Film Friday #257

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015)

In the final installment of the Hunger Games quadrilogy the rebel army under Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) is advancing on the Capitol. At the same time Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is recovering from being attacked by Peeta Mullark (Josh Hutcherson) and more hellbent than ever on killing President Snow (Donald Sutherland). With this in mind she defies Coin and makes her way to the front line where she joins a unit made up of some of her erstwhile companions including Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Clafin), Cressida (Natalie Dormer), Castor (Wes Chatham), Pollux (Elden Henson) and the still fragile and potentially lethal Peeta. It’s not going to be easy though since Snow has used his games makers to booby trap the whole city with “pods” which the group will need to navigate to survive and it’s not long before Katniss starts to wonder if Coin and Snow are really that different. I have to admit that when I read Mockingjay I wasn’t overly impressed and it was definitely my least favourite of the books. I’d like to think I liked the second half of the film adaptation a bit more mostly because Jennifer Lawrence always gives such a good performance. There’s a fair bit of action and overall the series comes to a satisfying resolution. That said it also goes on way too long, Hutcherson and Hemsworth are both as annoying as ever and some of the great supporting characters like Finnick and Effie barely get a look in. Just scraping past average. 3.5/5


Katniss swore if one more person asked her when she was going to put on her second glove she was going to shoot a bitch

Speed Racer (2008)

I decided to watch Speed Racer because I really like Emile Hirsch. It took me about 10 minutes to regret that decision but once I have started watching a film I always kind of feel obliged to finish it and so I lost 135 minutes of my life that I will never get back. Anyway… Emile Hirsch (who should be ashamed of himself) plays Speed Racer, brother of the infamous Rex Racer (Scott Porter) who was known for driving dirty. His whole family including his Pops (John Goodman), Mom (Susan Sarandon) and girlfriend, Trixie (Christina Ricci) – who are more people who should feel shame – are involved in the sport of Mach 5 racing, which is how they make their livelihood. When Speed is approached by racing magnate, Royalton (Roger Allam) to join his team, he finds himself and his family sucked into a murky world that will make himself question everything  both in his life and in the sport he loves. So it turns out this is based on a famous anime which explains its cartoonish over-the-topness. I have seen hyper-reality work in a number of films but in the hands of the hit or miss Wachowskis it’s kind of like eating a great big bag of E-number filled cheap sweets and then feeling so ill you have to do a massive multicoloured vom. Like a migraine in a washing machine. 0/5

still - Trixie

If I get my hands on those Wachowskis I am going to strangle them with my stupid little yellow gloves


The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)

After terrible political turmoil destroys their restaurant the surviving members of the Kadam family are forced to leave India and seek asylum in France. Here patriarch, Papa (Om Puri) sees their van breaking down as a sign that they should settle in the village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val and open a new restaurant, directly over the road from Madame Mallory’s (Helen Mirren) Michelin star eatery. Madame Mallory is immediately horrified, believing that the Kadam’s “ethnic” flavours, music and manners are going to ruin the neighbourhood sending her on a mission to get rid of them any way she can. In the meantime oldest son and star chef, Hassan (Manish Dayal) develops a fascination with classic French cooking which extends all the way into the Madame’s kitchen and to her talented sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte LeBon). Directed by Lasse Hallström, Hundred-Foot Journey is a love letter to flavour, colour, food and the French countryside that is simply intoxicating. Both Mirren and Puri give charming performances as the headstrong, feisty older characters, neither of whom are willing to give an inch where Dayal and LeBon smoulder as the passionate love interests/rivals. While the story is very straightforward and somewhat predictable and more than a little bit reminiscent of Hallström’s other food porn move, Chocolat, it’s also charming, heartwarming and utterly lovely. Not to be watched when hungry. 4/5


What do you mean this headscarf makes my pheasant look bigger


Walk of Shame (2014)

When news anchor Meghan Miles (Elizabeth Banks) fiance leaves her on the same day that she loses out to her dream job there doesn’t seem to be anything to do but go out and get drunk with her girlfriends. She ends up going home with barman, Gordon (James Marsden) and wakes up in the middle of the night to discover that the job is back on if she can make it back to the studio on time. Unfortunately her car has been towed with her handbag in it, she’s outside Gordon’s apartment with no way back in and she has no idea where she is. This sets of a comedy of errors that includes a crack house, being mistaken for a hooker (several times), a massage parlour and being chased by the police. Basically Walk of Shame is full of ludicrous coincidences and is just an excuse for Elizabeth Banks to run around in a very tiny yellow dress with her bits out. Fortunately she is as charming as ever, which rescues this pretty unfunny comedy from being a total bust. Look, if you never watch this you won’t be missing anything but if you put it on in the background you probably won’t hate it completely. Meh. 2/5

Meghan had heard there was a crack sale down the block and there was no chance she was missing out

Meghan had heard there was a crack sale down the block and there was no chance she was missing out


  1. These reviews are hilarious. Have to agree with you about Mockingjay – so much longer than necessary! But I still watched it so, it is what it is. I hear that prequels are in the works. They will probably be rubbish without Jennifer Lawrence. And yes Speedracer was just plain awful!

    1. abbiosbiston

      Always glad to amuse 🙂 For me it feels like Hunger Games is finished. Not sure prequels are really warranted.

  2. The cast of Speedracer sounds like they must have been brainwashed! Elizabeth Banks is too good an actress to do that kind of film.

    1. abbiosbiston

      I can’t imagine what they were thinking when they agreed to it! And Elizabeth Banks was definitely perfectly cast, which is the only thing Walk of Shame really has going for it.

  3. Gloves are this season’s accessory, apparently! Meghan obviously missed the memo. Not interested in any of these this week except maybe to watch Mirren. Fun post as always, Abbi.

    1. abbiosbiston

      Meghan is clearly an idiot and none of her actions in this film suggest otherwise. 100 Foot Journey is pretty good though.

  4. The Hundred Foot Journey sounds very heartwarming.

    1. abbiosbiston

      I found it charming. If you get a chance definitely check it out.

      1. I most certainly will as I do love Helen Mirren.

  5. havent seen any of them. 100 foot might be interesting. I’ll see mockingjay just to complete the series, but I’m sure it’ll be lackluster like the others instead of amazing like the books

    1. abbiosbiston

      The last book in The Hunger Games really didn’t work for me. Will be interesting to hear your opinion.

  6. I was a big fan of the first 2 Hunger Games films. However the stretching out of the 3rd book into 2 films did not enchant me. I couldn’t even recommend this final film.

    I do think very highly of Jennifer Lawrence as an actress however. She’s absolutely outstanding in Joy.

    1. abbiosbiston

      I am super excited for Joy way much more than I was for either of the final Hunger Games films.

  7. jennypugh

    Haha, I mentioned Walk Of Shame in your last Film Friday post, not realising you’d watched it! I need to review it really. I also love James Marsden, but he wasn’t in it enough for me. Like 27 Dresses enough would have been better. He’s in that loaaaads! I hadn’t heard of The Hundred-Foot Journey, so I’ve added it to my list 🙂 x

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