April 23, 2014

Tag Archives: Young adult novels

The immorality of The Hunger Games

By Scott Mendelson
HollywoodNews.com: The Hunger Games, as it exists as a film, is caught between two worlds. One on hand, it wants to be a dramatic thriller about a totalitarian regime that picks children at random and forces them to fight each other to the death for the entertainment of the wealthy masses. On the other hand, it wants to be a series that appeals to mass audiences in order to rack up massive box office grosses and become ‘the next big franchise’.
Note – this is not a conventional review and there will be far more spoilers than usual. So warned…
As a direct result of this conundrum, the picture not only fails as a social/political commentary but becomes an ugly celebration of the very narrative that it should be condemning. By refusing to look directly at its own story and by instead fashioning a convenient morality out of its murderous sporting event, it lets the audience off the hook and even encourages them to enjoy the blood-sport as ‘entertainment’. The film may appear to be mocking reality show conventions and the tendency to emphasize simplistic narratives to alleviate discomfort, but by virtue of what it omits and what it emphasizes, The Hunger Games is a prime example of what it claims to criticize. The film is so afraid to confront the horror of its premise that, in its need to create a mass-audience PG-13 franchise, it makes the cheering audience culpable and every bit as guilty as those who would watch such a thing in real life.
First and foremost, the film fails by refusing to develop or examine nearly all of the 24 Hunger Games contestants. The large number of competitors/victims is actually solved by having eleven of them get slaughtered within the first five minutes of the competition (eight hours in actual time). So the majority of the onscreen competition comes down to thirteen contestants. Other than the lead character (Katniss Everdeen played by Jennifer Lawrence) and her would-be partner/love interest (Peeta Mellark played by Josh Hutcherson), not a single contestant is given any depth. For the majority of the film, we are watching unnamed contestants kill other nearly-faceless contestants. When the cast is whittled down, we are left with the pretty blonde, the cute redhead, the brunette, the tall black guy, the young black girl, the [...]

“The Hunger Games” grossed over $19.7 million in midnight shows

“The Hunger Games” is out of the gate to a record-breaking start. According to studio estimates grossed around $19.7 million in midnight shows. These numbers represents the highest midnight gross for a non-sequel in history.
“The Hunger Games” will open to the general public in more than 3,000 theaters on March 23, and is on its way to gross at least $95 million in its opening weekend.
Enjoy the ‘The Hunger Games’ Premiere red carpet photos:

‘Experts looking ahead to “The Hunger Games” wondering if the adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novel has the ability to fill “Twilight’s” massive box office shoes have a little more indication of just how big the March 23 opening looks to be.
Fandango reports that “Hunger Games” tickets, which went on advanced sale earlier this week, broke the previous first day advance ticket-seller record held by “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” which was set on Friday, May 14, 2010.
“‘The Hunger Games’ is off to a fantastic start,” said Rick Butler, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Fandango, in a release. “We saw the biggest first day advance ticketing sales in our company’s nearly 12-year history – which is especially impressive for a March release and a non-sequel.”
The site reports that theater owners are continuing to add new showtimes, while fans are scooping up advance tickets.
Gary Ross directs this first installment in the “Hunger Games” series, which stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, a teenager enrolled in a futuristic survival contest. Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Wes Bentley, Toby Jones, Alexander Ludwig, Isabelle Fuhrman, Amandla Stenberg, Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland co-star in the drama, which is shaping up to be a massive event.’
Excerpt by Sean O’Connell

Photos by PRPhotos and Lionsgate
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‘The Hunger Games’ Premiere: Red Carpet Photos

HollywoodNews.com: Stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth celebrate the premiere of the first of four planned films based on the trilogy of best-selling novels by Suzanne Collins.
“The Hunger Games” will open to the general public in more than 3,000 theaters on March 23, and is on its way to gross at least $95 million in its opening weekend.
Enjoy the ‘The Hunger Games’ Premiere red carpet photos:

‘Experts looking ahead to “The Hunger Games” wondering if the adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novel has the ability to fill “Twilight’s” massive box office shoes have a little more indication of just how big the March 23 opening looks to be.
Fandango reports that “Hunger Games” tickets, which went on advanced sale earlier this week, broke the previous first day advance ticket-seller record held by “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” which was set on Friday, May 14, 2010.
“‘The Hunger Games’ is off to a fantastic start,” said Rick Butler, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Fandango, in a release. “We saw the biggest first day advance ticketing sales in our company’s nearly 12-year history – which is especially impressive for a March release and a non-sequel.”
The site reports that theater owners are continuing to add new showtimes, while fans are scooping up advance tickets.
Gary Ross directs this first installment in the “Hunger Games” series, which stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, a teenager enrolled in a futuristic survival contest. Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Wes Bentley, Toby Jones, Alexander Ludwig, Isabelle Fuhrman, Amandla Stenberg, Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland co-star in the drama, which is shaping up to be a massive event.’
Excerpt by Sean O’Connell

Photos by PRPhotos and Lionsgate
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“The Hunger Games” tickets going on sale Wednesday

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Easily one of the most anticipated movies of the spring season has to be Gary Ross’s “The Hunger Games,” an adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ bestselling novel that stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, a dirt-poor teen in a futuristic society who volunteers for a hunt-and-kill survival contest in order to spare her younger sister’s life.
For those who haven’t yet read Collins’ books, Katniss’ weapon of choice is the bow and arrow, featured prominently in the latest poster advertising the movie’s move to IMAX. We have it below.
In addition, advance tickets for “The Hunger Games” go on sale Wednesday, Feb. 22. They will be available through Fandango.com, Moviefone.com, and MovieTickets.com, so hop on line and be sure you are the first person in your District to see the new film!

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Taylor Swift to be part of team to Create the Companion Album for THE HUNGER GAMES

HollywoodNews.com:Big Machine Records recording artist Taylor Swift, a four-time Grammy® Award Winner, including the 2009 Grammy® for Album of the Year, collaborated with the Civil Wars and Burnett to write and perform the lead single Safe and Sound, which was launched on iTunes on December 23rd. The song, released for fans to discover organically and promoted directly to Swift’s fans through her Twitter account, shot to the top ten on iTunes overall songs chart, and pop chart within twelve hours of its debut, and was the #1 song on iTunes the same day of its release. #Safeandsound became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter soon after Swift first tweeted the news of the single’s release. The single is available for purchase at: http://WWW.smarturl.it/HungerGames.
2011 Grammy® Album of the Year winners Win Butler and Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire have written a song with Burnett entitled Horn Of Plenty, and critically acclaimed, Grammy® nominated band The Decemberists have contributed an original song, One Engine, both of which will appear on the album to be released in March.
The album will be recorded, mixed and mastered to The Code Standard developed by Burnett and his team, resulting in archival-quality, future-proof tracks that will enable the listener to experience recorded music in the best possible quality across the technological spectrum.
Said Lionsgate’s co-COO and Motion Picture Group President Joe Drake, “We are thrilled to have such a hauntingly beautiful companion album taking shape– T Bone is working with these artists to create something truly incredible and unique that fits perfectly with the powerful themes of the books and the film.”
Added Universal Republic President and CEO Monte Lipman, “THE HUNGER GAMES is a groundbreaking series that is nothing short of brilliant. Universal Republic is delighted to forge a creative alliance with Lionsgate to participate in this franchise’s undeniable legacy.”
About THE HUNGER GAMES
Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. Part twisted entertainment, part government intimidation tactic; the Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains.
Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former [...]

Jennifer Lawrence: “Hunger Games is not Twilight!”

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: For those who’ve read the book, it kind of goes without saying. And yet, Jennifer Lawrence still feels the need to say it.
“‘Hunger Games’ is not ‘Twilight,’” the Oscar nominee told Vanity Fair magazine about her upcoming science-fiction franchise, which will be in theaters in March. “And while I hear the comparisons, it’s really premature to say that it will be the same phenomenon.”
The industry is dying to replace not just “Twilight” but also “Harry Potter” now that those high-powered film series have (or are about to) galloped off into the sunset. And tracking for “Hunger Games” is about as high as Lionsgate needs it to be at this stage.
Lawrence, meanwhile, is bracing for the potential onslaught that could occur if “Hunger Games” reaches “Twilight” status. Could she be the next Kristen Stewart?
“If it does become a crazy phenomenon, I’ll soak up my freedom now,” Lawrence says.
Which is funny, as she already has survived an Oscar campaign for “Winter’s Bone,” the controversy surrounding Jodie Foster’s “The Beaver” and a supporting part in the summer blockbuster “X-Men: First Class.”
I think she’s ready for the media “scrutiny.”
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Lionsgate grabs the “Chaos Walking” trilogy

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: As studios continue snatching up literary series in hopes of finding the next “Twilight” or “Harry Potter” franchise, Lionsgate announces that it has acquired the YA trilogy “Chaos Walking” for adaptation, and will begin with the opening book, “The Knife of Never Letting Go.”
Much like “The Hunger Games,” Patrick Ness’s story takes place in a dystopian future, only here, an infection called the Noise suddenly makes all thought audible, which means privacy has vanished.
“In the ensuing chaos, a corrupt autocrat threatens to take control of the human settlements and wage war with the indigenous alien race, and only young Todd Hewitt holds the key to stopping planet wide-destruction,” according to a release.
More from Lionsgate, which will develop, produce and distribute all three films:
“Although these stories are set in a critical time in the future, they speak volumes about what is happening all over the world today, and about the power of young people to challenge the status quo and change the course of our future,” said Alli Shearmur, Lionsgate’s President of Motion Picture Production and Development, who will be overseeing the production for the studio, with Senior Vice President of Motion Picture Production Jim Miller. “We feel privileged to be bringing these powerful and exquisite books to cinematic life.”
Critics have hailed the trilogy, which is published by Candlewick Press in the US and Walker Books in the UK, as “one of the outstanding literary achievements of the present century,” (The Irish Times), and described it as “furiously paced, terrifying, exhilarating and heartbreaking,” (The Sunday Telegraph.). The Guardian’s Lucy Mangan recognizes the series’ gripping quality and broad appeal, saying “I would press the Chaos Walking trilogy urgently on anyone, anyone at all.”
But The Wall Street Journal makes the most apt reference given that the series has found a home at Lionsgate, noting that “With its dark tone, violence, and readerly fanaticism, the book belongs firmly beside Suzanne Collins’s work.” Lionsgate is also the studio behind THE HUNGER GAMES, based on Collins’s worldwide bestselling trilogy of the same name.
“A sense of urgency and momentum permeates these stories- it makes the books ones you can’t put down, and will make the movies ones you can’t miss on the big screen,” said Drake of his decision to acquire the adaptation rights. “But apart from the story elements, the world in the stories is so vividly imagined. These are books, [...]

Anne Hathaway Photos: Hollywood Movie Photo Gallery of the Day Aug 8, 2011

HollywoodNews.com: Our selected celebrity to be included in our “Hollywood Movie Photo Gallery of the Day” is Anne Hathaway.
Anne Jacqueline Hathaway (born November 12, 1982) is an American actress. After several stage roles, she appeared in the 1999 television series Get Real. She played Mia Thermopolis in The Princess Diaries (2001). Over the next three years, Hathaway reprised that role for The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, and starred in family films, appearing as the title character in Ella Enchanted, both in 2004.

Hathaway was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her father, Gerald Thomas Hathaway, is a lawyer, and her mother, Kathleen Ann (née McCauley), is an actress who inspired Hathaway to follow in her footsteps. The family moved to Millburn, New Jersey when she was six years old. Hathaway has an older brother, Michael, and a younger brother, Thomas. She is of mostly Irish and French ancestry, with distant Native American and German roots.
To read more about Anne Hathaway go to wikipedia.org

Photos by PRPhotos
Anne Hathaway as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises
Anne Hathaway in first-look Catwoman image from Dark Knight Rises
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“Hunger Games” adds Hutcherson, Hemsworth

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Josh Hutcherson let it slip while talking to press at the South By Southwest Film Festival. He was in Austin promoting a horror-comedy hybrid called “Detention,” but he joked that he’d love to join “The Hunger Games,” the planned adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling books.
Today, no one is laughing.
Hutcherson, of “The Kids Are All Right,” and “The Last Song” star Liam Hemsworth have joined Lionsgate’s “Games” in the roles of Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne, respectively. They’ll co-star alongside Jennifer Lawrence. The Oscar nominee has been cast as heroine Katniss Everdeen.
From the release (via ComingSoon):
Peeta accompanies heroine Katniss Everdeen into the 74th annual Hunger Games as the male tribute chosen from their native District 12, the most remote and marginalized district of all the subjugated districts of Panem. At the outset of the Games, Peeta publicly confesses his longtime feelings for Katniss, setting up one of the most fascinating fictional rapports of all time with his supposed arena rival.
Though Katniss and Gale have never had a romantic relationship, they share a transcendent bond, often of few words. When Katniss volunteers to participate in the 74th Annual Hunger Games in her younger sister’s stead, they both presume that bond will carry her far through the horrors she will face in the arena, and they each silently hope they’ll be reunited in safety on the other side of the ordeal.
The Hunger Games will be directed by Gary Ross, and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. Collins’ best-selling novel, which has over 3 million copies in print in the United States alone, is the first in a trilogy of science fiction/action novels which have developed a global following.
The Hunger Games chronicles a dystopic Capitol which requires its twelve subjugated districts to pay tribute in the form of a teenage boy and girl, forced to participate in the annual “Hunger Games,” a fight-to-the-death live televised event. Katniss Everdeen’s little sister is chosen in the lottery to participate and Katniss volunteers to take her place. Although persevering through hardship is commonplace for Katniss, she must start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love in order to win the games and return home. The “Hunger Games” novel has been on the New York Times best seller list for over 100 consecutive weeks. Foreign rights for the book, published by Scholastic have been sold [...]

‘Pretty Little Liars’ star on her character’s changes

HollywoodNews.com: ‘Pretty Little Liars’ star Shay Mitchell has had to deal with a lot of changes in regard to her character, Emily.
Emily finally dealt with her sexuality this season and it helped her to grow, states E! News. “I think it was important for the writers to put [bullying] in there, but it’s [also] fun. [Emily's]‘s going to have a good time [standing up for herself],” Mitchell says about what is happening for her character now.
But just because Emily is coming to terms with these life changes, that doesn’t mean all the other drama will be easier to handle: “A lot of questions you had throughout the season will get answered, but then you will have so many more questions. The unexpected will all occur in this last episode.”
Will you check out the season finale?
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Image by PR Photos

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