oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
[personal profile] oyceter
I've read books one and two and been thoroughly spoiled for three. I enjoyed the first book but didn't think it was the Best Thing Ever, and I was rather disappointed in book two.

I think I probably liked the movie better than I liked book one, largely because the worldbuilding of the book is a bit skimpy for text format, but makes for excellent visuals. Also, I really don't remember many of the details in book one, since I read it about three years ago and never reread. The movie had many of the same major flaws the book (the race stuff, my generally wanting it to be more about revolution and less about the Games), with a few of its own added in, and one major point of awesomeness that made me really love it.

Assorted unspoilery thoughts

I laughed particularly loudly at Haymitch's portrayal. Of course he is now prettified and less unappealing than he was in the book for movie-land, and my prediction is that now he will have many new fans in the fandom. Oh fandom. (Is it cynical that I am expecting the new ship of choice to be Haymitch/Peeta, despite their general lack of chemistry and interaction?)

My favorite part of the movie, though, was how they filmed Katniss. [personal profile] starlady mentioned she was sad that a lot of Katniss' sarcasm and anger had disappeared, but I really liked how well Katniss fit the role of the stoic action hero. I particularly liked how the camera treated her. Even during the prettification scenes in the Capitol, there aren't gratuitous shots of Katniss being naked and wet and sexy; she was dressed in practical clothes the entire way through, except the one dress for the Reaping; there are no sexy wounds requiring disrobing; and although I think she is hot like burning, I think so because she is capable and kickass and tough as nails, not because I saw a lot of skin.

I especially noticed this where we have one long shot of Peeta, Katniss, Haymitch, and co. from the back, and there was this woman with a fairly defined hourglass figure I couldn't recognize. Then I realized it was Katniss, and it was possibly the first shot in the movie in which they had her in form-fitting clothing and shot her at enough of a distance to take advantage of it.

It reminded me a lot of how Ripley and Sarah Connor were filmed, and it was SO NICE because I so rarely see it. *hearts Katniss*

I can see where [personal profile] diceytillerman and [personal profile] sanguinity are coming from in regards to the movie presenting the citizens of Capitol as Other via the makeup and dress and how that presentation works to other queerness and drag. I think it pinged me a bit less because both Seneca Crane (the Games Master) and President Snow are fairly gender normative in terms of presentation (especially President Snow). That said, I really wish they did have Cinna dressed much more flamboyantly... I would have liked to have a sympathetic Capitol character who presents the same way as the other citizens but is not a sheep. Then again, this is also influenced by the fact that my reaction to the Capitol outfits was mostly: "OMG AWESOME!"

There's also this interesting coding of traditional masculinity in the Games arena that I'm still thinking about, both in how Katniss is given the role of the traditional male stoic action hero and how Peeta is The Girl, but also something about how the pack of tributes from Districts 1 and 2 are hyper-athletic and very conventionally attractive. It's an interesting contrast to the Capitol, because while there is some gender neutrality in the Games arena, the tributes themselves aren't coded as gender neutral—almost all the female tributes have long hair, frex, and the bits we see of them on Caesar's show are also less Capitol-flash than I had expected.

Other things: I was very glad they did the shaky-cam thing with the violence, because it was already hard enough on my stomach to watch the movie as is. I think they managed to convey the terror and etc. of the Games fairly effectively without making it too media-shiny. I also like getting more that's not in Katniss' POV, though I wish there had been more of the coercion-via-gifts between her and Haymitch.

Peeta briefly comes alive in the interview with Caesar, but other than that, he's pretty boring, which works for me.

Assorted spoilery thoughts

I loved the girl they cast as Rue, but sigh at the race politics. I also liked seeing District 11's little revolt, and I was particularly glad it wasn't all black. That said, District 12 is very creepily white. I also winced at the Hunger Games flashback clip on Caesar's show with a black man beating an Asian man to death with a brick.

I thought the way they shot Thresh killing the District 2 (?) girl was interesting... on the one hand, it very much looks like the savage violence thing from the flashback clip. On the other, someone in the theater actually cheered that moment when we were watching, and I am glad Thresh got to avenge Rue in a way, and it's so mentally weird to have a clip of a black man killing a white woman and have it represent a harsh sort of justice being done, as opposed to what black male violence usually symbolizes. Still very disturbing though.

I bought Katniss' final game of chicken with Seneca Crane more in the movie than in the book, probably because we actually got to see Seneca as a person instead of a faceless Games Master. (In the book, I was kind of just... "Oh come on. They so would not have let them both live.")

Mostly, though, Katniss made the movie for me.

Links (assume spoilers for first book/movie!):
- my review of Hunger Games the book and Catching Fire (spoilers for book 2 as well)
- [personal profile] sanguinity's review
- [personal profile] diceytillerman's review
- [personal profile] grrlpup's review

(no subject)

Mon, Mar. 26th, 2012 08:22 pm (UTC)
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] lnhammer
Mostly, though, Katniss made the movie for me.

This.

The racial make of the cast bothered me the whole way through the movie, even given having to accept Lawrence as being almost dark enough to match Katniss's book description. Though that latter, I accepted only because Lawrence is that good enough an actor.

---L.

(no subject)

Mon, Mar. 26th, 2012 08:29 pm (UTC)
thistleingrey: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] thistleingrey
Re: casting, win some, lose some?

(no subject)

Mon, Mar. 26th, 2012 09:56 pm (UTC)
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] lnhammer
And while her acting wasn't stellar, her interactions with Lawrence had enough personal chemistry to sell us on the characters' relationship without much exposition. (Same with Lawrence and Kravitz as Cinna.)

---L.

(no subject)

Tue, Mar. 27th, 2012 12:08 am (UTC)
thistleingrey: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] thistleingrey
*nods* So I've heard elsewhere as well. It's key, given the quick pace.

(no subject)

Mon, Mar. 26th, 2012 10:39 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] kore
Even just in the trailer, she looked damnear perfect as Rue.

(no subject)

Mon, Mar. 26th, 2012 09:02 pm (UTC)
yeloson: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] yeloson
Yeah. You saw my review yeah? I mostly liked the movie, but all those problematic things also twinged for me.

(no subject)

Mon, Mar. 26th, 2012 09:17 pm (UTC)
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] sanguinity
:: this interesting coding of traditional masculinity in the Games arena that I'm still thinking about, both in how Katniss is given the role of the traditional male stoic action hero and how Peeta is The Girl ::

...and yet Katniss is still being told that she has to smile more, and be pretty more, and Peeta is still making decisions for Katniss and without consulting her re her romantic presentation. The movie is reversing the usual coding, and generally having that reversal be unremarkable -- it's not a point of huge dispute for her back home -- but still portraying sexist pressure toward femininity. I, for one, appreciated getting to have my cake and eat it, too: having her being strong, stoic, and competent AND have validation of the "smile! be pretty!" pressure, without one running roughshod over the other. Very nice balance, I thought.

I also liked the awkward moment at dinner when Peeta didn't show up. No going after him to make him feel better, because that's tantamount to saying that you don't want to live. Really nice object lesson in "sometimes you have to choose who you're going to care for, yourself or him. And you deserve that care as much as he does."


:: Peeta briefly comes alive in the interview with Caesar, but other than that, he's pretty boring, which works for me. ::

Hahahaha! I have some fondness for Peeta in the books, but basically: this is not a movie about Peeta. I liked that his internal life was mostly a cipher, and that his problems and skills were only relevant in how they impacted Katniss's problems.

My biggest problem with the racial casting, besides having such a very fair Katniss, is knowing who has a big old target painted on their chests. Well, that, and having COCs' portrayals revolve around the life of a white woman. Rue and Cinna are wonderfully sympathetic roles in so many ways, and it was good getting to see actors of color play those roles, but... As is so often true, I want more.

(no subject)

Mon, Mar. 26th, 2012 10:55 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] kore
OMG POC Katniss would have been SO AWESOME. Alas.

SIGH, yeah. I know she's not an actress, but the Katniss I was picturing in my head was maybe someone like Lolo Jones.

I know it's probably petty on my part but it actually bugged me some Lawrence doesn't even look brunette -- she looks like someone fair who had their hair dyed. And the hazy golden glow on some of the posters and other PR stuff is supposed to make her look semi-POC? I guess?

CB (who hadn't read the book) said he had been expecting Peeta to lift something super heavy during the Games, due to the set-up of it in the training arena. And it was just like, "No, sorry, no room for that, doesn't advance Katniss' plot."

....AAAAAAAAAAHHAHAHAH.

(no subject)

Tue, Mar. 27th, 2012 12:44 am (UTC)
Posted by [personal profile] shana
Actually, Lawrence looks to me like she dyed her hair back to what would be its natural color.

(no subject)

Tue, Mar. 27th, 2012 12:56 am (UTC)
kore: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] kore
Um, no? http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/article/TMG9157727/Jennifer-Lawrences-The-Hunger-Games-hair-cost-30000.html

There are lots of pictures of her with very blonde hair, and clearly that's not her natural colour, but she's what I would call a dark blonde.

(no subject)

Mon, Mar. 26th, 2012 10:38 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] kore
Yeah, if I'm going to see this movie for one (1) reason, it will be Jennifer Lawrence.

- They don't film her all skimpy-sexy? Dayum, awesome!

I also winced at the Hunger Games flashback clip on Caesar's show with a black man beating an Asian man to death with a brick.

AUUUUGH

(no subject)

Tue, Mar. 27th, 2012 11:37 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] kore
I see they apparently have her wearing PANTS a lot. WOW. (I love pants!)

(no subject)

Tue, Mar. 27th, 2012 03:36 pm (UTC)
al_zorra: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] al_zorra
Lawrence was even less girly wardrobed, coifed, etc. in the film that made her bones, so to speak, Winter Bone. It's the best film I've seen in years.

Love, C.

(no subject)

Wed, Mar. 28th, 2012 12:07 am (UTC)
lnhammer: lo-fi photo of a tall, thin man - caption: "some guy" (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] lnhammer
It's an excellent movie. It's a noir set in the Ozarks.

---L.

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