"Mockingjay Part 1" is the third in the trilogy-and-a-half "Hunger Games" series. It's been a recent trend to split the final chapter of these types of series into two movies (Twilight, Harry Potter, even the upcoming Avengers movies), and the concept has pros and cons. The obvious con is that the production company is just trying to sell two tickets instead of one, knowing that the public will just suck it up and deal. The pro that I see is that it actually gives time to tell a deeper story. Rather than cutting a large amount out of a book in order to make a movie that is an hour and a half to two hours long, the director can keep more in and stretch the total to four hours, just split across two movies. I've enjoyed the Hunger Games series. The first [Celluloid Hero] I did for the Hawk was the original; for some reason it seems I never officially reviewed the second, but I'm back for the third.

I haven't read any of the books, so I really have no idea where the story is going (aside from the obvious). The first two movies featured actual "hunger games", the battle royales pitting teens against each other. The second movie ended with a shocking disruption of the game, and things are picked up immediately after, showing how the government and the rebellion are cementing their forces.

One of the strongest points of this series is the actors. Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman are all outstanding. The supporting cast of Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Josh Hutcherson, and Stanley Tucci are all deeply committed to their roles. New to the series is my latest crush, Natalie Dormer. Another strong newcomer was Julianne Moore, playing the leader of the rebellion. Her character is meant to be somewhat cold and offputting, which she pulls off very well.

Maybe I'm a little disturbed, but I enjoyed the games aspect of the first two movies. Obviously with the events of the second, I knew I wouldn't see the games in the third, but I still felt a bit of longing for them. I think the greatest praise I can give to this movie is that it made me want to go out and start a rebellion. People complain about our government, but no one really does anything. I'm not advocating another civil war, and the reason I'm not is because there's nothing to really fight against. A lot of people don't like the President, but just as many wouldn't like the guy who replaces him. In "The Hunger Games", there is a clear enemy, the perfect target for an oppressed people to take aim at.There's a small part inside me that loves the idea, and this movie tapped into it.



On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1" gets a 7 out of 10.


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