A Young Engineer’s (not so serious) Review of The Hunger Games Movie…

Disclaimer: I have been talking to my husband aka The Chemical Engineer quite a lot about The Hunger Games, I also showed him this particular post from YA Confidential which he found hilarious. And then I thought it’d be interesting to have him write a guest post sharing his (not so serious) views on the movie as somebody who hasn’t read the books, doesn’t really read fiction and sometimes gives me a hard time cos’ I read too many books a month :D Looking forward to your comments (yes, Chemical Engineer, I am leaving you the floor, stop figeting!)

A Young Engineer’s (not so serious) Review of The Hunger Games Movie…

Just so I can still keep my manhood intact let me mention that my wife got (forced) me to go and watch the movie with her.

First things first: I don’t want to (and can’t) compare the movie with the book. I haven’t read the book. My wife read a few chapters to me while I was falling asleep, trying to get me interested in reading it. It didn’t work despite the fact that it worked for one of her blog friends; I don’t read fictional books, I wait until the good ones come out as a movie. This strategy has worked out well for me. I tried to remember when the last time was that I read a book and watched the movie based on the same book. It seems to be about 11 years ago in high school. I am not sure it counts though, the book was Othello and the Movie was O (a modern interpretation). But since novels and movies serve the same purpose, entertainment, but do it through a very different way, I find it pointless to compare the two. I do have to mention one thing about comparing the two:

When there is a shower scene described in the book (on the train to the Capitol):  How dare do you leave that out of the movie?  I get the whole PG-13 rating, etc., but how can you do such a thing as a movie director! Shame on you Mr. Gary Ross!!!

In general the movie was quite entertaining and for the most part kept my attention. Obviously having cool guys like Woody Harrelson and Lenny Kravitz helps with that.

              

The story in itself is pretty good. Showing the young adults as regular teenagers with fears and joys and then having them fight until death is quite compelling. Even though the underlying story of individuals who can change the world by starting a revolution unintentionally is probably older than literature itself. As long as the packaging is right, who am I to weigh heavily on an old literature cliché – After all I am just an engineer.

Speaking of packaging, here are two things that I didn’t get about the movie:

  1. So they all live in a very advanced society with scanners that analyze your blood right away, with dresses that burn like fire but still safe and with hovering space ships… Why in the world would you travel by train for almost an entire day instead of taking a space ship? I get that district 12 is not as developed as the Capitol, but this still wouldn’t explain why a space ship couldn’t fly in and just pick them up!
  2. Staying with the thought of a dystopian society that is technologically progressed. Why in the world would you still be mining coal? Do they have a little coal burner inside those space ships? So they developed all of this technology and still are bound to use coal. Really? Just think about this for a second. They spend all of this energy developing new technology that probably consumes even more energy and the only solution that they could find to fulfill their energy demand was coal? I understand that it was important for the story that the residents of District 12 had to be manual laborers, but couldn’t they have been robot-mechanics or some kind of electrical circuit makers (like the ones working on making our smart phones). 

I know you probably think it is not important for the whole story, but I think a writer or director (again I can’t compare the books) should take the time and think through such details in order to make it more coherent (at least for me).

It helps if a writer is married to engineer that can double check the story :D

17 Comments on “A Young Engineer’s (not so serious) Review of The Hunger Games Movie…

  1. Oh dear. I think I want to see this movie now. I’m strange, as soon as something becomes very popular and everyone is talking about it, I lose interest. But now I kinda want to see it. Plus as soon as the bf finds out it features Lenny Kravitz (yes we practically live in a cave so have no idea what happens in the ‘real’ world), he will demand that we see this movie. I’m blaming you Mr Engineer!

  2. Yes, the whole traveling by train thing gets me too, even though I’m a huge fan of both the books and movie. Maybe they take the train so there’s more time for interaction and conversation? :)

    Great review, Sir Engineer, and great idea, Elodie!

  3. Haha well I could just assume the train was to give the ‘winners’ a chance to acclimate from their district to the spectacle that is The Capitol. Plus they have to have a chance to talk with their mentor and get cleaned up for their big unveiling. Who knows, but I did question it when I read the books the first time too. As for the coal part, I too wondered what was the major need for it was if they were so advanced but then being me I had to google. I found coal is a vital ingredient in other items which looked like they could be in high demand in a world like The Capitol. *Google is my friend ;)*

    Anyways thanks for the not so serious review. Don’t worry your manhood is intact but so you know at the midnight showing around me there were plenty of men there who were not dragged.

    • Side note I just re-googled it and one of the things coal is an essential ingredient in is Silicon metal which is used to produce silicones and silanes, which are in turn used to make lubricants, water repellents, resins, cosmetics, hair shampoos and toothpastes. See the crazy makeup they were there will use all the coal in District 12 haha Sorry had to share.

  4. Hmm…you raise some interesting questions. Truthfully, I hadn’t really thought of either one, probably because I got totally sucked into the story. And now that you’ve asked them, I really don’t have any answers :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the movie, Mr. Engineer Man :)

  5. Hello, Mr. Chemical Engineer! Let me assure you that just because the ladies are going all gooey over Peeta and Gale, your masculinity is secure with this movie. I mean there’s hunting, and fighting, and blowing things up–it’s practically an action movie! I enjoyed it, and the book. :)

    You do raise good points about the train and the coal mining. As Katy and Eve suggested, perhaps they all just need time to talk and unwind, so they use slow transportation–kind of like punting in a gondola in Venice, as opposed to using a motorboat. :)

    Great article, Mr CE–it was a pleasure meeting you. :)

  6. Love this post! My husband is an engineer too, and totally helps me keep it real in the books I’m writing. He had a lot of issues with THG, but he didn’t mention the coal thing. I know that as soon as I tell him he’s going to totally be like “Yeah, that’s right! What the heck?!”

  7. Elodie, your hubby sounds like mine. If he’d seen the movie, I’m sure he would have had similar comments. He (my hubby) wasn’t all that thrilled with the last Star Trek movie because he didn’t like the way the ship was made up – he said it looked like a water treatment plant rather than a technically evolved space ship! He’s a Civil Engineering Technologist, so I guess that made sense to him! Great post! :)

  8. Wow, I never thought about it either. I know what you mean about being married to an engineer. Not that I am, lol. But my husband is the TV production biz and so now I over analyze everything in TV & movies b/c of things he’s pointed out over the course of 15 years . . . *Shakes fist in air* Now I can’t enjoy it;)

  9. I’m another writer with an engineer husband (mine is electrical/mechanical). Mine reads, but not much, although he is reading The Hunger Games at the moment. Loved your husband’s take on the film.

    So would it be safe to say that your husband is not your Ideal Reader? :)

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  11. Great point of view from your engineer husband! I too am an engineer and get what his complaints are. Since he liked Hunger Games let him know that my equally ‘manly’ husband who is also an engineer liked the movie also. Hope he joins the post again.

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