Saturday, November 22, 2014

Two Word Movie Review - Mockingjay Part 1

Here are your two words:

Smoldering Embers

In the interest of full disclosure, I wasn't feeling great when I caught the early matinee with The Husband today.  I was kinda tired.  And if we'd been planning to go to any other movie, I would have chosen to stay home.  That's how great I wasn't feeling.
But I'd been looking forward to The MockingJay, so we went.

Also, you should know that I've read the trilogy, and I know how it ends.

And I probably should mention that the third book was my least favorite of the three.

These three things probably play into how I felt pretty blah about a movie I'd been looking forward to seeing.
As The Husband and I left the theater, I said, "All the really good stuff was in the trailers."
Yeah.  It kinda was.

But again, this is from someone who has read the books and knew at every turn what was coming next.
(There was one scene where I leaned over to The Husband and whispered Katniss' next line, word for word, a split second before she said it on the screen.  "Was that in the book?" he whispered back.  I replied, "I don't know.")

When LionsGate announced they were splitting the third Hunger Games book into two movies, a friend of mine predicted where the book would be split.
He was right.
So, even that part wasn't a real surprise for me.

At least twice during the show, I thought to myself, "Geez, this movie is long."
That's never a good thing.

That all being said, the movie was every bit as good as the book.
Considering most of Katniss' angst throughout the series is expressed internally, the scriptwriters and Jennifer Lawrence do a beautiful job of letting us know what Katniss is thinking and feeling.  That's a real trick, and I think they pulled it off spectacularly.

I think if you have not read the books, you will find this movie intriguing.  You may get much more out of it than I did.  It may surprise you more... especially if you didn't spend the last few months watching every movie trailer and clip posted on YouTube.

One more thing...
You need to have seen the previous movies or have read the first two books to understand anything in The Mockingjay Part One.  There is no review.  No one explains to you why Katniss starts out in a hospital. You get no background story at all.
(But here's a quick 3 minute review you can watch ahead of time.)

I think the fourth movie will offer more excitement than this one does.
This one introduces District 13 and sets us up for Part Two.

So, "smoldering embers" it is from me on this one.
Once those embers ignite, then it'll get hot.


P.S. On the way home from the movie, the subject of Katniss' love life came up.  I imagined outloud the exchange between Gail and Katniss after the first (technically the 74th) Hunger Games.

Gail:  Geez, Katniss.  I saw you kissing another guy on TV!
Katniss:  Yeah?  How about seeing 22 other kids trying to kill me?  Didn't that bother you just a little?

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