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The Hunger Games: Movie Marathon Preview

November 13, 2015

written by Brian Shesko

In preparation for the release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (in theaters November 20), Student Activities presents The Hunger Games: Movie Marathon, taking place on Saturday, November 14 in the LaHaye Event Space. The movies will be shown as follows:

  • The Hunger Games – 7:00 p.m.
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – approx. 9:30 p.m.
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 – approx. 11:59 p.m.

The Hunger Games movies have certainly earned the right to be called “blockbusters.” The first three movies have earned over $2 billion, putting them in 20th all-time on the list of top-grossing movie franchises. The release of Mockingjay – Part 2 should propel it at least into the top 15, if not higher. As with other movie franchises based on popular novels, The Hunger Games has been an engrossing experience from the beginning. Based on critical reception of the first three movies, it can be argued that The Hunger Games is one of the new standard-bearers of movie adaptations of novels, remaining true to the story as it originally appeared, the clearest sign that Suzanne Collins participated in crafting the screenplay. Perhaps more quality like this may help get us closer to a truce in the everlasting battle between Books vs. Movies. In one sense, it is a bit sad to think that people are so, well, hungry to see the embodiment of a novel’s characters, discontent to leave those characters on the page in their minds. But that is the reality of the entertainment industry we feed. Positively, however, it is only natural to want to see the action, the settings, and the characters who so capture our imaginations. This shows the power of movies to tell our stories, and when performed well, the value of strong actors.

The cast of The Hunger Games is one of the most celebrated aspects of the movies, starting of course with Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen. Whoever plays Katniss in the eventual reboot of the franchise will have a hard time taking her away from Ms. Lawrence. As other reviewers have noted, her performance is a near-perfect complement to the gray sadness that characterizes Panem, an outstanding portrayal of “scarred survivor and a reluctant symbol.” Josh Hutcherson receives high marks for his performance as Peeta Mellark, so what if he’s not as handsome as Liam Hemsworth/Gale Hawthorne? Few actors could be better as President Snow than Donald Sutherland, calm yet maniacal, increasingly devilish as the series proceeds. The name value of the remaining, supporting cast is high, with Stanley Tucci, Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, and Philip Seymour Hoffman all adding a great deal to an already outstanding list of performances.

Is there redemption in The Hunger Games? Yes, very much so. Both Katniss and Peeta demonstrate the high virtue of self-sacrificial love (please see Amy Simpson’s thoughts on Peeta as a Christ-figure in the movies). Despite the horrors of the Hunger Games themselves, and in the face of oppressive evil, Katniss represents hope to the masses, hope that extends beyond immediate circumstances, pointing to the possibility of a better future. It is hope in the face of fear, the two adversaries that characterize all of life. The Hunger Games deals with these issues in a compelling way, using racism, class distinctions, traditional gender roles, political corruption, and biting critique of entertainment-saturated culture as backgrounds. These movies are well worth your time and attention.

Please enjoy the FREE popcorn, get some good snacks and drinks, and enjoy The Hunger Games: Movie Marathon, brought to you by Student Activities.