Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hunger Games (as required by Internet Rule # 47854b)

Ramblings Post #188
There are certain Rules. You always stock hot sauce. The socks stay on. You don't talk about fight club. You don't place a special order then get mad when it takes a while to make. You don't show up late for trial. And it is always the biggest you've ever seen. And if it is a hot topic, your blog must comment on it...if only in passing. So, today, we discuss of all things, a book series I've never even read.

Three books. I guess.

Full Disclosure Warning
: I have not read any of the three books. I have no intention of reading these three books. I don't think I've even read the dust jacket or the back cover of one of these books.

What little I do know might have come from SKIMMING the Wikipedia entry.

That said, what follows is NOT an informed opinion. Heck this isn't even going to be about the movie or the book, but about the idea of the book into movie in general. I'm hoping to skirt the rule by believing that the series at least instigated the conversation. At least that's what I'm going to tell the Internet Cops if it comes to that.

Now, I understand that the trilogy (in the rack next to register at the campus bookstore) was supposed to be Young Adult reading, and maybe that's what soured me. The Young Adult works that I have tried to read, well, the writing in general tends to turn me off. It's usually simplistic, lacking depth and poorly plotted. My understanding is that while this story is wildly imaginative, and apparently very popular - it's also ridiculously derivative of Lord of the Flies, The Running Man, the Most Dangerous Game and as I understand it a Japanese novel and film called Battle Royale.

Let me also be clear that I have no intention of seeing the movie. Aside from the fact that I haven't been to the movies in years, the Book to Movie conundrum should give any fan of the books pause. This conundrum is that a popular book being made into a movie generally has to leave some of the things that the fans of the book really liked out...because of time constraints or a directors mental vision. Or more likely, that Hollywood thinks it can do better. That's why Micheal Keaton was the cast as Batman. Twice. Bad example, I liked those films, but in far too many cases this has generally resulted in the film being an unrecognizable mess that upset the real fans. This was true up until faithful adaptions of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings proved successful proving that fans like good stories, good writing and not just stars.

So which does the Hunger Games film give it's fans? A heavily edited Hollywood version of the book or a faithful vision of the story? Which brings us back to the writing, Young Adult fiction. Which I think is simplistic, lacking depth and poorly plotted. And as I understand from comments at various sites my original thought appears to be right on the money for this series - not so great writing to begin with. So not a good start.

Hopefully this joint will make a few million, some fans will be joyful, a few more actors will get jobs and the world will keep turning. Or maybe it could be the next John Carter?

In any case, I'm not going to see it. Homework.

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