WARNING!  This review may include spoilers.  Proceed at your own risk – you have been warned.

A couple of weekends ago, Dharma, Greg, Hun and I went to the movies to see Hunger Games.  Initially, Hun and I were opposed to seeing the movie due to our kids actively begging us to go see it.  After some persuasion by the others, we finally caved and went to see what the hubbub was about.  A little note, out of the 4 of us adults that went to the theater, I was the only one who read the series.  Everyone else was going into the theater clueless about what they were in for.

Two and a half hours later, all 4 of us came out of the theater wondering why in the world we wasted our money.

Both Dharma and I had horrible headaches from all of the “creative” camera angles.  The “action” sequences could have done with a lot less shaking and a whole lot more action.

Hun was bored out of his mind.  Half way through the movie, he was asking me if it was going to get any better.  Since we hadn’t gotten to the part about the Arena yet, I thought for sure it was going to get better.  At that point, even I was bored and I knew what to expect.  Sadly, I was wrong.

Greg, who is discharged Army and was deployed to Iraq twice, didn’t see the reasons for it being rated PG-13. 

Speaking of movie ratings….here are a few recent movies with the same rating:

Iron Man – Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and brief suggestive content.

Transformers – Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, brief sexual humor, and language

Star Trek (2009 – the latest in the series) – Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action and violence, and brief sexual content.

Hunger Games – Rated PG-13 for intense violent thematic material and disturbing images – all involving teens.

YAWN!

If Hunger Games was “intense violent thematic material” then I’m Paris Hilton.  Both statements are huge exaggerations.

I get the fact that the whole premise of the book and movie is children fighting to the death.  I get that.  I’m totally understanding that the PG-13 rating is solely because of the teens killing teens element.  But the reality is, most of the “children” in the movie are 17 years old and look closer to 21.  There are a few token 12, 13 and 14 year olds on the edges – but they made them look about 9 years old – and only get a token amount of airtime.  The only young child they focus on is Rue (which is true to the book as well) and even her death is played down in the movie compared to the book. 

As this movie is supposed to be set years from now (after nuclear holocaust by everyone), probably the only redeeming aspect of the movie was the Control Room where the Arena is run from.  It uses current state of the art technology to create the different scenarios the contestants have to deal with.  I can one day see using the same technology in our real lives and am jealous that it is not yet available to us.

Now….on to how I really feel about the book and the movie (I’ve warned you in the past that I’m judgmental):

I thought they were both horrible.

As a heroine, Katniss isn’t this strong, daring, brave and self-assured person.  In the book, she is clueless about how and why she is going to do something and is basically making it up as she goes (it gets worse in the 2nd and 3rd books).  She’s mad at both Peeta and Haymitch for both seeming to know what is going on but not filling her in on the details.  She’s not in love with Peeta – something that, while isn’t totally glossed over in the movie – she uses him for her own gain throughout the book.  At least she feels a modest amount of guilt for using him the way she does.

I realize that people are going to argue with me that most heroes aren’t strong, daring, brave and self-assured people.  However, most people grow through trials and tribulations.  Katniss doesn’t.  I’m going to leave it at that for now, simply because this was my review of the movie and 1st book. 

We took all of the kids to see Hunger Games this weekend.  I warned them that both Hun and I thought the movie was boring.  These are the thoughts of movie maker’s target audience:

LaLa – age 16, read all 3 books – loved the movie and can’t wait to see it again.  She thought it had just the right amount of blood, guts and gore.  She can’t stand watching the other movies I have listed above (we own all of them by the way).

Buddy – age 15, hasn’t read any of the books – thought the movie was good, but also thought the majority of the movie was boring.

Rowdy – age 13, read all 3 books – thought the movie was ok…parts were okay…parts were eh.  Specifically, he thought the Reaping was dumb. 

Monkey – age 11, hasn’t read any of the books – thought the movie was ok.  She’s not going to run out and read the books.  She’s not sure if she’s going to want to watch the next movie (she probably will, but only because LaLa will want to see it).

We won’t stop the kids from seeing the 2nd movie in the series.  BUT, Hun and I won’t be going to the theater to see it either.  We’ll wait until the movie comes out on DVD.

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