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The Hunger Games

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Icetalavista, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. sodapop

    sodapop Well-Known Member

    Both so ridiculous. I mentioned in another post that the little girl who played Rue was perfect. Pretty much the exact look, body frame, and expressions I imagined while reading the book. Who cares what race she is?

    And I'd lose a limb to have Jennifer Lawrence's body. I don't see a lot of people complaining that maybe Josh Hutcherson is too short to play Peeta, which is something I don't believe, but yet we just always focus on the girl's size and weight. :blah:
  2. oleada

    oleada Well-Known Member

    That is ridiculous. Rue and Thresh are EXPLICITLY said to be black in the books.

    Jennifer Lawrence has an amazing body. She is muscular and tone while still looking soft, feminine and totally healthy. People are ****ing insane.
  3. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    I think totally healthy is actually the problem.

    The character was NOT totally healthy. She had to sign up for extra spots in the reaping to get enough food for the family. It was described that there was never enough. While she would be better fed than most in District 12 due to the hunting, she sold most of what she caught. The family would be somewhat gaunt. Peeta might be too, although as a baker's kid, he would have more access to food- but as he pointed out, they only got to eat old, stale bread, not the good stuff.

    That said- I think she is perfect for the character. But the make up artists could have done a better job of making her look unhealthy, rather than buff warrior type
  4. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

    Count me in on that complaint! :)

    I'm sorry but Josh looks far too short IMO. I haven't seen the movie or any other movie he's ever been in so I can't comment on his acting, but physically he looks nothing like I'd expect Peeta to look. In the books, as part of the whole tribute marketing thing, they were supposed to focus on each tribute's talent. Katniss had her archery and hunting skills and Peeta's was supposed to be his strength. Josh has muscles so he looks strong but somehow I imagined Peeta to be bigger and taller; easy to overlook at first but someone to watch out for once you get another look. I mean, Peeta joins the Career tributes once they get in the arena. I imagined the Careers to be pretty big and imposing and I just have a hard time imagining him (Josh) with the Career tributes. He's so tiny looking! :p

    I think they list his height somewhere between 5'6" and 5'7"...I imagined Peeta to be closer to about 6'...or at least a couple of inches taller than Katniss. It doesn't matter too much to me but that is my only gripe over the casting.

    I really wish those few ignorant people who made the complaints about Rue, Thresh and Cinna being cast as black hadn't been given the time of day. Calling attention to their ugly comments only gives the issue more of a spotlight than it deserves.

    [off topic semi-rant] As much as people like to think that everything is a-okay when it comes to race in this country, it's not true. Diversity in terms of Hollywood is still a rare thing when it comes to big blockbusters like this. It's very rare that non-white leading actors will draw the audience necessary to make a movie a blockbuster hit. Supporting roles? Yes. A non-white leading actor with a white supporting actor? Sometimes. But all major leading roles with non-white actors? Hardly ever. They may get acknowledged by critics (ex. Slumdog Millionaire) but in terms of audience attendance and box office draw? Nope.

    There may be exceptions (I can't think of any right now), but they are very few and far between. Those kind of movies don't get the marketing and media attention that other movies get. It made me think a bit: Let's say the story was the exact same, but Katniss and the other main characters were black or Asian or hispanic...non-white. Would the movie have drawn as much media attention? Would the books even have been as successful? I want to say yes, that the strength of the story would make it just as successful...but somehow I doubt it. I feel like the perception of the story would change if the main characters weren't white. As a whole, the entertainment industry is less accepting of stories that feature non-white characters/actors. [/off topic semi-rant]
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  5. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    Tyler Perry may disagree.

    But I get your point.
  6. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

    I agree that there are diversity issues in Hollywood. But there are few stars bigger than Will Smith. In I Am Legend, the two leading characters were black and Latina.

    I think Hollywood will take any major box office draw, regardless of the race of that star (eg. Denzel Washington). I think it's the next tier down where it's not the name per se, but the story which is supposed to be the big draw (eg. Star Wars, Harry Potter) where you see less actors of color featured in the main roles.

    I do agree that stories that reflect primarily upon a the experience of particular communities of color tend to not do as well (eg. Tuskegee Airman, My Family, Smoke Signals, etc)
  7. moojja

    moojja Active Member

    But didn't she have some time to fatten up and be more fit during the training before the games. At least in the book, she did. I also got the feeling in the start of the book, they had enough to eat. Besides the hunting, her mother had the side business as herbalist/doctor. They had survive the worst times, and are doing fairly well in comparison. She did mentioned buying a goat for her sister to raise.
    Although this reminds of something I read in book about N. Korea. The author notes that one of the subject had pretty moon-shaped face that looked chubby even when she was starving.
    Katniss could have that kind of body.
  8. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    Actually it just says they have dark skin. This surprised me as I read the books after seeing the movie so I expected them to be described as AA or Black.

    But the description of District 11 with its verandas and big houses in the middle of fields invokes an image of plantation life in the South to me and I think we are supposed to get that image and think of the residents of that district as the descendants of the original slaves who worked those plantations.

    But it's not said explicitly.

    He fit right in visually. So either he's bigger than reported or they cast shorter actors for the Careers.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  9. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

    I was curious, so I decided to check this out. What Hollywood movies featuring non-white actors in lead roles were actually successes?

    - "Avatar" is #1 ($760 million): Zoe Saldana (black/latina; father is Dominican, mother is Puerto Rican) co-stars in this movie with Sam Worthington (white), who is the top billed actor. It should be noted that Saldana's face is never seen in the movie; her performance was captured and re-imaged as a blue CG alien...

    - "Shrek 2" is #6 ($441 million): Eddie Murphy (black) co-stars with Mike Myers and Cameron Diaz (both white); Myers is the top billed actor...b/c it's a CG film, Murphy's face is never seen.

    - "Shrek the Third" is #25 ($322 million): Eddie Murphy as Donkey again. Again, just his voice...

    - "Independence Day" is #35 ($306 million): Will Smith (black) stars in this movie and is the top billed actor. His co-stars are Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum (both white).

    - "Up" is #42 ($293 million): "Up" marks the first time an Asian character is featured in a Pixar film. Jordan Nagai (Asian; Japanese-American) voices Russell, the main supporting role behind the lead character Carl Frederickson, voiced by Edward Asner (white).

    - "Shrek" is #53 ($267 million): Eddie Murphy as Donkey...

    - "I Am Legend" is #59 ($256 million): Will Smith stars in this movie. A large majority of the film features only him with no other actors...

    - "Men in Black" is #66 ($250 million): Will Smith co-stars and is billed behind Tommy Lee Jones (white).

    - "Shrek Forever After" is #75 ($238 million): Eddie Murphy co-stars as Donkey...

    - "Beverly Hills Cop" is #77 ($234 million): Eddie Murphy stars in this film as the top billed actor.

    - "Hancock" is #84 ($227 million): Will Smith stars in this film (top billed) with Charlize Theron and Jason Bateman (both white).

    - "Rush Hour 2" is #86 ($226 million): This is the only film on the list where both main stars and most supporting roles are non-white. The movie stars Jackie Chan (Asian; Chinese) and Chris Tucker (black); other supporting actors in the film are Zhang Ziyi (Asian; Chinese), Roselyn Sanchez (latina; Puerto Rican) and John Lone (bi-racial; Chinese and European).

    So judging by that list, there are very few non-white actors who receive top billing on blockbuster movies. Only Will Smith seems capable of pushing a movie into blockbuster status based on his name alone; Eddie Murphy is top billed in only 1 of the 5 movies listed; the other 4 feature him in the same role (Donkey).

    There are many successful movies with main supporting roles filled by non-white actors; only a handful where the lead actor is non-white.
  10. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

    Tyler Perry is an exception. His movies do well within a certain demographic...however, I was speaking more in terms of marketing, media attention, etc. Rarely if ever will you see a segment on Access Hollywood, or E! or see a magazine cover like People or Entertainment Weekly featuring something about one of his movies or its actors.
  11. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    I didn't have any logic problems with Mockingjay--I'm not sure Katiniss really was thinking far enough ahead (that she'd have to kill Coin and stop another Games), I think she really just realized it didn't matter who was running things (and I think from the get-go we're meant to realize District 13 isn't really any better and in some ways is worse than the Capitol) but was just at a point of not caring. I don't think she realizes how to end it up until the moment she's pointing the arrow at Snow and figures out which President she has to shoot. (The one who can still do damage.)

    And I didn't really like Gale from the get-go so I was biased, but it was pretty clear--Katniss was not going to end up with him. Gale was always about death and pretty sneaky ways of killing at that. He fit right in with the Soviety-style system in 13 and deep down probably never really saw anything he did, up to and including comign up with the kind of attack that
    kills Prim
    , and never even really seems to LOVE Katniss so much as want her. Peeta just from a structural standpoint is always about LIVING. He gives Katniss 'the staff of life', he's associated in her memory with a plant (dandelion) that's both edible and a sign of spring (renewal), and he only 'loses himself' when his personality's altered by force...basically if she's going to end up with someone (and NOT ending up with someone means most likely winding up like Haymitch) there's one who'll only help affirm what she learned in the first arena (stay alive at all costs, cut down enemies, hunt) or one who can not only understand the way no one else can what the Arena was like but who also is about NOT giving in to those instincts to fight back, hurt them, etc.

    Not saying Gale wasn't justified in his outlook. Just saying, that would not be someone Katniss could be with after what she's been though, which given the arc of the books makes a lot of sense-she's not the person who met Gale in the woods. (It's even spelled out.)

    I have to admit, not getting a lot of the complaints I heard...the second two books make sense to me.
  12. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

    I guess it depends on your definition of success, but to me I would include Safe House, Invictus, Shawshank Redemption, Dreamgirls, Blood Diamond, Stand and Deliver, La Bamba, Dances with Wolves, many of the movies by Denzel Washington (Deju Vu, Courage Under Fire, The Pelican Brief, Training Day, etc.) In the Heat of the Night (original with Sidney Poitier), They Call me Mister Tibbs, and several others.
    I would include Denzel Washington.

    I don't mean to disagree with your overall assessment, though. I just think there may be a few other movies and actors you may be overlooking ;)
  13. Theatregirl1122

    Theatregirl1122 Enjoying Vicarious Voids!

    Collins didn't really use current racial descriptions in the book. But she's said in interviews that they are African American.

    Me either. I had no problem with them except maybe Katniss agreeing to the Hunger Games. But I don't know if that was really a logical problem so much as it just annoyed me.
  14. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

    I definitely agree and my assessment wasn't based on the quality of movies or the actors in it. I was specifically talking about box office gross, ie. movies that make money. Just think about some of the big movies opening this year, the ones that are expected to have $50 million+ opening weekends...the studio flagships that bring in the big numbers...very few of these big budget Hollywood films have non-white actors in the starring roles. Supporting and secondary roles, yes; but not the lead actor.

    There isn't a shortage of talent when it comes to non-white actors or even good movies featuring non-white actors...my point is that as a whole, the entertainment industry doesn't give those actors or those movies even half the attention it gives to others.

    Back OT, I was a little shocked when Katniss agreed to have a final Hunger Games. I wasn't sure if she was still distraught or what but I thought it was a bit out of character...unless she was so depressed at that point she just wanted everyone to die! :D IIRC, the reaping would take place exclusively from the Capitol's residents, right?

    From that point in the book on to the end, that's where the story lost me a bit. The ending of Mockingjay was pretty disjointed and a little confusing...but up until that point I understood everything. I agree with whoever said District 13 was just a less brutal version of the Capitol. Everything was controlled and regulated and Katniss was just as much a prisoner there. It was a bigger picture kinda thing...

    I really liked Catching Fire; Mockingjay is my least favorite of the books but I still thought it was good.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  15. moojja

    moojja Active Member

    I read it as Katniss was lying, so she will get a chance to kill the new President. B/c if she voted against the new Hunger Games, she will never be trusted (she wasn't really trusted as it stands) and gets a chance against Collins. That's why there was the long look btw her and the mentor.
    That was my take on the first reading.
  16. Theatregirl1122

    Theatregirl1122 Enjoying Vicarious Voids!

    But Katniss is the narrator. Generally if she's thinking something like that, we get to hear it.
  17. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

    I agree. I think if she was planning something beforehand, she'd have mentioned it. I honestly think she was so distraught and lost at that point, all she wanted was for those Capitol people to be put through the same hell she had to endure twice. But when she got up there and was about to kill Snow, she realized (with Coin standing right next to him) that the cycle was about to start again: one person ruling everyone with an iron fist. She already knew Coin's agenda firsthand, and it wasn't like she was much better than Snow. I think Katniss reached that conclusion right before she was about to let the arrow fly, adjusted her aim and went for Coin. She did that with the intention of taking the nightlock immediately afterwards...of course they stopped her and everything got really confusing after that...
  18. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    I really think she was thinking, just as it was in text, "Who cares?" I don't get any sense that she wanted revenge on the Capitol, that she was setting up Coin, or anything other than "Prim is dead, everything I have done up to this point is therefore moot, and now it's clear Snow doesn't matter because it's going on without him. Same $#!@, different day. Why not have another Hunger Games? This is probably how it started in the first place."

    Now, Johanna and Enobaria are clearly out for revenege--let them go through what we went through. Beetee's too rational, Annie's nuts and can't bear the thought, and Peeta remains consistent with his character all along. Haymitch is the one where I'm not quite sure why he voted yes. Revenge? Agreeing with Katniss?
  19. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

    I have figured out why the shaky camera work for the Katniss/Clove fight scene.... I have started to read the books and they clearly state that the tributes from districts 1 & 2 are larger than Katniss. But Isabelle Fuhrman, the actress playing Clove is only 15 and clearly smaller than Jennifer Lawrence/Katniss. Hence the shaky camera work, to hide the difference in size. It makes me wonder since Fuhrman is much more closer in size and age to Katniss, why she didn't get the role instead of Lawrence. Lawrence would have made a perfect Clove. But then again she must be a much more recognizable name, that's why she was preferred for the part.
  20. ross_hy

    ross_hy Active Member

    After finishing the book, I went and saw the movie today and I'd have to say they're both great. I missed some of the details left out from the book, but I understand why some of the compressions were made. I'd love to go back and read this thread, but I don't want to be spoiled on the other two books!
  21. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    Furhman auditioned for Katniss and was told she was too young before they offered her Clove.

    I agree that she's very small for the part of Clove, but she was pretty convincing nevertheless. While I think she's clearly a talented actress, I don't think they could have picked better than Jennifer for Katniss.
  22. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    Furhman's 14 and technically playing 18 (though they never specify Clove's age in the movie) while Lawrence is, what, 21 playing 16? They both worked for me.

    I don't mind her being smaller--Clove's the Knife Nut, so her skill doesn't actually rely on raw physical strength. Cato and Marvel MORE than make up for it...and I liked their choice for Glimmer--pretty but nuts.
  23. Spareoom

    Spareoom Well-Known Member

    The movie makes no effort to hide the fact that Clove is much smaller than the majority of the other Trubutes; every time you see her alongside anyone else she's a good head shorter. I think they were going for the small but deadly angle which worked. I never really envisioned Clove as this huge hulking wrestler of a female anyway.

    I think the shaky camera work can be explained away as one tactic to ensure a PG-13 rating. If you can't clearly see the brutality of the action, it's not as gruesome, right? Think about it. All the scenes that exhibit the most shake are the scary scenes; the blood bath, the feast and the mutts. It's a method I dearly wish they hadn't used, but I guess beggars can't be choosers.
  24. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

    I haven't read the books yet and just saw the movie last night. This was my interpretation as well. Also, it was pretty clear to me that Katniss was just acting with Peeta. I really enjoyed the movie. It was intense from start to finish and thought the casting was exceptional.
  25. CantALoop

    CantALoop Well-Known Member

    It's interesting to compare comments of those who were first exposed to the book compared to those who saw the film first. Granted, people like myself who saw the film first would accept everything because we had no previous preconceptions, but I find myself genuinely surprised that some people take issue with the differences in the film.

    I agree that a smaller frame made for a more threatening appearance. Part of what made Clove terrifying in the film was her agility and deadliness packaged in a disarming youthful, physically non-intimidating frame. Contrasted with a character like Rue, it made Clove all the more sinister and Rue all the more angelic. Furthermore, given her tendency to appear out of nowhere, I'd believe a small and deadly assassin over a hulking brute.
  26. Theatregirl1122

    Theatregirl1122 Enjoying Vicarious Voids!

    Yeah, I read the books and Clove was pretty much how I pictured her. I remember the line about her being bigger than Katniss but the fact that she was smaller in the movie didn't bother me and wasn't at all hard to believe.
  27. Spareoom

    Spareoom Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I just re-read HG last week, and it does mention that Clove is bigger than Katniss, hence her ability to pin her to the ground. However, I'm willing to overlook that fact because it's still realistic for Clove to be able to best Katniss in hand-to-hand combat because she would have had years of training on how to pin a victim, whereas I doubt Katniss has ever had to wrestle anyone or anything. Katniss is only deadly from a distance; even she knows that if she gets jumped, she's as good as dead.
  28. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    I kind of went halfway--I read the books after seeing the trailer and ancillary materials for the movie. So even if I had somehow lacked the reading comprehension to get that Rue and Thresh have "dark brown skin" I would have pictured them as black. (Seriously, internet? THIS you're mad about?) It made envisioning things in the book easier, except for the occasional dissonance like book!Haymitch being dark-haired.
  29. Spareoom

    Spareoom Well-Known Member

    Well, for some reason I missed the fact that Suzanne Collins said pretty clearly that Rue and Thresh were black (what can I say; I'm a speed reader), but that being said, I probably could have figured it out on my own considering where District 11 is said to be located. And the casting was fine. Dunno what people got their knickers in a twist over.
  30. Erin

    Erin Well-Known Member

    I'm going to see the movie on Friday! :cheer: I didn't want to deal with the initial crowds and rush to see it, so hopefully I've waited long enough. Very much looking forward to it.

    I didn't catch the information about Rue and Thresh being black, nor even about where the districts were located, but it makes sense in retrospect. Now I'm off to check out maps of where the districts all are to see if it makes more sense to me.