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.
On this, the 180th day of the year, we are very close to the midpoint of this particular trip around the sun. It just so happens to coincide with the midpoint of summer movie season. Which, further coincidentally I’m sure, also marks the release of Transformers: Age of Extinction. Transformers: AoE (that’s what the kids call it) is full of explosions, CGI monsters, and beautiful people (Stanley Tucci, yowza!) – it’s kind of the perfect example of a summer blockbuster, down to the 2014-best opening weekend box office it inexplicably earned.