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QUICK REVIEW: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, time for another film review and today I’ll be reviewing The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. Now I’ve liked this film series, but in recent times I really haven’t liked the hype its acquired over the last year or so which has deterred me from wanting to see this finale, but since I had mates that wanted to see it last night I decided to check it out.

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The storyline for this film is as follows:

“As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts by the Capitol, Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance.”

I thought the story was good and pretty intense. Much like the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows films, Mockingjay – Part 1 was the set up and Part 2 is the all-out action pay-off finale. This film takes all of the foundations of the last film and uses it to great effect here. Here the focus of the film is on Katniss and her mission to take out President Snow, and within this main plot there is all of drama. What surprised me about this film was how blunt and brutal it got, there was loss, deception and mind games, and unforeseen revelations that changed your views on certain characters. Oh and the film was very tension-heavy with you always wondering how much worse or dangerous things could get and man they got dark pretty quickly. I think it was the way death was unexpectedly dropped on people in certain scenes which really caught me off guard, and while some of it was shocking, it was meaningful and gave the film higher stakes. I will admit that this film had some pacing issues and some of the story choices toward the third act I didn’t agree with, but the main issue I had regarded the ending. Man, Mockingjay – Part 2 had the same issue that Lord of the Rings: Return of the King did; it didn’t know when to end! I could have counted at least 3 times when the film could have stopped, but nope, it just kept on going and I understand that certain plot elements needed to be concluded but damn, that was a little too much and some much time could have been shaved off for it.

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As for cast they were great, though some returning characters don’t get as much screen. Firstly Jennifer Lawrence does well for her final appearance as Katniss Everdeen, I dunno how but Lawrence happened to balance being beautiful and super talented with her acting skills in this film, and I believe that it is Lawrence that elevates this character while on-screen as Katniss, while still courageous, was also quite bland and unlikable at times, I know she went through hell, but this was the one time I didn’t really feel like rooting for her. Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark was great too, his character has developed so much since the first film and he certainly had his moments to shine, he went from someone who really had no business being on the side of the allies to being a very interesting, dramatic and useful member in times of need. Liam Hemsworth was once again as Gale Hawthorne, his character had a fair amount to do and I liked his scenes with Katniss (even if she was still stringing him along like before). Donald Sutherland as President Snow was good too, still as mean and crafty as ever, Snow once again proved why he was such great villain for Katniss to take out. Julianne Moore had some really good moments as Alma Coin and I appreciated her character more this time around. And even though several of my favourite characters got a lot less screen time, I still appreciated the moments with Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy, my man Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair, Mahershala Ali as Boggs, Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinkett, Natalie Dormer as Cressida and the all but too brief appearance of Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman.

 

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As for the presentation it is pretty good. Visually the film was very impressive with good action sequences that had several standout moments, some good cinematography, good CGI and lighting too. I also liked James Newton Howard’s soundtrack for the film as it was suitably dramatic, subtle and intense when it needed to be.

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In conclusion The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is a good conclusion to this series, it has a great deal of action, drama, conflict and resolution, and good performances from the cast involved. I wouldn’t this film was a completely satisfying ending considering some of the plot points, character choices and dragged out ending, however for what it was, it was solid.

Rating: 7/10

So what did you think of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2? Was it a satisfying conclusion or was it not what you wanted? And how do you feel it compares to the previous films? Whatever your thoughts, drop them below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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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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Rush Review

Howdy people of the internet, time for another review! Today I’m gonna be talking about one of the most talked about films of not only this season but of the year. I am of course talking about Rush. Now I’d been hearing so much about talk this film over the course of the year and after a while I became curious. The trailers looked pretty cool and this could be the film that could make my man Chris Hemsworth noticed for the Oscars. So after seeing Rush was it worth the wait? Well read on and find out!

So story-wise Rush is about Formula 1 driving, but more specifically the rivalry between to great drivers, James Hunt and Niki Lauda. They’re two very different kinds of drivers but they both want the same thing; success. So this film chronicles their battle on and off of the race track and follows the highs and lows of both their lives which happens over the duration of six years.

I thought the film was really good. It reminded me a lot of Senna (a great documentary I highly recommend), and while I don’t believe that this film is on-par with that documentary (obviously), this is the first film that has taken Formula 1 outside of specific zone and presented to the public in an engaging and cool way. There is a great deal of emotional height to the film, but it doesn’t forget humour as there are great moments of that in this film too. But the key thing that makes the film work is the central rivalry between Hunt and Lauda. These are men from two very different backgrounds, they think and act very differently, its like night and day. And its great to see them go against each other on and off the track for years and see how the battle between them developers and gets more and more complex and dangerous.

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When it comes to the cast they’re fabulous offering up some wonderful and powerful performances. Let’s start with my man Chris “Thor” Hemsworth as James Hunt. I absolutely loved him. Hemsworth practically plays the character of Thor all over again as he is this British playboy kind of guy who’s loved by all,  sleeps around with loads of women, cracks loads of jokes and is pretty cocky. But outside of his persona to the public he is a very skilled driver who loves the thrill of the sport and strives for success. Then there’s Daniel Brühl as Niki Lauda, he’s the total opposite of Hunt. Lauda is a very calculated kind of guy, he’s brilliant and smart but also very smug and bit of an asshole to the point where he’s disliked by nearly every one, and Brühl is very great in his role. Together Hemsworth and Brühl have great screen time together and their interactions are some of the film’s best moments.

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Olivia Wilde as Suzy Miller was lovely, I liked how her character was one of the key things in Hunt’s life that he cared about outside of the world of racing. Other decent performances comes from Natalie Dormer as Gemma, Alexandra Maria Lara as Marlene Knaus and Pierfrancesco Favino as Clay Regazzoni. Oh and lastly Christian McKay was wonderful as Alexander Hesketh, it took me a while to remember that McKay was in Me and Orson Wells (a film I really liked) and I’m surprised he hasn’t been in more films, he’s a fine actor and does well in this film as the man who supported James Hunt in his earlier days during the 1970s.

One of the film’s other strong points is the presentation. Visually I really like the way the film looks, the cinematography is nicely done with some impressive camera angles and shots of the races which captures the action wonderfully. There are also some great POV camera shot from inside the cockpit, looking at the fire in the exhaust and other parts of machinery of the car moving around. Putting all of that together really helps to engage you. And what really adds to it is the audio. Firstly the score by Hans Zimmer is very good, dramatic and has a much lighter tone that what I’m used to in his other film but I think I could still tell it was him. Also the sound effects in this film really add the extra layer of immersion with the roaring cars, screeching tires and all the other good stuff that happens on the track.

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In conclusion Rush is was pretty impressive, some powerful drama and tension in that film through the story along with a great cast lead by Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl. This is one of those films I can recommend even if you’re not a fan of Formula 1, it is a fine film that takes a subject matter that only a specific audience like and make it work for more general audience.

Rating: 8.5/10 (Go check it out now!)

So what did you think of Rush? Whatever your thoughts drop them in the comments below and let me know, I love hearing other opinions! Until next time, laters people! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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