Archive for the ‘Pg-13’ Tag

The Hunger Games – Film Review   1 comment

IMDB: 7.6

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%


Opening with a solid $250 million in the box office, “The Hunger Games” marks the next step forward in Hollywood’s book-to-movie sagas.

“The Hunger Games” provides some serious action and suspenseful film-making that has critics talking. For a PG-13 rated film, it certainly packs a punch.

Excitement surrounding the film’s premiere has been stirred by the wild success of the novel written by Suzanne Collins.

Following in the footsteps of LOTR (“Lord of the Rings,” for all you noobs out there), “Twilight,” and of course, the godfather of all book-to-movie franchises, “Harry Potter,” “The Hunger Games” cements this trend in current filmmaking.

All of these blockbuster-caliber films drew from hype, fueled largely by the books they were adapted from, to turn their debuts into big box office bucks.

In terms of revenue generated, “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows II” is in the lead among these films with a gross of $380 million; next is “LOTR: The Return of the King” with $377 million; “Twilight: Eclipse” brings up the rear (rightfully so) with $300 million.

Each of these films was the highest rated of their respective series at

But worry not, “Hunger Games” fans: “The Hunger Games” is still generating revenue.

And we don’t even know if the first film in the series will be the most successful of the saga as far as the big screen is concerned.

In addition to the moola, all of these movies (with the exception of “Twilight”) have received mostly exceptional film reviews.

It is safe to say at this point that the book-to-movie phenomenon happening in Hollywood is putting butts in seats, but are these books’ die-hard fans satisfied with Hollywood’s sometimes half-assed recreations of these narratives?

In the instance of “The Hunger Games,” novelist Suzanne Collins was involved in both the writing and the production of the movie, which probably led to an at least somewhat satisfactory adaptation in her mind.

If you look at the movie in comparison to “Twilight,” the only other series with a strong female lead, “The Hunger Games” blows it out of the water.

On screen, “Twilight” comes across as mainly as a whiny teen love story, accentuated by random intervals of shirtless vamps.

“The Hunger Games” actually has substance, and isn’t just intended for 14-year-old girls.

The positive reactions in the blogosphere have labeled “The Hunger Games” as satisfactory for the average movie-goer and the fans of the novels alike.

Rumors are already buzzing of a video game are already underway, but it’s unclear whether a gory Xbox interpretation of kids killing other kids will gather enough support to actually hit the shelves.

Overall I give the film a B+.

I went into the theater knowing almost every major plot point thanks to my talkative friends, and I still really enjoyed it.
Even fans of the book I have spoken to on campus said they enjoyed it.

It is not directed toward one sex in particular. Any guy who says this movie is just for girls doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

It was one of the fullest theaters I have ever seen at The Movies at Meadville, and it was a Tuesday.


Posted April 12, 2012 by dauberb in Uncategorized

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Chronicle – Film Review   Leave a comment


IMDB Score: 7.6/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%      

By Ben Dauber


Chronicle took the box office by storm this past week and with good reason, high caliber action and solid performances by a bunch of no-name actors make for a solid watch.


Heading into the film I was skeptical. With a title like Chronicle, a focus on teen angst, and a PG-13 rating I was prepared for the worst.


The first 15 minutes I admittedly wanted to head for the door, but once you get into the meat of the film Chronicle grabs your interest and never lets go.


Director Josh Trank took a group of b-list TV starlets and an incredibly commercialized platform and regardless churned out a surprisingly praiseworthy film.


Chronicle defies two of my often failsafe film rules: 1) Teens discovering some sort of superpower is a no-no 2) Handheld style of filming (e.g. The Blair Witch Project) more often leads to headaches than good times.


One thing Trank did well was comprehensively explore the “power” the characters discover. Scenes of the characters fooling around with their abilities are some of the most entertaining in the film.


The other thing the filmmakers did incredibly well was to avoid the Cloverfield syndrome.


Cloverfield (2008) was film that I would have left incredibly angry, if I hadn’t already been incredibly nauseous. The reason for my post-film condition was due to the abuse of the hand held camera technique that has recently become popular.


A shaky camera constantly flashing left or right and remaining obnoxiously out of focus intentionally does not make up for a lack of substance in a film.


The makers of Chronicle realized this and rather than attempting to fool the audience into some false suspense with shoddy camera work they turned the usually crappy into the surprisingly creative.


Scoring a more than solid 85% on rotten tomatoes Chronicle has not only captured 22.0M in the box office but has also impressed the critics.


A solid watch for the action depraved no doubt, but if you want to watch a real man’s movie I still suggest seeing The Grey.

Posted February 14, 2012 by dauberb in Uncategorized

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