View Full Version : Has anyone seen "The Hunger Games"?

Larry Edgerton
04-02-2012, 8:07 PM
I have not but it was recommended by a person who's opinion I value.

Curious, Larry

jason thigpen
04-02-2012, 8:33 PM
Watched it last Saturday. I've read all of the books as well. I think the movie stayed true to the basic storyline presented in the books. Very few liberties were taken. The ones that were definitely helped the storyline. All in all i was very pleased!

Van Huskey
04-02-2012, 8:51 PM
My wife and I went to see it the day it opened. She had read all the books (I had not), I did enjoy it though.

Ted Calver
04-02-2012, 8:55 PM
Saw it Friday with the missus. Have not read the books. I'm pushing 70 so there may be some generational differences, but it really dragged for us. The premise was good, but I thought poorly executed. No comparison to the Harry Potter series, or Narnia, or the Fellowship of the Ring...all were much better. I don't see how they managed to keep the attention of an adolescent/young adult. May or may not pay money to see follow on movies. Your mileage may vary.

Rich Engelhardt
04-03-2012, 8:43 AM
After Al Capone's vault,,,,,I'm really wary of anything that's hyped up anymore.....

Phil Thien
04-03-2012, 10:06 AM
After Al Capone's vault,,,,,I'm really wary of anything that's hyped up anymore.....

That is hilarious.

Moses Yoder
04-03-2012, 11:27 AM
My daughters had read the book, so I had to go see the movie. I think it's kind of strange that we allow ourselves to be entertained by pictures of murder, but when it happens in real life we lock up the people who performed the deed, or in some cases kill them for it. I thought overall it was a good movie, I just had this question about it.

Greg Portland
04-03-2012, 1:48 PM
The camera shakes and moves quite a bit during the movie. If you find this annoying then skip it.

Mike Henderson
04-03-2012, 1:55 PM
My daughters had read the book, so I had to go see the movie. I think it's kind of strange that we allow ourselves to be entertained by pictures of murder, but when it happens in real life we lock up the people who performed the deed, or in some cases kill them for it. I thought overall it was a good movie, I just had this question about it.
Not just murder, but children killing children.


glenn bradley
04-03-2012, 2:53 PM
I guess I need to read the books. The trailers make it look like a twist on Stephen King's (writing as Bachman) The Long Walk.

Van Huskey
04-03-2012, 2:55 PM
The camera shakes and moves quite a bit during the movie. If you find this annoying then skip it.

I actually made this point to my wife. Handheld camera images can bother some people, not a big deal for me once I get into it but it is there. On a side note in recent years I have found myself distracted by the frame rate in movie theaters during the first few minutes of the film. Having gotten used to the fast refresh trates of todays flat panels and home projectors I am always unconfortable for 5-10 minutes in the theater. I will be happy when I can stream movies from the theater opening date and can sit in my theater and eat what I want and pause it to go to the bathroom. I am spoiled.

Larry Edgerton
04-03-2012, 7:38 PM
I found this......


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Whiskey & Gunpowder
Gary Gibson, Minneapolis, Minnesota...
We watched children murder other children at the movies last weekend.
We went to see The Hunger Games. In today's feature article Jeffrey Tucker explores the deeper significance of this excellent and timely film.
And in today's Parting Shot we offer a bit of hope as the U.S. comes to look more and more like the fascist dictatorship in the film. The forces of liberty and progress may start winning out. And soon than you think... and with profound and positive implications for your life... and your bottom line...
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Whiskey & Gunpowder
by Jeffrey Tucker
March 30, 2012
Auburn, Alabama, U.S.A.

Elections Are Our Hunger GamesWhatever good you have heard about The Hunger Games, the reality is more spectacular. Not only is this the literary phenom of our time -- the number 1, 2, and 3 best seller on every list -- but the movie that created near pandemonium for a week from its opening is a lasting contribution to art and to the understanding of our world. It's more real than we know. I'm reminded of Hans-Hermann Hoppe's book, Democracy: The God that Failed.
http://www.ezimages.net/WHISKEY/033012_book1.png (http://clicks.whiskeyandgunpowder.com//t/AQ/AAoiFg/AAo0Jg/AAZJeg/AQ/AUoziw/gwKF)
In the story, a totalitarian and centralized state -- it seems to be some kind of unelected autocracy -- keeps a tight grip on its colonies to prevent a repeat of the rebellion that occurred some 75 years ago. They do this through the forced imposition of material deprivation, by unrelenting propaganda about the evil of disobedience to the interests of the nation state and with "Hunger Games" as annual entertainment.
In this national drama and sport, and as a continuing penance for past sedition, the central state randomly selects two teens from each of the 12 districts and puts them into a fight-to-the-death match in the woods, one watched like a reality show by every resident. The districts are supposed to cheer for their representatives and hope that one of their selected teens will be the one person who prevails.
So amidst dazzling pageantry, media glitz and public hysteria, these 24 kids -- who would otherwise be living normal lives -- are sent to kill each other without mercy in a bloody zero-sum game. They are first transported to the opulent capitol city and wined, dined, and trained. Then the games begin.
At the very outset, many are killed on the spot in the struggle to grab weapons from a stockpile. From there, coalitions form among the groups, however temporary they may be. Everyone knows there can only be one winner in the end, but alliances -- formed on the basis of class, race, personality, etc. -- can provide a temporary level of protection.
Watching all this take place is harrowing to say the least, but the public in the movie does watch as a type of reality television. This is the ultimate dog-eat-dog setting, in which life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short," in the words of Thomas Hobbes. But it is also part of a game the kids are forced to play. This is not a state of nature. In real life, they wouldn't have the need to kill or be killed. They wouldn't see each other as enemies. They wouldn't form into evolving factions for self-protection.
The games provide that key elements that every state, no matter how powerful or fearsome, absolutely must have: a means of distracting the public from the real enemy. Even this monstrous regime depends fundamentally on the compliance of the governed. No regime can put down a universal revolt. The plot twist in this story actually turns on a worry among the elites that the masses will not tolerate a scripted ending to the games this time.
So here we see the first element of political sophistication in this film. It taps into the observation first recorded by Etienne de La Boetie (1530-63) that all states, because they live parasitically off the population on an ongoing basis, depend on eliciting the compliance of the people in some degree; no state can survive a mass refusal to obey. This is why states must concoct public ideologies and various veneers to cover their rules (a point often raised by Hans-Hermann Hoppe in his work). "National traditions" such as the Hunger Games serve the purpose well.
The political sophistication of this film doesn't stop there. The Hunger Games themselves serve as a microcosm of political elections in modern developed economies. Pressure groups and their representatives are thrown into a hazardous, vicious world in which coalitions form and reform. Survival is harrowing, and hate is unleashed as would never exist in normal life. Candidates fight to the death knowing that, in the end, there can only be one winner who will take home the prize.
Slight differences of opinion are insanely exaggerated to deepen the divide. Otherwise irrelevant opinions take on epic significance. Lies, smears, setups, intimidation, bribery, blackmail and graft are all part of a day's work. All the while, the people watch and love the public spectacle, variously cheering and booing and rating the candidates and the groups they represent. Everyone seems oblivious as to the real purpose of the game.
And just as in The Hunger Games, democracy manufactures discord where none would exist in society. People don't care if the person who sells them a cup of coffee in the morning is Mormon or Catholic, white or black, single or married, gay or straight, young or old, native or immigrant, drinker or teetotaler or anything else.
None of this matters in the course of life's normal dealings with people. Through trade and cooperation, everyone helps everyone else achieve life aspirations. If someone different from you is your neighbor, you do your best to get along anyway. Whether at church, shopping, at the gym or health club, or just casually on the street, we work to find ways to be civil and cooperate.
But invite these same people into the political ring, and they become enemies. Why? Politics is not cooperative like the market; it is exploitative. The system is set up to threaten the identity and choices of others. Everyone must fight to survive and conquer. They must kill their opponents or be killed. So coalitions form, and constantly shifting alliances take shape. This is the world that the state -- through its election machinery -- throws us all into. It is our national sport. We cheer our guy and hope for the political death of the other guy.
The game makes people confused about the real enemy. The state is the institution that sets up and lives off these divisions. But people are distracted by the electoral and political mania. The blacks blame the whites, the men blame the women, the straights blame the gays, the poor blame the rich, and so on in an infinite number of possible ways.
The end result of this is destruction for us but continuing life for the Gamemakers.
And of course, in both elections and Hunger Games, there is a vast commercial side to the event: media figures, lobbyists, trainers, sign makers, convention-hall owners, hotels, food and drink businesses, and everyone and anyone who can make a buck from feeding the exploitation.
In all these ways, this dystopian plot line illuminates our world. I'm not suggesting that this is the basis of the appeal, though its uses as political allegory are real enough. More disturbing is the possibility that the story suggests to young people today the limits of the life opportunities for the generation now in its teen years. They have a darker worldview than any in the postwar period.
If The Hunger Games help this generation understand that the real problem is not their peers or parents or anyone other than the Gamemakers, maybe they, too, will plot a revolt. Democracy is indeed the god that failed. (http://clicks.whiskeyandgunpowder.com//t/AQ/AAoiFg/AAo0Jg/AAZJeg/Ag/AUoziw/I94j)
I'm told that we have to wait for the third film for that.
Jeffrey Tucker
Executive editor, Laissez Faire Books (http://clicks.whiskeyandgunpowder.com//t/AQ/AAoiFg/AAo0Jg/AAMQ5g/AQ/AUoziw/itKW)
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In the movie all wealth flows from the oppressed outer districts to the Capitol. The zones all specialize in some key industry. Power, mining, transportation, farming, lumber, etc. The capital sends troops to guarantee the flow of resources from the oppressed producers to their consuming masters. The inhabitants of the outer districts get just enough in exchange to survive.
We couldn't help but think of the subjects of the modern day empire in Washington, D.C., who must hand over much of their own wealth to the Capitol and are largely left to live on the remaining scraps.
(Keep in mind that income tax -- while onerous -- isn't the main drag on your standard of living. You pay several times more than you otherwise would on everything you buy because the everything you buy is taxed at each stage of production before you pay yet another sales tax on the finished good at the register.)
The central district is a (slightly) more totalitarian version of America's own District of Columbia. What also struck us was the number of districts under the Capitol's rule. Twelve, but initially thirteen before the destruction of the last district. (We have yet to read the books, but from what we can glean from Web searches, the 13th zone was utterly destroyed during the Dark Times of the uprising.)
Of course you know that there were thirteen colonies that rebelled against Great Britain and gave birth to these United States.
The movie reminds us -- deliberately or not -- that those upstart colonies merely exchanged one cruel and impoverishing master for another. The colonies threw off Great Britain's yoke only to take up Washington D.C.'s.
If you ask us, this is as clear an analogy of the 13 original colonies as could possibly be. In the movie we're not told exactly why the 12 other zones rebelled. We are only told the story of the rebellion in a short propaganda film glorifying the games, produced by the Capitol. But we can easily imagine based upon the poverty of the outer zones in relation to the decadence of the capital that the rebellion was about taxation, i.e. the legal theft of wealth by the ruling class from the private sector.
Much of the wealth flowed to the capital before the rebellion. And it would appear that after the rebellion all wealth now flows to the capital.
In the real world, the 13 original colonies rose up against a faraway imperial taxing power. And those colonies won the obvious war only to lose where it really counted.
The real life central district of Columbia grew in power from there and now imagines the entire world must do its bidding while the subjects in the land it officially controls must send just under half their wealth to the capital.
In the film, there wasn't just the grinding poverty imposed by a cruel master. There was also the constant anxiety of the yearly cullings. Could any parent forget for even a moment that each year there was a chance that it would be one of their own children snatched away?
The despair and the horror felt very real to us as we sat there in the theatre. It stays with us now. We think of the mute terror of the children as they are forced to line up for the cullings by the Capitol's "peacekeepers".
They are forced to give a sample of their blood to place with their names for verification purposes. We imagine the dread anticipation just before the names are called. To hear your name called means you will have to kill other children and most likely be killed yourself.
For now, our own real life Capitol only demands the deaths of children in occupied lands outside its own borders. Of the subjects within its official jurisdiction, D.C. only demands monetary tribute, not the blood of their children.
And while we doubt D.C. will ever force the children of American dissenters to fight to the death for public spectacle, we can imagine the Capitol growing more brutal in defense of its growing power.
It may demand more of its subjects wealth. It may demand more of their cooperation, eventually tolerating absolutely no dissent. It will monitor every movement and communication, keep every last bit of its subjects' lives on file. It will take over more industries. It will tax more of what's left of the private sector.
ln reviewing another science fiction dystopian movie, In Time, Jeffrey Tucker recently made an essential point:

"Another criticism I would make of this film applies also to most dystopian stories, including Hunger Games. In the city where the rich live, there is vast technological progress. The people live exceptionally well, the transportation systems are amazing, the cars are zippy and pretty, and the buildings gleam.
"If you think about it, the only kind of system that produces such cities is one rooted in freedom. People own their own stuff and trade with each other. New ideas are given flight through entrepreneurship. The rewards of economic success are conferred on the individuals who made it happen. A complex and extended division of labor, along with a complex structure of production in a stable legal environment, allow for maximum productivity of capital.
"There is no other way to create vast prosperity and gleaming cities. Despotic systems, in contrast, no matter how hard the dictator tries, can't do it. Look at Romania under Ceausescu or North Korea today. These regimes would love to create gleaming cities. They can't. Only freedom does that. So it is hard to make sense of where all this prosperity even comes from in these dystopian movies.
"By wonderful contrast, consider Ayn Rand's wonderful novel Anthem (http://clicks.whiskeyandgunpowder.com//t/AQ/AAoiFg/AAo0Jg/AAZJfA/AQ/AUoziw/mwAT). Here we find the truth about society and economics. The despots hate technology, new ideas, individualism, and of course they have made for themselves the disgusting dump that they fully deserve. Rand lived under Russian socialism and knew this truth that even George Orwell never really grasped."
This is very true. As we've touched on before in these pages, liberty and the markets aren't just a cute idea or an excuse to own guns and do drugs. They are essential for progress.
It is not the state that induces innovation or lift standards of living. The state causes the opposite. Centralization and political control destroys incentive while hopelessly scrambling essential economic signals required for complex and robust economies.
So the state must necessarily bring about stagnation and eventually collapse. The vision of overlords enjoying the fruits of technology could not hold true for long in the real world. Totalitarianism drives standards of living back toward the benighted past in which power and coercion thrived.
Cooperation, exchange that's mutually beneficial, liberty to rise economically and to fall...these are the crucial ingredients for progress. It's the stuff that America was (mostly) built on. But that wonderful experiment has been commandeered -- infected -- by the United States.
The political disease has taken root and flourished (we'd argue from the abandonment of the Articles of Confederation onward). The cancerous parasite of the state threatens to kill its host.
But there might be hope yet. A profound rebirth in America (http://clicks.whiskeyandgunpowder.com//t/AQ/AAoiFg/AAo0Jg/AAZJfQ/AQ/AUoziw/XMSa) may be underway. As early as this May, 2012. It's something that not even parasitic politicians can thwart. Heck, they're probably praying for it since even those two-legged ticks understand at some level in their reptilian brains that they need their host to thrive.
What's more, this rebirth could positively impact every aspect of your quality of life. Your income, savings, how well you eat, how nice your home is. Everything.
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We've recommended many times that you ought to diversify your geopolitical risks. You ought to take out insurance against currency collapse, political chaos and even infrastructure collapse.
You also ought to take out some bets on liberty, progress and the markets as well. You can do so here. (http://clicks.whiskeyandgunpowder.com//t/AQ/AAoiFg/AAo0Jg/AAZJfQ/Aw/AUoziw/8gBu) In case America is gearing up for a comeback.
Gary Gibson
Managing editor, Whiskey & Gunpowder