Okay. So I wrote that this is a movie review and a rant. I will rant first. I know I am not the coolest mom ever. Or the coolest mom. Or a cool mom. But I am a mom and I did fork over close to $50 yesterday to take my two oldest darlings to see The Hunger Games. Nevermind that I would have seen it anyway if they hadn’t wanted to watch it because I am in love with this book series. Gas, tickets, popcorn aren’t cheap. You would think I would get one lousy picture of my girls having fun at the movies…..noooooo. Not one picture of them in front of the movie poster, in the theater, posing with tickets. Nothing. I took a picture of my lonely little ticket to remember the day. Maybe when Catching Fire comes out I’ll not take them unless they sign a contract saying they will pose for one picture. Don’t they know that these events are the memories of their childhood? Don’t they know that they need to have them documented in photos so they will have hundreds of Shutterfly books to look through with their own children, my grandchildren, to show what an awesome
mom childhood they had? Enough of the rant and on to the review.
I’ve read enough book series turned movie franchises to know that it is impossible to put everything from the book on the screen. The movies would be five hours long. I would still pay to see it, but apparently the movie people don’t know how die-hard readers can be! The Hunger Games the movie was close enough to the book to please me. I can excuse the few missing characters, though I miss them.
If you have not read the books and only seen the movie the way Katniss gets her Mockingjay pin is not correct, and it loses some of its value I think in how she obtained it. In the books Cinna is one of my favorite characters, he is very flamboyant, yet supportive. The movie Cinna is certainly supportive, kind and him and Katniss work well together, but he was lacking in some of his charm. Except for his eyeshadow, he wasn’t that WOW as he was in the book.
What I loved about the movie. Woody Harrelson as Haymitch was great, I enjoyed his portrayal. Katniss was the Katniss from the books, I think she nailed it. Peeta was perfect, Gale had a small part in this first film, but I feel he is going to be perfect in this role. I hate the whole Team Gale/Team Peeta thing. This is about Katniss! She is not a prize to be won, she is a stand alone person. Trying to tell this to my giggly girls is aggravating.
The violence in the movie was PG-13 for sure. It was really hard to watch children kill children. The books can be hard to read, but as I am a visual person, it was hard to watch. I questioned letting Mita and Meg see it on the screen. They had read the books, I’ve tried to discuss the issues with them as they read them. I still don’t know if they get the entire picture, but I feel they are on the right track. I would be hesitant to allow a young tween/teen see this film if they hadn’t read the books and started digesting the whole fight to the death theme of the books. I don’t think murder should be glorified.
The theme of The Hunger Games being a reality TV show is very important for this upcoming generation especially. It shows how real live human beings can be turned into mearly characters to play with. Watching the behind the scenes people come up with dogs, fires and darkness to add to the games appeal is reprehensible and yet it rings a bit to close to home. Reality TV is not reality. We see people turn into diva monsters all the time for a few minutes of cheap fame. A great discussion starter with the kids about the realities of reality TV and how human lives should not be treated lightly.
I encourage parents to read this series if they have kids reading or watching them! If you want to learn more about them Scholastic has a great site to check out. Have you read the books and seen the movie? Did you allow your tweens or teens to see the movie? What are your thoughts.
Here is Meg’s blog about the movie. Notice how much time she spends on Peet and Gale! Arghh!