I have to admit that I'm a late-comer to "Hunger Games." Honestly, I didn't have any interest in the books or the film adaptation that was being made of them. A geek only has so much time for reading and going to the movies, and my plate was already full. And after all the hype leading up to the release of the motion picture, I thought I'd inoculated myself from being drawn into the mania that was consuming the sci-fi series' fandom. Regardless, I found myself attending a Friday night showing at my local Cineplex. Hey, when your date says she wants to go see Hunger Games on opening night, you go. So there I was amidst the hordes of teenage girls, boys and - surprisingly - adult women to see what looked to be the start of another multi-media juggernaut.
Now, I'd been on the Harry Potter bandwagon from the very beginning, having read all the books and going to see each film on its opening weekend. "Potterheads" are some of the most ardent fans out there, and you can just feel the electricity in the air when they get together. And this screening had much of the same excitement and anticipation.
(As an aside, what do you call Hunger Games fans anyway? Mockingjays? Tributes? Hungarians?)
Well, in the end, the film did not disappoint.
Again, I'm late to this party and I have never read the books, so I went into the movie knowing the bare minimum about the premise and the story's characters. All I knew was that the film seemed strangely similar to the Japanese cult-classic novel/manga/movie "Battle Royale", another series that dealt with dystopian futures and teenagers being forced into a nationally televised death match. (I've discovered that by making the comparison between BR and HG, you can really p*ss off some fans of the Suzanne Collins-penned series.) But where Battle Royale was graphic and downright depressing, Hunger Games was lighter on the brutality and had touches of humor. Overall, HG turned out to be an entertaining film that looks like it's going to made boat loads of money.
Even the Dark Knight had something to say about Hunger Games.
On a related note that is both pathetic and bewildering: some "fans" of the books have come out and expressed dismay over discovering that some of their favorite characters where people of color. What is it about racism that affects reading comprehension?
Also, while some would hope that the box-office success of the Hunger Games leads to a new era of action-films with female leads, a Hollywood screenwriter is a bit more skeptical.