movie monday: the hunger games


Yo, if you are looking for a thoughtful or coherent review this is not the place. Lots of other smart people have written about it and I didn’t give a fuck about those reviews, so if that’s your bag, go forth and seek! If, instead, you want mostly capslocked and partially incoherent babble, I AM TOTES YOUR WOMAN.


I read the trilogy over the course of two days (Actually about 12 hours if I remember correctly) at the end of October last year and, though I found plenty problematic things to bitch about with my girlfriend, I generally loved them. I read WAY more YA books than books marketed towards adults (11 of the 16 books I read last year were YA — wow I need to read more this year! — and all but one of the 26 books I read in 2010 was not YA or a comic trade) and I tend to read them and love them with reckless abandon. I try to always read critically, but I have two English degrees and that shit gets tiresome. I mostly read for pleasure and I am not going to beat myself up if I don’t think about what I’m reading hard enough. And you shouldn’t either! But you should also be willing to listen when people raise good critical points!

ANYWAY. I loved the movie and though I agree with the criticism that choosing her white-washed the character Jennifer Lawrence was really, really good. I mean, unbelievably good. I mean, OUTSTANDING at being empathetic and pained and open and restrained in all the right places.

Also, I love Josh Hutcherson as Peeta. And his Peeta is SO GOOD. The sniffing! The sweet earnest confession of love! HIS BEAUTIFUL BREAD ARMS! That little, “WE ARE GONNA DIE SO AT LEAST COME LAY NEAR MY GENITALS WHILE INFECTION LEECHES INTO MY BRAIN AND MURDERS ME”. So charming! The gentle EROTIC SALVING OF WOUNDS!! Also, good job cutting to Gale’s face every single time Peeta and Katniss were together. SO GREAT AND HILARIOUS. Gale’s facial expressions are perfect forever.

And whatever to Gale and Prim and Katniss’ mother. These are characters IDGAF about. I hate Prim in the books and I didn’t like her in the movie but that’s because she was being the Prim in the books, so good job on that I guess?

I really loved all the tributes, ESPECIALLY RUE who is my second favorite character in the books (um, after no one? I guess after Katniss, but actually probably Cinna who I will discuss MOMENTARILY) and especially when she stole the knife from the other tribute and was hanging up above them GIGGLING because she is 12 and that is what 12-year-olds do even when they are in a scary-ass situation. Her bonding with Katniss and them cuddling up together for warmth/safety and her helping Katniss attack the volunteer squad with the tracker jackers was all perfect and beautiful and I just LOST IT TOTALLY when she died.

[ALSO, fuck racist idiots who fail at reading comprehension and HUMAN DECENCY. End of story.]

I mean, you guys, let’s talk about my track record for crying here. I AM A MESS as a human being. I cry at EVERYTHING. I cry at Parks and Recreation FREQUENTLY because I can’t deal with Ron Swanson being a good friend. SERIOSULY. TEARS ACTUALLY COME OUT OF MY FACE. And I get choked up at trailers all the time and also, I am just generally a person that cries. And I cried SO HARD when Rue died in the book, sitting up at my desk at like four in the morning with my Kindle in my left hand and my face on my desk, just WEEPING tears onto the floor and my legs and everywhere. And then Amandla Stenberg and that sad, perfectly shocked face and Katniss being like, “YOU ARE GOING TO BE OKAY IT’S ALL OKAY EVERYTHING IS OKAY OH GOD”.

I am not emotionally equipped to deal with that. And then JUST LIKE IN THE BOOKS, I sobbed even harder while she was laying the flowers around Rue’s body and THEN when she kissed her fingers and then District 11 did it back and then started rioting I was just like, FULLY SOBBING LOUDLY in the theater doing that WUH WUH WUH WUH WUH WUH noise?! And it was horrible. MY NECK GOT ALL SLIMY FROM TEARS AND THAT IS DISGUSTING.

When the movie was over my gf was like, “Dude, you were totally crying in sync with the twelve year old girl next to me.” And I’m a little proud.

I LOVED CINNA. Lenny Kravitz is a beautiful, gentle man and he and Jennifer Lawrence EFFORTLESSLY brought to life one of the most dynamic and interesting and painful and perfect relationships in the entire series and I CANNOT WAIT to see how it develops in the next one. Because Cinna is THE BEST and they are so beautiful together. CINNA AND KATNISS BFFFFF FOREVER.

I also loved all of the CAPITOL FASHUNZ and EFFIE! I have loved Elizabeth Banks approximately forever and such perfect casting! So many ridiculous fashunz I would love to wear! And all the posh accommodations and futuristic buildings and stuff. So good and great to watch.

I loved the way they brought everything to life, especially the stuff in the arena control room because it was really cool and such a good way of seeing how that stuff works and how they’re responding in real time to the whims of the Capitol.

And yes, some of the weight of the books is lost in taking it to screen, some of the story and some of the heart and some of the political commentary is buried or skipped. But if you come out of that movie thinking anything other than “The Capitol is dangerous and the Hunger Games are terrible and life in Panem is oppressive and awful” you weren’t watching the same movie. And yes, that applies to the teenagers that adults continue to underestimate.