News Nuggets: Do critics love or hate ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’?

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” will clean up at the box office for its opening weekend. What are critics saying about the film starring Oscar champ Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, and Elizabeth Banks? In a round-up of reviews from several critics, it is called “noticeably spiffier, more confident feel than the first,” “a tougher, less sentimental feel this time around,” and “relies too much on the success of the original story.” Hollywood Reporter. The film’s current score is a respectable 75 on Metacritic.

With SAG Awards ballots now in the mail, Ryan Adams offers his special “for your consideration” hopes beyond the top contenders. On his wish list are Bruce Dern (“Nebraska”), Brie Larson (“Short Term 12“), Matthew McConaughey (“Mud“), Emily Watson (“The Book Thief), and the cast of “Before Midnight.” Awards Daily.

Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave“) will receive Director of the Year honors at the Palm Springs Film Festival. The event will be held on January 4 with previously announced acting winners Sandra Bullock (“Gravity“), Bruce Dern (“Nebraska“), and Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club“). Thompson on Hollywood.

British action star Jason Statham urges the Oscars to add a stunt acting category. He says, “Nobody is giving them any credibility. They’re risking their necks. And then you’ve got poncy actors pretending like they’re doing (the stunts).” Legendary stuntman and director Hal Needham, who passed away a few weeks ago, was given an honorary Oscar last year. The Wrap.

Comedian and actor Stephen Fry will once again host the BAFTA Film Awards for the ninth time. The ceremony will be held February 16 at the Royal Opera House. He says, “Despite the nerves and terror that something might go wrong and that I’ll make a fool of myself, it’s an annual event I really look forward to.” Variety.

The American Music Awards this Sunday line up a variety of movie stars, TV regulars, and musical artists as presenters. The list includes 2 Chainz, Kristen Bell, Ciara, Nathan Fillion, Dave Grohl, Jennifer Hudson, Heidi Klum, Lady Antebellum, Bill Maher, Jeremy Renner, Zoe Saldana, Taylor Swift, and more. USA Today.

Saturday Night Live” announces their guest talent for December. Paul Rudd will host for the third time on December 7 with musical guest One Direction. John Goodman has not been on the variety series in many years, but he will return for his 13th hosting gig December 14 with musical guest Kings of Leon. Jimmy Fallon, who won an Emmy the last time he hosted, will be back on December 21 with musical guest Justin Timberlake. TV Guide.

Sosie Bacon, the daughter of Golden Globe winners Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, is selected as Miss Golden Globe for 2014. Each year, the Hollywood Foreign Press chooses the child of a well-known celebrity to hand out trophies at the event. The 71st annual Golden Globes will be hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on January 12. People.

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