The Fabelmans (2022): Why I Do What I Do

“The Fabelmans” is directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Michelle Williams (Venom, My Week with Marilyn), Paul Dano (The Batman, Love & Mercy), Seth Rogen (Neighbors, The Guilt Trip), Gabriel LaBelle (Love Shack, The Predator), and Judd Hirsch (Independence Day, Dear John). This film is slightly based on Steven Spielberg’s adolescence and is about a young boy who uses the power of movies to navigate himself through the ups and downs of life.

I love movies. Obviously, as someone who has written movie reviews for several years, this should not come as a surprise. But I love the process that goes into making them, the marketing, the theatrical experiences, the stories, the fandoms, the lessons we take away. Everything. I love movies. I love cinema. I love everything about it. When I hear Steven Spielberg is making a film, of course I have to pay attention just because his name is attached. But when I hear he is making a film that somewhat has to do with his passion for movies, I am all ears. It is the classic saying, write what you know. If there is anybody on this planet who knows movies, it is the guy who made “Jaws.” It is the guy who made “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” It is the guy who made “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.” It is the guy who made “The Post” and “Ready Player One” within months of each other. Safe to say, I was looking forward to this movie where we kind of get a semi-autobiographical tale on Steven Spielberg’s end.

“The Fabelmans” is a spectacular movie in every way. But should I really be surprised? Heck no.

Hollywood has a tendency to create self-indulgent stories where the script highlights the spotlight of the industry. Films like “La La Land” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” have done this with excellence for different reasons. Given the context of the story and what it is about, this is not a movie where Hollywood celebrates Hollywood and instead, gives more of a shoutout to people who are just learning filmmaking or are perhaps working in smaller conditions, limited crews, or tinier budgets. Of course, as someone who has spent his years making productions since high school either for educational, fun, or work purposes, I can say that my experience must have been a lot different than Spielberg’s, and therefore, different than this film’s main character of Sammy Fabelman. Watching this movie made me realize how much easier I have it now with digital technology and editing tools that I did not have to buy a separate space-consuming machine for. Well, apart from the monthly subscription I have to give to Adobe, I realize how much easier I have it.

Above all, this movie is about dreams. Steven Spielberg has obviously accomplished his dream of making films, and he is one of the best to ever do it. Therefore it makes sense that Sammy spends the entire movie hoping to do the same thing. We see him watching movies, making films with his friends, and showing his work off to others. That is all part of the dream. We see Mitzi, played by Michelle Williams, show off some artistic talents of her own with the piano. While she still plays it as a hobby, we come to learn that maybe she could have done something more with it. The one in the family whose dreams are supposedly realized are those of Sammy’s father, Burt, played by Paul Dano. As the movie progresses, we see him talking about his job, moving to a bigger company, and he has found his place in STEM. I think STEM is important, and even though this movie is about an aspiring artist, one of the best things about it is that it does not necessarily come off as propaganda to disregard or ignore STEM. I say this as someone who wants to spend his life in the arts himself. What I took from “The Fabelmans” is that if you have a dream, you would be a fool not to see it all the way through. Unfortunately, sometimes the dreams of others can interfere with dreams of your own.

Apart from this, kind of like some other standout movies this year such as “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” “The Fabelmans” is a win because it has everything in it. Drama. Comedy. Even a little action. Like those two films, “The Fabelmans” does not just check those boxes just to give something for everyone. It is giving something that the audience will be able to take away with them. I walked out of “The Fabelmans” with a dash of happiness because I got to spend two and a half hours feeling every emotion possible.

Spielberg is a name that is taken seriously nowadays, so you must be thinking, “‘The Fabelmans’ is perfect. Right?” I would not jump to that conclusion. As much as I enjoyed the movie, there were certain scenes that felt a bit extravagant or over the top for a story that mainly centers a round a family like this one. While this is a semi-autobiographical movie about a young boy growing up in a Jewish family, there is one aspect of the film, specifically the character of Monica (Chloe East), that felt like a poppy guest character in a sitcom. Monica is a Christian. She is also obsessed with Jesus, it is practically her defining character trait. I think people can be crazy fanatical over anyone, but the way her character was written and executed in this movie felt less down to earth than some of the movie’s other scenes. If Spielberg ever reflects on this movie and the character of Monica, and I find out she is based on someone he actually knew, my thoughts on this aspect of the film could possibly change. But in a film that stays in a lane between drama and comedy, this felt overly goofy.

For those of you who know me outside of Scene Before, you would know that I have a YouTube channel. One of the things I used to do on it for fun was record my trips on various elevators. I would take a small camera or a phone, go up, go down, maybe repeat the process to a varying degree. When I was visiting a particular elevator at a Macy’s one time with a friend, I ran into a mother and her son. The mother saw what I was doing and got super excited because she and her son apparently knew about these videos and watched them in the past. I do not do these videos anymore due to a lack of interest. You may wonder, why on earth would I be telling you this? It is because this movie reinforces why I did those videos and the backbone behind why I kept making content over time, even if they do not have elevators in them. I did it to entertain people. I did it so people can have an experience. I did it so people can be happy. Of course, like Sammy, I make art as a passion. To me, it is not a hobby, it is a lifestyle. But at the end of the day, art is all the more rewarding when you have people you can share it with. Even “Morbius,” as much as I hated that movie, generated a reaction out of me. The people who made that movie, regardless of how little or how much collective passion was put into it, had an end goal to get an audience’s attention. As for the audience themselves, it is up to them to decide whether “Morbius” did an excellent job at accomplishing its goals. I cannot say it did, but someone else on this planet might beg to differ. “The Fabelmans” starts with Mitzi telling young Sammy, “movies are dreams that you never forget.” “The Fabelmans” reminded me of my dreams and made me want to pursue them even more.

Time will tell how much this movie will hold up. Although if Spielberg’s track record shows anything, the likelihood of “The Fabelmans” holding up seems high. I do not say this a lot, and while “The Fabelmans” is not my favorite movie of the year, I think that this is a film I need right now. There is a moment towards the final 10 to 20 minutes where I saw myself in Sammy. Especially as a recent college grad. I think if even if you are not trying to pursue film, you will relate to Sammy in this moment. As someone who is, I would give the moment bonus points if possible. “The Fabelmans” reminds me of why I do what I do. Why I make videos, why I write, why I blog. I do it for you. At the end of the day, I am sometimes the one who calls the shots as to how something gets done or I make a decision that impacts an outcome. But all of that is for the audience to enjoy, or despise because art is subjective, and for people to think about amongst themselves. We all have a story, but it means more when there is an audience to take it all in. If the audience I sat alongside for “The Fabelmans” suggests anything, Spielberg made a story that gets their approval.

In the end, “The Fabelmans” is cinematic bliss. If you are still with family at the moment and need something to do, I implore you to get together, go to the cinema, and watch “The Fabelmans.” It is a movie that not only has something for everyone, but it is a story that delivers some of the best examples of those somethings. This year for movies, if you want me to be honest, while it has standouts, did not have many of them thus far compared to other years. “The Fabelmans” is one of standouts that I will carry with me to the end of the year where it is probably going to get a spot on my annual top 10s. This is a film that I would imagine is going to inspire young filmmakers, not to mention anyone who simply has a dream. Possibly those who have yet to find that dream, and it may come with this film. I am happy to say “The Fabelmans” is one of the best movies of 2022, and I am going to give it a 9/10.

Last but not least, this movie unsurprisingly once again proves that Steven Spielberg may be the GOAT of filmmaking. Meanwhile, I would suggest that it also supports the notion that John Williams may be the GOAT of film scoring. The music in this film, like a lot of movies he worked on, stands out. I cannot wait to listen to it in my own time.

“The Fabelmans” is now playing in theatres everywhere. Tickets are available now.

Thanks for reading this review! If you want to see more of my reviews on Steven Spielberg films, I want to remind you that I just recently did a Steven Spielberg Month on Scene Before! Last October, I reviewed “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “The Post,” and “West Side Story.” Check out those reviews if you have a chance! Also, coming soon, I will be sharing my thoughts on “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.” The film is in theaters for one week, and hits Netflix on December 23rd. 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 “The Fabelmans?” What did you think about it? Or, which story inspired by glimmers of the director’s childhood is the superior film? “The Fabelmans?” or “Belfast?” Make your choices in the comments! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!


Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021): The Lethal Protector and the Big Red One Slash Up a Great Time

“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is directed by Andy Serkis (Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, Black Panther) and stars Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, Mad Max: Fury Road), Woody Harrelson (The Edge of Seventeen, Zombieland), Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea, Blue Valentine), Naomie Harris (Spectre, Moonlight), Reid Scott (My Boys, Veep), Stephen Graham (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Boardwalk Empire), and Peggy Lu (Kung Pow: Enter the Fist, Always Be My Maybe). This film is the second installment to the “Venom” franchise, based on the Marvel Comics character. This time around, Eddie Brock who has spent time with a venomous symbiote in his body, attempts to interview Cletus Kassady, a serial killer. Kassady soon becomes a problem as he morphs into the big symbiotic creature, Carnage. It is now up to Venom to stop Carnage from unleashing destruction to society.

Venom (2018) - IMDb

I hated the first “Venom.” I have avoided this film since the theater. While it was not my worst film experience of the year, I was weary of what this film stood for as far as the comic book movie genre goes. The violence felt generic, the acting came off as lackluster, even from Tom Hardy, and I felt that it was a step down for the comic book movie genre, especially in a year where they have proven to be a force with critics and the box office. The success of “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War” were not enough, we needed some schlock in the mix I guess.

The first “Venom” made over $800 million at the worldwide box office. So naturally, when a sequel was announced, I was not surprised. After all, everyone likes money. I had little to no interest in a sequel based on the impression that the first film left me. I felt like that film made me dumber. It was one of those films that by the time we got to 2020, I didn’t really care as much if it got pushed back due to COVID-19. Granted, part of me is now in the mindset that if any movie does well, even if I don’t like it, I will root for its success as it is good for the industry. And that success has been solidified so far with “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” as the new movie made over $90 million the weekend it opened in the United States.

But is all that success just money talking or will I give this film a personal green checkmark? To be frank, I had a lot of fun with “Venom: Let There Be Carnage.” There is a saying in film that sequels are often inferior to the originals. Unless you’re talking about “Terminator 2,” “The Dark Knight,” “Spider-Man 2,” “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,” “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” “Fast Five,” “Furious 7,” “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Toy Story 2,” “Toy Story 3,” and “Shrek 2.” The reason why this film excels is because of the same reason that “Godzilla vs. Kong” succeeded for me. It was big, loud, and delightfully dumb. Granted, you could say that about the first “Venom,” but that film personally had inferior acting, borderline corporate, uninspired writing, and violence that could have pushed the bar, but felt kind of tame. Much like its predecessor, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is PG-13, meaning you can have violence, but not so much blood. But unlike the 2018 piece of crap, I would say “Let There Be Carnage” does a better job at, well, bringing on the f*cking carnage.

And speaking of Carnage, let’s talk about him. This film’s villain is obviously Carnage, an insane serial killer who becomes a red symbiotic monster. First off, big improvement over the last movie, as much as I like Riz Ahmed, who KILLED IT in “Sound of Metal” last year, his performance as Carlton Drake was not the highlight of the original “Venom.” Another improvement I’ll bring up, and this is one I think some would argue gets into nitpick territory, but still, I think the choice of using Carnage in this film gives this sequel an uptick over the previous film’s rivalry because there were times where I was watching Eddie and Carlton duke it out, but I cannot tell who is who because everything is dark and all the fighting is two guys in black symbiotic suits trying to wreck each other. The film is ultimately lit better, the color palette is more attractive, and the action is more fun to watch.

Cletus Kassidy is also a fine villain on his own. I think casting Woody Harrelson was a smart move because he did a good job at bringing a sense of insanity mixed in with a flair of viciousness to the table. Harrelson’s performance in this film reminded me of, as much as I did not like the film, Jared Leto’s performance as Albert Sparma in “The Little Things” because in that film he was subtle and quiet, but every time he spoke, it felt commanding and bigger than what I could actually see. The beauty in Harrelson’s performance was not only what he says, but how he says it. In addition, his physicality is individualistic and much like Tom Hardy as Eddie, I cannot see anyone else at this point playing Cletus Kassidy. As for his love interest, Frances Barrison, I liked seeing her in this movie too, because not only was she a fun character to watch who was decently cast with Naomie Harris in her shoes, but I like how her powers reveal the weaknesses of other core characters, including Cletus himself.

This movie, like the original, has a PG-13 rating. I critiqued the first “Venom” for having action that felt clean for its subject matter and not doing anything special with what was on screen. I wanted to see death and destruction, and there are times where the film looks like it is going to reach that point, but it can’t quite get there. “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” still has a slightly tame feel to it at times, but compared its predecessor, the violence in this film feels pretty close to an R even without all the blood. There’s a scene you may have noticed in the trailer where Carnage takes his tongue and swallows it down another person’s throat, a lot of the combat towards the end of the film is pretty intense, and I will say that as far as the PG-13 rating goes when it comes to language, they kind of nailed it. Because there is a rule in films that are PG-13 where you can only go so far with the f-bomb, and without spoilers, the point where they drop the f-bomb in this movie may have made for a possible spot in the top 10 best PG-13 f-bombs of all time. Might even be #1, it’s that effective and satisfying.

The best part of “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is the mix of the runtime and the pacing. There are a lot of movies that have come out over the years that are over 2 hours, maybe 2 and a half hours that maybe I, or someone else, will walk out of saying, that was okay, or that was terrible, one thing they should have done is trimmed at least ten minutes off the runtime. I even did that recently with “Dear Evan Hansen.” So for this to be my next movie in the cinema was a nice change of pace. This movie is all murder, no filler. All carnage, no– Actually, I cannot come up with a good rhyme. If anyone can comment with a rhyme that would be great! This movie ends up with a runtime of 97 minutes, and I don’t think I want more or less. 97 minutes was the perfect runtime for this movie as it allowed the story to establish its points from the beginning, quickly drop the audience into the middle of the action, and offer a simple structure that would appeal to the target demographic. Quite a bit happens in that runtime, it’s almost like the movie was on cocaine.

I was a bit weary on Venom and Eddie’s relationship from the first movie, but it had potential, and I think “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” unleashes all the possible potential there is to be had. I went to see this movie with a friend and I think she described the chemistry between Venom and Eddie the way it should immediately be viewed. She saw the chemistry between the dynamic duo equal to that of an old, married couple. There are several scenes in “Let There Be Carnage” that cement that point. At one point they’re besties, at some other point they argue, one tries to make the other feel better about something. Despite their differences, Eddie and Venom at the end of the day are best pals even if this relationship was not something either of them wanted. In fact, after I watched the movie, I read an article where Andy Serkis and others were debating on calling the movie “Venom: Love Will Tear Us Apart.” As much as I like the current title, that is a fine alternative given what goes on in the movie. And also, I think Tom Hardy himself has done a great job evolving into the character. Even though I thought his previous performance as Eddie Brock was underwhelming, I would have to say that these past two movies have shown that Hardy is embracing his character as much as he can. As far as this film goes, I like Hardy’s performance as both Eddie and Venom. His voice for Venom is ridiculously heightened to the point where I cannot imagine many other people taking this role in the future. If someone else does take the role, I think some major reinvention will have to come into play.

Also, it’s great to see Peggy Lu back as Mrs. Chen, the owner of the convenience store who is in the know of Eddie’s secret identity. I liked seeing her in this film because like Eddie, who has grown to know Venom, Chen has an understanding of Venom that makes the two of them have a connection. Even though at one point, Venom wants to eat her. Pretty normal friendly relationship if you ask me, nothing out of the ordinary.

If I had any other complaints about “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” the obvious one, even though this is not TECHNICALLY a complaint, would be that this movie is not to be taken seriously. The only real Academy Award I could see this film being nominated for is Best Visual Effects. The script does not reinvent the wheel and spends a lot of time trying to be silly. This is not always a bad thing because the film knows its audience and is only doubling down on the success of the first movie. If anything, the more I think about it, this movie has a heir of the tone of “Batman & Robin,” but it uses that tone to show off something ten times as competent.

My one last complaint about the film is also something that I could place into a box that I would write “GUILTY PLEASURE” on in black Sharpie. You know how Sony is… Well, Sony? PRODUCT PLACEMENT! PRODUCT PLACEMENT! GET YOUR PRODUCT PLACEMENT! There is this crucial scene in the film where we see Eddie and Venom bickering with each other, and in this scene, we see that Eddie’s apartment is being ruined in the process, and of course, one thing that gets ruined is the television. In this moment, we see the television face its doom, but in one or two scenes later, we are back at the apartment, and viola! A brand new TV! I’m not suggesting Eddie didn’t have the time to buy a new television. Although I hope he’s wealthy enough to live in the San Francisco area. What I am saying is, right next to the televison is a giant Sony box in all its glory! Ah, the ways to promote your products! Money talks! Money walks! I call this a guilty pleasure because it involves a couple scenes that serve their purpose, one of which had me laughing my ass off like a maniac, but they used them for some easy promotion. It’s not “Transformers: Age of Extinction” levels of obvious, but still.

Also, stay for the credits. You won’t regret it.

In the end, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” brings on the carnage to gargantuan levels! I recommend this sequel over the original. I do plan to watch it again at some point. Tom Hardy has become married to this character in a sense. I hope to see more of him, maybe they’ll do a “Venom 3” someday, I would very much like to see that. This is by no means the best comic book movie of the year, especially not compared to “The Suicide Squad,” but “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” gets a thumbs up from me, and I hope to see more of the character in the future. I’m going give “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” a 7/10.

“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is now playing exclusively in theaters everywhere. Tickets are available now.

Thanks for reading this review! If you want to see my review for the original “Venom,” click the link right here! It’ll take you back a couple years after I saw the movie on opening weekend, where the audience I was with seemed to have a much better time than me. Also, my next review is going to be for “Halloween Kills,” which hits theaters this weekend and will also be streaming on Peacock. I just went to the press screening the other night, and I cannot wait to talk about it. Spooky season is here! If you want to see this and more on 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 “Venom: Let There Be Carnage?” What did you think about it? Or, which “Venom” movie do you prefer? The original or the sequel? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

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

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

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







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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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