"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" Movie Review 

It’s finally here! The last chapter of “The Hunger Games” saga! Is “Mockingjay – Part 2” a worthy entry to the consistent series? Does it end with a whimper or a bang? Take a look at my review!

Here's the film's synopsis from Wiki:

With the nation of Panem in a full-scale revolutionary war, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) confronts President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in the final showdown. Teamed with a group of her closest friends – including Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin), Cressida (Natalie Dormer) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) – Katniss goes off on a mission with the District 13 unit as they risk their lives to liberate the citizens of Panem, and stage an assassination attempt on President Snow who has become increasingly obsessed with destroying her. Although rebels - including fellow victors, Johanna (Jena Malone), Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), and Beetee (Jeffrey Wright) - now control most of Panem, the Girl on Fire must still overcome one last challenge to win President Snow's "game" - to conquer the Capitol at the risk of losing her friends and loved ones. The mortal traps, enemies, and moral choices that await Katniss will challenge her more than any arena she faced in the Hunger Games as she realizes the stakes are no longer just for survival – they are for the future of Panem.

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Save the Dates! Your Full 2015-2016 Awards Season Calendar 

The awards season is in full swing and I can't be happier! This is my Super Bowl and I will be paying close attention to each and everyone of the award-giving bodies below! Here's your complete 2015-2016 Awards Season Calendar:

Academy Awards – Nominations (Jan. 14th, 2016); Oscars (Feb. 28th, 2016)

ACE Eddie Awards (Editing) -- Nominations (Jan. 4th, 2016); Winners Announced (Jan. 29th, 2016)

AFI Awards – Honorees Announced (Dec. 7th, 2015); Winners Announced (Jan. 8th, 2016)

American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) -- Nominations (Jan. 6th, 2016); Winners Announced (Feb. 14th, 2016)

Annie Awards -- Nominations (Dec. 1st, 2015); Winners Announced (Jan. 29th, 2016)

Art Directors Guild Awards -- Nominations (Jan. 5th, 2016); Winners Announced (Jan. 31st, 2016)

Boston Society of Film Critics Awards – Winners Announced Dec. 6th

British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) -- Nominations (Jan. 8th, 2016); Winners Announced (Feb. 14th, 2016)

British Independent Film Awards -- Nominations (Nov. 3rd, 2015); Winners Announced (Dec. 6th, 2015)

Cinema Audio Society -- Nominations (Jan. 12th, 2016); Winners Announced (Feb. 20th, 2016)

Cinema Eye Honors -- Nominations (Nov. 11th, 2016); Winners Announced (Jan. 13th, 2016)

Critics Choice Awards – Winners Announced (Jan. 17th, 2016)

Costume Designer Guild Awards -- Nominations (Jan. 7th, 2016); Winners Announced (Feb. 23rd, 2016)

Directors Guild of America (DGA) – Feature Film Nominations (Jan. 12th, 2016), Documentary (Jan. 13th, 2016; Winners Announced (Feb. 6th, 2016)

Golden Globe Awards -- Nominations (Dec. 10th, 2015); Winners Announced (Jan. 10th, 2016)

Gotham Awards -- Nominations (Oct. 22nd, 2016); Winners Announced (Nov. 30th, 2016)

IDA Awards -- Nominations (Nov. 4th, 2015); Winners Announced (Dec. 5th, 2015)

Independent Spirit Awards -- Nominations (Nov. 24th, 2015); Winners Announced (Feb. 27th, 2016)

London Critics' Circle Awards – Winners Announced (Jan. 17th, 2016)

National Board of Review – Winners Announced (Dec. 1st, 2015)

Producers Guild of America (PGA) Awards -- Nominations (Jan. 5th, 2016); Winners Announced (Jan. 23rd, 2016)

Screen Actors Guild Awards -- Nominations (Dec. 9th, 2015); Winners Announced (Jan. 30th, 2016)

USC Scripter Awards -- Nominations (Jan. 7th, 2016); Winners Announced (Feb. 20th, 2016)

Visual Effects Society -- Nominations (Jan. 12th, 2016); Winners Announced (Feb. 2nd, 2016)

Writers Guild of America Awards (WGA) -- Nominations (Jan. 6th, 2016); Winners Announced (Feb. 13th, 2016)

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Johnny Depp to Receive Desert Palm Achievement Award at 27th Palm Springs International Film Festival 

Whether he likes it or not, Johnny Depp is going to be a part of this year's Awards Season for his mesmerizing portrayal of Whitey Bulger in "Black Mass" (See my review right here).

The actor, previously nominated for "Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl," "Finding Neverland," and "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street," infamously told BBC Newsbeat that he "doesn't want to win one of those things ever." Well, guess what? He maybe nominated and perhaps win! Why? Because he's just been baptized by the Palm Springs International Film Festival with its Desert Palm Achievement Award. And that's a good sign as we traverse Awards Season.

This is in my hood and I'll give you reports from the red carpet! Here's the complete press release:

Palm Springs, CA (November 17, 2015) – The 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Johnny Depp with the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor at its annual Awards Gala for his performance in “Black Mass.” Each year the festival selects an actor and actress to receive this award. The Awards Gala, hosted by Mary Hart and presenting sponsor Entertainment Tonight, will be held Saturday, January 2, at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 1-11.

“Johnny Depp is one of the most versatile and dynamic actors of our time,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In his latest film, Black Mass, Depp, in a stunning transformation, creates a gripping and multi-layered portrait of infamous gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger. He delivers an astounding performance that has earned raves from both critics and audiences and is sure to garner awards attention. It is our honor to present the 2016 Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor, to Johnny Depp.”

Past actor recipients of the Desert Palm Achievement Award include Jeff Bridges, Bradley Cooper, Daniel Day-Lewis, Colin Firth, Matthew McConaughey, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt and Eddie Redmayne. In the years they were honored, Bridges, Day-Lewis, McConaughey, Penn and Redmayne went on to win the Academy Award® for Best Actor, while Cooper, Firth and Pitt received Oscar® nominations.

Depp can currently be seen in “Black Mass,” which tells of the unholy alliance between ruthless mobster James “Whitey” Bulger (Depp) and childhood friend-turned-FBI agent, John Connolly (Joel Edgerton). The bond, forged growing up on the streets of South Boston, would test the limits of loyalty in a town that answers to its own unwritten code. Blinded by ambition, Connolly convinces Bulger to inform on their common enemy, the Italian Mafia. The deal allows Bulger to expand his criminal empire with complete impunity, threatening to destroy both men, their families, and the very city that made them. Based on true events, the film is directed by Scott Cooper and features an ensemble cast, also including Benedict Cumberbatch, Rory Cochrane, Jesse Plemons, Dakota Johnson, Julianne Nicholson, Kevin Bacon, W. Earl Brown, David Harbour, Corey Stoll, Peter Sarsgaard, Adam Scott and Juno Temple. The screenplay is by Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth, based on the book by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neil. Produced by John Lesher, Brian Oliver, Scott Cooper, Patrick McCormick and Tyler Thompson.

Depp is a three-time Academy Award nominee for Best Actor for his work in “Finding Neverland,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” and “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” Over the last three decades, Depp’s diverse range of roles has made him one of the leading actors of his generation including performances in John Waters’ “Cry Baby,” “Benny & Joon,” Lasse Hallstrom’s “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,”“Chocolat,” Mike Newell’s “Donnie Brasco,” Terry Gilliam’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” Ted Demme’s “Blow,” “The Libertine,” Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies,” and several collaborations with Tim Burton including “Edward Scissorhands,” “Ed Wood” and “Sleepy Hollow.”

About The Palm Springs International Film Festival

The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 135,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Black Tie Awards Gala, honoring the best achievements of the filmic year by a celebrated list of talents who, in recent years, have included Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Brad Pitt, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts, David O. Russell, Meryl Streep, and Reese Witherspoon.

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The 2015 British Independent Film Awards Nominees 

The 2015 British Independent Film Awards nominations have been announced and "The Lobster,"Macbeth," and "45 Years" led the pack! But where's Eddie Redmayne who is soooo good in "The Danish Girl?" At least his co-star, Alicia Vikander, received a nod for Best Actress.

Winners will be announced on December 6th. Here's the complete list of nominees of The Moët British Independent Film Awards

Best British Independent Film
“Ex Machina”
“45 Years”
“The Lobster”

Best Director
Asif Kapadia, “Amy”
Alex Garland, “Ex Machina”
Andrew Haigh, “45 Years”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Lobster”
Justin Kurzel, “Macbeth”

Best Actor
Tom Courtenay, “45 Years”
Colin Farrell, “The Lobster”
Michael Fassbender, “Macbeth”
Tom Hardy, “Legend”
Tom Hiddleston, “High-Rise”

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard, “Macbeth”
Carey Mulligan, “Suffragette”
Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years”
Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn”
Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”

Best Supporting Actor
Luke Evans, “High-Rise”
Brendan Gleeson, “Suffragette”
Domhnall Gleeson, “Brooklyn”
Sean Harris, “Macbeth”
Ben Whishaw, “The Lobster”

Best Supporting Actress
Helena Bonham Carter, “Suffragette”
Olivia Colman, “The Lobster”
Anne-Marie Duff, “Suffragette”
Sienna Miller, “High-Rise”
Julie Walters, “Brooklyn”

Best Screenplay
Nick Hornby, “Brooklyn”
Alex Garland, “Ex Machina”
Andrew Haigh, “45 Years”
Amy Jump, “High-Rise”
Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou, “The Lobster”

Best Foreign Independent Film
“Force Majeure”
“Son of Saul”

Best Debut Director (Douglas Hickox Award)
Chris and Ben Blaine, “Nina Forever”
Corin Hardy, “The Hallow”
Paul Katis, “Kajaki: The True Story”
John Maclean, “Slow West”
Stephen Fingleton, “The Survivalist”

Best Achievement in Craft
Chris King (editing), “Amy”
Fiona Weir (casting), “Brooklyn”
Mark Digby (production design), “Ex Machina”
Andrew Whitehurst (production design), “Ex Machina”
Adam Arkapaw (cinematography), “Macbeth”

Best Documentary
“Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance”
“How to Change the World”
“A Syrian Love Story”

Most Promising Newcomer
Agyness Dean, “Sunset Song”
Mia Goth, “The Survivalist”
Abigail Hardingham, “Nina Forever”
Milo Parker, “Mr. Holmes”
Bel Powley, “A Royal Night Out”

Producer of the Year
James Gay-Rees, “Amy”
Tristan Goligher, “45 Years”
Paul Katis and Andrew De Lotbiniere, “Kajaki: The True Story”
Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Yorgos Lanthimos and Lee Magiday, “The Lobster”
David A. Hughes and David Moores, “The Violators”

Raindance Discovery Award
“Burn Burn Burn”
“Orion: The Man Who Would Be King”
“The Return”

Best Short Film
“Love is Blind”

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More Love for "Amy!" Documentary Leads IDA Awards Nominees 

The International Documentary Association (IDA) has revealed the nominees for the 2015 IDA Documentary Awards. Winners will be announced at their annual awards gala to be held on Sunday, December 5 at the Paramount Theater in Los Angeles.

The nominees of the 31st Annual IDA Documentary Awards are:

Best Feature
"The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution"
"Listen to Me Marlon"
"The Look of Silence"
"The Russian Woodpecker"
"What Happened, Miss Simone?"

Best Short Documentary
"Body Team 12"
"Claude Lanzmann: Specters of the Shoah"
"The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul"
"Last Day of Freedom"

ABC News VideoSource Award
"Best of Enemies"
"Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll"
"Night Will Fall"
"What Happened, Miss Simone?"

Curated Series Award
"30 For 30" (ESPN)
"Independent Lens" (ITVS/PBS)
"Storyville" (BBC)
"America Reframed" (WORLD Channel)

Limited Series Award
"Blood Brothers" (Vara Television)
"Hard Earned" (Al Jazeera, Kartemquin Films)
"The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst" (HBO)
"Life Story" (Discovery)
"Rebel Architecture" (Al Jazeera English)

Episodic Series Award
"Chef's Table" (Netflix)
"Morgan Suprlock Inside Man" (CNN, Warrior Poets)
"Nova" (PBS)
"The Seventies" (CNN, Playtone, Herzog & Company)
"This is Life With Lisa Ling" (CNN, part2 pictures)

Short Form Series Award
"Do Not Track"
"Highrise: Universe Within"
"The New York Times Op-Docs"
"POV Interactive Documentaries"
"We Are the Economy: 20 Short Films You Can't Afford to Miss"

Courage Under Fire Award: Matthew Heineman, "Cartel Land"

Pare Lorentz Award: "How to Change the World," dir. Jerry Rothwell

Best Cinematography: "The Russian Woodpecker," cinematography by Artem Ryzhykov

Best Editing: "Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck," edited by Joe Beshenkovsky and Brett Morgren

Best Music: "Best of Enemies," score by Jonathan Kirkscey

Best Writing: "Listen to Me Marlon," written by Stevan Riley, co-written by Peter Ettedgui

Career Achievement Award: Gordon Quinn

Amicus Award: Tony Tabatznik and the Bertha Foundation

Pioneer Award: Ted Sarandos

Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award: Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe, "(T)error"

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