Laughing City

Will you be seeing the movie on opening weekend?
Midnight showing!
7%
 7%  [ 2 ]
At some point this weekend
29%
 29%  [ 8 ]
I will wait.
51%
 51%  [ 14 ]
I'm not going to see it.
11%
 11%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 27

Author Message
do not be afraid.
Lost at Forum


So, you say that I was wrong that the film took place in a world separate from the one we live in today when it clearly does and wasn't science fiction when it clearly is and, that somehow negates my criticism of a film you haven't even seen, and you're upset with the way I replied?

I simply tried to show you the same respect i felt you showed me.
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CUBSWINWORLDSERIES
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Went with my wife, daughter, and my daughter's friend. I guess it was the hype that got us to go. Was a good movie. And yes, it reminded me a little of running man. Of course there is the semi-political underpinnings... the 1% want to keep the rest of us in our place, right? Laughing Whatever, it was a fun night out. (heads over to the military and the political threads)
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inorbit
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CUBSWINWORLDSERIES wrote:
Went with my wife, daughter, and my daughter's friend. I guess it was the hype that got us to go. Was a good movie. And yes, it reminded me a little of running man. Of course there is the semi-political underpinnings... the 1% want to keep the rest of us in our place, right? Laughing Whatever, it was a fun night out. (heads over to the military and the political threads)


You do realize that when Rick Santorum is president, all of the children who have been exposed to this kind of subversive propaganda will be removed for re-education, right?
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Saellys
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mr pine wrote:
do not be afraid. wrote:
My favorite thing about science fiction is the ability to create whole other worlds and transport you to them,


i havent seen the movie. and i havent read the books save chapter 1. but my understanding was this takes place on earth.

and i always considered it to be dystopian more so than sci fi.

so, you're points on that I don't think stand.

as far as acting or whatever, I have no say on, as I haven't seen it.

just wanted to point that out.


Having read all the books, I can tell you that Panem is a fundamentally different world from where we live right now, and The Hunger Games trilogy fit best in the genre of science fiction. And yes, dystopia almost always overlaps with science fiction because the authors use certain extreme mechanisms to get their world where it needs to be in order to tell a more compelling story of rebellion against authority (or capitulation to it, as the case may be). The only example that readily springs to mind of dystopia with absolute minimal science fiction elements is The Handmaid's Tale, and even then there are mentions of radiation-generated mutations and the dwindling of the human race due to people not getting pregnant a la Children of Men. Still, by comparison, The Hunger Games may as well have been written by Asimov.

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wilsmith
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What it comes down to is what you mean by "Worlds"

if I take Donotbeafraid literally about his favorite thing in science fiction, I take that to mean the literal worlds I've seen in film like those in Star Wars, Star Trek, Avatar, Aliens etc.

I also understand that by worlds, he means scale and scope, context and environment. There is a World of Terminator. That implies a continuity to me more than a physical/ cinematic place, but more a literary setting, a What If scenario.

I take Mr. Pine's point literally, in that he's saying, The world is Earth, as in what's happening in the film is based on the earth of our reality, albeit further along with aspects of the society and culture magnified and "twisted" in various ways. I extend that to mean, you shouldn't need to elaborate on the nature of the World, when the world is a given, you are instead supposed to infer and juxtapose what you know about our Earth into the Hunger Games take on where it's headed.

I think that's a valid point because that's Exactly what I did as a child when I was a fan of Terminator, the Running Man, Predator, Robocop and all sorts of science fiction that was just a future of the world I was supposed to be living in where a few different things happened. To demand I do more that assume it was my Earth continuity a little further along was tertiary and beside the point. Those stories and films worked for me because I invested in the general plot, and in many cases, had minimal investment in the characters as people, albeit I love when i can and I'm not manipulated and feel slightly abused by how that investment is used by the writers.

Now the World thing wasn't donotbeafraid's only criticism, but that was what he said his favorite thing was and Mr. Pine just addressed that. The points about the film making it self, and the characterizations are fair, and also pretty subjective. Because of this, the point about Sci-fi carries more weight because it comes off as an objective definition of what Science Fiction is supposed to do. I think it was worthy of a more nuanced view, and I think that's what Mr. Pine was getting at, that Donotbeafraid's idea of what constitutes a world, or the necessity for there to be another world that was defined and expressed was subjective too.

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Christian
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Did anyone else have a problem with the shaky camera? I either began to ignore it, it stopped, or I got used to it shortly after the Reaping, but for those first couple scenes...wow. I almost felt like I was getting motion sickness.

I felt like the dialogue was weak in some places. The acting was overall pretty great for a young adult book adaptation, so I have to chalk it up to the writing. I read that a new writer is coming on board for the second movie. Gary Ross is directing, but he won't be writing it. And I honestly hope they don't let Suzanne Collins touch the screenplay either. I think the stories she has created are obviously enjoyable enough, but meh. She is not a good writer, in my opinion. I'm interested in seeing if the new writer does better.

As far as do not be afraid.'s criticism that the film is horribly made, I could understand that I suppose. I disagree, but I get it. I also blame part of that on the fact that they made it on a reported budget of about $80 million. No Harry Potter movie was made for less than $100m, if you need a point of comparison. Gary Ross said that he wrote the script keeping the budget/scale in mind, which is the first time that I have ever heard of a director doing that. I was sort of shocked when I read that. Again, I'm hoping for better with the sequel. I mean, they'll have to shell out more money if they want the Quarter Quell's arena to look good, as described in the book.

My only other complaint (for now) is that the ending seemed sort of abrupt. I know a few people who did not understand Katniss' true feelings/intentions in the last couple scenes. Another result of the book being in Katniss' head and the movie not, I guess, which was a slight problem throughout.

To sum it up: I will be much harder on the sequel than I am on this one. I enjoyed it, but it could have been much better.
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Last edited by Christian on Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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olimario
Laughing Citizen


$155 million weekend


I'm going to read it before seeing it.
Hopefully they get a better director and a bigger budget for the next one.
I have heard that this suffers from looking "cheap".
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mr pine
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i just want to say that Children Of Men is a great movie.

and I would feel that dystopian is a sub genre of sci fi. but, in describing it, i wouldn't say sci fi. I would say dystopian.

but i understand how wrong it is sometimes to from a dissenting opinion on the LC.


the sad thing is, I am more disturbed that October Baby is number 8 for this week, than I am one's inability to respond properly.

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Christian
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mr pine wrote:
the sad thing is, I am more disturbed that October Baby is number 8 for this week, than I am one's inability to respond properly.

Why, because of your political stance in regards to abortion? I have seen zero promotion for it, it received mostly poor reviews, and due to recent political events, I'm sure there are many people who have zero desire in seeing a movie that could be seen as well-timed propaganda. I'm surprised it is even at number 8.
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mr pine
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no. if it was my political stance, one would assume I would be happy it is there.

just sad because it continues to set a precedent that I am not too happy with in regards to "christian" movies.


but, honestly, I can't speak for the film as I haven't, and won't, see it.

maybe it's amazing. but I doubt it.

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wilsmith wrote:
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Saellys
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wilsmith wrote:
...


Long story short, worlds ≠ planets and Panem ≠ Earth/America as we know it. I felt Pine was being egregiously nitpicky in the process of invalidating dnba's perfectly valid points about the film apparently not doing justice to the world of the books. It has much less to do with what sci-fi is supposed to do and much more to do with what a film adaptation of a richly imagined book is supposed to do.

Watch Nineteen Eighty-Four (dystopian science fiction based on a book just like The Hunger Games) and witness that sort of thing done right. The oppressive nature of that society is both jarring and completely immersive--not only are we viewing a different and entirely foreign world, but it's also a deeply entrenched one. Oceania has been that way for a long time, and that knowledge is carried through the mood of the film the same way it was through the exposition in the book. That's how adaptations are supposed to work, regardless of genre--what is explained in a book becomes visual in a film. (A more recent shining example of this was Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.) If I understand dnba correctly, the Panem of The Hunger Games movie feels paper-thin, which is a real shame when compared to the way I felt while reading about it.

Christian wrote:
... they made it on a reported budget of about $80 million.


Holy crap.

Well, to be fair, they needed very little in the way of visual effects for this one. Almost everything I remember from the book could be done practically or with minimal CG; the flaming costumes for the opening ceremony (if they kept those) are probably the most complicated bit of effects wizardry necessary. Nevertheless, that's a dismally small amount of money for the most anticipated film adaptation since Twilight.

mr pine wrote:
i just want to say that Children Of Men is a great movie.


Better than the book for sure.

mr pine wrote:
and I would feel that dystopian is a sub genre of sci fi. but, in describing it, i wouldn't say sci fi. I would say dystopian.


And I maintain that if you had read The Hunger Games (or seen the movie), you would call it sci-fi more than dystopian because the trappings (giant biodomes for death matches, flying vehicles, alchemical clothing, devices that tattoo your work schedule on your arm every morning) hearken more to Asimov than Arendt.

mr pine wrote:
but i understand how wrong it is sometimes to from a dissenting opinion on the LC.


Rolling Eyes I didn't see you forming a dissenting opinion; I saw you baselessly nitpicking dnba's opinion--which is, gasp, dissenting in its own right since everyone else on the planet loves this movie!

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do not be afraid.
Lost at Forum


wilsmith wrote:
What it comes down to is what you mean by "Worlds"

if I take Donotbeafraid literally about his favorite thing in science fiction, I take that to mean the literal worlds I've seen in film like those in Star Wars, Star Trek, Avatar, Aliens etc.

I also understand that by worlds, he means scale and scope, context and environment. There is a World of Terminator. That implies a continuity to me more than a physical/ cinematic place, but more a literary setting, a What If scenario.

I take Mr. Pine's point literally, in that he's saying, The world is Earth, as in what's happening in the film is based on the our reality, albeit in a magnified and "twisted" way. I extend that to mean, you shouldn't need to elaborate on the nature of the World, when the world is a given, you are instead supposed to infer and juxtapose what you know about our Earth into the Hunger Games take on where it's headed.

I think that's a valid point because that's Exactly what I did as a child when I was a fan of Terminator, the Running Man, Predator, Robocop and all sorts of science fiction that was just a future of the world I was supposed to be living in where a few different things happened. To demand I do more that assume it was my Earth continuity a little further along was tertiary and beside the point. Those stories and films worked for me because I invested in the general plot, and in many cases, had minimal investment in the characters as people, albeit I love when i can and I'm not manipulated and feel slightly abused by how that investment is used by the writers.

Now the World thing wasn't donotbeafraid's only criticism, but that was what he said his favorite thing was and Mr. Pine just addressed that. The points about the film making it self, and the characterizations are fair, and also pretty subjective. Because of this, the point about Sci-fi carries more weight because it comes off as an objective definition of what Science Fiction is supposed to do. I think it was worthy of a more nuanced view, and I think that's what Mr. Pine was getting at, that Donotbeafraid's idea of what constitutes a world, or the necessity for there to be another world that was defined and expressed was subjective too.

Well, honestly, even if the "world" of the film is the one I'm living in right now, I still want to feel "transported" into that world, and no longer feel like I'm just staring at a wall, in a movie theatre, with a bunch of strangers, eating expensive popcorn and cheap soda. Science Fiction and Fantasy are my two favorite genres because they don't simply have the power to "transport" you to a world you already know, but to a world nobody has ever known, and that I could never live in outside of a work of art.

The Hunger Games never transported me to it's world, partly because it wasn't well realized as a world in terms of sets, costumes, art direction, special effects, and so on, but mostly because of deliberate choices made by the film makers (extreme close ups, rapid editing, narrow lenses, shallow focus, intentionally bad camera work, etc.), which made it hard for me to even focus on the plot and characters, let alone the world around them. And, yes, the world of The Hunger Games doesn't resemble any world I've ever known (especially not The Capitol or The Arena), and I couldn't just extrapolate what I knew of earth in order to understand them (like, say, with Terminator.)
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wilsmith
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@Saellys Maybe it was a fickle angle to pick up, but that doesn't invalidate the argument, just the intent. I like that you qualified your statement "Earth As We Know It". That's is what I mean by this world twisted, in some of these Science Fiction stories it can still be "the Earth we know, as it could be/ could have been". Nineteen Eighty Four as a book I really dug, and I've never seen the film, but for me, the nature of that version of our reality isn't something that has to be depicted visual, it exists in the characters mindsets and behaviors. It could be set in any time period so long as there is some means by which to have "Big Brother" watching, be it royal spies in disguise, hidden cameras everywhere, empathic children in vats of saline... It's the premise itself that drives that story for me, and you can make an Epic movie with the scale of Blade Runner using 1984 as source text, or you could make something very claustrophobic like Memento, and it would still work as a story if executed properly. So I hear where you are coming from, but the idea that there is only one way to create a film based on an expansive fiction that does it's scope and nature justice, I just don't agree with that. I could easily see Fahrenheit 451 on screen focused on Guy Montag that takes place primarily in his apartment and you scarcely see his world, and when you do it can just be hours, and it would work for me. All you need is the radio and TV's voicing the context of what's going on in his world. It doesn't have to be seen, there's no need for a stylized look so long as the emotion and the tension in the narrative is fleshed out. I'm of that Ilk.


@donotbeafraid

Sounds like they made a film that was deliberately claustrophobic and jarring at times, to create a sense of apprehension and uneasiness. Maybe not the right stylistic choice, but if that was the general sense it creates, making you feel off and uncomfortable, they put you in a world by way of your sensory response. I'm not saying this is what they did, but the advent of handheld footage as a "thing" in mainstream film-making has leaned heavily on it. Call it the "indie" effect.

I'm just playing devil's advocate. I don't know if I'll see it until it's available for home viewing or not, given all the accounts thus far make the theater going experience sound pointless, which for me relates directly to the scope and scale of the film of the visuals more than anything. That doesn't any more of a Sci-fi film than one that takes place on a simple sound stage hanging on a premise and good acting like Frequency. It takes all kinds.

I'm just saying that your preference is valid, but it's a preference, not the definitive authority on the proper execution of Science Fiction.

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Saellys
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I looked back through my post and I could not find any claim to anything remotely resembling "there is only one way to create a film based on an expansive fiction that does it's scope and nature justice". I said it should be immersive and it should take exposition from a book and make it visual, and so it should. If it's not immersive, and if people are explaining things with words that could just as easily be shown, it's not doing its job as a film.
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wilsmith
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Eh, but you were supporting DNBA's preference for certain qualities of Science Fiction, as opposed to Mr. Pine, and the contention Mr. Pine had regarding the nature of Worlds in Dystopian Science fiction. So the discussion covered what constitutes good Science Fiction Film-making, What constitutes a World in Science Fiction, and ultimately What constitutes A Good World In Science Fiction Film Making. So I was just carrying that forward, extending that discussion/ argument, since the criticism of the film under discussion was the quality of the World in which it took place and its depiction in the film, or lack there of.

As far as Film, we are going to get into a Silent vs, Talkie argument if you are serious when you say that a film using words instead of imagery to create an expansive "world" is failing.

I will just give one example of why I feel that's a limiting and unfair criticism:

Big budget beautifully rendered film, great sets and cinematography, but Stiff acting, clunky dialogue, you know, like Episode 1, 2, or 3.

I would have much preferred, a monologue about Palpatine's plotting and rise to power, in a dimly lit room, with Jedi huddle amongst each other, on edge, flinching at every little sound. You've got Ewen Mcgregor and Sam Jackson on retainer to give voice and face to the story. A flash of light, a bang and the sound of a light saber turning on, and cut to Episode 4. Something that simple creates the world we need just as well, if not better than the 6+ hours of Expansive World Creation we got in it's place.

Film-making is visual storytelling. For that all you need is the visual of a story teller, and you can build from there. Story tellers create worlds. The best parts of Star Wars for me were never the action, it was the Exposition by Alec Guinness, or Frank Oz. They created the world of Star Wars above all else because they told me about the "World"/ context of the protagonist's plights in word, not action.

Some of the most disturbing and compelling things I've seen/ heard in film have been things that are only alluded to, depicted off camera, or narrated by a character, but they make the film.

Walken's monologue in the Golden Watch is another example of a world created in a story that is told, not shown. It's late and I am done with spring break as of tonight so I'll have to come up with more later.

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