Saturday, 31 March 2012

The Hunger Games

The basics 

The Hunger Games is a bestselling book by American author Suzanne Collins and is the first in theThe Hunger Games trilogy’. The book came out in 2008 and was made in to a film in 2012, which was Directed by Gary Ross. This film is about oppression, survival, punishment, love and the entertainment industry.

What is this film about?

After a great rebellion in nation of Panem, the government devised away to instill fear in to the public, keep them oppressed, to punish them for the crimes of the past and to make a good TV show out of it too. What they created was the hunger games. The hunger game is where they pick one boy and one girl (aged 12 to 18) from each of the 12 districts to come to the capital and be forced to fight to the death in there outside arena, where there can only be one winner. We join this world in the impoverished district 12 as it starts to get ready for the 74th annual Hunger Games and we start to follow are heroine Katniss Everdeen, as she has just volunteered for these brutal games to spare her younger sister. 

My views on it

From the start of this film it sets out to be very good I must admit, the camera work is great, the mise-en-scene good, the acting is very well and so on. So what I am trying to say it ticks all the boxes. But the best thing for me is how they present the unlucky ones who are involved in the game. As soon as they are picked from random they enter this new world and gain celebrity status. They are soon eating the best food, given make overs and are appearing on TV talk shows. Each of them also try to gain as much popularity as they can due to the fact it will be beneficial for them and help them get sponsors. This for me brings a new depth into the game, it’s becomes not just about who is the strongest or who’s is  the fastest but who is the most popular and who can put on the best show for the public as well. This also gives a good reflection on celebrity culture nowadays, how people with no talent can be on reality TV shows like Big Brother and how being popular can sometimes be more helpful in shows like the X Factor then talent itself.

Like I have said this film has a lot going for it and I could keep going on and big it up more but where’s the fun in that, it has some big flaws too and these start to come about when the game itself begins. For a film that is based around a game where 24 teenagers have to kill each other, the violence and the action is very poor. This is all due to the film being made to be a 12A, so it can get a bigger audience. Because of this the film isn’t able to deliver on one of its key elements and this goes on to effect other things as well. Due to the action being weak it makes the game a lot less dramatic and less intense then it should be. It ruins the atmosphere and this once interesting and clever film starts to become a bit childish.

One of the other major problems is that we don’t get to know the other teenagers (beside the two from district 12) in the games that much. We only meet about half of them and the half we do see we don’t get to know that well. Due to this, there deaths in the game become almost redundant, as you don’t have enough time to connect with them, it’s hard to care if they live or die really.  Also it does not set up very well, if we did take an interest there characters, how we should feel about their deaths. The film doses try to set up one of the teenagers as a villain and one as being sweet and nice but there characters are so weak it doesn’t work. So we only take an interest in the two main teenagers from district 12 and the rest are just plainly boring cannon fodder to keep the story moving.

So for me this is a film of two half, the first half is great but as soon as the game begins its starts to go downhill and fast. But I would have to say I did still enjoy it and I will be there in the cinema for when the next one is released.

Favourite Quote 

Haymitch Abernathy: Look at you! You just killed... a place mat!

Rating 3/5

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The Vow

The basics 

The Vow is an American film which came out in 2012. Michael Sucsy directed this film which was based on the true life story and book, The Vow by Kim and Krickitt Carpenter. This film is a drama/romance with a bit of comedy and it is about love, memory loss and moments that can change you’re live.

What is this film about?

A newlywed couple unfortunately gets in to a serious accident as there car is hit from behind by a truck. The husband, Leo, receives a few minor injuries but nothing to serious. His wife, Paige, on the other hand ends up in a coma. When she wakes she doesn’t recognise Leo and we discover that she has lost a few year of her memory and now Leo has work to win back the heart off his own wife.

My views on it

The first problem I have with this film was there before I even sat down to watch it. Just from watching the ad of it on TV, I found out what this film was about and that it was based on a true story. Due to this I already knew how this film was going to pan out and how it was going to end and I was right. This film is heavily predictable and even when you are watching it you can see every twist that is going to happen plenty of time before it dose. But I can’t keep on about this; due to the nature of the film it was always going to be this way. So this problem isn’t something that we could find someone to point a finger at and say this is your fault, it was inevitable, still annoying though.

It doesn’t take too long before you realise that this film is set in modern day, mainly because Paige asks who the president is? And Leo says Barack Obama. Because of this it is easy to see that this film is set in a different time from the real event (which happens in 1993 just so you know). Due to this I start to think about how much of this film is actually based on the true story? And because of this I could no longer really trust the film, all the time thinking did that actually happen? Does he really do that? And doe that person even exist? The key selling point about this film is that it was meant to have happened and from watching it you can’t trust what did happen and what didn’t, beside the basic facts. After about five minutes on Google I found out that the film is a lot more fabricated then I originally guessed. So it just goes to show that it is based on a true story but very loosely and for me this film loses a lot of its integrity because of this.

My last problem with this film is that it is very forgettable (and yes I see the irony in saying that). After leaving the cinema I tried to think of the main characters names and I could not remember any of them. So what I am trying to say this film does not make an impact on you, it doesn’t leave you thinking or even make for lasting conversation. So don’t expect this film to stick with you for long after you have watched it.

I have ripped in to this film a lot in this review but I have to say it isn’t that bad. The acting is good, it kept my interest all the way through and I did have a good laugh a few times as well. So if you’re one of those film geeks that looks a bit too much in to things (like me) then best give this one a miss but for anyone else it’s a pleasant little film with some humour and I would say why not, give it a watch.

Favourite Quote 

Leo: Life's all about moments, of impact and how they changes our lives forever. But what if one day you could no longer remember any of them?

Rating 2/5