I'm on vacation this week, but just had to leave this message while I was out.
My family and I have just all attended the latest movie premiere, "The Hunger Games", that has the buzz this week. People have been camping out to see it the moment it was released, but we attended a Saturday evening matinee.
I'm not a bit fan of the "shakey camera" technique of post-MTV film making, and there's enough in the first half off this film to make you motion sick. I mean, it was really getting tiring, but I understand the intent to make you identify with the main character and feel her disorientation.
Make no mistake about it, this is a very serious picture, not fun and games. It deserves every bit of the PG-13 rating, if not an R. It is NOT right for kids.
Take one part "The Running Man", add a measure of "The Lottery", a dash of "Dragon Slayer", "Rollerball" and "Logan's Run" and shake well. (And though I haven't seen "Gladiator", I suspect the comparison may be a good one.)
There aren't many great breathers in this intense movie, and no major stars to distract you from the gritty realism. (Though I did spot Woody Harrelson, Toby Jones, and Deep Roy in key roles.)
But just as "Rollerball" clearly portrayed a decadent society with little soul or sympathy for anyone who is not one of the "beautiful people", this movie repeatedly underscores this message.
"Running Man' tried to lampoon the reality contest televised competition, but I think this movie will really make you think about all the live-competition contest programs that have become so popular and numerous on television.
I can honestly say I didn't know what was going to happen next, as I had not read the popular books yet, but I think I will now.
Given how well this film was done, I feel certain the second and third books are almost a certainty to be on the production schedule for the next several years. So watch for them and the books to be re-released.
Do go see this film, but be ready for a bloody, gory gladiator's contest to be played out to the bitter end with several on camera deaths in multiple ways. This film doesn't pull the punches, and it makes you think... as any good film should.