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Movie Marathon Weekend / Friday 6 juli 2018: Ready Player One (2018), The Domestics, Early Man (2018), Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018) and In Darkness (2018)

When do you actually get the time to watch several films in a row these days? And when you do find the time you are always plagued with the good old question: What to watch? This time it didn't take me that long to compile a list since I have a huge backlog on films I still have to watch or want to watch. Although there were some titles among them I did very little research on prior to watching. In the old days I had no choice but to take risks like that since back then we weren't flooded with titles left and right. Now you do have to be picky since there are too many bad films out there. Therefore going in blindly is not something I do often. In this case though I was in good company, the ever so lovely Mrs. P which helps soften the pain in case a film is torturous. In this article I will only give you some of my thoughts. When needed I will do full reviews of these titles in future. 

We started off our marathon with:

Ready Player One (2018)

To jump right in this was something I truly enjoyed a lot however I was a little underwhelmed with the way the pop culture referencing was handled. Since this element is vital to the story and something that adds to the viewing experience I had hoped I would get the chance and time to let some of them sink in. But most of the time you barely can process what is displayed on the screen. Too many characters and objects that pass you by without them having impact or significance. It does make it the ideal title to purchase and own since it will be a lot of fun to pause the film to look for the references you missed. I am not familiar with the book or what it's about and now after having watched it I obviously know a little more still I really would have liked it if there had been more world building. For a film with a duration of two hours and twenty minutes very little is explained about the world and the people who live in it. You get the gist of it and it's asked of you to fill in the blanks. The consequence is that while you understand that some events are significant they don't have the impact as intended. Mind you Steven Spielberg very masterfully disguises the lack of depth by overwhelming you with action and spectacle. Overall the film is a lot of fun.

Then it was time for a more serious film:

The Domestics (2018)

The Domestics is an apocalyptic film full of promise. It certainly started compelling only to repeat the same thing over and over again to a point it became tiresome. Like many of these films the approach to topic is dark and pessimistic. You are confronted with how awful humans are and can be. Sure there are some who are full of hope and optimistic like Mark West (Tyler Hoechlin). I haven't seen the actor in much but I do know him from Supergirl where he plays a damn good Superman. In The Domestics he is like Superman without the powers. Then there are people like Nina West (Kate Bosworth) who are in denial and are trying to hold on to something that simply is not there any more. You are going to hate her especially when you realize how delusional she is about her husband Mark. In the end The Domestics has very little to offer. It's not bad but not good either. 

After all this darkness and negativity I felt like something comedic and fun:

Early Man (2018)

I wished I could tell you more about this. If only for the fact that after ten minutes or so I fell asleep. To be honest that has nothing to do with the title but more with the exhaustion I was experiencing at the time. I will watch it properly as soon as possible and give you my thoughts. I do remember the visuals looking crisp and gorgeous.

After my unplanned nap I was rejuvenated and up for something more thrilling and exciting:

Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018)

Last time I saw Scorch Trials was more than three years ago. That was a bit too long for my taste since I did forget some details. And I kept confusing the franchise with the other teen science fiction adventures. However most of it came back to me while watching. This third part doesn't waste a single second with it's action and spectacle. It's pretty much a rollercoaster ride like the previous parts. Originally they had planned to conclude this final film in two parts Very wisely so they decided against that. So if you were wondering why this final part is a little longer, that's the reason. And I am glad since I don't think I would be able to have the patience to wait or risk never getting closure if for some reason they would cancel the last film, like they did with Allegiant. I truly enjoyed this last part. 

Pumped for more thrills, we decided to watch:

In Darkness (2018)

For some reason I thought this was going to be good since it looked like this had all the elements to make a surprising thriller. And it certainly started out as one. Unfortunately In Darkness is one predictable and boring mess. Natalie Dormer who has written and produced the film together with director and fiancĂ© Anthony Byrne clearly is out of her depth since she confuses pretension for being clever. Something a lot of film makers seem to suffer from these days. I don't even know where to begin with this one since the way the story is told is unbelievably bad. Actually you could use this film as an example how how not to do a thriller. I don't mind the twenty twist and turns as long as they serve a purpose and fit together in the narrative you have spun. But here they are used just for the sake of having them. A good thriller doesn't always have to consist twist and turns. They often do make most thrillers interesting however there are many other ways you could make events suspenseful and compelling. These elements aren't present however. I don't know what Natalie Dormer was thinking but she clearly needs to learn more about the trade. 

In Darkness was such a downer that I needed a real break before I could resume the marathon. We decided to pick up the marathon the next day. Actually we intended to pick up after a half hour break but then my body intervened and made me go sleep for much longer than that. I do need to add the fact that I had worked from 8 to 17 and had been up for quite some time before you condemn me.

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