There are only three books in The Hunger Games “trilogy” but Lionsgate, the studio behind the release of the movies, got greedy – as did Warner Bros. with their Harry Potter film franchise – and divided the final book, Mockingjay, into two movies.
Lionsgate also did the same with the book Breaking Dawn, releasing the movie in two parts.
The studio, Lionsgate, uses the moniker “The Hunger Games” to precede the accurate titles of the second, third and fourth movies, Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part 1 and Mockingjay Part 2.
The books were not referred to as “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” or “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.”
Readers and fans of the series are quite aware without having their intelligence insulted to know that the movies are part of The Hunger Games franchise. (Lionsgate did the same stupid thing with their Twilight film franchise, having the tag line “The Twilight Saga” precede the title of each subsequent movie in the franchise).
Mockingjay Part 1 tells half the story of the book Mockingjay, the final book in The Hunger Games trilogy. In it, Katniss Everdeen (played by Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrwence) reluctantly becomes the symbol of a mass rebellion against the autocratic Capitol.
Mockingjay Part 1 movie review
By Audrey Shine
Well, we have to see it. It progresses the story line. But it doesn’t have the excitement or the character interaction of the first two. I confess that I didn’t read the books. And that, I think, is a good thing, because movies should stand on their own.
It is wonderful to see Philip Seymour Hoffman again, although a little sad. Elizabeth Banks shines in her new dressed down role. Julianne Moore is brilliant and convincing as the President of District 13, although a little subdued and cerebral considering the severity of the situation. Josh Hutcherson captures our attention with his small, but striking, pivotal role. Liam Hemsworth? Is it legal to be that good looking?
The reunion of the major characters seemed to me that they were never together on set. The movie just lacks that spark, although they tried and tried and tried again. There are so many closeups of Jennifer Lawrence reacting to the horrific situation she finds herself in, (shades of Shaileen Woodley in Divergent) that it had the opposite effect – a lack of real passion and spontaneity. Maybe that was the directors’ version of PTSD, but it just got repetitive.
The movie is dark and grainy, probably deliberately. The cinematography fits the subject and direction, but I was hoping for more of the “pop” of the first 2 films. Many of the bombed out scenes looked like drawings. I saw it in a super lux theater – plush leather recliners, 49 Dolby Atmos speakers, and the latest Barco projection – which probably revealed too much of the movie’s secrets. Since the director, Francis Lawrence, also directed “Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, which I could watch a zillion times, I concluded that the script was just so-so.
Nonetheless, I’m really looking forward to Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II. Its release date is November 20, 2015. In the meantime, I might read the books.