Friday, March 23, 2012

Hunger Games movie - a mom's review

So I am only one mom, but I am going to take this post to tell you my opinion about the Hunger Games movie. St. Louis kids are on Spring Break this week, so we indulged and attended the midnight premiere. These photos show our kids freezer paper stenciling some shirts to wear - tutorial for fpstenciling here. 
My big kids are 13 and 12 and we (Faith, Joey, David and I) read the Hunger Games trilogy last summer. The books are haunting, very violent and disturbing. They're also riveting, exciting, and grounds for many many many poignant and relevant-to-modern-day discussions.
This book series is not carried at our elementary school's library. The librarian there also read the books and loved them, but is very clear with families that The Hunger Games is a young adult book. It's shelved that way at every bookstore in the land, and there is a reason for that.
If you have children younger than 16, I would highly recommend that you read the books before you take them to the movie. (I picked 16 because if your kids are younger than that, in theory, you are driving them to the theatre.). The books are gripping. You will devour them. I know we did.
But they are also barbaric. The word "dystopian" is so interesting to me because it sounds so "vanilla" so no-big-deal, so non-threatening. But these books are eerie. They are haunting. You'll want to read them boom boom boom. David and I read them so fast, we were able to discuss how very interesting it was that even we felt desensitized to the violence by book three - book one seemed over the top for me, and by book three I expected the violence and absorbed it more easily. Is this a good thing?
The books and the movie are about children who are forced to kill each other in a contest - they are powerless to the adults who oversee the event.
My kids saw the movie - they both loved it. Loved it. They were delighted that the movie hardly deviated from the book. Faith and her two friends were interviewed on the news (at 2:30 a.m. good gravy). One friend thought there was too much violence, one friend thought the violence was not too much and one friend thought the violence was what she expected it to be.
I think the word "expected" is what captures whether you should take your children to this movie. If you are familiar with the plot, if your children know what's coming and they want to experience a favorite story, I say go to the movie. If your kids are not motivated to read the book, I say don't push it and don't see the film.
The special effects seemed very purposeful to hide some of the gore, the characters who die remain strangers to the viewers for the most part (in the books you get to know them - watching them be killed would have been difficult), the absence of soul in the Capitol city is beautifully communicated, the acting is terrific.
I don't know how the film could have been done better. Really. David will see it and my kids will want to see it again. And we'll let them, and we'll talk about it more. 

Have you seen it?

On a lighter note: The gold metallic fabric paint by tulip works beautifully - I'll post a better close up next week (Faith used it on her shirt - all the way to the left, above). It was so fun to use!
And Kyle of course did not see the movie and he has years before he'll read the books. But he did make a tshirt (I'll show that to you next week too) and thinking of Suzanne Collins reminded me that he is ready to begin the Overlander series - another must read, for children of all ages. 

Happy Weekend! xo

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