“Any last advice? Stay alive.”
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire proved not only to be a financial goliath raking in a record-breaking $110 million Thanksgiving haul, but raised a relevant question—when was the last time a sequel was this good?
As a movie sequel, Catching Fire proves to have as much punch (if not more) than The Hunger Games. The next chapter in the sci-fi young adult franchise delivers a broader and more layered reality of Panem jumping deeper into the darker territory of a tightly woven, government-controlled civilization bound to their gladiator-inspired Hunger Games. Not only do we get a greater sense of the mental and physical prison victors Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) exist in, but also the gravity of their defiance.
“Days ago I was with my family in my home. Now you tell me all is lost, tell no one who I am and that’s the way to survive. I don’t want to survive. I want to live.”
12 Years a Slave has only been in theaters a couple weeks, but critics who applaud or shun the film are both left with a common reaction when the credits rolled—stunned.
Since winning the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, the positive response to the film has since been met with criticism and dissatisfaction toward the gruesomely realistic glimpse at the antebellum South. The film tells the true story of Solomon Northup (British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man living in New York, who is kidnapped in 1841 and sold down the river to the owner of a cotton plantation in Louisiana. Many people are asking if we really need another slave movie?
But that’s exactly what it’s not. Director Steve McQueen’s 12 Years is not intended to re-expose the weakness of black culture’s roots nor is it intended to re-slap America on the hand bestowing another moral hangover. The argument “haven’t I seen this before?” is surfacing across the Internet, but the gravity of McQueen’s exposure of slavery as an economic necessity and the concept of slaves as property resonates far greater than any pre-Civil War period piece.
For our Halloween episode at Film Jive, Zach, Andy and I decided to choose three of our favorite scary movies to discuss in addition to a film voted by viewers. Dating back to black and white in 1932 to 1982 80s slasher sleaze, our four films are all unique to the horror genre and offer their own levels of creepiness.
Considered by many as the kick-off to Oscar season premiering some of the biggest films of fall, the Toronto International Film Festival will feature 146 world premieres over it’s 11-day run.
Although TIFF always has an impressive lineup, I’ve narrowed it down to what I’m most eager to see this year.
“A lot of filmmakers are stepping up to the plate and realizing we have a social responsibility not just to entertain, but to make people think. I hope that people who on paper would have nothing in common with Oscar can watch it and see that they do”
It’s December 31st 2008, and Oscar Grant has his New Year’s resolution set on reconstructing his life with his girlfriend and their four-year-old daughter. But his resolution is abruptly cut short after an altercation outside of Fruitvale Station resulting in an unarmed Grant being shot in the back by a Bart police officer.
Profoundly upsetting, empathetic and raw, Fruitvale Station is the true story of 24 hours in the last day of Oscar Grant, an imperfect man looking for an opportunity at reinvention. As a boyfriend, father, friend and son, Fruitvale explores the point that Oscar Grant’s life mattered; this isn’t a race issue, it’s a human issue about how quickly society passes judgment, lacking empathy that every person deserves to be given. Whoever Oscar Grant was prior to his death only mattered to those closest to him, but whoever Oscar Grant is after his death should resonate with all of us.
Whatever you feel about this case, or any case comparable, what’s important to prioritize is how compelling this story is told and the dedication and effort taken to bring this on screen. This is powerful storytelling at it’s absolute best, and it’s message is screaming to be heard in the best form of media.
“I’m starting to think this is the most spiritual place I’ve ever been”
“Tonight was one of the most amazing nights I’ve ever had. Our film got a standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival! I couldn’t stop crying. Being a part of such an amazing project was such a blessing. From Wizards to tonight, I’m truly so blessed. I hope you guys enjoy Harmony’s film making. He truly is amazing. Note: this movie is not for my littles. It’s rated R! I just wanted to share this night with y’all! Love you!” via Selena Gomez’s Facebook page
When Faith (Selena Gomez), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Brit (Ashley Benson and Cotty (Rachel Korine) come up short in their spring break savings fund, the girls (minus Faith) rob a local restaurant to secure their tickets to the ultimate college retreat—spring break in Florida. Crammed with alcohol, drugs, excessive nudity, guns of all shapes and sizes and gang violence, this isn’t your typical spring break, nor is this a typical movie for Disney starlets Gomez and Hudgens. Welcome to the dark side, ladies.
“What did Lindsay say?”
Before Hollywood discovered the benefit of locking their doors when leaving town, a group of gutsy, celebrity-obsessed high schoolers ransacked the homes of Paris Hilton, Rachel Bilson, Orlando Bloom and Lindsey Lohan…to name a few. And they posted their designer booty on Facebook feeling the temporary fulfillment of ultimate materialism–until they got caught.
“Emma Watson showed up–Hermione just stole all of our shit!”
For a film that took years in the making to have all schedules open and synced, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Danny Mcbride and Craig Robinson team up to film their version of the apocalypse. And it was worth the wait.
“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.”
As a novel deemed incapable of translating onto screen, preconceived notions were buzzing about the film prior to release, especially with director Baz Luhrmann’s sensational modern eye attached to the holiest of holy American classics. With glitz and glamor, Hip-Hop and a glossy 3D finish, Luhrmann’s adaptation paints a boisterous statement—it’s no surprise critics are dissatisfied and dismissive of the highly stylized 21st century vision of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
But with such a hyper musical score, 3D adaptation and over-stylized CGI, this is questionable content worth giving a chance, because while I’ve read the book and seen the Robert Redford adaptation, I was a little iffy as well. Instead of watching this expecting a page to screen adaptation, consider it a page to screen interpretation coated with 21st century context that only Baz can create. If the greatest complaint is Luhrmann’s style over substance, isn’t that exactly who Jay Gatsby was?
“Not since Hall and Oates has there been such a team.”
If you ride like lightening, you’ll crash like thunder. With as much speed and adrenaline as handsome Luke’s motor riding, The Place Beyond the Pines navigates a complex trail of twists and turns that creates an unavoidable crash course in fate.
Halloween costume 2013?