Movie Review: The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner

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Rated:

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, malady including some disturbing images

Directed By:

Wes Ball

Based on the Book By: 

James Dashner

Cast:

Dylan O’Brien, try Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee, Blake Cooper, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario.

Find the rest on IMDB here.

IMDB Movie Synopsis:

Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they’re all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow “runners” for a shot at escape.

My Review:

I am SO late with this but hey, I’m eventually doing it. This movie is heading into its second weekend at the theaters so its perfect timing to get you guys out there this weekend to see it!

Here’s the thing about The Maze Runner: I liked the book. I enjoyed it. But I didn’t love it. And I think its because while James Dashner is SUCH a kickass person and a great writer, it was hard to picture a lot of things in the novel. I was confused, bewildered and even my own active imagination had problems keeping up with the world. But I honestly thought that this story would just be so much better on screen. The action, the anticipation, the fear, the maze, the Glade, the Grievers…I felt like it would all just look so good on screen.

I was right.

The things that were so hard to picture in written form exploded on screen. This movie had me on the edge of my seat and this is coming from a person who has already read the book. I already knew what would happen, who would live and die, what would happen next, but I was still clutching the armrests of my seat because it was just so full of action and mystery and anticipation. I love a movie that can build it up and keep you on the edge of your seat and that’s exactly what this movie does.

Plus, its funny. You stick a bunch of teenage boys together to survive and you can either get a rag-tag group of friends that somehow keep themselves alive or you get Lord of the Flies. Thankfully, we don’t get Lord of the Flies. Instead we get a rag-tag society that is somehow working and a bunch of guys that can seriously make me laugh. There were several times that I was laughing, and I think it was mostly the character of Chuck, the youngest member of the group, the caused the giggles.

Which brings me to the casting. They had such a great mix of actors, a mix of known ones and a mix of people I’ve never heard before. You had Dylan O’Brien (from Teen Wolf), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (from Game of Thrones), Kaya Scodelario (from Skins) but there are fantastic performances from Blake Cooper, Aml Ameen and Ki Hong Lee as well, and I’m just impressed by all of them. And watch out for an appearance by James Dashner himself.

I think what really brings this movie together, and guaranteed the release of the sequel (coming to theaters in September 2015) is that it appeals more to both genders than a lot of the YA adaptations have in the past. While I think The Hunger Games, Divergent, etc can definitely appeal to boys, its not going to appeal to the wider audience that The Maze Runner does. Its unique when compared to other YA adaptations and its a majority male cast as well. Its definitely garnered attention from movie goers outside of the normal YA crowd, and that’s the real key to a YA movie succeeded, bringing in a broader audience than just those who have read the book, and it definitely accomplished that. Its full of action, its funny, the eye candy isn’t too bad, there is mystery and a sort of thriller feeling to it, and its just great.

If you haven’t been to theater to see this one yet, whether you’ve read the book or not, I definitely recommend going to see it!

Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

“If I Stay” Hollywood Red Carpet Premiere Recap!

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The moment that I knew there would an If I Stay premiere in Hollywood, purchase I requested the day off. I knew that I had to be there! It had been SO long since the last premiere (Divergent in March) and I was itching for a new one. I didn’t think it would be as big as Divergent so camping was not necessary. Thank god. Haha!

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Instead my friends and I showed up at around noon, at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, where the premiere was being held. I had never been to a premiere there so we kind of scoped out the area and asked SPEC, the security guys who always handle premieres, what the dealio was. They told us that the fan section was across the street, so we headed over to get ourselves a good spot.

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We met up with some more friends and met some new ones. Our new friends had done premieres at the Chinese Theater before and said that the guests at premieres often came across the street to sign with fans, and that we were in a good spot, right across from where they drop off the celebs. We were feeling good. We were tired, that’s for sure, but feeling good!

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Getting all set up for the premiere, right at the barricade, as always!

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The stars started to arrive and this is kind of the moment when things went from really exciting to pretty crappy. The stars started coming and we started calling them over. It hadn’t been very long before the publicists turned to us, all the fans against the barricade and told us they were NOT going to come over.

Instead, they would be signing for people on THAT side of the street, in a little space between the Chinese Theater and the Dolby Theater.

We were pretty pissed. One, we were told to go across the street. Two, we were told NOT to go exactly where they were going. Three, the people that WERE on that side were just a bunch of tourists gathering around who had NO idea what on earth was going on, and just wanted to see a real Hollywood premiere and take a picture with a celebrity. I was tired, hungry and pissed off.

At that point, we went sprinting across the street, in the hopes of catching them. Jamie came over for a bit, and took a bunch of pictures with more nonfans. One guy took about seven to eight selfies with him, and then proceeded to say over and over again “Who was that?” Literally, my patience was at its limits. I wanted to punch someone. I started pushing through people, saying really loudly “Actual fan of this movie coming through.” By that time, though, the cast had gone inside to watch the movie.

My friends and I were pissed, frustrated, tired, not sure of what to do. We knew they would eventually make their way out, to head to the after party so we kind of hung around that barricade for a bit, hoping that they would come to us there. The security guy there though told us a little secret and said they’d be setting barricades on the other side of the theater, closer to the Roosevelt Hotel where the after party was going to be.

So we head over there, and secured ourselves a spot at the barricade and waited…another two hours. At this point, we were even more tired, hungry, most of us had to pee, and we were just feeling absolutely dejected. We had been there all day and we hadn’t accomplished anything, and we hadn’t even gotten in to see the actual movie.

About an hour and a half, maybe two hours later, though, people started coming out and things started looking up.

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It was Liana Liberato (Kim)’s birthday and as soon as she came out, we immediately launched into a VERY loud rendition of “Happy Birthday”. She stopped and listened and looked incredibly touched that we did so. She even thanked us on Instagram later. As soon as we finished, she came over and started signing :)

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The beautiful Liana

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Then Jamie Blackley came out. Of course, Jamie plays the main lead, Adam. He started walking away, heading to the after party but after some yells from us, he smiled and came over to sign and take pictures with us, which is awesome. I always have one goal at a premiere and everyone else is just bonus and he was my one goal so I was glad he came over. Plus we took this amazing selfie together, and that was just awesome. His little British accent was too cute to handle and he seemed so overwhelmed by us fangirls, but in a good way.

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We had seen Cameron Monaghan earlier so when we saw him walk out, we all called him over. I love Cameron! I think he did an amazing job as Mason in Vampire Academy and he plays my favorite character in The Giver, Asher. I’ve also heard he rocks on Shameless, but I haven’t watched yet. Either way, I adore him and I was glad he came over to take pics with us!

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Gayle Forman had come out and was kind of watching us with the cast with fondness when I shouted “Hi Gayle!” and she waved at us. I saw that she didn’t seem to think she should come over so I shouted “Gayle, can you come take a picture?” and she laughed, looked to the people who were with her, who all nodded and then she came over and took pictures with her fans.

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Then Chloe came out! We had seen her earlier from afar but I honestly had no hopes of actually getting to meet her. Her publicist had said she would come out and sign and take pictures as long as we stayed calm and…well a lot of people don’t seem to understand that. Well, it went okay haha and I managed to get her signature and a picture with her, which made me very very happy. I am stoked to see her as Mia and I’m massively excited to see her as Cassie in The 5th Wave.

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One of the last people we saw was Ali Milner, who plays Liz in the film. Liz is one of the members of Adam’s band. A small part but she was absolutely gorgeous, totally sweet and her dress was to DIE for.

We also met Joshua Leonard, who played Mia’s dad in the film, and we also met Jakob Davies, who played her brother Teddy. Jakob was TOO cute for life, and you should see his adorable signature in my book.

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Signed by Gayle Forman and the director, RJ Cutler (at an event last week), and signed, at the premiere, by Chloe Moretz, Jamie Blackley, Liana Liberato, Jakob Davies, Joshua Leonard, and Ali Milner. Seriously, Jakob’s signature has GOT to be the best one on there.

So the day started off good, went completely awful and ended really well. I was so glad that we had stayed, even though we were all very tired and dejected. We ended up getting everyone that we wanted and it was a fun time. It wasn’t quite what we expected but I’m actually really happy at the way it turned out. After the actual carpet and the movie, the cast stopped to sign for us fans that had stuck around long enough to try and meet them and that was awesome. Major points for them :)

Now its time to end this post. I’ll be seeing the movie tonight with my boyfriend, finally, and I can’t wait to see it. A review for that is to come!

And don’t forget to enter my If I Stay giveaway! You can win a copy of If I Stay, signed by Gayle Forman and the director, RJ Cutler! Don’t miss out on it, and click the picture on the sidebar of this blog to find out how to enter!

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