Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011): Your Movie Review, Should You Choose To Accept It

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Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read the fourth post brought to you by the ultimate Jackoff of movie reviewers in his Tom Cruise “Mission: Impossible” review series. This fourth review, appropriately, is for the fourth chronological movie in the series, “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol.” If the number four does not give you any sort of satisfaction, click away from this review, and avoid reading the same Jackoff’s review for “Sharknado 4: The Fourth Awakens.” Although if you have a fondness for the numbers 1, 2, and 3, be sure to click the links below to go to the previous installments to this particular review series. You will eventually find that this movie is directed by Brad Bird, and the fact that the Jackoff has worked on this review the same weekend that his latest film, “Incredibles 2,” hits theaters, is purely coincidental. As always, should you or any of your Force be caught or killed, the Movie Reviewing Moron will disavow any of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.

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

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

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/mission-impossible-iii-2006-the-young-and-the-fearless-spoilers/

“Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol” is directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Iron Giant) and stars Tom Cruise (Risky Business, Top Gun), Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Town), Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Star Trek), and Paula Patton (Deja Vu, Precious). This film is the fourth installment in the “Mission: Impossible” film franchise. After the Kremlin is bombed, Ethan Hunt is in trouble. So much trouble in fact, that he is charged with bombing it! Not long into this mess, IMF is shut down and Hunt along with his new team have to go rogue.

As of now, I’ve only watched “Ghost Protocol” once and that one time was specifically for this review. Going into it, I was somewhat excited. I love Brad Bird, he has done some of the best animations I’ve ever seen. Not to mention, that moment when Tom Cruise is on the skyscraper was something I was highly anticipating. Also, this movie was partially shot with IMAX cameras. Some of my favorite movies have been shot on that sort of camera and part of me wanted to see how the crew behind “Ghost Protocol” would utilize that sort of technology. Disappointingly however, I didn’t get to see that. Some movies like “The Dark Knight” if you have the Blu-ray would differentiate the aspect ratio to allow you see which scenes were shot in IMAX, this movie didn’t have that. It’s a minor inconvenience but it still somewhat disappoints me. On the bright side, the movie was enjoyable. I wouldn’t call it the best “Mission: Impossible” movie however.

Maybe this is all because I was watching this at home and not in a theater, maybe it’s because I started this movie near the 10PM mark, but there were just small moments that I thought could have been slightly improved in terms of pacing. And that complaint is somewhat sad because this is a fast-paced movie and it should really keep your eyes glued towards the screen. There were definitely moments where my eyes were glued towards the screen, there’s no doubt to be given about that. However, at random times, I didn’t exactly check out, nor did I lose interest, but I kind of wanted the movie to move along.

The rest of the movie although is mostly positive as far as my thoughts are concerned. I think it’s well shot, well lit, the music is awesome! Seriously, Michael Giacchino is back and his work here makes me continue to appreciate him. Giacchino also did the score for “Mission: Impossible III,” and the more I think about it, I think this “Mission: Impossible” score might be better. As far as characterization goes here, I feel that was executed better in other movies. Obviously it’s better than the second one, but not as good as the first one. I will say that on the bright side that this movie was slightly less cringeworthy than particular moments of “Mission: Impossible III.” Although on the dark side of things, what was cringeworthy in “Mission: Impossible III” probably made me care a tad more for Ethan Hunt than I did in “Ghost Protocol.” Another downside is that my favorite recurring character in the franchise aside from Ethan Hunt, Luther Stickell, is barely in this movie at all. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, he’s played by Ving Rhames and has been present in the franchise ever since the first movie. Maybe I like him a lot because he does the voiceovers for the Arby’s commercials, which are some of my favorite commercials on television, but seriously, he adds a lot of charisma to the film. He’s in the movie, but if you look at IMDb, it’ll state that Ving Rhames’s role was “uncredited.”

Seriously though, one of the most enormous admirations I have for this movie, much like all the others in the franchise is Tom Cruise’s performance and overall commitment to his role of playing the character Ethan Hunt. “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol” just continues to reveal why I love Tom Cruise. I’m no Scientologist, but with that aside, Cruise is one hell of an actor. He may not have the greatest ability to turn himself into another character, but with this “Mission: Impossible” franchise, Tom Cruise has really gotten to a point with the character of Ethan Hunt where he’s just synonymous with the man behind the mask that makes you appreciate both the character and the actor just a bit more. Not to mention, a number of the stunts you see in the film are real and Cruise is just one actor I continue to associate at this point with what one would call “real stuntwork.”

Speaking of characters, one problem I have here that kind of stands out is that the antagonist of the film is pretty forgettable. It might actually be in the conversation for the worst antagonist as far as “Mission: Impossible” movies go. The antagonist is known as Kurt Hendricks and while the villain wasn’t exactly flimsy or stupid, he was just rather disposable. This is not the villain of the franchise that would invest you more than any other, and if you read my review for another Brad Bird film, specifically “Incredibles 2,” this upcoming comment will sound rather reminiscent. Hendricks is coming after a certain point of the franchise where we got one particular awesome villain. Sure, the one in the first film was fine. The second film? Eh, I don’t want to talk about that crap ever again! The third film however, has a villain that just means BUSINESS. There’s one scene on a plane where Hunt is just trying to talk with him, the antagonist is giving threatening answers, it’s a whole thing. There’s a saying that a movie is as good as its villain, as much as I disagree on that statement, because I ended up giving “Mission: Impossible III” a 6/10 and yet it turned out to have the best villain in the franchise, I would agree in the thought that this movie would ultimately be better had the villain been better.

I feel like there a couple of reasons why I’m not liking this movie as much as I kind of hoped I would have. Starting off with Layman’s terms, and I can’t believe I’m saying this… Brad Bird.

Let me just say that Brad Bird is one of my favorite filmmakers working today, but most of the work I adore from him are in the realm of animation as opposed to live-action. He did my favorite animation, “The Incredibles.” He did a worthy follow-up, “Incredibles 2.” He also did another great Pixar film, “Ratatouille.” Before all of that, he did “Iron Giant.” Not only did he direct all of those films, but he also wrote them. This is Brad Bird’s directorial vision off of somebody else’s script, which is a normal thing in filmmaking nowadays, however, I don’t think that’s Brad Bird’s style. “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol” is one of the first times has done something that’s entirely live-action. The only other movie that I can come up with which he’s done that is 2015’s “Tomorrowland,” which to me, is just about as good as this movie. It’s watchable, but I don’t want to go back to it right away. Although interestingly, unlike this film, Brad Bird actually wrote “Tomorrowland.” My advice to Brad Bird is to focus on where his strengths seem to lie. To be specific, animation. Whether it’s “Incredibles 3” (PLEASE START THAT SCRIPT) or something completely new and original, I imagine Brad Bird would make all of our wings fly into the theater.

In the end, I didn’t hate “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” I thought it had some creative ideas behind it, there were definitely stakes, and Brad Bird’s reason to shoot the film in IMAX is spot on. He believes that it would bring back a level of showmanship that theaters are starting to lose given how most movies nowadays are shown in multiplexes, where screens are less grand and everything from the vibe to theater itself is shrunken down. And part of me wishes that I actually went out and saw this in theaters. That would have been tricky though because I was twelve years old at the time this came out and the movie is PG-13. Not only that, but I wouldn’t have watched one other “Mission: Impossible” film prior to this had I gone out and witnessed “Ghost Protocol” in a theater. If I went out and got the theatrical experience that I’m quite sure this movie probably deserved, I would probably have enjoyed it just a little bit more. I feel I like I should watch this movie again at a different time of day where I don’t feel the need to have anything else to worry about, perhaps my opinion will change then. I’m gonna give “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol” a 7/10. Once again, a fairly enjoyable movie with some neat qualities behind it, I wouldn’t mind watching it again. Although as of now if I were to watch it again, it would for two reasons. 1. To see if the movie improves over the first watch. 2. I would probably have no distractions surrounding me, allowing myself to further immerse into the movie. As far as watching this movie again goes, only the future can decide such a thing for me.

Thanks for reading this post! If you currently have Brad Bird fever right now, feel free to go to the link at the end of this post and read my “Incredibles 2” review! I feel like I went over a lot that the movie has to offer without exactly giving away spoilers. So if you feel like checking out that review, hit that link below!

Also, this “Mission: Impossible” review series is almost at its closing point. The next entry will be the last review I do in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise prior to the release of “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” So for the first time ever on Scene Before, I’d like to say, please stay tuned for my review for “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation.” That review will be up sometime in July before the release of “Mission: Impossible: Fallout,” which comes out on the 27th. I’ll give you all a warning though regarding my review for “Fallout” if you follow my blog. I don’t know when exactly I’ll be reviewing it. Because on the day it comes out I have to leave early to catch a train for New York City, which is part of a trip that will take several hours. And I also return home that same day. Once I get home, I’m going up to Maine with my family for a couple nights. Trust me, I WANT to see this movie. I know there are some theaters in the area, I’ve done my research. However, based on what the majority intends to do, I’m not quite sure I’ll be able to reach a theater during my stay. I’m not gonna make any guarantees because I’m not exactly sure how this stay is going to go down, but let me just say that for now unless I’m invited to an early screening of “Mission: Impossible: Fallout,” if you are expecting an early review of this particular movie, don’t get your hopes up. Nevertheless, be sure to stay tuned for those reviews, which I do want to post on here at some point, and other great content! I want to know, did you see “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol?” What did you think about it? Or, do you think I should watch the movie again to see if my thoughts change? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

INCREDIBLES 2 REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/06/14/incredibles-2-2018-too-late-fourteen-years-too-late/

Incredibles 2 (2018): Too Late. Fourteen Years Too Late.

Before we get any further with talking about one of the most incredible franchises on Earth, let me just state something to you. “The Incredibles” is not necessarily a movie about superheroes. It’s more about a family containing superheroes more than anything else. Part of it is shown throughout the franchise on how hard it is raising Jack-Jack, the youngest of the Parr family. Pretty soon, one couple by the name of Paul and Genevieve will be having a Jack-Jack of their own. It probably won’t have any superpowers, but still. Even so, this is the reality. Not only is this the reality, there was another sense of reality that had to be dealt with, the fact that conceiving their very own Jack-Jack, is a hassle for Paul and Genevieve. This is all explained in “What the IVF?!”

“What the IVF?” is a new series featuring former first season “King of the Nerds” contestant Genevieve and her husband who is one heck of an editor, Paul. The two are trying to have a baby, but sadly, can’t exactly do so as hard as they try. They face unfortunate realities in various areas including sex, math, examinations, and needles of death. You can find the latest “WTIVF?” content on the show’s specifically dedicated YouTube channel (link down below), featuring the latest episodes and some other material to diverge away from the norm. The latest episode in the series is up, and it might be one of the most disturbing and heartbreaking episodes I’ve watched in the series so far. Oh yeah, THE NEEDLES ARE BACK! Be sure to watch this video up above or any other “WTIVF?” content if you choose to do so, and also make sure to subscribe and ring the bell to see more from “What the IVF?.” Also check out their other social media pages, along with their website. One more thing, if you do decide to check them out, tell them that Jack Drees sent ya over!

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

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

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

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

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

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“Incredibles 2” is directed by Brad Bird (Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Iron Giant) and stars Craig T. Nelson (Coach, Poltergeist), Holly Hunter (The Firm, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice), Sam Vowell (Six Degrees, A.C.O.D), Huck Milner, and Samuel L. Jackson (The Avengers, Pulp Fiction). I could go on saying that “Incredibles 2” is the long-awaited sequel to 2004’s “The Incredibles.” Although if I did, I’d be understating how long people have been waiting for this. I’ve basically waited for this sequel my entire life. Now that it’s here, I’m screaming internally. Without any further digressions, this movie takes place right after the end of the original “Incredibles” installment. If you’ve seen that movie, you’d be well aware that it ends with a peaceful day suddenly becoming less peaceful. This is because the Underminer has declared “war on peace and happiness.” The sequel basically continues off from the point when the Underminer happens to be introduced. I guess that 2005 video game (Rise of the Underminer) is not canon at this point. This movie also introduces an all new threat, soon leading to Elastigirl’s recruitment to stop said threat. At the same time, Mr. Incredible is left alone with the kids, taking a full time job as a stay-at-home dad.

People have their favorite movies, and I think that’s great. I wouldn’t say that 2004’s “The Incredibles” is my all time favorite film, however, I would definitely confirm to you that this is my all time favorite animation. And to me, sometimes when I think about “The Incredibles,” it reminds me of how great 2004 was for movies. You have “The Incredibles,” my favorite animated film ever. You have “Spider-Man 2,” my favorite comic-book movie ever. You have “Ray,” one of the best films I’ve watched that’s based on true events. And while I have admittedly not watched the film, “The Passion of the Christ” hit an amazing achievement of then being one of the biggest box office hits with an R rating. I’m not saying 2018 is crap, but still, it’s true. If I were to one day make a conclusive list, “The Incredibles” to me would be in the conversation of possibly receiving a spot in my top 10 favorite films of all time. I first watched that movie, as my memory suggests, when I was seven years old. I still remember the first time I rented it from Blockbuster. Since I was just a kid who enjoyed seeing things on screen, I ultimately enjoyed “The Incredibles” because it was moving images on a screen. Overtime though, I bought it at a store whose name you probably won’t be hearing much anymore, Sears. This was on November 4th, 2007. This to me was one of the most rewatchable films I’ve ever owned as a kid. And I still own it to this day, I mean, based on what I just told you, would you be all that surprised? Now with this sequel coming out, they just put the 4K edition out in stores, and now I want it so bad! Speaking of things I wanted so bad, I REALLY WANTED THIS SEQUEL. If you asked me a few years ago what I thought about Pixar doing a sequel to “Finding Nemo” called “Finding Dory,” I would have responded saying I could probably care less. “Finding Nemo” didn’t really feel like it NEEDED a sequel. “The Incredibles” however, ended with a cliffhanger, plus unlike “Finding Nemo” brought a bigger connection in my life. So you might say I’m biased, and in that case I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that.

So… After fourteen LONG F*CKING YEARS, was this highly anticipated, long-awaited, and much asked for sequel worth the wait? The answer, yes! I’ve said countless times that I’ve always wanted to see an “Incredibles 2,” and I’ve asked that as a fan of the original. The thing to keep in mind however, that’s the fanboy in me talking, or in some cases…

The Buddy in me talking.

“I am your number one fan!” –Buddy/Incrediboy

Now, there’s another version of me, the critic side, that will allow the Movie Reviewing Moron to get his words out. And the Movie Reviewing Moron would just like to say that “Incredibles 2,” while fun, entertaining, well animated, hilarious, and action-packed from start to finish, is not perfect. The Moron will state however, the flaws are somewhat forgivable.

The first flaw almost dives into spoiler territory, and don’t worry, if you want to go into “Incredibles 2” spoiler-free, I’ll remind you that this ENTIRE REVIEW is spoiler-free! This movie is somewhat predictable at times. I’m not gonna say much about it. And I’ll admit, in a number of ways, it’s got some unpredictablity, but there were times where I was just analyzing and predicting in my head what was going to happen in the movie and I turned out to be right! I will say once again, this is somewhat forgivable, and the reason for that is because part of this movie’s audience happens to be children and they don’t usually give a damn about how predictable their content is!

The other flaw I have with this movie is one that I imagine might dwindle upon a couple watches, which I will say, “Incredibles 2” might deserve from me, but towards the beginning of the film, the pacing just felt the SLIGHTEST tad off. It wasn’t terrible, but it’s like going into a hotel room, it’s very nice and clean, the security and locks are up to par, the bathroom’s in decent condition, the shower works, the bed’s very comfortable, the view’s not bad, the lighting functions well, there’s a window providing a nice view, then you suddenly check the bed out a little further and find a hair. Now, that’s JUST ONE HAIR. That’s the only hair you find in your bed for the entire stay. Your experience could DEFINITELY be worse, but that hair though… The pacing to me in this movie is the one hair found in the bed. The predictability factor in this comparison if you care to know, is the below average internet connection. The movie still works, but it’s not as smart as it could be. But in all reality, I didn’t really care, because what we got in this sequel as a whole put one big smile on my face.

“Incredibles 2” is not the best movie I’ve seen all year. It’s not the best sequel I’ve seen this year either. It is however, the second best sequel I’ve seen this year. As a movie, “Incredibles 2” is definitely worthy of the Pixar name and a thrill ride all the way through. As a sequel, it does a fantastic job at picking up where things left off, giving an equal amount of spotlight to each character in the Parr family, and providing a similar feel to the original without exactly feeling like a ripoff. It does that thing some sequels do where they remind you of some events that happen in the original and depending on the scenario, repeat it for the sake of either nostalgia or reminding you of something that happened in the past in the franchise. Whether or not that sort of thing comes off as forced or negative, would probably depend on the viewer and their own personal tastes. It kind of worked for me in this case, partially because the intellectual property of “The Incredibles” is one such intellectual property I adore. But these sorts of things at times were executed with such great humor. And I will say that when it comes to the strong points of “Incredibles 2,” this is up there with the strongest. I think the first “Incredibles” can make a good number of people laugh, and you know what? I’m going to make the argument for now that this movie is funnier. Part of this has to do with one specific character of the Parr family, Jack-Jack.

I mentioned already that I loved the first “Incredibles” installment. However, there is one character from that film that I can’t imagine myself ever saying he was my favorite, and that is Jack-Jack. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing that really makes Jack-Jack unlikable, but perhaps the main reason that I wouldn’t point to Jack-Jack as my favorite character in the first film is because he does not have as much of a presence as some of the other characters. Here, he is much more involved with the story, and a true scene stealer. Jack-Jack is definitely the funniest character in the entire movie! One of the best parts of the film is his relationship with Edna Mode, who is probably one of the best supporting characters I’ve ever known in an animation. There’s also one thing that happens in this movie regarding Jack-Jack that I kind of grew to admire throughout the film. If you have seen the first movie, Jack-Jack uses his newly realized powers for a few moments. I won’t go into detail about it for the sake of avoiding spoilers because not everyone has watched “The Incredibles,” but everyone in the Parr family is observing Jack-Jack in one particular situation, and he is making various transformations. This movie goes ahead and says that the Parr family had no idea that Jack-Jack’s transformations were part of his new powers. It does make sense, upon a brief lookup, nobody in that scene I was talking about was able to actually know or tell Jack-Jack was even using any sort of powers. There was a point in the movie where I was questioning all of this, but now that I have this all cleared up, I can actually appreciate this movie a little bit more than maybe part of me once would have.

Now, here is a line you may know if you have seen “The Incredibles.”

“Settle down, are you kidding? I’m at the top of my game! I’m right up there with the big dogs! Girls, come on. Leave the saving of the world to the men? I don’t think so. I don’t think so.” -Helen Parr/Elastigirl

If you have seen the trailers for this movie, you’d know that Elastigirl is more involved with hero work than Mr. Incredible. Elastigirl was a major character in the previous film, however, you might as well say that Mr. Incredible was the shining star. In this movie, I’d probably say that both characters are kind of the shining star in their own little way, but hero-wise, Elastigirl is the “it” character. Elastigirl is out saving everyone, trying to bring heroes back into the spotlight, and she’s got a new suit along with a new ride. Both are quite slick actually if you ask me! Also, that quote I mentioned above Elastigirl’s image, probably fits her character for the entirety of this movie’s runtime more than at least a good portion of the last movie. You’ll see what I mean if you ever decide to check “Incredibles 2” out.

As mentioned, Mr. Incredible is taking on the role of stay-at-home dad. The movie does explain that he would much rather help bring back supers, but hey, someone’s gotta watch the kids. Some of the best parts of this movie actually involve Bob Parr watching the kids. From trying help Dash with his math, to whatever the hell Jack-Jack is up to, and a family outing at a certain restaurant that is a particular standout moment for the character of Violet, these moments were either funny, charming, or both.

If you can’t tell by now, I’d say that “Incredibles 2,” while I will say, is amazing, it’s not as good as the original movie in the franchise. And part of it has to do with the main antagonist. The fiendish plan of the antagonist is to hypnotize everyone into thinking that superheroes should be kept out of the spotlight. On paper, that’s not a bad idea for a villain in this movie. In terms of execution, I’d say this was definitely solid, I didn’t hate it, it’s definitely better than a lot of villains that Marvel puts out. I will say though, in the movie’s favor, it is kind of hard to live up to the first movie’s villain of Syndrome.

I kind of already talked about her, but I gotta dedicate a separate paragraph to Edna Mode because she f*cking deserves it! Edna is by far one of the movie’s best characters. Part of it has to with the writing, the humor, and Brad Bird’s top-notch voice acting! For two movies now I cannot imagine anyone else playing “E.” The character also shares a side of her in terms of her own personality that I didn’t particularly expect to see from her.

Speaking of characters, this movie introduces a bunch of new heroes, and in all honesty, one small worry I had walking into this film, is that these additional heroes would just make the film feel cluttered and too crowded. Given these folks’s screentime and what exactly they do, my worries were for absolutely nothing! I’d usually say it sucks to be wrong, but in this case, I guess that’s great! This is an apprehension I’m referring to after all, not a final question on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?.”

If you guys have read the opening promotion, you’d notice that I said “The Incredibles” is more about a family compared to anything else. Yes, this is a movie with superheroes in it with big explosions, action-packed moments, and tons of humor, but it is also mainly about a family who happen to be involved in all of these situations. You really feel connected to these characters who ultimately just care and look out for each other. This movie truly makes you care for the Parrs not only as heroes who have to save the day, but also as heroes who have to save each other.

I won’t go into a single detail regarding the film’s ending, however I will bring up one thing. After progressing so long through this film, I gotta say, if Pixar were to say that a third “Incredibles” movie were on the rise, I’d probably approve. I actually really want to see an “Incredibles 3.” Partially because I’m a fan, but I also would say that it might be Pixar’s most well made franchise aside from “Toy Story.” Now I will say, if they take fourteen years to make “Incredibles 3,” it better be worth the wait like this movie. In fact, funny enough, before the movie started, there was a short montage of the cast and crew talking in front of the camera saying that this sequel is a long time in the making and worth the wait. Regardless of how much they got paid to say those words, they weren’t lyin’!

In the end, “Incredibles 2” is a terrific sequel, a worthy follow-up to one of my favorite movies of all time, and one of this year’s funniest films. Brad Bird kills it not only as a voice-actor as recently mentioned, but as the writer and the director! The entire voice cast is spectacular, from Craig T. Nelson to Holly Hunter to Samuel L. Jackson to even the new voice for Dash, Huck Milner. the animation is top-notch, Michael Giacchino’s score is epic, and while the wait for this sequel was not as long for some as “Blade Runner 2049,” “Incredibles 2” was definitely worth the wait. I totally buy all the characters and again, if Pixar decides to do another one of these movies, I’d say go for it! I’m gonna give “Incredibles 2” a 9/10! Thanks for reading this review, and speaking of movies directed by Brad Bird, be sure to stay tuned for my review for “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” and also look forward to another movie which has a review coming up on this blog very soon, “Tag.” The embargo lifts the same day this review is up, so therefore if you clicked on this review early and still happen to be reading this, I’ll alert you that you’ll be seeing my detailed thoughts on that movie very soon. Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Incredibles 2?” What did you think about it? Or, what is a sequel you’ve waited to see all your life or a long period of time that you were excited to witness once it finally came out? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

90th Academy Awards Recap

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Before we go any further, let me just say, I admittedly put this post out a little later than I once anticipated. I had my mind going around on three posts at once, part of me was begging to nap this week, some distractions have gotten in the way, and I also had this thing going on over on my Twitter where I’m giving shoutouts to women on International Women’s Day. With those things in mind, you might as well say that if this blog or my posts happened to be my kid(s), I might not be the best of fathers. I’ve been distracted, wanting to fall asleep, and just didn’t have enough of a focus on the things that matter. Speaking of parenting, let’s talk about Genevieve and Paul. Who are they? Well, they’re a couple who are currently expecting, but their journey to get there was like trying to find a way to defy gravity. Impossibly long and stressful. Ladies and gentlemen, this is all documented in “What The IVF?!”

“What the IVF?” focuses on the recently mentioned couple, Genevieve and Paul. The two are happy together and one day decide to have a baby. Turns out they realize, the process of having a baby isn’t all fun and games, and now they’ve got to deal with various problems. These problems range in areas including: Sex, math, exams, and those freakin’ needles!  The first episode of the series up right now, it’s actually the video listed above, it’s a few minutes long, so if you need to waste some time and you feel like you should watch something, this is a good deal for you. And I said to the couple that I’d promote the material, and I’m not just saying this to be nice or push their buttons or receive a fat paycheck in the mail, in fact at this point they’d probably need it for baby food or something, I actually watched the first episode, and I thought it was very well done. If you look at this video, you’re in for a well edited treat. Be sure to catch up on the latest regarding Genevieve and Paul and to help you do that, I’ll post links to various “WTIVF?” social media pages, and if you check this stuff out, be sure to tell them that Jack Drees sent you over!

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

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

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

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

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

Getting back on track, it’s official that the Academy Awards are now over, so now I can look back and say to myself, “What happened to the politics?” If you think I’m asking that negatively, think again. Because I know one thing for sure, politics and the Academy Awards associate with each other quite well, and at times, it’s not exactly annoying, but they seemed to tone it down this year. When it comes to the politics, it was basically a sigh of relief. There were barely any comments regarding our current administration and when the comments were uttered, they were actually quite funny!

“That’s not the point. We don’t make films like ‘Call Me by Your Name’ for money. We make them to upset Mike Pence.” -Jimmy Kimmel

Then again, this isn’t the Golden Globes, where political and social issues, at least from my eyes and ears, seem to be more prominent and forced. At this Oscars, the insertion of all this commentary regarding politics and society didn’t feel that awkward because while they were there, there seemed to be more of a focus on awards and film.

Not every single person made it a big deal to wear black. People either did or they didn’t. The jokes weren’t as cringe-worthy. And let me just have you know, the stuff that’s being represented in terms of social issues happens to be stuff I personally support! Racial equality! Gender equality! I mean, Barbra Streisand and Natalie Portman didn’t get up on stage and come off as depression lords. Yes, time IS up, but there are more important issues than having male nominees and winners for Best Director. One of my favorite quotes regarding social issues comes from Kumail Nanjiani, who you may know as one of the writers and actors in last year’s “The Big Sick,” which is one of my favorite movies of 2017.

“Some of my favorite movies are movies by straight white dudes about straight white dudes. Now, straight white dudes can watch movies starring me, and you relate to that. It’s not that hard. I’ve done it my whole life.”

Well said, Kumail!

One of the other highlights of the night was something I didn’t actually expect. I came in for an award show, not a game show. Now when I say that, you may expect me to follow up with something negative, that is unless you realize my fanaticism for game shows. So as Jimmy Kimmel is finishing up his opening monologue, he reminds everyone that the Oscars is “a very long show.” Before those words are spoken, he states that the first Oscars show lasted for fifteen minutes from beginning to end, he adds in humor by saying “and people still complained.” So in order to spice things up, the show was going to give away a prize. So I start hearing “The Price is Right” music and suddenly, I see Helen Mirren standing right next to a new jet ski. The total value of the jet ski is $17,999, and whoever was to give the shortest speech, will go home with the prize. Kimmel adds, “Why waste precious time thanking your mother when you can give her the ride of her life on a new jet ski?” The man claimed that he was going to be timing everyone who wins an Academy Award with a stopwatch. Once they pick up their trophy, the clock begins ticking. Some of Kimmel’s conclusive words are “And in the unlikely event of a tie, I need to say the jet ski will be awarded to Christopher Plummer.”

By the way, Mark Bridges, the costume designer for “Phantom Thread,” was the winner of the jet ski. Also, for those of you who never heard of or seen “Phantom Thread,” the main character of Reynolds Woodcock, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, is a dressmaker. So of course, a movie about making clothes, won a category which involves making clothes.

Before I tuned into the Oscars, I made a hope/prediction post, which admittedly I rushed in some parts, but overall it was a somewhat effective list coming in over 4500 words. Although to be fair, it was crunch time, and I was just trying to get my major category predictions down. Much like in that post, I’m not gonna go through all the categories and stick to talking about anything from the categories that stand out to me. In my post I didn’t talk about anything such as Best Animated Short Film, Best Documentary, stuff like that. I’m just gonna talk about a category if I have some sort of interest related to them or if there’s something to me in it that stands out compared to other categories. To start this off, I’m going to dive into a category that I didn’t discuss on my prediction post. Specifically, Best Animated Short Film.

Here are the results for Best Animated Short Film!

  • Dear Basketball (WINNER!)
  • Garden Party
  • Lou
  • Negative Space
  • Revolting Rhymes

Regardless of familiarity, this category interested me because of its winner, “Dear Basketball.” For those of you who haven’t seen or heard of “Dear Basketball,” I don’t imagine many people will blame you, including Lakers fans. It has less than 2,000 ratings on IMDb, but it appears the Academy liked it. I have no problem with them liking it. I haven’t seen the short, so I can’t judge all that much. Although the real shocker for me here is who happens to be behind this “Academy Award winner.” OK, well, John Williams composed the music, which may have partially contributed to the overall verdict. The animation was a different style than what I usually see, and while I don’t think that in itself is award-worthy, maybe the idea of being different contributed to it. The creative developer, Brian Hunt made this his first project as a creative developer, but he also had experience in the industry prior to this. Although when it comes to the entire world of diverse, differently-minded, and film-focused people, the Academy decides to give an award to…

Kobe Bryant.

Yeah, Kobe Bryant. Kobe. Bryant. KOBE… BRRRRYANT. A former NBA Basketball player who has won the NBA Finals in the past, achieved an Oscar! I’m not saying that this is the end of the world, but seriously! If you told me a week ago, that Kobe Bryant, a guy who angrily swears at his own basketball team during practice, saying that his teammates are motherf*ckers who don’t do s*it for him, was going to win an Academy Award, I’d die laughing, get up, and tell you to get out of my sight because I’d think you’re incredibly dumb.

But he did.

Although one thing I really liked about this is how Mark Hamill was presenting the award. Because for one thing, he’s f*cking Mark Hamill. And another thing, the joke he made right before “Dear Basketball” was announced.

“Don’t say ‘La La Land.’ Don’t say La La Land.'”

Speaking of animations, let’s dive into Best Animated Feature Film.

  • Coco (WINNER!)
  • Ferdinand
  • The Boss Baby
  • The Breadwinner
  • Loving Vincent

“Coco” won. What a surprise.

“The Boss Baby” lost. Big fat shocker as well, not to mention a sign that Earth is still sane.

Enough said. Moving on.

Next up is Best Actor, and here are the results!

  • Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour) (WINNER!)
  • Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread)
  • Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name)
  • Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.)
  • Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out)

In total honesty, it would have been nice to see Daniel Day-Lewis win. Not just because he’s a terrific actor, but because this is his last performance. I have not seen “Phantom Thread,” much like how I haven’t seen any of the other films listed above, but seeing Day-Lewis winning would have been a treat. I have nothing against Gary Oldman. I don’t have anything against him winning, I think he’s a fine actor, and he definitely has potential to take on some more great roles in the future. I didn’t think about this while I was doing my hope and prediction post, but I did find this out going into the show. If Timothée Chalamet ended up winning Best Actor, he would have been the youngest person to win that award. For the record, Chalamet could have possibly been a 22 year-old Oscar winner, beating out then 29 year-old Adrien Brody (The Pianist) who won an Academy Award for this specific category for the 2002 movie season.

Speaking of acting, let’s move onto Best Actress!

  • Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) (WINNER!)
  • Meryl Streep (The Post)
  • Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water)
  • Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird)
  • Margot Robbie (I, Tonya)

Once again, a category filled with movies that I just haven’t gotten around to watching! OK, well except one, which was “Three Billboards.” Having seen it, I approve of McDormand’s win. Very well deserved! Part of me thought at one point that Margot Robbie was gonna win for “I, Tonya” based on a clip I saw for it, but I guess not. Meryl Streep… I have nothing against her. I still have to see “The Post.” But I seriously wonder if this nomination happened just because she’s Meryl and the Academy has a fetish for nominating her. Part of me is also surprised the Academy didn’t go with Saoirse Ronan for “Lady Bird.” Although at the same time, it surprises me how many people saw the movie and didn’t like it. I didn’t see it, but I’m trying to.

One of the next categories we’re gonna get into is Best Adapted Screenplay.

  • Call Me by Your Name (WINNER!)
  • The Disaster Artist
  • Logan
  • Molly’s Game
  • Mudbound

I’ll state something similar to what I said in my prediction and hope post. “Mudbound,” to me, doesn’t qualify as a movie that associates with the Oscars. To me, the Oscars is about celebrating cinema. While there are a number of people who clearly worship this movie for various reasons, I refuse to call it a technical “Oscar film.” To my knowledge, this movie has released in a couple theaters if that. And while I do think a movie with even the smallest theatrical release can qualify to win an Oscar, it’s mainly known to me as a straight to streaming film. Now don’t get me wrong, if Amazon or someone like that distributed this film, I would have possibly supported “Mudbound” more. But instead, Netflix did. And since Netflix doesn’t give movie theaters a chance (do some research on “The Cloverfield Paradox”), I refuse to watch it, review it, and call it a movie that others seem to call it. So unless Netflix starts releasing films in theaters as a tradition and not a special occasion, I refuse to review any of their films or consider them for awards like Oscars, or if you want to be more accurate on my end, my top 10 BEST movies of the year lists. Now “Call Me by Your Name” won. I didn’t see it, therefore I was in a somewhat of a shock when its, well, name was called. I was glad it wasn’t “Mudbound,” but I didn’t really expect this film to win, and I was actually rooting for a couple of other films. One film I saw earlier this year because I couldn’t get to it last year was “Molly’s Game.” The film itself? Barely passable. The screenplay though? If this were a film class and I were teaching, I’d give it somewhere around the A range just for the diction choices and the snappy tone it provided at times. I was especially disappointed that they didn’t pick “The Disaster Artist” because humor-wise, it was the funniest movie of 2017, maybe aside from “The LEGO Batman Movie.” Not to mention the way it was written was partially realistic and another part felt like a homage. And while this is based on a true event, I totally appreciate the callbacks to some things that happened that can be associated with “The Room.” A lot of people are kind of disappointed that “Logan” didn’t win this award. I haven’t seen “Logan,” I’ve heard phenomenal things, but I haven’t seen it. Part of me wonders if this is just coming from people who either have a bias towards comic book movies or just go see comic book movies and ignores everything else, or if it’s a bunch of people who appreciate the screenplay for its differences compared to other comic book movies. It’s darker, grittier, contains more violence and foul language, and it just contains things that makes anyone who works at Disney hide in the corner. I’m not gonna focus on Best Original Screenplay, I don’t really have much to say about it. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m gonna just dive into categories which can feel more like an essay as opposed to a couple of forced complete sentences. Either that or if I feel if it has some sort of relevance to me, that will play into this sort of thing as well.

Next up is a category containing something I often think about, Best Original Score.

  • Alexandre Desplat (The Shape of Water) (WINNER!)
  • Hans Zimmer (Dunkirk)
  • John Williams (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
  • Jonny Greenwood (Phantom Thread)
  • Carter Burwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Before we get into discussion concerning the winner, let’s talk about John Williams. John Williams, without a doubt, is a great composer, and there’s a reason why people love his work. Not only has he done some of the most iconic movie scores of all (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Home Alone, Jaws), but he’s proven to be talented for many many years. Although him being nominated for his work on “The Last Jedi” is just… Bogus. I have seen every single “Star Wars” film scored by John Williams, including the latest one in the franchise, “The Last Jedi.” The movie’s mediocre overall, I admittedly overhyped it when I first saw it, it was a whole thing. When it comes to John Williams, I honestly don’t see how he could have been nominated for an Oscar other than the fact that he’s the one doing the score. You remember the score for “Rogue One?” That one was the only score for a theatrically released “Star Wars” film that isn’t from John Williams. That score, while not recognized all that much for awards, was not only a delight to hear, but a different take on what could qualify as “Star Wars” music. I’ve given some sort of praise to “The Last Jedi” for being different, but one aspect that didn’t feel different was the score. It felt like it just took themes from “The Force Awakens” and other “Star Wars” films and shoved them right into this one. I still remember the climactic scenes and I’m hearing the “March of the Resistance” song and it just felt underwhelming unlike the first couple of times. I like John Williams, I think he’s skilled, but what the hell? There are other scores that weren’t even nominated that could have qualified! “Blade Runner 2049!” “Wonder Woman!” And even though this film wasn’t really that good, I’d be fine with live-action “Ghost in the Shell” because at least various aspects of the movie, such as the music, made it sound like it was trying. “Revenge of the Sith’s” score was never nominated for any Oscars, but if you actually think “The Last Jedi” had a better score than “Revenge of the Sith,” I’m gonna force-choke you. Now onto something that matters.

I wanted “Dunkirk” to win Best Original Score. Although in the end, it turned out to be “The Shape of Water.” And funny enough, the composer for the score in “The Shape of Water,” Alexandre Desplat was originally going to compose the music for the recently mentioned “Rogue One” before that job ultimately went to Michael Giacchino! Desplat has also scored 2014’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” which I saw, enjoyed, but can’t say I liked as much other people. You know, kind of like its score. Seriously? It lost to “Interstellar?” You done goof, Academy. I’ll say this is one of those wins, much like a couple of others that really make me interested in checking out “The Shape of Water.” It would be interesting to hear what music related to a woman and fish who wanna f*ck sound like. I thought “Dunkirk” would win for its grand and fast-paced feel, but I guess not. But seriously though, no love for “Blade Runner 2049?”

Speaking of that, let’s talk about the nominees and winner for Best Visual Effects.

  • Blade Runner 2049 (WINNER!)
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Kong: Skull Island
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

From what you can tell, I love “Blade Runner.” I love both the original film and its sequel. An enormous part of me is beyond glad that it won Best Visual Effects. I will say though, I imagine some people have these every once in awhile. They have certain categories in award shows where they don’t care who wins because they think all of them are deserving of the prize. This to me, was one of them. I will say, part of me is shocked that “War for the Planet of the Apes” didn’t win because a lot of people were impressed by that film visually. Interestingly, that was the only film of the five nominees I didn’t watch at the very least in portions. I’ve seen part of “Kong: Skull Island,” and every other film including “Guardians,” “Star Wars,” and “Blade Runner,” were ones I watched from beginning to end. Part of me even wonders how many people are thinking right now that “War for the Planet of the Apes” got snubbed. Nevertheless, I’m happy “Blade Runner 2049” won. If you have not seen “Blade Runner 2049,” you might occasionally drop your jaw at the city of Los Angeles, the fact that they did a clear recreation of Sean Young who played Rachael in the original film, and how much you’ll be immersed that a part of you might end up wanting to jump in this world. If “War for the Planet of the Apes” won, I think it would have been a very much deserved win, but I’m incredibly happy that “Blade Runner 2049” took the cake.

One category that got a number of people talking was Best Film Editing. This is partially because of not only who DID win. But also because of who DIDN’T win. Here are the five films to have been recognized for their achievement here.

  • Dunkirk (WINNER!)
  • The Shape of Water
  • I, Tonya
  • Baby Driver
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

So “Dunkirk” came out on top as you can clearly see, and as someone who has watched the movie, I can understand why it won. It was told in a non-linear fashion, which only made the film a tad more interesting than it already was. Although it’s a Christopher Nolan movie, so this puzzle-like editing isn’t exactly a shocker. One movie that people were surprised didn’t win however was “Baby Driver.” I feel like part of why this didn’t win is because the Academy usually goes after dramatic movies like “Dunkirk” instead of movies that some people would refer to as “less serious” and “fun” like “Baby Driver.” Not only that, but I’m willing to bet part of it has to do with the whole Kevin Spacey scandal that’s been brought to the world’s attention months ago. Granted, this isn’t Kevin Spacey’s nomination specifically, but still. Am I disappointed “Baby Driver” lost to “Dunkirk?” Not really, I think both films are well edited in their own little way. “Dunkirk’s” non-linear fashion makes the movie more of a challenge to watch and ultimately more fun. Although with “Baby Driver,” the editing in that movie has given us some of the best action sequences of the decade. In my review, I praised “Baby Driver” for its thrilling action sequences and how it made me want more of them once one ends. I can see why “Dunkirk” won, but some love for “Baby Driver” would have also been appreciated.

If you remember the nominees for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing, something in particular may have stood out to you.

They’re the same nominees.

Not only that…

THE SAME MOVIE TOOK BOTH AWARDS!

  • Dunkirk (WINNER!)
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Baby Driver
  • The Shape of Water
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

One thing I’d like to say about “The Last Jedi.” I actually beg to differ because I think it had 2017’s best LACK OF sound editing or sound mixing. Remember that scene where one ship goes into hyperspace and crashes through another ship in the process? HOLY. F*CKING. S*IT. As much as that movie could have been better, THAT. WAS. AMAZING. While I do think the general editing for “Baby Driver” was praise-worthy to the point where I can’t contain myself, the sound work is basically not a competition anymore when “Dunkirk” steps in the ring. The sound choices were authentic! The audibility was extreme! The immersion provided from all the noise was 100% pure! How can you go wrong with “Dunkirk” in these categories?! “Dunkirk” put me in a war zone, and if you tell me you missed out on seeing this movie in a theater, shame on you.

When it comes to Best Director, this was yet another one of those categories where I was left feeling a lack of a surprise.

  • Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water) (WINNER!)
  • Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)
  • Jordan Peele (Get Out)
  • Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk)
  • Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread)

So… Del Toro won. Doesn’t shock me whatsoever. I don’t know what you may have thought as the one to come out on top, but this was rather predictable to me. And I feel like a big part of it has to do with his presence at other awards shows, how much del Toro’s name has been spoken recently, and also how many Best Director awards I’ve been aware of this film getting thus far. One that really stuck out to me was the Golden Globes, mainly because of Natalie Portman’s “all male nominees” comment, which honestly would have been better left unspoken due to its awkwardness. I wanted Nolan to win, partially because he’s my favorite director, and also because of the excellent job he did on “Dunkirk.” But yeah, you can’t have everything. Although, I will say, something in the same realm as Portman’s Golden Globes utterance occurred. Last year’s winner for Best Actress, Emma Stone (La La Land, Birdman), said this:

“It is the director whose indelible touch is reflected on every frame. It is the director who, shot by shot, scene by scene, day by day, works with every member of the crew to further the story. And it is the vision of the director that takes an ordinary movie and turns it into a work of art. These four men and Greta Gerwig created their own masterpieces this year.”

This was so much better than seeing Natalie Portman onstage and having myself hear what she said. Don’t get me wrong, Portman’s a fine actress. Although let’s take a look at the situation at hand with her. She was standing next to RON HOWARD, someone who has directed a number of films. Films that by the way, are still remembered to this day! Howard even recently directed a film in the “Star Wars” franchise! A franchise which Portman was once a major part of as an actress! The two are talking, they’re about to present the award, and at one point, I hear Portman say…

“And here are the all male nominees.”

Yes, it is true that female directors aren’t usually getting as much attention as males. It is also true, that more males are directing movies as opposed to females. But to literally shame a director just because they have a penis, is just unbelievably ridiculous. How do you think del Toro felt taking that award home? I imagine he felt happy because he won, but seriously, he won after being accused of simply being a man. Emma Stone on the other hand, didn’t exactly make an awkward joke and instead quickly stated some words before moving on. It’s actually kinda funny. It was presented in a setting and manner that didn’t have a forced vibe, and I don’t have any feelings of cringe to describe to you. This comment, while it does point out the lack of women in the director’s chair when it comes to filmmaking, doesn’t feel like something that a man should be ashamed of hearing. Because for one thing, it mentions a woman got nominated. Also because it’s still technically a comment of praise. Literally pointing out that nominees are male the way Natalie Portman did almost feels like a comment meant to point out disdain towards the potential winners. Just look at the difference between the tone, delivery, and choice of words between the two people. Just look and see what I mean!

Speaking of women making achievements, one of them was involved in Best Cinematography… Although to me, that’s not even CLOSE to the best part of this category. The best part, is who finally f*cking won, after FOURTEEN nominations.

  • Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049) (WINNER!)
  • Hoyte Van Hoytema (Dunkirk)
  • Rachel Morrison (Mudbound)
  • Bruno Delbonnel (Darkest Hour)
  • Dan Laustsen (The Shape of Water)

Best Cinematography. Sounds like a category that some people don’t care about. In reality, when it comes to filmmaking, I’m a writer. If there’s one thing I’m not, it’s a cinematographer. Although more than one name for me stood out on this list. You’ve got Hoyte Van Hoytema, who has to proven to be a great cinematographer with not just “Dunkirk” as a notable achievement, but also “Interstellar” and “Spectre.” I really admired “Dunkirk” when I saw it partially because of how well done the camerawork itself was presented from an immersion perspective, but also the fact that it was shot on mostly IMAX footage. If you didn’t go see this film in an IMAX theater, especially one with laser projection or 15/70mm projection, you may have just missed out on a one of a kind experience.

Another standout to me was “Mudbound,” and part of me thought the Academy was going to pick the cinematographer for that movie, Rachel Morrison. For the record, she was the first woman ever nominated for the award in all ninety of the Academy Awards shows. I’ll mention once again, I refuse to call “Mudbound” a movie. I have nothing against Rachel Morrison, I just have a problem with Netflix. I’d be rooting for Morrison more if she was given a movie that doesn’t associate with a company which will make me always say, as pervy as it may sound, “I’ll just take chill,” when asked the common meme-worthy question “Netflix and chill?.”

Then we have “Blade Runner 2049.” My runner-up for my favorite movies of 2017 list for a gigantic number of reasons. And speaking of gigantic numbers, let’s talk about the number 14. OK, in some realms it’s not really that huge, but you’ll see my point. Roger Deakins was the director of photography for “Blade Runner 2049.” And I imagine when some people heard his name, they got excited. Chances are, if these people have followed Deakins’ work, it might not be the first time they got excited about something like this. I can’t exactly relate, but having seen Deakins’ work in movies like “Skyfall,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Hail, Caesar!,” and “No Country For Old Men,” I agree with others when they say he’s one of the greats when it comes to cinematographers. Once again, the guy has been nominated for Best Cinematography by the Academy, FOURTEEN TIMES. Here is a list of all the times other than the one of focus when he’s been nominated. Note that the year listed is the year the film he shot came out and not the year he was nominated.

  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  • Fargo (1996)
  • Kundun (1997)
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
  • The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001)
  • No Country For Old Men (2007)
  • The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
  • The Reader (2008) (shared with Chris Menges)
  • True Grit (2010)
  • Skyfall (2012)
  • Prisoners (2013)
  • Unbroken (2014)
  • Sicario (2015)

What happened to Deakins when he was nominated those thirteen times? Well, that can be explained in a video by TIFF Originals that starts off with the statement: “Roger Deakins is a loser.” The video is called “Roger Deakins’ 13 Oscar Losses.”

After watching this video if you have done so, you probably got a thought on your mind, and it may have been “Roger Deakins is a f*cking loser.” I’ll be fair and say some of the competition he had were deserving of their awards, take “Gravity” for example. Although this year with “Blade Runner 2049,” I only thought Roger was deserving of HIS Oscar. We get to the big moment. I see Sandra Bullock holding an envelope with “CINEMATOGRAPHY” labeled on it. She says some words before introducing the nominees, and when they are introduced. I just thought this was gonna be a year where the Academy doesn’t give him the award and just gives an award to Rachel Morrison just because she has a vagina. Again, I have nothing against Rachel Morrison. She actually did the cinematography for “Black Panther” which was such a treat. It came out really well! I imagine she’s a very nice lady, but I was rooting for Roger. I’ll admit, I’m not that religious. My main philosophy is to be a nice person, I am however not that religious. But as the nominees were introduced, I had my hands, containing all sorts of cells, interlinked. I WAS PRAYING. People were cheering for Morrison, and the others seemed to get some applause, but I heard more for Morrison than anyone else. So they’re introduced, and it’s time. Sandra Bullock still has the envelope in her hand, and she says this as she quickly opens it for the result:

“And the Oscar goes to, Roger A. Deakins (crowd erupts in a roar), “Blade Runner 2049.”

My reaction to that can be described in many ways. Part of me wished I had fireworks to set off after that win! Part of me wanted to go around the house doing cartwheels after the win! Part of me wanted to find some confetti to throw around after that win! My reaction, quite possibly woke up my mother and sister. I might as well have been a young teenage girl at her favorite boy band’s concert! I might as well have been at an event where I find out my kid in school won student of the year! I might as well have been a Chicago Cubs fan at the end of the 2016 World Series, where they finally had a victory after years and years trying to get it. People may say that Leonardo DiCaprio waited a bit to get his Oscar, which I’ll say, when he won it, I kind of wanted Matt Damon to take it, but that’s just me. Although for Leo, he won it on his FIFTH nomination. When you’re nominated THIRTEEN times, it’s almost like you’ll be that one person who gets a nomination, but that’s all. What if Meryl Streep never won a single Oscar? All of her wins, “Kramer vs. Kramer,” “Sophie’s Choice,” “The Iron Lady,” they never happened. Streep received her TWENTY-FIRST nomination for a role she did just last year in “The Post.” I can imagine the crowd roaring like a bunch of T-Rexes in an argument if that turned out to be her first win. Let’s take another example, because why the hell not? Imagine the New York Yankees. Some people don’t like the New York Yankees because they always win. But they’ve been in 40 World Series Championships. Imagine all their titles where they were victorious, all gone. The 40th appearance is the charm. That’s how I feel about Deakins here, the fourteenth time’s the charm. I can wholeheartedly approve of Deakins winning not just because it took forever and a half to happen, but just look at these shots and tell me they actually look terrible. I dare y’all!

Nice shot now isn’t it?

Take a gander at this beauty.

Look at this bad boy and tell me it sucks. I’ll wait.

Is it just me or does this define the meaning of life?

This shot screams something that in some worlds, would qualify as one word. Fan-freakin’-tastic.

LOOK AT THIS SHOT!

LOOK AT THIS F*CKING SHOT!

LOOK AT THIS MOTHERF*CKING SHOT! NO! SERIOUSLY! THIS IS THE DEFINITION OF PERFECTION! THIS IS A F*CKING MASTERPIECE! I’M GOING F*CKING INSANE!

My point is made. Roger Deakins’ victory, to me, may be one of the most deserved Academy Award wins in history. THANK GOSH! So many people can sleep now and have less dreams and concerning nightmares!

And now, as mentioned, we won’t get through every single topic listed for the Academy Awards today, but here’s one that people look back on years and years from now, Best Picture. Before we get into that, you may remember the whole “La La Land” and “Moonlight” mishap from last year? Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway come up onstage to present the award, they state the nominees, they’re looking at the card, and somehow awkwardness ensues. Suddenly, Dunaway announces “La La Land” won Best Picture, but the two had the wrong card. Celebration ignites! Cheering be heard all over the Dolby Theatre, and a moment later, Jordan Horowitz, a producer behind “La La Land” is onstage and he states “Moonlight” won Best Picture. He even showed the card! Turns out Beatty and Dunaway were handed the wrong envelope. So… What happens now? What idea could be better than bringing Beatty and Dunaway back? Jimmy Kimmel had some fun before diving into the nominees. “We’re in the home stretch. Nothing could possibly go wrong from here. Here, on the 51st anniversary of Bonnie and Clyde, are Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.” They come out, Beatty says, “We’re glad to see you all again.” Dunaway adds, “As they say, presenting is lovelier the second time around.” The two continue speaking, eventually arriving at the point where they announce the nominees and the winner. By the way, they had the correct envelope this time. Here are the movies that have been nominated for Best Picture!

  • The Shape of Water (WINNER!)
  • Dunkirk
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • The Post
  • Lady Bird
  • Get Out
  • Darkest Hour
  • Call Me by Your Name
  • Phantom Thread

In my prediction post leading up to the Oscars, I said this was gonna be a close race to the finish between “Lady Bird,” “Dunkirk,” “The Shape of Water,” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” I will say however for “Lady Bird,” that kind of changed throughout the night because it was nominated for five awards during the show, but the four that were already presented were all losses on their end. For “Dunkirk,” I thought it had a solid chance. The Academy seemed to give a lot of praise towards this film and it already won a few Oscars throughout the night. For “Three Billboards,” I figured it could win solely because it won Best Motion Picture- Drama at the Golden Globes. It also made a sweep at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. And it was nominated for a ton of Oscars beforehand, and it ended up taking home two before getting as far as Best Picture. Although if there was one I “knew” was going to win, it was going to be a movie with thirteen nominations including Best Picture. It was going to be a movie that already took home a few awards. It was going to be a movie praised by many critics and average moviegoers alike. It was going to be… “The Shape of Water.”

…And it won.

I have nothing in particular against “The Shape of Water.” From what I’ve seen in promotional material, it’s very good from a visual perspective, but I haven’t watched the movie so I can’t really say much else. Funny enough, I take a film studies class in my school, and my teacher actually asked if anyone in our class has actually seen “The Shape of Water.” Once asked, the class pretty much unanimously declined to put our hands up. I wanted “Dunkirk” to win. But hey, it’s already got some well deserved awards, especially in the sound categories. Also, remember, Roger Deakins won. So I was beyond satisfied. Although if “Blade Runner 2049” were nominated for Best Picture, you’d know I’d choose it. Or “Colossal,” that was my #1 movie of last year. Although I can understand why it’s not exactly been nominated for anything. But seriously, check that movie out if you can! It’s on several streaming services as we speak! So congrats to “The Shape of Water” and its crew. That movie is actually going to be out on home video in a number of days, so maybe I’ll watch it very soon!

Guys, that’s all I have to say for the 90th Academy Awards! It was personally a great show on my end. All of the commentary for the most part, wasn’t all that awkward. I may be in the minority, but the monologue between Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip, The Carmichael Show) and Maya Rudolph (Big Hero 6, Bridesmaids), despite how it’s on a topic regarding issues I can side with, just came off as something that would belong in a one of those “SNL” sketches that gets shoved in there when the writers have nothing else that they can come up with. It took a topic that I would, could, and should agree on, and it just sullies it. I imagine both Rudolph and Haddish are pleasant people, and I’M SORRY that Rudolph had to suffer through “The Emoji Movie,” but this just felt weird to watch. But other than that, it was one of the greatest nights ever. I’ve spent some time watching people react to their favorite team winning the Super Bowl on YouTube before, and when it comes to Best Cinematography, that’s legit how I felt. My team won the Oscars, which is MY Super Bowl. Congratulations to everyone who has been nominated and has won awards, I’m looking forward to seeing who will be in the 91st Academy Awards show, and finally. Finally. FINALLY! I can now call one of the world’s greatest cinematographers, Oscar-winning Roger Deakins. I’d like to thank the Academy for making that happen.

Thanks for reading this very long post! Pretty soon I’m gonna have my review for “Annihilation” up for you all to read, and if you are wondering, I don’t live in one of the countries where you have to use Netflix in order to watch it so if that were the case, I wouldn’t have seen the film. Also, stay tuned for my Tom Cruise “Mission: Impossible” review series which will have its first entry up this month. Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you watch the Academy Awards? What are your thoughts? Did your picks win? Did they lose? Is there someone you really wanted to win or lose? Did you make any bets? Have you decided to check out any movies after watching the show? Let me know all of that info for an unofficial possible nomination for Best Comment. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

“Hey thank you, thank you. I better say something or else they’ll give me a jet ski and I don’t see myself on a jet ski somehow. I want to share this with my wife of 27 years, James, whatever. I want to share it with Andrew, Broderick, and Denis Villeneuve. Y’know I really love my job, I’ve been doing it for a long time as you can see. But y’know one of the reasons I really love it is the people I work with. Both in front of the camera and behind the camera. Some of my crew on “Blade Runner,” I’ve been working with for over thirty years. And others-others I met for the first time in Budapest. And this is for every one of them. Every one of them. In fact, I gotta say, it’s for us, because it was a team. It was really team- a team effort. Thank you. Thank you very much.” –Roger A. Deakins