The Maze Runner

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I am going to try to do a review on this film despite missing parts where I fell asleep. It’s not all bad as I had a week of not much sleep, so my snoozing isn’t completely down to the film. In saying that, had I been more interested in the goings on I may have stayed awake throughout. The two ladies either side enjoyed it though, one being my girlfriend Amy and the other her friend Juliet. I didn’t even like the ice cream I had chosen, so although not a terrible night, not the best.

Again I have not read the book of The Mazerunner and again I have no intention of doing so because it was the storyline that sent me to sleep rather than the performances. Thomas lands in the mysterious place without knowing who he is, where he is and how he got there? He is soon being chased by a group of young men across green fields (the glades) with no where really to go. We do not know who the men are and why they are chasing him? Thomas soon tires and the others catch him up and this is where things are revealed. Each person has been sent to the glade without knowing much about why and how? Each month a new person is sent to join the gang and take up a role within the community based on their skill set. They need to survive!

There are some who are not so trusting in particular the character Gally who takes an instant dislike to Thomas because he asks too many questions. Thomas wants answers and flashbacks give him a hazey idea of what is going on and be wants to get out. The only way out is a large Maze, leading to no one knows where? A group is tasked with mapping it out and they are called the Mazerunners. Each day they head out and try to find their way out, mapping the maze as they go. Weird noises come from the inside of the maze at night from monsters known as Grievers. They are another danger for the boys of the glade to battle.

A last person arrives at the glade and its a girl, much to the surprise of the boys, particularly as she is the last one. Gally wants them all to stay put as he is scared of the dangers, but Thomas who proves his worth wants to get out. Are they part of some kind of experiment? What lies beyond the maze? What is a Griever? A lot is revealed by the end of the film, but not all and we know that this is only the beginning of the story, a small part of what is to come.

The story itself did not enthrall me in the slightest and there have been so many films like this in recent years which have been far better. The acting is good and I think Will Poulter will have an amazing career and he picks an American accent as if it was his own. This will help him go far! The Grievers looked ridiculous, but not having read the book I cannot judge who’s imagination they come from. They really didn’t put much thought into them, whoever it was? This is clearly one film of a set of films and this is an introduction, so it may well work when the next instalment comes along as on its own it doesn’t really tell much of a story, more it sets one up. I am not prepared to give up on this however and feel that this could be the start, although a poor one of a great set of films. Let’s wait and see.
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6/10

Gone Girl

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I was really quite excited about this film and had heard great things about it from some of the articles I had read. It is yet another film based on a book and one I hadn’t read prior to going to see it at the cinema. It being a who dunnit meant that reading the book would surely ruin the suspense and take the fun you have when trying to play detective. Also reading it after would make it feel rather pointless, so I do not really intend to read it now. This being said this is obviously a good story and one worth reading, the order in which you do it is entirely up to you of course.
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The film starts with Ben Afflecks character sitting at a bar talking to his sister, a bar which you later find out he owns. It is his 5 year wedding anniversary and you can already tell the marriage is struggling. The sister is clearly not a fan of her sister in law and doesn’t think she is the best person for her brother. Anniversary tradition means that he has to follow a treasure hunt of sorts by finding clues that his wife has set out for him, which is a major part of the plot.

Ben Affleck returns home to find his wife missing, the glass table on its side with smashed glass as if there has been some kind of disturbance. He soon notifies the police and an investigation starts and although he is not the prime suspect at first, it’s not long before it turns into a murder enquiry with him at the centre. He does the emotional press conference where everyone points the finger at him, particularly a certain talk show host. He is made out to be the murderous husband who isn’t quite acting like he should considering the love of his life is missing.

The story is told through his wife’s diary and goes back to the very beginning where they first met and fell in love. It’s a whirlwind romance and a happy relationship that soon turns sour, but who’s version of events is the truth? Where will the treasure hunt clues lead and will they tell us what has happened to the wife? Who else will be sucked into this mess? There are many twists and turns throughout and you feel quite excited when you turn the corner and find a whole new pathway to the answer, but it’s a twisted pathway that doesn’t just swallow up one person.
The performances from Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike are brilliant although Rosamund borders on hammy at times, but gets away with it. Affleck doesn’t get the credit he deserves because in the right film he is a brilliant actor. I just hope that the new Batman film doesn’t ruin it for him and he can carry on creating films like this. The supporting characters really build up a picture and give you clues to who has murdered the wife. Maybe the obvious person really has done it? You find out quite early on, but the mystery doesn’t stop there. I’ll warn you that the “C” word comes up a couple of times, hence this is an 18 certificate. This is one of the best films of the year.
8/10

71

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71 follows an English soldier from Derby who is sent to Northern Ireand in order to stop the republican militants. During 1971 an operation was set up called Op Demetrius which tasked the army to arrest those involved in violence. The film doesn’t really go into this and it mainly looks at soldiers trying to quell the violence. The Corp of soldiers head onto the streets of Northern Ireland and are attacked meaning they had to flee the area. Unfortunately two soldiers are left behind and they receive the most brutal attack. The camera doesn’t shy away from the sheer violence of the subject and we as an audience see the blood, screams and hatred very close up.

The English soldier Jack O’Connell is in fear for his life in an area where there is so much hatred against the soldiers. Where can he turn? Who can he trust? Can he even trust those on his own side? You really feel his fear and its almost like watching a child who as been left alone to fend for themselves. The soldier has to cope with his injuries, but does receive help from a family and a young boy. You see the devastating affects of the bombing on the innocent, you hear their screams, see their tears, watch their blood spill and fear for their future.

The acting throughout is brilliant and really makes your heart raise a beat. You will the soldier out of this horrific situation. You want those responsible to feel the harsh pain of justice and that’s from both sides. Sadly the English do not make the best choice to bring peace to the nation as was proven by their acts in 1971 when they chose torture to get the information. You also want the young and foolish who get tied up in the war to come to their senses and get away unharmed, but of course that rarely happens. The film is gritty and dark and doesn’t hold back with the emotions felt by all involved. The production is by Film 4 and I have found that many of the films they deliver are of real class and this film is no different.
71

7/10