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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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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Snow White and the Huntsman

I wanted a shot of Ravenna turning into a cloud of ravens, but no such luck.

Once upon a time — because really, how else can you start a review of a fairy tale? — there was a girl named Kristen Stewart who beat out half the up and coming young actresses in Hollywood to play Snow White. She was Bella in Twilight but I tried not to hold that against her. It wasn’t any easier to cast the Huntsman, apparently. Tom Hardy was one of the candidates, and Viggo Mortensen of Lord of the Rings considered it for months before dropping out. Hugh Jackman was asked, but didn’t want it. They even considered — wait for it — Johnny Depp. Ugh.

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