Sunday, April 1, 2012

Hunger Games

Happy April, everyone!!  I can't believe March is already over with.  I feel like I can finally let my mind believe that winter might be over soon.  I've been telling myself for the past several weeks that I can't get my hopes up about this weather.  It's very common for snow and blizzards even into May here in NoDak, so I haven't let myself even entertain the idea that those things might be past me.  But, much to the horror and chagrin of my neighbors, I have been wearing shorts REGULARLY over the past few weeks.  So I have a feeling that even if we get a snowstorm or freak blizzard, it will just be a crazy cold snap, and the nice thing is that it won't even have a chance to stick because everything has already warmed up. (I probably just jinxed myself).  Really, though, I don't say enough how thankful I am for our first winter in North Dakota.  God was (IS!) very good to us in allowing us a smooth transition for the weather here.  Even though we had some REALLY cold days, we didn't have any super dangerous snow, and my car never had to be towed.  So thanks, God, for lookin out for a couple of people who really don't like snow.

Before I get into how I felt about the movie (great), let me tell you about a little revelation Jacob and I figured out while waiting for the movie to start.  We were sitting in the theater--which is smaller than I had even imagined--discussing when the last time we saw a movie together was.  We concluded that it had been about a year and a half ago, when we took Brinson and Luke to see Toy Story 3 while Hilary and David were on their honeymoon.  Then I was like "when was the last time we saw a movie together, just the two of us?"  The answer is never.  In seven years together, we have never been to the movies on a date with no other people.  How crazy is that?  Honestly, I think we've probably only seen about 10 movies in the theaters together.  Let's see if I can name them.  Anchorman (2 times in 3 days), Ocean's 13, Star Wars Episode III, Toy Story 3....And I think we're caught up.  I think we saw something in the theater in College Station with Tom, Dana, and David, but I have no idea what it was.  Anyways, Hunger Games.
So, I know not everyone will agree with this, but I really loved the Hunger Games.  Granted, the book wasn't as fresh on my mind, so I didn't catch as many omissions or changes as Jacob did.  Of course they're going to leave things out.  That is to be expected when a book gets adapted into a movie.  Overall, I wasn't distraught over anything they left out.  If I had to say anything about the movie that I wasn't crazy about, it would be three things.  1) The Haymitch Character 2) The point of view 3) Seneca Crane.  Let's start with Haymitch.  My issue with Haymitch is that in the book, he's a pretty complex character.  You almost feel bad for him because he's so pathetic and useless, but he's also such a mean drunk that you kind of hate him.  He treats Katniss pretty harshly in the book and it's not until late in her training that she finds out that Haymitch actually really likes her and is pushing her because he thinks she has a chance.  In the movie, they try to establish that he's a drunk loser by showing him drinking in like two scenes, but then he pretty quickly begins to encourage Katniss and voice his approval of her attitude and abilities.  The movie really downplays how much their relationship is purely symbiotic in the beginning but grows into almost a friendship or the respectful mentor-ship it should have been all along.
My next issue with the movie is the point of view from which it's told.  Granted, it had to be done this way in order for the movie to really work, but it kinda bummed me out.  The book, told from Katniss's perspective, is told through her thoughts, feelings and worries.  It's interesting to know what she's thinking during the games, and how her mental strategy effects what she does and how she's perceived by the public.  She's actually pretty manipulative in her thinking, and unfortunately, you lose a lot of that in the movie.  Since we just see things from a 3rd person, you don't know what she thinks about her "romance" with Peeta, and if she really cares for him, or if she's doing it for a show.  Don't get me wrong, I really liked some aspects of the point of view.  For example, I thought it was cool to see the gamemakers manipulating the arena and actually creating the conflicts for the tributes as they were playing.  It was really helpful to me because I could never get a clear picture of that while I was reading the books.
My last complaint would be about the Seneca Crane character.  Like I said earlier, my mind wasn't so fresh on the book going into the movie, and as soon as the movie started, the first scene shows Seneca Crane.  Jacob turned to me and said "who's that?" and I was like "Uhhhh...I don't know."  Even after watching the movie I was confused and didn't understand the character--who he was and what he did.  I just went onto imdb and read the character description: "Seneca Crane is the Head Gamemaker for the 74th Hunger Games. He is apparently appointed by, and responsible to, President Snow. His job is to maximize the excitement of the spectacle for the viewers by manipulating the contest rules and hazards, sometimes even in real time. He looks very confident but remains aware he's at the President's mercy. "....I mean....I read the book, saw the movie, and still don't really get who the character is.  I remember reading the name, but in my mind I can't seem to remember what he did or how he impacted the story, aside from just being another character.  I don't know, something about that character just kind of fell flat for me.
 So all of that sounds like a lot of complaints, but really it's not.  I thought the movie was great, and I'd totally see it again.  I was completely sucked in from the first minute and found myself pretty emotional during it.  There is one scene in particular that I knew I'd cry during, but I also found myself pretty emotional during the Reaping.  Even though anyone who's seen the previews knows Katniss volunteers to take her sister's place in the Games, I still found myself broken hearted during the scene.  Honestly, I was really impressed by the acting in the movie.  I thought Jennifer Lawrence was incredible.  I'll be the first to admit I was kinda skeptical when she was cast in the role.  Not because I have anything against her, but because when I read the book, the image in my mind of Katniss was Hailee Steinfeld.
So when Hailee didn't get picked for the role, I was like "uhhh guys, you got it wrong."  But really, I thought Jennifer Lawrence was awesome.  Also, I thought Elizabeth Banks as Effie and Stanley Tucci as Caesar were PHENOMENAL.  Even though the Effie character is extremely obnoxious, I couldn't help but laugh at her every time she was on screen.  I thought Elizabeth Banks played her really well; she was hilariously clueless.  I loved it.  And Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman stole every scene he was in.  I laughed at basically everything he said and I wanted to see more of him.  Overall I thought it was a great movie and I can't wait to start re-reading Catching Fire.

Saturday I had to go to Walmart to do my big grocery shopping.  Obviously that was a mistake, but there was nothing I could do about it.  We basically had no food in the house.  I was in a TERRIBLE mood when I left the house because I knew the trip would be longer than what I had the energy for.  I was actually able to move through the masses of idiots pretty quickly.  I got everything I needed, just had to stop by the deli to get 1/3 lb of salami (making strombolis this week!) before I headed to the register.  When I got behind the lady who was already ordering stuff at the deli, it wasn't good.  In the words of my dad, "I knew I was a dead duck."  She already had 8 bags of meat laying on the counter that had been cut for her.  It freaked me out, but I was thinking to myself, she doesn't even have a cart, surely she's just about done.  Boy was I a dummy.  After a few minutes, her husband pulls up beside her with an empty car, which she deposits the 9 blu-rays she was holding in her arms, and dumps the meat that's already been cut.  He put a few loaves of bread into their cart, and proceeded to give their next order to the deli guy.  3 pounds of Sun Dried Tomato Turkey Breast, sliced medium.  Not only were they ordered a ton of stuff, but they were ordering MULTIPLE POUNDS OF EVERYTHING.  And they were SUPER particular about the cut of it.  The deli guy would slice a piece and ask what they thought and they'd really look at it and examine it before saying it was okay or asking for it to be redone.  Unreal.  Just unreal.  Several minutes later (still on the sun dried tomato turkey breast), one of their friends comes up beside them and starts chatting them up.  They all laugh about the exorbitant amount of lunch meat these idiots are buying, and then the guy proceeds to look at me and say "you in line?"  Nope.  Honestly, I just wanted to watch them clean out the whole deli.  That is literally all I want when I come to Walmart.  To let my frozen foods thaw and drip condensation all over the tile floor below me while I wait 20 minutes at the deli for the very last thing I need.  After I informed him that I was, in fact, waiting, the lady turned around and looked at me like "isn't it funny how much stuff I'm getting?!  This is bonkers!"  I can't describe to you the hate I felt in my heart at that moment, but I will say, she almost got her cart kicked straight into the deli glass.
On the next round of meat (honey ham, 5 pounds, sliced medium), I really started to lose it.  The clever guy beside me just looks at me and goes "I know.  It's a virtue."  I think I just rolled my eyes.  The thing is, it's not funny to me.  It may be funny to you because these are your friends and you're all storing up lunch meat to bring back to your commune, but I'm just a tired lady who should've had a snack before she left for the store who has COMPLETELY run out of patience because my cheese is room temperature now.  Don't try to be cute with me, because it WON'T work.  With every additional meat this lady asked for, I became more incredulous that she didn't even have the audacity to say to me "do you have much to get?" or "I'll come right back if you want to get what you need."  I mean, at least offer.  If you're going to spend HALF AN HOUR at the deli counter, at least give the person behind you THAT HAS A FULL CART the courtesy of getting their stuff so they can move on.  She didn't, naturally, and she ended up getting 14 meats all together and 2 cheese (5 lbs each).  The whole thing just really blew my mind.  The second she was done, I just stepped up to the counter and said "I just need 1/3 pound of salami please.  I don't care how it's sliced."  She seemed unfazed by how long she'd made me wait for such a small order, and in the 2 minutes it took to get my stuff done, when the deli guy asked for the clever guy behind me's order, he said "4 pounds of that honey ham, sliced medium."  Holy crap.  Why do you ALSO need that much meat?!  I'm sure he was stockpiling just like his idiot friends and that irritates me.  As I was speeding over to the register, I passed a man who was pulling his cart up to the deli and I just said "I'd come back if I were you."  He probably didn't take my advice and waited at the deli for half an hour like the idiot I was.

 Well my laundry's done, so I'm off to do quite a bit of folding.  I've just been dumping the loads of clean clothes on the love seat upstairs as they finish, and the last time I went up there to deposit a basket, there was a sweet black puppy snuggled up on the warm clothes.  Oh Oscar.  How did you ever live on the streets if you love sleeping on warm laundry so much?


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