Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Once upon a time, I went to the midnight premiere of The Hunger Games, and my life was forever changed.

Well, I went to the premiere of Catching Fire last night, and my life has been changed yet again.

My local movie theater was having an opening night double feature. So at 5:00 they showed The Hunger Games, and at 8:00, I finally saw Catching Fire.

Let’s rewind a little bit, to March 21st, 2012. It was my first midnight premiere ever. Me and my friends were high on life. There was a lot of rain. You can read all about it over at my lovely friend Erin’s blog. The point is, it was miserable and magical at the same time. This time, I went with the same friends, Ivy, Erin, Amanda, and also Brwynn (who is equally insane, so it was all cool). And it was a lot tamer this time around. For one, we only waited about three hours outside the movie theater. Also, the sky did not pee on us. (thanks, sky.) It was cold, but, heh, cold? We’re used to that shiz. An added bonus was that most everybody was still in school. Being the Panemaniacs that we are, we took advantage of that fact and managed to be first in line.

Let that sink in.

We were first in line, guys.

@#^&%$@%^&$*%(^%*&%^%@$#^&)*&^!

Anyways, we had great fun. There were doughnuts, peppermint coca (not cocoa, mind you. Coca. There’s a difference.), a somewhat anticlimactic game of Apples to Apples, various plots for world domination, vlogging, and cold hands/feet. It was lovely, albeit a little lot less Dramatic and Exciting than the previous premiere.

So we waited and waited, and then we went inside the warm theater and got freaking lanyards. And they let us keep them. In fact, I’m wearing mine today. Would you like to see?

Of course you do, it’s cool.

220

I know, I KNOW!

So, we went inside the theater, claimed our prime seats in the almost exact center of everything, and settled down to wait for an hour. (They let us in an hour early, so that we would not catch hypothermia and die, see.) I was a gracious friend and volunteered to beat a couple hundred levels in Candy Crush for Ivy on her Kindle. She wisely accepted my offer of help (otherwise I would have been forced to steal the Kindle from her. It was a good life decision on her part, really.), and thus I whiled away the 60 minutes.

**SPOILERS AHEAD, GUYS, OKAY? IF YOU DON’T WANT HUNGER GAMES OR CATCHING FIRE SPOILERS, DO NOT LOOK DOWN BECAUSE IT WILL BE YOUR GRAVE**

First, of course, we watched The Hunger Games again. I hadn’t seen it in a long while, so it was rather nice to refresh my memory (and see it on a nice, large screen–something I didn’t think I would ever be able to do again). And cry a lot. Rue’s death, man. The music and all? It just gets me. (And let’s talk about when Katniss does the three finger salute after Rue’s death and then the District 11 people do it too and some people in the theater did it with them and I was one of them. But only a little because I was sobbing.)

I laughed and cried and awwwwww’d along with everybody else, and then it was over. And there was a mere half hour until Catching Fire would finally be unveiled. Or revealed. Or released. Or whatever.

I beat a couple more levels of Candy Crush for Ivy, and then waited in feverish anticipation. At long last, the lights dimmed and the screen lit up and Catching Fire began. The movie I had waited over a year for. The movie that plagued my every thought when I was not thinking about Hugh Jackman or food. The movie that I knew would be a very important part of my life.

Well, first there were the trailers. (And can we just talk for a second about how I, Frankenstein looks freaking amazing? Cuz it does.) There was another trailer but I forgot what it was already. Wow, I feel stupid.

ANYWAYS THEN CATCHING FIRE STARTED.

What did I think of it? Well, let’s see. My reaction went something like this.

Sad_Loki

Katniss_crying

Dan_feels

emma-stone-excited

ANOTHER

Approximately in that order. My emotions are complex, I know.

This was definitely as amazing as The Hunger Games, if not a little more. Catching Fire has always been my favorite of the three, so that could be a contributing factor. But even if that were not the case, the movie was absolutely spectacular.

Let’s start with the acting. The actors outdid themselves in this one. Jennifer Lawrence was absolutely spot-on. Her portrayal of Katniss’s unstable emotional state and her personality in general was perfect. I can’t really say much more, because it was flawless. Josh Hutcherson as Peeta was, of course, lovely and endearing and altogether believable. Liam Hemsworth as Gale was cool. Gale is sort of a tool, so I really don’t like him much, but Liam did a good job with the character. Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks as Haymitch and Effie were, of course, lovely. Both of the characters were more fleshed out in this movie, which was really nice.

Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman was, of course, phenomenal. He was one of my favorites in The Hunger Games and remained so in Catching Fire. Donald Sutherland as President Snow was, of course, suitably creepy.

My favorite character in the entire movie, however, was none of these. (Although Katniss is a close second.) My favorite was Johanna Mason, portrayed by Jena Malone.

I’ve always like Johanna. She has a mind of her own and isn’t afraid to speak it. She’s irreverent and inappropriate most of the time. She’s a great fighter. And she’s very sarcastic. Can’t you see why I love her? But Jena Malone made me love her even more. I can’t pinpoint exactly why, or how, but she managed to capture the very essence of the character. I’m so excited to see her in Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2.

One of the noticeable differences between The Hunger Games and Catching Fire was, of course, the absence of the shaky hand-held camera. I know that I’m in the minority when I say this, but I sort of missed the shaky cam. Yeah, it was sort of dizzying at times (especially in the movie theater), but it gave the movie a real-life feel. I wish that that feeling could’ve been in Catching Fire, too, but of course with different directors come different styles.

The script surprised me. It surprised me in how well it stuck with the original storyline. Some of the lines in the movie were directly taken from the book, which gladdened my heart. The movie didn’t leave out anything really big–the only thing it omitted was the two fugitives from District 8 who tell Katniss about District 13. Other than that, nothing Really Big And Important was left out, which impressed me a lot.

The score was amazing, of course. I liked that some of the musical motifs from the first movie were incorporated into the soundtrack of this one, tying the two movies together. It was cool. Yeah.

So, to sum it all up…Catching Fire is a spectacular movie that has changed my life for good. You really should go see it. So my final score for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is:

5/5 Gold Stars

I certainly hope that you can see Catching Fire while it’s still in theaters. Because it’s truly amazing. (and now I feel like Lionsgate should pay me. I mean, I’m doing very important promotional work, am I not?)

Have a lovely day, peeps, and see you when I see you. Which, knowing me, will be in a couple millennia. And to cap off this post of indescribable worth, here’s The Chosen Quote from Catching Fire. Yayz.

Make ’em pay for it.

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A tale of suits that explode things and people that explode suits

Where to start? This movie was pretty much the kick-off for summer blockbusters, and I must say, it did not disappoint.

First, of course, is the plot. It’s pretty much about Tony Stark (duh, guys) and his fight against evil (duh, guys). As always, I don’t want to describe it anymore. Here’s the Wikipedia synopsis. I liked the plot! Except…there were lots of bad guys. At times, there were too many to keep track of. There’s obviously one overall villain, but there’s a bunch of accomplices and peeps who fight Tony and everything. It was a bit confusing at times. But the whole Extremis thing is a cool idea. Obviously, the scriptwriters didn’t just get that idea, as it’s based on the comics, but as a plot point, it’s neat. But I am kind of getting tired of the typical “I’m a villain looking to rid the world of weakness!” thing. I mean, it’s perfect when the villain has a tragic backstory or some physical deformity (The Amazing Spider-man, anybody?), but all the same, it isn’t the most original. It’s also commonly seen in superhero movies. Therefore, I’m giving the plot

4/5 jellybeans.

 

Next are the characters/actors. Robert Downey Jr., as always, delivers a snarky, yet endearing Tony Stark. I especially liked Tony’s character in this installment of the Marvel movies because he’s struggling with PTSD from the whole Avengers excursion. This is sort of a major flaw/weakness, and I can’t help but love weaknesses in characters. It’s awesome. He has panic attacks and everything. The whole nine yards. And I must say, Tony Stark has always been my favorite from the Avengers. Hawkeye and Hulk are quite bland (IMO), Thor at times seems a bit of a caricature, Captain America is too much of a goody-two-shoes, and the Black Widow isn’t given quite enough depth to be fully epic. Tony Stark, however, is funny, flawed, and a complete human being. He, of all the Avengers, is the most realisitic. (Again, this is just my opinion.) Also, Robert Downey Jr. is incredibly handsome.

Gwyneth Paltrow does a good job with the character of Pepper Potts. I’ve always liked Pepper, because while she isn’t going around shooting people up and doing The Big Stuff like that, she’s more than capable at doing other, very necessary, tasks. Like being CEO of Stark Industries. For example. She’s a capable character, and while at times plays the role of damsel-in-distress, does not do so annoyingly. On a side note, I definitely ship Tony/Pepper. They’re perfect with each other. And they’re doubly humorous when they’re bantering.

Ben Kingsley plays the Mandarin. He does quite a commendable job. **SPOILER ALERT** His true character, of course, is that of Trevor Slattery, an actor getting paid to play the Mandarin for show. While Kingsley is certainly menacing while the audience believes the Mandarin is The Villain; once his identity is revealed, he does quite a good job at playing up the humorous aspects. **END OF SPOILER**

Guy Pearce plays Aldrich Killian. Now, if we just put aside the major fact that they STOLE the name Erin and I are using (Never mind that the spell it differently; we spell it Kilian…read more about that escapade here.) (Also, I’m kidding, the Marvel peeps had rights to Aldrich Killian before our idea was even a little seedling.), I liked this dude’s character. I definitely had sympathy for him, considering his little backstory with Tony (I would be ticked off, too, if I were him.). And I appreciated that he didn’t take the typical path to villainy. He stayed behind the scenes rather than being all ostentatious about it. Which is pretty cool. He wasn’t the most compelling villain I’ve seen, though. Part of that stems from the fact that while his backstory made me feel bad for him, it wasn’t AWFUL and TRAGIC. I’m a sucker for tragic villain stories. Always have been. Also, there’s the minor detail that the dude had a total Ken-doll look for the role. You know, like a pretty boy. Eh, not for me. Other than that, though, cool.

Ty Simpkins played Harley, a little dude who becomes sort of like a sidekick to Tony. He was pretty awesome, and funny in that annoying-little-kid way. He isn’t a huge part of the movie, so there isn’t really much to critique the character on…Pretty much, he was cool. Yeah.

I liked the characters. And the actors who played them, obviously.  So I’m going to give the characters section

5/5 jellybeans.

 

The visuals were awesome, as one can expect from a Marvel summer superhero movie. (The summer part doesn’t really matter, but whatever.) Again, the Extremis was cool–albeit kind of creepy at some points. ORANGE EYES. They definitely made that work. Pretty much all of the CGI was done excellently. Also, I want JARVIS. GAHHH. As far as camera-visual stuff, I don’t remember much of it, but it didn’t bother me or anything, so I’m assuming it was cool. So, just for kicks, let’s give visuals

4/5 jellybeans.

 

From the iTunes samples (I saw this two weeks ago, I don’t remember everything!), the soundtrack was pretty good. I really like the theme (the actual track is called, simply, Iron Man 3, if you’d like to know). It evokes a sort of Avenger-ly feel (remember the triumphant Avengers theme? Yep, like that), only not quite as happy, which fits, because Tony Stark isn’t quite the happiest character, ya know? That’s the only track that really sticks out to me as being cool. It was pretty much a standard superhero action soundtrack. It wasn’t really memorable, like X-Men: First Class or Pirates of the Caribbean. So I’ll give the soundtrack

3.5/5 jellybeans.

 

I’m also going to introduce a new segment to my movie reviews, in which I display some of the posters from the movie and comment on them/talk about my feels. Because I’m geeky and like that kind of stuff.

The Iron Man 3 posters were certainly not a disappointment. (Click on one to expand it and read my full comments.)

Along with a critique of the actual promotional posters, I’ll have a gallery of other posters from the movie as well (without commenting on them). For most movies (including this one), the posters in this category are the individual character posters. Click on one to expand it and enjoy!

The posters for Iron Man 3 were pretty boss. So I’m going to give them…

4/5 jellybeans.

 

So, all in all, I really, really loved Iron Man 3! It was an enjoyable, entertaining, and, of course, snarky movie and definitely a great installment in the series. Also, it marks the beginning of Phase 2 in Marvel’s plan to dominate the universe. Did you realize they had phases going on in Marvel? That’s just insane. Next up will be Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier (they really have a thing for colons, it seems), Guardians of the Galaxy, and to round it all out, Avengers 2! Phase 2 is expected to wrap up in May 2015 (when Avengers 2 is released). Yeah, this is hardcore stuff, I know. But from the looks of Iron Man 3, Phase 2 should turn out to be just as epic as Phase 1 was. Cool.

(Also, before I leave you, we’ve got to talk about the post-credits scene. A Marvel movie is nothing without a post-credits scene; therefore, a review of a Marvel movie is nothing without a mini-review of the post-credits scene. This one was a little bit disappointing, although after the shawarma scene at the end of Avengers, my standards were set impossibly high. It was entertaining enough, but not epic or anything. Also, Ivy, that was not That One Guy. That was the Hulk :))

(Oh, wait! And at the very very very end of the credits it said…”Tony Stark will return.” I think I screamed a little with relief. It was actually kind of funny, because Erin and Amanda–who I saw the movie with–and I were having a debate about whether or not Tony would make a return to the Marvel universe. Needless to say, we were all happy.)

I liked Iron Man 3 a lot, as I said earlier. So…the moment you’ve all been waiting for…I give Iron Man 3, as a whole…

5/5 jellybeans.

 

That’s right, folks.

And now, for the end quote…Well, geez. There isn’t a perfect quote to describe Iron Man 3, or even one that I have been using for the past couple weeks. So how ’bout this:

No politics here; just good old-fashioned revenge!

…I’m not really OCD, guys. I do sometimes have OCD tendencies (my daily life: “NO! THAT’S A TYPO. YOU CAN’T WRITE THAT!” “Hey, those two things are just a teeny bit crooked… *aligns* …That’s better.”), and one of them is making lists. Incessantly. My epic ninja friend Erin invented a bunch of different lists on her blog, all regarding movies, actors, television series, you know, the good stuff. I couldn’t resist making my own.

Without further ado, then, here are my top fives of…everything important.

Top 5 Favorite Animated Movies

  1. Wreck-It Ralph
  2. How to Train Your Dragon
  3. Brave
  4. Tangled
  5. Rise of the Guardians

Top 5 Favorite Superhero Movies

  1. The Avengers
  2. The Amazing Spider-man
  3. The Dark Knight Rises
  4. X-Men: First Class
  5. Thor

Top 5 Favorite Comedies

  1. Alvin and the Chipmunks (it’s cute, okay? And one of the most quotable movies ever. Bonus points. Oh, and it’s funny. Duh, guys.)
  2. Juno
  3. Someone Like You (Also, Hugh Jackman.)
  4. Legally Blonde
  5. You Again

Top 5 Favorite Movies as a Kid

  1. High School Musical (all three of them. I was THE hugest fan. Sometimes I question my sanity as a child.)
  2. Star Wars (You read that right.)
  3. Tweety & Sylvester (the old Looney Tunes videos, ya know? I actually still find them funny…)
  4. You’re Invited to Mary-Kate & Ashley’s Ballet Party (This list is almost starting to get embarrassing.)
  5. Disneyland Fun (it was a singalong video that I adored, because one of my childhood dreams was to go to Disneyland. But really, whose wasn’t?!)

(Side note: I had a very eclectic taste in movies as a child. BTW.)

5 Worst Movies EVER

I don’t watch many crappy movies. I can’t name any off the top of my head…

Top 5 Book-to-Movie Adaptations:

  1. The Hunger Games
  2. The Hobbit part 1 (This is the part of the show where I admit I’ve never read the LotR trilogy, and therefore can’t judge the movies based on the books, but I have read The Hobbit, so there.)
  3. Pride and Prejudice (the Keira Knightley version, mind you.)
  4. The Help (it omitted a lot, of course–the book is HUGE!–but I really liked the movie, so it makes the cut)
  5. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

(Another side note: Hopefully, The Great Gatsby will make it onto this list once I see it.)

Top 5 Movies You Were Most Excited to See in Theatres

  1. The Hunger Games
  2. The Avengers
  3. Les Misérables
  4. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  5. Catching Fire (yes, I know it isn’t released until November 22nd, but I’m already so excited for it, I’m not breathing. No lie.)

Top 5 Cutest Animals in Movies

  1. The Chipmunks (from Alvin and the Chipmunks. They’re even cuter when they talk.)
  2. The minions (Despicable Me) (They aren’t really animals…but they aren’t people either…and they certainly aren’t inanimate objects…So I’m just sticking them here, because they’re so dang cute.)
  3. Toothless (How to Train Your Dragon)
  4. Pascal (Tangled)
  5. Doug (Up)

Top 5 Favorite Actors/Actresses (in terms of acting)

  1. Jennifer Lawrence
  2. Robert Downey Jr.
  3. Anne Hathaway OR Keira Knightley (I can’t choose. Really, I can’t.)
  4. Hugh Jackman
  5. Stanley Tucci

(Side note: Andrea Riseborough also deserves some credit, as I loved her performance in Oblivion. However, I haven’t seen her other work, so she doesn’t quite make the list.)

Top 5 Favorite Actors That Bring Out Your Inner Fangirl

  1. Hugh Jackman (Y’all knew this was coming. Don’t groan, Amanda. ;))
  2. Robert Downey Jr.
  3. Andrew Garfield
  4. Leonardo DiCaprio
  5. Jake Gyllenhaal

(Side note: You have no idea how difficult it was to narrow the list down to only five men.)

Top 5 Favorite TV Shows

…I don’t watch that much TV (I stick with movies most of the time, just because they’re usually more epic), so…yup, nope.

Top 5 Favorite Male TV Characters

Ditto.

Top 5 Favorite Female TV Characters

Ditto. Again.

Top 5 Favorite TV Animals

Uh…

>

Well, that’s all, folks! See you…whenever I see you, ‘kay? Byyyyyye!