Am I the only one…?

[SPOILER ALERT – If you haven’t seen The Hunger Games and don’t want any part of the movie ruined, do NOT read on.]

After driving around to various Redbox kiosks in Akron last night, we finally got our hands on a copy of The Hunger Games. We heard from a lot of people how AWESOME and AMAZING this movie is, so needless to say, we were expecting a lot.

But maybe we shouldn’t have been.

Am I the only one who didn’t think The Hunger Games was one of the best movies of 2012? Sure, it was entertaining (although very disturbing, sheesh), but it wasn’t THAT great. As typically the case when a book is adapted into a movie, the character development seemed to be lacking. I had so many unanswered questions: Are we supposed to hate Katniss’ mother, or empathize with her? I know times are bad, but why on earth was Katniss sleeping outside in the rain in the Peeta/burnt bread scene? And what the heck was the purpose of those THINGS eating people at the end of the movie? Was that really necessary? I see a resurgence of them in a nightmare in my future…

And I wish the writers would make up their mind about Katniss’ likeability: we’re told multiple times that she struggles with getting others to “like” her, yet she has not one, but two would-be suitors. And let’s not forget that the mother of her fellow District 12 competitor predicted Katniss would win (and tells her son this. Yikes). I don’t know, Katniss…you seem pretty darn likeable to me…

All that said, I did like the movie…but it was far from amazing. The storyline was unique, shocking and kept my attention, but from what I hear, the same could be said for an episode of Jersey Shore. For me, it takes more than that for a movie to be one of the best of the year. However, I would like to give a big “Thank you!” to whichever member of the casting group picked Lenny Kravitz to be Cinna. Bravo! Excellent choice.

Anyone else think The Hunger Games was overly hyped? Or do you think I’m totally crazy?

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7 thoughts on “Am I the only one…?

  1. Whitney, I read all three books in the series this week in preparation for/response to Matthew’s suggestion that we rent the movie to see what the craze is all about (he doesn’t typically read the books if there’s a movie to see, but I prefer to do so). After doing this and then seeing the movie a few days ago, I completely agree with you. The movie leaves a lot to be desired in my opinion. Had I only seen the movie, I have a feeling I would think the books unworthy of a second thought. The books though, were indeed an exciting and dramatic read (though no less disturbing than the movie, of course… actually much more so with the details and knowledge gained through the literature and the injection of the main character’s first-person emotions and thoughts clearly depicted on the page). I’m wondering if perhaps they didn’t lose a lot of theatrical impact trying to tone things down for their expected audience. Based on the writing style and reading level, I’m thinking the books were originally written with younger teens in mind and have gained popularity with older groups as well. Though the content and its disturbing nature doesn’t necessarily fall into that age range, everything else seemed to in my opinion. All I can assume is that those who produced/directed the movie perhaps knew that their audience might include a number of young patrons and camouflaged some of the drama/gore accordingly (?). If that was indeed what happened, I applaud their awareness and sensitivity, though it does indeed make watching the movie drastically less exciting for the rest of the adult world! 🙂

    1. Laura – welcome! I was so happy to see your comment. I am just like you: if there is a book, I prefer to read it before seeing the movie. However, I kept putting off reading the books, and since Ryan was patiently waiting for me to do so, I decided to just see the movie. I hear from everyone who read the books that they are SO much better than the movie. I agree with you about the violence being toned down – I actually really appreciated that about the movie, since the teen/young adult group was the target of the books and movie. I think I should definitely get to reading the books!

  2. I really liked the movie but I think that was because I had read the series and my mind automatically filled in all of the gaps that you mentioned and then some. I enjoyed seeing the images I had formed while reading “come to life” on the big screen. It’s so cliche to say that “the books were better than the movie” but in this case I think the experience of reading the books and having the characters and plot develop more slowly is what makes the difference.

    Here’s the short answers to your questions:

    Are we supposed to hate Katniss’ mother, or empathize with her?
    Katniss’s mother suffered from severe depression after Katniss’s father died and she wasn’t able to be “present ” for the family which Katniss hated… However she was a healer for many and through the series will help Katniss and her friends. The relationship evolves throughout the series.

    – I know times are bad, but why on earth was Katniss sleeping outside in the rain in the Peeta/burnt bread scene?
    In the book Katniss’ father had just died and her Mother went into a severe depression and the family was starving. Peeta burnt the loaf of bread on purpose and his mother slapped him for it. Katniss was about to give up and die when he gave her the bread. He saved her life.

    And what the heck was the purpose of those THINGS eating people at the end of the movie? Was that really necessary? I see a resurgence of them in a nightmare in my future…

    Those things were actually the other players reincarnated into wolves by the gamemakers. In the book Katniss can tell who they are by thier eyes but how in the world could that be duplicated in a movie? I thought that part was unnecessary in the book and the movie!

    Hope this helps – it’s fun to talk about ! 🙂

    1. haha Sarah – I ALWAYS say that: the movie was ok, but the book was so much better. I’ve found it always to be the case (although, House of Sand and Fog was close to being as good as the book). THANK YOU for answering my questions! I was so confused – I thought maybe I was just missing something. I’ll look forward to seeing where the mom situation goes – as that was the most troubling to me. And wow – the wolves thing is even creepier now. When I read the books, we’ll have to chat about them!

  3. Whit,
    I’m shocked you haven’t read the books yet! You always read the books before the seeing the movies 🙂 However I agree that the movie left a lot of gaps in the story and for anyone that hasn’t read the books yet- would leave a lot left unanswered. I feel this way about a lot of book-to-movie adaptions unfortuantely. Books are just better! I agree with everyone in the above statements though and Sarah pretty much hit everything right on. I think they left the whole love triangle thing untouched- there was never really any explanation as to what was going on the Gale really loved her and she in return blah blah blah. I also felt like they did a terribly job showing the backstory- hence your questions about why she was sitting in the rain! Hopefully the future movies adapt a bit better and they learn to fill in the story lines more so that not so much is left up in the air!!

    1. Alright – that settles it: I am going to read these books! I know, this is so unlike me – but I kept putting off reading them. I will definitely have them done before the next movie comes out! Have you read all 3?

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