Of all the attempts to duplicate the YA fiction-to-film success of Twilight and The Hunger Games, the Divergent series has been closest to catching that lightening in a bottle. That’s not a particularly competitive contest, but the combined $280 million domestic box office take of Divergent and its sequel Insurgent, is nothing to sneeze at, and the films do feature a tremendous cast of young talent including Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller Ansel Elgort, and Jai Courtney (maybe not Jai Courtney). So what could wrong? How about losing the director the series finale mere weeks before the film is expected to go into production in order to meet its etched in stone release date? (more…)
As the new year begins, we take one final look back at 2015 to identify once and for all what the best nerdy movies of 2015 were. Despite our complaints about Hollywood’s lack of originality, or its overdependence on franchises or previously established intellectual properties, this is still not an easy list to tabulate; in the year 2015, there were more than enough contenders to make two Top 10 lists. Since we’re in the business of playing favorites, however, 10 and only 10 could be chosen, and so we chose.
Making the cut this year were a fair number of sequels and spin-offs, but also a hardcore science-fiction film, an allegory-filled horror entry, a bloody western, a charming animated movie, a documentary, a mockumentary, and the only movie that took A.I. and all its implications seriously in a year full of killer, self-aware robots. Submitted for your approval, here are the Top 10 Films of 2015 (and the 5 Worst ones). (more…)
I haven’t read the Divergent books, which is a rare position for me to be in. I had read all the Harry Potters, all the Twilights and all The Hunger Games before seeing the movies, but I don’t think I made it though 20 pages of Divergent before wanting to move on to something else. That’s not a commentary on Vanessa Roth‘s prose, but a sign that Divergent is a bridge too far. This is a road we’ve been down, a story that’s been retold one too many times, and even though the details are different, they all basically add up the same whole: chosen one rebels against Draconian system and leads friends and comrades to a better future free of evil and oppression. (more…)
Well, I think we’re at the point now where for the sake of a lot of producers we hope that Divergent doesn’t totally bomb. The movie, which is based on the worldwide best-seller by Veronica Roth , doesn’t come out for another month, but plans for the sequel are well underway, and now Robert Schwentke has been hired to helm it. Schwentke will take over from Neil Burger on Insurgent, the second of three films which is due in theaters in March 2015. (more…)