Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

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Thomas and his fellows Gladers have escaped the Maze, but they’re adventures weren’t over. They must now face a new set of challenges as they uncover the past of their desolate world.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is the latest addition to the YA dystopian sci-fi genre, which includes films such as The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and Divergent. As the sequel to last year’s awesome action flick The Maze Runner, I expected a lot more from this film. One thing you should keep in mind is that I don’t care how differnet this film is from its book. I am reviewing this movie as a film, not a film adaptation. Anyway, this movie starts out completely rushed and would confuse anyone who hasn’t seen the first movie. Unlike the first film, none of the characters are able to deliver any emotion. Nothing is conveyed well or impacts the movie positively. Many characters are brought into the series too quickly and with barely any exposition, a lot of which is needed but lacked. The cast is mostly solid, but lots of the cast is barely needed. The action is decent and often fun, but it usually feels like a zombie movie when it has action, since most of the human race has been infected by a spreading disease from a solar flare. It eventually becomes messy with all the unnecessary twists and turns. The movie’s dialogue never completely knows where it’s going, and feels very cliche and tiring. By the film’s end, it’s completely frustrating and senseless, and leaving audiences not wanting to tune in for Part 3.

Overall, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is a complete downfall for its series. Lacking dramatization and originality, The Scorch Trials is ultimately not worth a ticket – or a sequel.

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Everest

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Everest is the exhilarating true story of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, in which a climbing expedition on Mt. Everest, led by Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) and Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal), was devastated by a severe storm.

After Gravity showed you the suffering of being in space, Everest demonstrates the horrors of being at the highest place in the world, at a cruising altitude of 747, in dazzling IMAX 3D. Everest is a visual spectacle, using barely any CGI or effects, and filmed beautifully, showing you the amazing but terrifying landscape of Mount Everest. Every shot is incredible and beautiful look at. I felt sucked into the movie’s setting when I saw it in IMAX 3D. The movie’s score is also very well done.

Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, and John Hawkes all did an incredible job acting as terrified climbers who have something to come back home for. Jake Gyllenhaal is also very good in his role, but he’s only likable and decently written, not amazing. Emily Watson and Keira Knightley are also good, but Robin Wright is miscast and overacted. Sam Worthington has a decent small role, and Michael Kelly is solid, too.

Everest may seem like it’s only some amazing views, but that’s not it. Once you’re an hour through the film, a storm approaches, threatening the climbers that we have related with. At this point, all the terror and amazement increases as the climbers struggle to survive. There is so much suspense that my breath was taken away from me, and I was on the very edge of my seat. It is very hard to watch what these climbers went through, but the theater experience ultimately leaves you in awe.

Everest is ultimately able to convey the beauty and horrors of the titular mountain in such a touching, amazing, and terrifying way. It is realistic, intense, wonderfully shot and directed, well-acted, and an unforgettable way too kick off the Oscar season.

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The FilmToppings Summer Movie Awards 2015

I recently held my 2nd annual summer movie awards on Instagram. You guys voted for the following categories. Here are the results:

Best Cinematography: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Visual Effects: Jurassic World

Best Score/Soundtrack: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Best Director: George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Actor: Paul Rudd – Ant-Man

Best Actress; Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road

Worst Movie: Fantastic Four

Best Movie: Mad Max: Fury Road

Those are the winners of this Summer’s movie awards! A few Honorable Mentions, movies that were nominated a lot but didn’t win anything, include Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Tomorrowland, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Inside Out. I honestly thought this Summer was mostly a lazy time for movies, as it was filled with disappointments. However, a few movies, including ones that won, managed to live up to my expectations. Let’s see if these movies have luck in my Oscars at the end of the year!

Also, I have a YouTube channel that is up and I will start posting videos on it very soon!

United 93

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In recognition of the 9/11 attacks 14 years ago, I decided to watch Paul Greengrass’ 2006 drama United 93 for the first time yesterday. Because of the occasion, I will review it, too.

United 93 depicts what happened on United Airlines Flight 93, hijacked on September 11, 2001, but the only one out of the four planes hijacked that day to not reach its target. It is an incredibly realistic and moving dramatization of the events the film depicts. Not much happens within the first 45 minutes, but after that, it becomes very intense. There isn’t a specified protagonist, and no known actors, but the performances feel amazingly realistic, without doubt. Once the hijacking begins, everything become so intense, real, and in the end, heartbreaking. Thanks to director Paul Greengrass, I felt like I was watching an actual event. He directs the film masterfully, and like he does with Captain Phillips, he is able to convey the story on flight 93 and the narrative of the attacks. It ends very dramatically, and takes your breath away at the last moment of the film.

Overall, United 93 is an excellent, captivating movie that feels realistic and emotional, and that I would recommend for ages 15 and up.

This review is dedicated to all the passengers who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

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