Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Hunger Games: Quick Thoughts

I just got home from seeing the film of The Hunger Games. Here are some stream of consciousness quick thoughts:

  • I’m a fan of the books and the film held to the first book extremely well. It’s been about 2 years since I read the first book though.
  • The shaky camera work at the beginning of the film was very annoying
  • The casting was really good. Except for Peeta. I can do without Josh whatshisname.
  • In several cases, the casting exceeded my expectations – they imagined better people for the roles than the people I imagined when I read the books (Haymitch, for example).
  • Jennifer Lawrence was solid and engaging.
  • The chariot scene was nowhere near as dramatic as it was in the book.
  • Gary Ross directed a great film, and the cinematography is great. However, both get points off for the stupid shaky camera at the beginning. (I’m okay with shaky in the action scenes.)
  • The gore level is low. The intensity level of the film is high, though.
  • As a social commentary, the film could have turned up the dial a notch. The parallels between the Capitol and the 1% are obvious, and while clearly evident in the movie, the politics were more subtle. That may change in the next two installments though. I think this first one is more about the exploitation of the kids in the games.
  • Things left out of the movie, or altered, didn’t concern me too much. That could be because it’s been a while since I read the books though.
  • There were a lot of young teens in the sold-out theater. They were not annoying – no phones, giggling, etc. Only things like gasps of astonishment – especially for people who didn’t seem to have read the books. I’d like to thank my fellow theater patrons for a pleasant movie experience.
  • Looking forward to Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Can we have them soon?

P.S. One other thing… Even though mostly unrelated, this film gives me a glimpse into how good an Enders Game film can be in the right hands.

Cheerwine Banana Bread Recipe

3 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup oil
2 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup Cheerwine

Preheat oven to 300 F. Coat 9 x 5 in. loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. In mixing bowl, mash the bananas and set aside. Without cleaning the bowl, mix the sugars, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and bananas and mix well. Add the Cheerwine and mix until smooth. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and place on baking sheet. Bake for 75 minutes, or until it tests done.

This banana bread is dark and moist and the top crust is sweet with a little crunch. The flavor of the Cheerwine is subtle – you could use another soda if you wish… you know, if you don’t want to be as awesome. 🙂