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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Zombieland

Baseball, post-apocalypse style.

I went into this film expecting to be horribly grossed out and not at all amused. Turns out, I was about two-thirds right with that guess. The good news is, if you can survive the first ten minutes or so (blood, gore, and tremendous violence to the tune of Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls”!), then you can manage the rest of the movie without much trouble. There’s still an icky compound fracture close-up, and the occasional spewing of blood and guts, but nothing gets any worse than those first few minutes.

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2012

John Cusack checks to see if the sky is falling yet.

Apparently, someone that worked on this film is from Wisconsin. Or maybe it’s some kind of in-joke. But the fact is, they mention Wisconsin three times in this flick, and the (Wisconsin) audience loved it.

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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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