The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

click to enlarge The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

In the first part of director Francis Lawrence’s fracturing of the conclusion of the Young Adult sensation The Hunger Games, we get the ever-heroic Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) struggling to save her Games compatriot Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) and her beloved District from the vicious, despotic onslaught of President Snow (Donald Sutherland), with the aid of President Coin (Julianne Moore) and her team of trusted advisors — Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) and Plutarch Heavensbee (the late Philip Seymour Hoffman). As someone who never read any of the novels by Suzanne Collins, I can’t help but wonder if the current trend of breaking concluding chapters of popular series into two-part movies is really anything more than a cash-grab by the studios and filmmakers. I mean, how much more lovingly detailed is the portrayal of this world than, say, Peter Jackson’s rendering of Tolkien, which, to my estimation, stands as an artistically worthy example for multi-part feature film adaptations. (Opens wide Friday) – (PG-13) Not screened in time for review

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