Sunday, January 28, 2018

Maze Runner: The Death Cure

Producer/Director Wes Ball’s Maze Runner: The Death Cure is a science fiction actioner that is strictly for fans of the franchise.  Not that it’s bad; though it isn’t the best of the trilogy.  It’s just that it would be incomprehensible for someone who hadn’t seen the previous films.

Here, everyone except the immune is coming down with the plague and our heroes wouldn’t necessarily care, except for the fact one of them is kidnapped and taken to the last city to be a guinea pig for finding a cure.  The story concerns trying to rescue him.

The action is good, but the drawn-out ending is a letdown where only two of the characters we really care about, i.e., Brenda (Rosa Bianca Salazar) and Minho (Ki Hong Lee) survive.

I give Maze Runner: The Death Cure a 3 out of 5.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Paddington 2


In 2015, Writer/Director Paul King’s Paddington was the first of only three films I gave a rating of 5 out of 5.

I’m happy to report that his Paddington 2 is as delightful as the original and, in some respects, is even sweeter.

The plot by King and Co-Writers Michael Bond and Simon Farnaby concerns Paddington’s (voice of Ben Whishaw) desire to find a perfect gift for his Aunt Lucy (voice of Imelda Staunton), who raised him and still lives back in the jungle where he was born.
An antique pop-up book with representations of 12 famous London landmarks seems to be the perfect gift.  However, it is very expensive and that prompts Paddington to take on jobs, all of which are disastrous. 

When a dastardly magician, delightfully played by Hugh Grant, steals the book, knowing that it holds the key to a hidden treasure, Paddington is falsely convicted of the crime and that is when the fun goes into a non-stop comic romp.

Paddington 2 is perfect entertainment for people of all ages and, like its predecessor, is the first film of the year that I’m giving a 5 out of 5.

The Commuter

I enjoy Liam Neeson’s action films more than his more “serious” work (outside of Love Actually) and Director Juame Collet-Serra’s The Commuter has a lot of enjoyable action.

However, despite my extremely large capacity for suspension of disbelief, the story/script by Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi and Ryan Engle, went, outside of one fine Spartacus-style scene, so far beyond the realm of possibility that, at one point, I had to just sit back and enjoy the action without any regard to what was happening plot-wise.
If you like Neeson and action over story, this might be a film for you.

I give The Commuter a 3 out of 5.