Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Hunger Games

The Flick: The Hunger Games

The Peeps: Jennifer Lawrence, Stanley Tucci, Wes Bentley, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz, Jack Quaid (yep, Dennis' son), Donald Sutherland, etc.

The Dealio: Read the first in the series. Not a huge fan. Went to see the movie to see what 'they' did with the material. For those who never read the book, briefly, 74 years ago, as punishment for an devastating uprising, once a year, every district in Panam is required to participate in The Reaping, when one boy and one girl (garnered from those between the ages of 12 and 18) are selected to enter the Hunger Games. These are a series of increasingly violent encounters between the tributes from each district. There can be only one survivor. That survivor wins a lifetime of luxury and indulgence for him/her self and some sort of benefit to their district, as well. The heroine of this story is Katniss Everdene, a tough, resilient and resourceful girl who has been the mainstay of her family since her father died and her mother took a leave of absence from her responsibilities in keeping the family in food, shelter and something to trade to obtain what is needed. In this daily struggle, Katniss is assisted by Gale, another experienced-beyond-his-years teenager, who offers her advice and support and accompanies her on her outings to locate and capture something for them to eat and barter. Gale approaches the idea of the Reaping with philosophical acceptance: he has put his name in so many times (42 times this year alone) to obtain food for his own family, that he knows he will be chosen. Katniss worries about her younger sister, Primrose, who, at 12, is set to experience her first Reaping. When Prim is selected in the lottery, Katniss volunteers to stand in for her. Then Peeta, a baker's son, who has nourished a long-standing crush on Katniss, is chosen as the male tribute from District 12. Aaaand, they are off to The Capitol to prep for and participate in the Hunger Games.

The Grading Session: 3.41 pengies out of 5. First of all, this movie is too long (stop me if you've heard this from me before). The casting was cracker-jack and everyone did extremely well with their roles. Question: Does Donald Sutherland ever play a nice guy, or even a semi-okay guy, any more? I did notice that, ahem, some of the more seasoned actors seemed to rush their lines a bit- very distracting. However, when I compare this film with the Twilight ones, I must say that I prefer the strong and feisty Katniss as a young female role-model over the simpering, I-am-nothing-without-my man(er, vampire), Bella Swan. Pul-eez.
I also found the musical selections quite intriguing. I saw Lawrence in Winter Bone (fabulous, harrowing. Another hard-scrabble role, so you know the girl can definitely bring it), which was set in the Appalachians. The sound track for THG had a definite, apt and sinuous Appalachian tang to it as well. Which I loved.
Your mileage may differ.

Lessons Learned: Well, here's a big and revealing one: apparently, defying common sense and science, CG and holographic conjurings CAN hurt you. In fact, they can pretty thoroughly kill you. And I don't mean by scaring you to death. Apparently, the laws of physics and reason cease to exist in the Arena. Also, this: it seems that the court (or at least the style of the court) of Louis XVI is alive and well in Panam.

Notable Quotables: 'Happy Hunger Games!' 'May the odds be ever in your favor!'

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