I’m Not Hungry
A few years back when the Twilight craze hit, I had a coworker who insisted I read Twilight. She proclaimed it was the most amazing thing to ever be printed and I was seriously missing out. It got to the point to where she’d leave the book at my desk during her two-hour lunch so I would pick it up. Eventually I did and eventually I made my way through the series. I did not take her advice and go see the movie in theaters; I think the casting choices were horrible for the majority of the cast, especially Edward and Bella, and had no interest in sitting in a theater surrounded by prepubescent girls and washed out cougars.
Now I hear that the new craze is Hunger Games. I had no idea there were books until I was schooled by a friend on Twitter. Unfortunately, as much as I respect her opinion, I won’t be checking out the books or the movie. The only knowledge of Hunger Games I have is from the preview of which I’ve seen twice, once in the theater prior to another movie and once at home with my husband. Perhaps I don’t understand the concept, but the preview didn’t excite me or interest me enough to want to check it out.
Before you begin yelling at me about how amazing Hunger Games is and how I shouldn’t bash it, let me clarify. I don’t know anything about it outside of one preview. What turns me off to it is the hype that is building and the “OHMIGAWD you HAVE to read/watch this!” I fell into that with Twilight, and while I wasn’t let down with the books, they weren’t quite as fantastic as everyone made them out to be. The films had some great actions scenes in them, but were also nothing special and certainly not worth the insane attention and praise they are receiving.
The same thing happened with Harry Potter; parents were forcing their children to read the books and the movies were something you HAD to see or you’d be missing out. Now, I actually do think the Harry Potter series was worth it, but the insane hype with the books turned me off to picking one up and I still have yet to read one due to the annoyance I felt at bookstores being overrun and being asked multiple times a day if I’ve read the latest book yet. The films were also ruined for many people by others who read the book and set forth to spread spoilers, something easily done due to the insane popularity of the series.
Hunger Games could very well be the most brilliant piece of work to come to the silver screen this year and an equally brilliant piece of writing. I’m not arguing for or against it, nor do I have an opinion on its quality. Once it comes to Showtime or Encore, I may do what I did with Avatar and try it out since it’s not costing me anything but a couple of hours of couch time, but the preview simply hasn’t done enough to get me interested and I refuse to be sucked into the craze for no other reason than it’s the thing to do right now. Lately, films have been exaggerated on their worth and value prior to premiering and then failed to impress at the box office. Meanwhile, amazing films have slipped under the radar and not done as well as they should at the box office because the general public is too busy with the latest popular thing.
Let me step away from Hunger Games for a minute, as I can’t comment on the aesthetics of a movie I haven’t seen or book series I haven’t read. With every year that has gone by, films subtract elements of realism and replace them with computer generated graphics, backgrounds, sounds, and anything else their machine can artificially manufacture. Less original films premiere, replaced by sequels, reboots, or films based on a character or idea that has already existed. Storylines have gotten less important since amazing visuals can distract the audience from a lack of a great plotline. Money has become the motivation rather than creating something of true quality, and we the viewing public are used as a tool to make mediocre creations sound so much better than they truly are by being given teasers and loaded reviews from people we admire.
From what I heard about the reboot of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, for example, made it sound like living art and a film that would be at the top of its genre and of movies in 2011 in general. After seeing it and going in with wild expectations, I was very let down. Putting the original aside, I believe the extreme hype of this film and being told over and over again how amazing Rooney Mara was and how immersed she was in the role was a huge downfall of The Girl With. The promotions techniques used to get people talking also succeeded in disappointing audiences who expected Mara and this film to wow us beyond anything we’ve seen before.
I’m trying very hard to leave the hype behind and to look beyond the bells and whistles to see what actual quality is lying in theaters now and is coming soon. This may result in me missing out on a treasure in Hunger Games, but for me it is a step in the right direction. The reasoning for us becoming interested in something should be more than being told that we HAVE to get into it or it’s SO amazing. We should demand more knowledge beyond something’s level of popularity or ratings from the critics. We shouldn’t have to be told to get interested, but rather be presented with enough for us to WANT to be interested. The Twilight phenomena isn’t going to work on everything and can’t be relied on as a way to gain an audience. Sooner or later, you have to let the work stand on its own.
Posted on March 2, 2012, in TV/Movies and tagged harry potter, hunger games, kristen stewart, robert pattinson, rooney mara, the girl with the dragon tattoo, twilight. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.