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items tagged with Veronica Roth

Chicago Hopeless: "Allegiant"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2016-03-19 21:54:16

Zöe Kravitz, Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Theo James, Miles Teller, and Maggie Q. in AllegiantALLEGIANT

Over the past seven months, YA-lit adaptations have arrived in the forms of Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, The 5th Wave, and now Allegiant, the first part of the second sequel (yeah, I know ...) to 2014’s teen-dystopia thriller Divergent. And in each one of these releases, we’re taken to a hidden facility where our heroic youths are trained in combat and wartime procedures, sleep in bunk beds, eat in mess halls, and don nearly identical outfits designed, one presumes, to give them a collective sense of unity, purpose, and pride.

For adolescent readers feeling suffocated by a society that’s presumably determined to quash their freedom and individuality, it’s easy to see why a militaristic life is so frequently the metaphor of choice for novelists including the Divergent franchise’s Veronica Roth: What, to your average teen, could be more oppressive or insulting than being forced, night and day, to wear the exact same things your friends are wearing? But I didn’t think about that while watching director Robert Schwentke’s Allegiant. Instead, I thought about the same thing I thought about during the second Maze Runner and fourth Hunger Games and first (and hopefully last) 5th Wave: Who’s responsible for making all those matching leather ensembles and body-hugging jumpsuits and fitted tees? Do the compounds in these films also feature on-site Old Navys and Dick’s Sporting Goods? Are there underground sweatshops in which youths less attractive than Shailene Woodley and Theo James are made to toil? Were the outfits ordered and shipped in from Korea pre-apocalypse, y’know, just in case?
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Dire to Be Different: "Insurgent," "Do You Believe?", and The Gunman"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-03-22 22:46:42

Theo James, Shailene Woodley, and Miles Teller in InsurgentINSURGENT

As was destined to happen at my well-attended-by-teenage-girls screening of Insurgent, I heard plenty of nervous titters when Shailene Woodley and Theo James finally unzipped their faux X-Men garb and got (PG-13) busy with one another, and solemn silence during most of the rest of this tear-stained, thematically pushy action adventure. But I did hear one other occasional sound, because nearly every time Miles Teller opened his mouth for a throwaway retort or vicious insult, the girls in my crowd laughed, and were completely right to. As Teller’s Peter is an eternal thorn in our heroes’ sides and a grade-A prick to boot – a character you’d presume more deserving of hisses than giggles – this was somewhat surprising. It was also hugely cheering. Those teen patrons may have collectively enjoyed the rampaging mediocrity of this Divergent sequel, but they also, just maybe, recognized true greatness when they saw it.
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Four Stories and Seven Hours or So – Notes on a Quadruple Feature: "Divergent," "Muppets Most Wanted," "The Earth Wins," and "God’s Not Dead"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-03-25 20:01:29

Theo James and Shailene Woodley in DivergentMarch 24, 10:30 a.m.-ish: After several days spent visiting friends in Ohio – among them, now, my hosts’ adorable 17-month-old daughter – I return to my movie-reviewing duties filled with fresh perspective and hope for the future. Then I see Divergent, which earned $54.6 million over the weekend, and is already green-lit for two follow-up films. Well, the feeling was fun while it lasted.

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