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My Thoughts on The Hunger Games Movie

ImageSo, The Hunger Games movie has only been out for six days and I have already seen it twice.  Obviously I really loved it.  It is not nearly as good as the book (I mean, how could it be) but it did a great job of bringing the story to life.  I am going to ramble on about some things I liked and didn’t like about the movie, because I am not talented enough as a writer to turn this into an actual review that flows together 🙂

I will start with what I didn’t like, so that we can end things on a positive note.  Obviously this will contain *spoilers.*

**The Costumes**  There was something that seemed a little off to me about the costumes.  I can’t really describe what it was, but the look of some of them was just “off.”  The clothes in the arena were just fine, and even the outlandish Capital stuff was okay, but I didn’t like most of Katniss/Peeta’s wardrobe.  I didn’t like any of the outfits they wore while they were in the Capital.  That includes their “on fire” costumes (totally lame) and their interview clothes.  I had forgotten just how awesome Katniss’ dress is supposed to be, but after re-reading the book, her dress in the movie is very underwhelming.  And Peeta looks like a waiter from a haunted house in his outfit.

**The BIG Moments weren’t big enough**  One of the things I remember most about reading the book for the first time was all of the HUGE things that happened right at the end of a chapter…Peeta asking to train alone, Peeta saying “she came here with me,” Peeta showing up with the Careers, the spear going into Rue, etc.  Literally at the end of each chapter I would hear the Dramatic Chipmunk theme in my head.

I felt like the movie mishandled most of these moments, especially the two biggest ones, the discovery of Peeta with the Careers and when they announce that two tributes from the same district can win.  In the first instance when Peeta is tagging along after the Careers and Katniss sees him, she looks mildly annoyed.  I wanted to scream at the screen, “WTF, Katniss!!!  This is a HUGE moment in the book and you don’t even look like you are all that bothered!  What is the matter with you!!!???”  And the scene in the book where she finds out that she and Peeta can BOTH win, and she screams out his name….Gosh, I LOVE that in the book.  In the movie, she quietly whispers his name, and is like, “Doh de doh de doh, guess I better go find that Peeta character…doh de doh de doh.”  C’mon Gary Ross (Mr. Director) what the hell were you thinking in both of those scenes.  You totally dropped the ball there.

**The Scene at the End**  One of the most important moments in the book is right at the end when the announcer says, “whoops, wait a minute, only one of you can win.”  When that happens in the book, Peeta reaches for his knife (to lay it on the ground) and Katniss whips out her last arrow to kill him.  That is such a perfect example of who Katniss is (and who she will become by the end of the steaming pile of garbage that is Mockingjay) and who Peeta is and always will be.  In the movie, none of that happens and it jumps right into the part with the berries and everything is rushed and hectic.  I sincerely hope everyone who sees the movie actually goes home to read the book so they can see how it SHOULD have happened.

Anyway, I am being pretty harsh on the movie, but I really and truly did enjoy it.  I only get nitpicky like this with things I am truly passionate about.  So, without further ado, here are the things I loved!!

**Prim**  Oh my gosh, I LOVED Prim in the movie.  She barely registered with me at all the books; she was more of a plot device that got the first book going.  But in the movie, I cried practically every time she was on screen.  When she walks up to the stage and tucks in her little tail……oh man, my heart breaks!

**Gale**  As a firm member of Team Peeta, I have never really been fond of Gale, but in the movie he is great!!!  I loved when he pulls Prim away at the beginning and then again at the end when you see her sitting on his shoulders.  Oh, and he is very nice to look at 🙂

**Effie**  (I am realizing that there is a strong possibility that I might just list characters from here on out, so bear with me)  Elizabeth Banks was so great as Effie!  I missed some of Suzanne Collins’ humor in the movie (a lot of it came from Katniss’ inner monologue) but Effie brought out a laugh with everything she said.  My favorite line in possibly the whole movie is “THAT IS MAHOGANY!”

**The Tributes**  I felt like all the tributes were perfectly cast.  Foxface was awesome (she is actually my second favorite character in the books after Peeta) as well as Thresh and Clove.  I was very surprised with how believable Cato was (I worried I would just keep picturing him as the little skinny kid from Race to Witch Mountain) and really liked his scene at the end.  And Rue, oh little Rue!!!  If I could just put her in my pocket and take her home, she is so heartbreakingly adorable!!

**Peeta**  I was obviously not real happy with the casting of Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, but I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked him as Peeta.  I always knew he would be great in the part acting wise, but I worried about him being “big enough” to play Peeta.  I found that in the end, it didn’t really matter.  He perfectly embodied Peeta on screen and I only noticed a couple of times when they really tried to hide the height difference (did you notice how Katniss and Peeta spent a lot of time sitting down or not standing directly next to each other).  My favorite moment in the whole movie hands down is at the very end when they are about the eat the berries and Katniss is busy paying attention to the cameras and Peeta reaches over and touches her braid.  In that moment you can tell how much he is totally in love with her. My little heart melts just thinking about it 🙂

**Peeta’s Camoflage Skills**  ‘Nuff said.

**Extra Training Scenes**  I liked the added scenes with Rue and the knife and Peeta throwing the giant metal thing.

All in all, I really enjoyed the movie.  I am so happy that it is doing well, and I am actually looking forward to watching Catching Fire (which is saying a lot since I didn’t like the second book).

So, what did you all think??

Jen

*I didn’t really comment on Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss because I am kind of indifferent to her.  I didn’t love her as Katniss, but I didn’t hate her either.  She was kind of just “there.”

*In the very scary midnight show I was at, the high school girls in the theater literally screamed out “Woohoo Peeta!!!”  “What a hottie!!” the first time he showed up on screen.  Yeah, during the very emotionally charged reaping scene, that was a tad bit inappropriate.

Great Gatsby Chapters 6 & 7: The post in which Amber talks too much about Kate Moss

Hello hello! soooo I promised to do this post for Jill since I knew she had a big Oscar weekend (you know how we love her Best Picture Marathon posts. See here and here) and a Leap Year Vacay. And now it is Friday, and all those amazing comments I had about Chapters 6 & 7 have sorta withered away and I fear I will just end up talking about Kate Moss’ wedding.

How perfect are these! I did a search for "Daisy Buchanan crying" and this was one of the first results--dramatic, flashy, and stunning. and very sad.

So first lets throw out some discussion questions that are actually about chapters 6 & 7 (SPOILERS):

1. woooo how awkward was that trip into the city? Poor Nick. This reminds me of one of my friends from high school who’s boyfriend refused to take her to prom, so she asked another guy, and then her boyfriend did decide to go and asked another girl…and they all went together in the same limo. I know! (she totally ended up dating the other guy, too.)

2. Would Daisy have ever told Tom that she didn’t love him if Gatsby hadn’t rushed her into it? I think it is obvious that she DID love Tom, so in same way it sort of saves my opinion of her that she was conflicted with Gatsby’s demands on her.

3. Who was the most tragic figure during these two chapters? I lean towards Daisy…I want to say Myrtle, you know, because she died…but it is much harder for me to feel bad for Myrtle. She had a nice husband who she was cheating on, she was greedy and annoying, and she deliberately ran out in front of the car. Daisy was essentially being manipulated by two men she loved and then she accidentally kills a person while driving which would be HORRIBLE (yes, it was very bad that she drove away. and I suppose it could be argued that she hit Myrtle on purpose… except she didn’t know who Myrtle was…).

4. However, do you believe Gatsby that Daisy was the driver? Does it matter? Specifically, how does it affect your opinion of Daisy and Gatsby if she was driving vs if he was driving?

So why am I so quick to defend Daisy?

Because of Kate Moss’ wedding.

The wedding of the year

When Jill and Lindsay first starting talking about reading the Great Gatsby, the first brain spark I had was the warm, breezy, happy remembrance of reading about Kate Moss’ Wedding in the August 2011 Vogue. Something about this article has created a sunset within me–I had never really considered myself a big Kate Moss fan, but now I ADORE her. Kate’s look was actually inspired by Zelda Fitzgerald, not specifically Daisy…eh details mere details. So I just went into reading the book feeling connected to Daisy.

Actually, the whole time we’ve been reading this story, I find myself spending less time figuring out how I feel about characters and more time on why I feel what I feel about them. I am pretty sure my views on Nick’s sexuality come from courses I took as an English major–a course on Oscar Wilde and the Asthetes, and a Transnational Detective Fiction course with a focus on books featuring homosexual characters in Spanish-speaking countries. In addition, I read a book about a month ago titled The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures by Caroline Preston which makes several references to Fitzgerald as Frankie’s favorite author and features a very Nick-like man who dates Miss Pratt while having a man-on-the-side. Downton Abbey has also had a big effect on my friendly feelings for Nick. Sigh, oh Matthew! I think if Jen or Lindsay had seen Downton Abbey, that they would probably argue with my comparison between Nick and Matthew. And I agree that their personalities are quite different, however, it is their circumstances that mirror just a bit. World War 1, rich relatives, getting pulled into family drama, sensitive, good listeners 🙂

and the connections in my head go on and on…I just had one right now–why do I even question that Daisy was the driver of the car? that answer lives in what I am watching right now: Murder, She Wrote. Yup, Jessica Fletcher and Agatha Christie have me trained to always question a suspicious death.

and now LETS DISCUSS!

A Collection of Happy Things

Hola chicas le nerdy!

So I have been trying to think of things to post and I’m always like, oh yeah! That’s awesome, I should post that! But then I forget about it because I’m at work when I think of these things. But I am super at home right now! And I’m super posting right now! Haha! So I present to you a few things that are super happy.

First up: Bonjour, girl! I already sent this to Jen, Jill and Amber a few days ago, but it needs to be posted on the blog. I was eating lunch the first time I saw this and I almost choked on my hamburger. Like seriously, I started laughing and had to cough up and spit out my hamburger. There are so many good parts to it. But my personal favorite? “IT’S MY FAVORITE!”

The last time I posted, I talked about decorating my apartment. Guess what! I did something!

Making art is super fun! I did the middle one and the one with the crayons still attached. Andrew did the one with all the non-rainbow (or reject) crayons. It was super fun and easy and fast! Well, I take that back. It was fast for me. It took Andrew like an hour and a half. But that’s because he didn’t want the crayons left on the canvas. So he taped them on instead of hot-gluing them (like I did). It’s really awesome when you melt the crayons with a hair dryer and they start streaming down. Just be careful if you do this because there was some splattering. Luckily we had a box that protected our wall and carpet. The middle one was even easier because I just took a bunch of yarn and hot glued it to the back of the canvas and then stretched it out and hot glued it again. Super easy! Except that I totally burned the crap out of my fingers. But that’s just because I kind of suck at hot glue guns.

Guess what! I think it’s time for another video. I’m not sure if it’s possible to not love this movie. If you hate fun, you might hate this movie. I’m the King of New York! That’s right! It’s a Newsies clip!

AND GUESS WHAT!?!? NEWSIES IS GOING TO BE ON BROADWAY STARTING LIKE NOW!! WHAT!! YES, PLEASE!

In other news, I am finally starting to do stuff in Nashville. I joined a juggling club! It’s mostly comprised of Vanderbilt students, but I can deal with that. I can already juggle 3 balls pretty well, but the other day I started learning how to juggle clubs! I feel so super cool, like you can’t even believe how cool I feel. I can keep 3 clubs up in the air for maybe about 15 seconds right now.

And finally, to finish off this post of happy things. I’ll leave you with this: OkGo and The Muppets. YES!

Just how cute is that!? It’s super cute! That’s how cute it is! I dearly love the guy in blue and his commitment to the video. He gives the best faces!

<3s! Lindsay

 

 

Recap: Order of the Phoenix

Chapter 2 of Order of the Phoenix, A Peck of Owls, is probably one of my favorite chapters in the whole series. So much action & a ton surprising things happen! We find out about Mrs. Figg, Harry is nearly expelled, Dursleys learn about dementors though Petunia already knew(!!!!!), Harry is nearly kicked out of the Dursleys, and Dumbledore sends Petunia a Howler. Wow. J.K. does an awesome job of conveying the quick updates as owls come in with news. We’re as confused, scared, and frustrated as Harry with the unfolding news. I probably also love this chapter because the Howler Aunt Petunia receives was so mysterious & I loved speculating about it.

One of the things I love about the Harry Potter series (one of MANY I’m sure you’ve learned by now) is how something in the wizarding world applies in our world. A dark example of this is the concept of a pureblood witch or wizard being better than a Muggle-born. It’s racism. I like that J.K. put deep, dark, real concepts in her books because I think people are more likely to discuss racism in a book than racism in real life.

Along these lines are the Death Eaters. It won’t be new to anyone for me to compare them to KKK members but there’s a specific passage in this book that really raises this: In chapter 9, page 154, Harry and Mr. Weasley run into Lucius Malfoy in the Ministry of Magic. Harry is particularly upset since he “had last seen those cool gray eyes through slits in a Death Eater’s hood, and last heard that man’s voice jeering in a dark graveyard while Lord Voldemort tortured him.” When I read this, I couldn’t help but remember terrible thing I’d read in the nonfiction book They Called Themselves the K.K.K. by Susan Campbell Bartoletti.

This book is really when I start to love Ginny and McGonagall even more.  They each really stand out.  Don’t get me wrong, I love them both throughout the whole series, but in this book they step out of the shadows a little bit and truly become memorable characters.  One of my favorite parts is after George and Fred leave (and leave us the fabulous “Give her hell from us, Peeves” line), Peeves does all sorts of things and Harry thinks he hears McGonagall tell Peeves how to correctly unscrew the chandelier.  And with Ginny, I love that when she learns Harry wants to speak to Sirius after seeing his dad in Snape’s worst memory, she instantly starts thinking how they can do it.

Wow, if I thought the end of Goblet of Fire was a race to the finish, this ending is really jam-packed too.  Another of my favorite chapters in the whole series is The Lost Prophecy.  We *finally* learn some answers to mysteries we’d be wondering since Sorcerer’s Stone.  I love Harry’s loud anger juxtaposed with Dumbledore’s quiet sadness.  Harry’s demand that Dumbledore let him out– “if you don’t let me -” “By all means continue destroying my possessions,” said Dumbledore serenly. “I daresay I have too many.” — kills me everytime.

– Jill

Happy 4th!

It’s been a while and I promise to do better in the future. But for now, while there’s still 8 minutes left in my Independence Day, I’d like to share this supremely cool video of a camera attached to a firework (well, several really).
<3s, Lindsay
P.S. Warning – you may not want to have your volume very loud for this. Explosions are gunna happen.

Sooo extremely excited about Pottermore? Yes! but…..

I AM ALSO RIDICULOUSLY ANNOYED THAT ALL THE FANSITES GOT A PREVIEW!

I was soooo thrilled when I first saw the tweet about Pottermore for two reasons: 1. obviously new Harry Potter thingy but also 2. I had a reason to go visit all my old friends over at Leaky and Mugglenet and elsewhere to hear their discussions and see their insider theories!

This is what I read at Leaky:

Leaky has seen a preview of Pottermore and it is breathtaking.

Ummmmm really? REALLY?!

That’s it? THAT IS IT?!

Mugglenet said essentially the same thing.

I would compare what I am feeling now to what it is like when your unicorn turns on you.

WHYYYYYY? I am really really upset about this. I can’t blame them for looking at the preview–who would turn that down? Buuuuuut, it just made me sad. I wanted to feel something similar to what I felt in the years and months leading up to Deathly Hallows–where EVERYONE was wondering and hoping and feeling all at the same time. Instead, the Pottermore excitement crashed into the Whomping Willow. sigh.

Yup, I am seriously all frowny over this! And not because I am jealous that they got to see it before anyone else (because actually that kinda takes the fun out of the surprise, right?), but because they got to see it and thus are SWORN TO SECRECY, they cannot talk about Pottermore AT ALL. ummmmm, doesn’t that kind of suck all the fun out of a fan site? I kind of feel like I was pushed away for not being cool enough.

Me with all the fun sucked out of me. (Image via markopolio-stock of Deviant Art)

Okay, so now I have that off my chest, I will try to go back to being really super excited and hoping and wondering and feeling. Magic is real.

-Amber

Kevin McCallister’s House is For Sale!

I saw Home Alone when it was in theaters and it totally took over my whole life.  I loved every thing about it.  But when you think about it, the real star of that movie is the house.  It is so phenomenal!!!  As a little kid, I couldn’t believe that people actually lived in houses that big or that nice.

Well, now anyone can live in it because the Home Alone house is for sale!!  It’s only $2.4 million.  Come on ladies, we can totally pool our funds together and buy this place for a Nerdgirl hangout.  Right?

Jen