― Cuba Pudding, Jr. (jaymc), Saturday, 24 March 2012 17:26 (1 year ago) Permalink
I couldn't remember whether the "deprived future = clothes revert to the Great Depression" was actually that explicit in the book.
I thought the shaky cam was a cheap but effective way of raising tension and uncertainty, I was terrified in places despite the fact that it was a very faithful adapation, no plot surprises really.
Also very good at the Reaping, the sense of "Oh shit this is going to happen and we can't do anything about it, oh shit this is actually happening to me" - the handling of shock really reminded me of something - I actually want to say Saving Private Ryan?
Also very good with the hallucination effects! Though I was amused that the hallucinatory effects may include exposition.
― Andrew Farrell, Saturday, 24 March 2012 17:56 (1 year ago) Permalink
also, the shakey cam was out of control in this
otm! it's a difficult balance tho. i wanted some actual wide, steady shots as opposed to the ridiculous all-claustrophobic-closeups-all-the-time shakey cam. but that could either result in a beautifully shot film that presents its world definitively, or it could be corny as fuck. (speaking of which, they should've upped the roy-battiness of cato's monologue at the end by a million)
as someone who's never read the books, i'm sure i'd have more problems with it if i'd read the books. it seemed like they skimmed over a lot of decent character stuff in order to hit all the right points. went by very fast; wasn't confusing but it didn't really get very deep into anything. and there were obviously a lot of actual statements for the film to make, but it didn't really try to be plain about any of them. like most of the HP films, it was just content to transfer the scenes to screen in a manageable way, rather than trying to transport themes in a way that would let them shine cinematically. bleh. also, really surprised that they hardly showed the broadcast itself. how can you avoid showing the audience how the narrative is being edited and presented?
― JIM THOMETHEUS (zachlyon), Saturday, 24 March 2012 19:19 (1 year ago) Permalink
on the plus side, tucci is the best
― JIM THOMETHEUS (zachlyon), Saturday, 24 March 2012 19:20 (1 year ago) Permalink
also, why did they have to make katniss white, GOD
― JIM THOMETHEUS (zachlyon), Saturday, 24 March 2012 19:21 (1 year ago) Permalink
the tooch! didn't even know he was in it.
― horseshoe, Saturday, 24 March 2012 19:22 (1 year ago) Permalink
he's the future-seacrest. highlight of the film imo.
― JIM THOMETHEUS (zachlyon), Saturday, 24 March 2012 19:26 (1 year ago) Permalink
In the book, it seems pretty clear that her affections toward him in the arena are all for show (or at least that's what she tells herself); I wasn't sure the film made that clear.― Cuba Pudding, Jr. (jaymc), Saturday, March 24, 2012 10:08 AM (2 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink
― Cuba Pudding, Jr. (jaymc), Saturday, March 24, 2012 10:08 AM (2 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink
Ha, saw this yesterday morning but never read the books. I had no idea her affection for the blonde dood was fake, taking all my knowledge of the story straight from the film.
― musicfanatic, Saturday, 24 March 2012 20:02 (1 year ago) Permalink
Tooch is badass in this. I was sold on him after his amazing performance in an otherwise terrible "The Lovely Bones". Hope he gets more leading man roles.
Also, jokes on me for rolling my eyes while watching the HG trailer and seeing freaking Lenny Kravitz in it. He was great.
― musicfanatic, Saturday, 24 March 2012 20:05 (1 year ago) Permalink
i have only ever seen lenny kravitz in two films and in both cases i only realised it was him days after i'd seen it
― lex pretend, Saturday, 24 March 2012 20:31 (1 year ago) Permalink
I've never read the books, but in their favor, they've got to be better than this unfortunately mostly boilerplate movie. I honesty did like that it erred on the side of boring rather than non-stop action. Liked Lenny Kravitz and Woody in this a lot, because they had flair, but didn't really like too much else, but I can only imagine it's because they didn't develop anyone terribly. This may be the most annoying dystopian future, too.
Book readers: what do the people at home watch? Because I kept wondering what they were actually watching, or why anyone would actually watch it. Like, would a put-upon home viewer appreciate the game-runner people cheating or playing dirty? Or do they not know about that? And why do they make a big deal about attracting sponsorships? Does that deus ex machina stuff play a bigger role in future books? Also, why do they care about ratings, when the president concedes the whole deal is about instilling false hope? Who would benefit from high ratings, exactly?
However, I did have a great time pretending this was some surreal sequel to "Winter's Bone," the "Babe 2: Pig in the City" to "Babe."
(I should not that the movie did make me want to read the book, tbh.)
― Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 24 March 2012 20:46 (1 year ago) Permalink
actually i think that was one of the better aspects, keeping it fairly ambiguous
I concur with this. Really, really hoping the love-triangle aspect will continue to be understated as opposed to significantly ramped up in the sequels.
― Simon H., Saturday, 24 March 2012 20:47 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yeah, I also thought Tucci was superb.
― Cuba Pudding, Jr. (jaymc), Saturday, 24 March 2012 20:49 (1 year ago) Permalink
Like, would a put-upon home viewer appreciate the game-runner people cheating or playing dirty? Or do they not know about that? And why do they make a big deal about attracting sponsorships? Does that deus ex machina stuff play a bigger role in future books? Also, why do they care about ratings, when the president concedes the whole deal is about instilling false hope? Who would benefit from high ratings, exactly?
this is stuff i wanted to know too, though re: the third question - it's the sponsors who send packages of eg medicine in those little parachutes (the film doesn't show this, i've just been, uh, spending a lot of time reading up on the hunger games universe today)
(i think the audiences are aware of the gamekeepers' role - also, apparently there was a former contestant who went completely savage and resorted to cannibalism in the arena - this, it's implied, would be frowned on, so he was killed in an avalanche that most people suspect was deliberately engineered by the gamekeepers)
― lex pretend, Saturday, 24 March 2012 20:55 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yeah, saw this today and really liked it.
Was a bit shocked at how young kids are seeing this in the cinema. Maybe I'm a complete wimp, but I found this edge of the seat violently shocking in places.
― Bob Six, Saturday, 24 March 2012 20:58 (1 year ago) Permalink
bob six: i read a review bemoaning the lack of gore, and i think that's silly. it's like a new industry requirement that YA adaptations, even if they're PG-13 by necessity, have to majorly appeal to children. i have trouble seeing this as an "adult" film. but i was still surprised, i never thought that the book was actually Children Killing Each Other: The Book, i figured the kids all teamed up to fight the evil adults or w/e.
― JIM THOMETHEUS (zachlyon), Saturday, 24 March 2012 21:16 (1 year ago) Permalink
also re: above, felt like the implication was that the govt is highly commercialized/partnered with corporations, but i might be projecting.
― JIM THOMETHEUS (zachlyon), Saturday, 24 March 2012 21:18 (1 year ago) Permalink
This is more than sufficiently implied in the film, though some might have been thrown off by the attached notes from Haymitch.
― Simon H., Saturday, 24 March 2012 21:46 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yeah I was thrown off by the notes. I didn't realize that Woody was lobbying for them. I just thought he was the one sending the stuff.
Also couldn't tell how big the arena was. I wish I had a sense of how Katniss was being seen by others, to see how she was or was not portrayed.
What I preferred about The Running Man was how the game-runners, who had total control of the media/viewers, had no trouble "pausing" the game and interfering. Like, they knew it was rigged, just as this "show" could have rigged any conclusion it wanted. Seemed weird that the Hunger Games wouldn't be similarly rigged. Also, couldn't believe that this barbaric, blatant bit of plebe manipulation could have possibly made it 74 iterations of whatever, considering just this one alone was enough to send that one District batshit rebellion. But I suppose this is neither here nor there.
― Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 24 March 2012 21:56 (1 year ago) Permalink
― mick signals, Saturday, 24 March 2012 22:06 (1 year ago) Permalink
BTW, there was plenty of gore in this. Just because it was depicted subtly doesn't mean anyone would miss the gist of viscous blood spraying across the screen or bloody weapons being bashed about.
― Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 24 March 2012 22:17 (1 year ago) Permalink
I really enjoyed this! I read a couple of chapters of the book and really kind of hated how it was written, felt like the movie was a more pleasant way to follow the story.
But I hated, HATED, the smashed-in closeups/shakeycam. In the pulling the names out of the bowl scene it was so annoying, like I don't want to see Elizabeth Bank's goddamn lips! Or part of her hair and the corner of someone else's face. FRAME THE BLOODY SHOT. But more so in the action sequences, it was almost impossible to tell where anyone was in relation to each other when fighting, it was way too Bourne for my liking in that regard.
But the Katniss girl was fantastic. Nice and stoic, vulnerable, all the right notes. And so pretty. My mother-inlaw and Mr Veg both read the books and really enjoyed the movie too, Mr Veg even cried when Rue died <3
― Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 24 March 2012 22:59 (1 year ago) Permalink
What are the odds that the same actress would play two squirrel-killing, Appalachian dwelling, look out for her sibling' 'cause her mom is no use sorts in two very different movies based on two very different books?
― Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 24 March 2012 23:16 (1 year ago) Permalink
I thought it would be more interesting if Katniss had to, at some point in the story, fight someone who wasn't obviously a "bad guy" (ie those 1st-2nd district peeps). Seemed the relatively good or morally neutral people were killed off by some combination of nature/show manipulation/bad guys.
― musicfanatic, Saturday, 24 March 2012 23:31 (1 year ago) Permalink
lol I definitely had the same thought. her whole character introduction seemed to have been deliberately modeled on Winter's Bone.
― Simon H., Saturday, 24 March 2012 23:49 (1 year ago) Permalink
― Josh in Chicago, Saturday, March 24, 2012 7:16 PM (26 minutes ago)
lol, was talking to a hunger games fan today and I started describing winter's bone, got halfway thru before realizing they're the same character
― diamanda ram dass (Edward III), Saturday, 24 March 2012 23:50 (1 year ago) Permalink
in the book, the District citizens are forced to watch the Hunger Games telecast in order to further grind them down; when they talk about "ratings" i think they're just talking about the Capitol viewers. some people have said (and i agree) that it kind of doesn't make sense that "you sit there and watch your children die" = a cowed populace, because if anything is going to inspire you to rebel, it's your children dying, right? idk.
it's also a little cheap that these Games have been going on for 74 years, but no tribute has ever tried to kill the assholes sitting ten feet away judging their use of weaponry, and apparently there's no contingency plan in place for tributes becoming suicidal. in the book they were like "don't do anything stupid or they'll kill your whole family," but even with that caveat i have to believe SOMEONE has tried it in the past 74 years.
― techno pink (reddening), Sunday, 25 March 2012 01:19 (1 year ago) Permalink
lol I was sitting there thinking, yeah this whole teaching the populace a lesson for rebelling by killing their children every year has got to bite them on the ass eventually.
― Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 25 March 2012 01:25 (1 year ago) Permalink
i'm two chapters in, and apparently they're kept obedient by the constant threat of having their whole district obliterated, though you'd think that'd be enough already without the hunger games.
― JIM THOMETHEUS (zachlyon), Sunday, 25 March 2012 01:41 (1 year ago) Permalink
also dear god suzanne collins' writing style is the worst
― JIM THOMETHEUS (zachlyon), Sunday, 25 March 2012 01:43 (1 year ago) Permalink
I couldn't hang
― Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 25 March 2012 01:44 (1 year ago) Permalink
Doesn't Donald Sutherland offer some blather about giving the people some hope being better than simply executing a few kids every year? Regardless, didn't buy for a sec that anyone would stand for this silly arrangement for more than a year or two, sci-fi dystopia or not. Maybe the movie needed a more explicit show of government force to demonstrate the power of The Man?
Also agreed that I wish that one other team wasn't composed entirely of dicks and bullies. It would have added a bit more moral ambiguity had they been at least a little sympathetic, and not, you know, actively encouraged you to root for their deaths.
― Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 25 March 2012 02:06 (1 year ago) Permalink
Some things from the book that may have given context - I was lead to believe that the games were more or less mandatory viewing for the citizens - the people in the Capitol never have entrants, so it's all fun for them, but punishment for the other districts because of the rebellion.
I thought that losing Katniss' narration did mean that the movie would be more confusing for those who hadn't read the book. Katniss' salute to Prue's district happens in the second(?) book - that was a bit out of place. It *does* raise a scandal among the game makers that she places all the flowers on Rue - she thinks they'll edit it out for reminding the viewers that they are people, children, etc.
The sponsorships they receive during the games are said to be quite expensive. We saw Haumitch schmooze but it might have been more helpful to hear Jim pushing for donations! A big thing in the book is that after Rue and Thrush died, the people from their district sent Katniss a loaf of bread (which was distinct enough she knew it came from them). This touches her a great deal because she knows that must have been a great expense and an unheard of cross-district sign of support.
― she started dancing to that (Finefinemusic), Sunday, 25 March 2012 02:14 (1 year ago) Permalink
Sorry - Jim=him, I plead autocorrect.
― she started dancing to that (Finefinemusic), Sunday, 25 March 2012 02:19 (1 year ago) Permalink
Got the salute. One of the cooler moments
― Number None, Sunday, 25 March 2012 05:09 (1 year ago) Permalink
so this flopped big time huh
― Large Sack (Empty) (latebloomer), Sunday, 25 March 2012 05:14 (1 year ago) Permalink
yeah i did think a lot of the deaths were very convenient for katniss to retain her moral high ground - she only outright kills the dude who killed rue and that's presented as purely reactive self-defence. (and i think the bad guy at the end, but he's being torn apart by hounds anyway.) even in her only one-on-one fight, someone else handily shows up to kill the girl who attacks her.
― lex pretend, Sunday, 25 March 2012 06:57 (1 year ago) Permalink
The great thing about sci-fi is that it can show us stuff like a reality TV program being manipulative with the situation it's presenting and viewers learning to take less than entirely trusting view of this, when in reality it would take thousands of years for this to evolve.
― Andrew Farrell, Sunday, 25 March 2012 07:10 (1 year ago) Permalink
also isn't the point the multiple allegories - we might throw our hands up and say "how can they possibly accept this barbarity" but almost every aspect of the hunger games society is a direct reflection of stuff that has happened or is happening in real human history - just smooshed together to magnify the horror
― lex pretend, Sunday, 25 March 2012 07:15 (1 year ago) Permalink
Sarcasm? It was the biggest single-day non-sequel opening.
― Cuba Pudding, Jr. (jaymc), Sunday, 25 March 2012 07:55 (1 year ago) Permalink
so it flopped then
― Large Sack (Empty) (latebloomer), Sunday, 25 March 2012 08:10 (1 year ago) Permalink
sorry but with John Carter tearing up the box office, this movie just doesn't have any chance.
― Large Sack (Empty) (latebloomer), Sunday, 25 March 2012 08:15 (1 year ago) Permalink
oh, wait i flipped on my alternate universe browser.
― Large Sack (Empty) (latebloomer), Sunday, 25 March 2012 08:16 (1 year ago) Permalink
One thing that the film I think drops is the fact that the district that wins gets like double its food rations for the next year, so for the subsidence districts, that's nearly life-or-death for a lot of them. Peeta's talk about how if no-one watched, that would really fuck'em up is veering close to "Workers Control the Means of Production!" - which is obviously one of the things I love about the film, that since the book has been written, the OWS has brought particular topicality to it.
One thing I'm curious about is what else the people at home watch - like is the rest of the programming Panem's Next Top Garishly Coloured Model, or Food Tips for Bark and Small Rodents? Or is that the only thing actually broadcast all year?
I was pretty certain (but maybe wrong) that they dealt with the sponsorships? You have Woody Harrelson in the train car talking about how you have to get sponsors to get you stuff like fire and cover, and you have to be likable to get them (the scene where he advises Katniss to keep the knife, as Peeta is much better at glad-handing than her), and later you have that Woody looking worried / Woody slapping backs and shaking hands / package for Peeta montage.
Also agreed that I wish that one other team wasn't composed entirely of dicks and bullies.
Team 11 = Rue and Thrash (the big guy who offs the knife-thrower) did alright, and you could imagine that some of the dudes who last ~10 secs were nice if you met them in a social setting.
But yeah, I think Katniss gets her chance in the early-game scene where she meets Foxface in the forest and they just run in separate directions - her plan is much more "Survive with my appalachian skills" than "kill everyone".
Or she gets her high moral ground from her high district number :)
Just because it was depicted subtly doesn't mean anyone would miss the gist of viscous blood spraying across the screen or bloody weapons being bashed about.
This was the weird thing - I think the scene where Rue dies is pretty much the only bloody weapon!
― Andrew Farrell, Sunday, 25 March 2012 08:50 (1 year ago) Permalink
nah there's bloody weapons elsewhere. Katniss isn't wielding them though
― Number None, Sunday, 25 March 2012 09:00 (1 year ago) Permalink
Ah though, that might just be the UK
― Andrew Farrell, Sunday, 25 March 2012 09:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
from that article: Could that grim and gritty Baby-sitters Club revamp be far behind?
oh my god i would be the happiest person if they did this. speaking of, whatever happened to the diablo cody-helmed Sweet Valley High movie? or did she give up on it and write Young Adult instead?
― techno pink (reddening), Sunday, 25 March 2012 09:28 (1 year ago) Permalink
they covered the sponsorships - i guess i'd have just enjoyed seeing a rich capitol sponsor being ~moved~ by the showmance and deciding to send them medicine because of it - could've been a pretty effective scene.
they covered why some of the kids were "baddies" too, ie the ones from the richer districts are trained for it from an early age (hence "careers") and traditionally ally with each other at the start. obviously it suits suzanne collins' purpose that katniss is only ever put in a position of having to fight the careers, rather than eg if she and rue had succeeded in eliminating them first and were left as the last two themselves.
i was reading ahead and some of the winning tributes who crop up later in the series have pretty interesting strategies - eg there's one who spends her time in training weeping and acting weak and deliberately gets a low score so no one thinks she's a threat (which is why katniss was targeted more than foxface in this film) - then hides for most of the games then reveals herself to be fairly good at killing right at the end.
― lex pretend, Sunday, 25 March 2012 09:36 (1 year ago) Permalink
i love the fact that you're really into this lex
― Number None, Sunday, 25 March 2012 12:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
All I know is that the Hunger Games, the TV show, must be the most boring required viewing ever. Like when Katniss is asleep for two days? Or Team Asshole is just camping by the river or whatever? Not riveting.
So my wife told me that when things like the killer dogs and whatnot happen in the book, you don't know they're the TV show's doing, since it's all Katniss POV.
― Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 25 March 2012 13:10 (1 year ago) Permalink