Sunday, November 24, 2013

Catching Fire & The Croods: Review

Today I get to hang out with my best friend Robert. After a bit a of confusion on who was driving to see who, he made his way to my place. He arrived around 12:30pm and we headed down into the city to get some lunch and watch a movie. We were seeing The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. We checked the times and saw that there was a 3pm showing, this would give us a few hours to eat. We went to a near by restaurant called BJ's Brewery, if you've never been it's a sports restaurant with TV's all over the place. Today was Sunday so that meant Football. So we had our lunch and watched some football. There was one game that caught our attention, Green Bay Vs Minnisota. It was towards the end and it was tied. Even though we were done with our lunch and the check was paid we had to stay to see if the tie was broken (it wasn't).

Anyways after lunch we headed back to the theater at 2pm, a full hour before the movie started and to our surprise the 3pm showing was sold out. We should have purchased tickets when we first got there. The next showing was at 4pm but there was an IMAX showing at 3:30pm. Now this is, what I like to call a "Faux MAX" screen. I don't know how these theaters get away with calling this an IMAX but they do and they charge an extra $4 per ticket. I was hesitant to purchase a ticket but we didn't want to have to wait another two hours for the movie so we got tickets for the 3:30 showing. We got in an outside line before moving into an indoor line and finally into the theater. We got some prime seats and we were ready for part two of The Hunger Games saga.

If you've been living under a rock and have no idea what The Hunger Games is. It's a 2008 science fiction novel (trilogy) by the American writer Suzanne Collins. It is written in the voice of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem in North America. The Capitol, a highly advanced metropolis, exercises political control over the rest of the nation. The Hunger Games are an annual event in which one boy and one girl aged 12–18 from each of the twelve districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle to the death.

This is part two of what will be a four part movie series. This film begins as 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 have read the books and enjoyed the first movie so I was really looking forward to this sequel. and I have to say it did not disappoint. Like the book this movie jumps right in, no character introductions (well until we meet all the new tributes), it just continues from where the last book/movie left off. The majority of this movie is dealing with the uprising that started in book one. Katniss has become the symbol of hope to the 12 districts. The visual effects are better in this movie, it's been a while since I read the books but they followed the book pretty closely with just a few minor changes that didn't really matter. I had forgotten how little time takes place in the Quarter Quell. It's only the last half hour of the movie. 

The casting of some of the characters were not what I pictured in my mind when I read the books, so that took some getting use to but I cried, as I did with the book, when they were killed. This movie was fast paced though there is not a lot of action until the last half of the movie. The stand out performance for me would have to be Effie played by Elizabeth Banks, she's a hard character to like, especially in book one but she really shines in this movie and Elizabeth did an incredible job bringing this character to life.

I can say without a doubt that Catching Fire enters the small club of sequels to great films that manages to not only meet audience’s expectations, but exceed it. 

I can't wait to see what they do with the next book, which they are splitting into two movies. And I have to say I'm interested to see how they do this since I very much disliked the last third of that book.

I give The Hunger Games: Catching Fire a solid A

After our outing we came back to my place and watched one of my PGA screeners. We decided to watch something lighthearted and picked The Croods. Here's a quick synopsis: After their cave is destroyed, a caveman family must trek through an unfamiliar fantastical world with the help of an inventive boy.

I heard lots of good things about this movie and I have to say they were not wrong. This is a fun, entertaining animated movie. Lot's a great voice actors like Nick Cage and Ryan Reynolds. The animation was great. The story was sweet and had a lot of heart, it even made me tear up a few times. I give The Croods a big ol' B

No comments:

Post a Comment