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The Playlist

Counterpoint Review: 'The Hunger Games' Is A Tired, Overlong Blockbuster Lacking Flair & Imagination

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 20, 2012 9:03 AM
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  • 42 Comments
With "The Hunger Games" arriving in theaters this weekend and expected to blow up the box office, early reviews have been very positive and anticipation has been running high. Our own review called it "an engaging, thoughtful, populist piece of entertainment that transcends gender, genre or source material." But not everyone in The Playlist camp felt the same. Here's a counterpoint review of the film that offers up a wholly different assessment of the upcoming franchise starter.

Review: 'The Hunger Games' Is Thoughtful, Thrilling Popular Entertainment That Genuinely Deserves To Be A Franchise

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • March 16, 2012 9:01 AM
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  • 12 Comments
Complexity and understatement are two criminally under-utilized values in most mainstream movies these days, but they’re at the core of, and the chief reason for the success of “The Hunger Games.” Director Gary Ross, screenwriter of the proletariat presidential fantasy “Dave” and writer-director of the social-consciousness-as-sci-fi tome “Pleasantville,” has always engaged his subjects with a light and yet substantial touch, but his adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ acclaimed young-adult novel is a truly remarkable achievement: he turns escapism into a deeply emotional experience. Instantly razing comparisons – qualitative especially -- to other female-friendly series such as “Twilight,” “The Hunger Games” is the first film in a long time that deserves Hollywood’s instant-franchise ambitions because it appeals to genre fans regardless of gender by crafting a story that’s both epic and intimate, spectacular and subtle.

Rooney Mara, Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain & Jennifer Lawrence Are Vanity Fair's 2012 Ingenues

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 31, 2012 1:43 PM
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  • 16 Comments
Vanity Fair loves the ladies. For their annual Hollywood issue the magazine has once again gone with hot young things for their cover, making it three straight years the boys have left off from strutting their stuff (excluding the 2009 issue which for some reason had Barack Obama fronting the issue). But also as usual, it's hard to argue with their choices for the most part with Rooney Mara, Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence selected for the cover.

Darren Aronofsky & Angelina Jolie Out & Susanne Bier, Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence Are In For ‘Serena’

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 30, 2012 9:57 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Sometimes, the stars don't align. It's as simple as that when projects don't come together and roll in front of cameras, and while in early 2010 Darren Aronofsky and Angelina Jolie were signed to direct and star in the period drama "Serena," it simply didn't come together. But now, nearly two years later, an equally compelling roster of talent are coming aboard, and will hopefully get this one moving.

Watch: Full Trailer For 'The Hunger Games' Is Mostly Convincing

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 14, 2011 9:25 AM
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  • 14 Comments
If a trailer's going to bow on "Good Morning America," it feels like you're safe in making some assumptions on the content of that trailer. Something frothy, we would imagine, in the vein of "New Year's Eve" or "Eat Pray Love," perhaps. At the very most, something from the latest Disney film, bearing in mind that ABC is a subsidiary of Disney. Not on our shortlist? A violent, dystopian sci-fi film about children made to fight each other to the death for the benefit of the general public. 

Jennifer Lawrence To Sing "Rue's Lullaby" On 'The Hunger Games' Soundtrack

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 17, 2011 9:26 AM
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  • 7 Comments
"The Hunger Games" will be a test of sorts for Jennifer Lawrence. Expectations are running high for the franchise film -- which already has a sequel dated for November 22, 2013 -- and will also be the the first time the young actress is toplining a tentpole. The success of the brewing series will largely depend on if audiences outside the core fanbase will want to go along Katniss' adventures, and that largely rests on Lawrence's shoulders. So as if that pressure wasn't enough, now she's going to show off her singing voice too.

A Few More Photos Of Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson & Jennifer Lawrence In 'Hunger Games'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 28, 2011 5:20 AM
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  • 7 Comments
So here you go...Hunger-heads? We're still searching for an appropriate nickname for "Hunger Games" fans. Mockingbirds? Team Everdeen? Yeah, maybe that last one works.

Jennifer Lawrence Becomes The Top Contender For David O. Russell's 'Silver Linings Playbook'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 21, 2011 2:11 AM
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  • 10 Comments
...and then there was one. With Elizabeth Banks, Kirsten Dunst, Blake Lively, Rooney Mara, Rachel McAdams, Andrea Riseborough, Olivia Wilde and Jennifer Lawrence all vying and testing for the coveted female lead role in David O. Russell's "The Silver Linings Playbook," one name has risen above the others. Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence seems to have impressed the director where the others have failed, taking the frontrunner position according to Deadline.

Elizabeth Banks, Kirsten Dunst, Blake Lively & More Testing For 'The Silver Linings Playbook'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 23, 2011 6:45 AM
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  • 9 Comments
Rooney Mara, Rachel McAdams, Andrea Riseborough, Olivia Wilde & Possibly Jennifer Lawrence All In The MixSo what happens when your last film earns seven Oscar nominations and two wins for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress? You get your pick of the lot when it comes to rounding up the cast for your next film.

'X-Men: First Class': The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 6, 2011 5:47 AM
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  • 13 Comments
By this point, it's more than likely that you've checked out "X-Men: First Class" (although its underwhelming box office suggests that there were fewer of you than we thought). And, if the film's strong exit scores are anything to go by, you, like most of The Playlist team, found it as entertaining a superhero movie as any in the last few years: fresh, exciting and well-directed, with a brace of star-making performances, it's certainly given a much-needed kick up the ass to a franchise that's had two awful entries in a row.

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