Escape to the Movies: Mockingjay, Part 1 - Best One Yet (Although A Little Thin)

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Mockingjay, Part 1 - Best One Yet (Although A Little Thin)

MovieBob isn't quite sure why they needed to split this movie into two parts, but is totally ready for the second half.

Watch Video

Wait, did Bob say that the first movie was made weaker by removing the "vital interior monologue"? That monologue was the worst part of the books. Suzanne Collins is not a good writer and her over-reliance on interior monologue made the books difficult to read for me. I thought the first movie was significantly improved by actually showing us what characters were thinking through their actions.

Having said that, I'm sure the third movie is stretched thin by splitting up the last book. But I still planning on seeing it because I've read the books.

I would at least like to know how they've apparently scrapped together decent weaponry to fight a high-tech martial state. I mean, did she just blow up an air drone with a bow and arrow? Did it at least have a bomb strapped to it or something?

I don't understand how a live-action Cinderella is relevant in this day and age anymore.

I'm pretty sure that even decons and even decon-recons of that particular story are so over-done that it's pointless.

I'm still quite disappointed that they haven't tried to pull a Maleficent on Cinderella.

As for this film, I might watch it when it's on DVD, I still need to watch Catching Fire as I'm still a bit annoyed by the crappy second half of the first film. I liked the call back to a previous video with the held-at-gunpoint joke, I guess I should go look for said episode.

I don't know about a lot of this. Catnap is basically Bella with "my dad is so lame" replaced by a generic contrariness. She's a cardboard cutout, a figurehead of a series about becoming a figurehead, except she never truly grows into what could be a brilliant metaphor. Lawrence seems to have captured this with her onscreen portrayal of a gender-swapped Keannu Reeves, to the point where the best parts of the movies tend to be the supporting cast.

And there's a Sam Raimi's Spider-Man parallel in there somewhere.

But the review made me laugh.

hawk533:
Wait, did Bob say that the first movie was made weaker by removing the "vital interior monologue"? That monologue was the worst part of the books. Suzanne Collins is not a good writer and her over-reliance on interior monologue made the books difficult to read for me. I thought the first movie was significantly improved by actually showing us what characters were thinking through their actions.

They don't, though. They leave out a lot of the context. And while Collins' purple prose isn't necessary, a good chunk of the motives are lost. Assuming you don't infer it based on a previous reading, I guess.

vid87:
I would at least like to know how they've apparently scrapped together decent weaponry to fight a high-tech martial state. I mean, did she just blow up an air drone with a bow and arrow? Did it at least have a bomb strapped to it or something?

She's the Girl on Fire. Obviously, she's just using her mutant abilities.

Being a father to 2 young girls I read through the Hunger Games books hoping to give them (in a few years) a set of good books they could read through for that strong female role.

I was so disappointed.

Not because the writing isn't great (it's not, but serviceable), but because Katniss is not the strong female role model that I was hoping for.

She is used by everyone around her and she is oblivious to most of it. Every time she ever finds herself in just a little bit of trouble a MALE character comes to her rescue: Gale, Peeta, Haythorn, Cinna. Every dang time! Sure she is certainly capable with a bow and arrow, but other than that it's MALE rescuing the Princess with a Bow.

Is it just me?

Hunger Games isn't my thing, sad to say, so I won't be partaking. Glad some are getting enjoyment out of it, though, so enjoy it, folks.

hawk533:
Wait, did Bob say that the first movie was made weaker by removing the "vital interior monologue"? That monologue was the worst part of the books. Suzanne Collins is not a good writer and her over-reliance on interior monologue made the books difficult to read for me. I thought the first movie was significantly improved by actually showing us what characters were thinking through their actions.

Having said that, I'm sure the third movie is stretched thin by splitting up the last book. But I still planning on seeing it because I've read the books.

I guess your mileage may vary on this because I thought the interior monologue was one of the best parts of the books, I enjoyed the in depth perspective of the character's thoughts and motives it gave and felt the movie lacked something because of it's absence. Suppose it depends on what you're looking for.

RiffRaff:
Is it just me?

No, because Katniss isn't the Chosen One of a Campellian Hero's Journey. She's a survivor trying to keep herself and her family alive in the face of social forces that want to break her, kill her, own her, or use her to their own ends. This trilogy is more like The Long Walk or All Quiet On the Western Front than Star Wars.

For your purposes, I'd recommend taking a look at books by Tamora Pierce or Patricia C. Wrede. Kristin Cashore's Graceling books and Sarah J. Maas' Throne of Glass series might also be what you're looking for.

vid87:
I would at least like to know how they've apparently scrapped together decent weaponry to fight a high-tech martial state. I mean, did she just blow up an air drone with a bow and arrow? Did it at least have a bomb strapped to it or something?

If I remember correctly from when I read the books, it's some sort of bomb arrow like in Twilight Princess. So yeah an arrow with an explosive tip. It's futuristic and all that cool jazz.

edit: I can't spell for shit

HaileStorm:

vid87:
I would at least like to know how they've apparently scrapped together decent weaponry to fight a high-tech martial state. I mean, did she just blow up an air drone with a bow and arrow? Did it at least have a bomb strapped to it or something?

If I remember correctly from when I read the books, it's some sort of bomb arrow like in Twilight Princess. So yeah an arrow with an explosive tip. It's futuristic and all that cool jazz.

edit: I can't spell for shit

Ignoring the highly improbable nature of hitting the UaV/Aircraft in the first place an object the size of an arrow could cause havoc if it got into the engine intake, if its some futuristic thing thats heavily reliant on vectored thrust it could even bring it down.

And when this is over I wonder what the next YA Novel they'll try to prop up as the next big thing. Though considering how there isn't any series that is a craze book wise like a lot of other ones have been, methinks Hollywood is going to be scraping the barrel.

Falseprophet:

RiffRaff:
Is it just me?

No, because Katniss isn't the Chosen One of a Campellian Hero's Journey. She's a survivor trying to keep herself and her family alive in the face of social forces that want to break her, kill her, own her, or use her to their own ends. This trilogy is more like The Long Walk or All Quiet On the Western Front than Star Wars.

For your purposes, I'd recommend taking a look at books by Tamora Pierce or Patricia C. Wrede. Kristin Cashore's Graceling books and Sarah J. Maas' Throne of Glass series might also be what you're looking for.

Awesome list, thanks! As the mom of a growing daugther, I want to seed her equally growing library with positive role models - as well as sci-fi and fantasy, because if I have to read one more Heartland horsie novel I am going to go French Cuisine on some unlucky equine's ass. But the books I've read through so far make me want to cry...The Wrede novels look particularly interesting because the first set of the Dragon ones seem to be largely boyfriend free. I have nothing against her reading the gooey stuff too, but I'd like at least a few books to pass the literary equivalent of a Bechdel test. If she don't like 'em, that's fine, but at least she'll hopefully realize that being boy-obssessed in your teens is one choice among others rather than a prerequisite of her gender.

OT: Been meaning to watch the Hunger Games series at some point - tried getting into the novels but the writing, oy... With Bob's review in hand, I think I might wait for the final movie to be out so I can watch the series, and particularly the last movies, as an ensemble.

Sigmund Av Volsung:
I don't understand how a live-action Cinderella is relevant in this day and age anymore.

I'm pretty sure that even decons and even decon-recons of that particular story are so over-done that it's pointless.

Because there are always young children around, so there will always be an audience for the classic fairytales, and new retellings of those stories are welcome for those of us that have heard/watched the stories a million times.

Besides, it's a great director with a strong cast.

WarpedLord:

Sigmund Av Volsung:
I don't understand how a live-action Cinderella is relevant in this day and age anymore.

I'm pretty sure that even decons and even decon-recons of that particular story are so over-done that it's pointless.

Because there are always young children around, so there will always be an audience for the classic fairytales, and new retellings of those stories are welcome for those of us that have heard/watched the stories a million times.

Besides, it's a great director with a strong cast.

But said stories are so ingrained into popular culture that making a movie based on it is redundant. I mean, it looks exactly the same as the animated movie, just in live action. I don't see how good direction or acting can do anything to assist it.

Why not just make more new movies revolving around new fairytales? As for fans of the original, you could always just watch the original.

Disney baffles me sometimes.

vid87:
I would at least like to know how they've apparently scrapped together decent weaponry to fight a high-tech martial state. I mean, did she just blow up an air drone with a bow and arrow? Did it at least have a bomb strapped to it or something?

Yes, it did.

It's part of the whole "turning Katniss into a PR symbol thing". Katniss with a bow and arrow feels more "Katniss"-y to the public than Katniss with a machine gun. So they gave her a bow and a bunch of high-tech arrows (think Hawkeye) to make her seem more unique and impressive. Everyone else is using guns.

To answer your question about their tech, the revolution is mostly led by District 13, who've been in a nuclear stalemate with the Capital since the last rebellion. Their tech has stayed on-par with the Capitol's.

DaWaffledude:

vid87:
I would at least like to know how they've apparently scrapped together decent weaponry to fight a high-tech martial state. I mean, did she just blow up an air drone with a bow and arrow? Did it at least have a bomb strapped to it or something?

Yes, it did.

It's part of the whole "turning Katniss into a PR symbol thing". Katniss with a bow and arrow feels more "Katniss"-y to the public than Katniss with a machine gun. So they gave her a bow and a bunch of high-tech arrows (think Hawkeye) to make her seem more unique and impressive. Everyone else is using guns.

To answer your question about their tech, the revolution is mostly led by District 13, who've been in a nuclear stalemate with the Capital since the last rebellion. Their tech has stayed on-par with the Capitol's.

I'm hoping based on what Bob mentioned that the story goes out of it's way to point out that that's a tad ridiculous: it'd be like giving modern soldiers colonial-era clothes and muskets because that's symbolic of US military heritage.

And I definitely though Hawkeye, not even because of weaponry, but, had they not been bomb-arrows, she would need hyper senses to bullseye the precise targets required to disable high-tech vehicles in one shot (the guy did hit a usb port from like 100 feet away).

Remember when Bob mispronouncing Katniss' name was funny? I don't. Third time isn't always the charm.

As for the actual movie, I hope it's good, and the new direction that Bob describes it taking definitely sounds interesting, but I'll be waiting until it gets to DVD. I've already got my ticket for Corner Gas: The Movie (Which I doubt will get a review here, though it would be interesting to see Bob review a wholly Canadian movie) on the 5th, and seeing two movies in two weeks just feels weird. Dunno why...

J Tyran:

HaileStorm:

vid87:
I would at least like to know how they've apparently scrapped together decent weaponry to fight a high-tech martial state. I mean, did she just blow up an air drone with a bow and arrow? Did it at least have a bomb strapped to it or something?

If I remember correctly from when I read the books, it's some sort of bomb arrow like in Twilight Princess. So yeah an arrow with an explosive tip. It's futuristic and all that cool jazz.

edit: I can't spell for shit

Ignoring the highly improbable nature of hitting the UaV/Aircraft in the first place an object the size of an arrow could cause havoc if it got into the engine intake, if its some futuristic thing thats heavily reliant on vectored thrust it could even bring it down.

From my understanding of such things (that is, roughly 30 minutes of trying to find pictures of those aircraft cuz I liked the look of em, and trawling through the places they could be found...

They aren't drones nor are they fighter aircraft. They're Hovercraft that are both larger and slower than any comparison we're making. Apparently, they're also not very well armored and rather unstable once you disrupt their engines. Still badass looking tho.

You continue to steal from Nostalgia Critic, this time from the aftermath of the Bart's Nightmare episode.

Not funny or entertaining.

I know Bob lets his politics out in some of his reviews, but I can't tell if he's dislikes The Hunger Games because they match his, or that they suck in properly conveying them. Or because it's an overall stupid story in the first place. Still, the mispronouncing of the silly names still makes me chuckle.

Zachary Amaranth:
I don't know about a lot of this. Catnap is basically Bella with "my dad is so lame" replaced by a generic contrariness. She's a cardboard cutout, a figurehead of a series about becoming a figurehead, except she never truly grows into what could be a brilliant metaphor. Lawrence seems to have captured this with her onscreen portrayal of a gender-swapped Keannu Reeves, to the point where the best parts of the movies tend to be the supporting cast.

And there's a Sam Raimi's Spider-Man parallel in there somewhere.

But the review made me laugh.

hawk533:
Wait, did Bob say that the first movie was made weaker by removing the "vital interior monologue"? That monologue was the worst part of the books. Suzanne Collins is not a good writer and her over-reliance on interior monologue made the books difficult to read for me. I thought the first movie was significantly improved by actually showing us what characters were thinking through their actions.

They don't, though. They leave out a lot of the context. And while Collins' purple prose isn't necessary, a good chunk of the motives are lost. Assuming you don't infer it based on a previous reading, I guess.

vid87:
I would at least like to know how they've apparently scrapped together decent weaponry to fight a high-tech martial state. I mean, did she just blow up an air drone with a bow and arrow? Did it at least have a bomb strapped to it or something?

She's the Girl on Fire. Obviously, she's just using her mutant abilities.

I thought hers was shapeshifting only. How'd she pick up telepathy, fire bending, and ImprobableAimingSkills? As for your other point about Jennifer Lawrence, I'm just not attracted to her at all, but I can't put words to why.

I think one of the worst things to happen to modern cinema is the last Harry Potter book being split into 2 films, 'cause now everybody thinks they can do that whether it's appropriate or not.

canadamus_prime:
I think one of the worst things to happen to modern cinema is the last Harry Potter book being split into 2 films, 'cause now everybody thinks they can do that whether it's appropriate or not.

I was thinking the same thing. The only difference between Harry Potter and everyone else doing it was because that exceptionally long franchise built up a lot of good will and had much better name recognition than everyone else at the time.

Mezahmay:

canadamus_prime:
I think one of the worst things to happen to modern cinema is the last Harry Potter book being split into 2 films, 'cause now everybody thinks they can do that whether it's appropriate or not.

I was thinking the same thing. The only difference between Harry Potter and everyone else doing it was because that exceptionally long franchise built up a lot of good will and had much better name recognition than everyone else at the time.

Well I don't know how appropriate it was to split the story of the last Harry Potter book into 2 movies as I've only read the first book and stopped watching the films after Half Blood Prince, and I suppose if spitting it up meant keeping as much of the source material intact as possible then by all means. However it seems to have set a precedent for others to do it, and going by Bob's description of this movie, regardless of whether or not it's a good idea.

Darth_Payn:

I thought hers was shapeshifting only. How'd she pick up telepathy, fire bending, and ImprobableAimingSkills? As for your other point about Jennifer Lawrence, I'm just not attracted to her at all, but I can't put words to why.

She...ummm..borrowed the Phoenix Force. Or the Unipower. Or something.

I don't particularly get the appeal of Lawrence, but apparently she does have a following. I'm assuming it's not for her brilliant acting skills.

canadamus_prime:

Well I don't know how appropriate it was to split the story of the last Harry Potter book into 2 movies as I've only read the first book and stopped watching the films after Half Blood Prince, and I suppose if spitting it up meant keeping as much of the source material intact as possible then by all means. However it seems to have set a precedent for others to do it, and going by Bob's description of this movie, regardless of whether or not it's a good idea.

The problem with this approach is that, preserving the story material or not, it's still dull. Deathly Hallows 1 may have allowed for more of the book onscreen, but it turned half the movie into a camping trip and could have benefited from being trimmed down. I'd also argue that most books simply don't have a good midway climax (actually, a few of the earlier books would have been better for this treatment).

Source material often doesn't translate to good cinema, and I think this is a good case of it.

As a side note, I was actually a proponent of this treatment from about book three on (because the books got larger, and a few books did have a natural mid-point mini-climax of sorts). Deadly Camping Trip changed my mind. Maybe it could be done with the right movie/book, but I'm highly skeptical.

Zachary Amaranth:

canadamus_prime:

Well I don't know how appropriate it was to split the story of the last Harry Potter book into 2 movies as I've only read the first book and stopped watching the films after Half Blood Prince, and I suppose if spitting it up meant keeping as much of the source material intact as possible then by all means. However it seems to have set a precedent for others to do it, and going by Bob's description of this movie, regardless of whether or not it's a good idea.

The problem with this approach is that, preserving the story material or not, it's still dull. Deathly Hallows 1 may have allowed for more of the book onscreen, but it turned half the movie into a camping trip and could have benefited from being trimmed down. I'd also argue that most books simply don't have a good midway climax (actually, a few of the earlier books would have been better for this treatment).

Source material often doesn't translate to good cinema, and I think this is a good case of it.

As a side note, I was actually a proponent of this treatment from about book three on (because the books got larger, and a few books did have a natural mid-point mini-climax of sorts). Deadly Camping Trip changed my mind. Maybe it could be done with the right movie/book, but I'm highly skeptical.

That's a point to. Preserving the source material is all very well and good, but some things that work in one medium don't work in other mediums and that has to be taken into account when doing such an adaptation.

me and my wife didnt even like the first movie when we saw it in the movies. so obvious we skipped out on the second movie. and to be honest, i dont even feel like watching this latest installment either. o yes, im not a fan of the movies and wont even bother reading the books either.

RE: Hunger Games. I enjoyed the books and movies despite what I see as a ton of big flaws. I never saw Katniss as a role model though--it's more of a cautionary tale than anything else. The "heroine" is a figurehead who symbolizes a revolution she barely believes in and has no real power to influence. And the parallels between District 13 and the Capitol are so sharp that it highlights a major theme I saw in the series--a revolution that doesn't have a plan to replace the power it fights will just create "a new king no better than the last". I'd say this and the "danger of media" themes are much more interesting than the obvious classism stuff.

RE: This review. I'm glad for this positive review if for no other reason than a citation to give people who insist that Bob is unable to appreciate something he is predisposed to hate. This is one of several big sequels he liked better than the original--and with his obvious negative opinion of the series as a whole, this review shows he can have that "bias" AND still end up with a positive opinion of an individual work.

So should I take this as an admission from Bob that he HAS in fact read the novels first? He didn't actually say as such, but references and comparisons to the books here seem to imply that he has.

You wanna know why the book is being split into 2 movies? Because Harry Potter did it and Twilight did it. That's all.

Zachary Amaranth:

canadamus_prime:

Well I don't know how appropriate it was to split the story of the last Harry Potter book into 2 movies as I've only read the first book and stopped watching the films after Half Blood Prince, and I suppose if spitting it up meant keeping as much of the source material intact as possible then by all means. However it seems to have set a precedent for others to do it, and going by Bob's description of this movie, regardless of whether or not it's a good idea.

The problem with this approach is that, preserving the story material or not, it's still dull. Deathly Hallows 1 may have allowed for more of the book onscreen, but it turned half the movie into a camping trip and could have benefited from being trimmed down. I'd also argue that most books simply don't have a good midway climax (actually, a few of the earlier books would have been better for this treatment).

Source material often doesn't translate to good cinema, and I think this is a good case of it.

As a side note, I was actually a proponent of this treatment from about book three on (because the books got larger, and a few books did have a natural mid-point mini-climax of sorts). Deadly Camping Trip changed my mind. Maybe it could be done with the right movie/book, but I'm highly skeptical.

I've never agreed with you more! "Deathly Boring Part 1: Escape to Nothing Interesting" was a perfect example of why "faithful" adaptations of books to movies shouldn't be the primary goal. Movies need to be based on their own merits using their own tools to tell the tale. Not that I think "Harry Potter Takes a Mopey Holiday" was made to keep true to the text, mind, but I do argue this with those who complain about bits being cut from books in their film adaptation. Sometimes those cuts are made for very good reasons, like my sanity.

"Best one yet" is like saying "best skidmark I have found in my undies", its nothing to crow about.

I watch Escape to the Movies in the same way that I watch Yahtzee's game reviews. I am not going to watch/play 99% of the subjects. I am only here for the presentation. No interest whatsoever in Hunger Games and never, ever, ever, ever will. Ever.

canadamus_prime:

That's a point to. Preserving the source material is all very well and good, but some things that work in one medium don't work in other mediums and that has to be taken into account when doing such an adaptation.

Yeah, I mean, I'm generally one of the "the book was better" types. But at the same point, not everything that works in a book works in a movie.

Gorrath:

I've never agreed with you more! "Deathly Boring Part 1: Escape to Nothing Interesting" was a perfect example of why "faithful" adaptations of books to movies shouldn't be the primary goal. Movies need to be based on their own merits using their own tools to tell the tale. Not that I think "Harry Potter Takes a Mopey Holiday" was made to keep true to the text, mind, but I do argue this with those who complain about bits being cut from books in their film adaptation. Sometimes those cuts are made for very good reasons, like my sanity.

Though sometimes what they cut and what they keep are somewhat baffling. I don't remember a specific example from Harry Potter, but there were a few where I was all "what were they thinking."

But yeah. I don't want to keep stuff in a movie just because it was in a book.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here