Addresses Issues/Diverse · Adult Series · Brown Chicken Brown Cow · Chick Lit · Contemporary · for everyone · LOL · Memes · movie · Review · Romance · SERIES · Top 10 Tuesday · YA

Top 10 Tuesday #100

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Top 10 Socially Awkward Characters

I don’t know why, but socally awkward characters are probably my favorite.  Maybe because I’m just like them…hmmm.  When I stumble across a book with these characters, I find that I end up empathizing with them on a much deeper level than most other characters.

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movie · Paranormal · SERIES · YA · YA Series

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Movie Review

mortal-instruments-leadI wanted to see this movie.  I mean, I had read the book three times, so you could say it’s a favorite. And of course, to see it brought to life on the big screen was just something that I couldn’t pass up.

Initially, I was unimpressed with the casting.

Continue reading “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Movie Review”

Adult Series · for everyone · graphic novel · LOL · Memes · movie · Paranormal · Romance · SERIES · Top 10 Tuesday · YA · YA Series

Top 10 Tuesday #82

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I LOOOOOVE a good series, if it’s done right, of course. I like the series that are organically meant for something more, unlike a couple I could name that were meant to be a single story but then stretched out into four books (*cough* Twilight *cough*).  So here are the books that maybe should have series because I love the world so much and don’t want to leave or I feel there was more to say.

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for everyone · Memes · movie · Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday #78

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Hosted by the girls @ The Broke & The Bookish, today’s question:Top 10 Best/Worst Film Adaptations

Best:

1. Harry Potter – Though, obviously, there was some tweaking of the book, a lot of things were left out that should have been included (Voldemort’s family, for one), and some things were included that didn’t make any sense (the burning of the Burrow). There were things that they completely left out that were important to me, but…overall, it was a very faithful adaptation while at the same time, it kind of made it’s own world.  And the cast is perfect in every way.

2. Perks of Being a Wallflower – This movie was directed by the author and I actually liked it better than the book because you could see how people reacted to Charlie (Charlie being a pretty unreliable narrator).  It was just amazing. I could gush all day, but go ahead and read my review.

3. Sense & Sensibility – Such a beautiful movie. Hugh Grant as a shy, quiet man of God? That’s good casting.  Emma Thompson as a 20 something spinster? Totally pulled it off though she must have been at least 15 years too old. Alan Rickman as a good guy and the love interest for someone half his age? Phenomenal.  Everything about movie is amazing.

4. The Notebook – I haven’t read the book, but Kristina says the adaptation was very well done and even though the book ended differently, she preferred the movie ending.

5. Bridget Jones Diary – I loved this book. I thought Bridget was a little off her rocker because there was no way she was fat according to her diary entries, unless she was a lilliputian, and I think the movie made her bigger than she was supposed to be for comic effect, but the casting was spot on. I think Renee Zellweger is unattractive, but when she gained the weight for the movie, her face was comically hideous. I don’t see how either Colin Firth or Hugh Grant would have been attracted to her, but it made for a fantastic movie.  Colin Firth, in particular, was spectacular casting because Colin Firth is actually mentioned in the book, which I’m not sure many people caught.  And Colin made Mark Darcy more sympathetic, when in the book, he seemed more like a dick. Though it is an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, which is probably what Helen Fielding was going for.

6. Pride and Prejudice – Kristina will say she loves the Kiera Knightly version, but I’m married to the 5 1/2 hour BBC adaptation that really captures the book so much better.  The KK version was visually very pretty and the cast was pretty good, but I was more sympathetic to the BBC version.  The characters were much more refined and it was harder to tell the differences in their social classes, so their social standing was harder to define, which I think is the point. In the BBC version, you see Longbourne, the Bennet’s home and think what a beautiful, expensive place that surely must house a very rich family, but then you see Pemperly and Longbourne looks like a chicken shack.  I think in the KK version, the vast difference in the two houses is comically overdone (what with the farm animals running around and Elizabeth playing on a swing).  Also, I think that Jennifer Ehle did a much better job of portraying Elizabeth as a proud, respectable woman who could have graced Pemperly’s halls and she had a subtlety to her rebelliousness, whereas Kiera Knightly was more in your face rebellion, and I don’t think that is a very accurate portrayal.  Though Matthew Macfadyen is hot and did a superb job of being the somewhat dispassionate Mr. Darcy.

7. Hunger Games – Okay, granted, some of the casting had us scratching our head before we actually saw the movie.  The dark haired Katniss & Gale are portrayed by blonds, the actor cast as a blond Peeta is a natural brunette.  But this is easily overcome with hair dye.  But the rest of the cast is impeccable, particularly President Snow. The setting is also very well done, especially District 12.  The setting in the book was did not really stick out in any way to me, but when I saw it rendered on film, I suddenly understood, especially in contrast with The Capital. Just wow. But the acting and the additions to the movie that we weren’t privy to in the book (the directing of the action in the arena, Seneca Crane’s punishment) really added to the movie. Let’s hope that Chasing Fire is just as well done, though I’m not worried.

8. Anne of Green Gables – This movie made me fall in love.  I saw it the summer I was 13 and when school started I had to find and read the book. Such a beautifully rendered adaptation. There is so much about it that I love, but the tone and the characters are just right. I particularly loved Matthew Cuthbert.  And Gilbert. I fall in love again every time I see it. And I cannot just watch the first part, I have to watch all three, until Anne realizes that Gilbert is who she should be with.

9. To Kill A Mockingbird – I had to add this because this is the standard by which all movie adaptations should be measured. Everything about it is perfect, though I wish they would have/could have added more story to the movie, which I am sure had to be cut for time. If they added everything, it would be hours long. But the casting is impeccable and the tone is JUST RIGHT.

Worst:

10. One for the Money – I liked the movie, but it wasn’t entirely faithful to the book.  I didn’t like that they took out the attempted rape of Stephanie, though I can understand why, I just think it would have made Benito Ramirez more scary.  I liked Katherine Heigl as Stephanie & Daniel Sunjata as my man Ranger, but I think Jason O’Mara, though he did a very good job, was not Joe Morelli. This is a case of the actors not fitting the images in my mind of my beloved characters. Kristina didn’t like the movie.  I just think it could have been done better. If I hadn’t read the book, I think I would have been confused.

11. Twilight – The first film is SOOO BADLY DONE. I blame it entirely on the director, Catherine Hardwicke.  I don’t know what the hell that woman was thinking in regards to what the characters, particularly the Cullins, looked like.  To me, they looked like they painted themselves every morning. And don’t get me started on my boy Jasper’s hair.  I think, also, with the exception of Charlie (who was perfect in every way), most of the cast was chosen for their looks (ahem, the Cullins). Again, I blame Hardwicke because I know these people can act, I’ve seen other movies they’ve been in.  But here, they look constipated.  Though both Kristina & I agree that Breaking Dawn pt. 2 was very well done, as much as it could be, especially considering the “surprise” that really blew my mind. I am glad they added that because it made the whole movie and it would have been difficult to understand why the Vulturi suddenly turned around and left if they hadn’t added it. It was unexpected, to say the least.  I gasped out loud in the theater.

Honorable Mention (because we haven’t seen it yet)

City of Bones – Kristina & I agree that the casting in this seems to be the best that we’ve seen in a while.  At first, we were both very against Jamie Campbell-Bower for Jace, but seeing the previews, I completely rescind my first opinion (his voice alone, gah). And I cannot wait for this movie.

movie · Review · YA

Movie Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

I listened to the audio of The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and while I liked it and appreciated how it could resonate with so many people, it was merely a B+ for me.  This probably has less to do with the actual book than my tendency to not really connect as much when I listen to an audio.  Regardless, I wanted to see the movie, probably more to check out how Hermione Emma Watson did as the worldly object of protagonist Charlie’s desire.

Logan Lerman as Charlie is an understated genuis. Charlie is a high school freshman whose best friend has killed himself months before.  Charlie spent the summer in a mental institution and is very very (very) socially awkward (I think these days he would probably be diagnosed with some kind of personality disorder).  He befriends this senior Patrick, and his step-sister Sam and, along with his new English teacher Mr. Anderson (who encourages Charlie to read and become a writer) begins a journey to self-discovery that ultimately ends in him remembering things that he’d buried, but also learning to accept himself.  Charlie may be part of the most beautiful family in the world (Dylan McDermott was hilarious a Charlie’s uncommunicative dad, Mom was a very subtle Kate Walsh, and if there is ever any proof that 1980’s clothes will make anyone look dumpy, it is Nina Dobrev as Charlie’s sister Candace).  Logan is a very good looking guy (who, even though he’s 20, still looks like he’s 16, HE DOES NOT AGE), but I think I pictured Charlie as someone who could kind of blend into the background.  Logan manages to really convey a broken quality, someone uncomfortable and ill at ease in his own skin.  When he says “I don’t think anyone noticed me,” you believe it.  Logan looks like the kind of kid that would have been one of the most popular in my school, he looks like he oozes charisma and self-confidence, but he manages to embody Charlie’s awkwardness and express a lost but determined look that makes Charlie so magnetic to Patrick and Sam.

Ezra Miller plays Patrick, the senior friend who finally accepts Charlie for himself.  Ezra is entirely not how I pictured Patrick in my head, but I think he was born to play this part, he was so perfect.  And he is one of the most physically beautiful people I’ve ever seen (he looks like the lovechild of Keanu Reeves and Vanessa Marcil, a coupling I could wholeheartedly get behind).  Despite that, Ezra was Patrick.  He was silly and smart and playful, which I guess I must have missed in the reading.  But he was also sympathetic and played really well off both Emma and Logan.  The three of them really made the movie believable.

Sam, the girl of Charlie’s dreams, is played by Emma Watson.  I was really curious to see how she’d do.  She is, of course, known for being in the Harry Potter movies and not much else, so she had to overcome this expectation from the masses that would only ever see her as Hermione.  And I have to admit, initially Hermione was all that I could see.  I even mentioned to my husband that you could still sort of hear her English accent.  But as the movie progressed, I forgot about Hermione and really started to appreciate her as Sam.  She brought an ernestness and empathy to Sam in regards to Charlie.  Sam in the book seemed to be sort of above it all in the sense that high school was just a way station  to her real life where she could be herself without fear of judgment.  What you couldn’t see in the book was how Sam looked at Charlie and that’s when I really understood that Sam was not merely tolerating Charlie (like a sister letting her little brother tagalong), but she liked him and liked spending time with him.

Overall, I liked the movie much better than the book.  The book is told from Charlie’s (admittedly limited) point of view whereas the movie lets us see what all the characters can see.  A look from Sam here, Patrick’s heartbreak there, Mary Elizabeth’s fiesty personality, Ponytail Derek’s douchebaggery, Candace’s love for her brother…it makes it all so much easier to understand.  This movie does not suffer from moving from the library to the theater because it’s directed by the author.  That’s right, Stephen Chbosky actually directed (and wrote the screenplay to) his own book.  He does such a phenomenal job.  Admittedly, he REALLY understands the material and he makes a great case for authors directing their own work and writing their own screenplays.  Imagine how much better the entire Twilight Saga would have been if the movies were done from Stephenie’s point of view (if she, indeed, had the talent that Stephen does).  Or, to use a better example, if Jo Rowling wrote the screenplay for Harry and let Ron keep all his great lines and not gave them to Hermione.

Pecans:  5/5

Casting Call · for everyone · Memes · movie · Romance · YA

Casting Call — The Fault in Our Stars

Our weekly attempt to cast some of our favorite books, along with our friends: 

Tee @ YA Crush

Candice @ The Grown-Up YA

Brittany @ The Book Addict’s Guide

Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks

The Fault in Our Stars is about a girl and a boy who fall in love.  They both happen to be dying at the time.  It also just happens to be one of my favorite books in…I’m gonna go with FOREVER.  If you haven’t read it, please do yourself a favor & get it immediately. 

The Fault in Our Stars

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

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Isabelle Fuhrman, Clove in The Hunger Games

Kaitlyn, played by Isabelle Fuhrman–one of Hazel’s only friends leftover from her school days, Kaitlyn is described as “extremely sophisticated twenty-five-year-old British socialite stuck inside a sixteen-year-old body” and is supposed to have a slight English accent.  I think if TFiOS does get made (it was optioned in February), this part is so small, it would probably get cut or at the very least, I don’t think Kaitlyn would be British.  I like Isabelle because she’s actually a teenager and she’s pretty without being beautiful and this picture shows she can do sophisticated.

Diane Lane, who will soon be playing Superman’s mom

Diane Lane as Mrs. Lancaster–Hazel’s mom, Mrs. Lancaster, is supposed to be Hazel’s best friend.  She takes every opportunity to turn an event into a celebration, including Bastille Day and Hazel’s half-birthday.  She was also in the Peace Corp, where she met her husband.  I think Diane Lane embodies empathy, compassion, and motherly support.  She can play a background character and be a very giving actress, which is one of the reasons I like her so much.  I think she would do a fantastic job as Mrs. Lancaster.

So what do you think of my choices?  Leave me a comment to let me know who you think would make a better Mrs. Lancaster or Kaitlyn.  And when you’re done with that, head over to the Casting Call sister sites and see who they chose.

Tee @ YA Crush

Candice @ The Grown-Up YA

Brittany @ The Book Addict’s Guide

Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks

~*dixie*~

Dystopian · movie · She Said/She Said · YA Series

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins: Review and Imaginary Casting

Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol – a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

Favorite Quote:  “I just want to spend every possible minute of the rest of my life with you,” Peeta replies.

CF starts with Katniss preparing for victor’s tour at her house in Victor’s Village as it is approximately 6 months after the games.  While preparing, Snow visits and basically threatens all the people she loves if she causes anymore problems and tells her that he knows about her sneaking out of the fence to hunt with Gale and their kiss (just once!).  After the straight out threat she confides in Haymitch who confirms her thinking, she will have to marry Peeta regardless of what she may want.  While on tour they sell the romance as best they can but notice several changes to the districts.  Hostility, shootings, etc have given Katniss hope of a possible uprising.  At the Capitol Peeta proposes, she accepts hoping to satisfy Snow and they return to District 12. 

After the tour is over and Katniss tries to return to normal she goes hunting again with Gale.  SIDE NOTE:  Really?!?  After the most horrible man in the country tells you he knows what you are doing and you know it is illegal and you do it AGAIN?  That bothered me a bit.  While out she tries to convince Gale to run and take their families, which he mistakes for some declaration of love (which I love that he says he loves her and she responds “I know”,  I guess I’m mean like that, lol. )  After she lets slip about what she knows of a possible rebellion he refuses to leave and decides to fight.  That day they learn of changes to D12 as there is a new Head Peacekeeper who catches Gale with his game and lashes him.  (to which I say I’ve always thought he deserved some kind of punishment because they should have known better to not to go back, at least for a long time)  At this point Katniss realizes she must choose to stay and fight.  While trying to think up a plan, they announce what the special twist will be for the 75th Hunger Games since it is also the Quarter Quell, a 25th anniversary where is always a little something extra thrown in.  This year the tributes must be pulled out of past victors.  Katniss being the only female from D12 she is automatically in the games and will now have to go against either Peeta or Haymitch. Peeta is ultimately made Tribute with Katniss.

They all train together, their goal to be more like the “Careers” and to be prepared for the Games this go round. Once they go through the training again, both receiving a score 12, a first in the history of the games (not a good thing, as it will make them targets) they move on to the interviews, where Peeta and his ingeniousness sells the crowd that he and Katniss are already married and, by the way, she’s pregnant.  I love Peeta still trying to save Katniss even though he knows she will do whatever she can to save him.  As always he spouts something swoony again, that his life is worthless without her in it. 

As far as the “love triangle,” as always I don’t even really see it.  After being forced to accept that she will have to marry Peeta if she wants any chance at surviving under the Capital’s thumb (despite not wanting to marry EVER or understanding her feelings for Peeta), she “chooses” Gale by saying she will fight in the rebellion. But even then, she really doesn’t not choose Peeta either, its again all in her head. She still puts up a front for her fans by trying on wedding dresses and being lovey dovey with Peeta, making Snow think that she’s being a good girl and following his rules.  That’s why the Gale stuff doesn’t bother me as much, but I kind of hate Katniss at times for being so indifferent to Peeta who openly pours his heart out, willing to give his life even though he knows she wouldn’t freely choose him.  Case is point as to why I hate Gale:  Gale is a DB and won’t even take gloves because he thinks they were Peeta’s, not that he care what happens to him.  Gee, who’s the better guy here?  

Pecans:  5/5   Was there any doubt??

Maggie’s Picks for New Characters/Possible Casting Ideas: 

 Plutarch Heavensbee – New Head Gamemaker – Good guy disguised as a Capitol lackey.  So who can look like he means business but deep down is a good guy?  I say Jeffrey Dean Morgan.  He’s a big guy that looks intimidating but is a big softie (at least in everything I’ve seen him in :P) Or someone else I think gives the same effect?  Joe Manganiello aka Alcide from True Blood.  Woof!

 

Romulus Thread – New Head Peacekeeper of D12 – Ah, the newest DB on the block.  Who can I see as a horrible person that relies on fear for order?  Sam Rockwell.  He plays bad guys so well I don’t care too much for him in anything because I associate him with evil.  Perfect choice.

 

 

Finnick Odair – District 4 – Ok Mr. Misunderstood, hot damaged guy…I pick Jesse Williams.  Come on!  That is exactly what I see in my head.  Gorgeous, looks like he would hurt someone if needed but will still help your grandmother cross the street.   

If I have to pick a runner up so to speak I go with Zac Efron. God bless America, that boy is beyond words.  (Too big of a name for the others in my opinion but geez, look at that pic!)

 

Beetee – District 3 – There isn’t much given about Beetee, but I think he warrants a casting choice.  I had a few thoughts but as I was perusing the blog world I came across someone else’s choice.  Michael Emerson. Perfect fit!!!

 

Mags –District 4 – Eh.  I only have two older women I cast for almost everything. . .Betty White and Cloris Leachman and to me neither fits here.  Since she isn’t in here for as long as her district partner I think an unknown is fine.

 

Johanna Mason – District 7 –  Mila Kunis or Emily Vancamp.  Honestly if I’m going to pick I choose Mila.  She is a great actress, I’ve seen her serious as well as funny side and they are both great.  Plus her voice is just enough to kind of annoy you which would fit well with Katniss’s dislike of her.  🙂

~*~

When I first read Catching Fire two years ago, I knew that Katniss woudl have to go back into the arena and I wondered how they would pull it off.  The best thing about the first book was the time spent there, so it would make sense that she would go back.  I don’t profess to have any clairvoyance, but damn, I’m good.  I think it’s brilliant the way it’s written. 

Snow showing up at Katniss’ house, showing her that he can get to her, letting her know he knows about her dalliances outside the gate, that freaked me out.  She thought she would be safe, playing to the audience, and he would leave her alone, but noooo!  Evil Man!  Such a great villian!

Peeta in this book really breaks my heart.  If I were him, and I’d been in love with Katniss lo those many years, I would be trying to convince myself that she couldn’t have been faking ALL OF IT.  I guess he’s a stronger person than I am, I would still be carrying a torch.  But he stays out of her way. 

I totally understood Katniss’ feelings for Gale.  On the first read, I was right there with her, not knowing who to choose.  Even though I loved Peeta, Gale is more physically my type (I don’t like blond men).  The part where she recounts Gale’s kiss, I got swooned, I ain’t gonna lie. 

Again, with this book, the best part is all the time in the arena.  I am very much looking forward to watching that on the big screen.

Pecans: 5/5

Dixie’s Picks for New Characters/Possible Casting Ideas: 

 

Finnick Odair, District 4 Male Tribute–someone who is very good-looking, but can play swarthy and vulnerable?  It has to be Hotty McHotPants, Chase Crawford.  I wouldn’t turn him away.

Plutarch Heavensbee, Head Gamemaker–Victor Garber.  I love him.  He plays ernest and trustworthy very well. 

 

Mags, District 4 Female Tribute–Older woman, not in the best physical state, who volunteers. She was also Finnick’s mentor.  I think Kathleen Joosten would be perfect.  She has spunk and looks like she could take care of herself. 

 

Johanna Mason, District 7 Female Tribute–Credentials include:  ability to look vulnerable and non-threatening, but lethal, smart, and uninhibited.  I think Kristen Bell would pull this off with both hands tied behind her back.

Beetee, District 3 Male Tribute–I picture an older man, slight, scattered but intelligent looking.  For that I would pick Joel Grey, but I think he may be too old.  If they want to go for someone younger, Alan Tudyk (although he’s not short, he can pull of absent-minded pretty well). 

Wiress, District 3 Female Tribute–She’s a little out of her head, although we don’t know why.  But she’s very smart.  For her I would pick Lili Taylor, who I think could take us all on in a game of scrabble.

 

 

Dystopian · movie · She Said/She Said · YA Series

SPOILER ALERT: Hunger Games Movie Review

Maggie’s Take:

Overall:  4.75/5

Come on, it can’t get a five, it’s not the book!  While I understand changes have to be made for the story line and time restraints I don’t have to like them.   I hated the shaky camera during the first bit, I remember thinking if this is the whole movie I’m going to have a problem but that was quickly remedied. 

I didn’t cry like I thought I might, though I got a bit teary eyed at parts.  I think the fast pace really helped with this or was to blame, however you look at it. They cut so much of Katniss and Rue together I almost didn’t feel any connection to her. I liked that we saw some of the characters more than you did in the book since you saw the Capitol from time to time.  I’m torn on the Seneca addition since he wasn’t in the first book (major points for the beard), but I loved the scenes with him and President Snow.  When he is in the room with the berries?  Greatness. 

I’m sad about the dogs too.  I could see where they might come off not looking really like the tributes but they could have tried something.  The collars with the district numbers?  Fur the color of their hair and eyes the same color?  Anything. 

The ending scene with Snow was another great addition.   I LOVED the ominous air of President Snow watching.  A great ending to a movie that helps build tension and anticipation for the next movie, even if it’s over a year away.  😦

Characters:

Peeta:  I feel like they downplayed Peeta on the romance side not there was much to begin with. . . but geez give my bread boy a break.  I knew they would cut down on the cave time but I think they took a bit too much away from his adorable self and his love for Katniss.  On that same note, I think they tried to play up Gale with the cutaways while they kissed, or at least try to gain sympathy for later love triangle use.  I know there was a love triangle in the books but to me it wasn’t as tension filled as what it looks like they are possibly going to build too.  Also in cutting so much of the cave you lose the all of the manipulation Katniss uses on Peeta to get supplies.  The notes from Haymitch helped but I felt like if you didn’t read the book you might be slightly confused since everything moves so fast.  When they get back to the district and they didn’t talk about how it was all for the cameras?  You lose how hurt Peeta was by her admission and how much he really loves her.  Again if you hadn’t read the books to me it just shows he did the same but to a different extent.  Lastly, I’m a little confused with Josh as Peeta is the leading man role.  I love JH, he is adorable as is his character but it was difficult to grasp him as a leading man.  I’m not giving up on him though. 🙂   SIDE NOTE:  His camouflage??  AWESOME! 

 

Katniss:  I think Jennifer Lawerence kicked butt!  She is a great Katniss, cares for her family but is socially awkward.  Question:  Where is the heck was the bread from District 11?  To me that was significant to show another district supporting her but they cut that to show the uprising which you don’t even find out about in the first book.  It’s like they were more worried about setting up CF than getting the important details for HG.  Another detail they failed on, where was my gut wrenching Peeta yell?  When they announce that there can be two winners is they are from the same district she lets out this scream for Peeta that to me unconsciously shows how much she cares though she “doesn’t know” how she feels.  To turn it into to a whisper was disappointing.    I feel the same on losing the trip back to the Capitol once they are taken out of the arena.  Am I the only one who remembers her screaming for Peeta here as well?    It’s like the movie doesn’t want you to pick a team so to speak.  (I’ve got your number Lions Gate, Team Peeta all the way!!!)

Gale:  UGH.  That bit at the end with Prim on his shoulders??  VOMIT.  Gale bothers me, I’m sorry.  That probably comes more from having already read the entire series but he wasn’t at any point my favorite character.

 

Caesar:  What in the heck is going on with those teeth?  They look like chiclets.  Other than that as I’ve previously stated, I love Stanley Tucci!

Cinna:  The costumes?  AWESOME!!  I loved the girl on fire outfit, though I think they should have left the hand holding as Cinna’s idea.  Lenny Kravitz nailed this role as far as I’m concerned.  I think I’m more excited to see him again than more of Katniss herself. 

Haymitch:  Oh Woody. . .it wasn’t horrible but I felt he acted a bit too light hearted.  I saw Haymitch as a dark, damaged, AND drunk person.  To me WH played up the drunk side more than anything.  Maybe if they fix his hair before the next movie?

Dixie’s take:

Overall: 4.5/5

Seeing a movie based on a book, you don’t know what to expect going in.  Will it do justice to the book?  Will the actors fit the characters?  What will they cut out?  Will the movie suffer under the hands of a director who takes too much license with making the actors look cheesy?  (Catherine Hardwicke, I’m looking at you.)

The Hunger Games is a book that had a very big impact on me.  It was so well written, set in a dystopian future that seems entirely possible, with a cast of characters that were genuine and flawed and perfectly imperfect.  So just how are they going to screw it up?

I loved the way they presented District 12.  In the book, we learn that it is what used to be called Appalachia, and rather than look like a futuristic version of the area, it looked like a throwback to the Hatfield and McCoy era, kind of backwards.  The people looked impoverished and generally hopeless.  To see that compared to the way the Capital was so outlandish and over the top in everything, you could really see the dichotomy, the haves and the have-nots.  It was really eye-opening.  It was so much worse than what my imagination conjured. 

I really liked the additional scenes with Seneca, they showed him as a “director,” manipulating the arena, which explained a lot better than the book did, actually.  And I loved that they added Ceasar and Claudius narrating the action, it helped with the exposition of the things we would have known from Katniss’s narration, like explaining the origins of the tracker jackers.  I cannot think of a superlative for Stanley Tucci as Ceasar that is both appropriate and descriptive enough because in the book, he’s great, but the character in the movie stole the scenes. Phenomenal?  Close enough.

Characters:

Peeta: Josh did a fantastic job.  His face when his name was called during the reaping, so totally tragically shocked.  They didn’t show that the “romance” was all an act, fabricated by Haymitch in order to get them sponsors.  But I think that made Peeta look more genuine, so I didn’t mind it so much.

 

Katniss:  Jennifer Lawrence IS Katniss.  I cannot see anyone else being her.  She made Katniss more…what’s the word I’m looking for…sympathetic?  In the book, she’s a little cold, but we don’t know everything that’s going on in her mind here, so Katniss just looks like a girl that is trying to survive.  And maybe here, too, she really thinks that Peeta is doing it all for the camera. 

Gale:  I have to say, I actually liked the times they showed Gale.  And I have come to appreciate Liam Hemsworth.  All of the scenes with him added to the story, even though he wasn’t in the book as much.  He and Katniss had a lot of chemistry and maybe they were setting us up for Catching Fire, but I’m glad his love for her won’t come out of nowhere.

Cinna:  Loved. 

Haymitch and Effie:  Yes, they made Haymitch a little funnier than he was in the book.  In the book, especially in the beginning, he’s a brooding, belligerent drunk.  In the movie, he’s a semi-charming, belligerent drunk.  Effie was superb.  Elizabeth Banks made her hilarious.  The two of them together was especially fun.  I think they should get married and have babies.

The Tributes:  I have to say that I loved that they fleshed out these characters more than the book.  I loved all of the ones who survived the initial bloodbath at the beginning.  Cato, Clove (awesome!), Marvel, but especially Rue (not enough screen time) and Thresh (who they fleshed out…in the book, his presence was very intimidating, but in the movie, they actually show him smile and seem human).

There were some slight differences between the book and the movie, but I don’t think they really effected the movie negatively.  Here is a list of the differences, great article, check it out.

So, those are our thoughts.  What did you think?

Dystopian · movie · She Said/She Said · YA Series

On The Eve of the Hunger Games…

So the movie starts tonight. Let us discuss what we hope/believe/have prejudged by the myriad of information/previews/photos we’ve seen of this movie.

So how will it be compared to the book?

Ending:

It’s hard to imagine how it could end differently.  Could they try and be dramatic and end it with the berry scene?  It’s safe to say most of the people that are going see the movie have read the books so that would be a load of crap.  Commit to the end of the actual book?  Please!  Of course what I really want to see are the interviews at the end.  It’s hard to think of Katniss as this soft and innocent girl curled up next to Peeta on the sofa in the Capitol.  I do like the way the book ends, leaving you wanting more, knowing it isn’t over but at the same time not a huge dramatic ending.

Things they might change:

I think they will have to cut the cave scenes down dramatically.  From everything I’ve seen (trailer wise) there is a lot of action and I’m thinking though the entire games are told from Katniss’s POV they obviously have to show the gamekeeper, the crowds reactions, etc.   If they don’t what kind of dialogue are we going to have?  On this same train of thought I’m thinking her alone time in the trees is going to be cut too.  But please, please, please don’t cut when she yells for Peeta!  God Bless America I love that boy!  Though upon investigation online I did find out it is over 2 hours long so who knows, maybe they didn’t have to cut too much but I better see a little smoochy something! 

 

First let me start with how much I love this series.  It is only second to Harry Potter (of course I do realize I’m saying that before I see the movies, but I can tell you book wise Potter is #1, the movies are yet to be determined. :P).  That’s right; I love it more than Twilight.  Before I get any kind of hate mail, please note I do love Twilight, but it is a distant third to these two epic series. (Of course I own copies of all three. 🙂 ) 

Side note:  Did everyone hear that there is a new trailer for Twilight playing before HG?  Whoot!!  Of course I already did see a little something because I went to the midnight DVD release of Breaking Dawn Part 1 to see the 5 minutes exclusive clip @ Target.  Totally worth it even though I had to put up with a crazy Twi-hard fan who talked to me nonstop about how it was Taylor Lautner’s birthday at midnight too, something that is now burned into my brain regardless of if I want it to be there.

Cast:

Overall I can tell you I’m happy.  They didn’t dip into any other major franchise and started their own which I liked.  I’m ready for fresh blood! Besides, a lot of them will not be there for all three movies, anyway…oops, did I just spoil something?

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen

Maggie:

I was leery about this one because I saw her as too pretty for the Katniss I saw in my mind but after watching the trailers and seeing how she transformed, I’m liking the choice.

Dixie:

Initially, I was worried that she was too old.  I hadn’t seen her in anything before, other than the snippets of scenes from the movie she was nominated for an Oscar for.  Plus, blonde!  But from what I’ve seen, she looks like she’ll do an exceptional job.  And really, have you listened to her interviews, she’s hilarious and smart and doesn’t take herself seriously.  I think she’ll be great.

Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark

Maggie:

Oh Peeta!  I love Peeta and this guy is just absolutely adorable.  I don’t care that he is 10 years younger than me and breaks my rule of he can’t legally buy me a drink, I want to put him in my pocket.  🙂

 

Dixie:

Again, he’s kind of the opposite looks-wise as the character he portrays (he’s short and has dark hair), but I agree that he’s adorable.  I really wish he was taller (call it the Rupert Grint effect), but I guess I’ll live.  He’s also really funny and personable in interviews, like Jennifer.  I don’t know that I’ve seen him in anything before, but he looks totally capable.

Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne

Maggie:

I completely agreed with this pick day one.  They only thing wrong with Liam as far as I’m concerned is his choice in gf’s since I’m not a huge fan of Miley.  (It’s not so much her as her voice, it just hits me the wrong way.)

Dixie:

I am reserving judgment on this one.  I don’t know too much about his acting ability, but he kinda rubs me the wrong way.  We’ll see.

Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket

Maggie:

LOVE LOVE LOVE.  She is a hoot and I cannot wait to see the great clothes!  I think I’m going to go track down some Hunger Games nail polish for the occasion!

Dixie:

I love her.  She’s beautiful and hilarious.  The voice of Effie on the previews kind of irks me, but I guess it’s the desired effect.  I think she’ll be brilliant.  Our friend, Tee, over at YACrush, totally called this one. 

 

Lenny Kravitz as Cinna

Maggie:

Another hottie.  I always saw Cinna as someone much younger but I still love this choice because how the heck can you go wrong with Lenny Kravtiz?!

Dixie:

Lenny Kravitz is not who I pictured as Cinna, until he was actually cast.  Then I thought, BRILLIANT!  He has that quiet intensity that I picture in Cinna, plus he’s beautiful.  Let me tell you, it is hard to find a bad picture of this man.  (There was one where he kinda had a crazy eye thing going on, but I think it was just the camera angle.)

 

Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman

Maggie:

I love him in everything I’ve seen him in (ok I’m lying, I hated The Lovely Bones, but he was still a great bad guy in it) I have complete faith in him.

Dixie:

He’s such a great character actor, he can pull anything off.  I loved him in The Devil Wears Prada.  Long live the Tucc’!

Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy

Maggie:

I guess in my mind I saw Robert Downey, Jr., so I’m having a hard time letting the image go, but I’m sure he will be great.  Only thing that freaks me out isn’t really him as much as his character.  What is going on with his hair?!  Something is off.  It doesn’t look realistic. 

Dixie:

I agree about the hair.  And I never would have thought of Woody, who I LOVE, by the way (way hilarious), but it’s another case of “of course!” 

 

Donald Sutherland as President Snow

Maggie:

This is actually who I saw in my head when I read the book, hands down the best pick!!!  I hope they add more with him in all his evilness!!

Dixie:

I love me some Donald Sutherland.  I’ve been a big fan since Animal House (yes, I was an infant).  I dislike when an actor I really like is cast a villian, but I can totally get behind this one.  And he looks so handsome in the first pic, don’t you think? 

More thoughts?

Seneca Crane, the Head Gamemaker

He is not mentioned by name once in Hunger Games.  We don’t learn about him until the second book, but it makes sense that they show him, he would be in the training room.  And they’ve obviously added scenes, because there is this, which was not in the books:

And I like Wes Bentley, cause he’s a doll, but he does play entitled and snotty pretty well.  Plus, the beard.  HELLLO!  It is truly inspired.  It should get it’s own paycheck.

So, that’s our thoughts about this impending movie.  We’re both very excited, especially about the hot guys.

What are your thoughts?  Do you like the casting?  Who do you think should have been played by someone else?

Join us next week when we dissect the movie AFTER we’ve actually seen it.  🙂 

Have a Happy Hunger Games Weekend!