Tag Archive: The Hunger Games

In less than a week

Hey! If you’re reading this then that means that your were either board and decided to read or you actually want to know what’s going on with my life. Well, your reading and that’s what matters. So let’s get started with this update. If you’re wondering what I mean by the title it means that in less than a week I’ll be going on mission fuge. I can hardly wait. Because this year we are going to New York City. This will be my first time going to New York. Our youth minister has taken the youth group there before, but like I said this is my first time going to New York.  We will be leaving the twenty-seventh and we will return ten days later. Hopefully, when I get back I’ll have some things to blog about. I’ll make them more detailed if I do blog about mfuge.(I promise) 🙂 I’ll do a better job in actually blogging about mission fuge than last year that’s for sure. So anyway please like my blog and leave a comment and let me know what I should blog about. Later. 🙂





The film version of The Hunger Games is a fine example of the contemporary Hollywood franchise picture. It features a cast full of next-big-things breakout actors supported by old-pro ringers having a blast with funny wigs. It conjures up an intriguing new fantasy world without overdosing on world-building (like John Carter) or mythology (like Green Lantern.) More importantly, it manages to capture the propulsive energy of Suzanne Collins’ novel. Adapting a great book into a good movie is not an easy task, and the makers of Hunger Games deserve credit just for the bad decisions they didn’t make. (They didn’t Twilight the movie into a romantic “triangle;” they didn’t turn Peeta into someone who could even remotely be construed as a badass; the kids still kill each other.) But there is one important aspect of the original novel that is almost entirely absent from the movie: The darkly funny way in which Collins directly accuses the audience. As in, us. Weirdly, by turning the book into such a fan-baiting crowdpleaser, the movie version of Hunger Games seems to oddly miss the point of its own source material.

Every great YA book series of the modern age has an origin story. Think of J.K. Rowling writing on napkins, or Stephenie Meyer’s vampire dream, or Christopher Paolini being twelve. The story goes that Hunger Games came to Suzanne Collins while she was channel-surfing between a reality show and footage from the Middle East wars. That’s why the book, despite its reputation, is not just a junior-high remake of The Most Dangerous Game.

The events in the Capitol constitute one of the most bleakly funny satires of the media this side of The Daily Show. Katniss is primped. She gets better clothes. She learns to give a good interview. Notably, one of the big turning points for Katniss — the first appearance of the “Girl on Fire” dress — has absolutely nothing to do with her own skills and everything to do with how her handlers present her. It’s a portrayal of the very carefully planned creation of a media star — a storyline that can’t help but seem meta that the actress playing Katniss has jumped in just one year from her own metaphorical District 12 (Winter’s Bone) into hitting the red carpet and hanging out with talk show hosts.

In the movie, these scenes are a lot of fun, but they’re somewhat… empty. The “audience” of the Capitol is mostly faceless people applauding. Even worse, the decision to focus so strongly on President Snow has the effect of dampening the satire. The great Donald Sutherland plays Snow as a combination of the Emperor from Star Wars and a James Bond villain. What we’re seeing, really, is a dramatic oversimplification of Collins’ moral universe. In the book, Katniss is the hero, and everyone except for her family is the villain. In the movie, Katniss is the hero, and everyone else is misguided, and Snow is the villain.

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Basically, The Hunger Games in movie form has become a superhero film. Katniss’ arrival in the Capitol is her origin story. Cato is the minor villain she faces in the first movie — think Scarecrow in Batman Begins — while the real villain lurks around the outskirts, building up lots of tension for the sequel. That’s not a bad thing, and Hunger Games is a fine superhero film. But by making the moral stakes so obvious, the movie basically becomes exactly the sort of simplified media narrative that Collins was originally criticizing.

The film is even more problematic when it moves into the Arena. One of the most interesting things about Katniss’ time in the Arena — as rendered by Collins — is that she isn’t just trying to survive. She’s also trying, in her own way, to please the audience: A key aspect of the Games is the presence of the sponsors, who send in helpful presents if they’re enjoying a Tributes’ performance. To that end, Katniss has to pretend that she is in love with Peeta. Much of the central tension of her time with Peeta in the Arena comes from the fact that what she’s doing has little to do with what she’s thinking. When she kisses Peeta, it’s not really a big swoony moment. She’s playing the game. Really, they’re having a reality-TV “showmance” — it just so happens that one of them didn’t get the memo.

This notion of performing — of Katniss playing the romantic hero, the way that Russell Hantz played the villainous mastermind on Survivor or Kelly Clarkson played the Everygal ingenue on American Idol or The Situation played the douchebag on Jersey Shore — is a central aspect of the book’s appeal. And the film has almost none of it. There’s a funny sequence where Haymitch prods her — “You call that a kiss?” — but the kiss itself is treated as a swoony moment.

To say that there is no romance in The Hunger Games isn’t quite accurate. Katniss herself is confused throughout the first book about her own feelings for Peeta — even if those feelings thankfully play a distant second to her constant concern for staying alive. But the movie pointedly chops out the payoff to this whole subplot: The moment at the end of the book when Katniss inadvertently admits that she was playing it all up for the cameras.

“It was all for the Games,” he says. “How you acted.”

“Not all of it,” I say, tightly holding onto my flowers.

“Then how much? No, forget that. I guess the real question is what’s going to be left when we get home?” he says.

“I don’t know. The closer we get to District Twelve, the more confused I get,” I say. He waits, for further explanation, but none’s forthcoming.

“Well, let me know when you work it out,” he says, and the pain in his voice is palpable.

That is a hell of a way to end a book: With betrayal, and confusion, and bitterness. The movie has not one bit of that exchange. Our last view of Katniss and Peeta are of them waving to District 12, while Gale looks on smiling. Meanwhile, back in the Capitol Command Center, cranky old President Snow glowers.

It was probably always going to be impossible for a Hunger Games movie to really follow through on Collins’ bread-and-circuses satirical edge. In his review of the movie, the AV Club’s Scott Tobias accurately compares the book’s bloodsoaked satire to the films of Paul Verhoeven, and it’s been a long time since any major movie studio has given a big budget to a director as dark or weird or fundamentally R-rated as Verhoeven. Moreover, The Hunger Games as a film franchise could very well wind up making billions of dollars. Audiences don’t like being morally implicated. They like love stories, and shaky-cam action, and villains played by Donald Sutherland, and funny wigs. (It makes you wonder what the filmmakers will do with Mockingjay, one of the bleakest conclusions to a sci-fi franchise since Alien3.)

Hunger Games is one of the very finest and most interesting funny-wig movies of the modern age. But by translating Suzanne Collins’ angry, fascinating, gloriously accusatory novel into a nicely-paced action picture — the kind of movie where a starving girl from a bleak mining district wears a nice leather jacket when she goes out hunting with her handsome Hemsworth pal — the movie version of Hunger Games winds up being a well-packaged, unchallenging studio product. Caesar Flickerman would be proud.

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich


Palestine wins UNESCO seat



Palestine won full admission into UNESCO, the United Nations science, education and cultural heritage organization, in a closely watched vote in Paris Monday. Global diplomacy hands view the 107-14 vote as a benchmark carrying larger implications for the Palestinians’ bid for state recognition before the UN Security Council. Both the United States and Israel have strongly opposed both initiatives.


The United States, Israel, Canada, Germany, Sweden and Australia were among the 14 nations voting against the Palestinians’ UNESCO bid, while 107 countries–including France, Spain, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, India, Russia, China, South Africa and Indonesia–voted in favor. Fourteen nations–including the United Kingdom and Italy–abstained.

Washington, which called the UNESCO vote “premature” Monday, has threatened to cut off funding to UNESCO if Palestine is granted membership. The United States currently accounts for about one-fifth of the organization’s budget.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also rejected the UNESCO vote, and warned it would set back peace process.

“This is a unilateral Palestinian maneuver which will bring no change on the ground but further removes the possibility for a peace agreement,” the Israeli ministry said in a statement.  “This decision will not turn the Palestinian Authority into an actual state yet places unnecessary burdens on the route to renewing negotiations.”

Palestine’s successful UNESCO bid comes as Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair is due to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House Monday.

Blair has been trying to advance the Quartet’s efforts to get the Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table, asking each side to lay out their specific terms for resolving the issues of borders and security for a two-state solution. Meanwhile, Israeli officials have been depicting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as an unworthy peace partner.

Abbas, in turn, has recently reiterated his periodic threat to dissolve the Palestinian Authority–a move that if carried out would presumably give Israel the burden of administering, funding, and coordinating security for the West Bank’s Palestinian population.


Soon after news broke that Lenny Kravitz had been cast in The Hunger Games, Twitter users took to the social networking site to share their reactions.

In fact, the actor-musician soon became a trending topic.

Kravitz is set to play stylist Cinna, who helps Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) prep for the Hunger Games. It was a role that fans had been anxious to see filled for some time.

And judging by Twitter reaction, they are mixed about the casting news.

Among the tweets in favor of Kravitz’s casting:

“The 1st #HungerGames casting decision I co-sign” — Harvey M

“OMG! Cinna!!” — Dyah Ayuni Wijayanti

“Maybe Lenny Kravitz doesnt look right for Cinna but I couldn’t care less because he ROCKS! #hungergames” — Zoe Wood

“Wow, the news of Lenny Kravitz‘s casting as Cinna is trending. Personally, I’m cool with it. #HungerGames” — Jess Huckins

And just as many weren’t happy about the news:

Lenny Kravitz IS NOT Cinna. Period. ='(” — Naybeth Diaz.

“actually really pissed off about lenny kravitz being cinna. that’s just… not right. :(” — emileeeeeeeeee

Lenny Kravitz as Cinna? I’m starting to lose interest in this.” — 7non

Lenny Kravitz is going to be Cinna? #srsly?” — Chitra Parameswaran


Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci and Elizabeth Banks also star in the movie, which Lionsgate is set to release March 23.

Get More Entertainment News from The Hollywood Reporter

There’s no shortage of young Hollywood actors expressing their desire to star in the much-anticipated “Hunger Games” movie based on the young adult novels. But while most actors act a bit coy about their desire for a role in the film, “Step Up” and “Camp Rock 2” star, Alyson Stoner, is making sure she sends no mixed messages about her desire to play the lead role of Katniss, according to ONTD.
She recently tweeted the photo above of herself dressed as Katniss next to an illustration by Jason Chan
Previously, she tweeted pictures of herself climbing a wall and a tree — in the books, climbing is one of Katniss’ better skills.
Her pal, “Suite Life” actress Debby Ryan told MTV.com that Stoner “read [‘The Hunger Games’ books] a few years ago, and I know that she’s been very much in the mental place of the role… Knowing her better almost than I know myself, she has this dedication and this hardcore-ness.”
She then defends Stoner’s lack of experience in a lead film role saying, “If you spend 45 seconds around her, you know she can carry a film. She can kick butt in an arena, so I think she would be an insane Katniss. She’s been training. She’s like climbing rocks and walls and trees. She’s insane.”
According to a “Hunger Games” producer, the film is looking for someone tough like “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s” Lisbeth Salander. The film will start shooting this spring and will be in theaters in March of next year.

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The Hunger Games

I just love The Hunger Games series. The author Suzanne Collins is a very talent writer. I am looking forward to seeing the movies when they come out.

In what used to be North America, Panem consists of a very wealth Capital and 12 poorer districts. District 12 where the story starts off is located in  Appalachia. As a punishment for a previous rebellion against the Capital every District must send one girl and one boy to participact in the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is a televised evert where the “tribute” must fight to the death until one remains. This is were Katniss Everdeen comes in. When her sister Primrose, or Prim, is choosen Katniss volunteers to take her place. Her and other trubute Peeta Mellark are taken to the Capital to meet the other tributes and will be display publicly to the Capital.

then the Hunger Games start both Peeta and Katniss survive as more people die. Due to them beening “star-crossed lovers” a rule change made it to were a2 trubutes from the same distract can win. But when they r the only 2 left the changed it back only to have to change it back when Peeta and Katniss thearten to kill themselves with poisonous berries.

They are declared winners but Katniss is warned that she had become a political target after defining society’s authoritarian leaders, and Peeta is heart broken that their relationship was a ploy to get sympathy from the audience, although Katniss remains unsure of her own feelings.

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