They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me
dr_phil_physics

Massive Crumbling Concrete

Sunday is the anniversary of getting home from the hospital last year. We are "celebrating" with a movie and a Crust 54 pizza -- 12" Chicago stuffed, sausage, mushrooms, black olives, fresh garlic, green peppers -- and tomorrow, Country Captain chicken curry. Yum.

After the movie, we had just gotten to the D&W grocery store, when I heard the siren song of a train. So after I dropped off Mrs. Dr. Phil -- I drove over to the Wesco gas station by the railroad tracks. No train coming up the cutoff. Was I hearing the horn from over by the mainline? Looked the other way -- headlights a coming. 4:40pm.

I had the Nikon F3 with the 28-200mm f3.5-5.6D AF-NIKKOR all-in-One lens. Squeezed off one frame, then set up the hero shot, crossing the grade crossing and... nuthin'.

Dammit -- I am so spoiled by digital and autofocus and built in motors. Can't do anything about the former, will have to use that focusing aid and film has to wait for developing, but dammit. I spent twenty years loving my F3's and the smoothest easiest film advance -- as much as I wanted one, I never had to spend the $400+ on a motor drive. Now? Now I need to comb eBay and get a decent $50-$80 MD-4 motor drive. Because I keep missing shots. Plus it'll balance better with the longer zoom lenses.

Lesson learned. If I'm out with a film camera cruising, I'll take the F4s, or at least the N2020. Save the F3 for less action until I motorized it, and make it a pro camera circa 1981...

The Maze Runner [PG-13]
Holland 8 Theatre #7 2:00pm 2x$6.49

Oh great. Another YA dystopia series I need to read.

This opened the other week, but this was the first weekend we had free for a movie. The trailer looked great, but I hadn't heard any buzz and we hadn't read the series. So l bopped over to Locus Online for their review. Promising. And I was warned there are differences with the book.

You wake up in a metal cage rising up a deep subterranean elevator shaft. Shades of entering the arena in Hunger Games, except there's cargo and you have no idea where you are or what is going on. Of course what is going on is some sort of evil cross of Lord of the Flies and Hunger Games and some massive open air prison surrounded by a massive maze. The maze closes at night and no one left inside has ever come back. At night the maze changes. And you hear these mysterious monsters inside.

Oh fun.

Actually, for all the confusion, the boys have organized themselves. They are given supplies and a new boy once a month. The actors are all terrific -- and diverse. We think we've seen all these stereotypes before, but it isn't so formulaic, not so cut and dried. The boy we think is the enemy, he actually seems to be trying to hold things together... Or not?

The maze is a Thing all to itself. Imagine half a hundred graving docks smashed together, solid, concrete, towering, mobile, crumbling, rusting. This place is a multibillion dollar construction project -- but by whom and for what reason?

If that's not confusing enough, the elevator cage comes up after only a few days bearing a girl. Things are changing and no one knows why.

You know there's a connection between our hero and the girl. You know he's destined to run the maze, stay overnight, fight the monsters and make it out alive. But they have surprises for us at every turn. Things are not only not what they seem, but wildly so. The end the boys and girl are hoping for is not the one they get. On the face of it, fans of The Hunger Games might say their series is about a revolution, as is Divergent. But there's some serious roots here, and what fruit it might bear in the sequels, I cannot say. So far, well-played.

We loved the look and the sound. There are so many questions and I might speculate on some answers, but that involves details, so I might post some spoilery comments another time. But the final aerial view of the Maze raises more questions than it answers.

As we left, the young man cleaning asked what we saw. Maze Runner? Yeah, we haven't read the trilogy. Oh, there's a fourth book, actually a prequel -- read it last. Okay.

Mrs. Dr. Phil just ordered the boxed four-book trilogies for The Giver and The Maze Runner -- our Fall and Christmas reading programs are set.

We can't speak to whether the film does justice to the books. But on its own The Maze Runner is a great end-of-the-summer good looking entertainment.

Highly Recommended

Trailers: Nightcrawler has Jake Gyllenhaal becoming a rogue last night news chaser, Rene Russo works for a local affiliate and wants If It Bleeds It Leads -- what could possibly go wrong? Madagascar's The Penguins get their own movie... as super spies. If you're a fan of the silly animated series, it'll be fun. Interstellar, opening in TWO WEEKS on 7 November, has a new trailer and it looks gorgeous. Regular or IMAX? Hard to call right now. Might just see it in Holland and avoid the crowds. Right now, with my leg, the most comfortable seats in the IMAX theatre are in Row 1... Some Dreadful Horror Movie Whose Names Escapes Me means Halloween is around the corner. Exodus: Gods and Kings -- okay, with this trailer, I am officially intrigued with Ridley Scott's take on The Ten Commandments. It's been remade several times and the Cecil B. DeMille version with Charleton Heston and Yul Brenner is superb, but a little long in the tooth and heavy handed all these decades later. It looks good, much better than Noah looked, at least in terms of trailers.

UPDATE: The horror flick is Ouigi, featuring a... wait for it... Ouigi board. Luigi board sales may be up for Christmas. Or not. There was another trailer, for a high school football player blinded in an accident and his improbable recovery, including getting back on the team.

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
Tags: movies, reviews
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