Mockingjay Pt 2 & Creed

Alright, I can say that we saw some pretty damn good movies in the last few weeks.  We saw Creed yesterday and it was spectacular.  Let me continue…

Creed_77637Creed (2015)

Saw this at the Pacific Theaters at Americana on November 28, 2015.

Creed tells the story of the son of Apollo Creed, Rocky Balboa’s competitor and friend in the Rocky movies and who ultimately is killed by Ivan Drago in the beginning of Rocky IV (spoiler alert?)  Adonis (he goes by Donnie) grows up initially in group homes as he was a child from a woman that Apollo slept around with, until Apollo’s wife finds him and basically raises him.   Donnie seems to have a good life ahead of him but he has the boxing blood in him and throws that life away to pursue it.  So goodbye Los Angeles and hello Philadelphia, where of course he ends up seeking out Rocky Balboa, played by Sylvester Stallone, to train him.  Rocky resists at first but eventually relents….and off we go.  Creed is sensational and I unreservedly recommend it to anyone.  It helps to know a bit about Rocky’s past and relationship with Apollo Creed, but the movie does a great job of making it clear how the pieces fit.  And man, the performances by Michael P. Jordan as Donnie and of course Sylvester Stallone as Rocky are amazing.  The cinematography is at times stellar – there’s a fight in the middle of the movie that is done in one shot and you feel like you’re in the ring with Donnie.  It’s thrilling.  Even better is that there’s a dramatic story to tell and the filmmakers just nail it.  Go see this – I guarantee you’ll be cheering when you hear that little bit of the Rocky theme at a key point in the movie.  I was like, FUCK YEAH! when that happened.  There’s talk about supporting Oscar nominations for Stallone and I’m very good with that.  He’s amazing here.  Creed 2: Drago’s Revenge is gonna be GREAT!!!

maxresdefaultThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part II (2015)

Saw that at the TCL Chinese Theater IMAX on Nov 21, 2015

The concluding chapter in the Hunger Games series finally is upon us.  I’m still torn on whether Mockingjay should have been made into 2 movies, but when there’s money to be made, it will be made.  So even though I was skeptical, and I didn’t love the book as much as the first two, I could see that they would have the Capitol Assault be the focus of its own movie, and so it was.  And let me tell ya, they really went for it.  The horrific booby traps around the Capitol, Katniss’ continued anguish as things get progressively worse and worse despite what she tries, the politics being waged all around here and in her name….it’s quite a ride.  And I loved it.  Jennifer Lawrence is of course awesome, as is the supporting cast.  There are times when this is a pure horror movie, especially underneath the Capitol, and at times a war movie, and it’s gripping until the very end.  Part 1 and Part 2 are definitely two halves of this whole which is why both Larry & I think they should have been just one movie, but it is what it is.  Anyway, very enjoyable conclusion to a fun series of movies.

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