Movie of the Week: The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 finally opened this week here in Spain – yes people, we are ALWAYS behind on movie’s premieres… it sucks! Anyway, it opened on Friday, so I was obviously there.

I really liked the movie, it’s a stellar adaptation from the source material. These 3 books might just be the best adaptations from book to screen ever. The movie does a great job telling the last part of the story, still showing all that goes on behind the action, and how Katniss and her team are still nothing more than a piece in the game of President Snow vs. President Coin.

The action was on point, there are some true horrific moments that will make you gasp if you haven’t read the books. Heck, I read the books, and when these moments and deaths came, I still gasped and cried like a baby. It’s such a sad movie… Oh Finnick… 😦

The only thing I wish that they had included in the adaptation was Johanna and Katniss bonding and becoming friends. The movie does very little to humanize Johanna and she comes off as a b***h sometimes, while in the book we see her struggles firsthand. Hers and Katniss’ training is important, but I do get why they had cut that.

The acting is truly stellar here! Jennifer Lawrence is perfect as always, but Josh Hutcherson is brilliant as Peeta, he looks so broken most of the time =/ that it’s unbearably sad 😦 . But Elizabeth Banks is still my favorite! She has a scene towards the end, when she’s saying goodbye to Katniss and Haymitch that just broke my heart with a single expression from her.

The ending is bittersweet, and while I admire that they included the epilogue in the movie, and almost wish that they didn’t. The epilogue in the book is all Katniss inner monologue and they translated that to her talking to a baby, and while it’s well done, I almost wish that the movie would have ended in the mythic “real”.

And finally, I’m so glad that my theory about Haymitch and Effie came true!

So people, have you watched this movie yet? Did you cry (oh, please, tell me I wasn’t the only one…)? What did you think of it?

Mockingjay pt 2: promos

Comic-Con rules! Not that I’ve ever been there (unfortunately!). Still, it’s a couple of days when information and new stuff just pours out. Mockingjay‘s panel was yesterday, a new promotional clip was released, and it’s amazing! That, the new poster and the new animated poster of Katniss in her red uniform… enjoy! (By the way, I’m in love with the last clip!)

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Movie of the Week: The Hunger Games – Mockingjay pt1

The wait is over: The Hunger Games – Mockingjay part 1 has finally arrived. This is a movie very different from its two predecessors, Katniss is a shell of the young woman she once was, she’s a survivor suffering from PTSD, in a strange place and being expected to be much more than she’s able to at the moment.

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I read the book, so I was expecting little action a lot of emotions and I got that, with a bit more action than I thought. This is about politics and the consequences of a rebellion and a war – countless loss, doubt and uncertainty. Katniss struggles at every step to make the right decision that will keep those she loves alive, knowing that she will probably fail someone along the way and not knowing how to live with it.

Granted, the “stillness” of this first movie will make a lot more sense a year from now, when the second part comes out, because the next movie is all about the repercussions of the actions of Katniss, President Coin and President Snow.

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It’s a marvelous adaptation, there’re very few differences from book to screen. The biggest one being the presence of Effie in District 13, but can we really complain about it? No, not really! In the book the prep team, Flavius, Venia and Octavia are at D13 and they are the ones who make Katniss camera ready. But visually it makes a lot more sense to have a heavy weight such as Elizabeth Banks (and fan favourite Effie) on screen. So out goes the prep team and in comes lovely Effie, in all her gray glory – she owns every single second she’s on screen.

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Other “difference” is that given that the book is from Katniss POV, in the movie we get to see what’s going on in the other Districts as well as in the Capitol. Peeta’s deterioration throughout the movie (and Katniss’s along with his) are so well done, I found myself in tears each time Peeta was on screen…

Every single actor in the movie is brilliant – when you have a movie that has to work based on emotions shown rather than action, and with such a big cast, it could be tricky, but they hold up (Prim, maybe not so much). Jennifer Lawrence is amazing as always, the range of emotions that this girl is able to convey is tremendous. And how cool is the hair and makeup department on this movie?! They actually made them look bland, and made Katniss actually look 17!!!

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Josh Hutcherson really surprised me in this movie… just wait for the last 10 minutes to get what I’m saying. Woody Harrelson’s Haymitch will always be my favourite, and did I catch a little flirting between Haymitch and Effie?! Maybe it would be a cool thing to change from the book… just saying…

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Julianne Moore are perfect in their roles as Plutarch and Coin, lovely touch to dedicate the movie to Hoffman.

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I absolutely loved the filming crew. I loved them since the moment I read the book and Natalie Dormer just made Cressida come alive in a way only she could. But let’s not forget her 3 boys: Even Ross as Messalla, Elden Henson as Pollux that even though he doesn’t talk, he says a lot, and Wes Chatham as Castor.

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The Hunger Games: Book vs. Movie

I saw the movie (twice) long before I even bought the book and read it. But I’m so glad I did read it. And I have to say, is one of the most well adapted book to the big screen – because the differences are very little.

The first thing one notices that its very different is Katniss stature. Sure, she’s not as lean as some of the other because she hunts and is well fed, but she’s hardly that tall. But Jennifer Lawrence plays her wonderfully, so, who cares?

Only reading the book do you understand Katniss resentment towards her mother and the events that followed her dad’s death.

The careers are all bigger and stronger than Katniss, while in the movie the girls are kind of weak looking.

The games go by very quickly in the movie, while in the book everything happens at slower pace. For instance, Katniss and Peeta spend several days in the cave.

From the moment they are together, you never once doubt Peeta’s feelings towards Katniss, he even explains that he’s in love with her since they were 5. All the kissing and stuff is constant in the book, while in the movie it rarely happens.

While in the film you get the idea that Katniss motivations are always to stay alive, in the book she actually ponders if she has feelings for Peeta, realizing that she’s noticed him throughout all her life and that she truly is afraid of losing him, even saying that if he died, she wouldn’t really “return” home.

All the wound are far more severe in the book, Peeta almost dies twice, and has his leg amputated due to an injury in the Cornucopia.

The deaths are much quicker in the movie. In the book, Cato survives his attack by the mutts and he’s on his deathbed for the hole night, until Katniss kills him out of pity in the morning.

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After the Games are finished, aware of the situation, Katniss keeps on with the lovey-dovey routine, and on their way home she let’s Peeta know about the situation, this is when he realized that she’s not in love with him. However, her concern was genuine and she admits to herself that she doesn’t want to lose him.

My Top 15 Movie Couples: 5 to 1

Here are the first 5 couples in My Top 15 Movie Couples. Numbers 15 to 11 and 10 to 6 were posted already.

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5. Tony Stark & Pepper Potts (Robert Downey Jr. & Gwyneth Paltrow) – Iron Man (1, 2 and 3) and The Avengers

They have been though a lot in the past couple of movies… he almost died, then he got PTSD, she moved in and his suit almost killed her, then their house went down and she thought he had died… again…, then she almost died and he destroyed all his suits. Now he’s fixed and she’s fixed and I can’t wait to see them again, whether in the Avengers or another Iron Man movie… I’m fine with either.

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“Things are different now, I have to protect the one thing that I can’t live without. That’s you.”

   

4. Elizabeth Swann & Will Turner (Keira Knightley & Orlando Bloom) – Pirates of the Caribbean (1, 2 and 3)

Even though she always flirted with Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth’s true love was always  Will. She chooses him over her family, becomes a pirate with him, marries him and waits 10 years for him to return while guarding his heart. That’s love!

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“It’s always belonged to you. Will you keep it safe?”

  

3. Juliet & Mark (Keira Knightley & Andrew Lincoln) – Love Actually

I know I’m cheating here, because Juliet was married to Mark’s best friend, and they were never a couple. He was in love with her and she loved his best friend. Still, they have one of my all time favorite on screen moments, when he professes his love for her…

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2. Peeta & Katniss (Josh Hutcherson & Jennifer Lawrence) – The Hunger Games

I’m team Peeta all the way! And I’m with Haymitch, when he says that not in a million years Katniss will ever deserve Peeta… Hey, the guy loves her to bits and still, he cares for her boyfriend, stands by his side while he’s hurt and tells her that she’s gotta live for her family and Gale… I absolutely love the moment in this last movie when Katniss thinks Peeta is dead, and in that moment she knows that she can’t live without him…

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““No one really needs me,” he says, and there’s no self pity in his voice. It’s true his family doesn’t need him. They will mourn him, as will a handful of friends. But they will get on. Even Haymitch, with the help of a lot of white liquor, will get on. I realize only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me.

“I do,” I say. “I need you.” he looks upset, takes a deep breath as if to begin a long argument, and that’s no good, no good at all, because he’ll start going on about Prim and my mother and everything and I’ll just get confused. So before he can talk, i stop his lips with a kiss.”

― Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire

   

1. Ron Weasley & Hermione Granger (Rupert Grint & Emma Watson) – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I don’t care what JK came out saying, that Hermione should have ended up with Harry and stuff, and that Ron and Hermione’s marriage would always be in trouble and so on. It’s no good for me! I think Hermione and Ron are perfect because they are different and they balance each other out! He learns so much from her and she gets out of her comfort zone mostly because of him. If she starts to laugh in the face on danger, is mostly because he was always so cold minded in the most dangerous situations and it rubbed off on her. They are perfect!

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““Hang on a moment!” said Ron sharply. “We’ve forgotten someone!”
“Who?” asked Hermione.
“The house-elves, they’ll all be down in the kitchen, won’t they?”
“You mean we ought to get them fighting?” asked Harry.
“No,” said Ron seriously, “I mean, we should tell them to get out. We don’t want any more Dobbies, do we? We can’t order them to die for us -”
There was a clatter as the basilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermione’s arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth. Ron threw away the fangs and broomstick he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm that he lifted Hermione off her feet.
“Is this the moment?” Harry asked weakly, and when nothing happened except that Ron and Hermione gripped each other still more firmly and swayed on the spot, he raised his voice. “OI! There’s a war going on here!”
Ron and Hermione broke apart, their arms still around each other.
“I know mate,” said Ron, who looked as though he had recently been hit on the back of the head with a bludger, “so its now or never, isn’t it?””

– J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Movie of the Week – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

After being sick all week, I was finally able to go to the movies and watch The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. And it blew me away!

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I cried the whole time! The story is amazing, deep, well written, emotional. The characters are awesome, with many layers and not the same type as in the first movie. And not all is what it seems.

Jennifer Lawrence is, as always, great as Katniss. Katniss is not exactly the same anymore, because, as Haymitch Abernathy puts it, the winners don’t get to live, they survive!

Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta is much more developed than on the first instalment, and it’s kind of impossible not to fall in love with him. He’s clearly in love with this girl, who’s in love with someone else, and there he is, taking care of the other guy and telling her that she has to survive for him?! Come on… Again Haymitch says that she’ll never deserve him, he’s right!

But I was blown away by Elizabeth Banks’s Effie. She’s the one that made cry the most. Elizabeth Banks played perfectly the struggle between doing what she needs to do and knowing that it’s wrong.

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Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Amanda Plummer and Lynn Cohen are impressive in their roles as Finnick, Johanna, Wiress and Mags, the last one is brilliant without saying a single word! And the scene in the elevator with Johanna was priceless!

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I loved it, we can almost map out the exact moment when Katniss realized that she can’t live without Peeta. And she makes Haymitch promise that he’ll make him survive, Peeta has to live, without realizing that the whole point of everything is taking her out alive… that she’s the symbol of the revolution…