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I'll start out by saying that I'm a huge fan of The Hunger Games franchise. The first movie was really average for me, but I loved Catching Fire for scene after scene of powerful film-making. I've read Mockingjay so I went into it expecting it to be a cash grab and I wasn't disappointed?....
The film started out fantastic for the first minute, and thats about it. Most of the acting was fairly good, Julianne Moore was a good casting choice for President Coin, Woody Harrelson was great, Philip Seymour Hoffman always does good etc. Jennifer Lawrence was good as always, except for 2 moments when I laughed in scenes that were meant to be taken seriously, maybe a tad overacting.
However why was this split into 2 movies? They added Effie's character into the story to stretch out the run time, and talking about stretching out the run time, The entire finale was about 2 pages in the book! In the book it worked because when the eventual twist did happen, we weren't there for the initial scene, only the aftermath. And because there isn't any actual Hunger Games in this movie, they felt like they needed to stuff some action into the movie which again just feels so forced.
Also Donald Sutherland? Hes a great actor, he was fantastic in Catching Fire! The entire capital seemed really threatening in the last movie, here it just seems so forced, they shoe-horn him into the finale just so he can get some sort of screen time at all.
I've already mentioned how a lot of the characters feel pushed into the storyline. But even Katniss doesn't feel genuine. Katniss is still the same person as she has always been, she doesn't learn anything new but cry awkwardly over dead bodies at least 3 times. I thought we'd get more time with Gail and Finnick since they haven't had a great amount of on-screen presence but nope. They are wasted here. I missed the conversations that Gail and Katniss shared in the book, but without comparing it to the book, Gail just seems like a piece of wood anyway.
The movie looks the same as Catching Fire, it's color graded darker and the cinematography is pretty sleek looking. But there was some shaky cam in there... What the hell? The last movie accomplished beautiful wide shots of action, not awful shaky cam - its not even done effectively.
At least with Harry Potter, the book was around 750 words, so there was a lot of content to grasp in Deathly Hallows Part 1. Here i feel like they could've just taken a risk a made it a 3 hour movie for the fans. But even if you haven't read the books, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is terribly unsatisfying and can't help but feel like a 125min trailer for the next movie. By itself, it sucks as it's own movie.
OK ill stop now, enough ranting! There isn't a thing about this movie that is horrendously bad, but there aren't the powerful and thrilling moments of the last installment. Mediocre plays a more prominent role than any of the shoe-horned characters in the movie. A generous 5/10
Not an Easy Ride
Antichrist, a film by Lars Von Trier made in 2009. It's been worked up as one of the most disturbing films and It certainly doesn't disappoint.
Going in I had seen Lars' other work so I knew what to expect for the most part, but Wow this is an excellent film! The film has a melancholy and uneasy tone throughout which stayed with me long after viewing the film. Antichrist has lush cinematography and amazing directing that gives the film it's own distinctive look, it also contains one of the best opening scenes I have ever watched.
Charlotte Gainsbourgh and Willem Dafoe pull off realistic and haunting performances, and I have great respect for the commitment to their roles in the film. The special effects were surprising frequent but incredibly well done, and they had a real presence in the film due to the color.
Antichrist is a disturbing and emotionally moving film. It's definitely not for everyone but the talent and effort put into the film is something that should not be ignored. See it if you can handle it.