The French Dispatch (2021): Wes Anderson Spreads the News

Characters! Characters everywhere!

“The French Dispatch” is directed by Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Rushmore) and stars Benicio del Toro (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Usual Suspects), Adrien Brody (King Kong, Predators), Tilda Swinton (Doctor Strange, The Deep End), Léa Seydoux (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Spectre), Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Fargo), Timothee Chalamet (Interstellar, Little Women), Lyna Khoudri (Papicha, The Specials), Jeffrey Wright (Casino Royale, What If…?), Mathieu Amalric (Quantum of Solace, Sound of Metal), Steve Park (Do the Right Thing, Warrior), Bill Murray (Ghostbusters, Stripes), and Owen Wilson (Loki, Cars). This film is a compilation of a few different written stories brought to life, all of which are told in The French Dispatch.

It’s been nearly a month since I watched this film, but before I went in, I’ve seen a number of Wes Anderson’s flicks. Much like Quentin Tarantino, Anderson has a distinct directorial style that I have not seen from anyone else. He shoots a number of his films with shots containing vibrant colors up the wazoo. One of his more recent pictures, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” which I enjoyed, shows a mix of aspect ratios from 4:3 to traditional scope widescreen. He has a flair to his work that if I were a director I almost want to resist at the risk of being deemed a copycat. But just because his quirks are obviously present in his directorial style, does not mean that the story in his films are sacrificed. Months ago, I put on “Moonrise Kingdom” for the first time and safe to say, I really enjoyed the connection the two main kids had with one another. The writing had this feel to it that explained everything you needed to know, but felt satisfyingly minimalistic. I don’t really have another way to describe it.

I was rather excited for “The French Dispatch.” I thought the marketing was decent, and hopefully it would be worth the wait after COVID-19 pushed this film back, just like everything else. Having seen it, I honestly think it is on the lower tier of Wes Anderson’s library. This does not say much however, because much like Christopher Nolan and Pixar, an inferior movie from Wes Anderson is still a movie many would kill to make. “The French Dispatch” is interestingly told because it’s not exactly one story, it’s a story that influenced the display of other stories. It kind of reminded me of the “Treehouse of Horror” specials that “The Simpsons” do every Halloween, although in this case it’s not the same characters in each story. I say that because the film is essentially a few different stories all told in the same newspaper. Each one has its set of main subjects, and they’re all after different goals. I kind of like this style of storytelling because there are a lot of movies that I watch nowadays where you have one character and their goals, everything feels very important. This feels lighthearted and fun, but it’s also not over the top. At the end of the day, the movie’s goal is to make the viewer have fun, which I did. Although that also brings in a minor complaint, even though there are characters that sew all the stories together, “The French Dispatch” does not have a specific character that I can look back on and remember as the center of the story, at least one that is particularly interesting when it comes to those at the French Dispatch. And frankly, even though these characters have their quirks, some of which may be due to Wes Anderson’s directing style, there is not one I can say I loved more than any other. This movie has so many characters that it’s hard to keep track of all of them. It especially does not help when you’re reviewing the movie nearly a month after seeing it.

Although just because there are so many characters that it makes the cast for a “Lord of the Rings” movie look small, does not mean that I did not enjoy any of the three stories. All of them were in fact, very good. I was delighted by all of them. The Concrete Masterpiece, which is a pretty creative title, is an interesting look at an artist who has to do time while also focusing on his work. Although of the few main stories, it was probably my least favorite. Revision to a Manifesto was wonderfully quirky, very Wes Anderson-esque. I loved the idea of a chessboard revolution, I would have never thought of that. Then again, I never play chess. If you put me in front of a chess board and it was my turn, I’d just slap the opponent’s pieces off the board and shout “Yay! I win!”

I would never fare well in a chess tournament.

The Private Dining Room with the Police Commissioner, which was the final story told of the bunch, was also a ridiculously entertaining piece of writing brought to life (even if it is fiction). I also think they did a good job at segmenting these stories in a certain way, because if you watch the movie, the real thing that connects all these stories together is the fact that they are presented in the same news outlet and are set in similar spots. There is not one specific story that has a main character that is directly tied to another, so they could have played around with all of them in whatever order they choose, but I think in terms of giving this film a satisfying conclusion, this final story was the best one, because not only is it, for what I recall, probably the most action-packed of all the stories presented, but it ends in such a way that is fitting for a finale. Not the story itself, but the aftermath of it where the people are talking about it. I will not go into detail about it, because I would rather have you see the movie yourself and be entertained by it.

If I had anything else to say about the film, I do think it did a good job with both the costuming and makeup. For the record, this film came out in a limited number of theaters the same weekend “Dune” had its wide release, so I got to see Timothee Chalamet (right) in two films on the same weekend. I could tell who Timothee Chalamet was on screen, but at times, at least from my eyes, he did not look like his real self. He looked like he could actually age a bit. But at times he’d also revert back to someone younger. It’s hard to describe. His outfit felt distinguished and he looked like he had his hair done a bit. His outlook was striking, and maybe having “Dune” come out at the same time had something to do with it, but it caught my attention nevertheless.

In the end, “The French Dispatch” is a delightful film that even though it is not Wes Anderson’s best work, is one I am looking back on with a smile. To be frank, as I wrote this review, I thought it would be fun to maybe watch it a second time. Maybe not in a theater, unless nothing else was out and I wanted to use my A-List for a free film. Either way, Wes Anderson made a delightful movie. The cast is incredible, although I wish I remembered all the characters. Although maybe that’s the advantage of a repeat viewing in this case. There’s so many characters, that they can only be appreciated in multiple viewings. I’m going to give “The French Dispatch” a 7/10.

“The French Dispatch” is now playing in theaters everywhere.

Thanks for reading this review! If you enjoyed this review, be sure to look forward to my reviews for “Last Night in Soho,” “Eternals,” “Ron’s Gone Wrong,” and “King Richard.” I cannot wait to get these reviews out for you all. I was gonna go see “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” this weekend, although I don’t know if I have the time. I was planning on seeing it with a couple other people, but it’s more or less a matter of what time works for them, as opposed to me. So a review may be coming, but I won’t be seeing it right now. If you want to see this and more on Scene Before, follow the blog either with an email or a WordPress account! Also, check out the official Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “The French Dispatch?” What did you think about it? Or, since I brought it up… What is your favorite “Treehouse of Horror” segment from “The Simpsons?” My favorite would probably have to be “Citizen Kang,” the one that coincided with the 1996 U.S. Presidential Election. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Ghostbusters II (1989): Something Weird Alright

Hey everyone, Jack Drees! It is time for part 2 of 2 in the “Ghostbusters: Before Afterlife” review series. Yes, that’s the name we’re going with. After all, the series literally happens before “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” comes out and I’ll note that I thought of the title in March, published it, and have not had time to change it. But whatever, we’re sticking with it! No one ever said I was a god! But, Gozer, if you are reading this, I assure you, I am a god. TRUST ME. Either way, last week we reviewed the original “Ghostbusters,” the 1984 comedy featuring four guys who join forces to take down the paranormal in New York City. If you read my review, you’d know that I enjoyed the film and I would put it up there with some of the films you should see before you become a ghost yourself. Some tiny increments are slightly questionable by today’s standards, but regardless, I really like the movie. Today we are going to be talking about the 1989 sequel, “Ghostbusters II,” which until prepping for this review, I have never seen. What did I think? Read on to find out for yourself!

“Ghostbusters II” is directed by Ivan Reitman, who also directed the original “Ghostbusters,” and stars Bill Murray (Stripes, Scrooged), Dan Aykroyd (The Blues Brothers, Caddyshack), Sigourney Weaver (Alien, The Year of Living Dangerously), Harold Ramis (Stripes, Second City Television), Rick Moranis (Second City Television, Sterling Brew), Ernie Hudson (Spacehunter: Adventures in the Hidden Zone, Two of a Kind), and Annie Potts (Pretty in Pink, Corvette Summer). This film is the sequel to “Ghostbusters” and follows the four busters for hire as they are able to revive their unique business when ectoplasm is present in a river and ghosts resurge around New York City.

The “Ghostbusters” property has become one of the most iconic in all of history. So much so to the point that it has a few movies, an animated series, a sequelish video game, and a ton of quotable lines. Frankly, I have not dived all that much into the expanded material. However, it does not take away my appreciation for the original film. I ended up watching the 2016 remake before “Ghostbusters II.” Granted, that 2016 film was not exactly connected to the original series in continuity so it did not require me to watch those films, although watching that first film in advance, which I had on Blu-ray for some time, certainly helped. It not only helped me understand some of what to expect going into the remake, but after seeing the remake, it reminded me of how much better the original is in terms of characterization, humor, and action. Although it feels weird to say that I’ve not seen “Ghostbusters II.” I was not born on or before 1989 so in a way it kind of makes sense, but one would figure as someone who has enjoyed the original that I would come around to the sequel at one point or another. Nope! I ghosted the sequel far too long, and now it is time for me to give it the attention it deserves.

The saying is as cliché as ordering fries at a McDonalds, sequels are typically inferior to the original. Do I think that is the case with “Ghostbusters II?” Definitely. The sequel has a slightly campier feel compared to its counterpart, and honestly it feels more like it is trying to cater to families (after all it primarily features a baby) than the original. I wonder if the creation of PG-13 in 1984 had anything to do with it, but I could be spitballing here. After all, I’ve noticed less swearing and less lewd content. After all, you’ve got to entertain the kiddies who probably also saw a horny Sigourney Weaver seduce Bill Murray like it was their last days on earth. I will say though, this is sort of my first problem, albeit a personal one, with the film. The original “Ghostbusters,” even though it could definitely entertain younger audiences, felt grittier. It felt more adult and raw. “Ghostbusters” felt like a movie that put imaginary, spooky ghosts in a realistic environment with real people searching after true purpose in life. While “Ghostbusters II” definitely has elements of realism, and some continuations of previous storylines from the original film, the film starts off with this vibe that feels more supernatural, which is weird to say because the purpose of both movies is literally about guys trying to exterminate the supernatural.

While Sigourney Weaver’s character of Dana having a kid adds a bit to her character and makes sense chronologically, I much prefer the more adult aspects of the original film. Much of what happens between her, the kid, and everyone else that comes into her life, feels more like a kids movie more than a movie that could cater to almost anyone like the original did.

I will say though, one thing that has not changed is the chemistry between the four ghostbusters. Each respective actor portrays these individuals like glitter. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson. I will say though, despite their impressive chemistry, there are not as many quotable lines in this film compared to the original. I mean, there are a few funny ones, but if you asked me to name the first “Ghostbusters” quote that comes to mind, I’m probably gonna think of “We came, we saw, we kicked it’s ass,” long before “You’re short, your bellybutton sticks out too far, and you’re a terrible burden on your poor mother.”

I will point out my favorite part of the movie though, it is the chemistry between Rick Moranis and Annie Potts. The two actors are back as their respective characters, Louis Tully and Janine Melnitz. But this time around, instead of seeing them on their own charades, they’re together, and they find themselves in a situation where they’re kind of in love. I am not the kind of person that “ships” people, it just does not seem like a guy thing. But I will tell you, I think when it comes to two people who I legit think make a cute couple, Louis and Janine was a pair I did not ask for, but it’s also a pair I never knew I would have wanted. Janine and Louis hang out during a time when the former was hired to babysit for Dana’s kid, and some of the lines between these two feel absolutely perfect for the moment, and I could honestly watch a getaway style romantic comedy between these two. I’m not a romcom guy, but if these two were in it as their respective characters or different personalities, I would watch it instantly. Unfortunately, such a thing will probably never happen as we rarely see Moranis in anything nowadays. I mean, he’s only done a Mint Mobile commercial and an episode of “The Goldbergs” in recent years so the chances of this coming to light are as low as Tiger Woods’s scoring average.

The other highlight of the film is the ending. HOLY S*IT is it the perfect blend of stupid, awesome, and flat out insanity. If you take the bonkers nature of the original film by the end of it, and multiply it to gargantuan levels, you get the ending of “Ghostbusters II.” No, seriously! This is THE definition of a sequel. It doesn’t make the movie good, but in my book, it’s a proper definition. It’s that common saying, bigger is better! But that’s just advertising! “Ghostbusters II” presents a less heightened reality in this case! Without giving everything away, let’s just say, for those of you who have not seen this movie, I will guarantee that the “statue of liberty” scene and everything else involved with that is worth every single f*cking penny.

I will also say that the antagonists of this film got a bit of a downgrade compared to the original. In this film’s defense, I knew about Vigo the Carpathian going in, thanks to the internet and maybe comic con. Vigo was okay. He was not as memorable as say Slimer, who wasn’t even the main antagonist of the original, but still. And by the way, I will note that Slimer does make an appearance in this sequel too, but again, that’s not the point! It’s hard to be compelled by a villain when all he does is stay in one spot during the movie. Well, The Emperor in “Return of the Jedi” being an obvious exception here. Although he did move a bit when we were first introduced to him so I don’t know if my example is quite on point. As for the other villain, we have Dr. Janosz Poha, played by Peter MacNicol. Now, his character may look like a dick, but looks aren’t everything. Going back to what I said about this film being more kiddy than the original. I feel like MacNicol’s portrayal of this character is part of it. Personally, if he were around today and I were a casting director, I’d put him in as an Internet troll in a Disney Channel original movie. The execution of MacNicol’s dialogue in many scenes for some reason feels stiff and cartoon-like. Again, it takes some grit away from the franchise.

I think “Ghostbusters II” suffers from escaping reality and entering this vibe that represents a cartoon at times. Now this franchise did eventually develop a cartoon, but that’s not the point. The original film had this feel to it that put me in the room with these guys that were experiencing problems of their own and we see how they try to develop their solutions in ways that feel practical despite taking place in a world of ghosts. The sequel seems to become overly hyperactive and tries too hard. Some of the acting feels overdone and the story bridges into an unpleasingly unrealistic territory. I have seen films that are much more infuriating than “Ghostbusters II,” but this is not one I would be putting on again in the next month.

Ernie Hudson, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis in GHOSTBUSTERS.

In the end, “Ghostbusters II,” as much flack as I’m giving it, is not the worst movie I’ve ever seen. Heck, it’s not even my least favorite “Ghostbusters” film! But this film feels weirdly cleaner than its 1984 counterpart, and not in a good way. Again, I would imagine the MPAA had something to do with it since the concept of PG-13 was invented. With that idea, you could get away with more, but possibly risk losing box office money from younger audiences. You want little Timmy wearing that Ghostbuster Halloween costume, right? Let’s get some kids in the theater! Maybe I’m being a bit harsh, but this reminds me of when “Revenge of the Nerds II” came out. The first film, simply titled “Revenge of the Nerds,” was rated R. It was raunchy, dirty, and by today’s standards, somewhat questionable. I continue to find it ridiculously entertaining, but there are one or two scenes that if they came out today, they might end up on the cutting room floor to avoid controversy. Then “Nerds in Paradise” came out, got a PG-13 rating. Yes, there’s still some naughty material in the movie, but it is a significant downgrade if you will compared to the first movie. Both “Ghostbusters” and “Ghostbusters II” ended up with PG ratings, but time shows the evolution of movie ratings and I would say that it has altered a bit through the 1980s. Maybe it is not the best idea to be comparing “Ghostbusters II” to its original counterpart, but when the original counterpart is as iconic and quotable as it is, it makes such an avoidance nearly impossible. With that being said, I’d rather watch the original “Ghostbusters” before its sequel, and I’m going to give “Ghostbusters II” a 5/10.

“Ghostbusters II” is available on VHS, Laserdisc, DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K Blu-ray. The film is also available wherever you buy or rent movies digitally.

Thanks for reading this review! Thanks for reading this two part mini-series I like to call “Ghostbusters: Before Afterlife!” Be sure to check out my review for “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” which will be posted some time after the movie comes out. Also, next month, is my final movie review series for 2020, and it is one based on an iconic sci-fi franchise. No, not “Star Wars,” we already did that one. It’s “The Matrix!” That’s right! This December, I’ll be talking about the “Matrix” trilogy, directed by the Wachowskis, in preparation for the upcoming film “The Matrix: Resurrections,” starring Keanu Reeves who will be returning as Neo. All will be discussed in my upcoming series, “The Matrix: Reviewed!” Look forward to it! I’ll be reviewing “The Matrix” on December 5th, “The Matrix: Reloaded” on December 12th, and “The Matrix: Revolutions” on December 19th. That last date may change as the new “Spider-Man” film may be prioritized, but we’ll see. Either way, look forward to the upcoming series! I can’t wait to get into it! If you want to see this and more on Scene Before, follow the blog either with an email or WordPress account! Also, check out the official Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “Ghostbusters II?” What did you think about it? Or, do you believe in ghosts? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Ghostbusters (1984): A Comedy That Proton Packs in a Ton of Fun (Spoilers)

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Just a reminder that this November, “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” hits theaters after being delayed multiple times due to COVID-19. But we are not going to talk about that today, because today we’re going to be talking about the 1984 comedy “Ghostbusters.” This is the film that started it all. Enjoyed by critics and general audiences alike, “Ghostbusters” ended up being the second-highest grossing film of 1984, right below “Beverly Hills Cop.” It is one of the most recognized Sony properties as of today. The film recently celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2019 and just a few years prior, it was remade with women as the stars… Which really did not work out. If anything, it only made me appreciate the original a bit more. Speaking of which, let’s dive into my review for “Ghostbusters,” the first of two installments in my mini review series, “Ghostbusters: Before Afterlife.” No, seriously. That’s how creative the title is…

“Ghostbusters” is directed by Ivan Reitman (Heavy Metal, Stripes) and stars Bill Murray (Stripes, Caddyshack), Dan Aykroyd (Trading Places, Blues Brothers), Harold Ramis (Heavy Metal, Stripes), Sigourney Weaver (Alien, The Year of Living Dangerously), and Rick Moranis (SCTV, Streets of Fire) in a film where a group of men are kicked out of their respective university. This trio of parapsychologists and a man who just wants a job join forces to exterminate ghosts wreaking havoc in New York City.

In 2016 I reviewed the woman-centered “Ghostbusters” remake. Every time I talk about that film since I saw it, I feel uneasy. Not just because I did not like it. And BOY I did not like it. But I also feel like I have to go above and beyond to justify my dislike for that film, because part of me assumes that people will think I just hate women. That film ended up being a 1/10, which was my first on this blog, not to mention my least favorite film of the 2010s. Before that, I watched the original with my dad for the first time (not counting one time where I fell asleep because it was super late). Prior to going in, I already knew about the film and some of the things in it. There was the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, the iconic Ray Parker Jr. song, and Slimer. I already knew some core elements of the film through the Internet, seeing merchandise, and weirdly enough, playing “LEGO Rock Band” on my Nintendo DS as a ten year old. Of all the songs they could put on that game, the “Ghostbusters” theme song was one of them.

Over the years and after multiple rewatches, including my recent one that I did for this review, I have grown quite fond of the original “Ghostbusters.” To put it short, it’s fun, action-packed, and has a style of comedy that is about as raw as it could get in this film’s environment. I see a lot of comedies nowadays and they often go for these over the top, extravagant attempts at humor, and some work, some don’t, but with “Ghostbusters,” every other moment in the film, despite having a fantastical vibe because there’s ghosts and demons, feel like they could happen in real life. There’s this subtlety between select characters that kept my attention. Characters like Peter and Egon. The two on the surface are not exactly over the top 100% of the time, but they also have their quirks.

Now don’t take that statement too seriously, because this film was made in 1984, and over my past couple rewatches, there are a couple effects-heavy scenes, such as the one where Rick Moranis is running away from Zuul, that occasionally look hilarious. Zuul is menacing. No doubt. His design is perhaps perfect for this world. He has this dirty, rugged feel to him. But there is this moment where Louis’s party goes a bit haywire, Louis flees, Zuul crashes through the wall of his apartment into the hallway and his head busts into the wall. I love a lot of things about this movie, including the scene where Zuul chases after Louis in the middle of the city, but this instance of effects being… so eighties, is hilarious. If I saw that today as a visual effects artist, I would consider it unfinished. Granted, this is a 1984 film we are talking about, so visual effects have come a long way since then, but it’s still kind of hilarious. It does not take away from the moments were we see Zuul in minimal motion, because that’s where he looks the most terrifying.

Let’s talk about the three parapsychologists: Peter (Bill Murray), Ray (Dan Aykroyd), and Egon (Harold Ramis). The best part about these people is that despite having such prestigious degrees, they feel like regular guys. Guys you can talk to, hang out with, have a beer with. Although I will say, part of me kind of relates to Egon the most… Even though on the surface, he may seem somewhat outgoing, I feel that on the inside, he’s a bit shy. He kind of reminds me of myself, and similar to me, I would not be surprised if one would put him on the autism spectrum. Just look at this conversation between him and Janine, the secretary in the film wonderfully portrayed by Annie Potts.

Janine Melnitz: You’re very handy, I can tell. I bet you like to read a lot, too.

Dr. Egon Spengler: Print is dead.

Janine Melnitz: Oh, that’s very fascinating to me. I read a lot myself. Some people think I’m too intellectual but I think it’s a fabulous way to spend your spare time. I also play raquetball. Do you have any hobbies?

Dr. Egon Spengler: I collect spores, molds, and fungus.

If you watch the movie and see this moment play out in real time, Egon’s mannerisms show a supposed indifference to the situation at hand. He’s brutally honest about the subject of reading, although at the same time, he’s making an effort to listen to what Janine has to say, and he exposes his unique hobbies. If I were at a certain age or state of mind, I would be telling people that in my spare time that I like to go outside and ride elevators. No, seriously. That’s one of my real hobbies. And one can wonder why I don’t have much of a social life.

As for Ray, I think he’s definitely the most hyperactive of the bunch. Every other line out of him has an upbeat tone to it, especially during the scene where he and the other busters try to catch Slimer. I think Dan Aykroyd has the most relatable personality out of everyone on the team. He’s not just there for the scientific research, not just for the money, but for the thrill of everything else that comes along. I could genuinely tell that in each moment of the film, there was at least one thing that he thought about, saw, or heard that sparked joy. This is especially true in the scene where the guys are looking at their potential living space, while Egon is blubbering about how he thinks the place should be condemned, Ray enthusiastically slides down a pole. While the other two parapsychologists clearly don’t give a crap, Ray’s running around like a little child, excited about this place. He has this child-like personality to him that puts a fun feel in a film with scary monsters.

Now I like Bill Murray in this film. His performance here is fantastic. He’s kind of got a con artist vibe, but the character of Peter Venkman is still admirable. Some of the lines his character has is great too. The scene between him and Dana where she’s possessed is nothing short of hilarious between Murray’s one-liners and Sigourney Weaver’s sensual yet disturbing presence. Although on that subject, I will say that there is one scene where I thought Murray was becoming a borderline creep, almost in the same the sense that I may describe Lewis from “Revenge of the Nerds,” but in defense of Peter Venkman, this movie is PG, allowing him to be less creepy. I bring this complaint up because I like both characters, but there are times where I feel like they are going after girls like clingy dogs. When Peter and Dana first meet, there are a couple lines out of Peter’s mouth that had me a little uneasy. Part of me thinks Venkman is a somewhat classy dude and of all the “Ghostbusters,” I would consider him to be the driest, allowing for some of the funniest lines of the film to appear.

Dr. Raymond Stantz Everything was fine with our system until the power grid was shut off by dickless here.

Walter Peck They caused an explosion!

Mayor Is this true?

Dr. Peter Venkman Yes it’s true. [pause] This man has no dick.

Walter Peck Jeez! [Charges at Venkman]

Mayor Break it up! Hey, break this up! Break it up!

Walter Peck All right, all right, all right!

Dr. Peter Venkman Well, that’s what I heard!

As much as I despise the 2016 “Ghostbusters” remake, part of me could see why one would want to reimagine it because the film is very much from the perspective where guys think sex cures everything and makes everything else seem unimportant. Aside from the moment where Peter has to avoid the seductive nature of Dana in order to bust Zuul, there is a moment where Ray’s in bed, and a ghost is undoing his pants for him. The reason, I’ll leave it up to interpretation.

I also love the big climactic battle where all four Ghostbusters, including Ernie Hudson’s character of Winston, have to go up against Zuul and find out how exactly this beast could be conquered. There was not much of a quick pace to this fight that you might get in a modern blockbuster. Heck, the climax of “Ghostbusters” 2016 was as fast as a speeding bullet. But I think this movie did a great job at not only developing each character’s arc, both individually and collectively, but while building them, it showed the lack of experience these characters have with their craft, as they should. I mean, who else has ever used a ghost trap? The writing here is also stupendous between Zuul asking Ray if he’s a god, and the “chosen destructor” moment, which as Ray determines, is the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. FLAT. OUT. GENIUS! If I were in this situation, I probably would have done something similar! Who would I want to destroy the world? Dark Lords of the Sith from “Star Wars?” Nah! BRING ON EVIL SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS!

In the end, “Ghostbusters” makes me feel good. There are some flaws with the film. Some parts of it aged better than others, but by the standards of when it came out, the film was great. The characters are top notch from Venkman to Dana to Louis. Everybody is likable and quirky in their own way. The humor in this film feels rather dry, and I will admit, there are a few attempts that did not exactly hit me the way the filmmakers may have been going for, but there are also numerous times where I was laughing my ass off. If you like comedies, do yourself a favor and check this one out at least once. The film is definitely rewatchable. It’s not nightmarishly scary, but I don’t think that at the end of the day, that’s what everyone behind the film was going for. One last thing, the music in this film is great. And I’m not necessarily talking about the Ray Parker Jr. song, as iconic as it is, I’m talking about Elmer Bernstein’s score. It’s spooky, catchy, and weird. It matches the vibe this movie is going for. I’m going to give “Ghostbusters” a 7/10.

“Ghostbusters” is available on VHS, Laserdisc, DVD, Blu-ray, 4K Blu-ray, and is available to stream wherever you buy or rent digital movies.

Ernie Hudson, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis in GHOSTBUSTERS.

Thanks for reading this review! Stay tuned for my next review, because we are going to be tackling the second and final installment of the Ghostbusters: Before Afterlife review series, “Ghostbusters II.” The film, like many sequels, is often considered to be inferior to the original, but I cannot say at this point, as I have not watched it once. But I will watch it this week and my review will be up next Sunday, November 7th! Stay tuned! If you want to see more from Scene Before, follow the blog either with an email or WordPress account! Also, check out the official Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “Ghostbusters?” What did you think about it? Or, who is your favorite Ghostbuster? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Top Movies of the 2010s (THE WORST 25)

Top Movies of the 2010s OFFICIAL POSTER

WARNING: This post is over 11,000 words long….

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Yes, for those of you have already seen my best list, that was the same intro I had on said list. The intro contains films of all kinds, including some that I don’t like, not to mention some on this upcoming countdown. To me, the intro is so nice that it must be played twice! Nevertheless, now that I have talked about my top 25 FAVORITE movies of the 2010s, now it is time to talk about my 25 LEAST FAVORITE movies of the 2010s! If you are new here, I will let you know that I do not normally do top 25 lists. It’s usually top 10s, nothing else. However, the end of the decade signifies a special occasion, therefore it is time for a special countdown. As I go down the list, I will provide an image signifying each movie, a video clip from said movie, and a description discussing in this particular case why I didn’t like the film. Again, I’ll mention that these are all films that *I* don’t like, all of the entries to this list are meant to reflect my personal opinions. I am not saying that you should dislike any of these films, I’m just letting you know that these are the films that did not end up working for ME. I would encourage you to hold your opinions, keep them close, and if you have not watched any of these films, maybe give them a gander and see how they pan out. Maybe you’ll end up liking one of these films, in which case that’s amazing, I wish I had the ability to do that. Also, speaking of not seeing films, I will remind you that I have not seen every single film that has come out in the 2010s. There was a lot crap dumped into the realm of cinema that I just did not have enough time to hit all of it. If you are curious about some of the films that won’t be on the list, I’m sorry to say, you won’t see me rage about “Vampires Suck” (2010), “Jack and Jill” (2011), “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012), “The Smurfs 2 (2013), “Left Behind” (2014), “Fifty Shades of Grey” (2015), “Masterminds” (2016), “Flatliners (2017), “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” (2018)and “X-Men: Dark Phoenix.” Also, each entry to the list must have a theatrical release of any kind or else it does not make the list. With all of that out of the way, let’s release ten years worth of stress! These are my top 10 WORST movies of the 2010s!

#25: Aloha (2015)

Have you ever seen a movie that feels like nothing happens for the entire runtime? And if something does happen, you’re either bored or you just don’t care? That’s what watching “Aloha” feels like! And you know what? This just goes to show that Emma Stone is not the only big problem in this movie! Because in terms of pacing, this movie is dull, so dull that it must be the reason I happened to have been so sleepy-eyed during this film. This movie is an hour and forty-five minutes, which is surprising because the movie honestly feels like a day. The chemistry between pretty much a majority of the characters is awkward for a good portion of the runtime, it’s even more so with Emma Stone in the mix because she apparently plays a character who is part Asian. I’ll give credit to the director, Cameron Crowe, for at least apologizing about this casting choice, but nevertheless, it was awkward. By the way, if you are curious, the guy also directed 2011’s “We Bought a Zoo,” which BARELY missed the list. Speaking of apologies, you know who also apologized? Emma Stone! Yeah! During the 76th Golden Globes held last year, co-host Sandra Oh is in the middle of the opening monologue as she congratulates “Crazy Rich Asians” for its Best Picture- Musical Or Comedy nomination and calls it “the first studio film with an Asian-American lead since ‘Ghost in the Shell’ and ‘Aloha.’” Stone’s response, heard around the crowd, “I’M SORRY!” I’ll give credit where credit is due, even people behind the film are willing to talk about its imperfections. Because yeah, no movie’s perfect. A lot of movies suck, some more than others. But in all seriousness, don’t let this movie’s cast fool you. Some names include Bradley Cooper, he has been getting tons of award buzz before this movie! The recently mentioned Emma Stone, who I will point out just did “Birdman” before this film released! Bill f*cking Murray! He’s a major part of the Gopher Extermination Committee in “Caddyshack,” a guy who will eradicate all the strange somethings in your neighborhood in “Ghostbusters,” and lived the same day over and over again “Groundhog Day!” And you have President Donald J. Tr—err I mean Alec Baldwin. Sorry, I get those two confused sometimes. Great actors, but it’s not enough! Just… Ha-WHY was this made?! Mahalo for nothing!

#24: Cop Out (2010)

From the director of “Clerks,” comes a comedic cop film so bad that it leaves me silent all the way through, I’m talking about “Cop Out.” I admire Kevin Smith as a person. I think he is a charismatic and lovable dude, but it does not alter the reality that he did a movie as bad as this. Although I am pretty sure it’s not just him that’s to blame, I’d also say that when it comes to casting, that is one of the film’s bigger failures. Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan just don’t work well as a duo. Plus, I should point out that Bruce Willis has been getting to the point around this time where he usually would pick bad scripts. This is why when I think of Bruce Willis, I would rather focus on some of his earlier work like “Die Hard” or “The Fifth Element” as opposed to this sack of malarkey. The main reason why this film is being put on the list is fairly simple. I didn’t laugh once. I will say, I did watch the film on a TV channel, so for all I know it could have been edited quite a bit, but even with the edits, the film is still dull and uninteresting. If Kevin Smith came up with the name “Cop Out,” I will give him some credit, because that is what this film feels like in the very end, a literal cop out. Again, I admire the dude, but your movie needs more work than a teenager’s teeth!

#23: This Means War (2012)

Up next is a steaming pile of garbage featuring a decent trio of actors, but just because you have decent actors, doesn’t mean you have a decent movie. “This Means War.” I actually remember first buying the movie on Blu-ray at Best Buy. When I bought it, I did so purely for the price. Heck, the thing was $5! How could I pass that up? I go to the cashier and he says that he likes the actors in the movie and somehow, he has never even seen it. I wish I could be that guy. Romantic comedies are not my goto genre for movies, but even if I were into those movies, chances are I would still give this a 1/10 because the characters suck, the writing sucks, and honestly, I’ve probably forgotten a good portion of the movie by now. I remember the opening action scene, the part in the video rental store, I know the main the plot involves a fight over a girl, but there’s not much else to point in terms of memorable moments from “This Means War.” It’s forgettable and boring, two of the worst adjectives you can ever give to a movie. $5 may be a good deal for a lot of movies when buying them on Blu-ray, but even if I had the opportunity to watch this for free, I’d be ripped off. And if the guy from Best Buy at Cambridgeside Galleria who checked my stuff out is reading this right now, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, and Reese Witherspoon are respectable actors, but if you want a respectable movie, look elsewhere.

#22: The Hurricane Heist (2018)

Coming in at #22 is “The Hurricane Heist,” when it comes to disaster movies, this one’s, well, a disaster. And I mean that on every level from writing to characterization, and to my surprise, marketing. I say that because when I heard a title like “The Hurricane Heist” during ads for this film, and I saw what the commercials made this movie look like, I thought it could be the cheesiest fun bad movie of its year. It’s not even close to being fun in any way whatsoever! It’s just dumb! Not dumb good, in fact, if it makes sense, dumb ass! I am somewhat surprised that I am not making this up, but this is true, and it kind of makes me giggle, in a movie that heavily involves drastic, unfortunate weather, not to mention lots of wind, one of the characters’ names is BREEZE. One of the writers for this film has to have thought about inserting some joke name into the script at some point, so Breeze might have been one of the goofy ideas tossed around the table! I wasn’t there for the writing process, but I would not be surprised if this is literally what happened! Also, get this, apparently four people have some sort of writing credit for this! Just goes to show, when you have four people writing a film, it’s four times as awful! For the record, this film is directed by Rob Cohen, who also directed films like “The Fast and the Furious” and “xXx.” Both of those films were some of the finest guilty pleasure-esque material to have come out in their time, at least in my opinion. As for this piece of crap, not so much. I’d rather have a hurricane last forever than see this movie ever again!

#21: Seventh Son (2014)

I wonder if I ended up watching this movie somewhere else, I would have enjoyed it more, but the reality is, I think “Seventh Son” is one of the worst fantasy movies this world has ever witnessed. In fact, I was staying in Delray Beach, Florida when I saw this. There was a small fraction of time where I had nothing really better to do, so I went to the movie theater and saw this piece of s*it. It’s a film that feels sort of by the numbers, rather predictable, and saddest of all, boring. In fact, I saw this movie with somebody else and at some point in the runtime, perhaps thirty to forty-five minutes in, it could have been earlier for all I know, the person alongside me just happened to fall asleep! That’s how boring this movie is! I have never fallen asleep to a film in the theater, but I’m pretty sure my pal’s reaction, was pretty similar to my reaction. The only thing that seems to have worked at certain points during the film may have been the visuals. And part of me feels somewhat bad for putting this on the list because the sound during the movie was just horrible. I could not make out a good portion of the dialogue that was being uttered, and having seen this film only once, I don’t know who to blame. I saw it in a theater that I only visited for this movie in particular, and never went to again because I live all the way in Massachusetts. So if it’s not the sound system’s fault, I have to blame the people behind this movie. But even with the confusing sound problem, this film is poorly paced, cliché, and does not really add anything of value to its genre.

#20: Transcendence (2014)

One of my favorite genres is sci-fi, so if a sci-fi movie made this list, you’d KNOW it’s just plain bad. Case and point, “Transcendence.” I missed this in the theater, but I bought the DVD eventually and when I had the chance to watch the movie from beginning to end, I regretted every single moment of that process. The movie starts out halfway decent with its exposition. The buildup to the main events, overall, is relatively fine. As a concept, the film is at least intriguing. But the movie gets worse the longer I go through it. It’s almost astounding the transition that it makes! The pacing is piss-poor, the story becomes boring, and the really disappointing part, at least for me, is the fact that the film is directed by Wally Pfister, who did the cinematography for multiple Christopher Nolan-directed films including “The Dark Knight,” “Memento,” and “Inception.” This guy is one of the best cinematographers I have ever seen, and to see him in the director’s chair and make… well, THIS, is baffling to me. The actors are at very least, tolerable, but it didn’t make the movie any better. When this movie reached the end, I was bored out of my mind and questioning everything on screen. Speaking of which, I should point out that when I bought my DVD copy for this film, I popped it in and started watching it once, maybe twice, and I fell asleep before I could ultimately get through the whole thing. For the record, I remember watching at late hours, so I had a reason to fall asleep. But I was wise to do such a thing. So maybe, I would end up recommending this film if you all need some proper material to fall asleep to. “Transcendence” is one of the interesting cases of how bad sci-fi can be sometimes, even though it is perhaps my favorite genre. 

#19: Pitch Perfect (2012)

2012 is such a strange year, because I honestly had different opinions about a lot of the popular movies that came out that year. I liked “The Guilt Trip” even though a lot of people announced their displeasure with it on the Internet. I find “The Hunger Games” to be more overrated than McDonald’s. And when it comes to “Pitch Perfect,” I just want to die every time I hear that movie’s title. I was forced to watch this movie with my family when it came out on DVD. The advertising did not impress me because it didn’t look like my type of movie. Although cases have shown that I can be surprised at times (Saving Mr. Banks for example). When I saw the movie, I did not just feel unfortunate because I was watching it, but I also felt infuriated. Listen, I love movies, and I am a little biased here, but when was the last time that a major movie character makes “hating movies” a key plot point IN A MOVIE? Maybe there are some cases when it would work, but this movie FAILED on that. It’s like you’re going into a Little Caesars and finding out that the guy who runs the register hates pizza more than anything else. They’ve officially crossed a line and need to pay. Also, those acapella puns… F******************************************** ME! I mean, I kinda like Anna Kendrick, I think she has talent. But this movie sucks! Fun fact about this film, one of its big marketing taglines was “GET PITCH SLAPPED.” And you know what? That’s what this movie feels like! A pitch slap! I’m just glad the marketing team nailed the movie on the nose! Deception sucks sometimes.

#18: Daddy’s Home 2 (2017)

When it comes to movies, one of my weaker areas is perhaps films associated with Christmas. But in 2015, I went out and saw “Daddy’s Home,” a film where Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are trying to outdad each other if you will. Ferrell is a dad, Wahlberg is the visiting dad, and I’ll be honest. The movie sucked. It was off the rails, insane, and I couldn’t buy a number of the things that were going on. Then… I saw the sequel, “Daddy’s Home 2.” IT GOT WORSE. I watched it for free on Prime, but that was the only GOOD part! That and Mel Gibson, his character was actually terrifically written, but overall the movie is just BAD! The mile a minute humor just didn’t work. There are sideplots that I really didn’t care all that much about. The chemistry between John Lithgow and Will Ferrell is perhaps embarrassing. I guess it’s… GOOFY but… WHY?! Every time the two wanted to kiss each other on the lips I felt like another one of my precious IQ points just ceased to exist. Seriously guys, if I make a grammatical error during this countdown, I think part of the blame will end up going to “Daddy’s Home 2.” And part of me, admittedly, is ashamed to be putting this on the list because I know a guy who has a kid who is trying to become an actress, and props to her. I’m glad she’s trying to fulfill her dreams. But she was in “Daddy’s Home 2.” So… I don’t know who this person is, and I am rooting for you, 100%, but this movie… DANG. I created this blog to be honest reviewer, what can I say? This is why I call myself the Movie Reviewing Moron. You know, maybe I’m just a moron at this point, I dunno. But in all seriousness, this is one of those comedies that I just watched that started out bad, and just climbed up the ladder of pain for me. Then the end came, and it fell off the ladder and suffered severe damage.

#17: Sharknado (2013)

Syfy, I love your respect and catering to the geek community, but I f*cking hate you sometimes. Why? Because you’re responsible for “Sharknado.” Let’s be real, I could include all six of these abominations on the list, but I can’t because not all of them were in released theatrically. YES! The first movie had a theatrical run for ONE NIGHT. It counts! For the record, I actually did not go see the movie in theaters when it came out, but I sat down and watched it at home in 2016. It was bad but it was also so bad it was funny. Then I saw it again in 2017, where I lost my s*it in just about every single frame. Wait a minute, so let me do the math here. It’s conventional for a film to be shown in 24 frames per second. “Sharknado” is on TV, but it is still a “movie,” barely, so it qualifies. “Sharknado” has a runtime of 1 hour, 27 minutes, and 17 seconds. There are 60 seconds in a minute, which leads me to multiply 24 by 60, which comes out to 1,440 frames for every minute of the movie. There are 60 minutes in an hour, leading me to multiply 1,440 by 60, which equals to 86,400 frames in an hour. The movie, once again, does not go over two hours. 1,440*27=38,880, which gives the total number of frames presented in 27 minutes. 86,400+38,880=125,280, meaning in that hour and twenty-seven minutes, viewers would see 125,280 frames whizzing by on their screens in just one s*itshow. But wait! Because I didn’t add the 17 extra seconds! 24*17=408. Adding that 408 frames to 125,280, that adds up to 125,688 frames for just one motion picture! That’s MORE than enough to make someone like me debate over watching this movie or getting eaten by a shark! Is Tara Reid hot? Yes. But it does not make for a quality movie. Are there cameos all over the place? Yes. But it does not make for a quality movie. I remember the old days when movies were just watching people walk around town. How did we get to flying sharks that have the ability to breathe outside of water? Like, what the f*ck?! I get that this is a ridiculous concept that is made for TV, where there’s probably a greater excuse for poor production quality, but this movie is still irritating! And it also does not excuse the forgettable characters, I did this thing where I perhaps sacrificed my own soul and decided to livetweet to the premieres of the previous three “Sharknado” movies, and when you don’t remember any of the characters or their names from prior installments, that’s kind of a problem. “Sharknado,” what have you done to our society? Oh, I know! F*cking killed it, that’s what you did!

#16: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012)

You know how The Rock may be the biggest badass in cinema right now? Well… Go watch “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” and tell me you do not regret your decision. While Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is charismatic in a lot of roles he’s in, here, he’s just surrounded by cringe. Utter cringe. He’s surrounded by green screen s*it, unrealistically colored s*it, and all sorts of other s*it. I watched this movie once when I was staying at somebody’s house overnight, I was not in control of the television, and let’s just say that I WISH I was in control of that television. This movie isn’t exactly the worst kids film I have seen, but it is one of those unbearably cringeworthy, cliché, and anger-inducing experiences. The screenplay feels like what would be that stereotypical “kids adventure film,” but the thing is, it feels rushed, lazy, and horribly executed. Will kids enjoy this movie? Probably, sure. But I don’t know how much more intelligent it will end up making them. If you had to ask me, this is probably the worst movie with The Rock in it. And this is coming from a guy who saw “Tooth Fairy.” If you are having a Dwayne Johnson themed family movie night, just stick to “Jumanji,” stick to “The Game Plan.” Both of those are better movies to watch with your family if you ask me. ALSO, HOW DID THEY GET MICHAEL CAINE TO BE IN THIS?! Seriously! Do not watch this movie! It’s a hell of a JOURNEY! Literally!

#15: Ice Age: Collision Course (2016)

Coming in at #15 is “Ice Age: Collision Course,” one of the worst animated films ever made. It honestly amazes me that “Ice Age” got to five films before “Blade Runner” got to two films. I adore “Ice Age,” it is one of the more nostalgic properties of my time, so I have a soft spot for it. But this movie is the literal definition of hell. A lot of cliché storytelling methods are brought into this film and do not work out at all, the Scrat cutaways go on to eventually become the worst in the franchise, and the jokes in this film are as dimwitted and dumbed down as my grandma after she got ran over by a reindeer. There is a scene in the film where the frame cuts to an actual turd. They even take time to point it out! THIS FILM! GAH! This piece of horses*it on a stick also contains one of the most disturbing and off-putting scenes I have ever witnessed in an animated film. It sort of mocks the idea of having a baby and becoming a parent, and I don’t even want to continue describing it otherwise I’d blow a F*CKING GASKET! I imagine actors like Ray Romano and Dennis Leary, who are very talented by the way, I should be nice and point out that I enjoy some of the things they do, were ultimately just happy to get the paycheck. I think they just needed some work to pass the time, so this movie fit in perfectly. After all, when you’re doing voiceovers and not physically acting, it’s a pretty simple job. The animation itself looks impressive, this might even be the prettiest “Ice Age” movie yet, but given how this movie came out in 2016, good animation is perhaps a requirement, especially considering how this is a fifth installment to a popular and respectable franchise that is also the original feature-length idea to have come out from the studio who made it, which in this case, is Blue Sky. Oddly enough, “Ice Age: Collision Course” came out in 2016, which is the same year another stinker that takes place in the cold came out, specifically “Norm of the North.” Now I have not seen “Norm of the North” from start to finish, so I cannot give any official thoughts on it. Having said that, and knowing what I already have acquired about “Norm of the North,” I am afraid I watch it, it would make this movie, “Ice Age: Collision Course,” look like “Coraline.” I love how the second “Ice Age” film is called “The Meltdown,” because that is also something I must have experienced internally as I watched the sack of crap some like to call “Ice Age: Collision Course.” If you have kids, don’t show them this. EVER!

#14: Isn’t It Romantic? (2019)

You know what sucks? Stupid, half-assed parodies! Crappy, underwhelming scripts! Mixed, confusing messages that come out of nowhere! This movie has all three of those things! What movie do I speak of? I speak of “Isn’t It Romantic?.” I know I am not the target audience for romcoms, but having said that, this movie is just intolerable. This movie is self-aware, but when I say self-aware, I mean that in a way that feels practically insulting. The movie’s characters are often talking about how much they like going home, watching romantic comedies that someone like myself would never bother watching in the near future. Therefore, it should not be surprising that almost every element of the “cliche romcom” is explained to me, as an audience member, like I’m in pre-school. Even if this movie had one or two nifty ideas, they were not executed well at all! Most of the scenes in “Isn’t It Romantic?” just feel annoying, dull, or headache-inducing. And to make matters worse, this movie is pretty short. It’s an hour and twenty-nine minutes, and I STILL begged for the end! If anything, I think it’s amazing that this movie tries to make fun of a genre that I don’t traditionally enjoy watching and yet it still sucks ass! Also, who is Rebel Wilson’s agent? She needs better work! I don’t really like Wilson as an actress, but still!

#13: Cats (2019)

Oh, yay! “Cats” made the list! What other f*cking possibility did you expect? You know the YouTube channel Cinemasins? It would probably be awhile before they make an “Everything Wrong with Cats” video of some nature, but I would not be surprised if it ever happens as this movie has been universally mocked and panned by a large number of people. In my review for this film which I happened to have posted almost a month ago now, I originally given this a 2. This is one of the few movies I can think of in recent memory that has turned into a 1 overtime. I want to give credit for the visual effects in whatever way I can, because let’s face it, as creepy as everybody looks, there are a couple moments that make the visuals come off as the best part of the movie. But I would be lying if I didn’t confirm that the film’s visual appearance wasn’t unsatisfying to say the least. Speaking of that, I remember hearing that “Cats” was supposed to be redone visually in some way, kind of like what is happening with “Sonic the Hedgehog,” but honestly, I don’t see how that is going to help anything! The movie’s design will still supposedly look lackluster, the writing will still be piss-poor, and the singing sequences will still be boring for the most part! This is one of those films that I almost wonder how it even got made. It is a fine example of how not everything needs to be translated into a movie. I mean, if you want to see a movie where Sir Ian McKellan licks a plate, be my guest! But this is GANDALF we’re talking about! The guy deserves better than to be in this kitty litter! And worst of all, “Cats” is just… BOOOORRRRRRING! Did I mention Rebel Wilson needs a new agent? Yeah, I’m pretty sure I did! I am fairly certain that when it comes to all of the bad movies from 2019 in particular, this was perhaps the biggest CATatrophe.

*I apologize for the crappy clip, this movie barely has anything available and it just came out*

#12: Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

Oh my god. Zilla. This f*cking movie. “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” can go screw itself! Not only is this a bad film, but a disappointing one too. Why? I remember back in 2018 when they dropped the first trailer for this film at San Diego Comic-Con, and it made the movie look like it was going to be epic, it was going to be majestic, it was going to be heart-pumping. If anything, this film reminded me of the 2014 “Godzilla” movie. It had an excellent trailer, in fact multiple excellent trailers at that, and the movie was not exactly as good as those trailers. But at least that movie had some things to enjoy! Yes, you get more monsters and more Godzilla in this film. But it doesn’t make up for the crappy script. It doesn’t make up for the unlikable characters. It doesn’t make up for the occasionally lackluster cinematography (although certain shots were pretty neat). And without going into much context, I’m from the Boston area in Massachusetts, and based on how much I disliked this movie, this is a gigantic disservice to the city of Boston! I saw this film in IMAX and if you know me, you know much of an evangelical I am for large formats including IMAX, even smaller IMAX screens will do the trick for me. However, this may have been the one rare, out of nowhere occasion where I almost felt like I left the IMAX theater and almost received a headache. AND I DIDN’T EVEN WATCH THE FILM IN 3D! The sad part is, the film does come off like it’s trying to be the next big epic. It’s visually pleasing and the sound work is pretty good. But everything from the writing to the waste of a cast is beyond blasphemous. Despite the name, this movie is no king.

#11: Dirty Grandpa (2016)

You ever hear that phrase, “respect your elders?” Well I want to coin a new phrase, “Respect all elders that are not played by Robert De Niro.” “Dirty Grandpa” can suck it! Fun fact, my father actually once ran into Robert De Niro and they exchanged waves. From that I can assume that in person, he’s a rather friendly gentleman. Unfortunately, the character he plays in “Dirty Grandpa” is a complete dickhead. Granted, that was definitely the intention, but there’s a fine line between asshole and menace to society. He’s an incessant liar, he makes all of the world’s other perverts look datable, and even when the movie tries to get you to feel bad for him, they fail miserably because as a viewer, it has already been established that this guy is nobody but someone I just can’t help but scold! This character, at least to me, did not earn anything that he would probably consider of value that relates to the movie’s script and story. As a movie, the characters are bland and just plain terrible, and when it comes to comedy, it just feels tiring and anger-inducing. I get that the movie is about a crazy grandpa, not to mention a pervert grandpa, but as a person, he’s a complete ass! I’m a firm believer that age is just a number. If you want to date someone your age, go for it. If not, you do you. You could be sixty and the other person could be twenty-five. Whatever, it’s your life, not mine, I’m not here to judge your choices. I’m not saying a sixty-year-old should date a five-year-old or something along those lines, if there is a far line between “major” and “minor” ages, that’s when questioning begins from my perspective, but for the most part, you do you. I had no problem with the guy wanting to be around younger women, but the way he acts around not just those women, but a crapton of other characters made me wish I could do something more fun. Stepping on a freaking LEGO brick might as well be more fun than this movie for crying out loud!

#10: Life of the Party (2018)

Coming in at #10, is the film that I put down as my least favorite of 2018, and if you know the lead actress and director, this next entry should not be all that surprising. “Life of the Party.” This was the first 1/10 I gave during the year and I believe a small part of me wondered when it would become dethroned. Granted, 2018 has had its fair share of stinkers, a few other 1/10s as well, but none of them outranked this pile of s*it. This movie stars Melissa McCarthy and is directed by her husband, Ben Falcone, which automatically makes this a lose-lose situation. MY GOSH! Granted, there are various scenes that look like they belong in a comedy. But over the years, having seen tons of movies, there are many films that just feel like they will be made for a short-lived audience experience, maybe they’ll get rentals eventually, but they won’t often be quoted down the road. This feels like one of those forgettable, disposable, not to mention irritating studio comedies. Melissa McCarthy plays this over the top, unrealistically goofy mother, wife type character that feels like a humanized character out of a bad “SpongeBob” episode. There is a point that I remember watching this film in the theater, there were a lot of people there, most likely because it was Mother’s Day, and as we were in the climax, incident upon incident kept happening to the point where I just stopped caring. Everyone was gasping, oohing, aahing, and I just couldn’t join in. There was a point during such moments in the film where I just muttered to myself, “Yeah.” In fact, you want to get into specifics regarding that moment? SPOILERS! Who cares? This movie sucks! It’s not like I’m revealing spoilers for “Back to the Future” or something! This movie has a cameo from Christina Aguilera. Apparently, she’s cousins with one of the characters who is trying to get a party thrown! This sounds like something I would have written if I was four! IN-SULTING! “Life of the Party” reminded me that despite how it may be fun to make movies with your spouse, you’re supposed to make it good. Work first, play later.

#9: New Year’s Eve (2011)

This next entry to the list, quite honestly, as one who admires the holiday, hurt me. “New Year’s Eve” dropped the ball and based on how terrible the movie is, it must have dropped on my balls. This film is directed by Garry Marshall, who unfortunately passed away, but in his final days of directing, he apparently resorted to some half-assed holiday movies that probably should have ended up going straight to Lifetime. But because these movies score big name actors like Halle Berry (Catwoman, Monster’s Ball), Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry, Insomnia), Sofia Vergara (Modern Family, Happy Feet 2), Katherine Heigel (27 Dresses, Knocked Up), Ashton Kutcher (That 70s Show, Dude, Where’s My Car?), Zac Efron (High School Musical, Hairspray), Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns, One Fine Day), Josh Duhamel (Transformers, When in Rome), and get this! ROBERT F*CKING DE NIRO (The Godfather, Goodfellas)! “New Year’s Eve” is just one of those movies that really just gets the big screen treatment when I cannot help but ask, “Why?” Granted, there is a sense of spectacle with New Year’s Eve, because there’s a lot of partying, a lot of noise, a lot of chaos that ultimately goes down. Plus, even though I have not been to the ball drop in New York myself, or any of the other big firework shows or celebrations around the world to ring in the new year, I have a built-in sense that these events are almost life-altering, even if it is something as simple as waiting for time to change. It is the ultimate definition of turning nothing into something. New Year’s Eve is almost the “Seinfeld” of holidays. No, Festivus does not count. The problem with “New Year’s Eve” is that it has too many storylines meshed into one, so there’s no real main conflict that I have to care about. Too many things rise as problems, therefore there are too many solutions. This movie has more problems than an advanced placement math class. Don’t watch this at the end or beginning of the year, otherwise you’ll probably be having a crappy new year.

#8: Point Break (2015)

Ever since my first visit to it in 2017, I have watched the original “Point Break” once every summer. This past year, I ordered the 4K Blu-ray for the “Point Break” remake online. Two weeks after my annual “Point Break” viewing, I thought to myself: “Why not check out the new one?” Granted, I was not expecting much, because I know of numerous online critics who have slammed this thing to the ground. Guess what? As of now, I am no exception because the “Point Break” remake broke me! It is the literal definition of when Hollywood studios become lazy and try to recreate something that has already been done well, and perhaps seems irreplaceable. This remake just feels rushed. We barely get to know the characters, none of them seem like they have charisma or chemistry, and it is just an insult to the “Point Break” name! And you know what? Before this film even came out, original actress Lori Petty was outspoken in terms of how infuriated she was to see this happen. And having seen the movie, I applaud her. The original “Point Break,” directed by Kathryn Bigelow, is an interesting film because of how the characters of Johnny Utah, the FBI agent lawman, and Bodhi, the criminal who really enjoys surfing interact with each other, become friends, and play off each other. I felt the comradery between the duo. Here? Absolutely nothing! Also, the color grading for a good portion of the film looks like a depressingly serious installment to the “James Bond” franchise. It’s freaking awful! And I bet the studio behind this film, Warner Brothers, who by the way did not make the original “Point Break” (20th Century Fox did), lacked any faith they could have had in this film at some point in time. Why? Because it released the week after “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and the same day as a Quentin Tarantino film! Warner Brothers must have been like… Let’s just put it out! Who cares? We might as well hide it, but we’ll get some money once “Star Wars” sells out! Let’s just see what happens!

#7: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014)

I’m pretty sure this picture above suggests what I want to happen to every copy of the script for this film… As much as I love Marvel, as much as I love “Star Wars,” as much as I love Pixar, Disney itself is perhaps an evil corporation. And if I’m the hero of this story, I have to remind all of you to simply avoid watching my least favorite movie of 2014, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” This is a family comedy at its worst! It tries to be goofy, it tries to be silly, it tries to be whimsical, it tries to be heartwarming at a particular point. NONE OF IT worked. In fact, this feels like something that I probably would have written at the age of five. A number of the jokes were predictable, unfunny, and just plain unbearable. I never felt offended by anything, which isn’t too surprising for a Disney movie at this point, but there is one thing I did feel after watching this movie. STUPID. If I had to be honest with you, there is a good chance that as much as Steve Carell tries his best with his performance in this movie, I think he was ultimately just happy to receive a paycheck and move on with life. In fact, this may be his worst movie! If I had to say anything else, this may have also been a reminder from Disney that they made the movie “Peter Pan.” They had a whole side story about one of the characters being part of a “Peter Pan” play, which may have only been in the movie because, you know, Disney! If anything, they should change this film’s name to “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Movie.” The only positive thing I was able to get from this movie was to realize that the very next day I was going to see “Interstellar.” And if you have seen my Best of the Decade countdown, you’d know I LOVE that movie.

#6: The Space Between Us (2017)

One of the significant types of films I’ve witnessed during the 2010s that have stood out, at least to me, have something to do with outer space. Films like “The Martian,” “First Man,” and “Gravity.” Unfortunately, I saw one particular science fiction film that does not rank up there with such titles. Specifically, 2017’s “The Space Between Us.” Films like this is why I continuously lose faith in the human race. Will we go to Mars? Will we travel to alternate universes? Will we elect THE PERFECT PRESIDENT? Who knows? I think we’re all just going to die a horrible death one day and part of the blame will have to go to the making of this movie. In fact, this movie stars Asa Butterfield, who seems to be doing what he can with a rather clunky script, but I seriously wonder if this is what he would have wanted to do with his acting career. In fact, I remember back in the middle of the decade when he was one of the top candidates to become the MCU’s “Spider-Man.” As much as I love Tom Holland right now, part of me wonders if Asa Butterfield actually turned out to be the next Spider-Man, if this movie would even exist right now. OR, if it did exist, would they make it ten times better? I dunno. It’s hard to tell. I mean, I’m not hating on Butterfield, because I did like him in “Ender’s Game” which came out in 2013. I think he was pretty decent there and the movie overall worked. THIS ON THE OTHER HAND, IS PURE MALARKEY! As for his chemistry with Britt Robertson, it could arguably be the chemistry between a set characters in a sci-fi film ever. The characters are disposable, lack charisma, and there are several lines that feel like they would almost be too stupid to put in even a first draft! The film does like somewhat nice at times, it some cool shots, but much like with “Ice Age: Collision Course,” which is a somewhat pretty animated movie, looks are not everything. I need some time away from this movie. I need… SPACE.

#5: Mother’s Day (2016)

Ah… “Mother’s Day,” that one day of year to remind yourself of everything that your mom has done for you. It’s a day of appreciation, love, and BAD MOVIES. Case and point, “Mother’s Day,” directed by Garry Marshall. What really makes this movie so insufferable is the obnoxious ad campaign it seems to present for the Home Shopping Network, and that’s just a tiny little taste of it! Product placement is something I understand, something I completely get. Movies are not cheap to make. But it is difficult to do without making me roll my eyes. This movie should really not be called “Mother’s Day,” but based on its obnoxious fetish for the Home Shopping Network, it should be retitled, “Home Shopping Network: The Movie.” There’s even this one scene that takes place in front of a vending machine where I ENDLESSLY was on the brink of full-blown anger of despair. I want to watch a movie, NOT a commercial! In fact, the only thing that could make this the most commercialized Mother’s Day film possible is by having every other scene be a Hallmark card reading session. As for the characters, they are disposable, boring, and overall, just pains to watch! Yes, the cast is fairly recognizable from Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, and Julia Roberts, but that just makes the movie worse considering how these talented, well-known people are being wasted through a boring-ass commercialized script! Once again, this was directed by Garry Marshall, who also directed the monstrously bad “New Year’s Eve,” another film that ruins the spirit of its own holiday. I said earlier that “New Year’s Eve” hurt me. “Mother’s Day” on the other hand, killed me. And this movie’s just worse because while both films come close to meaning something in regards their specific holiday spirit, this one just fails on seemingly every level. I will point out, it has been awhile since watching “Mother’s Day” and this movie is unfathomably forgettable. Plus, I can assure you that if there was any blatantly obvious product placement in 2011’s “New Year’s Eve,” it would be somewhat forgiven because how can you not have Times Square be full of advertising in real life? Even if you have the worst mother in the world who never gave you any love, respect, or time, I will assure you, your mother is much more admirable than this sack of garbage they call a film!

#4: The Emoji Movie (2017)

Here’s the thing about being a kid. As a kid, I’d watch anything as long as it was on a screen, but luckily, one of those things was not “The Emoji Movie,” I first watched that at 17-years old. Why did I watch this movie? To be completely truthful, it was because I wanted to prove to the universe that I have the balls to go see any movie ever made, even if it looks like it is gonna suck ass. And “ass” is the perfect way to describe “The Emoji Movie” if you ask me. But I survived! I guess! This is without a doubt, proof, of how not to make an animated movie. Marketing-wise, I can see where Sony is coming from, but it does not mean it is a genius concept! Granted, if you take something like “The LEGO Movie” when it was on paper, that didn’t sound like a genius concept, but Phil Lord and Christopher Miller took that abnormal and seemingly stale concept and turned it into magic. This movie just sucks! In fact, speaking of “The LEGO Movie,” it rips off elements of that, and it also injects the core parts that make up “Inside Out” and “Wreck-It Ralph.” Not even Patrick Stewart can save the movie! If you are a “Star Trek” fan and prefer Picard over Kirk, I’d wonder if this film will make you change your mind. The worst part about this film is that it is literally built around advertising and product placement. I don’t want to blame the director for this mess. If anything, I think the writers, or whoever pitched this movie needs a good talking to. I almost wonder if Sony just came up with this idea because they were running out of juice. Seriously! If I were making a movie about Emojis, which I would probably NEVER do, it’s a STUPID idea anyway, I would do my best to not let children remember this movie for highlights such as when random noname characters watch cat videos on YouTube! As if the movie was not insulting enough, to save the day, the heroes need to go somewhere, and they fly there on a Twitter bird! This is a crime and unholy sin against not just humanity, but technological faces and images! If you are a parent, do yourself a favor, if you want a movie to put on for a couple of hours just to shut your kid up, just stick with “How To Train Your Dragon” or something. If you’re doing errands at Walmart and find this on DVD, run, don’t walk, away as fast as possible.

#3: The Haunting of Sharon Tate (2019)

We are getting to the bottom of the barrel, guys, and I mean that in every sense of the word. This is one of the most boring, unlikable, distasteful, and incompetently made films I have seen in my entire life. “The Haunting of Sharon Tate.” This is one of those films that I knew how bad it was going to be from the very first scene. The editing and cinematography of this bitch make this garbage look more a music video as opposed to a film! Based on what I have read, this seems to have barely gotten any sort of theatrical release in the US. It got released in theaters, but who knows how many? But according to Box Office Mojo, it has a release in countries like Russia and Portugal, therefore it had a slight taste of that theatrical flavor. Combing the totals of both countries’ theatrical runs, the film made a total just short of $20,000! I don’t know how much it cost to make “The Haunting of Sharon Tate,” but if you told me this movie made a profit with a $20,000+ worldwide return, I’d probably smack you over the head! And I’m glad it didn’t release in too many theaters where I live because I would have probably demanded a refund! This movie is based on the Manson Murders from 1969, and focuses mainly around Sharon Tate. Not only that, and this is one of the reasons why I hate this movie so much, they bring a half-assed supernatural plot into the mix! There are a few BARELY interesting conversations about fate. That’s the only redeeming quality of the film. Other than that, I think the performances, maybe across the board, are abominable. The directing is perhaps cringeworthy. The camerawork and color scheme of the film are both almost off-putting. I think the way Sharon Tate was written was terrible as well, because even though I don’t know much about her in real life, this movie seems to present a version of Tate that often breaks down in tears every other microsecond, she’s depressed, and it’s like she can’t even function in everyday society. And I get that this is a horror movie, and I want my horror movies to be scary, I want them to literally eat me. There is a scene in this film that is the stuff of nightmares, but not in the way that would allow me to respect the people who made this piece of crap. It’s rare for me to feel personally offended by media, and “The Haunting of Sharon Tate” did not offend me, just so we’re clear here. But I wonder if Sharon Tate herself would be offended by this disaster! What makes this even more unbearable is the fact that in just the same year, we got a fantastic movie with Sharon Tate in it, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” That made me want to live in 1969. This movie made me just want to die.

#2: The Smurfs (2011)

Up next, is one of the worst family films I have seen in the entirety of the time that I’ve been alive, “The Smurfs.” I! HATE! EVERYTHING! ABOUT! THIS! MOVIE! I saw this movie before I was a teenager, and even then I knew how bad it was. I have no memory of watching any of the earlier “Smurfs” material growing up, so I had nothing ruined for me, but I wonder what would have happened if I did watch any of that earlier material. I have seen this film twice, both times were probably not my choice, and it did not get any better the second time. This is the kind of movie that you SHOULD NOT show your kids. Not because it’s inappropriate, too edgy, or anything like that, but because it just almost feels mindless. Between the product placement, the unbelievably annoying screenplay, and beyond lifeless performances from actors including Neil Patrick Harris, it all adds up to one of the most insulting movies of the past ten years. You know those times when you watch a movie and think to yourself, “This was written by a four-year-old for crying out loud!” If you ask me, I think that’s the case for “The Smurfs,” a four-year-old could have written this on a random piece of paper and somehow know how to get this pitched. And another four-year-old executive who just started their new job because they have connections with a parent who works at the studio looked at the script and said, “We’ll take it! Because let’s face it, four-year-olds will watch anything on a screen and call it the greatest masterpiece in all of history! Let’s Smurf this thing up!” In fact, you know how this movie is called “The Smurfs?” Yeah, they suck. THEY JUST SUCK! There is a scene in the movie where the Smurfs are doing their trademarked “Happy Song” and what happens next reminded me of exactly what I’m feeling as an audience member. When Neil Patrick Harris yells, “STOP!” and asks the Smurfs if they find the song the least bit annoying, I cannot believe how much I wanted to side with this dude. Seriously, some of those Smurfs really got on my nerves as the movie progressed. The only person in this movie who looks like he’s having fun with it is Hank Azaria as Gargamel. He’s written with tons of cliches behind him, but based on the supposed charisma Azaria must have behind him, he makes it work! Other than that, the movie is just S*IT! This is the kind of family movie I don’t want in my life. It’s too dumbed-down for kids, too cheesy and cringeworthy for adults, and it just makes me feel blue. To this day I still have not seen the second one. I’m not wasting my time. 

#1: ??? (2016)

After 24 movies, one more lies ahead. This is a film that I admittedly knew would be bad just from seeing the first trailer. In fact, without saying the actual title, if you have followed me for a long time, you’d know that this film has some sort of significance to this blog, and in a way, has been part of its ongoing history. I’ve mentioned it a number of times, I’ve bashed it from occasion after another, and I’ve even done a couple dedicated posts on it, including a review. Take a look at my #1 worst movie of the 2010s.

Call me an asshole, call me a buffoon, call me a sexist even, but my #1 worst film of the 2010s is “Ghostbusters.” Specifically, “Ghostbusters” 2016. Never in the history of my adventures at the movies have I been more immensely shell-shocked, and I don’t mean that in a good way. I don’t mean that as in, I just saw the best, most realistic war film of all time, I mean that I somehow went into this movie, my friend and I paid EXTRA money for it to see it in 3D, with the lowest expectations possible, and I still walked out disappointed! This is a film that could have been alright, but I think there are a ton of problems with it. Look, I am all for female empowerment, but I think the main problem with this film is that it erases the legacy of which it established decades prior. Ray, Egon, Peter, and Winston have formed something made of gold. Keep in mind, I am not a mega-fanatic of the “Ghostbusters” franchise. I like “Ghostbusters,” but to this day, I still haven’t seen the cartoons, I do not have a lot of “Ghostbusters” toys or merch, although I do have a pretty cool shirt, I still have yet to see “Ghostbusters II,” but even I think that rebooting, or in this case, remaking “Ghostbusters” with women was a step in the wrong direction. I think this movie could have been slightly more interesting with a similar plot, the same cast, but without a popular IP name attached to it. Just call it “Spooky Bitches” or something else that sounds pretty badass! You’ll probably get me in the theater! And you know how I mentioned that I saw this film in 3D? I think that’s the only positive element of the film, because I noticed they use a technology called frame break, where certain effects not only appear as if they pop off the screen, but the way the cinema set up the screen left two black bars on the top and bottom, so the effects take up space on those black bars. It’s gimmicky, but cool. Other than that, the only other positive I can come up with, which doesn’t really make the movie all that much better, is one chuckle-worthy line out of Leslie Jones’ mouth. As for everything else, it’s s*it!

The reality of the situation is this… “Ghostbusters” 2016 has a talented cast. I think Kristen Wiig has acting chops and I liked a couple of other things she was in. Kate McKinnon is pretty funny and I usually find her to be a card on “Saturday Night Live.” I admittedly have not seen much of Leslie Jones before “Ghostbusters,” but in person, she comes off as pretty funny. In fact, I am rooting for her at this point, because “Supermarket Sweep” is coming back and apparently, she’s hosting, so I wish her luck! The only person in the cast who I never tend to associate with anything all that great is Melissa McCarthy, and maybe it’s because she never gets the right roles. She just always comes off like she needs to step in as that one chubby lady with an obnoxious voice. Plus, Chris Hemsworth is in this movie, but I would be lying to you if I told you he played a good character, because HE DID NOT! He plays a secretary and he makes Patrck Star look like Sheldon Cooper! There’s dumb, and then there’s cringeworthy dumb! Based on everything I’ve stated so far, I think you all know what kind of dumb I feel this movie presents from Hemsworth’s character. And that’s another thing that I almost completely forgot about, THANKFULLY, but now I am officially in hell once more, so I gotta deal with it… Every man in this film is an idiot.

I get it, this film is trying to present these women who come, see, and kick something’s ass, and I don’t really see a problem with female empowerment, but pretty much every man felt either disposable or idiotic. There’s a Chinese delivery guy who always delivers the wrong thing, there’s a guy who in a situation of terror is more concerned with his own theater than the lives of those in his theater, there’s a forgettable male antagonist named Rowan, and that’s just scratching the surface of this unbelievable f*cking turd of a film! This movie, and this could be COMPLETELY unintentional, almost seems to demonize men as an entire gender. There’s even a scene where the girls have to bust a giant ghost, and to do that, they have to shoot it in it’s crotch! I should point out, this film is written and directed by Paul Feig, who to be fair, is a guy who has received acclaim for films like “Bridesmaids.” He also created “Freaks and Geeks,” which is a really good show! But he also wrote a guest column years back titled “Why Men Aren’t Funny.” It does make me a little suspicious if you ask me. Maybe a little too much.

This film, even though it has often marketed as an empowerment message of some sorts to women, it is also, at least from my point of view, an attack on men. Do I think men are funny? Yes. Do I think women are funny? Absolutely! But NOBODY is funny in “Ghostbusters!” And that’s the thing about the original 1984 film, it’s not the funniest movie I have ever seen to be completely honest, but it is well-written and handles dry humor very well. In the original film, the four main guys have terrific chemistry with one another, they felt like a proper team. This 2016 remake lacks the same oomph in the chemistry that the original managed to have. Plus the jokes in general, across the board, make me think that Red Bull will no longer give me wings.

This movie is full of problems, ranging from bad characters to some ridiculously cartoony visuals, but one thing I think about often is how these women essentially become superheroes by the end of the movie. You can make the argument that the film is hiding a deleted scene where they all get bitten by a radioactive ghost whose teeth still work! The beauty of the original “Ghostbusters,” including in the climax is that the guys are always adapting to new situations. When they use their proton packs, it shows that they lack experience with busting the paranormal. But as I showed in the clip above, these four women can wield proton packs towards the end of the film as if they’ve become powerful Jedi or something of that nature! This is “Ghostbusters,” not the MCU! THERE’S A F*CKING DIFFERENCE!

One more thing, and that should be all… I mentioned that this is a reboot of the 1984 film. Having said that, it pretty much ignores previously established characters and lore that fans and audiences have come to know and creates something new. But the movie also has cameos from the original cast… AND IT ALL SUCKS!

Dan Aykroyd plays a cab driver who can’t help Kristen Wiig’s character get to Chinatown… For… NO REASON AT ALL?! Son of a bitch! Ernie Hudson makes a cameo by the end of the movie that is perhaps… tolerable? Maybe? Maybe because the movie’s over, that’s why. Apparently Sigourney Weaver made a cameo that I do not remember at all. But by far the most insulting cameo is from Bill Murray, who I could probably tell DID NOT want to be in this movie! But he must be a classy dude for doing it, and I’m sure whatever paycheck he got was going to help him overtime. Maybe he did want to do it, but the way his lines are delivered are almost robotic. It doesn’t feel raw!

And I do believe that the cast themselves got a little too much unnecessary hate for being in this movie, but it does not change the fact that THE MOVIE IS JUST!!! …GARRRRBAGE! Never have I watched a film in the theater and felt more surprisingly let down. If you like this film, that’s fine, you’re allowed to like it, but I thought it was one of the most insulting, bottom of the barrel, stupid, not to mention perhaps offensive films I have witnessed in my life. I just hope that 2020’s “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” will steer the ship in the proper direction. The first trailer for that film looks better than ANYTHING that has come out of “Ghostbusters” 2016 marketing-wise or the movie itself.

While we’re on this topic, this is a weird way to end the decade, because I started this blog back in 2016 as part of a high school project, the first post I ever did is titled “Ghostbusters (2016) Trailer 1 Review: Most Poorly Received Trailer Ever?” and now here we are, talking about my #1 worst film of 2010s, and it is literally about the movie I mainly talked about in my first post. This feels like a perfect culmination for Scene Before. The decade all started with “Ghostbusters,” and thus the decade shall end with “Ghostbusters!” The saga is complete. If you ask me, I think “Ghostbusters” 2016 should be avoided at all costs, just go back and watch the original, I think that would make for a more pleasant movie night, maybe it’ll make you feel like you have less strange somethings in the neighborhood. “Ghostbusters” 2016 can rot, I don’t want to watch it ever again, and it is the worst movie of the 2010s!

Thanks for reading this countdown! I just want to thank each and every one of you who has tuned in, read, or simply glanced at my material during the 2010s. I know not all of it is great. There’s a lot of work to this day that I am truly proud of, but there is some that I admittedly look back upon and cringe over. But that’s part of the journey, admitting your mistakes and learning from them. I will say, I did market this as a “countdown event,” so even though this is the proper conclusion to the series, maybe I’ll insert a spinoff here and there every once in awhile. I want to know in the comments down below, is there a new addition to this countdown event series that you would want to see? Maybe a most disappointing list? Overrated movies list? Underrated movies list? Let me know down below!

Speaking of being in the know, I have an announcement to make. Some of you may have seen this coming, but I do want to let everyone know, that one of the most experimental and one of a kind posts I made last year was The 1st Annual JACKOFF Awards. This year, I have decided to continue the tradition. I am planning on announcing the nominees on Sunday, February 2nd, and holding the awards two weeks after, Sunday, February 16th. I have no idea if I am going to go through with this, but I’m thinking of changing the name. I’m not too sure Meryl Streep will be bragging about winning a Jackoff, but this is something I still need to think about. Nevertheless, stay tuned for more information, and until then, have a happy new decade! Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! Be sure to like this post and leave a comment, it really helps me out! Speaking of which, check out my Facebook page and spread the word regarding Scene Before and Flicknerd.com on social! If you guys want to check out my Top BEST Movies of the 2010s, there’s a box down below that will take you to that post, just click on it and you’re good to go! If you’re reading it, enjoy it! Go nuts! I want to know, what are your least favorite movies of the 2010s? Do you have a list? Name the films! Do you think I missed an entry from this list? There are so many movies to choose from that maybe I forgot one along the way! Leave your thoughts and opinions down below and let’s make the 2020s a blast that’s stronger than a bolt of lightning! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Scene Before 2019 HALFTIME REPORT (And Glance Into the Future)

WARNING: The following post is over 8,000 words long. Disappointingly, it’s not over 9,000.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! 2019 is midway through and this year is going by fast! As far as my personal life goes, I’m in between my first and second year of college, I am enjoying my time off, and I’m the same movie reviewing moron as usual. Things have changed, but at the same time, I’m still the same flick nerd I have always been. And I mean that literally, but we’ll get to that later. However, I wanted to try something I haven’t done before on this blog. At the end of the year, I tend to do some reflective work, most notably countdowns. And while I am not going to do that at this current midway point, I would at least like to sit myself down and go over some recent highlights related to Scene Before. At the same time, I’d like to also look into the future. Admittedly, some of this is still in planning stages, but still.

I’d like to start off with something I’d like to call “TERRIFIC 3” and “TERRIBLE 3.” I am going to list 3 movies that I have watched this year that I would recommend to people and 3 other movies that I would tell people to avoid. Now, of course, these picks are subjective, if you think differently about these films than I, it might be slightly harder to talk to each other, but you are nevertheless entitled to your different thoughts. In fact, these are not supposed to be my top 3 best or worst of the year so far. If I like a film, I’ll list it, if I don’t like a film, I’ll also list it. These are not meant to be in any particular order. Anyway, let’s begin!

TERRIFIC 3!

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Starting off the Terrific 3 is “John Wick: Chapter 3!” I went to see this film in Dolby Cinema alongside my dad, who might be a bigger “John Wick” fan than anyone else I know. He and I walked out agreeing that the action in the film is absolutely top-notch. The action in “John Wick” films is certainly the aspect that would grab my attention more than any other. Long takes, innovative setpieces, gritty violence, all of it adds up to make some of my favorite action scenes of all time. When it comes to current action franchises, I am having some slight trouble deciding whether I prefer this or “Mission: Impossible.” It’s that good!

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Up next is a stellar DreamWorks animation whose franchise I never watched religiously, but always liked, “How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.” If you have ever seen the game show “Deal or No Deal,” the show always highlights the phrase “timing is everything,” and when it comes to “How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” that phrase becomes more relevant than ever. This movie came out in the middle of my second semester of college, and I could not help but feel like the people behind the movie were trying to consider me in its target audience. After all, while “How To Train Your Dragon” may be a franchise directed towards families and children, this growing adult could not help but feel like a kid again. In fact, to add more to this true masterpiece of an animated film, I became more emotional during this movie than I did during perhaps more than any other. Even more than “Toy Story 3.”

Last but not least for the Terrific 3 is a movie that I decided to list because it’s on a slightly different end of the spectrum. Because let’s face it, I’m kind of recommending movies to you, and why recommend “Avengers: Endgame” when almost everyone went to see it? So let’s recommend a smaller movie, such as Terry Gilliam’s “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.” Now some would argue that this is a 2018 flick, but in the United States, which is where I live, this didn’t come out until 2019. For those of you who don’t know this movie, “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” took decades to make, and it’s about a guy who reunites with someone he worked with during a production. This person he meets with is convinced that he is Don Quixote. This did not get that big of a release in theaters, but it is worth seeing just because of its history, because despite going through “development hell,” it managed to turn out quite well! The movie is now available on home video including various VOD options.

Now let’s move onto something that probably doesn’t deserve any attention, but because I believe in equality, we’re talking about it anyway, the Terrible 3!

TERRIBLE 3!

First up is a movie that I want to put on here because what’s the harm with having an unpopular opinion? Oh wait, everything. Who cares? One of the most successful movies of the year, “Captain Marvel,” just didn’t stick the landing for me. This had a lot of hype building up to it, but I personally just couldn’t relate. And when I saw the final product, I felt like… Wait, why’s everybody laughing and cheering? Yes, there are a couple of cool moments in the movie. For example, I dug the 90’s references such as Blockbuster Video and Dial-Up Internet. Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson have some good chemistry, but when it comes to Larson in general, her performance was kind of mediocre. Granted, I know grade-A acting isn’t the biggest component of a comic book movie, but Brie Larson, an Academy Award winner, felt more like she was in a couple straight to DVD films and that’s it. Granted, I think she did a slightly better job in “Avengers: Endgame,” but her performance here simply underwhelmed me. Plus, there’s a moment in this movie that references a significant part of the MCU lore (having to do with Samuel L. Jackson) and quite honestly, the way they go about it just killed my brain.

Up next is a movie that could have been great but was simply wasted. From the creators of NOT “Firefly” comes “Serenity.” “Serenity” could be somewhat fun, not to mention a great “thinker” movie, but it manages to become more boring the more I think about it. I love the movie “Interstellar,” so I was somewhat excited to see Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway unite once again for another project. Both have talent as actors and they’ve proven they have great chemistry. Honestly, I’d just go back to watching “Interstellar” if this is the movie we’re getting. Although this movie came out in January so it should not be surprising that we would get a movie of this quality.

And finally, we have what may be my worst movie of the year should nothing surpass it, “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” The sad thing about “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” is that I was actually desperately anticipating this movie. When I went to see it, I was ready for what was about to happen. Or was I? Seeing movies in IMAX may be great because it feels so big, but when they’re a big mess, what is the point? Maybe the monster fights could be fun, but if I wanted to watch this movie again, I’d probably have to be heavily drugged. Because let’s face it, as cool as big monsters are, the unforgivable part of “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” are the one-dimensional human characters. This could be slightly less intolerable if the human characters were less of a focal point during the movie, but they made me want to go back and check out some of the “Transformers” movies again! They’re THAT horrible!

I just showed you all my terrific and terrible picks, now let’s go over a few recent highlights from my blogging journey.

As usual, I kicked off my 2019 with my traditional countdowns to reflect on the year of 2018 in film. I went over the best of the year along with the worst of the year. Some of my top picks included “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “Eighth Grade,” and “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” Some of my bottom picks included “The 15:17 To Paris,” “Uncle Drew,” and “Life of the Party.” I enjoy doing these countdowns every year and this is the first year that I started writing what I would put in the countdowns as early as August. I did not do this for every single movie, but I visualized the lists a long time prior to actually releasing them. This does not suggest that I avoided considering movies released past August, as evidenced by some of my picks.

After I did my lists, I saw my first 2019 release, which according to IMDb, is actually a 2017 release. Based on my experience and research, I’d call it a 2019 release, but still. That film by the way is “The Upside,” which is a remake of 2011’s “The Intouchables.” I personally have not seen “The Intouchables,” and while “The Upside” from my perspective is not really anything special when it comes to cinema, it is still a fun time. I went to see it at a press screening, and there were tons of laughs to be heard.

A couple weeks later I went to one of my local arthouse theatres to see a flick that I almost ended up passing on. Specifically, “Roma.” Why? Because when it comes to today’s media, Netflix is a company that I traditionally tend to avoid. But one of my local theaters managed to get access to a 70mm film print of “Roma,” which would be presented for a limited time. I took advantage of the opportunity and purchased a few tickets for a matinee show. Not only was the experience breathtaking, but the movie was one of the best of the past year. If I had to redo my top 10 lists of 2018, this would be on the best list, but I saw “Roma” after completing said lists.

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I also decided to try out a new concept this year which I have decided to make an annual tradition, the Jackoff Awards. For awhile, over the past year, I have grown to admire the Oscars based on how much respect they tend to pay towards the film industry. Granted, they’re not perfect, but what they’ve done over the years is absolutely intriguing. I thought to myself, why not do a big awards related post? Present similar categories to other major shows, I do my own comedy bits, and it was perhaps the most ambitious post I have ever done. As for Best Picture, I decided to present what was then my top 10 of 2018, which DID include “Roma,” and instead of having me choose Best Picture, I would allow my audience to choose the winner. I figured it would allow for diversity in terms of opinions, and I managed to get a surprisingly diverse number of votes. I got some votes for “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “First Man,” “Ready Player One,” but the winner turned out to be last year’s biggest comic book movie, “Avengers: Infinity War.” Honestly, if there were any movie to put in my Blu-ray player on a Friday night at this point, it would most certainly be that one.

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I then continued my journey in March by going to the place that I would associate with film more than any other, Los Angeles. My family and I stayed right near Hollywood Boulevard and I got to visit a few media-related sights including Warner Brothers Studios, the TCL Chinese Theatre (where I saw “Captain Marvel”), and Universal Studios Hollywood. I also got the chance to witness a live taping of “Conan.” While I didn’t make a big post related to this, I managed to briefly discuss some of my highlights here and there.

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For those of you who are curious about my “Conan” taping experience, I managed to witness almost two full shows. Why? Conan O’Brien had to be somewhere when his Thursday show would air, so naturally, he had a demand, he wanted us, Thursday’s audience, to “make Tuesday’s audience look like s*it.” We got see all of Tuesday’s show, which had a couple comedy bits and an interview with Timothy Olyphant (Live Free or Die Hard, Santa Clarita Diet) and a good fraction of a Thursday night show which featured comedian Moses Storm, who joked about cell phone users, “Shark Tank,” and revealed a story where he would tape episodes of Conan O’Brien’s older talk show episodes over his religion-related educational programming. By the way, Conan in person looks like a real life action figure. Maybe it’s the makeup. Maybe it’s the lighting in the studio, but my gosh.

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I also got to visit an RPX venue for the first time. For those who don’t know about RPX, they are a premium format that can be found exclusively in cinemas under Regal Entertainment Group ownership. I didn’t plan on attending RPX when I did, but I managed to get something off my list of movie-related things to do before I died. After all, “Us” just came out, and I was in the Boston area. I figured just to save time, I’d go for the earlier, but more expensive show that Regal Cinemas Fenway was providing, as opposed to another show which would be starting a half hour later. For your information, I was aware that I was going into an RPX screen. I didn’t mind my decision, I figured if I wanted to see “Us,” I’d go see it in full scale glory because I was really anticipating it. While I have still yet to see “Get Out” to this day, I have heard about its overwhelmingly positive reception and I was expecting that Jordan Peele would deliver another sick movie. While “Us” was not perfect, it was definitely worth seeing, and I wouldn’t mind watching it again. As for the RPX experience itself, I thought the seats were not too bad. The capacity was through the roof, the screen, while not entirely wall to wall, was huge. As for the sound… It is undeniably better than a standard theater, but I was a little underwhelmed. Maybe I went to see the wrong movie, maybe the employees turned the speakers down, but when I compare the sound to something like IMAX or Dolby Cinema at AMC, I would go back to both of those places first.

Moving onto April, I managed to survive the whole “Avengers: Endgame” ticket buying craze. For those not fully immersed into what I just stated, I must point out that “Avengers: Endgame” tickets went on sale April 2nd, and the Internet went balls to the wall nuts when it came to snagging tickets. I had to wait in Fandango’s line, AMC was having problems, and it got to the point where I had to buy tickets from a somewhat local cinema chain, on their own, slightly buggy website, just to make sure I could get into school on time. I almost took the train to one of my local AMCs because I could stop by there on the way to school. If I did that, I am willing to bet I would have missed out on opening night of “Endgame,” which was the day I was shooting for. After all I did want to get my review out as soon as possible, and I did manage to score a couple tickets on remaining good seats for a 9PM show. Not at an AMC, but at a Showcase Cinemas. While it was not my first choice, I don’t regret going there, because an hour before going into the cinema, I got a glimpse at everyone leaving the 22 MCU movie marathon the theater was showing over a few days. Everyone was being applauded, and they left with some merch. I recorded this aftermath on Facebook Live, and despite my camera’s focusing problems and poor cellular service, I managed to get some respectable footage. Also as a Bostonian, I was proud of myself to catch a reporter from one of my local news channels, WBZ, or CBS Channel 4. To be specific, Tashanea Whitlow. As for the premiere itself, the movie was fun, and the three hour runtime was rather justified given what we as an audience received. I didn’t think it was perfect, I’d much rather watch “Infinity War,” but it was a great finale to over ten years of films. I will also say, this may be due to where I went to see the movie, seeing “Infinity War” was also a better experience. Because I went to see it at a 7PM show on opening Thursday on an eight story IMAX screen. If you have ever gone to see an event-type film in India, that is one of the most solid comparisons I could make to my experience. It was like going to a Stanley Cup game or something. “Endgame,” which was in a sold out theater in regular 2D, had barely any applause (although some reactions here and there), and out of everyone in the theater, I may have been the most obnoxious. If I had to make a sports comparison, I’d probably say it was like going to a slightly more competitive golf tournament. It was lively at times, but not like the roof was being blown off the place. I know some people are not particularly fans of going to theaters where everyone is reacting to the film’s key moments, but as a fan of the MCU, it’s something that I considered to be a privilege during my “Infinity War” experience.

May was an interesting month for me, because I just finished my first year of college, so I got a little more active on the Scene Before side of things. I’m now trying to earn revenue with the blog, I saw more movies than I did in months such as March or February, and I even changed my domain name. Unfortunately, scenebefore.com was taken, so I wanted to make sure I can fit something that would associate with me, but also be precise. I thought something like moviereviewingmoron.com, while definitely appropriate, is a tad too long. Luckily, after some searching, I found out that flicknerd.com was available. Did I ever call myself “flick nerd” on this blog? No, but I figured it would be a cool name to have because its simplicity will probably gain enough traction overtime. It’s hard to tell though, because this advanced blogging journey, at least from my point of view, is just getting started. I’m looking for sponsors, more potential viewers, but I’m also trying to be the same movie reviewing moron that everyone has come to know.

One of my highlight posts of the month is titled “What THE BIG BANG THEORY Has Meant To Me: A Nerd’s Perspective.” For those who are unaware, CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” just finished it’s twelfth and final season on the air, so I figured I’d take some time to remind the world of what the show has meant to me as a fan, as someone who would constantly tune in to new episodes, and most of all, as a nerd on the autism spectrum. I probably won’t have time to give a detailed description of everything I said, so if you want to read the post, click this link!

I also saw another one of my favorite films so far this year, “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum!” Not only that, but like I mentioned earlier, I managed to catch a Dolby Cinema presentation of it, which surprisingly, didn’t make me feel like I was getting shot in the head, which may be a good thing. Seriously though, “John Wick: Chapter 3” is probably the best installment of the franchise yet, and Keanu Reeves might now just have a better trilogy than “The Matrix!”

But I cannot say the end of the month was great, because “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” happened. Sad day. Even though I went to see the film in full scale IMAX glory, it didn’t feel like something worth my time.

Moving onto June, I managed to do something pretty cool with my dad. He and I go to the movies together a lot because for the most part we have similar tastes. We match together when it comes to sci-fi, action, comic book-based material, comedy, etc. However he has never been to an advance press screening, so I thought just for fun he and I could do so for the new movie, “Men In Black: International.” It’s a movie that I probably would have checked out had I waited for it to release everywhere. After all, “Men In Black 3” is my favorite movie of 2012. However, since this was free, not to mention, early, I thought dad and I could trek to the theater and see what this movie had in store. I personally enjoyed it. I know some people were scared of how this movie would turn out based on the marketing (Then again, it’s a Sony film, whaddya expect these days?). I thought the first trailer was alright, but not great. The second trailer was an improvement and actually got me more interested in the film. As for the film itself, it is not Shakespeare, but it’s a fun time at the movies. Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson have great chemistry together and I think Kumail Nanjiani’s character is a fantastic comic relief.

The best movie I saw this month was “Toy Story 4,” which I must point out, I probably was not even looking forward to back when it was announced. Boy, times do change! Unfortunately, I had to witness brain cell erasers such as “Replicas,” which I bought on Blu-ray since I had some Best Buy rewards to waste. I also saw “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” which is worse than getting scratched in the eye by a cat. Yes, Harrison Ford is in it. Yes, he is the best part of the movie. But I might as well be at the point where I would rather have a dog sniff my butt then go so that film again!

Now that I have recapped my highlights, I just want to remind everyone of what’s being planned for the future. Here is my unofficial schedule for the second half of 2019!

JULY:

Throughout the month of July, there are not that many movies coming out compared to other months in the year (at least according to Wikipedia), but I am planning on catching a few blockbuster highlights such as “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” despite how little anticipation I have for it. I also really want to catch Disney’s live-action remake of “The Lion King.” I am not a fan of the Disney live-action remake trend, but I feel that this movie will be a great theater experience and also rather compelling. I don’t know how much it is going to be a carbon copy of the original or how much it’ll go in its own direction, but I am somewhat curious as to what will come of it. I know it is longer than the original, which slightly worries me, because it could add something that perhaps the 1990s film didn’t even need, therefore ruining my experience. Plus, it’s being directed by Jon Faverau, who also worked on 2016’s “The Jungle Book,” another Disney live-action remake, which was one of my favorite movies of said year. I also really want to check out “Crawl.” The trailer didn’t have me fully onboard, but I am still curious as to how this film will turn out. Plus, it’s being produced by Sam Raimi, who is known for his work in the horror industry, and one of my favorite comic book movie directors.

This does not mean that I want to ignore independent work, because on the same weekend as “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” A24 is releasing one of my most anticipated movies of the summer. Specifically, “Midsommar.” When your movie is A: Directed by Ari Aster, who had a phenomenal feature-length directorial debut last year with “Hereditary,” another A24 film, and B: Described by Aster as “a Wizard of Oz for perverts,” I am instantly intrigued. “Midsommar” takes place in rural Sweden as a young couple takes a vacation and settles in the area. Alongside their friends, they eventually discover that this area has a festival that takes place once every ninety years, which creeps them all out. I want to see Ari Aster succeed, so hopefully this film does well.

Speaking of successful filmmakers, another well-known director in the industry, specifically Quentin Tarantino, is going to be releasing his ninth film, “Once Upon a Time In Hollywood.” And to be honest, as anticipated as I am to see this film, I have to let something out. I have not seen much of Tarantino’s work. I will most likely be going to see “Once Upon a Time In Hollywood” when it comes out, maybe in 35mm, but before I do that, I am going to be doing a small series of reviews for Quentin Tarantino movies. In fact, I already have a few lined up. Specifically, “Pulp Fiction,” “Django Unchained,” and “The Hateful Eight.” Those reviews will be done as weekly projects and they should all be up before the official release date of “Once Upon a Time In Hollywood,” July 26th.

 

AUGUST:

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESRemember how I would occasionally announce I am going to cons from time to time? For some reason I have failed to do that this year. It’s not like I am not going anywhere, but I have just failed to put myself in front of my keyboard and try to say, “Hey guys, here’s where I’m going, stalk me!” Not that don’t mind the attention, I’m just saying. But if you really want to know about my next con, I do have it booked, and I will be going to Terrificon, which for those of you who have been following me for some time, you’d know that is also the first con I ever documented on this blog. And I am thinking of doing something a little different this time, just to spice things up. I’m trying to push more video content into my posts, maybe I’ll insert a compilation of the con’s highlights. I’ll record it on my camera, maybe my phone, whichever has more memory at the time. Maybe I’ll post it on YouTube and link it here. Who knows? But here on Scene Before I am trying find ways to innovate, and maybe this could be one of them.

Speaking of cons, this is NO GUARANTEE, partially because I have not even bought tickets, but there is one convention that is about a half hour away from my house that I kind of want to go to. Whether or not I am going, that’s a different story, but should things go in a certain direction, I may end up going to Fan Expo Boston, which is a con I have surprisingly never been to. And the guest list this year, aside from a couple big cancellations, is solid so far. You’ve got Zachary Levi (Shazam!, Tangled), who I will say, even if you are not into his work, he is a fun guy to meet, he is upbeat and has a massive sense of charm. Part of the cast of “Blade Runner” is going to be there including Sean Young, Rutger Hauer, and Edward James Olmos. I have a feeling there are more guest announcements coming our way, and if there are, I cannot wait to hear them, because there have been a lot of cool names who were there over the years to the point where I almost have slight regrets on missing out. If I were to get tickets to Fan Expo, I’d probably just go for one day. After all, Terrificon is the week prior, and I am staying overnight during that weekend, so my budget might be slightly higher at that event compared to Fan Expo.

Moving away from cons, I will say that my biggest film catches for August right now have to be “Hobbs & Shaw,” “Dora and the Lost City of Gold,” “Good Boys,” “Where’d You Go Bernadette?,” and “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.” There is not much from August that I am truly anticipating, but I will inevitably go see a few things here and there. And if you want to know something, I only put down “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” because let’s face it, “Dora the Explorer” was a part of my childhood, and nostalgia equals money nowadays. Granted, this movie looks a tad more adult-friendly than the cartoon. But am I looking forward to it? Hell no. In fact, I am thinking it is only going to ruin my childhood, but I might as well give it a chance just because I am a nice guy. I saw the recent “Power Rangers” film partially out of nostalgia and that worked for me, might as well do it with “Dora” and see if that works.

 

SEPTEMBER:
If I had to predict my least active month for the rest of the year, I have to call it right now, September is certainly a contender. For one thing, I’m going back to college, so I need to adjust to a new routine. I’m still going to keep my promise of doing at least one post within every 7 days or so, that way you can keep witnessing my constant dedication to this blog. I’m probably not gonna go see “IT: Chapter Two” mainly because I still have not seen the first one. Although the cast is pretty nifty from what I have experienced. But I am interested in “The Goldfinch,” I have some slight intrigue towards “The Report,” and maybe I’ll check out “Abominable.” I saw one of the trailers for it, and it looks like it might not be a new animated classic or anything, but I am somewhat curious to check it out, partially because even as an adult, I still have a slight need to check out animations from time to time. Plus, it is from DreamWorks, and I’m currently trying to seek out their next big thing. “Kung Fu Panda” is done, “How to Train Your Dragon” seems to be done, maybe this, or something else, can be their next kickstarter to a solid franchise. Then again, apparently they’re making sequels to “The Boss Baby,” “The Croods,” and “Trolls,” so why should I expect absolute quality? Nevertheless, it’s worth a shot.

Although if you had to ask me what my most anticipated movie would be for the month of September, it’s a no brainer, “Ad Astra.” I love space, I love compelling, dramatic stories involving space travel, even if it is close to Earth. Plus, the second half of the year for numerous ages of my life have typically contained at least one epic space movie. Maybe “Ad Astra” will be the next to join the ranks with other movies from this decade like “The Martian” and “Interstellar.”

 

OCTOBER:

This October is pretty interesting to me, because there will be a weekend where my mother and sister are out of the house and I will quite honestly, need something to do. I can’t just stay trapped behind walls! I have to see the world! Nevertheless, that particular weekend is the release of “Joker,” which I am inevitably going to check out no matter what, but for the sake of having an early review, I’m going to check it out as soon as possible. I have Fridays off from school this upcoming semester, maybe I’ll do it then. The following week is the release of Will Smith’s “Gemini Man,” directed by Ang Lee, so I might see that. And the week after is slightly bigger because Taika Waititi is coming out with his latest directorial feature, “Jojo Rabbit,” where believe it or not, Waititi himself plays Hitler. I never pictured that, but this film certainly has my attention. That same week is also the release of “Zombieland: Double Tap.” I had fun with the first “Zombieland.” I enjoyed the chemistry between Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson, and it has, at least to me, a pure highlight from Bill Murray’s acting career. And to my surprise, he’s coming back for this movie! I also want to check out “The Aeronauts” which is being released by Amazon, and the reason why I want to check it out is because it is Amazon’s first attempt at an IMAX run and it is also being released a week early in that format. The film will technically be in standard theaters in November after it’s week-long IMAX run. And if this is the case, this reminds me of the excitement I had for Robert Zemeckis’ “The Walk,” because that released a week early in IMAX and that was quite an experience.

Speaking of lesser known films, one other thing I want to check out is the South Korean flick “Parasite.” It’s getting tons of buzz at film festivals, having earned Palme d’Or at Cannes, winning the Sydney Film Festival, and already making tons of money in Korea. The film’s US release is this October, which would put it in a reasonable spot to be remembered by Academy and Golden Globe voters.

 

NOVEMBER:
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This November is particularly interesting. Because November 1st is the day I’m heading off to Providence for Rhode Island Comic Con, and that’s the day after Halloween! I’m not cosplaying (at least I have no plans to right now) at this con, but I just want to walk around the convention floor for hours and stumble upon every costumed individual and wish them a Happy Halloween. Nevertheless, I am staying true to my annual tradition of going to Rhode Island Comic Con. The guest list is usually filled to the brim, so I cannot wait to hear more announcements over these upcoming months. Even so, the convention has had some huge announcements for guests thus far. Some guests include Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy, Blade Runner 2049), William Shatner (Star Trek: The Original Series, Boston Legal), George Takei (Star Trek: The Original Series, Kim Possible), Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead, Final Space), and to my utter surprise, and possible delight, Chevy Chase. By the way, Chase made an announcement about his upcoming appearance online and the video he made for it is very funny.

Sticking to the announcement wishlist concept, I recently made a submission on the con’s website suggesting names of five possible guests that I want to see. They include: James Murray, Curtis Armstrong, Kunal Nayyar, Doug Walker, and James Holzhauer. I could be mistaking Doug Walker for somebody else, but even if I am, he would be fun to see at the con. Of all these names, the one that really stands out to me is James Holzhauer. Out of all the people on this list, he is the least “celebrity-like” of all of them. James Murray comes close, but barely misses the mark. For those who are unaware, Holzhauer is the name of the recent “Jeopardy!” contestant who wouldn’t stop taking the show’s money. He has nearly broken Ken Jennings’ regular winnings record, only to be stopped by an opponent who beat him by more than double his final total for the game he lost. I think Holzhauer appearing at Rhode Island Comic Con would not just be unique, but also entirely appropriate. After all, it would probably bring in a new audience of people who would otherwise skip out on cons. Plus, as a game show enthusiast, I cannot help but keep talking about Holzhauer like he’s my own child. It’s almost as if being able to catch the latest “Jeopardy!” episode or at least reading up on the latest stats was the ultimate bragging right. Also, this year I’m going with a VIP ticket, which comes with various perks.

VIP Ticket Perks:

  • 3 day admission
  • Early bird admission (9AM Sat & Sun)
  • Private VIP Entrance
  • Private VIP Lounge
  • 3 Exclusive RI Comic Con Show Prints
  • Rhode Island Comic Con Swag Bag
  • 20% off RICC Branded Merchandise
  • Exclusive VIP 2019 RI Comic Con Badge
  • Exclusive RICC AR Comics-Comic Book
  • Exclusive RICC Comic Book
  • VIP Autograph Fast Pass Line
  • VIP Photo Op Fast Pass Line
  • Chance to Win 2020 VIP Pass
  • One Exclusive Mystery Item

I am personally excited for the con, and believe it or not, it is not the first time I’m getting a VIP badge, because the first time I went, which was in 2015, I managed to get said badge as well.

That same weekend is also the release of the new “Terminator” film, “Terminator: Dark Fate.” It is a cliche title, but its first trailer, personally had me intrigued. I’m excited to see what Tim Miller has up his sleeve in terms of direction. I am somewhat excited to see James Cameron involved again, although I am slightly worried because we now have more disposable “Terminator” movies than memorable “Terminator” movies. Let’s just hope we can change that.

Some of my other most anticipated films of the month include “Ford v. Ferrari,” “Knives Out,” and “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” “Ford v. Ferrari” takes place during a race to determine which of the two recently specified car brands will dominate. “Knives Out” is an upcoming mystery crime film directed by Rian Johnson. I did not like his interpretation of the “Star Wars” universe, but it does not mean I am not willing to check out his future work. Plus, this movie has a number of big names that I imagine a lot of people would like to see. Some include Daniel Craig (Casino Royale, Logan Lucky), Chris Evans (Captain America: The First Avenger, Gifted), Lakeith Stanfield (Black Panther, Sorry To Bother You), Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049, War Dogs), Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween, Scream Queens), the world’s best Kevin Spacey impersonator, Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World, A Beautiful Mind), and recent Jackoff winner Toni Collette (Hereditary, The Sixth Sense). As for “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” it is in the current conversation to be my most anticipated film for the remainder of the year. For one thing, I saw “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” last year, which much like “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” is about Mister Rogers. That documentary not only compelled me, but reminded me of my personal flaws in my childhood, and maybe inspired me to be a better person. I still rage out on this blog a lot, but it’s something that I don’t really do for me, I do it for the entertainment of others, so that’s different. But it reminded me of how much it pays to respect those around you. Plus, TOM HANKS IS PLAYING THE STARRING ROLE?! Who else could do that?! He’s practically the nicest guy in Hollywood! SIGN ME UP! Believe it or not, that comes out the same weekend as “Frozen II,” but who cares about that?! Rogers for life!

 

DECEMBER:

The end of the year is always a crazy time for me, but just like last year, it’ll perhaps be less busy than it has been in other years. My fall semester will end during the month, and I’ll be in the cycle of watching previous movies from the year at home. This does not mean that I’ll be skipping theatrical releases, because award season is in full swing. This means I’ll be paying extra close attention to films that receive Golden Globe nominations, and as for reviewing movies I watch at home, the chances of that are very slim. But this does not mean that big blockbusters are entirely off the table. For one thing, they tend to sometimes do pretty well in certain technical categories, and we have another “Star Wars” film this year. I have intentions to go see “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” opening Thursday night, mainly because I want to buy tickets as early as possible. If I can’t do that, I am going to try extra hard to find an available press screening, because aside from “Endgame,” “The Rise of Skywalker” is perhaps the biggest movie of 2019. Aside from being titled “Star Wars,” it is supposed to end “The Skywalker Saga,” and J.J. Abrams is directing again. I was not a huge fan of “The Last Jedi,” but I love “The Force Awakens” like it is my own brother. I am honestly more excited for “The Rise of Skywalker” than I was for “The Last Jedi” before that came out because I was somewhat worried that “The Last Jedi” would be a carbon copy of “The Empire Strikes Back.” Turns out it wasn’t, despite similarities to older films in the saga. And I even say this knowing how some things in “The Last Jedi” turned out. Having seen the trailer back in April, knowing certain plot points that could play out, and realizing J.J. Abrams could save this sequel trilogy, I am rather giddy for this December. But despite my excitement, I gotta ask. HOW IS PALPATINE STILL ALIVE?! I am excited to possibly see him in this film, but really?! When he was thrown down the pit in “Return of the Jedi,” yeeaah, HE F*CKING DIED. There is no coming back from that. I’m intrigued, I just need to be convinced.

When it comes to smaller films, one such film I am very excited for is “Little Women.” The film is supposed to explore the lives of sisters as they live in 1860s Massachusetts. It may not be my type of movie on paper, but one reason why I am excited is because the film is being directed by Greta Gerwig, who also helmed one of the best coming of age stories I have seen in recent years, “Lady Bird.” In addition to that, the cast is killer! This movie’s got Meryl Streep (Sophie’s Choice, The Iron Lady), Emma Watson (Beauty and the Beast, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone), Laura Dern (Big Little Lies, Jurassic Park), Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird, Mary Queen of Scots), and Timothée Chalamet (Interstellar, Beautiful Boy)! I am also probably going to be looking into “1917,” which is a war film. Those tend to often go for awards, which is why I have my sights set on it. There are a couple films that I might check out that I would probably regret seeing, but the only real film that I’d struggle with reviewing is “Fair and Balanced.” Granted, this does not mean I am not looking forward to the film, nor am I expecting to be underwhelmed with it, in fact it sounds rather intriguing from a storytelling point of view. But the movie is about relationships between women and Fox News owner Roger Ailes, and I feel that it is going to be rather hard to keep my political opinions out of the review. I’m not saying I am a core conservative that keeps a closed mind, I try to see all sides and then form my own opinion. I have made various political jokes here and there on Scene Before, but politics is not my top priority, especially when you consider how divided we are as a country right now. Although I did manage to check out “Vice” last year, which was pretty good, but part of it had to do with the buzz it has been getting. Who knows? Maybe I’ll check out “Fair and Balanced,” for all I know it could be the best movie of the year, but I feel like it would be hard to review if I’m going to have to inject my experience with how the world operates in terms of politics. We’ll just have to see.

And of course, I’ll be finishing off the year, or perhaps more likely, kicking off next year, by recapping my top 10 BEST and WORST movies of 2019. I enjoy doing these countdowns every year, because I get to honor films one more time, and also give myself a minor stress release.

Although I must remind you, it is 2019, and here on Scene Before I am trying to constantly find new ways to deliver exciting content to you all. In 2017, I did a couple of cutaway style parodies, in 2018 I did a post talking about my Blu-ray collection, and just this year I introduced the world to the Jackoff Awards. The question is, where I do I go next? I’ve done tons of countdowns, reviews of the past, reviews of the present, what could be next? I know! ALL OF IT IN ONE. Ladies and gentlemen, if you have been following Scene Before and saw one of my posts in April, you’d know that I put out a trailer for something I once referred to as “Project 2020.” Although, based on statistics, I doubt many of you have even glanced at that post. But for those of you who know what I’m talking about, good for you. You get a “good job” sticker! But for those of you who don’t know, watch this trailer down below!

*ALL COPYRIGHTS BELONG TO THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS*

That’s right! I am going to be crafting a list of my highlight movies of the 2010’s, and I must have you know, I am setting this list up to be bigger than the lists I traditionally do at the end of the year. While this is still in planning stages, I will be intending to make this list perhaps a top 25, maybe a top 50. I was also debating on a top 100 as well. Depends on how much time I have. I am honestly MORE THAN EXCITED to work on this list, and release it to you all. I started Scene Before in 2016, which means I did not get too many chances to talk about films from years prior, so not only is this a personal reflection of various films I watched during my blogging journey, but a reflection of an entire ten year span that I lived through before becoming this active on the Internet. I’m not gonna say anything, but 2014 was a great year for film as far I’m concerned, so depending on how the rest of 2019 plays out, we might see a good number of films I’m passionate about from that year make the list. This is not to put down any other year from this decade, I’m just giddy of what’s to come…

And by the way, a worst list is in the works too.

At home I am making an effort to watch various films that have come out this decade just to catch up, and maybe add something to the best or worst list at the end of the year. I’m not gonna get into too much detail, because I do want to save some secrets for when the list comes out, but I am stoked just to be working on this.

Thanks for reading this post! If you like Scene Before and want to see more content, consider following me either with an email or WordPress account! As for upcoming content, I want to remind everyone, in case they forgot by now, I will soon be starting my Quentin Tarantino review series, which will eventually culminate with a review either at the end of July or beginning of August with my thoughts on “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” I cannot wait to get started on this, Tarantino is a filmmaker I have often admired behind the scenes, but I have barely seen any of his material. Now is a good time to start! Also, be sure to check out my Facebook page! Get your latest updates from the movie reviewing moron by using Facebook, the home of some of the all-time laziest efforts at wishing someone a happy birthday. Be sure to stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, is there something that you would like to see be done here on Scene Before, perhaps for this half of 2019? Or, what is your favorite Scene Before moment, post, anything that I have done so far this year? It can even be this one for all I care! Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Black Friday 2018 4K and Blu-ray Pickups!

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! To all who live in the United States, I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving, or as turkeys may see it, genocide. To be honest, I have no personal vendetta against Thanksgiving as a holiday. It’s a good time of year to eat lots of food, talk with your family, and see the Detroit Lions lose yet another football game. Although to be honest, I’m more of a fan of the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday. For one thing, I don’t currently work in a crappy, overcrowded retail store, with idiotic overlords, so I have no real reason to hate Black Friday. After all, this Black Friday, much like others, I have been in the position of the consumer. Unlike a couple years ago, when I ventured out to a nearby mall for Black Friday to mainly shop for others, I self-indulged this year because I was on top of things when it came to Christmas shopping for the most part. I’m not saying that I completely self-indulged, but still.

I live in the Boston area, so I went to the Cambridgeside Galleria, a mall just about a half-hour away from my house, but in reality it took longer because I took public transportation and the train was stuck in the middle of the track for some time. I could have gone to other malls, but more than anything, I wanted to hit a Best Buy. And Cambridgeside happens to have one of those stores. Cambridgeside is also a home to a local nerd shop, Newbury Comics, which is basically Boston’s slightly tweaked version of FYE. Although in reality I wouldn’t say Newbury is quite as stellar as FYE. However, Cambridgeside has my personal least favorite of all the Newbury stores because they don’t even have a movie section. But even if they had a movie section, I probably wouldn’t have shopped there anyway, because I went to Newbury on Black Friday for the past couple of years and they never had movie deals if my memory is correct. Nevertheless, Cambridgeside has Best Buy, which aside from Burger King, happened to be the only place at the mall where I purchased something.

Let’s get into the movies, starting off with the standard Blu-rays!

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First off, we have “Battle of the Sexes!” I’ve heard a lot about this movie, I’ve heard positive reviews regarding the film itself. Plus, judging by the cover, the two leads are probably phenomenal. You’ve got Emma Stone (La La Land, Easy A) and Steve Carell (The Office, Despicable Me) playing two pro tennis players who have to duke it out against each other? I’m sold! As a nerd, it is probably somewhat expected that I’m not really into sports. However, tennis is one of the few sports which I actually happen to appreciate. Plus, if my memory serves me right, there are not many tennis movies out there that I’ve been exposed to. To actually own a sport-related film that revolves around tennis is actually kind of a treat. It would be a better treat if the movie is good, just saying. I haven’t watched it yet.

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Next we move onto my cheapest purchase, Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” When I first saw the marketing for this movie, I wasn’t really sold on it. Then again, my tastes probably weren’t mature enough to appreciate the overall quirkiness of the film. Because I saw the film a few years after it released and I found it to be very enjoyable. The film has a fine list of actors including Bill Murray (Ghostbusters, Zombieland), Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, Independence Day), Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man, xXx: State of the Union), and many others. The color palette of the film gives the feeling that I’m attending an authentic Italian restaurant inside an art museum. I also thought one interesting thing about this film from a cinematography perspective was the decision to shoot and present a good portion of the film in 4:3, which is the aspect ratio on an old school TV. By the way, I mentioned this was my cheapest purchase, and if you are curious, it was $3.99.

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The last three pickups I have are all 4Ks, one copy I have is significantly different from all the others, which means we’re saving that one for last. This next purchase, as you can tell, is “Patriots Day.” I reviewed this movie back in 2016 and I REALLY enjoyed it. It was not my favorite movie of the year, but at the time of watching, I thought it was one of 2016’s best. Again, I’ll mention, I’m near Boston, so this kind of hit me where I live, but even if I weren’t from Boston, chances are I’d see this as a movie where a community comes together in a time of crisis. I still remember where I was during the moment I heard about the bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon. I was leaving a movie theater after going to see Dreamworks’ “The Croods” with my father and sister, and I believe I got in the car and this was what was all that was being talked about on the radio. Some call it propaganda, and maybe it is. I have only watched the movie once, so I was only able to judge it after my first viewing. Maybe my brain was locked and loaded into thinking a certain way. But maybe my mind will change after viewing #2. I’m not sure, but we’ll see what happens. Also, upon reviewing my receipt, this was a fantastic deal. This movie was originally $29.99, but when I bought it, it was $7.99! Unbelievable!

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I wanted to get some 2018 releases into my collection, and I managed to get one, which was “The Spy Who Dumped Me.” This is a movie I would have checked out in the theater had I been given the opportunity. I’m not saying it would have been my first choice, but if someone said to me that they wanted to see a review of “The Spy Who Dumped Me” I wouldn’t have denied that person’s request. This movie stars Mila Kunis (Family Guy, Bad Moms) and Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live, The Angry Birds Movie) as a couple of besties who get involved in an international conspiracy. Although to add more weight, one of the two best friends has an ex-boyfriend who turns out to be a spy. The trailers do kind of resemble a typical studio comedy, but comedy this year for me has been a goldmine. I’m not saying this year’s comedies are perfect, but we’ve gotten a number of surprises, and even one that I can highly relate to. “The Spy Who Dumped Me” may be pretty good, it could even suck. For all I know it could be the worst movie of the year, but I hope to watch it at some point before the end of 2018. I need to rack up more nominees for my end of the year top 10 lists!

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Last but not least we actually have an appropriate title considering another movie that just came out. Specifically, “Wreck-It Ralph.” I often make fun of Disney for being all about showering them with money, but when they make something good, I gotta give credit where it is due. “Wreck-It Ralph” is not just a good movie, but it is one of the best movies out there related to video games. While “Wreck-It Ralph” itself is technically not based off of a video game, it still manages to utilize its own arcade game universe where a bunch of characters from arcade games and video games interact with each other. Certain cameos come from franchises like “Pac-Man,” “Super Mario,” “Street Fighter,” “Sonic the Hedgehog,” and “Q*bert.” Also, may I add, this was also a 4K steelbook. I got it for $11 off its original price, making it a $23.99 purchase, which I will say is a swell deal. This is especially true when you consider the regular 4K’s price. It was originally $29.99, bumped to $22.99 after a $7 subtraction. This collector’s item is literally just a buck more. It reminds me of one time I found “Red Sparrow” either in the “Best Buy” store or online and the 4K steelbook was $5 cheaper than the regular 4K. Let’s say I got a, STEEL.

I would have gone to other stores had I had the time, there was a Target that was about a mile walk down the road but also the more I think about it, I’m glad I didn’t go there because for some reason almost every time I walked through a scanner at the entry of a store during the day, the alarm would beep even though I had nothing that was stolen or not purchased. The worst part was in Sears because I was waiting for the elevator and they actually have scanners at the outside doors. The employees didn’t care and one told me to explain the situation when I left. I’m rather glad I avoided any accusations. But then again, had I unintentionally stole something, that is… A TRUE… BLACK FRIDAY DEAL.

Thanks for reading this post! As far as some future posts go, my next review is rather uncertain, however I’m trying to make sure I can get something in next week at the latest. Part of me wants to talk about how big of a month December is going to be in terms of new releases. Sure, it’s award season, but that’s not the point. The point is that when it comes to big budget films, the quality may not be the big debate, but the real debate on my mind is, how much money will each big budget movie make? I won’t answer that question here because it is incredibly complicated to complete. However, should I make a post related to that topic, I can tell you it will have a crapload of detail. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with a WordPress account or email so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you go out Black Friday shopping this year? What did you buy? Doesn’t have to be movies, it can be anything. But don’t reveal what Christmas gifts you purchased for others! Or, since I got three 4Ks on Black Friday, what is your favorite movie that has gotten a 4K Blu-ray release? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Isle of Dogs (2018): The Collision of PG-13 Animation and Wes Anderson

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

That is unless, you know, you own Zuul from “Ghostbusters,” in which case, you’re in for the exact opposite of a treat, and face every negative consequence in the book.

You might also say that having a dog is a lot like having a kid. You have to take care of it, you have to spend money on it, and sometimes you have to keep a good eye on it. One married couple who will be taking on the responsibility of a kid one day will be a dynamic duo by the name of Genevieve and Paul. While they’re not technically responsible for a kid just yet, they are having one soon. The journey to get to where they are in terms of having a kid brought lots of hardships, as explained, in “What the IVF?!”

“What the IVF?” is a relatively new YouTube channel and series created by Genevieve and Paul, the couple mentioned earlier, and it is about their journey to conception. The journey however is not easy, and according to them, it lasts about 2 years! Join Genevieve and Paul as they deal with small victories such as those times when they get to relax and not have to worry about results for awhile. They also deal with big defeats such as an insane amount of needle injections, it’s absolutely freaking crazy! You can watch the series on YouTube and new episodes are uploaded to the channel every Monday. The latest episode in the series, episode 9, is all about PGD. Turns out that Genevieve has premutation fragile x and she needs to find a way to prevent passing this to her future child. There’s even a segment that describes the overall creepiness of parents sending DNA for the sake of their children! It’s pretty wild! Be sure to subscribe to the channel if you like the content uploaded, maybe hit the notification bell, and discover more from “What the IVF?” on other online platforms. Also, tell them 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/

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“Isle of Dogs” is directed by Wes Anderson (Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Grand Budapest Hotel) and includes a cast of people such as Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Malcom in the Middle), Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton (The Incredible Hulk, American History X), Bob Balaban (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 2010: The Year We Make Contact), Bill Murray (Ghostbusters, Stripes), Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, Independence Day), Liev Schreiber (My Little Pony: The Movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Tilda Swinton (Doctor Strange, Snowpiercer), F. Murray Abraham (Scarface, Homeland), Harvey Keitel (Reservoir Dogs, Thelma & Louise) and Scarlett Johansson (Iron Man 2, Her). This movie takes place in Japan and is about a young boy named Atari who is in search for his lost dog.

Going into this movie, I kind of knew what to expect, but at the same time, I was still wondering what was in store. For one thing, I’ve already seen a couple of Wes Anderson films, so I can get sense as to what his style is when it comes to filmmaking. It’s all rather fast-paced, smooth, and kind of wacky. “Isle of Dogs” is no exception to this rule.

This movie has tons of still shots that try to show a vast environment. There are lots of centered shots that will give you a view of someone or something. That technique strays away from a rule that a number of filmmakers will often use in their work, the rule of thirds. There are many shots in this film that almost command your attention and won’t let you look anywhere else, and I personally as a viewer sometimes see that as a benefit. I say that because if I for example, happened to watch this in a theater, I can just look down the middle and avoid having to turn my eyes or my head to observe everything of importance.

I’m not saying all the movie’s shots are like this however, just take this one for example, as this one has one of the dogs close up on the left, and more further back on the right. As a viewer, I’d probably be more attracted into looking on the left side of the frame than I would on the right because there’s a subject that’s closer up.

Needless to say, partially because you might as well say this has already been implied, the movie’s cinematography is spot on. The wide angles these shots provide are sure to allow the viewer to see more from side to side, and I cannot imagine the movie being shown in any other aspect ratio because of it.

Also, this movie’s stop motion animation is nothing short of breathtaking. Every little detail provided just makes you wonder how it was done, and makes me personally a bit excited for the home video release so I can possibly receive some of the tidbits behind all of this in the bonus features. This is not the first time the world has witnessed a stop motion movie from Wes Anderson. That’s because the first time was in 2010 with “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” which is based on a book written by acclaimed children’s author Roald Dahl. I never saw the film from start to finish, but it is something I’ve always wanted to get into because having known for some time about Anderson, he’s a fairly praised director and I personally want to get into more of his work. And I feel like this very movie is a fine example of what could qualify as the awesomeness provided from said guy’s work.

Now the main boy’s name in this movie is Atari, and as I watched this film, it almost made me want to make my own movie with a character named Atari. If I do make said film, I’d jokingly say somewhere in the script that his character is 2600 years old. Anyway, the boy is played by Koyu Rankin and I praise the casting for this movie making this kid be played by someone who is part Japanese. Fun fact about this movie by the way, I didn’t really get too annoyed by this character, but I have a feeling some audience members who go into this film will feel that way, because this kid in the movie speaks Japanese. I live in the United States and speak English, and I have a feeling that some folks who see this movie, regardless of whether they live in the United States, Canada, Spain, or a bunch of other countries will be annoyed because the character doesn’t speak their native language. And no, there are no subtitles provided during this film. There are characters who speak English however. They give a warning to viewers in the start of the film that says “All barks have been rendered into English.” Speaking of which…

Let’s talk about some dogs in this movie. And I have a feeling that I talked about this before on here, but in case you don’t know…

I hate dogs.

At this point, you probably want to put a dragon in front of me, and take me out for what you may consider to be “the good of mankind.” First off, please don’t, that’s murder. And second, my hatred for dogs doesn’t change the fact that I really admired the dogs in this film. The cast is perfect! You’ve got Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton. All of them deliver excellent voiceover performances. As far as the writing goes, each dog delivers a taste of themselves that separates them from the rest of the crew. All of them have similar sounding names (all resemble a form of a leader), but in the end, the dogs are all individuals that just make up a team. And I gotta say that some of the best parts script-wise come from when they work as a team. These parts involve fighting, discovering what’s yet to be found, discussing rumors, and one thing that really stuck out to me, their constant need to vote as a group. One other dog that wasn’t really part of the main crew that I really liked was the character of Nutmeg, played by Scarlett Johansson. She was a love interest to one of the dogs and I kind of admired their little flirtationship. It’s also perfect casting too for an ideal love interest, although I imagine this is totally up to every viewer’s interpretation, because Scarlett Johansson’s got a deep voice that can capture a man into looking at her, talking to her, and eventually admiring her. I may be biased because if you follow me on this blog, you may have seen a post or two of me endlessly admiring Scarlett Johansson, maybe a little more than I should… But anywho, Scarlett Johansson’s performance was well done here, I bought into the chemistry between and her and Chief (Bryan Cranston) and their interactions were, no pun intended, a treat.

Another highlight for me in this film is one of the major English-speaking characters that doesn’t identify as a dog, and she goes by the name of Tracy Walker, played by Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird, 20th Century Women). She’s a foreign exchange student and she sees something in Megasacki City’s new mayor, Kobayashi, that others don’t. She plays a big role in the film, and this is something that others see as a problem because this makes the movie look “dehumanizing” towards Asian culture and it feels out of place by having someone white take an active part in the movie’s overall plot of trying to save dogs and tarnish the new mayor. I personally don’t see her character in that way. The way that her character is used here makes the Japanese characters appear as if they’re brainwashed. This is not to say however that all the Japanese are brainwashed in real life. This does play into how Gerwig’s character is getting a different perspective as someone who is visiting Japan as opposed to living there. Think of it as if this were “The LEGO Movie,” and Kobayashi were President Business. If you make that connection and think about both movies along with their individual characters, you’ll see some similarities between the villains, and the majority of people who have no choice but to bow down to their leader.

In the end, “Isle of Dogs” is fun, charming, well put together, and at certain times, epic. Seriously, listen to the music for this movie! Thus far, this movie competes with “Annihilation” to be my favorite original movie score of 2018! Also, adults, if you want to watch this with your kids, I wouldn’t say “don’t,” but I’d also say take precautions. This movie does have some foul language in it so beware. It’s not as raunchy or dark as 2016’s “Sausage Party,” but this movie is PG-13 for a reason. I’m going to give “Isle of Dogs” an 8/10. This is a well done animation, another great piece of work from Wes Anderson, and an overall wonderful story. Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon I’m going to be publishing a post related to “Avengers: Infinity War,” and no, it’s not a review, I already did that. But if you want to read my review for the movie, which by the way, is spoiler-free, click the link at the end of the post. Stay tuned for more great content! Also let me just have you know that some of you around the world will have this post first published to you on May 4th, so May the 4th Be With You, Happy Star Wars Day, and I also hope you enjoy the following day, Revenge of the Fifth! I want to know, did you see “Isle of Dogs?” What did you think about it? Also, do you think this or “Fantastic Mr. Fox” is the better movie? Leave your comments down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/04/27/avengers-infinity-war-2018-2018s-movie-event-of-the-year/