The Hunger Games – Catching Fire

After watching the first part of ‘The Hunger Games’ I was very curious about the second. When the cinema trailer appeared on TV I couldn’t even wait to see ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’. I especially expected a big scene of the games themselves.

Catching Fire is about the main characters Katniss and Peeta and their life after the 74th Hunger Games, which they have won and about the 75th Hunger Games, where they take part again. The film starts with a ‘winner tour’, just a few month after the 74th Hunger Games.

Katniss and Peeta are visiting each of the districts to talk to the people, who lost their supporter in the game. It takes up the first half of the film. After that the game starts finally. The game itself is very exciting and adorned with many special effects. One better than the other. The actors did a very good job and the story was amazing but I was a little bit disappointed that the game was so short, because it was the best of the whole film, and also that it ends in such an abrupt manner.

Nevertheless: If you like action films with a little love story it’s a “must watch”!



The Hunger Games: Catching fire

Do you like reading books? No? Neither do I. That’s why I’m so glad that the books writen by Suzanne Collins were made into a film. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the second film of the Hunger Games and directed by Francis Lawrence.

Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (played by Josh Hutcherson) survived the last Hunger Games. A year after winning the 74th Hunger Games, Kathniss and Peeta must go on the “Victor’s tour“ where they visit all the districts. Before leaving, Katniss is visited by the president Snow who thinks that Katniss was not acting according to his wishes when she chose to die with Peeta. Through the declaration of their victory there is an uprising because the people had hoped to see a fight. President Snow tells Katniss that while she is on tour she should better try to make sure that she puts ou “her flames“ or her friends and family (the people she cares about) will be in danger. But she carries on giving the people hope. So Snow decides to change the rules of the Hunger Games wich he is allowed to do every 25 years. He decides to give an extra edition of the Hunger Games, where all the earlyer winners will compete again. Katniss and Peeta are told by their mentor that their best chance to survive the games is to cooperate with one of of their opponents.

I must say this film has been the best film I have seen in a while. It will be worthwhile to go to the cinema to watch this amazing film, I can assure you. The film has a very exciting plot and it’s great to see how it’s done with many special effects and an eye for the details. I particular enjoyed watching this movie.

Hangover review

The last film I’ve seen was Hangover, a comedy with the main characters played by Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Grillfiankis.

In this film three helpless guys try to remember what has happened after a devastating Vegas night. Looking for one of their buddies who has gone missing, they experience a series of adventures. Once they’ve recovered from their hangover they promise each other “NEVER EVER!”.

Well this film turns out to be every bit as crass, offensive and incorrect as you would expect. But it is very funny indeed. One of the movies greatest strength is the way in which the story is told. Plus – in my opinion – all actors are fantastic.

I haven’t laughed as much for a very long time!

Review: “Pride and Prejudice”

„Pride and Prejudice“, after Jane Austen’s novel, directed by Joe Wright, is an absolutely glorious history romance about the love of a man and woman. The film combines history and an all known love stories with a lot of suspense and wonderful performances from the cast.

At first, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to see this film. I was afraid it would be boring with not much action, a love story like all the others. But it turned out to be the complete opposite:

The film is set in “the old days”, where women were supposed to marry in order to make a living. But Elizabeth Bennet (wonderfully performed by Keira Knightly) from a poor family falls in love with the rich Mr. Darcy (also a great performance by Matthew McFadyen). But just like today pride and prejudice stand in the way of their happiness.

The filmmaking is very good, wonderful romantic landscape is combined with great and emotive music. It’s absolutely beautiful to look at with gorgeous shots. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy together.

It’s a peaceful film with scenes that invite you to identify with the characters. Every character is well chosen and there aren’t any opponents. This might sound boring and it’s definitely no superhero-fights-against-bad-monster-action film. But this is what life actually was like, and you can transfer the message of this wonderful film to your own life.

It’s a film for dreamers and people who like to indulge in romances. I could watch it every day.

Why Star Wars Episode I sucks

I love all Star Wars Episodes. All except Episode One, the first movie of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, which was created by George Lucas after having finished the original trilogy.

The movie’s subtitle is “The Phantom Menace” and it tells the story of the Jedimaster Qui Gon Jiin, his student Obi Wan Kenobi, the former queen of the planet Naboo Padme Amidala and the little boy Anakin Skywalker.

The plot is quite simple. It starts with the two Jedis who search for Amidala, after the enemy forces of the “Confederation of United Systems” have attacked the planet.

After finding her, they want to escape to the capital planet Coruscant, but have to land at the desert planet Tattoine, because their spaceship is damaged. On Tattoine the group comes across the little boy Anakin Skywalker. They take him along and after a short intermezzo at Coruscant the story ends with a big battle against the confederation at Naboo.

At a glance, the movie seems to have all it takes to make it a good star wars movie: an evil enemy, a great soundtrack and epic action scenes.

But there are some parts and characters which ruined the whole movie for me.

For example, the child actor of Anakin Skywalker is not very convincing at all. He plays so annoyingly that I think every scene with him is ruined and he really destroys the whole movie with his performance.

To be honest, I really can’t recommend this movie. Imagine Star Wars Episode I “The Phantom Menace” was never made and instead start with Episode II, if you are going to watch the Star Wars Saga.

Review: Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes is an action-mystery film which was directed by Guy Ritchie. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law portray Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. In the movie Sherlock Holmes and his Partner Watson investigate a series of murders connected to occult rituals.

The movie is set in England in the 19th century. Holmes and Watson catch Blackwood, who has already killed five young women. After three months Blackwood is sentenced to be hanged and Watson certifies his death. However, Blackwood mysteriously returns from the death and Holmes and Watson must take up the hunt again. They have to stop Blackwood before he can initiate his masterplan: the takeover of the British government.

Sherlock Holmes is still one of my favourite movies, because it’s not like the regular detective movies from the past. In this movie there is much more action, it has great  fighting scenes and there are also funny moments. Moreover the movie benefits from the strong performance by Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes, who is the opposite of a gentleman in this movie, due to the fact that in this movie he is an unlikeable person and also a bit of a psychopath. In my view this is the perfect mixture of action and comedy with a great acting Robert Downey Jr. and a profound story.

I can recommend the movie to anyone who likes action movies and a good story, but if you can’t get over the idea of Sherlock Holmes as an action hero you might be disappointed.

“The Box”

What’s a “box”? Something wooden to keep objects safe inside? No, the  box I’m talking about has a red button. And pressing that button is a matter of life or death.

“The Box” is a psychological horror and science-fiction film based on the short story “Button, Button” by Richard Matheson. The American movie is written and directed by Richard Kelly and was first released in October 2009 in Australia.

The movie is 115 minutes long and the plot takes place in the USA in the year 1976.

The main actors are Cameron Diaz and James Marsden as the couple Norma and Arthur Lewis. They live in Richmond, Virginia together with their son Walter.

One day they receive a wooden box with a red button from a mysterious old man, played by Frank Langella. The man, named Arlington Steward, makes them an unethical offer: If they  press the button they will receive one million dollars and a person they don’t know somewhere  out there in the world, will die.

After a long time of hesitating, Norma finally presses the button and the misery begins. She and her husband get more and more sucked into a dramatic predicament.

There are some exciting special effects and the brilliant soundtrack and the film music create a fantastic atmosphere. All the performances are solid, but the couple Cameron Diaz and James Marsden won’t make history as the loveliest couple in hollywood! Which brings me to my evaluation and assessment of the movie.

The first part of the film is well structured and seems quite realistic. Unfortunately, as the film goes on, it is going down hill: there is disorder, hectic action, the story gets weird. In the end, because of the obscured course of the story, the spectator gets more confused than anything else.

If it wasn’t for this chaotic second half, “the box” would be a thrilling movie right until the end.

I recommend the film to those, who are interested in watching a good science-fiction movie and who like the director Richard Kelly. His take on “button, button” is great. There is one thing that I learned after having watched this movie: I never want to get a wooden box with a red button.

However, taking into account it’s many failings, I’ll give only three of six stars.

(★) (★) (★) (  ) (  ) (  )

Review: Anonymous

Anonymous, a Roland Emmerich film, takes us back to the England of the 16th and 17th century. A time full of political intrigues, forbidden love, illegitimate children and fighting for power and the English throne.

The most famous of all playwrights lived in those days: William Shakespeare. But we don’t know exactly who that man was. This film presents one of the many theories about him.

One day the playwright Benjamin Johnson is arrested in the middle of his performance, for his play is considered to be insurgent. He is released by Edvard de Vere, the Earl of Oxford himself and also writer of many plays. He orders Johnson to perform the plays that put him under arrest, but under the Earl’s name, as his own writing had been overlooked. Furious about the very idea, Johnson tells the actor William Shakespeare all about it. Poor as Shakespeare is, he decides to sign and perform the plays instead of Johnson and so the story starts to take a bad turn.

At the same time Queen Elisabeth I is about to die without naming an heir for the throne. The Cecils, royal advisers to the Queen, try everything to hide the fact that the Earl of Southampton is her illegitimate son and therefore the legal heir in the succession to the throne. Afraid to lose their grip on power, they prefer King James of Scotland, who promised to the Cecils to keep them, to become King.

Many leaps in the story line and a complicated plot make this historical drama not an easy film to watch. Still, it is worth watching because of the excellent insights into the English history and the fascinating demonstration of what seems to be a very likely theory about Shakespeare’s true identity. The acting, especially that of Sebastian Armesto as Benjamin Johnson, is quite superior. The cast with Vanessa Redgrave as Queen Elisabeth I and Rhys Ifans in the role of Edvard de Vere is very well chosen. Beautiful costumes and magnificently detailed sets as well as wonderful music capture the ambiance and the soul of the 17th century. The beauty of Shakespeare’s English shines through many scenes in a most enchanting way.

Therefore I recommend this film to everyone, who loves the English language and who would like to take a closer look at the dark but fascinating England of 300 years ago.

Film Review: James Cameron’s Avatar

‘Avatar? That’s just a film about big blue people living on a planet named Pandora.’ That was the first description of the film I heard and the reason why I didn’t intend to watch it. But then I watched it anyway, perhaps by chance. And it turned out to be  the first film where I was sorry that it actually had to end.

Even though it’s a science-fiction film there are other genres included: romance, action and fantasy. And in addition to this it reflects the human pursuit of wealth and power.

The plot is intriguing and surprisingly real:  In the year 2154 the earth’s resources are used up. So the company Resources Development Administrations starts to mine the precious resource Unobtanium. But the aboriginial people of Pandora, the Na’vi, resist the destruction of their environment.
Jake Sully, a USmarine, is sent to Pandora to replace his dead brother on a difficult mission: He has to persuade the Na’vi to leave their homeland and to give up their resistance with the aid of a simulated Na’vi-body, an Avatar.
At his first expedition as an Avatar Jake is separated from his group that went with him. At night he’s attacked by predators, but his Avatar is saved by Neytiri, a member of the clan of the Omaticaya. She takes him to her clan, where Neytiri’s mother, the clan’s spiritual leader, orders her daughter to initiate Jake into their society. After three month, Jake is a member of the clan and even though Neytiri didn’t like him at first they fall in love with each other. But Jake’s challenge is still in store for him…

I think the most fascinating thing about this film are the locations on the planet Pandora. The trees are unbelievably high, there are beautiful plants, coloured blue and green, and everything glows at night. It is pretty awesome that James Cameron, the director, is able to portray this perfect world in such a detailed way.

In addition to this the film is not only beautiful to look at but also amazing to listen to. The soundtrack reminds me of Indian folk music, but it’s made alien by electrical sound effects. This suggest that Pandora is very different from our world. I really love the soundtrack because it’s in line with every single scene.

Avatar is an awesome film, actually the best film I’ve ever seen. It’s not only a visionary science-fiction film, but also an appeal to humanity: We have to take care of our earth because we can’t just go to another planet and destroy everything there too. We have to start to not only look after ourselves but also care for other life around us. That’s why I’m so glad that I watched the film even though I didn’t plan to watch it – this had to be destiny.

Review: Blood Diamond

‘Blood Diamond’ is not a light movie to be watched and then easily forgotten. The gripping atmosphere touches your mind and stays there for a few days.

The story takes place during the Sierra Leone civil war in the 1990s. The fisherman Solomon Vandy (Dijmon Hounsou) is walking through a village with his son Dia (Kagiso Kuypers), when it is raided by rebels of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). The RUF kill and mutilate some villagers. Vandy’s wife and his daughter manage to escape, but his son gets kidnapped to be a child soldier. Solomon himself gets captured and forced to work on a diamond field near Kono. Just before government troops launch an attack, he finds a large diamond and buries it. The rebels and labourers get taken to prison in Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital. There he meets the ex-mercenary Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio), who now smuggles diamonds. They make an agreement that Archer has a share in the profits of the diamond if he helps Vandy to reunite his family. They break free from jail and with the help of the American journalist Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly), the exciting story takes its course.

‘Blood Diamond’ showed me a different world I didn’t know – and hopefully will never get to know first hand. If you see all the problems the people there have to deal with – trading of diamonds and weapons, war between rebels and government troops, corruption and child soldiers – you start to think about what you are complaining about. We should be thankful to be born in a peaceful part of the world. The actors play at their very best, the rather unknown Dijmon Hounsou and Jennifer Connely are not eclipsed by the powerful Leonardo DiCaprio.

This movie is stunning and far reaching, it’s about topics you normally don’t think about. It’s fascinating and terrifying. But besides the seriousness, the film is a great popcorn movie which offers some elements of dramatical action and also a bit of romance. This is all I need for a perfect movie I will definitely watch more than once.