Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Itty Bitty Movie Reviews: Paper Towns, The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials

I’ve been writing a lot of book reviews lately, and honestly, I’m bored. So, I thought I’d mix it up and write some itty bitty reviews of book-to-movie adaptations I’ve seen recently.

Itty Bitty Movie Reviews

Paper Towns

I read this book when it first came out, way back in 2008. It wasn’t one of my favorite John Green books, so I haven’t reread it in a long time, but from what I remember, the movie follows the book pretty closely. If you haven’t seen/read Paper Towns, it’s about a girl named Margo who disappears and leaves clues to where she went. Margo’s friends set out on a high-speed road trip to find her.

Mostly, the movie reminded me of how much I hate Margo. She’s so selfish! The movie is also kind of hilarious. I actually laughed out loud when the characters buy new shirts at a gas station, and one of the boys has to spend the rest of the trip wearing a pink World’s Best Grandma shirt. The movie completely nails the theme of the book: people are always more complex than they appear on the surface.

The Maze Runner

Confession time: I didn’t like this book. I read it when it came out, and I don’t remember it very well. I think I got frustrated with the lack of explanation of the maze, and I thought the characters were bland. The story is about a group of boys who wake up in a monster-filled maze with no memory of how they got there.

So, I ended up liking this movie way more than the book. I love the Lord of the Flies vibe. The pace moves quickly. There’s a ton of action. Everything in the movie looks way scarier than it did in my imagination. The maze and the monsters are more intense than I expected. This movie was a total surprise for me. I think I went in with really low expectations, and it totally exceeded them. Unlike with the book series, I wanted to move on to the second movie.

The Scorch Trials

This was uncharted territory for me. Almost all of the movies I watch are book-to-movie adaptations, and I always read the book first. It felt really strange to see a movie where I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen.

I can’t summarize this one without spoiling The Maze Runner, and I can’t tell you if it’s a faithful adaptation because I haven’t read the book, but I enjoyed it. Just like the first movie, the pace is quick, and the action is nonstop. The setting reminds me of Death Valley, California, which is one of my favorite places. Also, THERE ARE FREAKING ZOMBIES! No one told me there would be zombies. I’m glad I went into this movie blind because I didn’t know which characters to trust. Not knowing the plot made the movie a lot of fun for me.

I think the third movie has been delayed indefinitely, but I’ll watch it if it does come out.   

Have you seen any of these movies? What did you think?


  1. I loved the Paper Towns movie - especially the part when they sing the Pokemon theme song! I forced my husband to watch it, and he enjoyed it as well. I think I liked it a little more than the book - which I did enjoy.

    I also didn't love The Maze Runner. I read the trilogy (not the prequel), and the books got worse and worse. From what I remember of the second book, the movie was VERY different. I didn't really like either the book or movie for The Scorch Trials.

  2. I totally agree with your review of The Maze Runner! I didn't really care for the books very much but I loved the first movie! I didn't really enjoy the second movie though, unfortunately. I may still see the third when it comes out!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    1. I think I liked The Scorch Trials because it was surprising. It sounds like I would have felt differently if I had read the book.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

  3. I want to see Paper Towns still. I enjoyed the book but I hated Margo too!

  4. I was in high school when Paper Towns (book) first came out and it became my favourite book by John. I did like how the movie, as you say, hits the nail on the head. But I thought the movie was a bit dull, even though it has some great funny moments that weren't in the book. For me the story worked better as a novel than a film.

    1. I read the book so long ago that I don’t remember it very well. Maybe I should reread it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

  5. I am bummed about the 3rd Maze Runner movie because I wanted to see it! Even though I still have to watch Scorch Trials. I liked the Maze Runner movie MUCH better than the book also! And I didn't love the last book, so I was really hoping the movie would be better. I also TOTALLY agree about Paper Towns! Margo was UGH. But I think that maybe she was supposed to be, and I think the movie did a great job at showing it!

    Great reviews! Now I am off to see if The Scorch Trials is free anywhere like Netflix or Amazon Prime ;)