‘The Hunger Games’ – Movie Review

When I first heard about The Hunger Games I was extremely uninterested, that lack of interest didn’t change after we saw all the trailers and clips. I had no plan on ever seeing this movie in the cinema, but I managed to get hold of a free pair of tickets so I thought why not. I went into The Hunger Games not expecting much at all boy was I wrong, I went in already hating the franchise and came out loving it.

The Hunger Games is an adaptation from the extremely popular book written by Suzanne Collins, I had the feeling that this would be another franchise like Twilight, filled with diabolical acting and a twisted and unnatural story but again I was wrong. Yes the story of The Hunger Games is a little twisted, set in the distant future where we all live in separate districts, the capitol runs a yearly show called The Hunger Games, they obtain a boy and girl aged between twelve and eighteen to fight to the death in The Hunger Games, there can only be one victor.

I can’t be one to comment on how good of a job they did adapting this from it’s source material as I never read the books, from what I have heard they have done a pretty great job seeing as though they have left out very little from the book which makes the two hour twenty minute run time understandable. That was one problem that I had with the film, the length. I thought it was just ten minutes or so too long, I didn’t get bored one bit in the film but I did think while sat there watching it that it did feel to long.

The length of this film wouldn’t have been bearable without the surprisingly great acting from Jennifer Lawrence. She really did surprise me, I know she has delivered great performances in the past in films such as Winter’s Bone, but you just expect this franchise to be filled with unbearable acting but you know what it wasn’t. Another actor that I thought deserves a worthy mention is Stanley Tucci he outperforms most other people on screen just like usual. The one actor that I was not keen on was Josh Hutcherson, with him in it I felt as though he was their ticket into the young adult audience. His performance was the weakest throughout the movie and I couldn’t help but think that his performance felt incredibly forced. A big disappointment is the chemistry between Lawrence and Hutcherson, or should I say the lack of chemistry between them.

After watching The Hunger Games it left me feeling as though I wished they had rated 15 (UK) with a bit more violence, I did feel as though it was very toned down just so that it would appeal to the same audience as Twilight. 

Probably the biggest failing in The Hunger Games is the characters, I’m not sure if this was a failing in the book or just the film but some characters relationships feel extremely rushed and when their relationships come to an end you don’t feel as emotional as you should do just because the relationships were so rushed so you didn’t have enough time to fully engage with them.

It may seem to many of you that I am bashing The Hunger Games but I’m really not, I liked it a lot but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. But one thing The Hunger Games does right is it’s beauty, it’s amazing how the style of the film goes from a dark and depressed scene in the first act and then into the second which is filled with extravagant colours. The capitol has been astonishingly created out of CGI and on the big screen it really looks breathtaking with many shots that show off its true beauty.

I did really like The Hunger Games even if it was a little long and didn’t have some relationship development I would have liked to have seen. I just hope that the other two films don’t become poor sequels to this very good film. If you are an avid reader of the books I can imagine that you will love this movie and will probably be one of your best of 2012. Jennifer Lawrence really does carry this film acting wise, she shines just as bright as fire. This film may feel a little young adult for many of you but I still highly recommend this to anyone, please go and see it this weekend.

8/10

Changes To My Blog!

Recently many of you may have noticed that my posts have become less regular, this isn’t because I am losing interest, I love doing this and if I could I would do it all the time but unfortunately I have other commitments in my life. Therefore I have decided to stop posting news updates on this blog and just do reviews on TV shows and films with the occasional rant and list popping up. I will still be covering HUGE news, for example if there was a new trailer for The Dark Knight Rises I would post it because that is too amazing to miss but if it is just a TV spot for American Reunion then I won’t be posting it. I’m sorry if this has caused any of you inconvenience but when my life starts to become less hectic then I will go back to including news but at the moment I have too much on my plate. I’m really sorry if this upsets any of you but I hope that you will stay just as loyal as you have been and continue to read my posts. You can look out for my Hunger Games and Walking Dead Season 2 reviews in the coming days. Thank you very much for being so loyal and supportive, I couldn’t do it without any of you.

Game Of Thrones Season 1 – Review

I have been waiting to watch this series for ages and I have finally got round to it and I really don’t know why I didn’t watch it before. This series is absolutely phenomenal; I have now become a huge fan and cannot wait for season two to start up in April. Game Of Thrones is a HBO adaptation of the amazing books written by George R.R. Martin. It is set in fantasy medieval world where seven different families are fighting for control over the land Westeros.

Let’s start off by talking about the absolutely astonishing acting, the stand out performance obviously comes from the biggest name in this series, Sean Bean, he delivers an astounding performance as Ned Stark. Another one of the standout performances in this show is Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, the evil imp, his performance supplies some humour to an otherwise dark and serious show. I felt like the series overall was phenomenally casted and I really couldn’t think of anyone better to play these characters. This great casting mixed with the brilliant acting really made me feel for these characters as if I had known them for years.

Now I haven’t read any of the books that were written by George R.R. Martin so I don’t know if this has been a good adaptation from it’s source materials. From what I have heard I an conclude that is one of the best book to television adaptations that we have seen for a while. It has been said that this show follows the book to perfection, some scenes have been directly converted word for word from it’s source material.

Game Of Thrones really isn’t a series for the feint hearted, it is filled with extreme violence, blood and sex. This isn’t a bad thing as it doesn’t feel forced and is perfectly fitting with the style of the show. But the excess violence and sex may off put a few people from watching the series, but you really shouldn’t let it.

There are a few problems I have with Game Of Thrones, one of them being something quite personal. While watching the first episode it took me a while to get into it and ending up taking me till around episode three before I started to really get into it and engage with the characters. The time it takes to get into it shouldn’t be anything that puts you off as when you do get into you will love yourself for sticking with it.

Another problem that I had with the series was how they missed out all of the intense battles, one of my friends has actually read the books and they said that the battles are actually quite long and played out but in the series they have been cut out, one example is just before there is a battle Tyrion Lannister gets knocked out so you and him miss the whole battle and then when he wakes you and him see the aftermath, missing all the action.

The final thing I wasn’t really fond of was the soundtrack, I know great soundtracks are hard to make but I just thought that this one was lacking and didn’t have the depth and fullness that I had hoped for. Don’t get me wrong it’s a good soundtrack compared to others but it’s no Lord Of The Rings. 

Now let’s go back to the things I loved, I absolutely loved the dialogue that was superbly written by David Benioff, D.B. Weiss. I think that the dialogue is in perfect fitting with the dark series. I have heard that some of the conversations in the series are directly transferred to the screen without any alteration in the source material.

One thing I really l did love is the direction of this beautiful series, there are some astonishing landscape shots that pan across the medieval countryside. Game Of Thrones really does have a breathtaking style giving the overall show an amazing look.

Game Of Thrones does have a few faults but they are only really nitpicks and those small niggles shouldn’t stop anyone from sitting down and watching this groundbreaking series in a ten hour sitting, by god it is totally worth it. Please don’t let any of the violence or sex put you off because this show really is one of the best I have seen in a while. I know that there isn’t many battles but HBO make dramas not actions so I’m not that fussed but it would be nice to see a little more. I guarantee you will love this series as much as I did and once you had watched the first series you with be begging to see the second which returns to our screens on April 1st 2012 and you should really tune in, I know I will.
9/10

Buy A Blu-Ray A Week – USA

Blu-Rays To BUY 

The Muppets – I absolutely loved this movie, it was hugely entertaining and is guaranteed to be enjoyed by anyone. When I first heard about this movie I thought it would be awful, and all of the spoof trailers really weren’t convincing me. Because I love Jason Segel and The Muppets I thought I would give it a chance and I’m glad I did. This film is beyond joyful and I highly recommend this to everyone, especially fans of The Muppets.

Carnage – Now don’t get me wrong I id enjoy Carnage but I was extremely let down as I thought it could shave been so much better. This film is short clocking it at one hour and twenty minutes but the film feels like it is around two hours and that isn’t really a good thing. I chose to put this in the section you should buy because I know a lot of people that loved it but I was just a little let down, you might not be though.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – Now to another movie that I absolutely loved, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was a great remake thats is dark, twisted and extremely fast paced. This movie isn’t for the feint hearted, it does contain some extremely brutal scenes that are not to be viewed by children. It is filled with great performances and it is definitely worth your time. Don’t be daunted by it’s two hour and forty minute run time, it goes extremely quickly all due to it’s astonishing fast paced editing. If you loved the books and the original then you will love this one and if you just generally love movies then you will love it.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy –  This is a fantastic film with phenomenal performances throughout from the brilliant Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy and so many more. The storyline of this film is a little complex and you could find your self getting a bit lost but its still not a complex as inception the first time round. The film is also quite slow, I think that you need to be quite interested in British spies to really appreciate the pure quality of this movie. But it really is a great shame that is one of many films that has been completely snubbed by the Academy Awards. 

Blu-Rays To AVOID

The Sitter – Please don’t go anywhere near this movie, this is a perfect example as to why people think that Jonah Hill can’t act. This film is supposed to be a comedy but I did not laugh once, it is extremely unfunny and incredibly boring. I really wouldn’t recommend this to anyone, so please save yourself and never watch this pile of garbage.

All of the above Blu-rays are released on Tuesday 20th March 2012. So which ones will you be picking up this week? Feel free to tell me your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you very much for reading.

4 Clips From ‘American Reunion’

4 clips have been released online today for the upcoming American Pie movie, American Reunion. This is a sequel to American Wedding (the third one)American Reunion features the original cast as they reunite together for their hugh school reunion. American Reunion stars everyone from the original, Jason Biggs as Jim, Alyson Hannigan as Michelle, Seann William Scott as Stifler, Tara Reid as Vicky and Mena Suvari as Heather. I do enjoy the old American Pie movies but I do find Stifler extremely annoying and at times that does spoil my enjoyment. You can see American Reunion in theatres on 6th April (USA) and 2nd May (UK) and you can check out the four clips below.

These clips are pretty average and I hope the film will be better but we will just have to wait and see. What do you think? Are you looking forward to it? Feel free to tell me your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading.

Buy A Blu-Ray A Week – UK

Blu-Rays To BUY

Moneyball – I really liked Moneyball, I didn’t love it as much as others did but I still thought it was an engaging drama with some really great acting. This is one of Brad Pitt’s finest performances and most definitely Jonah Hill’s best, in this film I found out he really can act. Moneyball is a smart soulful baseball movie that everyone will love. You don’t have to know anything about baseball going into this movie, you could the baseball and still completely love this movie, thats how good it is.

Take Shelter – This film was utter brilliance, Michael Shannon’s acting in this film will blow you away, he gives an in-depth emotional performance that deserves some sort of recognition. I can see some people not liking this film as it isn’t filled with action and violence but if you enjoy an astonishing drama with phenomenal acting then this will be right up your ally.

Tower Heist –  I was debating whether to put this film under buy or avoid but I decided to put it here for quite a few reasons. Tower Heist is about a group of workers who lose all their money because their investor committed fraud so they conspire to rob the man who lost them all their money. I did quite enjoy this movie, it is Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy’s best movie in a while and that’s why I think it is worth a buy, I think this could be the return of good old Murphy and Stiller. If you aren’t a Stiller or Murphy fan then this obviously isn’t the movie for you but if you are a fan this is a great buy.

The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn –  If you have ever wondered what it would look like if Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg – two of the greatest directors of all time – did a motion capture movie then this is that movie. Tintin is a fast paced stunningly beautiful picture that can be enjoyed by the whole family. I’m not the biggest fan of this style of film as I struggle to gain a relationship with the characters and they seem as though they lack heart but if you can get over that then you will love this movie. I highly recommend this to anyone who was a huge fan of the original cartoons or comics as you will not be disappointed and will be constantly on the edge of your seat.

Bly-Rays To AVOID

Machine Gun Preacher – Now let me start by saying I know some people that really liked this movie, I did not. Butler performs just as good as usual but that is one of the only positives in this movie. The biggest negative is the editing, this movie dragged a lot, it could have easily been half an hour shorter to stop this movie feeling as though it’s sole purpose was to cram it with facts. I didn’t like this movie so I obviously wouldn’t recommend it but I do know people that like it so it could be right up your ally.

All of the above blu-rays will be released on Monday 19th March 2012. Which ones will you be picking up this week? Feel free to tell me your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks again for reading.

‘We Bought A Zoo’ – Review

I heard about this film a very long time ago and have been awaiting its release for years and it has finally been released in the UK. We Bought A Zoo is actually based on a true story, when Hollywood say the word ‘based’ they usually use the term very loosely but here it is actually pretty truthful. This is the second film released in the last couple of months that is actually from where I live, the true story of this film comes from the life of Benjamin Mee, who lives in Dartmoor, Devon, England (which they have altered to California, America in the film) and six months after the death of his wife he decides to buy a zoo with his two children, the film follows his attempts to make the zoo a place where the local community can come and visit. Not only do I live near this zoo I have actually been there and I have also met Benjamin Mee, a couple of years ago he made a speech at my school and that was when I first heard of the movie and since then I have wanted to see it, finally I have.

We Bought A Zoo is adapted from the book written by Benjamin Mee, the script is written by Devil Wears Prada’s Aline Brosh Mckenna. The script is to her usual standard, not phenomenal but alright nothing special at all. The dialogue is quite well written it is intelligent, adorable and amazingly charming.

Working off Aline Brosh McKenna’s script Damon delivers his usual brilliant performance, taking the lead role of Benjamin Mee. Damon’s performance is one of things that really carries this movie, he supplies some of the most emotional moments with some help from his amazing supporting cast. This film really shows Damon’s skills as an actor, he can go from action hero Jason Bourne to kindhearted zoo owner Benjamin Mee. Damon isn’t the only one that shines, Thomas Haden Church takes on the role of Benjamin’s cynical brother, which has been altered from being his mother. Church supplies the humour in this warm-hearted moving film, I couldn’t help but feel while watching that his role was a little needless and he was just their to contradict everything Benjamin was doing. Another person who I thinks really shines is Maggie Elizabeth Jones who stars as Rosie Mee, Benjamin’s youngest child, she makes from some really adorable moments in the movie but it does feel that the film plays on her cuteness a bit to much to make the audience like this film. This film really does have some great cast members but lets be honest there is no way in hell that any of us could believe that Scarlett Johansson is a zookeeper.

We Bought A Zoo is by no means perfect but those imperfections shouldn’t stop you from loving it. One of the imperfections of this film is the structure, the first half an hour of this film is pretty poor, with extremely bad attempts at humour and an extremely painful performance from the estate agent. It isn’t until they move into the zoo and meet their new neighbours the film really picks up and becomes the lighthearted yet saddening movie it is.

I really did love We Bought A Zoo, all of it’s flaws seem to wilt away by the end of the movie and you begin to fall in love with it cuteness. Not everyone will love this movie, some may think it is cheesy but others will love it as I did. I thought this film was both cute and moving at the same time, there was one scene of an abrupt argument that nearly had me and many others in tears. We Bought A Zoo isn’t really a family movie, it’s family friendly but it isn’t just a cute animal movie that kids will love, the adults will end up enjoying it more than their children.

8/10