Okay, we didn’t really watch these two movies in a row, but we did have them both out from Netflix at the same time, and they do share a theme.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 – After the last Harry Potter book was split into two movies, despite not even being the longest book in the series, everyone else saw the money-making potential in this. So here we have a film where not a whole lot happens, because it’s only half of a story. If they had to cut it off at all, I kind of think it should have just ended with Katniss finding out that Peeta wanted to kill her, but it actually continues a little bit after that. It was well-done, as I’ve come to expect from the series, but the main thing that struck me was how awkward it was to see Philip Seymour Hoffman so soon before his death. Donald Sutherland’s performance as President Snow tends to stand out, and the filmmakers seem to agree as they’ve increased his role quite a bit. I understand that Jennifer Lawrence singing “The Hanging Tree” has become somewhat of a hit; I heard it on the radio some time before seeing the movie. I guess they wrote the tune for the film.
The Road – I really didn’t know anything about this one other than that Amanda Palmer mentioned being disturbed by it when we saw her in concert several years ago. It concerns a father and son trying to survive in a wasteland where some of the few remaining people eat each other. None of the characters are given names, at least as far as I can recall. There’s a definite sense of never knowing which people you can trust, although the father comes off as somewhat TOO paranoid. The ending is ambiguous, but seems generally optimistic. It’s not the kind of movie I’d generally watch, and it’s kind of slow, but it’s effective.