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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4
PHOTOGRAPHY

INSURGENT

Movie review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS: 119 minutes, All Access look at the movie, featurettes, theatrical trailers, audio commentary, DVD, digital copy

VIDEO: 2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD, English 2.0 Dolby Digital for late night listening, English 5.1 Descriptive Audio, Spanish 5.1 DD

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish

 

STUDIO: Summit Entertainment/ Red Wagon Entertainment/ Mandeville Films

Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 3-20-2015

Blu-ray/ DVD RELEASE DATE: 8-4-2015

Tris (Shailene Woodley), Four (Theo James), Caleb, Peter, and Marcus are hiding in the Amity faction commune outside the walled city of Chicago.   They are trying to decide their next move after they stopped the mind control of Dauntless soldiers to kill Abnegation through a simulation created by the Erudite faction.  Meanwhile, the Dauntless traitors (aligned with the Erudite) have found a hidden artifact that the parents of Tris tried to hide from Jeanine (Kate Winslet), the leader of the Erudite.  Jeanine believes it contains an important message and she begins the quest to round up the right Divergent (the ones who don’t fit in just one faction) to pass the five faction simulations to unlock the message.   Once a Erudite search for Divergent at the Amity compound forces Tris, Four, and Caleb to flee, they must head back into Chicago where they encounter the leader of the factionless (Naomi Watts) who also happens to be Four’s mother.  

 

INSURGENT manages to compress most of the novel’s story successfully except the third act where it compresses the story too much even though some of the changes are better than what happened in the book.  The Amity farm commune reminds me too much of an open space hippy commune where the so-called lead Johanna isn’t how I imagined the character in the book.  Her part is sidelined along with the part Marcus played in the book.  Some of these changes go unnoticed for the first two thirds of the movie, but it may be what hurt the third act as they try too hard to streamline the movie into a two hour adaptation of Venrocia Roth’s sequel to her Divergent novel.   A bigger effects budget really expands the world of future dystopian Chicago, but I do think INSURGENT would have been a better movie if they allowed it to be a little longer and give the third act a proper follow through.   Theo James and Kate Winslet are the top actors here where Shailene Woodley just isn’t as effective as Tris as she was in the first movie.  It could be due to the direction or the way they changed the novel for the movie.  

 

INSURGENT is an imperfect adaptation and a sequel that falters slightly in the final third (if you read the book and maybe you won’t mind it if you haven’t read the book).  It doesn’t get it right like how THE HUNGER GAMES movies have managed to take the right parts of the book and trim away what isn’t needed for the movie.  INSURGENT is a difficult book to adapt as they have to chose what to focus on and what isn’t important too.  I hope the division of the final book in the DIVERGENT series into two movies will correct any problems they had with adaptation the first two books where some things are better than the book while other parts worked better in the books.

 

SPECIAL FETAURES:

Audio commentary with producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher

 

INSURGENT UNLOCKED- an in-depth feature length all-access behind-the-scenes look at all aspects of the movie from production design to story and characters to special effects that has interviews with cast and crew mixed in with behind-the-scenes footage with the movie playing in the corner:

BUILDING A BIGGER WORLD

CREATING THE BIG SCREEN EXPERIENCE

EXPLORING THE FACTIONLESS- a look at the Factionless characters and the main Factionless set

FROM FACTIONLESS TO CANDOR- a look at all things Candor

A NEW LANDSCAPE OF WEAPONS AND STUNTS- a focus on the expanding universe of weapons, the sim discs, and the zip line sequence

COMPOSERS AND SIMULATORS- the music of the movie which segues away to how they combine plate photography with real locations

A FIGHT TO THE FINISH- a behind-the-scenes look at the special effects and stunts of the simulations

 

A few fluffy featurettes are also on the blu-ray disc:

FROM DIVERGENT TO INSURGENT-

DIVERGING: ADAPTING INSURGENT TO THE SCREEN-

THE OTHERS: CAST AND CHARACTERS- a brief featurette on the new cast and the characters they play

THE TRAIN FIGHT UNLOCKED- a behind-the-scenes look at how they created the train fight sequence

THE PETER HAYES STORY- a brief examination of the character of Peter

 

Marketing gallery has various short promo featurettes, a HBO First Look special, five theatrical trailers, animated character portraits

 

DVD which has the film in standard definition and includes the marketing gallery, the audio commentary, and the FROM DIVERGENT TO INSURGENT fetaurette

 

Target Bonus DVD:

INSURGENT IN STYLE (9:16)- a behind-the-scenes look at the costume design of INSURGENT with costume designer Louise Mingenbach (who did the movie because she loved the books and would make her a superstar in her daughter’s eyes)

SIMULATIONS: THE NEXT LEVEL (19:47)- a very detailed behind-the-scenes look at the making of one of the key simulation sequences in the film from wire work, stunt work, digital effects, previz, and all of the work involved in creating it

VERONICA ROTH: TELL ALL (17:37)- Veronica talks about INSURGENT and how she is opened to things being changed for the movie (while being impressed with some of the changes).   You also see her visiting the sets and locations of INSURGENT and talking with the actors

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:   INSURGENT is a more difficult book to adapt to a movie than DIVERGENT is.  It holds up better on repeat viewings with all of the changes from the book.  The All Access documentary and the target featurettes are the ones to watch if you want to know about the making of the movie and the book.

 

This review is 8-27-2014 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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