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Remember Me: Easily Forgettable
Robert Pattinson steps outside his Twilight Vampire shell in this romantic drama of a troubled young man who falls in love with the equally troubled Ally (de Ravin). Despite its attractive cast featuring major stars such as Bronson and Cooper, Remember Me does little to be remembered.
Tyler (Pattinson) is a young man struggling to come to terms with his brother's suicide and his turbulent relationship with his millionaire businessman father (Brosnan). He constantly gets into trouble and lacks direction in his life until he meets Ally, who, for some reason, is able to get beneath the armour and touch Tyler in a way he had never thought possible.
Of course, Ally comes with baggage too, namely her overprotective detective father (Cooper), who only further complicates her relationship with Tyler. Supporting characters like Tyler’s younger sister Caroline and his best friend Aidan provide fodder to the plot.
The film reaches its climax when the complex characters’ lives all tumultuously intertwine, allowing for the characters to develop and show growth. Sadly, the film’s abrupt ending gives an overly dramatic and unnecessary twist to the story, leaving viewers scratching their heads as to why this direction was chosen.
Despite the believable chemistry between Pattinson and de Ravin, their performances can do little to move the film forward. At times, one feels it is an even slower version of a Nicolas Sparks novel that attempts to touch, make one laugh and create a sense that love can overcome all. The Nicholas Sparks similarity is especially unfortunate, since his latest film adaptation Dear John was released at the same time as Remember Me and may confuse viewers with its very similar dramatic theme (we won’t spoil the ending for you).
Overall, Remember Me is a decent attempt to crawl into the space held by the Sparks' novels of love against the odds. In essence, the purpose of the film is dedicated to the idea of living in the now; and encourages viewers to stop searching for answers in the past and move forward.
This is a perfect date film; if your idea of a perfect date is to have your companion sobbing uncontrollably at the end of the film. Remember Me is still very much a teen flick that will undoubtedly attract hoards of Twilight fans. However, don’t expect this to be in the same world as The Notebook, as the direction leaves just too much to be desired.
With films like Hunger Games, Divergent and Twilight finding unbridled box office success, adult feature film adaptations have, to some extent begun, to reach saturation and the latest proves exactly that.
The Maze Runner builds on a genuinely intriguing dystopian setting that fails to offer anything new to the genre as a film, despites the interesting premise of James Dashner’s 2009 book.
Directed by first-time filmmaker, Wes Ball, the story follows Thomas (O’Brien); a young man who finds himself waking up with amnesia and surrounded by an army of equally curious young men. He soon learns that he has woken up in the Glade; a sprawling savannah that is towered off by high – and maze-like – concrete walls.
Just like Thomas, the boys, led by Alby (Ameen) – who has been stuck in the Glade for the past three years – are unable to recall who they are and how they got there. The increasing number of new arrivals eventually led the confused boys to build a functioning mini-society of sorts, that depends on ‘runners’ – the fittest, fastest and most agile of the group – to race into the maze each day and look for a way out. The task is made all the more daunting by the fact that the gates that guard the maze close buy sundown and no one dares imagine what could happen to anyone who gets stuck there with the large monsters known as Grievers who patrol the maze at night.
Thomas initially has a hard time believing the myth, but realises the severity of the situation when one of the boys’ life is put into danger. The group is soon thrown into complete chaos when the first girl to arrive at the Glade, Teresa (Scodelario), shows up with a threatening message, making the boys realise that they can no longer wait for a miracle but, that they themselves must find a way to escape – and fast.
The Maze Runner marks the first and the opening chapter of a planned three-part series that once again sees a group of teenagers fighting for their lives against a mysterious and much superior force. To its credit, though, the story is fairly engaging, as the plot builds on a similar premise to William Golding’s 1954 novel, Lord of the Flies.
The film succeeds in projecting a deliciously claustrophobic tone and the characters are likeable, while even the action is pretty solid throughout.
However, the film plays out like an intro to the series and those who haven’t read the book might feel a little cheated by the fact that the character of Thomas is never really explored and short-changed by the abrupt - and calculated - finale.
Overall, The Maze Runner is a decent, if unremarkable, first chapter to the series and now the pressure is really on for the second.
Love him or hate him, one thing is for certain; Nicholas Sparks always delivers. What exactly it is he delivers is another story altogether and the critics will have a field day taking shots at the latest film to be adapted from the American writer’s pages, The Best of Me; a sappy and an overly sentimental drama that plays with the notion of fate and destiny in the most ridiculous of ways.
Jumping head-first into what has become an extremely tired formula, The Best of Me is centred on Dawson Cole (Marsden); a rugged Louisiana oil rigger who, after learning of the death of a close friend – and surrogate father - Tuck Hostetler (McRanney), is summoned to return home to fulfil his friend's last dying wishes.
Dawson, who is still recovering from a near-death experience, is surprised to learn that Amanda Collier (Monoghan) – his teenage sweetheart whom he’s been pining for the last couple of decades – has also been asked to tend to Tuck's last requests. Stumped and completely thrown by this chance encounter, the pair soon head off together to Tuck's old lake house, an enchanting home that he once built for his late wife, to pack up what is left of his things and spread his ashes.
Naturally, it doesn't take long before the sparks begin to fly and memories begin flooding back; will the long-lost lovers find their way back into each other’s arms or will fate have something else in store for them?
One of the film’s biggest problems – and distractions – is its questionable casting. Marsden and Monoghan share very little chemistry and fail to come across as a couple madly in love while the younger versions of their characters – played by Bracey and Liberato respectively – shared little-to-no physical resemblance to their older-selves. Granted, any film demands a certain degree of suspension of disbelief, but how about we get some help with that one in a while?
Ineptly adapted by J. Millis Goodloe and Will Fetters, the story – in true Nicholas Sparks fashion – runs in two simultaneous timelines and, while the cinematography is pretty decent – plenty of sun-kissed scenes to keep the romantics in the audience content – there are just too many clichés and too much insufferable dialogue.
All things considered, The Best of Me is ironically, one of the worst Nicholas Spark’s adaptations to date; it’s corny in the sloppiest of ways and seems a little too desperate please.