The Hunger Games, Mockingjay Part 1 Review: Jennifer Lawrence IS the Mockingjay

If you haven’t read the books, or haven’t seen the latest Hunger Games movie, Mockingjay Part 1, beware there are spoilers ahead.

jennifer_lawrence_in_the_hunger_games_mockingjay_part_1-t2The last time we saw Katniss Everdeen, was in Catching Fire after she had destroyed the arena and was picked up by the rebellion. In Mockingjay Part one, Katniss is left to pick up the broken pieces of her sanity, and to come to terms with the things she didn’t know existed before: namely, the rebellion and district 13.

In the excitement to remove her from the crumbling wreckage of the quarter quell, Peeta was captured by the capitol. District 12 was destroyed, and the remaining survivors find sanctuary in District 13. Although destroyed on the surface many years ago, district 13 managed to survive underground with the leadership of President Coin, who runs their district with strict military precision.

This is something that’s difficult for Katniss, because she is sick of being told what to do, and where to go, especially when all she wants to do is escape the pain of the people she has lost. She agrees to be the Mockingjay, a symbol of the rebellion, only if Peeta and the other victors that were captured are rescued from the Capitol. The Mockingjay will be promoted in a series of promos to help encourage the districts to join the cause and fight against the Capitol.

What is most noticeable about this movie: the intensity. Everything has been brought up about ten notches. The first two films are mostly told from Katniss’ perspective, which is true to the novel, but for the fist time, we get a more elaborate view of the events that are happening outside of Katniss’ point of view. We see exchanges between President Coin, (Julianne Moore) and game maker, Plutarch Heavensbee (Phillip Seymore Hoffman), and also scenes between Plutarch and Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks). There are also, numerous shots of the rebellion that happen in the other districts as well.

Emotions are high; fear, and anger and heartache simmer just below the surface and it’s not difficult to catch the emotion behind the revolution, the need to fight for the right to live. This change in perspective makes sense, as Katniss’ state of mind is not always completely together, and it is clear that there is something larger at stake here.

mockingjay-part-1-trailer-still-5-cressidaKatniss is often joined by her old friend Gale, (Liam Hemsworth) and new friend Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin), but she obtains new friends in her entourage; the most surprising (and bad-ass looking) is one member of her camera crew, Cressida (Natalie Dormer) who some might know as Margaery, on Game of Thrones.

If the great cast might not draw you in, how about the soundtrack? Lorde recorded four songs for the film and even Jennifer Lawrence has her own track. Although she claims she is a terrible singer, the song she sings in the film, “The Hanging Tree,” is hauntingly beautiful and almost eerie in the way it lingers in your mind afterwards. There is no other actor alive (I believe) that would be able to play the role of Katniss so well.

“Fire IS catching.”

Here’s a look at J-Law’s awesome singing:

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Update: Schedule of Posts, and My short story, Endtown

It took me a while to figure it out, (probably longer than it should have) but I will be posting each Monday and Thursday night, with the weekends and days in between left for miscellaneous posts.

Thursday is of course the night where I will  post a short story, with a little bit more added to the story each post.

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The story is titled “Endtown,” which is turning into a paranormal/young adult short story. So far, the story focuses on Genevieve, a young teen who died way too early. Both her and her friends find themselves in Limbo, or “the in-between,” in neither Heaven or Hell. They are offered the chance to make a difference in the war that the Angels are still fighting against the demons, who are trying to take over the earth.

So far it is great practice for me, a journey-into-plot-as-I-go experience and so far I am loving it!

Last night, I posted more on “Endtown” a little later than I had planned, so if you missed it, you can view it Here. You will also find parts 1 and 2 there as well.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Happy Writing!

 

Revolution Review 10/8/12 – Tragic death, Nate and a Mother’s Love

***Spoiler Alert! If you have not watched Revolution’s most recent episode, I suggest you go do that now before reading this review!***

Photo credit: NBC.

Well, as my expectations for this fourth episode of Revolution weren’t great, my review tonight will be brief. Well, as brief as I can make it.

In tonight’s episode, the group gets chased by dogs as the search for Danny continues, while said brother barely escapes a storm with Captain Neville. Meanwhile, “Nate” joins the group to be “used for information” although, we know that he is just there to have sexy scenes with Charlie.

Perhaps it makes sense now why they made the “children” so old. They are required to do “adult things” in this show and apparently, no one will buy into the belief that a sixteen-year-old could kill, cross the country and rescue her brother. Although, if this were a young adult novel things would be different. Perhaps better written, too!

Anyway, tonight’s show focused on the back story of Maggie, a woman from England, who after the blackout makes an incredible journey from Seattle to try to get back to her kids. As it is impossible to get back to England, she finds a temporary happiness in the discovery of Ben and his family. Later on in the episode, Maggie is then stabbed by a random crazy man, who happens to own the “wild dogs” and who unluckily punctures an artery.

Perhaps most impressive from this episode was from actress Tracy Spiridakos and her outpouring of emotion as Charlie when Maggie dies. Miles then comes to a realization that although he is selfish and “comes up with the same crap excuses,” according to Nora, he is not all-terrible and finds some humanity left in him to comfort his niece and let her know that although he is a jackass, he will not abandon her. Shame. (I personally think that the character of Charlie shines when he is not in the picture. My opinion is it’s because they are both too strong of protagonists and essentially weaken the other.)

It was a nice to see “Nate,” our only hope for some kind of romance in this story, but through most of the episode he remains tied up and silent. He is, of course, ever faithful to a kidnapped Charlie and springs into action with convincing damsel in distress heroism. Meanwhile, we are left with the information that the reason that Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) remains Monroe’s “guest” is because she left her family to turn herself in to Miles, for whatever reason. For the guaranteed safety of her children? Who knows. I’m starting to think it’s for a sexual relationship with Monroe, who seems creepily familiar with the mother of two.

Although the death of Maggie was remarkably touching in this episode, (I have to admit there were tears) my frustration at this show remains. Charlie finally has a shining moment where she pushes aside her recent brush with death to comfort a dying Maggie, but sadly, it is not enough for me.

While the characters (the ones that are now alive that is) are not touching me at all, I had a feeling that although we discovered some information, tonight’s episode did not progress the plot very much. So, now we’ve got a slow-moving plot-line as well as bad characterization. Revolution loves to emphasize that there are many ways to die is this dystopian world, I hope they didn’t mean themselves, too?

The fact remains: as gut wrenching as this world is to watch because of all the easy deaths, harsh living, violence, etc., it’s even harder to watch when you don’t like the characters doing it. Best of luck, Revolution! I may or may not be seeing you again!

Revolution Review – Step Aside Charlie, Uncle Miles is Here

***Spoiler Alert! If you have not watched tonight’s episode “No Quarter,” I suggest you go do that now before reading this.***

Well, after having recovered from the disappointment of not seeing a sexy “Nate,” in tonight’s episode of Revolution, there was then more room for bloodshed as the sword fights, gunfights, shooting people, oh, and the blowing things up resumed.

One thing can be said about Revolution: they don’t skimp on the action. Where as the characters are tromping around blowing stuff up, it leaves little room for other things: like compassion, and oh…does anyone have a sense of humanity anymore? Or when the power goes out, are we really going to shoot each other because we’re starving, thirsty, cold and sick?

It’s an uncomfortable thought…and done maybe a bit too well in this show. I refuse to believe that when everything is gone to the dogs, our sense of humanity will go with it…but, perhaps that’s the case for most people. Everyone has to make a choice. Like I read in a recent interview between Once Upon a Time creators, who said: “Everyone’s got darkness in them.” But would everyone truly act on it? There’s a difference between fighting for your life and becoming a murderer. The line is getting a bit too thin here.

If that’s the case, Charlie stands out like a bright light in the darkness compared to the other characters that she is often sandwiched between. She’s all about ‘getting Danny back’ and ‘remembering what ice cream tastes like.’ But for one who has grown up in a harsher world, why does she appear so innocent? Meanwhile, Nora is all about ‘making things mean something,’ while Miles is jealous because she may or may not be seeing another man. (Is it just me, or is a jealous Miles kinda hott?)

Miles is…oh, only captain of the militia, founder of the Monroe Republic. Whaat?! (Hah! I told my mom that I had a feeling that Monroe was just a stand-in.)

Anyway, tonight’s episode was definitely a shift in character. It was definitely Mile’s story and Mile’s journey and the fact that the show started off under Charlie’s point of view seems kind of silly now. (I, who loves a great heroine…feels kinda gipped, actually.)

This story is becoming very much a Mile’s story, and no matter how much you’ve got Charlie flirting with injured young men, militia men, or shooting or blowing things up, she’s not the one behind all the goings-on here. She’s just an innocent, a bystander, who desperately needs her uncle, but at the same time, doesn’t want him telling her what to do.

While Miles certainly isn’t bad to look at, and seems to have more a complexity of character that I’m starting to admire…he’s shifty. Protagonist or Antagonist? Are the writers trying to make us love a bad man gone good kind of thing? Who obviously feels like he doesn’t care anymore, despite his actions. Or, am I just beating myself up over a character who was not thought out very well…heh. I like to hope that first impressions aren’t everything.

That being said, there is one character, however, who is surprising me and that is: Danny. For someone who is trapped, helpless and alone, he is defining himself as a character and as a person in more ways than his cross-bow shooting sister ever is. I love the fact that she is a sister who cares and wants her brother back, but what else does she stand for? He also gets great lines, too.

So does our Mr. Billionaire comic relief guy. He’s always got some interesting things to say, and he’s just a side character. So, I wonder why Charlie is so one-dimensional?? It is frustrating to see the story build on such great male roles, while our heroines are falling to the wayside. Was kind of neat to see Jacob from LOST, though.

Anyway, Revolution’s still holding strong with its action, but the characterization, or lack there of, is starting to take its toll on me. Dialogue’s not bad…some good things get said, and the casting is good, I think. Miles, is definitely a favorite of mine. (He’s just so interesting to look at!) But, sadly, Charlie is not serving a purpose. Thanks, NBC, you had us all fooled. I wouldn’t be surprised if Charlie is the one that gets killed in the next episode. It’ll probably be the blond haired chick, though. What’s her name? See, I can’t even remember. What a shame.

Revolution Review – a TV show, or a movie?

***Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t watched tonight’s episode of Revolution, go do that now before reading this! Like, really, you should!***

Well, for the most part the second episode of Revolution,  did what it was supposed to do. While satisfied, there is also mild frustration: I will be tuning in next week in the hopes of discovering just what the heck is going on!

What I didn’t expect? All the bloodshed.

This episode of Revolution definitely gives us a look at a harsher world. The lesson here: there are many ways to die in this world and if you have to, might as well die painlessly.

We’ve got Miles, and his new friend Nora killing everyone left and right. And then there’s Charlie, who sees a larger picture: Why are they living this way? Why doesn’t anyone care that people are being treated as slaves? Sometimes things really are just black and white. You do something because its wrong. Not because of an ulterior motive, which by the way, everyone seems to have in this show.

Charlie’s mother is alive? (Not that I wasn’t happy to see more of Elizabeth Mitchell, who I loved as Juliet in LOST) but wow, really? What’s her motive and where does everyone fit in a larger picture?

This episode did what LOST often did many times throughout its entire season. In one episode, we get thrown for a loop just one after the other. One more question answered and we only have about a thousand more!

What I love about this show so far?

  • The scenes we see between “Nate” and Charlie. He’s a mysterious type character with compassion and that makes him appealing and very sexy! I just want…more of him! (I’m sure there are horny girls *coughs* out there writing fanfics as we speak!)
  • The whole Civil War feel that the show is starting to get. We’ve been knocked back to the 1860’s! When the guy got shot in the stomach, I almost expected them to break out the handsaw. Now, if anyone started to sprout hideous side burns…I wouldn’t be too surprised. I get the feeling that someone involved in this show is a fan of historical fiction…
  • I love the scenery! Like my frustration and impatience up there at not seeing the larger picture, I feel like everything in this show is meant for a larger picture. There is just so much to take in all at once…and that includes the scenery. Every location has a purpose and detail and you have to pay attention!
  • Some of the dialogue. Mostly what Giancarlo Esposito’s character says.

What I don’t like about the show?

  • The lack of chemistry between the characters. I feel like for some it is slow building, though. Miles and Charlie are starting to have something. Charlie and “Nate” as well.  It still feels like we have a bunch of strangers that have been forced into this terrible situation together…they are talking at each other still, not with each other.
  • I love the twists and turns in the story, but I feel like we got too much in one episode. Odd for me to say that, as I love a show that makes you think. But, perhaps there should be more of a focus on a few characters in one episode, instead of them all at once??
  • And that brings me to this point: I said this show feels like it’s part of a larger picture, and a lot of my frustration is because of my impatience. I want to know what the heck is going on!

But that’s the whole point isn’t it? Bring back the viewers. Whether it be interesting plot turns, violence, great scenery…this second episode is drawing me back for more.

And the irony? I am frustrated at the show because I want to know more. Who? What? Where? When?  All these questions in one show, and I want them answered!

I think if the show keeps making us ask questions…it’ll be just fine. Where it might lose a large audience, is in the characters. So far, I love Charlie. But I can’t seem to say why just yet.

One thing’s for sure: Revolution is definitely meant for a larger picture. There is just so much in this show…I think it should be two hours, not one!

Hello World – You Suck

I wasn’t going to post tonight, and as it is exactly 12AM… I will not post tonight, but will say hello to tomorrow morning and hope that it does me better as soon as the sun comes up.

Well, I might have mentioned that I do not have a job. I worked for a company for about a month, and then I got a startling “You’re not working fast enough” and the company let me go. I had quit two part time jobs to work for this company full-time and suddenly I find myself out of work and on unemployment and bored as hell.

Hence, the birth of this blog. I would not have created it had I not thought, hey, now is a time to focus on the writer part of me as I apply for other jobs…

A happy cupcake I made some time ago…if I only I had one now. Another solution to stress…CHOCOLATE!!!

Well, I thought I’d take this time to express my extreme frustration in the fact that I am a college educated individual that A) seems qualified for nothing and B) cannot find anything full-time that will help me pay my bills. Sure, I can go back to retail and work for $7.75 an hour again, but I did not get a degree for nothing and I owe it to myself to try, right? (There is also the sad fact that I have the potential to make more on unemployment than if I took a part-time job working 15 hours a week. Which is what you’ll get in a lot of retail jobs.)

There’s also the sad, sad fact that I have not had health insurance since I was about 19 years old. (I am now 24.) And dammit, I want health insurance! With the right full-time, I just may get that.

Now, that I’ve whined and complained for a bit, I feel a tad better. (My poor mother, she got the brunt of it, you lucky, lucky bastards…)

And now I am going to go play a rousing game of Bloxorz and try to forget that the world sucks, and ultimately, I am a writer who is qualified for nothing. Oh, and there is the fact that the world is falling about our ears…economy…economy…economy…

I’m sure things will look better in the morning… :/  Right? Honestly, what’s the world coming to??

I can honestly understand now why someone might think that a “Revolution” might be a good idea…

Revolution Review – When the world goes crazy, what will you care about?

Well, for starters – I’m hooked!

With the characters that we see so far, the mystery, and the eerie yet beautiful scenes we see of broken down buildings, cars with plants in them, candlelight and goats…Revolution is stunning in that it brings a world to our eyes that is chilling yet thought-provoking.

From the very get go, the focus is on the electronics and how as children, Charlie and Danny are glued to the television set. When all those material and worldly possessions disappear, what is the focus?

Children. Family. Love, togetherness. The things that should matter now, but somehow get pushed to the side. I love how it makes you think: When the world goes crazy around you, what will you care about?

As for characters that caught my attention: We’ve got a comic relief of a man who used to work for Google, and who is allergic to bees; a young, hott militia man, an Uncle Miles who just might be some kind of super man, and then there’s Charlie.

A strong, young woman with a purpose and with a goal, who just happens to carry a cross-bow and wears a leather jacket. She’s stubborn, but she’s got compassion, too. And any one who has a reason to keep fighting is going to keep fighting, especially when it’s for someone they care about.

My one complaint about her: if you’re going to look so bad-ass, why must you have a cute militia man save you all the time? Although, I love the start of romance there…forbidden, no? Sexy and interesting…I’d love to see more of him too!

So far, we’ve got great things to keep me tuning in next week. The promise of romance, a great world, characters that need more explaining about, and the question that everyone wants answered: Why did the lights go out in the first place?

To quote my sister: “I have yet to decide if this will be a good enough substitution for LOST.” And me too.

There hasn’t been many shows that have been able to fill the LOST-void, but at least Revolution has one thing about it that is similar: One question answered and we only have about twenty more!

I cannot wait for next week!

Iconic Characters in Movies and TV

Just finished watching Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark and I guess I am struck tonight by how inspiring great movie characters are and the writing behind them.

When you see the silhouette of Indiana Jones on the big screen, one doesn’t always see the great writing that went into such a script, but its been something that I’ve been thinking about lately. How great movie/TV characters stay with you and are a great inspiration for me, especially as a writer.

Everything about the characterization of Indiana Jones is well thought out, so cleverly or accidentally crafted; right down to the name of course. I did not know that Indiana was the name of George Lucas’ dog at the time! Hah!

But I was just telling my mother earlier today: “Look at a great character like Sawyer from Lost.”

Mom: “Yeah, what about him?”

Me: “Everything about the character is Sawyer, even the name. You can say the name Sawyer and you automatically know who or what that person is and (in Sawyer’s case) what clever lines he might have.”

Mom: “Okay…”

But my line of thinking is this: Who wouldn’t want to create a character as great as Sawyer, or Indiana Jones or Han Solo? To write something that has become legendary and I guess that’s the ultimate success, isn’t it? When the character becomes more than what’s on the page. It just simply IS.

(Here’s hoping that the new show Revolution has a similar feel, yeah? Even some of the lines we see in the trailer look good. But ah, I digress…)

When a character, or when a character’s lines or scenes or actions get inside you and make you laugh, cry or feel something – that is the ultimate success, too. Who wouldn’t want to create a character that quite literally flies off the page and reaches others? Because I know I definitely would!

The excitement of it…every little detail; to a head nod, to a muscle twitch in someone’s left hand…to their rumpled clothes. The perfect details. The perfect character. Ah… now who wouldn’t call that poetry?

New TV Show: Revolution! Yeah!

Is anyone as excited as me about this new TV show coming on NBC in the fall??

My Dad’s only comment: “Where do they get the bows and arrows and swords from?” Hehehe. I love him.

Finally, NBC’s taking a show of post apocalyptic proportions and presenting it to us for entertainment! (Eh, with the exception of Terra Nova…and we all know how thaat turned out.) J. J. Abram’s involved, so it can’t be too terrible, right? Very excited about this!

As I am an avid TV watcher and lover (of course I am! I’m nerdy like that!) I will occasionally be reviewing some of my favorite TV shows on here. Revolution will most definitely be making an appearance. Also, keep an eye out for reviews of Vampire Diaries, Bones, and Once Upon a Time later on.

I love the summer, but I am excited about the new season of TV starting soon! FINALLY! Something worth watching! Can’t wait!