Hungering for a Good Movie

I can't keep it in. I have to put up a good rant in a post about The Hunger Games. A long time ago my best friend came up with an honor for movies that really stink up the place. It's called the Slap Shot award after watching the Paul Newman film about ice hockey that had him squirming in his seat it was so bad.

This happened to me tonight watching The Hunger Games. I was squirming the entire evening. I didn't leave because I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so I stayed for the agonizing duration.

I'd actually heard that there were some profound insights in it and interesting things to think about. I discovered that there were none. It wasn't enlightening or edifying in any way. Oh what about Katniss caring so much about her sister that she's goes in for her, that's kind of a Christ-figure kind-of thing to do? Yeah, but so what -- any film can have that, and lots do. Eh.

I will say that there was the idea about the way the World System considers its inhabitants, which I plan to address in my next webzine home page piece -- it was indeed a reason I wanted to see the film.

But other than that, this was a great big self-absorbed contrived melodramatic piece of caw-caw.

What gets me is that bazillions of teenagers are so infatuated with it, many even getting all into archery because Katniss Everdeen was so good at it. But what this really was was this: The author Suzanne Collins watched American Idol one night and thought, "Hey, what would happen if all the contestants, instead of singing, fought to the death to be the last one standing? Ooooo..." Then she wrote a story which, if the film is anywhere near an accurate reflection, turned out to be a predictable and unimaginative waste of time.

For one thing, there was no one to root for. The supposed protagonist, Katniss (and I'm already getting really tired of writing such a phenomenally stupid name like "Katniss") still went out and killed a whole bunch of people. Why is she any better than the other murderers in the show? Even little Rue was just as malevolent when encouraging Katniss to drop a hive of yacker-jackers (or whatever their wasps were called) on top of a bunch of people.

"But wasn't that the point? To be the last one standing after all the others have died?"

Really? So many would allow themselves to be given over to the whims of the powerful people exploiting them for their entertainment? Just because the system's gods tell you to go kill people does that mean you're still going to do it? And even if we grant that they're all just going to follow orders and murder everyone they can, then what more was this movie? All it did was just boorishly showcase the horrors of the distopian gladiator battle and nothing more.

Finally, I have to shout this to all the film directors out there, and maybe by chance they'll hear. I've always been hoping like crazy that somehow, someway, they would stop moving the camera all around in herky jerky motions. It was done once a long time ago to see how it worked, that's fine. I'm great with film experimentation, no problem there.

BUT PLEASE STOP IT.

Please, I beg you. It's time to stop. Yes there is the thought that it makes it all more real, but ya know Mr. Film Director? It makes it feel like you're doing the viewing of the movie for me, and I hate that. You may think it's great to just get that feel of trying to get the picture as regular human participant in the film, but listen -- it doesn't work. It is just really, really aggravating.

Plus, no one ever mentally registers a scene in their life with that scene moving all around, unless I guess they are really dizzy for some reason. But most people? 99% of the time when they are generally not dizzy? They scan a scene and it's pretty much framed in their field of vision pretty steadily. Sure they may not register everything there. Sure they may be enduring some emotionally trying or even severely traumatic experience. But the scene doesn't move around in front of them.

What a supreme pain in the ass to have to watch a movie as if I were dizzy. And to give credit to The Hunger Games guy, it happens far too often in too many movies and television shows.

So one more time just to emphasize. Film directors, pay attention: STOP WITH THE CAMERA JERKING ALREADY.

What could have made The Hunger Games better? They could have gotten into the meaning of the way the powerful inhabitants of this place could get a way with manipulating things the way they did. They could have had some much more noble responses from the participants. They could have simply had more plot twists and deeper character development.

And they could have addressed the profundity of human sacrifice, but I'm not surprised because no one knows how much it is practiced all around us as a matter of habit right now. The World is indeed one big Hunger Games event. But then, that's the thing I'll be getting into with my home page piece.

So yeah, maybe it doesn't deserve the Slap Shot award because its premise is still a fine jumping off point for some great elaboration on the immense value of the Kingdom and living for Christ.

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