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.

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EYEING THE BIG PICTURE

nowyouseemeNOW YOU SEE ME (2013)
4 and a half out of 5 stars

Four magicians collectively known as the Four Horsemen pull of a bank heist in the midst of their show and draws the attention of the FBI agent, an Interpol detective and a former magician who earns his keep by revealing other magicians’ tricks.

First of all, JESSE EISENBERG! OMG I just love it when he rattles off like nobody’s business. There were a group of girls screaming for Dave Franco but I’m not really into him. Sure, his fight scene with Mark Ruffalo has got to be one of the most unusual and original ones I’ve seen. Flash paper, a slicing deck of cards, mirrors and all sorts of magical apparatus were used in this fight.

It is perhaps a little hasty to give it such a high score but my mind was really blown after watching this movie. On hindsight, it seems a little all-over-the-place and the conclusion may be a little hasty because I figured it completely during the end credits. What I liked what how they used simple magic tricks on a large scale (you have to watch to understand what I’m talking about). The whole thing may be a little mind-boggling but when was the last time your mind was boggled?

THE WRONG SHIH TZU

7psychopathsSEVEN PSYCHOPATHS (2012)
4 and a half out of 5 stars

It all started with Marty (Colin Farrell) trying to write a screenplay titled “Seven Psychopaths”. His best friend, Billy (Sam Rockwell) partners with Hans (Christopher Walken) to kidnap dogs (or is it “dognap”) and return them to their owners after a reward has been offered. All goes well until they kidnap a shih tzu belonging to Charlie Costello, a gangster who loves his dog a lot.

Billy: You can’t let the animals die in a movie… only the women.

The back stories of the seven psychopaths were very interesting and the one that intrigued and scared me the most was the one about the Quaker, who stalked his daughter’s killer for decades. How all the psychopaths’ stories weave together in the end was pretty marvelous.  Though Billy’s version of the screenplay does have lots of shootouts and gunfire. He does have an active imagination.

Zachariah, the psychopath with the rabbit is also interesting considering his back story and his love for the white animal. And who knew the sight of so many rabbits can be so pleasing in a violent movie!  Also, the film pokes fun of Colin Farrell’s Irish ancestry and his drinking problem. So glad to see Colin Farrell back in movies after his career slump after Alexander.

Zachariah: You didn’t think I was what? Serious? You think I’m not serious just because I carry a rabbit?

STAY DURING THE CREDITS FOR AN EXTRA SCENE!

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

SWEAR ON YOUR IPAD

FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS (2011)
– 4 out of 5 stars 

Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis having benefits equals benefits for the audience. They have such hot bodies! Though the premise is similar to No Strings Attached that starred Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman, this one just packs more chemistry between the leads. Woody Harrelson (Tommy) was hilarious as the guy trying to make JT switch sides.

Tommy: Everybody want a shortcut in life, my guidebook is simple: YOU WANNA LOSE WEIGHT? Stop eating, fatty! YOU WANNA MAKE MONEY? Work you ass off, lazy! YOU WANNA BE HAPPY? Find someone you like and never let ‘em go!

A big plus: they used Foster The People’s Pumped Up Kicks during the end credits!

TALLAHASSEE: TIME TO NUT UP OR SHUT UP

ZOMBIELAND (2009)
– 5 out of 5 stars

Anyway, I’ve just seen Zombieland and it totally kicks ass! It takes place in a post-apocalyptic America where there’s a zombie virus and almost everyone has become those filthy flesh eaters. There are only a handful of humans left and one of them is Columbus, who probably survived due to his lack of human interaction and his book of rules. He meets Tallahassee who’s a mean zombie killer with a vulnerability for Twinkies. While on a Twinkie mission, they encounter Wichita and her sister, Little Rock, whom they join forces with after several misunderstandings. Together, they form a formidable group against the disgustingly undead. 

Seriously, of all the monsters, zombies are the worst! They enjoy human Happy Meals, suck human bone marrow and absolutely crave all of your human juices. Eewww! The initial onslaught of bloody insides are not the most comfortable opening scenes but you’ll start to laugh it off after a few minutes. Throughout the movie, I was greatly entertained by Columbus’ narration and his rules. Some of those mentioned in the movie are: –

Rule #1: Cardio
Rule #2: Double Tap
Rule #3: Beware of Bathrooms
Rule #4: Seatbelts
Rule #17: Don’t Be A Hero
Rule #18: Limber Up
Rule #22: When In Doubt, Know Your Way Out
Rule #31: Check the Back Seat
Rule #32: Enjoy The Little Things
(More rules can be found here.)

You can see these rules popping up on the screen, like mental lessons, especially Rule #2. The surprise cameo by a well-known actor almost steals the show and just adds more laughs to the zombie comedy. All was well until I got frightened by an old female zombie at the Haunted House. I screamed a little but luckily, my scream was drowned out by the gunshots that followed. Phew. The climax at the theme park was good and hilarious at the same time. I wouldn’t mind watching it again.

There’s news of a sequel in 3D! Plus, Jesse Eisenberg is kinda adorable in his own geeky, neurotic way. =)