Tag Archives: jennifer lawrence

The Hunger Games 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack

3d_rgb_hungergames4kultraocrd Lionsgate released the epic singularity franchise, The Hunger Games series on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, which includes both Blu-ray and Digital HD. All in all, it is an amazing product for such a gripping story.

As most remember, Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen, the girl on fire, who took the world by storm with a four-film cumulative worldwide box office of 3 billion cash flow.

Fans can see the movies with four times the resolution of Full HD and High Dynamic Range (HDR) that delivers the brightest, most vivid and realistic color and greatest contrast from 4K Ultra HD.  However, similar to other 4K movies I have reviewed, the whole movie’s vivid, realistic color and contrast are not consistent. I find in the hand-held camera scenes of these 4K movies, the technical potential is limited, if not a bit shaky.

Don’t get me wrong. Checking out Lionsgate’s catalog 4K titles, I am impressed with the products so far. It makes watching movies at home so much better with the Dolby Atmos track sounds, which are incredible because it utilizes every speaker.

Now the quality of the look is a bit unforgiving because the effect is over the top.  Noticeably, in the first half of The Hunger Games. The colors are saturated and nearly grainy.  Watching the scene when the District 12 team is eating before the games is a good example where the colors, black levels, and overall clarity are below standards for the quality hype.

Disappointingly, just about every scene at The Capital looked saturated. When the movie arrives at the Games, I was impressed and in awe over the rich details of the overall setting in the forest and the way everything looked pristine.  It made watching the 4K version worth it.

One thing that didn’t help the 4K, as mentioned earlier, was the shaky-cam style.  In the first mad dash for supplies in the games, the camera was all over the place and the 4K clearness was like a second thought to the scene.  Even though about half the movies technical quality didn’t appear any better, if slightly worse, the other half of the movie is a pristine, vibrant upgrade and fun to watch.

The 4K version special features offer extras, which includes a commentary with Stephen Mirrione, Sheena Duggal, and Lon Bender. Even though they are not the stars or director, their passion for the movie come through, creating a worthwhile commentary.

3d_rgb_hgcatchingfire4kultraocrdDirected by Francis Lawrence, Catching Fire 4K

Ultra HD had the same technical issues I mentioned in The Hunger Games 4K Ultra HD.  The scenes in the training room and outside are clear and pristine like a gemstone. The crystal clear and the 4K upgrade really stands out.  Yet, the scenes in The Capitol, mostly most CGI, are saturated and almost blurry at times.  I noticed there is a bit more of an upgrade compared to The Hunger Games. I am curious as to why that is so.

The audio sounds perfect like the first film. The Dolby Atmos track is a wonderful upgrade and sounds faultless.

The 4K Ultra comes without exclusive features, but the package includes a copy of the Blu-ray.



serenaDirected by Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier, who is known for taking on big and complicated stories, took a wrong turn with Serena.  The movie is beautifully shot by Morten Søborg, but that is about as far as it goes, which makes this blog a little tough for me to write since I like to keep them positive.

Serena is a well-known book by Ron Rash and was adapted for the screen by Christopher Kyle. The movie has a stellar cast, beautiful backdrop. Yet, the production company had the movie in the can and on the shelf for two years before it ever premiered in the movie theaters. A sure sign something is amiss. Yet, the book is very popular with rave reviews on Amazon.

I watched the movie, and it’s a hodgepodge scenes that ends terribly. I was left empty for spending nearly two hours watching a beautifully shot movie, not caring about the characters in a story not worth watching.

Skilled adaption of a popular book is hard to fine.

The story takes place around the time of the Great Depression where we see classic automobiles and new empires being built from the bottom up with dedicated hard working individuals.

Jennifer Lawrence plays Serena, a beautiful and poignant young woman, who has a suspicious past involving her family’s lumber company in Colorado. Bradley Cooper plays George Pemberton, a logging magnate in Northern Carolina’s Smokey Mountains.  The time is before the infamous stock market crash in 1929, which causes his ability to get a loan in peril. He also has to ward off a humane push to turn his land into a national park. That much is clear, but what is not clear is Serena’s role in his life. Sure. They love each other dearly, but what is the real story that caused Rash’s book to be so popular. What was left out of the movie or not explained in the movie that caused it to sit on the shelf for 2 years?

Serena becomes Bradley’s wife and partner of his lumber company. She does a dam good job.  They both share a goal of moving to Brazil after they cash in on the Smokey Mountain timbers.  One thing that I found ambiguous was Serena.  She is a remarkable woman, who can out shoot and out ride any man, but she is neurotic or borderline psychotic.  Her parents ran a logging company and were killed in a fire along with other members of the company. Serena was the sole survivor, and there is a hint she had something to do with the tragic fire.

Another unclear point is where Rachel, the mother of George’s illegitimate son, is put on the by George after her saves Rachel and his son from murder. She tells him she is going to meet up with Jacob, who will take care of her now.  Who is Jacob? How come we didn’t see her and Jacob together before this scene?

I wish Bier made these plot points clear-cut.  At the end of the movie the Serena’s suspicion becomes somewhat clearer. Yet, it means nothing because I am bored. The story is confusing and has a sad ending.