the wonderful world of veena.

17 December 2013

movie reviews: catching fire; the book thief; frozen.

I am one of those people who loves going to the movies by myself. Especially if it's on a weekday afternoon [one of the perks of being fun-employed]. In the last 2 weeks, I've seen 3 movies, and my thoughts on each are below.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Yes, I like the books, and yes, I like the movies also. Last year I read only the first book before seeing the movie, and then I read the second book earlier this year in anticipation of the movie release in November. I hadn't really seen many previews for it, but that didn't stop me from going to see it 3 days after I landed back in the States.

And it was pretty good. The beginning dragged a bit, just like it did in the book, which made it about 20 minutes longer than it really needed to be, but man, the action sequences were pretty awesome. And even though I'm not that into fashion [understatement of the year, I know], I really liked seeing the descriptions of Katniss' outfits come to life on the big screen.

I will say that I'm over the whole Gale-Katniss-Peeta triangle. I get it, but I'm over it.

It's one of those movies that I wanted to see in the cinema, but it's not necessarily one that I'll rewatch in the future. It was good - not great, but not terrible. It was pretty much exactly what I expected it to be, which is neither a pro nor a con.

I'm definitely intrigued to read the final book and then see that movie when it releases next year [although I just saw that it's being released in two parts. ugh. I LOVED both parts of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but I hate that now all these series are splitting their final movie versions into two parts. but that's a separate rant]. I'm interested to see how Collins wraps up the series.

The Book Thief. I recently posted my thoughts on the book, and although I normally like to wait longer before seeing the movie, I also knew I wanted to see it before it left the theater, so I hopped over to the fancy Ridgeway cinema to check it out.

I know they had to condense a lot of it to fit a 578-page book into a 2-hour movie, and I thought they did a good job of doing so. I thought the casting was great, especially the little boy who played Rudy. In the book his character has so much personality, and to find a young boy who can pull that off on the screen was a great accomplishment. He was one of my favourite characters on page, and I was glad to like him just as much on the screen.

I also liked the girl who played Liesel, and I thought Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson as Hans and Rosa Hubermann were great. Both played their parts with simplicity, and it brought a lot of depth to the roles [I realise that doesn't make a lot of sense, but it does in my head. so there]. What I mean is that they expressed so much with minimal actions or words, and I feel like that had a greater impact on the story.

I also really liked Max. Again, I know a lot had to be condensed, but I really wish he could have had more screen-time. His relationship with Liesel develops so gradually over such a long period in the book, and I was sad that it had to be so rushed in the movie to allow for everything else that needed to happen. I really would have liked to have seen that blossom slowly, if it had been possible.

Overall I was pretty happy with how the movie turned out. It's rare that I say that, particularly when I see a movie so soon after reading the book, but I really thought it was made well. Emotions and actions were expressed simply, and that's how I envisioned it while reading the book, so that gave me a positive outlook on the whole thing. I would definitely recommend seeing it, and I will definitely watch it again in the future.

Frozen. I hadn't heard anything about this movie until a few weeks ago, and I'd not seen any preview for it prior to seeing it in the cinema. All I knew was Idina Menzel was in there somewhere [major girl crush on her], so I was game.

I've not seen a new Disney movie since The Princess and the Frog, and I was very pleased with how this one turned out. I actually liked all the songs, which is something that's not happened in a really long time. It was a good time-pass, and I loved getting to hear Idina belt out some of those songs. I will say, though, that I didn't buy her voice as a blonde character. I'm sure I'm biased since I've only ever seen her as a brunette, but I found it odd. But that's neither here nor there.

I obviously loved Kristoff and now have a new animated crush to join the ranks of Prince Eric and Dmitri. His character was simple, but he had that sense of right-and-wrong that you don't find outside of Disney movies. Oh, and Olaf was great. I loved his desire to feel heat and how they handled that storyline. Disney's great at those sidekicks, and he - and Sven! - were perfect. And the trolls. The trolls were great.

My main complaint was that I didn't like how the character of Hans turned out. I obviously knew that twist was coming, so it wasn't much of a surprise, but that didn't stop me from being just a little disappointed with how it was handled.

Other than that - and the thing about Elsa being a blonde with those pipes - I really enjoyed the movie and will likely see it again in the future. There aren't many recent Disney movies that I say that about.

And there you have it. With Christmas next week and my brother home for the holidays, I'm sure there will be many more movies to be written about in the coming weeks.

Until then, happy viewing.

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