Thursday, March 15, 2012

Why I Won't Be Seeing...

The Hunger Games movie.

Part of me thinks I shouldn't even dignify it with an entire blog post, especially considering I've already mentioned the series in, like, three posts already. But I got nothin' else at the moment. Here are my reasons, in no particular order unless my subconscious mind has other plans.

1. I'm a book snob. So why would I want to spend three hours going to a theater to watch a movie when I could stay home (or anywhere else I happen to be) and finish reading Emma? (Title-dropping is what we book snobs do. Between you and me, Emma's a very, very long book.)

2. It's way too popular. And I tend to shy away from whatever everyone else is doing. Or seeing.

3. Hollywood betrayed me. When I was newlywed, I convinced my beautiful, tender bride to make an exception to her long-standing personal rule against seeing PG-13 or worse movies, and took her to see The Fellowship of the Ring. I literally finished rereading the book in the lobby of the theater right before we went in, so I had it all fresh in my mind. It was a great book, and everything I knew promised that the movie would be great, too.

And then I had to sit through about four hours of darkness and violence, thinking the entire time that it was exactly what my poor wife hadn't wanted to see. I never got into the movie, and didn't enjoy it one bit. All I could think was how right my wife was and how wrong I was. Also, the book wasn't like that.

4. How often does the movie do the book justice, anyway? Okay, now that I've said that, I can think of a few times: Holes, Hitchhiker's Guide, Contact. (And I actually like the movie version of Carl Sagan's Contact better than the book.) But those are the exceptions, in my experience. Oh, I'd better add the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice to that list, because it's almost exactly like the book. Why is that so rare?

5. If they were really going to do The Hunger Games justice, it wouldn't be PG-13. It would be a lot worse. It would be disturbing, horrifying, and you'd come out of the theater feeling guilty for having gone to watch children kill each other for entertainment. But, things being as they are, even the most atrocious acts can be made wonderfully entertaining. I'm sure that's exactly what the movie will be. And everyone will love it.

6. Everyone loves it. (This might be a duplicate of number two.) Seriously, where's the criticism? I feel obliged to write these posts because no one else is. Admittedly, I haven't tried to find criticism of THG, books or movie. I'm just going by what comes my way. With Twilight it was mostly criticism. Sure, the books are well-written, but they're also...

7. Horrific. And this is what it really comes down to for me. There are a lot of things in that book that I've already seen in my mind, and I have no interest in seeing them on the screen. The consequences of what Katniss lives through and does don't really appear until the end of book three, at which point the story fast forwards through them. The book, the movie, they're both too much like the fictional Hunger Games themselves.

8. I'm self-righteous.

9. My wife won't let me. She's never read the books, but she's been right about this sort of thing before, and who am I gonna trust? (See number three.)

10. The word "star" is nowhere in the title. Neither is the word "trek."

11 comments:

  1. Lol, love number ten. So, I actually agree with most of these but I'm still going to see it. One, because I'm an incurable optimist and hope that it will be okay. Two, because I have two toddlers and will do almost anything for a date night.

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  2. Yeah. Trust your wife. It's safer that way. LOL!

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  3. You're awesome. I especially love number ten. (I hear the new one is somewhere in the works??) I also agree with completely on the movies that did the book justice. Well done ;-D

    I read the first Hunger Games book after enduring tremendous taunts - meaning I finally gave in to peer pressure.
    I don't plan on reading the next two.

    Like my good friend said - with a plot that horrific, wouldn't it be better to use that emotional energy in a way that would BENEFIT someone??
    This friend has spent a lot of time traveling the world, and has seen some horrible things happen to people - the idea of finding entertainment in that is fairly horrifying to her, and I'm happy to say that I had to agree.

    I do also tend to drag my feet excessively when something hits "big"
    I read the Twilight series only because the teenage girls I taught guitar to begged me.
    Hmmm... I'm beginning to see a trend here . . .

    I will say again that our families need to live closer - I think we'd have a blast. Your wife and I could use our husbands' tools all day while you two sit in offices . . .
    And we can complain about the state of the movie industry, lol

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  4. #10 is my favorite too. I'm going to go see the movie, but lately I've been wondering--"As a people who have an unhealthy love of reality TV, will this be like taking the next step to making the Hunger Games a reality?"

    That's a scary thought.

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  5. Another example of a movie that was better than the book is "I am Legend". I saw the movie first and it was amazing and terrifying so I thought the book would be the same. Nope, boring. Not that I like terrifying movies, I hate them. And you shouldn't see the movie if you haven't. But the story (in the movie) was compelling...
    BTW, I will be seeing THG and I'm not sorry about it. ;)
    (In spite of #10 and mostly for the same reasons as Ms. Bowers.)

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  6. Um, I certainly do not love The Hunger Games books. The first and second are good, but the third book killed the whole series for me. And a lot of people I know agree.

    But it's true that a lot of people do love the first book.

    There is something entertaining about violence. I don't know what it is, but it is. I choose to not think of myself as morally inferior for liking moderate amounts of violence, but I probably am. :P

    It's just... exciting. While I love The Lord of the Rings books, I love the movies just as much.

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  7. PS. I do often think of your "thou art the man" argument against THG. I find it extremely logical. I've repeated it to people before. No one can say anything against it.

    (But I think there is a difference between enjoying fake violence and enjoying real violence, like there is a difference between enjoying fake conflict and enjoying actual conflict. One affects real people, the other does not.)

    What I think is key to all of this? If something is not edifying to you, do not watch it. I could make a fine argument that fake violence is edifying to me. My mom, however, like your wife, gets really distressed by it.

    In the same vein, I can't talk about flu pandemics or nuclear holocaust lately. It literally makes me suicidal. Others can handle it fine.

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  8. So, admit it. You started with number 10, then decided that that sounded narrow minded and shallow and made all that other stuff up. You know it's true.

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  9. Okay, okay, so your arguments for not seeing the movie make sense. And perhaps on a different day, I'd side with you.

    However, because I'm bored at work, I feel the need to vouch for THG. I loved book #1(second book was okay, third book sucked), and I will see the movie. I am not a big fan of violence. Anything too gory makes me want to puke. Reading about little kids getting murdered was not a highlight.

    The books are not read because we love violence. The books are read because we love seeing someone put an end to this violence. As C.S. Lewis said, sometimes you have to harm Person A in order to stop harm to Person B.

    What did I learn from THG? I gained a new life perspective, baffled with a haunting theory that could become our future (in perhaps camouflaged form), heeded a warning against my own entertainment obsession, and related this story to the millions of others that are happening around the world (see: child slavery, invisible children, sex trade, etc). I was reminded of the evil, corruption, and insanity this world holds. I was reinforced with the idea that sometimes, it just takes one person to create a spark to put an end to it all. I realized that with the right amount of determination, passion, and perseverance, anything is possible.

    What did I learn from reading Emma? Good grammar :)

    Back to the spreadsheets I go.

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  10. Yeah, it's the warning against entertainment obsession that was the core theme of the book to me. And the amount and level of violence was pretty low compared to other books I've read (and liked, I'll admit.) What really struck me as I read was how easy it really is to dismiss the glowing pictures we watch as we go about our little lives. We're a lot like the Capitol dwellers. We see awful things happening, but they never register as real. As we become desensitized to violence by our entertainment, real violence shocks us less.

    That's what I learned from THG. And Emma? I learned a couple new words that I've already forgotten.

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  11. "We see awful things happening, but they never register as real. As we become desensitized to violence by our entertainment, real violence shocks us less."

    Very well said. Something to ponder. I'll let ya know my thoughts once I see the movie. I know the internet is just dying to hear them :)

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