Tag Archives: elizabeth banks

Tons of Fun and Tons of Character, Power Rangers is a Must Watch | Review of ‘Power Rangers’


By Cynthia Ayala

Power Rangers starring Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludi Lin, Bill Hader, Bryan Cranston & Elizabeth Banks
Lionsgate
Image Credit: IMDB

“A group of high-school students, who are infused with unique superpowers, harness their abilities to save the world.”

    —IMDB

Sometimes Hollywood can remake our childhood, tapping into everything that made us smile. Power Rangers is a perfect example of that. The old show was always intended for a much younger audience, layered with a degree of absurdity and campiness that made the show so good. With the new adaptation, the movie capitalizes on the absurdity but without the campiness, a deeper level that the writers used to make the story more grounded for an older audience.
Continue reading Tons of Fun and Tons of Character, Power Rangers is a Must Watch | Review of ‘Power Rangers’

Fast Paced & A Brilliant Conclusion | Review of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2


By Cynthia Ayala

'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2' starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson & Liam Hemsworth
‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2’ starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson & Liam Hemsworth

Realizing the stakes are no longer just for survival, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) teams up with her closest friends, including Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and Finnick for the ultimate mission. Together, they leave District 13 to liberate the citizens of war-torn Panem and assassinate President Snow, who’s obsessed with destroying Katniss. What lies ahead are mortal traps, dangerous enemies and moral choices that will ultimately determine the future of millions.

— Google

Continue reading Fast Paced & A Brilliant Conclusion | Review of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

The Perfect Pitch | Review of ‘Pitch Perfect 2’


By: Cynthia Ayala

'Pitch Perfect 2' starring Anna Kendrick & Rebel Wilson
‘Pitch Perfect 2’ starring Anna Kendrick & Rebel Wilson
Universal Pictures

Three years have passed since the Barden Bellas proved that they were just as good as the boys when they became the first all-female group to win a national title. But after a disastrous performance at the Lincoln Center leads to scandal, the school strips them of their performing duties. All seems lost until they are given one last chance: win the cappella world championships in Denmark and they will be reinstated. Can the girls get their act together or will they lose everything?

This film is, in one word, perfect. Pitch Perfect 2 delivers great laughs with a down to earth tone and amazing musical mash-ups. This was just an amazing film that recaptured the humor from the first film and brought it another level. These girls are seniors now, with their futures very close on the horizon and their fears are getting to them. After their debacle of a performance, their fears are rising. Being a cappella girl is what these girls have mastered in, so with their chance to continue performing in their last year, they are losing a pivotal part to enjoy their senior year.
Continue reading The Perfect Pitch | Review of ‘Pitch Perfect 2’

A Haunting Action Film | Review of ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1’


By: Cynthia Ayala

MockingjayPart1Poster3Katniss Everdeen finds herself in District 13 after she literally shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta and a nation moved by her courage.

Mockinjay Part 1 is the third film in The Hunger Games series that follows one Katniss Everdeen as she discovers the truth about District 13 and the rebellion forces.  With Peeta held captive by the Capital, his loyalties and Katniss’ are put to the test as they brainwash him and Katniss fights for him.

Over all, as the movie, this is the film that is more far removed from the book than the previous films that were carbon copies of the novel. As an adaptation it wasn’t as good as the previous films in the series, as an action film as well, it failed in comparison.  Now, that is not to say that it was a bad movie, it was just slower than the other novels.  It was obvious that the screenplay writers worked very hard to extend the plot line of the novel with the changes that they made.  Some of those scenes were heartbreakingly beautiful as they showed the revolution take place and the people fight back.

As far as the acting goes, it was very well done, but Julianne Moore’s characterization was a little off.  Julianne Moore is a great actress but Alma Coin is supposed to be a character that everyone loves to hate and also a character who viewers are supposed to understand really hates Katniss.  Unfortunately neither the writers, the director or Julianne Moore understood that aspect of the novel.

Other than that, it was a well-made movie with a lot of heart and emotion to it that leaves the audience captivated.


Directed by: Francis Lawrence

Screenplay by: Danny Strong & Peter Craig

Based on Mockinjay by Suzanne Collins

Starring: Jennifer LawrenceJosh HutchersonLiam Hemsworth, Woody HarrelsonElizabeth Banks, Julianne MoorePhilip Seymour HoffmanJeffrey Wright

Genre | Rating | Length: Science fictionAdventure, Action | PG-13 | 2 hr. 3 min.

Everything is awesome! | Cyn’s Movie Review of The Lego Movie


By: Cynthia A.
image

Directed by: Phil Lord & Chris Miller

Screenplay by: Phil Lord & Chris Miller

Story by: Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Phil Lord & Chris Miller

Based on Lego Construction Toys

Starring: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Liam Neeson & Morgan Freeman

In the Lego universe, an ordinary mini-figure named Emmet is mistaken as being the Special (the greatest Master Builder who can save the Lego universe). With the help of an old wizard named Vitruvius, and a tough young woman named Wyldstyle, Batman, Uni-Kitty, Benny, and a pirate named Metalbeard, Emmet will have to unlearn everything he saw in the instructions and discover the power of imagination to defeat the evil Lord Business, a tyrant who is bent on destroying the Lego universe on Taco Tuesday and recreating it as he sees fit by gluing it together.

Superb!  This is a movie everyone will enjoy, a perfect family movie and a movie for the couples and the group of friends.

The Lego Movie is a fun that follows one Emmet (Chris Pratt), a lego construction worker, as he begins his day and before coming across the “Piece of Resistance”, the piece that can end the evil plot of Lord Businessman (Will Ferrell) who wants to end the world by using the Kragle.  However, the wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) revealed a prophecy to Lord Business saying that the one who finds the “Piece of Resistance” is the “special”, the master builder who will take down Lord Busiessman.  That is the moment when Emmet enters the world, a generic character with no friends; a nobody who follows all the rules and doesn’t stand out discovers that he is part of something bigger in the lego world.

The story was solid, it had a beginning, middle and end and highlighted that everyone is special, that eve those who feel invisible or “generic” have their own special traits that make them stand out.  Underneath all that animation, this movie had a very solid to it, a story that gave this movie the depth and heart all animated movies should have.

Besides the story, what also made this movie stand out was the dialogue.  Here you have a cast composed of some of the best talent and they had a dialogue that was amazing, witty, satirical, hilarious and heartfelt.  The comedic timing behind every joke was spot on, delivered with beautiful precision and captivating voice acting.  It was priceless.  All of it was incredibly meaningful and perfectly done, it gives moviegoers something worth watching out there in the world full superficial media that focuses strictly on animation and special effects rather than developing an actual story coupled with decent dialogue, which isn’t that hard.

As a whole, this movie was brilliant because it wasn’t some superficial animated movie, but rather one that has a meaning that even the youngest child will understand.  Emmet is the hero, but he doesn’t seem to be the hero that everyone expected, but his love for his new found friends, gives him the strength to believe in himself and give others the strength they need to actually be a part of a team accept that they are not alone in this resistance against world domination.

The ending though seems to fall apart just a bit as the movie flips back and forth between live action and animation.  Taking viewers out of the movie, those were the moments where the movie seemed a little cliché.  Granted it focused on a relationship between father and son, but it took some of the magic that had built through the entire film out of it.

Nevertheless, this movie delivered a fun and amazing movie.  Everything was awesome! ★★★☆ (A)

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire | Movie Review


By: Cynthia A.

image

Directed by: Francis Lawrence

Screenplay by: Simon Beaufoy & Michael Arndt

Based on Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Starring: Jennifer La  wrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci & Donald Sutherland

A year has passed for Katniss Evergreen, but the nightmares of The Hunger Games that she was forced to participate in still haunt her nights, and her trick to save her life and Peeta’s has made her a target for President Snow.  An in the Districts chaos ensues, heralding Katniss as their spark, the lives of everyone she cares about are threatened.  In a desperate attempt to make an example, the 75th Annual Hunger Games bring together past victors, Katniss and Peeta once again find themselves in a fight for their very lives.

My god, that movie was amazing.  From the beginning the very end, it was emotional and gut wrenching.  If you haven’t read the books I must insist that you do.  But beside that, the movement and the adaptation of this novel into the movie was brilliant.  Jennifer Lawrence was an amazing, she captures the pain and the anguish that the character Katniss embodies as she struggles with living day to day, and the emotional rollercoaster she goes through both inside and outside the Hunger Games.  However, it wasn’t just her, the entire cast stood out perfectly, and with each death, your heart aches because they have already made you incredibly attached to the characters.  The very acting in this movie is spellbinding, not only becoming one with these characters, but also making them their own as they bring them to life.  My personal favorite would have to be Jena Malone as Johanna because she brought out a crazy and even fun loving side of the movie, even if it was for the briefest of moments.

The story, as it was told, was perfectly done.  It was explosive, emotional and gripping.  Watching it, you’re immediately sucked in.  The movement, the progression and show of how the last Hunger Games as affected the districts, while tying it tightly to Katniss and Peeta and just how powerfully they are affected is captured perfectly in the early moments of the film.  It moves fast effortlessly, grabs you hooks you and there is never a moment that is lost.  All the events, all the turmoil and the suffering in the story, it’s all captured and portrayed, told in such a powerful way. 

I will watch this movie again and again while it’s in theaters, just because it was so amazing, I saw no flaws within the movie, because it was so gripping and such a powerful film and story.  Now I’m even more excited to see The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, but until then, I will be more than glad to spend more money on this film.  ★★★★ (A+)

Effie Trinket Is Resplendent In The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’s Capitol Couture


By:  Katey Rich

The heroine of the Hunger Games franchise, the inimitable Katniss Everdeen, is a girl who couldn’t care less about makeup and jewels and clothes. She’s forced to wear them, of course, in both The Hunger Gamesand especially Catching Fire, in which she and Peeta are sent on a victory tour to “celebrate” their wins in the Hunger Games that claimed the lives of all the kids who entered the arena with them. The victory tour and the fancy dresses Katniss has to wear on it are all a symbol of how the tyrannical Capitol dresses up the terrible system they’ve set up for Panem.

But the wild, flashy fashion of the Capitol is also one of the draws of seeingThe Hunger Games onscreen, and that fashion is epitomized by Effie Trinket, Katniss’s guide through the guides played by Elizabeth Banks. Just as they did for the first movie, Lionsgate is using Effie to promote the more glamorous side of the Hunger Games world, in a canny move that also allies them a little too closely with the terrible Capitol. Check out the first image of Effie in her getup from the newest issue of Capitol Couture, which debuted at the film’s Facebook page:

_1362432972

Effie, as usual, looks resplendent, and her portrait is just the first of two. Check out this look at the equally flamboyant Caesar Flickerman, played by Stanley Tucci:

_1362445375

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire comes to theaters on November 22 this year. As you might imagine, this is just the tip of the marketing iceberg we’ll see between now and then. You can click here to follow everything else we’ve learned about it so far.

Source: Cinema Blend

 

Community’s Gillian Jacobs Joins Elizabeth Banks For Walk Of Shame


By: Eric Eisenberg

gillian_jacobs_34557Elizabeth Banks may soon be doing the Walk of Shame on the big screen, but at least she will have a best friend to help her through the experience. Gillian Jacobs, best known for playing Britta “The Worst” Perry on the critically acclaimed NBC series Community has signed on to join Banks in the upcoming Steve Brill comedy and will be playing the main character’s close bud.

According to THR, the movie, which Brill also wrote, is about a “high-strung news anchor” (Banks) who is having the worst day of her life. After a drunken night and a short trist with a stranger, the character wakes up the next morning to find herself locked out without her wallet, phone or car. What’s worse, she has an incredibly important job interview to get to and must travel across the city of Los Angeles to make it time. The trade doesn’t mention how Jacobs fits into the plot, but presumably she will be a person who Banks goes to looking for help. Last week it was reported that James Marsden would be in the film as well along with Willie Garson (Sex and the City). Brill most recently directed a segment of the omnibus comedy Movie 43, which will be out in theaters next month, but before that his last feature directorial effort was 2008’s Drillbit Taylor with Owen Wilson.

In addition to her work on television, Jacobs has been keeping busy on the big screen as of late as well. This past summer she played a part in the apocalyptic comedy Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, but has The Incredible Burt Wonderstone with Steve Carell, the horror comedy Milo, the dark laugher Teddy Bears and the Paris, Je T’aime spoof Cleveland, I Love You wrapped and looking to be released in 2013. She is currently filming the thriller The Lookalike, which co-stars Justin Long.

Source: Cinema Blend

 

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Casts Jeffrey Wright As Beetee


By: Katey Rich

The_Hunger_Games_Catching_Fire_32830Jeffrey Wright, the character actor and theater veteran who seemingly shows up in every other movie, has become the latest– and quite possibly the last– actor added to the massive lineup for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Lionsgate announced today that they’ve cast him as Beetee, the former tribute from District 3 who has knowledge about electronics that becomes very, very valuable as he, Katniss, Peeta and many others return to the arena for the Quarter Quell.

Beetee is teamed up throughout the film with Wiress, the other District 3 tribute who was actually one of the first Catching Fire characters to be cast, when Amanda Plummer signed on back in July. And though Beetee isn’t as flashy a role as dreamboat Finnick (who will be played by dreamboat Sam Claflin) or fiery Johanna Mason (Jena Malone is playing her), he’s important to the action that happens in the arena, as well as the revolution that eventually engulfs Panem and changes Katniss’s life.

Catching Fire is set to start production this fall, with a release date set for November 22 next year. In addition to all the new cast members mentioned above, Philip Seymour Hoffman is on board to play head games maker Plutarch Heavensbee, and of course all the original cast that survived the first film will be back– that includes Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Toby Jones and Stanley Tucci. We don’t know a whole lot else about it just yet, but you can follow along all the news as it comes by clicking here.

Source: Cinema Blend