KSWI’s Thoughts On The Hungriest Games Of Them All: HUNGER GAMES!
March 26, 2012
We’re still here! Isn’t that amazing? I sometimes think it is. As if some ethereal force could just pull the plug on this whole situation because you’re not taking it seriously enough. You spent all Sunday playing beer pong, watching Tiger Woods win a tournament in several years, and snacked on bagel chips and hummus? And you’re almost 30?! Whatever, stupid ghost who kills people in their sleep.
Regardless, I am here and I did see Hunger Games on Saturday, so let’s chit chat about them.
I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some bad news.
BAD NEWS: Gary Ross need a fucking steadi-cam and fucking stat. Like buy it for him for his birthday, half-birthday, half-Christmas, Father’s day, Flag Day, Cinco de Mayo! WHENEVER IS THE EASIEST TIME TO PURCHASE THIS MAN A STEADI-CAM WILL BE BEST FOR EVERYONE!!!! I hate shaky camera work and I hate shaky intentional camera work. Sure, at times you can pass off a shaky sequence as “action”, but not all of them. I get that this movie was almost trying to be a 1st person narrative from Jennifer Lawrence/Katniss’ eyes, but she’s shakier than Michael J. Fox in an old car running on bad gas, which is driving through an Earthquake. Even the scene where Katniss is simply walking to get her blood taken at the beginning of the movie for “the Reaping” it is shakier than if she was in a life and death chance barrel roll chase down the Himalayas. Why, Gary? Why?
Too much handi-cam. Way too much. It easily ruined whatever choreographed fighting they were doing in the couple of scenes they were actually fighting.
Another aspect of the handi-cam and tight close-ups I didn’t like, there was rarely the opposite. There were sure fire moments in the movie that were supposed to be surreal and I think Gary Ross missed them because his camera was way too close to the action. For instance, the first Elizabeth Banks sighting. Early on, when everything you’ve seen up until that point is drab and and not colorful, when we see Banks and her ridiculousness it’s supposed to be a clash of cultures in every way shape and form. But the camera is about an inch away from Banks’ mouth that you can’t really see her clashing with anything because you really can’t see how absurd her whole outfit is against how bland everything else is.
With that being said, I think Ross did a better than average job with his technical directing and did a much better than average job in filmmaking because I liked the movie.
GOOD NEWS: I liked it.
As mentioned in the comments of Friday’s post, this movie really isn’t like Twilight. At all. It might have a lot of the same fans, but that’s like saying there are a lot of people who like Star Wars and also like Jaws. Ok? That’s good for them, but the movies are completely different and why people like them are completely different. As for Hunger Games, this movie is far from about romance. There’s really not much of it and the little that there is is better explained to be apart of the plot or nature of these “Hunger Games” than any of the simplistic/animalistic/repressed-sexual-frustrations of Twilight and the rampant amount of those two guys just taking their shirts off for no reason, which gets Bella and the viewers wet in the no-no zone.
All around the movie is treated a lot better and a lot more seriously than any of the Twilight crap. I felt like I was watching a movie that these people actually took time to make. That’s not always something you get yourself involved in. From 21 Jump Street to This Means War to Tron: Legacy – sometimes you feel like you’re spending more time watching the movie than they ever did making it.
People have been comparing the movie a lot to Battle Royale, which I get, but I don’t. Battle Royale is not trying to win you over in the ways that Hunger Games is. Battle Royale is bathing in its own blood and is happy about it, meanwhile Hunger Games is supposed to be a coming of age story. It’s a personal journey story and not “WE’RE BLOWING PEOPLE’S HEADS UP!!!! WOOOOO!!!! AHHHHHH!!!!” – that’s Battle Royale if you didn’t know. I can see the parallels with Battle Royale and I can see the parallels with The Running Man and I can see the parallels with Series 7: The Contenders. But the best parallels are with a seemingly lost 1969 classic that everyone should fucking see:
They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
SEE THAT FUCKING MOVIE! Jane Fonda, Sydney Pollack, dance marathons! SEE IT! Please believe me! It is wonderful and is more similar than the other movies mentioned. But I digress…
I thought Jennifer Lawrence was great. I thought she was a great choice for the role. I looked up the other girls that were up for the role and it solidified it even more. I couldn’t see any of those other chicks actually winning the “Hunger Games”. Throughout Hunger Games everyone is telling Katniss that she is going to win it. They believe in her that she is going to win it. And you know what? Seeing Jennifer Lawrence – I believed it too. She is tall, she’s athletic looking, she’s serious, she’s sexy as hell, and she doesn’t look like she’s would just sit in a corner and cry or dig a hole in the woods and sleep in it because her boyfriend dumped her. That’s great casting because if they had cast Emma Roberts then I would not have bought her fighting to the death and possibly winning it. No, Emma Roberts would be dead in 10 seconds. Same goes for Abigail Breslin, Hailee Steinfeld, and so forth.
Some may say that Jennifer Lawrence is too old. Well, it says she’s 16, right? How about we just make her 18? Does that change anything for you in the book? What’s the big difference in that trilogy if she’s 18 and not 16? As you mull that over, a lot of ages in books don’t matter in the least bit. If any of you are enjoying Game of Thrones on television, take any of the characters on the show and make them about 10 years younger? Does that make the show better? How enjoyable would the show be if Jon Snow was 15? What if they cast a 15 year old to play Jon Snow? Would that be believable or would you not like the show as much or any of that? Because that is how the book is. And the book is wrong. It’s too young. He wants his character to be young, so he makes him young, but too young and none of it is believable that an actual 15 year old is having epic sword fights and such. Seriously, have you ever watched a Freshman basketball game? That is barely a sport. It’s a travesty.
MISC. NEWS: Lenny and Woody do good jobs. I still think Peeta could have been handled better. That kid needed to bulk up more or something. Thor’s brother is in the movie about 5 minutes longer than I am.
When watching the Peeta and Katniss cave scene, all I could think of wasJersey Shore. Gale is Jionni or maybe he’s J-Woww’s old boyfriend or whatever and they’re just sitting at home watching Snooki hook up with Vinny or J-Woww hooking up with DJ Pauly D. That’s what I was thinking about. It made me laugh.
I would’ve liked a little more talk about the tributes and what each was good at. I feel like we just assumed “Thresh” was strong and tough because he was muscular black guy. Yeah, he can handle himself. Why? Maybe he’s a gymnast. Maybe he’s that in shape because he’s a gymnast, but is a complete pacifist and cries when he gets a splinter. I don’t know! Also, “Kato” is kind of menacing, but the rest of the district 1 and 2 tributes get little screen time or explanation as why they are as terrifying as Kato is. He’s big, strong, and has a bloodlust. The rest of them just seem like his gal pals.
I also would’ve liked some more background on what the game producers/makers or whatever – the people inThe Truman Show headquarters – were capable of. The dogs, the bees, the flame balls – they all kind of come out of nowhere. I would’ve liked a little bit more of an explanation of what is inside the games arena. It doesn’t have to be long and drawn out, but something. Like they make mention of the poisonous berries and such, throw out a sentence like “watch out for FIRE BALLS or 2-TON PITBULLS!”
I guess that’s about it…
I liked the movie and found it enjoyable. I thought it was long, but it was necessary and they handled it well. I thought most of it was handled really well like the when they first enter the arena and that scene before that with J-Law and Lenny and then the madness of the first minute of the games. I thought that was all good. Some other stuff not so good like Peeta’s arts and crafts camouflage, which I hope sounded better in text than how asinine it appeared on screen. Good overall.
I will now stew throughout the rest of the day with my unhealthy crush on Jennifer Lawrence.
Did you see it?
WHAT DID YOU THINK?!!!!!