THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 – What Did You Think?

by     Posted 3 hours ago

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The time has come.  What’s bound to be the highest earner of 2014 is now in theaters.  As someone who’s very familiar with Suzanne Collins’ source material and has read Mockingjay quite a few times, I’ve been well aware that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 was going to be the biggest challenge of the film franchise.  Yes, the book has problems, but even if the scribes behind the Mockingjay movies fix them – and I think they did fix quite a few – the fact that Mockingjay – Part 1 is such a departure from the original two films could still be a problem for many.

You can catch Matt’s full review of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 right here, but we’d also like to know what you think about the movie, too.  Did you like the change of tone and pace?  Did it leave you eager to see Mockingjay – Part 2?  Sound off in the comments after the jump.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Review

by     Posted Yesterday

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Although Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is ostensibly the heroine of the Hunger Games saga, the story has developed to where she’s no longer in the mold of a traditional protagonist.  She began that way in the first movie, but The Hunger Games: Catching Fire started to push her to the background as she became part of a much larger conflict rather than its leader.  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 continues this shift to the point where it barely resembles the first two pictures as the true story of the latest installment isn’t Katniss’ journey, but the revolution that’s consumed her and the rest of Panem.  She’s still an integral part and the focus of the narrative, but director Francis Lawrence has expanded the social commentary far beyond the first film, and put it squarely on how media can be used to control or inspire in the true battle for hearts and minds.  Although the movie is eventually weighted down by the business requirement of splitting the final book into two movies, and Katniss still becomes a puddle of tears when the melodramatic love story surfaces, Mockingjay remains a fascinating and dark development in this unique franchise.

Watch THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 NYC Press Conference with Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Natalie Dormer, and More

by     Posted 5 days ago

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Yesterday in New York City, I got to attend The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 press conference with Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark), Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne), Julianne Moore (President Coin), Jeffrey Wright (Beetee), Willow Shields (Primrose Everdeen), Sam Claflin (Finnick Odair), Mahershala Ali(Boggs), Natalie Dormer (Cressida), Donald Sutherland (President Snow), director Francis Lawrence, and producer Nina Jacobson.  While I typically find press conferences with this many people less than an ideal way to ask questions about a movie, I’ll admit the event turned out great.  That’s mostly because of Jennifer Lawrence.  While Lawrence’s massive success could have transformed her easy going persona into someone difficult to work with, as you watch the press conference you’ll see someone who is still amazed and thankful for her success, and she always has a fun answer.

During the press conference everyone is asked and answers questions about the making of the movie, challenging scenes, how they wish they were more like their characters, what it’s like losing their anonymity, and so much more.  If you’re a fan of The Hunger Games, you’ll definitely want to watch this.  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 opens next weekend.  Look for some exclusive interviews on the site later this week.

Peeta Sends a Message in the Latest THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 TV Spot

by     Posted 21 days ago

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President Snow (Donald Sutherland) snatched Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) out of the arena at the end of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire for a reason.  He’s got big plans for the Boy with the Bread and thanks to this latest TV spot, we’re getting an extended look at them.  While Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) and Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) are busy prepping Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) to lead the rebellion, Snow is using Peeta to destroy it.

Hit the jump to catch Peeta’s message to his co-74th Hunger Games victor and everyone else defying The Capitol in the latest The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 TV spot.  The film is due in theaters on November 21st and also stars Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, Sam Claflin and Jena Malone.

Final THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Trailer Promises Massive Scope, Dire Consequences

by     Posted 23 days ago

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Lionsgate has released the final The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 trailer for the upcoming event film.  Directed by Catching Fire helmer Francis Lawrence, the film finds Panem’s Capitol fighting an all-out revolution, as Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss prepares for battle in District 13 following the destruction of her home, District 12.  The scope of this thing looks absolutely massive, and while it should be fun to see what Francis Lawrence does with a larger canvas, I do hope that the film maintains the strong character-centric focus that made Catching Fire so satisfying.  Catastrophe and “trailer shots” are neat, but we see countless quantities of them year-round; what the Hunger Games franchise excels at is showcasing Jennifer Lawrence’s powerful lead performance and the camaraderie that surrounds her.  Fingers crossed that continues with Mockingjay.

Watch the final The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 trailer after the jump.  The film also stars Josh Hutcherson, Liam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonJulianne MoorePhilip Seymour HoffmanElizabeth Banks, Sam ClaflinJena Malone, and Donald Sutherland.  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 opens on November 21st.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 TV Spot Contains New Footage of Katniss Refusing to Give up the Fight

by     Posted 31 days ago

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Lionsgate has released a new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 TV spot, which contains fresh footage from the upcoming blockbuster.  The film finds Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) at the forefront of the rebellion in Panem while Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Johanna (Jena Malone) are held captive in the Capitol.  We’ve had some huge hits this year, but I’m still putting my money on The Girl on Fire for winning the 2014 box office race, especially since this looks like the biggest Hunger Games movie yet.

Hit the jump to check out the new TV spot.  The film also stars Liam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonJulianne MoorePhilip Seymour HoffmanElizabeth Banks, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, and Donald SutherlandThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 opens on November 21st.

The Rebellion Continues with 19 New Images from THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1

by     Posted 36 days ago

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Last night, we got a new teaser trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, and now we have more images from the upcoming film.  The film finds Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) at the forefront of the rebellion in District 13 while Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Johanna (Jena Malone) are held captive in the Capitol.  These new images give us a look not only at our main heroes, but also new supporting characters Cressida (Natalie Dormer), Boggs (Mahershala Ali), Pollux (Elden Henson), Messalla (Evan Ross), and Castor (Wes Chatham).

Hit the jump to check out the new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 images.  The film also stars Liam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonJulianne MoorePhilip Seymour HoffmanElizabeth Banks, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, and Donald SutherlandThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 opens on November 21st.

The Rebellion Takes Flight in Full-Length THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Trailer

by     Posted 67 days ago

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Lionsgate has released the full-length The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 trailer for the first half of director Francis Lawrence’s conclusion to the Hunger Games franchise.  The film finds Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) at the forefront of the rebellion in District 13 while Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Johanna (Jena Malone) are held captive in the Capitol.  Francis Lawrence surprised the hell out of me with Catching Fire, which I thought was hands-down the best “tentpole” film of last year, and so I have high hopes for his adaptation of Mockingjay (the weakest book of the trilogy).  What strikes me most about this trailer is that the film appears to be in the vein of an action pic, whereas Catching Fire was more of a thriller and the first film was essentially a survival movie.  District 13 isn’t exactly a cinematic location and there’s a lot of bunker-set scenes in the book, so I’m very curious to see what changes have been made in the feature film adaptation.  The pic looks rather epic in scope, and I imagine Mockingjay – Part 1 will be the most intense and largest scale entry in the franchise yet.  Hold on to your butts.

Hit the jump to watch the Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 trailer.  The film also stars Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Elizabeth Banks, Natalie Dormer, Sam Claflin, and Donald SutherlandThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 opens in theaters on November 21st.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Teaser Trailer Hints at the Battle to Come

by     Posted 117 days ago

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Lionsgate has released the first teaser trailer for the first half of the conclusion to the Hunger Games series, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, directed by Francis Lawrence.  Since the teaser trailer is only a minute, Lionsgate has wisely chosen to let the visuals and minimal dialogue set the stage at the battle to come.  I especially enjoyed seeing Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) discussing Katniss’ purpose in the rebellion.  Plutarch insists, “Listen to me.  No one else can do this, but her.”  Coin disagrees.  “She won’t be able to handle it.  The games destroyed her.”  Shortly after their scene we get a glimpse of Natalie Dormer as Cressida with her half shaved head as well as Liam Hemsworth looking serious as Gale.   Hit the jump to check it out.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 also stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Jena Malone, Sam Claflin, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Jeffrey Wright,, and Donald Sutherland, and opens in theaters November 21st.  Watch the first The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 trailer after the break.

New THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Teaser Trailer: President Snow’s “Unity” is Interrupted

by     Posted 135 days ago

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Lionsgate has released another The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 teaser trailer for director Francis Lawrence‘s penultimate chapter in the Hunger Games franchise.  The film finds Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) leading a revolution through the districts to resuce Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and bring down President Snow (Donald Sutherland) once and for all.

Hit the jump to watch the new teaser trailer.  The film also stars Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, Jena Malone, and Julianne MooreThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 opens in theaters on November 21st.

New THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Trailer: Peeta Stands alongside President Snow in a Message to the Districts

by     Posted 149 days ago

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Lionsgate has released a new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 teaser trailer.  In the penultimate chapter, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) leads a revolution through the districts to rescue Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), and bring down President Snow (Donald Sutherland) once and for all.  I’m not sure any of this trailer will appear in the actual movie, but it does deliver not only Snow’s none-too-subtle hint that any rebellion will be violently snuffed out, but it also Peeta standing alongside the evil leader.  This is probably intriguing to those who haven’t read the books, and were wondering what happened to Peeta following the events of Catching Fire.

Hit the jump to check out the new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 teaser trailer.  I’m curious if Lionsgate will follow the same strategy as they did last year, and release a full trailer at Comic-Con in July.  The film opens November 21st, and also stars Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, and Julianne Moore.

First Images from THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Featuring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, and Woody Harrelson, Plus a Motion Poster

by     Posted 190 days ago

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Lionsgate has released the first images from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 along with a motion poster for the film.  All the media comes courtesy of their new website, which will give fans access to the making of the movie, including first-look images, behind-the-scenes looks, and an interactive sneak peek at a page from the film’s script.  In addition to the first images and a new motion poster, we’ve also shared the first look at Julianne Moore’s President Alma Coin and a video commentary from Moore about all things Mockingjay.

Hit the jump for the The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 images and motion poster.  Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland star in the sequel directed by Francis Lawrence.  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 opens November 21.

TOP 5: THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, OUT OF THE FURNACE Set Visit, Nolan Straps an IMAX Camera to a Learjet, DELIVERY MAN, NYMPHOMANIAC Trailer

by     Posted 363 days ago

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Like many others I presume, I can reduce my yesterday down to one common denominator: waiting. Waiting for my Xbox One to arrive in the mail, waiting for the “Day One” update to wrap-up, waiting for Call of Duty: Ghosts to install to my hard drive, waiting for Ghosts‘ mandatory 1Gb update to complete. All told, it was about a two and a half hour process from the time my console arrived at my door until I was able to fire my first virtual shot. Although I’d be lying if I said the delays weren’t tedious, at the end of the day it was absolutely worth it. Microsoft’s next-gen console isn’t perfect, but its ambition and by-and-large its initial execution are pretty damn impressive. Controlling the console via voice commands with Kinect is way smoother than I expected it to be. Directing my satellite television via the console is a feature that I believe, when mastered, I’ll wonder how I ever lived without. And that seems to be the general idea of the Xbox One: to make you reconsider what a video game console can and should do. Even if all of the pieces aren’t in place yet to make it a “must have” (I expect a steady barrage of software updates in the coming days, weeks, months, etc.), I’m having too much fun with it right now to care.

My initial Xbox One impressions aside, this week’s Top 5 includes The Hunger Games: Catching Fire interviews with Jennifer Lawrence and more, Dave’s Out of the Furnace set visit recap, Christopher Nolan strapping an IMAX camera to a Learjet for Interstellar, Delivery Man interviews with Vince Vaughn and more, and a new trailer for Lars Von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac that you’ll likely only feel halfway guilty for watching. Per the drill, a brief recap and link to each of the above rests after the jump.

Donald Sutherland Talks THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, Why It’s So Popular, Collaborating with Francis Lawrence, and More

by     Posted 363 days ago

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Now playing in traditional theaters and IMAX is the sequel to The Hunger GamesCatching Fire.  Directed by Francis Lawrence, the film centers on President Snow (Donald Sutherland) trying to crush a budding rebellion that was ignited by Katniss’ (Jennifer Lawrence) actions in the previous film, as the 75th Hunger Games (aka Quarter Quell) finds past victors competing against each other.  The sequel also stars Liam HemsworthJosh HutchersonJena MaloneSam Claflin, Elizabeth BanksWoody Harrelson, Philip Seymour HoffmanStanley TucciJeffrey Wright, and Amanda Plummer.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I got to speak with Donald Sutherland.  He talked about what makes The Hunger Games so popular around the world, what it was like collaborating with Francis Lawrence, deleted scenes, what he collects, the way he prepares for a role, future projects, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Review

by     Posted 1 year ago

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Early in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the villainous President Snow (Donald Sutherland) reminds Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) that the Hunger Games were just a game.  Her real fear should be a war that will rain down hell on all of the districts if she continues to be a symbol to the downtrodden.  To both its credit and its detriment, Francis Lawrence‘s sequel shares those values.  The fear and excitement has left the arena and spread to the streets, and returning to a different arena almost feels safe by comparison.  The adaptation is a slight improvement on the book (mostly by avoiding author Suzanne Collins‘ poor prose and stilted dialogue), but also has the same structural weakness of taking the characters to familiar confines albeit with different players and hazards.  Nevertheless, the central core of the story remains strong and skillfully eschews the traditional heroine in favor of a scared puppet who can only summon her strength in certain situations.  It’s a confined character that can’t take full advantage of its actress’ immense talent, but as the movie reminds us, sometimes sacrifice is necessary for the greater good.

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