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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
Directed by Francis Lawrence
The anticipation that comes with the release of the final installment of a massively popular and beloved film franchise is always palpable. The Return of the King, Revenge of the Sith (Star Wars fans, at the very least, were still excited in 2005, and they are numerous), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2; each franchise had the respective studio behind it bombastically announcing the arrival of the final chapter. How would the storyline conclude? Where would characters that audiences had come to love see their journeys end? Here we are once again, this time with the concluding episode of the Hunger Games series, one that has, it should be noted, proven to be refreshingly consistent with respect to the quality of its entries. »
- Edgar Chaput
“The Hunger Games” film series takes its final bow this weekend when “Mockingjay - Part 2” opens in theaters. The final verdict on the franchise? A flaming success. Back in 2012, Lionsgate knew it had something special when it released the first film based on Suzanne Collins’ popular Ya books. But folks at the production company were surely still anxiously checking what critics had to say about their tentpole movie. The first “Hunger Games” installment holds an 84% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 67 on Metacritic. Critics largely praised Jennifer Lawrence’s performance, though some had a hard time believing her womanly figure could have come from a dystopian society on the brink of starvation. The use of handheld cameras was widely panned, and when Francis Lawrence took over the franchise, he quickly ditched the shaky cam. As for whether the film showed too much bloodshed or didn’t get violent enough, »
- Emily Rome
Jennifer Lawrence’s career can be divided into two distinct parts: before and after Katniss Everdeen.
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2” opens on Friday, concluding the series that has guaranteed her global attention, in which the digital world has recorded each sentence, movement and rumor (95% of them not true).
Her work before the first film in 2012 was also pretty interesting, though less scrupulously documented.
She grew up in Louisville, went to New York during spring break at age 14, and persuaded her parents to allow a summer there to explore acting. On July 17, 2007, Variety‘s Brian Lowry reviewed a new Bill Engvall sitcom, “The Bill Engvall Show,” which was hoping to tap into his “blue collar comedy” audience. The standup comic played a family counselor who couldn’t control own family, including a teen daughter (Lawrence). Lowry wrote that the show was a “decidedly slim and rarely funny,” and there »
- Tim Gray
To Kill a Mockingjay: Lawrence Brings Ya Franchise to Inevitable Denouement
The last tony gasp of Suzanne Collins’ celebrated Hunger Games franchise is steered, at long last, to a close courtesy of director Francis Lawrence, who has been responsible for three film entries in the quartet. In the tradition of several other series, the final novel was split into two separate films released a year apart in order to capitalize on the popular momentum of the property, a trick which only does a severe disservice to the longevity of this Ya dystopia.
Familiar and recycled themes and ideas aside, it is one of the more moderately intelligent mainstream machines, but that’s not saying much. While the memory of 2014’s Mockingjay: Part 1 is left in the hazy dust of its unnecessarily elongated exposition, the final sequence fares better as a piece of entertainment thanks to some minor moments of tension »
- Nicholas Bell
When I say that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is infinity better than its middling companion piece, know that I mean it with all my heart – but also understand that I didn’t care for Part I very much. Part 2 is everything Part 1 is missing, to the point where if you extracted Peeta and Katniss’ cliffhanging hospital brawl and inserted it immediately before this second chapter’s start, I’d see no need for Part 1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay could have been one three hour movie if Francis Lawrence and his team reigned in unnecessary bloating, but for what it’s worth, Part 2 is a fiery finish for this epic-scale blockbuster franchise – albeit another drawn-out endeavor that could have done with some beneficial trimming.
Where Part 1 ignited a war between rebels and the Capitol, Part 2 tells how Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) plans to end the bloodshed once and for all. »
- Matt Donato
This interview contains some spoilers for Mockingjay Part 2, though we’ve tried to keep them to a minimum. That said, you may prefer to read this after you've seen the film/read the book.
Even the most devoted fans can’t say they’ve spent quite as much time thinking about The Hunger Games as director Francis Lawrence has. After taking over the franchise from Gary Ross, he’s directed Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part 1 and Mockingjay Part 2, with each movie released just one year after the last. It’s a massive undertaking, but it’s all about to reach its climax as the final movie hits cinemas and he’s free to take a break.
Although before he can get there, there’s one last hurdle to jump: the dreaded press junkets. »
“Annie Hall” has been named the funniest screenplay in voting by the members of the Writers Guild of America.
The script by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman topped “Some Like it Hot,” “Groundhog Day,” “Airplane!” and “Tootsie,” which make up the rest of the top five. “Young Frankenstein,” “Dr. Strangelove,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “National Lampoon’s Animal House” rounded out the top 10.
The awards for the 101 funniest screenplays were announced at the Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood at the conclusion of two hours of panel discussions and clips, hosted by Rob Reiner. He noted that his “This Is Spinal Tap” script had finished at the No. 11 spot — a coincidence that recalled the “go to 11” amplifier joke in the film.
- Dave McNary
What started as a game culminates in deadly serious terms with a full-scale overthrow of the system itself in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2,” which counters the meager helpings offered by most teen-driven entertainment with one of the heartiest character arcs ever afforded a young female protagonist. After being forced to hunt other innocent children for sport, Katniss Everdeen rallies her fellow rebels to rise up against the Capitol, and that’s not even the most revolutionary thing about this fourth and final installment in Suzanne Collins’ dystopian adventure series, which continues to implicate its own fan base in the bloodlust even as it kills off many of their favorite characters. Though domestic B.O. dipped some 20% for the previous feature, this ultra-dark, deliberately paced climax should recover somewhat even as it ventures down bleaker channels still, paying off the gamble of having stayed true to its source.
- Peter Debruge
Is Sandra Bullock's next project with George Clooney going to be a walk in his tuxedo-rocking, casino-robbing shoes? The Ms. Congeniality star is reportedly in talks to crank the girl power up all the way to 11 by playing the lead in an Ocean's Eleven reboot with an all-female roster of thieves. According to The Playlist, the Academy Award winner would be teaming up with The Hunger Games director Gary Ross and Clooney, star of the 2001 blockbuster reboot of the Rat Pack caper flick, to re-invent the timeless plot yet again. This classic heist thriller has seen several re-makes since the original 1960 film starring Frank Sinatra. The 21st-century version of the action-packed franchise began in 2001 »
"How do you write women so well?" gushes a female fan to the not-exactly-feminist Melvin Udall, played by Jack Nicholson, in "As Good as it Gets." "I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability" replies Udall. Whether that's the approach taken by the majority of screenwriters is questionable (one would sincerely hope not), but the idea of "starting from" a male character to "get to" a female is certainly one that many more have been contending with recently. Last Thursday we exclusively broke the news that a female-led "Oceans Eleven" reboot is actively in development, with Sandra Bullock attached to star and Gary Ross slated to direct. And it is only the very latest example of Hollywood's gender-swapping trend, in which roles originally meant for men, or played in their original movies by men, are being rewritten for female actors to play. The biggest noise in »
- Jessica Kiang
On this week’s episode, Zach and Brian welcome Alistair Ryder and Dylan Griffin on the podcast to discuss Alistair’s piece on Blumhouse Productions and how Jason Blum is becoming a staple in modern horror much like Roger Corman did with exploitation films years ago while Dylan discusses his “box office sabermetrics” and how Blumhouse movies are bringing in money on minimal budgets. They also look at the final Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, say goodbye to Maureen O’Hara, and make way-too-early predictions as to who will join Sandra Bullock in the Ocean’s Eleven all-female reboot.
Don’t forget to donate to the Indiegogo page to help keep PopOptiq afloat!
- Zach Dennis
Sandra Bullock returns to the big screen this weekend with Our Brand Is Crisis, portraying a political campaign strategist, a role that was originally written for her Gravity co-star George Clooney. The actor stayed on to produce that film, and now they are re-teaming for another gender-swapping project, with Sandra Bullock attached to take on George Clooney's lead role in an all-female remake of his 2001 hit Ocean's Eleven. The Playlist reports that this Ocean's Eleven reboot has been in the works for over a year, with Gary Ross (The Hunger Games) signing on to direct.
The project reportedly came together last fall, originated by Ocean's Eleven star George Clooney, director Steven Soderbergh and producer Jerry Weintraub. The trio have enlisted screenwriter Olivia Milch (Queen & Country) to tackle the script, which she has been working on for several months. There was speculation the project might have been delayed, after producer »
I think in recent years we’ve become desensitised to the constant remakes and reboots Hollywood has subjected us to, but this one is still kinda surprising. According to The Playlist and Entertainment WeekWarner Bros.ly, The Hunger Games director Gary Ross is onboard to helm a reimagining of Steven Soderbergh’s effortlessly cool heist movie Ocean’s Eleven. What’s more, Sandra Bullock has signed on the dotted line to take the lead in what is said to be an all new, all female reboot. While little is known about what to expect (will it be associated with the original, or a complete reboot?), I think its safe to say Bullock’s character will be called Danielle Ocean. Soderbergh and Clooney (who may appear in cameo as Danny Ocean) are onboard as producers, shepherding the project started by the late Jerry Weintraub, with screenwriter Oliva Milch (Little Women) having »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom White)
Move over, Danny Ocean, Sandra Bullock is in town. Yes, Hollywood has caught the reboot fever, and the recent wave of modern do-overs shows no sign of letting up, now that IndieWire brings word that the Gravity and Our Brand Is Crisis star has reportedly agreed a deal to topline a gender-swapped reboot of Ocean’s Eleven.
According to the outlet, sources close to the nascent project claim that the nugget for a reboot has been on the table for some time, and Bullock’s casting was a by-product of the actress’ close partnership with George Clooney – Clooney served as producer on Our Brand Is Crisis. That’s not all, though, original Ocean’s director Steven Soderbergh has lobbied for the notion of an all-female film, one which one see Bullock step into an instrumental role not dissimilar to Clooney’s Danny Ocean.
In terms of the talent attached behind the lens, »
- Michael Briers
“Ghostbusters” won't be the only franchise getting the all-female treatment -- Sandra Bullock has partnered with George Clooney to revive the “Ocean’s 11” series, this time with an all female cast! In the original “Ocean’s 11” film, starring Rat Pack actors Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Joey Bishop, a team of men set out to pull off a record breaking heist on New Years Eve. In Steven Soderbergh's revival of the series in 2001, George Clooney and Brat Pitt lead another all-male team to steal over $150,000,000 from the Belagio Casino in Las Vegas. Clooney and Pitt made two more films, rounding the “Ocean’s” franchise out to a trilogy. Now Indiewire is reporting that Clooney will be reviving the series again, this time with Sandra Bullock staring in the lead role, presumably as a female Danny Ocean. Her team will consist of all women, which »
- Lauren Gallaway
A new version of Ocean's Eleven is on its way, reportedly with Sandra Bullock ready to lead an all-female cast, according to The Playlist. Academy Award-nominated Gary Ross (The Hunger Games) is in line to direct. The project was hatched in late 2014 by George Clooney, director Steven Soderbergh, and producer Jerry Weintraub, who worked together on 2001's Ocean's Eleven and its two sequels, Ocean's Twelve (2004) and Ocean's Thirteen (2007). The origins of the series date back to 1960, when Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. led the so-called "Rat Pack," including Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop, in a lighthearted criminal adventure. The 21st century trilogy featured Clooney and Brad Pitt leading a new gang of criminals...
- Peter Martin
Sandra Bullock will play the lead in an upcoming remake of "Ocean's Eleven' with an all-female cast, directed by Gary Ross ("the Hunger Games") from a script by Olivia Milch ("Little Women"), continuing her streak of stepping into roles originally conceived for men—as she does currently in "Our Brand Is Crisis." Read More: "Sandra Bullock Fights for Gender Equality with 'Our Brand Is Crisis'" As The Playlist reports, the project originated with the late producer Jerry Weintraub, "Ocean's" director Steven Soderbergh, and Danny Ocean himself, George Clooney. (He developed "Our Brand Is Crisis" as a possible directing gig.) Since the new film won't get rolling in earnest until after Ross' "Free State of Jones," with Matthew McConaughey, bows next May, we got to thinking about who we'd like to see fill the other roles in Bullock's "Eleven." It's a dream cast, of course (even Warren Buffett »
- Matt Brennan
Hi, everyone. Coco here, with a fantastic opportunity for all agents and casting directors out there...
Indiewire reports an Ocean's Eleven sequel is in the works, and that it will feature an all-female caper crew. Clooney is producing, Olivia Milch (Little Women) is writing, and Gary Ross (Seabiscuit, Hunger Games) is directing. The biggest news for Actressexuals: Sandra Bullock has landed the Danny Ocean role.
Bullock's star-persona is a little goofier than Clooney's ultra-suave schtick, but she seems like a great choice nonetheless. Very few performers ooze of charisma as strongly as Bullock. I mean, I still find myself thinking of her speaking "Chinese" at the Oscars from time to time.
The bigger question, though, is what other wonderful actresses should join her and her team of madcap con artists. Here are some options:
Kicking it up a notch! Sandra Bullock will be leading the charge in the cast for an upcoming all-female Ocean’s Eleven reboot, according to reports. The Our Brand Is Crisis star will be joining forces with The Hunger Games director Gary Ross, The Playlist reported on Thursday, Oct. 29 — and longtime pal George Clooney may even make a cameo and reprise his role as Danny Ocean. According to the site, the idea for an all-female reboot of the sleek heist thriller began to float last year among [...] »
In news that is sure to induce more than a few groans and eye rolls comes word from The Playlist that The Hunger Games and Seabiscuit director Gary Ross has been set to helm an all-female Ocean's Eleven movie, with Sandra Bullock in the lead. Olivia Milch (Queen & Country, Little Women) has turned in a draft of the script, and apparently late producer Jerry Weintraub, Ocean's director... Read More »
- Jesse Giroux
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