Movies and COVID-19: Behind the Scenes – Part 5

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! It is now time for part 5 of the Scene Before series “Movies and COVID-19: Behind the Scenes.” This series describes the recent happenings, or in some cases, a lack of happenings, in the film industry as the world deals with the COVID-19 outbreak.

Per usual, real world matters first! Because life sucks! The United Kingdom is currently in a bit of trouble as evidenced from actions taken this past Thursday. Britain has confirmed they have extended their countrywide lockdown for a total of three more weeks. This was announced by foreign secretary Dominic Raab, who is taking on responsibilities in place of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was previously announced to have a positive case of COVID-19. With this extension, the country’s lockdown is likely going to last until the second week of May unless things change.

For the record, a good number of people in my country, specifically the United States, often point out that the economy is likely to collapse should we keep these restrictions going for any longer. One take that I found interesting mainly because I don’t hear it all that much, is the one given by the recently mentioned Dominic Raab. He suggests the opposite and thinks if we loosen these restrictions, the economy is going to go to hell. After all, since there’s always a chance of a second outbreak, there’s always a chance of a second economic downfall.

Although here in America, people clearly want the economy opened back up, including medical expert Anthony Fauci. The well-known director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was on the Snapchat show “Good Luck America,” which discusses the role young people have in spreading the virus. He explained on the show that he’s likely missing baseball season as he suggests, “I’m living in Washington, we have the world champion Washington Nationals. I want to see them play again.” He also thinks that sporting events like baseball and football could happen should there be a lack of an audience in stadiums.

President Donald J. Trump, who Fauci has been seen alongside for much of this crisis through cameras, wants the economy opened back up by May 1st, as I mentioned in part 4. As of suggesting that notion, certain states have declared the idea of opening back up on said day like Trump is opting for. One notable state is Ohio, which much like much of America, is planning to follow phases as to what exactly will open at supposed times. Restaurants may be more essential than bars, and bars may be more essential than football stadiums.

Speaking of U.S. states, one of the most talked about states in general regarding this crisis, has been New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose brother is a CNN reporter who has been tested positive for COVID-19, has been a significant voice in not only trying to pull his state into the right direction, but for the rest of the country as everybody deals with this. Although another voice that New Yorkers heard last week was former presidential candidate and current New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, who had some unfortunate news for the state. De Blasio suggested that all major gatherings for the month of May have been canceled except for certain events like farmers’ markets. So if you are expecting to attend a “Last Week Tonight” taping this May, sorry to say, you’re gonna have to continue staring at John Oliver in front of a white void.

Screenshot (59)

Well, at least he got the rat painting he’s been searching a month to find.

Fun fact, when this whole crisis initiated, I was in Florida, which may be one of the worst hit states when it comes to this mess. For the record, Florida does not have the most cases for the virus, in fact none of them hold a candle to New York. In fact, my state, Massachusetts, has more cases to my surprise! But when it comes to properly closing everything in the state, those ends have not been met. In fact, Governor Rick DeSantis just opened a crucial element to what makes Florida Florida, the beaches. I should note that not all beaches have been opened, and they are NOT open for the purposes of bringing blankets, chairs, and coolers. They are specifically open for exercise-related purposes, plus taking care of pets. Individuals are still supposed to keep their distance from others and avoid gatherings of 50 people. Many of south Florida’s beaches, such as those in Miami, continue to remain closed, but if you live in Duval County (Jacksonville), there’s a good chance that you can find an open beach near you.

The beaches managed to receive a major turnout. However, not everyone is happy, as partially evidenced by the reaction that surfaced on social media. One of the top trending topics of the past weekend is #FloridaMorons. Here’s some of the tweets that surfaced.

Just because we talk about movies here…

Also, one man wanted to drop a public service announcement…

Thank you, sir! Very informative!

Now that we are done with our continuously depressing and ridiculous reality, let’s move onto movie topics. This first part is not a main topic since it may not have as much relevance as others, but I do feel it needs to be talked about. One of the topics I discussed last week is “Parasite’s” Hulu debut. Now Hulu has been a pretty popular streaming service that has been relevant for a few years. In fact, now that Disney oversees them, they are included in a bundle package with their other streaming services including Disney+ and ESPN+. But for a streaming service overseen by a company that does not make many independent features, “Parasite” has earned an ASTOUNDING success on the service so far. The movie dropped on Hulu Wednesday April 8th, where from then on, it was not long before the film immediately became the most streamed foreign or independent feature on the service in just a week. According to IndieWire, the film is also the second most watched film on the platform of all time. This beats the likes of mega-titles such as “Transformers: The Last Knight,” “A Quiet Place,” and “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.” Given the film’s Korean background, how Hulu does not even serve Korea, plus the necessity for non-Korean viewers to read subtitles, it should come as a surprise that “Parasite” is as popular as it is on Hulu. Although keep in mind, the film has already been a critical success in the states, not only having major buzz from reviews, but tons of award wins as well, including the Academy’s Best Picture, which no international feature has received prior to “Parasite.” The film has made over $50 million at the U.S. box office, indicating success. So either everybody wanted a chance to watch the film again, or there’s a possibility that a majority of Hulu users missed out on the theater experience but now have an opportunity to watch at home.

Speaking of theater experiences and watching something at home, Lionsgate is trying to recreate the communal theater atmosphere while keeping movie watchers on their couch. One of the best parts of going to the movies sometimes is the reactions people can blurt out during a presentation. If you have seen the last two “Avengers” movies, you’d understand. Lionsgate is attempting to get people together to react to their favorite movies without hearing anybody else and with the intention of keeping viewers behind closed doors.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIONSGATE MOVIES ON YOUTUBE

Throughout the series, I have often touched upon the goings on behind some of the bigger studios. Disney and Universal have shuttered theme parks, delayed films, and have decided to put some of their films like “Artemis Fowl” and “Trolls: World Tour” straight to a digital streaming service. Paramount delayed a ton of films, but some of their classics will be airing on CBS soon. Warner Bros. has stated in the past about its optimism to release “Tenet” in theaters on time, all the while delaying big films like “Wonder Woman 1984.” But one of the major studios I have not talked about all that much yet in this series is Lionsgate. While they don’t have the franchise power that a company like Disney has, they do possess the rights to iconic properties including “The Hunger Games” and “John Wick,” which are relevant to this topic.

Recently, specifically Friday April 17th, Lionsgate teamed up with Fandango, YouTube, and NATO (National Association of Theatre Owners) to get people to watch “The Hunger Games” on YouTube for free. This is part of an event called “Lionsgate Live! A Night at the Movies.” These are movie night events hosted by Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween, Scream Queens), will feature celebrity guests, special programming, and opportunities for fans to interact via YouTube live. While the odds of watching “The Hunger Games” on one of these Fridays will no longer be ever in your favor, there are still a few movies listed for this special occasion. These include…

  • DIRTY DANCING (APRIL 24)
  • LA LA LAND (MAY 1)
  • JOHN WICK (MAY 8)

Just a reminder, if you want to watch “John Wick” during this occasion on YouTube, there is an age restriction. For the record, “John Wick” is rated R whereas the other films listed are rated PG-13. So if you want to watch your fan favorites with OTHER PEOPLE, I never thought I’d say that ever again! go to the Movieclips YouTube channel, check to see if one of the movies is playing or will be playing, and enjoy! This event will benefit the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, a foundation dedicated to helping workers within the motion picture industry. This even includes the many theater employees affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Even companies behind food are getting in on this, which does make sense as cinemas and food go together like bread and butt–, sorry. Popcorn and butter. I don’t always agree with that statement, my apologies to all popcorn eaters who butter on their popcorn at the movies, but still, it makes sense here. So feel free to amuse yourselves over my forced statement all damn day.

Popcornopolis, which judging by the name, you can probably tell makes popcorn, will be donating 10% of its sales to the cause. Meanwhile, SnackNation, typically known for being a healthy snack delivery service for offices and homes, will be giving away a specially priced box of goodies for these movie nights. The box will include fruity candy, chips, puffs, popcorn, and more. The box is priced at $9.95 and shipping is free. So if you are tired of going to Target to get some Sour Patch Kids while also buying tons of toilet paper, give this snack box a shot, and if you don’t use it for one of these movie nights, it could always work for something else you pop on at home. “Tiger King” is pretty hip right now, why not give that a shot? If you wanted to get some grub from SnackNation for “Dirty Dancing,” there is a solid chance that you might not get it on time. But if you wanted something for “La La Land” or “John Wick,” by all means place your order!

Also in on this are major movie theater chains including AMC Theatres (Please make it through this!), Regal Entertainment Group, and Cinemark Theatres.

SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON CANCELLED FOR FIRST TIME EVER

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Alright, my fellow nerds. Buckle up. This is possibly the most dissatisfying news any comic convention fanatic will ever hear. San Diego Comic-Con, known for pioneering the comic con name and blueprint has officially been cancelled for the first time ever. The event started out small and has grown ever since. It has achieved fame for its success at bringing together communities of nerds of all kinds from comic book collectors, sci-fi fanatics, movie buffs, fantasy lovers, and TV junkies. It’s even gotten so big that “Conan” on TBS has done shows in San Diego as the con goes on! It’s an event so lively that even if you don’t get to go, you are guaranteed to hear something from it that is extravagant in the nerd world, mainly because there is heavy self-promotion going on in the sacred “Hall H,” where celebrities talk to fans, crews behind projects promote trailers, and the effort to get in is just as hard as it is to get through waiting at the DMV. Sadly, this year, there won’t be any of that. Last year, SDCC brought some great news to the nerd sphere, especially within Marvel, because that is where they laid the groundwork for phase 4, advertising plans for each theatrical movie set to release, and even the shows they’re planning to drop onto Disney+. Unfortunately, this news is already outdated as we won’t be seeing one of those projects, specifically “Black Widow,” this May and instead wait until November, which is when “Eternals” was originally supposed to release.

Who knows what could have happened this year? Would we finally get another trailer to “Godzilla vs. Kong?” Would we get a look at footage for James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad?” Maybe we’d get word that Warner Bros. will release the Snyder Cut the same day that Universal plans on releasing the Butthole Cut for “Cats.” Who knows?

Not to get selfish here, but I go to a couple cons every year, and I don’t know if I’ll even get to go to one based on this information. San Diego Comic-Con is such a powerful name in this industry. So powerful in fact that they even felt it was necessary to call out another con for using their name, even when this has been a thing that has been done for years to the point where it has become commonplace. It’s a comic convention where people get together to be happy, not an international format of “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire!” But with the first sentence of this paragraph in mind, with a name San-Diego cancelling, I have a feeling that others may eventually follow in the con’s footsteps because of name power. For all I know, that could be different because every area of this Earth is dealing with COVID-19 in its own way, but I figured that the U.S., or at least most of it, would be done with this virus in a couple months that way we can gain a sense of normalcy. But who knows at this point?

By the way, I could go for a massive bucket of overpriced movie theater popcorn right now.

MOVIES THEATERS ON REOPENING

AMC Shore 8 - Huntington, New York 11743 - AMC Theatres

Remember how in part 3 I was talking about the possibility of AMC falling into its grave? Well, turns out they have a plan! To specify, a $500 million plan. Has a nice ring to it. Keep in mind, AMC has MASSIVE debts, so while $500 million does not cover everything, it’s likely to help during this time. Wall Street has officially parsed AMC, giving them the thumbs up. This will give AMC some time to prevent themselves from heading into dreaded Chapter 11 bankruptcy territory. Stock-wise, AMC is now at $3.20, up 31% reaching their highest level in a couple of weeks. Similarly, Cinemark, a nationwide chain whose subsidiaries include Rave Cinemas and Century Theatres, is also up. While not as high as the 31% for AMC, it bounced up 16% to achieve $13.48 per share.

Speaking of AMC and Cinemark, movie theater operators such as these have planned for a hopeful summer reboot. After all, the kids are out of school, you can only go to the beach so many times before getting sunburned all over, so the cinema is a great outing. Cinemark themselves stated that they are planning for an opening on July 1st, suggesting that they plan on spending June rehiring employees and will screen some classic films during the summer. How classic? I don’t know. Could be black and white, color, old, new, across the board. But I would kill to see “Endgame” in a theater again. I would love to take someone who hasn’t seen the movie just to see how’d they react to it in a theatrical environment, because that movie, plus the Jackoff-winning Best Picture “Infinity War” were literally built for audiences to come together. And while it is disappointing for a film like “Black Widow” to not come out until November instead of May, I would much prefer that, when I can likely see it with a crowd, then curling up in my room watching it as it goes straight to streaming. In fact, I still have no plans to get Disney+. HBO Max might be on my radar though (I’ll get back to that).

While I did talk about reality before, I should bring it up again. The Governor of Georgia, otherwise known as Brian Kemp, has recently announced that he gave the green light to businesses to reopen their doors beginning April 27th. Regardless of whether or not this is stupid, which I personally think it is, movie theater chains will likely need longer than a week to rehire and retrain people before opening doors again, as insiders suggest. As for local theaters, I don’t know what the case will be, but chains are likely to follow a structured process. Maybe they will open all their theaters at once, maybe vary state by state, do a few at a time, but who knows?

THESE DELAY STORIES ARE GETTING TIRESOME!

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So… “Black Widow” has been delayed. “Eternals” has been delayed. “The New Mutants” has been delayed. “Top Gun: Maverick” has been delayed. “Infinite” has been delayed. “A Quiet Place Part II” has been delayed. Now the Caped Crusader has something he’d like to say to all of those movies.

That’s right guys! Unfortunately, Matt Reeves’ upcoming “The Batman,” starring Robert Pattinson (Twilight, The Lighthouse), has been pushed back from it’s original release date, June 25th, 2021, and will now hit theaters October 1st, 2021. If you had to ask me, here’s my response.

If you ask me, “The Batman” is a film that I am definitely looking forward to, and I am disappointed by the announcement. Despite the flack Pattinson sometimes gets for his past roles, most notably “Twilight,” he has generated an excellent acting method over the past number of years. Plus, it’s f*cking Batman, how could I not get excited over a movie with Batman in it?

Well, okay, maybe not all of them are that exciting. By the way, f*ck the convenient Bat Credit Card.

Although I will state, as disappointed as I am, it could still be worse. After all, movies like “Top Gun: Maverick,” which I’ve previously talked about had trailers and a marketing campaign all set up. “Batman” hasn’t even finished filming yet. In fact, production shut down earlier this year due to the virus. While I am underwhelmed and dissatisfied with the news, I cannot say I’m scarred for life. Although not having a “Batman” movie during summer blockbuster season does feel a little weird. Maybe this is a case, much like “Joker” where the delay to October can be favorable for “The Batman” as there COULD be an effort to get some awards buzz for the movie. There could be a possibility that “The Batman” is also intentionally made for mature audiences, perhaps the MPAA will give it an R rating, making the Dark Knight the DARKEST Knight. Even so, this is NOT the delay we deserve. NOR is it the one eager movie and comic book fans need right now.

“The Batman” is being put out by Warnermedia, which should not be surprising as DC Comics and Warner Bros. go together like peanut butter and jelly. Speaking of Warnermedia delays, a movie set in the universe of HBO’s hit series “The Sopranos,” originally set to release September 25th, 2020, is now coming out March 12th, 2021. The film is a prequel to the recently mentioned title and is currently going by the name of “The Many Saints of Newark.”

Also in DC Comics movie news, a couple more titles have been moved around. “Shazam 2,” which was supposed to release April 1st, 2022, is being pushed back seven months to a new November 4th release. I have no problem with this, because that just means I have probably already figured out what I might want to do on my 23rd birthday about 2.5 years before it even arrives.

Alright, kids. Buckle up. This movie deserves its own paragraph, because while I am busy bitching about all of these movies that have been pushed back like a skinny dude in a wrestling match, there’s one movie that has believe it or not, been pushed FORWARD. I’m talking about another DC movie, “The Flash!” The film was supposed to release July 1st, 2022 but has recently been pushed forward to its new June 2nd release date, also in 2022. I have NO IDEA if this movie will be out by this time, and to be honest, it’s almost wishful thinking. This film was supposed to come out in 2018 as the DCEU’s sixth installment. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, famous for movies including “21 Jump Street” and TV shows including “The Last Man on Earth” were supposed to get the ground running. They sent a treatment, but they couldn’t direct the film because they were busy. Seth-Grahame Smith was hired to direct, but he dropped out in 2016 due to creative differences. Then, Rick Famuyiwa said he was directing as of June 2016, and production was going to start in January 2017. But by the looks of things, that did not seem to last, as Screen Junkies reported that Robert Zemeckis was on a shortlist of directors to take on “The Flash.” Also on the shortlist, Sam Raimi and Matthew Vaughn, two famous directors within the comic movie realm. This comes three months after a Variety report that Joby Harold (Edge of Tomorrow, Underground) was going to rewrite the script. FLASH (see what I did there?) forward to June 2017, look who’s back! Lord and Miller, that’s who! While things did not seem to go far, the Wrap reported that the dynamic duo were in talks to direct the film again. Then in February 2018, another duo popped up, this time it was John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. These two managed to create one of the best comedies of the past five years, “Game Night,” and they also acquired comic book movie experience through writing the Disney/Sony collaboration, “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” Then came July 2019, where the duo announced their departure from the project! As of now, the project is expected to be helmed by Andy Muschietti (It, Mama) and Christina Hodson (Birds of Prey, Bumblebee). Also joining the project as a producer is Barbara Muschietti, Andy’s sister. As for Ezra Miller, who plays The Flash in the DCEU, who knows what’ll happen to him after the recent controversial video of him released where he chokes a woman? This project is going GREAT so far!

Holy crap, that was a mouthful. You think “The New Mutants” is having trouble? At least that movie got f*cking shot! “The Flash” has not even reached “production” level! It’s insanity! I remain hopeful that this film comes out in June 2022, but this is one of those cases of where I’ll believe this movie when I see it.

Warnermedia has also delayed two movies to November 2021. One of which was the movie Tom Hanks was shooting in Australia when tested positive for COVID-19, an untitled Elvis film. The film was originally supposed to come out October of next year. However, one film got the “F9” treatment where it won’t even see the light of day this year. It was once set to come out this November, but that will not be happening.

Moving away from Warnermedia, let’s talk about Sony. Recently I discussed that the studio pretty much abandoned the summer of 2020, pushing back films including “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” and “Morbius.” But it just so appears that they have delayed one of their Fall projects as well, specifically “Venom 2,” which is now titled “Venom: Let There Be Carnage.” Based on the title, the film is likely to have the comic book villain Carnage as the main antagonist, information that has been teased since the first movie. I’ll be blunt here, I am not looking forward to “Venom 2.” This is a delay that I am not personally offended by. I will say, I do feel bad for the people behind the film, because the first one came out in an October as well and grossed over $800 million. Then again, that piece of crap people like to call “Venom” grossed over $800 million even though it is most likely the worst movie that I have seen which is related to “Spider-Man.” This sequel has one thing giving me mixed thoughts, and that is the director. I feel like the vision for the first “Venom” is entirely corporate and lacks soul. I still wonder why people even clapped at the end of the movie. Even though Ruben Fleischer did some decent stuff in the past, like “Zombieland,” this was an idea that felt rushed and underwhelming. And honestly, they should have gone for the R rating. But this time, it is being directed by Andy Serkis, who definitely has a knack for visual effects, both in terms of acting and behind the scenes. However, I’ve heard “Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle” was not the best work in the world. It has a 53% on Rotten Tomatoes, indicating that a majority of critics liked it, but it’s also not the finest number of all time. I like Andy Serkis, but I have vivid memories of the first “Venom” and they’re not pretty. I still have a bad taste in my mouth. The “Venom” sequel hits theaters June 25, 2021, which was “The Batman’s” former release date, as opposed to when “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” was supposed to hit theaters, October 2nd, 2020.

HBO MAX LAUNCH DATE ANNOUNCED

Now I love physical media, and I will likely continue to buy it even in a time where I cannot leave my house. It is by far the best way to watch a movie. Although if I were to invest in a streaming service anytime soon, one of my options is likely going to be HBO Max, which, yes, it will have HBO content. This service will be launching May 27th, as announced in a trailer down below.

Doesn’t HBO have a couple fancy streaming services already? Sure, but this is one may be worth your time. Aside from including bunches of HBO content including “Game of Thrones,” “Westworld,” and “The Sopranos,” they will also be shipping in content from alternate channels such as TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, and truTV, all of which are owned by Warnermedia. So this means in addition to all of the HBO programming available at launch, viewers will have access to content including “Conan,” “Impractical Jokers,” “Rick and Morty,” and “Miracle Workers.” Also available for TV are all the seasons of “Friends” and “The Big Bang Theory,” two of the longest running situation comedies of all-time. Another really long series that you can invest some time in is “South Park,” the long-running animated series that caters to an adult demographic. That series in particular will join the service this June. They’re even using content from a streaming service that I don’t know how many of you knew existed, DC Universe. From this, it can be confirmed that one of the starters for this service is “Doom Patrol,” based on a previously established superhero team. One show I am still wondering about is DC’s “Harley Quinn,” which recently dropped season 2 on DC Universe, but who knows what’ll happen in regards to coming to HBO Max? But don’t worry, there’s movies too! Some of the upcoming titles are “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “A Star is Born,” “The Dark Knight,” “Joker,” “The Matrix,” “Pokemon: Detective Pikachu,” the DCEU movies, and the Studio Ghibli library. The service is likely to serve around 10,000 hours of content at launch, which is more than Disney+ and Comcast’s Peacock, which is now available for Xfinity customers, but will be available for everybody else starting July 15th.

The downside however, is the price. At $14.99/month, which is more than what one would pay for Hulu, which has significantly more content, it is not the cheapest service out there. However, HBO has been known for their premium programming, therefore it is no surprise that a premium price would be placed for HBO Max. But if you are a Charter customer, it is free as long as you are currently paying for HBO. Certain AT&T customers, specifically those paying premium prices for AT&T’s services, will also be given HBO Max for free. Nevertheless, even though I don’t stream much, I think I would get some use out of HBO Max if I were to buy a subscription. Warner Bros. is my favorite movie studio, HBO is a notable channel with a lot of content known for quality, and TBS, plus truTV, have done some originals I like, plus some that I have missed out on that I want to check out like “Wrecked.” I just hope that said originals make it to the service in the first place.

Speaking of originals, there is some original content coming to HBO Max. Season 3 of “Search Party,” which originally aired on TBS, will debut on the service. Anna Kendrick will be starring in a new comedy, “Love Life,” which comes from Lionsgate Television. But if you have kids, there will also be content related to “Sesame Street” and “Looney Tunes.” HBO Max was going to have a “Friends” reunion at launch, but it has been delayed due to COVID-19 complications. Sorry, they will not be there for you.

Going back to my original point, HBO Max launches May 27th on smart devices, so if you cut the cord but miss many of the cable-based shows, or you just want some acclaimed TV and movies to watch, HBO Max may get your seal of approval.

HOME VIDEO RELEASES

Going back to my comment on physical media, it is fun to collect, but not everyone does it anymore. In fact, it’s getting hard to do in these times now that places like the mall have basically shut their doors down. Walmart’s still open, so there’s that. And if you do want to know what new releases are on DVD and Blu-ray, some notable titles include “Bad Boys For Life,” “Ip Man 4: The Finale,” “The Gentlemen,” and “Like a Boss,” which already released on digital, but needed some time to come out on physical formats. Out of these films, the only one I’ve seen is “The Gentlemen,” which honestly underwhelmed me. Hopefully that won’t be the same case should some of you give it a shot.

As for digital media, there is not much new content to pick from. However, “Wendy,” a movie that takes place on an island and follows a young girl in world that is increasingly facing destruction, has just dropped on services as of April 17th. So if you are expecting me to talk about any blockbuster titles dropping, think again.

Thanks for reading the fifth part of the ongoing series “Movies and COVID-19: Behind the Scenes!” This was a long one to make, so I’ll try to wrap things up quick. If you’re wondering where my reviews are, I want to make them, but the apocalypse is currently my priority. Plus, “My Spy” hasn’t dropped on Prime yet, so there’s that. But should things still be hectic next week, which they most likely will, there’s a good chance you’ll see a part 6 to this series. Because life sucks! I have not left my house for *anything,* even a walk, for almost a month now. How did the country, no, the WORLD even get here?! Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can tuned for more great content! Speaking of great content, why not check out my Facebook page? Give it a like and keep up with the latest info through Mark Zuckerberg’s wonderland! I want to know, did I miss anything for this past week? What are some your big points as of late regarding film and COVID-19? It could even be something I already mentioned! Or, what are you looking forward to seeing on HBO Max? Is there something you want to see that has not been fully announced? If they drop TBS’s “King of the Nerds” on the service, I’m sucking all my money into 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!

San Diego Comic-Con Can Only Be the One True Comic Con: WHY I’M MAD!

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! This post could have been done earlier, and by that I mean last month, but due to a lack of motivation and feeling the need to do such a post at one time, I ignored any thought of taking this on. But having talked about this with some pals recently, I feel that this is a situation that has REALLY gone out of hand and I feel that this gonna ruin a number of events. Months back, I did a post on my response to the case between San Diego Comic-Con and Salt Lake Comic Con. I was rather angry at the fact that San Diego Comic-Con had the idea that their stance as “comic con” is superior to everyone else. Sure, they are one of the most popular comic conventions out there. And building off of that, as a convention in general, they happen to be one of the first that enters people’s minds. But several news articles came out recently that sounded like something I’ve heard months ago, but once I saw them, they made me just as angry as I was during that period of time.

Apparently, I’m seeing articles pop up everywhere saying “San Diego Comic-Con” wins trademark rights for comic-con, here are just a few examples down below:

San Diego Union Tribune
Hollywood Reporter
NBC Washington

Now about all of this, I think it’s just plain f*cking stupid! I know that SDCC is the original comic-con, I know that they’ve been in this type of business for a long time, but the fact is, I don’t recall ever seeing a case like this before in the realm of conventions, or comic-conventions at the very least.

For those who need some background information, allow me to introduce the cons.

*Cue “The People’s Court” theme*

San Diego Comic-Con, formerly known as the Golden State Comic Book Convention, was once a convention where comic-books were king. Multiple decades later, chances are they are the first thing someone would think of when they hear the name Comic-Con. They sell out their tickets very quickly for their yearly events, have many celebrity guests, are known for long lines, and most recently, the surrounding of eScooters. SDCC is where many new pieces of promotional material for upcoming nerdy content gets released. This year some highlights include a trailer for an all new season “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” with the hashtag #CloneWarsSaved, the first trailer for “Aquaman,” the first trailer for “Shazam,” a trailer for M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass,” a trailer for Matt Groenig’s new Netflix series “Disenchantment,” and a trailer for “The Walking Dead” season 9.

Salt Lake Comic Con, otherwise now known as FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention, coincidentally has one of its shows around the time this post is released believe it or not. Past shows have been popular by Utah standards. For example, in September 2015, a couple years after this convention first started, there was an attendance of 127,000 according to FanX’s Wikipedia page. If you aren’t familiar with how Salt Lake Comic Con does things, they have two kinds of shows. There’s your standard Salt Lake Comic Con, and then there’s the Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience. Salt Lake Comic Con focuses on guests and other things that maybe you’d expect to find at a convention that has “comic con” in its name, whereas FanX is more focused on thinking outside the box.

As I write this, I reread my older post on the trademark battle, and for those who don’t know, San Diego Comic-Con apparently has claimed that they’ve trademarked the term Comic-Con, as stated during a court case between both parties. This court case by the way, was won by San Diego, and it just so turns out that neither party was satisfied with the outcome. Salt Lake was unsatisfied because they lost, and San Diego was unsatisfied because they didn’t even get as much money as they would have hoped out of the case. They were awarded $20,000, the top prize one can win after a game of “Family Feud,” as opposed to $12,000,000, which is the top prize of the game show that has yet to be pitched to ABC, “Who Wants to Be a Rich Egomaniac Who Doesn’t Give Anything to Anyone but Themselves?” By the way, that game show is also an accurate title describing what Jeff Bezos’ life is like as the CEO of Amazon. According to an article published by Hollywood Reporter on January 17th of this year, Daniel Farr and Bryan Bradenberg of Dan Farr Productions, the organizers of Salt Lake Comic Con, wanted a new trial because they felt that certain points were left out and the jury didn’t receive proper instructions. When it comes to San Diego, they wanted an injunction, they wanted Salt Lake to disgorge a profit on future events, and they wanted $4.5 million in attorneys’ fees and costs because they feel their argument is strong whereas Salt Lake is a bit exaggerative. SDCC also goes on to claim that this is an “all-out war” that was started against them.

I may sound like a nazi threatening San Diego Comic-Con at every turn, but in all seriousness, there are some valid points to their win. Aside from their claim that “comic-con” is their trademark, they are organized by a company referred to as Comic-Con International. And yes, they certainly got the “comic-con” of their name right. “International” though, not so much. Comic-Con International organizes two other events, specifically Wondercon and Alternative Press Expo, both of which, like SDCC, are in the United States, and not only that, but ALL THREE CONVENTIONS ARE IN CALIFORNIA!

I gotta say though, going back to the main topic, August comes around. US District Court Judge Anthony Battaglia, who coincidentally shares his name with a former pro hockey player who also happens to be a former contestant on “The Amazing Race,” has something to say. Keep in mind, he was the judge who has been fed all of these recently mentioned demands on both sides. What does he do? He lets Darth Vader chop Luke’s hand off! San Diego Comic-Con received $3.9 million in legal fees, Salt Lake Comic Con has 30 days to stop using “comic-con,” WITH OR WITH OUT A HYPHEN, OR ANY OTHER SIMILAR SOUNDING TITLES, according to SDCC attorney Peter Hahn. Just the other day, I was talking about this with friends, I referred to SDCC as “Stupid Dumb Crazy Crapfaces,” because that matches the initials of the acronym for San Diego Comic-Con. I take that back, because now they’re “S*itty Dumbasses Called Clusterf*cks!” I almost happen to have trouble processing this because having learned about this apparent “trademark,” it just makes me wonder how many other conventions have some variation of “comic-con” in their name and they could potentially be harmed by San Diego. I didn’t even know about this “trademark” until last year when I went over the trial in December, but as much as a trademark is a trademark, I can’t help but wonder, can a trademark like comic-con be defeated?

The short answer would probably be a no. But I gotta say, I’m kinda fed up. I’m not happy. Months ago, when I talked about San Diego winning the case, I referred to SDCC as what was once the ultimate place for nerds to unite, but then they changed into the jocks that put someone down. Now, to quote the marketing for “Revenge of the Nerds,” it’s time for the odd to get even!

Daniel Farr, Bryan Bradenberg, if either of you are reading this, awesome, hope you’re enjoying the free content slapped together by a moron. And I’ll just say, you might want to stick around for this. At the beginning of this post, I have mentioned that San Diego Comic-Con is famous for its lines. In fact, while it has been proven that SDCC is a fun time for many people, there are downsides. And while spoilers for “Game of Thrones” or “The Walking Dead” or “Avengers: Infinity War” may be a dealbreaker for some individuals, chances are that someone is guaranteed to most likely complain about the lines. But I want to take the worst part of comic-con and use it to send a message.

Now, I may sound like some progressive individual who is trying to organize some event in a major city. Trust me, I’m not. I don’t lean towards any political party, I haven’t attended any of the “marches” that have been going on, and most importantly, I’m busy. I just started college, what can I say? But if I were a little less busy, I’d want to organize an event somewhere, maybe either in Salt Lake City or San Diego. The event is not a march, but it does involve being on the streets. It also could potentially involve moving around. In celebration of the worst that a number of cons, not just San Diego Comic-Con, has to offer, I want to form an enormous line full of people. This line shall send a message to San Diego Comic-Con and Comic-Con International. I understand what a trademark is, but I also understand what generic means. And given the vast number of comic-cons around the world, it would only be fair if you’d let others have a name that may have once been a one-of-a-kind, but is now as ubiquitous as McDonald’s. So if you want the name comic-con to be applied to conventions aside from San Diego without other conventions apparently having to have a talk with them, I recommend that this event shall take place. If this idea generates enough interest among the public, then this might as well happen. Until then, I hope you enjoyed my free content that I just make for entertainment purposes. In fact, that busy thing? I’ll say that I have Fridays and weekends off so if this event were to happen and I were the key organizer, I’d be in a city on those days in a HEARTBEAT! So if you’re with me, let’s not stand together, let’s stand SINGLE-FILE, WHAT MAY SEEM LIKE FOREVER, AND FOR A PURPOSE!

Thanks for reading this post! Not much is coming out this weekend that I’m interested in. “The Nun” is in “The Conjuring” universe and I haven’t seen one of those films, so I’m skipping that. “Peppermint” kind of strikes my interest, so we’ll see where that goes. Maybe I’ll go see “The Meg,” “Operation Finale,” “Searching,” “The Happytime Murders,” one of those films, maybe something else, I’m not sure, we’ll just have to see what happens. Be sure to follow Scene Before with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, what are your thoughts on this whole comic-con fiasco? Do you think my line idea is something that must be executed? Or is it just plain crap? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

CON ANNOUNCEMENT: I’m Going to Rhode Island Comic Con 2018!

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! This week is San Diego Comic-Con! Despite my gripe with them that I’ve held onto for the past number of months, I can still say with happiness and joy that the nerd celebration of the year is here! And to celebrate that, I’ve got con announcements incoming! Because I suck and can’t refresh my computer as fast as possible to get my San Diego Comic-Con tickets. Before we dive into this con announcement, let me just ask you something. Are comic-cons just for the nerds? I wouldn’t say they are. Nerds are definitely the target audience, but in reality, everyone is welcome! After all, I can imagine a lot of people want to meet an admirable celebrity, shake their hand, get their autograph, take a pic, all that jazz. Speaking of celebrities, there are a bunch of them that can be found on YouTube. And I know a lot of you viewing this might be thinking about people like PewDiePie or Shane Dawson or Smosh or Markiplier. Sure, those users are definitely popular. However, there are several communities and users on YouTube that aren’t necessarily talked about or brought up when thinking about YouTube celebrities. Today, we are going to change that. Ever since I discovered YouTube, I have been stalkin’ a group of people that make up the “elevator community.” One such member includes, its revered founder. In this post, I’d like to give a special shoutout and promotion to the YouTube user Dieselducy!

Dieselducy is a fairly popular YouTuber who happens to be a master of his craft, which simply put, is riding elevators. It takes hard work and dedication to find the finest and most presentable elevators on YouTube, and Dieselducy knows exactly what to do in order to show off the best of the best! Having shot many videos by himself and more alongside fellow elevator enthusiasts he met along the way, it’s easy to say that Dieselducy may be the most highly appreciated elevator photographer on the Internet. You can find all of Dieselducy’s content on YouTube, including this one of an elevator that’s shaped in a circular form, so you can say that it’s a lot like a “Star Trek” transporter. And seriously, this dude is a boss! He’s got over 50,000 subscribers! Thousands of videos to choose from for your viewing convenience! And as of recently, tons of livestreams, including one where he GETS A TICKET ON CAMERA! Please check out Dieselducy’s YouTube channel, be sure to subscribe, hit the notification bell, and check his other social media pages! Also, be sure to tell him that Jack Drees sent ya over!

DIESELDUCY’S YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/user/dieselducy

DIESELDUCY’S WEBSITE: http://www.dieselducy.com/

DIESELDUCY’S TWITTER: https://twitter.com/dieselducy

DIESELDUCY’S FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/DieselDucy/

DIESELDUCY’S INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/dieselducy/

DIESELDUCY’S FLICKR: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dieselducy

DIESELDUCY’S SNAPCHAT: Dieselducy

Now, as you can tell by the title of this post, you may be aware that I’m going to Rhode Island Comic Con this year. I’ve been running Scene Before for over two years now, and in that time, I’ve been to this con twice. Before I started this blog, I didn’t just go to that con, that was actually the first con I’ve ever gone to. I even documented my thoughts on the 2017 convention, which I thought was slightly clunky and disorganized, but despite that, it might have been the best con I’ve done in my life so far. I got to meet the cast of “Revenge of the Nerds,” I met a few people from Channel Awesome, I attended a couple panels, and I got a photo op alongside Christopher Lloyd. This upcoming con, doesn’t look like it’s going to disappoint. Some of the guests they’ve got lined up for this thing already impress me, and I can tell there will definitely be more impressive guests to come along the way. For the ones that are already listed, let’s dive into IT!

Take that last statement very lITerally, because “IT” seems to be playing a huge part in this con! And I’m talking about both the straight to TV miniseries and the recent hIT movie! As for the miniseries, one name you may recognize who will be showing up to Rhode Island is Tim Curry! You may know Curry as the famous clown, Pennywise. While “IT” is definitely partially responsible for Tim Curry’s fame, he has also appeared in such projects including “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Clue,” “The Hunt For Red October,” “Home Alone 2: Lost In New York,” and “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” As of now, there is currently no announcement of Bill Skarsgård appearing, so you can’t really say you have two Pennywises coming together. Although there are people from the 2017 “IT” movie who will be making an appearance, specifically kids.

The appearing kids include Wylat Oleff (Stanley Uris) and Jaeden Lieberher (Bill Denbrough). I can’t really say that much about their performances in “IT” overall, because I haven’t actually watched the movie. I watched tons of movies in 2017, but “IT” was not one of them, which to be honest is kinda surprising when you think about the success IT had. Another thing to bear in mind with this post here, is that IT is published before all of the “IT” guests have been announced (probably, depends on how the people behind the con close out this week’s announcements).

Sticking with the topic of Tim Curry, he happens to be one of the guests currently listed in the “headliners” category. Now, if you look at the guest list for Rhode Island Comic Con on their website, that label doesn’t actually exist. But last year, they had several guests labeled as “headliners.” These guests would be on the first list you’d see on the guest page, and if RICC intends to do things similar to last year, they’ll all be in the Dunkin Donuts Center together (well, at least most of them), as opposed to the Rhode Island Convention Center, which is attached to that property. Rhode Island Comic Con currently has eighteen headliners listed on their site and they are…

Tim Curry (It, Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
Alan Tudyk (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Moana)
Morena Baccarin (Deadpool, Gotham)
Karl Urban (Star Trek, Dredd)
Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Walking Dead) He’s Mary Poppins, y’all.
Finn Jones (Game of Thrones, Iron Fist)
Jessica Henwick (Game of Thrones, Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Nestor Carbonell (The Dark Knight, Bates Motel)
Billy Boyd (Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Empty)
Danny Trejo (Sons of Anarchy, Machete)
Brianna Hildebrand (Deadpool, The Exorcist)
Stefan Kapičić (Deadpool, Counterpart)
Richard Dean Anderson (General Hospital, MacGyver)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy)
Billy Zane (Titanic, Back to the Future Part II)
Cassandra Peterson (Movie Macabre, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Stand and Deliver, Young Guns)
Ben McKenzie (Gotham, Southland)

Since we’re on the topic, let’s talk about three of them specifically. The trio includes Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapičić, and Morena Baccarin.

What do the recently mentioned trio have in common? They’re all in the “Deadpool” movies! You may know Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Stefan Kapičić is the voice of Colossus, and Morena Baccarin plays Vanessa, the love interest to “Deadpool.” I am SO excited for this trio! I actually met one of the people in this trio before, specifically Brianna Hildebrand, and it was fun meeting her. In fact, it was actually at this exact con in 2016. I didn’t talk to her much, although I did ask her how her time was in Providence, I told her she had the “coolest name ever,” to which she chuckled, and we went our separate ways. One thing you might be interested to know is that Stefan Kapičić was actually at the same convention that weekend. Although I didn’t meet him. So depending on what I do during this convention, I’ll have a chance of meeting three “Deadpool” cast members, one of which I’ve met before, and two I’d meet for the first time. If I can’t get to all three, I’d personally flock after Morena Baccarin. I mean, let me just say, I’m a white, straight, eighteen year old boy. Of course I f*cking love “Deadpool.” Morena Baccarin’s character is not only gorgeous, but my gosh, she is just one of the best and most charismatic love interests I’ve seen as far as recent movies go.

If you were going to ask me who I think might be the “best on-screen couple” in movie history, Vanessa and Wade from “Deadpool” are definitely in that conversation. While certain parts of their relationship feel somewhat fantastical, you just can’t help but appreciate their chemistry and dialogue throughout both “Deadpool” and “Deadpool 2.” I’m twenty years younger than Baccarin, but if she happened to ever be single and want a younger guy… I’m available. But in all seriousness, Baccarin at a con is definitely going to be interesting, but you know what would be even cooler? If they pull out all the stops and get Ryan motherf*cking Reynolds!

Another group of guests that is likely to get a lot of attention at Rhode Island Comic Con is the cast of “The Walking Dead.” Last year, they’ve had plenty of guests announced who happened to be “Walking Dead” cast members. Although, due to bad timing in their schedules, four of them couldn’t even make it. Let’s just hope for the sake of the fanbase’s personal joy that this doesn’t happen again this year. So far, when it comes to “The Walking Dead” guests this year, we have Steven Yeun, Michael Rooker, Laurie Holden, Lennie James, Jeremy Palko, and Cooper Andrews. This con is three and a half months away, so there could be potential for more “Walking Dead” guests to show up, however if there’s one that’s unlikely to show up, that’s Jeffery Dean Morgan. I remember hearing on YouTube he was rather dissatisfied with Rhode Island Comic Con due to its chaos and disorganization. Oh well, there are other people to look forward to meeting!

This con is not exactly a couple of months away, so I’m not gonna get into too many more guests, but some of the guests I’m noticing seem to be very well known for their voiceover work.

The first guest I’ll mention is Kevin Conroy. While some may argue about the best on-screen Batman and lean towards someone such as Adam West, Christian Bale, or Ben Affleck, some may lean towards Kevin Conroy. He has not just played Batman, you can make the argument at this point that this guy probably IS Batman! Seriously, let’s make a list of some of the s*it that he’s done as the character of Batman! “Batman: The Killing Joke,” “Batman: Arkham Asylum,” “Batman: Arkham City,” “Batman: Arkham Knight,” “Batman: The Animated Series,” “The New Batman Adventures,” “Injustice: Gods Among Us,” “Injustice 2,” “Batman and Harley Quinn,” “Batman: Vengeance,” “DC Universe Online,” “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm…”

Now let’s move onto our next voiceover artist, Tara Strong!

If the name Tara Strong does not sound familiar to you, than chances are you don’t do much research on “My Little Pony” or “The Fairly OddParents.” Tara Strong is very well known for years of voiceover work, having received several nominations in the Annie and Behind the Voice Actor awards shows. She also is known for her work as Bubbles on “The Powerpuff Girls.”

Another big voiceover name at this year’s Rhode Island Comic Con is John DiMaggio. You may know him from “Adventure Time,” “Gravity Falls,” the “Transformers” movies, and “Futurama,” otherwise known as that one show with a popular meme that is going to describe everyone attending Rhode Island Comic Con once they hear the word “autograph,” “ticket,” or “photo op.”

I don’t really have as much of an objective at this year’s Rhode Island Comic Con like I did other times I went, but then again, that could potentially change in the upcoming months. If there was an objective this year for me, the closest thing to it is to meet Morena Baccarin. As far as talking to her goes, that’s a different story, I don’t know how big or fast her line will be, but I can guarantee that it won’t be small. Maybe I can at least get a hello or some witty joke in or something jazzy. For the other three years I’ve gone to Rhode Island Comic Con, there was an objective I had in mind, and it has been accomplished each time. In 2015, I met Curtis Armstrong. In 2016, I met Gal Gadot. In 2017, I met the entire cast of “Revenge of the Nerds” who happened to appear for their reunion. When it comes to Rhode Island Comic Con, the thing that has always impressed me is the guest list. Not only is it big, but it includes people that probably rarely go to cons! The guest list and con is so big in fact, that it needs three venues to fit everything! For the past few conventions, it has been held inside the Rhode Island Convention Center, as it has every single year, but it has also been held in the attached Dunkin Donuts Center. In 2017, however, I was made aware that new ballroom space in the closeby Omni Providence Hotel was used for the con. I imagine that will continue this year, because that space was used for a traveling group that shows nerdy films called GeekFest Film Fests, and they are coming back this year.

Why is there so much space? If you haven’t followed this con or been to it, one big story that went down during the con’s run in 2014 is that the Rhode Island Convention Center was filled to capacity, which is the first time that’s happened in the building’s history. 20,000 people attended Rhode Island Comic Con that weekend, and this was kind of a hazard. The fire marshal temporarily shut down the con due to poor attendance flow. At least about 1,500 attendees couldn’t enter the convention and those who left the convention could not reenter. Luckily, those who wanted refunds likely had their wish granted, and precautions such as adding the Dunkin Donuts Center in 2015 helped this sort of thing become less likely to happen again. Then 2015 happened, and the line to get in the Rhode Island Convention Center from the Dunkin Donuts Center was longer than jury duty. Disorganization was also a key complaint uttered by some con-goers in 2016, one such complaint was towards the company issuing photo ops, which was resolved in 2017 by getting a new team. However, for whatever reason, that team is not back this year.

Now this con, as mentioned, is disorganized, and that was one of the big complaints that they MAYBE tried to avoid from happening again like it did in 2016. When I entered the con last year, something REALLY strange happened. The entry point of the con allows you to go straight into the Dunkin Donuts Center, and nearby to the right is a ramp that transports you onto a skybridge that goes over to the Rhode Island Convention Center. In 2017, however, that was not a thing. Apparently, as a method of “crowd control” everybody had to go around the circle that makes up the Dunkin Donuts Center before they can even enter the Rhode Island Convention Center! Is this an attack on nerds for not getting enough physical exercise? And if that’s the case, it’s good to know that an arena with a donut shop’s name is helping out! I don’t know if this will happen again in 2018, but as much as I look forward to this con, that might be the first or second biggest downfall of last year’s experience.

Much like last year, this con is going to have some nifty events tied into it. This year there’s going to be an after-party on Friday and Saturday, tattooing, gaming tournaments, Sci-fi Speed Dating (must be 18 and single to participate), and if you’re coming here with your kids, you may be happy to know that RICC will have certain things that cater to them at Kids Con!

I’ve been going to Rhode Island Comic Con, and while it’s definitely not a perfect convention, it has some weird quirks and bugs behind it, the con definitely does not disappoint and it’s a buttload of fun. I’ll be there as a patron all three days, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This starts on November 2nd and ends on November 4th. If you want to go to Rhode Island Comic Con, I do highly recommend you check it out, and if you’re staying somewhere overnight, click the link below and go check out the discount hotel rates you can get during your stay at Providence during this event. As of this post’s publication, you can still book a few nearby hotels such as The Hilton Providence or Courtyard Providence Downtown. If those are out of your budget, the list also includes a couple hotels near the airport in Warwick, which is towns away from Providence. I’m looking forward to Rhode Island Comic Con and I hope to see you there! Thanks for reading this post! Pretty soon I’ll have a couple “Mission: Impossible” reviews coming your way. I’m gonna soon have my review up for “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation” and “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, are you going to Rhode Island Comic Con this year? Have you gone before? Tell me your thoughts on it. Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

DISCOUNT HOTEL RATES DURING RICC 2018: http://www.ricomiccon.com/hotels

Salt Lake Comic Con Violated Copyright Law For Using “COMIC CON” *FOUL LANGUAGE AHEAD*

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Occasionally on Scene Before I talk about conventions. To be specific I talk about my experiences at certain cons that I go to or I simply announce that I’ll be present at a particular con. This post will have a focus on conventions, but it’s a bit more law based as opposed to what I usually do. Recently, there was a lawsuit involving two conventions, and even more recently, there was a court case for this. Let’s introduce both sides of the situation.

*Cue “The People’s Court theme*

First off we have San Diego Comic-Con, AKA the original Comic Con. Established in 1970 as the Golden State Comic Book Convention, this event became the one of the largest and most well known fan conventions in the US and on the planet. The event has gone by multiple names aside from Golden State Comic Book Convention since its inception. These names include San Diego Comic Book Convention and a name that the convention goes by today, Comic-Con International: San Diego. Despite mentioning that recent name, the convention often goes by the names Comic-Con, San Diego Comic-Con, and SDCC. This convention has a focus on comics, sci-fi, fantasy, TV, movies, etc. In fact, this convention often features celebrities you wouldn’t usually find in many other conventions and considering its popularity, this con is known for revealing material such as trailers for upcoming content at panels. When tickets go on sale for this, there’s no messing around. They sell out pretty much instantly. This year they sold out a little over an hour of going on sale. The organizers of SDCC, Comic-Con International, are also the organizers of Wondercon, held annually in Anaheim, CA.

Next up we have Salt Lake Comic Con. First held in September of 2013, this convention is held semi-annually. The convention goes by two names and one event in terms of when it’s being held comes before the other, Salt Lake Comic Con, as recently mentioned, and the Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience. What’s the difference? Salt Lake Comic Con tends to focus more towards science fiction, fantasy, comic books, and superheroes whereas FanXperience tends to focus on fandoms that aren’t traditionally found at most comic book conventions. This event is so outside the box to my knowledge that in 2016, Buzz Aldrin, the 2nd man to walk on the moon, appeared as a guest! These events, regardless of whether it’s just a traditional comic con or FanX, brings in tons of people whenever it’s held and it shows no sign of slipping in the future. Interesting fact, on September 25, 2015, when the third Salt Lake Comic Con was held, a world record was broken here. That record by the way happened to be the most costumed comic book cosplay characters in one location.

These two recently had a battle in court. How did this all start? On July 25, 2014, San Diego Comic-Con International sent a cease and desist letter to Salt Lake City Comic Con over its use of the words “comic con.” Dan Farr Productions, the organizers of Salt Lake City Comic Con, responded saying that this can affect tons of other conventions. Salt Lake was unwilling to go through with the cease and desist letter thus beginning a legal battle. I wouldn’t say Salt Lake is wrong when it comes to this case possibly affecting other “comic cons.” Just look at how many “comic cons” there are:

  • Rhode Island Comic Con
  • Boston Comic Con
  • Granite State Comicon
  • Emerald City Comicon
  • New York Comic Con
  • ComiCONN
  • Delhi Comic Con
  • Colorado Springs Comic Con
  • Phoenix Comicon
  • Motor City Comic Con
  • Denver Comic Con
  • Alamo City Comic Con
  • Silicon Valley Comic Con
  • Baltimore Comic-Con
  • Tampa Bay Comic Con
  • Nottingham Comic Con
  • Wildcat Comic Con
  • Big Apple Comic Con
  • Comic-Con Russia
  • Wales Comic Con
  • Oz Comic Con
  • Mumbai Comic Con
  • Bangalore Comic Con

Yes, some of these events are referred to as Comicon and are altered slightly in terms of name to separate themselves from other events, but the point is, the use of comic con is pretty much as common as putting cheese on a pizza!

Leading up to the court case, Salt Lake Comic Con pointed out the same statement I recently made, “comic con” is a popular term used in names of conventions around the world, and they pointed to more than one hundred events in the US which use the term.

Once the case concluded, San Diego Comic-Con International released the following statement which I happened to find in an article for FOX 13 Salt Lake City:

“San Diego Comic Convention has used the Comic-Con trademarks in connection with our comics and popular arts conventions for almost 50 years.  We have invested substantial time, talent and resources in our brand resulting in world-wide recognition of the Comic-Con convention held annually in San Diego.   The jury today upheld San Diego Comic Convention’s trademarks as valid.  The jury also found that Dan Farr Productions, Daniel Farr and Bryan Brandenburg each infringed San Diego Comic Convention’s marks.  San Diego Comic Convention respects the decision of the jury.  From the beginning all that we asked of the defendants was to stop using our Comic-Con trademarks.  Today we obtained a verdict that will allow us to achieve this.  For that we are grateful.”

Let’s dissect this from each important point. First, they point out that they “used the Comic-Con trademarks,” which I’ll mention once again, is used on tons of other conventions, which leads me to a serious question. Wanna trade? Oops, sorry, I mean, when did you f*cking trademark the term?! Next, let’s talk about the jury’s decision to verify the “comic-con” trademark as valid. Who was in this jury? Was it people who have only been to San Diego Comic-Con and not other conventions? Was it a bunch of jocks who have never gone to a con? Was Mike Pence in that jury? Was Casper the Friendly Ghost in that jury? Was Mr. Burns from “The Simpsons” in that jury? Was Ogre from “Revenge of the Nerds” in that jury? I don’t know if it was all nerds, in fact, based on the results, I don’t think that would have been possible, because I talk to nerds on Thursday nights and we were discussing this legal battle, they thought comic con is a term used in so many conventions now that it’s absolutely pointless for San Diego to do what they’re doing. One of the last parts of the statement contained this: “all that we asked of the defendants was to stop using our Comic-Con trademarks.” Sure, maybe in one way that’s not asking a lot, because it was a simple request, but following up on that request is an absolute impossibility in all reality. It’s almost like saying, despite being a convention that has similarities to San Diego, not to mention just about ANY comic book convention that has ever existed, it can have a name that a high fraction of these types of conventions use. Also, my biggest question is this: If San Diego is so upset about their f*cking trademarks being used by someone else, why are they so concerned about Salt Lake? Not to mention, Salt Lake isn’t completely identical to San Diego in terms of their trademark. Note the difference: San Diego Comic-Con and Salt Like Comic Con. Can’t see it? San Diego has a dash, Salt Lake doesn’t. Let’s also observe the last sentence concerning San Diego’s response to the verdict: “For that we are grateful.” Allow me to respond with eloquence…

*Clears throat*

*Taps microphone*

OK good, this thing’s on.

F*ck you!

You may be grateful, but you may have just turned the entire convention game upside down! If you are the convention that everybody loves, you would be supportive of the influence you have on the convention community! At the time of San Diego’s inception, there was nothing like what they had going for themselves. Now they’ve spawned an enormous number of conventions to the point that it’s extremely hard to visit them all. You know one reason why I go to Rhode Island Comic Con more often than San Diego Comic-Con? It’s closer to me! These conventions have expanded to the point where anyone in the world can conveniently go to them. Granted, nerds everywhere may consider going to San Diego Comic-Con their version of a pilgrimage, but in all seriousness, you’ve got to consider how we don’t have the time, gas, money, or complete motivation to go to your convention. There are other options out there! This is why they make multiple brands of soda. Coca-Cola isn’t the only thing around, there’s also Pepsi! In fact, this is why they make multiple flavors of soda! It doesn’t have to be plain, it can be cherry, vanilla, or orange!

One of the biggest purposes of conventions (aside from loading celebrities up with cash) is to unite people together in one place. This isn’t just applicable to only “comic-cons,” but also gaming conventions, anime conventions, brony conventions, all of that stuff. We’ve gotten to this point where San Diego is saying that they literally started this craze (to be fair, they did technically) and for that, they think they can get away with taking LITERAL OWNERSHIP of a name that’s so popular around the world that doesn’t just apply to them. It’s like if the Beach Boys said that “Boys” was a trademark to them forty years after they started performing. Groups like the Backstreet Boys, Boys II Men, and the Beastie Boys are would have freaked the f*ck out if this happened! If this were between San Diego Comic-Con and another convention that has the EXACT SAME NAME, I’d be more understanding of this, but as far as this goes now, this is ludicrous.

One big question behind how this all came about is literally, how did this come about? I will remind you that Salt Lake was sued on July 25, 2014, which is almost a year after the first Salt Lake Comic Con happened, and also a few months after the first Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience happened. Is this all because of the FanX event occurring? After all the primary focus of FanX is to think outside the box and include other aspects to a convention other than anything that’s comic related. The event is technically called the Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience, maybe instead of telling Salt Lake to change its name entirely, just tell them to eliminate the “comic con” from their FanX title. However I wouldn’t do that, I’m not an asshole that forces people to do things that they probably don’t want to do.

Another thing I’ll mention is that according to the FOX 13 article that I’m using as a reference for this post is that Salt Lake Comic Con used SDCC’s trademark “without permission.” Is the article stretching this statement? Possibly, I can’t be sure, I wasn’t one of the people doing jury duty as this case was going on, but this s*it is bonkers! What other “comic con” needed “permission” from SDCC or Comic-Con International to give their specific event an identical name to San Diego’s? This is determining a convention’s name, not asking a student’s parents through a slip they have to sign if they allow their kid to watch a R rated film in class for educational purposes!

To sum it up, San Diego Comic-Con started out as a place for nerds to unite. Now, they’ve become the jocks that are stepping on the territory of other conventions that are trying to do the same thing. Being a nerd is about inclusion, it’s about tolerance, it’s about respect for yourself and those around you. To say that you are the kings of conventions isn’t exactly an improper thing to say, but to say that someone can’t be like you NAME-WISE on something as basic as a small part of your name that’s used WORLDWIDE, is a load of crap. For a portion of my life, there was a part of me that always wanted to attend San Diego Comic-Con, because it has always come off as the ultimate nerd convention, now that they’re essentially being an asshole to another convention that probably wouldn’t have even existed today if it weren’t for SDCC, I wouldn’t say I’m off their radar entirely, but I’m skeptical of whether I truly want to take a trip there in the future. I love conventions, I love nerdy things, I love sci-fi, superheroes, fantasy, all that stuff, but I’m not sure I’m loving San Diego Comic-Con as much as I once was, which leads me to this…

San Diego Comic-Con, why do they call you a con? Oh yeah, because you’re a f*cking cheap con! You know what? After my experience of watching “Anchorman,” I’d say Ron Burgundy was right about the origin of San Diego, let’s change your name to A Whale’s Vagina Comic-Con! It almost seems that this naming fiasco has you out of line, but don’t worry, if there actually is a line in this circumstance, I’m sure it’s not as long as any of the lines during your convention! Also, I’ll remind you to get back in line, and once you do, there’s no cutting allowed, you already did that to Salt Lake Comic Con’s name! I wonder what’s next for you and changing things around, perhaps making certain celebrities not show up because they may have heard about the name situation and they disagree with the final verdict? Well I guess that means we have our next “Star Wars” movie! San Diego Comic-Con, I’m a huge nerd, I have been all my life. All I want to do is make things the best they can be, and to do that I have to sometimes be tough, so if you think you can exclude me from your convention in the future just because I said some stuff you might find to be harsh, I’m sorry, you can’t do that “without permission.” Whose permission you ask? My f*cking permission, you morons!

If I don’t go to San Diego Comic-Con in the future, that’s fine, I’ve got plenty of other conventions to go to that are cheaper, closer, and perhaps even less crowded. New York Comic Con is a beast in terms of size which kind of intrigues me, so maybe I’ll go there in the future. Thanks for reading this post! Later this week I will have my review for “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi,” which I will be seeing opening night, so I’ll have the review up not long after it releases. Look forward to that and stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, have you been to San Diego Comic-Con? What are your thoughts on it? Have you been to either Salt Lake Comic Con or the Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience? What are your thoughts on either of those? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!