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So it was my 18th today and yesterday, after I came home from work I was treated to the most amazing surprise party ever. My friends basically decorated my whole back patio in all things Harry Potter. They made signs, logos of all the houses, hung web around the place, put candles everywhere, someone made a snitch, a quaffle and two bludgers, they made butterbeer and they all dressed up as Harry Potter characters, it just goes on. It was just so amazing and I had to share it with all of you. I was so shocked by the extent they had gone to. It was beautiful.
Okay so my overall impression of it was they they did an absolutely fantastic job at adapting it. And one thing I took into consideration a lot was this was Wes Ball's first film and the screenwriters first feature length film. And for a first attempt at making a movie of such significance, they did a damn good job. In fact, you wouldn't think this is their first time at all.
I loved the whole visual aspect of it. I thought all those departments e.g. production design, art department, cinematography, they all just nailed the visual part of the movie and it just looked so stunning and I think what they did with a $30 million budget was quite incredible. They made it look like their budget was 5 times as much, it just looked so believable. But damn I loved the way it was shot. Even better than I was ever imagining.
I thought it was great to see one of these YA films just start off and you're already in the midst of things. There's barely any time to just relax and get all that exposition to everything going on explained. It's snappy, to the point which makes sense because we're following Thomas who has no idea about anything. Even though the first hour or so which is much slower paced still feels like a lot is going on even though they haven't even entered the maze yet.
In terms of faithfulness to the book, I had absolutely no problem with the fact that there were a lot of changes. Everything still worked and the necessary scenes that we all loved from the book were still there. I think the way the changed the whole ending was just really smart. There was one thing that I was a bit iffy about which I think defeated the purpose and shock value of a scene that came after it, but besides that the climax was fantastic.
MUSIC. Holy fuck the music was amazing. First time composer and he smashed it. It was very tribal sounding, but then very action-oriented music but still containing some very intimate tracks to accompany the more intimate kind of scenes.
The Grievers were terrifying and totally worth building them up in the trailers. The first time you hear their cries as they're in the Glade is scary as hell. I freaked out and was like shit, I'm not that keen to get in the maze now. I honestly got a little scared at the thought of them finally appearing. Just nailed them.
I guess the main problems would be that the script was pretty good, but a little dodgy in some parts and possibly could have been written better and I feel like some characters could have been fleshed out a little better and the relationships developed a bit more (namely Thomas and Minho and Thomas and Teresa). But the latter was mainly due to the fact that Teresa was a little underused. The only problem I have with that is because she is quite an integral part to the story and to Thomas in the future instalments so I'm hoping they can work on that a little more during The Scorch Trials.
But in all honesty the problems didn't overpower the overall movie for me because I was still very impressed and proud of the final product. I'm trying to think what else to cover but I've already written so much so that'll do. I'm really happy with what Wes has done and I am seriously so excited at the prospect of him continuing and finishing this series. I already can't wait for The Scorch Trials.
[spoiler]I am not 100% sure just because some things in that final climax became such a blur because it was all so intense but I think I remember him being killed by a Griever just before they escape the maze. Pretty sure. Sam may be able to back me up.[/spoiler]
Oh and another thing, you may not want to know this Jason so just warning you.
[spoiler]When Ava Paige shot herself I was freaking out. I had no idea what the hell was going on and then I started to realised what their intentions were for doing that and I was just so impressed.[/spoiler]
“We are about nine weeks out from shooting,” he announced. “We are in New Mexico right now. We’ve got a crew and stages. We are rapidly approaching our shoot time. The sets are being built. A lot of the same crew is coming back. Most of the cast is coming back, except for the ones who were killed [in the first film]. The script is really coming along.”
"We have a lot more resources, a bit more freedom. We’ll continue to tell the story and pick up where the last one left off. What’s really fun about it is that we keep exploring these characters that you fall in love with in the first one. We just go into them in a deeper way. We get to be a little bit more mature and sophisticated in the movie itself. It’s also bigger in terms of scope and scale. But it’s also a much deeper film. So we are all really excited, pushing forward. The movie will be out in about a year.”
Holy shit. Out within the year?! And sets are already being built so I guess that's a huge sign that they are confident about the movie and probably are going to go ahead with it regardless of the result. Like it's such a small budget, I don't see how it could be seen as a fail at the box office even with a low number overall. That's crazy.