I have never really been into films or film series that were based on teen book series like Twilight and so many more. Nonetheless, I thought that for the sake of this challenge that I would change my mind. So, I did that and for today’s film I watched The Hunger Games. In the world of Panem, there was once an uprising against the government, but when it became time for peace, an agreement was made and The Hunger Games was born. Every district has to give up one male and one woman who will compete in a game to the death that is televised. Afraid that her sister wouldn’t survive, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers herself into the competition, but she’ll have to learn to play the game if she wants to survive. The film also stars Stanley Tucci (Jury Duty) as Caesar Flickerman, Wes Bentley (American Beauty) as Seneca Crane, Elizabeth Banks (The Lego Movie) as Effie Trinket, Woody Harrelson (Rampart) as Haymitch, Josh Hutcherson (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island) as Peeta, Toby Jones (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) as Claudius Templesmith, Alexander Ludwig (Lone Survivor) as Cato, Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, Liam Hemsworth (The Expendables 2) as Gale Hawthorne, Donald Sutherland (MASH) as President Snow, Willow Shields as Primrose Everdeen, and the film was directed by Gary Ross (Big).
There is something to be said about these films that are taken from popular teen books because I enjoyed watching the Harry Potter films I watched and I even enjoyed this one. There catchy and when turned into films with great actors involved in it then they actually work. I liked the story of the film and I really liked the premise of it, but I did think it was a little log for my liking. The actual battle scenes are very cool, but there are points in the story that I could have done without. I do however understand that the scenes I could have done without were definitely needed for the drama aspect of the film. I thought the acting for the most part in the film was really good from everyone like Harrelson, Banks, Tucci, and Lawrence to name a few. The sets and costumes for the film were awesome and the way some of the people in the Capitol looked interesting. The film has an interesting concept of how the government controls everything from lack of food to how everyone must conform to their rules. It could kind of reflect certain societies for sure. Governments are always trying to figure out ways to control everything and this is definitely reflected in this one. I’m not completely positive if you’ll get another Hunger Games film for the challenge, but I’ll definitely check out the rest of the series. I a going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
There are officially 93 days until Halloween is here and 63 days until we begin the latest edition of Eddie’s 31 Days of Halloween. So, I basically couldn’t wait to review another horror film so I chose to watch The Uninvited for today. Anna Ivers (Emily Browning) has been in a mental institute for quite some time after the tragic death of her mother. She is finally ready to return home to her sister Alex (Arielle Kebbel) and her father (David Strathairn), but when she gets home, things are a little off. Her father is now in a relationship with her mother’s former nurse Rachel (Elizabeth Banks) and she is being visited by her mother who seems to be warning her about something. So, Anna begins to suspect that there is something that Rachel isn’t telling her dad so she starts to investigate. The film also stars Maya Massar (The Cabin In The Woods) as Mom, Kevin McNulty (Fantastic 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer) as Sheriff Emery, Jesse Moss (Tucker and Dale Vs Evil) as Matt, Dean Paul Gibson (Hector and the Search For Happiness) as Dr. Silberling, Heather Doerksen (The Cabin In The Woods) as Mildred, and the film was directed by The Guard Brothers.
Spoiler Alert: I am just taking the time to warn you that this paragraph may contain some spoilers so continue if you dare. At first the film is like any other typical teen horror film with some ghosts in it who haunt our main star, but for me it’s the end of the film that has my talking. There is a very cool twist at the end that I honestly did not see coming and I lied how they did that to me because I probably should have seen it coming. The whole film they are suspecting that Rachel isn’t who she says she is so they dig deeper thinking that she is some black widow type person, but the end of the film just says screw you, it’s not what you think. Elizabeth Banks does such an amazing job in the film making you believe that she is some psycho that wants complete and utter control until you find out the truth. The only thing I’ll say about the end of the film is that it has a fight club kind of ending if you catch my drift. If not, just watch it for yourself and you’ll see. David Strathairn seems ti be in a lot of films that I have reviewed lately, but that’s because he is amazing and versatile. The scenes with the visions and the ghosts can be kind of spooky at times, but not really. It’s not the best horror film I have ever seen, but it’s a decent one to check out at leas once. So, I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.
Instead of doing Super Sunday on the other blog, I am bringing it here for a film that I sort of boycotted back when it was first released (I’ll explain my reasoning below). Spider-Man 3 was the third and last installment of the Sam Raimi (Evil Dead)/Tobey Maguire Spider-Man series. Things appear to be going quite well for Spider-Man (Maguire) as all the residents of New York love and appreciate him and he has the girl of his dreams in Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). That all begins to change when a strange black entity from another world appears and bonds with Parker. It starts to drive certain urges in Spider-Man that we are not used to seeing from him as he battles new villains and some new problems because of it. The film also stars Topher Grace (That 70’s Show) as Eddie Brock, James Franco (Pineapple Express) as Harry Osborn, Thomas Haden Church (Daddy’s Home) as Sandman, Bryce Dallas Howard (50/50) as Gwen Stacy, Rosemary Harris (Spider-Man) as May Parker, J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) as J. Jameson, James Cromwell (The Green Mile) as Captain Stacy, Dylan Baker (Trick ‘r Treat) as Dr. Curt Conners, and Elizabeth Banks (Zack & Miri Make A Porno) as Miss Brant.
The reason I avoided this film to be perfectly honest back in 2007 was that I was frankly sick of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man and I did not agree with the casting choice of Topher Grace as Eddie Brock a.k.a. Venom. Topher Grace just wasn’t my first choice to play a bad ass villain, but nevertheless they went with him and I decided to check it out today. While this is definitely not the best film of the Sam Raimi three, it’s definitely not the best of all the Spider-Man movies that have come out including the two Amazing Spider-Man films. The film was just all over the place and there is this one sequence that was just unnecessary and it’s when Parker is walking down New York like he’s John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. That had to be the cheesiest moment of the whole film, but there are some redeeming values in the film. I wasn’t completely disappointed with the way Venom looked and Topher Grace was OK. I was impressed with him through most of the film when he was just that annoying Eddie Brock trying to top Peter Parker at The Daily Bugle. I loved the film’s choice for Gwen Stacy in Bryce Dallas Howard as she brings beauty to the role and the battle scene towards the end was pretty good as well. One thing they messed up on was the film seemed to abandon the subplot between Parker and Osborn who has basically ruined Parker’s life. After he regains his memory, he goes on a hellbent mission to destroy Parker, but after a little tussle in the lab, it’s over just like that? There’s also one more problem towards the end that I had, but I won’t give that away. So, let’s just say it has something to do with the Sandman. It’s definitely a film that could have been so much more than it was, but Raimi dropped the ball on this one. I am giving the film an C+ for a final grade.