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Tag Archives: The Hunger Games

Six of our favourite memes

Six of our favourite memes

Successful Black Man. Don’t blame us for being racist.

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First World problems of the 90s. Oh, what would we do without the internet! *gives internet a hug*

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The Hunger Games. The Mocking Meme.

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60’s Spiderman. We feel his pain.

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Bad Luck Brian. For whom AWWWW was invented.

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Condescending Wonka. Oh, no, he didn’t!

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Who’s black, bald and does not look like a bitch?

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Who’s black, bald and does not look like a bitch?

If your answer is Marcellus Wallace, it’s because you heard these three attributes before you even saw him.

Last week, the trailer for Baz Luhrmann’s adaption of Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby hit the interweb. I am still skeptical of Luhrmann after Australia (Can you blame me?) but Sheena is outrageously excited. “The great Gatsby isn’t really big on plot or action, but it’s a very visual book. And if the wildly exhilarating Moulin Rouge is any indication, Luhrmann is pretty big on flamboyant visual imagery. And Leonardo DiCaprio is a good choice for Gatsby,” she says.

Last week, a friend of mine described what he imagined the characters of The Hunger Games were like and pretty much got everything wrong according to the movie. “Rue looks like that girl from Hugo or like Knives from Scott Pilgrim. Cinna looks like Stephen Fry.”

Most writers don’t describe too many physical attributes of a character. Vague descriptions like, tall, long fingers, round eyes or something. Never enough to visualize an entire person. For years, Hermoine Granger was just an unformed body of vapour with buckteeth and bushy hair. 

Sometimes the description doesn’t come with the introduction of the character. You’ve already followed John into depths of his adventure and now, 300 pages in, he is making love with soon-to-be Mrs Doe, you realize he has long arms, a dimple and is redheaded. And you were imagining a skinny midget with cankles.

Sometimes a name is enough to conjure up an image and no amount of detail will change it. Imagination is a wonderful thing. But everyone’s head works differently.

But then the movies happened. Making an absolute mess of your mind’s eye.

With adaptations, characters are in front of you, in the flesh. It sparks debate; “Will Andrew Garfield make a good spiderman?” “Sirius Black should have been like Morpheus big, bald and badass” and the usual, “I don’t care, the book is infinitely better.”

I have no problems with film adaptions. In fact, if it’s done well, it packs dense but good literature into a manageable matinee sized bite.  But when movies release while you are still reading a series, it will ruin the book and that’s the plain truth. The actors faces get jammed into your head, without your permission. I can’t read Sherlock Holmes any more without both Robert Downey Jr and Benedict Cumberbatch zooming in and out of my head. Strangely, Jude Law is never Watson. Never.

While this is part rant and part observation, Here’s what I want to know. What do you consider the worst casting in a movie? Which character complete baffled you? It’s a bit premature, but for me, it just might be Suraj Sharma from Life of  Pi.

The Hunger Games: How I went from sceptic to fan

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The Hunger Games: How I went from sceptic to fan

I’m something of a reading snob. There I said it. If a book is sensationalist, popular and making people exclaim wildly and in bad grammar over 8 million internet forums, there’s a big chance I won’t like it. Many times I’m right (cough Dan Brown cough) and I get to feel smug. Sometimes I’m wrong. Hello, Ms. Rowling.

And other times, well let’s just say, I get Suzanned. The Hunger games trilogy by Suzanne Collins had all the usual symptoms. Many internet forums, chatter about race prejudices, in-depth erudite sounding stories about young adult fiction and of course the series had TBHBT (The big Hollywood blockbuster ticket). I could totally tell where this was going. The jacket of the first book held a gushy fan-girl line from Stephanie Myers. I smirked. Man, it was going to be easy to hate this book.

If you’ve been living under a rock for the last year or so, The Hunger Game Trilogy takes place in the country of Panem where 12 districts are all governed by the evil Capitol. As punishment for a revolt against the Capitol many years ago, the hunger games is an event where a pair of adolescents, one boy and one girl from each district, get themselves into an arena and fight each other to the death. The whole thing is televised.

The first book, The Hunger Games, went okay but I can’t say I was sold on it. I was a little put off by the short sentences (so pedestrian) but I could deal with it. Besides it had strains of another dystopian novel I liked: Lois Lowry’s The giver. But dystopian novels for young readers follow a pretty standard arc. Oppressor. Confusion. Must overthrow said oppressor.

Let’s move on. The main character Katniss Everdeen was grim and unlikeable but real enough. The love triangle was annoyingly Twilight-ish. Will she go for nice-guy-baker-boy Peeta or stick with badass hunter buddy Gale? Interesting Trivia: the second one shoots and eats squirrels with ghastly relish. The book picked up as fewer tributes remained at the games and at last ended with a cliff-hanger. I could see the appeal but I wasn’t a fan. For one, no humour. And don’t blame the circumstances. Harry Potter was funny and so was Percy Jackson and their plots had them pretty screwed too. Also, is it just me or was there very little dialogue?

I spent time between book one and book two in complete conflict. Did I like it? Did I not?

When Sharanya waved Catching Fire, the second book in the series in front of me, my precise reaction was, “YAAAAAAAAAAAAY. I mean…. cool. Cool, I’ll just take it. I guess. I mean, if you’re done with it. Whatever.”

And I was glad she was. Catching Fire seduced me. A quarter quell, where there’s an upped version of the Hunger Games aka more bloody animalistic murder? Bring it. The Games Arena (spoiler alert) designed like a clock was a small bit of genius. And now there’s political intrigue and a romance that actually adds to the plot? Well done Ms. Collins, well done. Even sullen Katniss was beginning to redeem herself. She was getting tougher, angrier and she dealt with adolescent angst by going out and shooting stuff, a huge improvement on Bella Swan. There still wasn’t much improvement on the jokes. I forgave that. At the end of the second book, I wasn’t in conflict any more. Was I on board with this whole hunger games hysteria? Hell yes.

On to Book three. (This time, I fair snatched it out of Sharanya’s hand). Mockingjay had the stirrings of a bloody war and revolution, plot twists and so much more darkness and despair. Having one of the main characters brain-washed into near-villainy kept things lively.  And finally, oh finally, JOKES! There were funny bits. Mostly through a character called Johanna, who frankly, I’d have loved to see more of. Sarcasm. Wit. Banter. It’s like Suzanne Collins read my mind and gave me everything that was missing in the first book. Am I A Hunger Games fan now? Yes I am.

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