Hunger Games Before Movie vs. Hunger Games After Movie (part 2)

******Possible Spoilers******

A week ago I posted my inaugural blog about the Hunger Games trilogy.  This was leading up to the release of the movie this week.  I saw the move yesterday and I am happy to say that it will not disappoint.

I am always weary of movies made from books I really like.  When I read its like a little movie going on in my head.  I lose myself in the book and immerse myself in details, that unless it were a 4 hour movie, hollywood wouldn’t be able to produce.  But, I have found few movies that are as close to the book as the Hunger Games.  Memoirs of a Geisha, Marley and Me and The Notebook are a few that I read before seeing the movie and were very close to the book.  I will add Hunger Games to this list.

In the movie, they definitely made it so that you did not have to read the books before seeing the movie.  I think this is smart on their part since not everyone is a reader.  The movie starts off with an explanation of how the Hunger Games came to be and basically what it is.  So in the first couple minutes you really know what is coming.  What you don’t know is the plot and plot twists with Katniss and Peeta.

The movie starts off with you in District 12 the day of the Reaping.  It started out almost identical to the book.  When it started off I thought to myself “this is exactly what I pictured in my head”.  The problem I had was the way the camera kept moving.  It was very blair witch and could make someone nauseated.  I just kept saying to myself please don’t let the entire move be like this. Don’t worry…it got better.  Everything from the Reaping to the training leading up to the games was very well done and followed the book really well.  One of my criticisms is that they kind of slid over the relationship that builds between Katniss and Peeta.  Before he reveals on TV that he has always had a crush on Katniss they actually do develop a friendship.  This wasn’t really shown too well.  I do think they should have taken the time to show this a bit more.  Their relationship is intrigal throughout the whole series.  They did a good job in showing how the affection is one-sided on Peeta’s part, but in the book you see how Katniss begins to stop thinking and really does start to feel something for him.

The violence lived up to the book.  I think they did it so that you knew how much violence was goin on in the game, but could still make it a PG-13 movie.  Any more real focus on the violence and it would definitely have been rated R.  Another criticism of the movie is that they made it look easy for Katniss.  Yes, she had her trials and tribulations, but in all it looked really easy for her to survive.  The book focuses more on her trials then the movie did, but it probably would have weighted the movie down if they focused too much on them.

I will say one of the best things the movie did was it illustrated some of the things the book did not.  For instance, they showed a lot of images that you knew went on in the background, but wasn’t talked about in the book.  Hamich talking to sponsors on Katniss and Peeta’s behalf and the killing of Seneca Crane.  You knew these things went on but it wasn’t given any life or concentration in the book.  I liked these touches.  It really opened things up for the next movie.

All in all it was an excellent movie and I would definitely recommend it.  Now, I am gonna sit here and wait to get the DVD until they make the next movie.  🙂

Currently Reading: His Dark Bond by Anne Marsh, The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice

Currently Listening: RE-reading One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Up Next:  Lover Reborn by J.R Ward and Wanted: Undead or Alive by Kerrelyn Sparks ****Both coming out March 27, 2012****

Hunger Games Before Movie vs. Hunger Games After Movie (part 1)

I thought for my inaugural post I would write about my most recent read.  Well, technically it was my most recent listen, but its still the same book(s).  My newest read was the Hunger Games trilogy.  I know…I know…I jumped on the huge bandwagon after watching the first trailer.  It intrigued me and I really wanted to read the books before the movie came out.  I wasn’t really certain I would like the books.  I don’t normally gravitate to YA books, but I had heard such good things and loved the footage of the movie I just had to read them.  I wasn’t disappointed…well…maybe in parts, but I will get to that.

*****Possible SPOILERS*****

The very first book titled Hunger Games really sucks you in.  I would be hard pressed for anyone who reads this first book through to not want to continue on to the next.  The first book you meet the main three characters: Katniss, Peeta and Gale.  Generally speaking, every year in Panam (formally North America) holds a tournament to the death for children from 12-18 yrs old.  Each district, there are 12, has to send one female and one male participant.  When I first understood this concept it made me think of the movie “The Running Man” with Arnold Swartzanegger in the ’80s.  Except this is children fighting to the death with only one winner left.  I’m not gonna rehash the entire story, but needless to say Peeta and Katniss are the chosen two and get sent off to the Capital.  The underlying story line is a “made-up” unrequitted love that Peeta has for Katniss.  Now, all of this is televised and published and people are even betting on who will win in the arena.  You could also compare these games to the Roman’s games in the collaseum.  Anyway, to cut to the quick, there is a lot of blood and gore and you quickly forget that the people competing are just children and by the end of the book you really wonder how Peeta and Katniss could possibly cope with aftermath’s of such horrendous and cruel things both done to them and what they had to do.

This leads us to Catching Fire (the second book).  This starts about 6 months after the first book ends.  You find out that life has improved for Peeta and Katniss, but only marginally.  Katniss learns that after her stunt to end the first Hunger games she has become the symbol of a rebellion in a way.  In this book, you really see Katniss develop as a character.  You also remember how immature she is.  She is still young not even an adult.  Yet, these threats and pressures abound even when she is not doing anything intentionally except for following her heart.  Part of her development is that she must go back to yet another Hunger Games.  This time all participants are previous victors.  Since, Katniss is the incendiary device for the rebellion the “Capital” is out to get her and Peeta.  This book is the typical middle book in a trilogy.  It carries and develops both the story and the characters.  It even gives you a lot of “What The Hell” moments propelling the story forward.  Leaving the ending as much as a cliff hanger as one can get.

In the final book Mockingjay, the rebellion has come to a head, Peeta is captured and Katniss really becomes the symbol and soldier of the rebellion.  I must say this is the most disappointing of the books.  The book is very good until a certain point.  At around the final quarter of the book, the writing really faulters.  It speeds up and thins out.  Suzanne Collins, kills off a character that you learn to love for no real reason.  Why she spent words and time on this character only to have him killed off and his dying doesn’t even effect Katniss the way it really should.  I know this book was designed to be just one giant Hunger Games without the arena, but it really fell short.  It was disappointing that with everything else being so well written that the ending of character you learn to love and story lines that kept in grips are ended with a measley few sentences.  It was a real let down in the end.

Now, I am a huge believer in reading the books before the movie.  In reading the books you get so much more out of the plot and possibly understand more than just what the movie portrays.  I have high hopes for these movies.  Although, I must say I HOPE they change (rather elaborate more) in the movie the Mockingjay.  I think this could make all the fans happy and really do justice in a series that just because of the last few chapters undoes an entire trilogy.

Currently reading: RE-reading Lover Mine by J.R Ward

Currently listening (reading):  RE-reading First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost

Next Up: RE-Reading Lover Unleashed by J.R Ward, Lost December by Richard Paul Evans and 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James.

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