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The Hipster Games.

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“The Hunger Games” on film

I totally saw the big screen, blockbuster adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games” a week ago and have been totally remiss in writing about it.

There be spoilers ahead, yo.

To begin, there’s no way the movie could have lived up to the books.  There are far too many readers around the world who envisioned far too many things for the movie to make everyone happy.  (I’m not even going to begin talking about the idiots who are peeved that Rue, Cinna, and Thresh are played by black actors.  Really?  I thought this was 2012.)  The slight changes to the events and story didn’t bother me — I’m old enough to realize that not everything on paper can make it to the big screen, and I’m fine with that. The only change that stuck out to me was the disappearance of Madge — I’m curious if Madge will be making an appearance in the films at all, or if just written out completely. I’m fine either way, and they found a way to get the Mockingjay pin to Katniss.

Personally, I thought the film was a really good adaptation of a really great read. Jennifer Lawrence makes a perfect Katniss, all quiet strength and skill, and it’ll be cool to watch her develop as the other two books in the series become films.  I found myself charmed by the boy playing Peeta, and was a little confused by how little play Gale got, but he’s got two more movies to show his stuff.   I was incredibly moved by the death of Rue on film, even more so than I was when I originally read the book, largely due to the wonderful little actress who plays her.  Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Wes Bentley, Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz, and Elisabeth Banks were also all really great — and it’ll be neat to watch their characters evolve over the next few films.  Well, those who survived this film anyway. 😉

The “Hunger Games” trilogy aren’t obvious books to make a leap to the big screen – they’re jumbly, some of the character development is shaky, and a whole lot of ground gets covered really fast — but they’re a smash success and so the movies were bound to get made. I’m pleased with the first film, and hope the filmmakers keep up the momentum with the next two (or three, I guess?) films.

Three more quick things —

1.  Entertainment Weekly suggested that Ryan Kwanten (Jason from “True Blood”) should play Finnick in “Catching Fire.”  I approve.  Can that please happen?

2.  Good luck to the writers/filmmakers in figuring out how a certain giant/game-changing event in “Mockingjay” is going to be translated to the big screen.  My friend Annie and I have our theories.

3. I’ve heard some mention that Jennifer Lawrence is too “fat” to play Katniss, since she’s from a district where people are starving. Here’s my response to that.

A.  Katniss hunts like a mofo, so she’d be in pretty good shape.

B.  No one’s commenting on how the actors playing Gale and Peeta are both from the same district, and muscular dudes.  They don’t look hungry either.

C.  Did you see Jennifer Lawrence in the orange “Girl on Fire’ dress?  B&^%h, please.

D.  Shut up.  The end.

Happy Hunger Games!  May the odds be ever in your favor.

 

 

 

Hunger Games, everywhere.

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Hunger Games…nail polish.

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Mhmmm.

Seen at Wal-Mart

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Oh man.  The movie is going to be huge.

“Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins

Let it be known —

I will miss Katniss Everdeen the way I missed Jo March at the end of “Little Women.”

These “Hunger Games” books are great, and super addicting, but they’re not masterpieces.  This is no way detracts from  their awesomeness.  In fact, it makes them even better – which can also be said of Katniss herself.  She’s an imperfect heroine within her world, but a perfect one for a reader.  She’s impulsive and stubborn and sometimes unpleasant, but she’s also an ass-kicking female character who doesn’t worry about being pretty. No, this girl has lives to save and revolutions to lead, and she won’t apologize for having messy hair, thankyouverymuch.

Yeah, I fell hard for “The Hunger Games,” and it’s sequel, “Catching Fire.”  I devoured both books, and once I got the time to actually sit down and read “Mockingjay,” the third and final installment, I simply had to know how it all ended and what would happen to Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Haymitch, Prim, and the rest of the characters I became so invested in throughout the first two books.

“Mockingjay” is a little messy, which is understandable.  There’s an awful lot of ground to cover and a lot to get done in order to keep the series a nice trilogy.  (Everyone loves a trilogy.)  Having survived being selected for the games twice now, Katniss finds herself in a position she never intended – as a beacon of inspiration for the citizens of the districts of Panem, even though her own home has been destroyed.  To survive, and save the innocent, she is forced to take on the role of the Mockingjay – which of course leads to all sorts of plans and schemes and violence and adventures.  Things explode, people die, there are reunions, and of course the fate of Panem lies in the balance.

Obviously, if I write more I’m going to spoil something.  (Heck, my saying that Katniss is still around in the third book is a spoiler.  Sorry about that.)  Here’s what I’ll say;

“Mockingjay” is as exciting as the first two books, and the ending is satisfying.

Woot.  Well done, Suzanne Collins.

“Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins [“Hunger Games” Book Two]

I devoured Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games” like it was ice cream and pickles.

[Pregnancy humor, get it?]

Though it took me a few weeks, I finally got myself a copy of the second book in the series and – like the first – tore through it, unable to put it down.

When we last left our fearless heroine Katniss Everdeen, she (along with District 12 partner and sorta-psuedo-boyfriend Peeta) had just won the annual competition known as The Hunger Games, an incredible feat of marketing and game-playing, as only one person is usually allowed to win the games after all the other competitors have been killed.  Thanks to some scheming and well-played hands, Katniss and Peeta played up a relationship that made them “the star-crossed lovers” of the games and media darlings.

In “Catching Fire,” it’s a whole new world.  Katniss has returned to her home and her family, but she’s a bona fide celebrity now, and her last act of defiance from the first book has launched a rebellion in the outside world.  The Mockingjay pin she wore during her time in the arena has become a symbol of this uprising, and has triggered revolutions in other districts.  Obviously, the government wants her to quell immediately. So much so, in fact, that when it becomes obvious that Katniss and crew aren’t going to play by their rules, a new plan is devised for the seventy-fifth anniversary of the games – one that brings old competitors back to the arena.

Of course, thanks to some shady rules put in place by the creeper of a President, Katniss is forced back into the ring, and Peetah (who’s actually in love with her, despite her wishy-washy romantic feelings for him) volunteers for the male slot from District 12.

So, they’re back where they started.

Only this time, it’s a different game.  The outside rebellions and uprisings have shown how many people are truly unhappy in the world, and the competitors in this go round are an altogether different bunch; instead of teenagers, you get an all-star cast of past winners of the games.

Oh, it would be so easy to spoil the ending of this marvelous second book in a series – but I won’t.

I’ll just say I won’t be wasting as much time getting around to reading the third book as I did for the second.

These are going to make amazing movies. Can’t wait.

Welcome to the Jungle – “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins

“The Hunger Games” is one of those books/trilogies that I had heard about (especially with the movie coming up and casting news flying around) but hadn’t been interested enough to read.  Then came a co-worker/friend who simply told me I HAD to read the books, that they were wonderful and a fast read and that I wouldn’t be able to put them down.

Well, I picked up the first book in the trilogy while at (my beloved) Unabridged Books on Saturday, and by the end of the day I had finished it.

Guys, this is a great read.

If forced to describe it, I’d have to actually resort to math.

“Survivor” + “Lord of the Flies” = “Hunger Games.”

In a weird post-apocalyptic-ish world, America is divided into twelve districs and The Capitol.  Each year, each district sends two young people (a boy and girl) to The Capitol to take part in a national obsession – “The Hunger Games.”  Our heroine, seventeen year old hunter and woodsy girl Katniss, volunteers for the games to save her younger sister from having to take part.  You see, the point of the games is that there can only be one survivor.  Yep, these young people will fight to the death in an arena designed to resemble a jungle (and ruled over by a mysterious group called the Gamemakers) and the whole thing is televised to a captivated audience.

As a reader, we like Katniss and root for her as she goes from underdog from a poor district to the favorite to win the entire event thanks to her pluckiness, temper, and a couple of really great public relations moves from Cinna, her stylist, and Peeta, the boy from her district.  Several of the other players in the game are also fascinating characters – Katniss and Peeta’s drunk coach, a young sly girl called Foxface, a younger girl named Rue, but most especially the aforementioned Peeta.  He’s a clever player who operates behind a nice-guy facade, but how much is actually nice-guy and how much is a lie?

This book – full of adventure and twists – is going to adapt perfectly to the screen, and I’m excited to read the other two books in the trilogy as soon as possible. I’ll be picking them up as soon as possible.

Academy Award nominee Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss.