Tagged: Cameron Monaghan

The Giver

Summary: In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the “real” world.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 11th September, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Philip Noyce

Screenwriter: Michael Mitnick, Robert B. Weide, Lois Lowry (book)

Cast: Jeff Bridges (The Giver), Saige Fernandes (Gabriel 6 Months), Katie Holmes (Mother), Alexander Jillings (Gabriel 12 Months), James Jillings (Gabriel 12 Months), Cameron Monaghan (Asher), Thabo Rametsi (Robbie), Odeya Rush (Fiona), Alexander Skarsgard (Father), Jordan Nicholas Smal (Gabriel 3 Months), Meryl Streep (Chief Elder), Renate Stuurman (Dinah), Taylor Swift (Rosemary), Brenton Thwaites (Jonas), Emma Trembly (Lilly)

Runtime: 97 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR THE GIVER REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s The Giver review on www.filmreviews.com.au

Stars(2.5)

 

David Griffiths:

The Giver always seemed to be facing an uphill battle to try and impress film fans. I realised that from the moment I was sitting in a cinema and saw the trailer for the film and found myself thinking ‘wow the trailer for Divergent 2 is out already… but hang on where is Shailene Woodley?’ How can any film hope to make an audience for itself when it seems to be telling the same story as the film that had already received criticism for being close to The Hunger Games. The similarities between the films got even closer when I sat down to watch The Giver and realised that even the opening prologue seemed to be describing Divergent as it rambled on about a dystopian society led by elders and kids graduating their studies and then being selected to do various careers based on their personalities etc.

Based on a novel by Lois Lowry The Giver sees three young friends, Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), Fiona (Odeya Rush) and Asher (Cameron Monaghan) graduate from their studies in a futuristic colony run by a Chief Elder (Meryl Streep). On the eve of their graduation the three friends decide on a pact that will see them become lifelong friends and then the next day Asher finds himself becoming a pod pilot and Fiona a nurturer –a role that sees her looking after small babies.

But the future is less clear for young Jonas who finds himself being named as the next Receiver, a task he knows very little about. Soon he finds himself under the guidance of The Giver (Jeff Bridges), a man who holds onto all the memories from before The Fall, no matter how painful they are.

As The Giver begins to educate Jonas on the ways of the world before The Fall Jonas begins to realise that there is a better way to live his life and decides to rebel against the regime something that worries his Father (Alexander Skarsgard) and Mother (Katie Holmes) as they seen previously what can happen when a Receiver goes rogue.

You would think that despite its similarities to other films The Giver would be in pretty good hands with director Philip Noyce at the helm, after all this is the man that has been responsible for films such as Salt, Rabbit Proof Fence and Patriot Games in the past. But here even Noyce struggles with a film that seems to want to tap into the Harry Potter style of filmmaking, with character set-up and a storyline building up to a dramatic action packed third act. It’s not Noyce’s fault though it is clearly the material that he has been given to work with.

What will annoy you most about The Giver is the fact that the film’s story makes no sense at all. If The Elder is so determined to keep the people from knowing about the past then why give the memories to someone new at all, wouldn’t it just be best for the memories to die with The Giver? Then there is also the fact that the screenplay provides very little suspense at all. The ‘memory wiped’ characters been making the characters likable to the audience extremely hard indeed while the dramatic chase at the end never ever becomes anywhere dramatic or suspenseful at all. When it comes to that territory both Divergent and The Hunger Games has The Giver well and truly covered. You would think that the man responsible for Salt should have been able to inject a little more action into the film… but alas no.

The poor script also doesn’t allow for anybody to put in any brilliant acting performances. Jeff Bridges is passable for the frustrated Giver while Brenton Thwaites seems to just breeze through his roles. The one-dimensional characters that litter the film though mean though that the acting talents of the likes of Meryl Streep, Alexander Skarsgard and Katie Holmes are completely wasted though, a shame when you consider the talent at hand there.

Thankfully The Giver was nowhere near as bad as The Host – it’s watchable, but only just. It is the kind of film though that will be ripped to shreds by any young budding screenwriter out there as it’s implausible plot just makes less and less sense as the film plods along. It is little wonder that some countries hid the film away from a majority of reviewers because it is a film that does very little for its audience or cast and is likely to be a film that you forget the instant the credits have rolled.

Stars(2.5)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(2.5)

 

IMDB Rating: The Giver (2014) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘The Giver′: For our full The Giver review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #96 . You can also read Dave’s The Giver review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer:

Vampire Academy

Summary: Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, half human/vampire, guardians of the Moroi, peaceful, mortal vampires living discretely within our world.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 7th March, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA, UK, Romania

Director: Mark Waters

Screenwriter: Daniel Waters, Richelle Mead (novel)

Cast: Mai Arwas (Lucy), Jackson Bews (Jered), Harry Bradshaw (Bruno), Gabriel Byrne (Victor Dashkov), Ashley Charles (Jesse), Macy Chipping (Young Rose), Zoey Deutch (Rose Hathaway), Rory Fleck-Byrne (Andre), Claire Foy (Ms. Karp), Lucy Fry (Lissa Dragomir), Sami Gayle (Mia Rinaldi), Nick Gillard (Kenneth), Edward Holcroft (Aaron), Sarah Hyland (Natalie), Danila Kozlovsky (Dimitri Belikov), Olga Kurylenko (Headmistress Kirova), Shelley Longworth (Feeder Norrine), Chris Mason (Ray), Cameron Monaghan (Mason), Bronte Norman-Terrell (Camilla), Ben Peel (Spiridion), Ryan Prescott (Nick), Joely Richardson (Queen Tatiana), Dominic Sherwood (Christian Ozera), Ramon Tikaram (Mr. Meisner), Dominique Tipper (Guardian Gabriela)

Runtime: 105 mins

Classification:M

OUR VAMPIRE ACADEMY REVIEWS & RATINGS:

Nick Gardener: Stars(2)

Please check Nick’s Vampire Academy review of that is available on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #70

David Griffiths:

I’m sure there was a moment at some time when a production team got together to discuss turning Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy novels into a feature film. Someone in that meeting obviously stood up and said “hey the kids all seem to like 2 Broke Girls do you reckon we could incorporate some of the sassy dialogue from that into this?” Well it may have seemed like a good idea at the time, and true it’s worked in films such as Saved and Easy A in the past but sadly screenwriter, Daniel Waters just wasn’t up to the job and as a result Vampire Academy fails in its bid to become the next Harry Potter or Twilight.

The film begins with Dhampir Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutsch) and Lissa Dragomir (Lucy Fry) the Moroi (peaceful vampire mortal) that she is protecting being rounded up and shipped back to Vampire Academy after twelve months on the run.

While Rose and Lissa are furious at being made return to what is actually a vampire boarding school they are shown show by teachers and trainers there, including Dimitri Belikov (Danila Krozlovsky), Victor Dashkov (Gabriel Byrne) and Headmistress Kirova (Olga Kurylenko), that this was a dangerous exercise due to the fact that it appears that Lissa is very likely to become the next Vampire Queen.

As the pair try to once again fit into a school where it now seems they are very much the outcast Rose soon realises that Lissa’s life is very much in danger, something that Lissa seems very dismissive of. This spurs Rose to team up with Dimitri and Lissa’s love interest Christian Ozera (Dominic Sherwood) and try to work out who is so desperate to have the young royal all to themselves.

The biggest problems facing Vampire Academy is the fact that director Mark Waters (who is best known for delivering the big teenage hit Mean Girls) was given an absolute dog script to work with… oh and of course some pretty average acting talent as well. At times Vampire Academy does show glimpses of being the half-way decent teenage sci-fi flick it could have been but at other times it is let down by some of the worst dialogue and most clichéd moments that audiences have seen on screens since they witnessed the debacle that was Taylor Lautner’s Abduction.

There are times during this film that the dialogue is so bad that the audience bursts out into laughter at just how lame it really is. Yes this one film where the script really didn’t need editing it needed to be ripped up and thrown into a bin before another screenwriter gave it a whirl. And if Daniel Waters’ dialogue isn’t bad enough the audience also has to put up with the fact that he also didn’t know whether he wanted this film to be a serious sci-fi/fantasy film or somewhat of a comedy. Sometimes it seems that Vampire Academy looks like it is going to fit into the Harry Potter vein and then at other times it becomes so cheesy it almost feels like you are re-watching Vampires Suck.

Then there is the acting which can largely described as downright atrocious. It is obvious that the likes of Lucy Fry and Danila Kozlovsky were hired because of their looks rather then their acting abilities because there are times during the film when they both make the cast of The Young And The Restless look like Oscar winners. Even poor Olga Kurylenko and Gabriel Byrne trip up on the script that leaves them with little more to do than just be working clichés… surely some Razzie nominations must be headed their way. In fact the only cast member of Vampire Academy that can hold her head high is Zoey Deutsch. The young actress, who most would know for her appearance in Beautiful Creatures puts in a good acting performance in which she seems to call upon the acting talents of Kat Dennings and Eliza Dushku and actually announces herself as an actress who hopefully has a future ahead of her.

From it’s clichéd poorly written script to the fact that it seems to borrowed little things from every vampire television show or movie from the last twenty years Vampire Academy is one film that seemed to be doomed from the moment its screenwriter put pen to paper.

Stars(2)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(2)

IMDB Rating:  Vampire Academy (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Vampire Academy′: Please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #70 for our full Vampire Academy review.

Trailer: