Friday, March 23, 2012

films friday // the hunger games


THE HUNGER GAMES

This film was pretty amazing. What I loved most about it is that all of the talented people who were involved in bringing the first installment of this great series of books to life actually took it seriously. The cinematography was impressive and the acting was great. Of course, being a big fan of the books there are a few minor details that were disappointing to see changed or to not see at all, but when you're trying to fit nearly 30 chapters of a book into a 2 hour film, that's to be expected. I was pleasantly surprised by all of the hilarious (and much needed) comical relief provided by the fabulous Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson and Toby Jones. Lenny Kravitz was the PERFECT Cinna and seriously, who else could play President Snow but Donald Sutherland?? 
I actually cried at a pivotal moment in the middle of the games (if you read it the books, you know what I'm talking about). Oh, and the soundtrack? Don't even get me started. It's incredible! Right up my alley. Produced by T-Bone Burnett, who also contributed to other stellar soundtracks like Cold Mountain, Crazy Heart and O Brother, Where Art Thou? All in all, my expectations for this film were met and even exceeded! I can't wait to see it again.

BUT

I have to say, I'm getting pretty weary of hearing/reading/listening to all of the... I'll just call them haters... who have been complaining about the hoopla surrounding the premiere of this film. So many of them have compared this film to The Twilight Saga and Harry Potter... and all of those people have neither read the book(s), nor seen the film(s). Now, I never read Harry Potter or saw the films (I know, I know), so I will leave that whole series out of the conversation. 

What I will talk about is how annoying it is to hear people (who, again, haven't read the books or seen the film) compare this series to The Twilight Saga series.

In my humble opinion (because you totally asked for it, right?) the only connections between these two wildly different series is that a) they're both geared towards young adults, and b) the protagonists of both series are girls who just so happen to have two boys fall in love with them and are faced with the decision to choose between them.

I have read both series and have seen all the films made from them both thus far.

Here's why Katniss (HG) is incredibly different from Bella (Twilight):

Katniss is a young woman who has spent the last several years taking responsibility for her family, both by providing food she hunts herself and trying to bring emotional stability back into the home after her father was killed in a mine accident. She has strong beliefs about the society she lives in and a solid moral compass. The last thing on her mind is the frivolity of crushes on boys and, to her, getting married and starting her own family is about the worst thing she can think of to do. She literally fights for her family, her loved ones, her beliefs and her very own life. *

Bella is a teenage girl who moves to a different state to live with her dad, meets a couple of cute boys, one vampire and one wolf. Throughout the entire series she faces the decision to choose between the two boys she loves and keeping them from killing each other, all while encountering a whole lot of obstacles along the way. Although she does put others before herself, she is ridiculously full of angst, is overly emotional and everyone around her risks their very lives to protect her. *

I don't understand how anyone can honestly say these two stories are the same.

(Side note: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know The Hunger Games' plot is A LOT like Battle Royale and Lord of the Flies, but is there any originality left in the world?)

*"The Hunger Games takes place after the destruction of North America by some unknown apocalyptic event, in a nation known as Panem. Panem consists of a wealthy Capitol and twelve surrounding, poorer districts. District 12, where the book begins, is located in the coal-rich region that was formerly Appalachia.[8]
As punishment for a previous rebellion against the Capitol in which a 13th district was destroyed, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district are selected by annual lottery to participate in the Hunger Games, an event in which the participants (or "tributes") must fight in an outdoor arena controlled by the Capitol, until only one remains. The story follows 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, a girl from District 12 who volunteers for the 74th annual Hunger Games in place of her younger sister, Primrose. Also selected from District 12 is Peeta Mellark, a baker's son whom Katniss knows from school, who once gave her bread when her family was starving..." - Wikipedia


"Isabella "Bella" Swan moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to rainy Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, while her mother, RenĂ©e, travels with her new husband, Phil Dwyer, a minor league baseball player. Bella attracts much attention at her new school and is quickly befriended by several students. Much to her dismay, several boys compete for shy Bella's attention.

When Bella is seated next to Edward Cullen in class on her first day of school, Edward seems utterly repulsed by her. He disappears for a few days, but warms up to Bella upon his return; their newfound relationship reaches a climax when Bella is nearly crushed by a fellow classmate's van in the school parking lot. Edward saves Bella when he instantaneously appears next to her and stops the van with his bare hands.

Bella becomes determined to discover how Edward saved her life, and constantly pesters him with questions. After a family friend, Jacob Black, tells her the local tribal legends, Bella concludes that Edward and his family are vampires who drink animal blood rather than human. Edward confesses that he initially avoided Bella because the scent of her blood was too desirable to him. Over time, Edward and Bella fall in love..." - Wikipedia
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