Top Movies of the 2010s (THE WORST 25)

Top Movies of the 2010s OFFICIAL POSTER

WARNING: This post is over 11,000 words long….

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Yes, for those of you have already seen my best list, that was the same intro I had on said list. The intro contains films of all kinds, including some that I don’t like, not to mention some on this upcoming countdown. To me, the intro is so nice that it must be played twice! Nevertheless, now that I have talked about my top 25 FAVORITE movies of the 2010s, now it is time to talk about my 25 LEAST FAVORITE movies of the 2010s! If you are new here, I will let you know that I do not normally do top 25 lists. It’s usually top 10s, nothing else. However, the end of the decade signifies a special occasion, therefore it is time for a special countdown. As I go down the list, I will provide an image signifying each movie, a video clip from said movie, and a description discussing in this particular case why I didn’t like the film. Again, I’ll mention that these are all films that *I* don’t like, all of the entries to this list are meant to reflect my personal opinions. I am not saying that you should dislike any of these films, I’m just letting you know that these are the films that did not end up working for ME. I would encourage you to hold your opinions, keep them close, and if you have not watched any of these films, maybe give them a gander and see how they pan out. Maybe you’ll end up liking one of these films, in which case that’s amazing, I wish I had the ability to do that. Also, speaking of not seeing films, I will remind you that I have not seen every single film that has come out in the 2010s. There was a lot crap dumped into the realm of cinema that I just did not have enough time to hit all of it. If you are curious about some of the films that won’t be on the list, I’m sorry to say, you won’t see me rage about “Vampires Suck” (2010), “Jack and Jill” (2011), “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012), “The Smurfs 2 (2013), “Left Behind” (2014), “Fifty Shades of Grey” (2015), “Masterminds” (2016), “Flatliners (2017), “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” (2018)and “X-Men: Dark Phoenix.” Also, each entry to the list must have a theatrical release of any kind or else it does not make the list. With all of that out of the way, let’s release ten years worth of stress! These are my top 10 WORST movies of the 2010s!

#25: Aloha (2015)

Have you ever seen a movie that feels like nothing happens for the entire runtime? And if something does happen, you’re either bored or you just don’t care? That’s what watching “Aloha” feels like! And you know what? This just goes to show that Emma Stone is not the only big problem in this movie! Because in terms of pacing, this movie is dull, so dull that it must be the reason I happened to have been so sleepy-eyed during this film. This movie is an hour and forty-five minutes, which is surprising because the movie honestly feels like a day. The chemistry between pretty much a majority of the characters is awkward for a good portion of the runtime, it’s even more so with Emma Stone in the mix because she apparently plays a character who is part Asian. I’ll give credit to the director, Cameron Crowe, for at least apologizing about this casting choice, but nevertheless, it was awkward. By the way, if you are curious, the guy also directed 2011’s “We Bought a Zoo,” which BARELY missed the list. Speaking of apologies, you know who also apologized? Emma Stone! Yeah! During the 76th Golden Globes held last year, co-host Sandra Oh is in the middle of the opening monologue as she congratulates “Crazy Rich Asians” for its Best Picture- Musical Or Comedy nomination and calls it “the first studio film with an Asian-American lead since ‘Ghost in the Shell’ and ‘Aloha.’” Stone’s response, heard around the crowd, “I’M SORRY!” I’ll give credit where credit is due, even people behind the film are willing to talk about its imperfections. Because yeah, no movie’s perfect. A lot of movies suck, some more than others. But in all seriousness, don’t let this movie’s cast fool you. Some names include Bradley Cooper, he has been getting tons of award buzz before this movie! The recently mentioned Emma Stone, who I will point out just did “Birdman” before this film released! Bill f*cking Murray! He’s a major part of the Gopher Extermination Committee in “Caddyshack,” a guy who will eradicate all the strange somethings in your neighborhood in “Ghostbusters,” and lived the same day over and over again “Groundhog Day!” And you have President Donald J. Tr—err I mean Alec Baldwin. Sorry, I get those two confused sometimes. Great actors, but it’s not enough! Just… Ha-WHY was this made?! Mahalo for nothing!

#24: Cop Out (2010)

From the director of “Clerks,” comes a comedic cop film so bad that it leaves me silent all the way through, I’m talking about “Cop Out.” I admire Kevin Smith as a person. I think he is a charismatic and lovable dude, but it does not alter the reality that he did a movie as bad as this. Although I am pretty sure it’s not just him that’s to blame, I’d also say that when it comes to casting, that is one of the film’s bigger failures. Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan just don’t work well as a duo. Plus, I should point out that Bruce Willis has been getting to the point around this time where he usually would pick bad scripts. This is why when I think of Bruce Willis, I would rather focus on some of his earlier work like “Die Hard” or “The Fifth Element” as opposed to this sack of malarkey. The main reason why this film is being put on the list is fairly simple. I didn’t laugh once. I will say, I did watch the film on a TV channel, so for all I know it could have been edited quite a bit, but even with the edits, the film is still dull and uninteresting. If Kevin Smith came up with the name “Cop Out,” I will give him some credit, because that is what this film feels like in the very end, a literal cop out. Again, I admire the dude, but your movie needs more work than a teenager’s teeth!

#23: This Means War (2012)

Up next is a steaming pile of garbage featuring a decent trio of actors, but just because you have decent actors, doesn’t mean you have a decent movie. “This Means War.” I actually remember first buying the movie on Blu-ray at Best Buy. When I bought it, I did so purely for the price. Heck, the thing was $5! How could I pass that up? I go to the cashier and he says that he likes the actors in the movie and somehow, he has never even seen it. I wish I could be that guy. Romantic comedies are not my goto genre for movies, but even if I were into those movies, chances are I would still give this a 1/10 because the characters suck, the writing sucks, and honestly, I’ve probably forgotten a good portion of the movie by now. I remember the opening action scene, the part in the video rental store, I know the main the plot involves a fight over a girl, but there’s not much else to point in terms of memorable moments from “This Means War.” It’s forgettable and boring, two of the worst adjectives you can ever give to a movie. $5 may be a good deal for a lot of movies when buying them on Blu-ray, but even if I had the opportunity to watch this for free, I’d be ripped off. And if the guy from Best Buy at Cambridgeside Galleria who checked my stuff out is reading this right now, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, and Reese Witherspoon are respectable actors, but if you want a respectable movie, look elsewhere.

#22: The Hurricane Heist (2018)

Coming in at #22 is “The Hurricane Heist,” when it comes to disaster movies, this one’s, well, a disaster. And I mean that on every level from writing to characterization, and to my surprise, marketing. I say that because when I heard a title like “The Hurricane Heist” during ads for this film, and I saw what the commercials made this movie look like, I thought it could be the cheesiest fun bad movie of its year. It’s not even close to being fun in any way whatsoever! It’s just dumb! Not dumb good, in fact, if it makes sense, dumb ass! I am somewhat surprised that I am not making this up, but this is true, and it kind of makes me giggle, in a movie that heavily involves drastic, unfortunate weather, not to mention lots of wind, one of the characters’ names is BREEZE. One of the writers for this film has to have thought about inserting some joke name into the script at some point, so Breeze might have been one of the goofy ideas tossed around the table! I wasn’t there for the writing process, but I would not be surprised if this is literally what happened! Also, get this, apparently four people have some sort of writing credit for this! Just goes to show, when you have four people writing a film, it’s four times as awful! For the record, this film is directed by Rob Cohen, who also directed films like “The Fast and the Furious” and “xXx.” Both of those films were some of the finest guilty pleasure-esque material to have come out in their time, at least in my opinion. As for this piece of crap, not so much. I’d rather have a hurricane last forever than see this movie ever again!

#21: Seventh Son (2014)

I wonder if I ended up watching this movie somewhere else, I would have enjoyed it more, but the reality is, I think “Seventh Son” is one of the worst fantasy movies this world has ever witnessed. In fact, I was staying in Delray Beach, Florida when I saw this. There was a small fraction of time where I had nothing really better to do, so I went to the movie theater and saw this piece of s*it. It’s a film that feels sort of by the numbers, rather predictable, and saddest of all, boring. In fact, I saw this movie with somebody else and at some point in the runtime, perhaps thirty to forty-five minutes in, it could have been earlier for all I know, the person alongside me just happened to fall asleep! That’s how boring this movie is! I have never fallen asleep to a film in the theater, but I’m pretty sure my pal’s reaction, was pretty similar to my reaction. The only thing that seems to have worked at certain points during the film may have been the visuals. And part of me feels somewhat bad for putting this on the list because the sound during the movie was just horrible. I could not make out a good portion of the dialogue that was being uttered, and having seen this film only once, I don’t know who to blame. I saw it in a theater that I only visited for this movie in particular, and never went to again because I live all the way in Massachusetts. So if it’s not the sound system’s fault, I have to blame the people behind this movie. But even with the confusing sound problem, this film is poorly paced, cliché, and does not really add anything of value to its genre.

#20: Transcendence (2014)

One of my favorite genres is sci-fi, so if a sci-fi movie made this list, you’d KNOW it’s just plain bad. Case and point, “Transcendence.” I missed this in the theater, but I bought the DVD eventually and when I had the chance to watch the movie from beginning to end, I regretted every single moment of that process. The movie starts out halfway decent with its exposition. The buildup to the main events, overall, is relatively fine. As a concept, the film is at least intriguing. But the movie gets worse the longer I go through it. It’s almost astounding the transition that it makes! The pacing is piss-poor, the story becomes boring, and the really disappointing part, at least for me, is the fact that the film is directed by Wally Pfister, who did the cinematography for multiple Christopher Nolan-directed films including “The Dark Knight,” “Memento,” and “Inception.” This guy is one of the best cinematographers I have ever seen, and to see him in the director’s chair and make… well, THIS, is baffling to me. The actors are at very least, tolerable, but it didn’t make the movie any better. When this movie reached the end, I was bored out of my mind and questioning everything on screen. Speaking of which, I should point out that when I bought my DVD copy for this film, I popped it in and started watching it once, maybe twice, and I fell asleep before I could ultimately get through the whole thing. For the record, I remember watching at late hours, so I had a reason to fall asleep. But I was wise to do such a thing. So maybe, I would end up recommending this film if you all need some proper material to fall asleep to. “Transcendence” is one of the interesting cases of how bad sci-fi can be sometimes, even though it is perhaps my favorite genre. 

#19: Pitch Perfect (2012)

2012 is such a strange year, because I honestly had different opinions about a lot of the popular movies that came out that year. I liked “The Guilt Trip” even though a lot of people announced their displeasure with it on the Internet. I find “The Hunger Games” to be more overrated than McDonald’s. And when it comes to “Pitch Perfect,” I just want to die every time I hear that movie’s title. I was forced to watch this movie with my family when it came out on DVD. The advertising did not impress me because it didn’t look like my type of movie. Although cases have shown that I can be surprised at times (Saving Mr. Banks for example). When I saw the movie, I did not just feel unfortunate because I was watching it, but I also felt infuriated. Listen, I love movies, and I am a little biased here, but when was the last time that a major movie character makes “hating movies” a key plot point IN A MOVIE? Maybe there are some cases when it would work, but this movie FAILED on that. It’s like you’re going into a Little Caesars and finding out that the guy who runs the register hates pizza more than anything else. They’ve officially crossed a line and need to pay. Also, those acapella puns… F******************************************** ME! I mean, I kinda like Anna Kendrick, I think she has talent. But this movie sucks! Fun fact about this film, one of its big marketing taglines was “GET PITCH SLAPPED.” And you know what? That’s what this movie feels like! A pitch slap! I’m just glad the marketing team nailed the movie on the nose! Deception sucks sometimes.

#18: Daddy’s Home 2 (2017)

When it comes to movies, one of my weaker areas is perhaps films associated with Christmas. But in 2015, I went out and saw “Daddy’s Home,” a film where Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are trying to outdad each other if you will. Ferrell is a dad, Wahlberg is the visiting dad, and I’ll be honest. The movie sucked. It was off the rails, insane, and I couldn’t buy a number of the things that were going on. Then… I saw the sequel, “Daddy’s Home 2.” IT GOT WORSE. I watched it for free on Prime, but that was the only GOOD part! That and Mel Gibson, his character was actually terrifically written, but overall the movie is just BAD! The mile a minute humor just didn’t work. There are sideplots that I really didn’t care all that much about. The chemistry between John Lithgow and Will Ferrell is perhaps embarrassing. I guess it’s… GOOFY but… WHY?! Every time the two wanted to kiss each other on the lips I felt like another one of my precious IQ points just ceased to exist. Seriously guys, if I make a grammatical error during this countdown, I think part of the blame will end up going to “Daddy’s Home 2.” And part of me, admittedly, is ashamed to be putting this on the list because I know a guy who has a kid who is trying to become an actress, and props to her. I’m glad she’s trying to fulfill her dreams. But she was in “Daddy’s Home 2.” So… I don’t know who this person is, and I am rooting for you, 100%, but this movie… DANG. I created this blog to be honest reviewer, what can I say? This is why I call myself the Movie Reviewing Moron. You know, maybe I’m just a moron at this point, I dunno. But in all seriousness, this is one of those comedies that I just watched that started out bad, and just climbed up the ladder of pain for me. Then the end came, and it fell off the ladder and suffered severe damage.

#17: Sharknado (2013)

Syfy, I love your respect and catering to the geek community, but I f*cking hate you sometimes. Why? Because you’re responsible for “Sharknado.” Let’s be real, I could include all six of these abominations on the list, but I can’t because not all of them were in released theatrically. YES! The first movie had a theatrical run for ONE NIGHT. It counts! For the record, I actually did not go see the movie in theaters when it came out, but I sat down and watched it at home in 2016. It was bad but it was also so bad it was funny. Then I saw it again in 2017, where I lost my s*it in just about every single frame. Wait a minute, so let me do the math here. It’s conventional for a film to be shown in 24 frames per second. “Sharknado” is on TV, but it is still a “movie,” barely, so it qualifies. “Sharknado” has a runtime of 1 hour, 27 minutes, and 17 seconds. There are 60 seconds in a minute, which leads me to multiply 24 by 60, which comes out to 1,440 frames for every minute of the movie. There are 60 minutes in an hour, leading me to multiply 1,440 by 60, which equals to 86,400 frames in an hour. The movie, once again, does not go over two hours. 1,440*27=38,880, which gives the total number of frames presented in 27 minutes. 86,400+38,880=125,280, meaning in that hour and twenty-seven minutes, viewers would see 125,280 frames whizzing by on their screens in just one s*itshow. But wait! Because I didn’t add the 17 extra seconds! 24*17=408. Adding that 408 frames to 125,280, that adds up to 125,688 frames for just one motion picture! That’s MORE than enough to make someone like me debate over watching this movie or getting eaten by a shark! Is Tara Reid hot? Yes. But it does not make for a quality movie. Are there cameos all over the place? Yes. But it does not make for a quality movie. I remember the old days when movies were just watching people walk around town. How did we get to flying sharks that have the ability to breathe outside of water? Like, what the f*ck?! I get that this is a ridiculous concept that is made for TV, where there’s probably a greater excuse for poor production quality, but this movie is still irritating! And it also does not excuse the forgettable characters, I did this thing where I perhaps sacrificed my own soul and decided to livetweet to the premieres of the previous three “Sharknado” movies, and when you don’t remember any of the characters or their names from prior installments, that’s kind of a problem. “Sharknado,” what have you done to our society? Oh, I know! F*cking killed it, that’s what you did!

#16: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012)

You know how The Rock may be the biggest badass in cinema right now? Well… Go watch “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” and tell me you do not regret your decision. While Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is charismatic in a lot of roles he’s in, here, he’s just surrounded by cringe. Utter cringe. He’s surrounded by green screen s*it, unrealistically colored s*it, and all sorts of other s*it. I watched this movie once when I was staying at somebody’s house overnight, I was not in control of the television, and let’s just say that I WISH I was in control of that television. This movie isn’t exactly the worst kids film I have seen, but it is one of those unbearably cringeworthy, cliché, and anger-inducing experiences. The screenplay feels like what would be that stereotypical “kids adventure film,” but the thing is, it feels rushed, lazy, and horribly executed. Will kids enjoy this movie? Probably, sure. But I don’t know how much more intelligent it will end up making them. If you had to ask me, this is probably the worst movie with The Rock in it. And this is coming from a guy who saw “Tooth Fairy.” If you are having a Dwayne Johnson themed family movie night, just stick to “Jumanji,” stick to “The Game Plan.” Both of those are better movies to watch with your family if you ask me. ALSO, HOW DID THEY GET MICHAEL CAINE TO BE IN THIS?! Seriously! Do not watch this movie! It’s a hell of a JOURNEY! Literally!

#15: Ice Age: Collision Course (2016)

Coming in at #15 is “Ice Age: Collision Course,” one of the worst animated films ever made. It honestly amazes me that “Ice Age” got to five films before “Blade Runner” got to two films. I adore “Ice Age,” it is one of the more nostalgic properties of my time, so I have a soft spot for it. But this movie is the literal definition of hell. A lot of cliché storytelling methods are brought into this film and do not work out at all, the Scrat cutaways go on to eventually become the worst in the franchise, and the jokes in this film are as dimwitted and dumbed down as my grandma after she got ran over by a reindeer. There is a scene in the film where the frame cuts to an actual turd. They even take time to point it out! THIS FILM! GAH! This piece of horses*it on a stick also contains one of the most disturbing and off-putting scenes I have ever witnessed in an animated film. It sort of mocks the idea of having a baby and becoming a parent, and I don’t even want to continue describing it otherwise I’d blow a F*CKING GASKET! I imagine actors like Ray Romano and Dennis Leary, who are very talented by the way, I should be nice and point out that I enjoy some of the things they do, were ultimately just happy to get the paycheck. I think they just needed some work to pass the time, so this movie fit in perfectly. After all, when you’re doing voiceovers and not physically acting, it’s a pretty simple job. The animation itself looks impressive, this might even be the prettiest “Ice Age” movie yet, but given how this movie came out in 2016, good animation is perhaps a requirement, especially considering how this is a fifth installment to a popular and respectable franchise that is also the original feature-length idea to have come out from the studio who made it, which in this case, is Blue Sky. Oddly enough, “Ice Age: Collision Course” came out in 2016, which is the same year another stinker that takes place in the cold came out, specifically “Norm of the North.” Now I have not seen “Norm of the North” from start to finish, so I cannot give any official thoughts on it. Having said that, and knowing what I already have acquired about “Norm of the North,” I am afraid I watch it, it would make this movie, “Ice Age: Collision Course,” look like “Coraline.” I love how the second “Ice Age” film is called “The Meltdown,” because that is also something I must have experienced internally as I watched the sack of crap some like to call “Ice Age: Collision Course.” If you have kids, don’t show them this. EVER!

#14: Isn’t It Romantic? (2019)

You know what sucks? Stupid, half-assed parodies! Crappy, underwhelming scripts! Mixed, confusing messages that come out of nowhere! This movie has all three of those things! What movie do I speak of? I speak of “Isn’t It Romantic?.” I know I am not the target audience for romcoms, but having said that, this movie is just intolerable. This movie is self-aware, but when I say self-aware, I mean that in a way that feels practically insulting. The movie’s characters are often talking about how much they like going home, watching romantic comedies that someone like myself would never bother watching in the near future. Therefore, it should not be surprising that almost every element of the “cliche romcom” is explained to me, as an audience member, like I’m in pre-school. Even if this movie had one or two nifty ideas, they were not executed well at all! Most of the scenes in “Isn’t It Romantic?” just feel annoying, dull, or headache-inducing. And to make matters worse, this movie is pretty short. It’s an hour and twenty-nine minutes, and I STILL begged for the end! If anything, I think it’s amazing that this movie tries to make fun of a genre that I don’t traditionally enjoy watching and yet it still sucks ass! Also, who is Rebel Wilson’s agent? She needs better work! I don’t really like Wilson as an actress, but still!

#13: Cats (2019)

Oh, yay! “Cats” made the list! What other f*cking possibility did you expect? You know the YouTube channel Cinemasins? It would probably be awhile before they make an “Everything Wrong with Cats” video of some nature, but I would not be surprised if it ever happens as this movie has been universally mocked and panned by a large number of people. In my review for this film which I happened to have posted almost a month ago now, I originally given this a 2. This is one of the few movies I can think of in recent memory that has turned into a 1 overtime. I want to give credit for the visual effects in whatever way I can, because let’s face it, as creepy as everybody looks, there are a couple moments that make the visuals come off as the best part of the movie. But I would be lying if I didn’t confirm that the film’s visual appearance wasn’t unsatisfying to say the least. Speaking of that, I remember hearing that “Cats” was supposed to be redone visually in some way, kind of like what is happening with “Sonic the Hedgehog,” but honestly, I don’t see how that is going to help anything! The movie’s design will still supposedly look lackluster, the writing will still be piss-poor, and the singing sequences will still be boring for the most part! This is one of those films that I almost wonder how it even got made. It is a fine example of how not everything needs to be translated into a movie. I mean, if you want to see a movie where Sir Ian McKellan licks a plate, be my guest! But this is GANDALF we’re talking about! The guy deserves better than to be in this kitty litter! And worst of all, “Cats” is just… BOOOORRRRRRING! Did I mention Rebel Wilson needs a new agent? Yeah, I’m pretty sure I did! I am fairly certain that when it comes to all of the bad movies from 2019 in particular, this was perhaps the biggest CATatrophe.

*I apologize for the crappy clip, this movie barely has anything available and it just came out*

#12: Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

Oh my god. Zilla. This f*cking movie. “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” can go screw itself! Not only is this a bad film, but a disappointing one too. Why? I remember back in 2018 when they dropped the first trailer for this film at San Diego Comic-Con, and it made the movie look like it was going to be epic, it was going to be majestic, it was going to be heart-pumping. If anything, this film reminded me of the 2014 “Godzilla” movie. It had an excellent trailer, in fact multiple excellent trailers at that, and the movie was not exactly as good as those trailers. But at least that movie had some things to enjoy! Yes, you get more monsters and more Godzilla in this film. But it doesn’t make up for the crappy script. It doesn’t make up for the unlikable characters. It doesn’t make up for the occasionally lackluster cinematography (although certain shots were pretty neat). And without going into much context, I’m from the Boston area in Massachusetts, and based on how much I disliked this movie, this is a gigantic disservice to the city of Boston! I saw this film in IMAX and if you know me, you know much of an evangelical I am for large formats including IMAX, even smaller IMAX screens will do the trick for me. However, this may have been the one rare, out of nowhere occasion where I almost felt like I left the IMAX theater and almost received a headache. AND I DIDN’T EVEN WATCH THE FILM IN 3D! The sad part is, the film does come off like it’s trying to be the next big epic. It’s visually pleasing and the sound work is pretty good. But everything from the writing to the waste of a cast is beyond blasphemous. Despite the name, this movie is no king.

#11: Dirty Grandpa (2016)

You ever hear that phrase, “respect your elders?” Well I want to coin a new phrase, “Respect all elders that are not played by Robert De Niro.” “Dirty Grandpa” can suck it! Fun fact, my father actually once ran into Robert De Niro and they exchanged waves. From that I can assume that in person, he’s a rather friendly gentleman. Unfortunately, the character he plays in “Dirty Grandpa” is a complete dickhead. Granted, that was definitely the intention, but there’s a fine line between asshole and menace to society. He’s an incessant liar, he makes all of the world’s other perverts look datable, and even when the movie tries to get you to feel bad for him, they fail miserably because as a viewer, it has already been established that this guy is nobody but someone I just can’t help but scold! This character, at least to me, did not earn anything that he would probably consider of value that relates to the movie’s script and story. As a movie, the characters are bland and just plain terrible, and when it comes to comedy, it just feels tiring and anger-inducing. I get that the movie is about a crazy grandpa, not to mention a pervert grandpa, but as a person, he’s a complete ass! I’m a firm believer that age is just a number. If you want to date someone your age, go for it. If not, you do you. You could be sixty and the other person could be twenty-five. Whatever, it’s your life, not mine, I’m not here to judge your choices. I’m not saying a sixty-year-old should date a five-year-old or something along those lines, if there is a far line between “major” and “minor” ages, that’s when questioning begins from my perspective, but for the most part, you do you. I had no problem with the guy wanting to be around younger women, but the way he acts around not just those women, but a crapton of other characters made me wish I could do something more fun. Stepping on a freaking LEGO brick might as well be more fun than this movie for crying out loud!

#10: Life of the Party (2018)

Coming in at #10, is the film that I put down as my least favorite of 2018, and if you know the lead actress and director, this next entry should not be all that surprising. “Life of the Party.” This was the first 1/10 I gave during the year and I believe a small part of me wondered when it would become dethroned. Granted, 2018 has had its fair share of stinkers, a few other 1/10s as well, but none of them outranked this pile of s*it. This movie stars Melissa McCarthy and is directed by her husband, Ben Falcone, which automatically makes this a lose-lose situation. MY GOSH! Granted, there are various scenes that look like they belong in a comedy. But over the years, having seen tons of movies, there are many films that just feel like they will be made for a short-lived audience experience, maybe they’ll get rentals eventually, but they won’t often be quoted down the road. This feels like one of those forgettable, disposable, not to mention irritating studio comedies. Melissa McCarthy plays this over the top, unrealistically goofy mother, wife type character that feels like a humanized character out of a bad “SpongeBob” episode. There is a point that I remember watching this film in the theater, there were a lot of people there, most likely because it was Mother’s Day, and as we were in the climax, incident upon incident kept happening to the point where I just stopped caring. Everyone was gasping, oohing, aahing, and I just couldn’t join in. There was a point during such moments in the film where I just muttered to myself, “Yeah.” In fact, you want to get into specifics regarding that moment? SPOILERS! Who cares? This movie sucks! It’s not like I’m revealing spoilers for “Back to the Future” or something! This movie has a cameo from Christina Aguilera. Apparently, she’s cousins with one of the characters who is trying to get a party thrown! This sounds like something I would have written if I was four! IN-SULTING! “Life of the Party” reminded me that despite how it may be fun to make movies with your spouse, you’re supposed to make it good. Work first, play later.

#9: New Year’s Eve (2011)

This next entry to the list, quite honestly, as one who admires the holiday, hurt me. “New Year’s Eve” dropped the ball and based on how terrible the movie is, it must have dropped on my balls. This film is directed by Garry Marshall, who unfortunately passed away, but in his final days of directing, he apparently resorted to some half-assed holiday movies that probably should have ended up going straight to Lifetime. But because these movies score big name actors like Halle Berry (Catwoman, Monster’s Ball), Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry, Insomnia), Sofia Vergara (Modern Family, Happy Feet 2), Katherine Heigel (27 Dresses, Knocked Up), Ashton Kutcher (That 70s Show, Dude, Where’s My Car?), Zac Efron (High School Musical, Hairspray), Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns, One Fine Day), Josh Duhamel (Transformers, When in Rome), and get this! ROBERT F*CKING DE NIRO (The Godfather, Goodfellas)! “New Year’s Eve” is just one of those movies that really just gets the big screen treatment when I cannot help but ask, “Why?” Granted, there is a sense of spectacle with New Year’s Eve, because there’s a lot of partying, a lot of noise, a lot of chaos that ultimately goes down. Plus, even though I have not been to the ball drop in New York myself, or any of the other big firework shows or celebrations around the world to ring in the new year, I have a built-in sense that these events are almost life-altering, even if it is something as simple as waiting for time to change. It is the ultimate definition of turning nothing into something. New Year’s Eve is almost the “Seinfeld” of holidays. No, Festivus does not count. The problem with “New Year’s Eve” is that it has too many storylines meshed into one, so there’s no real main conflict that I have to care about. Too many things rise as problems, therefore there are too many solutions. This movie has more problems than an advanced placement math class. Don’t watch this at the end or beginning of the year, otherwise you’ll probably be having a crappy new year.

#8: Point Break (2015)

Ever since my first visit to it in 2017, I have watched the original “Point Break” once every summer. This past year, I ordered the 4K Blu-ray for the “Point Break” remake online. Two weeks after my annual “Point Break” viewing, I thought to myself: “Why not check out the new one?” Granted, I was not expecting much, because I know of numerous online critics who have slammed this thing to the ground. Guess what? As of now, I am no exception because the “Point Break” remake broke me! It is the literal definition of when Hollywood studios become lazy and try to recreate something that has already been done well, and perhaps seems irreplaceable. This remake just feels rushed. We barely get to know the characters, none of them seem like they have charisma or chemistry, and it is just an insult to the “Point Break” name! And you know what? Before this film even came out, original actress Lori Petty was outspoken in terms of how infuriated she was to see this happen. And having seen the movie, I applaud her. The original “Point Break,” directed by Kathryn Bigelow, is an interesting film because of how the characters of Johnny Utah, the FBI agent lawman, and Bodhi, the criminal who really enjoys surfing interact with each other, become friends, and play off each other. I felt the comradery between the duo. Here? Absolutely nothing! Also, the color grading for a good portion of the film looks like a depressingly serious installment to the “James Bond” franchise. It’s freaking awful! And I bet the studio behind this film, Warner Brothers, who by the way did not make the original “Point Break” (20th Century Fox did), lacked any faith they could have had in this film at some point in time. Why? Because it released the week after “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and the same day as a Quentin Tarantino film! Warner Brothers must have been like… Let’s just put it out! Who cares? We might as well hide it, but we’ll get some money once “Star Wars” sells out! Let’s just see what happens!

#7: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014)

I’m pretty sure this picture above suggests what I want to happen to every copy of the script for this film… As much as I love Marvel, as much as I love “Star Wars,” as much as I love Pixar, Disney itself is perhaps an evil corporation. And if I’m the hero of this story, I have to remind all of you to simply avoid watching my least favorite movie of 2014, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” This is a family comedy at its worst! It tries to be goofy, it tries to be silly, it tries to be whimsical, it tries to be heartwarming at a particular point. NONE OF IT worked. In fact, this feels like something that I probably would have written at the age of five. A number of the jokes were predictable, unfunny, and just plain unbearable. I never felt offended by anything, which isn’t too surprising for a Disney movie at this point, but there is one thing I did feel after watching this movie. STUPID. If I had to be honest with you, there is a good chance that as much as Steve Carell tries his best with his performance in this movie, I think he was ultimately just happy to receive a paycheck and move on with life. In fact, this may be his worst movie! If I had to say anything else, this may have also been a reminder from Disney that they made the movie “Peter Pan.” They had a whole side story about one of the characters being part of a “Peter Pan” play, which may have only been in the movie because, you know, Disney! If anything, they should change this film’s name to “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Movie.” The only positive thing I was able to get from this movie was to realize that the very next day I was going to see “Interstellar.” And if you have seen my Best of the Decade countdown, you’d know I LOVE that movie.

#6: The Space Between Us (2017)

One of the significant types of films I’ve witnessed during the 2010s that have stood out, at least to me, have something to do with outer space. Films like “The Martian,” “First Man,” and “Gravity.” Unfortunately, I saw one particular science fiction film that does not rank up there with such titles. Specifically, 2017’s “The Space Between Us.” Films like this is why I continuously lose faith in the human race. Will we go to Mars? Will we travel to alternate universes? Will we elect THE PERFECT PRESIDENT? Who knows? I think we’re all just going to die a horrible death one day and part of the blame will have to go to the making of this movie. In fact, this movie stars Asa Butterfield, who seems to be doing what he can with a rather clunky script, but I seriously wonder if this is what he would have wanted to do with his acting career. In fact, I remember back in the middle of the decade when he was one of the top candidates to become the MCU’s “Spider-Man.” As much as I love Tom Holland right now, part of me wonders if Asa Butterfield actually turned out to be the next Spider-Man, if this movie would even exist right now. OR, if it did exist, would they make it ten times better? I dunno. It’s hard to tell. I mean, I’m not hating on Butterfield, because I did like him in “Ender’s Game” which came out in 2013. I think he was pretty decent there and the movie overall worked. THIS ON THE OTHER HAND, IS PURE MALARKEY! As for his chemistry with Britt Robertson, it could arguably be the chemistry between a set characters in a sci-fi film ever. The characters are disposable, lack charisma, and there are several lines that feel like they would almost be too stupid to put in even a first draft! The film does like somewhat nice at times, it some cool shots, but much like with “Ice Age: Collision Course,” which is a somewhat pretty animated movie, looks are not everything. I need some time away from this movie. I need… SPACE.

#5: Mother’s Day (2016)

Ah… “Mother’s Day,” that one day of year to remind yourself of everything that your mom has done for you. It’s a day of appreciation, love, and BAD MOVIES. Case and point, “Mother’s Day,” directed by Garry Marshall. What really makes this movie so insufferable is the obnoxious ad campaign it seems to present for the Home Shopping Network, and that’s just a tiny little taste of it! Product placement is something I understand, something I completely get. Movies are not cheap to make. But it is difficult to do without making me roll my eyes. This movie should really not be called “Mother’s Day,” but based on its obnoxious fetish for the Home Shopping Network, it should be retitled, “Home Shopping Network: The Movie.” There’s even this one scene that takes place in front of a vending machine where I ENDLESSLY was on the brink of full-blown anger of despair. I want to watch a movie, NOT a commercial! In fact, the only thing that could make this the most commercialized Mother’s Day film possible is by having every other scene be a Hallmark card reading session. As for the characters, they are disposable, boring, and overall, just pains to watch! Yes, the cast is fairly recognizable from Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, and Julia Roberts, but that just makes the movie worse considering how these talented, well-known people are being wasted through a boring-ass commercialized script! Once again, this was directed by Garry Marshall, who also directed the monstrously bad “New Year’s Eve,” another film that ruins the spirit of its own holiday. I said earlier that “New Year’s Eve” hurt me. “Mother’s Day” on the other hand, killed me. And this movie’s just worse because while both films come close to meaning something in regards their specific holiday spirit, this one just fails on seemingly every level. I will point out, it has been awhile since watching “Mother’s Day” and this movie is unfathomably forgettable. Plus, I can assure you that if there was any blatantly obvious product placement in 2011’s “New Year’s Eve,” it would be somewhat forgiven because how can you not have Times Square be full of advertising in real life? Even if you have the worst mother in the world who never gave you any love, respect, or time, I will assure you, your mother is much more admirable than this sack of garbage they call a film!

#4: The Emoji Movie (2017)

Here’s the thing about being a kid. As a kid, I’d watch anything as long as it was on a screen, but luckily, one of those things was not “The Emoji Movie,” I first watched that at 17-years old. Why did I watch this movie? To be completely truthful, it was because I wanted to prove to the universe that I have the balls to go see any movie ever made, even if it looks like it is gonna suck ass. And “ass” is the perfect way to describe “The Emoji Movie” if you ask me. But I survived! I guess! This is without a doubt, proof, of how not to make an animated movie. Marketing-wise, I can see where Sony is coming from, but it does not mean it is a genius concept! Granted, if you take something like “The LEGO Movie” when it was on paper, that didn’t sound like a genius concept, but Phil Lord and Christopher Miller took that abnormal and seemingly stale concept and turned it into magic. This movie just sucks! In fact, speaking of “The LEGO Movie,” it rips off elements of that, and it also injects the core parts that make up “Inside Out” and “Wreck-It Ralph.” Not even Patrick Stewart can save the movie! If you are a “Star Trek” fan and prefer Picard over Kirk, I’d wonder if this film will make you change your mind. The worst part about this film is that it is literally built around advertising and product placement. I don’t want to blame the director for this mess. If anything, I think the writers, or whoever pitched this movie needs a good talking to. I almost wonder if Sony just came up with this idea because they were running out of juice. Seriously! If I were making a movie about Emojis, which I would probably NEVER do, it’s a STUPID idea anyway, I would do my best to not let children remember this movie for highlights such as when random noname characters watch cat videos on YouTube! As if the movie was not insulting enough, to save the day, the heroes need to go somewhere, and they fly there on a Twitter bird! This is a crime and unholy sin against not just humanity, but technological faces and images! If you are a parent, do yourself a favor, if you want a movie to put on for a couple of hours just to shut your kid up, just stick with “How To Train Your Dragon” or something. If you’re doing errands at Walmart and find this on DVD, run, don’t walk, away as fast as possible.

#3: The Haunting of Sharon Tate (2019)

We are getting to the bottom of the barrel, guys, and I mean that in every sense of the word. This is one of the most boring, unlikable, distasteful, and incompetently made films I have seen in my entire life. “The Haunting of Sharon Tate.” This is one of those films that I knew how bad it was going to be from the very first scene. The editing and cinematography of this bitch make this garbage look more a music video as opposed to a film! Based on what I have read, this seems to have barely gotten any sort of theatrical release in the US. It got released in theaters, but who knows how many? But according to Box Office Mojo, it has a release in countries like Russia and Portugal, therefore it had a slight taste of that theatrical flavor. Combing the totals of both countries’ theatrical runs, the film made a total just short of $20,000! I don’t know how much it cost to make “The Haunting of Sharon Tate,” but if you told me this movie made a profit with a $20,000+ worldwide return, I’d probably smack you over the head! And I’m glad it didn’t release in too many theaters where I live because I would have probably demanded a refund! This movie is based on the Manson Murders from 1969, and focuses mainly around Sharon Tate. Not only that, and this is one of the reasons why I hate this movie so much, they bring a half-assed supernatural plot into the mix! There are a few BARELY interesting conversations about fate. That’s the only redeeming quality of the film. Other than that, I think the performances, maybe across the board, are abominable. The directing is perhaps cringeworthy. The camerawork and color scheme of the film are both almost off-putting. I think the way Sharon Tate was written was terrible as well, because even though I don’t know much about her in real life, this movie seems to present a version of Tate that often breaks down in tears every other microsecond, she’s depressed, and it’s like she can’t even function in everyday society. And I get that this is a horror movie, and I want my horror movies to be scary, I want them to literally eat me. There is a scene in this film that is the stuff of nightmares, but not in the way that would allow me to respect the people who made this piece of crap. It’s rare for me to feel personally offended by media, and “The Haunting of Sharon Tate” did not offend me, just so we’re clear here. But I wonder if Sharon Tate herself would be offended by this disaster! What makes this even more unbearable is the fact that in just the same year, we got a fantastic movie with Sharon Tate in it, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” That made me want to live in 1969. This movie made me just want to die.

#2: The Smurfs (2011)

Up next, is one of the worst family films I have seen in the entirety of the time that I’ve been alive, “The Smurfs.” I! HATE! EVERYTHING! ABOUT! THIS! MOVIE! I saw this movie before I was a teenager, and even then I knew how bad it was. I have no memory of watching any of the earlier “Smurfs” material growing up, so I had nothing ruined for me, but I wonder what would have happened if I did watch any of that earlier material. I have seen this film twice, both times were probably not my choice, and it did not get any better the second time. This is the kind of movie that you SHOULD NOT show your kids. Not because it’s inappropriate, too edgy, or anything like that, but because it just almost feels mindless. Between the product placement, the unbelievably annoying screenplay, and beyond lifeless performances from actors including Neil Patrick Harris, it all adds up to one of the most insulting movies of the past ten years. You know those times when you watch a movie and think to yourself, “This was written by a four-year-old for crying out loud!” If you ask me, I think that’s the case for “The Smurfs,” a four-year-old could have written this on a random piece of paper and somehow know how to get this pitched. And another four-year-old executive who just started their new job because they have connections with a parent who works at the studio looked at the script and said, “We’ll take it! Because let’s face it, four-year-olds will watch anything on a screen and call it the greatest masterpiece in all of history! Let’s Smurf this thing up!” In fact, you know how this movie is called “The Smurfs?” Yeah, they suck. THEY JUST SUCK! There is a scene in the movie where the Smurfs are doing their trademarked “Happy Song” and what happens next reminded me of exactly what I’m feeling as an audience member. When Neil Patrick Harris yells, “STOP!” and asks the Smurfs if they find the song the least bit annoying, I cannot believe how much I wanted to side with this dude. Seriously, some of those Smurfs really got on my nerves as the movie progressed. The only person in this movie who looks like he’s having fun with it is Hank Azaria as Gargamel. He’s written with tons of cliches behind him, but based on the supposed charisma Azaria must have behind him, he makes it work! Other than that, the movie is just S*IT! This is the kind of family movie I don’t want in my life. It’s too dumbed-down for kids, too cheesy and cringeworthy for adults, and it just makes me feel blue. To this day I still have not seen the second one. I’m not wasting my time. 

#1: ??? (2016)

After 24 movies, one more lies ahead. This is a film that I admittedly knew would be bad just from seeing the first trailer. In fact, without saying the actual title, if you have followed me for a long time, you’d know that this film has some sort of significance to this blog, and in a way, has been part of its ongoing history. I’ve mentioned it a number of times, I’ve bashed it from occasion after another, and I’ve even done a couple dedicated posts on it, including a review. Take a look at my #1 worst movie of the 2010s.

Call me an asshole, call me a buffoon, call me a sexist even, but my #1 worst film of the 2010s is “Ghostbusters.” Specifically, “Ghostbusters” 2016. Never in the history of my adventures at the movies have I been more immensely shell-shocked, and I don’t mean that in a good way. I don’t mean that as in, I just saw the best, most realistic war film of all time, I mean that I somehow went into this movie, my friend and I paid EXTRA money for it to see it in 3D, with the lowest expectations possible, and I still walked out disappointed! This is a film that could have been alright, but I think there are a ton of problems with it. Look, I am all for female empowerment, but I think the main problem with this film is that it erases the legacy of which it established decades prior. Ray, Egon, Peter, and Winston have formed something made of gold. Keep in mind, I am not a mega-fanatic of the “Ghostbusters” franchise. I like “Ghostbusters,” but to this day, I still haven’t seen the cartoons, I do not have a lot of “Ghostbusters” toys or merch, although I do have a pretty cool shirt, I still have yet to see “Ghostbusters II,” but even I think that rebooting, or in this case, remaking “Ghostbusters” with women was a step in the wrong direction. I think this movie could have been slightly more interesting with a similar plot, the same cast, but without a popular IP name attached to it. Just call it “Spooky Bitches” or something else that sounds pretty badass! You’ll probably get me in the theater! And you know how I mentioned that I saw this film in 3D? I think that’s the only positive element of the film, because I noticed they use a technology called frame break, where certain effects not only appear as if they pop off the screen, but the way the cinema set up the screen left two black bars on the top and bottom, so the effects take up space on those black bars. It’s gimmicky, but cool. Other than that, the only other positive I can come up with, which doesn’t really make the movie all that much better, is one chuckle-worthy line out of Leslie Jones’ mouth. As for everything else, it’s s*it!

The reality of the situation is this… “Ghostbusters” 2016 has a talented cast. I think Kristen Wiig has acting chops and I liked a couple of other things she was in. Kate McKinnon is pretty funny and I usually find her to be a card on “Saturday Night Live.” I admittedly have not seen much of Leslie Jones before “Ghostbusters,” but in person, she comes off as pretty funny. In fact, I am rooting for her at this point, because “Supermarket Sweep” is coming back and apparently, she’s hosting, so I wish her luck! The only person in the cast who I never tend to associate with anything all that great is Melissa McCarthy, and maybe it’s because she never gets the right roles. She just always comes off like she needs to step in as that one chubby lady with an obnoxious voice. Plus, Chris Hemsworth is in this movie, but I would be lying to you if I told you he played a good character, because HE DID NOT! He plays a secretary and he makes Patrck Star look like Sheldon Cooper! There’s dumb, and then there’s cringeworthy dumb! Based on everything I’ve stated so far, I think you all know what kind of dumb I feel this movie presents from Hemsworth’s character. And that’s another thing that I almost completely forgot about, THANKFULLY, but now I am officially in hell once more, so I gotta deal with it… Every man in this film is an idiot.

I get it, this film is trying to present these women who come, see, and kick something’s ass, and I don’t really see a problem with female empowerment, but pretty much every man felt either disposable or idiotic. There’s a Chinese delivery guy who always delivers the wrong thing, there’s a guy who in a situation of terror is more concerned with his own theater than the lives of those in his theater, there’s a forgettable male antagonist named Rowan, and that’s just scratching the surface of this unbelievable f*cking turd of a film! This movie, and this could be COMPLETELY unintentional, almost seems to demonize men as an entire gender. There’s even a scene where the girls have to bust a giant ghost, and to do that, they have to shoot it in it’s crotch! I should point out, this film is written and directed by Paul Feig, who to be fair, is a guy who has received acclaim for films like “Bridesmaids.” He also created “Freaks and Geeks,” which is a really good show! But he also wrote a guest column years back titled “Why Men Aren’t Funny.” It does make me a little suspicious if you ask me. Maybe a little too much.

This film, even though it has often marketed as an empowerment message of some sorts to women, it is also, at least from my point of view, an attack on men. Do I think men are funny? Yes. Do I think women are funny? Absolutely! But NOBODY is funny in “Ghostbusters!” And that’s the thing about the original 1984 film, it’s not the funniest movie I have ever seen to be completely honest, but it is well-written and handles dry humor very well. In the original film, the four main guys have terrific chemistry with one another, they felt like a proper team. This 2016 remake lacks the same oomph in the chemistry that the original managed to have. Plus the jokes in general, across the board, make me think that Red Bull will no longer give me wings.

This movie is full of problems, ranging from bad characters to some ridiculously cartoony visuals, but one thing I think about often is how these women essentially become superheroes by the end of the movie. You can make the argument that the film is hiding a deleted scene where they all get bitten by a radioactive ghost whose teeth still work! The beauty of the original “Ghostbusters,” including in the climax is that the guys are always adapting to new situations. When they use their proton packs, it shows that they lack experience with busting the paranormal. But as I showed in the clip above, these four women can wield proton packs towards the end of the film as if they’ve become powerful Jedi or something of that nature! This is “Ghostbusters,” not the MCU! THERE’S A F*CKING DIFFERENCE!

One more thing, and that should be all… I mentioned that this is a reboot of the 1984 film. Having said that, it pretty much ignores previously established characters and lore that fans and audiences have come to know and creates something new. But the movie also has cameos from the original cast… AND IT ALL SUCKS!

Dan Aykroyd plays a cab driver who can’t help Kristen Wiig’s character get to Chinatown… For… NO REASON AT ALL?! Son of a bitch! Ernie Hudson makes a cameo by the end of the movie that is perhaps… tolerable? Maybe? Maybe because the movie’s over, that’s why. Apparently Sigourney Weaver made a cameo that I do not remember at all. But by far the most insulting cameo is from Bill Murray, who I could probably tell DID NOT want to be in this movie! But he must be a classy dude for doing it, and I’m sure whatever paycheck he got was going to help him overtime. Maybe he did want to do it, but the way his lines are delivered are almost robotic. It doesn’t feel raw!

And I do believe that the cast themselves got a little too much unnecessary hate for being in this movie, but it does not change the fact that THE MOVIE IS JUST!!! …GARRRRBAGE! Never have I watched a film in the theater and felt more surprisingly let down. If you like this film, that’s fine, you’re allowed to like it, but I thought it was one of the most insulting, bottom of the barrel, stupid, not to mention perhaps offensive films I have witnessed in my life. I just hope that 2020’s “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” will steer the ship in the proper direction. The first trailer for that film looks better than ANYTHING that has come out of “Ghostbusters” 2016 marketing-wise or the movie itself.

While we’re on this topic, this is a weird way to end the decade, because I started this blog back in 2016 as part of a high school project, the first post I ever did is titled “Ghostbusters (2016) Trailer 1 Review: Most Poorly Received Trailer Ever?” and now here we are, talking about my #1 worst film of 2010s, and it is literally about the movie I mainly talked about in my first post. This feels like a perfect culmination for Scene Before. The decade all started with “Ghostbusters,” and thus the decade shall end with “Ghostbusters!” The saga is complete. If you ask me, I think “Ghostbusters” 2016 should be avoided at all costs, just go back and watch the original, I think that would make for a more pleasant movie night, maybe it’ll make you feel like you have less strange somethings in the neighborhood. “Ghostbusters” 2016 can rot, I don’t want to watch it ever again, and it is the worst movie of the 2010s!

Thanks for reading this countdown! I just want to thank each and every one of you who has tuned in, read, or simply glanced at my material during the 2010s. I know not all of it is great. There’s a lot of work to this day that I am truly proud of, but there is some that I admittedly look back upon and cringe over. But that’s part of the journey, admitting your mistakes and learning from them. I will say, I did market this as a “countdown event,” so even though this is the proper conclusion to the series, maybe I’ll insert a spinoff here and there every once in awhile. I want to know in the comments down below, is there a new addition to this countdown event series that you would want to see? Maybe a most disappointing list? Overrated movies list? Underrated movies list? Let me know down below!

Speaking of being in the know, I have an announcement to make. Some of you may have seen this coming, but I do want to let everyone know, that one of the most experimental and one of a kind posts I made last year was The 1st Annual JACKOFF Awards. This year, I have decided to continue the tradition. I am planning on announcing the nominees on Sunday, February 2nd, and holding the awards two weeks after, Sunday, February 16th. I have no idea if I am going to go through with this, but I’m thinking of changing the name. I’m not too sure Meryl Streep will be bragging about winning a Jackoff, but this is something I still need to think about. Nevertheless, stay tuned for more information, and until then, have a happy new decade! Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! Be sure to like this post and leave a comment, it really helps me out! Speaking of which, check out my Facebook page and spread the word regarding Scene Before and Flicknerd.com on social! If you guys want to check out my Top BEST Movies of the 2010s, there’s a box down below that will take you to that post, just click on it and you’re good to go! If you’re reading it, enjoy it! Go nuts! I want to know, what are your least favorite movies of the 2010s? Do you have a list? Name the films! Do you think I missed an entry from this list? There are so many movies to choose from that maybe I forgot one along the way! Leave your thoughts and opinions down below and let’s make the 2020s a blast that’s stronger than a bolt of lightning! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

The Haunting of Sharon Tate (2019): Once Upon a Time in Hellywood

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“The Haunting of Sharon Tate” is directed by Daniel Farrands (Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers, The Amityville Murders) and stars Hilary Duff (Lizzie McGuire, A Cinderella Story), Jonathan Bennett (Mean Girls, Cheaper by the Dozen 2), Lydia Hearst (Z Nation, The Face), Pawel Szajda (Under the Tuscan Sun, Agent Carter), and Ryan Cargill (WITS Academy, The Young and the Restless). This film takes place during the late 1960s in Hollywood and is kinda sorta based on the Manson Murders, which involves the death of Sharon Tate herself. Only, this film explores Sharon Tate as this… Timid, constantly emotional scaredy cat that barely even qualifies as a person. My f*cking gosh, this review is going to turn into a therapy session.

I’m reviewing this film in 2019, fifty years after the Manson Murders event went down and got attention all over the news. Interestingly, this is not the only film this year that involves Sharon Tate and highlights her final moments. The other film, for those who don’t know, is “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” These two films take different approaches to the Sharon Tate character. And I feel that neither of them are 100% authentic, but I want everyone to keep this in mind.

Speaking of keeping things in mind, I have kept this movie in mind for about a month or two. The popular YouTube film reviewer Chris Stuckmann watched and talked about this film earlier on in the year and he gave it his lowest grade, an “F.” So naturally, this film stuck with me, but not for the reasons that I think most people behind it would prefer. But at the time, I have not seen it. In fact, it’s easy to see why. If you look at the totals for this film on Box Office Mojo, it says the movie made $0 domestically. I don’t know why that’s the case however. I don’t know if the film didn’t garner attention to get people to see it in the theater, or if it even had a theatrical release to begin with. Were the tickets free? I don’t know if I have enough info to back me up. Maybe the film went straight to On Demand or something. Although before this film’s official release in the spring, it was shown at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival. This led to three wins dedicated to the film including Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Horror Film. As for its release, this film did at least have some sort of box office total, as Box Office Mojo lists separate totals racked up in Portugal and Russia, which comes out to $19,717 when combined. As for home video, specifically where I live, the-numbers.com suggests that in the United States, the combined totals for DVD and Blu-ray sales come out to $9,932.

After seeing this film, I wonder how it got any award in the first f*cking place! Best Director? Maybe for a music video in the first couple minutes. Best Actress? Yay! Somebody won an award for doing nothing but crying until the end of time! Best Horror Film? The fact this film exists is a freaking horror story!

I just want to send a message to Quentin Tarantino for one quick second. If you have read my “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” review, I thought that film was nearly perfect. It did just about everything a movie of its kind needed to do. However, the one downfall is that for the most part, I could erase just anything involving Sharon Tate and have perhaps no loss of impact to the film. But looking back, at least that version of Sharon Tate was… well, COMPETENT! Margot Robbie embodied the glamour, legacy, and achievements of the character, not to mention 1960s Hollywood in general! The way she was written in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” was at least respectful to her legacy compared to what this piece of s*it contains! It’s piss poor and it’s the stuff of nightmares! Quite literally in fact, because apparently one of the major parts of this movie is the plethora of bad dreams Tate has throughout.

Most of the blame in a case like this can certainly go to the directing and the writing. I believe Hilary Duff did what she could with the character. But there are a couple moments in this film in terms of acting that made me wonder if the director decided to do just a single take for each scene without a care in the world. You have to see it to believe it. Actually, please don’t, save yourself!

I will admit, I hate the fact that I am talking about this script as if it is the most lackluster thing in the entire universe because the fact is that it had one thing that sounded compelling about whether our lives are planned out in advance or if we can change our fates. It kind of reminded me of “10 Cloverfield Lane.” You remember how in “10 Cloverfield Lane” the main characters are sitting down, they’re talking to each other, and the topic of discussion happens to be about doing certain things before you die? Remember that? Part of the film’s script reminded me of that. But I didn’t dig it because well, this movie has enough s*it in it that just bogs it down to levels beyond one’s imagination! In fact, this movie kind of reminded me of another recent project that I didn’t like, “Midsommar.” It’s a film that tries to be scary, tries be dark, but just ends up being annoying. The characters are terrible. The main chick happens to be the perfect sponsor for Kleenex. And whatever moments there are that at least try to be compelling, almost don’t even add up.

In terms of how the film looks, it’s… OK? I guess? Maybe at times. A lot of the shots are serviceable, but some of the camerawork is simply off-putting. I am honestly willing to bet there was a point during shooting where someone accidentally switched the shutter speed from where it was expected to be because there was a scene in the first few minutes that didn’t even feel like I was watching a traditional 24 frames per second movie. Then again, I watched this movie on Prime Video as opposed to how I consume most of movies, which is through physical media, so maybe it’s my TV or the service or something! Nevertheless, it felt like I was watching a video taken on an older Blackberry phone or something! Granted, based on visible resolution and the color palette, the film looks a lot better than something shot on a Blackberry, but my case stands as tall as the Shaq! And speaking of color palette, the color grading in this film (if there was even that much to begin with) occasionally made me want to vomit. Now it’s not all unacceptable, but there were one or two scenes where I looked around the frames and thought I was looking at a slightly more attractive version of “Twilight.” I guess sometimes it fits the dark themes of this film, but it’s also off-putting! There are not enough mental breakdowns on this Earth to be had regarding this piece of crap they call a movie!

It almost seems somewhat unfair that I am comparing this film to a much better Sharon Tate-related story that came out sometime after this film did, but I honestly feel the need to. One thing both “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “The Haunting of Sharon Tate” tend to have in common is perhaps the slight over the top vibe that the film can tend to present whenever Tate is in a scene. But the thing about “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is the way they present Tate. She never had any weird visions as if she had the force from “Star Wars.” She was a normal human being going about her day. A little hyperactive at times, but she was believable. I don’t know a crapton about the real Sharon Tate but if you told me that this version of her was the actual person. I’d almost think she’s kind of a jerk at times. Granted, the movie does go into issues involving her relationship with Roman Polanski and that does allow her to let out some less than happy thoughts. I could buy into that. But as for Tate’s other occasional over the top, Negative Nancy actions, I just found them to be odd.

I’ll be honest, I cannot think of a single thing in this film that worked. Funny enough, I just reviewed “Ready or Not” last week where I said that there is not even a single thing in that movie that didn’t work. Guess today’s opposite day! I just want to say one thing, for those of you who watch the movie (PLEASE DON’T), take a shot every time Sharon Tate either has a nightmare, becomes emotionally unstable, or cries. Maybe with enough sips of alcohol, who knows? Maybe you’ll enjoy the movie for all I know! But I can’t say I had anything to drink. For one thing, I am under 21. Also, I had Diet Coke, which contains caffeine, which I probably needed to stay awake for whatever this mess was!

In the end, “The Haunting of Sharon Tate” makes me wish I was struck by lightning. I cannot think of a single redeeming quality in this entire movie, and if you watch this movie and somehow do, BRAVO! You have thought a lot harder than me. Then again, it is a little hard for me to think right now because I think some of my brain cells have just been destroyed. Now is this the worst film of 2019? It’s not official yet because we still have some time left in the year. Plus there is another film that is sort of in the same realm as this for me in terms for how much I dislike it. But even if it isn’t the worst, it is definitely the most poorly made of the films I have seen so far this year. I am not even joking. When you take the eye-burning color palette, the below average cinematography, the idiotic script, the lame-ass directing, and the obscenely lackluster performances, it all adds up to make the most incompetent product of 2019 that I have had the displeasure of witnessing so far. I haven’t even talked about everything in this movie, I have skipped over a number of the characters and performances, and you know what? Screw them! I can’t talk about them! This movie destroyed me to no end, so I might as well give it a taste of my own medicine! I’m going to give “The Haunting of Sharon Tate” a 1/10! Thanks for reading this review! If you want to check out a review I did for a much better movie involving Sharon Tate, be sure to check out my review that I did last month for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” The link is down below and… Yeah, after seeing this piece of crap, I have to go watch that again because I need something therapeutic right now. Be sure to follow Scene Before with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! I’m also on Facebook, do me a favor, check out my page! Make the movie reviewing moron happy! No, seriously. This movie almost made me lose my mind. I need happiness in my life! I want to know, did you see “The Haunting of Sharon Tate?” What did you think about it? Or, did you see “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” this year? Tell me what you thought about that! Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019) REVIEW

CON ANNOUNCEMENT: I’m Going to Terrificon 2019!

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! If you have followed my blog over the past couple of years, you’d know that I occasionally cover my experiences at conventions, and the first one I ever did was the annual Terrificon. Therefore, it should perhaps be no surprise that I am returning to the con for the third time in a row! If you have read my recent “halftime” post, you’d notice that one of my announcements for August is my return to this con. But for the sake of tradition, I thought I would provide a preview to this event in depth.

For those who don’t know about Terrificon, it is an annual event held every year in the state of Connecticut. In recent years, the event has taken place at the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, 15 minutes away from its main competitor, Foxwoods. This year, the event returns in Mohegan Sun’s Earth Expo & Convention Center, a venue where the convention happened to be held for the first time ever in 2018, making it one of the earliest events to have occurred in said spot. The con primarily focuses on comic books, comic artists, gaming, cosplay, sci-fi, fantasy, animation, and more. It is organized by Big Fedora Marketing, LLC and Mitch Hallock, who has spent years in design and marketing. They are also responsible for another Connecticut-based convention, CTGamerCon. I have never been, but I have been curious about it for awhile. Per usual, this convention is being held this August, but due to the actions one of the convention’s competitors, they have decided to hold this year’s con on the second weekend of August (9-11) as opposed to the third weekend of August (16-18). Why? Another New England con, specifically Fan Expo Boston, is being held on August’s third weekend instead of their usual spot, which is the second weekend.

Regardless of whatever time it is held, the organizers are definitely promising a fun time. There are multiple recognizable celebrity guests, a number of big comic artists, and tons of shops to visit for all your nerdy needs.

One notable celebrity crew uniting for Terrificon comes from the show “Animaniacs.” This con is said to have Rob Paulsen (Yakko), Jess Harnell (Wakko), and Maurice LaMarche (Ralph the Guard). All three guests will be showing up, signing autographs, and doing photo ops. They’ll also have the option to voice record for a certain price. I cannot say whether or not I’ll be meeting all three of these people, but Jess Harnell has recently gotten me curious because I just found out that he did the voice of Crash Bandicoot, the iconic video game character from the 1990s.

Other voiceover related guests include Larry Kenney (SilverHawks, ThunderCats), Tony Todd (Transformers, Justice League), Maile Flanagan (Ice Age, Naruto), and Phil LaMarr (Family Guy, Star Wars: The Clone Wars). Of all these voice actors, I’d be very likely to meet Phil LaMarr, for one thing, he plays Ollie on “Family Guy” and I would love to hear his character “see how things are looking” at the con. But he also played a smaller role in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction,” which I just watched for the first time and reviewed here on Scene Before. I would probably bring my “Pulp Fiction” Blu-ray for him to sign, maybe chat with him for at least a few minutes, because why not? Depends on the line though…

Although, if I had speculate from here, I am willing to bet LaMarr’s line will be considerably short compared to a guest like Val Kilmer. As some of you may know, he played Batman back in the 1990s when Joel Schumacher’s “Batman Forever” came out. So I am expecting at least one “Bat Nipple” Batman cosplay at this convention. It has to happen. Granted, George Clooney could have shown up and this would probably be much more likely, but Kilmer had the nips as well! But I am somewhat excited for him to be here, that way I have the opportunity to possibly ask some things about “Top Gun: Maverick,” a movie coming out next year that I am really excited for. Unfortunately however, I don’t know if I am going to get to do that, because I have no desire to get an autograph or photo op with Kilmer, especially when looking at the prices that he asks for. But I also looked at the panel schedule for this year and it appears, unless there is not enough specification or I am just completely missing something, there is going to be no panel for Kilmer.

Speaking of “Batman,” another guest related to the franchise, Robert Wuhl, AKA Alexander Knox in Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman” movie, will also be showing up. However, even though I imagine a lot of people are desiring to stand near Wuhl, I think there is one guest I have yet to mention that will knock some people’s socks off.

BILLY.

DEE.

WILLIAMS.

That’s right, Harvey Dent himself, but much more importantly, LANDO F*CKING CALRISSIAN from the “Star Wars” franchise will be showing up to Terrificon. I would probably bet $1,000, and appropriately so since the con is taking place in a casino, that Billy Dee Williams will have the biggest line for all the con’s guests. He has set himself up as a geek icon! These two franchises are enough to get him some attention at this con. Plus, he is going to be in the upcoming “Star Wars” film, “The Rise of Skywalker,” which will easily generate some attention. I will definitely be going to Williams’ panel, which is being held on Saturday at 1PM. However, I do not think I’ll be getting a signature or photo op. Why? Just look at the prices! For personal items, a signature is $100. For an item at the table that happens to be 8 x 10 inches, it’s $105. For an item at the table that happens to be 11 x 17 inches, it’s $110! Granted, it would be nice to stand in line and make a commitment for Billy Dee Williams, but based on statistics, not only are the autographs expensive, but the website suggests that selfies at the table are not happening, and if you get an autograph, you cannot get a selfie with the purchase.

Plus… I already met him, so I’m good.

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Yeah, we talked back in 2016 when I stood in line for him at Rhode Island Comic Con. I asked how he was doing, he said he had a decent lobster meal recently, I got his autograph, and I showed him something that I thought he might appreciate. Before getting into Billy Dee Williams’ line, I ran into a shop at the con that sold drones. Believe it or not, it’s called Cloud City Drones, which if you know your “Star Wars” lore, Cloud City is the city where the climax of “The Empire Strikes Back” basically unfolds. I’m not sure if he heard what I said, because I showed him a piece of paper that was essentially an advertisement for the place. But the way he responded, and I’m not saying he’s a jerk, because I’ve seen him, I can say he’s calm and well-mannered, but he said “That’s… Star Wars.” The way I thought he said that almost made it sound like that maybe he thought I wanted to know what Cloud City was, but I got what I wanted so I was satisfied. But that’s not why I am not meeting him again, I just mentioned the whole overpriced autograph thingy. If anything, I’d enjoy talking to him for a second, ask how he’s doing, and maybe remind him that we have met once in the past. But when I already have an autograph from Williams, not to mention one that cost $50 for the signature, plus $8 more for a protector, I just gotta say, “Eh, I’m good.” There are certain celebrities that I wouldn’t mind having multiple autographs from, in fact, there has been a case where that has happened for me, but if Williams’ signature were cheaper, chances are I’d jump in line and pay up.

I will say however, when it comes to lesser known guests, there is one that I plan on interacting with at some point. I already met this guy at New York Comic Con last year by coincidence, but I barely got to talk with him. Although since he is on a list to visit Terrificon this year, I am putting out all the stops to meet Robert Franzese, AKA “Real Life Peter Griffin.” If I can’t meet Seth MacFarlane, this is the next best thing! I am subscribed to this guy’s YouTube channel, he’s hilarious, and I love how implements the “Grinds My Gears” gag into his videos. In fact, when he announced that he was coming to Terrificon, he implemented that very gag! Check out this video below!

I mean, the resemblance is uncanny! I will say, if they are serious about that live-action hybrid “Family Guy” movie and they want a realistic looking guy for Peter Griffin, we have your actor!

One of the things that I have personally noticed about Terrificon is that it is a good con for families, because if you have a child that wants to meet their favorite celebrities, and they are eight years of age or younger, they get free admission! That however only includes admission to the con itself and does not apply to any after con activities. But there is a thing that has been around last year called the Aw Yeah Comics Fun Zone. They have numerous guests music artists providing family friendly entertainment, various activities, magic shows, tons of things for kids to enjoy. So if you have a kid and you want to come to this con, why not bring them along? Just make sure you are an adult paying for your own ticket!

But what do kids also like? Games of course! Granted, this is also adult friendly too. This year Terrificon has a list of games lined up for everyone to enjoy. One game that I have noticed was there last year, but I did not play, was “Rock Band 4.” I enjoy “Rock Band” even though I don’t play it as often as I used to, but I’m still questioning whether or not I’d give this game a shot. But one game I will inevitably be playing at the con is “The Jackbox Party Pack.” When I was at this con last year, there was a session on Friday as the con was coming to a close where a bunch of people gathered in a room to play “Jackbox” games. For those who don’t know about “The Jackbox Party Pack,” it is a series of games meant to be played with friends or at parties, and they all have this humorous flair attached to them. Some of my favorite games from the packs include “Fibbage,” “Guesspionage,” and “Trivia Murder Party.” There is a good chance that there will be a decent crowd joining in to play these games, which will definitely make the experience all the more lively. This is all going down on Friday at 7PM, but that is not the only gaming-related event I’m planning to observe, because there are a couple of sessions dedicated to “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” which are being held on Saturday. I’d probably be interested in the second session (singles) because the doubles match is being held at 12PM, which depending on how long it should go on, could interfere with me seeing Billy Dee Williams’ panel.

But for those who also like tabletop gaming, they shouldn’t have to worry about missing out, because there are plenty of sessions involving “Magic: The Gathering.” These are all happening every day at various times. Other games that are to be seen include “Transformers: Turbo Sealed,” “Star Wars: X-Wing,” and “Warhammer: Underworlds.”

Another thing this convention has is after con events. One example is happening at Mohegan Sun’s Cabaret Theatre, where you can see John Barrowman (Arrow, Doctor Who) onstage. According to Terrificon’s site, the event is said to be “filled with spontaneous stories, music, and fabulous fun.” Tickets are on sale at prices ranging from $60 to $100 depending on which tier you select.

If you ever wanted to have dinner with a celebrity, now’s your chance! Because you can sit down with a man who has undoubtedly established himself. He’s a male model, art director, historian, magician, escape artist, musician, illustrator, pop-culture lecturer, publisher, designer, and sideshow fire-eater. I’m talking about Jim Steranko, or as my words probably suggest, the coolest person EVER. Except when he’s eating fire, then he’s flamin’ hot! In the realm of comics, he’s known as an artist-writer behind “S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Captain America,” and “X-Men.” And that doesn’t even cover all of what he has done! The dinner will be held in the Passamaquiddy/Brothertown room in the Sky Convention Center and will conclude with a conversation about Steranko’s life and career. However, tickets are limited and they are $125 a pop. I probably won’t be going because it will coincide with the “Jackbox” gaming session. After all, the event is from 8-12 on Friday.

One thing I must point out in case certain people don’t know, George Perez was scheduled to appear at this convention at a certain point as part of his ongoing retirement tour. He has announced his retirement back in January and soon thereafter, it was leaked that he would be appearing at Terrificon during said tour. However, fairly recently, it was announced that he couldn’t make it and he couldn’t cancel. But fear not, because there are still items up for grabs from Perez. This is suggested on a page from Terrificon’s website announcing Perez’s cancellation.

“We are working with Mr. Pérez to obtain 275 (the same amount of autograph tickets he was going to hand out at the show) limited edition prints that he will sign and ship to TERRIFICON to be handed out to fans on a first come, first serve basis.”

So while there certainly are people, who in my opinion may be understandably upset or disappointed to know that George Perez isn’t showing up, it is also worth noting that the con is still trying to pay respect to the artist as much as they can. While I’m not particularly interested in getting a signed print from him, I do recognize Perez’s importance in the comics industry. He has been involved with both Marvel and DC, he penciled Marvel’s “The Infinity Gauntlet,” he’s responsible for DC’s 50th anniversary event, “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” he rebooted “Wonder Woman” in 1987, and he has worked on several issues for Marvel’s “The Avengers.” He has done more than enough to solidify himself as a comic book icon. I almost wouldn’t be surprised if he starts taking notes from Stan Lee and begins appearing in more comic book movies during his free time. He’s had proper relationships with the big two, Marvel and DC, so it is possible that such a thing could happen. After all, with Stan Lee gone, we need new cameos! Plus, Perez is 65, he’s got a good portion of his life let from the way things seem, and despite how retirement can be fun, maybe he’ll eventually get tired of golfing.

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One last important thing. This is a reminder that the con is occurring at the Mohegan Sun casino, and with that in mind, I am willing to bet a number of guests will be spending time doing much more than going to the con. They may want to shop, stay in the hotel, and grab a bite to eat, so if you want to save some money for activities, I’d recommend taking a gander at this link down below that will provide a bunch of deals for con goers. Keep in mind that certain deals will apply to certain days and some of these won’t even be available on any day of the con. But a deal is a deal, so click the link below to keep things real!

DEALS FOR MOHEGAN SUN ATTENDEES

I am pretty excited to appear at this year’s Terrificon, and I am going to be heading down there with a friend of mine. She got her own tickets, and we are ready to go into the con with the intention of making all other activities look dumb. If anyone knows me, happens to be reading this post, and will be either at Mohegan Sun or the con this weekend, feel free to say hi, but don’t go looking in one of the casino areas because I am not gambling this weekend. The con will most likely be my “money-waster” for these few days.

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Thanks for reading this post! I hope to see you all at Terrificon, and I would like to just remind everyone that days before I go to Connecticut, I am hoping to go see at least one movie. I’m going to be without family for a few days before heading out, I’ll have some free time on my hands, so I may want to kill some of that time by going to see at least one movie. I’m not sure what I am going to see yet, but if things work out, I might do a double feature at an AMC because they have the $5 Tuesdays deal which I often like to take advantage of. After all, there are a decent number of movies that’ll be out that I want to see such as “Hobbs and Shaw,” “Midsommar,” “Crawl,” and “The Farewell.” I also have a couple 2019 movies that I just purchased on Blu-ray that I have yet to watch. Those include “Missing Link” and “Alita: Battle Angel,” so maybe I’ll shoehorn in a review of at least one of those films. Who knows? Maybe I’ll go check out “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” again! By the way, if you have yet to read my review of “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” feel free to click the link at the end of the post to expose yourself to the latest piece of work Tarantino has to offer. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, do you have tickets to 2019’s Terrificon? What kind of tickets did you get? What days are you going? Or, since it’s on topic, who is one celebrity that you wouldn’t mind paying a lot of money for more than one autograph or photo op? I’ll go with one I haven’t met yet, so I guess I’ll say Ana de Armas. I loved her in “Blade Runner 2049” and yeah, she’s good looking. I could brag to my pals back at home that she’s my new girlfriend.

I mean, look at her! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD REVIEW

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019): There Lived an Actor and His Stunt Double

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is directed by Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained) and stars Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception, Titanic), Brad Pitt (World War Z, Allied), Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad, The Wolf of Wall Street), Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild, Speed Racer), Margaret Qualley (The Leftovers, Death Note), Timothy Olyphant (Santa Clarita Diet, Live Free or Die Hard), Austin Butler (Switched at Birth, Arrow), Dakota Fanning (Coraline, The Twilight Saga: New Moon), Bruce Dern (The Hateful Eight, The ‘Burbs), and Al Pacino (Scent of a Woman, Heat). This film takes place in Hollywood around the time of the Manson murders during 1969. The story focuses on the dynamic duo of the characters played by Leonardo DiCaprio (Rick Dalton) and Brad Pitt (Cliff Booth). Dalton is an actor and Booth is Dalton’s stunt double. Together, they have a hunger for fame and fortune as the Golden Age of Hollywood comes to a close.

If you have been following this blog in recent weeks, you may have gotten the implication that I have just recently introduced myself to the masterful works of Quentin Tarantino, a director known for his quirky style, gritty scripts, and his enthusiasm to deliver a rather nostalgic vibe to his films. And this film is no exception. It is shot using 35mm film, it takes place in 1969, and it is designed to be presented as a love letter to ancient Hollywood. It has callbacks to real life Hollywood figures including Roman Polanski, Bruce Lee, James Stacy, and Sharon Tate. There are tons of throwback cars that can be seen that truly highlight the automobile culture of California that seems to continue to exist today. It kind of reminded me of “Amercian Graffiti” a little bit.

My excitement for this film was through the roof as soon as the tickets went on sale. I called my dad, he and I agreed to go on opening Thursday, I picked to go to the 7:30 show at the Somerville Theatre, which if you are not from Massachusetts, it is a 100 year old theatre that has a few screens, but one of them is in a grand auditorium that shows a lot of event-type films. I was there last year for the 70mm film festival, more specifically, for when they showed John Carpenter’s “The Thing.” It was my second time watching the film, and the atmosphere was turned up to an 11 when it came to how lively the crowd happened to be. I thought we were going to get a few people to show up for this film, because let’s face it, “The Lion King” is out right now, everyone’s going to see that, and unlike “The Thing,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” was playing for more than one night. Plus, it didn’t have reserved or reclined seating. People seem to flock to those two things nowadays.

And I’ll let you in on a little something about “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” It’s the single best movie experience I had this year. Yes, better than “Endgame.” The atmosphere was almost dead during “Endgame,” there are several moments in this movie where people would shout, yell, laugh, applaud, it felt like I went to the world premiere of a “Star Wars” film. It was the very definition of exhilerating! The theater might have been sold out, if not super close to being sold out. I got to chat to a guy in the row in front of me about Tarantino films, there was a lovely lady I got to talk to about his work and other people’s films. This was clearly going to be an experience to remember. OK… maybe this has to do with the atmosphere of the film. But how was the movie you ask? F*cking nuts! It’s a special kind of awesome! I mean, could you expect anything less from Tarantino? This is the fourth movie I have seen from him, and this is probably my 2nd favorite. This film is full of excellent scenes with great characters, lines of dialogue that made me laugh and cheer, and fantastic setpieces.

For those of you who don’t know, part of the production of this movie involved transforming Hollywood as if it were presented in the 1960s, and I think the movie did a really good job with it. All of the neon lights shining everywhere and the plethora of signs set the mood, I dug the driving scenes that really had that flair of fun attached to it, and I felt immersed into the world that happened to be presented almost to the point that I imagined myself as a part of it, and I think from watching “Pulp Fiction” and this film, that is something that I think Tarantino can do very well. And this may be a big reason why I enjoyed this film so much. No matter what movie I have seen from Tarantino so far, the appropriate vibe is automatically set. But I feel that Tarantino, from what I have seen so far, has done a better job with his films when they are slightly more grounded in reality. Even though I saw “The Hateful Eight” and there can be a definite argument that that film grounds itself in reality a little bit, it doesn’t really have characters that I can latch onto. The characters in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” feel raw, they feel like people I would probably run into at one point in my life. Maybe I’m biased since this takes place in Hollywood and I am an aspiring filmmaker and I can picture myself working with people who are similar in some ways to these characters, but my case still stands. “The Hateful Eight” has characters that at times are interesting, but for one reason or another, I just can’t relate to all of them.

And this is why I really enjoyed the main characters of the film, Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth. The two legitimately feel like a best friend pair, and seeing a number of scenes with the two together happened to be entertaining. Whether they were working or hanging out, they just made the movie worth watching. If I had to be honest, when it comes to acting, it’s almost difficult declaring whether DiCaprio or Pitt had the better performance because for one thing they’re both great actors. Not to mention, when you put the two together, they have the perfect recipe for a friendship. Plus, it kind of makes sense since in the movie Booth has to emulate Dalton in productions together, so in a way they have to act like they’re the same person. I’m not saying they are in real life. Both have their individual characteristics and storylines and they hypnotized me. I’ll also point out that the proper execution and quirkiness of said storylines are part of why I would want to go see this in the theater a second time.

And you want to know the best part about this movie? I can’t speak for everybody, but pretty much the entire theater, and this is a lot of people, happened to be dying laughing. This is why I enjoy going to movies with crowds, not to mention in cities (which I did technically for this film) because recent experiences have shown that my urban movie experiences (mainly during early access screenings) have usually gotten better reactions than ones I’d traditionally experience elsewhere. It felt like I was part of the worldwide Tarantino cult, they just accepted me after introducing me to their rituals, and we all came together for an experience of a lifetime.

As for myself, I am kind of in an unfortunate position because I have been exposed to tons of content, and as much as I enjoy watching certain comedies, I often feel like I have “seen it all” or seen enough to know what to expect. Here, I was laughing through a number of scenes, I was appreciating a lot of the dialogue that has been uttered, and it never felt like the movie lost its groove. It was one interesting moment after another. And this all builds up to the big. F*cking. Climax of a lifetime! It is quite literally a Tarantinogasm of super f*cked-up awesomeness on a stick! Is it the best climax or ending in movie history? No, it’s not, but it is by far one of the wildest. I cannot recall the last time, or at least the last recent time, that I laughed as hard as I did during this climax with all the s*it that was going down. I cannot go into it, but the climax alone is worth the price of admission, everything else feels like an appetizer. I, like pretty much everyone else in the world, saw “Avengers: Endgame” this year, and I thought the climax to that, especially as a geek, was fantastic. This ending, to me, wasn’t fantastic. It was bloody phenomenal!

And by the way, speaking of movies I saw this year, one of my other highlights happens to be “John Wick: Chapter 3.” That franchise, as you may know, has a lot of emphasis put on dogs, and the most recent installment manages to continue highlighting their importance to everything that’s going on. In my review for that film, I said it had my favorite dog-related scene of the year. That thought has since changed because “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” has a scene that I really cannot go into involving a dog. If you have seen the movie, you may know what I am talking about. It’s almost out of left field in the best possible way. Talking about it feels like a sin because it’s something I really want to do, but it feels wrong because, well in this case, spoilers could flood out of my mouth.

Just… See this movie, my gosh it’s f*cking ride.

I will say though…

The film is not perfect.

Yes, I have raved about this movie to death. Both in person and on here, but there is one single, solitary flaw that I have with the film.

And to my disappointment, it kind of involves Margot Robbie’s character of Sharon Tate, because despite how she may have cool scenes, and how she has a relation to one of the film’s characters who is mentioned by name, she almost had no real part in this movie, or at least one that contributes to the bigger picture of what is happening. And I will admit, it was sad to see her in this film after realizing she is watching the last film she will be alive to see herself in. But even with that, her character could have had more depth to her. She didn’t feel lifeless, Robbie portrayed the character very well, and she was charming. Kind of like how in “Suicide Squad,” the movie itself wasn’t the greatest, but Robbie did an excellent job portraying Harley Quinn. I’d probably have to watch the movie again to decide whether or not this storyline was necessary because there is a part of me that does think it is compelling and is a part of this old Hollywood love letter, but also begs to question how needed it really is.

Nevertheless, the movie is still an excitement bomb. It is still one of my favorite movies of the year, and I would INSTANTLY go back to the theater and watch this film again because I saw this film with my dad, we couldn’t stop talking about it on the way home, and he made an interesting comment. He was laughing so hard that he must have missed something. When your film is good enough to possibly allow that to happen, a repeat viewing is inevitable. Will I go back and see the film one more time? Hopefully, but only time will tell. And if I do, I will be really damn excited.

In the end, the hype is real for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Tarantino once again presents himself as the cinematic mastermind he has always been made out to be. The film utilizes a lot of practical effects to turn Hollywood back fifty years, to say the acting is solid is an understatement, and there are several scenes I will be looking forward to viewing once I see this movie again, because it is absolutely phenomenal. And again, the Sharon Tate thing, I liked certain scenes she was in, but her character almost felt tacked on. I could grow in appreciation for her. After all she’s played by Margot Robbie, who is one of the most beautiful women working in film right now, so who knows? This is not to say she can’t act, because again, she was charming. And there are several films that I have seen this year that are funny. A couple of examples include “Long Shot” and “Fighting with My Family.” But when it comes to comedic timing and writing, this film is most likely going to be the absolute best we are going to get this year in terms of comedy. Between the awesome and brilliantly written final act, the investing opening scenes where we get to know our lovely main duo, and a gag involving dog food, there is so much to enjoy in this one film. I cannot wait to talk more about this film with other people and I cannot wait for this film to come out on Blu-ray. I’m going to give “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” a very high 9/10. I have a feeling, and it’s just a feeling for now, depending on replay value and how I feel about certain aspects of this film over time, this could increase to a 10. I’m not sure, but this was one of the best looking films of the year, one of the most well shot movies of the year, one of the most interestingly written scripts of the year despite my flak given to Sharon Tate, and one of the most compelling ensembles of the year. But seriously, Tarantino, you are a god and we do not deserve you. Thank you for this orgasmic movie! And if it means anything, I’m pretty sure this has to be the best “9” movie of the decade so far. So a score change may be possible, who knows?

Thanks for reading this review! I just want to let everyone know that next weekend is the release of the “Fast & Furious” spinoff, “Hobbs and Shaw.” I probably won’t see the film right away because I’m going out of state for a night, but I will likely make a commitment to get my ass in the theater at some point. It is a movie that I am looking forward to simply because it looks absurd for all the right reasons, so once I can see it, I will take that opportunity. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! Do you have a Facebook? Check out my Facebook page! You can get all the latest info from your favorite movie reviewing moron regarding upcoming content, new posts, and more! I want to know, did you see “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite Quentin Tarantino movie? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

The Hateful Eight (2015): More Like the Mediocre Eight

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Just a reminder that we are days away from the opening of Quentin Tarantino’s newest film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and I just want to let everyone know that I WILL be going to see it this Thursday in 35mm! I will also be reviewing the film as soon as it releases and by that I mean, hopefully by the end of the Sunday which it comes out. I might not have it up right away because I’m going to see the film on Thursday at 7:30, I’ll be out of the theater 2 to 3 hours later, meaning I won’t be home until sometime before or after 11PM. Then on Friday I’m going to New Haven, CT, which is 2 to 3 hours away from my house. I’ve got a busy weekend ahead, but it’ll likely be fun, so I’m excited! But, the movie is not out yet, so I am going to be reviewing my third and final entry to my Quentin Tarantino review series, specifically “The Hateful Eight.” This is the most recent product Tarantino directed and it even features his voice through narration. Without further ado, let’s begin!

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“The Hateful Eight” is directed by Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs) and stars Samuel L. Jackson (The Avengers, Kingsman: The Secret Service), Kurt Russell (The Thing, Furious 7), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Revenge, The Spectacular Now), Walton Goggins (Django Unchained, Justified), Demian Bichir (Machete Kills, The Bridge), Tim Roth (United Passions, The Incredible Hulk), Michael Madsen (Species, Kill Bill Vol. 1) and Bruce Dern (Nebraska, The ‘Burbs). This film takes place in 1877 as several characters interact, travel, and question each other during a snowstorm in Red Rock, Wyoming.

This is the latest film from Quentin Tarantino, and it was also one of those films that I really wanted to see in the theater. Unfortunately, I missed out. One of the reasons I wanted to go see the film in a cinema was due to the technology used for filming and presentation. This film was entirely shot with 70mm cameras, and much like director Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino is very particular to how his films look. After all, both directors have this in common. They either shoot on film, or they choose death. I have noticed that Tarantino has shot all of his past projects on 35mm, which is something he is also doing for his upcoming film for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” But this is Tarantino’s first attempt at shooting a full-length 70mm movie. And with that in mind, he’s trying to hark back to an era of old Hollywood, when glorious films like “Lawrence of Arabia” and “2001: A Space Odyssey” were shot in the same format. He even did a special engagement with select theaters where they would show the movie in 70mm (or sometimes digital), and present it in a roadshow format. This even had an intermission, which many of the other theaters’ versions of the film did not include. So if you went to see this in digital at your local Regal Cinemas, chances are you watched from start to finish.

In fact, another thing that I noticed was completely different compared to many other films is the aspect ratio. This film is presented in 2.76:1. Most modern films are usually not as wide. In fact, of any film I have seen to this day, this is without a doubt the widest. This is definitely a unique modern film in its own right simply because of how it looks, how it presents itself.

Sadly though, while this movie manages to be extremely impressive in visuals, it manages to simultaneously suffer as a story. Granted, it’s not bottom of the barrel. In fact, the day I see a bottom of the barrel story from Tarantino is the day I think the entire art of filmmaking is dead. There are some elements of “The Hateful Eight’s” script that I can appreciate. It’s mysterious, occasionally suspenseful, and it has this one gag involving a door that I happened to appreciate from a comedic standpoint. I thought it was up there with the funniest parts of the movie.

But if you had to ask me what my biggest problem with “The Hateful Eight” is, it’s the characters, because I can barely remember any of them at this point. I should note, I watched this movie last Thursday. I guess a couple of the characters have interesting conversations, including one about a particular character’s interactions with US President Abraham Lincoln. Although when it comes to overall personality, none in particular stand out. The characters do and say cool things, but it doesn’t add up to making the characters lovable. Just me.

Although I did some research before this movie came out. If you don’t know, Tarantino’s film prior to this was “Django Unchained.” When this project first got into gear, Tarantino’s original vision was to make this a sequel to “Django Unchained.” And if you watch this film it is easy to tell the elements for a unrealized sequel are there. This is in the western genre, around the same time period, and a couple actors including Samuel L. Jackson and Walton Goggins happen to appear in both movies. Did I mention both films came out on Christmas Day? While I do appreciate Tarantino for sticking to original material as opposed to expanding upon something that already exists, the mediocre quality of this movie almost makes me curious to know what would happen if this either took place in the same universe as “Django Unchained” or if Tarantino just stuck to writing a sequel to his previous film as opposed to having to spend lots of time developing something new.

Speaking of Tarantino, I’m willing to bet some of you who watched the movie may have noticed the narration during the film. For those of you who have yet to see “The Hateful Eight,” I won’t share the narration because it does dive into something important that can be seen during the film. But before checking this movie out, I was reminded by my dad of the film’s quirky narration, which quite honestly, was not that quirky if you ask me. Plus, to be honest, while it can be attention grabbing when it happens, it feels very out of left field. Why? While this is a “semi-spoiler” (maybe), there is no narration in the first half of the movie. It just happens at this random point where Tarantino probably was writing the script, didn’t find a character that was a good match for him that he could personally portray. Then he thought, “Hey! I can be the narrator! Perfect!” It’s a weird complaint and I almost question myself for making it, but I can’t help myself. It just stands out! Then again, I kind of made a similar compliant, while not exactly the same, for 2018’s “The Grinch,” so I guess it works here!

If you ask me, Tarantino has this excellent ability to match up a stellar script with spectacular locations or setpieces, or gorgeous cinematography. This movie rules in the technical department, I almost forgot to mention how much I enjoyed listening to Ennio Morricone’s score at times, but it fails when it comes to keeping me on the edge of my seat. Maybe it’s one of those movies that I have to pay full attention to with no distractions (in fact, I had to pause the movie to complete a task that took 30 minutes). But nevertheless, compared to Tarantino’s other films, this one just sticks out like a sore thumb because the characterization just feels weak in certain places. The only characters I feel like I’ll end up remembering are Marquis Warren, John Ruth, and Domergue. If I had to compare the behind the scenes efforts of this movie from Tarantino during this film’s production to another well known director, it would probably be Zack Snyder, because he’s very much a director who relies on style. This is evident in a movie like “Sucker Punch,” which at this point, I don’t particularly recall appreciating for the story or characters despite one or two kick-ass scenes. After all, one thing that would probably save the movie from being lower than the score I gave it when I first saw it is the amazing long take action scene that occurs on a train. There are redeeming qualities about “The Hateful Eight,” but they’re not enough to satisfy me.

In the end, after my watch of “The Hateful Eight,” I was slightly disappointed. Granted, I knew going in, according to others, this is not Tarantino’s best work, but even when you consider his resume and the fact that his name is attached to this, I might as well not be wrong to expect nothing but excellence from “The Hateful Eight.” To me, this film kind of reminds me of “Avatar.” It’s a film that looks very nice on the big screen, and is definitely built for a cinematic environment, but the story is not the strong point of the movie. I have not lost my faith in Tarantino however, partially because the trailers made his next film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” look really good. Plus, it’s already getting good reviews, but “The Hateful Eight” still left me with a less than satisfying taste in my mouth. Sure, it hits a number of the cool Tarantino checkpoints. Gritty violence, pretty locations, attention-grabbing dialogue (despite weak characters), and giving Samuel L. Jackson an interesting hairstyle. But if someone were to come up to me and ask me to recommend a Tarantino film, “The Hateful Eight” would not be my first pick. I’m going to give “The Hateful Eight,” as much as it kind of feels criminal to say this, a 6/10. And before I go off on other ramblings, I would like to point out Samuel L. Jackson’s performance. It’s good. But, there’s a scene where I personally think he overacts to the point of cringe. Just saying. Thanks for reading this review! Just a reminder that tonight I am going to be seeing the new film “Yesterday,” directed by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours). I expect to have my review up by Thursday because on that day, I’m going to see “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” opening night, and I feel like I should have just about nothing else blog-related that I should focus on during the weekend. In addition to all this, I have to give a report and my thoughts on some big news for Marvel, “The Avengers,” and the movie industry as a whole. If you follow movies, chances are you may know what I’m talking about. Be sure to follow Scene Before if you have an email or WordPress account, and once you click the follow button, be sure to stay tuned for more great content! Also, check out my Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “The Hateful Eight?” What did you think about it? Or, what is a movie from a director that you really love that disappointed you in some way? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Django Unchained (2012): Now You Have My Attention, Tarantino

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Before we begin this post, I want to announce that I officially purchased my opening night tickets for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which is the latest film from director Quentin Tarantino. I’m going to see the movie in 35mm and I will likely have my review up by the end of the opening weekend. But since that movie is not out yet, I am going to be tackling a couple more Tarantino films from the past including one of the latest additions to the director’s library, “Django Unchained.” I sat down last week, watched the film for the first time, and let me just say, any movie that has Robert Carradine (King of the Nerds, Revenge of the Nerds), chances are I will have some interest in checking out. Without further ado, let’s start the review!

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“Django Unchained” is directed by Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction) and stars Jamie Foxx (Ray, Collateral), Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds, The Green Hornet), Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, Inception), Kerry Washington (Scandal, Save the Last Dance), Samuel L. Jackson (The Avengers, Snakes on a Plane), Walton Goggins (Justified, The Shield), Dennis Christopher (Breaking Away, It), James Remar (2 Fast 2 Furious, Sex and the City), Michael Parks (Red State, Planet Terror), and Don Johnson (Miami Vice, Nash Bridges). This film involves a dynamic duo, specifically a freed slave and German bounty hunter. The freed slave’s main purpose throughout the film is trying to reunite with his wife. To do that, they have to travel to a plantation in Mississippi.

I was pretty excited to watch “Django Unchained” for a number of reasons. As of watching “Pulp Fiction” and reviewing it, I instantly had Tarantino fever. “Django Unchained” had a decent cast including Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio. Plus, while he does not play a major role, Robert Carradine, one of the members of the legendary Carradine acting family, is in this movie. While I may not be invested in said family, Carradine is personally one of my idols simply for being host of “King of the Nerds,” one of the only good reality shows to ever exist. I was pretty much set for whatever Tarantino was going to deliver.

I just want to remind everyone that in the name “Django,” the “D” is silent. But as for my thoughts on the film, I almost feel that in a world where praise can make noise, my praise for “Django Unchained” would be pretty freaking audible. That is not to say that it is as good as “Pulp Fiction,” there are a couple issues I have with “Django Unchained,” including one or two that could be used in comparison to “Pulp Fiction.”

When I watched “Pulp Fiction,” I had my eyes glued to the screen for pretty much the entire picture. Part of me wants to say that for “Django Unchained,” but I’d be lying if I didn’t go without saying that the pacing for “Django Unchained” occasionally becomes a hindrance. The thing that kept me looking at the screen for “Pulp Fiction” was the execution of the dialogue between characters, not to mention actions in between. “Django Unchained,” much like “Pulp Fiction,” is a movie that is very cool to look at. It feels exactly how I would want a western-style film to be. But there are one or two points where I am thinking to myself certain scenes can be executed in a slightly different way for the sake of shortening the runtime or some other reason. Who knows? Maybe it’s one of those things that I will learn to appreciate over a second watch, but it’s hard to tell. It’s not like I became angry with the ways certain scenes went down, in fact, there is one scene in particular past the halfway point that goes on for a long time, and the execution there is brilliant. And that’s the thing about Tarantino that I have come to appreciate over the past couple of films I watched. There are a lot of movies out there that I would criticize for having extended scenes that go on forever, with boring dialogue. There are particular long scenes in this that may have dialogue that some directors and writers could probably leave behind. Tarantino however, seems to be the master when it comes to shoehorning in useless scenes. It’s mind-boggling that I as an audience member could be witnessing a moment of the film that is borderline unneeded, but because of what is being said, it feels like a cherry on top of a sundae!

As for the characters in “Django Unchained,” all of them are well written. In fact, there are some cases where I refuse to call them characters and instead call them “A+ dialogue generators.” I really felt for Jamie Foxx’s character of Django at certain points, and there are times where I managed to find him pretty kick-ass. And such kick-assery is established from the very first scene, which is carried through the entire film with ease. And as far as his chemistry with Christoph Waltz goes, it is taken to the point where I cannot even imagine anybody else playing either of their characters.

By the way, I love this scene.

Amerigo Vessepi: What’s your name?

Django: Django.

Amerigo Vessepi: Can you spell it?

Django: D-J-A-N-G-O. The D is silent.

Amerigo Vessepi: I know.

I dunno, there’s something about that which just randomly screams, “Hey! I kick ass and take names!” And not only do I have to give credit for Jamie Foxx for the way he delivered that line, but I think top credit has to go to Quentin Tarantino, because I imagine he wanted this line specifically in the way which it happens to be presented here. Granted, it is also an Easter egg because this movie was inspired by the 1966 movie “Django,” starring the guy opposite this movie’s “Django” in the conversation above. Specifically, Franco Nero.

Although, even though I said I cannot imagine somebody playing someone else’s character, there’s one exception, but the reasoning for it is kinda crazy. When I read the cast on the Blu-ray case for this movie, I almost thought KERRY Washington said DENZEL Washington, so I cannot currently get him out of my head!

Speaking of things I cannot get out of my head, part of me really wants to see this movie turned into a video game. Why? Because this movie at times is unnecessarily violent, but it is all the better for it. There’s one shootout towards the end in particular that was a giant bloodbath. Said shootout contains a number of satisfying kills, and I would probably would need to rewatch this film, or maybe that scene in particular, but it could end up being in my top 20 favorite action scenes. And it does not take away from any emotion that I had towards the characters, because Django would get himself into a less than satisfying situation that made me admire the other side for how they executed their actions (stylistically), but I was still able to latch onto Django as a character.

I also gotta give credit to the costume and makeup department, especially with the transformation of Samuel L. Jackson. Because in this movie, he does not completely look like Samuel L. Jackson and instead looks more like the stereotype for a retired badass NBA basketball player. Per usual, Jackson is charismatic, plays a well written character, and at this point I’m pretty much repeating myself, I do not see anybody else playing his character. It’s amazing what a little grey hair can do to make a role more convincing.

In the end, “Django Unchained” is a fun ride, and kinda bonkers. Depending on the next movie I watch from Tarantino, he could become my favorite screenwriter of all time, and while this was not as good as “Pulp Fiction,” this manages to have the same Tarantino flair that movie had which I appreciate. This is not to say that “Django Unchained” is a ripoff, but it is just another reason why I happen to admire Tarantino’s directorial choices. He’s edgy, creative, and badass. “Django Unchained” solidifies itself as one of the best films of its year and when it comes to other violent films out there, this makes every other film look like it was made for children. “Django Unchained” kicks ass! I’m going to give “Django Unchained” a 9/10!

Thanks for reading this review! For those of you who want to know my next installment in the Tarantino review series, it is going to be his latest film, specifically 2015’s “The Hateful Eight.” I wanted to see this movie in theaters, but I never got around to it because of competition. Let’s face it, I ended up seeing “The Force Awakens” four times in a matter of two months. Nevertheless, I am very excited, I enjoy a good mystery every once in a while, so hopefully this will be good! As for new releases, I’m still trying my best to get myself to go see “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” I’m wondering if it is gonna be this year’s “Deadpool 2.” It’s a movie that I want to see, one that I am trying extra hard to get myself to see, but for one reason or another, I almost failed to get around to it. We’ll see what happens! Be sure to follow Scene Before 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 ever watch “Django Unchained?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite unnecessarily violent film or scene from a film? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Pulp Fiction (1994): That Is a Tasty Movie

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! In just a matter of weeks, Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film, “Once Upon a Time In Hollywood” is being released in theaters, with select engagements in 35mm. But before that comes out, I wanted to look back at three previous films this cinematic powerhouse has helmed over the years. And to kick this series off, we are going to tackle one of Tarantino’s most popular and highly revered titles, “Pulp Fiction.” This flick first released in the mid 1990s and is one of his earliest attempts at creating a film. Much like his previous efforts such as “My Best Friend’s Birthday” and “Reservoir Dogs,” Tarantino also had personal credits for “Pulp Fiction” as both a writer and an actor. Without further ado, let’s start the–

*GUNSHOT*

*in Samuel L. Jackson’s voice* Motherf*–

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“Pulp Fiction” is directed by Quentin Tarantino and stars John Travolta (Grease, Welcome Back, Kotter), Uma Thurman (Batman & Robin, Gattaca), Samuel L. Jackson (Jurassic Park, The Avengers), Harvey Keitel (Taxi Driver, Thelma & Louise), Tim Roth (The Hit, The Cook), Amanda Plummer (The Fisher King, Needful Things), Maria de Medeiros (Midsummer Madness, April Captains), Ving Rhames (Mission: Impossible, Bringing Out the Dead), Eric Stoltz (Mask, St. Elsewhere), Rosanna Arquette (Desperately Seeking Susan, Nowhere To Run), Christopher Walken (A View to a Kill, Batman Returns), and Bruce Willis (Moonlighting, Die Hard). This film is partially inspired by unused scenes from the 1993 flick “True Romance,” also written by Quentin Tarantino. Without going into much detail, because to be completely honest, it’s hard to talk about the plot to a certain extent without spoiling, the film involves a bunch of different people who all have one thing in common: Deadly situations at hand. You have a couple of hitmen played by Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta, there’s a couple who wants to rob a restaurant, etc.

I went into “Pulp Fiction” with extreme expectations. After all, many would call this movie a masterpiece. Plus, prior to seeing the whole film on Blu-ray, my dad showed me clips on YouTube 5 years ago. From what I saw, I was rather impressed. In fact, as of publishing this review, this is the only Tarantino film I have watched from start to finish. I have seen part of one of the “Kill Bill” films when it was on Starz, but that’s not really saying much, isn’t it? I also saw the “Why do I have to be Mr. Pink?” clip from “Reservoir Dogs” five years ago.

And some may even argue that I saw a short film from Quentin Tarantino. I say so because “Family Guy” once did an episode presented in the style of three directors, with the first director being Tarantino. While he was never involved with the episode, the parody is there.

How was the film? Is it the masterpiece that just about every cinephile is making it out to be? Abso-f*ckinglutely. This is screenwriting at its finest! This is set design at its finest! This is actors’ chemistry at its finest!

In fact, I owe a serious apology to what I have said about John Travolta, because I think he has made some unwise choices throughout the century. “Gotti” was his most recent example. And while this was done last century, I now have an increased amount of respect that I can give to him as an actor. Also, Samuel L. Jackson has an incredible resume based on how much work he has been able to get over the years. Out of the millions of projects he has tackled in his career, this might as well be the one with his best performance yet. And part of that has to do with his traditional mannerisms where he yells and swears in a over the top fashion, but also due to what I’ll call “perfect dialogue.”

I cannot cite the screenplay of “Pulp Fiction” from start to finish, although based on how much I enjoyed this film, a mission like that would probably be on my bucket list. There are a lot of moments, either through spoken dialogue or visuals that feel like they would randomly play out in an everyday conversation, or at least I that’s the way I would desire these moments of dialogue to play out. Because there are no points in my life that I would discuss matters involving foot massages with others, but this movie makes me want to go to my local coffee shop or restaurant with someone I know just to talk about the most random topics. It doesn’t have to be foot massages. It could probably be about toenail clippings, maybe which brand of light bulb is the most reliable, which Target store is the best for shopping? There are a ton of moments where the movie is technically sticking to the main story, but it occasionally has diversions when it comes to spoken dialogue. And none of these diversions feel forced because each one is as entertaining as the next. Aside from the foot massage scene, we get a hypnotizing moment where one character wants to order a $5 milkshake, which plays out very well based on the chemistry between the two main characters in the scene, not to mention perhaps the sense of wanting to be a part of this world. Granted, that is a bit of an inaccurate statement, because I don’t want to get shot. I don’t want to get an overdose. I don’t want to be in much danger.

BUT LOOK AT THIS JAW-DROPPING SET!

Seriously, if Tarantino imagined this, he is automatically my favorite filmmaker of all time. This is a classy, American restaurant with a lively interior, but with some unique features, one of my favorites being the car table on the right! At the start of the scene, we see John Travolta and Uma Thurman sitting across from each other chatting and eating, and a part of me just felt immersed into this other-worldly atmosphere. It was almost like watching a “Star Wars” movie if it took place on Earth! It almost reminds me of this movie theater chain that’s primarily known in New Hampshire, I’ve gone several times, but I have not been in years. If you are in northern Massachusetts, or southern New Hampshire, or if you ever heard of Chunky’s, you’d know what I’m talking about. They have this concept that combines a movie theater with a restaurant, where you can sit in car chairs at long tables. I imagine this could exist in other parts of the world, but it is a concept that is close to home for me. They have some traditional American restaurant food like… burgers. OK… this movie made me hungry.

Between this Thurman/Travolta segment and the scene in the apartment from the start of the film, “Pulp Fiction” really makes me want to go out and grab a burger. Coincidentally, I live near Boston, which has a quick bite chain called “Tasty Burger,” whose name was partially inspired by Samuel L. Jackson’s tasting of the Big Kahuna burger from this movie.

“Mmm-mmmm. That is a tasty burger.” -Jules

Another highlight from Thurvolta, as I’ll call them in this review, is something I won’t dive too deep into, but there is a scene where Uma Thurman has an overdose. And let me just say, as those around her are trying to revive her, the execution of this process is nothing short of engaging and kinda brilliant. Again, I didn’t think this was going to happen based on the type of movie this is, I kinda felt like I was there. Luckily, I was not the one with the overdose, but a third party observer.

Last but not least, and WITHOUT SPOILERS of course, because this is one of those films you have to see before you die, let’s talk about the ending. Granted, over my years of experience of going to the cinema and watching films, I saw the direction this film was tending to go towards, but it does not mean that it is not awesome. It’s one of those endings that I feel like I will remember in my last moments. Between the atmosphere, the dialogue, and the mannerisms perhaps provided through Tarantino’s direction, it was like eating an entire birthday cake and realizing you lost a ton of weight the following morning. Again, there is not much I can say about it, because a lot of people who are young will probably read this, maybe they have yet to experience the film for one reason or another. This is a film that you have to watch before you die! TAKE MY WORD FOR IT!

In the end, what else can I say about “Pulp Fiction?” It’s creative, hypnotizing, and gritty to the freaking core. I have only seen one Tarantino film from start to finish, so I cannot really call him my favorite director. But depending on how I feel about the next two films I do in this series or “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” I would not be surprised if I ultimately rank the man in my top 5 directors, or screenwriters, of all time. The man isn’t too bad at acting either. I don’t know when I am going to watch “Pulp Fiction” again, but when I do, I am gonna be grinning like an idiot. Why? This thing is freaking phenomenal. Well done to everyone involved (maybe except Harvey Weinstein)! I’m going to give “Pulp Fiction” a 10/10!

Thanks for reading this review! For those who want to know, my next Tarantino review is going to be for the 2012 film “Django Unchained,” I will be posting my thoughts on that next Monday, July 15th, which will eventually be followed by one more Tarantino review on July 22nd, stay tuned for both of those. As for new releases, I am trying to go see “Spider-Man: Far From Home” as soon as possible, maybe I’ll go Tuesday, I dunno. But on Wednesday I will be going to see the movie “Stuber” as part of an advance screening. I was gonna go see this a couple weeks ago for a Regal Crown Club screening, but due to a mish-mash of reasons, I ended up bowing out. I am however going to do my best to make this one, because I am curious to see how this film turns out. Especially when you consider that this is one of the first Fox films released under their new Disney overlords. Be sure to stay tuned for that review, along with more great content! Also, be sure to follow Scene Before through WordPress or an email! Or, if you are on social media, check out my Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “Pulp Fiction?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your personal favorite Samuel L. Jackson performance? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go grab a burger.

Scene Before 2019 HALFTIME REPORT (And Glance Into the Future)

WARNING: The following post is over 8,000 words long. Disappointingly, it’s not over 9,000.

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! 2019 is midway through and this year is going by fast! As far as my personal life goes, I’m in between my first and second year of college, I am enjoying my time off, and I’m the same movie reviewing moron as usual. Things have changed, but at the same time, I’m still the same flick nerd I have always been. And I mean that literally, but we’ll get to that later. However, I wanted to try something I haven’t done before on this blog. At the end of the year, I tend to do some reflective work, most notably countdowns. And while I am not going to do that at this current midway point, I would at least like to sit myself down and go over some recent highlights related to Scene Before. At the same time, I’d like to also look into the future. Admittedly, some of this is still in planning stages, but still.

I’d like to start off with something I’d like to call “TERRIFIC 3” and “TERRIBLE 3.” I am going to list 3 movies that I have watched this year that I would recommend to people and 3 other movies that I would tell people to avoid. Now, of course, these picks are subjective, if you think differently about these films than I, it might be slightly harder to talk to each other, but you are nevertheless entitled to your different thoughts. In fact, these are not supposed to be my top 3 best or worst of the year so far. If I like a film, I’ll list it, if I don’t like a film, I’ll also list it. These are not meant to be in any particular order. Anyway, let’s begin!

TERRIFIC 3!

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Starting off the Terrific 3 is “John Wick: Chapter 3!” I went to see this film in Dolby Cinema alongside my dad, who might be a bigger “John Wick” fan than anyone else I know. He and I walked out agreeing that the action in the film is absolutely top-notch. The action in “John Wick” films is certainly the aspect that would grab my attention more than any other. Long takes, innovative setpieces, gritty violence, all of it adds up to make some of my favorite action scenes of all time. When it comes to current action franchises, I am having some slight trouble deciding whether I prefer this or “Mission: Impossible.” It’s that good!

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Up next is a stellar DreamWorks animation whose franchise I never watched religiously, but always liked, “How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.” If you have ever seen the game show “Deal or No Deal,” the show always highlights the phrase “timing is everything,” and when it comes to “How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” that phrase becomes more relevant than ever. This movie came out in the middle of my second semester of college, and I could not help but feel like the people behind the movie were trying to consider me in its target audience. After all, while “How To Train Your Dragon” may be a franchise directed towards families and children, this growing adult could not help but feel like a kid again. In fact, to add more to this true masterpiece of an animated film, I became more emotional during this movie than I did during perhaps more than any other. Even more than “Toy Story 3.”

Last but not least for the Terrific 3 is a movie that I decided to list because it’s on a slightly different end of the spectrum. Because let’s face it, I’m kind of recommending movies to you, and why recommend “Avengers: Endgame” when almost everyone went to see it? So let’s recommend a smaller movie, such as Terry Gilliam’s “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.” Now some would argue that this is a 2018 flick, but in the United States, which is where I live, this didn’t come out until 2019. For those of you who don’t know this movie, “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” took decades to make, and it’s about a guy who reunites with someone he worked with during a production. This person he meets with is convinced that he is Don Quixote. This did not get that big of a release in theaters, but it is worth seeing just because of its history, because despite going through “development hell,” it managed to turn out quite well! The movie is now available on home video including various VOD options.

Now let’s move onto something that probably doesn’t deserve any attention, but because I believe in equality, we’re talking about it anyway, the Terrible 3!

TERRIBLE 3!

First up is a movie that I want to put on here because what’s the harm with having an unpopular opinion? Oh wait, everything. Who cares? One of the most successful movies of the year, “Captain Marvel,” just didn’t stick the landing for me. This had a lot of hype building up to it, but I personally just couldn’t relate. And when I saw the final product, I felt like… Wait, why’s everybody laughing and cheering? Yes, there are a couple of cool moments in the movie. For example, I dug the 90’s references such as Blockbuster Video and Dial-Up Internet. Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson have some good chemistry, but when it comes to Larson in general, her performance was kind of mediocre. Granted, I know grade-A acting isn’t the biggest component of a comic book movie, but Brie Larson, an Academy Award winner, felt more like she was in a couple straight to DVD films and that’s it. Granted, I think she did a slightly better job in “Avengers: Endgame,” but her performance here simply underwhelmed me. Plus, there’s a moment in this movie that references a significant part of the MCU lore (having to do with Samuel L. Jackson) and quite honestly, the way they go about it just killed my brain.

Up next is a movie that could have been great but was simply wasted. From the creators of NOT “Firefly” comes “Serenity.” “Serenity” could be somewhat fun, not to mention a great “thinker” movie, but it manages to become more boring the more I think about it. I love the movie “Interstellar,” so I was somewhat excited to see Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway unite once again for another project. Both have talent as actors and they’ve proven they have great chemistry. Honestly, I’d just go back to watching “Interstellar” if this is the movie we’re getting. Although this movie came out in January so it should not be surprising that we would get a movie of this quality.

And finally, we have what may be my worst movie of the year should nothing surpass it, “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” The sad thing about “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” is that I was actually desperately anticipating this movie. When I went to see it, I was ready for what was about to happen. Or was I? Seeing movies in IMAX may be great because it feels so big, but when they’re a big mess, what is the point? Maybe the monster fights could be fun, but if I wanted to watch this movie again, I’d probably have to be heavily drugged. Because let’s face it, as cool as big monsters are, the unforgivable part of “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” are the one-dimensional human characters. This could be slightly less intolerable if the human characters were less of a focal point during the movie, but they made me want to go back and check out some of the “Transformers” movies again! They’re THAT horrible!

I just showed you all my terrific and terrible picks, now let’s go over a few recent highlights from my blogging journey.

As usual, I kicked off my 2019 with my traditional countdowns to reflect on the year of 2018 in film. I went over the best of the year along with the worst of the year. Some of my top picks included “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “Eighth Grade,” and “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” Some of my bottom picks included “The 15:17 To Paris,” “Uncle Drew,” and “Life of the Party.” I enjoy doing these countdowns every year and this is the first year that I started writing what I would put in the countdowns as early as August. I did not do this for every single movie, but I visualized the lists a long time prior to actually releasing them. This does not suggest that I avoided considering movies released past August, as evidenced by some of my picks.

After I did my lists, I saw my first 2019 release, which according to IMDb, is actually a 2017 release. Based on my experience and research, I’d call it a 2019 release, but still. That film by the way is “The Upside,” which is a remake of 2011’s “The Intouchables.” I personally have not seen “The Intouchables,” and while “The Upside” from my perspective is not really anything special when it comes to cinema, it is still a fun time. I went to see it at a press screening, and there were tons of laughs to be heard.

A couple weeks later I went to one of my local arthouse theatres to see a flick that I almost ended up passing on. Specifically, “Roma.” Why? Because when it comes to today’s media, Netflix is a company that I traditionally tend to avoid. But one of my local theaters managed to get access to a 70mm film print of “Roma,” which would be presented for a limited time. I took advantage of the opportunity and purchased a few tickets for a matinee show. Not only was the experience breathtaking, but the movie was one of the best of the past year. If I had to redo my top 10 lists of 2018, this would be on the best list, but I saw “Roma” after completing said lists.

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I also decided to try out a new concept this year which I have decided to make an annual tradition, the Jackoff Awards. For awhile, over the past year, I have grown to admire the Oscars based on how much respect they tend to pay towards the film industry. Granted, they’re not perfect, but what they’ve done over the years is absolutely intriguing. I thought to myself, why not do a big awards related post? Present similar categories to other major shows, I do my own comedy bits, and it was perhaps the most ambitious post I have ever done. As for Best Picture, I decided to present what was then my top 10 of 2018, which DID include “Roma,” and instead of having me choose Best Picture, I would allow my audience to choose the winner. I figured it would allow for diversity in terms of opinions, and I managed to get a surprisingly diverse number of votes. I got some votes for “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “First Man,” “Ready Player One,” but the winner turned out to be last year’s biggest comic book movie, “Avengers: Infinity War.” Honestly, if there were any movie to put in my Blu-ray player on a Friday night at this point, it would most certainly be that one.

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I then continued my journey in March by going to the place that I would associate with film more than any other, Los Angeles. My family and I stayed right near Hollywood Boulevard and I got to visit a few media-related sights including Warner Brothers Studios, the TCL Chinese Theatre (where I saw “Captain Marvel”), and Universal Studios Hollywood. I also got the chance to witness a live taping of “Conan.” While I didn’t make a big post related to this, I managed to briefly discuss some of my highlights here and there.

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For those of you who are curious about my “Conan” taping experience, I managed to witness almost two full shows. Why? Conan O’Brien had to be somewhere when his Thursday show would air, so naturally, he had a demand, he wanted us, Thursday’s audience, to “make Tuesday’s audience look like s*it.” We got see all of Tuesday’s show, which had a couple comedy bits and an interview with Timothy Olyphant (Live Free or Die Hard, Santa Clarita Diet) and a good fraction of a Thursday night show which featured comedian Moses Storm, who joked about cell phone users, “Shark Tank,” and revealed a story where he would tape episodes of Conan O’Brien’s older talk show episodes over his religion-related educational programming. By the way, Conan in person looks like a real life action figure. Maybe it’s the makeup. Maybe it’s the lighting in the studio, but my gosh.

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I also got to visit an RPX venue for the first time. For those who don’t know about RPX, they are a premium format that can be found exclusively in cinemas under Regal Entertainment Group ownership. I didn’t plan on attending RPX when I did, but I managed to get something off my list of movie-related things to do before I died. After all, “Us” just came out, and I was in the Boston area. I figured just to save time, I’d go for the earlier, but more expensive show that Regal Cinemas Fenway was providing, as opposed to another show which would be starting a half hour later. For your information, I was aware that I was going into an RPX screen. I didn’t mind my decision, I figured if I wanted to see “Us,” I’d go see it in full scale glory because I was really anticipating it. While I have still yet to see “Get Out” to this day, I have heard about its overwhelmingly positive reception and I was expecting that Jordan Peele would deliver another sick movie. While “Us” was not perfect, it was definitely worth seeing, and I wouldn’t mind watching it again. As for the RPX experience itself, I thought the seats were not too bad. The capacity was through the roof, the screen, while not entirely wall to wall, was huge. As for the sound… It is undeniably better than a standard theater, but I was a little underwhelmed. Maybe I went to see the wrong movie, maybe the employees turned the speakers down, but when I compare the sound to something like IMAX or Dolby Cinema at AMC, I would go back to both of those places first.

Moving onto April, I managed to survive the whole “Avengers: Endgame” ticket buying craze. For those not fully immersed into what I just stated, I must point out that “Avengers: Endgame” tickets went on sale April 2nd, and the Internet went balls to the wall nuts when it came to snagging tickets. I had to wait in Fandango’s line, AMC was having problems, and it got to the point where I had to buy tickets from a somewhat local cinema chain, on their own, slightly buggy website, just to make sure I could get into school on time. I almost took the train to one of my local AMCs because I could stop by there on the way to school. If I did that, I am willing to bet I would have missed out on opening night of “Endgame,” which was the day I was shooting for. After all I did want to get my review out as soon as possible, and I did manage to score a couple tickets on remaining good seats for a 9PM show. Not at an AMC, but at a Showcase Cinemas. While it was not my first choice, I don’t regret going there, because an hour before going into the cinema, I got a glimpse at everyone leaving the 22 MCU movie marathon the theater was showing over a few days. Everyone was being applauded, and they left with some merch. I recorded this aftermath on Facebook Live, and despite my camera’s focusing problems and poor cellular service, I managed to get some respectable footage. Also as a Bostonian, I was proud of myself to catch a reporter from one of my local news channels, WBZ, or CBS Channel 4. To be specific, Tashanea Whitlow. As for the premiere itself, the movie was fun, and the three hour runtime was rather justified given what we as an audience received. I didn’t think it was perfect, I’d much rather watch “Infinity War,” but it was a great finale to over ten years of films. I will also say, this may be due to where I went to see the movie, seeing “Infinity War” was also a better experience. Because I went to see it at a 7PM show on opening Thursday on an eight story IMAX screen. If you have ever gone to see an event-type film in India, that is one of the most solid comparisons I could make to my experience. It was like going to a Stanley Cup game or something. “Endgame,” which was in a sold out theater in regular 2D, had barely any applause (although some reactions here and there), and out of everyone in the theater, I may have been the most obnoxious. If I had to make a sports comparison, I’d probably say it was like going to a slightly more competitive golf tournament. It was lively at times, but not like the roof was being blown off the place. I know some people are not particularly fans of going to theaters where everyone is reacting to the film’s key moments, but as a fan of the MCU, it’s something that I considered to be a privilege during my “Infinity War” experience.

May was an interesting month for me, because I just finished my first year of college, so I got a little more active on the Scene Before side of things. I’m now trying to earn revenue with the blog, I saw more movies than I did in months such as March or February, and I even changed my domain name. Unfortunately, scenebefore.com was taken, so I wanted to make sure I can fit something that would associate with me, but also be precise. I thought something like moviereviewingmoron.com, while definitely appropriate, is a tad too long. Luckily, after some searching, I found out that flicknerd.com was available. Did I ever call myself “flick nerd” on this blog? No, but I figured it would be a cool name to have because its simplicity will probably gain enough traction overtime. It’s hard to tell though, because this advanced blogging journey, at least from my point of view, is just getting started. I’m looking for sponsors, more potential viewers, but I’m also trying to be the same movie reviewing moron that everyone has come to know.

One of my highlight posts of the month is titled “What THE BIG BANG THEORY Has Meant To Me: A Nerd’s Perspective.” For those who are unaware, CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” just finished it’s twelfth and final season on the air, so I figured I’d take some time to remind the world of what the show has meant to me as a fan, as someone who would constantly tune in to new episodes, and most of all, as a nerd on the autism spectrum. I probably won’t have time to give a detailed description of everything I said, so if you want to read the post, click this link!

I also saw another one of my favorite films so far this year, “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum!” Not only that, but like I mentioned earlier, I managed to catch a Dolby Cinema presentation of it, which surprisingly, didn’t make me feel like I was getting shot in the head, which may be a good thing. Seriously though, “John Wick: Chapter 3” is probably the best installment of the franchise yet, and Keanu Reeves might now just have a better trilogy than “The Matrix!”

But I cannot say the end of the month was great, because “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” happened. Sad day. Even though I went to see the film in full scale IMAX glory, it didn’t feel like something worth my time.

Moving onto June, I managed to do something pretty cool with my dad. He and I go to the movies together a lot because for the most part we have similar tastes. We match together when it comes to sci-fi, action, comic book-based material, comedy, etc. However he has never been to an advance press screening, so I thought just for fun he and I could do so for the new movie, “Men In Black: International.” It’s a movie that I probably would have checked out had I waited for it to release everywhere. After all, “Men In Black 3” is my favorite movie of 2012. However, since this was free, not to mention, early, I thought dad and I could trek to the theater and see what this movie had in store. I personally enjoyed it. I know some people were scared of how this movie would turn out based on the marketing (Then again, it’s a Sony film, whaddya expect these days?). I thought the first trailer was alright, but not great. The second trailer was an improvement and actually got me more interested in the film. As for the film itself, it is not Shakespeare, but it’s a fun time at the movies. Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson have great chemistry together and I think Kumail Nanjiani’s character is a fantastic comic relief.

The best movie I saw this month was “Toy Story 4,” which I must point out, I probably was not even looking forward to back when it was announced. Boy, times do change! Unfortunately, I had to witness brain cell erasers such as “Replicas,” which I bought on Blu-ray since I had some Best Buy rewards to waste. I also saw “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” which is worse than getting scratched in the eye by a cat. Yes, Harrison Ford is in it. Yes, he is the best part of the movie. But I might as well be at the point where I would rather have a dog sniff my butt then go so that film again!

Now that I have recapped my highlights, I just want to remind everyone of what’s being planned for the future. Here is my unofficial schedule for the second half of 2019!

JULY:

Throughout the month of July, there are not that many movies coming out compared to other months in the year (at least according to Wikipedia), but I am planning on catching a few blockbuster highlights such as “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” despite how little anticipation I have for it. I also really want to catch Disney’s live-action remake of “The Lion King.” I am not a fan of the Disney live-action remake trend, but I feel that this movie will be a great theater experience and also rather compelling. I don’t know how much it is going to be a carbon copy of the original or how much it’ll go in its own direction, but I am somewhat curious as to what will come of it. I know it is longer than the original, which slightly worries me, because it could add something that perhaps the 1990s film didn’t even need, therefore ruining my experience. Plus, it’s being directed by Jon Faverau, who also worked on 2016’s “The Jungle Book,” another Disney live-action remake, which was one of my favorite movies of said year. I also really want to check out “Crawl.” The trailer didn’t have me fully onboard, but I am still curious as to how this film will turn out. Plus, it’s being produced by Sam Raimi, who is known for his work in the horror industry, and one of my favorite comic book movie directors.

This does not mean that I want to ignore independent work, because on the same weekend as “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” A24 is releasing one of my most anticipated movies of the summer. Specifically, “Midsommar.” When your movie is A: Directed by Ari Aster, who had a phenomenal feature-length directorial debut last year with “Hereditary,” another A24 film, and B: Described by Aster as “a Wizard of Oz for perverts,” I am instantly intrigued. “Midsommar” takes place in rural Sweden as a young couple takes a vacation and settles in the area. Alongside their friends, they eventually discover that this area has a festival that takes place once every ninety years, which creeps them all out. I want to see Ari Aster succeed, so hopefully this film does well.

Speaking of successful filmmakers, another well-known director in the industry, specifically Quentin Tarantino, is going to be releasing his ninth film, “Once Upon a Time In Hollywood.” And to be honest, as anticipated as I am to see this film, I have to let something out. I have not seen much of Tarantino’s work. I will most likely be going to see “Once Upon a Time In Hollywood” when it comes out, maybe in 35mm, but before I do that, I am going to be doing a small series of reviews for Quentin Tarantino movies. In fact, I already have a few lined up. Specifically, “Pulp Fiction,” “Django Unchained,” and “The Hateful Eight.” Those reviews will be done as weekly projects and they should all be up before the official release date of “Once Upon a Time In Hollywood,” July 26th.

 

AUGUST:

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESRemember how I would occasionally announce I am going to cons from time to time? For some reason I have failed to do that this year. It’s not like I am not going anywhere, but I have just failed to put myself in front of my keyboard and try to say, “Hey guys, here’s where I’m going, stalk me!” Not that don’t mind the attention, I’m just saying. But if you really want to know about my next con, I do have it booked, and I will be going to Terrificon, which for those of you who have been following me for some time, you’d know that is also the first con I ever documented on this blog. And I am thinking of doing something a little different this time, just to spice things up. I’m trying to push more video content into my posts, maybe I’ll insert a compilation of the con’s highlights. I’ll record it on my camera, maybe my phone, whichever has more memory at the time. Maybe I’ll post it on YouTube and link it here. Who knows? But here on Scene Before I am trying find ways to innovate, and maybe this could be one of them.

Speaking of cons, this is NO GUARANTEE, partially because I have not even bought tickets, but there is one convention that is about a half hour away from my house that I kind of want to go to. Whether or not I am going, that’s a different story, but should things go in a certain direction, I may end up going to Fan Expo Boston, which is a con I have surprisingly never been to. And the guest list this year, aside from a couple big cancellations, is solid so far. You’ve got Zachary Levi (Shazam!, Tangled), who I will say, even if you are not into his work, he is a fun guy to meet, he is upbeat and has a massive sense of charm. Part of the cast of “Blade Runner” is going to be there including Sean Young, Rutger Hauer, and Edward James Olmos. I have a feeling there are more guest announcements coming our way, and if there are, I cannot wait to hear them, because there have been a lot of cool names who were there over the years to the point where I almost have slight regrets on missing out. If I were to get tickets to Fan Expo, I’d probably just go for one day. After all, Terrificon is the week prior, and I am staying overnight during that weekend, so my budget might be slightly higher at that event compared to Fan Expo.

Moving away from cons, I will say that my biggest film catches for August right now have to be “Hobbs & Shaw,” “Dora and the Lost City of Gold,” “Good Boys,” “Where’d You Go Bernadette?,” and “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.” There is not much from August that I am truly anticipating, but I will inevitably go see a few things here and there. And if you want to know something, I only put down “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” because let’s face it, “Dora the Explorer” was a part of my childhood, and nostalgia equals money nowadays. Granted, this movie looks a tad more adult-friendly than the cartoon. But am I looking forward to it? Hell no. In fact, I am thinking it is only going to ruin my childhood, but I might as well give it a chance just because I am a nice guy. I saw the recent “Power Rangers” film partially out of nostalgia and that worked for me, might as well do it with “Dora” and see if that works.

 

SEPTEMBER:
If I had to predict my least active month for the rest of the year, I have to call it right now, September is certainly a contender. For one thing, I’m going back to college, so I need to adjust to a new routine. I’m still going to keep my promise of doing at least one post within every 7 days or so, that way you can keep witnessing my constant dedication to this blog. I’m probably not gonna go see “IT: Chapter Two” mainly because I still have not seen the first one. Although the cast is pretty nifty from what I have experienced. But I am interested in “The Goldfinch,” I have some slight intrigue towards “The Report,” and maybe I’ll check out “Abominable.” I saw one of the trailers for it, and it looks like it might not be a new animated classic or anything, but I am somewhat curious to check it out, partially because even as an adult, I still have a slight need to check out animations from time to time. Plus, it is from DreamWorks, and I’m currently trying to seek out their next big thing. “Kung Fu Panda” is done, “How to Train Your Dragon” seems to be done, maybe this, or something else, can be their next kickstarter to a solid franchise. Then again, apparently they’re making sequels to “The Boss Baby,” “The Croods,” and “Trolls,” so why should I expect absolute quality? Nevertheless, it’s worth a shot.

Although if you had to ask me what my most anticipated movie would be for the month of September, it’s a no brainer, “Ad Astra.” I love space, I love compelling, dramatic stories involving space travel, even if it is close to Earth. Plus, the second half of the year for numerous ages of my life have typically contained at least one epic space movie. Maybe “Ad Astra” will be the next to join the ranks with other movies from this decade like “The Martian” and “Interstellar.”

 

OCTOBER:

This October is pretty interesting to me, because there will be a weekend where my mother and sister are out of the house and I will quite honestly, need something to do. I can’t just stay trapped behind walls! I have to see the world! Nevertheless, that particular weekend is the release of “Joker,” which I am inevitably going to check out no matter what, but for the sake of having an early review, I’m going to check it out as soon as possible. I have Fridays off from school this upcoming semester, maybe I’ll do it then. The following week is the release of Will Smith’s “Gemini Man,” directed by Ang Lee, so I might see that. And the week after is slightly bigger because Taika Waititi is coming out with his latest directorial feature, “Jojo Rabbit,” where believe it or not, Waititi himself plays Hitler. I never pictured that, but this film certainly has my attention. That same week is also the release of “Zombieland: Double Tap.” I had fun with the first “Zombieland.” I enjoyed the chemistry between Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson, and it has, at least to me, a pure highlight from Bill Murray’s acting career. And to my surprise, he’s coming back for this movie! I also want to check out “The Aeronauts” which is being released by Amazon, and the reason why I want to check it out is because it is Amazon’s first attempt at an IMAX run and it is also being released a week early in that format. The film will technically be in standard theaters in November after it’s week-long IMAX run. And if this is the case, this reminds me of the excitement I had for Robert Zemeckis’ “The Walk,” because that released a week early in IMAX and that was quite an experience.

Speaking of lesser known films, one other thing I want to check out is the South Korean flick “Parasite.” It’s getting tons of buzz at film festivals, having earned Palme d’Or at Cannes, winning the Sydney Film Festival, and already making tons of money in Korea. The film’s US release is this October, which would put it in a reasonable spot to be remembered by Academy and Golden Globe voters.

 

NOVEMBER:
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This November is particularly interesting. Because November 1st is the day I’m heading off to Providence for Rhode Island Comic Con, and that’s the day after Halloween! I’m not cosplaying (at least I have no plans to right now) at this con, but I just want to walk around the convention floor for hours and stumble upon every costumed individual and wish them a Happy Halloween. Nevertheless, I am staying true to my annual tradition of going to Rhode Island Comic Con. The guest list is usually filled to the brim, so I cannot wait to hear more announcements over these upcoming months. Even so, the convention has had some huge announcements for guests thus far. Some guests include Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy, Blade Runner 2049), William Shatner (Star Trek: The Original Series, Boston Legal), George Takei (Star Trek: The Original Series, Kim Possible), Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead, Final Space), and to my utter surprise, and possible delight, Chevy Chase. By the way, Chase made an announcement about his upcoming appearance online and the video he made for it is very funny.

Sticking to the announcement wishlist concept, I recently made a submission on the con’s website suggesting names of five possible guests that I want to see. They include: James Murray, Curtis Armstrong, Kunal Nayyar, Doug Walker, and James Holzhauer. I could be mistaking Doug Walker for somebody else, but even if I am, he would be fun to see at the con. Of all these names, the one that really stands out to me is James Holzhauer. Out of all the people on this list, he is the least “celebrity-like” of all of them. James Murray comes close, but barely misses the mark. For those who are unaware, Holzhauer is the name of the recent “Jeopardy!” contestant who wouldn’t stop taking the show’s money. He has nearly broken Ken Jennings’ regular winnings record, only to be stopped by an opponent who beat him by more than double his final total for the game he lost. I think Holzhauer appearing at Rhode Island Comic Con would not just be unique, but also entirely appropriate. After all, it would probably bring in a new audience of people who would otherwise skip out on cons. Plus, as a game show enthusiast, I cannot help but keep talking about Holzhauer like he’s my own child. It’s almost as if being able to catch the latest “Jeopardy!” episode or at least reading up on the latest stats was the ultimate bragging right. Also, this year I’m going with a VIP ticket, which comes with various perks.

VIP Ticket Perks:

  • 3 day admission
  • Early bird admission (9AM Sat & Sun)
  • Private VIP Entrance
  • Private VIP Lounge
  • 3 Exclusive RI Comic Con Show Prints
  • Rhode Island Comic Con Swag Bag
  • 20% off RICC Branded Merchandise
  • Exclusive VIP 2019 RI Comic Con Badge
  • Exclusive RICC AR Comics-Comic Book
  • Exclusive RICC Comic Book
  • VIP Autograph Fast Pass Line
  • VIP Photo Op Fast Pass Line
  • Chance to Win 2020 VIP Pass
  • One Exclusive Mystery Item

I am personally excited for the con, and believe it or not, it is not the first time I’m getting a VIP badge, because the first time I went, which was in 2015, I managed to get said badge as well.

That same weekend is also the release of the new “Terminator” film, “Terminator: Dark Fate.” It is a cliche title, but its first trailer, personally had me intrigued. I’m excited to see what Tim Miller has up his sleeve in terms of direction. I am somewhat excited to see James Cameron involved again, although I am slightly worried because we now have more disposable “Terminator” movies than memorable “Terminator” movies. Let’s just hope we can change that.

Some of my other most anticipated films of the month include “Ford v. Ferrari,” “Knives Out,” and “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” “Ford v. Ferrari” takes place during a race to determine which of the two recently specified car brands will dominate. “Knives Out” is an upcoming mystery crime film directed by Rian Johnson. I did not like his interpretation of the “Star Wars” universe, but it does not mean I am not willing to check out his future work. Plus, this movie has a number of big names that I imagine a lot of people would like to see. Some include Daniel Craig (Casino Royale, Logan Lucky), Chris Evans (Captain America: The First Avenger, Gifted), Lakeith Stanfield (Black Panther, Sorry To Bother You), Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049, War Dogs), Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween, Scream Queens), the world’s best Kevin Spacey impersonator, Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World, A Beautiful Mind), and recent Jackoff winner Toni Collette (Hereditary, The Sixth Sense). As for “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” it is in the current conversation to be my most anticipated film for the remainder of the year. For one thing, I saw “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” last year, which much like “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” is about Mister Rogers. That documentary not only compelled me, but reminded me of my personal flaws in my childhood, and maybe inspired me to be a better person. I still rage out on this blog a lot, but it’s something that I don’t really do for me, I do it for the entertainment of others, so that’s different. But it reminded me of how much it pays to respect those around you. Plus, TOM HANKS IS PLAYING THE STARRING ROLE?! Who else could do that?! He’s practically the nicest guy in Hollywood! SIGN ME UP! Believe it or not, that comes out the same weekend as “Frozen II,” but who cares about that?! Rogers for life!

 

DECEMBER:

The end of the year is always a crazy time for me, but just like last year, it’ll perhaps be less busy than it has been in other years. My fall semester will end during the month, and I’ll be in the cycle of watching previous movies from the year at home. This does not mean that I’ll be skipping theatrical releases, because award season is in full swing. This means I’ll be paying extra close attention to films that receive Golden Globe nominations, and as for reviewing movies I watch at home, the chances of that are very slim. But this does not mean that big blockbusters are entirely off the table. For one thing, they tend to sometimes do pretty well in certain technical categories, and we have another “Star Wars” film this year. I have intentions to go see “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” opening Thursday night, mainly because I want to buy tickets as early as possible. If I can’t do that, I am going to try extra hard to find an available press screening, because aside from “Endgame,” “The Rise of Skywalker” is perhaps the biggest movie of 2019. Aside from being titled “Star Wars,” it is supposed to end “The Skywalker Saga,” and J.J. Abrams is directing again. I was not a huge fan of “The Last Jedi,” but I love “The Force Awakens” like it is my own brother. I am honestly more excited for “The Rise of Skywalker” than I was for “The Last Jedi” before that came out because I was somewhat worried that “The Last Jedi” would be a carbon copy of “The Empire Strikes Back.” Turns out it wasn’t, despite similarities to older films in the saga. And I even say this knowing how some things in “The Last Jedi” turned out. Having seen the trailer back in April, knowing certain plot points that could play out, and realizing J.J. Abrams could save this sequel trilogy, I am rather giddy for this December. But despite my excitement, I gotta ask. HOW IS PALPATINE STILL ALIVE?! I am excited to possibly see him in this film, but really?! When he was thrown down the pit in “Return of the Jedi,” yeeaah, HE F*CKING DIED. There is no coming back from that. I’m intrigued, I just need to be convinced.

When it comes to smaller films, one such film I am very excited for is “Little Women.” The film is supposed to explore the lives of sisters as they live in 1860s Massachusetts. It may not be my type of movie on paper, but one reason why I am excited is because the film is being directed by Greta Gerwig, who also helmed one of the best coming of age stories I have seen in recent years, “Lady Bird.” In addition to that, the cast is killer! This movie’s got Meryl Streep (Sophie’s Choice, The Iron Lady), Emma Watson (Beauty and the Beast, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone), Laura Dern (Big Little Lies, Jurassic Park), Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird, Mary Queen of Scots), and Timothée Chalamet (Interstellar, Beautiful Boy)! I am also probably going to be looking into “1917,” which is a war film. Those tend to often go for awards, which is why I have my sights set on it. There are a couple films that I might check out that I would probably regret seeing, but the only real film that I’d struggle with reviewing is “Fair and Balanced.” Granted, this does not mean I am not looking forward to the film, nor am I expecting to be underwhelmed with it, in fact it sounds rather intriguing from a storytelling point of view. But the movie is about relationships between women and Fox News owner Roger Ailes, and I feel that it is going to be rather hard to keep my political opinions out of the review. I’m not saying I am a core conservative that keeps a closed mind, I try to see all sides and then form my own opinion. I have made various political jokes here and there on Scene Before, but politics is not my top priority, especially when you consider how divided we are as a country right now. Although I did manage to check out “Vice” last year, which was pretty good, but part of it had to do with the buzz it has been getting. Who knows? Maybe I’ll check out “Fair and Balanced,” for all I know it could be the best movie of the year, but I feel like it would be hard to review if I’m going to have to inject my experience with how the world operates in terms of politics. We’ll just have to see.

And of course, I’ll be finishing off the year, or perhaps more likely, kicking off next year, by recapping my top 10 BEST and WORST movies of 2019. I enjoy doing these countdowns every year, because I get to honor films one more time, and also give myself a minor stress release.

Although I must remind you, it is 2019, and here on Scene Before I am trying to constantly find new ways to deliver exciting content to you all. In 2017, I did a couple of cutaway style parodies, in 2018 I did a post talking about my Blu-ray collection, and just this year I introduced the world to the Jackoff Awards. The question is, where I do I go next? I’ve done tons of countdowns, reviews of the past, reviews of the present, what could be next? I know! ALL OF IT IN ONE. Ladies and gentlemen, if you have been following Scene Before and saw one of my posts in April, you’d know that I put out a trailer for something I once referred to as “Project 2020.” Although, based on statistics, I doubt many of you have even glanced at that post. But for those of you who know what I’m talking about, good for you. You get a “good job” sticker! But for those of you who don’t know, watch this trailer down below!

*ALL COPYRIGHTS BELONG TO THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS*

That’s right! I am going to be crafting a list of my highlight movies of the 2010’s, and I must have you know, I am setting this list up to be bigger than the lists I traditionally do at the end of the year. While this is still in planning stages, I will be intending to make this list perhaps a top 25, maybe a top 50. I was also debating on a top 100 as well. Depends on how much time I have. I am honestly MORE THAN EXCITED to work on this list, and release it to you all. I started Scene Before in 2016, which means I did not get too many chances to talk about films from years prior, so not only is this a personal reflection of various films I watched during my blogging journey, but a reflection of an entire ten year span that I lived through before becoming this active on the Internet. I’m not gonna say anything, but 2014 was a great year for film as far I’m concerned, so depending on how the rest of 2019 plays out, we might see a good number of films I’m passionate about from that year make the list. This is not to put down any other year from this decade, I’m just giddy of what’s to come…

And by the way, a worst list is in the works too.

At home I am making an effort to watch various films that have come out this decade just to catch up, and maybe add something to the best or worst list at the end of the year. I’m not gonna get into too much detail, because I do want to save some secrets for when the list comes out, but I am stoked just to be working on this.

Thanks for reading this post! If you like Scene Before and want to see more content, consider following me either with an email or WordPress account! As for upcoming content, I want to remind everyone, in case they forgot by now, I will soon be starting my Quentin Tarantino review series, which will eventually culminate with a review either at the end of July or beginning of August with my thoughts on “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” I cannot wait to get started on this, Tarantino is a filmmaker I have often admired behind the scenes, but I have barely seen any of his material. Now is a good time to start! Also, be sure to check out my Facebook page! Get your latest updates from the movie reviewing moron by using Facebook, the home of some of the all-time laziest efforts at wishing someone a happy birthday. Be sure to stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, is there something that you would like to see be done here on Scene Before, perhaps for this half of 2019? Or, what is your favorite Scene Before moment, post, anything that I have done so far this year? It can even be this one for all I care! Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Christopher Nolan: The Bright Auteur Rises

WARNING: The following post is a piece of college work based on months of research. As you may know, I, Jack Drees, continue to operate Scene Before every day for a general audience and film lovers everywhere, dedicating time to film reviews, news updates, countdowns, and my general opinion on various matters. If this post sounds abnormal or differing in style, it is due to an attempt to follow guidelines in order to achieve a positive grade in my class. Thanks for your attention, enjoy the post! 

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! For the past few years on Scene Before, you, my viewers, have been exposed to a variety of film reviews, four of which are for movies directed by Christopher Nolan. For a portion of my life, I have practically been an evangelical towards his work, and if you followed this blog for some time, you’d know that. Today, however, I would like to take the opportunity to discuss something that some of you might find to be a con when it comes to Nolan. If you know about Nolan’s statistics, you’d know he generally receives extremely positive reviews, in fact the lowest Rotten Tomatoes score he received for a film he directed was a 72%. This and other factors have solidified Nolan as a filmmaking powerhouse and an auteur with an unusual amount of power.

Film buffs happen to know that Nolan is dedicated to his craft and will do a film his way, which to him, is his absolute preference. Think of Nolan as a newer incarnation of Steven Spielberg or George Lucas. In fact, as I personally watch his movies, I happen to find a similar vibe between all of them, even if they aren’t in a linked franchise or have completely different storylines. For example, Nolan’s scripts tend to have a main character who is a white male with darker hair, because diversity is totally, without objection, a top priority. Speaking of repetition, Nolan often inserts a wife character in some way who will eventually meet her fate with death. Nolan’s trademarks also include puzzle-like plots, tons of practical effects, and relying on film stock. In fact, relying on film stock is not just a trademark for Nolan, but it’s a lifestyle.

In an age where people lack the attention span to pick up a paper case, open it, and insert a media file into a player (unless you’re me, as proven above), it is almost surprising that film stock is still a thing.

But based on the efforts of Christopher Nolan and other directors including Quentin Tarantino, it is still thriving for a select number of directors, cinematographers, and movie theaters. As more and more theaters switch to digital projection, Nolan still had no problem with releasing his films the way he intended in certain areas. After all, these are his creations, not anyone else’s. Nolan and his recent films such as Interstellar and Dunkirk have surfaced in the news because they released either on 35mm or 70mm film. Digital projection, which Nolan and others see as inferior, has gotten an enormous boost thanks to the release of James Cameron’s Avatar in 2009. This is partially due to its use of 3D, which is primarily shot digitally (unless there are certain cases of post-conversion), which Nolan has yet to use for any of his films, even for cases like The Dark Knight Rises, released in 2012, a time when post-conversion to 3D was a new and popular fad and 3D Blu-rays were still being made for American audiences. Speaking of movie gimmicks, Nolan also broke ground by being the first director to shoot a Hollywood feature with IMAX cameras.

If the IMAX experience has proven anything aside from the fact that consumers are willing to pay extra money to watch Spider-Man shoot a web into their faces, it has proven that Christopher Nolan changed moviemaking by shooting The Dark Knight on what is theoretically the highest quality format for a motion picture. Nolan shot The Dark Knight with select scenes, about thirty minutes of footage to be precise, on IMAX film. IMAX’s film stock is technically 65mm film, but unlike traditional cameras of that sort, IMAX’s film camera holds film that goes horizontal as opposed to vertical. Nolan’s IMAX footage covered its brand-specific screens from floor to ceiling during the film’s theatrical run, which then carried over to the film’s Blu-ray release. Speaking of carrying over, Nolan’s pioneering efforts allowed directors like Michael Bay and Zack Snyder to create films of their own using IMAX-shot footage.

The reality is, Christopher Nolan, above all, is not necessarily a filmmaker, he’s an auteur. While people who worked with him managed to point out his calmness on set, Nolan also embodies the qualities of a filmmaker who needs to get his way. Luckily for Nolan, he has had successes from his previous films which allow him to make whatever kind of film he wants. Much like how the franchise name Star Wars is likely to get people to watch a movie, even with a character like Jar Jar Binks, the director name, Christopher Nolan, is likely to do the same. This is even during cases where Nolan does a movie that doesn’t base itself on a popular or preexisting franchise. Inception, Nolan’s first film after The Dark Knight, grossed over $800 million at the box office. Interstellar, which came out four years after Inception, managed to make under $700 million.

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There is also an argument to make is that Nolan’s freedom and control comes from family roots. Aside from directing, Nolan often receives credits for writing and producing on the same films. After all, Auteur Theory, developed in the 20th century, gives cases like these as support for a director being the film’s author per se. In fact, one of his scripts is based on a short story from his brother, Jonathan Nolan, but since Christopher claims the director’s chair, he is obviously receiving more attention. Speaking of which, Nolan has a wife by the name of Emma Thomas who often works alongside him. Most of the projects where they worked together had Nolan as the director and Thomas as a producer. While this is not technically family, Nolan has managed to release almost every single one of his films (at least internationally) under the Warner Brothers label. In fact, he is not stopping, because his next film, set to release in July 2020 starring John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman) is also from Warner Brothers. Wait a minute… What happened to the white dude cliche? I’m intrigued…

To link common roots even further, followers are also aware that Nolan often recruits the same people to work on his films. Aside from his family members, he has done three films with Tom Hardy, five films with Cillian Murphy, and for each film Nolan has directed since 2005 (Batman Begins), Michael Caine had an appearance in every single one of them. Such a correlation between Nolan and Caine for example can be traced through relationships between other directors and the actors they have worked with. Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. for example had an ongoing relationship that has been present through their work on films like Iron Man and Chef. Another auteur often pointed out, Tim Burton, has a significant business relationship with Johnny Depp based on their collaborations during Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice In Wonderland (2010), and Corpse Bride.

If Nolan had not succeeded, developed business relationships, had family by his side, or ignored his individuality and developed a cookie cutter style that didn’t particularly pertain to him, chances are he wouldn’t have the success he does today. I love Christopher Nolan, but there is no denying that part of why I love him so much is due to his position which he practically earned. He, unlike other directors, has the ability to make whatever films they please with little to no interference from others, including studios. While the film industry as a whole has an ideology of saying that big, known franchises, and expensive, perhaps disposable films with tons of special effects are the ones that make money. Nolan steps up to the plate and doesn’t exactly cheapen the filmmaking process, nor does he ignore preexisting material, but he makes all of the material his own, which is part of why audiences like me continue to support him.

Thanks for reading this post! If you want to see more from Scene Before, be sure to follow either with a WordPress account or email! Once you hit that follow button, be sure to stay tuned for more content like my upcoming reviews for “Shazam” and “Long Shot.” I also recently scored some passes for the “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” remake, or more specifically, “The Hustle.” So I might check that out next week depending on whether I get someone to go with me because I actually have a +1 on my pass. But let’s face it, you guys don’t care about those movies, because according to quite literally every movie-related site in existence, everybody cares about “Avengers: Endgame.” It’s what all the cool kids are talking about, even if it was made for a nerdy demographic. If you want to see my SPOILER-FREE review of the film, feel free to click the link below and check it out! Again, follow Scene Before if you haven’t already and be sure to stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, who is your favorite auteur director? Also, what is your favorite Christopher Nolan movie? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Avengers: Endgame Review! (NO SPOILERS!)

Father Figures (2017): A Very Bastardizing Film

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“Father Figures” is directed by Lawrence Sher in his directorial debut. This guy has done cinematography for movies such as “The Hangover,” “War Dogs,” and the 2005 film adaptation of “The Dukes of Hazzard.” The film stars Owen Wilson (Cars, Wedding Crashers), Ed Helms (The Office, Vacation), JK Simmons (Whiplash, Juno), Katt Williams (Norbit, Scary Movie 5), Terry Bradshaw (The Cannonball Run, Failure to Launch), Ving Rhames (Mission: Impossible, Pulp Fiction), and also features Christopher Walken (The Jungle Book, The Deer Hunter), along with Glenn Close. This film’s about two fraternal twins who find out the truth about their allegedly dead father has been a lie. The information concerning this has been hidden by their mother for years, leading to the twins going out to seek their real father.

I first heard about this film back in 2016, and I was wondering for a while, “What happened to this film?” Well, here it is now. Why did I hear about it that early? Turns out there was a trailer for a comedy that was supposed to release in January of this year, AKA this exact film, and at the end, we see a title card with the word “Bastards.” The name does make sense considering the technical definition for a bastard is a child whose birthparents weren’t married at the time of the child’s birth, which is true to the twins in the movie. Although I’m willing to bet they changed the name to “Father Figures” because to some people it might be weird walking around and talking about a movie called “Bastards” since the word is associated with vulgarity. Who’s they? I don’t know. I’m willing to bet it’s either the director or the studio, one of those two. Nevertheless, I think this movie shouldn’t have been called “Father Figures.” I don’t even think it should be called “Bastards.” You know what it should be called? “Bastard.” Just “Bastard.” And that’s because this movie felt like a total bastard! This is probably the worst comedy I’ve seen all year! This movie brought almost two hours of inglorious bastardization into my life!

I would like to take a second to apologize to Quentin Tarantino, I just probably ingloriously bastardized him if you know what I mean.

I’ve seen a number of s*itty comedies in 2017, but even at the end of the year, I’m still coming across them. I think I found the pinnacle of s*it when it comes to this year in comedy. “Father Figures” is a f*cking bastard and I’m about to tell you why in just a second! But before I go into why, let me go over some of the other crap I’ve seen this year when it comes to comedy.

First off, we have “Snatched,” which I saw in May. The movie’s about a mother and daughter going away to paradise, which doesn’t end up going well because they get captured and some other s*it happens. I knew going into this particular film it was going to be bad, but there was one really funny scene and there was a character that I kind of liked.

Next we have “How to Be a Latin Lover,” which was just awkward as hell to watch. It’s about a guy who is dumped by his elderly wife. He has to move in with his sister, played by Salma Hayek, and adjust to normal society after living a spoiled life. I bought the movie used for $9.99 on Blu-ray, which isn’t too bad of a deal for a Blu-ray if you ask me, but I still suffered through the unfunny jokes and awkward story full of mostly unlikable characters.

I also saw “Fist Fight,” which admittedly, is nowhere near as unwatchable as the other two films I mentioned, but is still something I would say technically qualifies as a waste of time. What’s the plot? Just take the basic idea of “Three O’Clock High” and make the teachers fight instead of the students. I just thought it contained too many predictable attempts at humor and forced sex jokes.

I’d probably rather watch any of these comedies before “Father Figures.” “How to Be a Latin Lover” is a tad debatable but in reality, “Father Figures” is just a comedy that should have never been made. I will admit, when I saw the first trailer for the film released in 2016, part of me was looking forward to this movie. Sure, I like Owen Wilson. Sure, I like Ed Helms. There’s someone I admire more in this movie compared to them, specifically JK f*cking Simmons! JK’s one of my favorite actors of all time! And if you put him in, well, anything for that matter, I’ll watch it. You can even put him in a movie called “Don’t Watch This Piece of Crap,” it can be eight minutes including credits, it can be a guy bloodied up screaming for help on pavement, and I’ll still check it out because JK Simmons was in it. Granted, I don’t think his performance was that bad. In fact, I have to say it’s one of the more redeemable parts of the entire film.

Speaking of likable performances. Terry Bradshaw was playing himself in this film. It almost gave me a similar vibe to seeing Sam Jones in “Ted” based on the chemistry between him and the two main characters.

Moving onto our recently suggested main characters, we have Kyle, played by Owen Wilson, alongside Peter, played by Ed Helms. Seeing these two together, I can somewhat buy into them being twins, but the whole ride they take during the movie was just a wreck. Neither of them are funny, they have a couple of moments where they disagree with each other and get in arguments, I just wanted to leave at some points instead of watch the duo compare themselves to one another every now and then.

This movie just feels like it has too much going on in it. When we get to what almost feels like the climax, the movie just goes on like its jacked up on Red Bull. It’s just an absolute marathon of twists and turns and it’s just too much to process for a simple comedy! In fact I gotta say, one of the twists, which admittedly, reminded me of the original “Star Wars” trilogy, was actually ruined about ten or so minutes after it happens! So yeah, f*ck everything I guess!

Let’s also talk about Glenn Close’s character of Helen. At the beginning of the film, it’s established that Helen is the mother of both these boys. I’m just wondering, why would she lie about the father of her sons? First off, they’re adults, and I’m not adopted, but if I were, I’d want to know as soon as possible! As far as telling anyone else, I’d probably think to myself before whether or not I do that, but still. I also have to say that she mentioned that Terry Bradshaw was the actual father of the two kids, and Ed Helms’s reaction almost seemed like it could have been done differently. This is a man he idolized, someone he has high appreciation for, and he grew up during his youth never knowing Bradshaw was his dad?! I’ve grown up idolizing Howie Mandel, and if my mother kept a secret until a point such as this, or even longer for that matter, that Howie Mandel was my real father, you know what I’d do? I’d lose my f*cking mind! I might break a window! I might light my house on fire! I might slap my mother in the face! I’m not kidding! I would be in utter shock, and perhaps apalled upon why I had a secret like this kept from me for so long! I’d be happy to know Howie was my father but… why wait so long?

*SPOILERS IN THIS PARAGRAPH*

Speaking of idiocy, I’m gonna talk about a scene involving a train and an automobile. Sorry, planes, you have to sit out on this one. There’s one scene where the two main characters are in a car with each other, they’re still on their quest to find their dad, and at one point, they pick up a hitchhiker, played by Katt Williams. Due to Ed Helms being somewhat apprehensive about the fate of himself along with the fate of his brother, the hitchhiker is sitting in the back with his hands cuffed up. At one point, the car stops, and the two begin to argue. Moments later, we as an audience find out the car is stuck on a train track, but the two brothers are too focused on arguing back and forth so they don’t notice an approaching train. The one who does notice the train however is the hitchhiker, he’s trying to warn the two, but they don’t listen. As the light is coming closer, and the hitchhiker is still alerting the duo, they finally notice the train. So they attempt to escape. Ed Helms and Katt Williams make it out of the car, but the train slams the car, suggesting that it could have killed Owen Wilson. But it didn’t, he’s completely fine. WHAT THE F*CK?!

This is honestly just insulting! I get this is a comedy, but I would appreciate it more if it was logical. I don’t need another “Daddy’s Home” Ford Flex goes through the house and Will Ferrell isn’t badly hurt situation if you get what I’m saying. Remember “Paul Blart Mall Cop 2?” I honestly bought into the fact that Paul Blart could trap himself in a suitcase, slide downward on a bunch of steps, fall into a pool in said suitcase, have water come inside it, allow himself to exit the suitcase, and get out of the water alive more than this.

I do remember watching a movie in the past with a scene somewhat similar to this. There’s an extended cut to Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 2” referred to as “Spider-Man 2.1,” which might even be better than the original cut if you ask me. In that version of the film, part of the extended footage in that film is included on the train fight scene. Doc Ock and Spidey are going at it against each other, and Doc is holding onto the Web Slinger with his tentacles. Spider-Man has his feet on the side of one of the train cars, and he’s hit a bunch of closeby objects. Soon he turns his head, a train is quickly approaching him. Spider-Man gets hit by a train, but he instantly gets back to fighting like the hit was just a normal Tuesday in the office. Here’s the thing however. Spider-Man has superpowers, Kyle from “Father Figures” on the other hand, is an average human. Spider-Man has enough strength in him to walk something like this off, Kyle should have died. In fact, while Kyle dying may be somewhat abrupt, I almost thought that it would be kind of intriguing to see what would happen if Ed Helms had to continue the quest alone. I went to see the film with my mother, she and I discussed the film in the car after we watched it. I brought this up, and she figured I was thinking Ed Helms would continue the quest in Wilson’s honor, which almost sounds more like an adventure flick as opposed to a comedy, but quests are basically adventures.

The final moments of the film had some emotion packed into it, and in ways, I felt it. But ultimately, I felt that the movie didn’t earn its emotional ending on a technical level. For one thing, it’s a comedy, not a drama. Another thing is that I didn’t really care about a single character in this movie enough to say, “I like you. I stand with you. I’m on your side.” If I was able to care about any of the characters or if I had a logical reason to appreciate them more, then I might as well say that the movie earned it’s ending, but the movie itself dragged, it was full of unbearable characters, and it just wasn’t funny. So I can’t really say the end played out very well.

Let’s move onto marketing. I noticed the difference in the film’s marketing from when I first heard about it and when the film actually came out. There wasn’t much buzz about “Bastards” before January 2017, but now that we’re here in December, the movie, technically now referred to as “Father Figures,” was brought back to my attention, and I had the realization this was the same movie. Now that it’s here, I’m seeing Christmas related ads having to do with the film and a poster with red & green font. If one of the reasons for the movie releasing at this time was just to market it like it’s an experience related to the holidays, it just feels cheap! Oh yeah, did I mention this film was supposed to come out in January? I should have known what I was getting into. January movies usually suck! Last year, “The Fifth Wave” made my top 10 WORST movies of the year list. In general, when a movie comes out in January, critics are going to give it hell. I wonder why they moved it. Is it to market the film in a certain way? Possibly. Although part of me is willing to bet it’s to get more people in the theater. Given that a lot of people have breaks from school and work, they have more time to see a movie. January only has weekends, New Year’s Day, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Another part of me thinks that Warner Brothers, AKA the distributor of the film, or one of the production companies such as Alcon or Montecito, thought this would be a good tactic in order to get people to go see another movie when “The Last Jedi” sells out. Given the competition and the film’s box office return, I wouldn’t say this was the best idea. Just compare this film with “Pitch Perfect 3,” “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” plus family friendly animations such as “Coco” and “Ferdinand” and you’ll see the point. If last year’s “Assassin’s Creed” has taught moviegoers anything, it’s that you only market something in a Christmas related fashion when appropriate. Speaking of competition and “Star Wars,” I should also bring up another possible reason why all of this is happening. “Star Wars” is something that the world cares about. There’s barely anyone in this world who doesn’t know what “Star Wars” is. However, nobody knows about “Father Figures,” and it’s possible that Warner Brothers thought, “Eh, “Star Wars” is coming out in December, and that’s inevitably gonna be a big hit. What’s a movie that people want to avoid?” And someone said “What about that lame-ass comedy with Owen Wilson and Ed Helms?” Everyone agreed with that thought, and here we are. I was one of the people who saw it. But you know what? I survived, and that’s what matters.

In the end I have to say “Father Figures” is a really intolerable experience. While “How to Be a Latin Lover” was awkward and unfunny, I have to say that “Father Figures” was not just awkward and unfunny, but also boring, not to mention insultingly baffling. That train scene split my head open. It just f*cked me over. I’d rather spend an entire year watching a sloth pop bubble wrap from start to finish than watch this film a second time. Guys, this has a good chance of being this year’s worst comedy and I’m going to give “Father Figures” a 1/10. I went to see this film with my mother, she says it was good, so I gotta say this film does have an audience, so I can say that’s a plus. My mother and I also saw “Snatched” together and we both agreed that was total dogs*it. So this film has at least one thing going for it I guess.

Thanks for reading this review. This Saturday I’m going to see “The Disaster Artist,” which I’m truly stoked for. I can’t wait to see it and talk about it, it’s likely gonna be a blast! Also, speaking of fun things I have going on here on Scene Before, I will also soon have my top 10 BEST and WORST movies of 2017 lists. Meaning we can reflect on some of the milestones and trainwrecks I’ve sat through this year. I will have you know that depending on what happens, there’s a good chance that there’s at least one movie on either list that I saw and didn’t review, so if that ever comes up, that just means I didn’t have the time to sit down and write an analytical review of a certain film. Why? It’s the end of the year, and whenever time allows it, I’m trying to seek out as many of this year’s films as possible until I can no longer watch anymore. I’ve done this with “The Great Wall,” “American Assassin,” “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” “Crown Heights,” “Atomic Blonde,” and “The Only Living Boy in New York.” Anyway, stay tuned for more great content, including the recently mentioned review and countdowns! I want to know, if you saw “Father Figures,” what are your thoughts on it? What do you think is a better title for this film? “Father Figures” or “Bastards?” Also, what is the worst comedy of the year for you? Please leave a comment stating your responses to any of these questions, I’d be happy to look at them! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!