Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekend in review

FAO DR. REI - this post might contain Hunger Games movie spoilers!  You've been warned!  Same goes for anyone else in my pathetic readership who hasn't seen the movie yet.

This weekend was kind of bucktown.  We went with some crew to AYCE Hot Pot for dinner and it was THE BEST!  Well, some people didn't love hot pot as much as we do.  I find it odd, and I know that Dr. Rei considers it like, a personal insult any time I take friends to a Markham favorite that she's been to and they don't like it as much as she does.  In her mind, that means they don't "deserve" to go.  LOL!  It's kind of cute.  Is it wrong that I secretly agree?  You're either on board or you're not!  You either can accept the glory of AYCE hot pot (and the unlimited eggs for dipping!) and cold, sweetened (and free!) chrysanthemum tea into your heart or you can't.  

It's the same with the Hunger Games.  I've basically turned into a one-woman Hunger Games defender.  There's been some kind of weird anti-Hunger Games backlash popping up on my social media and I swear, I'm turning defending the Hunger Games into a part time job.  I get so mad!  Why haters gotta be hatin' so bad?  Seriously?  It's always the duy-duys who have no idea about popular culture and dislike anything that's popular, too.  Guys: SOMETIMES PEOPLE GET IT RIGHT (ie. suffrage, civil rights, public healthcare, Harry Potter, the Hunger Games).  It's okay!  It's not that big of a deal to participate in a collective cultural experience!  It's also always the same duy-duys who like, dislike it because it's not "intellectual" like, say, Mad Men.  People talking about how "intellectual" Mad Men is makes me want to braf.  HOW?  WHY?  Because it's super-boring?  It's such an insular character study.  Even though I find i the least-compelling television ever, I can get the appeal.  But don't be trying to convince me that it's the SMARTEST TELEVISION IN FOREVER.  And that's it's all high brow high culture just because it's all mid-century modern and because people are conflicted.    Uh, no thank you.  The Mad Men-repping crew is always the same as the Six Feet Under crew or like, the Jonathan Frantzen crew and you know what I have to say about that?  I've had enough about white people and their white people problems, thanks.

I feel like the same thing that happened with Konygate is the same thing that happened with Lana Del Rey.  No matter what, there is no way that you can convince me that stopping Kony wouldn't benefit Uganda, or if you want to get specific, it would reduce the kidnapping-children-for-child-armies numbers.  What's galling is that the same liberal intellectuals who are all like, "Kony 2012 is complicated!" are also the same ones who are like, "stop globalisation!" or like, "stop the Israeli occupation of Palestine!" which is a WAY MORE COMPLICATED ISSUE!  Like, exponentially!  It's just the internet and the media whipping themselves up into a froth.  Which is what happened with Lana Del Rey.  Girl wrote (or had ghostwritten, seriously?  How is that an issue anymore?) a catchy song that capture a very evocative vibe that is really underrepresented and then did a semi-nervous performance on SNL (which wasn't even as bad as everyone made it out to be) and people raked her over the coals for it.  Whaaaaaa?  I'm an original hater and I frequently hate things randomly (ie. my hatred for the Jigga Man) but my gift is being able to step outside of myself enough to know when it's irrational and inconsistent.  And the attempt to take down LDR was totally irrational and bizarre. Like, she's being taken to task by the bloggerati for being contrived?  For being manufactured?  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz...sorry, I'm already asleep from this BORINGEST CULTURAL CRITICISM CONVERSATION IN 50 YEARS.  

Move along!

ANYWAY, hot pot wasn't the most successful but the night was the best anyway because the crew was the best, anyway.  One of our friends didn't know that at most AYCE restos a 10% gratuity is included and ended up paying way more for a tip and the Dotytron was like, "You know what?  That's a n00b mistake.  I'm not even going to offer to pay you back because you have to learn your lesson!"  LOL!  I'm always bigtime embarrassed/find it hilarious when the Dotytron gets all hilariously uppity about "teaching people lessons" (except when the lesson learner is me, obvs.)  We got to the theatre (an hour early) and we totally thought our ticket taker was just acing the deadpan ennui delivery when he told us there was a line already.  We're all like, "Aw, Brandon! You card!  Very funny! Haha!  A line an hour early!?  Why I oughta..." and then we found out that we were in the SECOND line for our screening.  PSYCHO KILLER, QU'EST-CE QUE C'EST?!  We were okay though and got decent seats.

Did I mention that I braided my hair into a side braid a la Katniss Everdeen?  When I saw the flick, I realized that I've been rocking the winding-around-the-head French braid for longer than Katniss.  No big deal, they just used my styles for inspiration.  I was also wearing a hob t-shirt that SMckay got for me.  And she was wearing her Hot Topic District 12 tank which I almost wanted to rip off her body, but I didn't, because I was trying to be cool in front of her beau.  They showed a Hunger Games commercial before the movie started and SMcKay and I did the salute from District 11 and Lolly was like, "you guys are such nerds," and I said to her, "Uhhh...HOW ELSE WOULD WE HONOUR RUE, HUH?"  *rolls eyes*

Afterwards we went for frozen yogurt at Pac Mall and it was the best!  Funnest night evers.  So so good.  I'm glad I get to see the movie again this weekend with Dr. Rei and the Roomie.  I totally came home from the movie (we were out SOOOO late!  Didn't get home until 2am!  What?) and tried to will my brain into having sexy dreams about Peeta.  I'm like, such a shipper.  I have been since I was a kid.  I think my shipping started with Lady J and Flint from the GI Joe cartoon.  I have a long shipping history but haven't gotten to the point where I write fanfic (yet.)  What!  I would NEVER!  Hahaha...just kidding.  I might.  Someday (tomorrow.)  

I'll do my movie review at the end of the post so that people who want to avoid spoilers can.

Yesterday the Dotytron was preoccupied with getting his stuff ready for his teaching evaluation that's happening today and I spent a good chunk of time outside with the neighbs chilling and weighing in on our one neighbour's siding dilemma.  I love my hood.  So hard!  According to this site that calculates walkability (using a very simple metric), my neighb scored a very nice 88/100!  That's a solid A, folks!

Friday night's dinner was delicious - a folded pizza bread sandwich thing, stuffed with chopped anchovies, olives, a sundried tomato tapenade, and sauteed rapini with fresh mozzarella.  This was a briny, delicious delight.

Tonight for dinner we had chicken stew with sweet potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and peas and dilled cornmeal dumplings.  So, basically the return to cold weather was the fault of this meal

Okay.  Time to get serious.  Hunger Games movie review.

Overall, really really liked the movie.  They stayed true to the spirit to the book and the changes they made in order to make the story flow, made sense.  Some people have been griping that it wasn't as violent as the book and that it was toned down too much to make for a PG 13 movie, but I think those people are sociopaths.  I don't *need* to see someone getting mauled to death.  The before and after are enough for me and it still evokes the horror of what the Capitol makes them do without being gratuitous.  When the film first started, I was a little worried that the jumpiness and fast edits was going to continue through the film, but thankfully, it dies down.  Gary Ross does a great job with strategic flashbacks and knows when to lay on the music-video-effects touches and when to pull them back.  Jennifer Lawrence is a PERFECT Katniss Everdeen (I called it AGES ago!) and Josh Hutcherson is a good Peeta.  Liam Hemsworth as Gale is also good, even if he's reduced to making the same perturbed-but-stoic one expression for the few minutes he's in the film.  Here are my thoughts in point form:

- I know why Madge had to go, but the symbolism of the mockingjay pin then gets all garbled.  In this case, Katniss picks it up in the hob and gifts it to Prim, saying that it will protect her (no explanation of symbolism of mockingjays!) IT FAILS TO DO THIS because Prim gets picked in the Reaping.  Then she gives the mockingjay pin (which I would think is now CURSED) back to Katniss to "protect" her.  Bad symbolism guys, bad symbolism.

- Prim is THE WORST.  When my sis and I saw her casting, we were like, "UGH, UNIBROW!"  You're supposed to love Prim on sight.  FAIL!  Big casting mistake.

- The chariot scene suffered from some seriously bad CGI.  Admittedly, they had a small budget to work with...but you could've done better than that!  It looked really really cheesy and had me concerned before the rest of the film settled my fears

- Elizabeth Banks was PERFECT as Effie and the character of Effie was perfect.

- I'm not sold on Woody's Haymitch.  They also make Haymitch way more sympathetic than he is in the book, which doesn't do justice to the complexity of his character.

- LOVED Donald Sutherland's President Snow.  Also loved the speech about hope and why a little hope is good but too much is bad.  Loved the improved presence of Seneca Crane.  Also loved the final touch of killing Seneca Crane by putting him in the room with the poison berries.  Although we were joking after that that if we were Seneca, we would've been, "Well, this is getting a little obscure.  I guess President Snow is late for the meeting" and the final scene would be him still sitting in the room, looking at his watch, getting all exasperated.  LOL!

- it seems like just about EVERYONE IN THE WORLD pictured the cornucopia as like, a French horn half buried in the ground.  LOL!  People were NOT expecting it to look so futurismo, but I get it.  Making a giant golden French horn probably wasn't in the budget.

- Totally cried like a baby when Rue died.  Loved seeing the uprisings in District 11

- Didn't need Cato's speechifying at the end.  I don't need Cato to be rehabilitated.  He's a Career.  That's what he does.  I didn't want Cato to be humanized.

- Totally thought the shippers were robbed by the scene where Katniss kisses Peeta not for show in the cave.  In the movie, they just show her looking at Peeta in a new way (way to go Jennifer for the ace acting chops!) and then cut to daylight.  Lame!

- In our theatre, when Katniss kisses Peeta and they cut to Gale watching from District 12, the whole theatre went, "Awwwwwww" in sympathy for Gale.  It was hilarious.  And awesome.  

Overall, it was a very satisfying fanboy film experience. My quibbles are small and my appreciation is great.  I read recently that The Fault in Our Stars has been optioned for a film.  Pretty pumped about that.  With Batman and The Avengers opening this spring/'s going to be a very satisfying fanboy summer for me.



Jenny Calendar said...

It IS annoying when people hate on something just because it's popular.

It's equally annoying when people assume you must only be hating on something because it's popular.

karl lagerfeld, esquire said...

this is more a comment on the stuff i'm coming across on randomonium twitter feeds and the general mainstream media than any individual i know.

Jenny Calendar said...

I didn't think it was directed at me, just to clarify. I liked the movie. And I haven't said anything about it anyway.

Of note: the movie is actually being really highly acclaimed. It has a super high rating on Rotten Tomatoes from both audience and critics.

big yam's auntie said...

Uh, again, you forget to mention Lenny Kravitz's yumminess. Plus I do love Mad Men AND Hunger Games!!