There are parts of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 that are harrowing, moving, and action-packed. While that can be fun to watch, and there are some nice bits of spectacle level eye candy, including the destruction of a massive damn, the problem is that the film never becomes more than simply the first part in a larger saga. This makes sense, obviously, as the third book in Suzanne Collins’ dystopian young adult trilogy has been split into two movies, but in this case, the film is all build up and feels like it’s just killing time before getting to the meaty part of the story.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Pitch Perfect is easily my favorite movie of 2012. No joke, it’s on my top ten list for the year, though it should be much higher ranked in retrospect, as there was a stretch of ten days after it came out on DVD where I watched it at least once a day, and my views probably topped 30 throughout the rest of the year. So, as you probably guessed, I’m rather excited for the upcoming Pitch Perfect 2. Who expected competitive college a capella to be my jam? But now the first trailer is here, and I apologize in advance for the long periods where I disappear for days at a time and just watch this.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
With the ever-increasing prominence of the Internet in our daily lives (how many simple, routine tasks are now accomplished solely digitally?) it brings up a whole slew of new problems and issues. It’s also created a whole new approach and area of activism that was once both inaccessible and unnecessary. Brian Knappenberger’s new documentary, The Internet’s Own Boy, explores one figure in the push for digital equality, Aaron Schwartz, who not only championed parity across for all across the web, but paid the ultimate price for his efforts.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Just the fact that Paul Thomas Anderson has a new movie coming out is enough to get most movie fans excited. Though we’re tenting our fingers like Mr. Burns over his latest, the psychedelic noir adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice, the first trailers have been rather uninspiring. But lucky for us, there’s this short new trailer, cut by Anderson himself, which captures the manic, wing-nut energy of the story.
Fresh off a victory at the Cinema One film festival in the Philippines, the debut directorial effort from Dodo Dayo, Violator, has delivered a creepy new trailer. It’s not in English, and there are no subtitles, but don’t worry, you get the point they’re trying to make, and it’s spooky as hell.
Sunday, November 16, 2014
During the last half of season 4, AMC’s The WalkingDead took a different approach to telling the zombie story, breaking the core group up into smaller factions and following each one for an episode, or at least most of them. Season 5 has taken that strategy and added even more narrative tweaks and gymnastics. They’ve staggered the timeline, so not only do events in different places play out simultaneously, each chapter adds to your overall knowledge, filling in blank spots and answering questions posed earlier. Thus far, it’s been an inventive tactic, creating a tension that carries week to week, and builds the arc of the season in a different and unusually satisfying way. (It’s weirdly like watching Arrested Development, letting stories unfold over multiple episodes, in multiple timeframes.) This week’s episode, “Consumed,” follows this path and delivers one of the best installments of the season.
There are SPOILERS beyond this point. If you haven’t watched “Consumed” yet and have any interest in doing so, stop reading now or what follows falls on you.
Saturday, November 15, 2014
I’m not too proud to admit that I enjoyed Dumb and Dumber when it came out, and that I have fond memories of the film. Granted, it was 20 years ago and I was 16-years-old, but it was Jim Carrey and the Farrelly Brothers working at the height of their respective games. In the intervening years, I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch it again because I’m afraid it will tarnish otherwise pleasant recollections, but I think I can go ahead and give it a shot because the new sequel, Dumb and Dumber To, just did a solid job of ruining the first film for me.