Monday, March 26th, 2012

'The Hunger Games': Bloodless, Sexless and Not Very Hungry

Mary HK Choi: Let us make discussion! First Q: did you read the books?

Natasha Vargas-Cooper: I did not! On principle! I was like, “Make it work for me, Lionsgate."

Mary: RIGHT. Interesting. I did read the books! Second Q: did you read any reviews?

Natasha: NO. Mary, I wanted to love this, love it with my whole big heart I wanted to join a team, a district, pick a teen-lit boyfriend. I DID NONE OF THOSE THINGS. Q for you! Have you seen Battle Royale?

Mary: Of course! Racist.

Mary: Have you read The Lottery?

Natasha: Of course! Racist.

Mary: See, I liked it but that logline thing is a problem—the whole The Lottery meets Battle Royale meets Piggy's glasses smashed on the floor meets The Running Man.

Natasha: This movie was a total UNDERACHIEVEMENT.

Mary: Right. We kinda can't go back. We've seen Twilight. We've seen Potter. We've seen Battle Royale. We've seen Running Man. What does this add?

Natasha: There were no risks, no daring, and most importantly NO STYLE. Why did this movie look like shit? Why did it look like some failed designer’s portfolio from 1998?

Mary: The costumes are one of my BIGGEST BEEFS!

Natasha: Like, you have the money, find a "Project Runway" winner and get FIERCE.

Mary: TOTALLY. I’m sorry, is like Austin Scarlett x Johnny Weir x The Inhabitants of Fantasia (Neverending Story) the mood board here?!

Natasha: PEETA’S MICHAEL DOUGLAS SUIT AT THE END, A LA WHAM! What was the aesthetic?

Mary: IDK! And why in the first scene where they meet Haymitch in the train cart are they all wearing linen? And SO MUCH Eileen Fisher later! So fucking weird.

Natasha: Woody Harrelson was so dope though.

Mary: Yes. Great hair.

Natasha: I knew the movie was in trouble when we saw the Tribute parade and they showed us NOTHING. No outfits, no personalities of anyone, etc. I don’t need to necessarily care about the children who are murdering children but I would at least like to know what they look like and who they are wearing to the red carpet.

Mary: RIGHT. That is where the movie is far too reliant on the book, the first person perspective and narrative.

Natasha: AND AND AND there's all this hype about sponsors. “YOU GOTTA GET YOUR SEXY RIGHT FOR THE SPONSORS, KATNISS.” That’s the whole dramatic build and impetus for her special hug with Lenny Krav. But bbbiiissshh, the sponsors had, like, zero to do with the movie! They popped up like twice and it was a bunny fart.

Mary: Here's the thing: I think it is impossible to like this movie without having read the books.

Natasha: OK, so that's a problem and a shitty prerequiste. BOO 2 YOU, HUNGER GAME FRANCHISE.

Mary: It's a HUGE problem.

Natasha: Also, probs the biggest issue is I never got the sense that any one was ever, like… HUNGRY!!!??!!?

Mary: Not feeling the urgency of hunger is another problem.

Natasha: And, sorry, Twilight felt urgent, for no reason, but you were like, YES, YOU TWO SHOULD FUCK BEFORE THE WORLD ENDS!


Mary: I didn't LOVE this movie. I've read the entire trilogy so there are points where I couldn't remember where this book ended and the next one began but I knew that this shit would be TOO GODDAMNED LONG. It got tired. It’s basically being on the treadmill and not having the towel on top of how much further you have to go.

Natasha: Truth!

Mary: More Q: did you know the second she volunteered she would win?

Natasha: Of course!

Mary: That’s another thing that seems jacked to me, if someone who hadn't read the book knew also (which, it is fairly obvi) then, what are the stakes?

Natasha: See, it’s like, I knew but I was still down to look at hot boys and sexy girls kill each other and feel the intensity of the game—NONE OF WHICH HAPPENED.

Mary: We spent way too much time watching her sleep.



Natasha: We need to talk about J. Law. I was bored with her half-frozen face :(

Mary: Well, here's the thing, shorty has a weird face and I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaated her in the X-Men movie.

Natasha: Why don’t parts of her face move? I don't think she's very fun to watch or that interesting? MISS U, FANNING SISTERS.

Mary: There IS a weirdly gummy but dead aspect to her face.

Natasha: Like, I needed a bitch to EMOTE and pretend like her tummy was a little rumbly.

Mary: MO HUNGRY. You know I didn't get the impression that anyone in that movie was A STAH.

Natasha: PRECISELY. OK, FACE-OFF: Katniss vs. Bella.

Mary: Bella is such a nothing but she does bird shit which becomes interesting. And there are moments of Bella, where K. Stew is putting in work where that neck vein comes through. She has a weird integrity, even though she's 100% a spaz and doesn't know what her face is doing.

Natasha: I know that Bella is plain and mad ordinary but with Kattynay it wasn't even the cool, stoic steez of Winter's Bone, it's like insufferably Girl Scout noble and I mean that in the sleeps in trees way.

Mary: Stoic isn't the way to describe Winter's Bone exactly to me. She's fucking pissed off the entire time, she gets that shit is unfair, that everyone is weak and selfish and arbitrarily holding power over her.

Mary: Katniss never really gets mad, she's STANK, and annoyed and she's throwing shade and she cries but she's never FUCKING MAD BEYOND EVERYTHING in a way that is sustained. It's not the through-line and I fucking expected and needed that.

Natasha: Is it J. Law's sturdy control over her face or script fault?

Mary: I don't think the director made the correct decision about who this movie was for. KABLAM!!!

Natasha: BLAM!! Can we talk about the love triangle? SO NOT HOT in comparison to Twi. WHAT A SHITSHOW!

Mary: It's SUCH a waste of Liam who you just want to climb.

Natasha: Also, TEAM CATO.

Mary: Yo, that's what Imma start calling scary white kids who rule at life: CAREERS.

Natasha: I wanted to spend more time with him and his gang of piggies.

Mary: YES. Living. Me too, that’s was kinda nuts that he gamed the girl in his own district and that scary chick from Orphan in district 2. That was some lion pride shit. That could've been hot.

Natasha: That bro had marketable skills which I would have like revealed to me, shirtless.

Mary: We needed to see Cato’s D'Angelo muscles.

Natasha: In terms of Peeta, not enough smoldering.

Mary: Major Easter Island face. OH AND I CANNOT with that stone-face makeup camouflage scene. SO FUNNY.


Mary: Yoooo! Boy band CIRCA I WANT IT THAT WAY. LOLOLOL you didn't just Aaron Carter me right now.


Mary: Remember when Aaron Carter dated all the women and by women I mean children?

Natasha: Peeta is AC 2.0, in his cave with his hugs and pouting.

Mary: Peeta was not it. And I feel bad because I get it. I actually liked the character in the book, not to take it back to "Sex and the City," which I always do, but, like, whatever.

Natasha: ALWAYS bring it back to SATC. That is TEXT.

Mary: But yes: he is some Aiden shit.

Mary: And that's cool but, like, COME ON, I'm not really tryna murder with Aiden on my team you know?

Mary: You know what tho, I will not lie to your face.

Natasha: Give it to me.

Mary: When Rue dies and then her dad in District 11 (apparently the district that is predominately African-American) goes NUTS I was really into it but I wanted to STAY THERE IN 11.

Natasha: Church. And that scene also made it so clear how much the pressure of those watching in the districts was lacking.

Mary: Yes, I wanted to see them instead of watching someone build a fucking animal on their desktop, like THAT was cool but the tree, the fire, AND that zzzzzzzz.

Natasha: And not to get too meta about it BUUUUUT… I DO NOT TRUST these Hunger Gamers. I DO NOT TRUST THEM AT ALL.

Mary: I don't even care where this is going because: <3.

Natasha: There was no cheering, no giddy joy, no sex, no fun, just, like this nerdish devotion to BLAH. Even the Harry Potter kids get WIIIIILLLDDD, like WHAT'S UNDER SNAPE'S CAPE and so on. Are there fucking mope instructions in the book?

Mary: I think you're right, all the missed opportunities to FLEX were squandered, especially since we're talking YA, which also means some keen-ass world building. The level of how stylized things were, it was VERY Taco Bell in Demolition Man. Surface and nothing we hadn't seen before.

Natasha: Like, you got your STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER who everyone is always wah-wahing about, you have insanely dark material, you have Woody Harrelson, give me the Fifth Element at LEAST.

Mary: We can't talk Fifth Element, that shit was GAULTIER, that's next levs.

Natasha: I know but….


Natasha: It was all less.

Mary: One thing though is that I was like, OK FINE BULLY FOR YOU SIR, is that the lack of violence made this a legit YA movie. Like if you were fucking with the books and you are 10-years-old you could watch this and be like, I FEEL SATISFACTION THIS IS CLOSE ENOUGH AND I GET TO SEE IT WITHOUT HAVING TO USE MY IMAGINATION AND THAT IS COOL SOMETIMES.

Natasha: There were too many moments, aesthetically and spiritually, that felt like I was watch a 90s kid action movie.

Mary: Also, you know what? Some of the movie reminded me of being in production for an awards show. It reminded me of being stuck in some control room…

Natasha: Remember the opening of Black Swan? How it’s all shot from the stage and you hear her pattering little swan toes and you can't see the audience because of the lights?

Mary: Yes and the whole time you think bitch is going to have an aneurism it's so intense.

Natasha: So intense, and me: and that bitch was JUST DANCIN’. So, why not here? I wish this movie was THE CATO GAMES.

Mary: I did not hate this movie and I actually had few expectations by the end because the marketing was so slick that eventually I got a little bit of side eye but it will make 2034729837492837492374 dollars. And, for the record, each subsequent book is MUCH LESS GOODS, so we’ll see.

Natasha: Do one of the sponsors bring condoms or lube to the island so they ffuuuuuuck?

Mary: Oh, honey. Someone should write a fan-fic movie.

Natasha: Hunger Games 2: SEX ISLAND.

Mary HK Choi and Natasha Vargas-Cooper will see you on November 16, 2012, when vampire Bella apparently eats a deer.

79 Comments / Post A Comment

jfruh (#713)

"Yo, that's what Imma start calling scary white kids who rule at life: CAREERS."


I liked the movie generally but I liked the books and I think I liked it in the Harry Potter movie way of "This activates the part of my brain that liked the books and I'm filling in the details" so who knows what I'd think if I hadn't read them.

The one thing I liked about the costuming was that when Elizabeth Banks shows up in District 12 in the beginning she looks FUCKING WEIRD. Like, not "oh, it's high fashion" weird, but like a fucking freak show, and you can see how caked on her make up is and she looks like an alien being compared to the District 12ers. Which is how it's supposed to be. Sadly, she gets more and more subdued over the course of the movie (probably because we're supposed to find her more relatable?).

Stanley Tucci's teeth are weird and freaky and unsettling (in a good way) too.

nogreeneggs (#12,239)

@jfruh Ha I saw this with my boyfriend and in the opening scene with Elizabeth Banks he thought it was a guy in drag.

Truth time: Elizabeth Banks' one liners and Stanley Tucci's teeth were the best parts of this movie. Also, the riot scene in District 11. I thought that was really nicely done and it was really the only part of the movie that had any emotional impact on me.

growler (#476)

@nogreeneggs I thought it was a guy in drag too. When I saw Banks's name in the credits, I asked my girlfriend who she'd played. That's how unrecognizable she was.

tigolbitties (#2,150)

The entire time I thought to myself, why does not one person look even the least bit hungry? And I agree with this entire conversation, especially about being team Cato – why didn't that guy play Peeta? (who looked a little inbred, maybe that's what was going on district 12?)
Lastly, Lenny Kravitz looks exactly how the Cinna in my imagination looked, but did anyone else think he was really really lame? or maybe that was J. Law's fault, she pulled everyone around her in the black hole of suck.

@tigolbitties I thought he was lame!!

saythatscool (#101)

In Paris, they call it a Battle Royale with Cheese.


dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@saythatscool If I ever see MHKC or NVC wearing a black suit and tie I will evaporate.

HereKitty (#2,713)

@dntsqzthchrmn If I don't see MHKC and NVC around these parts before November, I will go all trackerjacker on the management.

ejcsanfran (#489)

@saythatscool: And Haymitch is portrayed by Jerry Lewis.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

I apologize, but I'll take this opportunity to mention that I finally saw The Artist and that (of course) I found it ridiculously overrated. It's what passes for creativity (not to mention "art") with "film lovers" who've seen Harry Potter but not Brand Upon The Brian. It upsets me (not the movie, but the attention it got, here especially).

melis (#1,854)

@Niko Bellic Needs more scare quotes!

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@melis "needs"

Danzig! (#5,318)

@Niko Bellic You misspelled "Brain" as "Brian" and now I'm imagining some hardcore gay S&M porno. Thanks Niko Bellic

Pop Socket (#187)

This movie is nearly inexplicable to anyone who hasn't read the book. The fight scenes kept giving me vertigo and making me want to clean my glasses.

turd_sandwich (#5,660)

@Pop Socket second–at least on the fight scenes bit. i grew up on the swashbuckling and hand-to-hand combat of movies like Princess Bride and"Enter the Dragon. sometime (I peg it at Gladiator), this whole chaotic blur thing came into fashion and ruined my ability to watch people fight/duel/kill each other. blech.

I (heart) Battle Royale because of its sheer willingness to be an awesome movie, and also its happy jettisoning of any worldbuilding that might get in the way of that goal.

Maybe this is where The Hunger Games goes wrong? I mean, we don't need to know all about where the kids come from and how society affects them and blah blah blah. It just gets in the way — the kids are early-teen kids, and like any other early-teen kids they hate society, and Twilight Zone surprise! SOCIETY HATES THEM RIGHT BACK. And when you hate society as a teenager you mostly just mope around and sass your authority figures but when society hates you it forces you to kill other kids of roughly your age for no good reason. That's so full of subtext it doesn't even need to be elaborated on, so let's get right to the savagely ironic violence.

Also, pre-kill-or-be-killed, sometimes society equips you with a shotgun and sometimes it hands you a pot lid.

Alternate take : The Hunger Games is also missing two important components : First, a badass director responsible for the yakuza-movie equivalent of the Godfather trilogy. Second, Takeshi Kitano to provide the necessary crushed-face awesomeness and completely inexplicable death scene. Oh, and Japanese teen hairstyles, so three components.

deepomega (#1,720)

@Gef the Talking Mongoose I'm just gonna have to disagree! Battle Royale is the least subtext-y movie ever. Like, adolescent rage is literally turned into murder? TELL ME MORE LESS

@deepomega : I think we agree! Battle Royale is basically "here's the setup, we've all read our Lord of the Flies so there's no need to remark too much on what's going on under the covers, sooooo let's move right to the killing". It doesn't engage in meta-commentary (sponsors! costume designers!) or more than perfunctory worldbuilding — it just foregrounds the setup and lets it speak for itself. Subtle it ain't, but it doesn't get bogged down.

And holy crap, would there ever be reason for subtext. Have you heard why Kinji Fukasaku wanted to make this movie? Me neither, until I got myself over to Wikipedia and read about his insanely horrific and uncomfortably pertinent childhood experience. Guh.

Also, man, is there any movie Gaultier can't do great costumes for? City of Lost Children is just damn, I'd go as a Cyclops for Halloween but everyone would just be all "uh, steampunk Borg?" and I would have to kill them.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

I was dragged into this without reading the books, because I am SO OVER everything where people say: "It's great at the beginning but then it kind of falls apart by the end." I couldn't articulate how weirdly flat everything felt but this article nails it.

One thing that didn't come up that bothered me, big time: why is everything so damned obvious? Like, I guess they assumed everyone would have read the book anyway, but did you really have to go to such great lengths to telegraph every minor thing? As a newbie to the story it would not have hurt to surprise me, like, once.

It's like, "oh no, I missed!" [people look away] [lovingly pan over pig with apple in mouth] "I will get another arrow!" [nonreaction shots] [apple again] [target: bullseye!] [reactions] [more apple] "I wish people would pay attention to me!" [whole frame of brown crap with great big SHINY RED APPLE in the middle, I wonder where this is going] "I'm getting another arrow!" [rack of arrows] [apple] [people talking] [APPLE] "I am frustrated!" [MOAR APPLE] [arrow nocked] [AAAAAAPPLE] [panning over people HAH PSYCH I WAS PANNING TOWARD THE APPLE AGAIN] etc etc.

I mean, the shitty CGI dogs? Did they have to have a whole scene setting that up? "welp, we're going to send shitty CGI dogs after them now!" "yep, here's the shitty CGI dog were going to send!" "okay, here we go, sending a shitty CGI dog!" "shitty CGI dog sent, sir!" JUST SHOW US THE KIDS BEING CHASED BY FUCKING DOGS, WE WILL FIGURE IT OUT. In fact, we will probably fill in the back story with something a lot more plausible and threatening than the holodecky nonsense they came up with.

I keep pointing to the bit where the little black girl dies and saying, why isn't the movie more like that? She is characterized, we care about her, we can actually follow the action of her death; it is genuinely sad! (In spite of the filmmakers doing everything short of having a skeleton in a cloak follow her around checking his watch to hint that HEY Y'ALL, CHICK'S ABOUT TO DIE.) Most of this is just faceless randos snapping each other's necks and some patently ridiculous bullshit about the skill set of cake decorators.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@DoctorDisaster "It's great at the beginning but then it kind of falls apart by the end"

That's how all the movies that had to have a great premise in order to get sold to a big studio but nothing beyond that once the checks got signed look like.

Plus, once they get you to buy the ticket, who gives a shit what happens after your ass is actually in the theater. This is why it's all about that big first weekend, they know once the jig is up in the comments, no one will show up the next one.

I once saw some big Hollywood shot say it with a straight face: since our movies are not good enough to make money beyond the first weekend, what we need to do is make more of them, so that we could have as many first weekends as possible.

So, keep that credit card handy.

jurassic snark (#224,404)

@DoctorDisaster Your description of the apple scene is perfection.

MissMushkila (#42,100)

@DoctorDisaster I was sitting next to a young woman who kept calling out what would happen and then was really impressed with her ability to predict the plot. She apparently saw the part where Kat shoots the apple coming. SHOCKER.

This individual also shouted out "what is this, a communist country!!??" when the usher asked people to put away their phones before the film starts. She was charming.

jfruh (#713)

@DoctorDisaster To be fair (and ugh, sorry to sound like a fan-dork here) the CGI dogs are one instance when there was something kind of awesome and harrowing in the book but the screenwriters were like "Enh, this thing is already clocking in at like 150 minutes, let's streamline." In the book, instead of generic beasties at the end they're being attacked by the reanimated corpses of the all the other kids who have been killed so far! There's some hand-wavey explanation but mostly it's just like HOLY SHIT ZOMBIE MURDEROUS CHILDREN AAAHHHH

@jfruh Perhaps I am wrong, but I remember the dogs (in the books) being genetically engineered mutants that featured the dead kids' eyes. #splittinghairs

turd_sandwich (#5,660)

@MissMushkila in communist russia, phones put away people. wait, what?

Also that train looked like it was the lobby of a mid-range, long stay hotel.

FODForever (#211,699)

@Andrea Karim@facebook Yes, I believe the dog-monsters were made from reconstituted genetic material from the other kids (science!), and that Katniss can tell because their eyes are the same… eh.

cherrispryte (#444)

Do not go see this movie if you are already halfway to a migraine. HOLY SHIT SHAKY CAMERA ACTION ALL THE TIME.

I liked it, because I liked the books, but I thought it was good, not OMFG PHENOMENAL BEST MOVIE EVAH, which maybe it had the potential to be? Like, it could have been a really weird, dark, fucked up movie, and well, it was a kid's movie instead.

hockeymom (#143)

@cherrispryte I think you nailed it. It's a very successful movie for kids.

The above are all actual statements of 6th graders as posted to FB and Instagram.

C_Webb (#855)

@hockeymom Yep, my 6th grader bounced out of bed at 5 am because she was SO EXCITED TO TALK TO HER FRIENDS ABOUT MOVIE.

bb (#295)

@cherrispryte you are so right about the shaky cam. I thought i was going to hurl for the first like 30 mins, especially the reaping. I also thought the camera work really took away from the intensity of fighting, with all the fuzzy closeups instead of just seeing arrows hit flesh or people hitting or whatever.

shawbaby (#229,971)

Just gonna go out on a craaazy limb here and say SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS I LOVED THIS MOVIE.

deepomega (#1,720)

It's funny because everyone I know who hated the movie hated it because they are so emotionally invested in love triangles, but that is the thing I am least interested in! Like, I could never ever see a movie about three sixteen year olds who may or may not want to make out, and I'd be fine.

saythatscool (#101)

@deepomega Basically every movie I watch STARTS with 3 sixteen year olds making out. Things usually grow darker almost immediately after that, though…

melis (#1,854)

@saythatscool Oh, are you still doing those bumfights?

nogreeneggs (#12,239)

@deepomega I was really glad they didn't really include much of the "love triangle" because there was never any triangle in the books. They just marketed it that way, but really in the books Katniss is kind of annoyed by both of them.

cherrispryte (#444)


deepomega (#1,720)

@nogreeneggs Yes. Exactly. Like it is another way in which she is being forced (*whispers* by the patriarchy) to present herself in certain ways, emotionally speaking.

deepomega (#1,720)

@melis "bum fights" means something very different to STC. Swords clenched tight by sphincters.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

This came up in the negotiations over whether I would actually see this movie: "I heard there was a melodramatic tween love triangle. You know I don't do that shit." "The love triangle isn't really a love triangle. And it doesn't really happen in the first book anyway!" "If you're sure…"

*go to movie*


nogreeneggs (#12,239)

I read and enjoyed the books, but this movie was really just blah. Everyone was just all blank faced and monotone for the entire movie. The whole movie can be summarized by a shot of Katniss sleeping in a tree.

davidwatts (#72)

I just don't know what the people who were disappointed in this movie expected? Like you thought it would be like WOW ZOMG and TOTALLY TRANSPORT YOU (which, btw, maybe it actually DID have this effect on the target demo of teens and tweens, but just did not succeed in making anyone over 25 feel 11, which, did you really honestly think that was even possible?)? It's just something basically okay to fill time between bouts of intense depression and despair. Which, hooray, thanks, pass the whiskey.

batgirl31 (#214,519)

I'm not ashamed to say I loved it. I also loved the books and knew I was going to love the movies and not even remotely make an effort to watch it with a critical eye. So, probably yes to all things being mentioned here but you can't take my Hunger Games away from me!

Also, I can't be the only one who really wanted Haymitch And Effie to hate fuck? No? Just me?

nogreeneggs (#12,239)

@batgirl31 It's not just you! Elizabeth Banks did an interview where she talks about how she basically wrote fanfic in her head for the two of them during filming. I guess she loves herself some Haymich.

batgirl31 (#214,519)

@nogreeneggs Who wouldn't? Woody is one sexy, sexy man…

jurassic snark (#224,404)

I saw this over the weekend and I've found myself thinking about it a lot. So many things about this review are true–there was way too much of Katniss in the tree, and also, so many people died so quickly! It's believable that a bunch of them would have died in the Cornucopia scene but seriously it was like "There are 24!!!…now there are like 5" and that kind of killed it for me. I needed more actual horrible and gruesome hand to hand battle scenes–woulda been nice to see Peeta get sliced by the sword, for instance. I think they stuck to the first person narrative way too much.

I might have shed a few tears after Rue died and people started rioting. That was well done. Probably the only part that was?

Whimsy (#230,004)

@jurassic snark
I hated the action scenes, mainly because as others have mentioned the camera is all shaky… but also because I never believed the injuries. Like really? That burn on her leg was maybe 2nd at worst…. Yea, It would have hurt like hell, but c'mon…
And The cut on Peeta? That he then packed DIRT into? I was supposed to believe with a little water it would not be like a total hellacious gross mess?

That was my biggest complaint…. and I thought the possible Love Triangle they were trying to set up is already an obvious sham, whereas at least in the book you aren't quite sure. Subtlety this movie did not contain….
End rant

oeditrix (#10,234)

The movie was very disappointing to me. I thought they softballed a whole lot of stuff.

Leon Tchotchke (#14,331)

I started reading the first book shortly before I saw the movie, and I was haaaating it because of how Katniss is written and how bland and incredibly young adult-y the style is (I'm not saying Collins is a bad author, but the writing is in my opinion excessively stripped down and bland). The movie definitely wasn't great cinema, but I thought it was pretty damn good for something targeted at a pretty young audience, and it's helped me keep reading the book because now I have a better idea of what the author was going for.

crocuta (#230,009)

I liked the books a lot, and I though the movie was ok, though I really wish it had been darker and weirder and generally more Brazil-like, especially in the Capitol.

BUT I actually just registered to say that I'm SO glad to find someone who was equally bothered by the terrible costume design. All the Capitol extras who should have been dressed in outrageous luxury designs just looked like they were stuck in cheap ruffled polyester satin disasters with maybe some fake flowers from Joanne's glued on somewhere. Caesar's hair looked like it was colored with that spray-on drugstore stuff you use at Halloween, and you could see the edge of his wig. Haymitich's hairpiece was almost as bad. So distracting!

growler (#476)

I haven't read the books, and I loved the movie from beginning to end (with some small nits to pick).

josnanikolai (#230,011)

Thumbs up if you saw that yesterday..!!

cherrispryte (#444)

@josnanikolai OH EM GEE UR GONNA GET SO MANY LIEKS!!!!!!!!!!!

e-lysium (#10,476)

It's a shame that a quality piece of hyped up YA dystopic fiction has come on the heels of hyped films/books that are much less deserving of attention. I think most of the snarky comments and blurbs (e.g.: It's just like Twilight Royale and girls can't fight anyway OMG she's looking at two male teenagers LOVE TRIANGLE EW EMOTIONS ARE GROSS AND GIRLS CAN'T FIGHT ANYWAY) were written in the reviewers' heads long before they actually saw the film. The movie itself is almost besides the point. The actual story is just fodder for YouTube clips and hastily created Twitter hashtags of disdain.

@e-lysium : I would like to officially register my support for "Listicle Without Commentary : Twitter Hashtags of Disdain".

nomorecheese (#15,517)

I haven't seen this movie or read the books. After this article, I certainly won't bother wasting my money on the movie. But, I somehow expected this to happen because it happens a LOT lately. Movies get hyped up like crazy and then you realize it's just a trick, it was never a good movie to start with and, like that hollywood producer said, they need to bank on that first weekend and that's it.

It has added to my opinion that the film industry is dying. Good movies come fewer and further between. I think that people are taking for granted that film entertainment is so popular. It seems like an art form that is timeless but honestly? I don't know anymore. It is hardly an art anymore because mainstream films are made with very shallow intentions. Americans are settling for less and less quality and depth in our entertainment choices.

deepomega (#1,720)

@nomorecheese When, exactly, do you think Americans human beings wanted deeper entertainment?

veronicaveronica (#230,036)

'content' aside, this 'review' manages to be both silly and not even kind of funny.

aguarderas (#230,039)

The moment you started praising K-Stew's acting ability and saying she's a better actress than Jennifer Lawrence you lost all integrity.

@aguarderas : Tell me more about the Awl's strategic reserves of integrity.

rainbowcookie (#230,037)

There are totally things about the movie that I didn't love (a lot of the costuming, and the crazy shaky camerawork, an underused Gale…)

However, a lot of this review/convo is totally off-point. Like "there was no cheering, no giddy joy, no sex, no fun" RIGHT. Were you expecting Die Hard but with kids? Nothing's fixed in their homes, they've just barely survived a killing spree that happens every year, and they've just seen 20+ kids they knew die brutally. Even when they win, it's not supposed to be like yeeeah! Let's go make out!

The books don't glamorize death and killing – they're not about "sexy hot girls and boys"- and I for one was glad the movie didn't either.

El Matardillo (#586)

This review was awesome! I didn't read the books and I probably won't see the movie either, but I loved this review.

I would like to hang out with these two women and find out which one I want to sleep with. The review was that good.

jorden (#230,057)

So as long as I'm friends with the editors of a major blog, my inane capslockery about movies is ALSO worth posting as a "review"? Duly noted.

deepomega (#1,720)

@jorden Yes. Next question, man! Let's break down some more internet problems while sitting backwards in chairs!

Tuna Surprise (#573)

The Awl is a major blog?

jorden (#230,057)

@Tuna Surprise Touché, touché!

jorden (#230,057)

@deepomega But first, someone is wrong on the internet! Duty calls!

Just want to take this moment to declare that Battle Royale contains, I believe, truly, one the best exchanges of all time:

Chigusa: [dying] God, can I tell him one more thing? [GULP] You look really cool, Hiroki…
Hiroki Sugimura: You too. You're the coolest girl in the world.

The best.

@Natasha Vargas-Cooper : I would also like to register my support for an animated GIF of that exchange, because haha yes awesome.

Be But Little (#228,384)

Can we please, please, PLEASE stop comparing The Hunger Games to Twilight? It makes my head hurt. Even when the comparison is trying to be funny. Just… ow. Let's pick on something equally awful like, I dunno, The Vampire Diaries. Have you READ those books? They put Twilight to shame. (But seriously. Don't read them. Watch the TV show.)

lovelettersinhell (#13,711)

Team Katniss-Forever-Alone.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

Some of the 200K-people comments you got on this story remind me of what people say where I come from: lay with children, wake up in piss.

lyonkiter (#230,248)

i like this idea and also absorbed this mind

themegnapkin (#201,538)

I liked the movie pretty well, but OMG I LOVE LOVE LOVE THESE COMMENTARIES! Natasha and Mary, please keep doing them forever. Maybe next for the K. Stew Snow White movie?

JesaAliporu (#230,286)

sounds interesting :)

jackjackjack (#222,577)

It surprises me, the number of comments saying that the costumes/makeup should have been, uh, better, I guess (Caesar’s wig, the outfits in the city, etc) – The aim of the less-than-stellar costuming drives home the grotesque quality of narcissistic adults who try to diminish or hide their age (or, steal youth from the more deserving young). Similar to the presentation of the writers of this piece, who indulge in the speech patterns of 10-year-olds. It’s a hugely prevalent quality of our culture, and certainly as important as any social commentary the film might have to offer.

zinger (#171,774)

I don't know anything about the movie, haven't seen it yet, but both these dialogues from these two sub-literates is the most unrewarding thing for an English-speaking adult professional communicator to try to follow that I ever saw. The fractional thoughts, the one-quarter-formed ideas, the trendy but unexplained cultural references, the commonality shared by them and no one else whose language I speak … if the theme is that this is the audience-level that might like the movie, then I applaud. Otherwise I'm puzzled, and resentful that I wasted my time trying to decode this drek.

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