Movie Review – The Free State of Jones

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There are two very interesting stories being told within The Free State of Jones. The bulk of the film tells the story of Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey), a field medic for the Confederate Army during the height of the Civil War. As the war raged on, Knight deserted his company and defended his and his neighbours’ property from pillaging Confederate cavalry. The penalty for desertion (and most crimes under the CSA) is death; so Newt ran. With the help of friends, Newt joined a band of runaway slaves, hiding from trackers in the swamps. The group grew larger as more deserters and runaways sought refuge from the all consuming war. 5 became 10 and 10 became 100 and soon the ‘colony’ sought more permanent dwellings. Eventually, after overtaking the small town of Ellisville, ‘The Knight Company’ sought to secede Jones County from Mississippi and become The Free State Of Jones.

However, as I’ve stated; there are two storied being told in this film. In late 1948 Newt’s Great Grandson Davis also fought for his freedom. Given the common knowledge of Newt Knight’s second marriage to a former slave, Davis was dragged into court to prove his ethnicity. It’s a rare occurrence where a child’s paternity wasn’t a of the father’s, but of the mother’s identity. If proven to be technically black, Davis could face serious jail time for marrying his wife, Junie Lee Spradley, a local white woman. Continue reading “Movie Review – The Free State of Jones”

Movie Review – The Scorch Trials

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Picking up immediately after the events of The Maze Runner; The Scorch Trials continues the story of the Gladers, who were rescued by an unknown paramilitary group who fights against the government organization, World Catastrophe Killzone Department (WCKD pronounced Wicked). Taken to a safe haven where Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Min-ho (Ki Hong Lee) and Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) are able to grab some warm clothes and a bite to eat in relative comfort. With WCKD on the hunt and the arid desert landscape full of ‘Cranks’, a zombie-like humanoid that is infected with advanced stages of ‘The Flare’, a viral plague that led to the fall of humanity. 

All isn’t what it seems when Thomas gets more agitated at not being able to see Teresa, also he notices that groups of kids are selected for a ‘promotion’ by Janssen (Aidan Gillen) only to never be seen again. Something’s up, but if the long told stories are true, a group of resistance fighters known as the Right Hand lies somewhere beyond the Scorch in the mountains. Obviously, escaping the compound and traversing the Scorch is tough enough. Doing that with an army of WCKD soldiers and a desert full of Cranks makes the journey impossible. Complicating matters is the uncertainty of the Right Hand. It would be soul crushing to find out that the Right Hand is a hoax.  Continue reading “Movie Review – The Scorch Trials”