Tag Archives: post-apocalyptic

Movie Review: Hunger Games 3: Mockingjay Part I (4 *’s)(2014)

Hunger Games 3: Mockingjay Part I is the latest instalment in the Hunger Games series, the best-selling books by Suzanne Collins that have been made into movies. It brings back the usual cast of characters: Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne, Donald Sutherland as President Snow, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy, Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee, and Julianne Moore as President Alma Coin. A lot of big names for a big movie.
The story continues where the preceding Hunger Games movie left off. Katniss has destroyed the Hunger Games and has escaped the wrath of President Snow by taking refuge with the resistance housed in District 13. Her home, District 12, has been destroyed. She finds herself in the midst of a love triangle, torn between Peeta Mellark, her companion for the Hunger Games, and Gale Hawthorne, a young man she has known since childhood. At this moment in the story, she seems to be favoring Peeta. But there is more to her than budding romance. She finds herself the center of attention for a burgeoning rebellion against the Capitol and President Snow. With some reluctance, she agrees to be the symbol of this growing rebellion. Death and destruction are both becoming more prevalent throughout the Districts as sparks of unrest flare. President Alma Coin—the freely chosen democratic leader of District 12—knows that the rebellion needs a unifying figure. Katniss may be just what she is looking for, yet she has doubts. Katniss must first prove herself to this woman. Can they learn to work together and bring down President Snow? Or is Katniss destined to lose all she holds dear including both Peeta and Gale? Find out and see the movie.
Strengths: the acting was good, the plot was good, and the special effects were well done and realistic. The characters were well-developed; you really learned about the evil and ruthlessness of President Snow while admiring the tenacity of Katniss. It was a good flick. Weaknesses: there were a couple of points where I thought Katniss was kind of childish, but those were rare, and they may have been deliberate. She was a complex character (maybe). I thought a couple scenes and some of the dialogue was too predictable. For example, there was a scene with Katniss, Coin, and Plutarch where Katniss shows her spine that I thought was somewhat cheesy. But perhaps that is just me.
Anyway, I’ll give Hunger Games 3: Mockingjay Part I four stars out of five.

Old Movie Review: The Colony (2013) (3 *’s)

The Colony is a film directed by Jeff Renfroe and starring Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton. I don’t remember it ever hitting the theatres; it may have just been a made for Sy fy (I don’t believe they spell it like that!) or something like that. The lead role is played by Kevin Zegers, an actor I know nothing about. Anyway, Kevin plays a young man named Sam living in a colony (I think it’s Colony 7 or Colony 5), one of only several such places that humans can still live. The setting is a post-apocalyptic Earth, one brought on by a new Ice Age that came about after humanity developed the technology to manipulate weather and things got out of control.

 

The story is fairly linear. From the beginning it is clear that the colony is in a rough spot and the measures they have taken to ensure their survival are nearly draconian by our soft cushy standards. For them, disease is a terrible threat. Anyone who comes down with something must be quarantined; if they don’t get better in the allotted time they are given a test. If it comes back positive, they are given a choice: be shot or walk. Walking means leaving the colony and trying to make it on your own in the arctic wasteland around it. Basically, walking is a death sentence as well. Laurence Fishburne plays Briggs the leader of the colony. Bill Paxton plays Mason, the colony’s increasingly draconian bad guy.

 

There are other colonies in the area. The story really takes off when Sam’s colony loses contact with one of the other neighboring ones. Sam, Briggs, and one other colony member set off to investigate. What has silenced their neighbor? Is it simply mechanical error? Or something more sinister.

 

Strengths: I think the acting was fine. The storyline held together well enough. I don’t think there were any parts were you wanted to berate the characters for doing something really stupid. The premise was interesting … a little bit of a twist on the standard post-apocalyptic setting. Weaknesses: Bill Paxton plays the standard jerk/bad guy who everybody wants to see die. He did fine in the role, it’s just that that character-type has been done to death. Also, although the storyline held together, there really weren’t any twists to make it really intriguing. It was okay, but unexceptional. Finally, the movie did not end well. The conclusion wasn’t a conclusion. It left you with a sense of hope, but still unsure whether or not the colony survives. I wanted a stronger sense of closure.

 

Anyway, I’ll give The Colony three stars out of five.