Rotten Tomatoes: 36%
Budget: 45 million
"In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the "real" world."
Actually, I didn't mind this movie. Sorry critics, I'm going with the plebs again on this one. It wasn't great, but a soft "good".
The previews made it seem like it was going to be another "Divergent" with stupid teenager adrenaline rushes. Buuut, they played this one pretty smart. Plus it has Jeff Bridges, so.
The use of color in this one was pretty good, I must say. Anyone who knows the giver knows that color plays a big part of the story. Depending on the scene it was black and white, full color, or subdued.
There isn't too
much I'd change about it except to make it more like the book. I haven't read the book (I don't read much anymore since the internet tricked me into reading Twilight and The Hunger Games), but I can tell
where they strayed from the path. For one thing they made the characters older just so they could throw in a love interest thing, and there are also other things that were out of place that should've been left out.
The ending is hard to make sense of as well, which I also blame on the writers straying from the book.
Lots of real sets and good camera work.
So! I'd say worth a watch. I saw it in theaters because I thought it'd be bad and fun to gossip about, but it was surprisingly decent. The Maze Runner
Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
Budget: 34 million
"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."
and I saw the preview for this movie we immediately said to each other: "That looks way better than The Hunger Games and Divergent". And we were right! Unfortunately we didn't see this one in theaters. I wish we had.
This means that I'm going with the common people again on this one! A good 7/10 is just right.
The Maze Runner is played pretty dang smart. Great pacing and direction caused MistyTang
and me to watch the movie with rapt attention. There were even some moment I said out loud, "chiiiiiild!" meaning, "what's gonna happen now?!"
The movie sported some fantastic real sets inside the maze (which is always good for these CG-weary eyes).
You'll notice the budget was pretty low on this one (for modern day films) so it's no wonder they made actual sets and forewent a lot of CG blue filter lighting. That being said I wish the budget was even lower
so that they'd have made the creatures in the maze using puppets. There were some moments they used real props, but it would have been fantastic if they were all real. Any animatronic creature is a thousand times more frightening than a big fake collection of ones and zeroes.
The movie had a very strong middle act that's worth watching alone!
The one bone I have to pick with the movie (besides CG) is the ending which felt kinda out of place with the rest of the movie. I can actually forgive it though because it's supposed to lead you into the sequel.
Also there was a girl and no romance. How rare is that?!
So, yes. Give this little movie that everyone overlooked a chance. It's hella better than The Hunger Games and Divergent. And the reason I bring up the budgets:
Because the bigger budget dystopian movies: Hunger Games and Divergent don't look
as good. I'm not going to give all the reasons why I like The Giver
and The Maze Runner
better than those two movies, but one of the big reasons is aesthetics and direction. The bigger budget a movie gets these days, the more they tend to blow it on super fake CG.
And those dastardly blue/gray filters they throw over ever dang scene. (as if it's hard to make REAL blue lighting? You get a blue lightbulb, screw it in, and shine it on the characters! Sheesh!)
I don't tend to bring up CG much these days because ehhhh. it's everywhere it's everywhere! But, for dystopia the sets are extra important to establish the feel
of the world. Who cares about a big fake blue CG city when you can have a real
set for the characters run through?
The Hunger Games (1) cost 78 million. This one looks bad mostly because of the direction, though. The sets were fine. The CG was crappola.
Divergent cost the most with 85 million and it looked the worst
of the lot. Bad direction + bad CG.
The Maze Runner cost the least and looked the best.