The Divergent series: Allegiant

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Based on The “Divergent” book series by Veronica Roth, “Allegiant” is the latest film adapted by Robert Schwentke, and stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Jeff Daniels, Naomi Watts and a slew of young actors.

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Premise: After the earth-shattering revelations of INSURGENT, Tris must escape with Four and go beyond the wall enclosing Chicago. For the first time ever, they will leave the only city and family they have ever known. Once outside, old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless with the revelation of shocking new truths. Tris and Four must quickly decide who they can trust as a ruthless battle ignites beyond the walls of Chicago which threatens all of humanity. In order to survive, Tris will be forced to make impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.

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Review:  After Insurgent I was skeptical, I wasn’t exactly rushing to see this film but I was quickly engaged in the story. The cinematography was beautiful and a step up to the previous film. The pace was nice and easy, there isn’t much going on, but I was entertained. I did feel like some characters were mishandled some were done away so quickly and without much impact that I almost rolled my eyes. The big baddy in this one start off great but becomes very stereotypical that it feels like the actor gave up at some point, or the direction given hindered the character.

Allegiant is a step up from Insurgent but it’s not as good as Divergent. At least that’s what I think, what about you?

Snowden | Teaser trailer

Review: When the story broke, I did not bother to learn much about who Edward Snowden is. Don’t get me wrong I read up on what he revealed but the man himself never peaked my interest but with this 1min30sec teaser trailer I’ve learned just enough about him to make me want to see the movie for something other than the cast.
Because yes, the cast was the main reason this film made it into my 2015 watchlist. I also really liked the music, the camera span on the flag with the facts about Snowden’s career. From this teaser, the movie seems to have a much darker tone then I anticipated.

I’m curious to discover the actual trailer, what about you? Did you like the teaser? Are you excited about the film?

Insurgent

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Based on the second installment of the Divergent novels by Veronica Roth, the film was directed by Robert Schwentke and stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Milles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Naomi Watts & Octavia Spencer.

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Premise: Beatrice Prior must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart.

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Review: Divergent – the first book – was interesting but the first movie was even better, way better if you ask me. They managed to cast great actors and make a realistic futuristic movie. Despite having a different director Insurgent

looks familiar I easily slipped back into a world I was already familiar with. The movie is visually impressive, even though it looks a bit too CGI-ish for my taste, making the film not as grounded as Divergent was so at times it feels like watching a video game or an animated version of it. 

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The acting is OK, I mean it’s a good cast so what they bring to the table fits the story and the emotional journey these characters have been through. But – because of course there is one – Theo James’ (Four) age is seriously starting to show. I know he’s only 30 – and Teller is 28 – but in the first movie it didn’t seem as weird that he’s with Tris (Woodley) but next to 46 years old Naomi Watts, who looks 35, maybe forty, it’s really weird. They look like brothers and sisters at best, they could have aged Watts or cast someone else completely because how young was she when she had him? 12?
It will be even weirder to see her playing opposite Ray Stevenson (Marcus Eaton) – Four’s dad – who’ll look like a dirty old man next to her, which is probably why we’ll see very little of that.

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I wish these aspects of the film were the only ones I had a problem with but on top of all of that Insurgent lacks rhythm. It’s missing the slow, intense build up in which the tension and the action grows to an entertaining climax but it never doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong it is action-packed – kinda -, a rich adventure of a film but whenever the tension builds up it quickly dies down to go back up again at some point and that’s how it is throughout the movie. It comes and goes in waves but never rides on the high the previous action scenes gave you.

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Although, it’s faithful to the book Insurgent was a bit of a disappointment I expected better. It’s only slightly more entertaining than the book, they could have done better. 

What did you think?

The Descendants | Review

Based on Kaui Hart Hemmings debut novel of the same name, The Descendants was adapted by Jim Rash (Community), Nat Faxon (Reno 911) and director Alexander Payne (Nebraska). The movie stars George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, & Amara Miller.

Premise: A land baron tries to reconnect with his two daughters after his wife is seriously injured in a boating accident.


Review: I watched the Oscars and other award shows so when The Descendants got all these accolades it peaked my interest but I never got around to watch the film. I now have, and let me tell you I was not particularly impressed, I didn’t connect with the movie. But watching it I understood that people would easily connect with The Descendants. I mean, if you’ve been through or going through something similar this movie could really move you, and touch you like Still Alice did for me this year.

So while part of me does not really understand why George Clooney scored an Oscar nomination for this – I’d have to check out who the other contenders were but I don’t care that much – I have to admit that it is a decent film. It’s simple, doesn’t take itself too seriously, and a bit raw. The characters are easy to relate, in some way, they’re kind of stripped down and feel like regular people going through some though times. 

Like I said, I couldn’t really relate to the film because so far I’ve been lucky enough not to have lost anyone close to me. I know, I’m lucky I am and I do feel like I’ll experience this movie very differently when I eventually go power through a big loss. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not waiting for a tragedy to watch this movie again. All I’m saying is that The Descendants as everything to faithfully depict the aftermath of a tragedy, the frustration, the emotions, the humor, and the relief.

Let me know in the comment section bellow or on twitter what did you think of the movie?

White Bird in a Blizzard | Review

Based on the eponymous novel by Laura Kasischke and brough to the big screen by Gregg Araki, “White Bird in a Blizzard”  tells the story of a teenage girl, whose life is thrown into chaos when her mother disappears in 1988. The film stars , Shiloh Fernandez,

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The Plot: Kat Connor (Shailene Woodley) is 17 years old when her perfect homemaker mother, Eve (Eva Green), disappears. Having lived for so long in an emotionally repressed household, Kat barely registers her mother’s absence and certainly doesn’t blame her doormat of a father, Brock (Christopher Meloni), for the loss. But as time passes, Kat begins to come to grips with how deeply Eve’s disappearance has affected her. Returning home on a break from college, she finds herself confronted with the truth about her mother’s departure.

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Review: Eva Green’s performance is unbelievable. She’s intense, beautiful and creepy at the same time. Her face, her voice and attitude transpires so much, how come this woman does not have an Oscar? Or is not a goddess in a Marvel movie? 

Shailene Woodley’s perfomance is fearless and organic. She portrayed Kat so naturally, the movie sometime felt like a documentary. Meloni was the perfect choice for this film and Shiloh completely sold me on his loser boyfriend role.
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The dialogues were raw and genuine, it was the right amount of crude with a lot smart subtext and hidden meaning.The awkward silences were and the 90s expressions were fun and on point. It was all realistic talk.
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I like how everything we saw and perceived about the Connors, Kat’s home-life, was how Kat (Woodley) perceived them. Green and Meloni’s performances matched perfectly the picture Kat depicted of her parents. I thought it allowed the viewer to get into Kat’s head and bond with her and also added a layer of self-centeredness to the character. Things only changed when her point of view changed and it became clear that how she saw things was not how everybody perceived them. It was smart to put it together like that on Araki’s side, which is precisely why it was such a great ending that got everyone gasping in shock. I personally did not see it coming and I liked it.

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What did you think about the movie?