2012’s The Hunger Games can be seen as patient zero when considering the current epidemic of dystopian young adult novel adaptations (Divergent, The Giver, The Maze Runner), and while it has established the cinematic language for these types of films, it’s taking its cues as a franchise from other sources. Like the Harry Potter series and “The Twilight Saga” (ugh, what a name) before it, Lionsgate has opted to split the final book in Suzanne Collins’s trilogy, Mockingjay, into two films. And thus we have The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. A film with everything you could ever want: letters, a numeral, a colon, and a dash.
This is a big summer for comic book movies – though it seems more and more like every summer is a big summer for the genre. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (fine) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (not-so-fine) have already seen release, while Marvel Studios’ great experiment Guardians of the Galaxy is forthcoming. But tucked into Memorial Day weekend is a new entry in a franchise that a lot of people may have forgotten about. X-Men: Days of Future Past is not only the latest installment in the adventures of the merry mutants, it is also the return of director Bryan Singer to series. Singer, screenwriter Simon Kinberg, and everyone else involved produce a movie that is everything a summer blockbuster should be.