Saturday, March 24, 2012

March 24: The Hunger Games

Everyone is talking about The Hunger Games these days as the first movie was released yesterday.

I have been a fan of the Hunger Games books since before it was cool to be a fan of Hunger Games! After reading the series, I made it my goal to get everyone I know to read the books, because I loved them so much. I did convince a lot of people to read them, so I guess I am partly to blame for the Hunger Games mania going on right now.

Last night, a big group of us headed to the theater to see the movie on opening night. We first met at Steak n Shake to hang out and play a little Hunger Games trivia. Between all of us, we have 15 kids. That means we all had to arrange babysitters for our kids for a late night movie....that's a lot of childcare! You know we are dedicated fans when we were willing to go to all that trouble to find babysitters. Daniel's parents drove all the way here (a three hour trip) just to watch our girls for this night.
Then it was movie time. We went to a 10:10 showing, and it was not full at all. I was really surprised at how few people were there. I guess all of the diehard fans went to the midnight showings the night before.

Before I talk about my thoughts on the movie, allow me a little tangent about movies based on books. It seems to be the thing to do right now to make movies based on popular books. I read a lot of books, and I like to watch movies, so I have watched many movies based on books that I have read. Here is my advice for watching these kinds of movies:

1. Remember that the book is ALWAYS better than the movie. I read a review of the Hunger Games movie in Entertainment Weekly today that explained it this way, "The movie shows how, but the book shows why." In a book, the author is able to communicate so much more about what is going in inside the character's head. A movie just can't do that, therefore the book is always going to be better at giving you a full picture of the story.

2. The movie will leave out parts of the book. Unless you are willing to sit in the theater for 12 hours to watch the movie, you really can't expect the movie to cover every single detail of the book.

3. The movie will change parts of the book. Some ideas are too complex or too difficult to translate to screen, and changes must be made.

4. The movie will never look exactly as you imagined while reading the book. Which is another reason why the book is always better--it leaves so much more to the imagination. Movies do not have that luxury.

So when you see a movie based on a book you have read, don't let these things upset you. It's just the way it is with movies and books. I always love to watch the movie after reading the book, but I also go into the movie with pretty low expectations.

Okay...back to the topic at hand: I really liked The Hunger Games movie. It has to be really hard to make a movie like that, knowing how many fans of the book will be critiquing every single thing and expecting so much. I thought they did a good job. It followed closely to the book, and I liked the couple things that they added or changed for the sake of the movie. I enjoyed it. I'm curious to know if people who did not read the books also found it enjoyable.

If you have never read the books, go read them. Then go see the movie. It is a fairly universally appealing story and a super easy read. You won't regret it! =)


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