Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 1

Image via ComingSoon

Rating: 4 out of 5

Over Thanksgiving break I watched “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 1” more out of obligation than anticipation. I’ve been vocal about how much I despised the ending of The Hunger Games trilogy, so this movie is just one step before the major letdown.

That being said, I enjoyed the film more than I thought that I would. Even though it stops short after Peeta’s rescue mission, it was engaging enough during the buildup to keep things interesting.

I also liked the casting of the new characters: Alma Coin, president of District 13 (played by Julianne Moore), and the district’s Roman-inspired squad consisting of Cressida, Messalla, Castor, and Pollux. I’ve always loved Natalie Dormer (of “Game of Thrones” and “The Tudors” fame), and I look forward to her role as Cressida growing in “Pt. 2.”

Similar to “Gone Girl,” this movie emphasizes how media can influence events by spreading certain messages via mass communication. The emerging rebellion on the Capitol is not nearly as important as the cat-and-mouse game that Katniss is forced to play with President Snow through her various propaganda videos and the district’s hacking into the Capitol’s telecom system.

As for Katniss herself, I much preferred her character on-screen than in the book, because readers of Mockingjay are limited to her point-of-view–which, let’s be honest, totally sucks because she’s a crazed, drugged-up trauma survivor suffering from PTSD. She’s still that same person, but fortunately she must share screen time with all the other characters who are actually getting things done.

And despite his infrequent appearances, I give major props to Josh Hutcherson for deftly expressing Peeta’s torturous mental and physical decline. Buzzfeed insightfully reported that “Mockingjay: Pt. 1” challenges Hollywood stereotypes by inverting the “damsel in distress” trope. Here, Peeta is the vulnerable victim and Katniss is the action hero who must save him.

In fact, I would argue that all the characters in this saga are more nuanced and multi-dimensional than the plot as a whole. I may hate the way that Suzanne Collins ends this chess game of hers, but damn do I love the pawns. I can only hope that these amazing actors can evolve in such a way that transcends the fate that awaits them in the final installment.

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Search Terms Lost in Translation

No matter what your subject matter, it’s always amusing to see what search engine terms have led people to your blog. One of my favorite book bloggers over at 101books.net shared his latest batch of search questions today, so I thought that I would offer some of mine, conveniently categorized into the cool, the confusing, and the kinky (it’s an alliterative kind of day!)

The Cool

i’m katniss and i know it

Ooo, is there a Hunger Games parody of that catchy “I’m Sexy and I Know It” song by LMFAO? I can picture Katniss dancing in a Gale and Peeta sandwich like some Vegas go-go dancer. Somebody, be a dear and send me the link, because this would be sweet!

tattoos guys would get for their mom

Aw, isn’t that adorable? Whoever typed this in, I hope you found an inspirational quote or song lyric that your mother would’ve loved. Just be careful with portraits, as I’m sure you saw plenty of horrendously bad examples that make loved ones look like demons from Japanese horror films. So I’m glad you’re doing your research!

Monday poems

Hmmm, if I wrote a poem about Monday, what would it be? “It must be hard for Monday, whom no one’s ever liked. But Monday can be Fun Day, if your coffee has been spiked!” JUST KIDDING! Who am I, Kathie Lee and Hoda? I certainly don’t condone going to work buzzed, but why not cheer yourself up by reading Masterpiece Monday? It’s an instant mood-booster!

The Confusing

ed westwick teeth

I have referenced actor Ed Westwick before, when discussing the richest fictional characters, but this search term has me stumped. Do you like his teeth, or are you being a bigot toward the British? Have you seen the rest of him, because I think you might be missing the point. The man behind the best bad boy on TV, Chuck Bass, has great hair, amazing style, and brooding eyes…but his teeth are alright too, if you’re into that, I guess.

hogwarts teacher table

Are you interested in some literary home decor ideas? Or do you mean an organizational table with all the Hogwarts teachers on it, maybe categorized by subject? I hope it’s the former, because now I’m imagining an HGTV for fictional settings, and I would definitely watch that!

diagram society hunger games

I have a feeling you meant “dystopian,” since “diagram” makes no sense to me. Highly doubt this person meant Venn diagrams, pie charts, and bar graphs. Any guesses, readers?

The Kinky

naked women wearing glasses

I didn’t know that discussing my LASIK surgery would make me vulnerable to pervy search terms, so all I can say to this person is that I’m sorry you didn’t find what you were looking for. I know that people might get the wrong idea from a blog called “Book Club Babe,” but I am not a sexy secretary, schoolgirl, or librarian. Can you imagine what the women over at InsatiableBooksluts.com have to deal with?

glasses sex pics

Oh, now you’re just being lazy. At least the other guy included the word “women.” If you’re going to objectify, you deserve objects only. I hope that you stumbled upon some freaky site of two pairs of glasses going at it, like some Stanton Optical commercial gone awry.

sex poems for my boyfriend

Well, I guess this could be worse. At least you sound like a giving lover. I would personally recommend “To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell, which is like a classier version of an Akon or Pitbull song. Although I must add, nothing says “I love you,” like something homemade!

There you have it! The coolest, most confusing, and kinkiest search terms I’ve gotten so far. What did you think? Can you top mine? I’d love to hear some of your gems!

Literary LOLs

It’s been a lazy Saturday for me as I finish grading my last 20 papers and passing time until my Skype date with one of my bffs. I’ve been surfing the net for giggles, and while I’m currently obsessed with Clients from Hell and #whatshouldwecallme, I found these infographics on BookRiot.com. They all deal with the idea of Katniss, Hermione, and Bella faced with paying rent, so if you enjoy YA heroines, then you’ll like these!

Katniss from The Hunger Games:

 Hermione from Harry Potter:

Bella from Twilight:

Note: All these images are credited to dr b at Book Riot. If you want to reblog, give credit where credit is due! Please and thanks!