The Martian Review

The Martian (2015)

Directed by Ridley Scott

Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor

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A Heavenly Masterpiece

by Mason Manuel

Beautiful. Now that’s a word I never thought I would use to describe the lifeless surface of Mars to be sure, but Director Ridley Scott moved to prove me wrong in his latest film starring Matt Damon and Jessica ChastainScott’s ability in space has not been demonstrated so well since Alien, doing so much with so little, using quick multi-camera strategies along with vast establishing shots to show just how alone yet alive protagonist Mark Watney is. The film is a spectacle in terms of both presentation and performance, showing humanity at its finest and most desperate and captures the humanization of characters flawlessly. The Martian blasts away my expectations with stunning special effects and heartfelt character moments and is easily on of Ridley Scott’s defining masterpieces. Continue reading The Martian Review

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The Scorch Trials Review

The Scorch Trials (2015)
Directed by Wes Ball
Starring Dylan O’Brien, Aldrich Killan, Giancarlo Esposito, Kaya Scodelario
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Not a Scorching Success

By Mason Manuel

     Not being a fan of the original novels, I was pleasantly surprised by 2014’s The Maze Runner. The world built was interesting, many of the characters were multifaceted and the plot had some genuine thrills. This year’s entry in the series The Scorch Trials tries to repeat the same formula, though sadly with much less satisfying results. Upon the original’s success, Trials gets more breathing room to be bigger and explore than its’ predecessor but never takes advantage of the opportunity. Instead, the plot falls down more into the basic teen drama house that Hunger Games and Divergent has built by focusing more on the borderline ridiculous villains and inconvenient love triangles between people that are way too good looking to be living in the world they inhibit. Continue reading The Scorch Trials Review