I went with two of my kids to watch The Hunger Games for the midnight showing. I think I came across the books from reading tweets of my LOST friends, and determining to give them a read on my Kindle. Then I found out that both my daughters had read the book, and my son was trying to get through it. I ended up getting engrossed with the story, and soon devoured Catching Fire and Mockingjay, and really enjoyed the story and the characters. Taking a good book story and making it a good movie story is a difficult task, but something I think the producers, director and cast of The Hunger Games did extraordinarily well. At least well enough to get me to write a blog post, which lately has seemed monumentally difficult.
I write this book as a reader and a movie goer, and while I won’t spoil the movie, I can’t really discuss the characters without getting into some plot points, so if you haven’t at least read the books stop before the fold. I hope this post helps you enjoy the movie as much as my kids and I did.
The story of The Hunger Games is told through the eyes of Katniss Everdeen and her experiences after growing up in the severely impoverished District 12 of Panem. Panem is set in a future North America where all the power and riches have been consolidated in the Capitol, which were victors in a savage battle for power. To keep it’s boot on the neck of the Districts, the Captiol requires an annual reaping, the selection of one boy and one girl from each of twelve Districts to enter a game where there is only one survivor. That is the setup of for the story of Katniss Everdeen, the older of two sisters, whose father died in a mining accident. Katniss is forced to provide for her family after his death in part because her mother checked out emotionally when her husband was killed. Katniss learned to hunt at her father’s knee, and her skill with a bow has been the only thing that has put food on their table. I think knowing how disparately hungry the Everdeen’s are is key to understanding the story, and something that I think wasn’t played up enough in the first few scenes of the movie. With that let’s get to the characters. Caution ahead if you haven’t seen the movie.
Watched the Watchmen last night, so that answers that question (inside joke). I hustled up after all the school open houses and choir concerts. (brief aside, my kids rock) Met some friends for the 9PM show, and the parking lot was *empty* for the whole theater. Been hitting the Thursday night 9ish time slot for a while and its never been sooooo empty. *shakes fist at economy*
Going into the movie I was excited, because I’m a fan of the graphic novel, the story is convoluted so I wasn’t sure how it would be recieved by the non-fanboy public. About an hour in a few people of the sparsely populated theater got up and left. Which I kinda expected, if you come into Watchmen thinking, oh this is like Xmen or Spidey, you’re not gonna like what you get. Its a darker theme, and really it laid the groundwork for some more popular movies (The Incredibles pops into mind).
The good stuff without being too spoilerish. Rorschach! awesomely portrayed, and his mask is just awesome. The Comedian is well done by Jackie Earle Haley, and Billy Crudup’s Dr. Manhattan well done (could have used a little less blue penis though). As stated in other reviews, the awkward love scene was awkward (as the comic portray it too I believe) and the song choice, a bit redundant. Several people giggled through it, including myself.
Overall Zach Snyder did a great job translating comic to film. Visually stunning. For the uninitiated, pay attention to the opening credits. On first look, several things are probably going back and rewatching, since the plot is all intertwined, some early things would be better understood after the first go round.
Overall: 3 stars.
We all knew it would happen sooner or later… Farewell VHS, one doesn’t expect to outlive childhood technology.Â Oh how I loved you, even with a wired remote, and the flashing clock thing.Â (I know it wasn’t you’re fault, you being just the media, not the console, but you two were practically inseparable in life, and, hopefully, flashing clock will soon die as well.)
I know.. I’m a dark and twisty type of guy.
Wizbang Pop has an article that says Robert Downey Jr. will play Ironman in the upcoming film. Apt casting, since one of the first comics I remember reading as a boy had Tony Stark living in a bottle because his business was going south. As recounted by this article at the Marvel Database:
In recent years Tony Stark’s greatest nemesis has been alcoholism. As a wealthy socialite, alcohol had been a constant part of his life. When his company, which had changed its name from Stark Industries to Stark international, was threatened with the takeover at the same time he was experiencing oppressive personal problems, Stark began to abuse alcohol. Although he managed to recover quickly from his first serious bout, the compulsion to drink remained a constant temptation. The second time he succumbed to alcoholism, due to even more devastating personal problems than the first time, Tony Stark went on a several month binge during which he was cheated out of Stark international, had all Iron Man suits destroyed (except one), lost the leases on his various apartments, and had his personal assets frozen so that he could not touch his fortune. All of this was the result of the machinations of the mysterious European entrepreneur Obadiah Stane, who took over Stark’s company, renaming it Stane International.
On that note, Marvel comics has done an ok job of getting their mainstream books onto the screen. We’ve had Spiderman (spidey-riffic all of ’em), X-men (great), Fantastic Four (eh), Hulk (lol!), Daredevil (eh+), and Elektra (didn’t see.. but c’mon Jennifer Gardner was THE reason you saw Daredevil…. don’t lie!!) . Coming are Ghost Rider and Ironman. Meanwhile DC Comics just relies on Supes and the Dark Knight (would love to see Dark Knight Returns made into a movie) though Joss Whedon is supposed to bring Wonder Woman to the screen sometimes… In the end the Marvel Universe has a bigger bag to pick from, so they can go deeper into the genre. Will there be a Flash major motion picture, that I’d see.
Update: Jack M. @ Ace of Spades has a pic of the issue that popped into my brain as well. (geeks unite!)