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items tagged with The Hunger Games

Chicago Hopeless: "Allegiant"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2016-03-19 21:54:16

Zöe Kravitz, Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Theo James, Miles Teller, and Maggie Q. in AllegiantALLEGIANT

Over the past seven months, YA-lit adaptations have arrived in the forms of Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, The 5th Wave, and now Allegiant, the first part of the second sequel (yeah, I know ...) to 2014’s teen-dystopia thriller Divergent. And in each one of these releases, we’re taken to a hidden facility where our heroic youths are trained in combat and wartime procedures, sleep in bunk beds, eat in mess halls, and don nearly identical outfits designed, one presumes, to give them a collective sense of unity, purpose, and pride.

For adolescent readers feeling suffocated by a society that’s presumably determined to quash their freedom and individuality, it’s easy to see why a militaristic life is so frequently the metaphor of choice for novelists including the Divergent franchise’s Veronica Roth: What, to your average teen, could be more oppressive or insulting than being forced, night and day, to wear the exact same things your friends are wearing? But I didn’t think about that while watching director Robert Schwentke’s Allegiant. Instead, I thought about the same thing I thought about during the second Maze Runner and fourth Hunger Games and first (and hopefully last) 5th Wave: Who’s responsible for making all those matching leather ensembles and body-hugging jumpsuits and fitted tees? Do the compounds in these films also feature on-site Old Navys and Dick’s Sporting Goods? Are there underground sweatshops in which youths less attractive than Shailene Woodley and Theo James are made to toil? Were the outfits ordered and shipped in from Korea pre-apocalypse, y’know, just in case?
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Spring Don’t-Break-a-Hip: "Dirty Grandpa" and "The 5th Wave"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2016-01-24 18:22:10

Zac Efron and Robert De Niro in Dirty GrandpaDIRTY GRANDPA

As traditional boundaries in R-rated slapsticks continue to be pushed and filmmakers continue to seek new ways to comically shock us, if you’re going to title a movie Dirty Grandpa, you’d better make sure that grandpa is really, really dirty. Consequently, the biggest compliment I can give director Dan Mazer and screenwriter John Phillips is that the Dirty doesn’t nearly do justice to this Grandpa I truly can’t remember the last time I was this flabbergasted by screen vulgarity, or the last time I roared at screen vulgarity quite so hard.
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Have Fun Storming the Capitol!: "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-11-19 18:57:34

Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2

Along with a few dozen other, much younger viewers, I caught Wednesday’s double-feature of concluding Hunger Games installments, even if my reasons for attending were likely far different from anyone else’s. (I really just wanted to lighten my weekend workload and have an excuse to see Philip Seymour Hoffman on the big screen two more times instead of one.) But while I didn’t join in my fellow patrons’ applause at the close of the awkwardly titled The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, I was happier with this entry than any since 2012’s original, and was glad to have preceded it with Part 1, because it turned out I needed the refresher.
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Social Climbers: "Everest," "Captive," and "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-09-20 01:33:21

Jason Clarke in EverestEVEREST

At present, the only way to see director Baltasar Kormákur’s adventure drama Everest – the only legal way, at any rate – is in its IMAX 3D presentation, as the film won’t be released in other, less surcharge-filled formats until September 25. Yet even if, like me, you consider yourself a generally frugal (i.e., cheapskate) cineplex patron, I implore you to suck it up, shell out the extra dough, and treat yourself to the biggest, loudest Everest available. I’m not sure how well this thing will play on smaller screens, but the IMAX 3D version is a staggering, even humbling experience for the eyes and ears – a mountain that, on your TV or computer or iPhone, might more accurately suggest a molehill.
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Dire to Be Different: "Insurgent," "Do You Believe?", and The Gunman"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-03-22 22:46:42

Theo James, Shailene Woodley, and Miles Teller in InsurgentINSURGENT

As was destined to happen at my well-attended-by-teenage-girls screening of Insurgent, I heard plenty of nervous titters when Shailene Woodley and Theo James finally unzipped their faux X-Men garb and got (PG-13) busy with one another, and solemn silence during most of the rest of this tear-stained, thematically pushy action adventure. But I did hear one other occasional sound, because nearly every time Miles Teller opened his mouth for a throwaway retort or vicious insult, the girls in my crowd laughed, and were completely right to. As Teller’s Peter is an eternal thorn in our heroes’ sides and a grade-A prick to boot – a character you’d presume more deserving of hisses than giggles – this was somewhat surprising. It was also hugely cheering. Those teen patrons may have collectively enjoyed the rampaging mediocrity of this Divergent sequel, but they also, just maybe, recognized true greatness when they saw it.
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