The High King Lives

Media Saturday: The Hunger Games movie April 7, 2012

Note: To be fair I did miss one scene in the movie. The scene with the wasps. My hubby told me it wasn’t bad at all and nothing like how it was in the book. It’s a long movie. I had to go to the bathroom sometime lol.

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

Welcome friends to Media Saturday. Once again I am reviewing The Hunger Games. This time it’s the movie. Like before I don’t believe small children should see this movie because there is violence. But I will say this, it’s not nearly as violent as the book and you rarely see anything because they move the camera so fast. Alot of people are riled up about this movie and part of me wonders why. I get it that the movie is about a dystopian society where people (especially children) are discarded without a thought by the wealthy etc. I get it that the Hunger games itself is about a totalitarian government forcing children to fight in an arena to the death. These are hard topics. What I don’t get is how anyone can watch this movie and say it glorifies war and child sacrifice….baloney!

If you don’t know what any of this is about then you can read my reviews of the books. I explain the storyline.

The whole point of the books AND the movie is to show that violence and voyeurism is evil. Now the author uses violence to show violence is bad….that’s a toughy. With all the negative reviews from conservatives I thought the movie would show more violence than the book. It didn’t. A majority of the movie focused on the way the people were forced to live, prep for the Hunger games, how the people in the Capitol acted, behind the scenes (the game maker etc controlling the arena), and how Katniss & Pita respected the sanctity of life.

The “violence” was nothing like the violence I’ve seen in other movies that I’ve yet to hear outrage over (Captain America had way more violence). First of all, the shots were so dodgey that you never see much of anything. I think I saw blood twice and it was so quick I couldn’t register it. The cameras mainly focused on the faces of the kids and it showed how they were trying to survive. The worst part was how Cato’s gang enjoyed hunting the other kids but it was obvious that this was bad. Even in the end though Katniss showed mercy to Cato and Cato himself broke down from the violence and horrors of the Hunger Games.

There is a touching scene (also in the book) where Katniss sings to Rue as she’s dying. Rue does get speared but you don’t see much of anything. The camera focuses on her face and Katniss covers the little girl in flowers. You can see that Katniss does not let the Capitol control her. Although she’s supposed to be in the fight to the death, Katniss offers Rue food and helps take care of her.  Pita and Katniss risk their lives for eachother several times.

What’s really neat is that we get to see what’s happening back home and in the other districts during the games. In the book we’re reading in first person, so we are in the arena the whole time. But the movie shows behind the scenes. When Katniss covers Rue in flowers she makes the symbol of her district with her fingers and kisses them. She does this towards the screen to show respect for Rue. You then get to see Rue’s district. A riot breaks out and you see the district rebelling against the Capitol. Katniss’ bold moves in the arena help start the revolution against the capitol.

I didn’t find this movie entertaining. I found it inspirational. It had a moral to teach. I think people are so upset because this movie deals with the horrors of children being brought into war etc. Because it seems people can watch “Captain America” etc and cheer because Nazis are being shot up…they can cheer for the hero. But in this movie there is no hero….it’s obvious that murder and war is hell. How can you cheer when the bad guys are just kids? You can’t……and then it brings everything home. We’re all human and every life is sacred….even those of our enemies……they may not be children but they are still people. This movie is mean’t to make a point.

So while we can eat popcorn and cheer while watching Super Heroes destroy villains…well we can’t do that with this movie. Instead we are made to face the horrors of war face to face……as if we are soldiers ourselves. So this movie isn’t for young children….I agree. It would be like showing a movie about the Holocaust to a 4 year old. Now middle school and up? Well if they’ve learned about the Holocaust and if they’ve seen any war movies then this would be no different. And I venture to say that the violence is not nearly as bad as the violence in Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings……gasp The chronicles of Narnia (2nd movie). What makes the movie hard is the deep issues it addresses……

The scariest part of the movie was the dogs at the end because they jumped out. That part freaked me out. Thankfully with the dogs they didn’t show the gory details of what happened to Cato. You knew it was happening but you didn’t see it up close. Everything went real quick. But like I said…..if you’re middle-schooler has seen Harry Potter then this is nothing compared to some of the scary scenes in that movie.

I am a bit frustrated with the bias reviews I’ve read on the net. People have really turned this movie into something it’s not.

For all the people out there who have taken this movie and tried to burn it at the stake……just think…..why are you on this witch hunt really? Are you being completely honest with your review? Because this is one of the first movies I’ve seen that makes it crystal clear that violence is wrong…….that society is wrong for taking pleasure in the pain of others. Should The Hunger Games make you feel uncomfortable? yes. Should it give you chills? Yes. Why? because it’s holding up a mirror….saying society THIS is what YOU look like. We are no different than Rome…..God help us.

Again I won’t debate on my blog. So please don’t try to get me to argue in the comments section. I won’t. Take my review or leave it. That’s up to you. But this is one very conservative girl who is not freaking out about the Hunger Games and I don’t think older kids will explode if they see it. In fact I think they will learn alot. This movie is nothing like the violent flicks most kids see and it is nothing like the violent video games. The Hunger Games makes it’s point clear….violence  is bad. Mercy is good. You may cry the whole time (I almost did) and you’re gonna get a good kick in the pants……you’ll probably go home and decide to quit watching reality shows. 

There are a few minor curse words and I can understand people not wanting their kids to hear cursing. But again…this movie isn’t the big monster that everyone is making it. There are plenty of other movies you can freak out about. I’m not saying to take this lightly and just let your kids see anything. If your middle schooler or teen is going to watch this then please read the book yourself and watch it with them. Talk about the issues in the movie. Use it as a teaching tool.

One of the best reviews I’ve read is from Focus on the family. It shows both sides of the coin. I do encourage you (adults) to see the movie for yourself before you judge it. Because reviews tend to show the bare skeleton of a movie and you miss the big picture.  Don’t expect fuzzy feelings…..don’t expect to be entertained. Expect to be challenged…perhaps changed. Now the next two movies may be different. We will see. The last two books are really hard and honestly they just made me want to cry. It made me think of soldiers with PTSD. So who knows where this trilogy will end up.

So above is the link to Focus on the Family’s review and below is a snippet from that review. I totally agree.

“Suzanne Collins’ young adult bestseller-turned-box office smash is likely exactly what fans were hoping for. It’s a faithful rendition of her dystopian tale that almost feels like a page-by-page illustration. It’s violent, if relatively restrained. It’s emotional. It’s adventurous. It’s instructive. It’s a future fantasy that uses broad, colorful character contrasts, deep emotional angst and shocking physical conflict to, like many a sci-fi flick before it, challenge us in our own present world.

Its themes of government overreach, corruption of the powerful and the struggles of the common man ring true throughout. And in the midst of that, key characters make upright, noble choices. “It was Katniss’ humanity that people gravitated to,” director Gary Ross told Parade. “This is a girl who fights for survival and finds something she is willing to give her life for.” Pressured to do what’s always been done—join in the hunt and ignore the fallen—Katniss rebels. She and others stand up for the weak, care for the wounded and grieve over the dead, prompting unexpected reactions from the usually gleeful viewing audience.

And that’s another thought-provoking element The Hunger Games presents: It can easily be seen as a scathing indictment of our often manipulative and crass media culture.

“What if one year everyone just stopped watching?” Gale asks. “Then they wouldn’t have the games.” And we can’t help but be drawn to the logic in that statement, even if the TV show in question didn’t feature teen killings.

Through use of a shaky hand-held camera and quick-cut, partially obscured glimpses of battle, blatant bloodshed is minimized. But the teen-on-teen savagery is more than just a little disturbing, make no mistake. Watching Katniss “put a boy down” in a “mercy” killing triggers a moral quagmire. Watching a group of children joyfully hunting their peers in a pack invokes cold chills. And watching even littler children in the Capitol pretend to hurt and kill with plastic toy swords drives home the point, saying, This is what happens when a culture fully embraces armed assault as entertainment.”

Well, this was long and I was blunt. You may disagree with me and I still love ya (I hope it’s likewise).  Again, don’t take your small kids to see this. Older kids…well you watch it first and decide. I would let my son watch this when he’s a preteen, way before I’d let him see Harry Potter. That’s just me…

ok dear ones, time to rest your eyes lol. I’ll try not to be so long next time 😉

God bless and Remember The High King lives! ~Amber Dover


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