Saturday, March 24, 2012

"Hunger Games" review, Peyton The Manning, Tim Teblows


Now back to your regularly scheduled blog. I typically don't write about my religious beliefs on this blog. First, that is very personal to me. Two, someone coming to a blog titled themusicaddict probably doesn't want to read about religion. I spent about 10-15 hours working on "My Pioneer Story". The reason I did that is I'll be participating in what's called a Pioneer Trek. For a few days in July, members of my church will be going to Martin's Cove in Wyoming. As realistically as possible we'll be recreating what these very tough ancestors went through. To give us more of a true feeling for this, we were asked to put together a profile of a pioneer ancestor. Either one of the about 45,000 pioneers that emigrated to Utah before the intercontinental train. Or a pioneer in another way. Since I have these pioneer ancestors that survived "Martin's Cove", Elizabeth and Sarah Ann seemed a natural fit.

I saw the much hyped "The Hunger Games" movie yesterday. This was actually a movie that I wanted to see. I loved the actual book and the preview for the movie are amazing. I thought the movie was good, but not great. Although the movie does have a lot going for it, it couldn't live up to the books. I absolutely loved Suzanne Collins' book. "The Hunger Games" is one of the best books I've read in the last several years. The way she wrote that book and how she fits all the pieces together is astounding. Thinking about the movie I've thought about all the things that it leaves out. I realize there's a lot of things that have to be left out or it would be a 10 hour movie. Most of the things left out weren't critical. However I'm surprised no mention was made of District 13 was made, especially since it plays such a crucial part later in the series. If you've just seen the movie, you probably don't even know there is a District 13.

Positives: Jennifer Lawrence is amazing as Katniss Everdeen. Katniss is as great a heroine as Lisbeth Salander. That was just one of the many great acting jobs in this movie. Donald Sutherland as President Snow, Stanley Tucci as Ceasar Flickerman, Lenny Kravitz as Cinna and Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy are all great performances. I'm surprised by how good of an actor Kravitz is and Sutherland seems to greatly enjoy playing the slimy Snow.

I loved the early scenes and the eerie music that gave the viewer a sense of foreboding about the rest of the movie. In fact, I thought the score was great. It adds a lot of that dystopian feel to a very dystopian movie. I love the special effects, especially Katniss as the girl on fire.

Negatives: Josh Hutcherson is a lame and weak Peeta Mellark. I liked Hutcherson in "Mysterious Island 2", he just doesn't feel right in the much heavier "Hunger Games". I also wasn't very impressed by Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne. In fact, Gale in the movie comes off sort of blank. I don't blame that on Hemsworth, I don't think he was given much to work with. His character needs to be fleshed out in the last two parts of the trilogy.

When the book gets to the actual hunger games, it takes off. That's where the book becomes a classic. But in the movie, the excitement level doesn't jump when the hunger games actually starts. It continues on that same good, but not great, pace. The intensity and the fear of 23 teenagers about to die isn't amped up enough.

Overall I give "The Hunger Games" a B grade. Honestly I left the theatre thinking what could have been. I told my kids I'd take them to see it next weekend, perhaps I'll watch it again. Maybe it will be cooler on IMAX.

If you were wondering what the song was that played over the closing credits, it's Arcade Fire's "Abraham's Daughter":

The Tim Tebow drama continues. I don't know about you, but I'm so tired of this. Tebow is such a drama magnet, that even a simple trade involving him gets complicated. The trade from Denver to New York had 3 procedural glitches which delayed it. But as of 4:00 EST today, Tebow is officially a member of the Jets. One of his new teammates, Antonio Cromartie, complained about Tebow joining the Jets. Cromartie originally said, "We don't need Tebow. We sell out every home game let him go to Jacksonville Tampa or Miami. Our wildcat offense can b ran by (Jeremy) Kerley or Joe McKnight we straight,"

Cromartie was talked to by Jets management and now he has changed his tune. Now Cromartie says, "He's a guy that brings a different atmosphere to the locker room and the huddle," Cromartie told the New York Daily News on Friday. "We were missing that last year -- a guy that can take control and do the things that we need to. (General manager Mike Tannenbaum and coach Rex Ryan) feel like he can come in and bring us that spark on offense when he's in certain packages."

It's too bad Cromartie can't say what he really feels. The Jets, already a highly dysfunctional team, now add all the drama and dysfunction that comes with Tebow. Rex Ryan has a hellacious job in front of him, good luck Rex. I hope this whole mess doesn't cost you your job as you seem like a good guy. However I'd be surprised to see the Jets finish above .500 this season. (Don't worry Antonio we don't believe your latest comments, we know you very wisely are just towing the company line. It's the same thing as last week when Troy Aikmen said that Tony Romo will win a Super Bowl some day. Cowboys fans know that just isn't going to happen.)

If I was a NFL owner there's no way I would want Tebow on my team. Numbers in parenthesis are the last and current ranks in ESPN's NFL rankings. Thank you Dallas (13 to 14), Tampa Bay (29 to 24) and San Francisco (3 to 4) for not adding the overhyped Tebow to your team. All three teams already have better and more traditional quarterbacks. Also the Cowboys don't need any more drama than what Jerry Jones provides for them already. Tampa Bay also had made a lot of great moves in free agency. They also have cap room left to add other impact free agents. I expect quarterback Josh Freeman to have a chip on his shoulder to show that last season was a glitch.

Speaking of the Broncos, the signing of Peyton Manning has already paid many dividends. With one of the best NFL quarterbacks ever now on the Broncos, good players are flocking to Denver in droves. (It seems some players didn't want to play in Denver if a non-traditional quarterback like Tebow possibly could be the starter. Why would you want to be a receiver on a NFL team where the quarterback has a weak arm and runs as much as Tebow does?) Tight ends Joel Dreesen and former Colt Jacob Tamme joined the Broncos on Friday. The Broncos had previously added wide receiver Andre Caldwell and cornerback Tracy Porter. The Broncos jumped from 14 to 8 in the latest ESPN NFL Power Ratings. With Tebow gone and the Manning in town, what an exciting time to be a Broncos fan. I still don't regret not being a Broncos fan.

One of my favorite sports stories of this past week is unintentionally funny. That would be Duke's Austin Rivers likely going to leave Duke and announce to enter the NBA draft. Good thinking Austin as you really raised your profile during Duke's scintillating run in this season's NCAA Tournament.

Speaking of the NCAA Tournament North Carolina's offense looked horrific last night. If Kendall Marshall isn't able to go, I don't see how North Carolina will beat Kansas. I'm also surprised with how many great players the Tar Heels have, they don't have a better backup point guard than a freshman. I was also surprised that game was the first overtime game of this tournament.

Great songs:

Lana Del Rey gets a lot of grief for her stiff live performances. However the girl can sing and she also has a lot of great songs. Most people know "Video Games", but she also has the excellent "Gramma":

Yet another Sinead O'Connor song that I love, "Troy":

I love Eddie Vedder's voice. One of my favorite and best Pearl Jam songs, "Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town":

One of my many other favorite Pearl Jam songs, "Crazy Mary":

This has been my favorite song over the last several weeks and I'm not sure why, Colbie Caillat's "Oxygen":

Although this blog is only read by a few people on a regular basis, I continue to use it to encourage Vendetta Red to attempt a comeback (or as Norma Desmond says "a return"). I highly encourage all of you to check out their CD "Sisters of The Red Death". This is one of the better songs from that CD:

This is Vendetta Red's most famous song, "Shatterday":

I love Pink, this is "Last To Know":

One of the all-time great and most fun songs ever. I've never seen this version of Twisted Sister's "I Wanna Rock":

Damn that's a good song.


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