The Hunger Games vs Unwind movies

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The Hunger Games vs Unwind movies

numra
A lot of people are going to compare the THG movie and the Unwind movie seeing as the books are both YA and have similar stories (postapocalyptic/dystopia). However, I think that the production of the movies shouldn't be compared beyond the stories because they are being made/have been made in different ways and by different size production companies.

With the THG movie, which I love btw, 'Hollywood' made it aiming to please both the fans of the books as well as people who haven't read the books. The movie was essentially made by fans, for fans. The cast and director themselves were big fans of the books so they tried to keep a lot of the scenes and even lines from the book in the movie. However this movie was Lionsgate's baby, their big money making film of the year thus they gave this movie a big budget and a lot of advertising. They hired an Oscar nominated actress to be Katniss even though she didn't look like Katniss. They tried to push the love triangle a little bit more in the movie than was in the book because they knew that appealed to girls. What I'm trying to say is that, although the THG movie stuck close to the book, changes were made in the movie that aimed to bring in more non-fans and thus more profit, while also appealing to the fans.

Unwind is being created on a different platform. It's not made by 'Hollywood' but an independent production company and for that reason I think they'll stick even closer to the book than THG. Because the producers realize that this movie will gain profit mainly from fans of the book, they wouldn't want to step too far from the novel. Just from their actions for us, the fans, shows that they're thinking of us as they make the film. They've hired the author to write the script, they've asked us what we think of the characters and what scenes we would like in the movie, and they keep us up to date on everything that's going on with the production. They wouldn't do this if they didn't want fan opinions to guide some of the production of the film.

These are just my thoughts on the two movies. I enjoyed the THG movie and even though I have some critiques against it, I still love it and feel it is one of the best book to the movie adaptions 'Hollywood' has produced. I hope that Unwind will be just as good as THG in everything like the acting, the cinematography, and the script even though the production companies of both movies are different. I don't expect the Unwind movie to have big names like Josh Hutcherson attached to it but I do hope the cast has the acting skills that Jennifer Lawrence had to bring Katniss to life. I know Unwind won't have the huge budget the THG movie has but with proper production and directing, I think Unwind can be just as good. With all the attention the makers of Unwind are giving us through their blog and forum, I think they'll do a great job with the movie and we'll be very pleased with the outcome, even though it won't be anything as big as THG

Side note, I feel like a lot of people are worried about what the actors will look like compared to their characters. If we look at THG, Jennifer and Josh did a fantastic job with their characters even though they didn't exactly look like what fans thought Katniss and Peeta would look like. I think with book to movie adaptions, looks are important but acting is just as important and we should hope more for acting ability than how perfect they look when it comes to the Unwind casting.


You can't change laws without first changing human nature.
You can't change human nature without first changing the law.
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Re: The Hunger Games vs Unwind movies

jellybean
I'm sorry but I have to respectfully disagree about The Hunger Games. Even though it was made by a big production company, that doesn't mean that the sole purpose of it being made was for money (that is a big part, but not the only reason). Big companies can still make movies with people behind it who care deeply about making the project and about the art of making movies. The director and the actors really cared. The author was the screenwriter and the executive producer. You even say yourself that it was made "for the fans, by the fans"

It was so much like the book, in ways that so many adaptations aren't. I heard in an interview that the author started off writing for TV (similar to Shusterman!) so she knew how to pace things and make them visual enough so the novel could easily be transfered to screen. I don't think the love triangle was pushed. I thought it was easy to tell that Katniss was pretending to 'love' Peeta for the cameras (as evidenced by how she received soup after kissing him, and Haymitch mentioning in the note that "That's It?" (or whatever the phrasing was). She was 'loving' him to save his life.)

My main love of THG was that it showed how absolutely scared everyone was. Even though the games had been going on for 74 years, getting picked was TERRIFYING and they showed that well. When Katniss was in the tube, getting ready to go up to the games? She was shaking. Everything was quiet. Her heart was racing. I was even scared myself. I loved how they were able to do that.
My main gripe was that parts seemed.... fake. The chariot ride seemed fake and unreal - but I'm guessing that was the point.  But I just thought the CGI in that scene made it look bizarre... And the dogs at the end... Maybe just because I loved the wilderness scenes so much.

And on a side note myself, I really don't understand why people get so upset when the actors look different from the pages of a book. That really really really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. I've always believed that authors include descriptions of characters just as mental bookmarks so you can picture these characters and remember them doing whatever they do as a picture in your head. Every single person who reads the book pictures someone different (usually when I read, I picture just an empty face with hair... I usually don't have any people/actors in mind) What should be so much more important is if the actor can capture the essence of the character. I honestly don't remember what Connor looked like. I don't think that the one sentence or so describing his appearance holds as much weight in Unwind as the fact that he was a troubled kid who was street smart and was innovative and cared deeply about certain issues. What he did is so much more vivid in my mind than if he had blonde or brown or black hair while doing it.
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Re: The Hunger Games vs Unwind movies

MaybeRisa
jellybean wrote
And on a side note myself, I really don't understand why people get so upset when the actors look different from the pages of a book. That really really really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. I've always believed that authors include descriptions of characters just as mental bookmarks so you can picture these characters and remember them doing whatever they do as a picture in your head. Every single person who reads the book pictures someone different (usually when I read, I picture just an empty face with hair... I usually don't have any people/actors in mind) What should be so much more important is if the actor can capture the essence of the character. I honestly don't remember what Connor looked like. I don't think that the one sentence or so describing his appearance holds as much weight in Unwind as the fact that he was a troubled kid who was street smart and was innovative and cared deeply about certain issues. What he did is so much more vivid in my mind than if he had blonde or brown or black hair while doing it.
Well, in the case of the Hunger Games, I was mad because it says repeatedly in the book that Katniss is smaller than most of the other tributes. That's why she was able to escape from the Careers, by climbing the tree, because all of them were too heavy for the tree to hold. Or toward the end, when Clove held her down, it was because she had the advantage of size over Katniss. These were important details in the book, but because Jennifer Lawrence is not at all small, those scenes in the movie didn't seem realistic.
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Re: The Hunger Games vs Unwind movies

numra
In reply to this post by jellybean
Sorry if it came off sounding like I said the THG movie was made only for the money, I definitely do not think that way lol. The movie was originally going to be a small budget film but once they noticed all the rising hype for the movie, they pushed up the budget and made other changes which I personally feel indicates they obviously anticipated the huge amount of profit that woud come of this movie. They also put a lot of money into the advertising as indicated by capitol.pn website and the capitol couture tumblr thing and all the various merchandising.

Having said that, I realize that the cast and crew and a lot of people involved obviously are fans themselves and would do anything to make this a really great movie that sticks to the books. Gary Ross the director himself accepted a pretty low salary for the movie for his standards becauser he liked it so much. So this movie is kind of a 50-50 sort of thing. On the one hand, most people involved genuinely like the movie and worked to make it a film that all fans would enjoy. On the other hand, Lionsgate encouraged decisions that they knew would bring in even more profit and appeal to non-fans of the books (meaning people who are coming to see the movie without already being fans of the books). This included pushing the love triangle a little more seeing as it worked in Twilight. I don't mind the love triangle at all, they didn't shove it at us, it was more like hinting at it, which is fine. They casted Jennifer who is an emmy nominee and very hot in the movie market after being hired to work on several films including X-men. They also casted Josh and Liam, two very hot and happening guys that will appeal to all the girls (including me ;) ). I don't hate anything about THG, and especially not the cast but I can still see why they cast who they cast.

Now the appearance of the cast is especially interesting in THG. I don't mind that Jenn doesn't have dark hair like Katniss. Hair color, eye color, that can be changed and don't matter as much. What matters is the color of the skin, or the ethnicity of the character. Katniss is described as having olive skin in the book. The ethnicity here isn't clear but in most people's eyes, this means she's latino or native american. Meaning, not caucasian. And yet Jenn is caucasian. Gale too should have olive skin. I personally imagined Katniss with like a mix of different ethnicities, because it's the future and i felt like people would look more like a mix than one distinct ethnicity. I always found it interesting that Katniss and Peeta were opposite in not only personalities but also appearances. Peeta is light, with blonde hair, Katniss dark with dark hair. These opposites were kind of ruined in the movie because both were white, regardless of hair color. A bigger problem with them changing the skin color than imagery is the idea that by white washing Katniss and Gale they took out any possibility that a non-white actor/actress could get a chance at having the lead in a big movie. I heard that when casting, they made it clear that they wanted a caucasian actress to audition for Katniss. Do you see why, when it comes to skin color, appearance important? It's one thing to have different have colors and a whole other thing to have different ethnicities. Imagine if CyFi was white. That'd take out the whole talk of how the book's society sees black people. No longer would him and Lev talk about how black people are now called umber.

Anyways, long story short, I don't think the THG movie was all about making a profit. The people involved chose to do things based on the mind set of both staying faithful to the novel as well as making a profit from the movie. I really like the movie and turned out much much better than I had hoped it would when I first heard it was being made. Most of the time the cast does not have to look like their characters but when you change the race that changes things. An african american Cinna is find but taking away the chance for a native american, latino, or even indian girl to take on the role of Katniss as a main character in a potentially huge franchise is just not right.
 
And yes, the CGI was less than satisfactory. I hope in CF they spend more money on it!
You can't change laws without first changing human nature.
You can't change human nature without first changing the law.