My Top 10 Movie Crushes

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Earlier this week was Valentine’s Day, or as single people like me call it, February 14th. And that’s about it. When I watch movies, one of the main reasons why I glue myself to them is for all the well-developed and thought out characters. Sometimes, a movie can immerse me to the point where I feel like I am a part of their world. Sometimes the movie takes me from reality to fantasy, and in that fantasy, I sometimes see myself as a part of another character’s life. Maybe even to the point where I would want to hold hands with them. Perhaps even take things further. That is why I am taking this Valentine’s Day week to discuss my top 10 movie crushes. Now you may notice, unlike other top 10s, such as “Top 10 BEST Movies of 2020,” I am calling this “My Top 10 Movie Crushes.” There is a reason for that. Unlike my other countdowns, this is one where it is not only subjective, but perhaps one that could only be contained within my identity. I am a 21 year old straight white male, so do not interpret this as characters you should have a crush on as well. Even if you are a 21 year old straight white male, I am not saying you should agree with this. Your emotions and identity are your own and I am in no way trying to brainwash anyone.

Now let me just make one thing clear. These picks are on CHARACTERS specifically, not the ACTORS that play them, although as you’ll see, that may be a contributing factor. So instead of saying for example, #10 is Megan Fox, I would go with a character they play such as Mikayla from “Transformers.” Plus I should note that some of the actors who portray these characters are more distant from me in terms of age today, whereas a good portion of the characters are relatively close in one degree or another, so I hope this may end up making this list less awkward for some readers. Also, another rule, I need to have seen a movie the character is in from start to finish in order for their presence on this list to count. So, that eliminates a lot of “Bond” characters, Linda Barrett from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” and Madison from “Splash.” Also, even though I am a guy, I am not here to confuse anyone. This is not a list of the “Top 10 Sexiest Movie Characters.” We are not diving into that stereotype, although as you’ll see, looks will play a factor. With that being said, let’s get this list going! These are my top 10 movie crushes!

#10: Lorraine Baines/McFly (Back to the Future)

There has been a period over the past year that reminded me of how batcrap insane “Back to the Future” really is. It is a film where the protagonist goes back in time in a car, has to get his parents to fall in love, so they can f*ck, therefore having him and his siblings. The problem is, the protagonist’s mother lusts after him after he is hit by what just so happens to be his grandparent’s car. Holy freaking crap. I’ll admit, since my early teens, I’ve always had some attachment to Lorraine in “Back to the Future.” She’s attractive, somewhat nervous but also someone who knows what she wants, and from a fashion standpoint. Every outfit she wears suits her well. If I saw her in a room, I would immediately introduce myself as Calvin Klein. Now keep in mind, this list comes from someone who is 21 years old, therefore I should emphasize that when it comes to the “Back to the Future” timeline, I am mainly talking about 1955 Loraine. Although apocalyptic 1985 Lorraine is kind of sexy too, even though part of the reason for that is because Biff Tannen is practically going all Jabba the Hutt on her and giving her the most self-angering outfit in the world. But if I had to pick one to have by my side, it would be 1955 Elaine. I would take her to a dance if I had the opportunity. Plus unlike apocalyptic 1985 Lorraine, who again, is hella attractive, is perhaps somewhat brainwashed into a rich man’s lifestyle. Although part of me would want to help her escape it (because part of her maybe wants out from time to time).

#9: Tauriel (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug)

I love “The Lord of the Rings.” Want proof?

I just bought this bad boy in January. Well worth the $150.

But I was one of those people who happened to stumble upon “The Hobbit” prior to watching “Lord of the Rings.” To be fair, I was in my early teens, the films were PG-13, so I missed out on the hype train back in the day. However, when the “Hobbit” trilogy came out, I saw them all in IMAX 3D. I did it for the first film. I did it twice for the second film. And I also did it twice for the third film. I was hooked to the fantastical wonderland of Middle Earth at the time. So of course, since I repeatedly watched the trilogy, I easily got attached to Tauriel, played by Evangeline Lilly. If I had to pick one person to fight alongside on this list, there are a few that I would go with, but I assure you that Tauriel would be one of the top contenders. I will say, despite vastly enjoying “The Hobbit” as a trilogy, one of its problems through all three movies is that the dwarves are nearly disposable. Yes, they have their personalities and stories behind them, but it is almost difficult to keep track of all of them and remember them. So that’s why I’d say Kili is one of more attachable individuals in the group, due to his love connection to Tauriel. I buy their chemistry, even if it is somewhat comparable to say “Romeo & Juliet” at times. But it is not to say that she cannot be great on her own. She can rock a bow and arrow, her combat is sleek as much as it kicks butt, and technically speaking, based on one scene from “The Desolation of Smaug,” she’s arguably qualified enough to be a medical professional! Oh, did I mention that Elvish is such a fun language? Even though I don’t exactly know a word of it, I stand by that statement. Yeah, I think many “Lord of the Rings” fans would agree that for the most part, if you want a partner by your side, try to convince one of the elves to have lunch with you and see where it goes.

#8: Vanessa (Deadpool)

Morena Baccarin has been a frequent player in geek culture. She was in “Firefly,” “Serenity,” CW’s “The Flash,” Fox’s “Gotham.” But the role I’ll probably remember her for the most is Vanessa in “Deadpool.” The film is one of the rare attempts in the comic book movie genre to take things into R-rated territory, and it goes for it. Excessive language, graphic violence, and as for Vanessa and the film’s lead, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), the two are quite a couple. The two are cute, charming, and of course, horny. One scene of the film that stood out to me every time I watched it is the sex montage. For starters, it was the first R-rated hardcore sex scene I saw in a theater, not to mention an eight story IMAX. While the whole movie is not a sexual extravaganza, you know, all it is just a little violent, just a little heavy on language, just a little rambunctious on action, that scene defined the romantic tone that partially intertwined with the rest of what the movie had to offer. Vanessa is not just a stud that lusts after one of the sexy Ryans from Canada, she is charismatic, knows how to have fun (I’d take her to an arcade, personally), and when she was in pain, I felt for her. I wanted her to live. And even when she is in distress, she is notably capable of defending herself. Also, while this may be more of a compliment to Baccarin than anybody else, I love Vanessa’s hair. Even since I was young, I think I’ve had a thing for brunettes. Vanessa, or Morena Baccarin depending on how slice it, is just part of why.

#7: Lisa (Weird Science)

When I think of a mind in film that defined the 1980s, that would have to be John Hughes. The man wrote and directed several movies that continue to come up in conversations today. Movies like “The Breakfast Club,” “Home Alone,” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” When it comes to those last two, I cherish them to a high degree because of how much I can attach their personal concept to my life. I like privacy, even as a kid I enjoyed it. As for school, while education may be essential in some cases, I did not go because I wanted to, I went because that is how society works. But one film Hughes did that I thoroughly enjoyed was “Weird Science.” If you want a wacky 1980s comedy where life is whimsical and crazy, this has that vibe. And of course, there was Lisa. This pick is just the first in a recurring theme on this list. Women that do not have the same life experiences as a regular person. Look, I could start this description off with the obvious. Lisa wears slick outfits that can turn a guy on. But that’s only a sliver of why she is on the list. Yes, when she is introduced, she comes out wearing almost nothing, which as a result, gets our two main characters, Gary and Wyatt, rather excited. Then we move onto the next scene where they shower with her. I think every teenager to a degree has imagined something crazy like that at some point in their young lives. But all of what I just said revolves around looks, which if that were the case, Lisa would be either lower on the list, or off it entirely. So let’s talk about her personality. Well, this is almost everything a young boy would want in a girl. She is fun, not afraid to take risks, explorative, honest, although maybe a little too honest. Because there is a hilarious scene where Lisa lets herself loose and explains to Gary’s parents that he plans to party with a bunch of teenagers. She even goes into explicit detail about it!

You know, there’s going to be sex, drugs, rock-n-roll… chips, dips, chains, whips… You know, your basic high school orgy type of thing. I mean, uh, I’m not talking candlewax on the nipples, or witchcraft or anything like that, no, no, no. Just a couple of hundred kids running around in their underwear, acting like complete animals.

-Lisa

In this scene, Gary does everything he can to defend himself, say that he is not doing anything crazy, including trying to tell his parents that he does not masturbate in the bathroom, despite Lisa outright confirming it to their faces! The scene overall is just wild. I was not always like Gary. I was never the party type of person in high school, although I am proud to say I won “Best Dancer” in the yearbook. I was never invited, nor did I ever go. It was just never my thing. I felt like it would have people perceive me to be a type of person that I am not. Even though I just turned 21, I do not drink. I do not smoke. I do not do any drugs. But at the same time, this movie sort of makes me want to have someone in my life that could allow me to have some fun, let myself screw around, boost my popularity. I imagine this is sort of similar to the philosophy about “girls liking bad boys.” While I wouldn’t call Lisa dangerous, she is edgy. She has all the qualities of an admirable person if you ask me, but at the same time, she sort of pushes the envelope. Did I mention she’s attractive? Yeah, that too.

#6: Ava (Ex Machina)

“Ex Machina” is a fascinating film. Much like “2001: A Space Odyssey” was back when it came out, “Ex Machina” is an intriguing glance as to what could happen if we rely on computers and use them for purposes that practically make them our slaves. Except in this case, the movie specifies more as to what happens if we deeply humanized a computer to the point where it is almost a part of our kind. It has our emotions, our thoughts, our way of processing what is in front of us. In fact, we kind of achieved that in real life. In Saudi Arabia, they have a robot that has been given citizenship. While I am not at the point where I have yearned for a robot in real life, I can confirm that part of me would not mind getting to know Ava from “Ex Machina” on an intimate level. Now, while not all robots are capable of love, part of Ava’s many human-like traits is that she has an understanding of romance, the connection between one lover to another. She even ends up having feelings for the film’s lead, Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson). I can see myself falling for her in the same situation. We do a bunch of tests together, get to know each other, interact, it’s almost like a date to some capacity. Plus, as I am doing each test, I particularly happen to view Ava more as a subject than a friend, so if I keep coming back to her, it is sort of in the same way I keep coming back to a passion project. Part of the beauty of a romantic relationship is getting to explore life with someone else, getting to explore the world with someone else. In the case with Ava, I would not just be exploring my life with her if we were together, Ava would arguably be exploring the concept of life in general. After all, in this film’s timeline, she was recently built. She has never even been outdoors. While relationships are 50/50, I would not mind having a major dash of credibility by taking Ava outside for the first time. I know I am a guy, which kind of suggests that looks play a major factor into a relationship, but do I care that she goes through the film with nearly no skin? Heck no! In fact, the Academy seems to agree with me, because the film won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects! Ava sounds like someone I would take out to dinner, then explore the city with for hours. Then I would teach her everything joyous about humanity, although maybe I should watch myself before she forms an army with a plot for world domination. I guess that’s a good reason to keep her lower on the list.

#5: Art3mis/Samantha (Ready Player One)

Not everyone agrees with me, but I think “Ready Player One” is one of the best films of the past few years. It is a visual effects-heavy thrill ride through a virtual reality world in 2045. If I lived in 2045, I would totally flock after Samantha, otherwise known by her username, Art3mis (pronounced similar to Artemis). Early on in the film, we see Wade Watts, also known as Parzival, racing for a key to aid his quest to own the OASIS, the virtual reality world where everything seems to matter. So much so that real life is meaningless. After all, there is nowhere to go. Nevertheless, during the race, he gazes upon a woman riding on a bike from “Akira.” Turns out, through his personal observations, this girl is not just anyone, it is Art3mis. He knows everything about her, not exactly in a stalkerish way, but it comes pretty close. Their first encounter in the film is near the end of the race where Parzival forces Art3mis to bail out to avoid getting slaughtered by King Kong. The two eventually get to know each other, even discussing what they know about the founder of the OASIS, James Halliday. The reason why I love Art3mis as a character so much is because of what she represents in the realm of the Internet. I mean this is not only from a crush perspective, but from a perspective where two people can simply be friends. It is that you may not always know who other people actually are. They could end up being your best friend, but in reality, unless you somehow have met them in person or maybe over Skype or something, there is a chance that the person you’re talking to is of a completely different identity, or not even a person at all. Art3mis represents that Internet fantasy that somewhat feels legit, but also feels faraway because you either live nowhere near the person or you barely know them in real life. As for the character herself, I like my nerds, she knows her references, so personality-wise, Samantha checks the boxes. Plus, I really like the design of her avatar in the OASIS. The movie does a really good job at making me fall for someone that does not feel like anyone else I’d meet. It would be someone I would dream about that maybe is not even human. It takes me to another world. Plus, the dress she wears in the Distracted Globe scene is utter fire. Art3mis is the quintessential encapsulation of your basic Internet friend. You may not KNOW them, even when you feel like you know everything about them. Or in some ways, you just want to get to know more and more about them by the second.

#4: Joi (Blade Runner 2049)

This is one of the more unique entries to the list, because this character is technically not a woman. Nor is it a human. It is a hologram. I give you Joi, the love interest to Ryan Gosling’s K in “Blade Runner 2049.” After I watched “Blade Runner 2049” a couple times, part of me began to fall for the actress playing Joi, Ana de Armas, and part of it is not only because she looks attractive, but because she encapsulates a person that knows very little about the world around her. I am not saying she is stupid, but keep in mind, again, she is a hologram. She is programmed. She is manufactured. The movie makes it clear that Joi is in fact a product and K is only a consumer of said product. In some ways, Joi is like Fox News. She rarely does something because she sees it as beneficial to her. The way I look at Joi as a character, she is there to serve her partner, perhaps her master. Tell them what they want to hear. She is not just someone in their life, they are a cheerleader, a motivational speaker. At the same time, it feels like this character wants to go through a journey of self-discovery. There is a scene where she is seemingly amused by rain, while also enjoying the moment with her partner. Also in some cases, she’s practically the 2049 version of Seri.

(referring to Frank Sinatra’s “Summer Wind”) “Did you know this song was released in 1966 on Reprise Records? It was number 1 on the charts…”

-Joi

Ana de Armas provides such an intimate, sensual, emotional, and all round cute performance that when she would fizzle, my jaw would drop a little. I have a couple concerns about her character, one long term concern being if I were in the “Blade Runner” universe, and if this product were successful, it would perhaps nearly antiquate the traditional human to human relationship, thus making the species die out overtime. Eh, we’re overpopulated now anyway. If there’s a balance between real and artificial, who knows? It might help. Although technically, the movie does show that one can make love with Joi while she syncs into someone else’s body, so reproduction may still be possible, as long as a third party is involved. My one question is this, are there male versions of Joi? Because thus far, Joi has mainly been marketed as an attractive, supportive woman, most likely for straight men. Can Joi transform into another gender? I kind of want to know more about this if we get another “Blade Runner” film in the future.

#3; Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Iron Man 2, Marvel Cinematic Universe)

Look, I’m a guy. And a lot of my picks partially base themselves around attractiveness. If you thought Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow would be an exception, then clearly you have never met the Movie Reviewing Moron. If there is one girl I would hang out with in a bar in the MCU, the answer would be Natasha Romanoff. I will admit, despite what I said about Vanessa and my potential thing for brunettes. Over the years, I think I have learned that I may also like redheads. Although I should note that even in “Avengers: Infinity War,” where she is blonde, Romanoff is a ticket. But my crush on Romanoff started pretty early when I saw her in “Iron Man 2.” I will admit, I watched 2012’s “The Avengers” before watching “Iron Man 2,” but my first actual attraction to her began in “Iron Man 2,” even though she probably looks her best in “The Avengers.” The fast-paced action scene in the white hallway towards the end of “Iron Man 2” is enough of a showstopper. Romanoff is incredibly kick-ass, sexy, and every outfit she wears suits her. Did I mention Scarlett Johansson’s voice? It is commanding and it makes you want to watch her do anything. Like… type a document. Or write in a diary. Or read a book out loud. If I were perhaps 13 and making this list, there is a solid chance that Romanoff could potentially be #1, because at that age, I am more about looks, whereas personality is just some added bonus points. I say this because even today, I cannot directly pinpoint much of her interests. She kicks people in the face and makes it look sexy. What else can I say? Plus her backstory is not really explored all that much until “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” meaning that it took 5 years and a phase in the cinematic universe to start exploring more about her character. And yeah, I know what she does for work. She’s with the Avengers, she’s a spy, but I also want to know more about what she does for fun. I mean, the MCU has 23 movies so far, with a 24th HOPEFULLY arriving in theaters this May, and that movie is a Black Widow-centered prequel. I got to know Black Widow over the years as an ass-kicking Avenger who looks like she’s way out of my league, can rock a bunch of different outfits, not to mention hairstyles. I want to know more about HER. Hopefully the upcoming “Black Widow” film can shine a light on the subject.

#2: Lana (Risky Business)

There are two movies starring Tom Cruise that I often debate as my favorites of all time, “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” and “Risky Business.” While I will say Vanessa Kirby is quite good looking as The White Widow in the former, today we are going to be talking about the latter. We are going to be talking about Rebecca De Mornay’s character, Lana, from “Risky Business.” This film is one that gets better with every viewing, and as one who looks back at his high school years with mixed feelings, I sort of relate to this film. For those of you who have not seen the film, Joel Goodson, a teenager in his senior year of high school, is convinced that while his parents are away, he needs an excuse to let himself loose and have some fun. This gets to the point where he calls up Lana, a prostitute, who has sex with him all night. The next morning, after Joel fails to provide $300 for the services, she leaves before he can return to his house. Also missing, a Stueben glass egg. From the moment Joel tries to retrieve it, the moment he finds Lana and the two escape from Guido the Killer Pimp, they prove that they are a 5/5 in terms of chemistry. But also what makes Lana a fine entry to the list is De Mornay’s sensual performance. She always has this futuristic, other-worldly quality to her. She does a really good job at capturing the “girl out of my league” vibe that maybe Lana was supposed to represent. After all, when she is introduced, she is not just a girl, she is the listener to Joel’s demands. That is until he has to pay $300 and the two become friends and work together to overcome each other’s obstacles.

Oh yeah, and they make love on a subway. No big deal.

Will say though, the only turnoff I have about her is that even though she does feel somewhat sensually rebellious in various ways, is that she will occasionally smoke. If I were in the scene on the lake where all the characters get high, there’s a good chance I’d repeatedly tell everyone that I don’t smoke. It’s the same reason why I put Lorraine Baines lower on the list, because she does smoke in the scene where Marty is in the car with her. I don’t want to judge people for smoking, that is their choice after all, but for all I know, Lana could be a bad influence and get me to join in, and I do not want that. This is why I never had a chance with girls. I do not drink. I do not smoke. I do not party. Okay, enough with the self-deprecation, let’s move on.

#1: Wonder Woman/Diana Prince *Gal Gadot interpretation* (Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Detective Comics Extended Universe)

Here’s a question. Who won the fight in “Batman v. Superman?”

The answer, Wonder Woman!

Yeah, Wonder Woman is probably my favorite of the heroes in the current Detective Comics Extended Universe. She has a fleshed out backstory that is magical as it is intriguing, she can wield a sword like a boss, and her battle cry is just glorious. Let me just put it this way, there has rarely ever been a moment that a character in any movie has commanded my attention like she has just from thrusting into battle with an epic yell. Sticking with a recurring theme on this list, one reason why Wonder Woman is on here is likely because of her other-worldliness. She starts off in the mythical island of Themiscyra, comes to Earth with Steve Trevor, where she is the fish out of water, and she learns the ways of mankind overtime. She encounters some friends and foes along the way, making her into the wonderous being she is today. I did not have many thoughts on Gal Gadot originally being cast as the iconic heroine, but the moment I witnessed her on screen when I saw “Batman v. Superman” in IMAX, I was in love. First off, can we just admit that by herself, Gal Gadot may be one of the most gorgeous actresses working today? I’ll admit, in some of her earlier roles, including her first go as Wonder Woman in 2016, I was a little worried because her line delivery was occasionally flat, but her physical presence that I think many performers would vie for sort of makes up for it in parts. Sometimes I glance at her and she looks like someone who watched us from space for years, but somehow she decided to join us in the end. However, Gadot has definitely improved as a performer over the years, and she has nailed the role of Diana Prince harder with each attempt. Even in “Wonder Woman 1984,” which I will admit, was not my favorite of the DCEU movies to have come out. Going back to the character herself, the reason why I admire her as a heroine is despite her superpowers, despite being the pinnacle of all things mighty for women, she is not afraid to show her emotions. She is a god, but she is also quite personable. Kind of like how Chris Hemsworth’s Thor has been portrayed in recent years. But this all harkens back to the point that when it comes to a character like this, one that has the qualities of a human, one that has the qualities of an earthling, but also one who I can teach in a way or another, that is why Diana Prince is the wonder of it all. Plus, unlike Ava from “Ex Machina,” I would personally like to know more about Prince’s world. I would love to see Themiscyra, what the people there do for fun, maybe stay there for awhile. I cannot just one-side the entire relationship to just my planet. I have to show interest in where Diana Prince came from, how she grew up, what she appreciated about life before earth. And having seen all of her story in the DCEU so far, I do care. I think Diana Prince and I would get along fine, maybe more so than Chris Pine. To quote Vitruvius from “The LEGO Movie,” “All this is true because it rhymes.”

For those who want to know my opinion, I think Marvel makes better movies than DC right now. DC seemed like they were getting on the right track with “Aquaman” and “Shazam,” but then “Birds of Prey” and “Wonder Woman 1984” came along. but let me tell you the truth, if I wanted to spend the rest of my life with a character from one of those universes, I’d pick Diana Prince before anyone in the MCU. Let’s look at it this way. Part of the reason why Black Widow is on this list, not to mention part of why she is so high on it, is because of my attachment to her since my early teens that has not really gone away. And as I mentioned, I really do not know her as a person, although it is something to maybe get to know eventually depending on where things go. If I had to make this analogy any simpler, Natasha Romanoff may be fun to hang out with in a bar, maybe for a one night stand. Diana Prince has looks, she has personality, she seems to take life one day at a time, and she sounds like an optimist. And I’d say that Natasha Romanoff shares those qualities as well, but if I had to choose one person, I’d choose Diana because I’d probably end up liking her more for, well… her, than maybe I would for Natasha.

The only thing that I could think of that would keep me away from Diana is if I develop a habit of lying. Either to her or other people, because her lasso would probably bash my brains in. Other than that, I love her.

Thanks for reading this countdown! I hope you enjoyed this, well, pretty late to be a Valentine’s Day special, but you gotta do what ya gotta do. The best posts take time, not a Sonic the Hedgehog style rush! Speaking of posts that take time, I want to let you all know that on February 28th, I will be announcing the nominees for the 3rd Annual Jackoff Awards! The ceremony will take place two weeks after, on March 14th. I am also currently working on reviews for “Minari” and “Judas and the Black Messiah.” I will hopefully have both of those up soon. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account, also like the Facebook page so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, are there any characters in film that you desire? Remember, the key word is characters, not actors, this may provide a slight difference at the very least. Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Nomadland (2020): Chloe Zhao May Be the Next Big Director to Watch

“Nomadland” is directed by Chloe Zhao (The Rider, Songs My Brothers Taught Me) and stars Frances McDormand (Fargo, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), David Strathairn, Linda May, and Charlene Swankie in a film where a woman journeys through the American west and lives her life as a van-dwelling nomad after losing everything during the Great Recession. It is also based on the book, “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century,” written by Jessica Bruder.

“Nomadland” is a film that I have been looking forward to for a long time. My first memory of the film, or more specifically its title, is during the 2020 Venice Film Festival, one of the few things that actually happened that year when it comes to movies, because the film won multiple awards there, including the Golden Lion, which is basically that festival’s equivalent to Best Picture. But that’s not all the praise the film got. The film won the honors of Best Picture through the National Society of Film Critics, the Gotham Awards, Boston Society of Film Critics, Chicago Film Critics Association, and it seems “Nomadland” is only going to continue its hot streak. “Nomadland” was recently nominated for 4 Golden Globes, including Best Picture- Drama. And Frances McDormand was even nominated for a SAG Award for Outstanding Actress.

Statistically speaking, “Nomadland” is impressive, and I think that is part of why it is getting an exclusive IMAX run. Having seen the film myself, “Nomadland” is not the traditional style of film that one would expect to get an IMAX run. The film was made for somewhere around $4 to $6 million, way less than the traditional blockbuster that would usually meet the criteria. I feel like if it were not for the endless critical acclaim before the film came out, it would not have gotten this release in the first place. In fact, as of writing this review, that is all where it is playing. “Nomadland” is out everywhere on February 19th, plus Hulu, but as of right now, you can only see it in certain IMAX theaters. So as a fan of the brand and as one who wanted to see “Nomadland” as soon as possible, I took advantage of the opportunity.

Having walked out of the theater, I must address the hype surrounding the film. If I had to make a guess, I think most people would say that “Nomadland” has the highest chance of winning Best Picture at the Oscars this year as of now. Granted, this is coming from someone who was not the biggest fan of “Mank,” so I may be biased.

Oh my lord, “Mank” could have been ten times better.

“Nomadland” is a good movie, but to call it the masterpiece of our time is a bit excessive, at least to me. What do I like about it? When it comes to recent film, I think “Nomadland” stands out as one of the best displays of one’s slice of life. I was around in the late 2000s, when the Great Recession started, but I was still a kid. I barely had a concept of money so I did not have a full understanding of everything that was going on at the time. Nevertheless, “Nomadland” presents Fern as one of 2020’s most relatable characters, even though I never knew anybody precisely like her. Yes, I know people who have vans, I know people go around the country in vans. But to my knowledge, I never knew anyone who spent a great portion of their time living in a van. This film presents a character with unique traits, but they utilize her uniqueness to harken towards concepts that relate to a lot of people. Fern is a likable woman. She is a hustler, she is patient, she is kind, but she is not afraid to go after what she wants.

One of the best things I can suggest about an actor is when they give a performance that makes me say “I cannot imagine anybody else playing that character.” In the case of “Nomadland,” that statement is true when it comes to Frances McDormand, who already has two Oscars under her belt, and it is difficult to determine whether “Nomadland” will earn her a third, but her performance is certainly a contender. Not only does McDormand have an ideal look for her specific character, but her mannerisms are perfect at times. Her performance feels raw, kind of like the rest of the movie. The way this movie is done kind of feels like a vlog if it were completed in a cinematic style and if it was highly enhanced in the editing process.

Not only does Frances McDormand nail the look of her character, but Chloe Zhao and her crew also nail the look of “Nomadland” itself. “Nomadland” shines with some of the best framing of the year, and a filmmaking style that feels cinematic, although nearly documentary-like. I mentioned just a moment ago that this feels like a vlog. And I mean that, because even though vlogs are completely different from movies, they do a really good job at showing a slice of one’s life. “Nomadland” is not my favorite film of the year, but when it comes to 2020’s slices of life, it stands out. And I would also say that they managed to release this film at the right time because we are in the middle of a pandemic where the future is uncertain, not only in terms of our social lives, but the economy as a whole.

If I had to point out the best part of “Nomadland,” it would have to be the locations. Whoever decided on the locations that went into the final cut has my eternal respect, as they are an integral part as to what makes the framing extremely likable. And as much as I would hate to make a COVID-19 comparison, I have to. The way I would describe “Nomadland” is this… Imagine that I test positive for COVID-19. I lose my sense of taste. But I can still walk, I can still breathe. I don’t have any problems internally. I just need to isolate for 14 days or until whenever it goes away. “Nomadland” is a somewhat unfortunate, nearly depressing film at times, but it also trails along in good spirits. There is nothing in this film that is excruciatingly painful to watch. Nothing tear-jerking, nothing over the top emotionally charging, almost nothing that comes off as an eyesore. There are one or two moments that help the movie earn its R rating, but other than that, nothing really disturbing. “Nomadland” is a film that I feel is core viewing during the current awards season for many reasons, and you should definitely check it out when it gets a wider release.

In the end, “Nomadland” is a film that takes you places. Aside from taking you to an Amazon Distribution Center, a desert, the inside of a van, etc., it takes you to a world full of likable, quirky characters. The film has some memorable dialogue, including one line towards the end of the film that will stick with me when it comes to the 2020 cinematic slate. Frances McDormand gives a solid performance as the main character of Fern, and I think she could be a contender at the Oscars. As for the director, Chloe Zhao, I cannot wait to see what she does with “Eternals,” and this movie gives me hope that she can crank out a killer blockbuster. I am going to give “Nomadland” a high 7/10.

“Nomadland” is playing in select IMAX theatres wherever they are open. If you are interested in watching the film somewhere else, it is getting a wider release on February 19th, where it opens up in more theaters with a simultaneous debut on Hulu.

Thanks for reading this review! Last night, I just saw “Minari” starring Steven Yeun, so I will be sure to have a review up for that as soon as possible. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account, and also check out the Facebook page so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Nomadland?” What did you think about it? Or, what do you think is the biggest awards season contender this year? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Herself (2020): A Woman Builds a Home, Clare Dunne Builds Her Career

“Herself” is directed by Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia!, The Iron Lady) and stars Clare Dunne (Spider-Man: Far From Home, The Cherishing), who also happens to have a story and writing credit for the film. Also in the cast we have Harriet Walter (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rocketman) and Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones, Suits) in a film about a woman named Sandra who wants to escape an abusive relationship with her husband. In a revolt against a broken system, Sandra vies to build a house so she can ensure safety for herself while raising two daughters.

“Herself” is a film that I’ve heard about for over a month, but when it comes to movies on Prime, the one that has been getting all the buzz lately is “One Night in Miami,” which I tried. I really wanted to like it, but it did not sit well with me, and I say that as someone who saw it twice. It had some good performances though between Leslie Odom Jr. and Kingsley Ben-Adir, it just was not my favorite film that I have seen in recent memory. Although when it comes to “Herself,” that has been getting a lot less attention. Less people have seen it, and I say this as someone who lives in the U.S., there is a chance that a film like “Herself” is automatically going to get less attention as it is primarily produced by British and Irish companies, and the film itself takes place in an Irish background. I say this despite knowing that the director did “Mamma Mia!,” which is popular among a number of crowds, and the fact that she even directed Meryl Streep to win one of her Academy Awards. The film did however premiere at Sundance, and soon thereafter Amazon bought the rights to it. This is where we are today. The film is available for free on Prime, so I thought I would give it a go.

What did I think? Let me just start off by saying that if one studio has been consistently solid for me throughout the year, it would have to be Amazon. Granted, their business model for releasing films has increased in prominence given the current pandemic, but for the most part, they’ve been cranking out good movie after good movie.

Well, except “My Spy.” Can’t believe it took five months after a press screening and a studio exchange for me to talk about that crap!

But let’s consider what Amazon has done this year. “The Vast of Night,” “Radioactive,” “Sound of Metal,” “I’m Your Woman.” All these films are worth watching. I’d say that “Herself” stands amongst these solid movies, although if I had to pick one to go back and watch again, I’d pick “Sound of Metal” before this one. “Herself” is a wonderful, charming, occasionally gritty, and somewhat motivating film. Before I saw this movie, I did not know much about it, therefore I had no idea that one of the writers of the film happens to be the star. I think that is why I’ll say Clare Dunne gives one of my favorite performances I have seen in recent memory.

When it comes to the brilliant performance from Clare Dunne, you can tell there is a bit of a personal touch to it. In fact, there actually is, because Dunne points out in an interview that when she was auditioning in New York during pilot season, a friend reached out to her saying she lost her home in Dublin. At that point, Dunne looked up Dominic Stevens, who self-built a home in Ireland for €25,000. At that point, Dunne thought she should make a movie about a single mother who goes through a similar situation. I think Dunne hit the mark hard on this film. I think her performance partially benefits from her having a writing credit, meaning that she probably had more time to envision her character and how it should be, and I would say that maybe aside from Ben Affleck’s performance as Jack Cunningham in “The Way Back,” Clare Dunne’s performance as Sandra may be the most personal portrayal of 2020. She has moments of happiness, delight, anger, despair, sadness, her role is diversified of emotions and Dunne gives herself plenty of things to do. Given how the Golden Globes were announced and Dunne did not appear on the list, I doubt Dunne is going to get the awards potential she deserves, but I think I will look back on this performance for a long time.

While the screenplay of the film may not end up being my #1 of the year, I cannot deny that it is fantastic at times. The film starts off and gets straight to the point. It does not waste much time, it introduces our characters, and goes licketdy split into our main conflict. Part of me was already on the edge of my seat and ready to see where this journey would go next. I knew who to root for, who to bash on, all of it. Everything was quickly set up in just a matter of one to two minutes. When it comes to set up, “Herself” is perfect.

I will say though, the film did nearly lose me at times. Granted, it is an intimate project with a smaller budget, but there are select moments where I nearly doze off. There are also moments where I got my head back in the game, but it does not make me forget the times where I almost snoozed. Pacing could have occasionally been better, but the film is still a good time.

Actually, you know what? It’s not a good time. It’s a great time. I say that because the film ends with a subversion of my expectations. I will not go into much detail, but it is a contender for the best ending of 2020. Not only because it comes out of nowhere and changes the entire pace of the movie, but because it balances a bunch of emotions at once. In a short description, it is kind of bittersweet. I will not say anything else because I want to leave all my readers as blind as possible, because that is practically how I went into “Herself.” Watch it, you might not regret it.

In the end, “Herself” is a charming story that highlights abuse, how one wants to get past it, and ways in which one can build a better life. Clare Dunne is a performer that I now have my eyes on. I think in the future, we will be hearing her name a lot more. I think she has the potential to build her career similar to the way her character attempted to build a house. Would I watch this film again? Not right away, but give it some time, and I may come back. Phyllida Lloyd crafted a fine film, and I am happy to have seen it. I am going to give “Herself” a 7/10.

“Herself” is available exclusively on Prime Video for all subscribers.

Thanks for reading this review! Today I just saw “Nomadland,” which is going to be out on Hulu February 19th, and it will simultaneously debut in theaters wherever they are open. Although for the next week or two, you can catch the film in select IMAX theatres. I saw it in IMAX today and cannot wait to talk about it. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account, and check out the Facebook page to stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Herself?” What did you think about it? Or, have you ever built a house? Tell me what that was like. Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

The Little Things (2021): Jared Leto Steals the Show and Warner Bros. Almost Steals My Money

“The Little Things” is directed by John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr. Banks, The Rookie) and stars Denzel Washington (The Equalizer, Training Day), Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody, Night at the Museum), Jared Leto (Blade Runner 2049, Suicide Squad), and Natalie Morales (The Grinder, Dead to Me). This film is about two cops who try to track down a serial killer.

“The Little Things” is the latest film from Warner Bros., the studio that was supposedly set to save theatrical exhibition this summer with “Tenet,” only to have it underperform in various markets and have them simultaneously release a ton of movies, including this one on HBO Max the same day it hits theaters. What do I think about that? Well, if things went right, which I will tell you as one who often backs filmmakers, things did not go right, I think this is not only a blow to the movie theater industry, which has already suffered enough over the past year, but also shows that an entire studio can kind of get away with avoiding contractual obligations (like the fact that “Dune” was supposed to be a theatrical exclusive) and go behind clients’ backs. Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins get a ton of money for this deal? What about all those other people responsible? I am not going to deny that there are perks in case you live in a state where theaters are closed, in which case, I am happy you can have the opportunity to watch these movies, but this is one giant double edged sword as an avid supporter of theatrical exhibition.

To avoid making a tangent longer than it needs to be, I will say off the bat, having seen “The Little Things,” this does feel like a film that would have gotten away with being a streaming premiere. Whether it ends up in some theaters or not, it kind of has that “watch at home” feel. This is not an enormous mockery on the film by any means. It’s sort of a mockery, but it is not to say it is entirely terrible, but there are times where it kind of has a television feel. In fact, one of the film’s actors, Jared Leto, happens to agree.

“They think they can just make so much more money with the bigger event movies. They found that for television, if they can do something that’s episodic, then people still enjoy those kinds of stories. I’m not saying they should stop making movies like ‘The Little Things,’ but I do think if you talk about like ‘The Undoing,’ people like to spend more time with those characters. And there’s less stigma going back and forth from television to film.”

While I cannot say I have seen “The Undoing,” Leto seems to have a point.

Although if you want me to be real, “The Little Things” is not that great. Let me start off with the positives however. “The Little Things” is a well-directed and well-cast film. The feel is borderline expansive yet intimate, and it flows all the way through. In fact, all the lead cast members portray their roles with proficiency. However, this film has problems and they too need to be addressed.

People say that art is subjective, therefore film is subjective. Those people are not wrong. My subjective opinion, “The Little Things” is a little boring. I was able to keep my chin up all the way through, but for all I know it may just be my luck. “The Little Things” is one of those films that starts off slow and stays that way for the entire movie. I feel as if I am starting to say this more often than I should but it bears repeating. Slow does not equal bad. Slow is great if it is executed well. Anything can be great if it is executed well. Whoever thought “The LEGO Movie” would work? Not everyone, that is for sure. Guess what? It is my favorite animated film of the 2010s. Anything can work if you know how to deliver on the concept. Sadly for “The Little Things,” the almost snooze-worthy first half allows the movie to fizzle. It does pick up however, and the second half is worth the price of admission. Without going into detail, my favorite parts of the movie is when situations get heavy and we see characters interact with each other in scenarios that could become more tense by the second. The film also kind of gets twisty, and I dig it.

I will state once again, one thing that truly sells “The Little Things” are the performances. Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, and Jared Leto are all likable in this film. Denzel Washington has this sort of mellow feel to him. Rami Malek plays a suave-looking detective and I almost cannot imagine anyone else playing his character. Malek’s performance here allows him to continue to define himself as an admirable actor. He already has an Academy Award on his shelf for his role in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and while I do not think he will get as much recognition for this performance, Malek’s portrayal tends to reveal that he will continue to commit to his craft.

As much as I like Washington and Malek, who are both talented and reveal themselves as competent in their own rights, the star of the show is Jared Leto. Jared Leto has honestly been a controversial name for me over the past few years, and not necessarily because I hate him, but because his roles have gone from somewhat underwhelming to unbelievably great. He basically went from playing the worst live-action Joker in “Suicide Squad” to encapsulating something beautiful with Niander Wallace in “Blade Runner 2049.” Keeping the latter in mind, I liked Jared Leto in “Blade Runner 2049.” In “The Little Things,” he is another animal. Because this movie presents itself as an opportunity where he can just let himself loose. And it is not like a live-action cartoon or another Jim Carrey or anything, although I do think Carrey would have done the role properly if it were in his hands, it’s just a crazy guy who occasionally says some kooky lines and has these oddball mannerisms. Some of the stuff he says just flies off the tongue and it intrigues me every time. If you plan to watch “The Little Things” this weekend, I will say that if you watch for Rami Malek or Denzel Washington, you might not be disappointed with either of those two, but I think you may want to *stay* for Jared Leto. After seeing his performance here, I am now more curious about “Morbius.” I did not think I would say that. Well done, movie!

In the end, “The Little Things” is solid in some parts, but noticeably dull. There are probably more positives than negatives, and I would not refrain from watching it a second time, but if I had to predict which movie I would be talking about in the most positive light by the end of the year, it would not be this one. There are still reasons to watch it, and it is from a likable director, specifically John Lee Hancock. Have you seen “Saving Mr. Banks?” Watch it! Now! Although it does have a plethora of personal issues to keep me from calling it the next big thing. Just because this is entertaining, does not mean it cannot make you nearly want to fall asleep. I am going to give “The Little Things” a 6/10.

Minor sidenote, the movie also comes with a brand new Warner Bros. logo. We’ve kind of seen teases of it during films like “Tenet” and “Wonder Woman 1984,” but if I am not wrong, “The Little Things” is the first film where we get to see the new standard edition of the revamped logo, and it does not seem to disappoint.

“The Little Things” is available now in theaters and on HBO Max for all subscribers at no extra cost. Get your tickets or subscribe to HBO Max now to enjoy your experience.

Thanks for reading this review! If you are a movie fan like me, you may follow the awards circuit. And now as the Movie Reviewing Moron, I am here to remind you that the circuit is not complete without me throwing my hat into the ring. This March I will be doing my 3rd edition of the Jackoff Awards, this time focusing on 2020 in film. If you want to watch the trailer promoting it, scroll to the end of this post. Speaking of 2020 in film, one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, “Nomadland,” is FINALLY coming to theaters. It was supposed to be in theaters this December, only to get pushed back due to COVID-19, and while it is not going to be fully released until its simultaneous theatrical and Hulu debut on February 19th, “Nomadland” is now playing in select IMAX theaters. And next weekend, one of my local spots is going to be getting this movie. I already got my tickets, and I cannot be more excited. Be sure to follow Scene Before with an email or WordPress account, and check out the Facebook page, so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “The Little Things?” What did you think about it? Or, are you planning to watch the movie in the theater or on HBO Max? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

The 3rd Annual Jackoff Awards TRAILER (Tenet Final Trailer Style)

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Today we are unveiling the all new trailer for The 3rd Annual Jackoff Awards! As of now, the ceremony has an official release date! That by the way, depending on how things go, is March 14th. I said this ceremony would take place this winter and I choose to honor that timeframe. Promises made! Promises kept! I feel like a politician!

For those unfamiliar with the Jackoffs, or for those who need a refresher, the Jackoffs is a ceremony I do every year where I take a good portion of the year’s films and nominate them for the achievements they’ve reached. It’s basically the Scene Before version of the Oscars. We have categories like Best Animated Feature, Best Cinematography, Best Director, all of which are an appetizer for Best Picture, which to avoid predictability, is chosen by popular vote. This year could be tough because movies in general have not done as well in recent months, but I will do my best to decide whether a popular vote is worth keeping or worth discarding.

If you remember, the last trailer I did was basically a teaser just reminding you that the ceremony was happening, where I did a tribute to one of my favorite game shows on the air, NBC’s “The Wall.” However, for this trailer, I am sticking with the theme of 2020 cinema, because I have decided to do this trailer in the style of one of the year’s most talked about films, “Tenet.” Considering this, I am showing a bunch of clips related to the 2020 cinematic calendar with Travis Scott’s “The Plan” playing in the background.

I should remind you, this trailer will likely not reflect all the movies that will be nominated. There is a good chance that all these movies could be recognized, but as for whether they will get a nomination for the ceremony, that remains a mystery. I admittedly still have movies that I need to watch in advance to make a certain part of the ceremony possible. And unlike ceremonies such as the Golden Globes or the Academy Awards, which are bending their rules slightly this year to allow films like “The Little Things” or “Judas and the Black Messiah” to be nominated, I am only going to accept films that had a theatrical premiere or release from January to December 2020. Although films like “Minari” and “Nomadland,” which premiered virtually in 2020 and are going to be theatrically released later on will count should I get around to them.

The 3rd Annual Jackoffs hits Scene Before on March 14th, with nominations being announced on February 28th! Watch the brand new trailer and get ready for a ceremony that will remind you that winning is not cancelled!

One Night in Miami (2020): Four Icons, One Average Story

“One Night in Miami” is directed by Regina King (Ray, If Beale Street Could Talk) and stars Kingsley Ben-Adir (Vera, The OA), Eli Goree (The 100, Race), Aldis Hodge (Brian Banks, City on a Hill), and Leslie Odom Jr. (Murder on the Orient Express, Central Park). This film is also written by Kemp Powers, who wrote the play of the same name. The story revolves around four black men, Muhammed Ali, Malcom X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown as they meet in a hotel room and discuss their places in the Civil Rights Movement.

This film premiered last year in one cinema, appropriately in Miami, Florida. But of course, since I don’t live in Florida, and I don’t plan on setting foot there for some time, I did not see the film when it came out. However, the film has expanded to other territories, including my very own Massachusetts, and put itself on Prime Video for all subscribers. I decided to watch the film at home considering my supposed need to use my Prime subscription at one point or another.

You’re welcome, Jeff Bezos… Gosh I miss Sears.

Either way, going into “One Night in Miami” I did not watch any trailers (that I recall), and I do not think I read any synopsis or description about the film. Other than the facts that the film is on Amazon, directed by Regina King, and set in Miami, I knew nothing about this film. To me, it was almost like “Summerland” before I saw that film. Also, please watch “Summerland.”

With this in mind, I want to bring up something that movie viewers occasionally bring up. The power of marketing. Part of this is due to my lack of knowledge of the film, but going into “One Night in Miami,” based on the title, it almost seemed to be set in modern times, and it sort of had this “Entourage” feel to it. Everything felt kind of sexy.

This is the kind of confusion that comes about from not watching trailers. The film is vastly different from what I expected to be, both in terms of overall vibe and the storyline. I guess you can say part of this is my fault for perhaps being a lazy critic and not doing my homework, but at the same time, there are points where going in blind for a film has enhanced the experience. Perhaps doing so makes it worthwhile, because it gives you a fresh perspective and allows you to watch everything as if (or perhaps in a more literal sense) you were about to watch it for the first time.

With that being said, I wish “One Night in Miami” were a better movie. There have been some good movies over recent years involving the Civil Rights Movement and African American history. Movies like “Selma” and “Hidden Figures.” Both were entertaining and a great reflection of their respective times. Now, I wanted to like “One Night in Miami” and going back to what I just said. Knowing what a movie is about sort of improves the experience. When it starts, you have this boxing match. So I think to myself, “Is this a boxing movie?” Then I see a concert. I ask, “Is this about music?” Not really. It’s one of those movies where things sort of come together, but it took awhile for my brain to click and put all these elements into a puzzle. So, maybe it is my fault for being a brick, but nevertheless. During that time, it sort of shows that the movie needs better pacing. I sat on my bed wondering if this movie was going to go anywhere, and it felt like we spent an eternity trying to answer that question. I like when movies make the viewer ask questions. That can be engaging. That can be exciting. But for whatever reason, this movie took longer than an Amtrak ride from Boston to Washington DC to get me going.

I will spit out some positives though. For those who do not know, this is Regina King’s first feature theatrical release under her direction. King reveals that she has chops to be a competent director in the future if she decides to take on more projects. I would not mind seeing another drama from her. Maybe if she keeps that up, she could helm a blockbuster. I have faith she can continue to visualize solid content. As for how good that content will end up being, that is another question. Because I was not fully impressed with this outing.

With that in mind, getting invested in the main four characters almost felt difficult because I spent almost an hour just wondering whenever things were going to pick up. At the same though, it was fascinating to hear the four main characters interact, mainly because they all had a natural sense of chemistry. There is not one moment or slice of dialogue that did not feel wasted or unrealistic. All of it was raw, and occasionally compelling. I thought it was fascinating to see a transformation of Cassius Clay as he goes from one identity to another. But the man who’s story intrigued me the most has to be Sam Cooke.

The movie does a fine job at highlighting that despite the color of his skin, despite his heritage, despite coming across a supposed success, Cooke is perhaps partially aiding in the contributions of white people to a degree, including the Rolling Stones. Hearing him speak with Malcom X and listening to him reveal his personal history is probably the highlight of the movie for me. Malcom X confronts Cooke’s feel good music and notes Bob Dylan perhaps being a more popular reflector of social commentary. I think from start to finish, his story is partially reflective of what this movie is about, what it stands for, and the overall message it tries to convey. In the United States, black people may succeed, but sometimes it is with the assistance per se of white people. And in some ways, they help white people achieve their own success. The performances from scene one are all worthy of attention. I just wish it aided in a slightly better film.

I should note, this is my *first impression*. I did something for “One Night in Miami” that I don’t usually do. I noticed that the film has universal acclaim. There are positive reviews being handed over left and right. People are really enjoying this film. So I thought, what is wrong with me? Why can’t I like this movie? Granted, I was watching at home, where it is easy for me to get distracted. So I turned on the film again to see if anything has changed.

I will say that this film is better the second time around, and maybe it is because I understand the concept now. I think as a story, “One Night in Miami” is uniquely laid out and one of the more original tellings I have witnessed in recent memory, despite being somewhat based on true events and containing real historical figures.

As mentioned earlier, Sam Cooke is my favorite character in the film, and he is nicely performed by Leslie Odom Jr.. However, one performance that I also began to appreciate more the second time around is Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcom X. I think his mannerisms are superb and he admittedly kind of looks suave. I would not mind seeing Kingsley Ben-Adir in a spy movie sometime. I will also say that the first hour is most definitely better. Not only does it do a fine job at introducing the core characters, but some of the hour is quite entertaining between the boxing match, the early concert, and Jim Brown visiting the plantation.

But having said all this, when it comes to 2020 in film, this one will not likely be remembered as much as others. Who knows? Maybe with my recent experiment it gets better with each watch, and it was better the second time, so maybe that is a step in the right direction.

In the end, “One Night in Miami” may speak to some people, in fact it may speak to a lot of people, but for whatever reason, it was just not the right movie for me. Was it entertaining? Yes. But not entertaining enough. Was it compelling? Yes. But not compelling enough. Was it worth a rewatch? Sure. But part of me only did so to see if would actually improve the experience. And while it did so slightly, it did not sparkle and shine as much as I would want it to. I am going to give “One Night in Miami” a 6/10.

To me “One Night in Miami” is sort of like “Mank.” It is a movie that a lot of people saw, a lot of people like, and maybe it will end up getting some attention during awards season. Although for whatever reason, I could not fully connect with it. It is a passable film and there are good things about it. But I just wanted more, what else could I say?

“One Night in Miami” is now available in select theaters and on Prime Video for all subscribers. Get your tickets if a theater is open near you, or subscribe to Prime if you are not subscribed already.

Thanks for reading this review! I will say, I am not quite sure what my next review is going to be, but I will say as the crazy guy who always promotes IMAX, I have a special treat for those who are not in the loop. One of 2020’s most acclaimed films, “Nomadland,” is coming to select IMAX screens starting January 29th. Unfortunately, I might not be able to see it. I say so because as of writing this, the closest place showing the film is located in Paramus, New Jersey, which is about a three to four hour hike from where I live. But if anyone at IMAX reads this and wants to put more screenings in the Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or Rhode Island areas, I will make an effort to watch the movie and have my review up for it as soon as possible. We’ll have to see what happens. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! Also, check out my Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “One Night in Miami?” What did you think about it? Or, what are your thoughts on Regina King as an entertainer? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

The Marksman (2021): First Film Review For the 2021 Cinematic Calendar!

“The Marksman” is directed by Robert Lorenz (Million Dollar Baby, Trouble with the Curve) and stars Liam Neeson (Honest Thief, Taken), Katheryn Winnick (Bones, Vikings), Juan Pablo Rada (Narcos, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), and Teresa Ruiz (The House of Flowers, Narcos: Mexico). This film centers around a former U.S. Marine by the name of Jim Hanson. Not Henson, not the Muppet guy, Hanson, with an “a.” He drives near the U.S./Mexico border and notices a mother and son crossing into the states. Turns out they are on the run from the cartel, at which point the refugees join Hanson in his truck for a ride. Unfortunately, in just a short amount of time, the mother dies, but conveniently notifies Hanson of a place where her son can be secure. So Hanson takes the son in his truck, and the two go on a journey to Chicago to ensure the boy’s safety.

First of all, here’s something to celebrate! “The Marksman” is the first 2021 film I am reviewing! Yes, I’ve already reviewed “News of the World,” but that came out in 2020, so that is not the point. The point is, “The Marksman” released in theaters this weekend, making this the first film on the 2021 cinematic calendar covered by the Movie Reviewing Moron. And the fact that I am talking about a movie like this is not that surprising. Liam Neeson usually has a movie out at this time of year. Last year was an exception, but in 2019 he had “Cold Pursuit.” In 2018 he had “The Commuter.” In 2015 he had “Taken 3.” In 2014 he had “Non-Stop.” I’ve personally seen all of these except “Non-Stop,” and let’s just say the results for each one were not spectacular. They were not world-ending, but they were mediocre at best, uneventful at worst. Although when it comes to “The Marksman,” I did not really set my expectations to any specific level. Part of it is because there is a pandemic where every other movie either gets cancelled, put onto streaming, or pushed back, so part of me is simply glad to see a movie in a theater regardless of what that may be. I have seen the trailer once, maybe a couple times, and I was never turned off by it, so maybe this could be a good time. Then again, it is January, the month where movies go to die.

Despite that previous sentence, this movie did not feel like a death sentence. In fact, I cannot recall a specific moment where I wanted to pull out my hair. “The Marksman” is a fine chase film. Granted, it follows a formula, when it comes to Liam Neeson, he is doing his typical Liam Neeson schtick. He sort of has this rugged, grandfatherly attitude, it is almost like he is repeating to himself in his head, “I’m too old for this s*it.” But I will say one thing about Liam Neeson, this is somewhat fine. Because there are certain actors out there, Liam Neeson is one of them, that can often get away with a repetitive formula if they can find a way to make it work. Neeson is not alone in this boat. Look at Kevin Hart, look at Tom Cruise, look at Samuel L. Jackson, look at Jason Statham. They all play fairly similar personalities with alternate identities from time to time, and they honestly do a good job with it.

Some of the best films of 2020 like “The Last Shift,” “News of the World,” and “Summerland” worked like a charm partially because of something they had in common. Specifically, the two main characters have an unlikely relationship, they stay together for the majority of the film, and somehow they make their time together flow. “The Marksman” is no exception to this idea. It is nowhere near as memorable or as emotionally investing, but nevertheless, “The Marksman” works because it takes a somewhat reclusive, older man, almost like a Clint Eastwood, get off my lawn type of person, but maybe with a little more assumed respect for others and pairs him with a younger boy who runs into him. Although as opposed to another recent film, “Half Brothers,” this film does a really good job at making you like both characters and have a connection with them. They are never annoying or unpleasant. They always have charisma and feel like they belong together to some degree.

This film also has some genuinely fun and entertaining action sequences. The final, big climactic sequence is worth the price of admission, but there are one or two others that make the film worth a watch if you like seeing things blow up or get shot. The film is not necessarily action-packed, especially when compared to Liam Neeson’s other recent outing, “Honest Thief,” which honestly may be a tad better in the action department. However, the little action that does exist is entertaining and deserves a thumbs up.

“The Marksman” is another one of those simple action flicks. You have your core characters, your not so complex storyline, they need to get from point A to point B, and certain obstacles or barriers are in their way. The film works enchantingly as a simple story where the objective is clear. Although despite this, there were maybe one or two moments where I was not what one would call bored, but if I had to use a proper adjective, I’d say I was drowsy. Maybe it is because everything feels so calm and the movie gives you plenty of time to breathe. I’ll bring up “Honest Thief” once again, which has more action, more excuses to have fight sequences. That was a bit faster in pace. “The Marksman” is kind of a road trip movie, and during a road trip, there is a good chance where you may want to take a break. Maybe stop for a bite to eat, stay at a motel in the middle of nowhere. This makes “The Marksman” feel more homey in terms of the vibe that is provided, even though there are life and death situations at hand.

I’m talking quite a bit about the main duo, but I don’t want to leave out the rest of the cast. Katheryn Winnick plays a cop who serves her purpose nicely. Teresa Ruiz is convincing as the refugee mother for the short amount of time she is in the movie. As for everyone in the cartel, they do a good job as well. They are brooding, intimidating, and they do not look like people you would always want to pick a fight with. This movie did a decent job at establishing the main threat and harkening back to them from time to time.

In the end, I do not think I will remember “The Marksman” as well as the other movies I will end up seeing in 2021, but it does not change the fact that it has put the year for movies off to a good start. “The Marksman” is yet another success for Liam Neeson. I have personally been impressed by his recent lineup of content including this film, “Honest Thief” and “Made in Italy.” Is “The Marksman” a classic for the ages? No. However, if a theater is open near you and you want some good action, “The Marksman” does serve its purpose and can give a couple hours of entertainment. I’m going to give “The Marksman” a 7/10.

“The Marksman” is now playing in theaters wherever they are open. Get your tickets today.

Thanks for reading this review! This weekend is also the wide release of “One Night in Miami.” It is currently playing in several theaters, although it is also available on Prime Video for streaming. I might stay home and watch it, I need an excuse to use my Prime subscription, so I might get around to watching that film and reviewing it. Also, reminder to all, it is 2021! But if you want to be a daredevil and go back to 2020, feel free to check out my lists for my top 10 BEST movies of 2020 and my top 10 WORST movies of 2020. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account, and don’t forget to check out the Facebook page to stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “The Marksman?” What did you think about it? Or, what are your thoughts on Liam Neeson as an actor? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

My 10 Picks For Jeopardy! Guest Hosts

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! We normally discuss movies on Scene Before, but today we’re going to be doing something different. As you may know, Ken Jennings, who you may find on such game shows today as GSN’s “Master Minds” and ABC’s “The Chase,” is set to be the first of a block of guest hosts for “Jeopardy!,” a staple in syndicated television. So as a fan of the format, and of game shows in general, I figured I would take some time to list my picks for people who could possibly, not necessarily fill the shoes of Alex Trebek, but take some time as a temporary host. After all, “Jeopardy” is not only letting Ken Jennings host for some time, but it was recently announced that American television journalist Katie Couric will also step up to the lectern. These picks of mine are not in any particular order, but I have my reasons for including all of them.

Tom Bergeron

I grew up watching Tom Bergeron while he hosted “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” He was always welcoming, charming, and whimsical. Although I feel like recent times have been less happy go lucky for Bergeron. I follow his social media, and he seems happy today. But over the summer, ABC canned Bergeron and his wife, removing him from “Dancing with the Stars,” so now I think there is an enormous opportunity for Bergeron to take on a prestigious hosting gig if there ever was one. Now, I do not watch “Jeopardy!” for the sake of having a laugh, but when the show does get a laugh out of me, I applaud it. But I think if there were a host who can provide a calming presence to the show while also cracking in a little quip here and there, Bergeron might be the guy. Plus, he has traditional game show experience as well with the 1998-2004 edition of “Hollywood Squares,” and man was he classy.

Bergeron also temporarily hosted “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire,” filling in for Meredith Vieira on the show’s syndicated run.

Robert Carradine

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – JULY 21: Robert Carradine attends the International Sci-Fi Series “Medinah” premiere and red carpet reception at Comic-Con International 2017 at The Manchester Grand Hyatt on July 21, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

This is a weird choice, but I think it can work. Robert Carradine is primarily chosen through my experience of watching him on TBS’s “King of the Nerds” alongside co-host Curtis Armstrong. Of the two, I think Carradine is a solid pick for hosting “Jeopardy!.” Not only is “Jeopardy!” a geek staple kind of like “King of the Nerds” was for people like me, but of the two hosts on that show, Carradine has always been the calmer of the two. Yes, he has witty lines here and there, but he also sort of represents a fatherly quality. Maybe it is because he’s played a dad for years on Disney’s “Lizzie Maguire,” maybe it’s because a father himself. Either way, Carradine sounds like someone who can welcome contestants and have some fun on set with them. And as someone who has been in a couple staples of the nerd community, “Jeopardy!” only seems fitting.

Brooke Burns

HOLE IN THE WALL: Host Brooke Burns (C) talks with members of “The Beer Bellies” in the preview episode of HOLE IN THE WALL airing Sunday, Sept. 7 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2008 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick Wymore/FOX

I do not know if she will end up being a permanent host because she already may be busy with another game show, but I would not mind seeing Brooke Burns giving some answers. Burns has had hosting gigs with NBC’s “Dog Eat Dog” and GSN’s adaptation of “The Chase.” Now, she is currently hosting “Master Minds” on GSN which is a fairly simple, lighthearted, but competitive game where three contestants take on three geniuses for a chance at $10,000. Burns has experience with hosting a couple quiz shows as of now, so it would be fun to see her take a shot at “Jeopardy!.” This would make Burns involved in another project where Ken Jennings has a significant presence given how Jennings is now a “Jeopardy!” producer. One added bonus, Burns can read at quick speeds. During her time on “The Chase,” Burns often blazed through questions on the show’s numerous speed rounds, and while she may need to pace herself on “Jeopardy!,” this tactic may come in handy if the contestants are trailing through the round like snails. Burns is lively, charismatic, and knows how to be witty every once in a while. Give her a shot!

Anderson Cooper

I do not watch much cable news, but given the minimal amount that I’ve watched, I think CNN’s Anderson Cooper is one of the better personalities I have seen.

First things first, when it comes to potential candidates from CNN, you can count almost anyone but Wolf Blitzer. This is not to suggest Blitzer would not make a good host, but I imagine he would joke about his “Celebrity Jeopardy!” appearance in every episode. Anderson Cooper, going back to what I said about Robert Carradine, sort of has a fatherly quality to him. Maybe it is the white hair and glasses. Plus, if Cooper were to stick around behind the scenes, maybe he can write some clues and take some inspiration from what he has used during his time talking on CNN. I think Cooper can step up to the plate.

Andy Richter

One of the reasons why I consider “Conan” to be my favorite late night show airing today is because of the host’s chemistry with his sidekick, Andy Richter, who I should also mention, won “Jeopardy!” twice, once against the recently mentioned Wolf Blitzer. Richter comes off as an individual who genuinely enjoys the game and this may make him a standout candidate, especially considering how he has experience on it. Plus, given how the guy is an actor, I think one of the things that makes him eligible is the fact that he really has not been in the spotlight for all these years. Yes, like Alex Trebek, Andy Richter is a respectable name, but I shall reiterate, Andy Richter is Conan O’Brien’s sidekick. Richter has spent much time listening to what O’Brien has to say. During interviews, he is usually reserved, which I prefer in a “Jeopardy!” host. He’ll joke around here and there, but he is silent for the most part. When it comes to that period after the first break where contestants are interviewed, this will make Richter an effective candidate. He does not strike me as someone who will interrupt or shoot someone down. He will acknowledge what people are saying and give everyone their time.

Mayim Bialik

“The Werewolf Transformation” — Sheldon\’s life is turned upside-down after his barber gets sick. Meanwhile, astronaut training causes Wolowitz to rethink his decision to go into space, on THE BIG BANG THEORY, Thursday, Feb. 23 (8:00 – 8:31 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured: Mayim Bialik. Photo: Michael Yarish/Warner Bros. Ã?©2012 Warner Bros. Television. All Rights Reserved.

Here is a woman who can do it all. She was Amy Farrah Fowler on “The Big Bang Theory!” She has a Ph. D in neuroscience! She is also musically gifted! It is Mayim Bialik! Upon earlier thoughts, I had Bialik’s “Big Bang” co-star, Jim Parsons in mind for the hosting job, thinking he would have an admirable presence on the show. While that may be true, Bialik is the more realistic candidate. Not just because of her variety of talents and overall experience in numerous fields, but because on top of that, she has hosting experience. She hosted TVLand’s reboot of “Candid Camera” and TBS’s recent video competition series, “Celebrity Show Off.” “Jeopardy!” is a perfect fit for someone like Bialik, who is knowledgeable in various subjects, which may help when it comes to clue giving. She can help make sure the clues are proper and correct, and she can write a quite a few of her own if she desires. Bialik is an upbeat and welcoming person, at least that is what my impression tells me. I would love to see her on the show.

Elizabeth Banks

Speaking of multi-talented women, let’s talk about Elizabeth Banks. Of all the personalities working on a game show today, Banks may arguably be my favorite. I enjoyed her during her first season of ABC’s “Press Your Luck,” although what really got me hyped up about her is how she handled her second one. In terms of how much money you can win, “Jeopardy!” is of lower stakes. The gameplay and concept is more complicated, but nevertheless. The thing that really makes Elizabeth Banks an attractive option for “Jeopardy!” is her range. When she hosts “Press Your Luck,” she is often a mix of serious, whimsical, celebratory, and over-dramatic. Again, the gameplay sort of calls for that. But I think her mannerisms that she has acquired over the past two seasons on “Press Your Luck” can make Banks a good fit for Trebek’s shoes.

And you may ask for a bunch of these people, are they a fan of the show? I cannot confirm for everybody, but for Banks, that seems to be the case. But as shown here, her mother seems to be a fan. Make mama Banks proud!

Adam Conover

Hi! This is Adam Conover, and this is Adam Jeopardizes Everything! Adam Conover has made a name for himself for being the star and whimsy know it all on truTV’s “Adam Ruins Everything.” Or as oldtimers call it, CollegeHumor’s “Adam Ruins Everything.” Here, Conover is basically what happens if you take that blonde boy with glasses from “The Polar Express” and give him a TV show on basic cable where he can shamelessly correct people. But what about game shows? Conover has experience there too. Sure, he participated as a contestant on an episode of GSN’s “Idiotest,” but if you’re wondering about hosting, he has done that too. He has been the star of Nickelodeon’s “The Crystal Maze,” where families are taken on adventures to find crystals in an attempt to take home $25,000. Adam Conover seems knowledgeable and fun enough to stand in front of the iconic lectern, as long as he does not ruin Alex Trebek’s legacy.

Meredith Vieira

BROOKLYN, NY – NOVEMBER 03: Meredith Vieira speaks on stage during the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards at BRIC Arts Center on November 3, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for BFCA and BTJA)

Say what you want about the rankings of the “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire” hosts. There’s no replacing Regis. Jimmy Kimmel is too political. Whatever. But if you ask me, I think Meredith Vieira has been perhaps the most personal with all of her contestants. She always comes off as open and ready to learn about people, and that may be part of why she stayed on the show from 2002 to 2013. Vieira is also having a ball today on another daytime game show, “25 Words Or Less,” which is currently blazing through its second season with implemented COVID-19 protocols. Not only does Meredith Vieira have years of experience of interviewing, talking with people, asking people questions, but she always seems to do it with a hint of passion. Vieira is dynamic, hyper, and she can even crack a joke every once in a while. Is Vieira my favorite host of “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?” That depends. Because each one brought their own flair to the game. I think she is most definitely the friendliest and the one who showed the most care towards her contestants, and when it comes to a game like “Jeopardy!,” which crosses the line between chill and intense, Vieira is a good fit. I think Vieira would make for a fun presence during the interview portion and make the contestants feel comfortable. The only thing that could interfere with this is Vieira’s work on “25 Words Or Less,” which may bring up a question mark as to whether she wants to do two daytime game shows at once.

John O’Hurley

Four of the six main “Family Feud” hosts are still with us today. As much respect as I have for Steve Harvey, he *is not* “Jeopardy” material. He’s more of a comedian than a host. This is where John O’Hurley comes in. Having seen John O’Hurley host “Family Feud” from 2006 to 2010, he is definitely the most collected of the hosts still living today. Louis Anderson and Richard Karn may be a tad obnoxious for “Jeopardy!.” I also think in some cases, John O’Hurley’s experience as a voice actor on shows like “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Phineas and Perb” can help in some clues that may require more expression. He can probably alter his voice for the sake of showing off a hint of personality and humor. And if I had to pick a “Seinfeld” character who I want to see host “Jeopardy!” just for fun, J. Peterman would likely be a hoot. Based on his experience with “Family Feud,” O’Hurley is expressive yet homey, which can make for a good fit on “Jeopardy!.”

These are just my personal picks and are in no way supposed to represent any objective viewpoint or a list of people who are in fact going to host “Jeopardy!” in the future. I want to know, who do you hope to see as a “Jeopardy!” host? Leave your thoughts in the comments! Also, Alex Trebek’s final “Jeopardy!” has just aired last Friday, January 8th. New episodes with former champion Ken Jennings begin Monday, January 11th. Check your local listings to find out when the show airs in your area.

Thanks for reading this post! If you want to see more from Scene Before, give the blog a follow either with an email or WordPress account, and while you’re at it, check out the Facebook page! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Top 10 MOST ANTICIPATED Movies of 2021

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! So I did my top 10 best list of 2020, I did my top 10 worst list of 2020, and now that we’re in the new year, it is time to talk about my top 10 MOST ANTICIPATED movies of 2021. I have never done a most anticipated list before, but I figured since there are a lot of movies that are supposedly coming out in 2021, this marks a prime opportunity to discuss some potential hits for me. Couple rules before we get started. Just because these are the movies I am looking forward to, does not mean that you should too. I mean, if we have the same list, fantastic! But remember, this is completely subjective. Also, I am only going to be talking about movies that are releasing in cinemas at some point. If it is going straight to TV, straight to Netflix, straight to Disney+, it does not count. For now at least. I dunno, depending on how long the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, I may have to make 2021 an exception year as well where I count movies that were once going to release in theaters, but couldn’t for whatever reason. Movies like “Soul,” “The Witches,” and “Superintelligence.” By the way, don’t watch “Superintelligence.” I’m not gonna waste any time, I’m not doing any honorable mentions, I just want to dive into my main ten, so let’s do it! These are my top 10 MOST ANTICIPATED movies of 2021.

#10: Top Gun: Maverick

Starting off this list is “Top Gun: Maverick.” I am really excited for this film. The cinematography looks beautiful. The flight scenes look majestic. And I think Joseph Kosinski is a really good pick to helm a project like this. He’s done big scale blockbusters like “Tron: Legacy” and “Oblivion” in the past, so I think he’s a good fit. And of course, Tom Cruise is back as Maverick, who has been serving in the Navy for thirty years. I think “Top Gun” is a good film, but I think that “Top Gun: Maverick” has the potential to be better with the advances in technology, possibly a great emphasis on Maverick himself as a character and where he stands as a person. This film was supposed to be put out in 2019, but they pushed it back to manage complex flight sequences. When the pandemic hit in 2020, the film got delayed a couple more times, and now it is hopefully in its rightful place to potentially become one of the bigger summer hits of the year. Kelly McGillis, who was Tom Cruise’s love interest in the original film, will not be returning, but I personally don’t have the biggest problem with such a thing as I’ve heard the two did not always get along on set many years ago. Although Val Kilmer is back, so if you liked him in the original film, you have that to look forward to. And of course, Tom Cruise keeps with the cliché that he does his own stunts. He flies a jet, and I love that this film is going for practicality. Here’s hoping “Top Gun: Maverick” is a competitor for top dog of the year!

#9: Eternals

Up next, we have “Eternals.” This film was supposed to release in November 2020, but now it is coming out in November 2021. It has a star-studded cast consisting of Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, and Angelina Jolie. They’ve got some talented people in this film. But I should also mention that the director of this film is Chloe Zhao and if you don’t know anything about her, one movie she made that was supposed to hit theaters in 2020 has been killing it on the festival scene. I won’t say much about it, because spoiler, it is on the list. If she created a Best Picture frontrunner, I have faith she can make a great comic book movie. I have not read the source material, but the concept behind “Eternals” is nevertheless intriguing. Partially because it involves a story that kind of spans over thousands of years. I think that there is a ton of potential with this concept, and maybe it’ll be the next “Guardians of the Galaxy.” It takes a bunch of characters that mainstream audiences do not know much about, then makes them the talk of the town.

#8: The Last Duel

Speaking of films that were supposed to come out in 2020, we have “The Last Duel.” This film was going to have a limited release this Christmas with an expansion to more theaters on January 8th of the following year. “The Last Duel” is a film that has the potential to be one of the most beautiful-looking productions of the year. It is directed by Ridley Scott, who has made quite a name for himself over the years, and it is shot by Dariusz Wolski, who also shot one of my favorite 2020 films, “News of the World.” The film itself takes place in 14th century France and is about two best friends who have to fight to the death under the order of King Charles VI after one accuses the other of raping his wife. This sounds compelling, and I do not know what they’re ultimately going for with this film, but I would not be surprised if it is rated R. Adam Driver, who is building a terrific resume, is in this movie, but I should also mention that not only do Ben Affleck and Matt Damon star in the film, but they also wrote the screenplay together. The last time they wrote a screenplay, specifically “Good Will Hunting,” it won the duo an Oscar!

Who knows? Maybe this joke from “The Late Show with David Letterman” will come true! Go to 1:50, by the way. You’ll understand.

#7: No Time to Die

I have not seen many James Bond flicks, but it does not change the fact that I am super stoked for Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007, “No Time to Die.” Again, we have another movie that was supposed to hit theaters in 2020, but got pushed back a couple times due to the pandemic. I will admit, and I don’t know if this will surprise anybody, even though Billie Eilish has put out her song for this film, I have not listened to it yet despite it being out for awhile. All I can say is that I want to be surprised. This film looks exciting, action-packed, some of the stunts look incredible, and that is exactly what a Bond movie should deliver. Plus, this movie also features Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049, Knives Out), who not only happens to admittedly be a celebrity crush, but someone who is becoming one of my favorite actresses. This is her second film with Daniel Craig, given how they were in “Knives Out” together, so I’m excited to see them return. Once again, this is Daniel Craig’s final movie as Bond, so I hope they pull out all the stops on this one. Did I mention they shot part of the movie in IMAX? Sign me up!

#6: Spider-Man 3

Coming in at #6 is “Spider-Man 3,” or as some are calling it, “Untitled Spider-Man Sequel.” I kind of hope this next “Spider-Man” film has the word home in the title somewhere. Even if it is just to reference a scene where Peter Parker goes see a Mets game or something. You can just call the movie “Spider-Man: Home Run.” Speaking of which, this movie sounds like a home run. You’ve got Tom Holland returning, Benedict Cumberbatch, otherwise known as Doctor Strange is set to make an appearance, and based on what I’m speculating, there’s a lot of news going around as to how many characters this movie is getting and multiple universes colliding. They’ve already confirmed Jamie Foxx’s Electro is returning, the same goes for Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus. I don’t think there’s any official word on Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield coming in as of yet, which I’ll be honest, is a concept that presents a double-edged sword. On one hand, the more webheads, the better! In fact, Tobey Maguire’s “Spider-Man” partially shaped my childhood and love for film. At the same time though, this almost sounds like fan service just for the sake of fan service. I don’t watch any of the CW superhero shows like “The Flash” or “Supergirl” or “Black Lightning,” but I know they have these crossovers at various points. This almost sounds like the buildup to Crisis on Infinite Earths in that universe. By that I mean it’s clunky, almost unreal, and maybe it has *too much* fan service. At the same time though, the real reason why I am anticipating this film is because of where “Spider-Man: Far From Home” left us off. I won’t spoil anything for those who have not seen the movie, but some serious s*it might be brewing up.

#5: Free Guy

What’s the next movie? It’s Ryan Reynolds trapped in a video game! AWESOME! I’m talking about “Free Guy.” Not only does “Free Guy” come with a cool concept, but it stars Ryan Reynolds as a bank teller. Reynolds has been on a solid track record as an actor. Even in some movies where I don’t think the material is something to write home about, Reynolds is a highlight. I imagine this film is going to have that traditional Ryan Reynolds humor and schtick that you may have seen in “Deadpool” or “Pokemon: Detective Pikachu,” but it has yet to get old for me, so I happily welcome it. Ryan Reynolds is like Kevin Hart, he can play the same guy to some degree in every film he’s in, but it works every time. This film is also being directed by Shawn Levy who produced “Arrival,” one of my favorite sci-fi films of the past ten years. He’s also directed the “Night at the Museum” trilogy, which maybe except the third movie, are goldmines when it comes to comedy. I am curious to see what he can do with this video game-esque film. Also, I should mention that this film may be emotional for me, because I saw in one of the trailers that Alex Trebek makes an appearance. Granted, it just appears to be a cameo, but the moment he shows up on the screen could induce a tear depending on how long he’s up there. I love my game shows, what can I say? RIP Alex.

#4: Nomadland

Some might say this is a 2020 film, but I’m currently calling it a 2021 film as it has not been publicly released yet except for some festivals. Going back to Chloe Zhao, my next entry to this list is “Nomadland.” The reason why this is so high on this list is partially because of all the buzz I’ve been hearing. I barely know about this film. Yes, I know it is about a woman who lives through the Great Recession and she journeys through the American west. I’ve seen the trailer, I know some of the people involved. But this film has been winning award after award after award. At this point, some speculate it may be a frontrunner for Best Picture at the Oscars. Going back to the concept, we are living through the COVID-19 pandemic, and I have a feeling that this film is going to highlight struggles that we as a society could translate to modern times. And depending on where we go in regards to the economy, maybe we’ll see some similarities there too when it comes to themes and storylines. I first heard about this film back in September when the Venice Film Festival was going on, where it won the Golden Lion, and since then, I would hear about it every other day. The film was originally supposed to release in December of last year, but got pushed back to February of this year. I can’t wait to see what this is all about!

#3: Mission: Impossible 7

In 2018 I declared that my favorite film of the year is “Mission: Impossible – Fallout.” Admitedly, that kind of goes back and forth between that and “Avengers: Infinity War” from time to time, but it does not change the fact that it is one of my favorite action films ever. And I’m not gonna lie, the sequel, “Mission: Impossible 7” is shaping up to be something special. The last couple of “Mission: Impossible” films, which have been directed by Christopher McQuarrie, have been the best the franchise has to offer. So I am especially glad he is coming back for a third movie, which is supposedly going to be followed by an eighth installment with the same cast and crew. My brain tells me that maybe the eighth one will be the last one, but money talks. So, who knows? At this point, that’s my guess. Also coming back is Lorne Balfe, who did the score on “Fallout.” It is a great score and it admittedly helped me get through a cavity filling at the dentist one time, so I’d say Balfe did his job. Also, let’s not forget about Tom Cruise. Say what you want about Tom Cruise. He’s crazy. He’s in a cult. He’s a weirdo. Maybe. But he is one of my favorite actors working today and if these few months have shown anything, he loves this industry and will do anything to keep it going. I seriously wonder how they are going to top the helicopter scene in the climax of “Fallout,” but I think with enough determination, it can be done. Plus you have some other cast members including Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, and Vanessa Kirby. All these people have done a great job in the other “M:I” movies they are in. Also joining them is Mantis herself, Pom Klementieff. She seems charismatic enough to join the franchise, so I hope the crew can execute the best “Mission” yet.

#2: Babylon

I often talk about how my favorite director working today is Christopher Nolan. Those of you who know me realize that’s not a secret. But if I had to pick a runner-up, Damien Chazelle is an arguable contender, and that is just part of why I am super excited for “Babylon.” There are not many details disclosed yet about “Babylon,” but what I do know about “Babylon” is that it is a period piece set in Hollywood. And if you have been following the awards circuit, notably in recent years, Hollywood loves movies about itself. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” was a huge hit critically and won Best Picture – Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes, and let’s not forget, Chazelle himself has experience making a hit film about Hollywood, “La La Land.” That film had 14 Oscar nominations, won 6 of them, swept the Golden Globes, and earned Best Film at the BAFTAs. While that is not my favorite Damien Chazelle outing, there is no doubt that he can create something special. Speaking of which, Margot Robbie will be starring in the film as Clara Bow, a famous actress who was featured in both silent film and talkies. Also joining the cast is Tobey Maguire, Li Jun Li, and Robbie’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” co-star, Brad Pitt. They’ve got some serious talent for this film, and for a few of these people, this almost feels like a trip down a somewhat recent memory lane. Not only is Chazelle directing this film, but he’s also writing the screenplay, and I’m happy about this because he’s a solid writer! Before “Whiplash” came out and became the talk of the town, Chazelle wrote “Grand Piano” starring Elijah Wood. The film itself gets a little far-fetched at times, but if you like suspense and killer music, that film may be for you. “Babylon” takes place during the transition from when Hollywood was going from silent film to talkies, I love this premise, and I think Chazelle is going to kill it with “Babylon.”

# 1: Dune

At one point, this was my most anticipated film of 2020, as it was supposed to come out last December. But it got delayed to October 2021, so I can now confirm that “Dune” is my most anticipated film of 2021! If you know me, you know I am all about the theatrical experience. I have a seemingly unhealthy obsession with it. Let’s just start off with the obvious. Having seen the first trailer, both at home and in cinemas, “Dune” looks like it was made for the big screen. There are a few action scenes that look intricate and awe-inspiring to the naked eye. The sand environments are beautiful and are magnificently captured by legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins, who returns alongside Denis Villeneuve, another one of my favorite directors working today. I’ll admit, I’m a bit behind on his films. I have not seen “Prisoners,” I have not seen “Sicario,” but having seen “Arrival” and “Blade Runner 2049,” I can only imagine the sheer scale and glory that “Dune” will encapsulate. Villeneuve has proven that he can bring great sci-fi to the big screen, and I am hoping he continues that with “Dune.” I have not read the book, although I do have the book and I plan to read it. I’m very excited to get on that. I also have not seen the David Lynch adaptation. Who knows if I’ll have time for it? But speaking of not acknowledging source material, this film is being scored by one of my favorite Hollywood composers, Hans Zimmer (Interstellar, Man of Steel). Not only is the legend himself gearing up to make some hopefully great music for “Dune,” but he has pointed out in 2019 that he has not seen the David Lynch version of the story. I like this, because for all I know, this maybe allows for a fresh take, unless somehow the movie ends up unintentionally coming off as David Lynch’s story 2.0. The cast is incredible! Timothee Chalamet (Interstellar, Call Me by Your Name), Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones, Aquaman), Zendaya (Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Greatest Showman), Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Doctor Sleep), Josh Brolin (The Goonies, Avengers: Infinity War), Oscar Isaac (Annihilation, Star Wars: The Force Awakens). It’s like they pulled out the whole cavalry on this film! The screenwriters, Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth had some great outings in recent years with “Doctor Strange” and “A Star is Born” respectively. And of course, you have Denis Villeneuve himself. This is the first thing he’s written in a while, but I have faith in him because he seems to have an enormous reverence to the source material that I think he can pull this film off. We’ll just have to see. And that is why “Dune” is my most anticipated film of 2021!

Thanks for reading this countdown! There is definitely a lot to look forward to as we head into 2021 and all it has to offer, but I am not going to say that we’re actually going to get all of it. For all I know, six of these films might not even come out until 2022. If 2020 has taught us anything, never underestimate the power of a fiendish year. If you like this sort of material but want to go back to 2020 for whatever reason… Wait, nobody wants to do that. But still! If you like this post, you may also want to check out my countdowns titled Top 10 BEST Movies of 2020 and Top 10 WORST Movies of 2020. Check those out, I think you might enjoy them! Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account, and check out the official Facebook page, so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, what are your most anticipated movies of 2021? And do you think we’re even going to see any big movies this year? I can tell you that “Nomadland” is practically a lock given all the festival buzz, but as for everything else, you can put a question mark on all of them to some degree. But hey, the vaccine’s coming! Here’s hoping for some good news! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Top 10 WORST Movies of 2020

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Not only did 2020 suck, but we also had a fair share of movies this year that sucked as well. Now that I’m done talking about my top 10 favorite movies of 2020, we’re going to move onto the part that I sort of view as the therapy session when it comes to these countdowns. The top 10 worst movies of 2020! Keep in mind, even though 2020 is perhaps a bit more limited in its cinematic offerings than other years, I will confirm that I have not seen every single movie that came out this year. So, if you are wondering, “Where’s this crappy movie?” Make your own list, you’ll find it there! You just won’t find it here. Although I will say, I have more movies to pick from this year than I did during any other time I ranked my best and worst of the year. As of publishing this list, I saw 77 films released during the 2020 timeline. Little reminder, this list is based on subjectivity and doesn’t necessarily indicate that you’ll dislike the movies I picked or that you HAVE to dislike them. This list just identifies my personal thoughts and feelings. We don’t have to agree, we just have to respect each other, which is something I think the Internet in general needs to learn. Also, as mentioned in my top 10 best list, I am making an exception for this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike other years, where I would only count movies as long as they received a theatrical release, I am going to accept movies based on whether they once INTENDED to release theatrically. If they did release theatrically, great! If they were going to, but ended up somewhere else for whatever reason, I’ll include those films as well. However, if the intention for the film was to go to streaming or somewhere else like that from the get-go, those don’t count. Spoiler, a few films that were going to be in theaters at one point, but couldn’t for whatever reason, are on this list. Won’t say which ones, but you’ll find out. But with all this in mind, let’s dive into a few dishonorable mentions.

Dishonorable mention: Antebellum (available on VOD)

My first dishonorable mention is “Antebellum.” “Antebellum” has some good ideas, but it is somewhat unfortunate that these good ideas are tangled up in this mess of a film. Plus, there’s a point in the film that is supposed to come off as twisty, but almost feels out of place. Did I mention despite being a horror flick, it’s barely scary?

Dishonorable mention: The Jesus Rolls (available on Showtime)

“The Jesus Rolls” is a gutterball. This film takes place in the same universe as the iconic cult classic “The Big Lebowski,” although this time it completely centers around John Turturro’s character. He even directed this crap! “The Big Lebowski” has charisma, great chemistry amongst its cast, and iconic lines. This had none of that.

Dishonorable mention: Artemis Fowl (available on Disney+)

Finally for dishonorable mentions we have “Artemis Fowl.” I admittedly did not hate the film as much as other people. Maybe it is because I have never read the books, but it does not change the fact that the film feels sloppily edited and put together, and nearly uninspired perhaps. Not even big pretty things can change that! Also, Kenneth Branagh is lucky that he played Sator in “Tenet,” at least that’s something good for him this year.

Now, we’ve just had the worst year ever. Let’s talk about some of the worst pictures ever! These are my top 10 WORST movies of 2020.

#10: Wonder Woman 1984 (available for a limited time on HBO Max, in theaters)

Coming in at #10 is possibly my biggest disappointment of 2020. “Wonder Woman 1984!” I was rooting for you! You had the Christmas release date and everything! This film was originally supposed to come out a year ago, but it moved up a month originally due to avoiding competition with “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” and eventually moved back into 2020, then pushed itself back a couple more times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Was it worth the wait? Well, judging by its placement on this list, not really. The fact that I am putting this film on the worst list just saddens me because I LOVE the first “Wonder Woman.” It is one of the best DC films, cinematic universe or otherwise, I have seen. I also love Gal Gadot, I have a $125 autograph from her for crying out loud! I loved the directing job Patty Jenkins did on the first film! Plus you had some other talented people in the cast too! Chris Pine is back, and joining him you have Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal! These are well-known, respectable actors! This feels like “The Circle,” except it is a comic book movie! Does “Wonder Woman 1984” have cool action? Yes. But it is unfortunately surrounded by a lackluster script, characters I occasionally do not give a flying crap about, and one of the most disappointingly underwhelming first hours I have seen in a film. The opening scene in the Amazon games was spectacular! The mall scene that follows ain’t half bad either for popcorn action. Sadly, the film technically has two opening scenes, and those are oddly enough the most redeemable parts of it. Everything else is a far cry in comparison. I will admit the one improvement between this film and the original is Gal Gadot’s performance. I liked her in the original film, but here it almost seems like Gadot has done a better job at being more than just a goddess with a pretty face. Her execution feels more raw, more natural. Other than that, this film is the biggest disappointment of 2020.

#9: You Should Have Left (available on Peacock)

I watched this film at home, but if I watched this film in a theater, I would have taken the title’s advice to heart. Up next is “You Should Have Left.” Say what you want about the actors in this movie, I have nothing against them. But the problem is not with them. It’s the script! My gosh! THE SCRIPT! When I saw this movie, it was just a few days before October, which is supposed to be the scariest month of the year. Turns out the horror show started rather early with this crap in the mix! This has the worst of the horror genre, period! Dream sequences! Cheap scares! Overused scares! I will admit that horror is a weaker genre for me as a film fan, but this is also a weak film, so it comes full circle! There are a couple good things I can say about this film! The house in it looks nice… It was the first movie I watched on Peacock… So, it’s a historic movie for me??? Worst of all, this movie is written and directed by David Koepp, who wrote some notable blockbusters over the years, and directed one of my favorite films of 2012, “Premium Rush!” What a disappointment this was!

#8: Half Brothers (available on VOD, in theaters)

Stereotypes! They’re everywhere! Sometimes they work, like they do in “The Simpsons!” Other times they don’t, like that little pile of malarkey some might call “Half Brothers.” This came out in theaters this year, although I did not see “Half Brothers” in the cinema. Instead, I saw it early online through a virtual link. Thankfully, I did not have to pay anything up for my experience. Unfortunately, my experience resulted in cringe, eye-rolling, sighs, and infuriation! So, there’s that! They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but when the titular characters of the movie, the two half-brothers, are annoying as hell, why should I care? We have the annoying, unbelievably crazy American alongside the main brother who happens to be Mexican, both add up for a s*itty combo. I know that sometimes comedy is not supposed to make sense, maybe the level of impracticality trickles up when you’re dealing with a comedy, but there are some choices in this movie that no sane person would make! I said in my top 10 favorite movies list that “The Last Shift” is a really good movie because it takes an unlikely pair and makes them watchable when put together. Despite “Half Brothers” being about two people who have kind of a bond, the characters are just imbeciles when they’re in the same place! “Half Brothers” is annoying, anger-inducing, and whatever stereotypes they have in this film just make the movie worse. Don’t watch it.

#7: Death of Me (available on VOD)

Up next, we have “Death of Me.” This movie stars Luke Hemsworth, otherwise known as the least relevant of the Hemsworths. Don’t worry man! Your brothers have had some bad days at the office as well! Remember Chris’s outing in “Thor: The Dark World?” Remember when Liam did “Independence Day: Resurgence?” Exactly. Even so, it does not change the fact that “Death of Me” is a wreck of a film. This film is just all over the place! It is a boring, unlikable movie featuring a couple vacationing on an island who must discover the mystical behind the scenes shenanigans of a video they happen to be in. After all, the guy is a vlogger, he’s recording all the interesting things that happen on the getaway, but the two have a heck of a night, they forget things, so they need to know what happened. I’ll tell you what happened! THEY WERE IN A CRAPFEST OF A MOVIE! That’s what happened! There is a turning point of the film, a “twist” if you will, that is mind-bogglingly wrong and almost an insult. Maybe it sounds good on paper, but when put on screen it simply feels off! It is kind of incredible that this film even made it to screens! Other than that, “Death of Me” is one of 2020’s most forgettable films, which says a lot considering I watched it for the first time just a couple days ago!

#6: Scoob! (available on HBO, HBO Max)

During the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, I did not watch many new movies. In fact, one of the few that I did watch was “Scoob!”. Wait a minute… Okay I’ve just remembered “Scoob!” is not a movie, it’s a nightmare. “Scoob!” is what happens when you take a classic intellectual property, try to update it for a trend-based crowd, and fail to realize what made this property what it happens to be. I like superhero movies; I like cinematic universes! The Marvel movies have been some of my favorites over the past decade. Basically, “Scoob!” tries to copy Marvel with Hanna-Barbera characters, but does so in the cheapest way possible. There’s even a joke where one of the characters is nicknamed “Hemsworth!” Now I would not mind this movie taking heavy inspiration from something else if it felt like it tried, but it didn’t! The only semblance of effort here is the animation, but keep in mind, I rented the movie in 4K! Of course it’s going to look detailed! The voice cast does the best they can with the material they have, although it is weird that they have the primary voice actor for Scooby-Doo, but they got somebody different for Shaggy. Whhhyyyyyyy? I barely grew up with “Scooby-Doo,” but regardless of my attachment to the franchise, this is a bland, slightly predictable, and badly written animated flick that was nowhere near worth a $19.99 rental. Wow, these quarantine prices SUCK, especially since I’m the only one watching a movie most of the time!

#5: Fantasy Island (available on Starz, Philo)

What’s your fantasy? Eternal riches? A smokin’ hot girl in your life? Maybe a Porsche? Well, here’s my fantasy. My fantasy is to never watch 2020’s “Fantasy Island” ever again. “Fantasy Island” is an adaptation of the older television series, and the one good thing about this movie is that I have not seen the source material, so I will not go around claiming that this new version tarnishes everything that the original idea stands for. It’s just a s*itty movie! This movie comes to us from Blumhouse, a fairly respectable studio in some ways, but in others, not so much. This falls under the moniker of “not so much.” Also, this comes from the same mind and lead actress that brought us 2018’s “Truth or Dare.” It’s a movie I skipped, but with a 16% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, it must feel like a dare to put the film on to begin with. Unfortunately, “Fantasy Island” may be even worse as it received a Rotten Tomatoes critic score of 7%. The movie is rife with problems! Casting! Tone! Writing! I will say though, out of all the movies on this list, this was definitely the most fun to watch as I almost did not care about anything that was going on and I got to roast the crap out it. Although, if you want my advice, find something else to watch on Halloween. In fact, if you want an idea for a better Blumhouse movie, not to mention one that came out this year, watch “Freaky!” It’s scary, hilarious, and a fantastic combination of “Freaky Friday” and “Friday the 13th!” Your brain will thank you.

#4: The Hunt (available on Cinemax)

One movie I was kind of excited for in 2019 was “The Hunt.” I saw the trailer, and I was intrigued. Overall, the movie looked dark and kick-ass at the same time. Unfortunately, due to controversial events, the release was pushed back to March 2020. I skipped it in theaters, waited for the Blu-ray, and watched it around Halloween. It WAS NOT worth the wait. “The Hunt” killed my blood pressure! The film takes a lot of stereotypes from the modern world, many of which people would probably find to be negative, and hammer them down your throat. This sort of thing works in “Family Guy.” Here, it just sucks! I almost could not relate to a single individual on screen. Everyone in this movie made me roll my eyes incessantly! This film centers around twelve people who are captured, put in a field, and are just waiting to be potentially hunted for sport by elites. On the surface, this sounds like an intriguing concept, and if I had to relate it to anything right off the bat, it would be 2019’s best film, “Ready or Not,” because it’s another scenario of the rich killing the poor. If you are reading this right now, do yourself a favor. Watch “Ready or Not,” not this bulls*it. “The Hunt” can die!

#3: Dolittle (available on HBO, HBO Max)

Why Downey, why? Why would you do this? Why would you… Do little? Up next on this list is “Dolittle.” After the big, loud, popcorn extravaganza known as “Avengers: Endgame,” I think it has been made pretty clear that Robert Downey Jr. has kind of a clean slate ahead of him and he can do whatever he wants. As far as “Dolittle” is concerned, it turns out that one of the movie’s producers happens to be Robert Downey Jr.’s wife, Susan. And I imagine as a couple, their relationship is like bread and butter. And who knows? Maybe both of them believed in this project, but when it comes to how it turned out, it was overall just a mess. Sure, some of the casting is not really anything to complain about, and I mean that more in regard to the voiceover portion of the cast. Tom Holland, Rami Malek, Emma Thompson, they’ve got some good names. However, the story of the movie is far-fetched, even for fantasy standards if you ask me, Robert Downey Jr. gives a laughably bad performance as the title character. Michael Sheen is in this film, and if you want to see something good from 2020 with Michael Sheen in it, just go watch the miniseries “Quiz.” It’s about the “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire” Charles Ingram scandal. He plays Chris Tarrant, and it’s freakin’ great. Much better than “Dolittle,” don’t waste your time with “Dolittle.” Fun fact about “Dolittle,” even though I saw other movies in the theater already, this was the first film I saw in the theater during the year of 2020 that technically came out in said year. At least I had a feeling that things could only go up from here!

#2: Superintelligence (available on HBO Max)

As we get towards the bottom of the list, we are going to enter a common theme. Familiar filmmakers. How so? Well, in this case, this next entry to the list is directed by the same person AND stars the same lead actress involved in the making of my least favorite film of 2018, “Life of the Party.” Turns out that they did not learn much since the making of that film, as evidenced by the crapfest that some might call “Superintelligence.” This film was originally going to hit theaters in 2019, but at the last minute, it was postponed and positioned as an HBO Max exclusive, and based on the results of the film, I can see why. OH MY GOD THIS WAS A NIGHTMARE! What is up with Melissa McCarthy?! This is the third yearly worst list of mine she’s been on! In 2016, she was in “Ghostbusters!” In 2018, she was in “Life of the Party!” In 2020, she’s in this s*it! And this is also the second movie in row that she has appeared in directed by Ben Falcone that made it to the worst list! Melissa, Ben, I hope you two are happy together. I mean that genuinely. But make better movies! Either that or just stop making movies as a couple! Melissa McCarthy was nominated for two Academy Awards! Neither of them were for movies directed by Ben Falcone! Speaking of actors who need to get their s*it together, let’s talk about James Corden! Why is he here? Why does he exist? Why does he have to ruin everything? I’ve seen the dude in a few movies now, but there is not one I can think of that I genuinely thought wasn’t a waste of time, or one where he even stood out positively as a performer. James Corden, if you’re reading this, pick better scripts! This is why I watch Conan O’Brien for crying out loud! “Superintelligence” has one of the most insufferable protagonists I have ever seen in the history of film. Sure, she could be more annoying, but my big problem with her is that she barely even does anything to determine her fate. Her fate is often determined by outside forces, mainly the superintelligence that the movie sort of centers around. Let’s talk about the comedy in this movie. Wait, sorry, what kind of question is that? There is no comedy! It took like forty something minutes for me to let out a genuine laugh regarding this film. So if you’re thinking of getting HBO Max for new content, all I can say is do not do so for this film. It is a waste of time; you will want to rip your eyes and ears out! It is not super intelligent; it is super dumb! That’s a fact!

#1: The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson (available on Showtime)

2020 was the worst year of everyone’s lives, so it’s only fair that I talk about the worst movie that I’ve seen in said year! This is #1! Continuing down the route of familiar filmmakers, 2019 brought us a terrible spin on a famous murder story, “The Haunting of Sharon Tate,” directed by Daniel Farrands. That movie earned my #1 spot on my worst of 2019 list. Guess what? 2020 is the SECOND YEAR IN A ROW that he has earned the bottom spot of my countdown! My #1 worst movie of 2020 is “The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson.” Fun fact for you all, this is not only the worst movie of the year, this is not only the second time Daniel Farrands made the worst list on Scene Before in a row, but “The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson” is the first 2020 film I saw! We started this s*itty year off with an absolute bang! Thanks, guys! The United States didn’t even have COVID-19 yet, and we got this! Wonderful! Booyah! I don’t want to act too harsh though, because as I said in my review, I found out that the writer of this film, Michael Arter, has not written any other features. At the same time though, part of why this movie is absolutely abominable is because of him. There are many scenes in this film that are poorly realized, cringeworthy, and make you question humanity! If I were to blame anyone most of all, it would be the director, Daniel Farrands. He’s making terrible choices with these movies, and if I see another movie that is similarly titled to the last couple I saw from him, I am just going to assume right out of the gate that it is a disaster! Between “The Haunting of Sharon Tate” and “The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson,” this is starting to almost feel like a “Sharknado” type of franchise, if that makes any sense. Except that here, it feels like more people are trying. These films are not going straight to Syfy. Granted, they are barely getting theatrical releases, but the production value looks less like television! It doesn’t look good, it really doesn’t! But it looks more like a movie than it does television! Mena Suvari plays her part well… at times… And maybe aside from Nick Stahl, she may have the most competent performance in the film. Although, the acting, across the board, is almost unforgivable! There are several edits that feel like they are first take, people sound like they barely know their lines, and the movie all round does not resemble anything close to a respectable ensemble! Mena Suvari is unfortunately surrounded by a cast of characters who are either forgettable or annoying! They even have someone playing Kris Kardashian in this movie, because apparently people can’t get enough of her! I mean, sure she was associated with the O.J. Simpson incident, but holy crap! Her presence in this movie is why I continue to avoid that f*cking television show that shall not be named at all costs! There’s even a point where two characters are just chatting and having a drink, and I almost feel like the director, maybe the writer had some input, wanted to jokingly have the characters drink orange juice. YOU SEE WHAT WE DID THERE? ARE WE CLEVER? ARE WE THE KINGS OF COMEDY?! 

No, if anything, you killed it. It don’t fit, and you must have quit a long time ago! 

I can’t even believe I’m saying this, because “The Haunting of Sharon Tate” was bad enough, I think “The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson” might actually be worse. The production value is cheap, the writing is stale, the directing might occasionally be worse, and it is barely even a feature! The runtime comes out to 82 minutes, and a good portion of that runtime is not even footage created specifically for the film! A lot of it happens to be newsreel footage! If I had to ask myself which movie is worse, and the choices were this film and “The Haunting of Sharon Tate,” I would choose this one! Granted, I will admit, one slight improvement, if you can call it that, is that when it comes to the two films, “The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson” is “less” disturbing and off-putting, but other than that, it is unbelievably incompetent! It feels rushed, tacky, somewhat offensive, and it almost seems as if the only reason it exists is because someone working on one s*itty movie, wanted to make another s*itty movie with people from the crew from the original s*itty movie. “The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson” is an utter nuisance to humanity, and the fact that it is even here in society, feels like a crime. “The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson” is my least favorite movie of 2020, you son of bitch.

Thanks for reading this countdown! Once again, a big thank you to everybody, even if you are included on this list, for making a film that released this year. Even some of the bad movies, to some degree, managed to do something very important for me and a lot of other people this year. That my friends, is to provide an escape. We all needed one this year at one point or another, that is a guarantee. There have been some good things about 2020 amidst all the madness. I got to go back to LA, I had my first AMC Prime experience, I also got AMC A-List, and I really enjoyed doing my Top Movies of the 2010s series which I will admit I might want to get back to. But it is time to move on to 2021, with new movies, new plans, specifically plans that hopefully don’t get cancelled, and great ambitions for Scene Before. This March marks 5 full years since I have started Scene Before. And this year, I am going big. Tons of reviews for movies old and new, and more details about this will be revealed in the future, including one of my most ambitious review projects ever, which I plan to reveal at the 3rd Annual Jackoff Awards, which are set to take place sometime this winter. I plan to reveal the release date in the near future, but trust me, that is coming! If you want a tentative release date, I’m thinking anywhere between the middle of February to the middle of March. Depends on whether I want to see more movies from 2020. There’s a good chance that I’m going to catch up on some things I have not seen yet. “Nomadland,” “Minari,” “The Father.” Admittedly, I am still deciding on whether I should count films coming out in early 2021, so we will have to see. Nevertheless, The 3rd Annual Jackoffs is coming, and stay tuned! Speaking of which, make sure you follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account, maybe check out the Facebook page while you’re at it, so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, what are your least favorite movies of 2020? The selection may be slimmer for some people this year, but I would be happy to hear what your least favorites are nevertheless. Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!