Monday, March 21, 2016

Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 [@TheHungerGames @LGHomeEnt]

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2
March 22, 2016
137 minutes; PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for some thematic material.
starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks
info on IMDb/buy from Amazon/or

As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts, Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance. (from IMDb)

Tomorrow, March 22nd, the fourth and final Hunger Games movie will be released on Blu-ray - and it is a great conclusion to the series.

I watched The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 this weekend (along with rewatching Catching Fire and Mockingjay - Part 1 to remind myself of exactly what had happened). Since I read Mockingjay in 2012 I can't speak to just how true to the book the movie is, but it felt as though it were - and Mockingjay - Part 2 definitely fits with the three previous movies.

If you haven't seen The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, well if you haven't, you really ought to see at least that one before watching this one. If you have seen Part 1 then you will love how Part 2 continues the story. This movie picks up from Part 1 like it is simply a new scene yet there was a clear, marked ending to Part 1 and the opening scene of Part 2 is very much a beginning. Watched together, it would be like one long movie with an intermission, but each can be its own, distinct film.

The journey we've gone on with these films (as with the books) is great. In The Hunger Games we saw the hardships for Katniss, her family, and District 12 along with the opulence of the Capital. Then we saw the rebellion start to take shape and the war begin. Now, with knowledge of what the other districts have suffered, we see war come to the capital.

The film has the same aesthetic - though it's evolved to fit the story - of a sort of 1930s/1940s-meets-the-future-meets-wartime blend. The Capital is much larger (in area covered, size of buildings, land, etc) than I imagined and I really loved seeing it on screen. The cinematography, the costumes, the sets and locations and the wide shots of things all work together to really create a world and show it to you in the best possible way.

Katniss is probably my favorite in all of the movies (though Haymitch and Effie are right up there) and I loved her here, too. She's somehow both more emotional and more detached or removed. Her character's been hardened a bit, even from the events of Part 1.

The Hunger Games said something about violence and what people were capable of, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 expands on that, literally and figuratively. It's not just tributes in an arena anymore, but death, violence, war, rebellion, and betrayal are all still possible. We see even more of what people are capable of - good and bad - and what needs to be done.

If you have already seen The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay - Part 1 then you will definitely want to see - and own - this ending to the tale. If you haven't seen those already (or don't own them), there's The Hunger Games Complete 4-Film Collection coming, too!

Also out tomorrow is The Hunger Games Complete 4-Film Collection so you can have all four movies and make a day of it (well nine plus hours) . . .

Available March 22:

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2

Digital (avail March 8)

The Hunger Games Complete 4-Film Collection

About the releases:

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Arrives on Digital HD on March 8 and on Blu-rayTM Combo Pack on March 22 with over 5 Hours of 

Special Features from Lionsgate 

Experience Katniss’s Journey from the Very Beginning 

The Hunger Games Complete 4-Film Collection 

Also Arrives on Digital HD on March 8 

and on Blu-ray and DVD on March 22

SANTA MONICA, CA and VANCOUVER, BC (January 27, 2016) – Four years after Jennifer Lawrence first appeared on the big screen as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, Lionsgate’s (NYSE: LGF) critically acclaimed series based on Suzanne Collins’ best-selling book trilogy comes to a thrilling resolution in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, arriving on Digital HD March 8 and on Blu-ray Combo Pack + Digital HD, DVD + Digital, and On Demand March 22, the company announced today. In addition, for the first time ever, The Hunger Games Complete 4-Film Collection will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on March 22.

With $647 million worldwide box office and counting, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 set the world on fire and enthralled millions of devoted fans across the globe. With a critically acclaimed cast including Academy Award® winner Jennifer Lawrence (Best Actress, Silver Linings Playbook, 2012), Josh Hutcherson (Journey to the Center of the Earth), Liam Hemsworth (The Expendables), Academy Award® nominee Woody Harrelson (Best Actor, The People vs. Larry Flynt, 1996), Emmy® nominee Elizabeth Banks (TV’s “Modern Family”), Academy Award® winner Julianne Moore (Best Actress, Still Alice, 2014), Academy Award® winner Philip Seymour Hoffman (Best Actor, Capote, 2005), Golden Globe® winner Jeffrey Wright (HBO’s “Angels in America”), with Academy Award® nominee Stanley Tucci (Best Supporting Actor, The Lovely Bones, 2009), and Golden Globe® winner Donald Sutherland (Citizen X), The Hunger Games franchise is a worldwide phenomenon earning over $2.9 billion at the box office worldwide.

Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen, who began her journey fighting to survive the brutal Hunger Games, and rose to lead the rebellion against Panem’s tyrannical president (Donald Sutherland). Now, Katniss and a team of rebels from District 13 prepare for the epic battle that will decide Panem’s future.

Based on the third novel in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, the must-own limited edition Blu-ray release is packed with over five hours of special features, including the “Pawns No More: Making The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2” 8-part documentary – an in-depth look at the making of the film from production design, costumes, hair, make-up, stunts, special effects and post production. The documentary also includes a touching piece – from the last day of shooting – in which the cast reflects on their experience shooting the four films. Also included is a detailed look at Cinna’s sketchbook and a walk through the on-set photography along with audio commentary by director Francis Lawrence and producer Nina Jacobson. The Blu-ray is encoded in Dolby TrueHD and features a Dolby Atmos® soundtrack, which delivers captivating sound that places and moves audio anywhere in the room, including overhead, to bring entertainment alive all around the audience. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 Blu-ray and DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $39.99 and $29.95, respectively.

Also available for the first time as a set on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD, The Hunger Games Complete 4-Film Collection includes The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 with all of the special features from each film’s initial release plus hours of all-new exclusive content including 13 never-before-seen deleted scenes from The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and two all-new featurettes: “Picturing Panem” and “Capitol Cuisine.” The Hunger Games Complete 4-Film Collection will be available on Blu-ray and DVD for the suggested retail price of $64.97 and $54.98, respectively.

·         Audio Commentary with Director Francis Lawrence and Producer Nina Jacobson
·         “Pawns No More: Making The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2” 8-Part Documentary**
o   Walking Through Fire (Concluding the Saga)
o   Real or Not Real (Visual Design)
o   High-Value Targets (The Acting Ensemble)
o   From Head to Toe (Costume, Make-up & Hair)
o   Navigating the Minefield (Production in Atlanta, Paris & Berlin)
o   Collateral Damage (Stunts, Special Effects & Weapons)
o   Tightening the Noose (The Post-Production Process)
o   A Different World (Reflections)
·         The Hunger Games: A Photographic Journey
·         Cinna’s Sketchbook: Secrets of the Mockingjay Armor
·         Panem on Display: The Hunger Games: The Exhibition
·         Jet to the Set**
*Subject to Change
**Exclusive to Blu-ray/ Digital HD

·         Over 14 Hours of Bonus Content Including:
o   12 Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scenes from The Hunger Games
o   6 Deleted Scenes from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Including 1 Never Before Seen
o   9 Deleted Scenes from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
o   2 All-New Featurettes: “Picturing Panem” and “Capitol Cuisine”
o   70 Additional Featurettes (Blu-ray); 69 Additional Special Featurettes (DVD)
o   Audio Commentaries, Music Videos and More
*Subject to change

finished copy of the film received for an honest review; opinions are my own

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