The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. II (2015) Review

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is the fourth and final installment in the Hunger Games trilogy directed by Francis Lawrence (though does it still count as a trilogy with four films?). And what a ride it has been with this film franchise. I remember watching ‘The Hunger Games’ on the cinema, with its solemnly eerie shaky cam shots and general exciting buzz of the storyline unfolding. Since then, it has changed and evolved along with its story and characters. And it is such a satisfying conclusion.

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A definite and what feels like one of the most obvious things I need to mention in this review is Jennifer Lawrence. She’s probably one of the most popular actresses known today and it’s not just because of the many tumblr gifsets of her seeming like a nice and relatable person. She is also a great actress. What is most impressive is the way she can express emotion past the dialogue and really give dimension to her character in such a way that lets the audience forget that this is just a person acting and there isn’t really a brutal yet epic rebellion in a dystopian world.

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I’d also just like to mention one of my favourite additions from the last film, which is Natalie Dormer as Cressida (a film director from the Capitol who joins the rebel crew). She has a bit more of a prominent role in this film, and she’s so badass in every scene. I might be slightly biased because I love Natalie Dormer.

At times it might seem like the pace is a little slow, which is probably due to the fact that they decided to stretch the adaptation of the final book into two films for some reason ($). It didn’t bother me as much as it might people who sit down expecting a full 2 hour experience of explosions and people shooting at each other. Having said that, there are some pretty badass action sequences in this film and they are well executed and was quite thrilling to watch.

I also really like that they manage to be subtle with the storytelling. The film relies more on being visual and dynamic to convey aspects of the story through implication as opposed to relying on character dialogue, i.e “Wow, I’m sure glad you woke up from that explosion Person X. Let me fill you in on what happened while you were asleep for 12 hours.” (I don’t know why I was never hired to be a writer, I’m fantastic.)

Overall, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (that title is such a mouthful) is an enjoyable watch with nice emotional depth, exciting action sequences and a satisfying end to wrap up the story. The only issue I can see is that the pacing took some brunt from having to stretch the story into two films.

 

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Kristy (2014) Review

Kristy is a 2014 horror film directed by Olly Blackburn, and is about a college girl (Justine) who makes a terrible decision of staying in campus during the Thanksgiving break because… of a reason that I’m sure makes perfect sense.

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She ends up having a Home Alone-esque adventure in the abandoned campus which makes for a perfect family film.

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I am absolutely lying, she undergoes the most horrifically messed up game of marco-polo of all time.

During a particularly sad trip to the local corner shop, she stumbles upon Ashley Greene (Violet) who doesn’t look super great if I’m perfectly honest with you.

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Ashley Greene and her gang of aluminium foil masked stooges are sadistic and obsessed with torturing girls, dubbing them as “Kristy” while filming it. Unfortunately for our protagonist Justine, she is their target.

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To be honest, if you guys are making the effort to elaborately set up this situation, I would invest in a better quality camera and have a more menacing grammar when I text my victim (but then again their costume consists of aluminium foil so I’m not sure what their budget is).

Though the film does fall into the unfortunate horror/thriller tropes that include a semi-predictable storyline and the rampant overuse of jumpscares it is still entertaining to watch. I was particularly impressed with the very picturesque cinematography by Crille Forsberg.

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Overall, in relation to most of the contemporary horror films that are being released, this is not a bad film. It’s the kind of film that’s probably fun to watch with friends when you feel especially sadistic and want to feel something for the first time.

Rating: not a bad film.