Give Divergent a Chance Snooty Face

Divergent

Sit down kids I want to have a word with you. I’m going to tell you an incredible story, the story of how I met your mother…. Nope, sorry, wrong topic. I want to tell you why Divergent is worth your time and shouldn’t be dismissed as another Hunger Games rip-off. For an introduction to Divergent have a look at my previous post.

First a disclaimer. When I say Divergent is “good” and “worth your time” I mean that it is good relative to other series in this genre and worth your time if you enjoy YA novels set in a dystopian future. This is not going to win Oscars or Man Booker prizes so take your snooty face and get out of here.

Because I believe in consuming any and all media without judgement (HA!) I have read both the Hunger Games and Divergent trilogies. As I have said in the past the Divergent series “are not great works of literature but they are engaging, engrossing, very quick to read, and in my opinion are superior to The Hunger Games.” As Divergent star Shailene Woodley has said the two are as alike as Star Wars and Star Trek; both feature a female lead fighting for freedom in a dystopian future but the journeys they take are very different.

I was not a fan of The Hunger Games and despite it being a quick read took forever to read the first book. It wasn’t until I was faced with overnight coach trips to and from Amsterdam that I found myself isolated enough to consider finishing the trilogy. Sadly in my mind the series just got worse and worse as our “strong female lead” Katniss Everdeen continued to spend her time worrying about boys and having things happen to her rather than take much action herself. For balance I know plenty of people who love the books and these opinions are my own and do not reflect those of the BBC (why would they?). Yes I enjoy the films in their own way but I can’t be sure how much of that is down to the sheer amount of Jennifer Lawrence they involve and the amount of leeway I am willing to give her.

KatnissTris

Divergent is better than The Hunger Games (there, I’ve said it again) because “strong female lead” Tris is strong, female, and leads. Tris makes decisions, takes action, and never passes out during climactic battle scenes. More importantly the Divergent series gets better with each edition. While The Hunger Games declined in quality before boring me senseless in the final book, soon to be two whole films, Divergent not only is at its best in book three but actually explains the myriad of grievances I had in the beginning. Plot holes become part of the plot meaning that what could be seen as a weak opener is made more coherent when the series is looked at as a whole.

The result of this is that you might need to give Divergent a chance even after having seen the first film. Reviews are a little mixed and I am worried that this might turn people off what has the potential to be a solid teen franchise. I haven’t seen the film yet (angry glance at PR agencies) so can’t comment myself but I am pretty confidence that some of the story’s weaknesses will be addressed later on in the trilogy.

Most importantly of all the Divergent book trilogy is being adapted into a Divergent film trilogy meaning that the final book will not be split into two money-grabbing, story-stretching films. I think we can all be thankful for that.

Divergent is in UK cinemas from 4th April 2014 and I need someone to go with.

Mild Concern for Jeff Goldblum’s Laugh

Jeff Goldblum's Laugh

Some news of a blogging nature today as I have joined the writing team over at the Prince Charles Cinema’s new blog Jeff Goldblum’s Laugh. Essentially this means that once a week, or more perhaps, I will be posting my usual witterings over there too. This may take the form of posts unique to their blog, cross-posts appearing both there and here, and some revamped and rejuvenated posts from the archives here at Mild Concern.

I will never abandon my humble home at Mild Concern and with any luck we’ll still have contributions from other writers so let’s just think of Jeff Goldblum’s Laugh as my way of getting some of my words to a larger audience.

Excitingly Mild Concern turns four this Saturday and fingers crossed this year will be even better than last year when we branched out into interviewing directors, I shared my face on Al Jazeera, and we finally got a star rating featured on a DVD cover.

And with that I leave you with hugs and kisses, and Jeff Golblum’s laugh:

Mild Concern on The Stream (Oh, and John Pilger too…)

Hi Mum I'm on the telly

A question that has long been asked of me; “when are you going to go on Al Jazeera and annoy an Australian film director?” Well my friends the time has come! Last night I briefly appeared on Al Jazeera show The Stream to put a question to Utopia director John Pilger. The full show is embedded below and you can either watch the whole thing to hear Pilger’s thoughts on Australia’s treatments of its indigenous people or skip to around 20 minutes in to see me broadcasting live from my bedroom.

Please note that I say words and do not fall off my chair at any point. For a sneaky peek behind the scenes I offer you a screenshot of what I could see on my laptop.

Al Jazeera - The Stream Screencap

Please note the fact that I have John Pilger’s Wikipedia page open. Like a pro.

A Short Note on Jesse Pavelka’s Buff Bod

Jesse Pavelka

As readers of EntertainmentWise will already know I recently trundled down to the entertainment site’s offices to discuss casting rumours surrounding the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. The interview was originally filmed but has since surfaced without the footage included – the fact that I arrived sweaty, windswept, and with no idea what to do with my face when it wasn’t talking may have contributed to this decision.

Regardless the interview was good fun and gave me an insight into what it is like for the people I interview. The write up of my thoughts on Fifty Shades of Grey casting rumours can be read over at the EntertainmentWise site.

Well, almost. This particular paragraph raised an eyebrow or two:

Ouch! Instead Tim is favouring a much less known star, model Jesse Pavelka. The US fitness expert is well known for his buff bod, which Tim reckons is a definite plus for the role: “As a model he would be attractive and willing to do probably anything to get this role. He’s a blank slate, you can apply any character you like to him.”

I am not denying Pavelka his buff bod, though it’s not a phrase I’ve used before (I once called someone a “dish” and that didn’t feel right for anyone involved), but he is not my favourite to play Christian Grey. My personal favourite, if (and when) forced to pick one, is Matt Bomer. Why? Because he can actually act and last year had all my female friends rushing to lust over him in Magic Mike.

As for Matt Bomer’s buff bod… he’s the one on the right:

As for the Felicity Jones plug… OBVIOUSLY that was me. I am nothing if not determined and persistent.