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The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023, D: Lawrence) -- prequel

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The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023, D: Lawrence) -- prequel

Old 11-18-23, 06:50 PM
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Re: The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023, D: Lawrence) -- prequel

I liked it overall more than the last two films. Thought "Part III" seemed a little off and rushed. I thought both Tom Blyth and Rachel Zegler were great. It's like the part was written for Zegler.

Studios should take note of this... $100 mil budget and some great practical sets. It looked better than $200+ mil productions.
Old 11-18-23, 09:50 PM
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Re: The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023, D: Lawrence) -- prequel

I enjoyed it also. But, I am more of a casual fan of the series. It's been years since I've seen the movies. So I don't know all the nuances of the book series. I just recently re-watched part 1 a few nights ago for a refresher course.

Tom Blyth was the highlight for me. He was really good as a young Coriolanus. You get to see his descent from a good guy into who Donald Sutherland played. He and Zegler had good chemistry. Even though this isn't a musical, I thought all the scenes with her singing were really good. I think I read that she said those scenes with her singing were recorded live. She didn't lip sync to pre-produced tracks.

I don't think this will be a big hit IMO. What's going to hurt it will be it's length (2 hours and 45 minutes) and it's lack of re-watchability for casual people like me. Even though I liked it, I can't see myself watching this again anytime soon. But, I wasn't bored and I didn't think it dragged. It's just one of those movies where it's probably just a good 1-time watch.

I'd give it a B.
Old 11-19-23, 09:05 AM
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Re: The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023, D: Lawrence) -- prequel

Iím gonna start by saying that I LOVED the book. Best of the four as far as story building and character development. The three parts the book was broken up into made sense and helped compartmentalize the story.

That said, I gave the film 2.5 stars out of 5.

It was a good film: great casting, good chemistry, beautiful sets and locations.

Tom Blythe is Coryo. No doubt.

Rachel Zegler is Lucy Gray Baird. No doubt.

Their chemistry was believable and tortured.

ButÖ I was disappointed in the development of the characters for the sake of time and the story. There were many scenes and situation cut from the book. Pivotal things that made me really care for the characters that were ultimately tossed aside.

I understand that you canít fit everything into one film, and if it were to be two films, the first film would be front-loaded (parts 1 and 2) and the second film (part 3) wouldnít have an ďarenaĒ story like itís predecessors. Note: I would argue that Mockingjay Part 1 didnít either, but itís sequel did, and that would be weird not having an action based ending to the film.

Hereís my list what the left out/changed:
Spoiler:
  • Arachne Crane was killed with a cheese knife, not a bottle.
  • Arachneís tributeís morbid display during her funeral procession and Coryoís singing of Panemís anthem.
  • Sejanusí mother doting on Coryo and Coryoís conversation with Mr. Plinth.
  • How destitute and desperate the Snow family actually was.
  • That the Plinth Prize was not its own thing but a combined into the games from the start.
  • The real fate of Clemensia Dovecoat after being bitten by the snake mutations and her return to being a mentor.
  • The second funeral procession for the Ring Twins, killed in the bombing of the arena and the gross display of the dead tributes.
  • The fact that it was two weeks between the Reaping and the start of the Games - not to mention the games themselves took 5 days.
  • They swapped around the deaths of the tributes and ended the games differently (Lucy Grayís use of the last snake against Treech).
  • The fact Sejanus shows up in 12 a short time after Coryo and the packages his mom sends.
  • Iím sad we didnít get to meet the Covey one by one and spend more time with them.
  • They truncated the jabberjay/mockingjay collection to the point where it made no sense (they bumped how he learned about the clicker from Dr. Gaul early in the movie than itís proper point later).
  • Sejanusí fat stacks of cash he brought with him from home that he might have used to fund the rebellion.
  • ​​​​​​Ö. and Iíll end there, even though I could go on.



Thatís my main problem with adaptations: The books are always better than the movie and my recent reread probably didnít help me in watching an abridgment.
Old 11-19-23, 09:13 AM
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Re: The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023, D: Lawrence) -- prequel

Is the book as ambiguous with the fate of
Spoiler:
Lucy Gray as the film? It felt so rushed that it made me feel like I had missed something as a viewer, but I just think it was the way they handled it.


Old 11-19-23, 09:42 AM
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Re: The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023, D: Lawrence) -- prequel

Originally Posted by dex14
Is the book as ambiguous with the fate of
Spoiler:
Lucy Gray as the film? It felt so rushed that it made me feel like I had missed something as a viewer, but I just think it was the way they handled it.





Nope, it is that ambiguousÖ But if you listen closely to the song that she sings on the shore of the lake, she talks about how she got her name (based on the William Wordsworth poem, Lucy Gray)Ö and that her namesake in the song wandered away one day and disappeared. They followed the footsteps in the snow until they came to a bridge, and then the footsteps disappeared. No one knew what happened to that Lucy Gray.

In the book, he doesnít take a gun with him to look for her. He finds her scarf, gets bit, calls her name, the birds replay her song, and he heads back to the base after losing her footprints.

Edit to add: After talking to my daughter, she corrected me that that scene was exactly like the book. I went back and reread it and she was right.

Last edited by Goldberg74; 11-19-23 at 06:32 PM.
Old 11-26-23, 02:48 PM
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Re: The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023, D: Lawrence) -- prequel

Wow . . . I am not getting the love for this movie. Here is my joint look at the movie and part of the book.

My baggage coming in: I enjoyed the Hunger Games novels, though I had my usual issue of wanting to know less about the main character and more about the Rebellion as a whole (sound familiar?). I started reading The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes a few days ago (currently just under half-way through). Suzanne Collins does a good job building a world and not staying laser-focused on the main character.

My second big piece of baggage coming in is my disdain for taking the "big bad" of universes and wanting to make them into sympathetic protagonists in prequels. No. Pieces of shit are pieces of shit. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a well crafted bad guy who is somewhat gray and empathetic, such as one having a worthy cause but maybe going about it in a wrong way. Coriolanus Snow is not that.

OK, with the book so far . . . As I said, Collins is great at world building. I will knock her for being a little too Harry Potter-ish with her naming schemes and in the building of the academy Snow and his fellow students attend. That said, I am digging the book so far. Being able to give us Snow's interior monologue allows us to know he is a piece of arrogant, privileged, piece of shit who is conflicted with moments of good. I do not feel that I am being manipulated into trying to care about this character because I am seeing his true character in conflict.

The movie . . . No. We do not get any conflict in Snow, just that he is a handsome, good, smart dude all on his own (not the case in the book) and we should like, no, LOVE, this Hitler-in-training. The filmmaker retains enough elements of the world building that I stayed engaged, but it was difficult to care. This was due to the prequel trap (we know the future of the hero, so there are no real stakes) and due to paring down the novel into a film format. They cut out anything that let us know Snow is evil, even at this young age. The filmmaker completely missed the point of the character and the story, and gave us the stereotypical rich-boy-turned-savior-of-the-people story. I'm not sure if this is what leads to nonsensical third act (actually, a fourth act) or if the story falls apart at that point. (I will update when I finish the book.)

All in all, I suppose the film is an enjoyable ride with a sloppy third/fourth act IF you don't have knowledge of the book. However, just the limited knowledge I had exposed the many flaws of the movie.

Last edited by Abob Teff; 11-27-23 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 11-26-23, 05:18 PM
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Re: The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023, D: Lawrence) -- prequel

Originally Posted by Abob Teff
Wow . . . I am not getting the love for this movie. Here is my joint look at the movie and part of the book.
I loved the book... and the movie fell flat for the reasons that you stated.

A week after seeing the movie... I'm thinking that I would have preferred this be a 6-10 episode event series.
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Old 11-27-23, 07:41 PM
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Re: The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023, D: Lawrence) -- prequel

So little discussion . . . Is this bombing?
Old 11-27-23, 07:51 PM
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Re: The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023, D: Lawrence) -- prequel

Originally Posted by Abob Teff
So little discussion . . . Is this bombing?
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/releas...EKEND_WIDGET_1

$154M worldwide. Not a bomb, but not a blockbuster.

You can't really judge movies interest levels from this forum. Only a small portion here are regular theater-goers. And this is a 2 hour and 45 minute movie. And I don't know the actual fanbase of the Hunger Games from this forum. Probably not many.
Old 11-27-23, 09:06 PM
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Re: The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023, D: Lawrence) -- prequel

Originally Posted by DJariya
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/releas...EKEND_WIDGET_1

$154M worldwide. Not a bomb, but not a blockbuster.

You can't really judge movies interest levels from this forum. Only a small portion here are regular theater-goers. And this is a 2 hour and 45 minute movie. And I don't know the actual fanbase of the Hunger Games from this forum. Probably not many.
The Hunger Games is like Star Wars for young millennials/Gen Z. Well, maybe not that level of relative popularity, but it's most important to that demographic. For many of us here, it's just another thing to watch. I generally liked the earlier movies, but it's bad enough having to sit through countless mediocre sequels and reboots of properties that once meant something to me. I'm not going to waste my time on something that I could take or leave unless it's really good. If this had come out during late summer or early fall, I maybe would have seen it. But in November, when actual good movies are being released? Not likely.*

*Unless my wife wants to see it. I'll literally see anything she's interested in because they're so free and far between.
Old 11-28-23, 03:53 PM
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Re: The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023, D: Lawrence) -- prequel

Originally Posted by rocket1312
The Hunger Games is like Star Wars for young millennials/Gen Z. Well, maybe not that level of relative popularity, but it's most important to that demographic.
If anything, I'd say that Harry Potter was the millennial/Gen Z Star Wars. I don't think Hunger Games had anywhere near the cultural impact that Harry Potter did, but it was part of the trifecta of YA adult series, the third being Twilight, that shaped a generation's youth/teen years.

Kind of interesting... the first time I encountered Harry Potter was when I saw him featured on the cover of Time magazine (and I thought he was supposed to be Tim Hunter at first glance!) back in 1999 when the Prisoner of Azkaban novel came out.

First time I noticed Twilight, I saw the books on display at Target and thought they had an interesting cover design.

First time I encountered The Hunger Games was on Facebook when my then-teenaged cousin and some his friends were discussing how they were looking forward to reading Mockingjay. Had no idea what it was, so I had to wikipedia it, and thought, "Huh, this sounds a lot like Battle Royale..."





Old 11-28-23, 05:08 PM
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Re: The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023, D: Lawrence) -- prequel

You had franchises that waxed and waned...

Harry Potter 1-7
Twilight 1-4
The Maze Runner 1-3
Divergent 1-3
The Hunger Games 1-3

... and a couple that were meant to be more but fizzled


Old 11-28-23, 08:44 PM
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Re: The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023, D: Lawrence) -- prequel

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man
First time I encountered The Hunger Games was on Facebook when my then-teenaged cousin and some his friends were discussing how they were looking forward to reading Mockingjay. Had no idea what it was, so I had to wikipedia it, and thought, "Huh, this sounds a lot like Battle Royale..."

I still struggle to believe that Suzanne Collins didn't know anything about Battle Royale. Granted the film Battle Royale was not easily accessed in the U.S. until four years after her book, but the BR source material was released in 1999 and the film actually came out in 2000. It isn't the concept of the government forcing children to battle to the death; I believe that could have developed individually. It is the cannon-fire to mark a tribute's death and the showing images in the sky that make it suspect, IMO.

Last edited by Abob Teff; 11-29-23 at 08:30 PM.
Old 11-29-23, 08:22 AM
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Re: The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023, D: Lawrence) -- prequel

Saw this and hated it. It was dark -- like the whole film was shot with barely any lights on. The plot was pretty obvious too... we already know how Snow turns out so prequels, to me, are usually low hanging fruit type plots. I read all of the other books and enjoyed them immensely. I thought the first 4 movies were pretty well done overall... but this was a dud because there are no long-term consequences that we aren't aware of.

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