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