Hunger Games

Discussion of performing arts, including theatre, film, television, and music.
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Lalaith
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Post by Lalaith »

Well, like I've said, I'm sure the books are quite a bit better; I just haven't read them. As far as movies go, though, I only thought it was good, not great.

Honestly, I thought the first part dragged on a bit too long, and the best part--the actual games--were over too quickly.

But I take it you liked it, Ellie? :)
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Primula Baggins
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Post by Primula Baggins »

I haven't read it. I am SO behind. I haven't even had a chance to finish Teremia's book, which I desperately want to do. Life is . . . inconvenient sometimes.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Post by halplm »

The first book is the best of the three. The other two go downhill rapidly, with the third being little more than a prelude to the twist at the end... which is not surprising, although it is satisfactory.

The most unfortunate thing about the books is that they could have been great. The deathmatch genre is not new, but it can be entertaining and fun. There we just no real reason for any of it to happen.
For the TROUBLED may you find PEACE
For the DESPAIRING may you find HOPE
For the LONELY may you find LOVE
For the SKEPTICAL may you find FAITH
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Dave_LF
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Post by Dave_LF »

dave_lf wrote:This movie felt familiar to me, and after a couple days it finally clicked. It's not reality TV or Dr. Who I'm reminded of--it's Jurassic Park.
Lalaith wrote:Really? How so?
I don't know; the being alone in the wild, hunted by predators and trying to survive by your wits aspect. Obviously there are major differences regarding how the situation arose and what must be done to escape it, but those things are incidental--just excuses to get the characters into the survival situation that forms the core of the story. At least, that's the level I took it on. As world-building fantasy it falls flat, but I think it works fine as action-adventure/survival-horror (at least the first one does; I haven't read the books so I don't know where the story goes after that).
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Lalaith
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Post by Lalaith »

Okay, fair enough. I can see that. :)
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Ellienor
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Post by Ellienor »

Yes, I guess it is a tough crowd around here. Tolkien can do that to you!

Well, I liked it. The book AND the movie. I mean, yeah, as world-building, it was nowhere near many classics and other sci-fi. What I thought worked well about the whole thing was first...the character of Katniss and the writing style of the book. Talk about hard to put down. It's like Harry Potter for me in that way. Just had to keep reading! And second, the way in which the author approached the subject. I did feel that in many ways much of the world and how it worked was hidden from us, because the whole time, the only person you see it through, is the eyes of a 16 year old girl. Who has a very limited viewpoint. At many points, the adult reader can see through Katniss' view point to what's REALLY going on. But then she "gets' it, more completely and surely than just about anybody else.

I just thought it gave interesting food for thought. For example, I liked the part of the allegory where you could see the capitol as the 1% and the rest of the districts as the 99% (liberal rallying cry). Whereas my coworkers who are Republicans, they liked it because it can also be read as repudiation of big government and the idea of self governance. The book provides kind of a lens in which you can think about all of these concepts. I also had a discussion with my 11 year old after we watched the movie, about power and governments and so on.
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Post by halplm »

On the other hand, I kept wanting the story to make SOME point, be it whatever political point of view, or lack thereof... but it became so muddled while seemingly trying to avoid any point... that it was frustrating.

In a sense the fact that it was through the eyes of a naive 16 year old was a huge negative to me, because you never progressed from that. There was no learning... just death and chaos with no real resolution.

It makes me angry not that I didn't like it (lots of stuff I don't like), but because there was a ton of potential for... something... but it never happened.
For the TROUBLED may you find PEACE
For the DESPAIRING may you find HOPE
For the LONELY may you find LOVE
For the SKEPTICAL may you find FAITH
-Frances C. Arrillaga 1941-1995
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Ellienor
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Post by Ellienor »

Well, it was allegory (so from that perspective I can see where it might set off alarm bells in Tolkien fandom!). I think what was interesting spoiler:
Hidden text.
was that she set up the Capitol and the rebellion against it. At first blush District 13 is the opposite of the Capitol and thus it should be good, right? District 13 has gray clothes (as opposed to the fashions of the capitol), everyone shares equally, it has a managed planned economy (remember the stamps everybody got in the morning on their arm of what they were supposed to do every day?). You can read that as a stand in for a communist economy. And so the districts rally around 13 and defeat the Capitol. But Katniss sees that District 13 and President Coin are merely the yin to the Capitol's yang, in other words, they were two sides of the same coin. Both forms of government were lacking in the ability to allow people the power to determine their lives. Both were bad. And Katniss sees this by the end and was instrumental in taking both forms of government down. So between a Western style government (in my mind you could see the Capitol as the direct successor to Rome, Bread and Circuses turned reality shows, etc. and District 13 as a communist government. And I think the viewpoint was that the Districts each should govern themselves and take responsibility and trade for themselves. Small local government..........I think that the allegory can be read in a lot of different ways depending on your viewpoint, but that is what occurred to me as I read it
Edited to add proper spoiler tags (cuz I could) - VtF
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Primula Baggins
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Post by Primula Baggins »

Voronwë's gone power-mad. I knew it would happen eventually.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Post by River »

Going too far to the right or the left puts you in the same place.
When you can do nothing what can you do?
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Ellienor
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Post by Ellienor »

I had missed the "spoiler tag" link. I will do that in the future.

So one thing that I have been thinking about (a little) was how the Capitol differed/was the same as contemporary society, and if it could really "evolve" from present day U.S. It seems as though the Capitol's roots are more in Rome or Greece transported to a new modern-day without the influence of the 1,500 years in between. The author said she took her inspiration from the bread and circuses of Roman times, and those seem pretty rough. I can't imagine modern day people cheering and watching some of the stuff that was standard fare in Roman times--life was cheaper then, I guess. She also cited as her inspiration American Idol and the Iraq war--I can see those.

But is the Capitol really "right"? My Republican coworkers, discussing this at lunch, felt like the Capitol was not accurate since there was no corporations depicted. Instead the Capitol in their minds, again, was a leftist place in that regard, central government control, as was
Hidden text.
District 13
and thus the only righteous place to be was in the districts, doing the small government and self determination thing.
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Folca
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Post by Folca »

Can't bring myself to see the movie...I know it is a young adult series of books, but the movie looks and had been declared too sanitized and prettied up. The casting is obviously for eye candy over an attempt to capture the essence of the characters portrayed. Katniss especially should have been cast less soft, thinner, grimmer.

I liked the first book, but they became progressively worse. By the end of the series I was glad it was over. All of it could have been accomplished in two books. Collins knows very little about warfare and real violence, based on her writing. But she does convey emotional trauma well for effect.
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