A LITTLE HYPE GOES A LONG WAY
I’m a jealous film fan. Every time there is a big blockbuster event that I’m not excited about I find myself wondering why. It’s a feeling every movie fan craves. Anticipation. Every time I see a movie I’ve been looking forward to I feel like I’m 7 years old and it’s Christmas Eve. But movies like that aren’t released every single weekend. You have to be patient. The wait is hard enough if you’re a casual film fan but for die hard film buffs it’s a long road.
I follow every project on my ‘Hype List’ closely. Every time a plot synopsis is released I read it, every time a still or a trailer is unleashed I watch it over and over again. A hardcore movie fan’s daily mood is determined by the details revealed about the movies they anticipate.
For me, the wait for The Dark Knight Rises, Prometheus & The Avengers has been excruciating. I’ve endured months without any news at all but the clouds are lifting as their release dates approach…
But I didn’t feel that way about The Hunger Games.
I didn’t read the extremely popular books before seeing the films but the sheer amount of people lining up to see it was hard to ignore. The franchise’s built in fan base would easily push the film to number 1 at the box office. But the intrigue and popularity of the movie lured film fans like me to the theater as well. And records were shattered.
Aided by strong word of mouth and critical praise (85% on RT), the film made 155 million in it’s first weekend at the box office. Now that’s how you kick start production on the inevitable sequel. The Hunger Games wasn’t on my must see list. I was curious but I wasn’t in line on opening night. In fact I purposely avoided the lines.
The entire Twilight train passed me by and I wasn’t even at the station and The Hunger Games was no different. But I saw Twilight regardless just to see what the fuss was about. It’s an okay franchise but definitely not my favorite. Sadly, I’d put The Hunger Games in the same category.
When The Dark Knight was released years ago, I followed it’s box office totals closely like it was my film. I was proud to see it do well. I’m sure fans of The Hunger Games are just as proud of this solid adaptation. Suzanne Collins’ tale of a world revolving around teens slaughtering each other is full of tense moments and avoided all the cliches I was expecting to see. While I didn’t read the book, reactions online suggest the filmmakers did a fantastic job bringing the books to life. I guess I’ll have to take their word for it for now.
During the movie, I felt like I a new member of an exclusive club and all the inside jokes were flying over my head. For fans of the books, there must have been tons of references and moments they were looking forward to. I experienced the movie as something completely new and it was just… Okay. I think I was expecting more 1 on 1 battles in a movie about 24 kids out to kill each other. It also took an hour to get to the games. Minor gripes as there was still a lot of action in the film. Something I’m sure fans adored.
You see, that’s where the jealousy comes in. I wish I had read the books that EVERYONE is talking about. I wish I was a part of the club.
… I suppose I am a part of the club in a small way. I’ve seen a good movie now and as I write this review, I find myself wondering what happens next. What will happen in the sequel? Maybe I’ll read the books instead of waiting for the next film to be released. Perhaps this franchise has won a new fan after all?
The Hunger Games in Two: Intense, Survival