The majority of critics were all in agreement about one thing concerning the highly anticipated Mockingjay: Part 1; and that is that “not very much happens” (IBN Live). Following in the footsteps of moneymaker series such as Harry Potter and Twilight, the studio stretched the final book into two separate movies. While filmmakers of the “HP” series started this trend for logical reasons (like including many important details and back story), it’s hard to imagine that the producers of the Hunger Games trilogy saw it as anything more than an opportunity to put more cash in the bank. Not cool, Lionsgate, not cool!
Though the sadistic Hunger Games arena is absent this time around, there is no shortage of violence in this third installment to the series—though perhaps not in the amount you’ve come to expect from these films. While there is very little action throughout the film, producers did a fantastic job of relaying the overall destruction caused by the civil war in Panem. Wide screen shots of ruined cities and charred remains of fallen victims definitely highlight the large-scale ramifications of war.
Fans of the bestselling novels will agree that District 13 was one of the environments we were most looking forward to seeing on the big screen. Lionsgate delivered on that aspect of the film, and the underground “honeycomb” bunker city was spot on with the book’s description, a dark location which complemented the somber mood of the entire film.
As always, Jennifer Lawrence gives us a brilliant performance playing the reluctant hero, Katniss Everdeen. Once again she tries to resist playing a part in political propaganda, but knowing she must put aside her feelings in order to save her loved ones, the ever-conflicted Everdeen becomes the raw, empathetic and honest protagonist we have come to know and love. Similarly, Josh Hutcherson’s performance as Peeta Mellark is just as palpable. Fans want to save “the boy with the bread” just as badly as Katniss does, even in spite of his complete character change.
In conclusion, Lawrence and Hutcherson steal the show, as usual, with their intense performances. The elaborate dystopian sceneries are also to be admired, but what the movie lacks is the franchise’s usual fast-paced action – due largely in part to the story being split into a two-part film.
The fall season has arrived, and with it, a slew of horror, drama, and holiday flicks to satiate the movie needs of the cold and huddled movie-going masses. Listed here are my ten picks of what, I believe, will be the fall movies to see.
Annabelle Kicking off the month of Halloween is a movie that has come to unsettle us by digging up the casket of children’s fears we’ve all buried long ago. Annabelle is a spin-off of the supernatural horror film The Conjuring and shows the origins of the movie’s titular nightmare-doll incarnate. Don’t compete in a staring contest with this creepy doll, or she’ll haunt your pants off.
Release Date: October 3, 2014
Gone Girl After watching the trailer to this mystery-thriller, I’m thinking that I don’t know what to think about Ben Affleck’s character, and because of that, I’m intrigued. After reporting his wife missing, Nicke Dunne (Ben Affleck) faces the onslaught of the mainstream media while dealing with the judgemental and suspicious leers of his small town neighbors, friends, and family. Personally, I’m into mystery-thrillers, and I’m sure this flick will keep me guessing, even to the end.
Release Date: October 3, 2014
The Judge Robert Downey Jr. That’s pretty much all I have to mention to get those movie-watching juices flowing, amiright? If not, how about this: RDJ plays a hot-shot lawyer who jetsets back to his small town home after receiving notice of his mother’s passing, but when he meets up with his estranged father, a renowned and well-respected judge, he discovers that he has represent the judge in court, over charges of… murder.
Release Date: October 10, 2014
Dear White People At first glance, this movie looks funny, so I’m definitely interested in this biting satire about four black college students who attend an Ivy League college where white students host an annual black-themed party. Hilarity, I’m sure, ensues.
Release Date: October 17, 2014
Fury During World War II, Wardaddy (Brad Pitt), and some other guys (among them, Shia LaBeouf), hop in a small tank, armed to the teeth with machine guns, turrets, and enough grit to make a grown man’s eyes calcify after watching the first official trailer of Fury. This war-hardened squad of skull crackers are tasked with driving their hell-on-tracks straight into enemy territory to stop an oncoming onslaught of vicious Nazi soldiers; so yeah, of course I’ll totally be there.
Release Date: October 17, 2014
Let’s just be clear about one thing: Christopher Nolan can do no wrong. He’s brought Memento, The Dark Knight, and Inception. Add a recent Oscar-winning Matthew McConaughey, and we have ourselves a potential hit on our hands. Interstellar is about a man who must explore the far reaches of space, time, and possibly — I don’t know — an alternate reality; I mean, let’s not kid ourselves, we’ll probably leave the theaters awestruck and disoriented and likely spend the rest of the following week sewing back the unraveling of our collective minds. So, what I’m saying is, don’t miss this movie because you’ll be asking yourself twice as many questions, beginning with, “Why didn’t I see this movie?”
Release Date: November 7, 2014
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire left audiences with an awesome cliffhanger, and the sequel to complete the faux-trilogy will be following the recent trend of splitting a single finale into a two-part series. Harry Potter has done it, Twilight too, and hell, The Hobbit split their single source material into three freakin’ movies! Anyway, I was never a fan of THG, I even have a copy of the first book, but I’ll have to admit that Catching Fire was a pretty decent movie — I’m wondering if the first part of Mockingjay can keep the fire coming.
Release Date: November 21, 2014
Horrible Bosses 2 The world’s worst criminals are back, and despite their attempts to return to a life of calm and normalcy, their unexplainable thirst for crime has them jonesing to commit more outlandish felonies. Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day brought the laughs in the first go around, and honestly, I was surprised that Horrible Bosses did so well, but here we are, the sequel.
Release Date: November 26
Exodus: Gods and Kings Despite the outright whitewashing of the biblical story of Moses and his exodus, I’ll say that I’ll watch anything directed by Ridley Scott at this point. The man makes epics. The scale of the scenes are captivating and the music he employs — all that chanting and yodeling — really hits the spot. Come for the epic, and stay for the Christian Bale yelling.
Release Date: December 12, 2014
Courtesy of www.thehobbit.com
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies So Smaug, a huge gold lusting dwarf killing fire-breathing dragon, is on his way to bring fire and death to the lowly townsfolk of Laketown… Did I mention that this will be the hit of the fall? No, I didn’t, but I’ll say this: everyone is going to watch the finale of The Hobbit.
Release Date: December 17, 2014
Automata (Limited Release) I’m a sucker for Sci-Fi and anything that involves Antonio Banderas wielding a gun. This flick contains elements of both Blade Runner and Isaac Asimov’s book, I, Robot.
Laggies After watching the trailer to this film, I instantly thought of the movie Young Adult, and began realizing that there has been a recent surge in movies about arrested development for the 20-somethings out there. I think it could be a sign of our times, and a rom-com would be one way to put it.
The Theory of Everything A young Stephen Hawking unravels one of the possibly infinite mysteries of space and time whilst conquering burgeoning feelings of love, and the fair lady who precipitated said feelings? Alright… I’m listening.