The Disaster Artist: Film Review

James Franco hadn’t been in much memorable stuff since 127 Hours in 2010, but he changed that around this year with both TV series The Deuce and The Disaster Artist. His performance in the movie, which he also directed and produced, is his best in years and he definitely deserves a Golden Globe nomination (an Oscar is too far).

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 Film Review

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The franchise is finally over. You would think my expectations would be high because I loved the books and the first two films, but I had such a ‘meh’ response about this because I felt like I had been waiting for it for TOO long. I was over it, and I think that wasn’t helped by a disappointing and unnecessary Part 1. BUT the good news is, this attitude paid off because it was surprisingly bloody brilliant and a worthy ending to the franchise.

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part II: Picture Gallery

Jennifer Lawrence

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Tonight all the stars of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part II braved the cold and wet British weather to celebrate the franchise’s finale with fans in Leicester Square.

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The Hunger Games: Mockingay – Part I Film Review

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I desperately wanted to like this and I have been hyping it up for months so my expectations were pretty high. However, I had my reservations when they announced Mockingjay would be split into two films because I didn’t there was enough action to sustain two and I was right. In the first half of the book, it was build-up to the rebellion and setting the scene and that is essentially what happens here – making it the dullest instalment of the franchise so far.

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Big Pics: Jessica Simpson, Jessica Chastain & Beyoncé

Jessica Simpson

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This is the moment Jessica lets slip that she is expecting a boy. Jimmy Kimmel asked how the pregnancy was going and she admitted it wasn’t good as she has been vomiting a lot and she said: “I never knew that a wiener could actually make me nauseous.” It was only afterwards that she realised what she said and even Jimmy hadn’t clocked what she meant!

Josh Hutcherson

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Now it’s Josh’s turn for his Capitol Couture poster. Doesn’t he look suave?! The high-fashion pieces are promotional material for the November release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. For the other pictures, check the Instagram here.

Beyoncé

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Beyonce seems to like posting pictures of herself where she looks badass. She looks cool even with the cap just balancing on top of her head. She also posted a tour rehearsal picture on her Tumblr.

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Kimberley Walsh 

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What is Kimberley smoking?! Hmmm…looks a bit dodgy. Her Girls Aloud bandmate Sarah Harding posted this to Twitter before swiftly removing it. Perhaps Kim told her off for ruining her good girl image?!

Jennifer Garner

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I just had to post this. It is a BRILLIANT picture! What a face she is pulling.

Jessica Chastain

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She kept quiet about her man during the awards season but Jessica finally stepped out in public with her boyfriend Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo in Paris. Jessica is in the capital for Fashion Week and also to support Gian, who is the executive of French brand Montcler.

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Pics: Latest Hunger Games posters

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Yes, the release for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire may not be until November but we can still get excited about the new promotional material, right?!

Since the “Victory Tour” poster was released last week (see here), Lionsgate have released some promotional pictures of the characters in high fashion outfits, dubbed “Capitol Couture”. An Instagram page has even been set up to bring the next set of pictures (check it out here).

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So far we have seen Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), Caesar (Stanlet Tucci) and of course, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence). The shots are brilliant and although they don’t depict any scenes from the movie, it is still exciting! The fashion and the texture of the poster are so good!

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Entertainment Weekly has also managed to get hold of a couple of stills showing Katniss speaking onstage with Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) during the Victory Tour and with newcomer Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin) who is a fellow Hunger Games victor.

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Why can’t they just release it now?! November is too far away.

Pics: Celebrity Beach Bowl

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In preparation for the Sunday night Superbowl match, celebrities descended upon New Orleans to take a load of the action. Not just that but many took part in the annual Celebrity Beach Bowl event, hosted by DirectTV.

The celebrities played a game of tag football on sand at Mardi Gras World on the Saturday night.

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Celebrities participating included Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, Snoop Lion, Peter Facinelli, Katherine McPhee, Josh Hutcherson, Neil Patrick Harris, Chace Crawford, Matt Bomer, Lil Wayne and Maria Menounos plus more.

Here are the action highlights.

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In Brief: Mischa Barton, The Saturdays, The Hunger Games & more

1. Mischa Barton is opening a clothing store in London’s Spitalfields. The clothing boutique opens to the public on Saturday in the market where you can pick up clothes, bags and other accessories. Mischa tweeted today, saying, “‘So excited for the store launch tomorrow in Spitalfield’s. Really something to be proud of. It’s gorgeous.”

2. Stanley Tucci has got married to Emily Blunt’s sister Felicity. The 51-year-old Hunger Games star confirmed that he has tied the knot with the English literary agent. Stanley’s Devil Wears Prada co-star Emily set the pair up and they got engaged in November last year. Stanley’s first wife Kate passed away in 2009 after a battle with cancer. He has three children from that marriage.

 

3. British actor Bob Hoskins has revealed plans to retire from acting after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease last year. A statement said, “‘Bob Hoskins wishes to announce that he will be retiring from acting, following his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease last autumn.

“He wishes to thank all the great and brilliant people he has worked with over the years, and all of his fans who have supported him during a wonderful career.”

4. Rihanna has been dropped as the face of Nivea because her behaviour wasn’t considered appropriate for the brand and they no longer want to be associated with her.

 

5. The Saturdays jet off to LA today to start shooting their new reality TV show for E! The show will follow them trying to crack the US market. Both Ben Foden (Una’s man) and Marvin Humes (Rochelle’s hubby) both expressed how sad they are to see the girls leave for a few weeks. This is understandable as Marvin and Rochelle have been married less than two weeks and Ben will be missing both his leading ladies as Una is taking daughter, Aoife, with her. She posted the twitter picture above of Ben saying goodbye.

 

6. According to reports, a rift has begun in The Hunger Games camp after Jennifer Lawrence has been given a massive pay rise whereas Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth’s pay hasn’t been increased as much. Lawrence, who plays the lead Katniss, is set to earn $10 million for the sequel, Catching Fire, whereas the boys will get $2 million each. Considering Jennifer only got $500,000 for the first film, I understand why they are miffed by her significant increase BUT she plays a massive role in these films and she will be carrying the trilogy! Apparently the boys, who play Peeta and Gale, want $5 million each.

The Hunger Games

It is no wonder this movie has taken $115 million in its opening weekend- it is really good and much more loyal to the book than I expected. Usually when films are hyped this much, you wonder whether it will pay off and this one genuinely does and I think it would have done well regardless of the hype because it is a good movie.

Based on the first book in the Suzanne Collins trilogy, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers herself to participate in The Hunger Games. The Games are an annual event run by The Capitol (the leaders of their fictional world Panem) in which one boy and one girl from each of the twelve districts are selected to take part in the Games. Once inside the arena, the teenagers (competitors are aged between 12-18) will battle to the death, with only one person being crowned victor.

When Katniss’ sister Prim is selected as the girl “tribute”, Katniss volunteers to take her place. Also representing District 12 is Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). They head to The Capitol where they prepare for the Games. Once the event begins, it is every man for himself- but who will win?

As a fan of the book, I found it very easy to follow but I was accompanied by someone who had not and they didn’t understand some of the rules about The Reaping (the selection process) and just basic facts about the dystopian world of Panem that they live in. I noticed that they didn’t explain why some candidates have their name in the reaping ballot more than others, so I had to tell my friend about that afterwards.

I liked it a lot but I was quite sad that it was a 12A because it meant that most of the action took place off-camera or was hidden by handy-cam work. You didn’t see any violence and I think I would have preferred that. Not OTT, Battle Royale style, but just more like the book. The handy-cam work let the film down because I found it disorientating and I couldn’t see what was happening. It is quite a low budget technique as well, which doesn’t fit the funding of the movie.

I thought the film was cast perfectly and the setting was how I had imagined. I found the Capitol’s inhabitants looked more OTT and weird than I’d have liked. For example, I think Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) just looks crazy. I loved the casting of Woody Harrelson for Haymitch but at the same time, I had pictured that character to be a dirty, disgusting, vulgar alcoholic whereas in the movie, he was just an alcoholic. Not quite the diabolical creature I imagined.

The games themselves moved along at a fast pace, with the in-between periods of walking or searching for water cut out so the main events take place consecutively. I felt too much time was given to Rue’s death. Katniss’ grieving was strung out for ages which felt self-indulgent when Rue had only been Katniss’ ally for like a day in the movie (in the book, it is a bit longer and they share quite a bond). I just felt more time was given to her death than her friendship with Katniss. I felt like the end of the Games came really quickly and after that, the film rushed to a close. I would have happily watched an extra 15 minutes to see the Capitol’s reaction of their win and then more on the victor’s return.

Overall, I thought it was really good-perfect script, casting, characterisation, set, pace and tone. The CGI, the shaky camerawork and poor explanation at the start were the only negatives for me. I think people who have read the book will definitely get it more than the others but it can be enjoyed by everybody.

The Hunger Games UK premiere

So I went along to the European premiere of The Hunger Games tonight at London’s O2 Arena. Unfortunately, I arrived too late get VIP access and the opportunity to watch the movie, but I did manage to get a good spot. All the main cast were there- Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks and Liam Hemsworth. They were all lovely and spent a lot of time signing autographs to the hundreds of screaming fans.

Other notable appearance were from Chris Hemsworth and Nicholas Hoult. They were polar opposites of each other- Chris was the friendliest of all and Nicholas (Jennifer’s boyfriend!) barely signed anything and headed straight into the cinema. Other “celebs” such as Katie Price, Michelle Heaton and Jenny Frost. I think a couple of TOWIE/ Made in Chelsea were there too, but I cannot be sure. Edith Bowman presented the coverage for the BBC plus other reporters for Yahoo and Sky News were doing the rounds.

Anyway, here are the pictures I took tonight:

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JOSH HUTCHERSON 

LIAM HEMSWORTH 

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I couldn’t get a great picture of Elizabeth Banks because her minder/security guard was in the way at all times. I definitely like Chris the most from this experience because although the other three gave a lot of time signing, he seemed to be the only one enjoying it (which is weird considering it isn’t even his movie!) He spoke to the fans, whereas Jennifer didn’t speak at all (and she’s the lead character!) and Elizabeth’s minder just batted people away. The boys were definitely nicer- except Nicholas Hoult, who couldn’t have got into the cinema quick enough!!

I was sad that Stanley Tucci and Woody Harrelson didn’t come, but I suppose you can’t expect every cast member to turn up.

The Hunger Games is released in the UK on Friday 23rd March.