It can be hard to try and critique a film, when it comes to addressing one that uses the basis of another film that one already loves. It is hard to critique a film at any time really, as it requires a certain amount of consideration that really drags in all of what it going on in one's life at the time, regardless of whether or not it was intended. The 2003 revenge-thriller Oldboy is a favorite film of mine. I was intrigued by the notion of a remake mainly because of the strong talent that seemed to be standing behind it. Josh Brolin is a capable lead actor, Elizabeth Olsen already had my eye from her breakout work in Martha Marcy May Marlene, and Sharlto Copley has impressed me with his wildly different turns in various films. Having Spike Lee serve as director was the strangest piece of the puzzle, as the story of Oldboy feels like nothing he has tackled before. Unfortunately, the film does not come together in any way that really properly makes a case for why this story needed to be told again.
I love it when a movie really delivers on its promise. Make no mistake, Homefront is a B-movie, but it is a damn good one. It is the kind of action film that roots itself in the actions of characters and only feels gratuitous in the presentation of certain action scenes, but not in the cause. There was an initial thrill that came from hearing the premise and seeing the trailer for this film, but I was incredibly happy to be very entertained by the actual film and really rooting for certain outcomes to take place. Jason Statham may not ever break away from doing fun action movies, but at least he is adding different shades to the roles he takes and choosing projects that I like seeing.
I will get this out of the way: I really liked the fact that Frozen was an animated Disney film that did not rely on the death of a parent as a major plot point and that it did not end with a big wedding. Not all Disney films have this, but Frozen stuck out to me as a Disney princess film that really tried for something a bit different, even as it utilized proven pieces of a formula. It also helps that the film is a lot of fun, full of some really nice songs, exciting to watch, and wonderfully animated. We may be past the days of traditional animated films from the Mouse House, but Frozen is definitely a solid entry for this generation of their work.
President Snow: You fought very hard in the Games, Miss Everdeen. But they were games. Would you like to be in a real war? Imagine thousands of your people, dead. Your loved ones, gone. Katniss: What do I need to do?
With Twilight having ended and The Hobbit being something of a different beast, there is little that The Hunger Games franchise currently has to compete with, in terms of popular book series being adapted into films. Several others have come out recently (The Host, Beautiful Creatures, The Mortal Instruments, etc.), but none have found the same sort of success. We are on the second of four Hunger Games films and the kind of event releases these films seem show that it will be one of the biggest franchises ever, among these types of films. Keeping all of that in mind, how are the actual films? Well, I was a big fan of the first movie in the way it both complimented the book and worked on its own and I found the sequel to be following the same pattern, while also strengthening certain elements this time around. It helps that I also like the second book more than the first, but this second film is nonetheless a triumph in carrying on with a storyline that still has a lot of ground to cover.