Interesting dilemma I have come across over this weekend.
Went to see "Hunger Games - Catching Fire" on Thursday night without the kids. I have a few bit parts in the movie and I was interested to see, one, if I made the cut and, two, how they edited the scenes that I was in.
All the while I was watching this movie, I thought to myself that I didn't want my kids of 12 and 10 years old seeing this. Didn't care to me that their Daddy was in the movie, just thought that this kind of violence portrayed in the movie was a bit much for them, more so for my 10 year old.
Just as a background, I hate all things violence that is portrayed in the movies, on TV and in video games and the like. As a Dad, I feel I'm doing a great service to my kids for keeping stuff like that off their radar. I don't feel that I am or they are naive to the ways of the world, just that I don't like for them to witness violence for violence sake that is plastered on the screens of our lives.
With that said, I will be taking my 12 year old to see this movie…Why? For one, he's 12, he's a middle schooler and can handle this type of movie. Also, after seeing the movie, I feel they "tastefully" portray the killings and violence, though it is still "present".
As for my 10 year old, I might look to sneak her into the theater at some point when we go see another movie so she can see the parts that I am in…then leave and go see another movie. She's wise for her age and because she is wise for her age, she herself doesn't care to see such a movie. Many girls her age go gaga over the Hunger Games and Katniss and Peeta and Liam. My girl on the other hand keeps this stuff in proper perspective.
As for the movie…I feel it is better than the first one. I think the director did a very nice job of bringing the book and the Games to the big screen. Like I said, the violent parts were done tastefully for the most part.
Several critiques come in the form of knowing what I know about what we shot. I took part in nine days of shooting…from being a District 12 coal miner to being a rioter over the course of two nights and ten different riot scenes. They cut a great deal, including one whole day of shooting around the District 12 hob that I thought was a terrific scene, complete with a whole host of live animals. In the movie, I believe you lose the connection that Katniss had with the everyday people of District 12 by cutting out that entire scene. Kind of surprised they did that.
Also, we shot a lot of cool riot scenes…they hardly used but two shots from those scenes. Left a lot of great stuff on the cutting room floor. I'll have to wait for the DVD to come out and hopefully they'll include some of those scenes as several of us were almost run over by one of those big trucks on the very first take.
Bottom line, I give the movie a B+. Enjoy the story and how they were able to make the book come alive. The filming was well-done and believable. PG-13 is spot on…as I feel it's a movie that an adolescent can handle…but for anyone in single-digits or just a tad older 10 or 11, it may be a tad too much. Though if they handled the first movie, this one is on par with its violent overtones.
Finally, if you don't know me (and even if you do know me) then it will be hard to locate me in this film. In my first film, "42", I could easily be picked out as the racist redneck in front of the bar who chases Jackie out of Sanford, Florida. In this movie, I am in two of the scenes with Gale and the coal miners, about thirty minutes into the film. Walking shot with all the miners…I'm on the front left, tall guy in the middle of three people…quick shot. Also, just after that shot, when Gale is washing up with the miners in the locker room, the next shot after that shows a lone miner washing up in the back of the room…that's me. Like I said, there were a lot of other scenes I was in, but I either ended up in the crowd/in the background or on the cutting room floor.
Just shot four days of the "Hunger Games - Mockingjay" last month. I'm featured in that one and it's pretty cool stuff. Just hope I make the cut when that movie hits the big screen a year from now.