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Wednesday 21 March 2012

The Hunger Games

Many years ago I wrote a play.  It was a sort of science fiction version of the Samuel Beckett classic, Waiting for Godot.  The only real similarity was the "waiting" part.

I submitted it as a screenplay to a sci-fi network and they told me in a letter that the "distopian" society theme was getting kind of tired.  I took it to mean that classic stories such as Orwell's, 1984, Huxley's, Brave New World and a slew of movies from Metropolis (1927) to Soylent Green (1973) to Brazil (1985 - one of my all time favourites) to the Matrix to now, weren't that interesting in modern times and were "tired?"  I realized that the network's comments had less to do with the distopiate theme and more to do with the fact that my screenplay was crap.  They were nice about it, which I appreciated.

The Hunger Games is an interesting take on the theme.  It made me think of a cross between Orwell's 1984, Richard Bachman/Stephen King's, The Running Man (which was made into a movie with Arnold Swartzenegger) and the classic Shirley Jackson short story, The Lottery.  These disptopian stories (that's the last time in this review I'll use that word) are classics and frankly, smart to borrow from.

For some reason the trailer for The Hunger Games also made me think of that silly winter Olympic triathlon where you have to cross-country ski and shoot something and, what's the third part, skin the animal you've shot?  No wait, triathlon is running, swimming and uni-cycling.  No, wait, it's BI-athlon, which means no skinning...

Speaking of two sports, I used to play soccer and baseball.  Now I just do hot yoga.  They sometimes call it Bikram, but apparently whenever you call it Bikram, Yogi Bikram wants $12.00 US.  (I now owe him $36.00). Everything is about the almighty dollar, I guess.  Speaking of the almighty dollar...

Holy, this movie is poised to break some box office records. It's based on a very successful trilogy, for young adults, written by Suzanne Collins.  The hype is incredible.

To be honest, it looks very entertaining. The only shitty thing - and not from the trailer -  is that we know from the trilogy (I didn't read it, but I read the synopsis on wikipedia) Katniss (the main character) makes it to the third book. So, I guess that means two more films. 

I liked what I saw in the trailer.  It was very well done.  I'll likely see this one, soon.


  1. Baseball Soccer, boccer?... sounds difficult.
    XLnt trailer review. I enjoyed it more than I probably would have if I had seen the movie, which I can now skip. :)

  2. Greggie, the Curmudgeon23 March 2012 at 20:09

    Yah, I pumped out a Beckett nod that was pretty dystopian too, but the play was too laughable (in the wrong sense) to get a nice rejection like yours. And with all crap that's going on in the (western) world - reckless, self-centered, war-mongering automatons seeking their next fix in the mad craze of endless consumerism - dystopia has a nice, familiar ring to it. So bite me screenplay network types... And based on your lovely ramblings and a quick peek at the trailer, I'm catching it too. Oh, and Shane - lighten up Buddy - maybe you're not the target audience, huh?