If you’ve been reading Yes Totally for awhile, you might remember that we watched Breaking Dawn Part 1 last year. We sat around with snacks and booze, watched the movie, and said things that my office’s web filter considers ‘tasteless and offensive.’ Since we had such a good time last November, we decided to do it all over again.
This year, we decided to watch The Hunger Games. The movie’s sequel, Catching Fire, is opening next Friday, November 22nd, so it seemed like a good time for a review. For those of you who need a quick synopsis, The Hunger Games takes place in a post-apocalyptic North America, now called Panem. Panem is made up of twelve nation-state districts and The Capitol, Panem’s largest city and seat of government. The Capitol rules the continent under the authoritarian leadership of a President. Each district specializes in a different industry – ie. fishing, coal mining, or agriculture. The bulk of their resources go to the citizens of the Capitol, leaving the majority of the districts extremely poor, malnourished and in constant fear. To further subjugate the districts, The Capitol holds an annual competition where two adolescents from each of the twelve district are sent to an arena to fight to the death. This competition is known as the Hunger Games.
Now, just like Twilight, some of us had read the books and some had not. In this instance, only Val had not read the books, so I awarded her one mockingjay pin.
(A): Hunger Games! Let’s eat all these snacks and watch it. Aw. That seems cruel.
(V): They’ll never know.
(A): Did we eat in the theater when we saw? We’re such assholes, you guys.
(J): In the post apocalyptic future, I want a grumpy ass cat
(J): What did she whisper to Prim?
(A): The same thing Scarlett Johansson said in Lost in Translation.
(J): Was this filmed in West Virginia? Or Vancouver where they film everything?
(K): Maybe outside of Atlanta where they film stuff now? (ed. It was filmed in North Carolina)
(A): Atlanta? Like, where the Walking Dead is filmed?
(K): Yeah, totes. See, this all takes place after the zombie apocalypse. Like 400 years after – it’s the post, post apocalypse. First the zombies wiped everything out, and then humans won the war and discovered a cure, but civilization is still kind of in ruins.
(A): They don’t even remember the zombies anymore.
(K): Yeah, the world is back to normal, but the government controls everything and people still thirst for blood.
(K): There he is. The Ex-Mr. Future Cyrus.
(A): He was dumb enough to propose to Miley.
(K): He’s the lesser Hemsworth for sure. Thor is the preferred Hemsworth.
(J): Really!? I mean, he’s still pretty fine. But then, I guess he’s no Thor. Chris is also Captain Kirk’s dad, so that’s cool.
(K): The Miley thing killed any lady boners for me.
(K): I thought they could have done a better job of explaining why it’s called the Hunger Games and why Gale has his name in the bowl so many times.
(A): Yeah. If you didn’t read the book, it doesn’t mean anything really.
(V): What is it?
(A): The people are starving, so to get food, they enter their name into the reaping additional times.
(K): So essentially, it’s just another way to oppress people.
(V): I see. Yeah, you would have never gotten that from the movie.
(J): The mom is Trixie from Deadwood! YAY!
(J): It’s pilgrim hairdo time!
(A): (watching hair braiding) Its amazing that they still have Pinterest access.
(K): The clothes seems weird to me. Like why are they dressing all old-timey? Did t-shirts disappear during the apocalypse. Are there jeans?
(V): Katniss was wearing jeans earlier when she went hunting. But I agree, even through they’re dressed up it looks strange.
(A): Especially when everyone else is from a Lady Gaga video. Wow. In HD you can see all powder Effie’s wearing!
(K): (Prim’s name gets chosen.) God. That is some really shitty luck. I mean, she’s only in there once. First time ever and she gets picked.
(J): The odds were not in her favor. It’s so sad!
(A): I’m getting choked up. Aww, there’s Peeta bread!
(J): Look at that. He’s got a weird frat boy face.
(A): Like a puppy dog.
(J): (Watching Prim tearfully, say goodbye to Katniss) Ha! The pin didn’t work.
(K): Take your shitty pin back. It means nothing!
(J): It didn’t do shit.
(K): This is the part where it turns into Willy Wonka on a train. (singing) “Come with me, and you’ll see… a world of pure imagination.”
(J): Yep. Like, “It’s a chocolate river!”
(A): I don’t recognize most of the food in here.
(K): I’m pretty sure the green stuff was absinthe!
(K): Yay! It’s not a party until drunk Woody Harrelson shows up!
(J): Word up.
(Haymitch angrily pushes Peeta back in his chair with his foot)
(J): Gross! Woody has a pretty ugly toe. It’s the movies for godssake.
(A): Get a pedicure, dude.
(K): They haven’t reached the Capitol to get cleaned up yet. He’s still dirty like they are.
(A): He’s wearing the same pedicure he got from the last Hunger Games.
(J): Yay! It’s the Harry Potter train! They’re going to Hogwarts.
(K): I’d rather go to Hogwarts
(J): Well, yeah.
(V): You’d have magic instead of dying!
(The tribute parade begins)
(K): This is the part where I always wonder which district is which. They all drive by so fast.
(A): Yeah, they should have done a full montage or something. I want to see the costumes!
(J): Those guys are flamingos and there’s some gladiators.
(Katniss and Peeta appear onscreen in flames)
(A & K): THIS GIRL IS ON FI-REEEEEEEE!!! (singing loudly in perfect, un-planned unison)
(K): Which actually had nothing to do with this movie.
(J): It should have been the theme song. How is it not?
(A): District 11 is wearing farmer clothes. (Quotes from Clueless) “She could be a farmer in those clothes.”
(J): Yeah, golden cowboy hats.
(K): What? (confused) That’s not Thresh and Rue in the gold hats. That looks like an Asian kid in that hat.
(A): Thresh and Rue are wearing overalls.
(J): So who is wearing those golden cowboy hats?
(A): Ugh. The furniture is so ugly in this penthouse.
(K): Aluminum foil rock chairs. What the hell.
(A): They gave her such unflattering casual wear.
(J): Like, “Here’s a sack.”
(J): (watching Katniss change the image on her window) It’s like the Marty McFly picture window. (Quotes from Back to the Future II) “Ma, the window’s broken again.” Dude, we should have all this shit by 2015 – 2 more years.
(A): (Watching Cato be creepy) That guy has got to be a total date rapist!
(J): Jesus. Alright Biff, calm down.
(A): Wow, he really is like Biff.
(K): (Watching them eat dinner) What is Peeta wearing? Is it a shawl collar cardigan?
(J): No, it’s a robe. He wants to be like Hef.
(A): Seriously, the casual wear in this movie is terrible.
(J): Oh my god! It is a shirt! He’s wearing a ladies shirt!
(K): It’s an Ann Taylor Loft ladies office shirt!
(Katniss appears in front of the judges to get ranked)
(K): Ha! This is my favorite ridiculous part. Where they’re all standing around saying random things about the roast pig. “Hey look at this pig. Who brought this pig?”
(J): I feel like they didn’t setup how good she was with the bow.
(K): They mentioned it once with Peeta and how she shoots squirrels in the eye.
(V): And then they showed her missing the moving deer. Yeah, they didn’t set it up very well.
(K): Here’s the pig line.
(Seneca says like some futuristic bro, “Hey, who ordered this pig!!”)
(K): It’s like they had to draw attention to the pig before she shoots it, so the director said “Impov some lines.” Then the guy playing Seneca didn’t know what to say, so he said this dumb thing and the producers kept it in. I can’t believe someone would write that line in the script.
(K): This is my other favorite part of the movie. Stanley Tucci is all teeth and blue hair. Look at him!
(A): Oh god, you’re right. The teeth in the first panel is so prominent.
(K): Someone at some point had to tell Stanley Tucci to make faces into a camera so they could make those panels.
(J): Those can’t be his real teeth right? Who is he channeling for this part?
(K): Ryan Seacrest.
(J): Teeth and hair. Yup.
(AJK): (Caesar introduces Katniss Everdeen: The girl on fire) THIS GIRL IS ON FI-REEEEEEEE!!! (singing loudly)
(J): Ha! Every single time I hear this. Didn’t Taylor Swift do the theme? Was this at the time of the Kanye/Taylor Swift thing?
(K): I was disappointed by this dress moment.
(A): It could have been so much better.
(K): I feel like her Mockingjay reveal dress in the Catching Fire trailer looks so much better.
(A): (During the bloodbath at the cornucopia) That guy’s leg got cut off!
(K): That’s a hardcore axe!
(A): (Clove’s knife gets stuck in Katniss’ pack) Thanks for the knife, bitch!
(K): So Thresh got a weird futuristic scythe. That’s a scythe, right?
(A): Cause he’s a farmer!
(J): Is that a machete? Or the knife that got thrown?
(A): The thrown knife. She managed to get a squirrel without anything.
(J): It’s like in Winter’s bone. Cook it up.
(V): I don’t like this part. It pisses me off.
(J): She’s very smart to tie herself to the tree.
(V): Very smart survival-wise. Not so smart with her emotions. It’s consistent characterizations, I guess.
(Fireballs erupt across the forest)
(A): THIS FOREST IS ON FI-REEEEEEEE!!! (singing loudly)
(V): No fair. What if they killed her? Is that just part of the game? Shitty.
(J): Oh snap! Damn! Tracker jacker scene.
(V): Rue’s all, “do I have to spell it out for you?”
(K): I like how Stanley Tucci and the other commentator serve as the plot exposition.
(A): “We’re talking to the viewers in Panem AND those of you watching this movie.”
(K): How did Rue know she had a knife?
(V): I was wondering the same thing.
(A): How is she not stung yet?
(J): Oh shit. I love that Goldilocks is getting it.
(A): I hate the bee sounds!
(J): I was stung on my tongue once.
(A): I was stung on my ear and then it got tangled in my hair.
(V): Oh my god!
(J): I didn’t eat the bee.
(A): Oh god, that’s good.
(J): Look, she literally pried the bow from her cold dead hands. Gross.
(Rue gets impaled by a spear)
(V): Awww. I don’t like this part
(J): Put some of that medicine on!
(A): That’s only for burns
(AJKV): (Sad noises)
(K): Poor Rue. She was so young.
(A): She’s so cute!
(K): Look. Rue’s dad is pissed.
(V): Why are they just not constantly rioting? Ugh. This is what happens when people have nothing.
(K): Donald Sutherland gives no shits. Damn.
(A): He has no soul.
(J): That beard is looking kind of off in this scene.
(V): It makes him look less creepy then normal.
(K): Was Donald Sutherland the first choice for this part? I feel like Ian McKellen has all old man parts locked down.
(K): (Katniss finds Peeta in camouflage) That part in the movie got the biggest laugh.
(A): How did he do it with no mirror?
(K): How did they even find this cave?
(V): It wasn’t because of Haymitch. He never answered their question about shelter at breakfast.
(Katniss and Peeta kiss for the first time)
(A): Poor Gale!
(V): Is there less love triangle stuff in the book?
(A): Well, you don’t get to see Gale’s reactions in the book, so maybe it seems like less.
(A): I’m glad the muttation things don’t look like people.
(J): Oh! I forgot about that!
(A): In the book, the dogs were made up using some tribute DNA. They looked like the tributes. Like one of them looked like Rue.
(V): That’s horrifying. I’m glad they didn’t do it.
(K): It was probably because some producers were like “that CG is going to cost a lot. No way.”
(J): We’re not paying for this!
(V): These CG dogs look really terrible though
(A): They should have looked more wolf-like.
(K): I wonder if because this movie’s target is women, the producers decided to not spend the CG on this kind of stuff. It’s not like a superhero movie, where all these geeks would complain about the effects.
(J): Good point. They knew it would be a hit without the effects, so maybe they decided to not put the same kind of money into it. They don’t think girls care?
(K): Look at Twilight. The wolves looked terrible there too.
(V): Maybe CG dogs are hard to do?
(K): I don’t think that’s the case. I really feel like Hollywood probably thinks they can get away with crap CG in girl-targeted movies since special effects don’t necessarily draw women in. That’s bullshit.
(A): Really? The guy with the bum leg goes up last?
(J): Wait, is Cato the only other one left?
(V): What happened to Thresh?
(K): Eaten by dogs.
(V): See I don’t agree. It should be other tributes that are the killers, not elements in the game.
(V): How long do the games last?
(A): Like a few days?
(K): I think it’s like the Olympics.
(A): Go team!
(J): Go District 12!
(J): Hey. How do those berries stay intact at the end? In her pockets?
(K): Yeah, weren’t they just rolling around at the top of the cornucopia?!
(The Gamemakers announce that they’ve changed the rules. Only one winner.)
(V): That shouldn’t be allowed.
(J): Ha! Perfectly, preserved, unsquished berries from my pocket.
(J): Gale is still looking all pissed and jealous.
(A): Go District 12!
(J): They should have done it at least once before they died.
(A): At least kissed one more time.
(The Gamemakers wuss out and concede that they win the game)
(V): Oops! Just kidding!
(K): Ahhh. They played the most dangerous game, and they won.
(J): What’s happening with Peeta’s hair?
(A): He is looking particularly 80s.
(J): He looks like he’s in an 80s band. Blue Blazers.
(K): That eyelash thing on Katniss is distracting.
(K): Peeta’s wearing eyeliner here right?
(J): Can they keep the clothes now?
(K): Yep. They get to go live in Tribute Village.
(A): Which only has Haymitch.
(V): They ended up pretty damn noble. Nobody was super murderous.
(J): The last shot was of Donald Sutherland walking up the stairs? Terrible! Way to build up the sequel, guys!