Archive for August, 2014

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After reading this book I Thought I would post my movie review on it. This one was 2.5 hours long. To begin lets talk about what I liked about the movie

1) I loved how they handled the Arena. It was done well and almost as well as I imagined it to be in the book. The salt water lake I thought would be a bit bigger than depicted in the movie but still done very well over all.

2) The victory tour was done well with stops in the right places at the right times. The seeds of rebellion clearly showing and beginning to form and katniss is losing control.

3) I thought the Acting was done quite well. The cast they put together portrayed the characters effectively and really helped bring to life everything that was going on.

4) The other victors matched the descriptions in the book effectively and I really enjoyed how they came to life on the screen.

What I Didn’t I like about this movie

1) I really felt like the story was rushed. 2 much was being packed into to little time on the screen. I really felt that the victory tour deserved more screen time instead of being rushed by.  The victory tour is a key component to build up the rebellion that is forming. The arena portion of the story I felt was rushed as well. The training was non existent and did not help build up the story effectively leading into the arena.

2) I felt that some key elements were left out of the story that should have been in the movie and could have easily been put in without issues. First of all when Katniss was coming back from hunting she was stuck outside the fence finding that it had been electrified when it is normally not turned on. This is because the new head peacekeeper turned it on permanently. This is how she found out about the fence being turned on at all times. She had to climb a tree and jump over the fence hurting her ankle in the process and having to cover up why she was hurt so as not to draw suspicion.

3) Before going into the arena Cinna her fashion guru had taken a moment to show katniss a watch he had with a mocking jay within it and as a hint to the arena lay out. The ride up into the arena was delayed with Katniss wondering why. This delay was important I Felt to the build up of the beating to death of Cinna.

4) Katniss after running into the woods meets up with 2 refugees from another district heading for district 13. This helped build up the rebellion aspect of the story well and should of been in the movie as I felt it was important to the story.

5) Gale had used Katniss’s Cabin in the woods to protect refugees. This would of been a nice touch in the movie but was no there.

6) No mention of supply shortage due to growing rebellion. Another key element that should of been in the movie

Overall this movie did an ok job of adapting the book. I really felt however that it could have easily been split into 2 movies and would have done a much better job adapting the story to the big screen. It just did not do overly well for a movie adaptation. While I never expect the movie to be as good as the book I feel there is much room for improvement.

The thing with the hunger games is unlike Enders game it should easily adaptable, this movie however did not do so well in that way.
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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Posted: August 29, 2014 in Book Reviews

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

By Suzanne Collins

391 Pages

Before reading this review please see my review on The Hunger Games

Katniss has defied the Capitol and the seeds of rebellion have begun across all districts. She along with Peeta have now started out on their victory tour across all districts. Katniss has been indirectly threatened by President Snow if she cannot convince him that her act of rebellion, threatening suicide with Peeta was truly an act of desperation and love and was not about defying the Capitol in any way. Katniss and Peeta desperately try to convince President snow they are deeply in love and not out to rebel against the capital.

The revolt begins as they tour the districts and the mocking jay becomes a symbol of rebellion and uprising against the capital. Katniss finds her self swept up in a movement she did not even know she had started. There is no way out for her no matter how desperately she tries to avoid the far-reaching consequences of her actions.

Just when she thinks things cannot get any worse she finds out that for the 75th annual hunger games the tributes will be selected from the current pool of victors. That leaves only 3 choices in district 12. Peeta, Haymitch and Katniss. As one boy and one girl are required Katniss is going in whether she wants to or not. She finds her self fighting for her life again with Peeta and her most challenging opponents yet. But this is just the beginning and the war has just begun.

The Arena: I love the concept put forth in the arena of a giant clock with each of the 12 sections representing a different threats on the contestants life. The arena this time around is much smaller and thus much deadlier as it is harder to avoid your enemies. The clock seems a perfect analogy in this hunger games for the war the capital is waging on the districts. 12 districts and 12 sections of the arena. Each one representing a different threat both to the capital and the tributes. Each tribute from each district set to be wiped out and destroyed by 12 different acts of destructive force. I love how the capital used the arena as a symbol of time running out for the districts as each will be destroyed in order. The symbolism could not have been established any better.

I loved how Katniss has no idea what she started and gets swept up in the action and the rebellion and has become a symbol of the revolution through her transformation into a mocking jay at the beginning of the hunger games. The other characters already more deeply involved and essentially have been using her as another piece in their plot to overthrow the government while at the same time President Snow is trying to use her in the same way to subdue the rebellion. Her hatred of the capital and unknowingly becoming such a strong symbol of hope for the districts is what makes her such a strong and compelling character.

So much of young adult fiction has played off the idea of children overcoming the most terrifying and difficult situations. This idea started with Ender’s Game by Orson Scott card and has proven popular amongst many readers. However not everyone can put together a story that makes you care about the characters as much as Suzanne Collins has done in this Hunger Games series.

I must admit I am really enjoying this series and am glad I read it. The pace of the story and the characters make for a book I have a hard time putting down. The constant action and endings to each chapter leave me thinking “I can’t stop now I have to find out what happens next!” I left this book feeling the same way and eagerly anticipating reading the next book in the series Mocking Jay.

I would defiantly rate this book as a 9/10 book worms well done and enjoyable in every sense.

The Giver Movie

Posted: August 25, 2014 in Books to Screen reviews

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The Giver movie based on the book by Lois lowry

I have not read this book and did not even know it existed till the movie came out. I admit,  a bit of a sad statement considering it is a prize-winning story. I was lucky enough to get a free movie pass so me and my wife went to see this movie tonight.

Sometimes it is nice to see the movie first before reading the book so that you can go into it without any preconceived notions of what the movie should be. I had no idea what this story was or even what it was about aside from the few snippets you get from watching the movie trailer. It looked interesting so I went to watch it because it was free.

This is the story of a perfect society. Everyone is equal, and thus no one can see any differences. In a world of equals there is no war, famine, disease, anger, resentment, or any other kind of emotions. All the world is black and white and in perfect harmony.

The world has been divided into communities organized into complete perfection. Everyone has the same home, same clothes and is assigned a career which they all  carry out with perfection. Those who are old and feeble, sick and afflicted are sent to the place of release, which as it turns out is death.

The world that has been created is protected by the barrier of memory which remains up till the giver has crossed the boundary.

Jonas our main character has been selected to be the new receiver of memories, a role that is supposed to guide and direct the Elders in the decision making by holding onto and having stored within his mind the memories of the world. The Giver is training him and giving him these memories so that he can replace him when the time comes.

I have to say that I love this story. There is so much about this story that speaks to the human heart and mind. It is, in the simplest form a philosophical story exploring who we are as individuals and people. It explorers the mind, heart and soul of what it is to be human.

I love the symbolism between the adults who want to control the world and the baby who just needs love and attention. Not having read the books I cannot say how this movie measures up the to the book, but I can say that I felt that the movie did a really good job bringing across these issues to the viewer.

I love the contrast between the black and white freedomless and emotionless world and the color emotion and freedom filled world that our main character Jonas explore as he shifts between the two worlds that he is coming to know exist.

I must say that I really loved this movie. The plot and story behind it is fascinating. I once said that I love a really good story, but what I love more than a good story is one that speaks to the human heart and condition. A story that explores what it is to be human. And this is one of those stories.

I can’t give this movie a rating based on the book as I have not read it yet but I can say that this is a really good movie and I am glad that I went to see it. So I won’t be giving you a rating but will say it is worth seeing and I can’t wait to see just how much better the book is compared to the movie. After all I have never seen a movie that was better than its book.