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Movie Review: The Giver, Like The World It Creates, Is Bland And Flavorless

The GiverThe Giver is set in a bland dystopian world where all color, joy, and emotion has been sucked out of life. Everything that has ever proven even a slight problem has been removed, from all of the troubling things that make us human all the way down to weather and even hills—walking up a hill is hard, guys. This is a lukewarm, passive aggressive dystopia where everyone looks the same, the sun always shines, and your family is chosen for you based on what little personality you’re allowed to show. From a young age you’re taught to use precise language, and despite the color scheme of the movie, shades of grey are frowned upon.

Creating this world is both what Philip Noyce’s adaptation of Lois Lowry’s beloved young adult novel does best, and is also its biggest flaw. The film does such a solid job of manufacturing this vanilla tapioca of a society and the people who live there that it’s hard to move past that. This world is mild and tasteless, and ultimately so is the movie. There’s nothing particularly wrong with it, but at the same time there’s nothing all that noteworthy either. Unlike it’s contemporaries, that are more concerned with action and melodrama, this is almost all talk.

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The Giver Clips Reveal The Sinister Truth Behind The Bland Dystopia

Philip Noyce’s adaptation of Lois Lowry’s beloved young adult novel The Giver hits theaters Friday, and The Weinstein Company is getting into the final promotional push. It’ll be a surprise if this is anywhere near as huge as the likes of The Hunger Games or Divergent, it’s a much more subdued marketing approach, but they appear to be banking on multiple generations who love the book—it’s even a core part of many curriculums across the country—to get people into theaters. Now they’ve released a handful of new clips for you to peruse.

The Giver is set in a bland dystopian world where, much like Pleasantville, everything is black and white until the kids stop taking their mysterious injections that apparently suppress the urges, if you know what we mean. When Jonas (Brenton Thwaites, The Signal), the receiver of knowledge—a young boy who hangs out with a grizzled, cantankerous man known as The Giver (Jeff Bridges)—learns the truth about this society, he entices the others to skip their daily doses, and see the world in bright color. They don’t know precisely what they’re missing out on, but they know they’re missing something.

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The Giver: Taylor Swift Plays A Holographic Piano In This New Clip

Adorable pop star Taylor Swift only has a handful of acting credits on her resume—there are currently five listed on IMDb—and her most substantial role to date is going to be in director Phillip Noyce’s (Salt) adaptation of Lois Lowry’s beloved young adult novel The Giver. It doesn’t seem like it’s going to be a huge role, but there’s definitely more meat than her cameo on Fox’s sitcom New Girl or as a voice in The Lorax. She plays Rosemary, and you can meet her for the first time in this new clip, and guess what, they get her to sit down at a piano and sing.

Apparently Rosemary has much less of a presence that I initially thought. Like she doesn’t even have a body, appearing here only as a hologram. When Jeff Bridges’ character, the titular Giver, says “She no longer exists,” that’s really just a nice way of saying she’s dead as all hell. I haven’t read Lowry’s book, but now I’m curious how this deceased girl, who only exists as a three dimensional trick of light, plays into the story, and what kind of role she has. It seems likely that her story will serve as a cautionary tale.

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Comic-Con 2014 Panel Vids For The Walking Dead, Interstellar, And More

Comic-Con-LogoAnother massive installment of San Diego’s Comic-Con International has come and gone, leaving the fans to disperse to the four corners of the Earth, laden down with bags of swag. Of course, many people didn’t get to go this year, and there are even more who’ve never been to Comic-Con at all. Thankfully, this is the internet age, so even if you weren’t amid the throngs last week, you can still experience some of the awesomeness via the slew of panel videos that have popped up online.

These don’t give you the visceral thrill of being in the middle of 6,000 cheering geeks in Hall H, and you’re not going to get to see the really cool stuff like that Avengers 2 footage, but many of the panel discussions and Q&A segments are available online to watch in full. Check out the ones we found below, and if you want to recreate the experience more fully, feel free to watch them while crowded into a tool shed with 30 or 40 strangers. But you have to wait in line for 12 hours first.

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Comic-Con 2014: 14 Things To Do And See On Wednesday & Thursday

WedThursComic-Con 2014 is only a week away. Thousands of fans and professionals will descend on San Diego and bury it in a thick coating of nerd several feet deep. There’s really nothing else like it, but the more years pass, the more overwhelming the Con becomes. There’s so much going on, it’s a monumental task just to figure out which of the countless panels and events you want to try and see. Well, we’re here to make your life just a little bit easier. Over the next couple of days, we’ll run down all the panels that should be at the top of your to-do list. Today we’ll start off with the events for Wednesday — “Preview Night” — and Thursday.

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The Giver Trailer Colors In The World

The Weinstein Company’s upcoming adaptation of Lois Lowry’s The Giver fits into the larger trend of young adult dystopian fiction in Hollywood. While this is true, this isn’t a title with the huge blockbuster book sales of the likes of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and others. What it does have is long history and multiple generations who read the novel as part of their school curriculum. I am not one of these people, and haven’t read the book, but this new trailer does something none of the others have done yet, it makes the movie look interesting.

The Giver is taking a page from the Pleasantville playbook, starting in black and white and gradually making the transition to color as the characters learn to experience the world in a real, authentic way, instead of simply buying into the sterile, totalitarian way of life. In addition to clarifying why the movie uses this particular device we’ve been puzzling over—it’s apparently a key part of the plot—this trailer, from Yahoo, also provides a broader idea of the story. What we’ve seen before has been vague, and though you know what it all meant if you were familiar with the novel, the rest of us were left to scratch our heads.

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