Category Archives: Movie

Review: ‘Get Out’ Addresses an Array of Issues

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by Laura Haspeslagh

Jordan Peele directed his first film “Get Out,” and it was genius. From the script down to the cast, it was well thought out.

It’s an indulging thriller at the surface, and a representation of racial tension in the United States at the root. Every scene has a form of a deeper message in which it addresses an array of issues from appropriation, to subtle racism, to our history of slavery that’s never going to be shaken off. It’s a jab at the underlying racism that goes on every day.

Peele is successful in making viewers feel uncomfortable throughout the movie. The film opens with an African-American man roaming the streets looking for a house, when he’s abducted by a man who emerges from a suspicious white car.

Then there’s Rose, the protagonist’s girlfriend, who is meant to appear trustworthy, yet she seems uneasy. There’s something about her that makes viewers shift a little in their seats, even though she stands up against the cop in Chris’ defense. When she hits a deer on their way to her parent’s house, she doesn’t appear to show much remorse, while Chris is clearly distressed by it (for reasons beyond just hitting a deer as we find out later). She has a naivety about her that feels like it can’t be trusted.

When Chris finally arrives to the house and meets Rose’s parents, the tension is felt amongst them, but there’s not enough to justify why. Even though she warned him that her father would say “I would have voted for Obama a third time if I could have,” it appears as though he is immediately trying to convince Chris that he’s not racist.

As the film progresses, the uncomfortable scenarios intensify. The subtle racism develops into blatant racist remarks from Rose’s family, while the house staff keeps getting weirder. Peele’s prospective of being African American in the United States is exaggerated for the sake of horror, but it’s also meant to be a projection of actual experiences that people go through. White people aren’t literally going around hypnotizing African-American men into deep voids, but there are real circumstances linked within the subtext of the film.

Subtext aside, the film is still a successful thriller. Films in that genre don’t usually end well because there’s often too much to resolve in a short period of time.

However, “Get Out” has viewers rooting for Chris through it all. Not to mention Chris’s TSA friend, Rod, providing the comedic relief we love and need. “Get Out” will have viewers leaving the theater thinking of all the connections and metaphors Peele strategically placed throughout the film for days afterwards.

Best Picture Goes To ‘Moonlight,’ Not ‘La La Land’

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by Brennah Dallaire

#Oscarfail and #envelopegate began to trend on social media after there was a serious mix up at the 89th Academy Awards, causing presenter Warren Beatty to announce the wrong winner for Best Picture. It wasn’t until the “La La Land” cast and crew were on stage and awards in hand that the mistake was corrected, and “La La Land” Producer Jordan Horowitz presented “Moonlight” with the award.

“There’s been a mistake. ‘Moonlight,’ you guys won Best Picture. This is not a joke, ‘Moonlight’ has won Best Picture,” “La La Land” Producer Jordan Horowitz said shortly after making his acceptance speech.

“’Moonlight,’ Best Picture,” Horowitz repeated, holding up the card with the award winner’s name.

Talk show host and host of the Oscars, Jimmy Kimmel, came back on stage just after Horowitz announced the real winner.

“Guys, this is very unfortunate what happened. Personally, I blame Steve Harvey for this,” Kimmel joked, referencing a similar issue that occurred at the Miss Universe pageant.

“I’m gonna be really proud to hand this to my friends from ‘Moonlight,’” Horowitz said. Horowitz presented the Oscar statue to the Director of Best Picture winner “Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins.

Jenkins commented on the situation later in the evening on Twitter.

“Jordan Horowitz. Wow. I’m slipping slowly into reflection, perspective. Much respect to that dude,” tweeted Jenkins.

Warren Beatty spoke after Horowitz, trying to clear up the mistake that had been made.

“I want to tell you what happened. I opened the envelope and it said Emma Stone, “La La Land”. That’s why I took such a long look at Faye [co-presenter, Faye Dunaway], and at you. I wasn’t trying to be funny…this is ‘Moonlight’ the Best Picture,” Beatty said. Applause from the audience followed.

Apparently, the wrong card was given to the two hosts, they assumed what they were reading was indeed the Best Picture nominated film “La La Land”.

The mistake eclipsed most other memorable moments from the show. Including candy, cookies and donuts being dropped from the ceiling in little parachutes.

“How are you guys holding up? Are you hungry? This is a show about the movies and you really can’t have the movies without candy. It’s un-American really. Close your eyes and wish very hard,” said Kimmel.

The treats were dropped a few different times. “Hidden Figures” star Octavia Spencer was shown digging into her sweet treats as co-star Taraji P. Henson leans in from behind her mouthing, “are you sharing?”

Kimmel did not make too many politically charged comments, but did send a personal tweet to President Donald Trump.

“Hey @realDonaldTrump u up?” Kimmel tweeted, showing it on the big screen of Dolby Theatre.

Kimmel then sent another tweet.

“@realDonaldTrump #Merylsayshi,” Kimmel tweeted as a riff on President Trump’s comments about Meryl Streep, after she criticized the President in a speech she made at the Golden Globes.

Kimmel surprised Oscar guests by inventing a tour bus of unsuspecting tourists into the Dolby Theaters and through the front row of the audience. Members of the tour were star struck, taking photos and selfies with famous actors. Mahershala Ali let one man hold his Oscar statue. Ryan Gosling hugged and kissed one woman of the group. Denzel Washington pretended to officiate the wedding of an engaged couple. One lucky tourist even shook and kissed Nicole Kidman’s hand. Many of the actors could be seen taking videos on their cellphones of the meet and greet.

A tearful Jennifer Aniston presented the ‘In Memoriam’ segment of the show, giving a special farewell to ‘Twister’ star Bill Paxton who died Saturday.

Other memorable moments included Jimmy Kimmel lifting young ‘Lion’ star Sunny Pawar into the air, to the famous Lion King song “The Circle of Life”.

Throughout the show, Jimmy Kimmel poked fun of Matt Damon, continuing their ongoing gag of beefing with each other.

“And tonight, in the spirit of heaven and bringing people to together,  I would like to bury the hatchet with someone I’ve had issues with. Now Matt, I’ve known Matt for a long time. I’ve known Matt so long, when I first met Matt, I was the fat one,” Kimmel said.

Kimmel was later shown conducting the orchestra to play as Damon tried to speak as a presenter.

50 Shades Darker, or Just Duller

by Sophia Contreras

It’s safe to say that “50 Shades Darker” is not a film you would watch with your parents. If you’ve read the book or were hoping for improvement from the first movie, you will be sadly disappointed, and it will happen fast.

The film lacked an actual deep and interesting plot. Rarely ever does the movie live up to the book, but the movie adaptation of “50 Shades Darker” was just too long to sit through without getting bored.

The film sort of glorifies relationship abuse; a guy sweeps a naive girl off her feet and tries to control every aspect of her life. He orders her food, buys the company she works for to control her and tries to convince her that everything they are doing is perfectly normal, knowing that she doesn’t have enough life experience. They break up at the end of the first movie, and just like every other young naive girl she takes him back because “he is going to change,” we’ve all heard that one before.

Putting Christian Grey aside, the sequel includes another man competing for Anastasia love her boss, who invites her on a supposed business trip in New York and after Christian tell her she can’t go, her boss sexually harasses her.

Besides Anastasia’s new work drama, the film also exposes Christian’s old drama and history of abuse. We are introduced to his biological abusive parents, and to one of ex-submissive who desperate for his attention again. Christian’s mother and ex-submissive both look strikingly alike to Anastasia, making the viewer think that he might have some mommy issues. Christian past put Anastasia into life or death situations, and if you’ve seen the first movie you know how he gets about her safety.

Anastasia is exposed to his past and sees a side of him that disgusts her, however, this still doesn’t stop her feelings for him. Anastasia and Christian get more serious and make big steps in their relationship.

Specifically during Christian’s birthday party, the couple openly expresses their feelings for each other, leaving Christian’s mother to find out about his sexually abusive past with their family friend. The whole family is distraught, and to make things worse, Christian ends up in an awful helicopter accident. When he walks back into his house, he is annoyed that his family was worried. Like all Hollywood movies, despite his freak accident, he only comes out of his accident with a single scratch on his head.

The movie ends on a relatively happy note, but it definitely left space for another two movies. Despite how bad “50 Shades Darker” was, everyone knows that it’s so bad that everyone just has to watch it. Its like “Keeping up with Kardashians” or “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding,” no matter how bad it is, you will never be able to look away or delete all the episodes from your DVR.

‘A Trip To The Moon’

by Philip Pomposi
“A Trip To The Moon” is a silent, French Film; maybe the oldest film you will ever watch. It was created before planes were flying, the Ottoman Empire was still in existence and the U.S. only had 45 States. The year is 1902, and a French stage actor named Georges Melies takes the world and creates one of films most loved works of fiction and captures the sprit of imagination.

The film tells the story of a group of astronomers, who hold a meeting and agree on going to the moon. They then build a huge bullet shaped ship and get fired out of a giant cannon before they land on the moon. This has become a famous moment in film history and has been parodied in many ways.

The astronauts then go for a ventured on the moon, and eventually get tired and fall asleep. During which, it begins to snow and they find refuge in a cave. The astronauts are in shock when they see mushroom like plants. Then an inhabitant of the moon called the Selinites started attacking the astronauts who try to fight them off but, end up being held captive. After escaping and taking off with their ship, they land in an ocean on earth and are picked up, and receive a hero’s welcome.  It is amazing that such a story is told in a short time. The film is 15 minutes so it is an easy watch.

Despite being over a 100 years old and using many outdated special effects, “A Trip To The Moon” is still a masterpiece. The film is often considered the first story driven, first science fiction(It is not directly related to any of Julius Verne’s works, however the influence of his writing is there)  and first fantasy film ever made. Melies was a stage actor, who happened to build sets and new a trick or two. He used what he knew and tried to capture a theater performance on film.

For many year the film was only shown in black and white. Then in 1993, a watercolor version of the film was found. It was the only known version to survive. The reels were in terrible condition and it took nearly 20 years to repair. Then in 2011, the full color version was shown for the first time and it was well received in the movie community. In 2012 the band Air, created an album that was crated for the new version. This is an interesting take on a beloved classic, however, it does not deter from the magic or nostalgia of the black and white version.

“A Trip To The Moon” is a trip worth taking, sit back and enjoy the ride.

 

 

Modernizing the Childhood Favorite, “The Jungle Book”

by Tyler Roaix

In this age of film production, we seem to be given one reboot after another. In nearly every instance, we allow ourselves to build hope to a point where it can never be matched. That is not the case for “The Jungle Book,” reinvented for 2016 by director, Jon Favreau, who knows just how to mix the heavy blows with the light touch. It is a little more reminiscent of the jungle and the book than the 1967 Disney classic. It’s much, much darker and yet ultimately as exuberant, with a surprisingly strong and novel message at its heart, in a story that already didn’t lack them.

There is no “boy found in a basket on a boat” stuff here. We meet Mowgli (Neel Sethi) at age 10 and already finding himself struggling with the wolf life. While his wolf pack is as accommodating as ever, a “water truce” which was called due to a drought – bringing all the animals together in peace to a sole watering hole – leads him to the attention of the other animals in the jungle. Most are just curious, but Shere Khan (Idris Elba) is furious.

Sethi is terrific as the character of Mowgli, whose frame and stance eerily echo those of his animated predecessor, while Bill Murray and Christopher Walken lend loose appeal and mobster menace respectively to the vocal roles of Baloo and King Louie. As Shere Khan, Elba scares. As Kaa, Scarlett Johansson seduces. From the opening chase, it’s clear that we’re not going to be short-changed in terms of running, swinging and falling action. Even more impressive is the balance between threat, emotion, comedy and uncertainty.

Along with the story itself, the visual effects in the film will leave viewers nothing short of dazzled. Favreau, along with screenwriter Justin Marks and hundreds of crew members created an inviting world for the characters to immerse themselves within. Streams trickle over weathered stones. We see frogs and the dew and the drooping ferns. The incredible CGI rendering of real-life animals from a 12-story building in Los Angeles is evidence of the effort put into this project. This may be the best computer-generated animated film in years.

For all of “The Jungle Book’s” innocence and sun-streaked patches of ground, however, there are shadows here, too. It takes several turns into the sinister, offering up images of terror and despair that may come to surprise the adults and flat-out frighten the younger viewer.

But this most certainly is a Disney film, complete with memorable songs like “The Bare Necessities” and “I Wanna Be Like You.” You leave with knowing that the movie and director think highly of the much-loved childhood story but also treat it with the growing maturity of an adult.

This wasn’t an easy movie to develop, with each shot reportedly taking two weeks to animate. Favreau and his army of technicians have truly created something magical. In a film that will bring you from tears to the edge of your seat, this will definitely reach the hype, no matter how high you set the bar.

Spotlight Movie Review

by Erin O’Donnell

The Boston Globe exposed priests in Boston and around the world have sexually abused children from broken homes, and the large institution of the Catholic Church buried it. The investigative reporting team, Spotlight brought that story to light, and it’s now being featured as a critically acclaimed motion picture.

The movie “Spotlight,” directed by Tom McCarthy, is a true story of how The Boston Globe uncovers the mass amounts of sexually abused of children by 90 priests and how the Catholic Church covered it up by reassigning and relocating priests in 2001. The movie is electrifying, thrilling and nothing short of realistic.

The Globes new Editor Marty Baron, (Liev Schreiber), is a pair of fresh eyes and sees the importance of the sex abuse scandal. He tells Spotlight to drop what they’re currently working on to dig up facts. Baron said to the team, “We need to focus on the institution, not the individual priests. Practice and policy. Show me the church manipulated the system so that these guys wouldn’t have to face charges. Show me they put those same priests back into parishes time and time again.”

In a New York Times movie review by A. O. Scott stated, “Everything in this movie works, which is only fitting, since its vision of heroism involves showing up in the morning and — whether inspired by bosses or in spite of them — doing the job.”

One scene in particular of children in the church choir singing “Silent Night” played over with scenes of the reporters interviewing weeping abuse victims and typing away, is one that sends chills through the body. This movie correctly tells this story of this mass cover-up and the absolute heart-wrenching horror of what was hidden for so long.

Visually, the movie does not aim for Hollywood glamour, but newsroom realism. The men in khaki pants, baggy button-up shirts, stacks of newspapers crammed in every corner of the room, bulky PC computers and even the movie’s portrayal of the 9/11 reporting, all scream what it meant to be a journalist in 2001. As Scott puts it, the movie doesn’t focus on nostalgia. It instead highlights the reporting while dipping into the love lives of the characters.

Not since “All the Presidents Men,” by Alan J. Pakula has a movie portrayed journalists as detectives that get personally involved. The reporters in “Spotlight” feel a sense that they cannot believe that this was hidden for so long, how many lives were affected and realize how it could have been them.

As the movie progresses, accused priests are uncovered. The Catholic Church covered up their secret, Scott puts it as a sense of “moral horror” is realized. The list of priests goes from nine to 90  as journalists go door to door looking for victims, priests or anyone to confirm their list. One chilling scene when Sasha Pfeiffer, (Rachel McAdams), knocks on a door and an older man, a priest, answers. He admits to abusing little boys, but says he got no pleasure in it so he didn’t see any harm, that he himself was raped. This scene of intense escalation further shows the chaotic systematic madness of how no one has done anything to prevent this horror.

Most of all, “Spotlight” shows the important work that journalists do. We don’t need less of them, but more. The importance of strong local and investigative reporting will never diminish. “Spotlight” gives audiences a taste of what true journalism is, down to the fluorescent-lighted newsrooms to the endless cups of coffee. Scott captured the essence correctly, “Journalists on film are usually portrayed as idealists or cynics, crusaders or parasites. The reality is much grayer, and more than just about any other film I can think of, ‘Spotlight’ gets it right.”

“Spotlight” is now currently playing in all theaters.

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photo from Flickr

Celebration of Sinatra’s Centennial Continues

by Katelyn Avery

“None But the Brave” (1965) played inside Torp Theater on Nov. 13th as the fourth Classic Friday Films of the fall 2015 semester. Frank Sinatra is the string within these movies, as the semester long event is meant to honor him. This year is especially exciting as December will mark the centennial celebration of the musician’s birth.

The event, hosted by Gilbert Gigliotti, a professor from the Central Connecticut English department, took a different turn with the last film of the semester. In the first three Sinatra had only been an actor, but Gigliotti explained, “It’s the only film that Frank directed, and given that it was made in 1965 (during the escalation of the Vietnam War), it has a very interesting anti-war message.”

The guest speaker was Assistant Professor Lee Einhorn from the English department. His connection to Sinatra was much more than closer to home. It was from home, “My dad and all his friends who were all second fathers to me raised me on him,” added Einhorn.

Movie poster for "None but the Brave." Photo credit: lewiswaynegallery.
Movie poster for “None but the Brave.” Photo credit: lewiswaynegallery.

The film itself is about American and Japanese soldiers during World War II. Through different events on both sides, they are forced to cross paths. Despite the attack America suffered on Pearl Harbor, the film is not meant to demonize the Japanese as one would expect. Instead the audience sees the humanity in both troops. They both suffer a horrible experience, being forced into their country’s war, when they share more similarities than differences. The fighting takes a toll on both troops, even their temporary truce cannot fix everything. It would explain the words that show up at the end of the film, “No one ever wins.”

Within the film a line spoken on the American side by Capt. Dennis Bourke (Clint Walker) could explain why violence would destroy everything, as the final scene includes a shootout between the Americans and the Japanese. “Never swing at your enemy in anger, or you’ll end up getting clobbered,” said Bourke. On the Japanese side Lt. Kuroki (Tatsuya Mihashi) ponders, “Why are we trying to kill each other?”

“This film in particular from Sinatra is, I think one that is most interesting to reflect on,” said Einhorn in his opening speech.

“It’s literally a half Japanese, half American film,” noted Einhorn, as he explained that Sinatra co-produced the film with Japanese Finance series, which also added some style choices to the final product.

In attendance was CCSU freshman Kerra Jackson. When asked why she attended the event, Jackson explained, “Extra credit for theater class.”

Of course school work wasn’t her only motivation, just a plus. Jackson said that she enjoyed old movies, also her theater background probably helped with this.

Among the intimate crowd were Halina and George Popzzak. “We’ve been coming for several years now. We like the old movies,” said Halina. George added, “I enjoy watching his films.”

Movie poster for "None but the Brave." Photo credit: shop.tcm.com
Movie poster for “None but the Brave.” Photo credit: shop.tcm.com

A discussion between the audience, Einhorn and Gigliotti followed the film. The topics ranged from portrayals of the Japanese soldiers, some exaggerated aspects to different characters and the decade it came out in.

Classic Fridays Films are not a new event to CCSU, Gigliotti has hosted them for 12 semesters. He plans to continue showing Sinatra films. When asked about plans for next semester, Gigliotti reported, “I’m hoping to have the schedule finalized by Friday.” At the event, flyers were passed around to preview the spring 2016 semester’s films. All films contained trains in the plot as the main theme.

As for the rest of the fall 2015 semester, a 24-hour Sinatra radio show will be played on 107.7 WFCS New Britain/Hartford on Dec. 12th.

CCSU Psychology Club Screens “Shutter Island”

N.A.S.

by Kaitlin Lyle

The ominous weather of last Wednesday night served as a perfect framework of illusion for what the Psychology Club had prepared for both members and fellow students alike.

As a final event, club members had chosen to screen the film “Shutter Island” in Marcus White Living Room at 8 p.m., a fitting choice for the rainy night that lay ahead. Along with the film’s screening, the students provided pizza and brownies for their audience’s enjoyment.

Based on the best-selling crime thriller by Dennis Lehane, Leonardo DiCaprio stars as U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels, who makes an arrival at Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane in order to investigate the disappearance of murderous patient Rachel Solando. Along with his partner, Chuck Aule, Teddy searches throughout Shutter Island in order to track Solando down, only to uncover an unexpected amount of sinister activity. As Teddy becomes more involved with the mystery behind the hospital and its inhabitants, both he and his audience soon begin to realize that nothing is remotely what it seems on Shutter Island.

The film itself exuded the style of a Martin Scorsese production, including fast-paced camera angles to make statements and a soundtrack perfected to fit the mood of each scene.

“We decided to do “Shutter Island” because back around Halloween, we were looking for something we could show everyone, and everyone had voted on that one,” said Sofia Iseppi, the club’s vice president.

Iseppi added that the process involved taking suggestions for what could be a psychological thriller film, and that available funding was a significant part in the process, especially since getting the rights to movies are expensive to show in a public setting.

At this point in time, the Psychology Club is now in the process of planning events for next semester, including its potential participation in the Compassion Campaign, and finding more ways to promote a compassionate campus. Iseppi noted that she would like to get the club involved in more volunteering, as well as putting its members more out in the public’s view for the purpose of promoting club membership.

“I’m really excited to work with her [Iseppi] next semester. I know we have a lot of goals for next year, and I think we’re going to do a lot more than we did last year,” said sophomore Amanda Mendoza.

While the opening titles of the film were projected on the screen, Damar Britto, a freshman member to the club, commented on how enjoying the chosen film could be related to what members talk about during Psychology Club. Other attendees noted the film’s attributes as a contribution to the horror genre.

“I like a good horror movie that’ll make me jump and be suspenseful, but not gory,” said freshman Hannah Webster, who came to support friends at the film’s showing.

Though last week’s event was small in attendance, the club provided a cozy atmosphere where students enjoyed good food, time with friends and the screening of an excellent psychological thriller.

Movie Review: Interstellar

by Dillon Meehan

In the futuristic blockbuster Interstellar, earth is no longer suitable for life, with massive dust storms destroying crops due to the world’s lack of environmental awareness.

Matthew McConaughey plays Cooper, a former NASA pilot and engineer turned farmer, who is tasked with leaving Earth to find a planet suitable for life.

The film was directed, written, and produced by Christopher Nolan who has directed nine blockbusters such as Inception, the Batman trilogy and criminally underrated The Prestige, this may be his best one yet.

In an effort to make the film as scientifically accurate as possible, former Caltech Institute of Technology professor Kip Throne worked as a consultant for the film to assist with accuracy while still making the film aesthetically pleasing to viewers.

Nolan uses the beginning of the film to introduce Cooper’s family and to describe the situation on Earth. A world where test scores at the start of high school will dictate a persons career and kids are taught that the Apollo space missions were fake and merely used to bankrupt the Soviets. Cooper’s family includes Donald his deceased wife’s father, his son Tom who is oldest child and Murphy his young and bright daughter.

The movie starts slow, until Cooper finds what is left of NASA, which is being run by McConaughey’s former boss, Professor Brand, played by Michael Caine (a recurring collaborator in Nolan’s films.) Viewers are also introduced to Brand’s daughter Amelia, played by Anne Hathaway. It is at this time when the story begins to pick up, after Cooper learns of Brand’s mission, he is faced with the decision to watch the world go to waste or leave his children, possibly for decades.

With the plot beginning to thicken the mission starts. We are introduced to TARS and CASE, two sarcastic ex-military robots that aid Cooper and his team throughout their mission. Throughout the next hour, viewers are shocked with the visually stunning space travel, waves the size of the Himalayas, betrayal and murder.

Nolan’s refusal to use green screens, coupled with only a small dose of CGI, makes Interstellar a visual masterpiece. With Hans Zimmer’s sound blasting, the audience will often feel as though they are with the crew at all times.

The final third of the movie makes the film remarkable. The events that transcribe throughout the last hour will put the audience on the edge of their seats. Due to space travel, hours in one place are decades back on Earth, and McConaughey is forced to be away from his family, only being able to contact them via recordings.

Interstellar is far from your typical sci-fi movie. With its star-studded cast, brilliant cinematography, Nolan proves once again why he is Hollywood’s biggest thing. McConaughey has been on a roll as of late; Interstellar joins Dallas Buyer’s Club and HBO’s critically acclaimed crime drama True Detective, as some of the best works of film over the past year.

Movie Review: Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1

by Ashley Arnesen

On its release date of November 21, and making $250 million worldwide in its opening weekend is, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.
It is the first of two films based on the novel Mockingjay, the final book in The Hunger Games trilogy, written by Suzanne Collins, and the third out of four installments in The Hunger Games film series.
Part one of this incredible movie continues to follow Katniss Everdeen’s (Jennifer Lawrence) journey from surviving two Hunger Games and being rescued from the 75th Quarter Quell. Katniss is taken to District 13, an underground rebel facility that is hidden by the ruins of the old District 13 that the Capitol destroyed to show what happens when a rebellion starts.
The Games are finally over, no more televised events watching children and teenagers murder each other for sport and survival, it’s time for war.
After trying to cope with the Games that nearly destroyed her, Katniss declines rebel leader, President Alma Coins (Julianne Moore) request for her to continue her role as the Mockingjay. It takes efforts from Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) to change her mind and to remind Katniss who the real enemy is.
Katniss goes back to her destroyed home, District 12, where she sees what President Snow (Donald Sutherland) is truly capable of. Nothing is left of District 12 besides rubble from destroyed buildings and the people who didn’t make it out in time when the bombing occurred.
This, along with seeing Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) being completely used and tortured by the Capitol, causes Katniss to agree to become the Mockingjay, a symbol of hope for the ongoing revolution, but on her own terms. (For any fans of the book, she didn’t request to kill President Snow! I know I’m just as shocked, hopefully we’ll see more in part 2).
At this point in the film we finally see the Katniss we first fell in love with, the strong-willed, stubborn, and determined girl who is ready to take down the Capitol.
Katniss is sent out to District 8 to help give hope for the wounded in a hospital and to let the rebels know that she is alive and fighting to overthrow the Capitol. On her journey to the district, a Capitol bombing squad arrives and bombs the hospital, killing everyone inside. Katniss is able to shoot down the planes and saves the district from any further destruction. During her rage against the Capitol, Katniss films propaganda (propos) to let the rebels know that President Snow just killed unarmed men, women, and children, and speaks one of the most powerful lines from the novel, “If we burn, you burn with us!”
Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) films his own propos about the bombing of district 12 where out of 8,000 people, only 900 lived. Once Gale’s and Katniss’s propos are broadcasted, strikers in District 7 kill an entire team of Peacekeepers with hidden land minds and a rebel team is able to destroy an entire dam that provides the Capitol’s electricity (insert cheering for the rebels here), forcing them to use generators, and allowing District 13 to hijack the Capitol’s newsfeed and broadcasts the propos in the Capitol.
Peeta’s interview is broadcasted to every district telling everyone this war needs to stop, but on result of seeing Katniss on TV, he gives her a warning that President Snow is coming for her.
An evacuation of District 13 to an underground bunker saves the lives of everyone inside thanks to Peeta’s warning. Once Katniss emerges, she discovers that the ground is littered in white roses (hating President Snow even more), realizing that President Snow is taunting her with Peeta’s life.
President Coin sends her own six man team to rescue the fellow victors, Peeta, Johanna Mason, and Annie Cresta, from the Capitol’s prison in the tribute center, but finds out, it was all too easy.
When Katniss goes to greet Peeta, he isn’t the same person who was left in the arena. Peeta unexpectedly attacks Katniss and strangles her into unconsciousness. When Katniss wakes up, she finds that Peeta has been tortured by the Captiol and has been “hijacked” – brainwashed into wanting to kill Katniss.
The first installment of the movie ends about halfway through the novel, the point where Peeta is rescued. This leaves Mockingjay Part 2 to cover the final half of the novel. The movies have been very true to the books so hopefully we can expect to see what the second half of the novel covers. (Spoilers ahead)
This would hopefully include allying with District 2, blowing up the Capitol’s military supply (also in District 2, whoops), Katniss gets shot (obviously lives), Johanna and Katniss actually become friends (it’s about time), The final battle in the Capitol that takes lives of innocent children and one main character (insert sad face here), deciding that it’s time for the children of the Capitol to participate in the Hunger Games, Katniss assassinating a President (which one? Not spoiling), and Katniss and some guy (also not spoiling) living happily ever after in District 12.
Prepare to be completely mesmerized by this movie. You’ll forget about your popcorn and your soda (because I did) and be too busy focusing on the amazing, captivating, and well scripted movie in front of you.