No movie dares open to against Katniss Everdeen. At least, none that you’re likely to go see this weekend.
Jennifer Lawrence and the full cast of ‘Catching Fire’ (minus the writers and the characters who were killed off) are back for the half-adaptation of the final book in the ‘ Hunger Games’ series. ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1‘ picks up right where the last movie left off. Katniss is now in the thought-to-be-destroyed District 13 with her coal miner boy-toy, her sister, her mom and other survivors from her home, the really-destroyed District 12. She must decide whether to fuel the rebellion as its propaganda spokesperson or cower from the evil Capital. With resentful President Snow holding Peeta and two of Katniss’ other friends captive, it’s a difficult decision for her. Did the ‘Hunger Games’ franchise need to split the final book into to two movies? That’s arguable. ‘Harry Potter’ absolutely needed it, while ‘Twilight’ absolutely did not. ‘Mockingjay’ seems to lie between those two.
Edgy documentary ‘Happy Valley‘ is getting a limited release this weekend. The controversy continues as the director of ‘The Tillman Story’ tackles another hot-topic issue: Jerry Sandusky. The doc covers the span of one year after the Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach was charged with sexually abusing children. The movie’s content may be brutal to watch, but so was ‘The Tillman Story’, which proved to be an excellent, engaging and very worthwhile little film.
For the horror fans out there, the disturbing ‘V/H/S’ saga continues with ‘V/H/S: Viral‘. As you can tell from the title, this one turns to the modern world by showing a series of shorts that are meant to be internet videos, from teenagers with cell phones looking to be the next big viral hit. Unfortunately, there are no recognizable faces nor directors attached to this one.