Apollo 11 (2019): No Conspiracies, It’s Good

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“Apollo 11” is directed by Todd Douglas Miller and is a documentary on the moon landing mission of the same name. It features glances at the mission conducted by astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins, while also revealing unknown footage from the ambitious mission. And appropriately, this movie is just in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the American event.

I don’t usually review documentaries, and honestly, the format that goes into reviewing a documentary is nearly foreign to me because basically everything about it could almost be a spoiler, because… SPOILER ALERT… the movie is based on true events. Well, that is if you don’t believe in conspiracy theories. Although when it comes to my experience to this film, I almost didn’t see this. The reason why I saw this movie is because a friend of mine wanted to hang out and I let them pick a certain film they had in mind. This is not to say that I disliked the film choice, because in reality, I think space is awesome and Apollo 11 is a true feat of an achievement. But due to this film being a month old and it not getting much traction, it nearly slipped out of my mind. The real question is however, was this film worth the trip? Was it worth seeing a month after its American debut? I’d say so. It’s worthy of providing a fine night at the movies. It’s not perfect, in fact, I am reviewing this documentary about a week after seeing it and I am already forgetting portions of it. But for what I do remember however, it certainly happened be worth the price of admission.

One thing I absolutely admire was the vibe of the documentary. As every civilized American would know, the moon landing happened in the late sixties, and this film managed to show off the sixties American culture in ways that almost put me inside the footage. It shows off all of the fads, fashions, hairstyles, and of course, NASA back in the space race. In fact, the tone for it is all set before that, as we see heavy-duty equipment being lifted by machinery at a launch center, all shot on glorious 70mm film.

For those of you who saw last year’s “First Man,” which at this point, I should be calling the Jackoff-winning “First Man.” If you’ve seen “First Man” I don’t know what exactly you expected from the film before checking it out. But if you have seen it, I can tell you that this film goes a lot more into the moon landing than that one does. After all, that film was more about Neil Armstrong as opposed to the mission. This movie focuses on the crew, and makes the mission its core aspect. “Apollo 11’s” biggest strength is its seemingly minimal effort to shoehorn dialogue from interviews and that sort of thing, and just allows us as an audience to witness the mission. It truly feels like you are part of an event while also technically watching a documentary on it. Although I did lose that immersion in one place.

Fun fact about this movie, I actually brought a mini notebook that I purchased at CVS about 9 months ago, and I thought it would be handy for notetaking purposes. It happened to be the first legit time where I would take notes during a film that doesn’t involve writing on my arms or hands and pretending to see what’s being written. I didn’t write much at all, in fact, when it comes to the movie, I only wrote down one thing, and it was the “name” “Gene Krantz.” For those of you who follow NASA’s history, you’d know that is improper spelling, but this movie actually introduced his name for an interview, and provided the recently stated spelling for said name. So instead of Kranz, we get Kranz. I know some people who are space buffs air their complaints when Hollywood screws up how space works, but I don’t work for NASA, I don’t really know everything about outer space. I know someone who works for NASA, shoutout to my good friend, Kayla, you rock! But that’s not the point, so since I’m not a scientist or a space buff or someone who works for NASA, I might as well be a Grammar Nazi. Just the way it is.

But overall, this documentary manages to do a couple of things right, have a pace that flows naturally, and have decent explanations for technical terms for general audiences. There are some visual demonstrations of the actions done during Apollo 11 that had my attention.

In terms of bringing something new to the table for me, that’s actually where this movie suffers, and I wouldn’t call it its own fault. I already know a lot about the moon landing (and its conspiracies), I even did a project on the space race in my freshman year of high school. Therefore when it comes to being quizzed on this film, I might have a slight advantage. Granted, I may be overestimating my abilities if were ever to go to the local bar for a trivia night because that was done at the last minute, it was grueling, and I was four years younger than I am today. Although if there were anything new or fresh to consider, I’d say the trip back home was a breath of fresh air, because during most successful space missions, it’s something I never think about. In fact, when I saw “First Man” back in 2018, I barely got a glance at the trip back home. It was nice to see a bunch of crucial extended moments put together to make this one picture. Overall, I was fascinated, but I would probably never watch this again. If you want to see a briefer glance at this mission, not to mention, a better documentary, and from a different perspective, I’d recommend you check out “Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo,” which dives not only into Apollo 11, but other missions from said time frame. In fact, if you want my review for it from a couple years back, click the link below!

Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo

In the end, “Apollo 11” was a good time at the movies, but it might be the only place where I would have a good time watching this film. I remember this film having an IMAX run at a point, and part of me is disappointed I missed it because this was a pretty hypnotizing theater experience for brief moments of time. Ultimately, this “Apollo 11” has similarities to how I view “Apollo 11” in life. It’s epic, it’s grand, it’s something that is completely unprecedented. I continue to admire Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, and as for Mike Collins… yeah. Not to offend him, but nobody talks about him. Not his fault… Just saying. I’m going to give “Apollo 11” a 6/10. Thanks for reading this review. If you are looking for a movie to watch this weekend, I’m pretty sure that cannot possibly be true because chances are you’re going out to see “Avengers: Endgame.” But if you have not seen the movie yet and want an opinion from someone who did see it, be sure to check out my SPOILER-FREE review of this year’s biggest film (click red box). That way you can decide whether or not you want to get tickets to a 10PM show tonight or to a matinee on Sunday that very likely just has front seats remaining. 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 “Apollo 11?” What do you think about it? Or, what is your favorite space-related achievement? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Avengers: Endgame (2019): The MCU’s Lifetime Achievement

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WARNING: The following post is a spoiler-free review for “Avengers: Endgame.” If you came to this post expecting a spoiler talk, go elsewhere. If you have yet to see the movie, you are safe. Why is this spoiler-free? Let’s sum this up in a GIF.

This would be what I’d witness outside my front window should I even provide one single solitary important secret detail about the film. So Mark Ruffalo, Tom Holland, if you guys are reading this, please use this as a guide for your future interviews and press tours. LET’S GET THIS STARTED!

#DontSpoilTheEndgame

“Avengers: Endgame” is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo and stars Robert Downey Jr. (Chef, The Judge), Chris Evans (Gifted, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Chris Hemsworth (Rush, Ghostbusters), Scarlett Johansson (Her, The Jungle Book), Brie Larson (Room, The Glass Castle), Jeremy Renner (Tag, Arrival), Karen Gillian (Doctor Who, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born, Joy), Don Cheadle (Crash, Hotel Rwanda), Paul Rudd (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Dinner For Schmucks), Danai Gurira (All Eyez On Me, The Walking Dead), with Josh Brolin (Deadpool 2, No Country For Old Men). This film is the sequel to the unbelievably enormous, not to mention, amazing masterpiece known as “Avengers: Infinity War.” Following the events of the film’s climax, the remaining Avengers have to undo the universal effects of Thanos’ snap.

I have to say, when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there are two sides to my thought process on the franchise. There is one side of me that is a fanboy for this big and loud nerd extravaganza from a story and visual effects perspective, and there’s also another side of me, the movie reviewing moron side of me that says this is some of the most corporate bullcrap I’ve seen. In reality, it depends on my mood and the movie we’re talking about. If you take “Avengers: Infinity War” or “Ant-Man” for example, I grin like an idiot. If we are talking about “Thor: The Dark World” or “Captain Marvel,” I honestly facepalm. And between those two, going into “Endgame,” I thought this was going to be more on the “grin like an idiot” side. The trailers and marketing have been very good so far, they seemed to hide a lot of secrets during my glances, and it all happened to make me very excited for the film, which is the job of marketing. In fact, part of “Infinity War’s” story and conclusion, most likely went into my anticipation for “Endgame.” Basically, a lot was at stake going into this film. If this film sucked, I would probably punch holes in a wall with my bare hands. I wasn’t asking for the best movie ever… OK, maybe I was, I dunno. I wanted to see a compelling, immersive, and emotional experience. And guess what? The movie was good! Yay! My life isn’t over! The only question I still have on my mind is this… How good was the movie? I mean, I would definitely consider it above average, but the fact is, as I continue to think about this movie, I am flipping through possible final verdicts because the reality is there’s a lot to process. And because I am not a dick who will spoil everything, I’ll do the same with my final score and just say that there’s a lot that I’m thinking about. I’m thinking about the way everyone’s storylines were interwoven, I’m thinking about the action, I’m thinking about the technical aspects. Although I will point out, I didn’t see the movie in IMAX, so I cannot talk about how the Russo used IMAX technology in this film to their advantage, although based on what I have seen from “Infinity War,” which I did see in IMAX, I imagine they did a very good job in that realm of the cinematography department.

Image may contain: night and screen

The biggest positive that I can give to “Avengers: Endgame” is also one of the biggest positives I can give to “Avengers: Infinity War.” This movie was literally made to be a gladiator-like event. I cheered, I applauded, I nearly cried. In fact, I think I came close to being the most obnoxious person in the entire theater. There’s a moment somewhere in the film that takes a turn that some might find epic, and shortly afterwards, after seconds of cheering, we just cut to another moment where I am in a sold out theater of a tad less than 200 people as I exclaim “YESSS!” This movie is literally the cinematic equivalent of sex, and I’ll show you what I mean.

This movie starts off with an opening scene that simply put, got me in the mood to see what’s next. Practically speaking, it was like lighting a candle. When the title shows up, I went from being in the mood to craving every last drop of this movie. While this movie has many standout moments, including multiple love letters to the previous films that came before it, I would say that the first couple of hours of this movie, which I’ll call the building block hours, were a bit on the slow side. Granted, I don’t mind slow, as long as its good, and this actually was good slow so I will give the filmmakers credit where its due. But nevertheless, it does kind of slip into that territory where there are pacing issues. But it is balanced out by fan service, great looking shots, and even fantastic writing. I think one of the right moves for this film production-wise was getting the Russo Brothers to direct, since they already have background knowledge for “Infinity War.” As far as I know, these movies were shot back to back, which must allowed them to process both films and treat them as one. After all, I remember back when “Infinity War” was announced, it was marketed as “Part 1” and “Part 2.” So in reality, the fact that these two movies play out the way they do is less surprising having “Infinity War’s” background knowledge. And it actually just hit me, because Anthony and Joe Russo have now directed four comic book movies, all of which are in the MCU. Coincidentally, even though not all of them are centered around Captain America, his character manages to make an appearance in each movie they have done. In fact, without giving my grade for this movie, when it comes to the comic book movie genre, they’re probably in the debate right now for “greatest comic book movie director(s) of all time.” For me, I would have to think about that for awhile but based on their batting average prior to this film, I think that notion is certainly in consideration. “The Winter Soldier” is a fun and engaging action thriller. “Civil War” is a great mini-Avengers story. “Avengers: Infinity War” is… the f*cking bomb, by definition.

Sticking to my main point however, this is like riding a roller-coaster (or sex). The beginning is a bit down the fast lane, almost like riding an Amtrak train. Then you trek up the heights, and the movie does that for a long time. Then… the final hour begins. And you begin squealing with enjoyment upon the adrenaline rush you are about to go through. It is literally the geek equivalent of getting the best deals at Target on Black Friday before everybody else. If you have ever seen the movie “Ready Player One,” you know how epic that last big battle was? It was almost like watching that! This is yet another achievement for the Russos, somehow from one movie to the next, there’s always a big battle, and the game is stepped up each time. The climax of “The Winter Soldier” was very compelling and exciting. “Civil War” had the airport fight, which was freaking sick. “Avengers: Infinity War” had the awesome fight on Wakanda where most of the Avengers happened to be present. Out of every throwdown or fight that was done, this was not just the greatest throwdown in the MCU. This is not just the greatest throwdown done by the Russos, it is up there with some of the best action sequences in comic book movie history, not to mention, film history itself.

Remember, “Star Wars: Episode I?”

“It’s so dense. Every single image has so many things going on.”

Yyeeeah… It’s kinda like that, but it’s actually a quality product.

Oh yeah, Hawkeye. Let’s talk about him. For those of you who don’t know, I manage to share a popular opinion with others that Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye is not even close to being the being the best character in the MCU. I mean, what do you expect when your superhero identity is someone shooting with a bow and arrow as the definition of “Generic White Dude?” For years, I have considered Hawkeye to be that “other Avenger” who just shows up. Well, guess what? Forget about that in this movie! Because… HAWKEYE IS AMAZING IN THIS MOVIE! His story, his motivation for being in his current state, everything about him! There is literally not even that much I can say about what happens on screen during “Avengers: Endgame,” but one of the things I can say is that Hawkeye, or in this case, Ronin, changed my perception on his usefulness as character! Let me just remind you of something I said in a post I made last year.

“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*

Yeah, I said that. And I would have still gone to see the movie if he sucked, but now I actually would WANT to see a movie with him.

Distracted Boyfriend Meme | RONIN MOVIE REVIWING MORON HAWKEYE | image tagged in memes,distracted boyfriend | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

And by the way, I made a meme, I hope you like it.

Let’s continue this lovely discussion by talking about Thanos, which if you’re unfamiliar with Marvel…

He loves the word “kill” so much that he would do anything to make it the definition for literally every word in the dictionary. He also may be an ass, but he’s pretty f*cking kickass. I think I made it pretty clear in previous posts that I consider Thanos to be the best Marvel Cinematic Universe villain ever. And in this movie, while it doesn’t display him to be as cool as he was in “Infinity War,” he’s still sick. And I will say, part of that may be due to how everyone was motivated to tell this story. “Infinity War,” if you think about it, was a Thanos movie. Yes, it is has Avengers. Yes, it is called “Avengers.” But it’s about Thanos’ quest and the Avengers are trying to stop him. It does not treat the Avengers as the villain, but it makes them feel like they fall into the territory of less important or secondary characters. After all, when you have a large heroic team taking on a guy who must have survived some tragic Purple People Eater massacres, along with his children, not to mention minions, someone has to be the main character. And I think this was a good idea because it allowed every hero in “Infinity War” to have their moment. Now, this movie is about the heroes, and I cared about them more than I ever have before. 22 movies in, I better give a s*it for all of these heroes. And again, Hawkeye… HOW?!

Also, I don’t have much else to say, but if I had to add in anything else I would need to point out Captain Marvel, because she does have her own movie which came out a month ago, but now she is here as a part of the Avengers team. Let me just say, I didn’t have the best things to say about the “Captain Marvel” film, but I kept an open mind going into “Endgame” and maybe things will turn around, which personally, things did. One skepticism I had however was triggered prior to watching “Endgame.” I say so because I found out how Captain Marvel’s scenes in “Endgame” were shot before Brie Larson actually started working on her solo film. It just felt weird to know considering “Captain Marvel” is an origin story and in terms of production, it is done after a big story involving her now established character. I guess there is an excuse to make here because while Brie Larson might have gotten a feel for her character while shooting for “Endgame,” this movie and “Captain Marvel” took place during different time frames. “Captain Marvel” took place in the 1990’s, and this film is a little more modern in terms of its setting. As time moves on, we may change our attitudes, so more I think about it, maybe I should provide some definite leeway to Brie Larson.

One other great part about this film is that it really does feel like as its title suggests, the freaking endgame. I honestly think it is fair to compare the Marvel Cinematic Universe film series to one gigantic TV show. If this were a TV show, it wouldn’t be hard to doubt that this is the series finale. Granted, there are still plans for the MCU after this film, including some TV shows coincidentally, but it really does feel like an end. I know we’re getting “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” I know we’re getting “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” I know we’re getting a “Black Widow” solo film, but if the MCU were to end here and not make a single movie in its series ever again, I’d be fine, because as of now, I feel satisfied.

In the end, “Avengers: Endgame” is a fantastic conclusion to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we currently know it. I got emotional, I got cheery, and I got an epic thrill ride. Despite reading several theories on the Internet, and having various predictions of my own, this movie does manage to have some surprises, kind of like “Infinity War.” And just like “Infinity War,” I won’t dive into a single one of them. And if I had to be honest with you, when I saw “Infinity War,” that was my favorite MCU film. This film is definitely up there with the best, but it is not my favorite. But if you know my typical verdicts for MCU films, you’d know that they are usually above average. In fact, my lowest grade is currently a 4/10, which this movie is not. And I honestly still need time to marinate all of my thoughts on this film. Part of me feels like I need to watch it once more just to provide the best verdict possible. But for now, I really enjoyed “Endgame,” and think its a great finale to a series I’ve been attached to for years. I’m going to give “Avengers: Endgame” an 8/10. The fanboy side of me is saying this film is a masterpiece, but there is that other side of me that remembers the film’s pacing. I don’t mind three hour films, but there are a couple moments, not many, but a couple, where I felt this film’s pacing slow down. Maybe it’s because I was seeing this film at 9PM, which I never do for films in the cinema, but the pacing is worth noting. Nevertheless, I do want to see “Avengers: Endgame” a second time, and buy the 4K when it comes out. We’ll meet again, one day.

Thanks for reading this review! I actually wanted to publish a couple pieces of content before this, but based on timing, motivation, and college finals, it just wasn’t the best time. However, over the next week or so, you guys can look forward to some new content including reviews for “Apollo 11,” “Shazam,” and “Long Shot.” However, I am about to finish my first year of college, which means I’ll have some more time on my hands for this blog and going to see movies. I promise you (at least I’m trying) that I will deliver you some excellent work over the summer! Bring on blockbuster season! Let’s do this! If you’re new around here, be sure to follow Scene Before with a WordPress account or email before I snap you out of existence! I want to know, did you see “Avengers: Endgame?” Stupid question, I know, chances are you did, but still, what did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite series finale? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018): Terry Gilliam’s Snail Crawl

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“The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” is directed by Terry Gilliam (Brazil, Time Bandits) and stars Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Girls), Jonathan Pryce (Glengarry Glen Ross, Tomorrow Never Dies), Stellan Skarsgård (Good Will Hunting, Mamma Mia!), Olga Kurylenko (The November Man, Oblivion), and Joana Ribeiro (Madre Paula, Dancin’ Days). This film is about a film director named Toby who runs into a Spanish cobbler from his past. Said cobbler believes himself to be Don Quixote. Throughout the runtime, the movie displays the two’s adventures.

Now this movie is actually pretty special, not necessarily to me, but to the history of cinema and its director, Terry Gilliam. If you know Terry Gilliam and what he has done in the past, you’d know that he has worked on multiple “Monty Python” films, “Brazil,” and “Time Bandits.” Regardless of the movies that he made in the past that general audience members do know, this is one that a bunch of people may have known by name, but never have gotten a chance to look into. Because this has a special place in cinematic history. It’s a movie that has embodied the term “development hell.” No matter how hard this visionary tries to successfully make a film, he fails. Actors keep getting sick or losing interest, sets break apart, funding goes down the drain, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria! In fact, as several sources suggest, including the film itself in its opening titles, this took about three decades to complete. And if you notice some of the casting choices and complicated set pieces in the film, it is somewhat easy to see why.

But the question I have is this. Is the movie too outdated for today’s era? Does it tend to hold up? I honestly think it does. While I have not seen any of the “Monty Python” films to this day (almost saw “Life of Brian” once though), I can see why people come back to those films, and the humor, from what I gathered, must have translated from those films into this one. In fact, when it comes to this film, it is nothing short of hysterical! The chemistry between the two main characters is delightful, and even reminds me of George and Lennie from “Of Mice and Men.” It’s not exactly a precise comparison, but if you have been exposed to both properties, you’d be able to see why I’d say that.

In fact, part of me is almost surprised that this movie’s story turned out as well as it did, because when it comes to “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” I really heard a lot more regarding its production value and whatever comes from the technical side of things, which we will get into momentarily, but I am almost surprised that the story turned out as well as it did. Granted, with this much time to work on a production, it would be somewhat expected that the story would go through tons of revision to get the best possible product. And I think, while not perfect, the story is definitely worth noting. Conceptually, the idea of someone thinking they actually ARE a character they’ve played in their past is nothing short of genius, but even some of the greatest ideas had poor execution. Hey, let’s make a “Star Wars” film where Darth Vader is a kid! It’ll be full of digital creatures, critical space politics, and highly choreographed fighting! Alright! Chop chop! We’ve got until 1999, let’s party like it’s the end of the world!

I already talked about the dynamic duo of this film, but when it comes to their individual characters, they are kind of great on their own. In fact, Adam Driver’s character sort of reminds me of myself in some ways. He’s a director who is really into his craft, he tends to remain somewhat calm but is not afraid to be honest, and he seems somewhat motivational too. I think Adam Driver was good casting, and despite watching the documentary “Lost In La Sancha” and doing research on this film, I honestly think that it is hard for me to see anybody else playing Driver’s character. As for “Don Quixote,” I thought he was perfect. It is only April, and I don’t even know if I will technically qualify this film as a 2019 movie, but if I do, Jonathan Pryce as Don Quixote is the best performance of 2019 thus far. He’s basically Gandalf if he collided with an elementary school teacher. Compared to Driver, Pryce is hyperactive, upbeat, and often speaks in a much higher pitch. Then again, when you’re still the guy playing Kylo Ren, you’re going to need to practice in order to continue possessing your dark and brooding role. In fact, this duo’s chemistry is so good that when the movie moves toward’s its climax, all the buildup to it is definitely worth showing. I won’t go into the climax, but something really weird and interesting happens. Yes, that’s completely vague, I don’t care, figure it out for yourself. This allows yourselves to use your imaginations, it’s powerful!

As far as this movie goes as a production, I think the cinematography is great, the locations almost come out of a storybook, the sets are complicated to the point where you would either wish to visit them or at least wonder how they were conceived. It definitely has that feeling you would get out of a “Lord of the Rings” film, although in a slightly smaller scale, which isn’t really a bad thing. There are some neat edits to be seen, and if you watch the movie, you can definitely get an image as to why this took years to make. Just seeing the first windmill within minutes sets the tone for the entire movie (alongside the opening titles), I knew I was in for a ride, and I definitely walked out with… what’s a tamer version of an adrenaline rush? In fact, when it comes to my experience, the movie tends to showcase that 110%, because I saw this film under an engagement from Fathom Events since they were saying the film was going to be in theaters for one night. Turns out it is a getting a VOD and theatrical run starting this weekend, but still. As part of the event, I stayed for the credits and got a quick look into how the film was made. In fact, it is easy to tell that everyone was passionate about Gilliam’s project. There was even a brief clip with Adam Driver saying “I just love his movies.” Knowing Gilliam’s track record, it is easy to see why. In fact, one of my most recent reviews was for the movie “Us,” and I said that the movie intrigued me enough to make me want to take a glance at “Get Out,” I can say something similar about seeing this movie and Terry Gilliam’s filmography. I kinda want to watch more “Monty Python,” “Time Bandits,” (my dad is BEGGING me to watch that), “Brazil,” and perhaps whatever else he has up his sleeves. Let’s just hope his future projects don’t fall apart like this one!

In the end, “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” is a marvelous movie for cinematic adventures! Knowing the backstory behind this movie, this is what it must have been like. You’re a kid trying to build a complex LEGO set, one in which you have been putting years of effort into only to have your younger sibling smash it to the ground. Again. Again. And again. Knowing that such a development hell-esque movie could turn out like this, gives me hope for the industry going forward. I’m glad that the end result had come out to something that feels the opposite of someone just wanting to get something done so they don’t have to do it again. You know, kinda like when you’re a dad dragged by your young teen daughter to a One Direction concert. Terry Gilliam has obviously put his heart and soul into something that isn’t quite perfect (much like this film’s progress), but is definitely worth highlighting as an important piece of art in cinematic history. I’m going to give “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” an 8/10. Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon I’m going to have my review up for “Apollo 11,” the recent documentary which reveals footage of the mission of the same name. Also, next week, we’ve got some important movie news! If December 25th is Christmas, then APRIL 25th is Avengersmas. Wait… Avengersmas? Endgameas? Endgamas? Infinitymas? Marvelmas? Whatever, I’ll let everyone have their own interpretation on the matter. One of my upcoming reviews, is for the biggest movie, well… ever. 22 installments, 11 years, no reboots, and a crapton of end credit scenes. Next week I am going to “Avengers: Endgame” opening night and holy crap, it is rare for me to have this much anticipation for a film! I am honestly shocked myself because I’ve often thought of some recent installments to the MCU as less memorable compared to some others, but not only do I have faith in this one, but this is practically an event. And I am certainly glad to be a part of the event. April 25th, you cannot come soon enough!

Also, last week I revealed a trailer for something I am calling “Project 2020,” I figured if you guys didn’t see it yet and have some sort of curiosity as to checking it out, I will provide a link to the video down below, please check it out. Or don’t, it’s your guys’ world and I just live in it. Be sure to follow Scene Before with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote?” What did you think about it? Or, what is a movie that you like that is known for going through some kind of development hell? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Project 2020: ANNOUNCEMENT TRAILER

“Project 2020”: ANNOUNCEMENT TRAILER

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Guess what, guys?! a new “Star Wars” trailer is out! Let’s talk about it! Before we dive into that however, I got to be somewhat honest about the new “Star Wars” trilogy. It’s kind of a mixed bag. “The Force Awakens,” admittedly, is one of my favorite movies of 2015, if not my #1, but “The Last Jedi” is one of those movies that had elements that could have paid off but it nearly sullied the reputation of the franchise for me the more I thought about it. I didn’t care for the new characters, I was disappointed to say that Leia’s story in the movie was not her best, and while Mark Hamill’s performance as Luke was probably his finest, the way the writing was handled when it came to his character was a tad sloppy at times.

Y’know what? Forget it. I’m not talking about “Star Wars” today. Let’s talk about me.

Wait, why is everybody leaving?

Come back!

We’ve got things to talk about!

In fact, let’s not dive deep into the new “Star Wars” trailer all that much today, I want to talk about something that I made. I have recently put together one of the most epic trailers of all time, and it’s for something that is going to be put on this blog! What is it? I’m calling it… “Project 2020.” Yeah, that’s a good name for it. The final details are not yet set, partially because production has been taking years (literally), but in all likelihood, it is going to contain big explosions, solid directing, superb acting, and lightsabers. Yes, “Star Wars” fans, you heard that right! I now give you, the first, and most likely not last, trailer for “Project 2020.” Enjoy.

Project 2020: ANNOUNCEMENT TRAILER

Avengers: Endgame Ticket Buying Insanity

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! In case you hate reading post titles and/or their implications, tickets for “Avengers: Endgame” have officially gone on sale this week! Several sources were suggesting that they would go on sale April 2, and whaddya know? Those sources cannot be denied! Now if you’re curious, I actually already snagged my tickets, but it wasn’t easy. I had to push people out of the way! I had to knock over an old lady who wanted to go see the film with her grandchildren when it came out! I was basically a maniac.

OK, no, not really, in the age of the Internet, that would almost be unlikely.

Nevertheless, the process of buying tickets for “Avengers: Endgame” was insane. When seeing “Star Wars Episode VII,” it was easy because I originally bought tickets for a week and a half after it came out, and I managed to snag some for opening weekend as well inside a less than popular theater because someone I knew wanted to see it right away. I also saw a few more “Star Wars” films after that and while I managed to find myself in a scenario where lots of people were buying tickets, I had little to no trouble actually getting them. With this upcoming “Avengers” movie, I knew getting tickets was going to be competitive, but I did not think it would be insane.

I don’t know what exactly happened, but when “Infinity War” was coming out, I was able to browse through movie theater and third party websites with ease, allowing me to have a critical thought process on where exactly I wanted to see the movie. This year however, I was originally planning on going to see “Avengers: Endgame” at the AMC Assembly Row 12, because it’s on the way home from school and I can meet my dad there. That did not work out.

I went on multiple sites to get tickets. AMC, Fandango, Atom Tickets, and Movietickets.com. All of my attempts to get tickets from those sites ended with failure. I start searching times at other nearby theatres. I eventually notice that one theater is missing from my Google list. Specifically, Showcase Cinemas de Lux Revere. I decided just for fun, I’d go onto the Showcase Cinemas website, which admittedly, is not a perfect website. It’s not buggy per se, it’s just not something I would call… competent. I search my information through a very confusing process and find a bunch of showtimes listed. I search through one, specifically for 9PM. I call my father and ask if he cares what time I chose, he didn’t. Granted, I didn’t tell him this was a three hour movie (seriously), but based on both of our excitement levels for this film, I don’t think he’d care all too much. So I choose the 9PM time, and I get EXTREMELY lucky by getting not necessarily the last seats, but the last good seats where dad and I can sit together. Movie theater companies, how many times do I have to tell you this? THIS IS WHY I HATE RECLINED SEATING! You get less seats, therefore you have less people getting in, and now the competition to get a seat is fiercer than it has ever been! I wouldn’t mind reserved seating in a case like this, but reclined seating is still on my enemy list. Anyway, we get our seats, we’re a little towards the back, which I don’t mind, because that means seeing the screen is a guarantee. I managed to breeze through the surprisingly simple process of getting my tickets. Now let me tell you what would have happened if I stuck with Fandango.

On Tuesdays, I leave my house at 9:30 to go to school, so I originally thought since it was almost 8:30, why not get tickets when I have the time? When I go to click on my preferred time, I get a rather unexpected screen with a background promoting the movie. On said background, I get some text saying that I have apparently entered a virtual line. O-K??? I thought the purpose of buying tickets online was to avoid ticket lines! Nevertheless, I have entered the line, and I have over fifty minutes until it is “my turn.” I am thinking to myself, “Oh no!” I’m never gonna get tickets! How does someone wait this long and get tickets? Granted, I was not the only one in line, but how long was the line half an hour ago? Why half an hour ago you ask? That is around the time tickets started going on sale. I get down to forty minutes, and this doesn’t seem too bad, I could get my tickets just before leaving my house. We get around to 35 minutes. Time is going by. Tick-tock! Tick-tock! Tick-tock! Soon thereafter, I glance at my screen, I now have to wait over an hour! So, essentially, I could either stay home and get an unexcused absence from one of my classes, or go on the train and press my luck there. Here’s the thing however, if I close the tab, I then lose my place in line. I have to pack up my laptop for school, because I do stuff on my laptop while I am out and about. What if I close my laptop? Would I lose my place then? This is really hard! I almost considered going to the theater and buying the tickets physically because the theater I originally wanted to go to is on the way to school. But I also didn’t want to disappoint myself by finding out my preferred screenings were sold out.

Let me put this into perspective, the theater is about 20 minutes away from my house by car. It can also take just a tad longer to get there by public transportation. So basically, if I wanted to by tickets AT THE THEATER LIKE A CAVEMAN, it would probably be quicker and more convenient than staying home in my comfy pants buying tickets through Fandango. I’m just thankful that we have smaller theater chains like Showcase Cinemas, because without them, I probably almost wouldn’t have gotten tickets to see this movie on its opening Thursday! OK, they’re not really THAT small, but you don’t see a lot of them on the west coast.

In fact, I am not alone, because I follow one guy on social media by the name of John Campea, here’s what he has to say.

On the bright side, he is getting to see the movie before it even comes out, but he also wanted the feeling of going to something with an energetic audience. In fact, shortly after the tickets went on sale, he did a five to six hour livestream of his daily YouTube series, “The John Campea Show,” where he talked about it alongside his co-host, Rob Meyer Burnett. As the livestream was going, he was still trying to buy tickets through AMC! Seriously! When is the last time you watched a live sports-related talk show and see someone trying to buy tickets for the Super Bowl?

One of my favorite parts of all of this happens to be the memes, because they are PERFECT.

In fact, I made my own meme about something that’s not quite the same thing as this situation, but it’s close enough.

You’re very welcome, web junkies.

This post is not necessarily meant to be important, it’s almost like a diary entry if you ask me, but let’s be real here. While AMC and other popular movie ticketing websites were in trouble, Fandango definitely had a plan. Fandango didn’t say “error” when you entered their website, you could click your time and press your luck at getting tickets. You just had to wait in line. But why the f*ck should I have to do that?!

THE WHOLE POINT OF ONLINE TICKETING is to conveniently score tickets possibly before anybody else, not having to leave your house, not having to talk to strangers, not having to talk on the phone with Kramer from “Seinfeld,” and NOT WAITING IN A LINE. Congrats, Fandango! Not only did you make me wait in line, but you allowed a bunch of people to apparently CUT ME in line, but now I could have easily compared this experience to going to the box office, except in that case I would actually be allowed to pay in cash! Also, I have an account under you, so thanks very much for disappointing your support base.

I’m not exactly sure how to fix this sort of thing since I don’t deal with IT all that much, but there’s gotta be some way to prepare better. Right? Let me know in the comments, with all of your jargon intact, on how all of these movie ticketing outlets can prepare better for the next big movie.

Thanks for reading this brief, unimportant, almost unnecessary post. This is honestly just me sharing a story that stood out to me recently, and it is also my reminder to you all that I WILL be seeing “Avengers: Endgame” on opening Thursday. As far as the review goes, I will have it up as early as possible. I might stay up Friday into the morning if I have to, but that depends on how much I am going to talk about. Granted, this is a big movie, and I know that someone’s life would ultimately be ruined if spoilers were given away, so I will guarantee no matter what, my review will be spoiler free. Be sure to stay tuned for the end of the month for that! Be sure to follow Scene Before with an email or WordPress account to stay tuned for more great content INCLUDING my “Avengers: Endgame,” or even smaller projects such as my review for “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” which I plan to put up next week. I want to know, do you plan to see “Avengers: Endgame?” And I also want to know, did you have any crazy stories to share about buying tickets? What about for other movies? For movies that are not “Avengers: Endgame,” what crazy ticket-buying stories do you have to share? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!