1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 2: (Lionsgate, 4,175 Theaters,137 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for some thematic material, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score at press time: 72% [134 Reviews]): Panem is in full revolt. The assault on the capitol has begun. And Katniss has entered the final stages of the greatest game of all. Even if she wins, she will lose. What good is freedom if your friends die getting it?
If you don’t understand a word of the previous paragraph, then you have not been one of the moviegoers who have made this franchise a success to the tune of 2.2 Billion dollars. This is the final entry in the franchise, and should completely dominate the box office this weekend.
As for what the future holds? Will is fade off into the sunset like the Twilight series? Or will there be further exploration of the world of the books like Harry Potter? Whatever it is, may the odds be ever in its favor.
2. The Night Before (Sony/Columbia, 2,960 Theaters, 101 Minutes, Rated R for drug use and language throughout, some strong sexual content and graphic nudity, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score at press time: 67% [61 Reviews]): I’ll tell you where the ads lost me. So, we all know the premise of the film. Three friends go on a Christmas Eve debauchery spree, a yearly tradition that might be coming to an end because Seth Rogen’s character is about to become a dad.
Since the might be the last time they’ll be doing this, Rogen’s character’s wife (Jillian Bell) gives the boys a box of recreational pharmaceuticals to make the night more fun. Cut to later in the ad, and she is yelling at a tripping Rogen for getting sick at Christmas Eve mass. If the mass was so important, why’d she hook them up with drugs? Since she is the cause of the illness, she has no right to be mad, in my opinion. The fact that she is seems more like a screenwriting decision than what would have happened in real life.
Don’t get me wrong. I like the main actors and a lot of the supporting ones too. I like the writer and director too. And FBOL’s own John Wayne Colwell gave it a glowing review. I just am going to have a hard time getting past that.
3. The Secret In Their Eyes (STX Entertainment, 2,392 Theaters, 111 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving disturbing violent content, language and some sexual references, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score at press time: 31% [42 Reviews]): See, that poster over there? See the names above the title? There’s two Oscar winners and on Oscar nominee there. Some of the best actors of this generation. How can any film with that cast get such bad reviews?
Well, it starts that the film had an uphill battle to begin with. It is a remake of the 2009 Argentinean film of the same name, a film which won the Oscar for best foreign film. Top that off with sizable liberties taken in its adaptation (in the original, the deceased was a stranger to the team of investigators. In this one, its a family member) designed to strengthen the emotional pull but which seems like actually diminished the impact the original had.
Add to that a unknown studio distributing and a tumultuous development history and that’s how you get that score you see above.