The Hunger Games, Suing Cinemas for Overcharging & Goodnight Young Talent Time

This column was originally published in the Central Western Daily on Tuesday 27th March 2012.

I planned to review The Hunger Games this week, however, considering that its box office haul this past weekend in the States propelled it to fifth place in the all-time biggest opening days ever list, most of you have probably already seen it. I wanted to read the book prior to seeing the film but I only got four pages in before I fell asleep. That’s more of an indication of my lack of sleep rather than the quality of writing.

Of course, I am not at all in the target demographic for a teen fiction film adaption. I’m pretty cold on the ever deteriorating Twilight series and my interest in Harry Potter died before he did at the end of the final film. I still have the last two films on blu-ray, unwatched, so I could be wrong about Harry dying at the end.

So without actually seeing the film, here is my review for The Hunger Games.

Fans of the book will probably love this adaption. Newcomers will most likely enjoy it too. Jennifer Lawrence is a magnetic screen presence. Lenny Kravitz is definitely no actor. The ending leaves the door open for the inevitable sequel or ten. Fans of the Japanese “Battle Royale” films will wonder what all the fuss is about.

I’ve just saved myself twenty bucks and that’s without buying any snacks. I’m on a diet at the moment so I should avoid anything with “hungry” in the title anyway. Seriously though, I’m looking forward to seeing The Hunger Games, as soon as I finish the book, probably sometime next year.

You’ve got to admire the guts of a US filmgoer who has filed a class action lawsuit against an American cinema chain for overcharging at the snack bar. Mr Joshua Thompson of Michigan is seeking refunds for filmgoers who have been paying three or four times the normal price for popcorn, sweets and soft drinks. He chose to take legal action after his local multiplex mounted signage in the foyer banning BYO food and drinks.

Luckily, the embargo on BYO is yet to make its way to Australian cinemas, for now. I’m pretty sure most cinemas here take a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach. Allegedly movie houses have to hand over almost 100% of their box office takings to the film distributors for the first few weeks of release, making the snack bar the only place to make their money. My response to that would be that it’s not my problem to ensure that they turn a profit.

I’d like to suggest that snack bar prices be decreased in favour of fining idiots who insist on using their mobile phones in the cinema or opening noisy wrapper and packets during the film. There would have to be much more profit in that.

Taking hot food into the cinema has traditionally been frowned upon, due to the smell and potential mess I suppose. I once visited a chain cinema in Canada and was surprised to find major fast food outlets in the foyer. Obviously there is money in hot food. Sure enough, pizzas, hot dogs and nachos have appeared at the snack bars in Sydney megaplexes. I can’t eat any of these things in the light without dropping food all over my clothes. How am I supposed to do this in the dark?

I’ve always maintained that choc tops should come with a poncho. There’s nothing worse than discovering that you’ve been wearing melted chocolate for the past two hours.

The shift of the revived Young Talent Time from the primetime early evening Sunday timeslot to the totally non-primetime Friday night (also known as the Glee Memorial TV Graveyard) is the second nail in the coffin for this fledgling show. I’ve already argued that YTT is largely irrelevant in today’s TV market. And sagging ratings indicate that this first new season may be the last. I guess we won’t have to deal with the issue of the sixteen year old team members being kicked out in season two after all. Oh, and the first nail in the coffin was having to witness the Young Talent Team join Taio Cruz in singing the lyric, “Your ass from the side looks like a coke bottle.”

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Published in: on March 28, 2012 at 08:13  Leave a Comment  

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