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5 Things Every Parent Should Know 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1'

Posted By Sandie Angulo Chen on Nov 21st 2014 4:48PM
The penultimate page-to-screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins's "Hunger Games" trilogy hits theaters today in what's expected to be one of the biggest releases of the entire year. Academy-Award winner and media darling Jennifer Lawrence returns once more as Katniss Everdeen, who managed to destroy the Hunger Games during the Quarter Quell, unleashing a revolutionary arrow that struck the Capitol... read more

'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1' Review: A Dull, Dark Exercise

Posted By Jason Gorber on November 11, 2014
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1." Not exactly the kind of pithy title that's the stuff of poetry, but it should do fine alerting audiences to the fact that this is part of the immensely popular young adult series penned by Suzanne Collins, that we've reached the culmination of the trilogy, and, naturally, we're only getting half of it in this 123-minute epic. The film starts...

Here's a Track-by-Track Review of the 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1' Soundtrack

Posted By Drew Taylor on November 11, 2014
Every year for the past few years, a new "Hunger Games" movie has been unleashed on the world and those releases have come complete with a slew of tie-in merchandise, cunningly synergistic and essential in the studio's desire to build hype and awareness around the young-adult novel adaptations (which star Jennifer Lawrence and are based on books by Suzanne Collins, of course). But the...

7 Things You Should Know Before You See Ava DuVernay's 'Selma'

Posted By Jenni Miller on November 11, 2014
On Monday night (Nov. 17, 2014) in NYC, Ava DuVernay and cinematographer Bradford Young presented a festival cut of "Selma," which premiered last week at AFI Fest to rave reviews and a standing ovation. (The NYC audience had an equally enthusiastic reaction.) This period drama offers an intimate look at the events leading up to the famous civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, AL., including...

10 Things You Should Know Before You See 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1'

Posted By Drew Taylor on November 11, 2014
It's that time of year again. That's right folks: Happy Hunger Games! The film franchise based on a series of best-selling young adult novels by Suzanne Collins, set in a futuristic society that pits citizens against one another in a showy gladiatorial match, has become an annual event. There are accompanying soundtracks that top the charts, marketing blitzes, promotional tie-ins... And the...

'Foxcatcher' Review: 10 Things You Should Know About the Starry Drama

Posted By Drew Taylor on November 11, 2014
Bennett Miller is a filmmaker who knows a good true story when he sees one. The director, who got his start with the documentary "The Cruise," and then directed the critically adored, Oscar-strewn films "Capote" and "Moneyball," both of which were based on real life accounts of very different events (the making of Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" and then something involving math and baseball)....

'Rosewater' Review: Jon Stewart's Directorial Debut Makes the Grade

Posted By Jason Gorber on November 11, 2014
"Rosewater," the debut film from "The Daily Show"s Jon Stewart, is a moving and engaging portrayal of Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari's imprisonment by the Iranian government, and his struggle for freedom while being beset by particularly ridiculous lines of questioning. Why Jon Stewart? The connection to "The Daily Show" and Bahari's arrest is quite strong -- while covering the...

Everything You Should Know Before You See 'Dumb and Dumber To'

Posted By Drew Taylor on November 11, 2014
It's hard to believe that it's been 20 years since Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels (who, it should be noted, got billing above the one-time box office titan) donned ridiculously bad tuxedoes and charmed the world with the non-stop stupidity of "Dumb and Dumber." But, this being the Hollywood of 2014, which is desperate to revive any property, no matter how old or irrelevant, just because of passing...

'Big Hero 6' Review: A Decent Tale of a Teen and His Robot

Posted By Jason Gorber on November 11, 2014
"Big Hero 6" is the latest big-screen animated adventure from the animators at Disney. Set in San Fransokyo, where the Golden Gate bridge has Rashomon Gate-like architecture on the top merging the capital of Japan with the northern California setting, the story follows young Hiro Hamada and his robot companion Baymax as they help stop a masked criminal from wreaking havoc. Where does this...

10 Things You Should Know About 'Big Hero 6' Before You See It

Posted By Drew Taylor on November 11, 2014
After spending years in Pixar's lamp-shaped shadow, Disney Animation Studios blossomed in a big, big way. With "Frozen," the original animation kingpins came back. (At least publicly, keen-eyed animation enthusiasts had always known how good features like "The Princess & the Frog" and "Winnie the Pooh" were.) What began with "Tangled" and continued with "Wreck-It Ralph" reached a peak with...

Felicity Jones Reveals the Most Surreal Moment of Filming 'The Theory of Everything'

Posted By Sharon Knolle on November 11, 2014
In the moving new biopic, "The Theory of Everything," Felicity Jones plays Jane Hawking, who made the extraordinary decision to stand by Stephen Hawking, even when he was diagnosed with a devastating motor neuron disease and given only two years to live. It's debatable whether Hawking (played in the film by Eddie Redmayne) would have survived without Jane by his side. While Jones has played...

'Interstellar' Review: Space Movie Could Have Been a Smoother Voyage

Posted By Jason Gorber on November 11, 2014
Christopher Nolan's first film following the conclusion of his gargantuan "Batman" success is the space epic "Interstellar." A film that aims to be both profound and entertaining, it's a visually beautiful film that stumbles with its story, mixing melodrama with philosophy and physics in a heady brew that leaves a slightly bitter taste in your mouth. I saw the trailer. This looks weird. Well,...

10 Things You Need to Know Before Seeing 'Interstellar'

Posted By Drew Taylor on November 11, 2014
Christopher Nolan has, over the years, become one of the very few brand name filmmakers. When you go to see a Christopher Nolan film, whether it's one of his genre-redefining Batman movies or something like "Inception" or "The Prestige," you know what you're going to get -- something with a whole bunch of twists and turns, full of inventive editorial flourishes, where the definition of reality is...

'Nightcrawler' Review: One of the Best Movies of the Year

Posted By Jason Gorber on October 10, 2014
"Nightcrawler" is a blistering film, a look into the dark underbelly of modern news gathering. With a positively animalistic portrayal by a gaunt Jake Gyllenhaal, this directorial debut by Dan Gilroy packs a powerful punch. A nocturnal LA noir, the film uses a charismatic anti-hero to both entertain and repel, a balancing act that's far too uncommon in movies these days. An action movie with...

10 Things You Should Know About 'Horns' Before You See It

Posted By Drew Taylor on November 11, 2014
This year, the cinematic landscape is suffering from a staggering lack of scary movie product. Instead of the usual "Paranormal Activity" installment, we've got a limp haunted board-game movie in "Ouija" and a tenth anniversary re-release of the first "Saw" movie (a film that inspired countless sequels, another staple of Halloween that has evaporated by thinly mixed fake blood). But fear not!...

'Birdman' Review: Madness Meets Artistry in This Ambitious Movie

Posted By Jason Gorber on October 10, 2014
"Birdman" is the latest film from "21 Grams" and "Babel" director Alejandro González Iñárritu. Actually, that might not be the real title of the movie, as journalists received the following message prior to the screening: "Please use the film's full title, "Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance," the first time the film is mentioned in an article. " Meanwhile, on...

10 Reasons You Need to Just Go and See 'John Wick' Already

Posted By Drew Taylor on October 10, 2014
Last month, we attended Fantastic Fest, a film festival held in Austin, Texas, that is, to use a scientific term, totally bonkers. It's a place where new and incredibly weird genre movies play and are instantly eaten up (or harshly rejected) by geeky audiences. It's the kind of film festival that celebrates movies that contain (among other things) fountains of blood, animal cruelty, and...

'The Book of Life' Review: Macabre Cartoon Almost Gets There

Posted By Jason Gorber on October 10, 2014
"The Book of Life" is a colourful, slightly macabre animated story that draws from Mexican culture and aesthetic style. Told as a story-within-a-story, this is a straight-up fairy tale that sees the protagonist go on a traditional heroic quest, with visits to the underworld, battles with raging beasts, and overcoming family expectations. For a film that has significant events that take place...

10 Things You Need to Know About Michael Keaton's Big Comeback Movie, 'Birdman'

Posted By Drew Taylor on October 10, 2014
Michael Keaton is perhaps best known for playing Batman in a pair of Tim Burton-directed superhero movies, whose visionary tone has set the standard for the genre until this day. And now he's stepping back into the superhero suit (sort of) for "Birdman," the latest film from "Babel" director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. "Birdman" tells the story of an actor who has been immortalized in a series...

10 Things You Need to Know About 'Fury'

Posted By Drew Taylor on October 10, 2014
War is hell. This much we know is true. It's also the fodder for prestige action movies like "Fury," about a small team of men who pilot and maneuver the titular tank in the waning days of World War II, where Hitler's Germany acted like a scared and wounded dog -- all teeth and matted fur and ferocious intent. Brad Pitt leads the platoon, which is stocked handily with fine actors like Jon...

10 Things You Should Know About Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice'

Posted By Drew Taylor on October 10, 2014
We're entering the final week of the New York Film Festival, and as such, the big centerpiece film has been unveiled: the world premiere of Paul Thomas Anderson's sprawling comic crime saga "Inherent Vice." As far as premieres go, this is one of the more hotly anticipated ones -- the movie doesn't open until December and besides a handful of stills and a recently revealed teaser trailer, virtually...

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