The Station Agent (2003)

Director: Tom McCarthy

Writer: Tom McCarthy (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Bobby Cannavale, Michelle Williams, Josh Pais

 

Plot: When his only friend dies, a man born with dwarfism moves to rural New Jersey to live a life of solitude, only to meet a chatty hot dog vendor and a woman dealing with her own personal loss.


Tagline – Loneliness is much better when you have got someone to share it with

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming

 

Story: The Station Agent starts when Finbar McBride (Dinklage) must relocate to rural new Jersey after his friend passes away, he wants a quiet solitude life, as he moves into an abandoned train station. He just so happens to be opposite a chatty hotdog vendor Joe (Cannavale). Finbar continues to meet the locals including the clumsy Olivia (Clarkson) and Emily (Williams).

Finbar, Joe and Olivia end up striking up an unlikely friendship as Fin learns to let people in to his life, Joe learns to open up more about life and Olivia reveals her own tragic story.

 

Thoughts on The Station Agent

 

Characters – Finbar has always worked and lived in the same location until his friend dies, Fin is forced to move out of the city where he wants to continue his life of isolation, only the overly welcoming locals want to be his friend. Finbar starts to learn about other people’s problems as loneliness isn’t the best thing in his life. Olivia nearly runs Finbar over, she is dealing with her own problems that she is covering up with a bubbly personality, she becomes one of the people that Fin wants to help. Joe runs a hot dog stand opposite Fin’s new home, he likes to chat and wants to become Fin’s friend, he has his own problems that he doesn’t want to talk to anybody else about.

PerformancesPeter Dinklage showed the whole world just how talented he is as an actor in this leading role, Patricia Clarkson is also wonderful in her role as we feel the pain her character is going through. Bobby Cannavale completes the main cast with an enjoyable performance

StoryThe story here follows one man that must relocate after his friend dies, he wants to be left in isolation only for the locals to just want to welcome him to the neighbourhood, even if they have their own problems. This is a story that teaches people that need to have a friend to get through your problems, even if the friend comes from the most unlikely location in your everyday life. It shows how people can live a life in pain without you knowing until you are willing to listen to them. It can show how life isn’t going to be easy and it can take you down dark paths and you will need people to help you.

ComedyThe film fits the comedy drama wonderfully, handling the serious nature of the events of the film, while getting the laughs when needed.

SettingsThe film is set in a small location of a town outside of New Jersey, the people are friendly and have problems, they want to stay strong in the eyes of the other members of the community.


Scene of the Movie –
The final shot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We do have too many dwarf jokes, which feel like they haven’t aged well.

Final ThoughtsThis is a charming comedy drama that shows the real struggles in life with friendship coming from the unlikely places.

 

Overall: Enjoyable comedy drama.

Rating

 

 

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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

 

 

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

 

Emma Stone Weekend – Easy A (2010)

logoDirector: Will Gluck

Writer: Bert V Royal (Screenplay)

Starring: Emma Stone, Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes, Dan Byrd, Thomas Haden Church, Patricia Clarkson, Cam Gigandet, Lisa Kudrow, Malcolm McDowell, Aly Michalka, Stanley Tucci

Plot: A clean-cut high school student relies on the school’s rumour mill to advance her social and financial standing.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Good Modern Teen Comedy

Story: Easy A starts with Olive (Stone) telling us that rumours have left her reputation being shattered, where she has her best friend Rhiannon (Michalka) who wants Olive to go camping, but she lies about what happened leading to Rhiannon spreading the rumour.

When the rumour starts spreading the whole school seems to learn about Olive’s weekend with Marianne (Bynes) leading the stories due to her religious beliefs. Olive decides to embrace her new popularity in the school even if it is built on lies. Olive has just one person to turn to the gay Brandon (Byrd) who is also suffering from the rumour mill but the two decide to make their own rumour. The problem with this ruins any plans Olive has to be with the guy Todd (Badgley) that she really wants to be with. Just how far can the rumour mill spiral out of control though.

Easy A is a teen movie that I have started to grow out, my generation would be the American Pie franchise era. I think this does bring the idea of high school into the new world well because it still has the social situation and embraces the use of the modern technology. When it comes to the subject matter the film isn’t afraid to explain that is is a modern telling of the Scarlett Letter which I think is different to others who try to bring classic literacy into teen genre. I will say I loved the 80’s movie references but I would question why Olive was watching them. Overall I thought this was a good welcome addition to the teen comedy genre. (7/10)

Actor Review

Emma Stone: Olive is the quiet student who ends up embracing a rumour about her sexually stories. She becomes the talk of the school as they see her as the slut but in the end she is just making money for fake sexual encounters but the rumour starts getting completely out of control. Emma really has sky rocketed after this role showing she had all the talent. (9/10)olive

Support Cast: Easy A has such a big supporting cast that is hard to pick out who were the main supporters, the adult characters played by Thomas Haden Church, Patricia Clarkson, Malcolm McDowell, Stanley Tucci and Lisa Kudrow all give wonderful performances. While the teen characters all gives great performance dealing with Olive’s decisions.

Director Review: Will GluckWill brings us a new era of teen comedy that will be the stand out for the 2010’s. (8/10)

Comedy: Easy A has good comedy moments especially when the rumours start spiralling out of control. (8/10)

Romance: Easy A has good basic teen level romance with nothing too much until the final scene. (7/10)

Settings: Easy A keeps most of the story in and around the high school settings which works for the film. (8/10)

Suggestion: Easy A is one for a the teen comedy fans out there. (Teen Comedy Fans)

Best Part: Emma Stone’s performance.

Worst Part: Being picky, I didn’t like how there was a true supporting lead.

Romantic Moment: Final cliché moment.

Favourite Quote: DillIs everything all right? It sounds like you’re having sex in here, which I know can’t be true due to the fact that you have a homosexual boyfriend.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $58 Million

Budget: $8 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: Let’s not and say we did.

Overall: Great addition to the teen comedy genre.

Rating 75

The East (2013)

logoDirector: Zal Batmanglij

Writer: Zal Batmanglij, Brit Marling (Screenplay)

Starring: Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgard, Ellen Page, Toby Kebbell, Shiloh Fernandez, Aldis Hodge, Danielle Macdonald, Hillary Baack, Patricia Clarkson, Jason Ritter, Julia Ormond

 

Plot: A successful operative Jane (Marling) for an elite private intelligence firm is repackaged as Sarah and tasked with infiltrating an anarchist group known for executing covert attacks upon major corporations.

 

Verdict: Undercover Thriller

 

Story: Having a very slow moving story that shows how a cult like group are trying to make the rich pay for their wrongs. We get a good sense of togetherness with the anarchist that shows support to each of the members and what they want to fight against. The plans or ‘Jams’ feel rushed and we miss most of the planning and only see the outcome along with the consequences. We only see small snippets of her reporting back and never see what the final outcome of her reports are. The biggest positive is watching how the lead struggles with fighting for what is right and the way the group do their thing. (7/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Brit Marling: Sarah/Jane undercover trying to find out what is the main cause that these people fight for, balancing her emotions for what they are doing with what is right and what her boss wants. Great performance from Brit showing she is a good lead and can help write a good script. (8/10)

 brit

Alexander Skarsgard: Benji the leader of the group who supports people who want to fight back, but his plan is kept secret until the very end. Good performance from Alexander showing he can adapt to a range of roles. (7/10)

benji

Ellen Page: Izzy starting out against Sarah, but ends up being the one to push her into action, she could be considered the female leader of the group and determined to do things her way. Good performance from Ellen showing she can be support even when she can be a lead. (8/10)

 page

Toby Kebbell: Doc one of the guys who is fighting back against the rich after his family is affected by one of their products that was meant to be safe. Good performance from Toby. (7/10)

doc

Director Review: Zal Batmanglij – Good direction to create a thriller that keeps you interested to support both sides. (8/10)

 

Drama: Good drama to create the human relations between the people. (8/10)

Thriller: Keeps you interested in both sides without really keeping you at the edge of the seat. (7/10)

Settings: A nice isolated location for the group showing that they are taking what is wasted and good use of setting to look at the causes they go against. (8/10)

Suggestion: I would say try this, it is slow moving but should keep you attention as it leaves you wondering who is right. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Keeping us supporting all sides.

Worst Part: Bit slow.

Believability: These eco-terrorists are real but what these fight for is different. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: Few clips through the credits

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $2,401,510

Budget: $6.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

Tagline: Spy on us, we’ll spy on you.

 

Overall: Fight For What Is Right

Rating 70