REVIEW: Maze Runner: The Death Cure [2018]

It’s about knowing when you’ve lost. Could you sacrifice a percentage of the population if it meant saving mankind in its entirety? What about if it merely gave you a chance at that salvation? These are the big questions we ask ourselves at the end of the world—ones that force us to face the reality of our inevitable demise. We can infer that we’ll reach this point because we made a wrong decision in the past. And if the whole reason we’re about to be lost forever is our fault,…

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FANTASIA16 REVIEW: Tank 432 [2016]

“Suck it in, remember your training, and get on with it” Director Ben Wheatley is showing his eye for talent by putting his name behind a guy who’s worked closely with him since 2011’s Kill List. A filmmaker in his own right, camera operator Nick Gillespie has stayed by Wheatley’s side on every subsequent project up to and including the forthcoming Free Fire. This time around it’s he who’s providing the claustrophobic thriller as writer and director of Tank 432 (formerly known as Belly of the Bulldog). It’s a doozy…

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REVIEW: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials [2015]

“Where did you come from? Where are you going? How can I profit?” Full disclosure: I haven’t yet read James Dashner‘s Maze Runner series so I’m not sure if his second installment is as hollow as the film version, but I hope it isn’t. Many people have told me that T.S. Nowlin‘s script virtually rewrites the entire thing—not always bad (see Insurgent bookending its tale correctly despite changing the middle to be more cinematic)—so I’m retaining my optimism the text lives up to the first story’s potential because what director…

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TFF15 REVIEW: Jackrabbit [2016]

“Rebuilding Our Future Today” Dystopian sci-fi is trendy. Anyone who has any knowledge of today’s pop culture could tell you that and it’s no surprise Hollywood has jumped on its collective consciousness with The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner. I enjoy them all, don’t get me wrong, but the reality of their monumental success removed from classics like 1984 or Fahrenheit 451 is a more glaring commentary on twenty-first century society than the political messages they use as a backbone to romantic, YA plotlines. There has been a…

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REVIEW: The Maze Runner [2014]

“Wicked is good” There’s really no better way to start The Maze Runner than Wes Ball‘s opening. I’ve not read James Dashner‘s novels and probably knew less than the trailer foretold since it’s been so long since I last saw it. So watching the pitch-black screen stare at me while scrapping metal creaked until a scared boy as disoriented as I gets illuminated was brilliant. He and we enter this crazy situation together—running for our lives, being introduced to our new family, and realizing everything that came before this moment…

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Posterized Propaganda September 2014: ‘The Zero Theorem,’ ‘The Boxtrolls’, ‘Eleanor Rigby,’ and More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. It’s festival season time—a time when I scour the internet for posters of films I’ll be seeing at TIFF only to come up empty-handed for a lot. That’s okay, though,…

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REVIEW: Divergent [2014]

“Faction before blood” Like it or not, the twenty-first century has brought cultural alterations. For instance, the conversation about futuristic dystopias and/or social upheaval no longer includes 1984, Brave New World, or Fahrenheit 451. Our contemporary equivalents are now The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and Divergent. They may not be at the same reading level, target the same demographic, or prove as smart and prophetic as the former trio, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t relevant or effective. All except for one thing impossible to ignore: their delivery method.…

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