The Post (2017): Streep and Hanks Spread the News and Define History in This Spielberg Flick

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! It is time for the third installment of this ongoing Steven Spielberg Month, where I will be reviewing four of the many movies Spielberg has created over the span of his career. Spielberg has created films with action like “Raiders of the Ark” and “Minority Report,” but today, we are doing a reverse Elvis Presley. A little less action, a little more conversation. That is because we are tackling one of Spielberg’s most recent outings, “The Post.” Nominated for two Oscars, this film was met with acclaim. Let us hope that the Movie Reviewing Moron will have something to say to add to this film’s endless stream of positivity. Here we go.

“The Post” is directed by Steven Spielberg (Lincoln, The BFG) and stars Meryl Streep (The Giver, The Iron Lady), Tom Hanks (Toy Story, Cast Away), Sarah Paulson (Studio 60 on Sunset Strip, Game Change), Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad, Nebraska), Tracy Letts (Lady Bird, Wiener-Dog), Bradley Whitford (The West Wing, The Handmaid’s Tale), Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek, Young Justice), and Matthew Rhys (Brothers & Sisters, The Americans). This film is about the first woman newspaper publisher and her editor as they uncover a history changing revelation that had been hidden for four presidencies.

I started Scene Before in 2016. Therefore, I have reviewed a lot of movies since then. Despite seeing previews, I have never gotten around to reviewing, or even watching, “The Post.” The film had a lot of potential from one of the most acclaimed actors and one of the most acclaimed actresses coming together to lead the picture. In addition, Steven Spielberg is behind the camera. Despite the potential, I skipped this film. I was excited to finally give it a watch at home since I had a used copy of the 4K Blu-ray on standby. Physical media forever.

Safe to say, the film is quite good. Streep and Hanks, unsurprisingly, make for a marvelous on-screen pair as Katharine Graham and Ben Bradlee respectively. Cast members who are not quite at the level of top billing like Jesse Plemons and Will Denton also have moments to shine as well. Steven Spielberg delivers another win for his career on top of his many others. The screenplay, which was written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer is undoubtedly compelling. I should not be surprised that the screenplay is as solid as it is, as Singer has previous experience in writing excellent journalism-centered storytelling. In addition to “The Post,” Singer also wrote “Spotlight,” for which he won two Academy Awards, specifically Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture. Having seen that film, I am not terribly shocked. I am also not terribly shocked that not long after those wins, Singer would once again utilize his creativity to effectively craft “The Post.”

Despite being a serious movie, it flies by. Honestly, despite being a couple hours, it felt like an hour and a half at times. It is that good. Pacing-wise, this is one of the better movies I have seen recently. Kind of like “The Post,” “Spotlight” came out as another one of these awards season darlings. I think both movies are equal in terms of entertainment value, a term I use lightly given both of these movies’ subject matters. Although as for which one I like better, I think it depends on where you look. “The Post” feels a bit more theatrical than “Spotlight.” Therefore, when it comes to technicality, that is one aspect where this movie dazzles. The costumes are rugged and transportive enough to make me feel like I am traveling back in time. A lot of the locations look extravagant and beautiful. To add to the antique touch, this movie was entirely shot on film, whereas “Spotlight” used the digital Arri Alexa XT.

Steven Spielberg is no stranger to starting off his movies with a compelling hook.

No pun intended.

In “Jaws,” you have the intro with the infamous music that continues to build whenever the shark is present. After that, you have that scene on the beach where the shark bites a girl in the water. Total intrigue. In “Jurassic Park,” the opening scene between the humans and the dinosaur shows off the menacing vibe these creatures can deliver. In “The Post,” we start off with soldiers fighting in Vietnam. I was not alive during the Vietnam War. In regards to history, I was still a baby when 9-11 happened. Although based on what I have learned in school, I know enough about the Vietnam War to recognize how significant and unfortunate it is from a U.S. perspective. I thought starting off here provided for an effective reminder of not only what the Vietnam War put a militaristic group through, but also what it did to the people of the country they were tasked with defending and honoring.

Now, this is not an action movie, it is not a war movie. War and politics are two defining traits within the story, but if you are looking for a war film in 2017, “Dunkirk” is probably your friend. That said, this one glimpse of action during the Vietnam War set the stage for what was to come. It took something so big to make something much smaller in scale appear more attractive.

This film dazzles from a technical perspective. Again, the costumes and locations look stunning. Speaking of stunning, the intricacies that go into how this movie was made are mind-boggling. The camerawork in this film occasionally felt so immersive that it highlighted some of the best direction of the year. The movie has a few long takes that felt perfectly planned and put me right in the room. There was a scene where I felt as if I was walking around the office of The Washington Post. It is like if Google Maps Street View theatrically transformed itself. Janusz Kaminski, a longtime collaborator with Steven Spielberg, worked on the cinematography for this film. While it was not nominated for an Academy Award, I think it is some of the finest of 2017 alongside Roger Deakins’s work in “Blade Runner 2049” and Hoyte van Hoytema’s craft in “Dunkirk.”

I often try to avoid politics on Scene Before. However, this is one of those cases where it must come into play. I say so because one of the notable aspects of “The Post” was its time of release. This film came out around the tail end of 2017, when Donald Trump was President of the United States. “The Post” almost comes as a tell as to whether history could repeat itself, because this movie reveals a lack of trust or full connection between the news and the government. At the same time, Donald Trump would consistently sideline or mock various news outlets and pick his favorites. This is an action he would continue to do even by the time he left office. If I saw this movie years ago, I would probably leave the theater thinking it is a relevant title and connect it to the importance of the 1st Amendment. This film has an ending that profiles such a thing beautifully.

Speaking of U.S. Presidents, Richard Nixon makes an appearance in this movie. There is a scene towards the end of the movie where we see a suited Nixon. We never see his face, it is almost like looking at The Banker from “Deal or No Deal” at times. Since this movie is based on true events, one touch that I thought was nice was the use of Nixon’s actual voice . The addition of Nixon’s real voice illustrated a specific scene’s point and perhaps delivered an emotional attachment that I would not have felt otherwise. Curzon Dobell is barely in the movie as Richard Nixon, but for the short time he is in it, he makes the performance a standout.

The story feels kind of Hollywoodized and some of the supporting characters do not stand out as much as others, but the film overall is worth a watch. The only other critique I can come up with is that this is one of John Williams’s lesser scores. The man is a genius, and his music during the movie works. But when it comes to his library, this is a score I am not going to remember as much as others.

In the end, “The Post” is a stellar look at how the United States changed journalism, and in turn, how journalism changed the United States. There is no surprise that a film like this could work. Coincidental or not, the timing of this story could not have been better. You have Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, and Steven Spielberg working together. On paper, this sounds like an absolute win. In execution, it is an absolute win. In other news, water is wet. While “Spotlight” may be a slightly better journalism-centered story, “The Post” is another example of how well journalism can be used as the centerpiece of a cinematic experience when given the right tools and context. If Josh Singer wants to do another movie about journalism I am there on day one. I think he is one of the best screenwriters working today. His work on the film with then newbie Liz Hannah, who would go on to co-write the funny political comedy, “Long Shot,” is superb. I am going to give “The Post” an 8/10.

Speaking of history, one thing I love about Steven Spielberg is his ability to successfully manage a couple feature-length directorial efforts in such short time. In 1993 he released both “Jurassic Park” and “Schindler’s List” within months of each other. Before making “The Post,” Spielberg directed one of my favorite films from him, “Ready Player One,” and he ended up shooting “The Post” while “Ready Player One” was in post-production. “Ready Player One” ended up coming out after “The Post,” but it goes to show that Spielberg is committed to his craft. When one door closes, another one opens. Sometimes he opens the other door back up after a while. There is a reason why I am doing a Steven Spielberg Month, and this is one of them. He is one of the best minds in the film industry today.

“The Post” is now available to rent or buy on VOD and is also available on DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K Blu-ray.

Thanks for reading this review! My next and final installment to Steven Spielberg Month is coming next Friday, October 28th, and it will be a review for Spielberg’s latest movie to have a wide release, “West Side Story!” I have seen the film twice and will watch it once more for review purposes. I am excited to finally talk about this movie given how I did see it in December 2021, but due to time constraints, I never got around to reviewing it. If you want to see my other reviews through Steven Spielberg Month, check out my thoughts on “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.” If you want to see this and more from Scene Before, follow the blog with an email or WordPress account! Also, check out the official Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “The Post?” What did you think about it? Or, did you see “Spotlight?” Tell me your thoughts on that movie! Do you like “The Post” or “Spotlight” more? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Judas and the Black Messiah (2021): A Fine Black Panther Film

“Judas and the Black Messiah” is directed by Shaka King (Newlyweeds, Mulignans) and stars Daniel Kaluuya (Queen & Slim, Black Panther), LaKeith Stanfield (Knives Out, Sorry to Bother You), Jesse Plemons (Game Night, The Irishman), Dominique Fishback (The Hate U Give, Project Power), Ashton Sanders (Moonlight, Captive State), Darrell Britt-Gibson (20th Century Women, Barry), Lil Rel Howery (Get Out, Uncle Drew), Algee Smith (Detroit, Earth to Echo), and Martin Sheen (The Amazing Spider-Man, The Departed). This film centers around a time where the Black Panther Party increasingly rose to prominence. When Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya) becomes chairman of the organization’s Illinois Chapter, criminal Bill O’Neal, who meets FBI Special Director Roy Mitchell, is assigned to infiltrate the group.

This film is based on true events that took place in the late 1960s. About thirty years before I was even born. Therefore, I have zero recollection on these events other than maybe hearing about them through school and perhaps the Internet. I’ve seen trailers for “Judas and the Black Messiah” multiple times, given how it is a Warner Bros. property and when I went to see films like “Tenet” and “The Little Things” in the theater, this film would be one that comes up. Each and every time I thought a couple things. The cast looked phenomenal, the performances might strike the heart, it might have a couple moments that sound great in a cinema, some of the camerawork looks really good, but as for whether the film would be for me, that was a big question. I say this because even do I do stand by events including the Black Lives Matter movement and many of the positive stories that have been spawned from Black History, I wondered if I, a straight white male, would connect with this film as much as someone who happened to be black. “BlacKkKlansman” was really good, I enjoyed that film quite a bit. And I am not saying I went in expecting to hate the film, because again, I had a relatively positive reaction to the trailers, I just went in wondering what exactly to expect, because not every film is made for the same individual. I mean, when it comes to expectations, I had ideas, but they were almost all over the place.

I walked out of “Judas and the Black Messiah” with some expectations met. The film looks and sounds like the revolutions themselves. Wide, loud, and clear. “Judas and the Black Messiah” has moments of excitement, intensity, and power. Experience-wise, I saw the film in Dolby Cinema, and unfortunately, I cannot recommend you go there, because I do not think it is playing in Dolby Cinema as of now with films like “Tom & Jerry” and “Raya and the Last Dragon” coming out after it. But there is a speech scene in this film, and I think those of you who have seen the film will know precisely what I am talking about, that pulled me into the scene and made me a part of the revolution. It was like I went back into the 1960s.

The absolute highlight of the film is the cast. Between Jesse Plemons, LaKeith Stanfield, and Dominque Fishback, “Judas and the Black Messiah” does not fail to deliver the goods in terms of performances. In fact, the man who may be the highlight of the film, Daniel Kaluuya, who plays Fred Hampton, is wonderfully obnoxious and has one of the most powerful voices I have heard in recent cinema. In fact, in between me watching and reviewing this film, Kaluuya won a Golden Globe for his performance, which I’d say was deserved.

Despite seeing trailers for this film, a small part of me felt like I was going into “Judas and the Black Messiah” rather blind, and I would not say I was disappointed with the film from a story perspective. They took a mighty revolution, made it theatrical, while at the same time, taking a fascinating detective story associated with it and having both elements be executed to a satisfying watch.

By the end of the film, I was on the edge of my seat. Now, I have touched upon various points of Black History in school, but keep in mind, if you have not guessed by now, I have gone to a school with mostly white kids, lived in a town with mostly white people, and mostly learned about white history under the direction of a public education system. So part of me did not really know what was coming at times, and when the movie came to an end, I was rather invested in what was going on.

One problem I had with the film, and this problem has admittedly become a Jack Drees trademark over the past couple years, is the pacing. The pacing is not horrible, but there are certain moments that feel slower than others. Let me just be clear, when it comes to the simultaneous theatrical/HBO Max debuts that have been coming out recently, if you watched “The Little Things” about a month ago and nearly fell asleep, I do not blame you, although I think “Judas and the Black Messiah” is more likely to keep you awake. Let’s move onto my next trademark problem, replay value. One of the advantages for having “Judas and the Black Messiah” on HBO Max while it is also in theaters is that you do not just have the option to watch it from home, but if you watch it at home, you can do so as many times as you want as long as you pay a monthly subscription. I saw the film in the theater, but if I watched it at home, it would be one of those films that I would turn on once, perhaps enjoy while it is on, until the point where I move onto the next thing. Maybe I’ll turn off HBO Max until “Tom & Jerry” pops up.

Nevertheless, these negatives do not imply that “Judas and the Black Messiah” was a waste of time, it just means that there are perhaps other priorities I would make before turning it on again. The performances, the atmosphere, the technical aspects, the direction, all of it is done with precise skill, but I would not watch “Judas and the Black Messiah” strictly for entertainment. Granted, the film is based on a true story, which in itself was not adapted solely for the sake of entertaining people, but telling a relevant piece of history for those who may or may not know about the subject matter.

In the end, “Judas and the Black Messiah” is one of those weird movies that I am into as I’m watching it, but as soon as I leave, part of me forgets just a tad of it every single day. I am not saying it is bad, but there are other films that I would watch first. If I had to compare it to another recent film experience, I’d go with “Dark Waters.” Remember that film from 2019 on the DuPont Scandal? It’s a good film, but it is one I do not think I recall all the way through. “Judas and the Black Messiah” may be worth a second watch, but part of it is because I may want to refresh my memory on what might have faded from the first experience. Do I recommend the film? You betcha. Can I tell you every single thing about it? No. Partially because it has been almost a few weeks since I saw it, and it is one film that I saw and happened to forget about the longer it’s been since watching it. Great performances, stunning vision, I just wish I liked it a little better. I’m going to give “Judas and the Black Messiah” a 7/10.

“Judas and the Black Messiah” is now playing in theaters wherever they are open, and for the next few days, keep in mind, it is going away soon, you can catch the film exclusively on HBO Max at no extra cost as long as you are subscribed.

Thanks for reading this review! Next week is the 3rd edition of the most important movie blogging awards ceremony in history, The Jackoff Awards! I am hard at work, making sure all the touches are finished, and much of that hard work will carry over into the next few days, but on Sunday March 14th, it is finally here! You’ll get an all new awards show with nominees, winners, a new edition of Film Improvements, a COVID-themed intro, a monologue, and a big announcement as to where Flicknerd.com will be headed in the future. Stay tuned! Speaking of staying tuned, keep up with my content by following Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account and liking the official Facebook page! Also, speaking of the Jackoffs, there is STILL TIME if you want to, that you can vote for Best Picture! I selected 10 films to be nominated, only one will win! CLICK RIGHT HERE to make your pick! I want to know, did you see “Judas and the Black Messiah?” What did you think about it? Or, did you watch the Golden Globes this past Sunday? Tell me your thoughts on those! Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Dark Waters (2019): WARNING: This Movie May Contain Man-Made Chemicals That Become Attached To You

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“Dark Waters” is directed by Todd Haynes (Carol, Velvet Goldmine) and stars Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight, The Avengers), Anne Hathaway (Interstellar, The Intern), Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption, Mystic River), Bill Camp (Molly’s Game, Vice), Victor Garber (The Orville, The Flash), Mare Winningham (Grey’s Anatomy, Amber Waves), and Bill Pullman (Independence Day, The Equalizer). This film is based on true events, it’s inspired by particular news articles, most notably Nathaniel Rich’s New York Times Magazine piece, “The Man Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare,” and is about a case involving the chemical company DuPont, who has been called out in the past for putting various dangerous man-made chemicals into products. Due to this, many deaths have occurred, some people have facial deformities, this movie basically focuses on some negative effects of the corporation. The movie dives deep towards the perspective of Robert Bilott, an attorney investigating the situation and its effects.

We are nearing the end of November, and with that in mind, it is perhaps without question that we as a moviegoing audience are being blessed with one god-like piece of material after another. Earlier this month I saw “Honey Boy,” an Amazon Original that made me argue whether or not Shia LeBeouf writes better than he acts. I soon saw “Ford v. Ferrari” which is one of the best racing movies I have ever seen. And the day before I saw this current movie that I’m talking about, I went to the cinema to go watch “Knives Out,” which is just pure fun. Enough said. It’s one of those movies that feels incredibly wild and it is all the better for it. Although unlike “Knives Out,” which I have been hearing about since some of the cast happened to be announced, I do not recall hearing much at all about “Dark Waters.” It’s one of those movies that just sneaked up on me. But I had a chance to go to a free screening on the day it opened in Boston, so I took advantage of that.

“Dark Waters,” on the surface, had a number of things going for it. It has a cool cast. Mark Ruffalo is pretty big right now, Anne Hathaway is one of my favorite actresses working today, and I should not go without mentioning Tim Robbins, who I did not know was in this movie until after I saw it, but he was in perhaps in 1994’s best film, “The Shawshank Redemption.” Let me just say something, this movie is no “Shawshank.” Not even close. I enjoyed it, but it’s no “Shawshank.” Part of why I feel this way is because of how much I tried to recall upon trying to write about this movie. Part of me almost forgot about a core element about the film and its screenplay in particular, which stood out to me when I saw it, but somehow it just slipped out of my mind almost as if this were a disposable comedy or something that I’ll watch once until I move onto the next thing.

But with that in mind, I still enjoyed what was in front of me. The story itself is one of those that I thought worked well for the big screen, even if it did take more than few moments to get me fully onboard. I think the performances given by multiple actors, leading and supporting, make this film watchable. I’d also say that it is an appropriate film for this time considering how it partially involves how big corporations are harming their consumers, plus to add onto that, the main message is about the environment and how we need to be aware of what we’re doing regarding it. Not only that, but we, the consumers, are not the only ones to blame for what’s being done. Will this film be forgotten over time? Hard to tell. It’s not the most popular film out right now, but at the moment, if a good number of people see it, it may reflect the current state of our environment to them.

I sort of mentioned this already, but the actors here do pretty well, and I think the two leads in particular, Mark Ruffalo and Anne Hathaway, have terrific chemistry and are extremely suitable for their roles. Mark Ruffalo plays an environmental lawyer who is trying to hold DuPont accountable and the movie managed to put me on his side, I also really enjoyed the moments where he was interacting with a farmer. That may have been one of the more hypnotizing scenes of the whole film.

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But if you ask me, the best performance in the film probably comes from Anne Hathaway, and this delights me to no end. Not just because I am a fan of Anne Hathaway, not just because she was in a few of my favorite movies ever, but also because she was just in a TERRIBLE movie this year called “Serenity,” which was a step down for her, and for a few others who were involved with that project as well. Now, Hathaway has bounced back with what I think may be one of my personal favorite performances from her. She plays the wife of the main character, and there are various scenes where she’s observing her husband doing things that might as well make him look bats*it crazy. Just about every execution of a line given by her was perfect.

I gotta say though, this movie has problems. It has been almost two weeks since I saw this in the theater, but even with that, this movie is a tad forgettable. I remember various portions of it, but it doesn’t feel like something that I’d salute for the rest of my life. I don’t know why, but this movie feels like a restaurant located in my town that I have only gone to once, liked, but because of competition, specifically in said town, there is a good chance I will not be returning anytime soon. The pacing was alright, but there is minor room for improvement. But I think the biggest flaw this movie has that I can think of is the ending. I say that because without going into spoiler territory, it feels incredibly abrupt. It’s not like the movie ends and it doesn’t make sense, but it ends leaving this weird taste in my mouth. I dunno… This is one of the weirdest movies I have seen this year. When I saw it, I enjoyed it thoroughly, but at the same time, I am having this weird spiral of memory loss when I try to think about it. For the record, I am twenty years old, not eighty. I think my memory itself is in rather good standing.

In the end, I do think “Dark Waters” is a really interesting, not to mention informative story. This movie I believe exists more to inform than to entertain, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I don’t know if they have ever done a documentary on this, but if not, I guess this is about the closest we’ll get to having a documentary. Hang on a sec… *Switches tab* WAIT! Just Googled it, there is a documentary. I take that statement back! I think the movie is well acted, well shot, the color grading kind of works for the film at hand, but I don’t think it’ll win best picture. Although this movie is from Participant, who made last year’s Best Picture, “Green Book,” so you never know. I should point out, it barely has a release whatsoever, so we’ll have to see how far this movie can expand before we make any further conclusions about box office, popularity, or overall potential to be recognized this award season. Until then, I’m going to give “Dark Waters” a 7/10.

Thanks for reading this review! My next review is going to be for “A Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood,” a movie which at one point, may have been one of my most anticipated of 2019. Will it live up to the hype? You’ll have to find out for yourself! Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account if you want greater access to the site, and also check out the Scene Before Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “Dark Waters?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite Anne Hathaway performance? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Roma (2018): My First Netflix Movie Review (Now The World Has Seen Everything!)

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“Roma” is directed by Alfonso Caurón (Gravity, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), stars Yalitiza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira and takes place during the early 1970s in Mexico City. The movie focuses on a house maid, alongside the owners of said house as they go through their daily lives.

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This movie actually is kind of special to me, because it is a certain type of movie that I have refused to see for years, and that is a Netflix movie. I make fun of Disney all the time, to the point where I wonder if someone dressed as Mickey Mouse would show up at my house and decide to strangle me. But the thing I can respect about Disney is they seem to be willing to keep the movie theater industry alive, even if all they do now consists of sequels, live-action remakes, Marvel movies, “Star Wars” movies, and an occasional based on book adaptation here and there. But the thing about Netflix that drives me nuts is that they already decided to kill the movie rental industry, the physical media industry, and they are still taking some money out of the movie theater industry. Come watch Sandra Bullock execute her most blinding role to date! …IN “BIRD BOX!” Now playing on a headphone jackless iPhone 7 near you! To this day, I have never chosen to sat down to watch a Netflix film, but if you have viewed my last post, I mentioned that this film was playing near me in 70mm, making Netflix look like a slightly bigger force in the cinema industry than I once witnessed. For that reason alone, I was able to forget about my Netflix avoidance for a couple of hours.

And I gotta say, on Netflix, aside from whatever you pay in advance per month, this movie is actually free. I looked at the tickets and found out they were nearly $20 each. But I gotta be real, it was worth every penny. This is one of the best 2018 movies I’ve seen! THE HYPE IS REAL! Alfonso Caurón, the director, writer, producer, cinematographer, and editor behind this film gave his 110% effort on this amazing thing they call a movie. I’ve heard prior to going into “Roma” that the movie happened to be Caurón’s most personal project to date, and it shows! This movie starts out with the camera endlessly gazing upon a floor, and we see water flowing back and forth. I imagine some people would find that as boring as watching paint dry (plus it is in black and white), after all titles are finished, the camera pans up as we see water inserting a drain. Without going into spoilers, and trust me, this is a common theme here, we see the movie end in a similar manner.

I first heard about “Roma” in December, and I’ve heard some people in the industry have found this film to be a true delight. And again, had I not known this was a Netflix movie, I probably would have looked for tickets immediately. But if I stayed away from this movie, chances are I wouldn’t have been able to experience its utter beauty both from a story and technical perspective. The film is shot digitally on an Arri Alexa 65, which is actually kind of interesting to me because the filmmaker chose to present this film in black and white, which is somewhat unique in my eyes for a widescreen movie, usually I think of the full frame aspect ratio when it comes to black and white. Not to mention in certain places, it got a 70mm release as mentioned. This movie managed to blend the feeling of old Hollywood together with new Hollywood in the best of ways.

I will say though, on paper, this movie reminds me of “Schindler’s List.” I say on paper only because I have yet to check out “Schindler’s List” and heard enough about it to realize how traumatizing of an experience it can be to watch such a movie. “Roma” was THAT movie. And I will warn everyone, I have not seen a single trailer for this film. I’ve seen posters, images, but no trailers as far as marketing goes. Aside from those little tiny glimmers of marketing and reviews from other people, I have heard practically nothing about “Roma” itself prior to going out and watching it in the theater. I figured for the sake of getting this review out as early as possible, while also trying to aid in providing the best possible experience for “Roma’s” potential audience, I don’t give a shred of the plot away. If you are curious, there is a synopsis on IMDb, and while I did know about certain things about this film going in, I didn’t know EXACTLY what was going to happen.

I will say though, one of the absolute best parts of the film is undoubtedly the main character of Cleo. For starters, she is played by Yalitiza Aparicio, and if that name does not sound familiar to you, I can understand why. After all, this movie was her debut as an actress, which honestly makes her performance more compelling than it already is. On IMDb, Aparicio is listed to be in “Roma” under “actress” and “soundtrack” and she only has two other credits overall, specifically her appearance at this year’s Golden Globes ceremony and her appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” during one of 2018’s final episodes. The way that Aparicio in this film is able to convey happiness, sadness, regret, calmness, and pain in just a single performance is amazing to me.

Speaking of Cleo’s character, one thing I found interesting is the way she was written in this film, because the character is a housemaid, and while she always has to be forced to do work all the time, she is almost like another member of the family. There are certain scenes where I get a vibe where she is treated like a servant to royalty and others where I get a sense that she is treated like someone who is higher up on the ladder for opportunity. I won’t go into detail, because, again, I have to be vague.

Technically speaking, “Roma” is one of the best films of the year, because it manages to execute a couple of things I don’t traditionally see in a film. From the black and white presentation to the beautiful cinematography to the stellar direction, I was wholeheartedly impressed. Aside from the once mentioned opening and closing shots in the film, “Roma” has numerous scenes which go on for a long time, and they are actually more impressive than said opening and closing. Like, mind-blowing impressive. I honestly have to thank Netflix for actually keeping my people in mind, because if it weren’t for your actions of actually showing this movie in theaters, I would have avoided it at all costs.

In the end, “Roma” is the best Netflix movie I have seen to date!

NOTE: It’s also the only one, so it is also the worst.

Will “Roma” actually get me to buy Netflix’s service? Maybe encourage me to seek out more Netflix content? Perhaps get me to choose Netflix over chilling? No. Maybe the second part would happen should more content from Netflix be put in theaters, but this movie was a surprise if there ever was one. It is nice to see movies that can provide a personal touch, the director of this movie had such a large amount of control over the project to the point where no studio could basically interfere with his work. And what do we get? This. “Roma” had not even a singular, solitary flaw present. Maybe the pacing could turn off some people, but once we get to the twenty minute or thirty minute mark, this movie starts getting GOOD. I also wouldn’t say I’d recommend for everyone to go see this movie. After all, it’s already on your cell phone. But in all seriousness, “Roma” was worth every penny, and it is deserving of a 10/10! Also, Netflix, not to sound demanding, I know physical media isn’t your first idea of a hoot, but I would be willing to buy your movie on Blu-ray should you decide to put in that format. You hear that Netflix? I’m actually willing to buy something from you! Take that into consideration while you can! Thanks for reading this rare Netflix movie review! Speaking of streaming services releasing movies in theaters, Amazon just came out with a film recently and I happened to go see it. Be sure to stay tuned for my review of “Cold War,” coming soon. Also, next week, I am planning to release my nominees list for the 1st Annual Jackoff Awards, the most serious and prestigious awards ceremony of all time! Eat your heart out, Academy! Be sure to follow Scene Before for free with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Roma?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite Netflix movie? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Netflix FINALLY Wins Me Over! *By Theatrically Releasing Roma in 70mm*

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! If you have seen my recent post on the Scene Before Facebook page or if you have seen my recently posted “Green Book” review (check it out if you haven’t already), you may have noticed I have announced a “surprise post” coming your way. Well, surprise! Today we are going to talk about a company I am kind of opposed against, Netflix.

Image result for netflix

My history with Netflix is pretty simple. I don’t use them. If you are the prime killer of one of my all time most prominent childhood memories (Blockbuster Video), chances are I’m gonna have to resist you. Plus, I still collect physical media to this day and that also seems to be a market Netflix is sort of killing, much like how iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and Pandora seem to be killing physical media for music. Although if I am correct, I could be wrong because vinyl seems to be making a comeback in some ways. I have watched things on Netflix, but I never technically had a Netflix account. For a film studies class in high school, I watched “Moana” and “Altered Carbon” on Netflix with my class. My sister, who uses Netflix, was watching “Family Guy” and I happened to be in the room with her while it was playing on the service. Netflix also produces their own original content, none of which I have watched religiously, no matter how many good things I’ve heard about “Stranger Things,” “The Crown,” or even “House of Cards.” It’s not just TV shows, they even produce and distribute movies. A couple notable Netflix movie titles include “Death Note,” “The Cloverfield Paradox,” “Mowgli,” “Bright,” “The Ridiculous 6,” and motherf*cking “Bird Box.” When is everybody gonna stop talking about “Bird Box?!” These movies have gone straight to Netflix’s service for anyone to stream if they have an account. Some of these movies, kind of to my surprise, have done pretty well. Seemingly well enough to keep a number of people out of the movie theater, yet another industry I don’t want to see taken away because of these hooligans. This not to say that they haven’t done theatrical releases through these years. Orson Welles had a lost film in the vault which has been recently distributed by Netflix, which did play in theaters for a limited run. “Mudbound” is another film that comes to mind, which actually received four Oscar nominations in the 90th Academy Awards. But if I were to watch one of these movies, part of me would hate myself, because I feel like I partially killed the movie theater industry.

However, there has been a single exception to this list that I’m aware of (well, sort of). Last year, I watched “Annihilation” on its second weekend. Part of me was excited for that film because I saw it was directed by Alex Garland, who directed “Ex Machina,” an artsy, well put together sci-fi flick that shows what happens when we try to get robots to be as realistic and lifelike as possible, and perhaps contain emotional thoughts, including ones related to sexuality. I saw “Annihilation” because where I live, specifically the United States, they released the film in theaters. But I also took into consideration that the film is also a straight to Netflix flick in other countries. I even know someone who attended my high school film studies class I mentioned earlier who said they went to Brazil and they had “Annihilation” running on their Netflix service so that person watched the movie. I will also say, for the record, Netflix didn’t technically release the film in the United States, Paramount did. So from my point of view, I am supporting Paramount, not Netflix. If I saw Netflix was doing a complete worldwide distribution, chances are I would have skipped seeing “Annihilation.”

This leads me to my next point, which is actually going to be the main topic of this post, one of the most recent releases from Netflix, “Roma” has been getting a lot of buzz lately. It has a 96% on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. Popular and notable sources like Time, Variety, Rolling Stone, Vulture, and Vanity Fair have all considered it to be the Best Picture of the year. Not to mention, it won Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes, and happened to be nominated for two other awards, including Best Director, which the movie took home. At the Critics Choice Awards, the movie was nominated for eight awards and ended up taking home four, including Best Picture. I heard a lot regarding this film, and even some people in the industry have noted this film’s excellence. Once I saw the Netflix brand name though, I took a step back and ignored all possible opportunities of trying to watch “Roma.” By the way, for those who have a Netflix account, the movie is free to watch at the moment. Hey, I said I’m against Netflix! Not their customer base!

I would love to be able and sit back, turn on Netflix, watch “Roma,” but based on personal values, I can’t. But something happened recently that caught my attention.

If you know me in real life, chances are I try to catch as many movie screenings on film as I can. Most of the movie theater industry has now settled for digital projection, which may be easier to operate, but the reality is that film projection is kind of an art form, and some would even point out differences in detail between film and digital with film being better. I’m on the side that says film is typically more detailed. “Roma” is taking advantage of film stock to my surprise. Now, the film was shot digitally on an Arri Alexa, so in terms of filmmaking, the advantage wasn’t present there, although the film is presented in black and white so that could add an old-timey touch. But the thing that stood out to me is that Netflix is surprisingly trying to put this in more theaters than I’d expect, INCLUDING ones with 70mm equipment.

Article from Last December on Roma’s 70mm Locations (Published by IndieWire)

When I first heard about this, I thought this was very cool. There is actually a list of theaters to be doing this online, but none of them were closeby. For the record, I live in eastern Massachusetts, and the closest theater to me was in Hartford, Connecticut. While I would have LOVED to go all the way to Hartford, I don’t have my own car, nor do I have a license. Plus, if I were to make the trek there with anyone else, they’d probably be bored driving out of their minds. But who knows? Maybe the trip would have been worth it. We could have grabbed some food on the way, watched the movie, maybe even stay in Hartford overnight and see some notable sights the following day. That is… if it already happened, but it didn’t. So I still have the opportunity to go to Hartford.

But I am not taking it. I just got back to college and I want to make sure I stay as close to home as possible on various occasions. I’ll still go out and see movies, I mean, why wouldn’t I? But just not in Hartford. Maybe in Providence if something is playing there in IMAX 70mm.

I am not suggesting or implying that there are no 70mm equipped theaters less than an hour or so away from me, even 35mm equipped theaters for that matter. In fact, there are a couple. In the Boston area, they have the Somerville Theatre and the Coolidge Corner Theatre. I went to both theaters last year and they are nothing short of fantastic. This brings me to another main point. I have a Twitter account.

*SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION ALERT*

Follow me on Twitter! If you want to see more of my moronic thoughts, go to Twitter, type JackDrees in the search bar, find my account, which as mentioned, has the handle “@JackDrees” and let the magic happen! Over there you’ll find crazy statements, livetweets (beware of spoilers), my quick two cents on things that I decided not to post on here, and occasional appearances in hashtag games. DO IT NOW!

MY TWITTER

Anyway, on Twitter, I was typing away, trying to look over more grammatical mistakes than my current president tends to look over. One of my final posts of 2018 was this:

I tweeted this back on December 21st, and I don’t know whether or not Netflix, Alfonso Caurón, or someone else behind this movie happened to be stalking my account, but several days later, this could be found on Coolidge Corner Theatre’s Twitter feed.

Once I saw this, I knew there was a treat, and I was likely just about to be in for it.

AND I AM!

This Saturday, I’m actually going to see this movie at the Coolidge Corner in 70mm. I never thought that Netflix would actually consider being at least a minor force in the movie theater business, but now, they seem to be teaming up with theaters more often. Granted, they still have ways to go before they can become a true force, they need to do more releases in multiplexes as opposed to just doing limited releases. In fact, maybe what they could do is operate like Amazon. While Amazon is yet another one of those companies I can’t stand, I can tolerate them compared to Netflix because their business model is to come out with a movie in theaters, and after awhile, it becomes free on their service, while still managing to release physical media. The point is, Netflix won me over for once. I’m actually going to see “Roma.” I said some time ago that perhaps the only way that Netflix will get me to subscribe to their service is if they revive “King of the Nerds” for a fourth season. This will not get me to subscribe to their service, but it’s getting me to see Netflix content, which to me, is a true feat.

Again, I am seeing “Roma” on Saturday, and my review for it will be up maybe a day or two after. I am admittedly busy on Saturday and Sunday, but Monday is Martin Luther King Day so I may have some free time to do things like blogging. Only time will tell. Nevertheless, I want to thank Netflix for keeping moviegoers in mind in an age where digital streaming, not to mention digital projection, is seeming to trump other ways which we consume media. Thanks for reading this post! I don’t know how “surprised” you guys are, but to me, this felt like a surprise, so this is why I marketed the post as such a thing. But still, hope you enjoyed the post and look forward to my review for “Roma!” Speaking of movies, I might be going to see “On the Basis of Sex” pretty soon, so if I do, my review for that will be up as soon as possible. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with a WordPress account or email so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, have you checked out, or are you going to check out “Roma” in 70mm? I’m actually quite curious about it because the movie was actually shot digitally from start to finish so I don’t know what it will be like on the screen. Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Green Book (2018): Deserving of Green Marks

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“Green Book” is directed by Peter Farrelly (There’s Something About Mary, Hall Pass) and stars Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic, Lord of the Rings) and Mahershala Ali (House of Cards, Moonlight) as an Italian guy who is down on his luck and a black guy who seems to have ten times the luck the Italian guy has. These two eventually meet each other, get to know each other, drive around the country together while simultaneously making stops for the black guy’s trio tour. Throughout we see the bits and pieces of 1960s racism, a bond between two men which at the time, seemed unlikely, and the development of our main characters to adapt into alternate versions of themselves by teaching each other hallmark traits associating with one person or the other.

This movie is based on the true story of Tony Vallelonga and Don Shirley, who surprisingly I don’t know much about. To be completely clear, I am not surprised I don’t know about Don Shirley, I am not that much of a loyal follower when it comes to the music industry. However, it has recently come to my attention that Vallelonga has done acting jobs over a few points of his life. He appeared in eleven episodes of “The Sopranos,” and by an enormous coincidence, he played a character in “Goodfellas.” I say enormous coincidence because I recently purchased the 4K edition of the film. Not that it matters entirely, just saying. Nevertheless, despite my lack of knowledge towards these two individuals, I gotta say this movie was really quite enjoyable. In fact, a part of me shouldn’t be surprised that is the case. After all, I just watched the Golden Globes and this movie was nominated for five awards, taking home three, including Best Musical or Comedy.

I saw “Green Book” last Friday, and to be honest, I probably would have still watched this movie at some point, regardless of whether or not it actually took home Best Picture. I’ve pondered over seeing it for months, but now is the time when I finally get around to it. One of my highest expectations was towards the performances by our two leads, Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali. Those two performances did not disappoint. One thing that almost sounds crazy at first is the thought of them having decent chemistry because one person (Mortensen) is rather dynamic and the other person (Ali) is almost robotic. My first sight of Ali in this film made me think of him as a robotic religious figure.

One of the best parts of the movie to me is something that I perhaps started thinking about a little more as I age. A question that sometimes comes up in my mind is: How many people have to follow their own market? As my brain has developed over the years, I realize I am coming across more and more stereotypes as days go by. In this film, one of the scenes where the duo are in the car together shows them listening to music and one of the songs is done by an artist who according to Mortensen is “Ali’s people.” It almost makes me think about my own life. I am going to name a number of movies I still have not seen and chances are that I am going to make you mad once I tell you what those said movies are.

  • Rocky
  • A Fistful of Dollars
  • The Godfather
  • Goodfellas
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Forrest Gump
  • The Green Mile
  • Gremlins
  • 12 Angry Men
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • The Departed
  • Get Out
  • Airplane

You guys mad? I could go on, but I’ll spare you all from getting any angrier.

The point is, with that scene in mind, I was reminded that you don’t HAVE to like something just because society tells you to. Just because I’m a straight white male, doesn’t mean I have to love Nickelback. Just because I live in the United States, where Donald Trump is currently president, it does not mean I have to like Donald Trump. Just because I don’t like Donald Trump, it does not mean I have to like Hillary Clinton even though that is apparently how some members of society like to put things into perspective.

Also, this movie is surprisingly funny. Sure, there is a comedy aspect to this film from the way it is marketed. But I didn’t think it would be as funny as it was. Granted, it’s not roll on the floor laughing funny like “Anchorman” or “Game Night” or “The Hangover.” However, when considering the number of lines that gave me a happy go lucky feeling, it sort of felt surprising. I mean, when I found out this was directed by one of the guys who did “There’s Something About Mary” it kind of makes sense. Nevertheless, this movie, while it was definitely intended to be comedic, was surprisingly, well, comedic. It’s especially surprising when you consider the storyline, the vibe, and the time period which this movie takes place. I figured some serious s*it would be going down at a certain point. And it does, but it does not take away the fact that this movie delivered comedy effectively while simultaneously being kind of a shocker.

But really, at its heart, what “Green Book” truly is from my point of view, is a feel good story. It almost feels like that end of the day story you’d hear on CBS Evening News. With the formation of a friendship that seemed rather unlikely at the time, and some laughable moments, it is easy to call this film something that associates with feeling fulfilled. I talk a lot about comic book movies and how I sometimes wish the script sometimes has more dark moments as opposed to moments that come off as safe or kid-friendly. But in a movie about two different races interacting with each other, trying to change who they are, or in some cases, the other person, I wouldn’t settle for anything else but a feel good story. More specifically, in this particular case I wouldn’t settle for anything else.

Also, without spoiling anything, there is this one moment in the film involving a green rock. It’s actually surprisingly funny and also kind of clever. I won’t go into detail, I’ll just say, see the movie for yourself to find out what I’m talking about.

In the end, “Green Book” is a well done, well put together, and overall interesting flick. It blends comedy and drama with excellence, the chemistry between the two leads almost couldn’t be any better, and the story was very fascinating to observe. I also must point out, there are a couple scenes involving Kentucky Fried Chicken in this film, and while the movie didn’t exactly make me hungry for KFC, it did however make me think that this is actually pretty effective product placement. It doesn’t feel over the top, and it’s actually kind of hilarious. This movie is based on a true story, but the product placement feels incredibly well done to the point where I didn’t even care whether or not the KFC bit actually happened in real life. As someone who had to suffer through “Uncle Drew” months back, I truly appreciate this. I’m going to give “Green Book” an 8/10. Thanks for reading this review! I just want everyone to know that I am going to see a movie this weekend, but I’m not going to reveal what it is, because I would prefer to reveal it in a surprise post which will be up by the end of the week. Speaking of posts, I will have everyone know that I decided on the EARLIEST POSSIBLE DATE for the announcements of my personal nominations of my first annual Jackoff Awards ceremony. That earliest date is going to be Sunday, January 27th. If something happens before then, I’ll probably postpone the announcements to maybe a day or two after, perhaps even into the month of February depending on how things work out. Nevertheless, look forward to that and more great content coming soon! If you want to see such great content, be sure to follow Scene Before either with a WordPress account or email! I want to know, did you see “Green Book?” What did you think about it? Or, what is a movie you enjoy involving long car trips? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Wonder (2017): Face the Facts

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“Wonder” is directed by Stephen Chbosky, and stars Jacob Tremblay (Room, The Smurfs 2), Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman, Ocean’s Eleven), Owen Wilson (Wedding Crashers, Cars), Izabela Vidovic (About a Boy, The Fosters), and the movie revolves around a young boy named August Pullman. He is what one would consider unique, and if you watch this film and observe his face, you’d understand why. The movie covers what’s going on as this boy enters the fifth grade and goes to a regular elementary school for the first time.

This movie is based on a New York Times Bestselling Novel. Now, I’m gonna restate something I said about books in a review I made prior to this one, specifically in my review for “The Firm.”

“…movies are more fun! Sorry, books!”

As a movie reviewing moron, you might already know I enjoy watching movies as opposed to reading books. Even though I imagine this book is very good, I just haven’t gotten around to reading it. Although as for the movie, I’d say it was enjoyable, but not perfect. It has a great cast, I like Owen Wilson in a lot of the stuff he’s in and he’s great here. In fact when it comes to casting, the resemblance between him and the young main character is hard to top! Just look at their hairstyles! Julia Roberts was also on her A-game, I haven’t really seen much of her work, but I know how much others praise her. Jacob Tremblay proves that he means business. I honestly think he’s one of the best child actors working today. Months before going to see this, I’ll have you know I watched “Room” and I thought that was one of the best movies of 2015. It’s in my top 3 with “The Martian” and “Star Wars Episode VII.” That movie had one of the best screenplays of the decade, Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay had some of the greatest chemistry in a movie released that year, and there’s a part of me that wants to talk about it with everybody. Seriously! If you haven’t watched “Room,” see it now! If you have Amazon Prime then it’s free to watch!

This movie also has an intriguing screenplay that offers moments of happiness, sadness, and laughs. However, it also offers moments that I just want written off entirely. I remember having my verdict in mind as the movie was coming to an end and I hear this one line given by Owen Wilson’s character given to Jacob Tremblay’s character and it took that grade I had and I shrunk it down. I won’t say what it is, but it made me think of the line as unrealistic not only by the standards of what’s happening in the film but it also made me think that if I were the age of Jacob Tremblay’s character, I’d go through the scene reacting in a much different way. Let’s just say it starts with Jacob Tremblay freaking out over something and then he suddenly is calmed down by a line I assume that was supposed to get the audience to remember what this movie’s main point is. Speaking of Jacob Tremblay, let’s move onto him.

Jacob Tremblay plays the film’s main character, August Pullman. He has a facial deformity, which triggers a bunch of reactions from various characters. While his family seems to understand what happened to his face, after all, it’s his family I’m talking about, I don’t know why they wouldn’t understand, other people are either freaked out by it, think he’s a loser, or simply different. I honestly don’t know many people with facial deformities, but I’d say for younger viewers watching, this character can be important for those who have deformities or even if they don’t, regardless of whether or not they know someone with deformities. Luckily this movie is PG, so I’d say parents would be more likely to bring their kid to the movie theater to see this than some other films. I will also say I can relate to this character, and it kind of has to do with the part that makes him a kid. I say this because legally speaking, I’m an adult, but simultaneously, I still have childish traits, mainly the fact that I have a deep fanaticism for “Star Wars.” Yes, many adults enjoy “Star Wars,” but George Lucas, director of several installments of the “Star Wars” saga once said “it’s a film for 12-year-olds.”

Speaking of “Star Wars,” this film also interjects brief appearances from multiple “Star Wars” characters, including Darth Sidious and Chewbacca. I can only wonder how much this cost because this film is from Lionsgate, and “Star Wars” is owned by Disney. I never read the book, and it’s possible that this is faithful to the source material, maybe it cost nothing and Disney thought this was cool. By the way, the guy who plays Chewbacca (Michael Alan Healy) actually pretty much only plays him and nobody else. I checked his IMDb and that’s the only character that would show up on his page. He played Chewbacca on the “Today” show, he was on two “Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards” shows as the character, he was Chewie on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” and he was even on “Deal or no Deal” as the same wookie. In fact, I remember the episode he was on because I’ve seen it, and it was a special episode with a “Star Wars” theme where it was a “Winner Take All” match between two contestants. Chewbacca appeared alongside R2-D2 to support the contestant. Also, the other contestant actually had Carrie Fisher rooting for her! Not only that, but for the Carrie Fisher contestant, she was playing a game where the models were Stormtroopers. And Darth Vader was the banker for both contestants!

Alright, those are my “Star Wars” and “Deal or no Deal” rants for now, sorry if those inconvenienced you. Anyway, back to business.

As far as the parents go in this movie, I already said a few things about them, but in all seriousness, their chemistry with each other was completely believable. I also bought into the chemistry between them and August. This is an interesting moment when you have a child actor playing a major character in the movie and instead of the traditional situation where the child can’t act and the adults can, the adults tend to be more of a highlight than a downfall, everyone here however tends to shine. It doesn’t really surprise me. All of these people have received positive criticism as time passed, and honestly, Jacob Tremblay might even be a better actor than a lot of adults. Although to be fair you can put any kid up against Tommy Wiseau from “The Room” and consider them to be a better actor.

JOHNNY (played by Tommy Wiseau): (GOING THROUGH DOOR ONTO ROOFTOP) I did not hit her, it’s not true! It’s bulls*it! I did not hit her! (WHILE THROWING WATER BOTTLE ONTO GROUND) I did *not*. Oh hi, Mark.

August also has a sister in this movie named Olivia, or Via for short. There weren’t too many good images I could find of this character, so I hope this poster isn’t too bad. What kind of surprised me about her character is how nice and considerate she was to others, even to her own brother. I often come across and imagine many relationships where siblings fight each other. In reality, this would be rather odd considering Via’s age, but still. I liked her story, for the most part. I say for the most part because she does interact someone in the movie and at times I felt that the way their relationship was going just came off as a bit forced. Not to mention, some of the dialogue regarding this relationship was rather cheesy, not as bad as say “Star Wars Episode II” but it felt like I was reading some crappy fanfiction written on someone’s Blackberry. No, not “Fifty Shades of Grey,” I’m thinking of something imaginary and a lot less on the mature side of the spectrum.

There are a number of kids August meets in the movie, one of the first ones he talks to when he enters school goes by the name of Julian, who you may know as Herman from “Walk the Prank,” and there was one moment of the movie that just caught my eye. There was a point where the film basically villainized him and he was talking with the school’s principal. Speaking of the principal, his character goes by the name of Mr. Tushman, played by Mandy Patinkin, who you may know from “The Princess Bride” and “Homeland.” His character honestly brought some very forced humor that just didn’t land. Going back to Julian, he was talking with the principal and his parents are there. The focal point of the conversation is August, and Julian is basically saying that he is against August and his parents side with him. They even say there’s a reason to be against him just because of the way he looks. It just makes me wonder, how many people are like this? It might as well show that either parents will defend their children no matter what, maybe they think their kid is “always right,” the parents might have a bias because their kid says something, and not everyone has the same experiences with certain people. It also sometimes just goes to show how people will judge you based on your appearance. I can’t really say I’m male model material, but I imagine some people think I look presentable. How often do people get past what they see and just focus on what they learn through basic conversation? What if Meg from “Family Guy,” a character usually considered ugly not only by society, but also by her own family, had more friends just because they were interested in what she had to say? By the way, it’s always interested me she’s that way because she’s played by Mila Kunis and she’s f*cking gorgeous!

In the end, “Wonder” is a film that I believe many people wouldn’t mind watching at least once. I’d say it’s got problems, but at the same time, I don’t think people should stay away from it completely because it is a good story for families and children. I really do think that younger audiences can enjoy and take something from this movie, and not just because it partially involves “Star Wars” but because the movie’s about inclusion, fitting in, and how certain friends can surprise you in both pleasant and unfortunate ways. Upon looking at his IMDb, this is the third thing I’ve seen featuring Jacob Tremblay, the other two things were “Room” and one episode of “American Dad!,” I can’t wait to see him in future works if I get the chance. I’m gonna give “Wonder” a 7/10. Thanks for reading this review, I just want you to know if you haven’t already, you should try checking out Stardust.

Stardust is a free app you can download on the App Store and Google Play. It can be used by people to provide reactions to movies and TV shows. Let’s say you finished watching the latest episode of “Game of Thrones,” you can record a thirty second video (at maximum) where you reveal your thoughts and you can provide a rating from 1-5 stars towards the episode you’re focusing on. Worried about revealing spoilers? Keep those worries away! Stardust has an option that can warn others that your video contains spoilers! In fact, you don’t even have to see whatever it is you’re watching. If you haven’t seen “Revenge of the Nerds,” by the way, watch it, you can still talk about it. Maybe you’re about to watch it and you decide to give your thoughts going into it, or maybe you’ve seen the trailer or something, I don’t know. You can do all of that and you can also follow other people to see their latest reactions, by the way, follow my handle, JackDrees! Be sure to download the app, I recommend it, the app’s free, which makes it even better, and I hope to see you there!

I just want you to know that I’m a nerd, I might even be king of the nerds, and as the possible ruler, I want you to know that I recently posted a piece of nerdy material, otherwise known as my post documenting my time at 2017’s Rhode Island Comic Con. I went there, met more people than I’ve met at any other con I went to. I met someone who I’ve met in the past, and I even confused one guest for another! So if you’re interested in reading that post, I’ll have the link down below, that way you can go to the post and enjoy it! Stay tuned for more great content! Also, I want to know, what are your thoughts on Jacob Tremblay? Do you like him as an actor? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

RHODE ISLAND COMIC CON 2017 REVIEW AND HAUL: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/11/15/rhode-island-comic-con-2017-review-and-haul/