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post #1 of 92 Old 12-16-2014, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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The Maze Runner (Blu-ray) Official AVSforum Review



Check out our review of this entertaining survival thriller based on the best-selling novel of the same name by James Dashner. Thomas wakes up trapped in a massive, ever-changing maze with a group of boys who have no memory of the outside world. Facing dangerous obstacles at every turn — especially the deadly Grievers that roam the concrete corridors at night — Thomas and the others must race to piece together clues in order to discover their true purpose… and find a way out before it’s too late!




The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

96



Details:

Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2014
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 113 minutes
Genre: Sci-fi/Adventure

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Patricia Clarkson
Directed by: Wes Ball
Music by: John Paesano
Written by: Noah Oppenheim, Grant Pierce Myers, T.S. Nowlin based on the novel by James Dashner
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 16, 2014


"Based on the best selling novel.."


My Take:

Thomas wakes up in a lift, moving slowly upward. As the box grinds to a halt and the doors open, he s finds himself among a colony of boys who welcome him to the Glade – a large open expanse surrounded by enormous concrete walls. Thomas’ mind is blank. He has no knowledge of where he is, doesn’t know where he came from, and he can’t remember his parents, his past, or even his own name.

Thomas and his fellow “Gladers” don’t know how or why they got to the Glade. They only know that each morning, giant concrete doors that lead to the Maze open. Every night at sunset they close. And every thirty days, a new boy arrives in the lift. The predictable behavior of the Maze made Thomas’ arrival expected. What’s not expected is having the box appear again, less than a week later, carrying Teresa, the first girl to arrive in the Glade.

Thomas learns that each resident of the Glade has a role to play, from gardening to construction to being one of the elite runners who map the walls of the Maze that keep them captive and change configurations every night. Maze Runners race the clock to cover as much ground as possible before the end of the day when the Maze locks down and the deadly biomechanical Grievers roam the corridors of the concrete structure.

Even as a newcomer or “greenie,” Thomas feels an unsettling familiarity about the Glade and the Maze. There is something locked away in his memories that might, in fact, be the key to solving the mysteries of the Maze and possibly the world beyond.

Based on the book of the same name by James Dashner, The Maze Runner is a post-apocalyptic adventure which is the latest young adult literary sensation to find its way to the big screen. I haven’t read the novel but am a fan of the genre so I eagerly awaited the opportunity to review the Blu-ray. Watching the film I was immediately reminded of Lord of the Flies but that fades as it settles into its thematic stakes. The premise is solid however there aren’t many who, what, when and why answers, which can be a bit frustrating. It’s obvious that the answers are coming but my guess will be that the total picture won’t be clear until it all plays out in future installments.

So what do we get in this first installment? The establishment of the stable of characters that are aptly constructed and engagingly fitted within the narrative’s construct. The element of mystery, like it or not, which effectively supports the film’s thematic tone as the escalating events slowly peel back the layers of the storyline. Ample amounts of action which capably underscores the proceedings without overemphasis. The story incorporates a bit of drama, which again, coincides well with the context while eschewing unnecessary romance, at least at this juncture. Despite my curiosity about the whys and wherefores I found myself drawn in by the spirit of the adventure as well as what was happening in the present.

Director Wes Ball keeps things moving with swift pacing and the production elements are well executed and entertaining. Is there a conceptual familiarity to The Maze Runner? Yes, but I found it to be a gratifying entry in the young adult dystopian adventure genre. I look forward to what is to come…


The Maze Runner comes in a 2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack, including two hours of bonus features that make for the great fan gift this holiday season. Created especially for this release by BOOM! Comics, dive into the backstory world of the Gladers before Thomas’ arrival, with the limited-edition, twenty-four page prequel comic book written by director Wes Ball and co-screenwriter T.S. Nowlin. Fans will also receive a limited time offer for the mobile game featuring a bonus runner “Newt” plus free in-game currency on Blu-ray™ and DVD.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for thematic elements for and intense sequences of sci-fi action/violence, including some disturbing images.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**



Audio: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element):


Video: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



The Maze Runner comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 6 Mbps.

Video quality was quite good and delivered images that were highly detailed and artifact free. Detail was excellent as both people and objects were rendered with crystal clear definition that at times was meticulously resolved. Long distant camera pans were smooth and three dimensional in perspective with well-articulated minutia. Blacks were stable and deep with excellent dynamic range. Contrast was well balanced and consistent so that colors and whites didn’t appear overdriven. The color palette does not make use of bold or striking colors. Colors like red, yellow, orange and their variants are scant. It appeared as though some filtering may have been applied to tame/subdue color saturation. That is more an observation than a complaint but it made the film appear less visually vibrant. Flesh tones were lacking in tonal variety and were either pasty white or honey toned. The end result was that everyone had complexions that appeared rather generic. The video had a sharp pristine quality that when coupled with high definition’s higher resolution looked great

The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio surround mix is simply marvelous. This is an aggressive and complex sound design that truly benefited from the higher resolution that lossless audio offers. Dynamics are first rate as the elements contained within the soundtrack have excellent punch. This played hand in hand with its superlative clarity and high level sonic detail. Bass impact is prodigious at times as it reaches room shaking levels that resonated through the listening area. This was the case over the course of the film as palpably rich bass frequencies regularly accentuated the onscreen action. The sequences involving the shifting/closing stone doors/panels in the maze provide lots of sub 30hz (and below) content that simply rocks. The plethora of discrete and ambient based sounds contained in this busy soundtrack created a dazzling 360 degree sound field that truly stimulated the aural senses. Front and rear channels were seamlessly integrated with excellent proportional perspective and imaging. As you would expect dialogue was crystal clear with strong intonation and descriptive variance.

Bonus Features:
  • 24-Page prequel comic book
  • (HD) 9 deleted scenes with optional director commentary
  • (HD) Navigating the Maze (five part documentary totaling 42 minutes):
    1. The Maze is born
    2. Creating the world
    3. Finding the gang
    4. The Movie inside the Maze
    5. Digital details
  • (HD) The chuck diaries – 5 minutes
  • (HD) Gag reel – 6 minutes
  • (HD) Visual effects – VFX Reel/Breakdown by menthod
  • (HD) “Ruin” Wes Ball short film with audio commentary – 8 minutes
  • Audio commentary by Wes Ball and T.S. Nowlin
  • (HD) Galleries (3 segments)
  • (HD) Theatrical trailer
  • Bonus DVD
  • Digital HD Copy





Final Thoughts:

Based on the book of the same name by James Dashner, The Maze Runner is a post-apocalyptic adventure which is the latest young adult literary sensation to find its way to the big screen. I found it and enjoyable and well-executed film that compliments its genre quite nicely. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition video, a rockin’ DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio soundtrack and a solid supplemental offering that is well worth exploring for fans. The Maze Runner is entertaining on all fronts and comes recommended on Blu-ray.





Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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Last edited by Ralph Potts; 12-16-2014 at 08:07 AM.
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post #2 of 92 Old 12-16-2014, 08:00 AM
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The Atmos mix for this film was fantastic... very bummed this didn't come out on an Atmos BD
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post #3 of 92 Old 12-16-2014, 08:02 AM
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Thank you, sir! Glad you liked this, as I just got it over the weekend--and because we have yet to see it! Another new Blu scoring great AV numbers!
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post #4 of 92 Old 12-16-2014, 08:09 AM
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I read the trilogy and saw the movie in theaters and thought it was okay. I will watch it again in my HT on Blu ray to enjoy the 100 audio score but as far as the movie itself goes, it is pretty average at best. This movie is geared towards the Hunger Games audience.
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post #5 of 92 Old 12-16-2014, 08:14 AM
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Looking forward to this one. And 100 score audio
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post #6 of 92 Old 12-16-2014, 08:40 AM
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Wasn't planning on buying this but.......


25 Best Buy dollars + 100 Audio score = off to Best Buy.


Thanks for helping me spend my money Ralph.

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post #7 of 92 Old 12-16-2014, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderDelarg View Post
I read the trilogy and saw the movie in theaters and thought it was okay. I will watch it again in my HT on Blu ray to enjoy the 100 audio score but as far as the movie itself goes, it is pretty average at best. This movie is geared towards the Hunger Games audience.
Quote:
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Looking forward to this one. And 100 score audio
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nabs17 View Post
Wasn't planning on buying this but.......


$25 Best Buy dollars + 100 Audio score = off to Best Buy.


Thanks for helping me spend my money Ralph.
Greetings,

It's all good and money well spent...


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post #8 of 92 Old 12-16-2014, 08:55 AM
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I have only seen the very first few minutes of this movie, as he is coming up the lift. On my projection screen that scene was extremely dark and it was hard for me to make out detail.

Ralph can you comment whether this is intentional and my display is reproducing it accurately or should it not be that dark and I need to adjust white and black levels?

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post #9 of 92 Old 12-16-2014, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nebrunner View Post
I have only seen the very first few minutes of this movie, as he is coming up the lift. On my projection screen that scene was extremely dark and it was hard for me to make out detail.

Ralph can you comment whether this is intentional and my display is reproducing it accurately or should it not be that dark and I need to adjust white and black levels?
Greetings,

I didn't make note of any issues with crushed detail during the opening although that scene does begin totally in the dark with splashes of streaming light. I will double check it and post back.

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post #10 of 92 Old 12-16-2014, 11:00 AM
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Thank you Ralph! It was so dark that I was struggling to figure out what was going on, he seemed to reach for a grate or crate that may have had an animal or something inside.

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post #11 of 92 Old 12-16-2014, 11:08 AM
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I have to agree with Ralph.....the DTS HD MA was just stunning!! You guys are in for a treat!!!

Paul
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post #12 of 92 Old 12-16-2014, 01:27 PM
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Great review!! Can't wait to see it! As I've commented before, there's no passing an audio score of 100.
Thanks Ralph

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post #13 of 92 Old 12-16-2014, 03:33 PM
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Alas Ralph you gave me yet another to add to my Netflix disc queue. Hoping it will be worthy later of a purchase. Looks like fun.
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post #14 of 92 Old 12-16-2014, 03:46 PM
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Great movie and didn't expect much, but boy was I wrong! Glad I got to see it early as I got it from a friend whom sent me the BR version from S. Africa. I plan to get the US version soon.

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post #15 of 92 Old 12-16-2014, 04:52 PM
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Fantastic audio and visual, but offers little else. It's a heartless, futuristic rendering of Lord Of The Flies with none of the soul.
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post #16 of 92 Old 12-16-2014, 06:40 PM
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I am looking forward to this one, but there doesn't seem to be a 3d version of the BR. I have been buying 3d and using Netflix for viewing 2d versions lately and am disappointed that I can't find a 3d US version.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by morbidcorpse View Post
Fantastic audio and visual, but offers little else. It's a heartless, futuristic rendering of Lord Of The Flies with none of the soul.
+11

seeing the main character with that repetitive, boring face ...i just wanted to slap him around a bit with a large trout
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The Atmos mix for this film was fantastic... very bummed this didn't come out on an Atmos BD
FOX studios (dts) ...DTS-HD MA 7.1 on that one; you won't see Dolby Atmos here anytime soon.

Paramount studios, Lions Gate studios; yes. ...FOX studios; no.
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post #20 of 92 Old 12-16-2014, 09:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AlexanderDelarg View Post
I read the trilogy and saw the movie in theaters and thought it was okay. I will watch it again in my HT on Blu ray to enjoy the 100 audio score but as far as the movie itself goes, it is pretty average at best.
This movie is geared towards the Hunger Games audience.
It sounds and looks like it, according to the trailer(s).

* By the way, this Blu-ray doesn't come in 3D? ...Most likely not. ...Same as 'The Hunger Games' trilogy.

Last edited by NorthSky; 12-16-2014 at 09:12 PM. Reason: *
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post #21 of 92 Old 12-16-2014, 09:30 PM
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It sounds and looks like it, according to the trailer(s).

* By the way, this Blu-ray doesn't come in 3D? ...Most likely not. ...Same as 'The Hunger Games' trilogy.
I believe this film was a 2D release. When I saw it at the premium atmos theater out here it was 2D, they usually play any 3D film with 3D.
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post #22 of 92 Old 12-16-2014, 11:17 PM
 
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I believe this film was a 2D release. When I saw it at the premium atmos theater out here it was 2D, they usually play any 3D film with 3D.
You are right; after I asked the question I checked online, and found out that indeed it is only in 2D. It was @ the theaters, and also is on Blu-ray.
I'm not sure yet if I would be purchasing this Blu; I did purchase the first two Hunger Games but I don't think that I would ever re-watch them, not a fan.

For 2015 I'm going to try some new resolutions: look for good 3D Dolby Atmos titles on Blu, and by not getting influenced too much by Ralph when he gives high scores for the audio and video from some lesser valuable flicks (that is sometimes my downfall).

But I also know me; and just like a kid I could be quite impulsive on the moment. It's called impulsive disorder.
Gotta be careful now with 'The Maze Runner'...after all it's my money online, and with it there are many other possibilities on how it could be better spent.
/// Right Ralph?

What a bunch we all are!
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Last edited by NorthSky; 12-17-2014 at 12:12 PM. Reason: Small typo
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post #23 of 92 Old 12-16-2014, 11:26 PM
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Sounds like the teen version of The Cube.

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post #24 of 92 Old 12-17-2014, 02:41 AM
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Yeah, this was very familiar indeed, but the end suggested something more or better down the road, we shall see. While the soundtrack was very good indeed, it won't be among the titles you reach to show off your system.
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post #25 of 92 Old 12-17-2014, 05:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, this was very familiar indeed, but the end suggested something more or better down the road, we shall see. While the soundtrack was very good indeed, it won't be among the titles you reach to show off your system.
Greetings,

I agree about the ending and look forward to seeing where it goes. As for the soundtrack not being among those one might reach for to perform a system demo, I would have to disagree.


Regards,
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post #26 of 92 Old 12-17-2014, 05:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
You are right; after I asked the question I checked online, and found out that indeed it is only in 2D. I was @ the theaters, and also is on Blu-ray.
I'm not sure yet if I would be purchasing this Blu; I did purchase the first two Hunger Games but I don't think that I would ever re-watch them, not a fan.

For 2015 I'm going to try some new resolutions: look for good 3D Dolby Atmos titles on Blu, and by not getting influenced too much by Ralph when he gives high scores for the audio and video from some lesser valuable flicks (that is sometimes my downfall).

But I also know me; and just like a kid I could be quite impulsive on the moment. It's called impulsive disorder.
Gotta be careful now with 'The Maze Runner'...after all it's my money online, and with it there are many other possibilities on how it could be better spent.
/// Right Ralph?

What a bunch we all are!
Greetings,

You're right Bob. What a bunch we all are..!


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post #27 of 92 Old 12-17-2014, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nebrunner View Post
I have only seen the very first few minutes of this movie, as he is coming up the lift. On my projection screen that scene was extremely dark and it was hard for me to make out detail.

Ralph can you comment whether this is intentional and my display is reproducing it accurately or should it not be that dark and I need to adjust white and black levels?
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Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post
Greetings,

I didn't make note of any issues with crushed detail during the opening although that scene does begin totally in the dark with splashes of streaming light. I will double check it and post back.

Regards,
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Originally Posted by nebrunner View Post
Thank you Ralph! It was so dark that I was struggling to figure out what was going on, he seemed to reach for a grate or crate that may have had an animal or something inside.
Greetings,

I re-watched the opening sequence. There is plenty of visibility/shadow detail as well as the flashes of light as he continues upward. The instance involving the crated animal is dark by design but not to a point where crush is a problem.


Regards,

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviewer
My Home Theater
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post #28 of 92 Old 12-17-2014, 01:18 PM
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For those interested in a purchase. Target has a 10% cartwheel coupon off all movies, cd's and books. PLUS, in a couple weeks, they'll have this title on sale for $14.99 for the blu ray....so keep your receipts and get the credit back on your card.

Ron
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post #29 of 92 Old 12-17-2014, 08:14 PM
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Thanks for review Ralph saw the trailer awhile back and it looked quite good will be definitely be picking this up.
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post #30 of 92 Old 12-17-2014, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by thehun View Post
Yeah, this was very familiar indeed, but the end suggested something more or better down the road, we shall see. While the soundtrack was very good indeed, it won't be among the titles you reach to show off your system.
Disagree I watched this on xbmc it was streamed in 5.1 I thought the sound was great so I had to have a blu-ray copy just so I can show off my system... I will have it Friday. When I see a blu-ray with this kind of sound quality I have to have it.
Thanks Ralph.
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