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Caden Sierra
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Hey. My name is Caden and I'm from the Chicagoland area.  I'm currently going into my 3rd year at NMU.  I'm a multimedia production major with a double minor in journalism and criminal justice. For as...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

‘Games’ reaps top box office numbers

“The Hunger Games” utterly destroyed the competition at the box office its opening weekend with a staggering $214 million worldwide, and $155 million in North America.

This opening marks the third highest weekend debut of all time, with “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” and “The Dark Knight” claiming the top two spots, and stands as the highest for any film opening outside of the typical summer blockbuster months.

However, a great deal of the hype surrounding this film stems from a successful book series that preceded the movie.

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Despite its excellent storyline, “The Hunger Games” was a really good movie that came just short of being a great movie.

In the environment of “The Hunger Games,” the world as we know it no longer exists.

The story follows a civilization named Panem, which is divided into 12 districts.

Every year, each district conducts a selection process called a “reaping.” Two competitors, a boy and a girl between the age of 12 and 18, take part in a battle of survival.

The “games” are actually a fight to the death until the last girl or boy is standing. The entire contest is filmed live and aired on television for the world to see.

The protagonist of the story is Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), a 16-year-old girl whose only concern in life is taking care of her younger sister, Primrose (Willow Shields).

Everdeen resides with her mother and sister in District 12, one of the poorest districts in all of Panem.

Everdeen tries desperately to assure her sister that everything will be alright.

However, Primrose is the first to be selected at the reaping. Frantic to protect her sister, Katniss offers to take her place as “tribute” to the Capitol.

The male selected to represent District 12 is Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), a boy from the wealthier part of the district. And with that, the “athletes” meet their mentors, and preparations for the 74th annual Hunger Games begin.

Not only do these 24 tributes have to consider that the next few weeks might be their last, but they also have to try and impress potential “sponsors” in order to help their chances of survival.

Easily the strongest quality of the “Hunger Games” story is the strategy that one must use in order to endure this harsh and unpredictable world built for television.

There are many different ways to approach the situation but very few will actually keep the competitors alive.

Unfortunately, whenever an action sequence took place, I found myself squinting at the screen. Now, the estimated budget for this film was around $100 million.

I can’t help but wonder why they couldn’t have spent some of that money training actors and stunt doubles to actually learn how to perform stunts instead of just shaking the camera incessantly and calling it “action.”

Much like we see on reality TV shows, alliances form among the competitors. The few who made it through the initial massacre and weren’t lucky enough to be in an alliance find themselves having to work together if they want to survive.

I have to confess, I didn’t read the Suzanne Collins book that this film was based on.

As a movie, “The Hunger Games” was an entertaining and thought-provoking satire of the modern world that could have been a first rate film if the director had just done his job during the battle scenes.

I simply cannot stand this shakey-cam plague that has overtaken Hollywood directors.

The rest of the movie looks absolutely stunning; I don’t understand why they decide to ruin all that with sub-par action sequences.

There has already been a lot of controversy over this movie because certain people feel it isn’t accurate as a visual portrayal of the book.

As a matter of fact, when a girl in the audience behind me saw the mockingjay pin for the first time, she said, “That’s not what it looks like!”

However, I happened to notice when the credits rolled that one of the screenwriters for this film was Collins, the author of the book. Personally, I’ll take her word for it.

After seeing this movie, I am willing to admit I am interested in reading the books and watching the subsequent sequels that are almost certain to come after such a massive statement at the box office.

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