I’m Always A Little Late To The Party. Hunger Games vs Twilight Deathmatch.
I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about how this happened, but to be very succinct, I saw the Hunger Games in the theatre Sunday morning, and Twilight, Breaking Dawn Part 1 that evening. “Chris, why did you spend Easter watching movies made for 14 year old girls?” you might ask. And I don’t really want to go into the how or the why of it. Let’s just sit with it for a minute and we’ll get right to the point.
I read Hunger Games a few weeks back and like everyone else, was pretty excited to see the movie version. Everyone knows the story by now, so I won’t run through a synopsis, but the bullet points are, if you’ve been in a coma or whatnot…
–Lord of the Flies meets 1984
-Ultra-whiney male character
It’s terrible to compare movies to books because: JUST DON’T. Your brain is really the most amazing thing that ever happened and nothing is going to ever beat what goes on in it while you’re reading. Secondly, I feel like ever since the Star Wars films, people keep waiting for a movie to come out that fulfills them in a spiritual way. This is a lot to ask for the $13 you’ll spend on admission. Ultimately, the goal should be entertainment, not enlightenment. You’re just setting yourself up for disappointment. That being said, I’d like to confront some of the aesthetic choices in The Hunger Games that made it kind of a 2 hour suckfest.
Please take me out of Katniss’s nostril. Every shot involved the camera being so close to her face that it became an IMAX ear/nose/throat lesson. I like Jennifer Lawrence a lot, but I typically wait until the second date to get intra-nasal with the ladies. The movie was shot uncomfortably close for no particular reason other than maybe the rental house was out of wide angle lenses. There’s no real claustrophobic element to the story that would require all that intimacy. And furthermore, the Capitol was filled with some really stunning makeup and hair artistry which could not have been cheap to create, and we saw all of 4 seconds of it in a tight, sweeping shot.
This is how the rest of the movie looked when you weren’t violating an orifice. Much of it looked like it was filmed on an Iphone by a jogger with a peg-leg. On a merry-go round. During an earthquake. While racing a camel. On cobblestones. Slow down! Back up off that 5-hour energy, brah, and let’s break out that tripod. You’re not the camera guy for the Kansas City nightly news filming a hotdog eating contest. You’re shooting principal photography on a major motion picture! I know, I know…”things are just happening so fast I gotta jerk the camera around all frantic-like so people understand that things are just happening so fast!” Give your audience some credit.
Lenny, my friend, I think you’re probably a cool guy to hang out and have a beer with. And once, when I was 15, I was in a band that covered “Are You Gonna Go My Way.” So forgive me, because you’re going to catch the brunt of this when you probably don’t deserve it.
But aren’t you guys just so stoked about a post-apocalyptic future where only celebrities can do stuff? Whenever movies need to be made they just grab 50 Cent, and whenever music needs to be made they go grab Gwyneth Paltrow? And when paintings need to be made they just grab Billy Zane? And when some photos need photographing they grab Bryan Adams and James Franco? And when books need to be written they grab, uh, James Franco? WAIT! HOLY FUCK! SOILENT GREEN IS PEOPLE AND WE ALREADY LIVE IN THAT WORLD!!! I can’t wait until Jennifer Lawrence starts a ska band with Catherine Zeta-Jones and they’ll play the soundtrack to the next movie starring Maroon 5.
I’m really artsy, so I’m going to be honest and tell you that it’s difficult to watch a movie, no matter how good the story, if artistically it’s below average. I’m a snob, no need to write nasty letters. I already know. I may lose some of those snobby artist-cred points in your eyes with Twilight, however, and I can accept that. This movie is a pop culture phenomenon, though, and I do really enjoy pop culture, even if its just from up here on this high horse I’m riding.
Twilight, in bullet points:
-Dystopian present tense
-Heroine is a giant leap backwards for women
–The Book of Mormon meets Romeo and Juliet
-Ultra whiney male and female leads
The only real comparison between the two stories I’d like to make is that Katniss Everdeen is a righteous, intelligent, thoughtful, asskicking leader of the proletariat uprising who gives no fucks about boys. Bella Swan is just the lead character in an 8 1/2 hour long after school special about abstinence that is ONLY defined by giving fucks about boys. I don’t think there’s much else to compare.
See you guys in a few days. Me and Lenny are going to the sweat lodge.