Diablog: The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2

Yup. This movie did, in fact, exist, and we did, in fact, see it.
Yup. This movie did, in fact, exist, and we did, in fact, see it.

Rasha: Ok, I am here with leftover champagne in hand and ready to hateblog this movie!

Gemma: Ah, you still have that leftover champagne? Not for much longer, I s’pose.

R: I’m slow, have been working. Killing it tonight! As I am killing any interest I once had in the Hunger Games franchise.

G: I did absolutely nothing today, except talk to my family members, go grocery shopping, and binge Nurse Jackie. Ugh, gawd, what a movie Mockingjay Part 2 was.

R: I loved Nurse Jackie! Is it still on?

G: No, it just came onto Netflix. I’d never watched it before! I love Edie Falco!

R: It is great, she is great.

G: And that is a quality female friendship I had never even heard alluded to! I always think of your opinions when I see P. Facinelli.

R: Remind me of what I think of Jennie Garth’s ex?

G: You seem to get some goofy pleasure out of him. I remember discussing when he was on Damages. I find him a little much on this show, as I find much of this show a little much, but I am still having fun.

R: I enjoyed pretty much everyone on Nurse Jackie. I love the too-muchness. The hospital administrator is my favorite in every scene she has.

G: Well, Anna Deveare Smith is still Anna Deveare Smith in all her glory. The whiplash inconsistency of the writing really bugs me, but not yet enough for me to stop watching, esp. since the ideas and all the performances are so good.

R: But before this diablog turns into a Trojan Horse Review where we rave about Nurse Jackie

G: Yes. Let’s move forward.

R: Let’s just go ahead and start with those final two scenes.

G: ULGH GOD NO PLEASE I DO NOT WANT TO THINK ABOUT THEM AGAIN

I can't find any stills of that stupid ending on the intertubes. And I am super-okay with that.
I can’t find any stills of that stupid ending on the intertubes. And I am super-okay with that.

R: Can I say that every movie should feature someone yelling at a cat and then hugging that cat. IT IS A METAPHOR FOR LIFE, PEOPLE.

G: Okay, that’s fair. And J. Law did bring it.

R: That cat gave my favorite performance in the whole movie.

G: Let’s hear it for CGI/animatronics. Or was it played by Andy Serkis?

R: No, it was a real cat.

G: I am pretty sure it was not a real cat in at least one of the earlier movies. Anyway.

Real or not real?
Real or not real?

R: That baby at the end was the fake one, and played by Andy Serkis’ understudy. No way a baby has a head that big. It was freakishly big, like way too big to have come from any incarnation of J.Law’s physical being.

G: The size of the baby’s head is the least of my worries there.

R: I am very concerned about it. I will also hear your other concerns. Also: champagne killed. Maybe it’s time for bourbon?

G: That sounds like a correct choice. I saw this movie with two adolescents and one other adult, and I was embarrassed to have shepherded them into that ending. What flowery sexist artificial claptrap. And yes, I’m naming a scene within this series as uniquely artificial.

R: I know that Katniss’ dress did not meet your fashion taste. They should have ended with them in bed and the real/not real check-in. Oh capital mutants, has this movie franchise ruined whatever was even remotely intriguing about the source material.

They totes have sex at the end of the book MOCKINGJAY. If you didn't get that, you're reading it wrong.
They totes have sex at the end of the book MOCKINGJAY. If you didn’t get that, you’re reading it wrong.

G: It was really all this movie, though. I was on board with it until this point. But all trains are officially wrecked.

R: I was not as crazy about the last one. I felt like J.Law spent the whole of this movie on auto-pilot using whatever acting bot they give you after you win an Oscar for some sh*t that Bradley Cooperface was also in. The Emototron 10K or summat.

G: Well, I do not entirely blame her. This movie had zero idea what genre it was.

R: I really did like her once, but she’s in these stupid stupid movies by that stupid dude who directed Silverlinings, and now I feel like it’s messed with her onboard sensors. She was phoning this mess in.

G: I mean, I blame her for continuing to make movies with Bradley Cooper. That’s on her. But I don’t blame her for the problems with this movie.

JLaw, how much of this disaster is on you?
JLaw, how much of this disaster is on you?

R: How unappealing is Bradley Cooper? All of the.

G: OMG YES LITERALLY ALL THE UNAPPEALING.

R: Like my ovaries shrivel.

G: JLaw certainly lacked the onscreen acumen she’s shown in the last few movies, but again, what choice did she have? Even the extremely disturbing ghost of Philip Seymour Hoffman had no idea what he/it was doing. One minute it’s an action movie. The next minute it’s a genuine dystopia. The next it’s a romance. The next it’s a political drama.

R: Dude, how did PSH make it into this movie? I was amazed they could keep him in it. Wasn’t the last scene with Hamish originally supposed to be with Plutarch, and instead they had Hamish bring Katniss a letter from Plutarch?

I repeat my question: real or not real?
I repeat my question: real or not real?

G: Well, nooooooo sh*t about the letter, but I guess they shot a lot of the two movies at once, and in a couple of cases he was Nancy-Marchand-CGIed?

R: You know who wasn’t phoning it in? Donald Sutherland is always a delight, and whoever played Johanna Mason was clearly trying to up her pay grade with the performance as a tweaking former Champion.

Decidedly not phoning it in: Jena Malone.
Decidedly not phoning it in: Jena Malone.

G: Jena Malone. And yes to her, and to Sutherland. I wish Malone’d had a little more to do, but I am alllll about Evil Donald Sutherland.

Let us never apologize for The Joy of Sutherland.
Let us never apologize for The Joy of Sutherland.

R: I was sad when Finnick died.

We miss this guy.
We miss this guy.

But the whole setup just made it seem like the movie was an inevitable death march toward And Then There Were Two…and they lived stupidly obliviously ever after in a meadow.

G: Well, to be slightly fair to the movie, the book’s a little like that too. But we didn’t spend enough real time with Coin, and so the climax really made no sense. Political drama got royally shafted. I started to feel as I felt about the Harry Potters: that some excellent actors were just squandered squandered squandered. This is why you can’t have nice things, Hunger Games. Or people. If you can’t take advantage of Julianne Moore you don’t deserve her.

A squandered resource in your film, y'all.
A squandered resource in your film, y’all.

R: I know. Prim’s death was shortchanged. I remember being shocked by it in the book. And the movie seems to want us to follow Katniss’s high emotional storm over it, but doesn’t give us enough context to understand who is culpable and why she’s shifting her alliances.

G: Well, the girl playing Prim in these movies is a terrible actor, which doesn’t help. But yes, agreed on the emotional storm.

Every piece of this movie, even the sisterhood, felt disjointed and random.
Every piece of this movie, even the sisterhood, felt disjointed and random.

R: On that last scene: Somehow, it didn’t bother me as much in the book as it did in the movie, though there was plenty else that bothered me in the books. Ok, and what about that voiceover at the end? Basically Katniss is promising to traumatize her children one day with stories about Why Mommy has Uncontrollable PTSD.

Hmmmm … could it have been, you know, years of relentless trauma?
Hmmmm … could it have been, you know, years of relentless trauma?

G: Yes. But right now we’re in a pretty meadow accompanied by frolicking SuperBlondies and a baby with an enormous head.

R: It looked like a scene from the Shire in a Peter Jackson film. I think Peeta stole Sam Gamgee’s wig.

Was his hair always so YELLOW?
Was his hair always so YELLOW?

G: I would be decidedly not shocked if that were so. All the originality got used up about halfway through this movie.

R: Dude, what can we even say? Is there a way to fix this movie? What was lost, what were the stakes?

G: I think it was working from a messier book, and a messier part of that messier book. Just to be entirely fair to the adapters. But the books are about the relentless march of PTSD and the confusing gains and losses of marshaling one’s resilience in the face of that. At least, that is one of the things they are about, and one of the things I was startled that the second and third movies were really able to capture. If they’d stayed better focused on Katniss and the real questions of trust, we would’ve had a stronger film.

Focus, people, focus.
Focus, people, focus.

R: I remember really liking Mockingjay as a book, particularly for its representation of the complications and compromises of revolutionary movements. I appreciated its depiction of rebels who are ready to become tyrants, and ruthless leaders who will sacrifice the very people they claim to value and to be working for. But that’s the reader in me that loves Camus’ The Rebel, and that’s the activist in me who’s watched and had to navigate political alliances where you work with people you don’t necessarily like or trust. And all of that was so f^cking cursory in this film. Like the filmmakers have an even shallower understanding of that theme than Collins does.

G: I am a fan of the ideas in the book, for the reasons you describe, but I thought its execution as a structured work of fiction was flawed, and those flaws were played up in the film to the point of making the story nonsensical.

R: And for a series that was really about PTSD, this last film failed majorly. We should write about Peeta in a character study and explore what we think should have been and was/was almost elucidated.

G: I think we should, yes!

R: Till next.

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