The Hunger Games
Impressive adaptation of the bestselling novel. A terrific lead performance from Jennifer Lawrence (and two great turns from the ever brilliant Stanley Tucci and Woody Harrelson) and naturalistic cinematography brings The Hunger Games above your average franchise cash in. At times the flow of the narrative seems disjointed by scenes that left me confused but probably make more sense to readers of the book, which, perhaps, is a sign of a poor adaptation. Plus the last half of the film becomes growingly tedious (rules are changed, more deaths, twists, turns…). But aside from this and a handful of thinly developed supporting characters, The Hunger Games is a good start for the coming adaptations.
The Cabin In The Woods
As opposed to being the ‘groundbreaking’ ‘game-changer’ some critics are claiming it to be, The Cabin in the Woods is really just a decent horror comedy. The first two thirds, in particular, are largely enjoyable due to a healthy amount of gags & scares, as well as some slightly in-your-face genre deconstruction, and everything seems set for a wholly developed movie. However, it all falls apart in the last third as we’re now expected to watch an explosive action extravaganza starring paper thin characters (which is all they were required to be). Nonetheless, TCitW is worth watching for fans of modern horror or parodies, just don’t expect much more than that. Also…
21 Jump Street
What 21 Jump Street really boasts is its two lead actors: Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. Those who know Hill may be aware of his track record in comedy, and its true that he does always give an entertaining, if charmless, performance. Tatum too manages to bounce off Hill well whilst stealing some scenes for himself. 21 Jump Street never really aspires to be anything more than it sets out to be: an MTV style, raunchy and funny modernization of the TV series. I have a lot of major problems with the film (I swear Ice Cube had a clause in his contract that demanded him to say ‘black man’ and ‘motherfucker’ in every sentence) and it’s wholly inconsequential, but when a film makes me laugh this much, how much does that really matter?
Aki Kaurismaki returns from a 4 year break with this French comedy-drama about an old age shoe shiner who shelters an illegal immigrant, unbeknownst to his sick wife. Le Havre has a wonderful sort of charm to it, with an underlying dry wit and, frankly, lovely cinematography (no, I can’t think of another word to describe it). There’s a level of emotional distance, though, and it lacks the tension that Kaurismaki is normally so good at, yet it still remains a delightful watch, with a dose of thought provoking social commentary.
If you’ve seen any of the films above, or if you knew what the hell that scene in Cabin in the Woods was all about, post a comment!