Tag Archives: Maggie Q

The Divergent Teaser Is Unveiled; Does It Stand Out In Crowded YA Adaptation Field?

Adding to the almost overflowing list of young adult book adaptations that are trying to capitalize on The Hunger Games and Twilight success, comes another contender in Divergent. Directed by Neil Burger (Limitless), and written by two on the rise screenwriters, Evan Daugherty (Snow White and the Huntsman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and Vanessa Taylor (Hope Springs), this has potential to be a major franchise. Based on the novel of the same name by Veronica Roth, the film takes place in a futuristic Chicago where people are divided into five factions based on their personalities. A teenage girl learns that she doesn’t fit into any of the five, instead being ‘Divergent’, which means she matches to multiple factions. She would soon discover that the seemingly perfect society has a sinister plot brewing. In the lead is Shailene Woodley (The Spectacular Now), followed by up-and-comer  Theo James (Golden Boy), as well as more established stars such as Ray Stevenson (Rome), Kate Winslet (Titanic), and Maggie Q (Nikita).  The trailer debuted at the VMA pre-show, and is only about a minute long, offering just a quick glimpse of what’s to come, check it out:

Knowing very little about the books, I have to say that it reminds me a whole lot of The Hunger Games. Not story wise, but simply aesthetically it looks very similar: the gray army camps, the overly colored-high tech city, as well as the fight training. Also, the recent saturation of YA novels made into films has really made these adaptations feel like cash-ins, but hopefully that is not the case here. That being said, the cast isn’t simply a bunch of good-looking stars. There are some good-looking stars that can act. Especially after seeing The Spectacular Now, which I highly recommend, Woodley has the acting chops to rock a summer franchise film like this, similar to Jennifer Lawrence. The story seems neat with a nice social commentary atop the action, but the biggest worry has to be the love story that is clearly hinted at. These types of films all have them, so fingers-crossed that it isn’t too sappy in this flick. Plus having Kate Winslet in a villainous role is always a plus.

divergent_woodley

The film is due out March 21st next year so we’ll see how it all turns out in the end. Hopefully more Hunger Games and less Twilight for the masses.

In Case You Missed It Review: Priest

In case you missed Paul Bettany‘s latest film Priest, then have no fear! After the almost decent Legion where Bettany played archangel Michael, he plays the futuristic super soldier role of a priest in a movie of the same name. Let me give you a basic rundown. According to the movie, mankind and vampires have been at war throughout the centuries, as the cool opening animation shows us.

The vampires of course have the upper hand most of the time being stronger and faster. But then humanity unleashes a weapon to counter and even surpass the vampire menace: The Priests. The Priests were created by the Church to be super soldiers, though we are never told the origin of their abilities, but they manage to defeat the vampire threat, ending the war and placing the remaining vampires on reservations. (Still can’t figure that one out.)

The Priests with their purpose served slip into obscurity in the walled cities that now house mankind from the wastelands that are the world after the war. In the cities the humans are now governed by the church very closely, living by the motto –“To defy the church is to defy God.” Paul Bettany’s character, going only by the name Priest is still haunted by his friend’s (Karl Urban) supposed death many years ago during the war, and searches for answers from the church that will seemingly never come. He is brought into action again when his niece is kidnapped by vampires after they attack his brother’s farm. The church however denies that there is any Vampire threat and brand Priest a traitor as he defies them to go and save his niece.

I liked this movie quite a bit. It was aesthetically awesome, the human city reminding me of the Los Angeles from Blade Runner and the wastelands outside of the city vaguely reminiscent of Planet of the Apes. It had a very decent cast in addition to Paul Bettany and Karl Urban are Maggie Q, Stephen MoyerChristopher Plummer, and a very under utilized Brad Dourif.

Despite all of this, Priest felt like one big sequel set up at the end. I’m not saying it’s a sequel I wouldn’t watch, but to have such an underwhelming climax it leaves one feeling very unfulfilled. It reminds of the same feeling I had when watching director Scott Charles Stewart’s last film starring Bettany titled Legion. The movie felt completely rushed in the last half hour as if they ran out of budget and had to do a quick wrap up. Despite all that I still enjoyed it. It had a comfortable 90 minute run time and was almost everything I expected the movie would be, which includes an action packed, futuristic, vampire killing movie. To have it be any longer would have defeated the purpose of such a movie.

I give the movie 3 out of 5 grizzlies. It gave me just what I was expecting and a decent performance from all of the actors involved.

The Vampires themselves were a lot different from what we see in most movies out there, but it was a fresh take on them and a great relief from trash like the Twilight vampires… or as I like to call them, the indestructible, shiny diamond people.

Priest didn’t make nearly enough money to warrant a sequel in the current box office atmosphere, but if they ever did make one I’d be game for going to see it. If you haven’t seen Priest I recommend you check it out on DVD, it was definitely worth the $1.59 I spent renting the Blu-Ray from Redbox. Suck it Blockbuster.