Top 7 lists

The Top 7 Scenes from the Hunger Games Franchise Before Mockingjay.

Welcome to another trusty top 7 list from Jay at 7 second reviews. Why 7 you ask? Well 10 is too long, and 5 is too short. Plus, it’s a theme! 7 second reviews. Top 7 lists. Get it?
In honor of the release of the next film in the Hunger Games franchise, Mockingjay Part I, I’d like to present:

The top 7 scenes from the Hunger Games franchise to this point.

Beware, there are spoilers ahead for the first two installments in the Hunger Games Franchise. Spoilers as far as the eye I can see. There are however, no spoilers for Mockingjay, the book or film.

7. Peeta “dies” and Finnick revives him.

This is one of several scenes that showcase Sam Claflin’s pitch perfect novel-to-screen portrayal of Finnick, and one of dozens of scenes that display how excellently cast Jennifer Lawrence is as Katniss. Additionally, this is a key scene for the overall trilogy as this is the moment that Snow and Finnick both realize (whether Katniss truly does or not,) that her feelings for Peeta is not all an act. She does care for, and in some way, love Peeta. This realization, by Snow especially, becomes paramount as we enter the next installment in the series.

6. Katniss volunteers at the Reaping.

This is perhaps the most well-known scene of the series. Prior to the reaping, it’s made abundantly clear that the chances of Prim being chosen are slim. Sometimes though, slim is enough. Plus, two of the most prominent qualities of Katniss Everdeen are established here; she is brave, and she loves her sister.

5. Katniss destroys the arena with one well-timed, well-aimed shot.

The end of Hunger Games: Catching Fire played out exactly as it did in the book. As the viewer, you are just as dazed and confused as Katniss. Who is my ally? Who is my enemy? This scene raises the mystery quotient while pushing the special effects budget through the roof. (See what I did there?) Katniss being lifted out of the arena in a mockingjay pose with the swelling musical score is done so very well.

4. Katniss lays Rue to rest & District 11 revolts.

Katniss’s “burial” of Rue is incredibly beautiful, especially when combined with the stunning score provided by James Newton Howard. Gary Ross’s decision to show Katniss’s screams of anger and sadness without sound is also a smart touch. The second part of this scene I did not appreciate on first viewing. For those who have read the book, you know that this part does not exist. However, the way the book is written, from Katniss’s first person point of view, this scene couldn’t have appeared. In the context of the film series, though, it works. Katniss’s treatment of the dead body of this young girl is not how the “Games” normally play out. This, along with the three finger “rebel salute” is the first true sign of revolution from Katniss, although that is a second thought to paying respect to a girl, as young and innocent as her sister, who became her ally and friend. It needed to be shown that Katniss’s tiny bit of rebellion is noticed by Rue’s district. This, combined with the anger and grief of what I’d assume is Rue’s father, leads to the unrest in the district boiling over as the scene closes.

3. This girl is on fi-errrrrrr (Sorry, couldn’t resist).

Cinna is lauded for the gorgeous dress he designed for Katniss. Unfortunately, this bit of rebellion would lead to the unfortunate beginning of the next scene on this list. Katniss “becoming the mockingjay” is only part of what makes this scene great. It is what comes after, where the tributes, all former victors, show solidarity by raising their arms together. It is absurd that they have to enter the arena once more, and everyone knows it.

2. The 75th annual Hunger Games begin.

This scene’s claim to fame is that in theaters, as Katniss’s tube rises into the arena, the screen expanded to full IMAX. Does it still work on a smaller screen? Most definitely. This is perhaps the most exciting, heart-pounding action sequence in the first two films. Katniss has reached a breaking point when one of her most staunch supporters, and friends, is beaten near-death in front of her as she is about to be launched into the hell of another games . She must take all her built-up fear, anger, and sadness, and channel it into focus and power in the arena. This is perfectly conveyed by Jennifer Lawrence here.

1. Katniss gives a speech to District 11 on the “victory” tour.

I consider this to be the most powerful scene in the first two films. From Jennifer Lawrence’s delivery of a beautiful “off-the-cuff” speech that is lifted almost directly from Suzanne Collins’s novel, to the reprise of “Rue’s Farewell” score from the first film, to Francis Lawrence’s wonderful direction, this scene is truly great. The conclusion, where an old man dies for standing up for his beliefs is as depressing and captivating as any you’ll see in a modern blockbuster.

I hope you enjoyed the list, and if you haven’t seen these films, I recommend checking them out. If you have a different favorites list, please let me know in the comments.
Enjoy Mockingjay Part I and thanks for reading!

Jay

Standard
Top 7 lists

The Top 7 Comic Book Heroes That Need Their Own Movie

A Top 7 list brought to you by Jay at 7 second reviews

Why 7 you ask? Well 10 is too long, and 5 is too short. Plus, it’s a theme! 7 second reviews. Top 7 lists. Get it?
Ten years ago this list would be much more difficult to whittle down to just 7 names. All the way back in 2004 the following had yet to make it to the Silver Screen: Iron Man, Thor, Ghost Rider, The Fantastic Four, and Green Lantern among others. For better or worse, all of these characters (and teams) have had their own films. There are still plenty of interesting and cool heroes that have either never been in a movie or haven’t had their true due with a film that focuses squarely on them. Here are the top 7 that hopefully will have their own feature film in the near future.
Honorable Mention-
Black Panther, Dr. Strange , Martian Manhunter, The Question, and Venom

7. Black Widow-

Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson has done an excellent job evolving Black Widow through her three appearances in the MCU. While the character was written to be fairly one-dimensional in Iron Man 2, she truly got a chance to shine in Avengers, and especially in the spectacular Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The MCU should have a solo film for a female hero, and it’s actually pretty surprising that it has yet to be seriously developed. Black Widow clearly has an interesting backstory that has been hinted at throughout her appearances. A film devoted to her (perhaps with a part for Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton) could be great and I hope it happens.
Chance of solo film in the next 5 years- 45%
Chance of solo film in the next 10 years- 80%

6. Deadpool-

deadpool

This one has been in and out of development hell for over a decade. Could a Deadpool solo film be amazing? Most definitely. Could it be awful? Unfortunately it certainly could. It would need to be rated R, and to be written and directed by someone(s) who is both a quality story-teller, a quality joke-teller, and a fan of the comic book. It would also need to have no relation whatsoever to the “Deadpool” in X-Men Origins: Wolverine which probably takes Ryan Reynolds, (who could have shined in the role,) out of the running.
Chance of solo film in the next 5 years- 15%
Chance of solo film in the next 10 years- 40%

5. Nightwing-

nightwing

This one is tough. I am a huge Richard Grayson fan. It is however very understandable that Nightwing has never had his own film. In order to have that, it is almost a necessity to introduce the character as Robin in a Batman-starring movie. Then, that character and that movie would both need to be received well. The closest he’s come to this happening was with the dreadful “Batman and Robin”. The name “Nightwing” is even mentioned in it. Fast forward to today, where Nolan’s films were never going to include Robin, let alone Nightwing, (though spoiler alert… they sort of did,) so a Nightwing movie would definitely not emerge from that series, (though spoiler alert 2… it could have with DKR’s ending). Now, the character is in constant rumors to appear in some capacity in Batman VS Superman. This could eventually lead to his own feature, but who knows?
Chance of solo film in the next 5 years- 10%
Chance of solo film in the next 10 years- 45%

4. Green arrow –

green arrow

Arrow is a very good comic book show. While Smallville’s success and the glut of successful superhero films in the last decade are the main thrust for Arrow to be greenlit, I believe Arrow itself has been more of a launching pad for comic book TV. Since Arrow premiered, (and quickly became a hit,) several comic TV series have been greenlit. Perhaps Agents of Shield, Gotham, Constantine, and a non-spinoff Flash still come out without Arrow’s success, but I doubt it. Having said all of that, Green Arrow is an excellent character and would be a great candidate for a solo movie. There was a film in development at one point called “Supermax” that would focus on Green Arrow needing to defeat a rogues’ gallery in order to break out of prison. Now that sounded cool. Does that fit into the current DC film Universe plans? I highly doubt it. Hopefully Green Arrow makes it into one of these DC team-up movies in the near future whether it’s Stephen Amell or a different actor playing a different iteration of the character. This could eventually lead to his own film.
Chance of solo film in the next 5 years – 15%
Chance of solo film in the next 10 years- 50%

3. Gambit-

Gambit

The Ragin’ Cajun himself. Growing up in the 90s, most of my friends were fans of the X-Men Animated Series. I’m sure that it will come as a surprise to many, especially kids of this generation, that Wolverine was not the most popular character among the majority of the TV show’s fans. It was instead Gambit AKA Remy Lebeau. Yes, Wolverine was the most popular when the comics are taken into consideration, but even then, Gambit was at worst top 5. You don’t get your own book if you’re not ultra-popular. A Gambit cameo was a late cut from 2003’s excellent X2: X-Men United. He eventually made it to the big screen portrayed by Friday Night Light’s Taylor Kitsch as one of the highlights in an overall average comic-book effort X-Men Origins: Wolverine. A film starring Channing Tatum is rumored to be in development now, with Channing potentially appearing as Gambit in 2016’s X-Men Apocalypse. While I am not entirely sold on the idea of Tatum as Gambit, he’s shown he has charisma and is an underrated actor. If the writing is good and the director is good, it could certainly work.
Chance of solo film in the next 5 years- 55%
Chance of solo film in the next 10 years- 85%

2. Flash –

Flash

How has the Flash never had a movie? This is crazy. Years ago, there was a solo film in development with David Goyer as writer/director and Ryan Reynolds as the rumored Flash. While that combination would never happen now as Goyer has since directed a widely panned comic book film, Blade: Trinity, and Reynolds has starred in a widely panned comic book film, Green Lantern, I think it would have worked beautifully. If Batman VS Superman: Dawn of Justice is a success, my guess is Flash will have a cameo in Justice League (in 2017?), and then he’ll have his own movie at some point in the next decade. At least there’s a promising new TV series about the scarlet speedster.
Chance of solo film in the next 5 years- 25%
Chance of solo film in the next 10 years- 70%

1. Wonder Woman-

Wonder woman

How could number 1 be anyone else? The fact that Wonder Woman has never had her own feature film is a travesty. (Well, a pop culture travesty, let’s keep things in perspective, but still a TRAVESTY!) She has never even had a cameo in a film. DC screwed this up. Wonder Woman is one of the most well-known, most popular superheroes ever. She should have had her own film many years ago. It came very close a few years ago. Back in 2007, (a Post-Buffy, Pre-Avengers) Joss Whedon wrote a script for WW that he would direct. Warner Brothers and Joss did not see eye to eye and he left the project. Seven years later, and Diana has never made it to the big screen. That is set to change with her impending appearance in Batman VS Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016. Hopefully she is portrayed properly as the strong, awesome Amazon that she is. If all goes well, she has a great shot at her own movie in the not-too-distant future.
Chance of solo film in the next 5 years- 50%
Chance of solo film in the next 10 years- 90%

What do you think? Is your favorite character missing from the list? Is the list too DC-heavy? If you did have an addition who would he/she replace? Please let me know in the comments.
Jay

Standard