March 23, 2012, - 6:33 pm
In seven years as a movie critic, I’ve learned a few undeniable truths of the box office. One of them is: don’t believe the hype. You’ll always get burned. Another: there is little originality. Everything is either derivative or flat-out ripped off from something else. And so it goes with “The Hunger Games,” the much overhyped, overrated, and totally ripped-off movie that debuts in theaters, today. Sadly, this disgustingly violent and mostly soulless and unentertaining movie is marketed to kids, as the natural evolution from popular “Young Adult” lit. And it logs in at a slow-paced, sluggish two-and-a-half hours of undue self-importance.
In 2007, I reviewed “The Condemned,” a WWE-produced movie about 10 killers dropped on an island for a live reality-show game. The object was to be the one remaining survivor and would be rewarded with freedom and fame. Only one could live and the rest would have to die, mostly from being targeted by the others for death. I panned this sick “killing porn” movie, as did most critics. But, now, the same critics are gushing over a rehash of virtually the exact same plot in the long, slow, and extremely boring, “The Hunger Games.” The only difference is that, in “The Condemned,” the master of the game is a billionaire TV producer. In “The Hunger Games,” the master of the game is the President of a new fictional country, residing with his fellow elitist rich people in the “Capitol.” Both are typical lefty Hollywood constructs of capitalist creeps, who have no regard for human life, creating televised reality shows involving torture and death of “the little people” a/k/a “the 99 percent.”
It’s amazing how typically left-wing movie critics will gush over something as “high brow” when it is dressed up with Donald Sutherland (the President), Woody Harrelson, Elisabeth Banks, and young up-and-coming stars and wrapped in the phony label of “social commentary,” when it’s really just a repeat of the WWE product starring Stone Cold Steve Austin. (A reader of this site, “Ghostwriter,” notes that the storyline of “The Hunger Games” also sounds like a rip-off of “Battle Royale,” a Japanese movie about a bunch of teenagers that were taken to an island and forced to kill each other under the “Battle Royale Act.” You have to wonder if “Hunger Games” author Suzanne Collins saw either of these movies. I wouldn’t bet against that, as plagiarism is rewarded in America, and she’s rolling in cash from these books and now as executive producer of the movie.) I understand that the movie follows the first “Hunger Games” book very closely.
The thing is, “The Condemned” was rated “R” and meant only for adults. “The Hunger Games” is marketed to young teens with a PG-13 rating. But it is just as violent. That it isn’t an “R” movie is appalling. It deserves it . . . unless you think a close-up scene of one boy smashing another boy to death, with repeated bloody hits of a rock to his head, is good for kids. Sadly, so many “parents” in America are sperm and womb/egg donors who just want to be friends with their kids. And they will send their kids to see this, even take them there. Anyone who allows their kids–even teens–to see a snuff film, as this definitely is, should be tried for child abuse. At the very least, they are pimping out their kids to Hollywood violence and killing porn.
And part of the violence in this crappy flick is of the phony feminist variety–that women can kick butt and beat men much bigger than them. It’s not believable. Sadly, the movie has already made millions in advanced ticket sales and Thursday Night Midnight showings, which will falsely lead Hollywood to believe that America wants to buy into the BS that a slim, athletic girl can beat muscular guys twice her size and outlast them in the wilderness while they are trying to kill her. Sorry, but America doesn’t want that kind of fantasy, no matter how much feminists wish to make it so. In this movie, the male love interest to Katniss Everdeen, the heroine of the movie, is a crybaby, very weak, and an effeminate wimp with frosted hair, whose life is saved several times by the more masculine chick. Several women’s studies professors have been quoted in articles hyping this chick-kicks-butt movie. That ain’t real life, hags.
The story is more anti-capitalist left-wing bull-crap. It is a dystopian future and what used to be America is now called Panem. It’s divided into twelve districts of different types of working-class poor: farmers, coal miners, electrical workers, etc. They are not allowed to hunt for food, and, instead, the kids, aged twelve and up, must put an extra ticket with their name into a lottery, each time they want more food. Once a year, two names are drawn from each district: a male and a female, who must fight to the death–killing each other to survive and win–in a televised reality show in the Capital, a place filled with very rich, gaudy people in bright, clown-like clothing, make-up, and hairstyles. It’s sort of a modern day man-versus-man in the coliseum minus the culture and history, in this case mixed with a little bit of the most unreal Gloria Steinem/Betty Friedan feminist BS fantasy imaginable. The weak, nonsensical story is that because there was a violent revolution and war, the Hunger Games, as the contest is called, are held to remind the different districts of the cost of war and revolution.
Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is an expert bow-hunter from District 12 (the coal miner district). She illegally hunts animals to sell and to feed her family, which consists of her inept, mentally weak mother and her sister, who has just turned 12. When the annual drawing of names for the Hunger Games occurs, Katniss’ young sister is chosen, and Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and a guy from District 12 (Josh Hutcherson) are the chosen two and make their way to the Capital, where the residents snobbishly examine them and watch the Hunger Games.
As I said, Katniss outlasts all the others, and it’s just not believable. And it’s neither exciting or interesting. Just warmed over. I didn’t like the killing porn the first time when I saw it as the WWE’s “The Condemned.”
I like it even less as the regurgitated, feminist version aimed at “young adults.”
But America is made up of a bunch of suckers and sheep, so many of them racing to see this movie, having bought online tickets months ago. They eagerly ingest and digest the swill served up to them, without thought or hesitation. The other night, actress Kristen Bell uttered the most airheaded and sad comment of all about the books from which the movie was made:
This is the piece of literature that in a hundred years we’ll look back on and it will be the best thing we’ve ever written.
Spoken like a true moron. But, then, as the popularity of this movie and the books behind it proves, we are a nation of morons.
FOUR MARXES PLUS A BIN LADEN PLUS FOUR BETTY FRIEDANS
Watch the trailer (which they won’t allow anyone to embed from YouTube).
Tags: Battle Royale, Chris Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland, Elisabeth Banks, Elizabeth Banks, Hunger Games, Hunger Games movie, Hunger Games review, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Katniss Everdeen, killing porn, Kristen Bell, movie, movie review, Panem, snuff film, Suzanne Collins, The Condemned, The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games review, Woody Harrelson, WWE, Young Adult, Young Adult Lit, Young Adult literature