Uh oh, because they broke the rules in the last hunger games, and sparked that dangerous emotion called hope amongst the dystopian society that is the world of Suzanne Callins’ Hunger Games triology, things are about to get mixed up. With hope you see, comes strength. With strength come defiance, with defiance comes change.
Change is not something President Snow will abide, and as such, threatens not only Katniss and her family, but the whole of District 12, if Katniss doesn’t convince the general populous that she is in-fact, deeply in love with Peeta, and supportive of Snow.
But it’s too late for acting and everyone sees through the charade, forcing Snow to do something drastic. The 75th Hunger Games will take tributes from previous winners, forcing Katniss back into the arena.
Due to the success of the first film, Catching Fire gets a bit of a cash injection, and whilst there are plenty of signs that the director is keeping this as tween friendly as possible (like not actually showing a guy get executed, and there not being any blood when his body gets dragged away after being shot in the head) there is a more heightened feeling of danger, as (for those for us who have not read the books and therefore don’t know what happens!) whilst you know Katniss has to make it through to the last two films, you never quite sure who will suffer along the way. Read more ›
I’m not sure what I was expecting when I put Tim van Dammen’s Romeo & Juliet: A Love Song in my DVD player tonight. I certainly hadn’t paid much attention to the seemingly insignificant tag line, ‘A Love Song.’ I was just hoping it wasn’t going to be such a pile of crock that Baz Luhrmann produced a few years back.
I’m not even sure why I had requested a copy, as I’m no fan of Shakespeare or generally New Zealand film (sorry about that).
I certainly hadn’t anticipated a rock opera set in a trashy trailer park located in the economically depressed far north.
It turns out however that Tim van Dammen is a bloody genius, and even though I have to admit, that with no previous knowledge of the story, I would have been struggling to follow what was going on, Romeo & Juliet was some rollicking good fun.
The juxtaposition of rusty caravans, empty bottles and cigarette stubs littered everywhere with the full on musical opera of Shakespearean prose worked so well together, with both the comedic nature of the film in general, and the emotionally draining tragedy at the end. Read more ›
Walking into Catching Fire, the second movie in the Suzanne Collins trilogy of the Hunger Games is a daunting affair. Take your 15yo daughter to any movie deeply entrenched in fandom and movie going hype and you hope that it lives up to expectation. My daughter had squeezed in a marathon reading effort of the second book in ‘exam prep’ for the movie. I come not as a reader trying to compare silver screen to curled page but just a reviewer wanting to enjoy an exceptional story carried on the backs of strong characters.
If you’ve read the book or seen the first movie the storyline doesn’t need too much elaboration. After our heroes won their battle for survival in the first movie they have created a world of fans hungry for liberation from an elitist government and a series of enemies in the upper echelons of power. Just when the spoils of winning the Hunger Games seem to involve good food and being a political puppet the 75th celebration of the Hunger Games are used as an excuse for the rules to change and our heroes are thrust back into play with a group of past winners.
The split romance at the core of the story is more developed in this outing. Readers and non-readers alike are wanting to see who Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) will end up with. In this corner weighing in at towering level of Australian buffness is Gale (Liam Hemsworth) while the Thinking Man’s romantic lead comes in the form of Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). No spoilers here but lets just say opinions are now swayed on which way Katniss should move. Read more ›
The “Sleeping Beauty” tale is told from the perspective of the villainous Maleficent and looks at the events that hardened her heart and drove her to curse young Princess Aurora.
Sofie Gråbøl returns as Detective Inspector Sarah Lund, along with her ugly sweater, in this final series of the Danish crime trilogy, The Killing III (Forbrydelsen III). Once again we’re a week out from the election, a body has been found in a scrap yard and Detective Lund has been tasked with walking a rookie cop through the crime scene. Lund however has her mind on a promotion to more of a desk job after 25 years on the front-lines of the worst crime Denmark has to offer. Her mind is elsewhere and the last thing Lund wants is to be babysitting, especially what on the surface looks like a vagrant who picked the wrong place to sleep.
To make matters worse, rookie cop doesn’t think that this is as routine as it looks and pretty soon head strong Lund isn’t thinking about her 25 year anniversary or getting promoted, like an asperger dog with a bone, Lund has a puzzle that demands to be solved, and solve it she will.
As we start to uncover some nefarious activity, additional plot lines start to crop up with the kidnapping of a rich industrialist’s daughter, and the political connections and back room maneuvering that accompanies big business and politics.
Plot line diverge and intervene as things look to be connected somehow and the pace quickly picks up into what will become a race against time.
As she faces new challenges at home and work, Lund stays true to herself, being that quiet enigma we’ve all come to love (and at times hate, be frustrated with, audibly shout at). Read more ›
The Town is a three part mini series about a prodigal son who returns home after both his parents commit suicide on night, leaving their elderly mother to look after their teenage daughter. 30 year old Mark Nicholas (Andrew Scott) returns home from London, not quite knowing what to expect, but his grief and his need to look after his young sister keeps him in town for a while.
Andrew Scott essentially drives the whole show, with a great performance of a man who was already lost, finding himself adrift in a whole new sea. Avigail Tlalim who plays Mark’s fifteen year old sister steals the show from time to time, and local mayor played by Martin Clunes seems to be there only as a draw-card rather than anything spectacular in his acting or even his role.
The longer Mark stays in his home town however, the more complicated things get, with interest in his old girlfriend complicating his life – and that of her husband. What’s more, he may just be starting to uncover a conspiracy that may indicate something fishy about his parents. Read more ›
In a future world people are divided into factions based on personality, a teenager is warned she is Divergent and will never fit into any one group. When she discovers a conspiracy to destroy all Divergents, her life is threatened.
Private Peaceful begins with younger brother Tommo Peaceful in a cell awaiting dawn and his time in front of a firing squad for his act of cowardice. But before his sentence can be carried out we are transported back in time to when Tommo and older brother Charlie were but small lads getting up to no good in the neighborhood. Well, maybe not quite neighborhood, small village life. if that. Working the land for the landowner, living under the oppression of feudal law, life is hard for the boys.
Sibling rivalry comes in to the picture when a girl arrives on the scene, and both brothers fall for her. Naturally, Tommo misses out and holds a grudge against Charlie and their relationship suffers.
And then the Hun invade France and Tommo sees his chance to escape the shadow of his brother and make a man of himself. Charlie of course follows, it’s his role to look after Tommo after all. However Charlie’s attitude doesn’t sit well with the unbending military rule of the First World War. Read more ›