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Non-Review Review: Divergent – Allegiant

In terms of dystopian young adult science-fiction/fantasy franchises, Divergent is solidly mid-tier. It is in technical and production terms superior to The Maze Runner, but markedly inferior to The Hunger Games. It lacks the sort of spectacular camp that made The Mortal Instruments stand out, for better or worse. It is a reasonable execution of a fairly reliable (although also heavily problematic) central concept, but without anything that really elevates it above its competitors.

Allegiant is the first part of a two-part finalé to the series, as has become the norm for these types of films. However, it all feels rather rote. Allegiant does not feel like the first part of a two-parter, instead feeling like its own story that could support a sequel but alternatively would be a perfectly fine place to wrap up if the studio decide to all it a day. The fact that it is the first of a two-part adaptation of a source material feels like a decision that was made because that is just how you adapt young adult franchises at this point in time.

Hate to burst your bubble...

Hate to burst your bubble…

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Trailer for Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom…

This has been doing the rounds for a few days, but I’m still quite excited for Aaron Sorkin’s upcoming HBO drama, The Newsroom. While I’m not quite as fond of The West Wing as most are, I’ll concede that the dialogue and characterisation of the first four seasons were almost flawless, and I’m a huge fan of Sorkin’s work on both The Social Network and Moneyball. Taking place inside a network news show, The Newsroom should allow Sorkin to explore the culture of news broadcasting, and should provide ample fodder for his superb cast. Seriously, look at it – you’ve got Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Alison Pill and Dev Patel. It’s starting on HBO in June, and I can only hope it’ll be coming to Sky Atlantic shortly thereafter for us Irish and UK television junkies.

This is getting added to the planner, even though I’m already well behind on the other shows I’m following (and trying to catch up on retroactively). Check out the trailer below.

Non-Review Review: State of Play

Ah, the good old conspiracy thriller theory movie is alive and well, it would appear. For those not quite up-to-date on Hollywood’s fascination with sequels, remakes and adaptations, State of Play is a remake of the classic BBC miniseries of the same name. Following an old-fashioned investigative reporter as he attempts to investigate the death of a Congressman’s aide, he finds himself getting drawn closer and closer to a lion’s den of corruption and defense contractors. It’s a solid conspiracy movie elevated by superior performances that doesn’t really live up to its potential.

Russell Crowe attempts to explain the plot twists of State of Play to a confused Ben Affleck...

Russell Crowe attempts to explain the plot twists of State of Play to a confused Ben Affleck...

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