Tag Archive for 'mystery'

The Maze Runner movie review

Last week I went to see the film adaptation of the book by James Dashner The Maze Runner. Having gone with someone who has already read the book, I received great insight. Overall I enjoyed the movie very much and would see it again. This film is a young-adult post-apocalyptic science-fiction story where boys are deposited into a community surrounded by a colossal maze after having their memories erased. The only way out of this community is through the maze.

The Maze Runner poster.jpg

The Maze Runner (2014) Poster

As I suspected in comparison to the book with this movie just shy of 2 hours in length, the film wastes a lot of time in the opening act due to a poor attempt to build curiosity in the viewer about the story by basically prolonging a question and answer sequence that explains the setting. A major drawback in this film adaptation is that none of the relationships were developed. It literally left the audience feeling that there is no investment between the individual characters.

As the story progressed, it truly explored very interesting symbols that represent life on many different levels. The sheer concept of running through maze, for example, is not dissimilar to the analogy of life for the common person is a “rat race.” How the boys built a society shows insight to the individual psychology of each boy because three years before the story begins there was only one boy who got dropped into the green glade that becomes the home base from which the boys try to run the maze. The boys established a democracy but where a hierarchy was respected. The hierarchy was segregated into functional areas, and a person from one functional area did not have direct influence over another functional area, including superiors, which was set by seniority. However, it was evident that the longer a boy was in the community, the less malleable his mind was.

As soon as the main character Thomas arrived to the scene, he immediately started thinking about how to get out of the community, and this drove the whole story. The creator of the maze and all evil things within it is the omniscient antagonist that has put all the boys into the glade, as well as, delivered any supplies over the course of the years. There is a stark contrast between Thomas and the leader of the boys who has simply accepted that life will always be as it is.

One of the most comical symbols in the story was when the antagonist dropped in a girl, which was the final delivery from the creators of the maze, meaning no further supplies would be delivered. It made me want to ask after the movie, “How can there be only one Smurfette for all of those Smurfs?”

Overall, it is not a movie that keeps giving over and over each time it is watched, but at least a few viewings could deliver some entertainment and discussions.

Black Swan movie review

Last night we watched Black Swan. That was one of the most disturbing moving that I’ve ever seen. A slasher movie would be less disturbing. What made it so disturbing was the self-inflicted pain that Nina Sayers caused, and the audience associates more with this main character than with those characters from a slasher movie.

Mila Kunis’s character, Lily, was the breath of fresh air in this movie. Although she was a darker character than Nina, Lily obviously knew how to handle it better, while the same darkness practically destroyed Nina. Watching Natalie Portman’s performance made me feel nervous.

The movie was a very good exploration and portrayal of what it takes for an artist to truly feel artwork. Such a deep dive can be very taxing. I’d probably want to own this movie and watch it again and again.

Saw 3D movie review

I truly enjoy the Saw franchise because each film is like a set of moral barometer tests for each individual viewer. Explaining the back to story to each victim allows the viewer to ask him or herself is this violence that the victim, and use that term loosely, justified. The point is, people often want to hurt someone who has hurt them, and people who cuased the pained have been wished by others to experience pain. This Saw series looks in the face of these “bad” people who usually, all of a sudden, become remorseful. The question the viewer is left asking oneself, “How much pain is justified for this person, and if any, is death even justified?” Very few victims are innocent.

The creators attempt to touch a nerve on at least two levels, the abuse caused by the victim before that abuser became a victim, and secondly, the type of torture experienced by that victim. The most topical question is, “what would I have done? Could I have made it alive through the test?” The question is great, but I think the more important question is would you, the viewer, put your abuser into such a test, or at least stand by and not help.

The movie purports that these victims can learn from their traumatic experiences and turn their life around. That works for some of the victims who survive, but not all.

The theme of this film, Saw 3D1 was lying. This film asked the question, “Would you sacrifice a lover who you learned was cheating and lying to you?” Also, “would you condemn someone who makes monetary gain while gaining fame and sympathy of others that is based on a complete lie? Furthermore, would you condemn those who dedicated their lives to helping such a lie propagate? Finally, the question in this film, and probably all the films in the series, is whether sins are on a spectrum, or are all immoral acts equally immoral.

1 Watching this movie home on DVD was in normal 2D, not 3D.

Inception movie review

Inception was a phenomenal idea for a movie, although quite unrealistic in regards to real science of dreaming. This is one of those movies that requires the viewer’s full attention throughout the entire movie to absorb virtually every detail because any of those details just might be necessary for the viewer to figure out the movie.

I did research after the movie, and I found out that the creator was not so concerned with what was the final truth in its ambiguous ending. Instead, he focused on the emotional development of the lead character. That fine, but still disappointing that such a detail was not officially solvable. I still have my final opinion on what happened.

I admire that the creator, Christopher Nolan, finally created this movie after many years since he started thinking about this idea when he was sixteen years old.