Monday, March 26, 2012

The Hunger Games: REACTIONS


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All of you should know that the four of us couldn't possibly make it past opening weekend with heading to the theater to catch the premier of The Hunger Games.  And as you should all have divined, we each had our own very emotional and very personal reactions to the film; which, we will proceed to share with the entire world here on Victorian Swag.  You don't have to agree with our thoughts and postulations but you must promise to take them to heart when either seeing the film or analyzing your own recent Hunger Games experience.  

Sarah's Reaction - The Cautious Optimist: I was both highly excited and highly nervous about seeing The Hunger Games this past weekend.  It was the old emotional roller coaster of "Oh! I can't wait to see this!  I loved the book!" and "I loved the book!  I hope they don't screw it up!"  I don't envy the pressure that those poor actors were under to portray such characters.  I was pleasantly surprised by how well acted and true to the book the movie was.  I was even won over by Josh Hutcherson (which is saying a lot considering his casting was the most...unlike what I had in mind, I guess).  Seriously, how could you not love him after his interview?

Sally's Reaction - The Negative Nancy: Surprise, surprise, yet another movie fails to replicate the awesome-sauce treat that was reading the original text. I realize we're talking about tweens and teens in a Gladiator meets Jungle Book fight to the death here, but a shaky killing montage at the Cornucopia... REALLY? So much for suspense, realism, or, hey, even conveying what characters are going through (I'm talking to you, lack of explanation for Peeta's "betrayal" joining the careers in the arena!!!). While individually I loved Katniss and Peeta, which was a surprise considering how dead set against Josh Hutcherson I had been (I get v. protective over my fictional boyfriends, alright? at least I admit I have a problem), together they just... ohhh... did I just come to on my fainting couch after a boredom-induced chemistry-free napping sneak attack and not actual swooning? That's so not cool, but I'll just sit here and stare at Gale's flawless face till I'm filled with enough sappy FEELINGS to get over my general hey-that-was-a-letdown-WTF melancholy... because... I really like his face, ok?

Ali's Reaction - The Emotionally Underwhelmed: Well, I didn't hate it; I'll go as far as to say that I liked it.  There were few highly offensive plot changes and overall they did a pretty good job of visually conceptualizing the scenery and the characters, but I have to admit that it did not live up to my extremely high expectations (and I even tried to lower them this time knowing that no one could ever possibly reach them after reading the book).  I will applaud the film for it's loads-better-than-it-could-have-been acting (I've got to give JL and JH some mad props for their KE and PM portrayals); however, I weep for the fact that it did not hold a candle to the amount of drama, suspense and shear TERROR created by its printed word version.  Don't get me wrong, I was highly entertained for those extremely short 144 minutes and found myself covering my eyes and cringing in my seat at certain points.  What I am saying is that I needed 144 minutes of life-or-death-swoon-inducing, can't-open-my- eyes-because-they-are-about-to-stab-someone-in-the-face-goodness (did that come out wrong?) and in the end it didn't deliver.  Sally so aptly pointed out the lack of bloodshed at the cornucopia and I couldn't agree more; I felt they dumbed the movie (and the violence) down for the perceived audience.  Is it worth watching?  HECK TO THE YES!  But I must admit that I am left sweeping my shattered expectations up off the floor and trying to convince myself that I loved instead of liked it.  

Mariah's Reaction - The Standing Ovation: I need to get this out really quick: ASJKLEHSHHSSH!!!!! That's my quick one-word reaction to The Hunger Games, which I must say, exceeded my expectations. Jennifer Lawrence was PERFECT as Katniss- I might have a slight girl-crush on her now, and I was surprised with how much I liked Peeta. The scene I was most worried about, with Rue, was totally handkerchief worthy, and the score is out of this world. In other words, the film definitely had the odds in its favor.


9 comments:

  1. ... Bahaha! Were we each chosen from a different district?

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  2. If they hadn't toned down the violence, it would have been rated R. There's no way the film could have shown the up-close, detailed descriptions of the vicious bloodbaths in the book without making it R. I know we're slightly older ladies who love our YA fiction, but the target audience does include quite a few folks under 17.

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    1. No WAYYYYY!!!!! I see where you're coming from, but there are definitely PG-13 movies with more violence. When I think about violent movies with an R rating, I'm thinking stuff like Inglorious Basterds, The Last King of Scotland... Now, I'm not saying I wanted *that* level of violence. But for a PG-13 rating, to me, HG was unpardonably sugar coated. I stand by my verdict! It could have gotten away with more.

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    2. Based on MPAA guidelines, I stand by my point. "There may be depictions of violence in a PG-13 movie, but generally not both realistic and extreme or persistent violence." The Hunger Games, as written, depicts realistic, extreme, AND persistent violence. It definitely would have gotten an R rating (think of the violence in The Patriot, for example, or V for Vendetta).

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    3. We're going to have to agree to disagree. I listed those R rated movies to show the level of violence required for an R rated movie. You're right, Hunger Games could have been rated R if they wanted to and, by consequence, completely miss their target audience. So they went PG-13. Yay right? Wrong! Lord of the Rings is rated PG-13 and look at all the violence. Maybe the fact that I wasn't scared at all during HG is also contributing to my woes on this topic, but... considering what other PG-13 movies are able to pull off in the violence department, HG could have gotten away with more. Rue might as well have been killed by a paintball. I agree with Ali, it felt like it was dumbed down and they were trying to keep it as close to the PG realm as they could within a PG-13 rating. Just my opinion!

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  3. Not to over comment or anything, but YES, Ali, YES! What you said! Haha. Despite my Negative Nancy reaction, I did like it. But I wanted to LOVE it. At least I loved Peeta. Still. It boggles my mind that they failed to convey the suspense. Ughhh!!!! Whyyyy??? Sorry. I didn't mean to come back to that. Ahem... I LOVE PEETA. I LOVE PEETA. I LOVE PEETA. I LOVE PEETA. I LOVE PEETA. I LOVE PEETA. AND HIS CROISSANTS. I LOVE PEETA. Woohoo Hunger Games! There.

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  4. SALLY! I am so with you on this one! Forget the MPAA guidelines and forget the so-called "target audience." When I walked out of the theater, I looked at my friend and said "I wish this would have been rated PG-13 instead of just PG because they really didn't do a very good job with the violence and suspense you need for the story." She looked at me and said "Um, it was PG-13."
    With all of the blood, guts, and gore out there (and most of it being absolute rubbish) I am just really disappointed that on such a crucial point of the story (the whole premise of the book is based on tapping into the primal fear of death and the ultimate fight for survival) the film was unable and UNWILLING to deliver.
    I will also echo Sally's sentiments when I say I LOVE PEETA!!!!!!!!!!!! At least there was that!

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  5. OH MAN. What a debate. I certainly won't get in the middle. But I will say that perhaps I loved the film so much because, as with Sally, Peeta stole my heart.

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    1. Somehow this has reminded that... I HAVE NOT FAN FLAILED ENOUGH OVER GALE!!!!!!!!!!! I loved him! I thought he was cast perfectly! Ughhhhhh Liam Hemsworth!!! When they cut to him right after Katniss and Peeta kiss... I DIED. When he carried Prim away at the reaping... I DIED. Any time they showed him... I DIED. He was perrrrrrfecccctttttt!!!!!!!!! *CREYES*

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