Tag Archives: Hunger Games

Final Hunger Games Trailer Has Arrived!

If you happened to be watching baseball tonight (Go Cards!), you might have noticed a power surge during the fifth inning. That would be because it was announced that there would be a new The Hunger Games trailer shown after the top of the inning. Not only was it new, it was the final.

That’s right, we have officially reached the home stretch. While it seems like ages ago that the first Catching Fire trailer was released, all the waiting is about to come to an end. To help make the wait a little bit more tolerable, check out the trailer below!

There has been a lot of promo material of late talking about the Quarter Quell, and Haymitch, Effie, Finnick Odair… pretty much everyone, but this trailer goes back to where it all began, Katniss Everdeen and her bow. Katniss and her sister. Katniss and the President. And perhaps most important, Katniss and Peeta.

If there was any doubt that this sequel will lack any of the intensity the first film had, just watch Peeta try to convince Katniss that “It isn’t real” and all doubt will ease away.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire arrives in theaters on November 22nd. Do you have your tickets yet?

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SNL: 38.10 – Jennifer Lawrence & The Lumineers

I’ve mentioned it before, but I look forward to shows after long breaks because they usually are of better quality than those towards the end of a long stretch. Sadly, this week was not one of those shows. It was alright, but not much to write home about.

They started off strong with the cold open, of course anyone who has kept up with the news this past week knew exactly who was going to make an appearance. I loved Bobby Moynihan as Manti Te’o as he nailed Te’o’s constant deer in the headlights look. I was also quite delighted to see Kate McKinnon again (she’s been absent for a while which is odd seeing how omnipresent she was at the beginning of the season) as Jodie Foster.

Jennifer Lawrence SNL

McKinnon does a fabulous Jodie Foster! Of course one does have to contemplate the stability of the cosmos when you have one SNL actor impersonating an actor, who was impersonating a character done by another SNL actor.

Jennifer Lawrence’s monologue was boring. No two ways about it. The smack talking of other Oscar nominees was amusing to a point but overall, blah. When the funniest part of your monologue is someone else (Bill Hader as Tommy Lee Jones), then something went wrong.

http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=1428979

They did gain some ground with the fauxmercial for Starbuck’s home brewer, the Verismo. Besides being funny on its own, if not slightly racist, it made me realize that I like Vanessa Bayer a thousand times more when she is playing the straight man. Her reaction to the sass talking coffee maker and it’s even sassier manager was hysterical.

I really want to like the Girlfriends Talk Show sketch. I really really really do. Unfortunately I really really really don’t. It’s just boring. However, I will say that I am actively trying to find a way to make myself a “Davide R.I.P.” button because that was by far the funniest part of the sketch. That or the “slimming outer garment”. Other than those two parts (thank you Aidy Bryant) it just falls flat.

Much like when Jeremy Renner was hosting and they did the Avengers sketch, you knew there was going to be a Hunger Games sketch this week. Unfortunately just like the Avengers sketch, it left us a little wanting. There were some definite funny moments, Bill Hader’s beard for sure, and Bobby Moynihan not realizing everyone else was dead, and of course Taran Killam as Peeta, but overall it was just there.

Jennifer Lawrence

However, the Hobbit as 32 movies bit? That was awesome. Between the titles of the movies and the “reviews”, I was dying. Thank the gods above that it was funny because the “Johnny TwoTones Diner” sketch? It was anything but. I liked the premise, and there were certain moments that were funny, but if there wasn’t a “Girlfriends Talk Show” this would have been the worst sketch of the night.

Ikea Dresser SNL

The Lumineers were refreshingly good. There was no trippy windows 98 screen saver or useless and extraneous dancers involved which was really nice. I’d forgotten what it was like to just watch people sing. Of course they went with the ubiquitous “Ho Hey” for their first offering. Is there anyone on the planet that hasn’t heard at least a snippet of this song by now? Because it seems like it is everywhere- commercials, TV promos, movie trailers.  “I belong to you, you belong to me, you’re my sweetheart” is heard every time I turn on my television. Thankfully it’s not too annoying. Yet.

Weekend Update sadly only had one guest and it was the second-hand news guy, Anthony Crispino. I like him only becauseDepp ceiling you can tell how much fun Seth Meyers and Bobby Moynihan have with him. Although I did literally laugh out loud when he said that Fargo, directed by the Aflac duck won a Golden Globe.

Something odd has happened with the last few episodes. For years, and perhaps decades, the sketches following Weekend Update are the ones where you start to wonder what on earth is wrong with the writers of SNL. Were they dropped on their heads too often as infants? Licked lead paint as small children? Smoked too much pot? The questions were endless. However, recently these have been my favorite sketches. I don’t know if it’s me or them, but I like it.

I smell butthole“Top Dog Chef” for example? There is no reason in the world as to why I found that to be so hysterical. Actually I should have thought it was stupid but much like “Maine Justice”, it was fabulous. Of all the random things on the show, I would not have guessed that a Yorkie costume would be the one to end up reused (Daniel Radcliffe was a Yorkie on Weekend Update January of last year). Jennifer Lawrence made a great Yorkie but I think we can all agree that Fred Armisen as the canine Mario Barktali complete with orange crocs was the crowning achievement in that sketch.

The best sketch of the night though? The Minnesota hip-hop morning show. I don’t know if it’s just the combination of Billy and Taran with Vanessa as the straight man,  Then add in Jennifer Lawrence as the not so Lyrical Assassin, Busty Rhymes and it was just awesome. A great sketch!

Jennifer Lawrence

If you haven’t had the pleasure, nay, the honor of seeing the incredible 1974 French soft porn classic, Emmanuelle then the Danielle sketch might have just seemed really odd and from left field. If you have seen Emmanuelle then you know how spot on this sketch was. It was sort of creepy in an incredibly brilliant kind of way.

Last sketch of the night was “Civil War Letters” and was a typical last sketch of the night. Little stupid, a lot ridiculous, and somewhat funny. It was nice to see Tim Robinson again as he’s been relegated to background extra for many weeks now. If the sketch did nothing else, it made us question whether or not Abraham Lincoln was a fan of the “tit pic”.

Like I said at the top, it was a little disappointing of an episode. It certainly wasn’t the worst I’ve seen but it was far from the best I’ve seen. Luckily we have next week to look forward to with the always funny and engaging Adam Levine.

Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar

Until next time!

‘Epic’ Movie Trailer is Out, Ferngully/Avatar Homage?

Excuse me for a moment as I play the part of the old lady. Kids these days have it so good! Back in 1988 when I was 10 years old, after I walked to school, uphill both ways in the snow, my choices for animated cinematic entertainment were limited. They were good, but very limited. If I remember correctly, 1988 would be the year of Oliver and Company and Land Before Time. That was it!

In 2012, there were more than 10 large studio animated movies. That does not include the Disney 3D remakes, smaller movies, or ones that went straight to DVD. Ten! That is amazing. Not to mention, that quite a few of those would have had an animated short included before the movie. I think it’s safe to say we are in the age of (digitally) animated movies. The bonus of this boom is advances in computer animation combined with the competition to be better, some incredible animated films are being made.

There is a movie coming out next year that exhibits just that.

Epic comes out of Blue Sky Studios, same people who brought us the wildly successful Ice Age movies and last year’s Rio. Those are great movies, but not something I myself would really seek out. However, once I saw the trailer for Epic, I was singing a different tune.

Seriously, that is beautiful. The part when the “decay” comes to life on the tree in a wave motion? I got chills. That looks so cool.

The story is based on William Joyce’s 2001 children’s book, The Leaf Men. If you haven’t read it, I would encourage you to do so, even if you are an adult and think reading children’s books is reserved for only children. It is a great story, no matter what your age. It’s a story that lends itself to being translated to film.

The film version has some big names in the voice department. Amanda Seyfreid (Mamma Mia), Josh Hutcherson (Hunger Games), Colin Ferrell, Christoph Waltz, Jason Sudekis, and Aziz Ansari- those are some rather big names. Then you have the musicians who lent their voices- Beyonce, Steven Tyler, and Pitbull. I’ll admit when I ask myself, “Hmmm, who should be a voice in an animated film about little “leaf men” who fly on hummingbirds,” I don’t automatically think of Pitbull but we’ll have to see how that works out. I’m intrigued.

I wish the trailer had either chosen to focus on the humor of the movie, or the pretty of the movie. If nothing else, they could have worked on the balance between the two. I’m sure there will be more footage released that might do just this and I think it will be to their benefit.

Also? The title is awful. I get that it is supposed to be this “epic” battle between the forces of good and evil but that word is a bit overused nowadays. Not to mention if you are going to call your movie “epic”, you are setting yourself up for potential failure. It is hard to achieve the level of epic and while I admire their “reach for the stars” attitude, perhaps it would have been best to settle for “Not EPIC but still pretty damn good”.

All that said, I’ll still go see it. I like pretty movies, and I like seeing pretty movies in the theatre. I don’t know that I’ll shell out the extra money to see it in 3D but that’s only because personally I am not a huge fan of 3D.

Epic is set to be released at the end of May, 2013.

‘X-Men: First Class’ Sequel Release Date Announced


Last years X-Men: First Class was a welcome entry into the X-Men film franchise, and of course, it’s going to get a sequel. Thankfully, the team behind the original, including Michael Fassbender, who played the brilliant Magneto, Jennifer Lawrence of newly found ‘Hunger Games’ fame, and Director Matthew Vaughn, who was also responsible for the kick ass, Kick-Ass, are all returning, given time for their respective schedules, to film the sequel in time for July 2014 release. James McAvoy is also confirmed as returning as Professor X, although there is no information at this time if he will be going bald. Details about the film itself are scarce, as it doesn’t even have a title yet, but it will focus on Magneto falling further down the spiral into super-villainry.  All in all it’s still pretty early, and news about casting, new roles, further plot details and such are in the air, as it’ll likely be a year before any substantial updates are available.

What did the five fingers say to the face?

I especially look forward to the film, as First Class was the only film in the entire X-Men franchise that, in my opinion, carried any depth or genuine meaning with it, along with exciting, fun to watch action scenes that carried weight and gravitas behind them. The first two tried unsuccessfully to blend heady, talk heavy scenes into the film, but failed when it came to any kind of exhilarating fighting or action, and left us with a main character death in the second, that lacked emotional resonance, and ultimately ended up going nowhere interesting in the incredibly mediocre (but entertaining in a oh-man-this-is-bad way) third film. First Class finally showcased realistic uses of powers by characters who were refreshingly happy and willing to use them, because having powers would be amazing, and seeing characters unburdened by any sort of broody melodramatic guilt over the “responsibility” of their powers, was a breath of fresh air to see, especially in a genre where so many superheroes’ are so torn about having frickin’ SUPER POWERS.

So it goes without saying I’ll be looking forward to seeing some new X-Men action come July 18, 2014, because watching someone using mind powers gleefully is probably the best wish-fulfillment there is.

The 25 Most Anticipated Films of 2012

We seem to spend a lot of time talking about the various new mind-blowing movies that come out bigger and better every year. So we figured it was time to bring out the science again and put together a list of our 25 Most Anticipated Films of 2012.

Now we are only talking about the March-September slate of movies as some haven’t received official release dates yet, so keep that in mind.

Each member of the staff made a list. These lists will be compiled from a point system determined by votes from each member of the staff. It’s very scientific, we used Excel. Our resident cinephile joey123mo will take a look at each movie and outline why it made our list of Most Anticipated Films of 2012!

Continue reading The 25 Most Anticipated Films of 2012

Why We’re Hungry for ‘The Hunger Games’: New Trailer and Maps of Panem!

We’ve seen quite a few franchises rip through social media these days, and they all have the same things in common.  One, they come from popular books series. IE: Harry Potter and Twilight.  The Hunger Games is no different.  Two, they all have gigantic budgets with big studios backing them.  They can boast the latest in CGI, costume design, even scores by some of the top composers.  And three, they can take many liberties and let the foot off the gas creatively (and they often do) because they all have multitudes of preteen fans ready to spend their lunch money on a movie ticket, even before the film is released.  The result is generally poor writing and even worse acting.

Continue reading Why We’re Hungry for ‘The Hunger Games’: New Trailer and Maps of Panem!

The Hunger Games: The Influences…

With the approaching release of The Hunger Games (March 23rd), I thought it would be a good time to gain (or regain) some perspective on the possible influences on the plot of the much acclaimed book series.  Now, when I first thought of writing on this topic, I took the stance that the book series, written by Susanne Collins, was simply a bastardization of some quality pieces of art and entertainment (not always at the same time). After sharing some of those thoughts with my 7th grade students – Collins target audience – I have realized that many fans of the series are blindly convinced of its originality, as well as the authenticity of the themes and plot of the books. However, they are just as blindly willing to watch or read the various films and novels that have shaped their being.

Before going any further, I know many of you will automatically think, “Nothing is original anymore!” If you want to have that argument, view the profound “Everything Is a Remix” blog. My point here is not to say that unoriginality is terrible, but rather point out possible influences on the forthcoming movie which I think are more interesting and poignant than the young adult novels.

Theseus and the Minotaur

One of the greatest places to find stories to reinvent is from Greek and Roman Mythology. The premise of the hero Theseus running around the Labyrinth contending with a Minotaur as punishment for the wrong-doings of Athens is intriguing. In a Q and A with publisher Scholastic, Collins admitted that the basic premise of a government that sends youths into a battleground as punishment for the past came from the brutal Greek Myth.

This is a pretty clear modernization of that basic premise.

The Running Man (1987)

The next step in forming The Hunger Games is obvious: include the Governator. The basic plot of The Running Man is that a wrongly accused man is set for public execution on television. This is not simply flick of the switch type execution. Rather, the execution is a commercially driven television game show, in which viewers are rewarded with entertainment, and not necessarily justice. The movie is like many Arnie flicks: lots of campy action, one liners, and guilty pleasures. However, the premise is disturbing, and the idea that people gain entertainment from others’ pain and suffering is appalling, if not true to modern times, i.e. Survivor, Mixed Martial Arts, and any “reality” dating, singing, or makeover show.

The connection to Collins’ series is clear: the people in the Capital city of Panem are completely desensitized to the violence of ‘the Hunger Games’, and find the brutal destruction and death to be the greatest form of entertainment.

Battle Royale (2000)

In the near future, 42 students are forced by Japanese legislation to compete in Battle Royale, an all-out three day massacre in which all students are given a random weapon, some meager supplies, and are told that only one student can come out alive.

Sound familiar?

If you haven’t seen Battle Royale, you really shouldn’t be allowed to see The Hunger Games, which will seem like a Disney story in comparison. The violence is disturbing, and the reactions of the students are likely very accurate as to how the masses would act in such a situation. Battle Royale comes across more on the psychological mutilation that occurs within people, and the inhumanity that a government requires to keep control.

Besides these main three, there are many other allusions one could infer from the Hunger Games. These connections are slightly vaguer, and may apply to the second and third books in the series, so my logic may not hold…

Star Wars

Youth becomes the face of rebellion. Youth’s mentor is a has-been, and doesn’t inform youth of all that he knows. Like the fact that his father IS Darth Vader!

Twilight

Love triangle. Which one of the flawless mates will she choose? Bah.

With the success of the publishing of Twilight in 2005, it is not surprising that Collins (who published in 2008) chose the love triangle angle instead of a Romeo and Juliet type.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

The struggles of youths faced with the politics of ‘survival of the fittest’.

Regardless of whether you are a fan of The Hunger Games or not, you’ve got to appreciate many of the themes explored through it and its predecessors. Despite my perpetual pessimism with popular culture, and my want for originality in art and entertainment, I can take solace in how Collins responded to the question: “What do you hope your readers will come away with…?”

Collins: “Questions about how elements of the book might be relevant in their own lives. And, if they’re disturbing, what they might do about them.”

New Trailer: The Hunger Games

The newest trailer for The Hunger Games is out and thank God it’s not another spinning acid trip in the woods.  For a while there I thought I was watching daytime outtakes from The Blair Witch Project.  With slightly less snot.

I will say from the top that I like the trailer.  It encapsulates the character of Katniss quite well, and I am more than pleased with Jennifer Lawrence in the role with what I’ve seen so far.  That and Donald Sutherland is basically a badass, so you know he’ll be awesome.  I can make my peace with Lenny Kravitz, I really can.  I’m sure he had the best acting coaches money could buy that auto-tuned his on-screen performance.  I’m sure he knows some guitar hypnosis voodoo to get what he wants.

I really have a hard time making my peace with Woody Harrelson because of what an obscenely awful actor he is.  He wasn’t exhibited much in the trailer, but I think this role should be a cinch for him.  He’s like Keanu Reeves.  Keanu has solid performances when he plays someone who has no clue what’s going on; because Keanu has no clue what’s going on.  In this film, Woody portrays a crazy drunk who tends to lash out in a violent rage.  Three shots of Tequila and he just has to read the script.

Anyhow, here it is…

I have high hopes for this film because I did thoroughly enjoy the book.  There is a wide margin of screw-up possibility, as in any book to film adaptation.  However, being that this was the only book in the trilogy that was actually worth reading, I’m excited to see it.  This new trailer really gave us a glimpse into Katniss’ life before and leading up to the games; her bravery in volunteering to die to save her sister’s life, her friendship with her fellow tribute, Peeta.  It felt inspiring.  Hopefully the film lives up to the hype.

Hunger Games will be released on March 23, 2012.

8 New Character Posters for ‘The Hunger Games’

While movie posters aren’t exactly the most thrilling aspects of a film production, they can do loads for setting the tone and planting a seed in the minds of the public (See the wonderful District 9 posters, for example). Particularly for upcoming movies that haven’t disclosed much footage yet, a poster can be all we have to get an idea of the direction a project is taking, and this is certainly the case with The Hunger Games film, which released a teaser that managed to show absolutely nothing in a minute and six seconds.

However we have been treated to a simply awesome motion poster for the movie in the past, and now we’ve been handed 8 new character posters that feel just perfect, and thank God because some of the casting decisions have seemed way out of left field. Sure, a still photo of a shadowy profile isn’t much to go on, but I never thought Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks or Lenny Kravitz would look right in their roles and yet here we are:


You can find all 8 of the new posters here at IMP Awards. I’m real excited for the Hunger Games trilogy, if you can’t tell.

What do you think of the secretiveness of this, or other movie productions? Like it? Hate it? Think it’s stupid to get all caught up in a picture?