“Medieval” is directed by Petr Jákl (Kajínek, Ghoul) and stars Ben Foster (Warcraft, Hell or High Water), Michael Caine (Interstellar, Batman Begins), Til Schweiger (New Year’s Eve, Inglourious Basterds), William Moseley (The Royals, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), Matthew Goode (The Good Wife, Chasing Liberty), and Sophie Lowe (Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Adore). This film is about Jan Zizka, a prominent figure in Czech history who fought for freedom against the Holy Roman Empire and the Teutonic Order.
Similar to my recent review for the expensive Bollywood film “Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva,” this is a Scene Before first. I did not know this going in, but “Medieval” is the first Czech film I am reviewing.
I was looking forward to “Medieval.” Some of you reading this may have never heard of this film, and I am not surprised. If I remember correctly, the earliest I have heard about “Medieval” may have been a month or two ago when the first trailer dropped. But I have always had an appreciation for large scale epics. “Medieval” is not the largest of its kind, but it certainly packs an immense feel at times. On the surface, if you want to associate a movie with large scale, “Medieval” makes a compelling argument as to why you should, mainly depending on which market you refer to. The film was produced in the Czech Republic for a budget of KČ500 million, which is $20.3 million in U.S. currency. While the U.S. has produced plenty of films this year for more than $20.3 million like “The Gray Man” and “Thor: Love and Thunder,” “Medieval” currently stands as the most expensive Czech film of all time.
While “The Woman King” may be the latest historical epic doing okay at the box office, its success has swept another historical epic under the rug, that being this one. Of course, having mostly positive reviews from critics definitely helps. I have not seen “The Woman King,” therefore I cannot give my thoughts on it, but statistics are statistics. On the other hand, “Medieval” is faring worse with critics with a 36%. Although audiences are clearly liking the film as they have given it a 72%.
Now that I have seen “Medieval,” I am appreciative of the fact that this much effort and money was supposedly put into a film. But it does not make the film good. If anything, “Morbius” has competition for the worst movie of the year.
“Medieval” is a film that tries to come off as dramatic, but only conveys itself as a dreary soap opera-like platter of occasional fight sequences and rivalries. In my history of doing this blog, I have never been so close to falling asleep during a movie. Not even the caffeine in my large Diet Coke could save me. Without research, I would barely be able to tell you anything that happened in this movie. I could tell you some people who are in it. But who does not love Michael Caine? That said, he was not even a highlight in this movie. How bad does your movie have to be for Michael Caine to come off as dull?
As I have mentioned, this film is a large scale epic. Both in terms of atmosphere and budget. Much of the film is shot on location. And there are one or two locations that stood out. I have no desire to travel to those locations after seeing this movie unlike the many New Zealand destinations in “Lord of the Rings,” but nevertheless. The other thing that is supposedly big in a movie like this is the action. When you have a movie where all these people are duking it out, rivaling, trying to defend themselves, you expect the action to be solid. To be honest, I have seen better. The action in “Medieval” barely kept me interested, and there is not much flair to it. Some of the sequences are flimsy and felt surprisingly lifeless as they went on. Although if I could give one notable positive in regard to the action, similar to the one or two neat locations, there are one or two neat deaths. This film is rated R, therefore some gore is expected. I think “Medieval” contained a couple deaths that felt reminiscent of the 2021 “Mortal Kombat” reboot if you were going for a more realistic story and approach.
Is “Medieval” competently filmed? You can say that. The film at least looks presentable. The problem is that I felt my soul was sucked out from scene one. You know how this film is based on historical events? I have read history textbooks with more life and intrigue than what “Medieval” brings to the table. Every time I looked at the screen, it made me tired. It made me drowsy. It made me think I lost my soul. How appropriate, considering the soullessness of the movie. The color grading in “Medieval” reminds me of the 2015 “Point Break” remake. It is washed out and lacks flair. Does it match the dreariness of the film? Sure. Although it also matches the fact that this film lacks flair.
If anything, “Medieval” reminds me of particular history lessons I learned in school, because they are spewed out on a whim, and sometimes delivered in an inconceivably boring manner. Despite having a decent memory, I do not remember much of everything I learned in history class. Similarly, I do not remember much of everything I watched in this movie. Let’s just say the director were to meet with me tomorrow and hand me a pop quiz, I would be begging for a word bank.
“Medieval” is not exactly a happy story. There is war, there is politics, there is gore. I do not mind having an occasional sad or depressing movie every once in a while. But with the case of “Medieval,” its dreariness failed to immerse me into its world. One of my favorite films of last year is Ridley Scott’s “The Last Duel,” because despite it being a somewhat dark and depressing story, it had fascinating characters with decent performances to back everything up. Especially from Jodie Comer. “Medieval” did not have any of that. As far as specific period battle movies go, “Medieval” had the dreariness of “The Last Duel” and the lifelessness of “The Great Wall.” Remember that movie that Matt Damon starred in for some reason?
It is honestly saddening to judge a film this harshly under any circumstance, but when this much money is put into it, it is worse. Because the bigger the budget, the more likely it is that a bad movie is going to lose money. Again, I know Hollywood typically spends more, but bear with me. Speaking of making money, here is a fun fact before we move onto my final verdict…
If you want clarification for how well this film is doing, let me give you some background. I saw this film on Thursday, September 22nd. If I am not mistaken, I was literally at the last screening this movie ever did in Lowell, Massachusetts. The movie only came out on September 9th, less than a month ago. My specific metropolitan area, Boston, did not have any times listed for last week, nor do they have any times listed for this week. You might ask, is “Medieval” playing elsewhere? Like Los Angeles? Well, last week I found out it was playing in one location in Westminster, California. But after Googling the showtimes once again, there’s no screenings there whatsoever for this week. If you think you are going to get a chance to watch this film theatrically in the United States, if you actually are that desperate, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.
I am sure that an entertaining, thrilling, emotionally investing, and life-changing story on Jan Zizka exists. Unfortunately, it was not in the screenplay for “Medieval.” Perhaps this could have grabbed my attention more as a documentary. Maybe a different crew could have handled this movie better. On the surface, it is intriguing to know that a military commander could have a history like the one presented here. I just wish it were written and directed better.
In the end, “Medieval” is one of the most boring, tiresome, sickeningly forgettable movies of 2022. I have seen a number of bad movies this year. Although if you look at a particular title like “Elvis,” I at least felt emotion while watching that movie. In addition to boredom, I felt frustrated while watching “Elvis.” While “Medieval” is an unspeakable chore to get through, kind of like some history classes, I wish I at least felt one emotion during the movie. I did not have any emotional attachment to the characters, even core ones. At the same time, I never had any specific feeling of happiness, sadness, or as I felt during “Elvis,” frustration. If you liked “Medieval,” I congratulate you for being able to sit through something like this. I could never watch this movie again even if you paid me a ridiculous amount of money. I am going to give “Medieval” a 2/10.
“Medieval” is now playing absolutely nowhere in the United States. If there are showtimes near you, you might as well be joking. However, it is available for preorder on streaming services like Prime Video and Vudu.
Thanks for reading this review! If you like this review, why not check out some of my other ones? Check out my latest review for “Clerks III,” which given the reputation of Kevin Smith as a creator, I am surprised to say is more watchable than “Medieval.” Also, if you want to read a review for something else of large scale, check out my review for “Nope,” directed by Jordan Peele. If you want to see this and more from Scene Before, follow the blog either with an email or WordPress account! Also, check out the official Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “Medieval?” What did you think about it? Or, for those of you who have seen movies from the Czech Republic, which ones do you recommend? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!
Before we dive into this review, I just want to remind everyone that this is spoiler free. “Tenet” is one of the biggest movies of 2020 for a lot of reasons. There are not only a lot of people waiting desperately to see this movie, like myself, but there are also many people who might want to wait to see this movie depending on how safe it is to do such a thing. There’s also some areas like New York, California, the country of Japan that for the most part, cannot obtain access to this movie yet. With this in mind, I am going to attempt to be as vague as possible with my thoughts on “Tenet.” Kind of like its own trailers. What did we learn? Not much, which I don’t mind because I’d rather go into a movie knowing as little as possible. What’s the point of a trailer if it’s going to simply show the entire movie? I do go into detail on one or two things, but the things I take the deepest dives into don’t have much to do with plot, story, or characterization. Without further ado, it is time to start my review for “Tenet,” otherwise known as the movie I have waited since the Jurassic era to witness on the big screen.
The day we’ve waited for has arrived…
“Tenet” is written and directed by Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Dunkirk) and stars John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman, Ballers), Robert Pattinson (Good Time, The Lighthouse), Elizabeth Debicki (The Burnt Orange Heresy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2), Dimple Kapadia (Bobby, Fearless), Michael Caine (The Cider House Rules, Interstellar), and Kenneth Branagh (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Hamlet) in a film involving NOT time travel, but time INVERSION, which makes time move backward. John David Washington plays The Protagonist (yes, that’s his actual name) who journeys through a twilight world and faces a mission that could mean the difference between peace… or World War III.
It’s finally here! “Tenet” is arguably my most anticipated movie of 2020, not to mention of all time. For the record, I keep saying “Dune” is my most anticipated film of the year, but given how “Tenet” is supposedly the movie that will “save cinema,” that’s an added bonus for me. I’ve talked about this movie long before it came out. I reviewed one of the trailers, I did a couple posts on what we knew about the movie at the time, and I even brought it up a couple times during my temporary “Movies and COVID-19: Behind the Scenes” series. I don’t think I’ll be updating that anytime soon, because I can only take so much talk about COVID-19 at this point. “Tenet” is also directed by Christopher Nolan, my favorite director working today. “Dunkirk” ended up being one of my favorite movies of 2017, taking my #4 spot at my end of the year countdown series. Two of his movies showed up in my “Top Movies of the 2010s (THE BEST 25)” countdown, which by the way, one of them ended up being my #1 pick! That movie by the way is “Interstellar,” which is one of my favorite movies of all time! Christopher Nolan is a director who individualizes his work in the industry, partially because he’s developed a distinctive style himself, but also because a studio as big as Warner Bros. trusts him at this point to make “his movie.” Plus, this movie was shot entirely in 65mm film, much of which was through IMAX. I’m a sucker for large format filmmaking, and I knew that this movie was gonna look CRISP.
To this day, Christopher Nolan has not made a bad film. Keep in mind, I still have not watched “Following,” but I’ve seen every other film from him. I really enjoyed “Memento” and I thought its storytelling methods were pretty solid. His “Dark Knight” trilogy is not only fun, but kind of refreshing in a world full of big CGI comic book movies. “Interstellar” is incredibly rewatchable and I stand by it being arguably my most cherished movie experience. “The Prestige,” while I don’t recall much about it, was fairly enjoyable. “Insomnia” is an entertainingly gritty thriller and features a fine performance from Al Pacino. “Dunkirk” is proof that you don’t always need a centralized character to tell a story, and I kind of like that. As if “Inception” wasn’t already cool enough, I rewatched it four times this year! Two of those times were in IMAX! It’s that good! So, is this the movie we’ve been waiting for? Is this the savior of cinema? Is “Tenet” 2020’s goldmine? Is it worth the hype?
Honestly, I’d say yes. The best way I can describe “Tenet” is this. If you’ve never been to Fenway Park in Boston before, they have this one section where all the seats happen to be green, except for one. Why? Because former Red Sox player Ted Williams hit a 502 ft home run towards that seat, and even though all the other seats remain green to this day, that one seat, which is 502 ft from home plate, is red. I feel like in my imagination, all the other movies that I’ve seen this year, all possess the typical green seats, but “Tenet,” because of how much I enjoyed it, gets the special spot. I say that because as I’ve discussed on here before, 2020 sucks, not just in general, but in the case of what I focus on regarding Scene Before, our cinematic calendar is pretty much a waste.
We’ve barely had any animated features this year, and while they are not my goto genre, I’ve watched at least five per year in the past couple years. It’s something I miss, and I really hope more can come out because Best Animated Feature is a category I do during my awards show that I put on here. There’s one movie that I have lost all motivation to review partially because of the pandemic, and partially because I’ve pretty much put it out of my mind upon leaving the theatre (That movie is “Bloodshot,” by the way.) All the big blockbusters like “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” “F9,” “Morbius,” “Eternals,” and “Top Gun: Maverick” have all been pushed back about a year. “Tenet” is not only a movie that, unexpectedly, would supposedly “save cinema,” but it was one that was made to specifically show off the power of cinema.
I saw “Tenet” at a regular 2D screening at an AMC, and it felt like I was at an RPX or something. It really felt like the audio was cranked up beyond the maximum limit. This movie has some of the most immersive, and all time best sound editing I’ve heard in my life. Everything from the opening scene to the grand climax is magic for the ears. As for sound MIXING… That’s a different story, and quite honestly, it’s my biggest problem of the film.
I’ve witnessed a few reviews before going to see “Tenet,” not mainly because I wanted to know how the movie was, but because I want to support the content from those who created it. Anyway, they seem to be having the same issue as me. “Tenet” is an audible, earth-shattering movie. Christopher Nolan is no stranger to this description. Have you guys seen “Dunkirk?” That’s gotta be one of the loudest movies I’ve heard in my life! Nolan is my favorite director of all time, but if there is one valid critique I will give to him, and this even stands true for “Interstellar,” my favorite movie of his. Christopher Nolan seems to be hyper-obsessed with having the sound mix be as obnoxious as possible, allowing sounds in the background like shotgun blasts, explosions, even music to take over the ears, thus making us lose some of what could be important dialogue. This wasn’t a huge dealbreaker because as someone who is an aspiring screenwriter, I know that words are not always necessary. Film is a visual medium. As long as I can see what’s going on and do so coherently, everything seems to be fine. Granted, I will always take good dialogue whenever possible, but what’s the point of making a movie when you can’t see or hear what people are “doing?”
I will also say, this movie has a lovable ensemble. Everyone from John David Washington to Elizabeth Debicki to Kenneth Branagh all happen to be great in the film. I enjoyed the presence of all their characters. I will point out though, once again, John David Washington plays a character whose name happens to be “The Protagonist.” I won’t say much about it, but I like the direction in which the movie took that meaning. I’ve read some things about “Tenet” before seeing it and I had no idea what that name could have to do with the movie, but the way they handled it was surprisingly pleasant, so kudos!
Speaking of “Tenet’s” ensemble, I will also bring up Michael Caine. For those of you who don’t follow Christopher Nolan, I should have you know that Michael Caine has been in every one of his movies since “Batman Begins.” He even had an uncredited role in “Dunkirk!” I’ve read about this before the film, and this is not spoiler, but Michael Caine’s character in the movie… is named Michael. Because, he’s already played everybody else in Nolan’s imagination, right? I won’t say much about Caine’s appearance in this film, but there’s a moment in the movie where The Protagonist ends a chat with him and my brain clicked as soon as I heard The Protagonist refer to Caine’s character as “Sir Michael.” Did Christopher Nolan originally write this movie with himself in mind for the lead role? I seriously want to know at this point!
I have already raved about this movie from an audio perspective, calling it one of the most immersive experiences I’ve had all year. I’ll also point out, I have never seen a movie “live in concert” before, but if they ever get to a point where they do such a thing for “Tenet,” I will IMMEDIATELY buy a ticket! Because let me just tell you one thing right now. “Tenet” may just have my favorite film score that I have heard in years!
One thing I’ve gathered about Christopher Nolan as a director is his tendency to work with people he’s worked with in the past. I recently mentioned Michael Caine. Nolan’s worked with Tom Hardy a couple times. Same goes with Anne Hathaway. He brought back Kenneth Branagh for this film. Hoyte Van Hoytema is the cinematographer for this movie, making this his third collaboration with Nolan. And if you ask me, this is another solid entry to his resume and I cannot wait to see how they used the IMAX cameras for this film. But I will point out one collaboration that I was shocked to see missing once I heard about it.
No Hans Zimmer.
Why is he not here? He’s busy. He’s been doing “Wonder Woman 1984,” “No Time to Die,” “Hillbilly Elegy,” and perhaps the biggest reason why he couldn’t fit “Tenet” into his schedule, “Dune.” Hans Zimmer said “no” to doing the score for “Tenet” because he wanted to fit “Dune” into his busy calendar. There’s no beef between him and Christopher Nolan, but he just wants to do “Dune” so bad to the point where he had to give up doing the score for “Tenet.” I was a bit disappointed considering how Zimmer and Nolan are one of the best duos in Hollywood history. The score for “Interstellar” is one I listen to quite often. However, the movie ended up getting Ludwig Göransson (The Mandalorian, Black Panther) who I will point out, may have made my favorite main theme for all the characters in Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, specifically for Black Panther.
RIP Chadwick Boseman and Wakanda forever.
I must say… This score very much reminded me of a few movies. It felt like something out of the “James Bond” franchise, which does make sense as this is a spy movie. But it also reminded me of the “Blade Runner” franchise, especially “Blade Runner 2049,” and I say that because, and pardon my unprofessional-sounding diction here, the score sounded “boomy” at times. That’s the best way I can describe it. There’s this occasional drum pattern of some sort that comes and goes, I cannot get it out of my head at this point. In fact, when I got home, I did something regarding this movie that I have never done before. I went online, and tried to see where I could buy a physical copy of the CD. There are a few movies like “Knives Out” or “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” where I would watch it, enjoy the soundtrack, and maybe a couple days or a week later find the soundtrack on YouTube and listen to it. This is one of those rare times where I wanted to pay money for a physical copy.
Going with a different than usual composer for Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” sounded like a rather bold, not to mention somewhat peculiar move when it comes to my first impression, but this may have been the best thing that could have happened to “Tenet” overall. Honestly, looking back, I don’t mind this change. Let me just say, the last film that Nolan did before “Tenet,” specifically “Dunkirk,” was undoubtedly amazing. And if you ask me, a couple parts of the score were worthy of a thumbs up. However, if I had compare that to many of the other entries to Hans Zimmer’s resume, not just the projects he’s done with Nolan, but even projects like “Man of Steel,” “The Lion King,” “Kung Fu Panda,” and “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” the “Dunkirk” score felt kind of underwhelming.
The thing I really enjoyed about Ludwig Göransson’s score is that it really emphasized the scale of the movie. The entire time I felt like I was on an action-packed theme park ride that specifically caters to adults. Aside from that, it’s fast-paced, and I would not mind listening to it every single day for the rest of my life. I know funerals are supposed to be sad and that sort of thing, and honestly, the last thing I want to do is know that I will make everyone cry at my funeral, no matter what I bring to society. So, if anyone wants some epic music for my funeral that way not many people cry but it’ll still tie into a “Jack Drees” theme, download the “Tenet” soundtrack on your preferred service! Then again, when I die, why should I care? I can’t plan a funeral when I’m dead! It’s for the living to remember the dead as they choose! I can’t interfere! It’s improper!
Would I like to see Ludwig Göransson collaborate with Christopher Nolan again in the future? Yes and no. Let’s say they do a “Tenet 2.” I’m not implying I want a sequel. I’m not implying the movie ends highlighting plans to do a sequel. I’m just saying IF they do a “Tenet 2,” that’s an obvious yes from me. I cannot imagine anybody else handling this IP from a musical perspective at this point.However, I would either like to see Hans Zimmer come back because he and Nolan go together like bread and butter, or they get some other composer to come in like Danny Elfman or Alan Silvestri. It would also have to depend on the type of movie they do. I may be getting ahead of myself here, but I think Ludwig Göransson smashed this score so hard, that if he does another one, I will probably end up looking forward to it so much that I will just end up feeling underwhelmed upon hearing it no matter what happens. In addition, I don’t know how Göransson could top this score in another Nolan project. To be fair, he’s a musical genius and one of the more unique film composers I’ve heard, so he could find a way, but I also have my doubts. It’s kind of like when I watch “America’s Got Talent” sometimes during the quarterfinals or semifinals and there’s one act that does something so amazing that even though I WANT to see more from that act and I want them to succeed, I don’t see them topping what they just did, so it would be hard to tell if they could do something nearly as cool if they advance. It’s a compliment, but also kind of a curse.
“Tenet,” to be quite honest, is not my favorite Christopher Nolan movie. Nor is it my least favorite. As of right now, when it comes to my rankings, it ends up somewhere in the middle for me. I enjoyed it more than all the films in the “Dark Knight” trilogy, but I’d say that I enjoyed films like “Dunkirk” and “Inception” more. But as a filmmaker, Nolan is like Pixar. Bad Pixar is still better than a lot of movies. Remember “Onward?” I gave that movie a 7/10. That’s a low grade for Pixar, but a lot of filmmakers would kill to have their movie receive that positive of a review. But I will say that when it comes to “Tenet,” this movie has something going for it. Rewatchability.
Now, I already bought tickets for a second “Tenet” screening BEFORE going to my first one. The main reason is because I bought a ticket for myself, but I wanted to see the film in IMAX, but I didn’t buy an IMAX ticket, plus I figured it would make for a good outing with my father. So my second outing is so he could see the movie as well.
Not gonna lie, I’m already thinking of buying tickets to a third screening. Maybe I’ll do Dolby Cinema this time. I gotta check all the boxes for different formats I can see this movie in. In all seriousness, not only is this film rewatchable for entertainment purposes, but like some other Nolan flicks, I feel like I missed some things the first time around that could be picked up on a second, third, maybe even fourth viewing. And I’m not saying that as someone who feels like they HAVE to watch “Tenet” again, I’m saying that as someone who wants to. I don’t think I’ve wanted to go back to the movies to rewatch something this much since… I don’t know… Maybe ever. This film has some problems. The sound mixing is the most obvious and I think going forward, I’m not sure how much control Nolan has over the sound mixing process, I think that could be something that he needs to either stay away from, or something he should leave to others. Either that or just make a silent film. Nice little throw back. It could be shot in 4:3 on 8mm film. AMC could bring in special projectors for select screenings. It’s event cinema! Come on, Nolan! I’m writing your ideas for you! Use them! Although between the likable performances, the dazzling camerawork, the unreal use of practical effects, one of the most heart-pumping opening scenes I’ve witnessed in recent memory, one of the craziest climaxes I’ve witnessed in recent memory, and THAT. FREAKING. SCORE. “Tenet” is a good time at the movies. I repeat, AT THE MOVIES.
I cannot thank Warner Bros. enough to sticking to a theatrical release for this film. This is a movie that is literally MADE for the big screen, perhaps more so than any other this year. I’ll be honest, if this went straight to HBO Max… I don’t know if I would have watched it. Maybe I would have since I paid for the service and I want to get my money’s worth, but I would have been missing a lot of what I’ve gotten from my recent experience. Thank you, Warner Brothers, and I’m hoping you stick to your guns for films including “Wonder Woman 1984” and “Dune.” Cannot wait for those movies!
In the end, “Tenet” is exactly as it was advertised, an “event” film. It has the best and worst of Christopher Nolan’s cliches. Massive scale, but sometimes it’s too massive when it comes to the sound mix. Even so, it does not take away from this film’s long list of positives. Is “Tenet” my favorite movie of the year? No. I still think “Summerland” is my #1, and for all I know, it could stay at my #1 spot for some time. But again, “Tenet” comes off as an incredibly rewatchable film. If this film warrants enough repeat viewings, and maybe some more aspects regarding it stand out with greater positivity, “Tenet” could become my favorite film of 2020, but for now I’m going to give “Tenet” an 8/10!
“Tenet” warrants a viewing on the biggest screen possible. And I know that not everyone feels comfortable being inside a movie theater right now. But, if there is a drive-in open near you and it happens to be playing “Tenet,” it could make for a fun night out with an easier chance to remain socially distant. Otherwise, the film will probably be out on Blu-ray sometime in the future, but I really don’t know when. Because if I’m not mistaken, “Tenet” is supposed to be in cinemas for a long time, and if Warner Bros. wants to keep that promise alive, I would imagine that they’d go on long past the traditional theatrical window to keep exhibitors happy. I don’t know what’ll happen, but I highly recommend “Tenet” if you feel safe enough to get out of the house. Go see this damn thing! It’s freaking sweet!
Thanks for reading this review! I just want to remind everyone that “Tenet” is playing in several different formats to choose from. Many of the screenings perhaps near you happen to be in digital projection, but if you want other options, read this handy guide! I’m not sure what my next post is going to be as I am getting ready for my next year of college and I have a rather important family birthday coming up that requires major prioritization. But we’ll see what happens! Maybe it’s “Bill & Ted Face the Music,” maybe it’s “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” maybe it’s “Tesla,” who knows? Maybe I’ll cave in and get Disney+ so I can review “Mulan.” I really don’t want to, I think this is incredibly greedy, but who knows? I know you have seen more great content from Scene Before, it just hasn’t happened yet! With that in mind, do yourself a favor and follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account! Also, check out my Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “Tenet?” What did you think about it? Or, who is your favorite film director of all time? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!
Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! I cannot believe I’m saying this, but for real this time, “Tenet” is almost here! The signs have been lighting up! Marketing has been increasing! Theaters have been opening! Sure, there are some key areas that may miss out on “Tenet” for now, but who’s to say markets like those can’t get the movie down the road? Nevertheless, this is something I have been looking forward to since last year, and it is finally here! I feel like a kid on Christmas!
For those of you who know anything about cinemas, there are some basic facts that can easily be picked up. For example, no matter what you are watching, it is usually on a big screen with high tech surround sound, but today, we are going to talk about one of the biggest movies of the year, and while we are not that far into the 2020s yet, I’ll go as far as to say it’s probably going to end up being one of the biggest and possibly defining films of the entire decade. That film my friends, is Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet,” which I have discussed on Scene Before in the past. In fact, I cannot think of many other movies that I have discussed more before it came out aside from a few “Star Wars” flicks. In the trailers for “Tenet,” there’s a lot that can be picked up. For example, it is shot on IMAX film, which is often claimed to be the highest quality shooting format in existence, which also happens to be the highest quality projection format in existence. We’ll talk more about that in just a sec…
You may be thinking, is “Tenet” worth seeing in a theater? Now, don’t take my word for it, because I myself have not sat down in a theater to watch “Tenet.” And thanks to the spreading of COVID-19, almost nobody else in the world has gotten the opportunity to do such a thing either. This movie was originally supposed to release on July 17th of this year! What is that that ten eras ago or something? I think dinosaurs were still around when “Tenet” was supposed to come out! But, keeping that in mind, there are a couple things that you should know about “Tenet.”
This film is directed by Christopher Nolan, who typically goes all out and advocates for the theatrical experience. If Warner Bros. were to kick “Tenet” away from its current release date, there is one thing that they WOULDN’T do, which is put the movie directly to home-based platforms. Nolan does not make his movies to be viewed at home. After all, when you spend over $200 million on this movie, putting all the biggest tech into it, why would you not put it into theaters?
“Tenet” is being shot entirely through old-fashioned, heavy-duty 65mm film, some vertical and some horizontal. Again, I mentioned how this film was shot with IMAX, that is part of the 65mm process. The rest of the movie is shot on Panavision cameras which support the same format just in a vertical direction as opposed to IMAX’s unusual horizontal film stock. The film used to shoot “Tenet” is high quality and will look detailed on a big screen.
Aside from high tech, “Tenet” also packs in a high concept. While much of the plot to “Tenet” currently remains secret, it involves time inversion (not to be confused with time travel), meaning that the movie will contain scenes where characters have to go backwards in time. There is also an international espionage plot moving everything along. Speaking of big, this movie was shot in seven countries.
As I’ve stated on this blog in the past, my most “anticipated” film of 2020 is “Dune,” which may be subject to change if it gets pushed back and that sort of thing, but who knows? Although, if there is currently a film that I want to see come out and succeed right now, “Tenet” would be my #1 answer. “Tenet” has a lot going for it both from tech and story. And I encourage you all to see it (that is, if you feel safe going out in August or September depending on where you live). But if you were to see it, you may overlook something… Where do you go see it? Well, here’s some options…
Digital (Resolution: Varies, typically 2K, 4K)
If you have been to one to ten movie theater experiences in the past decade, there is a good chance that at least one of them, if not a majority, have been in digital. This is the industry standard as the equipment used is light, environmentally friendly, and maybe also because James Cameron wanted this to be the big projection standard for 2009’s “Avatar.” 3D is much more common on modern digital projection. Just for the record, “Tenet” is shot entirely in 2D, and will not be converted to 3D. To this day, all of Nolan’s films had no relation to 3D shooting or 3D projection. But this projection is basically what you’d be able to find your local multiplex like an AMC or Regal. This is not to say that mom and pop theaters don’t have it, but if you walk into a big chain theater, this is what you would find in almost every auditorium. It’s clear, bright (except when someone doesn’t know what to do when changing the filter for 3D), and like everything else in this 21st century society, computerized. Unlike film, this will allow for no scratched, tampered, or deteriorated images. If you want to go see “Tenet” and get a bang for your buck, see it in a digital theater. Keep in mind, the projection equipment may vary and the resolution may be better in some places than others. This is a very broad category, so be wise with your theater decision.
35mm (Digital equivalent: Approx. 6K)
Before digital projection of all kinds took over, the main source for projection during moviegoing happened to be 35mm. While many theaters have gotten rid of it for the digital projection you see today, many arthouse style theaters tend to have this format. In fact, I’ve seen two presentations in 35mm within the past year or so. To specify, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “Little Women.” While I will admit one movie happened to be significantly more entertaining than the other, both looked crisp on the big screen. Given how 35mm is nearly equal to digital’s 6K, it is clearer than a vast majority of digital options on the cinema market today. Given how Nolan’s film was shot on 70mm however, some detail will be lost when projected. Which leads me to…
70mm (Digital equivalent: Approx. 12K)
Back in the day, 65mm stock was used to shoot a number of big films that try encapsulate a large scope. After all, 70mm is such a large resolution and a feast for the eyes, which is why there’s a lot to love about it. And I can confirm that as I have seen “2001: A Space Odyssey” in the format twice. Pictures like the recently mentioned “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” and “Ben-Hur” were all shot with 65mm, making them worth projecting in 70mm to see in their full glory. Christopher Nolan is no stranger to this format. As mentioned, he’s shooting “Tenet” entirely in 65mm, but this is not his first time doing so. The same can be said for his previous movie, “Dunkirk,” which like “Tenet” was also shot using IMAX footage. As for the scenes shot in traditional 65mm, those were shot to be presented in a 2.20:1 aspect ratio, same thing can be said for “Tenet.” This format was also what exactly was used for when the film was projected. This allows for no cropping or adjustments during various scenes that were NOT shot in IMAX. Given how the IMAX scenes are taller, those are cropped. Note for all the other non-IMAX 1.43:1 formats, they feature cropped pictures as well.
IMAX Digital (Resolution: 2K)
Sticking with IMAX, the most mind-blowing thing about the brand for me is how much it has expanded over the years to the point where its multiplex-style theaters outrank what made them famous, their 1.43:1 aspect ratio screens (more on those later). One reason for this, easy digital projection and for the most part, retrofitting. IMAX Digital is typically projected onto screens with a 1.90:1 aspect ratio (kind of like the one above). But they are also used on the older style screens depending on the theater, and in some cases, what movie is playing. The screens these are normally used on are traditionally larger than the average movie screen and are comparable to RPX or Cinemark XD. They are also in theaters usually packed in with IMAX’s traditional 6 channel surround sound system, offering around 12,000 watts of power. While the image is not exactly the highest quality you’d get in a theater, the IMAX scenes do expand in this format and get rid of the black bars that are visible in other scenes. It is a good step up compared to most digital screens, which are smaller in size. As for the sound, that can also be a step up too in a lot of cases.
IMAX Laser (Resolution: 4K)
Here we have the biggest digital offering yet. A typical setup containing 12 channel surround sound, bright colors, and full support for screens that are anywhere between five to eight stories high. This takes what IMAX was built upon and digitalizes it. While the IMAX brand started with their spankin’ clear 70mm projection, they are modernizing their brand while also recognizing their tradition. Large format technology that literally aims high. This is true with their IMAX Laser technology, which began rolling out in 2014. IMAX Laser presents movies in vivid 4K images and supports the traditional IMAX 1.43:1 aspect ratio used to shoot several of Nolan’s films including “The Dark Knight,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Interstellar,” and “Dunkirk.” This means once “Tenet” enters theaters, the IMAX Laser experience will allow for not just crystal clear images, but for several scenes to lack the black bars no matter what screen it is on. Keep in mind, if you have an IMAX Laser projector in your theater, it won’t always show the movie in 1.43:1 as the results will vary based on the screen’s dimensions. Some, like the very famous TCL Chinese Theatre in California, will show the movie in 1.90:1, much like the regular IMAX digital projectors in their specific theaters. Once again, if you are seeing the movie in 1.43:1, you are paying for the TALLEST picture possible. This is one of the best digital formats out there but keep in mind, like IMAX digital, some of the movie will have black bars, and if changing aspect ratios happen to be distracting to you, there’s a chance you may want to look at a different format. The same can be said for the next format, IMAX 70mm.
IMAX 15/70mm (Digital equivalent: 18K)
And now, onto the clearest format on the planet, IMAX’s 70mm technology. For those unfamiliar with the technology, IMAX started their company by using very large 70mm film that goes horizontal. As previously mentioned, it is used in their flagship 2D cameras, which were used during “Tenet’s” filming. Until sometime in the 2000s, it was the norm for IMAX to install theaters that have unheard of dimensions, installing screens that can rise up to a hundred feet. Once finished, they would have the IMAX GT (Grand Theatre) or IMAX SR (Small Rotor) projection systems along with 12,000 watts of surround sound, including speakers from the walls and behind the screen, which is a norm for IMAX. Although with IMAX’s newer 12 channel system, they have speakers on the ceiling. This system is meant to go with theaters that are converted or prepackaged with the Laser system, but are also used in several theaters that have BOTH the IMAX Laser and IMAX film projection models. Either way, you are getting the best the brand has to offer. Wall to wall, ceiling to floor picture. The clearest images of all time, many of which are shot to match the projector’s intentions. If you shell out the money to buy a ticket for an IMAX 70mm show, you are paying for the viewing experience Christopher Nolan literally intended for his viewers to get. One thing to note about both the IMAX Laser and IMAX film shows… Good news, they are presented the way in which the film was perhaps meant to be. Bad news, the theaters with the proper equipment for this are not dime a dozen, they are quite rare in fact. Not all of them will be used for “Tenet” for one reason or another. But, IMAX has a selection of theaters that are playing “Tenet” in the uncropped, true IMAX formats if you are curious to know more about them.
Now, I could go over other theatrical formats such as Dolby Cinema (includes dual 4K projection, DOLBY ATMOS, DOLBY VISION), AMC Prime (responsive subwoofer seats, enhanced sound and projection), RPX (large auditorium, large screen, high quality sound, exclusive to Regal-branded theatres), Cinemark XD (large auditorium, high quality sound, exclusive to Cinemark-branded theatres), and so on, but the reason why I am specifying on the formats above is because they are the basic projection features running today for this film. While formats like those are unique and specifically branded, they either offer something with “Tenet” that is very similar to what they’ve done before or it is too similar to other formats to go in depth about it. The reason why I included the three IMAX formats above is because Christopher Nolan treasures the IMAX experience and suggests that it is one of the best ways to see a movie, but the brand offers three somewhat distinctly different experiences today. As for 35mm and 70mm, these are classic formats that are not often used today and can enhance the movie experience for some. Plus, “Tenet” was shot in 70mm, so that’s another reason to bring the format into the discussion. I even brought up and broadened the digital category because chances are that if you have a movie theater near you, it is likely going to have that style of projection, but it can vary depending on where you go. Some of these experiences are rarely used for new releases and depending on which one you pick, you will achieve bragging rights, suggesting that you saw “Tenet” in a higher quality than the way your friends managed to.
By the way, if you are scrolling down because you hate reading, watch the very informative video listed above published by Slate (feel free to read more from their site) explaining some of the ways you can see this movie and how these formats work. NOTE: This is an explanation for “Dunkirk,” not “Tenet,” but the two are shot very similarly, so the information provided here can apply to both films.
“Tenet” is currently scheduled to release September 4th, 2020. Unless of you course you count early screenings starting August 31st. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, select states including New York, California, and Arizona are keeping their theaters closed for the time being. Please note: This is the release date for the United States. My international friends in countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, Thailand, South Korea, Ireland, and so on will be getting the movie as early as August 26th. You lucky ducks… Should coronavirus not continue to spiral out of control, the movie will likely release on time. Movie theaters have been closed since March due to COVID-19, but more are opening as areas continue to loosen restrictions and move along their calendar of phases. Whether or not they’ll remain open, is a mystery. Given how some theaters are already open and some will be opening soon, if said theaters open and operate without many issues, expect “Tenet” to come out on time.
Thanks for reading this post! If your movie theater is open and you do decide to go, please do yourself a favor. Respect their policies, don’t harass their employees, and be sure to distance yourself from other people. Remember, they’re a place of business, so even though the customer’s always right, there needs to be a collective effort from everyone to make sure the moviegoing experience is alive and well. When “Tenet” comes out, I’ll very likely see it whenever possible. I hope there’s an IMAX 70mm show near me, and if not, screw this world because Rhode Island and Connecticut have working projectors for this sort of thing. Just saying. My home state of Massachusetts does too but they’re not normally used for big Hollywood blockbusters. If you want to see more from Scene Before, be sure to follow this blog either with an email or WordPress account! Also, check out my Facebook page! I know you already liked it… It just hasn’t happened yet. I want to know, are you seeing “Tenet?” And where do you plan on seeing it? If not, do you plan on staying home and watching something instead? What is that you’re watching? Coincidentally, “Mulan” drops on Disney+ the same day that “Tenet” hits theaters in the United States, so I’m gonna be interested to see which movie ends up doing better on its first weekend. Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!
Hey guys! Welcome to the latest apocalypse-related update of 2020! A year so bad that it made fully regret ever giving “Cats” a negative review. That hour and fifty minute movie which really ended up feeling like an utter eternity was a blessing compared whatever the f*ck is going on right now! Remember how I posted this s*it down below just a couple weeks ago?
Guess what? That s*it’s outdated! Welcome to 2020! A one-way ticket to a dark room full of deadly lasers, accompanied with a bloody water tank with a giant shark that is about to eat you whole! WORST! YEAR! EVER! With that being said, I’m going to try my best… My absolute… Best. To avoid going ABSOLUTELY OVER THE TOP WITH THIS POST! Gah! I already failed! Let’s just do this!
Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! In case you’re reading this, I have somehow survived being disintegrated by tons of deadly lasers and a giant shark that was about to eat me. For all I know, maybe the shark thought I was pitching a terrible product, and said “I’m out.”
…Which reminds me, I gotta cross that shark-raid whistle thingy off the pitch list. Here we go.
A couple weeks back, we have had an announcement that “Tenet” was getting a pushback, which I think at the time, could have arguably been the most shocking pushback for a film we’ve seen all year. “Tenet” was one of the few pictures to not move a muscle so far in 2020, so to see it gravitate towards a later, granted two weeks later, but later nevertheless, release date on the calendar is a little shocking. However, in my post talking about it, I mentioned there was probably a good reason, one of the notable pieces of news sticking out to me being the plan to rerelease 2010’s “Inception,” allowing for a perfect reason to recognize the film’s 10th anniversary. Not to mention, I thought it was just a damn fine consolation prize. “Inception” will be brought back to theaters around the same exact time it came out, it would be a good way to get audiences back into the theater, see how many people are willing to go to the theater, and as for me, I get to see one of my favorite movies on the big screen, which I did not get to do when I was younger. However, this week, it was announced that “Tenet” has been delayed once more. Time runs out? More like, we need more time to put out our movie.
Before we go any further, “Tenet” is not the only film moving in this case. “Inception” is in on this as well. “Inception” is now going to be taking up the July 31st release slot previously held by “Tenet.” As for “Tenet,” that film will be taking a spot in the middle of the second week of August, allowing it to come out on August 12th.
Let’s start with the good news. The good news, I can’t believe there is good news available in 2020… It’s not that big of a delay. That can be a sign of pure optimism from Warner Bros., Christopher Nolan, or both. While we don’t know where we’ll be in days or weeks from now, it does show that somebody somewhere is sticking to a commitment to put the movie out in theaters. Let’s face it. If I were to shoot a movie on the largest format possible, which Christopher Nolan did. Release it on the largest format possible, which is currently planned. You bet I, as a studio executive, would surely keep a promise to put this damn movie in the theater. I saw previews for this film on my TV, and it looks good on my TV. But why does it look so good? Because it gave me the urge to get off my ass, into my onmyassmobile, and head to a freaking movie theater to enjoy myself for hours!
Wait, that sounds very familiar…
“This film (Dunkirk) is what actually going to the theater is all about. Not renting a movie on DVD, not streaming it on Netflix, but getting off your ass, getting in your onmyassmobile, and heading straight to the movie theater.” –Top 10 BEST Movies of 2017
Nolan is all about the “get off your ass” mentality when it comes to releasing films, and that is part of why I will remain committed to checking out his work. I am all about the experience when it comes to moviegoing. There are very few feelings like entering a movie theater and seeing a movie in general, but when Nolan makes a movie, it’s almost guaranteed to be a ride. To see at the very least, the notion regarding this movie not losing sight of the theater experience delights me to no end.
Now, for the bad news… What if this is not the last delay? Because I feel like the factors determining whether or not we will get to see this movie in theaters as soon as possible have little to do with whether or not theaters are ready. In fact, the major chains including AMC, Regal, and Alamo Drafthouse, have all announced plans to open in July, with precautions in mind. Some of these include deep sanitizing of the auditoriums and often-touched spaces through advanced equipment and materials, allowing extra time to clean auditoriums, reduced capacities and spaced seating to encourage social distancing, and enforcing the use of masks. And yes, I’ll wear a mask, because I’ll happily allow my mask to possibly smell like popcorn. Just because they’re ready does not automatically equate to the public being ready. Am I ready to head back to the movie theater? I’ve been motivated to go pretty much as soon as everything shut down. Granted, knowing myself, I am a little biased. I would have risked my life during the pandemic to go see new movies because this was the routine for my blog. Go to the movies. See a new release. Review said new release. Repeat. Instead, I had to take a break, report whatever fresh hell was happening during the apocalypse to point where I wanted to smash my F*CKING BRAIN INTO SPIKES! Save myself some money so my family and I don’t go broke. Occasionally review a new movie if possible, and so on. I would not deny that there is at least some sort of craving from various demographics to live in some sense of normalcy at this point. Movie theaters are a part of that normalcy. But would the public automatically leap themselves back into theaters? That’s going to depend on who you ask. Some would definitely go back in a heartbeat, but if you scour social media, there are some that are hoping for more at-home releases and those sorts of things.
Not only that, but let’s also look at statistics. One of the biggest catalysts that likely caused this delay in the first place is the notion that New York had no plans to reopen theaters in phase 4, which supposedly starts in a couple weeks for a great portion of the state. New York is one of the biggest movie theater markets out there. They have a large moviegoing population and a ton of theaters to back them up. New York City has also been home to many big film events, including premieres. Although if I’m not mistaken, if “Tenet” releases on time, if Manhattan remains closed, the run could still work if many other theaters in the state as long they remain open in other areas. Speaking of which, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey, are trending pretty positive right now when it comes to handling the virus overall. This is as opposed to states like Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California, where the virus is proving to be a little more effective and deadly. Hospitals are filling up by the second, states are seeing record cases, and if they keep going up, who knows what’s gonna happen next? And besides, I just mentioned California, like New York, it is one of the biggest movie markets in the world. It’s where many red carpet events occur, the culture in various cities revolve around film, and it’s home to many historic venues. Plus, Los Angeles county is currently the most populous of the U.S. counties, if you don’t let them for example go see a movie in their local area, that’s potentially a lot of lost customers.
Not to get sidetracked, but I wonder if this means anything for the other big movies coming out soon like “Unhinged” and “Mulan.” Will they bump their dates somewhere else as well? Although Regal Cinemas, the second largest chain in the United States, is supposed to reopen the day that movie comes out, so I doubt they want to move as they have a sweet spot. As for “Mulan,” I feel like Disney could move it, but they also have a good spot should things turn around. They don’t have to worry much about what could be opening the week after, and a lot can happen in a month from now. As much as I would not be TOTALLY surprised if they put the movie on VOD eventually, I feel like from an executive standpoint, this is a movie that like “Tenet” is specifically made to be seen in a theater. Putting the film on VOD would be a sacrifice from one kind of perspective. Plus, based on what I’m hearing from people who have already seen the movie, it may have solid enough verdicts to avoid getting dumped onto Disney+ like “Artemis Fowl” did, which currently has a 10% on Rotten Tomatoes.
One thing I will point out, when it comes to this new release date, it presents a fairly interesting idea given by a Warner Bros. spokesperson.
“In this moment what we need to be is flexible, and we are not treating this as a traditional movie release. We are choosing to open the movie mid-week to allow audiences to discover the film in their own time, and we plan to play longer, over an extended play period far beyond the norm, to develop a very different yet successful release strategy.”
Before this delay, in fact, even before the first delay, what I thought was going to happen was that Warner Bros. was going to attempt to pull the throttle as far ahead as possible. What could have been done is that they’d release the movie, allowing it to play on virtually every available screen in the facility, say this is all happening in a multiplex, allowing for everybody to go see this one movie at practically anytime, with an outright guarantee for social distancing. Granted, with the current plans to bring throwback releases into the mix, that would now be impossible, but again, I’m talking about the past. Now I’m noticing a fairly slow approach that Warner Bros. seems to be taking. I don’t know how well it’ll work out. But if they keep it in theaters for a long enough time, there’s a solid chance that it could be profitable. It’s likely going to depend on word of mouth, positive reviews, and maybe even some hint of rewatchability. For all I know, it could also depend on cases. But this blog is being documented by someone who lives in the United States of America, where we are perhaps all brainwashed into thinking the economy is more “essential” than lives. Am I sick of staying home for the longest time? You betcha. I have gone through several periods of not even exiting my house doors. In fact, this entire post pretty much sums up my distaste with the fact that I’ve had to stay home. But if we all really get back outside, we need to understand that the world is not going to be pretty. We need masks (which I detest, but I understand why we need them). We need clean hands. We need to do our best to stay apart. If we want to have what we love in front of us at some point during 2020, we need to understand the meaning of sacrifice amongst ourselves. And how this even became a political issue here in the United States, I will never understand! Apparently in this country, science equals politics! It’s global warming all over again!
Just so you all know, if you didn’t already, I hate needles with a burning passion. This is the one time, I repeat, the one time in my life, where I want a vaccine for something! I don’t care if it kills me quicker than the virus, but I just want to have a sense of normalcy at this point. I’ve had it with all this! I just want to go see a movie! It’s the one place where I can feel like I’m at home, because I’ve been at my house for so long that it doesn’t even feel like a home anymore! I love my house, but with isolation and everything! It has basically become a prison with people who love and care about you, not to mention better food options! I need to get out at least once to cleanse my brain from whatever spasms it has at this point! Walking won’t do the trick! Am I overreacting? Most likely! But this is my life! Art is the quintessential element that makes me whole, and now I feel like that has been snatched away. I turn 21 in November, so I think I have picked the wrong time to supposedly “build my life.” I want safety for all. But I want to do things.
“Tenet,” please help me. I’m more excited for “Dune” to come out in December, but as of now, I don’t know if there has ever been a movie I wanted to see succeed more than “Tenet.” It’s from my favorite studio, my favorite director, and will be shown in my favorite format. And I surely hope this delay is the last one we get. For all I know, should things continue to trend positively in certain states, I can almost see Warner Bros. releasing the movie in states that are trending positive, then adding a phase 2 to areas that trend positive later. It’s like the government, but it’s all about a $200 million+ movie. “Tenet” HOPEFULLY, and I cannot stress that enough, releases in theaters August 12th, 2020. The film will be available in digital, various large formats including IMAX, 35mm, 70mm, and IMAX 70mm. And you bet I will be striving to catch an IMAX 70mm presentation should one pop up in my area, and given how I don’t live far from Providence, RI, and I do expect the movie to end up playing at their IMAX venue, I will probably make it to one of these shows whatever it takes.
Thanks for reading this incredibly emotional post! And by incredibly emotional, I mean a post where I turn into an absolute brat who simultaneously wants what’s best for society. How did we get here?! Do we even deserve to live at this point? Bring on the alien invasion! Bring on dinosaurs! Bring on giant asteroids! Bring on dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria! What are we still doing here anywhere? It’s not like we’re… DOING ANYTHING! By the way, right now on Scene Before I am focusing on Tom Cruise Month here in June, which will conclude next week with my review for “Minority Report!” Until then, check out my review for “Top Gun,” a movie which had a sequel that was supposed to come out this exact week, but of course, COVID sucks. It really does. July is coming up, and I’m hoping for my sake at this point that I get to talk about at least one new movie. I’ve spent so much time talking about the past that the future looks mighty fine right now. This universe is punching me in the gut every day. Be sure to follow Scene Before if you want to see new content, and check out the blog’s official Facebook page! I want to know, what are your thoughts on the “Tenet” delay? Personally, I kinda saw it coming, but unlike the last one, this one hurt me a little more. I am more than likely overreacting, but as a guy who doesn’t really care if sports come back at this point, I at least want a movie. Or, here’s another question. Do you plan on going back to the movies anytime soon? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!
Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! I have been asking the same question every single day since sometime in March. When will we get back to the movie theater? Well, based on a recent spot I saw during “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” the other night, there may be an answer…
Based on this short teaser, “Tenet” is still coming to theaters! This personally does not come as a surprise as “Tenet” has often been associated with the theatrical experience even when it was first announced. The upcoming movie has been said to be an event film from critically acclaimed director Christopher Nolan, known for films including “Memento,” “The Prestige,” “Interstellar,” and his famous “Dark Knight” trilogy. Nolan is currently my favorite director working today, and if I had to come up with a favorite of all time, I’d say Nolan would definitely be my pick at this point. Not only is his resume full of titles that are iconic, I don’t think he’s had a bad day at the office yet. The lowest score I gave to one of his titles happens to be a 7/10, which I previously handed to 2002’s “Insomnia” in a nearly three-year-old review. That’s his worst film if you ask me, but it’s still better than a lot of movies. I still need to see “Following,” but having seen all his other films, the man has a terrific lineup of content under his direction.
Sticking with “Tenet,” this movie is big. Yes, I just recently mentioned it is an event film. But the movie is shot entirely in 70mm film, with select footage shot with IMAX cameras. The film will be presented in select theaters in film formats, including IMAX 70mm film. If you have been following Christopher Nolan in recent years, this is normal. The movie has an estimated budget of $205 million, which in terms of Christopher Nolan movies, makes “Tenet” more expensive than “The Dark Knight” but less expensive than “The Dark Knight Rises.” In terms of plot, the movie is likely to revolve around time, even though it has been pointed out by Robert Pattinson, who stars in the film that his character is “not a time traveler.” As for what else he has spilled, “There’s actually no time traveling. That’s, like, the one thing I’m approved to say.” Nevertheless, given what has been presented so far through one or two “Inception”-esque scenes in the trailer and the tagline “Time runs out,” “Tenet” seems to implement time in a major way.
This continues through the new trailer that has just been put out, which before we go any further, may be one of the single most satisfying trailers I have seen in a long time. It’s like… trailer 1 of “Avengers: Infinity War” kind of good. Perhaps “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” Comic-Con teaser kind of good, which is unfortunate because, well, look how that movie turned out. Granted, maybe the Christopher Nolan fanboy part of my brain needs to calm down a little bit, but this trailer seems to promise something special. Again, I mentioned “Inception,” and having seen this trailer, I would not be surprised if this movie somehow takes place in the same universe. By the way, this idea is not my own, other people have theorized this before me. If you ask me, I will not be surprised if one of the big moments of the film reveal that this was all a dream inside of a dream inside of a dream. Or if we somehow get another look at the spinning top from the resolution of “Inception.” Remember that thing? Is Leonardo DiCaprio still dreaming? Who knows?!
Let’s go through the trailer, shall we? For those of you who have not seen the trailer, click the video above!
The first shot of this trailer provides a basis on everything this movie contains from beginning to end. This shot, like some others, show everything going on not forward, but backward. It’s like we’re watching “Memento” the right way! That film is not going backwards! It’s a bunch of scenes that go in regular time then transition in reverse!
“All I have for you is a word. Tenet.”
Yeah, that line’s back. And it’s as bold as ever.
Of course we also get some quick bits of action, which Christopher Nolan has proven to be effective at creating when it comes to his directorial projects. From the climactic shoutout in “Insomnia” to the hotel scene in “Inception” I adore pretty much any action-based effort from this human being.
I also love how clear everything looks. This is one of the advantages of shooting your movie on film. Because when you shoot on digital, the image is usually smaller and contains less information. Nolan ain’t messin’ around when it comes to “Tenet.” The shots look crisp, detailed, and regardless of the technology used, I will point out that they are beautifully framed. The final shot before the Warner Bros. logo shows up filled a hole in me. Kind of like the rest of this trailer.
Speaking of repeats from the first trailer, we see a shot of a couple characters flying onto a building as they are about to walk on it. I don’t know if this is training or a stealth mission but it intrigues me nevertheless. The repeats don’t even end there. As we get a shot of some objects that may present some prominence, we get a line about trying to prevent World War III. That’s where we see John David Washington, or whatever his character’s name is pick up an object through perhaps this universe’s equivalent of the force. Through these scenes, I will give Nolan one compliment. One of his strongest abilities is being able to create a mystical-looking movie through style, while also making it feel somewhat down to Earth. There’s some sort of grit to his movies that I do not seem to get with other filmmakers nowadays.
Now we are introduced to one of Christopher Nolan’s staples, Michael Caine, who has appeared in many of his films over the past number of years. I don’t know who he’s playing, how long he’ll be in the movie, but he and Nolan go way back, and even if he’s in the film for minimal screentime, Caine always delivers.
The titles that come afterward are just a reminder of how legendary Nolan is and how far his acclaim goes back. I don’t know who edited the trailer, but I would not be surprised if Nolan had some say on a majority of what went into it and said, “I’m the best director working today. Time to boast about my accomplishments!” There’s titles suggesting he is “the revolutionary director of the ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy,” which is followed by “Inception,” and “Dunkirk.”
Going back to this movie’s meddling with time and the concept of time travel, I can confirm that this movie does not have time travel specifically, and instead, has a character that can “communicate with the future,” and that this movie will feature “time inversion,” or time reversal, which I think might open some mystery boxes to potential abilities from psychology to mind-reading to simply being able to change time in a snap, but this is just a trailer, I don’t need everything explained for me.
“You’re not shooting the bullet. You’re catching it.”
So this scene essentially explains the time reversal process through the firing of a gun, or in this case, the unfiring of a gun. We see a bullet flying back in the hole and a shell flying into the air, signifying that time is going in the opposite direction. Although it’s not like everything in this universe is going backwards, as we see future shots of John David Washington walking forwards and a boat going straight.
Afterwards we get a series of action shots while also getting dialogue on how serious and bold the movie’s ongoing situation is. There’s one clip where I’m noticing the bullet from a car’s rear window going in reverse, it looks pretty sick. It’s fun to see fire disappear in the blink of an eye. One thing’s for sure, if “Tenet” sucks from a story perspective, it will most certainly be at the very least fun to look at.
We also get a look at Himesh Patel in his role, and to make another “Inception” comparison, he kind of resembles Dileep Rao’s character of Yusuf. They kind of look alike.
We also get another look at would could be the best part of the movie, where we see cars flipping in reverse. What makes this even more sick is that next to one car flipping is an Audi going backwards, which may have technically been going in drive, but also next to the flipping car is a BMW that is driving forward in the shot but is perhaps really going backward! It’s really hard to describe, and for all I know there could be more to this than meets the eye, but this is what I love about Nolan films, I don’t feel like a moron watching them that needs info explained every two minutes.
Next we get a shot of pierced glass through the shooting of a gun.
ROBERT PATTINSON: “The Hell happened here?”
JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON: “Hasn’t happened yet.”
If this foreshadows a potential delay, I’ll probably cry.
Sticking to the point, these moments show the shattered glass once again as John David Washington’s character is caught in a fight with a covered individual when all of a sudden, the shattered glass goes away! I am really looking forward to how topsy-turvy this story going to be. It might break my brain, but it needs some exercise after flipping through TV channels and shutting itself off while watching crummy shows for hours.
Then we cut to a scene in a concert hall, which feels like a trip down memory lane as I remember the short prologue they played for “Tenet” in IMAX theaters just before the beginning of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” Most of the footage took place in an concert hall, and I while I will not be able to grasp all of it to explain to y’all, it was shot with IMAX footage and it is packed with a good amount of action.
We also get a shot of a character played by Dimple Kapadia, who I will imagine will have at least two to five minutes of screentime in the film.
DIMPLE KAPADIA: “There are people in the future who need us… Who need Tenet.”
Thought I was lying about the action in the concert hall scene? Look at all the running and explosions! Feels like something out of a gritty Michael Bay film!
JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON: “This reversing the flow of time… doesn’t us being here now mean it never happened?”
After the epic title sequence takes place, we get a short clip between Pattinson and Washington once more.
JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON: You want to crash a plane?
ROBERT PATTINSON: Well not from the air. Don’t be so dramatic.
JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON: Well, how big a plane?
The answer to how big a plane will be used? A FREAKIN’ JUMBO JET! That’s how big! This thing has to be a Boeing 747 for sure, I don’t know what else it could be!
Oh, wait! I know what else! Flipping epic!
ROBERT PATTINSON: That part is a little dramatic.
Hey, future Batman! The more dramatic the better! Don’t be afraid to go big!
Then comes my favorite part…
COMING TO THEATERS.
By the way, even though it is not currently stated, the movie will still release on the date it was originally planned for, July 17th, 2020, perhaps being one of the big catalysts to get customers back in the cinemas.
I think this second trailer for “Tenet” is probably the single best version of a second trailer we could get for a film like this. I think the only thing that could have made this trailer even better is if they put out the notification of when tickets go on sale. But in terms of business, it would not be the best idea as I think theaters would protest given how they may still be planning how they are going to be keeping people safe and how seating arrangements will play out in the future. If anyone wants my prediction, I think tickets will go on sale Wednesday, July 1st, to kick off a month of what could be called the “return of moviegoing.” Plus, who knows? Maybe “Tenet” gets delayed by some chance, which I think is highly unlikely at this point because now that they are releasing the trailer, Warner Bros. is definitely going all in with the film. While they did push back “Wonder Woman 1984” and put “Scoob!” straight to VOD, there may be something about “Tenet” that specifically warrants the July 17th, 2020 release date. Given how every other film has been pushed back, maybe this gives “Tenet” a reason to be seen. Nothing else is available. Maybe it’s more financially responsible to release it in July than to shove it off to a period when a lot of other movies are going to collide with it. Regardless of the release date, I am excited for “Tenet” and aside from “Dune,” it is my most anticipated film of 2020.
Hot take, and I may just be going off of a ton of hype right now, include hyping from myself… I think “Tenet” makes a billion dollars. While there will definitely be those people who will understandably avoid the cinema for some time, “Tenet” is possibly going to play on an unprecedented amount of screens, allowing for tons of opportunities for it to be seen, while also being one of the limited options available for moviegoers. I cannot wait. Also keep in mind, it’s not R, it’s PG-13. From this, it’s possible that some younger audiences are perhaps slightly more likely to see it, even though “Tenet” is not really for kids.
“Tenet” arrives in theaters July 17th, 2020 in digital, 35mm, 70mm, and IMAX, which also includes select screenings in IMAX 70mm. I guess I wasn’t wrong! 2020 IS a good year to be an IMAX fan! But I have to ask a really important question, and this will probably be a signal to Warner Bros., Christopher Nolan, and so on about whether or not they made the right decision. Are you planning on seeing “Tenet?” Were you planning on seeing “Tenet” before reading this? Will this pandemic affect your chances of seeing the movie? On that topic, do you think you’ll be comfortable going back to the theater in July, given how there will probably be safety precautions taken? Me personally, I don’t care! I’m seeing this movie no matter what! I’m not allowed to move my lips in the theater, so having a mask to cover them might just be fitting! Let me know down below!
Thanks for reading this post! I just want to let everyone know that my 400th post is going to be arriving soon and I will be giving my usual Blu-ray update. I’ll be going over my Blu-rays, my 3D Blu-rays, 4K Blu-rays, Steelbooks, and so on. I enjoy doing these, even if they do take a lot of time to complete. Be sure to follow Scene Before if you want to see this post, along with others in the future! Make sure you’re following through your email or WordPress account, or if you prefer the social media route, check out my Facebook page and give it a like! Stay tuned for more great content! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!
Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! It is now time for part 6 of the Scene Before series “Movies and COVID-19: Behind the Scenes.” This series describes the recent happenings, or in some cases, a lack of happenings, in the film industry as the world deals with the COVID-19 outbreak.
I’m telling you guys, this is getting annoying! We now have as many entries to this series, as “Sharknado” does within its own series! This is wrong! And honestly, this may be the biggest post yet, because a lot has happened in the entertainment realm! But of course, let’s get to the real world news first! By the way, if you’re asking, none of it has to do with Kim Jung Un. I’m only counting COVID-19 matters.
Today we’ll start in a film capital, California. Last week, Florida’s Duval County was in the news because people spent time at the area’s beaches that were recently reopened. This was referenced a ton on social media, which lead to the trend #FloridaMorons. While I never found #CaliforniaMorons to be trending on Twitter, some people did make tweets with that hashtag inserted. Before we go any further, here’s some highlights related to this subject, even if all of them don’t use the hashtag.
It's very disheartening to see #CaliforniaMorons on beaches today, when I haven't left the ranch in 40+ days. It's a horrible feeling I am sure if they don't have space and many rooms to enjoy. But when #Coronavirus has an uptick in 3-4 weeks, the #selfisolation will only extend.
I know, right?! I love California! I was just there a month ago! But, holy crap! This weekend, California was hit with warm weather, reaching 80 and 90 degrees. Since it is so warm, a lot of people thought it would be a good time to go to the beach. But of course, because COVID-19 ruins fun, there is a massive chance of spreading the infection. Naturally, much of the response on social media to this matter has been particularly negative. Speaking of beaches getting traffic, San Diego officially reopened their beaches starting Monday April 27th. However, this does come with restrictions. People cannot gather in groups, park, or lie down to get some rays. Question about parking, does Uber count? Drivers need to get by in these times! Plus, Fiesta Island, piers, and boardwalks will be closed. However, you can still swim, you can still fish, you can still surf. This is part of phase 1 rules in regards to San Diego beaches. California Governor Gavin Newsom had this to say about the matter…
“This virus doesn’t go home because it’s a beautiful sunny day around our coasts.”
Although, California is not done with announcing closures, because the Orange County Fair will officially be shut down for this year. This year’s fair was supposed to last for 23 days, on every day of the week except for Mondays and Tuesdays starting July 17th and ending August 16th. The fair, held in Costa Mesa, California, has previously seen over a million visitors in a year.
Two of the celebrities who have been taking up lots of spotlight in this time of a pandemic are Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, both of whom previously been tested positive for COVID-19. However, time has passed, and the two seem to be better then they were a month ago. Although they are back in the news for better reasons. Hanks and Wilson agreed to donate blood and plasma for a possible vaccine. After all, both individuals carry needed antibodies. I will be real, I f*cking hate needles. Even if they are necessary. I feel as if I’m gonna make it out of a burning building should a vaccine be injected into me in order to avoid getting COVID-19. However, if you want to convince an anti-vaxxer to get a vaccine, tell them that Tom Hanks will now be a part of you.
Speaking of Tom Hanks, the man known for such films like “Cast Away” and “Bridge of Spies” defended a child the other day. While he was not able to get physically involved, partially because of physical distancing limitations, he did take action. When Hanks and his wife, Wilson, were diagnosed with coronavirus, an 8-year-old male Australian student by the name of Corona De Vries wrote a letter to the couple saying he loved his own name, but he was often called the coronavirus, making him “sad and angry.” Hanks saw the letter and responded back suggesting “You got a friend in me,” a phrase inspired by “Toy Story,” another film Hanks is famous for.
By the way, if you are wondering why I am not using Trump’s tweet for this, it no longer exists!
Last week, after Trump suggested that the coronavirus “may not come back at all” for a second time, Dr. Anthony Fauci begs to differ. He suggested the possibility of a second outbreak after having a discussion with Robert Redfield, director of the CDC. This outbreak could hit in the fall, and be more complexing considering how the flu pops up at the end of the year.
Speaking of Trump, time for some bleach drinking! In the ambitious search for a COVID-19 cure, Donald Trump has suggested the possibility of injecting disinfectant in order to rid one’s body of COVID-19. Let me just start off by saying, yes, injecting disinfectant will VERY LIKELY get rid of COVID-19, because you’re about to f*cking go down along with it. Putting bleach in the body is good for a lot of things. Erasing the lyrics of “Baby Shark” from your head! Forgetting whatever the “Cats” movie was! Oh, and trying to become a f*cking ghost! The COVID-19 crisis is not going to be solved through disinfectant going inside you! Besides, everyone’s afraid to go to the supermarket right now! You think everyone’s gonna want to pile on top of each other in the same aisle grabbing Clorox?!
I’m done! I’m really just done! I just want to go to a restaurant and the movies, is that too much to ask?! Wait…
Before we go any further, I’m going to remind everyone that in my post from last week, I documented that Georgia was planning to reopen on April 27th. Well, that was yesterday. But when it comes to movie theaters, those are not reopening. I mentioned this specific before, but I thought I’d bring it up as a refresher. Georgia Theater Company, otherwise known as GTC Movies, is not planning on reopening theaters anytime soon. They intend on waiting until July, when Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” comes out, a movie which we’ll talk about later. Speaking of which, Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, has given theaters the green light to open starting Friday with 25% capacity. Chains like AMC and Cinemark do not plan on opening until the summer. Although in addition to that, a movie theater chain that is absolutely critical to Texas is taking similar actions. Specifically, Alamo Drafthouse. For the record, these theaters are not entirely shuttered, as some are open for takeout and delivery. After all, Alamo Drafthouse is known for its food selection. However, an Alamo Drafthouse spokesperson had this to say in regards to possibly reopening…
“Opening safely is a very complex project that involves countless new procedures and equipment, all of which require extensive training. This is something we cannot and will not do casually or quickly. We will not be opening this weekend. But know this, when we do open, we will be providing the safest possible experience for both our staff and our guests and we can’t wait to see you all again!”
It seems that Alamo going to follow the footsteps of other chains and maybe reopen during mid-summer. That is, should COVID-19 not affect the safety of theater patrons. Besides, not much material is coming out in theaters these days, including a movie I am going to talk about right now.
SCOOB! GOES STRAIGHT TO DIGITAL
One of the family films that was set to come out this year is “Scoob!,” which if you cannot tell, belongs to the “Scooby-Doo” IP. Now “Scooby-Doo” has had a lot of content over the years, but in May 2020 the franchise was about to have its latest theatrically released title. A couple of films within the IP have been presented this way already, and they were written by James Gunn, who of course is now famous for his work on the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films. This film was set to release May 15th, 2020, but Warner Bros. took it off the release calendar in response to the pandemic. Turns out, it will be coming out that day all along, BUT it won’t be in theaters, given how none are practically open right now. Instead, it is going to follow in the footsteps of “Trolls: World Tour,” the animated sequel by DreamWorks, now owned by Comcast, and release onto VOD. Meaning that services including Prime Video, Vudu, FandangoNOW, and Google Play will be getting the film. I’ll be honest, had this pandemic not been going on this year, there’s a solid chance that I might miss out on “Scoob!” if it were in the theater. The only reason why I would even consider seeing it, is because I feel the need to see five animated flicks by the end of the year, because I need enough nominees at the Jackoff Awards that I do in the winter. Although, it definitely does have a market. Families would probably have gone to see it. Generations who grew up with “Scooby-Doo” will recognize the movie and pass the torch to their children. Had it stayed in theaters, it could have made for a fun outing. But of course, it’s not in theaters.
“Trolls: World Tour” was not the worst option of all the movies that could go straight to VOD instead of theaters. A lot of younger kids recognize the film, and since sometimes bringing kids to the movies can be obnoxious, putting it in a home environment is not the worst idea. That is until Amazon’s 48 hour rental period expires and they beg for the parents to spend another $20. “Trolls: World Tour” landed one of the biggest digital debuts ever, and “Scoob!” could do the same, but that is going to depend on how many kids are looking forward to it. I think there was more of an appetite for a “Trolls” sequel among children than there was for a “Scooby-Doo” movie. At the same time however, “Scooby-Doo” has had a long history of being a product for the home environment. I grew up having a piece “Scooby-Doo” media in my collection. A lot of television shows and cartoons have been a part of the “Scooby-Doo” brand. From a production standpoint, this could come off as something that was meant for theaters, but may be remembered as another fine entry to the “Scooby-Doo” home media collection.
THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND GOES STRAIGHT TO DIGITAL
Had South by Southwest happened this year, one of the films that I would have been eager to see was Judd Apatow’s “The King of Staten Island.” The film had an advantage of being a higher-profile title, alongside such movies including “The Lovebirds,” which is now going to Netflix. This film had a bright future on the big screen. Aside from a SXSW debut this March, it was supposed to come out June 19th of this year in theaters. I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that “The King of Staten Island” is getting bumped up a week to June 12th, 2020. So it’ll come out a week earlier. The bad news is, if you were looking forward to seeing Judd Apatow’s latest film in theaters, that’s not happening, and this does not come as a surprise. I have a feeling that part of this not only has to do with analyzing the potential box office results ahead, but maybe it has a bit to do with “Tenet,” which I think is going to be a better example of a film that is going to try to entice people to get back in the theaters (again, more on that later). However, starting June 12th, “The King of Staten Island,” a semi-autobiographical comedy-drama starring Pete Davidson will be available On Demand through various services. This is a release technique similar to the recently mentioned “Scoob!.” The film also features notable names including Marisa Tomei (Spider-Man: Homecoming, My Cousin Vinny), Pamela Adlon (Bob’s Burgers, Better Things), Steve Buscemi (Miracle Workers, Fargo), and Bill Burr (Breaking Bad, Date Night).
While this technique has been done for a film like “Trolls: World Tour,” which again, was fairly successful. A film with this much name power that was supposed to be in theaters has not really gotten this treatment all that much during the pandemic. I see at light at the end of the tunnel, but as of now, “The King of Staten Island” is perhaps an adult version of the “Trolls: World Tour” experiment. I honestly don’t know how this is going to go, as “Trolls: World Tour” likely had several advantages. First, that movie was going for a wider audience including children, families, etc. “The King of Staten Island” is an R rated picture. No kids allowed on this flick! Plus, since this film probably won’t be heading to a platform like Netflix, where you can watch the movie for free as long as you have a monthly subscription, it could suffer from less views because people are cheap and they’d rather watch something free than pay a rental price. “Trolls: World Tour” might as well be a product that can be put on bunches of times just to shut kids up on some occasions. It may be expensive, but the peace and quiet could be worth it. Although, Comcast’s streaming service, Peacock, which is now available for Xfinity customers, is hoping to expand its customer base starting July 15th. Maybe “The King of Staten Island” will end up on the service as soon as possible for everyone to enjoy.
Also, side note, this movie is incorrect. Pete Davidson IS NOT the king of Staten Island. The Impractical Jokers are the kings of Staten Island. That’s a fact. Prove. Me. Wrong. I dare you.
A SURPRISING SUCCESS FOR TROLLS: WORLD TOUR
Thought I was done talking about “Trolls: World Tour?” Well, I’m not! Because according to The Wall Street Journal, it turns out “Trolls: World Tour” has officially made over $100 million in a matter of just a few weeks! This ultimately means that this digital experiment Universal was trying out happened to be relatively successful so far. Again, I think part of this mainly has to do with “Trolls: World Tour” being a family movie that kids will probably be watching over and over again to the point of becoming annoying. However, it’s an interesting success story as movies like this, including “Trolls: World Tour’s” predecessor, happen to gain massive successes from big theatrical runs. I should also point out that the first film currently has made more money at the domestic box office, specifically $153.7 million. But who knows? Maybe that will be broken. Will this mean Universal does more straight-to-digital releases in the future? Honestly, I hope not. While this may have worked for a film like “Trolls: World Tour,” which I think kids were going to watch no matter what, movies in general are often built up best by word of mouth in an attempt to get people out of the house. I just hope for the love of Pete that the ninth “Fast & Furious” DOES NOT get a straight to digital treatment. As for other factors to consider, “Trolls: World Tour” is also one of the only new films to watch right now, and since we can’t leave our house, maybe that has a contributing factor to how willing we are to stay in and pay a rental price on the movie. If we were in normalcy, who knows how this would have played out? But if you ask me, EVERY MOVIE is better in a theater. Mark my words.
SPIDER-DELAY! SPIDER-DELAY! DOES WHATEVER A SPIDER-DELAY DOES!
In part 5, I’ve practically given DC Comics its own section to talk about in terms of delays. This time, I’m going to be doing this for Marvel, both on the sides of Disney and Sony. Starting off with Sony, one of their hit movies, the Academy Award-winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” was supposed to get a sequel released on April 8th, 2022. That’s not happening anymore as the sequel has officially been pushed back to October 7th, 2022. It is hard to know what could come of “Spider-Verse 2” from this release date. Maybe it could do what “Venom” did and be able to separate itself in a month full of horror movies, not that “Venom” didn’t have some elements of the genre. For all I know this could work, because the first film won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a Critics’ Choice, and seven Annies. The first film by the way released in December. I feel like the Best Animated Feature category is the least important one when it comes to releasing a film at a certain time, but experience has suggested that when a film releases later in the year, it usually gets some awards buzz. “Spider-Verse 2” could not just be a big hit, but another award winner.
Speaking of “Spider-Man,” the third Tom Holland “Spider-Man” movie was delayed! This third “Spider-Man” film was supposed to be connected to the MCU and release in theaters July 16th, 2021 as part of Marvel’s fourth phase of films. However, the film now sits in the month of November, taking a spot on the fifth day of the month. I am disappointed that I have to wait for the film, but the film opens on my birthday weekend, so I’ll take the wins as they come along. This news may have ties to how filming has not really been happening, and I am willing to bet that the delay for Sony’s “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” now coming out on June 25th, 2021, plays a bit into this. After all, that too is technically a “Spider-Man” property. Having these two movies very close to each other could potentially be weird. Speaking of Marvel…
THOUGHT SPIDEY WAS ALONE? THE MARVEL RELEASE CHANGES SHALL ASSEMBLE!
One of the most complex questions right now in regards to the pandemic is the wonder of what is going to happen to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was not that long ago that “Black Widow” was delayed from this May to November, taking “Eternals'” spot on the release calendar. This resulted in pushback upon pushback upon pushback. Guess what? “Spider-Man” is not the only Marvel character affected this week. “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” which was supposed to release the same weekend as “Spider-Man 3,” is now getting pushed back to March 25th, 2022. Interestingly however, “Thor: Love and Thunder,” which was supposed to come out February 18th, 2022 as of recent times, is getting bumped up a week and is now coming out February 11th, 2022. Why is that? I don’t know for sure, but maybe to get couples to go see it on Valentine’s Day. With a title like “Love and Thunder,” that’s probably the reason. And now, for everything else!
THE DELAYS NEVER END!
Going back to Sony, one of the interesting projects that they have held onto for some time is a movie based on the popular video game franchise “Uncharted,” which, appropriately, is a Playstation exclusive. Even though Tom Holland’s “Spider-Man 3” is getting pushed back to November 2021, “Uncharted,” which he is set star in, is getting bumped up. Finally! Some positive news about this movie! I have never played the video games, even though I have heard solid things about them, but as for the movie, it just goes to show that even in development, video game movies are cursed. However, “Uncharted,” which was supposed to release October 16th, 2021, is moving up to the summer of that year! As of now, it is taking the spot where “Spider-Man 3” once was! Hopefully, this optimistic bump means that production will be happening as soon as possible, considering how filming was shut down due to COVID-19 on day one. Who knows what’ll happen? This movie is an enigma! As for other projects under Sony’s control, “Fatherhood,” a new comedy starring Kevin Hart is being pushed back from October 23rd, 2020 to April 2nd, 2021. Speaking of Kevin Hart, another movie where he’ll appear, “Man From Toronto,” once set for a September 17th, 2021 release, is now coming out November 20th, 2021. And if you thought “Spider-Verse 2” was going to be the only affected animated title, you’re wrong. “Connected,” the upcoming film produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, was delayed a month. The film, which was previously expected September 18th, 2020, will now be coming out October 23rd, 2020. “Vivo,” featuring songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda of “Hamilton” fame, was supposed to release April 26, 2021, but now is getting pushed back to June 4, 2021. Can’t believe this is a thing, “Hotel Transylvania 4!” I guess this is also known as, “Adam Sandler needs an excuse be in a movie that won’t go straight to Netflix.” By the way, “Uncut Gems” is brilliant and you should watch it if you haven’t done so already. That is even if it does try to convince an audience that the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut has a sportsbook. Anyway, “Hotel Transylvania 4” is yet another movie that is not going down the calendar, but up! Originally set for a December 22nd, 2021 release, the animated sequel will now take the August 6th, 2021 spot. This could be a strategic move as it could give families something to do over the summer, while not having to compete with Universal’s “Sing 2,” which is set to release the same day “Hotel Transylvania 4” was once supposed to come out.
Also getting delayed, Tom Cruise is gonna have to wait a little bit longer before he attempts to kill himself once more, or more specifically, twice more. The seventh and eighth installments to the “Mission: Impossible” franchise, which will be directed by Christopher McQuarrie, also known for helming the fifth and sixth installments in the franchise, both have previous release dates set to self-destruct. The seventh “Mission: Impossible” installment was supposed to come out July 23rd, 2021, once again standing out as a summer staple. As of now, the film is coming out November 19th, 2021, just before Thanksgiving. As for the eighth installment, once planned to release August 5th, 2022, that is now set for a release date that I am personally digging, November 4th, 2022. Why am I stoked? Because it’s my birthday. From what I could imagine however, these two movies may have quite a bit to do with each other and could probably go well together in back to back viewings. Kind of similar to putting “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame” together. There is always a chance that “Mission: Impossible 7” could suck more than anything that has sucked before, thus lowering my hype levels for the eighth installment. However, “Mission: Impossible” is a peculiar series that honestly has gotten better with each installment, so anything is possible.
NEW HOME RELEASES
I usually save this for last, but this time, my next post has more of a climactic vibe, so this is going to be my penultimate section. When it comes to digital releases, perhaps one of the most notable titles coming out this week is “The Photograph.” This debuted in theaters last February, stars LaKeith Stanfield (Sorry To Bother You, Knives Out) alongside Chelsea Peretti and features intertwining love stories. This seems appropriate, because, again, this movie came out in February. Although for Netflix, one movie that just came out is “Extraction,” starring Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Ghostbusters) as a black market mercenary. The film is not one that I plan to review, however it is also one that I am hearing solid things about. Granted, the story is nothing to write home about, but if this film were to be solely judged based on action, I’m hearing it slaps. And this honestly does not surprise me as it is written by Anthony and Joe Russo and directed by Sam Hargrave, a stunt coordinator behind “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Atomic Blonde,” and “Avengers: Endgame.” As for whether or not this is the next “John Wick” is something that you will have to decide for yourself. Also, if you have any plans to tune into Amazon, the SXSW lineup is now available, which was made in response to the cancellation of the ambitious annual event held in Austin, TX. If you have Disney+, your inner “Star Wars” nerd is going to be happy, because not only are you soon going to be getting more of “The Clone Wars,” you’re not only getting a documentary on “The Mandalorian,” but “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” will be available on Disney+ starting May 4th, known by the fan community as “Star Wars Day.” From then on, the complete “Skywalker Saga” will be available on the service. Speaking of action-packed films…
TENET IS LOCKED FOR JULY 17TH
This is going to be the main topic of this entire post. For those of you who don’t know, Christopher Nolan is coming out with his latest blockbuster title, “Tenet,” which had a trailer release this past winter. At the same time, a short preview attached to IMAX screenings of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” was shown for a limited time. This film, among all others, HAS NOT been delayed. And if you have talked to me at all recently, it is a film that is almost my most anticipated of the year. It’s just one spot under “Dune” if you are all curious. “Tenet” is a film that has literally been designed for the movie theater experience. It was shot using film stock through IMAX and 70mm cameras, it’s got a labyrinth of a concept similar to Nolan’s other films, and the cast looks promising. Some attached names include John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Kenneth Branagh, and of course, the one and only Michael Caine. I have been worried for the longest time that this film would get gravitated from this summer, taking away yet another big movie. It’s happened with “Top Gun: Maverick,” it’s happened with “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” it’s also happened with “Morbius.” However, “Tenet” happens to be one of the last men standing in this battle against the invisible enemy. That’s also what it will continue to be going forward, because IndieWire suggests that “Tenet” will be ready to open July 17th of THIS YEAR unless theaters are closed. Is this wishful thinking? It’s possible, but this article gives me hope, and I will state, this is not the first time I am hearing this statement. However, just to hear this be reinforced a month later, is extremely fulfilling. One of my big worries when it comes to “Tenet” is the possibility of it being a lone wolf in the movie theater, there is not much of a reason for the film to play in seemingly dead space. But at the same time, Christopher Nolan has constantly marketed “Tenet” as an event film. It’s an expensive blockbuster clearly meant for the summer. It’s got a similar vibe to Nolan’s own “Inception.” I will also point out that should quarantine end around the country starting July, Christopher Nolan can utilize a huge marketing push at the end of the game, maybe reminding people how exciting it is to go see a movie in a theater. Nolan is all about that atmosphere. Nolan is not a streaming guy. In fact, when this all started in the US, Nolan wrote an opinion article inThe Washington Post where he called movie theaters “a vital part of American social life.” Before hearing what IndieWire suggests in their article, I had a rather bleak thought process as to what theaters would look like only being able to show “Tenet.” A few screens would be open, while every other one is some classic title that maybe not everybody is gonna pay $12 to see when they can they rent it on Amazon. Turns out, IndieWire sees a much more optimistic point of view. IndieWire suggests the following:
“Even if theaters start opening in June (Georgia’s aggressive early plan could permit openings in early May, but NATO has stated it prefers a nationwide, concerted rollout), few will attend without new films. Going before other big films would allow “Tenet” to play on virtually every screen in the country.”
Think about it. How many films have been delayed? From smaller titles that nobody has even heard of to the big blockbusters like those that Marvel cranks out every few months, despite their differences, they have something in common. They got delayed. A few got delayed not too far up calendar while others got kicked into another year, but nevertheless, they got delayed. “Tenet,” as the last man standing, could literally possess every auditorium in every theater, at least in the United States. This is something that during NORMAL times, I would be scared of a movie doing, but now, it makes sense and I am flat out encouraging it, because something needs to light the spark. Plus, should theaters reduce capacity for safety concerns, “Tenet” has themselves covered. They have more theaters and auditoriums that could supply everybody. If you have an AMC near you that has a bunch of standard screens, an IMAX screen, a Dolby Cinema screen all in one place, there’s a solid chance that they’ll use one or two, maybe another auditorium for standard screenings of a blockbuster. In addition, the IMAX or Dolby, depending on the deal they’ve made regarding the film, will also feature said blockbuster. If you have a decent-sized theater, for all I know, “Tenet” could take every screening possible. Can you imagine a 25 screen theater with “Tenet” on virtually every single one? It’s going to be the State of the Union Address of movies. There’s no alternate program you can resort to, it’s “Tenet” or bust! And if this were a film that could easily fit in for a streaming environment, had a small budget, or lacked some of name recognition, I’d probably say maybe this theater project is overblown and a bit beyond one’s reach. However, the film was designed for the theatrical experience, is a blockbuster, and is helmed by the man who I personally think is my favorite director of all time. For all I know, he could get another Oscar nomination for this film depending on how this year pans out.
The slogan of “Tenet” by the way, and hopefully I am not scaring anybody, is “time runs out.” Let’s just hope that time will not run out on this film and our chances of seeing it as early as possible, in as lively of an environment as possible. In a season of movies getting delayed like flights for United Airlines, “Tenet” is possibly going to be the last man standing. The fight against the invisible enemy shall continue, and we shall not stop until we can successfully get millions of butts sitting in cinema seats. Warner Bros., Christopher Nolan, the entire cast and crew of “Tenet,” to say I am rooting for you is an understatement. For all I know, if “Tenet” successfully enters theaters in July, I will be there opening night for IMAX 70mm. This virus is ruining Hollywood, and now we need to give it the Hollywood ending it absolutely deserves.
Thanks for reading the sixth part of the ongoing series “Movies and COVID-19: Behind the Scenes!” Look, I love doing Scene Before, but if this is what I’ll be talking about for the rest of my life, it’s going to get tiresome. I will point out that I left the house for the first time all month on the 25th. There’s that. I just want to go see a movie. If movie theaters collectively do not survive this crisis, I think I might almost be done with movies. One of the reasons why I love movies is because they are experiences, and these experiences are best had in a distraction-free environment either by myself, a few other people, or even a full house. Are the tickets and food sometimes overpriced? Sure, but moviegoing is a staple of the economy and I would flat out scream up to sky if they disappeared. PLEASE… Stay home as much as you can. Do *your* part if you want a better chance of me giving my thoughts on movies for you to possibly see. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! While it may not cure the coronavirus, if you want a better use of your time than drinking bleach, check out the Scene Before Facebook page! I want to know, did I miss anything related to COVID-19 and film? What big piece of news stands out to you? Or, since it relates to this post, what do you think are the odds of “Tenet” getting delayed? At this point, it’s a competitive and strategic game of chess. Who knows at this point? Leave your thoughts down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!
Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Yes, for those of you have already seen my best list, that was the same intro I had on said list. The intro contains films of all kinds, including some that I don’t like, not to mention some on this upcoming countdown. To me, the intro is so nice that it must be played twice! Nevertheless, now that I have talked about my top 25 FAVORITE movies of the 2010s, now it is time to talk about my 25 LEAST FAVORITE movies of the 2010s! If you are new here, I will let you know that I do not normally do top 25 lists. It’s usually top 10s, nothing else. However, the end of the decade signifies a special occasion, therefore it is time for a special countdown. As I go down the list, I will provide an image signifying each movie, a video clip from said movie, and a description discussing in this particular case why I didn’t like the film. Again, I’ll mention that these are all films that *I* don’t like, all of the entries to this list are meant to reflect my personal opinions. I am not saying that you should dislike any of these films, I’m just letting you know that these are the films that did not end up working for ME. I would encourage you to hold your opinions, keep them close, and if you have not watched any of these films, maybe give them a gander and see how they pan out. Maybe you’ll end up liking one of these films, in which case that’s amazing, I wish I had the ability to do that. Also, speaking of not seeing films, I will remind you that I have not seen every single film that has come out in the 2010s. There was a lot crap dumped into the realm of cinema that I just did not have enough time to hit all of it. If you are curious about some of the films that won’t be on the list, I’m sorry to say, you won’t see me rage about “Vampires Suck” (2010), “Jack and Jill” (2011), “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2” (2012), “The Smurfs 2” (2013), “Left Behind” (2014), “Fifty Shades of Grey” (2015), “Masterminds” (2016), “Flatliners”(2017), “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” (2018), and “X-Men: Dark Phoenix.” Also, each entry to the list must have a theatrical release of any kind or else it does not make the list. With all of that out of the way, let’s release ten years worth of stress! These are my top 10 WORST movies of the 2010s!
#25: Aloha (2015)
Have you ever seen a movie that feels like nothing happens for the entire runtime? And if something does happen, you’re either bored or you just don’t care? That’s what watching “Aloha” feels like! And you know what? This just goes to show that Emma Stone is not the only big problem in this movie! Because in terms of pacing, this movie is dull, so dull that it must be the reason I happened to have been so sleepy-eyed during this film. This movie is an hour and forty-five minutes, which is surprising because the movie honestly feels like a day. The chemistry between pretty much a majority of the characters is awkward for a good portion of the runtime, it’s even more so with Emma Stone in the mix because she apparently plays a character who is part Asian. I’ll give credit to the director, Cameron Crowe, for at least apologizing about this casting choice, but nevertheless, it was awkward. By the way, if you are curious, the guy also directed 2011’s “We Bought a Zoo,” which BARELY missed the list. Speaking of apologies, you know who also apologized? Emma Stone! Yeah! During the 76th Golden Globes held last year, co-host Sandra Oh is in the middle of the opening monologue as she congratulates “Crazy Rich Asians” for its Best Picture- Musical Or Comedy nomination and calls it “the first studio film with an Asian-American lead since ‘Ghost in the Shell’ and ‘Aloha.’” Stone’s response, heard around the crowd, “I’M SORRY!” I’ll give credit where credit is due, even people behind the film are willing to talk about its imperfections. Because yeah, no movie’s perfect. A lot of movies suck, some more than others. But in all seriousness, don’t let this movie’s cast fool you. Some names include Bradley Cooper, he has been getting tons of award buzz before this movie! The recently mentioned Emma Stone, who I will point out just did “Birdman” before this film released! Bill f*cking Murray! He’s a major part of the Gopher Extermination Committee in “Caddyshack,” a guy who will eradicate all the strange somethings in your neighborhood in “Ghostbusters,” and lived the same day over and over again “Groundhog Day!” And you have President Donald J. Tr—err I mean Alec Baldwin. Sorry, I get those two confused sometimes. Great actors, but it’s not enough! Just… Ha-WHY was this made?! Mahalo for nothing!
#24: Cop Out (2010)
From the director of “Clerks,” comes a comedic cop film so bad that it leaves me silent all the way through, I’m talking about “Cop Out.” I admire Kevin Smith as a person. I think he is a charismatic and lovable dude, but it does not alter the reality that he did a movie as bad as this. Although I am pretty sure it’s not just him that’s to blame, I’d also say that when it comes to casting, that is one of the film’s bigger failures. Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan just don’t work well as a duo. Plus, I should point out that Bruce Willis has been getting to the point around this time where he usually would pick bad scripts. This is why when I think of Bruce Willis, I would rather focus on some of his earlier work like “Die Hard” or “The Fifth Element” as opposed to this sack of malarkey. The main reason why this film is being put on the list is fairly simple. I didn’t laugh once. I will say, I did watch the film on a TV channel, so for all I know it could have been edited quite a bit, but even with the edits, the film is still dull and uninteresting. If Kevin Smith came up with the name “Cop Out,” I will give him some credit, because that is what this film feels like in the very end, a literal cop out. Again, I admire the dude, but your movie needs more work than a teenager’s teeth!
#23: This Means War (2012)
Up next is a steaming pile of garbage featuring a decent trio of actors, but just because you have decent actors, doesn’t mean you have a decent movie. “This Means War.” I actually remember first buying the movie on Blu-ray at Best Buy. When I bought it, I did so purely for the price. Heck, the thing was $5! How could I pass that up? I go to the cashier and he says that he likes the actors in the movie and somehow, he has never even seen it. I wish I could be that guy. Romantic comedies are not my goto genre for movies, but even if I were into those movies, chances are I would still give this a 1/10 because the characters suck, the writing sucks, and honestly, I’ve probably forgotten a good portion of the movie by now. I remember the opening action scene, the part in the video rental store, I know the main the plot involves a fight over a girl, but there’s not much else to point in terms of memorable moments from “This Means War.” It’s forgettable and boring, two of the worst adjectives you can ever give to a movie. $5 may be a good deal for a lot of movies when buying them on Blu-ray, but even if I had the opportunity to watch this for free, I’d be ripped off. And if the guy from Best Buy at Cambridgeside Galleria who checked my stuff out is reading this right now, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, and Reese Witherspoon are respectable actors, but if you want a respectable movie, look elsewhere.
#22: The Hurricane Heist (2018)
Coming in at #22 is “The Hurricane Heist,” when it comes to disaster movies, this one’s, well, a disaster. And I mean that on every level from writing to characterization, and to my surprise, marketing. I say that because when I heard a title like “The Hurricane Heist” during ads for this film, and I saw what the commercials made this movie look like, I thought it could be the cheesiest fun bad movie of its year. It’s not even close to being fun in any way whatsoever! It’s just dumb! Not dumb good, in fact, if it makes sense, dumb ass! I am somewhat surprised that I am not making this up, but this is true, and it kind of makes me giggle, in a movie that heavily involves drastic, unfortunate weather, not to mention lots of wind, one of the characters’ names is BREEZE. One of the writers for this film has to have thought about inserting some joke name into the script at some point, so Breeze might have been one of the goofy ideas tossed around the table! I wasn’t there for the writing process, but I would not be surprised if this is literally what happened! Also, get this, apparently four people have some sort of writing credit for this! Just goes to show, when you have four people writing a film, it’s four times as awful! For the record, this film is directed by Rob Cohen, who also directed films like “The Fast and the Furious” and “xXx.” Both of those films were some of the finest guilty pleasure-esque material to have come out in their time, at least in my opinion. As for this piece of crap, not so much. I’d rather have a hurricane last forever than see this movie ever again!
#21: Seventh Son (2014)
I wonder if I ended up watching this movie somewhere else, I would have enjoyed it more, but the reality is, I think “Seventh Son” is one of the worst fantasy movies this world has ever witnessed. In fact, I was staying in Delray Beach, Florida when I saw this. There was a small fraction of time where I had nothing really better to do, so I went to the movie theater and saw this piece of s*it. It’s a film that feels sort of by the numbers, rather predictable, and saddest of all, boring. In fact, I saw this movie with somebody else and at some point in the runtime, perhaps thirty to forty-five minutes in, it could have been earlier for all I know, the person alongside me just happened to fall asleep! That’s how boring this movie is! I have never fallen asleep to a film in the theater, but I’m pretty sure my pal’s reaction, was pretty similar to my reaction. The only thing that seems to have worked at certain points during the film may have been the visuals. And part of me feels somewhat bad for putting this on the list because the sound during the movie was just horrible. I could not make out a good portion of the dialogue that was being uttered, and having seen this film only once, I don’t know who to blame. I saw it in a theater that I only visited for this movie in particular, and never went to again because I live all the way in Massachusetts. So if it’s not the sound system’s fault, I have to blame the people behind this movie. But even with the confusing sound problem, this film is poorly paced, cliché, and does not really add anything of value to its genre.
#20: Transcendence (2014)
One of my favorite genres is sci-fi, so if a sci-fi movie made this list, you’d KNOW it’s just plain bad. Case and point, “Transcendence.” I missed this in the theater, but I bought the DVD eventually and when I had the chance to watch the movie from beginning to end, I regretted every single moment of that process. The movie starts out halfway decent with its exposition. The buildup to the main events, overall, is relatively fine. As a concept, the film is at least intriguing. But the movie gets worse the longer I go through it. It’s almost astounding the transition that it makes! The pacing is piss-poor, the story becomes boring, and the really disappointing part, at least for me, is the fact that the film is directed by Wally Pfister, who did the cinematography for multiple Christopher Nolan-directed films including “The Dark Knight,” “Memento,” and “Inception.” This guy is one of the best cinematographers I have ever seen, and to see him in the director’s chair and make… well, THIS, is baffling to me. The actors are at very least, tolerable, but it didn’t make the movie any better. When this movie reached the end, I was bored out of my mind and questioning everything on screen. Speaking of which, I should point out that when I bought my DVD copy for this film, I popped it in and started watching it once, maybe twice, and I fell asleep before I could ultimately get through the whole thing. For the record, I remember watching at late hours, so I had a reason to fall asleep. But I was wise to do such a thing. So maybe, I would end up recommending this film if you all need some proper material to fall asleep to. “Transcendence” is one of the interesting cases of how bad sci-fi can be sometimes, even though it is perhaps my favorite genre.
#19: Pitch Perfect (2012)
2012 is such a strange year, because I honestly had different opinions about a lot of the popular movies that came out that year. I liked “The Guilt Trip” even though a lot of people announced their displeasure with it on the Internet. I find “The Hunger Games” to be more overrated than McDonald’s. And when it comes to “Pitch Perfect,” I just want to die every time I hear that movie’s title. I was forced to watch this movie with my family when it came out on DVD. The advertising did not impress me because it didn’t look like my type of movie. Although cases have shown that I can be surprised at times (Saving Mr. Banks for example). When I saw the movie, I did not just feel unfortunate because I was watching it, but I also felt infuriated. Listen, I love movies, and I am a little biased here, but when was the last time that a major movie character makes “hating movies” a key plot point IN A MOVIE? Maybe there are some cases when it would work, but this movie FAILED on that. It’s like you’re going into a Little Caesars and finding out that the guy who runs the register hates pizza more than anything else. They’ve officially crossed a line and need to pay. Also, those acapella puns… F******************************************** ME! I mean, I kinda like Anna Kendrick, I think she has talent. But this movie sucks! Fun fact about this film, one of its big marketing taglines was “GET PITCH SLAPPED.” And you know what? That’s what this movie feels like! A pitch slap! I’m just glad the marketing team nailed the movie on the nose! Deception sucks sometimes.
#18: Daddy’s Home 2 (2017)
When it comes to movies, one of my weaker areas is perhaps films associated with Christmas. But in 2015, I went out and saw “Daddy’s Home,” a film where Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are trying to outdad each other if you will. Ferrell is a dad, Wahlberg is the visiting dad, and I’ll be honest. The movie sucked. It was off the rails, insane, and I couldn’t buy a number of the things that were going on. Then… I saw the sequel, “Daddy’s Home 2.” IT GOT WORSE. I watched it for free on Prime, but that was the only GOOD part! That and Mel Gibson, his character was actually terrifically written, but overall the movie is just BAD! The mile a minute humor just didn’t work. There are sideplots that I really didn’t care all that much about. The chemistry between John Lithgow and Will Ferrell is perhaps embarrassing. I guess it’s… GOOFY but… WHY?! Every time the two wanted to kiss each other on the lips I felt like another one of my precious IQ points just ceased to exist. Seriously guys, if I make a grammatical error during this countdown, I think part of the blame will end up going to “Daddy’s Home 2.” And part of me, admittedly, is ashamed to be putting this on the list because I know a guy who has a kid who is trying to become an actress, and props to her. I’m glad she’s trying to fulfill her dreams. But she was in “Daddy’s Home 2.” So… I don’t know who this person is, and I am rooting for you, 100%, but this movie… DANG. I created this blog to be honest reviewer, what can I say? This is why I call myself the Movie Reviewing Moron. You know, maybe I’m just a moron at this point, I dunno. But in all seriousness, this is one of those comedies that I just watched that started out bad, and just climbed up the ladder of pain for me. Then the end came, and it fell off the ladder and suffered severe damage.
#17: Sharknado (2013)
Syfy, I love your respect and catering to the geek community, but I f*cking hate you sometimes. Why? Because you’re responsible for “Sharknado.” Let’s be real, I could include all six of these abominations on the list, but I can’t because not all of them were in released theatrically. YES! The first movie had a theatrical run for ONE NIGHT. It counts! For the record, I actually did not go see the movie in theaters when it came out, but I sat down and watched it at home in 2016. It was bad but it was also so bad it was funny. Then I saw it again in 2017, where I lost my s*it in just about every single frame. Wait a minute, so let me do the math here. It’s conventional for a film to be shown in 24 frames per second. “Sharknado” is on TV, but it is still a “movie,” barely, so it qualifies. “Sharknado” has a runtime of 1 hour, 27 minutes, and 17 seconds. There are 60 seconds in a minute, which leads me to multiply 24 by 60, which comes out to 1,440 frames for every minute of the movie. There are 60 minutes in an hour, leading me to multiply 1,440 by 60, which equals to 86,400 frames in an hour. The movie, once again, does not go over two hours. 1,440*27=38,880, which gives the total number of frames presented in 27 minutes. 86,400+38,880=125,280, meaning in that hour and twenty-seven minutes, viewers would see 125,280 frames whizzing by on their screens in just one s*itshow. But wait! Because I didn’t add the 17 extra seconds! 24*17=408. Adding that 408 frames to 125,280, that adds up to 125,688 frames for just one motion picture! That’s MORE than enough to make someone like me debate over watching this movie or getting eaten by a shark! Is Tara Reid hot? Yes. But it does not make for a quality movie. Are there cameos all over the place? Yes. But it does not make for a quality movie. I remember the old days when movies were just watching people walk around town. How did we get to flying sharks that have the ability to breathe outside of water? Like, what the f*ck?! I get that this is a ridiculous concept that is made for TV, where there’s probably a greater excuse for poor production quality, but this movie is still irritating! And it also does not excuse the forgettable characters, I did this thing where I perhaps sacrificed my own soul and decided to livetweet to the premieres of the previous three “Sharknado” movies, and when you don’t remember any of the characters or their names from prior installments, that’s kind of a problem. “Sharknado,” what have you done to our society? Oh, I know! F*cking killed it, that’s what you did!
#16: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012)
You know how The Rock may be the biggest badass in cinema right now? Well… Go watch “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” and tell me you do not regret your decision. While Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is charismatic in a lot of roles he’s in, here, he’s just surrounded by cringe. Utter cringe. He’s surrounded by green screen s*it, unrealistically colored s*it, and all sorts of other s*it. I watched this movie once when I was staying at somebody’s house overnight, I was not in control of the television, and let’s just say that I WISH I was in control of that television. This movie isn’t exactly the worst kids film I have seen, but it is one of those unbearably cringeworthy, cliché, and anger-inducing experiences. The screenplay feels like what would be that stereotypical “kids adventure film,” but the thing is, it feels rushed, lazy, and horribly executed. Will kids enjoy this movie? Probably, sure. But I don’t know how much more intelligent it will end up making them. If you had to ask me, this is probably the worst movie with The Rock in it. And this is coming from a guy who saw “Tooth Fairy.” If you are having a Dwayne Johnson themed family movie night, just stick to “Jumanji,” stick to “The Game Plan.” Both of those are better movies to watch with your family if you ask me. ALSO, HOW DID THEY GET MICHAEL CAINE TO BE IN THIS?! Seriously! Do not watch this movie! It’s a hell of a JOURNEY! Literally!
#15: Ice Age: Collision Course (2016)
Coming in at #15 is “Ice Age: Collision Course,” one of the worst animated films ever made. It honestly amazes me that “Ice Age” got to five films before “Blade Runner” got to two films. I adore “Ice Age,” it is one of the more nostalgic properties of my time, so I have a soft spot for it. But this movie is the literal definition of hell. A lot of cliché storytelling methods are brought into this film and do not work out at all, the Scrat cutaways go on to eventually become the worst in the franchise, and the jokes in this film are as dimwitted and dumbed down as my grandma after she got ran over by a reindeer. There is a scene in the film where the frame cuts to an actual turd. They even take time to point it out! THIS FILM! GAH! This piece of horses*it on a stick also contains one of the most disturbing and off-putting scenes I have ever witnessed in an animated film. It sort of mocks the idea of having a baby and becoming a parent, and I don’t even want to continue describing it otherwise I’d blow a F*CKING GASKET! I imagine actors like Ray Romano and Dennis Leary, who are very talented by the way, I should be nice and point out that I enjoy some of the things they do, were ultimately just happy to get the paycheck. I think they just needed some work to pass the time, so this movie fit in perfectly. After all, when you’re doing voiceovers and not physically acting, it’s a pretty simple job. The animation itself looks impressive, this might even be the prettiest “Ice Age” movie yet, but given how this movie came out in 2016, good animation is perhaps a requirement, especially considering how this is a fifth installment to a popular and respectable franchise that is also the original feature-length idea to have come out from the studio who made it, which in this case, is Blue Sky. Oddly enough, “Ice Age: Collision Course” came out in 2016, which is the same year another stinker that takes place in the cold came out, specifically “Norm of the North.” Now I have not seen “Norm of the North” from start to finish, so I cannot give any official thoughts on it. Having said that, and knowing what I already have acquired about “Norm of the North,” I am afraid I watch it, it would make this movie, “Ice Age: Collision Course,” look like “Coraline.” I love how the second “Ice Age” film is called “The Meltdown,” because that is also something I must have experienced internally as I watched the sack of crap some like to call “Ice Age: Collision Course.” If you have kids, don’t show them this. EVER!
#14: Isn’t It Romantic? (2019)
You know what sucks? Stupid, half-assed parodies! Crappy, underwhelming scripts! Mixed, confusing messages that come out of nowhere! This movie has all three of those things! What movie do I speak of? I speak of “Isn’t It Romantic?.” I know I am not the target audience for romcoms, but having said that, this movie is just intolerable. This movie is self-aware, but when I say self-aware, I mean that in a way that feels practically insulting. The movie’s characters are often talking about how much they like going home, watching romantic comedies that someone like myself would never bother watching in the near future. Therefore, it should not be surprising that almost every element of the “clicheromcom” is explained to me, as an audience member, like I’m in pre-school. Even if this movie had one or two nifty ideas, they were not executed well at all! Most of the scenes in “Isn’t It Romantic?” just feel annoying, dull, or headache-inducing. And to make matters worse, this movie is pretty short. It’s an hour and twenty-nine minutes, and I STILL begged for the end! If anything, I think it’s amazing that this movie tries to make fun of a genre that I don’t traditionally enjoy watching and yet it still sucks ass! Also, who is Rebel Wilson’s agent? She needs better work! I don’t really like Wilson as an actress, but still!
#13: Cats (2019)
Oh, yay! “Cats” made the list! What other f*cking possibility did you expect? You know the YouTube channel Cinemasins? It would probably be awhile before they make an “Everything Wrong with Cats” video of some nature, but I would not be surprised if it ever happens as this movie has been universally mocked and panned by a large number of people. In my review for this film which I happened to have posted almost a month ago now, I originally given this a 2. This is one of the few movies I can think of in recent memory that has turned into a 1 overtime. I want to give credit for the visual effects in whatever way I can, because let’s face it, as creepy as everybody looks, there are a couple moments that make the visuals come off as the best part of the movie. But I would be lying if I didn’t confirm that the film’s visual appearance wasn’t unsatisfying to say the least. Speaking of that, I remember hearing that “Cats” was supposed to be redone visually in some way, kind of like what is happening with “Sonic the Hedgehog,” but honestly, I don’t see how that is going to help anything! The movie’s design will still supposedly look lackluster, the writing will still be piss-poor, and the singing sequences will still be boring for the most part! This is one of those films that I almost wonder how it even got made. It is a fine example of how not everything needs to be translated into a movie. I mean, if you want to see a movie where Sir Ian McKellan licks a plate, be my guest! But this is GANDALF we’re talking about! The guy deserves better than to be in this kitty litter! And worst of all, “Cats” is just… BOOOORRRRRRING! Did I mention Rebel Wilson needs a new agent? Yeah, I’m pretty sure I did! I am fairly certain that when it comes to all of the bad movies from 2019 in particular, this was perhaps the biggest CATatrophe.
*I apologize for the crappy clip, this movie barely has anything available and it just came out*
#12: Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
Oh my god. Zilla. This f*cking movie. “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” can go screw itself! Not only is this a bad film, but a disappointing one too. Why? I remember back in 2018 when they dropped the first trailer for this film at San Diego Comic-Con, and it made the movie look like it was going to be epic, it was going to be majestic, it was going to be heart-pumping. If anything, this film reminded me of the 2014 “Godzilla” movie. It had an excellent trailer, in fact multiple excellent trailers at that, and the movie was not exactly as good as those trailers. But at least that movie had some things to enjoy! Yes, you get more monsters and more Godzilla in this film. But it doesn’t make up for the crappy script. It doesn’t make up for the unlikable characters. It doesn’t make up for the occasionally lackluster cinematography (although certain shots were pretty neat). And without going into much context, I’m from the Boston area in Massachusetts, and based on how much I disliked this movie, this is a gigantic disservice to the city of Boston! I saw this film in IMAX and if you know me, you know much of an evangelical I am for large formats including IMAX, even smaller IMAX screens will do the trick for me. However, this may have been the one rare, out of nowhere occasion where I almost felt like I left the IMAX theater and almost received a headache. AND I DIDN’T EVEN WATCH THE FILM IN 3D! The sad part is, the film does come off like it’s trying to be the next big epic. It’s visually pleasing and the sound work is pretty good. But everything from the writing to the waste of a cast is beyond blasphemous. Despite the name, this movie is no king.
#11: Dirty Grandpa (2016)
You ever hear that phrase, “respect your elders?” Well I want to coin a new phrase, “Respect all elders that are not played by Robert De Niro.” “Dirty Grandpa” can suck it! Fun fact, my father actually once ran into Robert De Niro and they exchanged waves. From that I can assume that in person, he’s a rather friendly gentleman. Unfortunately, the character he plays in “Dirty Grandpa” is a complete dickhead. Granted, that was definitely the intention, but there’s a fine line between asshole and menace to society. He’s an incessant liar, he makes all of the world’s other perverts look datable, and even when the movie tries to get you to feel bad for him, they fail miserably because as a viewer, it has already been established that this guy is nobody but someone I just can’t help but scold! This character, at least to me, did not earn anything that he would probably consider of value that relates to the movie’s script and story. As a movie, the characters are bland and just plain terrible, and when it comes to comedy, it just feels tiring and anger-inducing. I get that the movie is about a crazy grandpa, not to mention a pervert grandpa, but as a person, he’s a complete ass! I’m a firm believer that age is just a number. If you want to date someone your age, go for it. If not, you do you. You could be sixty and the other person could be twenty-five. Whatever, it’s your life, not mine, I’m not here to judge your choices. I’m not saying a sixty-year-old should date a five-year-old or something along those lines, if there is a far line between “major” and “minor” ages, that’s when questioning begins from my perspective, but for the most part, you do you. I had no problem with the guy wanting to be around younger women, but the way he acts around not just those women, but a crapton of other characters made me wish I could do something more fun. Stepping on a freaking LEGO brick might as well be more fun than this movie for crying out loud!
#10: Life of the Party (2018)
Coming in at #10, is the film that I put down as my least favorite of 2018, and if you know the lead actress and director, this next entry should not be all that surprising. “Life of the Party.” This was the first 1/10 I gave during the year and I believe a small part of me wondered when it would become dethroned. Granted, 2018 has had its fair share of stinkers, a few other 1/10s as well, but none of them outranked this pile of s*it. This movie stars Melissa McCarthy and is directed by her husband, Ben Falcone, which automatically makes this a lose-lose situation. MY GOSH! Granted, there are various scenes that look like they belong in a comedy. But over the years, having seen tons of movies, there are many films that just feel like they will be made for a short-lived audience experience, maybe they’ll get rentals eventually, but they won’t often be quoted down the road. This feels like one of those forgettable, disposable, not to mention irritating studio comedies. Melissa McCarthy plays this over the top, unrealistically goofy mother, wife type character that feels like a humanized character out of a bad “SpongeBob” episode. There is a point that I remember watching this film in the theater, there were a lot of people there, most likely because it was Mother’s Day, and as we were in the climax, incident upon incident kept happening to the point where I just stopped caring. Everyone was gasping, oohing, aahing, and I just couldn’t join in. There was a point during such moments in the film where I just muttered to myself, “Yeah.” In fact, you want to get into specifics regarding that moment? SPOILERS! Who cares? This movie sucks! It’s not like I’m revealing spoilers for “Back to the Future” or something! This movie has a cameo from Christina Aguilera. Apparently, she’s cousins with one of the characters who is trying to get a party thrown! This sounds like something I would have written if I was four! IN-SULTING! “Life of the Party” reminded me that despite how it may be fun to make movies with your spouse, you’re supposed to make it good. Work first, play later.
#9: New Year’s Eve (2011)
This next entry to the list, quite honestly, as one who admires the holiday, hurt me. “New Year’s Eve” dropped the ball and based on how terrible the movie is, it must have dropped on my balls. This film is directed by Garry Marshall, who unfortunately passed away, but in his final days of directing, he apparently resorted to some half-assed holiday movies that probably should have ended up going straight to Lifetime. But because these movies score big name actors like Halle Berry (Catwoman, Monster’s Ball), Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry, Insomnia), Sofia Vergara (Modern Family, Happy Feet 2), Katherine Heigel (27 Dresses, Knocked Up), Ashton Kutcher (That 70s Show, Dude, Where’s My Car?), Zac Efron (High School Musical, Hairspray), Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns, One Fine Day), Josh Duhamel (Transformers, When in Rome), and get this! ROBERT F*CKING DE NIRO (The Godfather, Goodfellas)! “New Year’s Eve” is just one of those movies that really just gets the big screen treatment when I cannot help but ask, “Why?” Granted, there is a sense of spectacle with New Year’s Eve, because there’s a lot of partying, a lot of noise, a lot of chaos that ultimately goes down. Plus, even though I have not been to the ball drop in New York myself, or any of the other big firework shows or celebrations around the world to ring in the new year, I have a built-in sense that these events are almost life-altering, even if it is something as simple as waiting for time to change. It is the ultimate definition of turning nothing into something. New Year’s Eve is almost the “Seinfeld” of holidays. No, Festivus does not count. The problem with “New Year’s Eve” is that it has too many storylines meshed into one, so there’s no real main conflict that I have to care about. Too many things rise as problems, therefore there are too many solutions. This movie has more problems than an advanced placement math class. Don’t watch this at the end or beginning of the year, otherwise you’ll probably be having a crappy new year.
#8: Point Break (2015)
Ever since my first visit to it in 2017, I have watched the original “Point Break” once every summer. This past year, I ordered the 4K Blu-ray for the “Point Break” remake online. Two weeks after my annual “Point Break” viewing, I thought to myself: “Why not check out the new one?” Granted, I was not expecting much, because I know of numerous online critics who have slammed this thing to the ground. Guess what? As of now, I am no exception because the “Point Break” remake broke me! It is the literal definition of when Hollywood studios become lazy and try to recreate something that has already been done well, and perhaps seems irreplaceable. This remake just feels rushed. We barely get to know the characters, none of them seem like they have charisma or chemistry, and it is just an insult to the “Point Break” name! And you know what? Before this film even came out, original actress Lori Petty was outspoken in terms of how infuriated she was to see this happen. And having seen the movie, I applaud her. The original “Point Break,” directed by Kathryn Bigelow, is an interesting film because of how the characters of Johnny Utah, the FBI agent lawman, and Bodhi, the criminal who really enjoys surfing interact with each other, become friends, and play off each other. I felt the comradery between the duo. Here? Absolutely nothing! Also, the color grading for a good portion of the film looks like a depressingly serious installment to the “James Bond” franchise. It’s freaking awful! And I bet the studio behind this film, Warner Brothers, who by the way did not make the original “Point Break” (20th Century Fox did), lacked any faith they could have had in this film at some point in time. Why? Because it released the week after “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and the same day as a Quentin Tarantino film! Warner Brothers must have been like… Let’s just put it out! Who cares? We might as well hide it, but we’ll get some money once “Star Wars” sells out! Let’s just see what happens!
#7: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014)
I’m pretty sure this picture above suggests what I want to happen to every copy of the script for this film… As much as I love Marvel, as much as I love “Star Wars,” as much as I love Pixar, Disney itself is perhaps an evil corporation. And if I’m the hero of this story, I have to remind all of you to simply avoid watching my least favorite movie of 2014, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” This is a family comedy at its worst! It tries to be goofy, it tries to be silly, it tries to be whimsical, it tries to be heartwarming at a particular point. NONE OF IT worked. In fact, this feels like something that I probably would have written at the age of five. A number of the jokes were predictable, unfunny, and just plain unbearable. I never felt offended by anything, which isn’t too surprising for a Disney movie at this point, but there is one thing I did feel after watching this movie. STUPID. If I had to be honest with you, there is a good chance that as much as Steve Carell tries his best with his performance in this movie, I think he was ultimately just happy to receive a paycheck and move on with life. In fact, this may be his worst movie! If I had to say anything else, this may have also been a reminder from Disney that they made the movie “Peter Pan.” They had a whole side story about one of the characters being part of a “Peter Pan” play, which may have only been in the movie because, you know, Disney! If anything, they should change this film’s name to “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Movie.” The only positive thing I was able to get from this movie was to realize that the very next day I was going to see “Interstellar.” And if you have seen my Best of the Decade countdown, you’d know I LOVE that movie.
#6: The Space Between Us (2017)
One of the significant types of films I’ve witnessed during the 2010s that have stood out, at least to me, have something to do with outer space. Films like “The Martian,” “First Man,” and “Gravity.” Unfortunately, I saw one particular science fiction film that does not rank up there with such titles. Specifically, 2017’s “The Space Between Us.” Films like this is why I continuously lose faith in the human race. Will we go to Mars? Will we travel to alternate universes? Will we elect THE PERFECT PRESIDENT? Who knows? I think we’re all just going to die a horrible death one day and part of the blame will have to go to the making of this movie. In fact, this movie stars Asa Butterfield, who seems to be doing what he can with a rather clunky script, but I seriously wonder if this is what he would have wanted to do with his acting career. In fact, I remember back in the middle of the decade when he was one of the top candidates to become the MCU’s “Spider-Man.” As much as I love Tom Holland right now, part of me wonders if Asa Butterfield actually turned out to be the next Spider-Man, if this movie would even exist right now. OR, if it did exist, would they make it ten times better? I dunno. It’s hard to tell. I mean, I’m not hating on Butterfield, because I did like him in “Ender’s Game” which came out in 2013. I think he was pretty decent there and the movie overall worked. THIS ON THE OTHER HAND, IS PURE MALARKEY! As for his chemistry with Britt Robertson, it could arguably be the chemistry between a set characters in a sci-fi film ever. The characters are disposable, lack charisma, and there are several lines that feel like they would almost be too stupid to put in even a first draft! The film does like somewhat nice at times, it some cool shots, but much like with “Ice Age: Collision Course,” which is a somewhat pretty animated movie, looks are not everything. I need some time away from this movie. I need… SPACE.
#5: Mother’s Day (2016)
Ah… “Mother’s Day,” that one day of year to remind yourself of everything that your mom has done for you. It’s a day of appreciation, love, and BAD MOVIES. Case and point, “Mother’s Day,” directed by Garry Marshall. What really makes this movie so insufferable is the obnoxious ad campaign it seems to present for the Home Shopping Network, and that’s just a tiny little taste of it! Product placement is something I understand, something I completely get. Movies are not cheap to make. But it is difficult to do without making me roll my eyes. This movie should really not be called “Mother’s Day,” but based on its obnoxious fetish for the Home Shopping Network, it should be retitled, “Home Shopping Network: The Movie.” There’s even this one scene that takes place in front of a vending machine where I ENDLESSLY was on the brink of full-blown anger of despair. I want to watch a movie, NOT a commercial! In fact, the only thing that could make this the most commercialized Mother’s Day film possible is by having every other scene be a Hallmark card reading session. As for the characters, they are disposable, boring, and overall, just pains to watch! Yes, the cast is fairly recognizable from Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, and Julia Roberts, but that just makes the movie worse considering how these talented, well-known people are being wasted through a boring-ass commercialized script! Once again, this was directed by Garry Marshall, who also directed the monstrously bad “New Year’s Eve,” another film that ruins the spirit of its own holiday. I said earlier that “New Year’s Eve” hurt me. “Mother’s Day” on the other hand, killed me. And this movie’s just worse because while both films come close to meaning something in regards their specific holiday spirit, this one just fails on seemingly every level. I will point out, it has been awhile since watching “Mother’s Day” and this movie is unfathomably forgettable. Plus, I can assure you that if there was any blatantly obvious product placement in 2011’s “New Year’s Eve,” it would be somewhat forgiven because how can you not have Times Square be full of advertising in real life? Even if you have the worst mother in the world who never gave you any love, respect, or time, I will assure you, your mother is much more admirable than this sack of garbage they call a film!
#4: The Emoji Movie (2017)
Here’s the thing about being a kid. As a kid, I’d watch anything as long as it was on a screen, but luckily, one of those things was not “The Emoji Movie,” I first watched that at 17-years old. Why did I watch this movie? To be completely truthful, it was because I wanted to prove to the universe that I have the balls to go see any movie ever made, even if it looks like it is gonna suck ass. And “ass” is the perfect way to describe “The Emoji Movie” if you ask me. But I survived! I guess! This is without a doubt, proof, of how not to make an animated movie. Marketing-wise, I can see where Sony is coming from, but it does not mean it is a genius concept! Granted, if you take something like “The LEGO Movie” when it was on paper, that didn’t sound like a genius concept, but Phil Lord and Christopher Miller took that abnormal and seemingly stale concept and turned it into magic. This movie just sucks! In fact, speaking of “The LEGO Movie,” it rips off elements of that, and it also injects the core parts that make up “Inside Out” and “Wreck-It Ralph.” Not even Patrick Stewart can save the movie! If you are a “Star Trek” fan and prefer Picard over Kirk, I’d wonder if this film will make you change your mind. The worst part about this film is that it is literally built around advertising and product placement. I don’t want to blame the director for this mess. If anything, I think the writers, or whoever pitched this movie needs a good talking to. I almost wonder if Sony just came up with this idea because they were running out of juice. Seriously! If I were making a movie about Emojis, which I would probably NEVER do, it’s a STUPID idea anyway, I would do my best to not let children remember this movie for highlights such as when random noname characters watch cat videos on YouTube! As if the movie was not insulting enough, to save the day, the heroes need to go somewhere, and they fly there on a Twitter bird! This is a crime and unholy sin against not just humanity, but technological faces and images! If you are a parent, do yourself a favor, if you want a movie to put on for a couple of hours just to shut your kid up, just stick with “How To Train Your Dragon” or something. If you’re doing errands at Walmart and find this on DVD, run, don’t walk, away as fast as possible.
#3: The Haunting of Sharon Tate (2019)
We are getting to the bottom of the barrel, guys, and I mean that in every sense of the word. This is one of the most boring, unlikable, distasteful, and incompetently made films I have seen in my entire life. “The Haunting of Sharon Tate.” This is one of those films that I knew how bad it was going to be from the very first scene. The editing and cinematography of this bitch make this garbage look more a music video as opposed to a film! Based on what I have read, this seems to have barely gotten any sort of theatrical release in the US. It got released in theaters, but who knows how many? But according to Box Office Mojo, it has a release in countries like Russia and Portugal, therefore it had a slight taste of that theatrical flavor. Combing the totals of both countries’ theatrical runs, the film made a total just short of $20,000! I don’t know how much it cost to make “The Haunting of Sharon Tate,” but if you told me this movie made a profit with a $20,000+ worldwide return, I’d probably smack you over the head! And I’m glad it didn’t release in too many theaters where I live because I would have probably demanded a refund! This movie is based on the Manson Murders from 1969, and focuses mainly around Sharon Tate. Not only that, and this is one of the reasons why I hate this movie so much, they bring a half-assed supernatural plot into the mix! There are a few BARELY interesting conversations about fate. That’s the only redeeming quality of the film. Other than that, I think the performances, maybe across the board, are abominable. The directing is perhaps cringeworthy. The camerawork and color scheme of the film are both almost off-putting. I think the way Sharon Tate was written was terrible as well, because even though I don’t know much about her in real life, this movie seems to present a version of Tate that often breaks down in tears every other microsecond, she’s depressed, and it’s like she can’t even function in everyday society. And I get that this is a horror movie, and I want my horror movies to be scary, I want them to literally eat me. There is a scene in this film that is the stuff of nightmares, but not in the way that would allow me to respect the people who made this piece of crap. It’s rare for me to feel personally offended by media, and “The Haunting of Sharon Tate” did not offend me, just so we’re clear here. But I wonder if Sharon Tate herself would be offended by this disaster! What makes this even more unbearable is the fact that in just the same year, we got a fantastic movie with Sharon Tate in it, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” That made me want to live in 1969. This movie made me just want to die.
#2: The Smurfs (2011)
Up next, is one of the worst family films I have seen in the entirety of the time that I’ve been alive, “The Smurfs.” I! HATE! EVERYTHING! ABOUT! THIS! MOVIE! I saw this movie before I was a teenager, and even then I knew how bad it was. I have no memory of watching any of the earlier “Smurfs” material growing up, so I had nothing ruined for me, but I wonder what would have happened if I did watch any of that earlier material. I have seen this film twice, both times were probably not my choice, and it did not get any better the second time. This is the kind of movie that you SHOULD NOT show your kids. Not because it’s inappropriate, too edgy, or anything like that, but because it just almost feels mindless. Between the product placement, the unbelievably annoying screenplay, and beyond lifeless performances from actors including Neil Patrick Harris, it all adds up to one of the most insulting movies of the past ten years. You know those times when you watch a movie and think to yourself, “This was written by a four-year-old for crying out loud!” If you ask me, I think that’s the case for “The Smurfs,” a four-year-old could have written this on a random piece of paper and somehow know how to get this pitched. And another four-year-old executive who just started their new job because they have connections with a parent who works at the studio looked at the script and said, “We’ll take it! Because let’s face it, four-year-olds will watch anything on a screen and call it the greatest masterpiece in all of history! Let’s Smurf this thing up!” In fact, you know how this movie is called “The Smurfs?” Yeah, they suck. THEY JUST SUCK! There is a scene in the movie where the Smurfs are doing their trademarked “Happy Song” and what happens next reminded me of exactly what I’m feeling as an audience member. When Neil Patrick Harris yells, “STOP!” and asks the Smurfs if they find the song the least bit annoying, I cannot believe how much I wanted to side with this dude. Seriously, some of those Smurfs really got on my nerves as the movie progressed. The only person in this movie who looks like he’s having fun with it is Hank Azaria as Gargamel. He’s written with tons of cliches behind him, but based on the supposed charisma Azaria must have behind him, he makes it work! Other than that, the movie is just S*IT! This is the kind of family movie I don’t want in my life.It’s too dumbed-down for kids, too cheesy and cringeworthy for adults, and it just makes me feel blue. To this day I still have not seen the second one. I’m not wasting my time.
#1: ??? (2016)
After 24 movies, one more lies ahead. This is a film that I admittedly knew would be bad just from seeing the first trailer. In fact, without saying the actual title, if you have followed me for a long time, you’d know that this film has some sort of significance to this blog, and in a way, has been part of its ongoing history. I’ve mentioned it a number of times, I’ve bashed it from occasion after another, and I’ve even done a couple dedicated posts on it, including a review. Take a look at my #1 worst movie of the 2010s.
Call me an asshole, call me a buffoon, call me a sexist even, but my #1 worst film of the 2010s is “Ghostbusters.” Specifically, “Ghostbusters” 2016. Never in the history of my adventures at the movies have I been more immensely shell-shocked, and I don’t mean that in a good way. I don’t mean that as in, I just saw the best, most realistic war film of all time, I mean that I somehow went into this movie, my friend and I paid EXTRA money for it to see it in 3D, with the lowest expectations possible, and I still walked out disappointed! This is a film that could have been alright, but I think there are a ton of problems with it. Look, I am all for female empowerment, but I think the main problem with this film is that it erases the legacy of which it established decades prior. Ray, Egon, Peter, and Winston have formed something made of gold. Keep in mind, I am not a mega-fanatic of the “Ghostbusters” franchise. I like “Ghostbusters,” but to this day, I still haven’t seen the cartoons, I do not have a lot of “Ghostbusters” toys or merch, although I do have a pretty cool shirt, I still have yet to see “Ghostbusters II,” but even I think that rebooting, or in this case, remaking “Ghostbusters” with women was a step in the wrong direction. I think this movie could have been slightly more interesting with a similar plot, the same cast, but without a popular IP name attached to it. Just call it “Spooky Bitches” or something else that sounds pretty badass! You’ll probably get me in the theater! And you know how I mentioned that I saw this film in 3D? I think that’s the only positive element of the film, because I noticed they use a technology called frame break, where certain effects not only appear as if they pop off the screen, but the way the cinema set up the screen left two black bars on the top and bottom, so the effects take up space on those black bars. It’s gimmicky, but cool. Other than that, the only other positive I can come up with, which doesn’t really make the movie all that much better, is one chuckle-worthy line out of Leslie Jones’ mouth. As for everything else, it’s s*it!
The reality of the situation is this… “Ghostbusters” 2016 has a talented cast. I think Kristen Wiig has acting chops and I liked a couple of other things she was in. Kate McKinnon is pretty funny and I usually find her to be a card on “Saturday Night Live.” I admittedly have not seen much of Leslie Jones before “Ghostbusters,” but in person, she comes off as pretty funny. In fact, I am rooting for her at this point, because “Supermarket Sweep” is coming back and apparently, she’s hosting, so I wish her luck! The only person in the cast who I never tend to associate with anything all that great is Melissa McCarthy, and maybe it’s because she never gets the right roles. She just always comes off like she needs to step in as that one chubby lady with an obnoxious voice. Plus, Chris Hemsworth is in this movie, but I would be lying to you if I told you he played a good character, because HE DID NOT! He plays a secretary and he makes Patrck Star look like Sheldon Cooper! There’s dumb, and then there’s cringeworthy dumb! Based on everything I’ve stated so far, I think you all know what kind of dumb I feel this movie presents from Hemsworth’s character. And that’s another thing that I almost completely forgot about, THANKFULLY, but now I am officially in hell once more, so I gotta deal with it… Every man in this film is an idiot.
I get it, this film is trying to present these women who come, see, and kick something’s ass, and I don’t really see a problem with female empowerment, but pretty much every man felt either disposable or idiotic. There’s a Chinese delivery guy who always delivers the wrong thing, there’s a guy who in a situation of terror is more concerned with his own theater than the lives of those in his theater, there’s a forgettable male antagonist named Rowan, and that’s just scratching the surface of this unbelievable f*cking turd of a film! This movie, and this could be COMPLETELY unintentional, almost seems to demonize men as an entire gender. There’s even a scene where the girls have to bust a giant ghost, and to do that, they have to shoot it in it’s crotch! I should point out, this film is written and directed by Paul Feig, who to be fair, is a guy who has received acclaim for films like “Bridesmaids.” He also created “Freaks and Geeks,” which is a really good show! But he also wrote a guest column years back titled “Why Men Aren’t Funny.” It does make me a little suspicious if you ask me. Maybe a little too much.
This film, even though it has often marketed as an empowerment message of some sorts to women, it is also, at least from my point of view, an attack on men. Do I think men are funny? Yes. Do I think women are funny? Absolutely! But NOBODY is funny in “Ghostbusters!” And that’s the thing about the original 1984 film, it’s not the funniest movie I have ever seen to be completely honest, but it is well-written and handles dry humor very well. In the original film, the four main guys have terrific chemistry with one another, they felt like a proper team. This 2016 remake lacks the same oomph in the chemistry that the original managed to have. Plus the jokes in general, across the board, make me think that Red Bull will no longer give me wings.
This movie is full of problems, ranging from bad characters to some ridiculously cartoony visuals, but one thing I think about often is how these women essentially become superheroes by the end of the movie. You can make the argument that the film is hiding a deleted scene where they all get bitten by a radioactive ghost whose teeth still work! The beauty of the original “Ghostbusters,” including in the climax is that the guys are always adapting to new situations. When they use their proton packs, it shows that they lack experience with busting the paranormal. But as I showed in the clip above, these four women can wield proton packs towards the end of the film as if they’ve become powerful Jedi or something of that nature! This is “Ghostbusters,” not the MCU! THERE’S A F*CKING DIFFERENCE!
One more thing, and that should be all… I mentioned that this is a reboot of the 1984 film. Having said that, it pretty much ignores previously established characters and lore that fans and audiences have come to know and creates something new. But the movie also has cameos from the original cast… AND IT ALL SUCKS!
Dan Aykroyd plays a cab driver who can’t help Kristen Wiig’s character get to Chinatown… For… NO REASON AT ALL?! Son of a bitch! Ernie Hudson makes a cameo by the end of the movie that is perhaps… tolerable? Maybe? Maybe because the movie’s over, that’s why. Apparently Sigourney Weaver made a cameo that I do not remember at all. But by far the most insulting cameo is from Bill Murray, who I could probably tell DID NOT want to be in this movie! But he must be a classy dude for doing it, and I’m sure whatever paycheck he got was going to help him overtime. Maybe he did want to do it, but the way his lines are delivered are almost robotic. It doesn’t feel raw!
And I do believe that the cast themselves got a little too much unnecessary hate for being in this movie, but it does not change the fact that THE MOVIE IS JUST!!! …GARRRRBAGE! Never have I watched a film in the theater and felt more surprisingly let down. If you like this film, that’s fine, you’re allowed to like it, but I thought it was one of the most insulting, bottom of the barrel, stupid, not to mention perhaps offensive films I have witnessed in my life. I just hope that 2020’s “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” will steer the ship in the proper direction. The first trailer for that film looks better than ANYTHING that has come out of “Ghostbusters” 2016 marketing-wise or the movie itself.
While we’re on this topic, this is a weird way to end the decade, because I started this blog back in 2016 as part of a high school project, the first post I ever did is titled “Ghostbusters (2016) Trailer 1 Review: Most Poorly Received Trailer Ever?” and now here we are, talking about my #1 worst film of 2010s, and it is literally about the movie I mainly talked about in my first post. This feels like a perfect culmination for Scene Before. The decade all started with “Ghostbusters,” and thus the decade shall end with “Ghostbusters!” The saga is complete. If you ask me, I think “Ghostbusters” 2016 should be avoided at all costs, just go back and watch the original, I think that would make for a more pleasant movie night, maybe it’ll make you feel like you have less strange somethings in the neighborhood. “Ghostbusters” 2016 can rot, I don’t want to watch it ever again, and it is the worst movie of the 2010s!
Thanks for reading this countdown! I just want to thank each and every one of you who has tuned in, read, or simply glanced at my material during the 2010s. I know not all of it is great. There’s a lot of work to this day that I am truly proud of, but there is some that I admittedly look back upon and cringe over. But that’s part of the journey, admitting your mistakes and learning from them. I will say, I did market this as a “countdown event,” so even though this is the proper conclusion to the series, maybe I’ll insert a spinoff here and there every once in awhile. I want to know in the comments down below, is there a new addition to this countdown event series that you would want to see? Maybe a most disappointing list? Overrated movies list? Underrated movies list? Let me know down below!
Speaking of being in the know, I have an announcement to make. Some of you may have seen this coming, but I do want to let everyone know, that one of the most experimental and one of a kind posts I made last year was The 1st Annual JACKOFF Awards. This year, I have decided to continue the tradition. I am planning on announcing the nominees on Sunday, February 2nd, and holding the awards two weeks after, Sunday, February 16th. I have no idea if I am going to go through with this, but I’m thinking of changing the name. I’m not too sure Meryl Streep will be bragging about winning a Jackoff, but this is something I still need to think about. Nevertheless, stay tuned for more information, and until then, have a happy new decade! Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! Be sure to like this post and leave a comment, it really helps me out! Speaking of which, check out my Facebook page and spread the word regarding Scene Before and Flicknerd.com on social! If you guys want to check out my Top BEST Movies of the 2010s, there’s a box down below that will take you to that post, just click on it and you’re good to go! If you’re reading it, enjoy it! Go nuts! I want to know, what are your least favorite movies of the 2010s? Do you have a list? Name the films! Do you think I missed an entry from this list? There are so many movies to choose from that maybe I forgot one along the way! Leave your thoughts and opinions down below and let’s make the 2020s a blast that’s stronger than a bolt of lightning! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!
Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! This is it! We have arrived! Second upon second, minute upon minute, hour upon hour, week upon week, month upon month, year upon year, has led to this very moment. It is time to dive into the best and the worst movies of the 2010s! For this initial installment of the multi-part series, I will be diving into the best movies of the decade. If you have followed this blog for some time, there is a good chance that you know that I usually like to cap off my years by reflecting on the best and worst in film through short countdowns. This however, is going to be bigger. I’ll not only explain movies, what they’re about, why I did or did not like them, but I will also show clips of the movies as well, so you can get a taste of the cinematic flavor. Plus, instead of top 10, this countdown is going to be a top 25, more films, more fun! I am going to continue being as descriptive about these movies as I can without providing any spoilers about them. And per usual, rules apply. This is a completely subjective and personal countdown. All of these entries are strictly my opinion, and in no way factual. I am not being paid money to put a film in a certain place, I am not sponsoring any of these films, I have not even worked on a single one, I am just a viewer. Also, the 2010s is a span of ten years and thousands of movies, for all I know the final outcome could be much more because it is getting easier to make a film nowadays. People do it on iPhones for crying out loud! With that being said, I have not seen every single film this decade. I still haven’t gotten around to films like “Despicable Me” (2010), “The Artist” (2011), “Silver Linings Playbook” (2012), “This is the End” (2013), “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” (2014), “Bridge of Spies” (2015), “The Nice Guys” (2016), “Logan” (2017) “If Beale Street Could Talk” (2018), and “The Two Popes” (2019). Films like those will not be on the list. I will also point out, if the film does not have a theatrical release of any kind, it will not be allowed on here. That means all movies that have gone straight to DVD, TV, or streaming are not qualified and will be off the list unless the public was able to see it in a theater during its prime release schedule. So with that being said, let’s dive into a countdown to ultimately define the past ten years. This is the big one, let’s do this! These are my top 25 BEST movies of the 2010s!
#25: Honey Boy (2019)
Out of all the movies that I am putting on this list, this one is one of the most recent to have come out. Specifically, “Honey Boy.” This movie is written by, of all people, Shia LeBeouf (Transformers, The Peanut Butter Falcon). And I have to say, as an observer, I think LeBeouf might be a better writer than he is an actor! LeBeouf wrote this movie while he was in rehab and I think the turnout result on screen is nothing short of fantastic. This is the first feature-length script written for the screen by LeBeouf himself, and if he is ever up to the task, I would love to see more from him. Speaking of debuts, this film is also the feature-length debut of director Alma Har’el, who I think personally created one of the best directorial debuts of all-time. This is a film that hit me when I saw it in the theater. I was never able to fully relate to the situations at hand. But that’s because I never grew up with an abusive parent, I have very loving parents, but I cannot deny that I felt something for the movie’s lead kid character, Otis, who is played marvelously by Noah Jupe. Speaking of which, we also manage to see some rather unfortunate effects that have been eventually attached to this character as he ages into a 22-year-old. The only problem I have with this movie are a couple nitpicky comments I have with shot choices. Other than that, it’s perfection.
#24: Birdman (2014)
You ever watch a certain movie and ask yourself, “HOW THE F*CK DID THEY MAKE THAT?!” Admittedly, I knew one or two things going into “Birdman,” but having seen that movie, I have to reiterate that question to myself from time to time. Seriously! This is a film that quite literally, never stops. It is one of the most innovative films of our time, specifically because the shots never cut. I just saw “1917” before concluding this list, which is a great movie. And that too has a non-stop, one shot take represented for an extended period of time. But this movie was a game-changer for me. This movie also could have sucked as a story, and still work for me in regards to how it represents itself visually. But guess what, it doesn’t suck as a story! The movie revolves around an actor who is well known for his role as a superhero in a film franchise. He’s sort of becoming increasingly irrelevant, and he is trying to revitalize his career on Broadway. The film gets surprisingly intense and delivers some of the best acting of the decade. This movie may represent Emma Stone’s best performance to date, which says a lot because I like her as an actress even in movies that I didn’t enjoy overall. Even though I didn’t entirely dig films like “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” she was a highlight. If Stone keeps kicking ass in Hollywood and taking names for years to come, maybe she’ll be the next Meryl Streep. That’s another thing, what really makes this film all the more intense as a production is the fact that the camera is literally never stopping. There’s a shot that goes on for fifteen minutes, suggesting that there is a clear sense of needing to remember literally everything you have to do. Somehow, everyone pulled this ambitious project off! To me, it’s one of the greatest cinematic achievements of all time. Good story, good cast, good cinematography, GREAT film.
#23: Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
One of my favorite DreamWorks franchises is “Kung Fu Panda,” so it should not be surprising that one of the films from the franchise end up on here. Well… except the first one, that came out in 2008, therefore it doesn’t count. Instead, why not put the second one on the list? “Kung Fu Panda 2” is too awesome for words. If you ask me, this is an animated sequel that is visually stunning, fun, and continues directly where the original left off and gives itself a reason to exist. It also, to my surprise, does a really good job with world-building and providing some decent backstory material as well. Much like many other sequels that come to mind, this references the original in clever ways, the most notable instance that comes to mind is the “stairs” scene, which continues to get a kick out of me conceptually. I will also say that much like the original “Kung Fu Panda” movie, the climax of this film is one of the best in animation history. It is compelling, it is attention-grabbing, it is flashy, it is epic, it’s everything I want out of a movie like this. The animation itself is pristine, clean, and overall very marvelous to glance upon. It’s easily one of DreamWorks’ best-looking films! If “Kung Fu Panda 2” ever comes out on 4K, I would not mind going to the store and picking it up! The original “Kung Fu Panda” will always have a place in my heart, both as a childhood film, and as one of my favorite films in general. But this sequel, along with the third installment in the trilogy, both bring smiles to my face. Spoiler by the way, the third installment, as much I adore it, is not on this list!
#22: Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)
Coming in at #22 is an entry that I feel is going to strike some controversy, but what is the Internet without a little disagreement? So, hear me out. Here’s the thing about “The Wizard of Oz,” many people seem to know it to be one of the most beloved, iconic films of all time, and I can see why. Having seen the film myself, I think it is definitely worthy of utter appreciation even eighty years after its release. However, if you ask me, one of the best films of my time, personally, comes from the same universe, “Oz the Great and Powerful.” This is one of those films that I am surprised I do not talk about more often. While the visuals at times may not look realistic and maybe like something out of a TV movie, that honestly adds to the charm of this film a little bit. I think James Franco does a pretty decent job with the lead Role. Mila Kunis adds her slice of charisma and comes off like she’s having fun with the movie. When I saw the marketing for this film originally, I was expecting something epic, fun, and flashy, and I got all three of those things. Did I mention Sam Raimi directed this film? I think he did a pretty swell job at not only giving us a solid story, but the way they utilized 3D in this film was honestly done to levels that I did not expect. Is it gimmicky? I guess you can definitely make an argument for it being gimmicky, but that sort of adds to the fantastical charm of it all. I also have to give a shoutout to Danny Elfman for creating the fantastic score. As soon as I was introduced to the film and I was going through the opening titles, I knew that this movie was going to be rad. There are times where, dare I say it… *whispering* think this could be more entertaining than “The Wizard of Oz…” Does that mean it’s technically better? Probably not, but still.
#21: Roma (2018):
I think this film is pretty unique in terms of where it stands. After all, it is the only black and white movie on this list. I give you all the movie that made me start taking Netflix just a tad more seriously as brand, “Roma!” This is one of those films that I went in blind for, and as I watched whatever was happening, it made for one of the best theater experiences of the past few years. Plus, getting to see this movie in 70mm was a treat. This film is directed by Alfonso Cuarón, who also made another enjoyable flick from this decade, “Gravity.” Now I liked “Gravity” when I saw it, and as a theater experience, it was better than “Roma,” which says something because “Roma” is great on its own. But having said that, “Roma” is ultimately the superior film. It’s a story revolving around a maid to a family in Mexico who becomes pregnant. Essentially, this is one of those “slice of life” films that is not always happy go lucky. There was a moment during the film, probably through shot composition, direction, and acting, where I almost let a tear go. The beach scene in this film is one of the most emotionally powerful moments I had the privilege of witnessing in a cinema. When it comes to this list, there is almost no other film that I can think of, except a few, that can rival this one in terms of cinematography. If you want to watch it right now it is free on Netflix, but it is also getting a physical release as part of the Criterion Collection which REALLY makes me happy. I will say though, I am not sure how audiences, specifically Americans, will continue to respond to it overtime. It is black and white and has subtitles. I don’t care about subtitles personally, but it is, as “Parasite” director Bong Joon Ho suggests, a one-inch tall barrier that some viewers have yet to overcome.
#20: The Disaster Artist (2017)
I did not make this list, it’s not true, it’s bulls*it! I did not make this list! I did nawt! Oh, hi viewers! This film is one of the best comedies I have seen, which is tremendous praise on my part because if you are making a comedy specifically for me, it is HARD to make a good one. What comedy am I talking about? That first pile of sentences should be a hint. “The Disaster Artist!” This is a film that is about a lot of things. Friendship, sticking up for one another when one is trying their hardest to make something special, and how MIND-NUMBINGLY DIFFICULT it is to make a good movie. This movie is basically a telling of how Tommy Wiseau and others went about making the early 2000s cult classic “The Room.” For those of you who haven’t seen “The Room,” this film basically tells you the behind the scenes mayhem and chaos that went into that movie. It’s one of those movies, kind of similar to films like “Batman & Robin” or last year’s “The Fanatic” starring John Travolta that is so incredibly hysterical that it would probably leave some viewers wondering how it even was conceived, made, and released! This film dives deep into all of that. James Franco also gives one of the best performances I have seen from him. Yes, he was definitely great in films like “127 Hours.” To me, that’s nothing compared to “The Disaster Artist,” and I can tell that it was rather simple for Franco to put a lot of passion into this performance considering how he not only starred in the film, but he also directed it. At the end of 2017, I told pals of mine that I was looking forward to watching this more than “The Last Jedi.” I cannot say I was disappointed walking out of it. In fact, the tail end of the film has that feel good vibe that I did not even think I would have needed. Do you have to watch “The Room” to understand “The Disaster Artist?” Not really, no. You can go watch this film, and once it ends, I think you may be able to fully understand everything. Does it help? Sure it does, because it goes into some of Tommy’s mannerisms, quirks, and even pays homage to certain choices and dialogue that had ultimately been put in “The Room” itself. Also, shoutout to Tommy Wiseau. I love you, man. You’re kinda crazy, but I love ya!
#19: Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)
Some people say that Pixar may be the biggest force today that will allow the animation industry to thrive. I would not say they’re wrong, but if you ask me, I think the animation industry also has a place for another particular company, Laika, the creators of “Coraline.” Speaking of Laika, they also created my favorite animated film of 2016, “Kubo and the Two Strings.” When I went through 2016 as a year in film, there were plenty of good ones like “Captain America: Civil War,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” and “Patriots Day.” However, if there happened to be one genre that dominated the year for me, it has to be animation. With the exception of maybe “Moana” and DEFINITELY “Ice Age: Collision Course,” I don’t think there is a single animated film from 2016 I did not enjoy. For the record, I missed out on “Norm of the North,” so I have no comments regarding that. “Finding Dory, “Zootopia,” “Sing,” “Kung Fu Panda 3,” and even the raunchy adult animation “Sausage Party” all were worthy of a thumbs up. However, “Kubo” came out on top. It is a film that is visually creative and stunning, colorful, and an amazing tribute to everyone who’s got a story to tell. The film’s cast also has some notable names including Charlize Theron (Hancock, A Million Ways to Die in the West), Matthew McConaughey (Mud, Dallas Buyers Club), and even George Takei (Star Trek, Kim Possible). The film has various scenes that make me personally wish that I was the one responsible behind the screenplay or the overall production due to the brilliant ideas being presented. “Kubo and the Two Strings” is one of those films that is worth just about every second of my time. Out of all the films to come out in its particular year, it’s probably the one that most resembles a video game. I guess if you change some character names, maybe one or two pieces of the plot, and have a side gag dedicated to breaking pottery, this would make for one fine “Legend of Zelda” movie.
#18: Inside Out (2015)
I have only seen this movie once, but even so, it is still one of the most charming animated films out there today. I’m talking about “Inside Out!” The concept behind it is one that I personally wish I originated. Essentially, it dives into the “voices inside your head.” These voices include Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear, and Sadness. One of the biggest surprises that I have with “Inside Out” is its expansive world. And I say it’s surprising because of where exactly the world takes place, specifically inside the head of a young girl going through puberty. Even though this movie is made for families and children, it deals with some heavy topics. Moving, adapting to a new lifestyle, growing up, and handling yourself emotionally regardless of the situation. This movie does a really good job at displaying the human condition by reminding you that there are times when your feelings take over and you lose a sense of control in a way. I liked all the characters in this film, some of the human characters are admittedly a little generic, but the movie is not about them, they are ultimately pawns in this story, it’s really about the main human character, Riley, and the voices in her head. Speaking of said voices, I also want to give massive props to Lewis Black for his terrific voiceover performance as Anger, and part of it has to do with the golden script that allows these emotions to shine. But out of all of them, Anger is by far the best of the bunch because of how raw he feels. Whenever he gets mad, he literally erupts like a volcano. It’s f*cking great. Much like some other Pixar films such as “Coco” or “Up,” this film is powerful in its impact. That’s probably the best part of it because you have these five core emotions and all of them make you feel emotions. This movie does its job well, and even though I have not watched it since my initial viewing in 2016 when it came to Starz, I cannot wait to watch it again.
#17: Room (2015)
HOOO-LY CRRRAAAAP. THIS MOVIE. I cannot even begin to describe what is like to watch this for the first time. For those of you who don’t know what I am referring to, just watch “Room.” Not, “THE ROOM,” “ROOM.” “Room” is a film that is based on a book that I have personally never read, but even so, the movie delivers. Between the remarkable performances between Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay, the film packs a brutal punch in every possible method imaginable. It is emotional, it is heart-pumping, it is disturbing in the best way I can possibly describe the word. I read a review on IMDb for “Room” before watching it and somebody said that this movie made them a better person. Having seen “Room” myself, I can see why. This film is almost on the edge to where it drags in the middle of it, but it does not mean the movie has that many flaws whatsoever. This is not a horror movie, perhaps in any sense of the word. But after watching this film, there is an argument to make that “Room” could be scarier than a vast number of horror flicks out there. “Room” is a film that kind of ends up being cute, but to have it end up being cute, it cannot be cuddly. This is especially true when you take the brilliant screenplay and the way that actor Jacob Tremblay, who get this, WAS NOT EVEN TEN YEARS OLD during the production or release of the film, executes all of his beautiful lines. The story is told from his perspective, and that made the movie just slightly better, because the idea was to have a child who knew nothing about the outside world, and getting that perspective made me feel for the mother and son duo. Just watch this movie, you will not regret it. If I need to say anything else about it, A24 helped get this film out there. They are easily one of the best studios working today, so if you want to support independent, not to mention compelling filmmaking, go buy this movie.
#16: Toy Story 3 (2010)
This entry is one of the best Pixar films I have ever seen. Let’s just be clear, it is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT for something to top “The Incredibles” as far as my opinions are concerned. I’m talking about “Toy Story 3.” This is a film that I think hit every single level that not only an animated film need to hit, but also every level a trilogy capper needed to hit. Yes, “Toy Story 4” exists, but to me, that’s just additional DLC at this point. “Toy Story” was never one of my big franchises growing up, even though I do admire its technological achievements for the film industry as a whole. The reason why “Toy Story 3” is such a great movie overall is because despite how it does feel like something kids can enjoy, it can ultimately connect with anyone, no matter what age they just so happen to be. The whole trilogy seems to present a tiny little structure of Andy, the owner of a majority of the toys seen in the franchise, growing up, and now we have come to this third installment where he is now an adult and he’s off to college. If you know me in person, I tend to be extremely sentimental. I still have various items from when I was a kid that I imagine other people would get rid of if they had them at a particular age. I still have a stuffed duck, a ton of DVDs I possessed at a young age, all the game consoles that I have ever owned (that still at least partially work). I didn’t even get rid of my childhood twin bed until it broke at the age of nineteen! This movie basically reminded me to cherish the memories of childhood, and while not everything lasts forever, you can still cherish the legacy of something or pass it down to future generations. Also, the ending of this film may be the best Pixar has ever done. It has numerous emotions attached to it that make it all work. It is perhaps one of the saddest, yet happiest endings I have seen in a film. This is why I didn’t want a “Toy Story 4.” Granted, I will admit, I was utterly surprised with how good “Toy Story 4” was when I saw it, but compared to the original trilogy, it is just a bonus.
#15: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019)
You know that movie that might as well match up with where you are in life? One of those films that reminds you of an event you are currently tackling? Well at the beginning of 2019, I was in my second semester of college and to my surprise, “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” spoke to me on every level that it could. This third installment to the “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise is the perfect ending to its particular trilogy. It dives deep into the character of Toothless, goes through a major change in how the character thinks, not to mention feels. With the recent introduction of a “Light Fury,” Toothless finds love. This side of the story, along with various other elements reminded me of the man that I am trying to become. I still live with my mother, mainly because despite being in college, I do not want to lose the family connection I have right now. I still go to my grandparents every week. I still talk to my parents just about every chance I get. Even though I do plan to eventually develop my own path in life, move out, etc, I do not want to lose the connection of family quite just yet. But with that being said, this reminded me of how some parents want to protect their children, which means that the children perhaps have a helicopter over them at times. This movie highlights the connection between Hiccup and Toothless, and builds off the terrific chemistry the two had before. I will also say, of the numerous DreamWorks animated films that I’ve watched over the years, this is one of the more stunning ones. And it definitely shows when we get to The Hidden World. It’s flashy, colorful, vast, and if I imagined myself there in person, I’d be overwhelmed by the scope of everything around me. The only problem that comes to mind with this film might as well be the cliché villain, but even with that, everything else is A+ material. To this day, it is the only film I watched in the theater that made me cry. It is one hell of an experience overall.
#14: Inception (2010)
Christopher Nolan is my favorite director of all time. He can take a comic book concept like “Batman” and deliver on it 110%. He can put you directly in a war zone like he did in “Dunkirk.” He can also take you back in time for an epic thrill in “Memento.” But one movie that is better than all of those is one of my personal favorite flicks of 2010. “Inception.” This movie has everything a sci-fi action flick is supposed to have! Great characters! A brilliant concept! Cool looking visual effects! A lovable story! AMAZING screenwriting! Epic music, kudos to Hans Zimmer by the way! Everything in this movie builds up to what I consider to be one of my favorite climaxes in film history. I’m not talking about the very end, but the final act itself is a true display of why I continue to watch movies to this day. It delivers on spectacle, stakes, and you care about the characters! At least I did. The relationship between Leo DiCaprio and Marion Cottillard? HOLY F*CK! Not only did I buy them the way they were together, the movie does everything it can to make you get emotional about them. Speaking of DiCaprio, his chemistry with Ellen Page was great, I thought they were terrific partners, and I almost cannot imagine anybody else in that duo. And again, the concept! The idea of someone going from dream to dream and trying to plant an idea in someone’s head?! Freaking rad! This movie is literally what dreams are made of.
#13: Ready Player One (2018)
Continuing down this list, we have, “Ready Player One.” I’m putting this on the list in reference to the great year that I personally believe 2018 has been for the film industry as a whole. There are more 2018 films on here, and this is just one of them. Before the movie came out, I read the book, and I’ll be honest, I love the book to death. It’s pretty much everything I would want out of a book of its kind. The author’s kind of a cool guy too, Google Ernest Cline, he’s awesome. But here’s the thing about books and movies, I don’t always WANT the book to be exactly the same as the movie. If they make the movie and book identical, great! Maybe it works out, but there are a few things in the book like the “Pac-Man” scene that I do think could have ended up being pretty cool to see, but it would make the film itself lose some of that theatricality factor. It’s one of those films that I love because of how much of a true adventure it is. It feels like that from start to finish, when we are introduced to the OASIS virtual reality system, I instantly wanted to be a part of that world. Even though the real world ended up kind of being in deep s*it in the film’s vision of 2045, I still wanted this VR system in front of me because of all the unlimited capabilities that come with it. Plus, despite how this movie is filled with all of these pop culture associations like a digitized version of “The Shining,” “Batman,” a “Minecraft” world, and even a ton of time spent with the DeLorean, I still cared about the main characters in front of me. As for the visual effects, they are quirky, they are different, they look like something out of a 3D anime, but that’s something that makes them work. After all, a good portion of this movie takes place in a virtual universe with Avatars, so it is kind of cool to see all the customized beings walking around with all their digitized swagger. And of course, I cannot end this without mentioning two things. One, the amazing score by Alan Silvestri. It’s epic in every way. It’s grand, it’s big, and it fits this nostalgic fantasy realm to the tenth degree! Also, the final chase between the main heroes and villain is one of the most creative scenes I have witnessed on film. Between all of this and being one of my most rewatched movies of 2018, I just had to put this somewhere on the list.
#12: Ready or Not (2019)
I think I said what needs to be said about “Ready or Not” in my best movies of 2019 list, but let’s be real, I can’t stop talking about it! “Ready or Not” is one of those movies that may sound silly on paper, even though it had one of my favorite trailers of the year. The concept of “Ready or Not” is that a woman is getting married into a family that traditionally plays a game before someone new joins the family. Turns out they have to play hide and seek, which ultimately means that the family has to let the newcomer hide, before they have go on a quest to kill her. It’s f*cking nuts. This is one of those movies, according to many people, that has a trailer with more information to reveal than necessary. I wouldn’t say people are wrong to say that. But I will say that this movie gave me EXACTLY what I would have expected, not to mention wanted, after witnessing its trailer. I saw this at an advance screening in Boston, and the communal experience that was had during this movie was one to remember. Everybody gasped, applauded, and while I am not a fan of people talking during films, there was an older woman next to me who would provide some hilarious commentary on what’s happening. Also, everything from the production design to the writing to the pacing just works 100%. I will also mention, again, hiding spoilers, the ending. If 2019 has done anything for me in terms of films, it has given some of the best endings ever. From “Avengers: Endgame” to “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and even the recently mentioned “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” the endings were all a collection of perfection. I am going to keep myself from talking about the ending, because it is something that you seriously have to see for yourself, but it’s pure movie Heaven. I rarely go see movies twice in the theater at this point, but if I had more time on my hands (and less movies to pick from in the cinema), I would have gone to see this a second time. I mean, HOLY CRAP.
#11: Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)
Up next, is one of the best action movies I have witnessed in my life, “Mission: Impossible – Fallout.” “Mission: Impossible” is a very interesting franchise as far as movies go because it has been going on since 1996, it has had no reboots since then, Tom Cruise is always a guaranteed badass, and with the exception of “Mission: Impossible II,” all the movies have been pretty good. In fact, if it weren’t for “Risky Business,” this would probably be my all-time favorite Tom Cruise film. I mean, seriously! I cared about everyone, every action sequence was done to perfection, and I will forever be in Tom Cruise’s debt just because he learned how to fly a helicopter for this movie. And remember how in “Justice League” Henry Cavill had his beard erased by digital effects? Like, to the point where certain people could notice certain particles on his face? After seeing this movie, it’s completely worth it! Between the cinematography, location choices, directing, score, editing, sound, and overall immersion factor, “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” is easily one of those action flicks that puts a smile on my face. There are certain movies that I have watched in the past like “Atomic Blonde” or “John Wick” that have one memorable action scene and I often sometimes perhaps equate that to how much I enjoy those movies. For “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” If they ever put this back in theaters, I will come for the movie, but STAY for the helicopter scene, because holy f*ck! Thank you, Tom Cruise, for nearly giving up your life making this masterpiece!
#10: Arrival (2016)
I’ve seen a lot of movies from 2016, including the one where Donald Trump becomes president. That movie by the way is called “Real Life” and is often getting mixed critical responses. Trump becoming president, to me at least, was practically a “holy f*ck” moment. I’m not gonna talk about politics, I’m not saying I like or dislike him, I’m just saying that this is something I would have never predicted to have happened ten years ago. Speaking of “holy f*ck” moments, that term can also apply to one of the last movies I saw in 2016, which by coincidence, came out the same week Trump was announced as President-Elect, specifically “Arrival.” This movie is about a group of people who are investigating the actions of alien life forms as they try to interpret their language and communicate with them. I like that concept, because the movie starts off as if it were an alien invasion summer blockbuster, but in reality, it fits right in with a thinker just in time for award season. I’ll remind you, this is a November movie, so it is technically just in time for award season. In fact, it won an Oscar, and happened to be nominated for Best Picture! Although it ended up losing to “Moonlight”–wait waitwait, was it “La La Land?” Which one was it? Could have been a tie for all I know. The plot overall was fascinating, I loved Denis Villeneuve’s direction, the sound work was some of the best of the year, and the score at times was awesome. In fact, when I watched the movie at home once, I nearly shed a tear! I never cry during movies, that’s personally an achievement on this film’s part!
#9: The LEGO Movie (2014)
This next spot is dedicated to one of the biggest surprises of the decade. I saw the trailer for this film long before it came out, and while I did not hate it, there might have been a part of me that thought that this film could not have possibly worked whatsoever, but it did! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you perhaps the funniest animated movie of the decade, “The LEGO Movie!” This is a film that gets better every time I watch it. Because I watched it when it came out, and I found it to be delightful, charming, and witty. Then as I continued watching it when it came to HBO and cable networks like TBS, I have observed the dialogue, which was already fantastic to begin with, and so many other lines popped up and busted my guts. This movie’s Batman is perfect for its own world! He’s an egotistical man who’s always about himself. He’s basically what would happen if you took Kevin O’Leary from “Shark Tank” and made him “Batman,” because both people seem to think that they are the best person alive. There’s no competing against them! Anything out of his mouth is pure gold. This is why I also thought 2017’s “The LEGO Batman Movie” was just as pleasing as this specific film. The movie has an advantage of playing off of iconic properties, because there’s a scene dedicated to how many characters from preexisting material they can fit into one area. They managed to get Gandalf, Dumbledore, more DC characters aside from Batman himself, NBA basketball players including the Shaq, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and they have Abraham Lincoln in a flying space chair! Holy f*ck this movie is a trip! And speaking of trips, the climax in this movie introduces something that you do not really see in this genre of film. I cannot go into it because, well, spoilers, but it is the stuff of absolute genius! As for the other leads, they are funny, they are well-written, and provide some of the best comedic material of 2014. The movie does follow beats of other films, with there being a prophecy and all, but it does it so well that I just don’t care. And before we move on, can we just talk about Good Cop/Bad Cop? Yeah, it’s two characters in one, and it makes for one of the most hysterical questioning scenes I have ever witnessed. GENIUS! Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are powerhouse filmmakers and I would to love to see more from them!
#8: Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
What do you get when you build a story up for a decade, over tens of films across different IPs, with all of them making millions to billions of dollars? According to many, I’d say you’d get “the most ambitious crossover in history.” “Avengers: Infinity War!” You know those movies that are so good, so iconic, so life-changing, and so experiential that they define a generation? Yeah, this is one of them. Earlier on in the decade, “Star Wars” was seen to many as the important franchise to remember for a long time. Well guess what? Everyone at Marvel glanced at “Star Wars” saying, “Hold our beer!” The reason why I love this movie so much is because of how much it changed the game for movies of its kind. Sort of in the same manner that a film like “The Dark Knight” managed to do so. To be honest, before this movie came out, I was getting worried about what the Marvel Cinematic Universe would become. The Marvel movies in 2017 were not up to par with what I would want out of a flick in its particular genre, but when 2018 arrived, “Avengers: Infinity War” gave me EXACTLY what I wanted. A ton of visually stunning action scenes, a compelling story of good vs. evil, all the while putting much more emphasis on evil than usual. Honestly, Thanos may be the greatest movie villain ever written. His motivation to “balance” the universe is something I can buy into. His relationship with Gamora and Nebula during the film brought some attention-grabbing moments, including a scene that involves sacrifice in order to achieve what you desire. While I didn’t exactly root for Thanos, I understood why he did what he did, and in various ways, I almost feel bad for him. And let me just say, I won’t name names, but this is a film where A LOT of people die, including many on the good side. One of my complaints involving the Marvel Cinematic Universe has to do with the lack of deaths on the good side, and when they do happen, they mean nothing to me because the character either comes back or the death comes from a character who I happen to find irrelevant. This is part of why I felt an impact from various scenes in the film’s sequel, “Avengers: Endgame.” By the way, “Endgame’s” not on the list. Sorry guys!
#7: Whiplash (2014)
Coming in at #7, is “Whiplash!” “There are no two words in the English language more harmful than good job.” This quote will forever stick with me, partially because “Whiplash” makes jazz look like the greatest art form ever created just from how brutal it appears. I have heard some comments from certain jazz enthusiasts and students saying that the idea behind this film is flawed because jazz doesn’t work the way it does here. I am in no way trying to invalidate their prior experiences, but I think the movie is all the better for what it does in regards to how jazz is being taught, being enforced among students. I say that because it makes the movie completely relatable to those who have taken on a class, it could be a subject of interest or one that you are forced into for some reason, and the person teaching the class is just the biggest dickface on the planet and now you have to put up with them. But I will say, JK Simmons plays this dickface very well. JK Simmons is one of my favorite actors working today and he deserved his Oscar upon finishing this film. His chemistry with Miles Teller is some of the best I have ever seen. This is also one of the earlier films directed by Damien Chazelle, who would go on to direct “La La Land” and “First Man,” both of which were also great movies. I can tell the guy really has a passion for the jazz genre of music, and it shows through several moments of the screenplay, which is why it is also no surprise that he made it a centerpiece of the story in “La La Land.” Damien Chazelle is still a young filmmaker and time will tell if his productions will continue to be worthy of conversation and preservation, but with films like this, he is off to a flying start if you ask me.
#6: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Out of everyone in my family, it goes without saying that I am probably the geekiest. So naturally, this next movie was almost made for a geek like me. I’m talking about the live-action resurrection of a popular saga! “Star Wars: The Force Awakens!” The things that really cement this movie’s presence on the list is my history with it. I already really enjoyed “Star Wars” before this movie came out, therefore, how I could I NOT be excited for this film? I went to see it four times in the theater and twice in IMAX! It’s the first steelbook I’ve ever owned! And I used to have a joke I would think about in my mind from time to time. Remember how George Lucas went back and changed the original trilogy and rereleased every installment from said trilogy as “Special Editions?” Well, people often point out this movie, Episode VII, being pretty similar to Episode IV. If that is truly the case, allow me to declare that Episode VII is without a doubt, the best special edition in the entire “Star Wars” saga! I will say, the trilogy that this belongs to itself is a bit of a mixed bag. I liked “The Rise of Skywalker,” I thought it just good old-fashioned “Star Wars” fun, but still a little messy. But “The Last Jedi” is what I think hurt this trilogy most, because a lot of things were set up in “The Force Awakens” and the payoff to all of those things happen to be either ignored or off-putting. However, it does not take away from how much I love this movie. It’s great seeing old faces like Han and Chewie again, 3PO and his red arm, the lightsaber battles are as fun and exciting as they’ve ever been. The film has possibly the most eye-candy-esque color palette in a “Star Wars” film yet. Then again, with newer tech, it probably helps. But keep in mind, this movie was also shot on film, and it looks great! I will also mention Adam Driver’s character of Kylo Ren being one of the best things that has EVER happened to the “Star Wars” franchise. I love him because he’s ultimately trying to carry on the legacy of Darth Vader and the Empire, but as this villain who is supposed to be evil, he is clearly conflicted and broken, which adds a lot to his character. There is an argument to make that stuff like this can make a villain look weak, but I feel that this is what this sequel trilogy needed. A different kind of villain who can kick ass, while also being able to release themselves and reveal how they feel emotionally. As for other lead characters, I think Rey and Finn have great chemistry, and seeing them together after they finish their first fight onboard the Millennium Falcon is like watching two kids discover they have unbelievable talent in a video game. Poe Dameron is also a fresh and exciting addition to the franchise. I’m just mad of the direction they took his character in “The Last Jedi.” As much as I am scared of a future where Disney rules the entire media universe, “The Force Awakens” is most certainly worth watching. And watching again. And again. No seriously, when this thing came out, the replay value for me was bonkers!
#5: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
Up next, we have one of the best comic book movies of the decade. Is it in the DC universe? No. Is it in the Marvel universe? No. It’s a little film directed by Edgar Wright, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World! THE FREAKING WORLD! This movie, to me, was perhaps everything I would have wanted it to be and more! FLASHY! OBNOXIOUS! CREATIVE! VISUALLY STUNNING! HILARIOUS! OH MY GOSH THIS MOVIE’S AWESOME! As far as comic book movies go, this has some of the best directing, not to mention, some of the best writing I have seen. It goes for that ridiculous, absurd fast pace that will allow you as a viewer to keep your eyes on the screen. In fact, you know what? You know that stereotype about video game movies? You know how a lot of people are perhaps still waiting for that “excellent” video game movie that they have yet to see in their life? If they perhaps changed a few things about the characters, a small number of visuals, things like that, then I might as well say that this would have made for an EPIC “Guitar Hero” movie or something. In fact, I’d compare this movie to something along the lines of “Ready Player One,” because there is a sign of at least one or two characters having an obsession with pop culture and both movies seem to have a unique visual style. Granted, “Scott Pilgrim” is a lot less reliant on preexisting IPs, but still. It talks about things like the history of “Pac-Man,” it has a scene that might as well take place in a “Seinfeld” episode, and the band’s name is “Sex Bob-Omb,” which is “sex bomb” mixed with the name of the bombs from “Super Mario.” Plus, both feel like cinematic video games if you truly break them down. They feel not only immersive, but like they have this visual aesthetic that has a larger than life aspect to them. And I must say, if this film was not already exciting enough, not only are the fights with the exes stunning to watch, each one is perhaps creative in its own way. There is a bass battle, a fight where an ex breaks out into song, there’s one where gigantic visual creatures are spawned out of nowhere! It’s the stuff of magic, really! So if you ask me, “Jack, what’s your favorite comic book movie of the 2010s? Is it “Infinity War?” “Endgame?” “Logan?” “Deadpool?” “The Winter Soldier?” “The Dark Knight Rises?” “Man of Steel?” Forget Marvel and DC! I direct you, to “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.”
#4: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
When I was first introduced to “The Hobbit,” specifically the movies, I had no idea that it was attached the “Lord of the Rings” franchise (I haven’t read any of the books or seen any of the movies). But if you had to ask me right now, it feels weird to say, but “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is arguably my favorite “Lord of the Rings” film. “Fellowship” is up there, but still. I walked out of the theater LOVING this movie, and I still do. I think it is one of 2013’s best, and the villain, Smaug, may be one of the greatest given to my generation. MASSIVE KUDOS to Benedict Cumberbatch for his fantastic portrayal and voicework. As creepy as this may sound, I would not mind it if Smaug was the narrator of my life. That’s how much I love his voice. As for everyone else, I liked Martin Freeman and Bilbo Baggins, Ian McKellan as Gandalf, per usual, is great. The visuals, as expected, are top notch. And that final chase between Bilbo, the dwarves, Smaug, was an adrenaline rush brought up to 9,000! Speaking of adrenaline rushes, I also really enjoyed the barrel scene, where they all fight in the forest river, which by the way, more props have to be given, Howard Shore, you are a musically gifted man. Go listen to The Forest River on the official soundtrack for the movie. You won’t be disappointed! And one of the best things I can say about this movie is that it feels like an improvement over its predecessor. I say that because the first “Hobbit” movie, even there are some coolish things in it, was overall kind of a mixed bag. Still good, watchable, but it’s the worst movie in the “Lord of the Rings” franchise for sure. This is especially true when it comes the pacing. This sequel is fast paced from start to finish, with a short little breather in the middle of it all. I also admittedly like the introduction of Tauriel, who was never in the books, but she honestly added something to the movie for me. This movie can be summed up in one word. Epic. That’s all you need. It is one of the best fantasy movies I have ever seen, and one of the best sequels I’ve ever seen. One of the best prequels too if you want to get technical.
#3: Colossal (2016)
Monster movies can be fun, but have you ever heard of a film where a woman reunites with a childhood friend, occasionally get drunk together, whilst Seoul is being attacked by a kaiju, and that kaiju is the girl herself? No? Well, you have been missing out! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you “Colossal,” the greatest monster movie ever made. I did not hear much about “Colossal” before going into it. In fact, I never recalled watching any trailers. And I honestly feel bad for those who did, because I read reviews from people thinking this is was going to be heavy on comedy. Not really, it’s got comedy in it, in fact with an actor like Jason Sudeikis comedy almost feels like a guarantee, but it’s not trying to be a comedy. It’s more of a drama if you ask me. It’s a drama about a group of pals who live in a small town and while one girl is adjusting to her new social group, she is also a killer monster (under certain conditions). “Colossal,” starring Anne Hathaway, takes that killer monster concept and avoids making it the main part of the story, while still using it to develop every action our characters take. In fact, you know how some big blockbusters or monster movies tend to show the despair and downfall of a city as everyone is trying to save themselves from danger? Oh… WOW. I HAVE NEVER SEEN IT DONE THE WAY IT IS DONE IN “COLOSSAL.” Not only is it creative, imaginative, and original, but it’s also to my surprise, almost shell-shocking. Not to mention, some of you might not feel the same way as I do, but I don’t think I would spend much of my adult life drinking alcohol, and this movie reminds me of why I tend to avoid it. The film is pleasant, unique, and most of all, exciting! It’s a film, kind of like “Whiplash,” that feels very big by being very small. When I saw this movie in the theater, I walked out feeling like a changed man. I remember texting a friend about the film some time after seeing it and telling them I don’t recall the last time I felt the way did walking out of “Colossal” since perhaps “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” What a f*cking movie.
#2: Blade Runner 2049
#2, is one of the best science fiction and noir flicks of my generation. It is a long-awaited and ambitious sequel. It is yet another return to a franchise starring Harrison Ford, now accompanied by the Canadian boy toy, Ryan Gosling, “Blade Runner 2049.” I am a major advocate for the theatrical experience. I believe streaming services like Netflix have some sort of purpose in society. You can pop on a movie whenever you wish, you can watch a movie practically wherever you want, but if you ask me, films like this is why the movie theater has been established. It is big, loud, and it looks DOPE. If you had to ask me, if I had to choose which film has the best cinematography ever, “Blade Runner 2049” might be somewhere on that list. It is a film that I believe would be an inspiration to future filmmakers, fans of sci-fi, and maybe even film composers, because Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch made the score together and it is FANTASTIC. I remember my senior year of high school and one of the highlights of said time period is not particularly doing homework, but playing the soundtrack of “Blade Runner 2049” while I do my homework. It put me in the mood to get my work done, and made homework just a little more epic. In fact, I have immense respect to this sequel compared to a ton of others, because unlike a lot of sequels that come out today, this doesn’t try to force any setup of future installments or cinematic universes. It feels like its own story, sort of like the first “Blade Runner.” Would I love to see a third “Blade Runner?” Absolutely. I think a third “Blade Runner” could end up being one of the better films of its particular year depending on how they execute it. The question is, how much money would it make? Because despite how much I love “Blade Runner 2049,” I do have to acknowledge that not everyone went out to see it. Maybe it will gain a following in future years, but for now, I have to be knowledgeable about its past. As for how they handle the story of “Blade Runner 2049,” I loved everyone in the film. The returning characters, the new characters, and if I had to be honest, Harrison Ford gave the best performance I have seen from him in this particular film. I should also point out… Ana de Armas… Yeehaw. I had a crush on her after this movie for a number of reasons. But if I had to be honest, her character is quite honestly, spectacular, mainly because of how Armas herself handled the role. If a movie makes me, the viewer, fall in love with a holographic being, it has done its job, and more. “Blade Runner 2049” is one of those films that will end up defining the decade for me as a reflect on it further. And if you haven’t seen it yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!
#1: ??? (2014) Here we are my friends, we have made it this far! This is #1! As far as this decade goes, if I were to use sports-related terms, when it comes to this countdown, 24 movies enter, one movie leaves. This is the one to leave. Speaking of leaving, this is the film that admittedly I do not think left that significant of an impact on me until one of my many rewatches. This is a film that I admired going into it, not to mention leaving it for what it was able to do from a technical perspective. As time went on, I found every single element of this movie worthy of two thumbs up. Just to let you all know, this is a 2014 film. Take a look at this clip from my #1 film of the 2010s.
Christopher Nolan is a god among men. My #1 movie of the 2010s is “Interstellar!” Everything about this film is done to unimaginable levels. In terms of important achievements in mankind, the pyramid goes something like this: Somewhere on the list, you have clay tablets, next on that list is medicine, then comes the wheel, maybe democracy gets one of those slots too, but at the top of that list, to me, is the movie “Interstellar.” When it comes to movie theater experiences, there is almost no competition when it comes to trying to rival the time I had watching this in IMAX 70mm. Even if I did not like the movie, I would probably still give it kudos for being a great time at the cinema. On that topic, it’s visually stunning, in fact it even won an Oscar for said visual effects. The cinematography is great no matter what, but if you watch it in a way that allows for the IMAX scenes to shine, it becomes ten times better than it already is, which says a lot. Seriously, if you are watching the film on DVD, do yourself a favor and upgrade to the Blu-ray, it’s GREAT. The film also has some of the best sound I have ever heard in a movie. I mean that in terms of volume, the specific sounds chosen, and even lack thereof (because ya know, space). Hans Zimmer also created what may be my personal favorite film score of all time. It’s one of those scores that I cannot stop listening to simply for motivation. If there’s ever a future event where they do “Interstellar” with a live orchestra playing the music, I don’t care where it is, I’ll travel out of the country for it if I have to, I’m game. And now you might be thinking, “Hey, Jackass! This may sound great and all, but how’s the story? How are the characters?”
Whoops! My bad! I forgot!
When it comes to the film’s story, it displays a future that is relevant and one that could happen very soon. It’s another one of those dire and somewhat depressing future films kind of like “Wall-E.” The film revolves around a bunch of characters who are currently dealing with the effects of a dying Earth. Every now and then they get dust storms, resources are dwindling, plants are going away. In fact, corn, which is almost extinct in this movie, is all humanity seems to rely on when it comes to fulfilling their hunger. Meanwhile, NASA, which is kind of a point of controversy because younger generations are being taught in school that the Apollo missions are fake, is trying to set up a mission to find another inhabitable planet for humanity. This is something that I think could happen in real life. Maybe not exactly the same as this film suggests, because let’s face it, I don’t think the moon landing conspiracy is going to get that many more supporters, but who knows? My point however, is that humanity is becoming more aware of their environmental impact on this planet, which may suggest a need to perhaps abandon it and find a new one. There are some films that mess around with time, and Christopher Nolan as a filmmaker is no stranger to this concept. After all, when you’re known for doing films like “Memento” and “Inception,” you obviously have some experience. “Interstellar” to me does a phenomenal job in terms of how it handles time and plays around with it. There’s a situation where they have to get things done very quickly because on one planet the span of an hour is seven years, we see the result of Cooper’s kids growing up and becoming adults and how that plays into the film’s impact, the film’s score, I’ll mention once more, FANTASTICALLY composed by Hans Zimmer, goes at 60 beats per minute to match with the “tick tock” that is often associated with time. After all, there are 60 seconds in a minute, so why not have 60 beats per minute? Plus, this is a film that gets better with every rewatch. There was a point where I kept rewatching it and maybe I’d discover something new or retain something amazing that maybe I’ve forgotten before. I will also point out that the performances, across the board, are stellar! No pun intended! You’ve got decently chosen actors including Matthew McConaughey (The Wolf of Wall Street, Dallas Buyers Club), Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises, Rio), Jessica Chastain (Take Shelter, The Help), Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone, Out of the Furnace), and unsurprisingly, Michael Caine (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Batman Begins). All of them give performances that embody the proper emotions of the situations at hand, and this is the film where I started to admire Chastain as an actress. There’s a chilling moment towards the end of the film, I will not go into it, but she does something that occasionally sends a tear down my cheek. There’s a line of spoken dialogue in that moment that is PERFECTION. That moment could not have been executed any better through a different vision or a rewrite. Even the child actors kill it in their roles! Timothée Chalamet as Tom is a more limited role in the film, but I feel like it is limited for a reason. He’s mainly there to suggest that he’s “fine” in whatever situation he’s in. He’s sort of a settler who never complains. He likes being a farmer, which does eventually play into the film’s script, and when Cooper leaves to go to space, Tom does not seem that upset or emotional over the situation. Obviously, he is rooting for his dad on his mission, but he is always fine, which makes sense in regards to his character development. As for young Murph, played wonderfully by Mackenzie Foy by the way, who might arguably give my favorite child actor performance to date. There was a very touching scene before (HEY! SEE WHAT I DID THERE? AREN’T I A SMART COOKIE?) Cooper left for his mission that highlights such an opinion for me.
I also cannot talk about how much I dig “Interstellar” without discussing the ending. Don’t worry, I will not spoil a thing. But when it comes to endings, “Interstellar” may be my all-time favorite film in the category. Again, I mentioned that moment with Jessica Chastain, but that’s not all. It’s weird, I did not see it coming, and it’s incredibly emotional. It’s as rewarding as it is unfortunate. To add onto that, Hans Zimmer’s score continues to shine here as well. A movie like “Interstellar” sort of makes me consider whether or not the church organ is the greatest instrumental achievement ever. This is an ending that made me appreciate this film the more that I watched it. When I saw it in the theater, I did not have too many thoughts on it, but I liked it more with rewatch upon rewatch. But then one such rewatch, it struck me like a lightning bolt somehow. It became an ending I liked, and somehow turned into one of the greatest endings in film history. It’s charming and also leaves me to question who exactly came up with it. Was it Christopher Nolan’s brother, Jonathan? Maybe I should give him some credit here!
I think the big thing for “Interstellar” to me, both before and after watching it, is how much it made admire the filmmaking process. Keep in mind, I admired it before, but “Interstellar” helped me further appreciate it. Films like this and “The Dark Knight,” basically Christopher Nolan as a filmmaker in general, has given me a dream, a reason to want to pursue work in the film industry. While there was a point that I wanted to be a filmmaker, I now know which filmmaker I look up to the most. And I would love to do what he does. While I have my own scripts that I plan to do, I would love to shoot a movie in the IMAX format one day and present the movie on film stock. I think film is the best possible cinematic presentation and whenever there’s an opportunity to go watch a movie on film, I cannot help but take it.
Throughout my journey as a film viewer, there is no other film, at least over the past ten years, that gave me a remarkable impact like this one did. It involves an increasingly relevant concept that I think will continuously be developed over the years, it’s an original property, and technically, it’s a masterpiece. This film is very similar to another sci-fi classic, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and I imagine there are some people out there who would consider this movie too similar. To me, “Interstellar” stands on its own because “2001” does not make particular characters the centerpiece of the film. It takes a bunch of random elements and scenes and manages to develop a story out of all of it, whereas “Interstellar” comes off as an adventure story from beginning to end, with various fiddles with time connected along the way. This is nothing against “2001,” which is one of my favorite films of all time, but “Interstellar” does something to relate to “2001” while also being its own movie, at least to me. Nevertheless, “Interstellar” is a master work of art, one of the best sci-fi films ever made, and earns the crown as the best movie of the 2010s!
Thanks for reading this post! This is a list that was admittedly, very hard to make. Part of me wonders if I should have spent a year on this. There’s a very good chance that I will be changing this list in the next few days because unlike most of these lists, which spans over a year, this spans over a much longer period of time, so I don’t even think this list is going to be that definitive. There’s a good chance that “Interstellar” will remain at #1 for a very long time, but for everything else, who knows? But with that being said, it’s time to forget the good and move on to the bad! Maybe even the ugly! I say that because tomorrow I am going to be releasing my top 25 WORST movies of the 2010s. These are movies that are 2,010 times as horrible as anything else! JUST YOU WAIT! With that being said, be sure to look forward to that post tomorrow, and if you are reading this early and wanted to be notified about my worst list and other exciting content here on Scene Before, click the follow button! If you have a proper account up and running, be sure to like and comment if possible, it definitely helps me out! Speaking of helping me out, like my Facebook page, I want to get more people to follow me on that side of things, it would probably help spread the word a bit on social, so please, help a guy out! I want to know, what are your favorite movies of the 2010s? Do you have a favorite year this decade for film? For me, I’d say mine are 2014 and 2018. Do you think I missed a film? Seriously, there may have been a film that I liked that I completely forgot about, and I say this as someone who has worked on this countdown series for literally MONTHS. Nevertheless, leave your comments down below, and stay tuned for the worst list! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!
Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Over a month ago I discussed what has previously been established about Christopher Nolan’s upcoming flick, “Tenet.” And as of recently, something else has been brought up that needs to be talked about. Specifically, the budget. Why? Because it is one of the biggest in history, not to mention, Christopher Nolan’s second highest budget ever, regardless of whether or not you adjust the others for inflation. It has been announced by several sources that this film has a budget of $225 million. How big is that? Well, let’s just put it this way. Christopher Nolan also directed 2012’s “The Dark Knight Rises,” which had a budget of $230 million. According to Wikipedia, that film ties “Spectre,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “The Fate of the Furious,” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” for the 18th highest budget for a movie. If what is being said about “Tenet” actually happens to be true, turns out it would tie the budgets of films like “Man of Steel,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” and “The Lone Ranger.” All of these budgets are in the top 30!
My question is this. Is it worth it? Because one simple fact about this movie and my relationship to it is that I am perhaps one of the most likely individuals to end up going to see it. I love Christopher Nolan, I am well aware of his track record, which is much more than solid, and he made some of my favorite films of all time. He is practically a movie god in my book. And if this movie were coming out some time after say “The Dark Knight” or the “The Dark Knight Rises” I think this would be a guaranteed success. However, it is coming out in 2020.
I want to bring up some numbers here regarding Christopher Nolan’s previous films, and I want to set a point straight. People love the man as a filmmaker, but I wonder if his name is going to be enough to carry this next film.
INCEPTION (2010) (released between TDK and TDKR)
Budget: $160 million
Box office: $828.3 million
INTERSTELLAR (2014) (released after TDKR)
Budget: $165 million
Box office: $677.5 million
Budget: $100-150 million
Box office: $526.9 million
By the way, for those who really want to know, the last two films in “The Dark Knight” grossed over $1 billion.
If you ask me, part of why films like “Inception” and “Interstellar” have been mega-successes is because they were released when Christopher Nolan and “The Dark Knight” were fresh in people’s minds. But I am wondering if Christopher Nolan’s clock is ticking. Because we live in a time where CGI superhero movies, Disney flicks, nostalgia bombs, and pretty much anything having to do with spectacle is what “the people” happen to be checking out.
Although at the same time, the description for “Tenet” makes it fall along the lines of a spectacle-type movie. Some have referred to “Tenet” as a “massive, innovative, action blockbuster” and “an action epic evolving from the world of international espionage.”
I will say, this film has a chance, but partially because it is not based on any preexisting material, it almost seems impossible for it to become a box office success. Besides, the summer it comes out, it will be competing against films like “Bob’s Burgers: The Movie,” “Ghostbusters 2020,” and because Disney is still running out of original ideas, “Jungle Cruise.” Granted, “Tenet” is probably not going after the family demographic, but let’s face it, it’s probably gonna lose those kinds of people to “Jungle Cruise.” If you ask me, I’d prefer seeing “Tenet” over all these movies, but I’m me, not everyone else. And basing purely on statistics and predictions, “Tenet” is probably going to have some trouble. Especially when you consider how “Tenet” is from Warner Bros., unlike these films. In fact, the only other July release announced for Warner Bros. is “Green Lantern Corps,” which I honestly wonder if it actually will happen to see the light of day. And if I must add something else to the table, one of Nolan’s recent films, “Interstellar,” didn’t win the box office on its opening weekend, instead that honor went to Disney’s “Big Hero 6,” an animated family film about the formation of a superhero team.
I have no idea what was going on when this movie was originally pitched. I would not be surprised, because I sometimes have this particular image in my head, if Christopher Nolan simply went to Warner Brothers, walked in the door, exchanged greetings with someone, said “I’d like to pitch a movie,” to which Warner Brothers responded, “We don’t care what it is, we want it!” Because Warner Brothers has helped distribute many of Nolan’s flicks, usually to be met with extremely positive feedback. Therefore, their bond is amazingly strong.
Christopher Nolan’s last few non-Batman films have been box office successes, making more than thrice their original budget. But I am wondering if based on their ultimate totals, it is perhaps a downward spiral. “Inception” came out after “The Dark Knight,” which is the #4 movie on IMDb right now. “The Dark Knight Rises” came out in 2012, which was positively received, but not to the same levels as “The Dark Knight,” which may have caused some audience members to lack the same level of faith in Nolan. Although based on the successes of “Interstellar” and “Dunkirk,” that did not seem to stop him. It’s still a question to keep in mind though because “Batman,” despite its nerdy association, is popular. Then again, a lot of nerdy things have officially become “cool” so what do I know? You’re not as likely to go to a bar and see everyone having a conversation about “Dunkirk.”
I do think “Tenet” has a chance at being a success, but it also has significant odds of failing as well. It’s an original film with an abnormally huge budget, and if the box office has taught us anything recently, most audiences are flocking to what they know. They know Christopher Nolan. But do they know him enough?
So if “Tenet” is to succeed, I do have some ideas as to how it could potentially win people over through its marketing campaign. It should insert the following:
“FROM THE DIRECTOR OF THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY”
The name “Christopher Nolan” in a significant manner
“GOLDEN GLOBE NOMINEE John David Washington”
Michael Caine (either the name, the actor in the film, or both)
Visually stunning moments
Enough to hide the movie’s overall structure
SHOT WITH IMAX CAMERAS
In fact on that last one, what I recommend is doing something that Nolan did for “Dunkirk.” When a big movie comes out this year or next year, perhaps maybe “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” “Black Widow,” “Birds of Prey,” “Godzilla vs. Kong,” or “Wonder Woman 1984,” perhaps attach a 5 minute preview of “Tenet” to one of these films to emphasize the scope of the film. In fact, “Wonder Woman 1984” is also being shot with IMAX cameras, this would be like an appetizer for that film.
Granted, there is a sign of hope when it comes to Nolan’s time of release, which is the fact that he is putting his film out during the third weekend of July. A lot of people have free time since it is summer, but most importantly, mainly for Nolan, is that said weekend is “a lucky date,” as once stated by Deadline Hollywood. He released four of his most recent projects at that time, to have them all be met with eventual success.
Although another thing that could help Nolan is that none of his competing films (as of now) are listed to be in IMAX. On Wikipedia’s List of films released in IMAX, “Tenet” is the only film confirmed to be released in that format during the month of July. I am willing to bet this list will change to include films like “Jungle Cruise,” but based on the specs of “Tenet,” I have a feeling that the IMAX brand is going to put more emphasis on that film during the summer more than any other. Kind of like how “Dunkirk” got an unusually long run in many of IMAX’s theaters.
At the very end though, “Tenet’s” success, at least from my point of view, is going to come down to a number of things. Positive reactions, originality, solid marketing, and giving audiences enough reasons to avoid checking out other similar films to be released in summer 2020. From what I have heard so far, the film has me onboard. I am looking for more original material to gloss over that will hopefully be remembered as time marches on. While I didn’t go see it in the theater, “Inception” won a number of people over for being innovative and something that some viewers have yet to see. I am willing to bet that “Tenet” is able to have the same effect that “Inception” did with its viewers. The film involves action and espionage, which makes the middle of summer a good time to release it. But the film should be thankful it is not going up against a “Mission: Impossible” movie.
I feel like this is a very neck and neck situation. On one hand you have a director with name power, a great track record, multiple successes. But not only is this a property nobody has ever witnessed, but the actors are not box office draws, there’s some competition for the time being, including some films that’ll probably be more likely to get kids in the theater. What’ll happen? I literally have no idea. After all, it’s more than a year until “Tenet” releases, so only time will tell.
I want to know, what are your thoughts on the budget for “Tenet?” Personally, it makes me excited for how the film will turn out, and I imagine some other people will feel the same way. Even without the budget, this is already my most anticipated film of 2020 based on everything I have heard so far. However, do you think this is financially responsible enough to allow a future box office success? If so, I’m curious, how much do you think “Tenet” will make? If you think it is going to fail, how much money do you think it’ll earn? Let me know down below! Thanks for reading this post! I just want to let everyone know that this week I am likely going to be seeing the movie “Yesterday,” directed by Danny Boyle. I’m not sure what day I am going yet, but that is on my radar at some point. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!
Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! As you may know, I am massive fan of Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Memento). I have seen almost every single one of his films. And if you have been following the news this year, you’d know that Nolan is coming out with a new movie called “Tenet.” Prior to the reveal of the title, this was first leaked as an “event” film. I had no idea what this would entail, and I figured by event, it would be a follow-up to one of Nolan’s recent films such as “Inception” or “Interstellar.” Because let’s face it, whether you like those films or not, they felt like events. And what would be more “event-like” than a follow-up to a Nolan film that received overwhelmingly positive reception and good box office returns? Especially “Inception,” because that movie came out in 2010. What if we got a sequel in 2020? It would be marketed as “the one movie we get every ten years.” And if that’s successful, we’d get another “Inception” in 2030. But that’s not the case, and I’m also not disappointed because originality is ALWAYS something I’m asking for in Hollywood, so I’m proud to see Christopher Nolan deliver it. Without further ado, let’s dive into some things that could easily be gathered about Christopher Nolan’s upcoming movie, “Tenet.”
THE FILM WILL BE IN THE ACTION GENRE
We now know that Nolan’s new movie is an original project. The film is being described as a “massive, innovative, action blockbuster.” Recent news has pointed out a more detailed description of what this film would entail, specifically that it is “an action epic evolving from the world of international espionage.” I personally consider action to be one of my favorite genres, in fact, action is also a genre that Nolan has nailed thus far. After all, he helmed the entire “Dark Knight” trilogy and “Inception.” Both movies have bits and pieces of memorable action scenes and I have a feeling that Nolan can use his prior knowledge and put it into this movie.
THE CAST John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman, Ballers)
Robert Pattinson (Twilight, Good Time)
Elizabeth Debicki (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, The Cloverfield Paradox)
Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Godzilla, Kick-Ass)
Kenneth Branagh (Dunkirk, Much Ado About Nothing)
Clémence Poésy (Last Love, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1)
Dimple Kapadia (Bobby, Luck by Chance)
Michael Caine (Batman Begins, Interstellar)
Let me just say, of course Michael Caine was gonna be in this. I mean, he’s Michael Caine. Christopher Nolan literally goes to bed every night in a room containing at least three posters. There’s one in the middle that says “MICHAEL CAINE IS GOD,” and it is accompanied left and right by posters for “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and “The Cider House Rules.” This is a long way of saying, Christopher Nolan clearly loves Michael Caine and they are working together again. Can’t wait to see what Caine can bring to the table. As for some of these actors including John David Washington and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, I am well aware of their names and have liked them as performers in what they’ve done. I just saw Washington in “BlacKkKlansman” this January and his performance was good enough to get a nomination from me in the Jackoff Awards. As for Taylor-Johnson, I remember reviewing Amazon’s “The Wall” months after it came out and calling it a pile of crap, but I also gave praise to his particular performance. A win’s a win, even when it’s a loss. Yes, Robert Pattinson from “Twilight” is being cast here but for one thing, I have not seen much of his work. In fact, I’ve heard he’s been pretty solid in some indie flicks. And for another thing, if he’s not only being cast as Batman, but also in a Nolan film, I have a feeling his name could grow on me. Only time will tell. But Nolan is not a stranger to odd casting choices, because if you all remember “Dunkirk,” he somehow managed to cast One Direction member Harry Styles, and he turned out to be solid! I’ll wait for the movie, but for the most part, the cast looks promising.
THE FILM IS BEING SHOT WITH IMAX AND 65MM CAMERAS For those of you who follow Nolan, you’d probably know that he has, no pun intended, experience with IMAX. “The Dark Knight” was the first feature film to be shot in IMAX. Since then, he has used the same technology in “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Interstellar,” and “Dunkirk.” All of those films are shot using advanced IMAX cameras that use horizontal 65mm film. It should therefore come as no surprise that he is bringing the technology up to the plate once again for “Tenet.” Plus, the movie will bring back Hoyte Van Hoytema to man the shots, who also was involved with the cinematography for “Interstellar” and “Dunkirk.” I remember one of the first announced details was that this film was going to be shot in IMAX, and when I hear that about a film, I am automatically intrigued. Also, according to IMDb, the film is also being shot with a Panavision 65 HR Camera, which uses standard, old school 65mm technology. I am pretty interested to see what Nolan would do with the IMAX technology in a film involving espionage. This would definitely provide a big scope for the action scenes when viewed in IMAX theaters and maybe provide a few jaw-dropping shots. I remember “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol” being shot with IMAX cameras, but unfortunately, I never went to an IMAX to watch the movie. I really don’t know how this movie will play out, but part of me hopes to walk out saying “this is a “Mission: Impossible” film that only Nolan could create.” Then again, based on other details I’m hearing about this movie, this might be a bigger idea than “missions, should people choose to accept them.” Speaking of old school technology…
THE FILM WILL BE PRESENTED IN 35MM, 70MM, AND IMAX 70MM
This may have already been implied, but in case it didn’t, “Tenet” is going to be screened not just in today’s traditional digital formats found in multiplexes everywhere, but also in a select number of auditoriums featuring film stock projection. Christopher Nolan’s most recent films have marketed themselves as being “experiences” and part of said experiences involve presentations in analog formats, which honestly, I prefer over digital projection. Seeing “2001: A Space Odyssey” in 70mm last year (twice) was game-changingly epic. It’s partially due to the experience of going into an arthouse-style theater while also having projection that provides greater material than my local chain locations. And since “Tenet” is seemingly being shot entirely using 65mm technology, the film will fit very well when projected on film. Granted, I imagine it will look great almost matter where it’s shown, but there are places where I can probably tell you to see it as opposed to others. Since it is being shown in IMAX 70mm, I can guarantee that the film will have select sequences where the aspect ratio changes to fill the entire screen from top to bottom.
And for those of you who don’t know, this is why I went to a theater over an hour away from my house to see “Interstellar” and “Dunkirk” and people close to me probably think I’m insane.
But it was SOOOOO worth it.
HANS ZIMMER IS NOT INVOLVED
Unfortunately, for all of the Christopher Nolan fans who liked movies such as “Inception” or “Interstellar” partially because of Hans Zimmer’s scores (I’m one of those fans as well), I’ve got some news for you. He’s not gonna be around for “Tenet.” In fact, the reason for this is due to Zimmer currently being busy with another acclaimed director who I happen to like, Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049, Arrival) as he is scoring the upcoming movie “Dune.” As for other movies next year he is focusing on, he is involved with “Wonder Woman 1984,” which I’m currently anticipating. He’s also doing “Top Gun: Maverick,” which only makes me more intrigued for how that movie is going to play out. And he’s also scoring “The Spongebob Movie: It’s a Wonderful Sponge,” which was once scheduled to compete with “Tenet” on its opening weekend, but the movies are now a further distance away from each other on the current release schedule.
LUDWIG GÖRANSSON IS COMPOSING As for who will be composing the music in “Tenet,” that position will held by Ludwig Göransson. I have slightly mixed thoughts on how this is going to pan out, but I like to remain optimistic. For one thing, Nolan and Zimmer go together like bread and butter. Plus, Ludwig Göransson is also responsible for scoring “Venom,” and the score was not really the highlight of that film. Then again, what was the highlight of that film in the first place? The score felt manufactured, generic, and kinda dull. You know, like the movie “Venom” itself. Although at the same time, he scored another comic book movie, which like “Venom,” I don’t think I enjoyed as much as other people, and by other people I don’t just mean general audiences, I’m also referring to The Academy. Y’know, the gods of the movie industry? That movie by the way, is “Black Panther,” and while I think that movie is tremendously overrated (but still a solid flick) it had one of the better scores I’ve heard from a movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s not my all time fave, but if I were to do a countdown on my favorite MCU scores, “Black Panther” would probably be high on the list. I am quite curious if Goransson will deliver an epic score to remember forever or if there will be some sort of disconnect between him and Nolan that will make me wish Zimmer would’ve been involved. Göransson’s music has been used in recent television programs including TBS’s “Angie Tribeca” and Fox’s “New Girl.” He’s also recently scored movies like “Creed II” and the 2018 remake for “Death Wish.”
PALINDROMES MAY BE AN IMPORTANT FEATURE IN THE SCRIPT
Now if you thought that Christopher Nolan is going to change his ways and simplify his movies, think again. Because from what I’m gathering so far, this movie sounds like it is going to be heavy. For one thing, look closely at the word “Tenet,” and you’d know that it is a palindrome. One of my favorite sci-fi movies of the decade, “Arrival,” directed by the recently mentioned Denis Villeneuve made palindromes play a bit into that movie, and if this movie manages to do the same, I would not be surprised, and I have faith that the palindrome insertion could be more than just a cheap gimmick.
Also, last week, I shared a post on Facebook from a page with the handle @ChristopherNolan.info on what I thought was an official poster for “Tenet” but it turns out that’s more than likely not the case. However, one detail that stood to me regarding what I’ve shared is the number inside the image, 2701072, which like the word tenet, is a palindrome. People have pointed out in the comments that if you rearrange the numbers in that image, you can get the release date for this movie, July 17th, 2020. I also did some research regarding that number and this is not the first time that the account did a post with that number in it. On January 28th, the same Facebook page made a post that was literally just this exact number. Unless they had insider information about this movie and Nolan’s life/career, it’s almost as if they predicted that the title will be a palindrome or the movie would heavily involve palindromes. However, this Facebook page was not the first social media account to post something like this, because data suggests another Christopher Nolan-related account on Twitter by the name of @nolantalkcom did so on January 27th. Based on this information, and based on differences in followers, this is probably a bit of a stretch. I’m willing to bet the operator of that Twitter also operates the Facebook page. If you want to check this out for yourself, click the links below!
THE FILM MAY HEAVILY INVOLVE TIME Speaking of expected traditions from Christopher Nolan, it would not be surprising if he made time a major element in this film. Heck, one of the posters features numbers from one to twelve with arrows sticking toward multiple twelves. It’s a like an ongoing watch or something! I don’t know how time will play into this film, but it is an action film involving espionage, so maybe there will be some sort of race against the clock. Maybe there’s a bomb that has to be diffused. But knowing Nolan, it may as well be something completely unthinkable.
In a way, this poster almost reminds of “Interstellar” because if you remember the Endurance from that film, you may notice that the ship resembles a clock. “Interstellar” is easily one of my favorite sci-fi flicks of the decade, so I cannot wait to see what happens with “Tenet” and if it could possibly be compared with “Interstellar.”
There are a few other things I could talk about related to “Tenet,” but I already have gone way past scratching the surface when it comes to this movie. I even have a growing theory of this movie being part of a universe that Christopher Nolan previously established, specifically “Inception,” which I think could be a plot twist in this movie based on certain factors. As much as I would like to get into that, it would involve heavily digressing from the main topic, so I might make a separate post for that one day. But only time will tell, so who knows? I’m really looking forward to “Tenet,” and as of right now it is probably my most anticipated film of 2020. Anything Marvel announces next year? Forget it! There is a reason why Christopher Nolan is my favorite director of all time!
So I gotta ask all of you, how are you currently feeling about “Tenet” as we build up to its release? Are you excited? Worried? Could you avoid caring about the movie whatsoever? Do you think Christopher Nolan is a hack who deserves to die? Let me know your thoughts down below!
Thanks for reading this post! This Saturday I’m going to see “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” It’s a film a part of me is REALLY looking forward to from an entertainment perspective, but from a critical perspective, I’m simultaneously nervous. I kinda don’t know how to feel going into the movie, so we’ll just see what happens. But I am going to see it in IMAX, which I think is the best way to see big scale movies like this, so I am still pretty excited. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!