REVIEW: THE MUPPETS (2015)

MAIN CAST

Steve Whitmire (Labyrinth)
Eric Jacobson (Sesame Street)
Dave Goelz (Dinosaurs)
Bill Barretta (Kim Possible)
David Rudman (Sesame Street)
Matt Vogel (Muppets Most Wanted)
Peter Linz (Between The Lions)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUES TSTARS

Julianne Buescher (Dinosaurs)
Riki Lindhome (Much Ado About Nothing)
Layla Alizada (Chasing Freedom)
June Diane Raphael (Bride Wars)
Utkarsh Ambudkar (Ride Along 2)
Keegan-Michael Key (Due Date)
Jordan Peele (Little Fockers)
Topher Grace (That 70s Show)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Margo Harshman (The Big Bang Theory)
Jere Burns (Bates Motel)
Meagen Fay (La la Land)
Josh Groban (The Crazy Ones)
Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal)
Jay Leno (The Simpsons)
Lea Thompson (Howard The Duck)
Christina Applegate (Bad Moms)
Nick Offerman (Cursed)
Liam Hemsworth (The HunGer Games)
Ed Helms (The Hangover)
Reese Witherspoon (This Means War)
Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies)
Jason Bateman (Identity Thief)
Chelsea Handler (Hop)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper)
Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project)
Joan Jett (Highlander: The Series)
Ian Ziering (Beverly Hills, 90210)
Willie Nelson (The Dukes of Hazzard)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)

The documentary/mockumentary style of the show was actually one of the enjoyable parts about the showe, and they paid attention to detail in keeping with the style of one, such as the odd moment of shaky cam, and framing shots designed to look like someone trying to film in tight corners (peeking in on a conversation between Kermit and Ms. Piggy). The design of the puppets remains the standard of what is expected from a contemporary muppets production, with a few new background muppets that were adequately designed. Denise’s design was…awkwardly serviceable. There has been contention that she is depicted as a younger and skinnier replacement of Ms. Piggy, and I would agree there seems to be some truth to this, particularly with how her personality is portrayed so far. There is also similarities particularly to the earlier incarnations of Ms. Piggy from the original muppets from the 1980’s in her design, She does stand separate just enough visually from Ms. Piggy to be her own character.

The characters themselves were for the most part good. Kermit (Steve Whitmire) plays a decent aggrieved boss man just getting over a relationship with a co-worker, Ms. Piggy (Eric Jacobson), with some long suffering moments akin to said awkward post-breakup, but there is also care and dry humour in him that balances out the negative moments, he is definitely the star of this episode. Fozzie (also Eric Jacobson) was himself as the unfunny but optimistic bear, even in a romantic relationship (despite its awkwardness here and there), and that static nature of him was enjoyable to see, particularly as he balances out Kermit’s more serious inclinations.

The story for the show was actually really enjoyable. The plot flows well with the mockumentary style, the fact that this is very similar to The Office (2005-2013) is likely no surprise to anyone, but the use of the muppets working through the show’s premise with all the strong personalities (for the most part) and the wacky nostalgia that was the muppets wraps all together for an interesting viewing for the most part.
Overall the show had a rather interesting start to it and as the show developed it became even for interesting, I personally enjoyed it and was sad to find out thatthere would be no season 2.

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REVIEW: KNOWING

CAST

Nicolas Cage (Ghost Rider)
Chandler Canterbury (Repo Men)
Rose Byrne (Bad neighbors)
Lara Robinson (Long Weekend)
Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games)
D.G. Maloney (The Eternity Man)
Gareth Yuen (Power Rangers Operation Overdrive)
Angie Diaz (Power Rangers Mystic Force)

In 1959, student Lucinda Embry (Lara Robinson) hears whispers as she stares at the Sun. When her class is chosen to contribute to the school’s time capsule, each child is asked to draw what they believe the future will look like. Lucinda writes a page of seemingly random numbers and adds it to her elementary school’s time capsule, which is set to be opened in 50 years. Lucinda’s teacher calls for the pupils to finish but Lucinda continues before her teacher takes it off her desk unfinished. Lucinda then goes missing after the time capsule is dedicated, and is found by her teacher, Mrs. Taylor (Danielle Carter), in a utility closet scratching numbers into the door with her fingernails bleeding.In 2009, Caleb Koestler (Chandler Canterbury) is a pupil at the same elementary school. When the time capsule is opened, Caleb is supposed to read and write about some of the capsule’s contents. He’s given the page of numbers written by Lucinda. His widowed father John (Nicolas Cage), a professor of astrophysics at MIT, notices the numbers have a specific set of sequences, with some digits referring to the dates and death tolls of major disasters over the last 50 years, including 911012996 (the date and death toll of the 9/11 attacks). The last three sets of digits on the page are dated in the immediate future.In the following days, a car drives by the family home with two strangers. They give Caleb a small smooth stone. Caleb later dreams of one of the strange men, who points to the window showing the world on fire with burning animals running out from a forest.John witnesses a plane crash on a freeway on the day that the paper had next predicted that a disaster would occur. He then learns that the remaining unexplained digits on the paper are the geographic coordinates of the location of each disaster predicted on the paper.John tracks down Lucinda’s daughter Diana (Rose Byrne) and granddaughter Abby. Though initially apprehensive and scared, after seeing one of the number sets result in another disaster (a major derailment on the New York City Subway, which John had tried to prevent), Diana decides to help John. She says that her mother used to hear voices and that the next (and also last) date in the document, October 19, was the day Lucinda always said Diana would die. Searching Lucinda’s mobile home, they find pictures of the disasters she predicted, a copy of Matthäus Merian’s engraving of Ezekiel’s “chariot vision”, and a pile of small smooth stones near Lucinda’s bed. The last number in the document appears to be “33” but they notice that it is really “EE” written backwards. They figure out that EE means “Everyone Else,” representing an Extinction Level Event that no one will escape.The next day, Abby shows John that she has coloured in the sun on the Ezekiel’s “Chariot vision” engraving and John has a sudden realisation that this could be how the world ends. He rushes them to the MIT observatory, where he discovers that a massive solar flare will soon reach Earth, making it uninhabitable. John and Diana argue over what is best to do to prepare for the incoming solar flare. After the argument, Diana leaves with both children. While Diana stops for gas, an emergency broadcast is transmitted to alert the world of the solar flare. While on the phone with John, the strangers take the children. Diana chases after them but her car is hit by a truck. John, rushing to catch up with them, arrives just as Diana dies at exactly midnight of October 19 and finds the smooth, black stone in Diana’s hand. He goes back to Lucinda’s mobile home, finding the children and the strangers waiting in a dry river bed covered with the similar black stones. A space ship descends from the sky. John is refused entry and the ship departs with the children. A distant shot shows many similar space ships leaving Earth.The next morning John drives to his estranged father’s home. John and his family embrace as the flare sets the entire planet ablaze, destroying everything and killing all life still on the surface. Caleb and Abby are deposited by the beings on an Earth-like planet. In the final scene, they are seen running through a beautiful field of wheat towards a giant white tree which resembles the Tree of Life. In the distance other ships are seen leaving suggesting the other children have also been deposited on their new world.

This is a pretty spectacular movie. The music was on cue with everything in the movie and the scenes were incredible. Each scene had you gripping onto your seat in anticipation. Although this is very under-appreciated, I hope you will give this movie a try.

 

 

 

 

REVIEW: INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE

CAST

Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games)
Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park)
Jessie Usher (Almost Christmas)
Bill Pullman (The Grudge)
Maika Monroe (The 5th Wave)
Sela Ward (Gone Girl)
William Fichtner (The Dark Knight)
Judd Hirsch (Tower Heist)
Corin Nemec (Stargate SG.1)
Brent Spiner (Star Trek: TNG)
Vivica A. Fox (Idle Hands)
Angelababy (Hitman: Agent 47)
Robert Loggia (Psycho II)
Joey King (The Dark Knight Rises)
Chin Han (Arrow)
Ryan Cartwright (Bones)

Twenty years after a devastating alien invasion, the United Nations has set up the Earth Space Defense (ESD), a global defense and research program to reverse-engineer alien technology and serve as Earth’s early warning system against extraterrestrial threats. The main defense force utilizes equipment salvaged from the remains of the alien forces and operates military bases built on the Moon, Mars, and Rhea. The Area 51 base in Nevada has become the ESD Headquarters.The world is preparing to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of their survival after the invasion. In the provincial African state Republique Nationale d’Umbutu, ESD Director David Levinson meets with Dr. Catherine Marceaux and warlord Dikembe Umbutu, who lead him to an intact alien destroyer. Aboard the ship, they discover that the alien occupants sent a distress call to their home planet before being defeated. Furthermore, Umbutu, former U.S. President Thomas Whitmore, and Dr. Brackish Okun (who awakens at Area 51 after a twenty-year coma)—all of them once telepathically linked with the aliens ever since their personal encounters with them—have of late been receiving strange visions of an unidentifiable spherical object.An unidentified spherical ship, with design and technology different from that of the aliens who attacked 20 years earlier, emerges from a wormhole near the ESD’s Moon defense headquarters. Levinson believes that it belongs to another extraterrestrial race that might be benevolent and urges the world’s Security Council not to attack, but they vote to shoot it down regardless. Against the Council’s orders, pilots Jake Morrison and Charlie Miller pick up Levinson, Marceaux, Umbutu, and U.S. federal controller Floyd Rosenberg on a space tug, and they head for the wreckage near the Van de Graaff crater, where they recover a container. An alien mothership 3,000 miles (4,800 km) in diameter suddenly emerges and destroys Earth’s planetary defenses before approaching the planet. The space tug is caught in the mothership’s gravitational pull, which lifts objects from across Asia, causing massive damage on its path. The debris falls all over Europe, where the tug manages to escape before heading on to Area 51. The mothership lands over the north of the Atlantic Ocean, destroying cities on the Eastern Seaboard, and begins drilling a hole through the bottom of the ocean floor to harvest the Earth’s core for fuel, which will destroy both its magnetic field and atmosphere in the process, killing all life.Whitmore’s group interrogates one of the aliens held in captivity from the war, who has recently awoken from a 20-year catatonic state. The ESD learns that the aliens exist in eusociality and that one of their colossal Queens is commanding the invasion. Levinson hypothesizes that, if they kill the supervising Queen, her forces will cease drilling and retreat. An ESD aerial fleet, led by Captain Dylan Dubrow-Hiller, stages a counterattack on the Queen’s chamber, but they are caught in a trap within the mothership, which nearly wipes out the entire unit. In Area 51, Okun opens the container and releases a giant white sphere of virtual intelligence; indeed benevolent and more advanced than the attacking aliens. It reveals that its mission is to evacuate survivors from worlds targeted by the aliens, whom it calls “Harvesters”, and that it has gathered a viable resistance force against the Harvesters, hidden in a refugee planet at a location unknown to the Harvesters. Despite being the last of its kind, the sphere implores the humans to destroy it in order to prevent the Harvesters from discovering the location of the planet where it has hidden the survivors. In the mothership, Dylan, Jake, and other survivors manage to escape by hijacking enemy attack craft, and pursue the Queen’s personal ship, which is heading to Area 51 with its convoy.Knowing the Queen has become aware of the sphere’s presence, the ESD forces hide it in an isolation chamber and use a decoy to lure the Queen’s ship to a trap filled with fusion weapons. Against his daughter Patricia’s wishes, Whitmore volunteers to pilot the space tug on the suicide mission, leading the warship to the trap and detonating the bombs, thus sacrificing himself and destroying the ship. However, the Queen survives by using an energy shield on her biomechanical suit. Several fighters fire at the Queen, but the shield protects her.However, Patricia manages to fire through a gap in the shield when the Queen prepares to fire her own gun, thereby disabling the Queen’s shield, allowing Dylan’s arriving party to kill the Queen before she can take the sphere. With the Queen dead, all the remaining alien fighters are rendered inactive, while the mothership stops drilling and retreats to space. Okun reveals that the sphere has asked humanity to lead its resistance and has offered the humans new technology in preparation for a counterattack to assault the Harvesters’ home world and take the fight to the aliens.The action is decent. The jeopardy level is good. What it can’t quite offer is the shock of the new that the original gave us. But for fun science fiction action blockbuster escapism, it’s not bad. So it’s an entertaining watch.

REVIEW: TRIANGLE

CAST
Melissa George (Alias)
Michael Dorman (Killer Elite)
Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games)
Henry Nixon (The Landing)
Rachael Carpani (McLeod’s Daughters)
Emma Lung (Wonderland)
Single mother Jess prepares to take her autistic son Tommy on a boat trip with her friend Greg. While Jess tidies up the house, the doorbell rings, but no one is there. Jess later arrives at the harbor alone and boards Greg’s boat. Joining them for the trip are Victor, a runaway teen who lives with Greg; Sally and Downey, married friends of Greg; and Heather, a friend of Sally’s. While on the boat out at sea, they are overwhelmed by a storm and Heather is swept out into the water when the boat capsizes. When the storm clears, the others climb onto the upturned boat.
When an ocean liner arrives, the group board it, only to find it apparently deserted, though Jess experiences a sense of déjà vu as they explore. Various strange occurrences take place on the ship, hinting that there is someone else on board, though the person remains unseen. Jess eventually witnesses the others die one by one: Victor from a wound in his head, while Greg, Sally and Downey are shot by a burlap-masked shooter. The shooter chases Jess to the ship’s front deck, but she fights back; she disarms and sends her assailant overboard.
Jess then hears yelling, and sees herself and the others alive and standing on Greg’s upturned boat, in the position they had been in earlier. Jess secretly trails the group when they board the ship again, realizing that she is in a causality loop, whereby she is the unseen figure of earlier. Jess attempts to warn Victor, only to accidentally impale his head on a wall hook. She flees deeper into the ship and finds evidence that the loop has repeated many times before. Jess decides that she can change the way events play out, but another counterpart of hers from an earlier loop is still on board the ship and kills the others one by one. This older counterpart is then killed and thrown overboard by Jess’ newer counterpart, and the loop repeats again. Greg’s upturned boat and its survivors return, and Jess realizes the time loop restarts when everyone is killed. Desperate to stop the loop and prevent them from boarding at all, Jess sets everything from the first loop into motion, and she herself becomes the shooter. When she is disarmed, she urges her counterpart to kill everyone when they return, before falling off the ship.
Jess awakens washed ashore and returns home, only to find herself returned to earlier that morning. As she watches from outside, it is revealed that Jess abuses Tommy out of anger toward his autism. Promising to stop the abuse, Jess distracts her counterpart with the doorbell and kills her in order to take her place. Jess then leaves with Tommy in her car, only to find evidence that this sequence of events has happened many times before as well. Their car is hit by a truck and Tommy is killed, leaving Jess alone. A taxi driver approaches and Jess accepts a ride to the harbor, where she joins the others on Greg’s boat, setting the events of the loop in motion again.
The atmosphere in “Triangle” is a mixture of weird and scary, but even if it progressively gets scarier and scarier it never gets too weird. The director kept the film very strictly under control and therefore there is no obvious plot holes or useless scenes.  Melissa George did a very good job in this film and helped a lot to make it a success as her character (Jess) is the center of all the story and all other actors play supporting roles.

REVIEW: THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2

CAST

Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Josh Hutcherson (The Forger)
Liam Hemsworth (Knowing)
Woody Harrelson (Zombieland)
Elizabeth Banks (The Lego Movie)
Donald Sutherland (The Italian Job)
Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Doubt)
Julianne Moore (Freedomland)
Willow Shields (beyond The Blackboard)
Sam Claflin (Snow White and The Huntsman)
Mahershala Ali (Alphas)
Jena Malone (Donnie Darko)
Jeffrey wright (Source Code)
Paula Malcomson (Caprica)
Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones)
Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones)
Elden Henson (Daredevil)
Michelle Forbes (Powers)
Gwendoline Christie (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Robert Knepper (Heroes)
April Grace (Lost)

Katniss Everdeen is recovering after being attacked by Peeta Mellark, who has been brainwashed by the Capitol. The rebels attack and disable the Capitol’s weapons arsenal in District 2. Katniss tries to rally the loyalists against the Capitol, but is shot and injured in the confrontation. Despite Katniss’ desire to kill President Snow personally, Alma Coin refuses to allow her into battle. At Finnick and Annie’s wedding, Johanna Mason suggests Katniss sneak aboard a supply ship leaving for the Capitol, where Commander Paylor is planning an invasion. Unable to bring her back, Coin has her assigned to the “Star Squad”, led by Boggs and includes Gale, Finnick, Cressida, Messalla, Castor, Pollux, Jackson, the Leeg twins, Mitchell, and Homes; they will follow in relative safety behind the actual invasion of the Capitol providing video of their incursion for propaganda purposes. Boggs carries a holographic map (the “Holo”) to help them evade known booby trapped “pods” which line the streets of the Capitol. Coin also sends Peeta to join the squad, even though he has not fully recovered from the Capitol’s conditioning.

As they venture deeper into the Capitol, Boggs triggers a pod which sets off a land mine and mortally wounds him, and transfers command of the Holo to Katniss before dying. The squad triggers another pod, which releases a flood of lethal black tar. Peeta momentarily succumbs to his conditioning and attacks Katniss, pushing Mitchell into the tar and killing him. The group takes shelter in an abandoned building, where Jackson, the second-in-command, attempts to commandeer the Holo, until Katniss convinces them she is under secret orders from Coin to kill Snow. Katniss and most of the group escape just before a squad of Peacekeepers arrive and destroy the building, killing the Leeg twins. The Capitol broadcasts a message announcing Katniss’s death, which is interrupted by Coin, who delivers an impassioned eulogy for her, to rally the rebels.

The team descends into the Capitol’s sewers to avoid further pods, but they are attacked by a horde of genetically engineered creatures called “mutts”. Jackson, Castor, and Homes are killed as the squad flees through the sewers. Finnick is overwhelmed as he fights off the swarm to allow the team to escape, forcing Katniss to set the Holo’s self-destruct, killing him and the remaining mutts. The surviving team members reach the surface but are chased by Peacekeepers, and Messalla is killed by a pod that melts and disintegrates him. The team takes refuge in a shop, where Tigris, a former Hunger Games stylist and rebel sympathizer, hides them in her basement.

As rebel forces gain ground, Snow invites fleeing Capitol citizens into his mansion for protection. Katniss and Gale join the crowd, posing as refugees to gain access to Snow. Rebels arrive and attack, killing many in the crossfire. In the chaos, Katniss pushes forward to Snow’s mansion, where Peacekeepers are herding Capitol children toward the closed gates. A hovercraft flies overhead, and drops small parcels by parachute into the pen of children. The parcels explode, killing them. A team of rebel medics attempt to help the injured, among whom is Katniss’s sister Prim. A second wave of bombs detonate, killing Prim and knocking Katniss unconscious. Upon recovering, Katniss learns the Capitol has been conquered, and Snow captured. When Katniss confronts Snow, he claims that Coin orchestrated the bombing outside his mansion to turn his soldiers against him. Katniss realizes that the incident resembles a trap that Gale had developed earlier. When Gale is unable to assure Katniss that the bombs were not of his design, Katniss cuts all ties with him. Coin invites the remaining Hunger Games victors to vote on a proposal to have another Hunger Games using the children of the Capitol, as a symbolic gesture to satisfy the districts. Katniss swings the vote in favor, in exchange for the right to execute Snow personally.

At the execution, Katniss shoots and kills Coin instead of Snow. The rebels take Katniss into custody, while Snow is tortured and killed by the angry mob. Katniss is eventually pardoned for her crime and returns to District 12, where she is joined by Peeta, who has recovered from his conditioning. Commander Paylor is elected the new President of Panem, and Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch bond over their shared trauma. Years later, Katniss and Peeta play with their two children, as Katniss contemplates the nightmares of her past, and somberly reflects that “there are much worse games to play.”

The special effects are amazing, and the film gripped me throughout. There are some chilling and sad moments and with some twists along the way. Music from previous films is used to powerful effect. Jennifer Lawrence puts in an incredible performance as Katniss, and there are other strong performances from the cast. I was sad to see this end series, but feel everyone involved can be incredibly proud of what has been achieved. An outstanding and thought provoking finale.

REVIEW: THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1

CAST
Jennifer Lawrence (Behind Closed Doors)
Josh Hutcherson (Zathrua)
Liam Hemsworth (Triangle)
Elizbath Banks (Zack & Miri)
Donald Sutherland (The Italian Job 2003)
Woody Harrelson (Zombieland)
Willow Shields (Beyond The Blackboard)
Paula Malcomson (Caprica)
Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones)
Phillip Seymour Hoffman (The Ides of March)
Jeffrey Wright (Ali)
Sam Claflin (The Quiet Ones)
Jena Malone (Donnie Darko)
Julianne Moore (Hannibal)
Mahershala Ali (Predators)
Robert Knepper (Cult)
Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones)

After being rescued from the destroyed arena in the 75th Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen, along with fellow Victors Beetee and Finnick Odair, are taken to District 13, an independent district isolated from the rest of Panem that has been spearheading the rebellion, where she is reunited with her mother and sister Prim. While recuperating, she is introduced to President Alma Coin, the rebel leader, and is told that her actions in the arena sparked riots and strikes against the Capitol. Coin asks her if she will become the “Mockingjay”—the symbol of the rebellion—as part of their “hearts and minds” strategy. Katniss flatly declines, angrily reminding her that they left Peeta Mellark, her portrayed lover and fellow District 12 tribute, behind in the arena. At the suggestion of Plutarch Heavensbee, the former Gamemaker, she is taken to see the ruins of District 12, which was completely leveled by a Capitol bombing campaign (with the exception of the houses in the Victor’s Village). After seeing that Peeta is being used by Capitol state television to quell the rebellion, Katniss reluctantly changes her mind and agrees to become Coin’s Mockingjay, on the condition that Peeta and the other victors will be rescued and pardoned at the earliest opportunity, and that her sister, Prim, will be allowed to keep her cat.
After Haymitch notes that Katniss thrives on spontaneity, she is introduced to her film team (led by Capitol escapee Cressida), is dressed up in a specially-designed outfit, and given Effie Trinket as a stylist and close friend Gale as a bodyguard. They go out to District 8 to visit a hospital, but as the visit concludes, a Capitol bombing squadron arrives and bombs the hospital, killing everyone inside. In her rage, Katniss gives a rousing speech to the camera, which is broadcast when Beetee hijacks the Capitol’s news feed. After it is broadcast, strikers in District 7 kill an entire team of Peacekeepers with hidden land mines.
After seeing a weakened Peeta on a TV propo (propaganda shots) the team then go back to District 12, where Gale tells the story of its destruction, and Katniss is filmed singing “The Hanging Tree”. Soon after, hundreds of protestors in District 5, singing the same anthem, launch a suicidal human wave attack against a hydroelectric dam that is the Capitol’s primary source of electricity. The attack succeeds, forcing the Capitol to revert to backup power generators and weakening their ability to broadcast their propaganda.
That night, Katniss watches Peeta being interviewed by Caesar Flickerman, the Games’ former presenter, when, in an apparent defiance of his captors, Peeta suddenly shouts a warning that the Capitol is about to attack District 13. Coin orders a mass evacuation into the underground shelters. While Prim is nearly locked out when she goes back to get her cat, everyone manages to get inside safely, and the facility survives the attack unharmed. Upon emerging, Katniss discovers that the area is littered with white roses, realizes that President Snow has sent them to taunt her, and presumes that he is about to kill Peeta. As Peeta’s warning gave the District an additional eight minutes evacuation time, Coin dispatches an elite special forces team, which includes Gale, to rescue him, along with Johanna Mason, and Annie Cresta, the remaining Victors, from their prison in the Capitol’s Tribute center. The rescue is successful. However, when Katniss goes to greet Peeta, he unexpectedly attacks and strangles her into unconsciousness, before being knocked unconscious himself by Boggs.
Katniss wakes up in the medical facility, and is informed that Peeta has been “hijacked” — a form of physical/mental torture in which he is brainwashed into wanting to kill Katniss by associating memories of her with the psychological terror created by tracker jacker venom — explaining why the Capitol allowed Gale’s team to escape. Peeta is strapped to a bed and placed in a solitary confinement, while a serum is being developed to undo the effects of the hijacking. Meanwhile, Coin announces the successful rescue of the Victors, and that their next objective is the Capitol’s principal military stronghold in the ravines on District 2.
Excellent performances by actors and a very dramatic, dark mood rather.
An awesome film and a great build-up towards the grandiose finale .

REVIEW: THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

 

Untitled
CAST
Jennifer Lawrence (Behind Closed Doors)
Josh Hutcherson (Zathrua)
Liam Hemsworth (Triangle)
Elizbath Banks (Zack & Miri)
Donald Sutherland (The Italian Job 2003)
Woody Harrelson (Zombieland)
Willow Shields (Beyond The Blackboard)
Paula Malcomson (Caprica)
Toby Jones (Your Highness)
Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones)
Phillip Seymour Hoffman (The Ides of March)
Alan Ritchson (Smallville)
Jeffrey Wright (Ali)
Amanda Plummer (Drunks)
Sam Claflin (The Quiet Ones)
Jena Malone (Donnie Darko)
 After winning the 74th Hunger Games in the previous novel, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark return home to District 12, the poorest sector in the country of Panem. But on the day that Katniss and Peeta are to start a “Victory Tour” of the country, President Snow visits unexpectedly and tells Katniss that he is angry with her for breaking the rules at the end of the last Hunger Games, which permitted both Peeta and Katniss to win. Snow tells Katniss that when she defied the Capitol, she inspired rebellion in the districts.
The first stop on the Victory Tour is District 11, the home of Katniss’ deceased friend and ally in the Hunger Games, Rue. During the ceremony, Katniss delivers a speech thanking the people of District 11 for their participants in the Games. When she finishes, an old man whistles the tune that Rue used in the arena to tell Katniss that she was safe. The song acts as a signal and everyone salutes Katniss, using the same gesture that she used to say farewell to Rue. To the horror of Katniss, the old man and two others are executed.
Katniss and Peeta travel to the rest of the twelve districts and the Capitol. Hoping to placate the growing rebellion and settle the dispute between Katniss and President Snow, Peeta proposes to Katniss during an interview. Despite this, Katniss learns that their attempt to avert revolt in the districts has failed.
Shortly after returning to District 12, Katniss discovers on the mayor’s television that District 8 has had an uprising, and she fears that what she has done to placate the crowds is not enough as there may be uprisings in other districts as well. She then meets two runaways from District 8, Bonnie and Twill. They explain their theory which contradicts what the other districts have been led to believe: District 13 was not completely wiped out by the Capitol, and that its residents survive in underground shelters.Later, it is announced that, for the 75th Hunger Games, twenty-four victors from previous years will be forced to compete once again. This is the third occurrence of the “Quarter Quell”: an event that occurs every 25th year of the Games and allows the Capitol to introduce a twist. Knowing that she and Peeta will both be competing in the Games a second time, Katniss decides that she will devote herself to ensuring that Peeta becomes the Quarter Quell’s victor and convinces her mentor to help her. Likewise, Peeta is devoted to protecting her, but both Katniss and her mentor are determined that only Peeta returns home safely.
During the Games, set in a jungle with a saltwater lake, Katniss and Peeta join up with two other previous victors: Finnick Odair, a 24-year-old man who survived the Games at the age of 14, and Mags, Finnick’s 80-year-old mentor, both from District 4. The party encounters poisonous fog in which Peeta comes into contact with the gas and cannot walk. Mags sacrifices herself in order to save Peeta and dies in the poisonous fog. After Mags’s death, Katniss, Peeta and Finnick join forces with Johanna Mason, a sarcastic and often cruel victor from District 7, and Beetee and Wiress, an older couple from District 3 who are said to be “exceptionally smart”. Wiress soon proves her genius by revealing to Katniss that the arena is arranged like a clock, with all of the arena’s disasters occurring on a timed chart. After Wiress is killed in a battle with the Careers (tributes from the first three districts who train all their lives for the Games and are usually the winners), Katniss learns of Beetee’s plan to harness lightning in order to electrocute Brutus and Enobaria, the two remaining Careers Tributes from District 2. In the final chapters, Katniss instead directs the lightning at the force field that contains the arena, thereby destroying the arena and resulting in her temporary paralysis. When Katniss wakes up, she is being transported to District 13, joined by Finnick, Beetee, and her mentor, Haymitch Abernathy. She learns that Peeta, Enobaria, and Johanna have been captured by the Capitol, and is informed that there had been a plan among half of the contestants to break out of the arena— Beetee had been attempting to destroy the force field in the same way that she did. The book ends when Katniss’ best friend, Gale, comes to visit her and informs her that, though he got her family out in time, District 12 has been destroyed.
Incredible, memorable film, well worth seeing even if you haven’t the read the books.