Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hunger Games & bad camera work

Let actors act! I finally saw Hunger Games with my sister and neice. I became a Jennifer Lawrence fan after seeing Winter's Bone and I love the Hunger Games concept.

Unfortunately, they hired a truly inept director who was wayyyy out of his depth. He used shaky camera technique through the whole movie and it was nauseating. So many moments that could have been beautiful, touching, or glorious were, instead, dull, unimaginative, and cliche.

The district 12 imagery was evocative of the brilliant and haunting photos of Dorothea Lange's depression era photos. I loved this and think this is where the movie shone its brightest.

But otherwise, everything was rushed. Nothing given time to germinate and evolve. With such talent like Lawrence, Tucci, Harrelson, and the sadly under-used Toby Jones, why avoid acting? Let actors act!

One of the most disappointing choices was the cliche Stalinesque architecture of the capitol city. Large concrete blocks. This is what people thought fascist regimes looked like in 1953. True fascist regimes of the 21st Century use glass buildings with picturesque gardens, greenery, trees and flowers (well, all except North Korea and Burma... point taken).

This movie is so devoid of any true creative spirit, it's hard to justify a sequel (...uh, I mean besides the $300 Million gross, that is...of course, there WILL be sequels).

Apparently, there is ambiguity regarding who will direct the sequel. FWIW, my opinion is that Gary Ross should never ever be allowed to direct anything, ever again. Not even an oatmeal commercial.

Might I suggest the one person who could do this content justice? Namely, Mr. Quentin Tarantino?


HANNAH'S DAD said...

Twice you use 'cliche' where I would use 'cliched' - something I'm noticing more and more on the net. Is this evolving towards being standard American usage?

Normally I'd hold off on the nitpicking, buy hey - it's a linguistics blog.

I agree with you on the shaky camera work - I had the misfortune to be sitting at the very front of the theatre and it was gruesome.

Chris said...

Interesting point about "cliche". Would the 'd" be past tense declension? I can imagine a distinction.

a) The cliche dialogue...
b) The, by now, cliched dialogue...

I'll take a look at COCA and see what pope up. Nice topic for a squib. Would that is were not so, I am no longer a grad student.

richardelguru said...

Seems odd to me (65, British, in US for 30 years) as well. I think I would only use cliché as the noun.
'The dialogue was a cliché from start to finish'
'The clichéd dialogue was a bore from start to finish'.
(As you can see I'm old enough to like the accent aigu too, to my eternal perdition)

Chris said...

I plotted the two on N-Gram (sans aigu) here:!/lousylinguist/status/189700454098272256/photo/1
I strongly prefer "cliche" in all cases, but I'll bet there are some context where I might prefer "cliched", probably in causative contexts where I want to emphasize that I believe the dialogue is normal sounding and realistic, but has been caused to become cliche through some specific mechanism.

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