Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I

I query The Flower regularly about what movies she wants to go see, because she often facilitates our movie sojourns, and she told me in no uncertain terms she was not particularly interested in the latest Hunger Game movies.

She apparently liked the survival stuff. Not a big fan of the revolution stuff.

But then her friends (who have read the books) decided they were going to go see it, and they live downtown, so she needed me to drive her 20 miles to Burbank's media district where there are three AMC theaters (helpfully named AMC 6, AMC 8 and AMC 16), tickets are $12 at least, and, oh, yeah, let's go opening weekend to one of the biggest movies of the year.

I pointed out to The Boy this how normal people go to the movies, when they go. It ended up being a five hour deal, since we had to get there early, there were huge lines and traffic everywhere, and the whole thing cost about $60 for the three of us.

The Boy and I wouldn't have gone but there was no way for us to see a different movie at our regular theater and still do the drop off/pick up thing.

Our verdict? It was all right. The three of us are completely outside this phenomenon, as we are most of the big movie phenomena. I mean, we'll go see (some of) them, but for us, it's just another movie. Not to get all hipster or nothing, but you probably haven't even heard of our favorite movies in any given year.

Unless you read this blog, of course.

Anyway, the story picks up where the last one left off, with Katniss finding herself in District 13 in an underground bunker where the Revolution is being planned by Julianne Moore and the late Seymour Philip Hoffman.

I sooo wanted to hear Julianne Moore say "Our Hunger Game champions and proud we are of all of them" but that would've been in appropriate.

The deal is that the Revolution needs a face and, if you need a face to rile people into action, you could do worse than Jennifer Lawrence's. Never mind, once again, that these people have the technology do make anyone's face do whatever they want, because that would completely obviate the plot. But it's especially funny here given all the digital video processing that goes on.

Since we all basically liked it though none of us were wild about it—either going in or after, just like the other movies—it's kind of interesting to ponder why this was generally less well received.

The Flower liked the actual Hunger Games in the original. (Yeah, I have a strict "Don't ask questions you don't want to know the answer to" policy.) What she liked about this one was that it was different, rather than just rehashing the previous two movies.

I heard some complain about the acting being too low key. Except for a couple of shots it looked like maybe they digitally inserted Hoffman (or a body double) in—oh, the irony—I found it to be about right. I like Lawrence better with each film and am convinced she is the anti-Kirsten Stewart foretold by The Prophecy.

And the burden is heavy on her. She has to badly act at times, but then she has to convince you she's sincere at the most obvious (and even corny) moments. Essentially, her unchecked passions are what powers the Revolution. (Well, whaddayawant? It's a book for teen girls.)

I think people are feeling used by the "split the last book" thing. I guess it all does feel a bit like a set up for the next (and final) film. But if the next one knocks it out of the park, why bitch? I don't know, maybe wait till the next one comes out. You can watch 'em back to back and pretend you're watching an (abridged) Peter Jackson flick!

I kid. I kid because I hate Peter Jackson.

Anyway, no strong feelings one way or the other here. I guess you wouldn't want to see this without seeing the other two, and by that point you know whether you want to see a third one. I mean, it's different, but not so different as to swing you over to the "yea" or "nay" column if you're not there already.

I'd wait till I could see it at the bargain theater, though.

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