Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Movie Reviews--Hunger Games: Mockingjay and the Hobbit: Battle of the five armies

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

It's December and frankly I'm a little sad. There was a time when December meant great excitement for me in terms of movie releases. For a while there every year end we have two great films to look forward to, the next installment of the Harry Potter saga, and The Lord of the Rings. Good times.
Now sadly both enterprises are well and truly done and its a little sad. 

(I must mention here my loathing of all 3D movies and so we searched high and low for a 2D version and watched that. The glasses suck, and peering at the end of my nose for two hours isn't fun and gives me a headache, so no 3D for me.)

Of course, that was never going to stop me going to see the last film offering. Neither was knowing how the story ends, having read the book (s). Nevertheless I went into the theater with a somewhat heavy heart, swearing that I wasn't going to cry for any of it. The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, was not going to make me shed one solitary tear. I was armed with popcorn, I would munch and make it through. 

I sat down and I swear that time sped up. I was still only half way through my popcorn when people I had come to think of as almost family, started dying in droves. I cried. You will too.There is no conceivable way to travel halfway through a make believe world with people, have some of them die, and not cry. If there is a way to do that, I haven't learnt it.

The action was good and well put together, but what else would you expect? Peter Jackson has had a little practice with this sort of thing after all. I thought the performances were good, they swept me back into Middle Earth with barely any visible effort at all. It was great to see Saruman the White as he was when he was great, and Elrond as more than an afterthought and delivering one of the movie's best lines ever! 

And then the battle proper started and though there were some gaping holes that my husband and I are still going, "What?" over (watch it, you'll know what we mean.) it was a lovely end to the Hobbit saga. Peter Jackson and his team did a lovely job again. As a film on its own this final chapter felt a little lacking, but as the final piece of the Hobbit puzzle it was just right.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

I know that this film has been out since November but with small children you tend to miss a lot. So when my mother said she'd take my son for a few days holiday, I grabbed the opportunity to rush to the movies to see something other than wholesome family entertainment. 

I was glad I did. I had watched the other films in the series and quite enjoyed them. Katniss is a strange character and it has been nice to see her grow. This film is really very good, even on its own. I really enjoyed the character development; understanding more about their society, and Gale, poor thing, who has really been in the shadows all the way through. I found it absorbing and compelling. The performances were once again great. I didn't miss the lull in the action very much, because there was so much else going on. I felt that there was a whole lot of story happening and I'm a character and story junkie. If I love the characters, I'll forgive a lot as an audience member. Having said that, I didn't find anything that I had to bleep over to make it all work.

Part 1 is a great build up to what will have to be the downfall of Snow. I'm eager for the last installment. 

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