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The Hunger Games – Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)

The Hunger Games - Mockingjay  - Part 1 (2014)

I don't remember how many parts of The Hunger Games I've watched so far. I remember how it started, but not everything that happened after that. I recall the games, how the dome fell down, and then... they were picked up by a rebel force? That must have happened, because all of a sudden they're at a rebel base. There's a president. There are old foes and friends gathered around, but there have been sacrifices as well.

Katniss was saved by the opposition, but Peeta was taken in by the capital. The rebels are fighting for their cause, for a free world, for the games to end. Katniss becomes a symbol of their freedom, an intentional symbol, used to move the revolution onward. At times the story feels a bit superficial, unreal, but at times it's captivating. I'm enjoying the post-apocalyptic sceneries and underground bunkers as much as the modern technology, and the occasional glimpse of a forest. And yet, this doesn't feel like a movie I'll remember that much.

It has it moments, like the dam rush. That was one inspiring moment. It has great actors. It has a tale of revolution and new world order, and yet it focuses more on the fragile relations between people. It's more drama than action, and though I enjoyed it, I can't say I'm particularly amazed or emotionally moved. All the same, I'm looking forward to the sequel!

 rated 3/5: not bad

The Hobbit 2 – The Desolation Of Smaug (2013)

The Hobbit 2 - The Desolation Of Smaug (2013)

The first movie ended peacefully, the second not so! The credit music feels incredibly suitable, Ed Sheeran singing his hit song "I see fire, inside the mountain" ... "And if we should die tonight, we should all die together" ... "Watch the flames burn off and on, the mountainside... desolation comes upon the sky". Suddenly it makes sense! It dawns on me, the new dawn, the soundtrack this song was made for, and what a song it was.

The movie? Surpasses the first. In difference from the Lord Of The Rings series, there's no death. Not yet. No sacrifice. At least not noticeable such - the foes are falling like flies. But it comes close. The mountains of treasure, the quest to open the door that only one key can open - only in the last light of day, on the one day, the one and only. A growing evil, a crisis creeping on towards its culmination, the dragon, the stone giants, the elves... the way it's going, everything may not go so well for everyone.

It's a captivating mixture of adventure and fantasy, of special effects and real footage, and writing this as the credit music plays makes it all seem the more awesome. Magnificent. Each and every part, from the Elven encounter, to Sauron appearing as a flame in the darkness, to the heaps of treasure in the abandoned tombs of the city under the mountain. I can't wait for the next one!

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey (2012)

The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey (2012)

I've been avoiding this movie for a while now, for reasons unknown. At first I think it was something about how some people got motion sickness from watching it... but was that just the 3D effects?

Whatever the reason was, I've seen it now, and it was great. The atmosphere is just like in the Lord Of The Ring movies, first one of which I've watched countless times by now. Too many times. I don't think I'll be watching this one quite as much, but it was definitely a memorable experience! As rich in sights and sceneries (I wonder how many of them are natural!) as in overall atmosphere (as in the perceivable atmosphere, the mood, it's not only about grand visuals) and the many varied character persona's.

There's battle too. There's that famous moment where Bilbo meets Golum and escapes with the ring (which apparently wasn't such a dark force at the time), there's the short stop at Rivendell, Bilbo's first battle, and the start of his somewhat hesitant venture out from the comfortable coziness of his Bag End creep-in to the outer reaches of the world, and ultimately, to the last Dwarven stronghold of Middle Earth! Erebor.

Two hours forty and minutes passed by with surprising speed, and it ends with a bird flying off into the sunset, Bilbo saying "he's sure the worst is behind them". As the allseing viewer we get a glimpse into the stronghold, where Smaug, the fire-breathing beast, stirs from his slumber. The filming is as masterful as the special effects, and I do wonder how they make everyone look like a dwarf. As I do imagine not all (if any) of them are.

Compared to the LOTR series it's a bit more light-hearted and humorous, but there are dark moments too, which I suppose will grow with each sequel. I wasn't planning to watch more than this first movie for now, but it seems it may be a long night! Part two here I come...

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Hickey & Boggs (1972)

Hickey & Boggs (1972)

Here's a movie from the good old days when you could actually read through the credits and count the names, when blood looked like red paint (it might have been red paint too), people had fun behind the camera and weren't all too stressed on set either. Not all too set on making the action as pompous and extravagant as possible, but they did give it an edge.

It's a down to Earth action drama featuring Bill Cosby and Robert Culp, as maybe the first ever black and white cop duo in a movie, maybe the first in what seems to have become an entire genre since then. If you do know of any earlier titles, post a comment! Though, they aren't actually cops, they're PI's.

PI, short for Private Investigator, a tough and ungratuitous occupation. What starts as a simple case to track down a girl, for 'romantic purposes', quickly evolves into a series of near death experiences, a loss of loved ones, both the criminals and the cops hunting them down for different reasons, and in the end: one final showdown on a warm sandy beach.

One particular thing I like with this movie are the bullet holes, as seen in the image above. As long as the weapons are hitting inanimate objects, it looks like they're actually firing live rounds. Small explosive charges detonated from a distance, maybe? Small detonations camouflaged inside actual bullet holes that are blown free and revealed? Whatever trick they're using, I imagine it wouldn't be allowed now! If someone with professional aim isn't in fact firing live rounds. Which is why watching movies from the seventies is a special experience! Not incredibly exciting all the way through, but down-to-Earth and realistic with a few bouts of extra action. Good watch.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Revenge Of The Green Dragons (2014)

Revenge Of The Green Dragons (2014) Revenge Of The Green Dragons (2014)

The Green Dragons were one of many gangs in the US during a time of great illegal immigration from Asian countries. The immigrants came there chasing a dream, but the people who helped them in were the ones living that dream; making a fortune. Not everybody liked immigrants, and yet it was the immigrants who went against themselves the most, spawning gangs, fighting, killing, chasing riches and a place to fit in.

It's a gritty talk, dark and oppressive, narrated by what seems like a main character. It's about gang culture, crime, and not enough justice. Complicated relationships, life, the future, and what does it take for a person to become who they are? What does it take for them to get a death wish? What does it take for them to stop caring? What does it take to become who they are? I watched the ending with a sense of apathy, as if I was becoming one of the ones I followed on the screen. It's a sad tale, but compelling, captivating and cleverly scripted. Great watch.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle
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