Monday, March 26, 2012

The Hunger Games Midnight Showing

This isn't going to be a standard King of the Hill post. This is a post on the midnight showing of The Hunger Games, a movie I've been waiting for a long time to watch. In preparation for this, I decided I'd do a costume for the first time on a midnight showing. If you are familiar with The Hunger Games at all, you know that costume selection varies from the drab to the outlandish. I decided to go with an outlandish look and dressed as a resident of Capital District.

My outfit isn't as outlandish as some of the people from the Capital District. Effie, for example, pushes it to the extreme. I wore a custom fit rest vest, homemade jabot, black pants, boots, and hair pulled back in a ponytail with a ribbon tied into a bow. It gave me a nice, stuffy look that I did my best to play up for the photos.

We arrived very early for the showing. Specifically, we showed up at 8:00 PM for the 12:01 AM showing. There were people there dressed up, most of them from our party and all of them teenagers. In fact, it should be noted that almost everyone at the movie was a teenager. I had a couple of kids approach me and ask about my costume. I explained why I was wearing my outfit and what it was for. Most of the fans of the movie didn't see it until later. Our movie line was inside the theater. We stood in line until about 9:30, when they kindly let us go into our screen.

Waiting was both entertaining and very difficult. It was two-and-a-half hours of listening to teenagers talk, scream out the time left until the movie in fifteen minute increments. Someone else in the theater, one of the many teenagers, approached me and complimented my outfit. The final, and most surreal compliment came after I returned from the restrooms. One of the kids in near the backroom shouted out, “Hey, I want you to know your costume is cool!” He started to clap his hands and it resulted in everyone clapping. Yes, I got an applause for my outfit. Crazy teenagers.

There was a brief moment of panic in the theater when the project didn't run properly, it pushed back our screen time a few minutes, but then it was time for the movie to begin... I should probably put up my disclaimer here, but you know it by now. Blah, blah, blah, every movie for the year. Blah, blah, blah brackets at the end of the year. Let's get the damn comparison going!

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes v. The Hunger Games

This is your last chance to avoid spoilers. Stop reading now if you don't want to be spoiled. I'm strictly reviewing this based on the movie, not the book. The movie didn't vary too much from the book except for a few very notable exceptions. The biggest difference was the riot at District 11 which doesn't happen until Catching Fire. But, again, this isn't about the adaptation.

If you aren't familiar with the movie, The Hunger Games is a movie about Katniss Everdeen from District 12. Every year, the Capital District holds a contest to “honor” the history of Panem's survival. One boy and one girl from each district is selected by lottery or volunteer status to participate in a death match. 24 children enter and only one leaves. Katniss volunteers when her sister is selected at random to participate. Her partner is the local baker's son, Peeta.

Katniss and Peeta struggle with the fact that they both can't leave the game and, at the same time, struggle with the fact that District 12 doesn't have careers. Careers are children from District 1 and District 2 that spend their days at special schools for fighting. About 45 minutes of the movie leads to the point of them entering the game and then, the movie erupts in shaky cam violence. Yes, shaky cam. I can't stand that crap. I have read that the shaky cam was a method to keep the violence of the movie down enough to maintain a PG13 rating, which is unfortunate. Shaky cam makes me nauseous and detracts harshly from the movie for me. This is part of the reason I hated Transformers and never returned to catch future Borne movies.

Stepping away from the camera techniques, the movie was phenomenal. It spent most of the time focusing on Katniss and, occasionally, moving away to the control room for the games or the broadcaster, where it explained a bit of what was going on. The technique was a great way to cover knowledge that Katniss might have thought about internally, but couldn't speak aloud due to a lack of available character to interact with.

There was really little to complain about in the end with this flick. I felt most of the characters were well portrayed and developed adequately. I do think the casting for the characters were too old, especially for the part of Gail. That guy looked like a mini-giant in a pack of rabid teenagers. He didn't convince me he was a kid for a second.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a nice, entertaining flick, but it doesn't stand up to the might of Katniss Everdeen when armed with a bow.

The Hunger Games

Director: Gary Ross
Writer: Gary Ross based on the novel by Suzanne Collins
Katniss: Jennifer Lawrence
Peeta: Josh Hutchenson
Gail: Liam Hemsworth

1 comment:

  1. Nice subtle acknowledgement of the fact you live in the Capital District.