Movie Review: The Maze Runner: Death Cure (2018)

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Plot: Young hero Thomas embarks on a mission to find a cure for a deadly disease known as the “Flare”.

Contains minor spoilers

I have experienced a rather good start to the year with new releases. I am still not over the wonderful The Greatest Showman (2018), and I am still listening to its’ soundtrack every single day. I can’t wait to purchase the DVD and show it to everyone I know, so that they too can be as happy as I. It also provided a pitfall for The Death Cure – could anything impress me after I was so ridiculously happy?

Well, The Death Cure didn’t make me as happy (two tonally different films as there ever was), but it did entertain me. The opening sequence, the lead culprit in the massive time delay of the film when Dylan O’Brien was seriously injured on set, is exciting and intense. I also really appreciate a film where the main characters can actually shoot and is not just randomly shooting into thin air – all the actors can be applauded for holding a gun in a manner that shows they’ve had some training.

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The relationship between Thomas (O’Brien) and Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), is still as tight as ever. They are in this together, and the two actors themselves share a great chemistry on set. I like Newt, he’s such a sarcastic character full of pithy remarks. I still absolutely loathe Theresa – who doesn’t, and even her final attempts at redemption couldn’t convince me to find actual time for her. He doesn’t deserve Thomas or his compassion, and I completed related to my fellow movie goer when he passionately yelled “Can this bitch just die?!” in cinema – although good sir, do not refer to women as bitches, please.

I will perhaps always hate Aiden Gillen (perhaps unfairly). He also plays a devious bastard in The Death Cure, and this does not help him in terms of affection. He is able to play a weak man really well. He meets his fate in The Death Cure in a much more brutal and enjoyable fashion than in Game of Thrones.

The film has a solid progression, and although it did start to feel long I wasn’t terrible irritated by that. There was a stage at about halfway through the film where I wondered how on earth they were planning to wrap things up in the time they had left, but they managed.

Granted that I really didn’t like the second one (I am still not sure what went on there), this film turned out remarkably well. The Death Cure is not perfect – I felt that half of the female stars had no acting power, and they are, as always, very underrepresented. I always enjoy a dystopian setting that turns out to be some clinical trial drama – that is essentially what Divergent and The Maze Runner boils down to – what ethical values are governments willing to forsake of their people when faced with a massive viral disaster? This is my food man. However, it should be noted that the rights of a patient will never be compromised for the advancement of science, thank you very much.

Overall, The Death Cure did just fine as my second film for this year. That guy with the hollowed out cheeks and funky attitude was proper badass and had an epic moment or two. Eyebrows returning – he looks like he waxed his eyebrows, and I still think it must be a challenged to be permanently surprised. I’ve never read these books, so I can’t compare it to the source material, but as a dystopian film it works well and rounds of the series just fine.

Rating: 7/10

Movie Review: Scorch Trials (2015)

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Plot: After having escaped the Maze, the Gladers now face a new set of challenges on the open roads of a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles.

Thoughts:

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Littlefinger. I somehow know that he’s going to be a villain. No hope that he has moral fiber. Aiden Gillen wasn’t the most satisfying villain. There is something about polo necks that lacks the essence of masterminded evil, and more importantly, Gillen seems unconvinced about his role.

Security doors in Scorch Trials are opened by mere handles. Seems very secure.

The scene where they are relinquishing their only weapon to their friend that is becoming a zombie – Can we just talk about how stupid this is? Shoot the guy, he’s indicated that he wants to die, and take your weapon. You know, to protect yourself.

The best thing about this film is that they found water in the very first building they entered.

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Let’s just quickly focus on these buildings – why are they looking like that? I need to know how buildings can be utterly destroyed by the sun. Windows are out, buildings have fallen over each other. There wasn’t a specific war, earthquake or tornado. Those are the things I’d think would lead to buildings being completely destroyed.

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This villain woman. Does she think she’s Gandalf the White?

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This Teresa chick. She’s irritating AF with her judgy little face. Her biggest issue is that she lost her mother due to zombitis. Well, sorry, but now every teenager must give up their enzymes??

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The new girl is at least better than Teresa. She obviously has more moral fiber than Teresa, and all in all I’d like her more to end up with beautiful Thomas. I’m appreciative that we finally have a girl in this movie that isn’t completely repulsive or evil.

Thomas Brodie-Sangster – I like him. He does a good job with being a leader and a voice of reason.

So here’s my issue with the whole Scorched world – why am I seeing green trees in this scene?

New definition for Dystopia: A story perpetuating the myth that teenagers matter.

Rating: 6/10

Both movies so far have been really lopsided. The first one is arguably better, but I am still not all that sure what the hell is going on. I think reading the books would help, but I’ve heard from reputable sources that I’d pull my hair out with the writing that is going on in there. Apparently Scorch Trials are also one of those “incredibly loosely based” adaptions, so reading the books won’t help all that much. I do know now that Thomas is planning to fetch Asian Zac Efron and save his life. And hopefully pop Teresa and Gandalf while he’s at it.

Movie Review: The Maze Runner (2014)

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Plot: Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they’re all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow “runners” for a shot at escape.

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Rating: 6.5/10

My younger sister nagged me to watch The Maze Runner, so recently on a day off I sat down with her and watched it. I didn’t really love it, but it was okay. The most lacking thing is definitely the storyline – I get that things are supposed to be a puzzle and mysterious, but come on, at least reveal things that would make your movie make sense. Dylan O’Brien is the main character. He’s totally adorable, and I liked him as this main although can we please just all get to a point where a 25 year old male is not cast as a teenage boy? I also liked Ki Hong Lee – his role wasn’t all that clear and I didn’t understand why he was running in the Maze, but I liked him. I really don’t get why Will Poulter is popping up everywhere. I have hated this actor since We’re the Millers, which everyone knows was the worst movie of 2013.Eugh. He was obviously destined to be a pain in the ass in The Maze Runner, and he achieved it quite well because he was a pain in the ass. There were also a lot of male leads and only one female. They are probably doing this for #PLOTREASONS but it was kinda stupid. Also, like I mentioned, the plot is shrouded in mystery. I’m guessing if you read the book it would make more sense, but it seems to be a movie about a maze and some Dystopian drama and feelings. It also felt rather Divergent-ish, but it seems to be the norm that Dystopian authors “borrow” ideas here and there.  So in the spirit of not moaning too much about this, I really enjoyed O’Brien and Thomas Brodie-Sangster. When they finally let us know why these kiddos were in a Maze, it was quite interesting. I liked the images of the desert stricken earth – it was so dystopic dystopian. I am planning to watch the second film, and then the third as soon as cutie pie recovers from his on-set injury. Definitely not as good as The Hunger Games, but luckily not as awful as the Divergent films.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

Movie Review: The First Time (2012)

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Plot: A shy senior and a down-to-earth junior fall in love over the weekend.

Rating: 8/10

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Ah man, I really like this movie. It is so cute and young and fun, what’s not to like. Stars Brit Robertson and Dylan O’Brien are charming as young couple Aubrey Miller and Dave Hodgman. Even though Aubrey has an older boyfriend, Ronny (James Frecheville), an “adult” who seems to think he understands the messed up world in all its glory, she hasn’t slept with him yet. She meets Dave when he’s prepping himself to tell Jane (Victoria Justice) that he likes her, and Dave is really quite embarrassed when Aubrey finds him in the middle of his dialogue. Their romance happens quickly and soon Aubrey and Dave have to deal with the realization that “The First Time” is not the romantized experience they had been expecting.

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The First Time is a quick enjoyable watch and a really cute look into teenagers and their messy hormones. I really adored Aubrey – she’s so cranky and unsure about where her life is heading, she’s constantly thinking about how her life is going and where it should be heading. Her irritation with the general human race made me laugh and relate. I really did marvel at her excellent make-up skills – are American teens so adept with the make-up brush? I also thought Dave Hodgman was so adorable and young and found his initial insecurities really cute.

This is a fun movie, probably not for everyone, but very sweet and funny at times.

Movie Review: The First Time (2012)

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I went for a movie night with one of my friends, and we decided on this film after watching its preview. I was surprised by the quality of the film – I really thought it would be another vague teen romance.

The film, written and directed by Jon Kasdan, tells the story of two teenagers, and how they fall in love. Dave Hodgman (Dylan O’Brien) meets Aubrey Miller (Britt Robertson) at a party, and they immediately have a connection. Dave is in love with a beautiful girl Jane (Victoria Justice), but sadly he has a case of being severely friend zoned. Aubrey has a much older boyfriend Ronny (James Frecheville). He is focused on his career, and doesn’t really get her.

When the cops arrive at the party, Dave and Aubrey leave, and he walks her home. They have a great conversation, only the type the very young can understand, and he asks her for advice on his sad state of a love life. Aubrey invites Dave inside her house, and they fall asleep together in her room.

The next day, Dave has to escape detection by climbing out of her window. He falls, but luckily isn’t hurt. They see each other at the movies again, but both Ronny and Jane are there. They head off to a party afterwards, and Dave begs Aubrey not to sleep with Ronny when he learns that she is planning to lose her virginity in a van. She calls Dave later, telling him to pick her up, and tells him that she didn’t sleep with Ronny. She reveals she broke up with her boyfriend, and they kiss.

When Aubrey’s parents go out to a function, she realizes the opportunity of an empty house, and invites Dave over. The have sex, and it is traumatic for both of them.

Dave seeks advice from Simon (Craig Roberts) and Big Corporation (LaMarcus Tinker). Big shows that when he speaks he speaks the truth, and tells Dave to be a man, and start acting like one.

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Dave goes to Aubrey’s house and asks that they still try to be a relationship, even though they messed up their first sexual encounter. He drives Aubrey to class, and she agrees to work on both parts of their relationship. They kiss and make up outside the school, even though Aubrey claimed in the beginning that she hates PDA.

Rating: a solid and unexpected 6.5/10

I was surprised and impressed by this film. It is real and funny, and tells a true tale about love and first encounters. Often movies glosses over awkward situations, but this movie is so awkward you just want to hide your face under the pillow in shame. All the characters were portrayed very well – both leads were exceptionally cast.

This is a really refreshing film to watch, and I would recommend it mostly to girls and young women.