Will STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER Be Shown On IMAX 70mm Film?

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Last year, I created a post asking the following question. Will “First Man” be shown on IMAX 70mm film? The answer, no. This year, there is another movie that I have followed for some time that is making me ask the same question. Specifically, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” Why? Because despite a majority of this decade’s “Star Wars” films getting 70mm IMAX releases, there are reasons to believe that “The Rise of Skywalker,” the final film in The Skywalker Saga, will miss the mark.

When J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” came out in December 2015, that released in a number of IMAX 70mm locations, along with standard 35mm and 70mm theaters. It also was projected on IMAX’s then new laser technology in other locations. While that’s not film based, it is a digital response to IMAX’s film projection. When it comes to being projected in IMAX 70mm, the following locations took action.

US/CANADA

Alabama
McWane Center IMAX Dome Theatre – Birmingham
IMAX, U.S. Space & Rocket Center – Huntsville

California
Hackworth IMAX Dome, The Tech Museum – San Jose

Canada
Kramer IMAX, Saskatchewan Science Centre – Regina

Florida
Museum of Discovery & Science AutoNation IMAX – Ft. Lauderdale
IMAX Dome, Museum of Science & Industry – Tampa

Indiana
IMAX, Indiana State Museum – Indianapolis

Iowa
Blank IMAX Dome, Science Center of Iowa – Des Moines

Missouri
Branson’s IMAX, Entertainment Complex – Branson
St. Louis Science Center OMNIMAX Theatre – St. Louis

Pennsylvania
Tuttleman IMAX, The Franklin Institute– Philadelphia

Washington, DC
Lockheed Martin IMAX, National Air & Space Museum

Texas
Omni, Fort Worth Museum of Science & History – Fort Worth

INTERNATIONAL
LG IMAX, Darling Harbour – Sydney, Australia
The Science Museum – London, England

That’s 15 locations. That is less than the number of seasons of “The Simpsons,” “Family Guy,” “NCIS,” “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” “Real Time with Bill Maher,” “Judge Judy,” “Dr. Phil,” “South Park,” “The Bachelor,” and the combined seasons for “Star Trek: The Original Series,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.”

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” also came out in certain IMAX 70mm locations, but the difference between that and “The Force Awakens,” aside from being a spinoff, is that the film was not shot specifically for 70mm IMAX projection. “The Force Awakens” was shot using IMAX branded cameras, and when a number of films were shot using that, IMAX presented the movie having those scenes fill the entire screen. This is true for many of their digital-based locations, as well as those running film. In fact, the film was shot completely in digital using an ARRI Alexa 65. Nevertheless, it still managed to hit 13 IMAX 70mm screens.

Alabama
IMAX, US Space & Rocket Center
IMAX Dome, McWane Center

California
AMC Universal CityWalk Stadium 19 & IMAX – Universal City
Esquire IMAX – Sacramento
Hackworth IMAX Dome, The Tech Museum

Canada
Kramer IMAX, Saskatchewan Science Centre

Florida
IMAX Dome, Museum of Science & Industry

Iowa
Blank IMAX Dome, Science Center Iowa

Indiana
IMAX, Indiana Stare Museum

Minnesota
IMAX Theatre, Minnesota Zoo

Missouri
OMNIMAX, St. Louis Science Center

Pennsylvania
Tuttleman IMAX, The Franklin Institute

Texas
Omni Theatre Fort Worth Museum of Science & History

Granted, this was a starting list. I say so because “Rogue One” was shown in more IMAX 70mm theaters after its initial release, including one in Connecticut’s Maritime Aquarium, which is one of the closest venues of its kind to where I live. When it comes to this specific theater, they managed to do the same for “The Force Awakens.”

Then came “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” directed by Rian Johsnon. Much like its chronological predecessor, “The Force Awakens,” this was partially shot using IMAX cameras. I will say though, personally, I missed out on the IMAX experience for this film when it came out. But based on research, I did not miss much. Why? Multiple sources suggest that the film never had any scenes projected from top to bottom on IMAX 70mm screens. The entire movie was projected in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1, which is conventional in the movie industry. The original IMAX-specific aspect ratio is 1.43:1. “The Force Awakens” had 5 minutes of IMAX footage intact. All five minutes was blown up to fill the brand’s screens. But for those who went to see “The Last Jedi” in IMAX, they may have gotten crystal clear images, but black bars up the wazoo. Turns out, as a matter of fact, IMAX was the only film format in which this movie happened to be presented. No standard 35mm or standard 70mm was available. And if viewers did manage to check out these types of IMAX screenings, chances are they flocked to one of these places.

US/CANADA

Alabama
IMAX Dome, McWane Center – Birmingham
IMAX, U.S. Space & Rocket Center – Huntsville

California
Hackworth IMAX Dome, The Tech Museum – San Jose

Canada
Kramer IMAX, Saskatchewan Science Centre – Regina

Connecticut
IMAX, The Maritime Aquarium – Norwalk

Indiana
IMAX, Indiana State Museum – Indianapolis

Iowa
Blank IMAX Dome, Science Center of Iowa – Des Moines

Missouri
OMNIMAX, St. Louis Science Center – St. Louis

North Carolina
The Charlotte Observer IMAX Dome, Discovery Place – Charlotte

Pennsylvania
Tuttleman IMAX, The Franklin Institute– Philadelphia

Texas
Omnitheatre, Fort Worth Museum of Science & History – Fort Worth

UK
London Science Museum – London

That’s 11 locations. That is less than the number of seasons of “The Big Bang Theory,” “Supernatural,” “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” “Criminal Minds,” “America’s Got Talent,” “Ridiculousness,” “Bones,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Face Off,” “The Bachelorette,” “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Dallas,” “Two and a Half Men,” and “Love Connection.”

As for “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” which released almost half a year after “The Last Jedi,” that was not filmed with any IMAX technology. It still released in the IMAX format however, going through a traditional DMR (Digital Media Remastering) process. Here are the theaters that presented “Solo: A Star Wars Story” in IMAX 70mm.

There aren’t any, the film was entirely released in digital formats.

That’s 0 locations. That is less than the number of seasons of “Freaks and Geeks,” “Firefly,” “Clone High,” “Swamp Thing,” “Whiskey Cavalier,” “The Michael J. Fox Show,” “Bam’s Bad Ass Game Show,” “Son of Zorn,” “Bordertown,” “Inhumans,” “Selfie,” “Heroes: Reborn,” “Ghosted,” “America’s Next Best Weatherman,” and “State of Georgia.” FYI, ALL OF THESE got cancelled after one season.

To be honest though, I can’t complain too much because the entire movie was shot digitally on ARRI Alexa cameras.

And when it comes to a good portion of the locations that have played a few of these recent “Star Wars” movies in 70mm, not only are they few and far between, but many of them rarely play Hollywood features. Many of these theaters simply show IMAX-distributed documentaries that are either new or cater to a theme that would associate with a venue. Not to mention, a glaring fraction of these are domes, and while I will say I rarely go to domed IMAX theaters, one thing to point out about them is the 180° style of the screen. With a number of cinema screens, it is sometimes easy to notice a slight curve they can provide, and traditional IMAX screens are no exception. Forget about a curve with an IMAX Dome, it’s practically a boulder sliced in half. Not only do they rarely show Hollywood features, but they also can have a quirky looking image when there are black bars involved. Granted, I have yet to see something like this for myself in person, but from what I’ve seen online, it’s almost weird looking. I almost wonder if it would turn off a good portion of general audience members.

History aside, let’s move onto the present and the future. Despite IMDb’s current claims that this film will be shot with IMAX cameras, no word of mouth from Disney, J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, etc., has said anything related to such a claim (except this one, based on brief research). After all, I don’t know for sure, it could have been inserted long before, or maybe just as soon as the film happened to be starting production. However, IMDb is also claiming that the movie will be presented in multiple film formats. These include 35mm, 70mm, and IMAX 70mm. By the way, they are also suggesting these were also formats used for shooting.

“Shot on 35mm, 70mm, and 70mm IMAX, this is the third Star Wars film to be shot in the IMAX format, the first film in the franchise to be shot on 70mm film, and the first Star Wars film since Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983) to be shot entirely on celluloid.”

OK, I can buy this movie entirely being shot on film. After all, one of the things that J.J. Abrams wanted out of “Episode VII” was the nostalgia factor, which was partially brought to the table through filming the movie in celluloid, an action that the prequels neglected for the most part. But to be fair, “new technology” sometimes has a ring to it.

As for what technology was used specifically, I think we still need updated information on it. Because when it comes to technical specifications, that is still a mystery kept by those who made this film. Yes, there are articles suggesting a mixture of 35mm and 70mm cinematography in the movie, but many of them are from the end of 2016, a month before “Rogue One” came out. However, perhaps the most credible information I came across was this occasionally updated article as seen on fromthegrapevine.com. For those who are lazy, there is a suggestion via an image that this next “Star Wars” film will be shot in 70mm.

Granted, I highly doubt that this movie will be mostly shot in digital. The past two films in the trilogy have been shot using film for a good portion of the runtime, therefore to maintain a similar feel, Abrams must have said film was the way to go.

And with this information in mind, I will point out that IMAX has a vast history of showcasing movies that were not shot through their technology on their true projection format. The thing is however, that time happened back when the DMR process was starting to get into full swing. With IMAX’s jump into digital projection in 2008, it wasn’t too long before IMAX started getting picky with what films would be shown in their original format. “Rogue One” was a rare exception back when it came out in 2016.

In fact, let’s look at IMAX in 2018 and what they have done with this technology. Unfortunately, IMAX missed the opportunity to put “First Man,” their only new release that year shot with IMAX 70mm tech, in theaters catering to that format. They were shown in IMAX Laser theaters, which is a nice consolation, but having been in both venues for different movies, it’s not the same. The only “new” 70mm experience that came out was a limited 50th anniversary engagement of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Aside from that, there was a 10th anniversary limited engagement of Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” which played around the same time period. There was another movie released in IMAX shot with their technology (Avengers: Infinity War), but that film was shot completely in digital. This allowed a complete fill of the screen in many, smaller, digital venues, but not for the venues IMAX was originally known for.

If you think I am pulling these facts out of my butt, let me just point out to you, I am not. There is a Wikipedia page that lists every single IMAX film that has gone through a DMR process. Yes, Wikipedia is not the most scholarly source of all time, but over the years, this has been pretty reliable for this subject matter.

List of IMAX DMR Films

In fact, if you scour the list, go to the section labeled “2019,” and scroll down to “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” you’ll notice it does not suggest there will be any IMAX 70mm screenings, nor does it say anything about the cinematic equipment. Granted, a lot of the information related to this does not exactly need to be displayed now, the movie does not even release until December. Even with that in mind however, it is slightly concerning. I can live with a lack of IMAX 70mm screenings if it wasn’t shot in that exact format, but if it was, I feel like we are gonna be in a “First Man” situation all over again. Although that movie flopped as far as I am aware so, who knows? It might have been for the best. I enjoyed the movie, in fact it was one of my favorites of the year, but regardless, it didn’t have proper financial legs.

It is perhaps slightly inevitable that “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” will be a financial success. I say SLIGHTLY inevitable, because while a number of recent Disney “Star Wars” flicks made over $1 billion at the box office, the most recent one, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” did not meet the financial standards of films that came prior to it, including the spinoff “Rogue One.” At the same time, it has things going for it. For one thing, it’s the conclusive chapter to The Skywalker Saga, it involves characters we have known for the past two films and even further into the past, Lando is back, and Palpatine seems to be making an appearance as well. It has the potential to win audiences and a portion of the fanbase overall. Well, that depends on how divided said fanbase is by the time this movie comes out, because it’s pretty ugly right now. And even though that ugliness is a thing, there are enough fans in the “Star Wars” community that could potentially show up for a new flick in the franchise.

If you ask me, I think Disney, Lucasfilm, Bob Iger, IMAX, among others would not have minded the idea of releasing the film in IMAX 70mm. Sure, “Solo” didn’t do as well as they would have hoped, but based on how that is a film that not many audiences asked for in the first place, added onto the prior success of films that came before it, they wouldn’t mind releasing the film in an IMAX 70mm format. They’re making more money with the Skywalker films compared to the spinoffs, and let’s face it, audiences care about Rey, they care about Kylo, they care about Chewie, they care about Lando, they care about BB-8. The praise is there, the studio just has to make a decision. Another factor to consider is the transition to go back to how Disney originally released these types of films. Specifically, by doing so in December. This is a good strategy because people are home for the holidays, kids are on break, and with a bunch of Oscar-bait films competing against each other, this blockbuster has a significant chance of standing out.

Do I want to see a reality where we get the opportunity to go check out “The Rise of Skywalker” in IMAX 70mm? I would, but I know it’s not certain. Given my clustered knowledge of how this movie is being shot, I don’t know if it is being shot in the IMAX format, but even if it isn’t, I would be willing to show up for an IMAX 70mm presentation simply because it is the clearest picture in existence. And… Disney, if you are planning on releasing this in IMAX 70mm… PLEASE… Consider releasing it at the Providence Place IMAX. It’s one of the closest true IMAX venues to my house, and one of the best theaters I have ever been to. I will flock there immediately if you release your film there in this specified format.

Am I being an obsessive nerd about this? Probably. Do I care? Hell no! In fact, with all statistics being considered, it makes me worried for the future of how IMAX movies are presented. Yes, we are likely getting Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” in IMAX 70mm next year, but are we simply doing so because it’s a Christopher Nolan film? Is it because of the director’s power in the industry? He’s my favorite director working today, but it’s still a question I can’t help but ask! “Star Wars” is a big franchise. And this latest film is seemingly shot in a big resolution. So why not let us as an audience look at the big picture?

YUP. PUN ABSOLUTELY INTENDED.

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” hits theaters December 20th, 2019. I am looking forward (although I am also slightly apprehensive) to seeing how this sequel trilogy will conclude. I do have faith in J.J. Abrams, especially after the excellent job he did with “The Force Awakens.” It also seems inevitable that I am going to see the movie on opening night, even if I get access to a press screening before the movie hits theaters everywhere. As for IMAX, I don’t care what you do with this movie. If it is shot in your format, release it in 70mm. But based on the popularity of this franchise, consider that sort of release even if this movie was shot in a smaller format. What will happen? I don’t know, only time will tell! Thanks for reading this post! I just want to remind everyone that next week starts the second half of 2019, so I will be creating a mega-post containing a halftime report and a glimpse into the future of Scene Before. Be sure to look forward to that! Also, stay tuned for my second trailer of “Project 2020.” If you have seen one of my posts back in April, you know what I am talking about. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, do you have any thoughts on this “Rise of Skywalker” in IMAX 70mm matter? Or am I just batcrap crazy? Also, are you looking forward to “The Rise of Skywalker?” Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Roma (2018): My First Netflix Movie Review (Now The World Has Seen Everything!)

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“Roma” is directed by Alfonso Caurón (Gravity, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), stars Yalitiza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira and takes place during the early 1970s in Mexico City. The movie focuses on a house maid, alongside the owners of said house as they go through their daily lives.

Image result for netflix google play

This movie actually is kind of special to me, because it is a certain type of movie that I have refused to see for years, and that is a Netflix movie. I make fun of Disney all the time, to the point where I wonder if someone dressed as Mickey Mouse would show up at my house and decide to strangle me. But the thing I can respect about Disney is they seem to be willing to keep the movie theater industry alive, even if all they do now consists of sequels, live-action remakes, Marvel movies, “Star Wars” movies, and an occasional based on book adaptation here and there. But the thing about Netflix that drives me nuts is that they already decided to kill the movie rental industry, the physical media industry, and they are still taking some money out of the movie theater industry. Come watch Sandra Bullock execute her most blinding role to date! …IN “BIRD BOX!” Now playing on a headphone jackless iPhone 7 near you! To this day, I have never chosen to sat down to watch a Netflix film, but if you have viewed my last post, I mentioned that this film was playing near me in 70mm, making Netflix look like a slightly bigger force in the cinema industry than I once witnessed. For that reason alone, I was able to forget about my Netflix avoidance for a couple of hours.

And I gotta say, on Netflix, aside from whatever you pay in advance per month, this movie is actually free. I looked at the tickets and found out they were nearly $20 each. But I gotta be real, it was worth every penny. This is one of the best 2018 movies I’ve seen! THE HYPE IS REAL! Alfonso Caurón, the director, writer, producer, cinematographer, and editor behind this film gave his 110% effort on this amazing thing they call a movie. I’ve heard prior to going into “Roma” that the movie happened to be Caurón’s most personal project to date, and it shows! This movie starts out with the camera endlessly gazing upon a floor, and we see water flowing back and forth. I imagine some people would find that as boring as watching paint dry (plus it is in black and white), after all titles are finished, the camera pans up as we see water inserting a drain. Without going into spoilers, and trust me, this is a common theme here, we see the movie end in a similar manner.

I first heard about “Roma” in December, and I’ve heard some people in the industry have found this film to be a true delight. And again, had I not known this was a Netflix movie, I probably would have looked for tickets immediately. But if I stayed away from this movie, chances are I wouldn’t have been able to experience its utter beauty both from a story and technical perspective. The film is shot digitally on an Arri Alexa 65, which is actually kind of interesting to me because the filmmaker chose to present this film in black and white, which is somewhat unique in my eyes for a widescreen movie, usually I think of the full frame aspect ratio when it comes to black and white. Not to mention in certain places, it got a 70mm release as mentioned. This movie managed to blend the feeling of old Hollywood together with new Hollywood in the best of ways.

I will say though, on paper, this movie reminds me of “Schindler’s List.” I say on paper only because I have yet to check out “Schindler’s List” and heard enough about it to realize how traumatizing of an experience it can be to watch such a movie. “Roma” was THAT movie. And I will warn everyone, I have not seen a single trailer for this film. I’ve seen posters, images, but no trailers as far as marketing goes. Aside from those little tiny glimmers of marketing and reviews from other people, I have heard practically nothing about “Roma” itself prior to going out and watching it in the theater. I figured for the sake of getting this review out as early as possible, while also trying to aid in providing the best possible experience for “Roma’s” potential audience, I don’t give a shred of the plot away. If you are curious, there is a synopsis on IMDb, and while I did know about certain things about this film going in, I didn’t know EXACTLY what was going to happen.

I will say though, one of the absolute best parts of the film is undoubtedly the main character of Cleo. For starters, she is played by Yalitiza Aparicio, and if that name does not sound familiar to you, I can understand why. After all, this movie was her debut as an actress, which honestly makes her performance more compelling than it already is. On IMDb, Aparicio is listed to be in “Roma” under “actress” and “soundtrack” and she only has two other credits overall, specifically her appearance at this year’s Golden Globes ceremony and her appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” during one of 2018’s final episodes. The way that Aparicio in this film is able to convey happiness, sadness, regret, calmness, and pain in just a single performance is amazing to me.

Speaking of Cleo’s character, one thing I found interesting is the way she was written in this film, because the character is a housemaid, and while she always has to be forced to do work all the time, she is almost like another member of the family. There are certain scenes where I get a vibe where she is treated like a servant to royalty and others where I get a sense that she is treated like someone who is higher up on the ladder for opportunity. I won’t go into detail, because, again, I have to be vague.

Technically speaking, “Roma” is one of the best films of the year, because it manages to execute a couple of things I don’t traditionally see in a film. From the black and white presentation to the beautiful cinematography to the stellar direction, I was wholeheartedly impressed. Aside from the once mentioned opening and closing shots in the film, “Roma” has numerous scenes which go on for a long time, and they are actually more impressive than said opening and closing. Like, mind-blowing impressive. I honestly have to thank Netflix for actually keeping my people in mind, because if it weren’t for your actions of actually showing this movie in theaters, I would have avoided it at all costs.

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

NOTE: It’s also the only one, so it is also the worst.

Will “Roma” actually get me to buy Netflix’s service? Maybe encourage me to seek out more Netflix content? Perhaps get me to choose Netflix over chilling? No. Maybe the second part would happen should more content from Netflix be put in theaters, but this movie was a surprise if there ever was one. It is nice to see movies that can provide a personal touch, the director of this movie had such a large amount of control over the project to the point where no studio could basically interfere with his work. And what do we get? This. “Roma” had not even a singular, solitary flaw present. Maybe the pacing could turn off some people, but once we get to the twenty minute or thirty minute mark, this movie starts getting GOOD. I also wouldn’t say I’d recommend for everyone to go see this movie. After all, it’s already on your cell phone. But in all seriousness, “Roma” was worth every penny, and it is deserving of a 10/10! Also, Netflix, not to sound demanding, I know physical media isn’t your first idea of a hoot, but I would be willing to buy your movie on Blu-ray should you decide to put in that format. You hear that Netflix? I’m actually willing to buy something from you! Take that into consideration while you can! Thanks for reading this rare Netflix movie review! Speaking of streaming services releasing movies in theaters, Amazon just came out with a film recently and I happened to go see it. Be sure to stay tuned for my review of “Cold War,” coming soon. Also, next week, I am planning to release my nominees list for the 1st Annual Jackoff Awards, the most serious and prestigious awards ceremony of all time! Eat your heart out, Academy! Be sure to follow Scene Before for free with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Roma?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite Netflix movie? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Avengers: Infinity War (2017) Official Trailer: Revived Hope For Marvel Studios?

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Today I have a trailer review for you all, and it’s a trailer that pretty much everyone who is a Marvel fan has been asking to receive for quite some time. Now that it’s here, I imagine they’re all excited. Am I a Marvel fanboy? Sort of. I don’t read the comics but I enjoy the movies, and despite how I mainly watch the movies, I do actually sometimes discover information that has been covered in various comic books, and the same can be said for DC. Do I really like Marvel more than DC? From a movie perspective, you can say I do, but quite honestly after seeing DC’s movies this year, they’ve not only created better content movie-wise this year as a whole, but they’ve also given me the thought that they could create content that can compete and surpass the content we’ve gotten with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As far as next year goes, Marvel has more movies coming out than DC, and one of them is “Avengers: Infinity War,” whose trailer we’ll be talking about today. For those of you who don’t know, “Avengers: Infinity War” will be the nineteenth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In this movie, the Avengers have to stop Thanos, played by Josh Brolin (The Goonies, No Country for Old Men) before he collects six Infinity Stones, and if this madness isn’t stopped, he will inflict his wicked will on reality itself. So without further ado, let’s talk about the trailer.

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So the trailer starts off and you hear a bunch of voices. These voices all come from members of the Avengers, and they all come together to form a phrase, saying that the Avengers was formed in order to take down people that the ordinary couldn’t defeat themselves. Throughout we get a bunch of shots of the Avengers, some of which look colorful by the way. We also get one where we see one of the Infinity Stones inside Vision’s head, which should set up some of what we get in this upcoming film.

Then we get one of the most unexpectedly long logo introductions I’ve ever seen in a trailer. It’s basically similar to the Marvel Studios logo you’d get in the MCU films that have come out since “Doctor Strange.” It’s not a bad logo, but it’s just a tad long for a trailer. Although I did see reactions to this trailer and people were geeking out over this, which I can respect.

Then we get something that I admire this trailer for showing, despair. We see a bunch of heroes together, a shake comes along, and next thing I notice, Tony Stark is walking out of a door. One criticism I have here is the shot arrangement as he does this. We see him walking, the camera is close to Tony from behind, and then all of a sudden, the shot changes to basically the same thing, except instead of being a close-up, it’s more like a medium shot. As this is going down, we begin to hear Thanos’s voice.

THANOS: “In time, you will know what it’s like to lose. To feel so desperately that you’re right. Yet to fail all the same. Dread it. Run from it. Destiny still arrives.

As Thanos is saying all of this, we get a shot of Spider-Man’s hairs raising, we also see the heroes looking at all of the s*it that’s going down, and we also see Loki holding the Tesseract, which you may remember as an important entity from the first “Avengers” movie. We then see Thanos exit the portal. Who is Thanos? If you’re unfamiliar with Marvel…

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He’s basically the Marvel villain equivalent of that one kid who stole your candy on Halloween, only he’s not wearing a poorly realized Barney the Dinosaur costume.

Seeing Thanos the way he is at this point is rather weird to me, because up until now, we’ve seen him in his armor. We still see armor, but one thing that’s noticeably gone is his helmet. According to Joe Russo, one of the two directors of “Avengers: Infinity War,” he has a more “casual” and “spiritual” look, Russo explained during his time at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con that this costume is symbolic for the character throughout his journey attempting to collect the stones. We then hear Black Panther speaking for the first time in this trailer, all the while getting some more cool looking shots.

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Afterwards, we get some action, and even a scene where Tony’s in his Hulkbuster suit, which was used in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” in a fight against the Hulk. One of the most important shots in this which I feel adds drama to the entire trailer is one shot where we see vision’s Infinity Stone removed from his head by Thanos’s staff. He places a stone in a compartment located on the armor which is on his person, right next to another stone. This signifies he has two stones and he still has more to look for.

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There aren’t that many shots left before the trailer comes to an end, but one shot I heard others talk about that I will bring to your attention is the one you see above. You can see a bunch of the Avengers running towards the camera fighting with all they’ve got in a field of grass. I watched one reaction video saying this looks like the new “team shot,” although I disagree considering how the team has Iron Man who looks like he’s out of this shot, and I don’t see Vision anywhere. Maybe he was killed as the stone was taken from him. I don’t know, what do you think?

After we see the logo for this upcoming film, we then get one final moment of footage. We see Thor, he has one eye, and he asks “Who the hell are you guys?” The next thing we see after that, a shot of the Guardians of the Galaxy! This means that for the first time, the Guardians will now cross into a Marvel film that isn’t standalone! The release date for this film, according to the trailer, is May 2018, although to be more technical it’s May 4th, 2018, which sounds more like a proper release date for a “Star Wars” film considering that’s what us geeks refer to as “Star Wars Day.”

So now we made it here, we’ve made it to the point that this whole cinematic universe was leading up to, Thanos. Regardless how the movie will be, this trailer was amazing. It does exactly what a trailer needs to do and unfortunately, a tad more, which we will get to. As far as shot composition, I’m pretty impressed. There’s a nice variety of shots all over the trailer, some of which show off neat CGI, granted I feel the color grading can be adjusted a little bit, but for the most part, they’re great shots. In fact, one thing that somewhat surprises me is the aspect ratio of the trailer. This movie is using the Arri Alexa IMAX camera to shoot the entire film. This means when the film is shown in all IMAX theaters, more of the screen will be covered by an image. My assumption is that this will only apply to when the film is shown in IMAX, and when it’s shown in other theaters, the aspect ratio will come off as it does here, which does lead me to some questions regarding the Blu-ray. Also, one thing that makes me wonder why they’re going with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio for this trailer is that it’s not shot with one other camera. Also, when this movie comes to theaters, it’s unlikely that it’ll change aspect ratios, so why’s it like this?

This movie is being directed by the Anthony and Joe Russo, the two have also directed prior MCU films including “Capatin America: The Winter Solider” and “Captain America: Civil War.” After seeing those films, I’m convinced that the two can create an excellent “Avengers” film. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is one of my favorite movies from 2014 and when I did my top 10 best movies list for 2016, “Captain America: Civil War” ended up being on the top spot. Quite honestly, I think that spot now belongs to “Arrival,” a conclusion which I’ve come to after watching it multiple times on Blu-ray. Nevertheless, to go two years this decade with top movies directed by the same people is an achievement worth appreciating. “Captain America: Civil War” also felt like a mini-“Avengers”-film, all the while focusing on Captain America. So based on what I’ve seen in that film from a directing standpoint, especially when it comes to action, I have confidence that these two directors can deliver a watchable product.

Paul Bettany, who you may know as Vision in this upcoming movie, was just at Rhode Island Comic Con, and while he was there, he was at a panel alongside Sebastian Stan, who you may know as Bucky Barnes in this film as well. While he was there, he described it as “badass” and “amazing.” If I were a total fanboy, I’d probably be saying the same thing. Am I right now? I wouldn’t say I am as much as I want to. The main reason is because of Marvel’s past work, specifically “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “Thor: Ragnarok.” Those two movies, while passable, weren’t satisfying. The main reason I thought this way was that the comedy given in both movies just didn’t work. There were times where it did work in both films, but for the most part, it fell flat and as the movie went on, I couldn’t help but think “Stop trying! Take a break!” That comment can apply to both movies, but just a bit more for “Thor: Ragnarok.” For “Guardians,” I wanted the comedy to go on, because the comedy is what makes me think of “Guardians” as “Guardians,” but none of the attempts worked. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” took the original movie’s humor that sounds like something you’d hear in perhaps “Ghostbusters” or something and replaced it with humor you’d hear in some cheap animation from Sony Pictures Animation shoved down our throats. Let’s just say that you know that your movie is starting to lose me once you insert a joke about how big someone’s turds are. I don’t mind those sorts of jokes, but that made that installment suffer because of how much it felt like a different movie compared to the first one. The first one felt like a comedy with mature humor, not like “Deadpool,” but you’d get my point if you’ve seen the movie. The second one felt like a family comedy combined with “Fast & Furious.” And I say “Fast & Furious” not only because of how often comedy occurs and the fact that this film is explosive at times, but also because of this conversation from “GotG Vol. 2” that sounds like something you’d hear in “F & F.”

NEBULA: (to Gamora) All any of you do is yell at each other. You’re not friends.

DRAX: You’re right… we’re family.

The Guardians are also appearing in this movie, so as much as I’m kind of looking forward to what they’ll do here, I wonder if their constant joking that’s signature to them will bring clashing tones to the final product. “The Avengers,” much like “Guardians” and a bunch of other Marvel movies, has comedy of its own, but simultaneously, it remains serious, and as much as I appreciate good comedy, I want this to be one of the most serious Marvel movies of all time. Comedy can be interjected here and there, but all in all, having a being like Thanos in this movie means there needs to be some dark moments, and if you think I’m joking, I’m not.

And going on with my point, let me just say that this franchise hasn’t had ONE major character death yet. Despite my praise for “Captain America: Civil War,” one problem I have with it is that nobody dies. All of the Avengers fight each other and everyone turns out OK! The movie was so close to having Rhodes die, but it didn’t go all the way. If this movie goes all the way, I might consider it to be the best “Avengers” film yet. Now I’m not saying, at least at this point, that ANY Avenger has to die, I’m thinking if you pull out one such as the Hulk, Thor, or even Black Widow, I’ll care more. If you pull out Hawkeye, I seriously won’t care. All he’s done in these films is use a bow and arrow to partially impersonate Robin Hood and pretty much nothing else! From what I can tell, the Guardians of the Galaxy are going to survive in this movie. After all, not only is this their first “Avengers” installment, but they are also getting a standalone sequel in 2020. If there are any characters from that side of Marvel that will die, it wouldn’t be all of them. It would probably also piss off a good portion of younger audiences watching since they are probably the most family-friendly of the MCU characters. When it comes to Vision, it’s possible that he could die based on what we’ve seen from the trailer, while Thanos is getting the stone from his head, he could lose his life in the process. Would I care much if Vision dies? It’s hard to tell, I liked JARVIS, who is played by the same actor, but in order to get Vision, JARVIS had to go away. Has Vision really done that much as a character? Sure, he had one of the best scenes in “Age of Ultron” where he picks up Thor’s hammer, but other than that, what has he really done? His character has only been in a couple of films, he accidentally hurt War Machine, and he fell in love with Scarlet Witch. I’d care more if she died considering I felt more of a connection to her character in “Age of Ultron.” Not to mention she came off as slightly more kick-ass! But seriously, SOMEONE HAS TO DIE IN THIS MOVIE, OR IT’S POSSIBLE THAT MY SCORE WILL BE REDUCED! I am rather convinced that someone will die in this movie, but I don’t know if it’ll happen because it’s the nineteenth installment and we haven’t seen one person die, Marvel’s owned by Disney, and according to Kevin Feige, he says that there are 20 more films planned for the MCU after a fourth “Avengers” installment! MY F*CKING GOSH! At least James Bond USUALLY waits a few years until the release of another movie in the franchise. As far as Marvel’s neverending expansion, I don’t feel like talking about that, but as far as “Avengers: Infinity War,” it makes me think that we’ll finally see another great Marvel film. It has a lot going for it, and hopefully it can deliver. So we’ll just have to wait!

One last complaint I have is the whole dramatic moment of the trailer I was talking about earlier, as much as it may be great trailer material, it almost feels like a spoiler. Thanks for reading this post! I’ll have you know once again that “Avengers: Infinity War” is in theaters May 4th, 2018, and so far, things are looking pretty good for the movie. Part of me can’t wait to see it. I also want you to know that I’m currently working on my countdown pertaining to what I consider to be the worst changes made the original “Star Wars” trilogy. I don’t know when that’ll be out, but the new movie, “The Last Jedi,” opens in the middle of next month so I’ve got some time to finish it. I don’t know if I’ll be seeing this right away, but next week, “The Disaster Artist” comes out, and you guys probably don’t even know how much I want to see that! I’m not sure what will be going on this particular weekend, but I don’t know I’ll be going to see any movies this time around. Maybe I’ll watch a movie at home and review it, only time will tell! Stay tuned for more great content! And did you see the “Infinity War” trailer? What are your thoughts? Or, are there any major heroic characters in the MCU that you think will die in this upcoming movie? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

American Made (2017): Tom Cruise and Doug Liman Are Back!

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“American Made” is directed by Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, The Bourne Identity), and stars Tom Cruise (Risky Business, Mission: Impossible), Domhnall Gleeson (Ex Machina, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens), and Sarah Wright (21 & Over, Marry Me) and it is being marketed saying that it’s “based on a true lie.” The film’s about a pilot played by Tom Cruise who lands work transporting contraband for the CIA and as a drug runner for the Medellin Cartel in the south in the 1980s.

Going into “American Made” I was expecting a number of things. First off, a good movie, which by the way I did get. Second, a fine Tom Cruise performance, that was there too. Some moments of comedy despite having a serious situation at hand, that was also there. And I also expected an interesting story, for the record, I never really heard about this because I wasn’t born until 1999 and I just never researched it. I got all of that and a little more.

My favorite aspect of the entire film is how it looks. I went to see this film in IMAX, which I will say enhanced the experience a bit. By the way, if you do want to see this film in IMAX, make sure you can fit it in because this won’t be there long before “Blade Runner: 2049” comes out on October 6 and there could be a good chance that this won’t be playing at your local IMAX. As far as the camera goes, this film was shot on an Arri Alexa, which is a camera capable of shooting in 2K, which is higher than HD but lower than what is typically considered Ultra HD, or 4K as some people may call it. Even so, the film looked amazing. The aerial shots looked beautiful, the locations were gorgeous, and I truly felt like I was in the movie at times. But then again, I’ll mention, I saw the movie in IMAX. Also, one more thing. As much as I appreciated the cinematography in the movie, I wouldn’t say it was perfect. At times, it would zoom on certain things, and I have seen that before and it worked in other pictures, but here it’s kinda sketchy.

Let’s talk about Tom Cruise’s character of Barry Seal. If you ask me what I think of Tom Cruise himself, personally, I think he’s a fine actor. As a person, he may not be the best when it comes to relationships, or in terms of controlling his own ego, but as an actor, he’s got chops. He even starred in one of my favorite films of all time, and quite possibly my favorite coming of age movie, “Risky Business.” He’s also proven to be a stellar action star, just watch the “Mission: Impossible” movies! When it comes to Tom Cruise in “American Made,” I’d say that this is what happens if his performances from “Top Gun” and “The Last Samurai” got together and had a baby. The elements are there! In “Top Gun,” Tom plays a pilot, and as far as Tom Cruise in “The Last Samurai” goes, I didn’t really see much of Tom Cruise in that movie, and I mean that in a good way because Tom Cruise felt like a different person. Not to mention, both “American Made” and “The Last Samurai” take place way back before the time they came out. I will say, Cruise’s performance isn’t necessarily as good here as “The Last Samurai” because I can still see Tom as I watch “American Made,” but it is definitely a fine performance.

Sarah Wright plays Barry’s wife, Lucy. Wright did a fine job as her and while I can’t really say many redeeming things about her that makes her character stand out from many others, she definitely was a fine character and moved the movie along very well. Quite possibly Wright’s best scene, performance wise, is when she’s watching TV and she sees something that if I said it, would spoil some of the movie for you.

One of the biggest shockers for me in this movie is that Jayma Mays is in it. You may know her from “Glee,” a show which I actually never saw and it’s also a show I personally don’t want to see in the near future. However I have seen Mays in other movies which critically, were spat in their faces. I’ve seen Mays in 2009’s “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” and 2011’s “The Smurfs.” “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” is a guilty pleasure of mine, but I’ll mention to you I live near the shopping centers where this movie was shot. As far as “The Smurfs” goes, that might have been the worst movie I’ve seen to have released in 2011, now keep in mind, I haven’t seen “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1” or “Jack and Jill” so before you comment below, think wisely. Speaking of surprises, Jayma Mays probably gave the best performance in the entire flick. I honestly want to see her nominated for Best Supporting Actress when the Oscar season comes up. She plays Dana Sibota, the Assistant Attorney General of Arkansas, so when you go see this movie and it’s about halfway done, look forward to this character.

One thing that didn’t surprise me but I imagine could surprise some people who haven’t heard much about this movie is that at times, it’s funny. Now it’s not hilarious, it’s not like “The Hangover” or “Anchorman” or anything like that, nothing slapstick, it’s just rather comedic at times. I was watching one of the TV ads for this movie, it shows a plane crash, and Tom Cruise is talking to this guy on a lawn, and that actually turned out to be the part of the movie where I laughed the most.

In the end, “American Made” is worth checking out. I’m aware that awards season is around the corner, and I do hope this does get nominated in a couple categories: Best Supporting Actress for Jayma Mays’s performance, Best Cinematography, and Best Sound Editing, although in that aspect I don’t really think it stands a chance against “Dunkirk,” which basically turned the entire auditorium into a war zone. The replay value for this movie personally is a little low, and there are some characters that don’t really stand out as much as others, but all in all I had a good time watching this movie. I’m gonna give “American Made” a 7/10. Thanks for reading this review, next weekend I’m hoping to go see “Blade Runner: 2049,” the sequel to what is considered one of the greatest sci-fi films ever made, I can already tell it’s gonna be great just based on reviews, so I can’t wait. I’m also hoping to see “Stronger” which stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a man partially affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. Also, if you’ve got Tom Cruise fever right now, I’ll leave some reviews for movies that have Tom Cruise in them, feel free to take a gander, they are worth reading. Stay tuned for more reviews! Also, what is your favorite movie with planes in them? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

“THE LAST SAMURAI” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/09/11/the-last-samurai-2003-not-a-perfect-blossom-but-not-a-bad-one-either/

“RISKY BUSINESS” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/risky-business-there-is-no-substitute/

“THE FIRM” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/09/25/the-firm-1993-lifes-a-mitch/