The Hunger Games (2014)

Fast and Furious 7 PosterRelease Date: November 21, 2014

Directed by: Francis Lawrence

Written by: Danny Strong, Suzanne Collins

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks

Synopsis:

Katniss Everdeen reluctantly becomes the symbol of a mass rebellion against the autocratic Capitol.

2012-rejectawards

It’s funny. We spend so much time honoring the triumphs of 2012, and the big game won’t even roll around until February. The Academy Awards aren’t a paragon of perfection for some, and they aren’t the final word, but they are (like it or not) the closest thing we have to a standard for celebrating creative film talent. There job is to hand out the general cheers for performances, make-up, songs and the like, and since they’ve got those covered, it falls to us to hoist filmmakers and films on high for unique reasons. Reasons that might make the average Academy voter spit out their tea. From the far corners, here are the 2nd Annual Reject Awards.

read more...

The Best Soundtracks of 2012

Looking back over the past year in film, it is impressive to remember the different styles and forms of music that accompanied these various releases as they bring back the memories and emotions felt when first hearing a particular song or watching a piece of orchestration pair perfectly with what was happening on screen. When it comes to music, it is not simply a question of what was the best; it is a question of what resonated the most. Music created for film is unlike any other type of music because it is intended to be listened to while watching specific images. Of course there are songs that stand well on their own (see: Adele’s “Skyfall”), but hopefully even outside of the film, those songs conjure up memories of the films they came from. Sometimes a song placed in a particular scene can take on a whole new meaning, giving you a new ideas to reflect on when you hear it (see: “The Air That I Breathe” by the Hollies as used in a pivotal scene in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.) Soundtracks and scores help add to the emotion of a film and this year’s musicians delivered in spades. From turning found sounds into orchestration to adding a new layer of depth to the end of a trilogy to proving that sometimes words simply are not enough, 2012 was filled with new, inventive, and memorable music. Let’s look back and listen to the twelve selections […]

read more...

The Avengers

According to USA Today, 2012 is the biggest box office year in movie history (not adjusted for inflation). The numbers aren’t set yet (because, you know, the year’s not over), but if the predictive models hold, the industry will close out with $10.8b and the first year since 2009 that individual ticket sales went up. Unsurprisingly, it was buoyed by big franchise hits — including over a billion coming in solely from The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. Another billion was earned from a franchise that was ending (Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2), two franchises that were just beginning (The Hunger Games and a rebooted Spider-Man) and a franchise that’s stronger than ever at a half-century old (Bond, James Bond). In the simplest terms, it only took 6 movies to cross the $2b mark this year whereas it took 8 movies to do the same in 2011. That may seem small, but when you’re dealing in the hundreds of millions, it can be the difference between a slump and a reason to buy a sheet cake at Costco for the company break room. Especially when the top movie this year outdid the top movie of the previous by $242m. The whole mess is too complicated to reduce to a single factor. Marvel’s big gamble paid off in a profound way, but there’s also the rebounding economy at large to think about and the general fickleness of consumers. Plus, this raw number doesn’t take into consideration that 50 more movies were released in 2012, […]

read more...

Obviously the one thing that movie-goers desperately wanted from The Hunger Games was to somehow feel closer and more involved with the child-on-child murder-for-sport that played out before their very eyes. Isn’t that what entertainment is for? Luckily enough, the Hunger Games team has heard our cries (some of them muffled by the blood that is filling our lungs, thanks to a hearty jabbing from a fellow Tribute), with Peeta Mellark himself (Josh Hutcherson, if you’re not hip to it) revealing which portion of the upcoming The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will be filmed in native IMAX. Which portion? The best kind! The one with the killing! Hutcherson told MTV (via /Film) in a new interview (which you can check out after the break) that the Francis Lawrence-directed film will feature IMAX scenes in the arena during the games, saying: “I think, all the stuff in the arena is going to be IMAX. So when you go see it in IMAX, you’ll see the regular movie when we’re in the Districts and in the Capitol. When you see us go up in the pod in the games, it will open up into IMAX. It will be amazing. It’s very cool.” Jokes about murder aside, the arena used in Catching Fire is going to be awesome (should the film stick to the original vision of the book, which is sort of a no-brainer), and to be immersed in that world via IMAX should prove to be one hell of a time. Also, huge plus […]

read more...

The Ingredients is a column devoted to breaking down the components of a new film release with some focus on influential movies that came before. As always, these posts look at the entire plots of films and so include SPOILERS.  By the end of Breaking Dawn — Part 2, it’s clear that the Twilight Saga, as one long story about vampires, werewolves and a chaste teenage girl, is first and foremost a romance picture. This may not sound like a revelation, but in the past four years we’ve all looked at the series in terms of how it transcends the traditional “chick flick” ghetto to dabble in elements of superhero and horror genres, potentially wooing male moviegoers in the process. Interestingly enough, the finale features a sequence that is very much aimed at fans of genre cinema just before pulling a 180 and concluding with an ending that the same audience will find mushy and sappy as (their personal) hell. While romance figures into most film genres and even dominates the conventional Hollywood denouement for movies no matter what audience is targeted, most of these features are not classifiably romance pictures. The love stories are secondary or even tertiary in importance to plots primarily concerned with adventure or disaster or some treatment of good versus evil. And although there are antagonists strewn throughout the Twilight films, there aren’t really good guys and bad guys in proper terms. Instead there is simply love and family versus threat to love and family. […]

read more...

Director Francis Lawrence has yet to even wrap his first Hunger Games film, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but the helmer is apparently doing a stellar job, as Lionsgate has just announced that he is booked to direct the final two Hunger Games films. Lawrence will again be joined by stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth for the third and fourth installments of the already-massive YA franchise cash cow based on Suzanne Collins‘ book series. The second film, Catching Fire, is currently filming in Atlanta. From a script by Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt, that film will send heroine Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) and her possible paramour Peeta Mellark (Hutcherson) straight back into a brand new Hunger Games arena, mere months after the two barely escaped their last round in the battle-to-the-death. Catching Fire arrives in theaters on November 22, 2013.

read more...

As any of us who’ve dressed up as movie characters for Halloween know, it’s the distinctly designed roles that make for the most interesting costumes. Nobody is dressing up as Alex Cross or Aaron Cross this year — not because their movies weren’t popular, but because the characters don’t have a very recognizable look. Peruse the popular suits for sale and clever homemade ideas this year and you’ll find mostly characters who wouldn’t be what they are without the craftwork of costume designers and makeup artists. That’s why I consider theirs the Halloween categories at the Oscars. And yet, the best and most common outfits and frightening faces aren’t necessarily those that tend to be recognized by the Academy. This year’s list of popular movie-related costumes predominantly consists of superheroes, which has been the norm for a while, but there are even more timely examples represented now thanks to the The Avengers featuring so many masked and caped crusaders. Also, we had another movie starring the Caped Crusader. And while once again Linda Hemming will be nominated for a Costume Designers Guild Award for a Batman movie (she was nominated for Batman Begins and won for The Dark Knight), it’s very unlikely that The Dark Knight Rises will earn her a second Oscar nomination let alone win (she won her first time nominated, for Topsy-Turvy).

read more...

Danny Strong

According to Variety, Danny Strong has been hired to write the script for the final Hunger Games entry, Mockingjay. The film, based on the last book of the trilogy, will be split into two parts which will both be written by Strong once he finds a place to put down his Emmys. His hiring is an interesting move, although a bit unsurprising considering the political metaphor that hangs noticeably off the franchise. Strong wrote both Recount – the HBO movie that chronicled the 2000 election mess in Florida – and Game Change – the HBO movie that chronicled Sarah Palin’s political rise as the VP choice in the 2008 election. He also wrote the forthcoming The Butler, which takes place through several presidencies in the White House. So, yes, he’s familiar with politics. That should be helpful, especially because the Big Bad Dystopian Government concept is a bit more complex beneath the surface and demands to be taken seriously. The question is which direction that will take and how closely it will resemble Suzanna Collins‘ book. If there’s a chance here to draw comparisons to current governmental affairs, will Strong take it? Should he?

read more...

Rian Johnson’s new film, Looper, is a pretty awesome time travel flick, one with as many elements that are clever and original as there are purposefully derivative and influenced. It’s the kind of smart and stylish sci-fi cinema we expect every once in a while on the festival circuit, like Sound of My Voice (which hits DVD and Blu-ray this Tuesday), rather than from a major Hollywood studio. Looper does fit the indie model, though, since Sony/Tristar picked it up for distribution only after it was done shooting, yet as Brian’s review of the film attests, we can still consider it a good sign for mainstream movies of this genre, and we can hope that Hollywood will see Johnson as the sort of directorial talent they need. But is it the best science fiction film since The Matrix? That’s a question posed in a headline from Time magazine yesterday, though its respective post doesn’t address such a discussion let alone attempt to answer the inquiry. Well, if we exclude superhero movies, animated features (Pixar, Miyazaki and The Iron Giant among them) and the Star Trek reboot, Looper is currently one of only two original studio films of its order to be battling for the status of best reviewed since the Wachowskis’ groundbreaking modern classic. The other is Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men.

read more...

Sam Claflin in The Hunger Games

Those who are familiar with Suzanne Collins’ “Hunger Games” novels know Finnick Odair. He’s the charming and gorgeous survivor of the 65th version of the games, who’s deadly with a trident and quick to blow the cameras a kiss – and he’s the sort of person who could mean trouble for the story’s protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, unless her and the cocky superstar from District 4 are able to find some common ground, and somehow become allies. The basic thrust of the plot for the second book, “Catching Fire,” is that a group of survivors from past Hunger Games are gathered together and forced to once again compete in an all-star version of the event referred to as the Quarter Quell. As discontent among the districts simmers in the background, Katniss and company find themselves once again thrust into danger, and once again thrust into the nation’s spotlight. Think of it like the Real World/Road Rules Challenge, but with slightly more murder. Suffice to say, Finnick is an important character from the second installment of this story on, so playing him in Lionsgate’s upcoming adaptation of the second book, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, was probably a coveted job among many of the handsome young actors in Hollywood. Unfortunately for everyone who’s not Sam Claflin, they can stop sending in their head shots, because a press release from the studio has now confirmed that the Snow White and the Huntsman and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides actor has landed […]

read more...

Drinking Games

Along with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, the Incredible Hulk, and Batman, a lesser-known heroine named Katniss Everdeen became one of the biggest box office draws of 2012. Now the immensely popular dystopian science fiction adventure The Hunger Games is available on DVD and Blu-ray. The Hunger Games tells the story of a dark future where the government punishes the people by forcing their children to fight to the death in an arena. You know the drill, basically a less-Japanese version of Battle Royale with some really funky fashions. Still, it’s an enjoyable film and worth enjoying with a drink in your hand.

read more...

The Hunger Games

Today, the odds may ever be in your favor. Just as The Hunger Games was named by Amazon to be the e-tailer’s all-time best selling book series, the film adaptation starring Jennifer Lawrence hits shelves on Blu-ray and DVD. And as $684 million in international box office grosses might suggest, this one’s a fairly popular choice among movie fans. So as a site that invites movie fans of all walks of life to discuss their favorite films, we thought it proper to take The Hunger Games and build a little mini-marathon that you can act out in your own living room. Because if you’re into this movie, you may have a taste for blood. Or tough girls. Either way, pairing The Hunger Games up with some of cinema’s great fights to the death is far from a bad idea. Or perhaps you’re just a guy who is going to be asked to sit and watch the Katniss movie by the girl of your dreams. Why not propose a trade? “We’ll watch the teen lit film if we can also watch one of these…” With that in mind, we’d like to know which great blood sports you’d pair with The Hunger Games. But first, a few suggestions.

read more...

Game of Thrones Board Game

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column dedicated to the cool, the weird, the entertaining, the brief, the good, the bad and the ugly of the entertainment news world. Also, there’s some philosophical talk about Sharktopus, because that’s just how the Internet rolls. We begin this evening with an image of a handmade Game of Thrones board game that is absolutely fabulous. Created by Fay Helfer, it’s basically a Risk board in the shape and detail of Westeros. And it’s brilliant.

read more...

Welcome to This Week In DVD + This Week In Blu-ray = This Week In Discs! It’s a work in progress still, but we hope you enjoy. The entertainment industry appears to be celebrating our new baby by releasing a cinemetric ton of quality Blus and DVDs. Hope you’ve been saving your pennies… As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Father’s Day (Blu-ray/DVD) A young boy loses his eye to a sadistic madman after witnessing the murderous pervert rape and kill his father. Years later, Ahab is a pissed off, pistol-packing ex-con out for revenge and joined in his quest by a teenage (well, Porky’s kind of teenage anyway) street hustler and a young priest on a quest to send the demonic psychopath to the bowels of hell. In a week with The Raid, Kill List and Jaws all hitting Blu-ray why am I featuring this Troma release as my Pick of the Week? Because those titles have enough press behind them, and Father’s Day deserves some too. It’s gory as hell, foul as f*ck and funnier than any other movie featuring chainsaw-wielding strippers. If you can handle the bloodletting and copious nudity, both female and male (way, way too much male), then this is a four-disc special edition worth owning. You get the movie on Blu and DVD, a DVD of special features and a soundtrack CD. [Extras: Deleted scenes, Featurettes, Trailers, Short films by Astron-6]

read more...

Gary Ross shocked the world by directing one of the year’s most wildly successful films, The Hunger Games, and then opting out of coming back and making its sequel. What could he possibly have to do that’s more important than making another bajillion dollars by directing Jennifer Lawrence shooting arrows at people? So far, we’re not exactly sure. He’s become attached to a biopic about the life of famed magician Houdini, but there’s no concrete word whether or not that’s actually going to be his next job. And now another possibility has popped up. THR is reporting that the director is currently in talks to helm an adaptation of the children’s novel “Peter and the Starcatchers” over at Disney. The book, which was written by Dave Berry and Ridley Pearson and has already been adapted into a successful (it won five Tonys!) stage production, is a Peter Pan prequel that tells the story of Peter and a girl named Molly going off on an adventure that involves the keeping of a trunk filled with magical starstuff out of the clutches of the evil pirate Black Stache (so called because of his back mustache, who knows what he’d be called if he got his own boat and had his hand replaced by a hook…). A screenwriter by the name of Jesse Wigutow is said to be penning the adaptation.

read more...

The final day of Comic-Con has traditionally been the most quiet one – a good time to catch up on more low-key panels, spend time with friends, and buy a metric ton of cool stuff on the convention floor. This year at Comic-Con, however, proved to be one of the most busy and wild, so even Sunday afternoon didn’t provide much relief, even on the floor. But such a still-bumping last day did provide plenty of still-awesome material for your eyeballs. After the break, check out a (somewhat) quieting San Diego, new NECA toys for The Dark Knight Rises, Gremlins, and The Hunger Games, a wall of Tribbles, and – you better believe it – Avenger Playboy Bunnies.

read more...

As has long been rumored, Lionsgate will split the final book of Suzanne Collins‘ smash hit book trilogy into two films (how hip of them). The Hunger Games: Mockingjay will hit screens for double the fun fun fun child-killing, with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 arriving on November 21, 2014 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II winging into theaters on November 20, 2015. With the second film in the franchise, Catching Fire, taking over a similar November spot for its release (November 22, 2013), this positions the entire franchise (save the first film, which opened in March) in what had been The Twilight Saga’s traditional release date space.

read more...

You know what The Hunger Games: Catching Fire really needs? Some gravitas. Though the first film was an unmitigated success, and it certainly benefited from its young and vibrant cast, most the of “elder statesman” work fell on the shoulders of Donald Sutherland as evil President Snow. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone around that we can trust? If you’re unfamiliar with the second book in Suzanne Collins‘ smash hit book series, a brief character description of the brand new Head Gamemaker for The Hunger Games, Plutarch Heavensbee, might not make you feel the warm and fuzzies. After all, Wes Bentley‘s cold and calculating Head Gamemaker, Seneca Crane, seemed bent on rivaling snow for the film’s evil points, and how could anyone in his same position be anything less than a foe? Well, perhaps when he’s played by Philip Seymour Hoffman.

read more...

While rumors have been swirling for months over possible candidates for some meaty roles in the upcoming The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire, today brings the first news that even remotely resembles a casting confirmation. THR reports that Jena Malone is in talks to play tribute Johanna Mason in the upcoming film. “I volunteer as tribute!” says Malone. Sigh, say fans of the franchise. The role of Mason is a key one – along with fan favorite Finnick Odair, Johanna is one of the most essential new characters we meet in Suzanne Collins‘ second novel in her three-book series. Snide, snarky, mean, and biting, Johanna is one of many other former tributes who get introduced in Catching Fire, and she’s one of the most complex and confusing. She’s also one of the most severely damaged.

read more...

In a roundabout spiral of movie news from Cinema Blend via The Playlist via Deadline Barsoom, we are seeing another explosion of development frenzy. This time, instead of competing movies about Snow White or The Wizard of Oz, there are now multiple Tarzan movies getting put through the development wringer. According to the story, screenwriter Adam Cozad (Untitled Jack Ryan Reboot/Remake/Redo/Rehash) talks about his script for Tarzan generating interest from some major directors, including David “Four Harry Potters” Yates and Gary “Only One Hunger Games” Ross. Suzanne White, who is most known for her work on television but recently directed Nanny McPhee Returns, has also expressed interest. This film would be the second one in development, based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ famous novels about a boy stranded in the African jungle, raised by great apes. Craig Brewer (Footloose and Hustle & Flow) is already developing his own version of the story based on his own script and starring Twilight beefcake Kellan Lutz. No word yet whether Lutz as the title character will rap or sparkle in this film, but it is hard out here for a pimp ape man.

read more...
  PREVIOUS PAGE
NEXT PAGE  
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B
published: 12.12.2014
D+
published: 12.05.2014
C+


Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3