The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

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Calvin
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#26 Post by Calvin » Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:13 am

The 'bad children' were trained from an early age to take part in the games. If anything, they're the biggest victims in the film as they're basically monsters created for entertainment.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#27 Post by matrixschmatrix » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:47 am

Well that's true, but they're still presented to us as villians, and there's no sense that in attacking them Katniss is compromising herself.

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cdnchris
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#28 Post by cdnchris » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:05 pm

All I've been seeing so far this year is whatever my wife wants to see (unless I'm able to sneak out, which is the only reason I was able to see Tinker, Tailor) so I went and saw this and was surprised by it. I was expecting Twilight and got something (as others mentioned) more cinematic than I would have expected. I was shocked by the general brutalness at first (when everyone is going for the weapons) but did become a little annoyed that Lawrence's character basically got off easy: She only killed those that were "asking for it" and the more innocent characters were taken out by other factors.
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When she teamed up with that one girl, whose name I can't recall, I thought it would have been interesting if it came down to just those two and of course they would have to take each other out after becoming friends. Of course someone else does it for her keeping her hands clean. That's when I realized the film wasn't go down far more interesting routes, though I guess I shouldn't have been surprised.
I was also a little disappointed it didn't look more at the teams that formed and the dynamics. Teams would prove useful at first but they of course would all know they'd have to turn on each other
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and I think the only scene that deals with this somewhat is when the one kid breaks one of his team mate's necks after he let their supplies get destroyed, showing that any bonds are short lived.
My wife said Lawrence's character is more calculating in the books, so I'm guessing she's colder in them and I'm hoping the other films go more down this route.

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dx23
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#29 Post by dx23 » Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:28 pm

Just saw this tonight with my wife and even though I went with very low expectations, I just simply couldn't get into it. Like some have mentioned here, the film had some potential if they had gone into some more interesting (maybe more mature, less teen romance) routes. I haven't read any of the books, so I really don't know if the story arcs we see in the film are just being faithful to the book, but at the end of the day, the film is just boring due to the faulty pacing and what it seems as lack of realism. Really, are people going to be sleeping on trees and caves when there are others hunting for you? Also, the continuous shaky camera and fast camera angle cuts didn't help the movie either and it actually reminded me of the ADD mess that Michael Bay has been famous for. It's really sad the film turned this way since it had very good actors and a premise with big potential. It turned out into a by the numbers teen romance novel. Saying that is better than Twilight is not saying much but I completely disagree with calvin's comments in that the Harry Potter movies were mediocre. Almost everyone of them were superior to Hunger Games, even the fourth one which wasn't that good and also had pacing and editing problems.

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knives
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#30 Post by knives » Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:33 pm

What does a lack of realism have to do with anything?

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dx23
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#31 Post by dx23 » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:07 pm

I mean that not many of the kids, especially Katniss, showed any type of 24/7 anxiety to the fact they are being hunted. Do you really think that any human wouldn't be "jumpy", nervous and anxious while
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being hunted by 4 people that are simply standing under the tree? Why didn't the girl who was so talented with the knives or the one with the bow and arrow waited for Katniss to stand still to kill here? How in the hell was Katniss able to sleep so fine while there are people with weapons trying to kill her? Almost none of the competitors showed this sense of constant fear of being killed, which to me is not realistic at all.
This isn't a movie about superheroes or magicians where you suspend disbelief. This is a films with normal humans put in extraordinary situations and almost none of them look fazed about the circumstances they are facing.

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knives
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#32 Post by knives » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:10 pm

I don't think that was really a concern of the movie though. It's not about war, but reality television and I really doubt people in reality television give off PTSD all that often.

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Jeff
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#33 Post by Jeff » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:38 pm

knives wrote:I don't think that was really a concern of the movie though. It's not about war, but reality television and I really doubt people in reality television give off PTSD all that often.
But current reality television doesn't involve the actual hunting of human beings. I can definitely see dx's point that Katniss et al. don't seem to behave the way actual human beings would under similar circumstances. Even in fantasy films where one suspends disbelief, I want to see human characters engage in human emotions, instinct, and logic. I didn't dislike the film, but I thought it never fully engaged with whatever it was supposed to be about, and all of the characters are barely sketched out serving only to advance the plot. If it is intended to be about the effects of reality television, they sure missed a lot of opportunities for social criticism and seemed to avoid the schadenfreude of the game's audience at every turn.

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knives
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#34 Post by knives » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:41 pm

That I actually agree with. The film does fail on the level of characterization and going all the way in regards to its premise. That has nothing to do with realism though.

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Mr Sausage
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#35 Post by Mr Sausage » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:54 pm

knives wrote:That I actually agree with. The film does fail on the level of characterization and going all the way in regards to its premise. That has nothing to do with realism though.
Well, it does. The complaint is that the film's characters never have a psychologically plausible reaction to what's going, and psychological plausibility is a hallmark of realism. I think your point is that the mere fact of this or that thing in the movie being unrealistic is not in itself relevant, which is true, although at the same time, the lack of realism in this particular case really reduces the effect of the thing and was a poor choice considering the aims.

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knives
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#36 Post by knives » Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:03 am

I think you get half of what I'm saying. My disagreement is with the need for a realistic PTSD reaction from the characters. Better characterization in any form would certainly help, but even when considering the aims of the film the most realistic responses are not really necessary.

Calvin
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#37 Post by Calvin » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:10 am

dx23 wrote:Saying that is better than Twilight is not saying much but I completely disagree with calvin's comments in that the Harry Potter movies were mediocre. Almost everyone of them were superior to Hunger Games, even the fourth one which wasn't that good and also had pacing and editing problems.
At the risk of going off topic, the reason I thought the Harry Potter series was mediocre was mainly down to the main actors, particularly Daniel Radcliffe, who seemed to have no screen presence whatsoever. His emotions seem forced, ultimately distancing the viewer from the plight of his character. Some of the films also committed the crime of being plain dull - Order of the Phoenix in particular.

To get back on topic, some of the characters (the "Careers") didn't show fear because they'd been training for it for their entire lives. I can only guess what someone's reaction would be if they were actually in that situation but I suppose that showing fear wouldn't be entirely beneficial to your chances of survival so suppressing it would be advisable.

I happen to have read the books (which I thought, in many regards, were actually inferior to the film) and I didn't really notice the reality television angle until it was pointed out to me. I thought it was a critique of government and politics in general, even if the power of the message sometimes seemed diluted by the focus on the increasingly contrived romance.

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knives
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#38 Post by knives » Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:29 pm

The film at least made a point that the romance was contrived by the television execs for more ratings.

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Roger Ryan
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#39 Post by Roger Ryan » Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:28 pm

knives wrote:The film at least made a point that the romance was contrived by the television execs for more ratings.
That was the aspect of the film I liked the most, the suggestion that any civil disobedience would have to be manipulated and packaged so it would appear to be something it was not. I hope the sequels will play this idea up as it has more potential than just continuing to show kids battling kids.

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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#40 Post by cdnchris » Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:54 pm

I have to admit the "love story" worked for me because it had a more cynical edge to it. It was of course forced to happen by the execs but I also thought it was more a strategic move on Lawrence's part. I know the other kid liked/loved her but I'm pretty sure she didn't fully return the same feelings and it was more an element of survival (two are better than one.) Not to say she doesn't care for him but I'm sure if it came down to it she'd drop him in a heart beat.

(
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The berries at the end were obviously a strategic move, an attempt to save both their lives with her knowing the execs wouldn't let both "lovers" die and leave a bummer of an ending, but I don't doubt she would have spit out the berries after he swallowed his if it came to that.
)

Though the film went out of its way to make sure she stayed likeable and only killed those that "had it coming" or in self defense, I took her to be a fairly cold character, and actually all the more interesting because of it (and probably the only reason I ended up liking the movie overall.) I liked how her immediate reaction to the kid's declaration of love for her was that she thought it was a ploy to make it harder for her to kill him when the time came, which leads me to believe that's just how she thinks and may even pull off something like that.

Of course when the two do kiss a bunch of giddy girls just lost it a few rows down from me, so I could be reading too much into it and I'm just in for another whole team Jacob/Edward thing. (I'm team Jacob by the way. There's just too much angst and brooding in that other guy.)
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Also, poor Wes Bentley. After disappearing following American Beauty and doing plenty of shit straight-to-video films the poor guy gets a role in what will obviously be a successful series and he gets killed off in the first installment.

Calvin
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#41 Post by Calvin » Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:41 pm

Directors that Lionsgate are trying to/would like to seduce for Catching Fire include Alfonso Cuaron, David Cronenberg and Alejandro Gonzales Innaritu

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warren oates
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#42 Post by warren oates » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:28 pm

Did anyone tell them that Cronenberg didn't direct the Robert Pattinson film they are thinking of? I'd love to see a Cronenberg version of the first film, wherein Katniss experiences more than one hornet hallucination and pulls extra weapons whole from the guts of her opponents.

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Highway 61
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#43 Post by Highway 61 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:22 am

Cronenberg is always blunt about how he will work for money. I wouldn't be surprised at all if he signs on for this.

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Cold Bishop
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#44 Post by Cold Bishop » Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:34 am

He says that, but I also think it's quite clear he still needs to see his sensibility reflected in the work, otherwise it's no go. Even with The Matarese Circle, he was explicit that it all hinged on whether he, the studio and the stars could come to an understanding on the screenplay: I think he's welcome, even eager, to work in the confines of a studio picture, as long as he's not steamrolled completely.

Suzanne Collins influence on the project is certainly hopeful, but I can't see Lionsgate giving any director too much leashroom.

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domino harvey
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#45 Post by domino harvey » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:43 am

Scattered thoughts on the film:

+ The way the film portrayed the decadence of the "have" society with gaudy colors and attire was inspired (if not all a little too ugly for its own good). The film seems to suggest fashion cycling backwards to the grotesque excess of the Marie Antoinette's court, and it's a nice contrast to the usual gloomy color palette dystopian futuristic societies usually prefer! Have to question to logic of dressing their riot police "peace keepers" in white, though. I also liked how even though our modern society is mostly focused on horizontal, perhaps our iPhone reliance leads to the use of vertical monitors in the future!

+ I'm pretty sure Jennifer Lawrence would be entertaining in literally anything. It's a shame she's saddled to two populist franchises right now, but I hope she finds time to fit in some films that call more on her talent

+ The fight/attack sequences in this film are incomprehensible, past shaky into full on Gaussian Blur. I suspect the logic behind such an approach rests somewhere between desire to replicate "intensity" of combat and a way to get some rather brutal killings passed with a PG-13 (the one girl who gets her brains beat in against the metal horn of plenty is a particularly vicious end made almost genteel by editing and whiparound camerawork). The final showdown on top of the cornucopia went on forever before there was even a brief establishing shot to get a feel for the geography of the combatants.

+ This doesn't seem to be aiming at reality TV satire, which is fine by me (we don't need another Truman Show/Ed TV), but it's hard to figure what exactly has connected so strongly with our society-- Oppressive dystopian futures are bad? No kidding! Make no mistake, Hunger Games (books and now movie) is a juggernaut and seems to appeal on a basic, almost primal level to a wide swath of assorted target audiences, so there's obviously SOME reason why, but I'm more curious about what happens next less for plot and character concerns (Although could that boy she left behind be any more boring? Hard to blame her for hitching onto her mealticket!) and more to help explain where the mass appeal lies. This isn't an invitation to spoil the books for me, though!

+ Overheard as we left the theatre: "Damn, white girls be vicious!"

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dx23
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#46 Post by dx23 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:25 pm

domino harvey wrote: + This doesn't seem to be aiming at reality TV satire, which is fine by me (we don't need another Truman Show/Ed TV), but it's hard to figure what exactly has connected so strongly with our society-- Oppressive dystopian futures are bad?
The connection is that teens feel that the books/films have a nice romance triangle with the social commentary that the fluff Twilight films don't have. That is what several teens have told me, which also makes me weep at our society's future. When people believe this books/films are "deep" it scares me of what the future holds.

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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#47 Post by Calvin » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:03 pm

I guess that the latter two books are vaguely relevant with the ongoing Occupy movement and Arab Spring.

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Brian C
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#48 Post by Brian C » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:18 pm

dx23 wrote:The connection is that teens feel that the books/films have a nice romance triangle with the social commentary that the fluff Twilight films don't have. That is what several teens have told me, which also makes me weep at our society's future. When people believe this books/films are "deep" it scares me of what the future holds.
Eh, I haven't read the book, but I've seen stuff worse than this movie get taken very seriously on this board. I'm just happy if kids want something deeper and more meaningful to them than Twilight (or at least the popular take on Twilight, since I haven't either read the books or seen the movies in Twilight's case). They're still young, and if they want meaning in life, they'll find it eventually.

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dx23
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#49 Post by dx23 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:04 am

You have a point there Brian and I might add that is good to see young people reading books. In my early teens I also had some bad taste in movies and books.

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swo17
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Re: The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

#50 Post by swo17 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:22 am

Speaking of which, would now be a good time to mention that these billboards are making me never want to pick up another book so long as I live?

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