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Entries in Hunger Games (46)

Saturday
Dec142013

Oscar Rejects and Finalists: Makeup and Hairstyling

Though it's perhaps unfair to possible future Oscar nominees who are (tentatively) celebrating, the finalist lists that are announced in the categories that have "bake-offs" have an unfortunate side effect: the story by necessity becomes about who didn't make it; "finalist" status is not, we must remember, an Oscar nomination and might not turn into one but rejection is hard fact. The Oscar's makeup branch, though fond of showy prosthetics like old age makeup or fantastical creatures has never nominated a zombie movie and also isn't crazy about horror (despite horror employing so many makeup artists) so I knew the chances weren't great for World War Z or Warm Bodies or Evil Dead or any other genre films though I am a little surprised that Oz: The Great and Powerful was already culled. Yes, Mila Kunis's Wicked Witch looked dumb but this branch's history doesn't always give one confidence that they'll choose well.

Surprising Rejections and Unexpected Embraces after the jump...

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Sunday
Dec082013

Podcast: Philomena Catching Fire

This week NickNathaniel, Katey, and Joe discuss the blockbuster Philomena and that little arthouse indie The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Spoilers you might want to avoid for Philomena are here (32:00-32:20 / 35:00-35:30).

Some questions that need your answers in the comments:  Is Jennifer Lawrence better as Katniss than in her Oscar roles? Would The Hunger Games be better as a TV series? What is going on in the Hemsworth family gene pool? Is Philomena at 98 minutes too padded or too short or, paradoxically, both? And how many nominations can it hope for having conquered the auntie demographic?

You can listen here or download the conversation on iTunes

Philomena: Catching Fire

Sunday
Dec012013

Box Office: Hollywood Queen Beats Disney Princess

Amir here, bringing you Thanksgiving weekend’s box office report.

It’s a testament to the popularity and success of The Hunger Games series that Frozen, in its own right a breaker of multiple records this weekend, could not displace it as the number one film. Catching Fire has banked almost $300m in just ten days, leaving virtually no doubt that it will trump Iron Man 3 as the best selling film of the year. One can only imagine how much a Katniss vs. Tony Stark mash-up film would sell, though I struggle to think of any way in which Jennifer Lawrence is not superior to Robert Downey Jr. at the moment. Frozen, meanwhile, is now firmly positioned as the frontrunner for the animated film Oscar, what with positive reviews, strong word of mouth and incredible sales that guarantee every voter will be tempted to pop this screener in.

BOX OFFICE
01 THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE $74.5 (cum. $296.5) Review
02 FROZEN $66.7 *expanded* (cum. $93)
Review | Like Wicked? | Snow Queen History | Jonathan Groff Interview
03 THOR: THE DARK WORLD $11.1 (cum. $186.7) Review  
04 THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY  $8.4 (cum. $63.4) Discussion 
05 HOMEFRONT $6.9 *new* (cum. $9.7)
06 DELIVERY MAN $6.9 (cum. $19.4)
07 THE BOOK THIEF $4.8 *expanded* (cum. $7.8)
08 BLACK NATIVITY $3.8 *new* (cum. $5)
09 PHILOMENA $3.7 *expanded*  (cum. $4.7)
10 LAST VEGAS $2.7 (cum. $58.7)

None of the other new films fared even remotely as well as Frozen. You can now put Homefront in your DVD box of indistinguishable Jason Statham flicks right next to Chaos, Safe, The Mechanic and your pre-ordered copy of Heat. Black Nativity has roughly the same per screen average, and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom proved that audiences are not hungry to see yet another generic political biopic, especially one so generic that the title literally spells out Name: Dull Greatest Hits Version of Life Events Ending in Triumph. Without a doubt the biggest flop of the weekend was Spike Lee’s Oldboy remake though. I have no desire to see it, mostly because I adore the Korean original, but I can’t help but feel a bit excited about Lee’s misfortune with this one. Yes, yes, I’m petty. Look down on me all you want! But after a series of “incidents” such as this and this, I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels gleeful schadenfreude.

I’ve had a great weekend so far. I didn’t have to leave the house but I caught up with Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, The Grandmaster, The Dirties, At Berkeley and Viola, and with varying degrees of enthusiasm, I can recommend them all. What did you watch this weekend?

Friday
Nov292013

Linkboy

MTV News hilarious bit w/ Julia Roberts and Josh Horowitz talking Jennifer Lawrence
Juan Luis Garcia writes an open letter to Spike Lee about Oldboy poster designs that are being used without the designer's permission. Horrifying story of freelancer abuse
Gawker collected the key floats and Roker silliness for Thanksgiving Day Parade ICYMI 
Variety Evan Rachel Wood vs the MPAA over a recent sex scene 

List Mania
Gurus of Gold we list nominations we'd be thankful for and update our charts
THR Feinberg's Forecast. It's exhausting to read all the stuff that happened this week. Once campaigning starts it's just impossible to keep up, right?
The Playlist on the Breakout directors of 2013 from Destin Cretton (Short Term 12) to Sebastian Lelio (Gloria)
Variety also reviewed the week from Jean Claude Van Damme's epic split stunt to Frozen on your phone
Vulture all the times Peeta messes up in Hunger Games: Catching Fire. LOL. Get it together, Josh Hutcherson! 

Tuesday
Nov262013

Curio: Our Annual Hunger Games

Alexa here. With Thanksgiving arriving on the heels of Katniss this year, that cornucopia centerpiece suddenly seems an ominous symbol of turkey slaughter rather than a bountiful symbol of the harvest. So, why not embrace the convergence and have a Hunger-Games-themed celebration?  After all, extended family get-togethers can be pretty torturous. Or maybe that's just in my family. 

In any case, here are some foodie curios after the jump to give you a very Katniss Thanksgiving.


Pass the gravy t-shirt, available here.

 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov252013

Review: Hunger Games Catches Wispy Fire

This review originally appeared in my column at Towleroad

Their clothes ignite but does the movie?

The Hunger Games is not without its charms. Which is a very strange thing to say about a beloved bloody genre franchise about children murdering each other... but then *I'm* not the one suggesting it become a family theme park or inspire a cosmetics line. (Both very sensible and in no way inappropriate spinoffs!) At the very least, as these things go, it is infinitely preferrable to the Twilight Saga. They're the immensely popular twin (non-identical) poster girls for the increasingly crowded subgenre of YA dystopian fantasies in which a mopey teen passively navigates treacherous waters (and woods) and love triangles with death looming all around her. Both series trade on grand suicidal gestures ('I'll die of depression/eat the poison berries, if I can't have my man... I swear!') but at least The Hunger Games is self aware. It performs these defiant adolescent gestures with a sly and stately sense of morbid theatricality instead of self-pitying angst and is generally smart enough to express ambivalence about its content beyond the binaries of Team This Boyfriend vs Team That Boyfriend.

Miley's guards capture Liam on the lamBut, yes, when we return to the deadly adventures of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) for HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE she is flip-flopping between Boyfriends.

If you need a refresher it's like this: Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) were co-victors of the last Hunger Games, a futuristic take on gladiator battles of ancient history. [more]

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