Tag: The Hunger Games

Pass It On: The Hunger Games Trailer

One of my favorite series of the last year is “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins.  I highly recommend you read the books before seeing the movies.  The first one comes out next year, and the trailer was released today.  Tell me what you think, especially if you’re a fan of the books:

The Hunger Games: Donald Sutherland is Perfect to play President Snow

Donald Sutherland has been selected to be President Snow.  This is an important character selection since President Snow is the person responsible for the continuance of the Hunger Games in Panem and the one who keeps control over the districts through his consolidated power in the Capital:

In Collins’ novel, President Snow is described as “cruel and ruthless in his intimidation and control tactics,” ruling over Panem and its contained districts for 25-plus years. He and District 12 tribute Katniss (Lawrence) have a contentious relationship throughout the series. (source)

The good thing is that Sutherland looks like President Snow’s description in the books.  And Sutherland has played bad guys before which is a plus.  Looking forward to this movie next year.

The Hunger Games Cheat Sheet – Know some Lingo Fast

The Hunger Games Trilogy is a phenomenal yet easy to read work of near-Science Fiction that struck me from the beginning.  The movie is coming out next year, and many are testing the waters to see if they want to read the books. I encourage everyone to do so.  The whole trilogy could be read in a week or two with determination and it is well worth it to get to know Peeta, Katniss, Haymitch, Cinna, President Snow, Coin, and crew. 

Here is a short list of things you may need to know if you haven’t read the books and want to understand what Fans are talking about:

Panem – A post-apocalyptic North America after a great loss of land and resources and after a great war over the resources.

The Capital – The city that used military might to subvert the other 12 areas or Districts, and supposedly destroyed the 13th, which is where Atomics/Nukes were produced.  The Capital is a cushy place full of entertainment and control. The President of Panem is named Snow.

The Hunger Games – Each year, young citizens from the 12 Districts are put into a lottery and two from each are selected on REAPING DAY and  are placed into an ARENA made by GAMEMAKERS, and are forced to fight to the death.  They are simultaneously a way to subvert the 12 Districts and remind them never to rise up against the Capital, and also entertainment (like Reality TV) for the masses in the Capital.  Those who have survived The Hunger Games become known as CAREERS and train up new TRIBUTES from each district.

Districts 1-12: These are zones in various locations that are under the control and surrounding the Capital.  Each provides a resource to the Capital.

District 1: Luxury Goods
District 2: Stone Mining
District 3: Electronics/Technology
District 4: Fishing
District 5: DNA Splicing/breeding
District 6: Medicine and other scientific research
District 7: Lumber and paper products
District 8: Textiles
District 9: Food Processing
District 10: Livestock
District 11: Agriculture
District 12: Coal mining – Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch are from District 12.

Source here.
District 13 – A district that is supposed to be destroyed and is rumored to have been a place that produced Graphite.  But people seem to know that it was actually a place where atomics are produced and was the only district that wasn’t subverted by the Capital.  A peace was made in exchange for District 13 to “disappear” below the ground.  The president of 13 is named Coin, and is just as intense as President Snow.  They live underground, have a nuclear arsenal, and have been quiet for a long long time.
Mockingjays – Bioengineered birds that originally communicated between people and recorded with human voices but who mated with native birds and became excellent songbirds with amazing memories.  You could sing to them and they would spread a song to other Mockingjays quickly and beautifully.  The third book is called Mockingjay because of the pin given to the main character Katniss, and she takes on the Symbolism of being Panem’s “Mockingjay” or “Girl on Fire” as a symbol of the Rebellion against the Capital.
If you have other terms that are coming up and you want to know, leave a comment and I’ll reply asap.

The Complete Hunger Games Series Review (Author Suzanne Collins)

I just finished reading the three books in the Hunger Games series.  I have to admit that I was blown away by the first book and it compelled me to read this whole Young Adult book series.

Here are my summaries on the three books. Note: I may reveal things you don’t want to know if you want to read the books yourself.  I will conclude with my thoughts on the series and if you’re going to read the boos yourself, feel free to skip to the conclusion and make your own summaries later.

(1) The Hunger Games – The main character Katniss situates us in a world called Panem, in a world with 12 districts each providing the Capital city with a certain resource.  12 produced coal in mines.  It is clear that the districts are given only what they need to survive.  Each year, the districts have to send two youth to The Hunger Games.  A gladiatorial combat game where there can be only one survivor.  The Capital glories in the violence and it reminds the districts, who had been subdued by the capital in a past war, where they stand.  Under the Capital’s thumb.  Katniss and her friend Peeta end up in the games and it is action packed, bloody, and the end is a mind blower.  The theme is survival in the face of all odds.  The story is primarily about Katniss but also about how she doesn’t want to have to kill anyone.  The genetic mutations and the excesses of the Capital stand in a terrible contrast to life in the districts.  The large amount of time spent in District 12 felt good for this book.  You felt the culture, the lives, the ability to hold on despite terrible circumstance.  The depression and hardship was evident.  Haymitch, a drunken character, who had seen the contrast between wealth and poverty, emblemized the sadness in this book. But it is a book ultimately about victory against all odds by the underdogs. Because of a fake (or is it) relationship, the two (Katniss and Peeta) survive rather than the One in the Hunger games.  This book is a page turner all the way through.  The way the rules change to allow two to win, however, shows the sympathies of the people in the Capital for the relationship, and the Capital loses their iron propaganda grip on the people.  The end of this book leaves uncertainty in the air.  They won, but what will the Capital do to them next?

(2) Catching Fire – Katniss and Peeta are sent from District to district to be shown off as victors.  They see the conditions of each place and recognize the types of people who they had to kill from the different districts in the arena.  The Girl on Fire, as Katniss is called (because of her amazing costume designer Cinna), lights a flame of rebellion as she is seen by certain districts.  They are sent back to District 12, but things have gotten worse there.  Katniss, a hunter, can no longer get around the electric fence to the woods, the old peace keepers have been replaced by tougher more army like people, and a new head peacekeeper takes violent vengeance on everyone who breaks rules.  The black market is burned, Katniss’ love interest from 12 is whipped to near death, but it doesn’t matter because the year ends up being a Quarter Quell.  Victors from past Hunger Games are to reenter the Hunger Games, and fight to the death.  Peeta and Katniss are rounded up and placed again in the ring.  The President of the Capital shows his power and scares Katniss.  There is a lot of build up, but the Hunger games have  more personality this time around.  The victors are very unique and have reasons they had won the Hunger Games before.  It would be very intense.  Though the games never finish.  The rebellion is behind the scenes.  This book is about Rebellion – and stands up to the times we are in with Revolutions around the world.  It takes a long time to build the action, but the action is very creative.  Well written, and the end of the book again blows your mind.  The discovery of the hidden and forgotten district 13, with nuclear arms, promises hope for the rebellion. People die to fight the capital, then get bombed.  District 12 is wiped clean at the end of this book.

(3) Mockingjay – This book begins in District 13.  Katniss is disoriented and spends a lot of time building up the nerve to be the “Mockingjay” of the people.  Basically a symbol of the rebellion – the Girl on fire.  Much of the book is about details of spreading rebel propaganda to the Capital which has closely secured television networks.  She visits the battlefield, you see her get to know her sister more.  They find a comfort from the family cat, though Katniss has a hate relationship with it.  District 13 is underground and has nuclear armaments.  The President of 13 is just as conniving and brilliant as the President of the Capital.  Coin is her name.  Snow is the name of the Capital’s president.  They are both power brokers with ruthless plans for their rule.  Katniss cares nothing for power, but eventually agrees to be the Mockingjay and goes into battle.  Much of this book is about medications, order in the community, fighting the Capital, but the end builds to a Real Life Hunger Games as the rebels move into the Capital after capturing all the districts and their resources.  Katniss promises to take the life of President Snow and so she pushes her military unit into the heat of battle and they end up in some tough spots.  They lose most of their team but in the end there is a shocker.  The rebels take the city, but it seems that Coin had it staged that many children would be bombed to make people hate President Snow.  Katniss can’t stand Coin or Snow in the end.  She gets knocked so bad by the end bombs that she has to be patched up, but the series really takes some interesting turns here.  I  won’t reveal the very end but I will say that I expected it to end as it did.

Conclusion – This series is perfect to be read in conjunction with what is happening in our world today.  The rebellions, the survival of people across the world, the huge amount of accumulated wealth in contrast to abject poverty in most of the nations of the earth and the feeling of being under the thumb of those who hold onto power in the midst of walls and money.  The people who live in the midst of the wealth have no clue how bad the world is as a whole, or if they feel it, it is more of a ghost of a feeling rather than an actual knowledge.  There are many who choose not to know that the world outside the walls are not as nice as within.  But the strength of this book really shows how those who are refined on the outside, without realizing it, are much stronger, and their wills eventually win out.  Those who live in complacency and within the walls of corruption and greed – eventually fall.  Why?  People build good nations on bonds of loyalty and trust.  Any nation ruled on the back of pure power and fear will eventually be superseded. Whether God intends this, or it is just a basic principle, I highly recommend all to read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  A very worthy read and right up there (in the realm of ideas and worlds) as the Dune Series by the Hebert (though much smaller in scope as a universe). The movies will be coming out soon as well.  That will be interesting.  Read the books first!

Pass It On: Rue’s Lullaby from The Hunger Games

Rue, a character from The Hunger Games trilogy sticks with me like no other character since I read “The Catcher in the Rye”.  The connection after reading about her is intense.  This is her lullaby sung in the way I imagine Rue would have sung it (note of caution, watch out for auto-tuned youtube versions of this lullaby).  It is a bit long, but knowing the story, it resonates deeply.  If you haven’t read The Hunger Games yet, it is a powerful series.

The Hunger Games will be made into a Movie – Fans Gasp

Movie Next March by Lionsgate

I have just finished reading the second book in the Hunger Games Trilogy (Mockingjay), and it was a brilliant follow up to the first book (The Hunger Games).  Ology.com has reported that the dark Distopian novel about a distant future of North America (now called Panem) will be made into a movie that will be released March 23, 2012.

Gary Ross, who directed Pleasantville and Seabiscuit, will helm The Hunger Games; the project is expected to begin shooting in late spring or summer…In fact, Lionsgate has hired The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn casting director Debra Zane to choose the perfect actors to portray Katniss, Peeta, and the members of the other districts.

On the official Facebook Page, fans have noted that Suzanne Collins will be writing the script herself.

The dark nature of the books, has fans wondering if it will be able to be made into an appropriate screen adaptation.  The Hunger Games themselves, are gladiator style death matches between children and teens from districts subservient to a Capital City.  If pulled off, the movie will be intensely psychological and full of intense action.

It is my hope that these movies will not follow lead from any other films, such as Twilight or the Percy Jackson and the Olympians films.  At least in my own mind, these movies are gritty, confusing, and action oriented.  The feeling of suspense should be prevalent, and thin threads of hope in the face of complete despair (similar to the darkness of The Lord of the Rings and certain parts of the Dune series) should be the mood.  I’m crossing my fingers (as I would also with the Enders Game series) as another human being takes what has been put into our minds and presents visuals.

“Wake up, wake up son of my country. Come down Egyptians.”

(Picture from the New York Times – click pic to jump)

The last few weeks, Tunisia rebelled against a dictator, and the news around the world was that an Arab country had risen up against a hedonistic dictator and taken back their country.  In the United States, often the means of revolution (social media sites Facebook and Twitter) was the main story.  These cute entertainment communication tools we use, have allowed an oppressed people to rise up.

This week, the news is being rocked again by Egypt, who have been under a similar heavy handed ruler that most have never had a hand in putting into power.  The young are disaffected, ready for change, and so rebellion erupts possibly from the hopes sparked from their Tunisian brothers and sisters.

Some of the story points that stick with me are fascinating.  The rebels and the police all stop for prayers, and they exchange water in respite.  The title of this blog is what has been heard chanted as they leave the mosques. “Wake up, wake up son of my country.  Come down Egyptians.” (NYT’s article).  As I read these words, I see the eloquence and deep identity that comes out of being held down without freedom to express oneself.  It just explodes with a violence, but the words are beautiful.  They have thought them through.

Connecting to my own life in a strange way, I am half way through “Mockingjay” in The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins, and there is a similar rebellion faced at the “Capital” of that book.  The different districts are subservient to the dictator President Snow, and slowly, as they realize the ridiculousness of their docile position, and the lack of necessities, they rise up, and District sacrifice their lives for something greater than themselves – the right for the next generation to live as free people.  Hopefully – Free to be Good people.

I can’t help but think that “Revolution” is on the minds of many people as we come into an age of Global Awareness like never before.  Especially the young who have access to ideas and thoughts from all over the world and are able to exchange them at lightning speeds.  I think that the world is on the verge of changing in many more ways than just a few uprisings in sporadic countries.  Governments will slowly begin changing too, in response to the needs of more people being more connected, which means more accountability.  In countries that have had no accountability for a long time – be ready for the checks and balances that may destroy the power bases built on secrets, lies, and destruction of people who know the truth.

Lastly, it will be interesting to see how Twitter and Facebook continue to be used, but these sites are turning into large corporations with large profits.  How long will they be able to remain tools of revolutionaries without governments trying to destroy them.  The NYT article talks about how the British telecommunications company Vodafone has already acquiesced to the Egyptian government’s demands to stop service to certain areas.  On one hand there is a liability and public safety concern, on the other hand – are you prolonging more public enemies to run corrupt governments which can continue to harm the people.  Corporations get caught up in this political and moral dilemma and at the center of it is the idea of Freedom, because of basic Human Dignity given to them by their Creator, and who have the right to live, and think, and build what kind of world they need to remain safe, have food and shelter, and perhaps to go a bit farther – to seek happiness (or perhaps peace).

It will be interesting to see how this turns out, but I am praying for everyone involved in the Egyptian conflict.  Like the martyrs in the book of Revelation that cry out to God, “When? When?” will Justice be served and our murderers be prosecuted.  There is an appointed time, and at some point – everything that seemed so solid breaks loose.