Mission: Impossible: Fallout (2018): Tom Cruise Is A Madman!

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Your mission, should you choose to accept it, can simply be referred to as “out with the old, in with the new.” After reviewing five “Mission: Impossible” movies starring Tom Cruise, it is time to focus on a new chapter while it is still in theaters. With the same amount of Jackassery as ever, you will find some things that if you read the other Scene Before “Mission: Impossible” reviews, or even the Scene Before reviews that aren’t related to “Mission: Impossible,” they’d be like a trip down memory lane. Whether you choose to read this sitting down, standing up, or if you’re Tom Cruise, running around the world, be sure to observe every detail of the review very carefully. As always, should you or any of your Force be caught or killed, the Movie Reviewing Moron will disavow any of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.

“Mission: Impossible: Fallout” is directed by Christopher McQuarrie, the director of the previous “Mission: Impossible” film, “Rogue Nation,” and stars Tom Cruise (American Made, Risky Business), Henry Cavill (Man of Steel, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.), Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction, Bringing Out the Dead), Simon Pegg (Star Trek, Shaun of the Dead), Rebecca Ferguson (Life, The Girl on the Train), Sean Harris (The Borgias, Harry Brown), Angela Bassett (Olympus Has Fallen, American Horror Story), Michelle Monaghan (Eagle Eye, Patriots Day), and Alec Baldwin (The Boss Baby, The Departed). This film is the sixth installment in the “Mission: Impossible” movie franchise that has been going on since 1996. While the plot of this film may have a familiar feel to it when compared to other installments in the franchise, there is no denying that it totally works. Now that the IMF is stable again, the same can’t be said for the world. The villain from “Rogue Nation,” Solomon Lane, has some remaining members of his terrorist organization, The Syndicate. These remaining members have now formed a new group by the name of The Apostles. Now it is up to Ethan Hunt and his allies to stop havoc from happening after The Apostles gain possession of plutonium. And no, they are not using it to power a DeLorean in order to travel through time, the reason is much more deadly.

Let me just start off this review as a flashback to those who read my stuff regularly and a newsflash to all of the newcomers or some of you viewers who don’t check out my content as much as some other people. Before the release of “Mission: Impossible: Fallout,” I made an effort to get through each one of the Tom Cruise “Mission: Impossible” installments. This would also help me in creating my review series for all of these movies before “Fallout” was even able to be witnessed by the public. One thing I noticed is that the franchise always seems to step up their game (personally) from one installment to the next. I thought the first movie was great, the second one, stupid, the third one, alright, the fourth one, pretty good, the fifth one, f*cking fantastic. I started to wonder, how would the sixth one be? I had tremendous faith based on how much I appreciated the trailers, the positive buzz, Christopher McQuarrie being in the director’s chair again, all that sort of jazz. I was beginning to wonder to myself, given how much I enjoyed “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation,” the fifth movie in the franchise, which just so happened to be my absolute favorite, how could this be topped? Is there any possible chance that they could top the awesome opening sequence with the A400 plane? Is there any possible chance they could top all of the crazy s*it that happened in the opera house? Is there any possible chance that they could top the scene where Tom has to deal with a security system underwater? Is there any possible chance that “Mission: Impossible: Fallout” could top “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation?”

Well, it did.

Actually, ya know what? I take that previous statement back. “Mission: Impossible: Fallout” DID NOT top “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation,” it DESTROYED it. I’ve seen a lot of movies over the past few years, many of which I’ve actually reviewed here on Scene Before, and I still find it amazing that after all of the movies I’ve seen, my jaw still drops to this day at new content. This movie literally has everything an action movie should have. Some may say the story is cliche or familiar. And while I’m not gonna say that’s an unfair or invalid criticism, I’d personally say that this familiar story was very well done. In fact, I’d say the “Mission: Impossible” movies are doing what the “Transformers” movies should be doing, because both movies seem to have plots or elements of the story that repeat from movie to movie, but the thing about “Mission: Impossible” is that it is either a little less obvious, or I care more about the characters, or perhaps both. This movie has scenes that feel raw. There is reliance on actual stunts as opposed to a green screen. You have your adrenaline rushes, you have exposition that isn’t really that boring, great characters, not too many jump cuts or quick cuts, and moments you just don’t want to end.

There have been many great action movies throughout the 2010s. Some of these include “John Wick,” “Atomic Blonde,” “Skyfall,” “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” “Deadpool,” “Baby Driver.” Comparing “Fallout” to all of the other movies I listed, this movie beats every single one of them. A couple movies on this list, they have an action sequence that I deeply remember. In “John Wick” you have the nightclub scene where Wick basically kills everyone to some kick-ass music. You also have “Atomic Blonde” where there is this beautifully shot one-take sequence where the main character of Lorraine is basically taking everyone down on a stairwell. It was magic. A good action movie can contain a memorable sequence. But an amazing action movie can contain a bunch of sequences worth talking about. In “Mission: Impossible: Fallout,” you get an awesome bathroom fight where Tom Cruise smashes a guy into a mirror. You get a killer chase in the streets where there’s cars, motorcycles, and it’s just epic. You get a great duel on a mountain near a cliff. You get what might possibly be the best chase scene of the decade, the one where there’s a duel between two helicopters. That scene is LIFE.

Seriously, that helicopter scene alone is worth the price of admission! You thought Tom Cruise hanging on the side of a plane in “Rogue Nation” was thrilling? The thrill levels only rise from there! Tom Cruise learned how to fly a helicopter for this movie! I’m not even going to get too much into the helicopter scene, because I want to savor the flavor for those who have not been exposed to the true work of art I like to call “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” Although I will say once the scene started, not to mention progressed, I was on the edge of my seat with my jaw dropping. Once the scene ended, I wanted more! It was THAT GOOD. Another advantage I had with the helicopter scene is that it was one of the sequences which gave me a bigger image in IMAX theaters. I went to a local AMC which had an IMAX screen, which in reality, is not the IMAX that I would usually go for, but it’s still a very fun experience. Not to mention, since I’m a Stubs member, it was $5 ticket Tuesday so I got a pretty good deal. Once the scene began, the aspect ratio would go from scope format to covering the entire IMAX screen through a scrolling process. It was just epic! Now, without getting into spoiler territory, one thing that I didn’t complain about but I imagine some people seeing this in IMAX would probably complain about is that there is a scene that actually cuts in between moments of the helicopter chase, and the scene is in the scope aspect ratio, so there’s brief moments where you go from the bigger IMAX exclusive aspect ratio to the scope aspect ratio and back to IMAX once again. If this were “Transformers: The Last Knight,” I’d be complaining a whole lot, because all of the aspect ratio changes in that son of a bitch, just happens to be worse than finding lots of hair on a guestroom bed.

Guys, I think it’s especially clear at this point that Tom Cruise might just be one of the greatest action stars of all time! The guy is in his mid-fifties, he still looks and acts like he’s a lot younger than that, and he just commits to his craft. While I can definitely praise Cruise for his portrayal as Ethan Hunt, making it believable, charming, and an overall delight, most of my praise for Cruise has to do with his stunts. One of the reasons why I consider the “Mission: Impossible” franchise to be some of the better action movies is that this is not done on green screen sets. I actually remember hearing that Tom Cruise broke his ankle, which by the way, there’s a moment where the ankle break is caught in the movie. Not only that, but Cruise, as mentioned, learned how to fly a helicopter. He even trained awhile to do a HALO (high altitude low open) jump. This makes Cruise the first ever person to do a HALO jump on camera. There have been HALO jumps in movies before, there was one earlier this decade in “Godzilla,” but this is basically the first REAL HALO jump. It doesn’t rely as much on stock footage, CGI, green screen, none of those cheap tricks. The tricks here are f*cking expensive! These tricks are expensive enough to make this film have a $178 million budget!

Each movie in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise always seems to have at least one notable newcomer in the mix when it comes to the cast. This time, the most notable newcomer is Henry Cavill. He plays a character named August Walker. I liked a lot of things about this character. Seeing him in action was pretty cool, the chemistry he has with Ethan, not to mention Erica Sloan was definitely charming, and I also kind of dig his mustache.

Wait a minute… Should I say that? Henry Cavill had the same mustache in “Justice League” and I didn’t like that. I don’t want to look like a hypocrite!

Another personal standout character for me is also a standout from the last “Mission: Impossible” as well and that is the character of Benji played by Simon Pegg. To me, Benji just seems like a guy who would make a lovely assistant in life. If you need something done, just get Benji to help and you’re good! If you need moral support, Benji will be your cheerleader! If you need a question answered, Benji will do his best to get the best possible answer to you as soon as he can. There’s something about Benji that just makes me want to hang out with him, maybe grab some lunch. I dunno, Benji just seems like a pretty cool dude even though he may sound like a geek. Then again, I’m a geek so yeah…

One returning character is Alan Hunley, played by Alec Baldwin. At the end of “Rogue Nation” it is revealed that Hunley becomes the secretary of IMF. Here, you actually get to see Hunley in said position. Having seen this movie, I think Baldwin is definitely a good pick for this character. That previous thought probably sounds like something I would say in a review for “Rogue Nation,” but in all seriousness, given his transition from “Rogue Nation” to “Fallout,” Hunley is probably in a very believable position and Alec Baldwin continues to play his character very well. My one disappointment however, and this has nothing really much to do with the movie itself, it doesn’t affect my final verdict at all, but it is a thing that I want to bring up. There is a scene in the movie where CNN, the cable news channel, has a heavy presence. Alec Baldwin happens to play Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live.” There’s not even one point in the script that just MAYBE could have utilized a fake news joke? I do think that there are times in my life where I’d go ahead and say that I’ve had it with politics and hearing about it, but I’d probably admire the use of that sort of joke if it were to have been uttered in the movie.

And of course, we have one of my favorite cast members/characters of the film, Ving Rhames returns once again as Luther. Rhames just knows how to be charming and maintain a presence that doesn’t feel over the top. One of my favorite scenes with his character actually occurs in the start of the movie, when the plot is just beginning to unfold. Without getting into specific details, there’s this one moment where Tom Cruise is just getting pumped with rage and he basically has to take it out on someone. Rhames is trying to avoid this from happening and attempts to calm Cruise down, it’s really engaging.

In the end, there are so many things I can continuously talk about that’s related to “Mission: Impossible: Fallout” until the day I die. From the action to the twists and turns to the cinematography, there’s so much to love about this movie. But one thing that needs to be addressed is that this is pretty much the opposite of what someone like myself would expect out of a movie franchise. Usually you start off good and your future is full of inferiority. While I wouldn’t call each movie a complete step up from the one before it, most of the movies in the franchise are worthy of that label, and “Fallout,” when compared to “Rogue Nation,” to my surprise, is no exception. The first thing I said once I finished watching the movie was a slow but steady “Holy crap.” There was multiple parts where I whispered to myself “Oh my gosh.” There were several moments where my jaw dropped. Every single frame had my attention and I was totally entertained, not to mention appreciative of the genius filmmaking efforts. Towards the end of the movie, I couldn’t breathe. It was one of the best feelings I had in my life, and when I was breathing, that felt equally fulfilling. When it comes to 2018 movies, I can declare that “Mission: Impossible: Fallout” has something in common with “Ready Player One,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?.” Why? That’s because I’m gonna give “Mission: Impossible: Fallout” a 10/10! This might just be my best movie of the year so far. I can’t say for sure, because a part of me is still trying to process what exactly I just saw, but I really couldn’t help but love every minute of my kick-ass experience. One last thing I will mention, Tom Cruise has an EPIC running scene in this movie. Look forward to it! Thanks for reading this review! I’d just like to take a moment to remind my viewers that I’m going to be utilizing a Facebook page specifically dedicated to Scene Before. If you want to like it or follow it, click the link below that way you can take yourself to the page and do your thing. Also, if you guys currently have “Mission: Impossible” fever, feel free to check out my reviews for the other “Mission: Impossible” movies. Be sure to check all of that out and stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Mission: Impossible: Fallout?” What did you think about it? Or, which “Mission: Impossible” movie is your favorite of the bunch? Another question I’ll ask, what is your favorite action movie of the 2010s? I currently don’t have an answer for that as this is still certainly a contender and I am not sure where it should be ranked. But if it is not my favorite, my number one choice would something like “Inception.” Nevertheless, leave your comments below, check out my Facebook page, and be sure to follow me here on Scene Before to stay up to date on my latest reviews, countdowns, thoughts, and more! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

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MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/mission-impossible-1996-this-movie-review-will-self-destruct-in-five-seconds/

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/mission-impossible-ii-2000-impossible-to-enjoy/

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III REVIEW https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/mission-impossible-iii-2006-the-young-and-the-fearless-spoilers/

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL REVIEW https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/06/18/mission-impossible-ghost-protocol-2011-your-movie-review-should-you-choose-to-accept-it/

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION REVIEW https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/07/25/mission-impossible-rogue-nation-2015-a-revisit-to-my-first-mission-impossible-movie/

Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015): A Revisit To My First Mission: Impossible Movie

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Your mission, should you choose to accept it, has been leading up to this point. The movie reviewing community’s biggest Jackass is about to review the last available “Mission: Impossible” movie before the release of the franchise’s upcoming film, “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” Your mission is to read through the review. You will eventually discover that this movie is directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who also directed another film starring this film’s lead actor, Tom Cruise, “Jack Reacher.” McQuarrie, believe it or not, will also be directing “Mission: Impossible: Fallout,” making him the first director to do two “Mission: Impossible” movies. As always, should you or any of your Force be caught or killed, the Movie Reviewing Moron will disavow any of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.

“Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation” is directed by Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher, Way of the Gun) and stars Tom Cruise (Edge of Tomorrow, Oblivion), Jeremy Renner (The Avengers, The Bourne Legacy), Simon Pegg (Star Trek, Shaun of the Dead), Rebecca Ferguson (The White Queen, Hercules), Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction, Lilo & Stitch), Sean Harris (The Borgias, Prometheus), and Alec Baldwin (The Departed, 30 Rock). This film is about IMF agent Ethan Hunt as he’s back for another round of action, as he cooperates alongside his team to take down an organization known as the Syndicate, an international rogue organization.

Back before this movie came out, I remember seeing the trailer for this film. I knew what “Mission: Impossible” was, but at the time I technically haven’t been exposed to any of its material. Having seen the trailer and hearing that this film is getting a special countdown in IMAX, I felt it was necessary to go ahead and check out this film in the IMAX format while it was still in theaters, which I did.

For all who happen to be judging me, SHUT UP! That is a PERFECTLY JUSTIFIABLE REASON! I didn’t go to use my phone! I didn’t go to fall asleep! I didn’t go to chit chat with those around me! I went for the experience! Speaking of the experience, I had a really fun time, therefore making me really excited to watch this movie again on Blu-ray, especially considering it has been nearly three years since my first watch. And guys, let me just tell you, out of all the “Mission: Impossible” movies I’ve seen thus far, this is definitely my absolute favorite in the franchise!

Over the past number of days, I’ve been thinking to myself, “Mission: Impossible” is just like “Fast & Furious,” the movies just get better as they go on. The main difference however between “Mission: Impossible” and “Fast & Furious” however is that when it comes to overall quality, it feels like that is something that more associated with the “Mission: Impossible” franchise. Both movies have similar feels that will give adrenaline rushes, but “Mission: Impossible” feels a lot like a movie made for smarter audiences. I’m not saying those who go see “Fast & Furious” are stupid, I enjoy those movies, and one of my personal friends from Texas has a huge fascination towards the franchise. But what I am saying is that when it comes to “Mission: Impossible” and “Fast & Furious,” two franchises that if you look at them, have many similarities, I’d say that “Mission: Impossible” comes off as more than just popcorn entertainment. “Fast & Furious” feels ludicrous, maybe that’s because it’s lighthearted and while perhaps there is stuff at stake, you as an audience member might be more focused on chewing on your popcorn. As I watch “Mission: Impossible” however, I’m absolutely curious to know more about it. Maybe because Tom Cruise has built this reputation of being the biggest daredevil action star of his generation, but when I watch these films, they don’t feel like products meant to feed to the throats of the masses (except “Mission: Impossible II”), these feel like movies. I seriously want to know about these characters because I truly deeply care about them, for example, Ethan Hunt! How could I not care about him at this point?

Ethan Hunt is great once again in this movie, I totally bought Tom Cruise as him, and I think I cared about his character here just about as much as I did in the first one. When it comes to his character, I wouldn’t necessarily say that my appreciation towards Cruise not specifically to just Hunt himself, but I rooted for him. The way his mission is set up in this movie is brilliant, awesome, and kind of sets the stage for what’s to come. Without going into detail, the terrorist organization Hunt is supposed up against, the Syndicate, just became a whole lot more threatening in just a short matter of exposition. However, they’re not the only thing standing in Hunt’s way. Again, without going into detail, Hunt is pursued by the CIA in this movie.

Speaking of Tom Cruise and Ethan Hunt, let’s talk about one of the most disturbing scenes I’ve watched in any movie. This scene might be more disturbing than most horror movies! Remember how in the first “Mission: Impossible” Ethan had to go down into this restricted area on a wire? It might be the most famous scene in all of the “Mission: Impossible” movies. As much as I love this scene, I think I have a much softer spot for another scene in “Rogue Nation.” There’s a scene that is conceptually similar to the famous wire scene in the first movie that appears in this one. But the thing about this scene, is that while Hunt is supposed to go into a restricted area for the sake of completing a mission. And as if this task weren’t already heavy enough, it involves constantly being in an area that’s UNDERWATER. I felt like I was on the edge of my seat during this scene! I am just amazed that five movies in, I STILL manage to feel like this is the original production and I’m watching this franchise for the very first time. Then again, maybe not, because I’ve seen Ethan Hunt grow as a character, therefore I care about him a lot more than I would than if I saw him for the first time (depending on the scenario).

I will say that there are definitely action movies out there that rely on entertaining audiences simply on great action, and maybe leaving story as an afterthought. I wouldn’t say that when it comes to “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation.” The story in this movie is pretty solid, I cared about the characters and where this movie happened to be going. But the action scenes in this movie are nothing short of top notch.

You know how I said that the exposition for the Syndicate really set the tone for what’s to come? Well, I was referring to a moment after the opening credits in a record shop. There is one scene that takes place before the opening credits involving a plane, and my gosh, it is one of the best openings to a movie I’ve ever seen. Everything from the cinematography, the music, the writing, it kind of gives you tension as an audience member, I just ate it up! Afterwards, the movie does its opening credits, and while I will give “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol” some credit for being the most creative opening of the “Mission: Impossible” movies, I thought this opening might have been better. It’s a lot like the first movie’s opening, but the music is slightly different. While I did praise the first movie’s opening because it had a TV show feel, I may sound like a hypocrite here, but I really don’t care, this one deserves my praise for its movie feel. With five installments that are technically movies and not TV shows, I personally think that’s a fair sentiment to have.

Speaking of scenes with vehicles, let’s take about that scene where Tom Cruise rides a motorcycle! It’s awesome! It’s quite an amazing ride! Seeing Cruise blaze through the streets in this bad boy is nothing short of a treat, and it’s definitely better than that climax in “Mission: Impossible II.”

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One last scene I’m gonna talk about is the action sequence inside the Vienna State Opera. Before this whole scene begins, there is one line uttered by Ethan to Simon Pegg’s character of Benji that I will probably use so many times for the rest of my life.

“You want drama? Go to the opera.”

And drama there was indeed! This is one of the slower-paced scenes in the movie, but it completely worked. The intensity got higher and higher by the second, it was almost as if I didn’t know what was going to happen even though I watched this movie once, and it just reminds me why I think opera might be an underrated art form. In fact, this scene probably wouldn’t have worked if there was a different form of music. If this were a pop concert or jazz band or something, there would be a lot less intensity. The scene might still work and be effective, but it wouldn’t have that oomph that it got here.

In the end, “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation” is DEFINITELY the best the franchise has had to offer in all of its movies. Tom Cruise shines as Ethan Hunt, supporting cast members like Jeremy Renner, Alec Baldwin, Rebecca Ferguson, and Simon Pegg all do a great job as well. The direction and screenplay was probably what I’d want out of a summer blockbuster such as this, and speaking of that, Christopher McQuarrie, a screenwriter and the director behind this film, has his name on the credits of the next film, “Fallout,” which is set to come out not long after this post’s publication, once again in the director’s chair and as a screenwriter. Given the job he has done on this movie, it makes me extremely faithful in this upcoming installment. I’m going to give “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation” a 9/10. Thanks for reading this review! Be sure to stay tuned for my review of “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” This completes my series of older Tom Cruise “Mission: Impossible” movie reviews, most of the movies have been good, one although has been a near-death experience. And I don’t know how long it’ll take me to get my “Fallout” review up and ready to go, but I’m making sure I can do it as soon as possible. As for other series’ of older movies I can review, I wanted to do a Jason Statham series since “The Meg” comes out August 10th, but I wanted to do one movie per week, and I’m not quite sure I actually have the time for that, so that’s cancelled. If I do come up with another series of older movie reviews, I’ll make an announcement in a future post, until then, stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, what are your thoughts on “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation?” Or, have you gotten a chance to see “Mission: Impossible: Fallout?” Tell me your thoughts on that! Also, if you want to check out my other “Mission: Impossible” reviews, links to those will be provided below! Check em out, follow me, enjoy your day, all that jazz! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/mission-impossible-1996-this-movie-review-will-self-destruct-in-five-seconds/

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/mission-impossible-ii-2000-impossible-to-enjoy/

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III REVIEW https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/mission-impossible-iii-2006-the-young-and-the-fearless-spoilers/

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL REVIEW https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/06/18/mission-impossible-ghost-protocol-2011-your-movie-review-should-you-choose-to-accept-it/

Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011): Your Movie Review, Should You Choose To Accept It

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Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read the fourth post brought to you by the ultimate Jackoff of movie reviewers in his Tom Cruise “Mission: Impossible” review series. This fourth review, appropriately, is for the fourth chronological movie in the series, “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol.” If the number four does not give you any sort of satisfaction, click away from this review, and avoid reading the same Jackoff’s review for “Sharknado 4: The Fourth Awakens.” Although if you have a fondness for the numbers 1, 2, and 3, be sure to click the links below to go to the previous installments to this particular review series. You will eventually find that this movie is directed by Brad Bird, and the fact that the Jackoff has worked on this review the same weekend that his latest film, “Incredibles 2,” hits theaters, is purely coincidental. As always, should you or any of your Force be caught or killed, the Movie Reviewing Moron will disavow any of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/mission-impossible-1996-this-movie-review-will-self-destruct-in-five-seconds/

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/mission-impossible-ii-2000-impossible-to-enjoy/

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/mission-impossible-iii-2006-the-young-and-the-fearless-spoilers/

“Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol” is directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Iron Giant) and stars Tom Cruise (Risky Business, Top Gun), Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Town), Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Star Trek), and Paula Patton (Deja Vu, Precious). This film is the fourth installment in the “Mission: Impossible” film franchise. After the Kremlin is bombed, Ethan Hunt is in trouble. So much trouble in fact, that he is charged with bombing it! Not long into this mess, IMF is shut down and Hunt along with his new team have to go rogue.

As of now, I’ve only watched “Ghost Protocol” once and that one time was specifically for this review. Going into it, I was somewhat excited. I love Brad Bird, he has done some of the best animations I’ve ever seen. Not to mention, that moment when Tom Cruise is on the skyscraper was something I was highly anticipating. Also, this movie was partially shot with IMAX cameras. Some of my favorite movies have been shot on that sort of camera and part of me wanted to see how the crew behind “Ghost Protocol” would utilize that sort of technology. Disappointingly however, I didn’t get to see that. Some movies like “The Dark Knight” if you have the Blu-ray would differentiate the aspect ratio to allow you see which scenes were shot in IMAX, this movie didn’t have that. It’s a minor inconvenience but it still somewhat disappoints me. On the bright side, the movie was enjoyable. I wouldn’t call it the best “Mission: Impossible” movie however.

Maybe this is all because I was watching this at home and not in a theater, maybe it’s because I started this movie near the 10PM mark, but there were just small moments that I thought could have been slightly improved in terms of pacing. And that complaint is somewhat sad because this is a fast-paced movie and it should really keep your eyes glued towards the screen. There were definitely moments where my eyes were glued towards the screen, there’s no doubt to be given about that. However, at random times, I didn’t exactly check out, nor did I lose interest, but I kind of wanted the movie to move along.

The rest of the movie although is mostly positive as far as my thoughts are concerned. I think it’s well shot, well lit, the music is awesome! Seriously, Michael Giacchino is back and his work here makes me continue to appreciate him. Giacchino also did the score for “Mission: Impossible III,” and the more I think about it, I think this “Mission: Impossible” score might be better. As far as characterization goes here, I feel that was executed better in other movies. Obviously it’s better than the second one, but not as good as the first one. I will say that on the bright side that this movie was slightly less cringeworthy than particular moments of “Mission: Impossible III.” Although on the dark side of things, what was cringeworthy in “Mission: Impossible III” probably made me care a tad more for Ethan Hunt than I did in “Ghost Protocol.” Another downside is that my favorite recurring character in the franchise aside from Ethan Hunt, Luther Stickell, is barely in this movie at all. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, he’s played by Ving Rhames and has been present in the franchise ever since the first movie. Maybe I like him a lot because he does the voiceovers for the Arby’s commercials, which are some of my favorite commercials on television, but seriously, he adds a lot of charisma to the film. He’s in the movie, but if you look at IMDb, it’ll state that Ving Rhames’s role was “uncredited.”

Seriously though, one of the most enormous admirations I have for this movie, much like all the others in the franchise is Tom Cruise’s performance and overall commitment to his role of playing the character Ethan Hunt. “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol” just continues to reveal why I love Tom Cruise. I’m no Scientologist, but with that aside, Cruise is one hell of an actor. He may not have the greatest ability to turn himself into another character, but with this “Mission: Impossible” franchise, Tom Cruise has really gotten to a point with the character of Ethan Hunt where he’s just synonymous with the man behind the mask that makes you appreciate both the character and the actor just a bit more. Not to mention, a number of the stunts you see in the film are real and Cruise is just one actor I continue to associate at this point with what one would call “real stuntwork.”

Speaking of characters, one problem I have here that kind of stands out is that the antagonist of the film is pretty forgettable. It might actually be in the conversation for the worst antagonist as far as “Mission: Impossible” movies go. The antagonist is known as Kurt Hendricks and while the villain wasn’t exactly flimsy or stupid, he was just rather disposable. This is not the villain of the franchise that would invest you more than any other, and if you read my review for another Brad Bird film, specifically “Incredibles 2,” this upcoming comment will sound rather reminiscent. Hendricks is coming after a certain point of the franchise where we got one particular awesome villain. Sure, the one in the first film was fine. The second film? Eh, I don’t want to talk about that crap ever again! The third film however, has a villain that just means BUSINESS. There’s one scene on a plane where Hunt is just trying to talk with him, the antagonist is giving threatening answers, it’s a whole thing. There’s a saying that a movie is as good as its villain, as much as I disagree on that statement, because I ended up giving “Mission: Impossible III” a 6/10 and yet it turned out to have the best villain in the franchise, I would agree in the thought that this movie would ultimately be better had the villain been better.

I feel like there a couple of reasons why I’m not liking this movie as much as I kind of hoped I would have. Starting off with Layman’s terms, and I can’t believe I’m saying this… Brad Bird.

Let me just say that Brad Bird is one of my favorite filmmakers working today, but most of the work I adore from him are in the realm of animation as opposed to live-action. He did my favorite animation, “The Incredibles.” He did a worthy follow-up, “Incredibles 2.” He also did another great Pixar film, “Ratatouille.” Before all of that, he did “Iron Giant.” Not only did he direct all of those films, but he also wrote them. This is Brad Bird’s directorial vision off of somebody else’s script, which is a normal thing in filmmaking nowadays, however, I don’t think that’s Brad Bird’s style. “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol” is one of the first times has done something that’s entirely live-action. The only other movie that I can come up with which he’s done that is 2015’s “Tomorrowland,” which to me, is just about as good as this movie. It’s watchable, but I don’t want to go back to it right away. Although interestingly, unlike this film, Brad Bird actually wrote “Tomorrowland.” My advice to Brad Bird is to focus on where his strengths seem to lie. To be specific, animation. Whether it’s “Incredibles 3” (PLEASE START THAT SCRIPT) or something completely new and original, I imagine Brad Bird would make all of our wings fly into the theater.

In the end, I didn’t hate “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” I thought it had some creative ideas behind it, there were definitely stakes, and Brad Bird’s reason to shoot the film in IMAX is spot on. He believes that it would bring back a level of showmanship that theaters are starting to lose given how most movies nowadays are shown in multiplexes, where screens are less grand and everything from the vibe to theater itself is shrunken down. And part of me wishes that I actually went out and saw this in theaters. That would have been tricky though because I was twelve years old at the time this came out and the movie is PG-13. Not only that, but I wouldn’t have watched one other “Mission: Impossible” film prior to this had I gone out and witnessed “Ghost Protocol” in a theater. If I went out and got the theatrical experience that I’m quite sure this movie probably deserved, I would probably have enjoyed it just a little bit more. I feel I like I should watch this movie again at a different time of day where I don’t feel the need to have anything else to worry about, perhaps my opinion will change then. I’m gonna give “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol” a 7/10. Once again, a fairly enjoyable movie with some neat qualities behind it, I wouldn’t mind watching it again. Although as of now if I were to watch it again, it would for two reasons. 1. To see if the movie improves over the first watch. 2. I would probably have no distractions surrounding me, allowing myself to further immerse into the movie. As far as watching this movie again goes, only the future can decide such a thing for me.

Thanks for reading this post! If you currently have Brad Bird fever right now, feel free to go to the link at the end of this post and read my “Incredibles 2” review! I feel like I went over a lot that the movie has to offer without exactly giving away spoilers. So if you feel like checking out that review, hit that link below!

Also, this “Mission: Impossible” review series is almost at its closing point. The next entry will be the last review I do in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise prior to the release of “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” So for the first time ever on Scene Before, I’d like to say, please stay tuned for my review for “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation.” That review will be up sometime in July before the release of “Mission: Impossible: Fallout,” which comes out on the 27th. I’ll give you all a warning though regarding my review for “Fallout” if you follow my blog. I don’t know when exactly I’ll be reviewing it. Because on the day it comes out I have to leave early to catch a train for New York City, which is part of a trip that will take several hours. And I also return home that same day. Once I get home, I’m going up to Maine with my family for a couple nights. Trust me, I WANT to see this movie. I know there are some theaters in the area, I’ve done my research. However, based on what the majority intends to do, I’m not quite sure I’ll be able to reach a theater during my stay. I’m not gonna make any guarantees because I’m not exactly sure how this stay is going to go down, but let me just say that for now unless I’m invited to an early screening of “Mission: Impossible: Fallout,” if you are expecting an early review of this particular movie, don’t get your hopes up. Nevertheless, be sure to stay tuned for those reviews, which I do want to post on here at some point, and other great content! I want to know, did you see “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol?” What did you think about it? Or, do you think I should watch the movie again to see if my thoughts change? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

INCREDIBLES 2 REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/06/14/incredibles-2-2018-too-late-fourteen-years-too-late/

Annihilation (2018): Yay! Alex Garland’s Second Film!

Before dive into my review for “Annihilation,” we have some promotional material to go over. Hey! Let me just remind you, this content is free! I’m doing this! Let me just have you know something. I’m a guy, and unfortunately, and somewhat understandably, my gender’s individuals usually can’t go at least a single second of each day without thinking about sex. Before you ask, no, I’m not promoting porn. Even though that does involve sex. What I’m promoting to you doesn’t involve that kind of sex. It instead involves what can be referred to as “BIBLICALLY *APPROVED* INTERCOURSE for the PURPOSES of PROCREATION.” Ladies and gentlemen, I’m talking about “What the IVF?!”

“What the IVF?” is a new YouTube channel and series from a couple whose members include Genevieve and Paul. The two are currently expecting a child in upcoming months and unfortunately for both of them, their journey wasn’t as sweet as chocolate ice cream. Instead, it felt more like a rocky road. As suggested, sex plays a part in this series. Not just that, but don’t forget math, tests, costs, small wins, big losses, and all of those stinkin’ needles! The video up above specifically is their second episode, but if you are interested in seeing the other videos in this series, such as the first episode and the trailer, be sure to click the link down below to the YouTube channel for “WTIVF?.” And also be sure to subscribe or hit the notification bell to keep up on their content! Also be sure to check out their other social media pages, along with their website, also down below! Be sure to tell them that Jack Drees sent you!

WTIVF? WEBSITE: http://www.whattheivf.com/

WTIVF? YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCILXSidkzWgwrQ5Oa1py78w/featured?disable_polymer=1

WTIVF? TWITTER: https://twitter.com/WTivF

WTIVF? INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/wtivf/

WTIVF? FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/What-The-IVF-288868031634125/

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“Annihilation” is directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina, 28 Days Later) and stars Natalie Portman (Black Swan, V For Vendetta), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle), Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok, Creed), Gina Rodriguez (Deepwater Horizon, Jane the Virgin), Tuva Novotny (Eat Pray Love, Dag), and Oscar Isaac (X-Men Apocalypse, Star Wars: The Force Awakens). This movie is about a biologist who sets up a secret expedition where the laws of nature are thrown out the window. The film is also based on a book by Jeff VanderMeer which is one of the three books in the Southern Reach trilogy. On that topic, according to Alex Garland, he didn’t really think much about making a trilogy. His focus is mainly shifted towards the first book of the same name, so I don’t think we’ll be getting any sequels to this movie in the future.

Before we go any further and dissect “Annihilation,” I just want to bring up one of the banes of my existence. And no, for all of you who don’t know grammar entirely, this has nothing to do with “Batman.” This does however, have to do with Netflix. I recently did a post called “Why I Won’t Review The Cloverfield Paradox.” In it, I explain my prior anticipation to “The Cloverfield Paradox,” and how I won’t review or even watch the movie based on something I didn’t really expect to happen. That unexpected happening by the way is the fact that the movie wouldn’t be released in theaters and instead went straight to the Netflix streaming service. I explain how they basically killed Blockbuster, a nostalgic store I adore that I will surely miss. I go on to say that the way they’re changing movie and TV watching is making certain experiences dwindled from what they could be. Not to mention, they’re also killing movie theaters, which are basically “other homes” of mine, because they think it’s a good idea to have all of their movies go straight to the platform. So I never inserted this in the post, but I’ll say it here. You know the phrase “Netflix & chill?” People nowadays know it as either an invitation to watch Netflix with someone else, or just an excuse to have sex. So I hate to kill the mood, if you know what I mean, but I might as well describe some of the scenarios I recently mentioned as “Netflix & kill.”

Before going to see this movie, I found out apparently that Netflix is apparently distributing “Annihilation” internationally (except for China). I live in the United States, meaning Netflix isn’t distributing the movie to my people. Paramount is doing said job. Let me just say, this movie is very lucky to get its own review, because if it lacked any release in theaters, or if Netflix was doing total distribution, I would have saved some time. In fact, I’m willing to bet that Alex Garland, the director of “Annihilation” might also be somewhat disappointed in what happened to this film. Just read this quote spoken by him down below:

“We made the film for cinema. I’ve got no problem with the small screen at all. The best genre piece I’ve seen in a long time was “The Handmaid’s Tale,” so I think there’s incredible potential within that context, but if you’re doing that – you make it for that and you think of it in those terms. Look… it is what it is. The film is getting a theatrical release in the States, which I’m really pleased about. One of the big pluses of Netflix is that it goes out to a lot of people and you don’t have that strange opening weekend thing where you’re wondering if anyone is going to turn up and then if they don’t, it vanishes from cinema screens in two weeks. So it’s got pluses and minuses, but from my point of view and the collective of the people who made it – [it was made] to be seen on a big screen.”

I hate to sound like a propaganda machine, but I’ll say this anyway. Netflix may have chopped this movie’s head off, but it still has a beating heart. It didn’t totally “annihilate” the film. 😉 Getting back on track, let’s talk about “Annihilation!”

Going into “Annihilation,” I was excited. That’s because I’ve seen a film from Alex Garland which released in 2015 and it was one of the most beautiful looking films of the decade. That film by the way, is “Ex Machina.” While “Ex Machina” isn’t what I’d personally call a 10/10 movie, I have to give major props to the film from a production and directorial perspective because it made me want to be a part of the movie. Heck, it won Best Achievement in Visual Effects at the Oscars! I will also say, “Ex Machina” was Alex Garland’s directorial debut! Garland’s second movie, “Annihilation,” has arrived in various territories, I didn’t know too much about it. I’ve seen a trailer for it, I knew Natalie Portman would have the starring role, I knew it was based on a book, but not much else.

Oh wait, there was one more thing, kind of going off of something I just mentioned.

As suggested, “Annihilation” is based on a book, specifically a book of the same name. The book is part of what’s known as the Southern Reach trilogy, which is named due to a secret agency which plays an important part in the overall plot. All three books were written by Jeff VanderMeer, and were met with positive verdicts.

Funny enough, all of them start with the letter “A.” So I guess if you don’t like calling the series the Southern Ranch trilogy, you can instead call it the AAA trilogy. It’s the perfect series for going out to CVS in your car with three of your friends. Their names are Albert, Alec, and Alex (AAA). You decide to go inside the CVS store, where you end up buying AAA batteries, finding three guys at the register named Aaron, Adam, and Andy (AAA), going back to your car to realize the doors are locked, you left your keys inside, so now you have to call AAA to get this situation settled. Once that’s over, you get back in your car, you’re about the leave the shopping center where CVS is, a very small one at that. It contains other shops including AT&T, Avenue, and Applebee’s (AAA). You suddenly realize, you have some time to kill, so it leads you to pulling out one of the AAA books from the back seat, you start reading it, and you remain in the parking lot going nowhere for a period of time. Oh yeah, and your friends are just questioning why you aren’t driving.

Alright, rambling’s over, let’s get serious.

Since “Annihilation” has some of the stuff it has in it, it’s easy to imagine some people are looking forward to it if they haven’t seen it. I haven’t even read the books and I was kind of stoked! Although there were people who happen to be giving it some flak before it even came out. Why is this? Well apparently, this movie has miscast its characters, and the reason why they’re miscast is because they’re not the correct ethnicity.

Let me just say, I’ve never read the books, so what I’m gathering is from random research. And the research tells me that these complainers have justifiable reasons behind their thoughts. Do I agree with them? Sure I do. It doesn’t mean I don’t like the actors playing these characters or how they perform as these characters, but it doesn’t change the fact that these mistakes are still there. Although I will say, there are two characters when it comes to this complaint. Specifically Natalie Portman’s character of Lena and Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character of Dr. Ventress. Of the two characters, Portman might be the bigger problem here. Again, I like her as an actress, so I don’t see Portman herself as a problem, but I do see this casting choice as a problem. For one thing, she’s the lead role. Also, her ethnicity was revealed in the first book of the trilogy whereas the other character had hers revealed in the second book of the trilogy. When it came to the overall adaptation of this book to film. Garland was more focused towards story than character looks. And while I look for more great stories than I do correct adaptations, this was something that could have easily been altered. While I REALLY enjoyed “Annihilation,” this will subtract its score.

Onto the movie itself, I actually went to see this over a week ago, so I apologize if some of my comments come off as weak. I usually review movies right after I see them depending on the case, but this wasn’t one of them. My Oscar recap was more important. This movie starts off in a small room with a conversation between Natalie Portman and Benedict Wong, and I knew that part of the movie was going to take place there. The overall setting there set the tone for what’s to come. We occasionally cut back and forth between that and some plot-unfolding events of the film. And with all that put together, the tone doesn’t really ever feel ruined. There’s a lot of cutting back and forth, but it doesn’t feel all jumbled together like a pizza with topping options so endless it has toppings like TNT, screws, and LEGO bricks. In other words, this movie’s edited competently and the tone doesn’t feel messed up.

I’ll mention once more, one of the biggest positives I can give to Alex Garland’s directorial debut, “Ex Machina,” is how beautiful-looking the movie is. The movie won Best Visual Effects at the Oscars and it’s easy to see why. Plus, all the scenery might make you feel like you’re on an exotic getaway and you’re on a nature walk. Oh yeah, and robots are there too! Much like “Ex Machina,” this movie has you feeling as if you’re entering a majestic new world. Once all the scientists are together on their journey, they enter an anomaly known as the shimmer. Inside, it can simply just be described as wondrously gorgeous. But not all of it is pretty.

“Annihilation,” at its core, is a sci-fi film. Although it has some elements of horror in there as well. This movie to my personal surprise, features one of the more terrifying scenes I’ve seen in a science fiction film. If you’ve seen the trailer, you may remember that wolf with the sharp teeth, holy s*it!

I also have to talk about the ending. And without spoiling anything, I’ll tell you all upfront. This is one of the best endings I’ve seen this decade. Why do I love sci-fi so much? Well, there’s many reasons that can qualify as an answer to that question for me, but one thing I’ve noticed is how many of those movies have endings that I just often look back on. This movie is no exception. I mentioned in my post titled “Annihilation (2018): NOT Now In Theaters Everywhere” that “Annihilation” originator Jeff VanderMeer gave praise towards this film’s ending and even said in some ways, the movie might actually be better than his own book. That’s a much better reaction than the one given by Paramount financier David Ellison, who thought the film was apparently too complicated for some minds! By the way, f*ck David Ellison. You can clearly tell I’m siding with VanderMeer in this circumstance. The ending overall felt like I was watching “2001: A Space Odyssey.” I can’t talk much about it, but given some of the situations that happen in this film and when you piece it all together. This film feels like “Arrival,” “Jurassic Park,” and “2001: A Space Odyssey” all meshed together in one wonderful package. One more thing about the ending, the music in that moment can only be described as one word, and that’s orgasmic.

Moving onto characters, let’s talk about Natalie Portman’s character of Lena. While I did mention before that Lena is not entirely cast the way that a good number of people think she should be, I’ll add, Portman did a fine job here. I was able to buy her as a biologist. Every single frame I was convinced that she could possibly have a shot at becoming a professor at Princeton. Her husband, Kane, played by Oscar Isaac, also delivers an excellent performance.

All of the characters in this film overall seem to have no qualities that I hate about them, whether they’re in the category of annoying, off-putting, or so hatable because they killed someone you love so much that they must get similar treatment. They all seem to be redeemable and I really think they all did their role quite well. I will admit, some of this movie is kind of dwindling on me. And it’s not because I didn’t like the movie. I thought it was great! I’ll say once again, it’s been over a week since I saw this, and other things mattered more to me than this review. No offense to “Annihilation” and its crew.

One last thing I’ll mention is this. I said already that if you combine “Arrival,” “Jurassic Park,” and “2001: A Space Odyssey,” you might as well get this movie. You might also say that if you combine JUST A HINT of “Ghostbusters,” you get this film too. Just look at this shot and tell me otherwise!

In the end, “Annihilation” is certainly one of those films that I’m gonna have to watch again, and it’s also one of those films that I want to talk about with others for years to come. Is this movie perfect? I wouldn’t say so. I’ve already gone over some minor casting issues that are somewhat understandable after doing some research, but are still there regardless. I must say though, Alex Garland, you’ve done it again! I’m going to give “Annihilation” an 8/10! By the way, if you can’t get this in theaters in your area, chances are you may have this movie available to you now on Netflix. It actually released on the Netflix platform in several areas a day ago, so go watch it if you haven’t already! I don’t use Netflix, but I’ve talked enough about that. Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon I’ll have a review up for “Mission: Impossible” starring Tom Cruise, which will kick off my “Mission: Impossible” review series in preparation for “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” Also, for my next movie to see in theaters, I just realized how many options I have. I want to go see “Game Night,” “A Wrinkle in Time,” (can’t believe I’m saying that) “Gringo,” “Red Sparrow,” and you’ve even got “Tomb Raider” coming out next weekend. I don’t know if I’ll catch a movie this weekend, but only time will tell. If you need some more content to hold yourself over, be sure to check out my recap for the 90th Academy Awards, where I talk about “four men and Greta Gerwig,” a jet ski, and what could be regarded one of the of the most well deserved Academy Award wins of all time. If you want to check that out, click the box down below, and will take you to the post! Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, have you seen “Annihilation?” What are your thoughts? What did you think about the ending? Also, if you saw it, how did you see it? Leave that info down below as a way of annihilating some time! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Annihilation (2018): NOT Now In Theaters Everywhere. Will I See/Review It?

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Before we go any further with this current post, I made a promise to someone recently. Her name is Genevieve. If you have followed my blog or know me in real life, you’d know that I’m a tremendous fan of “King of the Nerds.” I don’t watch much reality TV, but that show shaped my life. Genevieve was on that show as a contestant, and she even worked on it after she appeared on camera. Since she was a part of something that altered my life for the better, I’ll return the favor by… well… letting you know about her own life. Genevieve and her husband, Paul, are having a baby. The journey to get there, provided a level of irritation that you probably couldn’t imagine unless you were in their position… is all explained… in “What the IVF?.”

As mentioned, “What the IVF?” focuses on the recently stated couple, Genevieve and Paul, who make a two year journey through Painsylvania just to have a baby. This will be a series on YouTube where the couple document their way through various struggles, such as sex, tests, math (can’t wait to see what formulas there are when it comes to having a baby), costs, and ahh! The needles! Get them away! For those of you who are actually reading this post not long after it got published and want to know how you can watch it, I’ve got some news, you can’t. I’m sorry, there is positively no way you’re allowed to watch this, there’s no absolute way you can even hack the system to allow yourself to view this content. I’m sorry, this promotion is completely pointless, and I shouldn’t have done it.

*VOICE IN BACKGROUD*

Wait, what’s that?

*VOICE CONTINUES*

It’s not even out yet? What a revelation!

*VOICE SPEAKS*

Oops! I mean, what a thing that I previously knew that also happens to be a revelation!

“What the IVF?,” or if you’re a mega acronym enthusiast, “WTIVF?,” is gonna have its first episode uploaded on March 5th, be sure to stay tuned, so you can enjoy the unfortunate hardships and the wonderful successes between Paul and Genevieve. If you want to watch the trailer for this, the video’s located up above. Also be sure to click the links to their website, their YouTube, their Facebook, their Twitter, their Instagram, all those links are down below, make the couple happy, and if you want, tell em I sent ya over!

WTIVF? WEBSITE: http://www.whattheivf.com/

WTIVF? YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCILXSidkzWgwrQ5Oa1py78w/featured?disable_polymer=1

WTIVF? TWITTER: https://twitter.com/WTivF

WTIVF? INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/wtivf/

WTIVF? FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/What-The-IVF-288868031634125/

If you have followed this blog recently, chances are that one of my recent posts may have caught your eye. That post goes by the name “Why I Won’t Review “The Cloverfield Paradox (2018).”” In that post I explain that I have seen “Cloverfield” and “10 Cloverfield Lane.” I enjoyed both movies and I even reviewed “10 Cloverfield Lane” since it was 2016 and I figured I’d talk about a recently released title (by that I mean a title released in what was then the current year). But the one thing holding “The Cloverfield Paradox” back for me, despite its clever marketing, the fact that it’s a another “Cloverfield” movie, and it being a film that looked good from the spots I saw on TV, is where it was placed. Specifically, Netflix. I said I refused to review the movie simply because of where it was placed. With some exceptions (mainly “Sharknado” films), I only review movies released in theaters. Not to mention, I despise Netflix mainly because of what they’re doing to video rental stores like Blockbuster, what they’re doing to physical media, and what they’re doing to movie theaters. Netflix is a streaming service, and while I do happen to use Amazon Video and Crackle from time to time, I much prefer watching movies on physical media. Also, for a company that’s known for making effective content that doesn’t belong on a time slot a “straight to TV” film could take, why aren’t they putting their movies in theaters? And apparently people aren’t even caring, because the movie’s right there in front of them. They don’t have to get off the couch and head to the theater. Heck, they might not even be watching the film on a TV, maybe a phone!

Weeks later, another movie comes out, named “Annihilation.” This has nothing to do with “Cloverfield.” If you watch this movie and think to yourself, “Wow! That was a good “Cloverfield” movie,” just do the world a favor. Either seek some help, or if you SOMEHOW manage to have a movie buff card, turn it in. This movie has recently been released all over the world and people are loving it, calling it a masterpiece, a tour de force, a movie that’s not a sibling to something such as “Batman & Robin.” How is it to me? I don’t know, I didn’t see it. My first memory of hearing about “Annihilation” was when I went to see “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” on opening night. One of the trailers that played was for “Annihilation” and I was pretty freaking stoked simply because of one guy. And that guy… is Alex Garland.

If you don’t know who Alex Garland is, he’s the director of a film that despite how I have praise for it, I don’t really think I have as much praise for it as other people do, but I still think it’s amazing nonetheless. That film by the way is “Ex Machina,” a beautiful looking film about a guy (Domnhall Gleeson) who is flown into this man’s (Oscar Isaac) house. While he is there, he is observing the owner’s work, specifically his AI. From there, it’s a well written, well directed, visually appealing film. From seeing promotional material for “Annihilation,” I didn’t exactly know entirely what to expect, although I thought the movie was gonna be sick, and much like “Ex Machina,” it would be like walking through an art museum at times. Although once I found out something that shocked me harder than electricity, I questioned whether or not this movie was really worth seeing. That something, involved Netflix.

I can’t recall exactly when the first instance happened to be when I saw the name Netflix somewhere in association with “Annihilation,” but still, it doesn’t leave out the fact that a part of me panicked. I wondered whether or not I would need to rethink my decision to go see “Annihilation.” My thoughts on going to see “Annihilation” could have been, well, you know, annihilated. I even told everyone on this blog in the past that I had an “Annihilation” review planned sometime in the future so this would end up being a broken promise depending on the decision I had to make. And that decision was, should I watch the movie? Let me tell you the whole story.

This movie was being released by Paramount Pictures, and it still is, but a deal was struck with Netflix on December 7, 2017. Why? There was a test screening for “Annihilation” and a Paramount financier who goes by the name David Ellison, wanted changes made to the film because he was concerned that it was “too intellectual” and “too complicated.” Garland didn’t approve of any sort of alteration, and a Paramount producer known as Scott Rudin sided with him. The two clashed and this eventually resulted in what exactly cannot be called a total loss in distribution rights, but it’s more of a partial removal than anything else. While Paramount was still set to release the film theatrically in the US and China, those were to be the only two areas they were going to release the movie in that fashion. Netflix would handle the rest of the distribution in other areas and it would go out on their streaming service seventeen days after the film’s theatrical release by Paramount. Alex Garland represented his personal disappointment about this, as shown below.

“We made the film for cinema. I’ve got no problem with the small screen at all. The best genre piece I’ve seen in a long time was “The Handmaid’s Tale”, so I think there’s incredible potential within that context, but if you’re doing that – you make it for that and you think of it in those terms. Look… it is what it is. The film is getting a theatrical release in the States, which I’m really pleased about. One of the big pluses of Netflix is that it goes out to a lot of people and you don’t have that strange opening weekend thing where you’re wondering if anyone is going to turn up and then if they don’t, it vanishes from cinema screens in two weeks. So it’s got pluses and minuses, but from my point of view and the collective of the people who made it – [it was made] to be seen on a big screen.”

Personally, I side with Garland for a number of reasons.

As someone who is such an advocate for movie theaters, I know, sounds political, I don’t care, it rolls off the tongue. I can totally see this as a film that can come off as a success in the theater. I know various films based on books and other material have been released in mediums that aren’t theatrical. Although my view is this, if you want more money, release your film in the theater. Sure, I sound like a greedy moron, but in reality I’m just stating the truth. You’re paying a good amount of money for what perhaps could be an exhilarating experience. In some places, it’s cheaper than others, but it’s usually pricey. If you actually want to watch your movie on your phone instead of in the theater, you’re either a millennial or you don’t know what you’re missing. Also, if it adds anything, I’m a millennial.

Also, what I don’t understand is the request to change the movie to be simpler. Yes, I don’t mind simple movies. Anything, even Emojis, can make a great movie, no matter how simple or complex it is. It depends on how it’s written, directed, etc. With that being said, it’s obvious that Alex Garland had a vision of how this would turn out. Maybe it’s not just Garland, but since this movie’s based on a book written by Jeff VanderMeer, maybe he had a vision too. If the book was complex for a lot of people, I can’t say it is or isn’t, I never read it, I don’t know. It has occurred to me recently how much I appreciate it when studios don’t interfere with films. I mean, look what happened to “Risky Business!” While it’s a near-perfect film, if they kept the original ending, I would have given the film a minor boost in terms of likability. But no, Warner Brothers just had to get in the way! Also, another thing, experience has taught many people that movies that have complex layers, make people think, or take their time at telling a story are artistically well done pieces of work that turned out to be absolute masterpieces. Why do you think people are still talking about movies like “Inception” to this day?

While I didn’t fully form my opinion for “Annihilation” due to my lack of seeing the movie, I know a guy wo did. That guy, is freaking Jeff VanderMeer, who as mentioned, is the author of the book this movie’s based on! According to Collider, after VanderMeer witnessed “Annihilation,” around nine months prior to the film’s release, he said it was “extremely horrific” and “mind-blowing.” Here’s an actual quote from the author.

“It’s actually more surreal than the novel. There are a couple places where I was like, ‘I might need an anchor here.’ The ending is so mind-blowing and in some ways different from the book that it seems to be the kind of ending that, like “2001” or something like that, people will be talking about around the watercooler for years… Visually, it’s amazing. I must say that and that’s all I probably should say.”

Let me just say, I can understand a director getting mad or disappointed over having to change something that they might perhaps be proud of due to studio interference, but this is actually extremely horrific, and not the kind VanderMeer thought of. When the author of a book sees their own story on screen done by somebody else, praises it to the tenth degree, and even calls it better in various aspects, you better respect that author! Yes, it’s Alex Garland’s movie, but you got to remember, this was also Jeff VanderMeer’s book! Let the two have their way!

Although then again, Stephen King hated the movie adaptation of “The Shining” and there’s evidence of Rohld Dahl disapproving of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and yet those are considered absolute classics so what do I know really? It all comes down to personal taste, but when there is LITERAL CONCRETE EVIDENCE of an original storyteller adoring a piece of work which happens to be an adaptation of their story, other people BETTER KEEP THEIR STINKING PAWS OFF! You know, kind of like how I said Netflix should have kept their paws off “God Partic– err I mean “The Cloverfield Paradox.”

I said in “Why I Won’t Review The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)” that my reason behind what the title suggests has to do with Netflix and my personal disconnect with the company. I can’t imagine myself reviewing a Netflix movie. I can’t imagine myself passionately looking at trailers for Netflix movies. I can’t even imagine myself watching a Netflix movie. But here’s the thing about “Annihilation…”

I ALSO said in “Why I Won’t Review The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)” that Netflix doesn’t release movies in theaters. I might not be serious about this, but I said I’d probably get rid of my Netflix boycott if they start putting films in theaters And while Netflix is keeping this like their other films and keeping it away from theaters, Paramount isn’t. And as far as my country (USA) is concerned, we’re getting it theatrically released here. So, to answer the question, will I see the movie? Yes I will!

Well… Maybe… If I get the opportunity.

I’m really looking forward to “Annihilation.” I never read the book it’s based on, I don’t know if I will, but this movie looks like a great sci-fi film! I said before, I loved Alex Garland’s work on “Ex Machina,” and who knows? Maybe this movie will be even better. Yes, from what I heard from a racial perspective, the characters apparently aren’t accurately presented, but that’s a topic I might touch on a little more if I a post a review for this movie. So yes, “Annihilation,” you’re not on my enemy list. Thanks for reading this post, pretty soon I’ll hopefully have a review up for “Annihilation” as mentioned before, but I also might go see “Game Night” in the near future, and who knows, maybe I’ll go see “Red Sparrow” if the opportunity comes up.

Also I want to make an announcement, I’m not exactly sure when I’ll start this, but I can tell you it is happening at some point, I’ll be doing a series of “Mission: Impossible” reviews. I don’t have exact dates planned out for each one, because I’m not exactly what you call a schedule follower, I can tell you my plans are to do one “Mission: Impossible” film per month and these are going to be all the Tom Cruise installments. In March I’m gonna be doing “Mission: Impossible” from 1996. In April I’m gonna be doing “Mission: Impossible II.” I’m gonna follow up from that in May with “Mission: Impossible III.” I’ll then continue on in June with “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol.” And I’ll conclude the series in July with “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation.” This is all being done in preparation for “Mission: Impossible: Fallout,” which is due to come out in theaters July 27 of this year. Stay tuned for those reviews, should you choose to accept them. Also, stay tuned for other great content as well! I want to know, what are your thoughts on this Paramount/Netflix deal? Do you think it’s a good idea? Also, since it’s still somewhat relevant, what are your thoughts on “The Cloverfield Paradox?” Did you see it? I know some people weren’t exactly satisfied with it, but I want to know if you’re in that territory or somewhere else! Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!