Hunger Games MockingJay part 1 review

Note: This review was original published on November 10. We’ve bumped it up now that the film is in theaters. 

It’s a shame The Hunger Games series gets filed into the “young adult” category. Sure, there’s some dystopian young romance in there, but with each subsequent film, the series proves it is about much more than unattainable love with sporadic action. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 takes the series to its furthest point from YA stereotypes yet.

However, what’s most interesting about this latest installment — the first part of a two-part finale — is just how different it is from the rest of the franchise. Is that a good thing? Below, read why The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 feels like a different franchise. Read More »

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andrew Garfield mel Gibson

With Spider-Man stuck in a bit of a void, Andrew Garfield is filling his time wisely. He’ll soon shoot Silence with Martin Scorsese, and now he might team up with another Oscar-winning director: Mel Gibson. Both Gibson and Garfield are circling a World War II project called Hacksaw Ridge. It’s the true story of Desmond T Doss, a U.S. military doctor (played by Garfield, if it all works out) who refuses to kill patients badly injured in battle. As a result, Doss was the first “Conscientious Objector” to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. Gibson would direct the film. Read more about the potential Andrew Garfield Mel Gibson team up below. Read More »

John Woo The Crossing trailer

Cutting movies in half is very hip these days. Twilight, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and now…John Woo? Yes, the director of Hard Boiled, The Killer and Face/Off made a two-parter in 2008 with Red Cliff, and he’s doing it again this year with The Crossing. An epic romance set against the tragedy of a capsized ferry in 1949, it stars Zhang Ziyi and was written by Melody Wang, who wrote Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Now, that might sound like it’s John Woo’s Titanic, but it’s much bigger than that. The Crossing is a romance, a disaster film, a war film and more all rolled into one. It truly looks epic.

In China, The Crossing Part 1 opens in December and The Crossing Part 2 opens May 2015. There’s no U.S. release date yet. But, based on this trailer, I hope it gets one soon. Read More »

American Sniper poster header

Director Clint Eastwood has great aspirations for American Sniper. First and foremost, he hopes to make a movie paying tribute to the most deadly sniper in the history of the United States. That’s the late Chris Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper. He also hopes to show Kyle not as only a heroic solider, but a complex man confident in his actions and concerned about of their results. The film paints a grim picture of post-traumatic stress disorder and what it does to our veterans, especially in regards to their families. Finally, there’s also a drive to keep things exciting, so there are many gun battles in the deserts of Iraq.

Yes, American Sniper is an incredibly ambitious film with many moving parts. All of those parts work in certain instances, but only on rare occasions do they all come together at once. The disconnection makes the film fall just short of those great aspirations.

American Sniper had its World Premiere on Veterans Day at AFI Fest presented by Audi and you can read the rest of our review below. Read More »

Testament of Youth UK trailer

Kit Harington and Alicia Vikander star in Testament of Youth as friends, and potential lovers, who are separated by the insanity of the First World War. Based on the memoir by Vera Brittain, considered one of the primary accounts of the war from a woman’s perspective, the film follows the dawning independence of Brittain (Vikander), and the relationship she forges with her brother’s friend, played by Harington. In this Testament of Youth UK trailer we’re treated to some glowing pullquotes, but also to many visions of England and Europe during the years before and during the war. This is a much more effective look at the film than the last trailer we saw; have a look below. Read More »

Michael Bay May Direct Benghazi Movie ’13 Hours’

Michael Bay benghazi

Michael Bay is in talks to direct a Benghazi movie. The film in question is 13 Hours, based on the book 13 Hours: A Firsthand Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi by Mitchell Zuckoff. Paramount optioned that book prior to publication, and Chuck Hogan has scripted an adaptation. The deal isn’t set yet, but few things seem like such an appropriately Bizarro World choice as having Bay turn the Benghazi attacks — an awful situation regardless of politics —  into an action movie. Read More »

Fury international trailer

David Ayer’s Fury is a solid film. If features great performances all around, the tank battles are legitimately thrilling, and there is some really unsettling imagery that lands the message of how war is hell. But the film, like many of Ayer’s other movies, glorifies the idea of being part of an unflinching brotherhood in the face of unspeakable odds. And that’s simply not the message I took away from watching it.

Hit the jump to see my full video review of Fury.
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new Unbroken trailer

Angelina Jolie takes her second turn as director with Unbroken, which adapts the book by Laura Hillenbrand to tell the story of Olympic competitor and WWII hero Louis Zamperini (Jack O’Connell). The film’s first trailer focused quite a bit on Zamperini’s upbringing, but this new Unbroken trailer focuses primarily on the war and its aftermath, during which Zamperini and two other Air Force crewmen survived the crash of their plane, only to be picked up by the Japanese Navy.

Transferred through a set of Japanese POW camps, Zamperini and Russel Allen Phillips were held captive from 1943 until the end of the war in 1945, during which time they experienced horrific treatment, some of which is seen briefly in this trailer. Read More »

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