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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Cindy Prascik's Review of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1

Dearest Blog, since a freakishly icy November morning cost me the cinema last weekend, I am a week late with my review of the latest Hunger Games installment. That means just one thing: prepare for my rambling to be even less relevant than usual!    

Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers or, you know, if you've been on the Internet at all this past week.     Katniss Everdeen becomes the face of the Districts' rebellion against the Capitol, but concern for Peeta's safety is chief on her mind.    

Well, dear reader(s), I'm not exactly what you'd call a Hunger Games fangirl. The movies are pretty well done, but, to me, it's a slightly-better-than-average young adult series that was fortunate to land on a shooting star at just the right moment. To its credit, the franchise seems well aware of that, and it utilizes Jennifer Lawrence's formidable talent, screen presence, and star power to their absolute fullest.     

If J-Law is as astonishing as we've come to expect, that takes nothing away from a supporting cast that is, to a person, very, very good, and Mockingjay Part 1 continues the series' tradition of leaving us wanting more of Woody Harrelson's Haymitch, especially.     

This third Hunger Games installment seems even more grim than the first two, which is really saying something when you take into account that the first one was about children killing one another for entertainment. Like the Hunger Games and Catching Fire, I left the theatre knowing I'd never watch Mockingjay again; it's just too miserable. The movie is also...erm...let's just say "deliberately paced" (to be polite) and runs perhaps a tad too long.     

None of that is to say, however, that it isn't interesting or well done; on the contrary, it is both. The story expertly sustains tension, and there are a couple disaster effects that left me holding my breath.    

Most of the film is set in muted greys and blacks and neutrals, effectively conveying the hopelessness felt by the Districts in their fight against the Capitol's oppression, and the ending will definitely leave you anxious for Mockingjay Part 2, coming next Thanksgiving.    

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 clocks in at 123 minutes and is rated PG13 for "intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, and thematic material."    

The Hunger Games series has yet to prove itself worthy of the hype, but as the genre goes, it's still better than most.    

Of a possible nine Weasleys, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 gets six.    

No reviews next weekend, as I'll be making my annual, much-anticipated trek to the Big Apple!    

Until next time..

If you're telling me someone fell for Josh Hutcherson while this guy was standing in front of them, I'm telling you that's the least-believable thing I've EVER seen in a movie!

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