Game Night (2018): Live Or Die, the Comedic Choice Is Yours

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“Game Night” is directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, who together have collaborated on directing “Vacation” and stars Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses, Juno) alongside Rachel McAdams (Mean Girls, The Notebook) as a couple who often do a game night at their house with people they’re close with. However, Jason Bateman’s character of Max happens to have a brother who is in town by the name of Brooks, who is essentially maximized in every way compared to Max. Brooks is planning a game night of his own and everybody ends up attending, this eventually leads to everyone’s realization that this is not just your standard gaming session where people play Scrabble or Life or Pictionary, and it is instead, a murder mystery, thus leading to the movie’s crazy, action-packed events.

I wanted to see “Game Night” when it first came out in theaters, however I never got around to it during its theatrical run. I felt that other movies were more important, I was busy focusing on and recapping the Academy Awards at the time and it just happened to be something I never came across. But the trailer made this movie look great. Did it feel like something a studio would assemble together? Maybe, a little bit, but it felt like it was done with character and passion. Plus, I heard sometime while I was missing this movie that the duo directing this film are actually signed on to direct a “Flash” film for DC. That doesn’t really say much, but given that statistic, it did get me intrigued. I wanted to see how they’d do with this film, thus giving me a sense of what they could do with a film like “The Flash.” And I’d say they did a very good job.

When it comes to “Game Night,” this movie just surprised the hell out of me. I didn’t think “Game Night” was going to be bad, but I didn’t expect to laugh my ass off as much as I did while watching it. One of the first exchanges of dialogue of the movie takes place during this trivia night, and it literally set the tone for me, just a few minutes in, I’m already loving what I’m seeing. And this made me ask myself, could this top “Blockers?”

Some of you may be wondering why I’m asking that. “Game Night” was released on February 23rd, 2018 in the United States, and I’ve witnessed several comedies this year, or movies containing comedy in them, not just “Blockers,” and they’ve caught me by surprise, because in 2017, comedy was literally, no pun intended, a joke to me. With movies like “How to Be a Latin Lover,” “Fist Fight,” “Snatched,” and the gosh-awful “Father Figures,” 2017 overall just fell flat. Heck, I was even underwhelmed by “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2!” Granted they had an enormous fluke with “The Disaster Artist” towards the end of the year, but still. I’m not saying all of 2018’s comedies have been great, go watch “Uncle Drew,” “Gringo,” or “Life of the Party” and tell me how you feel afterwards. But when you consider how much “Blockers” surprised me and made me see layers that I didn’t think I’d witness, how heartwarming yet hilarious “Tag” happened to be, and how many stitches I needed after “Avengers: Infinity War,” which isn’t even a comedy, but it managed to make me laugh more than I would at many comedies coming out nowadays, all of this just seems amazing. Comedy has turned around significantly for me this year, and everybody seems to be stepping up their game. In fact, kind of like “Blockers,” I kind of had an urge to watch “Game Night” again after viewing it for the first time.

Before we dive into some main points people usually need to go over for comedies, I’d just like to point out that there are points where I noticed the cinematography for “Game Night” is probably better than it had to be. There’s this sequence involving a fancy-looking egg and as everyone seems to be tossing it around, it’s all done with the camera moving around in one shot for an extended period of time as the characters are just doing what they’re supposed to do. It was just magic.

As far as the type of comedy that you get in “Game Night,” it’s basically mile-a-minute humor. Most of the humor seems to out of the characters’ mouths as opposed to actions, however some of the actions in this movie, while sometimes disturbing, but not in a way that turned me off, were certainly funny as well. Is anything new really brought to the table here? Nothing I can list off the top off my head, but whatever is there, works. This movie was done by some of the people who have worked on “Horrible Bosses,” and I’ll say having watched both “Game Night” and “Horrible Bosses,” if you like the tone and humor delivered in “Horrible Bosses,” I’d say you’d end up liking “Game Night.” In fact if you ask me personally, I like “Game Night” better than “Horrible Bosses.” Maybe it’s because I was rather late to the party when it came to “Horrible Bosses” and my mother was hyping it up like a bride does with her own wedding. My expectations, while not small, were perhaps lower for “Game Night” than they were for “Horrible Bosses.” And as of right now, I think a lot of you don’t have to see either one of these movies and automatically consider “Game Night” better than the other. Why?

This guy. If you hate this guy, “Horrible Bosses” might not be for you.

Some of the more recent movies I reviewed like “Uncle Drew” and “The Hurricane Heist” have something in common. Let me give you a small hint.

“UNCLE DREW” REVIEW
“Let’s talk about some of the characters in “Uncle Drew.” They all suck. They don’t drink enough Pepsi in the movie!”

“THE HURRICANE HEIST” REVIEW
“When it comes to Toby Kebbell, he plays a guy named Will, and what I have to say about his character is what can pretty much be said for everyone else’s characters. All of them suck, they have no personalities, not even their quirky southern accents could have saved this movie.”

Fortunately, I don’t have to say such a thing about this movie, because every single character was awesome! The strong point of “Game Night” is in the chemistry between everyone on screen, almost everyone is in a pair, whether they’re a couple or just partners, their separate interactions come together to make something super. A story between Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) is that a reason why they can’t have kids is because of a sibling rivalry between Max and his brother, Brooks. When it comes to another couple, Kevin (Lamorne Morris) and Michelle (Kylie Bunbury), they get into an argument about the past, specifically how Michelle slept with a celebrity. And there’s Sarah (Sharon Horgan) and Ryan (Billy Magnussen), which is basically a combination of the brains and… someone who literally needs the brains.

One thing I seem to notice about a couple good comedies is how much a dog would stand out in the movie, and in some scenarios, maybe not in the most pleasant of ways. This has been proven with “Anchorman” with Ron Burgundy’s dog, Baxter. It has also been supported in “There’s Something About Mary” with Puffy. Here, there’s a dog that’s often held by a character who I liked more and more as the movie went on, specifically Gary played by Jesse Plemons. There’s this scene where the dog is all covered in blood, I won’t go into much detail, but it’s in the trailer. Also, speaking of Jesse Plemons’s character, this is definitely one of the better performances the movie has to offer. It may not seem like much at first, but the difficulty seemingly increases as Plemons delivers a particular line in a certain way, it’s just priceless seeing his character do what he does.

I really don’t have much else to say about “Game Night,” but part of me wonders why they would name Max’s brother, Brooks (Kylie Chandler), the way they did. Is it to make him have a superior sounding name and not just be a superior fellow by himself? And you might be thinking, “Hey, Jackass! How the heck is Brooks a superior sounding name?” Ever heard of Brooks Brothers? If you have a luxurious fellow in your movie, you might as well give him a name that associates with luxury. I don’t know if this is true, but I’m curious to know the meaning behind his name if there does happen to be one.

In the end, “Game Night” just shows that 2018 is probably one of my favorite years in regards to comedy ever. If I remember correctly, I think probably laughed here as much as I did during “Tag,” which is kind of funny considering New Line Cinema and Warner Brothers worked on both movies. The chemistry between all of the characters was fantastic, I basically died laughing, and there’s even a couple lines that I want to quote forever.

“I hate game night!” -Annie

Not me sister, I motherf*cking loved “Game Night.” I’m gonna give “Game Night” an 8/10. Thanks for reading this review! I’m not sure what movie I’m gonna review next, however Steven Soderbergh’s most recently released film which he directed, “Unsane,” is now free on Amazon Prime, so maybe I’ll review that if there’s nothing else to do. Be sure to follow Scene Before so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Game Night?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite comedy of 2018 so far? To me, it’s a tough choice, probably either this or “Blockers,” nevertheless, let me know your opinions on what this year’s best comedy is for you! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Love, Simon (2018): A Movie About Emails, Love, and the Weirdest Principal Ever

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“Love, Simon” is directed by Greg Berlanti, who you may know as a producer for a lot of content that’s coming out in relation to DC Comics and this movie stars Nick Robinson (The Fifth Wave, Jurassic World), Jennifer Garner (Juno, Daredevil), and Josh Duhamel (Transformers, Safe Haven). This movie is about a teenage boy who is nearly done with high school and all of his life he’s been hiding the fact that he’s gay. His parents don’t know, his friends don’t know, his family doesn’t know, nobody knows. One day, Simon comes across something online about someone who has never come out, seeing this, he begins communicating with the individual who happens to be just like him. This leads STRAIGHT into this coming of GAYGE story.

I bought this movie on Blu-ray for 25% less than the sticker price (originally $34.99), and I will bring up the fact that despite its recent release date, I missed “Love, Simon” in the theater. My sister saw it, but on the same day, she was with her own demographic and I was off with someone else seeing another movie at a different theater, specifically “Tomb Raider.” However, when I saw a couple of Blu-ray copies available at a store I went to multiple times while on vacation, I asked my sister if she thought I should pick up this movie, mainly considering how she’s one of the few people I know who saw it. Once I got her seal of approval, I thought I should take a gander at what this was. Having seen this movie now, it’s fine. Just fine. Did I expect it to be great? Not really. I thought it was gonna be really good, and while it didn’t quite MEET my expectations, I can’t say my disappointment levels are enormous, because “Love, Simon” is an entertaining, somewhat fast-moving, enjoyable experience I guess.

Let me just get something straight. I’m straight. I can’t say I completely relate to Simon entirely because I’m not gay, but with ways not having to do with sexual orientation, the writers did a really fine job at making the character of Simon feel like a normal everyday person just like he himself says he is at the start of the flick in narration form. And that is one of the biggest compliments I can give to “Love, Simon,” as a coming of age story, the script does its job (FOR THE MOST PART, THE FLAT-OUT ODD AND OVERUSED SEX JOKES, NOT TO MENTION OTHER CRINGE GOT IN THE WAY). Not only that, but all of the characters around Simon’s age seem to come off as authentic high-schoolers. And I will say, that if I were talking about the first half of this movie, I probably would have a gun to my head while threatened to say what somebody else wanted. I’m not saying the first half was terrible, but certain parts of the first half were not really as lovable the other half. There is some cringe to be had throughout the movie that was rather unexpected.

One such moment comes into play during a scene in a Waffle House. While everyone is reading a play script, A character by the name of Martin, who might as well be young Lex Luthor in “Batman v. Superman,” has a crush on Abby, and it just leads to one of the weirdest exchanges of dialogue I’ve seen in a movie this entire year.

Speaking of cringe, let’s talk about the principal. Ooooh the principal. You know how sometimes maybe you’d think of a school principal as a big, tough, menacing figure? I wouldn’t say that’s who this guy is, I’d say he’s a combination of a clown without makeup, and a f*cking whackjob! Listen, I would sometimes consider myself a horrible person who doesn’t mind talking about sex, I’ll admit it. But in what universe does a principal go up to students and talk about their Tinder date in detail? And this movie also goes to show how ridiculous it’s gotten in terms of people not being able to have control of their own phones in school in perhaps the creepiest way possible! It’s like watching a really bad episode of a cheesy sitcom on ABC. If you remember the movie “Fist Fight,” which I’d honestly be surprised if you do at this point, at least they made the phone controversy that’s going on in schools all over today rather funny!

I already talked about Simon, but when it comes to the way Nick Robinson portrayed this character, I’d say he did a fine job at being authentic, not putting himself over the top, and just acting like a typical teenager. I’ve seen a few other flicks where Nick Robinson happened to be present, but “Love, Simon” is the first one where I happen to see him stand out. I remember bits and pieces of him in “Jurassic World,” I’ll admit it’s been awhile since I’ve watched that movie. I also watched him in “The Fifth Wave,” which was just AWFUL, but his few seconds in that movie worked for me. “Love, Simon” took me from being intrigued into looking for more of Robinson’s work to keeping a good eye on him now.

One thing I’m kind of surprised by when it comes to this movie, and I wouldn’t consider this a huge negative is how tolerant this movie’s list of characters appear to be about alternate orientations. I say this because in real life there’s probably gonna be that one person who either thinks differently than everyone else, or just two sides clashing with each other. While I’m not complaining, this does come off as a shock to me. Although at the same time, considering how much more open-minded we get as a society each and every day, that sort of idea becomes a tad less surprising. When I was in high school, I never really ran into anyone who was flat-out AGAINST homosexuality or the LGBT community, and if there were anyone that falls into that class, no names related to that come to mind. My parents seem to have nothing against said community, some people related to me I can probably tell have nothing against them. I can’t speak for everyone in my family, I don’t discuss this sort of thing with them. Even so, I didn’t expect the world of “Love, Simon” to be so one-sided. Granted, it could be to establish that there are more people that are accepting of the LGBT community than one would think, but still. And also, I will say, despite how many people appear to be on one specific side altogether during this movie, one character, specifically the character Simon is emailing all the time happens to have people who would disapprove of his ways in his family, but other than them, nobody else stands out in that side of the spectrum.

In the end, I gotta say “Love, Simon,” while it did make a neat turnaround in quality as the movie progressed still didn’t have enough in order to make me go “wow.” In fact, while I’ll mention again, the screenplay is one of the better parts of what make up “Love, Simon,” it had too many moments of cringe mixed into all of the decent parts. I didn’t even get into the football field scene which I’m avoiding for the sake of possible spoilers. As a coming of age story, it does its job, but I wouldn’t go all out in saying it does its job well. Plus considering what might be a small potential replay value, an ending that could have worked but had some dissatisfying elements mixed in, and some moments of the movie that might feel forgettable, I wouldn’t say I loved, “Love, Simon.” I’m gonna give “Love, Simon” a 7/10. I have a feeling however based on some thoughts spinning around in my head that I am gonna eventually change “Love, Simon” to a 6. I dunno, only time will tell. Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon I’m going to post my review for “Game Night,” which I do intend on watching sometime this week. Be sure to look out for that, make sure you follow me here on Scene Before that way you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Love, Simon?” What did you think about it? Or, what is one of the most cringeworthy movies you’ve watched in recent memory? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Eighth Grade (2018): YouTube Channel of a Wimpy Kid

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“Eighth Grade” is directed by Bo Burnham and stars Elsie Fisher (McFarland, USA, Despicable Me), Josh Hamilton (Kicking & Screaming, Alive), and Emily Robinson in a movie where a girl by the name of Kayla Day is going through her wreck of a year in eighth grade. With her struggles of her introverted personality, struggles with other students in school, and struggles of simply trying to survive her last week, things aren’t looking too good for Kayla.

“Eighth Grade” happened to be one of my most anticipated movies of the year going into it. Not only did I LOVE the trailer and think this was going to be a fun yet maybe somewhat disturbing time, but the critical reception, while it didn’t really shock me, revealed excellence. There was a point where this movie had 100% on Rotten Tomatoes! As of right now it has a 98% with just a few of the many reviews on the site being rotten. Also, I’ll be honest, school sucks. It doesn’t matter what grade you’re in. If you were me, you’d realize that just about not one single school year was all that perfect. Elementary school was mostly just me being stupid, middle school was just confusing and perhaps full of me being judgmental and in all honestly, a tad more mature than other people in certain ways. In high school, something had to go wrong every single year, most unfortunately my senior year. Sure, it was a fun year, but with all of the ridiculous changes and unexpected happenings I had, it just didn’t flow the way I would have preferred. Let me just say though, if there is one year I hated in middle school–

*thinks*

…You know what? That’s tough to say, sixth grade was awesome, all the others were unlikable for the most part, but eighth grade certainly didn’t go the way I would have hoped. When it comes to this movie, I think it does a great job at capturing not only how awkward eighth grade can be, but also how different people with different personalities handle said year both in and out of school.

When it comes to Kayla Day and how magnificent of a job the writing happened to be for her character, that’s probably where this movie shines most. Just about every single moment she was on screen was either me thinking to myself, this movie accurately depicts someone of her generation, or I’m so scared for her that I want to s*it myself. Her character is very quiet in school to the point where she wins the superlative “Most quiet” in school, while at home she is a YouTuber who barely gets any views on a channel that really has content that matters. It’s not exactly complicated, but it probably has more of a purpose than whatever clickbait video PewDiePie has coming out of his ass. I doubt many people in my generation sign off using the word “gucci,” I’m sorry for not being “lit af” enough to truly know whether or not that’s the truth, although they do talk about it a lot.

When it comes to the chemistry between Kayla and her dad, Mark, that’s another place where this movie tends to excel. Mark seems to be very calm, but might not have the best connection with her daughter, partially because she tends to be on her phone all the time, including at the dinner table. Every scene with them together is either a feast of great writing or just plain near-emotional.

You may have read my previous review, which I did for “Gringo,” where I basically said the main character is one of the most down-on-their-luck I’ve seen in recent history, the same can be said for “Eighth Grade.” Not only does everyone, not essentially hate Kayla, but happen to be kind of against her, but a key difference between this movie and “Gringo” is that I don’t hate everyone enough to not care about Kayla. You aren’t really invested in the main character of “Gringo,” at least I wasn’t. Kayla just felt relatable and like she would be someone you’d encounter on the street. Some of the mannerisms that I should probably give total props to Bo Burnham for is her overusing the word “like” in one of the earliest videos she makes during the film. She’s kind of shy, quiet, and for what I can assume, wants the best for people but just doesn’t let her thoughts out except when she’s online.

If there are movies that this reminds me of in a way in terms of the vibe, it’s probably a combination of “Whiplash” and a stereotypical piece of work done by John Hughes. The writing for this coming of age story is nothing short of perfection. And while Kayla doesn’t really have a rivalry with a teacher, she certainly has a rivalry with her school. In fact, connecting this even more to “Whiplash,” there are so many scenes where I could I imagine watching them in the future with the need to bite my nails. You know how you get to certain scenes in “Whiplash” where the main character is with the teacher and it’s just intense because you don’t want the main character to f*ck up. That’s what certain situations in this movie are like, while this may be considered a comedy or a drama, it’s as haunting as a horror movie. It not only shows how scary school is, but how scary life outside of school can be.

I will say though, one thing I find interesting about this movie’s puberty instruction video is how “current” it is. Watch the movie and you’ll see what I mean, but there’s this female instructor talking to the camera saying that exploring everyone’s changing bodies is “gonna be lit.” I already found my classes’s health videos when I had to take those classes cringeworthy enough just because they felt basic or poorly made, and it honestly makes me kind of jealous that the class in this movie would get a video like that.

And you know what? This does bring up one question though, as much as I ADORE this movie and think it is a masterfully made film, what exactly was the writer and director going for? This movie was written and directed by Bo Burnham, and I am willing to bet he was going for a realistic depiction of how stressful eighth grade can be, and this is a bit nitpicky, some of these fictional elements brought into this realistic movie, while extremely effective, take a bit of the realism away. It doesn’t take too much away from this fantastic movie, but my complaint stands.

In the end, “Eighth Grade” delivered pretty much what I wanted out of it. The movie had moments that just haunted me. It reminded me, as an individual, of how much I can relate to Kayla, and most of all, the screenplay just made me bend over repeatedly. I know it’s only August, but I think “Eighth Grade” has a tremendous shot at winning “Best Original Screenplay” at the Academy Awards. A24 once again proves that they are one of the best studios working today, Elsie Fisher is going to move on to do great things in life, and despite the minor, and I do mean minor flaws, that this movie has, I think Bo Burnham not only did a spectacular job with “Eighth Grade,” but I’d love to see what he’d do in the future in terms of writing and directing. I’m going to give “Eighth Grade” a 9/10. And I gotta say, competition is heating up for best movie of the year so far! This movie IS a 9/10, but I feel like it could either change to a 10 in the meantime, kind of like “Blade Runner 2049” did for me, but I feel like with the fantastic screenplay, the possible replay value, and the relatability factor, this has a significant chance of being, maybe not my favorite movie of the year, but somewhere very close to that when we get to the year’s end. Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon I’m gonna have some reviews up for “Love, Simon” and “Game Night,” be sure follow me here on Scene Before and stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Eighth Grade?” What did you think about it? Or, what are some of your memories of eighth grade? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks! Gucci!

Gringo (2018): I’ve Been Kidnapped!

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“Gringo” is directed by Nash Edgerton and stars David Oyelowo (Selma, Interstellar), Charlize Theron (The Fate of the Furious, Atomic Blonde), Joel Edgerton (The Gift, The Great Gatsby), Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia!, Ted 2), Thandie Newton (Mission: Impossible II, Crash), and Sharlto Copley (District 9, Chappie) and is about a guy by the name of Harold who finds himself in Mexico. As his life becomes a miserable wreck and while it seemingly couldn’t get any worse, his status eventually changes from law-abiding citizen to wanted criminal.

I’ve seen the trailer for “Gringo” some time before it came out in theaters on the 9th of March this year. From what I saw, I was rather intrigued. However, I never saw it in theaters. Funny enough, that same weekend, “A Wrinkle In Time” released, which actually features the actor playing this movie’s main character. I didn’t see that either. Instead I waited to watch that for free on a plane. Also, hilariously enough, I watched “Gringo” for free too. No, not on a plane, but at home. As an Amazon Prime member, I can watch all of the content made by Amazon with no cost. “Gringo” was just recently added to Prime for free. So while my expectations weren’t roof-raising, they were certainly existent. Going into “Gringo,” I just hoped my expectations would be fulfilled.

They weren’t.

In fact, having seen the trailer one more time, I was instantly reminded of what exactly ruined the experience for me. For one thing, all of the funny parts (if this movie really had any) were shown in the trailer, and judging by the trailer, I was thinking this movie was going to go in a very predictable direction. And I don’t mind having my expectations be met with a different result, but something happens in this movie that is so different from what the trailers reveal that it’s just plain jarring! I’m not gonna get into spoilers, but the trailers made me think that this was going to be about a guy who gets kidnapped in Mexico. What the movie really does in terms of the main plot is completely different to the point of utter insanity! I don’t remember the last time I went into a movie that is just different from what the trailer shows as much as this!

Also, keeping spoilers away from everyone, one of the big things the trailer showed to me, an audience member, when it was shown in the movie, not only wasn’t funny, it was kind of painful to watch. And no, it wasn’t bloody or scary or anything, it was just cringeworthy in a dark way. Like, why did I have to see this? I was watching this movie in my bedroom while I was lying down on my bed, paying attention to whatever s*it is going on, as I’m witnessing one of the biggest diversions from a trailer in movie history, I was basically just uttering random noises, with my body against the wall next to my bed.

Also, I gotta say, this is marketed as a comedy, but there are barely any laughs in this. Granted, it’s a dark comedy, and the jokes aren’t mile a minute, which could mean you get less corny and forced jokes, but I was expecting some comedy that was faster than what we got here. And basically whatever attempt at humor I witnessed on screen was seen in the trailer. I usually never complain about that sort of thing because I see all of this stuff coming but even when I do, there’s usually SOMETHING I have yet to see in terms of comedy. Here, I felt like there was nothing. I did laugh on one or two occasions. But that’s like saying Pac-Man would only eat one or two dots on occasion at a party. Either he’s having a rough time, or the party planning has gone to s*it.

Let’s talk about the closest thing to a likable character this piece of crap has, and that is David Oyelowo’s character of Harold Soyinka. I say that because just about everyone else is either a douche or you just don’t care about them. Speaking of that, Harold is probably one of the finest examples of a “down-on-luck” character I’ve seen in recent history. Having seen this, I don’t even know what to think. On one hand, I gotta give props to the movie for at least trying to make Harold the one character to root for while everyone else is against him. But on the other hand I gotta say that having too many s*itty characters can only mean one thing. You have a s*itty movie.

And in a movie full of s*itty characters, you might as well make an excuse for one of them saying, “Hey, at least this bitch is played by Charlize Theron!” Don’t get me wrong, Charlize Theron is a great actress, she can play the very definition of a badass if you give her the right script. Just go watch “Hancock,” “Kubo and the Two Strings,” “Atomic Blonde,” and heck, I’ll even say “A Million Ways to Die in the West!” And out of all of the performances in the movie, I think Theron might just take the cake as top performer. But I hate her character, just like everyone else in this movie, so why should I even care at this point?

Another thing I should point out is that there are two people in this movie with the last name Edgerton, and yes, they are related. You’ve got Joel Edgerton (left) playing Richard Rusk, who is often in scenes with Charlize Theron’s character, Elaine Markinson, and you’ve got the director of the film, Nash Edgerton (right). A lot of you might know Joel Edgerton as an actor, but when it comes to his brother, he is mainly involved in stuntwork. When it comes to directing, he mainly has done shorts up to this point. I don’t know exactly how the two ended up in this movie together. Maybe there was a favor to be fulfilled with one sibling, the other, or maybe someone else involved. Perhaps Joel wanted to kickstart Joel’s directing career. I dunno, but in all seriousness, this reminds me of Melissa McCarthy and her husband, Ben Falcone. Basically, almost every single thing that Ben Falcone has directed or written has Melissa McCarthy in it. “Gringo” almost might be an excuse for a couple of brothers to make a movie together. And just like McCarthy and Falcone, the Edgertons and I need to have a little discussion on how to make a good movie!

In the end, “Gringo” most likely kidnapped me. If you watch the trailer for this movie before going into it and see something different out of the trailer or the movie then good for you. For me, this was a ripoff. I had SOME expectations for “Gringo,” not a lot, but some. Whatever little expectations I had, somehow were not even met. “Gringo” is not funny, it’s full of unlikable characters, the director might as well be there partially because of his brother, and it can show you how important it is to market your movies properly. When I saw the trailer, I was sold. Turns out what I was sold happened to be fraudulent and expectation-altering to the point of wanting to die. I’m going to give “Gringo” a 2/10. Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon I’m going to have my review for “Eighth Grade” so look forward to that very soon! Be sure to follow Scene Before either with your WordPress account or an email so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Gringo?” What did you think about it? Or, what is a movie that was completely different to you than what you got out of the trailer? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

The Hurricane Heist (2018): Fast Storm, Slow Movie

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“The Hurricane Heist” is directed Rob Cohen (xXx, The Fast and the Furious) and stars Toby Kebbell (Fantastic Four, Warcraft), Maggie Grace (Taken, Lost), and Ryan Kwanten (True Blood, The Right Kind of Wrong) in a movie that’s pretty much as exactly as it sounds. A group of people want to pull off a heist, but why not do it during a hurricane?! It’ll be great! F*ck me.

I bought this movie on Blu-ray when I was in Connecticut, and while I can say that for the most part, I didn’t go in expecting all that much, I was just hoping to have fun. The marketing for this movie made it look bad, but the kind of bad that I imagine you’d want to see. Appropriately, the advertising had “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” I was just like, alright, let’s embrace the stupid. Unfortunately, I couldn’t, because this movie was just too boring. Sure, you’ve got an epic storm. But there is NOTHING ELSE of interest! I felt like I was watching the most boring episode of Bob Ross’s “The Joy of Painting.” In that episode, you don’t watch Bob paint, you watch paint dry. I was watching this late at night, and I still remember shouting “BOOOORING!” four or five times throughout this piece of crap!

What’s so boring about it? You don’t like any of the characters! The casting is wrong on so many levels! The writing is unrealistic! And I even think some of the dubbing is a fail too! When I saw who was directing this film, I knew this was not going to be a masterpiece, but this was so much worse than I originally thought it would be. I say that because having viewed some of his work, his movies can kind of fall into a guilty pleasure category. If you’ve never seen “xXx,” I will say that it’s not really a good movie, but Vin Diesel is believable as Xander Cage, he has charisma, Samuel L. Jackson’s pretty good, and you’ve even got some neat one liners. I love the line, “Don’t be a dick, Dick.” This movie has no humor, it’s too serious and almost feels like there is no passion put into it. Also, let’s be honest, with a title like “The Hurricane Heist” and considering what goes down in terms of story, doesn’t this sound like a pitch movie?

It’s a heist film, with a hurricane! It’s a disaster film, with a heist! We’ll put in tons of CGI just to have something the audiences can look at! IT’S GONNA BE GREAT!

Let’s talk about Toby Kebbell in this movie. When it comes to Toby Kebbell, he plays a guy named Will, and what I have to say about his character is what can pretty much be said for everyone else’s characters. All of them suck, they have no personalities, not even their quirky southern accents could have saved this movie. Toby Kebbell just lacks wanted depth and charisma, sure we get a look at his backstory at the beginning of the film, but you just don’t end up caring about him, just like any other person in frame. His sibling rivalry with Breeze which we were introduced to during the film’s beginning is brought up one other time. Let me just back that statement up for a sec though, Will has a brother named BREEZE. What the hell?! Who names their kid Breeze?! I mean, I imagine there are some Breezes out there, but I’m sorry for everyone who has to live with such an unfortunate reality of a name you literally have to breeze through! It would probably be more believable if someone ends up naming their kid Jolly Green Giant. What kind of f*cked up situation would lead to that, I don’t know, but at least the name would sound AWESOME compared to Breeze. Also, I feel bad for Toby Kebbell, he played Dr. Doom in “Fant4stic,” he was in “Warcraft,” and now this! Not a good track record if you ask me!

As you can see in the image above, Maggie Grace’s character is there, but I’m not gonna talk about her! This movie doesn’t deserve such a thing! Now let’s kill the rest of it with thunder and lightning.

Although there’s one character I want to breeze over, and no, it’s not who you think it is. I want to talk about the character of Dixon, played by Ben Cross. I’d say that just about everyone in this movie is miscast, but Ben Cross sticks out like a sore thumb. If you watch this movie and observe Dixon, he almost comes across like a douchebag character The Rock would play when he still had hair and Director Krennic from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story!” I don’t know how to describe it without cringing! It was like I was watching a cartoon!

I know I said this movie was boring, and sometimes saying that is an understatement. But I also gotta talk about how much of a disaster this is too. I know it’s a disaster film, but you probably get my point. And while we’re on that topic, another film I saw earlier this week was “The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time.” This movie not only had the absolute boredom I encountered while watching “Transcendence,” you guys remember that film where Johnny Depp played a computer? But I’ll also add this has the s*itty effects and stupidity of “The Last Sharknado.” And I will give this movie something, when it comes to stupidity, this movie is better at being stupid and fun than compared to “The Last Sharknado.” There’s this one sequence where it’s all very threatening, someone could get hurt, they could get shot, they could die, then suddenly we see breaking glass quickly rising into the atmosphere! I lost it at that scene, I was DYING laughing!

And this does bring something up, I’m not old enough to drink yet, and I probably never will drink. But let’s just say I’m at a party with my friends and there’s alcohol, I decide to put on “The Hurricane Heist” just for s*its and giggles. All of the moments where I’d endlessly be bored, I’d probably just end up appreciating everything and laughing my ass off. It’s almost like I’d be watching “The Room” at that point!

And this boredom factor that’s applied to the movie, it’s just sad that it’s there. Because I imagine that I could probably get through this movie with s*itty characters, maybe there’s some cool hurricane action. No, all of it was boring. Part of me felt dumber after watching this, I just don’t know if I could end up recommending this movie to anyone unless they have the right amount of alcohol.

In the end, “The Hurricane Heist” was as tough to get through as a natural disaster. I don’t even know how I survived this movie. There are a lot of movies I see that I want know how they did something in that movie. For example, I just saw “Mission: Impossible: Fallout,” I wanted to know how they did the helicopter sequence. Similarly, I wanted to know something about “The Hurricane Heist” as well. I wanted to know how it got made. I mean, how did this come to fruition? Which cigar-smoking studio executive thought this would work? This wasn’t even fun, it was just a drag. It had the pacing of C-SPAN and it lacked the guilty pleasure-like fun of “xXx,” a movie that this film’s director actually worked on! Also, the ending is one of the most abrupt I’ve seen in recent history. I don’t think I’ve seen an ending that abrupt since either “The Circle” or “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.” Luckily this post doesn’t end here, because I still need to give a verdict. I’m going to give “The Hurricane Heist” a 1/10. I will say though, despite my 1, this movie could be worse. It might be fun if you’re drunk with friends, but I was sober, so my brain just felt like it was taking a nap while I was trying to get the rest of my body to stay awake for over an hour and a half. Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon I’m going to be doing a review for “Love, Simon” which I just bought on Blu-ray so look forward to that very soon. Be sure to follow me here on Scene Before either with your email or your WordPress account and be sure to stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “The Hurricane Heist?” What did you think about it? Or, what is a movie that looked like a guilty pleasure at first glance but turned out to be a piece of crap? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Terrificon 2018 Review/Haul

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! I just got back from Terrificon! Life feels good! The world is spinning (because it’s round, not flat)! And now I’m going to be going over my time at a convention which believe it or not exceeded my expectations entirely! I have been to Terrificon once and I will say I had a good time. I wouldn’t call it the holy grail of conventions or anything, it’s just a fun time. It’s not like I’m going to SDCC whatsoever (although the short lines at Terrificon make a positive difference). This year, just like last year, the lines certainly did not disappoint. I’ll get a little more into that down the road when I get into my celebrity encounters but nevertheless, I’ll get into it. Let me just continue saying that I thought this con was significantly better than last year’s! The guest lineup isn’t really that big, so that’s a similarity to last year, but what I love about this year is that the con took place in a new venue. It’s still on the same property, but for this year’s con, the people behind it have decided to place it in a recently built expo center.

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If you have been to Terrificon last year like I have, you may be aware that the last event took place in Mohegan Sun’s Sky Convention Center, but with the recent completion of the Earth tower and its expo center, events like this can now take place in that convention center. I like this convention center a little bit more as opposed to the other one mainly because this new one is bigger. Although, this may disappoint you, you may not care, I don’t know, decide for yourself, the floor is a bit more on the typical side for a convention center. Also, before we move on, look at this Thanos statue! Isn’t that epic?! I should also point out that next to it is a TV where you can hit a button and it’ll tell you if you survived Thanos’s snap!

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The last convention center is kind of elegant, but it almost feels like a large facility where you might as well hold an ambitious interview with the Queen of England. In fact, if you look at the floor, it almost screams “fancy bloated dinner party.” The new convention center feels somewhat normal. I don’t have a preference on design, although when it comes to which center itself I prefer, I gotta go with the new one because let’s face it, size matters.

One thing I went over in my promotion post is that there’s an attempt to make history at this convention. In honor of Superman’s 80th birthday, right near the entrance to the center, is a giant list of names written in Sharpie. All of those names are on what is being referred to as Superman’s birthday card. All of the names written down have been part of an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for most signatures on a birthday card. And yes, I wrote my name.

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This birthday card was located in the very nice entry way section of the center, right near where Terrificon exclusive merchandise was being sold. This is where all of the cosplay guests were tabling, it had a nice looking stand for fast-food products, which included Coca-Cola Freestyle machines. They also have an area which they can let you go outside, which is definitely nice if you want fresh air, but I avoided it because I’m not a smoker and I imagine some people could be out there just to smoke.

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One of the entry-ways from the recently mentioned wing leads into a gaming area. When I was here on Friday, I decided to go inside because I wanted to take part in the Jackbox Games session. While I was here, we played “Drawful 2,” “Trivia Murder Party,” “Survive the Internet,” “Quiplash 2,” and “Fakin’ It.” Jackbox Games has a fantastic sense a humor and I always play these games with my friends. And fun fact, the friends I play with are in the Nerd Army and the Knights of Nerdvana. If some of you don’t look at my header, you may not know that this blog is the “Official Blog of the #NerdArmy’s Film Critic.” And speaking of the Nerd Army, one of its members aside from myself actually happened to be in the same room as I. By the way, Adrian, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry we never got to say hello, I might be back next year though!

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Speaking of entry-ways that are close to the main lobby of the center, one of them leads to a ballroom where I attended three panels. There was only one of these that I had my eyes set on, but I ended up attending three. While I didn’t attend any panels on Friday, there was one on Saturday I attended. I never usually watch anything on AMC, which is kind of shocking considering how many people rave about “The Walking Dead,” but I attended a panel featuring AMC’s “Comic Book Men.” More specifically, two of them. They had three appear, but two were in the panel. Those two were Mike Zapcic and Ming Chen. I have never seen one episode of “Comic Book Men,” I was going to ask a question with that disclaimer, however there wasn’t enough time to get to it. Having seen this panel, it honestly just made me intrigued to watch the series. Unfortunately, one of the big things the panel had to go over is that the show was canceled. But I’ve heard that there are episodes on Amazon, so I can easily watch it on there. Although it’s not free so that’s the one downside. If they ever decide to come out with a DVD of the seasons with commentary, maybe I’ll pick it up. Plus, it has Kevin Smith. Why wouldn’t I check this thing out?

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Another panel I originally didn’t plan on attending but ended up going to anyway was for Michael Jai White. You may know this fellow from movies like “The Dark Knight,” “Spawn,” “Black Dynamite,” and “Arrow.” I happened to be sitting in the back of the room. There were plenty of seats available, but in the back they had these high top tables with white chairs. I figured I’d check em out. I almost asked a question about what it was like to work with Christopher Nolan, another person who was there asked a similar sounding question and White pretty much went over how Christopher Nolan did things. And hearing what he had to say about Nolan, my favorite director of all time, it only made me appreciate Nolan more. When I think of certain directors that are critically acclaimed, maybe they are somewhat obnoxious. Nolan, based on White’s words, seemed to be the exact opposite of that. Shortly after his panel, I stayed in the room, because another panel was about to start and it was for someone I was ready to see. I even move up to one of the seats in the third row near a mic because I did intend on asking questions.

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In case you can’t tell, this panel is for Pom Klementieff. You may know her best as Mantis in “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2” and most recently, “Avengers: Infinity War.” I still need to check out another movie she did, “Ingrid Goes West.” During the panel we talked about “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which partially included a little brush-over on the whole James Gunn fiasco, Klementieff’s journey as she became an actress, her fascination for “Oldboy,” which interestingly she just so happened to have a role in the 2013 adaptation made in America as opposed to South Korea. I was in line to ask a question. So I go on, introducing myself to Pom, saying that I might arguably have the most important question of the entire panel. The question, “Why is Gamora?” I repeated it so everyone could understand. Unfortunately, nobody laughed. Except Pom. At least that’s what I remember, if anyone else laughed I wouldn’t have been able to pick theirs up. So all of you guys who think I would amount to nothing in life, screw y’all! I made a celebrity laugh! What have you done? Jeff Bezos, you’re history! I made Pom Klementieff laugh! Mark Zuckerberg? You found a very popular social network? F*ck you, I got a celebrity to appreciate my joke! Elon Musk? Who the hell are you?! I made history! I got Pom Klementieff to burst in laughter! In all seriousness, my real question had to do with Klementieff’s personal favorite line she said in one of her films. Although, I don’t think she understood me, because she responded saying “I am Groot” is one of the best inventions ever. I thought it her answer close enough.

Now let’s move onto purchases. For this section we’re going to state the item(s) I purchased, where I got said item(s) from, and if I have anything to say about it/them, I’ll dive deeper.

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A few months before I went to this convention, I was not into the whole Pop vinyl figure thing. However, after an unexpected encounter with “Blade Runner” figures at Thinkgeek I had in May, my interest levels have increased. I’ve mainly looked for exclusives, as I’ve done in this convention, and once I set my eyes upon this Pop, I figured it was the perfect purchase. Granted, it was $25, and most of the Pops I get are on the cheaper side. The main reason why I got it, aside from liking the Hulk and “Thor: Ragnarok” despite having numerous complaints about it, is that it’s an exclusive from Toys R Us. As you may know, Toys R Us officially closed its doors for good here in the US at the end of June. When is the next time I am gonna buy something sold at Toys R Us? I don’t know, but I can guarantee it won’t be soon. I purchased this Bruce Banner Pop at Undiscovered Realm, which has a store located in White Plains, NY. Unfortunately, I will say that there was another one of these in a different store in the center that was available for $20, but hey, a Toys R Us exclusive is a Toys R Us exclusive.

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Speaking of exclusive Pops I could have gotten for a cheaper price, I also picked up a figure of Parzival from “Ready Player One.” I paid $15 for it at Wize Guys Collectibles and only bad luck occurred from this one. The day after I bought this Hot Topic Exclusive, I found another place selling it for $10! And as I went home, I don’t know how this happened, but the bottom must have opened itself! The figure was inside the whole time, so hopefully not much value will be lost. Ah well, I bought this with a couple of intentions however. I have an Art3mis figure on my shelf (GameStop exclusive), so I figured maybe I should put this next to my Art3mis since both are characters from “Ready Player One” and they lust after each other. Plus “Ready Player One” is one of my favorite movies of the year so you bet I had to get this.

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Sticking with Funko’s creations, we have a few more Pops to gloss over! These three I can’t recall exactly where I got them, and no, don’t say Target, because that’s false even though one of these is a Target exclusive! If I had to guess based on the map, it’s probably G and T Toys and More. I am happy with my picks. Captain Cassian Andor on the right is the second “Star Wars” Pop I purchased (first was Director Orson Krennic). I also have a Kylo Ren, but I got it from my sister. I also got Cable, because “Deadpool 2” is awesome, one of the best movies of 2018. Also, this was partially because there was a deal going on where if I bought three $10 Pops, the total would come out to $25. I’ll remind you, every Pop was $10, and there were three Doctor Strange Target exclusives. I had to pick up one of them. I later discovered some minor wear and tear on the Doctor Strange box, but whatever, I was glad to have it. Plus, it’s gold!

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The last of the Pops I got actually turned out to be the first Pop I ever owned to originate from a video game. One of my all time favorite companies in the video game industry is Valve, and every once in a while I might go on Steam and play a bit of “Team Fortress 2.” One class I occasionally play is the Heavy. It’s just fun to take his Russian mother load of a machine gun and go to town on people. Plus, the best part is that it was only $6! Not a bad deal if you ask me! This was actually purchased at Toytastik which sells toys online and seems to focus very much on comic book-based toys, so when it comes to comic-con, they know their customer base quite well. They were also selling a “Team Fortress 2” Medic, but since I MAY have damaged the box (not significantly, but still), I ended up getting the Heavy which I found shortly after finding the Medic. In fact, I’m actually satisfied with the Heavy. Aside for not damaging the item’s value, the big thing that makes me prefer the Heavy is that I don’t play as the Medic. When I play “TF2,” I do play a number of classes, but the Medic is not one of them. I just never found myself interested in playing a healer. But that’s just me.

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If you read last year’s review of Terrificon, you’d know that last year I picked up a couple license plates. The place where I did that was what I assumed to be “Fuzzy Fish Inc.” Based on what happened this year, I can probably say that’s where I got those other license plates. Because as you see above, I picked up a couple more plates and those were from Fuzzy Fish. The one above is from the movie “Blade Runner 2049.”

If you look closely in the image above which is a BEAUTIFUL shot from “Blade Runner 2049,” you may notice this license plate is located on K’s spinner. Once I saw this, I felt like Betty White thinking about the idea of never dying, I HAD TO HAVE IT. The shop happened to have a deal where you can get another plate which would make your total come out to $25.

The other license plate I’ve purchased comes from the movie “Spaceballs.” It’s not as cool as an “I ❤ Uranus” bumper sticker, but it’s not a bad purchase nonetheless. I do consider “Spaceballs” to be a fantastic parody so I am proud to own this.

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Moving onto t-shirts, one of my purchases took place at a stand operated by Robber Barons. I managed to purchase a shirt that contains the text “Ray & Egon & Peter & Winston,” otherwise known as the Ghostbusters. The stand had a great selection of shirts, in fact, I still remember seeing this stand last year with this same shirt. The operator was wearing one of the shirts on the stand, which said “POWERED BY PIZZA.” Personally, that sounds relatable. I got this shirt on Sunday and I had trouble deciding between this one and another shirt from a different shop. That other shirt by the way was a crossover between “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” and was mocking the “Solo” logo. Instead of “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” it said “Sulu: A Star Trek Story.” The other shirt is from 3D Printing by Muckychris. Both shirts were around the same price but the main reasons behind getting the “Ghostbusters” shirt was that some people think religiously that “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” are competitors that aren’t intended to be together and I’m more into “Ghostbusters” than I am into “Star Trek.” Heck, I have an Ecto-1 license plate in my room. What can I say? Although I did find out that Muckychris has an Etsy page so I can go ahead and buy the shirt anytime. I should buy it at some point, it could be like a peace demonstration for nerds. For those who are interested in Robber Barons, they design and print shirts in Simsbury, CT, which is located near the state capital of Hartford. They sell t-shirts, bandanas, and other sorts of stuff.

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I happened to get these next two shirts from the same place, specifically a shop called MTC Toys. Believe it or not, on the program I was handed at the con, it actually refers to the shop as MC Toys, so I apologize to all who get fooled by this error. They’ve been going to comic-cons for a long time, and they’ve got a crapton of apparel to pick from. They operate in North Tonawanda, NY, which is right near Canada. As you can see, I picked out a couple of shirts. The one on the left is the Seinfeld logo, and if you want to get into specifics, that is the Seinfeld logo which was presented on screen during season 3 and the first couple of episodes in season 4. On the right is a 2001: A Space Odyssey shirt. I figured I’d get it because for one thing I LOVE “2001” and I’m going to see the movie in IMAX next week. It’s gonna be dope! If you look at the shirt you’d notice that it contains a couple of images from the movie. One is of the space baby and the other is a shot of the monolith and the sun from the first encounter with the monolith where we see the apes. The only downside is the price (nearly $50 for both shirts after tax), but for the variety that’s in store, I guess MTC Toys is at least worth a gander.

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Sticking with the topic of “2001,” you can see I picked up three posters, and “2001” just so happened to be one of them. The other two are for “Ready Player One” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” I believe I got these at Rock N’ Reel Posters. I’m rather satisfied with my choices because I highly enjoy all three of these films, and I happen to have a quirky poster too with “Ferris Bueller” considering it’s meant to be hung sideways.

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Out of all the movies in the MCU’s first phase, “Thor” is definitely my favorite of the bunch. One of the best lines from that movie is on this glass you see above. Once I saw this, I had to get this! It was worthy! I got this thing from Go Geek, which sold nerdy candles with “Supernatural,” “Harry Potter,” “Pokemon,” and “Star Wars” themes, and some other cool stuff. When it came to getting this, I almost settled on one or two other glasses. Another glass that caught my attention was one that said “Wanna Smash?” One of the letters in that phrase had the “Super Smash Brothers” insignia, not to mention Samus from “Metriod.” And if you play “Super Smash Brothers,” you’d know Samus is one of the fighters in all of the games.

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This purchase here is not exactly one I originally made for myself. I was originally intending on sending this to my friend in Michigan, but he decided I should keep it, so therefore I’m keeping it. This piece of space Kirby awesomeness comes from Johnny Flid. Originally from Long Island, he is a master artist, muralist, fine painter, and illustrator. When I did a Facebook live from the con, I actually gave him a shoutout, so I hope he gets some attention!

And while I may be done with standard purchases that I’ve done at Terrificon, I have not gotten to a purchase that I made involving a celebrity. As you may know, on the Sunday for the con, I attended the panel for Pom Klementieff. However, the day before, I got in line to get her autograph. The line wasn’t long, but it wasn’t short either. It was however longer than I expected because I remember going to this con last year and lines were almost never a problem. In line, I got to glimpse at Henry Winkler (Happy Days, Arrested Development). I didn’t talk to him, but he was walking through and I tried say “ayyy” like he would as the Fonz on “Happy Days” and see if he would notice. I got no reaction however. Granted, I don’t watch “Happy Days” and I forgot to raise the thumbs! Dammit! Seeing Henry Winkler though, he does seem to be a nice guy, and definitely very interactive with fans. How often do you see a celebrity get out of their chair and move away from their table to get attention? They’re usually just sitting down!

So after somewhere between ten to twenty minutes, it is my turn to talk to Pom. I’m in my “You’re Not Groot” shirt that I got at this very con last year. From what I can tell, she didn’t notice it. We didn’t talk too much, mainly because I was busy with the assistant at her table. However, we did say a few words. Klementieff goes on and signs my free IMAX poster that I got when I saw “Avengers: Infinity War” on opening night. The biggest thing I can recall out of all of this was after we took a photo together.

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“Take names, kick ass.”

Once she heard that she kinda cheered in a way. I don’t know how often she’ll get that, and I bet there could be a point where she could be dead tired of hearing that. But with it being one of the best lines from “Avengers: Infinity War,” I had to spit that out. I did talk to a couple of other celebrities, specifically Sam Jones (Flash Gordon, Ted) and Lou Ferrigno, but I’m not gonna dive too much into that. Although I will say Sam Jones noticed my “You’re not Groot” shirt and we had an interesting exchange concerning it.

I could go on, but then I’d just end up babbling until the end of time. I really enjoyed Terrificon 2018, I thought this convention was an improvement over the previous one, I’m definitely looking forward to coming back next year. I gotta give a shoutout to the staff, some of the nicest staff I’ve encountered at a con. They know what they’re doing and they sound like they’re happy to be at the con as much as I am. Not only do they know their audience, but they also know how to put on a fantastic show. Thanks for reading this post! I’d like to thank everyone I encountered at the con, from Johnny Flid to Pom Klementieff and everyone I met during the Jackbox Games session, all of the people who took what could have been a decent con experience and turned it to something much greater. As for other cons, I actually do have plans to go to more down the road. This October I’ll be going to New York Comic Con. I’ll be going on Friday, October 5th, and Sunday, October 7th, it’ll be my first time at that convention, I’m very much looking forward to it. Also, the month after that, I’m gonna be in Providence for Rhode Island Comic Con. I’ll be there all three days on the first weekend of November, which is the 2nd through the 4th. Too bad I’m not going on the 5th, it could have been perfect timing to do a cosplay as V from “V For Vendetta.” These next couple of months are gonna be con heavy, which means you can assure yourself that you will be getting some great content coming your way. Be sure to follow so you can stay tuned for said content! You can either follow with your WordPress account or your email, nevertheless, make sure you click that follow button! I want to know, did you go to Terrificon this year? What was your experience like? Or, if you have any cons that you want me to go to in the future, leave a comment and maybe I’ll do some research on it. I will say, I’m in eastern Massachusetts so that will be a hint as to what maybe I can or can’t do. But nevertheless, leave your comments, I’d love to hear your suggestions! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time (2018): At Least They Listened…

Oh boy! A new “Sharknado” movie is out! Time to suffer once more– wait, this is the last one? I should hope so… But just in case…

NOW NO REBOOTS, PLEASE! Unless there’s some sort of plan to unleash quality towards the “Sharknado” franchise I AM NOT GOING TO ACCEPT ANY OTHER MOVIES UNDER THE “SHARKNADO” NAME! UNDERSTAND?! This franchise can rot in hell with the live-action “Smurfs,” “Fifty Shades of Grey,” and as much as it pains me to say it, just about half of the “Star Wars” movies, I’m done with “Sharknado!” I’m done! Man that felt good.

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I still have to review the sixth one, cra–

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“The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time” is directed by Anthony C. Ferrante, the director who also unfortunately helmed the previous five “Sharknado” films. This movie stars Ian Ziering (Beverly Hills, 90210, Godzilla: The Series), Tara Reid (American Pie, The Big Lebowski), and Cassandra Scerbo (Make It Or Break It, Not Another Not Another Movie) and is marketed as the supposedly final “Sharknado” installment ever. This time, Fin and his pals are time-traveling to rid of the damages of nasty Sharknados in the past.

I’ve seen all of the “Sharknado” movies in at least one way, shape, or form. I’m not gonna go into specifics since I’ve already done such a thing in my “Sharknado 5” review and I just don’t want to sound repetitive. Let me just say, I’ve seen all of them, I don’t like any of them. End of story. Here’s the thing about certain good intellectual properties or movie franchises that seems to stand out to me. They all know when to stop. “Back to the Future” stopped at three movies! Director Robert Zemeckis said “over my dead body” on the thought of a reboot. You’ve also got “The Dark Knight” trilogy which had a solid beginning, middle, and end. Back before the “Star Wars” prequels released, the original “Star Wars” trilogy stopped at three movies, all of which have been appreciated by fans and critics (unless you count “The Empire Strikes Back” when it first came out). And no, the holiday special is not in this discussion. Franchises like “Sharknado?” It just keeps on going. Granted compared to some other franchises it does have some benefits. Depending on the situation, you are more likely to watch “Sharknado” for free whereas you have to pay $12 to go see the new “Transformers” movie. The movies are around an hour and a half compared to certain titles like “Fifty Shades of Grey” or “Twilight” which are around a couple hours long. Those are just a couple of perks throughout what can truly be regarded as a s*itfest of an experience.

It honestly baffles me why people watch these movies. The only reason why *I* watch these movies is to give you guys a review. And as much as I suffer during the movie, I do look forward to the review. This has the worst that a cheesy bad movie has to offer. It says it’s big in quantity but it lacks quality! Stupid cameos! Moments that make me lose IQ points! I don’t understand why, other than the fact that they get high ratings on Syfy, that the “Sharknado” movies have to keep on happening. As the movie begins, and we start to get reintroduced to characters along the way, I just remind myself of how much I don’t care about anyone in the franchise. Granted, I will admit in my “Sharknado 4” review, I mentioned I cared more for the characters in the first movie. But there are some things to consider: I was just getting to know them. It wasn’t known to me that Ian Ziering would practically be god in these movies. Not to mention, since it was the first movie, I didn’t have to complain that I’m seeing these f*cking hooligans again.

One thing I want to talk about before moving onto the characters is something I cannot even believe I haven’t brought up in any of my reviews yet. Throughout the movie, I couldn’t help but think to myself that the color grading is some of the worst ever put on screen. When I watch “Sharknado,” I do expect a natural disaster, and granted, natural disasters are depressing, therefore meaning maybe a depressing color grade might work. However, “Sharknado,” a movie where Ian Ziering jumps into a shark with a chainsaw and escapes with no problem whatsoever, a movie where many intellectual properties are butchered by insanely forced references, a movie that needs to have some stupid promotion for Xfinity or The Today Show, does not associate with that type of grading! This movie, if it truly tries and cleans up its s*itty effects, can be a buttload of fun. I can also say the same if it just changes the color grading. I feel like there are way too many blacks in the images to the point where it feels like I’m watching a World War II period piece or something. This movie’s color grading almost made it feel like I was staring at very dark cigarette smoke with sharks behind it. Just brighten the images a little bit! A little color makes a big difference!

I also really don’t like the direction of this film. I clearly watch more movies than TV. And I’m almost picky when it comes to TV shows, partially because I don’t review them. But this movie at times reminds me of two very similar shows that are incredibly popular that I don’t watch. Specifically, “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation.” I don’t watch either of those shows because the way they’re shot is almost headache inducing. The whole style of footage containing actions suddenly interrupted by an interview is almost distracting to me. Not to mention, the camera is constantly shaking whenever something is being shot unless we’re talking about an interview. It’s just annoying. Some may say it’s immersive, it honestly does the opposite for me. And speaking of shaking the camera, there are some minor shakes I witnessed, most noticeably during an establishing shot of a sharknado! WHAT HAS THIS WORLD COME TO?!

Moving onto characters, let’s talk about God–err I mean Ian Ziering. He’s basically what you’d come to expect at this point. He survives everything. He is the biggest badass on the planet. Essentially if Domenic Torretto had hair and had to deal with sharks all the time, that is Ian Ziering’s character. Oh yeah, right, he has a name, Fin Shepard. WHY AM I STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS?!

Now let’s move onto Tara Reid’s character of April. When it comes to Tara Reid, I didn’t really see much of her work prior to watching the “Sharknado” movies, but I did watch a couple of films after watching “Sharknado 5” that had her in it. In those films, say what you want about her, she was personally serviceable in those roles of hers and did what needed to be done. Here in “Sharknado 6,” it’s like I’m watching an amateur porn star trying to adapt to being in a disaster film. Really hot, but the acting is PUTRID.

One thing that I found interesting about this film however is that with the time travel element in play, we managed to see the adult version of Gil. For those who don’t know who Gil is, he’s a very young kid that April and Fin have. And while I can’t say much of anything positive regarding the characters of this movie, I will say that Gil was a lot less annoying than he was for the past couple of installments. Then again, what do you expect? He’s an adult.

I don’t even know why I’m still writing. My head is honestly about to explode, but just like all of the other “Sharknado” films, “The Last Sharknado” doesn’t shy away from giving you the film industry’s worst examples of how to do special effects. You know how a lot of people look at the shark from Jaws at find it to be very fake-looking? Look, if I was thirteen, THAT F*CKING KILLER SHARK FROM “JAWS” WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE BELIEVABLE THAN THE HUNDREDS OF SHARKS FLYING IN YOUR FACE IN THIS PIECE OF CRAP!

Let’s talk about the ending. I am not a mega-fan of the franchise, and you know what? If I were a mega-fan, then I probably would have appreciated it more. But in all reality, I was just kind of checked out. Then some of the last lines come in and I’m just begging to get on with my life and do something that’s worth my time. The movie, and the franchise, THANKFULLY ends. That’s one of the few, and there a few, positives in the entirety of “The Last Sharknado.” It ends the saga. It’s… over. It’s f*cking over. But I gotta say, I was kind of angry (partially due to my bad mood received from watching this movie) that I had to see a text card come up with the word “Fin.” You’ve already destroyed my brain, you don’t get to do that, movie! Bad movie! BAD movie!

As we get closer to my final verdict, I have to point something out. As I’ve done with “Sharknado 4” and “Sharknado 5,” I was livetweeting to this movie during the premiere on Syfy. Here are some of the tweets I’ve made:

Yes, one is more related to Instagram, but it’s on Twitter, so who really cares? Since I’m a movie reviewing moron, I wonder if some people would think I know way more than I should know about film. And maybe I do. Maybe it’s unimportant that I know that every “Sharknado” film was directed by Anthony C. Ferrante. Why should that even be something worth bringing up in a casual conversation? Let me just say, that name confuses the hell out of me. Because he was observing the livetweet session and those tweets I just put up? HE RETWEETED THEM! So I went to look at his account, and see what other tweets have been posted, and while they are related to “Sharknado,” they all seem to be on the positive side of the spectrum. Does Anthony hate his own creation and side with me? Does he not know what to think of it? I NEED TO KNOW! Anthony Ferrante? If you’re reading this, if you hate your movies, it’s OK, we can talk s*it together!

In the end, I may have been excited to do this review just because I can rage out about a s*itty movie and sometimes that’s rather fun, but this review is not all fun and games. Watching “Sharknado 6” was one of the first things I did once I got home from vacation. And by the way this vacation was comic-con, which involves a lot of walking. It was fun, but it does feel like a workout at times. Instead of coming home to relax and unwind, I decide to review this s*it. But hey, it’s over! So, goodbye “Sharknado,” you won’t be missed! I’m gonna give “The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time” a 1/10! I mean, what else do you expect? I mentioned there are a few positives in the movie, but it doesn’t make all of the infinite negatives go away! This movie had a nice animated intro, had one moment where I chuckled, and most importantly, ended everything. But seriously, WHY WAS NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON IN THIS MOVIE?! And just to stay positive, I will say that this actually was better than “Sharknado 5.” They toned down on Xfinity, and it didn’t have an annoying kid. And best of all, this movie means the series… is over! Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon you’re gonna get some more posts coming your way. These include movie reviews on “The Hurricane Heist,” “Love, Simon,” and my look back at my time at this year’s Terrificon! Be sure to like this post and follow my blog so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time?” What did you think about it? Or, do you think we’ll ever see another movie, TV show, or video under the “Sharknado” name again in the future? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Family Guy Live-Action Hybrid Movie Reportedly in the Works… TWO REASONS WHY I’M MAD!

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! As some of you may or may not know, one reason why I continue to work on this blog to this very day is for my own joy of writing. And I’ll have some of you know that one day, I would love to work for the film industry. As of today, my hopes to do such a thing has dwindled to a point where I’ve entered an abyss of darkness. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to work in the film industry, but it doesn’t change the fact that something has gone on in the film industry that is getting me so fed up that it’s making me almost steer away from even considering said industry to relate to my future career.

And yes, there are tons of things about the film industry that can totally be a reason for me wanting to steer away. There’s tons of sexual harassment scandals that almost makes it hard to be a straight white male in Hollywood. I’m not saying I sexually harassed others or approve of sexual harassment, but what if we get to the point where you just get called out for being a straight white male? All of the fan communities for movies like “Star Wars” are becoming more and more toxic by the day. Depending on your housing situation, you’ve also got to deal with California itself. I mean, my gosh! How are people surviving there? But we’re not gonna talk about any of those topics today. Today, it’s time for me to get personal, because a story just came out last week that kind of got on my nerves.

One of my all time favorite TV shows is “Family Guy.” Sure, the series is nowhere near as good as it used to be, but the early seasons of the show are a thing of beauty. And admittedly, I’ll say I enjoy some of the later episodes as well. Seth MacFarlane is a genius that breaks barriers and can easily make me laugh. Some of his other work such as “American Dad!” and “The Orville” are also worth a look if you ask me. “Family Guy,” for those who don’t know, is currently owned by Fox, and they also own a couple shows that have a similar feel to “Family Guy.” These shows include “The Simpsons” and “Bob’s Burgers.” Recent reports came out related to all three shows, and there are two of these reports which I can approve of.

  1. Development of a second “Simpsons” movie
  2. Development of a “Bob’s Burgers” movie
  3. Development of a live-action/animated “Family Guy” movie

Those first two topics? They’re irrelevant, forget em’, they’re safe from my rant. That last one however, I’m taking it down with force! Just… Why? In all of the years, that I’ve been asking for a “Family Guy” movie, THIS is the idea we get? When the word live-action comes into play for something that’s rather well-known for being animated, that’s usually not a good sign. It has enormous potential for “Transformers,” but everyone making some of those movies tend to puke on their audience in the process. But let’s look at it this way, there are many live-action adaptations of animated pieces of work out there. Some admittedly have worked like 2016’s “The Jungle Book,” while others continuously remain in a pit of terror like “Ghost in the Shell.” If experience has taught anything to a number of active moviegoers, it’s that animation doesn’t always translate to live-action.

When it comes to Fox and the development of the movie, that’s an interesting situation as well. If you have been living under a rock, Disney could potentially own an enormous portion of Fox’s assets. The Mouse House bid on all of said assets for a grand total of $71.3 billion, with studio approval happening on July 27th of this year. As of now, the ownership isn’t a done deal, because there are still some ropes to jump through with the government, but if this deal goes through, it’s potential that Disney could step in and change this movie. What will they do with it? I don’t know, but I just hope they don’t make it too kid friendly! But nevertheless, this could lead to studio interference and maybe take a movie that I’m already not anticipating, and somehow make it worse.

Although the more I think about it, something like this is potential to work, maybe. Live-action is something that I don’t know if it will work, but if it’s done right like if somehow the Griffins become realistic and can’t find a way to return to their normal selves, that could be interesting. Maybe it’ll be something similar to “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” And I think some people liked another piece of work from Fox, “Son of Zorn,” which had an animated character in our world. But that was canceled so what do I know? But other than that, the whole concept just sounds crazy. It almost reminds me of another cartoon that tried to make a movie like this. You guys remember “The Spongebob Movie?”

No, not the one from the 2000s!

In 2015, they released another movie featuring “Spongebob Squarepants” known by the name “Sponge Out of Water.” Down below is an image taken from that movie.

Now, don’t get me wrong, would I personally say this looks TERRIBLE? I wouldn’t say it does. But in reality, it’s just a gimmick. I haven’t seen the movie, so I can’t say too much, but blending the live-action and animation together just feels like a cheap trick. Not to mention, based on how this movie was marketed supposedly, it feels like it was made to show off 3D.

Knowing Seth MacFarlane and what he would probably do, I doubt he would use 3D gimmicks up the wazoo. I wouldn’t be surprised if this movie were in 3D, but I don’t think MacFarlane would intentionally go out of his way just to make 3D a big part of the movie. I don’t know, maybe unless he wanted to make fun of “Avatar” he wouldn’t do such a thing.

If you are excited for a “Family Guy” movie, good for you, and I sure as hell wish I was. But aside from this live-action bullcrap, there is one more thing that literally f*cks me in the ass–err I mean shoots me in the face–err I mean kicks me in the nuts–err I mean stabs me in the back–err I mean casts me into a fire–err I mean grinds my gears.

I’m not gonna show this for certain reasons having to do with value, idea stealing, and the fact that I would like to present it to particular people and hide it from others. I HAVE A SCRIPT FOR MY OWN “FAMILY GUY” MOVIE. When it comes to making this script, I actually started it two years ago, and it is a fully animated movie. I find it to be a combination of a big blockbuster and drama with a ton of comedy sprinkled in the mix. I finished the climax recently and I am rather proud of what I created. There are definitely revisions to be made to the script overtime and I’m still looking over it as days go by. In fact, I wrote it on a Word document, and it’s not even formatted like a traditional script! But it did come out to over a hundred and twenty pages!

I gotta ask, is my movie better than whatever Fox or Seth MacFarlane has in mind? I may be biased, but yes! Then again, this is judging both movies on paper. We have yet to see either of our ideas to come to fruition. And when either of our ideas come to life, we can only properly judge our creations at that point. You may be asking though, what’s the plot? I said I don’t want to talk too much about my ideas, but I’ll spit some words out here. The plot of “The Family Guy Movie” is that Quahog is invaded by an alien race. It turns out that the race not only captures humans, but it is their only food source as well. This turns into a dark drama, eventually met with a lighter tone of the Griffins, Swansons, and Quagmire’s dad coming together to gain superpowers, and rescue those they need to rescue. Oh, did I mention there’s a point where the world is at stake?

“I don’t want to do ‘The Griffins must save the world.” -Seth MacFarlane

You don’t want to? Well guess what? It’s my script, so I’LL do that. Besides, that’s not even the main portion of the movie. The main portion of the movie is saving certain characters whose names shall not be mentioned for the sake of avoiding spoilers. And if you guys are asking if this is REAL, I can assure you it is. Now I’m not sending out any links to it, taking no screenshots of it, I’m not doing such a thing. I’m one of the few people at the time of writing this who knows about it. If you want, I can actually share some of the lines I’ve written in the script. I’ll try to be as spoiler free as possible. I’m not going to right now because I want to still hide my script details. But if enough people comment, I’ll happily share what I’ve written. I don’t know if I’ll update this post and do it here, or do something separate or what, something will likely happen. But let me just say, if this “Family Guy” movie doesn’t go according to plan, I’m gonna feel bad for those who are making it, but I’m also going to continuously remind Fox and Seth MacFarlane that they could have possibly gone with the script written by a teenager! And for once, maybe someone like me won’t be mocked for making such a thing happen.

Thanks for putting up with my rant about my dreams getting crushed. I don’t know what the absolute future of the talked about “Family Guy” movie will be. There’s a part of me saying I hope it’s successful and there’s another part of me saying, just go with my script, trust me. I’ve worked on it for two years. I’m sorry to say but I have no review coming this weekend (as far as I know, maybe I’ll see something from home) but I do have a post coming soon that is going to be a review of my time at this year’s Terrificon. For those of you who are unaware of this event, it’s a three day convention taking place at one of Connecticut’s casinos, Mohegan Sun. I will be attending all three days and it will feature guests including Pom Klementieff (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Oldboy), Khary Payton (The Walking Dead, Teen Titans Go!), the guys from AMC’s “Comic Book Men,” and much more! I will be going over any potential autographs, photo ops, what the atmosphere was like, and it might be a tad different than last year considering they’ve got a new space in a recently constructed expo center so that will be a lot of fun. If you are considering coming to Terrificon, I’d say it’s worth your time, it’s not the best convention I’ve been to personally but crowd-wise, it’s paradise! I doubt there will be long lines for autographs! Be sure to stay tuned for that and more great content! Also be sure to follow me either via email or a WordPress account! I want to know, what are your thoughts on a “Family Guy” movie that blends live-action and animation? Or, are you excited for a “Bob’s Burgers” movie or another “Simpsons” movie? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Academy Awards Adds Popularity Contest?! *AN UNACCEPTANCE SPEECH*

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! If you are new here to Scene Before, you might not be aware that I’ve done a few posts related to the Academy Awards. Honestly, the Academy Awards might just be the biggest night of the year for movies. You know, that one night where lots of people turn the channel to ABC and see what movie they never heard of gets Best Picture? As far as my history of documenting somewhat related content, I’ve done my personal predictions and hopes for the 89th and 90th ceremonies, I’ve done recaps, and there’s even a movie review for “Moonlight” which I did after the Academy Awards that was making fun of the “La La Land” and “Moonlight” incident during the Best Picture reveal.

Today however marks something AMAZING. It’s a true feat in movie history. It’s where the Academy Awards and summer come together! The Academy Awards, which has telecasts that air during the winter, just as spring is suddenly approaching, honoring mostly movies that come out during the fall, usually has little to no association with summer movies. And no, we are not going to be talking about summer movies or movies that come out close to the summer season that have potential of being nominated or winning an Academy Award this year, but if you want my thoughts on those, I do think “Hereditary” could have a chance so far at taking “Best Actress.” “Incredibles 2” so far has probably the best shot at winning “Best Animated Feature.” “Eighth Grade” could have some potential at maybe “Best Original Screenplay,” but I can’t say for sure since I haven’t seen it yet. And “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” could possibly win “Best Documentary Feature.” The Oscars is more than half-a-year away, so is all of what I said bound to happen? Probably not, but who knows?

With those thoughts out of the way, let’s get into the main topic of discussion. The Academy Awards to me is the night where the best movies of the year, not to mention their producers and their crew, duke it out to see who is that year’s king of movies. These results however are not objective, because there are more award shows for movies than just the Oscars and chances are you’ll have different nominations, different winners, etc. Although seeing the best movie, and even if it is not my favorite movie take its award for an outstanding achievement is very pleasing. This year, seeing Roger Deakins win “Best Cinematography” for my #2 movie of 2017, “Blade Runner 2049,” was one of the greatest award handouts I’ve seen on the show. In that very moment, I turned into a little girl with a new Barbie doll collection she got for her birthday. It just makes me all giddy to see someone getting recognized for their talent. The idea of the Academy Awards honoring the BEST movies? Well, what else can I say except… it might have just been destroyed.

According to an article I’ve read from The Hollywood Reporter, a recent message was sent from the Academy to its members. It stated three changes that are supposed to take effect.

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER ARTICLE: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/academy-plans-three-hour-oscars-telecast-adds-popular-film-category-1133138

#1: Three hour telecast

When I go see a movie and it is three hours long, I personally don’t care. I’m one of those people who can say that if a movie is three hours, fine. If it is two hours, fine. Heck, I’ll sit down for four if I need to. I don’t care as long as it is a quality product. However, one of the bigger complaints that some people have about the Oscars that is similar to some movies is that it is a bit too long. In 2002, the Academy Awards which aired that year just so happened to go on for over four hours. With an attempt to make a three hour runtime, that could make a people feel a bit more sane. It was also mentioned that certain categories would be presented during commercial breaks and presented later after being edited for broadcast. I can’t say entirely how I feel about certain categories not getting equal recognition as others, but my final verdict on this might as well come once I see this idea come to fruition.

#2: Earlier airdate for 92nd Oscars

Now keep in mind, this has nothing to do with the next Academy Awards, it instead has to do with the one after it. The next one is going to be the 91st edition. The Oscars usually tends to air its shows around the end of February. Although this year was a special exception because of the 2018 Winter Olympics. Not only would the two events have aired too close to each other, but it would mean heavy competition between networks ABC and NBC. Funny enough, the most recent Academy Awards have been the least-watched yet of all the shows which have currently been presented. But then again, this year’s Olympic games was also the least-watched on record so whaddya know? As for the date which we will be seeing the 92nd Oscars, that’s going to be February 9th, 2020, the second Sunday of that month, one week after the Super Bowl. Honestly, I don’t think that’s going to make much of a positive difference in terms of viewership, in fact, I honestly think viewership will be worsened because of this. I’m not gonna pretend that the Academy Awards is directed towards the same exact audience as the Super Bowl, but having these two big events within a week from each other could potentially affect the ratings of maybe both programs. I don’t know, I’m just speculating.

#3: New award for popular film

Last but not least, we have our main topic for this post and this is something that pisses me off to no end. The Oscars, as mentioned, to me, honors the best in film. They’ve apparently just decided, “f*ck that.” Because their new category that they’re coming out with is honoring “popular film.” This doesn’t honor showmanship. This doesn’t honor talent. It just takes a show that is completely about showing the best of the best and turns it into a popularity contest!

I mean, my f*cking gosh! This is unbelievable! Can you imagine this existing the previous decade? Imagine what would happen if there happened to be a category like this for the Oscars honoring 2008’s year in film? You’d have a couple recognizable titles like “The Dark Knight” and “Wall-E,” both of which have impressed critics and audiences alike. Then… You have “Twilight.” That movie received no Academy Award nominations that year, so looking back, if it had the popularity nomination, that would have meant it had a nomination, but not a nomination related to skill or talent! Phenomenons, fads, and trends may be cool and well received by followers, but that doesn’t make them technically a standout in a certain craftsman-esque perspective, it only makes something popular.

Why is the Academy doing this? If I had to guess, it’s probably just to bring in more viewers. After the least-watched telecast of their show, some snobs smoking cigars in a room covered in white paint probably had a chat. They needed to figure out how to make the Oscars popular again. Then one guy says that they need to interject popularception if you will! If you honor things because of their popularity and how many people have checked something out, that’s only going to make the Oscars, well, popular! It ruins everything that the Oscars was built off of! In fact, this is probably one of the biggest participation trophies I’ve seen from this show. The Golden Globes, even though I’ve watched them for a few years, I’m not gonna deny how they handle their categories like participation awards, because they do separate awards for separate genres. At least those kinds of awards still honor talent! What’s next? “Best Actor with names ending in “obert Downey Jr.?”

Now there is no word on whether or not this is to be implemented for the 91st Oscars or if this category is going to be introduced during the 92nd Oscars. No matter what these people plan to do, I just hope it’s introduced during NO OSCARS. Speaking of things we have no word on, the letter goes on suggesting that more details about this are to come as time goes on. But based on what I can assume about this, I can only imagine what this suggests is that this award will be judged on a couple of merits. For one thing, the box office return has to be enormous. The other thing is that a lot of people have to be currently talking about a certain film, watching it, or have discussed lots related to a film in the past depending on when said film released.

If this is to take effect during the 91st Academy Awards, here are my predictions for the nominees, and these predictions are bound to change by the time the Academy Awards comes around. Right now it’s August and the show is months away. Not to mention, not all of the movies on this list are even released to the public yet, so who knows how those movies will turn out? Nevertheless, here are the nominees.

  • Black Panther
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Incredibles 2
  • Mission: Impossible: Fallout
  • Mary Poppins Returns

I’ve seen four of the five movies on this list. I actually happened to give all of them positive reviews. “Incredibles 2” to me happened to be a worthy sequel to one of my one of my favorite films of all time. “Mission: Impossible: Fallout” turned out to not only be one of the year’s best films, but one of the best films I’ve seen in the action genre. “Avengers: Infinity War” delivered everything a comic book movie needed to deliver and even just a little bit more. I like all of these films. The other one on this list I saw was “Black Panther” which I liked, but I think it might be the most overrated movie of the year. And despite that, I do see it having potential of having a worthy Oscar nomination. The visual effects for the most part are very well done, Chadwick Boseman gave a decent performance, and some of the cinematography done by Rachel Morrison (Mudbound, Dope) is definitely worth praising. If “Black Panther” were to win an award like “Best Cinematography,” I’d definitely give my own applause and respect to the movie and those who worked on it. “Black Panther” winning an award such as “Best Popular Picture,” just makes it look like it belongs in a kiddie table.

Let’s imagine us going back to 2017, and seeing what movies would have ended up in a category called “Best Popular Film.” These would probably be the nominees.

  • Wonder Woman
  • Logan
  • Baby Driver
  • Coco
  • Dunkirk

And you know what? If “Wonder Woman” won, then great, it gets an award. If “Dunkirk” won, awesome, it gets an award. But it’s almost like a pity award! This wouldn’t be true for most of these movies, so I’m gonna use “Wonder Woman” for this example. “Wonder Woman” was a fantastic movie. But it wasn’t nominated for any Oscars. So the Academy voters go ahead, as they view this popular category, and think of not the movies they saw that year, but the KNOWN movies they saw that year. And guess what? “Wonder Woman” gets all the winning votes? That means it will forever been known as that “one popular film.” It’s almost shameful if you ask me. In fact, one of those movies I mentioned, “Coco,” received a nomination in another kiddie table category, “Best Animated Feature,” but we’re not gonna sidetrack ourselves into that.

Also, part of me wonders if the Academy was actually the group of people behind this move, or it happened to be the channel which the Oscars airs, ABC. Why? ABC is owned by Disney. And while I must some of my favorite films were actually made by Disney, they’re not the studio I think of when it comes to “Academy-worthy” content. Is Disney/ABC doing this in order to give their films more attention? Think about it. For years I’ve been noticing, Disney has many films that come out and make bunches of money. Why do you think I make fun of them all the time? That’s LITERALLY what Disney is about right now! If you think “Solo” didn’t prove that already, wait until you see what happens when they come out with “Porgs: A Star Wars Story.” It’ll be animated, it’ll be rated G, and John Williams will be executing his softest score yet! Tell me that they aren’t about making money when my mother paid over $20, might have been $22, for a room service cheeseburger at Disney World! Disney, is THE company I think of when it comes to making movies with bigger budgets, almost like they don’t even know what an independent style film is. And big budget films are very popular with most audiences. Films like “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War.” Both of those movies have already come out this year, made over a billion dollars worldwide, and are owned by Disney. Mickey Mouse could be coming in out of nowhere, strangling the golden head of the Oscar trophy, and won’t let go of it until he gets exactly what he wants. What does Mickey want? Mickey wants “Black Panther” to be recognized! Well, OK, recognized for what? Cinematography? Acting? Directing? Editing? No! POPULARITY! Disney, I know I make fun of you all the time, but in reality, YOU ARE BETTER THAN THIS. I’m not saying this is what’s happening, but if ABC or Disney is doing this, it almost makes the Fox and Disney merger look like fun! Granted, it hasn’t officially happened, but no more bidding is allowed, so good to luck to sanity!

RIP: Good “Deadpool” movies
RIP: Good “Kingsman” movies
RIP: Any content that is good and crosses the line

This literally wrecks the Oscars. You think that the political talk is the worst thing about the Oscars? No! Sometimes it’s actually quite funny! I don’t care who is being made fun of as long as the joke is executed well. Heck, you can make fun of my favorite politician of all time, and maybe you’ll get a laugh out of me because this is an attempt at humor. This popular awards thing? It just sucks. And months from now, it’ll suck for about three hours long and hard! There’s no reason for this award to exist, it’s almost a sin to have the award even be a thing. It ruins movies, it ruins the Oscars, it ruins the idea of being “gifted.” It’s like Oprah all of a sudden showed up and ended giving everybody a trophy! And you know what? I may sound like a crybaby over this fiasco, but I’m certainly not the only one who is upset over this. Participation trophies may work for younger athletes, as much as I may question them being handed out. But this is the big leagues. These aren’t students. If this rule is still in place for a bit of time after my post is released, I need a wish granted.

If this rule is still in place after the voting process begins for the next Academy Awards, I should be able, …I should be able… to pick the host for maybe not the 91st Academy Awards, because that host will probably have already been picked, but I should pick the host for the 92nd Academy Awards! As of now, I’m going to go with either Conan O’Brien, Seth MacFarlane, Patrick Stewart, Alex Trebek, Howie Mandel, Dwayne Johnson, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, or Mark Hamill!

You get what I’m sayin’ Academy? I OFFICIALLY DECLARE THIS, MY UNACCEPTANCE SPEECH! You either listen to my demands, or we’re gonna be talking about an upcoming Academy Awards show whose host will be chosen by someone who can’t legally consume alcohol in their own country yet! Caphice?! Thanks for reading this post! This upcoming weekend we’ve got a few new releases in theaters. Some include “The Meg,” “Slender Man,” and “BlacKkKlansman.” Out of all these, I’m probably most likely to check out “The Meg,” however there is another movie that has been out for almost a month that I’m still dying to check out, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet, and that movie is “Eighth Grade.” Stay tuned for whatever review I happen to post soon, and also stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, what do you think about the popular Oscar category? Or, what are your thoughts on the other changes that have been announced? Let me know, and you will get a trophy for participating in the comment section! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2017): What the Punk?

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Before we get into this movie review, I need to ask something to all of my viewers, specifically those at least eighteen years of age. How is adulting? I will tell you right now, I have been an adult for only nine months, and I honestly don’t feel much of a difference than I did before that turning point. Then again, I spent most of my adulthood in high school, which is where I spent most of my teen years. Although I must say, while I do find certain things about being an adult rather fun and nifty, there are those days where I realize adulting is not all that enjoyable. To be honest, I don’t even think I am gonna end up wanting kids in the years to come. However, it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with having them. If you want to judge me, go ahead, I judge movies all the time, so I can take whatever you’ve got. This even includes a couple by the name of Paul and Genevieve. These two can judge me as they realize how difficult their journey to conception has truly been. And while I do certainly recognize that raising a child is not the easiest thing in the world. Paul and Genevieve’s actions for years almost contend to be up there in the same levels of difficulty. This is all explained… in “What the IVF?!”

“What the IVF?” is a YouTube series where Paul and Genevieve “keep effin’ trying” to have a baby they have always been trying to make. New adventures pop up on the show’s specifically dedicated YouTube channel each and every Monday. These adventures dive into the latest in Paul and Genevieve’s quest to parenthood, focusing on topics like appointments, curse breaking, cycles, sex, “trying everything,” and objectively painful needles. IT’S A FACT! NEEDLES SUCK! Apparently it is a societal norm that you pay professionals to inject points that make you hate your life! IT’S THE TRUTH! Anyway, the latest episode, much like the one before it, is a bit on the rather calm side of things. Join Paul and Genevieve as they give a tour of the baby’s nursery! If you want to see other videos or be caught up on the latest content, be sure to visit the “WTIVF?” YouTube channel, subscribe, and hit the notification bell. If you want to find out where else you can find “WTIVF?” on the internet, click the links below which will take you to the show’s personal website and social media pages. Also, be sure to tell them that Jack Drees sent ya over!

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“How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” otherwise known as something I kinda need to learn, is directed by John Cameron Mitchell (Rabbit Hole, Shortbus) and stars Elle Fanning (Maleficent, The Neon Demon), Alex Sharp (Better Start Running, To the Bone), Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge!, The Hours), Ruth Locke (Saving Mr. Banks, Jane Eyre), and Matt Lucas (Alice in Wonderland, Bridesmaids). This film is about an alien who separates from a group she’s with as she is touring the galaxy. She just so happens to be in the London-suburb of Croydon where she meets young inhabitants.

When it comes to “How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” the marketing for it overall just comes off as somewhat quirky. The vibe of this movie when watching the trailers is a little hard to exactly recall because I have a feeling I watched a trailer a long time ago but I could be dead wrong. But if I were to watch a trailer to this, there’s a good chance I would have had some sort of fascination towards what this movie was trying to be. But as I got into the movie, it was starting out and the vibe happened to be what I expected, with a little more punk rock in the mix. What I didn’t expect from this movie though, is that this is one of those movies that turned out to be an overall surprise. From the very beginning, I was intrigued, but then start to notice a change in the footage. For some reason, the shutter speed slows down. I’ve seen this on a student film, that probably occurred by accident, but this film is not being directed by a student! Heck, the cinematographer has credits in the “cinematographer” category on IMDb going back to 1992! That’s two and a half decades before this movie released to the public! That’s not even the only time that happens during this film.

In fact, when it happens later during the film, I actually think it’s forgivable. And you know what? I take that back, I don’t think it’s forgivable. Because something like this probably would be a creative choice. Granted, that creative choice personally came off as ridiculous in the beginning, but as I saw more of it, I grew to admire it. And I saw that because from my point of view, the slower shutter speed seems to fit the later footage more than it does for the earlier footage. This is one of those movies that seems to start out lame then blows out this giant explosion of holy crap on a Ritz crackerjack! I probably should have seen my instant admiration for this movie coming especially considering it’s an A24 movie, but given some statistics that I’ve been made aware of prior to watching this damn thing, it almost felt like I was supposed to sit down and just take this movie and just try to survive. I mean, this has a 5.9/10 on IMDb! Not the best of signs if you ask me.

I will say though, when it comes to technical aspects, that’s probably one of the bigger problems of this movie. For the most part, I can’t complain about the lighting, the cinematography, or the editing. But there was one major occurrance in the movie’s footage aside from the shutter speed that kind of threw me off. There’s one scene that’s rather significant for the movie’s events, so I won’t get into spoilers. But the thing is about this scene, as much as I can approve of it moving the story along, and providing the correct feeling I’m supposed to have out of a scene like this, it just felt rather clunky in terms of cinematography. This is a sequence where you can tell that this was done handheld, and it almost feels like this was shot on a GoPro or something. According to IMDb, this movie was shot on an Arri Amira. As far as I’m aware, there’s no word of it being shot on a GoPro, even though that’s how the footage comes off to me. You can say to me a thousand times that the scene was shot with an Arri Amira, but at the end of the day, it feels like a GoPro. It felt like “Hardcore Henry” if it weren’t entirely in first-person.

Let’s talk about the characters of Enn (Alex Sharp) and Zan (Elle Fanning). First off, both names are pretty dope if you ask me! Enn is essentially the movie’s main character and he happens to build a bond with Zan. He also happens to be really into punk rock, and since this takes place around London during the 1970s, you certainly get to see lots of that in the movie! When it comes to the other character in the picture, Zan, she just so happens to be an alien. As I watched this movie, realizing what was happening and what was to come, I thought to myself, “Ohhhh no.” Why? Because I saw a movie last year by the name of “The Space Between Us” and simply put, it was one of the worst sci-fi films ever put on the big screen. One big reason for that was the unfathomably terrible relationship between the main character (Martian) and his love interest (Earthling). The chemistry was so horrible that not even the fact that the guy playing the Martian happened to be my personal choice to play the MCU’s Spider-Man (Asa Butterfield) saved the movie! Luckily, this film is smart. It has great writing, quirkiness, and lots of charm. When it came to the relationship, I totally bought into it. As the movie progressed, I grew to perhaps admire the couple even more. By the end of the movie I was deeply rooting for both characters given their situation! TAKE NOTES, “THE SPACE BETWEEN US!” THIS IS HOW A MOVIE IS DONE!

Speaking of the aliens, I think this is another thing that the movie surprisingly nailed. Because my first impression of them, once I saw one of the aliens, was that they looked very cheap or cliche. At times I wondered if I happened to be watching “Flash Gordon.” But then I saw more of them, what they did with each other, and even what they did with some of the humans they encountered, I grew attached to them as time went on. Not to mention, they also have some behavior that I think us humans would find peculiar, which does add to that alien feel. There’s a scene that Zan is talking to someone, I won’t say who, but they’re having a conversation and Zan is saying to this person that she had pancakes, she’s currently sitting on a toilet, and “excreting” them.

In fact, going back to the couple, I think the thing that really makes them likable, and this is kind of something that “The Space Between Us” should have been aware of, is that they weren’t robots or uncharismatic. If the aliens were robotic, I guess this could have worked in its own little way, but if we want to like characters from our own world, there’s a good chance that we’d want a character that either has personality, isn’t an asshole (unless you’re someone like Deadpool), and isn’t mopey. The couple, not only together, but as individuals, just so happen to come off as somewhat quirky. And I like quirky. You might as well have a quirky couple in a quirky movie.

In the end, I don’t really have much else to say about “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” because I went into the movie not having much information related to it on my mind. I feel like if you were to see this movie, you shouldn’t have too many details revealed about it in order to provide yourself with the best possible viewing experience. Also, I’ve gotta bring up the tagline for the movie, “Talk to the girl. Save the world.” NOW THAT’S A TAGLINE. I’m gonna give “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” an 8/10. Thanks for reading this review! Be sure to look forward to more reviews very soon, and also be sure to check out some of my older reviews such as my thoughts on “Mission: Impossible: Fallout,” which by the way, if you have not seen that movie, I seriously have to ask what you’re doing with your life. Make sure to follow me here on Scene Before, like this post, and stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “How to Talk to Girls at Parties?” What did you think about it? Or, if you have a fantasy of falling in love with an alien, what would the alien look like? Let me know, even if it is extreme, I’d love to hear what you have to say! Also, one more thing, if you watch this movie, stay tuned for the credits because they have a line of text saying “NO ALIENS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS FILM.” Just… Genius. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/08/01/mission-impossible-fallout-2018-tom-cruise-is-a-madman/