The Hunger Games

I am not a fan of super-trendy books. I am vehemently opposed to Twilight (a mortal girl in love with a vampire, how original) and I have no desire to read or see 50 Shades of Grey, but I have a bit of a soft spot for Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. The movies have really captured my attention, so much that from time to time I actually consider reading the books. (Maybe.)

Catching Fire

Catching Fire was not as good as the first Hunger Games movie, in my humble opinion, but it did succeed in one area: I’m dying to know what happens next.

So Katniss and Peeta are fresh off their rousing victory, the first time in history two people have won the same Games, and their love story is literally the talk of the town. (Speaking of which, I feel like the love triangle between Katniss, Gale (yum) and Peeta must be much better explained in the book — she and Gale barely acknowledge their romantic feelings in the first movie, yet in the second they are fully star-crossed lovers desperate to be together but know they cannot. When did that happen? And I think she cares for Peeta much more than she lets on, but I suppose that is probably better explained in the books as well.) The creepy capital president guy is mad at them for a) being the first two people to ever win the same Games, b) having a “fake romance” and c) giving the people in the districts a false (or so he thinks) sense of hope that they can change things, so he decides to have another Games that pits all past victors against one another. Cue Katniss’ extreme anger and disappointment.

The first movie took me by surprise in terms of the gore and violence, so I was more prepared for that this time, but somehow these Games upset me more. I felt actual pain watching them all get enveloped by the poisonous fog, and I jumped out of my seat when the weird monkeys attacked. I was not at all surprised by the ending — I just knew Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s character was a good guy pretending to be bad! — but now I’ll have to wait so long to know what happened to District 12 and Katniss’ mom and sister. And I hear they’re taking the Twilight approach and splitting the last book into two movies. Sigh.

Some highlights: Better character development of Effie (Elizabeth Banks), upon whom entire makeup lines have recently been based, and the many hairstyles of Katniss Everdeen, whose gorgeous locks are almost on the level of the Queen of Hair herself, Connie Britton.

Mockingjay – Part 1

For the first time in several months, there are quite a few movies out/coming out that I’d very much like to see — Foxcatcher, Wild, Interstellar, Unbroken — potential 2015 Oscar contenders, mostly. But which film did I start with? The third installment of The Hunger Games franchise, but of course. (And I should have re-read the first entry in this post before going, because I had a hard time remembering what the heck was going on.)

After an explosive ending to her second Games (i.e. blowing up the force field thing surrounding the arena), Katniss Everdeen is living in District 13, where they want her to be the face of the revolution she inadvertently started. Katniss reluctantly agrees and allows Marjaery Tyrell to film her visits to different districts The Capitol has destroyed and her consequent rousing, heartfelt speeches. In retaliation, The Capitol broadcasts interviews with increasingly-gaunt-looking Peeta, who opposes the revolution and asks Katniss/her followers to cut it out. The Capitol also launches an attack on District 13, which they are able to survive because of their super-military preparedness, and then District 13 sends in the troops to rescue Peeta and the other tributes, but something terrible has happened to Peeta and they don’t know if they can reverse it.

So it’s my understanding that the first Hunger Games book was supposed to be the only Hunger Games book, but what’s-her-face wanted to capitalize on the profits and wrote two more stories after the success of the original. That makes sense because the first movie was such a neat little package, while the second and third movies seem much less thought through, the third even more so than the second. I mean, I just couldn’t get over the fact that the whole thing was based on Katniss filming commercials. Commercials about starting a war. It was a thoroughly enjoyable movie, just a bit silly. But, lots more broody. tougher-looking Gale in this one. Me likey.

Mockingjay – Part 2

Remember when I said I liked The Hunger Games and Harry Potter movies so much it almost made me want to read the books? I gave in with Harry Potter, but I don’t think it’s going to happen with The Hunger Games — sorry, Suzanne Collins.

So here’s everything you need to know about The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2: All the districts are completely riled up, anti-Capitol, and ready to take ACTION. Peeta went crazy because of President Snow torturing him, and now he hates Katniss and doesn’t know who or what to believe anymore. Katniss, super-sad about Peeta but trying to power through, doesn’t want to go from being President Snow’s pawn to “President” (self-proclaimed) Coin‘s, which she correctly suspects is happening. Other supporting characters, like Remy from House of Cards, are blindly following Katniss into extremely dangerous situations and subsequently getting killed for it, which is sad. And Gale, beautiful sweet manly tough Gale, is sexier than ever.

I’m proud of myself for doing a better job of remembering what was going on since the last movie — but perhaps that’s because there was last time between this and Mockingjay – Part 1 than between that and Catching Fire. No, same exact amount of time? Hmm… — and I’m impressed with what they did with the footage of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Actually, I’m more creeped out than impressed, and I’m also a little confused — was this whole thing Hoffman’s characters’s (Plutarch?) grand master plan, and it worked out pretty much exactly as he’d hoped? If so, that wasn’t emphasized enough; if not, then I have no idea what the h just happened.

Also, in WHAT world does ANYONE pick ANYONE over Liam Hemsworth, Katniss Everdeen!?!?!!!!

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