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FOX

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Wes Ball
Cast:
Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Dexter Darden
Writing Credits:
TS Nowlin

Synopsis:
Young hero Thomas embarks on a mission to find a cure for a deadly disease known as "The Flare".

Box Office:
Budget
$62 million.
Opening Weekend
$24,167,011 on 3,787 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$58,018,509.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish

Runtime: 144 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 4/24/2018
Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director Wes Ball, Screenwriter TS Nowlin, and Producer Joe Hartwick Jr.
• 11 Deleted & Extended Scenes with Optional Commentary
• “Unlocking the Cure” Featurettes
• “Going Out on Top” Featurette
• Visual Effects Breakdowns & Reels
• Gag Reel
• Two Galleries
• Trailers & Previews


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RELATED REVIEWS


Maze Runner: The Death Cure [Blu-Ray] (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 1, 2018)

After the back-to-back releases of 2014’s The Maze Runner and 2015’s The Scorch Trials, the franchise took a bit of a break. It comes back to finish the trilogy with 2018’s The Death Cure.

In the first films, young adults led by Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) struggled to escape from a deadly facility. When they succeeded, they sought to work with a resistance force to confront WCKD, the organization behind their imprisonment.

This sends Thomas and company on a final mission. They need to infiltrate a particularly complex WCKD base, find a cure for a deadly disease called “The Flare”, rescue their friend Minho (Ki Hong Lee) and end WCKD’s threat once and for all.

As I noted in my review of Trials, I though the first Maze Runner offered reasonable entertainment, but 2015 sequel tended to walk the dull side of the street.

Still, I hoped Cure might finish the trilogy with a bang, partly because it lacked the drawbacks inherent to a middle chapter. I won’t blame all – or most – of Trials’ flaws on its status as a tale sandwiched between beginning and end, but that became an issue, one the final film wouldn’t suffer.

As Cure opened, I felt some optimism that it’d provide a rousing effort. The first sequence delivers a daring train-based rescue that boasts a pretty solid action shot of adrenaline and gets matters off to a good start.

After that, however, Cure quickly sags. It loses the momentum of its bracing opening and often turns into mopey melodrama.

This comes from the relationship between Thomas and the “traitorous” Teresa (Kaya Scodelario). Too much of the movie obsesses over Thomas’s continued affection for his former friend, and all this material causes the story to droop and become dull.

It doesn’t help that each Maze Runner effort runs longer than its predecessor. While the first film clocked in at an efficient 113 minutes, Scorch stretched to 131 minutes, and Cure goes to a mind-numbing 144 minutes.

Sorry – that just seems like too much for a fairly simple popcorn flick like Cure. I guess the filmmakers enjoyed delusions of epic grandeur, but the story and characters just don’t sustain us for such an extended running time.

If Cure balanced its action and interpersonal drama better, I might not mind the length. Unfortunately, excitement fails to materialize during too much of the film, and by the time the mayhem ratchets up again in the climax, it feels too late to redeem the tale.

I do think Cure fares better than the spotty Trials, so it ends the trilogy on a relatively high note. I just wish it’d mustered better pacing, as Cure feels too sluggish and inconsistent to me.


The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A-/ Bonus B

Maze Runner: The Death Cure appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a strong visual presentation.

Sharpness always satisfied. Nary a sliver of softness interfered with the image, as it seemed concise and accurate.

No issues with jagged edges materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. In addition, the movie lacked any print flaws.

Like the first two movies, Cure favored the usual teal and orange, with a push toward sandy amber during the “Scorch” scenes. These hues lacked originality but they came across as intended.

Blacks seemed dark and dense, while shadows looked smooth and clear. I thought this turned into a pretty top-notch image.

Along similar lines, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack fared well, as it brought us a vivid sonic impression. Of course, the film’s many action scenes worked best. With a lot of vehicles, gunfire and other mayhem, the mix used the various channels to involve us in the material.

Quieter scenes boasted a nice sense of environment as well, and music added solid stereo presence to the music. The soundscape kicked into gear often and formed a seamless package.

Audio quality followed suit, with speech that appeared concise and distinctive. Music sounded full and lush as well.

As expected, effects became the most prominent aspect of the mix, and those elements seemed accurate and dynamic, with taut low-end when appropriate. This became a satisfying soundtrack for an action film.

Like the prior Blu-rays, Cure comes with an audio commentary from director Wes Ball, producer Joe Hartwick Jr. and screenwriter TS Nowlin. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/character areas and the adaptation of the source, cast and performances, stunts and action, sets and locations, editing, music, effects and other areas.

I really liked the commentary for Scorch Trials, so I hoped the chat for Cure would work just as well. It doesn’t, but it still offers a pretty good look at the film. While it may not be a great examination of the various topics, it works well enough to merit a listen.

11 Deleted & Extended Scenes fill a total of 27 minutes, 51 seconds. These usually offer additional exposition and character development/information for secondary roles, but a few more distinctive clips appear as well – including a good action sequence in a tunnel. These are better than average excised scenes.

We can view the scenes with or without commentary from Ball, Nowlin and Hartwick. They tell us background for the sequences and why the clips didn’t make the final film. We get a nice mix of notes from the filmmakers.

Under Unlocking the Cure, we find four featurettes that run a total of 21 minutes, 34 seconds. Across these, we hear from Ball, author James Dashner, production designer Daniel T. Dorrance, and actors Dexter Darden, Giancarlo Esposito, Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario, Aidan Gillen, Barry Pepper, Rosa Salazar, Will Poulter, and Patricia Clarkson.

“Cure” examines story/characters, the movie’s scope, stunts and action, cast and performances, sets and locations, and Ball’s impact on the production. With a fair amount of time at its disposal, I hoped these featurettes would add up to a good overview. Unfortunately, they tend to remain superficial and fluffy, so don’t expect much from them.

Next comes the four-minute, 33-second Going Out on Top. It includes notes from O’Brien, Darden, Brodie-Sangster, Pepper, Ball, Dorrance, Esposito, and armorer Brian Wentzel. “Top” examines the shoot of the movie’s opening, and it delivers a short but useful oveview.

Within Visual Effects, we split into two areas. Two “Breakdowns” fill a total of 16 minutes, 40 seconds and come with optional commentary from Ball. We see comparisons between raw footage and post-effects shots, all while Ball tells us about the work. This becomes a fun, valuable view of the technical elements, and Ball adds worthwhile info.

“Reels” occupies 11 minutes, 21 seconds and also includes optional commentary from Ball. It displays more before/after glimpses of the visual effects, all of which give us a nice look at the CG material.

A Gag Reel goes for 11 minutes, 38 seconds and presents the usual goofs and giggles. Four minutes of this might’ve been fun but almost 12 minutes seems like overkill.

The disc also presents two Galleries: “Wes’ Selects” (107 images) – mainly concept art - and “Storyboards” (253 across 3 sequences). Both offer good material, though “Selects” tends to be more interesting.

The disc opens with an ad for the novel Children of Blood and Bone. We also get two trailers for Cure.

After an exciting opening, I hoped Maze Runner: The Death Cure would deliver a thrilling conclusion to the trilogy. Alas, it soon becomes a slow piece of melodrama, flaws that an action-packed ending only partly redeems. The Blu-ray boasts excellent picture and audio as well as a largely positive package of supplements. Franchise fans will likely enjoy Cure, but I think it becomes a less than satisfying finish to the series.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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