In case you are stumbling on this blog just now, know that I’m a big fan of The Hunger Games franchise. I loved the first movie when it came out, I loved the second one even more and no amount of drama with Lawrence could have kept me away from the third installment. Therefore, you can imagine the little old me anticipating this one with quiet anticipation until I had to endure two hours of almost nothing because why make one when you can make two!
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.
The truth is, I am a huge fan of The Hunger Games franchise and the excitement is not wearing off any time soon either. I’ve read the books, second being my favorite of the series, and I’ve seen the first movie more than once. Therefore, it was pretty much given that I was going to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on its opening weekend and now, almost a week later, I think I’m still not able to contain my thoughts into a coherent sounding review but I’ll try to do my best. And in case you missed the POW popcorn rating, I freaking loved Catching Fire!
This is definitely one of the Academy Award movies since it already has been nominated for four Golden Globes (Best Drama Movie, Best Actor, Best Supporting Role, Best Screenplay) and usually those big nominations end up getting some Oscars as well. I watched Moneyball before I heard about the nominations (though I had my share of suspicions that this Pitt’s movie is up for some awards) and although most of the baseball terms were a complete mystery to me I thought it was enjoyable.
This movie is based on a novel that tells a story about true events (book with the same name is written by Michael Lewis) and it went through big problems before the filming started. Considering that Brad Pitt was with the project since 2007 I found it interesting that the movie took so long. Apparently there were other drafts, other directors until The Social Network writer Aaron Sorkin step into this project and Bennett Miller was set to direct. Here is another interesting fact, the cinematography is done by Wally Pfister who is behind Nolan’s movies (including The Dark Knight and Inception).
Now on to the movie – Billy Beane is the general manager of a baseball team that has not done very well, Oakland Athletics. He is described by wanting to make changes and not being afraid to be radical with his decisions – he hires Peter Brand (the only made-up character who is mostly based on Paul DePodesta), played by Jonah Hill, to bring in the new style of buying the players. They buy a players that are mathematically right for the job, like Scott Hatteberg (Chris Pratt) who ends up being the hero – I really liked his storyline and Pratt is likeable as an actor as well. So basically they hire men who aren’t as appealing to other teams cause they aren’t perfect. At least that was as much as I understood – focus while watching this movie has to be on its best, getting all the names, understanding the buying and following the action behind the game is very important. Surely, it has a brilliant screenplay in that sense – smart, quick, witty at times. Now to think of it, it reminds me of The Social Network when it comes down to the screenplay which leeds to shows that Sorkin has a certain style to his writing.
Movie looks visually interesting as well, there are scenes of the real games? or at least it seems like that (even if they aren’t – cause I am not 100% sure of this fact). Performances by the actors is of course brilliant: there is no doubt that Pitt knows how to act, Hill surprises due to his acting past and Hoffman is yet again at his high because he knows nothing else. There is not much else to tell about the movie because it is really a must-see from my behalf and even the ending itself is just thrilling. I love those sports stories based on real life that really show the strength of the underdogs.
So 4,5 out of 5 for the underdogs and good luck to Pitt in his hunt for his first Oscar!
To be completely honest, I haven’t watched a serious drama in a long time and actually there hasn’t been anything that has interested me – except now. When the ever favorite George Clooney writes and directs a movie with him in the lead and the guy who stole our heart in The Notebook, Ryan Gosling next to him you surely would think that nothing can go wrong.
The movie is very political, lots of intrigue and all of it seems like something my mom would definitely love. I hope it is as interesting as The Ghost Writer was which was probably the last political drama I watched. Helping along the seriousness is the rest of the cast that includes Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymore Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood and Marisa Tomei – looks like a really great mix for a movie about soon to be president that seems to be playing it dirty all the way.
But the trailer (and Clooney/Gosling) isn’t the only reason why I wanted to do this post, I actually was stunned by the poster. Is it the similarities between the men or is it just the idea that is just genius but The Ides of March has probably the most visually interesting poster of a drama movie. After the movie comes out on October the 7th, I definitely hope to get myself that poster.