Happy #HungerGames, and May the Odds Be Ever In Your Favor!

(source: dguides.com)

First up!  The winners of two recent blog giveaways!  Winning the copy of Jody Hedlund’s new book The Doctor’s Lady is Justine!  And the winner from the Life List Club Milestone Party and receiver of an iTunes Gift Card and blog swap is Bethany WigginsCongratulations Ladies!!

*****

I did it.  I saw The Hunger Games movie.  My weekend was a little more fulfilling knowing I had the inside scoop on all things Katniss Everdeen!

Katniss played by 2010 Oscar nominee (for her role in Winter’s Bone) Jennifer Lawrence, was amazing as the renegade heroine.  I really thought Lawrence did an awesome job embodying Katniss’ struggles throughout the competition.  Her leading men, Gale, played by Aussie actor Liam Hemsworth and Peeta, played by Josh Hutcherson were also good pics for their role.

Now for the Guts:

The fact is I am an adamant proponent of seeing the film first!  I know, I know, many of you are gasping for air right now.  But that’s the way I do it.  I see the film, and then if I really like it, it makes me want to read the book.

Here’s why:  When you see the film and then read the book, you like the changes, it’s exciting, you learn more, the characters are developed.  But do it in reverse, and you come out disappointed, because the book is always better!

So what did I think of the film version of The Hunger Games?  I liked it a lot!  I really did. However, it’s incredibly difficult to fit as much backstory and symbolism and characters as are in the book into a 2+ hour movie.  They did a great job!  But I came out thinking the book is so much better.

The Pros of the Games:

1.  Effie Trinket’s Make Up – I will make this look happen, just you wait!

(source: hungergamestrilogy.net)

(source: ifc.com)

(source: hggirlonfire.com)

2.  The Arena – Great set work using the woods and intense shots during the fire scene and battles.  *Note:  try to avoid sitting too close to the screen, the theater was packed when we went and we got a little motion sickness.

3.  The Romance - For those of you speculating that this is just another Twilight, stop!  The love triangle may be there, but it isn’t presented in a puppy love, mopey teenager kind of way.  It’s life or death with the cameras watching!

Who will she choose?

Katniss and Gale? (source: google images)

Katniss and Peeta? (source: the hungergames2012.files.wordpress.com)

The Cons of the Games:

1.  Where’s the Mockingjay? - For people who haven’t read the book, it won’t be a big deal.  But I was saddened by how little explanation or meaning went into the story of the mockingjay.  My guess is we’re in for some serious flashbacks/backstory come time for the sequels.

(source: wikia images)

2.  President Snow - I adore Donald Sutherland, who plays the evil dictator Snow.  However, he’s almost too laid back as Snow and while he’s creepy, he’s just not as creepy as he is in the book.

(source: images.hollywood.com)

If I had my dream casting, I’d pick Kevin McCarthy from the 1987 film Innerspace, which is hilariously awesome if you’ve never seen it.

Kevin McCarthy (source: wearysloth.com)

Overall, given the time limits I’m sure they had, they put together a good movie with some great actors, Jennifer Lawrence in particular.  I’d watch it again!  I recommend you see it!  But know, you’re gonna like the book more!

Can’t Get Enough Hunger Games?

Holley Maher was Freshly Pressed for her post The Embarrassing Side Effects of Having Just Read “The Hunger Games”

My review of the book  and author research can be found at The Hunger Games: Best Lack of Sleep You Ever Had.

Sara Grambusch and I did some blogging editorials on Katniss’ Journey as Heroine and Team Peeta vs. Team Gale!

Ellie Ann Soderstrom offers us a critical look at the writing of The Hunger Games.

AND, you know what else?  There’s a little heated battle going on about the question of plagiarism because Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games bares striking similarities to Japanese novel Battle Royale.  Maggie’s Bookshelf shares more information about the similarities here.  Check it out!  It’s an interesting discussion.  I’m leaning towards the “not plagiarism” viewpoint, because if you’re going to point out Battle Royale, we may as well also toss Lord of the Flies and A Most Dangerous Game in there as well.  Or any dystopian novel where the theme is about corruption of power.

But that’s just my opinion.  Tell me what YOU think!

And, it wouldn’t be a movie post without a trailer!  This video has all 4 trailers of the Games on it!

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18 responses

  1. I can’t WAIT to watch this movie! We’re having a hunger games party with our friends tonight. So. Excited! =)
    (and thanks so much for the link love, m’dear)

    1. Are you dressing up as characters? I totally want to have a party where everyone dresses like they’re from the Capital. And I want to do everyone’s make up for it!!! *squee!*

  2. Bethany Wiggins | Reply

    I am dying to see the movie–I’ll be going alone, LOL. I can’t believe I won! Thank you so much!

    1. Shame you don’t live closer, Cat was my movie date! We’d love to have you along! :D

  3. Oooh! I hadn’t heard any of the brou-ha ha over plagiarism! Fascinating! And I love dystopian literature. Is that wrong? ;-)

    My son saw The Hunger Games with 5 friends this weekend. They all loved it.

    I can’t wait to see it with Hubby for date night so we can all deconstruct it together! ;-)

    1. Awww, I love that you went to see it for date night! Awesome! Let me know what you think!

  4. You know what, Jess? You really have something with the whole watching the film first point. I’m love buying the superduper end-all collector’s edition DVD sets of great films. The book is always better; however, in this context it is much like getting special features and deleted scenes, when you think about it since the book gives us so much more insight into the story. Good point!

    -Jimmy

    1. That’s my point and I’m stickin’ to it! LOL

  5. I am about to start the books and will probably see the movie too. Loved your review! I’m a little bummed that Donald Sutherland didn’t meet the creepiness quota for his role, though. He’s just one of those actors who has been in the background of my entertainment world for what feels like my whole life : ).

    1. He’s good, but just not how I envisioned President Snow to look. In the book, Snow is a bit more menacing. Please tell me you’ve seen Innerspace!

  6. Just saw the movie last night and while I hate Twilight romantic with a passion, I was a bit disappointed that the star-crossed lover theme wasn’t as emphasized in the movie as it was in the book. Not because I wanted to see a much of lovey-dovey-ness but for people who don’t read the books to understand that Katniss made Peeta believe she really did love him. (mind you, I personally dislike Katniss in the second and third book. I’m a Peeta fan). Because that really comes out as a theme in the second and third book. Still-definitely a movie worth seeing in the theatres (just maybe not worth buying).

    ps. love your website.

    1. Thanks Lindsay! Of course you would have strong opinions of this book. One writer to another! LOL I’m team Gale, but I feel for Peeta, he had it rough and he totally puts his life on the line for Katniss in the games.

      So since you saw the movie, didn’t you develop a crush on Cinna like you never knew you had? Damn you, Lenny Kravitz!

  7. I was surprised how much I liked the book. And I loved the movie. I love that they were so subtle the back story and the symbolism. There’s room to grow that symbolism but they didn’t beat us over the head with it.

    And lots more great links for me to check out! I’m curious to read the plagiarism discussion. I was under the impression that there were no new plots under the sun. So, ultimately, every great book is a ripoff of some story somewhere. The key is doing it well. :D

    1. Well, the trailer for Battle Royale is like HORROR FLICK so you may just love it! But if you do more research online, there’s another blog I read that made the point I agree with which is what about short stories like Most Dangerous Game? Or the Carnival? There’s been stories before about dystopian societies and population control. To my knowledge (I haven’t seen it yet) Battle Royale doesn’t include a love story, but more the relationship angle that all of these kids have gone to school together for years. They all knew each other. Interesting debate, not sure how much of it is worthwhile.

  8. What a great post. I’m seeing Hunger Games on Saturday night and I can’t wait! I read all three books in a matter of 2 weeks last year.

    Meanwhile, I’m so intrigued by your see the movie first thing!

    1. Well, had I done that this round I may have loved the movie more, but I did still enjoy it even though I read the whole series too. I hope you have fun this weekend seeing the movie! Is it for date night or are you going with girlfriends?

  9. Okay, now I have to see this! I was wavering between seeing the movie or reading the book first and you’ve convinced me, Jess. There are so many books Hunger Games resembles. Even Collins says she drew from the Theseus myth. There are no new stories, only new interpretations of them.

    1. I loved her books! If you check the film out and want to know more, definitely pick up the series. They’re fast addicting reads and besides, you’ll want to know where the story goes after you see the movie!

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