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 ChadHodge, 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 AmandlaStenberg (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.
“TRON: Uprising” is headed for Disney XD in June and has just premired a sneak preview video.
The “TRON Uprising” story focuses on the time period between the two TRON movies. The voice cast includes Elijah Wood as Beck, Emmanuelle Chriqui as Paige, Mandy Moore as Mara, Nate Corddry as Zed, Lance Henriksen as Tesler, Paul Reubens as Pavel, Reginald VelJohnson as Able and Bruce Boxleitner reprising his role as Tron. Yep, you read that right, Bruce is back and none other than Pee-Wee is playing Pavel.
What do you think about that? Speak up TRON fans, does this get your nerdy juices flowing?
Beck, a young program who becomes the unlikely leader of a revolution inside the computer world of The Grid. His mission is to free his home and friends from the reign of the villainous Clu and his henchman General Tesler. Beck will be trained by Tron – the greatest warrior the Grid has ever known. Tron will not only teach Beck the fighting skills he needs to challenge this brutal military occupation, but will be a guide and mentor to him as he grows beyond his youthful, impulsive nature into a courageous, powerful leader. Destined to become the new protector of the system, Beck adopts Tron’s persona and becomes the archenemy of Tesler and his oppressive forces.
“The Death of Superman” was a major, major, MAJOR event in comics. It was HUGE. And in the end all it managed to do was royally piss of legions of diehard Superman fans. While at the time DC Comics raked in almost unheard of dough from initial sales, since then Action Comics has suffered.
But why am I telling you this. I’ll leave it to Max Landis, screenwriter of Chronicle and son of John Landis, to tell you all about The Death and Return of Superman. This short film is probably the best version of the tale you’ll ever watch. Believe me. And keep an eye out for some famous faces like Mandy Moore as Lois Lane, Elijah Wood as Cyborg Superman, Simon Pegg as John Landis, plus other nerdy cameos.
Insane, right? And totally effin’ hilarious. In fact, seeing this short makes me more interested in Chronicle knowing it comes from the mind of Max Landis. How about you?