A year has gone by in a blink of an eye, and The Hunger Games franchise will soon release its newest edition, Mockingjay Part 1. I remember it like yesterday, the first time I saw Catching Fire and the feeling of content that followed me after I walked out of the cinema. That feeling stayed with me until I watched it for the second time, just as mesmerized, just as happy about it as I was with the first viewing. Now, as life has progressed and fame, media and some questionable acts have done their part, I’m making my case of support for Mockingjay.
This is the first time I’m writing a post of this kind.. and I hardly know what I’m trying to achieve by posting this but I guess I’m looking for understanding. For that silent agreement, that, yes, it’s alright to love a franchise despite all the loud and outrageous things that have and will most likely continue to happen around it. So, before I even begin, I just want to state that I think it’s not the movie’s fault that its IT GIRL isn’t everybody’s favorite…
I can say this because I’m one of those people who has started to dislike Jennifer Lawrence ever since she exploded into fame. I get it, I still think she’s a capable actress but I say this about Lindsay Lohan’s early years as well so, you can make your own assumptions. But the most important fact is, that I will most likely love Mockingjay despite Lawrence because it has so much more to offer than all the glitter and showbiz that is surrounding Lawrence from tabloid gossip to magazine cover.
We have, like I subtly have already shown, Elizabeth Banks! Her part in the previous movies hasn’t given her many scenes but man, can that woman steal the spotlight when it’s her time to speak, enter the room or just be in the background. True, her grand costumes and unique make-up gave her the edge she needed, but Banks is just as cool on her own.
Then there is a man who has done movies from one genre to another, who has been apart of a special TV moment and who I can never dislike – Woody Harrelson. We have him portraying a questionable character because we all know Haymitch isn’t the most stable or the most sober man in the room, and yet I love him! Only Harrelson could play him and only he can make me like a character that much more compared to the books.
And just as life would have it, The Hunger Game franchise has another man with similar Woody affect on me – Stanely fucking Tucci! Is there a character this man can’t make memorable because I can’t think of any. He seems to be everywhere and yet, there’s never enough of him. Tucci is always the man who fills in the caps, who provides comic relief and has just the right amount of flare! I would be a happy bunny if there was a movie just with him, really really happy!
While I have had no doubts about any of these guys, I did question the choice of Jena Malone as Johanna Mason but luckily, she proved me wrong. Her most memorable moment in the franchise, so far, is definitely the elevator scene which is actually quite ironic considering the things that have been happening in real life but I won’t get into that. Malone will be back and since she will be most likely sharing the screen with Josh Hutcherson and Donald Sutherland, I’m excited! By the way, both of these men are also good in my book.. Hutcherson mostly because he owns his height oh so well and hasn’t let the fame get to him.
Now, though it saddens me still, I can’t go without mentioning Philip Seymour Hoffman. His part in The Hunger Games might be surprising, considering his body of work, but I appreciate the fact that this particular franchise has managed to add sophisticated actors into the mix. It ain’t no Harry Potter but Hoffman’s presence sure does make it feel more profound in a way. Especially now, as we are slowly approaching the time where there won’t be anymore post-production projects in his filmography…
Up until now, I have only focused on actors but there’s a lot that is going on behind the camera that is definitely worth some praise as well. The first movie, though I like it, was pretty much smashed by Catching Fire and not just because it, in my opinion, had a more vibrant plot – it had Francis Lawrence in the driver’s seat. A director obviously is there to give direction and I think Catching Fire’s success was hugely thanks to his skill of story telling.. if only we could go back in time and see what he would have done with The Hunger Games.
There is also the feeling of satisfaction towards the fact that the cinematographer Jo Willems is sticking with Francis and they will make beautiful images happen on screen yet again! I like when directors stick with people who they’ve worked with, to me it means that these two men work well together, understand each other and want to make amazing scenes happen. What’s not to like about that?
All of these reasons are based on experience, based on the previous movie(s) but there is the anticipation of the new adventure and new characters that keeps me on my nerves as well. Granted, Catching Fire was my favorite among the books but Mockingjay did start off rather good so I’m assuming, Part 1 is going to be as strong as the second book adaption. Indeed, there are some things that I personally might not enjoy but hey, it’s still better than glitter vampires and constantly shirtless wolf-boy!
To wrap things up, I rest my case. Say what you want, feel what you feel, think what you think, but I’m pretty certain that I’ll pay good money to see The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 on the big screen. Considering its big production value, there’s bound to be some big scenes and as the war between the Capitol and the districts is the vocal point in the final book, there won’t be any shortage of action as well. And in some cases, that’s actually enough.. plus, I mean, I’m still quite mildly rooting for Peeta!
Will you be watching Mockingjay Part 1 when it hits the cinema on the 21st of November or has the past year killed your hunger for The Hunger Games?0
Thank you for this post!! I absolutely adore these books & the second film and I am so mad that people dismiss and insult this just because they cannot get over Lawrence’s personality! I am looking forward to this a lot, but I don’t think I’ll see it before December — the film festival is firmly taking all my time for the month. 😛
Thank you for understanding. It’s exactly what I wanted to say and achieve.. understanding that it’s not about Lawrence.. don’t hate the movie, hate the actress… fine by me. It’s my “don’t hate the game, hate the player” analogy that I hope to achieve with this the most I guess. 😀
Jena is the only reason why I’m going to see the new Hunger Games film as she stole the show from everyone in the last film. If the film was R-rated and she did show nudity, I probably would’ve fainted or pull a Pee-Wee Herman.
Hah.. well I think it also works with no nudity.. leaves a bit of mystery but well, too bad for you that there was none this time. 😀
Fantastic post, I absolutely cannot WAIT for this release, even despite me not reading the books. In some ways I think I might be a little lucky because I have no way of making comparisons, unless I compare this film to what has come before in the film franchise. 🙂
As far as Jennifer Lawrence goes, I definitely have started to feel a little less enthusiastic about her since she is really, really, really hard to ignore now. (Ironically thanks to these amazing movies.) But I will go along with her in whatever she does because I do think she’s very very talented.
Well, I think talent also extends to the public image and she’s not doing the best she can with upholding it. Even without the incident, which is a double ended sword in my eyes, she is becoming overwhelming to me because her fresh, “I feel so out of place in Hollywood” approach to everything doesn’t feel so authentic anymore. Ah, I have a lot of feelings towards her.. her being Katniss is still a positive one though!
I’m still debating whether or not to see the new Hunger Games movie this weekend (though it’s not because of Jennifer Lawrence) primarily because the trailers doesn’t really scream “watch me, watch me!”. I think it might be because of the third book as well, the interesting parts happen at the latter half (so might see that one in the cinema, and wait for the first half on DVD instead).
I didn’t enjoy the book as well.. but I liked the first half better. Though, to be completely honest, splitting the book into two movies seemed such a bad move for me.. pointless really. There’s not that much taking place in the third book to extend into two movies but I guess they added Effie scenes (which I’m excited about) and maybe something more.
Great post! I am really, really looking forward to this one. So far they have done a pretty good job bringing these books to screen.
I honestly think it is unnecessary to have a two part film, but so be it, I guess we will just have to wait and see what comes from it!
Two part feels like a bad decision to me as well but will see what the script changes have to offer.
I am scared they are going to stuff it full of filler crap… :/
Indeed.. but if it is Effie filler stuff.. I wouldn’t mind. 😀
I’m looking forward to Mockingjay more than I thought I would be. Nothing much happens in the first half of the book so I’m curious about how they will fill out the movie. It’s also going to be fun to see the format of the films shaken up since the first & second play out so similarly. I’m so glad they decided to switch up Effie’s story line so she’s a bigger part of the movie! Lastly, I think what I’m most excited about seeing how Hutcherson does in the most complex and heavy part of Peeta’s story line. I’m really hoping he does great with the material.
Great post! Well, I’m personally curious about how the filmmakers construct Philip Seymour Hoffman more than anything else. I dont know whether he will get a lot of parts in this installment or not, or perhaps, I should wait for the part 2 to really see how they ‘resurrect’ Plutarch. Oh once more, Natalie Dormer is worth the wait, I think 🙂
Hey, great post here! I agree that additions like Seymour Hoffman do make the film seem more sophisticated. I just saw this film last night, and I think one of the biggest strengths is the supporting cast. Even without the hair and makeup, Elizabeth Banks constantly steals the screen with her presence.
I, for one, appreciated this film even more so than the first half of the book, and I’d recommend it, even though it seems its not resonating with critics as much as the previous two films.
Looking forward to your thoughts on the film after you’ve seen it!
I will most likely see it in December so I’ll try to get the review up soon enough after that. Though there are so many movies I need and want to review before.