Catching up with Katniss: What viewers (and parents) should know before seeing 'Catching Fire'

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  • Sean70 Arlington, VA
    Nov. 22, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    @oatmeal..I wonder if your post was a bit tongue-in-cheek. Beheadings, crucifixion, infanticide, forcible rape, prostitution, incest, burning out someone's eyes...all in the scriptures!

  • CabezaMan Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 22, 2013 12:58 p.m.

    @JWB, you got it! We can tend to be a bit too sanctimonious when others are trying to point out hard truths. Although I would not recommend these books or movies for children under 12-years old, it is a very important statement on our eroding freedoms and liberty. Ms. Collins' use of children in the battle-to-the-death is effective in getting our attention. As shocking an idea as it may seem, she has us talking about the evils of corrupt government. However, Jeff Peterson completely missed that point by wrapping up his article with Time Magazines anemic description of the movies primary themes regarding women as a role model, and the consequences of war. Is that it, seriously? Mr. Peterson abdicated the role of the journalist making a poignant example of one of the most obvious and overriding messages Ms. Collins is sending us - the absolute corruption of governments that control the media, and the power and influence of the media in controlling our emotions. What does Time Magazine say about her message of corrupt and evil government, and the loss of freedom and liberty? Come on Jeff, you are better than that.

  • CabezaMan Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 22, 2013 12:56 p.m.

    @Casey See - Spartacus was played by Kirk Douglas in the 1960 movie, Michael's father. Easy mistake.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Nov. 22, 2013 12:44 p.m.

    Never allow your children to see films that have more violence or adult content than the scriptures.

  • DH48 West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 22, 2013 12:39 p.m.

    If anyone is commenting on this series having never read all three books then they are speaking without understanding. The message of the third book is clear and undeniable. I would urge parents to see the movie first and then decide if you feel it is right for your children. The message of the Hunger Games is powerful but as an adult I have never been so disturbed by the final message of a story as I was by this series. I can assure anyone that there was nothing about this message that glorified war or brutality.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Nov. 22, 2013 12:03 p.m.

    The military uses young men and women in non-combative roles and they are trained to perform all duties of a military person. Katniss and Peeta are basically are the same age to begin with of 17-18 year olds that go into the military to fight for our country. Video games show more violence and have active participation from young people playing those games of killing, maiming and injuring and our society sponsors those actions in very young and little children. Parents have to monitor what their children do, read, play and even think about. That happens with conversations and having video games including cell phone activities monitored by parents, daily. Trust is good but there is too much for our children to get zapped with and not just with 110 or 600 volts of electricity. Minds are filled with stuff we don't know about in this life of agency.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Nov. 22, 2013 11:56 a.m.

    Once you've made the decision that your kids can see it, all you probably need to know is that it keeps 'em out of your hair for a couple of hours. If you feel you need to nanny over the details, you're probably overdoing it.

  • wer South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 22, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    Clearly this is a movie that parents should see before discussing the possibility of letting small children see it. According to Kids in Mind, there is a ton of violence and gore (including, but not limited to whippings, killings, vomit, blood, executions, suffering, etc.)

    "Justifying" this movie by comparing it to other, similar movies or video games is no justification at all.

  • Wanderer West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 22, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    Obviously from book reader comments, the Hunger Games books must have some kind of redemptive quality regarding the senseless violence against children. However, it's hard to see any justification in the movie portrayals for such violence. It's hard to wrap the mind around any rationale that justifies the slaughter of children for entertainment.

  • Indi135 162 S Marble Canyon Dr., UT
    Nov. 22, 2013 9:02 a.m.

    The difference between these movies and other entertainment is that the viewer is forced to face the result of violence. Entertainment often skims over those consequences. Superheros destroy buildings, cars, and in real life there would be consequences. But we don't see those parts. The villain kills every person but the protagonist. But we don't have time to see or feel that. People fall and the screen continues panning, following the hero. Because facing the violence we just witnessed would be brutal.

    Hunger Games has a far lower body count than most action movies. The reason people come out exclaiming, "That was intense!" is because it doesn't allow you to pass by the pain. When someone dies, it hurts. Characters are forced to propagate violence and you see that pain. Most action movies don't give you time to feel except at a few pivotal moments. The Hunger games lets you feel the consequences and people are shocked by that.

    What is scary, is not how violent these movies are, and how that might affect us, but how much violence we see every day on TV, in Movies, in the News, and how little that affects us.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Nov. 22, 2013 8:51 a.m.

    While Hunger Games will probably draw a bigger crowd, the best treatment on violence and children in theatres is "Ender's Game".

    IMO, Hunger Games has a lot of mythic elements that make the main characters unrealistic rolemodels.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Nov. 22, 2013 8:22 a.m.

    The revolutionary and civil wars were filled with violence due to the nature of mankind with greed. It turned to war to defend our forefather's beliefs and Europe's practices of binding people's beliefs.

    These three books tell about the life sucking actions of dictatorial leaders. I have seen those actions in war and peace. People are greedy and will do anything to bring to fruition their beliefs against people's agency by hook or by crook.

    People need to be cautious of what we allow our governments do. Our military put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms, around the world. We in this protected country, for now, have to do our civic part to keep those freedoms by voting for people that have the intent to keep those laws sacred. When we have people that want to take away our freedoms, either in one fell sweep or by action upon action, we need to be weary of those people.

    12 districts have fallen to a point where they do not have freedoms. Katniss is making a statement to their country and the highly gross Capitol arena in the Central District. Freedom is hard to regain.

  • Sean70 Arlington, VA
    Nov. 22, 2013 8:19 a.m.

    @JCS: While the books are violent, I would hardly say that they "glorify" violence. It is the Capital residents, who are depicted as shallow, ruthless and inhuman, who glorify violence. The protagonists are all repulsed by everything the Capital represents. The message from the books is quite the opposite of "violence is gloriful."

    Apprpriate for very young children? Perhaps not. But most teens will get the correct message. Let's not lump every depiction of violence as bad. It's the ability to discren the difference between Saving Private Ryan and Grand Theft Auto.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Nov. 22, 2013 7:38 a.m.

    JCS, the voice of Davis County, Utah:

    Did you read the books? My children have. We screen the books they read, or read them before or after they do, discuss the themes and accounts. Then if they are made into a movie, we watch the previews, screen through Kids In Mind and other websites.

    We have all read the books and discussed the themes. None of us are comfortable with kid-on-kid violence, and that's the point, isn't it? How many 14-yr-olds kill their unborn babies every year, so that society is jaded to it? How many 13-yr-olds in our country are tried as adults every year for killing their neighbor kids?

    We are seeing the movie as a family tonight, and it will spur more discussions about theater, the arts, role models, violence in civilized society, right and wrong.

    How do you expect kids to be ready for a brutal world if you shield them from everything and do not prepare them for reality?

    Please save your sanctimony for your sheltered perfect Wasatch community.

  • Casey See FLOWER MOUND, TX
    Nov. 22, 2013 7:18 a.m.

    I haven't seen the movie yet, but the books are great. Perhaps young teenagers and definitely younger children won't see the underlying message, but older teenagers and adults should. Unless the movie varies profoundly from the book, there is no wanton promiscuity among teenagers in the story - at least not among the 12 districts. There is an awakening of romantic interests between Peeta and Katniss, but the book doesn't have any sex scenes. Some kissing yes, and holding each other tight through the night which some could interrupt as sex, but it isn't portrayed that way.

    The violence is real in the book. But at the end of book three, you see that Katniss and Peeta hate it, but had to do it, in order to survive. No different than soldiers today. Also the book doesn't get real graphical in describing the violence. Sparticus with Michael Douglas was probably more violent than that discribed in the book.

    I am looking forward to the movie.

  • Spellman789 Syracuse, UT
    Nov. 22, 2013 7:12 a.m.

    The idea of violence against children - in book or movie form - to me is offensive. To justify it by comparing the violence to other movies is just sad. I have no problem drawing a line.

  • scott Alpine, UT
    Nov. 21, 2013 11:11 p.m.


    A gross, self-righteous exaggeration on most counts. I wouldn't let grade school children watch the movie, but the violence portrayed in this movie is no more graphic than most war movies and certainly no more violent than super-hero movies like Iron Man and Thor.

  • BusStopRatBag Layton, UT
    Nov. 21, 2013 7:48 p.m.


    That's a pretty comprehensive analysis based on a trailer. I guess I didn't pay attention myself, although I have read the books, so I'm having some trouble reaching or even understanding your conclusions.

    RE: violence/brutality, Collins >= Tarantino is patently absurd 10 out of 10x.

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    Nov. 21, 2013 6:14 p.m.

    Parents only need to know one thing about this movie: do not let your children see this film under any circumstances.

    The previews for this film make it clear that it is little more than an outright glorification of violence. Indeed, it portrays violence as nothing more than a recreational activity, with no consequences whatsoever. Tarrantino himself could not have found a way to add one more frame of senseless brutality.

    If that we're not enough, the film intertwines violence with a promotion of wanton sexuality amongst teenagers. It portrays uncontrolled sexuality as not only acceptable, but desirable.

    In short, no responsible parent will take a child to this violent gore fest. Children should not be exposed to this depravity.