Tag Archives: Hunger Games

Gwendoline Christie On Captain Phasma, Playing Strong Women

From the Isle of Tarth to a galaxy far, far away, Gwendoline Christie has taken on the roles of three very different, very powerful characters, and is helping to change how the world sees women.

Continue reading Gwendoline Christie On Captain Phasma, Playing Strong Women

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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.

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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.