So I was a little lukewarm about The Hunger Games, but I actually liked Catching Fire. I’m a fan of J-Law and prefer my movie going experiences to include lots of fighting and bloodshed. Still, I will not be in the theater this Friday (0r Thursday night if you’re hardcore) to see Mockingjay Part I, and there is one simple reason for that: I can’t take any more of the shenanigans.
What shenanigans, say you (but only if you’re being disingenuous). I expect you know exactly what I’m talking about. This recent Hollywood thing of breaking major franchise books into multiple parts. It started with Harry Potter (at least to my memory; please, correct me if I’m wrong), and actually, I didn’t have a problem with that. I mean, Deathly Hallows is 784 pages, or what we in the business refer to as a honking big book. Moreover, all of it is important, there’s not a filler chapter in there and it’s chock-full of amazing imagery that you want to see come to life. That’s a book that needs to be broken in two, and I got on board with that split.
But as La-La land is wont to do when something makes money, they started doing it with everything book franchise they could lay their hands on. Next came Twilight: Breaking Dawn, which–I have just discovered–is also a honking big book. My question is (and please let me know because I have not read it or seen the movie) do all of the moments need to be translated to film? Put another way, could the story just have easily been told with one solid 2-3 hour movie? Be honest.
Probably the most egregious example of this phenomenon is Peter Jackson with The Hobbit. Jackson took one book and made it into three practically three hour movies. To do it, Jackson didn’t just stretch the book, he just started making stuff up. (I mean, not for nothing, but have you read The Hobbit?) Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve (mostly) enjoyed The Hobbit installments, but the book is only 317 pages. By that logic and that math, we should just be wrapping of the Lord of the Rings dodecalogue right about now. While I love elves, wizards, dwarfs, and dragons as much as the next gal, this–as many have noted–just smacks of a money grab.
That brings us back to Mockingjay, which is only 400 pages long. While it, no doubt, is an epic conclusion to the series, does it really need two films to capture that epicness? Probably not, and I just can’t see my way clear to paying twice to see the same book anymore. I have to draw a line somewhere and, sorry Katniss, Mockingjay is that line.
So this one, I’m going to have to skip. I’ll watch it on television or something before catching the final part in the theater.