Tag Archives: The Hunger Games

Katniss Sells Out

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Via The Mary Sue

And that’s how you make $152 million in three days, I guess.  Despite some controversial changes, an appalling subset of fans and the wholly expected overreaction from the brains trust at Fox News, Lionsgate have a bona fide, wide appeal blockbuster with “The Hunger Games” and despite my misgivings about the source material, I suppose that any self-respecting Whedonist like myself should be happy that a movie with an accomplished, flinty female protagonist is doing so well.

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“The Hunger Games” gets cut, slashed and chopped in the UK…

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The film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ novel, “The Hunger Games”, has been passed in the UK by the British Board of Film Classification with a 12A rating, after seven seconds of trims were made – it would have been passed uncut with a 15 rating, but the distributor evidently blanched at that idea.

I can’t help but feel that this is a curious decision.  And a moderately reprehensible one.

“The Hunger Games” is not a book that I would feel comfortable about my nephews and nieces reading – they’re right in the age demographic for this story and I imagine this is a film on their ‘must-see’ list.  The novel is a violent, tense, and disturbing read – one best suited to kids old enough to appreciate the ideas which lie (far) beneath the rather glossy and slightly empty-headed surface.  I can’t imagine for a second that the film eschews any of the teen and tween violence inherent in the premise of the story and might actually amp up some of the combat sequences purely by virtue of the action being shown rather than described.

I have to hold my hands up and say that I’m not impartial, as I found the book trite beyond belief – it’s “Battle Royale”, only crapulent and devoid of the satire of that story and aimed instead exclusively at Hollister wearing teens who are naive enough to find the ‘Romeo and Juliet with head-shots’ schtick of Collins’ story compelling.

As to the distributor making trims to the film to ensure that your desired audience of uncritical 12-year-old kids can spend their allowances on it – that’s kind of a dick move, if you’ll pardon my French.  Does anybody involved in the film have the integrity to make a film and stand behind the decisions that they made in shooting and editing it or is it purely a financial vehicle to look good on Lionsgate’s first quarter financials?

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A Reader Writes…

A cornucopia of reading materials.

As previously noted in a post last week, I went abso-blinking-lutely hatstand whilst on holiday and decided to read like a dervish whilst in Scotland.

Part of this disturbing and wholly regrettable chain of events was down to my participation in Good Reads“50 Books In A Year” challenge and needing to keep pace with the remorseless demands of that near-Herculean task, but much of my enthusiasm for it stems from the realisation that I spent a great amount of my youth reading and very little of my adult life has found time for books.

To me, this seems like a crime and a sad state of affairs best addressed by dipping not a toe but my whole, oversized foot into the cool, clear waters of literature before I end up devoting my waking hours entirely to games, blogging and not watching television (seriously, there’s so much nonsense masquerading as programming latterly that I probably consciously watch five hours of TV a week).

So, to the books.

I first read “Summer Knight” by Jim Butcher, which is the fourth book in his “Dresden Files” series of novels about modern-day wizard/P.I. Harry Dresden.  It was such fun that I promptly hopped on Amazon and bought “Storm Front”, the first Dresden novel and winced only slightly at the long list of Dresden Files novels that I should probably think about catching up on.

Gulp.

Thereafter, I raced through “Allison Hewitt Is Trapped” by Madeleine Roux, which is a very entertaining, page-turning tale of a post-zombie apocalypse journey made by the titular character across a United States beset by the walking mostly dead and human beings who are scarcely any better.  It’s told in blog format – the power/working wireless connection issue is promptly and convincingly dealt with – by a narrator who was a bookseller and now finds herself wielding an axe and trying to keep friends alive in the face of all-consuming horror.

Highly recommended if you enjoyed Mira Grant’s “Feed” or Max Brooks’ “World War Z”.

The only real downer in my reading week was Suzanne Collins’ much ballyhooed young adult dystopian fantasy, “The Hunger Games”, which failed to connect with me on any level.  I disliked the way that Collins went out of her way to riff on the ‘kids-fighting-kids’ plotline of “Battle Royale” and then didn’t have the courage to actually make Katniss Everdeen actually (OMG – SPOILERS!) really kill anybody hands-on (OMG – SPOILERS!) during the titular gladitorial contest.  It’s an unforgivable cheat, really, which reduces the emotionally charged notions at the heart of the plot to an anti-septic, at-arms-length episode of “Total Wipeout” with more dead pre-teens and intermittent fireballs.

That’s without even considering the absurd detour into Doctor Moreau territory which arrives – more or less from nowhere – towards the end of the novel.

Perhaps the film will find a way to fix the shortcomings in the book, but as I won’t be seeing it, you’ll have to advise me if the film makers manage that particular uphill battle.

I dipped into David Wellington’s “13 Bullets” but haven’t really continued with it since the end of last week – it hadn’t done enough to grip me by page 80, which I reached through a sense of duty as much as a desire to continue.  If you like your Vampires in the modern day and feral with it, you might enjoy it but I found it a bit dusty and oddly cliched – essentially like at DTV Steven Seagal flick with a decent budget.  To make up the numbers on my book challenge, I should probably see if it clicks with me a little more, but I have my doubts.

The book that I’m working through now is Charles Stross’ dizzying tale of near-future MMO heists and internet crime, “Halting State”.  Dude has 3,000 ideas a minute and the lion’s share of them are present in this book.  It’s almost guaranteed to blow your mind at least once or twice – Drone Cabs!  VR LARPing! Cops who LifeStream record everything! – and is itching (itching, I tells ye!) to be made into a high-end Channel 4 series or an uber-budget Chris Nolan flick.  I’m enjoying it quite a lot – can you tell?

More books and digressive thoughts thereon to follow – whether you like it or not…

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“The Hunger Games” trailer is here

May the odds be forever in her favour...

After a decent build-up, with carefully timed casting announcements, magazine covers and online hype-building aplenty, Lionsgate have chosen this, of all weeks, to release the first proper trailer for their grab for the “Twilight” fans allowance, in the form of “The Hunger Games”.

 

And it looks…pretty good.  I’m certainly more keen to see what looks like a decent dystopian SF movie, set in the wake of an unnamed catastrophe, with inoffensively pretty characters and an air of palpable menace than I am to see the continuing romantic entanglements of Whiny Girl, Sir Abs-a-Lot and The Haircut.

I’ve read that the first novel is the only one to bother with, and on the evidence of this trailer, I might have to give it a whirl.

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