Book to Screen: THE MAZE RUNNER Works But Can’t Compare to James Dashner’s Book

by     Posted 56 days ago

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First off, I enjoyed Maze Runner the movie quite a bit.  It’s got a great pace, stunning visuals and strong performances all-around, but there are some significant differences between the book and the film and, simply put, the book does it better.  One of the biggest challenges of adapting a book to film is condensing it and more so than ever when you’re working with a narrative that goes down in a brand new environment like The Glade.

Not only did director Wes Ball have to develop a Glade full of multidimensional characters, but he also had to set up a brand new world and convey the rules that govern it.  The situation is actually pretty straightforward – there are kids trapped in a maze and they have to figure out how to get out – but then you’re wondering, why are they there?  Who put them there?  What’s going on in the outside world?  It isn’t easy answering those questions in less than two hours and that’s where the movie pales in comparison to the book, but there are other elements that are strong enough to make The Maze Runner one of the more successful YA adaptations we’ve got.  Hit the jump for the ups and downs of the adaptation process.  Warning: There are major spoilers for the book and the movie in this feature. 

THE MAZE RUNNER Review

by     Posted 61 days ago

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Every new YA movie that includes a supernatural or dystopian aspect now sits in the shadow of The Hunger GamesThe Hunger Games has taken on an epic sci-fi approach weaving social commentary into its dystopian setting.  Divergent is content to be a Hunger Games imitator.  And now we have The Maze Runner, a film edging towards the mystery and sci-fi of The Hunger Games, but trying to find its own way by establishing a unique world that still plays with familiar coming-of-age themes.  Thankfully, director Wes Ball‘s confident feature debut creates a distinct, intriguing setting packed with thrilling action scenes.  Despite the lack of a strong lead performance, Ball has successfully translated a new young adult property to the big screen.

THE MAZE RUNNER Clip and Character Posters; Plus Additional Promos Featuring The Grievers

by     Posted 75 days ago

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If you’re going to survive The Maze Runner, you’ve got to follow the rules.  You’ve got to check out the map room, get your section assignment, gear up and only then can you run into the maze to try to find a way out.  And if that’s not hard enough, you’ve also got to make sure you make it back into The Glade before those doors close, otherwise, the Grievers will get you.

It’s always been clear that the James Dashner book has some serious big screen potential, but now that The Maze Runner promo material is pouring in ahead of the film’s September 19th release, it’s more evident than ever.  Hit the jump to catch a brand new The Maze Runner clip as well as some new promo videos and character posters, too.

3 New THE MAZE RUNNER Clips and James Dashner Walk and Talk Featurette

by     Posted 90 days ago

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Almost any film can end up with a sleekly edited trailer, but film clips are different.  Sure, they’re completely out of context, but there’s no better way to get a good sense of tone and the potential of the performances than by seeing a more comprehensive version of a scene.

20th Century Fox just unveiled three brand new clips from their September 19th release, The Maze Runner, and if their intensity is any indication, the full feature is going to be one heck of a film.  Hit the jump to catch all three The Maze Runner clips as well as a featurette of author James Dashner touring the set of the film.

THE MAZE RUNNER Featurette Introduces The Gladers

by     Posted 97 days ago

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Admittedly I was hoping this thing was “Meet the Gladers” as in meet the characters of the film, but it’s still nice to see how well the ensemble cast gets along.  Rather than introduce us to Thomas, Gally, Teresa, Minho and Newt, we get to hear about Dylan O’Brien, Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario, Ki Hong Lee and Thomas Brodie-Sangter’s experience making The Maze Runner, which apparently was a particularly enjoyable shoot.

The film marks Wes Ball’s feature directorial debut and he seems like he was pretty happy on set too, so hopefully the fun of making it winds up translating into a high quality film.  Check out the good times on set for yourself in The Maze Runner featurette after the jump.  The film is set to hit theaters on September 19th and also stars Blake Cooper, Aml Ameen and Patricia Clarkson.

Comic-Con: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, James Dashner and Wes Ball Talk THE MAZE RUNNER, First Fan Reactions, and the Film’s Maturity

by     Posted 110 days ago

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Arriving in theaters September 19 is The Maze Runner, director Wes Ball‘s adaptation of James Dashner‘s hit YA novel of the same name. The story centers on a group of teenagers stuck in a place known only as “The Glade” with no memory of who they are or how they got there, and only one way out – through a giant, ever-shifting maze harboring deadly creatures called “Grievers”. The Maze Runner stars Dylan O’BrienKaya ScodelarioWill PoulterThomas Brodie-Sangster, and Patricia Clarkson.

Last weekend at Comicon I spoke with O’Brien, Scodelario, Poulter, Ball and Dashner about the film. They talked about the overwhelmingly positive reaction from the first fan screening, filming in the harsh Louisiana conditions, why the maturity of the film will surprise people, what they’re most excited for fans to see, and more. Check out what they had to say after the jump.

New MAZE RUNNER Trailer: Dylan O’Brien Seeks Answers as the Threat of Danger Grows

by     Posted 112 days ago

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20th Century Fox has released a new The Maze Runner trailer for director Wes Ball’s adaptation of the James Dashner novel.  The story revolves around a teenager who wakes up in the middle of a maze with no memory of who he is, surrounded by other teenage boys who also don’t know who they are, where they are, or what the maze is either.  As stakes continue to mount, though, they realize they must find a way out before it’s too late.  I’ll admit this film wasn’t really high on my radar, but after getting a further look at footage (including this trailer) at the Comic-Con panel last week, my interest has grown considerably.  There’s a strong central mystery at work, but I also like the Lord of the Flies aspect of the kids trapped inside the maze.  This trailer does a great job of teasing the large scope of the film and its more action-geared sequences, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what the full film entails.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.  The film stars Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Aml Ameen, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, and Patricia ClarksonThe Maze Runner opens in theaters on September 19th.

THE REVENANT, Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, Gets Christmas 2015 Release Date; Iñárritu Hoping to Shoot in Sequence

by     Posted 127 days ago

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While many are eagerly anticipating director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s excellent-looking Birdman, which hits theaters this October, the filmmaker is already busy prepping his next feature, The Revenant.  The Babel director has Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, and Will Poulter set to lead the story of an 1820s fronterisman who is mauled by a bear during a fur trapping expedition, robbed, and left for dead, only to recover and set out to exact revenge on those who betrayed him.  Now 20th Century Fox has staked out a prime December 25, 2015 release date for the pic, where it will square off against Mission: Impossible 5 and director David O. Russell’s next film Joy.

Additionally, Iñárritu has some very ambitious plans for the upcoming Revenant shoot, which is scheduled to be quite lengthy.  More after the jump.

Scoot McNairy Added to BATMAN V SUPERMAN; Will Poulter Joins Leonardo DiCaprio in THE REVENANT

by     Posted 145 days ago

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A couple of interesting casting stories have surfaced this afternoon.  Firstly, Deadline reports that Scoot McNairy (Argo) has joined the cast of director Zack Snyder’s now-filming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, though the nature of his role is under wraps.  Given that the superhero pic will lead directly into Justice League (which will also be directed by Snyder), plenty of characters are poised to be introduced that will have larger roles later on.  It’s possible that McNairy could play a major role in the DC Cinematic Universe, or maybe he just has a key supporting role in the Man of Steel follow-up.  I’m selfishly hoping it’s the former, as the actor has become a welcome scene-stealer as of late in pics like Monsters, 12 Years a Slave, and Killing Them Softly.  He currently has a lead role on the new AMC drama series Halt and Catch Fire.

Hit the jump for more on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and casting news for director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s next film.

25 Images from Director Wes Ball’s THE MAZE RUNNER [Updated]

by     Posted 203 days ago

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Opening on September 19th is director Wes Ball‘s adaptation of James Dashner‘s young adult novel The Maze RunnerThe story centers on a group of teens who appear in an area known as “The Glade” but have no memory when they wake up.  The only way out appears to be through a shifting maze of massive walls that harbor dangerous creatures known as Grievers.  Only one of the teens, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), holds the secret to their escape.  The Maze Runner also stars Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario, Aml Ameen, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, and Patricia Clarkson.

I visited the set last year when the movie was filming outside New Orleans.  It looked like it could be very cool.  The embargo is lifted on my set visit, so I’ve rounded up all the Maze Runner movie images that have been released so far.  Check them out after the jump along with the trailer. [Update: We've added seven more new high-resolution images from the film after the jump.]

Dylan O’Brien, Will Poulter, Wes Ball, and James Dashner Talk THE MAZE RUNNER, the Dangerous Filming Locations, Rattlesnakes, the Visuals, and More

by     Posted 210 days ago

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Over the weekend, shortly after Dylan O’Brien, Will Poulter, director Wes Ball, and screenwriter James Dashner took the WonderCon stage to promote The Maze Runner, I landed a great video with them interview backstage.  The film centers on a group of teens who appear in an area known as “The Glade” but have no memory when they wake up.  The only way out appears to be through a shifting maze of massive walls that harbor dangerous creatures known as Grievers.  Only one of the teens, Thomas (O’Brien), holds the secret to their escape.  The Maze Runner also stars Kaya Scodelario, Aml Ameen, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, and Patricia Clarkson.  For more on the film, watch the teaser trailer.

During the interview the group talked about the dangerous filming locations, rattlesnakes, how filming on location added to the experience, the visuals of the film, how fans of the book will react to the movie, the glade set and how upset they were when it was torn down, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

First Trailer THE MAZE RUNNER Starring Dylan O’Brien

by     Posted 246 days ago

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20th Century Fox has released the first trailer for Wes Ball‘s adaptation of The Maze Runner after premiering it during the latest episode of Teen Wolf.  The story centers on a group of teens who appear in an area known as “The Glade” but have no memory when they wake up.  The only way out appears to be through a shifting maze of massive walls that harbor dangerous creatures known as Grievers.  Only one of the teens, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), holds the secret to their escape.  I am very intrigued by the premise and I am impressed by the visuals teased in the trailer.  The giant maze is menacing but worn—futuristic once the future has come and gone.

Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario, Aml Ameen, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, and Patricia Clarkson also star in the adaptation of James Dashner‘s young adult novel.  The Maze Runner opens September 19.  Watch the trailer after the break.

TOP 5: New Trailer for THOR: THE DARK WORLD, ELYSIUM Interviews, New DOCTOR WHO, PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS, WE’RE THE MILLERS

by     Posted 1 year, 100 days ago

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Last night I had the chance to check out We’re the Millers with a group of friends and while I wouldn’t classify it as a “Must See!”, it’s a plenty serviceable R-rated comedy. As you can probably tell from the trailers, English actor Will Poulter delivers some of the biggest laughs and, for my money, it’s hard to go wrong with Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn in most anything. Aside from its tendency to settle for just being “OK”, my only real gripe would be that the film’s premise exceeds its execution. On paper, it has the potential to be a hilarious, yet incisive, play on the nuclear family. On screen, it turns the convention on its head before ultimately forcing its characters to conform to many of its tenets.

Although I’m sure you can never get enough of my one paragraph film reactions, we must move on to this week’s Top 5. Included this week is the new trailer for Thor: The Dark World, Elysium interviews with Neill Blomkamp and more, the new Doctor Who, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters interviews, and a slew of We’re the Millers interviews with the cast and director Rawson Marshall Thurber. Per routine, a brief recap and link to each of the above kindly requests your attention after the jump.

Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Kathryn Hahn, and Director Rawson Marshall Thurber Talk WE’RE THE MILLERS

by     Posted 1 year, 104 days ago

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Opening this week is director Rawson Marshall Thurber’s (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story) R-rated comedy We’re the Millers.  The film centers on a single, small-time pot dealer (Jason Sudeikis) who ends up in debt to his supplier (Ed Helms).  In order to bring the next shipment of drugs up from Mexico, he puts together a fake family comprised of his stripper neighbor (Jennifer Aniston), an eager teen (Will Poulter) and a streetwise punk (Emma Roberts).  The supporting cast also includes the hilarious Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn.  For more on the film, watch seven clips or read Matt’s review.

Last week, I attended a fun press conference with Sudeikis, Aniston, Roberts, Poulter, Hahn, and Marshall Thurber in New York City.  They talked about making the film, how Aniston got in shape for the role, improv, their favorite scenes, the hardest scene to film without laughing and who broke the most on set, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to either read or listen to what they had to say.

WE’RE THE MILLERS Review

by     Posted 1 year, 104 days ago

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The quaint idea of the nuclear family is one that’s been skewered a thousand different ways.  It’s a portrait of American domesticity that never really existed except on television in the 1950s.  We’re the Millers tries to knock the nuclear family ideal and yet feels strangely beholden to it.  Filled with hilarious, mean-spirited comedy, Rawson Marshall Thurber‘s movie swings between a cold, dead heart completely immune from sentimentality and then over to a mushy center where characters inadvertently bond and learn important life lessons.  The space in between is filled with plenty of great jokes that you’ll struggle to remember mere moments after leaving the theater.

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