Little Women (2019): Call Me “March” Like You Said You Would

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“Little Women” is directed by Greta Gerwig (Isle of Dogs, Lady Bird) and stars Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird, Mary Queen of Scots), Emma Watson (Beauty and the Beast, The Circle), Florence Pugh (Midsommar, Fighting with my Family), Eliza Scanlen (Home and Away, Sharp Objects), Laura Dern (Marriage Story, Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Timothée Chalamet (Beautiful Boy, Interstellar), Meryl Streep (The Post, Sophie’s Choice), Tracy Letts (The Lovers, The Post), Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad, Incredibles 2), James Norton (Happy Valley, Flatliners), Louis Garrel (The Dreamers, Redoubtable), and Chris Cooper (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood). This film is based on the book of the same name conceived by Louisa May Alcott, which has been adapted and brought to other mediums in the past, and this is another attempt to make a film out of it. The story of “Little Women” follows the lives of the March sisters, four women who are determined to live life on their own terms.

Apparently, this is one of multiple adaptations of “Little Women.” However, just a fair warning, I have never read the book, and I never witnessed any other adaptation of the IP. So this film took my “Little Women” virginity. I probably would have gone to see this film earlier, but due to time constraints, other films getting in the way, not to mention missing out on an opportunity to go to an advance screening, I just couldn’t get around to “Little Women” until now. In fact, the reason why I am watching “Little Women” at this point is to get caught up on this year’s Academy Award nominations, specifically Best Picture. Upon hearing which films were announced for the category, I have seen each one except “Little Women,” so I took today,  perhaps my least busy day of the week, and took the subway to a non-profit theater that way I could go watch the movie in 35mm film. I figured if I wanted to watch a Best Picture nominee, I might as well commit.

Sadly, I don’t feel like that commitment has worked out. I will be honest, I was kind of disappointed with “Little Women.” I would like to just point out, I admire Greta Gerwig as a filmmaker. I think she knocked it out of the park with her 2017 feature-length directorial debut, “Lady Bird.” Although if I had to compare “Little Women” to “Lady Bird” and my desire to go back and watch them again, it would be like comparing odds of finding a Chick-fil-A in a casino or a slot machine in a casino. Even though I have seen “Lady Bird” once, it would probably associate more with the slot machine. It’s a jackpot! As for “Little Women,” I might chicken out after a little while.

Now… Don’t think I am nagging on “Little Women” calling it a disaster. It is by no means the worst movie of all time, it just has problems is all. In fact, “Little Women,” in terms of direction, shines. I feel like in terms of a director wanting to get THEIR vision out to the public, “Little Women’s” Greta Gerwig succeeded at such a task more so than a good number of other filmmakers this year. A lot of the cinematography done by Yorick Le Saux is beautiful and totally stands out through the 35mm print shown at my screening. Alexandre Desplat’s score is great and fits the vibe! I also like the idea of not only shooting the film on location, but shooting it around the area where Louisa May Alcott wrote the “Little Women” book, Concord, Massachusetts. It provided for some of the most gorgeous scenery of 2019’s cinematic year and some of the better production design for said cinematic year. A lot of the scenes in the film are wonderfully realized and jump off the screen. Too bad the movie’s kind of boring.

Don’t get me wrong, the movie starts out fine. In fact, the first two thirds are somewhat interesting. The characters, not to mention the actors who play them, are not half bad. I felt the chemistry between pretty much every single character, which may have been the most necessary requirement for this film, because if I did not believe in the chemistry between the sisters, then why should I care? Amazingly, I got to a point where I did not care. I say that because even though this film is one of the better technical pieces of the year, I think pacing-wise, it suffers. I like the idea of these women dealing with their separate and collective issues, and there are some scenes that were in a word, capital! I will not go into detail, because despite having seen a trailer, I am not sure how much this film revealed beforehand. But I think one of this film’s bigger challenges, from a screenplay and directing perspective is meshing together all of these characters’ individual journeys and having a viewer like me care about all of it without it feeling a tad like a mess. Unfortunately, the film dives into the messy territory. “Little Women” honestly feels ten, twenty, maybe even thirty minutes longer than its runtime, specifically 2 hours and 15 minutes. For reference, I watched “Marriage Story” in the theater at the end of the previous December, which was 2 hours and 17 minutes. “Marriage Story” honestly somehow feels shorter than “Little Women.” To add onto this, I remember staying throughout the entire credits during “Marriage Story.” On the other hand, I left part of the way through “Little Women’s” credits.

I almost wonder if “Little Women” is one of those films that could get better through a rewatch, that way I can just concentrate closely on each character and maybe care about them with an all new point of view, but after watching this film for the first time, I don’t see much else of a reason to watch it once more. I have never been interested in the book, I have never sought out any other adaptation of this material, and in case you must know, and maybe this is affecting my thoughts on the film a little bit, I am not really in the target audience for “Little Women.” As far as I know, “Little Women” was never originally written for me, so I may not have the perspective that many of its targets would. I think actors like Saoirse Ronan, Laura Dern, and Timothée Chalamet do a fine job with their roles and suit their characters well, pretty much to the point where I don’t imagine anybody else portraying them. I also think the costumes in the movie are some of the finest and most sophisticated costumes in a 2019 film. “Little Women” has a lot of good qualities to it, but several things keep me from wanting to go back and watch it again. I am honestly shocked to say all of this, because I didn’t hate the trailer that I saw for this film, and I had faith in Greta Gerwig. To be clear, she did a good job with the direction, but had a few things been handled better, I think this could have been a damn fine vision, not to mention a better movie.

Plus, another thing to consider is this… I already mentioned that I am not the target audience. So I have to ask everyone reading a question and this may be important. First off, if you have seen 2019’s “Little Women,” what are your thoughts on it? Also, if you have seen any other material related to the “Little Women” IP, what are your experiences in relation to that? Was what you saw pretty good? Bad? Middle of the road? I’ll even ask this classic question, was this movie better than the book? Let me know!

In the end, “Little Women” is one of the bigger disappointments of a film that I have witnessed in recent memory. If you have followed this blog recently, you may know that I reviewed “Cats” because I apparently have ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD to watch “Cats.” When I reviewed “Cats,” I called it the most competent borefest of a film released in its particular year. “Little Women” was released in the same year as “Cats,” specifically 2019, and there is an argument that I could make from my end that “Little Women” may dethrone “Cats” to earn such a title. It’s gorgeous, beautiful, not to mention vibrant. As a production, it is a feast for the eyes. But the eyes need to do more than stare at pretty things for a couple of hours. Had the movie maintained the promising pacing and kept me as interested as I was during the first couple of acts, I would still recommend “Little Women” to a lot more people. Of the movies the Academy nominated for Best Picture this year, “Little Women” is honestly my least preferred. But to be honest, based on the positives outweighing the negatives for this film FOR NOW, I am going to give “Little Women” a 6/10. This film is no “Lady Bird,” and I’ll be honest, for everyone who is upset about Greta Gerwig not getting nominated for Best Director, I get it. But personally, gender is not a topic I am associating with how I view nominations, but that’s just me, I think a display of talent regardless of gender, should come first, doesn’t mean I want to start an online war about it. Although I will be honest, all the chosen nominees, to me, were better in terms of vision fulfillment, technical choices, not to mention creating an overall better movie, at least for the most part on some of these direction-related requirements. And if you want my two cents, I do have a recommendation for a great 2019 film directed by a woman. If you haven’t already, go watch “Honey Boy,” it’s gonna be on Prime soon and I highly recommend it!

Thanks for reading this review! I just want to let everyone know that I am going to be heading back to college next week, and hopefully it does not affect my consistent content release schedule. But maybe before I go back, I am planning on watching one more movie. Maybe I’ll watch more than one, but I didn’t want to end this post without mentioning “The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson,” directed by Daniel Farrands. As of right now, this film is not playing anywhere near me, although it did get a release in theaters. And if this sounds somewhat familiar, this film is from the director of the 2019 abomination, “The Haunting of Sharon Tate.” I just want to say… I MIGHT sacrifice my soul and watch this movie. For those of you who have seen my worst of the 2010s list know that “The Haunting of Sharon Tate” earned a spot pretty high on the list. I’m just curious to know if “The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson” is somehow any worse. If I watch this movie, please wish me luck! I might need it! Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! If you want to leave a like or comment (if your account is eligible), please do so! It really helps me out! Also, please check out my Facebook page and spread the word about Flicknerd and Scene Before on social! I want to know, did you see “Little Women?” What did you think about it? Or, of the 2020 Best Picture nominees from the Academy, which is your favorite? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Jumanji: The Next Level (2019): The Kinda Sorta Freaky Friday Holiday Special

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“Jumanji: The Next Level” is directed by Jake Kasdan, who also directed this film’s predecessor, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” This film stars Dwayne Johnson (Rampage, San Andreas), Kevin Hart (Ride Along, The Wedding Ringer), Jack Black (Kung Fu Panda, Goosebumps), and Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Who). This film is the sequel to the recently mentioned “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” and it continues following the characters we got to know from the last film, a group of young adults who get sucked into a video game and become the the avatars they chose. And in this followup, the main young adult, specifically Spencer, returns home from studying in New York around Christmastime. He eventually goes into his basement and decides to play the “Jumanji” video game once more. This leaves Spencer’s friends bewildered of where he’s gone and leads to their eventual return to the virtual world.

I have been on this blog since 2016, and I have reviewed a good number of movies every year since then, but one of them was not “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” For one thing, I had little time on my hands for it, there were other movies I was more focused on such as “The Disaster Artist,” I was trying to get started on 2018 in film, I had my end of year countdowns (by the way, stay tuned for my BEST & WORST movies lists of 2019 once the New Year arrives), and I will also add that I saw the trailer for “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and before that, I heard about the movie’s plot. I wasn’t particular fond with it. I grew up admiring the “Jumanji” film from the 1990s, the one with the horrific board game that brought havoc upon humanity, I loved that movie from a story and spectacle perspective. The ending still gives me chills just thinking about it. When it comes to “Welcome to the Jungle,” the 2017 reboot, I was scared for how it would turn out because it felt like there was going to be significantly less at stake compared to its 1990s counterpart. After all, the movie took place inside a video game as opposed to the real world, where ACTUAL things happen. But to my surprise, I had a rather fun time with “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” The main cast has terrific chemistry, a lot of jokes inside the video game worked, Jack Black’s performance is up there with some of the finest I’ve seen in a popcorn movie, and here’s a shocker, it felt like there were stakes! Surprisingly, anything that took place in the real world was boring compared to the video game. Granted, when the movie kicks itself into gear and I start seeing lots of Sony product placement everywhere, I cannot help but get irritated.

Speaking of surprises, I honestly think “Jumanji: The Next Level” may be better than its predecessor. I think it has better writing, the ideas are just about as clever as they were in 2017, it’s crowd-pleasing, and I will say that a couple new characters bring a bit to the table as well. Most notably, Danny DeVito (Batman Returns, The Lorax).

In this movie, Danny DeVito plays Spencer’s grandfather, Eddie, and I don’t know how many of you saw the trailers, but without giving much detail, he ends up getting sucked into the “Jumanji” video game, so he manages to become an avatar. To be as blind as possible, the avatar he happens to portray is why I found it hilarious when he asks “Are we in Florida?” Yes, the trailer reveals who he becomes, but I went into this movie fairly blind so I am just trying to go off of my experience.

Now I mentioned that in the last “Jumanji” movie, “Welcome to the Jungle,” I never really liked anything that happened in the real world, and I say this because anything that was spoken or acted out in the real world was never funny, somewhat generic, and it did not have much glamour to it if you wil. All I saw were four stereotypical teens not knowing they were going to escape their boring everyday lives and that’s about it. Granted, I grew to like them, but still. But what made the real world events interesting was catching up with our past characters, because they were reuniting, and even though I have known them for less than a week, I feel like I have grown up with them. After all, they were in high school in the first film, and now they are following their own paths in life. I have a feeling I will have some sort of reunion with somebody down the road that I have known from high school in the future, after all, the holidays are here, making this a good time for it. Plus, I’ll mention once again, speaking of reality, Danny DeVito’s real life character is honestly a highlight of the movie for me. I am honestly surprised at how much I enjoyed watching him, especially when he has a little reunion of his own. This movie goes into a little sideplot (if you can call it that), about a restaurant that he and someone else operated together. This is just a fraction of the interactions DeVito has with the character of Milo, who is wonderfully played by Danny Glover. Both of them have great chemistry and I honestly would not mind a spinoff mini-series on Crackle or something just listening to them have conversations.

But let’s be serious, real life is overrated, and sometimes it’s a video game, it’s just a fact. I do like how the video game manages to go in different directions with its characters and storyline, this time there is a new plot where the characters are after a different object. It’s sort of got similar beats to the previous installment, but it has enough to not feel like a ripoff. As for the villain, Jurgen the Brutal, I thought he was just going to be this cliche bad guy who wants to do bad guy things upon one or two early impressions of him, but even though he may resemble someone with cliches, the way the movie goes about executing his character, specifically towards the end, is a thing of beauty. There is an ongoing scene where our characters are interacting with him and his cronies, it’s not only intense, but also pretty funny. That’s the thing that I will say is amazing about this movie. I know it’s got comedic talent, but to have TWO “Jumanji” movies that aren’t exactly the within the realm of “Jumanji” I have come to know and have BOTH be funny and charming is one of the best surprises I have gotten during my recent moviewatching experiences.

But even though I will point out that this film is better than the original, it doesn’t mean it’s flawless. As much as I really like the climax, it does get a little off the rails towards the end. Granted, there is a bit of that off the rails factor that I like, but there’s also a tad that I found to be too insane. It is a video game though, which often distorts itself from reality so maybe I’ll retract this error eventually. I think some of the pacing could have been fixed, and once again, this is not that big of an issue, but there are some scenes that take place in the real world that feel like they are just inserted at a random point and it almost doesn’t flow. This movie is not that much longer than its predecessor, and even though I found certain portions dull, the pacing is a bit better in that film. The last film felt shorter than what it actually was, but this one just felt a tad longer. There’s also one scene with ostriches that is most certainly trying to get a laugh out of people, but feels like something out of a a horror movie where every character does not know the first thing about common sense. I get it, jokes bring smiles to people’s faces, but so do characters with brains. Nevertheless, “Jumanji: The Next Level” is funny and I would not mind watching it again on a rainy day at home.

In the end, “Jumanji: The Next Level” is exactly as the title suggests, “The Next Level.” The last movie was good, this one is a step up. I think I’ll end up having a little more replay value with this one, but we’ll have to see. The characters, both real and fake, are all a joy to watch. The movie itself is pretty mindless, but also works because it is so mindless. In fact, portions of its creativity perhaps comes from mindlessness. I know “The Rock” is not a GREAT actor, just a muscular man who has a somewhat engaging screen presence, but if I had to compare the performance he gave in “Jumanji: The Next Level” to pretty much anything else he’s done, this may be the best he’s been in terms of solid acting ability. I mean, when you are playing someone that is literally portraying somebody else in avatar form, it requires a little bit of extra effort to maybe be convincing. For that, props to Dwayne Johnson. I’m going to give “Jumanji: The Next Level” a 7/10.

Thanks for reading this review! My next review is most likely going to be for “Uncut Gems,” which I saw before reviewing this movie, but I wanted to get this “Jumanji” review out first because it felt like a higher priority. Also stay tuned in about a week and a half, where I will have my review for the biggest movie event of the season, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account for greater access and posts brought directly to your personal feed! Please leave a like on this post, and if you like liking, like… a lot, check out my Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “Jumanji: The Next Level?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite video game of all time? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Cold Pursuit (2019): A Slow Brrrrr

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“Cold Pursuit” is directed by Hans Petter Moland (In Order of Disappearance, Aberdeen) and stars Liam Neeson (Taken, Non-Stop), Tom Bateman (Murder on the Orient Express, Snatched), Tom Jackson (The Diviners, Star Trek: The Next Generation), Emmy Rossum (Shameless, The Phantom of the Opera), Domenick Lombardozzi (Breakout Kings, The Wire), Julia Jones (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Westworld), John Doman (Borgia, ER), and Laura Dern (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Jurassic Park). This film is about a guy named Nels Coxman as he tries to seek revenge against people who ended up drugging his son.

I mentioned at the top that “Cold Pursuit” is directed by the same guy who directed “In Order of Disappearance.” I have not seen “In Order of Disappearance,” but around the time I watched this film, I found this information out. And knowing things about this film, I managed to find out that “Cold Pursuit” is actually a remake of “In Order of Disappearance,” which was made primarily for a Norwegian audience. “Cold Pursuit,” as far as I can tell, was most certainly intended for an American audience. In fact, without giving much away, there’s a cool thing that happens when the movie reaches the end credits, and if you haven’t seen “In Order of Disappearance,” you’ll see further proof of this being a redo of that film. Keep in mind, this is coming from a guy who also has not seen “In Order of Disappearance.”

I did some Internet searching on the original film and found out that it currently has over a 7 on IMDb, which is pretty decent for a film. Most of the user scores are above average range, with many of them being 7/10. For “Cold Pursuit,” it’s currently higher than a 6. Most of the user scores are also 6, slightly edging out over the 7 range. While a 6 is still a win for a movie on some days, there are times when it could equal nothing but trouble. And I can see why this movie is worse than its original counterpart, because while there are some cool quirky elements throughout the film, the movie is just slow at times.

When I saw the opening scene for “Cold Pursuit,” where snow is being shoved around by a bulldozer, it gave me a sense that s*it was about to get real. Unfortunately, everything that went down in “Cold Pursuit” (except for one thing), was not enough to fulfill my appetite. What’s the one thing that did fulfill my appetite however? Well, I hate to be cruel, but the deaths were infinitely creative. And I am not referring to how people died, but every time someone would die, something would come up and it does that for the whole movie. I thought it was a neat gimmick at times. Granted, and I am not sure if this dives into spoiler territory, but I’ll say it anyway, the deaths could SOMETIMES be slightly improved if you actually get a better glimpse at people dying. Just me. I’m not asking for a complete bloodbath, but this movie is rated R. Let us see some more stuff on screen sometimes.

Speaking of stuff we see on screen, let’s talk about Liam Neeson. I mean, this movie is basically Liam Neeson doing Liam Neeson things. His mannerisms are present and he definitely takes no names whatsoever. And while for me, this may be a hindrance regarding some actors like Melissa McCarthy, Liam Neeson never really gets tiring. One thing that may make him interesting is that the dude’s over sixty. He’s getting to that point where he is the superior version of the crazy old dude telling kids to scram out of his yard. Plus, his Irish accent is freaking killer. I mean, it’s similar to when Tom Cruise plays typical Tom Cruise. It usually avoids getting old, and both are crazy men who like to take baddies down. This is not to say that “Cold Pursuit” is Liam Neeson’s all time best work, I personally think “The LEGO Movie” might be, but still.

I also kind of like the bad guy in this movie. His name is Trevor “Viking” Calcote, he’s played by Tom Bateman, and while he definitely has some cliches of someone representing the idea of greed, I dug some of the execution of his character. This is especially true when you see how he treats his son. Because let’s face it, without going into too much detail about the movie, the way he treats his son is the same way White Castle would treat big hamburgers. They would much prefer not talking about them, or ever bringing them up in a conversation, similar to how when the son and “Viking’ talk to each other, there’s an intentional disconnect in chemistry.

When it comes to chemistry and execution of a few of the movie’s characters, those are the definite highlights of “Cold Pursuit,” that is, aside from the deaths. Unfortunately, it does not have many other highlights. I originally watched this movie on Friday, so I had time to gather some of my thoughts together before making a completed review. And I’m kind of glad I took that time. When it comes to the action in “Cold Pursuit,” it feels like the atmosphere of the movie itself. It’s all kinda dull, and it doesn’t really feel like there’s much to it. Unfortunately, much like this movie, it did not send chills down my spine.

And it’s almost like this movie didn’t always know what it wanted to be, because one of the taglines for this film is “Revenge is best served cold.” Doesn’t that sound like something out of a cheesy 1980’s action film starring Patrick Swayze and Arnold Schwarzenegger that takes place in Alaska or something? This movie could have been cheesy fun, but it wasn’t, it was serious garbage.

But I will give credit to one more thing about this movie before finishing this review off, and that happens to be the location choices. Everything looks beautiful on camera, especially when it is all surrounded by snow, which occasionally gives the movie the theme of “real s*it,” which I mean in a way describing various situations, but not the movie itself. Although then again, maybe it does describe the movie itself, because the movie is in fact, real s*it.

In the end, if you’re gonna watch “Cold Pursuit,” I recommend putting on some gloves, a hat, a jacket, whatever you can get to bundle up for the lackluster experience that this movie truly is. Liam Neeson is alright, the actors for the most part, while well cast, gave me a rather mixed collective reception. And I don’t feel like I’ll end up remembering this movie all that well. In fact, it was almost a waste of time. If it were not for the coolish death moments, all hope would be lost. This movie would be… Don’t say it… DON’T YOU DARE F*CKING SAY IT!…

…Ah, screw it.

LIFELESS! OK, lifeless!

I’m going to give “Cold Pursuit” a 3/10. Thanks for reading this review! I just want to remind everyone that pretty soon I am going to be doing an update on my Blu-ray collection, so please be on the lookout for that! I also recently bought the 4K for this year’s “The Kid Who Would Be King,” which I missed in the theater, however now that I own it, I have the chance to watch it and review it for the first time. Once I get around to watching it, and I’m not sure when this will happen, I will have a review for it. Please stay tuned! 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, did you see “Cold Pursuit?” What did you think about it? Or, what is a movie that you think should have been more cheesy? Weird question, but I’m going with it. Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

The Upside (2017): Breaking Hart

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“The Upside” is directed by Neil Burger (Divergent, Limitless) and stars Kevin Hart (Ride Along, The Wedding Ringer) and Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Godzilla) as a seemingly unlikely pair who meet each other, develop a friendship, and therefore we have our movie. Cranston plays a paraplegic and Hart plays an ex-con who also manages to become Cranston’s caretaker. The movie is based on the true story of Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, who suffered from a paragliding accident, therefore giving him unfortunate injuries.

Does this movie sound familiar to you? Well guess what? It exists, not just in the form of “The Upside,” but it also exists in the form of “The Intouchables,” an early 2010s French film. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, but lost to an Austrian film by the name of “Amour.” However, this didn’t deteriorate the overall quality of “The Intouchables” because on IMDb, it made the #40 spot on the site’s “Top 250” list. However, when it comes to my experience with “The Intouchables,” I can say it is very limited given how I never sat down and watched it. I might as well say that the main reason why I even went to the theater and watched “The Upside” in the first place is because it was a free movie. I subscribe to alerts of free screenings, and this is one of the things I got in my inbox. And knowing how my mother tends to enjoy comedies, not to mention Kevin Hart, I thought this would be good for us to see together.

But one thing got in the way, the ratings. Prior to going to the screening, I looked at the movie from a research perspective and one thing that stood out to me was its low IMDb score. In fact, as of doing this review, it’s still pretty low, it’s actually less than a 4! Why is that the case? I have no idea. For all I know, the low scores may have come from hardcore supporters of “The Intouchables,” people who hate remakes, or those who don’t want Kevin Hart hosting the Oscars. However, this movie released in 2017 at TIFF, and part of me wonders if the low verdicts came from negative reviews at the festival. Either that, or another thing that is highly possible is a bit of information that may not be on everyone’s mind. If anyone is curious as to what movies Harvey Weinstein’s production company would have been associated with in 2018, “The Upside” was supposed to be one of them. However, with the destruction of Harvey Weinstein’s film career, this movie was given to STX, which is a newer studio known for films such as “I Feel Pretty,” “Hardcore Henry,” “Bad Moms,” and “The Circle.” Maybe the verdicts had to do with that, I don’t know the full story. But the reality is I personally enjoyed myself while watching “The Upside.”

This is the first 2019 release I have watched. Some may argue it is a 2017 release, but as far as I am concerned, it’s a 2019 flick. And I got to say, this was a good way to kick off the year in film. Is it perfect? No it’s not. In fact, part of me wonders if I am overhyping it. This movie had heart, it had good chemistry, and a surprising amount of laughs packed into it. I walked out of the movie alongside my mother, moments later we talked about it, and she pointed out my laughing. If you have seen a couple of my posts or know me in real life, you’d probably get the gist that when it comes to comedy, there are times where I feel like I’ve seen it all. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that “The Upside” brings anything new to the table, but despite some cliche moments, all of them seem to be delivered with a sense of passion. There’s a good amount of physical comedy, sexual humor, and some occasional yells. Speaking of which, let’s talk about Kevin Hart.

When I think of annoying, crazy, loud comedians who occasionally pop up in movies, I think of Melissa McCarthy. Kevin Hart is pretty much the same person, although he’s a black male. Wait did I really just say that? I take that back, because I assure you, Kevin Hart is the complete opposite of annoying. Hart is always that comedian that raises his voice, but manages to do it with charm. He’s basically Tyler Perry with a superior agent. One minor critique I’d give to Kevin Hart as an actor is his range. He always tends to be the very person I described. He always manages to play himself or someone that has identical qualities to Hart: An arrogant loudmouth who likes to joke around. However, when it comes to his performance in “The Upside,” this slightly made me rethink my critique, partially because this may be the best performance I’ve seen from Kevin Hart yet. If you have seen a Kevin Hart movie, you’re probably familiar with his shtick. Just watch “Ride Along,” “Central Intelligence,” even “The Secret Life of Pets.” He yells A LOT. He’s even like that in real life, go on YouTube and watch Kevin Hart’s 2013 appearance on SportsCenter as he does the top 10. It’s one of the funniest things to ever exist. Seriously. The reason why I consider this to be the best Kevin Hart performance is because it tends to shy away from the cliches we see from him. Hart seems to tone down his voice a little more often, not to mention he’s more serious as opposed to a joker. Granted, it’s not the best performance I’ve seen from an actor, but it made me look at Kevin Hart in a whole new light. His strength will always be full-fledged comedy, but if someone asked me whether or not Hart has the potential to land some serious roles in the future, I wouldn’t say Hart can’t do such a thing. His performance as Dell is done with serious skill.

When it comes to Cranston, I must say he performed with excellence too. Compared to Hart, Cranston seemed to deliver drier humor. He seems to have less emotion than a good number of characters in the film, but at the same time, it is hard to display emotion when you are seriously injured. This does not suggest his character lacks personality, as we see one of the most commonly exposed gags of the film happens to be Cranston’s extreme obsession with opera.

I will say one thing though about the movie, as heartfelt and funny as this movie may be, it has a glaring problem in my opinion. I can sit for a couple of hours in a dark room with images on a screen at moving on a screen at twenty-four frames per second. But there are times when I felt there was nothing happening. There is an argument to be made that the entire movie revolves around the friendship of the two leads, but one of the things that might as well be an important part of any movie is a central problem. There are moments of conflict in the film, but they are resolved quickly and sort of feel rushed. Remember how in “Spider-Man 2” Peter Parker decided to quit being Spider-Man? It almost felt like if there was a complete change in that movie, where Parker puts his suit in the garbage, walks through the alley, then scoots back around only to put it on again. The conflict in this film just feels like something small, when you can’t find the TV remote and are looking all over the place for it, as opposed to something huge, such as the loss of your life savings or your identity. However, this critique is highly forgivable due to the admirable chemistry between the leads, the humor, and the performances.

In the end, “The Upside” was a surprise if there ever was one. And it just goes to show that not all remakes suck. Granted, this is coming from someone who has still yet to see “The Intouchables,” so maybe my opinion could change over time, but if you want a funny movie with heart, I do recommend “The Upside.” Is it a tad cliche? At times. Is it somewhat forgettable? Certainly. But it is also a good time at the movies. If you want to see Kevin Hart at his best, I must declare that “The Upside” is definitely for you. I am going to give “The Upside” a 6/10. Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon I am going to be announcing the nominees for my upcoming awards ceremony, the Jackoff Awards, but before I do that, I have a few more 2018 films to watch including “Roma,” “Green Book,” and “On the Basis of Sex.” Be sure to follow Scene Before either with a WordPress account or email so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “The Upside?” What did you think about it? Or, did you see “The Intouchables?” What did you think about that? Which is the better movie? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Where Are The Original Movies?

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Let me ask you a question. What are some movies you’ve seen recently in the theater? I’m willing to bet some of you might say films like these: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Wonder Woman,” “Fifty Shades Darker,” “The LEGO Batman Movie,” “John Wick: Chapter 2,” “The Mummy,” “Kong: Skull Island,” “Transformers: The Last Knight,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “War For the Planet of the Apes,” “Annabelle: Creation,” “The Fate of the Furious,” “Ghost in the Shell,” or “Power Rangers.” What do these films have in common? Well, none of them are original, they’re all based on something.

If something has been proven recently, at least from my observations, it’s that Hollywood has a desire for taking ideas which have been done in the past, either as an art form or as a real-life event, maybe in some cases regardless of how interesting they are, and making their own adaptations out of it. Even some of the greatest directors of all time have done this, directors who have come up with BRILLIANT original ideas. Christopher Nolan for example, he did the “The Dark Knight” trilogy and he also did “Insomnia,” which is a 2002 remake of a movie released in 1997 which goes by the same name. Robert Zemeckis, the director of the “Back to the Future” trilogy and “Cast Away” has done films based on true events, including “The Walk” and “Forrest Gump,” which were both well received. Joss Whedon, well known for creating original TV shows which have been well received by various people such as “Firefly” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” has eventually gone on to direct Marvel’s “The Avengers,” released in 2012, along with “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” released in 2015. Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of times when unoriginal content can work.

There have been plenty of comic book movies that are making buttloads of money at the box office. If one thing has been proven over the past few years, it’s that people, no matter what age, love superheroes. I love em too. When it comes to superhero movies, I generally find them to be fun movies where I can just munch on popcorn for a couple of hours, enjoy some action, perhaps get a few laughs out of my system, or just simply get completely caught up with whatever is going on in a studio’s “cinematic universe,” which both Marvel and DC have going for them at the moment.

There have also been highly appreciated book-based adaptations, in fact, there are some movies that exist I don’t even think some people realize were based on books, or if they do realize that, they never bothered to read them, including “The Martian,” “Arrival,” “Room,” “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” and the entire “Lord of the Rings” saga. Another set of unoriginal ideas that have usually worked include movies based on true events. You might see a number of these around the Oscar season including “Deepwater Horizon,” “The Lone Survivor,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Ray,” and “The Hurt Locker.” These films are usually powerful, while also paying tribute to someone or something associated with an event of focus shown throughout, and while they might not always be ENTIRELY TRUE bit by bit, they can make for compelling and interesting stories.

When it comes to misses on unoriginal ideas, one thing people often point to, are remakes and reboots. There are a number of comic book adaptations that are getting rebooted left and right, I’m looking at you “Spider-Man” and “Batman.” Although there have been remakes of movies that were done in the past that have been well received as original ideas, but poorly received as unoriginal ideas. These include “Point Break,” “Ghostbusters,” “Psycho,” “The Wicker Man,” and “Poltergeist.” I don’t work for Hollywood in any way, shape, or form, I’d like to, and I have some ideas for movies and TV shows, both original and unoriginal, but there’s no time to get into that. Although as one who doesn’t work for Hollywood, people like me usually assume that people who think remakes, reboots, and other unoriginal content are what studios should be putting out are just “lazy.” And it may be true, after all, people might sometimes go see a movie if it is something they’re familiar with. As a kid, I was familiar with “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” both the books and the original movie, so when I heard “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules” was coming out in 2011, I figured I’d go see that. When “The Amazing Spider-Man” was coming out, I went to see that. I went through this phase for awhile, I barely saw any movies in theaters, although in 2013, that changed, I started getting into other material, and YouTube had an overload of trailers that I checked out and became interested in, therefore intriguing me to see movies involving original ideas such as “The Internship,” otherwise known as, a near 2 hour Google commercial, although not a bad one. “Pacific Rim,” which combines monster movies and “Power Rangers.” and “Gravity,” which might as well be called “The 3D Is So Amazing, You Can’t Even Tell It’s Post Converted!” Now that we’re here in 2017, I think original ideas aren’t happening as often, or, if they are still happening as often, they’re not as successful as I feel they could or should be. Just look at the box office totals for 2017 thus far. I checked Wikipedia’s “2017 in film” page, and the top 10 films in terms of what they earned at the box office are currently all unoriginal.

The movies I found on the list in order from the highest earned total to the lowest happen to be “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Fate of the Furious,” “Despicable Me 3,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Wonder Woman,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Wolf Warriors 2,” “Logan,” and “Transformers: The Last Knight.” After seeing this, I went to a page on Box Office Mojo dedicated to the box office results of 2017, and the highest grossing movie I saw on the list which was original happened to be “Your Name,” an animation from Studio Ghibli. I’ve heard fantastic things about the film so far, I haven’t watched it, but I heard great things. This film is at the #15 spot on the list, which interested me. The movie didn’t make much money where I live, which is the US, but it did make money in other countries. I noticed it made lots in Japan, which didn’t really shock me considering how Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation company. But I also took into account that it made loads in China and South Korea. It’s easy to see why it would make money in countries like Japan, Studio Ghibli is Japanese, it’s an animation which is going to encourage people to bring younger audiences along for the ride, “Spirited Away,” another piece of work from Studio Ghibli was Japan’s highest grossing film ever when that came out, and Studio Ghibli has an excellent track record with their movies. Don’t understand? Just look up films such as “When Marnie Was There,” “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Howl’s Moving Castle,” and “Castle in the Sky.” In a way, Studio Ghibli, may as well be viewed by Japanese audiences in a similar way to how American audiences view Pixar.

One time period that interested me when it came to the making of original content is the 1980s. This was something that came to mind after reading Curtis Armstrong’s new memoir, “Revenge of the Nerd.” In case you don’t know who Curtis Armstrong is, he is a famous actor, and in this book, he talks about his days as a stage actor, converting into a film actor, and everything before and after. At multiple points throughout the book, he’s talking about the “Revenge of the Nerds” series, a series which may contain a defining role for Curtis, Dudley “Booger” Dawson. In case you didn’t know, that series has four installments, although it almost didn’t even make it to two. The first installment came out in 1984, and 20th Century Fox, the studio who owns the movie, thought it was a travesty that belonged in movie hell. For the record, this became a cult classic and perhaps one of the most quotable comedies ever. Just the “Nerds!” chant alone is stuck in my head. 20th Century Fox thought that because of this movie, they should put an embargo against any sequels. Armstrong states in a chapter dedicated to “Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise,” “Fox still considered Revenge of the Nerds a misstep and, in addition, had implemented a strict studio-wide no-sequel rule as part of their new “quality-control” policy. As far as quality control went, it was successful in eliminating sequels but it didn’t stop them from continuing to release plenty of inferior product. But it was “original” inferior product, so that was okay.” I’ll say, just be glad that “Return of the Jedi” came out in 1983 or we probably would have less of a chance of seeing that movie come to life, perhaps zero chance even! Although, if the sequel embargo were still around, “The Phantom Menace” would have probably never been made so that’s one disappointment of the embargo going away. Well, as long as prequels count here too and not just sequels. “Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise” was actually the first sequel to be green-lit by Fox once the sequel embargo was no more, as Curtis heard from one of the cast members from the series, Robert Carradine, who’s known for playing the character of Lewis. What people like Curtis and Bobby saw from Fox in the 1980s is pretty much the opposite of what everyone’s seeing today from just about every film studio. Boy have times changed!

When I look at studios today, not to mention people making pitches to studios, I kind of feel bad at times. Part of me imagines a reason why we aren’t seeing original ideas anymore. That reason being, is that studios are afraid. What are they afraid of? Not getting enough money, and they see a movie that has been successful in the past and their brain is directed towards remaking that movie instead of new and fresh movie. Just look at Disney right now!

Here’s a question. When was the last time Disney made an original movie? OK, it actually wasn’t that long ago with films like “Zootopia” and “Moana,” but they’ve released LOTS of unoriginal content over the past few years! Disney seems to have a fetish for live action remakes, with movies like “Cinderella,” “The Jungle Book,” “Pete’s Dragon,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and you even have remakes for “Aladdin” and “The Lion King” currently in the works. Lucasfilm, which has “Star Wars,” was once owned by Fox, but now they’re part of Disney! So you can basically say that Leia is now technically a “Disney Princess!” Disney even owns Marvel, so basically every single movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a Disney movie! Fox still has the rights to “Fantastic Four” and “X-Men,” but Disney has “Iron Man,” “The Avengers,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Captain America,” “Doctor Strange,” “Thor,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Ant-Man,” and part of the rights to “Spider-Man.” They are continuing to make separate stories about superheroes including “Black Panther” and “Captain Marvel.”

Despite what I’m seeing with all of these unoriginal ideas, I still occasionally take a glance at original ideas every once in a while when the opportunity comes up. This year, when it comes to original ideas, I’ve seen movies like “Baby Driver,” “You Can’t Have It,” “Gifted,” “Snatched,” and “Colossal.” Believe it or not, I actually dislike three out of these five films. Although I wouldn’t say they’re absolute atrocities, except for “Snatched.” I walked out of “Baby Driver” and “Colossal” with grades of at least 9/10. This is a sign that original films can still rock. When it comes to the box office, “Baby Driver” was on the higher end of the spectrum this year, not as high as “Your Name,” but so far it’s beating unoriginal content like “Power Rangers,” “The Emoji Movie” if that counts, “Rings,” and “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie.” For “Colossal,” that film’s in the middle when it comes to the box office as a whole this year, but keep in mind that it’s a film from a studio that’s just starting out and it wasn’t in too many theaters. “Colossal” is an independent film directed by Nacho Vigalondo, and it’s being distributed by Neon, and according to Wikipedia, this is the first film Neon ever distributed. For home video, they have a distribution deal with Universal, which part of me dislikes because they’re owned by Comcast and I hate those psychos right now, but whatever. They haven’t done many films right now, so if you’re perhaps an independent filmmaker and looking for a distributor, try looking into Neon.

Another hope for originality, believe it or not, is Amazon. How do I know? Recently I Googled, “how long does it take for an amazon original movie to become free” because I wanted to check out an Amazon Studios movie called “The Wall,” but I was also curious, as an Amazon Prime member, the average time it takes for a movie under Amazon to become free to Prime members. I clicked on the first result that came up, stating: “Amazon Studios Frequently Asked Questions : Amazon Studios.” Before we get any further into this, Amazon has done original movies including “Manchester by the Sea,” “Paterson,” and “The Neon Demon,” and even done original TV shows including “Transparent,” “Goliath,” and “Sneaky Pete.” When it comes to the process of making something such as a movie or TV show which can be distributed by Amazon, it’s all explained where I checked. This whole process is not for minors, however if you are 18 or over you can submit your ideas to Amazon all you want, which honestly just excites me. Why? I turn 18 in November. So if I have an idea that I feel could make a good script and it’s completed when I’m 18 or older, I can submit it to Amazon! As far as I know, Amazon hasn’t done much unoriginal content whatsoever, they’ve taken content that revolves in one way or another around past events including “The Man in the High Castle,” “The Big Sick,” and “Gleason.” Another part that a lot of consumers might enjoy is one that I somewhat hinted at not long ago, if an Amazon Prime member ends up watching your movie on Amazon once its out of theaters and releases on home video, chances are it might be free, because Amazon has a list of exclusive films and they’re all free for Prime members.

I want to know, do you have an original idea for a movie or TV show? Well, if you do, I recommend pitching it somewhere, probably Amazon, but if you want to leave a comment as to what your original idea is, go ahead! But be careful, because if you don’t pitch it, that idea could be someone else’s, possibly mine! I would give my own ideas, but there could be a chance that some schmuck could see it and possibly steal it in a couple months!

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Thanks for reading this post, I once again want to remind everyone that next weekend I’ll be at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT for Terrificon, a three day convention lasting from Friday August 18, to Sunday August 20. I’ll be at the convention center on Friday and Saturday, but I will be in the building all three days, although I won’t be there for long on Sunday. I’m planning on possibly livestreaming for some of the convention on Twitter, so follow my account, @JackDrees, if you want to check some of that out, but that’s if I actually livestream. Also, if you are at Mohegan Sun for the weekend, don’t hesitate to give a hello to me if you know who I am or recognize me. You might just find me somewhere wearing blue sunglasses. And no, not for cosplay purposes. I’m not sure if I want to do any future posts on the convention, like on what I get there or anything like that, but only time will tell. But if you do want to check out my post that I did, exposing some details about the convention itself, I’ll have a link to that down below, and if you want to check out the website for Terrificon, I’ll have a link to that down below as well! Stay tuned for more posts and reviews! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

MY TERRIFICON PREVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/announcement-im-going-to-terrificon-at-mohegan-sun-in-uncasville-ct/

TERRIFICON WEBSITE: http://www.terrificon.com/

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Trailer 1 Review: More Like Welcome to Hell

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Not too long ago, a new trailer just came out for the “Jumanji” remake. I didn’t really plan on doing much of a review, I tweeted about it, but that’s how far I went with the whole subject. Although now I change my mind about that. By the way, this movie isn’t gonna be called “Jumanji,” it’s actually gonna be called “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” So yeah, it’s kind of like “Ghostbusters: Answer the Call” from last year, even though just about every person I know that had some sort of exposure to the film calls it “Ghostbusters.” …Oh lord.

Before we talk about the trailer as a whole, this movie actually is going to star a bunch of people I can admire. For example, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, I’ve seen him in a lot of movies, he’s very charismatic, and he always seems to have a smile on his face no matter what he does. You’ve also got Kevin Hart, who I also like, and as a matter of fact, this is not the first time Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson are in a project together. Go watch “Central Intelligence” starring Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson, it’s a fun comedy and it has some cool action. You also have Jack Black, who you may know from various roles such as Po from “Kung Fu Panda,” R.L Stine in 2015’s “Goosebumps,” and you may have seen him as Carl Denham in 2005’s “King Kong.” And last but not least for cast members worth mentioning in terms of this paragraph is Karen Gillan, who you may know as Nebula from “Guardians of the Galaxy” and Amy Pond/Soothsayer from “Doctor Who.”

The point is, you’ve got all of these actors I’ve seen before, while some of these actors are people I’ve seen in more work than others, I think these folks have proven they are talented. The Rock has his line delivery and kickassery, Kevin Hart has his loudmouth voice, Jack Black can put some charm into multiple characters I’ve seen him portray, and Karen Gillan is not really an actress I’ve seen much of, but she’s still talented for the stuff I’ve witnessed her in. This sounds somewhat familiar, it somewhat reminds me of “Ghostbusters” from last year. You’ve got these four actresses, they are at least somewhat decent when it comes to overall talent, I like some of these actresses more than others, and all of them are wasted in a piece of crap movie!

I don’t watch the original “Jumanji” all that much, but when I do watch it, I’m always entertained, I love the movie, and while I can’t quote it from beginning to end, there’s a lot I can appreciate about it. The plot of the original film is that a board game gets discovered by a couple of kids, this board game however is not an ordinary board game like Monopoly or Clue or Trouble. This game can bring a host of dangers. There’s a man trapped inside the board game, he gets released, and you’ve also got a bunch of creatures attacking the players as well as other people, and it’s just a fun time. I also can really appreciate the ending. The writing for it is solid and visually, it’s eye candy. This upcoming movie has some big shoes to fill, but I don’t think this upcoming movie can cross a bridge in order to fill said shoes.

Alright, on with the trailer. When the trailer starts, the first vibe I get is that of a comedy, and don’t get me wrong, the original “Jumanji” was meant to be a comedy directed towards a family friendly demographic, but when it’s displayed in this trailer, it feels, weird. Then a bunch of teenagers who go to school together are forced by faculty to enter the school’s basement, and they find a game system. It kind of has a found-footagey feel without being a found footage movie, I honestly don’t know why except for the fact that I saw “Project Almanac.” Then one of the teenagers say “An adventure for those who seek to find. A way to leave their world behind. Jumanji.” That line was actually a tagline for the original movie. This suggests the movie’s biggest change. Jumanji’s a video game. I wasn’t for this originally, and I’m still not for it, and after seeing the trailer, words almost can’t describe how much I’m not for it. So these folks choose their characters. The black guy chooses Franklin “Moose” Finbar, the chick in the red tank top picks Professor Shelly Oberon, who she referred to as “the curvy genius”, the guy with the maskless Kylo Ren-esque hairstyle chooses to be Smolder Bravestone, and there’s another girl who’s left choosing one character, and that’s Ruby Roundhouse. Eventually get transported into the video game and they are not the same teenagers they once they arrive, they aren’t themselves anymore, they’ve turned into different people, you know, those actors I mentioned earlier.

This movie shows who these characters are in the video game and who they are in real life. There are some attempts at comedy, kind of like some attempts given earlier in the trailer, but they all fell flat to me. Even this one thing where the hot red tank top wearing chick from the real world turns out to be Jack Black in the video game. Then the trailer suddenly jumps into fast paced action, showcasing some special skills the video game characters have. Some of it stands out, while other portions of this showcase just appear to be OK in my eyes. We also get a chunk of a helicopter chase and it could be entertaining, but I wonder if the rest of the movie will allow me to enjoy it. After that, the title slide appears, then we get this scene where the characters are talking, and Jack Black gets bitten by a horrible looking CGI hippo. There’s some banter back and forth between Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson, and the trailer’s over.

The biggest problem I have with this video game idea is that it might mean that less is at stake in this movie compared to the 1995 version. The last movie took place in the real world, with real stuff. Also, the people were normal people, they weren’t superhuman, they were just trying to survive.

As far as comedy goes, so far, I didn’t find anything funny. Maybe Kevin Hart can save the movie. He does almost the same thing every time, but it works. Maybe there could be some funny moments in the movie here and there, and if there are, that would make the movie watchable at the very least. I just hope it’s funnier than “Ghostbusters” from last year, and speaking of which, I’m gonna bring up some parallels.

 

The “Ghostbusters” remake came out last year on July 15th, it was released by Columbia Pictures, which is owned by Sony. This “Jumanji” remake comes out December 20th of this year, so their release dates are during different seasons. Guess who’s got the rights to the film? Sony! Not only that, but it’s also the same company Sony owns, Columbia Pictures! Also, let’s take two stars from both original films: Harold Ramis and Robin Williams. Harold Ramis was in “Ghostbusters” and he played Egon, and Robin Williams was in “Jumanji” and he played Alan Parrish. Both actors are dead now. I can’t remember if the “Ghostbusters” remake had a thing in the credits saying “RIP: Harold Ramis,” but regardless of that, the movie was still distasteful! You can argue it was a good movie in terms of showing girl power, but in reality, it’s not. Because the girl power involved in that movie basically destroyed the male gender. Literally, at one point in the movie, the girls all get together and defeat a ghost by shooting their proton guns at the ghost’s crotch! If you want to show girl power, and you have men in your movie, you can have men appreciate what the girls are doing and root for them. Don’t do whatever the f*ck happened in that piece of s*it movie. I don’t think this upcoming “Jumanji” movie is gonna attempt to show any sort of thing dedicated to girl power, progressivism, or showing that women are “better then men,” or anything like that, but I just think this movie, like “Ghostbusters 2016,” is going to ruin some people’s childhoods.

Many people, including me, watched “Jumanji” at a younger age, and they probably still watch it today. One big problem from my view is the movie’s name. It has “Jumanji” in it. A saying I heard about this in the YouTube comments for this trailer said that this looks like a funny comedy. The person who said that is wrong in my book, but let’s go on. They also said that people are getting angry over this idea because of the name “Jumanji” being put in the title of the movie. Here’s my problem with that. I don’t work for Sony, I don’t work for Columbia, I have no relation to any work put into this movie, so therefore, I had no power in deciding the name for the movie nor did I have any power over any sort of process in this movie’s entire creation. The people behind this movie are basically telling me that I must view this as a “Jumanji” movie. What if the recent “Beauty and the Beast” remake were not a remake and instead, a ripoff, which I hear it pretty much is when compared to the Disney animation. Some people might think of it as a ripoff and they might say “I’ve seen this before,” so it might affect their verdict when judging the film. I don’t mind having a bunch of changes brought to a remake, as long as they work. The original movie, which I’ve seen, will likely be in my mind as I’m watching the movie, and throughout I might want some of the vibes you’d get from the original, unless of course the original sucks. Let’s just say this, if this film were called something else that could probably be a badass video game title, it might catch interest from more people. Although we already live in a world where “Jumanji,” a movie with a board game, exists, and we also live in a world where this claimed remake, which contains a video game, exists. Let’s also put it this way, what if “The Notebook,” a romance film about a poor man falling in love with a rich woman, was marketed as an action thriller and then everyone looking for action gets none of it? I know there’s a saying that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can also look at the cover, and see if that intrigues you to go on to discover what’s next. This trailer along with other stuff I’ve seen related to “Jumanji” is essentially a cover for the movie, and based on what I’m seeing, nothing looks all that intriguing, and part of it is in comparison to the original, along with the fact that I didn’t laugh once. But who knows? Maybe the funny parts are all in the movie, oh wait a minute that never f*cking happens!

I am planning to see this movie when it comes out, in fact it will probably end up being one of the last movies I see this year considering the time it comes out. However, I’m not really looking forward to it. So hopefully, despite my extremely low expectations for this, I can walk out with a shockingly good movie. And yeah, I do recognize that the other “Jumanji” movie isn’t original work, that was actually based on a book. Also, on a last note, I am not against remakes, I’m against unneeded remakes. Was this remake needed? I wouldn’t say so. Also, Universal, DON’T REMAKE “BACK TO THE FUTURE!” Thanks for reading this post, I honestly don’t know what to say anymore and I’m around two-thousand words in already.

Pretty soon I’m planning on doing a series of reviews related to movies done by Christopher Nolan, one of my favorite directors of all time. He is coming out with a new movie, “Dunkurk,” on July 21. He’s directed films such as “Memento,” “Insomnia,” “The Dark Knight” trilogy, “Inception,” and “Interstellar.” I’m not sure what film I’m gonna do first, but I want to know, if there is a particular film by Christopher Nolan you want me to review, what would it be? Please leave a comment, and I assure you I do read them. Stay tuned for more more great content! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!