Star – Jennifer Lawrence
Genre – Action > Fantasy > Sci-Fi
Run Time – 137 minutes
Certificate – PG13
Country – USA
Awards – 12 Nominations
Amazon – £9.99 DVD (Blue Ray £14.99)
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There is no doubt The Hunger Games is as near perfect book to film Science Fiction movie we have seen in recent cinema. With its feminist teenage tones and brilliant lead performance from the gorgeous tomboy that is Jenifer Lawrence it’s a very modern movie, Lawrence the first stand alone female lead star to gross $500 million dollars plus in four separate movies. She is the Queen of Hollywood right now and worth every penny, loved by young girls through the Suzanne Harris books as she is admired by older men who should know better. Who wouldn’t want to have beer with Jen-Lo? But there is also no doubt the Hunger Games final two movies have been a bit of a let down.
Mockingjay Part 1&2 were shot together to keep hold of hot property Lawrence to complete the series and to save money on sets and special effects. She doesn’t come cheap. If you look at the numbers below you can clearly see Jennifer Lawrence wages steeple up in through the franchise and the profits starting to go down because of, $616 million profit from the far superior film one, down to $497 million in this bland and unsatisfactory final installment. Lawrence has been vociferous on women’s pay and rights in Hollywood of late and it’s worked, the success of the Hunger Games movies seeing saw her eventually become the highest paid female Hollywood star last year at $52 million, twice that of Scarlett Johansson in second on $27m. It never hurts to ask for a pay rise is the moral of the story. That still doesn’t explain why Jennifer Aniston is still in the top ten though? But the movies work on what you are worth at the box office to the punters and so paid by bums on seats, male or female, stars called stars for a reason. In the over-rated and dull American Hustle, Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale and Jeremy Renner were all given a perfunctory 9 percentage points from that movie profits whilst Oscar nominated Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence for that same movie got just 7 percentage points each. The question you then have to ask is what stars did the public come out to see in that movie? Well no one can’t argue that they came to see Lawrence in The Hunger Games movies and the $2.5 billion the four films have gushed in evidence of her pulling power, why she was paid considerably more than the male stars in the films.
The Hunger Games budget - $78 million budget - $694 million gross
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - $130 million budget - $865 million gross
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 -$125 million budget - $765 million gross
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 - $160 million budget - $653 million gross
Jennifer Lawrence ... Katniss Everdeen
Josh Hutcherson ... Peeta Mellark
Liam Hemsworth ... Gale Hawthorne
Woody Harrelson ... Haymitch Abernathy
Donald Sutherland ... President Snow
Philip Seymour Hoffman ... Plutarch Heavensbee
Julianne Moore ... President Alma Coin
Willow Shields ... Primrose Everdeen
Sam Claflin ... Finnick Odair
Elizabeth Banks ... Effie Trinket
Mahershala Ali ... Boggs
Jena Malone ... Johanna Mason
Jeffrey Wright ... Beetee
Paula Malcomson ... Katniss's Mother
Stanley Tucci ... Caesar Flickerman ...
The rebellion has begun and the districts are falling to the rebels. But some are holding out for President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and rallying for the capital of Panam, his powerbase. Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) is still the symbol of the revolution and after surviving the battle for the rebellious District 12 and she wants to get back into the fight. President elect of Panam, Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), and leader of the rebellion is not keen for the surviving Hunger Games winners to fight on the front line and holds them back for PR reasons. But Katniss is sworn to killing Snow and wants to sneak into the city and do the deed.
Love interest Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) is still semi brainwashed from the last film and has divided angry loyalties between Katniss and Snow but still deemed mentally fit enough too battle with the good guys, joining other Hunger Game winners assembled for a special combat team to go into District Two to advance on the capital that way. Their job will be to make propaganda films of the war and the advance on Panam to encourage other Districts to side with the rebels. It will be hazardous as the route is covered in deadly booby traps.
Nearing the capital the team takes losses and Katniss reveals her intentions to assassinate Snow. This will mean a change of plan and far more danger. Other hunky love interest Gale (Liam Hemsworth) is on board and they enter the sewers to close in on Snows palace. But President elect Alma Coin may have another agenda that puts everyone in danger and things may not be changing any day soon.
Watching the final installment is like being at a beach resort in October as you know the fun and sun has moved on and you are still there. Mockingjay 1&2 have been disappointing and even if they had edited them down to just one movie (they really should have) the dénouement is still not a patch on the first two films energy and ideas. Both the Mockingjay’s are stretched like Joan Rivers eyebrows, the studio achieving the shameless cash-in of making two not one films you just know the fans are going to watch, a bit like what they did with the Twilight stuff and, indeed Breaking Bad with this part one and two crap. Not that director Francis Lawrence had any choice, taking over from 4 times Oscar nominee Gary Ross who dumped out after The Hunger Games very much the studio director under the thumb. This franchise has been spoiled by the moneymakers. I’m sure Gary would have insisted on just three films and they all would have been belters. There is simply not enough material for four movies. Time after time the action stops for some needless talky scene or posturing in black leather and kills the tempo stone dead. It then just comes down to which regular characters are going to be killed off and will Everdeen get back with Peter. And boy does it not know how to finish, at least five endings and the most important one edited out. Somebody pi**ed on the fireworks.
This was the lowest opening weekend of the franchise in the box office, only making $102.7M. Any plans of more spin-off movies will need some thought. The Hobbit movies didn’t exactly reignite the Lord of the Rings franchise. As one critic said –‘It's frustrating to watch Jennifer Lawrence be marched from plot point to plot point, ‘and put this costume on Jen’, just getting things over with’, clearly having other things on her mind. The schedule and pressure was grueling for Jen-Lo with all four movies made in just 3 years. She is the critical mass energy of the movies and that fizz gone by film three. But the series has to be ended and our super girl is here to close it out and wrap up the story like a pro. It’s hard not to like Jennifer Lawrence, the feminist all men dream of, hot and fun and not a man hater.
The final film lacks the big action and strong writing it needed to compliment the first two films and the political stuff seems to have lost its edge. Again it feels like all concerned just wanted to get it over with because they were forced into two films. The silly names of the characters remain and the love interest all out of chemistry and the black leather look very much this seasons fashion for the final movie. The films have a strange fixation with fashion for some reason. But the real test of the two final movies is what the fans think and judging by the fall off in the gross and Imdb rating from 7.3 to 6.7, I’m guessing they, too, were disappointed with the flat second half of the four.
Imdb.com – 6.7/10.0 (124,453votes)
Rottentomatos.com – 70 % critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 65% critic’s approval
NONE on regular DVD.
ABC Radio –‘I remember struggling with Suzanne Collins' final book. It didn't have the same sense of urgency and excitement. My thoughts on this movie are essentially the same’.
The Mail –‘I understand that YA books succeed by transposing real teen concerns into life-and-death fantasy situations, but any connection to the characters that existed by the end of 2013's Catching Fire has been stripped away by these plodding Mockingjay movies’
MSN.COM –‘It's frustrating to watch the Jennifer Lawrence be marched from plot point to plot point, just getting things over with’.
New Orleans Sentinel –‘While there's lots to recommend the movie, the silly premise is the only thing I could focus on for the entire 2 hours and 17 minutes -- which is inexcusably long for a movie that is actually just half of a movie’.
The Mirror –‘This 137 minute conclusion results heavy and drags considerably due to its lack of what it promised: Action, emotion, unrestrained rage’.
Q Network –‘action and theme don't always cohere, and what's good in the film too often has to be dug out from under a lot of underwhelming excess’.
The Mail-‘Affirms Katniss Everdeen's status as the most significant of the reluctant teen heroes who have battled adult tyranny in the fantasy movie series of the past few decades (and no, I'm not forgetting Luke Skywalker or Harry Potter)..
Cineworld is a national cinema chain. There are currently just under 80 Cineworld cinemas in the United Kingdom.
In the past, I have visited Cineworld lots of times. Located in the Shropshire town of Shrewsbury is about a two minute drive from the high street. It is located next door to Asda as well as a few other places.
~ * WELCOME * ~
The entrance to the cinema is very attractive - I remember when the cinema was new (around ten years ago). They have a lovely bright purple carpet - the same one since it first opened, although it has worn quite a bit. There is a large open space here which means that when it is busy, there is still plenty of room.
~ * CHOICE OF FILMS * ~
There are usually around at least 10 movies available to choose from. There are different movies to suit all tastes whether it is a romantic comedy you are after, or a sci-fi film or action movie. There is something for all including children. There are also some 3D movies available as well as the same movies in 2D which is good if you do not want to watch a 3D movie.
You can buy 3D glasses from the cinema (you won't be able to see a 3D movie without the glasses - it will just be all fuzzy and make you feel sick) when you buy your ticket. They cost 80p although you can use them over and over again and so I would say they are good value for money.
~ * TICKETS * ~
You can buy your tickets either to the right of this 'large space' (you can also get film and ticket information here), or you can buy them from the large food and drinks counter when you buy your drinks.
~ * BEN AND JERRY'S * ~
There is also a Ben and Jerry's ice cream counter which I think is great. Although, I have used this counter to get ice cream in the past, I don't always get it because it is very expensive - it can cost over £5 for just 3 scoops - which is ironic when you see big signs outside the ASDA next door selling a whole tub of Ben and Jerry's for just £1.98.
~ * STAFF * ~
The staff are usually students and young people. Whilst they are nice, you can tell that they are just there to do their job as they don't really 'go over the top' to make you feel welcome which is a bit of shame.
I remember a few years back, my friend and I went to the cinema and we were waiting by the ice cream counter. We were waiting for around 5- 10 minutes and the girl behind the counter (we could see her, because the door to the back room was open) was just squashing and jumping on cardboard boxes, but could very clearly see us waiting because she was watching us and you could tell that she was really annoyed as a queue was now forming. When she eventually came out 'huffing' and 'puffing', she flung the 'glass cover' to the ice cream up which made a loud bang and then shouted at us what did we want, whilst giving us and everyone else in the queue evils at the same time. I guess that kind of put me off going to the ice cream counter, because she made us feel as though we were a nuisance. I get my own back though because I end up saving an extra £5 when I go to the cinema.
~ * FINDING YOUR WAY AROUND * ~
Finding your way is around is fairly easy. Once you have bought your ticket, you have to go past the 'person on the door' who will 'rip your ticket in half' (presumably so that you cannot use it again once you have seen the film). They will then tell you which srceen to go to. I think that there are around 11 or 12 screens in this cinema.
You will then enter the long dark corridor (they have lighting, but it is still quite dark) where the screens are located - on left and right sides of the corridor. The screens are labelled very clearly.
~ * THE SCREENS * ~
Each screen room (cinema) is different - some are quite big with raised seats (seating hundreds I guess), whereas there are also some smaller ones seating around a 100 (just another guess). The smaller screen rooms are much more intimate than the bigger ones which I find because there are so many people in front of you, behind you and to the sides, it is hard to concentrate. In the larger rooms with the raised seats, I like that they have seats of threes and fours on the sides as it means that if you are in a group of three or four, you can sit together which is nice.
The screens are massive and so you can see what is going on very clearly. The sound is always good - loud enough so everyone can hear, yet not too loud.
The seats are very comfy - proper cinema seats as I would call them. They are very cushiony yet quite 'hard' (but not too hard) at the same time. They also have great armrests and a big drinks holder to hold your drinks.
~ * Prices * ~
Adult (after 5pm Mon, Wed-Fri, all day Sat-Sun) £8.00
Adult (before 5pm Mon, Wed-Fri) £6.70
Child(14 & Under)/Senior (Mon, Wed-Sun) £6.00
Student (Mon, Wed-Sun) £6.40
Bargain Tuesday £5.20
Movies for Juniors (Sat am) £1.00
Weekend prices apply to Bank Holidays
Adult - additional £2.10 for 3D films
Child/Student/Senior/Unlimited - an additional £1.50 for 3D films
3D Glasses 80p per pair
~ * Paying * ~
You can either pay by cash or by card, either Mastercard, Maestro or Visa.
~ * Discounts * ~
Cineworld do do concessions for children, students and senior people. This is good because you get a couple of pounds off. When I took two years out from studying, I was having to pay the full price of just under £8 at the time. However, a few weeks ago, I went there with my student card and ended up paying something like £5.80 instead of the full price of £8 which I think is great. You certainly make a great saving. Students (over 17) need to show a valid student card in order to get the discount.
~ * MUNCHIES * ~
Going to the cinema can prove to be an expensive outing. Once you have bought your tickets, there is of course the food and drink. A medium sized fizzy drink can set you back around £3. You can buy bags of sweets such as Maltesers and Minstrels for around £3. They also do Hot Dogs again around £3-4 and of course pop corn which I think is very expensive - around £5 for a large one if I remember correctly.
There is also a pick and mix section - although I have only used this once. The cost of it put me off. I ended up spending around £4-£5 on a ¼ bag full of sweets. Good job I didn't fill the bag right to the top - I wouldn't have been able to afford it!
~ * PARKING * ~
There is free parking (yeah!!!) and whilst the car parks do look quite big, they do fill up very, very quickly and so I would advise getting there early otherwise you may not be able to find a parking space, or you will have to park in that tight space which everyone else has avoided because you will have to struggle to get into it and struggle to get out of it.
~ * CINEWORLD AND THE SURROUNDING AREAS * ~
If you really want to make a night of it e.g. go for a meal before watching a film, then there are plenty of options to choose from. There is a Chinese buffet called 'The Dragon King' which is located conveniently, right next door to the cinema (check out my review) where you can eat as much as you want for around £11.
There is also a Nando's ,although I have never tried here. There is also a pub where you can have something to eat or drink before the film, or go for a drink after the film. So there is plenty to choose from.
~ * EXTRA TIPS, POINTS AND INFORMATION * ~
One thing which I do not like about the cinema experience is that; for example they will say that film starts at 8pm, so you are sat down ready for the film to start at 8pm, when in fact the film itself will not start until around 8:45pm and so you have just wasted around three quarters of an hour watching adverts! It really annoys me. But then if you say 'ok we'll get there ½ an hour after the 'film time', it is sometimes difficult to find a seat. So you can't win either way.
There is a cash machine right next door - very useful.
There is also an arcade / games area where you can waste time (and more money) whilst you are waiting for a film to start).
There are plenty of toilets and you very rarely have to queue - they are usually quite clean too which is an added bonus.
There is disabled access and disabled parking - 14 spaces in all.
Guide dogs are allowed in the cinema.
Remember to turn your mobile phone off - there are plenty of warnings during the adverts that I am sure it will be impossible for you to forget.
If you love going to the cinema and go on a regular basis, there is a card available called the 'Unlimited Card' where you pay £14.99 a month and can go and see as many films as you like. I guess this is a good thing if you go a few times a month, because at £8 a ticket you do make a great saving. However, if you don't go many times, then you could end up paying more than you get back. So it all depends on how much you go to the cinema.
Children under 8 are not allowed in the cinema without an adult over 18 - no matter what the rating of the film is.
I was reading on the internet that Cineworld works with local councils and so if a child goes to the cinema during school time, they will not be allowed in to watch a movie.
I was also reading on the internet how Cineworld are very against people bringing in food and drink which they have got from anywhere other than the cinema - apparently a security guard searched a customer's bag, found sweets that they hadn't bought in the cinema and then threw them out! This wasn't at this cinema though, this was somewhere else. So be careful, just in case.
~ * MY FINAL THOUGHTS * ~
I would definitely recommend this cinema - even if I do get annoyed about certain things. The films are always of high quality though and that is the main reason I go to the cinema so I just ignore the little annoying parts.
Thanks for reading!
Xdonzx / xd-o-n-z-x