Moonfall (2022): A Small, Lifeless Step for All

“Moonfall” is directed by Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, Godzilla) and stars Halle Berry (Catwoman, Extant), Patrick Wilson (The Phantom of the Opera, Watchmen), John Bradley (Game of Thrones, The Brothers Grimsby), Michael Peña (Tower Heist, Ant-Man), Charlie Plummer (Looking for Alaska, Words on Bathroom Walls), Kelly Yu Wenwen (Young Pea, Lost Promise), and Donald Sutherland (The Hunger Games, The Undoing). This film is exactly as the title sounds. The moon is falling.

And it sucks. *Ends review*

Okay, okay, there’s more to it than that, but that’s the backbone here. Basically, for some established reason, the moon, which has been circling alongside the Earth for years, goes out of orbit, and decides one day, “Screw everything, I’m gonna kiss the planet goodbye!” So it is up to a few scientists to figure out how to save the earth before the moon destroys all life and civilization as we know it.

Director Roland Emmerich on the set of Columbia Pictures’ 2012. The action film will be released November 13, 2009.

They say that certain filmmakers who have been around in the industry for awhile get attached to their genres or consistencies. For Martin Scorsese, that would be mob movies. For Michael Bay, that would be explosive action movies. For Roland Emmerich, that would be disaster movies. When it comes to this genre, he is no stranger. He’s done movies such as “White House Down,” “2012,” and “Indepndence Day” along with its sequel. I have not seen every single one of these films, but I nevertheless have an expectation when it comes to Roland Emmerich. None of these films are Shakespearean, nor are they a Best Picture contender. When it comes to my expectations for “Moonfall,” I did not walk in the door asking for a whole lot. I just wanted to have fun while the moon crashes the Earth. Sure, you have your humanized storyline, but if you make the characters relatable enough, it will be worthwhile in the end.

“Moonfall” is something I’d rather witness through fiction as opposed to reality. But it does not change the fact that “Moonfall” is one of the worst science fiction films I have seen in a long time.

Although, slight digression, I think getting crushed by a moon would be a cool way to die. And after seeing this movie, I hope one falls sooner than later.

“Moonfall” is what happens when you write a script for Syfy channel original movie and somehow get in touch with someone who promises they’ll put a little more money into it. This movie has big stars, big effects, but a small plot. That is if there even is one. If you go to the Wikipedia page for “Moonfall,” there’s a whole section that is titled “Plot,” which explains everything that happens in the movie. Honestly, I think Wikipedia is being generous. When it comes to “Moonfall,” Roland Emmerich partially financed the film himself. This makes sense, given how he’s probably done well financially due to the success of some of his previous films, and the fact that the script for this movie is probably not as memorable as one or two of his previous films. I’ve seen “Independence Day.” It knew what it was, it did not take itself too seriously, and it was fun for what it was. “Moonfall” is actually so bad that I would have been okay if they killed off all the main characters. Almost none of them are interesting. Some of them are flat out annoyingly written, and whenever I watched JC Bradley’s character, I almost felt bad that he had to take on this role. There were a couple okay lines out of him, but around the halfway point of the movie, I felt like I was watching a high school play written by the robots from “The Mitchells vs. the Machines.” Forced jokes! Lazy lines! It’s cringe all the way to the moon! The screenplay is one small step for man, and one giant leap for the moon to waltz through the stars to end civilization as we know it. Both literally and figuratively.

I will admit, I’m an aspiring screenwriter, and I’m one of those people who doesn’t really have a whole concrete plan on how my scripts go from start to finish. Some of my ideas are made up as they go along, because I want to project the feeling I would have as an audience member who would want to be surprised and see something they haven’t seen before. First off, the concept of the moon falling is not new. I cannot recall it being done in a movie, but I think some of my viewers would know that it was once done in a “Legend of Zelda” game. And even though I never finished the game (which may play into my mediocre time management skills), I think that moon-falling story is better. The point is, the screenplay for “Moonfall” barely feels like it was planned. You can perhaps write a movie with little planning and have it be great, but Roland Emmerich took the film in a haywire, offish, and unexpectedly disastrous direction that left me with my jaw open and my hands over my head. There was a point during the second half of this film, where I simply stopped caring.

I could write something about the characters in this review. But in actuality I don’t feel like I can. There is not a single individual I care about enough to say they were worth watching, as much effort as some of the actors put into their performances. I wonder if any of the actors actually wanted to be in this movie for a single reason other than the paycheck.

You know a movie is bad when you try to think of anything positive to say about the characters, and not only is there almost nothing that comes to mind, but you can’t even remember their name! I don’t think it would be a surprise that I would have to go back to IMDb a couple times and look up a certain character’s name just to include them in the review. But “Moonfall” is a prime example of a movie where I’d have to do that for every character for all the wrong reasons. They’re lucky they’ve got a couple recognizable faces in this like Halle Berry and Michael Peña. If I were doing this review on video, Jeremy Jahns style, I would be in front my green screen yelling at the camera before the next jumpcut, freezing, then turning my head over to my phone to see what I’ve forgotten.

“Moonfall” proves that sometimes bigger isn’t always better. This movie has too many characters that it asks you to latch onto. The script doesn’t serve any of these characters properly. And they’re all directed like this movie was written with intentional 1990s cheese. Yes, “Independence Day” worked in the 1990s. I need “Moonfall” to work in the 2020s. I went into this movie simply wanting the moon to wreak havoc over the earth, and maybe they’ll come up something to make that concept work. Without spoiling anything, the film tries to give some reason as to why everything is happening, but that reason is arguably the biggest insult of the movie. Yes, the “characters” develop and alter, but they do so in a way that made me want to sucker punch my popcorn. This movie honestly would have been better had Roland Emmerich popped out of the screen and cut the off all the heads of everyone in my auditorium. At least in that reality, we’d probably never get to experience the space oddity, and that’s putting it lightly, that is “Moonfall.”

In the end, “Moonfall” is an insult to science fiction. The effects look okay at times, and that may be the one big plus of the film. It could work as a tech demo. There may be one or two lines in the movie that could get a laugh, but by the end of the film I was rolling my eyes way more than I was slapping my knees. It’s crazy to think that in the same weekend we get an epic sci-fi movie, which cost over $150 million, about the moon potentially destroying Earth, where people go up into space to see if they can solve the problem, “Jackass Forever” is the movie that looks like it was made for smart people. Gosh, that was so funny. Aren’t space movies supposedly taken a bit more seriously than guys destroying their balls? I’m not asking for all my space movies to be the same, but I just want them to be good. And clearly Roland Emmerich failed the assignment. I’m going to give “Moonfall” a 2/10.

“Moonfall” is now playing in theaters everywhere, tickets are available now.

Thanks for reading this review! If you enjoyed my review for “Moonfall,” be sure to look out for more upcoming reviews including one I’ve got for “Death on the Nile” and another one for “Uncharted.” Also, I want to apologize to everyone who follows my personal account on Instagram. I share my latest posts on the platform, but I completely forgot to do so for one of my recent film reviews, and that is “Belfast.” So for those who have not read that review yet, feel free to do so! If you want to see this and more from Scene Before, follow the blog either with an email or a WordPress account! Also, check out the official Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “Moonfall?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite Roland Emmerich film? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Second Act (2018): Jennifer Lopez Is Stunning, This Film Is the Opposite


“Second Act” is directed by Peter Segal (50 First Dates, Grudge Match) and stars Jennifer Lopez (World of Dance, Maid in Manhattan), Leah Remini (King of Queens, The Exes), Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical, Powerless), Treat Williams (127 Hours, A Streetcar Named Desire), and Milo Ventimiglia (This Is Us, Gilmore Girls). This film is about a girl who works in a big box store, ends up no longer working there, and decides to seek out another job opportunity. Having received less education than other people in particular and relying on street smarts as opposed to book smarts, Maya wants to prove to Madison Ave that she is worth something.

I got passes to an early screening of “Second Act.” The passes were used by a friend and I as we both individually trekked to the movie theater. For those of you who don’t attend advance screenings, I’ll just have you know that these passes, like others, happen to be free for those who can get their hands on them. Not that you need to know, but I’m an AMC Stubs member. I also just had a birthday in November, which meant I got to get a free large popcorn. That was the best part of this whole experience, not just because I saved tons of money, but also because “Second Act” is a disposable mess. 2018 is a very positive year in film for me, but it has some stinkers in there, and this is certainly one of them.

“Second Act” is a film about believing in yourself, no matter where you stand in society. While that may be a positive thing, one thing that is also positive is the amount of negativity I’ve had going through my mind just having to sit through this film. The release date for “Second Act” is December 21st. It honestly feels like a January movie. The only thing that seems to save it is that it seems to be targeting a different audience than all the award film junkies and big budget films. “Second Act” reminded me of a Lifetime movie without commercials. And it doesn’t surprise me that my mother wants to see this film at some point. Having seen the film, she MIGHT like it. I don’t know if she’ll remember it afterwards, but she might enjoy herself for almost a couple of hours.

How forgettable is this movie? I probably happen to be cheating with this statement because I have the ability to work on this movie review for a month, but the comedy was not only unmemorable, it was some of the stalest material I’ve suffered through all year! It’s not “Life of the Party” bad, but the humor was repetitive, awkward, and it is all s*it I’ve heard before! Speaking of s*it, one running joke happened to come from Leah Remini’s kid, and the joke is that he’s a pottymouth.


A+ material.


Eat your heart out, Will Ferrell.

This movie makes me think that I’ve almost seen it all when it comes to comedy. If I were to make a comedy movie, and I were trying to think of new material, nothing would come to mind. Swearing and sex rule while all other walks of life, ultimately walk away.

Let’s also talk about Jennifer Lopez in this film. She did a fine job with her lines that were given to her, and her character wasn’t all that unlikable. However, as I left the theater, my friend and I were in a car together. As we were in the car, she thought Jennifer Lopez’s ultimate goal in this movie was to show herself off, show her body, show her inner fashionista as much as possible.

I mean, come on!

Jennifer Lopez made the top of the list on For Him Magazine’s 100 Sexiest Women twice. She was named the most lustable celebrity of the past twenty years according to Vibe magazine. In 2011, Lopez was named “The Most Beautiful Woman” by People. Jennifer Lopez did not direct this movie, but there is no denying that a film’s actors can have some power in the direction the vision tends to go. Where does the vision go?

Her figure.

Hey, jackasses! HER EYES ARE UP THERE!

As far as other characters go, they’re really just disposable trash. What is there to remember about them that’s noteworthy, nifty, or cool? I didn’t care about many of them, I don’t want to hang out with them had I been given any opportunity to face them in real life, and I just want to annihilate everybody. There’s a scene containing these dumbasses that is one of the most awkward things I’ve had to watch all year! I’d rather watch the sex scene from “Deadpool” with a room full of seven year-old kids than have to sit through that all over again. There’s a part of the movie that takes place in Grand Central, we see the main character’s friends, who might as well be as street smart as her, disguised and dressed up as intellectual snobs. Get that out of here, out of my sight, NOW!

There’s only one funny scene in the film that I can actually recall, and guess what? It’s in the trailer! I don’t care if I go into detail about this scene, I don’t want you to watch this film anyway so why should I care?! Jennifer Bombshell has to go to a fancy dinner and speak to a guy in Mandarin. After all, she’s the only person who can actually do such a thing. Well, sort of. Lopez goes into the dinner with an earpiece and she’s listening to a vet say all that needs to be said. She hears something that she doesn’t understand, but it comes off as rather raunchy. That was actually pretty funny. But who am I kidding? THIS MOVIE SUCKED!

Also, I gotta say, this is probably not up in my worst cliches just yet, but I feel like I’m getting to the point where I weep for humanity every time I see a certain scene that happens to be in “Second Act.” That scene to be specific, is when a character is trying to decide what they should wear and their friends have to judge them. I’ve seen that for the umpteenth time this year alone, and the only time it really worked for me might have been in “Ready Player One.” I’ve seen it in that movie, “Life of the Party,” and “Love, Simon.”

In the end, “Second Act” is not just one of the worst movies of the year, it feels like it doesn’t even belong in December. It feels like a release the studio would attempt to dump into January or February. Jennifer f*cking Lopez is nothing more than a walking line uttering robot who has some capabilities of understanding human emotion, perhaps sexuality. The supporting characters, wait, WHAT supporting characters? My gosh I hate this movie! I’ve seen a number of new releases this year from the studio which associate with this movie. STX to be specific. NONE OF THEM have been higher than a 3. Sadly, this doesn’t even surpass that. I’m going to give “Second Act” a 2/10. Thanks for reading this review, be sure to stay tuned for my top 10 best and worst movies of 2018! Those will be up on New Years Day as separate posts. Look forward to those posts coming soon! Be sure to follow Scene Before either with a WordPress account or an email so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Second Act?” What did you think about it? Or, who is your celebrity crush? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Adrift (2018): Weirdest Non-Linear Movie Ever?

Before we dive into the sea from our sailboats and talk about the total shipwreck that is “Adrift,” allow me to just introduce to two fish in said sea who once found love. Their names are Paul and Genevieve. The two knew each other for a long time, happened to be relaxing one day, and suddenly decided to have a kid. Unfortunately for the couple, they might as well have suffered some massive shark bites along the way, because as they say, “trying to have a baby is freakin’ hard, man!” This is all explained… in “What the IVF?!”

“What the IVF?” is a new series on YouTube revolving around the recently mentioned couple as they attempt to have a baby. They eventually realize that having a baby isn’t the easiest thing in the world, and it is for them, possibly harder than RAISING the child. The couple stick and suffer together in tests, procedures, math, sexual activity, and of course, needles. You can find the latest content from the “WTIVF?” YouTube channel and also be sure to subscribe and ring the bell if you haven’t already. Their latest episode actually drifts away from the normal series because as Paul explains in the beginning, the bathroom inside his and Genevieve’s house is being renovated. Instead, they are showing the first movie Paul and Genevieve made together as they attended film school. Be sure to check that out if that’s your thing! Also, speaking of checking things out, be sure to check out the “WTIVF?” website, along with with the show’s social media profiles, including their recently mentioned YouTube channel, where all of their latest content is uploaded! Also be sure to tell them that Jack Drees sent ya over!







“Adrift” is directed by Baltasar Kormákur (2 Guns, Everest) and stars Shailene Woodley (Divergent, Big Little Lies) alongside Sam Clafin (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Me Before You) and is based on a true story, which has a book on it written by Tami Oldham Ashcraft and Susea McGearhart. This true story is about a couple who meet each other, fall in love, and soon find themselves adrift at sea.

I saw this movie yesterday, and for those of you who are reading this the day this post is up, that means you can tell I saw this on Monday, June 4th, 2018. I had some time on my hands, so I figured I’d catch a 12PM show at one of my local theaters. And you know what? It was a nice theater! It’s an AMC, and as far as my area is concerned (eastern Massachusetts) if you are a movie theater that happens to be under the AMC brand name, there’s a good chance I already like you. I like the AMC cinema chain, but I can’t say I like this movie. In all honestly, this is one of the weirdest movies I’ve watched in recent memory. And no, I don’t mean in a Wes Anderson-esque type of way where the movie is an enjoyable quirk-fest like “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” If the movie were enjoyable, I’d be in a somewhat happier state of mind.

Having heard about this movie, I am well aware this is based on both a true story and a book. Going into the movie, I didn’t have complete familiarity with either two parts to this material, so I was heading into the auditorium rather blind. And for those of you who don’t have the brain capacity or IQ to determine what I mean, I say that in a sense of not knowing anything. My sight was still intact. Although with this movie, at times I kind of wanted to not only be blind in a literal sense. But also deaf. Maybe dead too.

You might be asking based on what I’m uttering to you all, “Is this the worst movie of the year?” No. I won’t give my final verdict yet, but it’s not the worst movie of the year. It’s not even the worst movie of the decade. There are still some things I can truly appreciate about “Adrift” so let’s get some positives out of the way before I lose my sanity.

“Adrift,” to my lack of surprise, has extremely well thought out location choices. Most of the movie takes place at sea, so you can often gaze at the beauty of the blue water shown in the film if that’s your thing. Everything fit a rather exotic/sea-like vibe very well. Too bad the movie wasn’t worth SEAing.

Also, to help you at viewing the movie’s locations, there are cameras to assist in that sort of job. The cinematography in “Adrift” was certainly not bad for the most part. Everything was very well shot, not Oscar-worthy or anything, although in some cases I guess it can come close, but it’s very competent and can certainly make you feel like you’re at sea, getting shipwrecked, or jumping into water.

The biggest positive this movie has however is that Shailene Woodley is f*cking awesome. Her lead performance in this movie is everything that this movie needed if all anyone ever appreciated in Hollywood is acting. There were several scenes where Shailene Woodley would speak, yell, commit to some sort of action, and it would be believable. Her character is Tami Oldham, one of the two people who get shipwrecked in the story, and she is a combination of charming, curious, but also scared. This is especially when consider some of the movie’s scenes and one key trait she has that separates her from other people. Turns out she is a vegetarian, and if you’re at sea and you don’t have anything to eat, you’re kind of out of luck.

Screenshot (341)

Woodley’s co-star, Sam Clafin, plays Richard Sharp. And while Clafin doesn’t necessarily give the worst performance I’ve seen. There are a couple times in this movie that somewhat stick out to me where it almost seems that he’s unenthusiastic or he’s desperately begging for a paycheck, a break, or an opportunity to leave. To be fair though, I heard that shooting days were not the shortest for this movie, plus most of it is at sea. I don’t know for sure, so don’t take my word on this, but maybe Clafin gets seasick real easy. Although, there were just times where instead of feeling like I was watching a professional actor, I felt more like I was watching an employee at the DMV who never acted once in his life, who just wanted a step up from his job so he can get out of his rathole.

Speaking of things people want to get out of, I wanted to get out of this movie! Part of it had to do with perhaps the biggest problem I’ve faced throughout the movie’s entire runtime. You know how some movies are told in a non-linear fashion? Some of my favorite movies do this because in one way or another, it adds to the overall greatness of the product. Here, they go back and forth between the wreck and whatever sort of happenings occur before the wreck. My question about all of this is: Why the f*ck would you do this s*it?

Unlike a number of movies I’ve seen, movies including “Memento,” “Arrival,” “Deadpool,” these are all told in such a fascinating non-linear way that is so brilliant and in ways, makes the movie more engaging. This however, LITERALLY DOES NOTHING FOR THE MOVIE. There’s another movie that’s somewhat similar to this, Disney’s “The Finest Hours,” which released in 2016. That movie, while not good, was told in a very conventional linear order and made the movie stable. If “Adrift” was done in a linear fashion, the movie would have been better! It would have a slightly higher purpose of even existing!

This is not the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but it is quite possibly the biggest mish-mash of a movie I’ve ever seen. Have you seen the YouTube series “Will It Blend?” It’s a viral marketing campaign where a guy attempts to blend unusual things with a Blendtec blender and see how they turn out. I wonder if the writers had a mindset similar to the ideas of that show, but ultimately, this does not blend.

This almost makes this movie feel like there are just a bunch of random scenes put together. In fact, I actually once watched one review online before going to see the movie, by the way, the reviewer was YouTuber Chris Stuckmann. He talked about the non-linear storytelling and when I heard about this, my hopes for this movie dwindled a bit. But I saw it anyway. He makes a point that this makes you care less about the two leads of the film through the way the story is told. I’m not sure how much better this will be had they gone in linear order, but Stuckmann certainly makes a terrific point that I can side with. Let me ask you something about a different disaster movie/love story. Did “Titanic” need to be told in a non-linear perspective? LET THAT SINK IN. I mean, sure, it kind of was told in a non-linear order since it was all a flashback, but for the most part, you are seeing a story from beginning to end. You care about Jack and Rose in “Titanic” because you see them develop their journeys as characters from beginning to end. And you know what? It’s kind of sad that when it comes to the realm of film that I more care about two fictionalized characters in a real-life disaster shown on screen as opposed to two actual characters in a real-life disaster shown on screen. Just… LET THAT SINK IN.

In the end I gotta say that “Adrift” felt like an extended drift to get through, if you catch my drift. This is one of the most disappointingly odd movies I’ve watched in my entire life. I mean, it has some good things about it, but the negatives seriously outweigh the positives this movie has to offer. I wouldn’t say this is Shailene Woodley’s worst work yet, however, this is one of those movies I will not be coming back to, even if I was stranded at sea, had a working portable DVD player, and a DVD copy of the film. I’m going to give “Adrift” a 3/10. Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon I’m going to have my review up for “Tag” which is in theaters everywhere on Friday, June 15th. I’m going to see it tonight courtesy of Warner Brothers, and I kinda sorta just found out about the movie’s review embargo. While I don’t know the official date quite yet, I won’t be able to review it right after I see it, so there’s a good chance that I won’t be able to give a detailed review until say, sometime next week. I’ll definitely make the review this week, but I’m gonna probably schedule it to be up RIGHT when the embargo lifts.

Also, for those of you who follow or care to know about my personal Twitter (@JackDrees) I made a poll yesterday. I would like to thank the four people who responded to it. I asked you all what I should do for a new post given that that I’ve now seen “2001: A Space Odyssey” in the 70mm format. The top pick was the fourth option, “Combo/other.” So you know what? The majority spoke, and the majority will get what they want!

That’s what I would say if I didn’t know what sarcasm was.

Because out of the two people who said the fourth option was their preference, they both failed at following ONE SIMPLE RULE.

Since character limits are bitches, I stated in the choice “(comment plz),” because I wanted you people to specify what exactly it was that you wanted me to do. Neither of you did. And now for your brutal, deadly, lesson-filled punishment, I’m gonna make the decision myself! It’s my blog, I can do what I want! I have the creative freedom around here! And to add onto the punishment, I will state that I’m not even going to tell what exactly I plan to do! OK… I will say though… I’m kinda still deciding. Something’s coming. It’ll be a surprise. And you’ll find out soon. Be sure to look out for my mysterious “2001: A Space Odyssey” post! Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Adrift?” What did you think about it? Or what is the worst movie you’ve seen that has some form of non-linear storytelling? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

I Feel Pretty (2018): I Feel Less Than Satisfied

Before we dive into my review for “I Feel Pretty,” let me just state that the overall message that the movie is trying to promote based on content it possesses, is that inner beauty is greater and more important than outer beauty. This movie is rated PG-13 and doesn’t have any talking animals or superheroes in it, so I can assure you that not many families or kids will be going to see this movie. But let’s just say that they did, how will this lesson come off to them? Kids need lessons in life, they all do. And it seems that a couple by the name of Paul and Genevieve could be getting ready to deliver whatever lessons they have in store for their own kid. Because they are expecting one, but the journey to get to that expectation point was a rough one! This is all explained in “What the IVF?!”

“What the IVF?” is a relatively new series on YouTube revolving around the happily married couple, Genevieve and Paul. The two decide to have a kid, but the process of making a kid is a lot harder than they probably once thought. Throughout this journey of wondering what insane or pleasant curveball is destined to arrive in their path, Genevieve and Paul have to suffer through the miseries that come with sex (Who knew?), math (If x equals having a baby, than x also equals “MAKE IT END!”), and needles (I’m not kidding, they are probably more disturbing than finding ten intruders in your mancave!). You can find the series on YouTube and watch all of the short episodes you want! In the latest episode, it starts out with a boost of positivity, and then it talks about that thing that is commonly associated with saving money, good hands, mayhem, khakis, people named “Flo,” JK Simmons, and geckos. That thing called insurance. To watch this episode, you can click the video above. Although if you are not a fan of “clicking things above,” then look below, because you can find the links to the “WTIVF?” YouTube channel, the show’s website, and other social media profiles. Be sure to follow them on social media, subscribe to them on YouTube, hit the notification bell, whatever it is you do. Also, be sure to tell them, if you do any of those things, that Jack Drees sent ya over!







“I Feel Pretty” is directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, who also co-wrote the film together. This film stars Amy Schumer as a woman who is insecure about herself in terms of beauty, when all of sudden, she falls, and from then on, she thinks she’s a beyond gorgeous person. But the thing is, the only thing that changed about Schumer’s character, is… well, absolutely nothing. She’s confident and empowered, but that’s all the changes that enter Schumer’s character’s life.

You might be thinking, “Jack! What are you doing? “Deadpool 2” just came out! Why aren’t you seeing that? This movie is about a month old now! Hell, you can be seeing “Book Club” even though you’re not even in the target demographic! Are you high?” The answer, no, I’m not high. I’m waiting to see “Deadpool 2” with a certain person who can’t see it right away due to a difference in schedules, but don’t worry, that review’s comin’! Staying on topic regarding “I feel Pretty,” this is a movie that I for one, honestly, wasn’t exactly hyping up, but part of me imagined had its particular audience. But the question is, would the audience enjoy the movie? It’s not easy to say. My mother probably wanted to see it, I have a friend who wanted to see it, and she said she didn’t really enjoy it because all of the funny parts were shown in the trailer, and when it comes to reception, I’m noticing mainly negative reviews. So, even if I were in the target audience, I probably would have had a part of my brain tell me to avoid this movie at all costs. By the way, regarding one of those recent comments, I watched the trailer to this movie, and I didn’t laugh once, so imagine how I felt after seeing that and having that knowledge.

Another thing that worries me when it comes to this movie is how serious it’s trying to be. One thing that you might hear from some people that may be considered a flaw in a comedy movie is that a movie that’s supposed to be funny and wacky, it gets serious, and becomes more like a drama. I’ve heard that complaint when it comes to movies like 2015’s “Hot Pursuit,” which thank gosh I’ve yet to, and hopefully will never see. I don’t always mind seriousness in comedy movies, a couple of movies starring Adam Sandler, “Click” and “Big Daddy,” have two of my favorite movie endings because they took a somewhat unexpected serious turn, and those turns kind of made the two individual movies better as wholes. As much as Adam Sandler can’t make me laugh nowadays with stinkers like “Grown Ups,” those two movies will always be something I’ll give the man kudos for.

As for the movie itself, let’s start off with the positives, it’s better than “Life of the Party.” *BLASTS CONFETTI, CELEBRATORY MUSIC STARTS PLAYING AND STOPS WHEN I SPEAK* Unfortunately, that’s not saying much, because the movie is nevertheless not all that great. If you’re watching this from a certain point view, I guess there is some enjoyment to be had throughout, but I personally just found myself dissatisfied with what I saw. I will say, it is a lot better than I once thought it would be, but the movie overall just made me question what it had to offer. The good news is, unlike movies such as “Battlefield Earth,” “The Space Between Us” or “Pitch Perfect,” I wasn’t hating myself throughout the experience of watching the film from beginning to end. The way I felt throughout various portions of this movie is kind of similar to how I felt watching the live-action version of “Ghost in the Shell.” I didn’t feel TERRIBLE, there were various qualities about the movie I raved about. These include the visual effects, the score, and some of the performances. There were points where I kind of enjoyed what I saw during “I Feel Pretty.” Well, there were a few, that statement doesn’t say all that much. Because most of the movie is a bitch!

Speaking of that, let’s talk about Amy Schumer’s character. She goes by the name of Renee Bennett and the movie truly kicks into high gear once her character has a great fall at the gym. Once she lands on the ground, she goes through a major personality change. She goes from thinking she’s probably the ugliest of the ugly to the most stunning woman in the world. Her character personally brings a lot of questions into my mind. One of the first questions I’ve ever asked while watching this movie during this moment was “Why is this happening?” I mean, I get it, I get what’s going on, but her character, and I know this is kind of intentional, just sends off awkward vibes. Maybe it’s because I’m a straight man, but in all seriousness, her character felt like a cartoon at times. There were times where I was kind of able to sympathize with her, but there were other times where I thought she was just a moron. Part of it has to do with drinking, but as soon as I saw her change her attitude into the very definition of “intense insanity mode,” I rooted for her less. Ultimately, when it comes to this character, she’s not exactly what I’d call my favorite.

One of the biggest standouts to me when it comes to the movie’s characters, is Michelle Williams’s character of Avery LeClarie. Her last name plays a prominent role in this film, especially considering it is associated with a makeup company with that particular name in it. She basically runs the show for that company, and if you watch the movie you’d notice that she, her company employees, and perhaps their customers, are very much towards the high-end. She and Renee develop a relationship throughout the film, given how Renee starts working here as a receptionist. Given Renee’s fish out of water personality that doesn’t have much of an association with the company, Renee has different marketing and product ideas than everyone else such as Avery.

One thing that I feel that this movie is trying to let its viewers know is the lesson that inner beauty matters more than outer beauty. Honestly, I think they’ve kind of flopped on that. I say that because you have Amy Schumer, who I imagine a lot of viewers would view as imperfect when it comes to their body, but she’s totally confident. However, we get through the movie, trying to get to the climax, where Amy Schumer gives a well-delivered speech. Then, snobby Avery is in a shot, Schumer’s character of Renee is in it too, and I hear Avery let Renee know that the building the two work in has a health and fitness center. One of the last shots in this movie, is Schumer in that health and fitness center. So apparently, Schumer proves to the world that even if you don’t fit society’s standards of the preferred body image, she’s proud of what she’s done, and now, she takes advantage of the gym. WHAT IS THIS MOVIE TRYING TO BE? I feel like that if you are a movie and you have a lesson, you stick to that lesson! But no, the movie failed! Sorry, movie. You screwed up. Maybe it’s providing another lesson? Be who you want to be no matter what choices you make? Sure, it’s a good lesson, well, for the most part, you shouldn’t be a killer or choose to murder someone, but if that lesson were to exist, then I’d make the complaint that it clutters the film!

One last thing I’ll say is that there’s this one character in film played by Emily Ratajkowski, she knows who Renee is. Her name is Mallory and she runs into Renee at the store. She asks this one question that is a total standout, and probably the line of the movie that stands out to me more than any other. She asks, “How’s your vagina?”

Now… I get that part of her was kind of affected during the fall. BUT WHO ASKS A QUESTION LIKE THAT?! During the fall, I’m pretty sure more than her vagina had an unfortunate impact. I get that comment is kind of unusual to say in real life, and it’s just crazy to hear, but in all reality, as a viewer, it didn’t feel like it needed to be there! It just threw me off! And you know something? I can imagine a comment like this working, but this is not one of those times. I don’t know, maybe I’ll make a bunch of movies or shorts and experiment with the line. I’ll call the experiment “Project Privacy,” or “PP.”

In the end, “I Feel Pretty” didn’t make me feel pretty good afterwards. I’ll be honest, once I walked out of the auditorium I didn’t exactly know what to think. As I walked out, I thought to myself that the movie wasn’t great, but it had some good ideas around it. It reminded me of “Freaky Friday,” although it was nowhere near as interesting or compelling as the book. Although it was definitely better than the 1976 movie with Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster with the repetitive police siren at the end! My gosh that was a trainwreck! “I Feel Pretty” has a lesson worth exposing and sharing, but it just was not executed the way it should have been. Not to mention, most of the time, it failed to make me laugh. Not good.

Honestly, when it comes to grading this movie, this is probably the hardest grading session I’ve ever had for when it comes to giving a final verdict on this blog. Because, walking out of the theater, I said this film, was somewhere around a 2 or 3/10. The more I thought about the movie though, the less I hated it. Granted, I still didn’t particularly enjoy it, I didn’t find it to be great. But it wasn’t exactly a disaster. In fact, when I walked out the auditorium and stated the possibility of this movie being a 2 or 3/10, I wasn’t particularly angry or ready to kill someone as I was when I saw other movies. I felt this way when I saw “Allegiant,” (2/10) “The Girl on the Train,” (2/10), and “The Witch” (3/10). I can guarantee you at this point this movie is not a 2/10, nor is it a 1/10. It’s certainly not a 10/10, I just mentioned this movie, a comedy, wasn’t funny. Given how I stated all of this information, I have a grade in my mind that I’m going to give this movie at least for now. This could change at any time. I’m going to give “I Feel Pretty” a high 3/10.

I think this is a totally fair grade. This grade could totally change in the future. I’ve currently seen 14 movies released this year. It’s currently May, and at the end of the year, you may know that I do my countdowns for my top 10 best and worst films of the year. If I see no more movies this year and I’m still functioning well enough to make the lists, I’d have to split each one into a top 5, and thus far, this does belong on the worst list. The lowest I imagine this being is a 1 and the highest I imagine this being is a 5 or 6. I honestly don’t know what will happen. And if the movie does change in terms of the grade I declare it to be, this is definitely not the first time I’ve done something like this on this blog. I originally said “Suicide Squad” was a 7/10, upon a rewatch at home it’s now a 3/10. I once stated “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” to be a 9/10, but now it’s a 4/10 based on how much I believe they’ve tried too hard with comedic moments and relied on forced side stories along with ridiculous choices made by certain characters. “Blade Runner 2049” was at first to me, a 9/10. After constantly listening to the addictive soundtrack and thinking about the movie more and what it did for me as a viewer, I have to say it was worthy of a 10/10. If “I Feel Pretty” changes its score, I have no idea what will happen to it, but for now, a 3/10 seems to be a fair grade.

Thanks for reading this review, stay tuned because on Thursday, May 24th, I’m going to a 10:00 opening night showing of “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” That review will be up Friday, May 25th! To be 100% honest, I’m actually apprehensive of how this movie will turn out. Certain things at certain times have sold me. Then I think about what this movie, from a marketing and story perspective truly seems to be. To be specific, a factory product meant to bring in money. I’m excited, I’m getting to see “Star Wars” opening night after an incident where I nearly missed that opportunity (crazy story for another time if necessary), but I have to remember that Disney has their hands on this franchise now and they’re making all of these decisions that I have no control over.

Also, I keep mentioning this, I have a “Mission: Impossible III” review coming up. The end of the month is near, and with that in mind, I certainly have enough free time to get this review done and published for you all to read. This will be my third entry in my Tom Cruise “Mission: Impossible” review series, leading up to “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” That movie can’t come soon enough…

Also, I’m not saying this is official, but I’m thinking of maybe doing a review of “2001: A Space Odyssey.” I say this because the movie just turned 50 years old in April, and pretty soon, a theater located towns away from my house, will be showing the movie in 70mm. This will be shown in an unrestored print that will allow viewers to watch “2001” the way everyone did back in 1968. It’s gonna be cool.

Last but not least, “Deadpool 2” is out and I still need to review that like I mentioned earlier. I’m probably gonna make an attempt to go see it this upcoming Memorial Day weekend. I might see it maybe Saturday or Monday, as long as I watch it before my Fandango VIP points bonus expires. But seriously, I’m hearing amazing things about “Deadpool 2,” which makes me want to instantly flock to the theater ASAP!

With all of that being said, be sure to stay tuned for all of what I just promoted, along with a lot of other great content! I want to know, did you see “I Feel Pretty?” What did you think about it? Or, would you rather be ugly and nice to those around you or beautiful/handsome and not give a crap to those around you? Leave your response in the comments, and you know what? I’m gonna risk this question, and you can say whatever you want about it. But… How’s your vagina? *Spreads worldwide facepalm* Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Molly’s Game (2017): Passable, but with “High MIstakes”


“Molly’s Game” is directed by Aaron Sorkin (Steve Jobs, The Social Network) and stars Jessica Chastain (Interstellar, Zero Dark Thirty), Idris Elba (Pacific Rim, Thor), and Kevin Costner (Man of Steel, Dances with Wolves) in a movie based on a book of the same name. It’s about the true story of Molly Bloom, a former poker entrepreneur and Olympic-class skier who was charged with running the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game.

I haven’t really followed much of Aaron Sorkin’s previous work. This movie is actually his directorial debut, and if you have followed Sorkin’s work, you’d know he’s typically known for his writing. Sorkin is responsible for creating “The West Wing,” which he often wrote. As far as movies go, he has written “Moneyball,” “Steve Jobs,” “The Social Network,” “A Few Good Men,” and “Charlie Wilson’s War.” I was actually going to watch “Steve Jobs” in 2015 during its theatrical run, but I never got around to it. Nevertheless, I heard the fellow can write. Having seen this movie, I’d say he can direct too. I can appreciate the vision this movie contained. Going at a quick pace, all the while providing a serious tone. There were a couple of moments that I really liked from a lighting perspective as well. The colors just meshed together almost like a very small lens flare that didn’t feel obnoxious in any sort of way. As far as writing and editing goes, here are my thoughts.

I totally see what people are talking about when it comes to Aaron Sorkin and writing, the two go together like FedEx and that arrow between the “E” and the “x.” What’s that? You didn’t know about the FedEx arrow? Google the FedEx logo and observe it closely. The opening sequence of this film has Molly Bloom talking like I’m listening to what happens when an auctioneer and a motivational speaker combine into a single person. Not only was the diction well done, it was funny, it was informative, and it set a proper tone for the movie. This movie’s based on a book, and I apologize to books, but I never read the book for this film. I don’t know how similar this movie’s introduction is to the book, but if the writing resembles the book here, I’d say this is great writing in general. Props to both Bloom and Sorkin if that’s the case. Still, at the very least, props to Sorkin. I’ve heard a saying that the best directors make the best editors. As far as directing ability goes, this was mostly competent. I have a couple of issues, but this can apply to either the script or the editing instead of just directing.

A couple of shows that really make me uncomfortable are “The Office” and “Modern Family.” I heard a lot of people like both programs. Personally, I can’t watch them. Maybe I’ll give “The Office” a try because I hear a lot of folks talking about it like it’s the greatest thing between Netflix and the idea of Netflix and chill. Also, f*ck Netflix. However I don’t think I can watch “Modern Family” ever again. It’s not only unfunny despite how many people watch it and revered it is, but it’s also shot in a style that tries to make you feel like you’re there, but it just comes off like a student film to me. It almost reminds me of the shaky cam from “The Hunger Games!” “Molly’s Game” is not as bad, it’s not as shaky, it’s not as handheld, it works for what it’s doing. …For the most part. When it comes to editing, this movie cuts way too quickly sometimes. It tries to maintain this very quick style of filmmaking, and it just doesn’t work. I noticed one or two jumpcuts here as well. As far as writing goes, it’s tonally inconsistent. While most of the movie is fast and stays fast, it sometimes just slows down to a point where it’s horribly slow. Throughout the entire film, Jessica Chastain is narrating as Molly Bloom and it almost feels like something that should keep you going towards the edge of your seat. There are moments here that just don’t match what the movie feels like the entire time. It feels like a couple movies meshed into one. It’s like combining one movie, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” with another movie, “Manchester by the Sea,” although it’s a million times happier. The editing combined with the screenplay is like a hotel room with a comfortable bed, no bugs, it’s got a clean carpet, the TV is 4K, everything looks nice, but the toilet isn’t working, the shower’s water system is screwed up, and the sink handles for hot and cold are grungy and hard to operate. It just all needs minor tweaking on perhaps major flaws before absolute perfection.

However let’s move our attention to the best part of the movie, Jessica Chastain as Molly Bloom. Some people may go see this movie for a number of reasons. Some people are interested in the story of Molly Bloom, some people like Aaron Sorkin’s writing, and some will say that the cast looks promising. I’ve observed Idris Elba and Kevin Costner in this film, and while both give competent performances, Jessica Chastain trumped them both. If the writing wasn’t excellent enough, this movie had an amazing actress to go off of it. I must say, despite my love for Jessica Chastain, I haven’t seen too many performances from her. However, much like the other movies where I saw Jessica Chastain performing, this is another fine example of how someone should act in a movie. They transform into a different person, and they allow the audience to see them as more than someone on a screen.

In the end, I got to say that “Molly’s Game” is not really a movie that I’d recommend to everyone, but I wouldn’t say to shy away from it either. It’s one of those movies that can impress you in a number of ways, but isn’t entirely screwed together to the point of perfection. I like the acting. I like the directing. I like the writing. However, the movie itself is sloppy when it comes to pacing. At times it wants to accelerate, and at others it wants to drag. There are times where I just nearly wanted to fall asleep, and I must have felt that during the fast parts due to the inconsistency of pacing. Although I will say this, Jessica Chastain f*cking rocks. I’m going to give “Molly’s Game” a 6/10. Thanks for reading this review! On Thursday, I’m going to start off my “Maze Runner” review series by talking about the first installment in the movie franchise, “The Maze Runner,” so look forward to that. Also, depending on what happens, tomorrow I’m going to upload a surprise post. I won’t tell what it is. But January 17th is a special day in my heart. That’ll be your hint. I might not post this, but that’s if I don’t finish it in a certain amount of time. Stay tuned for more reviews and other great content! Did you see “Molly’s Game?” What are your thoughts? How do you think Aaron Sorkin did as a first-time director? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Why Is A Bad Moms Christmas Happening?


Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! If you have been looking at the movies that have come out during the year of 2016, you may have come across one titled “Bad Moms.” I actually saw that in the theater, enjoyed it for what it was, but considering the audience that was there, I clearly wasn’t the target demographic, the amount of times I laughed were much fewer than the majority of attendees, and I clearly don’t laugh at swear words as much as other people. Maybe I’ve watched too many movies with foul language to know what I’m getting into. I’m not saying that other people are stupid for liking this film, we all have our personal tastes. Although then again I’m kinda pissed it made more than “Kubo and the Two Strings.” Sure it’s an animation so I imagine some people might not like the idea, but MY GOSH that was a masterpiece. At least we have “Sausage Party.” Right? Anyway, “Bad Moms” was relatively successful when it came out. It never hit the #1 spot on any of its weekends in theaters, although to be fair it was competing against movies like “Jason Bourne,” “Star Trek: Beyond,” and “Suicide Squad.” So at some point, a sequel goes into production. What’s the difference this time around? Well, it’s a Christmas movie.

For those who want to know the cast of the upcoming “Bad Moms” sequel, the movie will star Mila Kunis (Family Guy, Black Swan), Kristen Bell (The Good Place, Frozen), Kathryn Hahn (I Love Dick, Tomorrowland), Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Son of Zorn), Christine Baranski (The Good Wife, The Big Bang Theory), and Susan Sarandon (James and the Giant Peach, Thelma & Louise). The movie is basically a follow-up revolving around the characters played by Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn as they try to rebel against the expectations laid upon them concerning Christmas.

Now, on paper, I wasn’t thrilled that this was happening. Sure, I enjoyed the first movie, but it’s not even that great. Plus, the more I think about it, I may have just been in a particular mood that day and I was trying to put my mind in another person’s shoes. I’m not a mother, nor am I a girl. I’m a teenage boy, there’s not many people I PERSONALLY can relate to when watching this movie. Then again this is why they make different movies for different people. This is why they make “Sharknado” and its sequels for stupid people. I’m not saying only stupid people enjoy “Sharknado” but keep in mind their movies are OBJECTIVELY DUMB. So what did I do to verify my interest or lack of interest in this movie? I watched the trailer. I didn’t laugh once, but then again, I go to the movies and see funny trailers which nobody laughs at. Although consider this, usually when there’s a trailer for a comedy, all the funny parts are shown in the trailer.

Let’s also consider the fact that this is a Christmas movie. What was the first movie? It was it’s own thing! There was no particular holiday on the rise, it was just a simple movie. Sure, Christmas might be a less than pleasant holiday for a number of mothers, but at the same time, I don’t see a Christmas theme fitting in the “Bad Moms” universe. If “Bad Moms” had a sequel that focused less on the Christmas theme, maybe someone has a birthday, maybe a number of children have birthdays coming up, something like that, a situation such as that might work out. In fact, you don’t even have to eliminate Christmas entirely, maybe you can make it subtle and not have all of this holiday theme strip club s*it. Besides, there are movies which happen to be sequels that take place during Christmas time that I enjoy despite the previous movies having no relation to that holiday. Just look at “Iron Man 3!” By the way, that movie was released in May, so that’s saying something.

Now there is another movie that’s actually coming out the week after this one comes out, which is “Daddy’s Home 2.” That movie is also going to have a Christmas theme, and a similar layout in terms of plot. “A Bad Moms Christmas” is going to have the mothers of the main characters coming for Christmas and “Daddy’s Home 2” is going to have the fathers of the main characters coming for Christmas. I saw both the original “Daddy’s Home” and “Bad Moms” movies, but if you had to ask me which was better as a movie, I’d say it would be “Bad Moms.” I’d honestly rather watch “Daddy’s Home” the more I think about it, but I found more things wrong with it and part of the illogical humor got into my head that it made me nearly frustrated. Plus I also found something that bothered me with the whole cones thing in the movie. I feel like “Daddy’s Home 2’s” Christmas theme is a little more appropriate for the film partially considering the last one came out in December and mainly considering that part of the last one took place on Christmas Day.

Another thing I had in the back of my mind is the wonder of repetition we’ll be seeing in this sequel. This may be judging a book by its cover, just like how watching a trailer might be judging a book by its cover, but just check out the posters. The poster for the original movie said “Party like a mother.” That slogan is also on the Blu-ray and DVD for the film. On the poster for this new movie, the slogan is “Celebrate the holidays like a mother.” Comedies and sequels can get some slack for repetition in full-length movies, but I don’t usually recall seeing repetition like this on many posters!

If you ask me, if I were making executive decisions, I’d say “A Bad Moms Christmas” sounds more like a straight to TV or straight to DVD film as opposed to a theatrical film. The first movie may have been fit for theaters, but this just feels out of place. I feel like the fact that it’s a sequel to a previous successful movie and the people starring in it are at least two reasons why this is getting a theatrical release. Moms will go see it, girls who want to see men without clothes on will go see it, heck, part of me even thinks teenage boys might even want to see this. Just think about it, Mila Kunis is the star of the movie!

On a little sidenote, a hint of dialogue was uttered in the trailer that caught my attention. Mila Kunis’s character is communicating with her mother, played by Cheryl Hines, and Mila Kunis tells Cheryl Hines that she just wanted to enjoy Christmas this year. Cheryl Hines replies saying “You are a mom. Moms don’t enjoy Christmas they give joy.” I understand what she meant there, but let me just have you know that I try to pay back my mother on Christmas Day. I understand it’s hard for mothers to cope with this holiday. This involves spending tons of money, buying gifts, preparing food, decorating, wrapping, possibly meeting in-laws that they may consider crazy, etc. I do try to help whenever I can, and you know what I gave to my mother last Christmas? I gave her a Roku! I try to put tons of thought in what to give to people, sometimes it’s hard. This is why I make lists for what I want. Some people I imagine don’t do that. I help in any way I can. Cooking’s a bit of stretch for me, I’m not the greatest at cooking, but I try to help buy gifts, wrap them, those sorts of things. So yeah, moms give joy for Christmas, but it doesn’t mean they can’t get it in return. Just thought I’d say that.

“A Bad Moms Christmas” comes out November 1, which is two days before “Thor: Ragnarok.” I personally don’t think that’s the best business decision possible, but let’s see how it plays out. I don’t know how much of the world will go see “A Bad Moms Christmas” when it comes out, but then again I’m talking about the same world containing millions that decided to skip out on seeing “Blade Runner 2049.” By the way, f*ck you, that movie was amazing, it should have made more money! I’m willing to bet this could break soon, but as of right now, “THE EMOJI MOVIE” HAS MADE MORE MONEY OVERALL THAN THIS PIECE OF WORK! Thanks for reading this post, tomorrow I will have my review for “Thor: The Dark World,” so look forward to that! Stay tuned for more posts and I’ll ask you a question. Are you going to see “A Bad Moms Christmas?” What are your thoughts on the original? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!