Life. Is. Good!

Self has been testing the waters with her Hunger Games posts.  Apparently, it’s not too obnoxious for self to keep posting.  Let’s just say, the idea of getting a Peeta pillow is becoming less and less far-fetched!

(For what it’s worth, she’s also considering getting tickets to the Britney Spears comeback tour.  Because Miley made self appreciate Britney a lot more than she used to.)

First, an explanation for the title of this post:  WordPress now has a two-step log-in system, for greater security.  That is, every time self signs in to her blog, she has to look up a code that WordPress texts to her.  And her message alert is a voice chirping:  LIFE IS GOOD.  And now she hears it about 10x a day.

OK, now to the Hunger Games.  From the very first book of the trilogy, self’s favorite character was PEETA.  Honestly.  She didn’t want to finish reading the first book because she didn’t want to read the Peeta death scene.  She knew Katniss wouldn’t die (It’s a trilogy — duh!  Moreover, it’s a trilogy told entirely in first person, so unless Collins planned to have someone take over the narration from Katniss, self was pretty sure Katniss would survive all the way to the end).  She felt little anxiety about her fate.  On the other hand, Collins tricked self into believing that Peeta was totally expendable.  Self kept thinking he would be off-ed at any moment.  And she found she just couldn’t stand the thought!

The other thing self noticed, now that she’s re-reading the books, is how much the future shares with the past.  There’s a study in Katniss’s house in Victors’ Village, for one thing.  People still eat cookies.  They still know what a cake is.  Bread.  They need bakers.  They ride trains.  So the future (She will stay away from using dystopian, which is a word she’s heard about 50 times since Catching Fire hit theaters) is just like the past.  Or the immediate past.  Except that there are no cars.  And people ride chariots like in Roman times.  At least they do during Capitol processions.

Why do the houses of the future look just like the houses now?  Why does District 12 have only one baker?  What do people eat, aside from lamb stew, bread, cake, squirrel, goat, and cookies?  Who has money to buy cookies when everyone is starving?  What is the diet of the denizens of District 12?

So self noticed yesterday that there is a scene where Katniss, Finnick, Mags and Peeta have to run from something (self forgets what), and Katniss spurts ahead of everybody, leaving Peeta way behind.  Stranded!  Looking after her!  This is so out of character, self must say.

But, to be fair, there is another scene later on where it is Peeta who spurts ahead of Katniss.  And never looks back!

When push comes to shove, self had to conclude, it’s really every man for himself!  Heck, if self were in the arena, and The Man was slowing down (He IS four years older), who knows whether self, too, like Katniss in that one scene, would spurt ahead saying, Ta-ta, Dear One!  Of course, thank God self has never been tested in this way.  Human nature can be very ugly.

Each of these scenes lasts only a few seconds.  But they are really total contradictions to their supposed characters, right?

Anyhoo, enough with the nit-picking.  Self suddenly noticed the music.  And she thinks the music was absolutely key to the entire movie:  in the beginning it is grand and melancholy, almost dirge-like.  The orchestral part is very beautiful.

Later, on the beach scene?  The music changes and becomes romantic!  Which is how self knew what Lawrence was kinda aiming at, with Katniss and Peeta.

Finally, self noticed this little detail even from the first viewing:  after the Quarter Quell is announced, and Katniss learns that she’s headed back to the arena, she has this melt-down and runs to the woods.  Then, she suddenly thinks, Peeta!  And runs to Haymitch’s house.  And when she comes in the door, she knocks something over.  A brazier or a pot or something.  Anyhoo, whatever it is, it makes her appear clumsy.  Clumsy and distracted.  Which is perfect!  So glad that was left in the movie.

Then, Jena Malone’s voice.  Self was initially so distracted by Jena’s cheeky affect that she didn’t notice that Jena’s voice is high and even little girl-y.  Listen to the voice without looking at the screen, and it sounds almost impossibly arch.  But this is part of what makes her performance as Johanna so interesting.  The voice is girl-y, but the eyes smolder with rage.  The balance between these two polar opposites is killer.  Self absolutely loved every moment that Jena Malone was on-screen.  Every single moment.

By the time the allies prepare to instigate Beetee’s electrocution strategy, there are only two, at the most three, non-alliance members left:  Chaff, xxx and Enobaria.  What. A. Lot. Of. Trouble to go through for three people, wouldn’t you say?  Amazing that none of this hoo-ha from Beetee aroused Katniss’s or Peeta’s suspicions.  I mean, OK, so everyone else (Finnick, Johanna, Beetee) were trying to position Katniss for the escape craft.  Did they have to separate Peeta and Katniss?  Why couldn’t they both have been picked up at the same time?  Then there would have been no hijacked Peeta!  Then Katniss for sure would have ended up with Gale, instead of having her feelings manipulated by hijacked Peeta!

Some reviewers have said that the close-up of Katniss’s face at the end was chees-y.  Are they kidding?  It was so over-the-top theatrical, it was perfect!  People, we are not in the land of Christian Bale movies!  We are in Panem!  Where the whole point is to kill!  Kill!  Kill!  We are rooting for Katniss to exact malevolent revenge!  She’s like the Seven Samurai of Kurosawa, all in one person!

Finally, and this MUST be said:  What happened to all the Asian Americans?  Were they wiped out in an Apocalypse?  Leaving only African Americans and white Americans?  Because Panem IS America, right?  Currently, there are many Asian Americans, especially in California.  So rafts of them must have disappeared in the Apocalypse.  Sort of like how the Asian American, in every horror movie to date, is there to be eliminated within the first couple of minutes of a monster attack.

Perhaps self has been spoiled by reading Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker.  Hoban created a whole new language:  A man named Adum was split apart and the parts of him became Eusa.  People in that future time were stuck with this fable-like explanation for the Apocalypse because when the Apocalypse happened, science disappeared.  Labs disappeared.  All people had left were stories.  Which of course, got passed along by mouth, which was the reason for so much distortion.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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