12 items from 2014
With the release of the latest teen sensation Divergent starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James this Friday, it seems only fitting to examine the phenomena that is the Ya (Young Adult) movie adaptation and why they continue to increase in popularity and box-office success. Whether the setting be fantastical, dystopian, futuristic or magical, there is clearly something entrancing about these literary tales being projected on the silver screen which keeps bringing audiences back for more and more…
Big screen adaptations of beloved young adult novels date back decades; films such as the original Narnia tales, Freaky Friday, The Princess Bride and particularly The Outsiders were huge successes because they were able to teleport readers into a visual representation of the worlds and stories they held so dearly. In modern times however things are a little different. Creatively, cinema is running on empty; the vast majority of releases filling multiplexes are either adaptations (be that novel, »
- Chris Haydon
Like it or not, Hollywood’s current obsession with adapting (any and all, apparently) Ya novels to the big screen got its biggest push from the tremendous success of the Twilight novels. The Stephenie Meyer-penned series set the stage for a hefty number of teen-centric (and paranormally influenced) features to go the cinematic route, even as her blockbuster franchise presented a very problematic view of teen romance and sexual obsession (something I touched upon before the first Hunger Games arrived in theaters). In the post-Twilight years, a number of other Ya adaptations have arrived, bolstered by big-time romances that often overshadow stories that ostensibly center on youngsters (mainly girls) exploring special powers, from Beautiful Creatures to The Mortal Instruments. Being magical or immortal or witchy or intelligent might be a good thing, but it’s not the most important thing – but that’s starting to change. With the success of both Divergent (less than a week »
- Kate Erbland
All hail Divergent! A collective sigh of relief emanated from the halls of Hollywood this past weekend when the latest attempt to score with young female moviegoers worked with the successful $55 million debut of the post-apocalyptic film Divergent. And it’s not just the studio executives at Summit Entertainment who are breathing a sigh of relief as they ready the next two movies in the trilogy based on Veronica Roth’s young adult novels. The exhale also comes from those in Hollywood who had been working on a host of teen-centric adaptations last year amid the troubling trend that saw »
- Nicole Sperling
Woodley, whose movie is aimed at a similar teenage audience to the popular series of romantic vampire-werewolf films, told Teen Vogue: "Twilight, I'm sorry, is about a very unhealthy, toxic relationship. She falls in love with this guy and the second he leaves her, her life is over and she's going to kill herself! What message are we sending to young people? That is not going to help this world evolve." The comments were first picked up by Variety.
Twilight starred Kristen Stewart as a young woman drawn into wars between various supernatural tribes. The five films in the series were »
- Ben Child
Shailene Woodley is the latest star to trash Twilight, but she certainly isn't the first. "Twilight, I'm sorry, is about a very unhealthy, toxic relationship," the Divergent star tells Teen Vogue. "She falls in love with this guy and the second he leaves her, her life is over and she's going to kill herself! What message are we sending to young people? That is not going to help this world evolve." Even Robert Pattinson—who played the brooding Edward Cullen in all five films—wasn't entirely sold on author Stephenie Meyer's vampire love story. In the April 2011 issue of Vanity Fair, for example, he admitted that it was "weird" to be "kind of representing »
At the tail end of 2013, Iron Man 3 received one of the biggest bitch-slaps of the year, courtesy of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The teen novel adaptation swooped in and eclipsed the Marvel superhero’s spot as the highest grossing movie of the year, at least in terms of domestic box office. While The Hunger Games: Catching Fire didn’t overcome the worldwide box office of Iron Man 3, it had its own victory by besting the first installment by more than $200m worldwide. As the movie-going audience prepares for the first of two final sequels releasing later this year, they can stave off their hunger by checking out The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on DVD and Blu-ray. Included on the discs is a commentary with director Francis Lawrence and producer Nina Jacobson. Lawrence had already been working on the final two films at the time of recording, so his insight goes beyond the production of »
- Kevin Carr
Endless Love casts Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde as teens who fall in love at the end of high school, only to have their Summer of romance marred by her father's disapproval. The ups and downs of their relationship don't make for a movie of much substance, but it is so bad, it's good - good to watch with a friend who will also appreciate the (guilty) pleasure of it all. Here are the reasons you will be highly entertained by Endless Love . . . though they may not be the intended ones. It's like Twilight without the vampires. David (Pettyfer) and Jade (Wilde) finally interface on the day of their high school graduation: he's the kid with the blue-collar upbringing, and she's the beautiful, brilliant loner from a wealthy family who's headed to medical school. Her father (Bruce Greenwood) will do anything to keep them apart so as not to jeopardize Jade's future, »
- Shannon Vestal
It’s almost hard to remember a time when the vampire genre was dead.
It was before Twilight, of course. Before the film version of Stephenie Meyer’s novel was released in 2008 to the sound of millions of squees, vampire movies were considered somewhat risky investments and TV networks rarely ordered shows starring the undead. Since the conclusion of The WB’s Angel in 2004, there was FX’s Blade: The Series (flop) and CBS’ Moonlight (flop). On the big screen, the genre’s popularity varied from films like Van Helsing and I Am Legend (hits) to Queen of the Damned »
- James Hibberd
Lucy Fry stars as Lissa Dragomir, a vampire princess, in The Weinstein Company's first venture into the land of young adult movie franchises. Vampire Academy is based on the first book in Richelle Mead's bestselling book series, which is nothing like Stephenie Meyer's Twilight books for those who are confusing the two, and will be opening in theaters on Friday, February 7th. In support of the film's release, Fry talked about her character, the story, and the book's fan base:
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Quentin Tarantino ‘The Hateful Eight’ screenplay leak Quentin Tarantino will no longer be making the Western The Hateful Eight. Why not? Well, Tarantino claims he sent out the film’s screenplay to a group of six people, one of whom allegedly showed it to his agent, who then showed it to other agents, who then began calling Tarantino’s agent Mike Simpson, asking him to cast their clients in the film. (Photo: The Hateful Eight screenwriter Quentin Tarantino.) “I’m very, very depressed,” Tarantino was quoted as saying at Deadline.com, which first broke The Hateful Eight Screenplay Leak story on Tuesday, January 21, 2014. “I finished a script, a first draft, and I didn’t mean to shoot it until next winter, a year from now. I gave it to six people, and apparently it’s gotten out today.” Now, before they begin flailing and wailing, Quentin Tarantino fans should be »
- Zac Gille
Showrunner Ron Moore pitched Gabaldon on a different opening, the author revealed at the show’s Television Critics Association press tour panel in Pasadena on Friday. Gabaldon said the show will open with Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) during World War II. The show will open with a two-minute prologue set in a field hospital with Claire “in her element” as a wartime nurse. “You need to appreciate her immediately,” Gabaldon recalled Moore pitching. “It shows her being the competent and resilient person that she is. »
- James Hibberd
In 2013, Hollywood saw big box office hits with Jennifer Lawrence in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” Sandra Bullock in “Gravity” and Melissa McCarthy (and Bullock again) in “The Heat.” But none of these girl-power sagas were directed by a woman.
It’s the same old story. Four years after Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the directing Oscar for “The Hurt Locker,” the industry still has a terrible track record on gender equality behind the camera. As we head into awards season, the Oscar buzz is all about the guys (see Alfonso Cuaron, Steven McQueen, David O. Russell, Paul Greengrass, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Spike Jonze, etc.).
Women did not direct any tentpole features in 2013 with the exception of Disney’s animated “Frozen,” made by the duo Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee. The most successful movie directed solely by a woman was Kimberly Peirce’s remake of “Carrie, »
- Ramin Setoodeh
12 items from 2014
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