Kristy Puchko is a film critic/movie blogger who has written for Cinema Blend, Next Movie, Jezebel, The Film Stage, and Critical Mob. You can read her movie reviews here, or follow her on Twitter @KristyPuchko
Few things scream "cash grab" as loudly as a movie about a popular children's toy, as these productions rely highly on the brand recognition of children and nostalgia of adults. Making a good movie inspired by pre-existing playthings is such a rare thing that it almost seems impossible. Thankfully, Phil Lord and Chris Miller -- the directing duo behind the charming 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs' and the hilarious '21 Jump Street' reboot -- are known for turning terrible-sounding projects into spectacularly entertaining adventures. And they've done the impossible with 'The LEGO Movie', creating a wonderful narrative that perfectly captures the wonder and joy of playing with the iconic building blocks.
In 2012, 'The Hunger Games' was not only critically acclaimed; it was also the third highest grossing blockbuster of the year, coming in behind 'The Avengers' and 'The Dark Knight Rises.' This meant Francis Lawrence, who took over directing duties for the film series after Gary Ross bowed out, has an incredibly high bar to meet with the adaptation of Suzanne Collins' second novel in her trilogy, 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.' We're elated to report that he's created a sequel that is bigger, bolder and all around better than its solid predecessor, helped in part by an extraordinary cast and a lusher budget.
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