Mar 192012
Authors: Bayley Enright and Emily Kribs

Bayley Enright:

This Friday, along with thousands of enthusiastic fans across the nation, I will be seated in a movie theatre waiting to watch the most anticipated book-to-movie adaptation since “Deathly Hallows” (sorry “Twilight” fans, but “Breaking Dawn” doesn’t register on my geek-out radar).

That’s right— it’s the “Hunger Games.” And I am beyond excited.

I wish there were some way I could properly show my excitement –– like how, for the “Harry Potter” films, I always wore a robe and carried a wand (and not for a midnight showing, oh no, heavy black robe at the 11 a.m. matinee. That’s devotion). Or how I painted my face like the Jedi Luminara Unduli for the final “Star Wars” film (and if you know who that is, kudos to you, my fellow nerd).

Unfortunately, I don’t even own a “Hunger Games” t-shirt. Yet. Though I am currently accepting donations for the Bayley’s-a-total-dork fund. Lack of costume aside, however, I am so ready for the “Hunger Games.” But first of all, let me clarify something. When I’m talking about the “Hunger Games,” I’m talking about the “Hunger Games” alone. “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay,” I know you exist, but you just didn’t fulfill my expectations set by your predecessor. Unlike with my other fandoms (and trust me, there are many), when I think of the “Hunger Games,” I think of just that first book.

I have plenty of feelings for the other two, but those will just have to wait. So yes, the “Hunger Games.” Why am I so excited? What is so spectacular about a book that’s all about teenagers killing each other? Well, when you put it that way, anything sounds bad. Put it that way, “Star Wars” is about a son trying to kill his father. Yes, the “Hunger Games” is about teenagers fighting to the death, but there’s more to it. It’s a story in which there’s food falling from the sky as rewards. It’s a story that shows you can still be a hero, even if you have a stupid name like Katniss or Peeta.

And, if nothing else, it’s motivation to get off your butt and start working out, because if that future comes to pass, and we’re forced to fight to the death and survive on tree bark and mud, those movie-watching skills I’ve spent so long developing really won’t be much use.

Emily Kribs:

As just about everyone knows by now, the “Hunger Games” movie is coming out this Friday. I assume everyone knows this because almost everyone I’ve talked to seems ecstatic about it.

And why not? It’s an action-packed thriller. It’s got explosions, a dystopia and romance. Most who have read the books agree that they’re well-suited for a cinematic adaptation — and might even be better for it.

While I agree that they’ll be decent movies, I can’t say I understand the extreme enthusiasm behind the hype. Maybe it’s because the two sequels ruined the series for me, but at best, the first movie evokes only the same level of excitement I have for the end of class, or realizing I have gum in my bag.

I doubt the movie will have problems like Katniss putting her boots on before her pants as per the book, but I’ll be surprised if the movie forgoes the plot altogether in favor of a less heavy-handed message on morality. Hey, Mrs. Collins, this may come as a surprise to you, but no one actually thinks it’s okay to watch children fight to the death for entertainment.

Okay, so she doesn’t mean it literally. And sometimes we do rely on others’ suffering for entertainment. Why the hell else would we have shows like “Hell’s Kitchen?”* But I don’t think getting yelled at by an angry man who clearly hates food can be equated to being drafted into a pseudo-futuristic gladiatorial death match.

Here’s where I get into spoiler territory.

I’m not a fan of the characters, either. Primrose seems formulaic and designed purely to garner sympathy and drive the plot. Cinna’s character doesn’t make much sense; you could understand that someone might want specific contestants to win and do what they can to make that happen, but you’re also supposed to like him for being a nice person. Katniss certainly does, and considering he’s another step on the track to her potential death, that’s just weird. Then you factor in Peeta, and I just quit. There’s no rationalizing his character.

Again, I’m sure the movie will be interesting. And the book it’s based off of does entertain. But I’m not sure it deserves the excitement it has engendered.

*I’ve never watched “Hell’s Kitchen,” but I have seen advertisements for it and it looks awful.

 Posted by at 2:36 pm

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