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Posts tagged “Catching Fire

Ask Amethystos

I’m a little brainsquashed, having trouble finishing some drafts. Instead of continuing to mull over them, I thought I’d take a prompt from the fabulous evelynfilmfan (visit her blog—good reads!).
Now it’s time for a little Q&A…

  • Which film do you think is the best book adaptation?
    Very few projects measure up to their namesake books, to the surprise of no one. Three, however, stand out to me (though one isn’t technically a film): Catching Fire, Game of Thrones & Breaking Dawn, Part 2. Your eyes don’t deceive you, I really did just include a Twilight film in a ‘best’ category. Since it’s the most controversial, I’ll touch on it first.
    • BD 2 fixes everything a lot of what’s wrong with the book; maybe that’s simply because there’s sooooo much disappointment with the book. There’s still the weird Jacob/Renesmee love but we see flash-forwards of Renesmee as a teen/young adult, which takes away much of the skeeve factor. And the battle sequence is impossibly better than the text, even if it is only a hypothetical Alice vision. The anti-climax of the novel left me feeling cheated after having invested so much time and anticipation; film version more than made up for it.
    • You already know I’m a big fan of the Hunger Games trilogy. What you may not know is that Catching Fire was easily my favorite book. Given that, I had prepared myself for at least a little bit of a letdown with the film—said letdown never came. Casting is spot-on, pacing is considerably improved from the source material and the shift to an omniscient point-of-view makes this adaptation dang near perfect.
    • And Game of Thrones. Oh, Game of Thrones, you make me so happy with your general adhesion to Martin’s books. I’ve read through book 3 now and only rarely do the departures disappoint in the slightest; more often than not, the alterations do a great favor to pacing. The benefit of this series, of course, is its episodic nature which lends itself to really bringing the pages to life. I prefer the book’s relative lack of R-rated elements (call me a prude if you like) but the storytelling definitely earns a place in my top 3 adaptations.
  • Who is your favorite superhero? And which superhero powers would you like to have?
    pass—the answer to this will be its own post one of these days
  • Disney or Pixar?
    Disney. Pixar has its share of stirring tales and breathtaking animation to be sure, but my favor falls to Disney. From classics to contemporary films, animated or live-action, I’m astounded that one company can play such a role in lives young and old. Vivid imagery, riveting narrative, well-rounded humor and heartwarming heroism are benchmarks for Disney. Oh, and there’s that little bit about Disney owning Marvel and Star Wars now…I’m definitely team Disney.
  • Marvel or DC Comics?
    Historically, DC…I have always loved Superman, and I always will. But my loyalties are largely shifting to Marvel now if I’m being really honest with myself. Like the rest of the world, Marvel movies make me really happy. Though some of the characters can be a little bland at times (I’m looking at you, Hawkeye), they do a ridiculously good job of casting. Everybody is just so gosh darn lovable! Okay, except for Spider-Man; don’t like his character or the comics or the cartoons or the movies.
  • For which tv show/series do you really have to stay home? And what makes this tv show/series so special?
    The Walking Dead, hands down. Catching new episodes is literally an event for me; I can’t wait to see what happens next, and I have a number of fellow fans at work who are always ready to discuss on Mondays. I’m loving how the main characters have evolved over the last season or so, the growth is (in my opinion) exceptionally compelling. There are no other current programs that I will try to schedule around.

That’s all for this edition of Ask Amethystos. Tune in next time, when I’ll answer more questions and dodge others. Comment below if there’s something you’d like to ask; I’ll endeavor to satisfy your query.


An Open Letter to Jennifer Lawrence

UPDATE: I had no idea there was another “Open Letter to Jennifer Lawrence” that was Freshly Pressed today. Merely coincidence. Great minds and all that.

I’m not too keen on the whole “open letter” trend of late. No, really, I’m not…regardless of what the title above may say. The way I figure it, everything I blog is an “open letter” addressed to the general public. This time around, I just happen to be addressing it to a particular person.

So here goes…

Dear Jennifer (do you prefer Jen?),
At 31 years old, it’s probably a bit late for me to resume sending fan mail. I sent some letters to a couple of kids on the Mickey Mouse Club back in the late ’80s—you may not have been alive yet—and then to some stars of Saved by the Bell in the mid ’90s. They were all kind enough to send me signed photos in return; whether or not they were authentic signatures is up for debate. There’s no debating the joy I felt upon receiving them.
Regardless, I’m not looking for a signed photo this time around. I mean, it’d be cool to have at my cubicle or whatever but that’s not my intent. And besides, I’m not including a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE we called it back in the day).

Anyway, I’m writing today to thank you for being wonderful. Many celebrities right now seem entirely out of touch with reality—maybe that’s an unfair assessment by this midwestern girl, but many do tend to come across that way even if it’s not the absolute truth. In contrast, your down-to-earth persona appears authentic and relatable, a breath of fresh air. Your interviews are perhaps even more enjoyable to watch than your film performances, which is saying something. Your just being you brings joy to an awful lot of people, and I think you deserve kudos for that!

2503c9ce9fc2aac55d92065ab45a85c6On a more personal note, please accept my appreciation for being something of a role model. Not in the idolizing “I want to do everything Jennifer Lawrence does” way, because I realize no one is perfect and cannot consistently live up to the ridiculous pressures of the lime light. Instead, I admire that you exude a ‘love yourself for who you are’ mentality. For average folks like myself, it can be hard to be happy with one’s self when compared with the standards of beauty that are glorified in media. Your presence, though, provides a healthy juxtaposition. Your physique and style are far better than I will likely ever attain (unless I get a personal stylist/trainer and magically transform into someone who hates junk food), but your appearance gives me a more realistic ideal to strive towards. And you somehow manage it without taking yourself too seriously. I’m a generally dorky person, so that goes a long way in making an impression on me. Like the arm-flap wave at the Oscars this weekend…

In closing, keep being awesome. And may the odds be ever in your favor (like you haven’t heard that one a million times).

-Darth Amethystos

My Super Star Wars Christmas

I’ve never known a disappointing Christmas; this year was no different. And like most of my last 27 or so Christmases, this one had a decidedly “galaxy far, far away” flair. There were other gifts, too, among them clothes and DVDs (I love me some Bob Newhart) and some Catching Fire goodies.

DSC_3630The 31-inch Vader figure is courtesy of my parents—the knitted winter cap they found adds a nice touch, don’t you think?
Severus (whose name is changed to protect the innocent) supplied the rest. The Slave 1 is probably one of the best ship sculpts I’ve ever seen, and the vintage-inspired packaging makes me happier than Boba Fett disintegrating people. Well, maybe not quite that happy, but close.
In front of it rests a SW candy cane and some little food utensils. There’s also a Han Solo in Carbonite chocolate bar…most definitely some form of torture. How can you eat something that looks that cool???
Much to my husband’s chagrin, the HerUniverse Imperial tank top will perfectly showcase my tattoo when I get it later this year. Oh, and the “talking” Tauntaun gives me a good chuckle.

On the far left is the pièce de résistance. Unbeknownst to me, Severus staged a photo shoot with some of my toys and crafted for me a picture bouquet. The envelope sticking up in the middle? Tickets to Star Wars Celebration 2015!!! Talk about a huge surprise, we hadn’t even discussed going. Now I have about 15 months to prepare myself. 🙂

What cool Star Wars swag did you get this year?

Catching Fire

You guys!!!!!!! Last night I attended the Kansas City premiere
screening of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. (Thanks, Subway!)catching-fire-movie-poster

Let me tell you straight, the film is fantastic! There is one caveat—it’s not easy to watch. Even knowing what happens from having read the book, I found myself on the edge of my seat. And I’m pretty sure I may have experienced elevated blood pressure.

Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful complement to both the previous movie—which I saw 4 times in the theater—and Suzanne Collins’ work. It’s been a while since I pored over the text but didn’t notice any glaring departures.
As with any film adaptation, there are differences from the source material due to varied interpretation as well as budgetary and time constraints. In this case, time was used judiciously (nearly 2.5 hours) and pacing kept things moving at a comfortable clip. Special effects were considerably improved over the 1995-esque look of its predecessor, though still lacking for such a major cinematic event. But this is Catching Fire, there’s enough going on that you won’t dwell on over-exaggerated CGI moments. I’m being as vague as possible to avoid spoilers, because I had some complaints over my first Man of Steel review. Can’t win for tryin’.

The returning cast members pick up their roles as if they’d never left the set. Truly, they’re as wonderfully paired with their characters as one could hope—unless you thought they were miscast to begin with, in which case you are wrong.
Moreover, they all seem to find their stride in this installation. It’s just…gah! So stinking good!
I should probably take this opportunity to declare my massive girl crush on Jennifer Lawrence. I want her to be my friend and let me borrow her personal trainers and stylists (but not the people who advised the pixie haircut and atrocious dress she wore at the LA premiere). I want to eat junk food with her and say snarky things. sigh

Anyway, you neeeeeeeed to go see Catching Fire when it hits theaters on Friday. If you haven’t seen the first film, do that stat, because it’s an important foundation.

If you can’t stand the tension of another Hunger Games flick, check out Thor: The Dark World. It’s spectacularly entertaining and just plain fun to watch.

And if you’re still looking for a way to kill some time this weekend, go see Catching Fire again.
I intend to.