Another movie review kind of day

The Hunger Games - In a dystopian future ruled by a totalitarian regime, resourceful Katniss and her partner, Peeta, represent their district in the lethal Hunger Games—a televised survival competition in which teenage contestants fight each other to the death.

(rent/buy) I avoided seeing this in theaters despite several friends (and many others) giving it a wonderful review. I was rather sick of hearing about it and even when my friends eventually sat me down to watch it, I wasn’t on the edge of my seat with excitement. The movie is enjoyable, well done, well acted, and gorgeous. The plot, pacing, characters and story are all fantastic, although I did feel like the ‘romance’ was forced and the story would be stronger without it.

American History X - A California neo-Nazi gets sent to prison for murder and comes out a changed man. But can he atone for his sins and prevent his younger brother from following in his hate-filled footsteps?

(rent/buy) This is not an easy movie. I added it to my Netflix queue because it’s sort of classic, and then I realized what it was about. It sat beside my TV for a month—or two—waiting to be watched. When I finally bit the bullet and watched, it was absolutely worth it! It’s good, but it’s also heavy-hitting enough that I know many people wouldn’t watch it again. But it’s definitely worth checking out once. Just don’t watch it when you need a happy movie, although ultimately there are a ton of positive messages. Great acting, great story.

Judas Kiss - While judging at his alma mater's film festival, failed director Zach Wells has a fling with a student contestant. The following day, Zach discovers that the young man is a past version of himself, offering him a chance to improve his own future.

(rent) This is an enjoyable but odd movie. It’s not crazy weird, but it is different. The acting, sets, and special effects were good and the plot/theme was interesting, although I think a few points of the plot can’t be looked at too closely, and I felt like some things were left open-ended. Overall, definitely worth a viewing, although it does hit on some heavy-duty topics.

Breaking Dawn, pt 2 - Brought back from near-death by Edward after childbirth, Bella begins her new life as a vampire and mother to their daughter, Renesmee. When the Volturi are led to believe that Renesmee was not born as a vampire but, rather, turned into one in violation of their code, the Volturi set out to destroy the child and the Cullen clan. The Cullens band together with vampires from around the world to stand united against the Volturi.

(rent) Yes, I watched this. Yes, I paid money at the movie theatre for it (though we went to the matinee, so it was cheaper). My friends and I made a pact to go see them all together after I laughed (silently, in stitches, probably terrifying the poor woman next to me) through the first one. It’s better than the first one, but no better than the others, really. And they got a little weird with their fight scene. So, yeah, it was another Twilight movie...pretty much what you’d expect.

What Happens Next - After rich businessman Paul Greco retires early, his imperious sister tries to get him to settle down with the woman of her choosing. But Paul seems more interested in developing his friendship with Andy, a charming young man he meets at a dog park.

(rent/buy) This was a sweet, cute, kind of awkward romantic comedy. The leads are attractive without being too attractive, which makes things feel more real, but the short scenes left me kind of unconnected with the pair. I didn’t feel a dynamic with them, although they were both nice men (although one is in the closet and causes all the eyerolls/hair pulling associated with that). It was enjoyable, but didn’t blow my socks off, but probably worth a cuddle on the couch.

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