The Sword and Laser discussion

260 views
Hunger games?

Comments (showing 1-39 of 39) (39 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Thurman (new)

Thurman (nycblkboy) | 145 comments Any one read or see the Hunger Games? I read the book but and i'm watching the movie now. I'm not sure if I like it or not. To do that to kids ... :(

What do you guys think?


message 2: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 5140 comments Mod
There Is actually a group for hunger games with a bunch of threads.

Personally, I've only read the first book. I've seen the movie. I thought the book was OK and they did a pretty good job adapting it into an OK movie.

I liked the movie based on Battle Royale much better because I found it was more honest about the horrors of putting children in a death match.

I think Hunger Games tones a lot of that brutality down because it's YA. I'm not sure if that's what negatively impacted my opinion on the book, or that I saw Battle Royale first.


message 3: by Rik (new)

Rik | 768 comments Interesting concept with diminishing returns in each book. By the midway point of the 3rd book I'd become so disinterested and uncaring about the outcome that I couldn't have cared less about the major death near the end of book 3 other than to think the end must come soon.


message 4: by Rik (last edited Sep 16, 2012 08:33PM) (new)

Rik | 768 comments The movie though was largely excellent. I loved the shaky cam because it added to the confusion and terror that everyone had to be feeling at times. Plot wise though the movie failed majorly in developing Peeta and why Katniss cared for him. Still though it was overall an excellent adaptation.


message 5: by David Sven (new)

David Sven (Gorro) | 1582 comments Rob wrote: "I think Hunger Games tones a lot of that brutality down because it's YA."

This struck me both with the Movie and the book. I liked it well enough to read the second book but I didn't enjoy the 2nd as much and didn't bother with the third.

My review of book 1 http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

book 2 http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 6: by Kevin (new)

Kevin | 700 comments I really liked The Hunger Games book. It is very readable (very smooth prose) and I liked the setup and emotional charge of the book. The second had less of an impact on me but still very enjoyable. I haven't gotten around to the third one yet.

The movie is good and a faithful adaptation of the books. (It shows that the book's author was on the writing team for the movie.) However because you don't live the story directly through Katnis (like you do in the books), you don't get a lot of her inner dialogue and reasoning and that diminishes the impact of the story IMO. Limitation of the medium I suppose.


message 7: by Dharmakirti (new)

Dharmakirti | 942 comments KevinB wrote: "However because you don't live the story directly through Katnis (like you do in the books), you don't get a lot of her inner dialogue and reasoning and that diminishes the impact of the story IMO. Limitation of the medium I suppose."

I have similar thoughts on it. You get a very good undersanding of what makes Katnis tick in the books as well as her relationship to her district, to her family to Gale, Peta and even Haymitch. You lose a lot of that in the movie which, IMHO, is a detriment to the movie (I still think it's a good movie, but feel that it fell short of the source material).


message 8: by Alterjess (new)

Alterjess | 319 comments I think I'd have enjoyed the book more if I'd read it before it became a Thing - I went into it so completely spoiled that I gave up after 50 pages and just watched the movie instead. (Since I already knew the plot, the writing style just didn't have enough to hook me in.)

I think Hunger Games tones a lot of that brutality down because it's YA. I'm not sure if that's what negatively impacted my opinion on the book, or that I saw Battle Royale first.

Also this. I *love* Battle Royale, and I think I was hoping Hunger Games would have more of the same punch.


message 9: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 5140 comments Mod
Alterjess wrote: "Also this. I *love* Battle Royale, and I think I was hoping Hunger Games would have more of the same punch. "

Have you read the book or just watched the movie? I didn't even realize it was based on a movie until Hunger Games became so popular.

I think there is also a Manga version as well. The novel is on my to read list, but kind of a low priority at this point.


message 10: by Alterjess (new)

Alterjess | 319 comments Have you read the book or just watched the movie? I didn't even realize it was based on a movie until Hunger Games became so popular.

The movie. I didn't know it was also a book until just now!


message 11: by Thurman (new)

Thurman (nycblkboy) | 145 comments Alterjess wrote: "Have you read the book or just watched the movie? I didn't even realize it was based on a movie until Hunger Games became so popular.

The movie. I didn't know it was also a book until just now!"


LOL the downfall of the american public :) Read the book its more immersive than the movie.


message 12: by Joe Informatico (last edited Sep 17, 2012 11:33AM) (new)

Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 866 comments I don't hold them up as great literature or anything, but I liked the whole trilogy. The setting felt really plausible to me, unlike most of the YA dystopian clones that followed Hunger Games. Katniss isn't some kind of Mary Sue, wish-fulfillment messiah figure, but a flawed human being trapped in a system where she has to put on false faces just to survive. Rebellion against tyranny and oppression isn't painted as a glorious, tidy thing, but a messy, brutal struggle with real stakes by people with little else to lose, and it's not all hugs and smiles and ticker-tape parades afterwards.

I actually see it as the inversion of Battle Royale, which I also loved. BR seems to go the Lord of the Flies route, with the dystopian setting being just a flimsy premise for the existence of adolescent deathmatches in contemporary Japan. Like Lord of the Flies, BR comments on what would happen if you took cultured and civilized current-day Japanese high school students and forced them to kill each other.

THG goes more for the Rollerball/Running Man/Gladiator approach: Can the deathmatch champion who wins hearts and minds in the arena channel that popular support into rebellion?

As for the Hunger Games movie, I thought it was pretty good. The shaky-cam during the Games didn't bother me too much (though I would have preferred if they just cut away from gore), but the nausea-inducing shaky-cam at the beginning when there was no actual action on the screen was insufferable. I also didn't agree with many of the changes from the books, especially some of the character interpretations. Still, a better adaptation than most.


message 13: by Rik (new)

Rik | 768 comments Joe wrote: "The shaky-cam during the Games didn't bother me too much (though I would have preferred if they just cut away from gore), but the nausea-inducing shaky-cam at the beginning when there was no actual action on the screen was insufferable"

And this is where I thought the choice to use shaky cam was excellent. Far more here than in actual games themselves. What better way to convey the terror and confusion of Katniss and all the potential tributes than to use this kind of filming. I felt like it helped put you in her shoes.


message 14: by Bryek (new)

Bryek | 271 comments I enjoyed the first book and they did a decent job on the movie but the books failed after the first one with book three ending up being terrible. it was like the author just gave up.


message 15: by Raymond (last edited Sep 18, 2012 05:16AM) (new)

Raymond Rose (RaymondMRose) | 2 comments Rik wrote: "Interesting concept with diminishing returns in each book. By the midway point of the 3rd book I'd become so disinterested and uncaring about the outcome that I couldn't have cared less about the..."

I agree. The first book was amazing. I had such a wonderful time reading it. It was exciting, fresh (at least, to me), suspenseful, and all around a joy to read.

But with Catching Fire, I felt it was just Hunger Games 2. Like Collins didn't know what to do with the first half of the book so she decided to throw them back in the arena.

Then Mockingjay... ugh. Such a let down. I knew as I was reading it what a lot of Twilight fans had described their frustrations reading Breaking Dawn... like it was written by someone else.

All in all, Hunger Games should have been a stand-alone novel.


message 16: by Tim (new)

Tim | 380 comments I think the problem was that the first person narrative, which worked so well in the first book had become its achilles heel by the third. Katniss had been so broken by the events of books one and two that she simply missed or didn't care about what we, the readers wanted to read in book three. She was in effect an unreliable narrator. And so we had an ending that appeared rushed and unsatisfactory, not because (IMHO) Collins had given up, but because Katniss, as narrator, had given up.

And here's where I think the films have a golden opportunity to "put things right", since by their very nature of of being third person (notwithstanding the Cinéma Vérité effect the director claimed he was aiming for, that we all just saw as "shaky cam to keep the rating down"), and so we can see things that Katniss never witnessed, and hopefully have a more satisfying resolution (assuming they do eventually film all three books). Another advantage of having the author involved on the screenplay.

BTW, despite the shakycam, the film was still cut in the UK to achieve a 12 rating. Only on DVD/BD do we finally see the move that was shown in the US (now rated 15).


message 17: by Helena (last edited Sep 20, 2012 08:24AM) (new)

Helena | 7 comments Joe wrote: "I don't hold them up as great literature or anything, but I liked the whole trilogy....THG goes more for the Rollerball/Running Man/Gladiator approach: Can the deathmatch champion who wins hearts and minds in the arena channel that popular support into rebellion?
"


I too liked the books a lot and the film. The books are written with a good drive in the plot. I also like that the story is rich even if it's not so many pages if you compare.
I think the second and third book adds a dimension on the whole game concept with the rebellion like you say Joe. I like the wink to the Versailles peace in the set up of the world. And I especially really liked that the end is not the rosy kind.

Katniss is also a refreshing heroine. Not star eyed and codependent. A bit moody but very human and real.


message 18: by Dharmakirti (new)

Dharmakirti | 942 comments Raymond wrote: "But with Catching Fire, I felt it was just Hunger Games 2. Like Collins didn't know what to do with the first half of the book so she decided to throw them back in the arena."

I didn't feel that way. I felt that the throwing them back in the games worked, it was the consequences of the kids beating the system at the end of the first games. The second book was probably my favorite in the series.


message 19: by Joe Informatico (new)

Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 866 comments Dharmakirti wrote: "I didn't feel that way. I felt that the throwing them back in the games worked, it was the consequences of the kids beating the system at the end of the first games. The second book was probably my favorite in the series."

I went from one feeling to the other. Initially I felt she was just recycling the central concept. But Collins' world-building is better than that. Panem keeps the Districts in line through a bread-and-circuses approach and the image of harsh but benevolent authority. Tributes can only win the Hunger Games on the Capital's terms, but Katniss won on her terms, challenging their authority. So they had to use the Games to break her as a symbol of successful defiance, or the whole point of the Games as a method of social control is undermined. Bringing in former victors for the Quarter Quell is Panem's way of saying, "Even though you're one of the lucky survivors and benefiting from the rewards we promised you, you're still just District serfs. You belong to us and will kill or die for our amusement if we wish it."


message 20: by Thurman (new)

Thurman (nycblkboy) | 145 comments I felt the same way as some of you did. I read the first 1st and 3/4th of the 2nd book. I did read 1/8th of book 3rd book. Then I just went to wikipedia. I just didn't care about the characters anymore.


message 21: by George (new)

George | 3 comments I finished all 3 but by the end of book 3 I was hoping Katniss would get killed. That way everyone would have a better life. I do agree that by the end you don't really care about any of the characters.


message 22: by Thurman (new)

Thurman (nycblkboy) | 145 comments George wrote: "I finished all 3 but by the end of book 3 I was hoping Katniss would get killed. That way everyone would have a better life. I do agree that by the end you don't really care about any of the charac..."

lol I thought she would die at the end. she wasn't needed anymore :)


message 23: by Katrina (new)

Katrina | 28 comments Fantastic Hunger Games movie trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hp_xs...


message 24: by Stan (new)

Stan Slaughter | 359 comments Read the book first then saw the movie.

Thought the movie was better. In the book I always thought Katniss came off as a cold emotionally manipulative person. The movie made it seem more like she was taking advantage of situations as they arose.


message 25: by Pickle (new)

Pickle | 192 comments The movie was rather dreadful until the ending, then it became shambolic.

'we are changing the rules' absolute nonsense.


message 26: by Cristina (new)

Cristina (CrissyG04) | 1 comments I read the entire trilogy but I haven't seen the movie. I think that movies based on books can be such a let down so I didn't even try to watch it.


message 27: by Charlie (new)

Charlie | 46 comments I feel that the original Japanese Battle Royale was better. Also the Running Man. I feel like she recycled these movies and books to make Hunger Games and simply made it for the YA group. I may also just be getting old. Overall they its decent but not amazing.


message 28: by Celine (new)

Celine | 36 comments I found that the movie actually did really well with showing all the behind-the-scenes stuff that was happening with Haymitch and the Games as a whole. The tradeoff was that Katniss' thoughts and motivations were a little bit more unclear, but that'll improve. The only thing I really didn't like was the shaky cam right at the beginning, in District 12. There was no reason for it there.

I really liked the third book, actually. I liked reading from Katniss' perspective after she'd broken down from everything that happened to her.

I don't really feel that it was ripping off Battle Royale (which, by the way, originated as a manga) since throwing kids into a deathmatch against each other is hardly a new idea. Besides, sales have gone way up for BR since the Hunger Games came out.


message 29: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 5140 comments Mod
Celine wrote: "Besides, sales have gone way up for BR since the Hunger Games came out."

Probably because it's now finally available in the US.

And personally it's less that Hunger Games "ripped off" Battle Royale, so much as I felt it didn't do as good of a job telling a similar story.


message 30: by Jim (new)

Jim (kskryptonian) | 202 comments So here's where I come in and tell a joke. "what do they call Hunger Games in France?"

"Battle Royale with cheese." and cue the pulp fiction music.


message 31: by Ian (new)

Ian Roberts | 143 comments Hehe nice one Jim

Haven't seen Battle Royale but being a child of the '80s big comparison to me was the Running Man I did like the film but seemed very similar in theme to RM without the black comedy element. Not much in the way of new ideas there to be honest


message 32: by Tim (new)

Tim | 380 comments Pickle wrote: "The movie was rather dreadful until the ending, then it became shambolic.

'we are changing the rules' absolute nonsense."


The big problem I had with that rule change ending was that it suddenly made the Game Makers look like a bunch of incompetent idiots. It would have been so much easier and more sensible just to spin it in whatever light they wanted - especially after the added scenes with Snow - "a little hope" etc, which were all about spin.


message 33: by Thurman (new)

Thurman (nycblkboy) | 145 comments Tim wrote: "Pickle wrote: "The movie was rather dreadful until the ending, then it became shambolic.

'we are changing the rules' absolute nonsense."

The big problem I had with that rule change ending was th..."


What whould you have done. I can't think of anything that would preserve the story.

If I didn't have to preserve the story I would have killed them. MY word is law! I might also declare marshal law and give them more food so they don't riot


message 34: by Micah (new)

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments Thurman wrote: "What whould you have done. I can't think of anything that would preserve the story.

If I didn't have to preserve the story I would have killed them. MY word is law! I might also declare marshal law and give them more food so they don't riot "


The Districts already live under perpetual martial law. no need to "declare" anything. And if you gave them more food then they would come to expect it and when the food dropped again they would just riot then...


message 35: by Dirk (new)

Dirk | 39 comments The shaky camera did not transfer any emotion of confusion or horror to me. It just irritated me senselessly.


message 36: by Tim (new)

Tim | 380 comments Thurman wrote: "What whould you have done. I can't think of anything that would preserve the story."

Ok, the retraction and un-retraction serves only to add to the page count. All it really does is add an extra conflict to block the completion of the story then promptly remove it again.

- It doesn't make the rioting in the districts any more or less likely (since the story is told from Katniss' POV and she has no clue about the riots, they could have absolutely any cause. They are irrelevant to book 1 anyhow)

- It doesn't really alter the Capitol's attitude to Katniss and Peeta, despite what Haymitch says, since as we discover in book 2, they still screw you. After all, that's part of why he hit the bottle.

- About all it does do is secure Seneca Crane's execution for bungling it. You could possibly argue that he was doomed after the first rule change, although frankly Snow doesn't need much excuse to bump anyone off anyhow.

All it really does, IMHO is add an extra "oh crap" moment to the end of the story. It doesn't really add anything that needs preserving.


message 37: by Thurman (new)

Thurman (nycblkboy) | 145 comments SO how should the story have ended? I don't think there is any other ending that paves the way for the last 2 books.

And I know it was a punishment but If they stopped after 25 years there might be anyone who wants to riot. I'm not saying they should have forgiven them immediately. But slowly through time they could have.


message 38: by Charlie (new)

Charlie | 46 comments I know the fight to the death is not an original idea. When I reference Battle Royale as superior in both manga and film is because it had the same elements as Hunger Games. Love, treachery, and rebellion against the system. The difference appears to be minimal and then its watered down for the YA audience.


message 39: by Meghan (new)

Meghan (Bobette) | 30 comments Charlie wrote: "I know the fight to the death is not an original idea. When I reference Battle Royale as superior in both manga and film is because it had the same elements as Hunger Games. Love, treachery, and re..."

Now, I've only seen the Battle Royale movie wayyyyyy back in the day, but I have to say that for me Hunger Games (the books) took the idea to another level.

(view spoiler)

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the battle (in BR) used to reduce population, and ensure that only the "strongest" continue into the population?


back to top