3.30.2012

My Thoughts on the Hunger Games Movie


I’m warning you now that this post CONTAINS SPOILERS so don’t let me rain on your parade if you haven’t seen the movie yet.

I’ve seen the movie three times now, and a week after the release date, I feel like it’s time I better share the ever-present emotions I have concerning this movie. (Kidding. Kind of.)
My movie stub and Mockingjay pin (Hot Topic)

First off, I’d just like to say that I loved the movie. Like really adored it. I mean, I’ve seen it three times, right? It is one of the best (if not the best) depictions of a book to the big screen I’ve ever seen. Every time I watched the movie I didn’t find myself saying, “Oh that was dumb,” “They should have done this better,” or “They completely left out that one part!” I was ready to be saying all of these things to myself in the movie, because I’ve done this in almost all the Harry Potter movies. As a true fan of the Harry Potter books, having read them eleven times, I’d have to say that the movies are not even close to depicting how wonderful the books are. And as a true fan of the Hunger Games books as well, having read them 3 times each (not as much but they are newer), I find myself saying that the movie was an exceptionally accurate portrayal of the book. Watching the movie, I felt like I was in the book, because it followed it so well and portrayed everything with an almost perfect accuracy. I’d have to say that the movie was just as good as, if not better than the Hunger Games book in some ways, which is definitely saying something.

One of the best parts of the movie was how they portrayed everything pretty much better than I could have imagined it. The beginning of the movie with the Seam felt so real; all of the dirty little children and the obvious look that everyone was starving and barely surviving. The capitol was amazing, and I loved seeing all the images I had in my head made even better on the screen. The citizens’ crazy costumes, all of the shiny-ness, the beauty of the rooms they stayed in, and everything made with a sort of rich-ness. It’s amazing going from showing the meager people in District 12 to the privileged people of the Capitol. And by amazing, I also mean sickening. The Capitol people have more than enough to spare and the people in the districts are living on nothing.
There were other little things I loved about the setting as well—the parachutes that came with their little sound letting the tributes know they were there, the orange backpack Katniss gets at the beginning of the Games, and the large, looming cornucopia filled with supplies. I also loved how they incorporated showing Seneca Crane and the Gamemakers put things in the game as they went. It was fun to see what went on behind the games, something we don’t get the opportunity of envisioning in the books.

The characterization and casting were incredible. I don’t think they could have had a better cast for this movie. Of course Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson were amazing as Katniss and Peeta, but the other people that were cast made all the difference. My personal favorites were Effie Trinket and Caesar Flickerman. Effie had the best costumes and the funniest lines, like “That is mahogany!” and “Manners!” that had the whole audience laughing because she was so ridiculous yet so serious about the rules, just how she should be. Caesar Flickerman had awesome blue hair and he was the best show host I’ve ever seen (regardless of the fact that it was in a movie). I loved all the faces of his that they showed on the screen when he was being introduced because it just made him that much greater.
The careers were also well chosen…the girl who played Glimmer was such a Barbie yet incredibly freaky at the same time. The girl who played Clove actually played Esther in that movie Orphan and if you watch the trailer, she looks so scary! She was such a creep and the perfect Clove in the movie. Cato was attractive and evil and Marvel was full of himself and had a really dorky smile (still good though). And of course there were the other main tributes that were equally talented…Rue, Thresh, and Foxface. Everyone was their character. It’s like they were pre-destined to be in this movie. ;)
Careers

But there was one aspect of the movie that really sold me and made it more than just a "movie." The Hunger Games is a Dystopian novel, meaning it talks about a controlled society, usually in the future (wiki it). And I feel like that is what the movie protrays better than the book ever could. I know that the book is something Suzanne Collins wrote as a statement for our society, to show us what we really are like. I got that from the book, but only kind of. I really got that from the movie though. Walking out of that theater after seeing it for the first time, I felt like it really spoke to me in that sense. Let me paint a picture for you:

In Panem, they have the Capitol citizens, dressed in their absolutely crazy and ridiculous outfits that would make Lady Gaga jealous. Every year they watch 24 kids kill each other for their entertainment. How sick is that? Then you have the people in the districts. They're as poor as can be, scrounging for whatever meal they can get, where many people just die from starvation. The Capitol citizens know this is going on, and yet, even though they have all the resources and money to help out the people in the districts, they do nothing. Sure, they sponsor tributes during the Games and give a small portion of their money to help out, but it means nothing to them. They walk around in their gaudy dresses and eat until they have to force themselves to throw up so they can eat some more (that happens in Catching Fire). And then there's also District 13. They are hidden from view, maybe struggling a little but they are getting by just fine. The Capitol ignores them and they ignore the districts. For the time being, they are just trying to help themselves out, and when they finally have to rescue citizens from the destroyed District 12, they do it only because they need to strengthen their population. In Mockingjay, Katniss has the ever-present question in her head, and she even asks them once, "You knew that we were starving, but you didn't come help us....why?" District 13 gives excuses but ever since I read Katniss's question, I can't shake it out of my head....Why didn't you help us?

Suzanne Collins' novel is talking about our society, people! Celebrities that dress in outrageously priced clothes and others who dress up like clowns on steroids. They run reality shows for their own entertainment (which we also watch) and they have so much money. They know about all the third world countries and the starving children in Africa. And sure, they donate some money to causes, but it barely makes a dent into their wallet. And it's not enough to help those people out. So where do we, the middle class people, fit? We're not as gaudy as the Capitol but we're not as poor as a third-world country. We're doing okay, but let's go back to Katniss's question..."You knew we were starving, so why didn't you come help us?" No we're not amazingly off, but we are doing okay. Katniss is right, why aren't we helping?

And that is why I loved the movie so much. Why I feel sick to my stomach during the reaping, seeing all those sad faces of children who might get their name drawn to go fight to the death. Why I had tears streaming down my face when Rue dies, because I felt something. I felt so mad at the Capitol during the part of Rue's death, and I realized that Suzanne Collins and the filmmakers succeeded in getting me to feel what they wanted me to feel. Anger. A feeling of duty. And a want to change how things are.

The Hunger Games movie is incredible. If you haven't seen it yet, go. It's worth the $8 ticket to see it in the movie theater, you won't be disappointed.

Fire is catching, people, and it's time we light our flame. :)

3.26.2012

Ironing Board Fail

So I bought this really cute ironing board at DI a few months ago, but it became problematic when one day, the board just refused to fold down. We seriously tried everything, laying it down, standing it up. And everyone that came over took a shot at trying to get our ironing board to fold. But it would not go, that stubborn thing. So it sat standing in our living room for about a week and a half. For the Hunger Games party we had to put it upstairs in one of our rooms haha. I took the cover off because it was really cute and we were just going to donate the board back to DI but then decided people there might not even want it if they couldn't get it to fold down. So we went outside and decided to just throw it in the dumpster just outside our complex. Haha this is what happened.


Heidi and I laughed so hard when we watched this and I don't even know why! But pretty much we though it was hilarious. A day in the life, eh?

DIY Spray Paint Tee

My roommates and I love making spray paint shirts whether it be for fun or as a lucky testing center shirt to wear for finals.
This was a year ago during finals
For the Hunger Games midnight showing we decided we wanted to make cool shirts. We could have dressed up, but we already did for the party, and it would have been really uncomfortable waiting in line in costumes, so we opted for the shirt making idea instead.

If you want to make a spray paint shirt yourself, here's how we did it (super easy):

We went to Walmart Wednesday night to pick up gold spray paint and black v-neck tees (we thought the v-neck looked cooler). We bought some $5 Danskin black t-shirts and just some normal gold spray paint. There were lots of different kinds but we just bought the kind that looked the coolest/shiniest ha. I made some templates for the shirts using this picture for the front and this picture for the back. I glued the pictures on some posterboard and then cut out the negative space to make a template. These were our templates (although they weren't gold when we started out and we did add the arrow to the mockingjay afterwards, realizing it didn't have one):

Then after you cut out the templates comes the easy part! All you have to do is place them where you want them on your shirt and then spray.

I'd recommend spray painting your shirts outside and/or probably on newspaper too. We did it outside in the parking lot across the street from us. If you want to make different designs like we did above, we used masking tape and just ripped it up and taped it on the shirts to make whatever designs we wanted.

My roommate Talya (below) put some masking tape on her shirt to make it look like flames. That's the best thing about spray painting shirts, is that the possibilities are endless!

If you are spraying both sides, do one side of the shirt, wait about five minutes and then turn it over and spray the other side. Then you can let them dry inside or outside, wherever you want, for about fifteen minutes to half-an-hour at the most and they'll definitely be dry by then. The shirts kind of smell like spray paint a little too, so we washed ours that night so they smelled nice and clean for the premiere. They faded a tiny bit in the washer (we washed them in cold water) but it worked out fine.

Once your shirt is done, you can wear it anywhere and everywhere! Obviously we wore them to the midnight showing, and they looked super cool and everyone was jealous. ;)

Front...

...and the back!

And of course a Hunger Games fighting/jumping pose! These shirts pretty much made us automatically cool :)

Have fun making your shirts!

3.25.2012

Hunger Games Midnight Showing

Let me just say, that this was probably one of the most, if not the most anticipated midnight showing I have ever been to. I think it was the most anticipated for me, even more so than Harry Potter, because I wanted to see how everything was done and portrayed. I had no idea what it would look like!

My roommates and I decided to make shirts instead of dress up to the premiere, just because we'd already dressed up for the party and it wouldn't have been super comfortable to wait in line all dressed up, especially me wearing my Effie costume. So Wednesday night we went to Walmart and got black shirts and gold spray paint. I cut out a mockingjay stencil to put on the front of the shirts and then a District 12 one to put on the back. We live in Apt. 12, so we decided it would be appropriate to represent! haha. You can see the pictures we used here and here. The district 12 one was cropped from a photo like this. We went to the parking lot across the street from where we live and spray painted the shirts there. Don't worry, we've done it many times. ;)

The shirts turned out SWEET! We washed them that night so that they wouldn't smell when we wore them the next day.

Thursday night was the night of the big movie release! Oh man was I SO excited. I was seriously crazy at work and everywhere else because I couldn't focus on anything else. I was just was too excited for the movie. We went to wait in line at around 7 and since I had some free Chick-Fil-A combo meal coupons, Heidi and I went and got dinner for everyone while Talya and Stuart waited in line and the others got there. Once we ate all our food, we had some time to wait in line so we played poker (Texas Hold Em' style)! You probably don't know this about me, but I LOVE playing poker and the times I've played I've done pretty well (I just play with chips) and I totally wiped everyone out! Oh ya!
Heidi and me
We played poker for a while and were about to play Skip-Bo, until they opened up the theater at about 10:15-10:30 ish to let us go inside. We sat in the theater for a little while and took pictures...
Haha I just looked at this picture and realized the guys are on either end and all of us roommates (minus Olivia who didn't come) are in the middle. Cute. :)

Stuart and Talya had taken some pictures inside a photobooth so we decided we wanted to do and went out of the theater to take some pictures and also get some photos of our shirts. Man, I love my roommates. We had so much fun taking a gajillion pictures being crazy.

Then we went to the photobooth and got crazier...he he
We did two filmstrips and then we went online later to see the video it took of us in between pictures. Here's one of them, we were laughing so hard when we watched this later. We think we're pretty funny :)

You can see the other video here haha. After we did all that fun and crazy stuff, we had to go back to the theater because the movie was starting in less than half-an-hour. You can imagine our excitement! The movie started and basically....

I LOVED IT.

But that's for another post later. I have so many thoughts on the movie that I don't want to make this longer than it already is! But I am dying to get them out, so the post will come soon, like tomorrow or Tuesday (when I'm seeing it again!). Stay tuned! Did you see the movie? How did you like it/did you dress up or do something fun for it? Tell me! My mind is still in such a Hunger Games mindset it's all I can think about right now. So tell me all you want about it and I'll love you forever!

Seriously though, one of the funnest and best nights of my life. :)

3.24.2012

[Hunger Games Party] It's PARTY Time!

I'm sure you've been waiting to hear about/see pictures of the party itself. Sorry, I was busying myself with WATCHING THE MOVIE on Friday at midnight and then recovering from the awesome-ness of it! But a week later, here is the last Hunger Games party post!

The party was so much fun. I have to say that it might've even been as good or better than our Harry Potter party! People started coming at 8 pm when the party started, entering their name in the reaping as soon as they arrived and also whenever they ate food. From 8:30 on, the party really filled up with people, because we told them that the reaping would be starting at 9 and if they wanted to be included in that, they had to come before then to enter. 
Citizens from District 3 dressed in their trade of technology
Trees from District 7, the lumber district

There were SO many people! Our apartment got really packed and busy, which was crazy and also super fun.
Lumberjacks from District 7
Roomies!
 We started drawing names for the reaping a little after 9 pm. I drew one or two names from each cup, depending on how many names were in it (some cups only had one name). Afterward if there were some districts with only one tribute, then we called for volunteers so that we ended up with 24 tributes. Thank goodness it was warm outside because it was so packed in the apartment that we had to move out there to spread out so everyone could see.

The first activity we did was this cornucopia challenge. Each district got two papers that said supplies on them and then they had to keep track of how many points they got. The top 6 districts were still in and the bottom 6 were out, so that we were left with twelve tributes. If I had done this differently, I probably would have given them more supplies or something like that, but it still worked out pretty well.

After that, we had the top remaining tributes answer trivia questions from the book using these questions (I got it from the same website as the cornucopia game). I'd ask a question, and whoever rose their hand answered first. If they answered correctly, then they got to "hit" someone else. If they answered wrong, they got a hit. And once a tribute got three hits they were out. I came up with the idea for this game myself and it worked out really well! They had to have knowledge of the book but we were still able to incorporate the killing aspect of it all (without actually killing anybody obviously).

The top 4 tributes!

Me announcing and asking questions while the spectators watched.

We ended up with the top tributes and they totally pulled a berries trick on us! Haha I asked the last question and they both rose their hands up together, which means we had two victors, just like in the book! I didn't even plan this, but I thought it was really funny and clever. What more perfect way to win the hunger games? :)
Sorry for the blurry photo!
Effie with the two winning victors!
 And then after the games were done (which everyone loved by the way), we just had socializing and party stuff. So much fun!

By about 10:15, the party died down. It was set to end at 11, but I didn't mind that they left a little earlier. It felt so good because so many people came up to me right before they left telling me how much fun they had and how great of a party it was. Loved it! My roommates and a few others were just left over by the night's end.

In short, it was a wonderful night. Definitely one of the best! I don't know why, but I really love planning parties, especially when it's for something that I love. It made me happy to see so many people having fun and knowing that I planned it all! And also, I have to thank my roommates for helping me out with it all because there's NO way I could have done it by myself. So...Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor. :)

If you want to read about all the other aspects of the party, just click on the links below!
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