Archive for the ‘hunger games’ Tag

Weekend Update (March 18 – March 24, 2012)   Leave a comment

So here’s a recap of the different things that happened the past week:

 * The Philippines won two awards at the 6th Asian Film Awards last Monday at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. Shamaine Buencamino won Supporting Actress for Nino while Eugene Domingo  won the People’s Choice for Best Actress. This is the second time that a Filipino won an acting award after Gina Pareno won in the same category for Serbis way back in 2009. Iran’s A Separation swept the awards this year winning Picture, Director and Screenplay for Asghar Farhadi, and Editing. Eugene Domingo, who was shimmering in gold, was the crowd favorite, thanks to her funny banter with Andy Lau. She also gets to present Best Supporting Actor that night. Hurray for Pinoy pride!

Photo courtesy of pep.ph

* FX’s American Horror Story officially campaigns in the Miniseries categories at the Emmys this year. Given the format of the series, this is the logical thing to do in order to earn more Emmy nods. However, their eligible material (13 episodes) is 12 times more than their possible competition this year. While I don’t think Connie Britton will defeat Julianne Moore or Nicole Kidman for the Emmy, she is now guaranteed a nomination. Jessica Lange will transfer her frontrunner status at the Miniseries Supporting Actress category with literally no one having a chance against her.

* In other Jessica Lange news, she now replaces Glenn Close in the Elizabeth Olsen starrer Therese Raquin. For the longest time, Close has been attached to the project despite some names literally coming and going. However, it’s now official that Lange will be replacing her for the role of Madame Raquin. Between this and Sally Field’s role in Lincoln, it’s safe to say that Meryl Streep is NOT hogging all the roles for 60+ aged actresses.

 * For some reality show news, Erika van Pelt finally left Idol stage, as she was eliminated at last Thursday’s results show. Sporting a new  Adam Lambert look-a-like makeover, it seems like the change of look didn’t provide her any luck. While it was Heejun Han who everybody predicted to be a goner that night, it will only take a few weeks before EVP will also be a goner. Take it as a case of foregone conclusion. Next week will probably be Heejun’s farewell unless he turns into a Sanjaya or John Stevens.

 Photo courtesy of gossip,whyfame.com

* Over at The Voice, I’ve witnessed probably the advancement of the worst vocals into the live shows in the longest time that I have been watching singing reality shows. Erin Martin’s butchering over The Garage Brothers of Tina Turner’s classic “What’s Love Got to Do With It” is a big slap to genius Jamie Lono for not making it last week. Dear Erin made it sound as if Ke$ha is a Mariah or a Celine. She’s not even singing! Between this and Chessa three weeks ago, we all know that Purrfect the Cat and not Cee-Lo, should be the one tp choose the victors for his battle rounds.

* The women of Wisteria Lane a.k.a the Desperate Housewives get one last time to cover Entertainment Weekly as a group. As the nearing series finale comes, we get to see more juicy and interesting storylines among the four Housewives. While the show was never able to regain the glory of their first season heydays, I think that they were still able to come up with decent to good seasons and the performances of the Housewives has been underrated in terms of awards consideration. For the first time, they’ll be talking about that infamous Vanity Fair cover in 2005. Very juicy, indeed!

* The Hunger Games is now in theaters, and while this hasn’t topped any box office records, it’s slowly joining the bandwagon. In fact, with a good ratings from the critics and impressive box office returns, it is safe to say that it is the new book to film sensation that will keep everyone gaga. Catching Fire, though, is premiering to theaters much later than usual on November 2013.

* Oscar winner Taylor Swift? Not gonna happen folks. While T-Swift’s efforts with another T (T-Bone Burnett, that’s who) gets critical praise, together with the whole Hunger Games soundtrack, it won’t be hearing it’s name come Oscar time, as it was the second song to be featured at the credits of the movie. Oscar contenders for Best Original Song must be played in the course of the movie, up until the first song in the credits. This is the same thing that happened to Madonna’s Golden Globe winning song “Masterpiece” for W.E. Luckily for Swift though, she can count on a Globe and Grammy nods in the Original Song categories.

* Kate Winslet wants that EGOT title right? Winslet is set to appear on her first Broadway show: a play written by two time Oscar nominee (The Hours, The Reader) playwright David Hare. There is no tentative date yet for this play, but Winslet is probably going gaga over the thought of her achieving the EGOT now. If she managed to accomplish that, she’ll be the youngest member of the club whose latest inductee is producer Scott Rudin.
 * Lastly, it’s the Golden Screen Awards tonight. This is the closest to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globes, as they separate the awards into Drama and Comedy categories. While I’m hoping for an Angel Locsin repeat win in the Best Actress: Drama category, that and Best Actor are the most difficult to predict. Martin Escudero (Zombadings), Eugene Domingo (Babae sa Septic Tank) are the frontrunners for the Comedy Lead acting while John Regala and Nonie Buencamino are the most buzzed for Supporting Actor. Nino stars Raquel Villavicencio and Shamaine Buencamino are the frontrunners for Supporting Actress while both Solenn Heusaff and Rocco Nacino might have repeat victories in the Brakthrough Acting categories.

photo courtesy of mykiru.ph

That’s it for this week’s report of Weekend Update! 😀

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REVIEW: The Hunger Games   1 comment

“Welcome, welcome!”

As Effie Trinket, in her best Lady Gaga impersonation, welcomed the people of District 12, director Gary Ross has visually welcomed us all to the wonderful world of The Hunger Games. This is Suzanne Collins’ first book in her best selling trilogy that is somewhat  reminiscent of Takami’s Japanese novel Battle Royale.

It’s the time of the year again, where in two individuals (a boy and a girl) serve as representatives of their districts to the annual Hunger Games, a survival of the fittest where in only one emerges to be alive in the end. District 12’s representatives are Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) who volunteered as replacement to younger sister Primrose, and baker’s son Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). Once there, they’ll receive help from drunk Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), eccentric Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), and fierce stylist Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) they will undergo a series of pageant-like preliminaries (such as a costume showoffs and interviews) in order to get sponsors when the actual Games begin. And once it started, one by one, people die left and right in order to find out who will be the victor of the Games.

First things first, I am pretty confident in saying that the movie was loyal to the book. Sure, there are details that were changed here and there (I won’t say which for the benefit of those who haven’t seen it yet), but any moviegoer knows that there is no such thing as 100% faithful interpretation. The medium of book is different from the medium of film; thus, there will actually be changes. So in that aspect, I can say that the movie is faithful.

Director Gary Ross was successful in re-telling Suzanne Collins’ novel, and I like that he strayed away from the 3D effects. I saw some parts that would have benefited from it, but they’re not too vital and the 2D version works perfectly fine. If anything, it was very fast-paced, and you wouldn’t realize that it had been 2 1/2 hours since the movie started. While some camera shots were over the top (we get it, you’re running), I specifically love the colors in the earlier part because they made us feel as if we’re being introduced to the their world. Ross was successful in setting the right mood and atmosphere of District 12 to the viewers, and he was able to maintain it until the end of the movie. Cinematography was astonishing, but my favorite (aside from Effie’s costumes) is the art direction. It was just magnificent.

As for the auditory aspects, I specifically am giving notices to the musical score of the movie. Haunting is the perfect term to describe it. There were moments of silence, and it gives the readers time to breathe (as it was specifically fast paced).  And as a segue, the whole soundtrack is cool too, so I hope you give the whole album a spin! 🙂

The casting was mostly effective. I love how they brought all these character actors and gave them characters that fit like a glove. I don’t think it’s enough to specify her once again, but I’m just in love with Elizabeth Banks’ Effie Trinket. Woody Harrelson’s Haymitch, Stanley Tucci’s cobalt haired intriguing host Caesar Flickerman, Lenny Kravitz’ Cinna, and Donald Sutherland’s Coriolanus Snow were just exactly what you had in mind while reading the novel. And boy didn’t I recognize Wes Bentley. The casting of the representatives were very diverse as well, and though we don’t get to see a lot of them, the important ones stood (Cato, Foxface, Glimmer, Thresh) enough. Rue, true enough, was a definite crowd favorite among the watchers. I have no issues with Josh Hutcherson’s casting, but I don’t think the chemistry with Jennifer Lawrence was effective enough to be translated from the book to the movie. Liam Hemsworth, on the other hand, despite minimal screen time elicits response from the crowd every single time.

But ultimately, it was the Jennifer Lawrence show. This reminded me of her Oscar nominated Winter’s Bone performance. Her Katniss was gritty, raw, and effective. What I like the most about Lawrence’s portrayal was that she was remarkable enough to stand out and give us a challenging female lead character to root for. Together with Lisbeth Salander, they’re this decade’s descendants of Ellen Barkin and Clarice Starling: iconic female characters that will stand the test of time.

All in all, this was an effective visual version of an action packed literary piece. It might seem too fast-paced especially for those who have read the book; nevertheless, it was successful in capturing what the novel was about. For that alone, I give this two thumbs up, as it molds another craze that is here to stay. The Hunger Games have officially begun, and we’re now witnesses as how it will transcend in the long run.

Grade: A-

Posted March 22, 2012 by Nicol Latayan in Films, Reviews

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