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On Katniss and Sean Bean and Catrina

by on March 13, 2012

So, The Hunger Games movie is coming out this month. I probably will not be going to see it. This isn’t because I have anything against the movie per se; I’m sure it’ll be terrific, as movies go. I don’t even find the cast objectionable; Jennifer Lawrence did really well as Mystique inX-Men First Class, so I’m sure she’ll make a decent movie-Katniss. I suppose I could say I’m not going because of the irony of it all; the point of the series was, among other things, to show the wrongness and the horror of having televised gladiatorial games between children, and the vapid decay of a society like the Capitol that would go and watch such things…so let’s make a movie out of it! (I suppose it could’ve been worse; they could’ve made a Hunger Games TV miniseries.)  But on the other hand, why shouldn’t they make a movie out of it? They make a movie out of every other successful book series, right?

Right. And therein lies the problem. In general, with some exceptions, I don’t much care for movies based on books. Why? Well, for one thing, you rarely have a movie that’s absolutely faithful to the source material. There’s the really horrible examples of movies like The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, where they threw stuff in about magic swords and a Creeping Green Mist that wasn’t in the source material at all. And a minotaur? Really? Since when were minotaurs the good guys in Narnia? Honestly.

But even when movies were relatively faithful and well done, they still have to leave stuff out. It’s a given. Take The Lord of the Rings. Now, I’ve only seen the movies once, but I have friends who’ve seen them multiple times, and they tell me that the movies are quite well done. I readily concede that. But…but they cut out all the songs, the Ents’ marching song, and Galadriel’s Lament, and the one Pippin does about “Ho, ho, ho, to the bottle I go!”, not to mention Tom Bombadil and Glorfindel and a whole lot of history. Now, I’ll grant you, there’s probably no way they could’ve taken a thousand-page book crammed with history and song and translated it into a nine-hour movie trilogy without cutting something. But still.

There’s another reason why I don’t like movies made out of books, as a rule. When I read a book, I generally picture what’s going on in my head, almost like my own little movie. I know what the characters look like, what they sound like. If there’s a song, I make up a tune for it. I did that with Rue’s Lullaby in The Hunger Games. And, naturally, since the movie producers and writers can’t get in my head, the actors and actresses they cast for the characters never, ever look like the ones I’ve imagined. The Jennifer Lawrence Katniss does not look like the Katniss in my head. When I read The Lord of the Rings, I did not see Frodo as Elijah Wood, or Boromir as Sean Bean. This is absolutely not a slam against the actors; Sean Bean’s one of my favorites. But he’s not Boromir to me.

That’s probably why there will never be a movie version of the Catrina Chronicles. I know what Catrina looks like, what she sounds like, who she is. I can’t think of an actress that looks exactly like her. And if a Catrina movie ever got made and I went to see it, I’d probably spend the whole thing yelling things at the screen. “That’s not what she said!” “No, she’s supposed to have a spork in this scene, not a pointed stick!” “Sean Bean? Where did Sean Bean come from? He wasn’t in the story!” And so on. I’d want to have absolute editorial control over the casting, the writing, the sets, the music, everything, and it just wouldn’t work. Sorry, fellow Catriniacs. No movie for you. On the bright side, I might possibly have some kinda-sorta exciting developments with Catrina: IN SPACE coming soon. Stay tuned! 😛


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  1. I have to agree with most of your comments, but my daughter sure won’t!
    She’s dying to see this one!

    • Well, I’m sure it’ll be a smash hit. It’s just I don’t plan to see it myself; I have no objection to anyone else seeing it. 😛

  2. Ha! True; movie version always leave things out, and most of the time it’s the parts I get particularly attached to,like Tom Bombadil–I was so mad when I realized they cut that whole chunk. And the barrow wights too. Anyway. Back to the point! Though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t make a big road trip with, what, thirteen other full grown adults to watch the midnight showing of the Hunger Games in a decent sized theater. ‘Cuz I totally did. And true, it is a little…unnerving that there is now a movie about a television show where kids kill each other. And that I watched it. I’ll give you that. I was pleased with the version they made of it though; I can see why they cut the parts they did–there weren’t that many, really–and it was fairly well cast. But I think the author was the director so maybe that’s why. I can see your point; I like the version I have of Catrina in my head 🙂

    • Someday the Catrina that’s in my head and the Catrina that’s in your head should get together and have a chat. Lol. Wait….STORY IDEA. 😛
      But seriously, I’m glad that it was well cast and relatively faithful. The author being involved with it is promising. I hear it’s the same way with the Game of Thrones TV show; apparently George R.R. Martin is very involved with that. And yeah, I’d forgotten they cut out the barrow-wights too. Not to mention the Scouring of the Shire. That was tragic, that was.

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