THE QUARTER QUELL

thg-catchingfireTHE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE (2013)
5 out of 5 stars

WATCH IT BECAUSE…
1) Jennifer Lawrence is amazing as Katniss Everdeen. There’s something about her acting that makes me violent (damn you, President Snow) and want to cry at the same time.
2) Sam Claflin is hot as Finnick Odair.
3) Jena Malone is fucking amazing as Johanna Mason.
4) This second instalment is darker and more political (aren’t they all?) and twist at the end will leave your jaw dropping.

AIM FOR EXCELSIOR

SilverLiningsPlaybookSILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (2012)
5 out of 5 stars

I have been waiting to catch this ever since I saw the trailer and it took so long for the movie to be shown in Singapore theatres. Nonetheless, it is here and I suggest everyone go watch it!

Tiffany: I was a big slut, but I’m not any more. There’s always going to be a part of me that’s sloppy and dirty, but I like that. With all the other parts of myself. Can you say the same about yourself fucker? Can you forgive? Are you any good at that?

Pat (Bradley Cooper) did eight months in an institution after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and desperately wants to reconcile with his ex-wife. He tries to keep his condition in check and things become more challenging when he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a young widow with issues of her own.

Tiffany: I do this! Time after time after time! I do all this shit for other people! And then I wake up and I’m empty! I have nothing!

This is an unconventional romantic comedy and I loved it! Jennifer Lawrence really killed it in that diner scene. That maniacal laugh! I would say Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper brought out the best in each other. While Pat was trying to his best to win his ex-wife back, he doesn’t even realize the effects of Tiffany’s presence. One of my favourite scenes was at the dance competition where both parties unknowingly held each other’s hands!

Jennifer Lawrence was really amazing as Tiffany. She made me laugh and she made me cry. She makes it okay for people to have flaws as long as they accept them and that they make others accept them too. She warns people not to judge a book by its cover too quickly. Probably the most perfect imperfect human being on film I have seen. Also, it was so good to see Julia Stiles back on the big screen again! I remember a time not so long ago when she was the face of many coming-of-age films.

Pat: The only way to beat my crazy was by doing something even crazier. Thank you. I love you. I knew it from the moment I saw you. I’m sorry it took me so long to catch up.

HAPPY HUNGER GAMES!

THE HUNGER GAMES (2012)
– 4 and a half out of 5 stars 

This is possibly one of the most anticipated movies of the year and man, it didn’t disappoint. I mean, if a movie can make one cry and make one root for the underdogs and also go against the system, I’m definitely in.

For the uninitiated, The Hunger Games is based on a series of books by Suzanne Collins. In the country of Panem, one boy and one girl from each of the 12 districts are offered as tributes to participate in the annual Hunger Games. Only one makes it out alive. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers when her sister, Primrose, was picked to be the female tribute for District 12.

Jennifer Lawrence makes one mean Katniss. I watched some of the behind-the-scenes footage and she did almost all her stunts! Wonderful! Especially when she had the bow and arrow. The most brutal and chilling scene had to be at the Cornucopia, where the Games begin. For those who haven’t seen it, just mentally prepare yourself although you can’t really. As the Games progresses, it’s not only survival of the fittest but also the slyest and the smartest.

I thought the other more prominent tribute was Rue from District 11. She made me cry and when Katniss did the three-finger salute, it stopped the tears momentarily because you knew that was the start of more to come. (BOOKS 2+3!) But like any book-to-movie adaptation, there isn’t enough spotlight on the other characters and so hopefully I can get my hands on the book fast enough so I can really understand the whole story in its entirety.

By now I’m sure you’ve heard – The Hunger Games opened with an astounding US$155 million – surpassing all the movies in the Twilight Saga!

China Glaze – The Colours of the Capitol Collection

MUTANT AND PROUD

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS (2011)
– 4 and a half out of 5 stars

Set in 1962, it tells us the origin of the X-Men and the Brotherhood of the Mutants, led by Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr otherwise known as Professor X and Magneto. The introduction of mutants in the ’60s threatens to bring another war as the US faces another with the Cuban missile crisis.

OMG I LOVE X-MEN: FIRST CLASS!

I mean, I liked the previous X-Men movies but I think MICHAEL FASSBENDER totally charmed my socks off! As if they were still there after watching Jane Eyre… Anyway, James McAvoy is really charming too!

Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy are the new faces of the latest bromance. I ship it! Woohoo!

There’s the lighter side of Prof. X – he walks, flirts and scores with women because he can totally read their minds. There’s the vulnerable side of Magneto, because his power was manifested through the darkest moments of his past and his mission was powered mainly by revenge. Can I just add that Michael Fassbender did a really good job playing Erik/Magneto? I mean, I don’t even blame the guy for doing what he did even though I didn’t quite agree with his character in the previous X-Men movies. I liked Jennifer Lawrence too! Her character gives you a lot to think about in terms of mutants versus humans and mutants who have to hide versus mutants who don’t – and that caused her to make a life-changing decision. And of course, how allies Charles and Erik became enemies due to their diverging views on mutants and humans.

Other mutants/characters include Mystique/Raven (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast/Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult), White Frost/Emma Frost (January Jones), Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), Havok/Alex Summers (Lucas Till), Banshee/Sean Cassidy, Angel, Azazel, Riptide and Darwin.

Look out for the special cameos during the movie itself. The first one is PRICELESS!

NEVER ASK FOR WHAT OUGHT TO BE OFFERED

WINTER’S BONE (2010)
– 4 out of 5 stars

Winter’s Bone tells the tale of how 17-year-old Ree Dolly tracks down her father, who has skipped bail and put up their house as collateral. She has one week to find her father in time for his trial or she loses the house which she shares with her younger siblings and a mother who is unable take care of herself.

Ree: I’d be lost without the weight of you two on my back. I ain’t going anywhere.

As the sole caregiver of the family, she has to find her father, dead or alive. She goes knocking on doors for leads to finding her father even after being warned not to dig any further. She pushes on, hearing possibilities that her father may have been murdered and gets beaten up for poking her nose too far in. At the same time, she does her best to keep her family together and also teach them the ways of survival should they be separated for any reason (lessons on hunting rifles and skinny squirrels). Her determination is admirable and her pride doesn’t allow her to break down in front of others except in one gentle moment when she asks her mother for guidance. Tough as she is, Ree endures a horrific experience at the end where she comes into contact with evidence that will prove her father’s death but leave a permanent void in her life.

As at time of post, the movie has won the Grand Jury Prize at the 26th Sundance Film Festival and is up for four nominations at the 83rd Academy Awards including a Best Actress nomination for Jennifer Lawrence.