And it was decreed that each year, the 12 districts of Panem should offer up a tribute of one young man and woman between the ages of 12 and 18 to be trained in the art of survival and to be prepared to fight to the death.
I saw "The Hunger Games" Saturday night: really thought very highly of it. Perfectly-aimed at young teens (and those who are young teens in spirit). With its perfect aim and dystopian science-fiction edge, "Hunger Games" reminds me, oddly-enough, of "Dune" (except aimed at girls instead of boys). And it's very much in line with the Promethean movie of the Reality TV genre, an under-appreciated science fiction masterpiece (because it came so early and was unavailable for decades, until recently, via YouTube), 1968's "The Year Of The Sex Olympics".
The number of excellent videos on YouTube that refer to "The Hunger Games" (including parody videos) is vast, but I liked this one, done with alternative actors (who apparently auditioned for the roles).
What did Roger Ebert think of "The Hunger Games"?:
Like many science-fiction stories, “The Hunger Games” portrays a future that we're invited to read as a parable for the present.I think Roger Ebert is too ambitious for the movie. The first job is to survive. Social criticism can come later. And in any event, it's quite clear Katniss and Peeta ARE self-aware: it's just that they are BUSY!
...As the story opens, the annual ritual of the Hunger Games is beginning; each district must supply a “tribute” of a young woman and man, and these 24 finalists must fight to the death in a forested “arena” where hidden cameras capture every move.
This results in a television production that apparently holds the nation spellbound and keeps the citizens content. Mrs. Link, my high school Latin teacher, will be proud that I recall one of her daily phrases, “panem et circenses,” which summarized the Roman formula for creating a docile population: Give them bread and circuses. A vision of present-day America is summoned up, its citizenry glutted with fast food and distracted by reality TV.
...One thing I missed, however, was more self-awareness on the part of the tributes. ... Nor do Katniss and Peeta reveal much thoughtfulness about their own peculiar position.
...Director Gary Ross and his writers (including the series' author, Suzanne Collins) obviously think their audience wants to see lots of hunting-and-survival scenes, and has no interest in people talking about how a cruel class system is using them. Well, maybe they're right. But I found the movie too long and deliberate as it negotiated the outskirts of its moral issues.
In conclusion, Taylor Swift's "Safe and Sound". For Rue....