Recap & Review: Divergent screening

Last night, a friend of mine surprised me with a pass to the Dallas Divergent screening, which is pretty much the best birthday present ever! I took the fastest shower of my life (seriously, we're talking 3 minutes or less here, which is super crazy considering I'm a girl and I have super long hair) and then drove like a maniac across town to get to the theater on time. Surprisingly, parking wasn't an issue, but the theater was mobbed! Red carpets, screaming fans, the works!

Even though I got there on time, fortune smiled down on me, and The Talent was actually running late (because they were stuck in traffic too!). Who was the talent? Well, that would be Jai Courtney and Miles Teller aka Eric and Peter.


We waited around for a little while, grabbed some snacks, chatted, and then, when the joyous screams of excited fangirls reached maximum ear-splitting levels, we knew the boys had arrived. They walked up and down the carpet for at least 20 minutes (probably more) taking pictures and signing posters and books for as many fans as possible. My parents blessed me with good height and more good fortune blessed me with a great vantage point where I watched the guys give interviews. I took a billion pictures on my camera and on my friends' phones. A lot of my pictures came out blurry, but I don't have the phone ones yet. Still, I think you can enjoy these:

 Miles is a very smiley guy and super adorable!

Jai looked crazy-freaking-good in his suit!

 And DANG, when he unleashed his smile, choirs sang,
baby angels cooed, and unicorns poop rainbows & glitter.

Miles went back to the beginning of the carpet, and by then, the crowd had thinned out. I was within a foot or two and came very close to getting a picture with him, but alas, it wasn't to be. That leather jacket, just fyi, I wants it.

After that, we milled around for a small enternity, waiting for the guys to leave again, and FINALLY it was time to see the movie BUT FIRST, they made us all give up our phones. No, I'm not joking. Pro: Nobody was texting during the movie! Con: WE HAD TO GIVE UP OUR PHONES. We each got a paper bag and one of those raffle tickets. The corresponding ticket was stapled to the bags, and security took possession of them. Then our bags were all searched to make sure we weren't sneaking any recording devices in. Confession: I totally had my camera in my purse, and thankfully, it wasn't found. Look, giving up my crappy 3-year-old-and-cracked phone is one thing. Giving up my $300 camera is something else entirely. But as I'm not a douche with a jail wish, of course it stayed in my purse the entire film.

I am going to do a short review of the movie so if you don't want to know what happens, you don't have to read it. However, I did pick up some movie swag that I'll be giving away under the cut as well. Also some pictures of the cool costume display at the theater. Oh, and if you want to know, I give it 4 stars out of 5.

First of all, I will be seeing this movie again. The advanced screening was totally awesome, and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to attend, but we ended up sitting in the 1st row behind the main aisle when you walk in, and this was a theater that sat about 550 people. There were maaaaybe 50 in front of us (probably less) so that should tell you how close we were. Why does this matter? Well, I found myself slightly dizzy during some of the sweeping wide shots, particularly during the beginning, and some of the action shots were really blurry. I think having a more centralized view of the screen would probably help that some, but not entirely. I'll get to that in a minute.

The cast was great! I was very impressed with the way everybody really got into their characters. Shailene-as-Tris is unsure but determined, making her a really great lead for the franchise. Kate Winslet knocked it out of the park as Jeanine! She totally rocks the I'm-better-than-you-because-I'm-smart-and-you're-dumb attitude, and she pulls off being a villain without being obvious about it. Meanwhile Jai and Miles did well in their respective Grade A a-hole roles. Maggie Q nailed it as Tori, Will made me fall in love with him, and Al broke my heart. Theo-as-Four is...mmm, yeah, he's dreamy. He's Theo AND Four! What do you expect?! The only member of the primary cast that I wasn't sold on was Zoe as Christina, but then, I was never a huge fan of her character, and I'm not big on Zoe's acting either. I loved Ansel's scenes with Shailene. I thought he was very believable as Caleb, and I found myself really watching thetwo of them together. They've got great chemistry, at least as siblings, and I'm really looking forward to the two of them in The Fault in Our Stars to see them as a couple.

I really enjoyed most of the technical aspects of the film. The music is absolutely outstanding. I've never heard of the composer before, but he's a student of the masterful Hans Zimmer, and it showed. The actual score was superb, and the soundtrack was worked in really well, very tastefully. Absolutely one of my favorite parts of the film. I also liked the costuming, the simplicity of all the makeup (except the tattoos, which are all really cool), and the physical look of the set. I was sold on each setting, and I thought they embodied the descriptions from the book really well. Props to the costume and prop people because they did a masterful job of hiding Kate's baby bump! If you didn't know she was pregnant while she was filming this, you would never guess it. I was impressed with most of the effects, and the stunts were really, really cool. The zipline scene is AH-mazing! My complaints primarily lay with the cinematograhpy. WHO MADE SHAKY CAM A THING AND CAN YOU PLEASE STOP?! I don't know why directors think it's a good idea, but there are camera rigs for stability for a reason. Use them, kplz&thx. Also, extreme close-ups are not my favorite. Several intimate scenes between different pairings of characters were told by zooming in hairline-to-chin, and it was just overkill. Those shots are so distracting! I would have liked to see their body language in those scenes as opposed to staring at a 30-foot-tall version of Shailene Woodley's face and wondering what kind of eyeliner she was wearing.

As for what you really want to know: was it faithful to the book? YES! As far as I remember it, the story is represented well. There are details cut out for time's sake, which is necessary, but also limited the amount of tension that's really present during Tris's training in Dauntless. I did find this adaptation emotionally satisfying. I cried a couple times during the scenes you expect, but I also found myself (along with the whole theater) laughing more than I remember. Theo in particular was good at a light humor that made us all giggle. Don't worry, though. He's still the intense, brooding Four you're lusting over. My one complaint in the faithfulness category (and my group was all agreed on this) is that it is be a movie that fans of the book will love...but I worry that it's not very accessable to people who haven't read it. 

Overall, I'm really happy with this ya adaptation. I do think this is another one that will have people believing in the genre again for movies because it is bound to be wildly successful, and that, in part, is because this is a case of marketing done right! Make sure you do go see it so we can definitely get to see Insurgent and Allegiant on the big screen too. I don't think we're in danger of the sequels not happening (they're both currently listed as being in pre-production on IMDb with release dates in 2015 and 2016 respectively), but you never know unless you do your part. After all, City of Ashes was greenlit, then it was cancelled before fans spoke out to get it re-greenlit, and that just isn't something that happens all the time. GO SEE IT!

PS Veronica DOES have a cameo in the film, which I didn't know in advance, but I totally recognized her! I won't say where to not spoil you guys, but if you really want to know, CLICK HERE. If you don't want to know, keep your eyes open when you go see the movie. You see her face very clearly, and then you see the back of her head for a couple seconds. Hopefully her signature short 'do will clue you in because that's exactly what I noticed!

Confession 2: I really wanted to molest cutout Four.
I barely restrained myself!

As promised, costume pics!
This Abnegation costume is Andrew Prior's, Tris's dad!

 As you can see in the little placard at the bottom right,
the Dauntless costume pictured is Peter's!

Giveaway rules apply as stated in the Site Policies tab. Please please PLEASE know which email you're using when you sign into Rafflecopter, whether you sign in with an email address or you sign in with Facebook. I EMAIL the winners, and I've had a lot of unclaimed prizes lately. Don't be like that. I know a lot of people like to sign in using a little-used email so they don't get spammed by Rafflecopter or whatever. That's your choice, but you should remember to check it. *steps off soapbox* Anyway, this giveaway is open to the US only. Ends 12 AM March 14. 2 winners. First place will get two movie posters and Divergent (temporary) tattoos. Second place will get one movie poster and tattoos. Good luck, Initiates!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I think I'm going to like the scenes between Jeanine and Tris most. I love a good villain, and Jeanine is certainly one.

  2. I finished the book two weeks ago and have been on the fence about seeing the movie... I might have to go see it now... but, I'm like you, I don't care for shots where the picture is jiggling all around. Thanks for the recap!

    1. Oooh... I forgot to mention the scenes. I want to see them jumping on and off the trains... and her first jump as a Dauntless initiate,.

  3. That is an awesome gift! I am really looking forward to seeing this movie!

    1. I didn't see the giveaway when I first left my comment....
      I am looking forward to her first jump, and the knife throwing scene. I am also looking forward to all the fear tests.

  4. I'm um...still not done with Divergent (ducks flying objects) but from what I've already read, I'm mostly interested in seeing the factions interact with each other.

  5. I'm looking forward to seeing all the simulation scenes.

  6. I've never read the book yet, so I'm looking forward to everything. :D

  7. Have not read the book but the movie looks okay

  8. Okay, first of all, this is hilarious - "And DANG, when he unleashed his smile, choirs sang, baby angels cooed, and unicorns poop rainbows & glitter." I laughed my butt off! So glad you enjoyed it and I'm excited about seeing it. I know they never follow the book exactly, but the previews looked good.

  9. HOLY HECK! Apparently, I have missed so many emails and all of twitter because I just saw this and I am so jealous! Anyway, Miles Teller, I will fight you for that leather jacket. And the movie!! AH! SO excited. And it sounds like I am totally sitting in the back row, like I always do. Best seat, right in the middle. Also, um, what scene? Oh, I dunno, EVERY SCENE?! Why must I be limited????? But forreal, uhm, the jump or the important events at the end which I don't want to say because lots of comments about people not having read it yet. So, super jelly and I hope you had a glorious time!!
    XO, Kristi
    PS a 3 minute shower?? HOW?! Teach me your ways!

  10. It would have to be Four's fear simulation!

  11. Wow that sounds awesome! A phone raffle? They really got paranoid. Glad they didn't find your camera!

    Ps: I would have totally tried to steal the cutout and take it home with me...

  12. This is your cousin Caitlyn (Darcy's daughter). This is truly a wonderful site! I loved the book "Divergent" and it was so cool that you got to go to the screening! I can't wait to check out more of your reviews, as I am also a lover of reading. I would suggest you read and review a book called "Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. It is a wonderful book, and one of my new favorites! I would love to know what you think about it.