Friday, February 20, 2015

Blog Entry #4

       The Hunger Games trilogy consists of great, easy to read books with an interesting plot consisting of action and drama. While Hunger Games and Catching Fire refer to the actual games, Mockingjay focuses more on the larger picture and ultimately the rebellion against the Capitol. Personally, I think that the first two books were much better than the last, which was very slow in the beginning and, in my opinion, had a poor ending.
        Catching Fire was definitely my favorite of the three because it was the most dramatic and had a substantial storyline. Hunger Games was more of an introductory book in which the reader receives a chance to get to know the characters and how the actual games take place. In Catching Fire, the audience is able to see the characters develop and form significant relationships with one another. For example, Katniss and Peeta's relationship grows even stronger at the Quarter Quell and Gale's presence is more noticeable in this book. Haymitch is not seen as such a joke of a character anymore and he actually plays a very important role; at the end the audience finds out that he was one of the people behind the revolution. I also like how the author included the transformation of Prim, the innocent young girl in the first book, to a stronger, more independent teenager in the second book. The games in itself was much more interesting with the idea of the clock, with each section having its own special strategy to kill off the tributes. Also, the tributes were creating allies with one another and working together to avoid all of the obstacles, which there seemed to be a great deal of throughout the book. I was able to read this book very quickly because I was so intrigued to find out what was going to happen next in the storyline.
         On the other hand, Mockingjay was my least favorite of the three. I felt that it was much different from the other two books and it did not even include its own Hunger Games. The entire beginning of the book in which Katniss resides in District 13 was boring. Also, Peeta was tortured by the Capitol through the use of tracker jackers and was stripped of all of his happy memories of Katniss, replacing them with new memories of her. All the time that the author spent building up Katniss and Peeta's relationship was wasted because for most of the third book Peeta resents her and is trying to kill her. All of a sudden, at the very end of the book, the readers find out that Peeta and Katniss live happily ever after and have two children. The entirety of the trilogy was spent analyzing Katniss' relationships with both Gale and Peeta and how she could not decide who she loved. She had major trust issues with both of them, and she was not even sure she wanted to be with either of them. It surprises me that the author would so abruptly decide to have Peeta and Katniss get married and have children. Other aspects of Mockingjay that I did not like were when both Prim and Finnick died. Finnick died while being attacked by Mutts and the crew just left him behind, and the author never spoke of him again. He played a major role in this book and was building a strong friendship with Katniss when he suddenly dies and is never referenced again. Prim, who had matured so nicely from the beginning of the first book, and had so much potential to become a doctor, also passes away at the end of this book. She was the only person left who Katniss was able to truly relate to and who Katniss could confide in. Unfortunately, I think that the plot for Mockingjay was a little bit unrelated to the first two books and I did not enjoy reading it nearly as much as I enjoyed the first two books.
         The themes in each of the books such as loyalty, sacrifice and love are what makes the books so intriguing to the readers. The action in the games and the drama between the characters creates a great read for the audience.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Blog Entry #3

     The movie Catching Fire was surprisingly very similar to the storyline in the book, written by Suzanne Collins. Although there were some things that may have been left out for the sake of time, overall I believe that the movie very closely resembled the book; I even recognized many of the exact same lines in the movie that were in the book.
      The movie, Catching Fire, was missing several scenes that I thought were very important in the book. Personally, I believe that the movie should have showed the flashback of Haymitch winning his games by throwing an ax into the forcefield in order to defeat his final enemy. This part of the book directly foreshadows the way Katniss shoots the arrow into the forcefield, sending an electric shock through the entire arena in order to end the 3rd Quarter Quell and begin a revolution. After finishing the book the reader learns that Plutarch Heavensbee was behind the revolution all along, and he tried to warn Katniss of the "clock" at the Capitol's victory ceremony. Katniss does not realize that this was a hint until after she had figured out that the arena was actually one big clock. In the movie, however, Plutarch Heavensbee is much more clear in why he became head gamemaker, and there is no mention of the clock whatsoever.

      Another major scene missing from the movie was when Katniss goes hunting and meets Bonnie and Twill in the woods. They are runaways from District 8, in search of District 13, which they believe to still exist even though it is said to be deserted. Katniss gives Bonnie and Twill some food, while the two try to convince her that there are survivors in District 13. After Katniss leaves the two women, she finds that the fence surrounding District 12 is charged again and she will be electrocuted if she tries to climb through like she normally does. Once she finally finds her way around, the new Peacekeepers are waiting for her at her home, very suspicious of where she has been. Katniss assures them that she was not in the woods and proves it with the stuff she bought for her mother and Prim at the hob. This scene is important in the book because it informs the reader that there are signs of District 13 and Katniss starts to believe it herself.
      Of course there are many other minor difference between the book and the movie, such as Gale getting beaten for attacking a peacekeeper rather than for hunting illegally. The movie is not shown from Katniss' point of view so the viewers are not inside of her head all the time like in the book. Not all details of the book can be fit into the short amount of time in which a movie is shown. I do think that the movie resembled the book as much as possible and it showed most of the significant parts of the book in order to prepare the viewer for the third movie, Mockingjay.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Blog Entry #2

       Hollywood has a tendency to alter or ignore certain details and scenes that take place in a book when its movie is created. The Hunger Games movie happens to be very similar to the book, although some specific aspects were noticeably different. In the book, the author spends a great amount of time discussing the events leading up to the games (introductions, training, interviews, etc.), while the movie gives a brief overview of these details and spends most of the time showing the games. However, the story line and plot manage to consistently resemble the book. Also, the book is in first person from Katniss' point of view, while the movie is in third person. This gives the viewer a chance to see behind the scenes and what happens with he gamemakers while Katniss is not around.
       There are a few major differences between the book and the movie. For starters, Haymitch is not present at the reaping in the movie, whereas in the book he is portrayed as a drunken mess and he falls off the stage. This is the first time the reader's are introduced to Haymitch, and it is an important detail in the book in order to set a tone for the audience about his character. Once the reaping is over and the tributes are preparing to leave for the Capitol, Madge, the mayor's daughter, pays Katniss a visit. She asks Katniss to wear a mockingjay pin to represent District 12 and shows her support for Katniss. The movie shows Katniss buying a mockingjay pin from an older woman at the hob and Madge is not even mentioned or shown in the movie at all. Once Peeta and Katniss arrive at the capital, not much time is spent showing everything that they had to go through before the games began. At the introductions, Cinna and Haymitch commanded Peeta and Katniss to hold hands on the chariot, but in the movie it was all Peeta's idea, with no guidance from the others. In the book, the two were also told to do everything together at training, and act like friends. Haymitch and Peeta came up with the plan together to announce his crush on Katniss at the interviews. The movie is opposite of the book in which the girls go first in the training sessions and interviews, as opposed to the boys going first in the book. When it was finally time to enter the arena, Cinna was the only person who was present to send off Katniss into the arena, but in the book Haymitch and Effie were all present until she went through the tubes.
       In the arena there are also several differences between the movie and the book. For example, the parachutes are sent with notes from Haymitch in the movie, whereas in the book there are no notes and Katniss must figure out the message Haymitch is trying to send. After Katniss dropped the tracker jacker nest on the careers, she passes out in the forest and Rue uses the leaves to cure her stings while she is asleep; however, in the book Katniss finds Rue on her own and Rue shows her how to use the leaves to cure her stings afterwards. In the book when Rue dies, District 11 sends Katniss the bread, but in the movie this does not occur. This scene was important to show that District 11 appreciated Katniss' effort to keep Rue safe and that they fully support her. Once the gamemakers announce the decision that there can be two victors, Katniss immediately runs to find Peeta. The movie shows that he has camouflaged himself into the ground and he sticks his hand out to grab Katniss' leg, but in the book Katniss had to sought him out and find him for herself. In order to bring the games to an end in the book, the gamemakers drain the stream so that Peeta and Katniss must go towards the cornucopia, where Cato resides, but in the movie this does not take place. Peeta and Katniss simply move towards the cornucopia on their own, when they are attacked by the muttations. Cato is waiting on the cornucopia for them while they are trying to escape these muttations. In the book, however, the author depicts Cato as first being chased by the muttations, which is how Peeta and Katniss figure out that they need to run.
       Despite these differences, I do think that the movie was very similar to the book in most ways. Although the book was better than the movie, the plot of each were basically the same and the movie did not change the authors idea of the Hunger Games.