Licorice Pizza (2021): Paul Thomas Anderson Delivers a Pizza Crap

“Licorice Pizza” is directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread, The Master) and stars Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman, Sean Penn (Mystic River, Milk), Tom Waits (The Old Man & the Gun, The Dead Don’t Die), Bradley Cooper (Guardians of the Galaxy, A Star is Born), and Benny Safdie (Uncut Gems, Good Time). This film follows the connection between Alana Kane and Gary Valentine, not to be confused with the guy who plays Danny on “King of Queens,” as they spend time together in the San Fernando Valley in 1973.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – FEBRUARY 05: Director Paul Thomas Anderson attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards Nominee Luncheon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 5, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Paul Thomas Anderson is a name I have not followed as much as other directors, and it is something I feel guilty of doing in regards to my film watching journey. Not only because he is an acclaimed name, but he also went to Emerson College, which I was probably going to attend had I gotten past the waitlist. So he has a bit of history in Boston, which as someone who lives near the Massachusetts state capital, is something I take a bit too seriously. I’ve seen “The Master” towards the end of the 2010s, but that’s all I have watched from him. I remember it being magnificently shot, but the story is not something that stuck with me to this day. I still need to watch “There Will Be Blood,” I own copies of “Inherent Vice” and “Phantom Thread” and still need to watch those. I still haven’t seen “Boogie Nights!” There are quite a few directors I have gotten around to over the years in terms of catching up on their filmography, but Paul Thomas Anderson fails to make the list.

When I saw the trailer for “Licorice Pizza,” I thought it sort of nailed the nostalgic aspect. The film takes place in the 1970s, and not only does it get a thumbs up for the production design that reminds me of walking into my grandparents’ house, but some of the music is okay as well. I think this film from a presentation point of view, checks a lot of boxes. It looks like it is from its focal decade, the acting, despite the leads having no evidential experience, is top-notch. For all I know, it could be on Anderson’s part. If I have learned anything from James Gunn over the years, he can take an actor with less experience like John Cena and make them pop. The best thing I can say about “Licorice Pizza” is that Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman give good performances regardless of the material that’s given to them.

I’m not using that last sentence lightly, because “Licorice Pizza” is probably the most uncomfortable I have felt watching a movie in some time. Okay, well, maybe not as uncomfortable as “Music,” that s*it was downright personal. I live in the age of social media and in my teens I would talk to people far from my age group and nothing weird happened. Although I believe it is commonly agreed upon that adults should not be dating teens that are ten years apart in age. Gary in this film is 15 years old and Alana is 25.

Do you see the problem?

Now, if Alana was 18, that would be one thing, because that’s also technically an adult, but she is also old enough to still be in high school, just like Gary. TWENTY-FIVE?! The film is kind of a back and forth sort of thing in terms of the romance, where Gary sometimes claims Alana’s his girlfriend, but then the two go back to calling each other “business partners” or something else, but I honestly could not justify myself liking the character of Gary. Because when I think of these sorts of relationships, maybe I’m thinking the adult is in the wrong of dating someone that is significantly younger than them. But with Gary, he’s a literal pervert, and he’s not afraid to hide it. And he’s not a cool pervert like Ron Burgundy who has some personality, granted the movie he’s in respectively has a different vibe, but every time I look at Gary and he says some other line, I want to put some tape over his mouth.

Look, I’m a guy, and it is scientifically evident that guys love anything that has to do with sex. We are revolting creatures. But oh my god. Gary is a downright creep who I occasionally wanted to punch in the face throughout this film’s poorly paced runtime. Seriously, it felt like it was 15 or 30 minutes longer than it actually was. If it’s not about getting to see Alana’s boobs, it’s about making money. Downright power. That’s what we’re dealing with here. Now, I’ve seen “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Jordan Belfort in that film has a semi-similar personality, but he’s also proven that he can be chill, he can be cool. Granted Belfort’s not a teenager, that’s one big difference. Even so, I never got that positive vibe from Gary. I felt like he was trying too hard to be cool when in reality, he felt disgusting.

Now, and I cannot believe I have to say this on a blogging platform that my family reads… I don’t think Paul Thomas Anderson is interested in showing his junk to young girls. I mean, if the genders were reversed, where Alana sees a 25 year old Gary’s junk, who knows? I am comfortable with a storyline about sexual exploration, it’s not something I wouldn’t expect out of some coming of age tales, but this was poorly executed in the worst way possible. I would not want Gary as my friend, and I would want out of any matters involving him if he ever tried to get into Alana’s pants.

One of the most important things about a romance film is that the two leads are likable. I don’t even like their characters by themselves all that much, and even less so together. Because despite what I’ve been saying about Gary coming off as a creep, movies have shown how characters can develop and change. Compared to some other films that I’ve seen, including another recent 1970s nostalgia fest, “The Tender Bar,” I could not really catch onto much character development, especially from Gary. I think Alana’s character has some moments where I could feel her emotion, her stress, the want to escape from reality and other people, but it’s barely enough to make this movie the slightest bit watchable.

If I had any other positives to give “Licorice Pizza,” it is that Bradley Cooper shines as Jon Peters. He honestly came off as a bit of a drugged-up Hugh Hefner type. I think his presence in the film allows the costume design to show its power. Cooper was well directed by Anderson and I would not have minded seeing more of him.

In the end, “Licorice Pizza” is a film that I was looking forward to, but as soon as they stated the age difference, that was an immediate turnoff. This harkens back to the saying that first impressions matter. And if you think this is my only problem with the movie, I’ll mention once again that this movie could have been fifteen to thirty minutes shorter. The movie occasionally dragged, it felt boring. Gary Valentine is by no means a likable character. In fact, he’s probably the character that I hate the most of any project I’ve watched in the past 12 months or so. If you think “West Side Story” was worth skipping because of the Ansel Elgort controversy, I will not stop you from doing that. But based on the fictional elements presented in “Licorice Pizza,” this is a film that part of me wishes I could have skipped. It’s barely any fun, it’s creepy, and I wish the script was good enough to match the amazing talents of some of the actors on screen. I’ll probably go back and watch some of Anderson’s work like “Phantom Thread,” but I hope his next project, whenever that comes out, won’t be as off-putting as this. If you want a 1970s nostalgia fest, just go watch “The Tender Bar.” It’s on Prime Video, and worth your time. I’m going to give “Licorice Pizza” a 4/10.

“Licorice Pizza” is now playing in theaters everywhere. Tickets are available now.

Thanks for reading this review! This week I’m going to be watching the all new Japanese animated film, “Belle.” I have heard nothing but good things about this flick, and I am quite curious to see how it is. I will have a review coming soon, and if you want to see more content like this, follow the blog either with an email or WordPress account! Also, check out the official Scene Before Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “Licorice Pizza?” What did you think about it? Or, what is a film, one specifically that IS NOT in the horror genre, that genuinely makes you uncomfortable? For me, I’d say that would be “Music,” which I literally talked about in my worst of the year list a couple weeks ago! Let me know your pick 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!

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

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

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

#DontSpoilTheEndgame

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

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

Image may contain: night and screen

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

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

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

Remember, “Star Wars: Episode I?”

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

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

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

“Sure, you can also make the point that not every Marvel superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe had their own film released before “The Avengers.” Although judging by the time, did you really think putting out a Hawkeye film before “The Avengers” would have gotten everyone flocking to the theater? Everyone would probably go see it now, including me even though I think Hawkeye’s as useless as a rock paper scissors match to determine what time it is.” –What the Heck is Up With Justice League (2017)? *PART 2*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

91st Academy Awards Recap

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Before we dive into this post, I would like to kick off by offering my sincere apologies. Part of me wanted to do a post on my hopes and predictions going into this year’s Academy Awards show, but unfortunately, I literally lacked any time in the world to do such a thing. Apparently paying for my education is not enough to make my head spin, I need to be handed a bloated supply of homework as well! I wasn’t given this during the Super Bowl (REALLY DON’T CARE ABOUT THAT SHOW), so why should I get it on Oscar weekend? Anyway, earlier this week, I watched the 91st edition of the Academy Awards. I went into it with a few expectations. However, there was a part of me that thought this show was going to SUCK, and I even say that with my picks winning. Fortunately, that was not the case!

The first red flag in my sights for this year’s show is that there was no host this year. You guys may already know that Kevin Hart opted out at a point and nobody else happened to sign on. They did however announce names for a bunch of celebrities who will be present to give random speeches and nominee presentations. While not all of them were great, they did have a number of them which I was actually able to appreciate. And I can’t even believe I’m saying this.

Melissa McCarthy actually made me laugh! Throughout my 3 year experience of blogging on Scene Before, McCarthy has appeared in the #1 spot for my worst films of the year lists not just once, but twice! Although sometimes I kind of fail to give her credit where it is due, because there are a couple of occasions where she did make me laugh. When she played former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on “Saturday Night Live,” it was literally a plethora of some of the most gutbusting moments that I’ve encountered in the show’s recent years. McCarthy’s appearance during the Academy Awards ceremony was perhaps on the Sean Spicer level of funny. McCarthy comes out to present the Costume Design award. Doing so in this costume that is quite possibly inspired by “The Favourite.” She gives this speech about some of the best costumes and how they are not meant to have distracting elements. It’s just spectacular. So spectacular in fact that I almost forgot that Melissa McCarthy was a recent Razzie winner!

I will admit, when it comes to other celebrities, there are not that many other speeches worth pointing out. Although there is one moment where I appreciated John Mulaney’s line “I want these people to like me to a degree which I find embarrassing.” It’s not to say that they were bad, but there was not many others which I happened to find as interesting as say Melissa McCarthy.

When it comes to having no host, I was somewhat surprised, because I was highly skeptical going in on whether or not such a thing was going to work out. Turns out it did! Before this recent Oscars show, I thought to myself that this was all going to be a trainwreck. Without a host, it’s toast! Not anymore! But if the Academy were to announce for the 92nd show that they aren’t getting anyone to host that year, I’d just say, “Fine, whatever, you do you.” I wouldn’t care if there’s a host. Would I want a host? Certainly, but I’d be open to another Oscars show where nobody hosts. Because a couple of benefits to having no host is that the show focuses more on the awards, and it allows a diverse amounts of celebrities to present themselves to an audience. Because let’s face it. Not everyone likes Jimmy Kimmel, not everyone likes Seth MacFarlane, not everyone likes Ellen DeGeneres. Having one of those people host puts them in a certain spotlight, and even though certain people like The Oscars, they might not be satisfied with the person who may as well be taking up the biggest portion of the show’s screentime. Almost every celebrity onstage had their moment, and it allowed for a quick pace that was respectful. Granted, I am the rare find in the wild that does not mind staying up for eternity while watching The Oscars. However, there is a part of me that realizes that The Oscars is being shown to “everyone.” And there is a vast majority of people who want to see certain things throughout the show. The hostless ceremony is a good way to keep time short, and have the awards delivered as immediate as possible.

By the way, I recently saw this killer tweet from recent Academy Awards host Jimmy Kimmel:

I love you, Jimmy.

Now let’s move onto the awards. Had I done a prediction post a little bit ago, this would definitely be the main focal point. I’m not going to dive into every single award, but I am going to go over the ones that I found to be highlights.

Believe it or not, I have actually managed to expand my award palette this year, because just recently, specifically on February 9th, I went to a local theater in the Boston area because they were showing all of the animated short films that earned a nomination this year. They showed the five potential winners, along with some others that the Academy found to be “highly commendable.” Now I actually had a favorite of these films, but before I do that, let’s give out the nominees.

  • Bao- Domee Shi, Becky Neiman (WINNER!)
  • Weekends- Trevor Jimenez
  • Animal Behaviour- Alison Snowden, David Fine
  • One Small Step- Andrew Chesworth, Bobby Pontillas
  • Late Afternoon- Louise Bagnall, Nuria González Blanco

Now keep in mind, I actually have watched all of these films from start to finish. I actually had been exposed to “Bao” prior to seeing all of the four other films. The reason why that is is due to how it was presented before Pixar’s “Incredibles 2,” making it Pixar’s short film to present this year. I kind of liked “Bao,” but it is something that I think would not appeal to everyone. I understand the message behind it, but in reality, there are a couple of animated shorts on this list that I found to be more interesting. For example, “One Small Step.” Granted, this may be coming with a little bit of bias since I am a nerd, and nerds like space. I still found the main character’s journey to be intriguing and sort of, pun intended, down to Earth. But my personal favorite out of all of these is without question, “Animal Behavior.” This film was made in Canada, and might I just say, this film reminds me of how awesome Canada is. It gave us Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds, Alex Trebek, Howie Mandel, and now… “Animal Behavior.” “Animal Behavior” takes a bunch of different living creatures and puts them all in a therapy session. One of the main characters is a gorilla who is in extreme denial, and often gets very angry. The results of this film, hilarious. One of the best jokes has to do with the mantis, because for those who are unaware, praying mantises eat their mate during intercourse. There are certain parts of the short where we see that sort of thing come into play, and overall it left me feeling very impressed. Plus, one thing that made this film different compared to all of the others, is that they were all trying to be serious. This one, while still having some sort of message intact, it still goes for as much comedy as possible. Kudos to the brilliant writing! Granted, the Academy goes for more serious material, and I do respect that, but I feel like was more impressed by the comedic efforts of “Animal Behaviour” as opposed to the serious efforts of “Late Afternoon” or “Bao.”

Moving onto another category, it’s Best Documentary! Let’s look at the nominees!

  • Free Solo- Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Evan Hayes, Shannon Dill (WINNER!)
  • RBG- Betsy West, Julie Cohen
  • Hale County This Morning, This Evening- RaMell Ross, Joslyn Barnes, Su Kim
  • Of Fathers and Sons- Talal Derki, Ansgar Frerich, Eva Kemme, Tobias N. Siebert
  • Minding the Gap- Bing Liu, Diane Quon

Wait, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” wasn’t nominated?! F*ck this! Moving on!

Let’s try a different documentary category! Best Documentary Short! Let’s look at the nominees!

  • Period. End of Sentence.- Rayka Zehtabchi, Melissa Berton (WINNER!)
  • Black Sheep- Ed Perkins, Jonathan Chinn
  • End Game- Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
  • Lifeboat- Skye Fitzgerald, Bryn Mooser
  • A Night at the Garden- Marshall Curry

OK, these look much better. I haven’t seen any of these films, but they sound much better. Now I am not going to call one of these films superior to all of the others, all of my opinions related to such a thing would technically be invalid. But, the victory speech, holy f*ck. Quite possibly the best speech of the night!

“I’m not crying because I’m on my period or anything! I can’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar!” -Rayka Zehtabchi

“A period should end a sentence, not a girl’s education!” -Melissa Berton

Enough said. Period. End of sentence.

Another category that stood out to me was Best Visual Effects, mainly because there was one movie that I felt should win, but didn’t win. Granted, the winner to me has extremely competent visuals, but the reality is, I had my pick. Here are the nominees.

Ryan Gosling in First Man (2018)

  • First Man- Paul LambertIan HunterTristan MylesJ.D. Schwalm (WINNER!)
  • Avengers: Infinity War- Dan DeLeeuwKelly PortRussell EarlDaniel Sudick
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story- Rob BredowPatrick TubachNeal ScanlanDominic Tuohy
  • Ready Player One- Roger GuyettGrady CoferMatthew E. ButlerDavid Shirk
  • Christopher Robin- Chris LawrenceMike EamesTheo JonesChris Corbould

Let’s take some things into perspective. While I kinda hated “Solo,” I could see it being nominated for visual effects. I didn’t want it to win, but still. “Christopher Robin” was an alright movie, nothing really that special. But then again, I have a bare attachment to “Winnie the Pooh.” The CGI characters were not bad though. “Avengers: Infinity War” was probably my second or third pick to win, right along with “First Man,” which did win. Aside from all of the huge scale glory happening everywhere on screen, you also have to give credit to the effects team for creating Thanos. To me, Thanos is up there with Smaug and Gollum as one of the greats when it comes to CGI character creations. Now with that being said, “READY PLAYER ONE” WAS SNUBBED! Granted, I already awarded “Ready Player One” myself because I now do the Jackoff Awards, but I would have given a thumbs up to the voters had they let “Ready Player One” win! Let’s take another set of ideas into perspective. “Avengers: Infinity War” has comic book style action, random computer effects flying everywhere, and a well done CGI character. I’ve seen that before. In fact, “Christopher Robin” had several of those. Granted, I liked “Infinity War’s” effects better, but still. “Solo” had several effects that I’ve seen in many other movies, and when it comes to the “Star Wars” franchise, it’s not even my favorite movie in terms of visuals. While I will say that “The Last Jedi” is actually worse than “Solo” as a movie, which I am honestly shocked to say. It actually looked nicer! “Solo” has its moments, but when comparing it to the rest of the franchise, it’s in between Obi-Wan and Anakin, because ya know, it kinda has the middle ground. For “Ready Player One,” I wanted that to win, because I felt it was the most visually unique movie of the year. Not only did it manage to visually create its own characters, but it actually recreated segments from other works of art! There is a scene in the film that actually takes place in a location from “The Shining.” Not only that, but you have two different worlds being dealt with in the movie, meaning there are two different places to insert various visuals. The effects team, personally, outdid themselves! I am not a crybaby over “First Man” getting the gold, but at the same time, I’m also wondering why it even got it because “Ready Player One” was just a unique trip. And this goes back to my recent statements. I’ve seen visuals like “First Man” in the past. I’ve seen it in “Apollo 13.” I’ve seen it in “Gravity.” I’ve seen it in “Interstellar.” Although at the same time, I said after I saw the movie that it was not my favorite movie of the year in terms of the story, but from a technical perspective, it was definitely the most well made movie of the year. So while it is not my #1 pick for visual effects, they are by NO MEANS incompetent. Granted, that comment I made after I saw “First Man,” that likely changed overtime after I saw “Roma,” but nevertheless.

Another highlight of the night, for anything but good reason (for the most part) is Best Makeup & Hairstyling. Here are the nominees.

  • Vice- Greg CannomKate BiscoePatricia Dehaney (WINNER!)
  • Mary Queen of Scots- Göran LundströmPamela Goldammer
  • Border- Jenny ShircoreMarc PilcherJessica Brooks

As I once predicted, “Vice” came out on top. The makeup might actually be the best part of the entire movie. So I was excited to see it win. Then… I saw the speech. The three winners practically did not even know what it was they were supposed to say. They had a paper in front of them, which is fine, I have nothing against that, but at least put a little preparation into your speech! At least, have a plan! Visualize! Get together on a Google Hangout or something! I mean, it was slow, it was like watching three people who had recently received amnesia! I’m just waiting for them to get hit in the head with coconuts and suddenly talk like they’re Peter Griffin after he drank Red Bull! They almost didn’t even remember anybody’s name! Ah well, still, congrats I guess.

Anyway, moving onto another category, which I guarantee has a better speech, let’s go onto Best Animated Feature. I do think it is a somewhat unnecessary category, given how it sort of diminishes the art of the animated movie as a whole, but I still want to talk about it. Here are the nominees!

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse- Bob PersichettiPeter RamseyRodney RothmanPhil LordChristopher Miller (WINNER!)
  • Incredibles 2- Brad BirdJohn WalkerNicole Paradis Grindle
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet- Rich MoorePhil JohnstonClark Spencer
  • Isle of Dogs- Wes AndersonScott RudinSteven RalesJeremy Dawson
  • Mirai- Mamoru HosodaYûichirô Saitô

Out of the five films listed, I have seen every single one except “Mirai,” but then again, it wasn’t really marketed around here so I don’t really have much to say about it overall. “Ralph Breaks the Internet” was not only enjoyable, but it honestly shocked me to no end. Because let’s be real, I thought the marketing was, *snobby voice* an abomination! I thought that movie was going to be the most obvious cash-in from Disney this past year (somehow I forgot about “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms”). Turns out that it is not only a good movie experience, but also a great parody on the Disney company! Just watch what Vanellope has to go through in the film to see what I mean! Then we have “Isle of Dogs” which is the only stop-motion film on the list. Over these last months, Wes Anderson has grown on me a bit as a director, and his work in this film supports my statement. Plus, I actually hate dogs, so the fact that I like this movie actually says something! “Incredibles 2” is a worthy sequel to what is, quite literally, my favorite animated film of all-time. Not only is it a part of my childhood, but it is just a well crafted movie. For awhile, it was my favorite film of the year, that is… until the release of “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse!” And might I just say, JUSTICE HAS BEEN SERVED! Because two people behind “Spider-Verse,” specifically as writers and producers, have also worked on “The LEGO Movie.” That is one of the best movies of 2014, and probably one of the best animations I’ve ever seen. And not only did that movie not win an Oscar, it didn’t even get nominated! Sure, it was nominated for Best Original Song due to the presence of “Everything Is Awesome,” but that’s not even the best part of the movie! Heck, that wasn’t even the best song in the movie! Ah well, catchy tunes can be catchy. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller get an Oscar! They didn’t have to wait as long as say Kevin O’Connell (sound mixer who waited 21 times), Roger Deakins (cinematographer who waited 14 times), or Glenn Close (actress nominated 7 times and still waiting), but they’ve each got one! “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is one of the best superhero movies of 2018, and I’d even say it’s better than “Black Panther,” which actually received more nominations than this movie! Speaking of which, let’s talk about that.

Based on the results of the recent Academy Awards show, “Black Panther,” my fourth place pick this year for superhero films, managed to take home three Academy Awards. None of them were in super major categories. Granted, one of them was score, which to me, is usually a major factor on whether or not your movie is in my top movies of the year for some reason. If I remember your music, chances are I’m going to like your movie. Now, “Black Panther” is nowhere close to being my favorite superhero flick of 2018. But with that in mind, I still gotta give the movie respect, because it did something for comic book movies that has never been done before. Over the years, several movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have received nominations for the Academy Awards. Some include “Doctor Strange,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “The Avengers,” “Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2,” and “Iron Man 3.” None of them have ever won an Oscar. Just this year, “Black Panther” changed that. Because it won 3. While I would say that for every of its categories for which the film was nominated, I was actually rooting for other films, including “The Favourite!” That actually says something because that film was nominated for best picture and I’m still not happy about it to this day! Nevertheless, it won three awards, which to me, shows that the Academy is getting more serious about the action movie genre and the comic book movie genre. They have progressively been doing such a thing in some of their more recent ceremonies with movies like “The Dark Knight” and “Logan.” Although, when it comes to comic-book based films, this is probably the best year Oscar-wise because with the MCU’s first three wins ever, they have another nomination on top of that (Avengers: Infinity War). Plus, as recently mentioned, “Spider-Verse” won Best Animated Feature. In fact, “Black Panther” was one of the eight movies nominated for Best Picture this year. I’m not saying I want more inclusion from comic-book movies, but I love how the Academy is recognizing that comic-book movies can be more than just entertainment. They can be works of art. Maybe I don’t see “Black Panther” the same way as they do, but I see where they may be coming from with it. Although I will say, I’m white. Just pointing that out. Congrats to the comic-book film genre.

Another highlight in terms of awards including some of the acting sections. Starting with Best Supporting Actor, here are the nominees!

  • Mahershala Ali- Green Book (WINNER!)
  • Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman)
  • Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
  • Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born)
  • Sam Rockwell (Vice)

Ah, seems very familiar. I nominated four of these people for the Jackoffs. If Timothée Chalamet was nominated here than that would be five. But whatever. And just like the Jackoffs, Mahershala Ali won! Ali to me is deserving of his win because of the range provided in his performance. Sam Elliott is great, the same can be said for someone like Sam Rockwell. But they seem to play the same character the whole movie. While Ali is technically one guy during the movie, he almost seems to play two. You have this robotic priest, and I won’t go into much more detail, but he reveals more emotion as he develops. Ali is well deserving of his award if you ask me.

Moving onto Best Supporting Actress!

  • Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)
  • Marina de Tavira (Roma)
  • Amy Adams (Vice)
  • Emma Stone (The Favourite)
  • Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)

Out of all of these, I have interestingly witnessed all of these performances EXCEPT Regina King, which is too bad, because I heard good things about “If Beale Street Could Talk.” And I was watching the Red Carpet buildup before the Oscars started, and having seen people commentate on the broadcast, this made King’s win no surprise because it was practically a lock. Out of the ones I’ve seen, my personally favorite without a doubt has to be Amy Adams. She transformed into her character in “Vice!” I will give credit to “The Favourite” in the acting department, especially when you consider two of its actors are nominated in the same category, but it does not save “The Favourite” from being a less than satisfying movie. As far as Marina de Tavira goes, I almost wonder why she was nominated to begin with. I’m not saying she performed badly in “Roma,” in fact she did a great job. But it’s kind of surprising considering how she was never really nominated for the same role anywhere else during this award season.

Now onto Best Actress! Here are the nominees!

  • Olivia Colman (The Favourite)
  • Yalitza Aparicio (Roma)
  • Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born)
  • Glenn Close (The Wife)
  • Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

Melissa McCarthy? What the?! It’s raining cats and dogs! I’ve seen three of these performances, and while there is a part of me that was able appreciate Olivia Colman as a performer in “The Favourite,” I found the performances from say Lady Gaga and Yalitza Aparicio a bit more compelling. And part of my reasoning behind such a statement may be because the two aren’t known for their acting. Gaga is primarily a singer, which also kind of means she has an advantage in her role. But what really wowed me is Yalitza Aparicio, because this is actually the first acting job she ever did in her entire life. For a first-time actor, you’d expect them to give a C performance, maybe a B performance at best. But this to me was no doubt, an A+ performance! And to be honest, part of me was expecting Glenn Close to win. Plus it would have been fascinating because she has been waiting awhile for her award. But if you have seen the Jackoffs, you might be able to gather my opinion on this. TONI COLLETTE WAS SNUBBED!

Lastly for acting, we have Best Actor. Here are the nominees!

  • Rami Malek- Bohemian Rhapsody (WINNER!)
  • Bradley Cooper- A Star Is Born
  • Viggo Mortensen- Green Book
  • Willem Dafoe- At Eternity’s Gate
  • Christian Bale- Vice

To me, Malek’s win was a no brainer. I was appreciative of this performance because of how it was able to transform this actor into a beloved celebrity of another kind. Granted, it is all him, because part of it was due to someone else doing his vocals and I think costume design and makeup go into play with my appreciation as well, but still, he was my pick to win. My second pick would have been Bradley Cooper because he had to learn to sing for his role, and it actually paid off! Out of these performances, I will point out that I’ve seen four of them, the one that I didn’t see is Willem Dafoe, but I also liked the performances from Bale and Mortensen. If I had to choose between them, I’d say Mortensen was the better performer, but if Bale had won, I would have loved to have seen his speech. Because when it comes to the crew on “Vice,” one terrible speech was already provided in the Makeup & Hairstyling category, but had he gone up, I would have been interested to see his speech. I say so because he gave perhaps my favorite speech at the Golden Globes this year, specifically where he says this:

“Thank you to Satan for giving me inspiration on how to play this role!”

HAHAHAHAHAHA! How often do you hear that?! While that might make certain people upset or offended, I thought personally that was one of the highlights of that show.

We have a few more categories to go over, a couple of which include the screenplay categories. Here are the original screenplay nominees!

  • Green Book- Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly (WINNER!)
  • First Reformed (Paul Schrader)
  • Roma (Alfonso Cuarón)
  • Vice (Adam McKay)
  • The Favourite (Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara)

I’m sorry, “The Favourite,” while it has some memorable lines, the screenplay was not even close to being something special. In fact, that’s one of the biggest problems I have with the movie, because this story was trying its best to be compelling, but it felt more drawn out than I expected! And I will admit, I am guy who is willing to appreciate film no matter what kind of movie we are talking about, but even for me, this was too slow! I think the biggest problem was the chapter layout. Because when I first saw it, I thought the chapters represented a three or five act structure, if I recall correctly, it was like nine. I am with “Green Book” as  the winner however. It’s a good story with compelling characters, and some quirkiness behind it too. Then again, it is hard to avoid expecting a good script from a guy who worked on “There’s Something About Mary.” If it weren’t for “Green Book” winning, I would have either picked “Roma” or “Vice.” With “Roma,” it was a script that took a bit of time to get me fully intrigued, but once I was hooked, I was not able to let go. It was investing, emotionally charged, and is capable of showing the occasional unpredictably of life. “Vice” however is rather interesting to me because while it was based on true events, it was able to have some satirical fun. One of the best written scenes of the year comes during the middle of the film where the acts like it is about to end saying the characters live happily ever after and never get in politics ever again. GEN-I-US!

As for the adapted screenplays, here are the nominees!

  • BlacKkKlansman- Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmont, Spike Lee (WINNER!)
  • A Star Is Born- Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?- Nicole HolofcenerJeff Whitty
  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs- Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
  • If Beale Street Could Talk- Barry Jenkins

Surprisingly, while I’ve seen a number of things in the listed this categories this year, this is a category where I’ve seen only two things. To be specific, “A Star Is Born” and “BlacKkKlansman.” I missed out on “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and “If Beale Street Could Talk.” As far as “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” goes, it’s on Netflix and I have don’t Netflix, nor do I ever plan to get it. Enough said. Luckily, of the two I did see, I nominated both for the Jackoffs in this exact category. Granted, I gave the 1 up to “A Star Is Born,” but “BlacKkKansman” is also worthy of your support. Interestingly, and if you watch the movie, this shouldn’t really come as a shock, Spike Lee’s speech was rather critical of Donald Trump. Let’s see how President Orange responded.

REMINDER: This guy won multiple Razzies this year!

A couple more categories to go, let’s move onto Best Director!

  • Alfonso Cuarón (Roma)
  • Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman)
  • Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War)
  • Adam McKay (Vice)
  • Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite)

“The Favourite” might just be one of the best worst movies of all time, because I can clearly tell people are giving their 110% effort throughout the production, but it just didn’t work for me. The directing in the film is actually not that bad and I see why it received a nomination. In fact, all of these directors are worthy of their nominations if you ask me. Although there is no questioning it. Cuarón directed the hell out of “Roma.” Based on how he did this movie, the project felt extremely personal, and the direction felt like everything came right out of his mind. Nothing felt like it came from an outsider or a studio. I am well aware that in life you can’t always get what you want, but it’s nice to get what you want when you are look at things from a directorial point of view. Plus, Cuarón had his hands full with this film. Not only did he have a credit for directing, but he also has a credit for the screenplay, the editing, the cinematography, and even as a producer. He did a lot for one film! He’s like Tommy Wiseau, only difference is that Cuarón was able to create a critically successful movie. I hate Netflix, like with a burning passion, but I will give them credit for quite possibly saying “You know what Alfonso, you’re so f*cking talented. Make whatever movie you want!” I’m imagining something like that went on behind the scenes.

Two more categories to go, let’s pay attention towards the Best Cinematography category! Here are the nominees!

  • Alfonso Cuarón- Roma (WINNER!)
  • Lukasz Zal- Cold War
  • Matthew Libatique- A Star Is Born
  • Robbie Ryan- The Favourite
  • Caleb Deschanel- Never Look Away

And to my lack of surprise, Cuarón takes this award too! If you have seen my last Academy Awards recap, chances are that you’d know that cinematography was probably the category I was most passionate about that year. The reason was due to how one of the nominees was Roger Deakins, who FINALLY won an Oscar for his work in “Blade Runner 2049!” This year, I don’t really have the same passion for that category, but I was able to appreciate a couple of the nominees. “Roma” is a movie that I thought was technically brilliant, and its cinematography absolutely showcases that. SUPER GLAD IT WON! That movie had many shots that made me wonder how they even came about! Netflix, PLEASE. Release a Blu-ray for “Roma!” I want my bonus features! In fact, for the Jackoffs, that movie also won Best Cinematography. Speaking of which, I also nominated “Cold War,” which is unique because it featured a 4:3 aspect ratio, and like “Roma,” it’s in black and white. When I reviewed “Cold War,” I felt that the film’s technical specs were something I could appreciate more than the film’s story, and the cinematography was the biggest standout to me. I can approve of “The Favourite” being nominated, but when it comes to “A Star Is Born.” Some of the shots were nice, but I don’t see why it is nominated. Maybe the set design and the lighting stood out to me, but standard shots are not the biggest standout when it comes to “A Star Is Born.” In fact, a similar movie, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” actually comes to mind when I think of this nomination. There are a number of shots that truly immerse me into the film. This is especially true during the Live Aid scene. The extended run through the audience set the mood entirely for that scene alone. There are certain shots that give you a sense of scope, it’s almost mind-boggling. As for “Never Look Away,” I never saw that movie, so I have nothing to say about it.

And now, for Best Picture. This year there were eight nominees. Out of all of them, I actually had something that I truly wanted to win. Last year I wanted “Dunkirk” to win, but I also missed out on many of last year’s Best Picture nominees. This year however, I actually saw all eight of them. If you wanted to know my pick for Best Picture this year, it was “Roma.” What a f*cking movie. Anyway, here are the nominees!

  • Green Book- Jim Burke, Charles B. Wessler, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly and Nick Vallelonga (WINNER!)
  • Black Panther- Kevin Feige
  • The Favourite- Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday and Yorgos Lanthimos
  • Bohemian Rhapsody- Graham King
  • A Star Is Born- Bill Gerber, Bradley Cooper and Lynette Howell Taylor
  • Vice- Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adam McKay and Kevin Messick
  • Roma- Gabriela Rodríguez and Alfonso Cuarón
  • BlacKkKlansman- Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Raymond Mansfield, Jordan Peele and Spike Lee

I’m gonna do this by talking about the movies that didn’t win first. “The Favourite” and “Black Panther?” You can honestly forget about those two! The pacing in “The Favourite” is horrible and “Black Panther” is not even the best comic book movie of the year! A lot of people go around saying that film is “socially important,” but that has nothing to do with how good a movie is. Just because your film has a black person in it, it doesn’t make it good. What matters is how it was executed. You know what comic book movie was socially important? “Wonder Woman!” And that’s a masterpiece compared to “Black Panther!” AND it wasn’t nominated for any Oscars for its respective year! When I like “Aquaman,” “Deadpool 2,” “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and “Avengers: Infinity War” more than “Black Panther,” you can probably tell what I’m trying to say here about it. “Vice” was pretty good, but ultimately lacking in some sort of substance that didn’t seem to be there as I watched the movie. I appreciate the work that went into it, but some parts of the movie were better than others. “Bohemian Rhapsody” is sort of interesting. I think it is a good tribute to Queen and Freddie Mercury, but it is ultimately just that, nothing more. Sure, there’s good cinematography and a rock solid performance from Rami Malek, but it doesn’t really change the game. Then there is “A Star Is Born.” I thought Bradley Cooper did a great job with that movie because he had a lot to do on it, and not just as a performer. Although when it comes to his performance skills on that film, that’s probably the best part because of how he needed to not just talk, but play an instrument and sing. “BlacKkKlansman” may have been a well written, well directed, and well acted film. But even if you remove all of those qualities from the table, you still have a great concept. An African-American police officer pretends he’s white and infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan! And it’s based on a true story!

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When it comes to the two films left to talk about, I already said what I need to say about “Roma.” It is such a masterful movie. Plus, it partially made me change my mind about how serious Netflix could possibly be in the movie theater industry. Granted, they still have some ways to go, just ask Steven Spielberg, but they’re making progress. I really wanted that film to win, and I actually had high confidence that it was going to win this year. Then Julia Roberts gets onstage, and says the words “Green Book.”

Did not expect that.

But you know what? It’s cool, that was my second pick anyway! I know there’s a lot of controversy surrounding “Green Book” right now, it almost reminds me of “The Greatest Showman.” Part of me might regret watching “Green Book” for that reason alone, but I also have to keep in mind that when I did see the film, I enjoyed what I saw. I thought the screenplay was well done. The chemistry between the main characters went together like bread and butter. And the acting is superb! “Green Book” may not be my pick for Best Picture, but it was certainly worth a watch. It’s got some serious parts in it, but it is almost like a feel good story at times. It’s nice to see the formation of two unlikely friends. Plus, it’s one of those rare times where product placement WORKS. Will I watch “Green Book” again sometime in the future? Most likely. It is a fun watch, and definitely worth your time. Congrats to “Green Book!” Congrats to all of the other nominees!

Thanks for reading this post! The 91st Academy Awards was definitely a surprise! I was expect a mediocre show at best, and it turned out to be pretty good. Would I like a host next year? Certainly. But I am also now open to the idea of a hostless Oscars ceremony. Now that I’ve seen it, it worked out! I gotta give massive respect for the Academy for including all of the awards, and I also want to give a shoutout to Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper for an awesome performance of “Shallow!” You guys rock! Speaking of which, Queen, great opening! Well done! When it comes to my future content, I will be doing a review of “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World!” And also, as of writing this, Scene Before is now three years old! It just turned three recently, I want to do something for the three year anniversary, but if I actually manage to do something, it probably won’t be up soon, because college is keeping me busy. Like, insanely busy. I have some ideas, who knows? Maybe I’ll do the same thing as the two year anniversary? But only time will tell! Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see the 91st Academy Awards? What are your thoughts? Any snubs? Great moments? Do you agree with everything? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

The Mule (2018): Clint Eastwood’s Second Disappointment of 2018

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“The Mule” is directed by Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby, Sully) and stars himself alongside Bradley Cooper (Guardians of the Galaxy, A Star Is Born), Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice), Michael Peña (American Hustle, Crash), Dianne Wiest (Life in Pieces, Law & Order), and Andy Garcia (Geostorm, Ocean’s Eleven). This movie is based on a true story and an article from The New York Time called “The Sinaloa Cartel’s 90-Year-Old Drug Mule.” It’s a about a guy by the name of Earl Stone, who is a war veteran, and he claims that he made the mistake of putting work before family. He missed a couple of important events, he cared for his plants more than his children, and he seems to be always doing something that will keep him from his family. Throughout the film, we see Stone trying to get cash for transporting loads on his truck under the responsibility of a Mexican drug cartel.

I haven’t seen much of Clint Eastwood’s work. As a film buff, or at least that’s what I like to call myself, part of me is slightly surprised that I have not looked into more of his stuff. I have seen “Sully,” “The 15:17 to Paris,” and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” Now that “The Mule” is in cinemas everywhere, it allows me to dive deeper into seeing how talented Clint Eastwood really is, not only as an actor, but as a director. What I’ve seen from him acting-wise is pretty serviceable, including what I’ve seen from him in this movie. However, thus far, I have seen him direct competently, but there are other directors I prefer compared to him. I much prefer the work of filmmakers like Christopher Nolan (Interstellar, Memento), Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Isle of Dogs), and Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land). While this is at times, a nice looking, and rather well done film from a technical and acting perspective, the fact is that I was honestly disappointed.

When I saw “The 15:17 To Paris” this year, I felt the same way as I do now. Clint Eastwood is a household name in Hollywood. But throughout a portion of the year, a part of me thought that was just Eastwood’s appetizer to get to the real film he wants to tackle in 2018. After all, the movie was released in February, which is one of the dumpster fire months for movies, so there’s a good chance that either the studio or Eastwood himself may have been dissatisfied over the outcome of what eventually became “The 15:17 To Paris.” The good news was that this was not the only film to be released in 2018 that is directed by Clint Eastwood. Maybe “The Mule” would be better than “The 15:17 To Paris.” Well, it was, but that’s not saying much because, again, I was disappointed.

Let’s talk about Clint Eastwood in this film, he does a good job performance-wise, but when it comes to his character, I have mixed thoughts about him. I can understand the way he felt at certain times. The way the character manages to develop is also charming. But there are certain qualities attached to him that are kind of off-putting. He would occasionally tell people they are stupid for using cell phones and the Internet, and there’s actually a scene that makes him come off as a less likable version of Hugh Hefner. I say that because Clint Eastwood is in his eighties, he’s playing a character around his age range. There’s a scene where we see him with some chicks in a bedroom, they’re all seducing him and removing his clothes, it’s not traditionally something that I would pay to see. Granted, “The Mule” is not a family movie, and I never asked for it to be. But I can’t recall the last time I said, I’m gonna go see Clint Eastwood f*ck someone twice as young as him. I also will say, age is just a number, and I’m not against someone dating a person much younger or older than them as long as it makes both partners of the relationship happy, but seeing an eighty-something year old Clint Eastwood engaging in sexual behavior with women that are much younger then him is not even close to my cup of tea. I don’t hate sex in movies, and this is based on a true story, so it could be worse, but it is cringeworthy as an idea.

I will say, despite my gripes with Eastwood’s character, I wouldn’t consider him the worst character in the movie, because a good portion of the film involves us as an audience getting a glance at the DEA investigators played by Bradley Cooper, Michael Peña, and Laurence Fishburne. I really didn’t care for any of these people. After all, the only time I legit gave a flying f*ck about them was towards the end of the movie. Oh yeah, I even completely forgot Laurence Fishburne’s character was even in the movie! Why are we here?!

This movie seems to pack in the moral that family is more important than work. It seems to suggest that being a part of a group of people you are attached to by relation is more important than being famous or busy. I will say, as a freshman in college, I did not choose to be busy for five days a week, other classmates who got to submit class choices before me did. But that’s not the point, my biggest wonder about the film is if Clint Eastwood has ever applied this moral that he seems to be hammering in towards his daily life. Granted, Eastwood did not write “The Mule” or the source material which it is based on, so therefore it cannot completely be his vision, but I wonder if someone as famous as Eastwood has been through his life making a similar mistake to this movie’s main character. Part of me wonders if Eastwood even relates to him. The regret of not seeing your family as much as one would desire can make for a compelling character, but the thing about Clint Eastwood is that he is such a famous actor and director. Not to mention he’s cheated many times. Granted, things are not as always as they seem, people change, and Eastwood is portraying a “character,” not himself. Nevertheless, despite a fine performance, part of me doesn’t completely buy Eastwood as his character.

I will say though, while I may be bashing this movie a little bit, one of the biggest positives I will point out is that there is one scene, I won’t specify, that has to do with death. It shows how people come together in a time of need, the fear of not knowing what’s going to happen when you’re going to die, not to mention the fear of dying itself. That is the best part of the movie and is probably the part I’ll admire the most as I reflect on “The Mule.”

In the end, “The Mule” is yet another dissatisfying attempt at a film from Clint Eastwood this year. I was talking with some family members as the year was coming to a close, and there are a few people I know who were anticipating and excited for “The Mule” to come out. I don’t know how many of them saw the movie by now, but in all seriousness, I don’t think got much good out of seeing “The Mule.” It’s not the worst movie of the year, not even close to be completely honest, but for a movie with Eastwood’s name on it, it seems that there could have been a lot more delivered to provide satisfaction than what was given to me as an audience member. I will say though, the acting is five times better than “The 15:17 To Paris” so that’s a plus! I’m gonna give “The 15:17 To Paris” a 6/10. Thanks for reading this review, pretty soon I’m gonna have my review up for “Instant Family,” a comedy starring Mark Wahlberg and from the same director who did “Daddy’s Home,” also starring Mark Wahlberg. Also, after I finish that review, be sure to stay tuned for my top 10 BEST movies of 2018 and my top 10 WORST movies of 2018! I will also say that the Golden Globes are on this Sunday, so if you want to see me talk about them, I might do a recap, but if I don’t, there’s a high chance I’ll be livetweeting throughout the show. To see my potential livetweets to the Golden Globes this Sunday, follow me on Twitter at @JackDrees, and feel free to hit the notification bell if you want Golden Globes tweets shoved right in your face. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “The Mule?” What did you think about it? Or, since Clint Eastwood has worked on both “The 15:17 To Paris” and “The Mule,” which of these two movies do you prefer? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

A Star is Born (2018): Lady Gaga Can Act?!

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“A Star is Born” is directed by Bradley Cooper (Guardians of the Galaxy, Joy), who also stars in the film as well, alongside Lady Gaga (Machete Kills, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) as two singers who have both of their individual problems in life. Bradley Cooper plays a country vocalist who has a drinking problem and Lady Gaga plays someone who writes her own songs but lacks the courage to sing those songs. Both meet each other, fall in love, and go on a journey together as they sing.

This was a movie I was looking forward to this year. Bradley Cooper is not a bad actor, and judging by the idea of this movie alone, it seemed like a good idea on paper to get a singer (Lady Gaga) to act in a role that primarily involves singing. Also, one thing that really interested me was the fact that Bradley Cooper, someone who is usually known for acting, actually decided to write and direct this film. Granted, this just shows his range in the film industry, especially when you begin to consider how great this film truly is. But you know what? I gotta get something out of the way, it has problems, so just to scratch those off the board, I’m gonna tackle those first.

One problem that I imagine is going to get some controversy is the songs in this movie. This may be just me, but the main song in the movie, “Maybe It’s Time,” just didn’t work for me. I don’t know, the fact that the same lyrics are used more than a single time in a row just felt slightly off-putting. Granted, it might almost make me look like a hypocrite because there’s a song that has nothing to do with this movie, known by the name “Roadhouse Blues,” which has a similar tactic. Then again, I find this movie’s song to be a bit more serious, and I found the tactic in “Roadhouse Blues” perhaps a bit funnier. Speaking of songs, I don’t feel like there’s going to be many songs from this movie that I’m either going to remember or want to listen to again. And that’s kind of sad because this movie revolves around music and singing. I imagine the studio wanted to sell an album based off this movie. Chances are they just lost a customer! It’s not like I walked out of “La La Land,” where I not only remembered songs from the movie, but I had some of urge inside of me that made me want to listen to certain songs again.

I’ll say once again, this film is directed by Bradley Cooper. This is actually his directorial debut and I gotta say, this is a pretty good debut. Not as good as it could have been. I will say there could have been some improvements. But as far as lighting goes, I really like the bar scene. The lighting of the bar really stood out to me. I don’t know why, but it just felt like something you’d probably encounter in a big city. Cinematography wise, some of the shots sometimes immersed you into concerts, maybe even toward’s Bradley Cooper’s typical everyday life. As decent as the directing may have been, especially for a debut, it doesn’t hold a candle to the fantastic acting. Bradley Cooper’s performance as Jack was believable and had some emotion beneath it. You can see this broken singer who is still chugging along with his life. Also, for those who don’t know, the singing in the movie is Bradley Cooper’s actual voice. It kind of reminded me of Tim McGraw if he happened to combine with Rick Deckard from “Blade Runner.”

The best performance in the movie however, hands down, is Lady Gaga. While this movie is mainly about Bradley Cooper’s character’s life, I gotta say, character and acting-wise, Lady Gaga dominates as the character of Ally. Casting-wise, I gotta say, it may almost feel cheap on paper getting a singer to do an acting gig. Why not give it to an actor? But when you consider the fact that Lady Gaga is playing a singer, you know why she was chosen for her specific role. And it’s not like Lady Gaga is new to the world of acting. Just look at her IMDb! Seriously though, great casting! Although my one problem with the character, despite Lady Gaga’s killer performance, is the nose story. I seriously have to ask, is this based on true events? I can understand people being insecure about their looks. But not only am I not aware of people being insecure of how their nose appears, but when it comes to Lady Gaga, she didn’t make that story believable. I sort of said this before, and I’ll say it again This is like getting Mila Kunis, who was then recently nominated at the Teen Choice Awards in the Female Hottie category, earned the #2 spot on AskMen’s Top 99 Women list, and earned Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive in 2012 to play a stay at home mom who wears “typical mom clothes.” Maybe this statement is technically a little invalid because I’m a guy, and it seems to be a gender-oriented stereotype that guys don’t usually care about their own looks as much as women do, but I usually don’t see people complain about their nose, or say someone’s nose looks ugly. That idea is almost cheesy at this point. But in reality, despite the weird writing, Lady Gaga hit it home with her performance and made the movie.

Another highlight performance comes from Sam Elliot (Road House, Mission: Impossible), who plays the brother of the main character. This character goes by the name of Bobby and he seems to know that something is up with his brother. He’s trying to get the message across to his brother that he shouldn’t be drinking as much as he is. Clearly the brother is not listening. His performance is maybe a little more quiet than some of the others in the movie, but in the end that’s what makes it great.

Also, for those who are curious to know, there is a dog that plays a role in the movie and believe it or not, that dog actually happens to be Bradley Cooper’s own pet. When I first heard about this, I thought that little factoid was rather interesting. I went to see this movie with my mother and sister, they thought the dog was cute, but I’ll be honest with you, and if Bradley Cooper is reading this, I love your work, I apologize, it looks like a canine Fozzie Bear, and not in a good way. This does not affect the score, and my opinion of the dog has nothing really to do with how I feel about the movie, but I just thought I’d let you know about the little factoid if you were curious.

In the end, “A Star Is Born” is awesome, and if you are planning on seeing this, don’t wait for streaming, don’t wait for the DVD, don’t wait for On Demand, go see it in the theater. I actually went to see this movie in Dolby Cinema at AMC, there were literally parts where I felt like I was in a concert. I have my gripes with the movie, but this movie certainly had enough to admire to the point where I consider it one of the better flicks I’ve seen this year. As far as Bradley Cooper as a director goes, I’d like to see more of his work, and given how he also has a screenplay credit for this movie, I’d like to see more from him in that field as well. I’m going to give “A Star is Born” an 8/10. Thanks for reading this review! Tomorrow I’m going out to see the new movie directed by Damien Chazelle, “First Man,” which is based on the events of the Apollo 11 mission. Be on the lookout for that. Sticking on that topic, I’m not sure, but depending on my work load this week and how I feel, I’m going to do an extra post related to “First Man” aside from the review. I’m not gonna give any details as to what it is, but please stay tuned. Speaking of things of to be on the lookout for, I am also going to have my analysis of my time at New York Comic Con, so stay tuned for that. Be sure to follow Scene Before with your WordPress account or email so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “A Star is Born?” What did you think about it? Or, just out of curiosity, not that it’s going to happen, but do you see Bradley Cooper potentially being able to direct “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?” Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Official Trailer 2: Do We Seriously Need This? I Was Already Satisfied!

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! I can’t believe I’m saying this. But this is my first trailer review of 2018. The last trailer review I did believe it or not, was for the same movie whose trailer I’m reviewing right now, otherwise known as “Avengers: Infinity War.” A lot of news has come in about it recently. Tickets have gone on sale! We have a new poster to gloss over! You know, just after we got another recent set of posters to gloss over! By the way, Spider-Man’s poster SUCKS. This new poster we got, the one you’re seeing up above, is actually really freaking badass. It’s got a f*ckton of characters, it’s indeed got some colors, and it just sets the tone for super duper destruction. You know s*it’s about to go down, and go down HARD when Iron Man is doing his version of Jesus symbolism. What is he Superman now? A lot of people call it cluttered, I don’t really mind it all that much, but that’s just me.

Before we dive into the trailer I do have to ask a question. What is the best ending to a movie you have ever seen? What is an ending to a movie that you personally think about when you think about satisfaction? You don’t need to see anything else, you don’t need to find out anything else, everything that’s been seen thus far is all that matters. I had a similar feeling inside me once I saw the first “Infinity War” trailer. I didn’t want another trailer. But apparently we got one. Am I mad? No. Am I disappointed? No. Do I think it is necessary? Not really. I was stoked to watch it when I had the chance, but in all seriousness, I didn’t think we needed something like this. Not to mention, the first “Infinity War” trailer, looked like A+ material. It restored my faith for the MCU, which has always been known as the current comic book movie group whose movies are the very definition of epic. I was highly underwhelmed with “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” when it released in 2017. In fact I rewatched the movie in school this year for a class and I hated the movie even more. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. It was a HUGE downfall after seeing Spidey in “Captain America: Civil War.” “Thor: Ragnarok” was better than both of those films, but to me, it felt like it tried too hard with the jokes. Also, to say that it’s a DIFFERENT type of Marvel movie like everyone else is, yeah, that’s f*cking bulls*it. It has humor, a Stan Lee cameo, end credit sequences, multiple heroes in there, there’s action, all that jazz. HOW IS THAT DIFFERENT? Also, I like “Immigrant Song,” but why did it have to play twice? You can argue it’s a different “Thor” movie, but even so, that’s one thing I didn’t like about it. I know a lot of people hate the first “Thor,” but I thought it was the best phase 1 MCU film! It actually, at times, felt similar to the second “Thor” film, you know, the one that should have never happened ever. I want it to rot in a dark world where it shall never escape. This year’s “Black Panther” was better than all of the three films of focus, but I found it to be somewhat overhyped. I saw it twice already, but I found it to be overhyped.

The first trailer given to us towards the end of the fall, made me think “Avengers: Infinity War,” could possibly, be the best movie in the MCU. Because I think I just saw one of the best trailers in the MCU. I’m not saying that this new end of winter trailer changed my thought process completely, but I considered it a step down from the first trailer. I will admit, I enjoyed parts of the trailer, but I can’t really call it the greatest thing on the face of the Earth. Now let’s dive into it!

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So the trailer starts off and we get this opening shot where the camera is starting off in a near-upside down position. The shot I’m seeing here believe it or not, reminds me of one shot I saw in “Black Panther.” One thing I couldn’t help but think of as well is, you know how all the phones that are out now? If you flip the screen left or right, the image will change position? It’s kind of like that. Someone who might as well been on a helicopter took a picture of New York City, this is their homescreen, and it somehow the homescreen can now move when the phone is rotated.

Then we move onto a montage of shots where we hear Gamora and Tony speaking about the film’s main villain. His motivation is to wipe out half of the universe. When I watched this for the first time, I thought to myself, wait a sec, not all of it? OK, that’s unique. This conversation sounds rather compelling if you ask me. This is especially true when Tony wants to hear the guy’s name again. Gamora reminds him the name is Thanos.

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Speaking of which, we get this shot of Gamora as she mentions Thanos’ name. I love this shot because looking it at closely enough, it almost seems to foreshadow the ultimate strength of Thanos himself. I can already tell that Thanos is about to kick some ass in this movie, maybe kill some Avengers in this movie, and possibly depending on what happens in “Avengers 4,” kill more in that movie. This purple glow you’re seeing all over the place, that’s saying something. Sure, there seems to be a portal in front of Gamora, but I honestly feel this is definitely foreshadowing.

On that topic, we also get the first reveal shot in this trailer of Thanos, which if you’re unfamiliar with Marvel…

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He has Doctorates in asskicking and being an ungrateful f*cking son of a bitch. If he’s your doctor and he’s got a needle, he’s not gonna give you a shot, which by itself, is painful. Chances are he’d shove that needle down your throat.

One relationship that has been revealed to us throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the mentor-mentee relationship between Tony Stark and Peter Parker. So I see these two shots and they occur one after the other. You’ve got the shot of Spider-Man flying around, then you see Iron Man flying after some ship-like thing in the air. Maybe Spidey’s up there and Iron Man is trying to rescue him. That could totally just be there to get people to think that and this assumption actually is way off, and it could be, because look at the slight differences in the skies. I’m not saying that’s happening, but this does lead me to thinking that.

We also hear Stark say “We’ve got one advantage. He’s comin’ to us. We have what Thanos wants… so that’s what we use.” What does Thanos want? If you have not been following the overall storyline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you’d probably be unaware that Thanos wants the Infinity Stones. Hence why this movie’s called “Infinity War.” So we see one that has not exactly been revealed in any promotional material yet, and it is in the possession of Doctor Strange, and another one which we have seen, is in the possession of Vision. Basically, anytime while I’m at the theater to see this film, I can imagine at least one audience member gasping or getting chills when they see an Infinity Stone.

Next up we have some shots of Wakanda, which moviegoing audiences have been introduced to in “Black Panther.” Appropriately, we get a glance of “Black Panther.” He looks super noble, welcoming, and charming. A bunch of the “Avengers,” including the gorgeous Scarlett Johanson as Black Widow can be seen in one shot. And speaking of Black Widow, she has blonde hair for a reason I still don’t quite get, but maybe there will be a reason in the film. I’m not saying a hairstyle can’t be changed on a character, but it’s throwing me off. You know how in the “Divergent” movies, Shailene Woodley’s character of Tris would always have different hair in each installment? It just felt odd! You also have Steve Rogers shaking T’Challa’s hand, very wonderful to see. And I must say once again, Wakanda looks nice. Although I wouldn’t say it’s as nice as possible. Maybe a little color grading will change it all, but that’s just a nitpick.

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Then we get… THIS SHOT. This is something a good number of people have been waiting for. Stark and Star Lord are standing next to each other! I also love the way Tony is standing. In this frame you can see he has eyes kinda closed, but even when they’re open, you can look at the way he’s standing and find it to be chuckle-worthy. You can also see at this point, Star Lord IS Star Lord.

“Let’s talk about this plan of yours. I think it’s good, except, it sucks. So let ME do the plan and that way it might be really good.”

It almost reminds me of another role Chris Pratt did. You know how in “The LEGO Movie” he plays the main character of Emmett and he meets Wyldstyle? They’re in the old west and at one point, they’re talking about the main villain and the current state of what’s going on. So they’re talking to each other and Emmett says this:

“Great. I think I got it. But just in case… tell me the whole thing again, I wasn’t listening.”

Part of me was nervous about the “Guardians of the Galaxy” crew being in this movie because I thought with their humor combined with the tone of the main “Avengers” crew, I thought it would result in clashing tones. This clip gives me hope.

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So everyone seems to be getting ready for a big battle, they’re still on Wakanda, and this is probably gonna be some brutal s*it. You can also hear Thanos speaking over with the music, it just sounds awesome! Also, this is something that I’ve been waiting to see for a good bit of time in a Marvel movie. Despair. While I don’t think it’ll be as dark as the source material based on what I’ve heard, I’m quite excited to see a possibility that maybe Thanos could end up winning the battle. His destiny could be fulfilled. As you can see in the shot above, we have Thor, and from what I can tell, he’s still got no hammer, but lightning is a true force of his. Also, another thing he’s missing is an eye. If you’ve seen “Thor: Ragnarok,” you’d know the story. That however is more visible in this shot, the one where Thor is basically Thanos’ puppet.

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I mean… Holy s*it.

But before that shot occurred, we got to see what I consider to be one of the most defining moments of the entire trailer. We see Thanos’s hand, and you can also see a much smaller green hand. And based off of what I can tell, that is Gamora’s hand. Specifically, a young Gamora’s hand. The two are walking, and this must serve some purpose to the story. I can basically bet a million dollars that this is a flashback to Gamora’s youth. You know I’m right. Throughout, Thanos says this:

“When I’m done, half of humanity will still exist.”

This is once again restating the plan I mentioned at the beginning of this post. As I heard this, one thought went into my mind. What if Thanos knows the Infinity Stones aren’t powerful enough to kill all of humanity, and now he needs to find another way to kill the rest? Maybe in “Avengers 4?”

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The fighting continues, and we get to see perhaps an updated and more quality version of the big battle towards the end of “Star Wars Episode I.” Also, there’s gonna be big explosions everywhere, so I imagine if Michael Bay sees this trailer, he probably has his IMAX tickets already.

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Then we have one the most chilling shots of the trailer, Doctor Strange who looks like he’s getting the worst acupuncture session of all time. I’m almost convinced this is part of a dream sequence, and if it is, I’ll be somewhat disappointed, but this just shows how much our heroes are going to suffer in this event they call a movie.

I gotta talk about this moment too. The one where Thanos, from what I’m gathering, is saying to Iron Man, “I hope they remember you.” If this is not exactly a trailer trick and the line is actually being used where I think it is going to be used, specifically, in Iron Man’s last moments (I’ll get to this in a second), that is the perfect line that could be used for this!

Next up, is a moment of the trailer that so many people are talking about, and it associates with why Captain America is a great hero. You have Thanos here, looking like he’s ready to do some collateral damage to Cap, and all of a sudden, Cap’s itty bitty teeny tiny hands are grabbing onto Thanos’ mega Five Finger Death Punch fist. Thanos looks confused, and the shot where this is visible on the top left has actually been compared by some to a recently popularized meme. Specifically, Patrick Star’s “evil face.” And you can tell in the shot after, the one on the top right, CAP IS GIVING IT HIS *ALL*. I can’t wait to see how this plays out.

After the logo that seems to be taking as much time as it can to let everyone know what this movie is going to be called, we get one comedic moment. Or… at least that’s what people are saying. Because honestly, if this were comedy, it might as well be the cheapest form possible. I’m not gonna be too too hard on it, but it just feels out of place at least in this trailer, and it might be one of the weakest moments of comedy in the MCU. Essentially Spidey and Strange are introducing each other to one another. Spidey gives his real name of Peter and Strange is using his hero name, to which Peter says…

“Oh, so we’re using our made up names, then I am Spider-Man.”

Then we get a shot of Spidey swinging around through all sorts of destruction, everything looks like it has been f*cked over, and the trailer ends.

I’m not gonna say we NEEDED this trailer, but it also doesn’t mean it is bad. I think this is going to be a great film, but I was already all set after trailer 1. This just riddled my brain just a little bit. It gave me some things to be excited for, although part of me wonders how the comedy will play out. Now let’s talk about something we’ll all inevitably face in life.

That thing called death.

Seriously. SOMEONE HAS TO DIE IN THIS MOVIE. And I will probably give some major points if a death occurs to more than just a single character. If Hawkeye dies, I won’t f*cking give a damn. Hawkeye has done nothing for the MCU. Why should I care if he dies? The death has to pertain to someone I’d care about. Someone other people will care about. ALSO, IF THERE’S A FAKE DEATH IN THIS MOVIE I WILL SHOOT MYSELF IN THE FOOT! You know what Marvel? Pepper doesn’t die in “Iron Man 3?” Fine. Nick Fury doesn’t die in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier?” Alright, but it’s almost borderline stupid. As for the people whose death could affect the story, let me go down the list.

First and foremost is Iron Man. If Iron Man dies, this could be a perfect setup for a new story for Spider-Man, because obviously, Spider-Man is Iron Man’s mentee. This can lead to struggles in “Avengers 4” and the sequel to “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” Not only that, but it can also lead to struggles among the Avengers themselves. Tony is basically the spark to ignite the Avengers (unless you count Nick Fury). He’s the hero that defines the MCU Avengers. The rest of them have to cope with his death and fight in his honor.

Another death that could truly affect the story is if Gamora dies. Now Gamora’s a newer character but her death could be the point of the script where Thanos goes from being an evildoer to a jackass. Thanos raised Gamora, and based on what we’ve seen in the MCU’s material, they clearly have different views on society. Sure, Nebula’s death could do the same thing since Gamora was her sister but I feel that the death of Gamora could leave me mourning a lot more due to a larger attachment to Gamora. And… maybe… Because she’s a good-lookin… green chick… I dunno. Oh, and speaking of that! That can definitely affect Star Lord! The two are romantically linked and if Gamora dies, Star Lord is gonna freak out. Maybe he’ll endlessly shoot up Thanos in rage! Also if EITHER of the sisters die, it’ll obviously affect the other because, well, they’re sisters. Although I don’t think this death might end up happening for multiple reasons. First, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is scheduled for a 2020 release. Second, Gamora is part of perhaps the most family-friendly part of the MCU. Third, she’s not exactly a main Avenger, and if it were to happen that people were to die, I think it wouldn’t really affect the Guardians as much. But you never know, anything can happen.

Other deaths can affect the story, and other deaths can definitely tug the audience’s emotional strings. But these are the two (or three if you count Nebula) that’ll probably have the most dramatic effect on the story and the MCU going forward.

Also, one question I didn’t ask after the first trailer. WHERE THE HELL ARE ANT-MAN AND HAWKEYE? IMDb suggests both characters will be in the movie, but we’ve seen nothing from them in the previews. One thing I’ve been gathering from a number of people, is that it’s possible that their lack of appearance has to do with something secret. Maybe having to do with “Ant-Man and the Wasp” coming out this July. I mean, if Hawkeye doesn’t show up, I don’t freaking care, he’s useless as hell anyway. Nothing against Jeremy Renner, he’s a good actor, but his character’s useless. Or… What if Ant-Man is hidden somewhere in this movie? Maybe in a good amount of frames in the trailer? But since he’s so small, it’s incredibly hard to see him! Or maybe, they’re in the credits.

Overall, I’m pretty stoked for “Avengers: Infinity War,” I already got my tickets, I’m going opening Thursday night at my local IMAX theater with laser projection. I’m gonna be seeing the movie in 3D, it’s gonna probably be one of the wildest experiences I’ll ever have at the movies. I’m undoubtedly excited that I know even if the movie sucks, I’ll have an awesome experience. I already enthusiastically tweeted about it!

Thanks for reading this post! “Avengers: Infinity War” has opening night showings on April 26th and will be everywhere on April 27th. I honestly don’t think I’m AS hyped as I was once before. In fact, after watching a recent “Ready Player One” trailer, I’m a little more hyped for that, but this movie looks like GOLD. My review for the film will be out at the end of next month and I’ll also soon have one for Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible” to kick off my series of “Mission: Impossible” reviews. Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know. Did you see this new “Infinity War” trailer? What are your thoughts? Do you think anyone will die in this upcoming film? If so, who? Will Disney actually allow the darkest possible film to happen? Let me know down below and if you haven’t already, get your tickets! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DRAX: You’re right… we’re family.

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

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

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