GorT and family saw Hunger Games last night. Simply put, it was a very good movie – very well done and worth seeing. I’d highly recommend a decent theater with a large screen (possibly an IMAX) and definitely one with a high-quality sound system. Unfortunately, the luck of the draw gave us an older theater within the 10-theater complex whose sound wasn’t so hot. In addition, the hordes of pre-teen to teenage girls in the theater for the showing whose manners were atrocious also took away from the audio experience.
First, the movie. Yes, it portrays children (aged 11 to 18) fighting to the death. I think it does it in a smart and appropriate way. There is no glorification of it. The special effects were blended nicely into the movie – subtle and supportive rather than used in an attempt to drive the story or the cinematic experience. The acting, particularly of the lead characters, was solid and believable. See the next paragraph for my strongest issue with the movie.
Second, the book to the movie. If you haven’t read the book, I’d recommend it. I found the first book hard to put down much like I found some (not all) of the Percy Jackson and Harry Potter series. I view these stories as this generation’s version of the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, The Great Brain, Encyclopedia Brown, et al. Enjoyable stories, mysteries and adventures with young heroes and heroines. None are bound to be literary masterpieces, but the characters developed and the plot lines are well done, overall. One doesn’t need to read the book prior to watching the movie but it will fill in and color some of the scenes more fully. The movie stays true to the story with some minor modifications that I largely attribute to an attempt to condense the book into a 2½ hour movie. Yes, it’s that long and no, it doesn’t get slow. There is a minor, textual introduction at the very beginning that tries to provide some context but as the theater is still getting settled, the lack of audio or visual cues with the text and the limited information presented, it falls short. In fact, for the next 15 to 20 minutes, the disjointed and jostling camera and editing work bothered me. Aside from a brief hunting scene, the movie was presenting the main character’s surroundings and it felt off and jarring. Once the plot advances past her home district, the cinematography was excellent.
Third, the theater. Look, I fully realize that this movie’s demographic is largely an early-teenage crowd and I should be prepared seeing the movie on opening weekend to deal with that. However, as I expressed on the way home, if any of my children act like some of the teenagers did in that theater – throughout the movie – I would be laying a serious smackdown on them. I saw texting and waving of the cell phones in such a way that the lit screens were visually disturbing. Incessant talking above a quick whisper. And a dive into some crinkly, plastic bag every 5 minutes…even during the suspenseful and quiet scenes. Some of this would have been drowned out by a better sound system, but I’d like to focus on one thing: cell phones. There is no reason why a 13-15 year old can’t keep the cell phone off or on vibrate, in their pockets for 2½ hours during a movie. I’m not going to go into the specifics as I knew some of the offenders, but sufficed to say that this behavior should not be tolerated. I will point out one aspect: the teens that I know who were present and who had a harder time behaving were from more liberal families who have a very hard time saying no to them and drawing a hard and fast line as to what is acceptable and not. Those who were well behaved were from the more conservative families that bound their childrens’ behavior with firm consequences. While this is anecdotal and a very limited sample size, I’d wager that an extension of it would likely fall along the same lines.
The bottom line: go see the Hunger Games. I think you’ll enjoy it. I think any child 11 or older should be fine seeing it – definitely if they read the book, and with some parental explanation beforehand otherwise.
GorT is an eight-foot-tall robot from the 51ˢᵗ Century who routinely time-travels to steal expensive technology from the future and return it to the past for retroinvention. The profits from this pay all the Gormogons’ bills, including subsidizing this website. Some of the products he has introduced from the future include oven mitts, the Guinness widget, Oxy-Clean, and Dr. Pepper. Due to his immense cybernetic brain, GorT is able to produce a post in 0.023 seconds and research it in even less time. Only ’Puter spends less time on research. GorT speaks entirely in zeros and ones, but occasionally throws in a ڭ to annoy the Volgi. He is a massive proponent of science, technology, and energy development, and enjoys nothing more than taking the Czar’s more interesting scientific theories, going into the past, publishing them as his own, and then returning to take credit for them. He is the only Gormogon who is capable of doing math. Possessed of incredible strength, he understands the awesome responsibility that follows and only uses it to hurt people.