Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018)

Director: Wes Ball

Writer: T.S. Nowlin (Screenplay) James Dashner (Novel)

Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Dexter Darden, Will Poulter, Jacob Lofland, Patricia Clarkson, Aidan Gillen, Barry Pepper

 

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


Tagline – Who Will Make it to the WCKD End

Runtime: 2 Hours 21 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Enough Finish

 

Story: Maze Runner: The Death Cure starts where the last movie finished off, Thomas (O’Brien) is leading the attempts to save the member of his team captured, Minho (Lee) and Teresa (Scodelario) from the hands of Ava Paige (Clarkson).

Thomas mission is to get into the city, joined by friends Newt (Brodie-Sangster), Frypan (Darden), Brenda (Salazar) and Jorge (Esposito) they must do what they have been trying to avoid, getting into the city which are continuing their experiments in search for a cure for the ‘Flare’, joined by an old friend to help navigate the big city.

 

Thoughts on Maze Runner: The Death Cure

 

Characters – Thomas is continuing his fight against the people that placed him in the maze, he has become the leader in the fight back and now will risk everything to save the ones his side of lost, even if it risks his own life. He will be faced with the difficult questions and decisions in the final instalment of the franchise. Minho is the member of the team that has been captured, the one that Thomas fights to rescue, Minho goes through memories as we see his point of view from inside the laboratory. Teresa is now one of the scientists working on a cure, next to Ava Paige, this shows how she has seen the bigger picture, the cure, but deep down she is still conflicted with which side to support. Newt is Thomas’ brains, he pulls the strings when it comes to inventing and planning the attacks. Ava Paige is the mind behind searching for the cure, she knows this is the only way to save the remaining humans, but even she is starting to accept defeat in her efforts. Janson is the man hunting down the Glades, he will do anything to find them and won’t give up on the idea of a cure.

PerformancesDylan O’Brien in the leading role is good especially after what happened to him during production, he shows us that he is ready to become a leading man in the action genre. The returning cast in the younger performers have all gotten to the levels we have got used with the franchise. Patricia Clarkson and Aidan Gillen provide us with the villainous figures we need too.

StoryThe story continues the battle between the Glades and the rich using the children in hope of finding a cure for the disease which has swept the land. This time the kids are fighting back in an attempt to rescue their own, while the rich are facing the reality they can’t cure the disease. Unlike many other young adult book films, we only get one final chapter, thank God, we don’t need two every time. This follows the usual lines we are used to seeing, we have returning faces and being left in the middle of the final battle to end the divide.

Action/Sci-FiThe action is by the book, we are left for a final act which is a major battle sequence, like we have seen before. The idea the world has become devastated by this virus helps bring us into the sci-fi side of the story, seeing how the human race could be divided in the quest to survive.

SettingsThe settings bring us to the big city for the battle, we have escaped the dust of survival and now take the battle to the enemy. It feels like a generic city, one we have seen before.

Special EffectsThe effects we see through the film do the job well, they could be better, but they could be a lot worse.


Scene of the Movie –
The opening sequence feels like the best watch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Why do they keep taking their masks off?

Final ThoughtsThis is everything you would want from the final instalment of a young adult series of books, it is easy to watch without being the most memorable.

 

Overall: Solid, average finish to the series.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Animation – M – Meet the Robinsons (2007)

Director: Stephen J Anderson

Writer: Jon Bernstein, Michelle Bochner Spitz, Don Hall, Nathan Greno, Aurian Redson, Joseph Mateo, Stephen J Anderson (Screenplay) William Joyce (Book)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Angela Bassett, Daniel Hansen, Jordan Fry, Matthew Josten, John H H Ford, Dara McGarry

 

Plot: Lewis is a brilliant inventor who meets mysterious stranger named Wilbur Robinson, whisking Lewis away in a time machine and together they team up to track down Bowler Hat Guy in a showdown that ends with an unexpected twist of fate.


Tagline – If you think your family’s different, wait ’til you meet the family of the future.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice and Simple Animation

 

Story: Meet the Robinson starts as we meet orphan Lewis, a brilliant inventor that keeps getting over looked for adoption, tired of this, he uses his intervention skills to build a machine which could open the door to memories. When this ends up going wrong, he meets Wilbur a boy from the future, the two go into the future where Lewis will be in his element with the world being full of inventors.

Lewis while happy here must fix the time machine and return to his own time to finish his memory scanner before the future he is in now changes.

 

Thoughts on Meet the Robinson

 

Characters – Lewis is an orphan with bring dreams of being an amazing and brilliant inventor, when he gets a new friend in Wilbur that takes him to the future and his family of inventors, Lewis might have found his place in the world. Lewis is the typical Disney hero figure, worried about one part of their life while missing the truth about another part. Wilbur is the boy from the future that is trying to make up for his own mistake which could change the future he now lives in, this character shows us just what type of responsibility youngsters will need to learn about.

StoryThe story follows a young boy as he looks for answers to why he became an orphan, but over the span of his adventure he ends up in the future where he learns the importance of keeping on working towards his own destiny in typical Disney storytelling process. The story does feel like a flashy version of the Sims video game which is strange for large parts, it does have too many easy twists too.

Adventure/Comedy/Family/Sci-FiThe adventure takes our young orphan inventor to the future which plays into the sci-fi ideas which is his dreams throughout. The comedy is hit or miss with most missing in the most part though.

SettingsThe settings bring us to a future where inventors have become celebrities and their creations are everywhere with everyone using them.

AnimationThe animation works well but you do feel it could have been at a higher level for Disney.


Scene of the Movie –
Closing sequences.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It misses the jokes too many times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a basic animated movie that is everything Disney do when it comes to being safe.

 

Overall: Safe Disney movie.

Rating

 

 

The Mercy (2018)

Director: James Marsh

Writer: Scott Z Burns (Screenplay)

Starring: Rachel Weisz, Colin Firth, David Thewlis, Mark Gatiss, Andrew Buchan, Anna Madeley

 

Plot: The incredible story of amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst and his solo attempt to circumnavigate the globe. The struggles he confronted on the journey while his family awaited his return is one of the most enduring mysteries of recent times.


Tagline – Based on the true story.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nicely Paced, Lacks Impact

 

Story: The Mercy starts when inventor Donald Crowhurst (Firth) who has been working on boating equipment for years decides he wants to try and circumnavigate the globe alone, with no experience of sailing behind him. His wife Clare (Weisz) supports his decision believe he knows what he is getting himself into and Rodney Hallworth (Thewlis) handling the press and Mr Best (Stott) financing the trip.

While on the adventure, plans don’t go to plan and alone Donald must make a difficult decision to cut the corners to both save his life from danger and break the records set out on front of him. When his journey gets studied questions arise and soon the mystery about his pace come to light.

 

Thoughts on The Mercy

 

Characters – Donald Crowhurst has been inventing equipment for boats for years, the one things he desires more is to go around the world, which he puts into motion by building the fastest boat, but with no experience can he do the impossible? Clare is his wife back home and mother to their children, she faces the anxious wait for him to return from his journey, while dealing with the idea he might not make it back and the increased public spotlight thrown on the family because of his success. Rodney is the press officer arranging the sponsors for Donald and bring in the press to tell his story to the world, he becomes more involved the better and faster Donald does.

PerformancesColin Firth is the star of this show, he does much of the work in solo takes showing the endurance he is facing in the middle of the ocean, the moments of beauty and the moments or loneliness shine through in his expressions. Rachel Weisz is good and shines in a couple of scenes, but doesn’t show her full skills. David Thewlis is always an excellent supporting performer too.

StoryThe story follows an unlikely sailor taking on one of the riskiest and most dangerous journey a sailor can take alone. He brings hope to any sailor with the idea, but the truth will leave that hope shattered in one of the biggest mysteries in the sailing world. this is based on a real-event which is interesting to see unfold, my problem with the way the story is told, is that we don’t really know what happened and never get any real evidence either way, which by the end leaves you playing into theories over the truths.

Adventure/BiopicThe adventure plays into the idea that Donald could be going on a journey that could inspire anyone. The biopic side of the film shows how the family was dealing with the journey, but what Donald did on the boat can’t be answered.

SettingsThe film creates the time period well and the time spent on the boat feels like the adventure it was meant to be.


Scene of the Movie –
The wildlife shots.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not knowing the truth.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting biopic that shows a mystery that was never truly solved, it is paced nicely but lack that point of solving the mystery only making suggestions.

 

Overall: Solid biopic with great performances.

Rating

 

 

Monochrome (2016)

Director: Thomas Lawes

Writer: Thomas Lawes (Screenplay)

Starring: Jo Woodcock, Cosmo Jarvis, James Cosmo, Patrice Naiambana, Lee Boardman, Steve Jackson, Liz May Brice

 

Plot: A disillusioned young woman becomes a serial killer who targets wealthy land-owners, and a brilliant detective must use his unusual neurological condition to track her down.


Tagline – Every killer is someone else’s prey

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Twisty Thriller

 

Story: Monochrome starts when Emma (Woodcock) who goes on the run after her boyfriend gets captured for stealing millions, Emma finds herself in the countryside where artist Roger Daniels (Cosmo) takes her in forcing her to be his assistant or he will turn her over to the authorities.

Gabriel Lenard (Jarvis) is the detective tracking down Emma and after the first body turns up, he learns just how deadly she has become, as he does have a unique connection with his neurological connection with her, making her trackable.

 

Thoughts on Monochrome

 

Characters – Emma is the young lady that goes on the run after her boyfriend commits a nationwide crime, in hiding she soon finds herself needing to resort to murder as she leaves a series of bodies behind her. Gabriel Lenard is a detective that has a connection with the crime scenes, he can figure out what has happened, seeing thing others haven’t, it isn’t long before he is fast on tale of Emma, even with his own personal problems. The different victims are mixed for what Emma targets with each having their own reasons for giving her a chance to be in there home.

PerformancesJo Woodcock is the star of the show, she is the serial killer and makes us believe she is an everyday woman you would walk past on the street. When we look at the rest of the performances they are good with Cosmo Jarvis being the only other one that gets the real screen time.

StoryThe story here follows the partner of a criminal that goes on the run only to become a serial killer in her own right, we have a social awkward detective tracking her down as the media start to support her killings of the rich and famous. This is the old cat-n-mouse style thriller which does offer twists along the way and does do its best to keep us guessing as the story unfolds. It does do its best to make something fresh along the way even if it is slightly too long.

ThrillerThe film does the thriller genre very well, it does keep us guessing along the way.

SettingsThe film takes us to different locations as Emma remains on the run becoming the serial killer that needed to be tracked down.


Scene of the Movie –
The past coming to light.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does seem to be slightly too long.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting thriller that will keep us guessing which is refreshing and will keep you wondering just what the master plan Emma is going for.

 

Overall: Thriller that keeps us guessing.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action Movies – Mercury Plains (2016)

Director: Charles Burmeister

Writer: Charles Burmeister (Screenplay)

Starring: Scott Eastwood, Nick Chinlun, Andy Garcia, Jorge A Jimenez, Justin Arnold, Justin Park, Angela Sarafyan

 

Plot: A troubled man runs away to Mexico and is recruited to join a paramilitary group of teens fighting the drug cartels. He proves himself to the group, but questions their motive.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Forgettable Actioner

 

Story: Mercury Plains starts Mitch (Eastwood) a young man from a dead-end town in Texas travels to Mexico with his friend Jesse (Park) they find themselves in trouble, Jesse brings Mitch to meet The Captain (Chinlund) a freedom fighter against the drug market in Mexico.

Upon joining the group Mitch learns not everything is as it seems as the rest of the group seem just like runaways looking for trouble, rather than himself just looking for a fresh start. Mitch slowly becomes the big brother figure to the rest of the boys as he learns this all feels like more of a cult rather than a legal unit.

 

Thoughts on Mercury Plains

 

Characters/PerformanceMitch leaves his abusive life with no future behind him to travel to Mexico, he does want to a job and his own life but in Mexico he joins a group that claim to be fighting drug dealers. He is turns into a mentor like character to the younger members of the group as he sees the error of the ways. The Captain leads the boys in this freedom fight but it appears he isn’t as honest as it seems.

Performance wise, this is a film designed to see if Scott Eastwood can be like his father and while he is leaps and bounds above the rest of the cast he is only good in this role.

StoryThe story does have a slow pace about it, we have elements of coming of age for the teenage boys needing to learn life lessons and seeing how Mitch evolves through the story is good to see. The problem here does come with the fact this isn’t the most interesting story and in places does just come off boring at times.

Action/AdventureThe action is very basic through the film, we don’t get much going on through the film, the adventure shows life lesson learned by the people involved.

SettingsWe have the remote settings which helps keep things low budget as the leader can make himself the king in the middle of nowhere showing us the settings working well.

Final ThoughtsThis is a largely forgettable movie that just doesn’t hit the levels it could and just becomes something you won’t care about.

 

Overall: Skip it, or regret it

Rating