the year, along with a movie that just showcases tons of powerhouse performances. Toni Collette better get some chatter regarding the Academy Awards and depending on how the rest of the year plays out, her lack of appearance as a nominee for Best Actress will probably be a personal snub. I haven’t seen any of the shorts Ari Aster directed before going on to do “Hereditary,” however I would love to see some more work from him in the future. Maybe some more horror movies, film noir, or maybe something like a period piece. I loved “Hereditary,” I want to watch it again, and if it weren’t for issues as small as a Tic Tac, this would have received a perfect score. I’m gonna give “Hereditary” a 9/10. Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon I’m gonna have my review up for “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation,” whether or not I’ll have it up this week is a total mystery to me, but I’ll be sure to have it up prior to the release of “Mission: Impossible: Fallout,” thus completing my Tom Cruise “Mission: Impossible” movie review series before that next installment hits theaters. Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Hereditary?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite A24 film thus far? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018): A Small Step Into the Ant Hill of Mediocrity

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“Ant-Man and the Wasp” is directed by Peyton Reed (Yes Man, Bring It On) and stars Paul Rudd (Dinner For Schmucks, The 40-Year-Old Virgin), Evangeline Lilly (Lost, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug), Michael Peña (American Hustle, End of Watch), Walton Goggins (The Shield, The Hateful Eight), Hannah John-Kamen (Ready Player One, Killjoys), with Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns, What Lies Beneath), Laurence Fishburne (John Wick: Chapter 2, The Matrix), and Michael Douglas (Fatal Attraction, Wall Street). After the epic, destructive, game-changing events audiences have witnessed in “Avengers: Infinity War,” we might as well ask ourselves, what is next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe??? The answer… something much smaller. Take that last sentence in whatever way you want. In this newest addition to the series, we once again see Scott Lang, otherwise known as Ant-Man, having to deal with home life on house arrest, not to mention his own daughter. At the same time, he is recruited on a new mission alongside Hope van Dyne, who is also referred to as the Wasp, that requires an uncovering of secrets involving the past.

This movie is the sequel to 2015’s “Ant-Man,” one of my personal favorite movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As much as I might complain that some of the more recent Marvel movies try too hard with comedy to the point where it gets annoying, “Ant-Man” is quite possibly the funniest movie in its universe. Speaking of the MCU, this movie is the twentieth installment in the saga. Just a year ago I said there were fifteen of these since “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” came out. WOW. When it comes to “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” I honestly had low expectations for it. If you asked me where my expectations were in 2017, I would probably told you I’m really looking forward to “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” especially when you consider how much I enjoyed the first movie. And after seeing this movie, I’d say I had fun throughout my experience. Although I wouldn’t say I had enough fun to go see the movie again. While this is not my least favorite movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it certainly isn’t my pick to watch on a Friday night at home.

I kind of had a similar experience during this movie to what I had during my time watching “Uncle Drew.” I had a few laughs here and there, but it wasn’t enough. Granted, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” isn’t really a comedy, but those numerous laughs may have been one of the few highlights of my experience. Now with what I just said, I will state, with an enormous smile on my face, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is FAR SUPERIOR to “Uncle Drew.” “Uncle Drew” is not even a movie. To call “Uncle Drew” a movie is pretty much the same as calling Pizza Hut a restaurant. I’d even say calling “Uncle Drew” a movie is pretty much the same as calling Pizza Hut a fast-food restaurant! By the way, drink Pepsi! The Movie Reviewing Moron says that Pepsi is good for you and will help you live longer! Therefore, it just makes sense that Pepsi is good for you and will help you live longer! Also, be sure to enjoy that nice, cool, refreshing Pepsi, while reading my review for “Uncle Drew,” the most ambitious Pepsi commercial of all motherf*cking time!

UNCLE DREW REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/07/02/uncle-drew-2018-worst-pepsi-commercial-ever/

In all seriousness, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” qualifies to me as a movie. I never said however that it qualifies as a good movie. There are elements of goodness sprinkled throughout. It has some decent performances for the most part, especially from Michael Douglas. Some of the action is rather creative and fun, although personally it can’t beat the climactic fight during the first “Ant-Man.” The effects in this movie are really good, and you get to see a lot of them, especially when you consider how big of a role the quantum realm plays. All of the positive elements however are unfortunately clashing with another side of negative elements, ultimately leading to what I would consider a relatively average or mediocre experience.

I know that in comic book movies, suspending your disbelief is not only natural, but expected to the tenth degree. There were many moments where I was able to do that. I almost lost it on a building having wheels, but OK, it could be stranger. There is one moment however towards the end involving Ant-Man trying to jump over a vehicle, that almost looked fake as hell that some student who hasn’t even graduated high school could have created it!

I won’t get too much deeper into that, although I do want to talk about the characterization here. For the most part, everyone on the hero side seems to have some sort of dimension to them. There aren’t many complaints I can point out as far as that side is concerned, but when it comes to our villain side, you have multiple plot lines going on including one involving the security that’s supposed to keep Ant-Man inside his house, and another involving the main antagonist of Ghost. When it comes to Ghost, there wasn’t really much to her character (at first), she came off to me more like a bad guy who just wanted to do bad guy things. She didn’t have the depth or charisma that some of the other recent Marvel villains had. And just when I thought we were starting to get an epic streak of fantastic MCU villains (starting with Guardians 2), we’re suddenly back to this bulls*it. I know a good number of people weren’t particularly fond of Yellow Jacket from the first “Ant-Man,” but to me, Ghost made Yellow Jacket look amazing. I will say towards the end of the film, Ghost improves slightly, but for the most part, she was a lackluster villain.

Let’s talk about Ant-Man here. When it comes to his story, he is placed on house arrest. That is because his actions during the events of “Captain America: Civil War” was enough to be considered a crime. This prevents Ant-Man from exploring the outside world, which allows him to spend more time trying to entertain his daughter in creative ways, and master songs in “Guitar Hero.” I gotta say one of the biggest positives I’ll give Paul Rudd when it comes to his interpretation of Ant-Man, and maybe I should give kudos to the writing and directing as well, is how well encapsulated the chemistry between him and his daughter is. I think that is definitely one of the best parts of this entire movie. Seeing the two go through a cardboard maze at the start of the film seemed to capture that needed sense of togetherness. When it comes to Rudd’s overall performance, I thought it was good for the most part, but there is one scene in particular, where he was rather mother-like, which kind of felt out of place.

Alongside Ant-Man, you of course have the Wasp, played by Evangeline Lilly. I think most of the cool stuff you see with her character, maybe except a few lines of dialogue some might find funny, is already revealed in the promotional material, which ultimately diminishes her character in a sense. Although she was fun to watch in certain action scenes and I totally buy Evangeline Lilly as her character. Her chemistry with Ant-Man, while not exactly a shining star in the movie, doesn’t exactly disappoint.

I already talked about the main antagonist and I do consider her to be one of the major flaws of the movie. When it comes to other problems, I’m gonna blame it on the pacing. I am eighteen years old. Once I walked out of the theater, entered my house, and proceeded to my bedroom to start cranking out this review, I imagined myself as if I were a ten year old kid going to see this movie. After all, a lot of ten year kids probably like superheroes, and maybe if I were that ten year old kid, I might walk out of the movie saying I enjoyed myself, but that’s most likely to be due to seeing superheros on moving pictures projected onto a giant screen. Even if I wanted to fall asleep, I’ll still say I had a good time. My brain can’t process what a bad movie is. Heck, I went to see three live-action “Alvin and the Chipmunks” movies in theaters as a kid and enjoyed them. What kind of person was I? Hint, it rhymes with stupid! When breaking down this movie, I couldn’t help but think to myself that maybe all the pieces in there made sense. But maybe it was a tad more convoluted than it should have been. The pacing overall just felt like speed bumps, and I especially say this specifically when it comes to the halfway point. At one moment you’re kinda sorta enjoying yourself… maybe. Then boom! The boredom kicks in.

And honestly, part of me feels like this movie is not going to be stuck in my memory as much as some of the other Marvel movies unless I watch it again. This might actually be the most forgettable Marvel movie I’ve seen since “Thor: The Dark World,” and that is saying something because that movie is S*IT. This film is nowhere near as objectively terrible as “Thor: The Dark World.” Sure, the villain here is pretty bad, but I still think the villain from “The Dark World” is probably the worst in the MCU. Let’s also not forget (no pun intended) how hard this film tried to be funny. When I watched that movie for review purposes, I might have only laughed twice. Here, I laughed a lot more than I did there. In fact, one thing that surprises me about “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is how much funnier I found it to be than “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” And as I think to myself, I believe the reasoning comes down to one word I had going into “Guardians 2” but lacked for “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” Expectations.

If it were the beginning of 2017, I would have watched the first trailer (not the teaser, but the trailer) to “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” multiple times. I was really looking forward to that film, and part of me thought it was actually going to surpass the original movie because it looked HILARIOUS. But it wasn’t. It wasn’t even that fun. I mean, it was trying to be, but I didn’t feel like I was having fun. I was instead feeling like I was going through a two and a half hour long toy commercial for Baby Groot with attempts at humor that seemed to land with most of the audience, but not me. I will have you know, I watched that movie twice, and the second time I laughed more than the first one. Maybe I was in a better mood the second time because I wasn’t sitting towards the end of the front row of a crowded IMAX, but it just didn’t impress me. Also, my original 6/10 score went down to a 5/10. The first “Ant-Man” was a movie that I thought was one of the funnier ones in the MCU, but the thing about the first “Ant-Man” is that it’s not really marketed to be comedic. OK, maybe it technically is, but it’s more focused on delivering action than anything else. It’s not the full scale balls to the wall action-comedy that “Guardians of the Galaxy” is. Both “Ant-Man” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” are pretty hilarious at times, and you do get the light vibe you might find in certain comedies in the marketing for both films. Although for both films, I didn’t exactly come for the comedy, I came for the action and superhero stuff. This might make the comedy somewhat funnier because you as an audience member don’t expect humor all that much. In fact, this may be why I find “Avengers: Infinity War” to be one of the funniest movies in the MCU and possibly the funniest comic book movie ever made. In a movie that is advertised to be super dark and the exact opposite of happy-go-lucky, a part of you might come in and expect some lightheartedness or comedy to take a back seat. No way hosay! When it’s delivered in that movie, it totally blends in with the moment despite having a story that is meant to be dark. Maybe it’s also because I as an audience member have been following the storyline for the MCU for a long time therefore allowing me to care more about everyone in the film, but it’s just an interesting blend of light and dark. Also, sticking to “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and expectations, let me just remind you that those were something which I lacked prior to and during my experience of watching the movie.

Before we get into my verdict there is one thing I want to go over, and that is the end credits. There is a mid-credits scene and a post-credits scene. The mid-credits scene is more important if you’re a follower of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its overall story. In fact the post-credit scene is probably so pointless that it only exists for the sake of putting on that “Such and such will return” thing at the end of every Marvel movie, but in case you feel that end credits scenes are a necessity to sit through, this is your notification to stay for them. One more thing, I think personally that the mid-credits scene might be better than the entirety of this movie. I felt more emotion (maybe for the most part) for everyone in that scene than I did during “Ant-Man and the Wasp” itself, so that says something right there.

In the end, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is not really up to the quality I would expect for a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. It’s not to say that “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is an abomination, but it’s certainly not a movie I would think about for days. I thought it was more fun than “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” but keep in mind, I had high expectations for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” While there are definitely movies that I thought would blow more than “Ant-Man and the Wasp” would this year, I didn’t think this particular film would be all that great. The trailers underwhelmed me, and it just didn’t have the same epic feel that the first movie’s trailers provided at various points. Would I recommend “Ant-Man and the Wasp?” Despite having some fun here and there, I wouldn’t say rush out immediately, but I do recommend the mid-credits scene. That’s just me though. I’m gonna give “Ant-Man and the Wasp” a 6/10. Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon I’m gonna have my review up for “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation,” I just watched the movie for the second time and I’m gonna be going over my thoughts on it in preparation for the franchise’s new movie coming out on July 27th, “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Ant-Man and the Wasp?” What did you think about it? Or, which of the two “Ant-Man” movies do you like better? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!