Who Watches the Mockingjay?: Thoughts on the Finale of the Hunger Game Franchise

Jennifer Lawrence in Mockingjay Part 2

Box office numbers are coming in for the past weekend, which saw the wide release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 2, the fourth and final installment of The Hunger Games film franchise. They’re typically ginormous – buoyed by hordes of fans who poured out for the latest event movie of the season (see Bond, James and that upcoming space opera movie for other similar event movies).

And yet, there’s already a sense of disappointment going around the Internet at the cumulative take.

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City on the Hill: Living in Minas Tirith


So, by now, you’ve all seen the trending topic on Facebook/Twitter/theonering.net/wherever. Basically, a Lord of the Rings fanatic cum architectural profession has, along with a bevy of colleagues/friends, started an Indiegogo fundraiser titled “Realise Minas Tirith“. Their goal – to build a living, working real-live version of the fantasy city from Tolkien’s epic trilogy.

I’m sure this has raised some questions amidst the neophytes and non-architecturally inclined. Fortunately, as the Recorder’s resident Tolkien scholar (insert grain of salt here), I can provide answers to these questions.

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The Tired Nostalgia of ‘Jurassic World’

Image of Jurassic World poster

First of all, spoiler alert.

The Jurassic Park franchise has historically been a major draw. The original 1993 film was the largest grossing movie of all time until Titanic came along four years later. The second film, though largely sub-par when compared with the first, held the record for the largest opening weekend until 2001, when some movie about a little boy wizard came along and took over. These were original event pictures, massive draws that were required summer viewing for the young millennial generation. Dinosaurs are cool, and people love seeing dinosaurs.

That seems to be holding true for Jurassic World, the latest entry in the series. Originally forecast to make something in the vicinity of $125 million in its opening weekend, the movie made nearly that on Friday alone. Early reports have the movie taking in an opening weekend haul of $204 million, which puts it at the third best opening of all time. Meanwhile, across the world, the film took in a staggering $511 million dollars, an all time world record. People still love their dinosaurs.

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One Last Time: Anticipating “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies”

The-Hobbit-Battle-of-the-Five-ArmiesMy long-standing love of Lord of the Rings has been covered here multiple times. I’ve written thousands of words on both books and films, devoted countless hours to watching Peter Jackson’s magnum opus trilogy, and read and re-read the original novels at least yearly ever since 1999. You might call me a Tolkien nut.

And yet, my dread is growing greater and greater as the days go by. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies comes out this Wednesday, and that terrifies me beyond measure.

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