Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Featured In Issue 205, March 2016

WSR Score3
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
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Extended sequences of violence and action, some thematic elements, substance use and language.
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Wes Ball
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DTS HD Lossless 7.1
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The Maze was just the beginning. After the harrowing adventure of escaping the Maze, the Gladers find themselves with a new set of challenges in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. They may have escaped the Maze, but Thomas (O'Brien) and his fellow Gladers now face a greater challenge searching for clues about the secure organization known as WCKD. Their journey leads them to the Scorch, a desolate wasteland filled with unimaginable dangers. The mystery deepens at every turn as the Gladers work together to discover their purpose and battle to survive. Based on the novel by James Dashner. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary by Director Wes Ball, T.S. Nowlin, Joe Hartwick Jr., and Dan Zimmerman; 14 deleted and extended scenes with commentary by Ball, Nowlin, Hartwick Jr., and Zimmerman (HD 17:58); the featurettes Jans with option commentary by Ball (HD 01:06); a gag reel (HD 15:02); galleries; theatrical trailers; a 24-page printed comic book with two new prequel stories; upfront previews; and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 2.40:1 1080p AVC picture was photographed digitally with the Arri Alexa XT Plus camera system. The picture is stylized, with a color palette exhibiting prominent blue and yellow hues. While there are numerous shifts in hues throughout, resolution is generally good, but at times soft, with respect to facial features, hair, and clothing. The imagery takes on a more natural appearance once the characters break out into the Scorch, as well does the imagery exhibit more exacting fine detail, both with respect to the characters and the devastated environment. At times, contrast exhibits murky imagery, especially in dimmer and darker sequences, and as a result blacks and shadow delineation suffer. The outdoor scenes, though, exhibit well-balanced contrast. Overall, this is a decent presentation but not stellar. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack is quite dynamic and expansive with John Paesano's powerful, bombastic orchestral score that spans the frontal soundstage and extends to the surrounds. Atmospherics and sound effects are effectively delivered, defining an apocalyptic setting, Foley effects are finely executed, and deep .1 LFE sub-25 Hz bass extension energizes the thunderous storms and other action occurrences, such as flying machines and gunfire that is aggressively panned around the soundfield and directionalized. Explosive segments blast through every channel with aggressive immersive effect. Dialogue is generally well integrated spatially. Fidelity is excellent. At times this is an exciting holosonic® experience that delivers a diverse palette of sounds. (Gary Reber)