James Gunn FIRED From Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?! Who Should Replace Him?

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! I’ve got some very big movie news I want to go over very quickly here. When it comes to recent movies, a lot of people seem to think that Marvel has been killing it lately. With installments added to the Marvel Cinematic Universe such as “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Black Panther,” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” audiences have had something new from Marvel to rave about every few months. But something in particular could affect the future movies, mainly ones containing the “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

If you have watched “Guardians of the Galaxy” or “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” you may or may not be aware that a guy by the name of James Gunn wrote and directed both of those films. Some may say that “Guardians of the Galaxy” may be what it is as a movie because of James Gunn, so therefore a lot of people praise him. I can personally agree, it almost seems that he knows the style of the film and that really pops off the screen right into my eyes whenever I watch both installments. I may not have enjoyed the second installment, but the first one is definitely one of the better Marvel Cinematic Universe films.

Given the schedule of the MCU and success of both “Guardians of the Galaxy” installments, it just seems natural that the filmmaker suggested he was set to tackle a third installment in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise. He seems to have made progress on a script, recent talks between him and “Star Wars” god Mark Hamill got fans wondering if he would be taking on a role in the upcoming film, everything seemed to be going according to plan. That is… until July 20th, 2018.

It has now become apparent that James Gunn has made some controversial jokes on his Twitter account. Some of these older tweets were reported by Fox News, which to me is false advertising, because there are rarely any foxes on Fox News. You think CNN is fake news? At least their name is accurate! They’re a cable news channel! Fox News may call itself what it wants, but the day they get a bunch of foxes running around the studio would be the day that they’d win the Internet! Anyway, Fox News reported some of these tweets, eventually earning Disney’s attention. Once Disney’s attention had been earned, they severed their business relationship with James Gunn.

Now we are in a bit of a sticky situation here, because there are two sides to this very story that I can personally get. Some of you may be expecting me to say, THAT JAMES GUNN IS A F*CKING CREEP! HE DESERVES NOTHING! And trust me, now that this has been brought to my attention, I’m on your side. If this means that James Gunn is actually a pedophile (which I highly doubt), then wow! As much as I appreciate dark humor, I can personally understand why some people would be offended or upset by this. If these tweets were maybe put in a movie script for a dark comedy then maybe I’d appreciate this just a little more, but this is real life, where there are consequences for actions such as this. But there’s also another hand that really makes me wonder what the future for “Guardians of the Galaxy” will truly be. Gunn has basically made the franchise his own and he seems to have a particular sense of style that can not only be closely associated with himself, but the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise. Having seen this, I seriously wonder if this situation has a bigger impact on moviegoers than say Mel Gibson’s controversy. Granted I was only ten years old when he made that rude remark towards his girlfriend. I think this may be bigger because I imagine some kids may look up to James Gunn or really appreciate the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise, and it’s part of a big and relevant cinematic universe that gets brought up in conversation somewhere every single day now. Then again, let me just say, kids probably look up to James Gunn. They may not know who he is, but maybe without even knowing it, they look up to him. It wouldn’t be pretty for a kid to find out that their idol has been making rape jokes.

Plus, this has a bigger impact on me than a recent Disney affiliated firing that occurred. Some of you may know, FOR SOME REASON, they brought back “Roseanne,” with the forever lazy tagline “Same cast. New episodes.” Just a couple of months after the show started its revival season on ABC, the show’s star, Roseanne Barr, goes on Twitter and spits out a bunch of mumbo jumbo towards a senior advisor to former US President Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett. This tweet ended up being controversial, and ABC therefore canceled “Roseanne,” which is something I’ve been asking them to do with “The Bachelor” for a very long time but apparently they won’t listen! Nevertheless, “Roseanne” was pulled off of ABC’s schedule, and any content related to it has been removed from the ABC website. The thing about “Roseanne’s” cancellation however is that I was never a fan of “Roseanne” to begin with. One of the first thoughts I had about “Roseanne” coming back to ABC was “Why?” Granted, once I saw the ratings for the premiere episode, I could kind of see the point, but still, why? “Guardians of the Galaxy” isn’t anywhere near my favorite movie of all time. I thought it was one of the better movies to have come out in 2014, I gave it a 9/10 when I reviewed it, and I thought it was a very fun time. Judging by that, you might as well say I find “Guardians of the Galaxy” a lot more amusing than “Roseanne.” Heck! I found “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” a lot more amusing than “Roseanne” and that says something!

I wouldn’t say Disney’s wrong for what they did, but at the same time, I imagine it could be a sacrifice in quality towards “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.” But, I will say, Disney, if you’re reading this, I will give a list of directors I think are qualified to helm “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” and for some of them, I’ll go into a bit of detail behind why I chose them.

  • Kay Cannon (Blockers, Pitch Perfect)
  • Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Annihilation)
  • Anthony & Joe Russo (Avengers: Infinity War, Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
  • Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, Hunt for the Wilderpeople)
  • Brad Brad (The Incredibles, Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol)

Starting my discussion portion of these directors, we have Kay Cannon. I’ve been exposed to some of this girl’s work. I saw “Pitch Perfect,” which personally I hated, I wasn’t really that fond of it for the attempts at humor coming off as typical Hollywood studio comedy jokes that you’ve seen before, and it just didn’t feel like anything I’d write home about. Although, that movie is probably not made for me, I’m definitely not in the target audience. There is one thing however that made me go from HATING Kay Cannon to LOVING Kay Cannon, and that is “Blockers!” Based on the trailers, “Blockers” looks like your typical studio comedy, although in this case it’s really trying to be the next “American Pie,” but I ended up loving it after seeing it in the theater because of how relatable it came off not only to me, but from what I imagine, a number of parents who have teenagers. And most of all, it was funny! Another thing to consider about “Blockers” is that Kay Cannon had to tie together all of these characters, all of their storylines, and give them all their own individual beginning, middle, and end. Cannon didn’t write the screenplay for the movie, but given the amount of characters that may be aruged as being the “main character” of the movie, she did a spectacular job with what was given to her. Given the size of the character list in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” she’s probably gonna have to deal with just as many storylines while simultaneously having to make sure all of the humor in the movie works. Plus, “Blockers” is Cannon’s only directing credit. Since that movie came out, I wanted to see more work from her, and this is a good opportunity.

Next up is Alex Garland. Thus far he has directed two films, “Ex Machina” and “Annihilation.” While both don’t really have as big of a budget as “Guardians of the Galaxy,” they have been well received by critics. I personally thought both weren’t at the tippity top of my movie ratings scale, but VERY HIGHLY ENJOYABLE. Just a few weeks ago, I went back and watched “Ex Machina” for the fourth time, it’s that good. I’ve seen “Annihilation” twice, and while I don’t think it’s the best movie ever, I thought it was conceptually and visually beautiful. I will say though, according to IMDb, Garland’s directorial debut, “Ex Machina,” has an estimated budget of $15 million, and his next film he directed, “Annihilation,” has an estimated budget of $40 million. If he takes on “Guardians 3,” you might as well consider those past two films stepping stones towards the big guns. Plus, both films, kind of like “Guardians,” are in the sci-fi genre, so if Garland does well with “Guardians 3,” he would have three well received sci-fi films.

Up next, we have Anthony and Joe Russo. While these two may be known to some as the creators of the situational comedies “Community” and “Arrested Development,” fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe know them as co-directors of three films in the series that have been currently released, and another that’s set for a release next year. To me, the Russo brothers have directed the two best MCU films to date, “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Captain America: Civil War.” Both films, kind of like “Blockers,” involved a ton of characters that could potentially clutter the film. Personally, the way both of them turned out were phenomenal to me. Plus, let me say again, these guys have already directed four MCU films, one of which hasn’t been released yet. In fact, two of them have the Guardians in it! So not only do they have experience with superhero movies, comic book movies, Marvel movies, films with a ton of characters, but also characters from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise! From what I know, none of the actors from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise seem to have any major gripes with either director, so maybe that will allow the experience of making “Guardians 3” to be somewhat of a breeze.

Another director who has already helmed a movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Taika Waititi, as much as I personally found “Thor: Ragnarok” enjoyable, I wasn’t afraid to criticize it. Can any of you guess what my main complaint with “Thor: Ragnarok” is?

Anyone?

Hello, anybody home? Think McFly, think!

The main problem I had with “Thor: Ragnarok” is that it’s too much like “Guardians of the Galaxy!” As much as audiences found the attempts at humor in “Thor: Ragnarok” to be hysterical, I was just sitting down thinking, this is not “Thor.” It’s just a weird change of pace towards his character and it’s kind of ridiculous. And maybe it’s not because of Taika Waititi. After all, he didn’t even have a writing credit on the film. In fact, what I think should be done is if the director “Guardians 3,” whoever it may be, doesn’t want to write the film, Marvel should try getting the trio that wrote “Thor: Ragnarok,” otherwise known as Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, and Christopher Yost to work on the script. This could be especially useful towards Alex Garland, because he doesn’t put much humor into his movies. Then again this is the same guy who had a writing credit on DMC: Devil May Cry, a video game with this exchange:

MUNDUS: I am Mundus.

DANTE: You’re an asshole!

Given the script of “Thor: Ragnarok,” Waititi’s direction must have worked well enough lead to this “Guardians of the Galaxy” wannabe, and if they really wanted to take “Thor: Ragnarok” and make it a “Guardians of the Galaxy” film, someone could have just told them, “Hey! Want to make ‘Guardians 3?'” Well, that movie is happening now, so now is this crew’s chance to take it on!

The last director suggestion I have listed here is Brad Bird. When it comes to animation, Brad Bird is probably my favorite director of all time. He’s done both “Incredibles” installments, “Ratatouille,” and “The Iron Giant.” If you ask me, if Brad Bird happened to work on the screenplay of the film, that would be great too, because I feel that Bird’s best films are ones that not only he directs, but also writes. As much as I liked “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” that’s a film he directed, but didn’t write. One of my other comments towards Brad Bird that may sound odd, is that I feel he does better with animated movies than live action movies. While I will consider “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol” and “Tomorrowland” solid movies, they’re not anywhere near masterpieces. Some of you may be questioning why I am saying this because “Guardians of the Galaxy” is live action. You’re right there, but another thing to consider is how much green screen that film has. It’s all on computerized backgrounds! Plus, Brad Bird seems to have a good relationship with Disney, having done multiple films with them, which is something that James Gunn apparently doesn’t have anymore.

Now before I close this off, I want to share a true story with all of you. James Gunn is not exactly my favorite director, however I do find him to be one of the bigger standouts when it comes to the directors who have done recent film work. But James Gunn, despite how I feel about him, was apparently worthy enough, to have earned something that I think you all as an audience might want me to change. Just over a month ago, I graduated high school, and around that time, I got my yearbook. In the process of making the yearbook, I was encouraged to put something in as a senior quote. So after some searching on the Internet, I found what I thought was the perfect quote. Taken directly from IMDb, this is the quote I used in my yearbook:

“I have a very strong imagination and have since I was a little kid. That is where a lot of my world comes from. It’s like I’m off somewhere else. And I can have a problem in life because of that, because I’m always off in some other world thinking about something else. It’s constant.”

Guess what? JAMES GUNN SAID THAT!

I made a post on my Instagram with photo proof that James Gunn is the speaker of my quote in my high school yearbook! If anyone that’s affiliated with the making of the yearbook is reading this, I gotta ask… Is it too late to change my senior quote now that everyone is calling this guy a creep? Jostens, if you’re reading this, let me know! I mean, it’s only been a month since I graduated high school, I haven’t even started college, and I already have an excuse to change my senior quote!

Guys, thanks for reading this post that goes over a life-altering moment I never thought I’d have to face. James Gunn is a creep apparently, who knew? I love the first “Guardians of the Galaxy,” I’ll miss James Gunn’s unique and somewhat quirky style, and while I heard that Disney never confirmed Gunn was going to direct “Guardians 3” in the first place, it would have been easily predictable for him to do such a thing. With that being said, I hope an official director is announced soon, maybe one of my suggested candidates. As for upcoming content, tomorrow I’m going to see “Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again,” stay tuned for that review once it comes time to show it off, and also stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, what do you think about this whole James Gunn situation? Also, if you were to find a director or writer for “Guardians 3,” what would your pick be? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

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CON ANNOUNCEMENT: I’m Going to New York Comic Con 2018!

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Before we get any further and dive into any specifics I have associated with the main topic of this post, I’d just like to say that I hope everyone at San Diego Comic-Con is having a wonderful experience this weekend, but f*ck each and every one of you who didn’t bother giving this guy a ticket! I have feelings, ya know! I hope those long lines will show you what you’re worth, jerkfaces! Speaking of things that are long, let’s talk about a couple who had a long journey making their own baby. The couple goes by the names of Paul and Genevieve, and they have gone through literal hell trying to conceive. When it comes to editing videos or memorizing comic book knowledge, these two are OK. Making babies? Eh, forget about it! This is all explained… in “What the IVF?”

“What the IVF?” is a YouTube series featuring the recently mentioned couple. The premise of the series is pretty much what I said up above. These two are trying as hard as they can to have a baby, but to do it, they go through methods containing difficulty equal to winning the arcade game Stacker. In other words, Genevieve’s uterus is rigged and after each sexual act or IVF cycle, it must be game over. Witness the dynamic duo as they encounter problems in sex, math, appointments, tests, and pains in the ass–err I mean needles! You can find the latest content from “WTIVF?” on YouTube, including new episodes uploaded each and every Monday. The latest episode in the series, episode 19, goes over the couple’s first embryo transfer, and maybe there’s hope, a miracle on the rise. Watch to find out! Be sure to subscribe to the “What The IVF?” YouTube channel (link below), and speaking of social media, be sure to check out “What the IVF?” on other noteworthy places on the interwebs! All the links are down below, check em out, and be sure to tell them that Jack Drees sent ya over!

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

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

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

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

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

Now I’ve done a few con announcements here on Scene Before, specifically for Rhode Island Comic Con and Terrificon, and I’ve been to those and another convention (PAX East). But the thing about those conventions is that those are all in the New England region. This convention we’re gonna be talkin’ about, this is not just the first con I’m going to outside the New England area, it is one of the biggest and most revered conventions in all of history! That con, is New York Comic Con!

As far as my personal attendance there goes, I’ll say that you will be able to find me in the convention center for two out of the four days this convention goes on for. What days you ask? Those will be Friday and Sunday. Note how I didn’t say Saturday, my friend couldn’t get tickets for that day unfortunately. Doesn’t matter, that means I get a day to perhaps roam around New York City and see what’s what!

Sticking to the con itself, New York Comic Con has been around since 2006, and is held by the for-profit organization known as ReedPOP. Greg Topalian, former VP of Reed Exhibitions is credited as the founder of both New York Comic Con and ReedPOP. This organization is also behind conventions such as C2E2 (Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo), PAX (Penny Arcade Expo), Comic Con Seoul, Comic Con Africa, Hyderabad Comic Con, Comic Con Paris, Emerald City Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration, BookExpo, Oz Comic Con, Indonesia Comic Con, Mumbai Comic Con, ComplexCon, Bookcon, and more!

This convention is going to feature a bunch of faces, including some of your favorite celebrities from movies and TV, artists, and a few other people in the mix! Let’s go over some group guests that stand out!

The first group is a bunch of people that maybe years back that you’d wonder, HOW’D THEY GET ON TV? Now you just wonder, how do I survive without this show? This first batch out of the oven is a group of four folks I like to call the Impractical Jokers! Call em what you may, Impractical Jokers, The Tenderloins, four lifelong friends who compete to embarrass each other, whatever, I LOVE THESE GUYS. If you guys don’t watch “Impractical Jokers,” I’ll tell ya, it’s a riot! Turn on TruTV, go ahead and do yourself a favor and prepare to laugh, cringe, and question humanity. It’s one of those times where me cringing isn’t a negative towards something I watch! IT’S THAT GOOD. By the way, if you’re thinking that one or two of the Jokers will be at the con, that ain’t happening! All four are appearing! If you’re going to New York Comic Con, this is your chance to meet Murr, Sal, Joe, and Q! Then again, considering the fact that they live and film their show around the area, it’s not that surprising that they’ll be at a con like this. Although keep in mind, the New York Comic Con website suggests that they won’t be autographing, so you probably won’t be talking with them much. I will say though, from a personal perspective, that’s somewhat surprising. I can kind of understand Q, Sal, and Joe not autographing, but what about Murr? He actually just released his new book, “Awakened” so I was figuring with that out right now, it would be a grand opportunity to promote the book. Since they’re paneling, I can imagine there will be some talk about the book, but no signing? I’m not judging here, but I’m kinda surprised. Also, one more thing, to those who are attending, all four will be at the con THURSDAY ONLY, so if you’re going Thursday (which I’m not, :(), you can meet the Jokers.

As for other groups, we’ve got a bunch of folks from Critical Role joining in on the fun! We have Liam O’Brien, Laura Bailey, Marisha Ray, Matthew Mercer, Sam Riegel, Travis Willingham, Taliesin Jaffe, Ashley Johnson, and Brian W. Foster. If you had to ask me which of these folks I’d be most excited to meet, I’d personally pick Laura Bailey. I don’t watch a lot of “Critical Role,” but she’s Lucina in the “Fire Emblem” video game series, which I have played. She’s also one of my goto characters when I’m playing one of the newer “Super Smash Bros.” games.

Another group showing up is part of the cast of “Star Wars: Rebels!” Now that the series is over, it doesn’t mean that the cast’s con appearances are! This year at New York Comic Con, feast your eyes upon guests including Mary Elizabeth McGlynn and Steve Blum! If you are a “Star Wars” fan and that info doesn’t satisfy you enough, I’ll have you know that there are more “Star Wars” guests that I haven’t even gone over! One such guest is Grey DeLisle, or as she’s known on IMDb, Grey Griffin. She’s been in several pieces of “Star Wars” content, such as “Star Wars: The Old Republic,” “Star Wars: Battlefront II,” and even a couple of “Star Wars: Rebels” episodes now that we’re on that topic! Griffin is also known for tons of voiceover work in other material, just look at her IMDb, she’s got a ton of credits!

Got a few more groups to go over, one of which is “Boy Meets World,” or depending on which generation you grew up in, “Girl Meets World.” We have Ben Savage, Danielle Fishel, and Will Friedle, if you have watched either one of these shows, then you’re in luck at NYCC! You will get a chance to meet these three characters from the franchise (Fri-Sun)!

We also have a couple people from “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” specifically Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher, that way you can actually meet Lois and Clark in a big metropolis (New York)! Is it just me or has Dean Cain been going to a lot of cons recently? Seriously, I’ve been seeing his name on con guest lists a lot over the past year or so.

One of the more successful shows on Starz goes by the name of “Outlander,” and a number of its cast members will be appearing at the con. The list includes Caitriona Balfe (Claire Randall) and Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser). Both cast members have been present in the show’s entire series and play major roles.

Now in case you don’t already know, this is a BIG CON. But one thing that personally surprises me about it is that badges are still available for purchase. Saturday is sold out, but Thursday, Friday, and Sunday are all still available. Although my friend and I will tell you, getting the badges is not easy. It almost got to a point where she gave up. This was a graduation gift from her, so I can’t thank her enough. For example, before you can actually purchase any badges, you actually need to create an account that will allow you to purchase badges. That’s like going into some warehouse store like Costco and someone who works there tells you if you want to be a member, you need to go on your phone, go to Costco.com, and create a “Costco Confirmation” account, or as they call it “CC.” Once that’s done, you are eligible to be a member! And the tickets are not cheap! For the tickets that are on sale, you have to pay somewhere in the fifty dollar range, which funny enough, is almost the price of a Gold Star Costco membership! Also, for those of you who like to buy passes with multiple days for one price, I gotta tell ya, that’s not a thing. NYCC used to have that, however in 2017, that was discontinued. Why? I don’t know, probably to get more money.

In recent news, it has become apparent that New York Comic Con is partnered with Anime Expo. If you go to New York Comic Con this year and happen an anime junkie, you’re in luck! During NYCC, there is going to be a four day anime festival known by the name “Anime Fest @NYCC x Anime Expo.” Anime Expo, if you are not already aware is a large convention held annually in Los Angeles, CA. According to Wikipedia, the total number of attendees at these conventions have reached numbers in the six digit marks! You don’t necessarily need a badge to New York Comic Con to take advantage of an experience like this, but if you are curious about any sort of discount you could possibly get for possessing an NYCC badge, you can’t get one. All the discounts have been sold out. You can still however pay the standard price to attend this event on each day of its run.

New York Comic Con is from Thursday October 4th to Sunday October 7th in New York’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center! I hope to see you there, and I can guarantee that this will definitely be a unique con experience. This con is one of the biggest nerd celebrations in the world, and just for that alone, I am super stoked to see what this thing is all about! Over the next couple of months I’ll be asking myself, is NYCC worth the hype? And maybe when it comes time to do my review and haul of the convention, that question will be answered. Thanks for reading this post! Be sure to stay tuned for more great content coming to Scene Before, including my review for “Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again.” I just got tickets for a showing of the movie on Sunday, so expect a review of that movie sometime soon! Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, are you going to New York Comic Con? Have you been before, tell me your thoughts on it! Also, is it worth the hype? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

CON ANNOUNCEMENT: I’m Going to Rhode Island Comic Con 2018!

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! This week is San Diego Comic-Con! Despite my gripe with them that I’ve held onto for the past number of months, I can still say with happiness and joy that the nerd celebration of the year is here! And to celebrate that, I’ve got con announcements incoming! Because I suck and can’t refresh my computer as fast as possible to get my San Diego Comic-Con tickets. Before we dive into this con announcement, let me just ask you something. Are comic-cons just for the nerds? I wouldn’t say they are. Nerds are definitely the target audience, but in reality, everyone is welcome! After all, I can imagine a lot of people want to meet an admirable celebrity, shake their hand, get their autograph, take a pic, all that jazz. Speaking of celebrities, there are a bunch of them that can be found on YouTube. And I know a lot of you viewing this might be thinking about people like PewDiePie or Shane Dawson or Smosh or Markiplier. Sure, those users are definitely popular. However, there are several communities and users on YouTube that aren’t necessarily talked about or brought up when thinking about YouTube celebrities. Today, we are going to change that. Ever since I discovered YouTube, I have been stalkin’ a group of people that make up the “elevator community.” One such member includes, its revered founder. In this post, I’d like to give a special shoutout and promotion to the YouTube user Dieselducy!

Dieselducy is a fairly popular YouTuber who happens to be a master of his craft, which simply put, is riding elevators. It takes hard work and dedication to find the finest and most presentable elevators on YouTube, and Dieselducy knows exactly what to do in order to show off the best of the best! Having shot many videos by himself and more alongside fellow elevator enthusiasts he met along the way, it’s easy to say that Dieselducy may be the most highly appreciated elevator photographer on the Internet. You can find all of Dieselducy’s content on YouTube, including this one of an elevator that’s shaped in a circular form, so you can say that it’s a lot like a “Star Trek” transporter. And seriously, this dude is a boss! He’s got over 50,000 subscribers! Thousands of videos to choose from for your viewing convenience! And as of recently, tons of livestreams, including one where he GETS A TICKET ON CAMERA! Please check out Dieselducy’s YouTube channel, be sure to subscribe, hit the notification bell, and check his other social media pages! Also, be sure to tell him that Jack Drees sent ya over!

DIESELDUCY’S YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/user/dieselducy

DIESELDUCY’S WEBSITE: http://www.dieselducy.com/

DIESELDUCY’S TWITTER: https://twitter.com/dieselducy

DIESELDUCY’S FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/DieselDucy/

DIESELDUCY’S INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/dieselducy/

DIESELDUCY’S FLICKR: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dieselducy

DIESELDUCY’S SNAPCHAT: Dieselducy

Now, as you can tell by the title of this post, you may be aware that I’m going to Rhode Island Comic Con this year. I’ve been running Scene Before for over two years now, and in that time, I’ve been to this con twice. Before I started this blog, I didn’t just go to that con, that was actually the first con I’ve ever gone to. I even documented my thoughts on the 2017 convention, which I thought was slightly clunky and disorganized, but despite that, it might have been the best con I’ve done in my life so far. I got to meet the cast of “Revenge of the Nerds,” I met a few people from Channel Awesome, I attended a couple panels, and I got a photo op alongside Christopher Lloyd. This upcoming con, doesn’t look like it’s going to disappoint. Some of the guests they’ve got lined up for this thing already impress me, and I can tell there will definitely be more impressive guests to come along the way. For the ones that are already listed, let’s dive into IT!

Take that last statement very lITerally, because “IT” seems to be playing a huge part in this con! And I’m talking about both the straight to TV miniseries and the recent hIT movie! As for the miniseries, one name you may recognize who will be showing up to Rhode Island is Tim Curry! You may know Curry as the famous clown, Pennywise. While “IT” is definitely partially responsible for Tim Curry’s fame, he has also appeared in such projects including “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Clue,” “The Hunt For Red October,” “Home Alone 2: Lost In New York,” and “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” As of now, there is currently no announcement of Bill Skarsgård appearing, so you can’t really say you have two Pennywises coming together. Although there are people from the 2017 “IT” movie who will be making an appearance, specifically kids.

The appearing kids include Wylat Oleff (Stanley Uris) and Jaeden Lieberher (Bill Denbrough). I can’t really say that much about their performances in “IT” overall, because I haven’t actually watched the movie. I watched tons of movies in 2017, but “IT” was not one of them, which to be honest is kinda surprising when you think about the success IT had. Another thing to bear in mind with this post here, is that IT is published before all of the “IT” guests have been announced (probably, depends on how the people behind the con close out this week’s announcements).

Sticking with the topic of Tim Curry, he happens to be one of the guests currently listed in the “headliners” category. Now, if you look at the guest list for Rhode Island Comic Con on their website, that label doesn’t actually exist. But last year, they had several guests labeled as “headliners.” These guests would be on the first list you’d see on the guest page, and if RICC intends to do things similar to last year, they’ll all be in the Dunkin Donuts Center together (well, at least most of them), as opposed to the Rhode Island Convention Center, which is attached to that property. Rhode Island Comic Con currently has eighteen headliners listed on their site and they are…

Tim Curry (It, Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
Alan Tudyk (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Moana)
Morena Baccarin (Deadpool, Gotham)
Karl Urban (Star Trek, Dredd)
Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Walking Dead) He’s Mary Poppins, y’all.
Finn Jones (Game of Thrones, Iron Fist)
Jessica Henwick (Game of Thrones, Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Nestor Carbonell (The Dark Knight, Bates Motel)
Billy Boyd (Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Empty)
Danny Trejo (Sons of Anarchy, Machete)
Brianna Hildebrand (Deadpool, The Exorcist)
Stefan Kapičić (Deadpool, Counterpart)
Richard Dean Anderson (General Hospital, MacGyver)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy)
Billy Zane (Titanic, Back to the Future Part II)
Cassandra Peterson (Movie Macabre, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Stand and Deliver, Young Guns)
Ben McKenzie (Gotham, Southland)

Since we’re on the topic, let’s talk about three of them specifically. The trio includes Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapičić, and Morena Baccarin.

What do the recently mentioned trio have in common? They’re all in the “Deadpool” movies! You may know Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Stefan Kapičić is the voice of Colossus, and Morena Baccarin plays Vanessa, the love interest to “Deadpool.” I am SO excited for this trio! I actually met one of the people in this trio before, specifically Brianna Hildebrand, and it was fun meeting her. In fact, it was actually at this exact con in 2016. I didn’t talk to her much, although I did ask her how her time was in Providence, I told her she had the “coolest name ever,” to which she chuckled, and we went our separate ways. One thing you might be interested to know is that Stefan Kapičić was actually at the same convention that weekend. Although I didn’t meet him. So depending on what I do during this convention, I’ll have a chance of meeting three “Deadpool” cast members, one of which I’ve met before, and two I’d meet for the first time. If I can’t get to all three, I’d personally flock after Morena Baccarin. I mean, let me just say, I’m a white, straight, eighteen year old boy. Of course I f*cking love “Deadpool.” Morena Baccarin’s character is not only gorgeous, but my gosh, she is just one of the best and most charismatic love interests I’ve seen as far as recent movies go.

If you were going to ask me who I think might be the “best on-screen couple” in movie history, Vanessa and Wade from “Deadpool” are definitely in that conversation. While certain parts of their relationship feel somewhat fantastical, you just can’t help but appreciate their chemistry and dialogue throughout both “Deadpool” and “Deadpool 2.” I’m twenty years younger than Baccarin, but if she happened to ever be single and want a younger guy… I’m available. But in all seriousness, Baccarin at a con is definitely going to be interesting, but you know what would be even cooler? If they pull out all the stops and get Ryan motherf*cking Reynolds!

Another group of guests that is likely to get a lot of attention at Rhode Island Comic Con is the cast of “The Walking Dead.” Last year, they’ve had plenty of guests announced who happened to be “Walking Dead” cast members. Although, due to bad timing in their schedules, four of them couldn’t even make it. Let’s just hope for the sake of the fanbase’s personal joy that this doesn’t happen again this year. So far, when it comes to “The Walking Dead” guests this year, we have Steven Yeun, Michael Rooker, Laurie Holden, Lennie James, Jeremy Palko, and Cooper Andrews. This con is three and a half months away, so there could be potential for more “Walking Dead” guests to show up, however if there’s one that’s unlikely to show up, that’s Jeffery Dean Morgan. I remember hearing on YouTube he was rather dissatisfied with Rhode Island Comic Con due to its chaos and disorganization. Oh well, there are other people to look forward to meeting!

This con is not exactly a couple of months away, so I’m not gonna get into too many more guests, but some of the guests I’m noticing seem to be very well known for their voiceover work.

The first guest I’ll mention is Kevin Conroy. While some may argue about the best on-screen Batman and lean towards someone such as Adam West, Christian Bale, or Ben Affleck, some may lean towards Kevin Conroy. He has not just played Batman, you can make the argument at this point that this guy probably IS Batman! Seriously, let’s make a list of some of the s*it that he’s done as the character of Batman! “Batman: The Killing Joke,” “Batman: Arkham Asylum,” “Batman: Arkham City,” “Batman: Arkham Knight,” “Batman: The Animated Series,” “The New Batman Adventures,” “Injustice: Gods Among Us,” “Injustice 2,” “Batman and Harley Quinn,” “Batman: Vengeance,” “DC Universe Online,” “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm…”

Now let’s move onto our next voiceover artist, Tara Strong!

If the name Tara Strong does not sound familiar to you, than chances are you don’t do much research on “My Little Pony” or “The Fairly OddParents.” Tara Strong is very well known for years of voiceover work, having received several nominations in the Annie and Behind the Voice Actor awards shows. She also is known for her work as Bubbles on “The Powerpuff Girls.”

Another big voiceover name at this year’s Rhode Island Comic Con is John DiMaggio. You may know him from “Adventure Time,” “Gravity Falls,” the “Transformers” movies, and “Futurama,” otherwise known as that one show with a popular meme that is going to describe everyone attending Rhode Island Comic Con once they hear the word “autograph,” “ticket,” or “photo op.”

I don’t really have as much of an objective at this year’s Rhode Island Comic Con like I did other times I went, but then again, that could potentially change in the upcoming months. If there was an objective this year for me, the closest thing to it is to meet Morena Baccarin. As far as talking to her goes, that’s a different story, I don’t know how big or fast her line will be, but I can guarantee that it won’t be small. Maybe I can at least get a hello or some witty joke in or something jazzy. For the other three years I’ve gone to Rhode Island Comic Con, there was an objective I had in mind, and it has been accomplished each time. In 2015, I met Curtis Armstrong. In 2016, I met Gal Gadot. In 2017, I met the entire cast of “Revenge of the Nerds” who happened to appear for their reunion. When it comes to Rhode Island Comic Con, the thing that has always impressed me is the guest list. Not only is it big, but it includes people that probably rarely go to cons! The guest list and con is so big in fact, that it needs three venues to fit everything! For the past few conventions, it has been held inside the Rhode Island Convention Center, as it has every single year, but it has also been held in the attached Dunkin Donuts Center. In 2017, however, I was made aware that new ballroom space in the closeby Omni Providence Hotel was used for the con. I imagine that will continue this year, because that space was used for a traveling group that shows nerdy films called GeekFest Film Fests, and they are coming back this year.

Why is there so much space? If you haven’t followed this con or been to it, one big story that went down during the con’s run in 2014 is that the Rhode Island Convention Center was filled to capacity, which is the first time that’s happened in the building’s history. 20,000 people attended Rhode Island Comic Con that weekend, and this was kind of a hazard. The fire marshal temporarily shut down the con due to poor attendance flow. At least about 1,500 attendees couldn’t enter the convention and those who left the convention could not reenter. Luckily, those who wanted refunds likely had their wish granted, and precautions such as adding the Dunkin Donuts Center in 2015 helped this sort of thing become less likely to happen again. Then 2015 happened, and the line to get in the Rhode Island Convention Center from the Dunkin Donuts Center was longer than jury duty. Disorganization was also a key complaint uttered by some con-goers in 2016, one such complaint was towards the company issuing photo ops, which was resolved in 2017 by getting a new team. However, for whatever reason, that team is not back this year.

Now this con, as mentioned, is disorganized, and that was one of the big complaints that they MAYBE tried to avoid from happening again like it did in 2016. When I entered the con last year, something REALLY strange happened. The entry point of the con allows you to go straight into the Dunkin Donuts Center, and nearby to the right is a ramp that transports you onto a skybridge that goes over to the Rhode Island Convention Center. In 2017, however, that was not a thing. Apparently, as a method of “crowd control” everybody had to go around the circle that makes up the Dunkin Donuts Center before they can even enter the Rhode Island Convention Center! Is this an attack on nerds for not getting enough physical exercise? And if that’s the case, it’s good to know that an arena with a donut shop’s name is helping out! I don’t know if this will happen again in 2018, but as much as I look forward to this con, that might be the first or second biggest downfall of last year’s experience.

Much like last year, this con is going to have some nifty events tied into it. This year there’s going to be an after-party on Friday and Saturday, tattooing, gaming tournaments, Sci-fi Speed Dating (must be 18 and single to participate), and if you’re coming here with your kids, you may be happy to know that RICC will have certain things that cater to them at Kids Con!

I’ve been going to Rhode Island Comic Con, and while it’s definitely not a perfect convention, it has some weird quirks and bugs behind it, the con definitely does not disappoint and it’s a buttload of fun. I’ll be there as a patron all three days, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This starts on November 2nd and ends on November 4th. If you want to go to Rhode Island Comic Con, I do highly recommend you check it out, and if you’re staying somewhere overnight, click the link below and go check out the discount hotel rates you can get during your stay at Providence during this event. As of this post’s publication, you can still book a few nearby hotels such as The Hilton Providence or Courtyard Providence Downtown. If those are out of your budget, the list also includes a couple hotels near the airport in Warwick, which is towns away from Providence. I’m looking forward to Rhode Island Comic Con and I hope to see you there! Thanks for reading this post! Pretty soon I’ll have a couple “Mission: Impossible” reviews coming your way. I’m gonna soon have my review up for “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation” and “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, are you going to Rhode Island Comic Con this year? Have you gone before? Tell me your thoughts on it. Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

DISCOUNT HOTEL RATES DURING RICC 2018: http://www.ricomiccon.com/hotels

Going To See 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968): A Tale of Two 70s *SPOILERS*

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Hey everyone! Jack Drees here! The last number of weeks have been wild. Not just here on Scene Before, but I mean life in general. From learning to drive, to dealing with college, to being invited to a pre-release screening and accepting an invitation for the first time, to going to see my first double feature in a theater, to perhaps one of the most infuriating and crap-induced days of my entire life, vacations, family reunions, and everything has just been stacking up on my schedule like pancakes at IHOb. That’s right! IHOb! Apparently someone thought it was so brilliant to switch the last initial of IHOP. The new initial by the way, happened to be “burgers.” The International House of Pancakes, has now become the International House of Burgers. IHOP is synonymous with breakfast in the same way that Sprint is synonymous with *muffled voice*

GUY ON OTHER END: Sorry, what was that? I can’t hear you.

ME: Oh, sorry, let me try going into another room!

*Footsteps*

ME: OK, let’s try this again, where were we?

GUY: Something about IHOP.

ME: Oh, right, thanks!

IHOP could have gone with several names for their replacement initial if they wanted to stick to having a “b!” Bacon! Breakfast! Buttermilk! And as weird as it sounds, Belgians! Seriously! International House of Belgians! That… The more I think about it… Kind of has a ring to it. Or, what if the “b” was so random that it had nothing to do with food whatsoever? Imagine the name change being International House of Butts. I think smoking is usually frowned upon at IHOb, but you have butts that get right into the restaurant and eventually land in a seat! What about International House of Balls? Because it takes balls to go to a diner and eat pancakes with fake syrup. Or even more random, what if the “b” is for a person’s name? IHOP could become the International House of Bob. Maybe the International House of Bianca? That not good enough? What about the International House of Becky? Still not satisfied? Why not settle for the International House of Barry? Everyone will come in, desperate to ask an employee, “Who the hell is this wacko named Barry?” And maybe if your name is Barry, you’ll get your entire meal half-priced! If you are a FAMOUS Barry, your meal is free! That’ll bring all the Barrys in! Barry Trotz! Barry Williams! Barry Manilow! Now is your time to be the best Barry you can possibly be! After awhile, IHOP learned their lesson and changed their name back to what it originally was, but this just felt like a natural disaster! Screw whatever s*it went down in “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” allow me to introduce Hurricane Burger!

Seriously though, this rant is not what you came in for, you came in for something related to “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Over a couple of weeks, I’ve taken two opportunities to go see “2001” in two different movie theaters. Both times, I saw the movie in 70mm, which is the way that many audiences witnessed the film back when it came out. Speaking of that, this print that was shown at both theaters I went to was a photochemical recreation of the original camera negative for the first time since the film’s theatrical run. There are no digital tricks, add-ons, or gimmicks. It’s quite possibly the closest one could get to going back in time and watching this movie in a theater during the year of 1968. During the realization of how this print would ultimately turn out, the whole project was under the supervision of critically acclaimed director Christopher Nolan, who has been a lover of “2001: A Space Odyssey” for a very long time. Nolan has directed films including the “Dark Knight” trilogy, “Memento,” “Inception,” and most recently, “Dunkirk.” He has also created a film with several similarities to “2001,” “Interstellar.” The first presentation of these “unrestored” prints occurred at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where Nolan received a standing ovation upon being greeted. Warner Brothers went on releasing a number of prints at select theaters, and not all of them have been released yet.

Let me just start off by saying that both experiences of “2001” were absolutely spectacular! I consider “2001” to be one of my all time favorite movies, so naturally I wouldn’t mind watching it anywhere, but the fact that I’ve went out to see it in a theater in 70mm probably brought out the best the film ever had to offer.

Every other time (maybe except one) that I’ve watched the movie “2001,” whether it was start to finish, split into parts, whatever, it was on a Blu-ray disc, and the transfer that “2001” has gotten on that particular disc is not bad whatsoever. I say maybe except one because I’d bet my first viewing was on a DVD. You can see all the necessary details, no colors look all that weird, and the sound is pretty good too. Although for the past couple of viewings, I’ve gotten off my ass, and went into a theater with other people. See guys? I have a life! I can go out of the house every once in a while! And with just enough motivation, I think you can too!

The first time I walked out of “2001” after seeing it in a theater, I don’t think I said this right away, but I can guarantee you that at one point, even if it is days after my experience, I said something along the lines of “THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.” Sounds like you would hear that phrase every now and then. I was born just barely before 2000, but I can imagine back in 1977, when “Star Wars” came out, some people, adults, teens, and children living at that time probably at the very least had that thought in their mind after their first “Star Wars” experience. In 1994, “Toy Story” came out, and when it released, there was not much like it in the animation genre. It blew a lot of minds out of people’s heads and just lead to just about nothing but high appreciation. In fact, this year, in 2018, minds are still being blown. We have just witnessed the culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Avengers: Infinity War,” and people are having many emotions towards it. I thought it was a total game changer, not to mention one of the all time greatest movies I’ve witnessed that is based on a comic book due to how the execution of the content the film contained turned out and the way it ended. Even after “Avengers: Infinity War,” my mind is still able to be blown, and with this mind blowing experience, it’s not just amazing because it’s truly unlike anything I’ve ever seen. But it’s also something that I’ve technically seen before, but am now getting to view in a whole new way that feels unique.

Without further ado, let’s talk about both of my experiences in detail!

SOMERVILLE THEATRE, SOMERVILLE, MA (JUNE 3RD, 2018, 12:30 PM):

The first of my two experiences took place at the closest theater to my house where this sort of thing happened to be taking place, the Somerville Theatre. The theater first opened in 1914 and my presentation was in its original auditorium. As far as getting there, I went with my friend by her car on a Sunday afternoon, leaving my home an hour prior to showtime. And since it was Sunday, we were kinda lucky, parking was free. Yay! We get in the theater to realize there actually is a line to get tickets or check in. My friend and I already had our tickets. Then once we grab our tickets, we get into another line on the opposite side of the sidewalk from where we walked in. Continuing our luck, it wouldn’t take that long for us to enter the theater given our distance in line. Once we enter, we grab our seats somewhere towards the rear end, and more luck happened to be on the rise! CENTER SEATS! As we grab our seats, I decide to go on into the lobby because I wanted a popcorn and soda.

I enter the lobby, knowing where the snack stand is because this is not my first time at this theater. As I walked forward, I knew exactly what to order. I ended up getting a large combo which cost less than $10! Holy crap! You know how much I have to pay for a combo like that an AMC? It’s somewhere around $15 to $17! I do it to support the theater and they actually make more money off of food purchases than ticket sales, which is why I don’t bring my own stuff into the theater. But just the other day I was down in Disney World, and they had an AMC on the property, where a large popcorn and a large drink would cost me around $15 to $17, and even when I use a discount which I earned from rewards points, it’s still a good deal, but if I remember correctly, it still cost me more than a large combo at Somerville Theatre WITHOUT rewards points. By the way, both of those combos actually allow you to get free refills. Boom. The guy at the register was really nice too. He complimented on my Cinema Sins t-shirt, and pointed out that everyone who got something at the stand so far in the day, including myself, ordered a large combo. The streak was eventually broken, but it’s still cool to be part of the team! Speaking of broken streaks…

I get back into the theater, and I accidentally enter the wrong row. I’m one row ahead of where I’m supposed to be. So instead of executing my gymnast skills of lifting my legs over a seat, I walk out on the side, like a normal person. Then suddenly, bad luck ensues. Not just for me, but for the poor man whose drink I accidentally spilled. I hear a noise, and this guy say “S*it.” I didn’t know what to do for a second. So it was time to play a game, let’s call it “Somersolve,” the game of solving problems in Somerville, Massachusetts. The objective is to avoid getting into a problematic situation and solve a problem. So, I act calm, and let out my humorous side.

“On the bright side, it’s a free refill.”

The guy who I interacted with seemed to take the situation lightly, my friend offered to spend some money on him toward new refreshments, to which he replied that he’s alright and ended up getting a free refill. Based on my observations, the guy ended up moving to a different seat. By the way, if this guy I’m referring to is reading this, I’m sorry!

Once it’s just about time to begin the action, a guy comes into the theater and starts talking on the microphone. He greets and welcomes everyone, and he states that the projectionist in the booth is considered by numerous people to be “the best in the business,” suggesting that he’s projected “2001” many times. Then the bad luck continued… He goes on to say that a gear on the projector is actually broken, and from what I heard, this happened many hours, perhaps a day or two, prior to my arrival. The projector still works, and the movie is still playable. However, there is a drawback to all of this. During certain points of the movie, the screen will go black for a minute, and the movie will stop. And no, this is not in an intermission type of pause (although the movie did provide one). What would happen is the screen will suddenly stop displaying an image. No sound would be heard whatsoever. And you know what? The guy was gonna make it up to anyone who wasn’t fond of this. If this bothers anyone, they actually get their money back, which is actually not a bad deal because they paid a premium price and maybe they can show they aren’t getting their premium service. Once I heard this, I was worried. What was gonna happen? What scenes were I going to miss? Oh my gosh! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria! Nevertheless, the speaker had an admirable hint of charm to him, and appeared to be extremely presentable. He also states some of the technical aspects I gave to you all in this post. The Christopher Nolan thing, the original camera negative thing, stuff like that. Once he finishes speaking, everybody begins to clap. It was clear that a good number of people were either really hyped for this experience, they love “2001,” they are enthusiastic about the whole 70mm situation, or clapping is possibly an undiscovered effect of dropping acid. Then, the auditorium returns to the low volume it previously contained. Afterwards, music begins. It’s the overture.

From what I can tell, the overture didn’t even start from the clear beginning. OK, whatever, it’s just the overture, there’s no picture during this moment, I can deal with that. I got to hear over 75% or 80% of it at least. Around the song’s technical halfway mark, I notice the slight dimming of a ceiling light. Once the song comes to a close, almost all of the auditorium is dark, excluding the screen, which has been revealed by the opening of the red curtain, and a few red lights on the walls. Then I see it. The MGM logo. The adventure has begun. We as an audience are then greeted to the famous, masterful, and endlessly parodied opening accompanied by Richard Strauss’s “Also Sparch Zarathustra.” I felt reborn. I almost wanted to clap immediately, but I didn’t want to be the one awkward attendee making everyone question humanity. I already made one person question such a thing when I spilled their drink. One thing I kinda sorta expected from there on out, was silence. Everyone was hypnotized to the screen, including me. I was trying to be respectful and not eat and drink too much for sake of not letting out too much noise. It reminded me of when I went to see “A Quiet Place” and would try to not be as obnoxious as I might be during other movies with my drink, and literally dissolve popcorn by use of my tongue. The screen demanded my full attention. When the movie started, and as it progressed, I did notice a slight difference in color when it comes to various shots. I didn’t consider it a bad thing, in fact compared to my Blu-ray, I think it truly captures the retro feel that maybe you’d want out of a movie like “2001,” and the more I think about it, makes it feel slightly less artificial. It’s not to say that it’s less clear than my Blu-ray, it’s higher in quality. Blu-rays go up to 1080p, and I have a player that can upscale those kinds of discs to near 4K quality. When it comes to 70mm, 4K is 70mm’s meal for breakfast. Now, let’s get to what could have been the worst part of the experience, had we been ripped off.

As mentioned, we were told that there would be short pauses during our presentation, which will eventually lead to the return of the movie playing. I was worried, I didn’t want to complain too much, then it happened. Around the “voiceprint identification” scene, the screen goes black, and the auditorium is almost in complete darkness. And since we were told about this, nobody really complained! I was thinking that we were going to miss a segment of the movie, and that point would be Floyd talking to his daughter while simultaneously wishing her a happy birthday. Nope! We didn’t really miss anything! Yippee! What a relief! This happened a couple more times during the screening. The first one being one of the earlier scenes on the ship introducing Dave, Frank, HAL, and the hibernating scientists. When that occurred, I turned to my friend, and tried to vocalize myself at a volume at which others in the auditorium could possibly hear me, asking, “What the HAL?” Nobody cracked, and based on what I could tell, she could correct me eventually considering she reads this and we see each other every once in a while, but my friend must have thought I was taking myself seriously and said “hell.” I tried to make sure I was coming off in the proper way so I told her what I was trying to say. The next pause occurred towards the climax of the film, and I have to say it may have been the PERFECT break. I say this because it’s right in between the Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite Sequence, and the last spoken line of dialogue in the movie given in the HAL control room.

One thing I was super excited for was the scenes in space. I will probably rave until I die about my experience watching “Interstellar,” a movie with many similarities to “2001,” one of them being that both movies heavily take place in space. Seeing the jumpcut from the bone to the satellite (TOTALLY A NUCLEAR MISSILE) started to make me smile like I had just realized I won a million dollars on “Deal or no Deal.” As I progressed through this first moment with The Blue Danube playing in the background, I think the girly part of me kicked in and I wanted to cry. If you told me I went to an enormous and epic opera house in space, I would have believed you. Speaking of the Blue Danube, one of the conveniences of sitting towards the back of the theater is getting to see all of the action from those upfront, and there’s this scene where you see a guy reading instructions on how to use a zero gravity toilet. It just shows how much we have to relearn what we already know how to do on Earth in space. Towards the front, there were a couple guys chatting and one that I assume was talking about exactly what I’m referring to. We may have gotten far as a society, but it is still our duty to learn how to poop in space. Yay, humans!

One thing that occurred in both Somerville Theatre and the second cinema I want to talk about is something near and dear to my heart.

“2001” to me is an interesting movie when it comes to sound. It has a soundtrack that’s big and loud, and yet there are several moments in the movie, mainly in space where you hear, LITERALLY NOTHING. Hey, I’m not complaining! That’s scientifically accurate! I love the big and loud soundtrack, which when I saw the movie at Somerville, brought an immersive, not to mention symphonic feeling to the auditorium. But there’s one noise in the movie, while I still am technically fine with having it in there in the first place, that I JUST. CAN’T. STAND. A bunch of astronauts are on the moon together, observing the monolith in front of them. Then, it’s picture time! One astronaut is trying to align a bunch of other astronauts together in front of the monolith and take their picture. In the process, this loud screech comes out of nowhere. It’s ear-piecing to the tenth degree! And I don’t just mean that for those around the monolith, but also for me. My friennd was covering her ears too! I have sensitive ears, and there are a lot of noises that I’ll surprisingly get by in a movie theater, but that is something which I had to survive.

One of the best parts of my Somerville experience is HAL’s last moments, which was a hint of preparation for my second experience which I will touch upon. I got some surprising reactions during my experience. The most surprising one I’ve gotten up to this point is probably the collective laughter towards Floyd’s daughter wanting a bush baby for her birthday. Then, we get to the final moments of HAL. Dave enters the ship through the emergency airlock, you can hear him breathing. Then we hear HAL, say the following lines in chronological order, starting with the earliest:

“Just what do you think you’re doing, Dave?”

“Dave, I really think I’m entitled an answer to that question.”

“I know everything hasn’t been quite right with me. But I can assure you now, very confidently, that it’s going to be alright again.”

“I feel much better now. I really do.”

“Look, Dave. I can see you’re really upset about this. I honestly think that you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill and talk things over.”

I mean, sure, a computer telling someone to take a stress pill is a bit out of the ordinary, that can work as comedy. In fact, when I walked out of one of these experiences, I said that I always thought that maybe the highest form of comedy I found in “2001” happened to be the part where the apes first use the bone as a weapon. These unexpected reactions however were not distracting, it was just a bunch of people enjoying themselves and having a good time. The one thing that disappointed me however is that with all of these reactions of laughter towards HAL, not one was given towards him singing “Daisy.” It’s a complete change of pace and it’s just funny seeing an electronic sing! It’s like seeing Edna Mode from “The Incredibles” go on “American Idol!” I almost wanted to start laughing at that moment, but just like what I said about the intro, I wanted to avoid being the awkward guy in the auditorium.

Then came what possibly might be the best part of the movie, the stargate sequence. This is a moment where the auditorium’s sound system just BOOMED. I’m not gonna go too much into it, because there’s some nifty stuff I want to save for the next experience, but it was awesome. The end came, and so did applause. I probably stood out the most when it came to the applause. I was literally standing up applauding. Some clapped, some wooed, but I stood up with my hands bouncing off each other. I had a great experience that is difficult to describe in words. It may have been bumpy, but I wouldn’t have traded this time at the theater for anything else.

I had such a great time, and I would easily put it in my top 10 best movie theater experiences. But the thing is, I wanted more… Before I went to Somerville Theatre to see “2001,” I asked my dad if he wanted to go, but he couldn’t make it. Nothing against him, a guy’s gotta do what he’s gotta do. Nothing against my friend either, I really enjoyed my time with her. But, I figured this would be something I wanted to do again, and I had a chat with my dad on the phone. I told him about my experience, describing it as “epic,” which it was, that is, if my experience could be described in words. He stated at one point he was jealous that I got to go to this. That gave me an idea. I REALLY wanted to see the movie in 70mm again, and I think my dad wouldn’t mind doing something like this. Father’s Day was slowly, but steadily approaching. While Somerville Theatre was scheduled to show “2001” for two weeks until it goes away, another nearby theater has yet to show their 70mm prints of the movie. I told dad I’d buy tickets for this show, I’d pay for it, and the experience would be on me. That wasn’t really true, my dad paid for train transportation and dinner, although I had money and tried to keep him from paying, but I paid for the tickets at least, not to mention the food I purchased for myself at the theater.

COOLIDGE CORNER THEATRE, BROOKLINE, MA (JUNE 17, 2018, 7:00 PM)

When going to my second experience, I had no idea what I was in for. I was well aware that the theater was going to have some similar architectural aesthetics to Somerville, based on images I’ve seen online. The experience was actually a tad more expensive than Somerville, which makes sense since I’m seeing this in the evening as opposed to the early afternoon. I may have jumped on the wagon a tad early, buying tickets for this experience as soon as possible. Little did I realize, sometime after purchasing tickets, Somerville would have extended their run of “2001” for a week. Knowing Somerville, the experience would have been cheaper. But I didn’t care, because this brings a breath of fresh air. And I mean that in a literal sense because I went to the Somerville Theatre a couple months prior to the “2001” event, also for another 70mm experience. This second 70mm “2001” viewing was my first time at the Coolidge Corner Theatre. I was pretty amped. This theater is actually younger than Somerville. First established in 1933, the Coolidge Corner Theatre is widely considered one of the best movie theatres in New England.

I left alongside my father and sister approximately three hours prior to showtime. I felt this would allow us to guarantee a higher possible chance of earning decent seats. We ended up going to the closest subway station to my house on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, AKA the MBTA, AKA the T, AKA the place numerous Bostonians go to as much as Dunkin Donuts. I planned this, considering I was the one behind the wheel, and my excuse, “trains are awesome.” So we get off at our designated stop, my sister and father don’t really have any sort of preference on where to eat. But I did have a place in mind considering I’ve done extended research.

There were multiple restaurants in Coolidge Corner, but the one that attracted me the most was a place nearby that goes by the name of Oath Pizza. They have multiple locations in Massachusetts and having seen footage of them on the New England exclusive restaurant tour show, “Phantom Gourmet” I was eager to check them out due to how much boasting was given towards their “90 second pizza oven.” Keep in mind, that 90 second thing, is likely just for the oven’s actions. But you know what? Doesn’t matter, the pizza was a delight. Because I’m boring, I got the “classic cheese.” My sister got a make your own pizza of some sort. Dad however, came to play. It’s father’s day. He can order whatever he wants. While some may be tempted by the “spicy mother clucker,” and I’m willing to bet maybe he was too, he didn’t go for that. Instead, he went for the whole hog. I mean, it had smoked bacon and sausage. In his worldview, that’s my father’s version of not going wrong. The place had a Chipotle kinda feel considering they brag about their dedication to natural ingredients, not to mention the place was rather small and a little more upscale than your typical fast food chain restaurant such as McDonald’s or Burger King. The pizza from what I heard was actually rather crunchy, and what I heard was definitely correct. The more I think about it, it’s a better version of the pizza Pringles.

Once finished, we had more than an hour to waste before the movie. If I remember correctly, I believe we picked up our tickets prior to doing anything else. So while my father and sister have no idea what they want to do, I automatically declare to everyone that we’re trotting over to GameStop, because there’s one nearby. But that ultimately backfired. It’s Sunday. The store closes at 6PM, so we couldn’t go in. We pass by the Brookline Booksmith, which I’ve been inside, and it is rather nifty, but none of us really chose to go in today. We do some walking, and I notice a comic book store. My minor nerdgasm starts to kick in. I’m attracted, and everyone follows me towards it. But once again, we’ve fallen into the Sunday trap. That store was scheduled to close at 6PM as well. With almost nothing to do, we are almost left stranded in the middle of Coolidge Corner, possibly just inevitably waiting outside before we can actually go into our auditorium. But then, a miracle happens. The miracle of CVS. We go in and just start making fun of everything. The biggest standout is whatever we could say about medicine. My sister eventually got somewhat intimidated to the point where my father thought we were overstaying our welcome. Fun fact by the way, this is not the only CVS that’s less than a two or three minute walk away from the theater! We were in the closer one, if you want any specification.

We are let in the theater around somewhere between thirty to ten minutes before scheduled showtime. The seats were pretty much the same scenario as last time. We were towards the center of our row near the back. I go get myself some popcorn and a soda, and I experience something that I’ve never witnessed in a movie theater before. No battle of the soda corporations. That’s right! For the first time ever, I enter a theater that has neither Coke or Pepsi! When I was at Oath Pizza, they had no “traditional soda,” they instead had Stubborn soda, but the closest thing I can find to “traditional soda” was probably root beer. On the menu at Coolidge Corner Theatre, I find “cane soda” and “diet cane soda.” I ask the employee at the register if the diet cane soda is like Diet Coke, to which I remember the person giving some answer that relates to “yes.” I end up getting that. While the price for my large popcorn and soda was more expensive than Somerville, it certainly isn’t a price I’d complain about. The popcorn was nice and fresh, but the soda was something I really had to get used to. From what I imagine upon further research, it must taste like the Coke you’d drink in somewhere like Mexico, because that has cane sugar. But what do I know? I’m an American who recently graduated from high school, and according to everybody else in the world, our education system is crap, so what do I know?

One thing that kind of surprised me about the theater in Coolidge Corner and was slightly different than Somerville, was that there was music playing inside the theater. It wasn’t “2001” based or anything, it was just regular music. Although during my first time in Somerville there was “Back to the Future” music blasting inside the theater. To me, that made sense, because the movie I was seeing, “Ready Player One,” happened to have “Back to the Future” playing a huge part in it. Similar to Somerville, we get a guy coming in the theater, who speaks to everyone near the screen. He also lectures us on the specs of the print we’re about to witness, warns us of an intermission that will be taking place, luckily it’s only one and intentional this time, and he even goes on advertising other stuff related to the Coolidge Corner Theatre which sounded interesting personally. He warns everyone to enjoy the show, and then applause ensues. I’m willing to bet that *maybe* I was the one who started the applause. We are just about to start the movie, I was ready. After about a minute of preparation, I heard the noise of glory. The overture. And you know what? I could actually hear the whole thing this time!

When it came to the overture, And in terms of lighting, it was slightly different than Somerville. For one thing, the dimming began rather early. And the whole auditorium didn’t go black instantaneously, it was a lot darker in Coolidge Corner than it was in Somerville. Most of the lights went off, but a couple were on, most noticably two lights on opposite sides of the stage, shining on the red curtain. Fun fact by the way, for those who don’t know, the overture song is called “Atmospheres,” and atmospherically speaking, Coolidge Corner wins against Somerville in my book. Coolidge Corner’s lightshow, or in this case, darkshow, felt like it could be choreographed in my imagination, but the one in Somerville came off as a tad clunky. But whatever, it’s not even the main course of the movie, it’s just the appetizer. Throughout the overture, my dad turned over to me, and actually asked if I got this thing in Somerville as well. I replied saying, “yes.” It was go time. Almost all the lights, except some side ones, were soon completely off. The curtain opened. The famous introduction began. I was in full focus mode.

This time, I was a little more conservative when it came to my popcorn and drink. Sure, I mentioned my drink was tough to have at times because it’s a bit different to consume than what I usually get at the movies, although still tolerable. Not to mention, unlike Somerville, I heard nothing about a free refill. Doesn’t matter to me, I’m here for the movie. Even if your movie is called “The Emoji Movie,” chances are I’m at the theater for the movie.

Once the movie starts, I begin to notice the color differences once again. We get to the first monolith scene with the apes, and while it’s very intriguing and hypnotizing, I’m noticing something that’s different, and that is the sound. There was moment during the song that plays in that scene. It didn’t have as much of a vibration effect in the auditorium. No big deal, the sound is still spectacular and probably superior to anything I’d watch at home. And you know what? I looked online and noticed some different speaker placements, so maybe that contributed to it. Either that, or maybe the volume was higher on one system compared to another. Part of it may have to do with seating arrangements as well. Because all of the seats at Coolidge Corner are in one designated area. Although with Somerville, as mentioned, the seating arrangements include an orchestra section and a balcony section. The speakers are more in an upsey-downey fashion as opposed to a straight line.

Once we got to the first scene in space, I was once again instantly reminded of how majestic “2001” truly is. Noticing the first shot with the satellite as the camera moves towards Earth is nothing short of beauty in an image. One thing I noticed is that the audience in my theater wasn’t exactly as talkative as the one prior. That can be a good thing if you want to focus on the movie, but if you want an unexpectedly fun experience, it’s gotta have the audience laughing at stuff you don’t expect to be laughable, which is what I got at Somerville. Unlike Somerville, nobody at Coolidge Corner seemed to laugh at the “bush baby” wish. Although one thing that both experiences had in common is that both times the call between Floyd and his daughter ended, there would be a price showing up on the screen. Once the charge is on the screen, some laughs ensue.

One thing I also noticed about Coolidge Corner that gives it a boost in points against Somerville, is that the image is a lot smoother. And when I say that, I’m not talking about it in terms of the images displayed. Those are pretty similar in terms of overall motion. But if anything, this is more of a comment towards the projection. There’s one scene in particular during the movie as I watched it in Somerville that I began to notice something odd. After the conference which Floyd gives a speech, we cut to a set of establishing shots in space. Throughout, I’m noticing the images jumping up and down. Why is this exactly? I don’t know. I wouldn’t consider that an issue, because it doesn’t necessarily interfere with the experience, but it’s just something I noticed. At Coolidge Corner, there seemed to be none of that interference through the whole film. This is just a part of why I gotta give more points to Coolidge Corner in the atmospheric category when it comes to showing this film.

Then we get to the part of the film that I’m willing to bet my dad was highly anticipating, because that’s the part where our main characters are introduced. This made me realize that to certain people, HAL is more than an evil supercomputer trying to take over a spaceship. When it comes to people like my dad and he thinks about HAL, there’s a good chance that my dad is thinking about how funny HAL is. In fact, I don’t think there’s even one person I know currently that would probably laugh at HAL in this movie as much as my father. I mentioned in Somerville that a bunch of people were dying laughing towards the end of the movie because of some of the stuff that HAL says, but my dad pretty much laughed at HAL for the entirety of his screentime. There are certain times during the film where HAL is talking, just saying things such as pointing out how foolproof he is. My dad just starts cracking up. Did it annoy anyone? I’m not entirely sure. In fact, if it did annoy other people, let me just have you know, it was Father’s Day, let my dad have his fun. Speaking of HAL, I can say watching the movie in the theater definitely has its perks. As far as watching this film from beginning to end, I’ve watched this movie in school off of a projector. It was pretty good quality, I wouldn’t say I have any complaints about it. All of the other times have been on a Blu-ray disc played on my 43″ 4K TV. The images are upscaled to near-4K quality. A 43″ TV is decent sized product for where I use it, and the images have always come off pretty crystal clear. I always appreciate the movie’s huge scope every time I watch it. Watching the film in 70mm however, allowed me to notice the little things. For the first time in recent memory, I was literally able to observe the label “HAL 9000” above the red eye located on the computer’s monitor. I watched the movie once more after seeing it in Coolidge Corner, and having this information locked in my head, it made me try to focus really hard on the HAL 9000 label once I got to the point where it could be seen.

We get to the intermission, and I see the white text come up, signifying that normal people can get up, go to the bathroom, grab some food, stretch, those sorts of things, while the abnormal go outside and drop acid in preparation for the stargate sequence. When I was at this screening of the film, I noticed that everyone didn’t really react to the intermission. The best way I can describe the atmosphere that maybe everyone felt in the theater was some sort of jaded-like feel. For some reason when I went to Somerville, some people felt the need to clap and cheer once seeing the intermission warning pop up. Here, it was quiet. I find the audience reactions here to be expected, and I do respect them because it just shows that everyone knows not to be chaotic. Although while the reactions at Somerville for the intermission happened to be quirky, I also found them to be rather charming. I didn’t even get up from my seat during the intermission, I just turned on my phone for a sec, browsed through some things, and turned it back off.

The overture begins again… Atmospheric as ever. I was amped like you wouldn’t believe. The curtain soon opened and the feature presentation resumed. Soon, you see Frank’s death. My dad once again stood out among the audience, and nobody seemed to give a flying f*ck. As Frank began to struggle, my dad uttered, “Bye, Frank.” This is during a scene where there is barely any sound whatsoever, which if this were not the case, I don’t think his remark would have had as much charm behind it. I always found this scene interesting though, and this interest has grown significantly over these past couple of watches. Even though one of the movie’s main characters is dying, and it’s a pretty big death for the movie, nobody really reacts to it. There may be reasons behind that though. For one thing, it happens in a near-silent set of clips. Another point to consider is that this movie is fifty years old and there’s a good chance everybody knows exactly what to expect at this point of the film. When I saw “Avengers: Infinity War,” people basically didn’t even know what to think at certain points of the film when certain major characters died. That’s most likely because of the buildup these characters had prior to dying and we’ve gotten more time to know them. Plus, I imagine a good number of people didn’t see certain deaths coming. Nobody was scared of Frank dying in “2001.” Maybe some people didn’t see it coming, maybe some did, who knows really? But still, we didn’t really get to know Frank to such a high extent. While Frank’s overall character development was at a low level, I wouldn’t say it needed to be built, and I think that’s part of the genius that goes into “2001.” You get to know people, but you don’t need to see them grow or observe their backstory to care about them. It’s almost like “Dunkirk” but with less characters and a bit more detail behind certain characters.

Then we arrive at one of my dad’s absolute favorite parts of the movie, HAL’s death. While there was not as much noise that could be heard like there was in Somerville, there were definitely some audible laughs. My dad was definitely part of the laughing crew. I could tell this was one of my dad’s favorite parts of the film because he and I were quoting it on the way home.

Now I mentioned the stargate sequence in my section about Somerville, but I really want to talk about it here. I honestly had a slightly better and perhaps more memorable experience at Coolidge Corner during the stargate scene than I did in Somerville. Don’t get me wrong, Somerville was AWESOME. But one thing that stuck out to me during that scene more than any other during the movie, although if I remember correctly, may have been noticeable in others, is that part of the image, specifically towards the bottom, is off the screen. I noticed this as soon as we get to the first shots of Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite with the monolith. Coolidge Corner didn’t seem to have that same flaw. In both experiences, I just got ecstatic as the music built up. Everything was established, except for the stargate. Then we get this haunting, unbelievable, f*cked up, melt your face off, not to mention exhilarating vocalization from the chorus! It’s like I was walking into the mind of Mr. Burns from “The Simpsons!” It was like watching a Nicolas Cage movie and it’s nothing but kick-ass dream sequences! It was like going on MySpace today in 2018 and suddenly realizing it became the most popular form of social media in one night! I felt like I was having an orgasm! My dad was on a totally different thought process than I was. I always thought of the stargate sequence as a simple trip, or a journey through a wormhole and other things mish-mashed along the way, once I walked out of the theater alongside the other two people I came along with, my dad told me he thought of the video game “Rock Band” during the stargate sequence. All the colors and wild occurrences that can be witnessed throughout is what made him create that link. If you ever listen to the music during this scene, you’d be aware that the overture song is actually playing throughout portions of the sequence. The overture itself is epic when hearing it in the theater by itself before the movie starts playing, but during this scene, I was almost convinced I was in the movie. It felt like it was being played at a different volume, a different pitch, it was a whole new level of immersion and adventure. That stargate sequence, alone, is worth the price of admission. It’s to this day one of the wildest things I’ve witnessed in a movie, and I’d probably put it in maybe top 10, 20, 30 movie sequences I wouldn’t mind being forced to watch for the rest of my life.

As soon as we get to the credits, a lot of people in the theater start applauding. I don’t go to the extent that I did at Somerville where I stand up, but I did clap. As I left the theater, I got a peak into the projection booth, I noticed the film reels spinning and I couldn’t help but point it out to my sister and father. My father enjoyed the experience, you all know my thoughts on it, but what about my sister’s? Turns out this was her first time watching “2001” from start to finish, and personally, a 70mm experience such as this is one of the best ways to do it. Her thoughts on the film as a whole? From what I could tell, I wouldn’t say she didn’t enjoy it, but she found it somewhat hard to get through. For one thing, there’s a lot happening, a lot of information to be processed. Another factor that contributed is that the whole experience of getting through the movie was about three hours. I was personally wide awake. I happened to be taking on a grand opportunity to watch a great movie with people I admire in a setting that is difficult to acquire at times. In those moments, I may have handed my dad the most selfish Father’s Day gift I’ve ever given to him, but based on the time we had, it was all worth it.

Thanks for reading this promised, delayed, and perhaps long-winded thing some people might call a post! I really wanted to get this out earlier, but due to a lack of time and motivation, I screwed up. You might ask, what about the movie reviews? My movie reviews are basically the building blocks of Scene Before. This is why you haven’t seen that many countdowns lately, the only ones I’ve done so far this year are my top 10 best and worst movies of 2017. Because my main purpose behind this blog is to review movies, and I feel like that is something that can easily be associated with Scene Before. This post you’re reading right now, is just a special, rare gem, buried beneath the ground, ready to be revealed around the world. Now going back to business, I do want to review the movie “Eighth Grade.” This has already released in a couple markets, but not everywhere. I tried getting passes for an early screening, but I just got an email saying the screening was full so I can’t go. Although if I can see it when it comes out, I’ll definitely be sure to review it! I’m also going to be probably seeing something I’d tell you some time ago that I’d never see, but due to my mother’s interest in it and the fact that it’s playing at an awesome local IMAX theater, I’m planning on checking it out anyway. That movie by the way, is “Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again!” And based on the reviews I’m seeing for “Mission: Impossible: Fallout,” you can guarantee I’ll be checking that out as soon as time will allow. Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, what are your thoughts on “2001: A Space Odyssey?” Did you get to ever see the movie in 70mm? Will you take advantage of such an experience in the future? Leave your answers to those questions below, and speaking of questions and answers… My dad who came along with me for the second experience gave the answer to the question, “What is the opposite of infinity?” The answer, the number of times my dad will go to IHOb! And based on the results of that campaign, you can sure bet that number will last forever! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Hereditary (2018): No Chris Pratt, No Explosions, No Superheroes, Just A24’s Latest Dose of “WTF?”

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Before we begin diving into this review of “Hereditary,” it must be stated that the tagline for this film, as you see in the poster above, is “Evil runs in the family.” If evil ran in my family, chances are I’d probably be in a different family. I can’t say it does, but it’s possible that I also can’t say it doesn’t, because there are many ways of interpreting evil. Speaking of families, a new family will be formed in a matter of time. Paul, Genevieve, and their future child will eventually find themselves together. Although the journey to get to the guarantee of the couple and child finding themselves together was an absolute quest of tears and pain. This is all explained… in “What the IVF?!”

“What the IVF?” is a YouTube series which has been going on for months. Each Monday, watch a new short video of Paul and Genevieve’s misadventures of making their best attempt to create a baby. Every week, a new story is told concerning the couple, and it displays small positives and major negatives. Watch the two as they have to deal with unfortunate realities in sex, math, exams, crying, and needles sharper than the picture on that TV at Best Buy you want so freakin’ bad. You can find the latest episodes on the series’s dedicated YouTube channel, and new stories arrive each Monday! The latest episode in the series goes over the couple’s sixth, seventh, and eighth “IVF” cycles in a small matter of minutes. This episode is a bit shorter than some of the other ones you’d find on the channel, so if ten minute videos are your thing as opposed to six minute videos, make your way over to the “WTIVF?” YouTube channel (link below) and browse their video selection. Be sure to subscribe, hit the notification bell, and follow “WTIVF?” on other forms of social media aside from YouTube! To do that, visit the links below and hit the follow icons! Also, be sure to tell them that Jack Drees sent ya over!

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

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

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

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

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

“Hereditary” is the feature-length directorial debut of Ari Aster and stars Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense, Little Miss Sunshine), Alex Wolff (Patriots Day, The Naked Brothers Band), Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale, The Leftovers), Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects, The Man in the Iron Mask) and reveals scary occurrences and events, not to mention dark secrets hiding within a family after the passing of its matriarch.

When it comes to “Hereditary,” I’ve heard mostly positive thoughts about it before I went out to see what this thing is all about. I recall seeing trailers, but not as much as other films I saw this year and others I’ve still yet to see. One of the biggest things that really got me excited for “Hereditary” is the studio behind it. This movie is distributed by the independent company A24. While their first films such as “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III” and “Spring Breakers” released back in 2013, A24’s true recognition came during the year of 2015. In that year, they released films such as “Amy,” “Ex Machina,” and “Room.” All those films went on to win Academy Awards, and since then A24 has been bringing their A-game to the theaters. They released a number of films the following year, including the 89th Academy Awards Best Picture winner, “Moonlight.” Last year, 2017, was also a significant year for the studio. They’ve released several acclaimed films such as “The Florida Project,” “A Ghost Story,” “Lady Bird,” and what I find to be one of the best films of the decade, and in the conversation to be the best comedy of the decade, “The Disaster Artist.” This year, they’re still killing it. “Lean on Pete” has been getting great reviews, “First Reformed” is not getting many bad reactions either, and “Eighth Grade,” a film I’m really looking forward to that has yet to be released has gotten extremely positive criticism so far, with only a single rotten review on Rotten Tomatoes.

I walked into “Hereditary” with a smile on my face, all happy to see something that could potentially be masterful, scary, and just an overall well-done product. However I walked out of “Hereditary” thinking to myself, “What the f*ck did I just watch?”

NOW HOLD ON!

I didn’t say the movie is terrible, in fact, it’s the exact opposite. In fact, it’s in the horror genre so you kind of might want to think that. There were several aspects of the film that had me in awe, and others that dropped my jaw.

First off, we have the direction and cinematography. The first shot of the movie is the camera moving away from a window, and it kind of reminded me a bit of “The Witch” and “The Neon Demon” if you’ve ever seen those films. That same shot pans and moves into this dollhouse, eventually leading to the introduction of a couple of the movie’s characters. Part of me wanted to really know how exactly this was done. This dollhouse is supposed to resemble the house where the movie’s family lives, and part of me wonders how exactly they transitioned into our first character interaction. It could have been as simple as stopping tape and moving onto a real live-action location, trying to replicate EXACTLY where tape stopped in the previous shot. If so, bravo, I couldn’t even tell. Maybe some CGI work went into this whole thing. I’m not doing much research on this, but this makes me extra curious to watch the movie again once it comes out on home video just so I can scroll through the bonus features. But if someone were to ask me today, how exactly this scene was done, I’d tell you that I haven’t got the darndest clue. I mean, how would I? I wasn’t on set. I took a TV and video production class for four years in high school, and I’ve learned quite bit about filmmaking during that time, but I wouldn’t say I’m the ultimate guru when it comes to this stuff. When you combine this movie’s direction by Ari Aster and the cinematography by Pawel Pogorzelski, you get this plethora of wonder and suspense. This ultimately may have been the very thing, if not one of the very things that reminded me of “The Witch.” I say possibly one of the very things because that’s also a below average paced A24 horror film about the overall destruction of a family. One thing that’s different about “Hereditary” and “The Witch” however is that I find “Hereditary” to actually be a good movie.

I gotta say though, for those of you reading this on a later date, I saw this film during the summer movie season of 2018, which funny enough, based on the thoughts of some people, starts almost a full couple of months before summer actually begins. 2018 is looking to have one of the best summers I’ve witnessed in terms of movies. I’ve already given three perfect scores to movies this year, with two of them being for movies that got wide theatrical releases during the summer movie season. One of those two films wasn’t a blockbuster, but neither is this. Pretty much since June, I’ve given mostly scores of 8 or above to movies I’ve seen in theaters. While we have not even gotten to my final verdict section of the review yet, just a warning, this is going to continue my positive score frenzy.

Moving onto some of the characters in “Hereditary,” let’s begin this section by talking about Toni Collette’s character of Annie. I haven’t seen much work featuring Collette, but having seen “Hereditary,” I now want to go on and look at some of her past work because her performance here is fantastic! She might have just provided my favorite performance by an actor so far this year! I know it’s early, but when awards season comes around, I’m willing to bet that the name Toni Collette will be popping up somewhere. Her expressions, her emotion, her line delivery, everything about this performance was top-notch and kept my eyes on the screen. Now that I think about it, there’s one moment in this movie that takes place while the family is having dinner, and it reminded me a bit of “10 Cloverfield Lane.” It’s almost as if John Goodman’s character from “10 Cloverfield Lane” switched genders, took crazy pills, and started yelling up a storm. Collette gives by far the best performance of the movie, and if I were to do my own awards show where I choose all the winners, Collette might just take Best Actress.

 

Speaking of actresses, this movie is the film introduction of Milly Shapiro, who plays the character of Chucky–err, I mean Charlie. In terms of acting, this is not only a great performance by a child actress, but just a solid performance in general. I felt bad towards this character in a way, because as mentioned, the movie is basically about the events that occur after, in this particular case, Charlie’s grandmother passes away. And given the dialogue in one scene, Charlie feels like she gets greater care and attention from her grandmother than she does from her own birthmother. And the more I think about that scene and the way it’s written, I could make connections to my own life. I’m lucky enough to have my grandparents still living today. This includes grandparents on both my mother’s and father’s side. Once they die, I don’t know what exactly my parents will be thinking, but maybe it’s something along the lines of getting older, wondering how long they have to live, how much this will impact them, or simply being “next.” If one or both my parents die, and maybe I’m at any age range in this circumstance, I can’t exactly say how I’ll react, this isn’t something that’s supposed to be rehearsed. But I feel like a part of me will die too. I wonder how much longer I have left until I go.

I will say that all the actors in this movie give terrific performances, and this even includes one that who I’d say gives perhaps the worst performance in the movie, and that’s Alex Wolff. Now, when I say worst performance, I could be exaggerating. There are a good number of roles played by various actors in this film, but out of the main roles, Alex Wolff’s portrayal of Peter may have been the weakest. Granted, he was born in 1997 and is not even twenty-one yet, so it’s kinda sorta understandable that he’s not in the same caliber as say, Toni Collette, but I do find it somewhat surprising for him to be considered worse by me than Milly Shapiro. The unfortunate thing about Wolff’s performance is there are certain segments of scenes that kind of took me out of the movie for a second. I heard him crying and made me think he was doing a terrible impression of Matthew McConaughey. If that’s how he cries in real life, then OK, I didn’t know. But Wolff’s cry in this movie (no pun intended) doesn’t sound all that realistic. It made me think I was watching the climax of “Interstellar” and instead of trying to cry, Matthew McConaughey gave random choking noises that qualify as sad sounds. For the most part, Wolff was on his A-game, it’s a very solid performance, but if it weren’t for the crying, I would have been fully immersed into the movie.

One thing I will mention though is that I went to a restaurant after watching the movie, and I talked about it for a brief moment with the bartender serving my mother, sister, and I. If you ask me what I thought about how this movie ended, I’d say it was one of the better endings I saw all year, and I imagine a good number of people would feel the same way. When I heard from the bartender that he didn’t like the second half of the movie, I was curious to know why. I very much enjoyed the second half, thought it was disturbing, jaw-dropping at times, and made me question exactly what’s happening in such a positive way. There’s one thing about the ending however that I won’t get into that I particularly didn’t care about but he said he didn’t like. This is not the first time I heard a complaint like this, but it just goes to show that despite this movie’s acclaim, maybe it’s not for everyone. But it certainly was for me.

In the end, “Hereditary” is one of the most well directed movies of the year, along with a movie that just showcases tons of powerhouse performances. Toni Collette better get some chatter regarding the Academy Awards and depending on how the rest of the year plays out, her lack of appearance as a nominee for Best Actress will probably be a personal snub. I haven’t seen any of the shorts Ari Aster directed before going on to do “Hereditary,” however I would love to see some more work from him in the future. Maybe some more horror movies, film noir, or maybe something like a period piece. I loved “Hereditary,” I want to watch it again, and if it weren’t for issues as small as a Tic Tac, this would have received a perfect score. I’m gonna give “Hereditary” a 9/10. Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon I’m gonna have my review up for “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation,” whether or not I’ll have it up this week is a total mystery to me, but I’ll be sure to have it up prior to the release of “Mission: Impossible: Fallout,” thus completing my Tom Cruise “Mission: Impossible” movie review series before that next installment hits theaters. Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Hereditary?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite A24 film thus far? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018): A Small Step Into the Ant Hill of Mediocrity

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“Ant-Man and the Wasp” is directed by Peyton Reed (Yes Man, Bring It On) and stars Paul Rudd (Dinner For Schmucks, The 40-Year-Old Virgin), Evangeline Lilly (Lost, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug), Michael Peña (American Hustle, End of Watch), Walton Goggins (The Shield, The Hateful Eight), Hannah John-Kamen (Ready Player One, Killjoys), with Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns, What Lies Beneath), Laurence Fishburne (John Wick: Chapter 2, The Matrix), and Michael Douglas (Fatal Attraction, Wall Street). After the epic, destructive, game-changing events audiences have witnessed in “Avengers: Infinity War,” we might as well ask ourselves, what is next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe??? The answer… something much smaller. Take that last sentence in whatever way you want. In this newest addition to the series, we once again see Scott Lang, otherwise known as Ant-Man, having to deal with home life on house arrest, not to mention his own daughter. At the same time, he is recruited on a new mission alongside Hope van Dyne, who is also referred to as the Wasp, that requires an uncovering of secrets involving the past.

This movie is the sequel to 2015’s “Ant-Man,” one of my personal favorite movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As much as I might complain that some of the more recent Marvel movies try too hard with comedy to the point where it gets annoying, “Ant-Man” is quite possibly the funniest movie in its universe. Speaking of the MCU, this movie is the twentieth installment in the saga. Just a year ago I said there were fifteen of these since “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” came out. WOW. When it comes to “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” I honestly had low expectations for it. If you asked me where my expectations were in 2017, I would probably told you I’m really looking forward to “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” especially when you consider how much I enjoyed the first movie. And after seeing this movie, I’d say I had fun throughout my experience. Although I wouldn’t say I had enough fun to go see the movie again. While this is not my least favorite movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it certainly isn’t my pick to watch on a Friday night at home.

I kind of had a similar experience during this movie to what I had during my time watching “Uncle Drew.” I had a few laughs here and there, but it wasn’t enough. Granted, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” isn’t really a comedy, but those numerous laughs may have been one of the few highlights of my experience. Now with what I just said, I will state, with an enormous smile on my face, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is FAR SUPERIOR to “Uncle Drew.” “Uncle Drew” is not even a movie. To call “Uncle Drew” a movie is pretty much the same as calling Pizza Hut a restaurant. I’d even say calling “Uncle Drew” a movie is pretty much the same as calling Pizza Hut a fast-food restaurant! By the way, drink Pepsi! The Movie Reviewing Moron says that Pepsi is good for you and will help you live longer! Therefore, it just makes sense that Pepsi is good for you and will help you live longer! Also, be sure to enjoy that nice, cool, refreshing Pepsi, while reading my review for “Uncle Drew,” the most ambitious Pepsi commercial of all motherf*cking time!

UNCLE DREW REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/07/02/uncle-drew-2018-worst-pepsi-commercial-ever/

In all seriousness, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” qualifies to me as a movie. I never said however that it qualifies as a good movie. There are elements of goodness sprinkled throughout. It has some decent performances for the most part, especially from Michael Douglas. Some of the action is rather creative and fun, although personally it can’t beat the climactic fight during the first “Ant-Man.” The effects in this movie are really good, and you get to see a lot of them, especially when you consider how big of a role the quantum realm plays. All of the positive elements however are unfortunately clashing with another side of negative elements, ultimately leading to what I would consider a relatively average or mediocre experience.

I know that in comic book movies, suspending your disbelief is not only natural, but expected to the tenth degree. There were many moments where I was able to do that. I almost lost it on a building having wheels, but OK, it could be stranger. There is one moment however towards the end involving Ant-Man trying to jump over a vehicle, that almost looked fake as hell that some student who hasn’t even graduated high school could have created it!

I won’t get too much deeper into that, although I do want to talk about the characterization here. For the most part, everyone on the hero side seems to have some sort of dimension to them. There aren’t many complaints I can point out as far as that side is concerned, but when it comes to our villain side, you have multiple plot lines going on including one involving the security that’s supposed to keep Ant-Man inside his house, and another involving the main antagonist of Ghost. When it comes to Ghost, there wasn’t really much to her character (at first), she came off to me more like a bad guy who just wanted to do bad guy things. She didn’t have the depth or charisma that some of the other recent Marvel villains had. And just when I thought we were starting to get an epic streak of fantastic MCU villains (starting with Guardians 2), we’re suddenly back to this bulls*it. I know a good number of people weren’t particularly fond of Yellow Jacket from the first “Ant-Man,” but to me, Ghost made Yellow Jacket look amazing. I will say towards the end of the film, Ghost improves slightly, but for the most part, she was a lackluster villain.

Let’s talk about Ant-Man here. When it comes to his story, he is placed on house arrest. That is because his actions during the events of “Captain America: Civil War” was enough to be considered a crime. This prevents Ant-Man from exploring the outside world, which allows him to spend more time trying to entertain his daughter in creative ways, and master songs in “Guitar Hero.” I gotta say one of the biggest positives I’ll give Paul Rudd when it comes to his interpretation of Ant-Man, and maybe I should give kudos to the writing and directing as well, is how well encapsulated the chemistry between him and his daughter is. I think that is definitely one of the best parts of this entire movie. Seeing the two go through a cardboard maze at the start of the film seemed to capture that needed sense of togetherness. When it comes to Rudd’s overall performance, I thought it was good for the most part, but there is one scene in particular, where he was rather mother-like, which kind of felt out of place.

Alongside Ant-Man, you of course have the Wasp, played by Evangeline Lilly. I think most of the cool stuff you see with her character, maybe except a few lines of dialogue some might find funny, is already revealed in the promotional material, which ultimately diminishes her character in a sense. Although she was fun to watch in certain action scenes and I totally buy Evangeline Lilly as her character. Her chemistry with Ant-Man, while not exactly a shining star in the movie, doesn’t exactly disappoint.

I already talked about the main antagonist and I do consider her to be one of the major flaws of the movie. When it comes to other problems, I’m gonna blame it on the pacing. I am eighteen years old. Once I walked out of the theater, entered my house, and proceeded to my bedroom to start cranking out this review, I imagined myself as if I were a ten year old kid going to see this movie. After all, a lot of ten year kids probably like superheroes, and maybe if I were that ten year old kid, I might walk out of the movie saying I enjoyed myself, but that’s most likely to be due to seeing superheros on moving pictures projected onto a giant screen. Even if I wanted to fall asleep, I’ll still say I had a good time. My brain can’t process what a bad movie is. Heck, I went to see three live-action “Alvin and the Chipmunks” movies in theaters as a kid and enjoyed them. What kind of person was I? Hint, it rhymes with stupid! When breaking down this movie, I couldn’t help but think to myself that maybe all the pieces in there made sense. But maybe it was a tad more convoluted than it should have been. The pacing overall just felt like speed bumps, and I especially say this specifically when it comes to the halfway point. At one moment you’re kinda sorta enjoying yourself… maybe. Then boom! The boredom kicks in.

And honestly, part of me feels like this movie is not going to be stuck in my memory as much as some of the other Marvel movies unless I watch it again. This might actually be the most forgettable Marvel movie I’ve seen since “Thor: The Dark World,” and that is saying something because that movie is S*IT. This film is nowhere near as objectively terrible as “Thor: The Dark World.” Sure, the villain here is pretty bad, but I still think the villain from “The Dark World” is probably the worst in the MCU. Let’s also not forget (no pun intended) how hard this film tried to be funny. When I watched that movie for review purposes, I might have only laughed twice. Here, I laughed a lot more than I did there. In fact, one thing that surprises me about “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is how much funnier I found it to be than “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” And as I think to myself, I believe the reasoning comes down to one word I had going into “Guardians 2” but lacked for “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” Expectations.

If it were the beginning of 2017, I would have watched the first trailer (not the teaser, but the trailer) to “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” multiple times. I was really looking forward to that film, and part of me thought it was actually going to surpass the original movie because it looked HILARIOUS. But it wasn’t. It wasn’t even that fun. I mean, it was trying to be, but I didn’t feel like I was having fun. I was instead feeling like I was going through a two and a half hour long toy commercial for Baby Groot with attempts at humor that seemed to land with most of the audience, but not me. I will have you know, I watched that movie twice, and the second time I laughed more than the first one. Maybe I was in a better mood the second time because I wasn’t sitting towards the end of the front row of a crowded IMAX, but it just didn’t impress me. Also, my original 6/10 score went down to a 5/10. The first “Ant-Man” was a movie that I thought was one of the funnier ones in the MCU, but the thing about the first “Ant-Man” is that it’s not really marketed to be comedic. OK, maybe it technically is, but it’s more focused on delivering action than anything else. It’s not the full scale balls to the wall action-comedy that “Guardians of the Galaxy” is. Both “Ant-Man” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” are pretty hilarious at times, and you do get the light vibe you might find in certain comedies in the marketing for both films. Although for both films, I didn’t exactly come for the comedy, I came for the action and superhero stuff. This might make the comedy somewhat funnier because you as an audience member don’t expect humor all that much. In fact, this may be why I find “Avengers: Infinity War” to be one of the funniest movies in the MCU and possibly the funniest comic book movie ever made. In a movie that is advertised to be super dark and the exact opposite of happy-go-lucky, a part of you might come in and expect some lightheartedness or comedy to take a back seat. No way hosay! When it’s delivered in that movie, it totally blends in with the moment despite having a story that is meant to be dark. Maybe it’s also because I as an audience member have been following the storyline for the MCU for a long time therefore allowing me to care more about everyone in the film, but it’s just an interesting blend of light and dark. Also, sticking to “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and expectations, let me just remind you that those were something which I lacked prior to and during my experience of watching the movie.

Before we get into my verdict there is one thing I want to go over, and that is the end credits. There is a mid-credits scene and a post-credits scene. The mid-credits scene is more important if you’re a follower of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its overall story. In fact the post-credit scene is probably so pointless that it only exists for the sake of putting on that “Such and such will return” thing at the end of every Marvel movie, but in case you feel that end credits scenes are a necessity to sit through, this is your notification to stay for them. One more thing, I think personally that the mid-credits scene might be better than the entirety of this movie. I felt more emotion (maybe for the most part) for everyone in that scene than I did during “Ant-Man and the Wasp” itself, so that says something right there.

In the end, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is not really up to the quality I would expect for a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. It’s not to say that “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is an abomination, but it’s certainly not a movie I would think about for days. I thought it was more fun than “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” but keep in mind, I had high expectations for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” While there are definitely movies that I thought would blow more than “Ant-Man and the Wasp” would this year, I didn’t think this particular film would be all that great. The trailers underwhelmed me, and it just didn’t have the same epic feel that the first movie’s trailers provided at various points. Would I recommend “Ant-Man and the Wasp?” Despite having some fun here and there, I wouldn’t say rush out immediately, but I do recommend the mid-credits scene. That’s just me though. I’m gonna give “Ant-Man and the Wasp” a 6/10. Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon I’m gonna have my review up for “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation,” I just watched the movie for the second time and I’m gonna be going over my thoughts on it in preparation for the franchise’s new movie coming out on July 27th, “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” Stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Ant-Man and the Wasp?” What did you think about it? Or, which of the two “Ant-Man” movies do you like better? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

A Wrinkle In Time (2018): 2018’s Most Ambitious Flop?

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Before we get into my thoughts about “A Wrinkle In Time,” I just want to say that this movie is distributed and produced by Disney. This company, as you may know, relies a lot on making entertainment catered towards a family-friendly demographic. Pretty soon, a couple will probably be going to see more of these movies. After all, they are having a kid. This couple by the way goes by the names of Paul and Genevieve. Their journey to conception, while extended, may have been worth the time in the long run. This is all explained… in “What the IVF?!”

“What the IVF?” is a new series on YouTube currently cranking out short videos starring the recently mentioned couple. This goes over the two’s miseries and joys of having a baby, that is, before actually having a baby. The two encounter struggles in sex, exams, decisions, money, math, and how many needles was that again? Oh, right, too many! You can find the latest episodes from “WTIVF?” on their YouTube channel, such as the one above! This latest episode starts off from where the last one ends, and it explains the couple’s PGD results. Not only that, but it also goes into a mystical way to break a curse the couple assumes is upon them. Be sure to subscribe to the “What the IVF?” YouTube and ring the bell! Also, be sure to check out these two on other forms of social media, along with the show’s very own website! All of the links are below, and be sure to tell them that Jack Drees sent ya over!

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

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

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

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

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

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“A Wrinkle In Time” is directed by Ava DuVernay (Selma, Middle of Nowhere) and stars Storm Reid (12 Years A Slave, Sleight), Oprah Winfrey (The Oprah Winfrey Show, Lee Daniels’ The Butler), Reese Witherspoon (Big Little Lies, Wild), Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project, The Office), with Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover, The LEGO Batman Movie), and Chris Pine (Star Trek, Wonder Woman). This movie is based on a book of the same name written by Madeleine L’Engle and revolves around a girl by the name of Meg Murry. She and her brother are one day sent into space by three odd life forms on a journey to find their father (Chris Pine) through a CGI infested adventure.

When it comes to most of the movies I’m reviewing in 2018 that are listed as official movies to have come out in that particular year, there is a good chance that I’ve seen that specific movie in theaters. As far as “A Wrinkle In Time” goes, that’s not the case. In fact, since I’ve seen this as late as I have, that will probably make this review a lot more interesting. Upon some research, this movie has some interesting history. This is the second attempt Disney is making of creating their own version of “A Wrinkle In Time.” The first attempt didn’t work out so well, and apparently neither did this one. According to Wikipedia, this movie is labeled as a “box office bomb” while at the same time, being the first film directed by an African-American woman to earn a total of over $100 million domestically. Unfortunately for the movie, it couldn’t even make its $250 million budget back because it ended up earning $132 million worldwide. And you know what? This movie should have been better than it was. Because everybody’s raving about female empowerment nowadays, which is something some praise “A Wrinkle In Time” for, but to me, it’s all surrounded in one gigantic CGI mess of a movie.

Now with that being said, I will give some credit and say that the CGI in this movie for the most part is not half bad. There are times where I really feel like I’m looking at a super obvious green screen, but for the most part, I can’t complain. It’s colorful, and it works. A little over-saturated at times, but nevertheless, it works. In fact, in some ways, this might be the CGI that some would come to expect for a movie whose target audience is in the family and children demographic. Did I mention the word colorful?

As much as this movie may look good on a screen, in fact, this is one of the only real compliments I can give to “A Wrinkle In Time,” the real problems come with some of the writing, sometimes the directing, and the acting.

As I watched this film, I gave credit to some of the neat shots that line up all of what’s fresh and necessary in the frame. If this film were silent, I may have enjoyed it more, but if you consider maybe some of the music or characters talking, that enjoyment would have ultimately been taken away. There is one shot and scene that lines up together that could have totally worked, but it’s ultimately ruined by some f*cking pop song. I suddenly go from watching this movie that’s supposed to have an interesting story, and now I’ve suddenly transitioned into a music video. What the f*ck?!

I mean, seriously! This is an adventure movie! I don’t even think I can come up with one single place that even requires a pop song that would add more value to the film as a whole! Can you seriously imagine what would happen if “Harry Potter” were playing some song like Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” during a Quidditch match? People would riot! I may be cheating here with this comment, only because this regards a franchise whose books I haven’t read, not to mention whose movies I haven’t watched, but I felt like I was watching “Fifty Shades of Grey” because I hear those movies are full of random pop songs everywhere!

Let’s talk about the writing in this film. While this screenplay definitely progresses from the beginning point to the final point, it’s just a bit predictable. Sure, it’s a movie for kids and families, so maybe that’s a somewhat forgivable statement. Although having seen the trailers, I could almost predict where this movie was going to go from start to finish. While I wasn’t entirely right, I certainly had the proper ideas. And I feel like part of why this movie may have been on the more predictable or formulaic side is because it just has that Disney sort of flair to it. It’s a Disney movie! It has to be kid friendly! It has to have that chart used for all of the recent films made by Disney! In fact one of the writers for this movie goes by the name of Jennifer Lee, whose writing credits on IMDb are all for Disney products, including one of my least favorite animations of the decade, “Frozen.” Granted, she wrote “Zootopia” and “Wreck it Ralph,” I gotta give her credit where it’s due. But it just felt like this product from her just comes off as a studio film. As I saw this name attached to this project, it made the film feel a tad less inspired. Then again I wasn’t there, so I may be jumping to conclusions too quickly. Ava DuVernay, the director behind this film, is a competent director. She did a great job on “Selma.” Although I think she could have done better here. Although one of the faults of the movie is that Duvernay has to work on a script that just didn’t really seem that interesting. I was kinda bored at times, I’ll be honest. Maybe it was because I watched this movie on a plane, but still.

Speaking of writing problems, as I watched this film on the plane, I turned on closed captioning in order to fully grasp what was being said. I wouldn’t have done the same at home because there I would probably get more peace and quiet, you have a lot of noise on the plane that could potentially ruin the experience. This allowed me to see something… interesting to say the least.

The movie’s lead character, Meg Murry, has a mother who possesses a Doctorate. When I watched this movie I put on closed captioning to enhance the experience and suddenly I hear Reese Witherspoon’s character refer to Meg’s mother as Dr. Murry, which according to Wikipedia, is the correct way to refer to that particular character. But in the closed captioning, I actually rewound the footage to make sure I wasn’t seeing things, it apparently refers to the character as Mrs. Murry.

OK? Is this is Disney’s fault? A screenwriter’s fault? Someone who was a major part of post-production’s fault? Maybe it’s JetBlue’s fault? I don’t really know. But I’m just glad to say that this isn’t Spirit Airlines’s fault. I’m kinda curious to buy the DVD or wait for this to become free on Amazon Prime or something to know if this is a JetBlue thing or a movie thing. And if it’s a movie thing, that’s not even my biggest problem with it, I gotta say the pop music takes the cake for that.

Let’s talk about the characters in “A Wrinkle In Time,” starting with our main hero, Storm Reid’s Meg Murry. I honestly can’t really say that Meg was that interesting of a character. Sure, she’s kinda smart and all, but there are some times where I just felt like I checked out for a minute because she didn’t seem to pop or she’d make a choice that I’d think would feel out of place for a main hero. Honestly, at this point, I’m starting to forget a lot about this movie. Part of it has to do with having to make two other movie reviews recently and putting one special post I’ve been making on hiatus. Did I not mention it was just uninteresting to watch? I didn’t hate Meg Murry in this movie, but nothing stood out about her except maybe her intelligence. I mean, I guess for this movie and character, that’s better than saying her body, but she wasn’t really that interesting.

When it comes to Meg’s kinda sorta brother (he’s adopted), nothing really stood out about him either. I SORT OF bought the chemistry between Meg and Charles Wallace (middle), which if you watch the movie, that’s the way he’s referred to. His character probably had the same dimension as Meg, however he’s just a bit more quirky. There’s not even much of anything I’m really enthusiastic about when it comes to him. Although there’s one time where he says “Shut up, Meg,” which made me think of “Family Guy.”

Moving onto our weirdos in the movie, we have Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey). These names don’t even justify the weirdness of some of these characters, which I can tell is something that the movie was going for. After all, just look at them! They all look like what would happen when aliens try to dress themselves up as female versions of… uh… I dunno, let’s go with… Elvis Presley… Michael Jackson… and… I’m not even sure at this point, let’s just go with Forest Whitaker. Out of these three characters/mentors, the one I found most interesting was probably Oprah’s character of Mrs. Which. I say that because these are all supposed to be some sort of mentor figure, and Mrs. Which was probably the most mentor-like out of all of them. She tries to empower the heroes in a way that you may expect, and it works. Mrs. Who speaks only in quotes, which kind of got on my nerves after a while. But then again, it’s probably because I didn’t like Mindy Kaling in that one Xfinity commercial she did so maybe I’m overreacting. I’ll be honest though, and I say this personally, if I were to have a mentor who only spoke in quotes from other people, that would be diminishing overall, because that mentor would only be speaking another person’s words. Sure, we have tons of great people in our society that may have been built off of the shoulders of giants, but the important thing about becoming a better person is being yourself. You know, unless you’re an asshole. And honestly, when it comes to Reese Witherspoon’s character of Mrs. Whatsit, I think this was a waste of her talent, not to mention my time. Witherspoon won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a Primetime Emmy, and has taken on a wide range of roles in both film and television. Taking all of that into consideration, it just made me go crazy. I wonder if Witherspoon was even trying, maybe it’s a result of bad directing that probably went more towards trying to get the best shots as opposed to the best performances. After all, it’s a Disney movie set for a late Winter release, who f*cking cares about “A Wrinkle In Time?”

The best character in the movie to me however has to be Meg’s father, Dr. Alexander Murry, played by Chris Pine. I haven’t seen all of Chris Pine’s work, but this to me definitely showcases his talent. In fact, in a movie that’s full of uninteresting characters and somewhat tolerable (maybe) performances, Chris Pine is a bright spot here. In fact, that’s why his character is my favorite, because out of everyone in this movie, maybe except Charles Wallace, he shows the most emotion. I doubt “A Wrinkle In Time” is gonna get any kind of recognition at the Academy Awards, but Chris Pine definitely gave the best performance in this movie, and made me care slightly more about what was going on.

I haven’t even gotten into the worst character of the movie though. Out of everyone, I gotta say that the thing that made this movie the biggest waste of my time is the character of Calvin, played by Levi Miller. I found him to be rather cliche, much like a lot of the other characters, and nothing was a shining star when it came to Calvin. But the worst thing to me about Calvin is the chemistry (or lack thereof) between him and Meg. I’m not gonna go into too much detail, but this is one of those connections that just feels forced and has no reason to exist other than spice things up, which ultimately doesn’t end up happening on my end because I never asked for this.

In the end, I wasted my time watching “A Wrinkle In Time.” I will say that the experience could have definitely been worse… I could have had to pay for it. I will say again, I watched the movie on a plane, and this was one of the free movies I was able to choose from. But if I were to watch this movie again, that would be amazing. I never read the book to “A Wrinkle In Time.” Maybe the book is better than the movie, but nevertheless, I just found myself uninterested, bored, and going through something that seemed somewhat familiar. I’m gonna give “A Wrinkle In Time” a 5/10. Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon I’ll have my review up for “Ant Man and the Wasp,” be sure to stay tuned for that, and if you want to know how you might be able to save some money at the movies, you’re in luck! Be sure to click the link down below to find out more about AMC’s new A-List program exclusively for Stubs members! Also, be sure to follow me here on Scene Before through WordPress or through your email so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “A Wrinkle In Time?” What did you think about it? Did you read the book? Tell me what you thought about that! Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

AMC Introduces A-List Program For Stubs Members: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/06/25/amc-introduces-a-list-program-for-stubs-members-is-this-a-good-deal/

Uncle Drew (2018): Worst Pepsi Commercial Ever

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“Uncle Drew,” otherwise known as my latest near death experience is “directed” by Charles Stone III (Mr. 3000, Drumline) and stars Kyrie Irving, Lil Rel Howrey, Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, Erica Ash, JB Smoove, Mike Epps, with Tiffany Haddish and Nick Kroll. This “film” is about a character named Dax who doesn’t play basketball anymore due to a personally embarrassing moment that happened to him as a youngster. However, he’s not done with the sport in its entirety, because he still finds fun in coaching. One day, he convinces the legendary Uncle Drew to play basketball one more time, thus helping him win a tournament along with Drew’s squad. I’ll be completely honest with you, I’m actually getting a headache as I write this description. That’s what this movie did to me! YOU DID THIS, MOVIE!

Upon research, I managed to find out that the character of Uncle Drew is actually not an original character made for this very film. Turns out this is based on an episodic web-series which also stars Kyrie Irving. As I found out on IMDb, this web series was originally conceived by Pepsi. That’s right. Pepsi. You know, that thing that Cindy Crawford hypnotized people to drink? Yeah, that one! When I watched this movie and I saw that Pepsi was actually a producer of the film in the opening credits, I thought the sky was falling. NO! THIS IS REAL! AND NOW I KNOW THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR YEARS! And this is probably the biggest negative I have with this movie, it’s not a movie, it’s a commercial. There are a few movies that work as commercials I’ve seen. Movies like “The Internship,” “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” and I may be cheating since I haven’t seen this but I know a good number of people like “The Wizard,” which if you break it down is essentially a commercial for Nintendo. The sad thing is, when it comes to all of the product placement, and trust me, there is A LOT, of Pepsi in this movie or any product made by Pepsico, none of it stands out as funny, entertaining, anything like that. People give a lot of flak towards movies like “Transformers: Age of Extinction” for having lots of product placement and coming off more like a commercial than anything else. At least in that, you get a rather badass scene with Bud Light. It’s forced, in some cases it may be considered cringeworthy, but it just makes you want to crack a drink open with force. So, I’m gonna be doing something special for this review…

This review is unofficially sponsored by Pepsi!

Drink it!

Share it!

Love it!

And most importantly… shake it to play a prank on your friend who will eventually open it and get delightful taste of Pepsi all over their precious pants!

Now back to the review, had I known that this movie is not completely original and partially responsible because of Pepsi, I may have possibly enjoyed it just a bit more. Not to mention, maybe if I were a different person with a different mindset, that could contribute as well. This movie is being advertised towards maybe a couple audiences. These audiences are probably really into basketball, maybe know what the character of Uncle Drew is, and maybe they’re black. As I bought my ticket for this movie at the box office, I recall being the first person to possess a ticket based on the seating options. That didn’t last, you know, like the good old-fashioned Pepsi everybody seems to be drinkin’ because it just tastes so freakin’ good. When I entered the theater however, I was the first one in, and I thought to myself I was gonna get to watch the movie alone, in silence. Oh how awesome that would have been. Instead, I get a lot of people laughing. And you know what? It’s fine. It’s a comedy, it’s expected, not to mention encouraged. Although there were some people, this includes someone a couple seats away from me, who seemed to laugh at just about everything that was on screen. Now I am not revoking their right to laugh, but they are either easily impressed or have a completely different sense of humor than I. Either that or they drank enough Pepsi to enjoy the movie! Out of everyone in the auditorium, I probably was the most out of place person there. I was the only one of a few people who actually happened to be white in the theater. Oh, there were like, three people around me who I can see using their phones during points of the film. If this was out of absolute boredom, than something like this is understandable, but for the sake of a theater environment that doesn’t associate with chaos, would putting the phone away really be that hard?

Let’s talk about some of the characters in “Uncle Drew.” They all suck. They don’t drink enough Pepsi in the movie!

In all seriousness, let’s talk about Dax, played by Lil Del Howery. If this movie as a whole were a tad more competent, I would honestly like Dax better. Because the movie does try at making him looking like a lot is being taken away from him. And you know what? I almost feel bad for him. Although at the same time, I feel like the main thing that I’m supposed to feel bad about concerning him is just one enormous overreaction. Dax gets a shot blocked and loses a game. That was one time. Apparently the fact that the blocker was a white guy makes it extra embarrassing. Maybe in some ways, this kinda makes sense, but wow. I feel bad for him, and makes me hate the crowd of people against them, because they’re a mob against him for a reason having to with something so minor. Maybe I’m overreacting, maybe I have to pump the hate brakes, but I feel like some people in this movie are just mean-spirited to the point of annoyance. You know they need? Pepsi!

PEPSI IS THE CURE TO F*CKING EVERYTHING!

Kyrie Irving is one of the many basketball stars in this film, and it is clear that maybe he wanted to do this film more than anybody else. I do buy him as this elderly, wise man. I will admit, as much as I didn’t enjoy this movie as a whole, I thought Irving’s character was definitely one of the stronger highlights. I didn’t expect grade A range acting from him, nor should I. He did a fine job given his stance in the realm of acting. In this movie, I’ll give some credit and say that Irving at times is kind of funny, but the problem with his character, much like some others in the film, is that it’s not funny enough for me to exactly recall what was funny about them. It’s not like it’s “Anchorman” where you recall Ron Burgundy is funny because he said things such as “Go f*ck yourself, San Diego.” Then again, it’s comedy, it’s art, it’s subjective. And my subjective thoughts towards this movie is that it just didn’t do much of anything except chop my head off.

Let’s talk about Shaq in this movie. This guy has had quite a lifetime. He’s been in the NBA for a very long time, won a few championships, made albums, movies, appeared on TV in several shows and commercials, and even has the pleasure of making a fighting game that even he realizes was terrible. Yeah, he made a game called “Shaq Fu” which released in 1994 for multiple platforms. This is highly regarded as one of the worst video games ever made. And somehow it recently got a sequel which is currently pumping out downloadable content, including a piece containing former president Barack Obama! Not to mention, I’m not alone on this sort of thing, but I consider him to be one of the funniest basketball players on the planet. And since this is a comedy with Shaq in it, you expect him to deliver the goods. And it’s just a f*cking shame that the movie wastes this guy! I could tell Shaq was trying, but it didn’t feel like the aspect of trying lifted through all the way. This could have been a result due to bad direction, lackluster writing, maybe a combination of those two things. Either way, Shaq is not funny here. The first scene of Shaq is him teaching martial arts, which funny enough, is kind of what he does in “Shaq Fu.” That was one of the only memorable parts of not just Shaq in the movie, but the movie itself. And that’s most likely because a part of me was going “Oh, it’s Shaq! Can’t wait to see what he does!”

*hands planted on cheeks* My gosh, I need a Pepsi.

Oh, and you know what? I have not even gotten to the absolute biggest piece of s*it this movie has! This movie takes a second to turn into every single animated movie that is trying to sell an album! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… THE MOST. POINTLESS. DANCE SEQUENCE. IN HISTORY!

You know how a lot of people don’t like “Spider-Man 3?” For those of you who don’t know, part of the endless reasons some people dislike that movie has to do with a song and dance sequence in a jazz club. I gotta say, at least that sequence helped a bit in telling us the current state of Peter Parker’s character, at least that sort of helped with the movie’s overall story. This sequence, it feels like it was just done for s*its and giggles. I never thought I’d say this, but this scene makes “The Emoji Movie” look like “Back to the Future!” Who ever thought I’d need to use “The Emoji Movie” as the positive in a comparison JUST UNDER A YEAR AFTER IT RELEASED?! Seriously! This is an actual quote from my “Emoji Movie” review!

“The Emoji Movie” is nothing but a rip off of better animations, a s*itty idea which became a s*itty movie, and a poorly written, anger-inducing f*ckpile of a film created by a bunch of c*cksucking jackasses that just want to capitialize on a trend!”

To have a comparison like this is a true feat! Because around the halfway point in “The Emoji Movie,” there’s this sequence that’s basically trying to promote “Just Dance.” And it’s just abysmal! But, at the same time, for the very few people who would be invested in the story, our “heroes” have to run away from particular enemies who are also in the area. To get to their destination, part of it involves dancing. It’s full of cringe, but at least if you actually have the urge to care, you can root for the heroes to make it to where they need to go! The dance sequence here isn’t really trying to promote a song (at least I hope that’s the case), but it just doesn’t feel like it has a place in this movie! You could literally remove this entire sequence and it would make NO DIFFERENCE on the overall product! This movie is an hour and forty-three minutes long. This dance sequence can be removed and still provide a decent runtime! WHAT WAS THAT FOR?! Listen to me movie! You’re “Uncle Drew,” not “Family Guy,” you’re not getting a giant chicken to fight some dumbass on the streets! That doesn’t work for you! Just focus! And you know what? I guess if you’re going to this movie just to laugh, maybe this sequence might ultimately work for you. That is, if you’re not me. I was watching this scene, imagining how much better it would be to put a gun on my head, while everybody else was just dying laughing. I probably died too. Maybe after imagining what it would be like to take that gun on my head and kill myself. But if I just drank more Pepsi I think I would have been just fine!

In the end, “Uncle Drew” is worse than Coca-Cola on its best day! Pepsi rules! “Uncle Drew” is a very unfunny comedy which ultimately says something about this year’s movies, because there’s one comedy that I saw this year, that was actually worse than this. This is almost my worst movie of the year so far. If it hadn’t been for a few laughs then I really would have pulled out all the stops, push people out of the way at the theater, demand a refund on my food, drink, and ticket, and call the news about the plague this movie is bound to spread. Let me just tell you something. One of my favorite drinks is Diet Pepsi. Having seen this movie, it almost made me never want to buy another Pepsi product again. While this personally isn’t my worst movie of the year overall, it is certainly the worst I’ve seen in terms of product placement. Also, I would like to congratulate this movie for something.

This possibly made the extended video with Kendall Jenner promoting world peace the 2ND worst Pepsi ad of all time! Congrats, “Uncle Drew!” I’m gonna give “Uncle Drew” a Pepsi/10, whoops! I mean, I’m gonna give it a 2/10! There, that’s better! Thanks for reading this commercialized review! Be sure to go out to your local grocer and buy yourself some Pepsi! The Movie Reviewing Moron’s personal choice of beverage to drink to make him forget about “Uncle Drew.” You know, because bleach is a bit extreme. I do have another review coming up, and it is for a movie that I’m honestly surprised at the amount of people who went out to watch it when it was in theaters (or lack thereof). That movie is “A Wrinkle In Time,” so be sure to stay tuned for my thoughts on that! I want to know, did you see “Uncle Drew?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite Pepsi product? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks, and have a Pepsi day!

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (2018): A Reminder of an Unfulfilled Childhood *SPOILERS*

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“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is directed by Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom, The Music of Strangers) and stars Joanne Rogers, Betty Aberlin, McColm Cephas Jr., François Scarborough Clemmons, Yo-Yo Ma, Kailyn Davis, Joe Negri, David Newell and is a look behind the curtain of the life of Fred Rogers. If you don’t know that name, then you aren’t familiarized with children’s television programming from the 1960s or 1970s.

Going into “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” it was one of my most anticipated films of the year. I don’t traditionally review documentaries, I don’t usually watch documentaries, but this one, regardless of my intentions to review it, felt special on paper. I never had a childhood, for what I remember, where I was exposed to Mr. Rogers on television. To my knowledge, not many people today have that either. With today’s kids it’s mostly “Paw Patrol” or other things that happen to be similar to that. I remember my grandmother singing the theme to “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” as she was watching over me from time to time however. But watching “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” taught me the absolute specialty of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” which not only made me realize how great the documentary was, which by the way, it is, GO SEE IT NOW, but made me think that my childhood may have been… really s*itty.

Don’t get me wrong, my childhood was awesome. I went on several getaways, I went to amusement parks, I went to all sorts of malls, I enjoyed time with friends, but watching “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” would have probably taught me something I needed to know more. To be specific, the need to be nice to others. I was a stupid kid in elementary school (for the most part), I did a lot of things I really shouldn’t have done, and ultimately regret. Part of it almost makes me hate my life. While the movie tries to set a counterargument that maybe Fred Rogers made some kids feel more entitled than they need to be, I think that I would have had a better childhood if that were in my life, maybe even a better life in general. Let me tell you what I watched in my childhood. I watched “Power Rangers,” a flashy live-action hyper-mania f*ckstravaganza with explosions and people screaming for the sake of making noise. I watched all sorts of things that are based on “Hot Wheels” cars, which had tons of replay value, but I was more into racing than I was into inserting any kind of real world events into my head. I watched the newer seasons of “Spongebob Squarepants.” WHAT WAS I THINKING?! Granted in my preschool years, I watched some decent content regarding that age group, such as “Blue’s Clues” or “Dora the Explorer,” but as far as I recall, there was probably NOTHING like Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. It takes a concept that may sound corny, but kind of works! You have this guy who is on a low-budget set, with low-budget props, and has a show shot on low-budget film equipment (at least for some time), and lets people, although mainly children, know they are special the way they are. What really sets Mr. Rogers apart from other people in children’s television is his raw charm. You know how in religion there is one figure that everyone is guided to be? In this case, Mr. Rogers basically combines religion with the real world. I’m not gonna give my religious beliefs away, because that’s not exactly what I intended to do here on WordPress or Scene Before, but let’s just say, if I were a hardcore Christian and saw this movie having no idea who Mr. Rogers was, I’d say he’s quite possibly the closest person to qualify as the second-coming of Jesus.

In fact, to some people’s minds, they’d disagree, because Rogers was essentially someone who opened up his heart and loved everyone. Straight. Gay. Bi. White. Black. Young. Old. Boy. Girl. You name it. He was someone that just wanted to spread positivity, happiness, anything that associates with being a joyous person. This movie goes into detail about how some people were against Mr. Rogers for telling children they were special, saying that it either goes against traditional values or makes them bratty. Honestly, if I were a kid, being told that I’m special or a joy to have in this world would be amazing. Being told I’m a failure would only lower my confidence, not to mention my will to live. Handing down the necessary joy of life, no matter if it’s being given to a child who can take care of themselves or somebody else, is a pretty important task for parents or guardians to take on. Mr. Rogers almost comes off as if he is the ultimate parent. He’s very calm, he’s inviting, and he wants to hear what children have to say. In fact, a good number of the stories we consume nowadays happen to be stories of good vs. evil. I’m not saying these people are evil or anything, but to say that someone can’t be anything is wrong and diminishing on so many levels. Now if your kid tells you they want to be the world’s nastiest destroyer then that’s a different story, but if your kid wants to be something that can shed something positive, light, or joy in the world, you might as well help in getting them to their goal by supporting them, listening to them, and guiding them.

When it comes to the overall goal of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” it tries to make Mr. Rogers look like the definition of a role model and a hint of guidance, and I’d say the movie did its job. Along the way, the movie tells the highlights of Rogers’ life, this includes “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” (of course), his sitcom “Old Friends… New Friends,” and how he broke ground in aspects regarding children’s television and the way we look at others. Mr. Rogers was a lifelong Republican, not to mention an ordained minister for a church. This guy was doing television in the 1960s and the 1970s, and for a guy to be doing something such as telling people it’s OK gay to be gay, not to mention sharing that statement to an audience alongside someone who actually is gay, is ballsy given both his background and the time which he lived. But he did it, and I appreciate the dude for it.

Speaking of ballsy, as the documentary went on, I discovered that Rogers really pushed the limits on children’s television without exactly coming off as dark. He talked to children about death! He talked about divorce! He’s basically a televised therapist that everybody didn’t need to travel outside their house every few months to see. I have divorced parents, and when they were separated, I went to a therapist to talk about my life during that sort of time, and I didn’t really feel so good. It’s hard to talk about, no matter who you are. But no matter the difficulty, Mr. Rogers was able to talk about it!

One of the best quotes I’ve heard in the movie, is something I can’t say word for word only because I’m not sure how it goes piece by piece, but it goes something like this:

“I believe silence is one of the greatest gifts we have.” -Fred Rogers

I can associate with that quote with just about any part of my life. I have sensitive ears, so therefore, I’m not fond of loud noises. I enjoy my alone time, I’m not saying having friends sucks, but I really admire alone time. I even grew to know that just because a movie is big and loud, doesn’t make it good. It can be good from being big and loud. A large number of movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for example are explosive and can still maintain a feel of intelligence (for the most part), but some movies like those in the Michael Bay “Transformers” franchise can sometimes make you feel stupid because it’s nothing but noise. Silence can allow you to concentrate, dissect, and sometimes keep an audience in suspense. What Mr. Rogers was able to do with a show that the more I think about it, can associate with something such as peace and quiet, makes him all the more admirable.

Also, considering how nice and joyous Mr. Rogers presented himself both on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and in real life, I always think to myself, there’s nobody like him. Although one comment from an interviewee truly caught my attention, and it’s because he said the opposite of what I said. And maybe he’s right. This may not count for everyone, but for a number of people, we are all trying to be nice, a role model, and have a positive attitude. Rogers embodies all of those things. There aren’t really many people that *I* can think of that rank alongside Rogers in that sort of way. The closest I can think of are a few people such as Bill Nye, Curtis Armstrong (I’m biased here), and Robert Carradine (again, I’m biased). This documentary taught me that we need more people like Mr. Rogers. Maybe someone watching this will say that they want to be more like him, maybe they’ll say they had a life more like his, and if they’re like me, they’ll say they want to have a childhood with Mr. Rogers. As someone who thought the live-action “Alvin and the Chipmunks” movie was entertaining as a kid, I want the kid version of me to have Mr. Rogers to in their life to make them realize how wrong I was for thinking such a thing.

In the end, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is one of the most amazing pieces of art I’ve witnessed not only this year, but this entire decade. It might even be in the conversation of possibly being my favorite documentary ever. I haven’t seen too many of them, I’ve seen a good number, but not a lot of them were epic. I must say, this was not epic. This was beyond words one could ever think of. I know that as a guy it makes people like me look like a wuss to cry at the movies, but from scene one, my eyes were watering. And I held all my tears in, but if I were Sadness from Pixar’s “Inside Out,” this would have been the most defining experience of my entire life. “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is not just a reminder of the awesome person that Mr. Rogers is, it’s a reminder to be a decent human being, not to mention a reminder to be the best person you can be. I’m gonna give “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” a 10/10. Thanks for reading this review! Pretty soon I’m gonna have a couple more reviews coming up, such as my thoughts on “Uncle Drew,” and also my thoughts on “A Wrinkle In Time.” Be sure to stay tuned for those articles and more great content! I want to know, did you see “Won’t You Be My Neighbor??” What did you think about it? Or, did you grow up knowing the name Mr. Rogers? If so, can you tell me a bit about that? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Deadpool 2 (2018): X-Men Origins: Peter *SOME FOUL LANGUAGE, SPOILERS IF YOU LIKE MOVIE REFERENCES*

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Before we dive into this “Deadpool 2” review, I should have you know that I am actually writing this review on vacation. You might be asking these two questions:

QUESTION 1: “Jack, why are you taking a vacation? You don’t deserve a vacation! I want more content out of your blog! I’m your overlord! Why aren’t you listening?”
QUESTION 2: “Jack, you’re on vacation, why are you doing this? Just enjoy yourself! Doesn’t blogging get in the way of your relaxation!”

I have a couple answers. To specify, I have one for the first question and another for both questions.

ANSWER 1: My latest piece of content here was published during this exact vacation, so f*ck you.
ANSWER 2: No, blogging is not getting in the way of my vacation, I intended on blogging no matter what people think.

Nevetheless, the powers of my creative juices are flowing and I’m willing to deliver some great content! Speaking of which, you may be asking, where am I vacationing? The answer, Walt Disney World, and I must say, this place has tons of kids. One place that will be getting more kids is the US state of California. A couple by the name of Paul and Genevieve are currently expecting, and to add in another piece to the puzzle, they live in California. their journey to reach this point however, was one through hell. This is all explained… in “What the IVF?!”

“What the IVF?” is a relatively new series on YouTube starring the recently mentioned couple, Paul and Genevieve. This series documents everything up to the duo’s journey to conception, and unfortunately for them, it wasn’t all that pretty. Actually, I take that back, it was pretty. I’d say it’s pretty terrifying! The two encounter unfortunate realities in sex, tests, appointments, and scary things that are smaller and less attractive than the Seattle Space Needle. You can find the latest “WTIVF?” content on the series’s dedicated YouTube channel. One such example is their latest episode, where as the title says, the two try EVERYTHING. I think that’s just amazing, because the two didn’t try bungee jumping. SPOILER ALERT! Be sure to subscribe to the “WTIVF?” YouTube channel, check out their website, and visit their other social media pages! All the links are listed below, so please check them out! Also be sure to tell them that Jack Drees sent ya over!

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

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

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

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“Deadpool 2” is directed by David Leitch (Atomic Blonde, John Wick) and stars Ryan Reynolds (Green Lantern, The Hitman’s Bodyguard), Morena Baccarin (Firefly, Gotham), Josh Brolin (Avengers: Infinity War, No Country For Old Men), Zazie Beetz (Atlanta, Geostorm), Terry Crews (The Expendables, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), Lewis Tan (Into the Badlands, Iron Fist), TJ Miller (Silicon Valley, The Emoji Movie), and Rob Delaney (Catastrophe, Burning Love). From the asshats of a studio known as Twentieth Century Fox, known for making pieces of trash including “Snatched,” “Fantastic Four” (make your choice on that one), “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked,” “Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise,” and “Freddy Got Fingered,” comes their latest attempt at not trying to f*ck up the character of Deadpool. The movie “Deadpool 2” is about Wade Wilson, who is trying to form a team of mutants in order to protect a boy from the evil Cable.

This review, at least to me, is rather overdue. “Deadpool 2” was released on the third weekend of May this year. I REALLY wanted to see this a lot earlier than I did, but hey, I finally witnessed what I’ve been missing all this time. Apparently “I Feel Pretty,” a movie dedicated to a completely different audience and one that didn’t even get many great reviews, was a much more important task to take on during “Deadpool 2’s” opening weekend. I didn’t even see “Book Club” around that time, a much more recent release and something more people were talking about at that point. Let me just say, I’m an idiot, but at least I’m smart enough to know that. The point is, part of me regrets not seeing this movie earlier. And I say this regardless of my ultimate thoughts.

“Deadpool 2” is one of my most anticipated movies of the year, BY FAR one of the best marketed movies I’ve ever seen, and I’ve had positive thoughts delivered to me from people I know. Any movie that embraces the fact that they’re from the studio that brought you “27 Dresses” is a movie that you know is going to be good. In stores like Walmart, to promote the new movie, Fox released special slipcovers to some of their older movies, including some in the X-Men universe, where “Deadpool” is photobombing! Not to mention, this is a sequel to one of my favorite movies of 2016. When I did my top 10 list at the end of the year, “Deadpool” made it to my top 5. I loved the humor, the action, Ryan Reynolds’s performance, the overall script, and the fourth wall breaking. I was, naturally, very excited for the sequel as time passed. I mean, why wouldn’t I be? In a day and age where we are saturated with comic book movies and superhero movies, the IP of “Deadpool” in the realm of film delivers a breath of fresh air in ways. I was really looking forward to this movie, and as far as my response to it, I gotta say this was absolutely worth my time. Now I will say, like most sequels, this installment doesn’t surpass the original. However, it does what a sequel should do. It manages to maintain a similar feel to the original film while still effectively continuing the journey of the characters we care about. All the interesting and lovable characters, Wade, Vanessa, Weasel, Blind Al, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Colossus, Dopinder, they’re back, and they have not turned to s*it! They’re all funny, charming, and raw. That last one may be a bit of stretch, but regarding the universe which this movie takes place, everything just felt like it fell into place. You’ve even got some FANTASTIC new characters, a couple who by the way we will eventually get to.

Without revealing enormous details to this movie, “Deadpool 2” is told in such an interesting manner that just makes it more enjoyable than it would be if it were told in other fashions. Deadpool narrates throughout and just makes it a thrilling experience of a film. After some serious thoughts, I gotta declare Ryan Reynolds an official utter god of narration. Congrats, Ryan Reynolds! You have officially joined the ranks with people like Morgan Freeman, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and William Shatner as the official gods of narration. I will say though, Ryan, if you’re reading this post, this will not make everyone forget about “Green Lantern.” This story is told in a somewhat similar way to how the first one was told, but with some differences in the mix. I don’t see it as unoriginal, I think it’s one of the most effective ways a story such as the one “Deadpool 2” provides can be told, so well done!

Speaking of things that are well done, this movie contains a number of references to things you may know from pop culture. If you are trying to go into this movie completely blind and you don’t want to know a SINGLE SOLITARY THING THIS MOVIE REFERENCES, either skip over this list or leave the post. Keep in mind, these are not the exact references, these are just properties that has some sort of reference in the film.

Some references include:

  • Top Gun
  • Say Anything
  • My Little Pony
  • Other Marvel properties
  • Passion of the Christ
  • Bambi
  • The Lion King
  • Saw VII
  • The DC Universe, and Batman
  • John Wick
  • Fox & Friends
  • The Human Centipede
  • The Terminator
  • The Goonies

I like all of these references, and I even gotta say that a number of them were possibly better than some of the references in another movie I watched this year, “Ready Player One,” which is amazing, because some would argue that movie is sort of built around references.

Let’s talk about Wade Wilson. I’ll say, even if the alter ego of “Deadpool” weren’t a thing, I gotta go ahead and say that I would love to hang out with Mr. Wilson himself. And part of it has to do with, much like in the first movie, Ryan Reynolds’s overall performance as the character. If I had to think about the best superhero interpretation of all time, although in this case it’s more of an anti-hero, Ryan Reynolds’s Deadpool would certainly be in the conversation. He just takes a character which on paper, is already funny enough, takes it, and applies “awesome cream” to it. Two movies in, Ryan Reynolds has nailed the character to the tenth degree that at this point, I can’t imagine any other actor playing the character of Deadpool. Seriously, watch this movie, or the first one for that matter, and you can’t imagine someone else on screen saying “Is there a motherf*cking tub somewhere?! This f*cked-up unicorn needs a f*cking bath! Seriously! I’ll put this bitchface somewhere! For f*ck’s sake! It needs to be inside of something and I can’t take it to Cher because apparently I now have a restraining order from her! And no, don’t say take the unicorn to Stan Lee! That guy’s a c*ck! He didn’t sign my f*cking comic book!”

Next up, we have Morena Baccarin’s character of Vanessa, and over the past couple of years, this character has truly grown on me. Part of it may be because I’m a straight, white, hormonal teenage boy who doesn’t know all what the world is cracked up to be, but nevertheless. Let me just say that the romance between Vanessa and Wade in these movies, is one of the all time best romances I’ve seen on film. The dialogue between them, the vibe given off from watching them, the overall sense of connection they have, it’s a dramatic symphony on screen. The character of Vanessa, by herself, is great. But put her together with Wade, you’ve got a whole different ballgame.

When it comes to this film’s main antagonist, Cable, I got to say, he’s terrific. He might be just as good, if not better, as Francis, the villain from the first “Deadpool.” He’s played by Josh Brolin, who I think is a spectacular choice to play the role based on his performance, not to mention it brings a very coincidental moment in movie history since Brolin was in another superhero movie based on a Marvel property released a few weeks prior to this one as the main antagonist. If you have to ask me if I had to choose between Cable and Thanos and tell you which villain is better, I’d personally pick Thanos, however when it comes to the character of Cable himself, he does not disappoint. And that’s a good thing because Cable was probably highly anticipated since his name was mentioned at the end of the credits in the first “Deadpool.”

One thing that might come off as different and interesting about “Deadpool 2” is that we find out a couple things about Negasonic Teenage Warhead. First, her character is LGBT. Second, she has an on-screen relationship with someone of her sex. This is the first relationship of this kind in a superhero movie and while it didn’t really have much of an effect on the movie as a whole, it made me think to myself, I haven’t seen everything in a superhero movie, and there will probably be more to see as time goes by. And I will say, having seen this, makes Brianna Hildebrand a solid casting choice for Negasonic Teenage Warhead considering she’s gay in real life.

I’m not gonna talk about all of the X-Force addons, but I really do want to talk about two in particular, and to start this off, let’s talk about Domino. She’s lucky, which as of watching this movie, I’ll say is TOTALLY A SUPERPOWER. Domino is played by Zazie Beatz, and while she is on the FX show “Atlanta” and somewhat known by a number of people for that sort of thing, this movie is probably gonna help her in the future and make her land more roles! Also, after watching this movie, I will say that luck is not only a superpower, but at times, a funny superpower. Be sure to look out for what I mean.

Now, let’s dive into my most anticipated character in the entirety of “Deadpool 2,” a guy by the name of Peter. When I did my review for the final trailer of “Deadpool 2,” here’s a bit of what I said:

“I seriously want some more promotion with this character, I want the merchandisers to shove this character into every store as an action figure! I want Funko to make him a Pop figure! Also make exclusives for him at GameStop! FYE! Walmart! Hot Topic! Target! Walgreen’s! 7-Eleven! San Diego Comic-Con! New York Comic Con! Emerald City Comic Con! Rhode Island Comic Con! Toys R Us even though they’re going out of business! Blockbuster if they come back as a toy shop! RadioShack if they make a comeback and rename themselves as ToyShack and develop a bigger market for remote control cars! Maybe somewhere in Kim Kardashian’s ass! I want Peter to go far and wide as Peter’s eyes can see!”

I apologize to all souls who happen to go by the name of Peter, but a major lesson I was focusing on was “F*ck everyone named Peter (except this one we’re talking about).” Honestly, I was a tad disappointed by Peter. But then again, I had REALLY high expectations for him. I had nothing against Peter, but you barely get Peter in this movie. So I kinda blame the writers on this one. Peter himself was awesome, and also goes to show that people without powers can also be heroes. It just goes to show that it doesn’t always matter who the character is, it doesn’t matter how amazing they are in one way, in this example it’s on paper or a trailer, they can ultimately be a disappointment in another medium. You can take a character as awesome as Batman, and put him in something s*itty like “Batman and Robin,” which kind of can ultimately make that iteration of Batman s*itty as well. I like Peter, and what you see of him here in this film, is nice, but I wanted to see MORE of him.

One thing that’s totally great about not only the first “Deadpool” movie but the property of Deadpool in general is its need if you will to poke fun at random things. This movie manages to poke fun at another superhero movie with an R rating, “Logan.” I will say, I didn’t see “Logan,” so I won’t get into detail about it, but I know some things about it, and what this movie does regarding that movie is nothing short of a treat. The first line in the movie is “F*ck Wolverine.” You know you’re getting something fantastic with that line! I won’t go into detail, but the way they handle the meta humor not just with that, but just about everything else in “Deadpool 2” is marvelous!

Something that honestly kind of shocked me is that the movie, based on the trailers and the way that this movie’s marketing made me think before actually going to see it, is the vibe that was provided at various points, especially towards the end, of the film. This is the second installment of this iteration of “Deadpool,” and usually when I see second installments, I think to myself, if this goes well, there might as well be another sequel. While I would love to see another “Deadpool” movie, I feel like that could potentially come off as forced depending on what happens. This second movie had a very satisfying ending that if “Deadpool 3” were to ever be announced, I would sort of be excited, but another part of me would ask why that’s even a thing. I don’t even know why I’m keeping a comment like that, considering how I read that “Deadpool 3” is already in development. To my utter surprise, I’d actually prefer getting a sequel to “Blade Runner 2049” despite its super satisfying ending because I feel like there is more to be told in the “Blade Runner” universe. I’d even rather see a sequel to “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” because while I didn’t particularly think that movie had the overall quality the first one contained, I can still imagine more in that franchise being told. “Deadpool 2” has an ending that makes you go, “Well, that felt like an ending.” Part of it may be due to other events that occur beforehand, but still, when all events are taken and put together in a timeline, someone like me would think to themselves, I saw what I need to see. I’m not saying I didn’t like what I saw, it’s not like I hate the franchise now and I’m just done with it, I just think the franchise has really reached a point if anything else is told, it would be tacked on or unnecessary.

Although if they do make a third one, I gotta say, something I saw in this second installment, gave me an idea for the third one. Since TJ Miller has been in the news recently for some bad reasons, the crew should either get Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World, A Beautiful Mind) to play his character of Weasel, or if they can’t do that, don’t bring back TJ Miller, but get some random guy, maybe someone who looks like Weasel in ways, and CGI Plummer’s face over. I say this because there was a segment where there happened to be a news feed playing, and on the bottom of the screen, there was a bulletin, and some of the text included something along the lines of “Christopher Plummer turns down role in ‘Deadpool 2.'” Also, if the crew actually got in contact with Christopher Miller, please let the world know! I would love to know if that’s actually true!

In the end, one of the best marketed movies I’ve ever seen is also able to deliver one of my favorite movies of the year. I definitely want to buy “Deadpool 2” once it comes out on 4K, and after seeing this movie, it reminded me of how much I want to go to Rhode Island Comic Con this November because they’re getting a few of the “Deadpool” cast members including Brianna Hildebrand (Negasonic Teenage Warhead), Stefan Kapičić (Colussus), and Morena Baccarin (Vanessa). This is not even my favorite superhero movie this year, but this goes to show how much better this year’s superhero movies are compared to last year’s superhero movies. I didn’t see “Logan” last year, but I did see “Wonder Woman,” and I know that the DCEU is usually regarded as the inferior story as far as comic book superhero cinematic universes go, but I LOVED that movie. “Deadpool 2” is the third GREAT superhero movie I’ve watched in 2018, the only superhero movie this year that I saw which I didn’t think made it to that sort of mark is “Black Panther,” which is saying something because I thought it was actually pretty good, and I saw it in theaters twice. Fox, if you’re reading this, I gotta say, if you want to make a “Deadpool 3,” go for it, I’ll probably see it, but don’t just do it to force a story down our throats for money. I’m gonna give “Deadpool 2” a 9/10. This is the same rating I gave “Incredibles 2,” another superhero movie that came out this year. And if you ask me, I’d say that “Incredibles 2” was better, but if this were a marketing contest, “Deadpool 2” would blow so many movies out of the water! Not only is it creative, but as I watched the movie, I was thinking to myself, so many of the movie’s funny parts weren’t even shown in the trailers. THIS IS WHAT A MOVIE SHOULD BE.

Thanks for reading this review! Be sure to stay tuned for a post that I keep talking about, and don’t deliver on (because I’m working on it and I’m getting other stuff out first), my upcoming mysterious “2001: A Space Odyssey” post! Please stay tuned for that, and no, you’re not getting a single hint as to what it is! Don’t even think about asking for anything! However, stay tuned for that, and also stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Deadpool 2?” What did you think about it? What would you say is better? “Deadpool” or “Deadpool 2?” Comment down below, please give me your thoughts, I’d love to hear them! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!