Movies of the week: The Theory of Everything and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 1

The life of renowned physicist Steven Hawking is a tale of love, beauty, tragedy and genius. Science was never my personal strong-suit, but Hawking’s reputation is indisputable and the loyalty of his wife Jane is equally so. Director James Marsh and screenwriter Anthony McCarten have adapted Jane’s memoir recalling her life with her husband and have brought it to the big screen starring Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, David Thewlis and Harry Lloyd. The Theory of Everything is the title of the biopic based on Steven and Jane’s lives together.

What am I expecting to see?: I’ve had my eye on this film for quite some time, but I’ve never had the opportunity to see it until now. I’ve heard nothing but good things regarding the lead actors, Redmayne and Jones, and the film itself has positioned itself well enough to contend for the Oscars in a few months. Actually, I’ve heard that it took ten years for screenwriter McCarten to adapt Jane Hawking’s story into a feature-length film and when Steven saw it, he was moved to tears, so it looks like this movie is the genuine article. I hope to come out of this movie, a little more knowledgeable regarding Hawking and I hope this movie is entertaining enough to be considered among the year’s best.

Katniss Everdeen is the Girl on Fire no more. The Hunger Games have been broken. Panem is at a critical juncture and District 13 has stepped out of the shadows and has challenged the Capitol for control of Panem’s future. With Peeta Mellark and Johanna Mason imprisoned by the Capitol, and utilized as pawns to discredit the already legitimate rebellion, Katniss must embrace her new role as the Mockingjay and lead the charge to overthrow the Capitol and end the tyranny of President Snow. Director Francis Lawrence is back to continue the cinematic adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ harrowing saga. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt I blazes into theaters this weekend.

What am I expecting to see?: I’m a Jennifer Lawrence fan and I’ve enjoyed her playing Katniss Everdeen. In fact, I’m a fan of Collins’ Hunger Games saga, so I will say that I don’t expect this movie to really surprise me, but I expect this movie to up the ante compared to its predecessors. I thought Francis Lawrence did a decent job with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and bringing him back was a smart call and Danny Strong is a guy I remember from Lee Daniel’s The Butler, and I really hope he brings that power to this franchise. I am fan of this cast including Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Jeffery Wright, Jena Malone, Sam Claflin, and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman while I am intrigued to see what these newcomers to the franchise including Julianne Moore bring to the table. Improvement is the name of the game.

 

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