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Tag Archives: The Hunger Games

Has it All Been Done Before?

I just recalled a discussion I had during a class I had with the professor who had me start this blog. She taught a metafiction class and started it off by asking “Has everything been done already in literature?”

A great question – certainly split the class in two immediately, with people insisting that we’ve borrowed ideas over and over again with different names, time periods, and plots over the years.

I remember telling her that I didn’t believe that. Poe’s The Tell Tale Heart would serve as a foundation for modern detective stories we read today. J.K. Rowling painted a world where the terms “witch” and “warlock” didn’t mean the leering, sinister figures, hungry for mischief and revenge – instead, these could be a mix of smart, kind, and evil figures who used magic and witchcraft for good and evil.

I’ll admit that with the recent surge of YA literature in the Dystopian genre, its easy to argue its all been done before. Many fans have dubbed Divergent and The Maze Runner to be Hunger Games copycats while I feel differently. While all three speak of bleak, somewhat extreme time periods, each one focuses on something different.

The Hunger Games touches on class differences along with the premise of revolution and what it does to people. In addition to that, a young girl is forced to grow up and lead a nation of people who view her as the beacon of hope in a unbalanced society.

Divergent observes how people would fair if they were divided into different groups based on a singular way of thinking. The underlying theme of fear and how one copes with it is also prevalent in the characters’ storylines as they attempt to change a society that had narrowed people’s minds and divided them based on set principles told to them.

The Maze Runner questions morality and whether testing innocent people from a young age is justified in seeking a cure for the rest of the world. The main character struggles with redemption as he tries to atone for his past throughout the series.

Where do you stand?

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It’s There Somewhere in the Mess (An original poem inspired by Mockingjay)

Inspired by Peeta Mellark’s struggle in Suzanne Collins Mockingjay novel, I present to you my original poem.

There are faces in my line of sight

Screams of agony engulfing me

And a thousand voices in my head

 

The memories I held onto

As beacons of hope

Are broken and jagged like shards of glass

 

Voids created and details lost

Friends, family, foes

All the same

 

The one face

That stands out

The braid, the grey eyes, and the golden pin

 

I think she’s a threat

But others say otherwise

I’m trying to remember

But it’s a mess inside

 

Year of Film

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How many of you out there consider yourselves loyal film buffs who see at least a film a year?

When I was younger I saw a lot of films, mostly Disney and the occasional releases from other theaters. Yes, I even dragged my mom to see Pokemon The Movie 2000 in theaters – sorry Mom! Nowadays, it has been rare when I go to the theater unless there’s something I really want to see.

Starting in the later half of 2013, I purchased a membership to AMC Stubs, seeing that I knew I was going to watch The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen in 2013 and Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars, Maleficent, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, and Big Hero 6 in 2014. Guess that it was good that I did – the membership has definitely paid for itself with the number of films I’ve seen, which include Saving Mr. Banks, Muppets Most Wanted, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Guardians of the Galaxy twice and The Maze Runner opening soon. Surprisingly, I think its safe to say that this is a record year for me of films I’ve gone to see in theaters.

Catching Fire takes the record for being the film I’ve seen the most in a theater – 3 times. (Twice by myself and once with a friend who wanted to see it with a buddy.)

Personal favorites that I loved seeing include The Fault in Our Stars, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

After attending San Diego Comic Con in July, I think its safe to add The BoxTrolls to the list of films to see.

How about all of you? Any films you’re excited to see?

The Price of Hollywood

Yesterday I attended the live auction for The Hunger Games Costume Auction, which was open to bidders and viewers all around the world. You could either call in, bid online, or bid in person to try to win a piece of a hot film franchise. Judianna Makovsky had a limited budget to work with for the costumes of the first film and many of the designs have become quite iconic.

While I didn’t bid on anything, it was exciting yet shocking to watch as bids flew between in-person bidders, online bidders, and phone bidders. The majority of items worn by Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen fetched high prices:

Reaping Dress and Shoes – $29,000

Hunting Jacket (Both films) – $50,000

Chariot Costume – $27,000

Training Center Costume and Custom-Made Boots – $32,000

Fire Dress – $250,000

Arena Costume (Pristine version worn in the Prep Chamber) – $10,000

Arena Costume (Worn for Cornucopia scene) – $30,000

Arena Costume (Worn after being burned in the leg) – $34,000

Hunting Boots – $3100

Hunting Jacket (Worn only for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire promotional poster) – $21,000

The final bids do not include the CA tax or the auction house’s 20% of the hammer price.

There were many gasps and shocked looks in the audience when the Fire Dress reached a six figure number very quickly. The same bidder also won the heeled shoes worn with the dress in the film. I suspect that most of the audience there were there to watch and see what would sell, with the occasional high roller who could afford to drop the money on a piece or two.

A few of my friends asked if I would have tried to place a bid but I doubt I would have. I feel that the experience of seeing the costumes and watching them go to the true collectors was exciting in itself.

A Pirate and Some Tributes

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A Pirate and Some Tributes

Photo taken by my dad

Comic Con 2012 on Thursday, July 12. I ran into Dayo Okeniyi (Thresh), Jack Quaid (Marvel), and Amandla Stenberg (Rue) from The Hunger Games while walking the exhibit hall. We chatted about my jacket and the series its connected to before we took pictures. I had a great time talking to Jack and Dayo. (more…)

Hunger Sinks Ships and Annihilates Renunions

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If the people at Lionsgate weren’t doing the polka in my last Hunger Games post, then I’m sure they are singing, dancing a jig, and whooping for joy with the non-sequel film making $300 million for its 3rd week at the box office. Interestingly, a correspondent for Entertainment Weekly boasted that since the Titanic and American Pie did so well during their initial releases in the 1990s, there was no way The Hunger Games could stack up to Titanic at the very least. (Looks like he’ll be eating his words once he sees the numbers!)

Aside from Lionsgate, Jennifer Lawrence is sure to be rolling in the deep with profits from this popular adaptation. I’m sure in addition to playing a role model character she liked since reading the series, she’s probably grateful for the financial benefits the film will bring her.

Still Hungry for Heroines and Dystopia

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What a weird title, I thought when The Hunger Games started becoming an ‘It’ series. I never paid much attention when it was first released since I was still recovering from reading nonsense and fluff in New Moon.

Eventually the movie trailer released for The Hunger Games and I took a peek for grins. Camera work and pacing seemed pretty good – not that I know a lot about film but it keeps things interesting. Intrigued, I bought book 1 of the trilogy and began reading it in early February 2012. Then the remaining 2 in the trilogy followed.

For those who have never read the series, it is narrated by Katniss Everdeen who lives in a dystopian version of North America now renamed Panem. Long ago Panem had 13 areas called districts which produced goods for the government called the Capitol, some given more preferential treatment than others. Eventually all 13 districts rebelled against the Capitol and were put down, with District 13 being obliterated as an example. As punishment, the Capitol created an event called The Hunger Games where each district would send 1 young man and 1 young woman aged between 12-18 to fight in a controlled arena until 1 emerged victorious. In book 1, Katniss volunteers in place of her younger sister Primrose and encounters trustworthy people like fellow tribute Rue and finds enemies who want her dead like President Snow, head of the Capitol, and vicious tributes from privileged districts.

Unlike Twilight, I found myself more interested in Suzanne Collin’s characters which seemed to have a familiar set of emotions, interests, and flaws like any human being. I liked Katniss for being the rare strong heroine who thinks things through, questions things suspiciously, and cared for others like Primrose because I’ve found moments in my life where I’ve been like her. Yet I loved Rue from book 1 the most since she was a surprise in the Games for being small and young, yet very capable of using her small form to hide easily and stay up high in the trees from the other tributes.

Like many other fans, I attended the midnight premiere of the film adaptation with some friends on a whim. The film, like any other, has its cheesy moments but for the most part was true to the book and I did enjoy some of the additions they put into the film. My favorite scene was when all the tributes were training in the Training Center and Cato, the male tribute from District 2, decided to accuse another male tribute of taking his knife. While the pair are pushing and arguing with one another, the camera pans up to the ceiling where Rue is tucked up in the fabric straps on the ceiling with Cato’s knife and an impish smile on her face.

For a film distributor company who was struggling, I’m sure Liongate’s whooping for joy with over $200 million brought in from a non-sequel film.  Can they keep up the act with an adaptation of Catching Fire in 2013? We’ll just have to wait and see.