Tag Archives: Jena Malone

Review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The_Hunger_Games_Catching_Fire_PosterBetween the prime source material, built-in fan base, epic star power and increased budget, Francis Lawrence’s adaptation of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” had all the potential in the world, but that also shrouded it in an exorbitant amount of pressure and expectation, so it’s a good thing Lawrence rose to the occasion.

The second installment picks up shortly after the events of the first. Katniss and Peeta (Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson) are home sweet home in District 12, but still suffer from the repercussions of surviving the Hunger Games, one of which is participating in the Victory Tour. Even though the Capitol’s beloved star-crossed lovers travel from district to district professing their devotion to Panem, there’s no stopping what they started. With a rebellion on the horizon, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) opts to hit the districts where it hurts, targeting their resources, safety, and their Hunger Games victors.

Scoff at the “Hunger Games” craze all you want; this is a franchise that earns every ounce of attention, press and profits. Not only did Gary Ross’ film do the pre-release hype justice by kicking off the series with a riveting, well-composed and highly effective adaptation, but now Francis Lawrence and writers Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt build upon Ross’ success by taking the budget boost and funneling it into quality talent, stunning visuals and creating an all-consuming experience.

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YA Movie Countdown: Why the Weakest ‘Hunger Games’ Book Could Create Two Great Films

MockingjayFrancis Lawrence did it. He stepped in for Gary Ross and didn’t just churn out another quality Hunger Gamesadaptation — he raised the bar even higher. But now that begs the question: can he do it again?

The odds were in Lawrence’s favor in every respect withCatching Fire. He had a built-in audience, a much bigger budget, all the star power in the world and, most importantly, impeccable source material. After reading the trilogy countless times over, Catching Fire is still the most fluid of the bunch and is absolutely brimming with cinematic quality. Even though Hunger Games is a close second toCatching Fire, from a book-to-film adaptation standpoint, the fact that Catching Fire was able to nix the world-building and hit the ground running gave it the edge, and writers Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt certainly used that to their advantage.

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‘Catching Fire’: Your Guide to the Victors

catching_fire_character_guide_mainThe 75th Hunger Games is upon us and in honor of the third Quarter Quell, things are going down a little differently. Rather than reaping two contenders between the ages of 12 and 18 from each of the country’s 12 districts, tributes come from the pool of victors. You already know Katniss and Peeta, so meet the experienced killers who will try to steal their title when The Hunger Games: Catching Fire arrives on November 22.

District 1: Cashmere & Gloss

If you’ve seen The Hunger Games, you know what coming from District 1 means – career tributes. Katniss dubs Cashmere and Gloss “classically beautiful” siblings. When she was younger, she watched the pair dominate their games for two consecutive years, which would put the duo in their 20s. The entertainment value of their win streak made Cashmere and Gloss Capitol favorites and now that they’re back, they’re the ones to beat and they know it.

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‘The Hunger Games’ Countdown: Minor ‘Catching Fire’ Characters Not to Forget

Johanna Mason? Check! Wiress? Check! Plutarch Heavensbee? Check! Clearly we’re well on our way to casting The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but there are still a number of key roles that remain vacant, namely one of the most coveted new additions, Finnick Odair. Many have been eager to point a finger at Sam Claflin for the role, but until the studio confirms that the Snow White and the Huntsman star is indeed the top choice for Finnick, let alone thechoice, I’d advise assuming others could still be in the running.

Even while we continue to obsess over who could snag the coveted role until the filmmakers finally unveil their decision, we mustn’t forget there are a number of other Catching Firecharacters in need of casting. Thanks to this handy “Meet the Cast” chart on the film’s Facebook page, we know we have a Gloss, Cashmere, Brutus, Enobaria, Mags, Blight, Woof, Cecelia, Chaff, Seeder and an unnamed mystery character on the way, but what about some of those smaller roles that function more as unforgettable nuances in Suzanne Collins’ book and might not have deserved a spot on this chart?

Keeping with tradition and following in the footsteps of the Hunger Games version of Characters Not to Forget, the Hunger Games fandom now brings you a list of Catching Fire characters that we hope don’t fly under the radar, or not get the time in the spotlight they deserve.

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Review: Sucker Punch

High expectations can be a killer. Unfortunately for director Zack Snyder, he works extra hard to insert an insanely high outlook into every single thing that he does and lately, it seems to backfire big time. His brain is geared towards directing and visuals and that doesn’t serve him well as a writer. Whereas the basic concept of Sucker Punch combined with Snyder’s keen eye for the visually incredible had immense prospects, it diluted the script. Spectacular imagery without a sensible and engaging story isn’t a film, it’s a mere spectacle.

After the death of her mother, a series of ill-fated events wrongfully lands Baby Doll (Emily Browning) in the Lennox House for the Mentally Insane. Rather than do what they can to rehabilitate her, the staff accepts a bribe from Baby Doll’s sinister and greedy stepfather to lobotomize her. Just as the doctor’s about to hammer his ice pick through her skull, we’re whisked away to an alternate world, Blue’s (Oscar Isaac) club. That’s where she unites with Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), Rocket (Jena Malone), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens) and Amber (Jamie Chung).

While this may be a step up from the hospital, Blue’s club is still very much a prison. If the girls don’t dance, they serve no purpose and Blue has no trouble eliminating his excess baggage. While at first, Baby Doll can’t seem to get in the groove, once she let’s loose and finally dances, she discovers she has the power to not only mesmerize spectators with her techniques, but transport herself to yet another world. It’s in this new realm that she meets the Wise Man (Scott Glenn) and learns that with the help of the other girls and four objects, they can all escape.

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