Monday, October 26, 2015

Are You Divergent?

Is it me or did Twilight, The Hunger Games, and Divergent all come out around the same time...ish, with similar plots? What are the statistical odds for that. Anyways. I watched both the first film (Divergent) and the second film (Insurgent) over this past weekend and found them both entertaining, but really lacking in direction, and good character development. I'm not sure if it was how the films were adapted from the books, or if it's just the books themselves, but to me there didn't really seem like what was going on made a whole lot of sense in regards to where the story line was going. Even the dystopian world that was created made little sense to me, and wasn't explored enough to provide a better grounding of this world I was being introduced to; all I had were more questions and then of course more confusion. Shailene Woodley is a phenomenal actress and I loved her in The Descendants and she was good in these two films....but I don't think the material gave her enough to work with, not to mention I didn't care for her character, Tris, very much either. She was tough, and strong willed for sure with an empathetic quality as well, but what was lacking was realistic, genuine emotion regarding what was going on; it often seemed wooden or forced...except when people died. Theo James, Four, was an interesting character that should have been explored a whole lot more, but sadly wasn't. He is a veteran of the action genre, due to his big role in Underworld: Evolution, which again had his character poorly grown. Those two were the main characters in the first two films that you really paid attention to.
 
Miles Teller played his rather confusingly static, and then not static character to irritating perfection. Ashley Judd was a breath of fresh air which didn't last long enough. Ray Stevenson was wasted in both films with a boring role which was pathetic and useless beyond a narrative point of view. Thank God for Kate Winslet as Jeanine, the villainess, who brought gravity and depth to a film otherwise filled with young, inexperienced actors and actresses and boring action for the most part. She can play a villain very well, and I found it rather interesting that she reminded me in many ways of a particular US politician; how ironic. Octavia Spencer was also a wasted talent, which is a dirty shame. Ansel Elgort as Caleb (Tris' brother) had potential, but once again there wasn't a lot of time spent on developing his character or the relationship of that character with his sister, which was a real shame as his character turned out to be quite interesting. Since I was rather confused about the entire point of what was going on in the film, I am definitely going to say that the writing and directing was poor; if one has to read the books to really understand what is going on, then that is the mark of a poor adaptation. In both films nothing really else stood out to me except for the costume design which was quite good. The action was even boring; in the first film they spend way too much time in training camp for the Tris character and not enough time developing other areas of the film. Basically, if you never watch these two film you will not be missing a thing; they are entertaining, but I was also bored a number of times throughout both films. Apparently there are two more films in the works and then hopefully the series will conclude.

Scene from Insurgent

Interview with Theo James and Shailene Woodley

The Force Awakens supercut trailer

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