The Hunger Games

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By Mark Ramsey | 2012/03/25

We open on a land where apocalyptic war has somehow resulted in a really big reality TV show where teens fight to the death, which sure beats today’s teens who fight to be moms on MTV.

Kids, stop fighting!  It’s not the last bottle of Proactiv – we will make more!

In a time of few creative outlets what better way to exercise some creativity than in the names of our offspring?  And The Hunger Games features names that are like color palette rejects at the Dior counter.

“Einstein invented the Theory of Relativity,” said our hero’s mom, “I invented Katniss Everdeen.  And the box office will judge which is a better idea.”

And judge, it has.

“I should have called it the ‘Theory of Jambalaya Wigglesworthy,’” sighed Einstein’s ghost, who had been in the pool at the Playboy mansion with Hefner’s ghost.

Yes, Katniss is our hero, Survivalist Barbie!  And she’s a hot shot with a bow and arrow!  When I was a kid I was good with a bow and arrow, too, and it’s why my face was slammed into my locker so many times kids thought that was a “Master Lock” tattoo on my forehead.

in a Hollywood where movies tend to be either bad enough to be popular or good enough to be ignored, it’s a real pleasure when a quality crowd-pleaser like The Hunger Games slips through the cracks, even if Stanely Tucci’s hair looks like it slipped on a banana peel on the way to Amadeus and Owen Wilson’s hair rock-climbed its way up Woody Harrelson face, instead.

Indeed, the characters observing the Hunger Games are under the thumb of Huffnagel Flipperdoodle, as played by Donald Sutherland, as played by a Civil War reenactor.  Picture Robert E. Lee and the cast and crew of the Bravo channel:  “Ha – ha – ha, Ho – ho – ho – And a couple of tra – la – las.  That’s how we laugh the day away, In the Merry Old Land of Oz!”

And look!  Somebody gave a job to Wes Bentley!  Could it be because of his peculiar ability to grow fractal facial hair?  “I tried to trim my own beard, but the razor got lost in my facial maze until it encountered the frozen corpse of Jack Nicholson,” said Bentley.  “My beard is a puzzle almost as puzzling as my whereabouts over the past few years.”

Ha – ha – ha, Ho – ho – ho – And a couple of tra – la – las
That’s how we laugh the day away, In the Merry Old Land of Oz!

The Hunger Games – it’s the ultimate televised reality show – 24 kids go in, 1 comes out.  It’s the plane trip every adult dreams of!

I should say 24 skinny, good looking kids go in.  Is there another game for the homely kids with gland problems, and do they called it the Diabetes Games?  I’ll bet the snacks are better.

So Katniss struggles to be liked and to kick ass at the same time, because everybody knows it’s hard for pretty girls to be liked.  That’s why God invented Cheerleaders!

The Hunger Games is resonating not only because of a solid story and the baked-in audience of the books, but because it is the story of us all – the struggle to become who we really are by slaying our demons and busting out of the controlling demands of a world which wants only round pegs for its round holes.  No surprise that this adaptation comes from the sure hand of director/writer Gary Ross who keeps this theme fresh, from Dave to Pleasantville to Seabiscuit and now, to The Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games is a triumph in every respect.  You should see it.

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8 Responses to “The Hunger Games”

  1. Emy says:

    Still as painful to read, as ever. It’s so comforting to know that some things will just never change ^.^
    I was in a scoffing mood this afternoon, so I figured I’d see what my old pal Madam Ramsey had to say about the movie I’d watched yesterday.
    You didn’t disappoint!

    Thanks for sucking ever so much :)

    -Emy

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    You’re welcome!

    [Reply]

    Stephanie Reply:

    What’s with the hatin’? The review was great, as always – “Huffnagle Flipperdoodle” still has me laughing. He did look like Robert E. Lee crossed with Donald Sutherland. Snow’s character was about the only one that didn’t look pretty close to the image I had in my head when I read the books. It was a really good movie. I’m looking forward to the next 2.

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    All that reading….doesn’t it make you tired?
    :-)

    Thanks for the note, Stephanie!

    [Reply]

  2. Art says:

    Brilliant

    [Reply]

  3. sasha says:

    You were so in the zone when you wrote this review. Funny! Yeah, 5 months after the fact, but just wanted you to know I’m still breaking up with you. There is no way possible that you could have truly enjoyed this film. As much as i like your reviews – and not simply because we mostly agree – you liking this movie feels like a betrayal. I want to believe you were just a little under the spell of Katnip’s hotness. Probably mid-way thru raiding the fridge after you popped one off to her Esquire photos you realized the truth of the matter. It was only her hotness. The movie rather sucked.
    And you didn’t even mention Battle Royale.

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    In this context, “breaking up with me” is a good thing.

    Although some would say it’s a good thing in any context with me.

    Thanks for the note.

    [Reply]

  4. K-Dog says:

    I totally agree. It was a great movie. (I can’t even express how much milk came out of my nose during that one scene in the cave: “Katniss, I can’t stop thinking about how I tossed you the bread. You looked so sultry and matronly starving out there in the rain…”)
    Thank you for not mentioning Battle Royale. People need to realize that it has nothing in common with THG. One was a joy to watch and the other was rather hopeless and disturbing, to be honest. It’s not like this idea of children being forced to fight to the death is so unique that after it’s done once, everyone else is a poser. I liked seeing different takes on the concept and, frankly, I look forward to more in the future.
    Fin.

    [Reply]

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