Did you watch Catching Fire?

catching_fire_katniss_peetaI recently watched the second Hunger Game movie Catching Fire with my boyfriend. Unlike most people, I actually really enjoyed the first Hunger Game movie. Yeah, it’s not as intense as Battle Royale and missed a lot of details from the book. But it was a lot of fun — plus Jennifer Lawrence makes for such a kickass Katniss Everdeen.

On the contrary, my boyfriend didn’t read any of the books and never watched the first movie. But I’ve been calling him Katniss ever since he took up archery. His concise review of the movie was “meh”. Other points of interest for him:

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  • The movie was clearly made for 14-year-old girls (Oh Gale!)
  • The Morphlings were pretty awesome
  • The archery practice ring looked cool
  • How lame that the poisonous fog was washable
  • Massive monkey battle scene was crazy
  • Is Finnick supposed to be a homosexual?
  • Where do they get the triangular plane thing in the final scenes?

I really liked this movie and the second book was my favourite. But I couldn’t help but think that the President would have had Katniss killed sooner in the movie. Head Gamemaster Plutarch Heavensbee played by Philip Seymour Hoffman doesn’t seem very persuasive if you ask me.

It’s too bad that the third book is terrible, horrible, good-for-nothing…

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World War Z gave me nightmares

WORLD_warzSo I finished reading World War Z the other night, turned off the lights and closed my eyes. And then I heard a creak. And then a thump. Another creak. I got up, checked the bathroom and made sure nothing was there. Went back to bed. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

I live in a condo building so creaks and thumps at night are common. But you see, I had to check for zombies. And Quislings. And feral children.

World War Z is one scary zombie book. The book starts off by telling you that after the zombie war ends, the world is in a dismal state. The author has been asked to write a UN postwar report but the stories, personal effects have been chopped. So he’s publishing them in his own book so we can learn what really happened. This starts a series of personal stories and interviews with soldiers, civilians and experts around the world.

It makes for a choppy storyline but it’s also magic how author Max Brooks is able to build suspense. Its documentary style and numerous details make this cautionary zombie tale scarily believable. The start-stop-start-stop storyline may drive some people crazy but it makes World War Z easily digestible for those with short attention spans.

WWZ_signIt’s also easy to see how World War Z was made for a movie (trailer!). There’s lots of gory details, plenty of heroes and it genuinely is terrifying. The zombies are hard to kill and completely fearless. Then there are the Quislings — people who have gone nutters and have decided to become faux zombies. And children who have lost their parents become feral living in a state of wilderness. It’s a dangerous world out there.

Perhaps what makes it most believable is that human greed makes a zombie war possible. The fact that we’ve become mindless consuming idiots makes it hard for us to defend ourselves in this zombie invaded future.

After a whole night of tossing and turning, I woke up feeling like sh*t. I looked in the mirror and finally found my zombie. Very clever Brooks.

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Photo credits: funnystuffforyourday.blogspot.ca, verybadfrog.com, theteewarehouse.com

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The Great Gatsby Movie Trailer

I’m currently in love with all things ’20s – especially after watching Midnight in Paris. If you haven’t watched it yet, go see it now.

But if you are also a fan of the roaring 20’s, you should be eagerly anticipating The Great Gatsby which will be in theatres this holiday season. I recently blogged that Life of Pi is also premiering during the holidays so it will interesting which one fares better.

Personally, I think Life of Pi will get rave reviews from critics but The Great Gatsby will be the holiday blockbuster hit. The trailer (below) tells you nothing about the story but does remind you that there will be plenty of skin, sin and Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby as directed by Baz Luhrmann.

Why you should read The Hunger Games

In my recent Read it 1st post, I wrote that once I’ve watched the movie, I’m usually not interested in reading the book. But I did the opposite with The Hunger Games because well, the movie made me hungry for more.

So while you made not have read The Hunger Games first, I suggest that you read it next. Even those of you who were not big fans of the movie should consider reading the book.

Here’s why (movie spoiler alert!):

  • Katniss Everdeen is so much more kick-ass in the book. She’s not nearly as sexy as movie Katniss – she is a starving teenager, after all – but she’s 10X stronger, smarter, better (work it, over).

  • You learn much more about Rue. I saw the movie with my cousin who concluded that he didn’t care so much when Rue dies partly because he nothing about her. The book covers off who Rue is and why her death is a bigger tragedy to Katniss compared to all the other deaths.

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen

  • The book tells you much more about the history of The Hunger Games. The creation is darker than the movie portrays. In fact, there’s a much more sinister element to the authorities running the Capitol that the movie doesn’t explain so well.

  • It’s gorey. The movie had to be kept PG-13 so the young’uns could see it in theatres but the book doesn’t hold back. After all, kids are ruthless without having to fight to the death.
  • The book explains sponsors. I had no idea what exactly the sponsors did during the movie. I kept waiting for them to parachute in a bottle of Coca-Cola or a Hewlett-Packard Printer.
  • Peeta is not nearly as useless. The movie reduced Peeta to sad, wounded and weak. The book shows that Peeta is more brains than brawns but he has what Katniss doesn’t: charisma.

  • There’s already a second and third book. That’s right. The movie leaves you hanging but the books keep going! And that was my biggest motivation to read it.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie. Despite the many comparisons to Lord of the Flies and Battle Royale, I liked the back story behind The Hunger Games more. And I love the character of Katniss. I also full out cried when Rue died but I cry through a lot of movies.

Just a word of warning though – Hunger Games makes up for some really horrible writing with an awesome story. But the writing is horrendous – worst than Harry Potter. Once you get past this, you will enjoy the story.

I’ve already started the second book and I’m happy to report that the story is possibly, even better than the first.

Photo credits: designcrushblog.com, someecards.com, vanityfair.com

Cast of Hunger Games