Even though I didn't see either one in its entirety, I wanted to do a public posting about them so as to pick them up in my all-the-movies-I've-ever-seen (well since I started keeping track here in 2003) list.
I should start off with these two "backstories":
- I read The Hunger Games as part of my Mostly Social Book Club, and while I didn't hate it, it's not something I would have read on my own, but that's one of the reasons I like being in a book club. Also, I wasn't interested enough in it to invest the time to read the two follow-on books, although I did take five minutes to read the detailed plot descriptions of both Catching Fire and Mockingjay in Wikipedia just to see how it all played out.
- During my childhood, I absolutely loved the Gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows. We rushed home from school—it was on during the time I was 9-13 years old—to watch the latest installment.
I have been waiting for the films of each of these to come to the nearby "$2.00 movie theater," as I knew there was a chance that I might not like them as much as I wanted to. Lucky for me, as it turned out, they both came at the same time.
To that end, I went to the 3:35 showing of The Hunger Games, and after sitting through an excruciating series of way too many previews—all of which consisted exclusively of shoot-'em-up, bang-'em-up, blow-'em-up "action sequences" that I supposed were meant to induce some testosterone-producing response in me, but clearly did not, but I truly digress...—the "feature film" finally started.
After about 40 minutes into the film, I decided that I'd gotten the gist of how they were going to portray the story, which I of course already knew. I wanted to see how they were going to portray the showing of the names of the killed tributes in the sky, and I left shortly after they did that.
It wasn't bad, per se, I just wasn't engaged enough in it to invest another almost two hours to watch what I already knew was going to happen. Especially since I did not like the ending of the book.
Exiting that theater, I made my way to another one in the complex that was showing Dark Shadows, and the (dark) force was with me, as all of those excruciating previews were over and the opening scene showing a sign that said "Welcome to Collinsport," was on. Perfect.
After about 40 minutes—I guess that's now my official tolerance level—I decided, "Okay, I get the gist of how they're portraying this, and I really don't care for it."
I particularly didn't like the way Johnny Depp was playing Barnabas, and I really disliked the portrayal of Julia Hoffman, who along with Barnabas, was one of my favorite characters in the soap opera. Also playing into the bias, I'm sure, was that I never have been a big Tim Burton fan.
With all of that said, I did do some reflection considering this about myself:
I thought about my feeling of not wanting to invest another two hours in a movie whose ending I already knew, when I had so many other things that I could be doing, and I thought about whether that meant: 1) that I value my time too much to "waste," or 2) that I can't "just relax" for two hours.
I can't say that I came to any conclusion, but it was one of those things about myself that made me go, "Hmmmm."