Upcoming Theatrical Releases
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
Director: Francis Lawrence and Francis Lawrence (II)
PG-13; 2 hr. 5 mins.
The worldwide phenomenon of The Hunger Games continues to set the world on fire with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which finds Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in District 13 after she literally shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin (Julianne Moore) and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and a nation moved by her courage. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is directed by Francis Lawrence from a screenplay by Danny Strong and Peter Craig and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. The novel on which the film is based is the third in a trilogy written by Suzanne Collins that has over 65 million copies in print in the U.S. alone. (Synopsis by Lionsgate)
About what you would expect; impressive, but dragged out too long. There is about 45 minutes worth of movie here that is stretched over two hours. Lawrence is still impressive, but even she can’t overcome the downtime. See it.
The Theory of Everything
Director: James Marsh
PG-13; 2 hr. 3 mins.
Starring Eddie Redmayne (“Les Misérables”) and Felicity Jones (“The Amazing Spider-Man 2”), this is the extraordinary story of one of the world’s greatest living minds, the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde. Once a healthy, active young man, Hawking received an earth-shattering diagnosis at 21 years of age. With Jane fighting tirelessly by his side, Stephen embarks on his most ambitious scientific work, studying the very thing he now has precious little of – time. Together, they defy impossible odds, breaking new ground in medicine and science, and achieving more than they could ever have dreamed. The film is based on the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, by Jane Hawking, and is directed by Academy Award winner James Marsh (“Man on Wire”). (Synopsis by Focus)
The performances are award-worthy even if the story comes across, in Hawking’s words, as only “broadly true.” His intellectual accomplishments take a back seat to the romantic notions of the script. Disappointing, as there is much more to Hawking’s life than a simple love story. See it.
Upcoming DVD Releases
22 Jump Street
Director: Chris Miller (VII) and Phil Lord
R; 1 hr. 50 mins.
After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) when they go deep undercover at a local college. But when Jenko meets a kindred spirit on the football team, and Schmidt infiltrates the bohemian art major scene, they begin to question their partnership. Now they don’t have to just crack the case – they have to figure out if they can have a mature relationship. If these two overgrown adolescents can grow from freshmen into real men, college might be the best thing that ever happened to them. (Synopsis by Sony)
As surprisingly good as “21 Jump Street” turned out to be, this may be even more enjoyable. It’s goofy, ironic, and a darn good time. It helps that the script is self-aware enough to recognize the silliness of the premise. See it.
Frank Miller’s in City: A Dame to Kill For
Director: Frank Miller (II) and Robert Rodriguez
R; 1 hr. 42 mins.
Co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller reunite to bring Miller’s visually stunning “Sin City” graphic novels back to the screen in SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR. Weaving together two of Miller’s classic stories with new tales, the town’s most hard boiled citizens cross paths with some of its more notorious inhabitants. SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR is the follow up to Rodriguez and Miller’s 2005 groundbreaking film, FRANK MILLER’S SIN CITY. (Synopsis by Dimension)
Almost a carbon copy of the 2005 offering, making this a largely pointless film that isn’t nearly as enjoyable as it could be. Waiting almost 10 years for a release left this a little stale. Rent it.