Us (2019): This Is “Us”

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“Us” is directed by Jordan Peele (Get Out, Keanu) and stars Lupita Nyong’o (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, 12 Years A Slave) Winston Duke (Black Panther, Person of Interest), Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale, Mad Men), and Tim Heidecker (On Cinema, Decker) in film where a family takes a trip to Santa Cruz. While trying to enjoy their vacation, they eventually encounter doppelgangers of themselves. Once this happens, scares, hijinks, blood, and gore are all to be witnessed.

This movie is helmed by Jordan Peele, whose work I have been exposed to in the past, but I was never truly invested in him. In fact, I have still yet to see “Get Out.” Admittedly, I was debating on watching “Get Out” the day before I went to see this film in the theater since I own the 4K for it, but that ultimately did not happen. But I did manage to catch “Us” on its opening Friday in RPX, because it was better for me timing-wise, despite being pricier than a standard theatre, I figured maybe it would probably provide some enhancements in the scares, and I have never seen an RPX movie before, so I figured I might as well start now. There were definitely some enhancements to be had, but I don’t want to dive too deep into the experience itself, but as far as the movie goes, I was definitely impressed. But part of me wonders… was I impressed enough?

To me, I am beginning to wonder if Jordan Peele is going to be the next Alfred Hitchcock. It is a little hard to tell given how he hasn’t directed too many films, but based on the reception “Get Out” has previously gotten, plus the thoughts given thus far on “Us,” including my own, I am thinking that is definitely possible. Although that will ultimately depend if Peele decides to continue writing and directing for films, which direction he decides to take, and if he comes out with more films that are well received. Granted, this movie is not perfect, and while there is a part of me that is saying this film is f*cking amazing, there’s another part of me that is a tad disappointed by particular aspects.

“Us” by itself is a scary, thrilling, and intriguing horror flick. There are definitely scares to be had, and it is also very mindbending. Based on the box office (this movie set a record for original horror films), this movie definitely has gotten a hand of general audience members out of their homes and into the cinema, but regardless of which demographics go out and see “Us,” it kind of felt like something I’d watch in an art house at certain points. Granted, there are a lot of elements that add up to mainstream horror, and luckily, those elements don’t appear to be the oldest cheap tricks in the book. But I feel like this movie had a sense of flavor that it probably wouldn’t have gotten if it weren’t for Jordan Peele.

I don’t follow Jordan Peele all that much but when it comes to “Us,” I really felt something from him. Not emotionally speaking, but I felt that his work on the film was a contribution to something that didn’t feel like it came out of a studio. This movie was distributed by Universal, and I am willing to bet based on “Get Out’s” success, they probably told Peele he can make whatever kind of movie he wants. I mean, what other guy would create a scene in a movie that is supposed to be scary, and the background music happened to be NWA’s “F*ck the Police?” And to my surprise, it somehow worked!

Let’s talk about Lupita N’yongo in this film. I’ve seen her in a number of films before including the newer “Star Wars” installments, “Black Panther,” the 2016 adaptation of “The Jungle Book,” and while she has proven herself to be a decent performer in those films, they weren’t exactly fantastic. This is especially true when you compare these performances to the one she gave in “12 Years a Slave.” It’s a movie I don’t often watch, but having watched it, it’s hard not to recognize the absolute talent of N’yongo. Her performance in “Us” honestly is more on par with the performance she gave in a movie like “12 Years A Slave.” That may be an overstatement, but to me, it’s true. Again, going back to imperfections, just because I think the performance was really good, didn’t mean I thought there was a lack of error. After all, there is one part in particular that I found to be rather awkward in terms of dialogue delivery, which occurs around the first third of the film. But overall, this is one of the better performances I personally have witnessed from N’yongo.

I also admired some of the scenes with Winston Duke’s character because he manages to pull off the role of that crazy, hyperactive father who always wants to, I dunno, live life. There’s a scene where he makes his family watch him on a boat, exclaiming for joy. He is willing to speak up against his opponents, and he just has this charm to him that again, goes back to Peele’s excellent writing ability. Without Peele as the nucleus operating everything, this could be a decent movie, but I think it got an uplift just because Peele was here.

And I will point out once again, despite the well deserved box office records, despite the positive reception, despite everything about this movie that can associate with lying in a pile of gold with no worries, the film is ultimately imperfect. While there is a lot to like, the one thing that drags this film down just a tad is the way the ending plays out. While there are definitely worse endings out there, it kind of left me feeling icky. Not grossed out, in fact, this is a horror film we’re talking about, so if I felt grossed out that might actually be a compliment. When I say I feel icky I mean that I feel like I have just caught a cold or something. I don’t want to get into spoilers, in fact, not only did this movie just come out, but if you haven’t seen it already, I highly recommend you do, especially on a big movie screen like I did. While a lot of the climax plays out in a way I actually admire (in fact, the best part of the score is in that portion of the film), the part I don’t particularly enjoy comes in around the tail end. If they changed that, not only would the ending be better, but I’d probably consider this film a master work. I have faith in Jordan Peele however, he seems to present himself as a showman, and if he continues to make horror films, or a film in another genre for that matter, chances are I’d be willing to check it out. In fact, one of the biggest praises I can give to “Us” is that it got yours truly, one who has yet to see “Get Out,” to become more curious as to giving that film a shot in the near future.

In the end, when I saw “Us,” I thought it was the movie for me. Possibly even for you, y’all, them, he, she, and we. Jordan Peele has demonstrated here that he is more than a comedian, kind of like John Krasinski successfully managed to do with “A Quiet Place.” And these aren’t exactly my words, I don’t know who I first heard them from, but they are still pretty relevant. I feel like a reason why these two are making good horror films has a lot to do with timing. As a couple of people who know how comedy tends to work, they seem to know that timing is everything when it comes to joke delivery. It’s almost like they’ve applied those same principles when it comes to scaring people. So… Seth Rogen? Stephen Merchant? Seth MacFarlane? Where’s your horror movie? I’m not asking for one, but seriously, where’s your horror movie? I’m going to give “Us” an 8/10. Thanks for reading this review! As someone who considers every attempt possible to keep up with the latest news provided in the film industry, I have been thinking about discussing one of the heaviest topics in said industry during recent days. As some of you know, Disney finally completed their 21st Century Fox acquisition, and part of me wants to come on here and discuss it simply because I am rather worried for the direction of the film industry in the near future. If I don’t have time to do that within the next week, I could talk about something else, because as mentioned, I just saw “Us” in RPX, which marked my first time in one of those auditoriums, so if I cannot talk about Disney and Fox, I have my backup topic. Stay tuned for whatever I do in the future regarding content, maybe it’ll be something completely different, I don’t know! Be sure to follow Scene Before with an email or WordPress account if you haven’t already! I want to know, did you see “Us?” What did you think about it? Or, did you see “Get Out?” Which of the two films is superior? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

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Scene Before 3 YEAR ANNIVERSARY! *reflection of 2018-early 2019*

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! While today is not technically the three year anniversary for Scene Before, I figured this celebratory post is still somewhat valid, after all, it is still March. Let’s do this!

This year is my fourth doing Scene Before, and honestly I couldn’t be happier. I have yet to give a 1/10 to a film this year, “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” received 2019’s first perfect score, and I just finished my most experimental post of all time, the 1st Annual Jackoff Awards. By the way, I already have plans for next year, but I’m not gonna dive too deep into them. But we’re not here to talk about now, we’re here to talk about the past! So strap yourselves in for a ride!

Much like in my 2 year anniversary post, I figured I’d just lay back, drink something, and just remind you of some of my history. I don’t have to go as in depth compared to before mainly because the first actual post I did celebrating my anniversary actually originally came around the two year mark, so this year you’re going to be a lower variety of content. Is that a good or bad thing? I dunno, but it is a thing.

Starting off my highlights for my recent Scene Before history, and this is something that has went away for one reason in particular. If you have followed this blog for sometime, you may have been exposed to a certain web series, specifically one called “What the IVF?.” If you don’t know what I am talking about, you obviously have not read a majority of my posts from February to the end of summer 2018. If you know me in person, I have a history with the TBS reality competition, “King of the Nerds.” I LOVE THAT SHOW. And also I consider myself a giver. With that in mind, the leading woman in this new web series, Genevieve, was actually a contestant on the show, not to mention she worked on it afterwards. I figured what I’d do is try to advertise the show and its latest episodes on my latest blog posts. These usually tend to work out as I happen to make at least one post a week. Not only did I advertise the program, I also did it for free! After all, as parents, these two honestly need money more than I do (which will probably say something as I am in college), so if I charged them, I’d practically be committing a crime. In fact, according to the people behind the project I apparently did this.

In other words I made history, booyah!

I have put promotions for this post in various posts, all of which were made in 2018, and each one is unique in its own way. There are often times where I would find a way to make “WTIVF” relate to the content I am focusing on, and it has provided some interesting results. I even got to use an image of Zuul from “Ghostbusters” when promoting this series!

“Before we dive into the review for “Isle of Dogs,” let me just take a second to remind that this movie involves a search for a lost dog. When it comes to owning a dog, I’m well aware that the owner must take massive responsibility over it to avoid negative consequences.

That is unless, you know, you own Zuul from “Ghostbusters,” in which case, you’re in for the exact opposite of a treat, and face every negative consequence in the book.” –Isle of Dogs (2018): The Collision of PG-13 Animation and Wes Anderson

Any occasion I get to use an image of Zuul for promoting something will always be a hoot. Enough said.

The show was also recently nominated for an Indie Spirit Award, or ISA if you want to call it that. Yeah, “WTIVF?” was nominated for Best Non-Fiction Series! Congrats to them, they deserve it.

The couple who described their journey to conception is actually not making that much content at this point because, well, they are actually parents now, they have certain responsibilities that can interfere with producing weekly videos, plus this has more to do with the journey leading up to a baby as opposed to the journey with a baby. However, if you do want to view more from “What the IVF?” I will provide links down below for you to check out, these links are for the show’s social medias and website, check em’ out, and tell Paul and Genevieve that Jack Drees sent ya over!

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

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

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

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

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

This year was interesting for me when it comes to going to the cinema. I managed to check out a couple of Massachusetts’ historic theatres for the first time. And since “2001: A Space Odyssey” was celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, I got to check out the movie at both theatres in 70mm. Before that however, I found out last year that one of my most anticipated films coming out, specifically “Ready Player One,” was getting a limited run in the 70mm format. My father, sister, and I all went to the theatre, had a good time, and it honestly just reminded me of why I like film better than digital. There is a certain feel, not to mention, provision of detail, with film that you cannot get with digital. This is why I am still a snob when it comes to physical media. Because what do you need to stream? A fast internet connection. Physical media will always give you an opportunity to do something when the Internet goes down. I don’t want to turn on something like “Batman Begins” on Prime Video and have to suffer through occasional buffering! This is why I have the Blu-ray! Plus I like my bonus features… Speaking of 70mm, I went out to one of the two theatres I mentioned, specifically the Somerville Theatre in Somerville, Massachusetts. There was this event going on this past September that caught my attention by the name of the 70mm and Widescreen Festival. This event is exactly as it sounds, because all of the movies presented are on film stock. Most of them are in 70mm, but there was one that was on 35mm. The one movie that caught my attention was John Carpenter’s “The Thing.” Now I have already seen “The Thing” and personally enjoyed it. I think there is definitely a number reasons to recommend that movie to someone. But I didn’t want to see it per se, but I knew someone who did. My father happens to love this movie, and it is perhaps one of his favorites of all time. I wanted to provide him with an exhilerating experience like no other, so I let him know about it, and he was certainly on board, even with the show being at 10PM. But it was a Friday, so it could have been worse. By the way, when I went, the crowd was wild, and there was a lot of fun to be had.

Speaking of 70mm, this year also managed to already intrigue when it came to the format, because there was one film that was playing in that format that I would NOT have seen unless it were in said format. For those of you who have followed me for sometime, you might know that I kind of have a thing against Netflix. While I wouldn’t doubt that it managed to create a bunch of original content to gain popularity over the years, I never used it mainly because I like physical media, and I feel like that company is a killer of physical media as a whole. They already slaughtered video rental stores. Who knows when FYE goes down the toilet? PLEASE DON’T LET THAT HAPPEN. But there was one film that was especially interesting to me. A film by the name of “Roma.” At the end of last year, I noticed it getting some chatter not only from critics, but some in the film industry. A lot of people seem to have really enjoyed this film. So naturally, I go on Twitter and type this for everyone to see…

And they did! Because in Brookline, which is one town away, they have one of the art deco theatres in the area. They managed to get a 70mm print of the movie! I don’t know if somebody behind the movie managed to see this tweet beforehand and decided to cater to me, but I was happy nevertheless. By the way, the movie was awesome, but it didn’t make me buy a Netflix subscription. Just hoping they come out with a Blu-ray for it one day.

Another theatrical experience that intrigued me this year was for John Krinsinski’s “A Quiet Place.” The concept and trailers looked absolutely amazing. I don’t normally seek out horror films, but this was one that I needed to see. While “A Quiet Place” was not exactly my favorite movie of the year, I will point out that its greatest strength is perhaps making people shut up. One of the key rules of the movie theater is not to talk. Let’s face it, people do it sometimes. This movie managed to get everybody in the theater to be completely silent, and even take things even a notch down further. Because I rarely sipped my drink, and proceeded to do so with caution. And I also had popcorn, which I occasionally put in my mouth, but I didn’t always chew it, because there would be many times where I’d put a piece in my mouth and let it dissolve on my tongue. That’s how intense the experience was. Jump to the following Thursday, and you get to opening night of “Avengers: Infinity War.” Basically, if you don’t go to the theater often, consider this culture shock. I went from the most silent movie theater experience of my life, to perhaps the most obnoxious movie theater experience of my life. I am in a decent sized theater, but it has reclined seating, which means there are less options for seats. Then I go to my local IMAX, which has about 500 seats. Each one sold a ticket. I was clearly with a group of people who happened to be passionate and loyal to their favorite franchise. My pals and I, we’re cheering, shouting, gasping, and I imagine some might have been crying too. I don’t know how exactly how “Avengers: Endgame” is going to play out quality-wise, but based on my experience of watching “Avengers: Infinity War” in the theatre, once the tickets go on sale for “Endgame,” I am gonna try going for the absolute earliest show I can get to. I’ll take an unexcused absence from school if I have to! Can’t wait! April can’t come soon enough!

That was not the only movie premiere I have gone to this year, because I did that for “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” and something rather unique regarding “Incredibles 2.” IMAX decided to do something special regarding the movie one night before it premiered in theaters everywhere. What they did is provide the opportunity to go see a double feature of the first movie in the franchise and this new one before everybody else. This was not free however, but I paid somewhere under $19 a ticket, which for my experience, was actually a steal. Why did I do this? Not only did I want to see “Incredibles 2,” but I actually had a childhood dream of seeing the film in the IMAX format one day. And I finally f*cking got it. Of course I jumped on the opportunity to grab tickets! As far as my thoughts on “Incredibles 2” go, it’s not as good as the original, but that does not diminish the film’s quality because it was super awesome to watch.

Speaking of getting to see movies before everybody else, I managed to go to my first advance screening this year. My first ever advance screening was for the movie “Tag” which I saw on June 5th, over a week before it officially released to the public. I thought the movie was definitely funny and heartwarming. Part of me regrets not buying it when I was at Best Buy this year for Black Friday because I did see it on Blu-ray for around $6. I also managed to snag passes to a couple of other screenings these past few months. These passes were for “Second Act,” “Welcome to Marwen,” “The Upside,” and “Fighting with My Family.” I am keeping my eyes out for more passes, because who doesn’t want a free movie? Plus, as a movie reviewer, I need to get my thoughts out before anyone else. Timing is everything!

This year was also a big year for me and cons because this was the first year I managed to go to three conventions in one year. I went back to Terrificon and Rhode Island Comic Con, but I also managed to go to New York Comic Con for the first time ever. This was one of those conventions I have heard a lot about, and kind of dreamed of going to. And why did I go to it? Well, this year I was graduating high school, and I have a friend from Texas. I won’t say their name just in case they prefer to remain anonymous. Who knows? Maybe I’ll edit this and display their name in the future. This friend decided to go all out for a graduation gift and give me comic con tickets. It was either that, or a “lame ass Amazon gift card.” I’m totally glad I didn’t take the gift card. While my friend had to cancel at the last minute, I was still able to go and I had a fantastic time. Would I go back next year? That is absolutely hard to say. I love New York City, and I also fell in love with this comic con, but it’s not cheap! Granted it is worth the price, but if I were to go to a convention, I’d also want to be cautious with what I’m buying (tickets are $50 for each day). Because you are buying tickets to step inside, then once inside you have the opportunity to purchase autographs or photo ops and other nerd-related items. Running one of these babies would be Scrooge McDuck’s dream. Plus, I have made it tradition to go to Rhode Island Comic Con every year, and I don’t see myself getting rid of that anytime soon.

This year was also pretty big for me regarding the Academy Awards. Aside from seeing Roger Deakins win Best Cinematography last year and reflecting on it, I also had tons of fits this year over how the most recent ceremony would go. The Academy Awards decided to nearly implement a Popular Film category, get Kevin Hart to leave the hosting position, not play all of the original songs, and have no host this year. Granted, the results of this year’s telecast turned out better than I expected, but a part of me thought this year was gonna be a trainwreck. There are some snubs this year (documentary, visual effects, etc), but I found this year’s show to be better than I once anticipated.

And in tradition of following last year’s anniversary post, I wanted to look back at some of my favorite things that I’ve written in my recent history of Scene Before. You don’t have to agree with me on it, but regardless, these are some of my favorite quotes. So let’s get started with this year’s reflection of Scene Before’s history! Just so you know, I’m not counting anything related to the Jackoff Awards, as there’s a lot to choose from in that singular post, and I almost like to consider it a special thing. The same can also be said about any of my promotions as they might be arguably considered separate from my posts themselves. Anyway, let’s get to it!

“Jennifer Lopez made the top of the list on For Him Magazine’s 100 Sexiest Women twice. She was named the most lustable celebrity of the past twenty years according to Vibe magazine. In 2011, Lopez was named “The Most Beautiful Woman” by People. Jennifer Lopez did not direct this movie, but there is no denying that a film’s actors can have some power in the direction the vision tends to go. Where does the vision go?

Her figure.

Hey, jackasses! HER EYES ARE UP THERE!” –Second Act (2018) Jennifer Lopez Is Stunning, This Film Is the Opposite

““The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part,” AKA “The LEGO Movie 2,” AKA “The LEGO Movie 2: Part 2,” AKA “The LEGO Movie 2: The Fourth LEGO Movie In This Current Franchise,” AKA “The LEGO Movie 2: The One After The LEGO Movie” is directed by Mike Mitchell.” –The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part: Another Excuse To Make a Batman Movie

“Last year I did a few posts on the Academy Awards possibly implementing the stupidest idea for an award, possibly in history. They somehow thought it was a GRRREAAAAT idea to do a Best Popular Film category! How do we get more people to watch the show? Let’s f*ck excellence in the ass and just say a movie like “Black Panther” earned the all time greatest participation trophy!” –Is the 91st Academy Awards the Least Anticipated In History?

“And if you think I’m the movie blog version of “fake news” and I’m just spitting words out about all of this and think I’m just some crazy guy who lives in their mother’s basement who has no life, let me just inform you, I live on my mother’s property, but the basement is just where I get some of my drinks.” –IMAX Showing a Double Feature For Incredibles 1 & 2 on June 13th

“Sure, you can also make the point that not every Marvel superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe had their own film released before “The Avengers.” Although judging by the time, did you really think putting out a Hawkeye film before “The Avengers” would have gotten everyone flocking to the theater? Everyone would probably go see it now, including me even though I think Hawkeye’s as useless as a rock paper scissors match to determine what time it is.” –What the Heck is Up With Justice League (2017)? *PART 2*

“Let’s talk about New York City, the city that never sleeps, despite having millions of hotel rooms complete with beds for use at a guest’s convenience.” –AMC Introduces A-List Program For Stubs Members (Is This A Good Deal?)

“This is probably one of those scenarios where my unbelievably crazy opinion is going to stand out from a lot of other people. So you know what? In celebration of absurdity, let’s talk about some other unique film opinions I have.

  • ANIMAL HOUSE WAS BORING!
  • MAD MAX: FURY ROAD IS NOT AS GOOD AS EVERYONE SAID!
  • I ENJOYED PAUL BLART 1 & 2!
  • GROWN UPS 2 IS NOT JUST BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL, IT’S ACTUALLY A GOOD FILM!
  • I LIKED CARS 2!
  • REVENGE OF THE SITH IS THE BEST STAR WARS MOVIE!
  • I LIKED A COUPLE OF LIVE-ACTION TRANSFORMERS FLICKS (1 & 3)!
  • I LOVE TIM BURTON’S CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY!
  • FANT4STIC WAS BAD, BUT NOT AS BAD AS EVERYONE MAKES IT OUT TO BE!
  • GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 IS NOT GOOD!
  • THOR: RAGNAROK IS OVERRATED!
  • THE HOBBIT MOVIES HAVE A PURPOSE IN SOCIETY!
  • OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL MIGHT MATCH THE ORIGINAL WIZARD OF OZ IN TERMS OF QUALITY!
  • I LIKED VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS!
  • I HATED WE BOUGHT A ZOO!
  • PITCH PERFECT IS ONE OF THE WORST COMEDIES I’VE EVER SEEN!
  • DISNEY NEEDS TO STOP THE TREND OF THEIR LIVE ACTION REMAKES DESPITE HOW BEAUTIFUL THEY SOMETIMES MANAGE TO APPEAR!
  • BLACK PANTHER IS OVERRATED!
  • IRON MAN 3 IS MY FAVORITE IRON MAN MOVIE!
  • SPIDER-MAN 3 WAS AWESOME!” –Welcome To Marwen (2018): Back to the Future Part IV: A Robert Zemeckis Film

“This movie seems to pack in the moral that family is more important than work. It seems to suggest that being a part of a group of people you are attached to by relation is more important than being famous or busy. I will say, as a freshman in college, I did not choose to be busy for five days a week, other classmates who got to submit class choices before me did.” –The Mule (2018): Clint Eastwood’s Second Disappointment of 2018

“As I write this, I reread my older post on the trademark battle, and for those who don’t know, San Diego Comic-Con apparently has claimed that they’ve trademarked the term Comic-Con, as stated during a court case between both parties. This court case by the way, was won by San Diego, and it just so turns out that neither party was satisfied with the outcome. Salt Lake was unsatisfied because they lost, and San Diego was unsatisfied because they didn’t even get as much money as they would have hoped out of the case. They were awarded $20,000, the top prize one can win after a game of “Family Feud,” as opposed to $12,000,000, which is the top prize of the game show that has yet to be pitched to ABC, “Who Wants to Be a Rich Egomaniac Who Doesn’t Give Anything to Anyone but Themselves?” By the way, that game show is also an accurate title describing what Jeff Bezos’ life is like as the CEO of Amazon.” –San Diego Comic-Con Can Only Be the One True Comic Con: WHY I’M MAD!

“I’m not saying I have the inability to sit through movies like “Cold War” that are sometimes slow in terms of pacing, which coincidentally is a minor problem at times. Although what I am saying is that this movie just kind of underwhelmed me. Granted, it didn’t underwhelm me all that much. When I watched it, I had a certain positive score for it in my mind once I left the theater, which by the way still stands. Plus, this movie is not even that long. The total runtime comes out to an hour and twenty-nine minutes. Although at the same time, maybe it did feel long because I did something I am somewhat ashamed to have done.

*Clears throat*

Forgive me father for I have sinned.

I had my phone on during the movie. Now don’t worry, the ringer was off! I often leave my phone on with my ringer silent during many of my moviegoing experiences. But given how I don’t have a watch on me, and since I don’t have an iPhone, nor do I care to possess an iPhone, meaning I never wasted hundreds of bucks on an Apple Watch, I put my hand in my pocket, took my phone out, and checked the time. If I recall correctly, the brightness was low. Also, don’t worry that much! There were a few other people in the cinema alongside me, I only had it on for a few seconds to check the time, the screen was hidden from everyone’s sight, then I shut it down and put it away!

Man, that felt good and horrible at the same time.” –Cold War (2018): The Colorful Technology of Amazon Meets Black and White

“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.” –Game Night (2018): Live Or Die, the Comedic Choice Is Yours

I must bring this into the discussion, and based on some of what I said before on this very post, this may make me hypocritical. As much fun as I had, I feel like if you took out the name “Star Wars,” erased everything related to “Star Wars” that has been once established, this probably would have been one of the most boring movies of the year. And I gotta say one more thing… what was it? Oh! I remember now!

Screenshot (334)

THE TENTACLES ARE BACK BABY! DISNEY CAN’T KEEP THEIR TENTACLES OFF THE TENTACLES IN THEIR “STAR WARS” MOVIES! My biggest problem with this is that Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t make a cameo appearance, like, maybe in narration, and say “Get lost, Squidward!” –Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018): Somehow… This Star Wars Movie Exists

“Moving onto another category, it’s Best Documentary! Let’s look at the nominees!

  • Free Solo- Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Evan Hayes, Shannon Dill (WINNER!)
  • RBG- Betsy West, Julie Cohen
  • Hale County This Morning, This Evening- RaMell Ross, Joslyn Barnes, Su Kim
  • Of Fathers and Sons- Talal Derki, Ansgar Frerich, Eva Kemme, Tobias N. Siebert
  • Minding the Gap- Bing Liu, Diane Quon

Wait, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” wasn’t nominated?! F*ck this! Moving on!” –91st Academy Awards Recap

“In the end, “Roma” is the best Netflix movie I have seen to date!

NOTE: It’s also the only one, so it is also the worst.” –Roma (2018): My First Netflix Movie Review (Now The World Has Seen Everything!)

“I love this trailer, I think it is one of the best recent trailers I’ve seen. The action looks very kick-ass, the effects look amazing, and most of all, the movie might be this year’s greatest comedy. This movie continues to show that meta humor rocks! If the first “Deadpool,” “The LEGO Batman Movie,” “Seinfeld,” “Family Guy,” and “The Simpsons” haven’t supported that statement already, I don’t know what will!

Oh, and don’t forget, f*cking Peter!

What about f*cking Peter?! Everything about f*cking Peter! That’s what! I seriously want some more promotion with this character, I want the merchandisers to shove this character into every store as an action figure! I want Funko to make him a Pop figure! Also make exclusives for him at GameStop! FYE! Walmart! Hot Topic! Target! Walgreen’s! 7-Eleven! San Diego Comic-Con! New York Comic Con! Emerald City Comic Con! Rhode Island Comic Con! Toys R Us even though they’re going out of business! Blockbuster if they come back as a toy shop! RadioShack if they make a comeback and rename themselves as ToyShack and develop a bigger market for remote control cars! Maybe somewhere in Kim Kardashian’s ass! I want Peter to go far and wide as Peter’s eyes can see! F*ck Peter Parker! F*ck Peter Quill! F*ck Peter Pan! F*ck Peter Griffin! F*ck Peter Rabbit! F*ck Peter Venkman! F*ck Peter Brady! F*ck Peter Gibbons! F*ck Peter Pettigrew! F*ck Peter Piper! F*ck em’ all! Because there’s only one fictional character named Peter that matters at this point, and that is Peter! Just… Peter. Not Peter Boyle! Not Peter Dinklage! Not Peter Cushing! Not Peter Capaldi! None of those REAL Peters! Just Peter! You know what? I want to see Peter in action! Taking down characters with powers, even though he has no powers, and if he dies in this movie, it better be the most emotional thing I’ve ever seen! Dedicate a funeral to him at the end of the movie! Because at the end of the day, the only character that matters, is Peter! If you do that, this will be the next “Citizen Kane!” This movie will be a masterpiece, and we’ll all demand a follow-up that might be just as good, maybe slightly worse or better, which will then conclude the “Deadpool” trilogy to be remembered for generations.

HAIL, PETER!” –Deadpool 2 (2018): The Final Trailer: GO PETER!

“I apologize to all souls who happen to go by the name of Peter, but a major lesson I was focusing on was “F*ck everyone named Peter (except this one we’re talking about).”” –Deadpool 2 (2018): X-Men Origins: Peter *SOME FOUL LANGUAGE, SPOILERS IF YOU LIKE MOVIE REFERENCES*

“The film starts off with a montage in 2005, when the girls meet in kindergarten, otherwise known one of those times when you realize your life is about to go through a downward spiral of crap.” –Blockers (2018): When Parents Don’t Want Their Kids Gettin’ Cocky

““Life of the Party” is undoubtedly the biggest movie of the weekend trying to stop “Avengers: Infinity War” from getting any more money out of the pockets of viewers. By the way, if this movie wanted to go for #1 this weekend, a number of us box office investigators would say nope, that’s not happening. Ever heard of China? Big country, tons of people live there. “Avengers: Infinity War” just hit theaters there, so Disney is only gonna get richer from here.” –Life of the Party (2018): 2018’s Mother’s Day Crowd Comedy

“My gosh, have you ever wanted to go blind so bad that you wanted to take two 9mm pistols and shoot em at your eyeballs? There was a point where I wanted to do that so f*cking bad during this goddamn piece of crap! And now that I’m sitting here and I have other things to think about, I wouldn’t mind doing that in a garbage bin, full of trash, with a group of flies going around said bin, while on fire!” –Life of the Party (2018): 2018’s Mother’s Day Crowd Comedy

“I was in a nearly full auditorium with a high number of people who seemed to be enjoying themselves while watching this. They were laughing a crapton more than I was for sure. Me? I was just about ready to kill myself. It was just standard humor, you’ve got physical comedy, sex jokes, Melissa McCarthy playing herself despite having a different look to her, and whatever other little thing could be injected into a piece of crap such as this to make me want to go jump off a cliff.” –Life of the Party (2018): 2018’s Mother’s Day Crowd Comedy

“One thing I gotta say about this movie that I’ve yet to say… It’s a roller coaster. And by that I mean, it’s one of the most vomit-inducing rides I’ve had in my entire life.” –Life of the Party (2018): 2018’s Mother’s Day Crowd Comedy

“And after watching this schlock, I… kinda lost the will to live. So, if I die soon, I just want everyone to know, I’d prefer a funeral over cremation or backyard burial, and if any of my close friends or relatives, that includes parents, have more important things to do, it’s all cool. In fact, you don’t have to make it sad and depressing, you can even do a dance party with energetic music as some people go around my casket to symbolize my youth!” –Life of the Party (2018): 2018’s Mother’s Day Crowd Comedy

“Now it’s 2000, and “Mission: Impossible II” is on the horizon. Once it came out, guess what happened? It made more than the original! It made a worldwide total of over $546 million. According to Wikipedia, this film’s reviews were “mixed to positive.” Me personally, I felt like I was getting cavities filled on all my teeth at once, so I really did not enjoy what I saw.” –Mission: Impossible II (2000): Impossible To Enjoy

““The best-popular-film category might not be presented at next year’s Oscars, but the Academy is still keeping the idea in its back pocket.”

Is that another way to say you’re keeping it alongside your ass?” –Oscars Best Popular Film Category CONFIRMED To Be Implemented To Boost Ratings

On Amazon’s quest against Disney, Apple, Google, Walmart, McDonald’s, Netflix, Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Comcast, all of the big corporations out there, their mission to take over the world and make all of the consumers out there their slaves, did they ever think distributing “Gringo” was the best way to keep this quest going? I sure hope not, because 1, Amazon’s growth in society is kinda scary, and 2, “Gringo” is just terrible!” –Top 10 WORST Movies of 2018

“Now the main boy’s name in this movie is Atari, and as I watched this film, it almost made me want to make my own movie with a character named Atari. If I do make said film, I’d jokingly say somewhere in the script that his character is 2600 years old.” –Isle of Dogs (2018): The Collision of PG-13 Animation and Wes Anderson

“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.

P

A

U

S

E

I still have to review the sixth one, cra–” –The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time (2018): At Least They Listened…

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

“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?!” –The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time (2018): At Least They Listened…

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

“If you thought “Sharknado” was bad, let me just keep it simple with “The Hurricane Heist,” it’s not any better. What the hell did I watch?! This movie was directed by Rob Cohen, and he is relatively known for directing other movies that either have huge followings, fall into the guilty pleasure category, but this movie didn’t even fall into one of those categories! It fell into category -10, because ya know, it ended up on my top 10 worst list!” –Top 10 WORST Movies of 2018

“Also, just a fun fact, when I saw “Ghostbusters” in 2016 that actually made my worst movie of the year when I saw it. That was a couple years ago. McCarthy has done public work in 2017, but none of it involved theatrically released movies. Out of the three years I’ve done these countdowns, Melissa McCarthy has now been in TWO of the #1 worst films of the year! Congratulations! You won the award! …For making me feel like I wasted hours of my life multiple times! And apparently, Maya Rudolph was in this too, making this HER second time being attached to the worst movie of the year on here, with the first one being last year’s “The Emoji Movie.”” –Top 10 WORST Movies of 2018

“The trailer we got over the summer however was definitely the best of the bunch. It showed Venom as this dark, crazy being and it made me want more.

That trailer was a few minutes. This movie is around the two hour range. Two hours is certainly more than a few minutes. But more isn’t always better. In this case, more is f*cking worse.” –Venom (2018): A Turd in the Wind

““Venom” was written by three people and one of them probably wrote this movie because they have a good relationship with Sony. This writer in particular has written other Sony projects including “The Dark Tower,” “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” “The Fifth Wave,” and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” By the way, those last two films, I reviewed those and the highest grade I gave to one of those movies is a 3/10. Another writer worked on “Kangaroo Jack,” which I heard was horrible. The third writer worked on “Fifty Shades of Grey” so when you add this all up, you get one word. S*it.” –Venom (2018): A Turd in the Wind

“Without going into spoilers, they play a clip of one of their upcoming films in the end credits. And you know something? This isn’t a minute, it’s more like a few or four minutes! It just basically says, “Hey, our film sucks! If you were patient enough to stick around for all of this time, we have a special treat for you! Check out this amazing footage to one of our upcoming movies!” I know some of you might be thinking, “Hey, Jackass! Don’t people like you praise Marvel Studios for their end credit scenes?” Again, those don’t last nearly as long, and they stay in their own universe. This promotes a movie in an entirely different universe. It’s just s*itty!” –Venom (2018): A Turd in the Wind

Tom Hardy in Venom (2018)

“I will give credit though where it is due, Tom Hardy has had his fair share of roles where he had to play a character in a mask. Out of all of them, this was by far the easiest to understand.” –Venom (2018): A Turd in the Wind

“Once I heard about this film’s “originality,” I was intrigued. But then the advertising started, and everybody started comparing it to “Die Hard.”

F*CK.” –Skyscraper: Die Hard Without Christmas (2018) *PLUS RANT ON OBNOXIOUS MOVIEGOERS*

“In fact, some of you might be asking how predictable the script to “Skycraper” actually was. It was SO predictable, that a few audience members had a number of moments where they would say something out loud, and in a split second, that thing would happen. First off, if you’re going to the movies, PLEASE DON’T TALK! IT’S RUDE! I PAID GOOD MONEY FOR THIS! Seriously, these audience members to my left, they just couldn’t stop making noise! Granted, I talk during the movies, but only on occasion, and when I do it, I whisper. These hooligans showed up about thirty to forty minutes after the scheduled showtime, which in terms of seeing the movie, is about fifteen or so minutes through the runtime. I knew something was going to happen when I heard loud laughing from the back of the theater. Then they came into my row, and all of them were sitting to my left. DID “A QUIET PLACE” TEACH ANYTHING TO PEOPLE?! DON’T! TALK! DURING THE MOVIE! Gosh, I hate my life.” –Skyscraper: Die Hard Without Christmas (2018) *PLUS RANT ON OBNOXIOUS MOVIEGOERS*

“Going back to visual effects, we need to talk about 3D. There are VERY few movies that I think have been worth the extra money for 3D. Some include “The Hobbit” trilogy, “Mad Max: Fury Road,” and f*ck it, even the stupid “Ghostbusters” remake. Gotta give it credit for something, ya know. “Gravity” is also in such a category. You have many scenes where debris and characters are flying everywhere and it’s all just a visual spectacle to the face. It’s like you’re in space and you’re constantly getting hit in the head with debris! Only thing is you’re much more likely to survive because in all practicality you might as well be Dominic Toretto from “Fast & Furious.”

I can’t wait for “Fast & Furious” in space. It’s gonna be great.” –Gravity (2013): Life in Space Is Impossible

“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.”” –Game Night (2018): Live Or Die, the Comedic Choice Is Yours

“In the end, part of me was screaming this at the end of the film…

” –Serenity (2019): Not the Firefly Movie

“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.” –The Hurricane Heist (2018): Fast Storm, Slow Movie

“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!” –The Hurricane Heist (2018): Fast Storm, Slow Movie

“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!” –The Hurricane Heist (2018): Fast Storm, Slow Movie

“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!” –The Hurricane Heist (2018): Fast Storm, Slow Movie

I’ll be completely honest with you, I’m actually getting a headache as I write this description. That’s what this movie did to me! YOU DID THIS, MOVIE! –Uncle Drew (2018): Worst Pepsi Commercial Ever

“This review is unofficially sponsored by Pepsi!

Drink it!

Share it!

Love it!

And most importantly… shake it to play a prank on your friend who will eventually open it and get delightful taste of Pepsi all over their precious pants!” –Uncle Drew (2018): Worst Pepsi Commercial Ever

“As I bought my ticket for this movie at the box office, I recall being the first person to possess a ticket based on the seating options. That didn’t last, you know, like the good old-fashioned Pepsi everybody seems to be drinkin’ because it just tastes so freakin’ good.” –Uncle Drew (2018): Worst Pepsi Commercial Ever

“Although there were some people, this includes someone a couple seats away from me, who seemed to laugh at just about everything that was on screen. Now I am not revoking their right to laugh, but they are either easily impressed or have a completely different sense of humor than I. Either that or they drank enough Pepsi to enjoy the movie!” –Uncle Drew (2018): Worst Pepsi Commercial Ever

“Let’s talk about some of the characters in “Uncle Drew.” They all suck. They don’t drink enough Pepsi in the movie!”-Uncle Drew (2018): Worst Pepsi Commercial Ever

“Maybe I’m overreacting, maybe I have to pump the hate brakes, but I feel like some people in this movie are just mean-spirited to the point of annoyance. You know they need? Pepsi!

PEPSI IS THE CURE TO F*CKING EVERYTHING!” –Uncle Drew (2018): Worst Pepsi Commercial Ever

“That is, if you’re not me. I was watching this scene, imagining how much better it would be to put a gun on my head, while everybody else was just dying laughing. I probably died too. Maybe after imagining what it would be like to take that gun on my head and kill myself. But if I just drank more Pepsi I think I would have been just fine!” –Uncle Drew (2018): Worst Pepsi Commercial Ever

“In the end, “Uncle Drew” is worse than Coca-Cola on its best day!” –Uncle Drew (2018): Worst Pepsi Commercial Ever

“One of my favorite drinks is Diet Pepsi. Having seen this movie, it almost made me never want to buy another Pepsi product again. While this personally isn’t my worst movie of the year overall, it is certainly the worst I’ve seen in terms of product placement. Also, I would like to congratulate this movie for something.

This possibly made the extended video with Kendall Jenner promoting world peace the 2ND worst Pepsi ad of all time! Congrats, “Uncle Drew!”” –Uncle Drew (2018): Worst Pepsi Commercial Ever

By the way, if anyone wants to know my thoughts on Goose the Cat, I thought he was funny, but I don’t think I liked him as much as other people. Although I imagine this character is going to inspire some people to create some funky, psychedelic t-shirts, which if that is the case, I can’t wait. –Captain Marvel (2019): Not That Marvelous

“I get that some people want the show shortened up. I get that not everyone can sit down and watch a three to four hour telecast where people say “thank you” every few minutes. But guess what? I’ve sat down to watch the Super Bowl for years, and part of me didn’t want to! In fact, after Super Bowl 53, part of me never wants to do such a thing ever again. GIVE ME MY SHOW! If I can’t have “King of the Nerds,” if I can’t have the old format of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?,” and if I can’t have “Wipeout,” then I might as well have my Oscars show!” –Is the 91st Academy Awards the Least Anticipated In History?

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Today was exciting #Superman

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And as if this situation couldn’t get any more insane, I have a couple things I need to spit out. For one thing, Henry Cavill posted a video on his Instagram some time after this was announced of him wearing a shirt that said “Krypton Lifting Team,” as he slowly presents his own Superman action figure, all the while some dog-bark version of “The Blue Danube” happens to be playing. He lifts it up very slowly and brings it back down at the same pace. I have a ton of questions, so let’s start with question one.

WHAT THE F*CK?!

HOW DOES THIS HELP ANYTHING?!

WHY DOES THIS EXIST?!” –Henry Cavill (Superman) OUT of DC Extended Universe (Or is he?)

“So let’s move on from the actor and focus on the studio once again, specifically Warner Brothers. Here’s what a Warner Brothers spokesperson said about this s*itshow after the publication of the story.

“We have a great relationship and great respect for Henry Cavill that continues to remain unchanged. Additionally we have made no current decisions regarding any upcoming Superman films.”

I have something to ask.

WHAT THE F*CK?!

HOW DOES THIS HELP ANYTHING?!

WHY DOES THIS EXIST?!” –Henry Cavill (Superman) OUT of DC Extended Universe (Or is he?)

“And sticking with the idea of how much this news honestly shocked me, this does sound like something you’d hear on that one day in the year. Specifically, April Fools Day, the holiday that celebrates being a total dick to those you know. This honestly makes me wonder something, and I guess this kind of falls in the hot take category. Is this actually a joke? The Hollywood Reporter is said to be one of the most credible sources in the entertainment industry. They’ve been in operation for almost ninety years. Maybe they wanted to do something for fun where they could create their own fake news. I legit think this is actually happening, either that or I am just really hoping it’s happening. Seriously though,

WHAT THE F*CK?!

HOW DOES THIS HELP ANYTHING?!

WHY DOES THIS EXIST?!” –Henry Cavill (Superman) OUT of DC Extended Universe (Or is he?)

“Also, Mera? Yeah. She’s cool. I’d just say she’s hot and leave the description at that, but that’s not the point.” –Aquaman (2018): A Big Splash of Fun

“When it comes to Jennifer Garner as a performer, it’s just spot on, and it’s basically what you want out of an action movie like this. She’s a badass, she’s takes no nonsense whatsoever, and she is always. F*cking. PISSED.” –Peppermint (2018): A Cluster of Ice Cream, Badassery, and Lifetime

“Another minor complaint I have is a bit nitpicky, but Neil Armstrong was born and raised American, and yet they cast the very idea of the “Sexy Canadian Boy” Halloween costume.” –First Man (2018): One Giant Spacegasm

“Also, I’ll be honest, I’m glad that someone like Damien Chazelle directed this movie as opposed to someone like Michael Bay. I say that because there would be an American flag overload to the point where the planting scene would involve Neil Armstrong breaking the laws of physics, jumping into space bumping into one planet into the next like a pinball. Once that’s all done, he flies back to the moon striking the surface with the flag like Link did to Ganon in “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.” Also for fun, we cut to explosions happening in Russia therefore symbolizing their loss in the space race.” –First Man (2018): One Giant Spacegasm

“I am eighteen years old. Once I walked out of the theater, entered my house, and proceeded to my bedroom to start cranking out this review, I imagined myself as if I were a ten year old kid going to see this movie. After all, a lot of ten year kids probably like superheroes, and maybe if I were that ten year old kid, I might walk out of the movie saying I enjoyed myself, but that’s most likely to be due to seeing superheros on moving pictures projected onto a giant screen. Even if I wanted to fall asleep, I’ll still say I had a good time. My brain can’t process what a bad movie is. Heck, I went to see three live-action “Alvin and the Chipmunks” movies in theaters as a kid and enjoyed them. What kind of person was I? Hint, it rhymes with stupid!” –Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018): A Small Step Into the Ant Hill of Mediocrity

“To me, once I saw the “Oh My Disney” portion of the trailer, it just really felt like a massive commercial for all the Disney properties. Disney! Disney propaganda! Bring the kids! Go to Disney World! Buy all of our stuff at the Disney store! Pretty soon, after we finish dismantling Fox, we’re gonna buy Lionsgate so that way we can own “The Hunger Games” and have Jennifer Lawrence be stuck as Katniss Everdeen til the day she dies! Oh yeah, we’re gonna reboot “Twilight” too even though everyone knows it’s a complete and total waste of time. But hey! Teen girls! Get em’ in the theater! Money! Money! Money! Money! Money!” –Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018): The Emoji Movie For Intellectuals

“Each movie in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise always seems to have at least one notable newcomer in the mix when it comes to the cast. This time, the most notable newcomer is Henry Cavill. He plays a character named August Walker. I liked a lot of things about this character. Seeing him in action was pretty cool, the chemistry he has with Ethan, not to mention Erica Sloan was definitely charming, and I also kind of dig his mustache.

Wait a minute… Should I say that? Henry Cavill had the same mustache in “Justice League” and I didn’t like that. I don’t want to look like a hypocrite!” –Mission: Impossible: Fallout (2018): Tom Cruise Is A Madman!

“As suggested, the action in this film is great at times, but then there are times when it just gets–um–yeah I don’t give a f*ck about my life anymore, this movie is s*it! The action just gets so silly and stupid that it’s hilarious!

There comes a point in the movie, that Ethan Hunt and Sean Ambrose are on motorcycles. You can BARELY tell who is who. I was almost even questioning which person I was looking at during certain moments of the film! It was kind of like “The Girl on the Train!” You ever seen that movie? I know, f*cking bats*it crazy! I can let that complaint slide, because it’s more on the nitpicky side, but I don’t know if I should be complaining more about that, or about what I’m going to explain to y’all. Although I will say, part of me… is doing cartwheels of excitement over this! So there’s a point where both bikers stop, they’re looking at each other on their vehicles, and after preparing their motors, they charge forth! Each operator hopes they can annihilate their opponent, both do a wheelie, when all of sudden, they jump off their bikes, making contact with each other, getting violent as they fall off a cliff, all the while both bikes explode, as both beings land on the sand, and they get back up in little to no time whatsoever!

That scene… may have been worth the watch. It’s one of the STUPIDEST things ever, but at the same time, one of the FUNNIEST things ever. But yeah, I gotta say it, f*ck this movie!” –Mission: Impossible II (2000): Impossible To Enjoy

“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.” –Academy Awards Adds Popularity Contest?! *AN UNACCEPTANCE SPEECH*

“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” –Academy Awards Adds Popularity Contest?! *AN UNACCEPTANCE SPEECH*

“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?!” –Academy Awards Adds Popularity Contest?! *AN UNACCEPTANCE SPEECH*

“Speaking of which, we sort of get a look at Thanos himself, which if you’re unfamiliar with Marvel…

Screenshot (390)

…he takes the word dickweeb as a compliment. Because in reality, he’s Marvel’s biggest douchebag stuck inside Adolf Hitler’s asshole.” –Avengers: Endgame (2019) Official Trailer 1: You Happy, Marvel Fans? Here’s Your Stinkin’ Trailer! *SPOILERS FOR INFINITY WAR*

“Now let’s move onto what is quite literally the biggest part of the entire movie, Thanos, which if you’re unfamiliar with Marvel…

*yes, this picture does not currently exist*

Think of Terence Fletcher from “Whiplash” combined with Darth Vader from “Star Wars,” add in a hint of Count von Count from “Sesame Street,” you get this PURPLE GUY who CHUCKLES over the fact that he destroyed a NUMBER of planets, who is a FATHER per se of multiple heroic characters, and has a SHAVED head that will make you look at him as the INTIMIDATING, Jupiter-sized dickbag of Doucheville, otherwise known as Thanos.” –Avengers: Infinity War (2018): 2018’s Movie Event of the Year

“On that topic, we also get the first reveal shot in this trailer of Thanos, which if you’re unfamiliar with Marvel…

Screenshot (271)

He has Doctorates in asskicking and being an ungrateful f*cking son of a bitch. If he’s your doctor and he’s got a needle, he’s not gonna give you a shot, which by itself, is painful. Chances are he’d shove that needle down your throat.” –Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Official Trailer 2: Do We Seriously Need This? I Was Already Satisfied!

“When it comes to this movie’s scares, the title pretty much suggests what’s to come in a way. The area is supposed to be quiet, otherwise you’re in deep s*it. So if you wanted to talk about Fight Club, unfortunately, not only will you break the first rule of Fight Club, there will be monsters who may hear you and maybe they’ll understand you talking about Fight Club, I don’t know how deep this movie’s lore goes. But nevertheless, if you are in this movie, you live in 2020, and talk about Fight Club, the monsters will bring the fight to you. In fact, it’s not just people talking, it literally be any noise whatsoever that attracts these monsters. Maybe except rivers and waterfalls so essentially you can say if a creature, mainly a human, makes a noise that comes as a result of themselves, doom shall soon arrive. Say you know nothing about this world, but you spend much time being quiet, then you put on the TV, and “Fight Club” is on AMC. Monsters will be aware and hunt you down!

S*it! I talked about Fight Club! I hope my acquaintances at Fight Club don’t find out!” –A Quiet Place (2018): No Words… Should Be Spoken… Except For Ones of Praise

“Next up, is a moment of the trailer that so many people are talking about, and it associates with why Captain America is a great hero. You have Thanos here, looking like he’s ready to do some collateral damage to Cap, and all of a sudden, Cap’s itty bitty teeny tiny hands are grabbing onto Thanos’ mega Five Finger Death Punch fist.” –Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Official Trailer 2: Do We Seriously Need This? I Was Already Satisfied!

“There’s this one moment during the first half of the film where The Grinch is in preparation mode, his dog notices him, and we get a shot with The Grinch’s butt going directly in our face. Keep in mind, I saw “The Grinch” in IMAX. The screen was eight stories high. So I got to see eight stories of The Grinch’s ass right in my face (including black bars, which reduces the size a ton in all technicality)!” –The Grinch (2018): Two Sizes Too Small In Quality

After these past few years on Scene Before, I can honestly say that I am more than happy to still be behind my computer typing away new posts. Granted, with college happening, it is not as easy, but I can assure that as of now, I have no plans to give up this blog anytime soon. I many more reviews planned for the future, including a review for “Us,” which should be up by the end of next week. I also just went to an RPX auditorium for the first time, which might give me another post to do. After all, one of my most popular posts is still getting views since it was first posted in 2016, where I talk about my first MX4D experience. I want to thank everyone who has checked out that post over the years, and I’d like to to give an enormous thanks to all who have checked out my blog in general, along with its various posts. What else is up for the future? I plan to do a second installment of the Jackoff Awards when February 2020 hits, more con reviews, more posts related to IMAX should they be relevant, an update to my Blu-ray collection, maybe my thoughts on where physical media is going, and what it should be doing to keep itself alive, maybe I’ll find something to sponsor, who knows? Also, I have something really big planned for the end of the decade where don’t just do my top BEST and WORST lists of the year, but also of the decade itself. I’m doing my best to watch a lot of content from 2010s this year, even if the content looks like crap, that way I can have some variety. For example, I just watched “Hall Pass” for the first time since I have owned it on Blu-ray for a few months, which wasn’t good, but for this purpose alone, I am glad that I own it. Basically, this is a great excuse for me to watch a lot of Blu-rays that I have only bought to let it sit in storage for months, perhaps even years.

Here are some examples of movies I might watch to prepare for this countdown:

  • Dinner For Schmucks (2010)
  • Spotlight (2015)
  • Phantom Thread (2017)
  • Lawless (2012)
  • Salt (2010)
  • The Debt (2010)
  • Non-Stop (2014)
  • Argo (2012)
  • Battle of the Sexes (2017)
  • Oblivion (2013)
  • American Reunion (2012)
  • Kong: Skull Island (2017)
  • 300: Rise of an Empire (2014)
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)
  • Aloha (2015)
  • Due Date (2010)
  • The Hangover Part II (2011)
  • The Hangover Part III (2013)
  • Django Unchained (2012)
  • Get Out (2017)
  • In Time (2011)
  • The Babadook (2014)
  • Grudge Match (2013)
  • Lucy (2014)
  • The Bourne Legacy (2012)
  • Jason Bourne (2016)
  • The Lone Survivor (2013)
  • Birdman (2014)
  • Captain Phillips (2013)
  • Hell or High Water (2016)
  • Spy (2015)
  • The Heat (2013)
  • American Hustle (2013)
  • Black Swan (2010)
  • It Follows (2014)
  • The Imitation Game (2014)

These are just some examples, because per usual, I will be making a major effort to review as many upcoming 2019 films as possible. I just saw “Us” yesterday, so that is a small part of this ongoing effort. And I am also thinking of doing more side reviews for films that relate to a current title that is set to come out, and I have some ideas listed for the moment:

  • Avengers 1 & 2 (prior to Avengers: Endgame)
  • Seven days of Star Wars (reviews for Star Wars Episodes I-VII with one review per day, specifically during the week of Star Wars Day)
  • John Wick (before John Wick: Chapter 3- Parabellum)
  • Animated “The Lion King” (before live action version)
  • Quentin Tarantino series (before Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
  • Video game movie series (before Sonic the Hedgehog)

I’m not sure how many of these I will end up doing, but as far as I know, my sophomore year of college is going to be entirely online, which might allow me to have more time working on my blog whenever I feel it is necessary. We’ll see what happens. I’m excited to see how the rest of 2019 plays out, and depending on what kind of movies we get, it might top 2018, which could ultimately say something about the tail end of this decade. Only time will tell!

Thanks for reading this post! Once again, I’d like to give an enormous thank you to everyone who decided at one point, “Eh, this blog will do.” I appreciate your views, subscriptions, and kind words over the years. I am looking forward to Scene Before: Year 4. When it comes to upcoming content, I have that review for “Us” I mentioned, I also am gonna try to review “Alita: Battle Angel,” “Shazam,” and of course, “Avengers: Endgame.” I also have a plan regarding a specific comic con that I will keep secret for now, but maybe reveal down the road. In fact, I am still wondering if I am going this year. Be sure to follow Scene Before with an email or WordPress so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, what is a moment, quote, post, whatever… …something you really enjoyed from Scene Before over these past few years? Leave your comments down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Captain Marvel (2019): Not That Marvelous

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“Captain Marvel” is directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Sugar, Half Nelson) and stars Brie Larson (Room, The Glass Castle), Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Snakes On a Plane), Ben Mendelsohn (Ready Player One, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Djimon Hounsou (Gladiator, Blood Diamond), Lee Pace (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Lincoln), Lashana Lynch (Fast Girls, Brotherhood), Gemma Chan (Mary Queen of Scots, Crazy Rich Asians), Annette Bening (American Beauty, 20th Century Women), Clark Gregg (The New Adventures of Old Christine, 500 Days of Summer), and Jude Law (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Closer). This film is the 21st installment in the cinematic universe. Good luck with your marathons, newcomers! “Captain Marvel” is about a soldier from another world who has memories of her past on Earth. As she is sent down to Earth, or as her planet’s kind calls it, “C-53,” she must combat a foreign force who can disguise themselves into other people and save the universe from further destruction.

OK… Here we go. I went into this movie rather excited. I must point out though, it is not because I am seeing the movie, but because I got to see it in the historic Chinese Theatre. This was kind of a dream of mine and I was waiting to go away to see this movie instead of seeing it on its first two nights just to make the experience special. And it was! When it comes to my familiarity with Captain Marvel, it is admittedly lower compared to other superheroes. But regardless of how familiar audiences and I are with this character, Disney and Marvel had an excellent marketing opportunity on their hands. They have never done a movie with a woman in the lead role before, so after almost eleven years of making MCU films, this is the first time this was being done. Unfortunately, it was not good.

Let me just get some things out of the way. I’m straight, I’m white, and I am a male. I am well aware that my physical and internal qualities that I can’t change, unless I go through surgery, puts me in the position of associating with the most hated type of person on the planet. So… reviewing this movie is hard. But I will say some things that I actually found to be good about the movie. This movie is kind of a crowd-pleaser. Much like a bunch of other MCU films, it had many attempts at humor, some of which totally worked. Some of the action is flashy and the visuals are very colorful. Speaking of that, the deaging done on Samuel L. Jackson is top-notch. And there are tons of callbacks to the 1990s that take up a portion of screentime.

Blockbuster Video, as seen in the trailer, plays a big role in the film. There’s a couple moments where people were laughing because of how 1990s technology worked. There was the use of Dial-up, CD-ROM had its share of screentime, and as I imagine some people expected, pagers were used in the movie.

But as a story, the movie is cliche, which would be fine because “Wonder Woman” was actually cliche and that film was actually pretty kick-ass, but the thing about “Wonder Woman” which made me not care for “Captain Marvel” is the difference in pacing. “Captain Marvel,” in reality, was a somewhat boring movie. Granted, there were parts that were exciting and entertaining, but there was a part of me that didn’t care about what was going on, I didn’t give a crap about the Kree, and after watching the movie, there are perhaps some parts that I feel like I am going to forget about in less than a month.

Let’s talk about Brie Larson in this film. I like Brie Larson as an actress. She’s very talented, she’s won awards, and she is in one of my favorite movies of 2015, “Room.” Also, I just watched “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” a movie featuring said actress, and that was one of the best films I’ve seen in recent memory. Brie Larson has a tendency to sign on to play good roles. Granted, this doesn’t always happen (watch “The Glass Castle”), but she usually has a keen eye for her roles. In fact she joined a movie that I am rather excited for the more I hear about it, “Just Mercy.” Knowing how the world of Hollywood tends to work, or at least having an illusion as to thinking I know how it works, Brie Larson definitely saw potential in a role as her particular character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Based on the legacy of said universe, I could definitely see potential. However, the execution of her performance was… I don’t know how to say this… Very off and on. The elements are all there for a decent Captain Marvel performance at the very least. A lot of the mannerisms done in the movie are all right for said character, and there is some range presented in terms of personality. But I feel like Brie Larson was at times directed to act a certain way that just didn’t work. It felt like watching multiple characters in one to the point where it is almost easy to assume Captain Marvel had multiple personality disorder. The performance just kind of didn’t work for me, which is absolutely disappointing because Brie Larson is practically an A-list actress. She won an Oscar for crying out loud! There are some moments where I found Captain Marvel to have some charisma behind her, some emotions to display, and others where she is just stoic. While there are times where such emotions (or lack thereof) can work for the movie, it is hard to tell exactly if everything flows as properly as I would hope. Speaking of proper flow…

One of the best movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Not only did it make a rather unknown comic book IP become known and loved by millions, but when the first movie came out, it was actually pretty unique as far as comic book movies go. And one way that statement can be supported is through the movie’s soundtrack. Not only is it fun to listen to, but it has practically had an association with the movie in a way that many other soundtracks don’t. While “Captain Marvel,” unlike “Guardians,” doesn’t rely on a soundtrack for music all that much (maybe except for 90s’ references), there is this one moment where a pop song can be heard. I won’t go into much detail, but it is during a fight. If the crew behind this film was trying to capitalize on the success of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” then I can totally see that. But it didn’t f*cking work. In fact, that “Guardians”-esque moment, might just be the most cringeworthy part of the entire movie. And for those of you who know what I am talking about, I don’t know if you will agree with me, but this is just how I feel. In fact, it totally wouldn’t surprise me if some of these songs were put in because of “Guardians of the Galaxy’s” popularity because Nicole Perlman worked on this movie, earning herself a story credit. For the record, she was a writer behind “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

I will give some credit to Samuel L. Jackson however because like usual, he did a fine job as Nick Fury. And I will give even more credit to whoever deaged him. Sticking with the “Guardians of the Galaxy” theme, one of the highlights of the truly disappointing “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” was the deaging CGI done on Kurt Russell. It was nice to see Nick Fury not only have hair, but believable looking hair. Jackson’s performance as Fury was definitely worth buying for how such a character would behave in the 1990s. However, without going into spoilers, there is something that happens in this film that references something in the future, and it takes place during the end of the film (no, not during the credits, around the climax). It is absolutely crucial to Fury’s character. The way that this film manages to go about it, managed to get a big laugh from the audience, but I thought this GIF would sum up my thoughts on this whole situation.

Image result for jeopardy gif stupid

Now imagine a part of my brain saying that for an eternity, and you have my thoughts on this moment towards the end of the climax.

And I gotta say, I feel like I am in a weird place as I review this movie. I am a straight white male. I have nothing against women having their own superhero. What I am against however is when people think take the idea of gender equality and twist it to make one gender look better than the other, and I will say, despite “Captain Marvel’s” numerous flaws, not to mention its overall lack of memorability, one of its strengths is that it made a woman look good as a role model, while not exactly putting guys down. If you have ever seen me talk about the 2016 “Ghostbusters,” chances are you know my thoughts on that movie, and none of them are good. One thing I absolutely hated about the 2016 “Ghostbusters” movie is that it went out of its way to display moments that practically make just about every man in the movie look like idiots. There’s a secretary played by Chris Hemsworth who literally makes Patrick Star look like a genius. They ruin the reputation of Bill Murray. And there’s a scene where the ladies shoot a giant ghost in the nuts. There are no moments where I feel like if I had a place in the “Captain Marvel” movie’s universe where I’d have an IQ below 40. Thanks, “Captain Marvel!”

I don’t really have too much more to say in terms of my own originally gathered thoughts, but I will point out that when it comes to “Captain Marvel,” I feel like this movie manages to disappoint me in more ways than I would imagine. While the villain in this film could definitely be worse, I feel like we are going back to phase 1 and even phase 2 MCU, because the villain here was just not memorable. And speaking of villains I don’t really find to be all that great, Ronan the Accuser apparently had a few moments in this film! Like… OK… More “Guardians of the Galaxy” stuff, whoppity do! I have no idea why you even needed much of Ronan’s presence in the movie, but somehow he’s here! Then again, his appearance, much like the film’s main antagonist, could definitely be worse.

Also, another thing to consider about “Captain Marvel” is that this is the 21st film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now that we have gotten to this point, it is getting harder to impress me because a viewer, it almost feels like I’ve seen everything. Granted, there are some unseen things in “Captain Marvel.” This is the first female-led film in the franchise, this is the first film to take place mainly in the 1990s, and it is also the first film where we get to see a cat play a significant role.

By the way, if anyone wants to know my thoughts on Goose the Cat, I thought he was funny, but I don’t think I liked him as much as other people. Although I imagine this character is going to inspire some people to create some funky, psychedelic t-shirts, which if that is the case, I can’t wait.

However, going back to my main point, I have been a follower of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for years. And with following, comes knowledge, and having a competent knowledge of the MCU, to MAYBE hold my own in a related trivia competition, makes me realize that a lot has happened over the years. There are times when material might just seem like something we’ve seen in the past, but with a different name attached. “Captain Marvel,” the more I think about it, just seems like a newer, inferior version of “Thor” with elements of “Captain America: The First Avenger” intact. You have this god-like being who is trying to find their identity or place in the universe, and part of it takes place in space, while another portion is set on Earth. Plus, it is another fish out of water story.

Also, before we get into the verdict section, I will point out a statement from MCU executive Kevin Feige.

“Captain Marvel, she is as powerful a character as we’ve ever put in a movie. Her powers are off the charts, and when she’s introduced, she will be by far the strongest character we’ve ever had.”

Having now seen “Captain Marvel,” I am definitely not going to deny that Captain Marvel is powerful as hell. However, as far as her character being the most powerful of all, that is still up for debate. At least from my point of view. And speaking of which, there is a climactic moment towards the movie that was probably played for comic relief, but it also made a certain moment feel rushed and kind of cheap. More powerful does not always mean more exciting. And I say this whole “power” thing is up for debate for one reason and one reason only.

Can Captain Marvel do this? I’ll wait… I’ve got years of my life left, which give tons of time to provide an answer.

In the end, I hate to say it, but “Captain Marvel is one of the worst movies of the MCU. Granted, that statement might not say all too much as very few have actually gotten a low score from me. I go to the movies for memorable experiences, and many of the MCU’s installments have provided said experiences. I basically put my money on the table for “Captain Marvel,” because again, I went to the Chinese Theatre, which is MILES from where I live, and I literally mean MILES, because I am from Massachusetts. The Chinese Theatre is states away! I had a good time, and I would love to come back. After all… There is a “Star Wars” movie coming out soon… But the whole experience would have been perfect if I went to see a better movie, and “Captain Marvel” was just not that great. I am happy for women who are getting a hero they want to look up to, but I am not judging “Captain Marvel” completely as a feminist piece, I am judging it as a film. As a film, “Captain Marvel” is visually appealing, which is not surprising at this point for a comic book movie. It is pacing-wise, perhaps the worst of the twenty-one films presented in this series. And I felt that I wouldn’t pop this in my Blu-ray player right away if I had the chance. There is a mid-credits scene worth staying for, and there is another scene that happens towards the end. It is honestly unneeded, but if you like your end credits scenes, there’s your update. I’m going to give “Captain Marvel” a 4/10. I honestly don’t know if this grade is going to stay where it is. Because I honestly didn’t like this movie, but part of me had glimmers of enjoyment. And part of me also wonders if I am being generous because this movie stars a woman. I didn’t find myself to be angry throughout the film, so maybe this is technically a 4/10 for me. Only time will tell if this grade manages to stay where it is. And I gotta point out something regarding this “Captain Marvel,” DC did this type of film better! How often do I get to say that? Maybe they screwed up on “Suicide Squad,” the effects on “Justice League,” and keeping a singular vision alive, but they managed to do a female-led film better than Marvel, and that is an accomplishment for DC if I have ever seen one. “Wonder Woman” over “Captain Marvel” for sure, if you ask me! Thanks for reading this review! I actually wanted to make an announcement regarding April, while most of the month is uncertain in terms of content (although an “Avengers: Endgame” review is a undoubted guarantee), I do have a confirmation for you all. For those you who follow the director Terry Gilliam, you may be familiar that he worked on films such as “Brazil” and “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Recently however talk has been going around regarding his new film, “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.” For those who have ever heard of this film, you may be aware that production for it actually took decades to complete. Why? Total and utter disaster, that’s why! Anyway, here in the US, it is playing in several theaters for one night. Courtesy of Fathom Events, I have scored a ticket to one of these shows on April 10th! Next month, expect a review from “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” and if it takes forever to complete… Who knows? It could be just like the movie and go through several failures regarding production! Be sure to follow Scene Before with your WordPress account or email to catch that review and more great content! I want to know, did you see “Captain Marvel?” What did you think about it? Or, have you been to the Chinese Theatre? What did you see? What was your experience like? I personally enjoyed it, minus the movie. But I want to hear about your experience! Let me know about it in the comments section! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019): The Dragon Capper

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“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is marketed as the third and final chapter of the “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise. This film is directed by Dean DeBlois, a co-director behind the first film in the franchise who eventually went on to direct its follow-ups by himself. The film stars Jay Baruchel (Undeclared, Knocked Up), America Ferrera (Superstore, Ugly Betty), F. Murray Abraham (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Homeland), Cate Blanchett (Thor: Ragnarok, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring), and Craig Ferguson (The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Hot in Cleveland). This film continues with the characters audiences have come to know in recent years. As the movie begins, it is revealed that Toothless, Hiccup’s loyal dragon, is not the only one of his kind. After all, there is one other female dragon who meets up with Toothless and the two form a relationship with each other. Meanwhile, there is an antagonist by the name of Grimmel who is trying to find “The Hidden World.” Our heroes must find the same place as their island, Berk, is becoming overpopulated.

I cannot believe I am saying this. It took me over two full weeks to actually sit down and review this movie! I will admit that I managed to go out and see it on its opening weekend, where I went by myself in a crowded theater full of families and children. OK, you know what? It doesn’t mean I can’t be part of the target audience, because this animated franchise has not only proven to be watchable for older audiences, but its first installment came out when I was ten years old. And while my childhood may not have been devoted to this franchise as much as other animated franchises like “Shrek” or “Kung Fu Panda” or “Madagascar,” this was something I’d watch from time to time. Because it is a good movie. When it comes to the second installment, that is the one out of these three films that I remember the least. But I will point out that I have only seen that movie one time. Over these past couple of weeks, the same could be said for “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” and I would not mind seeing it again. If you saw my last review, specifically for “Fighting With My Family,” I called it the first lovable movie experience of the year. I might as well have been exaggerating, because “The Hidden World” FLOORED me. And I think a tremendous amount of kudos goes to the brilliant screenplay and direction done by Dean DeBlois. As I was watching this film, I could tell that there was no interference from DreamWorks, everything flowed as it was meant to, there were no efforts to rely on silly gags to make kids happy and adults cringe. This felt like a perfect ending to a solid trilogy. In fact, given how much that I wanted to watch this movie after seeing it once in the theater, I think it might be my favorite installment in the “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise.

This movie focuses heavily on the endlessly developed relationships throughout the franchise. Hiccup and his dad. Hiccup and Toothless. Hiccup and Astrid. OK, let’s stop before I get the hiccups… Nevertheless, this movie’s entire progression focuses on the connection between all of its layered and lovable characters. You have Hiccup who is the charismatic young man who loves his dragon. You have Toothless who is loyal to Hiccup as a practical pet. You have Astrid who is actually a pretty admirable love interest for Hiccup as well. In fact, this movie plays a bit on that love story because there’s constant jokes about the couple getting married. Speaking of love…

It is constantly seen in the film’s marketing that Toothless meets another dragon of his kind and the two manage to fall in love. This actually manages to deliver a couple of the film’s highlights. Aside from the relationship itself, there is a scene that shows Toothless trying to impress this dragon by writing in the sand and dancing, which is more like frolicking from my point of view. Regardless of what it was, I thought it was very heartfelt, and the opposite of cringeworthy. Although part of me imagines it is because I have grown up with this franchise. The first film released when I was ten, the second released when I was fourteen, and now we are here with the third releasing when I am nineteen. And I’ll be perfectly honest, this movie came out at the absolute perfect time for me.

For those of you who know me, there are no conspiracy theories behind the fact that I am currently in my first year of college. I still live at home, but I am out of the house for an extended periods of time. There is a moment of the movie that defines the meaning behind this entire movie, which is shown towards the end. Now let me tell you about my history at the movies. I have seen several films at the theater. I have been a movie-goer since 2006. I will go to see certain films multiple times. But when was the last time I ended up crying during a movie? There’s not one I can easily remember… But damn you, Dragon move. You had me in mantears. When your movie can get a grown man who likes big action, obnoxious rock music, and buffalo chicken that gives you the sweet taste of victory to release tears in a public auditorium. You have done your job. That is just a part of the absolutely phenomenal ending to cap off this trilogy. Let me just say something. “Toy Story 3” made me feel certain emotions towards the end. I was actually crying when I saw this. And the thing that made me really glad about this ending is that the crew behind this film was not lying, they actually set out to make a trilogy capper. I enjoy the “How to Train Your Dragon” movies, but it is made by a group of people catering to a certain market: Kids. As much as some kids would probably want to see another “How to Train Your Dragon” movie, I don’t see a purpose for another one. The crew behind this movie set out to conclude a story that has sort of defined a generation. It has also defined a decade for animation. Think about it, what other animated movie franchises got trilogies this decade? Well there’s “Cars,” which some would argue doesn’t even deserve to exist (haven’t seen the third one so I can’t say much about the trilogy as a a whole). “Despicable Me,” which a lot of people like, but I personally think minions are annoying. “Toy Story” got a trilogy, but that is soon becoming a quadrilogy so that ship has sailed. Plus, “Toy Story 3” came out very early in the decade so it is almost even questionable if that movie is relevant enough to make the trilogy define said decade. The only real debatable solid animated trilogy I can come up with is probably “Kung Fu Panda.” The first movie came out in 2008, it was fun. 2011 gave us the first sequel, a lot of people enjoyed that. And the same can be said for “Kung Fu Panda 3” in 2016. I admittedly have to give the one up to “Kung Fu Panda” over “How to Train Your Dragon,” but both franchises have created visionary works of art that are likely to stand the test of time.

My only real problems with the movie might be the cliche villain who just wanted to do villain things and one other notion that some people may agree upon.

SPOILER ALERT: “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World DOES NOT show you how to train your f*cking dragon. Hypocrites.

In the end, “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is f*cking satisfying. It is a film that shows the inconsistency of connection between a parent and child as they age. It shows what people will do for friends, family, and loved ones. And that animation… Quite beautiful if you ask me! Also, THAT F*CKING ENDING. I have seen a lot of great endings this decade. “Interstellar,” “Rogue One,” “Colossal,” “Blade Runner 2049,” “Inception,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Kubo and the Two Strings,” “Grand Piano,” “Toy Story 3” as I recently mentioned. This movie’s ending is an a guaranteed position to compete with these endings for best ending of the 2010s cause holy crap! I will say, if you watched “How to Train Your Dragon” as a kid and are starting to think you are getting too old for animation, give this movie a chance, it is absolutely worth it. If you are an adult who wants a babysitter to take the kids to see this movie that way you can have a night out, I wouldn’t say no, but don’t shy away from this film entirely. It will make you feel something, I guarantee it. And I am definitely feeling something right now, because I am going to give “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” a 10/10! This is the first 10/10 of the year, and damn this movie deserves it! To me, this is the perfect way to describe what it is like to lose someone you love. It is an absolute A+. Thanks for reading this review! Guess what guys? The latest controversy in the comic book movie world has arrived! For those of you who don’t understand, here’s Layman’s terms. “Captain Marvel” is out in theaters! No, not “Shazam,” the other one. Can’t wait for “Shazam” by the way. I will actually be away in California because it is Spring Break so I’m not sure exactly how my schedule will pan out. However should I get a chance to watch the film in the state, I will most certainly take it. There are certain movies that I define as “work” for Scene Before, and blockbuster comic book movies are part of said category. I just gotta do what I gotta do. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with a WordPress account or email so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite “How to Train Your Dragon” movie? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

91st Academy Awards Recap

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Before we dive into this post, I would like to kick off by offering my sincere apologies. Part of me wanted to do a post on my hopes and predictions going into this year’s Academy Awards show, but unfortunately, I literally lacked any time in the world to do such a thing. Apparently paying for my education is not enough to make my head spin, I need to be handed a bloated supply of homework as well! I wasn’t given this during the Super Bowl (REALLY DON’T CARE ABOUT THAT SHOW), so why should I get it on Oscar weekend? Anyway, earlier this week, I watched the 91st edition of the Academy Awards. I went into it with a few expectations. However, there was a part of me that thought this show was going to SUCK, and I even say that with my picks winning. Fortunately, that was not the case!

The first red flag in my sights for this year’s show is that there was no host this year. You guys may already know that Kevin Hart opted out at a point and nobody else happened to sign on. They did however announce names for a bunch of celebrities who will be present to give random speeches and nominee presentations. While not all of them were great, they did have a number of them which I was actually able to appreciate. And I can’t even believe I’m saying this.

Melissa McCarthy actually made me laugh! Throughout my 3 year experience of blogging on Scene Before, McCarthy has appeared in the #1 spot for my worst films of the year lists not just once, but twice! Although sometimes I kind of fail to give her credit where it is due, because there are a couple of occasions where she did make me laugh. When she played former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on “Saturday Night Live,” it was literally a plethora of some of the most gutbusting moments that I’ve encountered in the show’s recent years. McCarthy’s appearance during the Academy Awards ceremony was perhaps on the Sean Spicer level of funny. McCarthy comes out to present the Costume Design award. Doing so in this costume that is quite possibly inspired by “The Favourite.” She gives this speech about some of the best costumes and how they are not meant to have distracting elements. It’s just spectacular. So spectacular in fact that I almost forgot that Melissa McCarthy was a recent Razzie winner!

I will admit, when it comes to other celebrities, there are not that many other speeches worth pointing out. Although there is one moment where I appreciated John Mulaney’s line “I want these people to like me to a degree which I find embarrassing.” It’s not to say that they were bad, but there was not many others which I happened to find as interesting as say Melissa McCarthy.

When it comes to having no host, I was somewhat surprised, because I was highly skeptical going in on whether or not such a thing was going to work out. Turns out it did! Before this recent Oscars show, I thought to myself that this was all going to be a trainwreck. Without a host, it’s toast! Not anymore! But if the Academy were to announce for the 92nd show that they aren’t getting anyone to host that year, I’d just say, “Fine, whatever, you do you.” I wouldn’t care if there’s a host. Would I want a host? Certainly, but I’d be open to another Oscars show where nobody hosts. Because a couple of benefits to having no host is that the show focuses more on the awards, and it allows a diverse amounts of celebrities to present themselves to an audience. Because let’s face it. Not everyone likes Jimmy Kimmel, not everyone likes Seth MacFarlane, not everyone likes Ellen DeGeneres. Having one of those people host puts them in a certain spotlight, and even though certain people like The Oscars, they might not be satisfied with the person who may as well be taking up the biggest portion of the show’s screentime. Almost every celebrity onstage had their moment, and it allowed for a quick pace that was respectful. Granted, I am the rare find in the wild that does not mind staying up for eternity while watching The Oscars. However, there is a part of me that realizes that The Oscars is being shown to “everyone.” And there is a vast majority of people who want to see certain things throughout the show. The hostless ceremony is a good way to keep time short, and have the awards delivered as immediate as possible.

By the way, I recently saw this killer tweet from recent Academy Awards host Jimmy Kimmel:

I love you, Jimmy.

Now let’s move onto the awards. Had I done a prediction post a little bit ago, this would definitely be the main focal point. I’m not going to dive into every single award, but I am going to go over the ones that I found to be highlights.

Believe it or not, I have actually managed to expand my award palette this year, because just recently, specifically on February 9th, I went to a local theater in the Boston area because they were showing all of the animated short films that earned a nomination this year. They showed the five potential winners, along with some others that the Academy found to be “highly commendable.” Now I actually had a favorite of these films, but before I do that, let’s give out the nominees.

  • Bao- Domee Shi, Becky Neiman (WINNER!)
  • Weekends- Trevor Jimenez
  • Animal Behaviour- Alison Snowden, David Fine
  • One Small Step- Andrew Chesworth, Bobby Pontillas
  • Late Afternoon- Louise Bagnall, Nuria González Blanco

Now keep in mind, I actually have watched all of these films from start to finish. I actually had been exposed to “Bao” prior to seeing all of the four other films. The reason why that is is due to how it was presented before Pixar’s “Incredibles 2,” making it Pixar’s short film to present this year. I kind of liked “Bao,” but it is something that I think would not appeal to everyone. I understand the message behind it, but in reality, there are a couple of animated shorts on this list that I found to be more interesting. For example, “One Small Step.” Granted, this may be coming with a little bit of bias since I am a nerd, and nerds like space. I still found the main character’s journey to be intriguing and sort of, pun intended, down to Earth. But my personal favorite out of all of these is without question, “Animal Behavior.” This film was made in Canada, and might I just say, this film reminds me of how awesome Canada is. It gave us Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds, Alex Trebek, Howie Mandel, and now… “Animal Behavior.” “Animal Behavior” takes a bunch of different living creatures and puts them all in a therapy session. One of the main characters is a gorilla who is in extreme denial, and often gets very angry. The results of this film, hilarious. One of the best jokes has to do with the mantis, because for those who are unaware, praying mantises eat their mate during intercourse. There are certain parts of the short where we see that sort of thing come into play, and overall it left me feeling very impressed. Plus, one thing that made this film different compared to all of the others, is that they were all trying to be serious. This one, while still having some sort of message intact, it still goes for as much comedy as possible. Kudos to the brilliant writing! Granted, the Academy goes for more serious material, and I do respect that, but I feel like was more impressed by the comedic efforts of “Animal Behaviour” as opposed to the serious efforts of “Late Afternoon” or “Bao.”

Moving onto another category, it’s Best Documentary! Let’s look at the nominees!

  • Free Solo- Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Evan Hayes, Shannon Dill (WINNER!)
  • RBG- Betsy West, Julie Cohen
  • Hale County This Morning, This Evening- RaMell Ross, Joslyn Barnes, Su Kim
  • Of Fathers and Sons- Talal Derki, Ansgar Frerich, Eva Kemme, Tobias N. Siebert
  • Minding the Gap- Bing Liu, Diane Quon

Wait, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” wasn’t nominated?! F*ck this! Moving on!

Let’s try a different documentary category! Best Documentary Short! Let’s look at the nominees!

  • Period. End of Sentence.- Rayka Zehtabchi, Melissa Berton (WINNER!)
  • Black Sheep- Ed Perkins, Jonathan Chinn
  • End Game- Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
  • Lifeboat- Skye Fitzgerald, Bryn Mooser
  • A Night at the Garden- Marshall Curry

OK, these look much better. I haven’t seen any of these films, but they sound much better. Now I am not going to call one of these films superior to all of the others, all of my opinions related to such a thing would technically be invalid. But, the victory speech, holy f*ck. Quite possibly the best speech of the night!

“I’m not crying because I’m on my period or anything! I can’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar!” -Rayka Zehtabchi

“A period should end a sentence, not a girl’s education!” -Melissa Berton

Enough said. Period. End of sentence.

Another category that stood out to me was Best Visual Effects, mainly because there was one movie that I felt should win, but didn’t win. Granted, the winner to me has extremely competent visuals, but the reality is, I had my pick. Here are the nominees.

Ryan Gosling in First Man (2018)

  • First Man- Paul LambertIan HunterTristan MylesJ.D. Schwalm (WINNER!)
  • Avengers: Infinity War- Dan DeLeeuwKelly PortRussell EarlDaniel Sudick
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story- Rob BredowPatrick TubachNeal ScanlanDominic Tuohy
  • Ready Player One- Roger GuyettGrady CoferMatthew E. ButlerDavid Shirk
  • Christopher Robin- Chris LawrenceMike EamesTheo JonesChris Corbould

Let’s take some things into perspective. While I kinda hated “Solo,” I could see it being nominated for visual effects. I didn’t want it to win, but still. “Christopher Robin” was an alright movie, nothing really that special. But then again, I have a bare attachment to “Winnie the Pooh.” The CGI characters were not bad though. “Avengers: Infinity War” was probably my second or third pick to win, right along with “First Man,” which did win. Aside from all of the huge scale glory happening everywhere on screen, you also have to give credit to the effects team for creating Thanos. To me, Thanos is up there with Smaug and Gollum as one of the greats when it comes to CGI character creations. Now with that being said, “READY PLAYER ONE” WAS SNUBBED! Granted, I already awarded “Ready Player One” myself because I now do the Jackoff Awards, but I would have given a thumbs up to the voters had they let “Ready Player One” win! Let’s take another set of ideas into perspective. “Avengers: Infinity War” has comic book style action, random computer effects flying everywhere, and a well done CGI character. I’ve seen that before. In fact, “Christopher Robin” had several of those. Granted, I liked “Infinity War’s” effects better, but still. “Solo” had several effects that I’ve seen in many other movies, and when it comes to the “Star Wars” franchise, it’s not even my favorite movie in terms of visuals. While I will say that “The Last Jedi” is actually worse than “Solo” as a movie, which I am honestly shocked to say. It actually looked nicer! “Solo” has its moments, but when comparing it to the rest of the franchise, it’s in between Obi-Wan and Anakin, because ya know, it kinda has the middle ground. For “Ready Player One,” I wanted that to win, because I felt it was the most visually unique movie of the year. Not only did it manage to visually create its own characters, but it actually recreated segments from other works of art! There is a scene in the film that actually takes place in a location from “The Shining.” Not only that, but you have two different worlds being dealt with in the movie, meaning there are two different places to insert various visuals. The effects team, personally, outdid themselves! I am not a crybaby over “First Man” getting the gold, but at the same time, I’m also wondering why it even got it because “Ready Player One” was just a unique trip. And this goes back to my recent statements. I’ve seen visuals like “First Man” in the past. I’ve seen it in “Apollo 13.” I’ve seen it in “Gravity.” I’ve seen it in “Interstellar.” Although at the same time, I said after I saw the movie that it was not my favorite movie of the year in terms of the story, but from a technical perspective, it was definitely the most well made movie of the year. So while it is not my #1 pick for visual effects, they are by NO MEANS incompetent. Granted, that comment I made after I saw “First Man,” that likely changed overtime after I saw “Roma,” but nevertheless.

Another highlight of the night, for anything but good reason (for the most part) is Best Makeup & Hairstyling. Here are the nominees.

  • Vice- Greg CannomKate BiscoePatricia Dehaney (WINNER!)
  • Mary Queen of Scots- Göran LundströmPamela Goldammer
  • Border- Jenny ShircoreMarc PilcherJessica Brooks

As I once predicted, “Vice” came out on top. The makeup might actually be the best part of the entire movie. So I was excited to see it win. Then… I saw the speech. The three winners practically did not even know what it was they were supposed to say. They had a paper in front of them, which is fine, I have nothing against that, but at least put a little preparation into your speech! At least, have a plan! Visualize! Get together on a Google Hangout or something! I mean, it was slow, it was like watching three people who had recently received amnesia! I’m just waiting for them to get hit in the head with coconuts and suddenly talk like they’re Peter Griffin after he drank Red Bull! They almost didn’t even remember anybody’s name! Ah well, still, congrats I guess.

Anyway, moving onto another category, which I guarantee has a better speech, let’s go onto Best Animated Feature. I do think it is a somewhat unnecessary category, given how it sort of diminishes the art of the animated movie as a whole, but I still want to talk about it. Here are the nominees!

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse- Bob PersichettiPeter RamseyRodney RothmanPhil LordChristopher Miller (WINNER!)
  • Incredibles 2- Brad BirdJohn WalkerNicole Paradis Grindle
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet- Rich MoorePhil JohnstonClark Spencer
  • Isle of Dogs- Wes AndersonScott RudinSteven RalesJeremy Dawson
  • Mirai- Mamoru HosodaYûichirô Saitô

Out of the five films listed, I have seen every single one except “Mirai,” but then again, it wasn’t really marketed around here so I don’t really have much to say about it overall. “Ralph Breaks the Internet” was not only enjoyable, but it honestly shocked me to no end. Because let’s be real, I thought the marketing was, *snobby voice* an abomination! I thought that movie was going to be the most obvious cash-in from Disney this past year (somehow I forgot about “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms”). Turns out that it is not only a good movie experience, but also a great parody on the Disney company! Just watch what Vanellope has to go through in the film to see what I mean! Then we have “Isle of Dogs” which is the only stop-motion film on the list. Over these last months, Wes Anderson has grown on me a bit as a director, and his work in this film supports my statement. Plus, I actually hate dogs, so the fact that I like this movie actually says something! “Incredibles 2” is a worthy sequel to what is, quite literally, my favorite animated film of all-time. Not only is it a part of my childhood, but it is just a well crafted movie. For awhile, it was my favorite film of the year, that is… until the release of “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse!” And might I just say, JUSTICE HAS BEEN SERVED! Because two people behind “Spider-Verse,” specifically as writers and producers, have also worked on “The LEGO Movie.” That is one of the best movies of 2014, and probably one of the best animations I’ve ever seen. And not only did that movie not win an Oscar, it didn’t even get nominated! Sure, it was nominated for Best Original Song due to the presence of “Everything Is Awesome,” but that’s not even the best part of the movie! Heck, that wasn’t even the best song in the movie! Ah well, catchy tunes can be catchy. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller get an Oscar! They didn’t have to wait as long as say Kevin O’Connell (sound mixer who waited 21 times), Roger Deakins (cinematographer who waited 14 times), or Glenn Close (actress nominated 7 times and still waiting), but they’ve each got one! “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is one of the best superhero movies of 2018, and I’d even say it’s better than “Black Panther,” which actually received more nominations than this movie! Speaking of which, let’s talk about that.

Based on the results of the recent Academy Awards show, “Black Panther,” my fourth place pick this year for superhero films, managed to take home three Academy Awards. None of them were in super major categories. Granted, one of them was score, which to me, is usually a major factor on whether or not your movie is in my top movies of the year for some reason. If I remember your music, chances are I’m going to like your movie. Now, “Black Panther” is nowhere close to being my favorite superhero flick of 2018. But with that in mind, I still gotta give the movie respect, because it did something for comic book movies that has never been done before. Over the years, several movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have received nominations for the Academy Awards. Some include “Doctor Strange,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “The Avengers,” “Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2,” and “Iron Man 3.” None of them have ever won an Oscar. Just this year, “Black Panther” changed that. Because it won 3. While I would say that for every of its categories for which the film was nominated, I was actually rooting for other films, including “The Favourite!” That actually says something because that film was nominated for best picture and I’m still not happy about it to this day! Nevertheless, it won three awards, which to me, shows that the Academy is getting more serious about the action movie genre and the comic book movie genre. They have progressively been doing such a thing in some of their more recent ceremonies with movies like “The Dark Knight” and “Logan.” Although, when it comes to comic-book based films, this is probably the best year Oscar-wise because with the MCU’s first three wins ever, they have another nomination on top of that (Avengers: Infinity War). Plus, as recently mentioned, “Spider-Verse” won Best Animated Feature. In fact, “Black Panther” was one of the eight movies nominated for Best Picture this year. I’m not saying I want more inclusion from comic-book movies, but I love how the Academy is recognizing that comic-book movies can be more than just entertainment. They can be works of art. Maybe I don’t see “Black Panther” the same way as they do, but I see where they may be coming from with it. Although I will say, I’m white. Just pointing that out. Congrats to the comic-book film genre.

Another highlight in terms of awards including some of the acting sections. Starting with Best Supporting Actor, here are the nominees!

  • Mahershala Ali- Green Book (WINNER!)
  • Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman)
  • Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
  • Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born)
  • Sam Rockwell (Vice)

Ah, seems very familiar. I nominated four of these people for the Jackoffs. If Timothée Chalamet was nominated here than that would be five. But whatever. And just like the Jackoffs, Mahershala Ali won! Ali to me is deserving of his win because of the range provided in his performance. Sam Elliott is great, the same can be said for someone like Sam Rockwell. But they seem to play the same character the whole movie. While Ali is technically one guy during the movie, he almost seems to play two. You have this robotic priest, and I won’t go into much more detail, but he reveals more emotion as he develops. Ali is well deserving of his award if you ask me.

Moving onto Best Supporting Actress!

  • Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)
  • Marina de Tavira (Roma)
  • Amy Adams (Vice)
  • Emma Stone (The Favourite)
  • Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)

Out of all of these, I have interestingly witnessed all of these performances EXCEPT Regina King, which is too bad, because I heard good things about “If Beale Street Could Talk.” And I was watching the Red Carpet buildup before the Oscars started, and having seen people commentate on the broadcast, this made King’s win no surprise because it was practically a lock. Out of the ones I’ve seen, my personally favorite without a doubt has to be Amy Adams. She transformed into her character in “Vice!” I will give credit to “The Favourite” in the acting department, especially when you consider two of its actors are nominated in the same category, but it does not save “The Favourite” from being a less than satisfying movie. As far as Marina de Tavira goes, I almost wonder why she was nominated to begin with. I’m not saying she performed badly in “Roma,” in fact she did a great job. But it’s kind of surprising considering how she was never really nominated for the same role anywhere else during this award season.

Now onto Best Actress! Here are the nominees!

  • Olivia Colman (The Favourite)
  • Yalitza Aparicio (Roma)
  • Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born)
  • Glenn Close (The Wife)
  • Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

Melissa McCarthy? What the?! It’s raining cats and dogs! I’ve seen three of these performances, and while there is a part of me that was able appreciate Olivia Colman as a performer in “The Favourite,” I found the performances from say Lady Gaga and Yalitza Aparicio a bit more compelling. And part of my reasoning behind such a statement may be because the two aren’t known for their acting. Gaga is primarily a singer, which also kind of means she has an advantage in her role. But what really wowed me is Yalitza Aparicio, because this is actually the first acting job she ever did in her entire life. For a first-time actor, you’d expect them to give a C performance, maybe a B performance at best. But this to me was no doubt, an A+ performance! And to be honest, part of me was expecting Glenn Close to win. Plus it would have been fascinating because she has been waiting awhile for her award. But if you have seen the Jackoffs, you might be able to gather my opinion on this. TONI COLLETTE WAS SNUBBED!

Lastly for acting, we have Best Actor. Here are the nominees!

  • Rami Malek- Bohemian Rhapsody (WINNER!)
  • Bradley Cooper- A Star Is Born
  • Viggo Mortensen- Green Book
  • Willem Dafoe- At Eternity’s Gate
  • Christian Bale- Vice

To me, Malek’s win was a no brainer. I was appreciative of this performance because of how it was able to transform this actor into a beloved celebrity of another kind. Granted, it is all him, because part of it was due to someone else doing his vocals and I think costume design and makeup go into play with my appreciation as well, but still, he was my pick to win. My second pick would have been Bradley Cooper because he had to learn to sing for his role, and it actually paid off! Out of these performances, I will point out that I’ve seen four of them, the one that I didn’t see is Willem Dafoe, but I also liked the performances from Bale and Mortensen. If I had to choose between them, I’d say Mortensen was the better performer, but if Bale had won, I would have loved to have seen his speech. Because when it comes to the crew on “Vice,” one terrible speech was already provided in the Makeup & Hairstyling category, but had he gone up, I would have been interested to see his speech. I say so because he gave perhaps my favorite speech at the Golden Globes this year, specifically where he says this:

“Thank you to Satan for giving me inspiration on how to play this role!”

HAHAHAHAHAHA! How often do you hear that?! While that might make certain people upset or offended, I thought personally that was one of the highlights of that show.

We have a few more categories to go over, a couple of which include the screenplay categories. Here are the original screenplay nominees!

  • Green Book- Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly (WINNER!)
  • First Reformed (Paul Schrader)
  • Roma (Alfonso Cuarón)
  • Vice (Adam McKay)
  • The Favourite (Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara)

I’m sorry, “The Favourite,” while it has some memorable lines, the screenplay was not even close to being something special. In fact, that’s one of the biggest problems I have with the movie, because this story was trying its best to be compelling, but it felt more drawn out than I expected! And I will admit, I am guy who is willing to appreciate film no matter what kind of movie we are talking about, but even for me, this was too slow! I think the biggest problem was the chapter layout. Because when I first saw it, I thought the chapters represented a three or five act structure, if I recall correctly, it was like nine. I am with “Green Book” as  the winner however. It’s a good story with compelling characters, and some quirkiness behind it too. Then again, it is hard to avoid expecting a good script from a guy who worked on “There’s Something About Mary.” If it weren’t for “Green Book” winning, I would have either picked “Roma” or “Vice.” With “Roma,” it was a script that took a bit of time to get me fully intrigued, but once I was hooked, I was not able to let go. It was investing, emotionally charged, and is capable of showing the occasional unpredictably of life. “Vice” however is rather interesting to me because while it was based on true events, it was able to have some satirical fun. One of the best written scenes of the year comes during the middle of the film where the acts like it is about to end saying the characters live happily ever after and never get in politics ever again. GEN-I-US!

As for the adapted screenplays, here are the nominees!

  • BlacKkKlansman- Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmont, Spike Lee (WINNER!)
  • A Star Is Born- Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?- Nicole HolofcenerJeff Whitty
  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs- Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
  • If Beale Street Could Talk- Barry Jenkins

Surprisingly, while I’ve seen a number of things in the listed this categories this year, this is a category where I’ve seen only two things. To be specific, “A Star Is Born” and “BlacKkKlansman.” I missed out on “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and “If Beale Street Could Talk.” As far as “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” goes, it’s on Netflix and I have don’t Netflix, nor do I ever plan to get it. Enough said. Luckily, of the two I did see, I nominated both for the Jackoffs in this exact category. Granted, I gave the 1 up to “A Star Is Born,” but “BlacKkKansman” is also worthy of your support. Interestingly, and if you watch the movie, this shouldn’t really come as a shock, Spike Lee’s speech was rather critical of Donald Trump. Let’s see how President Orange responded.

REMINDER: This guy won multiple Razzies this year!

A couple more categories to go, let’s move onto Best Director!

  • Alfonso Cuarón (Roma)
  • Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman)
  • Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War)
  • Adam McKay (Vice)
  • Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite)

“The Favourite” might just be one of the best worst movies of all time, because I can clearly tell people are giving their 110% effort throughout the production, but it just didn’t work for me. The directing in the film is actually not that bad and I see why it received a nomination. In fact, all of these directors are worthy of their nominations if you ask me. Although there is no questioning it. Cuarón directed the hell out of “Roma.” Based on how he did this movie, the project felt extremely personal, and the direction felt like everything came right out of his mind. Nothing felt like it came from an outsider or a studio. I am well aware that in life you can’t always get what you want, but it’s nice to get what you want when you are look at things from a directorial point of view. Plus, Cuarón had his hands full with this film. Not only did he have a credit for directing, but he also has a credit for the screenplay, the editing, the cinematography, and even as a producer. He did a lot for one film! He’s like Tommy Wiseau, only difference is that Cuarón was able to create a critically successful movie. I hate Netflix, like with a burning passion, but I will give them credit for quite possibly saying “You know what Alfonso, you’re so f*cking talented. Make whatever movie you want!” I’m imagining something like that went on behind the scenes.

Two more categories to go, let’s pay attention towards the Best Cinematography category! Here are the nominees!

  • Alfonso Cuarón- Roma (WINNER!)
  • Lukasz Zal- Cold War
  • Matthew Libatique- A Star Is Born
  • Robbie Ryan- The Favourite
  • Caleb Deschanel- Never Look Away

And to my lack of surprise, Cuarón takes this award too! If you have seen my last Academy Awards recap, chances are that you’d know that cinematography was probably the category I was most passionate about that year. The reason was due to how one of the nominees was Roger Deakins, who FINALLY won an Oscar for his work in “Blade Runner 2049!” This year, I don’t really have the same passion for that category, but I was able to appreciate a couple of the nominees. “Roma” is a movie that I thought was technically brilliant, and its cinematography absolutely showcases that. SUPER GLAD IT WON! That movie had many shots that made me wonder how they even came about! Netflix, PLEASE. Release a Blu-ray for “Roma!” I want my bonus features! In fact, for the Jackoffs, that movie also won Best Cinematography. Speaking of which, I also nominated “Cold War,” which is unique because it featured a 4:3 aspect ratio, and like “Roma,” it’s in black and white. When I reviewed “Cold War,” I felt that the film’s technical specs were something I could appreciate more than the film’s story, and the cinematography was the biggest standout to me. I can approve of “The Favourite” being nominated, but when it comes to “A Star Is Born.” Some of the shots were nice, but I don’t see why it is nominated. Maybe the set design and the lighting stood out to me, but standard shots are not the biggest standout when it comes to “A Star Is Born.” In fact, a similar movie, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” actually comes to mind when I think of this nomination. There are a number of shots that truly immerse me into the film. This is especially true during the Live Aid scene. The extended run through the audience set the mood entirely for that scene alone. There are certain shots that give you a sense of scope, it’s almost mind-boggling. As for “Never Look Away,” I never saw that movie, so I have nothing to say about it.

And now, for Best Picture. This year there were eight nominees. Out of all of them, I actually had something that I truly wanted to win. Last year I wanted “Dunkirk” to win, but I also missed out on many of last year’s Best Picture nominees. This year however, I actually saw all eight of them. If you wanted to know my pick for Best Picture this year, it was “Roma.” What a f*cking movie. Anyway, here are the nominees!

  • Green Book- Jim Burke, Charles B. Wessler, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly and Nick Vallelonga (WINNER!)
  • Black Panther- Kevin Feige
  • The Favourite- Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday and Yorgos Lanthimos
  • Bohemian Rhapsody- Graham King
  • A Star Is Born- Bill Gerber, Bradley Cooper and Lynette Howell Taylor
  • Vice- Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adam McKay and Kevin Messick
  • Roma- Gabriela Rodríguez and Alfonso Cuarón
  • BlacKkKlansman- Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Raymond Mansfield, Jordan Peele and Spike Lee

I’m gonna do this by talking about the movies that didn’t win first. “The Favourite” and “Black Panther?” You can honestly forget about those two! The pacing in “The Favourite” is horrible and “Black Panther” is not even the best comic book movie of the year! A lot of people go around saying that film is “socially important,” but that has nothing to do with how good a movie is. Just because your film has a black person in it, it doesn’t make it good. What matters is how it was executed. You know what comic book movie was socially important? “Wonder Woman!” And that’s a masterpiece compared to “Black Panther!” AND it wasn’t nominated for any Oscars for its respective year! When I like “Aquaman,” “Deadpool 2,” “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and “Avengers: Infinity War” more than “Black Panther,” you can probably tell what I’m trying to say here about it. “Vice” was pretty good, but ultimately lacking in some sort of substance that didn’t seem to be there as I watched the movie. I appreciate the work that went into it, but some parts of the movie were better than others. “Bohemian Rhapsody” is sort of interesting. I think it is a good tribute to Queen and Freddie Mercury, but it is ultimately just that, nothing more. Sure, there’s good cinematography and a rock solid performance from Rami Malek, but it doesn’t really change the game. Then there is “A Star Is Born.” I thought Bradley Cooper did a great job with that movie because he had a lot to do on it, and not just as a performer. Although when it comes to his performance skills on that film, that’s probably the best part because of how he needed to not just talk, but play an instrument and sing. “BlacKkKlansman” may have been a well written, well directed, and well acted film. But even if you remove all of those qualities from the table, you still have a great concept. An African-American police officer pretends he’s white and infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan! And it’s based on a true story!

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When it comes to the two films left to talk about, I already said what I need to say about “Roma.” It is such a masterful movie. Plus, it partially made me change my mind about how serious Netflix could possibly be in the movie theater industry. Granted, they still have some ways to go, just ask Steven Spielberg, but they’re making progress. I really wanted that film to win, and I actually had high confidence that it was going to win this year. Then Julia Roberts gets onstage, and says the words “Green Book.”

Did not expect that.

But you know what? It’s cool, that was my second pick anyway! I know there’s a lot of controversy surrounding “Green Book” right now, it almost reminds me of “The Greatest Showman.” Part of me might regret watching “Green Book” for that reason alone, but I also have to keep in mind that when I did see the film, I enjoyed what I saw. I thought the screenplay was well done. The chemistry between the main characters went together like bread and butter. And the acting is superb! “Green Book” may not be my pick for Best Picture, but it was certainly worth a watch. It’s got some serious parts in it, but it is almost like a feel good story at times. It’s nice to see the formation of two unlikely friends. Plus, it’s one of those rare times where product placement WORKS. Will I watch “Green Book” again sometime in the future? Most likely. It is a fun watch, and definitely worth your time. Congrats to “Green Book!” Congrats to all of the other nominees!

Thanks for reading this post! The 91st Academy Awards was definitely a surprise! I was expect a mediocre show at best, and it turned out to be pretty good. Would I like a host next year? Certainly. But I am also now open to the idea of a hostless Oscars ceremony. Now that I’ve seen it, it worked out! I gotta give massive respect for the Academy for including all of the awards, and I also want to give a shoutout to Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper for an awesome performance of “Shallow!” You guys rock! Speaking of which, Queen, great opening! Well done! When it comes to my future content, I will be doing a review of “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World!” And also, as of writing this, Scene Before is now three years old! It just turned three recently, I want to do something for the three year anniversary, but if I actually manage to do something, it probably won’t be up soon, because college is keeping me busy. Like, insanely busy. I have some ideas, who knows? Maybe I’ll do the same thing as the two year anniversary? But only time will tell! Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see the 91st Academy Awards? What are your thoughts? Any snubs? Great moments? Do you agree with everything? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!