By Vanessa Fiske, Director of Marketing
What started as a research project for Comic Con quickly became an obsession. Even though I had read and watched Twilight, whenever I saw The Hunger Games books in stores, I passed them by. The book jacket simply didn’t draw me in:
Dystopian novels and movies have been around for a long time and given us classics like A Clockwork Orange, Mad Max, The Matrix, and, of course, Blade Runner. But 2012 marked the start of the dystopian young adult novels-turned-movies era. No surprise that one of DVD’s most popular titles that year was blockbuster The Hunger Games.
When I popped The Hunger Games disc into the player for the night, I fully expected to keep multitasking on my laptop, my attention split between two screens. Within minutes, the laptop was closed and I was hooked. It wasn’t just the premise of the movie; the film was visually stunning, too. Jennifer Lawrence as the heroine, Katniss Everdeen, was stoic, beautiful, and resilient. Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson play the young men in her life. I hesitate to use the phrase "romantic interests" as it wasn’t really a time to have fun and games, plus I struggled to like Peeta Mellark (Hutcherson) and much preferred Gale Hawthorne (Hemsworth).
Even though first Hunger Games movie had the best box office performance ($650M worldwide), critics and audiences alike felt that Catching Fire was stronger visually and had meatier character development. It was also one of the last times Philip Seymour Hoffman would be on the big screen. He joined the cast as Plutarch Heavensbee, the Head Gamemaker.
It was on February 2, 2014, during the filming of Mockingjay – Part 2, that Seymour Hoffman passed away. At that time he was the head of propaganda and worked closely with President Coin (Julianne Moore) to win Katniss’ trust.
Even if you are past the young adult novel demographic, The Hunger Series is worth a watch, especially during a time when the role of the media is in question. For those who liked The Hunger Games, there are two other series worth noting in the dystopian youth story movement: the Maze Runner and the Divergent series.