The Day After Independence Day

November 10, 2009 at 12:26 pm

The Day After Independence Day | Movie Preview

2012 is about to rock theaters around the world.

Everyone is saying the same thing in regards to director Roland Emmerich…   Again?

To that I would answer…  Why not?


Independence Day is one of the coolest movies I’ve ever seen.  It’s the kind of movie I like to describe as entertaining.  Sounds like a lazy to describe a film but it’s one of the highest compliments I give movies.  Entertaining movies to me are giant events with crazy special effects, monsters, thrills, action and other instances of entertaining craziness.

Some (or many) may disagree but for it’s time it ID4 was pretty impressive.  I’ll admit The Day After Tomorrow wasn’t nearly as fun but it still had it’s moments.  I think my main complaint was the action sequence on the boat with the wolves.  Not sure why they felt they needed to go there.  Also, human beings can’t outrun frost can they?  Just thinking out loud.

XTRA: Top 10 Unanswered Movie Questions

2012 looks like a fun disaster movie to me and I’m planning a matinee of some type after it opens.  Up until now, I’ve heard mixed opinions on the film.  Surprisingly, many I’ve talked to are turned off by John Cusack.  I’ve ignored the cast for the most part.  I’m pumped for the massive amounts of theatrical destruction it promises.  This movie is made for fans of eye candy.  If you’re in it for a touching story and oscar worthy acting, you’ll still be entertained by the massive amounts of destruction but let down by your impossibly high expectations.

Tell me that doesn’t look cool?  Right?  I’ll be there.

Fourth Kind Lacks Scares, I Lack Friends

November 9, 2009 at 5:57 pm


The Athletic Nerd Movie Reviews

Before you ask, I do have friends but unfortunately I had no proof today.

I work for a large sports network and sports happen at night.  Therefore, I work mainly evenings.  So during the day when normal human beings are at work, I’m usually home with a lack of social contact.

It’s actually not that bad.  I use the time to write and work on various projects.  (More on that at a later time.)  A lot of the people I hang around with have non-human hours too but everyone was busy this morning.

So I went to the movies by myself.


I’ve been looking forward to seeing The Fourth Kind for a while now.  I’ve written about it a few times already. I think Paranormal Activity may have ruined it for me.  That movie seriously scared the hell out of me in theaters.  The Fourth Kind did not.

Unfortunately, one thing working against the experience was lack of people in the theater.  After all, only LOSERS go to the movies alone on Monday afternoons.  Speaking of which, dear heavy breather behind me… Really?

The first time I saw Paranormal Activity it was in a packed theater and I had an absolute blast.  Oh and for the record, I was with someone at that showing 🙂

Regardless of scares, The Fourth Kind is still a pretty great movie.  I’m a huge fan of aliens, UFOs and other topics covered on Discovery and A&E on a nightly basis.  (I like documentaries.)  I thought the approach was brilliant.  As an editor, I thought they did a fantastic job putting the movie together.  The ‘actual’ footage in particular was extremely well done.  The way they scrambled the video just enough to show you glimpses of super wide jaws and breaking bones.  It’s really creepy to watch and was pretty much the highlight of the movie for me.  Towards the end, there are a couple pretty great moments that were just plain cool.

I read a few reviews and everyone complained that it didn’t seem real.  Hello?  It’s a movie.  If you go in trying to prove otherwise, you’re guaranteed not to like it.  I liked it.  I think this will be a great movie to rent and possibly own down the line.  In fact, I’ll probably buy it for sure if they pack it with special features.

The only aspect of the film I thought was out of place was some religious references towards the end.  I’m all for the references but they seemed to come out of no where.  Some people may not make the connection but they’re in there.  It’s an interesting thought but they should have at least established it earlier in the movie.

Lets get back to the most important issue here.  Do I feel comfortable going to the movies by myself?  The truth is, I do it all the time.  Ironically my friends make fun of me for it.  The theater is 2 blocks away from work.  Why not?  It’s perfect!

Why Paranormal Activity Saved Horror Films

October 27, 2009 at 3:01 pm

The Athletic Nerd Movie Reviews

Every summer, I get extremely pumped about going to the movies and experiencing the best ‘tent pole’ films that studios have to offer.

This summer will probably go down as a minor disappointment.

With a few exceptions such as District 9, Inglourious Bastards and Star Trek there really weren’t too many ‘experiences’ to be had.  Transformers 2 is a perfect example of this.  It was easily my most anticipated movie of the year as I loved the first film.  I sat in the theater opening day expecting to be blown away by giant robot battles and massive vfx action sequences…  Meh…  The whole movie was a big mess for me.  Too many robots!  Too many random coincidences.  Not enough story.  Not really all that fun to watch.

2009 was destined to become an off year.  Until Paranormal Activity arrived and kicked my ass.


Now THIS is what going to the movies is all about.

I saw the film in a packed theater full of people ready to be scared out of their minds.  The hype surrounding this film was so high that I wasn’t sure it could deliver.  I was wrong.  Paranormal Activity is my favorite movie of the year by far.  The entire theater was filled with gasps, screams and laughter that I haven’t experienced in years.  Every time the locked off shot of their bedroom appeared the audience started squirming. (Myself included)  You just knew something crazy was about to go down.  What makes this movie kick ass is that every terrifying moment builds on the one before it.  The result?  For the first time in a long time, I was scared in a theater.

XTRA: Paranormal Activity 2 Review

So many horror films these days rely on gore and visible killers.  It gets old really quickly and it’s about time someone stepped up and changed it up.  Comparisons have been made to ‘The Blair Witch Project’.  That movie didn’t scare me at all and really didn’t live up to the hype.  Paranormal Activity may end up being one of my favorite horror movies of all time.  It was so simple and so much fun to watch especially in a packed house full of people having as much fun as I was.  I was so good, I went back with a friend the next night to see it again.  It was just as good the second time around.  I can’t wait to own this flick on DVD.

For the last few weeks, I’ve made a few mentions of a horror script I’ve been working on.  A sequel to a short I wrote last year.  My experience with Paranormal Activity this week has vaulted that script to priority status.  Horror is quickly becoming the dominant type of story that I enjoy writing.  I want nothing more than to create an experience like that.  My hats off to the director, the actors and the entire crew.  What an awesome movie!

Playing Through Trailer

September 14, 2009 at 10:22 pm

Playing Through Short Film 17 West Productions

Playing Through is the story of Brandon & Nathan.  Two friends playing a round of golf – Terribly.   While Brandon does his best to distract his friend, every thought Nathan has rests on a looming phone call. A call that will reveal whether or not he has been diagnosed with cancer.

Filmed at Clear Springs Golf Course in North Bay, Ontario in 2009.

Playing Through Short Film Festivals & Awards | 17 West Productions

For more visit:

Check out the trailer for the short film below:

The Athletic Nerd is Live!

September 14, 2009 at 2:04 pm

The Athletic Nerd by Jason McKinnon

Welcome to After Then and Before Now v2.0.

The Athletic Nerd

Why 2.0?  This blog’s original home was I wanted the blog to have more functionality so a new site was born. is now officially live and the new home of my blog.

I’m pretty pumped to start blogging about 17 West’s upcoming films as well as my adventures in filmmaking.

I’m also going to be writing about my obsession with screenwriting, web development, graphic design and motion graphics. You’ll get a first hand look at life as a professional editor in television. Long nights, tight deadlines and tons of excitement.

As this is my first official post, I’m going to keep it brief.  With 3 film’s in pre-production and 2 feature screenplays in development, I’m extremely excited about the year ahead.  There is a lot going on and a massive amount of updates. Stay tuned.