Hunger Games vs. John Carter

The Hunger Games isn't really any better than John Carter, but here's why it worked.

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By nhalden - 3/27/2012
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.

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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12 Comments
Name - 3/28/2012, 3:13 AM
John carter was good but i think the hunger games was much better.
Caedus137 - 3/28/2012, 3:40 AM
I think you also have to factor in a bit of consumer apathy too. Personally, I won't be going to see either of these films because they just dont interest me enough. Assuming there are others with a similar view, coupled with the rising cost of cinema tickets and you find yourself with a much smaller target audience than you first thought... The only films I'm actually going to spend my hard-earned money to see this year will be The Hobbit, TDKRises, Prometheus & Spiderman. The rest I'm happy to wait for on DVD. (Yes, even the Avengers...)
RealDCGuy - 3/28/2012, 4:30 AM
No one cared for John Carter cause No one cares for something they dont know about. People cared about The hunger games because it had good marketing and significantly bigger fanbase.

I liked both films but Hunger Games is the better film. Characterization, Plot, Maturity, Respectability, Intelectual value are what Hunger games got going for it over John Carter's Humor, Visual appeal, entertainment value.
BIGBMH - 3/28/2012, 5:44 AM
Honestly, you sound like you were a little biased against Hunger Games going in.
"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. "
Not saying you should be required to read the book just to make a judgement, but no one who has read the book would really think of the story as some pandering tween thing.

Just looking at the trailers, Hunger Games feels less generic. I've never seen Battle Royale and I hadn't even heard of it until people started talking about it in comparison to Hunger Games.
marvel72 - 3/28/2012, 6:23 AM
haven't seen either but from the trailer i think i would like john carter more.
wedontdie - 3/28/2012, 8:38 AM
both trailers didn't really interest me that well as the trailer of game of thrones season 2 did... maybe I'll see both films when they come to netflix or HBO... Game of Thrones is an amazing show and if it were a series of movies it would blow out both these movies and other movies out of the water, and each films would have won the best film of their year... neither john carter nor hunger games deserve best film of the year... just check this trailer out..

golden123 - 3/28/2012, 1:53 PM
I haven't seen John Carter, but I have seen "The Hunger Games". It was really good. One of my only problems was the shaky camera shots that was consistently used during the action sequences. The confusion of it all was cool for the first three or so action sequences, then it just got old and distracting. My biggest problem, though, was the teenage girls chatting next to me.
golden123 - 3/28/2012, 1:58 PM
Story wise the Hunger Games was great or at least the parts I could here.
WesleyGibson - 3/28/2012, 2:28 PM
Neither seem interesting.
BarnaclePete - 3/29/2012, 10:17 AM
It had nothing to do with sticking to source material. Hunger games has a huge built in audience who are fans of the book series. Most people have no clue that John carter is even based on a book so when they watch there is no comparing happening.
headlopper - 3/30/2012, 12:47 PM
I preferred 'The Hunger Games from Mars'.
sikwon - 4/5/2012, 7:48 PM
the reason for the shaky cameras was mostly because they couldent show 12-18 year old kids being violently killed. its one thing to show a girl catch a spear in the chest, its something else to show a 14 year old get brained with a rock. i love comic, sci fi, action, ENTERTAINING movies, dramas, love story, all of them provided they have one thing in common, they are good (and that will mean they entertained as well). the hunger games has everything a good story needs, love, violence, an adversary that is over powering, politics. its just a really good story that translated to a good movie. ill watch john carter on hbo. and game of thrones is far and away the best show on tv. the books are even better.

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