Jennifer Lawrence So Psyched to Sleep on Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 …

20 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

3 new movie reviews in brief: Mockingjay Part 2, Brooklyn, The Night Before.

Jennifer Lawrence has traveled all over the world as part of the press push for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, and the actress told Conan O’Brien that the extended voyage took its toll. Stretching out “The Hunger Games” movies over the last four years made sure that the franchise brought in a couple billion dollars; that number is sure to increase exponentially after “Mockingjay — Part 2″ hits theaters this weekend.Perhaps the greatest surprise of the Hunger Games franchise to date had been the degree to which the films reversed the quality trajectory of the books.

The last time we saw Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), Panem was on the brink of war and she was being choked to death by her friend Peeta (Josh Hutcherson). But it owes a measure of its popularity to the pivotal love triangle, which goes beyond “girl meets boy, and another boy” to questions of life and death.

The movies, however, got better and better from first to second to third. (The final book was split into two installments, as is the fashion post-Harry Potter.) Alas, that trend has now been arrested. Instead, Katniss Everdeen and her bow and arrow have been replaced with a mockingjay in a handful of cities across the country, including Bnei Brak and Jerusalem. “We discovered that public posters with the image of a female are often torn down in Jerusalem, while Bnei Brak does not allow posters with female images,” a representative of the film’s Israeli PR firm said to Ynet.

Even if you do recall Peeta attacking Katniss at the end of the third film (he was brainwashed to hate her), there are still probably some details you forgot or repressed from the first movie or the second one, “Catching Fire.” Here’s a brief reminder of all the important plot points you need to bone up on before you see the fourth and final installment. And it is ingeniously woven into the build-up as we see the poster girl for liberation hell-bent on taking out Panem’s tyrannical ruler – President Coriolanus Snow (Sutherland). Katniss Everdeen gives herself up for her little sister, fights to triumph in the cruel “games” imposed on the oppressed subjects by the Capitol, and finally challenges that very oppression. The city of Bnei Brak’s ruling on images of women is based on a fear that they “might incite the feelings of the city’s residents”, according to the Israeli website Haaretz. With the Captiol has been bombing other districts, President Coin (Julianne Moore) and her army from District 13 are visiting the other districts to get more support to take on President Snow and his army of not so peaceful peacekeepers.

But many audience members really care most about one thing: Should Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) wind up with hometown hunk Gale (Liam Hemsworth) or mild-mannered baker’s boy Peeta (Josh Hutcherson)? A marketing executive for the company hanging the posters in Israel said they have had “endless vandalisation” in the past, so chose not to take the risk. Katniss may be sharpening her arrows to take out the evil President Snow, but the biggest villain here is greed and the decision to split Suzanne Collins’ pulse-pounding final novel into two separate films. Although Katniss has helped unite the different districts to join the full-scale attack on the Capitol, she is starting to feel more like President Alma Coin’s (Moore) puppet than a fighter with purpose.

But Katniss’s nemesis, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) has seeded the city with deadly “pods,” containing everything from machine guns to flamethrowers to a tidal wave of oily goo—effectively turning the Capitol itself into another iteration of the “Hunger Games.” “Our gamekeepers,” he cackles, “will make them pay for every inch with blood.” This storyline, lifted straight from the novel—the apparent idea having been that each volume of the trilogy must have its own Hunger Games of one sort or another—is decidedly ridiculous, and I’m not sure how it could have been rescued without wholesale re-writing. (Obviously, not an option.) But the director Frank Lawrence (no relation to Jennifer) and the screenwriters Peter Craig and Danny Strong do themselves few favors in this outing. But the film’s box-office performance in France has been weaker than Mockingjay – Part 1’s was, perhaps because the recent Paris attacks have affected public appetite for cinema-going. When Lawrence signed on as director before the second installment of the franchise, he (along with his leading woman) brought a moral heft to the proceedings that had been lacking in the first film. His Hunger Games films weren’t merely about a tournament in which children kill one another, they were about repression, revolution, and war on a broad scale. While on her mission, Katniss realises she has become a great threat to President Coin, who plans on ruling Panem when the elections are held after the dystopian government is overthrown.

It’s not Jennifer Lawrence’s best acting in the series and Josh Hutcherson spends 80% of his time staring into a distance like a dog waiting for its owner to come home. The only actor who seems to be enjoying himself is Donald Sutherland as Snow, the increasingly unhinged leader leering like a jackal at all the blood he’s spilt. The fact that a substantial portion of it takes place underground—Katniss’s team take to the urban tunnels of the Capitol to get away from the pods—only adds to the claustrophobia.

Of course, the concluding chapter of was never supposed to be fun, but with all the effort expended to get here, this final showdown feels strangely anticlimactic. Saoirse Ronan transforms from hesitant girl to worldly woman as Eilis in the 1950s-era romantic drama Brooklyn. (Kerry Brown/Fox Searchlight/Associated Press) In 2009, Nick Hornby helped the world discover Carey Mulligan with his smart script for An Education: her portrayal of a self-possessed teenager kickstarted her career.

Though Irish actress Saoirse Ronan has starred in some gems (Hannah and Atonement for starters), could have whole new legion of fans learning to pronounce her name (tip: it rhymes with “inertia”). And the scenes with the black oil flood, the horrifying creatures in the tunnel that look as if they have stepped off the set of a horror movie, and those explosive pod booby traps, heighten the excitement levels and offer relief from the dramatic scenes. The action sequences are muddy and confused, and the lulls between them—which consist largely of tedious speechifying and long bouts of remorse and recrimination—interminable. Seth Rogen, seen with actress Jillian Bell, reteams with 50/50 director Jonathan Levine and co-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the raucous holiday comedy The Night Before. (Sarah Shatz/Columbia Pictures/Associated Press) Seth Rogen and friends put the high back in holiday with their raucous, Christmas-themed comedy . My friend Brad made a good point – Unlike the books, there’s so much time between movies, the major scenes in the finale don’t carry much emotional weight because the audience hasn’t spent enough time with the characters.

To round out this Christmas punch bowl of debauchery, Levine cast performers who give fresh riffs on a holiday tale, including Broad City’s Ilana Glazer as a certain Seuss-inspired villain and Michael Shannon (!) as local weed dealer Mr. You’re happy the series is coming to an end, but sad to say goodbye to great characters like President Snow, kids with weird names, Beete (Jeffrey Wright), Haymitch, Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) and Caesar Flickerman’s teeth.

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