Hmm. On one hand, I love how personal, dirty, and even "icky" the plot can get. I love the caricatures we get of those sort-of "Jersey Shore"-type leads between Joseph Gordon Levitt and Scarlett Johannson. It's got great performances and a pretty good story.....
Till about the last-third of the film. I'm not sure bringing in Julianne Moore was the best "fix" for the plot and I'm not sure it flowed right since it kind of disrupts the character in a short amount of time. It's brought in carefully, but I'm not sure how well it jives with the plot and setting we're thrown into. I thought the plot was going on a pretty funny but honest route by just following JGL and ScarJo's characters and showing how *they* develop. But you then get a new route and the story loses focus by perhaps taking itself to seriously.
Lots of movies lately I've seen seem too good at fucking up the end game; turning great films to a "meh".
Hungrier Games: Catching Fire
AKA: How many times can we get Jennifer Lawrence to cry on screen.
Not that that's a bad thing, a lot of the moments in this film are extremely powerful and shocking! I'm sort of torn on how much I liked "doing the Hunger Games....AGAIN" (which feels like the film runs with a bad case of sequelitis -- or Hunger Games: Electric Boogaloo), but I did like how they tried to keep it fresh. Certainly the larger cast was damn nice (Philip Seymour Hoffman is great in general, Jenna Malone's character was entertaining as hell, and the Trident guy was pretty cool too!), and even the existing characters get much better treatment this time around (like Effie!).
Basically, it felt like the first Hunger Games -- except things gets turned up a hundred degrees! A "let's do it again -- but better!", and the stakes were raised, the drama heightened, and the world grew larger. A great sequel nonetheless, my eyes even turned misty a few times, but Katniss (which is still a dumb name) gets her lips worked by two bachelors made it feel a bit too much like the YA novel it's based on...
(which, by the way, no fucking contest, Gale is gorgeous, Peeta is named after bread and slows things down more often than not... There's some blog post on the internet floating around that mentions an interesting reversal actually: Peeta plays the "girlfriend" whereas Katniss plays the "male hero".... it actually works).
Silver Linings Playbook
This has actually become one of my favorite films. It's on a Top # list for sure, just not sure where. I think it's because I see so much of my family in it sometimes (well, with less of the psychotic episodes thankfully). The romance feels a bit pressed in and contrived, but I kinda just like how busy things feel in home, and how we all have each others backs, but we're still good at making fun of each other or bugging each other and causing stress (in a loving-family way). The movie makes me feel good, and the characters charm the hell out of me. I can't really explain it beyond that.