1) THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 (PG-13)
”The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” could also have been titled, “The Setup.” That’s really all it is, a setup for the series finale, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” which will hit theaters next Thanksgiving, 2015. In a move to maximize the box office potential of this wildly popular franchise, the last book in the series has been padded out and expanded into two films…and, sadly, the padding shows. This well produced sci-fi opus set in a dystopian future is only for those who’ve seen the first two films. Anyone joining in mid-stream will be hopelessly lost. The greatest strength of the film is the same as before: Jennifer Lawrence. As Katniss, the reluctant rebel leader, she doesn’t hit a single false note. Director Francis Lawrence keeps his main asset front and center, and Lawrence delivers another riveting performance. The action scenes are pretty sparse this time out, but they’re still fairly violent for a PG-13 movie. “Mockingjay –Part 1” is more of a sly poke at the power of propaganda.
As Julianne Moore’s character says, “The worst terror in the world is waiting for something to happen.” I guess that means that “Hunger Games” fans will be in terror for yet another year.
SHAWN says: "Mockingjay" Part 1 is cinematic capitalism at its best because it's all about the money. It's a well-made movie but nothing happens. Ever. Wake me up this time next year. However, you do get to stare at Jennifer Lawrence for two-hours. So call it a draw.
RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags
Also opening this week, “Force Majeure” is a Swedish drama that won the jury award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. It’s the story of a family who, while on a ski vacation in the French Alps, survive a near avalanche. The marital strain the incident causes, however, shake the family’s foundation.
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