Tagged: Jeffrey Wright

It’s not just a call… It’s a warning.

From Warner Bros. Pictures comes Matt Reeves’ “The Batman,” starring Robert Pattinson in the dual role of Gotham City’s vigilante detective and his alter ego, reclusive billionaire Bruce Wayne.

Starring alongside Pattinson (“Tenet,” “The Lighthouse”) as Gotham’s famous and infamous cast of characters are Zoë Kravitz (“Big Little Lies,” “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”) as Selina Kyle; Paul Dano (“Love & Mercy,” “12 Years a Slave”) as Edward Nashton; Jeffrey Wright (“No Time to Die,” “Westworld”) as the GCPD’s James Gordon; John Turturro (the “Transformers” films, “The Plot Against America”) as Carmine Falcone; Peter Sarsgaard (“The Magnificent Seven,” “Interrogation”) as Gotham D.A. Gil Colson; Jayme Lawson (“Farewell Amor”) as mayoral candidate Bella Reál; with Andy Serkis (the “Planet of the Apes” films, “Black Panther”) as Alfred; and Colin Farrell (“The Gentlemen,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”) as Oswald Cobblepot.

Reeves (“The Planet of the Apes” franchise) directed from a screenplay by Reeves & Peter Craig, based on characters from DC.  Batman was created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger.  Dylan Clark (the “Planet of the Apes” films) and Reeves produced the film, with Michael E. Uslan, Walter Hamada, Chantal Nong Vo and Simon Emanuel serving as executive producers. 

The director’s behind-the-scenes creative team included Oscar-nominated director of photography Greig Fraser (“Dune,” “Lion”); Reeves’ “Planet of the Apes” production designer, James Chinlund, and editor, William Hoy; editor Tyler Nelson (“Rememory”); and Oscar-winning costume designer Jacqueline Durran (“1917,” “Little Women,” “Anna Karenina”).  The music is by Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino (the current “Spider-Man,” “Jurassic World” and “Star Wars” films, “Up”).

Warner Bros. Pictures Presents a 6th & Idaho/Dylan Clark Productions Production, a Matt Reeves Film, “The Batman.”  The film is set to open in theaters beginning 3 March 2022 and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Summary: 
A love letter to journalists set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional twentieth century French city that brings to life a collection of stories published in “The French Dispatch Magazine”.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  9th December 2021 (Australia), 22nd October 2021 (UK), 22nd October 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA, Germany

Director: Wes Anderson

Screenwriter: Wes Anderson

Cast: Mathieu Amalric (The Commissaire), Nicolas Avinee (Vittel), Bob Balaban (Uncle Nick), Mohamed Belhadjine (Mitch-Mitch), Adrien Brody (Julian Cadazio), Timothee Chalamet (Zeffirelli), Mauricette Coudivat (Maman), Willem Dafoe (Albert The Abacus), Cecile de France (Mrs B), Benicio del Toro (Moses Rosenthaler), Guillaume Gallienne (Mr. B), Winston Ait Hellal (Gigi), Tom Hudson (Mitch-Mitch (on stage)), Anjelica Huston (Narrator (voice)), Lyna Khoudri (Juliette), Alex Lawther (Morisot), Frances McDormand (Lucinda Krementz), Elisabeth Moss (Alumna), Bill Murray (Arthur Howitzer Jr.), Edward Norton (The Chauffeur), Steve Park (Nescaffier), Rodolphe Pauly (Patrolman Maupassant), Tony Revolori (Young Rosenthaler), Saoirse Ronan (Junkie/Showgirl #1), Jason Schwartzman (Hermes Jones), Lea Seydoux (Simone), Lois Smith (Upshur ‘Maw’ Clampette), Tilda Swinton (J.K.L. Berensen), Christoph Waltz (Paul Duval), Owen Wilson (Herbsaint Sazerac), Henry Winkler (Uncle Joe), Jeffrey Wright (Roebuck Wright)

Running Time: 107 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 15 (UK), R (USA)

OUR THE FRENCH DISPATCH REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ The French Dispatch Review:

There is always a funny reaction in film circles when you mention the name Wes Anderson. Either the person you are talking to will start to tell you that Anderson is a genius or they will nod and then say “yeah no thanks.”

Yes like a lot of classic things Anderson is an acquired taste and one that people either love and or hate. Myself? Well, I’m in the former category. I fell in love with the work of Mr. Anderson when I discovered The Darjeeling Limited. I loved its quirkiness, I loved how different it was and from then on I was hooked.

If though you are in the other camp then there is no way that you will ever be able to get into The French Dispatch, for me though this is one of the films of the year. Only Anderson could bring together stories like this and have the end result be something as special as this.

The film is pulled together by a fictional magazine known as The French Dispatch who is edited by the forthright but slightly crazy Arthur Howitzer Jnr (Bill Murray – Lost In Translation). He has pulled together a group of eccentric writers including the intrepid Lucinda Krementz (Frances McDormand – Fargo), J.K.L Berensen (Tilda Swinton – Snowpiercer), the cycling crazy Herbsaint Sazerac (Owen Wilson – Wedding Crashers), and food critic Roebuck Wright (Jeffrey Wright – Shaft).

The film itself is made up of the stories they are telling in their articles from a mysterious painter (Benicio Del Toro – Sicario) who is in love with his prison guard (Lea Seydoux – No Time To Die) through the story of opposing revolutionary leaders who are in love with each other.

That is where there are strengths and weaknesses with this film. The film comes together like a bunch of short films with a common theme, and like all short films, there are the good and bad.  The stories such as the one involving the artist and Owen Wilson’s fast-moving trip through a small town are brilliant but some of the others drag. The good news for audiences though is the good ones clearly outweigh the bad ones.

The stroke of Anderson’s genius is on show throughout the film. His quirky humor is always on show throughout the film and I’ll be quick to admit that I found myself laughing throughout the film. The brilliant thing is that humor comes in all forms – from witty one-liners through to visual humor. The best part though is that every joke lands and gets a laugh.

The other highlight for me was the fact that Anderson brings so many different kinds of filmmaking to the game with this film. From animation, through to fast-paced European comedy and then to classic black and white cinema, there isn’t anything Anderson isn’t willing to try and somehow he ends up being a master to them all.

Likewise always with an Anderson film the cast is a case of a who’s who of Hollywood. Actors like Willem Dafoe (The Card Counter) and Edward Norton (Motherless Brooklyn) turn up in a blink and you will miss them roles but it is the stars of this film that steal the show. Owen Wilson steals the show in his all too brief storyline while Benicio Del Toro shines playing an artistic killer trying to paint while locked away in prison.

As in normally the case with Anderson films it is Bill Murray that brings everything together. When it comes to Anderson’s work Murray is the ringmaster and the film his circus. He leads the way and it is obvious no other actor quite enjoys the quirkiness of Anderson’s work the way that Murray does. Having said that though this is an ensemble film where every actor is at the top of their game and the result is yet another classic Anderson film.

If you are not already a fan of Anderson’s work then this isn’t the film that is going to win you over. This film feels like it has been made for the Anderson tragic, it has his tropes all over it and once again the result is something magical. The film is slightly let down by the weaker ‘parts’ but for the most part this is an enjoyable ride.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

Other Subculture The French Dispatch Reviews:

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Trailer:

Summary: 
The story follows John Parker, a 19 year old from Manchester who embarks on a journey to Brighton, the sJames Bond has left active service. His peace is short-lived when Felix Leiter, an old friend from the CIA, turns up asking for help, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  11th November 2021 (Australia), 7th October 2021 (Thailand), 30th September 2021 (UK), 8th October 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: UK, USA

Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga

Screenwriter: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fukunaga

Cast: Dali Benssalah (Primo Cyclops)), Priyanga Burford (Dr. Symes), Daniel Craig (James Bond), Ana de Armas (Paloma), Coline Defaud (Young Madeline), David Dencik (Valdo Obruchev), Hugh Dennis (Dr. Hardy), Ralph Fiennes (M), Naomie Harris (Moneypenny), Rory Kinnear (Tanner), Lashana Lynch (Nomi), Billy Magnusson (Logan Ash), Rami Malek (Lyutsifer Safin), Brigitte Millar (Vogel), Amy Morgan (Alison Smith), Hayden Phillips (Sir Sebastian D’ath), Lea Seydoux (Madeleine), Lisa-Dora Sonnet (Mathilde), Christoph Waltz (Blofeld), Ben Whishaw (Q), Lizzie Winkler (Alison Smith), Jeffrey Wright (Felix Leiter)

Running Time: 163 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 13 (Thailand), 12A (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR NO TIME TO DIE REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ No Time To Die Review:

Bond! James Bond is back! If you a hardcore James Bond fan, and a lot of us are, then the pandemic couldn’t have come at a worse time. Just when everybody was getting excited to see Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007 the world went into chaos, cinemas closed their doors and we watched in dismay as the release of No Time To Die kept on getting pushed back further and further. I would be lying if I admitted there was a time when I was wondering if I would ever get to see this film. Well now the film is in cinemas, and I am happy to say that this is one time where that old wives’ tale of ‘good things come to those that wait’ is actually true.

Craig’s final hoorah begins with Bond retired from active service and happy in a relationship with Madeline (Lea Seydoux – Midnight In Paris). We quickly learn though that she has a dark secret that ties to her to the maniacal and precise Lyutiser Safin (Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody) who is about to unleash a vicious plague across the world.

When good friend Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright – Shaft) reaches out to Bond for help Bond finds out that things are very different at the agency. To M (Ralph Fiennes – Schindler’s List), Moneypenny (Naomie Harris – Moonlight) and Q (Ben Whishaw – Cloud Atlas) he is now an outsider whom they question whether they should help, and in fact he has been replaced with a new 007 (Lashana Lynch – Captain Marvel).

But as Bond works hard to try and bring the old team back together again he finds that just like Madeline he must faces ghosts from the past when he finds that perhaps his old foe Blofeld (Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained) may in fact hold the key to how to stop Safin’s heinous plan.

You could forgive the filmmakers behind No Time To Die wanting to do the Fast & Furious game-plan for Daniel Craig’s final Bond film of bigger is better. But luckily for audiences director Cary Joji Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) and his co screenwriters, Neal Purvis (Skyfall) and Robert Wade (Spectre), opted for a different approach.

I’ll admit that I am a fan of their approach. I have always thought that Bond films work better when they are more natural and believable. Perhaps that is why I have been more of a fan of the Craig Bond films then I have of some of the past films. Here Fukunaga again goes for the more natural approach – the villain here is believable and instead of going for bigger-is-better action sequences he goes for some brilliantly shot car chases and fight pieces that in a way are more believable for the audience. The result is something much more suspenseful and memorable than the myriad of city-destroying action films that litter cinemas these days. At times No Time To Die feels like I am watching a big budget episode of Spooks – and I have to say I like that.

Fukunaga and his writers also don’t forget the fact that while they need action set pieces they also need characterisation. I would argue that you see more of Bond’s character and emotions in No Time To Die than we ever had in any other Bond film and the closeness that makes the audience feel to the character seems like a fitting way to farewell Bond out the door. Likewise Madeline and Safin are given an amazing amount of characterisation throughout the script – while we also see different sides to Q and Moneypenny as well. Sadly the same can’t be said for the character of Nomi (the new 007) – there is very little characterisation shown with her and the result is she feels cold and aloof to the audience, although I suspect that may have been a smart little plan by the screenwriters to show her in the same light as how Bond views her.

Aside from the beautifully shot action pieces here, and I have to say that car and motorcycle chases through the cobblestone streets of a small European town is one of the best action sequences in any Bond film, it is the characterisation that makes No Time To Die such a special film. It gives the audience a closeness to the characters that is often rare in action franchises and this is one time when Bond’s sexual/personal relationship is very believable. These scenes are beautifully played out by Craig and Seydoux and that becomes a useful tool for the director when he wants to tug at the heart-strings or raise the suspense.

It feels weird saying that an action film is a beautiful film but No Time To Die certainly is. There is a beauty to the way that Fukunaga has shot this film – a 4WD chase through the mists of Scandinavia certainly attests to that. The believability and sheer brilliance of this film makes No Time To Die not only the best Daniel Craig Bond film but one of the best of the franchise that we have ever seen. This is going to become a well-loved Bond classic.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Kyle McGrath’s No Time To Die Review:

Kyle’s rating Out Of 5:

Average Subculture Rating:

Other Subculture No Time To Die Reviews:

Nil

Trailer:

It’s not just a call… It’s a warning.

From Warner Bros. Pictures comes Matt Reeves’ “The Batman,” starring Robert Pattinson in the dual role of Gotham City’s vigilante detective and his alter ego, reclusive billionaire Bruce Wayne.

Starring alongside Pattinson (“Tenet,” “The Lighthouse”) as Gotham’s famous and infamous cast of characters are Zoë Kravitz (“Big Little Lies,” “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”) as Selina Kyle; Paul Dano (“Love & Mercy,” “12 Years a Slave”) as Edward Nashton; Jeffrey Wright (“No Time to Die,” “Westworld”) as the GCPD’s James Gordon; John Turturro (the “Transformers” films, “The Plot Against America”) as Carmine Falcone; Peter Sarsgaard (“The Magnificent Seven,” “Interrogation”) as Gotham D.A. Gil Colson; Jayme Lawson (“Farewell Amor”) as mayoral candidate Bella Reál; with Andy Serkis (the “Planet of the Apes” films, “Black Panther”) as Alfred; and Colin Farrell (“The Gentlemen,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”) as Oswald Cobblepot.

Reeves (“The Planet of the Apes” franchise) directed from a screenplay by Reeves & Peter Craig, based on characters from DC.  Batman was created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger.  Dylan Clark (the “Planet of the Apes” films) and Reeves produced the film, with Michael E. Uslan, Walter Hamada, Chantal Nong Vo and Simon Emanuel serving as executive producers. 

The director’s behind-the-scenes creative team included Oscar-nominated director of photography Greig Fraser (“Dune,” “Lion”); Reeves’ “Planet of the Apes” production designer, James Chinlund, and editor, William Hoy; editor Tyler Nelson (“Rememory”); and Oscar-winning costume designer Jacqueline Durran (“1917,” “Little Women,” “Anna Karenina”).  The music is by Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino (the current “Spider-Man,” “Jurassic World” and “Star Wars” films, “Up”).

Warner Bros. Pictures Presents a 6th & Idaho/Dylan Clark Productions Production, a Matt Reeves Film, “The Batman.”  The film is set to open in theaters beginning 3 March 2022 and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.

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:

The Hunger games Catching Fire Poster

Summary: Katniss and Peeta are dethroned from their respective victory riches and are put back into the arena for the most climatic and menacing of the Hunger Games, known as the Quarter Quell.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 21st November, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Francis Lawrence

Screenwriter: Simon Beaufoy, Michael Arndt, Suzanne Colllins (novel)

Cast: Nelson Ascencio (Flavius), Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket), Bruce Bundy (Octavia), John Casino (Woof), Sam Clafin (Finnick Odair), Lynn Cohen (Mags), Rita Conte (Hob), Stef Dawson (Annie Cresta), Rode Ferland (Marcus), Wilbur Fitzgerald (Cray), Meta Golding (Enobaria), Bruno Gunn (Brutus), Woody Harrelson (Haymitch Abernathy), Megan Hayes (Female Morphling),, Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Plutarch Heavensbee), Maria Howell (Seeder), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark), Toby Jones (Claudius Templesmith), Bobby Jordan (Blight), Lenny Kravitz (Cinna), Sandra Ellis Lafferty (Greasy Sae), Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen), Jena Malone (Johanna Mason), E. Roger Mitchell (Chaff), Amanda Plummer (Wiress), Jack Quaid (Marvel), Alan Ritchson (Gloss), Elena Sanchez (Cecelia), Stephanie Leigh Schlund (Cashmere), Willow Shields (Primrose Everdeen), Taylor St. Clair (Ripper), Patrick St. Esprit (Commander Thread), Donald Sutherland (President Snow), Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickerman), Jeffrey Wright (Beetee)

Runtime: 146 mins

Classification:M

OUR THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Adam Ross: You can read Adam’s full The Hunger Games: Catching Fire review on The Crat.

Stars(4)

 

Nick Gardener: You can read Nick’s full The Hunger Games: Catching Fire review on Southern FM

Stars(4)

 

David Griffiths:

The original “The Hunger Games” film left audiences in the middle. On one hand it was a better teenage genre flick than the later “Twilight Saga” films, but on the other hand the fact it was aimed at a younger audience meant that director Gary Ross held back on some of the darker elements that were portrayed in the novel.

Now comes “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” the difficult second film in the trilogy. Some three-part franchises choke when it comes to the second film, the film does nothing to bridge the first to the third film and becomes a dull affair for the audience. That certainly can’t be said for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” that equals the original film and overcomes a couple of flaws by director Francis Lawrence’s (“Water For Elephants,” “I Am Legend”) decision to allow the film to find its dark side.

Following the series of novels by Suzanne Collins “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is set twelve months after the original film. The young hero Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence – “The Devil You Know,” “Silver Linings Playbook”) is back living in District 12, although this time she is the nicer diggings of the Victor’s Village. Life is far from easy for her though as Katniss is forced to live a double life. Behind closed doors she is sorting out her feelings for good friend Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth – “Paranoia,” “Empire State”) while in public her fake relationship with fellow Hunger Games winner Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson – “Epic,” “Red Dawn”) must continue.

On the eve of joining the promotional train for the 75th Annual Hunger Games Katniss’ life is further turned upside down when she learns that her’s and Peter’s actions have seen them become the face of a threatened revolution. After a threat from President Snow (Donald Sutherland – “Jappeloup,” “The Best Offer”) Katniss realises that she must ‘tow the line’ but with that not working she soon finds her and Peter having to team up with Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson – “Out Of The Furnace,” “Free Birds”) to survive a new game thought up by Snow and his new right-hand man Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman – “A Late Quartet,” “The Master”).

Francis Lawrence does push the boundaries of this franchise a little more. He makes it a bit bloodier and even enhances the metaphor of Snow’s regime being similar to Nazi Germany but sadly Lawrence and his cinematographer Jo Willems (“Gotham,” “Limitless”) leave the audience a little underwhelmed with the film awash with a bland look.

Still that doesn’t put too much of a dampener on the film because the story really does come to the forefront. This film raising the stakes for most of the main characters certainly brings more suspense to the screen and despite some badly signposted areas of the film there are enough unexpected twists and turns to warrant the audience paying full attention. Unlike most teenage franchises you also get the feeling that this is one series that isn’t too afraid to kill off main characters if the story calls for that, at the end of the day that just enhances the suspense even more.

One disappointing thing about “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is that Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence just seem to breeze through their performances. Lawrence has shown in films like “Winter’s Bone” and “Silver Linings Playbook” that she is one of the finest young actresses going around but she never really gets to show those skills this time around. A real waste of an Oscar winner if I’ve ever seen one.

Liam Hemsworth also doesn’t get any decent screen time but Donald Sutherland is rewarded for his patience with the first film with the chance to really sink his teeth into a really menacing role… something that he seems to grasp with two hands. But stealing the show are Woody Harrelson and Stanley Tucci (“The Fifth Estate,” “Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters”). Harrelson continues to remind audiences what a fine actor he is with his great portrayal of the alcoholic Haymitch while Tucci shows his versatility by showboating as the energetic master-of-ceremonies Caesar.

There is no doubt that Francis Lawrence certainly lifts this franchise to a different level with his darker approach to “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” Sure there will be some out there that simply want to put the film down because it is part of a popular franchise but truthfully this is fairly decent film that certainly isn’t a waste of time to take a look at.

 Stars(3)

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

IMDB Rating:  The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire′: You can also read Dave’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer:

SAG Awards

The 2013 SAG Awards nominations are now in. Here they are:

 

FEATURE FILMS

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Leading Role

  • Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave)
  • Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
  • Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
  • Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels’ The Butler)

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Leading Role

  • Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
  • Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
  • Judi Dench (Philomena)
  • Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
  • Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Supporting Role

  • Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
  • Daniel Bruhl (Rush)
  • Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave)
  • James Gandolfini (Enough Said)
  • Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Supporting Role

  • Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
  • Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave)
  • Julia Roberts (August: Osange County)
  • June Squibb (Nebraska)
  • Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels’ The Butler)

Outstanding Performance By A Cast In A Motion Picture

  • 12 Years A Slave – Bendict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Garrett Dillahunt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti, Scoot McNairy, Lupita Nyong’o, Adepero Oduye, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Michael Kenneth Williams, Alfre Woodward
  • American Hustle – Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Louis C.K., Bradley Cooper, Paul Herman, Jack Huston, Jennifer Lawrence, Alessandro Nivola, Michael Pena, Jeremy Renner, Elisabeth Rohm, Shea Whigham
  • August: Osange County – Abigail Breslin, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Ewan McGregor, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Julia Roberts, Sam Shepard, Meryl Streep, Misty Upham
  • Dallas Buyers Club – Jennifer Garner, Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Denis O’Hare, Dallas Roberts, Steve Zahn
  • Lee Daniels’ The Butler – Mariah Carey, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jnr., Terrence Howard, Lenny Kravitz, James Marsden, David Oyelowo, Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Rickman, Liev Schreiber, Forest Whitaker, Robin Williams, Oprah Winfrey

 

TELEVISION PROGRAMS

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Television Movie or Mini-Series

  • Matt Damon (Behind The Candelabra)
  • Michael Douglas (Behind The Candelabra)
  • Jeremy Irons (The Hollow Crown)
  • Rob Lowe (Killing Kennedy)
  • Al Pacino (Phil Spector)

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Television Movie or Mini-Series

  • Angela Bassett (Betty & Coretta)
  • Helena Bonham Carter (Burton And Taylor)
  • Holly Hunter (Top Of The Lake)
  • Helen Mirren (Phil Spector)
  • Elisabeth Moss (Top Of The Lake)

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Drama Series

  • Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire)
  • Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
  • Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom)
  • Peter Dinklage (Game Of Thrones)
  • Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Drama Series

  • Claire Danes (Homeland)
  • Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad)
  • Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Coven)
  • Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)
  • Kerrry Washington (Scandal)

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Comedy Series

  • Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
  • Jason Bateman (Arrested Development)
  • Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
  • Don Cheadle (House Of Lies)
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Comedy Series

  • Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory)
  • Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
  • Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
  • Tina Fey (30 Rock)
  • Julia-Louis Dreyfus (Veep)

Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Drama Series

  • Boardwalk Empire – Patricia Arquette, Margot Bignham, Steve Buscemi, Brian Geraghty, Stephen Graham, Erik La Ray Harvey, Jack Huston, Ron Livingstone, Domenick Lombardozzi, Gretchen Mol, Ben Rosenfield, Michael Stuhlbarg, Jacob Ware, Shea Whigham, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jeffrey Wright
  • Breaking Bad – Michael Bowen, Betsy Brandt, Bryan Cranston, Lavell Crawford, Tait Fletcher, Laura Fraser, Anna Gunn, Matthew T. Metzler, RJ Mitte, Dean Norris, Bob Odenkirk, Aaron Paul, Jesse Plemons, Steven Michael Quezada, Kevin Rankin, Patrick Sane
  • Downton Abbey – Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Kevin Doyle, Jessica Brown Findlay, Siobhan Finneran, Joanne Froggatt, Rob James-Collier, Allen Leach, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Matt Milne, Lesley Nicol, Amy Nuttall, David Robb, Maggie Smith, Ed Speleers, Dan Stevens, Cara Theobold, Penelope Wilton
  • Game Of Thrones – Alfie Allen, John Bradley, Oona Chaplin, Gwendoline Christie, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Mackenzie Crook, Charles Dance, Joe Dempsie, Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, Nathalie Emmanuel, Michelle Fairley, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glenn, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Kristofer Hivju, Paul Kaye, Sibel Kekilli, Rose Leslie, Richard Madden, Rory McCann, Michael McElhatton, Ian McElhinney, Philip McGinley, Hannah Murray, Iwan Rehon, Sophie Turner, Carice Van Houten, Maisie Williams
  • Homeland – F. Murray Abraham, Sarita Choudhury, Claire Danes, Rupert Friend, Tracy Letts, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin, Morgan Saylor

Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Comedy Series

  • 30Rock – Scott Adsit, Alec Baldwin, Katrina Bowden, Kevin Brown, Grizz Chapman, Tina Fey, Judah Friedlander, Jane Krakowski, John Lutz, James Marsden, Jack McBrayer, Tracey Morgan, Keith Powell
  • Arrested Development – Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, John Beard, Michael Cera, David Cross, Portia De Rossi, Isla Fisher, Tony Hale, Ron Howard, Liza Minnelli, Alia Shawkat, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Henry Winkler
  • The Big Bang Theory – Mayim Bialik, Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Jim Parsons, Melissa Rauch
  • Modern Family – Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Aubrey Anderson Emmons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Nolan Gould, Sarah Hyland, Ed O’Neill, Rico Rodriguez, Eric Stonestreet, Sofia Vergara, Ariel Winter
  • Veep – Sufe Bradshaw, Anna Chlumsky, Gary Cole, Kevin Dunn, Tony Hale, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Reid Scott, Timothy Simons, Matt Walsh

 

STUNT ENSEMBLE HONORS

Outstanding Action Performance By A Stunt Ensemble In A Motion Picture

  • All Is Lost
  • Fast & Furious 6
  • Lone Survivor
  • Rush
  • The Wolverine

Outstanding Action Performance By A Stunt Ensemble In A Comedy or Drama Series

  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Breaking Bad
  • Game Of Thrones
  • Homeland
  • The Walking Dead

 

Broken City

Summary: In a broken city rife with injustice, ex-cop Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) seeks redemption – and revenge – after being double-crossed and then framed by its most powerful figure, the mayor (Russell Crowe). Billy’s relentless pursuit of justice, matched only by his streetwise toughness, makes him an unstoppable force – and the mayor’s worst nightmare.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 7th March, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Allen Hughes

Screenwriter: Brian Tucker

Cast: Sharon Anglea (Amber (voice), (Michael Beach (Tony Jansen), Justin Chambers (Ryan), Kyle Chandler (Paul Andrews), Ambyr Childers (Mary), Russell Crowe (Mayor Hostetler), Griffin Dunne (Sam Lancaster), , Shawn Elliott (Raul Barea), Frank Forunato (Body Man Kevin), James M. Jenkins (Jimmy (voice)), Chance Kelly (Murdock), Natalie Martinez (Natalie Barrow), Barry Pepper (Jack Valliant), Reynaldo Piniella (Bolton Teen Alex), William Ragsdale (Mr. Davies), James Ransone (Todd Lancaster), Ric Reitz (Mitch Rappaport), Alona Tal (Katy Bradshaw), Britney Theriot (Valerie), Luis Tolentino (Mikey Tavarez), Mark Wahlberg (Billy Taggart), Jeffrey Wright (Carl Fairbanks), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Cathleen Hostetler)

Runtime: 109 mins

Classification:MA15+

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Broken City’ Review: 

While they might not be everybody’s cup of tea, sometimes it is nice to sit back and enjoy a good story that centres around political espionage and fraud. While ‘Broken City’ promises to be this years ‘Arbitrage’ it isn’t quite up to scratch.

‘Broken City’ begins with New York Police Department Detective Billy Taggert (Mark Wahlberg – ‘Ted’, ‘Contraband’) being found not guilty after he guns down a rape suspect, the ‘not guilty’ verdict is largely hated by the population who believes that Taggert should be charged with murder. While Police Commissioner Carl Fairbanks (Jeffrey Wright – ‘A Single Shot’, ‘The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister And Pete’) decides to stand Taggert down he finds a fan in Mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe – ‘Les Miserables’, ‘The Man With The Iron Fists’) who congratulates him on his work.

Time passes and now Taggert is dating actress Natalie Barrow (Natalie Martinez – ‘End Of Watch’, ‘The Baytown Outlaws’) who is the rape victim’s sister and he is running a Private Investigation company with the help of his assistant Katy Bradshaw (Alona Tal – ‘Powers’ TV’S ‘Cult’). With the company running at a loss Taggert jumps at the opportunity when Mayor Hostetler hires him to investigate his wife, Cathleen (Catherine Zeta-Jones – ‘Side Effects’, ‘Playing For Keeps’). But while Taggert believes it is a simple case of Cathleen is having an affair with Paul Andrews (Kyle Chandler – ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, ‘Argo’) he soon finds himself engulfed by a deadly game of politics and corruption.

While director Allen Hughes (‘The Book Of Eli’, ‘New York I Love You’) has the sense to make sure that this film doesn’t become your stock standard action film just because one of the supposed modern day action stars, Mark Wahlberg, is the leading man, you can’t help but feel that Wahlberg’s presence does indeed taint the film. Inside ‘Broken City’ is a great story waiting to come out but it is like Hughes knows that Wahlberg will be ripped to shreds if it comes down to an acting duel between himself and Crowe so instead he chooses to dumb the script, the result is a film that offers a little bit of suspense but nowhere near as much as it needed.

The cast are also badly let down by the weakened screenplay. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Kyle Chandler are dangerously underused while Jeffrey Wright is horribly miscast as the Police Commissioner, it is a strange casting decision and one that leaves an actor in a role that he certainly isn’t believable in. Also distracting is Crowe’s bad wig and tan which is too much of a distraction not to be noticed.

‘Broken City’ does offer up the occasional twist and turn but sadly the script is a lot tamer than it should be.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Broken City′: Check Episode #23 (available 8th March) of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Broken City’. Please also check Dave Griffiths’s review of ‘Broken City’ that is available on the Helium Entertainment Channel.

Rating: 3/5

IMDB Rating: Broken City (2013) on IMDb