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-James

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Hunger Games

Posted by james on Aug. 10, 2013

(post.rating: 7)
Rating:

IMDB   Apple Trailers

I'd read the book on a whim. I just picked it out of a top seller's list. It's like Ender's Game and Twilight combined (though thankfully just a touch of the latter). Aimed at young audiences & a bit emo (especially in the second and third books), but the protagonist is captivating. The idea of a downtrodden reluctant heroine with a deep heart, self-loathing, and hidden tenaciousness is really the key here.

Jennifer Lawrence; great choice. I know fans were a bit surprised w/ her as the lead, and worried about how she'd do. She did great.

They made this PG-13. A book about children killing, burning, stabbing, dismembering other children. How?! The book is really R-rated (very violent & graphic). I suppose if you don't show blood (or just change the color) you can get away with a lot in the US. But really... the source material is R, and a real R movie would have been intense, disturbing, and would have done awful at the box office (and alienated fans). I'd be really curious to watch that movie.

It's about what I expected, maybe a bit better. It hits the finer points of the book, Lawrence does well as the protagonist. It leaves out a ton of the self-loathing & drudgery of the book, but that's probably for the better. If they can remove that a bit from the second & third books, that can only be an improvement.

I'd watch more. This isn't amazing, but neither were the books. The books were captivating & memorable though, and this doesn't hit far off.

Zero Dark Thirty

Posted by james on Aug. 5, 2013

(post.rating: 8)
Rating:

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Amazing, intense, thought-provoking film. It seemed dry & boring - the search for Osama Bin Laden. This is not an action oriented movie, most of it is about paper, talks, spies, etc.

But there's enough action at the end for the final takedown, and the entire feel of the film is realistic and intense. They may not crash cars into building & shoot every bad guy in sight. But the silence and slow intensity of the action, coupled with the dry suspense of all the build up, and finally the uncomfortable portrayal of torture as a means of intelligence gathering; it all culminates in a really intense and exciting, but taxing movie.

Uncertainty

Posted by james on Aug. 1, 2013

(post.rating: 3)
Rating:

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This was a "Sliding Doors" type movie; what if a simple event cause the timeline to change? What would happen in each case?

It feels indie, which it is. And that means the ending is unfulfilling & pointless; that's pretty much a requirement of the genre.

Things happen, you get a little background. But not enough, and there's a lot of downtime & shots of "normal life" - things not relevant to the plot. It's like going to a multi course meal, but between each having to sit & eat a lot of dry bread. That's not really entertaining.

It's not bad. Just in the end, not really enough to make this movie good. Some will like it for the feel & peek into their lives. But the plot device really isn't a big factor here, and doesn't give the audience much.


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