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The Huntsman – Winter’s War

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Poster for the movie "The Huntsman Winter's War"

The Huntsman Winter's War

20161 h 54 min
Overview

As two evil sisters prepare to conquer the land, two renegades - Eric the Huntsman - who previously aided Snow White in defeating Ravenna, and his forbidden lover, Sara, set out to stop them.

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Runtime 1 h 54 min
Release Date 6 April 2016
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Not bad
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Let’s get the accents out of the way.   One of my filmic pet hates is dodgy accents.   I’m thinking Tom Cruise in Far and Away and Julia Roberts in Mary Reilly.  I’m surprised that with all the expertise employed to create some of the most technologically advanced films ever we still struggle to either get the actor some dedicated voice coaching or if that’s not successful maybe employ someone who has the ability to do the accent for real, you know, like a native of England, Scotland or Ireland.  I wonder if film producers/directors believe that their star has an authentic accent or they decide it’s not that important.  It really IS important because it can become completely distracting and ruin a film for many of us.  Back to The Huntsman and I have to admit I didn’t see the first film in this franchise so Chris Hemsworth’s wandering accent came as a surprise. Scottish by way of Ireland and Northern England..just weird!

Accents to one side I did enjoy the spectacle of this film (I splashed out the £1.60 over and above my unlimited ticket to watch it in 3D) – the effects were stunning as were the costumes and makeup.  Casting Sheridan Smith and Rob Brydon as dwarves seems crazy and controversial, visually it worked really well and their humour and obvious chemistry added a light touch, but ethically I’m not so sure.  Did they really paste their heads on to actors with dwarfism?  Hmm. .  The storyline itself left me confused – there were obvious nods to the earlier movie so maybe it’s my fault for not watching the films in order.  Overall it was like a mash up of The Snow Queen, Frozen, Game of Thrones and a touch of Lord of the Rings but none the worse for that.  Fantasy eye candy.

 

 

Charlize Theron as The Evil Queen, Ravenna

Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2

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Poster for the movie "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2"

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2

The fire will burn forever.

20152 h 16 min
Overview

With the nation of Panem in a full scale war, Katniss confronts President Snow in the final showdown. Teamed with a group of her closest friends – including Gale, Finnick, and Peeta – Katniss goes off on a mission with the unit from District 13 as they risk their lives to stage an assassination attempt on President Snow who has become increasingly obsessed with destroying her. The mortal traps, enemies, and moral choices that await Katniss will challenge her more than any arena she faced in The Hunger Games.

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Director Francis Lawrence
Runtime 2 h 16 min
Release Date 19 November 2015
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Excellent
Images
mockingjay

Katniss Everdeen – graphite by PJ

The fourth and final part of Hunger Games franchise is a much more robust animal than Part 1, the runt of the litter. The thin storyline in the first part could easily have been combined with this one and it smacks of spinning out the income stream.

That said however, the final film, restoring a tense narrative and stylish production, was a fitting end to what has been a stand out series. What’s not to like about a film that serves up strong roles for women AND a political message. (The universal and everlasting ‘when times are tough get the wage slaves to argue amongst themselves to distract from the real enemy, the elite’). The action sequences and effects are spectacular as Katniss and her band of commandos edge their way into the booby trapped Capitol to assassinate President Snow. As Katniss realises that one ruling elite is no different to its replacement the final outcome is flagged way in advance. I’m conflicted about the ending. Not to give too much away it seemed contrived, artificial and tagged on but on the other hand, maybe we needed that conventional reassurance?