May the odds be ever in your favor…..

As has been stated many times on nutshell in the past, I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to being totally in love with books. In fact, construction is currently underway on my very own basement mini-library. If I’m not out sipping on cocktails with the girls, or dancing on a speaker somewhere, at home curled up with a book is right where I want to be.

So it may be strange then, that I did NOT read the Hunger Games. In fact, until Monday evening I knew little to nothing about the best-selling novel, turned movie, except that it was highly popular and had done insanely well on its first weekend at the box office.

No thanks.

Who do I blame for missing out on this fresh piece of pop-culture literature? Twilight. Sorry Edward lovers, I KNOW I’m probably offending a multitude of people as I write this, but bear with me – it’s just not my style. Everyone loves a good old fashioned love story, yes, but everything about Twilight was just too juvenile and too corny for me to get behind. So alas, I figured the Hunger Games was following suit on the same kind of teen craze.

But, as I discovered Monday night when a friend suggested a night at the movies and offered up the Hunger Games as a suggestion … I was very wrong. The content of this movie is anything but juvenile (except a few slightly corny parts, that are really not as painful as any Bella-Edward-Jacob-vampire/warewolf-love-triangle-romance). It actually surprised me at times with its brutality and had me jump in my seat at least once (I’m a baby). Even the entire plot line is pretty gruesome … children getting offered up to fight to the death? Suzanne Collins (the author) you’re one twisted lady, but also, it seems, a genius.

Without giving anything away the basic plot line is as follows: Seen through the eyes of sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in a post-apocalyptic world in the country of “Panem” where North America once existed, she must compete in the “Hunger Games”, a kind of gladiatorial contest which is thrown annually by “The Capitol”. The Capitol is a highly advanced metropolis that holds absolute power over the rest of the nation. The games consist of one boy and one girl aged 12 to 18 from each of the 12 districts surrounding the Capitol, who are selected by lottery, to compete in a televised battle in which only one person can survive.

The Capitol and the people in it, are really neat to see in the film and not what I was expecting at all. And although I can’t comment on how it stacks up to the book, reviews have been pretty positive so far. At 2 hours and 36 minutes it’s obvious that lovers of the novel will feel it’s a little bit in fast forward but as a film it flows smoothly and I was never lost or feeling like I needed further explanation on anything that may have been skimmed over. Since I did not read the books, I was happy that the 2 and a half hours actually flew by. As someone who gets a little antsy sitting for too long in one spot … I hardly noticed the passage of time or thought to myself “Ok, WHEN is this going to be over?”

Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta

The acting (again, aside from one particularly corny scene) is actually pretty outstanding, especially given the young cast and group of unknown actors. The main character, Katniss, played by up and coming star Jennifer Lawrence, is seriously badass. Thinking about a legal name change to Catniss Kitts … I think it flows nicely.

And if you want to get a little analytical on it… what a homerun for the heroine. Written by a female, starring a female, loved by the world. You go girl.

Basically, I feel like if you’re a fan of the Harry Potter movies, especially the later, more grown-up more, gruesome ones, Hunger Games is a safe choice to curb your cinema craving.

The reason I wanted to write this post is for all those, like me, who didn’t really understand the hype, saw the previews and thought it might fit under the weird, sort of sci-fi love story like Avatar (hated that too by the way, tough critic) and didn’t give it much other thought. But, now I totally think it’s a must-see and of course, will be heading to the bookstore on my lunch break to buy the trilogy.

Nerd at heart, forever and for always.

Here are some other interesting articles re: The Hunger Games. (All of which I’ve now read following my enthusiastic endorsement):

–         http://www.salon.com/2012/03/22/the_sexual_politics_of_the_hunger_games/singleton/

–         http://jezebel.com/5896408/racist-hunger-games-fans-dont-care-how-much-money-the-movie-made

–         http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1681798/hunger-games-movie-book-changes.jhtml

–         http://news.yahoo.com/hunger-games-battles-155m-opening-weekend-154147044.html

–         http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/CanadaAMColumns/20120322/richard-crouse-move-review-the-hunger-games-120322/

–         http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-03-24/entertainment/31232834_1_katniss-everdeen-hunger-games-panem

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