Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Hunger Games - More Hungierer

So, if you read the thing from yesterday, my incoherent rambling about the movie version of a book for children, you might have walked away with the impression that I absolutely hated it. That is not true. There's a lot that I liked here, even if the plot was nonsense, and I felt zero attachment to any of the characters.

Yes I am talking about you.

I will give the creators of this movie a bit of credit and say that they expected the "point" of the movie to not really be about the romance. Maybe they meant they to, but fucked it up so hard that people either didn't believe the romance aspect to it or that it was all for show, but I'm going to suggest that they simply chose not to emphasize or care about it.

Also, this movie gets a lot of comparisons to Battle Royale, which boasts a similar concept even if it is executed completely differently.

Pictured: Differences

Battle Royale had a similarly-sized cast, but managed to create unique personalities and back stories for almost all of them. The majority of the time, you actually feel bad when one of them dies, and that's a hard thing to do with such a large cast. In The Hunger Games on the other hand, you only ever really get to know 8 (eight!) of the tributes, and even then it's pretty superficially. I hated watching the girl kill herself in Battle Royale. There is one girl going around killing a bunch of people maliciously, but her backstory gives a reason as to why she's so vicious. It's relatable, and you don't hate her. Somehow, watching Tribute Boy from Disctrict Don't Even Fucking Know die didn't have quite the same impact.

And the love story in Battle Royale. Well, it is ten times more believable, and even more romantic. (Can I use the word "romantic" to talk about a bunch of teenagers killing each other? Judges ruling? Yes, yes I can.) The fact that the person was so love that they would die to let the other one win is a bigger sacrifice and a more powerful love than double-suicide.

Where The Hunger Games  succeeds, however, is where Battle Royale isn't as strong. The sound in The Hunger Games is amazing. I love the use of music when it's there, which is sparingly. It created a lot of tense scenes aurally (as opposed to Battle Royale's plot crafting them) and I dug it. Moments when the sound cuts out are stark and harsh, and they add a lot of drama to the scene.

Another thing Hunger Games has going for it is the use of colors. If you've paid enough to my thoughts on movies before (why would you do that?) then you probably know that I'm a big fan of using colors in a shot well. One of the aspects of film is that when paused, it should look like a painting: Characters should be framed and staged well, colors should be used to their full potential. You can't just film shit.

This shot is well put together: colors, framing, people, light, bread. The whole nine yards. It's too bad that half the movie looks like this:

1) Well made? - It should have been, but the shaky cam just fucked that up.
2) Contributed?  - Yeah, actually. I think there's room in the canon for this and Battle Royale to exist.
3) Good time? - I was pretty bored.
4) Watch again? - Nah. It was not fun enough and it's almost 2 and a half hours long.
5) Worth it?  - Yeah, actually. It has made an impact on pop culture, it's a somewhat unique idea, and it could have been worse.
6) Who should watch this? - Absolutely anyone who is not too picky about their movies.

No comments: