Monday, March 26, 2012

I'm Adorkable

I'm a self proclaimed nerd. A book nerd more specifically. One of my book-y obsession is the Hunger Games Trilogy. If you follow me on Twitter or are friends with me on Facebook you've been bombarded blessed with my frequent Hunger Games quotes/mentions/fanaticisms. I'd say sorry but I'm not I love it. Two weeks ago in true nerdy fashion my sister threw a Hunger Games party. I mean really what can you expect from people who celebrate Harry Potter's birthday?

This past weekend the first movie in the series came out and of course we bought tickets the day they went on sale a month ago. I worked very hard to keep my expectations in check (no one wanted another Breaking Dawn fiasco) but I couldn't help being uber-excited all day Friday. Thursday night I raced over to Marissa's house and made myself a new ultra-nerd shirt to wear. Honestly I looked like the Hunger Games marketing team mated with a DIYer and their child puked all over me.

"My Patronus is a Mockingjay" shirt, Katniss side braid, Mockingjay necklace, Hunger Games Electrify nail polish by China Glaze, and my "I shop the Hob" bag.

At the theater they had costumes from the movie.

Our group afterwards:

And of course, I couldn't resist the super cute necklace they were selling.

So my review is going to be in three parts. SPOILERS GET MORE IN DEPTH THE FURTHER YOU READ SO BEWARE. I didn't watch any trailers because I like to go into movies with a clear mind. If you'd prefer to know nothing about it stop reading.

For those who haven't read the book or seen the movie.
Go read the dang books!! They are amazing. Obviously the movie was not as good as the book but I must say they did a really good job of capturing the spirit of the book and the personalities/emotions of the main characters. Unlike the Twilight movies they found actors who could convey emotions. There was a ton of action, a little romance, and a handful of comedy. I really enjoyed the movie. My friend Sarah who has not read the books LOVE it and picked up on some of the more subtle ideas that I thought would have been hard to grasp if you hadn't read the books first.

For those who have read the books but haven't seen the movie.
Go in with LOW expectations. Let's all be honest with ourselves 99.99% of the time a movie is never as good as a book. It just can't be. With time limitations, the inability to be inside a character's head, and the limitations of special effects books will almost always win. With that said this movie stayed true to the message, theme, feel, direction, everything of the books. Yes there were changes, yes there were things left out, but overall it was wonderful. 

For those who have read the book and seen the movie or don't care about spoilers.
A few things I didn't like. The opening scene was completely made up. I HATED it while watching the movie but have come to terms that it was an acceptable way to introduce the Hanging Tree song. I was and still am really annoyed that they completely ignore the food issue. "District 12 where you can starve to death in safety." Yet on the train to the Capitol she completely ignores the food. I thought that was an important part of the story that was completely left out and could have easily been added with very little time taken up. I didn't expect a metal cornucopia and I was sad but understood why they didn't do the mutts' eyes. I feel like there was something else that really bugged me but I can't remember now.

What I did like. I really enjoyed the behind the scenes with the gamemakers and with the conversations with Snow.  The actors were excellent, but we needed more Cinna. I totally cried at the Reaping and when Rue died. I appreciated that they didn't make it as gory as they could have but still conveyed all that violence and devastation. Stanley Tucci was PHENOMENAL as Caesar!!!  I thought the end scene between Snow and Katniss where they discuss the pin was great, I can't remember if that was in the book or not, but it really started to bring the Mockingjay into focus. There was as good balance of action, character development and plot. And of course the most important to me, it stayed true to the books.

What other's hated but I didn't mind. How the pin came into the story. Everyone who I talked to who didn't love the movie was put off by the way they introduced the Mockingjay pin. In my opinion it wasn't necessary to introduce a new character just to give her the pin. But my sister and friends were annoyed that she was given the pin by a vendor in the Hob instead of just already having it. They were also annoyed that Rue wasn't developed more, but I would almost argue this as people who didn't read the book and watched the movie still felt affection for her just maybe not as strong. Everyone will forever compare YA books/movies to the Harry Potter series which I think will never be a fair comparison but that's a topic for another time.


  1. I also loved Caesar. And Haymitch and Effie were amazing as well.

    The Mockingjay pin part didn't bother me at all either (but I also think they should have expected that from the previews, so I might have already gotten over it).

    I think Rue was developed about as well as she was in the book. Well, I think she was developed proportionately as any other character was translated from the book, if that makes sense.

    Good review!

  2. I was talking to a coworker who went and saw the movie over the weekend. She said that the Madge part (who Katniss get's the pin from in the books) was in fact necessary because of what happens in book two. I am hesitant to say anything more specific than that incase people haven't read all the books. I will say that even then there's a simple work around but that just leads to more changes.

  3. I agree with you on most counts! I really wish Madge had been in it to give Katniss the pin. The mayor could have been it it too at the reaping.

    I also didn't like some of the cinematography at the beginning when they were showing District 12. It was just too shaky. I kinda understand why they did it that way, but I just wanted a better view of District 12.

    Also, I missed the prep team! I wish they had introduced them and yes- I wanted more Cinna!

    Mostly I wanted more background, especially on Peeta. I realized you can't fit every page of a book into the movie, but his character didn't seemed well developed. I really wanted him to tell Katniss that his dad had loved her mom, but her mom married Katniss' dad because he could sing. Minor thing, but I missed it.

    I hated the metal cornucopia. I also envisioned a much larger field that it was in.

    I loved loved loved the scenes in the control room to show how much the Capitol controls EVERYTHING. Even though they weren't in the book, I thought that was a great addition.

    Overall, I came out of the movie satisfied. IT was a a good adaptation, but the book is BETTER.

    Always is. :)

  4. I finally saw the movie on Saturday and I've been waiting for everyone to go to school (kids) and work (the husband) so I can get on here and discuss.

    Your analysis was excellent and I agree with all of it. Here's what I just put on Facebook:

    Loved the Hunger Games movie. Book was better, of course, but the movie was excellent. Appreciated the casting. Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci--all great in supporting roles. Loved the Capitol, the makeup and costumes. Incredible. I'd be re-reading Catching Fire now if I wasn't trying to read 50 new books by the end of 2012 (I'm on book 12 now). What did everyone else think?

    But I'll expand here. Agree about the mocking jay pin. What they did worked fine, but that was area where I don't understand the change. Why not have Prim bring it while saying goodbye . . . why have to get it first at market. I'm sure they had a reason--curious what it was. That mutt scene was as nasty as I pictured in the book. I tried explaining the eyes to Bryan (who has not read the book). It was hard to even explain, not sure how they would show that without us getting distracted by a potentially cheesy effect.

    Agree that it was cool to see the game maker stuff--their total lack of guilt or any emotion. Wes Bentley was great as the game maker. Wasn't Elizabeth Banks great? I agree on Stanlely Tucci. He's such a great actor.

    When does Catching Fire come out?

  5. i totally agree with your review after watching the movie. I was REALLY annoyed they didn't put in the whole food/hunger issue AT ALL. and it would have been so easy too. I wanted them to put in the thing about the wolves eyes too!! and I thought I was the only one. hahaha.. great minds think alike...
    overall though, i liked the movie and I think they did as good as you can expect to try to translate the story to movie format.