The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner is an older film. Well, I say older, but it’s just one year ago. Still, the sequel, The Scorch Trials, is coming out soon. The Maze Runner takes place in a mysterious and gigantic maze. Kids are placed in the center and there are runners that go through the maze, hence, The Maze Runner. The kids try to survive and figure out what is the maze and why they are in it.

First off, I have not read the books. I feel that is an important point to make because I find my enjoyment of adaptations depends on if I read the original work or not. I find I enjoy movies more if I don’t read the book they are based on. That is not always the case, but it seems to be moreoften than not.

As for The Maze Runner, I liked it. The maze felt relly grand and imposing. The creatures running in the maze were nasty. And all of the main kids had pretty good reactions to everything that was going on around them. The movie has a more gritty and dark feel. There’s no joking around or anything. Everyone is serious at the situation they are in.

The slow buildup of what the maze is is done pretty well. It’s a slower movie with fewer scenes of actions going on. Each action scene, however, feels tense with the fear of the character’s dying off.

The atmosphere, I feel, is the most well done part of the movie. There is not a lot of answers during the movie with most of why things are happening being put into the last few minutes. Still, the plight of the kids to survive and escape the maze takes priority, and what few answers they find out in the maze serve to heighten the mystery well.

Overall, the tone is a bit too serious for me, but for what the movie puts out, it works well. The mystery wasn’t so overplayed that I stopped caring about it at all. It was a good mixture of doing things and figuring things out. Though honestly, I probably still won’t see The Scorch Trials in theaters. Maybe.

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Disney’s Descendants

Ah, it has arrived, a few weeks ago, the much hyped Disney’s Descendants. Take all the fairy tale movies by Disney, transpose them to the modern world, give the villains kids and have them be the focus of the story. Dress it up with some fancy sets, costumes and song/dance numbers and you will have Disney’s Descendants. I’m going to stop adding the Disney’s to the front of the title now since you can assume I mean the kids film and not the George Clooney film, The Descendants.

This takes place in the high school for the children of all the heroes in the fictional Kingdom of Auradon. I like that the King and Queen are the Beast and Belle, not Snow White or another older Disney princess. i like it because both Beast and Belle are well established instead of only one of them.

Four kids of villains, Mal (daughter of Maleficient), Evie (daughter of the Evil Queen), Jay (son of Jafar) and Carlos (son of Cruella) are allowed to go to that school for a chance at a better life. Of course their wicked parents have some alternative reasons for letting their kids go.

The film asks whether the kids should try to make their parents proud or get immersed in their newfound world and happiness of real companionship. It might have been done before, but using actual Disney characters gives the movie great fun. And all of those villains were really enjoying themselves. They were going full ham.

The kids are really fun to watch. They navigate through school life while having an overbearing pressure on them. I am also pretty glad that some normal tropes weren’t used. For instance, the main princess girl had a legitimate reason to dislike the villain kids, and even she made peace at the end.

The dance numbers are really fun, most of which you can see online. I liked the first big dance number introducing all of the villain kids, following that, I also really liked Maleficient’s song.

Descendants is a good introduction to a fun world filled with the kids of Disney characters. And it feels like it hits most of the notes it was trying to reach. Not a pun on music, by the way. Yeah, I enjoyed it a lot. It’s still saved up on my DVR for repeated viewing.

Would it be proper or remiss to compare it to another series with the kids of fairy tale characters? Yeah, I know of/watch Ever After High. I would say I like Ever After High better, but they also had a lot more time to set up more characters, and they have a really interesting free-will VS destiny thing going on with the fairy tale twist.

Disney wants to make Descendants into a semi-regular thing, thoug, so I’ll see how it goes. Disney does have the advantage of being able to use their version of the characters, and let’s face it, that’s a lot more well-known to people.

Sharknado 1, 2 and 3!

With the release of Sharknado 3, I decided to finally watch it. After all, if there’s 3 of them, it must be doing something right. So I also watched the first 2. I did not watch all three of them in one day, I don’t think I could handle it.

Now, is this really the kind of movie that needs reviews? These movies work much better by showing ridiculous clips, yet not the most ridiculous things that happen. Let natural curiousity for just how off it can be draw in the viewers.

For those that want to know, I did enjoy it. Of course, not thinking too deeply about things is a must. Physics and biology especially. Cool and funny are the only rules of the movie. So if you want a fun, mindless way to pass the night, the Sharknado movies will do nicely.

The acting is passable for what’s going on. There’s none of that winking at the camera, no sir. Everyone plays this straight, and it adds to the charm of the movie. The most ridiculous thing is going on and it is the most serious thing. There is an odd lack of reaction to what’s going on, but the action parts are great. The movie has sharks in tornadoes, and they prove to be really effective and awesome.

Each successive movie only ups the ridiculous factor. I won’t spoil the ending of the third one, but, yeah, the fourth one is going to have to pull of some over the over the top stuff to beat it.

The movies are all plain, stupid fun, really. If you are the type of person that enjoys that, than these movies will be your jam for the night. If you are not, stay far, far away. The movies wouldn’t want you watching and complaining about every little thing, anyway. And since Lavalantula is in the same universe, the world is pretty much doomed.

Ant-Man

A bit late, but I finally saw Ant-Man! The last part of phase 2 ends with a more light-hearted romp that still brings in some new information into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ant-Man is a fun way to decompress after what happened in Avengers Two and before the Civil War. After the large explosions of the previous movies, Ant-Man provides the smallest explosions. Oh ho ho.

I felt like they had a lot of fun with the shrinking and growing in the movie. They threw in several epic scenes that turn hilarious when you realize everything is happening on the scale of an ant. The ant army was also amazing. And I am glad they looked cuter than real ants. Sorry, but I am still getting rid of any real ants around me.

The plot is pretty similar to Iron Man. Genius makes suit. Evil guy wants to make his own suit based on the genius’s work. Stop that new suit! The villain, Darren Cross, has a creepier vibe about him, though. Just from the first scene, you can tell something is up with him. There is actually a pretty chilling moment when he deals with someone that doesn’t believe in his ideas.

Scott Lang is a cool character, but his friends really steal the show in terms of comedy. Scott is just a father that wants to protect his daughter. His friends, however, get into all sorts of mischief and bring about the comedy. Luis in particular, is golden. Him telling stories about how he knows a guy is some of the best comedy parts of the movie.

There are some suprise appearances by some Avengers, too. Though they aren’t a surprise now that I’ve just told you. Woopsie.

The movie does seem to go through phases, starting with being a normal comedy, then a training for a heist, then just super heroics. For those that think Ant-Man’s power is silly, the movie does a great job of showing just how dangerous it can be, especially in the hands of a villain.

A really fun movie to go see where the people making it must be having a lot of fun with all the shrinking and growing scenes. And that sort of quirky fun comes through in the movie.

Man, the Marvevl Cinemtic Universe is really getting big now. I love it. If I were to put it somewhere, I would say it’s above Thor 2 and Iron Man 3 but below Captain America 2.