Tag Archives: Jennifer Lawrence

The Set of 400: #289 – My Favorite Cornucopia

Today! Because….uh, I believe we have a volunteer –

The Hunger Games (2012)

Directed by Gary Ross

Starring Jennifer Lawrence (x2), Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson (x3), Elizabeth Banks (x3), Donald Sutherland (x3), Wes Bentley, Stanley Tucci, Paula Malcomson (x2), Toby Jones, Lenny Kravitz, Willow Shields, Alexander Ludwig

The rare YA novel that completely succeeds in the transfer to the big screen, The Hunger Games is a blatant rip-off of the Japanese movie Battle Royale from 2000, yes. However, that movie has sat on my Netflix queue unwatched for years, so I don’t have anything to go on besides the internet howling of Japanese film fans. But does Battle Royale have a drunken, bewigged Woody Harrelson cavorting through it though? Then shush.

It’s such an instantly iconic movie, and the capital is so cartoonish, that glancingly people might forget how gritty an action movie this film is. The murder! There are only a handful of movies I can think of where more than one or two kids die – this one slaughters loads of children. That’s a tough sell! And yet, Hunger Games works through the fairly tasteful framing of scenes in the arena, and the totally committed performances of the leads. Jennifer Lawrence had done X-Men: First Class at this point, and really broke onto everyone’s radar with 2010’s Winter’s Bone, but her balls-to-the-wall, 100% Katniss Everdeen will obviously go down as her forever role – no matter how many times she Mystiques it up. Hell, she won an Oscar for a different movie this same year and you don’t hear it talked about much anymore (Silver Linings Playbook is perfectly fine).

She does kick a metric ton of ass in this movie, though

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The Set of 400: #342 – My Favorite Nuclear Deterrent

Today! Because peace was never an option –

X-Men: First Class (2011)

Directed by Matthew Vaughn

Starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Bacon (x3), Rose Byrne, Oliver Platt, January Jones (x2), Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, Lucas Till, Caleb Landry Jones, James Remar (x2), Don Creech, Ray Wise, Michael Ironside, Jason Beghe, Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Romijn, Rade Serbedzija, Glenn Morshower, Jason Flemyng

There was legitimate concern heading into the late ’00s that the mighty X-Men franchise was as good as dead. The Last Stand was pretty widely reviled among fans, and the Wolverine prequel wasn’t…good, so what sort of hope could there be? Even when this thing was announced, I don’t remember people being overly optimistic. What, no Storm? No Cyclops? Nightcrawler? Wolverine? Toad?! Concerns abounded.

But while none of these later prequel-centric cast X-films have been gigantic box office hits, this was crucial proof that they could work. The X-Men movies, even though they predated the MCU by many years, have never quite gotten their due – always overshadowed by the Raimi Spider-mans, the Nolan Batmans, and ultimately Iron Man and company. But overall this has to be considered the second most consistent comic book franchise ever, right? There have been, what, eleven movies so far, if you count the Deadpools, and eight of them are very good-to-great (depending on your opinion of Apocalypse, I guess) – that’s a pretty strong track record for a long-in-the-sabretooth series.

Oscar Isaac be damned, we’re still not generally happy with this movie, right?

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