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Movie review: “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2”

Even though the Hunger Games series feels a little tired at this point, it manages to end with a bang — which is a pleasant surprise given the lukewarm dramatics of Mockingjay Part 1. Part 2 is by no means flawless, but it is less uneven and more confidently paced than its ill-conceived first half, a … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1’

Splitting the final installment of a book-to-film franchise into two parts has always been a controversial move, and it’s probably never been more questionable than with the Mockingjay — Part 1. By offering the first act of the concluding tale as a stand-alone film, Lionsgate and company have made us wait a year for a plodding, … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

More engaging than the soft-soaped first installment, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a little too bogged down by tedium and a surprising degree of stiffness to be more than a modest improvement. In all fairness, however, it is the second act of a three-part story arc, two hours and thirty minutes of build-up with … Continue reading

Hunger Games: Some Inappropriate Thanksgiving Viewing

The four-day family food fest known as Thanksgiving is upon us. It’s a special time of year, all about spending time with people you may or may not like, obligated to do so simply because you share some common DNA. Times are tough these days, with the world experiencing its worst recession ever, and groceries … Continue reading

Movie Review: ‘The Hunger Games’

The first real event movie in a year littered with them, The Hunger Games is poised to inherit the mantle of “Next Great Young Adult Novel Franchise Turned Blockbuster Film Franchise” from the concluded Harry Potter series and the wish-it-never-had-been Twilight series. Many have tried and failed (we’re looking at you, I Am Number and … Continue reading

Movie review: ‘The Maze Runner’

It’s tempting to dismiss director Wes Ball’s adaptation of James Dashner’s young adult novel as a Hunger Games knock-off, but to do so would be unfair. A breath of fresh air into what is rapidly becoming a crowded sub-genre, The Maze Runner is a slickly plot-driven flick that delivers the basic sense of adventure that is sometimes missing from its relentlessly brooding cinematic progenitor. The premise is … Continue reading

Fall of the ‘Titans’

Box Office Mojo reports that Wrath of the Titans had a brutal opening weekend.  While it’s no surprise that it did not unseat The Hunger Games from the #1 spot (the former earned $200 million in its first week), Wrath‘s estimated $35.1 million opening weekend falls far short of its predecessor’s $61.2 million opening. Why? Probably because it’s … Continue reading

This Week’s Special Screenings:

The Magnolia’s The Big Movie classic films series begins its two-part Biblical Spectaculars series with a screening of William Wyler’s Academy Award-winning epic Ben-Hur (1959) starring Charlton Heston, 7pm, April 3, at the theater. Details — The Texas Theater presents special screenings of a 35mm print of Blake Edward’s caper comedy The Pink Panther (1963), 7:20pm, April 4 … Continue reading

Dangerous Game: 10 Great Manhunter Movies

The highly anticipated big screen version of the young adult novel The Hunger Games opens in theaters this weekend (see our review here). The material owes at least a kernel of its central premise – children forced to stalk and fight each other to the death in a wilderness arena — to the 1924 short … Continue reading

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