Archive | November 2013

Hunger Games 2: Catching Fire Review

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Hey there folks. We’re back and mixing it up a little. Last time I decided to review an album, and today I’ve got a movie review hot off the presses. For those of you that didn’t see the first Hunger Games movie, check out this YouTube summary that does a good job:

Now that youre all caught up I’ll try to give a review with as few spoilers as possible. Right off the bat, this movie is a chick flick in my head, simply due to the fact that the main character is a girl. I know that’s incredible misogynistic, but I can’t imagine getting a group of my guy friends to go see it. That being said, I went with my girlfriend, who has read the books and acts as a great guide when I get lost or don’t notice a subtle plot point. The movie picks up shortly where the first left off, with Katniss back in her district, which is still doing poorly considering she won the Games. She and Peeta have to fake their relationship to inspire the world, but Katniss actually loves Gale. The big problem is that Katniss’ performance in the Hunger Games accidentally inspires a revolution, and the people of the districts look to her as a symbol of hope. The President doesn’t like the thought of a second rebellion, so he inserts a twist into the 75th annual games. Because every a change to the rules is allowed every 25 years, he decides so send back all the old winners, who are supposed to be safe, as a “Hunger All Stars Games” in hopes of killing Katniss and squashing the rebellion. Thats as far as I can go without blowing the rest of the film.

Peaks:  I hate Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss). I also hate Woody Harrelson (Haymitch). That being said I think they’re both perfectly cast for their roles. The underlying themes are obvious to anyone over 15, and make the movie a lot more than a fluff piece. Ancillary roles from Jeffery Wright (Boardwalk Empire), Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Elizabeth Banks are all strong. The budget was obviously bigger for the second film, which was apparent by the bigger, better special effects. 

Pits: The beginning half drags a bit. As a guy I was there for the action, which obviously picks up once the Hunger Games start. I understand the love story and the revolution are all interesting, but I was more interested in a Lord of the Flies on steroids. My biggest bone to pick, and this IS NOT a spoiler, is that the film ends on a to be continued cliff hanger instead of wrapping the film up, because there is a 3rd book and obviously a 3rd movie. At least the first film stood on its own. 

 

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The Marshal Mathers LP 2

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Guess who’s back? Back again. This time Marshall Mathers is back. Tell a friend (only if they’re an Eminem fan). For those readers not familiar with the man named Marshall Mathers, i’ve not a lil ‘splanin to do. Over the last 15 years Eminem/Slim Shady/Marshall Mathers has been one of the most controversial and successful hip hop artists in the industry. He reached his peak in the early 2000’s, when I was in high school and I’ve been a fan since. Eminem, as he’s most commonly known, has the two aliases listed above and with each name comes a different persona. Eminem, who is a skilled rapper, Marshall Mathers (his real name) who talks about his real life and experiences and Slim Shady, who is somewhat of a pop icon and can have nonsensical lyrics.

               This November Marshal Mathers released his first studio album in 3 years, and it does not disappoint. One thing Eminem has always been known for is song variety, and the Marshal Mathers LP2 (MMLP2) has plenty; from pop tracks featuring Rihanna and the Beastie Boys to darker, more personal songs with a simple beat like the opening track titled “Bad Guy”. One thing that Eminem has always been known for is his “flow”, or the style of his lyrics and how they are presented. Eminem’s flow is most impressive at its fastest, when he emphasizes different syllables of words to create nontraditional rhyme schemes, and shoehorns words into a limited space to show how quickly and clearly he can rhyme. Nowhere is this on display more than on the song “Rap God” which features a middle of the road beat and an average at best chorus, but the verses start slowly, and build to a frantic lyrical pace. While not everyone loves rap, if you look at it as poetry there is no one on Eminem’s level. For those looking for catchy beats check out Berzerk, produced by Rick Rubin. This track is Eminem’s signature “pop track” that boosts his record sales, and features Beastie Boys lyrical samples mixed with intrumentals from “The Stroke” by Billy Squier.

 

Aim for: Bad Guy, The Monster, Headlights

Avoid: So Much Better, Survival