Tag Archive: Twilight


Movies are certainly a business, but they’re also an art form. It’s understandable that the people behind them want to make money, but they also shouldn’t let their corporate greed get in the way of the film’s quality. When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was split into two parts, most people thought that it was an understandable decision. With the book clocking in at over 700 pages, this decision seemed to be made because there was simply too much content to pack into a single movie. But now movie studios have become savvy to this idea and lately the decision to split a final installment into two parts seems to occur just so they can make twice as much money. The final installment in The Hunger Games series, Mockingjay, isn’t even the longest novel out of the three. After having watched The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, it’s clear that the decision to split this franchise finale into two parts was a poor one. Not only are moviegoers only getting half of a movie, but the half of a movie that they get is slow, boring and incredibly uneventful.

Following the events of Catching Fire, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has been picked up by members of the rebellion and brought into District 13’s underground bunker. While there, she reconnects with old friends including Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) and Finnick (Sam Claflin). She also meets President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), the head of the rebellion. With the help of Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman), they convince Katniss to become the face of the rebellion. They send her out onto the battlefield and film her for a propaganda video. But Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) is being held in the Capitol by President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and Katniss doesn’t want to do anything until they’re able to rescue him.

I realize that the summary that I just wrote feels very slim, but that’s literally all that happens in the movie. This is only the first act of a three act story and it’s been stretched out into a 2 hour film. Where the film begins and where it ends is essentially the same place, with only a few minor differences. If Mockingjay had been made into one film instead of two, the events that occur in this film would have occupied the first 30-45 minutes. This is the first Hunger Games film without any appearance of the actual Hunger Games and there’s hardly any action to substitute for it. This is a film that’s all about setup. While this could have been interesting, the political strategizing that’s going on here is so basic that it fails to garner any interest. It also doesn’t help that the majority of the runtime takes place in an underground bunker that’s bland and uninteresting to look at.

How long will studios be able to get away with this? We never used to see films get split into two parts, but now it seems like every major blockbuster is using this idea. It makes sense from a business standpoint, but from a creativity standpoint, it’s shallow and ultimately pointless. Maybe it’s time that moviegoers start a rebellion, much like the one that we see in Mockingjay – Part 1. We could strategize in an underground lair, before we march up to the bigwigs in Hollywood and force them to end this nonsense. We’re getting tricked into buying two tickets for a single movie and we won’t stand for it any longer. Who could we have as our Mockingjay symbol? Jennifer Lawrence probably wouldn’t do it, because I’m assuming that she’s making twice as much money from these movies as well. Maybe someone from the Harry Potter franchise could join our cause. That series is the only one to do a two-part finale well, so maybe they’re just as outraged at what The Hunger Games, Twilight and Divergent are doing. I certainly wouldn’t mind having Emma Watson as our Mockingjay symbol.

Even though this film is adequately directed by Francis Lawrence and features some fine performance (Julianne Moore is a welcome addition to the cast), there’s just nothing to get excited about. In fact, the only great part of the movie is the Lorde song that plays over the end credits. The song , entitled “Yellow Flicker Beat”, was written by Lorde and Joel Little and it perfectly captures the tone of the Hunger Games franchise. It starts off slow and quiet before turning into a kicking pop song that’s more exciting than anything in the film. Lorde is the best pop star working today; she’s just 18 years old, has only released one album and she’s already put veteran stars like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry to shame. She has such a unique voice and her songs never feel like they’re trying to appeal to the masses. Just look at a song like “Royals”, which goes against the fame and fortune that most pop songs are built upon. Lorde curated the official soundtrack to go along with Mockingjay – Part 1 and it’s good to see that the song she provided  is just as good as anything on her debut album, Pure Heroine.

It may seem like I’m getting off topic here, but that’s happening for a reason. There’s simply not a lot to discuss with this film. I can only talk about how uneventful it is for so long before I begin to sound repetitive. It feels like the filmmakers are treading water, stretching a film out even when they know that they shouldn’t. It’s just a shame that the executives in charge of splitting the movie will still get away with it. The film is bound to make millions upon millions of dollars and Part 2 will probably make even more money. So that’s why I’m calling for a revolution. Let’s recruit Emma Watson, organize our members and march to Hollywood so we can tell these producers what we really think of their greedy decisions. Mockingjay – Part 1 is the first bad film in the franchise and it’s all because somebody wanted to sell twice as many tickets.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 receives 2/4

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In a busy week for trailers, we saw the teaser trailer for a Monsters Inc. prequel, we got to see Liam Neeson kick more butt in the Taken 2 trailer, and we got our first look at the found footage film V/H/S. Check out all of this weeks trailers below.

 

Monsters University

Monsters Inc. is one of Pixar’s best films, so it comes as no surprise that they would be interested in adding another film to that series. What is surprising is that they chose to make the film a prequel instead of a sequel. I guess it does make sense, because at the end of the first film, the monsters stopped scaring people and began to try making kids laugh instead. I think that a movie where the monsters make the kids laugh would be a total disaster, so it is good to see that this film will still have them scaring children. This teaser trailer actually made me laugh (a rarity for a trailer), but I seriously doubt that the prequel will live up to the standards set by Monsters Inc. Still, I am looking forward to this film just because I am a fan of the original.

 

 

Taken 2

Like most people, I really enjoyed the film Taken. I thought that a sequel to the film would be hard to pull off, but this trailer is quite promising. My doubts rested in the fact that a person’s family members can only be kidnapped so many times, but this trailer makes a second kidnapping seem believable. The sequel brings back the writers of the original, but it will have a different director at the helm. Regardless of this, I am really looking forward to Taken 2.

 

 

V/H/S

The thing with a horror anthology is that as long as one or two of the stories are good, it makes the whole movie worthwhile. V/H/S is a found footage horror anthology, featuring five tales all made by a different director. I was intrigued by the premise and this trailer has only made me more excited for the actual film. There are a few scares in the trailer that feel cheap (the shutting door has been used in far too many horror films lately), but there also appear to be some very unique scares, such as when the door begins to contort into a different shape. I am really interested in seeing what each of these stories will be.

 

 

Celeste and Jesse Forever

Andy Samberg has never been my favorite comedian, but this film looks like it could turn his career around. Rashida Jones looks fantastic as Celeste and these two actors appear to do a great job at playing best friends. Despite the trailer being only a few minutes long, I had already begun to care for these characters. As long as this film can avoid the usual clichés of a romantic comedy, it has the potential to be a winner.

 

 

Other trailers released this week include the final trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, a new teaser for Joaquin Phoenix’s The Master, Dredd, The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 2, 2 Days in New York and Searching for Sugar Man.

 

The Dark Knight Rises

 

 

The Master

 

 

Dredd

 

 

The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 2

 

 

2 Days in New York

 

 

Searching for Sugar Man

 

We have all grown up hearing the tale of Snow White, often times considering the film to be a light-hearted children’s story. What most people fail to realize, is that the story actually began as a dark fantasy, written by the Brothers Grimm in the 19th century. Snow White and the Huntsman chooses to embrace the darker aspects of this famous story, creating a unique movie version of the tale. Because of this, the film is worthy of admiration, but unfortunately, the film is bogged down by a weak script and poor pacing.

When Snow White’s (Kristen Stewart) father marries the beautiful Ravenna (Charlize Theron), his new bride proceeds to murder him on their wedding night. She takes over the kingdom and locks the young Snow White away in a tower. After being held prisoner for several years, Snow White manages to escape from the kingdom and runs into the Dark Forest. Ravenna hires a Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to travel into the Dark Forest and find Snow White. After finding Snow White, the Huntsman decides to join forces with her and the two of them attempt to remove Ravenna from her throne.

First time director Rupert Sanders clearly has a knack for visual imagery, because Snow White and the Huntsman is gorgeous. Snow White travels from a large castle, to the Dark Forest, to beautiful meadows and every one of these locations feels fresh and unique. The cinematography by Greig Fraser is also fantastic. He makes use of several sweeping landscape shots that are nothing short of stunning. The visual effects are also very good, even if there are a few instances where you can easily decipher what is real and what is fake.

Despite being visually remarkable, the film suffers due to a weak script. One of the biggest problems with the film is that instead of being a rousing fantasy, most of the film is actually quite dull. Once Snow White enters the Dark Forest, nothing important happens for nearly an entire hour. In fact, one could skip the entire second half of the film without missing any important plot points. Once the film reaches its third act, the film begins to gain momentum, but by this point the film has dragged so much that I just wanted it to be over with.

The writers of the film also make some questionable choices regarding the plot. For example, when Snow White escapes from her tower, she runs onto a beach, only to find a very conveniently placed horse that she rides to safety. The odds of her finding a wild horse on that beach at that very moment are incredibly slim. Another frustrating moment comes when Snow White and the Huntsman face a giant troll. Based on the trailers, this was a moment in the film that I was really looking forward to. The troll knocks down the Huntsman, but it ends up walking away, simply because of Snow White’s pure nature. I was hoping to see an epic fight, but was let down by this copout decision by the writers. These examples of amateur writing do nothing but hurt this well directed film.

Kristen Stewart, who has gained worldwide attention due to her performance in the Twilight films, gets the opportunity to branch out from her role as Bella Swan. While she may have the appearance of a perfect Snow White, her actual performance is far from it. Despite giving it her best effort, she is often caught fumbling her way through clumsy dialogue. While an improvement over her performance in the Twilight films, she fails to reach the heights of her best performance, as Joan Jett in The Runaways. Charlize Theron’s performance is often too over-the-top, but Chris Hemsworth turns in a great performance as the drunken Huntsman. This is his third film to be released this year and his performances continue to get better and better.

Snow White and the Huntsman is a film that one can appreciate, but cannot enjoy. This being Sanders’ first film, he is an upcoming talent to watch. If he could have been given a proper script, his visuals would have caused the film to soar to spectacular heights. The writers and the director had good intentions, but good intentions do not always lead to a good film. It is a visual feast for the eyes, but it is also junk food for the brain.

Snow White and the Huntsman receives 2/4