Snapshots - #37: It, Breathe, Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House

It (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Four inseparable friends in middle school bond with other three newcomers. They all have in common that they are bullied by the same people. Over the course of one summer they'll fend off bullies and face a centuries-old demon in the form of a clown, named Pennywise, whom has been disappearing kids and terrorizing the town of Derry, Maine, every twenty-seven years since the town was founded.
Based on Stephen King's novel of the same title, It is a movie with a smart script and a sympathetic ensemble of nerds that deliver light humor, and deep thrills. It doesn't hurt that each and every character has his or her own arc, thus one gets to know their motivations and fears before Pennywise enters head on into the picture.
In a nod to 1980s movie classics such as The Goonies, and the Brat Pack ensemble, the newest adaptation of It takes place at the end of that decade, when it seems, at least from the Hollywood perspective, that every kid harbored a genius insi…

Insurgent (♦♦♦)

For 200 years, humanity has been confined within the walls of a city, and people have been organized into five factions (Amity, Abnegation, Erudite, Factionless, Dauntless, and Candor) following aptitude and character traits. Erudites rule them all. But there are certain people with some percentage of the other traits; those are called Divergents.

After Jeanine, the leader of Erudites, quashed a revolt from the Abnegation faction, the Divergents are on the run and being chased so Jeanine can use them in simulation experiments to open a secret box, containing a message from The Founders, which only a special divergent can unlock. Turns out that Tris Prior is a hundred percent Divergent...

I more or less enjoyed the first installment of the Divergent trilogy, but the second film, Insurgent, was quite disappointing. I didn't remember what happened in the first movie, so I had to proceed in the dark and that proved a big mistake.

After the experience of the Twilight franchise (ENM, BD-I, BD-IIin which the acting was below par but the story was gold, studios have decided to make stronger cast selections for young adult adaptations. Such was the case in Beautiful Creatures and in the phenomenally successful Hunger Games franchise (HG, CF, M-I). The Divergent trilogy is not an exception. So we see actors/actresses of the caliber of Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer and Ashley Judd in supporting roles. Despite their young ages, actors Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Ansel Elgort also bring star power to the films. However, in spite of Tris Prior being as butt-kicking and a badass heroine as Katniss Everdeen is in the Hunger Games, the powerhouse cast feels wasted given how poor, as in Beautiful Creatures, the source material is. And as it turns out, the big reveal at the end doesn't justify the overacting.

I frankly put up with the plot just to enjoy the chemistry between Shailene Woodley and Theo James, which unfortunately in Insurgent is virtually non-existent. We don't care about the factions, the characters, or their struggle, and the only reason I would watch the third movie is to close that gap and leave it behind.

Shailene Woodley (Tris Prior), Theo James (Tobias Eaton, a.k.a Four), Ansel Elgort (Caleb Prior, Tris' brother), Kate Winslet (Jeanine), Naomi Watts (Evelyn, Four's mother), Ashley Judd (Natalie Prior, Tris' mother), Zoë Kravitz (Christina)


  1. Think I'll be giving this one a miss!

    1. Yes, Dorothy, the only appeal left from the first installment is that the trilogy is mid-way through. Definitely a miss, and that's a shame!


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