Tagged: Jermaine Tindell

The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 Poster

Summary: Katniss Everdeen reluctantly becomes the symbol of a mass rebellion against the autocratic Capitol.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 19th November, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Francis Lawrence

Screenwriter: Peter Craig, Danny Strong, Suzanne Collins (novel)

Cast: Mahershala Ali (Boggs), Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket), Wes Chatham (Castor), Sam Claflin (Finnick Odair), Stef Dawson (Annie Cresta), Natlie Dormer (Cressida), Michelle Forbes (Lieutenant Jackson), Michael Garza (Eddy), Woody Harrelson (Haymitch Abernathy), Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne), Elden Henson (Pollux), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Plutarch Heavensbee), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark), Robert Knepper (Antonius), Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen), Jena Malone (Johanna Mason), Patina Miller (Commandor Paylor), Julianne Moore (President Alma Coin), Evan Ross (Messalla), Willow Shields (Primrose Everdeen), Donald Sutherland (President Snow), Jermaine Tindell (Luther), Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickerman), Jeffrey Wright (Beetee)

Runtime: 123 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

There is no way any filmmaker would envy director Francis Lawrence for the task ahead of him we he started his directorial duties on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. Just like David Yates (Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1) and Bill Condon (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1) Lawrence has found himself with the extremely difficult task of making the first part of a two part novel adaption franchise both watchable and enjoyable.

It doesn’t sound like much a struggle but when you consider that a huge chunk of a first half of a novel is normally about character development and ‘setting up of the world’ if often means that the filmmakers are trying to turn something ultimately dull and technical into something watchable at the cinema. Both Yates and Condon struggled with their tasks the result being fans calling the Part 1 of the finales the weakest films of the franchise, even Peter Jackson didn’t seem up to the task with the first Hobbit film with some saying it was so dull it looked like a documentary about walking treks across New Zealand.

To his credit Lawrence has done an okay job with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, true it doesn’t have a lot of the action of the first two films but being the filmmaker that he has shown us he is with character studies like I Am Legend he decides to turn the tables on the franchise and go for a completely different tone this time around.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 picks up with Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) recovering in District 13. Her second tour of the The Hunger Games arena has left her shell-shocked and an emotional wreck. At first her mental state makes her resist the offer from former double agent Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and District 13 leader President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) to be the face of the rebellion against the capital, the person who will unite all the Districts together.

However, shortly after seeing what the Capital soliders have done to home District Katniss soon teams up with Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and Finnick (Sam Claflin) to make ‘propaganda films’ to unite the people, which in turn becomes a battlefield role. Tension heightens more when it they begin to see the Capital interviews between Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and now featuring Peeta telling people to end the rebellion, something that Katniss fears is a sick game orchestrated by President Snow (Donald Sutherland).

Lawrence’s different tone with this film is not a tone that all will enjoy. The last two Hunger Games films were loaded with action throughout, this film does not share that luxury. Instead the film becomes a real character piece but also deals with the impact that war has on the people involved. Katniss’ behaviour suggests that she is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress (although the term is never used), while the film’s look at propaganda on both sides of the war is possible not something that you would expect to find in a film that is based on teenage fiction.

The film does suffer from a lack of action though and as an audience you almost want to cheer during the occasional times when Katniss and Gale find themselves having to take some shots at enemy planes. The character studies are interesting enough in their own right but that isn’t what people have come to know and love from this franchise and at times you do feel sorry for Lawrence as a director because it does grind the film down to a virtual halt.

What Lawrence however can’t be forgiven for though is not bringing action to the screen when it could have been there. When Gale and crew go on their mission to rescue Peeta it was a moment when Lawrence really could have brought some action and suspense to the film, but unlike other moments during this franchise it just seemed to fall by the wayside and never reach the full tension that it could have.

The power of this franchise though is summed up though by the star power and talent of the actors that are drawn to take up roles in it. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Stanley Tucci and Woody Harrelson do the best with their limited screen time while the inclusion of Julianne Moore is interesting seeing her character doesn’t seem to do much except for look sullen and order people around. The young cast do a really good job though. Once again Jennifer Lawrence comes to the fore as the damaged Katniss while Liam Hemsworth plays mopey extremely well. The weaker script this time around though means though it is only really Jennifer Lawrence who gets a chance to shine this time around.

Despite Francis Lawrence’s attempt to change the tone of this film compared to others in the franchise it is easy to see that the film is weaker than its predecessors and the annoying part is you get the feeling that this film is about to explode into a climatic finale, which raises the question should the production company behind the film have just given up the extra cash and made this a near on three hour finale and give both the screenwriters and director at hand a fair chance. Still it is better than most of the other teen-fic films going around but it really does feel like a film that is only going to be enjoyed by those who are hardened fans of the franchise to date.

Stars(3)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(3)

 

IMDB Rating: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 reviews: You can also read Dave’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer:

Maleficent

Summary: The “Sleeping Beauty” tale is told from the perspective of the villainous Maleficent and looks at the events that hardened her heart and drove her to curse young Princess Aurora.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 29th May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: UK, USA

Director: Robert Stromberg

Screenwriter: Linda Woolverton, Charles Perrault (story), Jacob Grimm (story), Wilhelm Grimm (story), Erdmann Penner (story), Joe Rinaldi (story), Winston Hibler (story), Bill Peet (story), Ted Sears (story), Ralph Wright (story), Milt Banta (story)

Cast: Jackson Bews (Teenage Stefan), Charlotte Chatton (Aurora), Sharlto Copley (Stefan), Kenneth Cranham (King Henry), Elle Fanning (Aurora), Michael Higgins (Young Stefan), Angelina Jolie (Maleficent), Vivienne Jolie-Pitt (Aurora 5 Years Old), Lesley Manville (Flittle), Janet McTeer (Narrator (voice)), Isabelle Molloy (Young Maleficent), Hannah New (Princess Leila), Ella Purnell (Teenage Maleficent), Sam Riley (Diaval), Imelda Staunton (Knotgrass), Juno Temple (Thistletwit), Brenton Thwaites (Prince Phillip), Jermaine Tindell (Tactus), Eleanor Worthington-Cox (Aurora 8 Years Old)

Runtime: 97 mins

Classification: M

 

 

OUR MALEFICENT REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Nick Gardener: You can check out Nick’s Maleficent review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #81

Stars(3.5)

 

David Griffiths:

The Hollywood obsession of rebooting famous fairytales continues with Disney’s Maleficent. The trend over the last few years has resulted in some good films such as Snow White & The Huntsman but also some very ordinary films, anybody else remember Red Riding Hood? Therefore as a film fan you find yourself approaching Maleficent with a little bit of hesitance. The good news is there is no reason to because Disney have released a film that deserves two thumbs up.

Technically Maleficent isn’t a reboot it’s simply telling the ‘other side’s’ story of the famous Sleeping Beauty fairytale. The film looks at Maleficent (Angelina Jolie – Kung-Fu Panda 2, The Tourist) aka the wicked witch who cursed the young Sleeping Beauty, Aurora (Elle Fanning – Low Down, Young Ones).

In Maleficent we see what led to those actions as she is left to protect her land from the advances of the greedy King Henry (Kenneth Cranham – The Legend Of Hercules, Closed Circuit) and the pain she if left with after her lover, Stefan (Sharlto Copley – Oldboy, Open Grave) cruelly turns his back on her. We also see her team up with Diaval (Sam Riley – The Dark Valley, On The Road) to try and get revenge on all at hand but her love for Aurora prevents her from being as ghastly as she would like to.

Director Robert Stromberg, who is a first time director but has worked in visual design on some of the world’s best known films and television shows over the years, is almost asked to do the impossible here – that is to make a character who has always been the villain to the audience become someone that film fan’s will warm to. To his credit, and thanks to some help from talented screenwriter Linda Woolverton (Alice In Wonderland, The Lion King), Stromberg manages to pull of this feat wonderfully well, all while creating a film that also looks amazing as well.

Stromberg pulls off his challenge so well that as an audience member you find yourself changing sides very, very easily. Suddenly Maleficent is the good guy and King Stefan is the character that you want to see suffer. Of course knowing that this has to be watched by children means that Stromberg does also bring in some comedic relief to break up the darkness and that mainly occurs with Aurora’s minders – the bumbling fairies (or is that pixies?) Flittle (Lesley Manville – Mr. Turner, The Christmas Candle), Knotgrass (Imelda Staunton – Pride, The Pirates! Band Of Misfits) and Thistletwit (Juno Temple – Horns, Lovelace). The fact that the film manages to make these characters entertaining and not annoying is a feat upon itself.

Maleficent is a film that also looks amazing. Stromberg has created mythical characters that wouldn’t have looked out of place in something like Pan’s Labyrinth and the special effects team has come on board to make the creatures come to life and look spectacular on the big screen. The battle scenes also show that Stromberg is a very visual director and doesn’t always hold back just because he knows that little eyes are watching.

Despite its brilliance though there are a couple of annoying things that occur during Maleficent. The annoying thing is they are so small and can only be put down to lazy filmmaking and screenwriting. Firstly it is never explained why Maleficent can do great feats of magic, including make a tree grow back a branch but can’t do a spell to give herself wings again, and then there is a fact that at one moment the Narrator (Janet McTeer – Hannah Ardent, The Woman In Black) is calling Flittle, Knotgrass and Thistletwit fairies and the next moment pixies. Surely somebody must have noticed that happening during the filmmaking process somewhere along the line.

You do have to feel a little sorry for Elle Fanning in Maleficent. She seems to float along playing Aurora, and while she is one of the heroes of the film is not really given much to work with, except for the direction of ‘look cute.’ No this is very much an Angelina Jolie film and boy does she step up to the plate. Jolie delivers a full range of acting emotions and more importantly makes Maleficent a likable character while she is still really the ‘villain’ at heart. While it is difficult to compare her work here to what she has done in films such as Girl, Interrupted this is certainly one of the better films in her career. A shout out must also be paid to Sam Riley who also seems to steal a lot of the screen time that he is given.

Dark yet beautiful Maleficent is certainly one of the surprise hits of 2014. While many may have dismissed this as a family film it ends up being a brilliantly made film that once again captures that magic that Disney has been known for in the past.

Stars(4)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(4)

 

IMDB Rating:  Maleficent (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Maleficent′: For our full Maleficent review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #81

Trailer: