Knives Out (2019): 2019’s Pop Culture Murder Mystery Dinner

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“Knives Out” is directed by Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Looper) and stars… well, pretty much everyone you know. To be completely serious though, “Knives Out” stars Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049, Exposed), Chris Evans (Captain America: The First Avenger, Gifted), Daniel Craig (Skyfall, Logan Lucky), Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween, Scream Queens), Michael Shannon (Take Shelter, The Shape of Water), Don Johnson (Miami Vice, Nash Bridges), Toni Collette (Hereditary, The Sixth Sense), Lakeith Stanfield (Sorry To Bother You, Get Out), Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why, Love, Simon), Jaeden Martell (It, The Book of Henry), and Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World, The Sound of Music). Holy crap, that’s a lot of names.

“Knives Out” takes place in the middle of Massachusetts and it typically centers around the interactions of a family after the death of a patriarch. Everybody gathers around a large house, everybody’s got a story, everybody’s got a motivation, but it is also up to a detective (Daniel Craig) to settle everyone down and find out the truth regarding what happened.

The murder mystery genre for me is kind of like horror, because I never take too many chances to dive into the genre itself. Granted, horror, at least to me, is a tad more predictable because it seems to have more of a staying power in today’s society, so I personally prefer the murder mystery genre. In fact, my favorite “Family Guy” episode ever, “And Then There Were Fewer,” is a murder mystery, so I do have some respect for the genre. And honestly, when it comes to Rian Johnson, I will admit that I have had a slight bad taste in my mouth because of the way he handled “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” It’s a film that just got significantly worse after I first saw it. In fact, when I watched it a second time, I was kind of turned off by the result. I say that because I wanted the movie to go in a different direction than say “The Empire Strikes Back,” which is a great movie. However, despite the everlasting love and affection I have for 2015’s “The Force Awakens,” one minor flaw with that movie is the way they manage to basically rehash the earliest “Star Wars.” Granted, it’s a fantastic homage which had many repeat viewings for me. But as much as I originally appreciated it for going in a different direction, a lot of the choices they made to go in such a direction were sort of faulty and questionable.

However, having seen that movie, I now know that Johnson might as well be one to subvert expectations. Here’s the thing. Murder mysteries are supposed to keep you guessing. If this movie could keep me on the edge of my seat and questioning everything, then I’d walk out satisfied.

Honestly, I went into this movie with an idea of what is going to be. It turns out, I got something better than what I thought I would get. And that says a lot because the hype behind this movie felt real for me. The production design is some of the best I have seen all year. The acting, not to mention casting in general, is perfect. Everyone from Daniel Craig to Ana De Armas to Toni Collette, everyone served their roles properly and put a smile on my face.

I’ll just say though, I think the two most popular award ceremonies that have to with movies are the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. I have had a history of talking about both ceremonies on here, especially the Academy. But I never usually talk about another popular ceremony, the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards. One of the biggest awards they present on the night of the ceremony is one given to the entire ensemble of actors. We still have about a month left before 2019 is over, and a little longer than that until the ceremony takes place, but I’d argue that at this point, “Knives Out” has an extremely solid chance at winning such an award. I think purely based on how Rian Johnson has to handle so many actors at once, many of whom happened to already establish their name in the industry, including a couple who are a bit lesser known, there is a chance “Knives Out” could walk away with the biggest award from that ceremony.

One of the more solid examples that could let that case be true is Daniel Craig, who plays Benoit Blanc in the film. His performance, was part of what set the tone for the entire movie for me. Daniel Craig, while taking his performance seriously, realizes that this movie is sort of supposed to be fun. His introduction scene almost made me think I was watching something from Wes Anderson, because it is charming, quirky, and based on the way it was directed, I was perhaps hypnotized to leave the film, regardless of whether or not I liked it, admiring Craig in all his glory.

Another standout performer to me is one of the leads, Chris Evans. I think most of what I love about this performance has mainly to do with the screenplay and how the character is written. I say that because the movie is full of tense dialogue between characters, which allows serious vibes to kick in, but Evans manages to play a character who is incredibly laid back and sort of a smartass. Do I think other people could have played his character? Personally, yes, I think I could have played it if I tried, because if I were in this situation, this is probably how I would act. I’d try to have fun with the seriousness at hand, while also trying to deal with the current situation.

As for smaller roles, I think there are a number of them that stand out. Jamie Lee Curtis, Jaeden Martell, but the one I want to talk about is the one given by Toni Collette. I think Collette is not only a great performer here, but brought such life to her character that I cannot imagine anyone else bringing at all, or at least without being cringeworthy. Collette’s character sort of reminds me of a crazy aunt who likes to party. Maybe another good example is the mother from ABC’s “The Goldbergs,” minus the toxic affection she has for offspring. In a way, she’s almost like Chris Evans’ character, because as much as everyone else may be moody or depressed, which she kind of is at times, but still, she has a somewhat happy outlook on current happenings. Either that or she may just have some sort of God-given charisma that nobody else can have.

But if you ask me, I think the best performance in the film is given by Ana de Armas, an actress who I personally happened to have liked before this film came out, and someone who may been the main reason why this film was originally put on my radar. For the record, Ana de Armas was one of the supporting roles in my 2nd favorite film of 2017, and one of my favorite sci-fi films of the decade, “Blade Runner 2049.” She has this ability to take a challenging role and own it. Because in that movie she played a holographic woman that was supposed to have a connection to whoever owned them. The complexity of that role involved being someone who is robotic enough to serve their master, while also being human enough to understand emotion, because in that movie she was someone who happened to be in love with the main character. At the same time, it was almost as if she was a product of the main character’s desires.

As for this movie, we get more of a glance at a character where Ana de Armas has a personality where she is more worried about saving herself. In fact, I mentioned earlier that Daniel Craig presented himself as this quirky, out of nowhere detective. If you ask me, I think the biggest quirk in the movie didn’t necessarily come from him, and instead, came from Ana de Armas. Because she plays a character who practically cannot lie. If all other people were like her, she’d make the lie detector test obsolete. I say that because her character cannot tell a lie, otherwise she throws up. This makes every scene where Armas is forced to tell a truth or where she is being questioned all the more intriguing because not only was I, as an audience member, hypnotized to follow the mystery as it was unraveled, but I was also somewhat concerned for the character’s sanity, health, and sense of self.

From a technical standpoint, the cinematography in the film is amazing. The various dutch angles fit a number of the scenes and sort of had an old Hollywood vibe. The music is outstanding. By the way, such music is composed by Rian Johnson’s cousin, Nathan Johnson, who also worked with him in films like “Brick” and “Looper.” I think Rian Johnson could have a chance for being nominated in the Best Director category, I think his vision helped this movie immensely. This honestly feels like a movie that only he could have done. Maybe one or two other people could do this, but this feels like a personal project. And as much as I despise “The Last Jedi,” I could see what Rian Johnson was trying to do with that movie, because he not only directed that film, but he wrote it as well. “Star Wars” to me, must be a more collaborative piece of media to work on at this point, and with “The Force Awakens” pointing in a certain direction, it admittedly feels odd looking back to see one man with perhaps a sole vision take over for a big film that could expand on previous lore and build up to the next one which happens to conclude a trilogy. These are the kinds of films that I would prefer to see Johnson tackle. Could he do another big franchise in the future? Maybe, but I want to see more of his original work. Media that feels like something only he could own.

I honestly don’t even know what problems come to mind with “Knives Out.” The camerawork is some of the best I have seen all year. The characters are all charismatic. The screenplay is nothing short of outstanding. The ending, as well done as it is, is little choppy in buildup. As for other problems, if there are any, they are a bit hard to point out. Overall, this movie kicks ass!

In the end, “Knives Out,” the movie with perhaps the most badass title of all time, packs a brutal punch of bloody goodness. It is easily one of the best movies of the year, and a step in the right direction for Rian Johnson as a filmmaker. I have not checked out his earlier work, but I really want to check out “Looper.” Films like these are the ones I’ll be excited for when it comes to Rian Johnson’s filmography. Films that are original, exhilarating, and keep me on the edge of my seat. If I have to say one more thing, I will suggest that you’d go see this movie with the biggest crowd you can. If you have one of those theaters with reserved seating near you, buy your tickets online and see how many people have already reserved seats. If there many seats reserved already, I implore you, PLEASE buy a ticket to that show because this is a movie where crowd reactions enhance the experience to the tenth degree. I’m going to give “Knives Out” a 9/10.

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Thanks for reading this review! Just want to announce to everyone reading that during this Thanksgiving weekend, I am going to be showing off my newest trailer for “Top Movies of the 2010s,” a project I plan to release this January, it is going to be the most ambitious countdown series I have done yet, and I cannot wait to share it with you all! If you want to be notified about this trailer, here’s what you can do. Follow Scene Before with an email, or if you want greater access, use a WordPress account! If you are on Facebook, check out MY PAGE and give it a like! I want to know, did you see “Knives Out?” What did you think about it? Or, who happens to be your favorite fictional dysfunctional family? It can be from anything, books, movies, TV, you name it! Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Marvel Cinematic Universe PHASE 4 Plans Announced

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Hey everyone! Jack Drees here! You thought we were in the endgame? Think again, because, to my lack of surprise, as well as others perhaps, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not going anywhere, and as part of this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Kevin Feige and crew have officially announced their gameplan going forward in regards to movies and television. While I could not make it to San Diego this year (just like every other year), I had the pleasure of receiving a number of these announcements through social media, which is something Captain Marvel should have brushed up on by now.

This first announcement, doesn’t relate to what some would call “phase 4,” but it happens around that certain timeline and takes place in the same universe, so why not leave it in? Anyway, as you may or may not know, Marvel is finishing up their series “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..” It’s a series that I tried watching when it first started, but for one reason or another, I just couldn’t latch onto it. It just didn’t work for me. The show will begin its seventh season during the 2019-20 television season, and will air for 13 episodes. However, if you are caught up with the series, you’d know that season 6 is still in progress, so the show still has time left before ABC dusts it away from its current lineup.

Speaking of television, Marvel in general is seemingly changing the norm of how they release their television programming. Before now, they would release various MCU-related content on ABC such as the recently mentioned “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Agent Carter,” and the short-lived “Inhumans.” Netflix also had a fair share of content, all of which was recently cancelled such as “Iron Fist,” “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” and to what I believe is to a lot of people’s surprise, “Daredevil.” These platforms, for all I know, could lose the ability to air new Marvel content for awhile whereas the TV channel Freeform, and streaming services Hulu and the yet to be released Disney+ are going to be the big three for some time. Speaking of Disney+, Marvel announced a plethora of shows to be exclusively released on the upcoming service.

For the record, Disney+ is expected to be released during the fall. So just a reminder, none of these shows will be available on day one.

The first show to premiere on Disney+ is going to be “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.” As you can tell by the title, the series revolves around the known characters played by actors Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan. It is expected to start filming October 2019 and premiere in August 2020. While there are not many details about the series just yet, Mackie and Stan have previously wanted to do their own spinoff film at some point, particularly in the style of a buddy cop story. So who knows? Maybe this series could have some sort of comedic buddy vibe. But only time will tell.

Moving onto 2021 programming, up next we have “WandaVision,” which is short for the characters Wanda Maximoff and Vision meshed together. This series is going to star actors Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany as the characters we have previously come to know throughout the Infinity Saga. Although I must point out. This takes place after “Avengers: Endgame,” and Vision died in “Infinity War” only to never come back to life. So my question is… How will they allow him to return? Let me guess, time travel. Because now if the Marvel universe has a problem. Boop! You got a time machine! Want to save Nick Fury from losing an eye? Boom! You got a a time machine! Want to stop Tony Stark’s home from being destroyed like it was in “Iron Man 3?” Boom! You got a time machine! Want to give Captain America the most advanced pop culture lessons of his life? Boom! You got a time machine! Granted, there’s probably more to it, but a time travel element would not be surprising. The show will hit Disney+ in Spring 2021.

Also coming in Spring 2021 is a “Loki” series. Without going into much detail, because this does involve a spoiler for “Avengers: Endgame,” which as of writing this, is still in theaters, it will involve a Loki of the past. That’s all I’ll say. The series will of course star Tom Hiddleston. I don’t know if I am going to watch any of these series, but I think out of all the series on this list, I feel like this is the one I’d be least likely to watch. It almost seems like an idea from a think tank meeting (even though a number of these shows feel the same way). “Remember that mysterious guy from ‘Thor’ who keeps dying and coming back to life? Nobody knows if he’s good or evil? Let’s not deal with any new characters, let’s use this guy some more! Yay!” The way I wrote that sounds generous, but when I imagine it, it sounds like a business meeting all involving out of shape guys in suits smoking cigars.

OK… I take my last statement back, this is a series I’d probably watch. Granted, I don’t want to pay for Disney+, I don’t see any reason to. Plus, as someone who wants to avoid witnessing Disney’s plan for world domination put into action, I want to spend as little money towards them as possible. Although I kinda do want to go to Disneyland to see Galaxy’s Edge the more I think about it. Nevertheless, the next series is “What If…?” For those of you who don’t know, “What If…?” is a franchise that creates and realizes perhaps unlikely or alternate scenarios related to Marvel characters. Some examples from comics include: “What if the Fantastic Four all had the same power?,” “What if Captain America had been elected president?,” and “What if Jane Foster had found the hammer of Thor?.” While I’m not getting Disney+, if they are ever to release any of these shows on DVD or Blu-ray I am very likely to pick up “What If…?” simply for the concept. The stories presented in the show will not affect the MCU’s timeline, but merely exist just to answer questions through the power of imagination. It is simply something that just provides a unique take of some sort.

Hawkeye in the MCU is an “interesting” character to say the least, because just about every time he appeared in an MCU movie when he first started, I did not care about him as much as the other characters. Then I saw “Endgame” and thought he was one of the best characters of the whole thing. Coincidentally, of the upcoming shows on Disney+, “Hawkeye” is one of them. Also, according to what I have gathered, this series will introduce Kate Bishop, who in the comics is the first woman to earn the Hawkeye title. She’s also a member of the Young Avengers. Here, this show will seemingly spend some time on allowing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye to pass the torch to this younger character. The question is… Will I care about her? Or will she just be another boring bow and arrow fetishist?

That’s it for TV shows. I’ll probably watch NONE of them. Mainly because I feel that the way that everyone is trying to push streaming service upon streaming service towards the consumers is going to eventually make streaming as a whole a significantly worse deal than cable. My family and I have not cut the cord, and honestly, I’m happy. Especially considering how I still have my game shows (streaming IS NOT a good alternative if you are a game show fan for the most part), plus it’s nice to watch a new episode of a show and have it feel like an event, whereas an episode or two of a show, or a whole season, drops on Amazon or Hulu and it’s almost like you unintentionally DVRed something. Plus, I enjoy my livetweeting. It makes me feel like I am part of a community. Another reason why I’ll probably miss out on all these shows is because I REVIEW MOVIES DAMMIT! Movies are a top priority of mine and because I watch and review them excessively, I barely have time for TV. And speaking of movies, let’s reveal what Marvel has planned for that realm of entertainment in phase 4.

First up for movies is a project that I think a good number of people know has been in full swing, “Black Widow.” The plot and details are mostly unknown at this time, but Scarlett Johansson, the woman that I have a crush on who says she should be allowed to play trees, well then, if that’s the case… Vin Diesel? Watch out, you might be fired soon! She is returning as the title character who we have seen in several parts of the MCU such as the “Iron Man,” “Avengers,” and “Captain America” franchises. From speculation, I would imagine this would take place long before the main events of the MCU, kind of like in “Captain Marvel.” I am also willing to bet this will be a grittier film in the franchise (even though they aren’t going for an R rating), while also trying to be fun. After all, Black Widow isn’t really a superhero, kind of like Iron Man, she just plays with toys. And based on what we have seen from her character in comics and movies, this is very likely to be a spy flick. If you ask me, this is not my most anticipated spy-related film of next year, I’d reserve that spot to “Tenet,” directed by Christopher Nolan, but I’ve been eager to see a “Black Widow” solo film for quite some time, so I’m excited!

Plus, ScarJo is a dream girl. Just saying. The film will be released on May 1st, 2020.

Up next is a newcomer to the MCU, specifically, “Eternals.” Some big name actors in the film include Salma Hayek (Grown Ups, Desparado), Kumail Nanjiani (Stuber, Silicon Valley), Angelina Jolie (Kung Fu Panda, Mr. and Mrs. Smith), Richard Madden (Rocketman, Game of Thrones), among others. It is going to be about a bunch of eternally living beings who have spent infinite portions of their lives fighting a force of evil referred to as The Deviants. One character, Makkari, played by Lauren Ridloff is going to be the MCU’s first deaf hero. The film will be released on November 6th, 2020.

The third movie is one that I personally think will be a mega hit at the box office. It’s not to say the others won’t be, but if “Black Panther” from phase 3 has proven anything, it’s that if you put a “visually different” person at the forefront of a superhero project, people will see it. That’s because this movie we’re talking about is “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” I don’t know if the final product will have a title this long, but only time will tell. Then again, it’s not as much of a mouthful as say “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.” The main reason why I’d say this film has a bonkers chance of success is because Shang-Chi is Chinese, and in this film, he is going to be played by Chinese Canadian actor Simu Liu. Not to mention, based on comic-related images I have seen, this movie could be a visual treat. Another thing to consider is the Chinese movie market. If this movie is as visually impressive as I think it will be, not to mention as honorable to the Chinese culture as I think some would want it to be, I think a lot of people will go see this in the theater. China, at least to my knowledge, seems to go to a lot of spectacle type films. Some historical examples that come to mind include “Transformers; Age of Extinction,” which to be fair, was partially shot in China, and “Warcraft.” While “Transformers” is popular in the United States, “Warcraft’s” domestic returns led to its underwhelming final box office total despite making more than twice its budget. But it couldn’t reach the total $450 million needed to completely break even. But if anything has been proven, Marvel is an automatic success in the United States. In the US and Canada, “Black Panther,” a culturally significant film for the African community, managed to make over $700 million, which for those countries specifically, is actually more than “Infinity War.” But with the massive potential for winning over China and perhaps other somewhat related Asian communities, plus Marvel’s domestic success, it has a chance of being possibly a bigger success than “Black Panther.” The movie is scheduled for a February 12th, 2021 release.

Another film I saw coming was “Doctor Strange 2,” and we got it! But it technically has a more specific title, “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.” Based on what I’ve heard, Scott Derrickson could be coming back to direct this sequel. It is also suggested that Benedict Cumberbatch and Benedict Wong, or in this case, just for fun, I’ll call them Team Benedict, will be returning to reprise their roles. One thing that I found interesting though is that Wanda Maximoff will be in the be in the movie as well, and it will be tied directly to the Disney+ series “WandaVision.”

OK… You gotta be kidding me. I know people give flak to DC for how they do their movies, but at least you don’t have to watch a freaking TV show to perhaps understand or comprehend what is happening in one of the DCEU’s films! Guess I’ll just read the Wikipedia entries for the WandaVision episodes, because I ain’t paying for Disney+. But one thing that does intrigue me, is the notion that this is going to be a more horror-esque movie compared to a lot of the other MCU installments. So who knows? Maybe this could have a wacky funhouse vibe, or maybe be the MCU’s version of “The New Mutants.” Although now that I think about it, “The New Mutants” could possibly end up being another version of this movie depending on how many more times it gets pushed back. Man, that movie premiere is gonna be one big realistic version of a FaceApp demo. This is definitely a movie I would want to see on an IMAX screen, maybe in 3D. Because I saw the original “Doctor Strange” in IMAX 3D, which made for one of the best visual trips of 2016. This film is expected to drop into theaters May 7th, 2021.

But my one request for this movie. JUST GIVE A MORE MEMORABLE VILLAIN. Then again, it’s Marvel, it’s not their strong suit.

When 2015 first started, the YouTube channel RedLetterMedia made a video where they jokingly predicted that we’d eventually get a fourth “Thor” movie called “Thor 4: More Thor.” Believe it or not, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” used that title in their show. Unfortunately, we’re not getting “Thor 4: More Thor.” But we are getting a fourth “Thor” movie titled “Thor: Love and Thunder.” I have mixed thoughts on this movie, because I REALLY enjoy 2011’s “Thor,” probably more than I should. I know some people don’t like it, but I enjoyed Thor’s character arch and Loki was a solid villain. Granted, the followup in 2013, “Thor: The Dark World,” is in the conversation to be my least favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. And even though “Thor: Ragnarok” was… “better,” it’s not what I wanted. I thought it was too comedic, and some of the jokes didn’t land. While it is visually stunning, somewhat appealing from a story perspective, the tone just didn’t work. Basically, Asgard is in a state beyond repair in this film. It could have been dark, gritty, maybe a little funny, but not like it was “Deadpool” for kids. I don’t think Taika Waititi is a bad director, in fact, I thought he would be a better suit for something like “Guardians of the Galaxy,” but he did a “Thor” film instead. It just didn’t stick the landing for me. I’m hoping “Thor: Love and Lightning” will be better, but from what I can imagine, it could be tonally similar to the previous “Thor” installment, which if that’s the case, I’m just hoping that the story actually fits the tone.

One thing that could be interesting is that Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman, is making a comeback. And similar to a comics storyline, Foster is going to be taking on the mantle of Thor. And based on visuals presented from San Diego Comic-Con, it looks like her character will be holding Mjölnir at some point during the film. As long as Kat Dennings doesn’t show up to play her character from “2 Broke Girls” everything should be rather fine and dandy. The film is predicted to be out November 5th, 2021, so I demand there should be at least one reference to “V For Vendetta,” ESPECIALLY since Natalie Portman is returning!

Now let me just say, I have no idea when these next films are going to be released, part of me is willing to bet that one or two of them, are not even in phase 4, but Marvel Studios chairman Kevin Feige has confirmed that these movies are in development, therefore we are going to cover them. So let’s continue!

Remember the 1998 film “Blade?” Guess what? Marvel is getting to do another project with the character. I personally can’t say I have seen “Blade,” but part of me is willing to imagine that this will be a somewhat different take on the character because the original trilogy was rated R, whereas all the MCU films so far have gotten a PG-13. If you ask me, I would not mind seeing an R version of the character in the MCU, kind of like with Black Widow, but you cannot have everything. One thing that does intrigue me though is that Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Green Book) is attached to playing the lead role. He’s a fantastic actor who has a ton of range, and he actually pitched this sort of idea to Marvel Studios through a call. Coincidentally, Ali has been attached to a couple of alternate recent comic book-based products including Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and Netflix’s own MCU show, “Luke Cage.”

There’s not much to say on this next film, but I KNEW this was gonna be made at some point, perhaps soon. Why? Because again, it made SO MUCH money. I guess this is what happens when Disney remakes “The Lion King” for a new generation. Wait… I’m talking about “Black Panther 2.” There’s not much to say about this movie yet, but Ryan Coogler suggested that he’d write and direct this film, which does intrigue me because I thought he did a rather decent job with the first one despite its flaws. So… what Disney movie are they gonna retread next? Are they gonna do “Dumbo” because Black Panther is learning to fly for some reason? Are they gonna do a film in the style of “Wreck-It Ralph” where it is revealed that Wakanda is in an arcade cabinet? Are they gonna do one like “Frozen” where Shuri or Okoye just breaks out into an annoying catchy tune? By the way, screw “Frozen,” that movie can rot in hell!

Up next is a film that was supposed to come out in 2020, but based on recent controversy, that’s not happening anymore. Specifically, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.” This is a film that I am honestly curious to see, because while I imagine this could potentially be a capper for a trilogy, director James Gunn has previously exposed that this installment is not meant to be a powerhouse of emotion. It is still going to be fun and lively. But if you have been following the news in terms of film recently, you’d know that Gunn was fired by Disney/Marvel over the resurfacing of less than family friendly tweets. Tweets that even he admits, he’s not proud of. If you ask me, I believe James Gunn is a competent director, who may have deserved the criticism that he received, but I’m not sure if Disney should have gone as far as firing him, especially when you consider how much he has changed over the years in terms of his outlook. Nevertheless, I am quite curious to see how this upcoming “Guardians” film turns out, and I do have a shortlist of soundtrack ideas, but I think I should save that for another time. The movie is not expected to begin filming until 2020, but that’s because James Gunn is currently doing a DC movie, specifically “The Suicide Squad.”

Here’s another no-brainer, “Captain Marvel 2.” When your film has the sixth biggest opening of all time, you know you have to make a followup. I’ll be honest, the first “Captain Marvel” did not work for me. I thought the chemistry between Fury and Danvers was kind of hit and miss. The scene where “Just a Girl” plays honestly, while I guess it was trying to be empowering, felt really off for an action scene that was most likely trying to be kick-ass. The final fight, which I imagine was trying to be funny, just ended up being questionable to me. And don’t even get me started on Goose the Cat! But, we are getting another movie, and I’m honestly hoping it is better than this one, but only time will tell. I like Brie Larson as an actress, but when she plays Captain Marvel, she honestly sounds like she’s only been in straight to DVD content. Come on, Brie! You won an Oscar for “Room!” Show me the magic! She did alright in “Endgame,” but she was not in the movie that much so there is that to consider. Then again, I’m a straight white male. So is my opinion even valid to begin with?

Another film on the list of “in development” is a third “Spider-Man” movie. By the way, by the time you finish reading this post, five more “Spider-Man” movies will be released, because they keep cranking them out! I finally saw “Spider-Man: Far From Home” the other day, and honestly, after seeing that film, I’d say a third one HAS to be made. And without going into detail, Kevin Feige suggested that the mid-credits scene from that film implies the third film will involve “a Peter Parker story that has never been done before on film.” And it does not surprise me that this is happening. I believe Sony is already satisfied with making their own “Spider-Man” movies in their universe and still enjoys the success they can get from spinning their webs in the MCU. Nevertheless, can’t wait. But if I had any requests, make sure the word “home” is in the title. That way I don’t have to end up confusing “Spider-Man” trilogies and can refer to this as the “Home” trilogy. Seriously! Even if it simply means that there is a minute of the two of the film where we find Peter Parker watching a Mets game, and for that reason it is called “Home Run,” it would still work because the other two movies have the word “home” in their titles too!

The next two films are a couple of projects that I think a lot of people have been asking for. Why? Because Disney just acquired 21st Century Fox recently, meaning they have retained the rights to a couple of big name franchises. One example is “X-Men.” I have no idea how the film will present itself. If anything, it is definitely going to be a complete reboot, staying away from the timeline Fox originally showcased to audiences since the early 2000s. After all, while I didn’t go see “Dark Phoenix,” probably just like everyone else in the world, maybe that movie tarnished the franchise enough to say, “Screw it, it’s over.” But some movie franchises or IPs are like Jenga, you can end the game by collapsing the tower, but you can always start a new one by rebuilding it. Maybe “X-Men” has a place in the MCU. And honestly, if a couple of the phase 1 heroes are going away, I think this is the perfect time to add in new heroes, because if they were still there, I’d honestly worry about clutter in the MCU. Granted, even with them showing up now, that is still a worry. But I also have a slight intrigue as to what this mega franchise can bring to the cinematic universe.

Speaking of Fox, one other franchise they once had, not to mention wasted, is “Fantastic Four.” Since Marvel has the rights to them, they can now possibly… NOT screw it up this time… Hopefully? I imagine it’ll be good, but I’m keeping experience in my back pocket. It’s in different hands, but for all I know, despite its popularity in the comic book world, maybe “Fantastic Four” is simply cursed as a movie franchise. But I am curious about this film and how it’ll turn out, and perhaps a little more excited about this than “X-Men.” Will Dr. Doom be the main villain again? Will the movie have the four in the middle of its title? Or… How about this? How about we get Chris Evans to play Johnny Storm again? Do it just to get some other character in the movie for a second. Maybe the group will be going around New York City grabbing lunch or something and they run into Peter Parker walking with Ned, which leads to Peter pointing at Johnny saying, “Hey! You look like someone I know!” I highly doubt that will happen, but it certainly would make for a proper more realistic “What If…?” scenario. Plus, with Stan Lee gone we’re gonna need new cameo ideas.

That’ll probably do it for all of the MCU-related announcements for phase 4, and again, a lot of these films and TV shows are in development. So who knows? One could get pushed back, maybe one gets cancelled. Perhaps it ends up being a part of an eventual phase 5. Nevertheless, I’m excited for a large number of these projects, and hopefully they will all end up being good! Also, James Gunn, I know it is a little late, but welcome back. I want to know, is there something I’m missing from this list? I think I’ve covered all the ground, after all I have 4,000 words inserted into this thing! Or, what is something that you want to see from the MCU as a TV series, as a movie, as a concept? It doesn’t even have to be for phase 4 if you want it someplace else. Let me know down below! Thanks for reading this post! Pretty soon I am going to be reviewing Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which is out this upcoming weekend. I’m going to one of my local theaters for their first screening of the film in 35mm, can’t wait! Also, speaking of Tarantino, be sure to stay tuned for my final installment in my Quentin Tarantino review series, “The Hateful Eight.” Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! Also, if you could do me a favor, like this post, share it around with those you know, it really helps me out. And speaking of that, like my Facebook Page! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

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

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

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

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

TERRIFIC 3!

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

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

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

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

TERRIBLE 3!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JULY:

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

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

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

 

AUGUST:

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

OCTOBER:

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

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

 

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

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

VIP Ticket Perks:

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

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

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

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

 

DECEMBER:

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

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

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

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

*ALL COPYRIGHTS BELONG TO THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS*

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

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

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

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

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!

Is the 91st Academy Awards the Least Anticipated In History?

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! I don’t know how this happened! But I have just discovered this year’s theme music for the Academy Awards! Check it out down below!

Welcome to the 91st Academy Awards! The most ambitious trainwreck in Hollywood history!

This Sunday is the night of the Academy Awards, and while I do have a golden vibe set inside my head, I cannot help but feel bronze. The Academy Awards is one of my favorite times of the year. It takes my favorite art form and celebrates it to the tenth degree! In fact, part of me wants to go back in time to last year’s show, because I had a GREAT time watching it. From the effective hosting job done by Jimmy Kimmel to seeing celebrities crash a movie screening to seeing Roger Deakins FINALLY get an Oscar, I had a fun time!

However, that show kind of made me wonder what was in store for The Academy’s future. Because a while after it aired, reports went around suggesting last year’s show, specifically the 90th Academy Awards, received the lowest ratings in the show’s history. I wouldn’t say this suggests that movies are dying. After all, several other awards shows suffered through the same situation. The VMAs had a massive ratings drop this year. Compared to 2017, the Primetime Emmys dropped 11% during its previous show. And according to The Hollywood Reporter, this year’s SAG Awards had ratings that were the lowest they’ve been in “at least eight years.”

Honestly, I would not be surprised if this year’s ratings for the Academy Awards were actually lower than last year.

Sure, there is a ton of competition now in the TV industry, and the entertainment industry in general. A lot more people would rather go online and find out who won either through YouTube, articles, or perhaps Wikipedia or IMDb. More people are settling for Netflix and other streaming services, all the kids are still somehow playing “Fortnite,” not everyone wants to spend a few hours watching people hold trophies, and in today’s politically heated climate, the Academy Awards might almost be unbearable to a certain number of people. Unless you’re James Woods, Gary Busey, or Clint Eastwood, chances are you can’t live/work in Hollywood and be a Trump supporter at the same time.

What I just stated is perhaps valid, but it is not all, because none of this has to do with the absolute enormous shop of horrors that can also be referred to as the buildup to the 91st Academy Awards.

Last year I did a few posts on the Academy Awards possibly implementing the stupidest idea for an award, possibly in history. They somehow thought it was a GRRREAAAAT idea to do a Best Popular Film category! How do we get more people to watch the show? Let’s f*ck excellence in the ass and just say a movie like “Black Panther” earned the all time greatest participation trophy! Thankfully, that is not happening this year, but the fact that the Academy even thought of it, and they are STILL CONSIDERING IT, gets me angry!

While that disaster may be averted (for now), then we get towards the end of the fall, and they begin announcing a host. Their choice, Kevin Hart. And I think he is a good choice to host the Oscars! He has comedy chops and he’s a big movie personality. What more is needed? However, because we live in an era where people’s lives apparently get ruined over something they said a long time ago, and seemingly done with no intentions to call anybody an idiot, Kevin Hart opted out. As time went on, the Academy never settled on a host. They couldn’t find anyone willing to take on such a position. But that didn’t stop them, because they decided to instead gather an ensemble of people to appear at random times during the ceremony. The names were recently announced through social media. Some notable names include Brie Larson, Chris Evans, Whoppi Goldberg, Maya Rudolph, Daniel Craig, and Charlize Theron. I’d be curious to see how this will work, but the idea of not having a host feels very weird. The host is that one person that will take viewers along for the ride, and now we’re hitting speed bumps. I’d honestly host the Oscars if I have a chance, even if that means someone having to dig up some big dark secret from my past. Who knows? Maybe it would make for good comedy material.

While hosting might make some Academy members apprehensive or perhaps in some cases, protective of their own past, there is something else that has recently made Academy members angry instead.

When I think of the average viewer of the Academy Awards, there is a good chance that they are going to only care about certain categories. These typically include Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Picture, and one or two others. Although the technical awards are not the ones I would usually see as categories general audiences would usually be intrigued by at first. However, as someone who reveres the film industry, I appreciate the technical awards. And I imagine other people, including some general audience members, feel the same way, even if that doesn’t mean everyone. There are perhaps some people who would prefer to see their favorite awards presented while some other awards are forgotten about. I personally would like to see all the awards presented if possible, but if not, at least keep the ones that are “important.”

With that in mind, the Academy recently decided to eliminate four categories, not from the ceremony, but from being presented live during the ceremony. These four categories were then given the intention to be presented during the commercial breaks and edited to be aired later during the broadcast. The categories included Live-Action Short, Makeup and Hairstyling, Film Editing, and Cinematography. I am honestly disappointed to see any category get pushed to the side, because I feel that everyone in their respective fields put a lot of hard work into their craft. However, EDITING AND CINEMATOGRAPHY ARE THE FOUNDATIONS OF CINEMA!

I am not alone on this argument, because you know who agrees with me? Roger Deakins (cinematographer), Christopher Nolan (director), Denis Villeneuve (director), Russel Crowe (actor), Patty Jenkins (director), Edgar Wright (director), Wally Pfister (cinematographer), and more! In fact, I was on Twitter recently, and I came across this one tweet which spoke to me, delivering immediate importance.

Holy f*ck, Elias Toufexis! That is the stuff of nightmares!

Donald Trump thinks the border wall situation is a national emergency? No! THIS IS THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY! Thankfully, for the sake of humanity, the Academy reversed their decision. Will this affect the ratings? I am honestly not sure. Because for all I know, there is a majority in agreement that this idea is complete bull, or I am just in my own little bubble. But if the Academy wanted me to watch their show, I would rather have them air all of the categories. We live in a world consisting of countries becoming more and more representative of minorities. And somehow the Academy is going through a process of ass-backwards thinking. I get that some people want the show shortened up. I get that not everyone can sit down and watch a three to four hour telecast where people say “thank you” every few minutes. But guess what? I’ve sat down to watch the Super Bowl for years, and part of me didn’t want to! In fact, after Super Bowl 53, part of me never wants to do such a thing ever again. GIVE ME MY SHOW! If I can’t have “King of the Nerds,” if I can’t have the old format of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?,” and if I can’t have “Wipeout,” then I might as well have my Oscars show!

In fact, this is not like I am hearing all of this news for the first time. Because when they first announced the Best Popular film, they also announced the commitment to a three hour show, and the idea of airing certain categories during commercial breaks. I’ll be honest, I was skeptical about the fates those categories even at that time! In my post titled “Academy Awards Adds Popularity Contest?! *AN UNACCEPTANCE SPEECH*,” I state that I don’t really know how I feel about this idea and I would have to wait until I actually see it through. I may have just been being nice at that time. The reality is that the Academy Awards is not just a show. It’s not just a chance for audience members at home to glance at all of their favorite stars, but it encapsulates the art of cinema as a whole. It is supposed to be a celebration of a whole year in film, not to mention those who worked in the industry during said year.

I am glad that the Academy listened to its members and followers and decided to remove the commercial break categories, much like when they removed the Best Popular Film category. But the buildup to the 91st Academy Awards has been a trainwreck. It’s like owning an older Xbox 360! Each one of these controversial moments is the Academy Awards equivalent to getting the red ring of death! These are unexpected, unwanted, unneeded, and most certainly, make you need anger management classes once setting your eyes upon them! I am honestly anticipating within the next few days, another cataclysmic and controversial thing coming out of the Academy’s butt. Who knows? Maybe that will be reversed too. But I honestly wouldn’t be surprised at this point. Part of me would not be surprised if some of the current showrunners behind the Academy Awards soon search for other work, perhaps even president John Bailey.

And if the Academy really wants to condense the ceremony and run it for three hours at max, I do have one recommendation. This might be controversial, because some people totally admire the speeches, but sometimes sacrifices have to be made. There is a parody of the Nobel Prizes called the Ig Nobel Prizes. The Ig Nobel Prizes have been held in the Boston area every year since 1991. If you watch recent ceremonies, you may see a young girl, specially one who is slightly different every year. She is often referred to as “Miss Sweetie Poo.” She walks up to recipients of the Ig Nobel Prize. The results? This. Just to warn you, this video is not short, feel free to stop watching at any time.

As the video suggests, Miss Sweetie Poo is easily bored by grown, professional adults, ast they give long acceptance speeches. If the Academy wanted to spice up their show, and for the sake of some general audience members, shorten it up so they can go to bed earlier, they show consider implementing their own version of Miss Sweetey Poo. And it doesn’t even have to be a young, eight year old girl. It could be a young, eight year old boy. Perhaps a teenager who won’t stop staring at their cell phone. It could even be a famous celebrity. Can you imagine an Academy Awards ceremony where someone like Steven Spielberg wins Best Director and a celebrity such as Liam Neeson manages to walk onstage either talking into Spielberg’s ear saying “You’re ruining everything!,” repeatedly, or perhaps loudly snoring like a stereotypical lazy fatass dad. Or, what if they got JK Simmons to dress up as Terrence Fletcher from “Whiplash” and either yell at the speaker, bang a cowbell, or have him be in front of a drum playing it at a designated time? I know the Oscars is a family friendly show so he can’t really go too far in terms of language, but it is certainly a solid idea. Although I am perhaps biased since I came up with it.

So, Academy, if you want to spice up your show for the better, and reduce time, I think you ought to consider what I just said. I will be watching your show on Sunday (from start to finish), I will be reacting to it through social media, and I will most likely be sharing my thoughts on it afterwards in a separate blog post. But in all seriousness, you guys have been demonstrating nothing but incompetence for the past few months! Incompetence so bad that it makes Wile E Coyote seem capable of actually catching the Road Runner for once! A Best Popular film category? What the hell?! Nobody is going to host this year? Oh, great.. Taking away categories and deeming them less important than others? INCLUDING CINEMATOGRAPHY AND EDITING?! YOU PEOPLE ARE SICK!

But I guess I’ll watch anyway…

Thanks for reading this post! If you want to see more on the Oscars, fear not my friends! I will be reacting to the show on social media as it airs (most likely through Twitter), and updates may be provided if I decide to post something on here before the show airs. Although I will guarantee you all that I have some content coming soon for this blog because I’m going to see a movie today, specifically Stephen Merchant’s “Fighting with My Family.” I’m actually seeing this film early considering there is a free screening in my area, so I shall have a review of that up very soon. Be sure to follow Scene Before with an email or WordPress account for content that is Oscar-worthy, and as of recently, Jackoff-worthy! I want to know, are you excited for the Oscars this year? I’m honestly a bit apprehensive about the show itself, but I’m still going to watch. Movies are my religion and the Oscars might as well be mass at church. Even if the show sucks, I would rather avoid any consequences for possible sins. Let’s just hope they don’t wreck the show! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Avengers: Infinity War (2018): 2018’s Movie Event of the Year

Before we dive into what some may call my most important movie review of the year, I’m gonna go ahead and ask you something. How terrifying is Thanos? The answer, objectively, he’s a monster that might eat other villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for breakfast. One thing that’s probably just as terrifying, is responsibility, and a new responsibility will be handed over to a couple by the name of Genevieve and Paul. The two are trying their hardest to have a child, therefore increasing the absolutely scary idea of responsibility, but before they totally get scared, they get… failure. Specifically, the failure of making a child, which is all explained… in “What the IVF?!”

“What the IVF?” is a series on YouTube about a couple who are trying to have a baby but based on experience, trying is not enough effort to grant the couple’s wish. Genevieve and Paul go through an extended journey where trying is redefined. Throughout, they face victories and failures, and go through hell as they encounter unfortunate events when it comes to sex, tests, procedures, and EVERY. F*CKING. NEEDLE.

You know, kind of like this, but a little different. New episodes are uploaded to the channel every Monday and pretty much each one has their own little dramatic story for the couple to tell. The most recent episode however, strays away from the dramatic tone. In this latest installment titled “The Waiting Game,” the name pretty much says it all. When the couple is waiting for results on a test, they try to distract themselves and make themselves feel normal. Watch the episode, or if you want a more dramatic episode, watch a few of the earlier ones. If you like what you see, hit the subscribe button on their YouTube channel, like their videos, hit the notification bell, and if you want more of “What the IVF?” outside of the YouTube universe, be sure to check out their other social media profiles and their website! Also, be sure to to tell them I sent you over!

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

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

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

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

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

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“Avengers: Infinity War” is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo (Community, Arrested Development) and stars Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man, The Judge), Chris Evans (Captain America: The First Avenger, Gifted) Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher, Spotlight), Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Rush), Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther, 42), Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Lost City of Z), Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange, Star Trek: Into Darkness), Scarlett Johanson (Iron Man 2, Lucy), Don Cheadle (Iron Man 2, Crash), Paul Bettany (Iron Man, A Knight’s Tale), Elizabeth Olsen (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Godzilla), Anthony Mackie (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Hurt Locker), Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The First Avenger, The Covenant), Danai Gurira (Black Panther, The Visitor), Letitia Wright (Black Panther, The Commuter), Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy, Blade Runner 2049), Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy, Avatar), Josh Brolin (The Goonies, No Country For Old Men), and Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World). Just… HOLY CRAP. This is just scratching the surface on this movie’s overwhelming number of characters!

With the infinite (pun sort of intended) number of cast members/characters this movie is trying to fit in, they all are featured in this two and a half hour extravaganza where we reach one of the biggest points in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, and that’s when Thanos makes an attempt to unleash havoc and chaos upon the universe by destroying half of it.

Let me just get something out of the way, this review is being called “2018’s Movie Event of the Year,” and reasonably so. Because for one thing, it is the culmination that is ten years in the making (or six depending on who you ask). We are finally at the point that we get to see Thanos in action. Not to mention, this movie is RIDDLED TO THE BRIM with surprises! I can’t believe we’ve made it as far as we did, seriously! The birth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starting with the 2008 movie “Iron Man” is about to make its ten year mark on May 2nd! Unbelievable! Anyway, that movie and a bunch of others have all lead to this, and since I mentioned there are many surprises in this movie, I should have you all know that this review is going to be spoiler-free. A lot of people and I mean A LOT OF PEOPLE are going to see this movie after I get this review up, and this is pretty much a “Star Wars” situation. If I reveal one thing about this movie that is in spoiler territory, somebody in the comment section is going send me a death threat. So if I sound vague compared to some of my other reviews, you know why.

Now let’s get through some characters, but before we get to that, I could literally make a joke at this point saying that this movie featured every soul in existence. And I’ve heard some comments about this movie at times. I’ve heard comments saying that it feels cluttered, and that it has too many characters. I one-hundred percent disagree. And that’s because when it comes to utilizing these characters, I feel like just about each and every single one that has some sort of importance to the plot happened to have their moment. There are segments of this movie that stand out and those segments happen to be exclusive to certain characters. I don’t want to get into them however, because if I do, it will just mean I drop one character’s name, and now I allow each and every one of you to have a ruined surprise, which as mentioned, this movie has a lot of. If I were to go into them, I wouldn’t get all that specific, I’d just say a character’s name and kind of move on, but for the sake of humanity, sanity, and a decreased chance of getting killed by someone who may hunt me down after getting this review posted, I won’t do that. Another thing I will say, I will not be talking about all of the characters in this movie that has a bit of the importance to the plot. That will take forever and a half, and there’s not really as much to say about certain characters compared to others. So I’m sorry, there’s no explanation for characters like Iron Man, Captain America, and Doctor Strange. There are more that are unlisted, but these are just examples. I feel I should say less about them for the sake of a more quality review. You’re welcome, by the way.

I don’t have any order I want to go in when it comes to these characters, so let’s just talk about Spider-Man, because there is something that stands out about him that I need to bring up. As you may know, Spider-Man recently had his own movie and in that picture, he had some technology added to his suit. But this time around, if you watch the movie, you’ll notice that he has a new suit. And while I was not a fan of Peter Parker’s suit in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” I thought this new suit, which is making the character of Spider-Man ultimately marketed to the public as Iron Spider, was a sack of crap. Sure, it looks kinda cool, but the idea of Spider-Man combining with Iron Man makes me think some people thought the idea of Spider-Man, and by that I mean SPIDER-MAN, was not cool enough. I would have said all of this before going to see the movie. As of right now, I change my mind. The Iron Spider outfit was properly utilized, had a purpose in the movie, mainly when it was first put on, but even so, and best of all, it didn’t have a stupid artificial intelligence that was literally holding Peter’s hand and telling him to kiss his crush. Thank gosh!

Another standout character in this movie is Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow. Now her character as you know and would expect, is badass. But there is one thing that I consider what may be a flaw with this character, and it’s a nitpick, but it’s there. It makes me ask, why is she blonde? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some douchebag who demands other people to have a certain hairstyle. Although not only does it feel weird, but given the fact that something like this is a change of pace after seeing many movies with Black Widow such as “Iron Man 2,” “The Avengers,” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which has the character having different, but in ways, alike hairstyles, you’d probably expect some explanation as to why Black Widow’s hair is blonde. Did she want to have more fun? Did she suddenly become a Marilyn Monroe fanatic? Did she get tired of people asking her if she was, I dunno, “REDy?” I’m not really taking many points off for this, but it kind of feels somewhat weird because this, again, feels like a change of pace. I don’t even remember there being a joke, even though there were a good number concerning other subjects, regarding Black Widow’s hair.

When it comes to who has the biggest presence in the entire movie in terms of the heroes, I gotta say that the Guardians of the Galaxy probably qualify as the number one spot. Their overall story has a tremendous effect on where everything goes in regards to a number of heroes and Thanos. As far as the Guardians go, I think their storyline is a contender to be the best storyline in the movie. It was somewhat dark and depressing while still allowing them to be the same hilarious crew we all grew to know.

And that does lead me into this movie’s overall tone. “Avengers: Infinity War” is marketed as this beyond dark, ambitious, important, bitchslap to the face f*ckstravaganza, and with bits of humor here and there. One worry I had that didn’t exactly stand out because I had faith in this being worked out well, was a clash in tones. I was somewhat worried that there would be too much humor in serious situations, but not only was the comedy incredibly hilarious, but it seemed to be utilized at the right times. I saw this movie with about 500 people, and based on their laughs, they seem to agree with me.

Now let’s move onto what is quite literally the biggest part of the entire movie, Thanos, which if you’re unfamiliar with Marvel…

Think of Terence Fletcher from “Whiplash” combined with Darth Vader from “Star Wars,” add in a hint of Count von Count from “Sesame Street,” you get this PURPLE GUY who CHUCKLES over the fact that he destroyed a NUMBER of planets, who is a FATHER per se of multiple heroic characters, and has a SHAVED head that will make you look at him as the INTIMIDATING, Jupiter-sized dickbag of Doucheville, otherwise known as Thanos. The character of Thanos is the probably the movie’s best character, and also the one that gets the majority of screentime. Also, if you have been following the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the villains have usually been disposable bad guys that are just there for the heroes to defeat. Recently however, I will say that every villain featured in a Marvel film since “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” has been incredible. The streak of awesomeness continues here in “Avengers: Infinity War.” And to be completely honest, Thanos is quite possibly the best villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and definitely in the discussion of being the best comic book movie villain of all time. I don’t know if I’d say he’s as perfect as The Joker from “The Dark Knight,” but Thanos is up there. As mentioned, Thanos gets a majority of the movie’s screentime. And this is part of why his character is so great. Given his high amount of screentime, you get to know Thanos very much, and the film is more about him as opposed to anyone else. The film’s main point of focus is the journey to find the stones. The Avengers are the just the defenders (pun sort of intended). You view Thanos from the beginning as the very definition of evil, and he just f*cks s*it up no matter where he goes. If there’s one character that you should look forward to when seeing this movie, it’s Thanos.

Speaking of journeys, certain journeys have certain endings, and this journey has an ending to remember. Out of every ending I’ve seen in the MCU, this is BY FAR my favorite of them all. Like, holy f*ck! I saw this movie with three other people, a couple of the people next to me were just speechless, and so was I! I’m not even gonna say the ending! I don’t want to be a dick! That’s Moby’s job!

I APOLOGIZE TO EVERYONE NAMED MOBY, WHICH LUCKILY, DUE TO RESEARCH THERE AREN’T MANY PEOPLE NAMED MOBY THAT STAND OUT SO I WONDER IF APOLOGIZING IS EVEN NECESSARY.

Overall, the ending for this movie, is not only brilliantly written, beautifully directed, but also has some of my favorite editing in the MCU. Again, something I won’t go into for the sake of not getting anyone mad, but it’s freaking sick!

Also as mentioned, this movie is directed by the Russo Brothers, who directed the previous two “Captain America” films. When it comes to the cinematography, I was noticing lots of shaky cam, which is not new for a film directed by this duo. If you watch “Captain America: Civil War,” that film has tons of shaky cam, and I thought the action in that film actually happened to be some of the best in the MCU. It was fast paced, exciting, and as I watched the film, fun. When it comes to the action sequences in this film, you can say I had fun watching them, but this is one of those times, where I literally felt there were high stakes involved in this universe. As mentioned, Thanos has an intimidating and demanding presence, you’ve also got a bunch of Thanos’s minions, including those of the Black Order, and while some other Marvel movies seem to have some predictable action sequences and all that, you never really know exactly how every action scene here will conclude. You constantly root for the heroes, who are going up against the f*ck-up of purple people, and Thanos’ determination makes the rooting exist. I mean… For a guy who happened to be rather speechless once leaving the theater for this movie, it’s almost like a true feat for the amount of words shoved onto this review! What a revelation!

In the end, “Avengers: Infinity War” is EASILY one of the best movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe! I LOVED just about every single second of this movie! It’s my favorite “Avengers” movie! The way they handled all of the characters in this movie was amazing! I mean, seriously! For a movie like this that has more characters than perhaps the number of lights people leave on for new visitors at a Motel 6 in a day, I can’t imagine many other directors taking on this project and doing a better job of balancing everything as masterfully as the Russos did. I said it before, just about every character had their personal moment to shine, and fans will be going crazy over at least one them. Maybe not as crazy as the crowd I had since I went on opening night in a crowded IMAX, but fans will go wild. Speaking of which, I do recommend you go see this in the IMAX format, because this is the first movie shot entirely on IMAX cameras. Not the ones I really like talking about, but this is kind of a big deal and the IMAX experience does add a bit to the movie in terms of immersion! With all of this being said, this movie is the Marvel Cinematic Universe edition of “The Empire Strikes Back,” and it is a f*cking ride from start to finish! I’m gonna give “Avengers: Infinity War” a 10/10! Once again, I’m trying to be as vague as possible in this review for a reason, and I’ll just remind you, when it comes to spoiling this movie, I don’t recommend it. If you spoil this movie, there’s a good chance you’re only just gonna make someone’s life only worse. You know, unless being spoiled is your thing then you’re OK there.

#ThanosDemandsYourSilence

But seriously though, this movie’s the s*it!

Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon, as promised, I’ll have my review for “Mission: Impossible II.” I’m probably going to watch the movie tomorrow, and I’ll start the review soon after, and publish it some time following that. Stay tuned for that review, and also stay tuned for other reviews! I want to know, did you see “Avengers: Infinity War?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite “Avengers” movie? 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!