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Thread: The Hunger Games (spoilers)

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    The Hunger Games (spoilers)

    Last week I wasn't even familiar with this book series or the hype, but my wife mentioned maybe going to see it in a store, and as I passed by some books I quickly read the book cover, and was intrigued by the whole idea. So I made sure I didn't go to any wiki or anything, so I could take in the movie for itself. I was hopeful that since it was such a long movie, justice would be given to the story and books.

    I actually at first thought the filming at the beginning was kind of weak. It did the whole shaky, handheld cam thing. Either I got used to it, or they went with normal filming as it progressed. Maybe it was a presentation thing to try and capture some of the book description (I haven't read anything yet).

    Overall, I thought it was a great movie. Not epic, but I don't think the story is one of those kinds (like LOTR). I can't think right off of any plot point or something that didn't make sense or that I didn't understand what was going on.

    And here's spoilers....



    I thought the beginning of the game succeeded. You even knew what was going to happen from the warning to Katniss not to go to the center, and still, it was very disturbing, not so much graphically, the gore wasn't that bad, but the part of kids being forced into that situation.

    I don't know if it's intentional, but I like how she was presented at first as an excellent archer, but at two points she missed her first shot. I thought it helped to show that she was just a girl in a bad setting, not some super hero.

    The portrayal of the Capital population as overly "fake" was effective. There were many times where she played along with the act (or was confused by their behavior) that I wanted her to scream "what's wrong with you people?". But again, she was just a smart and ordinary kid who was trapped in this mess that had gone on so long that it was deemed normal. At least to the ones in power.

    I do wonder (not reading anything yet) if her other friend back at District 12 thought any different of her since she was forced (or maybe grew) into liking Peeta during the games, and obviously at some point he reacted to them kissing, and yet at the end, it seemed he was accepting of her being back. Perhaps something for the next movie to add tension, as they didn't show them actually meeting, just her return.

    Few movies get applause at the end. This one did at my viewing, and I don't think that had anything to do with it being filmed here in NC. It will be interesting if it gets what the LOTR got at its sequels....applause at the beginning.

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    Kind of the opposite of Logans run...I don't know--I might be rooting for the populace. Hasn't there been a bit much of teen angst in all the Vampire movies. I was hoping for a Saw type picture where all the cell phone devices go dead. I'd be telling the kids: "I can live this way...you can't"

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    I haven't seen the film yet but I finished reading the book in the early hours of this morning. I didn't think it was angsty at all. However, I was disappointed with it - not the book itself so much as the sequels, which I feel drag out a story that should have been finished. Having said that, I have not read the sequels, whereas Clare has, and she says it's not as I think. We'll see, perhaps.

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    I actually expected more from the District 11 riot than what occurred. I guess because the Capitol still has an iron grip on things when they get out of control. But I did expect something to be sparked from her rebellion against the game rules (which I thought was brilliant, how she was smart enough to know that their suicide wouldn't be allowed), but the movie just ended with her going home. Obviously there is much more to the whole picture.

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    The District 11 riot is not mentioned in the book, which is all entirely from Katniss's viewpoint and ends when she is on her way home. I suspect it might be something that she learns about in the sequels.

    I think I'll leave this thread until I've seen the film, which will probably be on 4 April (my 49th birthday). So, I look forward to resuming the conversation then.

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    I saw the film reveiwed as "Children are graphically killed for your entertainment to point out the evils of a society where children are graphically killed for entertainment."

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    I've seen similar comments, and I don't get why because it's kids being put into that position, the film itself is shunned. It's as if they're saying, "oh, society would never be like that." Some even have said it's glorifying kids against kids. I don't know what movie they saw. It's definitely not making light or justifying any of it, quite the opposite.

    Looking at how the author came up with the storyline, it's a reflection of how society can become numb to shocking things. But I don't think at all it's trying to point out that the story's society is doing a bad thing, that's a given. It's a setting to place a character in overwhelming odds of survival, and perhaps in the later books maybe turn things around for more than just herself. And yet reviews look upon that negatively?

    I guess it's okay to have super hero movies where they blow whole cities up, or action films where everyone but the good guy gets shot up. But somehow kids fighting (and frankly, much less gore than what they could have shown, and have shown in other movies), and suddenly this is an evil movie...it might even influence teens to go kill each other (what??)

    Maybe the movie hit a nerve that some people don't want to think about. I mean really, where in the world are kids being forced to kill other kids...oh wait...hmmm...

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    Or maybe the reviewer's tongue was firmly in their cheek? I didn't read more than the headline.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heid the Ba' View Post
    I saw the film reveiwed as "Children are graphically killed for your entertainment to point out the evils of a society where children are graphically killed for entertainment."
    The difference being that in one, children are not actually killed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    The difference being that in one, children are not actually killed.
    Actually in both children are not actually killed; one is a novel and the other a film about an imaginary world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    The difference being that in one, children are not actually killed.
    What is that "one" referring back to, our modern society?

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    I believe it was...but as I said, there are parallels with kids being trained and sent to war to fight other kids. The only difference is that it's not being televised on some reality show. But imagine being in a kid's shoes in places today where they grow expecting to fight someone else their age for some reason they can't even understand.

    Actually the kids from district 1 and maybe 2, the ones who trained for the games, that would be a very good parallel. They did see it as an honor to sacrifice their life. Not on religious grounds, but still the same mentality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grapes View Post
    What is that "one" referring back to, our modern society?
    No, the society in which the story takes place. Noclevername was referring to the fact that the review seemed to be stating a similarity between our actual society and the presented fictional society, on the grounds that in both societies "[c]hildren are graphically killed for your entertainment."

    His point was that, while children are actually killed in the fictional society, they are only fictionally killed in our real society, so the supposed similarity doesn't hold.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    No, the society in which the story takes place.
    OK, I'm confused, children aren't actually killed in The Hunger Games? I guess I really shouldn't have read this thread before reading the book or watching the movie!
    His point was that, while children are actually killed in the fictional society, they are only fictionally killed in our real society, so the supposed similarity doesn't hold.
    Now I'm really confused!

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    Quote Originally Posted by captain swoop View Post
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    I browsed through a copy of the 1st novel in Barnes & Noble yesterday. I might give it a read eventually (and then go from there). At this point not interested in the movie at all; based on what I read in the novel yesterday, I like the author's style and would prefer to see the action in my own imagination.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grapes View Post
    OK, I'm confused, children aren't actually killed in The Hunger Games? I guess I really shouldn't have read this thread before reading the book or watching the movie!
    Sorry! I missed the "not" in Noclevername's post!

    So much for my trying to clear things up...

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    Happens to me all the time.

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    Just read a review of the movie which concludes that "they made a pretty good movie which I did not like very much."
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    I went to see it, and like it, but also noted the throngs of teenage girls queued up to see it.

    From what I see, the books were popular with teenage girls, and also some adults, because they are basically Little SlaughterHouse on the Prairie. Imagine Anne of Green Gables facing all her teen problems, but with the added tension of having to fight to the death. This is a story made for the post-Archie comics generation.

    If you go to Youtube, you'll find a huge amount of fan-made videos, which are testament to the legions of fans.

    Here's one particularly high-quality production:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mUjssn86h4

    For those of you who've read the books or at least seen the movie, this Youtube vid is about the "50th Annual Hunger Games," which made the reputation of Haymitch Abernathy, a key friend and mentor of Katniss Everdeen, the heroine of the book trilogy, played by Jennifer Lawrence in the movie.

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    To me it is a chick flick, plain and simple.

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    It's Battle Royale but in post-apocalyptic America, and softened down considerably if I understand the premise correctly. Some elements of Logan's Run and The Running Man as well, perhaps.

    I heard from others that it's teen chick literature, but I haven't read the books myself so I can't speak for myself. Personally, I'm a little offended that a story gets classed as "for girls" just because a girl is the main character. On the top of it and from the summary, the story doesn't sound all *that* different from similar teen literature hits that just happen to have a male protagonist.


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    Well, again, I couldn't help but notice the huge numbers of teenage girls who were lined up to see this movie.

    Seeing the simple-living townsfolk at the start of the movie, I was reminded of the show Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, an old favorite of young girls' fiction. The simple pastoral village existence, the simple but precious family ties. The well-to-do owners of the General Store or Bakery. But of course, nobody cares to see a mere re-hash of Little House on the Prairie, which would be considered passť by modern girls. So instead, we get Little House on the Prairie with deathmatches added in for a sense of peril and life-threatening drama.

    What's next - Nancy Drew CSI?

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    As planned, I saw it today. I thought it was very well done, very faithful to the original novel, well-paced, involving and nice to look at.

    Given that they clearly wanted a 12A certificate, they handled the violence well - they didn't dwell on it, but they didn't pretend it didn't happen either.

    One thing I found very interesting was the theme of not rebelling. This may well be reversed in the sequels - I haven't read them yet - but in the film, and more so in the first book, the characters are working within the constraints imposed by their society rather than trying to overturn their society. Which is how it would probably be, given that the Hunger Games have been part of the status quo for more than a lifetime. In this regard it reminded me a little of Never Let Me Go.

    Regarding this thread, I think the discussion is only going to be interesting and meaningful if the film is considered for what it actually is: the story of a future society that reflects present-day concerns, and which engages the viewer on a "what would I do?" basis. It makes no sense to complain that it's not Little House on the Prairie (which IIRC was not fiction) just because an early scene was reminiscent of that. I suspect everyone in the universe noticed the similarity to The Running Man - delivering that line as if it were a clever put-down doesn't really impress. And frankly I couldn't care less how many teenage girls went to see it. It worked for me (whereas I found Twilight unwatchable) so if it happens to be inclusive, all the better.

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    I don't think I was complaining when I said it wasn't Little House on the Prairie (which was more or less fiction in the embellished TV version). My point is that today's youth aren't content with yesterday's stale tales of being stuck on a prairie, and instead want something edgier, where life is in constant peril and hanging by a thread.

    Meanwhile, I can't get myself too overly attached to a piece of entertainment featuring the morbid spectacle of kids killing other kids for the purpose of highlighting the social evils of a society that's overly attached to a piece of entertainment featuring the morbid spectacle of kids killing other kids. They could have called it The Irony Games, but then nobody would have showed up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sanman View Post
    I don't think I was complaining when I said it wasn't Little House on the Prairie (which was more or less fiction in the embellished TV version). My point is that today's youth aren't content with yesterday's stale tales of being stuck on a prairie, and instead want something edgier, where life is in constant peril and hanging by a thread.
    Judging by the reviews of the Wilder books on Amazon (US and UK) they are still being enjoyed by large numbers of people. A fair few are adults, but many talk of reading them to their children.

    I think your "today's youth" might be strawmen!

    Quote Originally Posted by sanman View Post
    Meanwhile, I can't get myself too overly attached to a piece of entertainment featuring the morbid spectacle of kids killing other kids for the purpose of highlighting the social evils of a society that's overly attached to a piece of entertainment featuring the morbid spectacle of kids killing other kids. They could have called it The Irony Games, but then nobody would have showed up.
    That's not quite how I would use the word "irony", especially given that - as others have pointed out - there's the important distinction that no kid died in the making of the movie. The story is based on an "if this goes on" premise, and that is what I found entertaining.

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    Why would anyone expect kids to die during the making of a movie? Nobody's watching "The Making Of..." - they're watching the movie itself, and the drama it projects around kids dying in a monstrous slaughter which entertains a wider society which is entertained by the drama of this bloodsport.

    We can keep going back and forth, but your points are silly. This is a tale written about juveniles for juveniles, who are oblivious to the hypocrisy of being engrossed in a spectacle about the evils of being engrossed in said spectacle. The fact that kids aren't actually dying doesn't change that fact. But hey, lots of people get sucked into watching soap operas, too - this is just one set against a dystopian backdrop. Since when are soap operas ever about normal humdrum life?

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    Being entertained by an actor doing a convincing death scene is not comparable to being entertained by someone actually dying.

    Most of the deaths in The Hunger Games (the movie) happened off-screen, or were over very briefly. By contrast, in the fictional future society, one can imagine lingering shots of gore and suffering. If you go to see the movie hoping to get the same sort of entertainment as the fictional audience, you will be disappointed. If you go to see the movie hoping to see a spirited, brave heroine survive against the odds, you won't be disappointed.

    Quote Originally Posted by sanman View Post
    We can keep going back and forth,
    This is usually the case when one side ignores facts and reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by sanman View Post
    but your points are silly.
    Excuse me? My point about the film not being a remake of Little House on the Prairie with deathmatches thrown in? My point about the Wilder books being much more popular with the "today's youth" than you imagine? Or the points I've (hopefully) clarified at the start of this post?

    Quote Originally Posted by sanman View Post
    This is a tale written about juveniles for juveniles, who are oblivious to the hypocrisy of being engrossed in a spectacle about the evils of being engrossed in said spectacle. The fact that kids aren't actually dying doesn't change that fact.
    (My bold.) Of course it does.

    Quote Originally Posted by sanman View Post
    But hey, lots of people get sucked into watching soap operas, too - this is just one set against a dystopian backdrop. Since when are soap operas ever about normal humdrum life?
    If you didn't like it, fine, I really don't have a problem with someone having a different opinion. But you're twisting logic to try and insult those who did like it, which isn't on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sanman View Post
    The fact that kids aren't actually dying doesn't change that fact.
    Do you mean you don't understand the difference between watching a movie which depicts a society in which kids are killed for entertainment, and watching kids actually get killed for your entertainment?

    Incidentally, people who compare it with The Running Man don't know what they're talking about, from King's oeuvre The Long Walk is a much more valid comparison, but since that was not made into a Schwarzenegger vehicle, movie critics don't know it exists.
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