Tag Archives: miles teller

The Divergent Series: Allegiant (2016) – My rating: 8/10

AllegiantConfusing is not the word for the new category of “the world has ended” movies. Usually the youth are shut out, which causes them to fight the older population for any information that can lead to their freedom and a better functioning world.  Their goal is a world that will allow them the right to make their own decisions with less stringent rules and a more flexible future for all. Included in these world ending series where people are also categorized by class, is the Maze Runner/Scorch Trails, The Hunger Games trilogy, Tomorrowland, The Giver, District 9 and Elysium. I found myself getting confused and overlapping stories, making Divergent and Maze Runner fitting nicely together as one story. Having pointed out Hollywood’s new obsession, let me add that it isn’t all bad. While these movies are dealing with similar themes, some are doing it better than others. I like the Maze Runner series better than the Divergent series. I found the Hunger Games to be a little over the top, given the ending. In this third installment of the Divergent series, we find Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) along with her brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and Peter (Miles Teller) running away from their home.  No one is allowed to approach the wall which is heavily secured by members of Evelyn’s (Naomi Watts) coalition.  However, they manage to get through and are greeted by an unknown army.  The soldiers take the them to the Bureau of Genetic Welfare, a highly advanced city where they learn the truth about their society. Many years ago, the government believed that society’s problems were caused by “bad genes”. In an attempt to create a better society, they began to modify people’s genes, with disastrous results. The government set up “experiments” in an attempt to repair this mistake, establishing isolated cities across the remains of the United States. The hope was to raise enough genetically pure Divergent individuals to fix the “genetic damage” left in the wake of the Purity War.  The bureau is headed up by David (Jeff Daniels) who deems Tris to be a pure Divergent and is therefore suited to help him get funding from the council he reports to in order to extend his experiments that will ultimately include the destruction of Chicago.  Of course there is much more going on, but as usual, I don’t want to give away any more of the plot.  Allegiant concludes with some very good turn of events. In my opinion, Allegiant is the best of the trilogy. The director (Robert Schwentke) ties events together quite nicely bringing good closure to this final sequel. Great acting and great special effects. There’s lots of adventure and the story is interesting and will keep you guessing.

WHIPLASH (2014) – My rating: 8.5/10

WhiplashWhiplash gives a whole new flavor to riveting entertainment.  Without telling all, Whiplash is brilliant.  A 19 year old, first year drummer enrolls in a famous, prestigious Conservatory music school, (Shaffer) with an over the top abusive instructor teaching the class of musicians.  Andrew Neyman  played by Miles Teller is a promising drummer who is willing to forsake everything to get the training, recognition and respect for his talent that he so rightly deserves.  The abusive teacher, Fletcher, played by J. K. Simmons, will do whatever it takes to squeeze every drop of talent out of his students.  His agenda may be honorable but his methodology is brutal and so mentally obstructive, if found out by the powers that be, could cost him everything, including his job.  In the end, fed up Andrew shows everyone who he is and turns Fletcher’s thinking up side down.  A small cast and a big story with lots of emotions flying high will take you on a thrill ride worth every minute of this movie.  I haven’t heard a drummer like Andrew since Buddy Rich who was deemed the world’s best drummer.  Miles Teller is an actor but should seriously think about making his drumming skills his calling.  See Whiplash, it will bring something out in you!

[WHIPLASH is nominated for Best picture, Best Supporting Actor, Film Editing, Sound Mixing, Adapted Screenplay (Writing)]