Hunger Games vs. John Carter
I just saw The Hunger Games on Monday. I am not familiar with the source material, and had little expectation from the movie, however 160M weekend peaked my curiosity.
The Hunger Games isn't really any better than John Carter, but here's why it worked.
I expected a tween flick, that pandered to a younger audience. I also expected lack luster dialogue and story telling. I'll admit I have seen Twilight...just the one and not in the theater. The Hunger Games was better but the type of movie and who it was for is the same.
My expectations were met. OK.
I will say that as the movie went on it grew on me. The first 20 mins or so I was "I can't believe I paid to see this". The next 20 pulled me in and kept my attention for the duration of the film. Which was long BTW. I had no real affection or affinity for the film but it was "good" and I can see why people liked it. Especially younger people and housewives. When I went, the theater was filled with MILFS...I swear to god - FILLED (just a few kids)
John Carter was supposed to be this big budget blockbuster. See my Review to the right. It wasn't even close...it lost more money that The Hunger Games made on it's record setting weekend. (for the tween movie scene)
WHY? WHY did John Carter tank and this emo tween film - that has been done before - do so well? Clearly it wasn't the budget, so putting money into a movie doesn't always mean it will be a success. It's not about big name actors or actresses...as neither film had those. Both female leads were attractive, albeit in different ways. The action scenes were well played and delivered based on type of movie. The story in my opinion was just ok for both.
Frankly, both John Carter and the Hunger Games were by all accounts even with each other. Granted I did like the intimacy of the Hunger Games a little more, but not enough to say significantly better film.
So what was/is it....YOU DON'T SCREW AROUND WITH THE SOURCE MATERIAL.
Disney made a wonderfull world and images that looked amazing. BUT they didn't bring the John Carter story to life. They made some Marketing guys watered down version of what was supposed to be a badass on mars. Also, The Hunger Games' audience wasn't even born (or possibly a thought) when John Carter was in Comics. Lastly, it proves that not all "comic book" heroes/characters can be made into film.
Hunger Games, from what I've read was true to the books, was cast near perfectly, and given a tone what was pitch perfect. There has been some contraversy with casting, and reader expectations of a characters ethnicity. The negatives aside what this tells me is that the content is relevant today, and that the "Readers" care about the characters...TODAY. It also tells me that the stories must transcend beyond the 12-16 age group. Moms must like the books as well. (look at the poor showing for Percy Jackson - bad movie in gereral) Moms also loved Twilight. Grand Fathers loved John Carter.
Just goes to show...that you can make a movie look awesome and spend 300M. But if it doesn't stay true to the source and its "readers"...then you've failed - no matter what you do.
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