Sunday, April 1

The Hunger Games Phenomenon

I'm not a Taylor Swift fan by any means but this is a lovely song

Its hard to escape the Hunger Games right now, it is basically THE movie to see at the moment. I personally just finished the series early last month after listening to it via Audio book just in time before the movie and I have to say it was quite good, not amazing but good. I don't read that many young adult books, beck I don't read that many books period but I still rate the Harry Potter series above all the other Young Adult fiction I've ever read.

The author of the series Suzanne Collins stated that she got the idea for the Hunger Games when she was flicking through television channels late one night and saw footage from the War in Iraq get blurred in with Reality Television (I assume she probably saw an ad for Survivor) and got the idea of a War situation reality television show. Also influenced by Gladiator games lottery systems used by the ancient Greeks as the picking system held by the oppressive government.

After absorbing the books and watching the movie I can say the movie did a great job adapting the source material. Especially since Suzanne Collins herself worked on the screenplay and director Gary Ross did a great job directing it. Many have described the movie as a combination of various films and books lie Running Man, Lord of the Flies, Surviving the Game, 1984, Brave New World, Battle Royale and the Truman Show.

I thought the cast of the Hunger Games did a great job especially Jennifer Lawrence who played Katniss Everdean and did a great job carrying the character through the movie. I was particularly surprised with how they handle Effie Trinket as comic relief played by the wonderfully talented Elizabeth Banks. Woody Harrison was a great Haymitch in fact I'm pretty sure he wasn't acting most of the time anyway, he's always had that laid back drunken swagger. Donald Sutherland played President Snow who had a much larger presence in the film adaptation than the book but hey when you get a mega talented big star like Dutherland you want to use him as much as you can.

Now beside the Hunger Games the central plot of the series is the strange love triangle between Katniss and her two male suitors in her Best friend and Hunting partner Gale the baker boy and fellow tribute who has secretly been in love with her since they were kids Peeta. Played by Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson they both do an adequette job in their roles although I do hate that the love triangle directly pairs it in its likeness to that of the Twilight series. Enough that there really is a split amoungst fans who side with either "Team Peeta" or "Team Gale". I personally hated that aspect of the book, how oblivious Katniss was and how she acted through out the series towards them both, a part of me wished she died alone... But I'm just a jaded asshole.

Strangely enough there has been a ton of backlash on twitter over the fact that the District 11 Tributes (Amandla Stenberg and Dayo Okeniyi)and Katniss's Stylist Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) were played by black actors. Some viewers claiming that because they were black they felt felt less connected to them and "Ruined the movie", especially Rue who has a particularly powerful moment in the in the Hunger Games with Katniss. While the tributes from District 11 were descried to have "dark brown skin" which by all accounts means black to me people somehow pictured white people....What? And Lenny Kravitz shouldn't be Cinna? What? NO! Although it was never described what skin colour Cinna had in the books Lenny Kravitz had all the characteristics down pat, handsome, reassuring, a sense of warmth and a calm soothing voice. Lenny Kravitz's voice is like listening to a softly spoken lullaby.

While being a big budget film because of its massive cult following its actually deserving of its budget. Granted the aggressive marketing helped get the word out, I personally couldn't go one day without seeing at least 3 mentions of the movie whether it be on the side of buses or bus stops, on television, banners and trailers on the internet, discussions on forums and blogs. The Marketing Team really out did themselves to get the word out for the Hunger Games movie.

So on opening day it pulled a global box office haul of 214 Million Dollars and 155 Million on that weekend alone in the United States. This movie is massive commercial success and critically acclaimed as well as it sits on a 86% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

However with all the hype and talk going around for the movie the term coined for fans of the series is The Hungerlings, which sounds just as bad as Twihards. Either way here is a collection of Hunger Games related parody material the internet has to offer. There is way to many of those parody videos on the internet... Here are the ones that I could stomach.

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