‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’ brings franchise to an epic close

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 ends with Peeta (Hutcherson) trying to choke the life out of Katniss (Lawrence) who has become the Mockingjay, symbol of the rebellion against President Snow (Sutherland) and the capitol of Panem.  Part 2 begins with Katniss recovering from that assault and the rebels attempting to undo what had been done to Peeta.  He’d been tortured and brainwashed using the venom of tracker-jackers.

Read more‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’ brings franchise to an epic close

‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ is an intense, fast-paced experience

Jennifer Lawrence is back in the hunt in 'Hunger Games: Catching Fire'
Jennifer Lawrence is back in the hunt in ‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

[rating=4]Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland
Writer(s): Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt; Based upon the novel by Suzanne Collins
Director: Francis Lawrence

When The Hunger Games was released in 2012, the talk around town was how a story that involves killing kids could keep a PG-13 rating in order to attract the audience that propelled the original novels to the top of the bestselling lists. The filmmakers were creative. Violence was shrouded by foliage. The filming, choppy and chaotic.

Read more‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ is an intense, fast-paced experience

‘Love and Honor’ tries to honor the past

Teresa Palmer and Liam Hemsworth in 'Love and Honor'
Teresa Palmer and Liam Hemsworth in ‘Love and Honor’

[rating=3]Starring:  Liam Hemsworth, Teresa Palmer, Aimee Teegarden, Austin Stowell, Chris Lowell, Max Adler, Delvon Roe and Claire Richards
Writer(s):  Jim Burnstein and Garrett K. Schiff
Director(s):  Danny Mooney

In 1969 Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the moon, while here on Earth, dozens (maybe hundreds) of U.S. soldiers in Vietnam got so-called “Dear John” letters from their girlfriends back home.  They’re called Dear John letters because during WWII, most letters from the girl back home began “My dearest Johnny” or “My darling” or something equally affectionate and sugar-coated.  When a letter started with the terse “Dear John”, soldiers knew it was bad news.

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‘The Expendables 2’ is loud, fun, and a real ‘E’ ticket adventure

'The Expendables 2' (from left to right) Jason Stratham, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger
‘The Expendables 2’ (from left to right) Jason Stratham, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger

The recipe for The Expendables 2 was pretty simple.  Take just about every famous and successful action-adventure star from the 1980s, stir into a simmering story about 5 tons of misplaced weapons grade plutonium and add lots of shooting and action.  Voila!  The nearly perfect popcorn flick for summer of 2012.

Read more‘The Expendables 2’ is loud, fun, and a real ‘E’ ticket adventure

‘The Hunger Games’ is a winner… even if you didn’t read the books

Jennifer Lawrence takes aim in 'The Hunger Games'
Jennifer Lawrence takes aim in ‘The Hunger Games’

[rating=3]Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland
Director(s): Gary Ross
Writer(s): Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins and Billy Ray, from the novel by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games is the first novel in a trilogy by author Suzanne Collins.  It was a breakout novel when first published and to give a better idea of its success and of the rest of the trilogy, Ms Collins was recently feted as being the best-selling Kindle author of all time.

Read more‘The Hunger Games’ is a winner… even if you didn’t read the books