Film Review – The Hunger Games

Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister’s place for the latest match.

Given the enormous success of the Harry Potter franchise and the fact that the Twilight films are about to wrap up, it was inevitable that Hollywood would find another young adult novel franchise to mine in the hopes of continuing the gravy train. While Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy doesn’t have the high-profile of its predecessors, there is still a massive inbuilt audience for any film adaptation and the studio has banked on that with a reported $100 million+ budget. Unfortunately, the filmmakers have relied far too much on the source material; leaving the film a confusingly mediocre experience that feels like it should have been so much more. Continue reading

Film Review – Zombieland

A shy student trying to reach his family in Ohio, and a gun-toting tough guy trying to find the Last Twinkie and a pair of sisters trying to get to an amusement park join forces to travel across a zombie-filled America.

Zombieland

Year: 2009

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Writers: Rhett Reese, Paul Werrick

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin

I’m sure there’s some kind of research devoted to understanding why, when an idea hits a creative medium, it must then be milked until its dry and desiccated husk crumbles and is blown to the four winds. Does the onus lie with the creative types, or with the audience who laps it up? This is no dig at creators in a field of work – if they are a professional then they can create whatever the hell they please. But surely most of us can admit it when there is overexposure of an idea. George Romero made zombies cool once upon a time with Night of the Living Dead, but this was back in the days when making movies was really, really hard work. If someone saw that film, and then wanted to make an homage or a spoof or anything involving the prefix “re”, it would cost them thousands of dollars and years of their life. Nowadays, Edgar Wright makes zombies modernly cool with Shaun of the Dead, and subsequently the shelves at Blockbuster are filled with insanely titled diversions like All You Need is Brains, Bong of the Dead, Zombie Strippers and Zombie Honeymoon. Continue reading