Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I

The Mockingjay. There's a neat little animation of this after the credits.

Apparently, thousands upon thousands of hours have been spent by various people on trying to create a definitive map of Panem, since author Suzanne Collins didn’t provide one. Oversight, or clever marketing strategy? You decide! All I know is that when I went looking for a map because I was curious as to where District 13 had been hiding all this time, no two of them were exactly alike, like snowflakes.
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Transformers: Age of Extinction

Optimus Prime as a shiny semi. When on the run, stay inconspicuous.

For some reason I was sure that this movie had already opened last weekend and I missed it. Well, not “missed”, exactly, more like “successfully avoided”. But then here it was, and I decided to risk it… then came within a centimeter of changing my mind when I realized that the run time was 165 minutes. Yes, that’s two hours and 45 minutes. That’s three minutes longer than Avatar, and I barely survived that.
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Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Katniss and Peeta on fire for their grand entrance. Well, some like it hot.

This time, as well as being bigger, grander, and more expensive than the original Hunger Games, the sequel is also darker and more depressing. I guess it’s a bit like the Harry Potter franchise in that respect — as the kids grow up, the situations get more grown-up, in the worst sense. But anyway, it must be a lot easier to get all the actors back when the first movie was wildly successful, and that seems to have been the case here, since everyone who didn’t die is back.

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The Hunger Games

Katniss is speechless at this sample of the hideous outfits from the Capitol.

In the post-apocalyptic future, when Donald Sutherland is president, which I always suspected would happen someday, they have this thing called the Hunger Games. Even if you’re like me and haven’t read the books, you’ve heard of it, unless you’ve been living under a rock. And it’s a good, solid premise, because these days you can’t get away with writing just any old thing for teenagers to read, or even tweens. These days they’re fussy about those things.

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Captain America

The Captain of the comics versus the Captain of the silver screen.

By some strange coincidence, Captain America looks exactly like the Human Torch. I’m making fun of Marvel just a little — they’d promised a while back that they would have complete continuity among all their movies, probably in preparation for all the Avengers tie-ins, so it amuses me that they cast the same actor as two utterly different major Marvel characters. I have no idea how they’ll explain the coming debacle that is The Amazing Spider-Man. They showed previews, and the entire audience looked vaguely uncomfortable and/or confused. I know I was.
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