Monday, December 30, 2013

Stardate 30/12/2013 (2013 Favourite Video Games)

While movies were a bit of a downer for me this year, video games really hit me big time. Coming up with a solid five favorite games was relatively easy, and I even had to cut out some of the contenders. But having said that I will say that some of the AAA games did sour me on various forms of cash grab. Micro transactions and season passes really did piss me off, and one particular season pass turned me away from a game that I really liked.

Also with the year ending there are a lot of games that I would love to play but just don't have the systems. A PS4 and 3DS would have enabled me to enjoy Pokemon X/Y, Zelda: Link to the Past and Knack. That's right I actually want to play Knack. If anyone would like to donate any of these systems to me you can email at ratof81@gmail.com . (Shameless item grab done)

There were also some games that I really loved but couldn't in all good conscience put them in my top five games as they either had massive bugs (Arkham City) or I just haven't played enough of (Path of Exile). Needless to say this year has been great for the gamer in me. Now onto the five video games that really left their mark on me.

Bioshock Infinite: Story wise I don't think any other game managed to create such a talking point. There are layers upon layers of discussion to be had about what it all meant. And while the gameplay wasn't anything new I never thought it detracted from an excellent overall package.
Dragons Crown: It's art style did devide people, but if you can look beyond that, there is an excellent beat em up/rpg here. Hours can be poured into this game in a blink of an eye. I also played this on my Vita and never regretted the decision.
 Guacamelee!: Take the old school Metroid style of game, add luchador's and some excellent pop culture references and you have a fun time. Hard in places but ultimately rewarding. It will make any opponent humble.
 Rogue Legacy: I'm completely addicted to this game. So much so it's derailed my constant Skyrim play. Death can come swiftly and the game is challenging, but it's fun and there is always a sense of progression even when mercilessly killed by a giant skeleton or floating eyeball.
Tomb Raider: Expectations were non existent for this, but word of mouth and a special got me to pick it up. Not sure how but this hit home a lot more than Uncharted. I loved the adventure and loved the struggles of Lara. Some say that the game makers were a bit brutal on Lara, but this encouraged me to up my game and make sure nothing happened.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Stardate 28/12/2013 (2013 Favourite Films)

When it gets to the end of the year I normally like to make lists of the top ten movies i've watched. However this year two things have prevented me from really making a big list. One is that I just haven't been able to see as many movie as I would have this year thanks to money being tight. The second reason is that out of the movies I've watched there isn't a whole heck of a lot that have impressed me enough to put them on a top ten list.

In my mind the second reason is the saddest thing. I love movies and to come away from a year with not many movies making a worthwhile impression on me is slightly disappointing. Sure there have been movies that have entertained the heck out of me. But there needs to be something that gels with me.

Thankfully I've managed to find four movies that really hit the spot with me and will now list them out for you to peruse. This will be short and simple but there you have it.

Evil Dead: This is a how you do a remake. In fact it's not really a remake more a story that takes place in the same location as the other movies. Some terrific acting from Jane Levy, and some really nasty looking effects that elevate the creep factor. This is a great horror movie that hooked me.
Pacific Rim: This movie is just fun. Massive monsters versus giant robots whats not to like? You also have mad man Guillermo Del Toro behind the scenes who seems to understand the highs and lows we want to experience in a monster movie.

Spring Breakers: I didn't think I would like this movie but I was wrong. Very close to visual poetry that just washes over you with meaning. Don't be fooled by the flash up front, beating beneath it is a movie that is worth the time to watch.

The Conjuring: I like ghost stories and this one is well told. A likeable cast really grounds the movie and makes you care. Some great scares and tension overcome any flaws in the script. You will crap your pants at the idea of a haunted doll.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Review: Iron Man 3 (2013)


Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Director: Shane Black
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Guy Pearce and Gwyneth Paltrow
Writers: Drew Pearce and Shane Black

After the third Iron Man movie i'm beginning to wonder. If you take away Robert Downey Jr, what do you really have left? I'm sad to be thinking this way, but I just don't think there is a whole heck of a lot.

Maybe I should take a few steps back and say that I find the movies fun. Downey's chemistry with Paltrow and Cheadle is great, and I can easily watch a movie an while away the hours. But other that Downey's performance is there anything here that is worth talking about?

The villains always seem a little week in my opinion, and the threat always seems to revolve around them stealing some technology off Stark. Movie number 3 probably gives us a better villain but not enough time to truly let him become the big bad of all big bads. You would think that with Marvel wanting to create this as a long franchise they would take more time and multiple movies to build up someone truly credible.

One of the more interesting facets of Iron Man 3 films was the flaws of Mr Stark. However in three while we get his PTS from the New York battle from Avengers, very little of it seems that central to the movie. Things also seem way to neatly wrapped up by the end. It a great example of how slight this movie feels. It runs over two hours and yet never seems to want to give us anything really meaty to chew on. Hell friends of Tony's nearly die in this movie and it seems to be skipped over lightning fast.

However if you go into the movie looking to be entertained then it will at least cover you. Some good looking set pieces, great funny moments of Tony Starkness and good eye candy. It's a shame that I feel the need to go so negative with the movie as it's not that bad, just I feel they dropped the ball on a number of things.

Category
Rating
Reason
Entertainment
1 extremis out of 1
Desptie it's flaws it's pretty entertaining.
Script
0 extremis out of 1
How can a movie feel rushed when it's over two hours?
Acting
1 extremis out of 1
Robert Downey Jr! Next.
Directing
0 extremis out of 1
I honestly don't think Shane Black brought anything to the movie.
Technical
1 extremis out of 1
Visual effects are excellent.



Overall
3 extermis out of 5
Better than average movie that's as hollow as an empty M&M.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Review: The World's End (2013)



Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Director: Edgar Wright
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman
Writers: Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright

Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead have to be one of the best comedies in recent times. They are not only loving parodies of specific genre's, they also work as great examples of the genre's. The World's End hopes to do to science fiction disaster movies, what those two movies did to buddy action movies and zombie movies. However it fails to hit the target, still it takes a few excellent shots.

Unlike the two previous movies there doesn't seem to be a keen understanding or love of the genre trying to be lampooned. It might seem unfair to judge this movie against those two, but then Wright and co did it to themselves by binding them loosely together under the banner of The Cornetto Trilogy.

Simon Pegg is also a major problem in this movie. Well not him but his character. Gary King is one of the more unlikeable characters to grace the screen and while there is a definite point to his character, he makes for some hard watching. In the first 20 minutes people might just turn away from the film because of him. I can't even say that his character arc has a worth while resolution. Still Pegg plays the character well, maybe too well.

The other characters fair a lot better and I really liked Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman and Eddie Marsan. Nick Frost is also good, but plays the straight man and his story is actually a little sad but with a much nicer resolution. Thankfully everyone really does a good job and seems to be having an excellent time.

For me the highlight of the film comes from the action scenes. Edgar Wright just has a great eye for putting an action scene together and everytime the boys got into a fight with the aliens it was exciting. I can't remember the amount of times I exclaimed "wow," as the action took place. It honestly puts full on action movies to shame. I can at least take away from this movie that Ant Man is in good hands cause while Wright can bring the funny, he can also make you marvel at a person beating the crap out of another person.

Actually let me go on about the action a little more. Everything is so crisply choreographed and shot that I believed that Nick Frost could be the next big action star. Vin Diesel? Jason Statham? The Rock? Screw those loser, give me Nick Frost in the next Fast and Furious movie. Just the visual dynamic is worth the time invested in the movie.

Okay i'll move on now.

It's actually a shame that the end of the movie kind of limps across the finish line in a special effects big boom, rather than giving us a fulfilling end battle. In fact the end just seems so rushed and I feel that it gives credence to the fact that the boys weren't as intimate with the genre tropes. Still it's far from a train wreck, just more disappointing.

Overall the movie is good, it's just not great like the other two movies in the Cornetto Trilogy. Simon Pegg is a good actor but his character is hard to love. There also doesn't seem to be the same love thrown into the movie like the other two. However this movie has some extraordinary fight scenes that put serious action movies to shame. They are worth the price of admission.

Category
Rating
Reason
Entertainment
1 ale out of 1
Fight scenes need to be seen.
Script
0.5 ale's out of 1
It's funny but there is something missing. Also the Gary King character is a misfire.
Acting
1 ale out of 1
Everyone does a great job.. 
Directing
1 ale out of 1
Wright knows how to make a movie visually arresting.
Technical
1 ale out of 1
The movie is very polished from small details to big set pieces.



Overall
4.5 ales out of 5
It's a good movie, worthy of your time but has one gigantic flaw that might turn you away.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Stardate 17/12/2013

Things are chilling out at the moment. Just had my birthday, and now looking directly at the monster that is known as Christmas. Of course it's that wonderful time when family comes together and cheers each other up. That or drunkedly takes out another brick in the family foundatioin. Also speaking of family this will be the last christmas with my wife and I. With the little one on the way will soon have to do all that parenting stuff. Mmmmm cookies and milk for Santa me thinks.

In other news had to unplug the external hard drive from my computer as it was slowly destroying my laptop. It also means no more watching television shows we've saved on it as my laptop was the only thing that actually ran it. Oh well we always have free to air tv. *screams and runs out of the room*

Sorry about that.

With my b'day I managed to get a copy of Dragon's Crown for my Vita so I'll probably put a review up for it if I finish it. I say if as i'm terrible at completing games. Unless it's Skyrim or Fallout cause I finish those multiple times.

I also got my first subscriber to my you tube channel so i'm excited about that. But it also means I need to put stuff up regularly. Also expect these journal like entries, cause sometimes a man just wants to ramble with no real shopping agenda. DAMN MALL RAT!

Catch ya on the flip side.
Disgruntled Monkey

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Review: Thor - The Dark World (2013)


Review by Malcontented Moose

Director: Alan Taylor
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Tom Hiddleston
Writers: Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely

There have been a few Marvel movies now; each one following the same thread throughout their individual story lines that would eventually come to fruition in the Avengers. And boy, did it ever. But where to now for each of the heroes of New York? What could possibly be left for them to do, that both required something more than human, but did not draw on the needs of the group? With Iron Man 3 being the first out the gate we saw the fallout on the human side of things; the PTSD and emotional scarring carried by Tony Stark after his not exactly death at the climax of the Avengers, but with Thor: The Dark World we see the farther reaching - let us say - inter-stellar ramifications of a war only just avoided.

Opening with a quick history of the Dark Elves and why they will be our villains for this evening (Malekith – here played exceptionally well by Christopher Eccleston – tried to beat up Odin's dad and take over the universe by plunging it back into darkness) the film proceeds to remind you where everyone was left, story- wise, after both the first movie and post Loki's attempt to take over the universe. This involves some quick battle scenes showing Thor and co mopping up what is ostensibly the last remaining hold outs again Asgardian order, Loki himself being imprisoned for war crimes and Jane and her earth bound friends attempting to re-establish contact with Thor while also trying to find Eric Selvig, who has gone slightly barmy after having a god mess around with his head.

So, now that we have established the basics, Thor: The Dark World is actually quite a well done sequel. The overarching premise of mythical gods existing as actual aliens is handled simply with no overt pantomiming of incredulity on the humans' part and the requisite bad guy of the day is arresting enough that you feel the inclusion of Loki – post maniacal universe conquering almost war – develops naturally from preceding story threads rather than being forced through fan desire. A few scenes setting up Loki's imprisonment on Asgard at the behest of his mother, Frigga (death to the traitor being more Odins' wish) and her attempts to reconcile Loki to his abducted adoption and her continuing love for him do well to show both the range of Tom Hiddlesons' acting chops and Loki's conflicted and waring feelings towards his family. This parallels nicely with a father/ son scene between Odin and Thor where we see the distance he now views his Asgardian life with as he pines for Jane, left on Earth after the first film. Even the subtle offering of Sif as more “worthy” partner does not dissuade him. This connection of disconnect felt by both brothers is played well throughout the film, helping to create some excellent comedic scenes between Loki and Thor during a later escape.

Back on Earth, Jane and her friend/intern Darcy (Natalie Portman and Kat Dennings respectively) are investigating an area in London currently experiencing spatial displacement due to the nearing conjunction of the 9 realms; previously explained in Thor to be the various levels of  Yggdrasil ,the world tree from Norse mythology, also known here as the mulitverse. Jane discovers, and is infected, by the “Aether”, an indestructible substance that can be used to *what else* end the universe. This infection unites the disparate worlds and story threads of Thor: TDW by giving a reason for Jane to visit Asgard thus awakening the Dark Elves to the return of the Aether, leading them into an excellent sequence where Asgard is attacked and reason is given for Thor and Loki to combine their skills to defeat Malekith. Which I will not spoil here but suffice to say could see coming from a mile off.  
     
“But is this actually any good?” I hear all the non existent readers cry. Well, yes. The further characterisation of each member of the group is handled well in relation to the others, leaving only a few people feeling cut short. The cinematography is lovely, with a number of shots framed beautifully, heightening the emotions of the actors and really bringing to the fore how good of an ensemble they have managed to secure for these films. The over-arching story is fairly well rounded for a mid piece but does sometimes feel hurried, something that does not seem to be a fault of pacing, rather that the story is trying to set up one too many pieces for the inevitable third film. This is strongly felt in both the short scenes with Sif -Thor's long time friend here being portrayed as a possible replacement for frail, mortal Jane – and Jane herself. Her character here is used more as a catalyst for events and gets no further expansion directly. In fact, she is not even recognised as being anything of import at all to Odin until it is revealed that she is infected. A pity, as Jane was my favorite character in the first film; a smart, driven woman pursuing her own career, here unfortunately relegated back to the role of love interest and catalyst. I give props to Natalie Portman though, she really brings to the fore a character that in other, less qualified hands would have faded into the background.
     
Overall, if you haven't seen this film I would highly recommend it, if not for its witty dialogue, excellent performances and beautiful design, then simply for the fun of the ride.

Category
Rating
Reason
Entertainment
1 asgardian hammer out of 1 A fun look inside the Asgardian world
Script
1 asgardian hammer out of 1
Scripting is clever and tightly written 
Acting
1 asgardian hammer out of 1
Acting is excellent
Directing
1 asgardian hammer out of 1
The best kind of directing; subtle
Technical
1 asgardian hammer out of 1
Cinematography, lighting and score all work well to create great ambiance 



Overall
5 asgardian hammers out of 5
The film is well shot, well written and a fun, joyful ride. Go see it!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Review: After Earth (2013)


Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Jaden Smith and Will Smith
Writers: Gary Whitta and M. Night Shyamalan

After Earth is a hugh Science Fiction blockbuster that actually deals with the relationship of a father and son. What is interesting is that behind the scenes, this movie was made because a father wanted to help out his sons career. It's funny how the real life tale is a lot more interesting than the story in this movie.

After Earth is so by the numbers it isn't funny. Some have said that it's remind them of a video game and in many respects I agree. They even have the final boss level right after unlocking the last hero ability. In many respects I could say that this is probably the closest we will ever get to a true Video Game movie. This in itself isn't such a bad thing if the movie had more to give.

Unfortunately while the story is simple it isn't helped by bone head decisions from characters and scenes that don't make sense because information isn't relaid to the audience very well. One particular set piece might have had a big emotional impact with me if it wasn't for an overwhelming question of 'how the hell did that character know that?' There is a way to explain it, but it never is. This entire movie just feels like rushed and incomplete.

However all this pales in regards to the horrid acting. Will Smith is a good actor and has a huge amount of charisma, but in what I can only believe is an effort to not over shadow his son, down plays everything. Seeming this is a movie with really only two characters, it puts all the work on Jaden Smith and the young Smith just doesn't have the talent or charisma of his dad. Through out the movie he looks like he's sulking and in all honesty I couldn't stand his character. In the hands of a better actor there is some emotional heft to the proceedings that could of been explored, but it's just wasted. Having such an ineffectual lead just destroys this movie as who do you have to cheer?

What makes this worse is that Shyamalan delivers a visually beautiful movie. Despite his inflated ego destroying the scripts he writes, the man does have some great talent behind the camera. He's also backed up by some great effects and world building. Honestly the stuff surrounding the story is fantastic and I would love to explore this science fiction world. Just without the Smith's and maybe a better writer.

The visuals and the direction and world building almost makes up for the flaws of this movie. In fact someone could find some enjoyment to be had in this movie if they can disregard the horrible acting and the bare bones story. It's a shame as I can't fully recommend this movie in full, but if you see it on the television and have nothing else to do you could always take in the world.

Category
Rating
Reason
Entertainment
0 aliens out of 1
It's hard to be entertained when your lead is boring.
Script
0 aliens out of 1
There just some big plot holes that shouldn't be in such a simple story.
Acting
0 aliens out of 1
Jaden Smith just doesn't have the talent or charisma to be a lead actor. 
Directing
1 aliens out of 1
Shyamalan has a great visual style that he brings to the movie.
Technical
1 aliens out of 1
Things look beautiful and the world building is great.



Overall
2 aliens out of 5
It could of been a contender, instead it is a failure.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Review: World War Z (2013)


Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Director: Marc Forster
Writers: Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard and Damon Lindelof
Starring: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos and Daniella Kertesz

Zombies are huge and just don't seem to be going away. Countless books, movies and television present us all with the shambling moldy corpses. World War Z is an attempt to cash in on zombie's by adapting one of the most beloved zombie novels. So how does it hold up?

Well comparing the movie to the source material is pointless. If anything but a faithful adaptation will turn you off, you might as well move on as you ain't going to get it. It's a little weird, as barring a few likenesses the movie could of just been it's own thing and never had to pay for the rights to the novel. Still what's done is done and you may not want to watch solely on this disregarding of the source material.

The movie itself brings some interesting things to the zombie genre and as such actually feels unique. Zombies in this movie are fast movers, but they also throw themselves at their prey with utter abandonment. It actually makes these zombies scary as there is such a viciousness to the zombie pack. Seeing zombies jump of rooftops to capture humans below is mesmerizing. As if to match the pace of the zombies the movie seems to move at a break neck speed. You're given little to now foundation before the shit hits the fan and I actually liked it. The zombies, the pace, it really made this movie feel different from other's of it's ilk.

Characterization is kind of sacrificed for the pace of the movie and we are given very little time to make connections and this could be a problem for some viewers. Brad Pitt unleashes his charisma and thankfully is a likable lead, even if he seems a bit two dimensional. Others are quickly used and spit out with only Daniella Kertesz as Segen making any impression, but like Pitt she's really given nothing to really make a fully fleshed out character.

Special Effects are pretty good and individually the zombies are scary mothers, especially when they smash around corners. However when you get to the zombie dog piles as seen in the trailer things tend to get a little bad. It's just a case of technology not being able to keep up with the idea. Still a lot of money was put into the movie and you can see that on the screen.

World War Z is entertaining and thanks to it's ideas it seems unique in a sea of zombie genre movies. However it moves at such a fast pace that it over looks some plot points. Holes will appear under scrutiny but if the movie doesn't really give you the time to pay that much attention. It's definitely a watch for lovers of the genre and those looking for an entertaining quick paced movie.

Category
Rating
Reason
Entertainment
1 zombie out of 1
There's life in this corpse and it's fun.
Script
0.5 zombies out of 1
Enjoy the show and try not paying attention to the dead man behind the curtain.
Acting
0.5 zombies out of 1 
Good actors but they don't really bring anything to the movie.
Directing
1 zombie out of 1
Forster creates a relentless pace that works extremely well.
Technical
0.5 zombie out of 1
For the most part the movie creates some unique looking zombie action that's pretty great.



Overall
3.5 zombies out of 5
A solid and entertaining zombie movie that actually brings something a little fresh to the genre.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Review: Bunnyman (2011)



Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Director: Carl Lindbergh
Starring: Cheryl Texiera, Matthew Albrecht and Alaina Gianci
Writer: Carl Lindbergh

Urban Legend states that the Bunnyman was a hobo dressed in a bunny costume who went about killing people with an axe. Of course being an Urban Legend there are different takes. The one that I thought was the creepiest was the description of the man that had him in a suit, but his mask was that of a creepy bunny like Donnie Darko. Which ever way you but it but there is something disturbing about the premise. Shame the movie completely drop the ball.

At first I was impressed with how the movie started. A 8MM mini movie makes things look particularly creepy, and then the real movie starts and we have this absense of dialogue. Sound, music and some clever shots make the movie seem like it's going to overcome it's low budget roots with a tense ride.

But it can completely be tossed away with some bone head moves from our leads and then at the half way point we jump completely off the deep end. Igor side characters, freaky families and the now obligatory torture scene just comes across as stupidly over the top and really i've seen this done. I get the feeling it wants to be something akin to Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, but it misses the mark completely.

It doesn't help the acting is bad, continuity errors are all over the place and there are just some ill advised choices for the movie. The Bunnyman costume in particular is annoying as it seems to hamstring the would be killer and kind of destroys the creepiness. Also why an god damn Chainsaw? What's wrong with an axe?

There are moments where the music and sound truly elevate the movie, but then it all comes crashing down. A cheap looking movie that houses a lot of mistakes as well as some lackluster performances, it truly does a disservice to the urban legend. What's worse is when I looked up the movie for posters I found out there is a sequel. Good Lord!

Category
Rating
Reason
Entertainment
0 axes out of 1
I wanted to do other stuff by the end.
Script
0 axes out of 1
Not sure if there was actually any real story.
Acting
0 axes out of 1
Bad acting.
Directing
0 axes out of 1
Oh so many small details just missed.
Technical
0.5 axe out of 1
I got to give something to the music and sound editor.



Overall
0.5 axe out of 5
Bad Bunnyman, bad. Now hop off.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Review: Catching Fire (2013)

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Director: Francis Lawrence
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Jena Malone, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jeffrey Wright
Writers: Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt

Kind of torn about watching this movie. You see the first movie I watched and liked but was very put off by the visual style, especially the shaky cam which got me sick during the actions scenes. When it was announced a new director would be used for the sequel I was happy, but then I found out it was Francis Lawrence. Now I like Mr Lawrence but his other movies are often let down by some bad CGI. So considering this is a big science fiction movie there are some alarm bells.

Fortunately it seems all my worrying was for naught as the budget was suffiecient enough to give us some great effects, as well as allowing Francis Lawrence to really open up the world. Some of the IMAX shots are beautiful and really allow you to bask in the games. Speaking of the games, I had a much easier time watching the action and was ever thankful for it.

The acting is also really kicked up a notch thanks to the introduction of some classy actors. Jeffrey Wright is awesome as Beetee, a former Hunger Games winner. Phillip Seymour Hoffman also adds a nice sinister note as Plutarch, the new games creator. Of course one of the strengths of the first movie was the original cast, and they don't disappoint. Donald Sutherland is given more to do, which is great for his villain, but then most of the cast are given more to do and it really helps us get into the minds of the characters. Jennifer Lawrence is yet again fantastic and really plays up PTS side of Katniss. However my MVP of this movie has to be Jena Malone as Johanna. Another former winner of the Hunger Games, her character is ferocious and yet also endearing in the small amount of time she's given. She's definitely the most memorable new character in my opinion.

Acting the side the story is also allowed to develop and become more complex. Alot of the themes and ideas introduced in the first movie that I loved are given a bit more room to breathe. However in the complexity there comes the problem of fitting everything in. The movie is very long considering it's younger target audience. While it wasn't a problem for me I can see some people being turned away. It takes a while to get to the games but I loved every step.

Another problem I saw was that the main story seems to have a significant plot hole. Can't get into it because of spoilers but needless to say it seemed very obvious and was distracting from the overall enjoyment. It's pretty major but at least didn't derail the enjoyment overall so i'm still aboard for the next lot of movies.

This is a movie that's designed for a teen girl market. Strong female character trapped in a love triangle and forced to face a massive challenge that will define her life. However there is material that elevates it above the standard Twilight like fare. I'm down for the next lot of films.

Category
Rating
Reason
Entertainment
0.5 Mockingjay out of 1
At 2 hours 30 I never felt the length of time but some may.
Script
0.5 Mockingjay out of 1
Interesting ideas, solid story but a big plot hole could of been dealth with better.
Acting
1 Mockingjay out of 1
Excellent acting. I may now have a crush on Jena Malone
Directing
1 Mockingjay out of 1
Francis Lawrence brings his awesome style to the proceedings.
Technical
1 Mockingjay out of 1
Things just look at lot better and feel a lot more epic.



Overall
4 Mockingjay's out of 5
A better movie than the first, an improvement in every way.