Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Film: The Hunger Games (as reviewed by a Big Brother addict)

Warning: this review, like all reviews, contains spoilers. Don't ever read a review of anything before you watch it, or if you intend to watch one day in the future. The end. 
And let's continue. So I started reading The Hunger Games book but I couldn't really get into it, so I did what all sane people do and watched the film instead. I'd heard mixed reviews about the film, (it's for girls - oh how could they? - and it's for kids) so wasn't expecting much, but actually really enjoyed it.
I think my favourite thing about it as I've obviously been pining for Big Brother since CBB finished (although BBUS is still on for now!). The Hunger Games is basically just Big Brother in the woods, with murders. And what Big Brother wouldn't be improved by a few murders? There was a lot of dreary backstory in the book that I couldn't really get into; I felt like the film was just more straight in there, although they could have trimmed about 20 minutes off one side or the other (but where was the girl with the tongue cut out?)
In the book it seems like the main character Katniss is really into Gale, and I was pretty sure Peeta was her brother, but I obviously got that wrong. I didn't really get the sense of all the wackiness in the book, like the futuristic world with all the colours, but that could be my imagination at fault. It was like Whoville in there when you finally saw it.
In my head Prim was a lot more cute and innocent and Gale was more attractive; he looked like some dumb jock in the film. I wasn't very impressed with Peeta's casting either, he's described as 'very handsome' at one point, but he did nothing for me. Katniss was cast well, though.
Woody Harrelson turned up, and then I joked that the guy 'styling' Katniss was Lenny Kravitz; turned out it WAS Lenny Kravitz. Worse; I kind of fancied him. I went to my boyfriend, 'Who knew he could act when he's only got that one song, I wish that I could fly, so very high, like a dragon fly?' Turns out he has one more song, too. It does sounds very similar though, it will fuck me right up on SongPop.
Anyway, I digress. Lenny Kravitz was wearing Danica's gold eyeliner, and Woody Harrelson was in a bad wig, and there was another woman who was clearly crying out to be played by Tilda Swinton. 
So the premise, as you probably know, is 24 young people fight to the death - yes, just like in The Running Man and Battle Royale and so on. I thought there wasn't going to be much gore as it was a 12, but there was a reasonable amount. They didn't really let you get to know many of the others, so you weren't to sad to see them 'get it'.
There were so many comparisons to real life reality shows. The host was like a cross between Brian Dowling and Lionel Blair and quite realistically fake. I liked the fact they were all wearing outfits like in the Glass House. About ten of them were killed immediately, which was quite good.
Katniss's strategy was basically to sit in a tree and hide, or as my boyfriend put it, 'she's going from tree to tree, mixing.' Obviously, this doesn't last forever, and an alliance was formed against her, which contained her District mate and potential love interest Peeta. Luckily they didn't overdo the love story or this could have turned into Twilight; and nobody wants that, not even Kristen and R-Pattz anymore. There was a bit more of it towards the end, but it was just about stomachable (I think I made that word up).
The film reminded me of Cabin in the Woods in parts, and just like in the real Big Brother, I didn't like it when the producers tried to meddle with the show; shooting fireballs at the poor girl was hardly far was it? Leave it for the housemates to play it out. And then later those stupid lion things. What if it had killed all three of those left?
I did like the way when someone died it was announced on a screen and by a cannon going off; handy.
Katniss gets a bit of unexpected help from Rue, the cutest tribute on the block. I love it when the guy from Rue's district repays Katniss for looking after Rue later, during her trying to fight off a rather sadistic Sophie Webster lookalike.
There was even a hilarious 'twist' which allowed two people to potentially survive the game, which I could see Scott Hudson of the Big Brother Gossip show getting all narked with, I could almost hear him shouting at the 'producers' to keep the game 'pure'! 
Even I couldn't tell if the 'showmance' was 4 realz. When Katniss got the note to make the kiss more genuine, it was like Dan in BBUS getting his directions from the producers (come on, don't tell me he isn't - but don't tell me anything else either as I'm two behind). I think her heart is really with Gale, especially when she did that fake smile at the end. I sense trouble ahead with that one.
As for Donald Sutherland (not a fan of the underdog), I think he's going to do a Chenbot on them and make them go back 'into the house' next year, as they were such popular contestants. And not just as coaches. They think it's annoying when Jessie keeps turning up in BB US; they aint seen nothing yet. Either that or they'll send in Gale and Prim or a combination of all four.
So yeah, basically, I liked this film because it reminded me of Big Brother UK and US. And the main character was a feisty butt-kicking girl, not a drippy dead-eyed thing like in Twilight.
I shant be reading the other books but I will watch the films. Shockingly: even my boyfriend liked it! Now, just don't tell anyone I fancy Lenny Kravitz, for fuck's sake.


LillianZahra said...

I spent the whole film thinking "Wow, that guy really looks like Lenny Kravitz" without actually realising that it was him.

lightupvirginmary said...

How is he still so young looking though? He must have been 30 at least when 'Fly Away' and all that tosh came out. I think the Illuminati might be involved.