who says you have to be crowded into the living room, kitchen, and/or dining room to hold a book club? we are ladies of the 21st century. we don’t need no stinkin’ couches. so pull up a blog and join in the conversation.
the members of the BOOK HUNGRY are (alphabetically): patty blount, kelly breakey, karla nellenbach, and myself. here’s the deal. we pick a book to read. we discuss via email and the phone. we post a review on our individual blogs on the same day (3rd thursday of the month). we link to each other. done. i know, genius.
click on each one of their names (above) and it’ll take you to their review. browse. enjoy.
this month’s BOOK HUNGRY selection is:
THE HUNGER GAMES, the movie
i know what you’re thinking. a movie? but you’re a BOOK club. you’re right, but this is the book that started us off and with a busy month had by all members, we decided to
cut ourselves some slack go back to our roots. with the movie coming out on march 23, it was the perfect solution to an otherwise lackluster book hungry month, so onto the movie review!
what it’s about from IMDB: “Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister’s place for the latest match.” But really, if you didn’t already know this, stop reading this post and go pick up the book. trust me, it’s worth it.
my opinion, the bad: i liked the gale/katniss chemistry better than the peeta/katniss chemistry (and i LOVED peeta in the books, so this caught me completely off guard.) there was too much behind the scenes of the games and not enough behind the scenes in the districts.
okay, i confess, when the movie started filming and actually before that when they were casting the movie, i read every freaking thing i could get my hands on because i was so excited and so worried. the book is so important to me, the movie had to be good.
one thing i read that pacified me was that since collins was writing (at least the first draft of) the screenplay, it would be faithfully rendered, but because it’s shifting from first person in the book to third person in the movie, new angles could be pursued. i was expecting families and friends and “cousins” to be interviewed as they used that as a means to introduce us to the characters in the arena and in the districts. i already know the capitol is evil and devious and moves the players throughout the arena like pawns. give me some more depth here! give me more of district 12. it’s so rich in detail in the books and not so in the movie. the only thing we get of district 12 is a lot of shaky cam shots.
i also felt the games focused too much on katniss vs. cato and not enough of katniss’s alliances (with rue and with peeta.) yes, i said it. both rue and peeta are amazing, well-drawn out characters in the book, but in the movie they fell flat. that’s through no fault of the actors, but because of the writing and the decision to devote more time to the violence of the games and less to the quiet, good moments the games can and does bring out.
as a side note, what’s really bad is what the reviews/people are focusing on. like this article for instance. (the article is good, but the fact it had to be written is unforgivable.) people are saying jennifer lawrence is fat and/or not skinny enough to play a “hungry” character. that’s just ridiculous. liam hemsworth looked pretty darn muscular to me and his character is living under the same exact conditions as jennifer’s. this one sided judgment drives me up a wall. i realize it’s the society we live in, but honestly, it needs to stop. and i’m not even touching what some uneducated fans are saying about the castings of rue and thresh. collins was very clear in her descriptions of them and they were perfectly portrayed in the movie. moving on.
the good: jennifer lawrence as katniss. woody harrelson as haymitch. elizabeth banks as effie. lenny kravitz as cinna. stanley tucci as caesar flickerman. they brought these characters to life beautifully, realistically, charmingly. the capitol was as garish and overdone (perfectly so). the costumes throughout the whole movie. peeta’s interview with caesar.
but my most favorite part? the reaping scene. the colors: district 12’s gray vs. effie’s bright pink. the pacing/timing. the emotions! jennifer lawrence was spot on. liam hemsworth was great. josh hutchinson was perfect. the girl who played prim was fabulous. and really, all of district 12 was wonderful. it was more than i ever could have imagined. it was the most brilliant example of collins’ writing brought to life.
the grade: B, B+. the world building, especially the capitol, was so wild to see brought to life. the “side” characters of haymitch, effie, and cinna were wonderful. jennifer lawrence was stunning, but for me, the movie lacked a certain sizzle that the book just oozes.
(all of these should be read with the caveat that i know this book alarmingly well, so my first viewing was bound to be nothing but me comparing the book to the movie. i think i need to see the movie again to appreciate it as a different medium and to appreciate it for what it is, not what it isn’t, because this is really one of the far better movie adaptations i’ve seen.)