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[personal profile] aidenfire
Ugh I had like four paragraphs written and dreamwidth freaked out and ate it :////. I'll try to recreate!

So, Hunger Games! Overall I dug the shit out of it. I thought that seeing things visually really emphasized how appalling it all really was. I especially liked the scenes that contrasted the poverty of the Districts with the excess of the Capitol. The scene when Peeta and Katniss first got on the train and see the opulent feast spread out and the chandeliers and yes, the mahogany, as compared to the earlier scenes of the despair of the Districts was really moving to me. I also liked the scene where Katniss and Gale were hunting in the woods, and the hovercraft flies over them. It really rubbed in that "you're hunting with a bow and arrow to feed your families, and we can fly" point. It made it clear that the Capitol has all the resources and technology and is actively choosing to not share them. Also, while the movie did lack some of the immediacy of being in Katniss' head, there was a lot going on that she didn't yet know about, and it was great to get a more holistic view. I really liked the scenes with the Gamemakers, for example, and basically every scene with Seneca Crane. His death scene was great. It shows how there's no safety for anyone, no matter how high up you might be. Step out of line and you're done for.

I did have a little trouble with some of the casting/character portrayal aspects, though. For one thing, I really didn't like Peeta. I thought he came off as pretty dull/weak. In the book he does come off, especially at first and from Katniss' POV, fairly weak, but it's made clear to us that he has some fire, and some rebellious thoughts of his own. I didn't have that feeling about movie!Peeta. He seemed fairly complacent about the whole thing to me. Although, I did only see the movie the once, when it first came out, so maybe I'm misremembering him. In more petty issues, I have trouble with faces sometimes, and I had a hell of a time telling him and Cato apart, which made it hard to connect with him, too. And also I really just didn't like his face that much. Hah. I had a few issues with Katniss, too. I don't think it was as clear from the movie as it was from inside her head in the books how close she came to dying in the Games several times. It seemed a little too easy for her. I also thought she looked a little too well-fed/well-dressed/well-groomed in general. I understand that due to her hunting, she was better off than many in District 12, but it seemed almost like she was hunting for leisure, rather than for survival. I didn't get a sense of desperation. Again, I felt some complacency. I also thought the bread flashback, which is a pretty key plot point in explaining the foundation of Katniss and Peeta's relationship was poorly done and didn't show how close to death she was at that point. It was more of the "Katniss sits in rain; Peeta throws bread at her; and cut" kinda thing.

Overall though, those are fairly minor quibbles, and I thought it was really, really well done. I went with my gentleman caller, who hadn't read the books, and he really enjoyed the movie as well, and was able to follow it, which is always a key test of a movie based on a book. Speaking of the books, I decided I would re-read after watching the movie to be able to compare and contrast more accurately. I zoomed through Hunger Games and really enjoyed it. I had to steel myself to get through Catching Fire, and it took me almost a week to brace myself enough to even start Mockingjay. I'm reading it right now and I just got to the part where they're in the Capitol and hit the pod and the black slime/death net of barbed wire/Boggs dies and had to stop. It's so, so SO bleak. And even the ending isn't really all that happy. Also, I don't know if I can read Finnick's death scene again :(((((( Finnick ♥ you own my heart 4ever. It was almost the Sirius death all over again -- just when this terribly mistreated, formerly vivacious and charming character is saved from his own personal hell and given a shot at a happy life again, boom dead. It just kills me. I think that's the most tragic kind of death, because they are tricked into hoping again, and that's when they lose everything. WORST UGH FINNICK ILU 4EVAHHHHH.

As for Game of Thrones, I also really enjoyed that! I had some of the same problems with the bleakness, though. It's so hard to watch it while they still have some hope and just look around and be'll be dead, you'll be dead, you'll be tortured beyond recognition, you'll lose a body part, you'll be dead, and we'll be five books later and still fighting this damn war. However, I think Jon and Robb especially did a great job. And Jaime Lannister unffff you slay me dead. How you can be sexy beaten and tied to a cell is beyond me but holy hell you pull it off. I also thought Cersei was even better in this episode than she'd been in the can see that she's still incredibly powerful, but that it's starting to slip, and that makes her a more interesting character. Tyrion, of course, was wonderful and I still just want to fucking reach through my screen and strangle Joffrey every time he speaks, so, y'know, that was well done. In some ways it was a very Hunger Games-esque feel -- kill the less fortunate for the enjoyment of the elite. Sansa continues to break my heart because even though she might be/have been naive and overly romantic and made some bad decisions, she so so so doesn't deserve what she's getting. Also, she's what, 14 or so? I also was naive and overly romantic and making bad decisions at 14, shit, who wasn't? So yes, she also has her place among the slew of characters in this series that break my heart over and over again. Goddammit GRRM! Can you cut me/them a break???

In my shame list update, I've knocked The Crucible and Catcher in the Rye off my list, and I really, really enjoyed both of them. In some ways for similar reasons -- I think they both did a great job of really exposing humanity, of taking a character and just breaking him down for the world to see inside him. The Crucible took me a bit to warm up to, it was a little slow going in the beginning, especially during the exposition bits, but when the action picked up, holy hell did it pick up! Catcher had my attention essentially from the first sentence; I think I read it in close to one sitting.

In the flist participation section of this post, what should I read next? Great Expectations, or something by either Steinbeck or Faulkner?
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May 2012

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