This morning The Hunger Games FINALLY started in Korea. I read the books shortly after moving here. Al was the one who actually read them first and then convinced me they were worth a look. After reading all three I'll say that I absolutely loved the first one. Now, as for the other two, I'm not sure. I'm sure a lot of people will hate me for what I'm about to say but so be it. Here's what it feels like to me: It feels like Suzanne Collins initially wrote one single book comprised of the elements in the first book but with a definitive ending. She took it to a publisher and they told her, "This could be a gold mine as a trilogy, now go back and think of a bunch of stuff to stretch it out into three." The first, to me, is brilliant. I love everything about it and I devoured every word. The second and third I felt I was, not necessarily rolling my eyes, but just cocking my eyebrow and like really? Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy reading them, I just felt like there was a lot going on and a lot of filler things to keep the story long enough. (Like that episode of Family Guy when Peter fights the chicken for like 15 minutes.) I also want to say that I have nothing against her writing itself. Everyone knows that Stephenie Meyer is a terrible writer but, yes, I do enjoy a Twilight book from time to time. Reading Suzanne Collins is like reading the newspaper; nothing spectacular but nothing bothers me about it either, it's simply just reading.
Going to the movies in Japan was quite an ordeal (no one spoke english) and tickets were $20 a pop. Here, it's easy peasy and we paid 10,000 Won for two tickets (roughly $8.50?). Also in Asia (at least in the three Asian countries I've been to a cinema) you choose your seats beforehand from the computer screen. It does make things flow smoothly and you are guaranteed your place if you're late. But Al and I were talking about it and I wondered why the US doesn't adopt a similar system since it does make things so much easier. His answer: Concessions. Do you realize all the money that the theaters would lose if they used the choose-seats-before-the-movie system? There would be no more line-up crazes before big movies...you know those lines that we've all waited in and bought numerous, expensive items from the concession while waiting the three hours to get into Harry. I think my friend Jess and I spent a small fortune on New York Fries, Pizza Hut, popcorn and two giant sodas while waiting to get into Twilight one year. Nope. That system would never, ever work in America. But, I'm secretly okay with that. I really do love getting with my friends and waiting for movies sometimes.
Now, on to the movie! I thought it was fantastic! It was everything I wanted it to be and more. It was extremely true to the book, as much as a movie can be. I feel all the parts were casted well and Jennifer Lawrence played Katniss beautifully. All the scenery made me miss home so much! With some of the Harrys I felt things moved too fast and it was just scene scene scene scene. I didn't feel that way about HG. I felt like the movie took its time and let me savour every moment of what was happening. One of the small details I love was that they kept Buttercup, if only for a moment. Another is that President Snow was always in the company of white roses, that is nice for those of us who know the next books. A lot seemed to look as I pictured it, with one of the only exceptions being their costumes, and those were even better than I imagined. Some of the bits looked a little fakey, but it wasn't enough to make me squirm. The Capitol dress/hair/makeup was out of this world. The reaping scene was so emotional and I think a lot of it had to do with the silence in the background. For some reason, in my head while reading, everything was kind of noisy, people talking or cheering or clapping and so forth. In the movie everything was so eerily silent and I loved it. I think it made it more poignant.
I'm not much for blood and guts and I have to close my eyes even at scary movie previews but I was hoping going in that the blood would fly. The whole point of the books is the cruelty that these children are forced to deal with from the Capitol and the disgusting way they have to do its bidding. I mean they have to fight to the death on national televison. That's a captivating, gruesome storyline and I wanted no shortage of the knifing and axing. I wasn't disappointed. There weren't intestines flying through the air and brains scattered on the dirt but it was enough violence to really make the audience see the sickness of it all.
One thing I wish they would've focused a little more on is how hungry and starving everyone in the distrcts are. It didn't really go into that much detail about how terrible their lives really are compared to the extravagance of the Capitol. Maybe in future movies? And did they mention Effie's name throughout the entire thing? I may have just been caught up in it all but I don't remember them ever saying her name. Overall I really have no complaints. Al, on the other hand comes out and whines, "What! Where were her nightime glasses!" :::facepalm:::
I'm sure I'll later think of many other things I wish I would've written but for now, it's all I've got. I'm off for some dinner...it's my birthday tomorrow!!!!