The Hunger Games

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Post  Poubelle on Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:56 pm

Yeah, that would make perfect sense. It would fit in with 12's reputation as a poor backwater, too. You're better than those other districts, after all!

I think the southern US (especially the southeast) is still more heavily black than other parts of the country, so it's not like there's no basis in reality for that idea.

(Just what were they thinking "dark skinned" meant? "Oh they must have a tan from being outside all day"? Yeah, I'm sure an olive-skinned girl who spends a lot of time outside would really make note of a tan. Actually, as a narrator, Katniss would probably take note if somebody seemed to have gotten tan from working outside all day. She wasn't the most reliable narrotor, but she seemed pretty adept at noting what people's appearances might indicate about them.)

ETA: The Jezebel post is making me very sorry I can see the pink comments over there. Someone is actually congratulating themselves for not noticing because they must have achieved color-blindness.
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Post  particle_person on Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:27 pm

Poubelle wrote:Yeah, that would make perfect sense. It would fit in with 12's reputation as a poor backwater, too. You're better than those other districts, after all!

I think the southern US (especially the southeast) is still more heavily black than other parts of the country, so it's not like there's no basis in reality for that idea.
I actually missed that it was in the text myself, but when I saw it on screen I figured "oh, District 11 is in the south so they were just betting the odds in casting."

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"Good news, Katniss, I think we've almost got him convinced you're not a mutt!" — Plutarch, attempting to cheer Katniss up about Peeta's condition.
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Post  queenofdenile on Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:14 pm

Interestingly enough, when I showed my students the initial pictures of the different cast members, they were also surprised to see that Rue was black - even though ninety-percent of my students were black. They did pick up on the fact that Thresh was black, but somehow missed that Rue was. Then again, they weren't the most careful of readers.

Either way, it is of my opinion - nay, a fact - that if you can look at that little girl and feel nothing for her, you have no soul. The End.
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Post  big chicken on Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:18 am

The Beanie Baby Hunger Games. (Warning: Beanie Babies were harmed in the making of this film. Or at least it looks like they were.)


Last edited by big chicken on Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:50 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post  jcpdiesel21 on Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:31 am

I liked the movie a lot. Not as much as the book, but I think they did as good of a job as possible given the constraints of adapting such a richly written book to film. The shaky cam was irritating at first, but effective once the Games began.

Jennifer Lawrence was amazing as Katniss. I was iffy on Josh Hutcherson at first, but I thought he did a fantastic job as Peeta overall. Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks were both wonderful and I enjoyed their interplay. Stanley Tucci stole every scene he was in. I loved his ridiculous teeth.

I loved the scenes of the arena being changed while the games were in progress. That was a cool addition, and a neat way to expand Seneca's role. I also liked Caesar's running commentary, especially when he helpfully gave information about the tracker jackers.

I wasn't wild about the muttations or the outfits/dress on fire. The CGI on both looked fake and more than a little cheesy.

I was hesitant on his casting when it was announced, and gave him a chance in the movie, but I did not like Liam Hemsworth as Gale. I pictured Gale as so much more tough and dashing. Jennifer Lawrence looks like she could easily take him, and he made multiple doofy faces during his brief time in the movie. Also, it seems that he does not have as much onscreen charisma as his brother Chris.
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Post  Gillian on Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:45 am

queenofdenile wrote:Interestingly enough, when I showed my students the initial pictures of the different cast members, they were also surprised to see that Rue was black
I remember my brother being surprised that Rue was black, but that was because all he remembered about Katniss' description of Rue was that she reminded her of Prim. And he wasn't, you know, a giant asshole about it. I cannot even deal with the people in that article. What a freaking world we live in.

I think I'm holding off on forming an opinion about Liam Hemsworth until the next movie. He didn't impress me, but he had so little to do. Literally, my only thought about him was, "He's so tall." I don't see him pulling of Gale's
Spoiler:
ragey-cakes anger mode,
but I realized that might be a bit unfair of me when I realized I haven't actually seen any of his movies. All I know about him is that he's Miley Cyrus' boyfriend. And that he is super tall and comes from a hot family. I think I hold the Miley thing against him, though. Gale would never put up with her shit.

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Post  curryalley on Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:59 am

I had this discussion a couple days ago.

Coworker: Have you seen Hunger Games yet?
Me: No. I'm going on Monday.
Her: You're going to HATE it.
Me: ... All my friends have liked it so far.
Her: Have they read the book?
Me: Yes.
Her: THEY'RE LYING.

Now that I have seen it, I liked it a lot. Definitely one of the most thoughtful adaptations I've ever seen. Everything comes from that really spectacular casting. I was wrecked from the reaping and it just went from there. The movie destroyed me. Walking to the bus stop on the way home in the sunshine and warm weather, I pretty much was stuck on SAD FOREVER.

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Post  particle_person on Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:01 am

big chicken wrote:The Beanie Baby Hunger Games. (Warning: Beanie Babies were harmed in the making of this film. Or at least it looks like they were.)
HEEEE. The voice of "Effie" is spot-on!

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Post  jcpdiesel21 on Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:57 pm

Gillian wrote:I think I'm holding off on forming an opinion about Liam Hemsworth until the next movie. He didn't impress me, but he had so little to do. Literally, my only thought about him was, "He's so tall." I don't see him pulling of Gale's
Spoiler:
ragey-cakes anger mode,
but I realized that might be a bit unfair of me when I realized I haven't actually seen any of his movies. All I know about him is that he's Miley Cyrus' boyfriend. And that he is super tall and comes from a hot family. I think I hold the Miley thing against him, though. Gale would never put up with her shit.
This is true. It was tough to get a sense of what he can do as Gale since he was featured so little. The audience hardly gets a sense of his relationship with Katniss during their brief opening scenes together, which led me to sarcastically mime a tear falling down my face when the shots cut to Gale while Katniss and Peeta grew close. I wasn't particularly impressed with what I saw here, but hopefully with more of his character showcased in later movies, he'll be more of a presence onscreen.
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Post  Kiran on Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:52 pm

Maybe its because he and Miley have grown on me as a couple (they seem nice and happy), but I thought he was fine. He wasn't my favorite performance but I thought he did a nice enough job with the little he had to do. We all laughed at his sadface in the theatre though. It was hard not to. Oh Peeta/Katniss moment, watch for Gale looking either sad or annoyed.

I loved the movie though. Jennifer Lawrence was fantastic. I thought she did a great job of projecting a more world weary, lived in toughness. Like not a hardness exactly, but just a kind of day to day attitude of "life sucks, it won't get better, just deal with it." And I thought Hutcherson was perfect. He really did radiate kindness. I loved all actors playing the adult characters also. Woody Harrelson I thought was fantastic. I got the feeling they had made Haymitch a bit less of a trainwreck to make his turn around to caring about them less jarring and it worked for me, and Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, and Elizabeth Banks were all their characters for me. Just perfectly. I also thought Donald Sutherland was terrifying and it was so nice to see Wes Bentley on screen.

I also thought the tribute actors were good too. The little girl playing Rue was lovely, and the guy playing Cato I thought did a <<
Spoiler:
really good job with his last scene
>>.

It wasn't perfect I thought, but I really enjoyed it. Even the shaky camera ended up working for me because it kind brought you into the whole chaos of the fighting. I really am looking forward to Catching Fire.
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Post  particle_person on Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:15 pm

Kiran wrote:I also thought the tribute actors were good too. The little girl playing Rue was lovely, and the guy playing Cato I thought did a <<
Spoiler:
really good job with his last scene
>>.
Spoiler:
Man, he had me feeling BAD for Cato. Actually, I felt kind of bad for him in the book too. The Careers, while awful, had been brainwashed into it for their whole lives. I mean, it would take an extraordinary person to be able to step outside all that conditioning and see how nasty it all was.

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Post  Kiran on Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:22 pm

I agree. <<
Spoiler:
I think that giving him that scene was a really nice touch though. Even though I already felt a bit bad for them. I also liked the hint of the Glimmer/Cato thing. She would cozy up to him to stay alive.
>>
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Post  punzy on Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:35 pm

Just saw it, so good! Also, the theater is doing $5 Tuesday night showings, woo! I did find it interesting that the audience had a big reaction
Spoiler:
When Cato snaps the guard kid's neck after Katniss blows up the food. Especially considering the wholesale slaughter at the beginning of the games got nothing.

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Post  Kiran on Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:44 pm

That got a huge reaction with our theatre also
Spoiler:
I think it may have been the suddenness.
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Post  Carrie Ann on Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:49 pm

Man, I saw it Monday night, and... I don't know. I really did not like it. I'm bummed, because I'm usually really easy to please when it comes to blockbusters, and I went in with pretty low expectations.

Surface problem: I really hated the shaky-cam in the beginning in District 12. First, it just wasn't necessary. Second, I literally could not focus on anything because I couldn't see it. And I'm someone who had no problem with The Bourne Supremacy, so...

Deeper problems: I just didn't buy it. It seemed like a fan-made storyboard of scenes from the book, rather than those scenes brought to life in a real and convincing way. This was especially true for me in scenes outside of nature (The Seam, The Reaping, The Capitol).
Spoiler:

I can't pinpoint why I felt this way, exactly, but I'll say that I don't think the performances helped. No one was standout awful. I thought Wes Bentley was probably the weakest, and Woody Harrelson the strongest. JL did a good job with what I thought was a confusing interpretation of Katniss. Where was the bitterness and the anger? She showed flashes of it for a second (um, really just with the Gamemakers and with Peeta that one time), but where did it go after that? Why so much smiling? Why so naive?

Josh Hutcherson just plain did not work for me as Peeta. He might be a fine actor, but again, the writing/direction for his character/story was so confusing. To me, he just seemed like another younger sibling proxy for Katniss to take care of, rather than her equal, and certainly not her love interest. He was so weak, especially in the Games, that he seemed much younger than Katniss. Again, this is only magnified by the fact that she buries Rue and she immediately runs off to find Peeta when the rules are changed, only to spend the remaining time caring for him and his injuries. Without his strong, steady personality established, it just makes him seem weak and ineffectual. I truly don't understand why the writers/director didn't see this happening. His size and baby face don't help either, so they should have thought ahead to realize they needed to establish his strength and character in other ways.

Ugh, ALSO, why didn't they have the scene where Peeta learns that Katniss was (sorta) faking? And why couldn't they have shown her struggling with the whole kissing/love story concept a little bit? If I hadn't read the books, I would have assumed that she had a major crush on him and was grateful for the excuse to kiss him. That's not at all how it was and it's a weaker version of their story. I assume Catching Fire will have to start with that conflict, right? Otherwise, nothing really makes sense.
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Post  queenofdenile on Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:54 pm

I actually had a problem with
Spoiler:
Cato's speech of self-awareness. It seemed too formulaic, too writerly, not enough like the Cato I had actually seen. It felt more like the writers sending a message to the audience, rather than something natural to the character.

I respect what I think is the reason behind that speech - humanize him enough so that the audience doesn't cheer when Katniss kills him. But though I respect the reason behind it, it still didn't work for me. If they wanted to give him a humanizing moment, well, in the book there's a hint that he actually cared about Clove - why not show him react to her death?
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Post  bbridges on Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:28 pm

I actually thought
Spoiler:
Clove got a better humanizing moment just before her death. The way that Isabelle Fuhrman screamed when Thresh picked her up sounded so scared and young to me. It just was nice a flip from the stone cold killer to a kid who doesn't want to die.
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Post  Kookla on Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:34 am

I just got back from it and I was so flipping impressed with this movie. I feel like so much thought and genuine respect for the source material went into this, that it really showed in the outcome. Every actor was nearly perfect (Josh Hutcherson being, not necessarily the standout, but the one to surprise me the most in how well he became his character). I even thought that Katniss and Peeta had excellent chemistry in their scenes together
Spoiler:
(the moment where Peeta applied the ointment to her face being a particularly good one - it was well done and I totally bought it).
The shaky cam was definitely the weakness, mainly because it was used too much and at odd moments. However, it was an admittedly good way not to show violence directly (however, I was pretty impressed - though I don't know if that's the right word - at how disturbing everything still was). The only moment that took me right out of the movie was
Spoiler:
their costumes on fire, because it looked silly. Even the CGI'ed wolf thingies I could accept because it was shadowy.

Spoiler:
I respect what I think is the reason behind that speech - humanize him enough so that the audience doesn't cheer when Katniss kills him.

And I think too, that in the book it was made more clear, both in the lead-up to that moment and
Spoiler:
in his actual death how much of a non-cheering moment it is. But without the narration, and without the novel's very extended, goes-on-for-an-entire-evening Cato death scene where it depicts how tortuous it is even for Katniss and Peeta to listen to him die, they needed something at that moment. And while the omission of the insane violence (Peeta's leg included) makes the ending of the film seem anticlimactic in comparison, there was a small moment I loved just before they took the berries: when Peeta gently touches the end of Katniss's braid before what he assumes is their deaths.

Spoiler:
Ugh, ALSO, why didn't they have the scene where Peeta learns that Katniss was (sorta) faking? And why couldn't they have shown her struggling with the whole kissing/love story concept a little bit?
That moment where
Spoiler:
Peeta learns about the faking was probably too cliffhangerish for the movie, and I think it would have made Katniss seem too unlikeable and harsh without the benefit of her narration leading up to that point. I think it still came across as they were playing it up for the cameras, her more than him, but there was the start of some genuine bond there. But being the lone two survivors in a killing match makes things a tad confusing, hence: "We try to forget." I thought that's how they sold it.


Seriously though, I really loved it.

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Post  Raised by wolves on Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:31 am

I saw it in IMAX today. I liked parts, didn't like parts. Parts I liked:
Spoiler:
Liked all the actors. I really didn't think there was any clunkers at all. Esp. Lenny, I did not want him for Cinna and he was fantastic. Woody did great with Haymitch but they made him way to glib and unbroken. I hated that they took him out of the Reaping. I liked that they made Katniss much more likable without the inner conflict. Expanding Seneca Crane was great plotwise, I just think the PG-13 berry ending instead of a public hanging was such a cop-out because I loved Katniss' CF tribute talent evaluation.

Didn't like: Putting the District 11 revolt here instead of the victory tour*. That bothered me a lot. Rue isn't the mockingjay. A riot caused by losing a 12 year old tribute with no hope of winning from a district that almost never wins made no sense at all. *Although that may mean there's no victory tour to start CF? Just the capitol ball and maybe District 12's celebration when she sees the mayor's com room? That would take make a lot of room in the CF movie.
Didn't like Cato's speech at all. He's the bad guy. And since they knocked him off the cornucopia and killed him immediately, I didn't see the need to humanize him.
Didn't like that Gale was so marginalized. JH nailed Peeta and Katniss was so likable the kind of ruined the love triangle for me. Even if they put Gale and Katniss together in the next book she'll look like a dick for wavering on Peeta. I'm hoping they throw some new plot in there to bring the triangle back.
All in all, I liked a lot more than I didn't like.

ETA: EVEN MOAR:
Spoiler:
Liked the lack of score and District 12 looked exactly like I imagined it.
Agreed with those who disliked the lack of emphasis on food. Katniss' hunting didn't seem necessary without it and the lack of them obsessing on the Capitol food took a lot away for me. Plus they didn't mention the tesserae at all but mentioned Gale had 42 entries and Katniss implored her mother not to let Prim take tesserae. That was probably confusing or went over the heads of non-book people.
I didn't like or dislike it but I noticed that District 4 wasn't mentioned as a Career district. Not that that's going to make Finnick's story change at all.


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Post  curryalley on Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:39 am

I didn't see
Spoiler:
Rue's death leading to the riots making her the mockinjay but that by grieving over her, Katniss made Rue a person. Her death wasn't some expected part of the games but the cruel loss of a child. I think District 11 was reacting to the fact that for the first time, someone treated a person in the arena not as a tribute and pawn in the games, but as a child. That makes her death inherently wrong.

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Post  Raksha on Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:38 am

I finally got to see this today and I loved it! I actually haven't read the books yet. I was basically just going to wait until the waiting list at the library wasn't, like, several hundred people long. But Jennifer Lawrence is my pretend girlfriend, so I had to go see this and now I'm going to have to just suck it up and buy the books because I loved it. Love love love. Love the concept, love the characters, loved the actors, love the look of the whole thing, all of it.


Well, all of it except the shaky cam business. I get motion sick very easily and by the last third of the movie I had to close my eyes and put my head between my knees several times because I was feeling Emergency Nauseous. My sister wants me to go see the movie with her this weekend and I think I'm going to have to invest in some Dramamine before we go.
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Post  inversed on Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:25 pm


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Post  QueenSix on Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:08 pm

I went to see this today and, despite having read the books and knowing what was going to happen, I was sitting still with my arms folded for pretty much the entire film up until they're declared the winners. I think I relaxed then. I didn't mind the shaky cam or the cuts. I think it was a very interesting way of setting the film apart from a 'regular' teen film adaptation, if that makes sense. They came up with their own film language, for want of a better word, with the editing.

I thought Josh Hutcherson was excellent as Peeta. I'd never seen him in anything before this but I was very impressed with how he got Peeta's kindness and likeability across and his feelings for Katniss. Jennifer Lawrence was fantastic. She really was this steely girl who was tough and unapproachable if she didn't know or trust you. But there were moments of real vulnerability too, like when she's going towards the stage and you can see the realisation dawn of what volunteering for her sister means now that, and when she's with Cinna before going up in the tube.

I think it has to be one of the better book to film adaptations in years and even if you never go near the books, it's an excellent film in its own right.

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Post  Ceci on Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:13 pm

I just got back from it and I am on the love train. I second everything people have said about Jennifer Lawrence and especially Elizabeth Banks and Stanley Tucci. I wasn't a fan of the shaky-cam either, though. I read the book more than a year ago and I don't remember a lot of details.

I didn't mind the changes they did, especially considering the change in the narration POV.

Can I just complain about the couple sitting behind me? I should have changed seats because the theatre was empty, but I had really good seats. I shushed them twice, I looked back at them with an angry look several times and I actually told them to shut up. And when I finally said "At least speak lower" the guy said "I am'. They were
Spoiler:
laughing during Rue's death. LAUGHING. I wanted to kill them.
.

I didn't let that ruin the movie, though. I went with a friend who hasn't read the books and she loved it. She was so tense after it ended she had to sit down and take a deep breath.

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Post  Tabby on Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:09 am

My stepdaughter (age 14; she LOVED the books) went with a group of her friends and reports that she really, really liked the movie. She's one who usually refuses to see movies made from her favorite books, because the movies usually change so much. But she was happy with how they handled HG, even though she admits they didn't get everything right.

I think I'm going to have to wait for the DVD. Shaky-cam makes me kind of nuts and it's helpful if I can pause the video and get away from it for a few minutes.
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