Bibliomantic Book Club: “The Hunger Games” Movie

The Hunger Games
Release Date: March 23, 2o12
Genre: Action, Dystopia, Drama

Summary: Set in a futuristic version of North America, the country of Panem was made up of Thirteen Districts – all ruled by the Capitol. At one point in the past, the Districts rebelled and were crushed. As a reminder that no treason of the kind would be tolerated again, the Capitol began The Hunger Games. Each year the twelve remaining districts must offer one girl and one boy as tribute – the twenty four children must then fight to the death in a pageant broadcast live on television for the whole world to see. When Katniss Everdeen volunteers as tribute to save her little sister Prim, she goes to the Games not realizing she would soon be dubbed “the girl on fire.” Beloved by the Capitol crowd, hated by President Snow, and seen as a symbol of hope by the districts, she unknowingly creates a spark that could lead to much more as she tries to keep herself and fellow tribute Peeta alive.

I think it’s safe to say we had all been looking forward to this movie feeling both very excited and also somewhat nervous. After the travesty that was made of Harry Potter, we weren’t too keen to watch another beloved book series be ruined on film. Would they cut too much out? Would it be what the media was calling a “sanitized version?” Would we know what was going on at all without Katniss’ inner monologue guiding us? Luckily, it turns out our fears were mostly unfounded. While no movie can ever be exactly like the book – The Hunger Games did a damn good job of coming as close as possible. Read our thoughts below and share your own evaluation with us!

WARNING: Please be advised there are spoilers for both the book and the movie in this post and discussion.

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You Knew This Was Coming: Cassie-la Votes “Breaking Dawn: Part 1” Comedy of the Year

Book: Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
: Breaking Dawn: Part 1
Genre: Young adult, romance, vampires, werewolves, drama, teen angst, “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant: Vampire Edition”
Rating: 2.43 out of 5 stars (movie), 2 out of 5 stars (book)

Summary: Bella and Edward are getting married, and no one is happy, not even Bella herself, who doesn’t know what a smile looks like. With two hours of running time and only 30 minutes of plot, the penultimate movie in this franchise is full of enough nip slips, shoddy acting, and bad vampire CGI to make even Twihards lose some brain cells.

For my view on the book, please read my even snarkier post here.

Before I begin reviewing what is inarguably the best comedy of the year, I have a question to pose to the sparkly vampire loving audience. What happens when Bella gets her period? Seriously. Edward can barely get to second base without freaking out, what happens when Bella is menstruating? Please let me know if you have any theories/would like to cite Stephenie Meyer’s misuse of prose to prove to me that I’m thinking too much into this.

Breaking Dawn: Part 1 opens up as expected, with Jacob taking his shirt off and Edward and Bella getting married. The marriage of these two bothers me for multiple reasons. For one, Bella’s mother (who is inexplicably dressed in short shorts) seems to be finding this out for the first time when she receives her invitation. She also seems HAPPY that her 18 year old daughter is choosing to marry someone who left her alone in the woods two movies ago rather than going off to college. She’s a wonderful role model for young girls, isn’t she?

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Double Your Horror, Double the Dumb: Cassie-la Tortures Herself with “The Lying Game”

Book: The Lying Game and The Lying Game #2: Never Have I Ever by Sara Shepard
TV Show
: “The Lying Game
Genre: Fiction, young adult, mystery, who is paying you to put this on television?
Rating: 1.3 out of 5 stars (tv show), 4 out of 5 stars (books)

Summary: After discovering she has a long lost twin, Emma switches identities with sister Sutton, who is on a quest to find their birth parents. But what happens when Sutton doesn’t come home on time and Emma has to keep living in a mansion and being loved by people!?!

I picked up (scratch that, DOWNLOADED because I was too embarrassed to purchase in public) The Lying Game series because I thoroughly enjoyed the guilty pleasure that is Sara Shepard’s first series Pretty Little Liars. I am somehow more comfortable with admitting to reading such dreck. It’s so bad I brought out a Yiddish phrase to describe it.

At first I was excited, mostly because the premise was intriguing. A novel narrated by the ghost of a murdered girl watching life go by through the eyes of her twin sister. It sounded Lovely Bones-esque and I liked the ease with which I had read through Shepard’s previous series. NOTE: ease = it was written for teenagers who text message too much and like unicorns.

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You Ain’t Cool Unless You Wear Turtlenecks With Suit Coats: Cassie-la Groans Through “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”

Book: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Genre: Fiction, magic, wizards, children, not everything should be made into a movie
Rating: 2.1 out of 5 stars (movie), 4.5 out of 5 stars (book)

Summary: In the sixth installment of the confusingly popular Harry Potter series Harry and Ginny experience awkward sexual tension, Dumbledore kind of teaches us about horcruxes, everyone forgets that the invisibility cloak exists, the audience assumes there are only 4 Weasley children, and Jim Broadbent rethinks his acting career.

Until recently the last Harry Potter movie I saw was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and that was in 2006, when Harry and Ron had matching John Edwards hair (being that it was the hair of a pony). This was until last month, when ABC Family was running a Harry Potter marathon in which I caught 2/3 of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Having just re-read the novel I couldn’t help but notice that whoever wrote the script had a drunken comedian tell them the plot of the novel before scripting it (a la Drunk History). It was so awful (although the hair was slightly better and less pony-esque) and contained such unnecessary CGI that I knew after re-reading the sixth book I would have to watch the film. It also gave me an excuse to giggle over Alan Rickman, which you really never need an excuse for.

The movie opens in the same confusing way that the fifth one closed, with Death Eaters turning into black mist and flying around London. In the wizarding (quiet auto correct that is too a word!) world there are a lot of ways one can get from place to place: apparating, floo powder, broomsticks, the Knight Bus, portkeys, the Hogwarts Express, various bewitched Muggle objects, etc. None of these however involve turning to black mist and flying around like a disintegrating Superman. It makes no sense. If Chewbacca lives on Endor you must acquit.

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Kicking Ass and Taking Names: Cassie-la Compares Both Versions of “Kick-Ass”

Book: Kick-Ass by Mark Millar
Genre: Fiction, action, dark comedy, I wish I was that cool at 11
Rating: 4.89 out of 5 stars (movie), 5 out of 5 stars (comic)

Summary: Dave Lezewski is your average nerd. That is until he buys a scuba outfit online and decides to start crime fighting like his favourite comic book super heroes. When one of Dave’s fights is put on youtube he becomes an internet and real life phenomenon known as Kick-Ass. But things turn south when he meets some real life super heroes, and some real life villains, and now his life and his balls are in danger.

When Kick-Ass was released in 2008 it was an instant phenomena. Comic shop goers were drawn to the appeal of a run of the mill teenager taking up the mantle of his heroes and living out his (and their) fanboy wet dreams. The first prints were quickly bought up by patrons and the comic had to be reprinted. With only several issues published, it was announced that Kick-Ass was going to be made into a film.

Word of mouth brought on by viral marketing? Check. A large quickly growing devoted fan base? Check. The option to be made into a movie despite having no definitive ending and less than half of the source material? Check.

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Cassie-wa Finally Saw “Deathly Hallows Part 1”

Book: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Genre: I don’t know, magic or something? What are these movies about?
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Summary: Hermione and her friends go Horcrux hunting at random picturesque locations across the UK. Hours of moping around in a tent puts a strain on the trio’s friendship. Then they destroy a Horcrux and become friends again in the process! But then some other things happen and Dobby dies. (In addition: Snape is extremely hot. Neville is the baddest badass ever. Bellatrix is delightfully insane as usual. Bill Nighy is there for a bit in the beginning.)

Sorry guys, this is going to be another one of those shit-I-don’t-have-time-for-a-real-post rambles. Maybe I’ll have more time for this after I graduate? …yeah.

SO, the other night Stephanie, Kelly and I decided to watch the much-lauded film: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1, which I had never gotten around to seeing before.

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