Apart from the odd Christmas movie, we also fitted in these films this month:
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
The second part in the Hunger Games trilogy and this time we find Katniss undergoing the victory tour of the other districts with Peeta while struggling with PTSD after the horrors of the games in the first film. Having been warned by President Snow to convince everyone that the whole poison berry thing was due to her love for Peeta, and not defiance against the capitol, they both agree to this but when they reach district 11, the home of Katniss's dead friend Rue, they go way off script. This leads to not only an uprising in that district, but to President Snow deciding that the best way to deal with Katniss and Peeta is to put them back into the Hunger Games. Brilliantly though, this is a completely different set up to the first games; all of the tributes are former victors and the games themselves are full of new and disturbing challenges. As with its predecessor, this is pretty accurate with regards to the book's storyline and Jennifer Lawrence is amazing, as always. I really enjoyed this instalment and I think it's probably better than the first.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
This is the usual craic; hobbits, dwarves, elves, orcs, lots of unnecessary shots of Orlando Bloom leppin' about the place firing arrows, Gandalf being awesome, a lot of arduous journeys through forests, over mountains and a sh*t tonne (official quantity) of life-threatening battles with giant evil spiders (I was unaware they featured so heavily in this film, you can be sure I wouldn't have gone had I known. I can thank Himself for that), a pretty cool fire-breathing dragon (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) and the afore-mentioned Orcs, who are actually quite scary. The best thing about this whole film for me was the part of Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly), a seriously skilled elf who saves all the men's lives several times over. Although you wouldn't know that if you were to take a closer look at the poster above. You'll see she's at the very back of the shot, even behind the elf king and the guy beneath him, both of whom are on screen way less than she is. Gah. The whole dragon part was grand too but otherwise, it's a no from me. Lookit, if you're a huge LOTR fan, then you'll obviously want to see this and no doubt you'll enjoy it. For me, these films are just waaaay too dragged out. For fecks sake, it's a short enough book that Peter Jackson has seen fit to make into a trilogy. A TRILOGY!! I couldn't believe it when the credits came up and we were no closer to a resolution. So yeah anyway, it's grand.
No. Just no. I really liked the first Kick-Ass but this was pretty awful. In this sequel, Kick-Ass is now being trained by Hit-Girl until her guardian finds out and puts a stop to it, as he wants her to live the life of a normal teenage girl. Kick-Ass then joins a superhero team, fronted by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carey) and together they set out to put a stop to the bad guys, one of whom is Chris d'Amico from the first film. He's seeking vengeance against Kick-Ass for the death of his father and although he's pretty useless himself, he has plenty of money so can afford to buy a troupe of bad guys to have on his side. I did enjoy parts of this; the fight scenes (especially those involving Hit-Girl) are entertaining at times, although often, a bit too graphic for my liking. Also, the film sends out some seriously skewed messages about women. At the start, when Hit-girl is training Kick-Ass and he's not doing very well, she tells him to "take his tampon out" because, of course, the worst insult for any man is to be compared to a weak, menstruating woman. As she herself is the very image of a strong, capable woman, I find it hard to believe she'd denigrate her own sex like that. Stupid but I can get over it. However, I next refer you to the scene where Chris d'Amico, while trying to get back at Kick Ass, decides to rape his girlfriend. He fails in this, due to his own..eh, inabilities and for some reason the whole thing is treated as a big laugh. Sorry..what now? Note to the script writers: Rape scenes are not funny. They never have been and they never will be and if that's your best attempt at humour then you really need to find yourself a new occupation because you're clearly incapable of the one you currently (and inexplicably) have.
Basically, it's utter tripe.
White House Down
I won't insult your intelligence by going into the details of this. It's one of those films by the people who did Independence Day and The Day After tomorrow; lots of special effects, the standard shot of the White House being blown up (always from the top for some reason), an all-American guy running around in a dirty vest saving everyone (see Channing Tatum above and Will Smith in Independence Day), LOTS of patriotism, several plot holes and a ridiculous amount of guns being shot. There's also loads of "God, that person is so irritating" moments. In summation, it's terrible. Not even one of those "so bad they're good" films, even my husband thought it was awful, and that's saying something (sorry love). The script is shockingly bad, parts of it look like the actors filmed it on their own and they edited it afterwards to make it look like they were actually on set together- it's that disjointed. Which surprised me because I normally like both Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum. Probably best to avoid this one altogether. Die Hard should be on about a million times over Christmas anyway, give that an old re-watch instead.
Have you seen any of these or any good films recently? Let me know in the comments.