Friday, December 25, 2015

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part II

This movie starts off where the last installment ended. In summary, Peeta is still mentally unstable due to the Capital's brainwashing. Katniss is recovering from her injuries. All the other characters are preparing for war. With Peeta's condition, Katniss is eager to join the fight and put an end to President Snow. Little does she know he isn't the only monster out there.This tale takes you on an adventure similar to the ones found in the games. The Capital has its game makers set traps for the rebels surrounding the city. Katniss and her team find themselves trying to survive each obstacle. Unfortunately, Prim found herself on the front lines caring for the wounded and lost her life in front of Katniss. The first Hunger Games movie started with Katniss trying to protect her sister, but in the end she still couldn't save her from a senseless death.  Once within reach of Snow, Katniss realizes that some of the things she believed to be true in fact were lies. The President of the Rebels (I can't think of her name) was not looking to liberate all of Panem (as she had been lobbying that she would), but she actually sought out to seek revenge on the Capital and its citizens. Beyond that it was easy to tell that she had her own political agenda that she hadn't shared with everyone yet. President Snow in his final meeting with Katniss expressed to her the truth about his successor. Katniss is then left with a choice to kill Snow and go along with her new President's orders or create a new Panem by her own means. In true Katniss fashion she chose to make her own rules. Seeing that the new President offered no better rule than Snow, Katniss aimed her bow at the would be President and shocked everyone...except me. I mean once it was revealed that the new President was no different from Snow I assumed Katniss would kill her as well. What then would become of Katniss? Of Peeta and the others? Well, those who truly believed in Katniss as the Mockingjay arranged for her to be snuck out of the city and sent home. Once there she started to build her life again. She was later joined by Peeta.  The movie ended with a typical happily ever after for Katniss and Peeta.

I for one was a little disappointed in the ending. It all seemed rushed; like they had a big story to tell but a small time frame to tell it in. I think they spent too much time on getting the rebels through the mine fields planted by the capital. I would have appreciated more insight into what the rebel Presidents plans were for the future. Why did she think the way she did? What was her back story? What was Gail's real part in Prim's death? What happened to him after they took the Capital? There also seemed to have been a deeper relationship than was ever shown between Hamidge and Efy. Where did that come from? This last installment left me with more questions than answers. I glad there wasn't a Part III because I fear it'd just leave me more confused.

All that being said, I gave this movie a 3 out of 5 stars.  The action and graphics were great. The storyline could have flowed better. Maybe cutting out some of the action scenes (I can't believe I'm even saying that). I'd rather have a close to 50:50 split on story and action than an 15:85 split that rushes the ending. What do you think? Have you seen the movie? How would you grade it? #Letsdish

Friday, December 18, 2015


December 18, 2015

Tonight I saw the movie "Creed".  In my opinion, it was definitely better than the last Rocky movie entitled Balboa, but it wasn't as incredible as some of the first installments (not that I think anything ever will be). That being said I still think it was a great movie. This generations introduction to the Rocky series. Everything from the music to be included on the soundtrack to street bikes and slang screamed new age. 

The storyline flowed very well.  It starts with a little bit of an untold back story. Then transitions to current day as young Creed tries to make a name for himself in the boxing world. Creed asks Balboa to train him, but the legendary Rocky Balboa is reluctant at first. Eventually Rocky gets on board. As expected with names like Balboa and Creed the youngster quickly finds himself with opportunities to fight the top competitors in his class. Would the kid live up to his old man's name? Would Rocky be able to breed another Champ? You'll have to be the judge when you see it.

Things that could have been better:

1.  The buildup to the final fight

-  The original Rocky films are known for their buildup to the main fight with their training montages, brilliant musical scores, and the main character's dramatic run through the fights location i.e. the streets of Philly, the Russian mountains, etc. In this movie they attempted to rebirth one of those moments, but it just failed to give me that feeling of invincibility that the older movies do.

2.  The rookie buildup

-  I think they could have done a better job of showing young Creed earning his place in the boxing world before teaming up with Rocky. I know it can be argued that the other movies didn't do that either however, I found it hard to believe Creed was a real boxer. It just didn't stick with me that he was a fighter. Maybe it was the acting (no shade intended towards the actor) or maybe the writers are to blame. I just think that showing more about how he started out boxing could have made his character more believable.

I'm giving this movie a 3 out of five stars. Have you seen it too? If so, tell me what you think and why. How would you rate it?