Patrick Patterson was walking into “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” when he learned he'd been traded for the second time of his four-year career this past December. He went in and watched it anyway.
Things have been going well for him since. Unlike some American-born NBA players, the 24-year-old power forward has enjoyed Toronto. He's also liked the change of on-court environment, from a Kings team scraping the bottom of the West to a surprising Raptors team that's still holding onto the No. 3 spot in the East. His game has improved, too -- he was shooting a career-low 41 percent from the field and 23 percent from 3 with the Kings, but has improved to 48.5 and 42.3 percent with the Raptors, respectively.
In the midst of all the change, he's still found some time to hit the local cinema. We asked him his thoughts on his latest movie-goings.
Would it be fair to call you the Roger Ebert of the NBA, with how you seem to go see pretty much every movie?
You could. I’ll take that. Every movie that comes out, I have to see. I’m a big movie fanatic. I’m a big movie guy, movie critic, movie buff, whatever you want to call it. I have to be in the movies, I have to see what’s out, I have to see what’s going on. There’s so many type of movies out there that at the end of the day, you can’t see 'em all, but you try to. And that’s what I’m trying to do right now, especially on my off- and downtime.
Are you a harsh critic?
Yeah. At times. For movies that are supposed to be like it, you know, the movie, and it’s a letdown or if you have top actors, well-known actors and they have subpar performances or the writing isn't as good as it should be when you have those type of actors in your movie, I’m gonna be a tough critic. 'Cause if you have a certain type of actors in your movie, it’s supposed to be unbelievably amazing, so you can’t let down movie fans.
Anything let you down recently?
Kevin Hart’s “Ride Along” let me down. Extremely, extremely let me down. But I can understand, just like he had won the All-Star [Celebrity Game MVP] and he absolutely didn't do anything, so that just shows his power with the social media and the fans. No matter what type of movie he puts out, people are gonna see it. But as far as “Ride Along” goes and Kevin Hart, that was a big letdown for me.
I know you saw the new “300” movie with the team. What’d you think of that one?
Wow, that movie. It’s just like the first one but a lot more blood, a lot more fighting, a lot more battle scenes. More solid visual effects and more CGI, but overall it was a great movie. I can’t decide if it was better than the first one or not, but I’d definitely put it up there close to it.
What would you give it out of 10?
Out of 10? I’d give it a solid seven out of 10.
When Kyle Lowry didn’t make the All-Star team, you tweeted he should've --
I stick up for my teammates, man.
Everybody thought he was a snub.
He was, he should've made it.
So who or what movie was the Kyle Lowry of the Oscars?
Man, I was actually surprised that “American Hustle,” I don’t think they won anything. Except for maybe costumes, maybe? Maybe costume design, it was either them or “The Great Gatsby.” Maybe “The Great Gatsby” won costumes. [Ed: “The Great Gatsby” did indeed win Best Costume Design; “American Hustle” didn't win any of the 10 categories in which it was nominated.] But there was an award that I felt like "American Hustle" should have won, or at least they should've won one.
Did you really love that movie?
It was a great movie, it was a phenomenal movie. And I'm happy that the other movies won, but I felt like “American Hustle” probably should have had two, at least. Two Oscars. That’d probably be the Kyle Lowry of the Oscars.
What’s your favorite movie in the last little while?
“12 Years a Slave.”
So you’re happy that it won Best Picture?
See, I didn't think it was gonna win. ’Cause, with all due respect, not trying to seem racist or prejudiced, it’s a movie about slavery. It’s an African-American, black movie. So I didn't think it was gonna win. I was thinking “Wolf of Wall Street” or “American Hustle” was gonna win because that can go with anybody. Anybody can feel that type of movie. I really didn't think “12 Years A Slave” had a chance, and then when they announced that it had won, I was just extremely ecstatic and happy for all those people involved in that movie.
So probably “12 Years A Slave” was a fantastic movie that I've seen recently; also “American Hustle,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” all those were phenomenal movies.
All the ones that were nominated, pretty much.
All the ones that were nominated were phenomenal movies, so the Oscars definitely picked the right ones.
James Herbert is a contributor to ESPN.com. Follow him, @outsidethenba.