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 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: LionsGate - 2014
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 139 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
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…."
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.
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.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Low frequency extension * (non-rated element):
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
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.
- (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.
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.
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JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
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Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
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