Posted on Friday, March 21st, 2014 by Angie Han
Fair or not, it’s impossible not to measure Divergent against The Hunger Games. This is true for obvious reasons, in that they’re both dystopian YA adaptations featuring strong heroines, or that Divergent is actively and openly gunning to be the next Hunger Games. Unfortunately, it’s also true because Divergent, as directed by Neil Burger, never makes enough of a mark to rise above that easy comparison.
It’s not that Divergent is terrible. The movie serves up a couple of nice moments and some very appealing performances. But where the Hunger Games offered a rich, colorful universe, Divergent offers us a half-competed sketch. Where The Hunger Games felt bracingly different from its own predecessors, Twilight and Harry Potter, Divergent feels like well-meaning knock-off of all three.
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Briefly: John Hillcoat (Lawless, The Proposition) can dredge whatever material he wants up out of the depths of his mind and it probably won’t generate the ridiculous controversy set in motion by his thoroughly non-controversial Super Bowl Coke ad. So the film Triple Nine, about “a group of crooked cops who plan to kill one of their own so they can cover up a major heist,” probably won’t move the needle in a way even vaguely like the Coke ad did.
But it will have a great cast: Kate Winslet has signed on for the long-gestating picture. She joins a cast that still includes Casey Affleck and Chiwetel Ejiofor, who have been attached to the film for a while. Matt Cook scripted, and as far as we know his draft remains the basis for the film. [Variety]
Update: Michael B. Jordan, who had been linked to the film last year, has also been confirmed as being in talks, and Deadline reports that Aaron Paul, Teresa Palmer, Gal Gadot, and Michael Pena are also in talks to join.
Posted on Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 by Angie Han
Lionsgate is feeling so optimistic about Divergent becoming the next big thing that they’re hitting the ground running with the sequel, Insurgent. Akiva Goldsman is working on the script as we speak, and now the production company confirms that shooting is scheduled to begin this spring.
But before we get there, they still have to open the first movie. The studio has just released a new full-length trailer for the original Divergent, starring Shailene Woodley as a brave young heroine in dystopian Chicago. Watch it after the jump.
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We’re very happy to exclusively premiere a special online trailer for director Jason Reitman‘s latest film Labor Day. The theatrical trailer will premiere later today, but first take a look at this alternate online trailer — You may remember that Jason also let us premiere that amazing Up in the Air “bag” online-exclusive teaser — still one of my favorite trailers of recent years.
In Labor Day, Kate Winslet delivers an award-worthy performance as a depressed single mother, who along with her young teenage son Henry (Gattlin Griffith) have their lives changed forever when they offer a wounded man a ride. The man (played by Josh Brolin) turns out to be an escaped convict, who takes the family hostage during Labor Day weekend. Watch the whole trailer embedded after the jump.
Update: We’ve added the theatrical trailer below, too.
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Jason Reitman‘s new film, Labor Day, opens on Christmas Day, and it will be promoted via a new trailer on Halloween. That trailer hits at 9am PST tomorrow, and as a precursor we have a new poster. The film features Josh Brolin as an escaped convict who is taken into the home of a reclusive woman (Kate Winslet) and her son.
While the first poster and image (above) featured Brolin and Winslet in an ambiguous pose — is he protecting or threatening her? — this new poster uses a similar pose to communicate a more specific connection between the characters. Read More »
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We’re very happy to exclusively premiere the poster for director Jason Reitman‘s latest film Labor Day. Kate Winslet has an award-worthy performance as a depressed single mother, who along with her young teenage son Henry (Gattlin Griffith) regretfully offer a wounded man a ride. The wounded man (played by Josh Brolin) turns out to be an escaped convict on the run, and takes the family hostage during Labor Day weekend. The movie is very different than any of Reitman’s previous works, definitely not a comedy — yet it is instead Reitman’s darkly twisted take on the coming of age film. It’s a more accomplished and mature film than his past works, but also a more nuanced and quieter film. The movie premiered at the Telluride Film Festival to great acclaim. Check out the poster after the jump.
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Posted on Monday, September 9th, 2013 by Angie Han
If Jason Reitman‘s first four films — Thank You For Smoking, Juno, Up in the Air, and Young Adult — had one thing in common, it was a sharp sense of humor. Even when things got emotional, there was always room for a hamburger phone or a cancer/”can sir” pun.
It’s surprising, then, that he takes such a different turn with his fifth. Labor Day is an earnest drama about a boy (Gattlin Griffith), his mom (Kate Winslet), and the escaped convict (Josh Brolin) who seeks shelter with them over a long weekend. While a trailer has yet to come out, the first clip offers a peek at how dramatically this film differs from his earlier work.
Happily, the risk he takes in stepping out of his wheelhouse seems to pay off. Labor Day has mostly received strong reviews on the festival circuit, with several reviewers going so far as to call it his best work yet. Read the early buzz and watch the clip after the jump.
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Posted on Sunday, August 25th, 2013 by Angie Han
It’s all well and good for studios to try and make the next Hunger Games. But as the disappointing box office tally for this weekend’s The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones reminds us, actually pulling off such a feat is easier said than done. For every Hunger Games — or Harry Potter or Twilight — there are several more The Golden Compasses, Eragons, and Beautiful Creatures-es.
One of the next films to try and succeed The Hunger Games will be Divergent, starring Shailene Woodley (who’s as close a thing to “the next Jennifer Lawrence” as we have) as a young woman living in dystopian Chicago. The first full-length trailer premiered at the MTV Video Music Awards this Sunday, and you can watch it after the jump.
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Posted on Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 by Angie Han
It’s probably not entirely fair to keep comparing Divergent to The Hunger Games. But given that they’re both female-led dystopian YA action franchises, and given that Divergent is very obviously aiming to be the successor to the Hunger Games throne, it’s pretty hard not to make the comparison.
Not that they’re exactly the same. Directed by Neil Burger and based on the book by Veronica Roth, Divergent takes place in a futuristic Chicago. Therein, each citizen, upon reaching adulthood, must ally him- or herself with one of five factions. Shailene Woodley leads the cast as Tris, who leaves behind Abnegation, where she was raised, to become one of the thrill-seeking Dauntless.
Hopefully the differences between the two series will become clearer as we see more from the film. Like this first bit of footage, in the form of a very brief teaser. Check out the video after the jump.
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