Thursday, June 30, 2016


This week, Corey and MJ are visited by Slade Oran to talk about every last little bit of INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE! It's a shorter episode, but we definitely got everything we needed to say out of the way. We also talk about what we've been watching and Forest Whitaker's ROGUE ONE character reveal!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Before The BFG - The Before and After Show

This week on The Before and After Show, Corey and MJ discuss The BFG, which is the first ever collaboration between Disney and the father of modern American film, Steven Spielburg!

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Spiral of Star Fox Zero

It's time to do a barrel roll. 

       So... I've put off writing this post for quite a while. Ever since Star Fox Zero came out this past April, I've really wanted to discuss the game and much of the controversy that surfaced around it.  Since video games and game creation are topics I'm very passionate about, I didn't know how to begin this conversation without being emotionally driven to one extreme or another. I wrote draft after draft trying to frame the argument about Fox Star Zero from different perspectives. I wrote personal bio-esqe introductions about myself so people would know where I'm coming from in the gaming world. But after so many drafts that didn't feel right, I decided just to jump right into the deep end of this conversation.

       Nintendo is company that is very near and dear to me personally. Nintendo introduced me to video games early in my life and they've created some of my favorite video games and characters of all time. Nintendo as a company has pushed boundaries in innovation and their drive to create software that is at the top of its game (pun intended!) has always amazed me. I think they are one of the last few major gaming companies that still try to push themselves to innovate and really make the overall gaming experience engaging. Though I love most of the things Nintendo creates, I have historically not always agreed with their business decisions, marketing campaigns or system branding (seriously if there was an award for dumbest hardware names, Nintendo would be a contender). I say all this to give some background in how I felt in light of arguably Nintendo's last recent major AAA release for the Wii U, Star Fox Zero.

      I was excited to play Star Fox Zero when it came out and I picked up my copy late in the day on April 22. Though Star Fox isn't my favorite Nintendo IP, it's one I have fond memories of playing back on my N64 and my Gamecube. (yes, I did play Star Fox Adventures!) But when the game released I started to read reviews and impressions from different news outlets and youtube gamers, and my mind was baffled by the things I started to hear and read. 

"The controls are terrible"

"Everyone stop panicking. The new Star Fox is good."

" The motion controls bring an unnecessary difficulty to the game" 

"This game is just a lazy retread of Star Fox 64"

"Fox McCloud should have stayed in the 90's where he belongs"

"Save for very rare, extreme circumstances, ------- reviews require that a game be completed, or at least a good faith effort be made to complete it. I am not playing any more Star Fox Zero"---said by a paid reviewer on staff with an entertainment website

       After buying the game and taking in this initial press during the first week of the game's launch, I was confused, frustrated and annoyed by many of the shoddy comments and reviews people were giving the game. I honestly felt like most of the press just wouldn't meet Star Fox Zero halfway and were looking for reasons to rip into Nintendo. The controls were different, but I played the game for a couple hours and I felt fine with the controls. The game wasn't literally broken with bugs or glitches, so why were people freaking out so much? After a few weeks of hearing both sides from people who loved and hated the game, having my personal experience of beating the game, and some extensive thought on this whole issue, I think I'm ready to weigh in on what happened in the Star Fox Zero controversy. 

       I honestly believe Star Fox Zero from the beginning of development was a game being made to prove the significance of the Wii U gamepad, which blows my mind because Super Mario Maker and Splatoon did that in spades! Shigero Miyamoto, the director behind Star Fox Zero, was tasked with developing a game that validated the Wii U gamepad and allowed the player to play games in a way they never could have before. I believe this sentiment is exactly where the division and debate about this game begins. 

       Star Fox Zero as a game is fine. I've played better games, but I've played worse games, and Star Fox Zero sits on the high side of past average to great. I would argue tooth and nail that Star Fox Zero is an innovative game in terms of controls, but whether or not that "innovation" is a positive thing is where much of this debate is coming from.

      Star Fox Zero uses the gamepad to render a first person cockpit view of the ship you're flying, while the TV displays a standard third person perspective of your vehicle. Where the innovation comes into play is that you can now glance between the two screens to shoot at opponents from different vantage points, shooting at enemies that fly past you and aren't directly in front of you on the TV's third person perspective view. This concept seems to work in description, but once it's put into practice it becomes a new skill entirely unto itself to understand and efficiently use in gameplay. And this is where many gamers, reviewers, and critics got tied up and divided. Some people felt this new "innovation" broke the game and felt like a control "gimmick" (I hate that term btw) and called for Nintendo to just give them a regular control setup. Others said this was an amazing control setup that more games should be gravitating towards and employing to mix up gameplay. Many people got frustrated with how long the game required playtime to understand the controls and called them broken, while supporters likened the difficulty of the controls to a more precision demanding game, requiring you to spend hours with the controls before the game even truly starts to open up. Add on top of all this "innovation" struggle, a "re-imagined" version of Star Fox 64 that detractors called a lazy rehash (even though for years people have been calling for a Star Fox 64 in HD), debates about the game's length (despite the fact Star Fox falls into a rail shooter genre and a staple of said genre is high replay value of shorter games for high scores), and arguments about whether rail shooters are relevant in 2016, and you can see that Star Fox Zero didn't even have a chance to be understood on its own merits before it was thrown to the wolves.

       But at the end of all this debate and division, I personally felt more in favor of the controls, and I liked the game on its own merits. I'm not saying I want every game from now on to implement a setup like Star Fox Zero, but I did appreciate the way the game developers were ambitious and gave me a new way to play that I'd never experienced before. After a few mildly frustrating play sessions I really started to feel in control and able to take advantage of this crazy new setup to rack up some high scores and wreck some bosses!

       In coming back to that word "innovation" on which this whole experiment called Star Fox Zero hinges, I believe there is a two fold verdict. I think Miyamoto and his team succeeded in giving people a new way to play a game like Star Fox Zero, but he failed in terms of justifying the Wii U gamepad as an industry changing device in how gamers intuitively want to play games. I think it's sad that Star Fox Zero will probably be remembered more for its controversial space in the evolution of gameplay "innovation" rather than being a fun and fantastic return to a long misunderstood and misrepresented franchise.

Friday, June 24, 2016


Steven Spielberg has been acquiring projects left and right lately and isn't showing any signs of slowing down. During a press round table for his latest film, THE BFG, he was asked about the 80's-pop culture nostalgia that permeates his next film, READY PLAYER ONE, he had this to say:
"I think we were pretty awesome in the 80's. I hope this brings all of us back to the awesomeness of the 80's and lets me do anything I want...except with my own movies."
When it was brought up that the book's author, Ernie Cline drives around in a DeLorean and the plethora of references to Spielberg's work in the 80's he responded with:
"I cut all the references to my own movies. With a couple exceptions, like the DeLorean. And I was very happy to see that there was enough that even without me the 80's were a great time to grow up."
So there you go, Spielberg is all in on the 80's for READY PLAYER ONE. The film takes place in a dystopian future where everyone is obsessed with a SECOND-LIFE style video game. When the creator of the game dies, he sets in motion a quest to find his heir by way of a dangerous treasure hunt. I really didn't get the hype surrounding the novel, and if it were any other director, I would likely feel the same way about the film. The story does take place in a very cool world and the premise is A+, I just found the book to be meandering and a little bit too in love with Dungeons and Dragons style world building. The good news is that Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest directors of all time and can easily handle all of that world building, nostalgia, and then some so I can't wait to see what he does with this property! Do you agree with Spielberg's claim that we were awesome in the 80's? Let us know! Disney's THE BFG opens July 1, 2016

Source: Birth.Movies.Death.


Taika Waititi's latest movie, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE hits theaters today, but the director is already hard at work at his next film, THOR: RAGNAROK for Disney and Marvel Studios. Principal photography on the film, which is being described by Mark Ruffalo as a "Thor/Hulk buddy picture," doesn't start until July 4th, but an Australian newspaper has obtained photos of the sets under construction. Check them out below!

I understand that it's not much to go on as far as juicy details go, but it really puts into perspective the craftsmanship that goes into making a movie. The THOR franchise has switched hands more than any other director and has proven to be a little bit tougher sell to mainstream audiences than his MCU counterparts. Both THOR: THE DARK WORLD and THOR received middling reviews from critics, but Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston certainly bring a lot of gravitas into the MCU and have a very vocal fanbase. Hopefully Waititi can imbue this film with some of the quirky charm that made WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS such a treat. THOR: RAGNAROK opens November 3, 2017

Source: Gold Coast Bulletin


Hot on the heels of sending aliens after our planet in INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE, director Roland Emmerich has announced his next project titled MOONFALL. The movie is fast tracked over at Universal and Emmerich will co-write with the film with Harald Kloser, with whom he penned 2012. The plot centers around "an unlikely band of misfits who must unite to save humanity when the moon falls out of orbit and hurtles towards earth." and is being described as "Emmerich’s 2012 mashed together with Close Encounters Of The Third Kind." Emmerich has a special affinity for destroying our planet so this project sounds right in his wheelhouse. I'm not a huge Roland Emmerich fan so I could take or leave this news, but I'm sure he will make it all look really pretty. Though, I can't help but think he's missing a opportunity by not calling this movie ARMAGEDDON 2: MAJORA'S MASK. What do you think about Roland Emmerich's next earth-shattering project? In the meantime, you can see Jeff Goldblum, Liam Hemsworth, Bill Pullman, and Jessie T. Usher try to save the earth from extraterrestrials (again) in INDEPENDECE DAY: RESURGENCE, which is in theaters now

Source: Deadline

Thursday, June 23, 2016


Another day, another casting announcement from the set of SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING. Hot on the heels of news that BEASTS OF NO NATION'S Abraham Attah will be joining the wall-crawler on his next outing, it has now been announced that Bokeem Woodbine will be playing a villain in the film. Details surrounding the casting are scant at best, but Woodbine will be fighting the web-slinger alongside Michael Keaton and Logan Marshall-Green. If you're keeping score, that brings the final villain count to three. And if you know your Spider-Man on film history, you'll know that a three-villain affair has never been Spidey's strong suit. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 fared slightly better than Sam Raimi's SPIDER-MAN 3, but not by much. Consider me skeptical on this one, folks. I loved Tom Holland's take on the character in CIVIL WAR, and I trust Marvel a whole lot at this point, but we've all been burned in the past. SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING swings into theaters July 7, 2017

Source: The Hollywood Reporter


STAR TREK is one of the most beloved franchises out there and it has been a while since there has been a quality television show in that universe. Next January, CBS will bring a new TREK to the small screen via their streaming platform, CBS All Access. For extra legitimacy, they brought on Bryan Fuller (DEAD LIKE ME, HANNIBAL) as their showrunner. He was a writer on STAR TREK: VOYAGER and STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE, so he seems a natural fit to bring TREK back to television. Fuller sat down with Collider to talk about the show and dished out a ton of pre-production details.

On casting the series:
"I’ve met with a few actors, and it’s an interesting process. There’s a few people that we like and we want to carry on what Star Trek does best, which is being progressive. So it’s fascinating to look at all of these roles through a colorblind prism and a gender-blind prism, so that’s exciting."

On the show's content:
" And because we’re CBS All Access, we’re not subject to network broadcast standards and practices. It will likely affect us more in terms of what we can do graphically, but Star Trek’s not necessarily a universe where I want to hear a lot of profanity, either."

On how CBS is reacting to the show:
"When I first sat down with them, it was “Do you have a plan of what you want to do?” And they said, “No,” and I said, “I have a plan,” and we started talking. And it was wonderful to be working with Alex Kurtzman, who I have a tremendous amount of respect for, and who’s such an elegant storyteller and crafting a story with him that ties in so many elements of Star Trek that I think people will be really excited about because you can look at the original series and pick out episodes we’re using the DNA of and using the spirit of what Star Trek offers, both in terms of high-concept science fiction storytelling and really wonderful metaphors for the human condition."

Fuller goes on to detail when they can start revealing specifics regarding casting/directors, how many episodes will be in the season, and what it's like to be handed the "keys to the Lamborghini." It's a nice read and Bryan is kind of a living legend so I'm excited to see where he boldly goes with this new series. The new STAR TREK series doesn't hit until January of next year, but you can catch Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, John Cho, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, and Anton Yelchin in STAR TREK: BEYOND on July 22, 2016

Source: Collider


Fall Out Boy released their theme song for Paul Feig's upcoming GHOSTBUSTERS reboot. The song features a bunch of spooky noises and Missy Elliott. Give it a listen below!

That's uh....yikes. Fall Out Boy did an excellent cover of I Wanna Be Like You for the recent Disney covers album WE LOVE DISNEY, so I was actually kind of on board with them doing this song. Of course, it would be difficult to match the catchiness of Ray Parker Jr.'s original, and to be perfectly honest, I thought the opening bits were very charming and the song mostly worked until Missy Elliott showed up. After that, it was a pile of noise. A lot of people are preemptively hating on the movie as it is, and this song isn't doing it any favors. Let us know what you think about this new take on the GHOSTBUSTERS theme below! Here's hoping Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, and Leslie Jones can deliver a lot more than they seem to promising when GHOSTBUSTERS hits theaters on July 15, 2016

Source: YouTube


Another week, another episode of THE BEFORE AND AFTER SHOW! This week, Corey and MJ are joined by Slade Oran to discuss INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE. It's a bit of a meandering discussion, though, as none of them have a particularly vested interest in the film. It does lead to a good discussion about cynical, cash-grab filmmaking and franchise fatigue. They also discuss what they've been watching, Anton Yelchin's passing, and Donald Glover in SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING. Also, class is back in session at The Before and After Show Film School as Corey and MJ talk about character types. Check it out!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Entertainment Weekly dropped a ton of new information regarding ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY today. It covers a glut of information that includes confirming Darth Vader will play some part in the film, and a whole host of character details. But one piece of information seems to reigning supreme: the identity of Forest Whitaker's character. He will be playing Saw Gerrera. If the name doesn't jump out at you, don't worry, I was unfamiliar as well. Saw Gerrera had a brief arc in an episode of THE CLONE WARS television program. Saw is an old-timer from the clone wars. Producer Kathleen Kennedy had this to say about him:
“Consider him kind of a battered veteran who leads a band of Rebel extremists.He’s on the fringe of the Rebel Alliance. Even [they] are a little concerned about him.”

Here he is in the show:

And here he is in his live action glory:

Pretty cool, right?! I think this is a fantastic way to bring all the different facets of the expanded STAR WARS universe together and layer them for a story that feels like it truly does span decades. Strike back below with your thoughts on exploring Saw Gerrera's story! ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY opens in theaters December 16th, 2016

Source: Entertainment Weekly


THE MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS were my jam when I was growing up. When it was announced that there would be a new reboot of the franchise, I was a little hesitant. After all, as much as I loved them, the show was pretty cornball. But my fears started to be alleviated when it was announced that Elizabeth Banks would be filling the nails of Rita Repulsa. And today, hot on the heels of yesterday's news that Heisenberg himself would be taking on the role of Zordon, we were treated to the poster below.

I full on LOVE this poster. It evokes a kind of Amblin-meets-Transformers aesthetic that I think could really work in selling me on this premise. For as skeptical as I once was, I believe a Power Rangers movie in 2017 could really work.

POWER RANGERS hits theaters on March 24th, 2017
Source: Lionsgate


Paramount has released the first trailer for JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK. The film is based off of the popular books by Lee Child and follow the adventures of a brutal ex-Army investigator contracted by the U.S. government to track down the most heinous of criminals. The first JACK REACHER was a bit of a surprise hit, so it makes sense that Paramount is now banking on a franchise. Peep the trailer below:

That looks like one heck of a good time at the movies, and even though I wasn't wild about the first JACK REACHER, I love Tom Cruise, so count me in! It seems like director Edward Zwick really knows how to handle this character and Cobie Smulders appears very comfortable in her role as "Basically Maria Hill." JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK punches its way to the multiplex on October 21, 2016

What do you think about this new entry into the JACK REACHER-verse? Let us know down in the comments!

Source: YouTube

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

After Finding Dory - The Before and After Show

In this episode of The Before and After Show, MJ and Corey dive into the waters of Disney Pixar's newest film Finding Dory and give their post viewing thoughts about the movie!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Before and After Show Episode 63: After Warcraft

This week, Corey and MJ welcome William Hollar back to the show to talk Warcraft! They also discuss what they've been watching and their thoughts about Disney's upcoming animated feature, Moana! Did you see Warcraft? What did you think?! Let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The In-Between Show: Owen From Classic Schmassic

In a very special bonus episode, MJ chats with Owen from Classic Schmassic! It's a podcast about classic cinema and you should check it out right here! They talk about classic movies, that serious period in your twenties, and why the theater should be a social experience first and foremost!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Before Finding Dory - The Before and After Show

Are you ready to "just keep swimming" again? MJ and Corey discuss their excitement and thoughts about returning to Disney Pixar's world of Finding Nemo, in the 2016 sequel film Finding Dory!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Fix That Film!! --X-Men Apocalypse

In this segment of Fix That Film, Corey from The Before and After Show shares his thoughts and gives a quick film review of the critically divisive superhero film X-Men Apocalypse. Then, Corey dives into the film's positives, its problems and offers some creative constructive solutions that possibly could have improved the overall film.

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Before and After Show Episode 62: Before Warcraft

This week, Corey and MJ are joined by William Hollar to discuss Warcraft! William gives the guys a base level lore breakdown and the guys just kind of accept whatever he says as fact because they have no idea what is going on with Warcraft. Also, school is back in session with The Before and After Show film school! Corey is teaching on character archetypes and assigns the 2013 adaptation of Les Miserables as homework! Enjoy the festivities and be sure to get your #mjwatchesshallows votes in by June 28th!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Review: The Conjuring 2

Six years after the events at the Perron family's farmhouse, Ed and Lorraine Warren conduct a seance at the scene of the Amityville Horror. During the seance, Lorraine is confronted with a disturbing vision she has not seen since the Perron farm incident and begins to question whether or not her and Ed should stay in the field of paranormal investigation. Meanwhile, in Enfield, England, a powerful force is oppressing a low-income family. Charged by the church with investigating the disturbances, Ed and Lorraine head back into the field to deal with The Enfield Poltergeist, one of the most documented supernatural occurrences in modern history.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

After TMNT: Out of the Shadows - The Before and After Show

It's time for some turtle power!! Or has all the turtle power run out in this sequel to the recently rebooted Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film franchise? In this episode of The Before and After Show, MJ and Corey delve into all the good and bad of the film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

When a powerful mutagen that was long-thought to have been lost in a laboratory fire is discovered in the blood of four hulking, anthropomorphic, crime-fighting turtles and their diminutive, anthropmorphic, father figure, Eric Sacks sets forth a plan to retrieve the mutagen and unleash a chemical attack on New York City in order to sell the antidote to the citizens at a huge mark-up. For some reason he needs the help of The Silver Samurai or something. I stopped paying attention.

The Before and After Show - Episode 61: After X-Men Apocalypse

Get ready, X-fans! MJ and Corey are back to discuss their final thoughts on Bryan Singer's X-Men: Apocalypse (you might actually be surprised by the outcome!) They also talk about what they've been watching this week, how they feel about a new James Bond, and MJ throws down a unique challenge to get him to watch The Shallows starring Blake Lively!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

On Reshoots

The word "reshoots" has been tossed around the internet quite a bit lately, and some heavy baggage has come along with it. It seems like when people hear that a film (usually a hotly anticipated one) enters reshoots fans seem to resign themselves to the expectation that the film will be dead on arrival. Just this week it was announced that ROGUE ONE A STAR WARS STORY will be headed into reshoots and the internet had a fit. Rumors began swirling that Disney is unhappy with the tone of the movie and are ordering reshoots to keep the film more tonally similar to THE FORCE AWAKENS. Now, before we all get into arguments about why that's a bad idea or not (and believe me, it's a bad idea), we need to evaluate how accurate the line of thinking that a movie is done for when it heads into reshoots is.