Archive | March, 2012

May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor!

31 Mar

I loved the books so I obviously had to go and see The Hunger Games as soon as possible. I don’t think I have been this excited in a long time to see a movie. Maybe the fact that I was so excited about it was part of why it didn’t live up to my expectations. I guess I liked it but I didn’t love the movie.

Let’s break this down into things that worked for me and things that didn’t work for me:

Yay!

The actors, I think every single one of them did an awesome job portraying their characters. Some are obviously outstanding:

  • Jennifer Lawrence simply is Katniss, she brings her to life like nobody else could have done it I think. She has that toughness about her, that stoicness, that kick-assness, she portrayed her perfectly in every facet.
  • Lenny Kravitz was awesome as Cinna, just perfect. Cinna is one of my favorite characters in the book and he did such an awesome and classy job with this part. His scenes with Katniss were awesome.
  • Woody Harrelson, there are parts of Haymitch that I disliked (but more about that later) but he did an awesome job and his scenes with Katniss are great.
  • Elizabeth Banks, I’m not a fan of Effie but even I have to admit that she did such a great job and she’s exactly how I pictured her in the book.
  • Stanley Tucci, now I love everything this man does and yet again he was perfect as Caesar.

All the scenes with Rue were wonderful and I cried both times I read the book when she died so obviously I had to cry when she died in the movie. I really liked the scene in district 11 they put in after Katniss’ salute into the camera, it fit perfectly. Speaking of salutes, the quiet salute she gets from district 12 is impressive in the book already but it’s even more so in the movie.

I really liked the silentness of the movie also, it fit the story I think. At first I thought I would have liked some background music but in retrospect I really liked the way they did it now.

The Capitol was amazing, I really liked the way they envisioned all the architecture, very well done! Also in the Capitol are the game makers of course, one aspect I thought was really well done, it was great to see behind the screens and get a better idea of how these games are actually constructed and how much planning goes into them. I also really liked the commentary of Caesar during the games from time to time, they kinda explained certain things you could only know if you read the book so this was a good way to solve that.

The video Effie showed before the reaping was really well done and a quick way to introduce people who didn’t read the book to the history of Panem and the Hunger Games. Also, I can totally see them doing this every year during the reaping to have people never forget.

Nay…

The thing that bugged me most were the battle scenes that were filmed way too quickly. The book is gruesome so film people deal with it! Show what these games are really about and don’t just have us imagine how they are. Especially the last scene with the showdown between Cato and Katniss/Peeta and the mutts was done way too quickly. I get that they couldn’t have dragged it out endlessly but a little more longer to show how bad things were at that moment would have been nice.

Josh Hutcherson’s face, seriously his eyes are too close together. And yes, I realize this is a very random and shallow observation. I’m not a bit fan of Peeta anyway so I didn’t really care for him but that’s a story for another time as this is about the movie.

Haymitch, he was kinda too young and sexy but that was not the biggest concern because Woody did an awesome job, he should have been way more extreme though, more drunk and mean.

While I loved the Capitol’s architecture and all that, I was kinda disappointed by the people, they made them less extreme as they are in the book and there were a couple of bright recurring colors in their clothing, hair and make-up that seemed to be just a little too much calculated in the sense that it seemed like after so many pink, the needed so many blue etc.

The written explanation at the beginning of the movie, I think it would have been better to have it start right away.

The absence of Madge! I thought it was kinda weird that Katniss got the pin elsewhere and not from Madge, the movie was so long already they could have included this part too.

President Snow, I’m not sure what to think about him; I think he should have been and could have been more creepy than he was, although he was pretty creepy already.

All in all

I really liked it and I think they did a great job staying true to the books mostly, with some little flaws that I can live with. Other changes they made really worked in the movie’s advantage so that was really well done. I think the only thing that didn’t work for me are the actual action/killing scenes, the camera was too shaky and too quick, and as I said before already, it simply needed more gore.

I think I’m going with 4 from 5 stars but I might be influenced by the fact that I love the books so much, which gets 5 stars.

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Waking Up The Neighbors!

24 Mar

I went to see Bryan Adams yesterday. It was my first time seeing him in concert and also my first time experiencing such a big stadium concert from a seat in the stands. Usually, when I go to see Gianna Nannini in these big venues I’m standing in front row so experiencing this from a seat up quite high was very different from what I’m used to and I definitely prefer standing to sitting.

Anyway…

Heather Nova was the opening act and it was great seeing her live again, this time with a full band (saw her during her acoustic tour in 2010) but she is definitely an artist that works much better in a small intimate venue I think. Obviously the audience mostly waiting for Bryan to come out didn’t really help with the atmosphere during her set. Nonetheless, I enjoyed her set and it was great to hear some of her new songs.

Bryan was great, I had never seen him live but I’ll definitely be going again. He sounds great live and as this was a greatest hits shows, you basically know every song. I really appreciated the fact that the stage was quite bare and they just had the big screens (all in black and white, save for like a little bit of the artwork for some songs) and there was not a big show made out of lights. He and his band were also dressed very simple, all in jeans and a black shirt. I really like toned down shows like this because I go to see the artist and hear the music and not see some elaborate light or circus show and ten different outfits. His voice sounds as good live as it does on the albums and I was stunned by the fact that he played for two and a half hours straight, quite impressive. He did however not move around a lot and when he did he just walked across the stage so that probably also helps in saving some energy but singing 25 songs straight is very impressive all the same. It was awesome hearing all those songs I was expecting to hear from some ballads to Summer of ’69 and then some more that made me think “oh yes, that’s by him also!”

Even though the show itself wasn’t very energetic in the sense that he didn’t run around a lot, his calm energy was great to see also and I was happy that show in general leaned more towards rock than ballads but obviously songs like (Everything I Do) I Do It For You can’t be left out in one of his shows but those calm moments were kinda nice and while the song is kinda boringĀ  on itself, it was a nice moment when it appeared.

One last shout-out his guitar player Keith Scott, one of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing live!

Aside

First posts are the hardest

18 Mar

I don’t really want to start with some random topic so I guess I’ll just do that introduction thing and what I plan on doing here.

I’ve tried to come up with a theme for this blog but nothing really seemed to be something that was a fit. I could do a cooking or baking blog, both things I liked to do but I don’t try new recipes regularly enough to make a blog out of it. I like to read but to only write about books didn’t really appeal to me, and besides there’s Goodreads where I easily add a little review after reading a book. On top of that I’m getting my PhD in Canadian Literature so I should be writing about books in another form. So I decided to just make this a mix of everything I feel like stating my opinion on. Might be movies, books, recipes I tried, concerts, tv shows or other things I like or feel strongly about.

I’m still in the process of getting my about page done properly so I’ll tell you a bit about myself in this place.

As I mentioned up there, I’m working on my dissertation in Canadian Literature. Before this I got my MA majoring in English Literature with English and Italian Linguistics as my minors. I’m 32 and I live in The Netherlands but I live so close to Germany that I can work and study there, and I happen to be Dutch and German. I work as an English/Dutch/Italian (and sometimes German) tutor/teacher but am looking to get a job in academia. Further I am a writer for Wit & Fancy, an online magazine for women by women.

I already mentioned that I like to read but I also watch too much TV and I like to go to the movies and concerts. I like food so from time to time I try out new recipes. I got a dog and because of him I have gotten much more aware of animal rights. Other causes I’m passionate about are women’s rights, human rights and gay rights. I love to travel but most of the time I find myself flying here and there to attend yet another concert of Gianna Nannini.

Other places you can find me on the internet are: