Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997): Worst Video Game Movie Ever?

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Welcome to the second of two installments of my special review series, “Mortal Kombat: Finish the Reviews!” In this review series we will be discussing the two live-action “Mortal Kombat” films from the 1990s. I also want to apologize for saying in my previous review that Paul W.S. Anderson directed both “Mortal Kombat” AND “Mortal Kombat: Annihilaiton.” Of the two, Anderson only directed the former. With that being said, it is time to go back to 1997 and review “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation!”

Also, HELP me.

“Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” is directed by John R. Leonetti (Wish Upon, Annabelle) and stars Robin Shou, Talisa Soto, Brian Thompson, Sandra Hess, Lynn “Red” Williams, Irina Pantaeva, and James Remar. This film is the sequel to the 1995 film “Mortal Kombat,” inspired by the game of the same name, and this is yet another PG-13 action film that may as well have been created to entertain teenage boys who just want to watch sexy things and explosions on screen.

Wait, this film has a plot?! WHO KNEW?! “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” follows a group of martial arts warriors who have to save the world from Shao Khan’s wrath in a matter of six days.

Last week, I reviewed “Mortal Kombat,” which I ended up giving a 6/10 due to its rather pleasant execution of style over substance. To me, that was a film that could have arguably been directed by Michael Bay if he took a few drugs and changed his behavior. It was fine. It’s a video game movie, those are not usually perfect, but “Mortal Kombat” was not offensive. It is forgettable, it is almost bland at times, but not one portion of it felt offensive.

Just like in my review for the prior “Mortal Kombat” installment, this was my initial foray into “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” from start to finish. I’ve seen stuff online about it, pretty much all of which happened to be negative. So to say that I was looking forward to “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” upon my first viewing would have been generous. Once again, for those who missed the previous review. I have played “Mortal Kombat” only once or twice, but I am somewhat familiar with the franchise, what you do, how graphic it was for its time, and so on. While the first movie had a slight charm that made it feel like the game for a moment or two, “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” on the other hand just strips that charm away and cast out all my organs.

Prior to watching “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation,” my least favorite video game-based film of all time was “Super Mario Bros..” Ladies and gentlemen, that film has some fierce competition.

I want to talk about the video game film genre as a whole. In recent years, it is something that has noticeably been improving in minor trickles. While I will claim we have not seen a perfect video game-based film, we have gotten some recent hits like “Pokemon: Detective Pikachu,” which I thought was okay. But we also got “Sonic the Hedgehog,” which hit theaters in February 2020 and became my favorite entry to the genre. I saw it a couple times from start to finish, and I am quite excited for the sequel. I think that when it comes to the video game movie genre, it is something that either really needs some critical thinking from its crew or needs to take things slow and find its footing. The Marvel Cinematic Universe seems like it is going to last forever, but let’s say it does not. Let’s say comic book movies go the way of the dinosaur, I think video game movies could be the next box office juggernaut. Video games are a much bigger industry than film, which is also pretty enormous itself. And much like comic books, video games have some of the most immersive art that can draw inspiration for theatrical content. Even though I was not a fan of “Warcraft,” I will give the film kudos for its impressive renderings and effects that look incredibly fantastical. Even though time and time again has supported the basis of why video game movies should not be made, I do see potential for improvement in the future, especially in a time where movie theaters are trying to provide “experiences” in order for select people to return after a time ruled by COVID-19. Think about it, with minor exceptions like “Superman: The Movie,” before movies like “X-Men” in 2000, “Spider-Man” in 2002, and “Iron Man” in 2008, comic book movies were usually a joke. Look at films like “Batman & Robin” for example, which coincidentally came out the same year as “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.”

I want to apologize to every bad movie I reviewed. I’m sorry, “Mission: Impossible II.” I’m sorry, “Cats.” I’m sorry, crappy 2016 “Ghostbusters” reboot. You have nothing on this movie because “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” is rife with problems ACROSS THE BOARD! The screenplay comes off like it is written by a backwardly wired 10 year old! The directing is incompetent to a level beyond my imagination! The acting is almost worse!

I want to talk about tone. It is a very important factor that can make or break a movie. I will say, going into the first “Mortal Kombat,” whenever I look at the cover, I expected something bold, action-packed, a little violent. And in that first movie, I got glimmers of that. It was not perfect, but it worked to a degree. This second movie sort of follows the tone of the original, but has sucked out any sort of intelligence that the original movie had, and that is saying something because when I think “intelligent movies,” my mind DOES NOT automatically dart to “Mortal Kombat.” If you want to talk about tone, here is an easy comment I can deliver. Here is one of the first exchanges of dialogue in this movie.

That’s the tone of this movie. Just a bunch of over the top bull that will make you want to die! The line is almost comical, but simultaneously unforgivable. What did we do to deserve this treachery? I can imagine there is a scenario where an exchange like this would work, but it certainly did not work in this one. I do not just blame the actors for this outlandish, off-putting execution of these two lines. I also blame director John R. Leonetti, who I will do my absolute best to be fair to in this case, because the film is his directorial debut, but this does not feel like a good film to put on one’s resume as their first feature. Then again, look at Tim Miller! “Deadpool” was his directorial debut and that was near perfect! But at the same time, they had terrific writing, exciting fight sequences, and Ryan Reynolds’s brilliant and I’ll add, Golden Globe-nominated, performance to back it up! “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” not only feels like it drifts far away from its video game counterpart, but unashamedly shows off a plethora of some of the most abysmal visual effects I’ve ever seen. There are creatures in this movie that make the monsters in the holographic Millennium Falcon game from “Star Wars” look like they are eye-popping and realistic!

I described this movie to a friend recently. For the record, this friend has not seen the movie. And I stand by this description. Here’s what I said over text…

“It basically feels like if Power Rangers went on an acid trip and somehow became horny. I can’t even describe how bad this is.”

I mean this to the tenth degree! This movie looks sexy, it’s got attractive people in it, there’s a selection of good-looking costumes. But it is overacted, overstylized, and at it certain points, it treated me like I was five years old! The dialogue is an enormous annoyance. The slo-mo in this film is not a saving grace, if anything, it was horrendous.

Robin Shou, Linden Ashby, Bridgette Wilson, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Christopher Lambert

I watched “Power Rangers” as a kid, and while I watched it, I was wildly entertained. Because the show, even though it was stupid and insulting, knew exactly who it was made for. Young boys. For the record, the “Power Rangers” franchise, which from generation to generation, has had numerous consistencies, was first introduced in the early 1990s. I feel like somebody either on the writing team, director John R. Leonetti, or some s*itty studio executive who just got into crack started watching a ton of “Power Rangers,” eternally left it on in the background, and its overexposure led to one of the most unwatchable pieces of crap on the face of the earth! This film is so bad that I am not even going to get into the characters! Yes, this film has characters, but they’re not really characters, they’re just potential faces and bodies that may as well have been created to be action figures.

The special effects in “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation…” Oh my f*cking god. Well, they exist. They’re special alright. A special kind of special if you ask me. Maybe “The Star Wars Holiday Special” kind of special! They look like they skip frames, they are barely textured, and are a true resemblance of how far we as a society have advanced since the terror of the 1990s and the corny visuals that were offered to viewers then. I sometimes joke about some modern visual effects looking like a Nintendo game or something on the PlayStation, this movie made any pixelated image in an early “Mortal Kombat” arcade cabinet look more lifelike and attractive!

LOOK AT IT!

Given what I recently said about this film’s characters and them existing seemingly almost as if they were to become action figures, you might as well argue that the special effects in this film come off as large scale action figures.

I MEAN, LOOK AT THIS S*IT!

I cannot name one single freaking positive in this entire movie. The only positive I can come up with is that it ends, because it means I can get some s*it done. Some much more important s*it, that’s what I say. I think the only positive, if this even counts, is that it ended the series. I mean, there’s probably other places to go from “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation,” but no third movie was greenlit. For all I know, there could have been a third one and it may have ended up being the worst one in the franchise. This once again makes me excited for the 2021 “Mortal Kombat” movie that looks ten times better than what New Line pooped out in 1997.

Robin Shou, Linden Ashby, Bridgette Wilson, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Christopher Lambert

I think the only way that this film can possibly get any worse is if it were longer. The runtime is 95 minutes, and I assure you when the film hit minute 95, I was in utter relief. Ending this film felt like a divorce. I just wanted to get out, go away, and f*ckin’ celebrate. I’m surprised I did not end up popping a few bottles to mark the occasion. I survived “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.” I’ve heard the horror stories, it sounded like a movie where I would laugh, but little did I realize how much I would want to vent, because this movie grabbed me, dragged me across the floor, and finished me with its mightiest fatality. But like in many video games, it pays to have an extra life, and I used my extra life to conquer this bloody nightmare.

In the end, “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” killed me. It finished me. I’ve seen a lot of bad films. “The Emoji Movie,” “Battlefield Earth,” “Samurai Cop,” “Sharknado.” This might actually be worse than all of them! Of all the movies I have watched and talked about in the history of doing Scene Before, “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” may just be the worst one I’ve ever watched. It’s barely like the video games, and at times, it makes the older video games look real! I almost see no scenario where I watch this movie ever again, unless I was bats*it drunk with a group of friends, we’re all at my place, I grab the Blu-ray, and we prepare to laugh our asses off. And then maybe I cry myself to sleep. I can imagine having nightmares about this movie. I can only imagine what they’d look like.

AH! TERRIBLE-LOOKING EXPLOSION! GO AWAY! SCRAM! YOU FREAKING ASS!

I cannot even believe I survived whatever the hell this movie actually is. Because it is not a movie, it is a pathetic excuse of a compilation of visual images that technically qualify as a 95 minute story.

To those who want to watch “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation,” “Too bad your brain… WILL DIE!”

I’m just done, this movie broke me. I’m going to give “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” a 1/10.

Worst screenplay ever.
Worst direction ever.
Worst effects ever.

Almost the worst movie ever if you ask me.

I will also add that on the poster for this atrocity, the slogan is “Destroy all expectations.” That would be true, if I even had them to begin with!

Movies like this make me glad that movies like “Sonic the Hedgehog” have followed. Maybe the video game movie realm will end up getting a lot better with time, but films like this one most certainly reveal some of the worst this subgroup has to offer. Avoid “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” at all costs, unless you like torture or bringing pain to your enemies, in which case, those are your exceptions. But DO NOT watch this movie. You’ll thank me later.

Thanks for reading this review! Thanks for reading part 2 of 2 of the “Mortal Kombat: Finish the Reviews” review series! I just want to remind everyone that I have upcoming reviews for “Boogie,” “Nobody,” and “Godzilla vs. Kong.” I will admit, it may take me some time to get out each one of these reviews because I am in the middle of my busiest college semester yet and I am currently working on a side project that I may end up sharing with you guys. More details may arrive soon.

Also, I want to address my next upcoming series, “7 Days of Star Wars,” where I will review the first seven main saga episodes in the “Star Wars” franchise. When planning this series, I hoped to release it from Sunday May 2nd to Saturday May 8th, which would coincide with Star Wars Day, May the 4th. Do not take this as an official confirmation, but I have considered postponing the dates for the upcoming review series. It’s not that I do not want to do it, it’s just that I’ve been incredibly busy and I would rather have a series I am proud of instead of a series that is rushed. I currently have no review series planned for June, so maybe I’ll push it back then at the latest. If you want to know about upcoming content on Scene Before and more shenanigans, be sure to follow the blog either with an email or a WordPress account. Also, check out the official Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation?” What did you think about it? Or, and this is good time to ask this, what is the worst movie you have ever seen? “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” may arguably be mine, there are like one or two that may be worse. I would have to rewatch the other two if I even dare. Either way, let me know about your horror stories down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Mortal Kombat (1995): Sadly, One of the Better Video Game Movies To This Day

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Welcome to the first of two installments of my special review series, “Mortal Kombat: Finish the Reviews!” In this review series we will be discussing the two live-action “Mortal Kombat” films directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, a major player in adapting video games into film. With that being said, it is time to go back to 1995 and review “Mortal Kombat!”

“Mortal Kombat” is directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, or Paul Anderson as he was credited back in the day. The film stars Linden Ashby, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Robin Shou, Bridgette Wilson, Talisa Soto, and Christopher Lambert. This film is based on the video game franchise of the same name. It has been well-known as one of the more popular fighting games in the arcade and even today at home. The film centers around three people who are summoned to an island to participate in a fighting tournament where the outcome will decide the fate of the world.

If you know me personally, you’d be aware that I passionately collect Blu-rays. “Mortal Kombat,” and “Mortal Kombat: Annhilation” for that matter, just so happen to be two that I own. I bought the Blu-ray for “Mortal Kombat” back in 2015 after finding a used copy at Newbury Comics, a staple for pop culture items in New England. One of the habits I have developed over the years is waiting forever to watch certain movies after buying them. I bought “Spy” back during the 2016 holiday season and I have still yet to put it into the player. Not long after that period ended, I bought a copy of “Napoleon Dynamite,” and to this day I have not watched the movie. Then after that, I bought my first 4K Blu-ray ever, “The Lone Survivor.” Originally I wanted to wait out on watching it until I had a proper 4K Blu-ray player and not just one that upscales 1080p footage to look like it is in 4K. Despite owning a 4K Blu-ray player for a few years, I still have not watched the movie. But for “Mortal Kombat,” I waited over six years to finally watch this film. I bought this film prior to starting Scene Before! Although with the new movie coming out, the timing to not only watch, but talk about it, could not be better.

Now, let’s talk about video game movies in general. If you are versed in certain areas of film, you’d know that movies and video games typically do not mix. My least favorite film of all time is based on a video game, “Super Mario Bros.” from 1993. I love the “Super Mario” franchise as a gamer, but the magic of those games disappeared when translated to the big screen. There’s a scene where Mario refuses to jump! That’s literally his only purpose! Other than eating mushrooms, stomping on Goombas, and overshadowing his brother. Paul W.S. Anderson is one of the more famous directors when it comes to movies that are inspired by games, but that fame does not automatically equate to quality. While I have not seen the “Resident Evil” movies, those films have usually not been well received. “Monster Hunter” was… Alright. Visually it is not bad. But it does not feel like a movie that belongs in 2020. The music feels like it is from a 90s movie that is trying really hard to be an 80s movie. In some ways, “Mortal Kombat” and “Monster Hunter” come close in style, but unlike “Monster Hunter,” it feels advantageous for “Mortal Kombat” as it is a product of the 1990s.

Once again, keep in mind that I have not seen “Resident Evil,” but for all I know, Paul W.S. Anderson makes each of his movies in the same way as he has done since making “Mortal Kombat,” which I will say, was rather enjoyable to watch. There’s all this epic music that shimmies around a border to where I can AND cannot take it seriously. In fact, I do not work out much, I do not take much time to go to the gym, but if I were to start working out and take it seriously, the opening song of this movie is one that I would definitely consider adding to my playlist. The set design and effects all have this fantasy feel to it, and the entire time I felt like I was in another world. I will say that this is “Mortal Kombat’s” greatest strength. It does a really good job at transporting me as a viewer from the real world to the film world.

I’m just gonna say this though. If you told me that Michael Bay had a phase where he got totally into practical effects and directed this movie, I would believe you. I say so because this movie is excellent when it comes to style. As for substance, eh, not really. It has been a few weeks since I have seen this film, and I have only played traces of the games, although what I have played has been fun. I barely remember the characters. Yes, I know their names: Johnny Cage, Raiden, Sub-Zero, Scorpion just to list some. But I should know more than just their names. I will say that the best thing about a good number of these characters is the fights they were in, but that appreciation once again goes to show that “Mortal Kombat” is a film with mostly style but not as much substance.

But having said that, I often call myself a ten year old kid in an adult’s body. If I were watching this film at the age of ten, there is a good chance that I would have been wowed and considering it perfect because it checked various marks that a younger me would want to see. Grand action, extravagant environments, and some cool music. This film, even though it really leaves much to be desired as a story, would make for an excellent tech demo. I would not be surprised if they come out with a 4K Blu-ray for it in the near future because there is an argument to make that this would look rather polished if enough effort is put into it.

One of the minor disappointments about this “Mortal Kombat” film is that even though there are some ties to the video games that fit right in, there is a big one that is missing. For the record, “Mortal Kombat” is one of the earlier games that embraces graphic violence, much of which was done through “fatalities.” And yes, there are finishers in this movie to a degree, but this film is PG-13 and I feel like it would have been fun to see the crew take this movie in a more R-rated direction if possible. Although I must say I am glad we are getting the new “Mortal Kombat” film coming out this month because that is R-rated and it may right what I consider to be the wrongs of this film. It just goes to show, not all remakes are bad ideas. John Carpenter’s “The Thing” was a remake and that film is celebrated today!

In the end, “Mortal Kombat” is one of the better video game movies, but then again, that does not say much given how there really are not too many great ones. I found this film delightfully entertaining but mainly as something to glance upon. Maybe it would be cool to watch in the theater one time, but I do not have all the time in the world so I may end up not doing that. If anything, it is a good effort, and surprisingly works despite having a few characters who do not necessarily belong in the world this movie represents, but it is not something I’d watch five to ten times in a matter of months. I would watch it on a Friday night, but only as a feast for the eyes and ears. I’m going to give “Mortal Kombat” a 6/10.

Thanks for reading the first of two reviews in this “Mortal Kombat: Finish the Reviews” review series! I will have my review up for “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” on April 12th! Stay tuned and follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account and check out the official Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “Mortal Kombat?” What did you think about it? Or, have you played the “Mortal Kombat” games? Tell me about your experiences! Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Superintelligence (2020): F*ck You, 2020. Just Die.

“Superintelligence” is directed by Ben Falcone (Life of the Party, Tammy) and stars Melissa McCarthy (Ghostbusters, The Kitchen), Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire, Will & Grace), Brian Tyree Henry (Vice Principals, Atlanta), and James Corden (The Emoji Movie, The Late Late Show with James Corden). This film centers around a former corporate executive named Carol Peters, who is chosen to be studied by a Superintelligence. When this Superintelligence conflicts itself over whether it should enslave, destroy, or save humanity, Carol must convince the A.I. that people are worth saving.

“Superintelligence” comes from the same husband and wife team that brought us 2018’s s*itshow, “Life of the Party.” That ended up receiving a 1/10 from me, ended up being my #1 worst film of 2018, and officially earned the #10 spot on my Worst 25 list on my Top Movies of the 2010s countdown event. Safe to say, when I heard these two were going to collaborate on another movie, I think many of my brain cells began a civil battle to see which ones would survive by the time this movie comes out.

Another stinger, and part of this is due to the pandemic, but I will address it anyway, is that “Superintelligence” is skipping theaters and going straight to HBO Max. Before COVID-19 hit, when a movie typically chooses to ditch theaters and go straight to streaming such as “The Cloverfield Paradox” and “Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle,” the results have not always been positive. Thankfully, due to the pandemic, we have seen some distributors sell rights of their movies to streamers and it has occasionally worked out. Some are calling “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” which was sold by Paramount to Prime Video, one of the funniest movies of the year. Sony sold “An American Pickle” to HBO Max, which ended up receiving positive reviews.

The unfortunate thing however when it comes to this HBO Max deal is that the distributor of the movie is owned by the same conglomerate who has their hands tied to HBO Max, AT&T, which owns Warnermedia, which oversees Warner Brothers. So far, Warner Brothers already has dumped one of their movies onto HBO Max, “The Witches,” which ended up being one of the worst films directed by Robert Zemeckis.

Now who knows what would have happened? If “Superintelligence” was in theaters, chances are it would have made nowhere near enough money to turn a profit. But I imagine part of why Warner Bros. is putting “Superintelligence” on HBO Max is because it is being dumped on there. While Melissa McCarthy is a big name, Ben Falcone has never made a critically positive film when he sat in the director’s chair.

All of this just so happens to be my thoughts before the movie. So, what are my thoughts after the movie?

I would have probably have gotten ten times the satisfaction out of eating paper instead of watching “Superintelligence!” I cannot even fathom how this movie came to be. In my imagination, I feel like the only reasons why this movie exists to begin with is because it allows Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone to spend more time together. Plus, Falcone has already directed a few movies for Warner Brothers, so why not let him whip up another piece of s*it?!

I almost have no words.

Every time I write a sentence to give a description on what I thought about this movie, my brain just switches off! I cannot remember the last time I was this infuriated about a film. This is honestly just as bad as any of the “Sharknado” movies. Who do I blame here? The director? The producers? Maybe 2020? This is honestly the movie equivalent to finding out your computer has been smashed, the enter key is broken, and all your data has been wiped! Oh, and top of that, your computer has a f*cking virus! Time to call tech support.

I think my previous analogy fits quite well here, specifically the one about my brain cells fighting a civil war. It’s almost as if throughout the runtime of the movie, my brain cells engaged in a fight to the death, all until one cell remained, and now my brain cannot do anything about it!

I don’t even know where to start with this thing! There are some movies that I have reviewed that are bad to the point where I cannot stand them. This is one that I would never be able to watch again even if James Corden popped through the screen, came out, reached into his pockets, and slapped me in the face with a ton of cash shouting, “Jack! I will give you $100 million! All you have to do is watch ‘Superintelligence’ from start to finish.”

Speaking of James Corden, I have to ask, WHO APPROVES OF HIS FILM CHOICES? Does he have an agent? Does he get to pick the roles himself? Because in recent years he’s been in “Norm of the North,” “The Emoji Movie,” “Yesterday,” and f*cking “Cats!” WHAT IS HAPPENING?! Was John Oliver unavailable? Was Conan O’Brien too expensive? Was Seth Meyers too busy hanging with writers coming up with creative ideas for Donald Trump jokes?

For the record, James Corden plays the Super Intelligence, the A.I. that chooses to study Carol of all people. Conceptually, his link with Carol brought some good ideas to the table. Unfortunately, they were brought into to shoddy-ass wreck of a time that I will never be able to get back. The A.I. manages to allow Carol to live her wildest dreams, and in a way, this movie sort of resembles that be careful what you wish for type of story. Except that instead of wishing, everything is just given to Carol. This may be the biggest weakness of the film, and that’s because it goes against the traditional storytelling idea that the protagonist is the center of the story.

Now I know that the film is called “Superintelligence,” and it is partially about an A.I.’s indecision on what to do with humanity. However, a good portion of the movie dedicates itself to our protagonist barely earning anything. If anything, Carol is forced to go through with protocol after protocol, whether she likes it or not. Of all the protagonists I have seen in 2020’s cinematic calendar, I could make a convincing argument that Carol Peters may be the worst of the bunch.

And this would be fine if the movie were funny, or at least convincing! But it’s neither of those things. It is anger-inducing and awkward! That is all! Oddly enough, even though Ben Falcone wrote the other Melissa McCarthy-centric films he directed, he did not write “Superintelligence.” Instead, that dishonor goes to Steve Mallory, who co-wrote “The Boss” with Falcone. “Superintelligence” is the first feature Mallory wrote without assistance, so I will do my best to acknowledge Mallory could have a bright future ahead. But this script belongs in one place. Inside the software waiting for further edits. That’s it.

Not all movies are created equal, but this movie really needed some preplanning. Maybe there was plenty of preplanning that did not work out, but this movie felt rushed while also being lazy. Carol is uninteresting, awkward, and unfortunately for the audience, not funny. In fact, part of what makes this a reality is that a good portion of the comedy is boring Melissa McCarthy schtick. She might get angry on one occasion or another, she’ll go on with something for a long time, and of course, she falls.

Over the history of storytelling, I cared about protagonists not only because of their desires, which Carol has plenty of, but their willingness to take steps to their goal. Romeo Montague immediately went up to Juliet Capulet to express how he feels about her. Charlie Bucket bought a chocolate bar for a chance at a golden ticket. Luke Skywalker joined Obi-Wan to learn the ways of the force. The problem with Carol Peters is that so much is handed to her in the early stages of the film. She gets a lot of money, a penthouse, a Tesla, and she does end up doing things here and there to move the plot along. But the film burns out as it progresses, kind of like my single-cell brain. AGH! WHAT IS GOING ON WITH MY BRAIN?!

Did I mention that almost every joke in this film failed to impress me? In fact, there were one or two moments where a character would do something, and someone else makes a remark signifying they find the moment funny. Guys! Your universe sucks! What do these people find to be the funniest show on television? Static? Because I can assure that the first genuine laugh of any kind that I had during “Superintelligence” came in around the 44 minute mark.

If I had to compare “Superintelligence” to any other movie, it would have to be “Jexi” starring Adam DeVine. For those of you who have not seen “Jexi,” it follows a man who works for a Buzzfeed-like company. He’s obsessed with his phone, and when he gets a new phone, it basically takes over all aspects of his life. Aside from being a journey through his life, love, and so on, the center of it all is a rivalry between the main character and his phone, or more specifically, the virtual assistant on his phone. Much like this movie, it has a script that makes me want to shove needles in my eyes! It’s an abomination! However, the romance in that movie is handled much better compared to “Superintelligence.”

If this movie tried harder to formulate a more likable protagonist, maybe center the story around what SHE does a little more than the supercomputer’s motives, if possible, this could be slightly more tolerable. For all I know, this movie also could have worked better as a drama, because one of the worst parts of the movie are the attempts at humor. They’re either forced, awkward, or both at once! I screamed at my television countless times whenever someone did something dumb, someone said something dumb, or the movie treated me like I was dumb. That’s what this movie should be called! Not “Superintelligence,” but “Super Dumb!”

Maybe if “Superintelligence” were written as a drama, it could be the next “Terminator” or “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Maybe even if it had a different director, or lead actor, maybe even a new writer. This is an idea that could work if it were massively revamped. Instead, we get whatever the f*ck “Jexi” is! I’m surprised I still remember that movie existed!

When I stop caring before the halfway point of the film, that is an enormously epic fail. I don’t know what else I can say except that Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone need to get their s*it together. I have “Tammy” and “The Boss” on Blu-ray. I have not seen either of them. But after watching “Life of the Party” and “Superintelligence,” I think I might have to consider passing on those two movies.

There are several movies that I have watched over the years that are unashamedly goofy. Movies like “Anchorman,” “Elf,” or “Game Night.” But these movies are consistent with their vibe and translate to an instant good time. “Superintelligence” hurdles with world-ending events, serious government s*it, romance, and goofiness. Sadly, it cannot even get a single aspect down to a science.

In the end, “Superintelligence” is arguably in my top 10, maybe even top 5 worst comedies ever made. Throughout a great portion of this review, I had trouble formulating even a single sentence. Some movies are too good for words, others are so bad you do not have any words. This movie was so intolerable I lost my brain to process whether I could come up with words. Since I cannot come up with words, I’ll use numbers. If this movie were to associate with any number in the world, it would be the number 2. And speaking of numbers, I am going to give “Superintelligence” a 1/10.

Fun fact, there is only one other movie that I have seen this year that I have officially given a 1/10 to, and that is “The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson.” That film is directed by Daniel Farrands, who also directed “The Haunting of Sharon Tate.” That ended up being my worst film of 2019. In 2018, I saw “Life of the Party,” which became the worst film of that year. Guess who directed that film? Ben Falcone! So far, the only 1/10 movies in 2020 are from directors who held projects that went on to be the worst movies of their particular year on Scene Before. That is honestly heartbreaking! Not just for the crew who made those movies, but as a viewer, I do my best to have even the slightest of optimism for a movie. So what should I expect? Are these two going to improve their craft anytime soon?

I am almost curious to watch “Tammy” and “The Boss” to see what else Falcone has up his sleeve. But at the same time, 2020 has taken so much of my sanity that I do not know how much more I am willing to sacrifice. This has easily been the worst year for movies. While there have been plenty of decent titles, the bad ones TRULY stood out. I cannot wait for this year to be over, and last but not least, avoid “Superintelligence” at all costs!

“Superintelligence” is now available on HBO Max. Watch it if you dare, but if you want my recommendation for something to watch on HBO Max, just watch “Harley Quinn” instead. That show kicks butt!

Thanks for reading this review! I would love to tell you what my next review is, but this current review has hurt my head so much that I cannot even think about what I will have for dinner tonight. So my next post is… Something. We’ll just have to find out what exactly that something is. I… Can’t even believe I survived to watch this movie. F*ck 2020, f*ck it to Hell and back! Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! Also, check out my Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “Superintelligence?” What did you think about it? Or, of the Ben Falcone-directed movies starring Melissa McCarthy, which is your favorite? Given the track record between these two, I doubt this question is a reflection of quality. But I figured I’d ask it anyway. Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Isn’t It Romantic? (2019): When Jack Met Natalie

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“Isn’t It Romantic?” is directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson and stars Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect, How to Be Single), Liam Hemsworth (Independence Day: Resurgence, The Hunger Games), Adam Devine (Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, Modern Family), and Priyanka Chopra (Baywatch, A Kid Like Jake). This film revolves around a woman named Natalie, who we first see in this movie as a young kid watching “Pretty Woman.” In this scene we hear her mother tell her that she’ll probably never see a romantic comedy about her, or she’ll never truly experience a fantasy worth living. Keeping this in mind, she grows up and questions the purpose and value of the rom com. Meanwhile, she eventually gets trapped in a PG-13 romantic comedy and now she has to deal with a new reality she never experienced before. Meanwhile, we as an audience, get to experience a parody that pokes fun at the rom com genre. AND IT F*CKING BLOWS, and I’ll explain why in just a sec!

Romantic comedies are not my preferred genre of film. In fact, the only two reasons why I am reviewing this film is because I found a Blu-ray copy of it at Newbury Comics for $5.99, which is probably the cheapest price this movie could be right now in the United States. Plus, in school, I have to do a project on something that I, a straight white male, happen to find “gendered,” so I figured this was a good opportunity. I almost considered watching “The Bachelor,” which frankly, probably would have been a better idea. Why? Because it’s free! I probably could have found an episode or two On Demand or something and just gotten it out of the way. It involves entitled brats fighting over a flower, but it still wouldn’t mean I’d be typing this crap away! F*ck this reality!

And in fact, speaking of realities, this movie has an alternate reality that’s less s*itty, less of an increasing everyday wasteland, everything is happy go lucky. I have nothing against this reality, except that nothing entertaining happens in it. I’m just going to have you all know, “Isn’t It Romantic?” is PG-13, and because of that supposedly intended rating, it tends to make jokes about how the movie can’t push the envelope to the tenth degree.

Remember that “Family Guy” episode, PTV? The one where the FCC starts censoring real life? One of the big jokes of this film is that Rebel Wilson is in this universe, and while she’s here, she cannot swear, she cannot have sex, and the only way she can enjoy an actual man’s genitalia is by sneaking a peek when the male’s getting dressed or something. “Family Guy” did something like this ten times better. The way the characters in “Family Guy” question this reality (for the most part) and overall the writing there much more clever. Here, it’s like an overstretched “Saturday Night Live” sketch. This is especially true when Liam Hemsworth’s character says “Good morning beautiful,” to Rebel Wilson’s character for the third freaking time in a minute!

Also, guys? Can we just agree that Chris Hemsworth is a much more relevant Hemsworth?

This movie attempts to parody the style and traditions of numerous romantic comedies. There’s the gay best friend who is incredibly hyperactive. There’s the big, hunky billionaire that someone lusts after. The movie has a joke about the lead character having a voiceover moment. I honestly think the biggest problem about a movie like this is that it not only is self-aware, but even the characters in the movie know about the self-awareness that’s ensuing. It kind of makes me feel unintelligent as a viewer!

I cannot say I watched a plethora of parody films, but do you guys remember “Spaceballs?” That’s a parody, but that was never talking down to its audience! The closest thing in that movie to letting the audience know that someone had the knowledge that they were in a parody was during the scene where they show all the merchandise. Oh and let’s not forget, “Spaceballs” is hilarious. The most generous thing I can say about “Isn’t It Romantic?” is that it got a laugh out of me out of at a couple of points, but 99.9% of the moments dedicated to this film have irritated me to no end. I think the fact that the main character has almost no knowledge of how a romantic comedy works made me end up not liking her. Just about every single choice from a screenwriting perspective pissed me off.

And I’ll be honest, I never fell in love with Rebel Wilson as a performer. She’s never been that funny, she happens to be put in roles that don’t exactly appeal to me. Her movies are not usually in my demographic, so therefore I can’t entirely blame her. Although at the same time she was in “Night of the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” and she just goes to show how this happens to be the worst “Night of the Museum” movie. In fact, I just saw her in a couple Match.com commercials recently and I cannot say that I was happy to see her. They were obviously trying to be funny, not to mention real about the dating game. They failed miserably. I pretty much already established my displeasure with her performance here in “Isn’t It Romantic?,” but like another movie Rebel happens to be in, “Pitch Perfect,” she certainly gives effort in her performance. But for some reason, the execution leads to a result that doesn’t sit well with me. And if Rebel’s character was supposed to symbolize how stupid lead characters can be in these types of movies. Maybe I could understand, but it still made me want to throw up on the Blu-ray copy I bought for this film.

Remember how in the abomination against humanity some like to call “Uncle Drew” there’s a dance sequence? In my review for that film, this is what I had to say about it… “Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… THE MOST. POINTLESS. DANCE SEQUENCE. IN HISTORY!”

Now, “Isn’t It Romantic?” fortunately does not have a pointless dance sequence. OK, technically it does, but it doesn’t exactly hurt the movie as much as such a thing hurt “Uncle Drew.” But, ladies and gentlemen, I give you… THE MOST. POINTLESS. KARAOKE SEQUENCE! IN HISTORY!

I cannot recall the last time I got so angry towards a sequence like this. I was in fumes as this happened! I had a bunch of questions! What did this have to do with the plot? How does this benefit the characters? Why is this happening? Granted, it does address an “important” rivalry in the film. But as the scene went on, I thought… WHY?!

As for the movie’s ending, it is perhaps one of the most convoluted things I have seen in recent memory. A lot happens in a few minutes, I feel like there’s not much that I care about, and I continued hating my life. It also tries to tack on this lesson that feels amazingly forced and is a complete twist on almost everything that has been built up. This movie broke me! If I put this movie in my Xbox 360, it might just flash the red ring of death as a sign of begging for mercy.

In the end, “Isn’t It Romantic?” has destroyed every fiber of my being, tarnished my dignity, and it feels like the writers bitch slapped me in the face like I’m on reality TV! And you know what? This may not be my type of movie, but seeing the low IMDb ratings from both genders make me wonder if this movie was for anyone to begin with. “Isn’t It Romantic?” is almost the most anger-inducing movie I have witnessed all year. It might actually be more intolerable than “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” which if you have seen that review, says A LOT. I did not expect to love this movie, but I also did not expect to have the urge to bury it in the ground either. But, it’s time to bury! Good riddance! I’m going to give “Isn’t It Romantic?” a 1/10. Thanks for reading this review! This Tuesday I’m going to be heading to an advance screening of “Zombieland: Double Tap.” I have no idea if I am going to like this movie, if I won’t like this movie, but I enjoyed the first one, so anything’s possible! I’m also interested in seeing Ang Lee’s “Gemini Man” starring Will Smith, and if I have time, I might be able to catch it in the high frame rate edition. It will give me a film to review plus something else to talk about! If you want to see these new movies get talked about, or other great content, follow Scene Before with an email address to get notifications in your inbox. Or, you can use a WordPress account to like and comment on all my posts past or present. While you’re at it, give a like to my Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “Isn’t It Romantic?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite Rebel Wilson movie? Seriously! I need a good one to watch to turn my opinion around regarding her! Please comment to save my life! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

It: Chapter Two (2019): Hiya, Sequel!

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“It: Chapter Two” is directed by Andy Muschietti, director of the 2017 “It” installment. This film stars Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, Interstellar), James McAvoy (Split, Wanted), Bill Hader (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Power Rangers), Isaiah Mustafa (Shadowhunters, Horrible Bosses), Jay Ryan (Go Girls, Sea Patrol), James Ransone (Sinister, The Wire), Andy Bean (Swamp Thing, Power), and Bill Skarsgård (Deadpool 2, Allegiant). “It: Chapter Two” takes place 27 years after its predecessor, specifically 2016. If you have not seen 2017’s “It,” it’s established in that film that the main antagonist, Pennywise the Dancing Clown, wreaks havoc amongst certain individuals every 27 years. In 1989, we were introduced to the Losers Club, a group of mocked teens who unite to conquer their fears and take down the clown. At the end of the movie, the group forms a pact that if Pennywise ever happens to be alive or makes a return, they will meet up to face him once more. After all this time, the adult versions of these characters join forces once again, discuss where they’ve ended up all these years, while Pennywise happens to be on the loose.

If you have followed Scene Before over the past couple of years, you’d know that I talk about a lot of big movies. However, due to a lack of interest or commitment on the subject matter, I never got around to reviewing the first chapter of “It.” I also never watched the version of “It” where Tim Curry plays Pennywise (although I did watch Doug Walker’s Nostalgia Critic review). And one more thing… What was it? Oh, right. I NEVER READ THE BOOK! To this day, I have yet to read a single page of “It.” Movies are more fun, sorry books! I almost avoided any commitment I could possibly have with this movie, but there were certain factors about it that eventually intrigued me. I went to Best Buy one day, picked up 2017’s “It” on Blu-ray, which came with a $8 off sticker for the sequel (which I must have thrown out, like an idiot). I then waited almost a month to watch the movie, and when I finally witnessed what I’ve been missing for the past couple of years, I lost my mind. The main characters are so relatable, so charming, and when you put them together, it’s the recipe for perfection. Ultimately, “It” was a scary horror movie, but above all, an excellent coming of age story.

This brings us to the opening weekend of “It: Chapter Two.” I’ve heard a lot about this movie before I went into the auditorium. I’ve heard it’s got scares, people seem to like it for the most part, the cast is great, especially Bill Hader as Richie. While seemingly liked, it is not perfect, it does have notable problems here and there. And these statements, for the most part, are pretty much on the money. “It: Chapter Two,” from my perspective, is a film that feels as if it is trying to be “Return of the King.” The runtime is nearly three hours, it covers the finale of the written material from the books, and much like “Lord of the Rings,” this movie significantly showcases the power of companionship. Did this movie really need to be three hours? Probably not. I wouldn’t have minded a extended runtime, but it didn’t need to as long as “Interstellar.” I say that because when it comes to the material presented in the three hours of “It: Chapter Two,” a lot of it almost feels tacked on.

Remember “Suicide Squad?” One of the big problems with that movie is that it couldn’t focus too much on the present and instead relied heavily upon various flashbacks that would constantly appear out of nowhere. This movie has a good amount of flashback footage that isn’t off-putting, but pretty exorbitant. It kind of gets to the point where the flashbacks are charming, I guess, but they overstay their welcome.

But when focusing on the present, the characters are in fact the some of the best parts of this movie. It’s nice getting to know these new versions of previously established losers, especially considering how they all turned out to be winners in the very end. Richie became a stand-up comedian, Beverly is a fashion designer, Bill writes mystery novels, etc. I really admire how everyone in the Losers Club, which is appropriately named as it consists of people who were picked on, comes out on top in the end. But it’s not like everyone’s lives turned out to be rainbows and unicorns upon becoming adults. Beverly starts out the movie in an abusive relationship with her husband. Bill, while he seems to be a fine writer, doesn’t seem to stick the landing on his endings. Richie even has a little mishap upon returning to Derry, because he apparently yelled at a fan because he forgot a line he said during one of his gigs. Not everything’s perfect.

And speaking of imperfections, let’s talk about Pennywise. I’m not saying he’s a flawed character or anything, just saying he’s a psychopath. Bill Skarsgård is a f*cking boss in this film! This shouldn’t be too surprising because Pennywise was a standout in the original film. Films like this also remind me of how much fun it is to play a villain. Who wouldn’t want to play a vicious, horrifying killer clown that eats people? Everything about Pennywise was what I wanted out of this movie. The voice, the dialogue, the makeup, the crazy antics, the exploration of lore, whatever was presented was as delicious as pizza! That even includes one or two moments that are a bit heavy on CGI to the point where it is easy to pick up if you look hard enough.

But I will say, I don’t know if this movie will end up having the same replay value that I think the first one will end up having. It’s a bit early to say since I just saw this film on Saturday, plus I waited until last Thursday to watch the original. But if I were alone on Halloween and needed something to watch in the living room while handing out candy to children, I currently much prefer the original. Both films are effectively scary, and in this film, there are a lot of gross, disturbing, and shocking moments to witness. Remember that trailer with Jessica Chastain visiting the old lady? Get ready. That scene where Pennywise is surrounded by black and utters “Hello?” F*cking nuts. And the climax, while a bit extended, is undoubtedly entertaining. But as a story, this film is a tad more convoluted and a bit more poorly paced compared to the original. The original has a bit of an advantage due to the shorter runtime, but I can live with films going past three hours (which this one almost does). With that being said however, everything in those three hours has to matter, or be something that I as an audience member can care about, and unfortunately, that’s not the case for everything presented in that time.

Also, speaking of time, the ending takes FOREVER to fully establish itself. There are like two, three, four, perhaps even five or six points during the climax where the movie could stop, and wrap itself in a bow that is satisfying. Unfortunately, it goes ahead and says “Look at me, I’m ‘It: Chapter Two!’ There’s no stopping me now! Ha ha! Yeah!” And it’s kind of unfortunate because 2019, in my view, has not been the all-time best year for movies, but if there is one thing that stands out this year compared to others, it’s the eternal positive impact many endings will have on me as a viewer. We’ve had “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Ready or Not,” and “Toy Story 4.” All of these movies have magnificent final moments that I will perhaps forever appreciate. The ending of “It: Chapter Two” tries as hard as it can to leave a big impact, and I imagine for a chunk of people, it will. However, for me, I was appreciative of what was happening, while also hoping to get out of my chair because I feel like I have seen more than enough. It wasn’t like Pennywise bit my arm or anything, but it was like I was in line in a crowded Burger King or something.

In the end, “It: Chapter Two” is dark and gorey, but part of the mess associated with this movie is the less than pleasant pacing. The characters are great, the transitions they seem to make from teens to adults make sense for the most part. I find it a tad interesting that Ben is much more physically fit as an adult compared to how he was as teen, but Tom Brady is still winning Super Bowls, so anything can happen if you put your mind to it. If the movie were at least ten or so minutes shorter, perhaps fifteen, I think the pacing would be fair and square. But just because the movie is a bit sloppy on pacing, doesn’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable. So with that being said, I’m going to give “It: Chapter Two” a 7/10. Thanks for reading this review! I have no idea what my next review is going to be, at least for films out in theaters right now. I’m still trying to get my ass to a “Hobbs and Shaw” screening before it’s too late, maybe that’ll be the one I go to next. But I also heard a lot recently about this movie called “The Fanatic,” starring John Travolta. It’s not a big moneymaker, nor is it playing at too many cinemas, but I’m hearing a lot about this movie. It even got a Hilariocity Review from YouTuber Chris Stuckmann! And this film looks like it could be the next “The Room.” Perhaps even better than “The Room” in terms of how enjoyable yet horrible it really is. It’s available On Demand, maybe I’ll rent it, check it out, see what it’s all about, because as of recently, I’ve kind of been dying to see it in order to know what I’ve been missing. If you want to see that review or other great content, consider following Scene Before with an email or WordPress account, tell your friends about the blog, it really helps me out! Also, check out my Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “It: Chapter Two?” What did you think about it? Or, did you ever read the “It” book? Is it better than this movie? Is it better than the Tim Curry “It?” Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Blinded by the Light (2019): The Boss Shines in Luton

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“Blinded by the Light” is directed by Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham, Bride & Prejudice) and stars Viveik Kalra, Kulvinder Guhr (Goodness Gracious Me, Howards’ Way), Meera Ganatra (PREMature, The Question), Nell Williams (Game of Thrones, London Town), Aaron Phugura (Doctor Who, Informer), and Dean-Charles Chapman (Game of Thrones, Into the Badlands). This film is inspired by a true story and is about a Pakistani teenager named Javed who lives with his family in the United Kingdom. Said family usually leaves all control and decisions to their father, life is becoming increasingly tough, and this teenager, who has a passion for poetry and writing, is forced to study and follow a path his father is trying to set upon him because it is “safe,” “expected,” and “the way he likes it.” At the same time, he is introduced to the music of Bruce Springsteen, he connects the music to himself, his life, and his struggles.

I barely knew anything about the film “Blinded by the Light” before going into it. In fact, when I decided to go, it was very last minute. I was doing an impromptu train ride into the city, when all of a sudden, I saw a time for a movie on my phone that was most certainly calling my name. I was almost debating on doing something else entirely until this unexpected matter came into play. I saw ads for this film on TV and I was somewhat impressed by what I saw. Granted, I was not automatically hypnotized or compelled into buying a ticket, but if I were in a situation where I had to watch this film, I wouldn’t feel like I was being held against my will. However, I chose to buy a ticket with hard-earned money, so I strapped myself in for whatever was ahead. And one thing was for sure in the very end, I had a great time! In fact, after seeing the epic fail that is “Yesterday” over a month ago, this is just what I needed. I think The Beatles are probably better, and without argument, more culturally important than this film’s music-related subject, Bruce Springsteen (not saying I don’t like him, but still). Nevertheless, I feel as an audience member, this movie did more to honor the legacy and pay respect to Bruce Springsteen than “Yesterday” did to “The Beatles.” Interestingly though, similar to how “Yesterday” had tons of Beatles music and wasn’t mainly about The Beatles themselves, the movie is not specifically about Bruce Springsteen in general and instead focuses on someone who can qualify as a fan.

This fan’s story by the way was more fascinating than it needed to be. It focuses on how his family is close (which to his view, is too close), how he is being kept from living the life he anticipates to achieve, while also being a reminder to viewers to work in order to achieve dreams. Speaking of Javed, I think Viveik Kalra did a really good job with his portrayal and I would not mind seeing more from him.

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Speaking of excellent portrayals, I think the best acting job in the movie has to be from Kulvinder Ghir, who plays Javed’s dad, Malik. He was able to express himself as an overworked, tired, occasionally obnoxious, and pushy parent who wanted everything to go his way. As for relating to the character, I cannot really say that’s possible for me. For one thing, I am not a parent. But let’s say I was just to set an example. I would want the best for my children, I would want them to succeed, but I also would want them to be happy and follow a path that doesn’t feel forced upon them. Granted, I know there are certain customs set upon various families, but I would be understanding in a number of cases if one were to object to a certain custom. No turkey on thanksgiving? That’s one less turkey to kill! Skipping out on watching the Super Bowl? Football’s not for everyone! By the way, football is overrated and I am tired of talking about it at this point! Maybe I relate a lot more to Javed since I am in his age range, but I think there are reasons to understand where Malik is coming from. He wants the best for his son, not mention his family, while also perhaps keeping them safe.

Another great thing about “Blinded by the Light” is that while it does pay tribute to Bruce Springsteen, that doesn’t even feel like the main part of the movie. I think that’s a good thing because yes, his music can be fun to listen to, but it can take away from the story. It’s more about Javed and his relationship with the art of writing. It’s about how he wants to chase after his dreams and make himself happy. Although I will say one thing regarding The Boss and it is a slight problem. There are a couple moments that almost took me out of the movie, where it would almost turn into this Bruce Springsteen-related musical. The movie felt kind of grounded in reality for the most part, so seeing something like that almost threw me off. Having a musical vibe can work for a movie like “Rocketman” because the marketing kind of implied there would be fantasy elements in the film making the musical scenes seem kind of fitting, but not in “Blinded by the Light.”

And to be honest, that recent thing I mentioned may be my only problem with the entire film, or at least the only one that stands out front and center. Because if that was taken out, I would completely be focusing on this film’s well put together pacing (although one particular scene dragged a little), the collectively excellent chemistry, and the immense sense of joy that I have achieved while watching it. This is one of those movies where I walked out with a smile on my face. Also, I may be biased, but as a writer, this movie sort of made me want to appreciate all that I have done thus far in my life regarding the subject matter, and made me look forward to what I had in store. While I won’t go too far into it, there is this teacher in the film that if I had her for an English class or something, I would never want to get out of her sight. I’d show her my writing, come to her for advice, allow her to be honest about what I have done. She’d be honest about what I’d do, but it also seems as if she’d be appreciative. And having seen this movie, I would like to give a shoutout to everyone who has made a bad movie. Unless I am possibly talking about a film that you regret doing and probably never wanted to be part of in the first place, just remember, that film may be crap, but it is your crap. I give loads of flak to everyone who made “The Emoji Movie,” but you guys finished it, and gave it a release. It’s your movie, and you should be proud to have something be a part of your artistic history. It may not be good, but at least be proud of what you have done, even if I eventually called it the worst movie of 2017.

In the end, “Blinded by the Light” is a movie that I didn’t entirely ask for in the first place, but having seen it, it is probably the film I needed right now. It’s fun, it’s joyous, it’s attention-grabbing, and it is probably my favorite music-related movie that has come out over the past year. It’s better than “A Star is Born,” it’s better than “Bohemian Rhapsody,” it’s better than “Rocketman,” and it’s DEFINITELY better than “Yesterday.” “Blinded by the Light” shows who’s boss! I’m going to give “Blinded by the Light” an 8/10. Thanks for reading this review! This weekend is the release of “It: Chapter Two.” For those of you who have followed me on Scene Before, I have not reviewed “It” when that came out, in fact I still have not seen that movie as I write this. I don’t think I’ll get around to talking about that, but I am going to do my best to talk about “It: Chapter Two” as soon as possible. I might go see it this weekend, but if I don’t, I’ll definitely be seeing it the following weekend. After all, possibly other than “Joker,” “It: Chapter Two” could end up being the biggest R rated title of 2019. I have to stay in the know about these things, it’s my duty! If you want to look out for my “It: Chapter Two” review and other upcoming content, follow Scene Before via an email or WordPress account, and if you want to dedicate more time listening to the movie reviewing moron, click the link to my Facebook page and give it a like! I want to know, did you see “Blinded by the Light?” What did you think about it? Or, what are your thoughts on Bruce Springsteen? Do you have a favorite song of his? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Game Night (2018): Live Or Die, the Comedic Choice Is Yours

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“Game Night” is directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, who together have collaborated on directing “Vacation” and stars Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses, Juno) alongside Rachel McAdams (Mean Girls, The Notebook) as a couple who often do a game night at their house with people they’re close with. However, Jason Bateman’s character of Max happens to have a brother who is in town by the name of Brooks, who is essentially maximized in every way compared to Max. Brooks is planning a game night of his own and everybody ends up attending, this eventually leads to everyone’s realization that this is not just your standard gaming session where people play Scrabble or Life or Pictionary, and it is instead, a murder mystery, thus leading to the movie’s crazy, action-packed events.

I wanted to see “Game Night” when it first came out in theaters, however I never got around to it during its theatrical run. I felt that other movies were more important, I was busy focusing on and recapping the Academy Awards at the time and it just happened to be something I never came across. But the trailer made this movie look great. Did it feel like something a studio would assemble together? Maybe, a little bit, but it felt like it was done with character and passion. Plus, I heard sometime while I was missing this movie that the duo directing this film are actually signed on to direct a “Flash” film for DC. That doesn’t really say much, but given that statistic, it did get me intrigued. I wanted to see how they’d do with this film, thus giving me a sense of what they could do with a film like “The Flash.” And I’d say they did a very good job.

When it comes to “Game Night,” this movie just surprised the hell out of me. I didn’t think “Game Night” was going to be bad, but I didn’t expect to laugh my ass off as much as I did while watching it. One of the first exchanges of dialogue of the movie takes place during this trivia night, and it literally set the tone for me, just a few minutes in, I’m already loving what I’m seeing. And this made me ask myself, could this top “Blockers?”

Some of you may be wondering why I’m asking that. “Game Night” was released on February 23rd, 2018 in the United States, and I’ve witnessed several comedies this year, or movies containing comedy in them, not just “Blockers,” and they’ve caught me by surprise, because in 2017, comedy was literally, no pun intended, a joke to me. With movies like “How to Be a Latin Lover,” “Fist Fight,” “Snatched,” and the gosh-awful “Father Figures,” 2017 overall just fell flat. Heck, I was even underwhelmed by “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2!” Granted they had an enormous fluke with “The Disaster Artist” towards the end of the year, but still. I’m not saying all of 2018’s comedies have been great, go watch “Uncle Drew,” “Gringo,” or “Life of the Party” and tell me how you feel afterwards. But when you consider how much “Blockers” surprised me and made me see layers that I didn’t think I’d witness, how heartwarming yet hilarious “Tag” happened to be, and how many stitches I needed after “Avengers: Infinity War,” which isn’t even a comedy, but it managed to make me laugh more than I would at many comedies coming out nowadays, all of this just seems amazing. Comedy has turned around significantly for me this year, and everybody seems to be stepping up their game. In fact, kind of like “Blockers,” I kind of had an urge to watch “Game Night” again after viewing it for the first time.

Before we dive into some main points people usually need to go over for comedies, I’d just like to point out that there are points where I noticed the cinematography for “Game Night” is probably better than it had to be. There’s this sequence involving a fancy-looking egg and as everyone seems to be tossing it around, it’s all done with the camera moving around in one shot for an extended period of time as the characters are just doing what they’re supposed to do. It was just magic.

As far as the type of comedy that you get in “Game Night,” it’s basically mile-a-minute humor. Most of the humor seems to out of the characters’ mouths as opposed to actions, however some of the actions in this movie, while sometimes disturbing, but not in a way that turned me off, were certainly funny as well. Is anything new really brought to the table here? Nothing I can list off the top off my head, but whatever is there, works. This movie was done by some of the people who have worked on “Horrible Bosses,” and I’ll say having watched both “Game Night” and “Horrible Bosses,” if you like the tone and humor delivered in “Horrible Bosses,” I’d say you’d end up liking “Game Night.” In fact if you ask me personally, I like “Game Night” better than “Horrible Bosses.” Maybe it’s because I was rather late to the party when it came to “Horrible Bosses” and my mother was hyping it up like a bride does with her own wedding. My expectations, while not small, were perhaps lower for “Game Night” than they were for “Horrible Bosses.” And as of right now, I think a lot of you don’t have to see either one of these movies and automatically consider “Game Night” better than the other. Why?

This guy. If you hate this guy, “Horrible Bosses” might not be for you.

Some of the more recent movies I reviewed like “Uncle Drew” and “The Hurricane Heist” have something in common. Let me give you a small hint.

“UNCLE DREW” REVIEW
“Let’s talk about some of the characters in “Uncle Drew.” They all suck. They don’t drink enough Pepsi in the movie!”

“THE HURRICANE HEIST” REVIEW
“When it comes to Toby Kebbell, he plays a guy named Will, and what I have to say about his character is what can pretty much be said for everyone else’s characters. All of them suck, they have no personalities, not even their quirky southern accents could have saved this movie.”

Fortunately, I don’t have to say such a thing about this movie, because every single character was awesome! The strong point of “Game Night” is in the chemistry between everyone on screen, almost everyone is in a pair, whether they’re a couple or just partners, their separate interactions come together to make something super. A story between Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) is that a reason why they can’t have kids is because of a sibling rivalry between Max and his brother, Brooks. When it comes to another couple, Kevin (Lamorne Morris) and Michelle (Kylie Bunbury), they get into an argument about the past, specifically how Michelle slept with a celebrity. And there’s Sarah (Sharon Horgan) and Ryan (Billy Magnussen), which is basically a combination of the brains and… someone who literally needs the brains.

One thing I seem to notice about a couple good comedies is how much a dog would stand out in the movie, and in some scenarios, maybe not in the most pleasant of ways. This has been proven with “Anchorman” with Ron Burgundy’s dog, Baxter. It has also been supported in “There’s Something About Mary” with Puffy. Here, there’s a dog that’s often held by a character who I liked more and more as the movie went on, specifically Gary played by Jesse Plemons. There’s this scene where the dog is all covered in blood, I won’t go into much detail, but it’s in the trailer. Also, speaking of Jesse Plemons’s character, this is definitely one of the better performances the movie has to offer. It may not seem like much at first, but the difficulty seemingly increases as Plemons delivers a particular line in a certain way, it’s just priceless seeing his character do what he does.

I really don’t have much else to say about “Game Night,” but part of me wonders why they would name Max’s brother, Brooks (Kylie Chandler), the way they did. Is it to make him have a superior sounding name and not just be a superior fellow by himself? And you might be thinking, “Hey, Jackass! How the heck is Brooks a superior sounding name?” Ever heard of Brooks Brothers? If you have a luxurious fellow in your movie, you might as well give him a name that associates with luxury. I don’t know if this is true, but I’m curious to know the meaning behind his name if there does happen to be one.

In the end, “Game Night” just shows that 2018 is probably one of my favorite years in regards to comedy ever. If I remember correctly, I think probably laughed here as much as I did during “Tag,” which is kind of funny considering New Line Cinema and Warner Brothers worked on both movies. The chemistry between all of the characters was fantastic, I basically died laughing, and there’s even a couple lines that I want to quote forever.

“I hate game night!” -Annie

Not me sister, I motherf*cking loved “Game Night.” I’m gonna give “Game Night” an 8/10. Thanks for reading this review! I’m not sure what movie I’m gonna review next, however Steven Soderbergh’s most recently released film which he directed, “Unsane,” is now free on Amazon Prime, so maybe I’ll review that if there’s nothing else to do. Be sure to follow Scene Before so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Game Night?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite comedy of 2018 so far? To me, it’s a tough choice, probably either this or “Blockers,” nevertheless, let me know your opinions on what this year’s best comedy is for you! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Tag (2018): The “It” Movie of the Year!

Before we start this review of “Tag,” let me just have you know that I here at Scene Before have been truly grateful to create content to whatever portion of my audience still continues to follow me. And you may or may not know with this post, I have hit a milestone. This “Tag” review you’re reading right now is my 200th post (not counting one that was deleted)! This news of having two-hundred posts almost slipped under my radar. And you know what? I like you all, so I gotta do something for ya in return. I won’t exactly say what it is, but stay tuned, it’s a surprise! Be sure to look out for my NOT EXACTLY 200TH POST SPECIAL coming soon!

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“Tag” is directed by Jeff Tomsic and stars Ed Helms (The Office, Vacation), Jake Johnson (New Girl, Jurassic World), Annabelle Wallis (Annabelle, X-Men: First Class), Hannibal Buress (Neighbors, The Secret Life of Pets), Isla Fisher (Now You See Me, Rise of the Guardians), Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation, The Social Network), Leslie Bibb (Iron Man, Law Abiding Citizen), along with Jon Hamm (Mad Men, The Town), and Jeremy Renner (The Avengers, The Bourne Legacy). This film is about a bunch of friends who have been playing tag with each other since the first grade. Now they’re all adults, and one has a wedding coming up. This person has never been “it.” Everybody else is coming for him, and he’s not gonna let that get in his way. Did I mention this is based on true events?

Going into this movie, I gotta say this was really something I was truly looking forward to. This is a comedy based on true events, and it seemed to have itself center around friendship. One of my favorite movie trilogies ever, “Lord of the Rings,” nails its friendship theme, and naturally, I had some hopes for “Tag.” In reality, both pieces of art are very different when you take their ultimate results, but I figured this would be a movie that’s not only funny, but also just a message to remind yourself how important having friends truly is. I was also wondering if in terms of my overall verdict if this could compete with another movie I saw this year that has truly grown on me, “Blockers.” And you know what? When it comes to my thoughts on “Tag,” it’s certainly a fine competitor to “Blockers!” In fact, as of now, I’d probably have to think about this hard, “Tag” is quite possibly the best comedy of 2018! And without diving too much into spoilers, I’m gonna start off with a complaint that I seriously want to get out of the way.

If you know me, you’d know that I HATE product placement. There are times where I think it is fine, but for the most part, it blows. I will say though, the best part of this movie, is that there is only one instance of product placement that stuck out to me, and it is at the VERY BEGINNING of the film. As soon as that is over, the film is a laugh-filled thrill ride from start to finish. This movie is what happens when you take “The Disaster Artist” (comedy based on true events), combine it with “Premium Rush” (movie involving fast-paced thinking from characters), and put the two in a blender with “Wedding Crashers” (movie where wedding plays importance in story). In fact, when it comes to the overall way this movie was told (genre, pacing, etc), it’s hard to think of a better way that it could have been done. Is “Tag” realistic depiction of the events shown throughout? I can’t confirm entirely since I wasn’t a witness, however I would lean more towards saying “no” to answer that question. Although in the end, for a movie such as this, it doesn’t really matter, “Tag” allowed me to have tons of fun and absolutely enjoy myself.

There are a ton of characters in this movie, in fact I’m going to argue that there really isn’t one that I would consider to be the “main character.” I would say this film would technically have one sole “antagonist” (Jerry), but when it comes to having a main character, that doesn’t appear to be the case. I say this because in reality, this is more of a team-up of main characters than anything. They’re all after one guy, Jerry, and when you see Jerry, you know he’s ready to fight. I’d say that this film has a similarity to “Avengers: Infinity War,” it focuses a lot on its opposition. It doesn’t go out and make the opposition the main character just like “Infinity War,” but it does go out and highlight the power and unstoppable force of Jerry. When it comes to highlighting someone as a main character, you could make the argument that Ed Helms plays the main character, Hoagie, because he always has his name appear as if it were the most important one on the film’s posters, but I feel that wouldn’t be true because while the movie does revolve around him in one way or another, I’d argue that pretty much every character has their moment to shine.

Now let’s get serious for a moment and talk about Jerry. He’s played by Jeremy Renner, who I’d say plays the worst hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but plays one of the best characters in “Tag.” The thing about Jerry in this movie is that throughout each and every May when the friends play tag, Jerry is the one who is never “it.” He’s fast, he’s smart, and will always find a way to get you! Some of the best parts of the movie is when he talks to himself during tag. He’s figuring out whatever plan he can execute, and makes a moment that’s already funny and engaging, doubled in terms of both elements. And you know something? This really just adds a hint of surprise to the film. Jeremy Renner is one of those people I actually consider to be a fine actor, and he usually does a fine job in whatever you put him in. Although, one of my biggest worries going into “Tag” happened to be Jeremy Renner. I say that because I never particularly pictured Jeremy Renner being in a comedy. Although then again I never pictured Ansel Elgort as an action star and look how that turned out! What do I know about actors? Renner’s performance shines and makes the character of Jerry a total standout.

I don’t want to have to talk about each and every character on the team against Jerry, because that would take forever. However, when it comes to all of these characters, they all seem to have their own individual traits that stand out to them as opposed to another character alongside them. One character that truly stood out to me was the character of Anna, played by Isla Fisher. For the record, if you watch the movie, you can’t really say she’s in the game, because as suggested, the rules state that there are no girls allowed. However, there are times where she just acts like the most competitive psycho you’ll ever see in your entire life. I’m just imagining myself playing tennis, and instead of grunting as she returns the ball to the opposite side, she screams “f*ck you” or something. This may be a slight negative towards the movie, although in the way, it’s kind of also a positive, the team doesn’t really feel like it has one character that is supposed to shine more than any other, but at the same time, it can allow you to root more for the team as opposed to one individual part of the team.

One of the most interesting parts of the movie is seeing everyone trying to tag or outrun each other. If you have ever played tag as a kid for fun, let me just say that you have NOT played tag, and this movie will give you some pointers to throw down to your eight-year-old self. One character in this movie goes to the mall, because that’s where Jerry is. To make the character’s self look less obvious, they dress up as an elderly woman. This brings out one of the best combinations of action, narration, and intensity to the entire movie.

I kind of brought this up in the beginning, but I’ll sort of state this again, this movie has a very centralized theme of friendship. These friends have been together for a very long time and they’ve been playing a specific game for a long time. Tag is basically the one thing that is in these folks’s lives that keeps them attached to one another. As we grow up, we start to lose a connection with our own friends that we’ve known as kids, it’s just a natural thing that occurs. But these people keep in touch with each other in such a way that triggers a sense of nostalgia and togetherness. This movie does a good job at highlighting the importance of friendship while still maintaining a mood that you’d still traditionally find in a comedy. The very thing I just mentioned is why this is a true competitor at this point for “best comedy of 2018,” because this isn’t really just a funny comedy, it feels like a real story with real people (with exaggerated thoughts and emotions), and that may be because this is based on a true story.

In the end, “Tag” is definitely worth your time and money. Given what most people would say, “Tag” is unlikely to win the box office on its opening weekend against “Incredibles 2,” but I can guarantee you that it will very likely take the second place spot. And you know what? This movie is worth the money! Not only is it a great comedy, it’s a great story! I really enjoyed “Tag,” I would definitely go out to Best Buy and buy it when it comes out on home video, and I’m going to give it an 8/10. Also, I find it hilarious that I really like this movie because in my elementary school years, any game involving running or tagging was a game that I particularly didn’t want to play. It’s kinda crazy to me! Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon I’ll have my review up for “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” which will be my fourth entry in my Tom Cruise “Mission: Impossible” review series. Also, before I sign off here, I’d like to thank Warner Brothers for the free screening that I got of “Tag,” allowing me to finish this review early for you all. And if you want to see a post which I’ve written prior to going to see “Tag,” the link for it is at the end of this post you’re reading. Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Tag?” What did you think about it? Or, if you’re an adult, what is one way that you and your friends from school years keep in touch? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

SCENE BEFORE IS FINALLY VERY IMPORTANT (FIRST TIME ACCEPTING A PRE-RELEASE SCREENING INVITE): https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/06/03/scene-before-is-finally-very-important-first-time-accepting-a-pre-release-screening-invite/

Scene Before is FINALLY Very Important (First Time Accepting a Pre-Release Screening Invite)

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! I’ve got a lot going on here lately on Scene Before. I still have to finish my review for “Revenge,” which by the way, at a point when watching that flick, I paused it in order to make this post as quick as possible. Not to mention I’m seeing “2001: A Space Odyssey” on Sunday in 70mm, which is not my first time watching the movie, but I love it so much that I had to take advantage of an opportunity like this. Not to mention, I still have yet to see “Deadpool 2!” Did I mention I have an “Incredibles” double feature coming up one day before the new “Incredibles” installment releases in theaters? Judging by all of this, I can personally say I have a lot on my plate. It almost feels like parenting. All of these movies are my kids that I have to watch. Speaking of kids, allow me to introduce you to Paul and Genevieve. No, they’re not kids, they’re adults. But they’re having kids! As I’ve gone over bunches of times, they have the phrase “keep effing trying” locked in their minds. They’ve been pushing themselves to the limit. They’ve been through hell and back! This is all explained in “What the IVF?!”

“What the IVF?” is the new series about the recently mentioned couple, Paul and Genevieve, as they do whatever it is a spider ca–err I mean they can, to have a baby. Unfortunately, the process of making one is a nightmare. This series goes over the various struggles the couple face ranging in areas including sex, math, appointments, and the pieces of crap some people call needles! You can see the latest “WTIVF?” content on YouTube, available on a channel sharing the same name as the series itself! Their latest video features–AH! CRAP! MORE NEEDLES! The couple try to make their injections a bit more interesting than the ones they’ve done in the past. How so? They jam out to music while they stick needles into the other person! A neat idea, and now that I think about it, this is not the first time I’ve seen something like this, because I remember a news story where someone was at the doctor’s office getting a shot and I believe some of the employees start singing Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” while injecting a needle. Anyway, you can find out more info about “WTIVF?” from the show’s YouTube channel, be sure to subscribe and ring the bell, don’t forget about the show’s other social media accounts, along with the show’s personal website. Also be sure to tell Paul and Genevieve 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/

Now you may be reading the title of this post and thinking to yourself, what makes this so important? This blog is a nobody! This guy who might as well be a jackass is a nobody! And speaking of nobody, nobody reads this damn thing! Let me just inform you, yes, my name is Jack and I have an ass. No one really reads this blog all that much. And as far as me or my blog being a nobody, I guess you can kind of say that falls into your last statement which I have just confirmed is true. However, something happened recently that might have just changed my “nobody” status into, “taking names, without kicking too much ass.”

Some time ago, I’ve known that a lot of reviewers I follow get invited to screenings for various movies before they release to the public. Some may be invited to the world premiere, some may go to a theater near them depending on where they live. I figured I’d take advantage of this sort of deal. So I’ve done this under a number of places online. One notable sign up I did was for Warner Brothers. So earlier today, I get an email with the following subject:

“Sign Up for Passes for TAG Today!”

Now if you don’t know what “Tag” is, it’s a comedy about a bunch of friends who have been playing tag with each other since first grade. This is based on a true story, and these folks have basically risked everything in their lives. Relationships, jobs, staying in their part of the country, whatever.

Bear in mind, this is NOT my first time getting an invitation to a screening. I’ve actually been invited to several screenings. I’ve been invited to screenings for films such as “Downsizing,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” “Super Troopers 2,” and “Leap!.” Although for one such reason or another, having to do with such factors as timing or distance, I decided to ignore all of these screenings. Then I saw this email, checked the theater, checked the time, and I thought to myself… OK… Don’t get scared. Be a man. Don’t be a dude. I want Drax the Destroyer to say that I’m a man. Then I took my phone and showed the magical message to my mother. She thought this was amazing, and I asked her if she wanted to tag (no pun intended) along (screening had option to bring one guest). She thought something like this would be cool to do, and I immediately claimed two passes.

So this essentially marks a milestone in not only Scene Before history, but also my life. My goal here on Scene Before is to entertain you, get content out as quick as possible while making sure it has quality behind it, and make sure (mainly depending on the occasion) that my content is relevant for reasons having to do with what it contains or the time said content is released. Now that I get to see “Tag” over a week before it opens for special opening shows on Thursday, June 14th, and for all standard shows on Friday, June 15th, my content will probably have more relevance than ever. Most of the movies I review on this blog release at a certain time, and I go see it when it comes out in theaters. There are cases where I’ve done opening Thursday night shows for some movies and quickly uploaded my review the following day. Although in reality, there’s a good chance that some people who read my review have already seen the movie. This is especially when you consider that a lot of people went out to see the movie already on opening night (Avengers: Infinity War, Star Wars: The Last Jedi). I imagine some people just read my blog either because they think I’m a decent person, I’m cool, or they just know who I am. However, what I’m trying to do is build a following among the movie community, the movie fan community, and it is hard. Not only them, but I want a bigger audience in general. I’ve done this for two years and I have slightly over thirty users (email and WordPress) following me, one of which I can tell you is likely to be a spam account. I know a lot of people throughout the span of time have read Scene Before for one reason or another, but regardless of whatever reason you read this, kinda sorta as mentioned, my main goals are to pass time where I enjoy myself, inform others, and entertain people. My sixteen-year-old self who created this blog back in tenth grade would have had been pleased had he realized where this blogging journey would go. How far it’ll take me. I consider this to be one of my personal greatest accomplishments if you ask me.

I also have to say, I don’t know how long this blogging journey will continue. I’m an aspiring screenwriter for movies, director for movies, producer for movies. I have visions. If I end up in any such position where I choke or don’t reach said aspirations, this is what I have. I would love to continue blogging on here for the rest of my life if I could, and maybe, depending on how life goes, and I hate to say this, but how many views or earnings I get from this in the future, it could become a living. I really don’t know and I don’t want to get ahead of myself. However, if I continue getting invited to screenings like these, that only increases the possibility of me of delivering more content to you. And don’t worry, I will do my absolute best to avoid sacrificing quality. Because in a world that contains a bunch of wackos called humans, I want to satisfy, befriend, and entertain those sorts of wackos.

And before I close this off, let me just have you know that this is in no way a sponsorship deal for “Tag,” Warner Brothers (although in all seriousness they’re probably my personal favorite film studio), New Line, or anyone behind the scenes of this movie I’m going to see. If this were a sponsorship for any of these sorts of things, I’d probably have a lot money in my pocket, vault, or Scrooge McDuck bin than I do at the moment. But in case somebody related to what I just mentioned is reading this…

BASED ON TRUE EVENTS (WE’RE NOT KIDDING), the all new comedy from Warner Brothers and New Line Cinema, “Tag,” is in theaters everywhere Friday, June 15th! Rated R! Advance tickets are now on sale!

Also, no offense to a number of you reading this, given what I’ve been saying, as far as the world of movies go, I now may be more important than you. That does not make me better, but that makes me more important. But don’t worry, I will use my importance to both of our benefits and deliver more excellent content!

Thanks for reading this post that I’d thought I’d make just for the heck of it. Today is Saturday, June 2nd (depending on where you live, plus on my end, WordPress time is four hours fast), and that means tomorrow is Sunday, June 3rd, otherwise known as the day I go see “2001: A Space Odyssey” in 70mm film! And just so you know that this is in part thanks to Warner Brothers, not to mention Christopher Nolan, a director who has most of his films distributed by Warner Brothers, so before I go insane let me just get away from this. Although before I do, I must say, Christopher, you rock, you’re my idol, you even made my favorite movie ever, so I love what you’ve done in the past! Also, as mentioned, I said I’d review “Revenge.” I don’t have a date set for when that post will be done. I finished the movie, but given what I have going on this weekend and given this post, next week, I have to literally think of when my post should be all finalized. Stay tuned for more great content! So let me ask you all, how often do you get invited to pre-release screenings? If so, what was your personal favorite pre-release screening that you’ve been to? Let me know down below, and remember, I’m important! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Life of the Party (2018): 2018’s Mother’s Day Crowd Comedy

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“Life of the Party” is directed by Ben Falcone (What to Expect When You Are Expecting, The Boss) and stars Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, Tammy), Gillian Jacobs (Community, Walk of Shame), and Debby Ryan (Jessie, The Suite Life on Deck). This movie is about a mother and ex-wife named Deanna, and I say ex-wife because the movie kind of kicks into gear once the character’s husband asks for a divorce. Deanna eventually thinks it would be reasonable for her to go back to college and complete her quest to getting a degree.

“Life of the Party” is undoubtedly the biggest movie of the weekend trying to stop “Avengers: Infinity War” from getting any more money out of the pockets of viewers. By the way, if this movie wanted to go for #1 this weekend, a number of us box office investigators would say nope, that’s not happening. Ever heard of China? Big country, tons of people live there. “Avengers: Infinity War” just hit theaters there, so Disney is only gonna get richer from here. I will say speaking of which, if there were one movie between this and “Infinity War” that I would choose to watch, prior to going into this one or the other for the first time, I’d say “Infinity War” and thus continue Disney’s quest to becoming another group of rich snobs that won’t reveal the cure for cancer. I say this because this movie looked like it was going to be nothing except a lazy attempt on cashing in on the name Melissa McCarthy, not to mention, cashing in on the name “Mother’s Day.” The trailers had no jokes I liked, except for one which I may be biased about because it has to do with “Star Wars,” and this movie is directed by the same guy who directed “Tammy,” also starring Melissa McCarthy. That’s a movie which I didn’t see, but having known about it, I’m glad I avoided it.

“Life of the Party” was never my most anticipated movie of the year. Personally, it’s pretty hard for me to hype up a comedy because they’re usually all the same or we’re just running out of new funny material. When it comes to some of the content shown during the film, you do get that typical Hollywood studio comedy feel you might get out of a number of other movies. Sometimes that feel can be provided in a decent movie, such as last month’s “Blockers,” or it can be total trash like in last year’s “Snatched.” And honestly, when it comes to this movie given how I’ve now watched it, I gotta say I wish I never set my eyes upon it! This is probably one of the worst comedies I’ve seen throughout the span of the decade!

My gosh, have you ever wanted to go blind so bad that you wanted to take two 9mm pistols and shoot em at your eyeballs? There was a point where I wanted to do that so f*cking bad during this goddamn piece of crap! And now that I’m sitting here and I have other things to think about, I wouldn’t mind doing that in a garbage bin, full of trash, with a group of flies going around said bin, while on fire! I’m not gonna give my final verdict yet, it’s a bit too early for that, but I’m gonna warn you all, this is currently my worst movie of 2018 thus far!

Remember how I mentioned this movie is competing against “Avengers: Infinity War?” One thing that helps both movies a little bit is that they’re being advertised towards different kinds of people. “Avengers: Infinity War” is more for action lovers, comic book junkies, and anyone who has been following the universe it contains for a long time. “Life of the Party” is marketed towards mainly those of mature age, and its overall main points to deliver are the following:

  1. Moms are cool, spend your mother’s day weekend watching this.
  2. Come for the laughs.
  3. What was that again? It’s Mother’s Day! What other time are you gonna see this?

Let’s take a look at point 2. This movie is supposed to be a comedy. And sure, it does have some laughs. I was in a nearly full auditorium with a high number of people who seemed to be enjoying themselves while watching this. They were laughing a crapton more than I was for sure. Me? I was just about ready to kill myself. It was just standard humor, you’ve got physical comedy, sex jokes, Melissa McCarthy playing herself despite having a different look to her, and whatever other little thing could be injected into a piece of crap such as this to make me want to go jump off a cliff. “Avengers: Infinity War” is funnier than this! Hard to believe me when I say that now isn’t it? “Avengers: Infinity War” isn’t even a comedy! It has humor in it, sure, but it IS NOT a comedy! I may be biased because on paper, if I haven’t seen either this movie or that movie, I’d go see “Avengers: Infinity War” before “Life of the Party” just from what I know going in. However, if you are LABELED a COMEDY, you have one job. MAKE ME LAUGH. Did I laugh? Sure, I chuckled, made some noises here and there. But when I’m laughing louder than the Wicked Witch of the West during an ACTION movie and making noises like an emotionless android during a COMEDY movie, there’s a problem.

In fact, part of what made the comedy in this movie fail for me is that it was just awkward. It was sometimes just full of cringe and as if nobody truly gave a s*it about what they were doing! Part of the movie’s overall comedy involves Melissa McCarthy being the fish out of water at college due to her age, and if I were a student there, I’d tell her to pipe down and focus! Gosh! No wonder teachers are always trying to shush students!

Speaking of Melissa McCarthy, let’s talk a bit about her character. This character goes by the name of Deanna. Having already established that she and her husband are divorced and she’s in college with her daughter, Deanna actually goes down a route that I kind of didn’t expect for her character, and surprisingly, as much as I’m s*ittalking this movie, I don’t mean that in a bad way. I was somewhat expecting her daughter and her friends to be somewhat embarrassed that Deanna’s in her current position. However, while we do end up seeing that embarrassment from Deanna’s daughter, not to mention other characters at a number of moments, she starts off generally well-liked by the daughter’s social group, and remains that way for the movie’s runtime.

One thing I gotta say about this movie that I’ve yet to say… It’s a roller coaster. And by that I mean, it’s one of the most vomit-inducing rides I’ve had in my entire life. A LOT HAPPENS in an hour and forty five minutes! When I was watching this movie, it felt like it was a large combination of story elements meshed into one product. And honestly, the more I think about this movie, the more I question the very ideas of time and space themselves! This movie, like most comedies, is less than two hours, and the exact runtime is an hour and forty-five minutes. As I watched this movie, I thought it was ten to twenty minutes too long. I was almost convinced that this movie almost makes the two hour mark! Now I’m just saying to myself, make this movie shorter! It has a lot in it! Focus on a shorter amount of story points! I’m getting a f*cking headache! And you know what? I take back everything I just said! I know how to get the PERFECT runtime for this movie! Grab every copy of the script, and put em in a paper shredder, a fire, a recycling bin, let the dog eat every morsel of it, I don’t f*cking care, just eradicate each and every copy! And if the script was originally created online! Delete every trace of it!

One thing that kind of shocks me despite how much I hate this movie is that I could have been a tad more bored. Don’t get me wrong, I was bored as s*it, but compared to other movies I’ve seen, I was able to understand what was happening. I didn’t care about what was happening, I was endlessly regretting my life choices, and there was definitely a point where I checked out, but I could have been more bored. Although I will say, that statement might be saying something because my boredom levels were not low for sure.

I won’t get into spoiler territory, because believe it or not, there are actually people out there who want to check this movie out, but something happens in this movie. It involves a very well known celebrity. I won’t say their name, but this person is revealed to have some sort of link with someone. If this link were in a different movie, I honestly don’t know how I would have reacted. But here, in a moment that might be shocking to some people, I just uttered one word to myself, and that was just a sarcastic “Yeah.”

Also, I gotta mention once again, this movie is kind of typical for a Hollywood comedy, and this movie reminds me of another movie I saw which I thought was “fine” when I saw it, but got so much worse the more I thought about it, and that is “Bad Moms.” The main difference between “Bad Moms” and this movie is that “Bad Moms” involves more than just one mom, and it revolves around moms as a primary point. This movie revolves around one mom in particular, and the rest of the characters are others at college, a celebrity cameo, and folks the main character knows. There are so many things that occur in this movie that also occur in “Bad Moms” that it just makes me ask myself if Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone, the two people who have writing credits for “Life of the Party,” which if you think about it, makes sense since they’re husband and wife, watched “Bad Moms” and thought about slightly remaking it with a plot heavily involving college! Once I saw a scene where the daughter is trying to get the mother to change her look and her outfit, I just questioned my very existence on this Earth. It very much reminded me, although not nearly as much, of how “The Emoji Movie” might as well be a carbon copy of “The LEGO Movie” and “Inside Out!” F*ck this movie!

By the way, not that it’s relevant, but why did “Bad Moms” have to try to convince us that Mila Kunis is ugly? She was #2 on AskMen’s Top 99 Women for 2013, she was Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive in 2012, and she’s been on Maxim’s Hot 100 list more than once! Just askin’, that’s all. I mean, maybe I guess it shows Kunis’s range, but I don’t see her as ugly.

In the end, “Life of the Party” is probably worth putting to death. I don’t think there’s another movie I saw this year that is worse than this piece of s*it. Melissa McCarthy plays herself. The jokes are conventional and unfunny. And after watching this schlock, I… kinda lost the will to live. So, if I die soon, I just want everyone to know, I’d prefer a funeral over cremation or backyard burial, and if any of my close friends or relatives, that includes parents, have more important things to do, it’s all cool. In fact, you don’t have to make it sad and depressing, you can even do a dance party with energetic music as some people go around my casket to symbolize my youth! “Life of the Party” is nothing but a lazy cash-in! It stole my $5 Fandango promo code I won on this year’s Monopoly Collect & Win Game available at several grocery stores, not to mention some of my mother’s money on a card! And before I give my final verdict, why do I always have to go the theater and watch a terrible movie on Mother’s Day? In 2016, I watched “Mother’s Day,” one of the most horribly written cash-ins on a holiday of all time. In 2017, I watched “The Circle,” which wasted the talent of a ton of big actors including but not limited to Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, and Patton Oswalt. This year, it’s “Life of the Party.” Thanks, Hollywood for a wonderful streak! I’m going to give “Life of the Party” a 1/10. Speaking of opinions on this movie, someone on IMDb reviewed the movie and they said it reminded them of the sitcom on “Family Guy” Brian and James Woods worked on minus the monkey. Personally, that nails the movie on the nose. It’s unfunny, wild, and while it seems predictable in some ways, it’s unpredictable in worse ways than one can imagine.

Thanks for reading this review! Next weekend, “Deadpool 2” is out in theaters, and I have my eyes set on seeing it around that time, so stay tuned for my review for that if I ever get around to it! Also, be sure to stay tuned for the third review in my series of Tom Cruise “Mission: Impossible” films, “Mission: Impossible III!” Aside from those two things, be sure to stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Life of the Party?” What did you think about it? Or, did you guys see “Tammy?” I actually want to know your thoughts on that too. I say that because the same director who did this movie directed “Tammy” and I honestly want to watch “Tammy” to compare both films side-by-side! I heard “Tammy” was widely regarded as an atrocity, but I want to know some specific thoughts from those who have seen it. Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!