Tag Archives: Hunger Games

The Guilty Pleasure of Trilogies

image courtesy: blogworld.com

It’s been happening for awhile.  Trilogies are sweeping the nation.  Whether it started with The Lord of the Rings or condensed comic book heroes made into movies:  i.e. Batman, Spiderman, trilogies are taking over.  Many of you have blogged about the summer hit film, The Avengers, and you know what I heard, they’re planning on making another one!  Which is great, except that before they do, they have to make the third Iron Man, the second Captain America and the second Thor.  Really?  That’s a lot of action heroes!  And yet, I know I’ll go to see them!

What is it about trilogies?  Why are they so addicting?  Sure there’s the need to know how the story ends, but that can’t be the only reason, can it?!  Whatever the must see/must read component is, here are a few of my favorites.

Top 10 Guilty Pleasure Trilogies of All Time:

1.  Indiana Jones

image courtesy hollywood.com

Let’s face it, the man has one of the coolest theme songs out there! I wish my life was cool enough to warrant its use. I also wish I got to travel as much, save so many lives, and use a whip to swing from crumbly decaying buildings once in awhile, but that point is moot. Indiana Jones is the smart woman’s action hero. He’s intelligent, physically pleasing with his strong muscly arms and crooked smile, and I bet he even smells good. What made his trilogy so successful? I think it’s the legends: We’ve got lost arks, jungles and temples of doom, and the search for the holy grail.  Indiana’s quests are the quests of everyman: knowledge, adventure, and in most cases, women.

  1. Star Wars

image courtesy cupofzup.com

Even though they’ve created more Star Wars films, they’re still marketing them as a trilogy. But the best will always remain the original. It was cutting edge technology of its time and contained all the necessary components of a guilty pleasure film: coming of age tale, evil daddy issues, romantic interludes, wise mentor, space wars, light sabers, and wookies.

  1. The Lord of the Rings

image courtesy images.wikia.com/lotr

When this book series became a film trilogy, this story launched for the first time in awhile crowds of people waiting to get into the theater again. The films were so successful they released box set collections of extended cut films and people in my high school started wearing one rings around their necks!  That’s a hard core trilogy.

  1. The Twilight Series

image courtesy tvovermind.com

Say what you will about the Twilight Series, you can’t deny it’s successful storm sweep of book sales and movie sales. To my knowledge this is where the “Team So and So” became part of pop culture. Girls and guys were wearing t-shirts with Team Edward or Team Jacob, but you never see t-shirts saying Team Han Solo or Team Luke Skywalker, and why is that?! On a purely unrelated note, my favorite t-shirt of all time might be the college TV show Felicity tee that simply says “I choose Noel.” Which, some could argue was the starting point of all this “Team _____” business.  Just sayin’.

  1. The Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy

image courtesy katybooks.com

If we’re recognizing Twilight, then you need it’s equally successful fan fiction spin off turned bestselling BDSM love story! Now that’s am impressive feat! Moms around the world, (including Marcia Richards’ mom – can you believe that?) are picking up Fifty Shades and falling in love with control freak Christian Grey and naïve little Ana Steele. Have you checked out this new risque series? Stay tuned for a co-review on the whole she-bang (pun intended) by Marcia Richards and I later this month.

  1. Anne of Green Gables

image courtesy lmm-anne.net

Ok, things were getting steamy in here, and some of you I already know left me to go read Fifty Shades again, but we’re cooling things down a notch with the Anne of Green Gables trilogy, film versions consisting of Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, and Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story. If you’re going to make the third movie years after the other two, then this is how you do it, with the same actors, same character antics, and a happily ever after. Jonathan Crombie, I will always love you! And Anne, don’t ever stop writing!

  1. The Hunger Games

image courtesy: csmonitor.com

Expect greatness from the newly released first movie, but the books are certainly taking over. Heck, they’ve become required reading in some schools! Can you believe that? Move over Lord of the Flies and Animal Farm, Teacher’s got a new toy! What’s your prediction on the number of Katniss Everdeen’s who trick or treat at your house this year?

  1. X-Men

image courtesy: xmenmovies.wikia.com

While the X-Men films aren’t particularly my favorite, I was a routine watcher of the cartoon after school and therefore had to partake. Whatever lacked in the second film, was made up in the third, X-Men: Last Stand. And the special effects did let us get to glimpse all our favorite mutants! Except one, where was Gambit? Was I alone in missing my mischievous french/cajun with the gambling problem?

  1. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy

image courtesy: greatnewmovies.com

I haven’t gotten to this trilogy yet myself, but it’s one more of the recent releases to have been adapted into film, and even Oscar nominated. It’s a regular title appearing on mens and women’s bookshelves and if you’ve read it, I’d love to hear your opinion!

  1. Jurassic Park

image courtesy: collider.com

Saving the best for last, a total guilty pleasure favorite of mine, I wholeheartedly and unabashedly LOVE the entire Jurassic Park trilogy! Something about dinosaurs makes me feel like a kid again, even when I’m watching them chase down and devour other people. *insert childlike chuckle*   This trilogy was amazing for its special effects, bringing dinosaurs to life again and if Spielberg ever does make the fabled fourth film, I’m totally going to see it. P.S. My useless knowledge for Jurassic Park trilogy information won me a free shot at a game of trivia in South Korea! How random, you say? More like, how awesome!

 Those are my top 10 guilty pleasure trilogies of all time. What’s on your list? Did I miss any crucial 3 parters? What’s your favorite one? And of that trilogy, do you have a favorite film/book in the series? AND, what trilogy character would you dress up as for Halloween if you weren’t responsible for making the costume yourself?

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!

Looking for the Next Hunger Games?

Suzanne Collins’ trilogy The Hunger Games has taken America by storm.  There’s already entire tables at Barnes and Noble of additional fan fiction and literary reviews of her works.  I’d say she’s achieved mass success.  The first book even premieres in theaters this month!  Excited?  You should be!  It’s going to be awesome!

But for those of us who’ve finished reading the series and lost sleep because we had to find out what became of Katniss, fear not!  I’ve got a great suggestion for you.  Pick up a copy of Bethany Wiggins’ new book, Shifting, released this past September and already a 4.1 rating on goodreads! (That’s really good, in case you didn’t know.)

(photo courtesy Bethany's blog: http://www.suzettesaxton.blogspot.com)

Some of you may remember I interviewed Bethany back in September right before her book was released.  I’ve recently finished reading it and you should know, it’s AMAZING!

Here’s the Goodreads blurb:

After bouncing from foster home to foster home, Magdalene Mae is transferred to what should be her last foster home in the tiny town of Silver City, New Mexico. Now that she’s eighteen and has only a year left in high school, she’s determined to stay out of trouble and just be normal.

Agreeing to go to the prom with Bridger O’Connell is a good first step. Fitting in has never been her strong suit, but it’s not for the reasons most people would expect-it all has to do with the deep secret that she is a shape shifter. But even in her new home danger lurks, waiting in the shadows to pounce. They are the Skinwalkers of Navajo legend, who have traded their souls to become the animal whose skin they wear-and Maggie is their next target.

Full of romance, mysticism, and intrigue, this dark take on Navajo legend will haunt readers to the final page.

Intrigued?  It’s well worth the page turning.  Wiggins’ writing is well paced and similar to Collins, you won’t be able to finish a chapter without wondering what happens next?!  And it’s just my opinion, but I find her writing much better than that of Twilight’s Stephenie Meyer.  And I loved that series too, but I think we all can agree it wasn’t exceptionally written, it was just that good of a story!  For a first time author, Wiggins shows great promise and the only disappointment I have is that she’s not currently working on Maggie Mae’s sequel.

Bethany Wiggins

But paranormal YA books are so overdone, you say?  To that I reply, can you tell me what a skinwalker is?  Didn’t think so!  Based on Navajo legend, a skinwalker is an evil spirit or witch that takes the form of the animal it kills.  Their goal is power and they are exceedingly conniving.  Think of your history books, most Native American tribes only wore animal headresses in ceremony, so that their powers would not overwhelm them.  The stories of skinwalkers are difficult to find, as people believed talking about them brought their evil near.  But Bethany, being totally consumed with research on this topic, shared with me some sites that gave examples of these witches, including actual court cases recorded!  You can see these tales at the end of my interview post by clicking the above blue link.

Other things to love?  Let’s start with our protagonist, Maggie Mae.  She’s not the accident prone, yet hot new commodity at school like Bella Swan.  She’s not a trained hunter or altruistic sister like Katniss Everdeen.  She’s a foster child, tossed from home to home after a record breaking number of case files for indecent exposure.  An unlikely heroine, to be sure.  And yet, there’s a devout need to do good in Maggie Mae.  She is kind and she is grateful, though life hasn’t exactly raised her that way.

And of course, there’s a boy.  Sorry girls, no love triangle here, but Bridger O’Connell will keep you guessing anyway.  Why is he always leaving Maggie when trouble arises?  How does he know when to return?  What’s the deal with his on and off again caring tactics?  Gosh, boys are stupid!

If it’s adventure you’re looking for, go no further than Bethany Wiggins’ Shifting.  It’s a fast, entertaining read with as much action as there are awkward teenage moments.

To learn more about Bethany, check out the blog she and her sister write, Shooting Stars, which focuses on writing teen fiction.  Or you can follow her on twitter via @wiggB.

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