Spider-Man Is BACK IN THE MCU!

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! So next week, I’ve been thinking about seeing “Joker,” the latest of the neverending trend that we like to call “comic book movies.” And I’ll tell you, the movie looks pretty freakin–WAIT A MINUTE! HOLD THE PHONE! SPIDER-MAN JUST RETURNED TO THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE!

This information, to me, came completely out of the blue. I was just enjoying my Friday off from school, summing up my thoughts on the latest movie I’ve gone out to see, when all of a sudden, I’m on social media, and a Variety article comes up with a headline that at this point looks too good to be true. Once I saw the headline “Spider-Man Will Stay in the Marvel Cinematic Universe,” there was only one thing to do.

DO SOME CARTWHEELS AND ALERT THE FREAKING MASSES!

I try to maintain a level of professionalism on this website. There are definitely signs that may suggest otherwise, but that’s because I want my blog to be fun, not boring, not unoriginal. I want everything to stand out. So with that in mind, THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS I’VE HEARD IN MY LIFE! HELL TO THE FREAKING YEAH! BOOM!

Now, let me just say, Spider-Man is my favorite superhero of all time, and if you have not been following my favorite superhero of all time in the news recently, you’d know that Disney and Sony had a little scrap. For some years now, Sony had the ability to spend money on a new Spider-Man movie, but Marvel Studios (owned by Disney) helps out in making those movies come to life and in return, their side gets a portion of the money, all of the merchandising rights, and a couple of chances to show Spider-Man off in other movies they happen to be making. Sony also gets the chances to retain rights to solo Spider-Man filmmaking as they have already come out with films like “Venom” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” But this was recently interrupted because Disney asked Sony for greater permission on the content, but Sony said no.

The original deal had Sony making 95% of the box office totals on films that would eventually be known as “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” This means for those movies, Disney would gain 5% of the box office. After the exciting news of “Spider-Man: Far From Home” becoming Sony’s highest grossing movie ever, it was a great sign that the deal seemed to have worked out. Both Disney and Sony are making money on Marvel Studios films, Disney is getting merch money, and Sony gets to make money on their own “Spider-Man” films outside the MCU. But Disney asked for Sony to co-finance and split profits on upcoming “Spider-Man” films. Sony wasn’t satisfied with Disney’s new proposal, so they were no longer involved with the MCU. But, a “Spider-Man 3” was still planned. So they were going to make the movie on their own, without Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige’s involvement, which seemed kind of difficult because if you ask me, Spider-Man currently represents an enormous part of the MCU’s current storyline. With several main characters we currently know having disappeared, Spider-Man may be the next crucial main character for Marvel’s phase 4 and on. He was taken under the wing of Tony Stark, he tried to make him proud from time to time, and now he is trying let Stark’s legacy live on. This separation would have been bad because Sony probably couldn’t use any of Marvel Studios’ other properties or characters if they needed to, and future Marvel Studios films would probably have to come up with some lame or cheesy excuse as to why Spider-Man is not with the Avengers.

Related image

Did he have too much homework?

Is he busy with The Daily Bugle?

Did he not feel so good? I mean, come on!

Nevertheless, as of Friday, Sony and Disney have reunited with new terms that may seem to work out for both of them. And that was one thing that I personally was worried about, because as much as I want Spider-Man in the MCU, I understand why Sony left, and I would have rather had Sony leave the way they did as opposed to having them go along with the 50/50 terms because that means they lose control, or at least partial control of their biggest property, and let’s face it, if this were a game of Film Studio Monopoly, Disney would be winning. They own Boardwalk (most of Marvel), they own Park Place (Lucasfilm), there are hotels on both properties, and you might as well say that they own Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Pacific Avenues, all of which represents the remains of 21st Century Fox, and they are starting to build on those properties as we speak. If Sony were playing this game, they’d be better off landing on the go to jail spot over and over again. I’m not saying they are in danger of going out of business, but still. Luckily, things are being kept in check, because while the deal is no longer a 95/5% difference between sides, it is now 75/25%, with Sony gaining most of the profits. And while this may seem like a significant increase right now for Disney, it may be worth it in the end. Because Sony is still putting some of their eggs into the basket of their own Spidey content, including “Venom 2” which is currently in development.

Despite how much I may point out how Disney is making “too much money,” there’s not much wrong here with Disney wanting more money for these “Spider-Man” films. They’ve done their part when it comes to inserting soul into the character. But I think this deal should probably not go much higher, because Sony is the one distributing the film, and they are the ones paying for it to be made. I personally think 25% is the highest that I would be OK with Disney earning for these movies. Because if they are allowed to earn anything greater, then they might as well be snatching “Spider-Man” from Sony. Yes, Disney technically owns Marvel, but Sony is also in a position where Spider-Man movies are “their thing” and will probably end up being their greatest asset for the time being. It would be like Universal giving up “Fast & Furious” or Paramount giving up “Mission: Impossible” or STX Entertainment giving up “Bad Moms.”

I should also point out that in addition to this whole reunion, the spreading of joy and good news across the movie fandom, Sony put out a post recently of a little announcement that I think you all might enjoy.

One word. Hype.

I honestly almost couldn’t be happier because while Disney is still increasing their control on Spidey, it’s not like they’re hogging the entire plate. Sony gets to keep the rights, and Marvel Studios gets to keep Spider-Man in the MCU. And even if it is just for one more movie, it would help me as an audience member in getting some closure after the AMAZING mid-credits scene of “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” What mood am I in right now? Well, look down below!

I feel like dancin’ like I just don’t care! Booyah!

Thanks for reading this post! I just want to remind everyone that “Joker” comes out next weekend. Now, I want to go see it next weekend. I have time to go see it next weekend. But chances are, I’m not going to. I will say though, I do have tickets booked for the second weekend! I’m going to see “Joker” on Friday, October 11th in 70mm! Hopefully I can get a review up by the end of Columbus Day if I go see it then for the first time, or Indigenous Peoples’ Day depending on your preference, I cannot wait to check it out! As for this next weekend, I am not sure what’s going on. Maybe I’ll watch “The Fanatic,” the new John Travolta movie that just came out, because I kind of want to talk about it. It just seems like it would make for good material, so we’ll see what happens. Be sure to follow Scene Before with a WordPress account if you want to see new posts in your WordPress feed, or if you just want to subscribe with an email, you will be notified of new posts immediately through email. Stay tuned for more great content, and check out my Facebook page! I want to know, what are your thoughts on the latest news regarding Sony, Disney, Marvel, and Spider-Man? Are you happy to see him back in the MCU? Do you think a better deal could have been made? Or are you disappointed? Did you want to see what Sony could have done with Spider-Man without Marvel Studios? Leave your thoughts and opinions down below and I’m not sure about you guys, but bring on “Spider-Man 3!” I want it now! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

“This is terrific, Peter Parker’s story took a dramatic turn in ‘Far From Home’ and I could not be happier we will all be working together as we see where his journey goes.” -Amy Pascal (Producer, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING and SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME)

Marvel Cinematic Universe PHASE 4 Plans Announced

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Hey everyone! Jack Drees here! You thought we were in the endgame? Think again, because, to my lack of surprise, as well as others perhaps, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not going anywhere, and as part of this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Kevin Feige and crew have officially announced their gameplan going forward in regards to movies and television. While I could not make it to San Diego this year (just like every other year), I had the pleasure of receiving a number of these announcements through social media, which is something Captain Marvel should have brushed up on by now.

This first announcement, doesn’t relate to what some would call “phase 4,” but it happens around that certain timeline and takes place in the same universe, so why not leave it in? Anyway, as you may or may not know, Marvel is finishing up their series “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..” It’s a series that I tried watching when it first started, but for one reason or another, I just couldn’t latch onto it. It just didn’t work for me. The show will begin its seventh season during the 2019-20 television season, and will air for 13 episodes. However, if you are caught up with the series, you’d know that season 6 is still in progress, so the show still has time left before ABC dusts it away from its current lineup.

Speaking of television, Marvel in general is seemingly changing the norm of how they release their television programming. Before now, they would release various MCU-related content on ABC such as the recently mentioned “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Agent Carter,” and the short-lived “Inhumans.” Netflix also had a fair share of content, all of which was recently cancelled such as “Iron Fist,” “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” and to what I believe is to a lot of people’s surprise, “Daredevil.” These platforms, for all I know, could lose the ability to air new Marvel content for awhile whereas the TV channel Freeform, and streaming services Hulu and the yet to be released Disney+ are going to be the big three for some time. Speaking of Disney+, Marvel announced a plethora of shows to be exclusively released on the upcoming service.

For the record, Disney+ is expected to be released during the fall. So just a reminder, none of these shows will be available on day one.

The first show to premiere on Disney+ is going to be “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.” As you can tell by the title, the series revolves around the known characters played by actors Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan. It is expected to start filming October 2019 and premiere in August 2020. While there are not many details about the series just yet, Mackie and Stan have previously wanted to do their own spinoff film at some point, particularly in the style of a buddy cop story. So who knows? Maybe this series could have some sort of comedic buddy vibe. But only time will tell.

Moving onto 2021 programming, up next we have “WandaVision,” which is short for the characters Wanda Maximoff and Vision meshed together. This series is going to star actors Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany as the characters we have previously come to know throughout the Infinity Saga. Although I must point out. This takes place after “Avengers: Endgame,” and Vision died in “Infinity War” only to never come back to life. So my question is… How will they allow him to return? Let me guess, time travel. Because now if the Marvel universe has a problem. Boop! You got a time machine! Want to save Nick Fury from losing an eye? Boom! You got a a time machine! Want to stop Tony Stark’s home from being destroyed like it was in “Iron Man 3?” Boom! You got a time machine! Want to give Captain America the most advanced pop culture lessons of his life? Boom! You got a time machine! Granted, there’s probably more to it, but a time travel element would not be surprising. The show will hit Disney+ in Spring 2021.

Also coming in Spring 2021 is a “Loki” series. Without going into much detail, because this does involve a spoiler for “Avengers: Endgame,” which as of writing this, is still in theaters, it will involve a Loki of the past. That’s all I’ll say. The series will of course star Tom Hiddleston. I don’t know if I am going to watch any of these series, but I think out of all the series on this list, I feel like this is the one I’d be least likely to watch. It almost seems like an idea from a think tank meeting (even though a number of these shows feel the same way). “Remember that mysterious guy from ‘Thor’ who keeps dying and coming back to life? Nobody knows if he’s good or evil? Let’s not deal with any new characters, let’s use this guy some more! Yay!” The way I wrote that sounds generous, but when I imagine it, it sounds like a business meeting all involving out of shape guys in suits smoking cigars.

OK… I take my last statement back, this is a series I’d probably watch. Granted, I don’t want to pay for Disney+, I don’t see any reason to. Plus, as someone who wants to avoid witnessing Disney’s plan for world domination put into action, I want to spend as little money towards them as possible. Although I kinda do want to go to Disneyland to see Galaxy’s Edge the more I think about it. Nevertheless, the next series is “What If…?” For those of you who don’t know, “What If…?” is a franchise that creates and realizes perhaps unlikely or alternate scenarios related to Marvel characters. Some examples from comics include: “What if the Fantastic Four all had the same power?,” “What if Captain America had been elected president?,” and “What if Jane Foster had found the hammer of Thor?.” While I’m not getting Disney+, if they are ever to release any of these shows on DVD or Blu-ray I am very likely to pick up “What If…?” simply for the concept. The stories presented in the show will not affect the MCU’s timeline, but merely exist just to answer questions through the power of imagination. It is simply something that just provides a unique take of some sort.

Hawkeye in the MCU is an “interesting” character to say the least, because just about every time he appeared in an MCU movie when he first started, I did not care about him as much as the other characters. Then I saw “Endgame” and thought he was one of the best characters of the whole thing. Coincidentally, of the upcoming shows on Disney+, “Hawkeye” is one of them. Also, according to what I have gathered, this series will introduce Kate Bishop, who in the comics is the first woman to earn the Hawkeye title. She’s also a member of the Young Avengers. Here, this show will seemingly spend some time on allowing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye to pass the torch to this younger character. The question is… Will I care about her? Or will she just be another boring bow and arrow fetishist?

That’s it for TV shows. I’ll probably watch NONE of them. Mainly because I feel that the way that everyone is trying to push streaming service upon streaming service towards the consumers is going to eventually make streaming as a whole a significantly worse deal than cable. My family and I have not cut the cord, and honestly, I’m happy. Especially considering how I still have my game shows (streaming IS NOT a good alternative if you are a game show fan for the most part), plus it’s nice to watch a new episode of a show and have it feel like an event, whereas an episode or two of a show, or a whole season, drops on Amazon or Hulu and it’s almost like you unintentionally DVRed something. Plus, I enjoy my livetweeting. It makes me feel like I am part of a community. Another reason why I’ll probably miss out on all these shows is because I REVIEW MOVIES DAMMIT! Movies are a top priority of mine and because I watch and review them excessively, I barely have time for TV. And speaking of movies, let’s reveal what Marvel has planned for that realm of entertainment in phase 4.

First up for movies is a project that I think a good number of people know has been in full swing, “Black Widow.” The plot and details are mostly unknown at this time, but Scarlett Johansson, the woman that I have a crush on who says she should be allowed to play trees, well then, if that’s the case… Vin Diesel? Watch out, you might be fired soon! She is returning as the title character who we have seen in several parts of the MCU such as the “Iron Man,” “Avengers,” and “Captain America” franchises. From speculation, I would imagine this would take place long before the main events of the MCU, kind of like in “Captain Marvel.” I am also willing to bet this will be a grittier film in the franchise (even though they aren’t going for an R rating), while also trying to be fun. After all, Black Widow isn’t really a superhero, kind of like Iron Man, she just plays with toys. And based on what we have seen from her character in comics and movies, this is very likely to be a spy flick. If you ask me, this is not my most anticipated spy-related film of next year, I’d reserve that spot to “Tenet,” directed by Christopher Nolan, but I’ve been eager to see a “Black Widow” solo film for quite some time, so I’m excited!

Plus, ScarJo is a dream girl. Just saying. The film will be released on May 1st, 2020.

Up next is a newcomer to the MCU, specifically, “Eternals.” Some big name actors in the film include Salma Hayek (Grown Ups, Desparado), Kumail Nanjiani (Stuber, Silicon Valley), Angelina Jolie (Kung Fu Panda, Mr. and Mrs. Smith), Richard Madden (Rocketman, Game of Thrones), among others. It is going to be about a bunch of eternally living beings who have spent infinite portions of their lives fighting a force of evil referred to as The Deviants. One character, Makkari, played by Lauren Ridloff is going to be the MCU’s first deaf hero. The film will be released on November 6th, 2020.

The third movie is one that I personally think will be a mega hit at the box office. It’s not to say the others won’t be, but if “Black Panther” from phase 3 has proven anything, it’s that if you put a “visually different” person at the forefront of a superhero project, people will see it. That’s because this movie we’re talking about is “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” I don’t know if the final product will have a title this long, but only time will tell. Then again, it’s not as much of a mouthful as say “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.” The main reason why I’d say this film has a bonkers chance of success is because Shang-Chi is Chinese, and in this film, he is going to be played by Chinese Canadian actor Simu Liu. Not to mention, based on comic-related images I have seen, this movie could be a visual treat. Another thing to consider is the Chinese movie market. If this movie is as visually impressive as I think it will be, not to mention as honorable to the Chinese culture as I think some would want it to be, I think a lot of people will go see this in the theater. China, at least to my knowledge, seems to go to a lot of spectacle type films. Some historical examples that come to mind include “Transformers; Age of Extinction,” which to be fair, was partially shot in China, and “Warcraft.” While “Transformers” is popular in the United States, “Warcraft’s” domestic returns led to its underwhelming final box office total despite making more than twice its budget. But it couldn’t reach the total $450 million needed to completely break even. But if anything has been proven, Marvel is an automatic success in the United States. In the US and Canada, “Black Panther,” a culturally significant film for the African community, managed to make over $700 million, which for those countries specifically, is actually more than “Infinity War.” But with the massive potential for winning over China and perhaps other somewhat related Asian communities, plus Marvel’s domestic success, it has a chance of being possibly a bigger success than “Black Panther.” The movie is scheduled for a February 12th, 2021 release.

Another film I saw coming was “Doctor Strange 2,” and we got it! But it technically has a more specific title, “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.” Based on what I’ve heard, Scott Derrickson could be coming back to direct this sequel. It is also suggested that Benedict Cumberbatch and Benedict Wong, or in this case, just for fun, I’ll call them Team Benedict, will be returning to reprise their roles. One thing that I found interesting though is that Wanda Maximoff will be in the be in the movie as well, and it will be tied directly to the Disney+ series “WandaVision.”

OK… You gotta be kidding me. I know people give flak to DC for how they do their movies, but at least you don’t have to watch a freaking TV show to perhaps understand or comprehend what is happening in one of the DCEU’s films! Guess I’ll just read the Wikipedia entries for the WandaVision episodes, because I ain’t paying for Disney+. But one thing that does intrigue me, is the notion that this is going to be a more horror-esque movie compared to a lot of the other MCU installments. So who knows? Maybe this could have a wacky funhouse vibe, or maybe be the MCU’s version of “The New Mutants.” Although now that I think about it, “The New Mutants” could possibly end up being another version of this movie depending on how many more times it gets pushed back. Man, that movie premiere is gonna be one big realistic version of a FaceApp demo. This is definitely a movie I would want to see on an IMAX screen, maybe in 3D. Because I saw the original “Doctor Strange” in IMAX 3D, which made for one of the best visual trips of 2016. This film is expected to drop into theaters May 7th, 2021.

But my one request for this movie. JUST GIVE A MORE MEMORABLE VILLAIN. Then again, it’s Marvel, it’s not their strong suit.

When 2015 first started, the YouTube channel RedLetterMedia made a video where they jokingly predicted that we’d eventually get a fourth “Thor” movie called “Thor 4: More Thor.” Believe it or not, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” used that title in their show. Unfortunately, we’re not getting “Thor 4: More Thor.” But we are getting a fourth “Thor” movie titled “Thor: Love and Thunder.” I have mixed thoughts on this movie, because I REALLY enjoy 2011’s “Thor,” probably more than I should. I know some people don’t like it, but I enjoyed Thor’s character arch and Loki was a solid villain. Granted, the followup in 2013, “Thor: The Dark World,” is in the conversation to be my least favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. And even though “Thor: Ragnarok” was… “better,” it’s not what I wanted. I thought it was too comedic, and some of the jokes didn’t land. While it is visually stunning, somewhat appealing from a story perspective, the tone just didn’t work. Basically, Asgard is in a state beyond repair in this film. It could have been dark, gritty, maybe a little funny, but not like it was “Deadpool” for kids. I don’t think Taika Waititi is a bad director, in fact, I thought he would be a better suit for something like “Guardians of the Galaxy,” but he did a “Thor” film instead. It just didn’t stick the landing for me. I’m hoping “Thor: Love and Lightning” will be better, but from what I can imagine, it could be tonally similar to the previous “Thor” installment, which if that’s the case, I’m just hoping that the story actually fits the tone.

One thing that could be interesting is that Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman, is making a comeback. And similar to a comics storyline, Foster is going to be taking on the mantle of Thor. And based on visuals presented from San Diego Comic-Con, it looks like her character will be holding Mjölnir at some point during the film. As long as Kat Dennings doesn’t show up to play her character from “2 Broke Girls” everything should be rather fine and dandy. The film is predicted to be out November 5th, 2021, so I demand there should be at least one reference to “V For Vendetta,” ESPECIALLY since Natalie Portman is returning!

Now let me just say, I have no idea when these next films are going to be released, part of me is willing to bet that one or two of them, are not even in phase 4, but Marvel Studios chairman Kevin Feige has confirmed that these movies are in development, therefore we are going to cover them. So let’s continue!

Remember the 1998 film “Blade?” Guess what? Marvel is getting to do another project with the character. I personally can’t say I have seen “Blade,” but part of me is willing to imagine that this will be a somewhat different take on the character because the original trilogy was rated R, whereas all the MCU films so far have gotten a PG-13. If you ask me, I would not mind seeing an R version of the character in the MCU, kind of like with Black Widow, but you cannot have everything. One thing that does intrigue me though is that Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Green Book) is attached to playing the lead role. He’s a fantastic actor who has a ton of range, and he actually pitched this sort of idea to Marvel Studios through a call. Coincidentally, Ali has been attached to a couple of alternate recent comic book-based products including Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and Netflix’s own MCU show, “Luke Cage.”

There’s not much to say on this next film, but I KNEW this was gonna be made at some point, perhaps soon. Why? Because again, it made SO MUCH money. I guess this is what happens when Disney remakes “The Lion King” for a new generation. Wait… I’m talking about “Black Panther 2.” There’s not much to say about this movie yet, but Ryan Coogler suggested that he’d write and direct this film, which does intrigue me because I thought he did a rather decent job with the first one despite its flaws. So… what Disney movie are they gonna retread next? Are they gonna do “Dumbo” because Black Panther is learning to fly for some reason? Are they gonna do a film in the style of “Wreck-It Ralph” where it is revealed that Wakanda is in an arcade cabinet? Are they gonna do one like “Frozen” where Shuri or Okoye just breaks out into an annoying catchy tune? By the way, screw “Frozen,” that movie can rot in hell!

Up next is a film that was supposed to come out in 2020, but based on recent controversy, that’s not happening anymore. Specifically, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.” This is a film that I am honestly curious to see, because while I imagine this could potentially be a capper for a trilogy, director James Gunn has previously exposed that this installment is not meant to be a powerhouse of emotion. It is still going to be fun and lively. But if you have been following the news in terms of film recently, you’d know that Gunn was fired by Disney/Marvel over the resurfacing of less than family friendly tweets. Tweets that even he admits, he’s not proud of. If you ask me, I believe James Gunn is a competent director, who may have deserved the criticism that he received, but I’m not sure if Disney should have gone as far as firing him, especially when you consider how much he has changed over the years in terms of his outlook. Nevertheless, I am quite curious to see how this upcoming “Guardians” film turns out, and I do have a shortlist of soundtrack ideas, but I think I should save that for another time. The movie is not expected to begin filming until 2020, but that’s because James Gunn is currently doing a DC movie, specifically “The Suicide Squad.”

Here’s another no-brainer, “Captain Marvel 2.” When your film has the sixth biggest opening of all time, you know you have to make a followup. I’ll be honest, the first “Captain Marvel” did not work for me. I thought the chemistry between Fury and Danvers was kind of hit and miss. The scene where “Just a Girl” plays honestly, while I guess it was trying to be empowering, felt really off for an action scene that was most likely trying to be kick-ass. The final fight, which I imagine was trying to be funny, just ended up being questionable to me. And don’t even get me started on Goose the Cat! But, we are getting another movie, and I’m honestly hoping it is better than this one, but only time will tell. I like Brie Larson as an actress, but when she plays Captain Marvel, she honestly sounds like she’s only been in straight to DVD content. Come on, Brie! You won an Oscar for “Room!” Show me the magic! She did alright in “Endgame,” but she was not in the movie that much so there is that to consider. Then again, I’m a straight white male. So is my opinion even valid to begin with?

Another film on the list of “in development” is a third “Spider-Man” movie. By the way, by the time you finish reading this post, five more “Spider-Man” movies will be released, because they keep cranking them out! I finally saw “Spider-Man: Far From Home” the other day, and honestly, after seeing that film, I’d say a third one HAS to be made. And without going into detail, Kevin Feige suggested that the mid-credits scene from that film implies the third film will involve “a Peter Parker story that has never been done before on film.” And it does not surprise me that this is happening. I believe Sony is already satisfied with making their own “Spider-Man” movies in their universe and still enjoys the success they can get from spinning their webs in the MCU. Nevertheless, can’t wait. But if I had any requests, make sure the word “home” is in the title. That way I don’t have to end up confusing “Spider-Man” trilogies and can refer to this as the “Home” trilogy. Seriously! Even if it simply means that there is a minute of the two of the film where we find Peter Parker watching a Mets game, and for that reason it is called “Home Run,” it would still work because the other two movies have the word “home” in their titles too!

The next two films are a couple of projects that I think a lot of people have been asking for. Why? Because Disney just acquired 21st Century Fox recently, meaning they have retained the rights to a couple of big name franchises. One example is “X-Men.” I have no idea how the film will present itself. If anything, it is definitely going to be a complete reboot, staying away from the timeline Fox originally showcased to audiences since the early 2000s. After all, while I didn’t go see “Dark Phoenix,” probably just like everyone else in the world, maybe that movie tarnished the franchise enough to say, “Screw it, it’s over.” But some movie franchises or IPs are like Jenga, you can end the game by collapsing the tower, but you can always start a new one by rebuilding it. Maybe “X-Men” has a place in the MCU. And honestly, if a couple of the phase 1 heroes are going away, I think this is the perfect time to add in new heroes, because if they were still there, I’d honestly worry about clutter in the MCU. Granted, even with them showing up now, that is still a worry. But I also have a slight intrigue as to what this mega franchise can bring to the cinematic universe.

Speaking of Fox, one other franchise they once had, not to mention wasted, is “Fantastic Four.” Since Marvel has the rights to them, they can now possibly… NOT screw it up this time… Hopefully? I imagine it’ll be good, but I’m keeping experience in my back pocket. It’s in different hands, but for all I know, despite its popularity in the comic book world, maybe “Fantastic Four” is simply cursed as a movie franchise. But I am curious about this film and how it’ll turn out, and perhaps a little more excited about this than “X-Men.” Will Dr. Doom be the main villain again? Will the movie have the four in the middle of its title? Or… How about this? How about we get Chris Evans to play Johnny Storm again? Do it just to get some other character in the movie for a second. Maybe the group will be going around New York City grabbing lunch or something and they run into Peter Parker walking with Ned, which leads to Peter pointing at Johnny saying, “Hey! You look like someone I know!” I highly doubt that will happen, but it certainly would make for a proper more realistic “What If…?” scenario. Plus, with Stan Lee gone we’re gonna need new cameo ideas.

That’ll probably do it for all of the MCU-related announcements for phase 4, and again, a lot of these films and TV shows are in development. So who knows? One could get pushed back, maybe one gets cancelled. Perhaps it ends up being a part of an eventual phase 5. Nevertheless, I’m excited for a large number of these projects, and hopefully they will all end up being good! Also, James Gunn, I know it is a little late, but welcome back. I want to know, is there something I’m missing from this list? I think I’ve covered all the ground, after all I have 4,000 words inserted into this thing! Or, what is something that you want to see from the MCU as a TV series, as a movie, as a concept? It doesn’t even have to be for phase 4 if you want it someplace else. Let me know down below! Thanks for reading this post! Pretty soon I am going to be reviewing Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which is out this upcoming weekend. I’m going to one of my local theaters for their first screening of the film in 35mm, can’t wait! Also, speaking of Tarantino, be sure to stay tuned for my final installment in my Quentin Tarantino review series, “The Hateful Eight.” Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! Also, if you could do me a favor, like this post, share it around with those you know, it really helps me out. And speaking of that, like my Facebook Page! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019): The Truth Is… I Am Spider-Man

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Well, I waited over two weeks, I finally get to say it. “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is directed by Jon Watts (Cop Car, The Onion News Network), who also was the director and one of the writers behind the preceding film in this franchise, “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” This film stars Tom Holland (The Lost City of Z, In the Heart of the Sea), Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Snakes on a Plane), Zendaya (The Greatest Showman, Shake It Up), Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother, Safe Haven), Jon Favreau (The Jungle Book, Chef), Jacob Batalon (Blood Fest, Every Day), Martin Starr (Silicon Valley, Knocked Up), J.B. Smoove (Uncle Drew, Hall Pass) with Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny, Chaplin) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler, Stronger). This is the 23rd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the second Spider-Man film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the eighth big screen “Spider-Man” film of the 21st century. So much for originality! Yay! This film continues the adventures of Tom Holland’s Peter Parker in a post universe-wide snappening setting. As everyone adapts to a world that has changed forever, Peter Parker and his classmates are going on a field trip to Europe, only to run into chaos through unexpected encounters including Mysterio, and Nick Fury himself.

When it comes to Spider-Man, he is by far my favorite superhero of all time. Spider-Man is the perfect embodiment of your average teenager trying to live a normal life, but various struggles and obstacles beyond their control manage to get in their way. As for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, my love for him is unbelievable. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of “Homecoming,” I really enjoyed him in other films including “Captain America: Civil War” and “Avengers: Infinity War.” If I had to a superhero to relate to more than any other, Spider-Man is definitely number one. This is a reason why I really enjoyed a movie like Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 2,” because it emphasizes the internal conflict of what Peter wants vs. what he needs. That film by the way, is my favorite comic book flick of all time. And in some ways, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” sort of takes me back to the time frame of Sam Raimi’s films.

Mary Jane has a screen presence in this film that I personally did not expect.

This movie has the result of Sandman getting a makeover due to incoming tides.

Not to mention, the film is freaking awesome!

In fact, you know how “Avengers: Endgame” perhaps stands as the most anticipated film? Like, ever? As the release for “Endgame” got closer and closer, my hype levels increased. Can’t say that for “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” I saw the first trailer, thought it sucked, and while going into the film, I appreciated this film’s efforts to try reminding everyone of the effects of “Endgame,” I was still somewhat nervous. Then I came out of the film, got home, and made the following tweet.

For all I know, this could be due to just seeing the film, my opinion could change, but I felt a bigger impact through the smaller and slightly more individualistic story of “Spider-Man: Far From Home” than I did for perhaps what has been marketed as the biggest geekfest in history. But much like that giant nerdgasm-inducing experience, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is not perfect.

Much like “Avengers: Endgame,” “Spider-Man: Far From Home” suffers from minor pacing issues, but similar to “Endgame,” “Far From Home” has pacing issues which I can live with simply because of everything else that is happening. And this is not an issue in every sense of the word, but this movie has a lot of moments in its script that are incredibly convenient to what is happening on screen. But at the same time, I feel like that is one of the big improvements I can give to “Far From Home” when comparing it to “Homecoming.” Why? One of my biggest issues with “Homecoming” had to do with the script in a crapton of ways, one of which included the unbelievable amount of comedy inserted. And honestly, there was not a lot that landed. When it comes to Spidey’s quips and one-liners in “Homecoming,” they don’t feel as hysterical as they could be. I could tell that Tom Holland was trying his hardest with the material that may have sounded great on paper, but for one reason or another, the jokes just didn’t stick the landing for me. Here however, there seems to be a lot less comedy, and the bits of comedy they have in this film, when present, completely works. Because let’s face it, this movie is the first installment in the MCU that has to reflect on the past couple of “Avengers” flicks, which honestly would present the need for a slightly more serious script. Plus, Sony’s distributing this film instead of Disney. When the mouse is away, the spiders will play!

Also, while I keep talking about “Spider-Man: Homecoming” as if it happens to be the last “Spider-Man” film to be released, keep in mind that we just got “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” which many consider to be the best “Spider-Man” film to date. While I don’t know whether or not I enjoyed this film or “Spider-Verse” more, I can confirm that when I saw “Spider-Verse,” it was perhaps the biggest acid trip of a superhero film I have ever watched. Guess what? I might need to rethink that statement, and I won’t go into why, BUT LET ME HAVE YOU KNOW THAT “SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME” IS ONE HELL OF A DRUG! If you drop acid before this movie, I wish you luck on getting out of the movie theater when the film ends because there are a couple of head-spinning moments that kind of left me speechless.

And you know something? Another shocker for this film to me is MJ, because when I saw her in “Homecoming,” I did not like her, I thought she some clowny individual who barely had a personality. This time there is depth to her, and even though I was nervous back in 2016 when they announced who was playing MJ, specifically Zendaya, she pulled it off in this movie! Mainly because she had a take on it that made the character her own. After all, her name isn’t really Mary Jane, it’s actually Michelle. If she was a redhead, I’d want the character a certain way. But I appreciate Zendaya’s take not only because her character was well written, not just because she did her part with excellence, but because it did not feel like the type of MJ I thought she would be, which would be a black person trying to playing the typical white Mary Jane, almost as if it were a s*itty impression. Zendaya has her individual flair which brought some pizzazz to the final product. Rock on! Granted, seeing her in the beginning of the film was a little sloppy, in fact, that’s not the only issue I have with the start of the film (there are a couple minor moments leaning towards cringe), but as it went on, I began to admire her.

And the surprises don’t even end there, because this time around I actually liked Ned! If you don’t remember my “Homecoming” review, this is what I said about Ned.

“One character in this movie goes by the name of Ned Leeds, he was played by Jacob Batalon, and there was a point in this movie where I wanted some sort of technology that existed which could allow me to jump into a movie’s universe. I could go into this one, find Ned, and give him the finger!”

You know what? Forget about that statement, f*ck it! Because in this movie, Ned is the opposite of annoying. In fact, he’s pretty charming at certain times. There’s this portion of the film dedicated to this relationship he has with this one girl, which honestly, had its ups and downs, but there are moments when I can approve of it.

Also, if anything, it reminded me of the Schmoopie relationship from “Seinfeld.”

And while I won’t dive too deep into this, another problem I had with “Homecoming” that somehow gets fixed here is my displeasure with the AI from that film. Remember Karen? I do. And I don’t like her. While she could have been charming in that film, she had a few quirks that did not sit well with me. Karen does not make a return here and I won’t go into detail, but there’s an AI here that is honestly charming, and even sets up an entertaining and thrilling sequence on a bus.

Moving onto our main character, Peter Parker is back and now the important question is this: What would be a bigger feat for him than going to space? Europe? That’s nothing! Any idiot can fly a plane to Europe! But nevertheless, Parker is vacationing in Europe, and now he has to deal with a side mission, which takes away from whatever relaxation he can get. This is why I really enjoy the character of Spider-Man, because other heroes, specifcally in the MCU, always seem to be built with this sort of drive to save the world. Granted, with an interpretation such as Tony Stark, maybe he’d get a little drained from it and prefer to lay low for awhile like he did in “Iron Man 3,” but there are not many moments where I have seen an MCU hero flat out refuse to do hero work. When the Avengers got together, just about everyone showed up. Thor always seemed to have a knack for defending Asgard with a hammer by his side. Captain America would always be willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good. But Spider-Man… Needs his alone time. While in some instances, I imagine this would make a hero look like a dick or a coward, it works for Peter Parker because he’s just a normal, likable, not to mention, relatable kid. He just wants a normal life despite various perks of being a superhero. In fact, Peter’s story and actions in this film kind of remind me of what is like to be me when I was younger. I had my crushes, perhaps constantly imagined plans to get together with said crushes, and if you know me, they did not work out, and I’m fine with that. By the way ladies, I’m single! Plus, Peter in this film has to deal with following in the footsteps of those above him, which is something that I did think about out sometimes when I was younger. Granted, probably not a lot, but the thought definitely did come up in my head once or twice.

I also really liked Mysterio in this film, they managed to go in a direction with the character that I for one personally did not expect, and as for Jake Gyllenhaal, he was basically perfect casting for this role. I remember back in the day I wanted him to be the next Batman if Affleck were to leave. Granted, he’s not, but still. But even though I never imagined Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio, I cannot help but dig him. He did a really good job, and I love his costume! It’s amazing!

Now despite what the box office can make me think, there are still people out there who have yet to see “Avengers: Endgame.” But in “Endgame,” there is a lot that happens that leads to this film’s events. In fact, the beginning of this film is a tribute to a couple of major characters who have encountered a common barrier in “Endgame.” And this movie, while I won’t go into context, shows off perhaps the most heart-wrenching footage of the snappening I’ll ever see in my life. If you thought that collection of deaths on Wakanda was disturbing, I’ll remind you, the effects to me were personally diminished (although still slightly powerful) because going into “Infinity War,” I kinda knew we were going to see people die. Granted, I didn’t know who, how, or when, but I knew something was coming. What made it really disturbing is that it was just a bunch of innocent people going through their everyday lives. Granted, that was sort of already shown during “Infinity War’s” end credits, but this movie did it better because for all I know it was shot on somebody’s phone or some other everyday camera. It almost reminds me of the found footage movie “Cloverfield” the more I think about it, because in a way, I felt immersed into such a disturbing situation, not to mention from a rather shaky first person perspective.

In the end, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” can be summed up in one word. Fun. It has a vibe that is almost reminiscent of Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” films while also managing to be a product of its own. The movie, in more ways than one, made me feel young again. I talked to death about the relatable teen year experiences this film provided, but I grew up watching Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” films and in some ways, this film managed to take me back to when I was somewhere between 6 to 14 years old. “Spider-Man 2” still stands as my favorite comic book movie ever, but I cannot deny that this is definitely another solid second “Spider-Man” movie. As I was writing this review, I’ve been having a constant debate in my head on whether or not this is better than “Spider-Verse,” and this debate is far from over. I’m willing to bet that this won’t end for awhile. I’d probably have to rewatch both films to know for sure. But if I had to make my thoughts on this film as finalized as possible, I’d say that unlike “Spider-Verse,” I felt that “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” while just as entertaining, if not more, had a greater quantity of issues that stood out to me. So with that being said, “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” despite “Endgame” being a more conclusive chapter to the entire three phase saga of the MCU, is a damn fine way for Marvel to cap off their third phase. I’m going to give “Spider-Man: Far From Home” a high 8/10. I love the constant joke about how we are getting too many “Spider-Man” movies or movies that have Spidey in them. Well, if we’re getting films that are this good, why should they stop making them? I’ll wait for the next “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” and then we’ll revisit this topic later. And I also will say, I almost forgot to consider this about “Spider-Verse,” it basically was a game-changer for the comic book genre in cinema. The animation style was unlike anything I have seen on the big screen up until that point. How many live-action “Spider-Man” films do we have right now? I don’t care about real numbers at this point. Let’s just go with umpteen because it sounds kind of fun. Thanks for reading this review! I just want to let everyone know that next Monday, July 22nd, will be the release date for my final Quentin Tarantino review series installment, specifically, “The Hateful Eight.” I’ll be reviewing this film just in time for Tarantino’s new film coming out next week, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Stay tuned!

Also, if you love “Spider-Man” like I do, or if you simply want to know more of my thoughts on the “Spider-Man” movies, I posted a review for every big screen “Spider-Man” film since the original Sam Raimi flick from 2002. If you want to check these out, click the links down below! Be sure to follow Scene Before through a WordPress account or email so you can stay tuned for more great content! Also, I have a Facebook page, if you could do me a favor and give it a like or follow it would be very much appreciated! I want to know, did you see “Spider-Man: Far From Home?” What did you think about it? Or, as painful of a reminder as it may be, this is the first MCU film without a Stan Lee cameo. RIP, by the way. So with that being said, what is your personal favorite Stan Lee cameo? If you ask me, I’d go with the one where he tries to get into Reed and Susan’s wedding in “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” Tony Stank from “Captain America: Civil War,” the bus driving scene from “Avengers: Infinity War,” or even though it’s not Marvel, “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies,” which basically takes the Stan Lee cameo and manages fetishize it to the core. Nevertheless, let me know your pick, that way your name will make a random appearance as a cameo in this post! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Spider-Man (2002)

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Venom (2018): A Turd in the Wind

Tom Hardy in Venom (2018)

“Venom” is directed by Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, 30 Minutes Or Less) and stars Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, Mad Max: Fury Road) as Eddie Brock, a reporter who we as an audience discover is living his life in the city with his partner, but one thing leads to another and he loses everything that’s important to him. At the same time, a symbiote lands on Earth and starts taking over people. A lab got their hands on the material and now they want to do whatever they can with it in regards to experimentation. Also, for those of you who know the comic books, you’d know that Eddie Brock eventually becomes the violent, mind-controlling Venom.

Let me just start this review off by saying I did not want this movie to exist before it came out. My earliest memory of hearing about this movie got me worried just from the concept alone. I had a feeling that comic book movie fatigue was starting to kick in for me after the painfully disappointing “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” and I felt like it was a really weird idea for someone to do a movie revolving around someone many people would associate as technically being a comic book villain. Granted, this movie treats him as a protector (sort of, really an antihero), but still. Then I saw the first couple of trailers, they were, “alright,” but I still was not fully onboard. The trailer we got over the summer however was definitely the best of the bunch. It showed Venom as this dark, crazy being and it made me want more.

That trailer was a few minutes. This movie is around the two hour range. Two hours is certainly more than a few minutes. But more isn’t always better. In this case, more is f*cking worse. The good thing about trailers is that they usually are quick. You get tons of shots and information regarding an upcoming movie in a short amount of time. It’s hard to say one can actually get bored by a trailer. This movie, to me at times, reminded me of “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” It’s a movie that takes a profitable or popular IP that nobody asked for, nobody wanted, but the studio is going to poop out anyway. Then again, based on what I’ve been hearing going into both movies, I think more people wanted “Venom” than “Solo.” Although unfortunately, I actually had a crapton more fun with “Solo.” You want to know how much fun I had for “Solo?” Well, when I saw the movie, I CLAPPED. Yes, I gave it a barely passable grade of 6/10. Here, I just questioned whatever was happening on screen.

In fact, you want to know how much I hate “Venom?” Here’s a tweet I recently posted.

If you didn’t already know, I actually reviewed “Spider-Man 3” and I managed to give it a 7/10. I will probably say that falls into the hot take category because a lot of people hate “Spider-Man 3” but in all seriousness, this movie just felt like it was an excuse for Sony to make a movie with “Spider-Man” characters that aren’t Spider-Man. At least there were some attempts of passion to potentially be put in “Spider-Man 3.” Granted, the attempts at putting Venom in the movie weren’t that way, but at least I had a reason to care about the people on screen. Here in “Venom,” I was bored, irritated, and just wanted to leave. And this is a weird complaint, but this movie felt like it was too fast. I say that most likely because it has barely any “Venom” in it. Maybe that’s an illusion, but that’s the way this movie felt to me. You get a lot of focus towards Eddie Brock, the human, to the point where I consider despite how this movie is actually called “VENOM,” it has a tad less of that character than I’d probably prefer. It’s the “Transformers” all over again! Granted, I will say, what we do get of the Venom character in this movie is a positive.

Some of the best scenes with Venom include him in a fight between the movie’s main villain (I won’t get into it), Venom calling Eddie a pussy for not jumping from a super high distance to the ground instead of taking an elevator, and one scene at the end that we saw in the trailer. And I will say, the voice work for Venom technically qualifies as my personal favorite performance in the entire film. I say that because when I compare the voice work to literally everything else, including Eddie Brock himself, everything else was just cringeworthy. While the character for Eddie Brock was well established, not only did I avoid caring about him, performance-wise, this might be the worst Tom Hardy performance I’ve ever seen. So many lines just feel like they’re processed by Hardy himself or they were written in the first draft. I can seriously imagine this movie had a first draft that sucked balls but because Sony wanted money sooner than later, they just let the first draft fly. It’s “Venom,” not “Spider-Man!” Who f*cking cares?! I don’t know who to really blame here! I want to blame the director. I want to blame the actor. I want to blame the writers.

“Venom” was written by three people and one of them probably wrote this movie because they have a good relationship with Sony. This writer in particular has written other Sony projects including “The Dark Tower,” “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” “The Fifth Wave,” and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” By the way, those last two films, I reviewed those and the highest grade I gave to one of those movies is a 3/10. Another writer worked on “Kangaroo Jack,” which I heard was horrible. The third writer worked on “Fifty Shades of Grey” so when you add this all up, you get one word. S*it.

Speaking of writing, another problem with it from my personal view can also translate to the directorial vision of the film as well. You know, if there even is a vision with this uninspired garbage. A lot of people wanted this film to be rated R. Having seen “Venom,” I understand why. While this film has some scary elements intact, it feels a lot more comedic than it should be. The director has done some work in the past involving comedies, and I feel like the comedic vision of the film when combining the writing and directing just make this film something it really shouldn’t have been. “Venom” should have been dark, it should have been gritty. “Venom” is PG-13, and admittedly, you can get away with some stuff in a PG-13 film. But this film probably would have been better if it actually didn’t cut away from certain violent happenings and show us more close-up action. “Venom” is throwing people around, eating them, and I didn’t see that much of it. F*cking stupid if you ask me! Although in the UK, “Venom” managed to get a 15 rating. I’m willing to bet it got a rating that high because the movie had a headbutt.

There are probably multiple reasons why “Venom” could have been kept at a PG-13. For one thing, “Venom” was in “Spider-Man 3” and that was PG-13. And speaking of “Spider-Man,” one wonder in my head is whether or not Sony plans to put Venom into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After all, Spider-Man, whose movie rights are owned by Sony, is currently under a deal where the character can appear in the MCU, which is run by Disney. Sony probably wants to get kids into the theater and if they succeed, this only increases their chances of Venomizing the MCU.

Also, reason #3, money. If you want to bring in the money, bring in the kids.

I’ll be honest with you, if comic book movies weren’t a priority to me for movie reviewing purposes, I would have probably gone out to see “Venom” maybe not right away, but maybe later on if it were PG-13. But if it were rated R, I would have probably gone to see it sooner.

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In fact, the more I hear about “Venom,” the more I realize Sony has just about no faith in it whatsoever. For one thing, most of the movie’s screenings occurred on the week of the film’s release, the film was met with poor reviews from critics, and the review embargo was not that far from the release of the movie. Without going into spoilers, they play a clip of one of their upcoming films in the end credits. And you know something? This isn’t a minute, it’s more like a few or four minutes! It just basically says, “Hey, our film sucks! If you were patient enough to stick around for all of this time, we have a special treat for you! Check out this amazing footage to one of our upcoming movies!” I know some of you might be thinking, “Hey, Jackass! Don’t people like you praise Marvel Studios for their end credit scenes?” Again, those don’t last nearly as long, and they stay in their own universe. This promotes a movie in an entirely different universe. It’s just s*itty!

Speaking of the credits, there was also a mid-credits scene. This one however managed to stay in the same universe. Without going into detail, I gotta say, it kind of reminded me of “The Amazing Spider-Man” because it takes place in a prison. It just goes to show that maybe these Spidey-related films are probably more processed than maybe we’d all realize. Also, I mentioned that one of the writers for this movie worked on “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” I am someone who loves “Spider-Man,” and the fact that one of the writers from one of the worst “Spider-Man” movies and perhaps one of the all-time most abysmal comic-book movies came back to work on “Venom” just makes me angry. We’re seeing ideas that have been done before, and maybe even done better.

Wayne Pére, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate, and Sope Aluko in Venom (2018)

Speaking of horrible, let’s talk about the antagonist. His name is Carlton Drake and he’s played by Riz Ahmed. If there were a word to describe this guy, I’d say it would be “ass.” While his presence on screen could have been worse, there are so many moments where I look back and he comes off as this processed, cliche bad guy who we eventually find out does cliche bad guy things. Not to mention, there’s one moment where we see this character staring at the symbiote and he refers to it as “beautiful.” The way that line comes off is cringeworthy. Actually, I take that back because cringeworthy is too much of a compliment. Instead, that line is an abomination.

Tom Hardy and Scott Haze in Venom (2018)

Let’s also talk about the action here. I recently mentioned this movie is PG-13, I wanted it to be rated R, yada-yada-yada. One reason I wanted an R rating is because of how the movie was shot, directed, and edited. This actually feels like it could have been done better by a high-schooler. I feel like that’s a good comparison because the action here just feels standard and conventional. At least when you’re younger, you probably have a tendency to think outside the box. Just think of those mind games where you have to, say, I don’t know, put a giraffe in a refrigerator or something. Maybe the high schooler’s action looks cheap, but at least it’s stylistic. The action easily felt like it could be compared to scenes in movies like “Skyscraper” or something. Nothing felt raw, or at the very least, intriguing.

“Deadpool” is rated R, and a phrase often associated with the character is “maximum effort.” This PG-13 pile of garbage? It doesn’t feel that way! And sticking with the rating idea, I will admit that some people I come across on the Internet would call this film cheesy. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. Cheesy doesn’t always mean bad. “Power Rangers” is cheesy and a lot of kids enjoy it. “Big Trouble in Little China” is probably the epitome of cheesy and it’s tons of fun. “The Meg” is a summertime blockbuster that is clearly meant to just be a good time while still being somewhat packed with cheesy humor. It’s all good. There was cringe in this movie, involving directing, acting, and writing that made me take my eyes off the screen and turn my head as I placed my hand there. Part of me couldn’t even believe what I was watching. I wanted this to be dark. Venom is not a comical inner voice. Venom is in fact, essentially a monster that eats people. I know that the MCU seems to be succeeding in terms of delivering effective movies with humorous scripts, but not every comic book movie has to have tons of humor. This is why you have “V For Vendetta.” This is why you have “Batman Begins.” This is why you have “Man of Steel.” They say that laughter is the best medicine, but at this point laughter might as well be a drug and when it comes to “Venom,” I seemed to acquire the drug from somebody else and it wasn’t prescribed to me. Not to mention, this movie released in October, and given how everyone is getting into the Halloween spirit, this movie could have gotten a chance to fall more into the horror genre than perhaps the action genre. There are disturbing elements intact, but the shock value from bloodier and more violent scenes that can be triggered from an R rating can definitely contribute to being associated with horror. Then again, when you’re competing against horror films left and right along with some films made for awards season, I guess being a conventional comic book-based flick can make you stand out in the crowd.

Did I want “Venom” to be the next “Dark Knight?” Not really. In fact, that movie is PG-13 so that also partially contributes to my thoughts. I was not expecting “Dark Knight” material from “Venom,” I was expecting crap the whole time, and I turned out to have my expectations met. Over time, I have thought to myself that maybe comic book villains could get their own movies. The more I hear about the Joaquin Phoenix “Joker” film, the more excited I get. “Deadpool” is technically not really a hero, but he does have some motivation behind him to do as he sees fit which makes him an intriguing main character. The way they handled “Venom” is the same way I’d probably handle parenting. They dropped the movie on its soft spot.

Tom Hardy in Venom (2018)

I will give credit though where it is due, Tom Hardy has had his fair share of roles where he had to play a character in a mask. Out of all of them, this was by far the easiest to understand.

Tom Hardy in Venom (2018)

In the end, I sucked all the “Venom” out out of a snake. In case you haven’t figured it out, this movie made me stupider. How often does one say they would rather watch “Spider-Man 3” as opposed to another movie they can pick from their collection? This movie just gets so much worse the more I think about it. Upon leaving the theater, I thought the movie sucked. A few days later, I think it sucks balls. If you like cheesiness, I wouldn’t say you should shy away from this movie, but for me, this was too light. In fact, Sony is seemingly planning to release a sequel I GUESS by the end of 2020, but if that’s the case, I am not looking forward to it. As of right now, I gotta be honest. This is the worst movie I’ve seen done in live-action that has some sort of relation to the “Spider-Man” franchise. IT’S THAT HORRIBLE. I’m going to give “Venom” a 2/10. I was across the board as this film progressed. Maybe it’s a 5/10, maybe a generous 6/10, perhaps a 4/10. This movie is honestly getting the poor grade it deserves. It feels like a corporate studio effort (or lack thereof) to cash-in on “Spider-Man” and get some hardcore fans in the theater because this interpretation of “Venom” could potentially be better than “Spider-Man 3.” It’s as if the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has generated $17.5 billion dollars thus far, is the latest fashion trend and “Venom” is the latest thing to enter such a craze going off the MCU’s heels because it’s gonna make money. At the end of the day, movies are not all about trends or making something to just keep business going. They are an art form, and certain comic book movies have fallen into a category that makes them artistic. “Venom” is just not one of them.

Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon I’ll have my review up for “A Star Is Born,” which I can assure you all is a hell lot better than this movie. “Venom” may have crushed the weekend, but “A Star Is Born” dominated in just about every other way. Speaking of movie reviews, I don’t know if I’ll be able to get this out on time, but I do have plans to review “Apollo 13.” I already did a couple reviews in my space movie review series, both of which I enjoyed making. I would love to make a review for “Apollo 13,” but the fact is, I don’t know if I will be able to put it out on time. I have some things on my plate regarding these next couple of days, I have to deal with school, and this may be a weird thing to say, but I need to relax. I just got back from New York Comic Con, I have to do a post on that, and I took somewhere past 70,000 steps over the weekend. MY LEGS ARE KILLING ME. Nevertheless, be sure to follow me here on 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 “Venom?” What did you think about it? Or, who is your favorite “Spider-Man” villain? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

The Secret To 3D Movies You May Have Never Known (Post-Conversion)

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! I have a serious question. Is 3D still relevant? Don’t get me wrong, at times it can add a bit to several movie experiences. I remember going to see all three “Hobbit” films in IMAX 3D, all of them were epic and thrilling. Although nowadays 3D has become at times this thing you have to accept when going to see a film at the theater.

3D in a way is like prescription pills. There are a number of cases where you never really asked to take them for your personal amusement, but since you want to get on with your life, you just move along. When I go to the movies, I don’t traditionally care what show I get, but if I were making every executive decision, I’d probably choose to see a film in 2D. If the movie’s in IMAX and 3D’s the only option, chances are I’d go for that. Although when it comes to 3D, it’s something I never wanted, but it has always been around. It was very popular at the at the end of the 2000s leading into 2010. That’s because James Cameron’s “Avatar” was released all over and praised for the theatrical experience when watched in 3D. However since then, audiences have been thinking to themselves that 3D movies are becoming more and more bland. While there are those people who think 3D is awesome and think it’s one of the greatest things in cinematic history, 3D has increasingly resembled a fad as opposed to a game-changer.

One question some of you may have until looking at this post is this: How does the 3D come to be? It varies from movie to movie, but in most circumstances nowadays it’s fake. How is this? Unlike a number of films shot on cameras and rigs meant for 3D, most movies are currently shot on 2D cameras. It doesn’t even matter if the movie’s shot on film or digital, it’s just shot in 2D. Nowadays it is very rare to find a film coming out which is shot in actual 3D. This current year is 2018, let’s take a look at the list of movies that have been revealed to have been shot in actual 3D.

  • Mission: Impossible: Fallout
  • 2.0

There you go! That’s the whole list! Note that there are no animated films since those are made on computers.  Now let’s take a look at the rest of the 3D films labeled to have 2018 releases. Note once again that there are no animated movies.

  • Maze Runner: The Death Cure
  • Black Panther
  • A Wrinkle in Time
  • Pacific Rim: Uprising
  • Tomb Raider
  • Ready Player One
  • Rampage
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp
  • Alita: Battle Angel
  • Alpha

There are more films coming out in 2018 to be released in 3D. However, I can’t confirm or deny whether they’re real or fake. These results just goes to show when you look at the movies playing and you notice that there’s something playing in 3D, chances are that movie isn’t actually 3D.

Post-converted 3D is something that’s not really talked about when it comes to older movies nowadays such as those that were in 3D during the fifties, but it got some severe attention in 2010. In 1981, a movie known as “Clash of the Titans” was released to the public. The movie provided a fun family adventure for an hour and fifty-eight minutes and received a number of positive verdicts. Since studios love remaking everything, it’s no surprise that “Clash of the Titans” was one of those movies that got the remake treatment. And according to many people, it’s a f*ck-up on S*itshow Valley. Release the Kraken? More like Release the Crapen! Aside from the eye-covering CGI, the one-dimensional characters, and how people see it in comparison to the original film and mythology, this film was despised by critics and audiences for its use of 3D. Perhaps even more hilarious is a marketing tagline used by this movie. The tagline being, “Titans Will Clash.” No. F*cking. S*it. It’s like if “The Emoji Movie” had a tagline that said “This movie will suck, and you’ll hate your life while watching it.” THANKS, CAPTAIN OBVIOUS!

As for the movie’s use of 3D, the film was originally shot on 2D film cameras, and the director of the film, Louis Leterrier, went to the studio early on asking about a 3D conversion. However, this process was new and expensive. When “Avatar” was released, Leterrier was pressured to do a 3D post-conversion. He gave into it after seeing what he thought was a rather convincing View-D conversion process. The man even stated that it was essential for audiences to view the movie in 3D as an enhancement as opposed to a gimmick regarding the overall experience. Let me just tell you right now, the audience didn’t view it as an enhancement, they didn’t even view it as a gimmick, they viewed it… as crap. Three years after the film’s release to the public, Leterrier came out and said this about the 3D:

“It was famously rushed and famously horrible. It was absolutely horrible, the 3D. Nothing was working, it was just a gimmick to steal money from the audience. I’m a good boy and I rolled with the punches and everything, but it’s not my movie.”

And this just goes to show that studios can sometimes get in the way of movies. This isn’t the first time this has happened. Just look at films such as “Spider-Man 3,” “Risky Business,” and “Blade Runner.” Studios might force directors to do something concerning their movie that they ultimately don’t want to do. In this case, the studio wanted a 3D conversion. Had the movie just been in 2D, everyone would have probably been a little more happy. They’d still get a bad movie, but they’d have one less terrible aspect related to it. In fact, part of me thinks that Warner Brothers would end up making just a tad more money. After all, so many people were complaining about the 3D, so some folks would avoid 3D showings like the plague.

This isn’t to say that all post-converted 3D sucks. Some of the most highly appreciated 3D experiences are post-converted. After all, it is the norm now, so there has to be a gem somewhere. I went to see “Jurassic World” and the 3D was probably one of the best parts of the IMAX experience I was given. It was dinosaur-sized fun! “Mad Max: Fury Road” was also an experience worth the extra number of bucks, seeing all of the practicality and CGI come together at times really made you feel like your face was on fire or cars were running you over. One of the best experiences of all, is “Gravity.” I saw “Gravity” the weekend it came out in IMAX 3D, and it was f*cking worth it. The movie itself doesn’t have much replay value, but between the sound editing, sound mixing, score, cinematography, CGI, everything came together, and there were certain scenes where I truly felt like I was in space. Even better, trying my absolute hardest to survive in space. Just goes to show, even fake stuff can be real!

If anything, the improvement of post-production 3D is most likely due to commitment, and advances in technology. When it comes to “Gravity,” CG Effects Supervisor Alexis Wajsbrot has this to say:

“It was rendered in stereo, then we post-converted the faces with a very accurate track. It was a very precise rendition. That’s why the stereo works so well because it was thought about a long time before the movie was made.”

As suggested, the way “Gravity” was rendered gave it a 3D effect. The rest was work. Stereoscopic 3D is a very useful process if you’re shooting in 2D instead of 3D, if you’re maybe trying to save some cash and back pain, or if you are just looking for a way to cash in on a film even though you’re doing it in an effective manner. It won’t be real 3D, but it may give your brain the thought that you’re actually looking at 3D. While I do prefer authenticity, technology and commitment can help in making a proper product.

…Although in reality I prefer seeing movies in 2D.

Thanks for reading this post! I actually believe it or not had trouble doing this post, because I was working on another post I thought of last week, it was stuck in my head like how much I love pizza, the brand of the TV in my room, and the fact that with TurboTax, at least your taxes are free. Seriously though, thanks for reading! Tomorrow a new trailer for “Solo: A Star Wars Story” is arriving and we also got some trailers coming out tonight during the Super Bowl, trailers like “Mission: Impossible: Fallout,” “Skyscraper,” and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” I might review one of those trailers, and as far as newer movies go, I can confirm that at some point soon I’m going to see “The 15:17 To Paris.” That movie’s coming out February 9th, so I’ll be seeing that not long from now. Also, if you want more exciting content to take a gander at, I’ll have links down below to my “Maze Runner” reviews. Please check those out, I enjoyed a couple of those movies, and I have my thoughts summed up, whether they are positive or negative. Stay tuned for more great content! In 2D. I want to know, what is the best experience you had watching a movie in 3D? Yes, I’ll even count IMAX documentaries or something along those lines. Doesn’t even matter if the 3D’s real or not. Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

“THE MAZE RUNNER” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/01/18/the-maze-runner-2014-the-continuation-of-teen-angst-starring-dylan-obrien/

“MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/01/25/maze-runner-the-scorch-trials-the-continuation-of-teen-angst-starring-dylan-obrien-part-2-to-be-concluded-in-almost-2-5-years-also-this-is-wckd-boring/

“MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/maze-runner-the-death-cure-2018-the-continuation-of-teen-angst-starring-dylan-obrien-part-3-to-be-rebooted-once-hollywood-runs-out-of-young-adult-dystopian-books-to-base-movies-on-still-bett/

Top 10 UNPOPULAR Movie Opinions

Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! There’s a saying that not everyone is the same. We are all different in our own little ways. This case is shown in our individual thoughts. In fact, in some instances, there are times when people wholeheartedly have different thoughts than others, or someone may call another’s opinion invalid for one reason or another. After reading this list, chances are you might just do the same with me. Today I’m going to be counting down my top 10 unpopular opinions in the realm of movies. With this list, I’m not trying to encourage others to change their minds about something. If they do, great! Although if they don’t, it’s understandable. So if you think that you should embrace something I say here simply because I embrace it, I wouldn’t recommend that. I’d recommend you embrace whatever fits with you, while I embrace whatever fits with me. So without further ado, let’s begin counting down my top 10 unpopular movie opinions.

10: Animal House is OVERRATED!

Before we get into this entry on the list, let me remind you, I’ve only seen this movie once, it was New Years Eve, and I recall there was also a transition to New Year’s Day while watching this. So ultimately, I could have been more awake. Nevertheless, when I was watching “Animal House,” I found it for the most part, boring. It’s not a terrible movie, there are worse comedies out there, but I don’t remember much about it today. I don’t remember anybody’s name, whats it’s about, how it ended. I don’t remember. There are some parts I remember, mainly the “I’m a zit” scene. For what I recall, I don’t think I laughed as much as other people while watching “Animal House.” Maybe it’s better the second time around, but only time will tell. This movie was directed by John Landis, who also directed “The Blues Brothers,” which is an awesome movie. If it were movie night and I had to pick between “Animal House and “Blues Brothers,” it’s “Blues Brothers” all day everyday baby! Although ultimately, if there’s a movie that I would personally watch that involves a fraternity, I personally prefer “Revenge of the Nerds.”

9: The Dark Knight is SLIGHTLY OVERRATED!

I love Christopher Nolan, I’ve said it time and time again. Some of you might be tired of me shoving that opinion down your throat. There are some of his movies that in recent times I’ve gone back and watched again. I have done that with “The Dark Knight,” but I really don’t think it’s as good as everybody says. Don’t get me wrong, it has a lot of redeeming qualities. The screenplay is really good, Hans Zimmer has created an excellent score, this was the first major Hollywood release to have footage not only presented, but shot in IMAX, and Heath Ledger’s interpretation of The Joker was phenomenal! This is certainly a film that has proven that comic book movies don’t always have to be childish, but even with that, I can’t give it the same praise that everyone else gives it. I’ve watched films from Nolan that I personally thought were better than “The Dark Knight,” such as “Inception,” “Interstellar,” and his most recent release, “Dunkirk.” “The Dark Knight” is a good movie, but it’s not a fantastic movie. Even my dad agrees with me. I mean, seriously?! #4 on IMDb?! Seriously?! This film is better than every installment of “Lord of the Rings?!” This film is better than “The Matrix?!” This film is better than “The Empire Strikes Back?!” Come on, guys! Christopher Nolan is certainly a director with tons of talent, but really? This is low on the list however because I personally predict that “The Dark Knight” might somehow become better with age therefore making this entry to the list having no matter whatsoever.

8: Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 is FUNNY AND ENTERTAINING!

Kevin James is a mystery to me. I like him in “King of Queens,” however his movies don’t usually live up to that show (mainly Grown Ups). However of the movies featuring James which I enjoy, a couple of those happen to be the two “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” films. Now, I said two. I like the first one better, but I’ll go as far as to say the second one, as much as you might want me to turn in my movie buff card for saying this, is watchable. Now, it’s not perfect. It’s stuff we’ve seen before, not to mention it borrows a lot of what we’ve seen in the first movie, in fact there’s more stuff in this movie that may as well come off as cringeworthy when compared to the original. I know from a critical perspective, this isn’t a good movie, it’s a slapstick comedy starring a fat guy on a segway, that TOTALLY sounds like an Oscar winner! And you know what? This movie was nominated for six Razzies! Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, Worst Screen Combo, Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel, Worst Actor, and Worst Picture! Based on all of the negativity that is being displayed toward this film, it’s kind of surprising that it actually won a positive award. What did it win? It won a Young Entertainer Award in the category of Best Leading Young Actress- Feature Film due to Raini Rodriguez’s performance as Paul Blart’s daughter, Maya. I can understand how some people dislike this film. Sometimes it’s awkward, but it really could have been worse. There are moments in the film where I did laugh, and I wouldn’t mind watching it again. Now some of you may be wondering why I put this one on the list instead of the first one even though I like the first one better. Based on experience, I’ve seen more positive verdicts given to the original “Paul Blart,” and quite honestly, me putting the original “Paul Blart” on this list feels biased because I live right near the shopping centers where the original movie was shot. I think the first movie does get a lot more hate than it deserves, but I know people who watched it and ended up liking it. Although there is a saying that comedy is subjective and if fat guys on segways isn’t your thing, that’s understandable.

7: Revenge of the Sith is AMAZING!

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I love “Star Wars,” these movies have such an impact on our culture nowadays, and it’s easy to see why. In fact, now that Disney owns Lucasfilm and is making several new installments to the franchise, people are going as crazy for it as they were back when it started. So, what is my unpopular opinion about it? Well, it’s concerning the fact that “Revenge of the Sith” might be one of my favorite movies in the saga. For those of you who think I’m fanboying, I’ll have you know I don’t like “The Phantom Menace”  nor do I like “Attack of the Clones.” Now this is a lower entry considering the fact that when it comes to the “Star Wars” prequels, people might refer to “Revenge of the Sith” as “the good one.” In fact if you look at IMDb, “Revenge of the Sith” has a higher rating than both of the other movies in the prequel trilogy. A lot of people do like “Revenge of the Sith,” however, I LOVE IT. There are so many elements of this movie I appreciate. The score, the sound, the lightsaber duels, just about everything in the movie is awesome! The movie’s not perfect, Hayden Christensen isn’t really the best actor. That has also been proven in “Attack of the Clones.” However, to say this is bad like the other two movies in the prequel trilogy isn’t right. In fact, they toned down on Jar Jar, they only included him walking in the film! They don’t have him talking this time around! Woohoo! Part of me can imagine that as George Lucas was working on the prequel trilogy, this was the story he couldn’t wait to do. Who doesn’t love Darth Vader? Anakin as a character in this movie is totally conflicted, everything is crumbling for him and this starts out at a point in this movie. Palpatine is killer in this movie and the fight between him and a bunch of Jedi was short but sweet, not to mention accompanied by great music. His lines have become meme-worthy over the years and I can imagine Ian McDiarmid had fun at times on set. Ewan McGregor is terrific as Obi-Wan and it was really engaging to see him alongside Hayden Christensen’s Anakin both as a friend and as an enemy. John Williams crafted his best score of the prequel of the trilogy and that is saying something because “The Phantom Menace” has Duel of the Fates in there. Every single fight, whether it be a space battle, a lightsaber duel, or a massive land brawl, was awesome. Speaking of which, the opening shot for the first space battle is cinematic bliss. Also, the final lightsaber duels featuring a fight between Obi-Wan and Anakin and another fight between Yoda and Palpatine were engaging and thrilling. The Obi-Wan vs. Anakin duel is my favorite duel in the saga, it’s two former friends going up against each other and while fans may know the results to come of this battle, the characters don’t and despite it going on for awhile, it was never boring. You can say duels like the ones between Luke and Vader are awesome because of the situation at hand and the fact that you might not know what’s coming, but the duel between Obi and Ani impressed me from a musical perspective, a technical perspective, and it shows how far these two characters have come since they first met. Is it highly choreographed? Sure, but it doesn’t mean said choreography wasn’t impressive! Everything looked stylish, it had a video game feel to it which I kind of admired. The CGI actually still holds up today, and is much improved since the start of the prequels. If you ever feel like watching “Revenge of the Sith,” (Transition to Palpatine’s voice) do it.

6: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is THE BEST MOVIE IN THE LORD OF THE RINGS SAGA!

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There was a time when I had a huge fanaticism for “Lord of the Rings.” To this day I never read the books, but I’ve watched all the movies. I like all of the movies in the saga, including “The Hobbit” trilogy, but my favorite of all of them might surprise you. That my friends, is “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” Fun fact about “Lord of the Rings,” prior to going into the movie in the saga which came out before this, AKA “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” I had no clue this was even connected to “Lord of the Rings.” Part of this is due to how I never even watched “Lord of the Rings” in the first place. It took a long while for me to actually find out there’s a connection between these movies. The movie I watched after is “The Desolation of Smaug.” Before I watched that, I thought “An Unexpected Journey,” wasn’t bad, but it really could have used some improvement. The 3D was awesome though! “The Desolation of Smaug” was a whole different ballgame however. I walked out of the theater thinking “The Desolation of Smaug” was a huge improvement over “An Unexpected Journey.” It became my favorite movie of 2013 and stands today as one of my favorite movies of all time. In fact there’s a good chance I might say it’s better than any of the “Star Wars” films. The movie as whole was awesome, the action was immersive and entertaining, the music is epic, I mean it’s “Lord of the Rings,” so why wouldn’t it be? Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug the Dragon is probably my favorite villain in movie history. He’s so menacing, so massive, and his voice is amazing! The entire confrontation with Smaug sent literal chills down my spine. Imagine if in “The Empire Strikes Back” the entire confrontation between Luke and Vader actually had Luke as a very tiny guy and instead of going up against a guy his size, he’s going up against a freaking enormous giant! Also, imagine instead of having a fight, the small guy is getting chased the entire time! This goes on until the end of the movie and I was engaged the entire way through. This movie also introduced Evangeline Lilly’s character of Tauriel, who undoubtedly kicked some ass in the movie! Another really entertaining part of the movie is the barrel scene, which is basically this fight that is going on through a river, there’s dwarves, there’s orcs, there’s elves, it’s just glorious to look at. The music in that scene is something I’ve listened to time and time again. If I had any problems with the movie, it would be one thing and it’s how some of the effects actually somehow look better in the trailer as opposed to the movie. I’m not saying the visual effects in the movie were bad, I’m just saying that they didn’t look as good as what I saw in the trailer. While “An Unexpected Journey” may have been the first “Lord of the Rings” film I’ve seen, “The Desolation of Smaug” began my love for the franchise (movie-wise) and this still stands today as my favorite “Lord of the Rings” movie.

5: Avatar is OVERRATED!

Ah, 2009, the decade is coming to an end, everyone’s 2010 fever is rising, and at the end of the year, we’ve gotten, based on advertising, possibly the biggest movie of the decade. James Cameron, the director of the first two films in the “Terminator” franchise, is back in the director’s chair. The CGI looks very impressive, this movie’s being built up like hell, everybody’s super stoked to see James Cameron’s first film since “Titanic.” A film named “Avatar.” I saw this movie in the theater, and while I was somewhat impressed with what I saw, I really couldn’t say it was super duper. The CGI, as mentioned, is objectively amazing. Everything looks like you’re on a realistic theme park ride, but as a story, not only has it been done before, but upon rewatch, the story isn’t really something this movie has me coming back for. Not to mention, when this movie was released in theaters, it basically brought a huge rise in digital projection. While digital projection may be easier to use than film projection. Film projection from experience usually provides better images. A good number of digital projectors might give off an image at a resolution slightly higher than HD. Some theaters operate in 4K, but it’s still not as clear as film projection. I went to see the movie in 2D, and I imagine the 3D was awesome, but this is probably part of what brought the rise of 3D shows becoming a normality. And while certain movies are thrilling in 3D, there are those movies that really didn’t need conversion in the first place. I mean, it probably could have been worse. At least the cameras used to shoot the film were actually 3D cameras and the movie wasn’t just post-converted. I haven’t seen the film I’m going to be talking about here, but here’s a fun fact for you. You may be aware of a Disney film which came out in 1995 called “Pocahontas.” I’m going to provide a link down below to something I want you to see. “Avatar” is basically just another version of “Pocahontas!” By the way, on IMDb, “Avatar” has a higher combined rating.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/04/avatar-pocahontas-in-spac_n_410538.html

4: Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a CHOCOLATE-COVERED DELIGHT!

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Remakes and reboots are usually frowned upon by moviegoers, but it doesn’t mean good ones don’t exist. To me, one of the good ones happens to be “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Some of you probably have your pitchforks ready and that’s understandable, but please hear me out. For those of you who don’t know, Rohld Dahl created a book called “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” back in 1964, it has grown in popularity ever since and it is often read by children. Then in 1971, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” came out, starring Gene Wilder, I think that’s a great movie. It’s not exactly faithful to the source material in every single way, but in ways it isn’t faithful, it still works. Ever since it came out, it has remained as one of the most popular musical films and family films to date. Then in 2005, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” came out. What do I like about “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?” It gives a twist on a tale we already know and manages to be a darker interpretation which I can appreciate. Not to mention it relies on the source material in ways “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” didn’t. I don’t mind the Oompa-Loompas in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” in fact their songs are catchy, but the Oompa-Loompas in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” sing songs that resemble songs written in the book. Instead of being labeled a bad egg, Veruca Salt is labeled a bad nut. In fact, the scene in the nut room is awesome! There are more similarities, but I don’t want to go on a tangent, in fact the movie isn’t a complete copy of the book. Much like the 1971 movie, the 2005 movie has a different ending than the book. Honestly, the 1971 movie had the better ending. Wonka was kind of a jerk as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” came to a close, this changes as the movie goes on, but still. Speaking of Wonka, Johnny Depp’s performance could have been better, and as of right now I probably mean WAY BETTER. Also, I gotta say, Mike Teevee in “Charlie” was a great character. That’s not to say 1971 Mike Teevee was bad, but I also admire 2005 Mike Teevee. His introduction is AWESOME. We see him playing a video game in front of his TV, there’s a bunch of press around him, his parents are there. He’s kind of mopey and just trying to concentrate on his game. The thing I find funny about Teevee is that he hates chocolate. I think the writer nailed Teevee’s personality perfectly! Also, I love Danny Elfman’s score. It’s so dark, it’s so intriguing, and it’s just wicked investing! Is “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” perfect? Not really. Is it watchable? AB-SO-F*CKING-LUTELY!

3: Mad Max: Fury Road is OVERRATED!

I love it when movies can literally immerse you. I felt this way during certain movies. Some examples include “Interstellar,” “Dunkirk,” “Hardcore Henry,” “Oz the Great and Powerful,” and “Doctor Strange.” Another movie that belongs in that category to me is “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Although just because it’s immersive, it doesn’t mean I enjoyed it as much as I wanted to. For the record, I saw this in 3D in the theater, so it would have been surprising for the experience to let me down. What I got out of the experience was pure awesomeness, but I really wanted a better movie. After watching “Fury Road” I said to myself multiple times that I think it’s a great film from a technical perspective, but I wanted more from a story perspective. This film was filled with practical effects and it’s just an explosive chase from beginning to end. I still can’t get that one guy with the guitar out of my head. This movie actually broke a common rule used in cinema, that being the rule of thirds, which basically has a subject of focus on a left or right side of a camera frame. In this movie, a lot of the footage has its subjects centered. This can be an advantage if you’re a viewer because this means you won’t really have to tilt your head as much while you’re watching the movie. I couldn’t really get into too many of the characters, I was mainly into a lot of the other crazy stuff. Also, I recall my experience and there were times in the theater that I couldn’t make out some of the dialogue. Maybe if I watch the movie at home that’ll change, but it’s something that happened to me. Another thing I’ll mention is that I haven’t seen another “Mad Max” movie aside from “Fury Road.” Maybe there’s a chance this opinion will change once I witness another one of those movies.

2: Spider-Man 3 is ENJOYABLE!

Spider-Man, without a doubt, is one of my all time favorite superheroes. I grew up with Spidey, I watch Spidey, I love Spidey and in the realm of movies, there are a number of things when it comes to Spider-Man that I can agree with when it comes to the opinions of others, the majority’s thoughts on “Spider-Man 3” however is something I can’t agree with. Now, let me just say, “Spider-Man 3” in my opinion is not the best of all the “Spider-Man” movies, that medal actually belongs to “Spider-Man 2.” When it comes to “Spider-Man 3,” it’s a movie that a lot of people consider to be the worst “Spider-Man” movie ever made, and one of the worst comic book movies ever made. I personally disagree on both of those statements. Some of you may be thinking right now “Oh you’re just a Sam Raimi fanboy!” No I’m not, if I were a Sam Raimi fanboy, I would say his movies are perfect. I didn’t say “Spider-Man 3” is perfect! In fact, let’s point out some flaws I have with it right now. This movie interjects a similarity to “Batman & Robin,” which is adding in too many villains. They weren’t all terrible, but there was one that was literally shoehorned in there, AKA Venom. Flint Marko’s transformation to sandman was kind of idiotic because he landed in a pit of sand, which, yeah, things happen, but the problem I have with that is that a bunch of scientists are operating a machine above the sand. It’s turned on, and before it starts its procedure, one scientist picked up “a change in the silicon mass” in the pit, not exactly suggesting the scientist knows there’s a person in there specifically, and another scientist goes off on that statement saying “It’s probably a bird, it’ll fly away when we fire it up.” Based on the change given, is that really believable? There is NO spider-sense tingling sounds in this movie! Just a personal preference. Also, one complaint you’ll agree on is that the jazz club scene is rather cringeworthy. Now I don’t hate it as much as other people, I just think it’s a weak scene. But it could honestly be worse. It does illustrate the personality of certain characters and it plays into Peter’s development as a character. I’d rather watch that scene than “Suicide Squad” again! There are a lot of things I like about this movie I haven’t mentioned. I like the action scenes, the music, J Jonah Jamesson, the rivalry between Peter and Harry, this movie has plenty of positives that part of me imagines has once been overshadowed by the movie’s negatives for some people. I’ll even go as far as to say this movie is better than “Spider-Man: Homecoming!” I’m not joking!

1: Baby Groot SUCKS!

Ah, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” This movie had me going into it with high expectations and it ultimately disappointed me. The movie wasn’t bad, it just disappointed me. I did think there were some redeeming qualities shown throughout such as the visuals, some of the fight scenes, and the character of Ego. However, this movie wasn’t perfect, and part of it has to do with F*CKING BABY GROOT! I hated this thing! Groot from the first “Guardians” was a cool character. Somewhat one-dimensional, but his charm ultimately was revealed to me. Baby Groot however is not only one-dimensional, he’s just taking this picture which is meant to be a superhero flick and turning it into a f*cking toy commercial! When I first saw him at the beginning of the flick, it set the tone for the whole movie, I couldn’t even tolerate what I was watching. The movie had an opportunity to show us an opening action sequence, but we cut away from that just to focus on this twig! I know that Baby Groot is considered cute by many people, but based on how much he stole from the entire movie as a movie, he got on my nerves. This is part of why I don’t own a Baby Groot toy unlike a lot of other people. What if R2-D2 was just made to serve no purpose in all of his movies other than to sell toys? You can argue he’s that way in “Rogue One,” but what if he was that way in the original “Star Wars?” I expected Baby Groot to leave some sort of impact on the movie, but not this kind of impact! I already thought “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” was overrated but the fact that this character is being put on such a pedestal right now is astounding to me! Sure, some people think he’s cute and I imagine kids like him, but there’s so many things I found annoying about him. In a way, he’s almost like Toad from “Super Mario Bros.,” puny and annoying. Not to mention, after seeing Baby Groot, it kind of makes me worried about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Will we ever see a great MCU movie ever again? I already said I wasn’t a massive fan of “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which was somewhat enjoyable, but it wasn’t what I wanted it to be. “Thor: Ragnarok” looks visually pleasing, but I’m not sure how I feel about it from a story perspective. I imagine the fight between Thor and Hulk will be cool, but this ultimately, judging from the trailers, might be filled with certain things I’ve already seen. Not to mention the vibe doesn’t feel like it fits “Thor.” “Black Panther” honestly looks intolerable. I’ve only seen the trailer a couple times but it really didn’t impress me. I hope “Avengers: Infinity War” is good otherwise this franchise might fall. Is “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” a bad movie? No. Is it overrated? Sure. Although before I think to myself that the movie’s overrated, I might think to myself about the horror I had to suffer through while glancing at Baby Groot. I’m sorry if you like him, and clearly a large portion of the world does, but in my world he’s as annoying as Spirit Airlines.

Thanks for reading this countdown, I hope you aren’t planning to kill me or my family after I made this list, but I’m sorry if this list has various things you don’t agree with. Do you have any unpopular opinions in the realm of movies? What are they? Do you agree with any of my picks? Do you think my mind should be adjusted? Do you think you can convince me to change my mind about one of these picks? Leave a comment below and maybe I’ll respond! Also, stay tuned because tomorrow I’ll have my last review in my series of Tom Cruise films, and that review will be for “The Firm!” Stay tuned for that review and more great content! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!