Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil & Vile (2019)

Director: Joe Berlinger

Writer: Michael Werwie (Screenplay) Elizabeth Kendall (Book)

Starring: Lily Collins, Zac Efron, Kaya Scodelario, John Malkovich, Jim Parsons, Jeffrey Donovan, Haley Joel Osment, Angela Sarafyan

 

Plot: A chronicle of the crimes of Ted Bundy, from the perspective of his longtime girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer, who refused to believe the truth about him for years.


Tagline – The Story Behind America’s Most Notorious Serial Killer

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fantastically Tense

 

Story: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile starts as we see Liz (Collins) visiting Ted (Efron) in prison, this leads to her flashing back to how the two first met in Seattle, the two have continued to grow a family, in the shadow of the mysterious killings of young woman in and around the local states.

When Ted first gets arrested for jumping stop signs, it soon spirals into attempted kidnapping before Ted gets charged with the murder of the girls on the university compass, with escapes mounting charges, can Ted continue to convince Liz that he is innocent.

 

Thoughts on Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

 

Characters – Liz Kendall is the single mother that starts dating Ted, she loves how he accepts her child and is accepted by her child. She is never going to accept that Ted has committed the crimes he once did, she is blinded by the love and charm Ted offers her. Ted Bundy is the most notorious serial of the last century, he used he good looks and charms to trick his victims, though we never see this on camera, we follow Ted as he convinces Liz he isn’t the killer, while using his charm and intelligence to stay ahead of the court cases he is facing, this version of Ted is one that played to the media that got the following and people interested in the case about his life. Carole Anne Boone is the woman that starts following Ted through his trial, she is just like the rest of the women, who is easily seduced by his charm. Judge Edward D Cowart is the Judge in the Florida trial, he must deal with Ted taking the trial into a media circus while remaining neutral through the case.

PerformancesLily Collins is the woman that was in love with Ted, in her performance we get to see how she is dealing with the guilt of not knowing or wanting to know the truth about Ted. Zac Efron has just shown the world that he is a major player in the acting field, this is easily the strongest performance of his career that is filled with the charm his character requires and the disturbing look behind his eyes. John Malkovich brings the much-needed calm presence for a judge. Kaya Scodelario is great to breaking away from the typical roles we are used to seeing her in.

StoryThe story here instantly gets the talking points, first any film that shows us the events of a known serial killer shouldn’t be put front and centre of a story, they don’t deserve to be the ones remembered over their victims. Away from that point, we get to follow most of the court cases involving Ted, this is refreshing as we don’t have to watch his horrible actions, just see how the cases are trying to prove whether he was the one behind the murders. The story does become interesting to see unfold because we are left to almost see why it was so hard to believe he was the killer by the way he handled himself trying to prove his innocence. This is easily the best way to look at the Ted Bundy story because it doesn’t glorify the violence he caused and showed us just how determined the authorities were to bring him down.

Biopic/CrimeThe biopic side of the film showed us just how Liz Kendall was involved in the life of Ted Bundy, how her love made it hard for her to believe he was this evil, we do see how Ted Bundy was determined to prove he was never guilty of the crimes, which leads into the world the crimes that have been committed.

SettingsA lot of the film is set in and around the courtrooms showing how the case is being broken down.


Scene of the Movie –
The verdict speech.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does seem to skip out a lot of the timeline of the murders.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best performances from Zac Efron that brings to life the serial killer Ted Bundy, showing how he would use his natural talents to charm and intelligence to attempt to get off everything he is being charged for.

 

Overall: Must Watch biopic.

Rating

 

 

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

 

 

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017)

Director: Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg

Writer: Jeff Nathanson (Screenplay) Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Stuart Beattie, Jay Wolpert (Characters)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin McNally, Orland Bloom, Keira Knightley

 

Plot: Captain Jack Sparrow searches for the trident of Poseidon.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Better Than Expected

 

Story: Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge starts as a young Henry Turner visiting and promising to break the curse on his father Will Turner (Bloom) against his father’s wishes because it means finding Jack Sparrow (Depp).

Move forward nine years and Henry (Thwaites) in part of the British Navy hunting down pirates in search of Jack Sparrow, when his ship heads into the Devil’s Triangle they find themselves attacked by the ghost Captain Salazar (Bardem), a man in search for Jack Sparrow who cursed his crew.

Finding himself locked up, Henry learns he is on the same island as Jack Sparrow and sets out on finding him as well as an astronomer Carina (Scodelario) who gets treated like a witch because of knowledge. The three team up with Jack’s crew to search for Poseidon’s Trident the one object that can break all curses in the ocean.

With Captain Salazar terrorising the ocean he joins the current ruler of the ocean Captain Barbossa (Rush) in the hunt for Jack as the pirates do battle to break the curses over the ocean.

 

Thoughts on Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge

 

Characters/PerformanceCaptain Jack is back, but this time we get a mix of what we expect from the style of the character at times being fun and over times feeling like a parody of himself. Captain Salazar is a good additional villain to this franchise because he was once a man doing the right thing but now hunts the seas for any victim. Captain Barbossa does have the best story arc in this film as we see how he has become the wealthiest pirate at sea and always stays one step ahead of everyone else. Henry is good for this film because it brings us back into the original characters origins learning about Will Turner and now his son, even if the character feels just like a copy of his father, Carina is written to be a strong independent woman in the time of the film which she is but she does also turn into the normal damsel in distress when it comes to conflict moments.

Performance Wise, Johnny Depp does feel like he is doing what you expect but does have moments of parody. Javier Bardem is good and enjoys the villainous role. Rush continues to be good without excelling, Brenton and Kaya are good addition but they do feel like they were just creating a new version of Bloom of Knightley.

StoryOne of the strongest points of any pirates movie is being able to tell us a continuing story, Black Pearl entered us into this world very nicely and the next two chapters continued the story along building on the characters legacy, when it came to Stranger Tides things went off the rails and the film came off boring. This story brings us back to the original arcs and continues to build on them like we enjoy seeing. This isn’t the overall best but it certainly isn’t the worst of the Pirates films and if you enjoyed the stories in the first couple you will enjoy this one.

Action/Adventure/FantasyThe action is all fun, we get a couple of rip off ideas from bigger action franchises, most notable the bank heist, the sword fighting is fine but does become inconstant by the end of the film as ghosts can’t have sword fights. the adventure is the highlight here because this time you do feel like you are back where you want to be. The fantasy side of the film continues on nicely as we dive into the myths of the ocean.

SettingsEach setting looks perfect for a pirates film as we can continue to enjoy the visual experience of a pirates movie.

Special EffectsThe special effects are good, I did like how the deliberate slow flow of Salazar’s hair almost becomes a characteristic of its own too.

Final ThoughtsSure this film will get slammed but it doesn’t need to be, if you just go in look for some fun you will find yourself enjoying this one enough.

 

Overall: Sit back, switch your brain of and enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015)

mazeDirector: Wes Ball

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

Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Dexter Darden, Alexander Flores, Jacob Lofland, Rosa Salazar, Patricia Clarkson, Lili Taylor, Barry Pepper, Alan Tudyk, Giancarlo Esposito

 

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.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Didn’t See This Coming

 

Story: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials starts with our survivors from the first Maze Runner Thomas (O’Brien), Minho (Lee), Teresa (Scodelario), Frypan (Darden) Newt (Brodie-Sangster) to name a few. The survivors were rescued by Janson’s (Gillen) men as they see the reality of what has happened to the world with the infected attacking the base especially as our group of survivors are the key to finding a cure from the Flare Virus.grop

Once inside the group learn that there were other mazes with other groups that survivor and Janson is promising to take them to a new land for freedom but when long server survivor Aris (Lofland) shows Thomas the truth they find out just how much danger they are all in again.

After escaping early on the group find themselves coming face to face with the infected enemy where they learn the truth about how dangerous the outside is or the Scorch if you like as they search for a resistance movement to go against Ava Paige (Clarkson).

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials picks up where the first one finished and we finally get to see the world that we only see small parts off. We get to see both side in a war for a cure as well as the threat against both of them with the ‘Cranks’ well zombies really. This is a great sequel to a film that left you thinking, ‘oh come on’ by the end of it. I did say after both Maze Runner and Divergent I would judge the builder film on the sequel, this went the right direction by not over complicating the battle but does show the threat we are witnessing on front of us. Sure this does end up giving us another cliff hanger but we have jumped forward and I could be honest and say you don’t really need to see the first film to enjoy this.

 

Actor Review

 

Dylan O’Brien: Thomas is the reluctant leader of the group from the Glades, he learns about the danger his people find themselves in. he leads their escape as he guides them across the Scorch as they look for the next place of safety. Dylan steps up his game in this outing showing he could become the leading man the film deserves.  thomas

Ki Hong Lee: Minho is the trust best friend of Thomas, he is the combat expert and can match Thomas in any of the running mission. He will become your favourite character because he will be the one that stays to fight while his friends get to safety. Ki gives us a good performance making us want to see how his character does against the enemy.

Kaya Scodelario: Teresa is along for the journey and tries to talk Thomas into returning to the base, something was done to her during their time at the base. Kaya really doesn’t do anything in this film and feels slightly out of place.

Thomas Brodie-Sangster: Newt is the brains of the act but also the guy who wants to make sure everything is done through safety rather than taking any chances. Thomas doesn’t get as many scenes as we need from him but he does a solid in the scenes he has.

Support Cast: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials has a huge supporting cast that includes great performance from Patricia Clarkson, Aidan Gillian, Barry Pepper, Lili Taylor, Rosa Salazar, Giancarlo and Adam Tudyk each character is involved with continuing the story and you fast decide which ones you want to cheer for and boo.

Director Review: Wes Ball Wes gives us a great sequel for the next instalment of a franchise I thought was going to be flat.

 

Action: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials has great action scenes throughout putting all our characters into peril making you wonder which one will make it out of each battle.

Sci-Fi: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials shows a future that ends up showing a world which has been devastated by a virus.

Thriller: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials keeps you guessing to watch will happen until the very end and makes you want to come back for more.

Settings: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials creates brilliant settings for the film showing the destruction that has happened because of the virus.
Special Effects
: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials has great effects with the creation of the Cranks especially with the ones that reminded me of the ‘Clickers’ from The Last of Us.

Suggestion: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is one I think could easily be one to watch and enjoy by all. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Clickers underground.

Worst Part: Teresa really is annoying and under used.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final Fight.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Divergent, Hunger Games

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $61 Million

Runtime: 2 Hour 12 Minutes

Tagline: The maze was just the beginning

Trivia: The plot, facts and characters from the movie are wildly different than from the book, including the story arc, the flare and character backstory and development.

 

Overall: One of the best young adult films of the recent Ocean of them

Ratingcard

 

The Maze Runner (2014)

logoDirector: Wes Ball

Writer: Noah Oppenheim, Grant Pierce Myers, T.S. Nowlin (Screenplay) James Dashner (Novel)

Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee, Blake Cooper, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Dexter Darden, Kaya Scodelario

 

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.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beginning of Another Saga

 

Story: The Maze Runner starts by introducing us Thomas (O’Brien) as he makes his way up through the ground to the outskirts of the maze. The area is run by young adults and teenagers, Alby (Ameen) shows Thomas around including meeting the second in command Newt (Brodie-Sangster) teases the idea of being a runner. The Gladers have three rules to live by, no free loaders, no harming anyone and don’t go into the maze.

We learn that the community has Maze Runners who try to map the maze surrounding the community but the problem is that the maze changes every night, Newt continues the rest of the tour teaching Thomas about all the different groups before Thomas face Gally (Poulter) in a bonding battle. Thomas being curious tries to figure a way out but every idea he has the others have tried be it climbing over or going back down. Things start to get bad for Thomas when out of character runner Ben (Sheffield) attacks him blaming him for something. Ben had become infected by a sting, which cause the changing.

When the runners and the leader get caught up in the maze Thomas runs in to try and save the guys trying to get back. Stuck inside the maze Thomas must work with runner Minho (Hong Lee) to be the first to survive the night. During the night Thomas finds out about the creatures inside the maze Grievers killing one of them. When the box sends up Teresa (Scodelario) the first ever girl with the message this is the last one ever the community has to work out what to do next. Thomas arranges a team to go back into the maze try bring back the body of the griever to hopefully uncover answers about what they are up against. Thomas becomes a runner and along with Minho tries to find the answers the maze is hiding in a way to try and save the rest of the people.maze

The Maze Runner does fall into the category of teens fighting back against adult in a world that is post-apocalyptic (just like Hunger Games, Divergent, Ender’s Game, The Host the list could go on and on) the point is do we need another one? The answer for this is no, but this one does come off very interesting for the most part, we get to see how the struggle to survive is going ok for the group but when things change and positions get challenged we end up facing off against more than we bargained for. The negative side to this story is the ending, because it is a builder for the next film and almost makes this whole film seem almost pointless. We also have to look at the fact that this one bloke came in and changed everything within 3 days, while others had been there happy for 3 years. Overlooking these two flaws I do think this was the best of the starter stories until the end which loses its creditability. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Dylan O’Brien: Thomas the latest boy sent to the surface to be part of the community that has to figure out the way out of the maze. He is different to the rest and could be the one to lead them to freedom. Dylan does a solid job in the lead role and it will be interesting to see where they take his character next now. (6/10)

 thomas

Will Poulter: Gally who is one of the longest serving members of the community who is very determined to stay and survive rather than find a way out, he slowly because the villain of the piece because he won’t let the rest escape. Will does a good job in the role that is meant to be stubborn and against change. (7/10)

gally

Kaya Scodelario: Teresa the first girl to be sent to the maze who also has a past with Thomas that they can’t fully remember to start with. She helps lead the escape once she starts remembering. Kaya struggles to make an impact even as the only real female character. (5/10)

 

Thomas Brodie-Sangster: Newt second in command who helps Thomas understand the ways of the people as well as being one that stands next to him during the confrontation against Gally. Thomas does a solid job as the information guy telling us all we need to learn about what is going on. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: The Maze Runner has a support cast that mainly includes the other teenagers in the community, we have the leader who warns gets hurt and dies helping, the token comedy relief character who doesn’t look like they should be there and the heroes who stand up for what is right. They all help the story go to the next level without being too attachable.

 

Director Review: Wes Ball – Wes does a good job directing this to keep us fully interested in what is unfolding. (7/10)

 

Action: The Maze Runner has good chases scenes and combat against the Grievers. (7/10)

Mystery: The Maze Runner does put you in a position to ask what is going on creating a good mystery side to the story. (7/10)

Sci-Fi: The Maze Runner we don’t see the full sci-fi of the story until the end which means I can’t give this part of the series a high score. (4/10)

Thriller: The Maze Runner pulls you into to want to see how the teens get on but once you see the end you almost feel let down. (6/10)

Settings: The Maze Runner creates a good isolated setting for the characters to be in as the story unfolds, making them trapped surrounded by a maze waiting to kill them. (/10)
Special Effects
: The Maze Runner uses its special effects well to create the creatures that are after the teens. (8/10)

Suggestion: The Maze Runner is one to try, it will appeal to all the teenage fans out there because it another saga to follow along with. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Night in the maze.

Worst Part: The end leaves plot holes open.

Action Scene Of The Film: Freedom run.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It will have sequels.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: The Hunger Games

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $341 Million

Budget: $34 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

Trivia: Of the largely British cast, only actor Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who plays Newt, got to keep his accent.

 

Overall: In the world with plenty of these teenage films this could easily have been one of the better ones but sadly it just gets pushed in with all the rest.

Rating71