Archive | March 2014

Divergent


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Choose your own path

The results of Divergent’s test are unclear. For one, it doesn’t fit perfectly in The Hunger Games faction, as the book’s events are not adapted to the screen with the careful style of this reigning Young Adult franchise. Fortunately for us, it is also mismatched with the Twilight faction, as the acting of stars Shailene Woodley and Theo James gives the film an actual pulse. So where does that leave Divergent? Much like Woodley’s character Tris, it can’t be grouped into one solid category. It’s somewhere in the realm of decent dystopia, not quite destined to achieve young adult greatness (yet), but so far away from the young adult flops it’s being unfairly grouped with. Divergent is worth a watch.

This only applies to the quality of the movie, however, as the plot is a Frankenstein of franchises past and present. In some weird version of future Chicago, everyone is sorted into one of five Hogwarts Houses: Abnegation (selfless), Amity (peace), Candor (honest), Erudite (intelligent), Dauntless (brave), and Gryffindor (brave also). Citizens take a test when they turn 16 to determine what faction best suits them; most remain in their birth faction with their families, but some of the city’s most daring switch factions, leaving their families behind.

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Need For Speed advanced screening


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Need a lift?

Before you freak out, the advanced screening I attended was apparently one of few that was not embargoed, so I am indeed allowed to talk about it.

Need For Speed pummels the screen fast and furiously, accelerating into theaters March 14 as your standard, just okay action filler. The Aaron Paul vehicle is based on the video game series published by Electronic Arts, because movies based on video games always turn out well. The movie is directed by Scott Waugh, who makes full-throttle, exciting action sequences but hits the brakes when it comes to script. But did we really expect anything else from a movie like this?

Paul plays Tobey Marshall, your typical, edgy, leather-coated grease monkey. He owns a garage downtown with his mechanic crew (played by Scott Mescudi, Ramon Rodriguez, Rami Malek, and Harrison Gilbertson, who grow to be a rather charming supporting cast). An old rivalry is revved back to life when Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper) returns to offer Marshall a once-in-a-lifetime business deal: if his cars are actually the fastest in the world like he claims, then they’ll be bought on the spot for two million dollars.  However, tragedy strikes the day the deal is made, and Marshall ends up in prison for crimes he did not commit while Dino, the true criminal, wheels away freely.

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