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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Last Movie Star (2017): The Secret Life of Waltzing Confusion


“The Last Movie Star” is directed by Adam Rifkin (Detroit Rock City, Look) and stars Burt Reynolds (The Cannonball Run, Boogie Nights), Ariel Winter (Modern Family, Mr. Peabody & Sherman), Clark Duke (Kick-Ass, The Croods), Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood, The Circle), and Chevy Chase (National Lampoon’s Vacation, Caddyshack). This film is about a famous actor by the name of Vic Edwards as he is invited to a film festival in Nashville. According to the invitation, Edwards is said to receive a lifetime achievement award. Famed celebrities such as Clint Eastwood and Robert De Niro have also been invited and received this very award. Little does Vic know that his trip is about to go to hell real fast.

Going into “The Last Movie Star,” I can’t really say I knew all too much about it. The main reason why I watched this movie in the first place is because I have an Amazon Prime subscription, and this movie was free. And I was somewhat looking forward to it. After all, it was distributed by A24, one of the best studios out there today. Not to mention, there were some neat names attached. Burt Reynolds and Chevy Chase are highly revered actors. And even though “Modern Family” might be the most overrated TV show I’ve ever watched, I do like Ariel Winter and I think she has a ton of talent that she can show off to viewers. This movie had me with the actors attached, and the first few minutes, while not perfect, happened to be enough to keep me interested. Then I came across the movie’s first straight-in-my-face flaw, which occurred during the scene where it was so obvious that the movie was trying to make a parody of Southwest Airlines. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the thing that’s wrong is there’s this clerk that is probably the most overexaggerative person on the entire planet. It almost reminds me of one of those workers that is just trying to act all hyper just because they’re working at Disney World. Or if you guys have ever seen the atrocity of a comedy “How to Be a Latin Lover,” there’s one character played by Kristen Bell who is this cashier, it reminded me of that. It just came off as a bit too cartoony and it was like I just exited reality for a second there. And that’s just the kickoff of a downward spiral to Crashandburnville. Because the movie’s two main characters, at least from my personal perspective are DICKS.

I mean, seriously! How am I supposed to root for either of these characters in any sort of situation? Granted, as the movie progresses, they feel less dicky, but as I keep dredging through, I just don’t feel anything for them because of how moronic they came off earlier in the film. There is a point where the main character of Vic (right) breaks a camera that is specifically being used for the film festival! There’s also a point where Vic is calling everyone who attended the film festival losers! It reminded me of that SNL sketch that William Shatner did. There was this one sketch called “Trekkies.” A bunch of nerds are together at a convention, and they are near a booth where a guy is announcing what will be going on at the con. One big announcement is the introduction of William Shatner. He speaks, telling everyone to get a life, that all of the convention’s attendees made his work a waste of time. Granted, having seen that sketch, I understand the context and what it was trying to mock. I thought it was rather funny. But “The Last Movie Star” is not a comedy. If you watch this movie, you can probably make the argument that they were trying to either go for the “don’t meet your heroes” thing or they were trying to point out how much this guy has had to put up with during the trip thus far. Sure, for a guy of his stance, he did have to put up with a lot. It doesn’t really make his actions forgivable however. His actions made me care less for what was to come during the movie. And you know what? Saying that is somewhat sad because this could have been a really interesting film about realizing who you are even at an old age. If this were another character, I probably would have felt a tad more emotion that had been earned. And sure, I did feel emotion in some parts, but it didn’t feel as earned as it could have been. I say this because a part of my mind was asking if this dips*it really deserved all that he got.

As for the person alongside Vic in the picture above, Lil McDougal, she basically is driving and assisting Vic for the entire movie. But my first impression of her really ticked me off. How is someone THAT angry? I was able to kind of buy into the chemistry between her and Vic, but in all seriousness, when you take these two characters and put them together, you can’t help but think of them as two assholes selfishly traveling the Earth.

And I do mean SELFISHLY. The main story of the movie wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for Vic the Dick not wanting to go back to the film festival. Granted, it was kind of a wreck, but you don’t have to be a big baby about it. At least try to impress those who made the effort to come. If you didn’t want to go, you shouldn’t have flown to Nashville in the first place. I will say, both actors did a fine job in both of their roles, but it doesn’t change the fact that both of their characters just plain suck!

I will say that the performances and cinematography do make up for this wreck. And there are I guess some rather “heartfelt” moments. Sort of. Maybe. I dunno. I was not fond of this movie. There’s not really much to say except that this movie was probably trying to be an interesting story about a guy remembering his past. That could have been really cool, but it was just bogged down by a couple of selfish and unlikable characters. I don’t really know what else to say except that one of my biggest problems aside from the characters is one moment that occurs as Lil is taking a bath. She has this TV in front of her which has smart features. Apparently one of them is an icon for Instagram, the very popular social media service where selfies on the beach are sometimes more important than a march for a good cause. I own a smart TV, and to be specific, I actually have a Sony Android TV in my room. In what universe can one actually use Instagram on their TV?! I will say, I do have a Samsung Blu-ray player that has a search engine, so you can search up Instagram on that thing. But this TV literally has a direct app! WHAT THE F*CK?! I’m not going to go into detail to avoid spoilers, but as I reflect on that moment, I continue to ask myself if I just witnessed the biggest plot convenience of the year. And I can probably guarantee you to the tenth degree that I just did. Whoope-f*ckin’-doo!

In the end “The Last Movie Star” just goes to show that not all good can come from A24. Granted, they’re a great studio. They released one of my favorite comedies of all time, “The Disaster Artist.” They’ve also released another one of my favorite films of the decade, “Room.” But this is a bit of a disappointment compared to some of A24’s other material. Although I did watch this film for free so I guess the movie does have its pros and cons. What I can say though is that this is one of those films that is DIFFICULT to rate. On one hand, the film managed to get a number of things right. But the characters really tarnished this bitch. So ultimately, this rating could change, but for now, I’m going to give “The Last Movie Star” a 5/10. I gotta say though, if part of this movie was trying to say “don’t meet your heroes,” it was a somewhat interesting take on it I guess, but I guess the unlikable parts about the main character got drilled in my head to the point that I just didn’t find this guy all that interesting. In fact, I’ll say, I met my heroes. And I feel proud to call them my heroes. They mean the world to me. I’m just proud to say that they were nothing like this guy. They were respectful, calm, and rather humble. Vic just embodies that celebrity you DON’T want to encounter. Similar to how I want to go back in time and not encounter this movie. Thanks for reading this review! For those of you who have been keeping up with my blog, you may know that I just finished reviewing all of the Tom Cruise “Mission: Impossible” movies. For those of you who haven’t gotten a chance to read any of them, links are provided down below to check them out! Be sure to follow me here on Scene Before and like this post! Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “The Last Movie Star?” What did you think about it? Or, who is a celebrity you met who turned out to be a total asshole? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

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

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

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

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

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION REVIEW https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/07/25/mission-impossible-rogue-nation-2015-a-revisit-to-my-first-mission-impossible-movie/

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

The Disaster Artist (2017): Oh Hai, James Franco!


“The Disaster Artist” is directed by James Franco (Spider-Man, 127 Hours), and is based on a true book written by Greg Sestero. This movie also stars James Franco alongside his brother, Dave Franco (Neighbors, Now You See Me), and Seth Rogen (Sausage Party, Pineapple Express). “The Disaster Artist” revolves around the making of the 2003 disasterpiece of a film, “The Room.” The book which this movie is based on is written by a cast member of “The Room” who played the character of Mark (played by Dave Franco here). So, essentially Greg is one of the main characters, and he meets Tommy Wiseau (played by James Franco) in an acting class. The two form a bond as time passes, which leads them to try tackling their dreams in Hollywood together.

I just want to get two things out of the way. I’ve never read “The Disaster Artist.” I almost picked it up once, but I put it back before taking it. However I did watch “The Room.” I managed to find it on YouTube and someone had a post showing the movie from beginning to end. I watched it recently and I TOTALLY see what everyone is talking about. From the cheesy and poorly written dialogue, the so-called acting, and the establishing shots of San Francisco that feel like something out of say, “The Golden Girls,” this movie is a mess, but it was so f*cking fun. The movie itself, is capable of having most of its viewers say it’s terrible, but at the same time, it kind of has a feeling that other bad movies don’t give you. This is more along the lines of a movie like “Batman & Robin,” where it’s bad, but you can also have some fun watching it because of all the cheese. It’s not like watching “The Emoji Movie.” For the record, that movie did not suck ass, it sucked EVERY ass. “The Disaster Artist” is like neither of those films. This is because “The Disaster Artist” is definitely one of 2017’s best films! Not only that, but it also has to be one of the most ironic films I’ve ever seen! “The Room” is in a word, abominable. “The Disaster Artist” is in a word, admirable. It’s amazing how “The Disaster Artist,” a movie based on the making of one of the worst movies ever made, specifically the kind where it’s so bad that you have to experience it, became one of this year’s best movies, a film so good that you have to experience it. And I did. I’m just gonna warn you, I’m gonna be digressing here, and it’ll be a matter of time before my actual review of the movie appears on here. And I know a reason why a lot of people are here is to read my thoughts on “The Disaster Artist,” not to hear about my personal life. So if this bores you, makes you want to stab yourself with a knife, encourages you to go on a killing spree, or makes you want to jump out a window, DON’T DO THOSE THINGS, and instead, either stop reading the post and rethink what you’re doing in life, or just skip ahead to the next paragraph where I get back on track. So let’s move on.

I’m a high school student currently living in eastern Massachusetts. It took me three weeks to see this movie. I wanted to see it right away, but I had other things going on at the time. Then “winter break” came, note the quotation marks, stating sarcasm of how my winter break lacked any time to sit down and relax. Due to a complicated schedule, I was somewhat worried that I wouldn’t get to see this. I did however once time was on my side, not to mention my father’s. There were barely any times available and the closest town I could go see the movie was Somerville. I don’t usually go to Somerville to see a movie, I’ve only done it twice. In fact, I barely go to Somerville period! But I did it, because I was committed. That and I had gift cards to AMC Theatres that I felt would be useful for an occasion such as this. Somerville is nearby as far as I’m concerned but I barely go anywhere that’s urban, I’m usually in the suburbs when I go to movie theaters. It’s easier parking-wise, it’s easier in terms of traffic, not to mention there are theaters that are closer in terms of distance and time. I like the AMC in Somerville better than some theaters I go to (except price-wise), but I think the auditoriums are nice and the sound’s amazing. Traffic and time to get to the theater weren’t an issue for my father and I. Parking almost did however. My father’s vehicle can’t fit in garages, and admittedly, I didn’t mention to him that Assembly Row, the plaza where the theater happened to be located, was mainly garage based. There is parking available in non-garage areas, but it’s a busy place, not to mention it was a Saturday night and the following day was New Year’s Eve. The unusual trip to Somerville, was worth it from the quality of the movie alone.

Out of all the films I’ve seen this year, this one is BY FAR the funniest. Not only that, but it also managed to be rather serious. One thing that I imagine some people who know about “The Room” might have expected walking into this film was the possibility that it might mock Tommy Wiseau to the tenth degree. The movie, in terms of its screenplay, makes almost anything Tommy does on screen hysterical, but I wouldn’t say it makes fun of him. Tommy, at the time which this movie takes place, is a mystery man. He goes on saying to Greg Sestero that he can’t talk about his interactions with Tommy to anyone. We as viewers don’t even know that much about his background. We don’t know how the money that went into the making of “The Room” appeared. It’s explained that this movie took $5 million to make. That’s what I recall the film’s screenplay suggesting, but according to IMDb it cost an estimated total of $6 million to make the flick. Speaking of IMDb, if you look at Tommy Wiseau’s page, it says he was born on October 3rd, 1955 in Poznag, Poland. According to the Wikipedia page dedicated to Tommy Wiseau, it says he gave an age in interviews after the release of “The Room” that would suggest he’s either born in 1968 or 1969. He claimed to have lived in France a long time ago, he grew up in New Orleans, and he had an entire family in Chalmette, Louisiana. Greg Sestero’s identically titled book, which James Franco suggested in an interview based on the words of Tommy is “40% true,” suggested that his brother’s girlfriend obtained copies of Wiseau’s immigration papers, which said Tommy was born earlier than he claimed. Rick Harper, AKA the creator of “Room Full of Spoons,” a recent documentary based on the making of “The Room,” did research on Tommy Wiseau’s background, coming to the conclusion that Tommy is Polish and originally from the city of Poznan. In November 2017, Tommy confirmed in an interview he was originally from Europe. The following month, he was interviewed by Howard Stern. He mentioned he speaks French and happens to be Catholic. While we may be progressively getting more and more information, the man’s still a mystery, and the movie does a very good job at telling that to its viewers.

Just for your information, the earliest this film actually released was on March 12th, 2017. According to IMDb, it was a work-in-progress at the time. I can’t say how much of the film was released to the public, if it wrapped it’s filming entirely, how much editing got done, none of that, but it was a work-in-progress. This was shown at the time to those who went to “South by Southwest.” The next release was on September 11th at the Toronto International Film Festival, and IMDb doesn’t have it labeled as a work-in-progress unlike the release for South by Southwest. The movie for what I recall, never mentions Poznan, or Poland in general for that matter. Despite the film lacking that detail, it does a fantastic job of explaining the total mystery that is Tommy Wiseau.

Speaking of Tommy Wiseau, let’s talk about him as a character, not to mention the guy who plays him. Tommy’s played by James Franco, who also directed this film. This is without a doubt, one of the best performances ever given by James Franco. As mentioned, Tommy Wiseau is mysterious, and Franco captured that quite well. Franco also had an accent that Tommy gave all the time, and he didn’t sound like James Franco like you’d hear in content such as “Freaks and Geeks” and “Spider-Man,” where does give passable performances, nothing groundbreaking, but you can still see that shred of Franco. Here, he turns into Tommy, giving perhaps my favorite performance of the year. There are a number of performances I admired in 2017. Some of my favorites include Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard in “Blade Runner 2049,” Ryan Gosling as K in “Blade Runner 2049,” Ansel Elgort as Baby in “Baby Driver,” Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman in “Wonder Woman,” Tom Glynn-Carney as Peter in “Dunkirk,” Fionn Whitehead as Tommy in “Dunkirk,” Jayma Mays as Dana Sibota in “American Made,” and Holly Hunter as Beth in “The Big Sick.” I just saw this film, so this could change, but James Franco as Tommy Wiseau might be better than just about every single one of these performances I’ve listed. Am I overhyping this? I really don’t think so! It might be a tie between this and the recently mentioned performances by Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill until further notice. The future will probably provide more certainty.

In fact, in terms of direction, James Franco outdone himself as well! “Spider-Man 2” may be my favorite film with James Franco in it, but out of all the films he’s worked on, this may be the one which James as an individual worked the hardest on. All of the actors seemed like they had no problems on set while they played people who had problems on set. The film is well shot and well lit. In fact, towards the end of the movie, it actually shows “The Room” during its premiere, and not long after that’s over, we cut to two side-by-side moving images. One is actual footage from “The Room” and another is recreated footage, which was specific for this movie. That footage contained actors playing the characters originally played by other actors. Some examples include Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games, Journey to the Center of the Earth) as Denny (originally played by Philip Haldiman), Zac Efron (Neighbors, High School Musical), who played Chris-R (originally played by Dan Janjigian), Ari Graynor (Bad Teacher, I’m Dying Up Here), who played Lisa (originally played by Juliette Danielle), Dave Franco who played Mark (originally played by Greg Sestero), and let’s not forget James freaking Franco, who played Johnny (originally played by Tommy f*cking Wiseau). Is this my favorite film of the year in terms of direction? I wouldn’t say that, but it is close however.

Going into this film, I knew a lot about “The Room,” but based on various scenes, I picked up on some things I didn’t expect to pick up on involving “The Room” as a movie. You know how you notice an extended amount of the movie’s runtime, the characters are playing football? This movie kind of goes into that.

This movie is more than just something that’s telling the story of the production behind another movie. It’s also a story about friendship. As mentioned, Tommy Wiseau isn’t being mocked throughout this picture, and I really appreciate the film going in that direction because it made you understand Tommy as a person. Not only that, but this movie also has a major focus on Dave Franco’s character of Greg Sestero. This is almost a lot like “Lord of the Rings” in ways. Think of Tommy Wiseau as Frodo and Greg Sestero as Sam. Tell me that comparison is terrible. They’re there for each other, they respect each other, they even do a pinkie swear in the film, which occurs more than once to be accurate. As friends, they decide to make a movie together.

As Tommy and Greg make “The Room,” it’s clear that they don’t do know s*it on how to make a movie. When the two are trying to get cameras to shoot the movie, they decide to buy them, not rent them. While buying cameras isn’t exactly something that hasn’t been done for movies before, it’s traditional for people to rent them. Not to mention, when they’re asked if they want 35mm or HD, they respond saying they want both types of cameras. They’re lit differently, they work non-identically, and it might result in a weird final product depending on how things go. Overall, their friendship is shown in this film to the tenth degree and I love it.

In the end, “The Disaster Artist” takes an absolutely horrible film, and incorporates it into a different, astoundingly incredible film. The story behind “The Room” is honestly, a movie I never asked for, but once I heard about it, and saw the teaser trailer for it back in July, I was instantly in anticipation mode. On paper, this idea sounded amazing. As a final product, this idea is even better. Before I give my final verdict, I’m gonna let you in on a little fact. My dad and I saw this movie together, he went to see this film without watching, or even knowing all that much about “The Room.” He walked out of the theater alongside me, saying he enjoyed the film. So ultimately, you don’t need to watch “The Room” to appreciate this film. You can do it if you want to, which I must say if you do, is an experience, but it’s not necessary. However, I imagine at least knowing about “The Room” or watching it might add it a bit to the movie. With that being said, I loved this movie and it’s undoubtedly one of the best of the year. I’m going to give “The Disaster Artist” a 10/10. One last thing before I go on with a wrap-up, this movie has an end credit scene, so stick around after the credits if you don’t want to miss that. Anyway, thanks for reading this review, this is one of my favorite movies of the year, and speaking of that, once 2018 starts, one of the earliest published posts on this blog will be a countdown of my top 10 BEST movies of 2017. This movie will have a spot on the list for sure. I won’t say which, because it could change, plus I might go see one more 2017 movie in the theater and review it. That potential movie by the way, is “Downsizing.” One list I assure you this movie won’t be on, is my top 10 WORST movies of 2017, which I plan on releasing after I reveal my top 10 BEST list. Stay tuned for more reviews, and also stay tuned for those upcoming countdowns! I can’t wait to finally release them, because I have so much fun making them! I want to know, did you see “The Disaster Artist?” What do you think about it? Did you see “The Room?” What are your thoughts on that? Or, what are some movies that you personally think are so bad that they are actually good? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

JOHNNY: I did not her, it’s not true! It’s bulls*it! I did not hit her! (throws water bottle) I did *not*. Oh hi, Mark.

You can laugh, you can cry, you can express yourself, but please don’t hurt each other. –Tommy Wiseau