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Did My Kids and I Devour “The Hunger Games”?

March 31, 2012

Bruce Fretts: Ok, so…

Olive: No, I want to do your intro. We just saw The Hunger Games. What did you think of it, kids?

Jed: You do the intro, Pop.

Bruce: I thought that was pretty good, except I’d have some kind of pun, like “Did you kids EAT IT UP?” (dead silence)

Jed: He does this every time.

Olive: I know. It annoys me, too. It’s, like, sad.

Bruce: Jed, you and I haven’t read the book, but Olive has read parts, so she had expectations going in. During the movie, she kept saying things like, “She’s not supposed to have pink hair!”

Olive: No, she’s supposed to have pink hair, and the cat is supposed to be orange…

Jed: And Lenny Kravitz is supposed to have gold mascara?

Olive: Yes, but it’s eyeliner. Now, you told me people are getting mad because he’s African-American and his character, Cinna, isn’t African-American in the book?

Bruce: Yes, some people online have complained.

Olive: I don’t think that’s bad—I like him as Cinna.

Bruce: I thought he was surprisingly good, considering he’s a rock star, not an actor.

Olive: Oh, I didn’t know that. Then the gold eyeliner was kinda normal for him.

Bruce: He plays the stylist for Katniss, who lives in a dystopian future…

Jed: Kinda like The Lorax

Olive: Can I talk? Every year, they go to the reaping, where kids put their names in a ball. It’s like a raffle, kind of. The Capitol has this tournament every year to remind the people they can control them and kill their children. They can do anything.

Bruce: So they pick 24 kids from 12 districts and send them off into the wild to kill each other until one is left, and that’s the winner of The Hunger Games. It’s an allegory for reality TV, which is why I liked it, because as a TV critic, I have to watch all these terrible reality shows. It reminded me of The X Factor or Survivor, except with one real survivor.

Olive: Is Survivor to the death?

Bruce: No, but this is taking it to the extreme, because some people’s lives are destroyed by reality shows when they’re rejected or humiliated. It’s a satire.

Jed: Isn’t reality TV a satire of itself, though?

Bruce: That’s deep!

Jed: Yeah, yeah. A lotta stuff going on in this head.

Bruce: Jennifer Lawrence plays Katniss, and when she was cast, some fans were upset because they thought she was too old to play a 16-year-old.

Olive: How old is she?

Jed: 21. I love how I know those things.

Bruce: I had no problem with her. I thought she was great. What did you guys think?

Jed: Yeah.

Bruce: Are you going to say more than “Yeah”?

Jed: I’m 15. You can read beyond the “yeah.”

Olive: She’s a good actress, but I wish she’d captured Katniss more. She didn’t look very scared.

Jed: She sorta reminded me of Lois Griffin, the way she kept calling him “Peeta!”

Olive: Who’s Lois Griffin?

Jed: Family Guy.

Bruce: I thought his name was Peter, but was it Pita, like pita bread?

Olive: No, it’s P-E-E-T-A.

Bruce: Oh, so not like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals?

Jed: There was that one scene where the girl was throwing knives at lizards, so I’m pretty sure they don’t give a crap about animals.

Bruce: Josh Hutcherson plays Peeta, and I remember him from Firehouse Dog.
Olive: He’s got a butt chin. What’s Firehouse Dog?
Bruce: We saw it twice!
Olive: And how old was I?
Bruce: 5.
Olive: Exactly!
Bruce: I didn’t like him, because they kept talking about how handsome he is…
Olive: He had a butt chin!
Bruce: I thought he looked like a young Chris O’Donnell.
Olive: Who’s Chris O’Donnell?
Bruce: Exactly!
Olive: He’s supposed to be more of an innocent, a stocky baker’s son.
Jed; More like stalky, with an l. I liked him, but the thing that bothered me was…
Jed: No, the other guy, Gale, gets all upset when he sees Katniss kiss Peeta.
Bruce: That must’ve been how Snooki’s boyfriend felt when she smushed with The Situation.
Olive: What is wrong with you people? How are you connecting this deep, killing movie to Snooki and the Situation?
Jed: Let the record show that I once dislocated my shoulder watching Jersey Shore. Ronnie and Sammi were going at it. I mean, fighting.
Bruce: Were you fist-pumping?
Jed: No, I was very angry and I hyperextended my shoulder.
Bruce: But back to Gale…
Olive: He was the one who aggravated me most. He’s supposed to be one of her best friends ever, and they only show them being friends in one scene.
Bruce: Let’s talk about some of the adults in the movie. Elizabeth Banks plays the silly lady with the purple hair, Effie Trinket.
Jed: Oh my God, I thought that was RuPaul!
Bruce: I thought she was terrible.
Olive: I don’t know, Effie is supposed to be like Splenda—fake sugar.
Jed: Deep, Olive. Deep.
Bruce: Woody Harrelson plays Katniss and Peeta’s mentor, Haymitch. I thought he was awesome, even though his hair was totally weird.
Jed: At least it wasn’t purple, like everybody else’s.
Olive: I imagined him with long brown hair, so they got the long part.
Bruce: And then the head game-maker, played by Wes Bentley, has a curlicue beard. You want me to grow my beard like that?
Olive: Yeah!
Jed: There would have to be a restraining order involved.
Bruce: And Donald Sutherland plays President Snow, the mastermind. I thought he was great. He’s Kiefer Sutherland’s dad—did you know that?
Jed: Hmmm, interesting.
Olive: Who’s Kiefer Sutherland?
Jed: He was on 24. I know that because I used to go around the house screaming, “Where’s Marwan?” and getting Olive in a headlock.
Bruce: Overall, even though I had some quibbles with the cast, I thought it was a great movie. And totally appropriate for a mature, sophisticated 10-year-old girl such as yourself. Were you disturbed by the violence?
Olive: No, I wasn’t disturbed.
Jed: I was corrupted. I went into the theater a little, innocent dove and I came out a lion. I teared off a little girl’s head!
Bruce: Teared off?
Jed: Don’t correct my grammar—I’m a monster!
Bruce: I enjoyed it more than Wrath of the Titans, and not just because I didn’t fall down and hurt my sternum.
Olive: Did you have to use the word sternum?
Jed: I enjoyed The Tigger Movie more than Wrath of the Titans.
Olive: I thought Hunger Games was fine. I’d give it a B.
Bruce: I’d give it an A-.
Jed: I’d give it an A+. It’s one of my top 5 favorites of all time.
Bruce: Is that because you think J-Law, as the kids call her, is hot?
Olive: I’m leaving the room!
Did you find Hunger Games hard to swallow? Let us feast on your Comments!

From → Kid Stuff, Posts

  1. Maayan permalink

    This is hysterical! I agree with almost everything Miss Olive said. The Gayle/Katniss friendship was almost completely ignored, and while the film WAS shot in North Carolina, how hard could it possibly have been to find an orange cat? “Srsly.”, as the young ‘uns say.

  2. arielbraverman permalink

    This is the best review to date. When do Olive and Jed get their their own website??

    • bruceafretts permalink

      When I retire, they’ll take over the family business. —

  3. arielbraverman permalink

    Best review yet! I always thought the Peeta thing reminded me of how Maggie Smith says “Peter” in Hook, which was weird, but I got over it pretty quickly.

  4. Randee permalink

    Fun! But: “Cinna.”

    • bruceafretts permalink

      Thanks! That was my fault. Olive knew how to spell it correctly. I’ll fix it now.

  5. Karen permalink

    your kids are great, thanks for a great review.

  6. michael weithorn permalink

    One huge logic issue that took me out of the movie, and never did stop bothering me. Early on in the games, Katniss is hiding in a tree and sees that Peta has joined with the evil kids to hunt her down. And then she hears the two evil kids whisper, regarding Peta: “Why don’t we kill him now?” and the other one replies “Because we need him to lead us to her.” Okay so, a little later they DO find Katniss, and she climbs a tree again, and they stop trying to shoot her with arrows after, like, one try, and decide to just wait until she comes down. SO WHY DON’T THEY KILL PETA AT THAT POINT?? Not only is there no reason not to kill him (by their own standard), but letting him live puts their own lives in jeopardy because he could turn on them at any moment to help Katniss.

    This was really one of those movie moments for me that was such a breach of the film’s own logic that I never really got back on board.

    Bruce — please ask Olive and Jed for their explanation of this.

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