Ed's Blog

"Some people know everything, but that's all they know."


I saw The Hunger Games at 9:50 AM, Friday, March 23, having only made it halfway through the novel before seeing the movie. I have to agree with the positive reviews that it’s an excellent movie. Jennifer Lawrence is exceptional as Katniss Everdene; and unless you’ve seen her great performance in Winter’s Bone, it’s difficult to reconcile her coal-miner’s daughter appearence in the movie with her sexy-woman look in X-Men: First Class; but that’s the magic of Hollywood.

I agree with the reviewer who wrote that his only complaints were that the movie wasn’t long enough and that it couldn’t be told in the first person like the book. I would add to that, Hollywood too often these days gives in to eye-popping computer-generated imagery effects at the cost of story, climatic tension, and buildup. The Hunger Games has it all without overdoing the CGI.

Of course, not everyone will like The Hunger Games. I still speak with people who have never read a Harry Potter book or watched a Harry Potter movie–their loss.

The Hunger Games is different from Harry potter, although both series have plenty of violence. The violence in Hunger Games, while toned down from the book to obtain a PG-13 rating, is still more realistic and true to life. A sword, spear, or arrow inflicts a much different wound than a magic wand.

What he Harry Potter and Katniss Everdine series have in common is that they speak to fundamental human emotions and values–fear, love, loyalty, hope, and the resiliance of the human spirit. That’s why both are blockbusters. Contrary to Hollywood’s operating principles, the American moviegoer wants more than entertainment and special effects. They want to be moved and inspired.

The Hunger Games should appeal to both conservatives and liberals. Conservatives will find the anti big-brother government theme appealing; both liberals and conservatives should like the strong female protagonist. If anyone is contemplating a “war on women” they should consider that there are a lot of Katniss Everdene’s in real-life America. You don’t  want to mess with them.

I never figured out what was appealing about damsels in distress. We’er all a lot better off with women that can take care of themselves and us when the need arises. If The Hunger Games inspires more young American women to be like Katniss, the country will be a lot better off.

I give the movie four and a half stars out of five. I highly recommend it. Everyone now has time to  read all three books in the series (Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay) before the second movie comes out in about a year or so.

I believe you get a lot more out of the movies when you read the books first. It allows your mind to fill in what the movies necessarily leave out. I read Gen. Lew Wallace’s Ben Hur as a child before I saw the 1959 version of the Movie with Charlton Heston. The dozens of times I have watched that move since in 55 years, I can still fill the rich story about Ben Hur’s experiences in Rome and his other romance that the movie left out.


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