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post #1 of 53 Old 07-28-2014, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Divergent (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review



Divergent is an action adventure set in a future world where society has been divided into five distinct factions. But Tris will never fit into any one group—she is Divergent, and what makes her different makes her dangerous. Targeted by a faction leader determined to eliminate all Divergents, Tris turns to the one person she believes she can trust: Four, an instructor for the militant Dauntless faction, and a man full of dark secrets. Together, Tris and Four uncover a mind-bending conspiracy that will put their courage to the ultimate test…and forever link their destinies.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

93



Details:

Studio and Year: LionsGate - 2014
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 139 minutes
Genre: Action/Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, English/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Kate Winslet
Directed by: Neil Burger
Music by: Junkie XL
Written by: Evan Daugherty & Vanessa Tayler based on the novel Veronica Roth
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 5, 2014


"One choice can transform you…."


My Take:



Divergent takes place in a post-apocalyptic version of Chicago in which survivors are divided into five factions based on their dispositions: Abnegation, for the selfless; Amity, for the peaceful; Candor, for the honest; Dauntless, for the brave; and Erudite, for the intelligent. Each year, all sixteen-year-olds take a drug induced aptitude test that reveals the faction for which they are most suited. After receiving the results, they take place in a ceremony where they can decide whether to remain with their family's faction or transfer to one of the other factions. Upon entry into a faction other than their predetermined one they must complete and pass an initiation. Those who do not complete the initiation become "Factionless", and are forced to live in poverty on the streets of the city.

The story’s primary plot surrounds a young heroine named Beatrice "Tris" Prior as she undergoes this process only to find out that she is among a select few who are Divergent, capable of multiple dispositions, that allows them to have elements of each. This is viewed by the establishment as a danger since Divergents can be unpredictable and not easily controlled. Tris keeps her Divergence a secret and choses Dauntless as her faction. Upon entry she begins the initiation process which proves difficult as she struggles to fit in, copes with keeping her ability hidden and suddenly finding herself caught up in a plot to overflow the faction that runs the government which places her family in danger.

Tris soon discovers she has an ally in “Four”, one of her trainers within Dauntless. With the search for Divergents closing in and the impending coup about to unfold Tris’ options become few forcing her to open up to Four, leaving her exposed. What she finds is that secrets aren’t unique to her and survival comes at a price…

Divergent is based on Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times best-selling book series which has sold nearly 22 million copies worldwide. I haven’t read any of the books was interested in the film after seeing the trailer. I found the film to be just okay. The narrative setup, character base and thematic feel reminded me of the Hunger Games films but with a slightly less interesting storyline and duller action. Its innate social commentary is on display but not in your face which is fine. The pacing is a bit slower than I would have liked but the screenplay tends to focus where appropriate. There are some minor plot holes and the romance seems designed to appease the target audience more than contributing to the strength of the source but again not to a detrimental point.

I liked the primary members of the cast in Shailene Woodley and Theo James although I can’t say that I found their chemistry to be wholly convincing. The supporting cast is spread evenly and despite a few noteworthy names among them never really has the opportunity to shine. I had hoped for an edgier and deeper film but all in all Divergent has enough substance to make for a fairly entertaining opening to the film series. Hopefully the second installment will take things to a higher level.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for intense violence and action, thematic elements and some sensuality.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**



Audio: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element):



Video: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



Divergent comes to Blu-ray Disc from LionsGate Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 29 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.6 Mbps.

This is an excellent video presentation that boasts image quality that is indicative of a newer release film. Resolution is generally strong as images have crisp definition and lucid clarity. Objects onscreen appear dimensionally strong with exquisite rendering that discloses subtle minutia captured by the camera’s lens during close ups. The level of sharpness fluctuates some however this is attributable the extensive CGI used and it doesn’t adversely affect the quality of the video. The color palette isn’t particularly extensive as sepia tones, grays and other neutral colors are heavily utilized. Primary colors come in various shades that when coupled along with sequences containing bright/dynamic highlights gives images enriching tonal warmth. Fleshtones are naturally rendered with warm accents that give them lifelike tonality. Blacks are inky and noise free with discernibly deep gradations that enhance the films many dark sequences. The deep shadows, multi-staged grays, delineated colors, and inky blacks looked terrific on my large screen. I didn’t see any overt signs of video degrading artifacts or extraneous compression related noise.

The DTS-HD Master Audio surround mix is on par with the video and does a great job presenting the track’s recorded elements. This soundtrack runs the gamut between subtle passages of spoken dialogue and soft music to engaging sequences that deliver enriching surround sound. Dialogue rendering is terrific as it holds sway over the front soundstage. Detail is first rate which brings out the finely articulated nuance of background elements within the mix. Dynamic range is excellent as the active elements within the surround mix resound with superior clarity and palpable deep bass transients. The eclectic music score is carefully integrated into the sound design and is wonderfully detailed, acoustically transparent and three dimensional. Surround use is prevalent and achieves a high level of envelopment that is appreciably involving as effects are seamlessly blended to create a stable and detail rich sound field. This is a solid audio/video presentation that makes for a rewarding home theater experience.


Bonus Features:
  • (HD) Bringing Divergent to Life four part Documentary (totaling 48 minutes)
  • (HD)Faction before blood – 14 minute featurette
  • (HD)Deleted scenes – 4 minutes
  • Audio commentary with director Neil Berger
  • Audio commentary with producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher
  • (HD) “Beating heart” music video by Ellie Goulding
  • (HD) Trailers and poster gallery
  • Bonus DVD
  • Digital HD Copy
  • Official Divergent iPad App – Includes additional bonus content/interactive features plus even more bonus content for Xfinity customers who buy the movie on Digital HD via Xfinity On Demand.





Final Thoughts:

Based on Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times best-selling book series, Divergent is a fairly entertaining first installment in the film series. It comes to Blu-ray from LionsGate Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition audio/video quality and a decent assortment of supplemental extras. If you’re a fan this Blu-ray offering is worth adding to your collection otherwise I would suggest a rental prior to purchase.





Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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post #2 of 53 Old 07-28-2014, 08:27 AM
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Thanks Ralph!

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post #3 of 53 Old 07-28-2014, 11:46 AM
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I caved and bought it through VUDU just so the GF could have it early.
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post #4 of 53 Old 07-28-2014, 01:45 PM
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This looks like it is going to be a rental only for me. Kind of sounds like another Hunger Games, YA type movie to me, which I only mildly liked. Glad the video and audio is good on this title, though. Thanks for the review!
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post #5 of 53 Old 07-28-2014, 02:21 PM
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Rental for me too. If they'd made it 3D it would have been a blind buy though
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post #6 of 53 Old 07-28-2014, 08:56 PM
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Saw this one. It was OK. Not great. Very Hunger Games-ish. I did not read the book but it seems they cut out way too much of the story becuase too many things did not make a lot of sense. I love sci-fi but would not watch this one again.

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post #7 of 53 Old 07-29-2014, 02:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phisch View Post
This looks like it is going to be a rental only for me. Kind of sounds like another Hunger Games, YA type movie to me, which I only mildly liked. Glad the video and audio is good on this title, though. Thanks for the review!
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Saw this one. It was OK. Not great. Very Hunger Games-ish. I did not read the book but it seems they cut out way too much of the story becuase too many things did not make a lot of sense. I love sci-fi but would not watch this one again.
It is very much like hunger games. I actually enjoyed it a little more, minus the last 20 minutes.
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post #8 of 53 Old 07-29-2014, 01:28 PM
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Watched this last week. It was a COMPLETE Hunger Games ripoff, but I have to admit, I found the lead actress' vulnerability to be entirely believable, even more so than Jennifer Lawrence in Hunger Games. And what a knock out to boot! Not a perfect movie by any means, but worth watching for sure.
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post #9 of 53 Old 07-29-2014, 05:48 PM
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I did read the book, a better medium. Neither did I find much chemistry between the 2 lead characters, ditto for Hunger Games. After the Hunger Games, this one does not strike me as new-ish but more of the same.

Thought Woodley played a better role in the Descendants. She was not convincing in the fighting scenes.

Agreed that it's a more a rental than keeper. However, I do prefer this than the City of Bones.
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post #10 of 53 Old 07-29-2014, 05:55 PM
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My daughter is a HUGE fan of the books but was disappointed with the movie overall. I have a request in for it and will probably watch this weekend.

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post #11 of 53 Old 07-29-2014, 06:13 PM
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This movie looks great converted to 3D by the Teranex. I'm a happy guy. 2D or 3D it's all 3D to me so just keep the movies coming -- I need fodder for my passion.
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post #12 of 53 Old 07-29-2014, 07:03 PM
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I have a teen and pre-teen daughter so will check this out on Redbox, thanks for the review Ralph!

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post #13 of 53 Old 07-29-2014, 07:57 PM
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Like many of these movies that are based on books, they suffer the transition. I will say it did far better in providing some facets of the book than say, Ender's Game. The latter as a movie was a bad show. So what exactly makes this like the Hunger Games? Only thing in common is that the lead is female. These are very different stories with both having some sort of struggle and some characters serving as foils.

I'll just say I preferred this movie over the 2nd install of the Hunger Games (more of the same blah blah) and to be candid, I wish HBO would acquire the rights for books like these and do them justice with a mini-series. It is very clear we are missing writers that know how to bring the very best of the book to screen and also draw an audience.

So you folks can chide me -

Chronicles of Narnia 1st movie - reasonable
2nd and 3rd Narnia movies - mediocre

Hunger Games - reasonable
2nd installment - mediocre

Eragon - mediocre

Potter movies - reasonable (some I prefer more than others)

LOTR - all reasonable
Hobbit - mediocre to reasonable

I demand a bit more from book adaptations than what I see delivered to the screen. I admit I tend to be a bit picky as I know it can be done and done well and if* the book is too big, there are clever ways to condense rather than simple omissions and changing the story line.

Okay chide me if you want but then again, if you enjoyed all of the above, I am glad for you because that is really what it is all about - movies we enjoy on blue ray.
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post #14 of 53 Old 07-29-2014, 11:18 PM
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same to me,wish HBO would acquire the rights for books like these and do them justice with a mini-series. It is very clear we are missing writers that know how to bring the very best of the book to screen and also draw an audience.[IMG]http://*******/pQ9tzh[/IMG]
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phrehdd View Post
Like many of these movies that are based on books, they suffer the transition. I will say it did far better in providing some facets of the book than say, Ender's Game. The latter as a movie was a bad show. So what exactly makes this like the Hunger Games? Only thing in common is that the lead is female. These are very different stories with both having some sort of struggle and some characters serving as foils.

I'll just say I preferred this movie over the 2nd install of the Hunger Games (more of the same blah blah) and to be candid, I wish HBO would acquire the rights for books like these and do them justice with a mini-series. It is very clear we are missing writers that know how to bring the very best of the book to screen and also draw an audience.

So you folks can chide me -

Chronicles of Narnia 1st movie - reasonable
2nd and 3rd Narnia movies - mediocre

Hunger Games - reasonable
2nd installment - mediocre

Eragon - mediocre

Potter movies - reasonable (some I prefer more than others)

LOTR - all reasonable
Hobbit - mediocre to reasonable

I demand a bit more from book adaptations than what I see delivered to the screen. I admit I tend to be a bit picky as I know it can be done and done well and if* the book is too big, there are clever ways to condense rather than simple omissions and changing the story line.

Okay chide me if you want but then again, if you enjoyed all of the above, I am glad for you because that is really what it is all about - movies we enjoy on blue ray.
The reason I think it feels like the hunger games is the way you learn a little bit about the characters family/back story and then they go into training. The first hunger games movie and this movie do that very similar IMO. Even the facilities they train in and clothes they wear have some shades of resemblance.
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post #16 of 53 Old 07-30-2014, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattopotamus View Post
The reason I think it feels like the hunger games is the way you learn a little bit about the characters family/back story and then they go into training. The first hunger games movie and this movie do that very similar IMO. Even the facilities they train in and clothes they wear have some shades of resemblance.
We are in agreement on the first H.G. movie. I felt a touch shorted on Divergent though I enjoyed it. Back stories, character development and simple tools to help move the story forward are often key to helping to flush in the characters.
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post #17 of 53 Old 07-30-2014, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Phrehdd View Post
So what exactly makes this like the Hunger Games.
Well, it's a world divided by factions where the factions are forced to live in different zones, amongst their own kind. There is a corrupt government that oversees and manipulates the factions, seeking to control all aspects of their lives in the name of, "peace." Both films feature a strong female lead that is an unassuming heroin with the inate gifts to, one way or another, overthrow said corrupt government. Both characters from both films start out weak, but gain strength and ability as they "train" their way from mediocrity to respectable adversary. They go on to inspire others to follow their insurrection, in an attempt to overthrow the people at the top of their social hierarchy. I could go on and on pointing out the similarities, from the look of the sets, to the costumes, to the physical similarities of both actresses.But I think you'll get my point.
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post #18 of 53 Old 07-30-2014, 02:26 PM
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Well, it's a world divided by factions where the factions are forced to live in different zones, amongst their own kind. There is a corrupt government that oversees and manipulates the factions, seeking to control all aspects of their lives in the name of, "peace." Both films feature a strong female lead that is an unassuming heroin with the inate gifts to, one way or another, overthrow said corrupt government. Both characters from both films start out weak, but gain strength and ability as they "train" their way from mediocrity to respectable adversary. They go on to inspire others to follow their insurrection, in an attempt to overthrow the people at the top of their social hierarchy. I could go on and on pointing out the similarities, from the look of the sets, to the costumes, to the physical similarities of both actresses.But I think you'll get my point.
Without spilling too much - Divergent is (by the characters' perception) divided by predisposition with some choice with one group vying for power and control. In Hunger Games there is more a world of haves and have nots along with a corrupt gov't that puts on gladiator type matches with justification. I don't see them being that similar but your other points seem to have substance of having a heroin that is contrary, fights the battle and brings about change or shall we say ruins the bad guys plans. Having a female fight the de facto system seems to be the common denominator among these two films (as far as I can see). I do appreciate your response and the time you took to provide your take on what they have in common.
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post #19 of 53 Old 07-30-2014, 02:39 PM
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I have a teen and pre-teen daughter so will check this out on Redbox, thanks for the review Ralph!
I took my pre-teen granddaughter and her friends to see this one and while for me it was like fingernails on a chalkboard, for them it was giggles-n fun for a movie that was "SO GOOD!" in their opinion.
I'll have to pass on this one even though the audio and video ratings were high...curses! .
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My wife pushed me into reading this series of books and I really enjoyed them. I went to the theater to see this knowing the story and I liked the movie a lot. My wife did as well. As usual the book form of this movie was better but that's usually expected. Looking forward to picking this one up on BD next week! As usual real nice write-up Ralph.
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post #21 of 53 Old 07-31-2014, 06:59 AM
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Thanks for review Ralph. Will look at rental first.
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post #22 of 53 Old 07-31-2014, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phrehdd View Post
Like many of these movies that are based on books, they suffer the transition. I will say it did far better in providing some facets of the book than say, Ender's Game. The latter as a movie was a bad show. So what exactly makes this like the Hunger Games? Only thing in common is that the lead is female. These are very different stories with both having some sort of struggle and some characters serving as foils.

I'll just say I preferred this movie over the 2nd install of the Hunger Games (more of the same blah blah) and to be candid, I wish HBO would acquire the rights for books like these and do them justice with a mini-series. It is very clear we are missing writers that know how to bring the very best of the book to screen and also draw an audience.

So you folks can chide me -

Chronicles of Narnia 1st movie - reasonable
2nd and 3rd Narnia movies - mediocre

Hunger Games - reasonable
2nd installment - mediocre

Eragon - mediocre

Potter movies - reasonable (some I prefer more than others)

LOTR - all reasonable
Hobbit - mediocre to reasonable

I demand a bit more from book adaptations than what I see delivered to the screen. I admit I tend to be a bit picky as I know it can be done and done well and if* the book is too big, there are clever ways to condense rather than simple omissions and changing the story line.

Okay chide me if you want but then again, if you enjoyed all of the above, I am glad for you because that is really what it is all about - movies we enjoy on blue ray.
I agree completely.

I'm a little curious to see what they're going to do with the third Hunger Games movie. The book was very dark and many didn't like it. I actually liked it a lot, and felt the ending was the only realistic way they could have done so. But the people wanting a happy ending wrapped up in a bow with smiles all around will be disappointed unless the movie makes major changes.

Divergent was similar, in that the first two books was quite good, but I didn't care for the way they ended things. I was ok with most of the changes they made, but still, a considerable amount was left out, as is usually the case. It will be interesting to see how this series wraps up as well.

And yes, HBO likely could have done both series much more justice. Although their record is far from unblemished: Game of Thrones has had quite a few changes to the books, and True Blood has drifted so far from the original material it's not even remotely recognizable anymore.

I'll probably buy this disc, but I'm not sure if I'll buy the whole series.
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I agree completely.

I'm a little curious to see what they're going to do with the third Hunger Games movie. The book was very dark and many didn't like it. I actually liked it a lot, and felt the ending was the only realistic way they could have done so. But the people wanting a happy ending wrapped up in a bow with smiles all around will be disappointed unless the movie makes major changes.

Divergent was similar, in that the first two books was quite good, but I didn't care for the way they ended things. I was ok with most of the changes they made, but still, a considerable amount was left out, as is usually the case. It will be interesting to see how this series wraps up as well.

And yes, HBO likely could have done both series much more justice. Although their record is far from unblemished: Game of Thrones has had quite a few changes to the books, and True Blood has drifted so far from the original material it's not even remotely recognizable anymore.

I'll probably buy this disc, but I'm not sure if I'll buy the whole series.
Oh shame on you (grin) - providing such a spoiler to the 3rd installment of Hunger Games. I am in your camp with your take on the Divergent stories (books). I'll just do a shout out to others here to see the movies first, then read the books otherwise, you'll be like this poster (and myself) often left short on the adaptation to screen.

Many movies are running 120+ minutes but less than 180 minutes which is part of the challenge of bring books to life on screens without some sacrifice. I'll just say I hope someone catches on to bring more of these to life on HBO or similar.
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post #24 of 53 Old 07-31-2014, 02:57 PM
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Oh shame on you (grin) - providing such a spoiler to the 3rd installment of Hunger Games. I am in your camp with your take on the Divergent stories (books). I'll just do a shout out to others here to see the movies first, then read the books otherwise, you'll be like this poster (and myself) often left short on the adaptation to screen.
Not exactly a spoiler, other than not an entirely happy ending, no way to know what exactly I mean by that or how it gets there. Also, as I noted, the movie could be entirely different! Still, good point. I hope didn't ruin anything for anyone, even with my lack of specifics. :/

It's anathema to some, but I always recommend seeing the movies first, when feasible. Even though you end up with movie visuals in your head instead of your own, at least you may get to enjoy both rather than only one. I'm sure most people agree when you read the book first, the movie almost inevitably suffers by comparison, while seeing the movie first allows the book to be a wonderful supplement and expansion of the more limited viewpoint the movie can offer, given limited time, space and budget.
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The ending was dumb, otherwise it was a good movie.
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Does the Divergent BD rental only have legacy audio? Or does it use an Advanced audio codec like with the review version? That will determine where I rent it from.

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post #27 of 53 Old 08-05-2014, 05:40 PM
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Does the Divergent BD rental only have legacy audio? Or does it use an Advanced audio codec like with the review version? That will determine where I rent it from.
Depends on where you rent it from, I'd imagine...
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IN the past they had special rental versions that only had legacy audio. WHile the retail version had an advanced audio codec. If the rental version has an advanced audio codec then I would rent it from Redbox. But if I need to rent the retail version to watch, then I will rent it from www.3d-blurayrental.com since they use retail versions to rent.

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post #29 of 53 Old 08-06-2014, 12:47 PM
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IN the past they had special rental versions that only had legacy audio. WHile the retail version had an advanced audio codec. If the rental version has an advanced audio codec then I would rent it from Redbox. But if I need to rent the retail version to watch, then I will rent it from www.3d-blurayrental.com since they use retail versions to rent.
I rented this from Redbox and the main track is Dolby Digital 5.1.
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post #30 of 53 Old 08-06-2014, 03:42 PM
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I rented this from Redbox and the main track is Dolby Digital 5.1.
Thanks. I'll get it from www.3d-blurayrental.com then.

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