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Insurgent Movie Review

Movie poster  (Photo by/ Natalia Wroblewski)

Movie poster
(Photo by/ Natalia Wroblewski)

By: Natalia Wroblewski

The first film of the Divergent trilogy reached the #1 spot at the box office during its opening weekend last year, so the sequel, Insurgent was anticipated to rake up a similar, if not better, response.

The movie stars popular actors and actresses including Shailene Woodley who plays Tris Prior, an independent heroine, Theo James as Tobias “Four” Eaton, a determined fighter, and Ansel Elgort as Caleb Prior, Tris’s betraying brother.

The movie continues the story of Tris and the post apocalyptic world she faces. She and her allies search for an answer as to what Tris’s family sacrificed their lives for and why the Erudite faction will do anything to stop them. A war begins to brew as conflicts grow and past secrets are revealed, which affect everyone’s future.

“Getting back into Tris was much more difficult than I anticipated, because I didn’t take into account that I, myself, had grown for a year,” Woodley told People Magazine in a press interview a month ago about filming the second movie.

Just like many other book to movie adaptations, Insurgent was modified to make the story more thrilling and Hollywood appropriate. The book’s main idea of character relationships was transferred from page to screen with some major adjustments, including the entire ending of the movie. Warning: spoiler ahead.

Originally, the finding of the truth revealing video message was found by Four and Caleb, but the movie’s redesign added a twist.

Author of the Divergent series, Veronica Roth, revealed how she felt about the film in a Tumblr post writing, “Insurgent, the book, has a complicated plot — a lot of moving parts, a lot of ups and downs; that sort of thing can work in a book, but if it’s translated directly to the screen, it makes for a messy, confusing movie. The changes that were made streamline the story so it makes sense for this new format; in other words, they work.”

Critics’ reviews ranged from “satisfactory” to “disappointing.” Connie Ogle from The Miami Herald newspaper said, “Unfortunately, Insurgent can’t quite live up to its intriguing set up.”

Others, like Bill Zwecker from the Chicago Sun-Times said, “For those looking for non-stop action, pretty dazzling special effects and solid acting by the young protagonists, Insurgent will not disappoint.”

Common Sense Media rated the movie three stars out of five, Metacritic gave it two stars, and IMDb praised it with four stars.

“I saw the movie but didn’t read the book, so from what I saw I thought the movie was really good. It was suspenseful and ended with sort of a cliffhanger so that got me excited for the next movie,” said AHS sophomore Lyan Khanji.

The Divergent series has often been compared to The Hunger Games series because Tris from Divergent and Katniss from The Hunger Games are both female characters who rise as leaders and mourn the losses of others who have suffered as a result of a similar futuristic rebellion revolution.

Another similarity in both these novels is the glitchy, dystopian society the characters are forced to live in. Whether its The Hunger Games districts or the Divergent factions, there are flaws.

Jeanine Matthews from Divergent and President Snow from The Hunger Games are the over controlling leaders who negatively influence many people and have so much power that they become the rebellions’ targets.

“I thought the movie was interesting to watch. There was a lot of action, but it didn’t follow the book as well as I would have liked and the acting was sub-par,” said Foxboro Regional Charter School (FRCS) senior Avanna Menard.

Insurgent came out on March 20 making $54 million in its first weekend, just in North America, which is basically the same amount Divergent made its first weekend. It is rated PG-13 for its extreme violence and action and also its occasional, aggressive language.

Like many other book to movie adaptations of young adult series, the last book in the series, Allegiant, will be split into two movies. Plans are to release Part 1 on March 18, 2016 and Part 2 on March 24, 2017.

Insurgent deserves 3.5 out of 5 stars for its thrilling action and satisfactory acting but loses points because it doesn’t follow the book as well as fans might’ve liked.


The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water


Movie poster (Screenshot by/ Daphne Mendez)

Movie poster
(Screenshot by/ Daphne Mendez)

By: Daphne Mendez

The spirit of the SpongeBob television show remains true in the movie. Just like in the show, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water is cheerful with random jokes and enjoyable plot twists. The humor has definitely not changed and keeps viewers entertained.

The amusing movie will have children intrigued when SpongeBob goes on a mission to recover a stolen recipe known as the Krabby Patty Formula, which leads to him jumping out of the water and battling the villainous pirate who has stolen it. SpongeBob and his nemesis Plankton, who he first thought had stolen the recipe, are now working together to retrieve it.

Patrick, Sandy, Mr.Krabbs, and Squidward come along for the ride and see how life is above sea level. They meet new people and new animated characters such as talking dolphins and seagulls. The movie, however, did not take place out of the water as much as it showed in the movie trailers.

Some of the scenes in the movie were a mess and didn’t add up; like how SpongeBob and his friends can magically come out of water and breathe air with no problem at all.

Above sea level, life isn’t that great or interesting; until the characters read a magical book that makes stories come true. SpongeBob and his friends then became 2D superheros.

Paul Tibbitt, the director of the movie, put a lot of odd obstacles in the plot of the movie, such as the stolen recipe and superhero theme.

In the movie SpongeBob’s voiceover is by Tom Kenny, Patrick’s voiceover is by Bill Fagerbakke, Squidward’s voiceover is by Roger Bumpass, Plankton’s voiceover is by Douglas Osowski, and Sandy’s voiceover is by Carol Lawrence. The characters’ voiceovers are by the same people who were involved with the first SpongeBob movie.

The new SpongeBob movie is rated PG with a run time of 92 minutes. The movie deserves three out of five stars because of the unusual plot, goofy jokes and its suitability to all ages, but it doesn’t deserve five stars because of its corniness and how some parts in the movie were boring and dragged. Overall the movie was not that bad and kept the viewer’s attention when the characters were in action.

The Purge: Anarchy

Participants of the Annual Purge (Screenshot by/ Kenna Beech )

Participants of the Annual Purge
(Screenshot by/ Kenna Beech )


By: Kenna Beech  

The horror film, The Purge, left thousands in fear of a real life “Purge” happening. The first movie, released in 2013, involved a single family trying to stay alive during the annual Purge, where all crime including murder, is legal from 7 p.m. on March 21st to 7 a.m. on March 22.

The husband hid his family behind an expensive home security system that he had invented to keep those who could afford it safe from the violence taking place outside.

No violence is allowed throughout the year, so on this specific day, every year, people are permitted to act violently and do each other harm, up to and including murder. There is no medical help or 911 calls during this twelve hour period.

That movie was followed up by The Purge: Anarchy, released last July and directed by James Demonaco. It has a dystopian theme set in the future under an anarchist system where there is political and social disorder due to a lack of government control.

The first scene opens hours before the annual purge begins, at a couple’s broken down car. Stuck on the street, Shane (Zach Gilford) and Liz (Kiele Sanchez) find themselves fighting for their lives from those who are using this day to cleanse themselves. This film, however, takes a turn when the lower class, who can’t afford to buy protection, fights back.

The movie then skipped to another scene, where a poor family’s father offers to sacrifice himself so a rich family can cleanse themselves while staying safe inside on the night of the Purge. In return, the family will “supposedly” give a large sum of money to this man’s family so they don’t have to struggle every day.

No one is safe. Assailants destroy the building the poor family is living in. So the mother, Eva (Carmen Ejogo) and her daughter Cali (Zoe Soul) escape from the house but are quickly captured. A police sergeant Leo (Frank Grillo), who is active in the purge because he is taking out his revenge on a man who drove drunk and killed his son, sees the two women struggling to escape from the assailants, and decides to save their lives.

When they return to the police car, they find Shane and Liz hiding in the back seat. The five team up and are forced to roam the streets in a pack in order to survive.

They are followed by the same bloodthirsty bikers, who intend to kill them and were the original cause of the couple’s car breaking down in the first place. Escape is almost impossible as the night becomes dawn.

The 103 minute movie was given an R rating for its violence and language. It deserves four out of five stars for its intense action scenes and the fear factor.


Tammy Up to No Good (Screenshot by/ Kenna Beech)

Tammy Up to No Good
(Screenshot by/ Kenna Beech)

By: Kenna Beech

Many comedies were released last summer. On July 2, 2014, Tammy, directed by Ben Falcone, made for an appealing go-see movie. The overall outline of the movie by theaters that were showcasing it described it in this single sentence.

“After losing her job and learning that her husband has been unfaithful, Tammy hits the road with her profane hard-drinking grandmother.”

The stars of the movie Melissa McCarthy (Tammy), Susan Sarandon (grandmother), and Kathy Bates (friend of grandmother) make for a hilarious trio.

At the beginning of the movie Tammy loses everything in a short period of time and spirals downwards. Tammy wants to escape the life she is surrounded by, and her diabetic grandmother agrees. Tammy and her grandmother take her mother’s car and begin a journey fraught with alcohol and its effects.

With only $6,000 to the grandmother’s name, the two set off to wherever the road takes them. Tammy quickly learns that the grandmother has a severe drinking problem and doesn’t take her meds. The two find themselves blowing through money and quickly find themselves in trouble with the law.

Tammy’s grandmother finds it hilarious to make Tammy miserable when she’s drunk by name calling or embarrassing her. It’s bittersweet when Tammy finds herself in an unwanted situation where she ends up falling for a man she unwillingly met at a bar because of her grandmother’s promiscuity with the man’s father.

However, Tammy finds herself struggling to free her grandmother from these situations.

Tammy and her grandmother are separated by an altercation with the police and her grandmother is put in prison. She is worried for her because she doesn’t have her pills, so she robs a local food joint for money to post bail.

Tammy is proof that when under pressure, people go to extreme lengths for a family member. The movie takes a twist when Tammy takes her grandmother’s place in prison for breaking the law.

The movie is an hour and 37 minutes long, and as a cute comedy, it earns four out of five stars for its enjoyable plot.

22 Jump Street

Jenko and Schmidt running from Ghost (Screenshot by/ Kenna Beech)

Jenko and Schmidt running from Ghost
(Screenshot by/ Kenna Beech)

By: Kenna Beech

Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill) are back in another Jump Street movie, released last June; this action-packed thrill-seeker takes place after the first movie where Jenko and Schmidt were responsible for finding out who was supplying drugs to people.

As undercover police officers working for Captain Dickson (Ice Cube), they take on the role of college students to find out who the drug suppliers are on campus.

This two hour comedy, 22 Jump Street, was directed by Chris Miller and Phil Lord who made sure this movie didn’t have the same plot as the last.

The duo is sent to investigate a drug called Whyphy and the only suspect that they are able to connect the drug with is a person with a tattoo on his arm. This time, instead of working together, Jenko and Schmidt’s partnership is put to the test when they both meet people with whom they share common interests. They find themselves caught up in college life and split up for a while.

Schmidt becomes involved with a girl, Maya (Amber Stevens), who is an art major and turns out to be Dickson’s daughter. He didn’t know this until after they had hooked up. Jenko encounters a football athlete Zook (Wyatt Russell), who isn’t a fan of Schmidt but wants to share career opportunities with Jenko.

However, the two decide to come together and do one last mission. Schmidt is in the library by himself when he notices suspicious activity. Ghost (Peter Stormare), the protagonist, spots him and recognizes him as a policeman. The mission turns into colossal chaos when Dickson is brought into it.

This movie was given an R rating for its language and violence. 22 Jump Street deserves five out of five stars for its comedic situations and action.



Oculus movie poster (Picture from/http://www.impawards.com/2014/oculus_ver2_xlg.html)

Oculus movie poster
(Picture from/http://www.impawards.com/2014/oculus_ver2_xlg.html)

By: Marissa Dias

Premiering last April 11, Oculus thrilled its way through theaters across the country. Based on the 2005 short film, Oculus: Chapter 3- the Man with the Plan, Oculus collected $44 million at the box offices.

The two plotlines covering an eleven year span are told simultaneously. Things take place in both the present and 11 years prior. The twisted story opens with Tim Russell (Brenton Thwaites) being released from years of extensive therapy after supernatural events occurred 11 years earlier that severely affected his mental state.

Strange things happen such as unnatural deaths of plants and animals and both of Tim’s parents becoming mentally unstable. The newly released Tim meets with his older sister Kaylie (Karen Gillen) outside of the facility. She tries to convince him to keep a childhood promise made so many years before concerning a manipulative mirror

Kaylie drives Tim back to their childhood home intending to destroy the mirror that tore their family apart.

Flashbacks to Tim and Kaylie’s childhood uncover secrets that answer questions brought up in the beginning of the movie, such as what the mirror does and how it possesses the family.

As the film plays out, many random and equally horrifying acts are caused by the mirror. Kaylie has set up timers and cameras to face whatever the mirror has in store for her and her brother.

Unfortunately, one traumatizing action results in fatal problems for the duo. The film wraps up with a predictable, but thrilling closing scene, causing viewers to squirm from the inside out.

Oculus presents continuous “on the edge of your seat” suspense and thrills, deserving four out of five stars. Because of the intriguing plot and supernatural details, Oculus will leave viewers hungry for more throughout the entirety of the film.

Both films were directed by Mike Flanagan. Oculus is rated R and 103 minutes long.

White House Down

The theatrical release poster for White House Down. (Photo/Columbia Pictures)

The theatrical release poster for White House Down. (Photo/Columbia Pictures)

By: Kenna Beech

Released in 2013, White House Down starring Channing Tatum, sparked people’s interest with its unique story line. The typically type casted Channing Tatum is normally used in movie productions for his muscular good looks. However, when performing the role of John Cale, a capitol policeman, the viewer’s outlook on Channing changed.

The characters in the movie are: President Sawyer (Jamie Foxx), Finnerty (Maggie Gyllenhaal), Walker (James Woods), Raphelson (Richard Jenkins), and Emily (Joey King).

The movie centers on Cale trying to be a more involved part of his daughter’s life. He realizes and understands that he hasn’t been doing the best job as a father. He convinces her that he has been given a dream job, one he was actually denied – as a secret service agent to protect President James Sawyer.

Cale ends up taking his daughter on a tour of the White House, hiding that he didn’t receive the job, when suddenly everything blows up as the White House is taken over by an armed paramilitary group. The nation’s government begins crumbling right under everyone’s feet, and it becomes Cale’s mission to save his daughter, the President, and the country as a whole. Cale’s daughter becomes separated from the tour group and is nowhere to be found.

The movie has made over $73 million at the box office. Filming locations included Washington, D.C. and Montréal. The movie, which is two hours and 17 minutes long, is directed by Roland Emmerich. It was given a PG-13 rating for violence, language, and a brief sexual image.

The movie deserves five out of five stars for its out of the ordinary story line, and its use of attention-grabbing action scenes.