Escape to the Movies: The Hunger Games

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Thank you for an honest opinion Bob. I hadnt heard of the books, and didnt know what al,l the fuss was about till I looked at the plot for it. Im glad Bob reconized the trope of "Evil-Government stages death battle for entertainment" and furthermore impressed he mentioned Battle-Royale. I instantly thought of Battle-Royale first because of the teens killing each other angle.

Did anyone else not noticed the story seemed to be lifted from many other better movies? Also, PG-13? Thats BS, if you dont go the full on bloody, messy, language filled route then you ruin the integrity of the whole story. Dont tell me cause the actors are young you cant do it. Watch Kick-Ass and see Hit-Girl stabbing and blowing peoples heads off and tell me that.

I think I'll just have a Post-Apoc/Near future movie night and remember the classics.

Man, this movie has a great supporting cast. Shame about how the film itself turned out, though.
(By supporting cast, I mean of course the grownup actors).

I liked both the books and the movie. They're not bad. People who have read the book will enjoy it more though, as they're more familiar with how the THG universe works. Too bad about the shaky camera and average CGI.

Sure, they could have handled the theme a little better but come on... The stuff most teens have been reading in recent years is fucking Twilight. Sappy. cheesy, creepy bullshit with a dull flat story and a protagonist with no will or personality of her own. Compared to that, The Hunger Games is brilliant.

Decided to go and see it since there was nothing else playing that seemed worth checking out. Haven't read the books and really didn't know it even existed until the first trailers came out so thought I would give it a shot. After going in blind I have to say that it was actually pretty good, the lead actress did a pretty good job keeping me interested and it was overall pretty entertaining. Even with the film being about 2 hours and some change it didn't really seem to drag for me, I thought its pacing and the lead up to the ending were just about right.

I do have the same issue with the shaky cam as bob did, I think it would have made the fight scenes way more enjoyable to actually get to see the fights with more clarity or at least make then a little more involving then just a 25 sec struggle and then its over. My only real complaint was when they released the dogs, it seemed like the dogs materialized out of line air or something...what was the deal with that? What were those dogs some kind of advanced attack holograms? Is the technology that the people in the capitol have really that developed?

edit: I guess I shouldn't be surprised with the tech now that I think about it, since they did show some kind of digital flame thing throughout the movie.

chaosyoshimage:
Pretty much every other review I've seen for this has said it's amazing. Hopefully, I'll get to see it soon and can form my own opinion. Of course, I was pretty sure Bob wouldn't like this back before it came out. I'm sure Amazing Spider-Man will be the same way. I like critics I disagree with, but I hope everyone doesn't just blindly follow his opinion.

For a second take, I'd suggest HitFix or io9's review of the movie, don't just take Bob's word for it. I see that kind of thing way too much on his and Yahtzee's videos.

Do you have links for those reviews?

Ya know Bob, sometimes when you say things suck I'll go see them and love them and vice versa...This one though I'm in 100% agreement. I think I only noticed a single shot that was done on a dolly. Plot wise...why has it took 74 years for this brilliant plan to quell the masses to go wrong? For once someone could take wounds more seriously. _______'s wound they showed didn't seem to be immediately fatal to me unless it happened to get her diaphragm and she suffocated...which she did a bad job suffocating then. I wish I could have these 2.5 hours back.

I enjoyed this movie. It was a really good comedy and I was laughing at everything that was meant to be funny. Oh wait, it wasn't a comedy? All the parts I was laughing at were just parts that were laughably bad? Yeah, I read the book in my literature class at school. Went to see the movie and it was a piece of shit just like the books. My favorite part of the movie was the trailer for "The Amazing Spider-Man". A movie I actually want to see and one I have high hopes for because of how close to the source material it's trying to be. I.E. Mechanical web shooters and Spider-Man quipping his enemies. So, nice job, Suzanne Collins, you have successfully made me right in knowing you movie was a piece of shit and I would have much rather gone to see "Jeff, Who Lives at Home", a movie I actually want to see. So yeah, this movie was really bad, don't waste your money.

Atticus89:

JMeganSnow:
Wow, looks like the film really is a faithful adaptation of the book. I read it yesterday and, geez, if you're going to invent (or steal) a dystopian future, why on earth would you then write a book that focuses primarily on:

1. Describing every meal the protagonist eats, in detail
2. Hair, clothes, fashion, body waxing
3. The protagonist's daddy/abandonment issues
4. Whether or not the protagonist REALLY has feeeelings for the hawt guys in her life.
5. Just general agonizing

Tiresome.

It's satirizing reality TV. Think Jersey Shore or Survivor but with death.

Hunger Games is not satire--or if it is, it's incompetent satire. It does not undercut or mock the themes it presents, it takes them seriously as actual problems.

I felt your review was a overly harsh. I think you got too hung up on the fact that they are basing ANOTHER movies series on ANOTHER book series aimed at young adults (specifically teenaged women? I'd've thought a lot of boys would want to read about kids their own ages fighting to the death....)

Having watched it last night having never even known anything about the back story except that it comes from a book, I have to say I was quite impressed. Yes, the costumes were campy and the city sets were naff, but as soon as they hit the forest the movie came alive for me. If they'd spent more time inflating their characters and focusing on the their struggles, i think it would've made a much more poignant movie. Plus they were hamstrung by the rating....if this thing had an MA15+ sticker on it there could've been some opportunities for some very dark moments...

The characters were very human and were well acted. If I had to critique the whole experience, I'd have to say that the shaky-cam got a bit too much overuse. I felt the whole movie was very original in this day and age. Not to mention the idea of children fighting each other to the death and this thing not being picketed by asshole conservatives makes me happy.

Does anyone know the name of the TV show the character at 4:37 was from? I used to have an action figure of him as a kid but I can hardly remember the show at all!

Coreless:
Decided to go and see it since there was nothing else playing that seemed worth checking out. Haven't read the books and really didn't know it even existed until the first trailers came out so thought I would give it a shot. After going in blind I have to say that it was actually pretty good, the lead actress did a pretty good job keeping me interested and it was overall pretty entertaining. Even with the film being about 2 hours and some change it didn't really seem to drag for me, I thought its pacing and the lead up to the ending were just about right.

I do have the same issue with the shaky cam as bob did, I think it would have made the fight scenes way more enjoyable to actually get to see the fights with more clarity or at least make then a little more involving then just a 25 sec struggle and then its over. My only real complaint was when they released the dogs, it seemed like the dogs materialized out of line air or something...what was the deal with that? What were those dogs some kind of advanced attack holograms? Is the technology that the people in the capitol have really that developed?

edit: I guess I shouldn't be surprised with the tech now that I think about it, since they did show some kind of digital flame thing throughout the movie.

Yeah i didn't liked the dogs, too.
That and the fact that they changed the daytime was a little bit too much "advanced" (They don't do that in the book).
Otherwise i liked the movie really much and my friends did too.

Chunko:

canadamus_prime:
Oh boy, it's going to be Eragorn all over again.

*Eragon. Sadly it looks like your right though.

*you're

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Captcha: make a bee-line.
Damn straight captcha, damn straight.

I thought it was pretty good. Although if you had not read the book then it poorly explains a lot of things.

canadamus_prime:
Oh boy, it's going to be Eragorn all over again.

Why must you remind us of such horrible things o.e

Trucken:
I'm still on the fence about this one. I love the Battle Royale concept, but a bad movie is still a bad movie. Might watch it.

Well, as someone who saw it literally an hour ago I would suggest you go see it.

It isn't a bad movie, it's just that the Battle Royale concept is the only thing that's truly enjoyable with it. The concept is really cool. They could have done alot more with it, but it's nonetheless handled well enough.

If you enjoy the idea of people in a fight to the death and are willing to overlook action scenes where you can't see what's going on and a kind-of slow first half you should enjoy it.

Read the books, loved the first one. Watched the film....it was alright. I loved how everything came to life on the screen almost as how I imagined it.

The movie almost played right off the book (almost) and while doing so made it look great, it was also the problem. When you eliminate the inner thoughts of a book wrote in the 1st person perspective (that of Katniss) you end up with a massive emotional disconnect on the screen when 3/4 of the story is basically a girl running through a forest.

Sure, those who read the book could read between the lines and imagine what was going on in Katniss's mind, but as a movie created a BRUTALLY slow pace that had me nodding off during the late showing last night. This pace was not helped at all by the fact that each action scene had to be muted to maintain its PG-13 rating, so the end result was that you listened to relaxing forest sounds for an hour straight.

I've seen worse I guess.

*sigh* I have yet to see a valid reason for giving this film an R-rating that doesn't prove that the speaker has missed the Entire. Fucking. Point. This is not an action flick, the book is not centered around the action. Violence occurs, but violence cannot be made spectacle. The entire point of the series is distancing the collective psyche from the tendency towards schadenfreude obsessed, blood hungry, hedonism that we seem to adopt every time we find a sufficient way to feed ourselves with a minimal amount of manual labor. The violence within the book, was pointedly unsatisfying, sympathetic characters receive gruesome ends and antagonist die too quickly or in ways so brutal it throws their karmic scale into complete chaos.

In narrative, the violence is described in a clipped, almost surgical fashion, while the ramifications of said violence are given detail and depth. In the film, the action scenes are shaky, chaotic, and purposefully rushed. You do not need a steady shot, slow motion evisceration. You do not need a beautifully composed mauling. Do you know what does receive loving, cinematic focus. The bodies of dead children littering the ground. A blood covered psychopath realizing that his roll of happy Blood Knight might just not be what it's all cracked up to be, followed by a plummet into abject nihilism.

The entire point, of both the book and the film, boils down to questioning the relationship between violence and entertainment. Look, I'm no moral crusader. I've gunned down and slaughtered just as many Cerberus Operatives, sentient aliens, Wastelanders, Nords, and Imperials as the next guy. Hell, this is perhaps one of my favorite scenes in a film: http://youtu.be/prDCDmchtTg But does that nature of our deeply rooted, primal love and lust for carnage and violence, speak to our adolescence as a species? Yes. Does that relationship require constant study and consideration if we're to advance? Yes. Moving on.

Was the film any good? Sure, it was decent, more than decent really. The set design was appropriate and conveyed the correct tone (with District 12 looking even crappier than I'd imagined, then again, it's been some time since I last saw Deliverance....) The Capitol was garish and overblown enough to put the message of 'wayward decadence' across clearly enough to capture the attention of jaded mass audiences. It was Hunger Games Lite, to be sure, but it had more than enough information to interest even the totally unfamiliar viewer. Of course, if left one hungry for depth, the necessary recourse is clear, read the damn book. I might not learn Italian before I view a performance of Lucia di Lammermoor, but if I don't read the translation, I can still appreciate the beauty of the vocals, the colorful nature of the characters, and the palpable sense of emotion. If I want a deeper understanding of the nuances of the plot, I read the translation. If want to truly understand the subtext of the narrative, I consult a native speaker and explore the other works of Donizetti and compare them with other works of the same era, in the same location. Is it so unreasonable to think that perhaps, perhaps, the film is a scaled down version of the narrative at best, and to experience the true weight, one might actually have to... *le gasp* read? Madness, I know, but I read these queer stories of a time where art was consumed in context.

This review was rather... sad. In general I've come to expect a higher sort of standard from Bob, something that explores some amount of subtext. Instead you've given us a flood tide of adjectives with no real evidence to justify them and subjective opinion (which by all means you're entitled to) without logical rationale attached to it (which you're expected to provide if you care to call yourself a critic). When I desire snarky, biting satire, I watch Zero Punctuation (trust me, Yahtzee's better at it than you. I mean really, an entire review spent harping on a character name? Coupled with the balls to decry the film or picking at low hanging fruit? That's nearly tragic, and ill-suited metaphor if it was intended). Really, we're to take this as a fault from an admitted fanboy of a series with a protagonist named "Skywalker?" 1000 years from now "Bob Chipman" will seem a terrifically silly name. 1000 years in the past, "Bob Chipman" seemed a terrifically silly name. A hunter naming his daughters after local flora is hardly either groundbreaking or proper cause for criticism.

Making carte blanche comparisons to other films without any effort to exam the aspects that make them fundamentally different is poor criticism. The Hunger Games (both film and novel) are not repainted variants of Rollerball, the Running Man, or Battle Royale. Films of a similar genre, with markedly different themes, presentations, and messages. Subject nations forced to submit a portion of their populace to a bloody death for the entertainment of a decadent capitol. It's Rome, steeped in the Grecian legend of the Minotaur. Panem. Panem dammit. Panem et circenses, latin for Bread and Circuses. It's hardly a 'stupid' political strategy, it worked a long damn time, it works today.

Complaining about wonky clothes in a science fiction film is akin to complaining about ten gallon hats in a western, it's a staple, deal with it. If it's played with, laud it. If it remains formulaic, accept it as convention and move on.

Going into a film as the patent 'outsider' and then not being as entertained or as enthralled with the experience as the surging, well-informed masses around you, is an expected outcome. I'm quite sure the Christians in Rome were thrilled when Paul wrote them a letter. But for the rest of the Romans? Not a single fuck was given that day. Trying to critique something without also searching out information relevant to the piece is absurd. Pleas, spare me the "oh but the movie/book/comic/fancy bit of cave art should be an encapsulated experience" argument. Any academic mad enough to review any cultural product without a single salient reference, or without referring to the source material, would be flayed alive (or more likely, go unpublished). You may watch a film and make a humorous video mentioning why you liked/disliked it and whether or not you recommend it, but you may not call that video a review, and you may not call yourself a crtic.

I really love how the biggest bullet point they neglected to take from the novel was the fact that Panem is dystopian America. Now, to be fair, they never actually come out and say that America devolved into the atrocity that is Panem in the book, but the Capitol is built in the Rockies and District 12 is somewhere out in the Appalachians if memory serves me right. Also, the culture evident in the novel is definitely very Western, so unless France or Great Britain conquered America before all of this went down, yeah, this is definitely a portrayal and arguably satire of what the good ol' U S of A is going to look like in a couple hundred years. A very silly satire if you ask me, though it really puts one hell of a spin on the big 99% ordeal which really sparked quite a while after the book was released.

But I digress. It's evident there was many, many things the book, and especially the movie, didn't explore even though plot would have more than allowed it. At the end of the day, this is all based on a young adult novel, a genre which I sometimes wish would cease to exist. Obviously I'm not the target audience they're going for here, and I did find the novel to be more entertaining, but there's just so much more that could be done. This book is aimed at middle school to high school students. I would like to see a day where the collective whole of authors wishing to write for this crowd is willing to actually fill the in between of these books with worthy substance to be reflected on as they mature, since right now the most popular piece of young adult writing in existence performs an inception of the worst kind on the legions of nubile, naive, prepubescent girls worshiping it and its glittery male protagonist. And don't tell me it can't be done. Just look at Doctor Seuss' The Lorax, and THAT'S aimed at infants learning to read! Oh wait, they ruined that too...

EnigmaticSevens:
*sigh* I have yet to see a valid reason for giving this film an R-rating that doesn't prove that the speaker has missed the Entire. Fucking. Point. This is not an action flick, the book is not centered around the action. Violence occurs, but violence cannot be made spectacle. The entire point of the series is distancing the collective psyche from the tendency towards schadenfreude obsessed, blood hungry, hedonism that we seem to adopt every time we find a sufficient way to feed ourselves with a minimal amount of manual labor. The violence within the book, was pointedly unsatisfying, sympathetic characters receive gruesome ends and antagonist die too quickly or in ways so brutal it throws their karmic scale into complete chaos.

In narrative, the violence is described in a clipped, almost surgical fashion, while the ramifications of said violence are given detail and depth. In the film, the action scenes are shaky, chaotic, and purposefully rushed. You do not need a steady shot, slow motion evisceration. You do not need a beautifully composed mauling. Do you know what does receive loving, cinematic focus. The bodies of dead children littering the ground. A blood covered psychopath realizing that his roll of happy Blood Knight might just not be what it's all cracked up to be, followed by a plummet into abject nihilism.

The entire point, of both the book and the film, boils down to questioning the relationship between violence and entertainment. Look, I'm no moral crusader. I've gunned down and slaughtered just as many Cerberus Operatives, sentient aliens, Wastelanders, Nords, and Imperials as the next guy. Hell, this is perhaps one of my favorite scenes in a film: http://youtu.be/prDCDmchtTg But does that nature of our deeply rooted, primal love and lust for carnage and violence, speak to our adolescence as a species? Yes. Does that relationship require constant study and consideration if we're to advance? Yes. Moving on.

Was the film any good? Sure, it was decent, more than decent really. The set design was appropriate and conveyed the correct tone (with District 12 looking even crappier than I'd imagined, then again, it's been some time since I last saw Deliverance....) The Capitol was garish and overblown enough to put the message of 'wayward decadence' across clearly enough to capture the attention of jaded mass audiences. It was Hunger Games Lite, to be sure, but it had more than enough information to interest even the totally unfamiliar viewer. Of course, if left one hungry for depth, the necessary recourse is clear, read the damn book. I might not learn Italian before I view a performance of Lucia di Lammermoor, but if I don't read the translation, I can still appreciate the beauty of the vocals, the colorful nature of the characters, and the palpable sense of emotion. If I want a deeper understanding of the nuances of the plot, I read the translation. If want to truly understand the subtext of the narrative, I consult a native speaker and explore the other works of Donizetti and compare them with other works of the same era, in the same location. Is it so unreasonable to think that perhaps, perhaps, the film is a scaled down version of the narrative at best, and to experience the true weight, one might actually have to... *le gasp* read? Madness, I know, but I read these queer stories of a time where art was consumed in context.

This review was rather... sad. In general I've come to expect a higher sort of standard from Bob, something that explores some amount of subtext. Instead you've given us a flood tide of adjectives with no real evidence to justify them and subjective opinion (which by all means you're entitled to) without logical rationale attached to it (which you're expected to provide if you care to call yourself a critic). When I desire snarky, biting satire, I watch Zero Punctuation (trust me, Yahtzee's better at it than you. I mean really, an entire review spent harping on a character name? Coupled with the balls to decry the film or picking at low hanging fruit? That's nearly tragic, and ill-suited metaphor if it was intended). Really, we're to take this as a fault from an admitted fanboy of a series with a protagonist named "Skywalker?" 1000 years from now "Bob Chipman" will seem a terrifically silly name. 1000 years in the past, "Bob Chipman" seemed a terrifically silly name. A hunter naming his daughters after local flora is hardly either groundbreaking or proper cause for criticism.

Making carte blanche comparisons to other films without any effort to exam the aspects that make them fundamentally different is poor criticism. The Hunger Games (both film and novel) are not repainted variants of Rollerball, the Running Man, or Battle Royale. Films of a similar genre, with markedly different themes, presentations, and messages. Subject nations forced to submit a portion of their populace to a bloody death for the entertainment of a decadent capitol. It's Rome, steeped in the Grecian legend of the Minotaur. Panem. Panem dammit. Panem et circenses, latin for Bread and Circuses. It's hardly a 'stupid' political strategy, it worked a long damn time, it works today.

Complaining about wonky clothes in a science fiction film is akin to complaining about ten gallon hats in a western, it's a staple, deal with it. If it's played with, laud it. If it remains formulaic, accept it as convention and move on.

Going into a film as the patent 'outsider' and then not being as entertained or as enthralled with the experience as the surging, well-informed masses around you, is an expected outcome. I'm quite sure the Christians in Rome were thrilled when Paul wrote them a letter. But for the rest of the Romans? Not a single fuck was given that day. Trying to critique something without also searching out information relevant to the piece is absurd. Pleas, spare me the "oh but the movie/book/comic/fancy bit of cave art should be an encapsulated experience" argument. Any academic mad enough to review any cultural product without a single salient reference, or without referring to the source material, would be flayed alive (or more likely, go unpublished). You may watch a film and make a humorous video mentioning why you liked/disliked it and whether or not you recommend it, but you may not call that video a review, and you may not call yourself a crtic.

I agree with your complaints towards the review to a certain degree, and I feel like maybe Bob was really just trying to vent steam at the young adult genre after dealing with the atrocity that is the Twilight series, but I feel like some of your comparisons were a little too highbrow for, like I said, a film derived from a young adult novel. I personally feel like not even the novel invoked such an extensive repertoire of subtle nuances as listed in your post. And yes, the similarities to other works are severe enough to warrant a comparison. The shaky camera shots were awful, and some of them were clearly there to make up for everything else the correspondent action scene lacked. Many of Bob's criticisms were very accurate, and to denounce the entire review, and his credibility as a critic... Well, to be frank, you're overreacting. A lot.

This and Avatar are probably the reviews I disagree with the most. I think the movie critic came out and blew past any sort of perspective. From the review it sounds like he came to see a different movie. I went in expecting Twilight and got something infinitely more enjoyable.

Alright! This is my first post, and it will probably be my last, but I would like to critique your review.

Overall I give The Hunger Games a B+
I give your review a C-

I hope you have your thick skin on!

You come off as pretentious. You didn't cover the areas where this movie failed, and you nitpicked the little stuff. I almost think that it's a troll, but your effort seemed real, so I'm going to treat it that way.

Let's start with a little back ground about me. I heard about this movie two weeks ago. I'm not a fan boy/girl. I decided to read two chapters of the book, which was pretty good, because my mother wanted it for her birthday.

Now, let's get into my review of your review.

First, a major critique you make of the movie is that it feels cheap, as though money makes movies great. Why were the original star wars movies great? This is more of an insulting blanket statement than a criqute, and really, it didn't look all that cheap. It was actually... fantastic. Sure, the costumes that people wore looked stupid, but that was the point. The lack of money and CGI WASN'T a factor. I don't know what movie you just watched.

Overly familiar production (i.e. they stole from other sets). - What kind of... what? They stole from other sources? Are you implying that everything must be original? How silly. People steal from other movies because 1) other movies are awesome 2) A LOT of stuff has been done before 3) It's relatable. If you watched two space cowboys wrangle an asteroid and drive it into the back of a milk truck that was parked on the sun, you'd be able to say the movie wasn't "overly familiar", but you'd also give a big "WHAT THE FUDGE?" while watching it.

"Way too much time spent in generic outdoor locations." - Huh? First off, there was a whole capitol city with flaming chariots and excessively colorful people. Second off, what's bad about that? Did you want the whole thing to be exploding all of the time or something? What is this, 2012?

"Godawful action scenes." - God forbid edged combat doesn't take fifteen minutes. I thought they were pretty accurate and realistic. However, the bees were retarded and the concept of "hey, let's wait her out" was also retarded - ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY WENT TO SLEEP, but were you observant enough to catch that? No. You just gave a nice blanket statement like, "The action scenes were godawful."

"Lack of advertising." Seriously? Because I ONLY heard about this movie because my favorite radio station was talking about how "big" it was. I'm pretty much anti-television, and the fact that it reached me is pretty impressive. I even saw a trailer (in a movie theater [something you're probably unfamiliar with]) that pretty much explained the whole Hunger Games concept. The advertising is there, and it is pretty freaking good.

"Smattering of decent acting moments." Oh, thank god. Something we can kinda agree on, except I though the acting was pretty bad throughout. So, I'm not sure what you called "decent" but I wasn't feeling ANY of the characters. I think the best one was the boy... what's his face? But seriously, that acting sucked.

"mid 1990's nickelodeon pilot" - lol that's awesome.

"In a brutal post apocalyptic police state where school aged children are made to fight to the death in order to keep the masses cowed and obedient." Cowed? Damn it man, you're trying too hard.

Weird names with everyone speaking plain American English - What? How freaking nitpicky can you get? It's FICTION. Live with it. You're clearly willing to believe that children can be turned into lethal killing machines with epic sword and marksmanship abilities, but you're not about to believe that people will NAME their children WEIRD names? That's not only nitpicky, it's unrealistic. I have two little cousins named Zane and Karri. Are they from Zimbabwe? Nope. Maybe the parents just wanted weird names? Who knows. We did have a character named Gale. That's not weird. It's not a big deal in the least, and I hate it when people try to play little crap like this off as a critique.

The nation makes lethal teenagers that are at a constant state of readiness to go to death games because we are the stupidest nation ever. - This seems like a good critique except for one thing: ROME! Rome, Rome, Rome, Rome, Rome, Rome, Rome, Rome.... Rome. Jesus Christ! (Get it? ...because it's Rome) How could you miss such an obvious analogy? YOU EVEN MADE THE STATEMENT. History, man, history. This type of thing ACTUALLY HAPPENED, and that doesn't take into account the idea of sweet ass laser guns in the future! The concept of something like this happening now is way more probable, let alone in the distant future. Also, it was said that there is only a SMALL group of people who volunteer from each colony and pride themselves on winning each year, leading me to believe that NOT EVERY TEENAGER is a LETHAL WEAPON (sorry about drawing form another source). Finally, this is a place where the film fails. In the short 2 chapters I read, I was able to grasp that the colonies were intentionally starved, therefore keeping them from being very lethal at all. I guess you still have a point... but Rome.

You also made a surprising amount of statements about how brutal it was, or the lack there of. News flash, this is a love story that touches on the ideas of rebellion. It's not a Jackie Chan, Die Hard, 2012 action movie. Sorry I had to be the one to tell you that.
Shaky camera work: Yeah. We agree. That was horrible.

Terrible job laying out how the game works. - Yes. This was terribly done. The dome thing was kinda retarded and it served no real purpose. They could have just shot a cannon to signal that it was over. It would have made the games more interesting if the participants themselves didn't know who was dead. It's probably one of those things that was lost in translation of the book to the movie. However, that's the only confusing element of it. It's obvious that they would kill them if they left. That's the point. The games are inescapable.
"Why didn't they just build some set for them to fight in." - Umm.. they did. They said "I loved the set from last year. Excellent use of the rubble." So obviously it was a "set". Sheesh.

We didn't see any of the reactions on the home front. - Yes we did. There was a freaking riot when Rue died. And it was epic. I cried a little. I'm sure not a lot of people did, but I did. I loved the Rue character. She was probably one of the best plot devices I've ever scene. She represented the human side of it all. She's a smart little girl who, at her best, could never hope to win. She was doomed, and you can only imagine what was going through her head. The rebellion was amazing, and it was even the deciding factor in why they were allowed to live in the end - they were afraid of riots. Again, I didn't read the book. This was all obvious in the freaking movie. So if you think there was a lack of emotions on the home front, then I don't know what you wanted...? A candle lite death parade? IDK I think a riot is pretty powerful.

Care packages are sent by home viewers. - What? Then wouldn't they be sent like ever other second? They obviously must cost a lot of money to send, which makes me question why they would ever send soup... okay probably to get them to kiss better. Still, it's easy to infer that it's not by home viewers or that this isn't a reality TV show. It's a death game dedicated to humiliating the slaves. It's not the running man.

Thus concludes my review of your review. Now for what you missed.

First off, the initial scenes did a horrible job of creating suspense or developing the characters. All we know is that there are these games and everyone is really sarcastic about them. The book does a little bit better job of describing the enemy, where the movie relies on your having read the title. The beginning is kinda poor, and those freaking camera shots... yuk.

Second, the acting was horrible... or maybe it was just the characters themselves - I got that impression from the book. Some of them, like the drunk champion, were inconsistent. He was surprising helpful for an obvious drunk. Then there was Katniss. She was completely unrelatable. I guess I can see how she might be the strong silent type or how she might just be super serious because she was selected to participate in the hunger games, but A) why would I want to see a movie about a boring person and B) why did everyone unrealistically like her? It's like the nation state just had a thing for awkward, soft spoken girls or something... Japan. It's sort of unbelievable in that respect, and then she even broke from that character to shove her would be lover against a wall in rage... sure because awkward silent girls do that all of the time. At least lover-boy was pretty good, although I'm pretty sure he was a stalker.

What I loved about this movie was the world that it created. Sure, it was sort of cheesy, but I've never seen someone pull off a more believable sci-fi world where everyone wears funny hats. The world had all kinds of interesting people, some you loved, some you hated, some you got to see die. It's poetic. From the flaming dresses to the window forest, it was pretty neat, and I loved the experience. It really buzzed my creativity, where I normally just want to puke at something like that.

Finally, the concepts were simple, but pretty cool. The idea of the Romeo and Juliet double suicide as a big "F' You!" to the powers at be was simply awesome, and the fact that they killed off the guy who was running the show leads me to believe that there is this whole secret government that is pulling the strings, kinda like a more edgy Brave New World. Pretty cool if you ask me.

So to summarize, learn how to critique a movie. It was pretty good, not great, but certain elements were off the charts. God forbid you ever do another one of these documentaries where you basically describe, in a less than modest way, how you cannot follow the plot of a movie because you are constantly writing down snarky comments in your pocket notebook. Maybe if you commented on something other than CGI your reviews would be more interesting.

I have to completely disagree with you on this Bob. The movie was not slow, when I checked my watch at the end I was surprised it was over 2hrs latter. In fact it left me wanting more.

I also had not read the books. But I knew the basic primes and that's about it.

The arena seemed pretty obvious. It was a forested area with cameras, booby traps and other such devises installed so that they can pull of the things they do. The dogs probably came up from some kind of underground passage in a similar way to the contestants. The fire is probably something they put in because other contestants have probably tried to escape before and a fire is more exiting than a huge fence. It's set up like an huge technological Roman arena.

I have a rule of thumb with these kind of things. If it takes me less than 3sec to think of the explanation while watching the film then I let it slide.

Coreless:
I do have the same issue with the shaky cam as bob did, I think it would have made the fight scenes way more enjoyable to actually get to see the fights with more clarity or at least make then a little more involving then just a 25 sec struggle and then its over. My only real complaint was when they released the dogs, it seemed like the dogs materialized out of line air or something...what was the deal with that? What were those dogs some kind of advanced attack holograms? Is the technology that the people in the capitol have really that developed?.

The dogs were genetically engineered creatures that the Gamemakers created for the Games. The dogs were real. The Gamemakers have the ability to change various aspects of the Arena. However, there was a psychological component that was attached to the dogs that the movie didn't use. In the books, the dogs had the eyes of some of the fallen competitors, increasing Katniss' fear of the dogs.

EnigmaticSevens:
Trying to critique something without also searching out information relevant to the piece is absurd. Pleas, spare me the "oh but the movie/book/comic/fancy bit of cave art should be an encapsulated experience" argument. Any academic mad enough to review any cultural product without a single salient reference, or without referring to the source material, would be flayed alive (or more likely, go unpublished).

Well, that's the rub, isn't? In order to review a video game, you have to play it. In order to review a movie, you have to see. But should a reviewer be expected to thoroughly research the source material of the material they are about to review? Eh...in most cases, that's a bit too much.

Now, I will say that I didn't really like Movie Bob's review, if only because his new found snarkiness is getting on my nerves (I don't know if it is a joke or not). Some of his complaints sounded as if he just making stuff up as he went along. And as a fan of the books, I could easily explain many of the so called plot holes (such as the issues with the Arena).

However, objectively, while I loved the books and enjoyed the movie, the movie doesn't do a very good job of explaining things to non-fans. Is the Arena a dome? Why did Peeta team up the Careers? How did those dogs get there? What is that salute that Katniss is using? What's the name of Peeta's stylist (she is seen a few times but her name is NEVER given)? Why did Rue put leaves on Katniss (and how did Rue know that those leaves would have an effect)? Since I've read the books, I know the answers to all of these questions, but there is no way for a non-fan to get the answers from the movie. They are not incredibly important questions, but to leave so many holes can be annoying to some, particularly if the only remedy is research the source of a movie that you didn't particularly like.

drkchmst:
Ya know Bob, sometimes when you say things suck I'll go see them and love them and vice versa...This one though I'm in 100% agreement. I think I only noticed a single shot that was done on a dolly. Plot wise...why has it took 74 years for this brilliant plan to quell the masses to go wrong? For once someone could take wounds more seriously. _______'s wound they showed didn't seem to be immediately fatal to me unless it happened to get her diaphragm and she suffocated...which she did a bad job suffocating then. I wish I could have these 2.5 hours back.

Not to mention that the cut to her eye would have bleed directly into her eye, leaving her quite debilitated. Or that the bee things would have easily killed that whole group - considering that only 3 stings made her pass out for a few days. You'd expect them to be passed out... and probably dead (from the other tributes, if not from the bee stings themselves), but those types of things are often over looked to keep it interesting, I suppose.

Came back from the movie and I...was severely underwhelmed by the movie. There was something missing from the experience that pulled me away from it continuously:

-Things left relatively unexplained. I understand the specifics are better left to the books, but the general structure of the society is left un-explained, like how vast districts of people are left docile simply by some ritually televised slaughter of their teenage children.
-Shaky camera. This is easily one of the worst offenders I've seen in a while. The camera would shake to the point where it became nauseating. I get that it was a tactic to prevent the action scenes muted enough that they could achieve the PG-13 rating, but you barely can tell whats going on.
-Lack of any tension. I was expecting when the games actually started to be on the edge of my seat, but the tension has hardly has any time to build between super dramatic death scenes, the soapy cave scenes and the meandering forest shots.
-Boring characters. I liked Katniss, and Petra(?) but their characters totally get less interesting due to the romance angle.
-Weird resolutions unsatisfying resolutions.

Saw it today, instead of 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' because it wasn't playing, and it's what I expected taking Bob's opinion into account. A PG-13 version of the countless 'dystopian future society with violent t.v. show' and frankly I'm not complaining. It was average.

wolfgirl90:
Since I've read the books, I know the answers to all of these questions, but there is no way for a non-fan to get the answers from the movie.

Alright, so answer me these:

If betting is allowed, why didn't we see WAY more care packages? Wouldn't sponsors be air mailing grenades in left and right?

If the point of the games is to entertain the upper class, then why put stupid things like poisonous berries in there? That's retarded.

Why were there things like squirrels and mocking jays? It seems like that would then give the contestants the ability to hunt for food and survive in the doom forever. It would be a more realistic game if all food needed to be fought for.

Why did they decide to wait for Katniss to come down from the tree? That seems retarded in a sort of evil super villain way. I think I would have kept firing arrows up there until I got her.

How did the boy... I forget... not get stung by bees?

What's the deal with the hair dresser? He seems more sympathetic to Katniss, but why?

Why didn't the dude with the funny beard listen to the dude with the white beard?

When crazy knife chick ran at Katniss, why didn't she stab her with one of her crazy knifes?

Whoa whoa whoa whoa.

Ultimate frisbee games can totally get intense and threatening, and I, sir, resent the analogy.

Alexander Bonney:

EnigmaticSevens:
*snip*

I agree with your complaints towards the review to a certain degree, and I feel like maybe Bob was really just trying to vent steam at the young adult genre after dealing with the atrocity that is the Twilight series, but I feel like some of your comparisons were a little too highbrow for, like I said, a film derived from a young adult novel. I personally feel like not even the novel invoked such an extensive repertoire of subtle nuances as listed in your post. And yes, the similarities to other works are severe enough to warrant a comparison. The shaky camera shots were awful, and some of them were clearly there to make up for everything else the correspondent action scene lacked. Many of Bob's criticisms were very accurate, and to denounce the entire review, and his credibility as a critic... Well, to be frank, you're overreacting. A lot.

wolfgirl90:

Well, that's the rub, isn't? In order to review a video game, you have to play it. In order to review a movie, you have to see. But should a reviewer be expected to thoroughly research the source material of the material they are about to review? Eh...in most cases, that's a bit too much.

Now, I will say that I didn't really like Movie Bob's review, if only because his new found snarkiness is getting on my nerves (I don't know if it is a joke or not). Some of his complaints sounded as if he just making stuff up as he went along. And as a fan of the books, I could easily explain many of the so called plot holes (such as the issues with the Arena).

Hah! No my friend, this is a bit too highbrow: http://www.amazon.com/The-Hunger-Games-Philosophy-Blackwell/dp/1118065077/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332654978&sr=8-1 Yet even many of the points made in these litany of essays make good points. It'd be a fallacy to write off young adult literature as 'without subtext and subtlety.' Most are written by adults and adults are ingrained with the desire to preach to children, if if it's done unconsciously. All cultural products reveal aspects of a civilization's psyche, even children's shows (dear god, Gullah Gullah Island?) Hell, if we tried hard enough, we could probably find some deeply spiritual shit in Barney.

Now make not mistake, the film has a litany of strikes against it (so little dialogue and so much room and need for it, an overly ambitious pace, a tendency towards anticlimax, a plethora of points where a tweak or addition in dialogue would've made for a much more intense impact). The issue I have with Bob's review is the fact that it's not a review, it's a litany of adjectives with no attempt at justification. It's laziness. A cheap set? How so? The production values seemed more than up to par save for those hideous CGI flames. A generic forest? My dear, what a pity, I'm sorry the trees were not in fact Ents and the great Pan failed to make an appearance. (Let's put aside the fact, than anyone who calls a forest generic, has a whole other set of issues. I'll agree that the handheld cam was annoying at times, but at least I can see the director's attempt at a sense of immediacy. However, I reiterate, the action sequences are not actions, they are shots of teenage children killing eachother, this should not be pleasant, coherent or fun for you, you should not enjoy this. Now THAT is the tone of the books, with all pretense towards subtlety tossed out the window.

As far as the responsibility of a critic is concerned, I stand by what I've said. You 'review' one movie a week. If one intends to call the end product a 'review' by a 'critic,' instead of "man voicing opinions with pictures in the background",it implies a measure of research. Should he necessarily read the book, no (though it's a possibility, I chewed through all three of the bastards in three days). However, she familiarize himself with the setting, the characters, and the intent of the author? Hell yes. The man who takes the time to pull together the information required for an episode of the Big Picture, can't simply sidle away from this responsibility. Ahh but one important caveat. This is by no means a fault of Movie Bob alone, this a fault in the way we've come to construct reviews of cultural products in general, be they games, books, or movies. This shit gotta change. I'll not deny a strong bias though. I have to read a great many academic journals, and while I hardly expect that level of research, I sure as hell expect a worthwhile attempt. To do other wise is to literally speak out of one's ass. Now that's cool if we're just chatting with one another, but if you want to call this a job and consider it professional? Get to work.

Ah, yes, let's make one thing clear. While the tone may be scathing, I'm not exactly hot about this. I'm certainly not going to, you know, make a petition that he change his review less I boycott all his further endeavors. At the end of the day, you'll see the film or you wont, you'll like the film or you wont, and you know what? That's perfectly okay, bubu. But I do feel this is an excellent time to open a dialogue on the above points.

As far as the film is concerned, it set out to create an entertaining visual companion to the novels, and it succeeded. Based upon its own merits, it's relatively meh but with a few good bits. I'm not sold on the idea that it need be anything else. That's how it plays out, that's how it makes a metric ass load of money. Would it make more if was more accessible, sure. Is Lionsgate hurting for the viewer ship of non-book fans? Nah. The plain fact is that books by and large do not work as films(to a completely satisfactory degree), books work as television shows. Made a goddamn show. For a book to film translation to succeed on its own merits, it need only retain the general thrust of the novel, eschewing all else, becoming something fundamentally brilliant, but fundamentally different. Unfortunately, that shit is risky, and Lionsgate is not financing risky, it's financing something that will placate fans who ate up 29 million copies of the first book in the series alone, and keep them coming back for more. It really doesn't need to do anything else, and that's a pity, but that's the truth.

As side note: I'm really not getting this confusion with Arena, and I'm distancing myself from the book as much as possible. Man pushes button, shit happens in the Arena. By this point, the brain should realize, "Hmmm... this is some sort of absolutely controlled, enclosed space." It's obviously finite, and it's highly manipulable. I did not need an architectural blue print to grasp that in the Truman Show, and it's really not necessary now.

Raharu Haruha:
Alright, so answer me these:

If betting is allowed, why didn't we see WAY more care packages? Wouldn't sponsors be air mailing grenades in left and right?

If the point of the games is to entertain the upper class, then why put stupid things like poisonous berries in there? That's retarded.

Why were there things like squirrels and mocking jays? It seems like that would then give the contestants the ability to hunt for food and survive in the doom forever. It would be a more realistic game if all food needed to be fought for.

Why did they decide to wait for Katniss to come down from the tree? That seems retarded in a sort of evil super villain way. I think I would have kept firing arrows up there until I got her.

How did the boy... I forget... not get stung by bees?

What's the deal with the hair dresser? He seems more sympathetic to Katniss, but why?

Why didn't the dude with the funny beard listen to the dude with the white beard?

When crazy knife chick ran at Katniss, why didn't she stab her with one of her crazy knifes?

(1.) A definite slip, could've easily been explained with a TINY BIT OF DIALOGUE while Haymitch was chatting with the Sponsors. Air dropping items is ludicrously expensive, and becomes exponentially more expensive as the games wear on. It usually requires several obscenely rich sponsors pooling their resources to get most parachutes dropped.

(2.) Poison makes it risky. Yeah so and so was all boss during training, and he seems like a great fighter, so you invest in him. A pity the dumbass ate the spotted mushrooms.

(3.) You assume that hunting is easy. If I took a kid from each of the 50 states that comprise the US, how many of them do you think know how to hunt? 8, if you're lucky.

(4.)And you would've lost all of your arrows leaving your bow lovely and useless. Once that quiver is empty, it's empty, and hunting through foliage to retrieve stray arrows is not exactly an option when there's a dozen people around looking to kill you.

(5.)Got stung plenty, everyone got stung, thus the lull in the action. How else would a little waif of a girl have to time to doctor our mighty huntress for two days. Things effectively came to a standstill while the major threats slept of the venom.

(6.)No society is Always Chaotic Evil, a handful of folks are bound to realize that, "Hey, this is some pretty morally questionable shit, perhaps we should... you know, work against it and stuff."

(7.) He did, he simply erred in judgement. Why does Icarus fly to close to the sun? He was making a helluva show, things just got out of hand, and at the end, he panicked and conceded when he should've blow the upstarts to smithereens.

(8.) People tend to be rather averse to being stabbed, they wiggle and struggle a lot. Believe it or not, knifing a struggling target is not a simple matter. Shift your weight the wrong way, and what was once a struggling sap, is now on top of you, and angry.

Just got back from the movie and as a fan of the books, I agree with a lot he says minus one thing. Bob...

I am 20 years old, PAST the core demographic of the movie (teens I suppose), and I have seen NONE of the movies you mentioned... and there were a lot. So when your main criticism is "it's too much like the other" and the others are so far in the past at least half of the viewers weren't even born (seriously Bob? at least three of those movies I looked up were in the 70's, that's 40! years ago...). Then I think this movie has every right to rehash them in a new way, and I think you agree it is in a new way however poorly executed.

This also means that I was completely thrown when you said something close to "and sing the words with me", because I've never heard of these movies (for good reason) and haven't been introduced to these concepts as a expert in DECADES worth of movies may have. I don't know, maybe as a fellow nerd, geek, whatever, I expected you to be able to connect more to me than other movie snobs and critics try, but today I felt a little alienated.

Walking away from the movie, I thought it was good, and my friend, who is not a reader, really got into it, so I chalked it up as a win. But I concede one point...

They could have done it a hell of a lot better.

I liked Johnny Mnemonic.

I found the film to be incredibly mediocre. It inspired no hatred but not much joy. I thought the balance between action and drama was too tilted. I didn't expect much action but the shakycam killed my mood.

Lolness.

EnigmaticSevens:

(1.) A definite slip, could've easily been explained with a TINY BIT OF DIALOGUE while Haymitch was chatting with the Sponsors. Air dropping items is ludicrously expensive, and becomes exponentially more expensive as the games wear on. It usually requires several obscenely rich sponsors pooling their resources to get most parachutes dropped.

Yeah, I kinda guessed that... but then I wonder why someone would send in soup. If I'm supporting them, I'd send in the meds quickly. It made me think the soup was... not sent by a sponsor or something.

EnigmaticSevens:

(2.) Poison makes it risky. Yeah so and so was all boss during training, and he seems like a great fighter, so you invest in him. A pity the dumbass ate the spotted mushrooms.

Risky? It makes it bad TV. It's the equivalent of someone getting knocked out of survivor for misspelling a word or something. It's anticlimactic and dumb. If I was watching TV to see children kill each other, I'd feel cheated if all the contestants died from berries.

EnigmaticSevens:

(3.) You assume that hunting is easy. If I took a kid from each of the 50 states that comprise the US, how many of them do you think know how to hunt? 8, if you're lucky.

Wha... no. No. No. No. No. No. No. ...No. What? No. First off, we know she can hunt. Second off, you just made a comparison between contemporary America and this alternate fictional universe. Finally, my beard is cake. So your statement is invalid.

EnigmaticSevens:

(4.)And you would've lost all of your arrows leaving your bow lovely and useless. Once that quiver is empty, it's empty, and hunting through foliage to retrieve stray arrows is not exactly an option when there's a dozen people around looking to kill you.

This is only kind of a good point. We saw them shooting targets from seventy feet away and hitting their mark exactly... We saw the knife girl hit her in the face. We saw a little girl climb a really big tree... and we saw her do it while she had an injured leg, yet no of the lethal assassins could figure out how to climb the tree or shoot her? That's just dumb.

EnigmaticSevens:

(5.)Got stung plenty, everyone got stung, thus the lull in the action. How else would a little waif of a girl have to time to doctor our mighty huntress for two days. Things effectively came to a standstill while the major threats slept of the venom.

I get that Rue was the humanist, but I'd probably have killed all of them in that situation. If not I, then I think someone else might have. It's kinda... strange. And also, if they got stung twice as many times... so six? Then I would expect them to (if they are not instantly killed by the poison) die from dehydration, but that doesn't happen. Instead, they go about, as if they weren't stabbed at all, and they gather all of the supplies into one spot AND they boobie trap it... with a lethal dose of poison in their systems.

EnigmaticSevens:

(6.)No society is Always Chaotic Evil, a handful of folks are bound to realize that, "Hey, this is some pretty morally questionable shit, perhaps we should... you know, work against it and stuff."

I wasn't saying that I expect him to be evil, I'm just saying that his personality was never explained. Wouldn't it have been cool to find out that he once had a brother who died in the hunger games? Or something like that? The affection that they had him display was misplaced. Also, what is this, D&D?

EnigmaticSevens:

(7.) He did, he simply erred in judgement. Why does Icarus fly to close to the sun? He was making a helluva show, things just got out of hand, and at the end, he panicked and conceded when he should've blow the upstarts to smithereens.

Okay, but I'd think that if his life was on the line, he might listen more closely. The pressures he felt weren't well explained. Was there some other force pushing him to make it more entertaining... aside from a drunk? Seems like a stupid reason to risk your life.

EnigmaticSevens:

(8.) People tend to be rather averse to being stabbed, they wiggle and struggle a lot. Believe it or not, knifing a struggling target is not a simple matter. Shift your weight the wrong way, and what was once a struggling sap, is now on top of you, and angry.

It was a specific scene... not the one where they were rolling on the ground. The one where katniss is hit in the head by a knife, and the knife chick is running full speed. It just seems kinda stupid for a knife chick to not have a knife when she is a knife chick.

Wait I actually agree with MovieBob? I've better run to the toilet before I mess myself.

Watching this review has made me watch Battle Royale again. Though some may accuse me of blasphemy for saying this, but in the light of last year's riots, an English remake would not be a bad idea.
Especially if Stephen Fry was given Beat Takashi's role. The idea of that man in that position would be chilling to say the very least.

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