book, movie, both or none?

i admit it, i didn’t read any of the Harry Potter books.  i did read a section of the first Twilight book on-line and couldn’t believe the damn thing got published. (but then, when you rip off the Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries and morph them into the young adult market i guess you’ll find yourself published even if you have no writing talent. oof.)

i was tempted to read Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games but it was not quite the right time. (we were in tx in the middle of L’s recovery and a book portraying a post-apocalypse sport where poor children fight to the death for food and to entertain the wealthy, privileged of the nation didn’t seem like soothing fare at the time)

i did see the first harry potter movie and enjoyed it.  mostly.  (i’m not much for action scenes that seem to go on forever)  the kids liked the first movie, but spend the car ride home filling in parts that the movie left out.  i tried to watch the rest of the harry potter movies (and maybe one rainy day i’ll sit down and watch the lot… or maybe i’ll just wait until i have grandchildren and am forced to do that with them)

i couldn’t even stomach the idea of going to see the twilight movies.  wouldn’t even watch them on free cable.  (i am, however, a fan of True Blood and I’m never going to a small town in Louisiana).

i was very interested in seeing the hunger games movie.  the premise is extraordinarily good (although c pointed out this recurring theme in many a movie over the years).  okay, so the premise might not be so original, but i liked the idea of a strong, heroic girl lead. and i thought the social commentary was interesting (and debatably accurate and timely).  it’s not very often that girls and women get to see self-sufficient, smart women in lead roles and if we do see them, they’re mostly half naked and being ‘tamed’ by men.

***SPOILER ALERT! ***

so here goes my review of The Hunger Games movie:

too much action and not enough story.  (and OMG, too much blurry subjective camera!) movie directors today are so involved with painting pictures on the screen that they lose the story and are unable to mine the depths of the emotional and thematic depths of the story.  i got the broad brush of the story of the hunger games, but there were a lot of unexplained, lost and just plain contradictory details.  it was almost as though the director was afraid to actually point to the social commentary upon which the entire story hinged or was not skilled enough to determine when exposition type dialogue (or even narration) was necessary to build the story and the characters.  (the written word is not prized in hollywierd, so it probably takes a skilled screenwriter to fight against the grain and actually “tell” a story). amazingly, the actors were able to use their skills to show a lot of the story in spite of the lack of dialogue (or explanation), but it was a stretch for some of them.  clearly, a movie is not a book and vice versa.  each one should stand on its own merits even if it’s the same story.  but in the age of talkies, a movie needs more than just visual effects or big chunks of the story are lost and movies end up mediocre at best.

conclusion:  go see Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone.  it could almost be the backstory of katniss everdeen in district 12 and it’s quite a provocative and well done movie.

and read the hunger games book.

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1 Comment

Filed under art, books, movies

One response to “book, movie, both or none?

  1. I didnt like that Lawrence was playing Katniss.. to me, she didnt fit the description in the book.

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