Google+

Adaptation of Haunting Children’s Novel Arrives on DVD

 

The Giver

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Adaptation of Haunting Children’s Novel Arrives on DVD

 

Despite being born in the same year and enjoying overlapping enduring careers, Oscar-winners Meryl Streep (for Kramer vs. Kramer, Sophie’s Choice and The Iron Lady) and Jeff Bridges (for Crazy Heart) never made a movie together prior to The Giver. Such a long overdue collaboration proves well worth the wait in this haunting, sci-fi adventure set in a deceptive dystopia masquerading as heaven on Earth.

51WcAiIBbDLThe film is based on the Lois Lowry best-seller of the same name which won the Newbery Award as America’s best children’s book of 1994. This author-approved adaptation was directed by Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games) who tapped fellow Aussie Brenton Thwaites to portray the young hero, Jonas.

The picture’s point of departure is the young protagonist’s graduation day, when he participates in a coming-of-age ritual during which 18 year-olds are assigned a profession by the elders of their idyllic community. Jonas’ BFFs Asher (Cameron Monaghan) and Fiona (Odeya Rush) soon learn that they’ll be trained as a drone pilot and a nurturer, respectively.

Jonas, however, long recognized as special, because of an uncanny ability to see things 115706_galdifferently, is designated the “Receiver of Memories,” the protégé of the “Giver” (Bridges). In that capacity, he quickly becomes aware that the whole society is a charade which shields its citizens from the fact that there is suffering in the world by injecting them once a day with a drug which keeps them naïve, obedient and blissfully content.

Truth be told, evil does exist in their midst, though invariably veiled, such as how the sick and the old are “Released” in a fashion that gives no hint that they’re actually being euthanized. And Jonas experiences a crisis of conscience in choosing whether to obediently follow in the Giver’s footsteps or to upset the apple cart by letting the cat out of the bag about how everybody’s mind is being controlled.

Among the factors influencing his critical decision is the unexpected pleasure associated with the “Stirrings,” the formerly-suppressed pangs of sexual awakening he suddenly feels for Fiona. Another involves the impending euthanizing of a baby with a birth defect (Alexander Jillings) he’s already bonded with.

Besides the historic pairing of Streep and Bridges, the film features sterling performances by the trio of emerging thespians playing the leads, as well as by Katie Holmes and Taylor Swift in support roles. A thought-provoking meditation on mind control offering a valuable lesson about the virtue of challenging any totalitarian authority.

 

Very Good (3 stars)

Unrated

Running time: 97 minutes

Distributor: Anchor Bay / The Weinstein Company

Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras: Highlights from the Original Script Reading featuring Lloyd Bridges; Making The Giver: From Page to Screen; an extended scene; a press conference with the filmmakers and cast; Ordinary Human feature with Ryan Tedder; author Lois Lowry on The Giver; and an interactive study guide for the novel.

 

 

To order a copy of The Giver Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00MU2P18W/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Entertainment

Top Ten DVD List for May 24, 2016

  This Week’s DVD Releases by Kam Williams Top Ten DVD List for May 24, 2016   The Finest Hours http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B019PQ0NZG/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 Risen http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01BZ4DOGQ/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 How to Be Single http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01BU9B742/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 Eleventh Hour http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01BEDN03K/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 1916: The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

From #Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation

  From #Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor Haymarket Books Paperback, $17.95 286 pages ISBN: 978-1-60846-562-0 Book Review by Kam Williams “The eruption of mass protests in the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City have challenged the impunity with which officers of the law carry out violence against Black people and punctured the illusion of a postracial America. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

ART EXHIBITION: 150 Years After The Civil War

  Cynthia Groya 150 Years After The Civil War: A Contemporary Perspective January 10 - March 6, 2016 Artist's Reception: Sunday, January 24, 3:00 - 5:00 pm Nassau Club 6 Mercer Street  Princeton, NJ 08540 The ideas reflected in Groya's paintings express a conversation about struggle for equal rights in our culture, in our time. The origin of this struggle can be traced to The Civil War in our country, which ended 150 years ago. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Tips for Building a Farm Pond

  Tips for Building a Farm Pond By Burt Carey Growing up in rural Northern California, my two brothers and I were blessed to have a down-the-road neighbor who allowed us to fish in his farm pond just about anytime we wanted. It came to be known to us as Jack’s Lake. The pond sat across a fallow cattle pasture at the bottom of a natural gully that collected rainwater from hundreds of surrounding acres. Jack’s Lake stretched nearly a quarter-mile north to south … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

Aspiring Singer Talks about Transformation into Youtube Sensation with Help of Secret Admirer/Music Producer

  Princess Shaw The “Presenting Princess Shaw” Interview with Kam Williams Aspiring Singer Talks about Transformation into Youtube Sensation with Help of Secret Admirer/Music Producer Born and raised in Chicago, 39 year-old Samantha Montgomery moved to New Orleans in 2006. By day, she works as a caregiver for the elderly and, by night, she fearlessly performs as Princess Shaw online and at local open mics. Inspired by her personal joy and pain from past and … [Read More it Good for You...]

Outdoors

Yamaha Propeller Selector, Endless Propeller Solutions

  Yamaha Propeller Selector, Endless Propeller Solutions   The Yamaha Propeller selection page on Yamaha’s webpage is a great tool for every boat owner as a tool not only to make sure the correct prop is on their boat but also gives the ability and freedom to change the prop with ease, depending on the application. Everyone knows the equipment used for bass fishing is not the same for chasing tuna offshore, and the same logic applies to selecting a prop. At … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Braves Fire Manager Fredi Gonzalez

  Braves Fire Manager Fredi Gonzalez By Burt Carey   Just 37 games into the 2016 season, the Atlanta Braves fired manager Fredi Gonzalez on Tuesday amidst the ballclub’s slowest start in its history. Gonzalez took over as the Braves manager in 2010 following the retirement of Bobby Cox. He led the Braves to three consecutive winning seasons, including 94- and 96-win seasons in 2012 and 2013, but couldn’t overcome the club’s dismal finish in 2015 and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Small Brand – Huge Idea

  Small Brand - Huge Idea by Amy Lignor   Big business will consistently state that although they are trying to make their products more environmentally safe, or trying to become more eco-friendly, the proof they are doing so remains slim to none. To be fair, there are various industries, such as the lodging industry, that are doing a great deal to alter their services and products to better meet a “greener” world. Everything from using recycled … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

TSA Under Fire for Long Airport Lines

  TSA Under Fire for Long Airport Lines By Burt Carey From New York to Chicago to Atlanta and other major U.S. cities, airport travelers have been complaining for weeks about delays and long lines at security checkpoints. On Friday Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson tried to quell the unrest, announcing that the beleaguered Transportation Security Administration would be adding hundreds of front-line screeners at the nation’s busiest airports. TSA … [Read More its Good for You...]

Google+