Tag Archives: Willow Shields

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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Interview: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’s Willow Shields

Willow_Shields_Jennifer_Lawrence_Catching_FireMost actors have to work their way up. Willow Shields, on the other hand, kicked off her career off at the top. She snagged the coveted role of Primrose Everdeen, Katniss’ little sister, back in April of 2011 and it’s been non-stop prepping, filming and promoting ever since. All the hard work paid off when The Hunger Games scored a $152.5 million opening week in March 2012 and now even more so as the sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, just kicked off its run with a record-breaking $161.1 million.

In the second installment of the critically acclaimed franchise, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) vies to make Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) pay for defying the Capitol with her stunt with the Nightlock berries in the 74th Hunger Games. While Snow tries to destroy everything Katniss holds dear, Prim is there to pick up the pieces when she can, putting her healing capabilities to use and ensuring the fire within her sister continues to burn, giving the people of Panem a source of hope.

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‘The Hunger Games’ Countdown: The Tributes Invade San Diego Comic-Con

Before diving into San Diego Comic-Con 2012, unless you were in a basement without reception or happened to be flying across the globe on a plane with no Wi-Fi, you’ve heard about the big Hunger Games: Catching Fire casting updates that dropped yesterday. We’ve got Christopher Plummer’s daughter, Amanda Plummer, on board to play Wiress and supposedly Sam Claflin and Tony Shalhoub are at the top of the list for the roles of Finnick and Beetee, respectively. You can read more about that as well as how close Melissa Leocame to snagging the role of Mags and the filmmakers’ plan to lock down directors for theMockingjay movies as soon as possible right here. Now for SDCC.

Isn’t it crazy to think about where we were this time last year? Everyone was scrambling to get ahold of a Mockingjay pin or teaser poster at the Lionsgate booth on the convention center floor. While that hasn’t really changed due to a constant influx of fans trying to get their hands on Hunger Games goodies near the booth, the film did get a Comic-Con upgrade. Alexander Ludwig (Cato), Dayo Okeniyi (Thresh), Amandla Stenberg (Rue), Jack Quaid (Marvel) and Willow Shields (Prim) all came to San Diego to meet the fans and sign some autographs.

To be honest, while watching fans line up for the signings, I was itching to jump into the masses and get one myself, but I had to be patient as I had a very special opportunity coming my way: The chance to sit down with all five cast members to discuss the film. Just the other day I posted a piece featuring Ludwig, Okeniyi, Stenberg, Quaid and Shields talking about their incredibly dedicated fans, experiences shooting The Hunger Games, top choices for the casting of Finnick and more. Today I bring you a little bonus, snippets from the interviews of the gang discussing their San Diego Comic-Con experiences and who they’d dress up as should they opt to hit the convention center in full costume. Who opted for the Hulk and Wonder Woman? The answer might surprise you …

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Watch: ‘The Hunger Games’ Stars Talk Fans, Filming and the Future of the Franchise

It looks like we’re going to have to hold out until next year for a chance at watching The Hunger Games franchise host a panel in comic-con’s Hall H, but in honor of the film’s August 18th DVD and Blu-ray release, Jack Quaid (Marvel), Amandla Stenberg (Rue), Willow Shields (Prim), Alexander Ludwig (Cato) and Dayo Okeniyi (Thresh) came to San Diego Comic-Con to meet some fans, sign some autographs and take time to sit down with us to talk all things Hunger Games.

We throw it back to the good old shooting days when Hunger Games was still in production, fast forward to the present to get a sense of how starring in one of the biggest films of the year changed their personal lives and careers, and then jump ahead to do some Finnick Odair dream casting. Hear all about that and much more straight from the stars themselves in the video interview below, and be sure to keep an eye out for more from Quaid, Stenberg, Shields, Ludwig and Okeniyi in the San Diego Comic Con edition of The Hunger Games Countdown this Wednesday!

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Comic-Con 2012: Our Most Anticipated Events

The first rule of San Diego Comic-Con is that there’s absolutely no way to get to everything. The second rule of San Diego Comic-Con (or SDCC) is … try to get to everything. And we here at Movies.com will attempt to do just that, or at the very least bring back a taste of the big events everyone will be talking about come this time next week.

What are some of those events, and what should you expect from our coverage? Click through to find out what we’re looking forward to most as the country’s biggest geek-friendly convention prepares to infiltrate our nerdy hearts later this week.

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Review: The Hunger Games

The pressure is on. The time has come and now the world really is watching. Does The Hunger Games live up to the hype that’s preceded its release? Most certainly.

The nation of Panem consists of 12 districts and the Capitol. As punishment for a rebellion, each district must pay penance to the nation by sending one boy and one girl, between the ages of 12 and 18, to the Capitol to compete in the annual Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death.

When Katniss Everdeen’s (Jennifer Lawrence) younger sister Prim’s (Willow Shield) name is randomly selected during the District 12 reaping, Katniss does something no District 12 citizen has ever done before; she volunteers to take Prim’s place in the Hunger Games. And so it is done; Katniss is forced to say her goodbyes and board a train to the Capitol alongside her fellow tribute, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), to fight for her life.

The concept in itself is enough to get just about anyone hooked. No, the idea of children killing each other in order to preserve their own life isn’t appealing, but it is intriguing. However, what’s even more captivating than that is the world that’s built around it – the people in it, the districts that keep it running and the values that make the nation of Panem what it is when we enter The Hunger Games.

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