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Still shot from the movie: The Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games

Take old-fashioned gladiator games and modern-day reality TV programs and you have The Hunger Games. Set in a future time, this survivor show is televised to the masses. But getting volunteers to fight to the death takes a bit of forceful persuasion. When Katniss Everdeen's (Jennifer Lawrence) younger sister (Willow Shields) is conscripted, the older teen selflessly decides to go in her place. Get the movie review and more. »

5

Overall: B-
Violence: D+
Sexual Content: B+
Language: B
Drugs/Alcohol: C+
Run Time: 142
Theater Release: 23 Mar 2012
Video Release: 18 Aug 2012
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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c5fam says: Mar. 23, 2012

Now That’s Entertainment!???

I just left a midnight showing where hundreds of teens packed into multiple theaters to watch the movie version of the now popular book they were assigned to read in junior high English. The anticipation was tangible as they waited to see how faithful the book was going to be to the movie, and if Katniss and Peter were all they had imagined them to be.

What they saw was hard core dehumanization. The fact that we find teens killing each other in big-screen gladitorial combat entertaining marks a new societal low. This is more than a movie, it is a desensitizing and trivializing of life and death as a form of twisted broadcast amusement. Best summarized from a line in the film, “just think of them as the other animals you hunt”. Our kids deserve better role models and food for thought.

lisa.allen@lcu.edu says: Mar. 23, 2012

My 14-yr-old daughter has been mesmerized by the trilogy for over a year. She has also gained a sense of empowerment as she grew to realize that the only way to defeat evil (in whatever form it may take) is to be courageous enough to stand up to it and fight it, even in the face of certain defeat. I’ve read all 3 books, and looking at them from the perspective of parent, reading teacher and librarian I’ve been able to come away with several different, sometimes opposing opinions.

There is no arguing the violence, suffering, and evil in the stories. On the other hand, neither can the courage, valor, and strength of Katniss and other characters be ignored. The opportunities for parents, teachers and mentors to discuss these stories and the parallels to our real world—children as young as 10 being forced to become killing machines in Africa, refugees being murdered as they run from cruel regimes all over the globe, devastating poverty, the list is endless—are invaluable. The only way the terrible things happening in our real world are going to change is for people to become actively involved in fighting those evils.

Without involvement and discussion, the Hunger Games can easily be dismissed as gratuitous violence, but as a teaching tool, it can teach many lessons, especially one very important one—that a single courageous individual has the power to change their world and to inspire others to join in that change.

The trilogy provides the full measure of the positive power of the story. The movie is simply the introduction to the “world” that Katniss and the other courageous characters must decide whether to passively accept or risk everything to ultimately change for the better. Metaphorically, it is very much like the world we now live in.

Emis4 says: Mar. 24, 2012

I do agree with OP lisa.Allen about the Positive aspects of the theme for Hunger Games. I think that the message is better conveyed by the book, though.  By hafting the movie focus more on the action and less on the backstory and character development, the movie falls into it’s own trap of becoming “blood sport as entertainment”

I took my 14 year old to the movie last night but had to leave due to uncontrollable sobbing.

I know “it’s just a movie”....I have read a lot of dystopian fiction, I can appreciate a dramatic battle between good and evil….but I was not prepared for how emotionally I would react to the child-on-child killing.  I found it highly disturbing.

I can only hope that our human values don’t let our culture stoop to the depravity depicted in this movie; sadly, though, I feel that it is all too possible.

PeaceHasBegun says: Mar. 25, 2012

On The Hunger Games film:  Sweetly packaged cruelty that is sure to satiate the appetite of the indifferent and the most unconscious of adults who clearly put the emotional whims of the children’s desires to see inapproprate film content over the more responsible role of being a parent and not the child’s friend.  This film is a glorious testimony to Hollywood’s far to often ability to cleverly package and mass market Schadenfreude (a German word meaning “to take pleasure from someone else’s suffering”)  to our curious children who have methodically been trained to hold the lowest of expectations relative to glimpsing a right of passage that is held to a model citizen standards.  Unfortunately, there a far to few Shepard’s of good conscious (especially in the Hollywood film, music and TV world)  to point the way to a more loving world that works for all.  What’s the real take away message of this film other than the world its a dog eat dog, only the strong survive world filled with cruel hearted adults and wealthy people who psychotically prey on the weak and there is nothing you can do about it other than survive?  Joseph Mengele and Joseph Goebbel are made proud by this film.  Parents who take their children to this film or allow them to go unattended should, in my opinion, consider turning themselves into the police for the careless and reckless psychological endangerment of those they are suppose to love and sanctioned to protect. A wise African Chief once said “You know when the soul of a nation (I’ll again insert “the movie,  music and TV industry”) is sick when the children are violent, the adults are bewildered and there are no elders.”  This film is proof positive of what the Course in Miracles states as its philosophical axiom “There must be another way.”

momoften says: Mar. 27, 2012

It is really sad how desensitized we Americans have become. Sitting in front of a large screen with surround sound with your children, teens and other adults to watch as entertainment, a human hunt is absolutly unbelievable. When your children start play acting this movie hunting, hurting and killing others you will have no one to blame but yourselves.  Parents, open your eyes and use your brains, start parenting your children.  This is wrong and should be stopped, not applauded and supported.  Sick minds write and make these kind of movies and you are stupid enough to pay to go watch it.

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