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

by     Posted 6 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.

New Clip For THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Pits Gale Against Peeta; TV Spot Pits Resistance Against Mazda

by     Posted One week ago

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With the film’s release just a week away at this point, Lionsgate is turning the media saturation crank on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 up to full throttle.  During an appearance on Good Morning America today, stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth introduced a new clip that features Hemsworth’s Gale calling Hucherson’s Peeta out on his beta male nature.  Which is sort of like castigating a tree because its made of wood.  There’s also a really cool TV ad that starts out as a Mazda spot but, in a bit of synergy that suggests this franchise wants to have its cake and eat it too, becomes something else.  For an allegory on the media being used as a distraction, the Hunger Games series uses it to its benefit masterfully.

Hit the jump to check out The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Clip and TV spot.  The film opens on November 21st, and also stars  Woody HarrelsonElizabeth BanksJeffrey WrightStanley TucciSam Claflin, and Jena Malone.

Benicio Del Toro and Josh Hutcherson Find Entire Movie in ESCOBAR: PARADISE LOST Trailer

by     Posted 8 days ago

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Radius-TWC has released the Escobar: Paradise Lost trailer online.  The film follows a young Canadian (Josh Hutcherson) who goes to Columbia and falls in love with a local girl (Claudia Traisac), but gets caught up in the criminal empire of her uncle, drug kingpin Pablo Escobar (Benicio Del Toro).  Paradise Lost carried a lot of potential, especially with Del Toro playing Escobar, but I found the film to be a massive disappointment when I saw it at TIFF.  This trailer saves people the trouble of seeing the movie by basically showing the entire plot minus some shots that are misleading since they’re taken out of context.

Hit the jump to check out the Escobar: Paradise Lost trailer.  The film opens January 16th.

New THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 TV Spot Loads up on Visual Effects as the Battle Begins

by     Posted 11 days ago

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Lionsgate has released a new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 TV spot, and it highlights how the budget for these movies has really ticked upwards.  The first film cost a reported $80 million, and while I don’t know the budget for Mockingjay, it definitely cost more, and we’re going to see that investment on the big screen in the best way possible.  The franchise is really moving towards the mantle of epic sci-fi, and while I still have reservations because I think the novel is fairly weak, everything I’ve seen from the movie thus far is very impressive.

Hit the jump to check out The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 TV spot.  The film opens on November 21st, and stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonElizabeth BanksJeffrey WrightStanley TucciSam Claflin, and Jena Malone.

First THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Clip: A Message from Peeta Mellark

by     Posted 15 days ago

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After all those posters, TV spots and trailers, it’s about time we’re getting our very first clip from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, but the reveal is actually a little underwhelming because the clip isn’t as wow-worthy as all of the other promos.  It’s not a bad scene by any means, but it does seem like an odd choice for a first clip.  First off, we’ve seen a good deal of this footage in trailers already and secondly, it just ends so abruptly.  Again, there’s nothing wrong with the material, it just isn’t a particularly satisfying standalone clip nor is it one that leaves you thinking, “I’ve got to see what happens next.”

Hit the jump to check out the new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 clip for yourself.  The film is due in theaters on November 21st and stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonElizabeth BanksJeffrey WrightStanley TucciSam Claflin and Jena Malone.

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.

New THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 TV Spot Features Teary-Eyed Josh Hutcherson

by     Posted 30 days ago

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Whether you’re into the non-stop Hunger Games marketing campaigns or not, there’s no denying that Lionsgate knows how to deliver quality promotional material.  At this point, we’ve already seen a teaser trailer, a full-length trailer and a TV spot for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 yet this latest TV spot still rocks some brand new footage and a relatively unique tone.  The film’s promotional push isn’t just laying it all out there to get as many moviegoers into theaters as possible.  Lionsgate is actually taking more of a storytelling-centric approach, having each new piece add a layer to the situation, encouraging viewers to become invested well before the movie even comes out.

Hit the jump to check out the latest The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 TV spot featuring Willow Shields’ Primrose Everdeen, a little encouragement from Elizabeth Banks as Effie and a super sad Josh HutchersonMockingjay – Part 1 is due in theaters 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.

ESCOBAR: PARADISE LOST Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 75 days ago

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Did you know Pablo Escobar was a bad guy?  It’s true!  He was a powerful, charismatic drug lord who won the love of the people with charitable acts, but he was also a ruthless murderer because that comes with the job description.  Andrea Di Stefano’s Escobar: Paradise Lost is painfully predictable as it latches onto Escobar’s reputation to tell a bland, generic thriller that wastes the talent of its lead actors.  Di Stefano does flirt with the notion of turning a blind eye to evil, but it’s buried in unbearable melodrama and pretentious religious imagery coupled with a slightly racist undertone of how a first-world guy could get caught up in third-world problems.  As for Escobar, we learn he had an odd sense of fashion.

ESCOBAR: PARADISE LOST International Trailer with Benicio del Toro and Josh Hutcherson

by     Posted 79 days ago

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Imagine finding the girl of your dreams and then finding out that she’s actually the world’s most notorious Colombian drug lord’s niece.  That’s exactly what happens to Josh Hutcherson’s character in Andrea Di Stefano’s feature directorial debut, Escobar: Paradise Lost.  Hutcherson leads as Nick, a guy who travels to Columbia with his brother (Brady Corbet) and winds up falling for a girl named Maria (Claudia Traisac).  All is well until Maria reveals who her uncle is – Pablo Escobar (Benicio del Toro).

The film isn’t due to follow up its Telluride Film Festival screening at TIFF until Thursday, September 11th, but we do have a brand new Escobar: Paradise Lost international trailer to share.  Hit the jump to check it out.

New Images from BOYCHOIR, THE CONNECTION, ESCOBAR: PARADISE LOST, and THE FORGER

by     Posted 101 days ago

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Earlier today, the Toronto International Film Festival announced new additions to their Galas and Special Presentations programs. Among the films with new images and synopses are:

  • Boychoir (Directed by François Girard) starring Dustin Hoffman, Kathy Bates, Josh Lucas, Kevin McHale, Eddie Izzard, Debra Winger, and Garrett Wareing
  • The Connection (Directed by Cédric Jimenez) starring Jean Dujardin, Gilles Lellouche, Céline Sallette, and Benoît Magimel.
  • Escobar: Paradise Lost (Directed by Andrea Di Stefano) starring Benicio del Toro, Josh Hutcherson, and Claudia Traisac.
  • The Forger (Directed by Philip Martin) starring John Travolta, Christopher Plummer, Tye Sheridan, Jennifer Ehle, Marcus Thomas, Anson Mount, Abigail Spencer, and Travis Wade.

Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 4 – 14th.

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