As far as movies based on young adult novels go, the Divergent series has not been as successful as The Hunger Games or Twilight. However, it has done well enough to merit the adaptation of the entire trilogy, and like the movie series preceding it, the final book is being split into two movies.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant comes out this weekend. It continues the adventure of Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) in their dystopian future. Following the events in Insurgent, the two heroes must escape and go beyond the wall enclosing Chicago, leaving the only city and family they have ever known in order to find a peaceful solution for their embroiled city. Once outside, old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless with the revelation of shocking new truths. Tris and Four must quickly decide who they can trust as a ruthless battle ignites beyond the walls of Chicago which threatens all of humanity.
Returning stars Ansel Elgort, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller, Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Mekhi Phifer and Maggie Q are joined by Jeff Daniels in a sequel that demands that you watch its predecessors to understand what is going on. The final movie in the series, Ascendant, will be released June of next year.
Miracles from Heaven is based upon the memoir of the same name by Christy Beam, which recounts the story of her daughter who suffered from a rare and incurable disease. After her daughter survives a freak accident, an extraordinary miracle unfolds in the wake of her dramatic rescue that leaves medical specialists mystified. Starring Jennifer Garner and Queen Latifah, it is produced by the team behind the 2014 faith-based drama Heaven Is for Real.
If you are looking for something different this weekend, check out The Mermaid at the Paramount Theatre. This science fiction fantasy romantic comedy is directed, co-written and co-produced by Stephen Chow, one of China’s most successful filmmakers. He is responsible for the Chinese hits Shaolin Soccer, Kung Fu Hustle and Journey to the West and if you have experienced any of these films, you already know that watching Chow’s films is like watching a live-action Looney Tunes cartoon.
In China, The Mermaid has broken numerous box office records, including highest-grossing Chinese film of all time. Even though the story has serious environmental themes about a mermaid sent to seduce and assassinate an evil developer who is threatening the ecosystem of her species, expect a bizarre, slapstick comedy riddled with special effects that might appeal to fans of fantasy films, romantic comedies, environmental documentaries and Bugs Bunny.
And Landmark Cinemas’ March Movie Break continues on weekdays during spring break. For only $3 ($1 of which goes to Kids Help Phone), you can see one of four movies at various Landmark Cinemas locations: Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip, The Peanuts Movie, Norm of the North or the classic The Princess Bride. Check www.landmarkcinemas.com for details.