Awakening from her hospital bed in District 13 Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) discovers she’s the intended lightning rod for the revolutionaries of Panem. Meanwhile Katniss’s partner in the Hunger Games, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), has been captured by the capitol and President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Pitted against each other, a war of revolution, propaganda, casualties, and democracy wages on. It’s up to the residents of District 13 lead by rebel President Coin (Julianne Moore) to see that freedom will reign– or will it? Directed by Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) the tone and timber as previously established continues to darken as the story begins to draw to a close, and, from an acting standpoint the ensemble has risen to the occasion and put forward their best foot yet. Albeit, some judicious editing could have improved the pace and perhaps even eliminated the need for a part 2, but, all mighty dollar is calling and Hollywood wants to bilk this for all it’s worth, so it goes, we’re still left with an entertaining adventure. Furthermore, touching on not so subtle subtexts of slavery, propaganda, socialism, xenophobia, and revolution this installment is clearly the “thinker” before what is set out to be another big battle/showdown between good and evil. Entertaining none the less and worth your while if you’ve followed along thus far, The Hunger Games: Mockingly – Part 1 is rated PG-13.
Before his confinement to a wheelchair from ALS, Steven Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) was first a student turned professor in theoretical physics at Cambridge University. While in school he would meet his wife to be, Jane (Felicity Jones). This is their story, abbreviated, but up to date. Based on the book by Jane Hawking and shining a beacon of attention on one of our greatest thinkers, Director James Marsh composes a love story in the midst of physics equations which in turn makes for an excellent springboard for Redmayne and Jones to express their talents as actors, impressive. And, mildly delving into Hawking’s theories on time and black holes without drowning the viewer, the film stands out as one of this year’s notable biopics worth your while in at least matinee form, maybe more. The Theory of Everything is rated PG-13.
20 years since Harry and Lloyd (Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey) had their first adventure, the impossibly brick headed duo re-unite to find a suitable kidney donor for Harry. As luck would have it, former girlfriend Fraida Felcher (Kathleen Turner) happens to know of a possible donor, Harry’s own daughter, Penny(Rachel Melvin). Trouble is, Penny was put up for adoption just after birth years ago, tracking her down won’t be easy for the mensa team. Meanwhile, Penny’s adopted mother, Adele (Laurie Holden), has plans of her own to upset the family fortune. Will Harry and Lloyd get to Penny before Adele and her henchmen, and who will get who’s kidney? Directed by the Farrelly brothers the “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” approach to comedy seems to be in effect with tendencies towards blue, slapstick, and ridiculous puns– pretty much like the first go round. Sadly, and ironically, the lack of sophistication and intelligence overall in the writing seems to be the downfall here and actually robs the film of what could in fact be very funny. That said, there are a handful of quickly forgettable but desirably quotable moments, I just wish I could remember them. And, with a spattering of fun cameos and throwbacks to the original, it’s safe to say the whole thing isn’t a waste, it’s just too bad there wasn’t more substance to sink our teeth into. More of a rental but maybe a matinee if you’re feeling sentimental, Dumb and Dumber To is rated PG-13.