Melanie Dishman's archive

‘The Avengers’

Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson

Director: Joss Whedon

Rated: PG-13


‘The Five-Year Engagement’

Starring: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt

Director: Nick Stoller

Rated: R


It used to be that men were from Mars and women were from Venus, but in 2009 comedian Steve Harvey wrote the bestseller “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,” causing both genders to rethink intimate relationships. Now it’s been cleverly turned into a rom-com with a great cast.


With book sales of more than 26 million for Suzanne Collins’ futuristic trilogy, a lot is riding on this initial film that introduces teen heroine Katniss Everdeen to audiences in what will be the first of at least three, possibly four, movies. Aimed at what marketers call the coveted “YA” or “young adult” market, the film has obviously been toned down from the book to earn the all-important PG-13 rating.


For an actor who has such a reputation for histrionics that his last name ought to be Rage rather than Cage, Nicolas plays against the type here as a passive, high school English teacher in this B-movie thriller set in New Orleans. Unfortunately, it doesn’t portray the Crescent City in a very flattering way.