Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hunger Games - the Day After

funny cat pictures - You'll see! You'll all see !!!
see more

I wonder if this is how Cato and the other Career Tributes started out?

So I survived Hunger Games Day, I mean, my daughter's 14th birthday. Though I will have a constant reminder of Hunger Games because my niece got Mackenna a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Peeta.

In the morning, my daughter asked if I would braid her hair to look like Kantniss' hairstyle. I wasn't sure I could do it, but after studying a couple of pictures I managed to do something vaguely similar. My niece wanted hers done, too. I must not have done too bad a job since other girls asked me to do theirs at the theater. With both of them decked out in Hunger Games apparel and accessories, we headed out.

Opening days have always been my favorites. I haven't gone to one in years, but remembered we always got there early so we could get the best seats and hang out with other fans in line. I guess Fandango and advanced ticket sales have changed this. Or maybe it was because we were seeing one of the first shows of the day, but yesterday, we were the first people there. There were no signs where to line up so we asked someone inside the theater. She pointed to a spot. And when they opened the doors to the theater, we were still the only ones there. They just said we could go in even though our show didn't start for an hour and a half. Needless to say we were the first ones in the theater and got prime choice of seats!

I was told going into this that I could not sit with the girls. They choose the back row so Finn and I set in the row in front of them, right in the center. I didn't take Rose. I felt 9 years old was too young to see this film and I stick by that after seeing it.

I purchased the girls candy, popcorn and water. And the wait began! Lots of picture taking and conjecturing about the movie. And Peeta. Lots and lots about Peeta.

People finally started arriving. The audience was a mix of ages (lots of adults as well as teens. I'm guessing there may have been more kids except it was a school day. We homeschool so this wasn't an issue for us!) As for gender, I'd give a slight edge to females in attendance, probably 60%. There was a mom and her two middle-school looking kids sitting to the right of my son so this book appeals to both boys and girls. A friend of my daughter's from school appeared, too. Turns out it was her birthday, too, and she'd found out what Mackenna was doing so decided to come so they could celebrate together!

The previews lasted for-ever. Seriously. The problem with so many previews is you can't remember one from another. There seemed to be a couple of dark ones with spaceships. Some shoot 'em up, blow up big things ones. It's only now that I search my memory banks can I recall one I do want to see—Snow White and the Huntsman, mainly because of Chris Helmsworth. It was funny that when the trailer for the next and final Twilight installment came out a few people actually groaned. (In case you don't read this blog regularly, I'm not a fan of sparkly vampire stories.)

I could feel the anticipation build, however, with each preview. My daughter was practically on the edge of her seat waiting for this, and I heard a sigh of relief when the time finally arrived.

So the movie (will keep it vague so not to spoil)...

I enjoyed it. The girls were a bit stronger in their love of it: "A-mazing!" "No Words." "Best. Movie. Ever."

I have only read the first book. (I prefer the book to the movie, but I always do!) I read it on Sunday night so everything was fresh in my mind. Adaptions are always tricky, but in this case the author Suzanne Collins helped with the script. She's even given a screenwriting credit which is a pretty big deal in my book. The movie story stays faithful to the book.

Don't get me wrong, there are changes, but they make sense when you consider the length of a script vs. a book. I actually prefer the movie's version of how Katniss receives the Mockingjay pin. I love how we see beyond Katniss' POV (the book is first person, hers) to what's going on in the Capitol as well as the Districts, as well as the gamemaker Seneca. I hope the young viewers especially will see that like in the book there is so much more to this story than the games themselves. I will say I much prefer the book version of the cave scenes (book much more romantic though I love the cut to Gale in the movie which I mention below) as well as the ending which I felt was stronger in the book.

I do suggest reading the book before seeing the movie. The film does a good job explaining how things works, but since the movie is so faithful to the book it helped me to know what Katniss was thinking during certain scenes. (i.e. it just filled things in more for me and gave me a better viewing experience.)

I do think Katniss comes across as more likable/nicer in the movie. I'm guessing this has more to do with making lots of money at the box office with a movie series and not really being able to show her internal conflict as well as a book can. She's still a strong, independent heroine. A much better role model for girls than say a wimpy, spineless girl who stares out the window for months after her heart is broken by a stalker and has less self-confidence than a gnat.

As for the violence, I felt the book is more violent than the film. Strange considering the visual aspect of the film, but that was my feeling. I went in believing the movie would be much worse than it actually was. Oh, there's still kids killing kids and as I wrote above my nine year old will not be seeing this anytime soon, but the filmmakers could have taken this a lot farther than they did. Though I'm guessing they were mindful of not wanting an R rating. Will add, I'm rather squeamish so the scenes with visible wounds and burns had me cringing and closing my eyes.

Here's a couple of things that really stuck out to me:

Cinna. Lenny Kravitz is perfect in the role. I see now why he was hand-picked for the role. He is Cinna.

Rue. That was the hardest scene for me to watch and I cried. Lots.

Gale. He wasn't on screen much, but he'll be a worthy match to Peeta. His reaction to seeing the kiss between Katniss and Peeta in the cave spoke volumes. I can't wait to read the next two book to see how this love triangle plays out!

Katniss. Jennifer Lawrence is incredible in the role. Two scenes I thought she did especially well were: when she says goodbye to Cinna right before the games begin and after hearing a canon shot, she frantically searches for Peeta.

So that's my take on things. Did you see the movie? What did you think?