Going to the Movies

I don’t see a lot of movies in theaters, so when I do, it often feels kind of special. Like today: I went to see a matinee (no, I’m not going to name the movie here, because I don’t feel like it), and it was like I was gearing up for some huge event. I avoided spoilers. I may or may not have bounced up and down a few times, talking to people about this movie I was so excited about seeing. When I got to the theater, I even let myself splurge on overpriced food.

As for the movie itself–it was fine. It was fun. But I think I had more fun being excited about it than I did actually watching the movie. And I don’t mean for that to be a sad thing, or a slam against the movie, because first off, like I said, it was a fun movie, and second, I really enjoyed being that excited about it. Which is maybe the point of today’s post, as much as there is one. I’m constantly reminding myself to have fun–to let myself relax a little bit, and enjoy things. Today I did that.

Now to maybe do that with writing. Well, I’ll keep working on it.

So anyway, I hope that your Monday has a bit of fun in it. Next week I’ll try to do a real, proper post. Maybe. I have an idea. Until then, have a wonderful week!

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So I finally saw the Hunger Games movies.

At least the first three. Mostly. (I’ll explain this in a second.) Needless to say: spoilers. Even for the last one, because spoilers for the last movie were what got me to watch the other three. I’m keeping it as vague as possible, but some people are incredibly good at deducing spoilers from really vague language, so fair warning.

All right, let’s go. Up until this past week/weekend, I’ve stayed away from the Hunger Games movies, because as much as I liked the books, I didn’t want to see a lot of this stuff on the big screen. (Still don’t. Fast-forwarded through some of the first movie, and half-closed my eyes during part of the third, hence the “mostly” in that first paragraph.) But then I read something about Effie and Haymitch–a deviation from the books that made me really curious. So I checked the movies out from the library, and watched them with the express purpose of seeing whether this change was justified, and also checking out the portrayal of some of the other characters. In particular, Peeta, because the responses I’ve seen have been underwhelmed by his character.

And having seen (most of) the movies now, I’m just… kind of neutral. Not about the big conflict at the heart of the series, but about the characters. I believe in the shock and horror of what’s happening–it’s easy to see why that would impact Katniss the way it does. So the situations are compelling. The characters, though… I suspect that with just the movies to watch, the most I would be able to say about the characters is that I like them, in a general acquaintance way that’s completely forgettable the moment the screen goes dark. (Or don’t like them, in an almost equally forgettable way.) Any deeper investment comes from the books.

I’m not saying that’s the movies’ fault–and definitely not saying that they’re bad movies. They have some good moments, and some pretty big challenges. For instance, most of why I liked Peeta, especially, came from things that maybe aren’t that epic/dramatic. That’s not exactly easy to put on film. Since I’m a character-driven person, though, I wasn’t going to love the films unless I loved at least one of the characters, and I didn’t. Not, at least, in their movie incarnations.

Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe my distance from the films is a product of having read the books–maybe something that made me connect to the characters in the books just didn’t translate on screen. Maybe the problem is that I’ve been kind of exhausted this past week, so the movies had a harder time roping me in. I don’t know. I would be interested in hearing, though, how other people felt about the characters, and what made them feel that way.

So, the short form: not rushing out to buy a ticket to Mockingjay, Part 2. Probably will check it out when it comes out on DVD, though.

Now off to do some writing, and not worry at all about whether my characters are likable. Sigh.

Autumn/Winter Reading

I don’t know if it’s always happened. But lately, it seems like around this time of year, when the days start getting shorter and colder, something wakes up in my brain. And what that something says is, “It’s time for fairy tales.”

Maybe not literally fairy tales. But something with some old-fashioned magic in it. Epic fantasy. Old-school classics (those are magical, too, in their ways). Dystopian, even. Something familiar, but new; something safe and warm and cozy–maybe–but also an adventure.

I have a feeling that this has a lot to do with when the Lord of the Rings movies came out. Looking forward to those movies was, I think, a pretty big part of my holiday season. Part of it may also be that those genres are like coming home–back to my reading roots. (Or to new genres that have become favorites.) After all, the holidays are a time to head back home, for many people–maybe this is one way I do that.

I don’t know. But Thanksgiving is upon us, and I’m rereading Divergent, and thinking frequently about how nice it would be to start on the fifth book of the Harry Potter series. And though I can’t prove that it is, it feels like part of the season.

Along with: enjoying hot drinks, warm blankets, premature Christmas merchandise, heaters, and other things that come with the holidays. This really is one of my favorite times of the year. I hope you’re all enjoying it as well! And for those of you who are in the U.S.: happy early Thanksgiving! Hopefully it’s not too hectic.

For all the NaNoWriMo writers: one week to go! Good luck! (And why are you reading this? Get back to writing!)(No, but seriously, it’s ok to take breaks. Remember to eat. And sleep. Got to keep going strong for those last few thousand words.)