After 2012's The Hunger Games caught us off-guard with its subtle themes, this sequel more than lives up to the hype, dramatically expanding the scale of the action while letting the actors deepen their characters. It's a full-on action epic that cleverly retains author Suzanne Collins' narrative trick of telling the story through a flawed perspective. And it provides the needed push to give the whole saga real momentum.
We join our heroes not long after the last film ended: Katniss and Peeta (Lawrence and Hutcherson) are in trouble for challenging the authority of President Snow (Sutherland) and sowing the seeds of rebellion in the districts. Now they have to travel around the nation with their team - drunken mentor Haymitch (Harrelson), preening manager Effie (Banks), quietly subversive designer Cinna (Kravitz) - soothing ruffled feathers. But of course they only make things worse. So new Gamesmaker Plutarch (Hoffman) plots a way to force them back into the games with all of the past victors, so they can be wiped out for good. And Katniss is so busy worrying about protecting Peeta that she fails to remember who the true enemy is.
Screenwriters Beaufoy and deBruyn (aka Oscar-winner Michael Arndt) inventively maintain Katniss' narrow, inaccurate point-of-view right through the film, which keeps the audience wrong-footed all the way to the end. It's an exhilarating trick that makes the tour of the districts painfully dull and the return to the games utterly horrifying. It also gives Lawrence the chance to flex her own Oscar-winning chops, further tormenting us with her inability to choose between two good men: Peeta and Gale (Hemsworth), her pal back home. She certainly doesn't trust newcomers like the mouthy Johanna (Malone) or the too-hunky Finnick (Claflin).
Continue reading: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review
After becoming the first duo to win the annual Hunger Games following its 74th year, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have spread hope among the people of Panem who now feel the possibility of a revolution. However, the Capitol realise how dangerous this could be for their ordered, totalitarian society and force them to compete once again, alongside 22 other previous winners in the The Quarter Quell - an event that happens every 25th years and allows the Capitol to invent a new twist for the year's Games. Tensions arise between Katniss and Peeta who both want the other to be the victor in the 75th Hunger Games and do everything within their power to protect each other.
'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' is the highly anticipated sequel to 2012's 'The Hunger Games'; the film adaptation to Suzanne Collins' sci-fi novel trilogy. Taking over from Gary Ross as director is Francis Lawrence ('I Am Legend', 'Constantine', 'Water for Elephants') with screenwriting from Simon Beaufoy ('The Full Monty', 'Slumdog Millionaire', '127 Hours') and Michael Arndt ('Oblivion', 'Toy Story 3', 'Little Miss Sunshine'), though we'll still see the same star cast reprising their roles. It is due to be released in cinemas everywhere on November 21st 2013.
Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have become symbols of hope to the people of the dystopic Panem after becoming the first pair to win the 74th Annual Hunger Games in a brutal battle to the death between two teenagers of each of the 12 famished districts. Now is the time they must leave their families to tackle a 'Victor's Tour' of each district. However, the President sees her as a threat to their capitalist society and vows to have her killed, but first to make the people of every district turn against her. Rebellion appears to be arising among the people and Katniss just wants to get through the tour safely. But with the 75th Games approaching, known as The Quarter Quell, the Capitol decide to introduce the biggest twist the Games have ever seen; a twist that will completely transform their nation.
The second instalment to this sci-fi dystopia trilogy is soon to arrive with direction being taken over by Francis Lawrence ('I Am Legend', 'Constantine', 'Water for Elephants'). This time, Oscar winning screenwriters Simon Beaufoy ('The Full Monty', 'Slumdog Millionaire', '127 Hours') and Michael Arndt ('Oblivion', 'Toy Story 3', 'Little Miss Sunshine') have adapted the novel series by Suzanne Collins and we will see a return of 'The Hunger Games' star cast. 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' is set to hit screens on November 22nd 2013.
The trailer for Jonas Akerlund's indie-comedy 'Small Apartments' introduces a superb cast including Matt Lucas, Peter Stormare and Billy Crystal.
Who wouldn't pay to see a comedy movie starring Matt Lucas, Juno Temple, Billy Crystal, Peter Stormare, Amanda Plummer, Rebel Wilson, James Caan, Johnny Knoxville and...wait for it...Dolph Lundgren? Well, that's exactly what you're getting for your money in Small Apartments, which premiered in the UK on March 22, 2013. Nick Nunziata of Chud.com summed the whole thing up in his review of the quirky flick, "They don't make them like this anymore. Actually they've never made them like this before," he wrote.
Continue reading: Small Apartments: Meet 2013's Most Random Cast! (Trailer and Pictures)
Franklin Franklin is a wig-donning, Swiss wannabe loner who lives alone in a small apartment having previously lived with his mentally deranged brother Bernard. He's not the only eccentric character at the complex, however; his wacky neighbours include the Liquor store worker Tommy Balls, Tommy's herpes ridden girlfriend Rocky, the beautiful Simone and the ill-tempered Mr. Allspice. One day, Franklin finds himself in a spot of bother when he accidentally murders his landlord Mr. Olivetti when he pays him a visit about the rent (of lack of it). In an attempt to cover up the homicide, he clumsily stages it as a suicide, which the cops become very suspicious of. Things don't get any easier either, as his Franklin's brother dies suddenly from a brain tumour and he ends up getting badly beaten in the street. Will Franklin find that future that he dreams of? Or will his tedious life gradually spiral further out of control?
Continue: Small Apartments Trailer
Relentlessly quirky and strange, this pitch black comedy manages to combine its outrageous silliness with some surprising emotional resonance. Swedish filmmaker Akerlund (who directed Lady Gaga's Telephone) keeps the film's pace snappy as it lurches through a series of crazy situations that aren't remotely believable. But the starry cast manages to hold our interest.
Everything centres on a run-down apartment complex in Los Angeles, where Franklin (Lucas) lives in his dumpy flat, dreaming of someday moving to Switzerland to play his alpine horn in the mountains. Clearly unhinged, Franklin desperately misses his brother Bernard (Marsden), who went away but still sends him a daily audio-tape message. Then on the first day a tape fails to turn up, Franklin's whole life starts to unravel, starting with the fact that his landlord (Stormare) is lying dead on his kitchen floor. Franklin's attempt to get rid of the body draws the attention of two detectives (Crystal and Koechner), who start quizzing the neighbours (Knoxville and Caan). But this is only the start of Franklin's big adventure.
The story is structured as a series of wacky set-pieces set apart by luridly colourful flashbacks and fantasy sequences that fill in the back-stories for each of the characters. As a result, everyone on screen bursts with personality as well as motivations for everything they do, which makes watching them a lot more interesting than we expect. Crystal and Caan emerge as the most engaging people on screen, but even nuttier characters like Lundgren's "Brain Brawn" pop psychologist are fun to watch. By contrast, Lucas gives Franklin an eerily blank face: this is a man who still hasn't figured out who he is.
Continue reading: Small Apartments Review
Continue reading: So I Married an Axe Murderer Review
The compulsive listmaking and mathematical precision of Greenaway's earlier films is present and intact, but the center of 8 1/2 Women is ultimately hollow and painfully obvious. His very concept reduces women to childish fantasies such as the sexually repressed nun (Toni Collette), the pregnant woman (Natacha Amal), the nubile bombshell (Polly Walker), the prudish accountant who wears thick glasses (Vivian Wu, from The Pillow Book) and the woman who adores her pet horse and pig (Amanda Plummer). The "half-woman" has no legs, of course.
Continue reading: 8 1/2 Women Review
Yikes! This marginal flick puts detective Mel Gibson in charge of investigating the murder of a billionnaire's son in a wacky hotel overrun by mental patients who can't afford the regular nut bin. And well, that's about all there is to tell, except that the title was once The Billion Dollar Hotel. That's a big downgrade.
Continue reading: The Million Dollar Hotel Review