There’s “derivative” with a small “d” and then there’s “derivative” with a capital “D.”
The Darkest Minds, the latest – and late by a half-decade – big-screen adaptation of a dystopian YA novel, falls into the second category. Look hard, look long, and you won’t find a single character, plot element, or theme you haven’t seen before. Most of it shamelessly cribbed by screenwriter Chad Hodge, adapting the first book in Alexandra Bracken’s series, and director Jennifer Yuh Nelson, making her live-action debut after directing Kung Fu Panda 2 and 3, from five or six decades of X-Men stories (minus spandex, capes, and cowls), including the feature-film series credited with kick-starting the dormant superhero genre (shout out too, of course, to Blade).
Even a young, spirited cast, led by Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games), can’t lift The Darkest Minds from a story so lacking in originality, imagination, or invention that will leave the targeted teen demo bored, indifferent, or near comatose.
It was a very busy news weekend thanks to D23 and new revelations about various Disney projects in the Marvel, Pixar and other subsections of the studio. And, oh yes, Star Wars too. Now the most major of the major revelations had to do with Rogue One, the first of what’s been called the Star Wars Stories series of stand-alone films, but as you know, it is Star Wars: The Force Awakens that will stand-up to close scrutiny first as to the viability of this bold new era of Star Wars in December. Well, J.J. Abrams isn’t worried. The director shared this thoughts on a couple of points concerning Star Wars after the presentation at D23 over the weekend. (more…)
Sure, August isn’t even half over yet, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look ahead to the fall. Or December for that matter. Of course, it’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens that we all want to hear about, see footage from, and digest every morsel about, and as luck would have it, Entertainment Weekly‘s Fall Movie Preview arrives this week to fill that gaping void in new Star Wars news that just wasn’t filled by that two seconds of the new footage from the international trailer. Are we spoiled? Absolutely. Do we want more? You’re gosh darn right we do! So get ready for some cool new photos from the biggest film yet to be released in 2015. (more…)
The very first scene in the Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer shows actor John Boyega popping into shot as a black Storm Trooper perspiring and panting hard in a desert (the rolling dunes of Tatooine perhaps?). Some fans took umbrage with there being a black Storm Trooper. Basing their fist shaking ignorance under the assumption the prequels reveal that all Storm Trooper were clones of Bounty Hunter Jango Fett.
Apparently these fans didn’t consider that in the time of the events of Episode IV: A New Hope, the Empire has been recruiting from general populations for years. Or, as other fans have pointed out, Boyega may not even be a Stormtrooper — he could be a rebel in a Stormtrooper uniform, like Han Solo and Luke Skywalker in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
Well, if you thought a black Storm Trooper ruffled a few feathers, how is the internet going to respond to a proposed female Storm Trooper? (more…)
It’s almost expected for movie toy merchandize to spoil something about the movie before it hits the big screen these days. It’s gotten so bad that James Gunn suggested that they not make a dancing Groot toy to ensure the final scene remained a surprise for fans. J.J. Abrams has been trying to keep the lid on Star Wars: The Force Awakens spoilers and leaks, but leave it to the toy makers to let some character spoilers out of the bag. (more…)
Just two days ago we reported that Devin Faraci of Badass Digest was privy to some tantalizing plot and character details regarding the most anticipated film in the history of the medium (seriously, the last time a movie had this big of an impact on western civilization, it was about a man sneezing).
Today, Faraci throws us more such tidbits–particularly a big hint at the role Gwendoline Christie of Game of Thrones fame appears to be playing.
So far we’ve been lead to believe that John Boyega will be playing the role of an ex-Stormtrooper who joins Daisy Ridley‘s character in a quest to locate Luke Skywalker. Read on to find out who Faraci claims Christie will be portraying: (more…)
Unless they were in the first three Star Wars movies, we have no idea who anyone in the Star Wars Episode VII cast is playing in the film. Until the day comes that someone at Disney and/or Lucasfilm decides to let us in on the secret, we’re going to have to rely on rumor and intuition to guess who’s playing who in the film. But today’s bit of speculation seems to hint at the idea that one of the film’s new female cast members: Daisy Ridley, Gwendoline Christie and Lupita Nyong’o, is playing a villainess in Episode VII. (more…)
Two Star Wars posts before noon (Central Time)! Lordy Lordy!
While you were scanning those recent set pics, JJ Abrams & Co. committed a casting coup right under your nose. As if attempting to answer the overwhelming cries for ‘more diversity’ amongst the cast, Episode Seven added Academy Award Winner Lupita Nyong’o and Game of Thrones series regular Gwendoline Christie (a/k/a Brienne of Tarth) to the already impressive cast. Is June 2nd, 2014 the day Star Wars: Episode VII actually became interesting? I’d definitely say so. (more…)
Casting is is slowly happening for the second season of HBO‘s Game of Thrones but today we learned Gwendoline Christie has been cast as Brienne, the Maid of Tarth. Unfamiliar with this ass-kicking lady? Here’s here write-up from the Wiki of Ice & Fire,
Brienne Tarth is the only daughter and heiress of Lord Selwyn Tarth of Evenfall Hall; she had three siblings, none of which survived childhood. Larger and stronger than most men, Brienne is a skilled warrior and longs to be a knight. She has an awkward personality, but is also honest and stubborn. She holds a naïvely idealized notion of knighthood despite the insults she receives from many knights, who call her “Brienne the Beauty” to mock her ugliness.
She’s like the Ripley of Westeros, but no where near as sexy as Sigourney Weaver. Not even close. I can’t even count how many times she’s called ugly by everyone who meets her. Even her allies will remark to themselves on how unfortunate her looks are. Kind of twist then that Christie appears to be anything but ugly, but did we really expect HBO to actually cast an ugly actress in the role? This is fantasy.
The 6’3 actress was perfect according to series author, George R.R. Martin,
This was another one of those cases where there was hardly any debate. The day the first batch of auditions went up for the role, we looked at a dozen actresses who were reading for Brienne and one actress who WAS Brienne. Gwendoline gave a great reading, and her look was just perfect. No, when she auditioned, she did not look she does in the photo above. She came in looking… well, like Brienne.
I’ll be really interested to see how she looks as Brienne. More importantly I can’t wait to see Christie kicking men’s asses left and right as they assume she’s a pushover in armor. They soon realize the Maid of Tarth is one hell of a warrior, some even learn this too late.
Season two is set to begin filming some time after Comic-Con, at where I’m sure the full season two cast will be announced. As of now the only other newcomer confirmed in Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell, another tough lady who fights her wars with pleasantries rather than steel.