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SUPER LATE REVIEW: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, time for another film review and this one, this one is important because I’m finally going to talk about The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. Now I’ve never been the biggest fan of this film series, but it has grown on me over time especially after Catching Fire, I was meant to see this film within a week of its release, but then work and waiting for my sister to watch it with me delayed my screening for AGES. I mean I saw the third Hobbit film before this and that is just mental to me haha. I knew I had to see this film at some point, so I went to see it after work yesterday and now I’m ready to pass judgement, finally.

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The storyline for this film is as follows:

“The story continues to follow Katniss Everdeen; having twice survived the Hunger Games, Katniss finds herself in District 13. Under the leadership of President Coin and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss reluctantly becomes the symbol of a mass rebellion against the Capitol and fights to save Peeta and a nation moved by her courage.”

I thought the story was pretty great, it was a very different kind of film when compared to the previous two. There is no Hunger Games, so now we have what could only be described as Capitol vs. the districts of Panem. Here we have President Snow, a man determined to keep the districts in order and take out anyone looking to start a rebellion and on the other side there is Katniss, the symbol of hope to the districts and the one who is willing to do anything to get justice. This is a film about power, who has it and how is it handled. There is drama, deep emotions, and crazy mind games being played. If I had to fault the story I would say that it felt a bit slow at times, but otherwise it’s fine.

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As for cast they were all very good. Firstly Jennifer Lawrence is still killing it as Katniss Everdeen, I think this is the role where we can see the most from Lawrence in terms of acting. In this film Katniss is a scarred and fragile individual, she is haunted by her past, longs for Peeta’s return and has to find the strength to be the face of the uprising against the Capitol . The woman has to deal with so much and Lawrence’s performance is stellar and nothing short of amazing. Liam Hemsworth was cool as Gale Hawthorne, this character has always been sidelined and has never had that much to do in these films, but Gale’s presence has risen since the first film and he’s right in the center of the action this time around and I was happy with that. Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee was great, it was odd seeing Hoffman acting knowing that he’s passed on, but I think it made me love him more. Heavensbee is smart and knows how to make things work in his favour, he is also very funny and confident. Also Julianne Moore as Alma Coin was good too, she is a woman ready to start the rebellion and unite the districts, however she wants to handle it properly and has the right tools at her disposal.

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Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark was good, this time he was after seemingly being dead, the man arose and starts to talk in defence of the Capitol and is asking Katniss and the people of the districts to start down. Hutcherson plays a different kind of character this time round, but it definitely makes him a much more interesting person. Donald Sutherland as President Snow, what a beast. Snow’s always been a douche, a clear villain who never liked Katniss and the courage that came with personality and since the last film he has gone to great lengths to break the spirit of not only Katniss but also the people of Panem. The man is ruthless, calculated and a lot sorts of mean and Sutherland is just perfect in this role, I loved his performance. Elizabeth Banks was lovely as Effie Trinkett, she has such a wonderful energy and persona that makes her fun to watch whenever she’s on-screen. Natalie Dormer was good as Cressida, I was surprised about Dormer’s role in this film as it wasn’t what I expected, however I thought she was fine. Woody Harrelson still does a good job as Haymitch Abernathy even though he was in the film a lot less than before. Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair is good too, while Stanley Tucci did a good job as Caesar Flickerman, I just wish there was more of him.

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When it comes to the presentation it is pretty good. Visually the film looked good with nice cinematography, a dark colour scheme and detailed CGI, and the action, even though it was in a smaller amount, was cool when it showed up. Also James Newton Howard’s soundtrack is very nice and really comes into play when the emotional moments come into play.

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In conclusion The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is a good film, in fact I would say it is a great film. There isn’t that much action and the pacing felt a bit slow at times, however this film makes up for that with its intriguing plot elements and great performances from the cast involved. I can now say that I’m excited to see how this film ends next year.

Rating: 7/10

So what did you think of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1? And how do you feel it compares to the last two films? Whatever your thoughts, drop them below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Only Lovers Left Alive Review

Howdy once again ladies and gents, once agin I resurface from the depths of the earth to deliver a new film review. I have already reviewed Her and The Monuments Men and my final review for today is Only Lovers Left Alive. I found the trailer for this online back in December and was intrigued just because it was a different kind of vampire film, plus it had Tom Hiddleston in it so it was gonna be a mandatory watch regardless. So how did it turn out? Read on and find out.

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So the story for this film is as follows:

“Adam (Hiddleston), an underground musician reunites with his lover for centuries (Swinton) after he becomes depressed and tired with the direction human society has taken. Their love is interrupted and tested by her wild and uncontrollable little sister (Wasikowska).”

I thought that the story was pretty interesting and definitely had some nice themes relating to the longevity of life and love. The atmosphere and tone of the film is lovely and by switching from Los Angeles to Tangier offers up some moments of great scenery and culture changes. My only issue with the film is the slow pacing. At times it felt like the characters were just completely zoned out or doing nothing of any great importance. I feel like if the pace had been sped up or some of the time in between some of the key scenes had been cut down then I would have enjoyed the film a lot more.

only-lovers-left-alive03When it comes to the cast they are all very good and give some great performances. Let’s start with Tom Hiddleston as Adam. I really liked him in this film, his character is very lethargic, mellow reclusive and has very small needs. Only Adam has interest in music and his lover, but when you mess with his stuff or his groove he has one hell of a temper. Hiddleston was awesome, I’ve only mainly seen him as Loki in the Marvel films, but I wanted to see how he put his acting skills to use in other films and he does so very well in this film. Similarly Tilda Swinton is wonderful as Eve, she is very out-going, whimsical, caring and cunning too. I only know Swinton as Jadis, the White Witch from the Chronicles of Narnia films, luckily I see that she is a capable actress who is captivating and very likeable. Together Swinton and Hiddleston have great screen chemistry and vibe off of each other very well.

Anton Yelchin was another strong person as Ian, his character was very nice guy personality-wise and he was surprisingly chilled out about his friendship with Adam. Yelchin was just fun to watch and his look in this film really reminded me of John Frusciante, the ex-guitarist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers haha. Also Mia Wasikowska was good as Ava, this an annoyingly energetic person who just wanted to be adventurous and have fun (much like most teenagers/young adults these days). Wasikowska was quite nice and surprisingly she was a lot better and has kind of erased her performance as Alice from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. John Hurt was nice as Marlowe offering us a wise, old and yet quite funny elder vampire and lastly Jeffrey Wright was cool as Doctor Watson, again Wright is showing off roles very different from his recurring role in Boardwalk Empire as he is quite funny and light-hearted here.

OnlyLoversLeftAlive_2In conclusion Only Lovers Left Alive is a breath of fresh air in this sea of vampire films and TV shows, it is actually very realistic, dynamic, different and creepy with some great performances. I feel like if the pacing had been a bit quicker and some of the actions of the characters had transpired a little faster I would have liked this film a little more. That being said it is a very different kind of vampire film that I would recommend. P.S. Any ladies who are fans of Tom Hiddleston who want to see him topless best give this film a look too. 😛

Rating: 7.5/10 (An interesting and strange take on the life of vampires)

So what did you think of Only Lovers Left Alive? Have you seen it or are you gonna watch it? Whatever your thoughts be sure to leave them in the comment section below and I’ll see ya on the next film review yo. 😀

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review

Okay, time to talk The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, a film I’ve been both excited for and not overly interested in at the same time! Now the first film was decent, wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t amazing either. It did rather well, and after X-Men: First Class it made Jennifer Lawrence come across as not only a bankable star, but an actress who had talent. For all its success the film had its criticisms. some thought the film was too long, others said the violence wasn’t enough, some just called it a Battle Royale rip-off and other fans of the book just slated the film for the changes made to the books. Anyways that was last year, Catching Fire is now. Does this sequel entertain or not?  Read on and find out!

The storyline for this film is as follows:

“Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a “Victor’s Tour” of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) – a competition that could change Panem forever.”

I thought the story in that film was pretty good and had a lot of depth to it. There was a lot more fleshing out of the world that these characters reside in, we saw more of the other districts and see how the events of the last Hunger Games affected everyone. Nothing gets easier and complications begin for not only the main characters but for everyone. There’s a difference in the air and themes of love, sacrifice, revolution and war are explored in a great way. What I really liked was how Katniss’ actions in the last film carried over into this one, where she has become a symbol of hope and the people from the other districts and cause them to slowly revolt which in turn creates problems for President Snow who sees her progress and wants her to be eliminated. Overall the story was just much more involving, dramatic, believable and cohesive than the first film.

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When it comes to the cast they’re all very good at bringing life to these characters and their definitely the film’s highlight. Firstly Jennifer Lawrence returns as Katniss Everdeen and Lawrence is just so good as the character now. This time Katniss has to deal with the events of the last film which have taken their toll on her mentally and emotionally and you get to see that through Lawrence’s fabulous acting skills which are easily the highlight of the film. Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark is a lot better in this film than before, the material the actor is given makes his character a little more interesting and less of a weakling. Donald Sutherland is once again is wonderful as President Coriolanus Snow, I like how his outward persona is so calm and authoritative, however behind the scenes he is quite sinister and really wants to control everyone with an iron fist. Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne is back and is given more to do which has made his character more likeable and fleshed out, Hemsworth’s moments are more interesting this time around.

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Woody Harrelson is totally awesome as Haymitch Abernathy, he was one of my favourite characters in the last film and here he returns with that mixture of seriousness mixed in with dry humour. Elizabeth Banks is still as kooky, high-spirited and fancy as ever as Effie Trinket, she gets a little more screen time and actually feels a lot more developed as we see more sides of her personality. Lenny Kravitz is still as cool as ever as Cinna, the man who stood by Katniss’s side, makes amazing clothing and looks at things from a realistic perspective. Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee is the new dude who overseas the games and is in alliance with President Snow to take out Katniss. He has new tactics and plans that make him a person to look out for and Hoffman as ever is great to watch on-screen. I also liked performances from Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair and Jena Malone as Johanna Mason, and Jeffrey Wright as Beetee Latier is great, he plays this interesting returning winner and I liked his smart and funny personality and it makes a MASSIVE change from the douchebag character he’s playing in Boardwalk Empire. And lastly Stanley Tucci is still amazing as Caesar Flickerman, the charismatic TV presenter that covers all the major happenings related to the Hunger Games.

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As for the presentation it is notably better. First and foremost the most immediate difference is the lack of shaky cam in the action scenes. I watched the previous film the night before and the lack of shaky cam was incredibly noticeable and to be honest the film is a hell of a lot better for it. Action in general is just shot and staged a lot better with more convincing GCI too, it was delightful. Just wish there was a bit more violence (I am a junky for violence lol). Also the soundtrack by James Newton Howard is also a lot better too, it had a better emotional connection and better presence and the good themes that were used in the last one have returned too.

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In conclusion The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was a lot of fun and a lot better than the previous film. There is a better direction in place than before and the story, characters and action was much deeper, dramatic and better executed than before. Unlike the first film which was just decent for me,  I just felt more invested in this one and I really liked it. While it wasn’t by any means one of my favourite films of the year and I had hoped for a bit more action, otherwise this is a film I would recommend highly.

Rating: 7.5/10 (A much better and dramatic sequel)

So what did you think of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire? Did you find it better than the first or did you like the last one better? Whatever your thoughts, drop them below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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