Film review: 'The Hunger Games' is violent, but also careful and compelling

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  • annie Tomball, TX
    March 23, 2012 9:04 p.m.

    Goodness sakes, no one is going to be eternally scarred from reading the hunger games. It is a good book. Harry Potter had kids fighting an death battle. So did Percy Jackson. To Kill a Mockingbird talks about rape and child abuse. Huck Finn is about racism and child abuse. We use literature to process our world. It is fine. If the books disturb you don't read them but then again, don't accuse others of child abuse/neglect or lack of religiosity. Good heavens.

  • Editorial Notes At Home In, UT
    March 23, 2012 7:31 p.m.

    Easy there "Mom" - Peace and confidence in one's own decisions usually allows others to share their opinion without such defensiveness and retaliation.

    To the broader violence issue, speaking from an LDS POV, that pesky FSoY pamphlet might be bothersome: "Satan uses media to deceive you…Do not attend, view, or participate in anything that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Have the courage to walk out of a movie, change your music, or turn off a computer, television, or mobile device if what you see or hear drives away the Spirit."

    I've never heard anyone justify not studying their scriptures because the FSoY warns against violence.

    I have, on the other hand, seen many justify their vile media choices because they read something awful in the scriptures. Since we are encouraged to read the scriptures to invite the Spirit, I would assume most can differentiate between Spirit inviting scriptures and Spirit offending media but maybe not.

    Additionally, as a parent, may I never find myself in need of something as ill conceived as the HG trilogy to start a conversation with my child.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    March 23, 2012 5:50 p.m.

    So if a violent trilogy can be wrapped in "compelling, deep and though-provoking" story-telling, then it's OK? I don't care if you talk to your kids or if your daughter is going to BYU. You really ripped on Mr. Spring with some pretty strong language about how uncaring he supposedly is. Rather ironic. You have to allow that some people have a right to differ in their opinions without going on the attack.

  • Stephen Kent Ehat Lindon, UT
    March 23, 2012 4:40 p.m.

    George Q. Cannon knew what appealed. To be popular, they must "appeal to the lowest and most brutal passions of the crowd; they must abound with sensational outrages, they must deal with the terrible, and be crowded from beginning to end with adultery and arson, murder and mystery, gloom and ghastliness, bastardy and bloodshed, perjury and profligacy; in fact must be seasoned with every sin denounced in the Decalogue, and a few never thought of in the days of the Ten Commandments were given. Added to this they very often bear a most pernicious moral[,] gilding vice with every grace and accomplishment necessary to render it romantic in the eyes of inexperienced boys and foolish girls, whilst virtue is made to appear a very humdrum, antiquated, unfashionable, old fogyism . . . ." (George Q. Cannon, "What Shall Our Children Read?" The Deseret Evening News, April 21, 1869, p. 2.)

    It's not that violence and sensational outrage should not be treated in literature and drama, not at all. But for those of tender years who have not yet developed a sense to distinguish a play or movie from reality, the gilding serves to hide the dross underneath and make it appear acceptable and normal.

  • AribaD Spanish Fork, UT
    March 23, 2012 10:23 a.m.

    Dear John,

    If you knew anything about the Hunger Games you would know that the story is anything but a celebration of violence. It is, actually, quite the opposite.

  • omni scent taylorsville, UT
    March 23, 2012 9:23 a.m.

    JCS: Why is it I think you are judging this film without having seen it or read the book? As for immoralness of the book, there is no sex, and it is a lot less violent the the Book of Mormon.
    The story shows a class division of the wealthy elete, and the povwerty of the districts. The youth of the districts are made to fight and kill for the entertainment of the elete. If the theme of the book/movie is so evil, then what is even worse are people who vote for tax breaks to the wealthy, while children, elderly, widows, vets are unable to afford rent, healthcare, nutrition, etc. We have rulers who send our youth to fight and kill in the arena of Iraq, and for what? Is it more immoral to read this story, or to vote for the warmongers and to prop up the wealthy elete at the expense of the rest of us?

  • Mom2mykids Kennewick, WA
    March 22, 2012 5:02 p.m.

    John Charity Spring,

    (Ironic name considering the attitude expressed in your comments!) Have you even read The Hunger Games trilogy? Do you have ANY idea of how deep and compelling and thought-provoking the story is? Do you have any idea what lessons can be learned from the books, and this movie?

    You sound very judgmental in your comments, and as a parent whose children WILL be seeing this movie, as will my husband and myself, I think you are way out of line. You act as if we're just shipping kids off to the theater and not talking to them about the movie. I'm offended by that perceived assumption on your part. I am a good parent, a responsible parent. My daughter is an NHS member and has been accepted to BYU. My son is a smart, funny, caring almost-15 year old who has a very firm grasp of reality vs. fiction. I hope you're not a parent, because your rigidity and mindless repetitive blather would probably traumatize a child more than a MOVIE would!

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    March 22, 2012 4:26 p.m.

    The recommendation of this movie is an irresponsible act of the highest magnitude. No reviewer who cares about children would recommend that they watch this celebration of violence.

    Study after study confirms that children exposed to depictions of sex and violence in entertainment media grow up to experience greater rates of addiction, criminal behavior, and deviant sexuality than the normal population.

    A few hours of mindless pleasure is not worth the tremendous lifetime risk that watching this movie poses to children. Avoid it at all costs.