The Hunger Games – Mockingjay – You Know Who You Are

Mockingjay

 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014) – Rated PG-14

When Katniss destroys the games, she goes to District 13 after District 12 is destroyed. She meets President Coin who convinces her to be the symbol of rebellion, while trying to save Peeta from the Capitol.”

Well this is a rather pointless review. You already know whether you want to see this film. If you enjoyed the first two, then of course you will want to see how the story turns out. If you didn’t, then you won’t. Mockingjay is quite good even if there isn’t an actual Hunger Game involved.

Regal lines

Everyone returns and Philip Seymour Hoffman is present throughout so most of his scenes must have been in the can before his unfortunate passing. I was fortunate enough to have a day off and went to Regal’s marathon. Not only did I get to see the first two movies on the big screen (again) but I also didn’t have to wait in Regal’s cattle lines (seen here prior to opening crowd showing up).

Mockingjay keychain

 

Marathon attendees also got a $5 medium combo coupon. If you upgrade to a large, you have popcorn and soda for the entire day (I upgraded the soda and had far too much Coke). Attendees also got a FREE Mockingjay keychain (above) and lanyard (below).

Mockingjay lanyard

Triangle – Geometry week

This is Geometry week. Today we graduate from a simple line to a two-dimensional figure. Triangle is currently available on instant Netflix.

WATCH: Triangle (2009) – Rated R for violence and language.

“Murder strikes the Bermuda Triangle in this gripping high-seas horror starring Melissa George, Liam Hemsworth and Rachael Carpani. Jess encounters the first of many bad omens when her car kills a seagull near the local harbor. Later that night, her yacht hits a storm, forcing her and her friends to board a mysterious deserted ship. The clock on the ship has stopped — and so has any sense of safety. Christopher Smith writes and directs. “

“Oh you are just having a bad dream, that is all baby. That is all it was. Bad dreams make you think you are seeing things that you have not. You know what I do when I have bad dream? I close my eyes and I think of something nice – like being here with you.”

“Umm Greg – is that normal?” – pointing to a rapidly darkening sky.

Christopher Smith both writes and directs this twisty thriller. It is quite well-written and I am glad that the Netflix description does not give much of the plot away.

Melissa George is the star here. Previously seen as Stella in 30 Days of Night and Lauren Reed on Alias, she has to carry most of the movie on her shoulders. She handles the responsibility well. As in 30 Days of Night, she does a good job of mixing tough with vulnerable.

The rest of the cast is comprised of mostly unknowns (Joshua McIvor, Jack Taylor, Michael Dorman, Rachael Carpani and Henry Nixon) who do a creditable job of supporting Melissa George.

I am hard-pressed for what to discuss here. Normally I discuss the first two acts of a film and then vaguely mention anything that happens in the third act so as to avoid spoiling the movie. Triangle is so full of turns during the second act that I cannot describe the plot.

I will say that there are many scenes that will make you go “huh?” that later in the film you will satisfactorily understand.

The first act is reasonably straightforward and appears to be setting up a scenario a la Ghost Ship or Deep Rising but then the script goes somewhere else entirely.

I grew up in Miami so I love movies that are set there. Unfortunately while this is set in Miami, it is filmed in Australia so I did not get to see any childhood landmarks. Except for the obvious Bermuda Triangle connection, this could just as easily have been set in Australia.

And, of course, Australia is beautiful. I would love to go there someday.

The cinematography is well-handled and Netflix presents Triangle in its original widescreen aspect ratio (2.35:1). Camera angles are well-chosen to both heighten suspense and reveal just as much as Smith wants to reveal and nothing more.

There are beautiful uses of mirrors, a great phonograph scene and some super reveals. There is a single scene 1 hour and 4 minutes into the film that alone makes this film worth watching and yet discussing it even vaguely would be doing this movie a disservice.

I highly recommend this film but you will need to pay close attention to what is going on.

Although the narrative has nothing to do with it, a fun game (on second viewing) is to count the number of references to The Shining you can spot.

People Watch: Director/writer Christopher Smith likes to pull double duty. He previously wrote and directed the entertaining Severance and the horror movie Creep (which I have not seen but is in my enormous queue). His next project (directing only) is Black Death starring Sean Bean.