Browse Tag: jennifer lawrence

RECAP: Mockingjay (Parts 1 & 2)

Mockingjay (2014 & 2015): Francis Lawrence

Not the first and not the last to try it, studio executives at Lionsgate split the final book of The Hunger Games series into two films.

The movie were hits at the box office, and likely made more as two movies than as one, but each of the two parts of Mockingjay paled to the huge box office and high quality of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire.

It probably didn’t help that Katniss Everdeen, the hero, stood on the sidelines for much of the final installment. The driver of her narrative when in the arena, Katniss takes orders from those who’ve fought the war against President Snow for decades.

Much like Aaron Rodgers backing up Brett Favre for three seasons as Green Bay Packers quarterbacks, Katniss waits her turn until the final moments, when one decision changes history.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Newly minted symbol of the resistance, Katniss Everdeen fights President Snow as a propaganda tool in District Thirteen’s war against The Capitol.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Catching Fire

Catching Fire (2013): Francis Lawrence

She thought she was out, but they pulled her back in.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Katniss Everdeen, reigning champion of the Hunger Games, re-enters the arena, but this time the stakes are higher.  Continue Reading

RECAP: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (2012): Gary Ross

In the future, the United States no longer exists. In its place is a state called Panem, ruled by The Capitol [sic] and comprised of 12 Districts. At least 74 years ago there was a District 13 and rebellion. The Capitol squashed both, and The Hunger Games were born, all the better to remind the districts to forget about future rebellions.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: In a future autocratic society, a teenager living in the sticks volunteers to compete in a 24-person fight to death, broadcast live, for the amusement of many.  Continue Reading

RECAP: X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class (2011): Matthew Vaughn

Following the less-than-stellar success of X-Men: The Last Stand (not to mention its ultimate title), Fox decided to reboot the entire X-Men franchise. Sort of.

They recast all the characters, but made a prequel set in the 1960s, a film that would show the origins of the primary mutants. The old actors playing Magneto and Professor X would be recast with Hollywood’s hottest young actors.

The movie was a box office mediocrity. The lowest grossing of the mutant ensemble movies, it might be the franchise’s best entry. When you hear critics and fans berating Hollywood because they want to see better movies with original ideas, remind them of the box office problems that befell X-Men: First Class.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Mutants assemble for the first time, battling each other under the guise of the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Continue Reading

RECAP: X-Men: Apocalypse

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016): Bryan Singer

The ageless first class of X-Men actors advance to the 1980s in X-Men: Apocalypse. Mutants have many powers, but did you know they can age not a day in 20 years?

Consider that Sophie Turner, who plays Jean Grey, is 20. The events of First Class took place 20 years before Apocalypse shows up. So she was a wee baby when Xavier lost his walking ability and Magneto first donned his helmet.

These folks haven’t aged in the 20 years of this series. I can suspend the disbelief, because I like what the producers have striven for in setting the mutants in older times. Still, the idea seems to wane in public consciousness. This third film of the prequel series’ theatrical earnings will fall much behind Days of Future Past when it closes its theatrical run.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The first, and most powerful, mutant tries to destroy the world right after he forms an awesome band of backup mutants.  Continue Reading