Must-see movies of the summer

The Hunger Games
When I first heard that Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games was being made into a movie, I was prepared for an amazing, action-filled movie with intense killing scenes and memorable deaths. Sadly, my hopes were crushed when I realized that half of the film was not even in the arena, and even less of it was mostly Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) running around, looking for Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), running away from Peeta, or just deranged. Needless to say, I should have reread the first book before watching the film in order to get a sense of what was in store.
The Hunger Games revolves around Katniss Everdeen, a District 12 citizen in the country of Panem. Once a year, each District holds a special reaping in which one male and one female tribute is chosen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, where they fight to the death until there is only one person standing. Katniss, in a frenzy, volunteered as tribute in place of her younger sister, Primrose Everdeen (Willow Shields). Soon, Katniss and Peeta Mellark, the other tribute, are in the games and must fight for their lives.
My favorite part of the movie was when Katniss is crying while holding Rue (Amandla Stenberg), a District 11 tribute, and lays out flowers around her. This scene was also my favorite part in the book because it sparked turmoil in the other districts, especially in District 11, and I was glad that the filmmakers did this scene justice.
With all the hype this movie was getting, I was hoping for more, but I was ultimately disappointed. If you are a fan of the books, then you have got to at least watch the movie to make your comparisons, but if you are someone who wants to know the story and does not know which to start with, I recommend you read the book first, as it is a better experience.
Princess Mononoke
When looking for a movie to watch, some of us have specific preferences. Some like to watch action, while others like comedy. In my case, I like a movie with a good story plot and good animation, and that is exactly what Princess Mononoke brings us. This film has been one of director Hayao Miyazaki’s most well acclaimed films.
The story begins with a rampaging demon-boar tearing through a forest and heading towards a village. The prince of the village, Ashitaka, fights it off and manages to kill the boar, but not without getting wounded. As a result, his arm was cursed. This curse grants him superhuman strength, but is slowly killing him. He goes on a journey to find some sort of cure.
Along his journey, he is guided by tree spirits and encounters a strange girl named San, who seems to hate humans and lives with her adoptive guardians: wolves. San’s hate for humans stems from her only other encounters with humans, meaning the residents of Iron Town, which is run by Lady Eboshi.
What I really like about this film is that the characters are well-rounded and have personality. There are no clear villains, but only those who are seen as the villains,–San in the eyes of Iron Town, and Lady Eboshi and Jigo in the eyes of San and the forest spirits–and Ashitaka and San’s motivations are realistic, despite the mythological elements the film revolves around.
What I dislike is that many have not seen this film. Many have seen other works by director Hayao Miyazaki such as Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro, Ponyo, and, more recently, The Secret World of Arrietty. Why not Princess Mononoke? People are missing out on a great story!
It focuses on the struggle between the humans’ technological advancement and how it affects nature–as well as the growing romance between Ashitaka and San. However, there is so much more to the film and people can make their own interpretations. I really recommend this film to any who want an interesting and captivating film to watch with family or friends.
American Reunion
When I saw that all of the old cast of American Pie was going to make another movie together I knew I had to go see it. I have seen most of the American Pie movies, but my favorite one is the first movie.
The movie begins with Jim Levenstein (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) married with one kid, having a family and how having a kid has change their sex lives. Jim gets a call from his old friend Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), who tells him about his high school reunion. All of the old friends, Oz (Chris Klein), Stifler (Seann William Scott), Kevin, Jim and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) meet up in a bar. They start the night drinking and catching up with one another. Throughout the weekend, the old friends struggle with seeing the new high schoolers and their disruptiveness. When they are in the lake they see a high school kid steal the top of the bikinis of several girls. Jim, Oz, Stifler, Kevin, and Finch try to get the guy, but he escapes in a jet ski.
Jim and Michelle are having trouble with their marriage and they try to rekindle the flame by trying to be alone together, but they always get disrupted by Jim’s friends or his old neighbor. Oz sees his ex girlfriend from high school, Heather (Mena Suvari), and begins to have feelings for her again, but they are each dating someone else.
The movie had some funny scenes, but overall it was not as good as the first one. There were many X-Rated scenes, so if you are mature and want to have a couple of laughs, I would recommend for you to see this movie when you have the time and money to spare.
Battleship
At first, Battleship did not really catch my attention until I realized Rihanna was going to be apart of the cast. When the trailer said that the film was created by the people behind Transformers, I thought that this movie was going to be somewhat similar to it. I thought it was going to be another robot movie which was the thing that pulled me away from Transformers in the first place. That is what this movie was, except for a couple of aliens here and there.
The movie had a couple of action scenes but it also had a couple of funny ones. The beginning of the movie had me laughing when the main character, Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch), was caught stealing a burrito from a store. Eventually, Alex Hopper becomes part of the navy with his brother, Stone Hopper (Alexander Skarsgard). Throughout the movie you see Alex Hopper’s relationship with Admiral Shane’s (Liam Neeson) daughter, Samantha Shane (Brooklyn Decker).
Alex Hopper becomes the one to lead the battle because he was next in rank. He was in a panic and did not know what to do, and neither did his crew members, but after a pep talk he was able to lead his crew. The actions and decisions he made added on to the excitement of the movie. The battles included a lot of explosions, suspense, and blood.
The movie was a typical hero movie where the underdog saves the day. I liked that the movie had a funny side to it; the comic relief was well placed and not too overused. I do not think the movie was a waste of my time and I recommend it to anyone that wants to see a great action movie for the weekend.

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