100 Word Review – Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

Aca-believe it, the Bellas are back, and this time they are going global!

After an incident involving Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) and Barack Obama, the Bardon Bellas are thrown off the a cappella circuit. In an attempt to reclaim their title, they head for the ultimate competition, World Champions.

This is Elizabeth Banks’ directorial debut and it is an absolute beauty.

Funny, feisty and feminist, the cast is superb, the songs are great; the film is just fantastic.

No, it’s not as good as the first one, but as far as sequels go, this one’s up there with the greats.

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100 Word Review – Pitch Perfect (2012)

When I first saw the trailer for this film, I presumed I would hate it. I could not have been more wrong. 

Anna Kendrick stars as Beca, a freshman who is determined to become a music producer. She joins The Bellas, one of the university’s singing groups, against her wishes, and “changes the face of a cappella”.

There is a little more to it than that, but you’ll have to watch it. Yes, there is a lot of singing (it’s about a cappella!), but there is enough humour (gross-out and otherwise) to keep even the biggest grouch entertained. Watch it!

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100 Word Review – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014)

You’ve seen the first one and the second one.

You are ready to follow Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) into District 13, the heart of the resistance. What will Snow (Donald Sutherland) do to punish her betrayal? Does she really have the moral high ground? Is she fit to be Mockingjay?

Heavily built on the sturdy foundations of the previous films, don’t start with this one. However, it takes a good hard look at the intricacies of rebellion and the power of propaganda which is covered so well in the book (Read. The. Books.).

It’s the things we love most that destroy us.

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100 Word Review – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

Sequel to The Hunger Games (2012), Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) has survived her first Hunger Games, but will she survive the scrutinising gaze of The Capitol and Panem’s terrifying leader, President Snow (Donald Sutherland).

With all the drama and almost as much of the politics as the books (read the books!), this opens up Panem in a way the first film couldn’t.

The cast is fantastic (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Stanley Tucci, Toby Jones, Jenna Malone) and the visuals are just as breath-taking. Prepare yourself for media spin, duplicity and rebellion.

Nobody ever wins the games. Period. There are survivors. There’s no winners.

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100 Word Review – The Hunger Games (2012)

Read the books.

But, also, watch the film. It’s not as good, but still brilliant.

Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers her life in place of her sister’s when she is chosen to participate in The Hunger Games, a barbaric event designed to keep the masses in line in this dystopian future.

Yes, there are similarities, but it is more than an Americanised Battle RoyaleChildren are killing children to survive, but for the sport of the Capital. Battle Royale may be gruesome, but this is emotionally brutal.

Elizabeth Banks and Woody Harrelson are both stunning in their supporting roles. It’s magnificent.

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100 Word Review – The Lego Movie (2014)

Everything is awesome.

There is nothing not to love about this film. It may be aimed at children, but once you get passed the obvious marketing ploys there is enough in it for everyone.

Emmett (Chris Pratt) is an average construction worker who accidentally gets stuck to the Piece of Resistance and finds himself helping Batman (Will Arnett), Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) and Unikitty (Alison Brie) to save all of the worlds from Lord Business (Will Ferrell).

Written and directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the team who directed 21 Jump Street (2012), this stop-motion animation is delightful from beginning to end.