Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, January 11, 2016

Booking a look at the teen cinematic scene for the Movie Trailer Park

As we begin the midwinter movie season, one genre that gets catered to at this time(right into early spring) is the teen book adaptation. While it's supposed to be for young adults,  it's no secret that plenty of us grown folk read these stories or at the very least watch the films with just as much interest as they do.

No need to pretend otherwise, not to mention that sometimes, they're way entertaining that what's meant for "adults", so let's take a gander at what's due at the multiplex for that PG-13 audience:

THE 5th WAVE: Based on the first of three books by Rick Yancey, Chloe Grace Morentz plays Cassie, a young women whose regular life has vanished thanks to an alien invasion that has stripped humanity down to it's bare essentials. Hoping to rescue her younger brother from a camp controlled by "the Others", Cassie joins up with Evan, a local rebel planning to fight back as best he can.

This sounds like a welcome change from the standard dystopian fare that we've been getting for this audience and having Hit Girl take on some space invaders could be a lot of angsty fun. Not to mention having another female focused sci-fi drama to engage with now that The Hunger Games are finished, in my opinion, all signs point to positive box office numbers for this film:

DIVERGENT:ALLEGIANT: Speaking of the usual genre fare, we do have the last chapter of Veronica Roth's series to look forward to, divided into two films. In this beginning of the end, Tris and company find out what is beyond the wall that's isolated their city for so long and discover that things may be even worse than they imagined.

I do like this story and willing to check out the conclusion but I do think it's safe to say that the gloomy futuristic teen tales could take a break both from the bookshelves and the movie screens there. If a great story in this vein is still out there, fine, but it is getting to be worn out around the edges:

 THE GREAT GILLY HOPKINS: For something completely different, we have an adaptation of Katherine Paterson's award winning novel about a defiant girl in foster care who comes to love the family she's with just as her biological family comes to claim her.

The adult cast has plenty of star power, with Kathy Bates playing Trotter, Danny Glover as Mr. Randolph and Octavia Spencer as Gilly's teacher Miss Harris. I do dimly recall a made for television version of the book but that was quite a long while ago.

The book itself, I've read several times during my youth and it was a good story well told but I do wonder if this version has some modern day updates. I'm not too sure about how that might alter the plot points but glad to see Gilly get the big screen spotlight here:

PRIDE & PREJUDICE & ZOMBIES: Yes, I know, this isn't technically a "teen" movie but it is a universal truth that any feature film focused on fighting the living dead will draw a decidedly youthful audience to attend it.

Between teens who like Jane Austen and the ones that dig zombies, this could be their Reese's  Regency peanut butter cup of  gruesome delights. Seth Grahame-Smith's monster mash-up of P&P did invite newcomers to the Austen ranks and this movie certainly promises to create a fresh dose of Janeite buzz for a little while at least.

All I'm saying is don't count this one out just yet, especially since Lily James has escaped Downton Abbey to be our kickass Lizzie Bennet:

All in all, the teen book to screen scene should be entertaining for more than one audience but regardless of age, it'll be most helpful not to drop any book spoilers for the non readers in the crowd. Wait until the closing credits to get into any discussion about how this and that was changed from the book or no one will want to watch anything with you in the film going future:

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