“A Touching Story From One Of The Most Beloved Characters In YA Fiction”
As Gandalf the White says in the Return of the King, “End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take.” Death is the central theme of The Crank Palace. What do we do when we are confronted with our inevitable death? Newt himself asks this question countless times in his stand-alone story that might be the best in the entire series. It is undoubtedly better than the main plot in both The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure by a wide mile. The other major character in The Crank Palace is Keisha, whose story arc motivates Newt to find meaning in a life gone wrong. Keisha is a surprisingly complex yet intriguing character that grows to care about Newt in a matter of days. Their relationship develops tremendously that I couldn’t help to feel touched. It is a perfectly told story entirely from Newt’s perspective, even though I kind of wished it was longer. The Crank Palace is James Dashner’s best work and might be the peak of The Maze Runner in terms of storytelling and character development.
“A Trilogy of Great Performances and Production but With Little Originality”
Another Hunger Games rip off? Okay seriously, the early to mid-2010s had way too many YA book to film adaptations. Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Twilight, Divergent, and many more. So it’s easy to see why The Maze Runner got lost in all of this. To be honest, its story wasn’t original or groundbreaking and fell behind in terms of popularity compared to The Hunger Games which was first released back in 2012. The Maze Runner came out in 2014 when people were sick of these kinds of movies. I would probably feel the same way, but I will say this about The Maze Runner. It has fantastic production, visuals, sound design, world-building, music, and phenomenal performances by the cast. It might just have the most talented cast of all the YA adaptations besides Harry Potter. There is some clear effort and dedication put into The Maze Runner as shown by the director and the actors who tried their best to adapt a book series that wasn’t going to be easy to please the masses.
“A Fascinating Lesson That Every College Graduate Must Learn About”
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” I understand that this is a tiring cliche that has been told a million times before, but there’s something unique about Phil Rosen’s travel stories across much of Asia. It’s not just any simple account of someone’s journey after graduating from college. It fiercely challenges the notion of what we should do with our lives after college. Whether a graduate joins the military, finds a job, attends grad school, or travels around the world, Everywhere But Home does a phenomenal job questioning our decision making. This is a must-read for anyone who is at this point in their lives.
“A Heavy Character-Driven Story That Overshadows Its Main Plot”
There are three givens in life: death, taxes, and feeling pain. The Maze Runner made me feel a lot of pain that I think I legitimately experienced depression for a few days after reading Death Cure. I couldn’t eat a wholesome meal let alone wake up on my normal schedule. My thoughts clouded my mind so much that I didn’t have the will to continue. I believe this was all exacerbated by living in the year 2020 in the United States and reading other books such as A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes as well as playing through The Last of Us Part II. This year hasn’t exactly been kind to me. I should have read The Maze Runner, just not in 2020.
“The Most Polarizing Game Ever Made”
Controversy creates cash, but is this hateful story worth it? Clocking in at exactly 28 hours and 34 minutes, I finally completed The Last of Us Part II. It is an exhausting, stressful game that will either make you feel better by the end of the credits, leave you loathing it, or simply perplexed. I have mixed feelings on this game. On one hand, I enjoyed the complexity, visuals, and gameplay that the game entails. On the other hand, it may feel like a drag and overly too long especially in the final act. Also, some of the new characters are okay but some I think were unnecessary and a chunk of the story seemed out of place. Overall, the entire story felt wonky and gets drowned by its own bizarreness that I don’t know how I can describe it one word.
Will Naughty Dog's 30 hour epic nab the title of the Greatest Game of All Time?
Tick tock. The final hours are upon us and out this week is what many reviewers have been calling Game of the Year and some declaring it the Greatest Game of All Time. That’s a bold statement for a video game sequel. How often do you hear the first part of a movie, game, or book and their follow up receive perfect scores and be called masterpieces? The original Last of Us came out back in 2013 and was considered a masterpiece and heralded as one of the Greatest Games of All Time. For its predecessor to receive equal if not more praise is astounding. I didn’t expect this kind of praise. Granted, I have yet to play The Last of Us Part II so I can’t judge if I agree with the reviews, but they are a positive indication especially if most reviewers are giving it perfect scores. My anticipation has exceeded that of Avengers Endgame. Heck, this is the most excited I have ever been for any entertainment product. Like myself and millions of others who will be buying the game on release date, there is a reason this video game has a special place in my heart. It is one of my many influences for me choosing to write fictional novels.
'The Last of Us'
You make every shot count - Joel
A Masterpiece in Video Game and Cinema Storytelling
Every once in a while, you will stumble upon a video game, a movie, or a TV show that you can not stop talking about. You tell others to the point of annoying them to check it out because how amazing it is. What I really am trying to say to people is that said thing actually had a huge influence in me to the point that I had an urge to dissect into detail and to simply enjoy it over and over again. It never gets old no matter how many times I sit through it. One of those things is the video game, The Last of Us. Honestly, you don’t even have to play this game to enjoy it, although I recommend playing it thoroughly since you’ll get the most enjoyment. It’s literally a movie with gameplay both which gel together in today’s video games.
Stop right now and realize that The Last of Us is getting an HBO series in the coming years. Oh and by the way, creative director Neil Druckmann who wrote the majority of the Last of Us and Chernobyl director Craig Mazin are leading this project. That should tell you right now how serious about adapting a video game to what should be an interesting TV series that will in all likelihood rival Game of Thrones as the most popular HBO program. What is there anymore to say about The Last of Us? It has garnered hundreds of game of the year awards. It is certainly one of the best games of the 2010’s. It is also undoubtedly one of the best video games ever devised. I even dare say it is one of the best stories ever told including movies, TV shows, books, plays, you name it. Who said video games can’t be a form of art like movies and books?
I can help. I can save you. I can save everybody. - Dr. Robert Neville
A Great Post-Apocalyptic Film Minus the Ending
When I first watched the very first I Am Legend trailer, I was immediately hooked. The eeriness sent chills down my spine. No doubt it was something special. Will Smith plays Dr. Robert Neville who is immune to the Krippin Virus, a disease that was intended to cure cancer but turned those who were given a dose into vampires. Dr. Neville’s ultimate goal is find a cure while trying to survive on his own in post-apocalyptic New York. It is a must watch especially if you are a lover of post-apocalyptic movies and horror. You will not be disappointed in those themes. However, my biggest gripe from the entire movie was the ending which has been the center of debate and criticism since its release in 2007. The original ending tarnished whatever the film had built up to.
And if we burn, you burn with us! - Katniss Everdeen
Mockingjay is the concluding chapter of the Hunger Games trilogy. For the most part, Mockingjay is a satisfying finale. The focal point of this conclusion is for Katniss and District 13 to finally put an end to President Snow’s reign of terror. To do so, District 13 must rally the remaining districts to bring the assault to the Capitol. They inevitably convince Katniss to become their Mockingjay and the prime symbol of the rebellion. It is the last hope they have to eradicate the totalitarian government in power. However, there are a few things that bothered me in Mockingjay. Although I enjoyed reading the entire Hunger Games trilogy, the author takes some gutsy risks with certain characters that I think could have been played out differently and thus had a more satisfying conclusion.
*SPOILER FREE REVIEW*
A Nearly Perfect War Film That Touches On Every Emotional Beat
Directed by Sam Mendes, 1917 is one of the finest war films that I can recall. It’s simple, haunting, dramatic, riveting, and a solid candidate for best film of 2019. Based on a true story, 1917 had me on edge of my seat wondering how this would all end. I didn’t know anything about the real-life story until after watching the film. I was expecting the unexpected which made me stay alert during the entire run time. I was almost expecting a typical war ending that I’ve seen several times before such as in Saving Private Ryan. Fortunately, that was not the case and I was perfectly fine. 1917 might just be one of the best WWI films and one of the best war flicks of all time.