Day 77: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015)

maze-runner-scorch-trials-movie-poster-2015-stills-brenda-cranksI 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).

giphyOne 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.

Day Five: High Fidelity (2000)

high fidelityOne of my all time favorite actors from the 1980’s is definitely John Cusack who starred in many classics like One Crazy Summer, The Sure Thing, Tapeheads, Say Anything, and so many more. In 2000, he starred in the Stephen Frears (Philomena) film High Fidelity. In the film, he plays record store owner, compulsive list maker Rob Gordon, a man that could use a little growing up emotionally. One day, his girlfriend Laura (Iben Hjejle) leaves him and Rob can’t figure out for the life of him why it happens to him. So, he develops a top five list of break ups in his life and he gets to the bottom of them while trying to recuperate his own life along with his crazy employees. The film also stars Jack Black (Orange County) as Barry Judd, Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption) as Roy, Todd Louiso (Thank You For Smoking) as Dick, Lisa Bonet (The Cosby Show) as Marie, Catherine Zeta-Jones (The Mask Of Zorro) as Charlie, Joan Cusack (Say Anything) as Liz, Lili Taylor (The Conjuring) as Sarah, Joelle Carter (American Pie 2) as Penny, Natasha Gregson Wagner (Urban Legend) as Caroline Fortus, and Sara Gilbert (Roseanne) as Anna.

high fidelity 3While this can be filed as a new age romantic comedy film for John Cusack, who was used to starring in those back in the 80’s, also manages to do one thing as well. That is it combines a love for music and vinyl which is right up my alley. This was one of those films that I had only seen bits and pieces of, but I am glad I saw this. If you know John Cusack films, then this is a pretty particular film for him because he is constantly breaking the fourth wall and talking to you which he has done plenty of times in the past. It’s that touch of the 80’s that they can’t seem to get rid of, but i like it because I like being talked to. The film sort of has it all from drama, romance,  a little comedy courtesy of Jack Black, kick ass music, and the amazing Catherine Zeta-Jones. The film did at times attack pop culture as to say that it wasn’t music with heart or a soul which can be true some of the time. One thing that I found pretty cool is that there is a list online of all the top five lists from the film which you can check out here. You should also be checking out the soundtrack which was as I mentioned before absolutely amazing. Meanwhile, I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.