Sunday, September 21, 2014

You'll want a sequel right after you see The Maze Runner

The Hit


The Maze Runner is an action/mystery/sci-fi/thriller all rolled into one. The movie is based on a series by author James Dashner. It involves a boy named Thomas (Dylan O'Brian) who is ascending in an elevator with no memory of getting there or who he is. As soon as he reaches the top, he sees a bunch of other boys staring down at him. One of them welcomes him in and explains the situation and that in time he will remember only his name. 

What would anyone do in a situation like that? I would freak out. But Thomas adjusts in just a few days and starts to take it all in. 

The community of boys have set up a system in the maze where everyone does their part to live in harmony. They are located in the middle of the maze where they can plant, live under trees and are surrounded by agriculture to survive. No one knows why they were put there, but once a month another boy and supplies to either live appear. Each boy is the same and the only memory they can remember is their name and nothing more.

Thomas is curious and asks what exactly is out in the maze, but only special groups called "runners" know. He befriends their leader, Alby (Ami Ameen), Minho, another "runner" (Ki Hong Lee), Chuck (Blake Cooper), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), and somehow makes an enemy with Gally (Will Poulter). 

Things begin to change when, a few days after Thomas's arrival, the elevator rises again. This is weird because that never happen outside of its monthly schedule. In the elevator is a girl. To everyone's surprise, she's the first and only girl to ever come through. Before she passes out, she calls out Thomas's name and in her hand is a note saying "she's the last one ever." Her name is later revealed to be Teresa (Kaya Scodelario). 

After taking a few trips into the maze before her arrival, Thomas is now determined to find a way out and save everyone from the Grievers, a deadly creature in the maze. There is more than just the Maze and Thomas and Teresa have a hand in all of it. This movie is full of surprises and fun adventure in a thriller/action sort of way. If it does good, which I know you'll want it to, it could have some great sequels as well.

The Verdict

  • SEE IT
  • Don't see it
  • Rent it 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Giver caps off summer with a smash


The Hit


The Giver is based on the Lois Lowry book of the same name. Although I haven't read the book myself, a friend who saw the movie with me said The Giver follows the book pretty well. Both of us quite enjoyed it.

The Giver follows a boy turning 18 named Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) and his two friends, Fiona (Odeya Rush) and Asher (Cameron Monaghan). The movie is set in a futuristic world from today where everything is perfect and there are no flaws. Things like race, color, feelings, and choice are erased. At the age of 18, young adults graduate and are assigned a specific job for the rest of their lives. Jonas Job is unlike any of his other classmates and has to learn past memories from The Giver (Jeff Bridges).

Jonas soon realizes that the world he lives in is just an act. He discovers feelings such as pain, suffering, sadness, happiness and love. When Jonas tries to share these things and other old memories  like a sled going down a snow-capped mountain and dancing  the Chief Elder (Meryl Streep) notices what he's doing and takes action to stop the sharing of emotions.

Things go awry and Jonas can't take the lies anymore. Together, Jonas and The Giver come up with a plan to share what they've learned with the community and the adventure begins. Even though Fiona and Asher don't really know what's going on, they support and help Jonas with his plan. Everything is at stake and the only way to release those memories to everybody is for Jonas to travel down a long tough path.

All in all, The Giver was another great book adaptation that offers something for everyone.

The Verdict

  • SEE IT
  • Don't see it
  • Rent it

No Good Deed is good enough for a rent

The Hit


No Good Deed follows a mother of two (Taraji P. Henson) who is just too good for her husband. By that I mean he doesn't know how good he has it with a woman like her. You'll know what I mean when you see it. The movie genre is a thriller with a few jumpy scares and a few moments of anticipation and predictable moments.

The storyline for No Good Deed begins with a convict (Idris Elba) on the verge of being released. Due to his unstable emotions, however, he has to wait longer for a unanimous decision and it's clear that it might not be a possibility for a long time. He is sent back to the prison and on his way there he somehow escapes and goes to find an old flame. Because he is an unstable psychopath , he goes mad and follows a predictable plotline. After his escape, he meets a mother of two who does a "good deed" but soon realizes it was a mistake.

The story has a decent plot with a slight twist at the ending. No Good Deed is a scary flick good for a date night.

The Verdict

  • See it
  • Don't see it
  • Rent it

Friday, September 5, 2014

When the Game Stands Tall joins the ranks of Remember the Titans and Friday Night Lights

The Hit

Some are saying When the Game Stands Talls is as good or better than Remember the Titans. After seeing it, I can say that it hits you in the feel goods as much as iconic football movies like Remember the Titans and Friday Night Lights. Not only does it accurately represent the game of football, When the Game Stans tall teaches values and morals to a greater extent.

When the Game Stands Tall is based on a high school football team, the De La Salle High School Spartans, achieving the unthinkable and unimaginable: a winning streak of 151 games and 0 losses. After a little research, I found out it is currently the longest winning streak held by a football team, including the NFL and college levels. That being said, all good things must come to an end. After so many undefeated seasons, the movie shows us the school's record-ending loss and the senior class involved with the defeat. 

Anyone who has played a sport knows how a loss hurts. In When the Game Stands Tall, that feeling is multiplied many times over. After their record is broken, the team (including runningback Chris Ryan, played by Alexander Ludwig) is down and the only person to lift them back up is their coach, the same man started and saw the end of their streak. Coach Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel) delivers a motivating pep talk, and states that the winning streak was never the goal. He stresses that the team is family, a brotherhood to be depended on. He states that the love of family means that you can count on me in good times as in bad.

This movie was amazing. When the Game Stands Tall shows a team high in the clouds and as low as dirt and how they find redemption. I urge any football fan to go see this movie. You will fall in love with the players, the coaches, and be touched by the values shown that carry on through life, not just football.

The Verdict

  • SEE IT
  • Don't see it
  • Rent it