The long awaited fourth film from the three book series starring Jennifer Lawrence, Julianna Moore, Donald Sutherland and Josh Hutcherson gets off to a great start with a new energy and focus on the series roots, absolute power corrupts and the character Katniss is the underdog symbol of hope.
Ultimately, the story defaults to a sputtering series of misfires including mutants, fire bombs, and intelligent boiling oil. The character development is equally flawed to the point where the viewers may come away from the theater with a yawn and a shrug as did our party of eight spanning ages 20+ to 83.
Perhaps expectations by the audience were just too high. Overall, as a body of work, the series will probably fall into the classics category. Collectively it should. Hunger Games 1 and 2 were groundbreaking. Three was a so so setup for the finale that turned out to be a big balloon that ran out of air, not unlike the love interests that seems to all but evaporate in this final episode.
Note: I was impressed how the late Philip Seymour Hoffman character as gamemaster survived the editing process with the clever use of a letter. Kudos to the Writers, Director and Producers.
Peggy Guggenheim, Art Addict
This documentary film tries to explain the complex life, personality and passion for Peggy Guggenheim’s thirst and appreciation for the emerging Modern Art movement of the 20th Century. Now recognized globally as a priceless collection reflective of dozens of “then emerging” artists, this film zeros in on the life and times of Ms. Guggenheim herself; her childhood and life history unfold, her strengths and flaws all there for critical examination.
Having seen the collection in New York and Venice first hand, I sat mesmerized by her monumental achievement, how she accomplished her vision, and equally important, how she lived her life, her way, critics notwithstanding. I am so pleased she chose to share her life’s work with the world.
If you like modern art, if you like strong individuals with vision, if you respect out-of-the-box thinking, I cannot imagine not liking this story.
First and foremost, Tom Hardy pulls off the almost impossible task of portraying both of the true to life leading character twins, Ronnie and Reggie Kray, the notorious and ruthless crime bosses of East End, London of the 1960s. Add the exceptional cinematography and set production and I wondered why this film just didn’t work for me.
One, it took a while to differentiate one twin from the other. Two, these are not nice people and yet there is a huge effort for the audience to like them. Three, the violence is excessive and brutal then sandwiched with an attempt to legitimize their behaviors and actions.
On the bright side, Emily Browning’s role as Reggie’s love interest and wife gives a believable performance albeit a roller coaster ride. The sets are stunning. You feel like you are in the period. That’s great work but I still cannot recommend it, maybe pay per view…just make sure you are in the mood.
Rating: 1 Globe