Maggie Review

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It’s time for a zombie film that manages to make an already weak genre even weaker. This one takes everything you don’t like about zombie films and doesn’t even bring in any of the positives. At the very least, Resident Evil had some nice action scenes once in a while and a good soundtrack to boot. It was an interesting film even if it was a bad one and kept your attention from start to finish. Maggie never gets interesting and is so focused on being emotional that it forgets to actually do anything. There’s no subtlety to this film and while it’s hitting you over the head with how sad the film is, you’re waiting for the zombie apocalypse to start.

So the film is about a man named Wade and his daughter Maggie. She has been bitten by a zombie and is doomed to become one of them. The process is randomized so nobody knows when she will turn, but Wade is encouraged to destroy her or take her to a facility where she will be canabalized. See what I mean about the lack of subtlety? The film could at least give him a decent option as opposed to dark and gritty for everything. So what will Wade choose?

This film is just a cluster of nonsense from start to finish with forced drama at every turn. Let’s look at the obvious here. Once you are a zombie you are taken to a place to get eaten alive by zombies. Why? What purpose does such a place realistically serve? I get that this is a dystopia but why not just a quick death if they’re going to bump these guys anyway? Are there no more poison pills in the future? Why bother with a tonic that will torture you for hours before you finally die when you can swallow a little poison. If that doesn’t work then I’d like the film to address this.

The film also adds in animal violence for no real reason. It just comes out of nowhere and tries to be as violent as can be. The film was already garbage before this scene but it certainly didn’t help matters. I don’t use the term lightly but for a 0 Star film like this one it’s only fitting. It’s basically the tv version of The Walking Dead and the atmosphere and writing are like Attack on Titan, only worse somehow. While the movie is beating you over the head with a stick as it tells you to feel bad for the characters, it also keeps reminding you that they’re not even thinking about the consequences. For example, Wade doesn’t have any safe guards for when Maggie turns. He says he does, but he clearly doesn’t since he leaves her unsupervised for ages. I’m cool with him wanting to save Maggie because yes that is the right call. Still, you need to at least build some kind of large cage around the premise or something to make sure she can’t escape and destroy everyone. Instead he makes everyone feel uncomfortable about the situation. Although in a world where all of the kids hang out without suits and keep on infecting each other, it’s certainly a matter of time before humanity is wiped out.

Wade is a reasonable character since he at least didn’t destroy Maggie. That would have been another big facepalm moment had that happened. He stayed strong and confronted everyone who tried to put her down. You do question why he would still risk leaving home for hours at a time to work in the tractor since he could walk home to an empty house but I guess he figured Maggie could stay strong and fight the virus. He was wrong.

Maggie does last for a while, but from the start you know that she is doomed. This is just that kind of movie, one where there is no hope from the start and a sad ending is guaranteed. It could have been even more grim I admit so I’ll give the film some kudos there. Not much though since it’s not like the film could have gotten a worse score at this point right? She gets a really random subplot with some annoying teenagers which was fairly forced and didn’t add to anything. We learn more about how evil society is and how the kids have no options so I guess the film just wanted to remind us of how grim the world is. We are reminded so often that it makes you wonder what the purpose of the film is again. Is it an emotional story about letting go or a director’s true vision on how the world is?

Ultimately the teenagers are only introduced so we can see one of them dragged off in tears to the boot camp where he will suffer a lot before dying. The edge levels are still high so I’m sure the film makers were particularly pleased with this moment. I can imagine them singing the Infinite song from Sonic Forces while making this film as it would fit the tone pretty well. Although I’ll take the song over this movie any day.

Aside from all this negativity let’s look at the world in general. The cops and authorities certainly aren’t doing a very good job of preventing the outbreaks. They don’t know what’s causing them and can’t cure it. They don’t even have a way of knowing where these zombies are so now we live in a world where they can be around any corner. Based on how everyone acts in this film they should all be turned already since it is supposedly contagious. The world seems semi ruined already in some parts while quite civilized in others so maybe the virus is just spreading really slowly? At any rate my money’s on the zombies to win in the long run.

Overall, This is definitely a very dark and gritty film. It’s quite mean spirited and does all it can to show you there is no way out of the situation. There is no big climax or moment where the heroes think they have a chance. It’s a film that starts at the bottom and is content to stay there for the duration. The colors are very dreary and dark so there isn’t anything good to even look at. I like to think this film was simply made in a dare to see if anyone would actually watch this movie. The only thing it did right was to further convince me that zombie films are going to almost always simply be a waste of time.

Overall 0/10

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Review

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It’s time for an interesting film that uses a the concept behind X-Men, but with its own spin. Considering how sad the last few X-Men films have been, it’s not hard to construct a universe that’s more interesting. (At least when it comes to films) Unfortunately, this film jumps off the cliff by the end as the logic just doesn’t make sense at times while also having some of the worst writing that I’ve seen in a film in a very long time. (“Some” being the key word here since Pixels exists) It takes you out of the experience, but at least it is interesting and never really drags on.

Jake was just an average boy who tries to live a normal life. His Grandfather would tell him stories of people with fantastic powers and other such tales, but Jake paid him no mind. One day, the grandfather is attacked and murdered by a large creature. Everyone tells Jake that he is crazy, but the kid discovers a recent letter from the head of the school for Peculiar Children. Jake convinces his Dad to tag along as they head to the island and Jake discovers that he is the chosen one. He must save the school from the giant monsters before it is too late, but will he gain some intelligence in the meantime or are all of his friends doomed?

It’s hard to know where to start here. I think I want to go with Jake since I have a lot to say about him although none of it is good. He is easily one of the most incompetent main characters that I have ever seen and also one of the most unintelligent and unlikable. Lets go chronologically here. I guess I can give him a slight pass for not believing the grand father since it would be a tough tale to buy, but after he sees the creature and how the grand father is murdered…he should accept it as true right? He believes it enough to go to the school, but then he is startled by the kids that the grand father has talked to him about for many years. Jake should not be startles, but he is and then he trips and knocks himself out.

Jake continues to embarrass himself further for the rest of the movie. One girl is embarrassed to eat in front of him because of her ability, but Jake says that its fine since he’s a tough kid and can handle it. Needless to say, he gives her a sad, scared, worried kind of look afterwards and shifts in his seat. Later on, everyone warns Jake that the school bully is going to try and scare him by showing Jake the kid who was murdered. Jake knows this, but wants to meet the kid anyway. I won’t say exactly how the interaction goes, but Jake runs out of the room screaming…which tells you enough.

Part of the plot revolves around how Miss Peregrine keeps the kids in a 24 hour time loop which saves them from the bombing in WW II, but also keeps them eternally young. As a result, they live the same day over and over again and have been doing well without Jake. Knowing this, the main heroine brings Jake out to the country side to see how Miss Peregrine destroys the monster every day. Jake suddenly forgets common sense when he sees the monsters and yells out a warning to Peregrine even though she clearly did not need one and Jake could have ruined everything there. Need I go on? Yes! I could write a whole essay on Jake and his unending fails.

Another sad moment is when Jake decides to take down the main villain. He has the element of surprise on his side and a point blank target. Jake misses anyway and then proceeds to miss the next half a dozen shots. Some of them were at very close range and the main villain doesn’t even try to dodge since he tends to forget that Jake exists. Jake messed up every single time. There’s another moment where one of the monsters is choking one of his classmates. Jake grabs the arrow launcher so he can take the monster out, but then he freezes. With his terrible aim, I suppose I can’t totally blame him, but aim at the monster’s legs at least. It was lifting the classmate very high off the ground so it was another clear shot. Jake was very slow on the uptake the whole time and you also have to love how he breaks his promises instantly. He told Peregrine that he would protect everyone, but once she is gone he decides to bolt. He has a completely safe and protected Grandpa to check on after all!

This was also one of the big plot holes in the novel if you ask me. The logic used here is that if you alter the past then you’ll change the future. It’s simple enough if you go with that theory, but it doesn’t work since time acts linearly in this film. When the main character spends a day in 1943, a day still passes in the present. As such, the grandfather shouldn’t come back to life if a certain past event never happened. If time did shift like that, then the Peculiar Kids should all be in very different situations as well since the loop would have never been necessary. The film just tripped itself up here.

Back to Jake, I also couldn’t back him up on the romance. I have to give half of the blame to Emma here as well. So, let’s put this into context. Emma is at least 80 years old, but her age is likely far greater than that since we don’t know how long the time loop had started in the first place. She fell in love with Jake’s grandfather, but he ditched them so he could murder villains and age like a normal person. So, she decided to go for the rebound guy, aka Jake. Jake looks completely identical to his grandfather so that works for her and Jake falls in love with her within seconds so he’s fine with this. I’m not even going to mention the fact that Emma should double think this since Jake was so easy to obtain, but it shows that this romance is pretty fake. Not to mention the fact that Jake barely even thought twice about ditching her in the end only to visit her again by the end to make everything seem okay.

Jake’s also anything but heroic. At one point, he says that the only way he will stay to help the kids is if Emma becomes his girlfriend. That isn’t the exact line, but it is essentially what he meant. He was talking about how people needed him back home and he won’t only stay as their guardian if Emma- but then she cut him off and told him to go away. Jake basically just came across as a poorly written jerk the whole time and the amount of times that he should have died in this film is quite high. He just had the writing to protect him. Lets also not forget that fact that Jake completely led the villains right to the Home’s doorstep. Just something to think about…

There’s one more big plot hole here. Emma’s whole gimmick is that she can manipulate the air which allows her to make all of the water exit a room and such. That’s great…but she still needs iron boots in order to stay on the planet. Are you really telling me that she can’t make a gust of wind to bring herself back down? That makes no sense and it’s such a core element to her powers that I can’t believe the film didn’t address this. Perhaps the book did, but such a thing needed to have been in the film as well. I feel like the writer was in over his/her head on this one and as such, all of these plot holes began to show up. Not to mention that most of the characters are unlikable, underused, or just don’t do much and you’re left wondering what just happened.

All right, lets talk about the positives real quick. For starters, there are more action and intensity than I was expecting so that’s definitely a good thing. It died down a little after the start, but a strong beginning is always important. The visuals were fairly good as well even if the film never let the kids use their powers all that much. The time loop was cool to watch and Peregrine’s outfit is certainly unique. It had a very regal esque look to it. The design for the monsters was also solid.

The best character in the film was definitely Jake’s Dad. He’ll certainly be a polarizing figure, but he worked quite well for me. He clearly doesn’t really know how to be a Dad and makes a lot of mistakes, but he does seem to care. Certainly more than the other supporting characters from Jake’s past. (Especially with a certain plot twist from his one of his advisers) He was just a lot of fun to watch even if he was portrayed rather extremely. Some characters just can’t resist Miller Time after all. You have to look at the Dad as a fun comedy character. Naturally, he isn’t meant to be taken seriously.

As for the rest of the cast, you already know my views on Jake. I can’t say that I liked Emma either as she was far too dramatic and all over the place with Jake. She should have just placed the friend zone card right from the get go. The little girl with super strength and the twins with their masks were all right, but they didn’t get much character here. Victor is another character who hasn’t gotten to do anything and I suppose that will be developed in a sequel. Enoch is the bully who is definitely not likable. He’s basically just around to make things tough for Jake and naturally this means that he has a very easy job. Olive is all right and her fire powers are some of the most useful in a fight, but she is completely invalidated when the ice villain is able to defeat her. The whole point of having fire powers it that you shouldn’t be frozen so easily. It was a rather embarrassing fight for her and the rushed romance between the two was rather forced. After 100 years of working together you finally develop your feelings after a quick fight? Hmmmmm.

Most of the other kids are just around to remind you that they have powers and aren’t afraid to use them. Miss Peregrine is the final big hero. (Unless you count the other Time Wizard, but she looks rather terrible the whole time. Getting kidnapped is one thing, but getting one shotted in the next scene? That’s even worse! She’s a character who just seemed rather odd. The film hypes her up as a very strong character who can put up a fight, but it turns out that she is rather powerless and can’t even beat a single opponent. Theoretically, the film acts as if one monster can take down the whole school and that’s…just embarrassing. I feel like all of Peregrine’s hype was destroyed when the main villain walked into the room and that hurt her character a lot. She’s charismatic, but it appears that she is all talk for the moment. Not to mention the fact that she seems a little corrupt as she will murder people quite easily and does keep the children confined in a time loop for eternity while treating them like kids. It doesn’t seem quite right, but that isn’t really delved into.

I have to quickly jump onto a few more plot holes while I’m at it. This one’s not really a plot hole so much as it is a power inconsistency. The headmistress of another time loop claimed that she couldn’t save any of her students because there were too many monsters. Later, it is shown that a single monster can destroy them all since the monsters are invisible. Maybe the Time Loop character was trying to sound impressive, but it seems like the writer didn’t really think it through. Furthermore, a moment in the climax is another plot hole. The whole climax doesn’t make sense since the villain could destroy all of the kids several times, but chooses not too. Based on how he was acting prior to those moments, it just makes no sense. He has waited for this moment for many years, he would definitely be taking it at least a little seriously. Still, a monster grabs him and the main villain forgets that he has powers. I seriously could not believe what I was watching. It made absolutely no sense and ranks up there along with the sad scene of watching skeletons take down the monsters. It makes absolutely no sense!! Speaking of not making any sense, I hope that a sequel deals with how bringing people back to life and forcing them to fight against their will is rather shady and morally suspect as well as how Peregrine left the rest of the schools to fight for themselves by not warning them that the villains were coming. She is directly responsible for the villain mass murdering a group of kids since she could have warned them, but chose not too. Again….everyone in this film is either shady, has no character, or is just weak.

You seriously just need to throw logic out the window when you watch this film. It’ll let you enjoy it a whole lot more since the writing is just disgraceful. Beyond the plot hax, the main villain isn’t bad I suppose. At least he has a personality and is fairly charismatic. I just can’t take him seriously and the whole eyeballs thing prevents him from being all that good. As you can tell, I mainly had a big problem with the characters in this film and the writing. Still, that isn’t quite enough to give the film a negative rating. It still could have probably gotten a 5 and maybe narrowly a 6. Unfortunately, the film hit two big snags.

One of these was animal violence. Yes, the film resorted to having a herd of cows die for no real reason. It had nothing to do with anything and the scene should have been cut out. The other part is the fact that the villains have to eat eyes to power up. That’s just super dark and the concept should not have existed. It’s just there to be gritty and dark and this does not mesh well with the rest of the film. Seeing the villains consume eyeballs for lengthy periods of time is just disturbing and disgusting. The scenes aren’t horribly graphic as they’re made to look gross, but fake. Still, it’s not something that should have been in the film either and these two negatives ensured a negative score for the film. There’s not much of a soundtrack to be noticed here so that couldn’t help to earn any points either. I’m sure that the tunes were decent, but as I don’t remember any of them, they couldn’t have been all that good.

Overall, This is one of those films that is easy to talk about. I probably didn’t even address everything here as there is just so much to say. On a conceptual level, this film is just very interesting as I like the premise and the world that was built up. Unfortunately, it was simply mishandled and that’s a shame. The Dad was a fun character and I definitely missed him once Jake jumped back into the fantasy world. Jake panicked once again and forgot that he was in a time loop, but I’d expect nothing less from him by that point. I would recommend you check this film out, but you should probably take a pass on it. Watch the film if you want a logic-less action film that must have taken writing cues from Now You See Me, but you should probably just watch Man of Steel again. Now that film was a deep action film with a lot of epic moments. If this film gets a sequel, I’m going to expect it to explain away some of these plot holes so it can try to save the franchise.

Overall 4/10

Maze Runner The Scorch Trials Review

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“You wouldn’t last a day in the scorch!” That line still cracks me up since it’s practically a parody of a line. Seriously, I can’t imagine anyone saying that without laughing immediately afterwards. It’s a very transparent way to build up hype for the scorch since it’s apparently so much tougher than the Maze. Is it tougher? Nah, I’ll take Zombies over super fast creatures of destruction any day. You would too I assume! Unfortunately, this film’s pretty bad honestly and reminds me why I was never afraid of lasting a day in the scorch!

Thomas is still the main character and he’s as unlikable as ever. If you remember, the kids survived the maze only to find out that it was a government installation of sorts so they have joined another government in hopes of defeating the original organization and now they can spread peace and harmony across the cosmos. There were a lot of other mazes apparently so these guys mean business. Every day about 10-20 kids are taken away to freedom….or are they!? Thomas finally realizes that this whole thing is very sketchy so he decides to escape with the others. Turns out that the outside world has been contaminated so everyone is a zombie now. The kids are the only ones who are immune to a slight extent, but not all of them are immune…just some. They must now find the resistance and try to stay alive since plot isn’t one of the film’s strong suits.

Then again, what is the film’s strong suit? I’ve never been a fan of zombies as the villains in a film so that didn’t do it any favors. They’re about as weak and slow as you would expect and aren’t really much of a threat. The resistance introduces us to quite a lot of new characters since there’s the fake resistance and the real one. The fake version brings us two new characters. A romance character and an old man who makes the tough calls. Unfortunately, they don’t end up being all that good. The old man gets one good moment where he rams a truck through the villains. The girl seemed to have just been included for the party scene towards the end where she gets drunk and we have a forced scene between her and Thomas. They both look terrible and the romance comes out of nowhere. They have the excuse of being drunk, but it’s not an excuse that holds any water with me. They were still in control of their actions.

I’d say that part of the problem with the film is that they’re all teens. This means that none of them are actually all that interesting and they’re all pretty whiny for the most part. The guys are pretty cheap and the female member of the group turns out to be a Mami (Madoka) in the end. She can’t take the pressure and always makes the wrong calls. Thomas has a good plan at the end of the film, but it’s effectively foiled when he freezes up in the clutch moments. The ending would be hype if the characters were more exciting since they’re planning to finally take on the offensive for the first time in the series. That will definitely be novel even if they seem to be pretty doomed the whole time. The organization is clearly a lot larger and more advanced than the resistance, but the heroes will try to pull something off I suppose.

The villains are all fairly uninspired. The best one would probably be the main guy I guess. He talked tough a lot and even got a good shot in on Thomas when the kid wasn’t expecting it. This guy plays for keeps and he’s certainly more original than the old lady who talks about how noble the mission is. Didn’t we just see that in the Hunger Games after all? Didn’t the Giver also involve an old lady? I’m seeing a trend here and you don’t want to see trends so easily. It’s not a great way to show off a writer’s originality.

Films like these also make you feel bad for the resistance. They’re always doing very well against the tyranny that they are resisting until the main characters show up. Thomas and friends basically lead the villains to the first base, which they promptly blow up and then lead the villains to the Resistance main headquarters which is also blown up. Seriously, nobody should want to hang out with the main characters since it means that they are basically doomed. They bring a trail of death and destruction in their wake. It helps that they’re not likable of course.

I’d still say that this film is better than the average Hunger Games Adventure though. At the very least, I’d say that this one beats the last two Hunger Game films even if this isn’t one of the more enjoyable adventures out there. At the very least it was a little more interesting although only marginally so. There’s not a whole lot left to fight for in this world and the villains are pretty overpowered. With the human race essentially extinct, you’re essentially just going to prolong your existence for a few decades before the zombies take everyone down. I don’t see any way that the people can rebuild based on how utterly destroyed everything is. At least they don’t seem to be stretching the series so the next film is supposed to be the final one to end the era.

Overall, The Scorch Trials weren’t all that bad. If not for the government looking for the main characters the entire time, it would actually be a breeze. Finding food and such wasn’t all that hard. Water’s more of an issue, but the Scorch Trials really did not live up to the hype of how tough they were supposed to be. It was still funny to see a character wish he was back in the maze. No sir, you don’t want to be back in the maze. If anything, the maze makes you a sitting duck since the main characters can get sniped at any moment. There’s going to be a lot of tension in the next film since one of the characters ended up cracking, but hopefully it’s pure tension and doesn’t delve into romantic tension. After what the character did, I hope they don’t even try for an emotional appeal. A lot of people died directly due to the decision that was made so there’s no way to spin that into a good thing, but let’s face it…the film’s going to try. I’ll have my popcorn ready for the attempt! Instead of watching this film, go watch the Super Smash Bros Brawl cutscenes…you’ll thank me later!

Overall 4/10