John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019): He’s Knowin’ He’s Back

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“John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” is directed by Chad Stahelski (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Safe) and stars Keanu Reeves (Point Break, The Matrix), Halle Berry (Catwoman, Extant), Laurence Fishburne (Ant-Man and the Wasp, Ride Along), Mark Dacascos (Hawaii Five-0, Dancing with the Stars), Asia Kate Dillon (Orange Is the Black, Billions), Lance Reddick (Bosch, Fringe), Anjelica Huston (Tinker Bell, Transparent), and Ian McShane (Kung Fu Panda, American Gods). This film is the third installment in the extremely kick-ass “John Wick” franchise, where Keanu Reeves comes up with new, inventive ways of annihilating people. And it’s f*cking awesome. In this fast-paced, killer installment, John Wick has a multi-million dollar price tag on his head. Throughout the film, he must survive at every turn, and avoid every hitman/hitwoman in New York and beyond.

I have a pretty good relationship with the “John Wick” franchise thus far. While I may not enjoy the franchise as much as some other people, I am most certainly able to recognize its stance in the film industry today. In a time where many action flicks tend to have editing jobs where each fight/battle sequence tend to cut at the same speed at which Usain Bolt can run, “John Wick” is a breath of fresh air. It is a franchise that I adore for its frequent attempts to shoot long takes featuring badass, raw choreography on attention-grabbing setpieces. The lighting in some scenes from “John Wick” really gives a sense of some s*it going down, and I think it translated to another action movie I like from this decade, specifically “Atomic Blonde” starring Charlize Theron. Then again, that should not be too surprising because one of the co-directors behind the original “John Wick,” David Leitch, eventually went on to direct “Atomic Blonde.”

And when it comes to “John Wick: Chapter 3” in terms of anticipation, it grew like a weed. While “John Wick: Chapter 2” was not the best movie of 2017 (although it was good enough to get an honorable mention in my end of the year countdown), the ending seemed to have promised something big in this franchise’s future. Therefore, I began to have high expectations that I thought this installment would potentially deliver upon. And deliver it did! “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” may just be the best “John Wick” movie yet. Granted, I may need some time to marinate, partially because I just saw the movie. But having seen it, this had two hours of superb action, compelling characters, and stakes that I rarely feel in movies nowadays. But I will say, the movie’s not perfect, and this is a minor problem, perhaps one that I could eventually take back, but it’s a problem nevertheless.

“John Wick” is a great franchise. It’s not for everyone, but I think it is definitely up there with my personal favorite action-oriented franchises. But much like other franchises such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “John Wick: Chapter 3” could slightly differ in a final verdict for those who are not as highly exposed to the franchise compared to more avid viewers. I feel my connection with “John Wick,” my anticipation for this movie, and the fact that I recall how “John Wick: Chapter 2” ended all contribute to my partial joy towards what was happening on screen. Because if you’re like me, chances are you saw the end of “John Wick: Chapter 2,” and felt that there were promises to be kept. If you have not seen “John Wick: Chapter 2” at this point, and I am mainly referring to the ending when I bring this up. I would still recommend “John Wick: Chapter 3,” but I am willing to bet your experience will be enhanced having background knowledge on John Wick’s character.

Speaking of John Wick, let’s just talk about him. Just when you think he cannot continue to find new ways to be the most insane ass-kicker in movie history, you would be proven DEAD wrong. In fact, I saw this movie with my dad and we came out agreeing that he and I basically witnessed the club scene from the original installment multiple times in this film. Regardless of what you may think of this movie as a story, there is no denying that John Wick, or Keanu Reeves, as an action star, is nothing short of sick. It is some of the most intense action I have witnessed in a movie in a long time, and I would recommend watching this movie on the biggest screen possible just for that. When that 4K Blu-ray comes out, I might need to blast the volume on my television!

Although at the same time, John Wick is not the only badass in this movie, because he is accompanied by Halle Berry, who much like Wick, has tricks of her own when it comes to action. Sadly though, I wouldn’t say from a story perspective, that I had much of a reason to care about her character. There was one moment in the film where I actually did, but it’s just a single moment, nothing more. Still, props to Halle Berry and the crew behind the film for making her come off as a force to be reckoned with.

But speaking of forces to be reckoned with, you know how in the first “John Wick” that the main character did what he did in that film because of the loss of his puppy? I had no idea on how prominent dogs would be in this franchise. I say that because as one who usually fears dogs, I could not help but appreciate what this movie did with them. You think Keanu Reeves and Halle Berry know how to kick ass? BRING ON THE F*CKING DOGS! This movie might now have my favorite scene featuring a dog (maybe aside from Up)! I will not go into much detail, but when you turn an animal associated with cuteness into something along the lines of a speedy great white shark, I cannot help but appreciate it. I’ll savor the flavor for you all, but look forward to this. I almost want to sit someone down who would probably usually avoid action movies and market this to them saying “Oh, it’s family flick with dogs in it, you’ll enjoy it!” I kind of want to see their reaction.

And as usual, the direction in this movie when it comes to action is spot on. There’s tons of spectacular setpieces, along with the thousands of sick, but realistic moves done by many of the movie’s characters. The film was shot on location, which I love, it added to the immersion factor that I love seeing in movies nowadays. And as usual, the camera only cuts when necessary, it doesn’t have ADHD, each displayed shot takes its time before moving onto the next. This movie, just like the first two “John Wick” films, is how you do action, and I might just think that this film might be the best in the franchise when it comes to action. However, when it comes to story and character development, it falls flat at a couple points. In fact, this movie partially reminds me of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” because the beginning and end are pure adrenaline-rushes on their own. But the middle portion of the movie tends to slow down, and gives its audience a moment to breathe. It’s not really the highlight of the film, but it does feature a moment that is kind of shocking. Look forward to it.

In the end, “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” is everything that an R-rated, white-knuckled action flick is supposed to be. Interesting characters (despite some of my prior criticisms), great sequences, surprises, stakes you can feel, and mind-blowing shots. There’s actually a shot in the film that sort of reminded me of “Skyfall” when the movie takes place in Shanghai. If you have seen that movie and gotten yourself to the theater to witness “John Wick: Chapter 3,” you might know what I’m talking about. Again, is the story perfect? It’s not, it definitely serves the purpose well for the most part, but there are minor flaws. Although if I had to judge “John Wick: Chapter 3” simply based on action, this might be a 10/10. But still, as of right now, I still have to marinate, but this is my favorite installment in the “John Wick” franchise thus far, and I’m going to give “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” a 9/10. Thanks for reading this review! I just want to make an announcement to you all that I am reaching 300 posts pretty soon, and I already have a plan for what I’m going to do on that. I have decided like for my last number milestone post, I would show off my Blu-ray collection. But I’m actually going to present it in a different way than last time. I’ll have the post up as soon as possible, and I cannot wait to share it with you all. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite installment in the “John Wick” franchise? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Henry Cavill (Superman) OUT of DC Extended Universe (Or is he?)

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Look up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! The bird is getting crashed by the plane! Today we are going to discuss some of the most shocking movie news I’ve ever witnessed this year! When it comes to comic book movies, we’ve had our fair share of standouts this year when it comes to news. We’ve gotten news about records being broken by “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” James Gunn, director of “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” had his Disney business relationship severed over nasty tweets, thus making him unable to direct “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.” The Russo Brothers, the directors behind “Avengers: Infinity War,” essentially sent out a reminder that spoiling the movie is wrong and is just as bad as committing murder. We also received word that both “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” and “The New Mutants” were pushed back from their original release dates. While “Dark Phoenix” is a somewhat understandable pushback, the one for “The New Mutants” is basically an electric shock and a half, moving from April of this year to August of next year!

Aside from the James Gunn situation, this news we are going to talk about may be the most shocking comic book movie related news I have to take on this very year. Henry Cavill, otherwise known as the star of 2013’s “Man of Steel,” which was essentially THE KICKSTARTER of the Detective Comics Extended Universe, has apparently parted ways with Warner Brothers and will no longer appear in any of the future DC films as Superman.

Before we go any further, there’s probably a spot open in the DC Extended Universe for a role, so I gotta ask, Nicolas Cage, what are you waiting for?! You had a chance to play Superman before and that didn’t work out! This is a second chance for you! Take it while it’s here!

Oh yeah, right, this happened. Still, you can play a LIVE-ACTION Superman!

Nevertheless, to me, this news is something that didn’t even cross my mind. Out of everyone that would slip away from the Detective Comics Extended Universe, I didn’t think Cavill would be the last one. Maybe Amy Adams, maybe Laurence Fishburne, maybe Ben Affleck (in fact at this point, it’s quite possible he’s completely out), all those people would consider parting ways or exit the DC Extended Universe before Cavill. I mean, it”s pretty certain that folks like Gal Gadot want to stay. I thought Cavill had no problem with staying in a franchise like this. It certainly pays well, he gets to be an iconic character, and it’ll definitely help with name recognition. I mean, if he wasn’t Superman, there’s a chance I’d probably have no idea who this guy was once I saw “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” This almost sounds like something you’d hear about a maniac who insults women becoming president. But then you look at the source where this pretty much all started, The Hollywood Reporter.

Henry Cavill Out as Superman Amid Warner Bros.’ DC Universe Shake-Up (Exclusive)

According to the article, Warner Brothers, the studio behind all of the movies in the DCEU, has been making attempts to enlist Cavill to make a cameo appearance in the upcoming Zachary Levi-lead “Shazam” set to release in 2019. However, that is not happening, and when it comes to Cavill’s representatives WME (William Morris Endeavor) and the studio, the two sides were in talks and it basically lead to the end of Cavill’s Superman appearances.

So when that “Justice League” sequel comes around, not only will Cavill’s facial hair be erased, but so will his entire body.

The article goes on to state that Warner is shifting its gears towards making a “Supergirl” movie, which will focus on a teen heroine. Because ya know, we need some buildup toward “Batgirl v. Supergirl: Dawn of Injustice: Gods Among Us.”

One quote from the article states the following: “Superman is like James Bond, and after a certain run you have to look at new actors.” Funny enough, Daniel Craig is supposed to be doing his final “Bond” movie. So if Henry Cavill becomes James Bond, which honestly would be my preferred pick for the next Bond other than maybe Tom Hiddleston, it would be interesting to see a trade in roles between him and Daniel Craig. I doubt Craig wants to be the next Man of Steel, and I never really imagined him as such a characater, but nevertheless. I should also mention that Cavill was the runner-up to play Bond before the crew ultimately decided on Daniel Craig.

I will also point out that Henry Cavill does have another recently announced commitment. Netflix has decided to do a series on “The Witcher.” Cavill will be playing Geralt of Rivia. This started out as a series of short stories and novels, eventually leading to tabletop games, video games, a film, and a TV series separate from this one we’re currently discussing. Based on what I’m reading from IMDb, there’s eight episodes listed and they’ll be released in 2019. From what I’m imagining, this is essentially Netflix trying to start their own “Game of Thrones.”

Other than that, Cavill actually recently completed a project that has yet to be released, specifically “Nomis,” where he will star alongside Alexandria Daddario (Texas Chainsaw 3D, Baywatch) and Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Castle).

View this post on Instagram

Today was exciting #Superman

A post shared by Henry Cavill (@henrycavill) on

And as if this situation couldn’t get any more insane, I have a couple things I need to spit out. For one thing, Henry Cavill posted a video on his Instagram some time after this was announced of him wearing a shirt that said “Krypton Lifting Team,” as he slowly presents his own Superman action figure, all the while some dog-bark version of “The Blue Danube” happens to be playing. He lifts it up very slowly and brings it back down at the same pace. I have a ton of questions, so let’s start with question one.

WHAT THE F*CK?!

HOW DOES THIS HELP ANYTHING?!

WHY DOES THIS EXIST?!

One of the best parts of this post is what’s being said in it, specifically, “Today was exciting.” So… What does that mean? Is this all a joke? Is this to get into the Halloween spirit and scare all the DC fans out there? Are you excited to exit the DCEU? Are you disappointed because you didn’t make this decision on your own? I don’t understand anything about this! Is the shirt a joke? Are you trying to just make a video for fun where you’re pretending to lift weights and instead of lifting a weight you happen to lift a Superman action figure?! I don’t understand!

So let’s move on from the actor and focus on the studio once again, specifically Warner Brothers. Here’s what a Warner Brothers spokesperson said about this s*itshow after the publication of the story.

“We have a great relationship and great respect for Henry Cavill that continues to remain unchanged. Additionally we have made no current decisions regarding any upcoming Superman films.”

I have something to ask.

WHAT THE F*CK?!

HOW DOES THIS HELP ANYTHING?!

WHY DOES THIS EXIST?!

When I was younger, I’ve always been asked “yes” or “no” questions, and apparently for some reason my answers may not have been valid enough for said questions. In this case, this does not answer the question of whether or not Henry Cavill is out as Superman. Is Henry Cavill Superman? That’s the question we want answered!

This news is not only shocking, not only big, but overall it just makes me question a number of things. Is Warner going to hit the reset button on the entire DC Universe? If so, will this cancel movies like “Wonder Woman 1984?” What is humanity? What is the meaning of life? And most importantly, despite the title of the post, IS HENRY CAVILL STILL SUPERMAN?!

If you say yes, it’s all cool, we can move on with our lives. If you say no, then I do recommend probably continuing this current DCEU, personally because I’m curious to see where it goes. And if you do need another person to play Superman, allow me to throw out a few suggestions.

Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street, Titanic)
Alexander Skarsgård (The Legend of Tarzan, True Blood)
Tom Cruise (Top Gun, Mission: Impossible)
Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ex Machina)
Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street, Jupiter Ascending)
Toby Kebbell (The Hurricane Heist, Warcraft)

And just for the fun of it, Nicolas Cage (Raising Arizona, The Wicker Man).

And just for the ABSOLUTE fun of it, Daniel Craig (Casino Royale, Logan Lucky).

These suggestions are sort of on the fly, so bear with me. I almost put down Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses, Game Night) but I don’t know how much interest he’d have doing a superhero movie.

And sticking with the idea of how much this news honestly shocked me, this does sound like something you’d hear on that one day in the year. Specifically, April Fools Day, the holiday that celebrates being a total dick to those you know. This honestly makes me wonder something, and I guess this kind of falls in the hot take category. Is this actually a joke? The Hollywood Reporter is said to be one of the most credible sources in the entertainment industry. They’ve been in operation for almost ninety years. Maybe they wanted to do something for fun where they could create their own fake news. I legit think this is actually happening, either that or I am just really hoping it’s happening. Seriously though,

WHAT THE F*CK?!

HOW DOES THIS HELP ANYTHING?!

WHY DOES THIS EXIST?!

Thanks for reading this post! I just recently bought “12 Strong” on Blu-ray, so a review of that might be coming rather soon, and also stay tuned for my review for “2001: A Space Odyssey,” which will kick off my series of space movie reviews in preparation for “First Man,” which is set to release in October. There’s no official date for when I’m going to post such a review, but the latest it’ll be delivered is September 27th. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with a WordPress account or email and stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, what are your thoughts on Henry Cavill hanging up the cape as Supes? Or, who do you think should replace him? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018): A Small Step Into the Ant Hill of Mediocrity

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“Ant-Man and the Wasp” is directed by Peyton Reed (Yes Man, Bring It On) and stars Paul Rudd (Dinner For Schmucks, The 40-Year-Old Virgin), Evangeline Lilly (Lost, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug), Michael Peña (American Hustle, End of Watch), Walton Goggins (The Shield, The Hateful Eight), Hannah John-Kamen (Ready Player One, Killjoys), with Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns, What Lies Beneath), Laurence Fishburne (John Wick: Chapter 2, The Matrix), and Michael Douglas (Fatal Attraction, Wall Street). After the epic, destructive, game-changing events audiences have witnessed in “Avengers: Infinity War,” we might as well ask ourselves, what is next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe??? The answer… something much smaller. Take that last sentence in whatever way you want. In this newest addition to the series, we once again see Scott Lang, otherwise known as Ant-Man, having to deal with home life on house arrest, not to mention his own daughter. At the same time, he is recruited on a new mission alongside Hope van Dyne, who is also referred to as the Wasp, that requires an uncovering of secrets involving the past.

This movie is the sequel to 2015’s “Ant-Man,” one of my personal favorite movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As much as I might complain that some of the more recent Marvel movies try too hard with comedy to the point where it gets annoying, “Ant-Man” is quite possibly the funniest movie in its universe. Speaking of the MCU, this movie is the twentieth installment in the saga. Just a year ago I said there were fifteen of these since “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” came out. WOW. When it comes to “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” I honestly had low expectations for it. If you asked me where my expectations were in 2017, I would probably told you I’m really looking forward to “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” especially when you consider how much I enjoyed the first movie. And after seeing this movie, I’d say I had fun throughout my experience. Although I wouldn’t say I had enough fun to go see the movie again. While this is not my least favorite movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it certainly isn’t my pick to watch on a Friday night at home.

I kind of had a similar experience during this movie to what I had during my time watching “Uncle Drew.” I had a few laughs here and there, but it wasn’t enough. Granted, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” isn’t really a comedy, but those numerous laughs may have been one of the few highlights of my experience. Now with what I just said, I will state, with an enormous smile on my face, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is FAR SUPERIOR to “Uncle Drew.” “Uncle Drew” is not even a movie. To call “Uncle Drew” a movie is pretty much the same as calling Pizza Hut a restaurant. I’d even say calling “Uncle Drew” a movie is pretty much the same as calling Pizza Hut a fast-food restaurant! By the way, drink Pepsi! The Movie Reviewing Moron says that Pepsi is good for you and will help you live longer! Therefore, it just makes sense that Pepsi is good for you and will help you live longer! Also, be sure to enjoy that nice, cool, refreshing Pepsi, while reading my review for “Uncle Drew,” the most ambitious Pepsi commercial of all motherf*cking time!

UNCLE DREW REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/07/02/uncle-drew-2018-worst-pepsi-commercial-ever/

In all seriousness, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” qualifies to me as a movie. I never said however that it qualifies as a good movie. There are elements of goodness sprinkled throughout. It has some decent performances for the most part, especially from Michael Douglas. Some of the action is rather creative and fun, although personally it can’t beat the climactic fight during the first “Ant-Man.” The effects in this movie are really good, and you get to see a lot of them, especially when you consider how big of a role the quantum realm plays. All of the positive elements however are unfortunately clashing with another side of negative elements, ultimately leading to what I would consider a relatively average or mediocre experience.

I know that in comic book movies, suspending your disbelief is not only natural, but expected to the tenth degree. There were many moments where I was able to do that. I almost lost it on a building having wheels, but OK, it could be stranger. There is one moment however towards the end involving Ant-Man trying to jump over a vehicle, that almost looked fake as hell that some student who hasn’t even graduated high school could have created it!

I won’t get too much deeper into that, although I do want to talk about the characterization here. For the most part, everyone on the hero side seems to have some sort of dimension to them. There aren’t many complaints I can point out as far as that side is concerned, but when it comes to our villain side, you have multiple plot lines going on including one involving the security that’s supposed to keep Ant-Man inside his house, and another involving the main antagonist of Ghost. When it comes to Ghost, there wasn’t really much to her character (at first), she came off to me more like a bad guy who just wanted to do bad guy things. She didn’t have the depth or charisma that some of the other recent Marvel villains had. And just when I thought we were starting to get an epic streak of fantastic MCU villains (starting with Guardians 2), we’re suddenly back to this bulls*it. I know a good number of people weren’t particularly fond of Yellow Jacket from the first “Ant-Man,” but to me, Ghost made Yellow Jacket look amazing. I will say towards the end of the film, Ghost improves slightly, but for the most part, she was a lackluster villain.

Let’s talk about Ant-Man here. When it comes to his story, he is placed on house arrest. That is because his actions during the events of “Captain America: Civil War” was enough to be considered a crime. This prevents Ant-Man from exploring the outside world, which allows him to spend more time trying to entertain his daughter in creative ways, and master songs in “Guitar Hero.” I gotta say one of the biggest positives I’ll give Paul Rudd when it comes to his interpretation of Ant-Man, and maybe I should give kudos to the writing and directing as well, is how well encapsulated the chemistry between him and his daughter is. I think that is definitely one of the best parts of this entire movie. Seeing the two go through a cardboard maze at the start of the film seemed to capture that needed sense of togetherness. When it comes to Rudd’s overall performance, I thought it was good for the most part, but there is one scene in particular, where he was rather mother-like, which kind of felt out of place.

Alongside Ant-Man, you of course have the Wasp, played by Evangeline Lilly. I think most of the cool stuff you see with her character, maybe except a few lines of dialogue some might find funny, is already revealed in the promotional material, which ultimately diminishes her character in a sense. Although she was fun to watch in certain action scenes and I totally buy Evangeline Lilly as her character. Her chemistry with Ant-Man, while not exactly a shining star in the movie, doesn’t exactly disappoint.

I already talked about the main antagonist and I do consider her to be one of the major flaws of the movie. When it comes to other problems, I’m gonna blame it on the pacing. I am eighteen years old. Once I walked out of the theater, entered my house, and proceeded to my bedroom to start cranking out this review, I imagined myself as if I were a ten year old kid going to see this movie. After all, a lot of ten year kids probably like superheroes, and maybe if I were that ten year old kid, I might walk out of the movie saying I enjoyed myself, but that’s most likely to be due to seeing superheros on moving pictures projected onto a giant screen. Even if I wanted to fall asleep, I’ll still say I had a good time. My brain can’t process what a bad movie is. Heck, I went to see three live-action “Alvin and the Chipmunks” movies in theaters as a kid and enjoyed them. What kind of person was I? Hint, it rhymes with stupid! When breaking down this movie, I couldn’t help but think to myself that maybe all the pieces in there made sense. But maybe it was a tad more convoluted than it should have been. The pacing overall just felt like speed bumps, and I especially say this specifically when it comes to the halfway point. At one moment you’re kinda sorta enjoying yourself… maybe. Then boom! The boredom kicks in.

And honestly, part of me feels like this movie is not going to be stuck in my memory as much as some of the other Marvel movies unless I watch it again. This might actually be the most forgettable Marvel movie I’ve seen since “Thor: The Dark World,” and that is saying something because that movie is S*IT. This film is nowhere near as objectively terrible as “Thor: The Dark World.” Sure, the villain here is pretty bad, but I still think the villain from “The Dark World” is probably the worst in the MCU. Let’s also not forget (no pun intended) how hard this film tried to be funny. When I watched that movie for review purposes, I might have only laughed twice. Here, I laughed a lot more than I did there. In fact, one thing that surprises me about “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is how much funnier I found it to be than “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” And as I think to myself, I believe the reasoning comes down to one word I had going into “Guardians 2” but lacked for “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” Expectations.

If it were the beginning of 2017, I would have watched the first trailer (not the teaser, but the trailer) to “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” multiple times. I was really looking forward to that film, and part of me thought it was actually going to surpass the original movie because it looked HILARIOUS. But it wasn’t. It wasn’t even that fun. I mean, it was trying to be, but I didn’t feel like I was having fun. I was instead feeling like I was going through a two and a half hour long toy commercial for Baby Groot with attempts at humor that seemed to land with most of the audience, but not me. I will have you know, I watched that movie twice, and the second time I laughed more than the first one. Maybe I was in a better mood the second time because I wasn’t sitting towards the end of the front row of a crowded IMAX, but it just didn’t impress me. Also, my original 6/10 score went down to a 5/10. The first “Ant-Man” was a movie that I thought was one of the funnier ones in the MCU, but the thing about the first “Ant-Man” is that it’s not really marketed to be comedic. OK, maybe it technically is, but it’s more focused on delivering action than anything else. It’s not the full scale balls to the wall action-comedy that “Guardians of the Galaxy” is. Both “Ant-Man” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” are pretty hilarious at times, and you do get the light vibe you might find in certain comedies in the marketing for both films. Although for both films, I didn’t exactly come for the comedy, I came for the action and superhero stuff. This might make the comedy somewhat funnier because you as an audience member don’t expect humor all that much. In fact, this may be why I find “Avengers: Infinity War” to be one of the funniest movies in the MCU and possibly the funniest comic book movie ever made. In a movie that is advertised to be super dark and the exact opposite of happy-go-lucky, a part of you might come in and expect some lightheartedness or comedy to take a back seat. No way hosay! When it’s delivered in that movie, it totally blends in with the moment despite having a story that is meant to be dark. Maybe it’s also because I as an audience member have been following the storyline for the MCU for a long time therefore allowing me to care more about everyone in the film, but it’s just an interesting blend of light and dark. Also, sticking to “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and expectations, let me just remind you that those were something which I lacked prior to and during my experience of watching the movie.

Before we get into my verdict there is one thing I want to go over, and that is the end credits. There is a mid-credits scene and a post-credits scene. The mid-credits scene is more important if you’re a follower of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its overall story. In fact the post-credit scene is probably so pointless that it only exists for the sake of putting on that “Such and such will return” thing at the end of every Marvel movie, but in case you feel that end credits scenes are a necessity to sit through, this is your notification to stay for them. One more thing, I think personally that the mid-credits scene might be better than the entirety of this movie. I felt more emotion (maybe for the most part) for everyone in that scene than I did during “Ant-Man and the Wasp” itself, so that says something right there.

In the end, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is not really up to the quality I would expect for a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. It’s not to say that “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is an abomination, but it’s certainly not a movie I would think about for days. I thought it was more fun than “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” but keep in mind, I had high expectations for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” While there are definitely movies that I thought would blow more than “Ant-Man and the Wasp” would this year, I didn’t think this particular film would be all that great. The trailers underwhelmed me, and it just didn’t have the same epic feel that the first movie’s trailers provided at various points. Would I recommend “Ant-Man and the Wasp?” Despite having some fun here and there, I wouldn’t say rush out immediately, but I do recommend the mid-credits scene. That’s just me though. I’m gonna give “Ant-Man and the Wasp” a 6/10. Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon I’m gonna have my review up for “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation,” I just watched the movie for the second time and I’m gonna be going over my thoughts on it in preparation for the franchise’s new movie coming out on July 27th, “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Ant-Man and the Wasp?” What did you think about it? Or, which of the two “Ant-Man” movies do you like better? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Mission: Impossible III (2006): The Young and the Fearless *SPOILERS*

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read the third review in some jackass’s series. The series can go by a number of names, might not even go by a name at all, but it makes up of all “Mission: Impossible” films starring Tom Cruise. If this mission is unacceptable to you, there are other “Mission: Impossible” films which the particular jackass has reviewed prior to this one. Those include the two films released earlier in the franchise, also starring Tom Cruise. As always, should you or any of your Force be caught or killed, the Movie Reviewing Moron will disavow any of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/mission-impossible-1996-this-movie-review-will-self-destruct-in-five-seconds/

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/mission-impossible-ii-2000-impossible-to-enjoy/

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“Mission: Impossible III” is directed by JJ Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lost) and stars Tom Cruise (The Last Samurai, The Firm), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Almost Famous, The Big Lebowski), Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction, Lilo & Stitch), Billy Crudup (Big Fish, Princess Mononoke), Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, The Bourne Supremacy), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Match Point, Vanity Fair), Keri Russell (Felicity, Malibu Shores), Maggie Q (Nikita, Live Free or Die Hard), and Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix, Mystic River). This film is about Ethan Hunt, who is marrying Michelle Monaghan’s character of Julia, while at the same time, he has to face an arms dealer who threatens both him and the girl whom Hunt intends to marry.

This is my third installment in my Tom Cruise “Mission: Impossible” review series. I’ve already covered my thoughts on the first installment, which I thoroughly enjoyed and the more I think about it, the better it actually gets. The second movie, honestly was a fail and a half. It had some neat cinematography and some neat action with real cuts added to Cruise’s face during the final fight by the way. The “Mission: Impossible” movies, regardless of how good or bad they are when watching them, can become more interesting once you take a gander at the work put into them. This third installment is no exception. Tom Cruise once again does his own stunts, very pleasing to hear personally. This is also the first feature film directed by JJ Abrams, and its budget believe it or not is quite an expensive one for a first time feature film director coming in around $150 million. And the best part about this movie is that it is better than “Mission: Impossible II.” However, it does not mean that this film is perfect. I’ve actually watched the film in two sittings. I did so for two reasons. First, the Celtics-Cavs Eastern Conference Finals game was on. Second, I was kind of bored during the first half-hour at times. As I watched this movie, there were some times where I almost thought about checking out. I came close, but I survived. The story of the movie is nothing I raved about, in fact at times I almost got angry with it because it didn’t feel like an action movie like it’s supposed to be and felt more like a soap opera at times. And there’s your reason for my review title “The Young and the Fearless.” I may be cheating with this because I never watched the whole movie, but it kind of reminded me of “Jaws: The Revenge,” but nowhere near as excessive or terrible.

Say what you want about JJ Abrams. I know a friend who saw his “Star Trek” reboot, she’s a massive “Star Trek” fan and couldn’t be more dissatisfied with it. I am a huge “Star Wars” lover and I found his film, “The Force Awakens” to be one of the best “Star Wars” films ever made. Regardless of how pissed my friend is about “Star Trek” and how happy I am about “Star Wars,” I found “Mission: Impossible III” to kind of be in between those two in terms of the score. Ultimately, “Mission: Impossible III” is somewhere around the average range.

“Mission: Impossible: III” serves its purpose as an action movie where Tom Cruise kicks ass and takes names. Although with that comes some moments where you wonder how much longer the movie has left in terms of runtime and a relationship you kind of WANT to care about, but simultaneously when it comes to that part of the movie you can’t help not giving a single s*it. I buy into the chemistry between Cruise and Monaghan’s characters, but if I had to pick something that I believe deteriorates the film’s overall quality and my ability to fully enjoy it, that would be the #1 aspect of the film I’d choose.

In fact, when it comes to this movie, my favorite things about it have nothing to do with story and characters. I like the characters in the movie, but the real thing that keeps this movie going is the action, Michael Giacchino’s awesome score, and something I never usually point out, the lighting. The lighting in this movie is vivid and colorful at times and felt very suitable for a modern day action flick such as this one. His version of the “Mission: Impossible” theme is similar to Danny Elfman’s, who did the theme for the 1996 “Mission: Impossible” film. And honestly, it’s just as good, which is saying something because I really do admire Danny Elfman’s theme. I also gotta say that when it comes to choosing someone to score this movie, Michael Giacchino’s a great pick, because this is the same guy who did the score for 2004’s “The Incredibles,” and thinking about both intellectual properties, the ideal music I’d think of when it comes to both sound rather similar to each other. I mean, over the years, Giacchino has shown that he has more range in his music than the sounds and visions presented in “The Incredibles” and “Mission: Impossible: III,” but if I heard Giacchino was announced to do the score for this movie back in the 2000s and I had already seen “The Incredibles,” I’d be completely sold.

I know I already said a lot about Tom Cruise, but seriously, I gotta give credit where credit is undoubtedly due, the dude can act, he can do stunts, he can do action, just give him any movie script and he can automatically make the movie better. I will say though, as much as it is a treat to see the character of Ethan Hunt on screen, I wouldn’t say his reasons for having anything to do with the movie made him shine like a star. He, just like a lot of the characters in this film for the most part, feel somewhat wasted. There’s something about them, but I can’t put my finger on what exactly that something could be.

And while I will say that most of the characters feel like they don’t stand out, one character who not only stands out, but also stands tall is Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character of Owen Davian. I… LOVE. THIS GUY. If I weren’t into the technical aspects of movies or action and mainly focused around movie characters, Owen Davian, the film’s main villain, was spectacular in just about every sense of the word. His interactions with other characters, his threatening presence that you as a viewer are automatically subjected to during the film’s beginning, and Hoffman’s performance. Davian is probably my favorite character in the movie, and I gotta say, RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman, you knocked this character out of the park.

Last but not least, this is getting into spoiler territory, so you have been warned. But I want to talk about how Hoffman dies in this movie. He and Cruise are fighting each other and it’s kinda thrilling. They’re outside, and at one point, Cruise is lying on the road. Hoffman is on top of him. Then this truck comes in, it’s very fast, and SHABANG! It makes contact with Hoffman, Cruise is lying under it avoiding the possibility of getting ran over, then seconds later, you see a black shoe that is obviously Hoffman’s. F*cking brilliant. That death is perhaps the one of funniest I’ve seen in the movie, at least for a major villain. The only thing that would make the death funnier is if the truck actually happened to be an ice cream truck playing music, or when Hoffman got hit, you’d hear a Wilhelm scream.

In the end, “Mission: Impossible III” is definitely a much more watchable movie than the gosh-awful “Mission: Impossible II.” Tom Cruise is great, JJ Abrams had a great movie directorial debut, and I have to praise a lot of the technical aspects of the film as well. However, this movie to me does have its issues, and the issues absolutely deteriorate the score. As much as I appreciate the script being about character building, I just wanted more action. And somehow when I was going through the action, it just didn’t satisfy me. I felt like it was just going on for a tad too long in certain sequences. That’s just me though. So for now, I say for now, because this definitely might change in the future depending on what happens. I’m going to give “Mission: Impossible III” a 6/10. This is not a bad movie, very enjoyable indeed, and I’d probably give it another watch in the future, but if the movie adjusts a few things here and there, the score would definitely boost. Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon I’ll have my review up for “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” I’m seeing that movie tonight and as I promised, I’ll have my review for it up tomorrow. As for other reviews, I still have to see “Deadpool 2,” I might go see a movie this weekend, maybe that’ll be the one, we’ll have to see. But summer’s comin’, which only means I have a lot more free time, and a lot more content that can definitely be produced. So with that in mind, stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, what are your thoughts on “Mission: Impossible III?” Or, as sick as a question as this may sound, I’m somewhat curious to know your opinions on this. What is the funniest death you’ve ever seen in a movie? Now don’t kill me for saying that, I have no motivation to kill any of you, so I don’t see why you should have a motivation for doing the same to me. If you all have a perfectly sane mindset, just jot your thoughts down in the comments section, I’d appreciate hearing them. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!