The Hunger Games
(On Blu-Ray & DVD Saturday)
As many will be screaming in comments sections around the web this week, The Hunger Games is similar in storyline to the 2000 Japanese film Battle Royale, both featuring casts of teenagers forced to fight to the death for society’s amusement. In the case of The Hunger Games, that ugly ritual is part of a post-apocalyptic future where the wealthy, powerful Capitol district rules over the 12 less-powerful districts with an iron fist. As punishment for rebelling against Capitol, each year one boy and one girl are chosen as “tribute” and forced to fight until only one teen remains. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers, not in hopes of the wealth and fame a victory will bring, but to protect her younger sister, who had been chosen by lottery to be one of the year’s contestants.
The first Hunger Games movie has brought in over half a billion dollars worldwide, so I think it’s safe to say that Hollywood has found their next Harry Potter/Twilight. And with mostly positive reviews for the flick, thankfully it sounds like the Hunger Games franchise will be more of the former than the latter. While I haven’t sampled either the film or the movie, I’m thrilled by anything that can get kids excited about reading these days. I’m doubly thrilled if the book in question is better than the Twilight novels (not a high bar to surmount, I grant you). Hopefully the Hunger Games, both film and novels, will inspire a few teens out there to venture deeper into the science fiction world and discover names like Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Ben Bova, Vernor Vinge, and others. In the mean time, hey, it’s a movie you can watch with your teenage daughter that won’t make you want to scoop your eyes out with a melon baller!
The Hunger Games hits Blu-ray and DVD this coming Saturday, oddly enough, with a midnight release happening in numerous places.