Mini Movie Reviews: Divergent and Guardians of the Galaxy


Divergent-movieI enjoyed the Divergent trilogy, but I have often said I liked it but didn’t love it, and this is true of all three books. It seems to me those who were most passionate about the first book hated the way it ended, but for me, my feelings for the books are mostly consistent. So when I say I liked but didn’t love the movie, I’m saying it was a pretty good adaptation of a pretty good book. It hit all the high points (that I remembered) and also explained itself well to those who have not read the books (like my husband).

I do have one complaint about the movie, though, and that is I did not like the way Caleb was portrayed. I’m not sure if it was the writing or Ansel Elgort’s portrayal of him or both, but he came off so flat and dull, and I really liked him a lot in the books (yes, even during Insurgent, though I am still upset we don’t get a full explanation of his motives in Allegiant).

One thing I did like about the movie more than the book is that the Tris and Four romance was less prominent (though it still existed, so don’t freak out if that’s something you can’t stand to lose!). Though because of the pacing of the movie their interest seems a little sudden, but I was relieved we didn’t get multiple make-out scenes.

I think most of the actors/actresses did a great job portraying their characters, and would recommend the movie to fans of the book or to anyone who’s interested.

3.5starsGuardians of the Galaxy

guardian-of-the-galaxyI have to say, I was wary of Guardians of the Galaxy. The movie looked like it was directly aimed at 10 year old boys (maybe it was?) and it just looked too different from the Marvel cinematic universe I have come to know and love as the various Avengers’ films have rolled out. Thankfully, it turned out better than expected. It is different from the others, and the humor primarily used is not necessarily my favorite brand of humor, but it has funny moments and even tender moments. I also appreciated the fact that the characters started out as unlikable misfits that somehow turned out to be more likable misfits.

As far as its weak points go, Guardians was pretty formulaic, and I found myself guessing correctly on a few things before they were revealed. It’s no Winter Soldier, and don’t let anyone else tell you any differently.

The villain, Ronan, also left something to be desired. We are told he’s a bad dude, and he seems like a bad dude, and when given such a powerful weapon you know things can get really, really bad, but it all ended up a bit forgettable at the end. I even momentarily forgot who the villain of the movie was a few hours later. Oops.

If you’re a fan of Marvel, I would recommend it. It’s fun and a unique addition to the universe’s mythology.

Also check out:

Matt says it’s fun back lacks a little on heart

3.5starsWhat are your thoughts on Divergent and/or Guardians of the Galaxy?

18 Responses to Mini Movie Reviews: Divergent and Guardians of the Galaxy

  1. We didn’t manage to catch Divergent last weekend (every Redbox near us was out of it) but we are interested to see it. I am happy to hear that the romance elements are played down a little. I am much more interested in Tris’ journey.

    Thanks for the link to my review of Guardians. I do agree that Winter Soldier remains the best of the Marvel movies so far. 🙂

    • Oh no! I reserved mine on Friday morning, because these big releases are often all rented out their first weekend out. Hopefully y’all will get to catch it this weekend.

  2. I actually didn’t read Divergent, but watched the movie anyways. I have to agree that I understood everything even though I didn’t know about it before hand. But other than that, I didn’t have any major opinions of it. It was just….another movie. Compared to the Hunger Games (since it was by the same producer…I think?), I think the Hunger Games movie was generally better over all.

    On the other hand, I really loved Guardians of the Galaxy. I thought some of the lines were very well thought out, and it was more of a comedy rather than an actual superhero movie. And also, DANCING GROOT! That was my favorite part haah!

  3. If I had to nitpick Divergent (which I thoroughly enjoyed), it’d be Caleb’s portrayal as well. He was more nuanced and complex in the book, but he was really flat in the movie.

    Everyone is FLIPPING out about Guardians, but I felt the same as you. It was good, but not my favorite in the Marvel movies by any stretch. It had some funny bits, but the romance felt like it was just stuffed in there to check a box. And I wasn’t so thrilled about how Gamora and Nebula were reduced to petty damsels.

    • I didn’t think Gamora and Nebula were like damsels. I know there weren’t as up and front as Peter , but they actually seemed a lot more capable than him. I was actually trying to figure out if Gamora had actually decided she liked Peter romantically…? They didn’t address it again, but she did seem more open to him than before. I don’t see much of a romance working between them either, at least not just from this movie.

  4. I’m not sure if I’ll be checking out Divergent ever – I feel like I will be so unimpressed with it, and your review still makes me feel that way – but I am hoping to watch Guardians of the Galaxy soon, it looks like a lot of fun. It’s too bad it’s not the best Marvel movie (because I so want it to be haha). I still haven’t seen Winter Soldier though, so that should be remedied soon! I need to know what I’m missing!

  5. We having been trying to get a copy of Divergent with no luck..I felt the same way about the book series..I thought it had some fun elements but I never was in love with it in the same way I was with the Hunger Games.
    I enjoyed Guardians! I thought it was cute and fun with a great soundtrack. However I am likewise more into the Thor movies (LOKI) and the Captain America series at the moment.

  6. Aw, sucks that Guardians of the Galaxy wasn’t awesome. BUT I do love humour so I’m still excited for it and basically if Marvel makes it, I want it. 😉 And all the previous have been sooo awesome. As for Divergent, yeah, I thought Four and Tris actually lacked chemistry. I don’t know! Maybe it’s just me?? >-< I was impressed at how closely it followed the book though and I full out squeed when I saw Veronica Roth's cameo. That was awesome!
    Thanks for stopping by @ Notebook Sisters!

    • If you loved the previews you’ll probably enjoy the movie more than I did. I actually didn’t like the previews because of the tone, but if you like that you’ll probably like the movie more.

      I didn’t think Tris and Four had chemistry in the book, so I didn’t really think too much about it in the movie. I missed Veronica Roth! Where is she?

  7. I’m pretty much with you on Divergent. I think the problem with a lot of YA book-to-movie adaptations is that the romance seems very sudden indeed. Probably half the time it’s actually instalove in the books, I dunno… But I think the fast pace of YA books in general just lends to an instalove effect in the even-more-fast-paced movie version. This actually bothers me, because it usually ends up making the guy look like some sort of creepy stalker, lol.

    I also agree with you about GotG! I was wary, but I ended up liking it way more than I expected to. I do think that Ronan was a pretty absent and not very scary villain, which was sort of weird and disappointing. I would have liked to see more about Gamora, Nebula, and their past! Rocket was cute/funny, but his attitude reminded me a LOT of a friend of mine, which made him annoying, too. >_<

    • It was weird when Four was like, “Yeah, I totally have no problem with you seeing into my brain,” because it did feel so fast! Of course even Tris was like, “Errrr… really?”

      Glad you ended up enjoying GotG pretty well also! I was curious about the whole adopted daughters thing with Gamora and Nebula; that would have been interesting to learn more about!

  8. I feel the same way about the Divergent books. I like them ok, but I don’t love them. I still haven’t read the last book, and have to admit it really isn’t too high on my list. I do want to see the movie, though, and am sure I will sometime in the near future.
    I am also completely weary of the Guardians. I love Chris Pratt, but agree it looks like it is aimed at a much younger audience. I think I’ll wait for that one to come out on video, but am happy to hear you enjoyed it for the most part!

    • Yeah, I don’t know why they seemed to market it towards a younger crowd. I think it will definitely be worth your watch when you get to it though.

  9. The only reason I’d say Guardians isn’t aimed at 10 yr old boys (or at least aimed well) is that so much of the humor requires knowledge of pop culture from 20 years ago. I only noticed because I went with my nephews and there were several times where the whole theater laughed (including me) and they didn’t get it.

    I liked Guardians well enough, but I didn’t like Peter nearly as much as I like the other Marvel heroes. I understand that he’s designed to be that way, but their design doesn’t make me like him any more. It’s hard to really engage in a movie when you don’t connect with the main characters. I loved Gamora, though. She was pretty awesome.

    Divergent I also thought was a good adaptation. I had a hard time with thinking about how it goes forward, though. Theo James is such a good Four. But knowing what Roth did to that character in Allegient, I can’t image him as that version of the character. Not because he’s not a good actor – he’s just such a good Four. And Four in Allegiant is so… not.

    • You make a good point about the pop culture references.

      I was wondering how the actor who played Marcus Eaton is going to pull off the evil persona he’ll need for Allegiant. He didn’t seem particularly nice in Divergent, but he didn’t seem quite awful enough. But maybe both he and Theo James will pull it off… we’ll see…

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