Eilis

Custom Search




tel:18003484095

banner3

banner3

tel:18003484095


Divergent: Allegiant

Batman v Superman

March 24, 2016

The Divergent Series:

Allegiant (**) PG-13

After last year’s second installment in the Divergent series, Insurgent, anything would be a vast improvement. That’s worth mentioning so that the bar isn’t exactly set high for this review of the third part of the Divergent series, Allegiant. It’s a good thing, I guess, because the film is a lackluster affair, offering nothing even close to the more positive aspects of other film series aimed at the Young Adult crowd. Of course when I speak of the YA audience, we all know I’m basically referring to those who lined up to make The Hunger Games series of films and their like a roaring success. In terms of quality, however, I’ve got news for you, The Divergent series is never going to be anything closer to a sibling of The Hunger Games than a red headed stepchild.

You know you’re in trouble when a film series is so lackluster that you find yourself having to go back and reread the plot synopsis of the previous installment in order to prepare for the latest film.

Theo James & Shailene Woodley in ‘Allegiant’

In fact, the Divergent series is so forgettable that I couldn’t even recall my own review of the second film in the series, which appeared in the hallowed pages of FOCUS at about this time last year. Perhaps that will give you an idea of what to expect.

At any rate, there are basically two plot strands at work for most of the film, both involving actors with sizeable chops—Jeff Daniels and Naomi Watts—who get nothing of real interest to do amongst the proceedings. Still, the two story threads, at the very least, keeps things from being as deadly dull as I feared it might prove to be after rereading my words from last year. Shailine Woodley is back as Tris, the hero of the series who leads the pack of kids from the first two installments across the walls of Chicago where they’ve been trapped in a dystopian existence for most of the first two films. Once they manage to get across, curiosity kills the cat and they aren’t exactly pleased to discover what’s on the other side. This eventually boils down to the more simplistic plot points of having male protagonist, Four (Theo James) attempt to curtail his mother, Evelyn’s (Watts) plans of annihilating anyone who raises her ire while Tris is tasked with listening to endless explanations from the Jeff Daniels’ character as to the reasons behind the bleak situations the current world faces. Yes, it’s as boring as it sounds.

The special effects look cartoonish and artificial as well so I can’t even recommend it for that reason. I don’t expect them to have the problem corrected by the time the fourth and final installment of this series comes slogging onto movie theater screens next year at this time. As you can tell, I can hardly wait. 

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (**)

PG-13

If one were to begin cataloging the things wrong with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, one need look no further than the title. For all of the hype about the ‘fight’ between the titanic comic book heroes, the actual battle doesn’t occur until 100 minutes into the film. When it does finally transpire it lasts approximately ten minutes and this is after nearly an hour of preamble leading to the dustup. I mention this because I’m all about truth in advertising and this is certainly a case of a cinematic hoax being perpetrated on the movie going public. You have been warned.

If readers of these hallowed pages recall, I was not kind to the 2013 predecessor to this film, Man of Steel. I felt that film had horribly directed and cartoonish action sequences that felt as if they would have been have been at home in any generic action picture directed by the likes of Michael Bay. Plus, the lead characters were poorly written and uninteresting.

Batman v Superman opens with ominous narration by the Bruce Wayne character, portrayed of course by Ben Affleck.

Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman

During the credits sequence we are treated once again to the Batman origin story as the childhood Bruce witnesses his parents’ murder and vows to fight crime. Then we get to relive the last sequence from Man of Steel when Zod and Superman battled to the death and destroyed the city of Metropolis in the process. We learn that Bruce Wayne/Batman had a building that was destroyed during that battle and that many of his employees were casualties. He blames Superman for reasons that really aren’t logical but then logic isn’t a strong suit here. In fact there are a lot of questions that manage to go unanswered during this film’s unspooling but I digress.

The first half of the film has Batman plotting his revenge on Superman and this would have been fine had director Zach Snyder and his writing team focused on this plot strand. Instead they insist on getting sidetracked with other subplots that feel half-baked, most notably the one involving Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) which feels like it would have fared far better in another film. The film also throws in the character of Wonder Woman and Doomsday, among other things, for good measure. If it sounds like an overstuffed affair, you’re right on the money. It feels and looks like the first 150-minute super hero movie trailer instead of a film all its own.

I will say that the action sequences in Batman v Superman are a bit improved over those found in Man of Steel but that isn’t saying much. The film still looks cartoonish during its finale when Doomsday turns up and Superman attempts to save the day. It’s really saying something when a film that’s 38 years old­—the 1978 version of Superman—has more convincing effects than a film made in 2016. That’s the case with this film, unfortunately. 

Both films are playing in Hickory and the surrounding area.

Questions or comments? Write Adam at filmfan1970@hotmail.com.

 

ARCHIVES:

10 Cloverfield Lane & Brothers Grimsby

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot & London Has Fallen

Triple 9 & 45 Years

Eddie The Eagle• The Witch

Where To Invade Next & Son Of Saul

Deadpool • The Choice • How To Be Single

Hail Caesar & Fifty Shades Of Black

The Finest Hours & The 5th Wave

Mustang & The Lady In The Van

Anomalisa • 13 Hours: The & Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi

The Revenant • Youth

Carol • Joy • The Hateful Eight

Star Wars: The Force Awakens • The Big Short • Concussion

Daddy’s Home • Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Road Chip

In The Heart Of The Sea • Krampus

Creed • Brooklyn

Spotlight

‘Mockingjay Part 2’ • All Things Must Pass • The Night Before

Trumbo

Spectre & The Peanuts Movie

Steve Jobs & Our Brand Is Crisis

Crimson Peak & Room

Bridge Of Spies & Goosebumps

99 Homes

The Martian • Sicario & The Walk

The Intern • The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials • Everest

The Visit & Black Mass

Mistress America

The Diary Of A Teenage Girl A Walk In The Woods

American Ultra • No Escape • Sinister 2

Straight Outta Compton, The End Of The Tour, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Irrational Man & Fantastic Four

Ricki And The Flash & The Gift

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation • Southpaw • Vacation

Ant-Man & Trainwreck

Self/Less

Amy • Magic Mike XXL, Terminator: Genisys

Me & Earl & The Dying Girl, Ted 2

Inside Out & Dope

Love and Mercy & Jurassic World

Insidious Chapter 3

San Andreas & Aloha

Poltergeist &
Tomorrowland

Mad Max: Fury Road

Hot Pursuit

Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Ex Machina

While We’re Young & Unfriended

The Longest Ride

Fast & Furious 7

It Follows

Divergent

Cinderella

Chappie

Focus & The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Fifty Shades Of Grey

Jupiter Ascending

Still Alice

The Imitation Game A Most Violent Year

American Sniper Inherent Vice

Selma & Taken 3

Unbroken

Big Eyes • The Interview

Night At The Museum The Secret of the Tomb • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Top Five • Wild • Annie

Foxcatcher

Whiplash & The Theory Of Everything

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 • Horrible Bosses 2

Dumb And Dumber To

Birdman & Interstellar

Nightcrawler

Ouija

Fury

The Judge

Annabelle & Gone Girl

The Equalizer & Happy 75th, GWTW!

The Drop • A Walk Among & The Tombstones

No Good Deed

The Identical

As Above, So Below & November Man

If I Stay & Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

The Giver • Code Black & The Expendables 3

Boyhood • Into The Storm & Magic In The Moonlight

Get On Up & Guardians Of The Galaxy

Lucy

Begin Again & The Purge: Anarchy

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Chef & Tammy

Transformers: Age Of Extinction

Jersey Boys

22 Jump Street & How To Train Your Dragon 2

The Fault Is In Our Stars & Edge Of Tomorrow

A Million Ways To Die In The West

X-Men: Days Of Future Past Maleficent

Godzilla • Summer Preview

Neighbors • Godzilla

The Amazing Spiderman 2 & Belle

The Other Woman & Brick Mansions

A Haunted House 2 & Heaven Is For Real

Oculus & Rio 2

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Noah

Divergent

The Grand Budapest Hotel & Veronica Mars

300: Rise of the Empire

Non-Stop & Son Of God

Three Days To Kill

Robocop & The Past • About Last Night

The Monuments Men

Labor Day

I, Frankenstein

Inside Llewyn Davis & Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Lone Survivor & August: Osage County

Her • Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom & The Wolf Of Wall Street

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, Saving Mr. Banks, American Hustle, Anchorman 2

The Hobbit: The Desolation & Of Smaug • Nebraska

Dallas Buyers Club & Oldboy & Out Of The Furnace

Philomena & The Book Thief

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire & Delivery Man

About Time & All Is Lost

Thor: The Dark World & 12 Years A Slave

Ender’s Game & Last Vegas

Bad Grandpa &The Counselor

Carrie & The Fifth Estate

Captain Phillips, Enough Said & Machete Kills

Gravity & Runner Runner

Metallica: Through The Never , Rush & Don Jon

Prisoners & Rush

Insidious: Chapter 2 • The Family & The Spectacular Now

Riddick

Getaway

The World’s End You’re Next

Lee Daniels’ The Butler • Jobs • Blue Jasmine

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters & Elysium

2 Guns

Blue Jasmine • The Wolverine & Fruitvale Station

Fruitvale Station • The Conjuring & The Way Way Back

Pacific Rim & Grown Ups 2

The Lone Ranger & Despicable Me 2

The Heat & White House Down

Monsters University, World War Z, Before Midnight & The East

Man of Steel & This Is The End

The Internship & The Purge

After Earth, Now You See Me & Frances Ha

The Hangover Part III Before Midnight

Star Trek: Into Darkness & Fast and Furious 6

The Great Gatsby & Frances Ha

Iron Man & Peeples

Pain and Gain & Mud

Oblivion & Lords of Salem

42 and Scary Movie 5

Evil Dead & Jurassic Park 3-D

G.I. Joe: Retaliation Tyler Perry’s Temptation

Spring Breakers Admission

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone • The Call

Oz: The Great And Powerful West Of Memphis

Jack the Giant Slayer The Last Exorcism, Part II

Dark Skies & Snitch

A Good Day to Die Hard & Safe Haven

Side Effects & Identity Thief

Bullet To The Head Warm Bodies


 

 

 

BannerEventAd-01.jpg   fanjoylabrenz.jpg

PO Box 1721 | Hickory, NC 28603 | 828.322.1036 | Office Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9am - 5pm | focusnews@centurylink.net

Home • Reviews: MoviesAdam Long • Editorials: FocusHave Chainsaw Will TravelSid On SportsBobbi GSara MawyerPeople PicturesPlaces/PeopleExtra Events Listing
Out Of Focus • News: Local NewsNational NewsHoroscopes • Info/Links: Staff/ContributorsList Of AdvertisersOnline AdvertisingOnline ClassifiedsContact UsFocus BLOGStoreLinks

© 1978 - 2017 Tucker Productions, Inc.