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post #251 of 432

This could be a total stretch, but is the popularity of the cinematic Hunger Games benefited at all by the media and cultural attention the Kony 2012 video has gotten lately? The topic of violence done toward, and by, children, compounded with the theme of revolution.

 

I don't know, my thoughts are scattered, but Hunger Games (for better or worse) has captured a zeitgeist with OWS and Kony 2012.

post #252 of 432

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartleby_Scriven View Post

This could be a total stretch, but is the popularity of the cinematic Hunger Games benefited at all by the media and cultural attention the Kony 2012 video has gotten lately? The topic of violence done toward, and by, children, compounded with the theme of revolution.

 

I don't know, my thoughts are scattered, but Hunger Games (for better or worse) has captured a zeitgeist with OWS and Kony 2012.


I can see the OWS thing. Not KONY2012.

 

post #253 of 432

To elaborate:

 

The kid-on-kid violence is central to the plot, but the theme is the economic disparity. From what I've seen of the advertising, the violence was not trumpeted (my girlfriend was pretty shocked at it), but the disparity is front and center with Elizabeth Banks ridiculous costume among the rags and tatters.

post #254 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Prankster View Post


I think it's absolutely vital and the fact that the movie doesn't even touch on it is a major problem.

 

Without the resentment between Districts, it's not at all clear a) how the Hunger Games are supposed to keep the populace in line, b) why everyone's so invested in them, c) why the Districts don't just rise up against the Capital, who are clearly the real oppressors, and d) why Katniss's actions are so remarkable. Even just mentioning that the District that wins the Games gets more food in the coming year would have been enough to make it clear that the Districts are all squabbling for scraps from their master's table, but they couldn't even mention that. I really have no idea why.

 


This. I had no stake in the games or any of the tributes because I wasn't given proper context for why they were so important. I only rooted for Katniss because she happened to be the protagonist of the story. But there was not much to root for other than that because she seemed to just be reacting to events unfolding around her than taking any proactive steps (other than volunteering). Not that I wanted her to go on a murderous rampage, but I just don't know anything about her or her motivations except those related to her sister. This was felt most in her relationship with Peeta. Their relationship was so underdeveloped that when they started acting like a couple I had no idea whether it was genuine or not. Still don't. Also, for someone who was completely afraid for his life on the way to the games, the fact that Peeta then joins the opponents (I assume as a way to protect Katniss, but again this was never developed) was completely out of left field. I really have no idea why Katniss or Peeta did any of the things they did because the movie did such a shitty job of developing them as characters.

 

post #255 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Blank View Post


bwahahaha whut
It couldn't have been clearer in the books if Collins had written "Rue and Thresh are black. Black black blackity black black. African-American. In conclusion, they are totes not white."


I just remember how much I was eyerolling reading The Hunger Games knowing we were going to get yet another big time Hollywood film where the only two noted black characters get jobbed so the white heroes could survive. Evidently some subsection of the youth of today are not good readers.

post #256 of 432

They showed that the last winner of the Hunger Games was a black kid. I must have blinked, because someone had to remind me of this, but still. Does that guy ever become relevant in the sequels? Why not?

post #257 of 432

8zH7I.png

post #258 of 432

Ah, just when I was getting sick of the Battle Royale With Cheese joke (which I have seen all over the web, including from FB friends I had no idea had seen BR.) Kudos to whoever did that.

post #259 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe T View Post

They showed that the last winner of the Hunger Games was a black kid. I must have blinked, because someone had to remind me of this, but still. Does that guy ever become relevant in the sequels?


That is a truly excellent question. /jameswoods

 

SPOILERS FOR CATCHING FIRE:

The 75th Hunger Games (the one in the movie is the 74th) are the Quarter Quell. Every 25 years the Capitol changes up the rules of the Games, usually to fuck with the tributes. Haymitch himself won during a Quell in which there were twice the number of tributes, which means homeboy outlasted 47 other kids. Anyway, the Quell this time pits past Victors against each other. So what that means for District 12, since they only have a pool of three winners to draw from, is it's got to be Katniss and either Peeta or Haymitch.

 

Now, the relevance to your question is that I don't think the kid with the brick was ever named in the movie, so I have no idea who he is or if he features in the Quell. (It may be, in fact, that his name went into the bowl but he wasn't picked for the Quell.) According to the Hunger Games Wiki, the kid isn't named in the books, though she was female. As far as the books, I think something as anal-retentive as this Wiki would point out "Ah yes, the 73rd Victor is Boisenberry Fartforehead, who later formed an alliance with Queef Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F'tang-F'tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel in the 75th Games." So unless they change the gender and beef the kid's face time up for Catching Fire: The Motion Picture, no, I don't think we'll be seeing him again.

 

I'm actually surprised they kept the detail of him winning by killing someone with a brick (as in the book) yet changed the gender.

 

post #260 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by justinslot View Post



I just remember how much I was eyerolling reading The Hunger Games knowing we were going to get yet another big time Hollywood film where the only two noted black characters get jobbed so the white heroes could survive. Evidently some subsection of the youth of today are not good readers.


Yeah, racists are saying "Why did they have to be black?" and savvier folks are like "Why did they have to be Magical Negroes?" There's also a contingent that's irked that Katniss is white in the film (she's described in the book as having straight black hair and olive skin); see Why Katniss Everdeen Is a Woman of Color.

 

post #261 of 432

Quote: DIVA

 

"But there was not much to root for other than that because she seemed to just be reacting to events unfolding around her than taking any proactive steps (other than volunteering)."

 

That's known as "Saving the Cat". Ripley does it in Alien, then again in Aliens, where the cat is a Newt. The author is apparently a TV writer, so it's pretty obvious Primrose exists solely to be saved by Katniss.

 

But other than that Katniss seems to represent the sort of tribute that traditionally gets killed (hard), in the games - a non-warrior (the only difference being her hunting skills). We see that she most connects/sympathises with the other sure losers among the tributes. And yeah, you're not meant to be 100% about the relationship with Peeta. She isn't either (I'd say she knows zero about romantic feelings - she's the mother of her household at this point). Peeta was an obvious tactician at heart, and even discovering his secret ability to throw giant metal balls around, he stuck to a purely tactical approach when in the game (which is why he trained alone I'd say - he was always planning to A: cover Katniss's back by forming an alliance elsewhere and B: die, so that she'd live). I wasn't 100% about his situation at home (haven't read the book) but I got the impression that he'd orchestrated that situation we see in flashback where he gives Katniss the burned accidentally-on-purpose bread. That indicates that even in District 12 some social discrepancy between them meant he had to hide the fact that he was helping her out and had to manipulate the adults around him. It's not explicit by any means due to the brief nature of the flashbacks, but the film was pretty good about showing and not telling, so I figure you're meant to pay attention and put the pieces together yourself. But when Peeta does finally talk about it while he thinks he's dying, he sees it as a regret and a source of shame rather than this great thing that he - he should have been brave and helped her openly, rather than secretly. The whole strange business with his camouflage skills is pretty much just there as symbolism to his nature - to hide in plain sight and pretend to be something he isn't.

 

 

post #262 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Blank View Post
That is a truly excellent question. /jameswoods

 

SPOILERS FOR CATCHING FIRE:

The 75th Hunger Games (the one in the movie is the 74th) are the Quarter Quell. Every 25 years the Capitol changes up the rules of the Games, usually to fuck with the tributes. Haymitch himself won during a Quell in which there were twice the number of tributes, which means homeboy outlasted 47 other kids. Anyway, the Quell this time pits past Victors against each other. So what that means for District 12, since they only have a pool of three winners to draw from, is it's got to be Katniss and either Peeta or Haymitch.


Woah, WHAT? How do we not know ANY of that about Haymitch in the movie? How is this character not deranged and fucked-up beyond belief? He was the survivor of a pool of 47 as a KID and as an adult, his major affliction is enjoying a bottle of bourbon and having terrible hair?

Why cast Woody Harrelson to play damaged goods and NOT let him play damaged goods?

 

post #263 of 432

I really, truly do not get why you think Haymitch isn't damaged goods.

post #264 of 432

Clearly

*takes a swig of the Wild Turkey clasped in his hook hand*

you and I have a different definition of damaged goods.

post #265 of 432

I forget whether the first or second book goes more into detail about Haymitch's past, though I do know in the second book we get a look at a young Haymitch in his Games via a tape Katniss and Peeta watch.

 

The second movie, if they adapt the book reasonably faithfully, will provide some of the details about what the winners get. Stuff that I think is only mentioned in passing in the first book, like the Victory Tour, where the victors are trucked around all the precincts. Again, that may seem to get into "they'll explain it in the sequel." But considering it's about an hour before the Games even start in the movie, and it runs 142 minutes as it is, there was only so much they could do without the narration I keep saying the movie needed. For the life of me I don't know why, when Collins was even one of the screenwriters, they dropped the perfectly good narration they already had from the book. Maybe Gary Ross hates narration.

 

Haymitch is deranged and fucked-up beyond belief, but the movie tones him down somewhat. Again (second verse, same as the first) we see a lot more of his self-destructive alcoholism in the second book, where Katniss is always walking in on him passed out with a knife in his hand (he sleeps with it, always in the daytime) and his house looks like Hunter Thompson's hotel room in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

 

I suspect that once they cast Harrelson they figured his presence alone would do some of the legwork; by now he's played enough angry, violent guys we figure Haymitch isn't playing with a full deck even if Stanley Tucci doesn't stop the movie and point it out.


Edited by Martin Blank - 3/27/12 at 7:05pm
post #266 of 432

Saw it a few hours ago; its pretty solid and might even hold up as good or great in the future, but its the performances by the leads that make the film, if you ask me; the lack of exposition or background for the world and its history make the whole thing a bit hollow, but the cast, even the bit players make things work; amazingly, i was approached by a couple teen girls who begged me to buy them tickets...they revealed to me that this was rated "18" here (which is essentially an R rating here; it means over 18 years old only, but most theaters let it slide if a teen is with an adult parent/guardian); I couldnt help them because the theater is rather strict about this crap, but i suggested they get a relative to do it, which they did, as they werent in the mall alone; truly baffling, since im pretty sure this move essentially voids the target demographic from seeing the damn film.

I had no complains about the violence and kill sequences being shot in shaky-cam, as it made sense for the rating and the "feel" of the games, but overall, all i can say is that this is a waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy better teen/young adult franchise to become popular than fucking Twilight; JL is great as Katniss and the movie played the teens in the theater like a violin with every single big or drama scene, so it clearly earns and panders to its public; it just could had been more open and informative for outsiders, i guess.

Also, i cant be the only one who found the capitol and every single of its inhabitants cringe worthy; it was like hipster clowns had conquered the world, and i'll clearly have nightmares about it for some time.

Also, no question that this and Battle Royale are completely different animals and shouldnt even be compared at all, but HG clearly lacked a fucked up scene or frameshot like BR shot of the last winner of the event; that petite little japanese girl with braces and a psycho smile haunted me for days after seeing it.

post #267 of 432

You may see some of that fucked-up-winner stuff if they show clips from past Games in the second movie. There's some mention of various winners going nutso. Also in the first book there's the detail that they started airlifting the corpses (something not in the movie, as I mentioned before) to prevent cannibalism. Apparently that had been an issue. Yeesh.

post #268 of 432
Thread Starter 

Yeah, the Capitol delibrately set off an avalanch to prevent him from becoming the Winner.

 

Haymitch is way depressed and drunk for the above reasons. But for one more as well. You see, during his time at the Games, he won by pulling off a stunt that harkens back to what Katniss/Peeta did. The Capitol never forgave him for this and they killed his parents and girlfriend.

post #269 of 432

The fact that you all have to provide pages and pages of back story means that HG failed as a self-contained movie. While it may have been faithful to the book, the movie does not stand on its own as a compelling, well-developed story. The writers should have taken the essential points of the book, and edited it in a way to make it work for the screen.

post #270 of 432

Or, y'know, thrown in some narration.

post #271 of 432

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diva View Post

The fact that you all have to provide pages and pages of back story means that HG failed as a self-contained movie. While it may have been faithful to the book, the movie does not stand on its own as a compelling, well-developed story. The writers should have taken the essential points of the book, and edited it in a way to make it work for the screen.


I found it compelling just fine and I had zero idea what was going to happen that wasn't revealed in the trailers.

 

post #272 of 432

Some are gonna get hung up on what is or isn't explained, some are just gonna ride the emotions of it.

 

Surprised Faraci didn't get all picky-ass on it, but he pretty much loved it.

post #273 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeI View Post

 


I found it compelling just fine and I had zero idea what was going to happen that wasn't revealed in the trailers.

 


So we're agreed it was under-developed.

post #274 of 432

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diva View Post

So we're agreed it was under-developed.


What, no? I'm saying the movie worked for me, it did not work for you. That is not the same as "the movie didn't work."

post #275 of 432
Thread Starter 
post #276 of 432


That's a really cute review. 

 

Still, I had the opposite reaction in which I preferred the first half of the movie to the Hunger Games half. 

 

post #277 of 432
Thread Starter 

Same here.

 

It's been holding up well on the Box Office for the past few days. Box Office Mojo reports it made $10 Million each on both Monday and Tuesday (Which is rare i think). I don't think we'll be getting much of a drop this weekend.

post #278 of 432
Thread Starter 
post #279 of 432

Yup.

Quote:
Yet doing right by a great book and being faithful to it are, to my mind, two separate issues. Skillful as it is, The Hunger Games suffers from all the pitfalls of faithfulness that I noted in my review and Linda Holmes addressed above: It hits all the expected plot points from a novel that offers a straightforward cinematic blueprint, but it feels thinned-out as a result, because it can only deal glancingly with key relationships from the book, like Katniss’ relationship with Rue. When co-writer/director Gary Ross actually pauses long enough to set up a sequence carefully and let the drama breathe a little, you get “The Reaping,” by far the film’s most affecting and artful minutes. But once Katniss gets swept into the Games, there’s no time allotted to build complex relationships or evoke this world more vividly; in order to stay faithful, Ross just ticks off the boxes.

 

post #280 of 432

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeI View Post


What, no? I'm saying the movie worked for me, it did not work for you. That is not the same as "the movie didn't work."



My post was rhetorical.

post #281 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diva View Post

The fact that you all have to provide pages and pages of back story means that HG failed as a self-contained movie. While it may have been faithful to the book, the movie does not stand on its own as a compelling, well-developed story. The writers should have taken the essential points of the book, and edited it in a way to make it work for the screen.


None of those details matter for the first film. Most of them-- notably the full breadth of Haymitch's experiences in the arena-- aren't even revealed until Catching Fire. In terms of adapting the essential points of the first book, they do that pretty faithfully; the only major detail that's really left out is why Gale's choice to enter his name multiple times in the Reaping is significant.

 

I can also see the bit about the resentment between Districts being left out, but it's there-- if a bit muted-- in the way everyone tends to react to the Career tributes. Besides, Snow's little dialogue to Seneca does a fine job indicating why the Districts don't actually rebel; the Games give them enough hope to endure but not enough to inspire them to rebel, which is why Katniss and Peeta's joint victory is so important (and likely why the film ends on the shot of Snow, even if I felt like it should have lingered on Katniss).

post #282 of 432

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by agracru View Post


None of those details matter for the first film. Most of them-- notably the full breadth of Haymitch's experiences in the arena-- aren't even revealed until Catching Fire. In terms of adapting the essential points of the first book, they do that pretty faithfully; the only major detail that's really left out is why Gale's choice to enter his name multiple times in the Reaping is significant.

 


They also failed entirely to explain the title of the movie; we never learn why they're called "The Hunger Games."

 

Sort of an important, detail, no?

 

As time has gone by, I'm becoming more mixed about the film. It features really strong performances, some neat world building and courage in not shying away from the brutality in the story. But as I've read in this thread and talked with readers of the book, there were some really crucial pieces of information that immediately affect how we see and understand events in the first movie that were completely left out.

 

post #283 of 432

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelM View Post


They also failed entirely to explain the title of the movie; we never learn why they're called "The Hunger Games."

 

Sort of an important, detail, no?

 


No, not really. People can come up with their own answers. They may not be the right ones, but they fit the construct. Assuming the rebellion was over income inequality, people revolting over lack of food, Hunger Games seems an appropriate title. At the very least, it might just be considered a name... like the Olympics. 

 

post #284 of 432

Why was BATTLE ROYALE called that?! It was never explained in the movie! I can't enjoy it now.

post #285 of 432

I honestly don't think it takes much legwork to understand what the title's referring to; I mean, just watch the footage in District 12 and do the math yourself. It's a far bigger deal that they forget to mention why Gale entered his name 40+ times, but based on how short that scene cuts I get the impression that there's actually more to that scene that wound up on the cutting room floor.

post #286 of 432

This movie would've made SO much more sense if it had been about an eating competition.

post #287 of 432

Last year I saw a movie called AARDVARK. There are no aardvarks in the film, and at no point do any characters talk about or even reference an aardvark. Now there is a movie I walked away from perplexed by the meaning of the title. HUNGER GAMES has several big flaws. The fact that I didn't get an exact verbal explanation of why their big event was called The Hunger Games never even crossed my mind. Districts are poor, people don't get enough food. The Capital is posh. "The Hunger Games" sounds cool. That's about all I needed.

post #288 of 432

Not explaining the title is not a big deal. But I think people are trying to say that lack of explanation is indicative of the film's larger failings in world-building.

post #289 of 432

I'll definitely accept that. And I don't mean to be poo-pooing the fact that fans of the books aren't happy with aspects of the adaptation. I certainly do the same thing when I'm on the other side of the fence (I fumed initially when they cast Mark Addy as King Robert on GAME OF THRONES because he wasn't exactly how he was described in the book).

 

I just find the argument that the movie is bad because it failed to translate certain details from the book a poor one, especially when the crux of the argument has been routinely hinging on the omissions making the moving confusing or not all there. Which isn't the case, and isn't judging the film as a movie but rather only as an adaptation.

post #290 of 432

I don't give a shit about the title. I give a shit about the motivations of the characters, their psychological mindset, and their relationships. I know nothing about Katniss from her own point of view other than she must get back to her sister. While watching the film, I didn't understand why she did any of the things she did in the movie, I didn't understand her relationship with Peeta or Rue, I didn't get why she was throwing gang signs after Rue's death (a friend it has something to do with rebellion). The world building is worse: I didn't understand the importance of the Hunger Games or what was at stake other than the tributes trying not to die (again a friend later told me that the Districts get rewarded as well), I didn't understand that the Districts were pitted against each other outside of the games and that alliances were rare, I didn't understand why the bird pin was important, and on an on. The movie was literally a string of scenes lifted straight form the book with little transitions connecting them or filling in important context.

 

Sam Strange's review is the best one I've read yet. Way more entertaining than the movie itself. Some choice bits:

 

 

Quote:
After the training, "The Hunger Games" can finally begin. It's important to remember that this game is actually a television show. There are cameras and microphones in all the trees and even some invisible cameras that can float in the air to follow characters when they run. All over America, people gather in their town squares to watch the game on one big television. Since it's a twenty four hour show that goes on for an indeterminate amount of time, all production ceases for the season's duration. It's like a vacation for the proletariat, except they're forced to stand for weeks without food, water, or sleep.
 
........................
 
Instead of Petra, Katnipp finds herself with a little girl named Rushmore Cobblepot. Rushmore has been taking care of her even though Petra is the last person she actually saw. If you'd like to know what happened between Petra and Rushmore or why Petra was hanging out with the bad guys in the first place, you'll have to ask someone who has read my book Exposition and Emotional Information Regarding the Hunger Games.
 
.......................

It turns out that, in seventy four years of the game, this is the first time a really cute kid died, and a little riot erupts over the show's cruelty. It's all under control in a matter of moments, however. Actually, this paragraph does not matter one tiny bit. Forget it even happened.

 

post #291 of 432

I think the title matters quite a lot in this specific film; the entire movie is built around the titutlar game, and the title of the game has enormous attachments to the world the film builds (and the source material as well).

 

Gabe T is right in that it's indicative, but I think it matters in and of itself, too. We're watching a film about this game with a specific and purposeful name.....with no implicit or explicit explanation given. That's just a dumb oversight, and a failing to help explain the landscape of this particular world. Why aren't they called The Survival Games, or the Cornucopia Games? The games are integral to the management of the Districts against each other....which we cannot and do not know, despite it having daily, huge consequences in the every day lives of the tributes we're following. 

 

And for those thinking this is dumb, remember I liked the film. I thought it had a lot of strengths, and did stuff right....which makes the mistakes all the more glaring and borderline nonsensical in some cases.

post #292 of 432

You don't like Marilyn Monroe.  How can we trust you???

Anyway, I'm with MichaelM.  It was fine while I was watching it (along with my vague memories of the first book), but in retrospect it mostly just comes across as merely competent aside from certain elements.  Its ending did nothing for me other than, "Oh, ok.  Time to get up."

 

That AVClub piece on adaptation (that felix linked) is REALLY good in discussing this feeling.

post #293 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Miller View Post

As someone who didn't read the books, I didn't feel confused about any of that. My only confusion was over the inserted elements in the games, like the mutant dogs. I wanted an explanation for those. Though, honestly, once I learned from friends who had read the books what that explanation was, I don't know that I would have liked that any better. I would have left the dogs out of the film entirely. Their role in the climax took too much away from the kids vs kids element of the story for me.



I didn't read the books, and the mutant dogs ruined it for me (a little), because everything else was near-future-believable, but you can't just push a button and make mutant dogs materialize?

post #294 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post


That's a really cute review. 

 

Still, I had the opposite reaction in which I preferred the first half of the movie to the Hunger Games half. 

 



 

It's kind of how I felt as well.  
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe T View Post

Not explaining the title is not a big deal. But I think people are trying to say that lack of explanation is indicative of the film's larger failings in world-building.



The book does a much better job at world-building, while the film streamlines through much of what happens without really capturing those subtle moments from the book.  

 

post #295 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeI View Post

 


No, not really. People can come up with their own answers. They may not be the right ones, but they fit the construct. Assuming the rebellion was over income inequality, people revolting over lack of food, Hunger Games seems an appropriate title. At the very least, it might just be considered a name... like the Olympics. 

 


Good ol' Dave Hunger, the inventor of the Hunger Games.

 

post #296 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe T View Post

Clearly

*takes a swig of the Wild Turkey clasped in his hook hand*

you and I have a different definition of damaged goods.



Well, his hair was a shambles and his beard non-existent. The man was a ruin!

post #297 of 432

Honestly, I can't read this thread without thinking that people need some of this stuff over-explained to them. 

 

As a reader, I won't lie-- there are definitely points here that I agree with on the negative side, and I'm maybe more frustrated because those negatives would have disappeared with just 20 seconds of extra footage. What the games mean should be pretty clear if you're talking about the Capitol, and I think it's easy to make logical conclusions about what they mean to the Districts, but there's information non-readers needed nonetheless that didn' make it into the film and that can't be inferred through processing the plot and narrative as presented. I get what people are referring to in terms of the title of the games, and I truly think that having those small beats inserted into the film where applicable would have completely dispelled any confusion over the significance of the name. 

 

But then there are things like the salute and the riot, and I find it somewhat surprising that anyone needs any more information to understand their significance. The salute's a sign of respect used among Districts; the riots commence because Katniss gives Rue a proper send-off in an arena where compassion is non-existent, and it's probably the first time someone's ever dared to do something so antithetical to what the Capitol intends through the institution of the games in the first place. In other words, it's an act of defiance, an example of what Snow fears from "too much hope". 

 

So in short, yes, there are some things that needed more explanation. But then there are some things that are self-evident even if you haven't read the books.

post #298 of 432

Again, I understood what the actions were (e.g., Katniss paying tribute to Rue) on a surface level, but I wanted to understand the motivation behind them. There were like 30 seconds of footage where Katniss sees Rue during training (they don't even interact!) and later when Rue helps her in the tree. But from that we're supposed to buy that they have some kind of deep relationship in which one's death would impact the other so much she would defy her rulers and start a rebellion?!?! The movie spent way too long over-explaining things that didn't need explaining (the sponsors) and under-explaining the things that really mattered (motivations, relationships) to keep viewers invested in the characters. I know so little about the people in the movie it's baffling to me that it was an almost 3 hour movie.

post #299 of 432

Yeah, you're not the first person I've had this conversation with, so to a degree I do get that. But speaking to Rue's and Katniss' relationship, there are a few beats in there that do build up that bond between the two of them. The biggest for me, and probably the most essential, is over dinner by the campfire when Rue coyly asks Katniss if "all that stuff" about her and Peeta is true. That's the moment where Rue stops being a scared, but resourceful, child clinging to Katniss to delay the inevitable, and where she starts becoming more of a person. She's kind of a cipher up to that point-- she's clearly intrigued by or curious about Katniss (as evidenced by the beats in the training center), but she's not much more developed than that until she starts talking to Katniss on a personal level. I don't think Katniss feels much for her until after that scene. 

post #300 of 432
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeI View Post

To elaborate:

 

The kid-on-kid violence is central to the plot, but the theme is the economic disparity. From what I've seen of the advertising, the violence was not trumpeted (my girlfriend was pretty shocked at it), but the disparity is front and center with Elizabeth Banks ridiculous costume among the rags and tatters.



This is what I think people are not talking about. It looked like a modern take on the Wizard of Oz. All the people of District 12 and 11 are all dressed like it is the 1930s depression era Kansas. The Capitol is the Emerald City. I really dug the design ethic with its throwback, but modernized Art Deco. Between this film, having just recently been to the Empire State Building, and playing Bioshock for the Chud Monthly, I am digging some Art Deco. The economic disparity is most evident in those beginning scenes. It reminded me of the documentaries about the War on Poverty when film makers would go into Appalachia in the early 60s.

 

I saw someone mention that Katniss should be a woman of color. While the link is interesting, I think it is ill informed. Those who live in Appalachia definitely know the character type that Collins is describing. I live in the mountains, but I am from Georgia, so I am not native. (I would be from District 11.) Long term generational residents of the mountains have olive skin tones, dark hair, and lighter colored eyes. I never got the feeling that Katniss was Melungeon, but definitely a blending of Native American and Southern European phenotypes. My step-grandparents were Hungarian immigrants to Appalachia. If one of them had married a dark toned Italian or Greek or Turk, they could have produced a Katniss.

 

Someone mentioned a "black district" but did they not see the other ethnicities there as well? The guy getting Bull Conner'd by a hovercraft was definitely caucasian.

 

 

People's complaints seem small. I will say the film could have been tighter, but what is missing is minor. Haymitch's background isn't that important, only that he has trained kids for years and watched them all die. Effie, who really doesn't get named, is disliked by all of them. She is the symbol of the man that they can abuse. The name of the games makes perfect sense without saying "If you win, we shower your district with food." I have read the books, but completely forgot that part. The images of poor people in overalls tells me they are also probably hungry.  Greatest film of our time? No. Disaster of a film ready to sink a studio? Probably not.

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