Sunday, March 20, 2016

Theatrical Review: Allegient

Date: Sunday, March 20, 2016
Location: Pocono Movieplex
Time: 1:40pm
Party: 3 (my mom & aunt who introduced us to the trilogy)

Director: Robert Schwentke

Duration: 121 minutes (+3  trailers)

Tris Prior- Shailene Woodley
Four/Tobias Eaton- Theo James
Caleb Prior- Ansel Elgort
Peter- Miles Teller
Evelyn Eaton- Naomi Watts
Joanna, leader of Amity- Octavia Spencer
Tori- Maggie Q
Christina- Zoe Kravitz
Edgar/Edward- Jonny Weston

David- Jeff Daniels
Matthew: Bill Skarsgard

Audience and Previews:

The movie only made $29.1 this weekend?
What happened to the following this book series had with the first two movies?

We were only among a dozen people in the theater. Not even.

And it felt like they had ten minutes of commercials and one fake trailer (it was for Chevy) before getting on with it... seriously, I don't come to the movies early for the same commercials I can see in my own freaking house!

Three trailers. None of which were for "Batman vs. Superman" (thank God!)

The Ghostbusters reboot- it's probably not going to live up to all the hype and might be stupid. But I still think I want to go and see it. Kate McKinnon might have found a role that works for her- at least in my mind. [She doesn't exactly impersonate a lot of people I like on SNL].

X-Men: Apocalypse- the only X-men movie I ever saw in theaters was the origin movie for Wolverine. Enjoyed it with my college friends, but I hadn't seen it since.
But considering Oscar Isaac plays the villain, I might be compelled to go.

At first, I thought the last trailer for the Jungle Book... but instead it was for a new live action Tarzan called "The Legend of Tarzan."

Christophe Waltz we recognized right away. I thought maybe he'd be Clayton, but instead he's someone called Captain Rom. Who may/may not be the bad guy.
Margot Robbie (she's in a bunch of movies this year, including "Suicide Squad" where she plays Harley Quinn... they're really pushed her as the next big thing) plays Jane. And Tarzan is played by, who my mom, dad and aunts affectionately know as Eric from "True Blood," Alexander Skarsgard and he is CUT.
Should be interesting, but at the same time, I'm still pissed that Kellan Lutz (Emmett from "Twilight") was talking about how he was going to play Tarzan and that movie never got any hype-- maybe because it was ANIMATED? WTF, he has the perfect physique to play Tarzan. How could they just screw him over like that?
You'd think they don't want any "Twilight" actors to be successful... except Anna Kendrick. She's doing amazing and I love her.

Opening Remarks and Synopsis:

for my reviews of the last two films, visit the links below:

It'd been a couple years since I read the book so I can't exactly do my whole book vs. movie discussion. Perhaps another time I'll go through this and "Insurgent" and go into further detail down the road.

Going by my memory of the book alone, this is what happens:
And course... SPOILERSAt the end of "Insurgent," Tris unlocked a box placed in the city by its Founders. It contained a message basically saying that if you're seeing this, you have one Divergent and the experiment of the city succeeded.

Tris, Four and a bunch of their comrades will go past the wall to see who is waiting for them on the other side. And it's a situation similar the allegory of Plato's "The Cave" as told through "The Truman Show"... although at the end of The Truman Show, we don't see what happens to him after he breaks through the literal 4th wall.

It's a bit of a disorienting experience for everyone- not only finding out that all these people outside the wall know who they are because they spent years watching them grow up on TV, but learning that you were all part of experiment.
Not to mention Four believing he and Tris were equal because they were both Divergents... and for whatever reason, the leader of this experiment, David, says that Tris is the only true Divergent from the city and everyone is "Genetically Damaged."

Much of the book for me got bogged down by technical talk. I'm a math/science person who took classes like Physics and Calculus, so I understand a lot of that stuff. But being heavy-handed with all that jargon took away from the book's enjoyment. I'd rather just spend time with our main characters and seeing how they deal with it.

And of course the one thing I remember most was the ending and how it pretty much destroyed me.
And considering this book is being idiotically (and greedily) split into the two movies, to me, it's like the first movie will be running me through with a knife and the second is twisting said knife.


By the end of the movie, it was starting to feel more like 1984 than The Truman Show. In that David was Big Brother... the creepy level reached a whole new level.

On the plus side, the technical talk was toned down.
And it wasn't nearly as dark and helpless as it seemed in Mockingjay.

The CGI and visuals were fantastic. I got swept up in it and I was in the realm of the movie for the long haul.
A few times throughout the movie, my mom and aunt whispered about stuff about not being what it seems. I wanted to believe the lie until it became absolutely clear and the tide of action completely turns.

I wrote in my "Divergent" review how the movie was like experiencing everything through Tris's eyes. We feel as she does and go through the same things on an emotional journey. Until she started to realize the truth, I wasn't ready for it.
I guess I really do love her more than Katniss. I mean, Katniss is bad-ass, but I don't know. There's a certain intensity about her that maybe I have a hard time latching onto where I feel like I was in her shoes.

For the record, I referred to the factionless guy as Edward in my class list because I am convinced that Edgar was meant to be that character in the book. Edward was the top member of the Dauntless transfer class until Peter attacked him in the night and forced him out.
That guy was really obnoxious to deal with because he just kept coming.

Peter started as everyone (well, maybe almost everyone's) most hated character. Now he's despicable and self-serving, but there's a comic relief aspect to him. The few people in the theater laughed a few of his lines.
All of the downturns he experiences is good karma for how terrible he was in the first movie. Can't wait for him to get some humility in the final installment, but it's almost more than he deserves.
Kinda like the deal Tobias's father Marcus got... I still think they should have killed him. Peter, maybe not, but Marcus Eaton- absolutely. Freaking child abuser- reading the book dedicated to Four made me hate him all that much more.

I don't remember how much of a role Joanna had in the book, but it was cool seeing Octavia Spencer as one of the voices of reason in the city. Even if that voice wasn't heard. "Allegient" is the name adopted by Joanna and her followers. I guess they're the people who want to stand outside the faction system. Opposed to Four's mom, who allows the traitors to be executed and wanted to keep everyone inside the city.

In the back of my mind, I was worried about where the movie would leave off. I kept hoping that everything would happen and we wouldn't have to deal with the knife-twisting agony of the final installment.
Thankfully, it was a satisfying ending. The business with David isn't quite finished, but for now, the good guys have won their latest battle.

I have no idea how much of the book we have yet to go through. How much is from the book and how much was manufactured just to get another two hour movie?
There's a whole other year to wait for it, but I still have a lot of books yet to get through. Chances are I'm going to read through all of them again after the final movie. I thought maybe I'd do that after we saw the final Mockingjay movie. That was such a letdown after all that- it'll be awhile before I have any desire to read those again.

Maybe the one negative... it's a race against time in the final minutes of the movie to stop a memory serum from taking over the town... the stuff was in the air long enough where it technically should have already worked. It stretches the confines of realness a bit too much.

And Tris and Four have very little screen time together. So I guess what I'm saying is that they better have a sex scene or something in the final movie.
The book was written from both of their perspectives and the movie captured that really well.

Grade: A

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