Saturday, 21 November 2015



The Last Meal.

137 Minutes. Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Natalie Dormer, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Mahershala Ali, Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland. Director: Francis Lawrence.

Winter is coming. Snow will fall and the game of Hunger is back for one more time in this battle royale's grand finale. Sure to overkill a 'Mockingjay', 'The Hunger Games' franchise closed the chapter on this franchise on fire by taking a leaf out of 'The Hobbit's' book. Stretching out one scroll to two scripts for whats part by part parcel the longest end to this library of fantasy franchises by the book (of sorts). Forget the fangs of 'Twilight' and the wand of 'Harry Potter' as this stretches the bow on the range of films, sinking it's teeth into the trick of the competitions trade. Now after this you'll have had your fill, but all that means is that your hunger has been satisfied. As the biggest actress and Hollywood movie star in the world Jennifer Lawrence gets her Hawkeye on once again with avengance, she does more than adapt to this adaptation. This is far more than a star vehicle for the multi Academy Award nominee and Oscar winner who is sure to collect more this fall to the tune of 'Joy' with Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and David O. Russell once again on her hustle of America. The whole world now belongs to this girl whose sitting on a throne with more silver linings than her script playbook drew out. Fire? Nah this blazing inferno of a talent is hotter than that. Between the 'Spectre' of Bond and the all-year anticipation of 'Star Wars', the Summer of monsters, machines and Marvel may have given way to an even hotter fall of films, but you can't forget this awakening force.

Forget the mark she's already made, she's just fired another arrow into the previous one, splitting her bulls-eye. Sure many targeted this franchise for milking money from fans for all they are worth twice-over but here's to the fitting conclusion the die hard's will raise three fingers and whistle for in salute, blowing a kiss to Lawrence who is in the zone and her own district of talent right now. The first annual biggest blockbuster of the movie year 'The Hunger Games' was a classic. Whereas the sensational sequel was anything but a 'Prison Break' (shout outs to the cool Robert Knepper cameo (should have settled for tea) of the best to do it), in vain, lightening in the bottle twice rehash. Even if it did follow formula it made for the catalyst of one hell of a spontaneous combustion for a leading lady protagonist that Alicia Keys may as well have been singing about. Leading off to the second half of these four seasons that followed the epic events with the apocalypse now of a new world divided and in flames. It's no longer a game and 'I Am Legend' and 'Constantine' director Francis Lawrence knows how to up the ante with a post-apocalyptic world in ruins and the hands of demons. With the worlds biggest star shooting from way above the hip, the anticipation of some amazing action and swinging and punching set-pieces will keep that bright-light of your phone dimmed in your pocket and your popcorn without the rustle and bustle. The person next to you, date or not will thank you later. Dystopian war games are on the cards here in this new kind of science fiction tweening between the teens and young adults like only the insurgence of a 'Divergent' series wish they could do to Suzanne Collins' classic. Read and watch between all the lines of debate dialogue table reading to begin this blockbuster and all your remaining engaged senses will be rewarded with a marriage of action. As a scary as s### sewer scene segues into a subway one that comes at you like a freight train wrecking ball, as we may have the greatest two hits in action for this years lights and camera. All this from one shot arrow.

There's more behind this archer and her 'Robyn' Hood mission to take from the filthy rich and give back to the downtrodden poor they stole from. Liam Hemsworth may not be Legolas, but armed with a crossbow the brother of Thor can still put the hammer down, giving even more shape to this love triangle that started with the games between Katniss and Josh Hutcherson's Peeta. Who is on perfect form, growing as a young actor as his range is tested with the mental madness of a man between being brainwashed by love or the law of the Capital's land. More exclamation points come from 'Pirates' and 'Huntsman' franchise star Sam Claflin who brings his trademark charisma and character chemistry to this set and even more girls draped in flames. From the 'Game Of Thrones' to games of hunger switching Natalie Dormer who is inking a reputation as cool as her characters tattooed scalp and half shaved hair, making sure this revolution is televised and the sucker punch of the all bald Jena Malone who rumor has it is about to deliver the next Robin to Batman's 'Dawn Of Justice' face-off with Superman. The kids are more than alright. It's just a shame the adults who made this angst-filled rebellion much more real for the grown ups in he beginning are on the spare change dime of garbage time to close this contest. Last years 'Still Alice' 'Best Actress' Julianne Moore is still in an Academy of her own, the red-head, still hot at 50 with shades of grey. Speaking of which, Donald Sutherland continues his legend, even if Kiefer's kids generation will see him as one evil son of a gun, keeping anything but the peace with his storm troppers built for the iPod age. It's just a shame we couldn't see more from the wonderful Woody Harrelson, emphatic Elizabeth Banks, stylized Stanley Tucci and of course the weapon and sequel energizing Jeffrey Wright. But then again we all knew favorites in this epic ensemble of players could fly away ever since rock god Lenny Kravitz suited up for his best act yet. His steps are still missed, even if we can still see the strut of his seams between the seams, (At least you can thank Mahershala Ali's agent for more from the 'Place Beyond The Pines' and 'Benjamin Button' actor running point for the troops on the ground rebellion). The real tragedy here though is what happened to the late, great Phillip Seymour Hoffman, but here he still delivers in his final film and digitally enhanced screen time, all to the sincere, sign off Dear Jen letter poignantly read by Woody. The legend would be proud of all that has happened here in the end of the series that has given us a new one. The phoenix may have rose and everything else may have turned to ash, but when it come to Jennifer Lawrence, this girls fire will never go out. You can try but you'll never forget her name. She's on top of the world and she's not backing down. She's burning it down!  TIM DAVID HARVEY. 

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