Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A side order of sci-fi/fantasy is up at the Movie Trailer Park

While we still have a ways to go before spring is truly upon us, the movies due out soon are more than ready for some summer action. Our focus here is on the sci-fi/fantasy section,which includes comic book fare and an adaptation of a popular YA series(which is becoming it's own genre at this point),namely Divergent, which hits the theaters on March 21.

Shailene Woodley stars as Tris, a young woman in a futuristic version of Chicago who is nervous about joining one of the five social factions in her society which are based on certain personality traits.

 Upon testing she discovers that her ability to fit into any group(called "Divergent" of course) sets her apart in a bad way and in order to avoid detect,must pick a faction that will allow her to blend in more easily. Unfortunately,that's not as simple as it sounds and between dubious allies and a suspicious group leader,Tris finds herself in a situation that not only reveals what she is but forces her to take charge.

 This series,based on a trio of novels by Veronica Roth,does have a solid following and could very be the next Hunger Games if they play their cards right:

Next in line is Transcendence,where innovative computer genius Will Caster(Johnny Depp) has created the perfect artificial intelligence device but is literally shot down by a technophobe before it can be showcased to the world.

As a way to save both his achievement and what's left of his life, Will's wife Evelyn(Rebecca Hall) and his best friend Max(Paul Bettany) upload his brain waves to the AI device and the two become one. That merger proves to be a real danger to all of humanity as Will 2.0 decides to take charge by any means available and his new techno base has quite a large reach.

This could be a fun techno-thriller but it's hard to tell at this point,very fifty-fifty. Perhaps by the time it arrives in theaters in April, we'll be able to see if this transcends into box office gold or home video rental dross:

Also arriving in April is the second Captain America movie,subtitled The Winter Soldier that features characters from the Avengers film such as Black Widow and Nick Fury,the latter being a target of the title adversary.

As Steve Rogers attempts to adjust to life after his last big adventure,the folks at S.H.I.E.L.D. need his help to fight off this new enemy but to recruit a new member to the team named Falcon( played by Anthony Mackie) and yes, that is Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce,a high level member of S.H.I.E.L.D..

Personally, I like Chris Evans as Captain America,mainly due to the believability he brings to the role(also thought he made a good Johnny Storm in those Fantastic Four flicks) and this film will certainly be pleasing as a stand alone story as well as a tie in for the next big Marvel movie match-up:

Speaking of Marvel match-ups,The Amazing Spider Man 2 has plenty of villainy afoot for our webslinger to battle such as Electro(Jamie Fox),The Rhino(Paul Giamatti) and Harry Osborn,heir apparent to his father's company Oscorp, which is responsible for much of the mayhem here.

The first film did better than expected and was actually a decent movie on it's own terms despite being a reboot of the earlier successful(at least for the those first two movies) Sam Raimi run series. Hopefully, this sequel can cement this new approach to the iconic superhero and make it's own mark upon audiences and diehard fans alike this May.

 After all, they do have more than one comic book version of Spiderman in print and if done right,there's no reason not to enjoy this fresh flavor of superhero goodness:

 It really looks as if Marvel will be dominating the fantasy field this season yet again,with X-Men:Days of Future Past on the silver screen spring horizon as well as Guardians of the Galaxy due out this August.

That's fine with me since they do bring a lot of quality to the entertainment table but it would be nice if DC was ready with something just as good and I don't mean simply waiting around for the Superman Vs. Batman movie(Ben Affleck will be fine as Bruce Wayne,btw).  Just saying that a little more variety in the superhero field would be very much appreciated.

Anyway, it's hard to complain when such an embarrassment of riches is heading our way. Then again, they're really going to have to work some serious movie magic into making Rocket the raccoon not look like a complete joke(sorry,but I didn't read those comics,okay?) and releasing GOTG in August is not a strong sign of confidence from the studio. However, I would be very happy to be wrong about that and look forward to more cinematic flights of fantasy this year:

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