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movies / March 29, 2012

Today’s burning moral question: Is it bad to enjoy watching a big-screen entertainment featuring teenagers hunting each other for sport?

Answer: Oh, I dunno. Points to be made on both sides. How big is the screen? Bigger ain’t necessarily better when it comes to image quality, y’know!

Certain critics have noticed an alarming “hypocrisy” about Hunger Games: it’s an elaborate showbiz entertainment featuring kids hunting kids to the death that’s all about a dystopian American future in which there’s an elaborate showbiz entertainment featuring kids hunting kids to the death. Scott Mendelson of The Huffington Post is in a real sweat about it:

As a direct result of this conundrum, the picture not only fails as a social/political commentary but becomes an ugly celebration of the very narrative that it should be condemning. By refusing to look directly at its own story and by instead fashioning a convenient morality out of its murderous sporting event, it lets the audience off the hook and even encourages them to enjoy the blood-sport as ‘entertainment’….The Hunger Games is worse than a bad movie. It’s an immoral movie, possibly even an evil one.

We must try to be very gentle with young Scott, as it appears he was actually born yesterday on another planet and only just arrived here. It’s okay, Scotty! We watch this kind of stuff all the time here, and everybody who isn’t already batshit crazy manages to keep movie-killing separate from real-life-killing! Just don’t cheer on the murders of any actual teens out here in the cruel world of five senses, okay? Not the meaty awkward ones who take up space and yammer, just the flat ones up on the screen who all have perfect skin and teeth and are always standing in flattering light! You’ll get the hang of it in no time, son!

Now that’s taken care of, let’s consider this fat sloppy hit film The Hunger Games. Frankly, as a film, it’s nothing to tweet about. It’s one of these Hollywood adaptations of bestselling books written for the young, and you know what that means by now: plush budget, goofy young leads, elaborate production design that still manages to look like the most expensive herd of overdressed extras ever assembled, slavish attempts to please the fans by sticking to the book like glue, lumbering pace, strict lack of imagination all around. Gary Ross (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit) is the director and he’s perfect for the job, a real studio plodder. No worries that he might try to put some sort of individual mark on the film, or interpret the material or anything! He couldn’t if he tried!

The plot’s okay if you like well-worn dystopian scenarios, and I do. I find it relaxing, watching movies about people-hunting. Something peaceful about it. There’s always so much care taken in these narratives to make sure it’s all structured as a test of mettle for a lead character or two who are going to survive, and everybody else is an abstraction, a hurdle, just there to help the lead(s) prove themselves or satisfy a convention. They might as well wear signs: “I’m the Test of Compassion, I die fifth,” “I’m the Black Guy, I die after saving the white lead, same as always,” etc.

Here’s the rundown, in case you’ve managed to avoid getting force-fed this plot summary already: dystopian future rulers of America run the annual Hunger Games featuring representative teens from each district in the nation who hunt and kill each other in a televised bloodsport contest till a lone survivor is crowned. Our heroine is Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) from the impoverished Ozark-ish District 12, where she cuts a swath locally by hunting squirrels with bow and arrow and hitting ‘em all right in their beady little eyes every time. She volunteers to participate in the games to save her younger sister Primrose, who was chosen as a Hunger Games “tribute” in the televised “Reaping.” (Yeah, that’s right, their names are Katniss and Primrose Everdeen. Novelist Suzanne Collins sez, “You wanna make somethin’ of it?”)

There are two local guys who are rival Love Interests, one a steroidal hunk named Gale (Liam Hemsworth) who looks like Li’l Abner from the old comics, and the other a self-pitying lunk named Peeta (Josh Hutchinson) who also gets chosen in “The Reaping.” They are both unintentionally funny.

This is one of those movies in which there’s always time for the dampest possible teen-love scenes with long silly talks and big staring contests, as if other homicidal teens weren’t supposedly lurking behind every bush, armed with machetes.

Since the movie is designed for the youngsters, it’s the old pro actors I feel sorry for. They have to play the stupidest parts and say the stupidest lines and wear the stupidest costumes, and that kind of thing doesn’t come so naturally once you’re out of your teens and twenties. After that, you KNOW how stupid you look. As TV host Caesar Flickerman, a name so embarrassing I had trouble typing it, poor Stanley Tucci has to sport a blue pompadour and matching eyebrows and big grinning choppers that are supposed to look threatening because he represents the Evils of Media. Everybody knows media is evil, that’s an easy one. The fact that humans enjoy media just goes to prove how sinister it is. (See: most academic discourse.)

Playing the Hunger Games show-runner Seneca Crane (yeah, the whole Greco-Roman thing, it gets really tiresome), Wes Bentley is making his comeback (and speaking of drug policies, he’s broken ‘em all, that’s why he’s making a comeback). He looks manifestly uncomfortable in a cartoonishly curly devil-beard that appears to be stenciled-on.

Elizabeth Banks, playing some other kind of fashionable freak named Effie Trinket, made the rounds of all the talk shows giggling nervously about her own performance: Well, hee-hee, I just hope everyone likes it, I just kinda went for it, ha-ha-ha!


Donald Sutherland, too old to care, gets off lightly in these humiliating follies: he plays the despotic ruler President Snow, the fascist head honcho, the Big Cheese of Baditude, but he doesn’t have to wear anything moronic. He displays his permanent accessories, a mane of noble lion-in-winter white hair and matching beard. In fact, at this point in his career, Sutherland just lets his hair play all his parts. His scenes are shot in a rose garden (Get it? The Rose Garden? Like at the White House? Y’know? Anybody?), with him snipping roses. It’s the old trick of having the most scary character act the least scary by speaking very softly and doing something gentle, thus making him perversely scarier. I guess they figured cat-petting had been done too many times.

Woody Harrelson does his usual refreshing job, here playing a former winner of the Hunger Games TV show who is now forced to coach new tributes, and drinking his way through the ordeal. (His name is Haymitch Abernathy! Yeah! It really is!) Harrelson is just interesting to watch, period, because he seems genuinely free from all the rules that bind the rest of us, and moves around loose and wild-eyed, ready to pop off in any direction. Not that he does much popping in this case. Instead, he becomes steadily graver and more concerned about his charge, Katniss, which looks good on him.


Which brings us to Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, and I guess she’s okay. She’s distractingly statuesque for a hardscrabble Ozarks-type kid, but maybe that’s the way fatheaded Gary Ross keeps shooting her. There’s a hilarious early scene showing Katniss squirrel-hunting, and she’s togged out in sumptuous brown leather coat and knee-high lace-up boots, looking fresh off the catwalk, running through the woods striking Diana-the-Huntress poses.

New York Times critic Manohla Dargis falls for this nonsense completely:

When she runs through that forest, and even when she falls, there’s something of the American frontiersman in her, as if she were Natty Bumppo reborn and resexed. For as long as this brief scene lasts, it seems possible that Gary Ross, the unlikely and at times frustratingly ill-matched director for this brutal, unnerving story, has caught the heart-skipping pulse of Michael Mann’s “Last of the Mohicans” if not that film’s ravishing technique and propulsive energy.

No: not for one second is that scene anything like the gorgeous early stuff in Last of the Mohicans, so put it out of your mind. Michael Mann is a huge horse’s ass in a lot of ways, by all accounts, but he can really shoot, and cut, and he actually seemed to SEE the the beauty of the deep-forested Eastern landscape. Ross can’t see it at all. He’s in Anyforest, USA; might as well have shot in LA’s Griffith Park, like everybody else, and saved the expense of trucking all the way out to North Carolina.

Just to show you how dim Gary Ross is, he seems to think he had an “idea” about how to portray the poor oppressed people of District 12. He has them all dressed up like 1930s characters. Yup. That’s his idea. That in the future, the poverty-stricken will say to themselves, “You know who REALLY knew how to look poor? Those sad old Okies in the 1930s photos, you can’t look poorer than that. Let’s go with the pros and dress up just like ‘em. Us women’ll wear those limp pathetic cap-sleeve dresses and pin up our hair in plaintive coils at the napes of our necks. Tear everybody’s heart out!”

Ross worked on the script with Suzanne Collins and Billy Ray, and you can just imagine how excited they probably were when they realized that the 1930s featured not only the Great Depression but the international rise of fascism as well. You can almost hear them yelling Sha-ZAM! More pointless historical referencing!

Anyway, the movie’s making a squillion dollars and there will be sequels. Gary Ross is on board for the second one. By the third one, Lionsgate will probably get brave Harry Potter-style and let a real director have a shot at it, see if he can goose up the look of the franchise. And so on until the next dopey kid-lit phenomenon comes along.

106 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. SANTADOG  |  March 29th, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    YYYYYYYYYUP! Sumsitup

  • 2. John Figler  |  March 29th, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Great. Does the flick have any tits in it?

  • 3. ralph chaplin  |  March 29th, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    The books weren’t any good either. The entire time it’s obvious something big politically is going on in the background, but the reader is stuck following around Katniss and her loyal sidekick human sacrifices. I think she had one real decision to make in the entire series.

  • 4. geronimo  |  March 29th, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    this movie is nothing more than an unacknowledged ripoff of the Japanese classic battle royale

  • 5. Guesto  |  March 29th, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Yep. Gonna start reading you. Feel the pride.

  • 6. marc  |  March 29th, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    For quality assurance purposes this comment is being recorded. Please rate my comment at the end of this comment-post. Thank you.

    Despite its heavy handedness, I enjoyed seeing this movie. Very little of it was really clever or subtle, but it was a good enough story. If there was anything I enjoyed , it was seeing the rich people in their silly costumes. They brought WH40K’s Necromunda to life on the screen. Whenever a 40K movie, story or other bit of media is made the author usually focuses on the “endless war” motif. The silly looking rich people brought the rest of that universe to life for me.

    Greatest movie I’ve ever seen? No. Entertaining enough and evoking a seldom seen image from another bit of fantasy? It did a good job.

    Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, with ten being the most, how forced did the enthusiasm of this comment feel to you?
    Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, with ten being the most, how likely do you think it is that this comment was written by a movie studio troll?
    Q: On a scale of 1 to 5.50, with 5.50 being the most, how much do you think a movie studio troll gets paid per hour?

    Thank you. Your opinion is very important to us.

  • 7. andy  |  March 29th, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Thank you geronimo – glad I’m not the only one who noticed that! It is indeed a remake of Battle Royale – and by the sounds of things, a really bad one. hopefully the ripoff is blatant enough that it’s legally actionable – after all, what are copyright lawyers for?

    Loads of much better films than this dreck out this year – The Divide, Dredd (you’ll like that one, Exiled-niks), Prometheus, and Chernobyl Diaries. This crud isn’t even worth the time it takes to give it a bad review.

  • 8. CHarlie  |  March 29th, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Battle Royale, a Japanese novel, did the same thing earlier, and, IMO, better.

    That said, the Battle Royale move was kinda weak, and I bet this is far more entertaining to watch–the chick from Winter’s Bone is HOT.

  • 9. gc  |  March 29th, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Saw the movie. Certainly nothing special.

    However, those of you calling it a Battle Royale rip off, please be aware that you are idiots.

  • 10. CensusLouie  |  March 29th, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    #3

    Didn’t the Harry Potter movies (never have or will read the books) do the exact same thing? The ENTIRE FUCKING SERIES led up to the villain’s plot, and when the big fascist coup happens, it takes place entirely off screen. “Oops, and now everything is a heavy handed Nazi reference, yeah that happened.”

    Instead we spend what seems like 9 hours of Harry and the chick camping out in the woods. You’d think they could have used 5 minutes of that to show the coup or anything exciting, but those 9 hours of camping it just too important because they spend the whole time trying to solve a riddle only to be a waste of time because a unicorn pops up out of nowhere to show them where Excalibur is anyway.

    Just one of the many nails in the modern movie coffin is the obsession with being 100% slavishly devoted to source books without realizing that MOVIES AREN’T BOOKS.

  • 11. Joe  |  March 29th, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Watch Battle Royale the war nerd demands it.

    http://www.exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=7993&IBLOCK_ID=35

  • 12. Derp  |  March 29th, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Question about #6. marc: Yo exile censors, was it you guys that worked in the 40K references? Because if they were in the original post, I think marc was just low-tier trolling or trying to make some kind of joke related to Hunger Games being supposed to be somewhat aesthetically similar to the setting of Warhammer 40000 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warhammer_40k). Which anyway wouldn’t make that much sense if he was, because that setting is way more brutal then the tepid PG-13 rating this flick got, or even the source material in the books.

    Q1: 8.5, but only because it felt like he was pushing a joke or something.
    Q2: 1, because comparing Hunger Games to 40K is not something that would work in Hunger Games’ favor.
    Q3: 1, see Q2 and above on why marc was probably just making a geeky joke comparing Warhammer to Hunger Games.

  • 13. Jethro Troll  |  March 29th, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Battle Royale With Cheese

  • 14. Hick  |  March 29th, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    SOMEONE needs to lower their nocking point about 3 inches, as if they’d hit anything past about 15 meters with those shitty fletchings anyway.

    My slight flicker of interest in this flick has been extinguished. Thank you.

  • 15. wengler  |  March 30th, 2012 at 12:05 am

    The set decoration and CG elements were almost uniformly bad, the story plodding and uninspired, and yet it was still better than anything else showing right now.

    Slightly above a Saturday evening SyFy original movie.

  • 16. jbb  |  March 30th, 2012 at 12:56 am

    @gc

    Thank you. Yes, agree with you wholeheartedly and yes they are fucking idiots.

  • 17. suit  |  March 30th, 2012 at 2:46 am

    Fuck you, asshole, hunger games was awesome. If you don’t like it you can suck my dad’s dick you white motherfucker.

  • 18. Eurotrash  |  March 30th, 2012 at 4:28 am

    A beautiful, distressed-looking kid doing that three-fingered Sieg Heil thing… I’m gonna watch this for all the wrong reasons.

    It’ll probably kill my boner soon enough, but here’s hoping.

  • 19. Marcus Bradley Nestor -11/25/1968  |  March 30th, 2012 at 6:07 am

    Maybe, music and movie quality will invert again, now that we’re back to 1971 quality movies…..that would be cool..some music that dosent suck and movies that are ok to watch if you have lots of drugs (i do)

  • 20. kms  |  March 30th, 2012 at 6:40 am

    Eileen, you are the best movie reviewer in the western world. I get a little bit of happy when I see you’ve posted.

    On to the film- The comment I hear which strikes me to the core, is that there do not seem to be enough exploitees in the districts (if district 12 is any guide, but mining can be pretty labor intensive, it should have a large populace). You need LOTS of exploitees to support a medium sized exploitive class. Exploitation is a pyramid, and the bottom needs to be the biggest.

    As to the moral question, of course you can enjoy it! And not just because we understand the difference between fiction and murder. When you watch big, expensive movie-industry exudate about hunting teenagers that’s about the media’s exploitation of teenagers by making them hunt each other for sport- it satirizes itself without you having to work at all, like providing a built in propensity to MST3K. For crying out loud, an economist I follow kept asking where Peeta could possibly get all that hair gel. Anybody can be funny watching this film. These days, it’s often the best thing to settle for at the box office.

  • 21. Trevor  |  March 30th, 2012 at 6:58 am

    God did I ever need this. I read the book and it was terrible. Like some survivalist whacko’s attempt at Twilight. Watching everyone fall over themselves to praise the film is the sort of thing that fills you with the nihilistic desire to root for the oligarchy.

    And gc, this IS a lame rip-off of Battle Royale. Deal with it.

  • 22. Urda  |  March 30th, 2012 at 8:14 am

    If you are going to make a fictional name,try to remember that in your fictional world the use of that name should sound at the least normal.

    People(I hope)don’t randomly assign first names on a ‘it sounds cool’ basis to their children,if it doesn’t fit with the last name.

  • 23. piss sculpture  |  March 30th, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Seems like its doing the opposite of what Battle Royale did right by making it about the adults and the government instead of the kids in the game.
    Also its worth mentioning that Peter Watkins did the whole ‘tyrannical government forcing kids to fight’ thing in Punishment Park long before battle royale.

  • 24. andy  |  March 30th, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Good point, piss sculpture! I’m always surprised PP doesn’t get more airplay – I guess it unnerves the hippies too much.

  • 25. Glenn Murtz  |  March 30th, 2012 at 10:38 am

    “We must try to be very gentle with young Scott, as it appears he was actually born yesterday on another planet and only just arrived here.”

    My God. Marry me.

  • 26. Jeff  |  March 30th, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Nothing new here. It sounds like “The Hunger Games” is nothing more than “Lord Of The Flies” meets “The Running Man.”

  • 27. Vendetta  |  March 30th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    @21. Katniss is a plant of some sort, if I remember correctly.

    It was entertaining enough. Not a particularly great film but a good adaption of the novel.

    The premise is pretty much the same as Battle Royale, but it is executed differently. Battle Royale is hardly the first work where people are forced to fight to the death.

    And the “controversy” around people bitching over black actors has been entertaining as well.

  • 28. Breitbart Kaput!  |  March 30th, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    “(His name is Haymitch Abernathy! Yeah! It really is!)”

    Is this odder than routinely giving your kid a surname for a first name, or a first name spelled while drunk or retarded? Ever heard or seen any of those names in these United States, hmm?

    Also, if countryfolk are lithe like gazelles in the dystopian future, then gimme some of that Future Shock Stalinist lovin’. Presumably future social turbulence causes America to run out of corn syrup.

  • 29. Cernunnos  |  March 30th, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Sorry to get really off-topic but…on the topic of Battle Royale…. I never read the books (didn’t know it was even based on a book), but the thing that bugged the hell out of me in that movie was the humor in it. Not that the ridiculous premise shouldn’t be funny, but for some reason I have a hard time “getting” most Japanese humor every time I’ve encountered it. This is especially true of most anime that has jokes and movies like Hausu and RoboGeisha. I feel like there must be some sort of disconnect between my Western cultural sensibilities and that of Japanese culture so that the humor does not translate for me… it just sort of comes off as forced or like kid’s show humor. What the hell am I missing?

    On that note…. for this reason I’ve always had to cringe when in a room full of college nerds who laugh heartily at this kind of humor, but then I wonder…. since some of them are anime nerds or might be much more knowledgeable of Japanese pop culture than I am… are they actually getting the humor that I have no reference point for? Or am I right with my knee-jerk feeling that they are just awkward nerds that exhibit forced laughter at stuff that is supposed to be funny and ridiculous but tries too hard?

    On the other hand… I think Japanese horror and exploitation films are much funnier (and not in the unintentional way). Takashi Miike, Shinya Tsukamoto, various “pink” films, and anything based on Edogawa Rampo stories is always full of brilliant black comedy in its attempts to be disgusting and morbid.

  • 30. gc  |  March 30th, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    @ And Trevor, it’s not, and saying it doesn’t make people think you’re special.

    Better try something else. You’ve probably exhausted most of the seems-like-it-should-work-to-the-Comic-Book-Guy-crowd-but-doesn’t methods already, so maybe you’ll hit on something successful by accident.

  • 31. gc  |  March 30th, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    @ 21

    “If you are going to make a fictional name,try to remember that in your fictional world the use of that name should sound at the least normal.”

    Agree, but idiotic names are so par for the course in set-in-the-future stories that blaming Hunger Games for that is like blaming Kansas for having stupid lyrics. True, but even their betters were doing that.

  • 32. Samuel Jackson  |  March 30th, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    @12

    I see what you did there;)

  • 33. rick  |  March 30th, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Comparing this with “Battle Royale,” “Hunger Games” has a (probably undeliberate) framing of Joseph Campbell hero narrative. That’ll do it. “Harry Potter” was the most deliberately executed “Joseph Campbell by the numbers” job in narrative history (every book/film reboots to the initial “star wars” thing with returning to school, a new wise old man, etc.) But the Japanese are mainly shit at narrative and writing. Hollywood is kind of pathetic, in how “Transformers,” for instance, lamely jumps on Joseph Campbell plotting, but sometimes a competent hero narrative like “Hunger Games” breaks through to insane populism.

  • 34. super390  |  March 30th, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Well, there’s the fact that the government gets overthrown in the last book by a brutal, grinding civil war in which the rebels can’t trust each other or their mysterious outside allies, and Katniss ends up having to kill the rebel president to prevent her from committing the same crimes as the old regime.

    Oops, ruined the ending but none of you were going to see it anyway. Just pointing out that this is interesting stuff for America’s teenage girls to be obsessing over, isn’t it? 5 years ago it was all Miley Cyrus and princess replica dresses. One economic crash later and it’s gotten very dark. I like the trend line, and I think if you folks are really as cool as your poses, you should do everything you can to stretch that trend line all of the way to school riots and actual political consciousness. Give your daughter a copy of “The Shock Doctrine” for her 16th birthday and tell her it’s background for the novels.

  • 35. ralph chaplin  |  March 30th, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    @33 The Hunger Games novels disappointed me mostly because it could have been amazing, but the writer wasn’t up to the task. Sounds like the movie is much the same. I suppose it’s competing with young adult media with far worse themes so we take what we can get.

  • 36. gary  |  March 30th, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    in all teen angst films ofcourse the adults must be lame,,,,see “back to the future”,,,,but damn jennifer lawrence is muy caliente

  • 37. swr  |  March 30th, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    And the “controversy” around people bitching over black actors has been entertaining as well.

    The black people in the movie (I haven’t read the book) are key to the plot.

    1.) Katniss is saved twice by black people, first by the little black girl who shows her the “tracker jacker” nest. Then by the black men who kills the white frat jock to save Katniss (because she was friends with the black girl). It’s unclear how he knew Katniss and the black girl were on friendly terms.

    2.) After the black girl is dead, Katniss sings over her body and gives a three fingered salute. This causes a riot in the black district. The President decides he has to ease up on the rules and let two of the tributes win.

    Other than that, it’s a very right wing movie. The “plain folk out in the districts are oppressed in order to maintain a decadent city of homosexuals and Lady Gaga lookalikes. Jennifer Lawrence has one of those Anglo butter faces that, when made up, makes her look a bit like a 20 year old Sarah Palin.

    There’s also a very explicit anti-Obama line. After the black people riot, the President says “give them a little bit of hope to oppress them.”

    The film’s biggest flat is the way Katniss is allowed to passively aggressively sit back and let all of the other tributes thin the herd out before she gets into the action. We’re also shown her kill only twice, and both times it’s an instinctual reflect action taken to survive. They want to keep her squeaky clean and make her a huntress.

    The most interesting characters are the Woody Harrelson and Lenny Kravitz characters, since they’re both “good” characters who hate the Hunger Games and yet continue to work within the system.

  • 38. swr  |  March 30th, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    Jennifer Lawrence, btw, is just a terrific actress who carries the movie (it probably would have sucked without her). She’s the only character in the film who seems fully human. I’d love to see her in a genuine romantic film. She almost comes off like a redneck Julie Christie.

  • 39. Tyler  |  March 30th, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    This was a big time chick flick to my surprise. The gore frankly sucked.

    The first 2/3rds of the movie is a mixture of Oscars red carpet and the senior prom. Wear this costume and make them love you. “Oh, Girl on Fire! You’re so stunning!”

    The movie is also very gay. Nothing wrong with that, but just pointing it out. It’s gayer than Brokeback Mountain. Everybody dresses like Elton John, even the heterosexual characters like Hamisch (woodey harrelson).

    If you like Lady Ga Ga, but mostly just for the outfits, and reading Perez Hilton then you will love The Hunger Games.

    Other than that it had good production value, decent acting, etc. You can tell they spent a bunch of money on it. But yeah, it was basically about as exciting as a twilight movie. I felt suckered into it.

    I was expecting something like a Natural Borne Killers. This was not it. The camera even shys away from most of the blood and killing.

  • 40. Natasha Sovetska  |  March 31st, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Ross did a great job for the move The hunger ganes! i already watched it online at http://watchthehungergames-online.com LOL

  • 41. Gabriel Arthur Petrie  |  March 31st, 2012 at 7:26 am

    After finished Stephen King’s “The Gunslinger” series in 1999, very late and all at once, I didn’t pick up any new series. I’ve read mostly short stories and two novels between then and now (not counting scores of non-fiction books).

    So I obviously skipped on Harry Potter and not bothering to re-attempt “LOTR” (Tolkien) since its failure to interest me in my teenage years. That also means I didn’t catch the most talked-about films of the last ten years, either.

    I normally don’t go to see new movies, either, and haven’t been in a theater in almost ten years. But, something about “the Hunger Games” coming up on the heels of so many class protests/riots/revolutions around the world captured my imagination so I decided I’d do the entire thing. I’m already committed. Last Weekend I bought the book, read 2/3rds of it, saw the film Sunday, then finished the book. I plan on reading the entire 2nd book shortly before seeing the film, and then watching the 3rd film before picking up the book. Just to capture the whole “book to movie or what” experience.

    All of that means I’m kind of sad because you hit the nail on the head. The teenagers, of course, are scarfing the shit out of it. There are probably even some psychotic 20-somethings who are going to kill somebody over it, I mean that’s what happens, isn’t it? And sadly I can’t seem to find one person who’s ever heard of “Battle Royale”. I read that one on a lark about 3 or 4 years ago and it was weird. I thought bringing it to American audiences was in the works. There’s no way it would happen, now — it’d be a blatant rip-off of The HunGer GaMes.

  • 42. Mitchell  |  March 31st, 2012 at 8:53 am

    I have not seen this film, may never see it, don’t live in America, etc, but I did notice that its popularity is cultural sensation of the month and so wondered what it means. And now I have a hypothesis; it’s not in Eileen’s review, but her description was lucid enough that I can start to guess what’s going on here.

    My thesis is that this is a story about entering the adult economy in an atomized competitive society. Teens in the real world don’t have to literally hunt each other to death. But they do find themselves forcibly competing with each other in a system administered by cynical adults. Think of the game as a job interview, with the winner getting the job.

    As for why it looks like the 1930s, isn’t it supposed to be the 1930s again in America right now?

  • 43. Moe  |  March 31st, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Every time Eileen writes a hit piece I wish she could also be the therapist of everyone who has ever written a decent hit piece.

  • 44. Quack  |  March 31st, 2012 at 11:47 am

    How come nobody has mentioned the one glaring flaw in this otherwise fine review? WOODY HARRELSON IS REFRESHING? What are you smoking? It is a bad movie indeed in which Mr. Harrelson does not stand out as the turd in the punchbowl. His acting has never developed since his days on Cheers. The only bad bit in No Country for Old Men was him. Fortunately they killed him off quickly.

    Is it refreshing to play the same moronic galoot over and over in every movie? I do hope that was sarcasm.

  • 45. platitudes  |  March 31st, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    The North Carolina Dept of Tourism has been really hamming it up with their four day (FOUR!) Hunger Games stop-and-gawk. My one hope is that all these Mr. Middle Americans plan their family vacation the same week as the DNC…

  • 46. Punjabi From Karachi  |  March 31st, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I agree with #33 Mr. Super390′s second paragraph.

    I remmeber and hated Miley Cyrus when I came across it in 2007. And I always recalled with humour, that as the economic collapse was going down, in Fall 2008, the big review by Eileen was Twilight, and having recently migrated to Exiled Online, my reaction was WTF Exile? You guys called the economic crash, which I also realised in 2007 was gonna happen (I just didn’t realise the sheer depth of it) and you guys called it as well, but the main review was for a damp virgin fantasy called Twilight. Even if this movie is Twilight written by a whacko (sic) survivalist, it’s still better than Twilight, which whilst being a cash grab, was a regressive cash grab on the teen lit market. Hunger Games is definitely the spiritual successor to Harry Potter. And I’m glad it is.

    Plus yeah, I get Eileen’s point, since she’s grown up around cruel, trashy hicks more than most city slicker (which seems to be one of the eXile crew’s most commonest traumas) she also sees how un-realistically un-ugly these Hollywod hicks are. I was thinking of Pashtun rural types from my end :-) You want to talk about survivalist whacko’s, Oh Boy!

  • 47. Punjabi From Karachi  |  March 31st, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Give your daughter a copy of “The Shock Doctrine” for her 16th birthday and tell her it’s background for the novels.

    YES!!!!

  • 48. Punjabi From Karachi  |  March 31st, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I read the Shock Doctrine the same time I was getting annoyed at Miley Cyrus.

    Super390, you got a sister?

  • 49. Petkov  |  March 31st, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    to Cernunnos:
    Did you know the Japanese NEVER “got” The Titanic movie? They thought the whole romantic love story set against the Titanic story was really, really dumb. The Titanic movie totally flopped in Japan.
    Goes to show you, YOU don’t “get” their entertainment and they don’t “get” the Western entertainment either.
    Speaking of the Japanese, when will the Americans stop stealing their best ideas?
    “The Seven Samurai” became the “Magnificent Seven”, “The Hidden Fortress” became “Star Wars”, “Kimba the White Lion” became “The Lion King”, “Yojimbo” became that gangster Bruce Wills’ movie and now “Battle Royale” becomes the “Hunger games”. At least “Battle Royale” had Aki Maeda and Chiaki Kuriyama in it.
    Yeah I’m a weaboo.

  • 50. Michael McFaul  |  March 31st, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Hey Mark, I guess by now you’re aware that your friends in the Kremlin have been spying on me, so why no tweety-fucky?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/31/world/europe/russia-ambassador-michael-mcfaul-ntv-hacking.html

    Also very much enjoyed badass avant-garde nationalist Aleksei Navalny cheering, “Go Mike! One for all!”

  • 51. Eurotrash  |  March 31st, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Your plans to breed a Yank (Pakistani!?) Maud Gonne by way of targetted indoctrination sound very promising, I’m sure.

    You’ll probably end up with some ghastly sub-Dagny Taggart instead. Isn’t individuation a bitch.

  • 52. Mason C  |  March 31st, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Eileen’s film reviews are poetry shot out of a recoilless rifle, with punch lines. They make me a little teary for how much I hate Hollywood.

    Gonna see this in a few days and, despite liberal hand-wringing, the plot isn’t surprising. We’re in the cannibalism phase of our economy, so why not? The kids gotta learn… The clumsy story is even better – the final diary entries for starvation are always kinda illegible.

    I hadn’t realized that Woody Harrelson had a role, so that will make it a little easier to watch. I would sit through War Horse if he had a cameo. Like him or not, he’s Gen X’s Dennis Hopper.

  • 53. Vendetta  |  April 1st, 2012 at 12:49 am

    @49.

    41. Petkov | December 1st, 2011 at 12:00 pm
    Yet another pathetic commenter who’s never done jack fucking shit and thinks he knows what the fuck happened from his little bedroom.
    I, Petkov, actually have no fucking idea what happened.

    Glorious day for the AEC.

  • 54. Futility  |  April 1st, 2012 at 1:03 am

    @49: Titanic made $200M in Japan, which is more than it made anywhere else except in the US.

    So, no.

  • 55. Bob  |  April 1st, 2012 at 2:15 am

    This is crap. The Hunger Games is a TOTAL “Battle Royale” ripoff! Anyone who saw either BR the movie or read BR the novel called it the first time this teen lit crap popped up at Barnes and Noble.

    Anyone who thinks that THG is “edgy” or “scary” will cry every time they see a lighthouse for the rest of their lives after watching Battle Royale.

  • 56. Dimitri Ratz  |  April 1st, 2012 at 10:18 am

    John Carter is one of the best movies ever done by Disney! Sure in terms of money spent on filming and making it, a third of a billion it’s not exactly very profitable, but that shouldn’t matter because the end result production is a great movie. I mean if your into the whole walk by the donkey cheerful movie intentions of characters characteristic of Disney. It’s sort of has that feel of that movie with 12 year old girl, bounty hunter and texas Ranger pursuing her dady’s killers. And if cost 30 million dollars would definitely have a sequel. John Carter, in terms of quality of movie definitely 10 out of 10 despite being written off as a lose by Disney, because of the 300 million dollars that went into it.

  • 57. gc  |  April 1st, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    @Petkov

    I can’t tell whether you’re simply broadcasting on your own special wavelength or trying to convey a joke and not succeeding, but either way, Titanic grossed $200 million in Japan.

  • 58. gc  |  April 1st, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    @42

    My thesis is that you should collect the eye teeth of whatever English professor(s) taught you to go about ascertaining what a movie/book/whatever “really means” in this way.

  • 59. Anarchy Pony  |  April 1st, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Battle royale, battle royale, whatever. All modern human hunting fiction gets its basis from The Most Dangerous Game anyway.

  • 60. CensusLouie  |  April 1st, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Remember when critics universally panned Kevin Costner post apocalyptic movies like The Postman and Waterworld? I would take those any day over this overhyped young adult wankery.

  • 61. gc  |  April 1st, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    @ 37

    Okay, this is going to be my third comment defending the movie, so first, to clarify: The Hunger Games is not good.

    The book has the promising idea of combining the kind of “history of the American frontier” and “life in the back country” stories that they give to kids in fifth grade (e.g. The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Where the Red Fern Grows) with dystopian literature, but is damaged by the author’s apparent inability to write in any voice except New Yorker Arch, plus the more usual problems. (Dumb names; boring love interests; at least one description of somebody’s eyes on every page.)

    And the movie is hackwork. (Good tribute album, though.)

    That said, in my somewhat humble opinion, it’s not “a very right wing movie.” It’s not much of anything politically. But there’s at least one wisp of vaguely leftist subtext. More on that in a minute.

    “There’s also a very explicit anti-Obama line. After the black people riot, the President says ‘give them a little bit of hope to oppress them.’”

    If anything, I’d say it’s the other way around. The exchange starts with the president saying that giving people a lot of hope is dangerous. (Implication: The black – and white – people riot because Katniss gives them hope.)

    “Other than that, it’s a very right wing movie. The ‘plain folk’ out in the districts are oppressed in order to maintain a decadent city of homosexuals and Lady Gaga lookalikes. Jennifer Lawrence has one of those Anglo butter faces that, when made up, makes her look a bit like a 20 year old Sarah Palin.”

    Okay, yes, it’s healthy to be suspicious of any entertainment these days that contrasts degenerate urbanites with virtuous rural people.

    But the Lady Gaga types (in the real world) are vile. They’re just somewhat less vile than the self-identified conservatives/moderates/libertarians. The fact that the movie shows them as such isn’t a problem.

    Granted, though – the fact that, except for the generic evil dictator president, all the villains in the movie belong to that lesser species of monster – that is a problem.

    But as for the “plain folk” in the districts, the critical thing is that they’re not just plain folk. They’re poor folk. Not Armageddon-ish Honest Working Americans. Poor in the glad-to-be-able-to-pick-a-half-burned-loaf-of-bread out of the mud sense of poor.

    A movie where truly poor people (some of them black) are the heroes and the play-decadent well off are the villains – this is something to be welcomed.

  • 62. CensusLouie  |  April 1st, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Lady Gaga slightly less vile than the teaparty and Koch empire?

  • 63. swr  |  April 1st, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    But as for the “plain folk” in the districts, the critical thing is that they’re not just plain folk. They’re poor folk. Not Armageddon-ish Honest Working Americans. Poor in the glad-to-be-able-to-pick-a-half-burned-loaf-of-bread out of the mud sense of poor.

    The movie’s main flaw was that it never conveyed successfully just how poor people were.

    You could have cast a starving little wraith instead of Jennifer Lawrence but then it wouldn’t have appealed to teenage girls. The movie is designed to make 12 year old girls root for their big sister. A big sister with anorexia wouldn’t have been an appealing character.

    If anything, I’d say it’s the other way around. The exchange starts with the president saying that giving people a lot of hope is dangerous. (Implication: The black – and white – people riot because Katniss gives them hope.)

    Katnis = Occupy Wall Street/Young Christian Redneck rebel. Either works. In fact, you need to be able to read her either way. It makes no sense to make a blockbuster that won’t work in both red and blue America.

    Sutherland = Democratic Party/Republican Party. Once again, I think either works, although the term “hope” has become so identified with Obama that it’s hard to miss that allusion.

    That’s the way I read it.

  • 64. swr  |  April 1st, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Google the photos of Mike Bloomberg kissing Lady Gaga on New Years while the NYPD was laying the smackdown at Zucotti Park. In some ways the Hunger Games isn’t even fiction.

  • 65. Anarchy Pony  |  April 1st, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    @60, I actually like The Postman.

  • 66. dominic  |  April 1st, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Eileen, do you read these comments? Cuz you are the only honest movie reviewer in the country. I dont ever ever ever read movie reviews anymore becuase they are always some idiot with an english degree who can write really well and glows over every movie with their expensive flowery language. Eventually you realize its the establishment stroking the establishments own cock. Then you have retards like the one you quoted from Huff post who criticize movies on their “morals” and you addressed that perfectly well.

    What the world needs now is a Dolan/Jones book/movie review Zine, which the eXiled could be if Dolan ever resurfaces…fucker

    PS “SWR” how right you are

  • 67. dominic  |  April 1st, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    my comment felt a little naked without mentioning that i got my fill with this plot playing many, many hours of SmashTV in my youth.

  • 68. mlrky  |  April 2nd, 2012 at 3:26 am

    Gantz > Battle Royale

    Also Gantz is about being a mercenary

  • 69. gc  |  April 2nd, 2012 at 5:38 am

    “Eileen, do you read these comments? Cuz you are the only honest movie reviewer in the country. I dont ever ever ever read movie reviews anymore becuase they are always some idiot with an english degree who can write really well and glows over every movie with their expensive flowery language.

    For God’s sake, don’t be fooled by the floweriness. Those guys can’t write their hat.

    Eileen can, though.

  • 70. Coldbliss  |  April 2nd, 2012 at 6:43 am

    I watched the new Indonesian martial arts flick called The Raid: Redemption. Holy shit. I got a “cocaine high” by just watching the fight scenes. Too bad Eileen Jones missed this movie.

  • 71. Georgios  |  April 2nd, 2012 at 9:36 am

    This movie is a ripoff of The Running Man (book & movie).

  • 72. Scott Mendelson  |  April 2nd, 2012 at 9:58 am

    I don’t mind that you disagree with my thoughts on The Hunger Games. There is a robust debate going on right now at my site about the merits of my essay. But I do wish you hadn’t merely copied the final paragraph and concluded that I was merely pulling it out of my ass without even linking to the 1900-word essay (filled with ‘evidence’ and ‘examples’). For those who want to know what the hell I was thinking, go to http://scottalanmendelson.blogspot.com/2012/03/celebration-of-child-murder-crowd.html for the whole essay. You’re welcome to disagree, but let your readers make up their own minds.

  • 73. Mitchell  |  April 2nd, 2012 at 10:02 am

    gc @58, I knew even as I wrote, that saying film about X is “really about” Y was asking for it… I was trying to understand its popularity, with the premise that it is a fantasy depiction of an actual sensibility, recognizable to its audience. But it now seems that the relevant sensibility is “being part of a society that enjoys reality TV”, not “having to grow up and get a job”.

  • 74. Michael McFaul  |  April 2nd, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Hey there, Hairy Bear!

    Did you know that Schenfield referred to the eXile as being a part of “respectable circles” (at least compared to punk Savenko) in his book?

    You’re respectable!

    Have a wonderfuuuuul day,
    Michael McFaul

  • 75. Michael McFaul  |  April 2nd, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Also, pretty cool his book passes as scholarship, huh?

  • 76. gc  |  April 2nd, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    @ 72

    Translation: “Okay, if you want to call me the prig and philistine that I am, that’s fine. But doing so without at least helping my article get more hits? Have you no shame, Eileen? Have you no shame?

  • 77. gc  |  April 2nd, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    @ 73

    “I was trying to understand its popularity, with the premise that it is a fantasy depiction of an actual sensibility, recognizable to its audience.”

    Yes, I’m aware of what you were trying to do; an updated version of the “Invasion of the Body Snatchers was about communism” line. (Or the ultimate one: “The Tempest was about colonialism.”)

    The problem is that this is not analysis, which starts by asking what’s most unique in a work of art and goes from there. This is a variant of the “six degrees” game, inflated into an academic discipline. (“The movie shows people suffering for real on tv. And we watch people suffering for real on tv. The movie’s about reality tv!”)

  • 78. gc  |  April 2nd, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    (continued)

    “The problem is that this is not analysis, which starts by asking what’s most unique in a work of art and goes from there.”

    ^ A work of art, or an entire genre of art, of course.

  • 79. Punjabi From Karachi  |  April 2nd, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    You half-Okie, quarter-hick eXholes who run the eXile, you who’re simmering in your anger at the beigeocracy, cause many of you like Dolan, Eileen and Ames came from a half-way rural or poor shitkicker (your word, not mine) background, you guys need to get rich and get your mental penises out of the intellectual dirt they’ve been lodged in.

    And I think there’s only one way to do it.
    Get on the Children’s story, kid-lit bandwagon.
    Adult libraries may not stock bestsellers, but if a kids book comes out, kids are waaay less discriminating and will read through whatever’s put in front of them, New York Times reviews be damned.

    It might mellow you lot out, it definitely would make you money, just look at Salman Rushdie. The cancerous bug seems to be out of his ass ever since he wrote Luka and the Fire of Life. He may not have had the gumption for adult work, but his talent was still considerable when he directed it at children’s fiction.

    And I KNOW the eXile, especially Mark HATES kids, but look at this as a way to make money, which you keep cyber panhandling us for with that “HAVE YOU NO SHAME” ad, if you guys cranked out an action packed battle scarred (ala Harry Potter ending) or dystopian kids book, think of the money you would make. Hell, channel your hatred of kids and kill off all the stereotypes you hate, the pure kid, the Spielberg kid, Ames multiple children, in favour of the kind of kids you like.

    As far as I can tell, the only young ones the eXile seems to approve off, are:

    1) The crazy fighty blonde Napoleon complexed kid from the 1970′s Bad News Bears

    2) The black waitress girl who flirted with Harry in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (granted she’s more an adolescent)

    3) Hermione Granger. Because I like her and eXile hasn’t attacked her. To which I would have to come to her defence.

    Now the first two were approved by Eileen, who it would make sense, since she’s your movie review person, and you have to admit, children’s literature is popular and makes money.

    Get on it Exile.

    I know all of you, Ames, Dolan, Eileen, Levine, were once kids, and had mucho miserable experiences as children. Channel those and make some MONEY off’em, in these generations.

  • 80. SN  |  April 2nd, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Nice review. One other thing. These dystopias of the current moment are stripped of any wider sense of either political critique or opening for political action. Only isolated individuals struggling against a runaway state are depicted. We can’t even imagine resistance that involves organizing meaningfully large numbers of people. There is no such thing as society, only individuals….. Dystopias in the age of cannibal capitalism.

  • 81. Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle  |  April 2nd, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    “Donald Sutherland, too old to care. . . .” Pretty cold. If Sutherland, then Von Sydow, Caine, Plummer, maybe that little shit Bieber. Pretty soon, Alec Baldwin. At least those gents got it right: “WILL WORK FOR MONEY”

  • 82. Adam  |  April 3rd, 2012 at 7:55 am

    People, check me on this; maybe I’m just one of those overly sensitive types. But see if I have a point here:

    It seems dishonest and cowardly to lose ourselves in an elaborate fantasy about oppression, or even specifically about the idea of watching humans unwillingly butcher each other for the pleasure of others, when our own history contains multiple examples.

    Just think of the crusty, victorian southern aristocracy and the games they played with their slaves. They would choose the most able-bodied ones to slug it out to the death while they would watch with pure, sadistic enjoyment. In fact, this is the very subject of the most famous part of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man; that section of his book, a portrait of a Southern African American in the early 20th century, is commonly excerpted as its own short story titled Battle Royale (no connection to the manga/anime). A film adaptation would make a great, soul-searching film that would hold a mirror up to our civilization.

    I know this wouldn’t be palatable to the tweens and soccer moms and book clubs out there, but at least it would be justifiable and right.

  • 83. jimmythehyena  |  April 3rd, 2012 at 8:08 am

    I was accused of plagiarizing “Battle Royal” for making my film “Killer Vision” but the scenario was in circulation long before “Battle Royal” came out. Anyway, my flick had an essential element that others lacked; cannibalism. If you’re going to show people so desperate that they’re ready to do anything then I think you got to show them eating each other. Besides, I was criminally harassed by American acadhimia because they couldn’t accept my thesis that modern man is the result of anthropophagy. Yes, that’s right it was an essential part of the hominidisation process. Man became man in the dark rituals that consist of cutting apart, roasting and consuming their fellows around the primeval flickering lights of their cave fires. This explains many things, the Catholic faith, American criminal justice, cinema are just a few of them.

  • 84. gc  |  April 3rd, 2012 at 8:56 am

    @ 80

    “We can’t even imagine resistance that involves organizing meaningfully large numbers of people.”

    ^ Leaving aside the fact that this is defeatist bullshit, that’s exactly what happens in the third book, which will almost certainly become a movie some time in the next few years.

  • 85. gc  |  April 3rd, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    @ 82

    “Just think of the crusty, victorian southern aristocracy and the games they played with their slaves. They would choose the most able-bodied ones to slug it out to the death while they would watch with pure, sadistic enjoyment. In fact, this is the very subject of the most famous part of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man; that section of his book, a portrait of a Southern African American in the early 20th century, is commonly excerpted as its own short story titled Battle Royale (no connection to the manga/anime). A film adaptation would make a great, soul-searching film that would hold a mirror up to our civilization.

    Tarantino’s on it, for better or worse:

    (http://exiledonline.com/tag/django-unchained/)

  • 86. Vendetta  |  April 3rd, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    @83

    Want to link anything that would prove you’re not utterly full of shit?

  • 87. Tommo  |  April 4th, 2012 at 6:46 am

    If they wanted to know what really poor people look like in this day and age, they should’ve spent 2 weeks in Manila. They’s shit themselves.

  • 88. -swift  |  April 4th, 2012 at 10:26 am

    And she’s doing it wrong in that picture, gawdamnit!

  • 89. gc  |  April 4th, 2012 at 10:35 am

    @ 87

    Wandering off set in Appalachian North Carolina would have done the job just fine.

    (Or hell, driving down to Compton and/or out to the Los Angeles exburbs.)

  • 90. jimmythehyena  |  April 4th, 2012 at 11:15 am

    @86 just do a search: Neanderthal ritual cannibalism.

  • 91. Oelsen  |  April 4th, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2012/04/whats_wrong_with_the_hunger_ga_1.html is a good review too. I recommend it. Together with

    Battle Royale With Cheese

    and

    Just one of the many nails in the modern movie coffin is the obsession with being 100% slavishly devoted to source books without realizing that MOVIES AREN’T BOOKS.

    This is pretty much everything that I have to know to NOT watch the movie.

  • 92. darthfader  |  April 4th, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Sounds counterrevolutionary. D:

  • 93. darthfader  |  April 4th, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    @86

    How many cannibals do you think have read the eXile at some point or another in the publication’s history? I would put money on more than zero.

  • 94. The last three years I been pursuing a mastes in jerk science  |  April 4th, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    thank you eileen

    please post mark, yasha

    bye

  • 95. Mudplanet  |  April 6th, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Thanks for this. I too, thought it was kinda pathetic.

    Kind of like, I can remember liking Billy Jack when I was 14. At least those films had the distinction of being shot against the odds of the still existent studio system. This guy had all the money in the world and he still managed to make something that looks like third rate made-for-television in the 70′s tripe.

  • 96. Jedi Mind Trick  |  April 6th, 2012 at 9:00 am

    I wasn’t going to see the movie until I saw it compared to 40k. Now I’m not going to see the movie, and I’m probably going to play Dawn of War.

  • 97. Zeela  |  April 8th, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Unlike Battle Royale, this book/movie pursues the moral discrepancies of child killers. The books are simply written, provocative exhausted ideas, yet still emotional in a different insidious way. I think that Collins knew the trouble she might get in and so did Ross, so as to call them out on it does not do anything for the billions of dollars they will make in their efforts.

  • 98. andrew  |  April 10th, 2012 at 8:45 am

    At last, someone who sums it up right. You sir have gained a reader.

  • 99. franc black  |  April 10th, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Saw it yesterday with teenaged child.

    Interesting, timely story. More eductional than Harry Potter. Less nauseating than that Twilight. I thought the sets and costumes were fantastic.
    Showing how society rallies and cheers such barbarity reminds me of USA dropping bombs on _____ during the past decade, much to the joy of the self-righteous yankee masses (you fill in the blank).

    “I’ve seen the Future brother, it is Murder.”
    -L. Cohen

  • 100. Arthur  |  April 15th, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I’m 2/3 of the way through the book and cannibalism is addressed there, albeit in passing. There’s a paragraph or two of explanation about how a past tribute went full-tilt postal in the arena one year and started eating his kills. The powers that be killed him with an avalanche or some such. There’s also a body removal system in the book that discourages the children from eating each other.

  • 101. Curley  |  April 16th, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Hey FUCKHEADS!

    It’s a horrible FILM depicting Children KILLING Childred. No bloody LORD of THE FLIES rhetoric nescessary. It EVEN finds the time to prostitute LOVE. It tried HARD, but it’s still not as GAY as twilight.

    Nit-picking dip shits.

  • 102. Curley  |  April 16th, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    It’s a horrible FILM depicting Children KILLING Childred. No bloody LORD of THE FLIES rhetoric nescessary. It EVEN finds the time to prostitute LOVE. It tried HARD, but it’s still not as GAY as twilight.

  • 103. fluffytail9  |  May 5th, 2012 at 11:17 am

    The Hunger Games was the most boring movie I’ve ever seen. People are all like “IT IS AMAZING!!!! TEAM PEETA!!!!!!<3. But here are the reasons why it sucks:
    1. Nobody talked! Except for that stupid hippie on the train. Katniss just had that stupid look on her face for the whole movie.

    2. The plot is stupid. Like, really? Something that stupid makes 300 million dollars?

    3. SOOOOOOOO predictable. You kne that Rue was going to die but Peeta and Katniss would live.

    4. The camera was shaky for the whole movie.

    5. Nothing really happened the whole time. They said like one sentence like every 5 minutes. Then, the camera would just close up on ugly Katniss or film Katniss and Peeta staring at eachother.

    Overall, The Hunger Games is a bad movie. If you haven't seen it yet, don't waste your money an d don't see the second one.

  • 104. The Gubbler  |  May 6th, 2012 at 3:02 am

    I have learned to stay away from anything with Donald Sutherland, even if it is only a small part.

  • 105. Bells  |  May 14th, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Can I just say that people may think that the hunger games sends the wrong message about killing people for entertainment but then in the next two books it’s about trying to stop the games showing that it is wrong obviously you need to read the next two books and you never know this could become the messed up nation we live in in the future

  • 106. Ned  |  December 30th, 2013 at 11:57 am

    I’ll take it a step further. The story itself is a failure, not just the movie. I know that most young adult fiction has some type of conceit to appeal to the age group but creating a dystopic future where the mechanism of state control just happens to be a death-game for 12-18 year olds is just beyond the ridiculous. It is a demographic conceit aimed at selling units and renders any social commentary meaningless since the author is already putting profit before story. There is nothing believable about a future where there is something like the Hunger Games. And science fiction works best when the world being imagined is either plausible or fantastical. The world in The Hunger Games is neither.


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