Katniss, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is seen in the poster looking svelte in a red outfit that is sure to kill. The ‘fit also comes with a set of matching arrows. To die for.
The teaser shows Miss Everdeen standing on the District 12 statue and then a cutaway to a message from District 13.
The marketing for this franchise is incredibly clever, mirroring the same tactics Panem and President Snow use to instill fear in the people. Too bad for him because the rebellion is here, and it is looking really good.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 will be in theater November 20th, 2015.
With the recent release of the third installment of The Hunger Games franchise “Mockingjay Part I”, audiences are flocking to theatres to see brutal fight scenes and heartbreaking struggle on the big screen. The Hunger Games franchise is phenomenally successful, although this year’s film didn’t bring as much money in as anticipated ($123 million. How that’s a disappointment, I’m still not sure.) Millions of fans around the world were excited to see the newest film, dressing up as Katniss and other characters. My college even had a Hunger Games costume contest during dinner (ironically) to celebrate the release. And yet, for many viewers, the story’s themes hit a little too close to home.
Economic inequality is rampant in our world. People live paycheck to paycheck. They survive on food stamps that often fail to buy essential items. This Christmas, there will be many families who will have nothing to put under their tree. Graduates struggle to pay off student debt every day. And what may be worse of all, is if you are born in poverty, you’re likely to stay there, much like the citizens of Panem. There is no transferring from district to district. If you live in District Twelve, you will work in District Twelve, you will starve in District Twelve, and you will die in either District Twelve or the Arena. Meanwhile citizens of the Capital live comfortably. Our world, unfortunately, works on a similar system. Those who are born into poor families, are likely to stay poor. Those who are born into financially stable families, aren’t likely to find themselves in economic struggle. While we don’t have a President Snow or a Hunger Games, per se, but 98% of our citizens still live very much like those of Panem while the Capital lives abundantly because of the misfortune of the lower class.
There are little to no government aid programs in Panem. Katniss’ father dies in a mining accident and the family loses a large part of their income. Were there a worker’s union in Panem, this never would have happened. And had it not happened, Katniss’ mother wouldn’t have gone into a deep depression and with no access to mental health care, been unable to work, further cutting the family’s income. Due to neither of her parents able to bring in income, Katniss had to take care of the family herself. This left the family to starve because the Capital provides no food stamps. Not only that, but the justice system is corrupt and feeds on the racial division in the Districts. And all of this is because of the Capital, which controls all twelve districts, and shares none of the wealth.
Seem like fiction? If only. Only 6% of Americans have union protection in the workplace and have met the same fate as Katniss’ father. Millions of Americans can’t afford desperately needed mental health care and lose their jobs like Katniss’ mother. One in six Americans go hungry, and food stamp benefits were slashed in the last year. African-Americans are six times more likely to be incarcerated than white citizens. 2% of the country still controls the majority of the wealth. The Hunger Games may seem like just a franchise, but there is a lot more going on here than just a simple book.
It’s not just our government that’s causing economic inequality. Companies such as McDonald’s and Walmart pay their employees so low that most workers can’t afford to feed their families without a second job or reliance on food stamps.
Walmart pays its associates less than $25,000 a year. That isn’t enough to cover the basics for worker’s kids, let alone pay their bills or support their families. Managers of Walmart are also known for manipulating work schedules so that employees have a hard time working full-time; therefore, these workers don’t receive benefits and usually receive insufficient paychecks that negatively affect families, budgets, and ultimately lives. What’s really upsetting is that Walmart brings in an annual $16 billion in profits and a recent Fortune article stated that Walmart could afford to give workers a 50% raise without hurting its stock prices. There’s no reason Walmart can’t afford to pay their workers better. Not to mention, many workers were unable to spend Thanksgiving with their families this year.
McDonald’s is even worse when it comes to economic inequality. McDonald’s employees make less than $11,000 a year. Managers at McDonalds are also known to manipulate schedules so that employees aren’t eligible for benefits and employees do not have the right to unionize, which keeps them from being able to bargain for better wages and working conditions. The CEO of McDonald’s, Donald Thompson made $9.5 million in 2013. It would take an average McDonald’s worker 864 years to make that.
These companies are just like the greedy Capitol of Panem. Just like the Capitol, they are cashing in on the cheap labor of its people and offering no workers compensation or benefits. Were these companies to raise their wages to $15 an hour (which they could afford to do) employees would experience a significant increase in the ability to take care of themselves and their families. Not only that, but a recent study by the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce shows that Walmart pays its workers so low that most employees have to rely on food stamps and other Government programs. This cost taxpayers $900,000 at just one Walmart Supercenter in Wisconsin. They estimate that Walmart costs taxpayers roughly $8 million in subsidized food, living, and healthcare all because they won’t pay their workers enough to get by.
So what can we do about this? We can become the District 13 of our country. In “Mockingjay,” District 13 is an underground militia determined to unite the Districts of Panem and bring the Capitol to justice. They do this in several ways, but waging a full out violent war isn’t going to help our fight against economic inequality. A large part of District 13’s strategy for overthrowing the Capitol is educating the people of Panem of what President Snow was doing; taking the public eye away from the glittering jewels of reality television, fashion, and materialism and focusing it on the real issues. We as activists need to take economic inequality and put it out in the open. We need to show our country how pressing an issue this is. Education is our strongest ally in our fight against inequality.
The Harry Potter Alliance has been fighting for economic equality for over a year now and on Black Friday members visited Walmart and McDonald’s locations, passing out flyers to location managers about the way their workers are treated, informing them of the awful truth of what the companies they work for are doing. The HPA has also been using the hashtag #MyHungerGames and urging people to share their economic inequality stories with the world through everything from short tweets to long blog posts. By doing this, they are showing the real faces of economic inequality; the real faces of the Districts.
We need to take the public eye off of which guys are hottest in The Hunger Games franchise and reveal the bigger themes going on in the films and in our own country. Who cares if The Hunger Games have hot guys in them!? Suzanne Collins wasn’t thinking about hot guys when she wrote the series. Her concern was bringing these issues to light and inspiring people to do something about it. We can be the District 13 of our world. We need to raise our three finger salute to the skies and overthrow the Capitol of economic inequality.
Genre – Sci-Fi Dystopian/Book Adaptation
Director – Francis Lawrence (Catching Fire)
Cast – Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Phillip Seymour Hoffman (RIP), Julianne Moore, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson
Alluring element – S*** finally gets real in the Hunger Games saga!
Check it out if you liked – The Hunger Games franchise, other young adult lit turned film
When Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games adaptation came to the big screen, I was ecstatic. Me, who had been a literary disaster since choosing to go to an engineering college after high school, who had not read a book without pictures in it since Huckleberry Finn. The Hunger Games was the first story where I felt fully immersed in the world I was reading about.So far, the movies have been pretty great at capturing that same fire (heh) and excitement that I had when I read the books for the first time. Heck, we gave Catching Fire a 91%. Only a year has passed since the second installment came out, but so much has happened since.
Jennifer Lawrence’s off-screen drama has been a severe distraction (not her fault, but a reality nevertheless), and the thought of a grown and sexy JLaw (ala American Hustle) was just too awkward when you consider she is playing a 17 year old Katniss Everdeen. The negative reception that the film has received since its release was disheartening. Going in, all this movie had to do to impress us was, quite blatantly, not suck. The result was one of mixed feelings; this film far from sucked, but from the start, we definitely felt that Mockingjay did not need to be split into two films – something that really has, or ever will, only worked for Harry Potter. The final movie in the trilogy had the potential to be the heart-pounding finale that we all deserved, but instead, the heart-wrenching powerful moments were broken up by a casually-paced and matter-of-fact story progression.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let me tell you how much I genuinely enjoyed Mockingjay. The arena has always been one of the more interesting aspects of the books, and so by actually pulling our heads out of the District 12 sandbox we’ve had our heads in this whole time, we are able to connect to the other Districts. That connection is really what drives the film until the end. From Katniss’ guest appearance in District 8 to District 5’s courageous effort at the dam, you understand that everybody is fighting against a common goal. Katniss, the Mockingjay, is at the center of all this, but while it might seem like she is the spark of hope, she is turned into nothing short of a puppet, a symbol for hope, by District 13 President Coin. It actually reminded me of the way Captain America was used to punch fake Hitlers and rile up the crowd when he had a perfectly adequate skills for actually taking on the enemy. And like Captain America, Katniss pushes herself right into harms way to get her point across.
Another big theme here is propaganda, or propos as Heavensbee would like to to call them. Basically spitting back out the same strategies that the Capitol is using against them, District 13 sends their camera crew to follow Katniss and get usable footage for these advertisements is really no better than your local Congressmen’s ads that run during Scandal. The only reason I can forgive it from 13 is that they have Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones) on the mic. But seriously, taking advantage of Katniss’ vulnerability (and, in the process, turning Jennifer Lawrence into a pop star!) during her “Hanging Tree” performance is really just as despicable as the Capitol using Peeta against her. It’s a topic I wish the film would have dove in on, especially since it had two hours to do so. Katniss is just a tool, and will be treated with such revery only as long as it serves District 13’s purpose.
On the bright side, we get a noticeable decline in both Blair Witch camera and Jennifer Lawrence cry face – a repeat offender in the first couple films. The supporting cast this time around was much stronger, too. Julianne Moore and Phillip Seymour Hoffman (RIP) play a perfect President Coin and Plutarch Heavensbee, and on the other side of the mirror, Donald Sutherland is even more frightening than before as President Snow. Jeffrey Wright also makes his return as the genius Beetee, who is finally realized as the vital character that always has been. It’s also nice to see him back to being a good guy after his villainous stint in Boardwalk Empire. The old gang also makes a return, with a made-down Effie Trinket and sober Haymitch rounding out the cast with Gale, ever-ready to play soldier and submit himself to the cause.
At some point in the movie, the revolution turned into a love story. I know this is a movie aimed at teenagers, but it can get eye-rolling at the fact that, in a middle of a rebellion, with so many other brave and adult decisions being made, a young woman’s sole interest is not overthrowing the government, but saving her boyfriend. I’ve read that Jennifer Lawrence once tried out for Bella in Twilight; well, it looks like she won’t have to be in a sucky vampire movie to play the role of Bumbling Idiot in a Love Triangle; she has that already. This is not a love story, and it doesn’t need to be a love story to keep teenage girls interested.
Overall, I really enjoyed Mockingjay: Part 1. There are many things happening and in an entirely new environment – enough to keep me engaged the entire time (and I am notorious for falling asleep through movies). That being said, I’m still convinced that a single movie to encompass the third book should have been in order. For its own two-hour block, it would have nice to touch over the more subtle themes of the book – especially the propaganda. If they were going to use it in the promotional materials, why not discuss it in the movie? There is simply too much exposition for this film to catch fire like its predecessor did. However, with the finale guaranteed to break hearts and box office records, there’s still a lot to look forward to when the finale rolls around next November.
All pictures belong to Lionsgate production company.
Genre – Dystopia, Fantasy, Scif-fi, Action, Book-to-Movie Adaptation
Director – Francis Lawrence (Constantine, I Am Legend, and no relation to Jennifer Lawrence)
Cast – Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Donald Sutherland, and Philip Seymour Hoffman
Alluring element – It’s based off the best book in The Hunger Games trilogy, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Check it out if you liked – The Hunger Games franchise, any survival movie ever.
As I rated The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and argued my points for my rating scale, I realized that my high scores are coming from a biased fan-girl prospective. That being said, Catching Fire was the most enjoyable movie I have seen since Star Trek: Into Darkness. Was it as great as the book? Well, is any movie as good as the book it was adapted from? Catching Fire is arguably the best book of author Suzanne Collins teen-based dystopian trilogy. I had very high expectations going into this film and felt greatly rewarded *gush*.
Catching Fire continues to follow the story of the winner of the Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and the aftermath of winning the Hunger Games, particularly because of the way she won, by defying the rules of the Hunger Games and offering to kill herself with her televised lover and District 12 partner, Peeta Mellark, rather than be forced to kill him herself. If this is too confusing for you, you may want to go back and either read the first Hunger Games book or watch the movie as the sequel does not include much explanation from the original story. The consequences of winning the games is on par with actually being in the games.
Many of the reasons I am so fond of this movie is because of the clear differences between it and the first film. First off, no more motion sickness camera. Throughout the first film, I found myself having to constantly close my eyes or else get sick. With a new director on board, the jiggly first-person camera went away. We also lost the amount of dramatics the Peeta/ Katniss (Peeniss) relationship had going. The first film made their relationship so awkward it was uncomfortable to watch. I can see the argument that the reason for that was because the two had to make “a show” for the viewers from the Capitol to be interested enough to send them gifts, thus making it easier to survive, but I also think that the “love” between the two was a ploy to keep the Twi-hards of the moment involved with the story. In Catching Fire, the forced love was a ploy for the real audience, but was better acted as ploy for the people of the Capitol. It was also better demonstrated by the heart-to-heart President Snow had with Katniss at the beginning of the film about her relationship with Peeta vs. Gale. Once Katniss and Peeta ***SPOILER*** enter the games again, Katniss has genuine feelings about Peeta’s well-being and shows it better than she did the last time they almost died together.
There were many little moments that really made the film amazing for me. At one point President Snow asks his young granddaughter when she started wearing her hair in a braid, to which she says that all the girls at school are doing it. It is such a small and quiet scene, but the acting by the wonderful Donald Sutherland is enough to make it extremely significant. The dress Katniss wears, made by Cinna, to reveal as the beautiful bride turned Mockingjay aka The Face of the Rebellion is also noteworthy. When she raises her arms to reveal the wings, it culminates what readers of the book would have wanted to see.
The portrayal of the edgy victor, Johanna Mason, played by Jena Malone, was very well done. She is questionably loyal to Katniss, but proves herself worthy at the end. And she is an actress I have followed since she was a child, so it was cool to see her play a sexier, older role. The change in Effie Trinket is also nice to see. She is still all about the fashion of The Capitol, but is also very dedicated to the “team” from District 12 and is genuinely sad about the bad things that happen to each of her victors. The relationship between newcomer, but resident victor, Finnick O’Dair, played by Sam Claflin and his pseudo-mother, Mags, is really moving during their scenes in the arena.
Another note about Finnick is that he is the Aquaman of this universe, and the trident is officially cool because of it. And despite the outfit he is forced to wear to the tribute tour, he is damn sexy. The segment featuring the training arena also did an amazing job of showing how strong Katniss is. She performs at top speed while practicing her archery skills. She then shows the Game Makers her amazing skill (although not archery) during her solo evaluation. They also touched on the gratuitousness of the Capitol people who eat and then throw up just to eat more. The Game Maker’s room and the translation of that room to the actual arena was visually stunning.
It is rare when a film can capture the imagery of a book’s description so well. The arena is beautiful and the technology behind it is just as intriguing.
More importantly, the Game Maker himself, Plutarch Heavensbee, is so expertly acted by Philip Seymour Hoffman that he is reason I give the film an “A” rating. I call in the Hoffman offset. He is so intriguing and easy to hate that the twist at the end is even more shocking when the audience finds out his true nature.
Of course there were moments the movie missed. They could have been included as small allusions, as many other great moments were. It seems like at this point we should know how Haymitch won his games considering he is mentoring our two heroes, he is a complete drunk mess, and that ***SPOILER*** he is revealed to be the one who is creating the rebellion and stamping Katniss’ face on it. The way Haymitch won his game is at the least slightly important to this story. Also, despite the detail of the solo presentations by both Peeta and Katniss, it is never mentioned in their interviews with Caesar Flickerman what their final scores were from those presentations. It’s small, but I think worth nothing since it was a major scene in the first movie. Before the victory tour starts for Katniss, she discusses running away in the woods with Gale. In the book, she actually does run for a short while and finds other people who are also on the run. The movie was already a bit on the lengthy side, so it may have been purged because of time constraints, but it could have been an interesting addition to the film’s depth. And lastly, I’m putting it out there, why the hell does Peeta still have his goddamn leg?! For gods sake, it was cut off in his first tour, and if they didn’t have the guts to do it for the first film, this could have been their film. But no, its still there. and honestly, when Peeta is on the screen, I just stare at his legs with bated breath waiting for a random meat cleaver to come swinging from the jungle trees and chop it off. Perhaps they will save that for the last movie, but I’m starting to think its never to going to happen. Sigh.
The brutality in Catching Fire is worth noting. The games themselves are brutal, of course. The Careers are brutal, of course. But it is the commentary on the Government and the Peace Keepers enforcement of the peace that is particularly striking. When the people start showing signs of rebellion during the Victory Tour and during The Reaping, Peace Keepers oddly do exactly the opposite to keep the peace. There are some very hard scenes to watch because of the violence that occurs on the people in the districts. It is particularly shocking because of the juxtaposition of the dystopian society and the society we live in today. One scene shows a very brutal and bloody whipping of one rebel and may be a bit much for little ones. At the same time, it is was great to see, not because I’m a sick person, but because this movie is far from a love triangle, but rather the story of a people who are trying to make a better world because the one they live in is so controlled and the lengths those people are willing to go to accomplish that.
As a final caveat, I just have to talk about Jennifer Lawrence’s cry face. I’m not usually one to talk about how people’s faces look, because its just not nice, and I adore Jennifer Lawrence. But her cry face is just awful. And I say that with full confidence that the cry face she constantly wore during the film is not her true cry face, but the face she made especially for this film. Katniss cries all the time in the film. And I feel that she was justified in crying most of those times because she is put in so many positions that we would all cry. But the thing about Katniss is that she is supposed to be the Face of the Rebellion because she is different from previous Tributes. She is emotionally stronger and more skilled than the others that preceded her. From a feminist standpoint, it was a little annoying to see this strong-willed, smart young woman be taken down a notch by her overwhelming use of emotion and make her the weaker sex because of it. I still think Katniss is a better heroine that most teens in today’s pop-culture, but the film made her more delicate than she was portrayed in the books. That being said, with all the other social commentary going 0n, it may have been hard to relate to her by making her cold to her surroundings. The world isn’t quite ready for the full effect of Katniss Everdeen, the kick-ass teenager who changes Panem, but Catching Fire did a fine job of preparing us for those changes and the girl who will lead that rebellion; the Girl on Fire. Until next time, May the Odd be Ever in Your Favor.
The blockbusters are coming! The blockbusters are coming! November stars off with a bang and keeps getting better. With some big movies on the horizon, it’s hard not to get excited about the action movies, the book-to-movie adaptations and family films coming your way this upcoming month.
November 1 – Ender’s Game
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis
Based off the 1985 book of the same name, Ender’s Game is centered around a young boy who is enlisted into some weird child army to single-handedly eliminate an alien threat and save the world. This child prodigy, played by Asa Butterfield (Hugo‘s title actor), is a very advanced strategist and thinker for his age, which leads him to be outcasted a lot. The book focused on a lot of battle strategy and the “games” he plays to train himself – many of which I think kids would love to play. I’m thoroughly excited to see this movie and think it will translate into a beautiful District 9/Harry Potter sci-fi mash-up.
Okay, so nobody roots for a turkey to win, but that may change after Free Birds comes out. Awkwardly just a few weeks before millions of pounds of turkey are devoured by Americans, Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson will lead an animated revolution to go back in time and “take turkeys off the menu.” TOO SOON. The trailer shows lots of good family fun, and enough jokes for adults to enjoy it as well. It looks worth checking out, but with all the other juggernaut films coming out the next few days, it might have served well to come out a little closer to Thanksgiving. Here’s to hoping their plan works!
November 1 – Last Vegas
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline, 50 Cent
Imagine Hangover forty years later. Seriously, that’s about it; it’s a little shallow, but with the star-power that comes with this movie, there should be enough momentum to carry it. Aimed towards a different demographic, expect a lot of old people jokes. Actually, that’s really all you should expect. It’s also time that I accept that Morgan Freeman and Robert De Niro are officially old. The scene with Morgan Freeman gathering the courage to jump out of his bedroom window is, and always be, hysterical. Again, with all these action epics out this month, I don’t expect this movie to do well, but will probably be worth a Netflix rental.
The Armstrong Lie begins with a humble story. Filmmaker Alex Gibney, enamored with the story of Lance Armstrong, was filming an inspiring documentary about the miracle comeback of an American cyclist. Of course, it ended up being too good to be true, as Armstrong was juicing/doping/whatever. So instead of calling it a day, Gibney gave Lance two middle fingers and decided to turn the positive documentary into one shaming him (although, I don’t know how much more shaming could be done). It’s a documentary I wish ESPN: 30 for 30 would have done, but I’m intrigued nonetheless.
November 8 – Thor: The Dark World
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba
Here comes Thor! It’s been a while since his forgettable movie debut, but the buzz from The Avengers is keeping this character in the spotlight for the time being. Chris Hemsworth does a convincing job as the Thunder God, but we will need more than just GC’ed monsters and backgrounds to make this a good film. The chemistry, as violent as it is, between Thor and Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is among the best in all the comic book movies. Odin willing, there is enough substance in the story and supporting acting for this film to give Thor the props he deserves.
November 15 – The Book Thief
Starring: Sophie Nelisse, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson
The Book Thief is one of the best young adult novels to come out in recent years. It can seem a little daunting to read because it has 500+ pages, but so do most of the Harry Potter books. The Book Thief is so stellar because it is easy to read, yet incredibly thought provoking. Narrated by Death, we follow a little girl named Liesel who is a German girl growing up under the Hitler regime. She and her adoptive family are harboring a young Jewish man. Liesel works around the town and steals books for she and her Jewish friend, Max to read. Like many wartime stories, especially of such a heavy nature, it can be expected to cry a bit. I highly recommend seeing this film if it has any resemblance to the book.
November 15 – The Wolf of Wall Street
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Jon Favreau
**UPDATE: It was just confirmed Tuesday that the film would be pushed back to Christmas Day so that Scorsese could kill some babies and try to get it from an NC-17 rating down to an R rating. Sad times, but a great Christmas movie awaits us.**
November 22 – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Donald Sutherland
Catching Fire was my favorite book in the trilogy. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as impressed with the film adaptation of the first book of The Hunger Games trilogy. And I’m sorry to still harp on this, but why does Peeta still have BOTH LEGS?! Ok, ok, moving on. I loved that the previews for Catching FIre only allowed us a glimpse of the Victory Tour for Katniss and Peeta, because it purposefully left out the second half of the book. I’ll leave it a mystery here, in case you don’t know what happens to our heroine, but I’ll say that it will be worth it to meet a character named Finnick O’Dair, a winner of a previous Hunger Game. Eeekkk…. nerd girl moment, here I come on November 22!
November 22 – Delivery Man
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt
It’s pretty hard for me to turn down a movie with Vince Vaughn. In Delivery Man, Vaughn plays a man who learns he is the father to several hundred children due to a mix-up at a sperm bank. He makes it his mission to have a little part in his kids lives. The movie is a remake of a French film named Starbuck. In time for the holiday season, the comedy with a little bit of a risque theme will most likely be the feel good movie of the month.
November 27 – Frozen
Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Johnathan Groff, Alan Tudyk
The previews for Disney Animated’s Frozen were so creative because they were little short films before the actual movie. In fact, the first time I saw a preview this summer, I thought it was a short before the film. The story is about a girl named Anna (Kristen Bell) who is on the search for her sister who has turned the kingdom into a permanent Winterland. With the help of some wintertime friends, Anna embarks on her adventure. The movie looks super cute and will be the perfect way to start the winter season.
November 27 – Oldboy
Starring: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L Jackson,
A movie that is a remake of a 2003 South Korean film that is based off a 1996 Japanese manga that stars Josh Brolin. It’s also directed by Spike Lee. Brolin plays a man captured and held prisoner, then forced to watch news update that pin him as the murderer of his wife (surprise!). For twenty years, he watches the world go by from his solitary confinement. Just when he begins to grow a Merlin-scale beard, he is released into the world. From there, it looks like a lot of crazy ensues, and he has sex with hot women and kills a lot of people. The preview kinda made me sad, as I realized that Brolin could easily play a Dark Knight Returns style Bruce Wayne (no knock to Affleck). The biggest story here isn’t going to be Brolin, though, it will be to see if Spike Lee still has the juice. Lee hasn’t really directed a good movie since 2006’s Inside Man and everybody expects big things from everything he puts out.
November 27 – Homefront
Starring: Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth
Yet another book-to-movie adaptation of Chuck Logan’s book of the same name, Homefront stars Jason Statham (sidenote: thank God, because it’s been almost six months since I’ve seen Statham shoot anybody in a movie and I was beginning to go through withdrawals) as an undercover DEA agent who is harrassed because his daughter beat the crap out of a bully that happened to be the son of a meth kingpin, named Gator. Gator, played by James Franco, is not Heisenberg. He is a sloppy redneck, and I’m sure there is some elaborate speech where he tells us why his name is Gator. I can guarantee a large body count on Statham’s behalf, and creepily good acting by Franco, but it’s Winona Ryder that will steal the show…. too soon? Anyway, it will be a pretty good movie, but expect a pretty formulaic Statham movie.
November 29 – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Starring: Idris Elba, Naomie Harris,
Finally, Idris Elba gets his first solo starring role in a major motion picture – and it’s playing one of the greatest civil rights leaders of all time. I’m so excited to see The Wire’s Stringer Bell play Nelson Mandela – and not the South African rugby team (Invictus), not the
Finally, Idris Elba gets his first starring role in a major motion picture – and it’s playing one of the greatest civil rights leaders of all time. I’m so excited to see Elba play Nelson Mandela. And it’s not as the head of the South African rugby team, it’s the man behind the revolution. This movie should give Elba much needed respect. Although I am bit concerned, as his trademark mustache was not casted for the part, I am glad that this is not a gimmicky portrayal to portray the freedom fighter; actually, this story is based off of Mandela’s own auto-biography. Cue K’Naan’s “Waving Flag;” it’s a wrap!
This month’s list brings us:
10 based off a true story or book to movie adaptations or sequels
3 “original” ideas
Join us next month, as we cover some of this year’s most anticipated films. Action, mayhem and wonder await us in December. Any other movies you are interested in that we did not cover this month? Let us know!
The new Hunger Games: Catching Fire trailer premiered in San Diego today. It is disappointing that the previews give away the quarter quell secret now, but it looks really good. Click here to go to see it!