First of all I want to start this article off by wishing everyone including the men and women of the Armed Forces a Happy Memorial Day. After all, this day is about remembering all soldiers past and present that have fought for this country. So for today’s film, I decided to watch a war film and I picked Flags Of Our Fathers which was directed by Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby). It’s 1945 and the war is almost coming to a close, but America is still at war with the Japanese. While on the island of Iwo Jima, the goal is to hang an American flag at the top of a certain point. The film follows the six men who raised the very flag that we see in that iconic image and all of the issues they had to deal with while at war and after it. The film stars Ryan Phillippe (Cruel Intentions) as John “Doc” Bradley, Jesse Bradford (Hackers) as Rene Gagnon, Adam Beach (Windtalkers) as Ira Hayes, John Benjamin Hickey (The Bone Collector) as Keyes Beech, Barry Pepper (True Grit) as Mike Strank, Jamie Bell (King Kong) as Iggy, Paul Walker (Furious 7) as Hank Hansen, John Slattery (Captain America: Civil War) as Bud Gerber, Robert Patrick (Striptease) as Colonel Chandler Johnson, Neal McDonough (Red 2) as Captain Severance, and Melanie Lynskey (Up In The Air) as Pauline.
As far as the film is concerned, it’s a very different type of war movie because not only do you see the horrors of war, but you see a very different side of it. You see a side of war that the politicians do not want you to see. For instance, throughout the film, the image of the men putting up the flag is more important to the cause then the actual truth behind the picture. The country practically has no money so they use the image and the remaining three men who are alive to try and raise money by selling bonds. They know very well that these guys are not comfortable with the whole hero thing, but they need to use that to try and draw money to win the war. Those are some of the things we do not get to see, but is the film controversial? Maybe or maybe not because it depends on who you ask like Spike Lee. Clint Eastwood as a director is money because I have yet to be disappointed at any of the films the man has made and that is truly amazing. There are some iconic images in this film like all of the warships out in the ocean to the gritty aspects of war. All of the acting was great, the cinematography was amazing, and the story was well written. This film may not be my favorite war movie in the world, but it certainly ranks up there. Like I said above, this day is about remembering all the men and women that served this country. Check out the film, learn some history about the nation, and I am giving the film an A- for a final grade.
I usually do not like to watch films that are based off of teen novels, but I broke that rule with the Divergent series and The Maze Runner. The Maze Runner is one of those Teen series that after seeing the first film I was very impressed so for today’s film we checked out Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. The Scorch Trials once again features our group featuring Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), Minho (Ki Hong Lee), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Frypan (Dexter Darden), Winston (Alexander Flores), and Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), but this time around they are rescue and make it to a new facility after escaping the maze. The only problem is that Thomas discovers that there is something wrong with this new facility and he decides to escape and take his chances in the scorch all in search for a group called The Right Arm. The film also stars Jacob Lofland (Mud) as Aris, Rosa Salazar (Insurgent) as Brenda, Giancarlo Esposito (The Usual Suspects) as Jorge, Patricia Clarkson (Shutter Island) as Ava Paige, Aidan Gillen (The Dark Knight Rises) as Janson, Lili Taylor (The Conjuring) as Mary, Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan) as Vince, Katherine McNamara (New Year’s Eve) as Sonya, Nathalie Emmanuel (Furious 7) as Harriet, Alan Tudyk (Wreck-It Ralph) as Blondie, and the film was directed by Wes Ball (The Maze Runner).
One of my issues with the film and it isn’t that big of an issue, but it jumps between genres throughout the whole film. We get a little sci-fi with some alien looking creatures and humans being harvested for their blood before they start to get attacked by zombies. Then its all set in a post apocalyptic world like in Mad Max or The Day After Tomorrow. Even though it may seem like I am complaining about those things, the set design was actually one of my favorite things about the film. The mall buried in sand or the decimated city that they have to navigate through is pretty cool. The film itself has it’s moments of brilliance, but sometimes it has it’s moments of dullness. There are times where the film just feels like it’s dragging and you are wondering when it’s all going to end. The action when it happens can be pretty cool as well and there is plenty of it in this film, but there are some elements of the film that are just predictable. There is one moment in the film that when it happened, I thought to myself that I should have seen it coming. Was the second entry in the series better than the first? To honestly answer that question, I would have to say that I felt the first one was better than this one. They added more as far as visuals are concerned, but there was just too many moments that dragged in my opinion. They are making the next film in the series, so stay tuned for that when it happens. I know I’ll be there to watch it. I am going to give Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials an B+ for a final grade.