Hunger Games

Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 3/22/2012 6:17 PM

Okay, I admit it, I read all three books in the Hunger Games trilogy. And I LOVED them all. My family will go see the movie this week-end.

So, this thread is for comments related to HUNGER GAMES...

Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 3/22/2012 6:48 PM

My sister-in-law (she's 56) told me I just had to read these books. She said she and all her friends could not put them down because they were so GOOD!!! I immediately bought the audiobook. I'm on chapter six and so far I hve not had a moment where I feel like driving to the next town over just so I can hear more of it. I might go see the film because of all the hoopla though.

Chris Keaton (Level 5) ~ 3/22/2012 10:14 PM

I liked it, but I predicted every step of the story. I think that's because it's a YA novel so they had to telegraph the major twists.

Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 3/23/2012 7:21 AM

I agree with Chris, once you get "into" the story much of it is predictable. But what intrigued me about the trilogy is the world the writer created. Very original and unique. It is a Young Adult novel but most adults who read it like it.

Bill Clar (Level 5) ~ 3/23/2012 9:16 AM

I'm not a fan of first person narrative but the story did hook me. I'll admit, I skipped over some of the back story that disinterested me.

MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 3/23/2012 10:21 AM

You can read my review of it here:

Matthew Fettig (Level 5) ~ 3/24/2012 3:14 PM

I'll preface this comment by saying I don't watch reality TV. And I'm not looking to create a political argument here.

Does anyone have any concerns about what the success of the opening weekend of this movie (over $68M from what I read) says about our culture? Am I being too cynical and not seeing this simply as a form of art? To me, this movie's success is an odd juxtaposition to the outrage over the Trayvon Martin killing.

MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 3/24/2012 3:26 PM

It's not about reality TV it's about hope versus oppression.

Chris Keaton (Level 5) ~ 3/24/2012 4:18 PM

I would be more worried about the increasing popularity of YA novels. Does this mean that adults aren't reading anymore or are there no more writers skilled enough to write adult novels?

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 3/24/2012 4:45 PM

Keaton, are you saying it's more skilful to write an adult novel than a YA novel?

Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 3/24/2012 4:52 PM

I don't know if people are reading less these days. Could be with so much stuff out there fighting for our attention. For me, there are too many good books out there. I wish I could get paid reading. That would be a dream job for me. :)

Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 3/24/2012 5:31 PM

There are loads of great adult novels out there. And some get made into movies, too. Example: Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 3/24/2012 5:35 PM

MJ, I read your review. We're going to see the movie tomorrow and, now, I'm looking forward to it even more. The entire trilogy is great and I'm sure you will love it!

Chris Keaton (Level 5) ~ 3/25/2012 10:51 AM

Yes, Caroline. ;)

Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 3/25/2012 12:54 PM

Be very afraid, Keaton...

Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 3/25/2012 2:31 PM

Wow. $155 million in North America, third biggest domestic opening ever, behing "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II" and "The Dark Knight."

But still I'm having a difficult time to find any interest in "The Hunger Games." It's not that I don't care or am uninterested, I'm just... disinterested? I have no feelings one way or the other. I don't get that much with films -- I tend to have some or no interest in most releases -- but I can't get excited or unexcited for the movie. Anyone else get that feeling?

The thing is, I like Gary Ross and Jennifer Lawrence and many of the supporting cast, so why don't I care? Or not care?

David M Troop (Level 5) ~ 3/25/2012 3:18 PM

I haven't seen the movie or read one word of the books.
Are they really that good? Or is Hollywood looking for the next Harry Potter or Twilight series to cash in on the teen-aged dating demographic?

Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 3/25/2012 3:25 PM

DMT, the world the author created is really intriguing. I read all three books and just got out of the theatre. My husband and 16-year old son went to the movie with me and neither have read the books. They liked the movi,e and now my husband wants to read the books.

CK, I agree with CC. Be careful what you say... :)

Dave Kunz (Level 4) ~ 3/25/2012 4:52 PM

I had zero interest in reading the books until my teenaged daughter asked me to read them so we could discuss them. It took awhile but I was, eventually, hooked. Ms. Collins' writing style is a bit dry but she keeps the story moving and you quickly find yourself living in the elaborately fleshed out world of Panem.

I think the strength of the books comes from the author's ability to articulate a constantly shifting set of conflicts (Katniss' love life, her struggle to survive in the world and the arena, and her ongoing battle with the Panem's power structure as personified by President Snow) coupled with one overriding objective: to save her sister (and, in doing so, preserving innocence). And the ending of the third novel is a far cry from the standard issue happy ending you would expect to find in a YA novel. There are no easy answers or solutions in Panem.

The film version, imo, did an effective job of capturing Katniss' world.

David M Troop (Level 5) ~ 3/25/2012 6:42 PM

Thanks for the info.
My wife wants to see the movie. I am looking foreward to it.

JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 3/25/2012 7:01 PM

I avoided this thread just because I thought you guys were talking about the movie, and now that I saw it I decided to jump in on the conversation... and no one is talking about the movie. Sigh... it was great. I never read the books.

Chris Keaton (Level 5) ~ 3/25/2012 7:11 PM

I just saw the movie and kinda think it would've been better if I had read the book after watching it. There were no surprises for someone who had just read the book, because it was totally loyal to the book as much as a movie can be.

Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 3/25/2012 7:53 PM

Is the Hunger Games as blatant a Battle Royale ripoff as it appears to be at a glance?

David Birch (Level 5) ~ 3/25/2012 8:20 PM

my pdfscripts pretty much said the same thing...

Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5) ~ 3/25/2012 8:57 PM

For some reason I expected much more from the movie. I also wish it was longer and more intense. Haven't read the books but planning to.

And wanted to ask those who read the books - is it okay to read for an 11 year old? That was my daughter's book club assignment and I'm kind of on the fence, but on the other hand don't want her to fall back from the crowd.

KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 3/25/2012 9:41 PM

"For me, there are too many good books out there. I wish I could get paid reading. That would be a dream job for me."

Although, MP comes pretty close. I don't have to get paid to feel that time spent reading here is worthwhile. So many people just on the cusp of making it -- I can feel it...

Not a Twilight fan, but really liked Jennifer Lawrence in "Winter's Bone," so I'll see Hunger Games as research. Not interested in reading the books. My 17-year-old son loved the movie; one of the 155 million. Unbelievable.

Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 3/26/2012 12:35 AM

Since the film made $155 million and given the most recent average ticket price (about $8), that means about 19.25 million tickets were sold in North America (in box office terms, that means the U.S. and Canada).

Given the total population of that demographic is approximately 348 million, that means just more than 5.5% of the population saw "The Hunger Games" this past weekend. Of course, those numbers (tickets and percentage) don't reflect repeat viewers the film definitely had.

Although it doesn't matter much since this is the way box office success has been measure for years, it always surprises me that it takes so few people to make a film financially successful.

Contrastly, it's just as surprising that more tickets for were sold for "The Hunger Games" than the populations of every state except New York, Texas, and California. Every person living in Wyoming -- the least populous state -- would have to see "The Hunger Games" 34 times to sell 19.25 million tickets.

Numbers are fun.

Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 3/26/2012 12:58 AM

Thanks David. Wow, so it is just a blatant ripoff... I highly recommend anyone that wants the non-tweeny-Twilight version of this tale to check out the Japanese film, Battle Royale, instead.

Zach Jansen (Level 4) ~ 3/26/2012 1:03 AM

Agree with Brian and David. I think that's why I've had disinterest in "The Hunger Games" -- it doesn't seem all that original. But then again, I have a larger frame of reference than most teens seeing "The Hunger Games," so it takes a lot for something to be original for me.

See "Battle Royale," though. And then thank your god(s) you're an adult.

Michael Cornetto (Level 5) ~ 3/26/2012 2:30 AM

Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 3/26/2012 6:28 AM

@ KI: And wanted to ask those who read the books - is it okay to read for an 11 year old?

There are no swear words in the book but there is plenty of violence. Also, there are some fairly mature themes in the book... When I read it my thought was, "I can't believe this was written for children." I think it would depend on the 11 year old.

Chris Keaton (Level 5) ~ 3/26/2012 8:32 AM

I think the book left a lot to your imagination. The better your imagination the worse (violent, etc) it will be.

JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 3/26/2012 9:02 AM

I told my wife the same thing about Battle Royal, but then again, Battle Royal was just about a bunch of kids killing each other. It was a "cool" film. I think Hunger Games had a much deeper story line.

Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5) ~ 3/26/2012 9:27 AM

Thanks Faith. Guess I'll have to read it ahead of her.

Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 3/26/2012 12:37 PM

I recently bought The Hunger Games audio books to listen to on an impending 3 or 4 day drive, and I'm looking forward to it.

What story hasn't been told a hundred times over in some form or other? A Man Called Horse is Dances With Wolves is Avatar, and each stands on its own faults and merits.

So, Battle Royale is Ninja Assassin is Hunger Games?

When I was checking out John Lyde's HG episodes on youtube, I was amazed at the number of shorts that kids have done on their own. How could I have missed something this big? I know! The popularity of these stories started with BOOKS, not electronics or movies, and that means there are a lot of young people out there reading. That's a good thing.

The fact is that the story, characters and themes of HG resonate with these kids. Twilight hit them the same way.

I don't know much about the themes in HG yet, but I do know the Twilight series and I don't care what anyone else says, I love that young people are drawn to these stories about deep and abiding love in its different forms, putting aside prejudices, living for more than yourself, fidelity... Yes they're simplistic in many ways, but does that really matter overall?

JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 3/31/2012 5:30 AM

Feels nice to finally type on keys and not a cellphone pad. Seems like something is always happening to my laptop.


So I fell in love with the director of Hunger Games without knowing who he was until my second viewing. He's a writer! The guy has only directed 3 movies! That's insane to me! Wow! He had something to prove and he definitely proved it. My wife got SO tired of me talking about how I loved his style. Now I'm going to have to watch Seabisuit and Pleasantville again.

Hassan Saddiq (Level 1) ~ 4/1/2012 8:26 PM

Saw it with the fam, everyone liked it. I really liked the set design and tone of the film.

The muted color palette of the tribute selection ceremony in contrast to Effie Trinket's pasty makeup and Red Queen-esque outfit was very cool

The action scenes were a little weak, but from what I understand that's because they wanted to keep it pg rated, so it was a lot of jump cuts and a lot of shaky cam footage that showed you very little of anything

Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 4/1/2012 10:39 PM

I finished the Hunger Games audio book yesterday and got more than half way through Catching Fire. Wow...

I think I expected a love story, but not this kind...

There's a depth here that surprised me, and the theme is timeless and based in reality. I still don't know much abut Battle Royale, but the comparison that came to my mind first was the story of Spartacus... Right down to the Roman vomitoreum (sp?) analogy.

Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 4/2/2012 12:03 AM

Just saw it this afternoon.

I was underwhelmed. No great acting (although I did enjoy Woody Harrelson). The action scenes were absolutely uninspired. The wacky costume design, while part of the book, was horribly distracting. Yes, yes... I get WHY they did it... but I think they should have toned that shit way the hell down. It felt like a bad 70s flick. I was bored.

It reminded me of the first Twilight flick in almost all respects.


Michael Berg (Level 4) ~ 4/2/2012 12:07 AM

My wife has finished the first 2 books and is reading the 3rd. She says the first book was tough to "get into" for the first couple chapters, and the story is overall predictable, but she's enjoying it -- not as much as she did with Harry Potter, but probably more than Twilight.

I might rent the movies when they hit home, but no desire to spend my money at the theater... I've heard many people say it doesn't live up to the hype.

Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 4/15/2012 10:31 PM

My husband and I just got back from an anniversary date. Dinner and a movie. I picked Hunger Games... What a disappointment.

Tim - How could you tell there was no great acting? The camera never rested on anyone's face long enough to see them. Thank God they're looking at getting a different director for Catching Fire. This production is a mess and I don't know that I'll ever go to another movie directed by Gary Ross.

I highly recommend the books, though. People are going to be reading these fifty years from now. It wouldn't surprise me if these are this generations Lord of the Rings.

Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 4/15/2012 11:15 PM

The Three Stooges

When I first heard that they were making a Three Stooges Movie, I thought, "OH CRAP!".

Then I found out that the Farrelly brothers were doing it and my interest perked up.

Then I saw some clips, and knew I had to see it.

I found this surprising funny and feel that it succeeded. The audience were laughing their pants off and there was clapping at the end.

This worked for me because the three stars played it straight. The real stooges never winked at the camera and neither do these guys. Yes, the situations are ridiculous and the comedy very old school... but that's what we love about watching the Three Stooges.

The performances by these three were really good. Completely true to form. Amazing.

Larry David does an over the top turn here in role you really wouldn't expect. There are a number of other cameos, and Sophia Vergara has a major role and does very well.

Giving this a solid B. It won't be for everyone, but then the Stooges never were.

Scott Merrow (Level 5) ~ 4/15/2012 11:42 PM

I enjoyed the first book, but not so much the second, and less so the third. I find that's true with a lot of series written for YA or middle grade readers. I felt the same way about "His Dark Materials". I loved "The Golden Compass", not so much the other two. Same with the "City of Ember" series.

I think maybe it's because in Book One of these series you're introduced to a new world and that adds a little color to the story. In subsequent books, the world isn't new any more, so it's all about the stories. And some of the follow-up story lines seem a little forced (to me).

Scott Merrow (Level 5) ~ 4/15/2012 11:45 PM

...and I wasn't crazy about any of the movie versions, The Hunger Games, The Golden Compass, nor The City of Ember. I thought they were all okay, but that's about it. (I guess younger viewers enjoyed them.)

Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 4/16/2012 12:17 AM

Oops... posted my Three Stooges review in the wrong thread. Sorry about that.

Darren Seeley (Level 3) ~ 4/29/2012 1:27 AM

I didn't read the books. Saw the film anyway. While 'Battle Royale' does come to mind, I hardly think Hunger Games ripped Royale off, in film or novel. That's right---I haven't read the books. But I know that it isn't a ripoff. And actually, I'm a little bored (and unimpressed) with the contreversy. There have been several movies and books that have had variations on the theme of The Dangerous Game. So it didn't bother me.

Take away the kids and put them as 21 and over. Keep reality/game show TV. The Running Man? Death Race? The Condemned? Take reality TV out. Mean Guns. Some of these films vary in quality. But you get my point (I hope)

I found Hunger really well set up in the first half of the film. I really liked lead Jennifer Lawrence and her character a lot. I got into the Capital's Alice In Wonderland motif. That said, what did bother me was two basic things about the film itself. I understand The Capital and its "game controllers" like to play God. But I was seriously annoyed by the dues ex machina of it all. Didn't anyone "create" advantages for other players? Medicines and other things 'magically appear'. The film also suggests that plot holes and contrivances should be excused because such things 'will be explained' in sequels. No, I say. Show me now. Don't set up a love triangle. It didn't work and makes no sense to do so.

Yes, it's great when there's a camera on the actors. Not so great when they get more shaky camera than The Condemned. Especially during the last showdown. I could not tell who was who....and I'm thinking...WAIT. There *should* be a stationary camera mount somewhere, right?

Some folks tell me everything is explained in the books. Goody gumdrops. The movie itself is still uneven.