The Maze Runner Chapter 23

So more cool-down time, Thomas has a lot on his mind. He’s worried about Alby, worried about hat the Changing will do to him, still thinking about the girl, and the real weight of being trapped inside the Maze.

Night falls and the doors close, Thomas and Chuck talk. Thomas doesn’t seem too comfortable with all the praise her’s getting. A part of him feels proud of what he had accomplished but another part of him feels like shit.

Newt, who seems to be the new guy in charge, is having a rough time. We learn a bit more about the Changing and the fact that boys who go through it come out very unlikable.

Makes me wonder about Gally though. What was he like before and why was he in the Maze in the first place? I don’t think he was a Runner, in the beginning, he’s a Builder. Why did he go into the Maze?

But we know Thomas is going to be the subject of an upcoming Gathering which should be interesting at the very least.

Just an okay chapter.

Movie Review: The Cloverfield Paradox

Hey! Recently I just watched a movie called The Cloverfield Paradox and I wanted to write a review for it!

 

MV5BMTAwOTIxMDA0MjZeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDg1MjgzNzQz._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_
Source: IMDb.com

 

Some context: I am vaguely familiar with the Cloverfield franchise, I’ve seen the first one once a long time ago and I haven’t seen 10 Cloverfield Lane at all. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of the original movie since I barely remember what the actual movie was about so I’m coming to this relatively fresh.

Summary from IMDb: Orbiting a planet on the brink of war, scientists test a device to solve an energy crisis, and end up face-to-face with a dark alternate reality.

The Writing & Directing:

The story was written by Oren Uziel and Doug Jung, with Oren Uziel adapting the screenplay.  I haven’t seen anything else either of these guys so…I can’t speak to the consistency of their work but…well Oren Uziel wrote the screenplay for 22 Jump Street which I’ve heard good things about so there is that.

Just from watching this movie I think both of them are good at creating an engaging story. From the beginning of the movie, I was very interested in what was going on. The writing kept my attention the entire time and made me ask questions and try to figure out where the story was headed. Pretty good for a movie classified as a Mystery I think.

I also think they did a good job setting up characterization for each character. It’s nothing deep but it’s enough to make each character distinct.

There’s a good balance of tone in this movie as well. The emotions flowed from one to another very well and at no point was I taken from the story by a jarring shift in tone or out of place line.

That takes me to the directing. The director of this movie is Julius Onah. Looking at his IMDb page he’s done a number of shorts I haven’t seen, but I think he handles things in this movie competently. According to IMDb, this movie falls under the genres of Horror, Sci-Fi, and Mystery. Onah handles the horror segments well, with interesting uses of body horror (my personal favorite) and I loved it!

I honestly don’t much about directing in all honesty, but nothing in this movie, from a directing standpoint, made me pause, but nothing stood out either.

Just a really sold job.

The Acting & Characters:

The acting in this movie is great across the board. I don’t think any of these people would be consider “A-lister” but terms like that doesn’t mean much to me, but I recongnize Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle and Beyong the Lights), David Oyelowo (Selma, A United Kingdom, and Star Wars: Rebels), Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Rush Hour 2, and Memoirs of a Geisha) and Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War) and can say that they give great performances.

The rest of the cast is great as well. As I stated above, none of the characters, with the exception of Hamilton (played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw), get a lot of depth, but the actors do such a great job and have really believable chemistry.

Our main character Hamilton has to go through an arc of learning how to let go and move on from her past mistakes and Mbatha-Raw’s acting is really top notch.  I can’t go into more without going into spoilers or just devolving into praise so please just know that I truly think it’s great!

Final Thoughts:

As stated before, I’m coming in pretty fresh to this movie franchise, but I think The Cloverfield Paradox is a solid movie full of great performances. This Sci-Fi movie isn’t particularly deep on that end, but the horror aspects are equally scary and fun, while I think the mystery is interesting enough to keep you engaged. It’s fun!

Final Score: 6.5/10

The Maze Runner Chapter 22

This chapter is the aftermath of chapter 21.

It starts right where the last one left off. Thomas and Minho are standing at the cliff with Thomas crying his eyes out. It wasn’t emotionally effective to me, but for someone who found the previous chapter frightening I think this would work well as an opener.

Thomas managed to pull himself together and looked over the edge, trying to figure out where the Grievers vanished to. He doesn’t see anything and finds it impossible (as do I). I know where this is all leading up to, but I still find it ridiculous.

There’s some more talk about what they differently (Minho doesn’t know), and how none of the boys seemed to have any idea what the cliff is. Things like rocks don’t vanish from sight, but the Grievers appeared to.

It seems like all of the boys are hyper focused on solving the Maze, and while I understand that, with the way Thomas came in and asked all these questions and tried to put things together it seems like he’s the only one who is trying to find other solutions.

It’s possible that they all came up empty but it pushes Thomas into “The Special” category and not in an interesting way.

Minho and Thomas made it back to where Alby was put and found a search party looking for them, or, more likely, looking for their bodies. Everyone is surprised that they made it through the night and even more so that Alby can potentially still be saved.

Thomas and Minho are taken to get medical treatment and rest. Thomas has some fleeting thoughts about the girl (still don’t buy their connection) and then he falls asleep.

We end the chapter with confirmation that Alby is in fact alive and is going through the Changing.

It’s a fine chapter, slow, but that makes sense compared to the previous chapter. All in all it’s pretty okay.