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Tag: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (1-3 of 3)

'Divergent': Did it get trashed for coming after 'The Hunger Games'?

Divergent, whatever you think of it as a movie (I found it to be your basic, agreeably rousing sensitive-teen-in-Amish-linen-finds-her-inner-tattooed-jock-to-fight-the-power formula dystopian thriller), is, like the young-adult novel it’s based on, a piece of pulp mythology that obviously borrows a lot from The Hunger Games. The heroine who hails from a downtrodden district or, in this case, a faction (Abnegnation) that prizes self-sacrifice; the fascist schemers up top; the whole gym-class-on-steroids feeling of a seemingly normal girl who rises to a series of death-defying physical challenges; and, of course, the sense that the heroine can accomplish all this because, while ordinary on the surface, she’s really different, she’s special, she’s a rebel, she’s divergent in her innate superiority. (Why do I feel as if Leni Riefenstahl would have loved these movies?) READ FULL STORY

Philip Seymour Hoffman was a bravura actor who made his pain a timeless expression of us all

I’ll never forget the moment I first sat up and took notice of Philip Seymour Hoffman — the moment that I knew I loved him as an actor and knew, as well, that he was a different kind of great actor from anyone I’d ever seen. It was the moment in Boogie Nights (1997) when Hoffman’s Scotty J., the boom-mike operator who has spent most of the film hanging around the sidelines of the porn set, a sweetly insecure dude in long red hair, his gut poking out of his ’70s tank tops, confesses to Dirk Diggler that he’s got a crush on him. This comes as news to Dirk — and news to the audience as well, since we didn’t know that Scotty was gay, because it’s clearly something that he was hiding from the world. Drunk, and a little less shy because of it, Scotty shows Dirk his new sports car, which he thinks will impress him (it doesn’t), and he then tries to lay a smooch on him, which Dirk, in this paleo-days-of-gay-liberation era, thinks is beyond weird. But that’s the rejection that Scotty’s been living in terror of, and now that it’s happened, he breaks down. READ FULL STORY

Philip Seymour Hoffman's death won't derail 'The Hunger Games' sequels -- UPDATE

Fans of The Hunger Games franchise had the great pleasure of watching Philip Seymour Hoffman rip into the expanded character of Head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee in Catching Fire. In the wake of news of the actor’s  death, Lionsgate released a statement this afternoon mourning the great loss: “Philip Seymour Hoffman was a singular talent and one of the most gifted actors of our generation. We’re very fortunate that he graced our Hunger Games family. Losing him in his prime is a tragedy, and we send  our deepest condolences to Philip’s family.”

Plutarch remains a pivotal figure in the two remaining sequels Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2. Hoffman is said to have largely wrapped on the Part 1 shoot, and had seven remaining days of filming left for Part 2. How director Frances Lawrence and team will work around his tragic absence is still unknown. But their colleague and friend’s death won’t affect the films’ scheduled release dates of Nov. 21, 2014 and Nov. 20, 2015, respectively.

UPDATE: Jennifer Lawrence, Mockingjay director Francis Lawrence, author Suzanne Collins, and producers Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik released a joint statement following the news of Hoffman’s death. “Words cannot convey the devastating loss we are all feeling right now. Philip was a wonderful person and an exceptional talent, and our hearts are breaking. Our deepest thoughts and condolences go out to his family.”

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